poem

Hold My Hand

*this was written in the beginning of 2014, somewhere in Feb. 

Where the sky is so magnificently blue

Where nothing is untrue

The earth is looking so green

Here, I have never been

Beautiful flowers that decorate

I promise I will not be late

Because I know you are waiting for me

Under the shade of the largest tree

Come, hold my hand

As we walk across this land

Feeling the earth on our feet

Smelling the flowers so sweet

Watching the golden sphere in the air

The wind blowing our hair

We sit near the sparkling lake

And you say,”for God’s sake”

When I spill water on you

But then yo do the same too

We spend our day talking and laughing

Immersed in our past, remembering

But all of this will have to wait

As time stands between us, a huge gate

The day it’ll open is yet to arrive

And till then, without you, I’ll have to survive

We bonded as time passed by

Now you are bidding me goodbye

Life has made us apart

But it cannot stop you from residing in my heart

My love for you shall never flicker

Even if my life from now on turns bitter

No matter how many years away

I’ll keep waiting for that day

IMG_20170530_220006_742
Illustration by NM©
short story

Amaya #3 : The Child

Her mother pulled her hair into a ponytail, on the top of head. She called it the ‘Umbrella Style‘. She was restless.

“Sit still Amu. What are you so happy about?”, her mother scolded her.

“I want to go out and play.” she replied.

She ran to the playground, and looked up. A few minutes later, rain drops danced down the roofs, the swing and the trees. She stuck her tongue out and ate one of them. She giggled as it tickled her tongue. As she danced, another landed on the left side of her forehead, and slid into her ear. 

It whispered that a child was born, to a couple who was sad for a long time. They had lost their daughter when she was 7 years old. This was their second child, a baby boy.

They named him Anant.

*Illustration by NM.  

poem

Madman Percy 

*Dedicated to my adorable absent minded aquarian kutty.*

NM ©

Two decades ago, was born madman Percy,

Who lacked all senses, all but mercy. 

Who loved his pups to the toe

And everybody else was friend or foe

The wavy hair that danced with the breeze 

Which fell down with every sneeze

Filled with curiosity his ever questioning mind

Wandering in thought of the answers to find. 

One and all, to be his best friend

But he is nobody’s to lend

After much incomplete consideration and contemplation

To his true love, coffee, he diverted all attention

All best options at once, impatient for another chance

To music the gentleman hums, he jives his best dance

Often misplaces names and faces, amidst the info-pile

But one is already drowning in his smile.

family, movie

Why I Should Maybe Stop Watching Horror

And also movies where you have”suspenses”. 

Last Saturday, VJ let us engage in the Conversations about Cinema, and it was super fun. Everybody had stories to tell, but I forgot so many of my own. And that class brought back so much of them. 

I have often been scolded by my friends for spoiling the suspense, which I manage to guess. And there’s this thing I have for animation movies – because I feel they’re like dreams. Anything and everything can happen. 

I don’t remember when exactly I had first seen my horror movie. But then maybe, it doesn’t start with a movie at all? 

The earliest memory I have of anything ‘horror-ish’ is perhaps this weird serial I used to watch with my grandpa and cousins. This is something that happened only at my mom’s house. The room would be dark, lights off and all those trees would be peeking in through those old fashioned grilled windows. I don’t remember the name or the story at all; it has a couple and a yakshi I think. I don’t even remember how old I was – seven or eight? My grandpa used to watch, and we used to sit with him. Somehow, the idea of getting scared didn’t scare us, instead it might as well as have excited us. But one of my cousins was a little hesitant to look at the TV; she had the habit of peeking through the gaps in between the fingers of her hand – which covered her face – so that she would be terrified, but still not miss any part of it at the same time. The same cousin would, years later, sit with me to watch Paiyaa, fast forwarding through all the songs and the fight scenes – it’s a Tamil movie. 

Years later, my grandfather had passed away. The four of us were together in that house after years, for the rituals. And one night, we were in his bedroom discussing the movie ‘Mirrors‘. Well not really discussing, since we hadn’t watched the movie. I had just seen that one scene where the hero’s sister dies, and decided I’ll watch the movie in leisure – from the beginning- the next time. The eldest one, S, then continued to narrate the story. And I helped her scare the other two. And after this, I don’t remember why exactly  – we (S and I) had to step out of the room. It was dark out there, since our mothers were at some other corner of the house. We had to go to S’s room – she lived with her mother and grandpa – to take something. She was searching in the dark, so was I. But then she turned on the lights (on purpose) , and I was standing right in front of the dressing mirror. I had an exciting heart attack, after which we started giggling. We went back to the room and terrified the other two, reminding them that reflections were enough. 
I have perhaps become used to watching horror movies, and writing horror was a much later addition. I had watched Conjuring 2 in theatre, and that was the first horror movie I saw in a theatre. I had planned to go with my two BBFs – Bangalore Best Friends, S and P. 

The movie was, in many ways funny. And there were so many people commenting aloud – even us perhaps. But my classmates had perhaps praised it so much, that I had placed the movie high in expectations. So much that, no matter how scary the movie was, it would still not be scary enough for me. It was maybe unfair of me to do so. But then, it was a beautiful movie -mind blowing I would say. 
I have already written about how to write horror stories. Or rather how I write themI’ve always wondered what somebody expects from a horror movie. Many a times, almost half of the horror effect is lost when you’re watching it on TV. But you can still recreate it to an extent – lights off at midnight that leaves just you and the movie. Shefali says horror films bore her; and I sort of agree with her. It doesn’t bore me, but if you’ve already watched the movie, then you lose the advantage of the ‘surprise’ element. And also, there are movies with a lot of blood shed – killing people or butchering them, piranhas or sharks eating you. All these would never fall into my idea of horror. A little bit is perhaps inevitable, but usually such movies disgust me. 

I guess I’ve always been interested in the stories they tell, even if most of the time it is incomplete. And at times barely there. And this is not just for horror movies. We all keep watching a movie again and again and again. For instance, I don’t remember when exactly I had first seen Manichithrathazhu, but I know that every time after that I haven’t changed the channel if they’re playing the movie. My parents don’t let me see the movie in peace (or in pieces) as they start reciting dialogues as if the Bhoot has got them. And then, I join them. 

family, short story

Three Stories 

​*This was written seven months ago, based on a prompt given by my professor. 

I was walking up to the main road – in uniform – with my mother. My apartment was around 200-300 metres off the main road – but it was not like the usual idavazhi. It was more like those long driveways you made for sand palaces at the beach. I crossed the road, and waited for the bus. 
I was so busy chatting with my mother that I noticed the bus only after it stopped in front of me. I jumped into it, only to realise lunch kit was with my mother. (So next time my teacher asks me, “Have you ever forgotten your lunch, I can say “Yes”.)

I was sitting in III A, worrying about my lunch. My class teacher informed me that my mother had called her up, and had asked her to let me have something from the canteen.

I was extremely excited at the thought since the canteen was only a week new. Finally the lunch bell rings, and I rush to the canteen. But to my disappointment, I discover veg meals on my table. I hate plain rice, especially the gundu gundu ones. They’re so scary, as if they will eat me up. But well, the sambar was good, so was the pickle. After lunch, I ran off to play, and almost forgot about this. Till I was back home.

My mother was eagerly waiting for me at the bus stop. On our walk back home, my mother started chatting: how I had forgotten my lunch, how she had worried so much that she called up my teacher and asked her to get me a pizza from the canteen.

“Pizza? I had meals!”, said I .

My mother’s smile flew away immediately, and she all she said was, “oh”.

I had stopped walking and was staring at her, in utter disappointment. But she snapped out of her trance, and we walked silently.

                                                                                   

                                                                                     *********

You are busy eating pizza. You pull out the big jalapeno, and deposit it in your mouth. A little bit of cheese follows from the tip of the sector. You settle down on the couch, and turn on the idiot box. Your mom is angry that you eat so much of junk, and that you have become such an excellent potato couch.
She starts murmuring and grumbling. 

“What is it ma? Let me eat in peace.” You say.

“It’s all my fault.” She says. “I should have never forced you to taste this. Now all you eat is junk. Who will eat the vegetables? My child doesn’t like healthy food.”

“What’s wrong? And why would you force me to eat junk at all?” you ask, curious.

And she begins:

When you were really young, around five I think, we had gone to Pizza Corner. It was your first time, and you manged to try the garlic bread. But you didn’t want to eat pizza at all. You didn’t even want to try it. Perhaps you were intimidated by it, I don’t know.

(You stop chewing like a cow, and drop your jaw. No way, you protest.  Don’t believe her – she is just messing with you.)

Believe it or not, that is the truth. I had to persuade you to try it. Just a bite. But no, you were so adamant. If only I had given up, and let you be. 

(Seriously? You look at the pizza slice you are eating and silently apologise to it – for you hurt its feelings back then. You feel guilty.)

And once you had taken a bite, you liked it very much. And now, all you eat is pizza.
                                                                           *************

 

Somewhere near Malalparambu, Calicut little Neha is lying on her mother’s lap, extremely bored. She had had her dinner, but that too was boring. She was very excited at the thought of dinner, but all of it had vanished when she didn’t find anything special. She preferred her mother’s cooking – so crisp, hot and fast. She never had to wait long to eat. But now she was at her aunt’s.
Little Neha was the only kid in the house. Her cousins are much older to her. Her cousin sister is preparing for the medical entrance; and so the aunt never allows anybody to watch TV in peace. One would wonder why they have a TV at all. The uncle is always watching the news or sports. Poor little Neha hates both.

The uncle is watching news again. But everybody is sitting on the floor: her parents, the uncle, the aunt, and her cousin brother. The cousin sister is upstairs – in her room – locked. No, nobody locked her up, but she had locked it from the inside. This weird behaviour always intrigued little Neha. But the news bored her more than anything. Everybody is busy listening to, or perhaps trying to listen to the news. Except her. The elections are going on, but she is least bothered about it. Why should she be? She is not allowed to vote.

Her mother notices that she is quite distracted.

“Pay attention. The elections are up, you should know what’s happening around you’, she says.

“No. News is so boring. I don’t want to watch it.”, replies little Neha.

She asks,”Ok. Whom do you think should win?”

“Well….” Muses little Neha, quite take aback by the question.

“I think congress should win” she says finally remembering one of the very few names she knew in politics.

Why? Because there is Sonia Gandhi in it.  Gandhi. She knew nothing more. Nobody is aware of this innocent conversation happening behind them, and they continue watching.
                                                                          *************

description

Lost and Found

As a kid, I used to be so lost in another world, that there were moments where I could not figure out where (and how) I’d lost my stuff back here on Earth. There were a few things I kept losing, but otherwise I was a pretty careful child.

One of them was the back of my tiny gold earrings – the tiny screws. I do have the habit of playing with my earring when I talk or think. Now that I think of it, I could have’unscrewed’ them unknowingly. I used to lose one almost every week. I’m not sure how this tradition stopped – probably my mom stopped making me wear gold at all. It saved her a lot of energy.

Then there were handkerchiefs. When I was really small, it used to be pinned to my uniform. But as I grew older, I started carrying it in my hand. Many a times, in spite of having a pocket, I misplace it. I often forget that I’m carrying something, and drop it – a hanky in my hand restricts my hand movements. I often find it lying on the ground, after a sudden realisation that my hands no longer carry the handkerchief .

Another one would be bindis. As a kid, I would wipe my forehead, forgetting that fact that I’ve worn a bindi – completely displacing the bindi. And for this reason, I avoided bindis for a long time until a few years ago. And now, I wear it everytime I wear Indian. A red bindi for a red Kurti, a blue one for a blue churidar.

family

My Puyu

image

Today, I was very tired after college. I threw my bag away, somewhere on my way to the sofa. (my mom always complain that I was much more ‘organised’ as a kid.)
I lied down lazily on the aquamarine ‘L’ sofa, hugging the big cushion on its side, listening to my mom say random stuff. Suddenly she changes the topic.
Ammu, promise me you won’t cry.
I will. What is it?
No no, promise.
Just tell me.
I was playing with Puyu. He fell, and broke his spinal cord. He passed away. I’m so sorry.

image

I suddenly experienced an Agnes moment, when purple Kevin snatches her unicorn.
Ente Puyu. Ente Puyu. Ente Puyu.
I thought you would notice it immediately, but you were so busy for the past two days.
Ente Puyu. Ente Puyu. Ente Puyu.
I cried again.
I had bought the puzhu (worm) from a vendor who suddenly appeared opposite my college gate. I named him Puyu – how I used to pronounce Puzhu as a kid.
Sob. Sob. How happy we were. He loved to play with me. He loved to play with mum too.

image

But now, he is no more. I shall miss pulling his ears, and arms and feet. He had four arms and four feet. But he preferred to crawl. (it’s not easy to walk with so many feet you know).
Oh how I shall miss you my sweet buddy. Who else can stretch so far, and still be in one piece.
Rest in peace my friend. You shall always be remembered.