Archive | February, 2009

Hair

28 Feb

You slither to the

small of my back

in souciance,

bearing tales of

caramel and teak;

a live forest of cicadas,

a mother’s solitary gift,

you cloak me

testily,

at whim.

Your loins they bear

men’s callouses,

their brownness stealing

yours brazenly;

Your urn flecked with

the sweat of a hundred

(and three) orgasms

and the urgent need

for memory.

Embrace pillows while I

sleep,

tell them my unhappy secrets,

leave souvenirs at the

spaces I inhabit

so the world may love

me

a little more.

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To the Sri Rama Sene With Love…

14 Feb

a.k.a. In New Mexico, They Call It A Quickie With A Chickie

…after it’s gracious gesture, how can I not respond with a humble gift of words?

Happy Valentine’s Day, good people of the blog. Spread the luuhhvin’.

********

She took great pains to choose the skirt. Artsy, with careless strokes of sunflowers right above the knee. She ironed it crisply, laid it out on the bed with attentive care, and held her breath as she slipped it on straight. Sitting primly in the car, she didn’t budge an inch for fear of a lone crinkle. It worked. The sunflowers arrived at their destination as fresh as daisies.

“Boy, that was good, wasn’t it?” he said afterward, as they lay on their backs, reclaiming their breath. With damp, crushed, yellow petals strewn around her thighs, she nodded ever so imperceptibly.

*******

(Link via Piper.)

Also, check out (1) Anindita Sengupta’s response to Sagarika Ghose’s HT editorial , (2) Ammu Joseph in the Bangalore Mirror.

One Sho(r)t of the Devil

10 Feb

According to Dewdrop Dream’s tag, I must pick up the sixth picture in my sixth photo folder and post it here with a brief description/explanation.  Here you go:

new-york_cp


[Credits: OJ and her then fairly new Canon Powershot.]

It was Christmas Eve 2005. I was scheduled to leave America in 6 weeks and was in New York for one final fling with the city. The weather was cooperative and this picture was taken at dusk, atop the Empire State Building. For some reason, I can clearly remember wearing a green foam Statue of Liberty hat and swigging Minute Maid lemonade. New York has always held my attention. My heart, not so much. Love was for other places. Syracuse, Boston, Philadelphia. Real places, with memories I can grab by merely closing my eyes.  But when I do think of it, this is how I want to remember New York in my mind’s eye: coming alive under a twilight sky, one busy and strangely detached December, as I looked at oft-viewed people and places with the eyes of a girl departing.

Jeremy the Crow, Part III

8 Feb

[Continued from here.]

Each box was numbered and Jeremy knew from watching the children that you were supposed to go from one number to the next. Gingerly, he hopped onto square 1. Square 2 was right beside it. “How can it hurt to try?” he thought, and before he knew it, he had number 2 under his feet. “This is fun!” he said to himself, as he quickly hopped to 3.

4, 5 and 6 later, he had only two squares left. 7 and 8 were a piece of cake, and soon he was hopping back in full gusto, pebble in his beak like he had seen the children hold. So thrilled was he at his achievement that he almost swallowed the pebble and remembered to spit it out only just in time. He bounced all the way home, brimming over with news for Mamacita, who listened with a kind smile on her face.

After that evening, there was no stopping Jeremy. Each day, he’d wait for the children to disperse and hop onto his territory to claim his squares. On some days, he’d hop backward for fun. On others, he’d close his eyes. Even though he did it twenty times each evening, Jeremy never tired of this delightful game that he called Hopparoo. It was on precisely one such evening that Jeremy was hopping along the squares, this time backwards and with his eyes closed, that he heard a commotion.

Opening his eyes with mild irritation, he realized he was surrounded by children, all gaping and pointing and smiling wonderingly at him. “The crow plays hopscotch!” they were saying to each other in amazement. The shy bird watched as if in a dream. He, Jeremy, wasn’t being mocked or laughed at. On the contrary, he could see delight and respect on the children’s faces and he wasn’t afraid of them. Showing off a little, he hurtled from one square to another, doing a pirouette at the end and blushing at the resounding applause.

From that day on, the children would look out for Jeremy and ask him to join in their games. He rode on the back of bicycles and brought back their marbles in his beak, but his favorite sport remained Hopparoo. Mamacita was so proud of him and he now had many friends. He was bolder, happier and had the best legs ever seen on a crow. And so it came to be that Jeremy M. Hoppola became the neighborhood hopscotch champion, loved and feted by the residents of Glen Gate Street. He learned that it’s okay to be different, as long as you’re happy and not hurting anybody. And that being all the same isn’t that much fun anyway. So if you see a crow with the shiniest black feathers, bright raisin eyes and a lopsided gait hopping up to you, you’ll know who it is, won’t you?

~The End~

You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me

7 Feb

With the exception of my uber-careful mother and BFF, I’m the most particular person I know when it comes to taking care of personal belongings. Not an item gets misplaced and I could direct you to a book/CD/tee shirt with my eyes closed. Among other things, I’m called Madame Paranoid. So it’s a particularly sadistic joke life plays on you when the same phone gets stolen twice. From a relatively safe space, from among invitees at a party. I’m not angry, just disheartened. Methinks I’ll crawl into bed and sleep away the events of the day.

And Jeremy the Crow, he’ll caw tomorrow. Right now, he’ll just have to deal with being ignored. As will the rest of the world. Good night.

Jeremy the Crow, Part II

6 Feb

[Continued from here.]

*******

“Oh Jeremy,” wailed Mamacita, “Crows can’t forget to fly!” as she bandaged his swollen leg and tattered wing with velvety catnip leaves. The little fellow hung his head in shame and feared he’d never see the outside world again. His leg throbbed painfully, but he put up a brave front and lay quietly in bed as Mamacita went about her chores. The days passed. With his siblings gone, the nest was quieter and Jeremy lay watching racing clouds during the day and colorful kites in the evenings. He felt much better, but his leg wasn’t any stronger. Every time he tried to stand up, it would give way and he would tilt lopsidedly on his good leg. His right wing wouldn’t open out fully and he’d eventually give up after hours of trying. “Look, Mamacita!” he’d say in those early days, when he still believed he could fly, but soon the disappointment in his mother’s eyes became more painful than his battered body and he gave up.

Mamacita, in her defense, was a practical crow. She knew she wouldn’t be around forever and that Jeremy needed to make the best of the situation and learn to look after himself. And so, with much goading and prodding, she taught him how to half-climb, half-tumble out of their home and hop along the ledge that ran below it. Soon, Jeremy was confidently making forays into the neighborhood dustbins, feasting on leftover meat and scraps of Chinese takeaway. He grew into a handsome bird with glossy, inky feathers, shiny, alert eyes and a face wiser than his years. He was happy with his own company and would spend hours watching children at play and cars trundling past the barricade on Glen Gate Street.

One particular game intrigued Jeremy. The children threw a pebble onto a square on the ground, raised a leg and hopped over to that square, whipping around and hopping back to pick up the pebble. They reminded Jeremy of himself, and he edged nearer to the park to see them. He was usually careful not to get too close, because he couldn’t fly away like other crows, and he preferred to watch from behind the safety of a bush. Today, however, there were fewer children in the play area, as most of them were attending D Baby’s birthday party, and Jeremy felt bolder. After quickly checking that no one was looking, he hopped onto the fake turf with its chalk pattern.

(concluding part coming up…..)

Jeremy the Crow, Part I

4 Feb

[Written as a birthday present for a very precious little boy, this is the first of a three-part story.]

*****

“Screeeeeeech!” went the car tyres angrily, as they were forced to halt. “Silly crow!” glared the lady inside, her eyes sparking behind the wheel. Jeremy hopped to the pavement as briskly as he could, and stood there, head cocked to one side. The dust from the retreating tyres tickled his nose and tears pricked his deep black eyes. Brushing them away with one feathery wing, he busied himself with some berries on the ground and tried not to think about the sad feeling in his heart.

 

 

Jeremy had been born in the perfect curve of a dish antenna, a squawking, ragged bundle among his brothers and sisters. His early days were perfect: warm, wet and milky, as he huddled close to his Mamacita and slept soundly. As time rolled by, like the big construction trucks that often passed their nest, Jeremy’s siblings began to stretch their wings. First, just a little. Then, some more. More, more, a little further, until they were ready to attempt their first flight. Taking their positions, they steadied their gangly feet, craned their necks, stretched out their wings and looked eye-poppingly eager. “Now!” said Mamacita, waving a leaf to signal “go”, and one by one, they cleared the rim of the satellite dish and found themselves flapping furiously in mid-air. Jeremy waited in line patiently, a little nervous about the prospect of leaving home.

 

 

Finally, when it was his turn, Mamacita looked over at him, smiled and said “Now!” He swallowed hard and spread his wings. His scrawny legs wobbled as he stood on tip-toe and craned his neck as far out as he could. He strained his eyes some more in the hope that he’d see beyond the curved grey of the dish. It was no use. He was confronted by a formidable wall of steel and would have to fly higher than its rim. Flapping tentatively, he levitated about mid-way. Gaining momentum, he worked hard to move skyward and finally, the rim fell below his eyes.

 

 

The world parted its curtains for Jeremy. In that one instant, he saw great white towers and shiny cars with wheels as dark as his body and children chasing a striped ball and trees waving green flags, telling him he could do it. Sunshine patted his thin little neck and far away he could hear a flute singing.  Jeremy couldn’t believe his bulging eyes. Oh to think he almost didn’t leave Mamacita’s home! As time stood still, so did his wings. And the next thing Jeremy knew, he had crashed back into the dish, his leg twisted at a strange angle, a sharp pain searing through it.

 

(to be continued…….)