Archive | February, 2014

Vivaldi’s Fifth

28 Feb

There are actually 5 seasons in America: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter, and California.

We just keep that last one under wraps to avoid being lynched by the poor sods in the rest of the country.

😛

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Lizard’s Tail

25 Feb

It’s fascinating to watch the morphing of an entity that has been severed or disconnected from a larger part. Whether it is a country partitioned from its old composite avatar or a person who forsook their religion because of marriage, they seem to be propelled toward polarization, creating identities more extreme than otherwise necessary. This has happened, I chose this, now I must take a stand and be different, stand up for my act of separation, perhaps even justify it. Ignore the sameness. Ignore the city streets with approximately the same amounts of garbage, because there is a heightened sense of Another Religion in the air. Ignore how nothing has really changed about your food, your clothes, your very colloquial exclamations, because now you are Married Out.

While some are compelled to change, feel an obligation to become The Other, a few dig their heels in and stoutly choose to be driven by factors that prod us to take these steps. Still fewer others fling themselves between identities, but who likes the dissonance that produces? One over the other is easier, safer, infinitely more convenient than duality.

In the rarest of cases, it is a personal blessing for those who never really belonged to one space to begin with. A chance to seize the molding clay of circumstances and fashion from it at will. Those who say I will not be driven, pushed, compelled. Who acknowledge that many factors may change external situations, but we choose to renew our identities-or not. Even as I hear the constant drone of “change is ever-shifting” in the background, I am intrigued by the endless buffet of change, what whets its appetite, what platters we pick from, and the choices that fill our senses and identities, keeping us alive, moving us forward, nurturing stability, dulling our nerve endings into half-burying ourselves into the ground and sticking Velcro-like to the comfort of our original realities.

What do you fashion for yourself? Does your sky take on a different hue? What drives you to be still or shed layers? Do you see it as a necessity, inevitable, or a painful metamorphosis? When you throw off your tail, does your yoke get cast off with it? Or is it warmer to wrap a familiar milieu around your being and rock it close all the live long day?

I thrive between answers. So from the looks of it, I am in no tearing hurry to grab the nearest available one. Let me go arrange a bowl of flowers in the meantime. Nothing like petals and stems to dissipate a whorl of question marks. 🙂

St. Valentine: Smartly Single and A Patron of the Plague

14 Feb

This Valentine’s Day, because we’re sodding balls of mush, because the OJ-Boy romance is far from typical (who gets a book on financial investing on the very first V-Day of their relationship? I do!), and because it is my moral duty to educate you about the reality of this cotton candy-filled, chocolate-centered, gooey-as-snot emotion, here is a compilation of my Twitter hashtag ‘Things Marrieds Say To Each Other’. I don’t guarantee sappy, puppy-eyed romance. But I do promise this: Someone, somewhere was made for your sense of humor. And blessed are those who land them.

~

“I’m an equal opportunity farter.”

“I love how effective our communication is. The morning greeting beautifully boils down to one word: “COFFEE!”

“I have photographic rights. When we married, you signed off on them.”

“Isn’t Cheteshwar Pujara that Bihari festival?”

“I never find anything soulful. Except maybe a shoe.”

“I will share my life but not my plate /The depth of my heart isn’t quite that great.”

“My needs are simple. Coffee and a little Tiffany.”

“You had me at correct punctuation.”

“Oh good lord, don’t pass out! That’s not my toe lying on the carpet, it’s the Band-Aid!”

“You’re my ardhaangini. So I get half of every cupcake.”

“That’s your ‘We’re getting late’ sigh.” ~   “Yeah, and…?”   ~    “Aaaaargh!! I can identify your various sighs!”

“You’re too far away.” Apparently, six inches of separation is terribly much.

You know that awkward phase between sizes?”  ~   “Hmm.”    ~   “You don’t know! You’ve always been 1 size! Just PRETEND!”

“Ear-digging can be a dangerous business. I just found chocolate shavings in mine.”

“‘Bheeda’ and ‘eeda’ rhyme. That’s proof that they’re meant to be together.”

“My camera, my house, my wife,” he says, when I accuse him of being a stalker. Damn such sound logic!

“It’s MENstruation, not womenstruation, and yes, you can tweet that.”

“You’re so much more than a pretty face.” ~ “You’re so much more than a wild imagination.”

“Sometimes people are broken and imperfect, you can’t reject them because of it!” ~  “Baby, it’s a WAFFLE.”

“I think I’m getting bucktoothed.”

“What do you call someone whose farts knock people out?”  ~  “What?”  ~  “Gaseous Clay.”

“See you in my dreams,” he says, blowing a kiss from his pillow.”Oh, and make dhansak while you’re there.”

“I’m not cooking dal. Then you’ll have a bad air day.”

Me (digging into his IHOP pancakes): “Babe, these are two of the three pillars of our marriage.”

“I’ve had better luck finding a spouse than a coffee table.”

“In this new year, may you realize the critical importance of coasters.”

“I’d say your eyes are my windows to the world, but now you have Twitter.”

“Ooh, baby, you’re so fly!” ~ Me to the Boy every time he takes a plane.

“Even the inside of your nose is cool and nice.”

“I share my LIFE with you. Now you want my mawa cake as well?!”

“It’s so hard to walk around hearing the Canon all day!”  ~ “Wow, that must be loud.”  ~ “I mean Pachelbel’s.”  ~ “Oh!”

“Bless you…now that you’ve sprayed your germs on the wall.”

“That’s it. We’re moving to a nudist colony. I’m not doing the laundry anymore.”

“Repeating verbatim what your spouse wants you to say.”

~

Happy Sweet-Saint-Whose-Head-Was-Chopped-Off Day! Don’t forget to share the things you tell your beloved in the comments section! 😉

Under the Redwood Trees

5 Feb

There is no feeling in the world comparable to standing on a forest floor, surrounded by redwood trees as they quietly, mightily graze the sky. It wasn’t a feeling I was familiar with when we first moved to Northern California 3 years ago. An acutely urban creature, I am completely at ease amidst concrete and glass towers, maddening traffic, and the ceaseless buzz of humanity that characterizes metropolitan cities. Be it New York, Philadelphia, Boston, L.A., Paris, Washington D.C., Miami, London, Seattle, San Francisco, or my own Bombay, I have felt a sense of comfort in city air. I have never known nor craved the outdoors, or wanted a home with a sprawling garden like some folks dream of. The streets were to get to places. Who aimlessly rambled outside their home when there was so much fun to be had with indoor pursuits? So when I first walked into a redwood state park 40 minutes from our home, a never-before hush descended on me.

There, in patches of sunlight that struggled through dense treetops, I experienced an exquisite sense of aloneness. Not to be confused with loneliness, no, just a feeling of being the only human in that cool, scented universe, being watched by companionable flora and the creatures that call it home.

Occasionally, there were others who passed by respectfully, with a nod and genial smile, their sneakers crunching along the path, babies on their front or bottles of water on their hip. Then, I was alone again.

The silence pressed in on my eardrums. It is amazing how deafening a lack of sound can be. There was, quite literally, nothing. I strained to catch a distant chopper. I recognized the sound of my breath. And all the while, I was dwarfed by these magnificent natural marvels that have stood guard for several centuries.

I touched their tannin-tinted bark. Imagined what they have witnessed. Has their environment changed so much in the last 500 years? Some trunks lay horizontal, their gnarled roots exposed. Others formed a ring around their Mother Tree, a mammoth entity worthy of awe. A carpet of ferns sprawled around them, gleaming emerald-gold in the slanting light. Embarrassedly, I hugged one of the slimmer trees, my arms wrapped around its solid girth. Bloody Californian, I mocked myself inwardly. But there was wisdom in soaking up their energy, and I was conscious of doing just that as I loitered, no particular plan in mind, no agenda, just a wish to be.

Deeper in the woods is a river. Jumping across stones, I stripped my socks off and wiggled toes in an icy stream. I’ll never be Huck Finn, it’s true, but for someone for whom taking off footwear outside the home is a Parsi version of haraam, you’ve got to concede it was a beginning!

The sun traveled, ruling a cloudless sky. Such welcome warmth in its friendly rays! I inhaled the pungent, heady scent of our ancient friends one last time, then turned and walked toward ‘civilization’. And this worshipper of all things urban knew an unexplored part of her had awoken.

~

I leave you with pictures from an afternoon jaunt to Land of Medicine Buddha and the ‘Enchanted Forest’ in the Santa Cruz mountains, and hope you experience the peace I did. Click on any picture you wish to view larger.

[Credits: Instagram on my Google Nexus phone, and the charming Land of Medicine Buddha.]