Thursday, August 25, 2005

Night capers

Nights have always seemed short to me. They seem to get over in a jiffy. Not because I want more time to sleep. No, I am not fond of sleeping. It's a waste of time. I always felt I would be doing enough of it in my grave. So why waste one third of my life too on it?

These days are however an exception. As the hubby works round the clock and remains out of the house, particularly at night, I prowl about like a zombie. All lamps at different corners of the house are switched off only in the morning. The TV blinks and blares away into the night. I read, I surf the net, I surf TV channels. I walk out onto the little bedroom balcony and look at looming dark neighbouring buildings. I spot a couple of stars amidst silver clouds and then I suddenly rush in, slamming the french windows shut. A sudden chill runs down my spine.

I get a drink of juice or water and some cookies. I settle down on the sofa to surf again. At some point sleep pushes my lids shut. Asleep yet conscious. Troubled though. A sharp thought quickly passes uninvited through the mind. I get up startled.

Hubby's second cousin died about 2 weeks back. Young and spoilt. I think excessive drinking damaged his liver and killed him at 26. But the next night and the next, his mother saw him several times. Most people in the huge family and the neighbourhood too have seen the boy sitting on the stairs and weeping. After his death. We listened in wonder when we heard about it. But I realised the wonder turned into a nightmare for me as I struggled to keep awake. Not sure how it would help. But there is a certain confidence and strength in the powers of an alert mind.

Yesterday I mentioned it to the hubby who reasoned "You hardly knew him. He wouldn't come to visit you."

I argued. "But he might come looking for you. And when you aren't home, it's me he'll find!"

Since when did we need to know dead people for them to appear before us? Now, at 4am, as I write this, I think of a time eons ago when we were in school. In the team for national school games at a little town in the interiors of Maharashtra. We were put up in little igloo shaped individual domes. Boys and girls separately. Restrooms, a 2 minutes walk at the other end of the ground.

One of the boys, a close friend, woke up at 4am, wanting to pee. He got out and looked around. Not too far, he thought and dashed across to the far end. He entered the gents toilet, an open to the sky area. Glad to see another guy there, he went to stand next to him and unzipped.

"It's kind of isolated and scary here, isn't it?" he threw at the other guy and turned to look at him. And lo, there was no one there. Just vanished. Fear gripped him as he looked around. There was no way the guy could have walked away. Finding his legs, he sprinted as fast as he could. And the next morning and in the days to follow, we heard a lot of other stories too.

I can feel the hair on my unwaxed arms rising even as I write this. But I am a brave girl tonight. No more nightmares, the TV is silent, the sitting room and passage are in darkness, the only light on in the house is my bedroom one. And yes, hubby is still out working, poor thing. And before you question, then why the hell am I still awake at 4am, I answer, it's more out of habit now. And before you finally utter, "bravo!" I must let on that I have a friend blissfully snoring away in the other room.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Beyond my horizon

I am on a different plane now.

Suddenly there is no need to live from weekend to weekend. I am trying to still bring in a routine. Being the early riser, my day starts early with so much to look forward to. The feeling is divine.

On the flip side, I am developing irritating disorders. I hang out clothes to dry and match the colour of clothes to the clips. I have time to watch everyone walking into the house. And I bite my tongue stopping myself from telling people to first go and wash their hands, like I myself do. I read the date of manufacture, expiry, instructions, ingredients on every label I come across.

I watch the sky changing at different times of the day. It feels good to be able to go to the gym anytime and spend as much time as I want. I may be lazy getting there but once I make it, I really sweat.

I sit on my little balcony and watch the green hills. The sides look like they are covered with florescent moss. The trees have grown denser and greener and the little temple at the top can hardly be seen anymore. Only the tiny red flag is fluttering proudly. I lie back on the floor cushions and watch the grey clouds circling the hilltops. There... the tops have disappeared and I know, the rains will reach here in 2 minutes.

I run to get the clothes inside. Careful, don't mix the clips. They have to hang coordinated on the empty line too.

I think of food. The need to munch all the time is gone. I leave meals to the cook. When she isn't around I rustle up spaghetti bolognese, in olive oil of course, or grilled chicken.

Dusk is a beauty here. I like to watch the horizon from my bedroom. The sky turns different shades on different days. Purple, navy blue, maroon, pink , mauve, rust, orange. Sometimes it's a mixture and looks magical. And far off in another suburb, little lights twinkle on and a skyline forms. I smile in delight and catch the breeze on my face. My flying white curtains look ethereal in the twilight.

The night has began. Magic has began. Exciting prospects await. I light some scented candles and go in for a warm shower.

Friday, August 12, 2005

vibrator anyone?

Today I was a woman possessed. I headed determinedly, to the nearest gym, not really the best, but good enough. Very practical reason for choice, since I just need to take the elevator and go down and there it is, right in my complex. Besides, it's not really burning a hole in my empty pocket. I haven't paid yet. "Try it today", I was told.

I landed at 'Ladies Timing'. Yes there is such a thing, when women of all sizes descend upon a poor little instructor, woman of course, and challenge all the mean machines to hold them up. Today, in all I saw 3 women. One struggling to tie shoe laces, another cycling leisurely like it's a joyride, I thought a song on her lips would complete the picture (hum hai raahi pyaar ke would compliment her nodding head best) and the third woman smiled at me and left.

And after a long gap of almost 2 years I felt that ting in my body which is so refreshing, so invigorating. The strain, the stretch, the pain. It's all pure pleasure.

But what I had never encountered before was the vibrator, a scary machine with a wide belt hanging. I was skeptical about allowing myself to be 'vibrated'. A little coaxing was all it required and the next moment, every bit of fat in my middle jiggled violently. It was moved to my stomach and my poor tummy was almost spilling itself out. Oh my god, I gasped. All wild thoughts raced through my mind. I grinned at my martini-shaken sight in the mirror. Far from orgasmic.

"Cut out sweets and oil. Tomorrow we'll make your diet chart." I thanked and left.

God, lead me not into temptation and help me find my way to the gym again tomorrow.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

One, two, bend and touch my shoe!

On the phone, my mom is advising me to do yoga. "Now that you've time to yourself. It'll help flatten your tummy. And also clear your skin."

"Oh, ok."

"An hour at 5 in the morning should be enough."

"What!!! 5 am!! That's midnight!"

Even my early morning persona cannot digest waking up at this hour when dawn is far from cracking.

"But you have plenty of time now."

"All the more reason I should sleep some more, Ma. You know what! I am going to the gym instead. The tummy will disappear in no time."

And gym for me means I can eat whatever I want, as much as I want. What I like, I help myself to generously. All the time. Everytime. Till I cannot stand the sight of it anymore. But till then I binge. So right now, I am gorging on chocolates unconsciously. I realise only when I see wrappers tucked between sofa cushions, into the little ashtray, and in the glass flower vase.

Then I notice my bare legs, resting on the table. Much shorter they seem, and such heavy thighs. Are they mine? I don't know anymore. Logic tells me you need heavier thighs and legs to support heavier body. Right. And let's not forget bigger clothes too.

Meanwhile I am yet to decide the right gym. You know... the right music, the right ac temperature, the right crowd, the right instructor. Motivation, actually. No, paying the xrated fees is not motivation enough. So far I have checked out three. One of them twice. I got to decide today cause far off, a proud mother is dreaming of a flat tummied and clear skinned daughter.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

10 years ago...

you are a vision.
an apparition.
an illusion.
you are my dream.
a wiff of fancy
turning into fantasy.
you come to me
on wings
of vagary.
I look.
you never fail
to vanish.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

now with pics!

Pics from office. Taken during the last monsoons.

Am learning to upload pics here. If this works, look forward to seeing a little colour on the page.


After days I am sliding open my bedroom window confidently. As I lie back in bed, craddling my laptop on my raised knees, I watch the clearing sky and bright clothes hung out to dry on a far off balcony. The weather is holding today, not much rain, a little drizzle now and then. The wind is still strong. My tall and proud plants seem permanently bent. Too much cross ventilation on the the 8th floor.

And what am I doing sitting at home, away from office and work? There had been too much of news watching these last few days and like obedient citizens we followed warnings to sit home today. Hubby probably didn't find it an appealing idea to go looking for me again if it got flooded and convinced me that no work is so important.

It's my last week at work and I am missing it all. The envious sighs of people, the sense of non committment, the feeling of being there yet not being too responsible, and the soaking in of all that I loved and hated at the place. 3 more days to go. After being a part of the furniture for the last 3 years, most people knew where to locate me. For those used to my office id, I am putting up an alternative id here.

It's time for that break...