Wisp of memory, friendship and a mark sheet


A lifetime may not be sufficient to add zing to existence as we revisit old papers, certificates, and postcards spanning over more than a decade. The memories carved and wreathed in our soul makes it feel like a dream that never happened and burst like a colorful balloon the moment we are up in the morning. Friendships, silly pranks and silent wishes or wisp of happiness, fun, and bonding billowed like smoke disappearing in the sky and dust.

One often wonder where have all those years smacking of goodness or jelly moments disappeared in the flit of seconds. It feels so unreal when one harks back to the past that empowers and continue to define our present. Maybe our future, too. I just feel like blowing colorful balloons with tiny messages in paper chits and let them flow and soar higher in the sky. I never thought that after 11 years or more, I will laminate mark sheet, revisiting the first dash of Mumbai Monsoon in 2007.  It was in those days when I received the TYBA results and landed in Mumbai just after the train blast to speed up procedures for past grads. I just graduated in Pune. I remember calling friends to tell that I am fine and not to worry post the terror attack. It started raining in the morning when I woke up and crossed the road towards the Xerox shop that was opposite the hotel to get the fresh mark sheet laminated in Mumbai Central.

But, this time it was the best friend’s FYBA’s mark sheet that I laminated and sent to him by post two weeks back. It’s intriguing how his first year mark sheet staying with me for more than a decade. In the earlier posts, I told you that he got married in Mumbai but yours truly missed it. So, I decided to send him a wedding card. Yeah! I still prefer hand-made cards to this whole online wishes in the form of a card. I am old-fashioned that way for I doggedly believe that a proper card with ink poured over paper and writing a postal address brings so much warmth. The surprise gift was the mark sheet and last week, he whatsapped and so happy that he got the same. We tried to remember how his first year result stayed with me. There are two possibilities, one when he travelled with his ex and gave me some documents since I was the one who collected his results and secondly post our final, I had to get him some paper from college. But, I ain’t sure how the document conspired to land in my personal file. In the hum-drum, I hastily moved to Mumbai since our results came late and one year later, he hopped to the Kangaroo land, Australia.

The man was happy to get back his mark sheet which is intriguing to both of us since he told me that he always keeps handy first year Xerox.  It’s what you call friendship and the deep bond we shared that always binds us.  The past can do wonder to hearts and souls where a simple thing as a document can weave the strings of hearts strummed like the sound of music to touch us in places. Of course, I did make a Xerox as a reminder of those carefree days of friendship, leg pulling, smoking in the pot and alcohol flowing in the veins.

Time flits so easily that it knocks us in such a way that we don’t stop for a while to think about the moments that elapsed in front of us. I really wonder, where have all those days gone when we made the most of life and it was calling living, unlike now. We were not much into social media during that time and warm conversation plus laughter were shared over a cup of chai or coffee. Time is karmic. The worse with Karma is that it doesn’t give you the time to take a breath and hold the memories like pearls flowing inside the palm of your hands. Collecting memories can boost our mind. The dream of the impossible to thrust time backwards to relive those moments is the delusional thing that we humans may not be willing to do. Will time let itself not to flicker with speed? Often, I am plagued with such questions in skeltering with time.

The month of June was also Dad’s birthday where he would have turned 75 years old. It been 11 from now that he suddenly sunk into a coma before passing away. I was in Mumbai and had to rush home in no less than two days. Luckily, I saw him still alive on the hospital bed and one week later he breathed his last at home in front of me. The childhood moments that play in the mind and Dad’s voice whispering in the ear during my sleep is a sign of presence. I shall leave before this whole post becomes emotional and be back in a brand new post next week, speaking about Dad and the signs our loved ones send from heaven.

Love

V

Life will go on!


White swan in the pool of water

Lonely kid singing loudly,

for the silver Gandhi coin

Pigeon flocking its way above the sea to reach the sky

Wings clipped in fear of falling

We are our biggest foes,

scared of our own shadow

A child’s parched throat longing for the steamy cup of tea

He cannot afford the tea

chased away for having dirty feet soiled in mud

A city life envied by many

The migrants sleep on an empty stomach

Unfulfilled dream

curse the destiny

The class divide where the urban elite throws money

and the poor long for Vada Pav to fill the stomach

The Monsoon has started and rain pouring

A violent curse for some

For the rest of us, it’ s a blessing from the sky

We will whine on our fate, laugh together and fight our way in the railway compartment

Deep chasm in life and emotions

Still

Life will go on!

Love

V

 

 

 

Friday Fiction: Love, Monsoon and Sachin


Tip tip..tap tap…tip tip Baarish shuru ho gayi. The song played at full volume on Radio Mirchi in the colony at South Mumbai as water plopped on the muddy pool at the basement.  Avanti slowly opened her palm to grab drop of water inside the moist hands, winked at the sky with a playful smile on her face.  Rustom stood at the balcony, wearing a white muslin Sudreh, and hands pressed on the metal handrail, to admire her from a distance. He enjoyed staring at the open sky and the sudden rains that brings a whiff of romance. Rustom always dreamed of love the good ole’ way, walking and holding the hands of a special someone to brace the rain. Avanti was oblivious to Rustom who was smitten with her charm, divine smile and how she ran down the wooden floor, swaying to the  rain and soaking in water, her hair grew thick wearing her trade mark, the  white Salwar Kameez.

Rustom sat cross-legged on the wooden chair and sketched the portrait of Avanti, who was dancing in the rain and trotting her steps to gaze at the sky. She is his prayer, muse and meditation. He longed to see her, breaking free and showing her true spirit, wild and dare, at the start of every monsoon. The sky wore shades of darkness during the afternoon. Thunder and lightning shook the Parsi locality at Mumbai Central where young kids cycled their way back in the dingy lane to snuggle in the comfort of their homes. The braver ones stayed outside the row of houses that formed a rectangle on the huge area, to play marble and cricket.

Suddenly, the rain roared to life and droplets rattled the window sills. Footsteps were heard descending the wooden stair. Rustom sprang to life and pushed his way past the flowery curtain to wade his way at the balcony, that gave an aerial view of life at Dinshaw cottage. The pressure cooker blew like siren and perfume of food wafted in the air.  Loud whistles brought the Parsi colony alive and crackers fizzled, as the rain played spoil sport.  Sachin has scored a century to win the nerve-wracking final against Pakistan at the Lords. The entire nation are glued to their TV screen. The residents jumped and effervescent voices could blow the Dinshaw cottage apart. Celebration has just started and unbridled voices sang with passion at full volume, ‘Ooh aah, India..aaya India…Maara re sixer.’

Avanti whose hair was combed in knot, closed her eyes and a feeble smile surfaced at the edge of her lip. Her cheeks reddened.  She longed for the love of her Knight in shining armor that would mount on the galloping horse to carry her in heaven. Water gently kissed her forehead and slathered on her lip. A loud sound was heard where folks chanted, ‘Sachin! Sachin! Sachin! India! India! India!. Rustom’s eyes were closely following Avanti.

She thrust her legs and unfazed by the white pyjamas, tapered to the ankle and the slim fitted Salwar to her thin body, danced passionately with a large smile. She looked like a Goddess consumed by the fury of passion and trance. She bore her soul out, crossed and swung her arms open, rotated her whole body to celebrate India’s victory. Rustom let himself loose and was drawn by Avanti’s energy, found himself aping her movements. She suddenly stopped in her track at the sight of Rustom dancing madly and eyes fixed on her. “Oh! No! This fellow has been watching me dance like a pagli and is imitating my movements. Is he the one? No for love cannot happen like that?”

They stood and looked at each other for few seconds, emotions flowed through their eyes. He smiled at her, consumed by her inner beauty and flawlessly divine face. Avanti turned back and smiled coyly to him. She covered her face with the hands, turned and smiled a second time in Rustom’s direction before she ran up the stairs. Rustom closed the curtain and walked back to his study.

With Love

V

 

 

Friday Fiction: Drop from heaven


Image source: Google/http://farm2.static.flickr.com/

The umbrella was perched upside down. The strong wind blew through the Arabian sea, spinning his body as he struggled to hold on to the umbrella and motioned his body to sit straight. It was a mighty force he contended with, resisting the violent wind that travelled places and twisted his body. He hanged on with sizeable force. The cool breeze shoved his face.

The rock flooring where the huge tree trunk grows is drenched in water. The Monsoon has just arrived where people flocked, to experience the drops flowing from the sky to experience a tizzy of sensation. The leaves scattered on the ground wears a muddy patch seeping onto the chappals and wet feet. The busy road wore a deserted look. Standing in the rain, he was drenched from top-to-toe and admired the skyline and dark cloud. He felt invigorated, pushed by the force of the wind and the body leapt forward. He wanted to run to chase dreams. A strange sensation engulfed his body, mind and spirit to conquer the world. It was his mojo to brace himself and stand apart in the seamless crowd.

It  was one fine day when he stepped in Mumbai at Dadar station. It rained heavily that night. He knew that he will overcome his fears, suppressed feeling and desires to make the city his own. It was an obsession to make it big in the city, winning the game of life. His eyes twinkled with dreams ready to hit the heated iron. No power in the world shall stop him, he thought. It was all about him. Till one day when he met her at the tapdi. The smoke curled out of her mouth as she sipped tea and lit the cigarette. She brought his world to a stand still. Her curly hair haunted him to no end and he would sleep walk, wondering how on earth he would make her his. He found his soul mate. So what, she was unaware of his existence!

His moment of truth came when he least expected it. She walked towards him unabashed with an air of brazen confidence to borrow a light. They roamed the city together, cuddling in public gaze and smooching. She kissed him boldly yet her heart showed no passion and sentiment. He stroked his hand on her white blouse, untying the lid and his hand slid inside to caress her breast. She enjoyed the heated sensation. His hands trembled. She was having fun at his expense. How she intimidates men with her easy demeanour! He was oblivious that he was just a fish in her huge pond of lovers, making love to her body. Till one, she casually told him that it’s over and it’s time to move on with life. It was the best moment they shared in the rain, making love and massaged her nude skin as the sea waves crashed on the boulders. It was her ego that he touched in the form of bare skin but never her soul. He didn’t protest at being rejected and his face grew icy cold like a frozen statue in the cold. He chose to hide his pain and became an emotional wreck, vowed t0  to leave the city forever. He did.

He came back to the city, He was a new soul, vowed to face his insecurity and nursed the wounds of heartbreak. He was a changed person. Admiring the stormy sea and rain spluttering furiously, he went with the flow where his body made twist-and-turn, coiling like a harmless snake. He vowed never to fight anything but get swayed by the flow. Darkness engulfed. He sat on the parapet. He couldn’t ask for more. After all, the city is his muse. He promised himself that nothing shall distract or turn him into a dismayed cum gullible soul. It’s all about hope. The city shall make his deeply hidden aspirations and dreams true. The monsoon and the sea shall wash his worries at the shore. He closed his eyes, felt the breeze and the rain drop falling on his head and face. He twirled his lip to sip the salty water. It’s the drop from heaven.

Postscript: I attempted a Free Write for the Friday fiction and that’s what I get…Monsoon, Mumbai, unrequited love, sensual tale of kissing in the rain, heartbreak and hope. The characters were born out of the blue. Ha!! I love that! No reference to anyone. I feel like being the voice of the invisible.

With Love

V

 

 

Friday picture prompt: ‘I wish I could turn back the clock….’


Picture prompt: I wish I could turn back the clock. I’d find you sooner and love you longer.

It was the season of love in our perfect world. I met Sakina during the heavy rains in Bandra. I still remember the viral smile and how she made the Paani Puri wala smile. I stood in the queue behind her when she made way for me. “Aaye, aaye, yeh mast pani puri hai,” before she asked if I am scared of her. I thought she was some crazy woman who speaks to strangers as if she has deep connect with them from the past birth. She cast her spell on me that day.

Ours was a Monsoon love story, getting stranded for hours in the local train and staying overnight at the railway station. We would often joke while cuddling and kissing each other that our love story should be called, ‘Monsoon honeymoon.’ We would often drenched,from  top to toe in the rain. Sakina was so crazy and wild that she craved for ice-cream after getting wet and which made me go along with her choice, forgetting my steaming cup of coffee, at Baskin Robbins, opposite Marine Drive. We loved roaming the streets of South Mumbai, walking for long hours past St Xaviers, Crawford Market, past JJ flyover, VT station, Fort and Colaba. I loved the way Sakina would laugh and blush at the same time, ruffling my hair in the restaurant. I faked anger and irritation but deep inside, I loved every childish prank of hers.

Holding hands and walking past the hawkers on the pavement at Fort, stopping for cutting chai and ghane ke juice (sugar cane juice). Sakina loved haggling with hawkers on the pavement to buy paper back books, stole and what not. When she got a deal, Sakina would blush and smile, ‘Yeh acha price hai, theek hai yeh maal (I made a good deal right and it’s good stuff). Sakina would always look for approval. I loved every moment I spent with Sakina with her that seems like seven births completed together. I never wanted the moments to elapse from our lives. She completed me as a person, waking me in the morning, singing ‘You are beautiful in my ears.’ Sakina would call during Ramzan and slowly whispering in my ears, far from the preening radars of her parents, “Meet me at 5 pm, Marine Drive. I want to break my fast with you.’

We loved every moment of life like the ice cream before it melted away. Life and love was an ice cream which melted into water like the furious Mumbai rains much before we realized. Our love was a life time memory. Then, one day she mysteriously disappeared and moved cities. It started with frenetic calls and sms-es that was never returned over days, weeks and months. Sakina disappeared out of thin air. It freaked me out as I set knocking on the doors of darga, temples and churches. Sakina just disappeared and felt relived when I found out that she moved to a new world but was happy and safe.

Sakina’s absence left a gap in my life. She changed me as a person and every time, memories of the city struck, moments spent with her flashes back to my mind. She is a live wire and her angelic face appears in front of me. I miss my life in Mumbai with her. How I wish I could turn back the clock! I’d find you sooner and love you longer,

Turning the wheels of time in this amazing city called Mumbai where I found love. I longed for Sakina and waited for her, pinning for a miracle that shall never happen. Perhaps in another world, we shall seek ourselves and love each other.

Disclaimer: I stumbled upon this amazing picture on Facebook and decided to make a prompt. The story is 100 per cent fiction but the city is not. Mumbai is an obsession and gave so much to me. I tag you, readers, to do a prompt and use the picture, giving due credit to its rightful owners.

Keep the faith. With Love

V

 

Marine Drive, Monsoon and crescent of waves


O! Beautiful morning!

Beautiful sunset, crescent of sea waves and pearl in the ocean!

Who made the sea so beautiful like trinket of gold.

I miss the sunny and wet morning in Mumbai.

https://i1.wp.com/www.cosandey.net/MumbaiPicturesGalery/Monsoon/11.JPG

The gentle waves at Marine Drive sail like an innocent child.

Suddenly, the sea waves changes direction and turn into a storm like the turbulent childhood.

The gush of wind shakes violently as the rain pours heavily into the sea water.

The heavy monsoon becomes one with the sea, waves and wind in the maelstrom of nature.

One can only sit on the trip and feel the sensation of a beautiful weather laden with hope, optimism and dream.

The water drenches the body but I don’t bulge for a second.

It’s an enthralling experience that need to be felt within the heart.

Words don’t suffice to express the joy felt within.

How life can be unpredictable like love and destiny?

I suddenly feel spasm of emotional outburst and wanna dance in the rains.

I wish for a beautiful day and life free of complications.

O! God of rains! Be kind and give me back the life I so desire.

I can feel beauty within and a spark of miracle.

Love you Mumbai and we shall unite very soon like passionate lovers.

Good Morning

V

Mumbai local:The average Mumbaikar


Crazy city, maddening and brazen crowd. The madness lives on as one spot the slums sparse over the island city, surrounded by the Arabian sea. A city that concatenated droves of migrants held together by a dream. A dream that propel us by a dream to make it big in a city that hold its might in the face of the biggest tragedy in life. A city that refuse to buckle down under the tremendous pressure of migrants and shrivel to terror threat or unrest: Mumbai.

A city where we gasp in disbelief uttering aye! shapat! on the face of untoward incident and the slight set back as we set in our daily hum drum. We pride ourselves in calling it maximum city, the city that never sleeps and the spirit of Mumbai yet we can be reckless while driving in the fucked in the traffic or shoving someone aside to alight or jump off the train. The quirky character if the average Mumbai that one encounters in the local, Marine Drive or Mantralaya who doesn’t flinch an eye in pushing his or her might in getting things done in a jiffy. We means business. We would have no hesitation feinting at someone who comes our way. Yet, we gyrate to the sound of dhinchak music and coalesce into one during Ganpati festival or monsoon. There is a young specie who has no qualm in smooching under the rains at Marine Drive, oblivious to the glare of moralists of the likes of Dhoble and expressionless and fuming by-standers. Well, why should we care about their glares of others, as if we give a fuck about it.

We love our cutting chai at the corner side of the road, passionately discussing the latest cricket match or Manmohan’s ability to usher us towards prosperity. We love our coffee as we shed the bucks at Barista and CCD. We love our newspapers hot in the morning as we are ready to spring on anyone who keep us waiting for paper work to be cleared. Hey, we don’t have time as we our lives are calcified by a city that is constantly on the movie and burgeoned by instant activities..it can be tit of Deepika Padukone or Katrina Kaif or still better, hero-worship of Amitabh Bachchan at Jalsa every Sunday. We love our stars. Call us fan followers but we love. They are just an inch close to the clayed Gods and goddesses. Only difference that we have added hero to worship. Yes, how we spruce up Gandhi or Anna to an unparalleled height of adoration and love! We can just sit and admire the feat of these great souls but we will not bulge from our comfort zone to make the city better.. you name the snags, you get it..potholes and water logging during the much-loved monsoon fest, terror threat, crowded locals…we shall not leave our tinge of comfort. Yet, we are aware that we have the potential to be the next Shanghai..well, when are we gonna make the next move?!

Yet, we are a fascinated lot, known for our resilience, hard work and everyday struggle to make the city a better place to live despite opposition from all possible quarters. As the train slowly strut and brought to a screeching halt by the engine driver, hordes of commuters jostle their ways on their next journeys, swiping the sweat with their dry palms. Outside, the yellow-and-black cabbies are hailed by passenger as nerves are swerved. The saga of maximum city and countless emotions unfurl itself.

V