Saturday, December 31, 2005

Sunset in San Antonio

San Antonio. Chicago. Heathrow. Mumbai. Chennai. Pondicherry.

Pondicherry. Home.

After more than 24 hours of travel, lost luggage and a detailed frisk at the airport thanks to him for asking me to get Zippo lighters.

The bed felt hard and new, my room felt smaller and smiles were strained. The word here is jet lag.

Awake when everyone sleeps and sleeping or trying to catch some when my sister is awake is not exactly thrilling. Not possible too.

Christmas and a party. A tree and gifts. Even my mom got one. Santa must be very old.

I was handed a 3-or-around-there old year old, a plate of food and a spoon with a conspiratorial smile from the hostess and words from the same, “Practice session.”

I smiled wryly at my mother, “Well, am at least glad that people don’t put it past me that I can have a kid without having to get married. This is the second time that I am given a hint to have a baby ma!”

My mother pretends we aren’t even vaguely related.

I talk to a guy from France. He tells me he doesn’t feel too well. Falling ill in a strange country can be quite scary. I nod sympathetically.

“But if you promise to come and see me tomorrow, I think I’ll be better.”

I laugh.
My mom doesn’t look too thrilled.
I laugh some more.

Grandma-who’s-not-mine beckons. “Did you have a good time in the US?”

I take her soft and wrinkled hand in mine. “Perfectly lovelly”.

She giggles remembering her favorite movie.

“Next time you should go to Paris”, she tells me firmly and lapses into a reverie about her trip there last summer.

I smile an assurance. “Paris… yes.”

My friend shoots me a look that screams scrutiny. My mother catches it deftly and a puzzled look sets in her face. I give away nothing.

I am pulled into the dark balcony. “Lunch tomorrow. No nos. I hardly got to speak to you.”

Too tired to protest I nod a yes.

I stand there a little longer. Strains of conversation waft past. Rotund Bengali words. Rapid French sentences. English of varying accents.

Our Christmas ends. Somewhere in another country, in a far off land, it just begins.

Happy New Year and all that.



25 Comments:

Anonymous Ph said...

Zippo lighters, indeed. Beat him up when you meet him next. :P Happy New Year to you too.

7:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Feelin pulled apart eh!
Setting hearts afire, here, there & everywhere....or is it just your heart?! ;o)
HNY2006

9:06 PM  
Blogger Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Well, what can one comment after reading a post such as this! One can only read and assimilate. Anyway, courtesy demands I at least say Happy New Year and all that. Cheers :)

2:01 AM  
Blogger Praveen said...

so u are finally back home, welcome back. happy new year and have a gr8 year ahead

4:54 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Ph: I'd love to! :D Happy happy New Year!

Sharat: Using your system I am! Will answer in person!

Bishwanath: What have you assimilated? It doesn't sound too good anyway!

Praveen: Thank you and you too.

5:08 AM  
Blogger Hyde said...

You are back, I see.

So am I.

8:11 AM  
Blogger yesbob said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:19 AM  
Blogger yesbob said...

good one. here's wishing you a good year ahead. keep writing

10:20 AM  
Blogger Arun said...

Good to have you back. Have a great year.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Hyde: Long explanation due. Will give it.

Yesbob: I sure will. I hope!

Arun: Oh well, I know you missed me! :p

8:40 PM  
Blogger Bishwanath Ghosh said...

I had meant it as a compliment. 'Soak in' would have been more appropriate I guess, instead of 'assimilate'.

2:04 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Bishwanath: Thank you then.

5:03 AM  
Blogger Kalaaban said...

-I smile an assurance. “Paris… yes.”-
That was my favourite. Warm. Is'nt it?

6:30 AM  
Blogger JanaBanana said...

Glad you are alive and molding this new found experience into words.

I emailed you but no response. Jet lag i'm assuming.

Anyway, Happy New Year.

4:33 PM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Kalaaban: Its freezing in Paris!!!

Jana: Mail and justice to it will be done. Hope things work out the way you want it, and hope you know what you want this year.

9:01 PM  
Blogger Kalaaban said...

Don't Kid me. I know you will be warm.

10:26 PM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Kalaaban: I am warm. Too much in fact.

2:35 AM  
Blogger fr0z3n said...

:) nice (as always)

11:16 PM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Frozen: Thank you...

4:07 AM  
Blogger Dhanya said...

:) Happy New Year Sweety!!! and beats me how people can give all the "marriageable" girls that subtle hints about, "you know i want to see u married before i die"...life's the same!

2:15 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Dhanya: Loved the picture in your profile. Marriage- *shudder*!!!!!

12:49 AM  
Anonymous kerabyte said...

how can some one blog ? i mean like this, i have seen blogs,but never anything like this i always wanted to blog ,but never could
hw can i blog my life ,my life was all abt family break up ,long days at the court ,nasty smelling hostels,selling cd's at busstands ,adjustmens,feeling mediocre,feeling failed,learning to live with total strangers,watching the stranger grow in to an instant amma ,not seeing ur father for six years ,not seeing your mom for ten years ,putting up a smiling face at school,wasting years just sulking ,scratching up a start up biz,learning to do everything by self

7:26 AM  
Blogger Navin said...

Hi this is Navin Kumar. Good literature re..am very impressed.

10:23 PM  
Blogger kerabyte said...

He was urinating , They announced the flight . he closed his yes at the point of shake well after use suddenly he realized that he never got the chance to buy anything for her. zipping up , clutching the back pack , not bothering to wash his hands and dry them he runs out of the loo dodging bags trolleys. passengers are being asked to check in . there is a q at the counter ahead of him an english man is buying up delicados. He is billed the pretty girl asks him for the card which he hands over. She tries thrice the card just wont register. He is frantic trying to find hard cash...he manages down to last coin . Last call
home town

They are hiding at a corner table
holding hands she is happy to see him. " You look like a pig " she says, he smiles... half way through he coffee he puts the small box in her hands she tries not to show her joy but a beautiful smile escapes her lips. she is amazed, he replies to her look " to add a spark to our lives "

This is me trying to write like you . actually the plot is very simple i gifted some one with a red zippo lighter . no body stopped me because i had the good sense of not filling the zippo or buying the zippo fuel why should i ? she actually dont smnoke

10:38 PM  
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11:47 PM  

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