I finally publish

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Last Time I Committed Suicide

People with an imagination and a vivid one at that never commit suicide. Take me for example. I really thought about it.

Standing in the train station at Frankfurt. The cold clean gleaming tracks that meet only to part. A casual fall when the train enters the station would be all that it takes. Till then a cheerful countenance and maybe even strike up a conversation with the fat lady beside me. Oh- I am terrific actor alright. I remember Sr. Joseph wiping her eyes seeing me die as a very young Romeo with a penciled curling moustache. Juliet found it difficult to hold back tears hearing my dialogues- she wasn't supposed to, remember she supposedly dies before Romeo.

So as I was saying, I would maintain a light and perhaps even witty dialogue with the fat lady. And my shoelaces that always come undone would conveniently come undone when the train enters and I would lean a tad too forward.

And the silver shuddering train that always rushes on precarious tracks. It would mostly be in black and white because I like it that way.

And the fall. In slow motion. Gracefully- as that would be my last fall. I can't fall any lower.

And the train like angry words that cant stop too soon would run over me. The smell of crunching bones and flesh in squealing protest. The blood alone in red. Like a Quentin Tarantino movie.

The warm and rusty taste of it. The trickles in small rivulets. And my last unsaid and unheard thoughts.

That's how I never committed suicide. One just shouldn't think too much.

I got into the train. I'll imagine an accident till I get off at work.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Knocking on heaven’s door.

The smallest thing makes me cry these days.

Look what happened the other day.

In the fading light of the day, when my cousin and I sat on the steps and he took out his flute and played me a song. Till then all was fine. When the sharp tones and harsh edges were smoothened by painful practice and afterwards when all that was left was the shadow of the music, he told me- that was your favorite song, wasn’t it? I remember. I practiced it for you.

I wish I had forgotten. When my eyes brimmed with tears, he played me another song. His favorite.

When I wiped the dust off my uncle’s gramophone and thought of the old music we used to listen to, I searched for the old records. I never found them. That evening while waiting for the rain, I heard the rasping voice of a singer crooning in sultry tones on our unused gramophone. Old records from a shop somewhere far far away. For me. We didn’t turn on the light in the parlor. My uncle and I sat in the dark and listened to Lata Mangeshkar call for a lover who would never perhaps come. Only the tears came.

Then when I looked through old albums full of forgotten people, faded sepia tones and the glue that held together all these people and some lost memories. I too would be soon one of those people in old albums- stiff smiles and no color. Myriad monochromes. All the pictures were happy pictures. The pain just couldn’t be captured.

And so I snuck it away. And sometimes wipe away the little translucent crystal droplets of pain.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

You are cordially not invited

My favorite things in Indian weddings, especially in the South Indian ones, are the flowers. However ornamental the others might seem; roses, orchids, gladiolas… however they tower in splendor and however much they glisten with color, the undefeatable smell of the jasmine ensures it stays in front of them all.

The closely knit, the warms white buds, the secrets within, the proud pale green stalk that form long chains and the clasps that are reluctant to let go…

From the same string of tied flowers, my mother and my maid cut out adequate quantities and weave them onto their hair. Communists I think jasmines are.

When they open, they surely must be whispering secrets- look, the groom is so ugly. Or perhaps- look the bride is plastered under makeup when all she would have needed is us to make her more beautiful.

I understand flower language. They speak the same words as I do.

So when I am getting married, my topmost item on the list - the flowers. My mother irately strikes them away- they are the least of important things she says.

The hall is booked with crisp notes. The cards are printed in erasable ink. The news is told in distorted stories. People come with fake smiles and what they don’t say deafens what they do.

And then the day that wasn’t to be dawns.

People are begged in embarrassed whispers by my family not to come. There isn’t to be a wedding.

Reason as it exists is really flimsy. Like the barely enough saree of a Bollywood heroine- it just refuses to cover the necessary.

So that just leaves us. The flowers that are now dead. And I, wondering whom I will now speak to.