Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The heart is a lonely hunter



It was the year of long skirts. When more cloth overrode comfort. Stiff white long petticoats under longer colorful skirts; petticoats that rubbed raw against your legs. Petticoats that saved you from your two sticky legs being seen as silhouettes. Marilyn Monroe disagreed. So did I. I don’t know what Monroe's mom had to say to her, but I sure heard a lot from mine.

And that’s how I was dressed to go for the concert. I loved music. But I loved disobedience and rebellion better. So I was seen protesting, sulking and agreeing- all for something even I wanted.

We had good seats. They became the best seats when I saw you. I guess it was my lucky day, when I was asked to sit beside you. You smiled me a smile. A smile that was all mine. I pretended to adjust the creases of my skirt.
All that it takes to transform a girl into a woman is a smile.

I always held it against my parents that they weren't better friends with yours. Our mothers talked in friendly politeness so characteristic of acquaintances who would never be friends.

When the curtain rose and the hush murmurs drowned themselves out, I stole a look at you. And then ever so often I'd look at you, casually so.

The music must've been good.

When the curtain fell again, you turned and looked at me. Complete attention that I didn't know where to tuck away.

You asked me about school. About friends. About what I was then reading. I never asked you anything back and that was only because there was so much I wanted to know.

Mother on coming back to her seat gave me a not very happy look, seeing how unabashedly happy I was. When my smile fell as her frown tugged it down, you noticed it.

Just as the curtain rose and the lights dimmed, you took my hand and whispered 'Lets go out'.

I knew for sure I had to go back home with mother. And maybe that we'll never meet again in the same romance. You might fade. I will fade.

We brush aside several looks of disproval and step on many polished and unpolished toes.

Those were the years of scooters. Bikes were a luxury. Stolid blue scooters parked in military fashion.

You sit on one and pat me the empty seat beside you. I take it.

We don’t talk. The music sounds better from where we now stand. I turn to look at you ever so lightly. You catch that one.

I go back to just the music.

And again when I look at you, you turn to me.
We both smile.

When the next time it happens, I am flustered. No woman who is woman enough lets her love be seen. I was but a girl. And you were but my first love and mistake.

You smile and point out to the shadow we make on the wall.
Of a boy who sits on a scooter.
Of a girl with her head slightly turned… looking at the boy beside her.

The shadows just don’t show me blush.

26 Comments:

Blogger Xérès said...

Scooters are still *alive* and considered very romantic in places like Italy n Greece :D
This post somehow reminded me of this girl's journey to Greece in the movie The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants :)

12:17 AM  
Blogger Sudarshan. A. G. said...

A beautiful piece after a really long time ! :)

The scooter looks so very similar to my appa's :) :)

1:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Yeh Dil Ek Panchhi Shikari Nazar, Maar Daalegi Zaalim Tumhari Nazar!" - this is what the title reminds me of!

Hey, I dunno, but somehow, I do have a thingy or two for gals wearing long skirts - and, besides other types, the long denim ones. But obviously, she ought to carry it well!

Nice blog- I lost count how many times such beautiful situations happened to me....nobody took up the courage to start a conversation...and therefore ended then and there itself!

:-) SS

2:32 AM  
Blogger arvindiyer said...

Brilliant!! I haven't read a better piece of work in a really long time.. Made me remember a lot of things.. Thanks for the Nostalgia.

RYC (previous post): You're settled in Pondi now? J'aime Pondicherry:)

3:38 AM  
Blogger rohitramgiri said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

5:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"And you were but my first love and mistake."

A lesson learnt?? Well learned??

6:18 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Sherry: Romantic yes... :)

Sudarshan: Been that long eh?

SS: Denim skirts, I'd go for the really short ones!

Arvind: My god! People are making me feel am posting crap recently and this has been a break! :)

Rohit: :) Ty!

6:18 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Anon: A lesson never learnt.

6:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You smile and point out to the shadow we make on the wall. Of a boy who sits on a scooter.Of a girl with her head slightly turned… looking at the boy beside her."

I tot the girl was looking at the shadow :)

6:22 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Anon: But it's about what the girl was to see no? :)

6:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sold??

Did u buy it?

9:49 AM  
Blogger sanu said...

Nice one!

10:21 AM  
Blogger Meena Venkataraman said...

fantastic..tangible feelings!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Anon: Bad bargain it was though.

Sanu: Thank you.

Meena: Touchable eh?

12:16 AM  
Blogger Hopscotch said...

"No woman who is woman enough lets her love be seen..."...so very true...and so romantic...
Discovered your blog some time back...and am loving it :)

1:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm, depends you prefer love or lust!!
Is it situational for the two?

:-) SS

2:51 AM  
Blogger Meena Venkataraman said...

Poornima, - you bet.. :)
Hey..I just got to know that you are Mrs Rajeswari's daughter..I went to Cluny too and I remember the way you looked when I left(think it was 8th grade)..
Not sure if you remember me though.. it was a while back..

3:10 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Hopscotch: I wrote you an email a few days ago.

SS: A love in bed- lust.

Meena: :) Yeah... but how did you figure that out. I know it isn't rocket science but still, curious and all. 8th grade... sigh! So so long ago that was!

4:02 AM  
Blogger Meena Venkataraman said...

I know!.. Okay am just going to mail you rather than ramble on here

4:43 AM  
Blogger arvindiyer said...

Oh come on.. No one ever said u were posting crap.. I just said this one steals the cake!!! And loved every bit of this post.. So what's happening? You mail seems to be bouncing back everytime i mail you!!!

6:34 AM  
Blogger Xoff said...

Been away, but always a pleasure to be back here.

Keep up the good work!

PS Is it just me or your posts have changed their rating from PG-13 to R?

2:19 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Rituraj said...

Ooops... U did it again ! A marvellous piece... But an abruptive ending... Wish d story continued bit far... Gud one !

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Mahesh said...

Wonderfully written. I just wonder as to how you can bring back all my sweet memories.

Sometimes I just wonder if we just led the same lives or is it just you who was peeking on mine! :P LOL

Enjoyed it!

2:02 PM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Meena: :)

Arvind: Hehe! Fishing! :)

Xoff: 'X' rated! :)

Rituraj: Some things are best left incomplete.

Mahesh: Really? See! This is why you should also write!

11:52 PM  
Blogger cyclopseven said...

Bahut acha.

9:19 PM  
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11:47 PM  

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