Monday, October 13, 2014


Long, yet no so long tresses. That fell on her neck and the sides of her ear lobes- with the earrings barely visible. Thick strands of hair; not black- brown, or rather the colour of rust- that was the colour of her hair. Hair up until her waistline- that was the length. 

Shampoo: She loved shampooing. Neatly oiled hair- with oil soaking in every strand of her hair like pickle; for a couple of hours. Each time a new bottle of shampoo was bought she would make up a reason in her mind to wash her hair at the earliest. For the mere love of trying the new product out- same was the case with all toiletries- face wash, soap, toothpaste too! A ridiculous craving to try out something new. 

She loved reading the description about the shampoo- what it would do to her hair when applied. She had been shampooing since time immemorial. Yet each time a shampoo was bought, she would hold the bottle in her hands against droplets of water from the overhead shower and read instructions to rinse with a girlish delight. Wiping out the water off the wet bottle of shampoo with her already moist hands, much to her fancy, she believed to this date, that the shampoo would exactly do what is written on the back of the bottle. She would also diligently read the French bit on these bottles. Most of these bottles carry instruction and some advertising matter in French as well perhaps because the language is as popular or even more widely spoken than English. She had a quaint craze for checking out packaging and manufacturing details- the place of manufacture, the place of packaging, and who marketed it. How did it matter anyway now that she was a already a buyer of the product? Ah some gobbledygook reason. Inexplicable. 
Once washed, she would collect strands of her hair together, and hold it like how a bunch of coriander or spinach is held, and smell it until its tip; run her fingers across the texture of her hair and test if the instructions on the shampoo had indeed worked! 
Silliness, a lathery indulgence it was.

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Red- not just about any red though. It was the red that rendered colour to the maruti 800 of the early 90's. Her first favourite colour was that particular red. She loved to wear red-hued cut shoes: one of her school-time crazes. She liked to see her feet covered with cut shoes in red colour, especially the ones that had a tiny red bow on them, and a certain sound that these shoes made- cluck-clucking, as that of a police officer, it sounded crispy. She considered red to be springing some luck. Every time she saw a red-coloured car, she used to blow a kiss to it- a flying kiss. If she did so, that evening was going to be lucky for sure, at least she believed with all her childish innocence. Well, much to her innocuous delight, when she returned home from school, she would see what she wanted, yearned for, as a child. Nothing great- just some favourite food or snack would have been prepared by her mom. How she loved to eat them daily: she never got them on a regular day; lest she blew a kiss to a red-coloured car. This soon became a hobby; each time she saw a red car that is. Staying in a joint family meant a lot of disadvantage- she would get to eat what she wanted only if it happened to be on the day's menu. In other words, she could not demand, she just had to obey and enjoy what was provided to her. But this new technique of blowing kisses to a red car, got her all she wanted: sweet little something- bajji, vada, or her favourite crispy adai; that's all.
 She was an understanding child- was not too demanding. However red had made her feel empowered; charged up. She loved her ball-pointed Reynolds in red ink. She used to scribble on her white Nataraj eraser with her Reynolds pen in red ink which only teachers used for correction. She scribbled so hard on it that she felt the ink all smudgy, sticking to her fingers- she ran her index finger through the texture of the eraser and feel her finger print against the white eraser. She enjoyed this exercise- for after a few days, the eraser assumes a whitish-red hue. She loved to see that colour. Erasing with her Nataraj eraser now was more fun, for she had lent colour to it- Red! 
Red Riding Hood and poems on red and all things Red formed part of her childhood. 
Black was next. All pervasive- she grew up- to be a beautiful woman-embracing black- the colour of Krishna.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Custard Apple

She broke open a favourite fruit of the season: custard apple. Its rough, greenish-black exterior looking like a cell-diagram given to us for drawing rehearsals back in high school for Botany classes. Its coagulated, messy interior. Some were messy, some popped out like eyes covered with phlegm-coloured flesh and sat inside safely until they were carefully opened. 
Eating this fruit is a painstakingly pleasurable task- the niceness of the fruit is realised only when it is put into the mouth, and sucked, suavely balancing the seed and its yummy flesh. Very little flesh gets into the tongue though, most of the time. Quite a slimy indulgence it is: unable to enjoy it, in its fullness- yet there is a stealthily, irresistible inquisitiveness associated with custard dearest. She sat with a fork or a spoon and relished the fruit of the season. She ate it so often that, she had mastered the art of eating it! She cupped her hands and held the fruit and dug deep, sucked and licked the flesh up. She ate up all the coagulated mess and spat out its black seeds. Before, she could discard the peel, she would look into it, one last time, and scrape the remains out, and experience child-like delight. Her fruity meal is complete, like how words flow out of mind, and heart and a piece of writing is extrapolated. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

A fall to remember and a Vijayadasami account:-

A year full of sins and goodness ready to be surrendered one more time. Ready to shed ignorance and take on the light of awareness and enlightenment; on this day Vijayadasami: when good wins over evil- the sign of empowerment- only with knowledge.

Goddess Saraswathi seems to be easily the uncontroversial forms of godhead. Her face so serene, she is coyly seated on a white lotus: Beautiful as she is, immaculate is her colour- the purest form of white. While other forms are invoked for various other material reasons, Goddess Saraswathi, who has four hands and rides on a white swan; her blessings are invoked for intelligence, performing arts, knowledge and eloquence. 

Mookambika temple in Kollur, Karnataka state of India, is one of the frequently visited temples in South India. The deity here is our very own subject of today's post- Goddess Saraswathi. As little children, we are taken to this temple in Udipi district of Karnataka state only so that there is a free flow of speech and knowledge, both being Her forms. My mom repeatedly tells me that I fell down at this temple and apparently hurt my lips. I faintly remember this incident though. However I can still picture my swollen lips and how they fed me with the 'prasadam'(sacrament prepared in the temple). Mom immediately follows this story up by saying, "it is good you fell down there and quite appropriately hurt your lips of all the parts; after all, it was only at the feet of the Goddess of Knowledge!"

The books and my sruthi box ( an electronic box that figuratively represents the tunes of instruments like the tambura and harmonium) were taken out from the auspicious Pooja (offering of prayers). As a conclusive act, songs in praise of the eclectically beautiful lady forms were sung, and this post, written. 

Thank You Vakdevi (Godess of Wisdom- one of the synonyms for Saraswathi Devi) for all Your blessings, from the fall to this date- I shall ever remain grateful and committed to You.