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The Book You Need

The book you need to read will find you. It’ll make itself available suddenly, unexpectedly, sometimes inconveniently, but it will be there. It’ll get to you through recommendations, random links on facebook or twitter, or a mention in a long-read essay that you never finished reading.

The book you need will be hidden until you are ready for it. When it comes to you, be grateful and check it out of the library, read it quickly, passionately. Read into the night, read in quiet cafes, find obscure spaces to remain undisturbed, lest it be recalled and you lose the opportunity to read that one book you desperately need.

It’ll force you to stop. It’ll help you to think. It’ll be an old friend’s embrace. It’ll be food and a warm drink on a cold February day. It’ll be exactly what you need when you need it. When you are done, it’ll lead you to a rabbit hole of discoveries– of titles unexplored, lives not lived, options not explored. It’ll tell you there is a way forward, that there are stories still up for grabs if only you’ll be patient and willing to work hard.

 

Missing Mine

Inexplicably before a deadline (haha, hello, procrastination, my old friend), I miss my bookshelf and the 30-odd books I’ve had to leave unfinished at home. I turn around and look at the 3 unfinished and 6 WAITING to be read books in my current bookshelf but I long for what is mine, at home. My real home. On my couch, with the coffee from my mochapot, as I avoid chores that MY mom expects me to do. I miss events that cousins get to witness. I miss squishy hugs and good food. I miss doing MY dishes after a party, instead of helping J with A’s.

In this beautiful and lovely city that I now call mine, I still miss all that and more.

Dreaming of the Ocean

Today, I dream of the ocean

Of lashing waves on a stony beach

Of the call of the gulls,

And chattering teeth.

I close my eyes and I can see

A factory at dusk,

A sun setting over the city of dreams

A tired crowd walking slowing down the jetty

I hear the distant bells of a temple arti

I smell grinding wheels, and salty air

I feel the tarpaulin on a covered yacht

I dream of the ocean,  of evenings stretched long, and my dog sitting with me.

Death

I’m not afraid of dying, but I don’t want to die anonymously, where no one knows I’m dead, and my family just assume I’ve run out of charge on my phone or playing uncharacteristically truant.

I don’t want to be a roadkill or fall off the train, or just disappear without a trace. I don’t want to go unnoticed, without a farewell, without a chance to make amends. I don’t want a mausoleum, but I don’t want to just fade away either, a cruel hope in a loved one’s eye, a lament and a prayer.

As I sit several thousand kilometres away from Bombay, the news of a terrible fire near VT reaches me. The photos are horrendous and scary. I could have been around, as could my friends and family.  Every blast, each calamity later we do a strange headcount. Facebook marks you safe. People text, call and we all are momentarily relieved that we are safe. This pressure-cooker existence makes me contemplate death more often than I’d like to. Of course, things are worse in many parts of the world, where you don’t know if you’ll come home, and there will be no way to find out.

We’re all going to die, but I hope it is not anonymously.

Frank

Each time I lose something I think of you, Frank, and the little prayer books you’d pull out. Sitting behind the IMG desk, you’d crack jokes and give me some grief, but you’d help me find whatever it was I was searching. Frank and Thomas, an unlikely pair, attending concerts, being kind and cheerful in ways that only Xavierite folks can be.

You aren’t around anymore, and there’s no one to call at the IMG. Familiar faces disappear, places change, you move out to strange countries. But in the middle of a busy working day, you suddenly think of old friends, and voices you heard years ago.

Thank You Facetime!

Days fly by, and life is a blur of new experiences. But there are moments when things come to a complete standstill. Innocuous incidents drive you to tears, and the chilly rain doesn’t make things easier. Dark at four-thirty, not a familiar face in sight, loads to do, but there’s very little fight. You want to be home, YOUR home, surrounded by your things, and most of your folks. I’m so grateful for Facetime, and for technology that brings us closer.

When five and a half hours time difference doesn’t mean much, and tears and laughter flow. When caustic comments are exchanged, and stories swapped. When we hang out. To feel like you’re home again. On the couch, in your home, with your mom. Even if it’s in a box. Sometimes you make do with little things.

Losing Things

It hurts to lose things. It hurts to know you’ve been callous, unmindful, unheeding of inner voices and premonitions.

Lost things, unlike feelings, are irreplaceable. You can’t talk to them, fight, or ignore them. There is no satisfaction of winning a point, only sadness and complete lack of agency. Of knowing there’s nothing you can do, but HOPE and PRAY with all your heart that the lost earring will turn up somewhere.