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March 13th

You would have turned fourteen today.

We’d go for a walk, then get you a massive tub of ice cream. We’d sit on the bench in Veera Park and watch the sun set over Bombay. Baba would have shooed away stray dogs as you’d take a nap. We’d play ‘fetch’ and run around the ground before going back home.

Our life still has a Chhoutu shaped void. There’s still space under the sink for you to nap. There’s a Disney water bowl in the loft. There are memories held of the gentlest and smartest dog-friend one could ever wish for.

Happy birthday Chhoutu, I hope someone up there threw you a ball and gave you a banana and loads of ice cream.

Split Second

A split second can change your life

Whether it’s eyes meeting for a split second can create an irrevocable relationship or  hitting the breaks a split second too late…

A split second can undo confidence built over a decade,

A split second can cost a lifetime.

Bookshelves

I spent the last couple of hours clearing my bookshelves. As is the case with most bibliophiles, I have more books than space to house them. Having lived alone for a while, my books covered every available surface of the house but I have two room-mates moving in very soon. As ecstatic as I am with this development, the first thought is where will my books go?! The said roomies-to-be are inclined to be neat and will claim some cupboard space too, which makes today’s task very necessary.

So, I cleaned the shelves out, sorted my books and decided to put some away, to make space for the heavier academic texts and assorted books I need to teach and (occasionally) write. It was easy to put away a few books that I’ve read and know I won’t need, but to put away some was a tough decision.

Having found an accessible but storage spot for several beloved books, I could trace my journey over the last few years. The choice of books has evolved, from popular fast paced page turners, cheap romances (I loved Mills and Boon and I am not ashamed to say it!)  to books on history, culture studies, literature, poetry, gender, travel and art. There are books on teaching and learning, on design, philosophy and biographies, catalogues of museums and art shows quietly illustrating the journey my life has taken.

As ‘grown up’ books line my newly re-organised shelves, I feel a tad overwhelmed by the amount that there is to read and discover while a part of me misses the Harry Potters.

This song sneaked up on me this evening. There is something about the simplicity and honesty in the lyrics and pain in David Gates’s voice. I wonder if this kind of emotion can be synthesised and can these feelings be manufactured?

In a sticky situation, many people get tongue tied, either for a lack of words or sincerity of sentiment. How lucky for them, songs sometimes say what they can’t (or won’t) find words to say ‘bye!

Fida

I’m a hopeless romantic, but you knew that already. I’m also a borderline cynic, but you knew that too. I’m intense and easily inspired by words, music and the visual world.

You weave a spell, aur hum fida ho gaye… Old songs are the soundtrack to my life, some ironic, some profound. These songs come out of nowhere, to find me- like unse milli nazar ke mere hosh udd gaye  that is perfect for the mood I’m at; or a few days ago when i was listening to woh haske mille humse, hum pyaar samajh baithe, bekaar hi ulfat ka izhaar samajh baithe.

Sometimes i think I chase song-like experiences, creating situations for them, as if my life were a movie, with OP Nayyar’s music, perhaps Faiz’s poetry but most definitely, Asha tai’s voice. Now all I need is to find a fitting Dev Sa’ab.

Hopelessly Yours

I want to write a letter, poignant and tender. I want to pour out my heart, my soul, in beautiful prose. There’d be a poem, perhaps a sher or two. I want to write a letter by hand, on hotel stationary, in a far off place, with a bold dark ink and writing that is distinctively mine.

I’d like someone to know my letter, by the way it smells- of a pressed flower and a vague hint of cherry blossom. I’d like you to recognise me, by my choice of words, of thoughts and the story told…

Sometimes I wonder if I’d ever write this letter? If there’d be a love story that deserves to be committed to paper? Will I be moved to tears and feel the need to share?

((Hopelessly Yours may become a series– I read a letter recently, written in 1945, that was signed Hopelessly Yours. The phrase has stuck… Thanks IAK, for the unintentional writing bait.))

Hopelessly Yours

Hopelessly is the only way to love.

A dear friend shared a letter from 1945 that brought tears to my eyes in 2015. The romance of a yellowed paper, accentuated by a flowing dark ink, confessed to a private world, to missing and loving, forever. He signed the letter “Hopelessly Yours” and my heart skipped a beat.

I spent my evening thinking about the delicate world of emotion and the web that words weave. There was something about the letter, of the people I met and how I thought of love, that changed.

So I tell myself, let the love story be unexpected, unwarranted, inconvenient, surprising and difficult to explain, but love only hopelessly. Dive in with no hope of resurfacing, surrender to life, if you will. But most importantly, put your feelings to paper. True love may not last, but the letters will.

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