Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Souvenirs of the Past

She touched the blade of the knife with the tip of her long, manicured finger. The titanium felt cold and smooth on her skin. She gently played with the knife, twisting it carefully between her fingers. Contemplating. It was a boning knife, part of a thirteen-piece set held in a block of maple wood. It had been a wedding gift from a distant uncle. They had laughed over it. The set of knives had stuck out like a sore thumb among the plethora of crystal vases and satin sheets that had been gifted to them. Ironically, the boxed set was all that remained of their wedding gifts over the years. The satin sheets had been ruined by fishmoths that had infested the wooden box where they lay unused for years. The crystal vases, most of them tacky, had been gifted, donated, broken or discarded. But the boxed set of knives lay on the mantle above the kitchen counter, untouched, but a reminder of the past. A reminder of the day it had all begun. A souvenir of their beautiful life, interwoven with love and dreams, and of a magical future together.

Until last week when her life had turned topsy-turvy. When he had walked out on her. It had been a bolt from the blue. Everything had been rosy- he had always been the perfect husband- caring and warm, with a contagious smile that never failed to throw her troubles out of the window and arms always ready for a warm hug. And she had been the lovely, dutiful wife. Or so she had believed. Over time, he had gotten busy with work, and reached home tired and weary. He worked on weekends and on holidays. She often found him sitting in solitude; preoccupied and deep in thought. Probably unaware that she was even around. And she had misconstrued his behaviour as a lack of interest in her. They had more than their fair share of fights, but the fights were never ugly. She vented out and he always said one thing- that he loved her. And then he would walk out. When he came back, he would be a gentle soul and she would cave. But the issues only bottled up. Until about a year back when he changed for good.

He had walked in with a bouquet of roses and a bottle of wine. They had driven off to the country-side for a magical weekend and everything became perfect after that. She should have known the change in him was a blanket for his guilt. A façade. But her simple, trusting nature grabbed on to the new life he had offered her and she held tight. Afraid to let go. Afraid to see beyond the four walls. And last week he brought the façade crashing down. He broke down and told her about the woman. The other ‘her’. It felt like someone had plunged a knife into her gut. A knife just like the one she was holding now.

She looked at it and then down at the soft, supple flesh she was going to plunge it into. She touched the flesh. It was warm. But she had made her decision. She would not live a life of misery and gloom. An entire week had been enough. Today, she was ending the sad, dependent life she had led. She held the knife with both hands, took a deep breath and brought it crashing down on the warm, brown flesh. The smell of butter tingled her nostrils and she smiled. She cut a big slice of the turkey and poured herself some wine.

Thanksgiving had to be special this year. She was celebrating her freedom.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Eleventh Hour

I feel like I have been transported back in time- six years to be precise. It’s the same feeling, the heavy heart and the desperate need to grab on to something and never let go. It’s the same feeling we had when we left school, the feeling of being in unfamiliar territory. Leaving school was tough; not too much for me since I have changed schools every two years. But I remember the atmosphere and it’s the same now.

As college is on the threshold of a wrap, the sense of desolation is palpable. Tangible. Tangible enough to be sliced with a butter knife. If I were not a muggle, I’d have blamed the gloom on dementors. But as much as we love to place blame, that is not how life works. Life happens. It falls in your lap one fine day, and you have to deal with it. Moments pass and you keep walking in a trance until life writhes and wriggles in your lap, crying for attention, and you have to go deal with it again.

This is that moment. Life is offering us another realm, another front, except that we are desperately trying to cling on to the old and familiar.

I will be honest- I have spent the last thirty months cribbing, crying and complaining about the place- the food, the insects, the weather and what not! But I think I speak for everyone when I say that we have grown tremendously attached to life here. We have had our share of problems. More than our share, rather – fights in class, differences in opinion, clashes with faculty, not to mention we’ve been kept superbusy with assignments, seminars, documentaries, cycle tests, clubs and associations. But there have been tons of fun times that’ll forever remain etched in our memories.

It all began with the mutual hostility against seniors in the first semester. Nothing brings people closer than standing up against someone. A particular incident that always comes in mind is our freshers’ test when we all marked the same answers! Then there was the super-fun trip to Kalanai dam in a truck, with the rain drenching us to our skins. The third sem was the most happening- the mutinies by our juniors, the conflicts in class, the pay-back time – some of us, of course, paid a lot more than others. But we stuck it out, and were back to having fun in no time. Fourth semester was riddled with preparatory tests, GDs and interviews and the fifth sem had enough causes for celebrations.

Life here has been good, especially in hindsight. And I know, no matter what we say, and even if we put on the bravest of faces, the kinship we have developed is going to be hard to replace. Part of our souls will always be at MCA, NIT Trichy.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Way It Is

You walk in
With your idiosyncrasies
You make a decision
And you know it is right

While I waited outside
With bated breath
Two years of toil
A disoriented mind

This is all I'd wanted
And it is in your hand
The beacon of my life
A grasp and a half away

Then you tighten your fist
Decide it's not for me
Good luck for the next, you say
And the pain is all mine

Your eccentricities
Your burdened decision
My life, my dreams,
Snatched in a jiffy

It was just not your day
People say
I walk away numb
That doesn't make sense

It's an abyss of hurt
Of fear and rejection
I feel it's the end
As I lay motionless

But then the birds chirp,
I see the silver sky
I dust myself off
Brace myself for a new day

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Moving On

The house is all packed up. I say house because everywhere I look I see plain white walls, glass windows and the cold, hard floor. The warm carpets and rugs are rolled up and covered with plastic sheets; the beautiful curtains are washed, ironed and neatly folded into piles and the colourful paintings that adorned the walls are covered in brown paper, tied with bits of string. The home - 'my' home, has been reduced to a stack of cardboard boxes strewn about the floor, with nothing to show for the four years of fun, warmth and love that nestled between its walls. It seems cold and distant, angry that I'm leaving it never to return, pleading me to not go. Or is it indifference? I wish I could talk to the walls, and I wish they'd talk back to me. Tell me I'll be missed or that I'll be welcomed back. Tell me that the plethora of memories that they witnessed would forever remain ensconced in the space I'd once called my own.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Suave Snippets

My new tech blog:

Find snippets for iPhone and Java App Development!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

When the world somersaulted.

(Following India's triumph over Sri Lanka, ICC World Cup 2011)

A zillion thoughts are buzzing around my head like restless bees and I want to pen them down before they shoot right out. So here goes:
  1. Starting, albeit a tad selfishly, with myself - one of the happiest days of my life! I don’t remember being happier or prouder or screaming louder in years! A day worth putting in a box and saving for life.
  2. I realized that nothing, nothing at all, brings people closer than cricket. Here we were, a hundred girls, most of us unknown to the other, rooting for one common cause. Screaming ourselves hoarse, applauding every boundary, cheering every save, every wicket. And at the end of it all, laughing, crying, hugging. Bonding.
  3. Learn. Learn humility. Humility in victory. Humility in defeat. An instant respect for Kumar Sangakara for being the brave soldier in defeat, for saying that India was the better team, for lauding his team yet accepting the lost battle gracefully.
  4. Respect for the one man who deserved it the most. Fighting for the one piece of silverware holding him back from his otherwise impeccable record. For his twenty-one years long career, for his unwavering loyalty to the country. For Sachin Tendulkar.
  5. The closeness of the team. The warm, tender kinship they share. Their hugs together; and their tears. One tightly-knit family. And now bound together for their lives.
  6. The sheer enthusiasm of the youngsters; their respect for the senior players. Kohli’s words still ringing, “He carried the nation’s burdens on his shoulders for twenty one years. It was time we carried him on our shoulders.” What commendable gratitude.
  7. Candid, outspoken honesty. Dhoni’s lack of diplomacy at the presentation ceremony came as a whiff of fresh air. The fact that he acknowledged what questions would have been shot at him if India had lost, the eye brows that would have risen, just goes to show what he probably goes through after every lost match. We all owe a deep apology to the team for all the umpteen times we bad mouthed them for making one small mistake, for taking one wrong decision; for being human?!
  8. We walk into history today. With the end of a twenty eight years old wait, with a cup in our hands. But more importantly, with so many lessons learnt. A salute to the men who taught us so much in one day. A salute to the Indian cricket team.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


I hung back after school that day. The serenity of the long, empty corridors crashed upon me like a wave of cool breeze on a sunny afternoon. It invigorated me; I felt free. Free of the metal chains that bound me every morning as I headed to school.

Free of the contemptuous expressions.

Free of the angry glares, and of the scared faces.

Free of the constant buzzing in my head, and of the occasional screaming.

There is nothing wrong with me! I’m a normal, sane, twelve year old girl.

I remember sobbing and screaming through the night of the big storm, years back. The clapping thunder sent shudders down my spine, and I thought my head would burst at its invisible seams. I wish it had.

Mother, scared to her wits, had rushed me to the hospital to get my screaming to a halt. I was heavily sedated but the words of the doctor reached me, and I remember them as if they were spoken yesterday.

Ligyrophobia. Fear of loud noises. Maybe even hyperacusis.

Seeing the horrified expression on mother’s face, he continued, “Just think of it this way- a pen falling sounds like a gunshot to her. There is nothing wrong with your daughter, Ma’am. She just needs you to not think that she’s a freak.”

Mother has called me a freak so many times after that, that I have lost count.

I have mastered the art of shutting out my auditory senses when I need to. It has been difficult, but I have been persistent. Save a few incidents; like today. In geography class. I’d sat agitated as I realized the constant murmuring in class was gradually gaining momentum. I looked at Sister Augustine as she furiously scribbled away, silently begging her to ask the class to settle down. But she didn’t. The voices grew like a rising inferno around me; surrounding me, smothering me; till they grew to a level beyond my endurance.

The next thing I knew, I was sprawled across the floor, my hands clamped against my ears, screaming uncontrollably. I knew Sister Augustine and the students had encircled me; I knew they were whispering. I could sense the scared faces, and I heard sobbing too. I didn’t care. They were indistinct, shapeless forms to me. Blurred and insignificant.

There’s nothing wrong with me, I’m sane; I wanted to shout at them. Hold each one by the shoulders, and shake and rattle them till it became engraved in them.

The empty corridors after school, however, were cathartic. I walked around in a trance, savouring the quiet solitude. And then I heard the whispering.

She’s crazy, you should have seen her on the floor today. I think she does it intentionally, to get everybody’s attention.

Jamie. The closest friend I had.

There’s nothing wrong with me, I’m sane. I thought you knew.

I walked around looking for the school cat. Kitty, come to me. Kitty. The big, black cat followed me all the way to the fourth floor. Meowing.

Yes, I know, you probably think I’m crazy too. But I’m not. Come, kitty. Keep close.

Class 9A. In one fluid motion, I picked up the teacher’s desk and brought it crashing down on the cat’s head. I didn’t give her a chance to react. Stupid cat. I looked at her mangled body, her green eyes still open.

A shocked look.

Frozen forever.

I grabbed her by her tail and dragged it around with me as I roamed about the dark, empty school corridors.

There's nothing wrong with me.