The Spectator

IMG-20160715-WA0060

Yesterday Sam stopped by. I have known him for a long time. He used to sit by me everyday, sometimes alone, sometimes with his wife Martha and son James. James. I couldn’t know him long enough. “Slow down,” Martha used to say. “Or you will get hurt.”  They had fun playing together. How years swooshed by! When James was older, he would often drop by and spend hours with me. I heard chuckles, sobs, silence. Then one day he brought a guest. He had never brought anyone here before Navin. They held hands and gazed at the stars for hours. They held hands the same way Sam and Martha did. If only Sam understood this. “You look just like him,” Navin had said, pointing at Sam’s wide grin as James showed him a family picture. He wasn’t a guest anymore.

A few years whooshed by like they usually do, and James and Navin brought a new visitor with them this time – their daughter Sur. They loved picnics, especially the ones with grandma Martha. My branch of memories is ripe with merry ones but the one with Navin fussing over Sur, James telling him to calm down, them lovingly bickering, remains my favourite to this day.

Sometimes I find myself sneaking a peek at the house across the park which used to be my favourite home. For a long time, no one has visited. Time has neither swooshed nor whooshed, it stutters and clambers, as if chasing its normal pace. But yesterday Sam stopped by. He just sat here quietly and scanned the pinpricked  sky with a regret in his eyes, searching as if for the one star that resembled him.

The God of Small Things – A story that stayed

I usually end my day with either reading or writing something. Today, I thought of welding the two worlds together, by writing about a book I read by my night lamp: The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

 Roy delves into sexual abuse, gender bias, and untouchability in a subtle and poignant manner, stimulating deep thoughts on these issues. The story is set in 1969, in the south Indian state of Kerala. She narrates the story as if it were unlayering the thoughts of the two twins, Rahel and Estha, with words which evince innocence – Orangedrink Lemondrink Uncle, light blue carsounds, bumpy red road, . The sentences are as rich as they are moving. Twins separated following an unfortunate incident, a loved one dying because of a wretched system, and a mother spending her last moments alone after a series of unfair events – everything transpires as if one were half expecting it, but shocks and saddens in equal measure as the story unfolds. “Who should be loved, and how. And how much” is a question which forms the nub of story. The question is posed when the twins’ mother leaks her “Unsafe Edge” that leads her “to love by night the man her children loved by day.” It is posed again when the society looks down upon it. And yet again, when Estha’s quietness and Rahel’s emptiness finally merges. Roy depicts the malaise of the characters’ lives through words which depart from the literal sense, thus evoking deep emotions in the reader’s heart. It’s a beautifully written tale about love laws, and how they destroyed lives. How the small things led to a sad turn of events and shook the big things. It is a story I read months ago but one that has stayed with and will stick around.

Follow me on Goodreads here.

The Sakura

The beauty enraptured him, distracted him, and injected a new energy in his days. A sweet smell rode the air again. The newness had brought with it the curiosity, and a hundred different ways to unravel it. The raconteur in him yearned to chart the course, to peel off the silken layers and imbibe the splendour. He liked how he had woken up one day to find all the trees effloresced. He liked how it all happened without any warning. The wind carried contours of a melody. Sometimes the moonlight set the red trees on fire.

But the moon soon began to wane. The trees soon began to shed the frills. His interest soon began to fade and his mood plummeted. Had he anticipated this to be as graceful and fleeting as the fall? Had he only admired the exquisiteness, knowing that it was ephemeral?

The beauty enraptured him, distracted him, and injected a new energy in his days. That sweet smell rode the air again. The Sakura had bloomed again.

The Sakura or the cherry blossom flower is a celebrated feature of Japan’s spring. It is revered as a symbol of exquisiteness and transience. The bloom of Sakura is associated with the traditional custom of Hanami, or flower watching.

Photo courtesy of Timothy Ries via unsplash.com