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Hand in hand for eternity

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Dad's Diary 10 - Irate Flowers

With her sharp features she could look beautiful if she had access to brush and colors. But the vicissitudes of life had taken its toll. Her imploring eyes and embarrassed smile said it all as she proffered a barely three inches long string of jasmine flowers.

“How much?” Swati asked, slightly perplexed as to what to do with it. She anticipated Swati's mental query as she quoted the price rather brusquely, “Ten rupees; keep it on the dash board.” Women in India actually look for jasmine strings of considerable length to wrap around artistically created hair-buns. Swati paid as she boarded the car. She clutched the money in her hand, raised it to her forehead, and said a silent prayer to God obviously invoking the Almighty's blessings for a hassle-free sale of her bunch.

With her apologies for jasmine strings she receded to her vantage point to survey for prospective buyers with practiced eyes. She kept a wary eye at the rubbish dump near a decorated florists' outlet. A nondescript boy under ten was scouting the dump.

Posh Connaught Place in Delhi, India, appears more starry than the sky on a clear night. All the eyesores on the ground remain carpeted under an unceasing twilight, rapiers of rays of light thrusting in and out of pall of darkness with opening and closing of doors and windows; the impact is further enhanced by diffused street lights.

Omkar, Swati's husband, had taken us all to dine in a fashionable eatery in the area. Before leaving I buttonholed the restaurant usher with a flood of questions. He revealed that the ten year old was his mother's partner. He was waiting for the florists' shop to dump its unwanted stuff which he would forage for 'still alive' flowers including salvageable floral parts for his mother to create strings, and eke out a living.

The boy's duty included washing the salvaged flowers with drops of water beseeching 'saans lo, saans lo (breathe, breathe)'. Flowers responded to his nimble touch by remaining alive for a while more to deck up his mother's strings.

A few months earlier Kriti and her husband, Arijit, drove us to Ocean City, USA. During a stopover, Kriti and I noticed a middle-aged woman with disheveled hair walking slowly towards us. “I think she will ask for money,” Kriti surmised/mumbled. The woman headed straight towards us and said something inaudible. She seemed to have seen better days when she had brush and colors; but now stood in sharp contrast to the ambiance of the area.

A few seconds later, “I say I am hungry,” she rasped in the most authoritative tone as if we were responsible for that. Kriti offered her a 5-dollar bill. She took it and walked away without even a 'thank you.' There plainly was an attitudinal problem. She crossed the road to her vantage point, and crossed herself, thanking God.

Behind the wilted jasmine flowers and the irate scorn of a wilted woman, however, there was a lesson to learn. These were the shields to protect themselves against losing their self-respect. They just did not want to be called beggars, and covered their callings with the best of available resources.

On way back from Connaught Place, as this thought struck me, the smell of car interior freshener metamorphosed into jasmine fragrance. I took a deep breath, but felt a throbbing pang; did we cheat them by offering so paltry a charity for so lofty an ideal?       


BY TAPAS MUKHERJEE

Thursday, March 10, 2011

RD & MSW Made my day

Sometimes you just wander around in the Blogosphere and meet people that are going to make such a difference in your life. Make you smile on not so good a day. That smile often changes the course of events and sets a tone for the rest of the journey till sunset. Then on there is no looking back. Its a gesture that makes you suddenly feel all important - as if the sun would not rise till you wake up... Roy Durham made my day today and many earlier.... Here is why: Poem for me by Roy : )

A perfect addition to my perfect day. I think I have really achieved something when I can bring out the best in someone. If I have done something in creation - I am fantastic! Here is what I inspired in the awesome artist in Mari - colors in Spring. I know now that I can move things around towards the better - because she has given me the reason to believe. Thank you Mari!

Tons of love and respect to both : )

Monday, March 7, 2011

Colors that I am made of


If colors were people how do you think they would be? I would imagine red to be the most romantic and short tempered all at once - also in many ways like a Cancerian... insecure, fickle, loving and unpredictable... But that's just my imagination. (Remember Big B???) 

Anyway, so the intention of this post is to invite readers to tell me what colors mean to them. I feel a certain way when I wear a certain color. My wardrobe is about 85% black with a minuscule remainder of either shades of gray or blue... The minority ‘brights’ live a life of neglect and an immense sense of inferiority complex. 

Image from http://opera.com
I have often wondered whether that points to some kind of imbalance in me. A quick analysis of  the situation that has led to my partiality towards black reveals the following: Emotionally it makes me feel confident and physically (and this is just me again) I feel sexier, smarter, taller and slimmer.... The last of course is a fact about the color - Black does make one look slimmer ... The rest of the positive vibrations may only be a means of letting myself feel alright to face the world. They may be lies that I tell myself but what comforting lies they are....

The few shades of blue make me feel good too. I feel like the evening dusk has just settled on me, I feel like the twilight, I feel vast and inky - mostly I feel like I am a good person. I can look people in the eye and talk honestly. I also feel very brave and mysterious in ways. 

The only time I can smile at bright colors is when I have my eyes closed in really bright sunlight. Have you ever tried this? I would take the MTA to go to work 5 days a week till last year. While everyone wondered how I could take the ordeal of this commute - I could easily say the commute was the best part of the working day. I met up with my commuter friends (we were quite a bunch), choose the seat that was flooded with the most sunlight and start a game.

Darcy and I would take our shades off turn towards the sun and close our eyes. We would then tell each other what colors we saw... It was hilarious - we never saw the same color but the realization that some of those colors may not even have been discovered yet amazed us. All bright and wondrous... A beautiful world where only colors lived sans human, sans numbers, sans anything else at all. Fed and nurtured by the sun and sun alone. 

White is such a pure color too but to be honest I can never wear white until I am assured that there is no unnecessary stuff in my stomach anymore. That it is as flat as can be and completely devoid of any matter that can cause bloating. I remain confident that I do not have to explain this point any further.
I even identify people with colors – some of my friends are orange, others are pink and still others are a mix of many…. When I do not like a client he immediately becomes a dirty brown for me and when I do like him he is a blue or a white. Gold is the color of distasteful businesspeople while Silver is the color of subtle wisdom.

When I die I would like to be dressed in the colors of the rainbow and laid to rest on a black sheet. I love colors – they have added meaning to my life and I remain assured that they will be there with me even in death…