Thursday, November 29, 2007

Acclimatize

In the category of things she was finicky about; dry hands were an incontestable evil. So before she resumed her conversation Em generously dabbed some Nivea across her palm and idly kneaded with her thumb. The woman standing near the door gave an apologetic half smile and said- " Onek dure thake toh, tae aayeteh parum na" before adding shyly " Polapan'r bap mone korbe". This woman is a curio of her kind with her lilting inflected speech and the guilty appeasing gestures that flowed through her. When she was not talking, she was nervously twisting the end of her sari into complicated knots or surveying the patterns on the floor with downcast eyes. Her brows would suddenly rise at some silent question she was mulling over and the sudden drooping twitch around her mouth would tell you that she had reached some distressing conclusion. Em was amusing herself with this mime show when her mother spoke up, trying to employ all her powers of persuasion.Taking advantage of her mum’s momentary preoccupation, Em cautiously stretched her recently indulged fingers towards the bowl of Saratoga chips that she had been very specifically told to stay away from. Furtively popping some in her mouth, she picked up the pen and carefully jotted down the woman’s reply with its exact mother tongue pull.

“Moving out is a funny business if you think of it. You pull out all the whatnots that years of domesticity brings about in its wake- those greeting cards and scrapbooks with faded ink promising years of friendship, dog-eared volume of books, rusted compass and random sketching pencils strewn over photographs which couldn’t find a place in the family album, an old watch with Mickey Mouse dials forever stuck at 8.30, poems written on postcards or dinner napkins, an old address book which makes me philosophical about the various relations that start with a bang and end with a whimper, butterfly hairclips that some fond aunt gave me when I was seven, old schoolbags with some change still jingle jangling in the long unused pockets, letters which your dad wrote to you when you were learning how to read, piebald beads and dried roses in magazines shoved underneath a chaotic pile of clothes- things carefully hidden from the utilitarian’s world view and fondly kept away beneath the paraphernalia of life as little tokens of love, friendship and memories..."

2 comments:

Noisy Autist said...

The description is astounding. Feels like a wonderfully taken photograph.

And youre learning bangal? good.

misa said...

good? but i don't think ma would agree with you :p