I get this !
Listen. watch when you can,
interview shortly …
When we still in school Moua would call us around her for Sunday prayers after ghee rice lunch sometimes under the Casuarina trees overlooking the sapphire Bay of Bengal. She used to have these wide dark eyes fringed with lashes so black you wondered if that was mascara, but of course it wasn’t. Moua was not exactly an aunt, nor old enough to be one, but she was full of kindness. I remembered her today because of another person Kavi L and not so prone to kindnesses, which is her right, but she has the same brilliance like Moua – what’s with these people ?
Three hours after Kavi L finished her chatter on painting and how people who ‘pay peanuts must be monkeys’ or something like that,we walked past the bazaar where old things and stolen things are sold as antique but you might find the Kohinoor diamond who knows….
well, Kavi L turns around and says this slow and clear, ‘I love the power I receive after praying and don’t let anyone rubbish that…”
I didn’t dare ask anymore questions ; the sun sinks back a bit at the grin on Kavi’s face.
19 years ago, a little baby came into our lives this month, I remember the daze of full term pregnancy, the faint worry that would seep in, breathlessness and the wild waistline –
you don’t get to see your toes, and you don’t care. 24th of October, she arrived, red faced and without a neck. A baby with no neck. We panicked. My doc sis patiently asked us to go check out other babies’ necks. Newborns do NOT have necks. We checked her eyes, nose, ears, pulse, her finger nails – were they normally that tiny…
today she is almost 19, stands taller than me, beautiful, talented, I can never recover from that 5.24 am morning light in which our lives met for the first time. I still stand and stare with amazement at her : our teenaged first daughter… unsure how to end this post. Just blinking amazed…
your first cry, first yawn : we went wild…
which feature was whose : which family did you take after ? Dads or mine ? Soon this became ‘ ours’ . Our family. Oh wow. Hmm but you always were/ are the best of us, and your very own person. The first words you said sounded like a combination of Dad and Mom.. but more Dad. I was jealous, worried, even a little upset with you. Were you going to be the typical daddy’s girl ? ( But ofcourse !) Hey but why say ‘Dadda‘ first ? ( Cuz know what, I was saying 24 x7 ‘ say dadda- say daddaaaah’ )
Oh sure every parent has these stories. You were born after 7 years .Is that something ? It was a lot. It was a miracle. Doc said not to worry,we’ll wait another two months before trying out tests. She was right. How did she know? How did your Dad know 1994 there would be this new addition to our home ? Don’t worry, he kept saying. We will have our baby.
I was underweight, not a strong kind of woman. Scared of motherhood. How on earth did people have babies ? I mean didn’t they just tear … wont go into details here 🙂 We went thru ‘ Lamaze classes. Bought every baby book we could find. I was dripping info on safe food/ stay away from smokers, from lorries, from stray dogs, from too much this and that , wild TV Progs ( just in case it affected her mentally see?) what not to think. what to dream. You surpassed every dream, every prayer. I enjoyed the delivery, the labour room was my kingdom. Dad was there with gloves and gear and mask head to toe, everyone burst out laughing. We were into this, serious. No messing with these two. I was breathing thru’ the 23rd psalm, and no nurse, I mean NO Nurse dared massage my abdomen, I asked for three pillows. ” No, why ?” Doc Mathias ( She’s the best in Mumbai and the world) .
“ Because that’s what we were advised at Lamaze classes… “ I replied loudly.
” What’s Lamaze ?” a new very young nurse asked looking with fear at Noe and me.
Dr Mathias nodded and asked for the pillows. I had some sippy lime, and Noe to rub my back down, unheard of in some hospitals.
Vihan ( meaning – early morning glory in Sanskrit – I had a Promise from the Bible – ” as sure as the sun rises..” ) arrived at 5.24 am without any fuss ; I was shocked it was over. “How many pushes ? ” I asked Doc, ” Hardly one.. “
Tiny, so tiny, on my tummy, uncut cord. Without my glasses it all looked like an impressionist painting. Noe and I were laughing crying in a silence , waiting for our baby to cry. She was soundless staring at us, quiet. Hey why isn’t she crying ? She got a little tap on her bottom and wailed so hard, so long, so loud we even called her leather – lungs. The whole building heard her when she cried. Dearest Lord, I prayed, I pleaded, please let her be gentle, soft and kind, please ?
Sometimes I wish leather lungs would be heard again – she is gentle as a dove… ( though today I heard her record a maniacal laugh and unbelievable voice recording for her college radio assignment. Yeah yeah Ms Leather – lungs is alive and kicking ( is in a rock band );
thank you God that she just tries to growl though. Our girls can’t be all too gentle and soft in this day and age uh.
Got a Text from her. “ Ma, I’m at Opus. The Play will finish around 10.30. My friend’s getting a cab to drop us all home… “
I freaked, ‘HON I”LL WORRY ABOUT THE CAB !’
No reply. Yet. Not till I send her 24 worried texts. 🙂 Look at this kid
Thank you Vi for inspiring me every step of the way, to be everything I had stopped being, to still reach out when my arms hurt, for the gift of laughter and creativity that you keep restoring, for the music, for the miracles you seem to bring in, and esp. for the presence of God so rich in You, it touches every thing, esp us..
( to be contd )
I sat in the sand, sifting,
drizzling the grains
like a child trickles moments,
lost in my minutes of play.
I shoveled ten seconds
I plowed away forty years.
All the while,
As the tide crept in…
As the sun slid to bed…
A day recaptured.
holds the soil with great fists.
We pump them at the fickle sky,
to the music in our loins.
We shake them at the thieves,
the weeds, that infest our DNA.
warms the distant corners of the room,
lights the wick
of faith in one more day.
The root stirs,
The heart awakens once more.
The mind can only Shake its reasoned head.
I ‘ve always loved you, how could I not,
but today – never loved you like I love you
In a male dominated world of casteism, and violations, how on earth did she get to be a dacoit queen ? Horrified -awe…Bandit Queen (1994) – Film Analysis. The film is a horrific account of lower-caste rebel and the indomitable Phoolan Devi, who goes all out to defy the norms of a regressive society. The seed of rebellion is sown when she is married to a man over 20 years older. She is all 11. Life becomes a series of debacles then on, for Phoolan. She is treated as an outcast, gets thrown out of her village, joins a gang of local goons in a nearby village, and eventually rises to power as the only woman bandit. The film recounts her life from the tender age of 11 till she surrenders as a bandit, 15 years after. The journey is painful, soul-stirring. It haunts you long after you’ve seen the film, leaving you with a sense of helplessness and remorse. http://www.apotpourriofvestiges.com/2013/07/bandit-queen-1994-film-analysis.html#ixzz2b9ptDqEd
An acquaintance we have hates Artists. He hates artworks with a passion that almost equals the Quit India movement. I’ll call him Dayal, and must say Dayal is a great mind reader, so he knows the vanity of canvas and paint. He understands the insecurities of an artist trying to make a niche anyplace in this life. When ever he visits home I shove all my work into any shelf or corner available, but he sniffs it out. He sniffs out paint and canvas like a bloodhound – for him oils, acrylic, pastels, water colours, glass paint, turpentine, paint rags, are pollutants, or worse. His eyes ache to rinse me from this evil : ” Write Ray, write. Get out the door, be real, do something else. Take a walk, count to ten, breathe, talk to humans, get a life. just don’t paint.”
I haven’t really painted in a while, for it is an energy that demands everything. One doesn’t really paint for a living, or effect. At least not me, I wish I were organised, painted for a cause, wish I were like Raza and some others, ofcourse I wish for business sense and street smartness, but am a village idiot and very happy to be so. I pet cows and stray kittens, even chat with strangers. Sketching for me is my gift to that day. It is a healing chat with the invisible things inside.
The day I can paint, am a better woman and human, though with all my heart and soul sometimes I wish there were a more sensible thing to do – this thing ? If not for my husband none of my works would have left that space in shelves or under the cot. Am grateful to the amazing humans who stopped by and saw that this was healing me, it brought life back into the fatigue and illness that caught me for a few years. Am grateful, just wanted to say that. If you are one like me, please do not stop. I know some one who suffers from road rage, but he spray- paints now – graffiti on doors, walls, anywhere they will let him. Another girl heals from depression by sewing, lace works, and some stunning very positive tattoo craft…
So, please do not discourage each others’ language. You never know how it may bless you, just being nice to someone else. It isn’t all about money, FBlikes and Posts Dayal. It’s not all about motives and votes. Its what is in your mind that colours your judgement of others. Am sorry my friend, you asked me to write. Now I write about paint.