There is death in the air. Flames engulf and consume two beautiful and lovely kids. The family is shattered. It will be a blot in their life which can never be wiped off from memory lane. The incident makes headlines in the TV networks and in the newspapers. It is sad. Sad is to put it mildly. Two young children nipped in the bud and so many possibilities that life beheld for them just snatched away in a few minutes. A tragedy of mammoth proportions.
The incident shakes me up and greatly saddens me. My mind brings back to me all the other incidents of deaths that my duty as an administrative officer call upon me to conduct inquests into. That is, of course, not what I want to discuss. But the tragedy that these deaths leave in their wake. A young mother loses her small child ; she is distraught with pain but is restrained in her sorrow. A mother wails gathering her daughter in her arms ; her daughter had committed suicide. The grieving husband who had just lost his wife to fire burns. The man who has been murdered by his servant and leaves behind a tearful family. Sudden occurrences of death which leaves these varied families shocked and sorrowful. I am a witness to all this. I am saddened too. But what I feel is a sort of secondhand shock. I look upon these tragic incidents as somewhat of a stranger who stops by and shows regret but is unable to reach their very depths. They do touch me although I try very hard to keep myself emotionally detached from them. They always leave a mark on me; invisible and raw. For years have passed by but i can still vividly recall every incident. They have left such sweeping statements on my memory.
A child is ushered into this world . Death claims another .
Seasonal changes and changes in people’s lives are akin to each other.
Blossoms and the advent of new leaves on trees announces the coming of the spring season. Everywhere there seems to be a riot of colours. Spring can easily resemble the youthful days of man. The brightness in the whole environ is like the enthusiasm and restlessness of an young adult. It’s dynamic quality is also the same quality which a youth possess and which spurs him to action. He springs forth to realize his dreams. Like the beauty that spring embodies, a young person is endowed with a beautiful body and a spirited mind. A mind which races with new ideas and is ever ready to accept the novelty of every situation.
The summer arrives and brings in the heat and the uncomfort. As the summer heat settles into our lives with certainty, so also manhood comes into a person’s life and gives him a perspective. He is now able to translate the novel ideas of his youth into reality . The summer of his life makes him stable and he grows more sure and certain .
Trees go barren in the autumn season . The whole world becomes bleak and unproductive. So also man starts to experience spells of dryness and slowness of his faculties at the time that he is caught up between manhood and old age.
Winter comes. The cold enters our lives. The autumn of a man’s life deepens further and old age is the reality. Much like the autumn season which exaggerates into winter as the coolness of autumn turns into the stinging cold of winter. The active and productive minds of men are rendered slow and to a large extent unproductive.
I was waiting all this while for my beloved to return to me . But then he informed me last night that he will be gone for some more time. A sudden sadness seizes me. A stinging pain sears my heart. I start to miss him all the more. It was as if this waiting for him to come back was also making my heart and mind to hold back in anticipation. Anticipating his return. It was a joy held tightly to my chest waiting to be released when he returned. It was only a few days that we had known each other and he had to go abroad. My heart had grown fonder with all the elated feelings of love for my loved one during his absence. So this desire to behold him and express all my emotions held up in my heart so far. And do the most cliched thing of rushing into his arms. Beseech him to love me in a way that it is both pain and pleasure at the same time. Search and discover in each other’s eyes the depths of the feelings perhaps unknown to us even now.
I wondered at this sudden surge of emotions which threatens to turn into a deluge and upstage me. I want better control over my emotions. I am afraid to let go of my emotions. But then I want to float away and I want to be flooded by them. It would be so good and be a source of such pleasure and utmost happiness. Well, he sang me a love song, expressing a longing for the beloved, over the phone. I was so very happy to hear it. I knew then that he felt the same way as me. It pulled at my heart strings. It made me realize that we felt the same love and longing for each other. We were on the same page. I await his return .
Cooking is an engagement. An engagement with the sights and smells of wonderful creations in the food world. Aromas of various cuisines fill the senses sometimes with nostalgia and sometimes with a longing to linger some more time in the present and savour all the good food laid in front of us. Memories of grandma’s and mom’s cooking fill the mind with absolute delight and wonder at the magic their hands churned out.
I have been on a cooking spree this last one month. The colourful dishes on YouTube are my motivation to try them out. There are hundreds of them to try out from. The descriptions are tempting enough to try to make them. I have so far prepared matar paneer, palak paneer, methi matar malai, chicken bhuna masala, egg korma, patta gobi kofta curry, zeera aloo, gobi matar masala, capsicum and potato and brinjal dry fry etc. I made all the dishes with single minded devotion being very true to the recipes shown on the internet. It’s an absolute delight to prepare these delicious food items and to be praised for them. This act of cooking calms my frayed nerves. It’s like an antidote to my monotonous and mundane existence as it spices up my life. It is a good and healthy past time. It is a wonderful hobby.
I recently watched the film, ” Phantom Thread “, and was filled with such love. I wondered at the weird love story the movie portrays as also the intensity of the love which the two main characters so beautifully act out. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Reynolds Woodcock , a famous fashion designer who falls in love with a waitress , Alma Elson. Woodcock designs clothes for his rich clients and is obsessive, fussy and controlling . Alma is wilful and determined. Their relationship develops slowly from the time Woodcock invites Alma for dinner and she accepts. She becomes his model and muse and then his lover. The relationship hits rough waters as Alma wants more of her lover but cannot get enough of him as she finds him distant and hard to please. Reynolds Woodcock loves her but is not ready to give up on the meticulous life he has lived all these years. He opines that she disturbs and makes his life unsteady. When he decides to throw her out of his home and his life , she poisons him. His health debilitates and he becomes very weak . Alma nurses him back to health. The pliant and vulnerable Woodcock makes her happy as then he is totally dependent on her.
I loved watching the film. It was one of those movies which fill your senses and leave you wanting for more. This peculiar love between the couple is engrossing. Like Alma, we want our lover to be more attentive and perhaps more into us. The many bickerings among the couple do not diminish their love for each other. But they would return to each other after every fight to resume their love affair. It is touching to watch the couple in their quest for love from each other. As I watched the very weak and broken in health, Reynolds Woodcock become warm and open with his lover, I thought that it would be nice once in a while to be weak and vulnerable and then sink into your lover’s arms. It would be good not to act and be strong all the time but to be looked after by your lover. If Woodcock is a control freak, Alma is headstrong and this similarity between their characters creates a tension which is very compelling to watch. The love, the intensity, the riveting account of the lives of the protagonists makes this a very watchable movie.
The wedding season has begun this year like in the many years before . It would flourish this season as in previous seasons. It would seep into people’s lives and play havoc with their finances. It would set boundaries for a new couple. It would bring nearly forgotten relatives and friends together. It would sound the beginnings of many a new relationships.
People immerse themselves in the joyous celebrations during a wedding. They deck themselves in the grandest fineries . All dress up as per the fashion of the day. There is an arrogant display of wealth. People display their money to the point of shamelessness. They compete with each other over clothes and jewellery. It is strident and absolutely removed from the world outside those bedecked walls of the wedding premises. Garish presentation of wealth as poverty rages. Lavish banquets as food scarcity strikes the poor.
Families galore. Relationships galore. I see them every where. They seem perfect. They seem to flourish so effortlessly. So effortlessly do they flow. I wonder how they flow so seamlessly. People go about their work and come back to their families. It seems so natural . So simple. Love flows like a river unhindered . Love emanates from these families so flawlessly that love seems commonplace.
Are my senses so blinded that I do not perceive such closeness and love in my own familial connections. What eludes me. Why this sense of alienation from something so familiar . Something so near. Why is this nearness a source of anathema in my life. Why do I want to run away from all of it. Why this urge to recede from them . Why this feeling of necessity to run far away and establish new relationships . It’s difficult to find answers however hard I may try.
Do the answers lie somewhere in between . In between their callousness towards me and my cringing from them or my inability to connect with them on a more basic level. Here I am writing about myself and my family relationships . Whichever way it is, it’s been a burden to carry them. A burden to always act normal and cared for. Doubt seizes my mind. I fail to discern properly where it would lead me. But I am slowly but surely coming to terms with my want to sever my old ties and form new ones. I am feeling less guilty now to come out of relationships which are hollow and empty and form new, more fulfilling ties. I feel a sense of enthusiasm for new beginnings, to form new and happy memories. There is no sense of foreboding now. No doubt in my mind.But a feeling of goodness and kindness inhabits my whole being.
Today I get news that my loved one is leaving for a foreign land. I am unable to fathom it. My eyes are barely open in the early hours of the morning when the news hits me. I feel a sudden sadness. A lump forms in the pit of my stomach. The pain is physical. The need to physically be in touch with my beloved. The absolute need for the kisses and caresses which I am so aware of; I so recognize.
I wonder if this pain of the distance increasing between us is only physical. Or is it some kind of emotional insecurity that I suffer from. A little bit of thought into it and the clouds of doubt clear off. The insecurities are deep within me. The fear of losing someone who formed the bedrock in my emotional roller coaster ride. Who, if gone from my life would shake me up and turn my world upside down. My life would have a downward spiral. My life would become like a boat without it’s sails which is difficult to reign in and give direction to.
I am not sure if this dependence is good for me. But it feels wonderful when my beloved is about me enveloping me in a cocoon of love. It is just so good to lean on him for all my emotional wants ; to allow him to steer me towards a fruitful and reasonable ending.
I end my musings; put up a brave face and bid my beloved a safe journey. How much I realize and recognize today the place he holds in my life . How frightening and marvellous it is.
I sit in my front verandah and watch the sun go down in the western sky. It’s winter. The cool breeze comes by and hits me, stinging my skin in the manner as my beloved’s touch singes my soul. Oh, his thoughts hit me. Hits me hard. For his thoughts hurt me now as my heart longs for him and his gentle touch. I haven’t seen him awhile. I haven’t seen him for weeks on end. His work takes him away from me.
This evening I wanted to be happy. Happy with my lover’s thoughts. But I feel pain instead. I feel pain for there is no one to make me feel free, feel loved and secure . No one to let me fly out into the secret world that I inhabit.One that only he is aware of . One that he happily swims in with me .
I recall with fondness the many times he had instilled confidence in me about our relationship, when perhaps even a optimistic person like me staggered. I long to be in his arms this evening .I want his strong arms around me, holding me closely to his bosom as he had done so many times when he was with me. I was like a child then looking for assurance into his eyes, begging for the warmth he emanated. There was no shame in it but a sense of belonging . A sense of oneness .
My phone rings and my heart leaps up. It’s my beloved’s call. I get up and go inside to take his call.