Friday, 31 October 2014

36 and counting...

Dear me,

This is the last time you are going to try fitting into that jean. You are trying that one last time of natural 'tummy tuck'. Easy...close your eyes, puff out all the air in your lungs...and....pull in as much air as you can. There! Hold on...don't let it free. Look down at your toes, I bet that would be so easy as straightening Tommy the mastiff's tail. Try pulling the sides and fasten the button. Almost there...and...oh my! The right tail just slips. This is where I say Yoga classes come in handy. 

You always feel you are gliding through the corridor of your office, the whole wide world around you watches you with dilated pupils. Ever imagined what would be flashing in the deepest crevices of their ugly minds? " Is this a walking whale or a rolling rhino?" Poof! You are used to this, aren't you? Shrugging them off, you try your trademark gesture- tossing your hair to the back from your forehead. Ouch! That is when you realize, the hairline is receding like the sea before a tsunami. Gallons of ervamatin dutifully poured on the scalp has little effect on your depleting hair resources. 
That is when you become so self absorbed- your hair is definitely due for another change of style. Every time your favorite hair stylist touches your hair with reverence, you go dreaming as if you have the silkiest, softest, cutest hair. What you don't know is the poor fellow uttering Hail Marys, seeking divine intervention in helping him retain what minimal hair is left in your scalp after the cutting and styling.  

Every time you lift your eyebrows with that knock out questioning gesture of yours, the opponent will be trying to decipher the exact location of your eyebrows. Or the part of your face that you once saw arched like a bow. Had you tried to draw the same cranky eyebrows on canvas with your eyebrow pencil and eyeconic kajal few centuries back, you would have given Picasso and Rembrandt a run for their money! 

You were always a charmer...that million watt smile of yours can lighten up an entire room. You were once the brand ambassador of Happydent. Your killer smile had captivated and enthralled people. Squaring your shoulders, you try that smile every time you feel let down. Did I say squaring your shoulders? Yes, that must be toughest task- a frame of 6 feet wide and 4 feet tall, with shoulder length of equal size, you have got to pump in 5000 Hp power to shrug your shoulders leave alone squaring it. remind yourself again. You give it your best try, exhibiting those molars that is left after numerous root canal sessions. As you imagine your laugh lines, all that is seen are the worry lines and frown lines kissing your forehead. A frosty smile and a throaty laugh later, you find yourself sidelined and pushed to a corner. Yes, that is where you are wallow in self pity. When you are 36 and pushed to a corner, all you encounter is the feeling of returning to the past. To turn the clocks back, to bring back the torn calendar sheets, to retrieve all those glorious moments when you were the glory lily in the wilderness. 

Middle age! Aptly called so, as it is a serious condition that affects your mid-section! Boy would you shell out a fortune for flat board abs and a hardly there tummy. The length of your pony tail is directly proportional to your age. The more the years, the higher the altitude. Your smile resembles that literally 'full blown' smile of the mask's Jim Carrey- minus the green. That is when you seek advice- expert advice, well actually, any advice. That is when you look out for someone in your life look at you and say how beautiful you are.

That is when you reflect that all along, you have earned brownie points called love, affection and friendship. That is when a cup of coffee and laughter with your middle aged agony aunt adda brings you immense pleasure. That is when a peck on cheek from your little one means a world and that is when a teeny weeny flower delivered as a surprise from your usually 'forget everything' husband touches your heart. 

Heart did I say? Yes. That is where the key lies. The key to being happy. The password to your dreams and passions. The one stop solution for all your appearance miseries and getting- into- the- jeans disasters. Something called LOVE that permeates your soul from the known and the unknowns. That is what you have to radiate with. That is what all other 36 something women out there lust for, thirst for. Share all that you got, lady! The kindness of the soul reflects and reaches far more people than the radiance of your so imagined happydent smile! Keep smiling and keep radiating the glow of your soul! Mwwwaaaahhhhh ;))))
Me- as I feverishly outline my shape in front of the mirror.
Courtesy: Aunty Acid
 p.s.: This post is dedicated to all the women nearing their forties. Aunties, we rock!!!
p.p.s.: Someone judged my speech as not worthy of even a third prize in a contest. Middle fingers to him!
p.p.s.: To the baby in me- I love ya...MMMwwwaaaahhhh :)))

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Words under mango trees

Did she hear something? She strained her ears to listen. There must be someone. There was an eerie silence everywhere. The strains of a distant church bell faded away, enveloped by the silence that descended the room like a cloak. The sound of the clock ticking and tiny rivulets of rain drops sliding down the weathered tiles and dripping on the window sill was all she could hear. Her glazed eyes peered through the window at the lone withering mango tree. 

It has seen many summers, like her. She tried to count the years the tree was laden with fruits, its many branches touching the ground in a wisp of brownish green. Was it thirty? Thirty five? She found the counting tiresome. Years don't matter. Do they? Like a shadow on the window pane, she saw her. Her daughter. The twinkle in the eyes, the long braids pulled to her sides and mouth open in tinkling laughter, she was there. Long, slender fingers traced a pattern on the glass, her eyes alight with unspilled laughter and happiness. 

Her eldest daughter had always been her favorite. A mere child who pulled the family together when child after child arrived to fill the family's cradle. She was the doting sister to all the younger siblings, guiding them and cherishing their dreams. Losing her dreams in the midway somewhere never mattered to her. She found solace in Shakespeare, Wordsworth and Frost. Words wove magic for her. Poems enthralled her to live. It was under the same tree that she sat, swinging on an old rubber tyre, singing. "The Solitary Reaper" came to life as she closed kohl laden eyes, swinging to the tune.
Will no one tell me what she sings?—
Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
And battles long ago:
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again? 
She knew nothing of her daughter's talents. Neither her singing, nor her literary talents. All she knew was she loved her dearly, no matter how mush she yelled at her. Her daughter- her love whom the entire village revered. A cold sweat broke on her wrinkled forehead as she fought breathlessness and tears, looking at the silhouette etched on the glass. She was here. Her daughter was here. And then the shrill ringing of the telephone filled the empty house.

300 miles away...

She loved this giddy feeling. The smell of coffee, mingled with the newly wet land tingled her nerves. The swing moved swayed gently as the drizzles weaved patterns of concentric circles on stagnant puddles. She gazed at her threshold where her mango tree stood majestic, its leaves dripping and the three mangoes. Every year, this magic tree yields just three mangoes. This year was no exception, she smiled to herself. The smile was becoming a rarity, she mused. She was not so sullen and stricken when her mother was around. 

Her mother- memories of her widened her smile and it reached her eyes. Dosas dripping with oil, coated with verses of Macbeth, Sunday evening hair grooming sessions with words recited from Othello, chopping vegetables listening to daffodils swaying in the breeze...memories was all she possessed now of her mother. She had heard stories of how the dead protect their dear ones for ages, in hiding. Where was she now? She eyed the mango tree warily, the three mangoes touching each other in the cool breeze, as if feeling their contours. Kicking her leg, she suddenly sprung to recite-

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o'er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze. 
The cool breeze kissed her forehead and reminded her of someone who kissed her so. Her granny. Why hadn't she called her?  It has been a long time. Sucked into the vortex of self inflicted work, she had indeed forgotten to call her. Pulling her cellphone out of her pocket, she dialed her grandmother. The phone rang and rang and rang....the air pregnant with unspoken words of love and loneliness....