Day 59: Keto fun

The exams have had a strange effect on me. The pointlessness of it all breaks me every few hours. Are we still expecting students to prove their knowledge by cramming lessons a day prior and puking it out for 2 hours. When the question instructions say ‘answer not more than 3 pages’, you know the testing priorities are screwed up.

I landed up starting my preparations the morning of the exam. By 11am, I had studied enough to ace the noon paper. That gave me a lot of time after the exam. So I made the best of the evening. I keto’ed.

I experimented with these amazing Keto crepes. They tasted heavenly in their intended form, oozing with the buttery filling. Since I’m not a huge Cinnamon person (anymore), I replaced that with nutmeg and it worked out just fine.

I had sufficient to have this another day. I got more fancy this time and substituted this for my dosas craving. So, I skipped the butter filling, brought along some peanut-Chilli Powder as sides, and it rocked.

If I weren’t on the Egg Fast, I’d try adding some coconut flour in to match the dosas consistency. Right now, it was a little eggy and was a taste to be acquired for sure.

Acquired taste? You give me a drab oatmeal with veggies for lunch and you make such fun things for yourself? Let me acquire some of this new taste. 

Dogs can eat eggs and butter. So, share some, will you?” Scotch 

Ma, Me and She.

As I was skimming through the previous posts here, something glared back at me; they are all dull, boring, rants from my life and heck who’d care about my past and my God anyway. So I’ve tried a new venture here, spiced up my life and gone ahead and written a story. Yay!!

The usual rules stick, read till the end; if you see your concentration waning, pour that strong cup of coffee, wash it down and hang in there. All events in this story are purely fictional and any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is purely intentional. Duh! It’s my story after all!

He rolled down the windows of the taxi briefly, careful not to let the downpour in. He waved in her direction, met her eye, they exchanged a brief smile and she walked towards him. She gingerly snapped her umbrella shut, sat in and the taxi drove on. They exchanged quick pleasantries.

…”True, The Mumbai monsoon was becoming unbearable”…

…”That new flick had some poor storyline to begin with”…

…”Isn’t it a shame Michael Schumacher is not going to be driving after all!”

It was just their second date, could he really call it that, and he had already begun to like her. Unlike the prospectives his friends usually hitched him up with, she was genial, homely, grounded to the earth, loved soaking in the rain, thought that our traditions had to be respected no matter what and believed that the saari was a snug outfit. The last two were definitely going to get her special-extra-brownie-points with ma.

Amma. If the past had taught him something, it is that amma was a different ballgame altogether. School days was spent cramming up the books, extra tuition ensured that there was no time for wasteful thinking, leave alone squandering. Mom made sure that he got his milk on time, had his homeworks top notch and he was up before sunrise, for an extra round of revision. How else did he plan on becoming an astronaut? College was no less complicated. Amma relocated to his town; Yeah, Pa could manage on his own for couple of years and No, hostels are for kids whose mothers dont care enough.

And so, four years had dragged by at snail’s pace. The first puff of smoke was taken elsewhere while he had been busy completing his engineering drawing, on time and crisp to the P. The first crush was turned into heartbreak for others, while he dozed on the bus, rattling back home for dinner. The kiss had been magical; ephemeral, yet legendary indeed. But it had not been him, for he was at the temple that day, praying for a successful semester.

“Sorry?”

A mental snap, and he was back to today. “Whhaa..?”

“I don’t know. I mentioned coffee and you said ‘If Only’. “

“OH!!”

“It’s alright. We can get coffee sometime later.”

“NO!! No. Coffee is good. Coffee is great. Coffee it shall be”

He watched her, quietly, as she made herself comfortable in the small shack. Their patio table gave every part of her body room to live up and breath. He conceived that very moment, that he was capable of spending the rest of his life, staring at her luscious dark hair, duelling with the renegade breeze. The Indianness in everything about her, sent home a warm feeling within him. The waiter seemed to notice the artful manner in which she ordered our coffee, the nimbleness seemingly inborn. He sported a huge smile, scratched down our order and skipped his way back. Pumpkin what latte!? Pumpkin in a coffee? Really?

She sipped her drink, exuding a sense of peace to the world around her. By her green and yellow attire, everything seemed to pop out and spring into a dance, moving to the eternal song of love and life. Or at least he thought so. She sat there and took a sip of her coffee, undisturbed, while he continued.

He took a sip of the drink and spat it all out. He should not have listened to these guys after all. Amma was right from the beginning, this “was” a drink to hell. He forced another sip in, holding it in his mouth for a second, before gulping it down. As the caustic liquid oozed through his ducts, his inners came to life, burning their presence. When they finally settled, his mind settled too, on a cloud of dust around him. The guys were right, you could hear music with this drink in you. Hail Bro!!

Four hours and numerous drinks down, he walked home carelessly, mimicing a straight line in his gait. He laughed at how unsuccessful he was at it. The guys had helped him rehearse the story he was going to tell amma. He had gone over it a million times. Can you really count straight when you are drunk? There was not an odor or sound left on him to raise an ounce of doubt in her. He had to shoulder up and be a man! He could fool his way through without a doubt, and to think he presumed amma knew it all so far.

Amma knew it all. Period. She knew he was lying from ah-choo! There had been no study circle. There were no notes to copy. It was not just coffee indeed. He had disappointed her to the point of being ashamed. Dared he repeat it and she was going to take drastic steps. No, she did not want to listen to anything more. To the room please.

The soft tap on his hand bought his thoughts rushing back. He could never lie to amma again. But with the sensuous lady tapping his hands right now, he wouldn’t have to. She seemed to have fallen from heaven, or where ever they come from, with him in her mind all along. She pointed at her wrist watch, proclaimed that it was late and she needed to be home in time for the evening prayers.

“Oh!” Feeble protest. “Let’s get a taxi. I’ll ride you home”

Yes. Amma would definitely appreciate her and her impeccable demeanor. Prayers in the evening! There was no conceivable reason an out-going, modern, educated women of today would do that. She was going to be a complete success with Amma, and his dreams were coming to life indeed. He hailed the nearest black and yellow ride, shabbily whispered her address to the driver and settled in the back seat. She seemed to have been sitting there from ages eternal. The way she curled her legs together amused him, what wondrous poise in such cramped spaces. Beside him, she nudged closer and her sweet menthol fragrance gripped him.

He turned to face her, staring deep into her reciprocating eyes. Was this going to be the opportunity he had missed years back? What had the guys said? Don’t waste the moment thinking about it, go ahead and do it. Or wait! Was it, Thinking about it made sure you never missed it? She inched closer and his thoughts shattered, quite similar to the distance between them. Her brown eyes glared back, innocence and naievete in abundance. The inches between her voluptuous lips and his controlled fear seemed to be receding, slowly but surely.

Was he manning up to it and making the move? Finally? Was she being the infallable woman that she is, aware that he would want her to be? He sighed heavily, slumping in his seat.

A second away, and…

“Brother, Do you have a match?”

“What..? I..!”

“Here’s a lighter, bhayya.” With experienced swiftness, she dug through her purse, reached past her menthol cigarettes and produced a gem-studded piece.

Boy! He’d never seen one such before, and he couldn’t take his eyes of it now.

Sunrise Pals.

Some days dont have the perfect sunrise….then other days, when the sun sinks in and you barely notice it….there are nights when you fall asleep and the moon is not out as yet…then there are blues of the sky that keep you waiting for something nice….


My thought wanders between different trains of happy memories, till I hit one stop that keeps me pondering for a while……people who have been the perfect sunrises in the horizon…bright and red…complete creations of the almighty….these angels have made sure that days with them in it, have made it a joy to live through…they have given me reasons to wake up the next day, hoping for similar thoughts….

And then there are others, who are cloudy days from the start….leave a sorry feeling in the heart and an itch when you see the sun eventually up at the zenith….these are the ones that barely made an entrance and you hardly notice them leave….It’s funny I actually remember such entries vividly as well, the indistinct reasons why I bumped into them, the meaningless conversations shared and the quick, painless goodbyes…. 

And then there are the trickiest days….ones where you wake up real early and lie awake…because they give you the feeling of the perfect sunrise….bright and orange….leave a craving and a want in your mind…and while you lie there in wait….they jump the gun….very soon you realize that you trusted the wrong instinct after all…..and it was a losing hope to start with….because it had turned into a total disappointment….a sore feeling down your throat….God bless such friends (hic!!) who have walked into my life, dented my heart and walked out with no remorse in neither minds…I know I will rise up for such daybreaks in the future too, because they make me stronger and the eventual perfect sunrise feels all the divine!!!

Ghosts!

She closed the door, as he left, and ran out to the balcony..she peered down as she saw him appear into the yard. He walked out the main gate, a sense of pride in his gait; what was the reason she did not know. She stood there till he was just a bleAk spot on the road and the crowd ate him in.

She turned back into the room, glum and sorry, and he was there waiting for her. One had left only to be filled on by another. She lay down on the chilling floor beside him. She drank her threshold + 1 th round of the drink he had made for her. She let the liquid slowly ooze on, findin it’s way around her tracks up to her brain.

Jolt! And she and her sis ran out of the car. Mom found a safe spot under a tree to rest while dad made sure the shoulder he’d picked to park was safe enough for what they were to do. The last few times that the same thing had happened, the two of them had reached a level of familiarity and expertise with what was to come. One pulled the necessities from up front while the other lost the nuts. Dad stayed close by, making sure that they were not missing something vital. They were a team now, they worked best when together. Ten minutes into the job the tyre was changed, the spare and the tools safely stacked and they were on their way to where they were headed.

Blink and they quietly sat in the last row of the bus; both in a coincidental white. There was not a word spoken as he nimbly wrapped her fingers in his. Was it the first time they’d held hands?she doesn’t know. She let him take his time, let herself have time to accept his touch. Slowly and steadily.

Slap and she felt the kick land tight on her plum body. She was ten again and her dad did not approve of what she’d just done; out for tea with car drivers equals to being our with strangers. Was it yesterday that her mom had given a hot one for earing candy off the jar? Her memory fades her already and before it all vanishes into nothingness she tries to remember that recent squabble with the little one. She had been weak in math and a tough ruler had met her close to her eye as punishment. They had rushed her to the hospital, she heard from voices over all else. She dint go, because she was hiding under the stairs, not sure if the world would accept her again.

She cleared her head and her throat with one deceiving movement. She’d hungered for revenge and empties the cycle tyre of all air, only to see the devil herself walk by. MuKa lost all tongue and couldn’t come with a plausible reason for them to be by the devil’s bike. Was this the end? She turns to run and sees RaSu cycling by her, O she is speeding beside her too. A quick thud and she is on the ground, the second of lost orientation, a few bruises down, she walks into the local medical center. It is not she that the doctor wants to see now, though. She cant stand it, neither can RaSu, as the med pulls out the bandaid and exposes the two stitches by her eye. It had been a close call, she had happened to hear her fall and moan from the bathroom.

A flash, she quickly turns the corner and stands at the foot of the stairs, waiting for him to follow her there. He’d come home with her at three in the night only because she had forced him to and he had been very dear about it. As she held him close, she felt him shiver, of fear of being caught in my own house I would say. Where had her panic vanished, how did she not feel those elderly emotions of alertness and caution? Carefree, she held on to him till they went up the flight of stairs and not a minute of air separated them till she knocked.

Knock..! and she woke up to the smell of food in his den. She had done it again, run away from home and work and all obligations, to spend a day in oblivion. He had held her through her rebellious thought, not once questioning her motive, the lost rhyme. She had slept like it was in her mother’s warmth, the coziness that only home can bring and was surprising here for her not so far away from home.

She remembered having no dreams at all then, none to spoil her tranquility; no ramdom thoughts, none to shatter her glass mansions, like the ones there were now. Ahchoo!! Another sneeze, a drag at the nose and a curse at the fever with its ghosts from the past.!!

The prodigal hath returned.

Every time, in the past, that she has left that place behind, tears blinded her vision, and she sat there, deciding never to return. Every one of those times she has gone back to the very same place, giving in to reality, accepting divine justice bestowed upon us mortals. What reasons they might be, that drive her thresholds to the extremes, is something we will delve in a little later; but the place that takes her in, every time she runs away from reality, is a haven of its own kind. 

It has always been welcoming;  Every time the prodigal has returned, with eyes hung low with shame and a heart searching within the lost dungeons for itself. She walked back every trip with the feeling of a newly wed, returning home to her parents, to the smell of the house she has grown up to love. Every action, sight and sound here reminds her of parallels from the new world that surrounds her now, some happy moments there, some lost in search for the soul. Every time she longs to prolong the stay to every second; who knows when she might ever be able to be back in the bosom of warmth, who knows what cold winters await her where she has to be?!

Every trickle has a story of a lost temper driving it; every spec has a caustic remark triggering it. And they all loom back as nightmares in the ride that she has out of that place. When she takes stock of what she has and what she wants to have, she realizes that it was never right from the beginning. It dawns on her that she never fit in it from day numero uno, she was always an outsider to this world and shall die one.  Every effort that she has made to change things from what they are meant to be, has been one futile step forward towards this harsh realization; a starch fact that it was not meant to be any different at all.

Grown up and as a confirmed adult, she will now ride back to duty, with her childish dreams intact, her juvenile interests untouched, the she unchanged. The little that she has strayed in the recent past will be rewritten, mistakes undone, things will be forced back to status quo. All will be reset to how it had been on day zero, a few hours into this newfound land, she had beaming with the confidence of the solitary reaper, unaware, untouched!!

Rollercoasters, chums and life!

The pleasures that a trip out of normalcy brings is so vast that i can call it uncomparable to any other feeling in this whole world. It’s close to being in love, having the first taste of ice cream or seeing a rainbow on a dusky cloudy day. Having gone through a quick succession of a simulated space shuttle launch, watched a humungous killer whale sky rocket like a puny bird and sat through the twists and turns of some man-made miracles, I suddenly feel all too small for this huge world. Such wonders we have all around us, breathing the same air and walking the same ground, and here we are, running the same track over and over again. If I lay low and take count of the life lived so far, there is not one moment to my credit that has made another’s life worth it. Not one smile that I might have lent and not a joke that was worth a share. And yet, continue to wish each day in, hoping for it to be any better than the one gone.

As fingers stand stiff, pointing at directions where the reasons for this glum act may lie, my mind, the so called literate that it is, realizes that all directions lead into one common direction – the direction of the heart. No cause is more caustic than the one within, always more potent than the external. I quickly take stock of all acts in the past that have left my mind numb and wanting and realized that the source for all of this came back from the never ending out of ill feelings that the heart houses. True!

It is with such a dawning that I swear an oath under my breath, to live each moment for its truest worth and not once look at the outward for comfort or soothing. The minute the word seeps in, the soul rises to a newer level – not to sound all philosophical here. But, I feel a sudden spring in my step and a jiggle in my speech; a smirk at the end of my lips at all points, a feeling of being aware of a well kept secret. The magic potion seems to be working afterall.

Such a realization brings with it a host of other ideas and emotions as well. I look at all great minds that have walked in and out of my life this far; My memory of friends goes back to the days in the Pink City when I made him my friend at the end of the very first day at school. He is a ghost in my mind right now, his face a haze in space, but a warm feeling is what overwhelmes my mind. Thoughts then quickly brush over to the builder’s daughter; we did our first phase of growing up together. The girly chitter and the weekend jabber still stand afresh. Next came a horde of friends, thanks to the parents deciding to stay put for a while in the garden town. Kandu dude and dudette will surely stick on, good times afterall. The silent walks back home with the lady were fun, the five hour long phone conversations with the guy were constant company when back home; they sure left God and Goddess worried.

Then walked into my life, the little wonder, with all the mirth and laughter and optimism that she brought in with her. She was the answer to the God’s want for a white soul; complete, raw and outgoing. She flooded all our lives with what she had in her.

Growing up years were in full swing, when the mind went in search for more knowledge. The rustic innocence that MuKa possessed complimented with my openness to all walks of upbringing left us glued in till date. A year later, RaSu walked in, and the threesome was some company. The long nights that we spent, lying awake under the stars, waiting for that occasional shooting star, recounting mystic tales from far-off lands are still afresh in my head. The never ending
squabbles for reasons unknown, patched up by make-ups untold are a dream in themselves. Dodo came and life was a different ball game, so to say. Juggling between girl friends, life and him was a telling tale of perseverence I should say; some strings were lost, some made stronger, but the four years went by in a jiffy.

Fully grown up, independant and curtailed, I sought out a friend and found a twin, a part of me that was bred and brought up in different surroundings but beat like one. The times spent together over dal, chicken and coffee, discussing music, guitar and the latest read in town leave a sparkle in the eye. Moments were more mystic when the call of duty was given up for the sole purpose of being the tyrant; these still leave Howard Roark fuming 🙂 . But such were our ways, a show by the master on work days which was a must-attend, a rock concert for the junkies and a post concert walk in oblivion down the city lanes gave a high kick. Road side junkies we must have been, the ones that follow the great heart’s dream and live the ways of the wild.

I feel old now, when I sit and let such thoughts swarm my mind. I have decided to hang on to a few of these relationships till my grave, while I pass by a few that are as fleeting as the snow. It strikes hard that it is these ties that have kept me rooted till date. They have been the branch I held on to when thrown into the raging gorges, the spikes that used in my uphill climbs.

To friends and family; a bow, a warm hug and loving prayer.!

Two faced clowns

It was not as the usual cliche goes about how he walked into my life with a storm raging at the back. I barely noticed him for the first couple of years, and then it took another few months for me to even accept his existence in my circle(yeah! like there is one). When I sit today and weigh my scales, or look back at other times when a guy has ever got me writing, it is definitely not in a similar tangent or mind frame when i pen my thoughts today.
When I gather my strings back together and wonder what caused the incubation period to start with, the era of formal, professional hullahoos, I feel it has a lot to do with us being so similar and yet so different. And so they say something about like poles repelling. For the egoists that we are, it must have been a period where we stood back, weighed each other, head to toe, and marked the opponent as beyond reach. And what is surprising is that it was all so mutual.
Coincidence, destiny or some divine intervention, but our paths crossed and the differences, with the similarities surfaced. Tempers rose, ideas were thwarted and truces were reached upon. Such two faced we have become, that we live in a world split wide open. There are moments, when we share a common laugh and see a common dream come true, and it is immediately shattered to pieces by a slight, venomous remark that originated from the lost dungeons of the heart. A second, we are discussing a plan for our individual futures, up and happening, and the next minute we are demeaning each other with dry, sarcastic wrath. So often are we sporting a face, a stranger to ourselves, in front of the mass multitude, that I wonder if we know ourselves as much as we know the other.
I often wonder if it is a play of multiple personas here, me and the one within me opposed to him and the one within him. Through different paths that we tread, we change partners between the blacks and whites of each other and as one may imagine, the most hurt is shed when the blacks meet. And the hard reality of acceptance dawns when that moment of hurt is showered. What keeps us coming back to this turbulence is hope, I am forced to believe. Why else would you demean one another and still hold your hand to show the familiar way? Hope that there can be a flicker of friendship amidst all this hollow.
A light at the end of the tunnel, a moonrise at the break of dusk, an audience and a show by the two faced clowns that us.