Saturday, October 06, 2007

There's a story behind every speed breaker

The majority of last week (it definitely seems so given all the running around and doubling up as handyman) was spent trundling along the ECR with the photographer and his comic assistants. As is tradition the coordination was a mess. But again as is tradition, it all worked out fine :-) But about the mess - a road block on wild curve 1km right before the toll booth. Lines of lilac (ugh!) busses squatted a long way back into the road. People meandered. Heads craned out. Khaki clad conductors with wet armpits snagging change bag huddled under the sun.

A conductor said 'chinna' accident and that the villagers were creating a commotion. So we reversed with 'Vaseegara' squealing intermittently. The stretch that connects Old Mahabalipuram road to the ECR is utterly gorgeous!!! A family of the shade green nestling by murky blue waters with shrimp nets and polka dotted with fishermen wading neck deep in its waters. As you turn into Old Mahabalipuram road one garish engineering college follows another. We swing past Kelambakkam junction into Kovalam and the roadblock way back is forgotten with a phew!

A day later we were back making our way by the sea. If cops with speed guns didn't suffice as warning, several thuds did. A day back two school girls were rammed as they were crossing the road. Sisters. One died. The other in hospital. 7 speed breakers commemorate a break too late, lil girls in school uniforms. And has now effectively cursed those who go a tad bit faster than real slow with a sore back.

mad but wiser optimist (fingers knotted)

It's odd to be a stranger overnight. A shell empty of the hermit crab. Scuttled away, saline water swishes in and ebbs out and nudged further ashore. There's beauty in empty shells lying face down in transient sand.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

60 years couldn't rid my street of garbage on its eve

Onyx, Chennai's so-so on and off efficient garbage collector seemed to have gone on a strike yesterday cause there contract is drawing to a close and are soon to be replaced by another company. And so in keeping with our freedom fighting styles they didn't go around throwing back the garbage in everyones house. They upturned the bins especially ones that were overflowing with muck on to the road instead. On independence eve.

The street lamps not working could make another post. But yes, the street lamps don't work especially the ones by the Electricity Board's Chief Engineer's office. So as I came bumping down the road (the road's full of moon holes and tarring it over and over again makes all homes a bloody drain during the monsoon!) many flecks of white caught my eye with lights from oncoming vehicles. The flecks grew in number as I neared home. The plastic and paper had been unceremoniously scattered without a carnival preceding them.

Muttering curses at neighbours who refuse to throw garbage into the bin, I got off my bike to survey the dump gone awry. And then quickly I took all them curses back cos twas the bin's reluctance in offering itself up to them. Upturned, the muck stuck around forlornly like abandoned babies. I tell mum this and she says tis a strike indeed! I tell her I'll go turn it the right way up. She says mind your own business. My nose is my business. My street is my business. The view of my house is my business. I go nudge it to my mum's disgust. Steel bin proves heavy. No one else on road. Don't think any avid pisser-on-streets would lend a hand for a bin.

Onyx is a Malaysian company (?) Fine, they don't get the significance of independence and clean streets but they might as well do their work while they're getting paid. They do deserve to leave if they feel they can allow the city to stink up for one night!

What more proof does one need

to believe that women can drive and do a whole bunch of other things pretty darn well! What?!! I work for an NGO that provides mental health care to the marginalized and primarily for homeless women. This NGO is run by two very driven women and is immensely successful in the area it's been dedicated to. Here, any idea is viable as long as it's for the greater good. The regular notions of feasibility don't work here. Anything is possible and anything is possible with style! This place filled with women full of spunk, outnumber the male population in the organisation. We've got women drivers, social workers, accountants, etc. Yet, there's the sexist note underlining a few basic things like driving of all things. This, from co-workers who work for this NGO, who have seen the women in action, have seen how the women cared for have turned out to be so full of drive and guts, grow jittery by default because a woman says she wants to drive the car back to work cos the darn driver is missing!

All hell broke lose when I said I could drive back if a driver wasn't around to take us back to another centre of ours. A social worker, C, ran out and skidded on the slope just to stop me. What's worse, another colleague, R, a female btw shrieked NO! in spite of having been part of a previous episode when I took the car out and brought it back safe and sound. On pointing this out to her she goes "but still...". BUT STILL what?!!! We do have one or two drivers who are utterly rash when it comes to driving. The other day one hit a goat and nearly knocked off an old man on a cycle. She would or rather a whole lot would rather trust a man who drives like a maniac and promises some spine-breaking jolts rather than a woman who has been driving for 5 years and has already on a previous occasion shown she can drive safe. The only person who didn't bat an eyelid was V, a German. Maybe it's only Indian men who think women can't drive or shouldn't be allowed to.

If in spite of all the NGOs work and experience the sexist and chauvinistic notion hasn't been driven out by default, then it's a bloody dire situation indeed.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Butter Fingers

I'm incorrigible. Clawing at fast-escaping time I do. What I also tend to do is distort the moment I'm trying to stretch like gum with not-so-merry coincidences that prove advantageous just about then and no further, an unheeding tick in me, and complacency of tomorrow is after all tomorrow. The moment metamorphosed into stringy gum that refused to pop happy. Why won't I learn hogging sometimes ends in nasty results, that gripping time doesn't mean I get to determine a situation. That time is just a time-keeper and situations are just immensely fickle at the pace with which they move. Only tabs I get to keep and not the bloody script in hand waiting to be done! Time does not own a moment. Now, what else can I say about time and circumstance...Time's a pimp! Time's a ration kadai!

Apart from that, a nipping topic popped by again and sunk into my brain and ripped out a piece of my life-giving thump thump and nicked me nice and bloody. I am not domestic. I appear so cause it just so happens that I love cooking, it just so happens that I'm neat and tidy, it just so happens that I'm not ambitious in a regular way and am not a title-hog and it just so happens that I prioritize relationships and my growing library more. Means to an end. But I do insist on the means being something I thoroughly enjoy. Ideal some say. I've found it and disfigured it to an extent to keep off the evil eye.

I'm tired of lil unmentionables given in confidence slipping like loose change, of the necessity to have a peripheral vision of what others see, of my knack to seem aloof when I'm involved, of embarrassment and the possibility of doubt, of not keeping my word on adding no more to worries, of living in constant fear of losing the only few things that make life worth a lot which makes its presence felt like a cut out of sight but constantly searing. I'm terrified.

Ghastly luck and with no title as an heiress, judgment seems inescapable. That one break hasn't happened. It could have in the first week of my first job if chicken flu hadn't made its way into mucky lungs on the day of the shoot for an all-chicken restaurant outdoor campaign. Contentment is so near. Yet elusive in my greediness. Impatience rather. And all I'm looking is for some understanding to precede the peace, harmony and the prevailing of common sense.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Train yosanais

Listening to Shiny Happy People by REM that's exactly what I think they were. Shiny happy people in the unreserved compartment, greased by sweat and grime off 300 odd kms. I hadn't even got out of the city when this compartment of friendly accommodating folks began to smell of malli poo, sambar-caked-fingers, a fusion of dripping odors and water with a dusty rusty twang. Hygiene? What's that indeedy. Build resistance muchly. Chikku peels and shiny black seeds like bugs on the slushy blue floor. Meandering puddles of water and pee jetted from kids by grimy feet.

It's amazing how space can be created. Bodies meld and curve and create nooks and crooks to fit in a sagging knee, a curled finger, a curved behind into a curved abdomen, the head at an angle, criss-crossing armpits that lend a view to the left eye. Way beyond sticky, felt I should take a part-time job as the human glue. Park myself in a post office and get people to swipe a finger on me to seal their envelopes.

And the other time twas the kid rattling away her flimsy plastic toy gun and threatened to poke my eye apart from slowly warming my rage. But the kid was sweet. When she put that idiotic toy down that is. I was quite touched when she put a hand out to stop my book from slipping off my lap when I was struggling to get the change into my pocket while trying hard not to tilt my tea. I've always felt that we must go beyond tolerance to acceptance. But then I figured that tolerance is the best we can hope for cause we're so inclined to be pissed off as much as we're inclined to be touched.

Monday, April 23, 2007


It's run out of's got not much time left...Dammit! Times when words spread themselves on your tongue and tickle your uvula and get gibberish out instead of surrendering themselves to coherent talk. Paah! And that's what I said once cos I couldn't get the simple 'validity' word that would explain why I needed to go recharge in the middle of the night.

Words are like those slinky stinkers you find in comics. Those sideline snigger-ers. They scuttle away and peek from behind the corner to see how you're faring in the muck. And this muck has happened too often. But at times, kindly, it is refered to as gaffes. Anything to make the babbling seem light.

But even when in an interview!? Even umm and uhhs abandon me to scavenge for words and then when they're salvaged they come out in this sticky pizza cheese mess that finally snap and slop down my chin and then I'll have to quickly slurp it back before anyone notices.

Sometimes even the deranged hope, the kind your likely to face in oncoming death, gives way, and instead there's just this parrot stutter of blankness, like plain white flashes going bang! bang! bang! But you've got to credit hope for being thick-skinned. It morphs into the street smart and goes about figuring out the opposite of the opposite to the word that sits tightly wedged in a corner like an unreasonably angered child and refuses to spell itself out. Twisted but that's how I got reacquainted with 'altercation.' Truce...agreement...debate...combat...altercation!

Words are also a lot like gigantic unshapely boulders, the kinds preferred to get the sack with the body to lightless depths, where it can be nudged and nibbled by sea folks. When words go down they go down with grammar. Tenses mingle, words surrogate, conjunctions snip. But its these surrogate words that save you from falling face down into something vocabulary-less. For instance, I picked this post from 6 words back after 5 hours and it's not what I had in mind when I stopped. Even the most austere words can surrogate. I had anything but austere in my mind back then.

But context methinks gives word shape more than meaning. And any word can take the place of another, with a little help from conditioning maybe. A Clockwork Orange to start off with was interesting cos of its vocabulary which I took some time to piece together. But then tolchok, moloko, etc began to make complete sense and I even began using it in conversations in my head. That's when the book scared me and I put it away for three months, to rid myself of the vocabulary that had become part of everyday, before I started on it again. That book has proved its point of conditioning.

And words seem to be the other thing apart from music that induces hyesterical joy! Books make you fall madly in love with the most inane emotion, puts you face to face with unacknowledged fears.

Words are fancy creatures.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Summer Swelter Mad

The purpose-in-life question accosts even a coaster, wet and spilling over. A square water mark in place of the regular thick circles. Cubes thin and float like sliced strips of coconut and then go lookin like a tooth I lost when I was three and vanishes. This one too goes into the earth though a little bit more complicated than cracking up the earth and pulling out chunks of more earth and placing it within reach of maroon earth worms and then smashing it down by shoving unearthed earth back into an ugly mound to bake, crack and get chipped with the evening wind.

Rice is a turn off. So is sambar. So is food in general. Tall glasses of Orange by day. Tangerine dreams by night when I'm out on the verandah warming my butt on still-warm mosaic steps with a street lamp that's got an incessant wink, wishing to be by a beach with a whip and a staple diet that includes anything and everything citrus.

Deoderant addict. The zest with which I spray it on likens those of the eagerness of dogs dashing towards and rolling in any watery muck. Anxiety thrives in the heat. Showering four times a day has got me wondering about sobby taps and annoying watchman next door who falls asleep when the tank is jetting water slamming on to cement. Not earth even. Yes, I do want a commitee in place to ensure people turn off their motors on time.

Heat, lethargy and coffee. The latter seals me in with a pack of slugs strolling in my feet. Tea! is almost a craving. 4pm is a lovely time. It grows a lil bit more brighter right then but in a happy smug satiated way. Like crackle pop the engergy combusts within. And for the next 15 minutes I feel like a helium balloon.

At night there's only one pose to take on the bed. Splayed. Maximum exposure to whatever the fan chucks at you. Pai becomes much more luxurious than the fattest softest mattress.

Pretty scarves begin to smell tangy at the crease with brow sweat. It's a bit tamarindish with sea salt and maybe a pinch of pulichified dough. In summer a lot of motorists do stop before the stop line provided there's a nice big phat tree with its holey green above us. Even after being under these spurts of coolness why on earth do people cut trees?!!! WHY?!!!! WHY?!!! Guess their intelligence is only skin deep and that too only till the timer on the signal goes zilch and then green. Aaargh! As long as I'm riding it's cool. I stretch my hands while gripping the handles and stretch my legs on and off for the cool blast to get inside my kurta and the damp junction behind my knee.

A glass of white for restless nights on sticky sheets. Chilled buttermilk to squidge the gnawing hunger of 3am, to quench thirst from grinding teeth while restraining the urge to swat the mosquito and scratch like my life depended on it.

If I don't wash my hair on every 3rd day, I imagine itchiness that has me treating my scalp in dettoled water on the 4th. I look at my crackling strands and promise myself and oil hairwash every second day. But that half hour of soaking oil in this heat is close to hellish. The shower nozzle is something I've become thankful for increasingly.

Yet there's the human alpamness in this heat to have summer fruits who propagate more heat. Irony. Paradox. Unfair. I love mangoes. I have one all to myself and I'm against the wall with a thermometer tickling my under-tongue while my mum goes I told you so I told you so. And the watermelons go out of fashion too soon. I see them only on highways.

Freshly exfoliated skin is coated in dust within a minute. Matte finish. Menthol based skin products line the shelf. Blue is all I care for. I wear only blue. A psychological conditioning that barely works. Leaky taps fill up buckets cooled over the day and are fed eau de cologne, mint and neem leaves. I just wish I had a tub of it.

Aah tubs! Why the faff does Bangalore have fabulous ice cream parlours and Madras none!?! Shakes & Creams serves ok-fine stuff but only when the dollops threaten to run cause of their long standing policy of slow service. Why no Corner House?! Why no gorgeous mint ice cream! They did have in Casa Picola but they ran out of it in Jan.

But I do like summer. I do like the heat cause I feel alive. I pine for these days when the city's flooded. Summer redeems itself by making cotton an investment, nungu the recommended high, mangoes with vanilla icecream regular dessert, beach visits compulsory, re-introducing the joy of sleeping on hard cold floor, highlighting the importance of water, generating respect for greenery, permitting unlimited ice cubes with no threats of catching a cold, kicking me out of bed at 6 cause it's too hot to sleep and the marvel of mint.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Crumbs & Crumby - Rozee's Story

It is always better to say nothing than to say something that is obvious and hurt me. Did he do it deliberately? To shoo me away? Or did he really feel that way? I will never know...This is one thing that would forever itch my mind and keep me sleepless in my sleep. For even in my sleep I hear those words, and the vibration of his voice when he said them. It wasn’t something I did not know, yet I just didn’t want to hear it from him. I thought I conveyed him the message through the fear I hid in my eyes.

Summer came with a lot of fanfare. Gold rays spurted through blinds. The clothes on the rail whipped the smell of frizzling grass indoors. Everything around grew dewy including the people. Ice tinkled every half hr onto trays and into glasses. The bottle openers were out. So were the flower pattern hankies to mop liquid black salt off tanned gorges. Through the windows you could see everyone doing a jig towards the shade.

In spite of all the gaiety by default, there came some clammy news. The Cricket World Cup. To a prototype Gingerbread boy in happy self-imposed exile this doesn’t forebode good. Well, cause people snack as they watch wickers swing and wickets down.

For a minor flashback, the original Gingerbread boy dodged quite a few and ended in a fox’ tummy. Well, all I can say is, thank god the cow didn’t get him. Regurgitation is quite unsavory. You see, gingerbread is what you call a one-time instant crunchy flavour. But I digress. I, the new prototype outran the baker, landed in an assorted cookie jar of a premium kind making its way across oceans as Monty Panesar’s gift to a girl named Sumthnwinder. Luckily for me I escaped the gorging process. And to cut a long story short I made it into the hands of a kind small-town Dhaba owner who had no appetite for anything but butter chicken. A loving keeper indeed and it grew mutual. Every morning I get a quick scrape and some pink and Ajanta blue squeezed on that get me looking iced and garish.

Even though hopes for the Hockey World Cup for India belonged only to the zany, the rest of the townspeople didn’t need no hope to smack up snacks to stack up their racks while glued to the only LCD TV in town i.e. at my keeper’s place.

Where do I fit into this easy-maintenance lot? Once in a while there’d be a shortage of kurkure or jilebi as they watched scuttling figures and made the occasional remark about sexy calf muscles. It seems focus is a snack. And when that’s out restlessness sets in and the sexy calf muscles can be damned! At tense moments as these, there’d be the rabid eye glancing my way, itching to snap me in two. But my keeper’s surly appearance by my side would squelch even the teeniest sign of mutiny. This was last year.

And now, The Cricket World Cup! It is BIG! And so would be the snacking. My keeper had been brooding the past one week and looking my way with a sense of guilt, apprehension, love and I think I noticed even hunger and faint curiosity for the unknown. Things weren’t ok as always between my gracious keeper and me. The early morning shaves had grown shoddy, the icing runny. It’s as though he just wanted to be over with me ASAP. For a gingerbread boy, I have quite a heart. It hurt I tell you.

My eyelid started ticking. There was a grudging animosity in the air. My keeper’s shoulder slid to a spooky slouch. His eyes and fingers constantly thumbed the snack racks and the quantity ledgers respectively. There were blood-shot sneaks taken my way with a drooly leer. But like menthol induced whistles there were those short bursts of love that came through. Yet, I felt day by day that I never knew him ever.

On a starry night, I was taken out of my casing for one of those nightly treats, where I could sit on his lap and trace patterns that never end with them sparkly. This time however, the unrest of many days didn’t allow excitement to stir. But once out, swinging my crispy legs off his knee, it was hard not to get comfortable. My eyes roved the silver. A sudden draft nipped my iced nose. And that’s when I noticed the utter stillness with which he sat. Right then, he took me onto his palm and peered at me wonky-eyed as I looked at him with wild hope characteristic of doom. And he said, “Sadly, it won’t be me who first tastes you, biscuit.”

Picked Tag

1. Were you named after anyone?

Yes, Dad’s mom but with 3 letters added to its end which make it sound a lot mo classy methinks

2. Do you wish on stars?

Yep. From stars to wishbones to cats that cross paths from the right

3. When did you last cry?


4. Do you like your handwriting?

Yes, as long as it doesn’t go beyond a paragraph cos then it’s kozhi kirukals

5. What is your favourite meat

Chicken. However, I don't mind helping myself to the rest when there's a choice

6. What is your most embarrassing CD on your shelf?

An ancient Smirnoff Megamix

7. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you?

Yes, I’m good fun to have around

8. Are you a daredevil?


9. How do you release anger?

Clam up and let it lie/Bawl in private/Smash something I gauge to be replaceable to fight the need to punch (rarely)/ Stomp out for a long walk

10. Where is your second home?

Me. I'm quite at home with myself.

11. Do you trust others easily?

Nope. I think too much.

12. What was your favourite toy as a child?

No choppu and all for me. Just a bright yellow tricycle and an F1 look-alike pedal car.

13. What class in school/college do you think is totally useless?

School - Civics!!!! I hate! I hate! Bledy nasty teaches distinction! Dirty Subject

College – Mary Swamy on Prose indeedy!

PG – Almost all save for the few by guest lecturers

14. Do you use sarcasm a lot?

Nope. It comes to my rescue after the moment's passed like cops in the movies

15. Have you ever been in a mosh pit?


16.What do you look for in a guy/girl?

Sharp, varied interests, willing to try anything or a lot of things, kind, ability to be and let me be

17. Would you bungee jump?

Ooohh yes!

18. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

I don’t wear shoes…like my toes breathing.

19. What's your favourite ice cream?

Mint! Chocolate also

20. What are your favourite colours?

Blue, black, wine red

21. What are your least favourite things?

Monday mornings and cockroaches

22. How many people do you have a crush on right now?

Umm I’ve been permanently crushing on my 2nd std classmate

23. Who do you miss most right now?

I'll change that to 'what' - Sleep

24. What are you listening to right now?

Love street by The Doors

25. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?


26. What is the weather like right now?

Effin HOT!

27. Last person you talked to on the phone?


28. The "first" thing you notice about the opposite sex?

Their hands and what they do with them

29. Do you like the person who sent you this?

Oh yes…love her very much indeedy! Bestest Friend :-)

30. How are you today?

Mildly worried. My right eyelid’s been ticking like crazy

31. Favourite non-alcoholic drink?

Mint soda pop, Jal Jeera, Salt lime soda, Sweet lassi, Buttermilk, Litchi juice, Guava juice

32. Favourite alcoholic drink?

Anything Tequila based

33. Natural hair colour?

Dark Brown-Black

34. Eye colour?

Dark Brown

35. Wear contacts?

Nope. Touchwood!

36. Siblings?

None. Wheeeeee!

37. Favourite month?

November. Tis gotta lotta character with its showers, slugs, snails, croaking frogs, and the songs in its name!

38. Favourite food?

Shall overlook the hint at the singular and launch into preferred menu…Mum’s Biryani, Sparky’s Lasagne, Mexican Chicken Cheese burger from Kenzos, Vanjaram fish fry, Pecos’ Squid, Homemade pork pizza, Steak Cesare from Tangerine, Kaadai from Kaaraikudi, Tiramisu and Double chocolate gateaux from Jelly Belly, Chocolate mint cake from Mocha, Chocolate mint delight from Corner house and of course Thayir Saadham.

39. Favourite day of the year?

Any Sunday

40. Have you ever been too shy to ask someone out?

No. Asked out the big mistake of my life.

41. Scary movies or happy endings?

Sucker for happy endings but get bloodthirsty once in a while

42. Summer or winter?

Summer! Mambazham, water melon, maanga with molaga podi on compulsory beach visits

43. Holi or Diwali?

Deepavali. New clothes :-D Also, semma non-veg saapadu

44. Do you like your name?

Totally. Methinks tis utterly cool and weird.

45. What book/magazine are you reading?

Rumpole & The Age of Miracles by John Mortimer. Quite funny.

46. What's on your mouse pad?

the brand name of my comp. The excitement is killing me!

47. What did you watch on TV last night?

Hannah Montana on Pogo. Briefly. Such is the plight of CAS victims

48. Favourite Smell?

Mun vaasanai, sea breeze, Moore Market’s musty book cum fish tank stink, Pavazha malli, Raw guavas

49. Have you ever regretted breaking up with someone?


50. Most tiresome thing you’ve ever experienced/done?

Getting through Mondays, trying to be polite to annoying relatives, getting imagination handicapped visualizers to understand an Idea

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

An interesting shade

Noises aren't helping enough. How much can one get out of a Wheeeaah! Can't paint to show all the colours dripping off to form pretty puddles I'm trying to skirt, step through and splash in. Don't have a cam to catch the jigs, the foetal reminiscence, twitchy hands that don't know what to do with themselves, grinning eyes, the pallor of self-doubt, my clueless hair on how to hang over my forehead, the anticipatory ticking of the left eyelid, the determined pulse moving towards white papers of dreams, the content stroll, the apprehension lurking on my left.

Monday, February 05, 2007

For the love of salt

After a knee-whopping ride to the beach past the arch (known as Kapaleshwar Nagar Beach to the auto fellows) and being the object of some cackling, we toppled out on to sand and many pairs of eyes. They didn't glare, stare. They just gazed vacant with maybe a hint of curiosity in some. Immediately felt kinship with the beach, the sea and its creatures, especially the Mussel - clammed up instantly! Wondered if Ostriches would fit the landscape.

Somehow got past the freeze and plonked on the beach behind the group in a circle. Heads rotated towards the boy with the Guitar. It was such a pretty night! And it all started with some strumming and humming Simon & Garfunkel under tangerine lights. Muttered lyrics for fear of squawking, but when it came to Illayaraja, P'dner and I were mostly out there with accompaniments that go achum achum achum...Nila adhu vaanathu meley...! :-D what a song indeed!!

And then they descended - hordes of children, squeaking, giggling, loud!!! The music was lost in their bledy babble and repeated hushes they did to themselves was far worse than their yakking. But the guide saved the music of the night! Arun, a tall, lanky, bearded, hooded, sweatshirted, shorted, sweet man with a passionate disposition for the environment, took them aside for orientation. Phew! And we carried on with mi song...Wish you were here. Missed V quite a bit. It is our song after all. And the whispering of Clapton and Co went on till we were ready to trot.

Usually a crowd of 20 had tripled this time cause of the blasted kids from a school I went to and which I have absolutely no respect for. I do have reason to be spiteful. Forgot them instantly when we hit the wet sand. Ambling while the moon paced along and surf curled over feet, placid peace sunk in with each step.

Our first stop-over came quite quickly. The ones ahead had tracked a nest with 175 eggs! Fantastic pingpong look alikes! Soft, dented and pink in the moonlight. As N pointed out it's utterly gobsmacking to think that these turtles come year after year to the same beach and have been doing so for aeons. Parallel worlds I want to be a part of but then there's home and the potholed road to work. Not quite alluring but neverthless a predominant aspect. Tsk tsk.

Eels, puffer fish, bloated ones with eyes popped, tummy split, fins slit - my morbid side had a ball. Crabs skittered by for company and did their jigs across sand. Deft creatures. Cuttlefish bones to start with were a novelty. In fact I did a bit of grumbling cause the guide gave it to pesky kid. But we stumbled on many streaking phosphorescent white on the sand. Picked 2. Now figuring out ways to get rid of stench. Soon I came to be known was the Cuttlefish collector. A kid came and offered two! And the rest pointed out the picks.

Plankton I saw none but save one. Absolutely pthoooey. Bottles, crawling coconuts, garlands of the dead in ashes, but no plankton! Spotting that lone blue metallic glow was a special moment. Touch it, drag it, Voila! Light painting! Painted blue trails till it disappeared from finger tips. It's plain beautiful.

Nest 2 yielded 111 + 1 small. 1 small was deemed by a know-it-all to be born with defects. The ones who knew said no such thing. Quite a bit of know-it-alls on this trip. Having stumbled upon a dead Ridley, one loudly proclaimed it dead. Duh! We know. And how you suppose, we asked. The know-it-all did a long uhh followed by 'we'll have to take it to a vet to figure." Ok then. Most probably died of suffocation from the trawlers, said the guide. It was a 50 kg or so turtle, bleeding in trickles from the neck. Nearly 45 years old. 50, 000 left. The turtles wont be around to tell us that existence was before now.

We trotted by Bella Ciao, temples, N's old house, packs of outnumbered stray dogs, and circumvented around fishermens boats. Apparently the fishermen view us as an inauspicious element, a lot like the cat crossing the path. We happened upon 2 who had come back with quite a catch. They were untangling the net off a pile of Madava meen, silver and terribly dead.

You know you've arrived on Beasant Nagar beach when you see the plastic competing with the glitter of the sea. Plastic silver. It goes beyond the gagging reflex. But no ugly beach can deter plan for z walk in March! The hatchlings and lots of plankton... hopefully!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ingrown nails can be quite comfortable. Numbed in the pain one forgets. Similarly blackheads. I'm waiting for that pique that gets me started on the nail or the blackhead. So much has happened. I've tripped myself over a zillion times within a few hours and have the sheet in a seamen knots...almost improbable but when I do look at myself as a wrapping artist I seem to have done a darn good job!

Regrets bounce along stinging in quick pinches exactly where it hurts. 2 best friends leaving at the same time. 1 I hardly spent time with. The other, I didn't get enough off. Doubts come in mocking jaunts. Knock knees indeed. That thing called love and then me. Trying to fight the urge to be lulled by mediocrity. Learning in momentary haunts of clarity. Making peace with time. Making peace with myself.