So how was the vacation, people?! Had fun? Had your fill of delicacies and socializing and relaxation and fireworks and fun? How’s it being back at work? (Lucky you bank employees who have a holiday tomr and most of you who have a holiday today for Padva... Envy you!)
How’s it knowing there’s no holiday after this until December?! Not-so-sweet November, eh?!!
(Eeks, did I just drill a hole in your half-sunk ship?!!)
My vacation has been inundated with Diwali sms-es and visitors, sweets and crackers (I didn’t burst any, but that sure didn’t stop my neighbors!) Two days of frenzied activity. I met my long-lost friend who I didn’t expect would call... And I carried off ethnic stuff as if I was born in them. (Quite surprising for folks who’ve known me personally for ages, I know! Coz I hardly wear salwar suits and when I do the dupatta’s missing, and the churidar/salwar could also be substituted with a more comfortable pair of jeans.) But you know what, I actually like dressing up! All those jewels and trinkets, finery and glitter – I find it all very alluring. Getting ready is fun when you know someone is gona see you and notice all the effort that has gone into being what you look at a moment in time. When you know your attempts will be appreciated. Else, it’s a waste of time... Just like the popular song in Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke says – जब तक न पड़े सजन की नज़र, सिंगार अधुरा रहता है... घूंघट की आड़ से दिलबर का...
(Hey, transliteration's cool, eh? I mean the Hindi script that you see above... What technology, man!)
And another watch-word... Very important... When someone dresses up, it’s civil (and anticipated) to compliment him/her. And then, it’s mandatory to return that compliment. However one actually looks... What’s the harm in making someone feel good?!!!
I come from a typical, contemporary, middle-class family where it isn’t unusual to use worn-out pieces of cloth in the kitchen to mop grime. Until recently, I was accustomed to seeing old napkins, torn vests and frayed towels for varied purposes like wiping washed utensils and cleaning the table after meals. But I was not prepared for what I encountered the other day. I washed my hands at the kitchen sink after popping a slice of apple in my mouth, and I asked mum for a cloth to wipe my hands. (I suspect I have OCD – Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; I hate any kind of dirt and I keep washing and smelling my hands a thousand times a day. But more about my idiosyncrasies later.) I turned around and looked at what she was holding out to me – a sock. I mean REALLY! A sock?!! I’m never gona forget this my entire life... A SOCK, for heavens sake??!!!
Life's a song for me; I find a song in everything I see. (Doesn’t mean I’m gona write one on this sock-story. That would be grosser than the act my mum committed!) But, I’ve been writing poetry for as long as I can remember. Probably since the time I was 8 or 9. And the title of my first published poem was Life At Home. It found a place in the Pune Times “Budding Poets” section of the Times Of India newspaper – then the No.1 daily in Pune (I dunno now, there are so many all claiming to have the highest readership).
It was a pleasant surprise one morning, when I was in the 5th standard, as I woke up and opened the newspaper (as usual the city section first flinging away the main paper). There was my poem, complete with my name and a pleasing sunrise clipart. As if that rapture wasn’t enough, a cheque landed in our mailbox the next day gifting a cool 100 bucks to the “talented poet”! More than my parents, my Uncle-Aunty (more popularly known as Abba-Ammi) were thrilled. (They have always taken my wins and achievements with more excitement than my parents, and also encouraged me to explore myself. Thanks guys! All credit to you) So, they blew up the piece in the paper and laminated it, and promptly stuck it on the wall in their hall. Ammi still claims it’s my best ever... And I smile in embarrassment as I recall the babyish, apparent lines about fighting and making up at home. (Wouldn’t want to be caught dead with it right now...)
Well, this victory sparked off a series of submissions and publishes (publications?!) and cheques. Abba had said he’d publish a book of my poems, but that never happened, and most of them are still sheltered away in the yellowing pages of my childhood Dear Diary(s). The poetry writing continues, however, and that is what you glimpse fairly often on this new outlet that I have – Blogging rocks! Hope this has a lengthier and lucrative tenure...