Hug your Child, Kiss your Spouse. Respect your neighbor. Leave them alone.
When you feel what you read.
Sometimes, I want a different ending. A different narration. The book that I am reading, becomes my book. I become the author and I do not like where the narration is going, I do not want to go to the place, I do not want to feel this any longer. I can not live this any longer. I cannot watch it happen.
I am an ostrich with head in a pile of sand.
Are you still with me? Does it happen to you? Do you live the story?
There are a few books I could not finish. Various reasons and the stupidest of all was the font is too small, the big is too thick aka The Lord of the ring, actually, I say, something jinxed about it, I could not even stand the movie.
Then there is “All the lights you cannot see”. It is such a poetic book. Wonderful. I just stopped reading it. I could not live the life of a blind girl anymore. A smart blind girl. Blind, never mind that. She could see all the lights, more than me. I was tired of waiting, waiting for when the author will interweave the lives of the blind girl and the German boy. I needed a happy ending soon. It felt like a trap. I had to leave it midway.
Actually, those were the easy ones. The next one is so hard.
I want to see where it goes. where Laleh Khadivi is taking me, rather taking Rez. And with each chapter, I am feeling the nudge. I am at the edge of the cliff along with Rez . He is almost Reza now. I haven’t touched the book since morning.
A Good Country is a book about 14-year-old Rez, an America-born son of upper-middle-class Iranian immigrants. He is growing up as an all American teenager, with the complete surf, sex, weed, and chemistry deal. The words are real. So real. I loved the writing style.
One incident distances him from his all American boy- gang, polarizes him and he becomes friendly with The others. The one who shares his background. Arash is equally cool with lot of better manners and Fatima is lot more beautiful than Sophia. It took one bombing, one cheating case, one expulsion from school to nudge Arash over the fence. I think this was very weak. Very convenient .. Is it for real?
But I read on, for Rez. He is living his American life but now wants to know how to be a good man. How to be a good person. He believes what his father says “America is a good country“.
It looks good. So far. I can live this. One human to another.
Rez is still rez. But there is a series of bombing, the influence of Arash, and an airport incident where is he taken for questioning because of his name. He finds himself in a mosque and then another and then is mesmerized by brother-hood. He is now distanced from his all-white American friends, almost. His girl-friend is wearing Hijab.
And I know what the next chapter could be. and I cannot read any further. I want a different narration. A different ending. Rez is searching for his identity and how can Syria give him that?
I feel sorry for Rez. Now Reza. I do not want him to jump off the fence. To be brain-washed. I sure hope, he doesn’t take his girl-friend to Syria. To a good country. This is a scary subject.
I asked my Muslim husband if anyone can brain-wash him to go for a cause. He laughs at me. He can turn the preacher around to renounce his religion 🙂 I believe he can do that 😀 , To him, religion is crowd control and he is not scared one bit of it.
So then, why can’t Rez be like my husband? Doesn’t it feel like a bad choice of decision from an extremely bright intelligent Muslim teen? Maybe that is the point.
This is what an author does to you. This is what a good book does to you. I don’t have many chapters left to read, but I cannot read it further. I am an ostrich now, refuse to believe that Reza is perhaps going to cross borders in the next chapter. My head in the sand, I just cannot see this through. As if Reza is real. Maybe, he is.
Kudos to Laleh Khadivi. She is scaring the hell out of me. She is making me feel sad. I am gonna read her narration. But right now, I need a break. Because the story narration, the writing style is so vivid, Rez has come alive.
When you feel, what you read….
Tonight is gonna be a long night….and why am I tip-toeing since morning..
My office moved to a new building a few months back. Bright and shiny, it’s awesome.
It has a library. How cool is that!
Being in India, the last time I walked into a library was ……Meh, I can’t even recall. We have very few libraries here, But then, this is India. It has a thousand others way to tell stories.
Back to today, to my new bright and shiny office.
I was curious, On the first day, when I had visited the space defined as the library, it was bare-shelf, cartons lying around oozing books! Today books were on the shelf.
And I peeked. I looked. I turned pages. I scrolled through. I smelled 😍
And there it was, a tad bit old with rough edges and a dark cover, petite, surrounded by thick IT books, a name, a familiar name.
What? Are you kidding me? My eyes were out of my socket.
You mean, all this time, Jhumpa Lahiri and I were on the same floor, separated by few steps. And, not just any book, her PULITZER PRIZE WINNER Interpreter of Maladies
I was floored, muttered- “Tonight baby after Adi goes to sleep, I will have the soft light and you!”. Jhumpa is waiting to speak her words. She wants to start a conversation with me. Tonight!
I had just finished reading Sapiens, by Yuval Noah Harari. Sapiens is about the evolution of human-kind, of how we evolved from being hunter-gatherer-forgerer who roamed-traveled- moved every season, lived off berry, fruit, honey, and occasionally small animals, worked 3 days a week, 5-6 hours a day, polytheist-polygamous to being God.
Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want?
I know a few things now.
- Yuval Noah Harari hates humans 😉
- I wanna be a hunter-gatherer. And they work fewer hours than me has got nothing to do with this decision.
- I wanna read more of Yuval Noah Harari.
Guess what else was on the shelf?
Home Deus; A History of Tomorrow. By Yuval Noah Harari!
By this time, my eyes were out and I was drooling. My head vibrating “Am booking tickets to Israel and then a hop to Italy”. I was tip-toeing , jumping in excitement. What is the chance that I will find two of my dream books, free of cost!
I love this library. Am so glad I joined here.
It has Books. Old, new, bounded, paperback, hardcover, faded , bright, red/black white and dark. The place is all white. The ink will probably fade but the conversations, the life in the book will remain even after centuries have passed. And that is what draws me to reading.
I was in a chocolate factory ❤
I could not get the book issued, but tomorrow is gonna be my day.
Tonight am gonna sleep with a smile and thoughts of Lahiri and Harari.
Whoa, that rhymes! How cool is that !
Music and dance. Did you know human learned music before language.
Well. Now you definately know.
I miss you Ma.
and I never told you this and I needn’t tell you this ever because you already know this.
She is a Super-Woman or an analogy closer home – The Durga Mata. I guess every mother is, mine isn’t any different.
And it hugely annoys me that she can’t leave that stupid home of hers and come live with me for an infinite time.
That she is not here with me when I come back home with a refreshing glass of Nimbo Pani/cold drink on hot days.
Or listen to how my day had been.
Or waiting to have a meal with all of us.
That she isn’t here to mend my dress or fix my cold.
Just like she was during my school days.
I left home when I was 17 or 18esh.. for further studies. Meh! And then I wasn’t back living with her ever…. I completed my studies, met my husband, got married, visited home once or twice a year. And that’s how it has been since.
So literally, I have been missing her since I was 17.
I tell my husband, I was just bored with living out of the hostel, being a paying-guest, being with room-mates, the nomadic life of living away from home, that I agreed to marry him. I needed a home of my own. If I were living with my Ma, my story would probably have been different. His reply “kidnap kar leta tujhko 😉”
That is utterly romantic ❤ . So I know I was destine to marry him, to have a life that I have now. I married the right guy.
But that doesn’t stop me from imagining.
I imagine a different course of my existence. A parallel universe. One where I never left home, where am married closer home, where am with Ma for every festival, every small occasion, every birthday and anniversary. Where I don’t have to plan my vacation months in advance, book flight tickets. I imagine just booking a cab/ or driving to her home. I imagine picking up my bag and heading home, I imagine exchanging Meklahe Sadar with her, gossiping, cooking meals together.
None of which I can ever do in this lifetime.
All of which my sister is lucky to get with her.
Damn! That makes me jealous some days….
But why don’t I ?
I remember a conversation with Papa when he said, why can’t I do all that and more? Why can’t I just pick up my bag, book a flight and come home? Isn’t that the reason why I left home in the first place? So I could be independent and follow what I really desire.
Am blabbing. No one will probably get this. I don’t get this. Why can’t I do that? Why am I pissed on the days that remind me of her? (Am pretty sure this is as my sis is visiting her for a month long vacation and am sweating out here).
Everyone leaves home for a better life. I have a better life. Am not the first person to do so. I have no reason for not just booking up the flight and reaching Ma. I don’t know why can’t I manage that now?
Today is Mother’s day and am surrounded by the content this day has generated on every feed, chat, every social media. Do we need a special day for Mother?
No, A Mother is special every-day.
Yes, because I never told her how awesome she has been, how much she had worked all her prime and how much she needs to think about herself now.
Even so, I don’t want her to think of herself. I want her to be my side. Living in the same city that I am. Not this far.
We They , my parents have a wonderful house at Assam. It is my parent’s blood and sweat. Their dream home and they moved into that place after my father’s retirement, which was much later after my wedding.
I live so far from her, that I no more dump my sob story on her, I feel a bit protective of her. Shielding her from my downs. I guess living on my own since 17 has made me as independent as my parents wanted.
Now that am a mother, I know I will always be there for my son. I don’t believe in long distance love 😉 he will have a hard time moving away from my nest.
But then he is a boy. A girl pines for her parent and a boy, well just don’t care. Sorry Boys 😉
I called Ma today and she was utterly busy with my sister and her twins. She was worried about my brother and she was going to cook dinner, fixing yard with Pa as a storm is approaching.
Day as usual for her.
Happy Mother’s Day Ma. I miss you.
Here is a Mother’s Day special from my 6-year-old boy. Aah.. he will never know the joy of leaving home. Literally 😉
Son: “Ma, What does comes first..the wedding or the kid?”
And my toughened Indian middle-class upbringing screams:
“Wedding son, definitely wedding! “
When you see a lady sitting on a table, with a book..
LEAVE HER ALONE.
Do not small talk. Do not “Hey, How are you?”.
And never-ever-ever join her on the table. Period.
She might be your best buddy, but you are definitely not hers, not at that moment.
And if that lady happens to be me, with my crush, I might bite, meow, roar or just chuff! It goes south from here, so if your headaches, you will know whom to blame.
You may be the King of the North out to save the world from white walkers, Night King and Zombies, but I am the Queen of Seven Kingdoms, I have two full-grown Dragons, an army of Un-sullied, an army of savages Dortharaki’s……….
And a BLOODY HELL GOOD BOOK to read!
Oh My! Why so much ranting? Whatever happened to the sweet girl?
I told you, I hate reading…
I reach my office early, not that I want to. But for brevity sake, let’s just know that I get there a good half-an-hour before I should. And I find solace in the cafeteria. I look forward to reading what is happening next in Saleem Sinai life. Add to that, the reading done while commuting to the office, has already transported me to the pre-independence India, somewhere in Delhi, where Saleem Sinai’s mother has just made a public announcement of his existence.
Get this picture straight – Am deep down in the world of words.
You can only find me physically walking to the cafeteria, picking up a cup of coffee and settling down on a table with a book in hand, but in my mind, am not present in cafeteria. Am in Delhi.
Here is a visual, just so you get it straight.
But the universe is full of people who have a head that talks. (rolling eyes) does not read. The cafeteria is mostly empty at this time but has few from this breed. They have their head full of thoughts that ought to be spoken out loud in the presence of another head.
And they join me on my table, the table where I already have a company. Of my book. I could almost bark- Can’t you see, I have a company?
This one here and it’s a bloody good company.
But I didn’t bark. Or even Meow!
And so, I was interrupted by their life’s rumble about travel, office, kids, life ..blablabla. I was lending my ear but inside, I was cursing. You.
Sorry. Apology. Forgive me, please.
It was supposed to be me-reading time. You are at the wrong table! Clearly.
When it happened the second time. I even gave a cue. Out-loud Or maybe I just murmured.
Me picked up my tea, headed to a table. *Spot* a “Hey! Person”, Ignore, ignore and grand Ignore ..
“Hey! Person”: Hey, Are you alone? .. I will bring my cup.
Me: Am not alone… (watching him go to coffee machine) (murmuring) I really don’t need a company.
I hated him. With all my Heart, Kidney, Lung. Cumulative.
And then it all poured out of his mouth….
Forcing me to ask about his life. His commute. His work. But my mind was on the bookmark peeping out of my book placed neatly on the table. It will be only until the end of the day, a good ten hours before I could pick up my story 😦
See, How can I not hate that “Hey! Person?”
Moral of the story.
I have a book. I don’t need your company.
I have a book. I shouldn’t sit in the cafeteria, find a better place ( Heading to my desk, I realised we have a small pantry, crammed behind reception, on my floor, one down the cafeteria)
I have a book, sit in the pantry, hidden from all Hey! people.
Get the cue 😉 I don’t care!
Am having a goosebump moment..
The feeling, that very soon I am gonna finally fulfill my long awaited desire. That next time, when I come across this title, I will be able to raise my hand and dig into my memory of today.
I finally have a copy of Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie!
Am gonna read it. It’s stupid. I have a crush on a few titles. This is one of them.
In fact, I had to bribe my dear friend/hoarder-of-books/voracious-reader/sorry-cant-part-with-my-book with another of my favorite-yet-unfinished crush of mine. I will give you my “An Era in Darkness..” in exchange for Midnight Children? She paused just for a sec before saying yes. She has her crushes too 😉 I was feeling devilish exploiting her, but heart pounding for Midnight Children!
Some titles are the legend. The authors are the greatest artist in the world. They have created a masterpiece that will live in the memory of millions of peoples, that will outlive them and their readers. That will inspire millions of minds. Will make a person completely stranger to the author smile, or cry or just connect in the deepest level of the heart without even knowing of the existence. That is the power the authors have. The magician of words, the creators of history.
So then, How can I not have a crush?
I have to admit. I just don’t go out and buy all my favorites. They come to me. Each one is an episode. Like it is a conspiracy to slowly unravel to me instead of just heading to my bookshelf.
Here is the conspiracy.
Gone with the Wind – From a college friend, who just wanted to offload book. Was at awe at the courage of Scarlet-O-Hara then and even today.
The Kite Runner – I don’t possess a copy. I got it from my colleague. I loved Afganistan and I could see a boy running under a blue sky covered with colorful paper wings even thinking about it.
The God of Small Thing– Has its own post 🙂
The Tattooist of Auschwitz – Story of Love in the most difficult of time.
On a side note- Why couldn’t I finish “An Era in Darkness…”? because two chapters into the book, I couldn’t look at anything British..ily without resenting them. I just hated them. Plain Hate. And I wasn’t feeling good about the hate. And I know, I love Hugh Grant and Harry Potter! So, it was a tussle and the best thing to do at the time was to abandon the book and pick it up after I could stabilize the raging hormones within me.
So, what am I doing here instead of delving into the story of children born on the stroke of midnight of 15th Aug, 1947?
Am just sitting and admiring the book. Literally. Am just happy that I can start reading it. I have it. The words, the story will come alive soon and I will die knowing I have read a masterpiece, that one day my son, his child and generation of Sayed clan to come have a chance to read this masterpiece and at that moment will be connected to my soul.
Too much? I should just stop now..Am having goosebumps!
Now, tell me about your crush ❤
A cheesy post for a non-cheesy man..
This post is gonna be really really cheesy. The sort that I don’t do often. In fact, I may never hit Publish.
But Since you are reading this and you are not me, so I must have hit “Publish”.
Lame, I know 😉
So, what makes this cheesy? Am gonna talk about Love, the goody-cuddly love and it is gonna sound like the love declarations from FB feed that I find so cheesy! I mean, You love your husband, tell him, don’t declare to whole wide FB world.
So this is how it goes.
Today ( This post is way too late, but let’s assume today is the day when) marks the 11th year of us being married. And we decided to lunch together since I couldn’t take time off office. We aren’t a couple to go out often. So going out is special. Luckily, I have switched job to a place very near to his office. So meeting for lunchtime was easy.
Now, this is important- I switched job recently, as recent as a month. and am adjusting to the new place. It is not a struggle, but living in past is my struggle.
It doesn’t help, that sometimes I miss my old colleagues. Life was much simpler and somehow happy. Life here is fantastic, but let’s say isn’t simple. You know the feeling when you are among loads of people, yet feel lonely sometimes even though you are so chatty in the head?
Like everything is just noise and you can hear the voice inside and outside your head. Or actually no voice, coz you are just bored and don’t want to think or listen.
I have this feeling during lunch time.
Of course, today wasn’t gonna be any different.
But hey it is different! I was going out with hubby.
We decided on a fancy restaurant just two blocks from my office. As I left office and walked toward the venue, I noticed everything is so much better here than the previous job-… the work, the garden, the office. Everything here is perfect.. but not familiar, not mine. It isn’t known. And with that feeling, I was spiraling down into the same silence 😦
And then I saw him, not where I expected. He had walked a couple of blocks more to reach me. To walk a distance little with me. In the mid of all unknown, I saw him with a cheesy smile.
And I was in love again. In a heartbeat. ♥ With him of course 😀
The feeling of familiarity was back. Am home and I can drop my shield and feel what I wanna feel. I could tell him what I miss. It felt good to be me, no pretentious.
We walked hand-in-hand like lovers, like first-timers who cant get hands off each other Awwww. lovely- cuddly told you 😉
And I enjoyed it, I enjoyed the comfort. He doesn’t even have to listen to me. It is just his presence that is a comfort. And tells me that I will go past this feeling, this chatty head.
I guess I really needed to see him.
And now to the blogosphere, perhaps to FB world too, Am gonna profess my love for my really really lazy-weekend-only-on-sofa husband of 11 years! Am glad you are here with me.
So this is really cheesy? Isn’t it?
I mean, what the hell – You love your husband, go tell him not write a post on blog 😉 next you will be sharing it on FB !
PS: The image is from our wedding, 11 years ago. Since then together we must have gained 200 Kgs. Isn’t that a #relationshipgoal!
Me: Adi, Don’t talk on the table. Nadi ho jao (Quite like a river)
He is my insane little chatterer and sometimes I wanna cap it! Just shut up boy!
Adi : Okay.
Quack, Quack, Quack, Quack!
Me: What now?
Adi : Mummy river has ducks!
And I give up!
So it’s been really this long..
since I posted anything to this blog. Not even a pic? I took loads with the comment “Aah need it for my blog”.
Apologies for my long absence to my non-existence fans 😉
Who am I kidding? Probably no one is looking to see a notification from Hira. Meh!
PS: Am fishing for some Missed you sort of comments, welcome back is also fine. Or just Hi!
PS: WordPress updated editor during my absence. Where is my strike-through gone? Why do I have a feeling am not gonna like what wordpress has done?
So the reason for me being missing in action is LIFE.
I was away for a while, gone home aka Assam, remember the most amazing place on earth , doing NOTHING. Two blissful weeks on vacation.Among near and dear ones. And then I was back to the city which is my nest now. And then I quit my job aka my job of 10 years to join another job that is almost a lifestyle change for me. I was out of my comfort zone.
There were too many changes in my life, all taken at the same time. Actually just three. Or two, if you don’t count the change in weather. (PS: Winter is here and I love it)
Am still adjusting to the new job, so far it is good. I have so much to learn aka read, am short of hours in a day to read. Am adjusting to the change in schedule. Am reading all the time. Technical, not legendary stories and that explains my absence from this space.
But today, I wanna take you back to the morning of October, when I woke up to the sounds of birds, clear blue sky outside my window and the sight of green! Assam in October is amazing. The paddy is everywhere, getting ready for harvesting, presenting a landscape of green and plenty of shades of it. The sunshine is just of the right dosage. Not too strong to burn neither too soft to give a chill. It is magical. Yup…Aaah I wish I was there at this hour. Or every hour for the rest of my life.
So, I woke up and decided for a morning walk. The paddy was inviting. The village had a new road, thanks to the govt. The road was from the corner of my house. It bends into the village, even further into the green.
And then that is what am talking about
And then I met Turbo. If you have a child, who is into animation movies, you will know what am talking about. I touched the thing, it was slimy.
And the road is lined with these.
And that is why it is called Amazing Awesome Assam 🙂
And it’s too late here. Past midnight and tomorrow begin a new week. Monday Puff!
Good night, Sleep tight and Have a fun Sunday .
I had a narrow escape today.
…from getting into a really (emphasis this) really weird situation. A situation where I didn’t know how I got into. No clue. Never happened before. Not in my living adult memory.
So, here is what happened.
Just like any other usual morning, I took my gamsa/towel and headed for the bath. I sat down for free-the-morning-poo activity and (very slowly I) looked at my hands.
And then I realised.
I realised that I have nothing in my hand, My hands are EMPTY. Not carrying a thing. As in no book, no newspaper or no mobile. So, What am I gonna read? All I could do now is just poo.
Pooing, an activity in which the food that I consumed yesterday, after passing through a myriad of churning, grinding, soaking, broken down, beaten will come out of me telling me (1) Human being is an open system- Bad Design. (2) I eat a lot. (3) I poo a lot.
I have never been in such a situation. I always have something to read. A book, or mobile to browse or the newspaper to look. I have to read before bath, before poo. It is important because free-the-poo activity is free because of reading. No reading could translate to no-pooing and that, I was about to find out.
Slowly, My head was registering the pain of empty hands, I could feel a growing lump in my throat, my heart beating like that of an infant. And angry voices inside my head yelling I was heading to a brainless activity of pooing.
I looked around my bathroom, It looked neat with the wall half-covered by the mirror. I have two baskets full of toiletries. And I could spot two toy-cars and one superman in one of these. Okay, For a home of a 6-year-old boy, that finding isn’t a surprise.
Before my lub-dub heart could burst out of the cage, I had to take control. Improvise. Think. What do I need….?. I need words. I grabbed the first thing that had it…. and here is what I discovered in the next few minutes reading bottles- My Shampoo has tree-tea-oil, the scrub has walnut and almond(why are we not eating this stuff ?), the face-wash has neem and the Colgate is recommended by most of the dentist in the world!
My head was trying to locate my mobile, or thinking hard where I left the book that I was reading (Devlok with Devdutt Patnaik- Avoid it, probably that is why head cannot locate it ) or where did I leave newspaper after picking up from the door.
All in the living room.
I could hear chit-chatting of humans breakfasting. Shit, now I can’t even call hubby to rescue. He is at the table with the guests.
This was turning into a full-blown crisis situation.
Well, for the readers, it may sound like a crazy woman speaking. What big deal, just do the thing, shower and move on. It is usual.
But I have never done it before. Not in my grown-up memory. I refuse to follow the social decorum which is.. just poo and move on. Do the thing. Do your thing.
I need to poo like how my son needs to eat. The skill is not to let the boy know that he is eating, and he will do exactly that without a fuss. But the moment his brain realises that his next half an hour of life is gonna be invested in eating, an activity he sees no point in doing, it turns into a rock. Solid and stubborn. No eating. I have better things to do , Like playing with the superhero. But do the same WITHOUT letting him know(distract him with superhero tales) and he will just finish the plate fine. Only, I need to hand-feed him. (OMG! I am a bad mother)
My pooing is like that. It is not an activity for my head. So I distract the head with reading. The grey cells just sends a signal for exit and then let the gravity do its work.
I need words, My brain needs words.
I had finished all the words available in that small room. Think.
The profound moment!
I have my kindle, in my office bag (I always carry it in my bag) the bag is on the bean bag, the bean is just one foot away from the bath-door.
I grabbed the doorknob and tried to listen to sounds outside. The humans are busy eating (Thank God, I made a very good breakfast today- Rawa Idli, Sambhar and ground-nut chutni)
I tip-toed to the bean, unzipped the first slot of the bag, where I usually keep my Kindle. Dunked my hand in for – Nothing.
Checked the next slot, Nothing! Lump in the throat full to the brim ready to strangle me. Shit said the voice inside my head.
Next slot and … finally! I found it, I found my Kindle in the slot, resting next to the laptop.
Bless the soul who said Kindle’s battery should never die when a reader seeks it.
The rest, I really don’t care. I did the thing, my way 🙂
Happy Reading folks. Keep your books close to your heart.
PS: Why is this post sprinkled with the word poo so much! I got to stop using it any further in this post.
PPS: Duh! This is the end of the post. Seems like the morning panic has damaged my brain and engraved the word poo in it. “How are you
pooing doing today?” What time are you coming back from poffice office? “ Poome Come early”…
PPPS. I chuckled loud writing PPPS Because I almost wrote the PPS as “..my brain and engraved poo in it”. That is pure eww, Don’t imagine it. Puff. Another narrow escape.
PPPPS: Count my blessings for today- 2(Kindle and PPPS) so far. Actually 3, I managed to poo in the end.
Moral of the story.
Always, Always, Always keep your stuff in the room attached to the bath. Not in the living room.
Order a wall-hanging bookshelf for the bath.
Let go of some towels, make space for a book in the towel stand.
Always leave the Kindle in the first zip.
The photo is of my son. I just picked it out. No reason.