September 30, 2011

Off the top of my head-1

In a life that is increasingly becoming dependent on people, instead of the contrary; where time, money, efforts all ebb away in directions I don't seem to decide, and where I seem to have less control over anything that happens around me, little things that actually occur right, begin to add value.

It is not like I am having a meaningless life. I guess there is a lot of meaning in what I have and what I do. But there just seems to be a lot of effort and patience that is being demanded of me on an everyday basis. And more and more things fail me, repeatedly, everyday!

In times such as these, a walk in the terrace under the scorching sun with an ipodfull of favourite songs, waking up to watch Castle and messaging your best friend throughout the day, do count as things to cherish. I have never been caught in this "undefinable" state ever in life. A chronic categorizer, this phase in my life would remain to be called 'uncategorized', like the tag of this blog post. 

Interesting, yet difficult times are ahead. But as long as my wee sma' happiness are mine, I shall manage to smile.

September 28, 2011

To Anoodha Kunnath

Squirrels that produced sudden chills. You christened them. Then there were alien babies who resembled lighthouses. And other flusterations who aspired for them. We spun threads of connects with chai, cold caramel drinks, foamies with a bit of coffee, a rich cake-that-must-not-be-named so that they always remain just ours, and loads of Kellogs Smacks and Parle-G biscuits.

In camphor and incense we spoke at length of yesterdays and today(sometimes 'todays'; for it really couldn't have all happened in one day!) and of the maybe-tomorrows. Mostly the maybe-tomorrows haunted us. And like sister souls ought to, we clung to one another's spirits and whispered that everything will pass and we will get stronger. Sometimes we paused mid-sentence and questioned why we needed to get stronger?! Sometimes, we cried. Mostly, we laughed.

In my background was an audible, yet faint, music that put me in a trance, sometimes. I clung to it. You helped me stick my hands on to its slippery surface.

In your background, was thunder and fierce storms. I shut your eyes and ears from them. Atleast, tried to.

When we had spoken it all, we sipped chai and watched the world slip by in a pace we couldn't comprehend. And as we bit into our chai-dipped soggy biscuits, like two old-fashioned English ladies, we accepted that this is what we always will be, and smiled.

September 11, 2011

Right off my head...

Like a familiar friend, worthlessness embraces me.

There was music. High notes. Low notes. Jazz and heavy metal. Silences and sounds.

And suddenly I stopped liking the music. So, I broke all the instruments.


What if the clouds don't reach? What if they are having a lazy day and don't deliver my messages? What if...?


Hopes are fickle friends.


What if questions keep piling up? On and on? Will it someday reach the sky? Can I climb on it like it is a beanstalk? Go up and whisper into God's ears? Demand answers? Someday?


I try to gather myself. There are a million pieces of me. Because no one really wanted the whole. They wanted only bits. They said the whole was way too overwhelming and an assault to the senses. They may have whispered snide abuses. But I chose not to hear.

Now I am going about, collecting and reclaiming the million bits to stick into one whole. But, there does not seem to be enough glue!


Why can't we choose to be where we want to be without waiting for money, people, situation and time? Why can't places be a thought away? I would be in Greece. Drowning in the blue. Soaking in the sun. Forgetting everyone. Forgetting everything. Most of all, forgetting myself and all that I want!


There are days when nothing makes sense. Ambition seems too hard. The friend you want to talk to about nothing in particular, over chai, too far. Even chocolate, incompetent. Only words hold you together. Your words. Words that rush out of your fingertips and want to be written. So a little bit of your discomfort with yourself is siphoned off. Stored away in some megabyte of memory to rot. So it doesn't poison you and make you feel disillusioned and lonely.


What I mostly need is to tie up loose ends. Pick the threads of my life I've left  mid-way, string them together in a vaguely sensible manner, leave them dangling and find new threads to cling to.

God/whoever that be- will you help?


Speed up things! I am sick of this long arduous wait to finish, to find, to seek, to explore, to forget!

September 07, 2011


(Dedicated to Aparna Rajagopalan)
Of all of Illundavoor’s tales, the tale of Srirama Iyer was the most famous. Mothers fed little ones with the story. It was what families recounted with a laugh, sitting-as if in a round table conference-just after the satisfaction of a Kalyana saapadu*, in that little time just before the nalungu** began. It was what one can sum up, as an Illundavoor legend.

Srirama Iyer, was a Palakkad Iyer whose great-grandfather had resettled in the town of Illundavoor. In his heydays, Srirama Iyer, was the postmaster of Illundavoor. He lived in his spacious Injiperumaal Street bungalow with his ageing mother, plump wife Jaya, and his hyperactive son. His lawyer father had left him the house, and his father-in-law made sure that he got a motor cycle as a dowry*** back then. So Srirama Iyer had, what one might call, a very comfortable existence.

He was a man with a B.A. degree in English, which came in handy as the town’s postmaster. He would read for the unlettered and correspond on their behalf as well, for a nominal sum.

Srirama Iyer was a man respected by all and feared by many, as it was well-aware that he was a man with an easily ignited temper. His six-foot appearance only added to it. People generally held him in reverence and distance, unless absolutely needed.

Time went by. And with old age came senility. The once terrorizing Srirama Iyer became delusional. The son, Devan, married and a lawyer of repute like his grandfather, ruled over the household.

There were days when Srirama Iyer would start remembering things that had happened thirty years ago. At that time, they had just begun constructing a house in Tellinoor, the neighbouring town. Srirama Iyer would suddenly come and tell people in the house that the carpenter has come to repair the cupboards or that the contractor has come and needs cement.

He was so physically strong, despite his delusions that he used to haul around furniture at will. It was almost impossible to restrain the six footer!

There were other delusions as well. Of nightingale insects and daffodil insects feeding on crumbs of food that he would spill while eating. He would trace their trail with his blinking 5-year old chamaththu**** grandson Natarajan, whom they fondly called Nattu at home.

“Inga paaru da Nattu… theriyaratha… andha daffodil poochchi apdiye ennodu kaalu-la oora-pakkarathu!*****” he would startle the poor boy! Sometimes, he would recite whole chunks of letters he read or wrote in the bygone days, as a postmaster.

And then he had a quirky habit. At the ripe old age of 72, with his mind playing games, Srirama Iyer would suddenly wake up in the middle of the night and watch television. Old black and white films on Tamil channels, TNT movies and the occasional lingerie model on FTV (Much to Jaya Mami’s embarrassment).

Our legendary story begins one night in the month of Aippaci******, when rains persisted to drum on the roofs all night, and frogs croaked in the backyard. The entire household was asleep, when a thief snuck into the house of Srirama Iyer.

He entered through a window that had snapped ajar in the kitchen. Slowly, he made his way inside the house. Now, the house was very old-fashioned, unlike the one that Srirama Iyer had built in Tellinoor. Meandering passageways lead to innumerable store rooms. The inhabited part of the house was somewhere near the front.

After opening many a store room door and only discovering moth eaten sofa cushions and immobile cupboards, the thief realized that he had to slowly make his way to the front sections of the house.

Now, just as he crossed the long passageway, into the mittam******* and across to the living room, who did he see but our very own Srirama Iyer, sitting and watching “Guns of Navaronne” on an English Movie Channel!

The thief was taken aback to see that there was someone awake, right in the middle of the night, and most surprisingly, watching TV!

Srirama Iyer, noticing him, miraculously gathered his senses, jumped on to his feet and imposingly screamed, “KALLAN”******** and woke the entire house. The scared thief, grabbed the box from the table near him- the only object he could make out in the darkness as he whizzed past. He traced back his path and jumped out of the window before anyone could reach him.

When Devan asked his dad rhetorically, as to how he managed to raise an alarm sensibly, the old man seriously answered that “the nightingale police” had warned him.

After much search it was found that only Jaya Mami’s denture dabba********* had been stolen. “Toothless thief,” Srirama Iyer was often heard screaming in the afternoons at passers-by.



Kalyana saapadu*- Wedding feast

Nalungu**- A light-hearted post-wedding ritual involving the bride and groom and their families where games like ‘rolling the coconut’, ‘breaking the crispies’, ‘finding the ring’ etc are played amidst singing and other fanfare.

Dowry***- the payment in cash or/and kind by the bride's family to the bridegroom' s family along with the giving away of the bride

Chamaththu****- obedient

“Inga paaru da Nattu… theriyaratha… andha daffodil poochchi apdiye ennodu kaalu-la oora-pakkarathu!*****” -“Look here, Nattu…can you see? Those daffodil insects are trying to climb over my leg!”

Aippaci******- The Tamil month that falls between mid-October to mid-November, known to rain in Tamil Nadu.

Mittam*******- Courtyard

“KALLAN” ********-  rogue

dabba*********- box

September 04, 2011


Loneliness, sometimes, is your only friend.

Always around. Always understanding. Never deserting.

September 02, 2011

click, close, click...

For a while, I'll repeat these mechanical movements., close, click. 
click, close, click.
click, close, click...

They give me peace. Nothing to think about. Nothing to fight for. No questions. No answers. Just existing. Flowing. Breathing. Realizing.

To just be.

Without any doubt and with the sureity of its occurrence.
© Dryad's Peak
Maira Gall