Sunday, May 28, 2017

Drops of Youth













In tiny glass bottles, they sell drops of youth,
At exorbitant prices and dreams of perfection.
The words persuade, I decide to buy some
Just to check out for an overnight miracle.

Drops of youth, she claims can cure your scars.
Can melt away your acne-scars and pimples;
The girl mutters guessing my Achilles' heel
The need to have perfect pimple-free skin.

While I read her compact and eyeliner,
The perfect matte and the Absolute range
And think of the many things I have tried-
Diet, facewashes, scrubs, oils and whatnot.

Yet I'd love to keep an old belief of this land,
That they're brought on by an admirer's eyes.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Euphemistic desire: Dear Diary



Today, I heard a transgender writer speak of her genitals as if it were the most natural thing in the world, her lips curling to the words my vagina, my breasts, my body and the crowd listening as if it were the most natural thing in the world. I don't know how many among the men would say my penis or how many among the women would dare to say my vagina or my breasts except in a very clinical sense.

Our world has ways of putting words to complex things but not something as simple as your sex or mine or theirs, your desires or mine or theirs. Stronger than the feeling of finding nicer labels for all private parts was the feeling of curiosity about how she has lived with courage when many a man or a woman with ordinary lives might have crumbled before life's ordinary struggles.

Thoughts listening to Kalki Subramaniam

The Notebook


There are books that you might want to read time and again. Nicholas Spark’s The Notebook  (1996) is one of them. An old man reads out a story to an old woman in a nursing home. Though she is the Allie of the story that is being read, she does not recall it as she suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

The story that he narrates is about a summer romance between Allie and Noah set against the backdrop of a small town in California. They have an intense passionate affair and he shows her his old family mansion that he wants to renovate. Her parents take away when they come to know about it and Allie leaves a message with his friend Fin that she loves him.  They get separated because of a difference in class as Allie comes from a rich aristocratic background.

Years later Allie gets engaged to Lon, a young and rich lawyer and is happy. Then, she sees an article about Noah and how he has restored his family mansion. She goes to see him without informing her mother or Lon.

The next morning, she finds her mother at the doorstep and she confronts Allie by reminding her of her engagement with Lon. They argue but she gives Allie a bundle of letters that Noah had written her over the years.


This surprises Allie as there are so many letters which he had written for almost a year and Ann says that she hadn’t given them to her because she found her to be too immature. 


Ann asks Allie to make a choice between Noah and Lon, what is she wants and what is good for her. She finds that though the years have changed them in so many ways, this time she is not ready to let go of what she wants.

Sparks, in his interviews about the book has said that he had modelled the story on his wife’s grandparents who had been married for around 60 years.

The film version of the book directed by Nick Cassavetes is equally memorable though it  focuses on Noah and Allie's love as a summer romance that gets a second chance and is as much about parenting guidelines for parents who discover their kids to be in love with unsuitable suitors from inappropriate social classes. The film is quite sensuous portrayed against luscious greenery and the countryside. The songs based on the film are lovely especially I wanna grow old with you and I will be right there waiting for you.

The here and the now

You and I were always like this, spending time together without demanding much from each other, what others think as necessary. I think our priority was togetherness first though we belonged to two different spaces altogether. But when I look back, I am amazed by the thoughts that we shared though we were so distant and by the kind of support that we were to each other.

Nowhere but here that's what I wrote when I thought whether you might be wondering where I was, being away from you. Now, in the present space, when such togetherness is no longer existent or real, I look back with wonder at the beautiful days that we had spent together, weaving dreams out of words.

Monday, May 08, 2017

A cup of comfort




Related image

Your words taste like a sip of hot coffee that I drink for comfort during my day, to soothe my throat and to clear away all the weariness of spirit. These words pull me out of very tent of isolation that I weave, out  of every crisis that I have been through. These well-read words bring a catharsis always, laughter or tears.

Some days, these words were a way of talking about things that hurt you the most, that you overcame by finding relief in self-expression and got comforted by strong shoulders, kind arms and a loving heart that you called home. This cup of comfort might be from far away or close at hand, but just like the whiff of your perfume it stays with me all the time.



Friday, May 05, 2017

Eat Pray Love



In a very interesting study of the blunders written by students, there is a story about how Milton came to write his epics. According to a very imaginative student, Milton got married and he wrote Paradise Lost. Later his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained. Though how many times he repeated this practice only history can answer as can be seen from the number of his wives.


Now in popular culture, marriage and love are usually celebrated while divorce is usually represented as the end of your life.  From Jane Austen novels to present day romance novels, there is a long tradition of writing that ties up your life neatly in terms of love and marriage. Then there are as many number of chick-flicks that show how the course of true love never did run smooth.


Eat Pray Love is a 2006 novel by Elizabeth Gilbert that is quite unconventional because of its veracity and audacity. Told in the first person autobiographical mode of narration, the novel depicts a woman’s search for identity after a rather painful and time-consuming divorce. A woman in her thirties, instead of settling down and having a family of her own, is haunted by anxiety attacks. She wants to be free and decides to go on an adventurous trip all by herself.


She feels that she has been floating through life without an identity of her own.  Once her marriage breaks down, she lands straight into the hands of a lover named David. One of her friends makes a remark that if she had resembled her husband earlier, now she resembled David. This turns her inward and she wants to find out what she is really like and what she really wants out of life.


After her brief rebound affair with David, she recognises that another relationship is not quite the answer that she is looking for. She travels to three places that have only one thing in common- the first letter I- Italy, India and Indonesia. In Italy, she learns the native language and finds a new interest in friendship and in the Italian cuisine. A word catches her attention- attraversiamo- which means “let’s cross over” commonly used by her friends when crossing streets.


She goes to India and scrubs floors in an ashram while learning how to recite the prayers correctly. She meets Richard from Texas who calls becomes friends with her and calls her groceries. Her next place of visit is Indonesia, where she meets an ancient medicine man Kekut Liyer who asks her to enjoy life to the fullest and to laugh right from the liver.


She meets a Brazilian divorcee named Felippe in Bali and agrees to spend time with him. She also helps a traditional healer named Wayan to build a house with the help of financial aid from the US. Her experiences make her believe in the goodness of life once more and she feels that she has finally confronted her inner demons. Her scars hurt her less and finally she recognises that she has become much lighter as she has performed this wonderful act of crossing over. A feel good book about divorce, the film adaptation released in 2010 has Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert.