The Fear of Loss

Jan 13th 2015

Returning back to the fold is exhilarating. Writing has taken a backseat but only in terms of typing down what one wants to- simply because a small rearrangement has rearranged a whole lot of priorities and increased the warmth quotient considerably in this chilly weather. All of a sudden, the pace of living has braked and is crawling on at a mellow rate, everyone looks before they leap or rush just in case a flailing limb knocks over the frail, tiny presence wrapped in my big sweater who moves around watching over all of us, a toothless angel ever ready to lend a hand, to hug, to smile reassuringly and a almost invincible trouble shooter in case of kitchen mishaps and cupboard malfunctions.
Every word uttered now matters, manners have resurfaced, oil lamps and wicks have emerged, lighting up dark corners. The sun now rarely peeps in, the early morning’s grey fog is dispersed by a precious, wrinkled smile that rises from the mass of comforters and holds out a bony hand for a cup of steaming tea. Somehow the house has changed- it now calls itself a home.
Sooner or later, time will find a way and curl around every chore like thoughts do when they find the right words- to wipe off the dew drops from cold surfaces and reveal the etchings that life makes on their tender surfaces. Till I get a grip on fleeing time and make it pause awhile for me, I cannot spend as much as I would like to here reading all the precious posts and poems.
This is for you Santosh Bakaya, and for your irreplaceable loss- I live with the fear that it could happen to me someday, any day, any moment and hence when my mother is with me and in my care, I cannot but be greedy and be a daughter first, for as long as I can. Time doesn’t wait for words to be written or love to be postponed. With you in your hour of grief.

Turning Forty

Turning forty amidst the concussion healer, skunks and a rain maker
August 14, 2014 at 5:00pm
It is a happy time. Catwoman turned forty today.

Her mother, the concussion healer and her father, the date lover a.k.a the rain maker have left the arid sands and are re-living it all again through whatsapp albums while sipping hot tea and tucking into spicy ‘mixture’ while rain pours noisily over corrugated aluminium and slants its way through the windows whenever the wind blows a tad stronger. This must be the scene as I imagine it, looking out into the golden glint of glass covered buildings and the rainless masses of white clouds pausing above them from my tiny balcony that has shrunk even further this summer though the sight of it causes a tropical rainforest to bloom in my heart filled with the sounds and smells of the wild.

A few croutons, a golden pothos and a lanky, scraggly pepper plant- that was all it held before the green-thumbed duo arrived bringing the smells and feel of a rainy land with them. Now there is barely space on the balcony to plant a foot there without being seized by curling tendrils of a host of vegetable seedlings. A milkweed plant, a date palm!! growing in a yoghurt tub, hogweed, portulaca, pumpkins etc all are milling around like it is a fairground-there are creepers going up, climbers jaunting down and innumerable other unidentified plants happily waving their leaves and tiny branches about, quite oblivious to the fact that they have limited life spans being reared in the tiniest imaginable balcony in one of the hottest summers ever on the seventeenth floor of a highrise. Nothing often comes as a surprise when you are the offspring of wonderful people who live life to the fullest, stretch each day to its last-est second and dream of only better ones ahead. The day they landed here is the day we went for a drive into the desert and the rain man true to his reputation brought on a bout of monsoon-like showers in the desert complete with thunder and lightning on one of the hottest days of the year. Coming back after a most enjoyable and cool(pun intended) desert safari, we realised the burning city hadn’t received even a drop of it. One doesn’t need a virtual world when the real one is unpredictable and a whole lot of fun. Turning forty a few days earlier than the English date (since the malayalam one came earlier)turned out to be a restful, happy, contented time with Mom handling the cooking decisions and me meekly following orders in preparing the inevitable feast that no mallu (even a cat woman) can escape without feeling guilty of depriving their parents of a sumptuous Ada Prathaman(Jaggery-coconut milk dessert). Summer just flew and with it the long early morning walks where one of the two frequently got lost being distracted by the huge, low-hanging bunches of golden-yellow ripe dates hanging all along the Corniche. Mom and me walked away talking of comparisions and contrasts between the lands and at the end of the hour realised that Dad was nowhere to be found. Two more rounds of the Corniche and we found him furiously marching towards us, mad that we hadn’t stopped for him when he stopped to pluck some dates. This happened quite frequently in different parts of the city and at different times for these heady date palms were everywhere and Dad can’t believe that no one is picking up the fallen ones- he collects them reverently and eats them like they are ambrosia morsels.Now they have gone back to the land where they belong leaving summery memories, some young plants, a rotund catwoman, her two kittens and a well fed Tom behind in this land which we probably deserve. Thank you. Each one of you for being a part of the 40th celebrations, filling the vacuum they left behind with your love, kind words, wishes and blessings. Every message helped heal the desolation atleast a bit.

The concussion healer and the skunks? That is a story for another day. 🙂
©Reena Prasad

New Year Update 2012

3 weeks into 2012…some worlds have ended, newer ones have begun. Loving friends have graduated to become ‘unfriends’ jumping over the barriers of ‘like’ and ‘unlike’ smoothly. Poems are still being written, stories are still being told, people who went away are returning back with plastic flowers and some rocks which refused to budge are melting into mushy rivulets. The sky is overcast but there is also hope, for the sun is winning against all odds. FB world is abuzz with rants and tantrums galore, dirty linen hanging on walls, soul stirring discussions on love and cars, word souffles rising smoothly undetterred by rampant slurs…and as Wodehouse might have said.”Gods are in their big heavens” and we are all safe in our little ones. and my son wonders if his legs are aching because he plays football in his dreams!

Heat Loss

A poem for today’s cold, dark and brooding morning.The sun is on vacation and the black thunderclouds are having a ball in his absence. The kids are in bed with snuffles and sneezes, having a self-declared holiday from school. Winnie the Pooh and Ben10 are busy keeping them company. The afternoon too promises to be a shadow of the passing morn and my son wonders if the sun has slipped and fallen into the rough sea!

Heat loss

Cold shivers and foggy mornings,
creep into my warm home.
Tiny crevices between shuttered windows
turn traitor, letting winter roam.
Arresting my buoyant thoughts
like snow flakes on a rising dough.

All the warmth of night’s embrace,
now stolen by the icy draught.
Like a warm cover pulled away
turning my toes into wintery slots.
A cool current in a summery sea,
A vacant imprint lies next to me.

Hugging the still warm pillow,
snuggling into a familiar scent
I try to hold on to his heat,
to prolong awhile the cosy spell
The shirt at the foot of the bed,
now covers me as well.

©Reena Prasad