As I See It

Month: January, 2014

Sana sat on the cold mosaic floor resting her back on the edge of her bed. You could have mistaken her for another of the bundles of clothes strewn on the bedroom floor. Her head was held tight in between her knees which were held close together and to her torso by arms tightly wrapped around. In front of her amidst the mess, lay a single ear ring that shimmered conspicuously despite the dim of the room. It had minute diamond stones placed between intricate designs cut out of platinum, surrounding a giant emerald stone of peerless depth. Its twin wasn’t there in vicinity, or anywhere. Sana unbundled herself and again, checked the red silk jewel box that had stored the pair safe since she moved into the house eight months ago, knowing well though that it was futile. It had become customary in the mornings; she would open the red silk box, look at the emeralds and smile, for the emeralds spoke to her what no one could. This morning, when she opened the box, there was one emerald gawping at her, in a silence so obvious, exposing the gaping absence of the other. She knew deep inside where it had gone: across the Atlantic with Lucius, her sly half-brother who had visited the previous day and taken off wordlessly late in the night. Yet she desperately hunted for the lost emerald,emerald which perhaps was the only way to escape the guilt. Was it the guilt of letting in or letting go? Letting in a half-brother despite her premonitory intuitions or letting go of an emerald that spoke to her of what she long ago had let go of? She didn’t know.  Why would Lucius take it despite knowing its significance? Did he just want to cover his debts? Or did he perhaps want to take away from her, the amulet that spoke to her of the heavens and laughed for her, knowing well that it amounts to taking away a bit of her life? She would never know, for Lucius would deny it all if his life depended on it. Sana, lost among contradictory contemplations, guilt, superstitions and bundles of clothes, searched for the lost earring. Meanwhile, the earring that remained, lay in front of the bed. The bereaved earring lying unceremoniously on a floor that would never deserve this regal privilege, shone bright.

———- ******* ———– ******* ———– ******* ———— *******———–*******———–

For ninety three years and four months, old Waheeba, had inhaled and exhaled healthily. On the last day of the fourth month of the ninety fourth year, when Waheeba mopped the three steps leading to the door of the house, breathlessness which had never dared to make even a momentary appearance in her ninety three years, chose the 3rd of May to make a debut, storm into her erstwhile unassailable lungs and cause her to collapse (without even a hint or foreboding nightmare) While her grand-daughter Sana beti was at a college, on the other end of the state, presenting a paper on her newly adopted philosophy around the needlessness of religion for the progress of a community, with her phone prudently silenced before the presentation and thrust into the rummages of her bag, her old nani was gasping, gasping, gasping for breath. When Sana picked her phone eager to tell nani about her presentation and the jury’s applause, she found 32 missed calls from next-door Kader uncle’s wife and she worriedly called back. She asked about nani and heard just silence. She sensed not the silence that one cannot hear, this was silence that screamed a deafening scream. It was the silence that she’d only heard about, never heard herself. It was unambiguous silence. It could mean only one thing. She would never hear her nani laugh that motor like laugh, she’d only hear this silence. When she silenced her phone earlier, she had inadvertently chosen to silence dear nani eternally.

Sana heard the silence every morning after that day. Sleep did not come easy. But it was only sleep that could smother the silence. She hence rolled and rolled under the blankets till sleep closed her eyes. The days however, got longer and the silence, louder. Sana moved uptown, taking with her only a jewel, a pair of ear-rings, in memory of nani. Each had a colossal emerald stone of enthralling depth, flanked by minute diamond stones in intricate designs of cut platinum.

———- ******* ———– ******* ———– ******* ———— *******———–*******———–

Sana would learn again, to let go. She’d wear the emerald on her wedding day just like nani always suggested (despite how she had constantly frivolously pooh-poohed the ‘stupid’ idea) Sana would perhaps wear just one. As she would walk the aisle, with her would walk a voice.

And the emerald would for Sana, always be home, for home is the place of familiar voices.


strange emotions of a teenager

It is a sore day today. It is as if the sun woke up infuriated this morning and decided to toast a certain side of a certain orb a little. Noon, which is right now, is the wickedest scorch my drenched shirt has experienced. I hope my pants don’t wet themselves. It’d be a shame if lanky-Larry becomes lanky-wet-pants-Larry.

I sit on the fifth bench from where I can see everyone. I decided after two terms of first row that it’s less humiliation to sit where no one can see my comically conical head. Rhea is in class today. I can see her hair bouncing playfully every time she bobs her head the way she does while in conversation. Some strands shine from where I sit. The lime green tee she has on today, hugs her snugly but is dry without a sign of dampness, as if it’s just me that the heat has chosen to penalize. She looks hot, even the little of her that I can see. I get back to my hardcover edition of Phantoms on the Bookshelves.

Jeff walks in, his hair messily spiked up, his pants threatening to fall off, his smile mischievous. Rhea doesn’t turn, but I can see her eye ball surreptitiously follow him to the corner of her eye as he walks to the empty seat next to me. Everyone looks, even the boys, even Larea-the girl with glasses thicker than my finger looks up from her Economics study-book. Jeff is my roommate, my buddy for 15 years. I love him, he isn’t arrogant like you’d expect the hottest in class to be. He’s a nice bloke. Yet I despise him. And for this I despise myself. Isn’t it perfidy to hate your best friend? This is the kind of hatred that fosters itself, despite my dislike for it, the kind that escalates its intensity at every attempt to jettison it. Jeff is a cool guy to room with: we sit to watch the soccer games and we go on to play Distress for hours. But every time there’s a knock, I know it’s not a boy and I know who she isn’t here to see. Mostly I dig my head into the bed and cover it with a pillow to shut out the wooing noises. Want I know, is proportional to dearth, as is value. Nothing is more desired than what one lacks and another has in abundance. Despite this understanding, the hatred engulfs me violently sometimes and makes me so mad that I clench my teeth till it subsides. Like right now.

“Hot day huh?” he remarks as he sits

I do not know why I do what I do next. I am unable to now chronologically arrange events of those ten seconds. It is as if a beast takes over. I cannot believe I have the audacity and the boldness for it. Also, I feel like a jerk.

I stand up, look him in the eye and I punch him on his nose a punch that’d definitely do some terrible terrible bad. There is no blood. Jeff screams an abuse (that’s better left unmentioned) as he clutches his nose and whimpers angrily. You and I would think I run for my life next; au contraire I stay there and reaffirm to an irrevocable magnitude that I am a complete jerk, to the stunned audience (which includes my lime-green clad Rhea)

“What the fucking hell was that?” he says, palm still covering nose.

The beast shouts out for everyone to hear, forgetting that insecurities are to be kept securely out of sight, “HOW IS IT JEFF, TELL ME. How is it that you never questioned AAALLLLL that you got and I didn’t? Did you ever look for a reason? NO YOU WERE TOO BUSY COOING AND ‘AWW’ING AND DOING WHAT YOU DO. WHY THEN do you want to now know why you got something I didn’t? If it all seemed to you like your birthright, maybe this is too. The punch didn’t happen because I chose to impart one, it happened because it’s a part of your “destiny” and I here am just an agent in a wet shirt that has, as always, been assigned the dirty job.  AND….”.

“LARRYYY” he interrupts me, reddened nose showing “Dude are you okay?”

By now I begin to feel the heat of all the stares around adding to the existing. Embarrassed and pink cheeked, I hurry out murmuring “I’m okay. It isn’t me. The sun’s burning in fury today”

“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. ” ― Carrie Fisher

Acrylic painting named ‘Green-eyed monster’ at the Kazuya-Akimoto museum

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