Sunday, December 23, 2007

winters.

Winters do something to you...whether it’s those five extra minutes you crave to stay under the quilt or the run you want to run to feel a tad bit warmer, winters bring in times which are not lived otherwise.

Winter, for me, has always marked its arrival with the smell of naphthalene balls mingling with the smell of woolens locked up over a year. Like the countless mufflers and stoles, memories come flooding out-memories long forgotten, memories recently lived and memories that will never be lived again...

I don’t know whether it’s just me, but I find colours growing brighter during the winters-the proofs to which are the vegetable markets. The violet of the brinjals, the green of the cabbage-they all grow brighter. Don’t they?

Winters got me my first blazer, my first puff of cigarettes, my first sip of alcohol, my first baking experience and my first gift from Santa! The waft of freshly fried Koraishutir Kochuri, the candy floss in the zoo which melted in my mouth, the man who sells Joynogorer Mowa and the Kashmiri shawlwallahs...tiles which make up the mosaic of my winter memories.

The Nahoum’s Plum Cake with all its glory, the Park Street Santa who never runs out of Éclairs, the streamers on the Flury’s glass walls...I can’t really tell when my winter memories mingle with my Christmas memories and make up the two inseparable faces of the coin which I call “Winter Memories”. The fake Christmas tree at home which is decked up in trinkets every year, the happy Santa whose sack overflows with bright boxes...pieces of childhood which refuse to be put under the spell of Oblivion. Our house doesn’t have a fireplace, but Santa did come visiting every year. No, I never caught a glimpse of red and white hurrying past my bed, but I always found a brightly packaged gift (which always had a note addressed to me, in a handwriting resembling my mother’s)-next to my tree which shined in all its glory-complete with fake cotton wool snow.

In this book of memories, I added a chapter this year-unimaginatively titled “Delhi” .the two degree nights, the four degree mornings; the thick blanket of fog over my college froze my bones which thawed with a sip of the college cafĂ© noodle soup. The new winter clothes from Sarojini, the draught that slapped my face in the auto, the striped socks, my college sweatshirt-they all added to a major part of my “growing up”.

But no matter how old I grow, I know that some Santa is always looking at me from his igloo with Rudolf by his side, and there’s no way I’m going to believe the “truth” behind the myth. And I shudder to think of the day when the walk down New Market in its Christmas look will stop creating the magic it’s always played on me...

Some places are meant to be Neverlands forever and it’s up to them to bring out the Peter Pan in all of us...for all the winters to come.

P.S: Merry Christmas to all of you, have a great year ahead...

Friday, December 21, 2007

home...here i am

"I'll be home for Christmas
You can count on me
Please have some snow and mistletoe
And presents by the tree..."

Thursday, December 6, 2007


i fell down and cut my knee.quite a deep cut.
the dettol burnt the wound.the blood stained my tweed skirt.
i sat through mill on the floss as my socks got wet.
i didnt cry.
the tetanus pinched my skin,the cotton soaked the blood.
i hailed the auto.it stopped at IHC.
the plays that day were good.performance went fine.
the claps felt good,but my knee hurt.
i didnt cry.
walked in at 11.my room was dark.
the night was cold,so was my dinner.
i looked down from the terrace-not a car on the street.
no one spoke.cigarette smoke filled the air.
i cried,i cried,i cried.