Sunday, August 31, 2008

My doting entourage..albeit teeny-weeny ones :)

I love kids.

One of the shelves of my memory will always be occupied with the sketchy anecdotes of my own childhood.

The age when it’s okay to paint the sky pink, make mud pies (and force people to eat them too!!) and imagine a dinosaur as your “bestest” buddy. Being naive isn’t a crime then.

The repertoire of oddness, where living in a fairy house isn’t silly and easing stomach aches with your Dad’s tickle isn’t goofy either.

That knowledge of nothingness until heavy backpacks and practicing phonics sneak in, is fathom too deep for adults to comprehend.

It’s difficult to paint a picture of these auguries of candid vulnerability and innocence in one’s memory forever. Freezing them in a frame is the best I can do.

So here’s an invite to my gallery of innocence with a reminder that this post isn’t a punctuation, there will be surely yet more frames to be included, for I will never grow too old to marvel at the innocence of a toothless smile or the shy grin of a kid hiding behind his mother.

So, here we go......

I'm Johannah and as you can see I'm a verrrrry generous lady. As much as I eat, so does my bib!!But what the heck? I'm independent and I'm learning!

Ahaan..a stunner..well..I'm Miss.Universe in the making :)

Main aur meri tanhai aksar yeh baatein kiya karte khirki se bahar ka nazara kitna fundoo dikhta hai! BTW where are the 'chicks' today??

Hum luka-chuppi ke sikander hain bhai log!!

I'm Mr. Smarty-pants. Wait until I grow up. With that spark in my eyes and a killer smile, I will be a sure shot lady-charmer ;)

Mom!I don't need no education!OK..OK..make it table manners.

Jasmine..Sadde Punjab di kudi. Barely up my waist, she hugged me tight enough, not to let go. Eventually her mom had to practically detangle her and I had to bid goodbye to the teary eyed damsel...awwwww..

The more the merrier!
BTW the kid on the right was initially crying until my enthu-cameraman (Manoj) made him break in to a shy smile.

Does this one need a header? That's a child's touch..genuine, pure and beautiful..something which no earthly riches can buy.

P.S. Since all the pictures were taken on the spur of a moment with a measly N-70 camera phone, they might not have done justice to the Bachcha Party’s original demeanor.

And last but not the least, thanks to one of my bestest buddies Manoj (yeah..yeah..the dinosaur connection isn’t just anectodal!!), not only whose photographic skills deserve a mention but his huge smile too, which was instrumental in getting the parents consent for the pictures.

IMP:The pictures are taken and posted with the solitary intention of symbolising how innocent, carefree and naive a child can possibly be . Please DO NOT copy-paste and distribute the pictures without the author's consent.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The smell of her skin..

As I made my way back home today, I was suddenly guided by a fresh, crystalline fragrance. It was a captivating interpretation of lush floral blooms, floating on clear, sparkling water.

They say, a fragrance can call up memories, and this one certainly did that to me. Though I couldn’t register the wearer, her distinctive aroma , made me recall somebody. My Ma. It was her signature smell.

The aroma was as intimate as the redolence of wet soil after rain, and on the spur of that moment, I just couldn’t breath.Like a reflex, my eyes searched for my mother. Nevertheless, consciousness had to dawn in soon and it did, when I realized that my Ma was sitting pretty, somewhere at the far end of the globe.

Ever since I was a child, I had been enchanted by my Ma’s lingering essence. An expression of femininity, which was neither too heady, nor too frail. When she hugged me, breathing in that special, subtle yet alluring smell, I would paint a picture of abundance in my mind and find my small world reassuringly secure.

The tranquil yet delightful nature of the smell was so invigorating that I never found one that matched it. Probably, for the simple reason, that I could relate the fragrance to Ma. Someone, who was unique and accounted for an ecstatic admiration on my behalf. And that’s the reason, that although it’s been a year since I last saw her, the moment I sniffed the familiar scent, I could still recognize that it complemented her.

And not just today, I would recognize it anytime, anywhere and never be beguiled, for I’m sure, hers is an everlasting fragrance etched deep within me.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"The chop shock"

Hey Jassi, I have to make a confession. The minute I saw your hairstyle in “Jassi jaisi koi nahi”, I loathed it.

But, today, I salute you for the sacrifices you made to craft that horrendous look. Kyunki, seven days have passed since my hair fiasco…and I just can’t get over it as yet!!!!

Lately, when my hair turned a bit rebellious, a few snips of a scissors called in.
Now, I’m a typical wash-n-go girl and I rarely do more than brushing my hair after a shower. So, I didn’t hit the salon with a sassy Bipasha Basu pic in one hand, and dollops of optimism for a facsimile hairdo in the other. All I wanted was a trim ... JUST a TRIM, to tame my tresses.

Unfortunately it was a morose Monday and the hairdresser in question was an amateur- big time enthu-very much talkative-ZERO English speaking woman (in a nutshell, the deadliest combination possible!!).

Nevertheless, I silently practiced my clear instructions and then action-replayed that I wanted a little length off. Mute prayers and I let her go to work. But, probably amongst the cascade of words, my “little” got lost, somewhere. Hence, till the time I realized that she was taking hair up near the crown of my head and cutting my face-framing wisps awfully short, it was too late.

Perrrrrrrrrfect. My “new-do” looked heinous and as wonky as losing a wrestling match with a lawn mower.

I wanted to gun her down to smoke, right then-right there, for the hair- massacre.
But all I could manage was an evil glare to her “Alles gut?” . I mean how else can you react; when you've just had your hair hacked up like Edward Scissorhands??

Alas. There wasn't a whole lot of room left to fix anything. No crazy glue could re-attach my hair and yelling would not make it grow back any faster. So, I gave her the benefit of doubt, thinking that it happens with a long time trusted expert at the helm too. And since all of us do mistakes, I smiled, paid and left the premises without calling her any vile names.

Now, I really appreciate that people take to a deliberate doting of the "retro look” once they see me, it’s sweet. But it seems as if I’m redefining the 80's all by myself, because my ultra-close crop which has almost scalped me is a bit too hideous to be sportive about. Consequently, every time I run across Parisa, she is torn between genuine sympathy and smothering down her giggles. The other lab members are also making a conscious attempt not to laugh, at least while I'm in earshot. And my sincere gratitude goes to friends who are trying to call my glam-to-geeky look "interesting" (Ujala) and “different” (Anand). Gee..thanks for your immense support !!hahahaha.

Anyhow, big time ranting and a scowl on my face, wouldn’t have helped me look (or feel) any better. So, I’m accessorising my not-so-hot hairdo with a smile, maybe the glare from my mother-of-pearl whites would blind people to my horrid hair!!

Additionally, I’m hunting for some good fun, like hair rejuvenating sessions in a local spa (but philhaal kadki chaayi hai), a scalp massager, a 1000 stroke brushing regimen for faster hair recovery (unless it gives way to permanent baldness) and an excuse to wear a hat ( because I’m rejecting wearing a wig off-hand!!!)

Waise, on an average a person's hair would grow one-half inch per month, nai? So even if nothing works, best-of-the-best option would be to live with the current hair blunder until it grows out. Simple.

To any degree at all, my hair is just one aspect and not the entirety of me and this fact has sunk in for good. Who knows with a little bit of panache thrown in, I might turn my strange hair cut into a phenomenal, edgy fashion trend!

Sigh, wishful thinking voices some concern. Never mind!

P.S. I had no heart to publish my stunning hairdo to the world just as yet, until it dawned on me that may be someone could advise me on how to fix it up, before my date on Sunday!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The silent adieu.

Goodbyes make you think, invariably.

They make you retrospect as to what you've had and introspect what you've taken for granted and just let go.

An unfortunate day, when one of your loved ones passed away. You knew the end was near, but you just couldn’t give that last peck on the cheek because you were in conscious denial of the worst.

The day when you left your home for the first time, your first leap to independence. In those numb moments you just couldn’t gather yourself enough, to let your family know how much you loved them.

The moment when you bid farewell, to one of your friends, for good. The train started moving, you stood near the wagon door, smiling and waving goodbye.Until struggling through tears, you lost the sight thinning in to the fog. You never said how much you would miss the times spent together.

Sadly, when you realized that the lifespan of your pet was shorter than yours and you just couldn’t buy yourself more time to cuddle it for the last time.

Or meeting a stranger, someone you barely knew and ever seen before. An event that slipped passed your moral sensors and which you considered flat-out foolishness. But when you said adios and realized that you are not going to see that someone for a long time or, worst yet, ever again, it created a void.

We may never know what to say when the inevitable goodbye arrives. But saying the fair share of I love you’s , Thank you’s and Sorry’s may help in reducing the remorse .

It is better to have spoken them, rather now, than never at all. For just like gravity, everybody knows that love, gratitude and apologies exist, but if it’s silent it isn't much use to anyone.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Marrying "Mr.Good Enough" !

“Ma! The best ones finish last!”
‘Who said?”
“Murphy kaun?”

Well…for those who find the above exchange of dialogue a bit too cryptic, let me make it a bit simple.

That’s Me and Ma,having our Sunday,across the continent chat, where Ma’s “What did you cook?”, “Don’t work too much”, side of conversation has morphed into tying the nuptial knot discussion.

Ma finds Murphy's laws of love atrocious and marriage is a subject I would choose to be blissfully ignorant about.

I think Ma has been hanging around too much with the Punju aunties of the colony, who (with due respect), after graduating from the Mehrason’s jewellery talks are apparently throwing in nuggets of wisdom on ‘Shaadi’ to my mom.

While Papa maintains a stoic silence, Ma invariably gets berserk, not because she’s genuinely worried about it but because a hoard of other anonymous well wishers are!!

I lay a bet, not one out of the most eligible bachelors my Dad’s-Uncle’s-Cousin brother’s-Wife’s-Sister’s-Eldest daughter suggests, would continue to believe in the sanity of marriage once they have a chance encounter with this rather volatile bachelorette ME!!

I mean it’s not that I’m a commitment-phobic or I‘m jaded to an extent where the idea of a future wedlock sounds highly eccentric. The point is, what happens when reality dawns and lust fades? Which will, sooner or later. And to think of a co-existence with someone who can’t stand the REAL me and vice versa, is a darn nightmare!

And Ma, believe me when I say..even a head count of 1,147,996 Indians doesn’t help! More isn’t always better, sometimes it’s just more!

It’s not politically incorrect or a huge act of resentment in admitting that apart from a big house, good money, respect at work and acknowledgment as an individual, the thing that in parallel allures a heterosexual single woman would be marriage. Those who say no are lying or are in conscious denial.

BUT. And that too a big one. Marriage isn’t only about cosmic connection, pre-marriage jitters and finally dashing down the aisle. Gazing in the same direction, clasping fingers and a spiritual communion is far fetched from being pragmatic. There are times, when stealing even 10 minutes of non-logistical-non-problem-solving talk in a marriage and just laughing it out,is not conducive enough for the partners.

One’s married life may not be a perfect recapitulation of O.Henry’s timeless tale “The gift of the Magi” where Della cuts off her prized long hair, to buy her husband Jim a chain for his pocket watch, given to him by his father. Meanwhile, Jim sells his watch to buy his wife a set of ivory combs for her beautiful locks. But even then, it invariably takes two and small gestures of love to make the journey together worthwhile...whether you call it friendship, marriage or spouse but friends in the making.

It’s about her making a cup of tea and tasting it before giving it to him; to make sure it tastes good and him managing a surprise breakfast on a lazy Sunday morning (even if it’s just cornflakes and milk).

It’s sleeping over a fight but both of them making sure that you have a conversation tomorrow, no matter how grim the situation may be.

It’s her giving him the biggest piece of cake she baked and the perfectly round chapati she rolled.

It’s about him wearing that blue shirt just because she likes him in it and about her packing his travel bag for his hurried tour even without him reminding her.

It’s about him flexing his so called biceps in the mirror for the nth time and her thinking “O God ! I married a self-obsessed narcissist, but what do I do? I love him !”

It’s about her, not nixing him based on his annoying habit of sleeping in the movie theater or his hopeless sense of aesthetics, for she knows, that being his better half, she can compensate for the rest.

Marrying is not for the better or for the worse but for the good. It’s not in I, Me and Myself, but in We and Us. The million dollar question is not how compatible you are, but how do you get over with your share of incompatibilities.

Ma, the day I find someone who accepts me for what I’m and I feel proud of what he is, that one special person whom I can annoy for the rest of my life, and who says “I love to laugh with you”, someone whom I can love more than myself and as much as my family, I will marry him, simple as that.

And the rest, as they say, the secret of a happy marriage remains a secret.

Added later

Check this out, got me into splits :D

Adam and Eve had an ideal marriage. He didn't have to hear about all the men she could have married & she didn't have to hear about how well his Mother cooked!