This is all about what the title says… Its about the things what i see from the window. A window facing a city named Mumbai. One of the heavily populated metropolitan city in my country (India).
“A city which holds dreams of survival/existence, passion, life and livelihood for millions of its inhabitants. A city that never sleep! “
Buildings, big and small that’s all i could see, that too in all directions. Small ones are getting replaced by big ones within no time. Earlier this city held 2 or 3 storied buildings but now its becoming 20 or more. this city now looks like a forest of tall structures where man seem to be tiniest. From a distance all these flats look like match boxes stacked in order. Every now and then i could see pigeons flying in and out of several balconies. They started getting urbanized too. They have their nests on the shades of windows and unopened doors. How can they survive without adapting to urbanization? There aren’t any trees or natural shades for them. In between these giants there exists landscaping done to beautify them. The fine line of green patches include palm trees which cant support any nests.
My office plus hostel has its back and front side already facing to tall apartments of 17 or 20 floors. My office is just 4 storied building with lots of space – good garden in and around. Now only left and right side is spared for the window view. On left side of my office a new building construction has already started. Only ground floor with parking area has been completed. Long slender iron bars are projected over the concrete. People are working irrespective of the scorching summer. During my working time, i could gaze out for a long view with little struggle through the giants, where i could only see buildings at far distance. Some pieces of blue sky with white floating clouds on sunny days. The roads around always seen with its inevitable traffic. Man is always in a rush for one thing or the other. No one has time to be in peace with self.
Two months back right side of my building had a comparatively big plot covered with marshy plants. Once upon a time this was mangrove region with sea influxes. Now there isn’t any hint left behind which says that this was linked to sea ever…The whole plot has been filled with mud/soil leftovers from deconstructed buildings. The area is clear without even a small grass root. Where do all those parakeets and reptiles migrated to? Everyday morning i could see several pigeons roaming in search of food on that ground. Summer has become so sweltering that there isn’t any options to get water other than shops. What will happen to these birds and animals. From a distance i could notice only broken concrete and brick pieces. In another few months this land will also start preparing to hold another concrete giant. It will soon restrict my bed room window view to confined colored walls and windows of hundreds of people who will be inhabiting their new dream comforts- comfort for owning a home!
PS: Pic courtesy to Pinterest and Google since i couldn’t capture any pic of my window view.
Its hard to overcome the inhibitions of writing. Restarting the habit of writing after a break is really a tough move as far as i am concerned. I have been facing such an inertia during my past two and half months where i haven’t wrote anything for my blog. I felt sorry for myself, holding back the growth of creative side in me. From few days i have been on constant thought of getting back and today i am back. The driving force was in fact instantaneous!
Last week i really enjoyed the pleasure of shopping new books. Hence the thought of new books came from two facts, one: i got my 4 month pending fellowship and the second: i have been feeling a crave for reading something new nostalgic memories/children’s literature in my regional language. This time when i came to Mumbai, i forgot to get any books and i was deprived of them. This initiated a longing for reading something to satisfy my desire. I ordered for four books after spending more than 2 hours i had to compromise with 4; just 4 😦
After placing the order, starts the unusual pleasure of waiting for the books. Longing for the moment to touch and smell the my new books. I was curious as well as excited. Today i received them. As i was looking at them, i felt i should express the feelings of waiting for them and which made me to get back to my writing. When one of my friend asked why i am not writing anything these days, i had only one answer: my laziness…my inhibition. In between i felt to start with a fictional writing but somehow it didn’t work . Still i hold that thread. May be in another month i will be able to pen it down.
The first one is a collection of memoirs from the veteran author of this era: Madhavikutty aka Kamala Das. The second one narrates a nostalgic novel with essence of nature. Babu Bharadwaj’s book (3rd one) tells the story of a girl who journals about her dreams/ expectations and thoughts about her life. I started daily journaling recently and chose this novel to be helpful in some way. The last book was selected to nurture the child in me. The author is new to me. It is a translation from English. No matter how old we become, we all still have a child in us. Whenever i feel lack of interest in reading or tired after reading a heavy book (not by number of pages) i need to buffer my mind. At these times i always go for children’s literature. from past few weeks i haven’t been able to read seriously. To get back to my reading track i guess i will start with the fourth book.
The first thing I do when I get new book is signing on it with that date of receive. I put three signs: each one on front page and last page and the third randomly on any middle page. Another thing is smell the book. Each book holds a unique aroma of fresh paper and printing ink. The most memorable aromas of books still belong to my schooldays. At the end of summer holidays, I wait for text books of my new academic year. My memory still holds the beautiful smell of my text books especially till my 10th grade. More than 400 books I own in my personal collection (I know, that count isn’t enough for keeping upright my boastfulness :p). I wasn’t aware of efficient cataloging for my books until recently with the computer software. In the early days I maintained a small diary where I wrote the title and author. It was tedious to shift the each book details to the software. I had managed to finish nearly 75 books in it since the details include author, publication, price, image, language, year, number of pages, genre etc.
Compared to last year i haven’t kept any reading challenges this time since I am getting close to my last round lap of my PhD work. At the same time i can’t think of any of my days completely deprived of reading. No matter how slow i may be or how hectic is my work schedule i still wanna hold on to it. Even in the midst of happiness/ depressions/ loneliness or crowd i am sure about one thing: I CAN’T STOP ADOPTING BOOKS!!!!!!!!!
Huhhhhh…there I can see a girl in the mirror. She is beautiful yet tensed and silent. A doll wrapped in grandeur Indian bridal outfit with shimmers of gold and finest red fabric. A red stole covering over her braided head showing slight glimpses of white jasmine flowers. She is wearing finest jewels yet reflecting simplicity. A red bindhi and a maang tikka, a tiny nose stud, black kohled eyes, subtle stained lips. A tiny round black kohl mark down beneath her ear, it’s a tradition to get rid of the evil eyes. She doesn’t seem to be aware about any rush around her now. She seems totally lost somewhere in her own world. The lehenga is best featuring her feminine body.
A little effort is needed to get those eyes sparkle on her the day. But where is her mind? Is she happy with the wedding? A message beeped in her phone and as soon as she reads “YAHIN HOON MEIN”, a smile crossed her lips. She looks ahead over the mirror and saw people walking in rush. A deep breath, come back to present, it’s my wedding day; the day, I told myself.
No matter how much I am consoled yet I hold this strange feeling of going to an entirely different ambience. Too much I think…I can’t stop myself from thinking. How will I manage my new life in a new place with the family which has entirely different cultural dimensions? We belong to two different states….language, religion, culture, cuisine, tradition etc. etc. These were all societal difference which never came into mind when we fell in love. Yet to bring the families together and melt the ice, these differences sprout out into mind. Those were the days when I hold the extreme patience. Family never stands against the happiness. Hence today I am here, a few moments away from my wedding ceremony.
Whenever I am going down deep into my thoughts, somehow he senses it. Either I get a call or message and bring me up. How can someone sense you when we aren’t around them? I haven’t ever felt like this before. Even now he brought me back to present. I looked around. The language doesn’t hold back happiness of our wedding among our families. I haven’t seen him after the wedding rituals like mehendi, haldi etc started. We can see each other only at the time of ceremony. Whenever I complain about it, he just laughs aloud. He knew very well how much curiosity is bubbling in me. I know that he too feel that more than what I feel, but he doesn’t show it now.
I tell him that it’s really becoming difficult to stay without seeing him. I wasn’t like this before I met him. His arrival has changed many things in me. He totally uprooted me from my routine. I didn’t realize the change until it became obvious about the realization. The realization that, it’s him, who can tame me. I never liked anyone force me to do anything. He had the right spell for me. Slowly yet within no time, he had the nomadic spirit of mine. Making me see how to set free myself from the hindrances, which hold back the nomad in me. I never had to hold back my mind…in fact my lips got back it’s smile and eyes it’s happiness. Oh my God! I am madly in love with him. Exhaling breath left a smile on my face. Yes, now I am not afraid to tell that I am in love. Nor can I neglect the fact that he can’t live without me.
His little sis came and informed that it’s time for the ceremony. All my family is here and their smiling happy faces are all on me as I stepped into the hall. My beautiful sisters are on both sides. They too have been longing for this day, wedding of their big sis. Mom and dad joined me. Dad seems tensed more than mom…he is emotional than mom. My brother is standing near the stage. He is happy too but seems serious. I could see many faces smiling at me, but I couldn’t respond well to them. My eyes were consciously in search. I could see the beautifully smiling little sis, and his parents near the mandap waiting for me. After one second, my eyes found what I wanted to see and there he is! He is wearing a golden color groom’s outfit with red tilak on his forehead. He is having his amazing naughty smile. I was feeling irritated for staying away last two days and he could read it too. He just giggled. In another second, he got back his intense gaze over me. His face had so many unsaid things which I could read. He wants to hug me, I could get it. I couldn’t stop smiling and obviously as usual he gets irritated whenever I caught his unsaid emotions.
The eye to eye talk of us was shadowed. My brother came forward and held my hands and led me to climb the steps of the stage. His one hand was over my shoulder. He was the tiny cute baby whom I loved so much. Now he is grown up and big enough to protect me. My eyes were on his face, smiling yet my eyes became wet. As soon as I reached, the smiling face at the mandap caught my mind status and signed me to take deep breath. I could see his face glowing with happiness. I did so and felt back to present.
The priest started reciting the hymns and rituals. Even though I didn’t understand much, I have only seen this mostly on the screens. The meaning and significance of each was explained to me. When time came to tie the knot, he was smiling and reading my face. He opened an embellished slender box which held a beautiful thin chain with tiny black beads and a pendant. He kept his word! The chain was really thin and cute. He didn’t want the remembrance of our matrimony to be heavy on me. I couldn’t stop my astonishment and looked at him. He was smiling and as if waiting to see my reaction. He just winked his eyes. The shower of flower distracted us and we looked around. Rituals continued for few more minutes. He came forward and whispered in my ears: NOW I AM LEGALLY YOUR LOVELY HUSBAND! I just poked his nose and said “OH, IS THAT SO? THEN I AM YOUR LOVELY WIFE”. My voice was little louder, all others looked at us and broke into laughter…