representing different times and moods

Saturday, October 2, 2010

the white duppatta

in the fast increasing night, i set behind my mother on the scooter, speeding on the roads of our usually dust free town. that evening, though, the air was having a dance party with the soil, and i had forgotten my glasses, so I  took my mom's chiffon duppatta from her shoulder and draped it around my head, around eyes and all. And through that single layer of chiffon, I saw the world passing by me in a different dimension, the head lights of the car and two wheelers became dilated blobs of light with different colored rays shooting out of it, competing with the stars in the galaxies,  they ran around me, dodged each other and danced, dunk with childish delight, I looked heavenwards, the rising moon, received the same treatment in a more graceful, mature sort of way, with the a gentler light which could sooth a broken heart, trees , the distant shadows , which became a rather strange hue of gray , with the city lights filtering through the gaps and giving inconsistent burst of colour. I am sure people stared at the strange apparition on the road, = me the rag head J.
But folks, I highly recommend doing that. Especially when the dusk time is cool and there is some wind, like it was here.

Since my birthday, I have learned that, to do something great in life,  I will have to give my full effort in it, half measures only give half results, I have been working better, the simple side effect of that would be I would have less time to talk with friends. I know I have not replied to some of your email, but you all are always in my thoughts, and the things that touch my heart, also bear with them the sentiment of some day sharing that experience with you through my inadequate words. So, this is a request, that if I have appeared to neglect you, please accept my apology, but always know, that I value you no less, just that this is a particularly busy semester and I have to do a lot.
Another update on family life,   why the white  duppatta ?  my mom, and Indians in general are vibrant people who love their vibrantly coloured cloths. [Myself I love White a lot ,and I am sure many others do as well, though that’s beside the point] my dear paternal grandfather passed away on the September 10th 2010. He was 84. A long healthy life he lived, and passed away peacefully, with his family around him and an assurance in his heart of every one having a good life. A man of great literary brilliance, his room always almost bursting with books, it can be said that we all have inherited the books mania from him, [his sons also choosing the girls that loved books] , a man of firm Gandhian beliefs  and morals,  a close friend of many a master writers and thinkers of Gujarat, and a silly and storytelling grandfather to his grandchildren , I am proud to have known him ,having been the object of his curiosity as I grew up writing and reading, and am satisfied that I was able to see him , talk with him before he left.   We will always think of you.  Many articles will be published in many literary magazines this month, just saw some handwritten copies, but I am sure that my simple words of tribute will suffice to convey my feelings and my love.
Being a family of Gandhian beliefs, we do not observe the long and unnecessary rituals which still carry on in most of modern India. As a monetary tribute to Granddad, we have decided to make donations of books, water purifiers , and other things that student need to some rural schools that actually can use the new facilities.
 we did hold a small prayer ceremony on the 23rd September, the equinox , more to enable all the distant family to gather and to introduce the children to them, i.e me and my first cousins, I, for one , knew very few of them till now, so this was rather good opportunity to get to know new people.  And remember episodes of my grandpa’s life, from his taking part in the independence movement, to India being free, seeing the old black and white photos of him leading the group of those amazing people that helped me breath in the free India. [ I love old photos :D ] to his telling his children about how to work in farms, and helped them identify the birds and beasts, taught them to swim in rivers to how he treated his students [he was a teacher], and snobby writers.  The layers of history were removed one by one, every life that I love, I found them all interconnecting, giving me a pleasant , laughing glimpse in my father’s childhood, his funny youth and hairstyles, my parents falling in love and asking their parents’ permission to marry,  and other things.  Identifying my “little uncles and aunts” in the old photos , i.e very funny and challenging!  To my making the 2010 digitalized record of everything and everyone. After all I am the appointed family photographer, and I am very happy with the results. It’s not every day that I get all my uncles together to make them sit and make faces at me. They even act like children again! Those photos are obviously nothing to an outsider, but they are masterpieces to me.  After all,,,, it was no small feat making them all behave :P ladies are no more good either :D

And I also found out that white cloths actually lend a tranquil serenity to the person’s whole being. I guess that’s the whole point of wearing white when someone departs from this world. It was also captured in the photos.
The monsoon showers were still visiting there every day, the little river by my uncle’s farm was in full flow,  so we all decided to go there , the distant relatives , all hailing from Mumbai, found it all so amazing, but of course we did as well :D first I walked in the shallow waters , which flow forcefully on the round pebbles ,with my cousin. And we slowly explored the little heavenly spots, protected by the overhanging foliage of trees. My only regret is I didn’t have the camera then, because we preceded down the river in a half, “drag yourself with the water where it’s not too shallow”, fashion.  So I will only say, it was mind blowing.
Then I walked up the grassy hill and to the deeper part of the river, it is blocked by a small check dam , retaining enough water to make that whole stretch of river  some 15-20 feet deep. The idea was to jump in from the cliff.  Okay , so I know how to swim, but till now I had only swam in clean waters of swimming pool where I knew where that blessed floor was!  These waters were dark and unknown, with trees having grown in it in the dry summers and less successful monsoons, actually there was a big tree in the middle with weaver bird nests hanging on its branches, bird coming and going, quite delightful, that.  But well, I had to jump , of course, I can’t just not can I?  so I told my father to  fish me out if I didn’t surface soon,  took a long , “pacify your nerves” breath, and jumped , with dad’s voice ringing in my ears telling me to jump still farther away to avoid the jagged rocky  ledge underwater.  Indeed there was some panic when I found myself in the dark consuming mass ,but then I discovered that I really didn’t need to touch the bottom to go up again, and the water didn’t want me anyway , so it spat me out . and then there was no stopping me feeling like a mermaid with two feet :D not praising myself, just praising the beauty of the whole thing. Photos can be seen on here,
On another note, today is Gandhi Jayanty,  so this is what I have to say about it,
“let us not forget the
lessons of truth, nonviolence and respect for others. let us strive to
be better. let the critics say his ways would never work today, it is
their opinion, and i do not mean to challenge them only mean to follow
what my heart says is true. a small remembrance to Gandhiji. Happy
birthday dear father of the nation. ♥”
2nd October , is also the birthday of the amazing Lal Bahadur Shrivastav Shastri, the second prime minister of India and a freedom activist. We cannot forget you!
Some of my “liked” quotes. By Gandhiji.
“There are people in the world so hungry, that God cannot appear to them except in the form of bread.”
"Seven Deadly Sins

Wealth without work
Pleasure without conscience
Science without humanity
Knowledge without character
Politics without principle
Commerce without morality
Worship without sacrifice."
"God has no religion.”

"When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it...always."
'I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.'
‘The future depends on what you do today.'
‘The earth provides enough to satisfy every man's needs, but not every man's greed'
Father recently bought me a new , too expensive to be sensible yet lovely , mobile, a sony Ericson hazel j20i , as some of you might know, I am not too big on gadgets[apart from cameras and lenses], and I actually have the decency to hate mobile phones and long conversations on it,  I am grateful about this phone, for it is made fully from recycled material, the green heart label , counts all the co2 emission I prevented in my everyday life, and it has a 5 megapixel camera and shoots high resolution videos = something I had been wishing for from a while, as the slr, predictably doesn’t shoot videos.  We were in need of a new mobile as mom’s one really did stop working, and being a rather antique one , had no replacement parts available, so she took mine and I was given the new one J talk about cool parents.

Anyhow, that’s all for now.thanks for reading

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