I spent the night with Campee, a workmate and a new lady friend.we are very different,but it is still good to be in her company,for the sake of the familiar and feminine. It was like being back in India, not home, but India. We watched a movie and ate and gossiped. It was all over again a teenager’s sleepover. So this morning ,when I ran out of her apartment to catch the early morning bus to the railways station, the bus stop panel could have been anywhere, in Baroda, or in Mumbai, it was only that much alien and no more. This demonstrates a degree of acceptance which has grown gradually. At the stop, most people were Indian, and the feeling continued. The bus driver was Australian and I switched to English instantly while my brain was still processing the change. Right- so I am in Australia. While going up the accelerator in Gelndalough railway station, there were Italians besides me, and deep in to discussion. The tongue rolled over me with all the power of a Mediterranean breeze, just off the sea and over groves of Olive trees. I felt a thrill, like the ones that I really like. So , I should miss this land of cultural confluences, and also the realisation, that I am dying to go to Europe. India is home, a place where there will always be magic and beauty for me, the land of colour, shine and laughter. But, O’ dear reader, do you realise? I have come out of mourning, my black veil has been lifted and I live, again I live, with the same spirit and wonderment for the world. Not that I had stopped feeling it, I had just been not feeling it as keenly for a tiny while, in the greater schemes of life. I feel the thrills again, and I feel the pull of other places but home as well, the adventurer is back!! Full on!!
Trains here are the typical metros, obviously. So, they are fully AC cars and they make me feel slightly sick in the early mornings. I just feel that trains should have open windows, which lets you feel the landscape and be a part of it, never mind the weather. They should ideally have curved iron bars as grills, and green leather (and then imitation rubber) seats. They should also have food vendors climbing in and out at stations ,offering delights of various kinds for the pallet. Delights that *may* make you curse the day you chose to eat them, but most likely will not, and would only impart the delights of discovery and taste. Every station has a speciality.
And because of the open windows, the chugging of the train will be much more pronounced. Would be just the right level it would. So that when you close your eyes , the rhythm will be the only thing you can think or feel, and slowly, you would drift off in to sleep, the chugging now a profound music that fills your world, and I drifted off too, and the train here, for a second or two, chugged similarly. I jolted myself mentally, It wouldn’t do to drift off, I will have to get off of the train soon, Perth is near. As I opened my eyes, I looked out of the opposite window and there was another train going past in the opposite direction, slow and then gaining momentum, the faces that were clear a second ago, now turning in to a blur, and what stood out? The sun reflecting off of a bald scalp, no offence intended. I smiled, trains are fun.
I am writing this in a train, the beautiful blue sky is dotted with fluffy white clouds and the train car is full of high school children going back home, again, the children are same everywhere. We just passed a tunnel and I could see my reflection staring back at me in the glass, the red rose in my hair smiling – it has been a good day at work, to my surprise, I am rather good at marketing and sales, though it is indeed hard work and I yearn for something more fruitful and gratifying.
Tomorrow is valentine’ s day, and the whole world here seems taken over by the materiality of it, while the declarations of love and the ways to aid them through monetary means are aplenty , and they make your heart feel a little bit more dry and salty , if , you like me and single, they do not do much to actually make people believe in love more, if anything, this whole “decking out the whole malls with hearts” thing makes more hearts sour and cynical.
When I have someone to celebrate that day with, we will give each other things on that day, which cannot be bought, not at least, in a shopping mall.
For all that, mom, there is this absolutely gorgeous sapphire and pearl necklace that I look at and sign every time I pass it, and it isn’t gold, can I? Can I Phulleeesssee??
:D ha ,some things are sheer pleasure to look at, aren’t they? Maybe I wouldn’t buy it even If I had the money, I would put it in a holiday fund.
Tomorrow, I want to wear red.
I keep challenging myself, and I keep going out of my comfort zone as much as possible, without being bad – in the real sense of the term – that is.
I dressed up as Marilyn Monroe, I have a very similar dress which I love, the white halter neck, and I bought the wig too, she has been one of my admired ladies, well, she has been and that’s that. I bought similar shoes to the scene in “some like it hot”. I made a deal with a makeup artist friend, that she should do my makeup, and I will give her some photos to use for her portfolio, it all turned out perfectly well, I was perfect, even though Marilyn used 2 coats of foundation, and I didn’t use any, for that stuff disgusts me, we used a tinted moisturiser and made do with powder on top. We did a photo shoot that was enjoyed vastly and has yielded amazing results. In photos without the wig, in my own hair, I look alike Rekha, my admired actress from bollywood, and with the wig, I could fool the whole of fremantle lol that I was Marilyn . it has taken a lot of courage – to go out on the streets of freo for a stroll, as they so lovingly call it, and BE her, it was a personal challenge ,and I have done it.I deserve a pet on the back for it! As someone asked me recently, “you surprise yourself, don’t you?” –yes I do, many a times and over the years, I keep doing that, it is interesting.
But nothing beats walking on dry leaves.
I met a stage artist that day, a comedian /hippy/ philosopher who appointed himself my guardian for that span, (and am I not grateful for the company and reassurance – I thank the universe for always doing things) with his copy of "short stories of Fydor Dostoyevsky" in hand, it seems I have made another conquest.
he sits in a cafe and talks with strangers, he said, so I said, of course, strangers are always interesting.
and very strange too sometimes. he said.
but of course, they are strangers.I had to agree.
I believe he must have many stories.
it was a day of delighted children,people who stopped and congratulated me after a talk on a successful transformation indeed, jealous ladies,street photographers,amazed tourists,glad old men who seemed to have become younger again,reminiscing, amused people on the whole and some overly interested guys who made my skin crawl. thus , I have complied to my wish of doing live art/performance, all mannerism perfectly done. also for I sang "happy birthday Mr. President" and I was the study topic of UWA photography class that day, which now has them wanting my signature on the model release. I will, if they mention my real name and I get the shots in full size..
here are a few that they emailed.
(yes I did have my own photoshoot , How could I not?)
university has started again, and my creativity will need to be directed in that direction now,and all my labours too.
some excerpt from some recent communication with a friend,
"the other day I met a man from Afghanistan at work, you won't believe the thrill I felt , which had nothing to do with the short, stocky man and everything to do with his origins, his lilt of Hindi, familiar but not native,and mostly , his country. O, I love Afghanistan, it is a simply magnificent place made ugly by humans, I love the Hindukush mountain range, those high passes and the landscape even in the low lands. He was from Kabul and home for him too,was far away. here he felt very alone, he said, for he doesn't know a lot of English, I can imagine. so I neglected work for half an hour and had a chat. I am sure that may be forgiven."
"Perth has such delightful treasure houses - the vintage shops. I have been inside quite a few and those are practically the only places in the whole of Perth where you might catch the rare sight of me sighing over a piece, and used book shops. always those. I don't purchase but it is always fun to have a foray in to the past, and talk with the shop keepers about different styles ,fabrics and stitches, which pleases them as well. I actually made friends with an old lady who has a vintage shop in Freo, and she showed me her most treasured hoard, hand stitched undergarments made out of parachute silk, parachutes used by soldiers in WW2 and given to their beloveds as mementoes.
oh! another thing, yesterday at university, I saw that guy who kissed my hand after paying for my movie ticket. (last blog post) - and it appears- to my utter horror - that he is a tutor in ALVA, Architecture,landscape and visual arts. now... I was standing outside the lecture theatre with friends, talking over the horrors of the complex buildings studio, about to commence, and I saw him entering the main building, some 10 paces away, and he saw me, and I saw his jaw drop, and my smile froze and you see, this is going to be awkward for him (not me,I don't mind such silly happenings after getting used to the idea) if he will be teaching me sometime during this course.he shook his head,went rather pale-r and scurried away. now, it would be merciful if I can catch him when there are no friends around (of any of the two) and reassure him that it is alright, that he should indeed not feel bad and talk and laugh it over.
the thing that won't be funny- as you can imagine- is for me to end up in the front row in his class without having had that talk with him first.
Today, the world is mine again,
Again,there is poetry ,
In every twig, that sprouts,
From the dark limbs of the fairy tree.
so I went out tonight after dinner to walk barefoot on the neighbours lush grass /verge. no one here walks after dinner, it is a lost art. I walked and sang to the sky while looking at the stars. how absolutely grounding and liberating it is to gaze at the milky way.
"For you, you can expect an unlikely dress, which is always the case with me, and maybe a book, and a little bit of tentativeness in my ways maybe,(or not) but I grow quite silly rapidly."
p.s. I have seen my first ever elephant seal, Sorrento beach, 20th February 2014
Neil gave me a tiny first ever glass of Gin and tonic water with lemon, it was like lemonade but the water somehow was very bitter. I see why little old ladies might like this drink.