Scenes from a memory

I decide to write about this. I think it should be documented, so that I can come back to this someday. The year is coming to an end, it is post-Christmas and the days are still sunny. I don’t feel anything that can be termed as cold or the winter. The ceiling fan above me whirrs like every other day; I am in my pajamas and t-shirt. No winter in sight. To break the silence, I have resorted to an album which I have been enjoying for some time now. I think you know about this album, I have told you a great deal about it.

As Aleáh sings away about the distress in her heart; creating the ideal atmosphere for me to write this, I ruminate about everything that happened in the last six months. Ruminate; I love that word. There’s something profoundly sad about it. When I hear the word, I imagine a seaside. The waves wash across the shore and the air has an acrid odor of the salt lingering about. I imagine high cliffs, majestic and hiding behind the fog. A very dramatic, Scandinavian landscape, you will say. The skies have a shade of something between grey and pale yellow. The sunlight tries in futility to creep in. It almost seems like a conflict in the astral space above. A certain duality of sorts. This is how rumination in the material world would look like to me.

***

A lot has happened during the course of this year. This is the last post for this year. I come to realize now that I didn’t write much. Maybe I will change things next year.  You are one of the few people who are really keen to read whatever I write. I am glad for that. I think I can express what I can’t say through my writing. You told me once how you find a different version of me through my writings. I wouldn’t be able to say half the things I write in real life. That’s just the way things are. I am verbally restricted. That’s how I would like to categorize myself.  But it is alright, I guess.

Aleáh is ruminating. She sings about the million things she has to say. She sings about guilt and shame, asking me to look straight into her eyes, to look beyond her tears. She tells me to hold her while she bleeds herself dry. She asks me to shield my eyes from the fire-light. To see past the lies she has told; which burn a way through her eyes every time she sheds a tear, the things she has done and what she is. She tells me how she wishes I would’ve said the million things I had to say. She tells me that she is not what she fights.

***

I am quite thankful for things right now. After quite a long stretch, everything feels calm and peaceful like the sea during a lazy afternoon. Quoting that post rock band, I feel that ‘all is bright, all is beautiful.’ I know that it wouldn’t be like this forever but that is fine. Living in the moment is what everyone tells me to do. And I am ready to do just that, irrespective of the consequences that follow. For experiencing happiness, you have to be a bit reckless sometimes. Sometimes you have to say “Screw your consequences!” I am ignoring this collateral damage for now. I am trying to break the monotony which has been governing my life till now. I am immersing myself into different facets all this has to offer. I am sensing that living in the moment has its perks although I think about the future sometimes too, like we talked about a few nights ago. It looms like a distant ship on the horizon while I paddle towards it. It looks like the mirage we all run towards in the desert. Sometimes we manage to board the ship while sometimes we just keep on running.

Although I wish this lasts for a while. I am sure you also wish the same.

There is no definite objective in writing all this. If you ask me, I do not know why I am writing this at all. I guess that I just want to. This is one of those things which do not have a reason or objective for its existence. It is just a way for me to keep whatever that is going on in my mind in a material, digital form. This blog will be witness to these ramblings every now and then. In a way, I feel it is necessary. I wish to not think about it too much now. Outside, everything is mute. The leaves are silent and the roads are empty. Somewhere a few blocks away, a dog barks every now and then. It breaks the monotony. Like you have.

Aleáh has been long gone. She isn’t singing anymore. Goodnight Liebling!

*

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Kitchen in my house

P.S This piece was written as a creative writing assignment for college. The information shared is not fictional.

If the truth has to be told, I have seldom paid attention to what actually happens in our kitchen. I am talking about my home in Tezpur and not about Bangalore. But now, after getting this prompt, it has actually made me think. And while I write this, my mother’s picture comes back to my mind. Somehow I can see her inside the kitchen, doing the everyday cooking, as I visualize everything. My mother does all of the cooking in our house. Right from the morning cup of black tea to the evening dinner which always has rice and daal, among other things. If you ask me how the kitchen looks like then I will say that it looks like any other kitchen in every other house. I don’t think there is anything really special about it apart from the fact that life turns upside down if the kitchen is out of operation for even a single day.

As I write this, I remember how the kitchen gets really hot, especially during summers and how it becomes difficult to cook in it with all that heat emanating. I have seen my mother cook for relatives who used to visit us during my summer vacations. Relatives always meant more people and more dishes to be cooked and more energy to be spent. Humid summers didn’t help to that cause and I have seen my mother working inside that kitchen all alone while sweating. She used to keep the fan in the dining room on so that there was some air circulation but I guess, that didn’t help much either. We don’t have a fan inside the kitchen, if you were wondering. Surprisingly, the food always tasted good.

I have rarely helped my mother in the kitchen. The only thing in which I did my part a bit was chopping onions, capsicums and tomatoes. Sometimes, potatoes as well. I loved chopping all these vegetables. So, after I grew up, guests in the house meant I was there to cut these vegetables. Apart from that, I have helped my mother make pooris and stir the curries or vegetables in the karhai. And that’s about it. There has never been any kind of major contribution made by me. I never washed my utensils after eating nor did I ever even pick up the plate and put it inside the sink. As I write this and as I think about everything, I remember the countless times when I hadn’t helped my mother when she asked for it, out of sheer negligence and boredom.

I think my mother has spent a very large part of her life inside this kitchen of ours. She has devoted a lot of time to cooking. Mostly, for us. Sometimes, for others as well. Whenever I try to do something on repetition, it becomes mundane and irritating for me. It becomes uninteresting and you start asking yourself as to why on earth are you doing the same thing? Why should anyone just do the same thing over and over again? And as I write this, I think about how my mother has repeated the same task of cooking everyday for us, without questioning as to why on earth she is doing it and why only she has to do it. Her source of happiness and satisfaction lies in feeding her children and her family and she has been doing it for almost 30 years now. Perhaps, she thinks that doing this monotonous task everyday is the purpose of her existence. Perhaps, she also feels bored and irritated by it all. But last time when I went home, I saw that she was busy making my favorite chicken curry for me. With that same eagerness and smile on her face. And as I write this, I come to realize that kitchens hold so many things inside them. Things, which are silent and perhaps shrouded under a veil forever.