Friday, July 30, 2004

Torrents of clean white rain, pouring steadily, hard on the concrete. Sounds like a waterfall as we leap from the car, shrieking and jumping and laughing. Hair curled and wet, hanging in our eyes, t-shirts that need to be wrung and smiles broader than a flooding river. I hit my thumb with a loaded water bottle, the impact makes me wince. The finger is, in a small area, dark red at the base now, a purplish stain seeping up from it under the nail. A small patch, like wine wiped away from the corner of a mouth, leaving behind colour in your pores for a while. Graffiti, ‘this is my calling-card’. This colour isn’t grape juice though, it’s me-juice. And it throbs angrily.

Rain slower, sky still dark. There was, when it began, a strip of light blue at the base of the sky and then a layer of grey. Like two washes laid side by side on a scholar sheet but not blended, two separate streams. Salt and sweet water, there are rivers that flow with both. Salt water doesn’t mix with sweet water because they flow at different speeds.

The boy with the challis is efficient. Ammi is pleased at the snicker-snack of his hands as he quickly digs out folded challis. This is foetal corn position, it crosses my mind. Babies are like that, but challis are like this. Wrapped, in different ways. Somehow covered equates safe. The basket of ash steams, the safety nets ripped back. Yellow goodness says a hot steamy hello to the still-raining sky and outstretched hand-from-car. Greedy grabby but man alive, it tastes good.

Nana says we’re fifteen days into Saawan. Good thing it rained, halfway through a month of rain is high time. Never get piercings in Barsaat, they’ll fester.

I am wearing Pink Panther socks. Flex, point, flex, point. I point too long and my right foot feels like it’s spasming. My t-shirt- “beta aap LUMS ke ho?” “jee! (that’s what my shirt says, honeychile)’- is still damp and I’m feeling just a little cold. We want to run outside again, we’re clothed perfectly for it, tracks and dark tees and sneakers. I don’t do both sets of double reverse crunches, they annoy me. The hogger-of-space aunty next to me gasps numbers as she crunches and I feel slightly condescending. My tummy is flat, and when I smack it, it twangs. Yours sounds like someone hit a matka.

The dryer goes whirr-kachunk, whirr-kachunk as it rolls clothes around in its stomach. Digesting them into dryness, making the kitchen snug. If you stand real close to the front, your toes almost under the machine, you can feel the warm air on your ankles.

Rain dwindles now, plink-plink in huge, ripe puddles. It looks joyful, small bubbles welling up from each plink. If I were more musical I’d invent a tune for these dainty little drops, hitting shiny puds, one ripple each in their wake. Something of a tiptilted nose and springy step, a pert sweetness, a lilting giggle. Music is such an evocative thing; I wrote a story from a sonata by Majowski once.

I haven’t slept all night for the second time this week; I don’t mind. The only issue I have is being tired on the periphery the next day, and when I don’t speak everyone thinks I’m being moody. Not-speaking is an unusually beautiful thing. You sift the shit from the real stuff, become invisible in a way. Not using your voice makes your eyes bigger to see, your ears wider to listen. Sana and I bought sunglasses yesterday, giggling and peering into the tiny Indian mirror Fudgy gave me. Hers are Ray-Ban and mine are Versace knockoffs, and the boy in the Civic at the red light stared. But it rained today, so we'll wear them tomorrow.

Mina at 12:30 PM


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Things Mina Saw This Week

blood on the road from an accident, for the first time, a shiny slick rectangle birthed from someone’s veins and arteries

the girlish old lady at gymkhana feel pretty in her ribboned braids

how magical a back can look in the light of the afternoon, filtered through the chiks

wide, haunted eyes in someone’s suddenly old face

an intact, albeit dead, bumblebee on the road outside the architect’s office, like a mummy- intricate, completely whole, hollow and light as the breath i blew to flip it over onto its feet

that my spider-sense is still pretty spot-on

that she is falling for him because she clapped her feet, and i know that laugh of hers

‘will and grace’, after a long time ;)

Mina at 6:05 PM


Monday, July 26, 2004

swilled in a toothicktobeelegant glass
surrogate wine

staining lips strawberryred,
and crannies filled with

berryflavour redpurple

on the inside, where skin is

almost a mouth
hickey, if you please, this
pretend wine

ode to berry tang

Mina at 6:11 PM


Sunday, July 25, 2004

just finished frenchman's creek. what a book. what a man. and woman, to be honest. what a fabulous, fabulous read. there's gotta be a mussalman frenchman out there somewhere.... *lol*

Mina at 1:06 PM


Friday, July 23, 2004

"... I
want to take your breath away like a secret
present unto me alone, be the well of your happinesses
I want to call you when I hurt, look up into your
eyes when I wake, take your tears and turn them into
laughter I want to be
the only one you see when I enter a room
the one you call first with the good news
the keeper of your secrets, the treasurer of
your soul,
I want you to be
the light in my eyes, the lilt
in my voice..."

something pretty i read off the 'net :)

Mina at 5:45 PM


Tuesday, July 20, 2004

must you come in
and switch on every light?

i don’t appreciate glaring fake
sunshine blaring its tinny saccharine in
my face

you want to know why i sit quietly
and let the challi-walas pass

turn off the light, maybe-
we’re all so honest
in the dark

Mina at 8:56 PM


Sunday, July 18, 2004

time: 5 a.m
a voice floats down the void.

abbu: mina?
mina: (turns down volume on 'a clockwork orange' and calls up) yeaaaas?
abbu: what're you doing?!
mina: (eyes on screen) watchin' a movie!


abbu:'s morning!

Mina at 2:25 PM


i watched sesame street last night. yup, i was fashionably awake at 12:30 a.m and ended up learning the alphabet with big bird (who was teaching baby bear so he could kick that bossy goldilocks' butt). and it was fun! i loved the J song and there was the cutest little puppet holding a little doll too :)

can you tell me how to get to sesame to get to sesame street....

Mina at 1:52 PM


Friday, July 16, 2004

if the world had an ass, i'd be kicking it right now. grrr.

Mina at 12:28 PM


Wednesday, July 14, 2004

crash and burn

Mina at 7:50 PM


Mina went shopping with Sana and Ammi today, after going to Gymkhana. Outside Jalal Sons there was a beggarwoman with a small, thin, baby lying limp on her left, tucked under her chin. It wasn’t her baby, Mina could tell, because the beggarwoman was swarthy-skinned and the baby was as fair as her nephews. Before going into the store though, Mina noticed the baby’s legs- mere bone, dangling limp against the beggarwoman’s fat tummy. Something in her legs felt icy as she followed Amma inside.

‘Amma, what’s wrong with that baby?’

Amma looked pareshan, her eyes creasing at the corners a little as she looked out of the glass door reflexively. She sighed.

‘It’s dying.’ She nodded her wise-mother nod, putting her Dolce and Gabbana sunglasses into her bag-from-England, pulling out her wallet-from-America instead.

‘Bhaag ke jao, de aao.’

Mina hurried out of the store, looking for the beggarwoman, who wasn’t far off. Mina gripped the corner of her dupatta as she handed the woman the money, looking at the child. It looked like it was half-asleep, sucking its thumb. It was so small and frail, just lying there limply as if half of its spirit was already running to the clouds. Mina drew in a deep breath, her eyes taking in the sunken cheeks, the greenish discharge in the half-shut eye she could see, the awful skeletal legs. The beggarwoman was saying something about medicines, but all Mina could hear was Amma’s resigned voice, the grim knowledge and sorrow of a mother. It’s dying. Mina thought of the babies she knew, and then this baby, who was dying.

Don’t cry in Jalal Sons (but I want to)
This is life (it's someone's flesh and blood)
Lots of babies die (not like this, not like this)

Guilt, guilt, guilt, standing amidst cartons of Perrier and Nestle juice and smoked salmon, guilt being there in her cargo pants and t-shirt fresh from the club, sorrow for children who have to die on a street in a market when there are people who could feed them their entire lives and not be an anna poorer. Guilt, guilt, guilt. And even the tiny differences we make as individuals feels like a grain of sand in such vast barrenness.

Mina at 3:12 PM


Monday, July 12, 2004

I'll give you countless amounts of outright acceptance if you want it
I will give you encouragement to choose the path that you want if you need it
You can speak of anger and doubts your fears and freak outs and I'll hold it
You can share your so-called shame filled accounts of times in your life and I won't judge it
(and there are no strings attached to it)

You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give
You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have
I give you thanks for receiving it's my privilege
And you owe me nothing in return

You can ask for space for yourself and only yourself and I'll grant it
You can ask for freedom as well or time to travel and you'll have it
You can ask to live by yourself or love someone else and I'll support it
You can ask for anything you want anything at all and I'll understand it
(and there are no strings attached to it)

You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give
You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have
I give you thanks for receiving it's my privilege
And you owe me nothing in return

I bet you're wondering when the next payback shoe will eventually drop
I bet you're wondering when my conditional police will force you to cough up
I bet you wonder how far you have now danced you way back into debt
This is the only kind of love as I understand it that there really is

You can express your deepest of truths even if it means I'll lose you and I'll hear it
You can fall into the abyss on your way to your bliss I'll empathize with
You can say that you have to skip town to chase your passion I'll hear it
You can even hit rock bottom have a mid-life crisis and I'll hold it
(and there are no strings attached)

You owe me nothing for giving the love that I give
You owe me nothing for caring the way that I have
I give you thanks for receiving it's my privilege
And you owe me nothing in return

You Owe Me Nothing In Return ~ Alanis Morisette

Mina at 9:51 PM


the humster, a.k.a kumbh sister, at the mela where i *did* find her ;)

Mina at 9:43 PM


Saturday, July 10, 2004

'don't turn your head. keep looking
at the bandaged place. that's where
the light enters you.

and don't believe for a second
that you're healing yourself.'

~ Rumi

i have begun to read. started today, actually. fingers crossed, heart open.

Mina at 7:16 PM


you know how people sometimes make their hand 'speak', touching their thumb to the tips of their fingers? i feel like i'm that hand. blah blah, blah blah. mouth moving on mute.

i wish i could finish a story, wish that my tens of unfinished tales had an end...but i don't believe in magic any more, and i guess magic doesn't believe in me either, and so i'll have to take the mortal path to closure.

it's a strange condition
a life in prison
s'got me over my head and i don't know what i came for

Mina at 9:18 AM


Friday, July 09, 2004

i went to the zoo today and saw the tigers and the monkeys and the lone croc and snakes and the bears and the lions and the not-pink flamingoes and the old ducks and the geese and a black swan and a rhinoceros and an elephant and a hippopotamus and the tigers but i've already said tigers okay haan and i scared three little kids from the rhino then i went to get posters then i had a mango milkshake from chaman then i sniffed the hugo boss man that was in the dashboard which is a very yummy thing to smell then i sung youre just too good to be true with a hairbrush mic then i ate koftay at home with ali and drank berry tang and ate some more mangoes and then i went online and wrote this uh huh guess who had a fun fun day

Mina at 10:14 PM


Tuesday, July 06, 2004

i saw amelie! i saw amelie! and i LOVED it! J'ADORE! i also want an artist painter neighbour and a red kitchen and to leave chalk arrows around a beeyootiful carousel and wear a scarf and sunglasses and hiss 'page cinq-une!' in a phone booth phone! and also wear a flippy little red skirt and have things just magically happen, where everyone gets the hint and lights candles around your telly and kicks your butt into doing what everyone knows is the magic thing! except for you 'cause you're just a silly billy. *big smile* i will get on CD to watch a bazillion times. yeeay!

Mina at 7:34 PM


Monday, July 05, 2004

The selfish, they're all standing in line
Faithing and hoping to buy themselves time
Me, I figure as each breath goes by
I only own my mind

The North is to South what the clock is to time
There's east and there's west and there's everywhere life
I know I was born and I know that I'll die
The in-between is mine
I am mine

And the feeling, it gets left behind
All the innocence lost at one time

Significant, behind the eyes
There's no need to hide
We're safe tonight

The ocean is full 'cause everyone's crying
The full moon is looking for friends at hightide
The sorrow grows bigger when the sorrow's denied
I only know my mind
I am mine

And the meaning, it gets left behind
All the innocents lost at one time
Significant, behind the eyes
There's no need to hide

We're safe tonight

And the feelings that get left behind
All the innocents broken with lies
Significance, between the lines
(We may need to hide)

And the meanings that get left behind
All the innocents lost at one time
We're all different behind the eyes
There's no need to hide

I Am Mine ~ Pearl Jam

Mina at 4:23 PM


Sunday, July 04, 2004

This is something I remember. And wanted to share a long time ago, before a bit of personal pissy got in the way ;)

Years ago, when I was eleven, I went to a birthday party with my cousin. The said birthday-party girl had a really big swing in her lawn. One of those swings that are like a park bench on a chain. So I decided, swing-lover that I have always been, to have a go on it. Our hostess provided the push and off I went. And I was soaring through the twilight, dusky blue of evening, flying higher and higher. Kids were going inside to eat cake and jello, but Mimi and I stayed out in the lengthening dark, pushing and flying, pushing and flying. She didn't ask for a turn, I didn't hop off to eat cake when the swing got too high. It’s a memory I don’t think I’ll be forgetting- the freedom, the wind in my face, the swing creaking, the thumping of my heart. And I couldn’t help but cry out- ‘this is it!’

And it was. When I got that contract, when I got that article in the mail, the Newsline one, that is exactly what my heart said to me. This is it. And it's simple, it's easy, it's the one thing that makes you happy and frustrated and fulfilled and never satisfied. It's your craft. The one thing you were born to do, the one thing nobody else could do the way you do it. Where your judgment is the way taken, your suggestions considered seriously, your opinion sought because you know your stuff, and you know it best.

It's like taking flight, one summer evening, where all the answers are there in the wind and wood of a swing, in the images flickering across a screen, in the feel of a pen in your fingers. Welcome to the club, Director Sahib. *smile*

Mina at 8:57 AM