Tuesday, June 30, 2009

dont give me that look sheel...

“Sheel dear…lets take a break today!” I said to sheetal over the phone. And sheetal wondered why was I calling her sheel. “is romance in the air anand?” she asked, and I could imagine that mischievous twinkle in her eyes as she said this. “Come on sheel, lets make plans for the engagement, coming up next month!”

“Wow! So what does mr romantic suggest for the day? I am just getting ready for the office….”“Good, I called at the right time then…listen, a few hrs at the lakeside, at our usual spot, then lunch at copper coin, shopping comes next, want to buy a few things for u, and then maybe a movie, ‘betaab’ has just released, and am keen on seeing this tomboy called amrita singh. What say?”

“hmmm sounds interesting, see you at your place in half an hour, ok?”

“done! Come faaast okk?” That’s how the day had begun for us. Sheetal was my life, nothing less, and nothing else.

Later on, we did go to the lakeside, took our place at the same place where we had spent endless hours till now, a weather beaten, rustic, wooden bench, under a sprawling and massive gulmohar tree. Sheel looked resplendent in that peacock blue plain silk kurta, and a light blue denim jeans. Venus had been kind to her, she was endowed with everything that a woman could have asked for. And she didn’t use an iota of makeup, yet managed to look stunning every time, her curly golden brown hair tied loosely with a clip, she knew I liked it that way.

As she sat next to me on that bench, on that sunny, yet cold January morning, she rested her head on my right shoulder, and had closed her eyes. I was busy watching a few strands of her hair flutter over her head, occasionally smoothening them with my left hand. There was a gentle breeze blowing away, and the golden sun was extravagantly warm over mother earth today, trying to beat the winter chill, its rays playing hide n seek with us through the gulmohar leaves. The lake waters were calm, and shimmered and glistened once in a while, a lone duck paddled along merrily, exploring the expanses of its vast little world!

“What kind of engagement ceremony should we have sheel? Lavish, traditional, a small affair….”

“aaaaanand…this isn’t romance dear, I thought you are in a different mood, calling me sheel” she giggled, “lets leave it to the elders na….”

“hey sheel, planning the engagement is called systematic romance, you know that?”

“get lost! Go and pick all the flowers that you see on the lakeside, including the wild ones, and make me a garland…jaao jaldi!”

“whaaaat? A garland??? You will look like someone from Polynesia, pretty woman!”

“ohhhh how do you know what a Polynesian woman looks like? Come on go!” saying this she almost pushed me…

memories… they are like smileys, constantly bobbing up and down in our mind, and bouncing against the walls of our heart, aren’t they sheel? Resurrecting every incident as if it happened just a few minutes back, rejuvenating and nourishing our lives no ends….Now now…don’t give me that look sheel! I know I have to get a fresh garland, have been putting up one on your photo frame every single day! Since last 24 infinite years…

Saturday, June 20, 2009

the mynah speaks!

I have my bath around 7.30 to 8, every morning, and leave for office at 8.40 am! Bathing time is also a time to hum a couple of kishore kumar numbers, that too quite loudly! At times the gentleman who lives one floor above, counters my songs with his own stock of some lilting mohd rafi numbers, and thus we enjoy a kind of jugalbandi, often meeting later, in the elevators, complementing each others singing ability! The construction of our building is such that a beam passes just outside our bathroom window, either to lend strength or to enhance the aesthetics, whatever! And perched on this beam, every single morning, is a mynah! Merrily chirping away in her dozen different voices, looking around absorbing the sunshine, and also at times looking down upon us humans, busy scurrying to work, on the new D.P road that can be seen six stories below!

This morning was different, as I sang “zindagi ke safar mein… guzar jaate hain jo maqaam….” I heard its usual pitter patter! I opened the louvres slightly, and looked at it! The plume strutting up, giving it that nonchalant attitude, it merrily sang away, as if proving a point that it was no less, when it came to strumming its vocal chords! I wished I could talk to the mynah, ever since I was a kid, I have always wanted to talk to the birds & animals. If just once, we could get to know what they speak to each other and what they feel about us and so on, wouldn’t it be amaaaazing? Just as I had this thought, the mynah looked back and said to me “hi guy!”

Me: (dumbfounded…!) er…hi! Did you just say that “hi”?
Mynah: of course, who else it was?
Me: wowww! This is unbelievable, magical! Am I day dreaming??
Mynah: you normally are, but now you aren’t, I am really talking to you! Sometimes the God IS kind, to you…..humans!
Me: you got attitude! For your tiny size…er…whats your name?
Mynah: we don’t have names sir! Don’t we all look alike?
Me: yes you do!
Mynah: then how would names differentiate us?
Me: I didn’t get that ( confused )
Mynah: listen, if khushi, manisha, chithra, keeran, and renu looked exactly the same, would it help if they all had these different names? You wont be able to identify them by names, would you?
Me: well…. You do make sense…
Mynah: I know that, we are created to make sense
Me: wow! What self esteem mynah…..hey! would that be miss or mister mynah? Since you don’t have names…..
Mynah: god help you annandji! Now though we all are identical, didn’t you notice those extra curves on me? Don’t tell me you don’t notice curves!!
Me: of course I do, I mean your curves are noticeable too….so miss mynah, how are you?
Mynah: we normally don’t ask such questions when we greet each other. We birds are always fine. God has created us to be happy, and that’s what we are always, happy!
Me: thats nice to hear, the same God has created us too, yet, most of us, or all of us take turns at feeling happy, miserable, frustrated, sad, blissful, angry, resentful, lonely and what not…
Mynah: you humans are materialistic, selfish and have spoiled things for yourselves, we birds feel sorry for you sometimes.
Me: do you really? Do you talk about us?
Mynah: why should we? We have better things to do mister!
Me: and why isn’t there unhappiness etc in your world mynah?
Mynah: simple, we follow the rules of happy living. And that too without a single scripture or book or sermons or saints or temples or religion or rites or rituals! You guys have all the resources at your disposal, and yet you do not know what is peace and harmony. We laugh to see that some of you are paying money to learn the “art of living”!
Me: well…er… what do I say…er…
Mynah: you don’t have anything to say yaar, you are a writer and yet fumbling for words? Do you know why? Because what I just said is the truth!
Me: describe a typical day in your life mynah
Mynah; I spend a couple of hours, enjoying the sunshine, while my partner loves to fly around. He is also looking for a place now, to make a new home for us, the present one is dilapidated. We will plan another set of babies soon, the first set lives near the next building. We all gather for food, and eat together. Afternoons are spent resting in trees, and then flying around in the evening, before we come home at dusk, and then sleep.
Me: wow that’s so nice! Hey, tell me something, do you flirt?
Mynah: flirt? What is that?
Me: …………. Forget it, I know you all wont, you all look alike and think alike, so……anyways, nice talking to you mynah. It was good to know about your lifestyle, I have to leave, getting late for office.
Mynah: nice meeting you too, and yes….you sing well! Bye
Me: thanks, and bye!