A Travellerspoint blog

Viper-o-logy

I was back home after a lot of delays, cancelled tickets and curfews. Hiring a cab to be home was the last thing on my mind but I did not have too much to choose either. So that was it. End of an interesting holiday... if you permit me to say so.
Back home my potted plants looked pale and sick, the house was dusty but then it feels good to be home. Wearing my worn out tee, faded pajamas, cooking a quick dinner for me and my girl, I got to my duties once I stepped inside the four walls of my home. But my mind was still somewhere out there... amidst those tea plantations, the long walks by the river side, feeling the moisture in the air, watching the sun set, the laughter and well I was actually missing him.
When the whole house seemed still and silent I called my Wolverine man. It must have been past midnight. I have never done a thing like this earlier. This time around I did not even think twice. I just knew one thing. I wanted to hear his voice once before it was shut eye time.
The feeling I assume is mutual.
Shamelessly I told him how much I was missing him. It must have come across as very blunt or raw, but then again you see, its me. I prefer straight talks.
"Goodness, I am missing you too my Viper", is all he said.

Yes Viper surely loves her Wolverine. Both of them plans to get a similar tattoo done... so much for being friends for life... they plan to do a road trip together soon... which is very soon...up to the mountains.

Wolverine is a mountain man an Viper is a beach bum.

He essentially promised Viper that he'll take her to the seas as well. Feel the waves crashing on the soles of his feet, taste the saltiness and sand in the air and skin too.

I don't know what all this means. He is a friend I'd never let trade off even if if a certain Depp was in exchange!

One day he told me, "Give me baby Wolverine. I want to take her away with me. I will raise her up like my own child".
"How am I going to live without her?" I asked my Wolverine.
"Then why don't you come along? We will put her in a good school there up in those high mountains. They might not have the frills of the schools you find here but I am sure we can give her wholesome education. She will be one with nature and will love it there."

I waited for a long time before I answered. I think I was having difficulty in breathing and speaking when he said this.

"Take her the day I am no more or if something happens to her dad. I know you will bring her up like your own baby. I trust you".

He did not like the "no more" bit. And I said, "if you can wait for another twenty years which should not be a long time as because twenty years have already passed since the time we first met, I will be with you, spending my retirement life; up there in the mountains, meditating, praying and feeling wholesome."

"I will wait for that day", said Wolverine.

And I know none of us are joking.

Posted by incommunicado 10:47 Archived in India Tagged me mountains people Comments (2)

My Wolverine!

So I was in this sleepy little town of Upper Assam after almost about a year. Dibrugarh is one place I really never look forward to go. But then I have too many near and dear ones from this little town. And ten days ago I was there again. I knew I had to stay there for more than a week and I wasn't too happy about it. My stays in this town has never stretched beyond three days. A week looked a long time... I felt like a guest overstaying and taking undue advantage of a humble host.
And when you don't know what to do keep quite and fix yourself a solid rum and things go fine!
The days were hot and humid and nights were accompanied with prolonged power failures. I wished it rained. Because this town changes from hot and humid to a pleasant little town when it rains.
That Sunday evening when I was feeling heavy after a very late lunch I didn't even think of going out of the room to the balcony for a smoke. The air condition was a good companion and I wasn't complaining.
A knock on the door and before I could open Sid walked in with a smile I am so familiar. It was good to see him after a long time. I met him briefly the day after my birthday which was six months ago. He was my wake up call that morning when I was feeling absolutely groggy and was hung after drinking like a fish. And prior to that I faintly recall when was the last time we met.
This time he was looking good. He looked fit, in absolute control and seemed his body was sculpted with a lot of details.
"Hey Sid! You look good and fit!", I told him.
He blushed and you know he really looked cute.
He is a mountain man. This has kept him so fit. This is what he said.
It was also the first time he met Nior. My daughter. He did see her once or twice but she was still an infant.
And they talked. Sid is good when it comes handling babies. They also decided to watch The Wolverine the next day.
So it was set. We were meeting again post lunch.
I didn't enjoy the 126 minutes of Wolverine but Sid on my right and Nior on my left thoroughly loved it. Seemed they were of the same age and they also had the same expressions. Nior cannot behave like a 37 year old but I know Sid can be a 5 year old. And that was cuter!
"Lets take Nior to the park", said Sid.
"Which park?", I asked him.
"Get inside the car both of you. Baby is going to love the park and Mommy is going to love the drive", he said as he wasted no time and put the ignition on.
He was right. The drive was good. And the park made Nior happy.
So for the next six days I never got a minute to think that this town has nothing... no place to go... nothing to do... because Sid was with us - a constant companion.
And it was good. To bond after so long. You know how it is ... to talk to a good old buddy you've known since last twenty years. We went back to the time when we had first met. How things changed and how busy we got with our own lives and how good it was to be like this again.
He calls Nior his baby Wolverine and it was then I told him, "you are the Wolverive then!"
To which both baby and Wolverine made me the Viper!!!
Dibrugarh is a small town. But still we went on drives along the tea plantations, to the river side, walked on wet sands, feeling the moisture in the air, watching the sky changing from blue to grey and then to complete black. We stopped by the roadside tea shops and sipped piping hot teas.
Interestingly all the days we met I don't know how come we ended choosing same colour codes. Like it was a blue shirt and a pair of Levis he was wearing & I was wearing a kurta in a similar shade of blue and Levis. The next day he was in a white shirt and that same Levis and so was I... in a white kurta and my same pair of Levis!
I have a huge bunch of friends in Dibrugarh including my husband. And my busy hubby for the last eleven years too was happy that Sid kept us busy with one thing or the other.
So we went to visit a couple friend of our and there were another few friends too waiting to meet me & Nior. They all complimented me how slim I looked than the last time they saw me. I felt good. And Sid who was sitting next to me said, "Yes Viper... you've shed oodles of weight and you look stunning".
"Why didn't you tell me earlier?", I asked him.
"I didn't find the right moment to tell you. I was busy", he said.
"Busy with what?", I almost demanded.
"Busy looking at you"!!!
Sid comes up with the unexpected and this time it was my turn to go complete red!
And after eight days which didn't seem like an overstay as I had thought we reached home and strangely it was for the first time I was missing Dibrugarh.
These are the moments I'd like to treasure. They will not come back. They will be just memories and will bring so much of smile... to baby Wolverine, Viper and the Wolverine himself.

Posted by incommunicado 00:54 Archived in India Tagged me sunsets_and_sunrises people family_travel Comments (0)

Soul Wide Open

Notes by Mermaid

There comes a point in life when you are at crossroads and you wait for at least a minute or two and think which way you should go. Left or right. The left might be right or maybe wrong so can be the right. But you do take the next step and I decided to take the left. Somewhere back in my mind I knew the left turn was a wrong one, would be full of hurdles, pits, strong currents, the path would be rocky which would ache me to bits but nevertheless that's the path I wanted to tread on.
Mermaid misses her Goat relentlessly.
The Goat is not the man for her. He never will be. He never was.
He does all the things to make Mermaid angry and miserable.
He makes her cry.
He makes her envious for reasons which are downright silly.

And one fine day or was it night ...no it was wee hours just before the crack of dawn when she tells him, "You are insane. You don't have the right to make me cry. Why are you asking me what you should do. Its your life. Go ahead and do whatever you feel like. Do not call me. Never."
"Never is too strong a word. Yet I am telling you, never talk to somebody who makes you angry, miserable, envious or makes you cry. I apologize for all I said. Do not cry again. Do you wish that I obey what you just said? Would you talk to me for one last time?", the Goat said.
There was a rush of nervousness and fear of the unknown, which are off course like books say harmless sign of subconscious feelings for romantic interest and are caused by the release of mood-altering endorphin in Mermaid.

I took a long and deep breath. I did not know what else to say.

"This is what I was waiting for. That intake of breath. I love it so much. And when you are an inch away from me I'm going to kiss you when you do that again. What are you going to do then my Mermaid?"
I said nothing. Nothing at all.
"You will probably die gasping for breath then".
"That would be a good way to die. To be kissed to death", I told my Goat.

"Why do you stay so far away? When can I see you next?", I asked him.
The Goat laughed and laughed all the more when I said, "What's so funny?"
"It is funny. You said you like the distance. And now you are asking me why I stay so far away from you?"
"I purposely do that. I don't want to see you.".
I cut him short, something he really does not like. "I like the 310 kms/181 miles so that I can drive to be with you. And when we meet I will be at least a foot away from you. So don't try to stay that far away".
"Do you think I will be able to hold myself... to stop myself from holding you. Do you think you will be able to stand a foot away from me?" the Goat asked me teasingly.
"I am in love with you. Don't you realize that?"

And here I am ... the Mermaid who has been in love with her Goat for the last twenty five years.

Posted by incommunicado 10:36 Archived in India Tagged people Comments (0)

Past Perfect (is but bittersweet)

I read somewhere that "if someone made you happy in the past, don't regret it".
It's a simple line, easy to follow.
It also made me sit back and think.
About all the things and people who have made me happy once but now we are just mere chapters from the pages of our lives.
I will not argue or ponder about things like what went wrong, was it me or was it them... was it a word... a gesture.... egos... or why it happened...
I guess everything has a shelf life.. be it moments... good times... fun... fondness...
Like an elastic band. You stretch and it comes back to you. And if you stretch more it snaps.And then you wonder why did you stretch it so much in the first place.
As the year changed from 2012 to 2013, I did a roundup of things that happened during the year that just went by.
Of all the good things and bad, the fact which stood out like devil horns was; I realized I lost three good friends.
All these three were really special... an integral part of my life... being there when I needed them the most. The ones who'd manage to make me see the sun in the midst of grey thunderous clouds. Gave me a reason to smile even when I knew I was like an insect entangled in a web not knowing how to escape. Who saw my soul beyond the colour of my skin, my nose, my height, my eyes and stuck by me no matter how silly and insane I'd be.
They said they loved me for my insanity.
But now I wonder, did the same insanity drove them away from me? I don't think so.
With them I could be me, be foul mouthed too. Sometimes its good to be abusive. Too much of morality like everything else might prove fatal!
Do I miss them? Oh yes I definitely do!
But then again, I read somewhere and I firmly believe everything happens for a reason.Sometimes people come into your life and you know right away that they were meant to be there.You never know who these people may be, but when you lock eyes with them, you know that at that very moment they will affect your life in some profound way.

So that I no longer see or hear from them, maybe it was meant to be that way.

Posted by incommunicado 10:35 Archived in India Tagged people Comments (0)

BACK IN TIME

Everyday as I cross the stretch from Chandamri to Guwahati Club, my head turns to the right robotically when I pass by the place what at one point used to be my home, my playground.
It is a strange feeling, it always has been. What used to be a home filled with people roaring with laughter, whiff of good food in the air and kids running helter skelter all around is now filled with strange and unknown faces.
If I could go back in time or had a rewind button, I’d love to go back to those wonderful growing up years I spent in our Silpukhuri ghar.
I secretly nursed some amount of pride for living in such a beautiful house. This feeling was an acquired one though. In school, often not only my classmates but even their parents would tell me, “Oh! You stay in that beautiful house? It is palatial”!
Guwahati was a small during those days, with a handful of people. It seemed everyone knew where I stayed without giving them directions or a landmark. Rather our house was a landmark of sorts for most of them.
I have faint recollections of Koka, who was addressed mostly as Tarun Dodaideu or Momaideo. Koka was one person who liked everything right on dot and down to a tee. With Koka around you, you actually did not require a watch or a clock showing you the time. His schedule was such; you’d know its 3.00 p.m when he would come out and sit in the varendah waiting for this post-nap tea. Or it’s 7.00 p.m when he had his pre-dinner tea.
Every morning I would be intrigued with his three sets of magnets, which he used as a therapy. I was particularly fascinated with the smallest of three, a pair of black magnets which he’d keep below his ear lobe, on the either side of his neck. My turn would come once he was done and I thought those magnets would relieve me from my tonsils and I could savour ice-creams to my heart’s content.
Koka was also a reservoir of stories and jokes. It was so much fun hovering around him. No matter how much mischief we did, he never raised his voice or scolded us.
And one fine day he left us. By no means could I comprehend why people were mourning and grief stricken. I wondered why Koka had to go, leaving us behind.
I wish I could have spent some more time with him. It surely would have been a great learning experience.
Aita is the woman who made me what I am today. Mostly Usha Khurideu or Mamideu to one and sundry, she had an ageless endurance, a quality I’d like to imbibe.
We kids were terrified of her. She was so Hitler-ish! But now I realize how important it was on her part to be like that. Somebody had to take control and pull in the reins.
Aita had a green thumb and was an avid gardener, be it flowers or vegetables and fruits. Sirikanto (spelt Srikanto!) her Man-Friday I know despised me to some extent and in great measures. I would have done the same if I were in his place. It’s not amusing to have a wild child running around the kitchen gardens, poking the buds of cauliflowers with little fingers, watering the plants so much that it would be muddy and eventually never live long enough to bear fruits and flowers!
So Aita came up with a great plan. She asked Sirikanto to make bed for me and with his help; I sowed tomatoes, carrots, eggplants and peas. Never did I care to bother the other vegetables again and till this day I find plants and flowers very soothing.
Aita is the one who let me discover the joys of baking too.
I don’t remember having best friends in school as such, because Silpukhuri Ghar was always filled with kids all the time and who needed to search for friends outside when we were a bunch of cousins spending a whole lot of time together, playing games and pranks mostly, sharing secrets (some are there till today) and even bathing together.
We were a bunch of super mischievous kids, always with a wound on the knee or forehead or mud all over clothes. And this bunch had its share of nasty fights, groupism, best friends, favoritisms as well. Pomi, Maini, Pallav, Montuli, Niki, Viki, Nirmali, Abhi, Annu & me teamed with Baby & Raja (our neighbors) was definitely a motley crew; a dirty dozen!
If I had to manage such a group it’d surely give me heart attack! I truly appreciate Aita’s patience in tolerating us and the ruckus we created when we all would be together. So yelling at us was but natural!
Growing up together has been truly wholesome. That was more than two decades ago. Now all the communication happens through phone calls or social networking between this gang, one on one. I wish our kids had a chance to meet and mingle like we did.
When I tell stories of my childhood to my daughter, she gazes at me in awe and all this is like a fairy tale to her. My girl by now knows who is who, through photographs I show her in Facebook or by the stories she has heard and a few she has met too.
This is my ode to the wonderful memories I have, to the people I have grown up with and to my lucky stars to be alive and tell this tale.
And I know I will ceaselessly treasure these memoirs until and unless dementia and Alzheimer's hit me. And in that case my girl will retell me these letting me relive the moments again!

Koka - Grandfather
Aita - Grandmother
Dodaideu - A father's younger brother
Momaideu- A mother's younger/elder brother
Khurideu - Wife to father's younger brother
Mamideu - Wife to mother's younger/elder brother

Posted by incommunicado 09:06 Archived in India Tagged people Comments (0)

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