Monday, 31 May 2010


It's about to rain...I can feel it even though I am sitting in a glass cage insulated from the outside world. I can feel the distinct nip in the climate; I can hear the thundering;
I turn back to see the skies darkening.
Will it drizzle? Or will it pour?
I hope for the latter. There's nothing like getting drenched to the skin. And, hoping to cross the danger zone safely without stepping on the crabs clambering out of their homes under the boulders.
Danger zone! That was the name my sister (and I agreed) had thought for the kaccha rasta which was lined by boulders conveniently used as stepping stones during the rains. The bad thing was that the boulders wobbled when we gingerly tried to walk over them and not to mention the crabs and frogs and tadpoles and snakes. I remember I used to mumble prayers to someone sitting up there while I hopped across the boulders; sometimes the wrong judgment leading me to land into the slush.
Once on the other side I bravely continued my journey to the bus stop, sometimes stumbling over stones, trying to wipe off the rain drops from my face.
The school and my classroom presented a very colourful picture because of the raincoats and umbrellas drying out in the verandas. It was fun to walk in the gumboots. Nice, squeaky, squelchy noise they made.
It was fun to sit down on hard benches in the wet uniforms and then getting up again and again to check the patterns my bottom had made. It was nice to feel one droplet making its way down the back or trickling down from the forehead...
It was nice to dream of slurping hot teas and gorging on bhajjis on our return back home.
It was nice to sit on the window sill and watch the rain falling pitter pat or lashing down the roofs.
It was nice to make paper boats and sail them in the puddles.
It was nice to jump up and down in the puddles without bothering about dirty clothes.
It was nice to sit in a comfortable arm chair waiting for the electricity to lighten up my home.
It was nice to spot the glow worms after the rains had stopped.
It was nice to hear the crrrrrrrrrr of the cricket after the rains had stopped.
I can hear the mad honking from the roads. Without getting up from my seat I can tell that there is a long jumble of cars and buses and scooters racing to get ahead of each other on the slippery road. The signals are not working adding to the chaos.
I will soon be a part of the chaos.

Old posts in a new blog

These posts were published before. Hope to write something new...

My looks and the way I dressed was a cause of concern to everybody else, except me. “What's the big deal?” deal was my constant refrain when first my mother and then my friends in hostel, frowned at my mismatched salwar kameez or down-at-heel chappals.
“You know look like a proper jhalli. Just look at your hair, all frizzled. No one will believe that you have run a comb through your hair today. And, listen this dupatta doesn't go with the maroon kameez. By the way, have you ironed the salwar kameez before wearing it?”, Anima, my room-mate, went on and on without even pausing to check if I was taking it in. I was not. Why would I, especially when it's an everyday ritual – you know something like being forced to drink milk and then quickly emptying the rest of it in your sister's glass once your mom's back is turned. And your mom being very much aware of it...
Anima knew that I listened to her with sleep in my eyes, yawning, wishing that she skipped the daily ritual and hurried for the bus. A neat, organised and fastidious person, Anima cringed at the thought of being seen with me at the coffee house or theatre or park. She never ceased wondering, “Why anyone would turn out like a mess?” and perhaps that was the reason why she had promised my mother that she will transform me into a 'civilised' girl.
Did she succeed? Well, that's for Anima to answer!

Any hostellite will always recall with horror the food served in dining hall or 'mess' as they are called. No wonder that, hostellites who lived on hot chapatis, 'served fresh from the tawa', (which turned into papad if eaten five minutes late) and soggy, watery vegetables always had this gaunt and 'famished' look.
It was difficult to sleep on half-empty stomachs, so girls from the neighbouring rooms used to get together in one room and talk... of food.
“My mom makes very good pav bhaji. When I go home for Diwali I will eat to my heart's content,” said Rajashree. Then Prajakta started talking of chaat – our mouths started watering at its mere mention. Looking at the expressions of other girls, I realised that all of us were thinking of gol pani puris, bhel puri with its slightly tangy taste, hot ragada pattice... It didn't do any good, because we couldn't slip out in the dead of the night to eat chaat. There would be no chaatwallah either!
Next brain wave came from Darshana, “Chalo, hum yahin bhel banate hai.”
We all were galvanised into action. Farsan and gathia came out of the cupboard, one solitary onion was produced with glee, tomatoes and bit of coriander was smuggled out with the help of canteen boys. Since no one had any murmure, we added all the above-mentioned ingredients with chivda. No tangy imli ki chutney out came ketchup with khatta-meetha flavour. Did it taste good? It was heavenly!
Sated and happy, we sat talking for some more time and then fell asleep, dreaming of bhel! From then on, it became a nightly routine. Bread masala, wafer shev puri, pohe with cauliflower and peas added to it, khichadi...we were very creative and imaginative with the names as well as the delicacies.
As the term neared its end, we had lost the gaunt and famished look. Our parents thought the hostel food was nourishing and we looked happy. Well...parents are parents.