Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Monday, February 8, 2010


HHmphh...!!!!! My only reply to the question. How do I focus on the line drawn between a clairvoyant whim and confident skill..?? It should lie among my blind spots(I know I have numerous..!!) if it ever does.... (the line and not the blind spot.)

Both my parents are everest base camp(EBC) achievers, my sister and I can boast of rappling down an overhanging cliff face at the age of 12. We recited outdoor safety rules with the names of our primary teachers..
1 Never wander off too far from the group especially when nature calls.
2 If lost always follow a river or stream down river or down stream
3 Never attempt to travel in the dark

At 23 i was prepared and ready to face the jungle.

My last few months in the city that crafted my career were like drift wood, a jalopious fragment, soaked out but still floating. My most recent venture was to help my BFF move all belongings into her new apartment (a perk with her graduation degree). I was there to help around with the unpacking and moving. I moved in with a fair amount of my own luggage as I promised my last week in the city to help her with her first week as a professional. Help ease into the new schedule and acclimatize to the new surrounding. The house was big and beautiful with a garden and pretty flowers and colourful butterflies, we were given a furnished single room with a bathroom, toilet and sink. 2 wooden cupboards and a minature fridge, a hot plate and drinking water. Comfortable and convenient.

The third sunset found me heading back to our new place, I was alone and 2 large birthday beers(with another uncommon friend) down. No one was home not even our land lord and the moment outside the spiked gate was longer than required. Being BFF I had earned my own key to the door but not the gate. Easy peasy, I decided I could climb across, unabashed by the people and dogs around, I was not guilty of B and E(I had a key!!). I tested the spikes on the gate, they were sharp enough to raise my eyebrows. I shrugged, dropped bags across, a hand hold, a foot hold, test both, hoist weight, steady balance, cross and jump down. Grinning and dusting off my hands, I opened the door. A strong aberrant urge sent me rummaging around for our common pack of classic milds and found it in her fasttrack pouch(result of impromptu hiding).

Indian society demands feminine discretion, requiring polite and decent roles, involving non drinking, non smoking and domestically inclined images before renting out, ergo, a smoke is not encouraged within our premises. So I decided to take it outside. A fleeting possibility(the thought literally materialised as -"what if I get lost??") drifted into my consciousness, I was new to the locality, but then a smirk followed at the sheer the stupidity of such a possibility(the smirk-stick to only left turns). I laid it to rest by pocketing a matchbox, picked up my phone and the keys and helped myself out the same disparaging way I came in. The sun had long set on our plush(i know of a house that sports of a bentely) little residential complex providing perfect cover for a walk and a smoke. I set off peering down every lane for a watchman free street. 5 minutes later I lit up, and in the flare of the match, I noticed a line of bleeding spots on my plams, against where I put my weight when I scaled the gate, I wiped it out against my shirt, grinning, I dialled a friend for company and took a deep drag. I put my weight against a parked bike when my head began spinning(was 20 days since my last smoke). I was still grinning.

Nausea and gagging made me can my unfinished second cigarette. I held my mouth shut over my heaving diaphragm and hung up, took a fresh breath and headed home. That is when I realised I was lost. From where I stood over the stamped out the butt, I didnot know whether to take a left or a right. I tried a few steps to the left and a few down right in an attempt to establish familiarity, but in the dark, all the houses looked the same. The same concrete patterns, trimmed gardens and parked cars every where, with no one around to ask for directions.

I was lost, not in a life-at-stake manner, I knew the market was just 6-7 blocks away and that a mainroad passed by somewhere close, I just did not know where. I took a moment to list through my lost rules. None seemed to involve tarred roads. My heart beat never skipped a beat, yet a feeling of dense deja vu descended on my chest . I knew I would get out, it was only a matter of time. The question remained how much time. I clenched my fists at my displaced orientation, it left me with marks deeper than the spiked gate and a host of questions that can be answered with only one word- CARELESSNESS.


THE NEPHELAI (or Nephelae) were the Okeanid nymphs of clouds and rain who rose up from the earth-encircling river Okeanos bearing water to the heavens in cloudy pitchers. With their rains, the Nephelai nourished the earth and the fed the streams of their River-god brothers. The Nephelai were depicted as beautiful, young women pouring water from pitchers, like their sisters, the Naiades of the springs, or as women flitting across the sky with billowing robes.