The first time I interviewed someone for an assignment, the
piece came back with a remark which read – ‘MOTS’ needs flesh, i.e. man on the
street needs flesh! Whatever that meant, confusion was my first reaction to it.
However, with writing and then rewriting the same assignment over, and over again,
I realized that I had to add character or rather more ‘meat’ to the story. So
what is my point here? I am trying to say that when someone asks me to read a
new book or try a new author, I am generally wary of them. Why? Because I do
not want to read through the book like a zombie because there is nothing (in
terms of ‘meat) in its story or the characters! But (There is always a catch, isn’t it?) Whispering Paths by
Sneha Subramanian Kanta is different. Her debut publication has already put her
in a league of writers who are out there to tell stories; stories that touch a
chord deep within us and haunt us (in a good way) for time to come. Stories
that a reader can relate to, feel the pain, …
It is heavy; scratched, weather-beaten, worn out over the ages and yet, it survives. Being held in a brown coloured plastic cutlery holder currently, it sits almost abandoned among the new ones. They are shiny, lighter when held, cleaner even as Papa often suggests. We leave it alone. Try to ignore it as if it would stir something in us that we are not ready to face. In fact, even if it is the only spoon remaining in the holder, we wash the used ones. It is thick, impenetrable also just like Dadu. If I were to drop it, it would make a loud thud on the flooring. Like his spoon, if Dadu bellowed, which he often did, we would all run helter-skelter.
Denser than most I have ever come across; heavy with memories of his past, his then present and future. As I said, it is like no other – of no consequence, a misfit among the new set. We can't be rid of it though. It is a bane and a boon. Bane when it topples the cutlery holder, unbalancing its weight, beneficial when it came handy to balan…
This post is dedicated to all my friends and colleagues who are mortally afraid of the ‘lizard’.
Eons ago, the sister and I, having made our peace for the day, sat watching the Discovery channel on an afternoon. It was a hot day in May, a month into our summer vacation.
We were watching a show that showed us the evolution of creepy and crawlies, i.e. butterflies, bugs, small reptiles and the likes. As soon as the butterfly hatched from its cocoon, my sister groaned. She couldn’t watch it. The act scared her witless. She couldn’t even watch them hatching. Sigh… that was the end of watching Discovery channel in her presence! In reality, I too couldn’t stand the presence of a lizard or a cockroach. The latter always caused me to let out a bloodcurdling scream adding to the hilarity of the situation. Thankfully, my dad came to my rescue.
And because my dad rescued us from all the roaches and reptiles, I felt my brothers and future husband would handle the bugs too. I was so so wrong!
Sitting straight-backed on her bed, her eyes wide open; she frantically searched for the culprit. It couldn’t be the cat or the spider that she had let be last night. It had to be something else. She blinked and then shut her eyes again as if to clear her mind. The busy street downstairs was quiet. That was strange. But what was weird was that there was something in the air. The crisp, cold nip in the air had nudged her out of slumber. Unlike the balmy night before, the bleak morning sun caressed her now goose-pimply flesh with a cold draft.
Even though the fine, almost invisible hair on her neck was standing as straight as they could, she refused to give into it. It was going to be a beautiful day, she thought. She’d never had a problem waking up; a light sleeper, the first few strains of the alarm clock always got to her. Then began her mundane routine. But a habit was excellent – a mantra she had followed all her life.
Yet today was different. The ripe and pungent smells of last n…
When I moved to Gurgaon in 2011, what I really loved the city was that it had so much space! There were gardens (in every sector), trees lined the roads, and my marital home was lined with flowering plants. I guess living in Mumbai; an uber urban jungle always had me longing for space, especially a little green nook for myself.
I achieved this briefly when I moved into my rented place, but then we moved to Mumbai again. Back home in Mumbai, we have plants on every window. The almost-floor length French windows in every room let in a lot of natural light, and of course, many birds come visiting. However, the pigeons being feral, they built their nests and ruined everything. To be rid of them my folks put up wired netting to stop from pigeons making maternity homes on our windows.
This stopped all others birds too. But I had hope as I did not allow my entire window to be covered. So the birds can come but won’t access to space to build nests. So far, no maternity nests J