All posts by meenavid

About meenavid

Pensive thinker. Jumping bean. Loud thoughts. Loudmouth. Extreme. Ordinary. Twenty and something but what the heck, still a kid. Make a happy mess everywhere- or not. Indecisive. You see? Sigh.

the photo

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Here I am, laughing boisterously-

Nobody misses the flying hair,

the static twinkle in the eye,

the fingers wrapped around my waist,

a sliver of skin where the dress slips off my shoulder.

A moment captured for posterity.

Those who see, think-

“At the still point, there the dance is.”

Only,

The hair is unwashed, the dress is burlap,

the fingers are leaving a mark,

the twinkle is the reflection of artifice.

I am laughing at myself.

 

The Sunday Disconnect

I would rather write about a glorious Sunday. One that we all have painted out and ready in our heads, you know, a pretty little virtual movie with one of those watermarked Audiojunkie happy tunes in the background. One where I sleep in late and wake up to the familiar warmth of the midday sun or the sounds of a busy kitchen or the annoying screaming of kids playing cricket in the streets of a utopian gated community or the crackle of oil and the smell of breakfast or the floral scent of soap from Amma’s morning shower. Whichever happens first. But it is not to be. I wake up early, early for a Sunday that is, and try to remember what it is that woke me up, waiting for the all too familiar gushy feeling of I-have-nothing-to-do-it’s-a-Sunday to spread through my veins and provide the adrenaline to do nothing. I hit a blank. I just woke up, it seems. Outside the window the sun is bleak, looking like it did not sleep very well. Or maybe it just hasn’t reached its full potential yet. I realise all I ought to need is some brisk morning air to wake myself up. I step out into the garden.
The air is still and the ground is wet. It has apparently rained through the night, and this should be a relief. Google tells me today’s forecast for Coimbatore is 34 degrees with a thunderstorm. There’s nothing in there about the calm before the storm though. So much for the high hopes that the cool morning breeze will ruffle me up. The leaves stand in attention and the ants silently make their way up and down the stems, pushing me into a deep existential probe about the similarities between Sisyphus and the Ant. Out of the blue, I decide to sing to the plants. Surely that will wake both of us up? Unfortunately, I am not well informed about the song choices of the venerable Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and start humming Aerosmith’s Dream On . Like I discover, the song does not become humming very much and I growl out the refrain. I swear the plant shudders, and the thought disturbs me more than the fact that I have been unconsciously singing to the beat of the distant barks of a dog. At least somebody’s got their thing going this morning, I think.
I abandon the singing and pick up The Hindu, lying half wet on the porch. The paper boy must have overshot his aim today. It sits there, looking well informed and meaty and a little demonic. If newspapers can look that. It is Sunday and there is Jerry Pinto’s column to read, my mind rejoices. It is about snow. The article is well written, of course, but Pinto’s despondency only adds to mine. The two lines in the entire essay that I can relate to is when I picked my nose and found my finger completely red too, not due to low temperatures like in Pinto’s case, but from when I had dengue fever. That mental image refuses to make way for any more snow imagery and I sigh and give up on the article half way. The Sunday Disconnect weighs heavily upon me.
I trudge back to my room and put on my Sennheisers. The muffs need to be replaced, but my ears love them anyway, like the one pillow you love to hug though it’s not fluffy anymore. I hit play on my phone, and the tune picks up from where it left off.
Kitni dafaa subah ko meri tere aangan me baithe maine shaam kiya. Channa mereyaa..
How often my day has morphed into night waiting for you.

Closure.

How does one get closure from a love that never was?

Nothing to remember but forget-

one cannot.

How does one move on from a love that was lived

in the head and the eyes and the twitch of the lips?

 

How does one get closure from what was never told

but in sighs only the quietest heart

could hear as lovelorn moans

How does one move on from a past too scared to be

but in dreams of a spirit caged in reality?

 

Shivering nights in the naked breeze

Stars together that smirk and tease

But I

I see the dreamcatcher.

Glossophobia

​May I write to you?

My core processors from terabyte speed

swivel and ruggedly power down

(Like the brazen biker without a silencer

jerking to a stop at the junction)

when I try speaking to you-

Wile E. Coyote out of cliff to run.

May I write to you?

I might forget the avalanche of words

that break off into unfinished textese

(Like the mike at the leader’s speech

betrayed by the blackout)

when I try speaking to you-

Homer Simpson run out of d’oh.

May I write to you?

I’d just like the time you see

To google bits of poetry

Appease your grammar nazi

And stalk your facebook ID.

Then perhaps I shall edge in a word or two

And invite you to a mute date

At the cinema.

The Boy Who Lived lives on

I confess, I am an addict. Even when it has been weeks since I read a new book, I will still go back and re-read the part where Snape produces his doe- Patronus and weep myself to sleep. Even when I am having a bad-tummy-day and must ignore the delicious vathakozhambu my mother has made, I will still fantasize tasting Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans and chugging on some Butterbeer. And even when  I know that nothing including doubly-strong iron chains that could anchor the Titanic firmly in place could keep my parents out of my room, I will hang up a poster on the door and will it with all my nonverbal- spell-casting skills to ask anyone who seeks to enter for a password. I am a Potterhead and the promised worldwide release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, set 19 years after Voldemort is dead has got me all riled up.

potter door
My Pinterest-inspired Potter door/ He is a leglimens

Since the launch of Pottermore, an entertainment website to which Rowling officially contributes, we have had more than enough to satiate our appetites for any news from the magical world of Harry Potter. And Rowling has delivered. From sorting us into houses, allowing us to explore Diagon Alley (and pocketing stray galleons on the way) to sharing with us the back stories of characters, one can say that the boy who lived has pretty much lived on. But there lies the conundrum. Did we really want him to live on, and live thus?

I must say, I was partially disappointed with the Epilogue to the series in itself. Yes, Voldemort is dead. To have the snubby-people-like-Fudge ridden world suddenly transform into a warm, friendly place wasn’t the worst part, in fact, it was totally understandable especially after Rowling proved she was only second to George R.R. Martin in making the world gloomy (read Sirius, Lupin, Fred, Dobby and Dumbledore- enough said.) But to find that the trio ended up being pretty much where they wanted to end up in life, married to the people they “loved” during school and all responsible and gay struck me as slightly odd. I mean, how many of us end up marrying our childhood sweethearts, doing exactly what we thought was our goal in school and name our kids something they are bound to be teased for the rest of their lives? Rowling gave us the imperfect marauders whom we fell head over heels in love with, and everyone from that generation surprised and delighted us (a 25- minute movie called “Severus Snape and the Maruders” made by Potterheads and uploaded very recently on Youtube will tell you exactly why we made such a fuss over that generation). Then she gave us the Potter generation, and they had their moments too, making us feel bad for Draco in parts and call Ron a complete ‘arse’ for ignoring Hermione. Rowling was employing the oldest trick in the bag of character constructions- making us see the perfection in everyone’s imperfections. We wish the epilogue was similar.

But let us not dwell too much on the past. After the seven books came, we busied ourselves with Mugglenet, reading fanfiction and rooting for Drarry. We busied ourselves with Rowling’s stories on Pottermore. What we did not expect was a whole new magical world thrust upon us, complete with new magical schools, sorting and histories of their own! Yes, I was miffed when I discovered that the American counterpart of a muggle was a ‘no-maj’, because it came from a woman who flaunted her French with Vol-de-mort (you are no Potterhead if you did not know that) and her Greek mythology with at least half the other characters and creatures. But I was overwhelmed and overawed when I was introduced to Ilvermorny, Mahoutokoro, Uagadou and Castlebruxo- wizarding schools other than Hogwarts all over the world. The Ilvermorny story (the North American wizarding school) was revealed on Pottermore a few days back, both to the delight and chagrin of fans all over. The latter was sparked off by an indignant letter by a Native American Potterhead which went viral on the internet. She felt Rowling had been insensitive in her research on the Indians and hadn’t given them enough space in the story. But for a non-indigenous fan of Rowling’s who knows very less to nothing about Indian folklore (yes, I am being selfish here), the school and its houses opened up a world that promised to be as magical as Hogwarts itself. After going through the magical sorting, a revamped version of the Hogwarts one with questions like “What would you exchange for your heart’s desire?” and “ Do you prefer to remember/ experience?”, I was declared to be a Horned Serpent. I was confused if this was in any way related to Slytherin, and only heaved a sigh of relief when I read that it “Represents the mind” and “Favours Scholars”.

Harry Potter brought in a flurry of firsts in my life. My first literature paper was an eco-critical analysis of Harry Potter. My first application of Coleridge’s “willing suspension of disbelief” was when I imagined the broomstick at home was a Nimbus 2000. The first time I saw what the world looked like at 5 in the morning was when I stood in queue to buy the latest book. I can hardly wait for the magic to recommence on July 31st. For Harry Potter, the excitement is on, always.

Rediscovery

The evening passes in tense awkwardness

of politesse and thank-yous inching around

soul aches and knee touches seemingly oblivious

Until the charade comes to an end

and a simple “Drive?” hangs in the air.

We loop around roads I told apart

Once

by the aging temple, the Gulmohar

in full bloom, the coy stationery

huddled in between, but no more.

They go by, hurt,defiant at being

forgotten. I memorize instead

You.

Your checkered shirt stretched taut across

shoulders that promise respite

The ache to trace a finger across that back

translating to a pathetic, wandering

finger on the strap slung across

and when you shake your head trying to understand

if what boils in you wells up in me

I count the small number of grey hair,

Register the exact tint of your Ray-Ban,

trace the shape of your teeth through the boyish smile-

Only stopping when

I look at the soul shining out of the reflection

of your gaze in the rear-view

And gasp

Terrified to see the same fire in mine

And with an effort that might have

Ousted Atlas’s, wrench eyes away.

I see

the temple, the Gulmohar, the stationery-

they’re all ablaze.

Where did the words go?

lurking away in some corner

of lips parched with the immobility of silence

and trapped

in the slur of the tongue drunk on sleep,

teetering on the edge of memories

that threaten to force you off the brink

of existence.

Happy memories, not sad

for sadness has a beauty about it when alive

but happiness

once lost, takes away the words-

meanders in the dark

And anchors them in the land of the lost.

Chaos

Is your mind so cluttered that the silence of an echoing room feels like the white noise of the television? When it does not just sound that way but looks like it too- you blink your eyes to the blinking black and white of chaos. Yes? It cannot be. For then you must be me.

Kafka stole my poetry

Kafka stole my poetry

The summer last that is.

When light soul liquified

Weighed down- seeped cold.

All my visitors – driven away

From home now nest of vermin

When Kafka stole all my words

The summer last that is.

Gauzed vision has replaced

Clear blue skies with smite

Carefree- that forgotten word

Gives home to vengeful spite

That dreaded moment- realization-

Nothing but a speck of dirt-

In other specks much dirtier

And masks of mirthless mirth

The summer last was when I knew

That Kafka stole my poetry.

But was it ever mine?