Hi. ‘Poetry understands you’, says Dan Chelotti. Hope you will enjoy the three videos on introducing poetic thoughts in Literary Ventures page in Mizhi. Thank you.
One of those memories I carry from my childhood days is that of looking forward to the weekend outings with my family. When I say ‘outing’ please don’t imagine it to be a short trip or a long tour. 🤓 We would be spending time visiting relations and family friends. I could sit through all of those adult conversations on politics, religion or economics, if there was this promise of Wheels’ soup at the end. Now, to those who do not know Wheels, it is a very small and compact restaurant tucked in between several shops near Plantation Corporation, Kottayam. For me, there is no sweet corn chicken soup better than that at Wheels in Kottayam😀. Of course, you may differ with my taste buds🙏. But all these years of being a Kottayam-ite, I have always run to Wheels for a bowl of soup. Let it be when I was on an off-mood or after a hectic day or just to haul a friend to eat out or for a quiet time with my husband and daughter, I would choose Wheels. It’s been almost two months since I stepped into the familiar scent and Beatles’ music at the Chineese eatery. Ah! My heart turned all soupy today evening🍂. I made a bowl of soup. My three year old daughter loved it.😄 Gulping down the last spoon she asked, “Amma when are we going to Wheels next? After Covid?” So, I have company when turning soupy next time.🐜🐜 Or was it passing down a legacy? I don’t know. 🌾
I was brought up by a strict father who worked as an engineer and then later as the Manager of a factory from where he retired two years before. He used to drive miles in his car to and fro workplace, and also got engaged in other religious and social activities after work. In my memory Appa was always glued onto machines and cars. But the past two years revealed to me a side which I never imagined him to possess. Appa has become a smart farmer in the little space he owns. The picture offers a glimpse at his labour in trying to grow ivy gourd.🌿 He gets a good yield of beans, red spinach, ginger and turmeric and also medicinal plants like tulsi. 🌱He waters and manures the plants regularly, borrowing fresh cow dung from one of our neighbours.🐝 That’s not the only change which I want to scribble down. Last month he surprised the entire family on his birthday by stitching a short skirt and a gown for his three year old grand daughter. He patiently sits with the tiny tot for almost an hour on the steps while she imagines them travelling in train all the way to Pondicherry. Quite graciously he plays the roles of the engine driver cum tea vendor cum cleaner cum passenger cum the TTE🤓
Well, Appa in his sixties has turned into a new leaf. Yea, maybe, sometimes old people can teach you brand new lessons in life😜.
Life is a series of abandonments. Right from the womb abandoning the life it had nurtured for nine months, to those loved arms abandoning the body to fire or dust, we journey in a series of let go’s. Some people abandon us out of necessity. What if we were not ‘abandoned’ for a few hours at school? We would have never learnt to strive and move ahead. Yet there are abandoning memories which hurt too.
Friends and relations who you had thought would be forever, suddenly step up one day and say, “Hey, catch you later”, and disappear down the road. Oh, and the hard ones are those who never stop to say goodbye, let alone explain the reason. And I guess the most damaging ones are those people who return after a long time, and then stay for sometime before disappearing again.
The corona lockdown would have given different feelings to different people. For a few it was fun- family, cooking, art,.music, online catch ups etc. For a few it was pure meditation and yoga- a search for the inner self they had missed all the time. For some it was all activity-oriented, especially in the backyards and fields. For a few, staying at home was a greater disaster than the epidemic itself. For some it was all an e-world, from morning till night.
Well, for me it evoked a sense of abandonment. In two- three weeks I could sense that I was letting go of things and people, and I was also being abandoned. Though initially messages like ‘hope you are safe’, ‘you are in prayers’ etc sounded quite hopeful, soon I realised that many of those were random forwards from people who had to spend time, and thought framing such concerned messages will be a good option. There would be no further replies when u try to pick up where they left with one-liners. Books were largely my resort. But after a while I felt that some sentences were abandoning me totally, leaving no sense at all. I was reading the same sentence again and again, and not getting a thing at all. Movies, after five or six, sounded and looked all the same. And cooking became a minimum necessity as there was no other work to trigger hunger. Basically i felt that life was slowly abandoning me. That is when I decided to abandon a few things. I purposefully avoided listening to a few musicians whom I had had loved in the past. I gave up trying to get the crux of passages which stopped to interest me. In other words I learnt to skip over the sentences without anger or guilt. I learnt not to spend idle time on phone, and abandon it for a while. I learnt to abandon food, at least once or twice in three/ four days’ time. I guess I am still learning to abandon people. And it is difficult, maybe I won’t learn that at all. But I learnt that I am quite an insignificant part of Life in total. People, places and events will happen without me. And I need not worry too much about “Won’t that be difficult in my absence?” Of course. A bit hard in the beginning, but then life will just move on. Homo sapiens have the capacity to adapt and walk on. Life is easy when you finally start to look out and say, “Hey, I have been abandoned in the past. And I have moved on.Sometimes it was quite necessary too. Else I would have had a stunted growth. “
So let life abandon you, once in a while. Stay home. Stay safe. Such an abandoned existence will teach you how to survive. Without being let alone by yourself at least once in your lifetime, how would you ever grow up!
The view is breath taking, if you are ready for the rocky climb!
There is a room inside the cupped leaf,
for the ants to rest awhile and