Category Archives: Photography

Cherries for the Pudding

 

FullSizeRenderIt was a lovely Sunday afternoon. He woke up to the mellow sunlight briskly entering his room. He was supposed to get out of bed and clean his car in the garage like he used to every week on that day. Afterwards, he should be trimming the grass in the lawn and spending his time looking at the progress of the seeds he sowed. For him, his plants were his kids, and he reserved his Sunday for them. He didn’t take any calls on that day from the office.

Today was different. He didn’t wish to get up. He wanted to stay in the room all day, with his quilt and the fragrance of his wife’s perfume in the bed. She was not home. She had been going as per her routine. She had woken up exactly like she used to in the morning and had gone to the market to purchase fruits to make her Sunday morning pudding.

He knew they had to talk. He knew his wife hasn’t been the same she used to be before. She didn’t sing like she used to before. Or forcefully take him to clubs at night, where she danced in the glittering lights like a lightening herself. He wanted to spend time with her today. He wanted to let her know that despite how busy he stays, and how uncaring he might be looking to her these days, and unacquainted she thinks he is with her pain, he wanted to hold her today and tell her that he loved her and that till they both have each other they will never be alone in their lives.

She bought packs of cream, some mangoes and a jar of sweetened cherries along with cartons of skimmed milk. She kept them on the cashier’s counter and stood there watching the lady on the other counter holding her child in one hand, as she struggled to pick the bags in the other. She hushed her baby and kissed it, as she walked to the door of the store, that opened itself as she approached it. She left. The person at the counter woke Madie of her wonders and told her the total amount. She apologised and checked her purse for the amount. She remembered she had to withdraw money from the ATM. She gave her card instead and left with her bags.

He looked outside, through the transparent, satin white curtains of the window. He saw his wife’s car parked outside the house. The lilies on the window panel looked as if they hadn’t been watered for days, and had gone withered. He noticed a layer of dust on the window panel. His wife loved that window and sat there every evening reading her collection of philosophy. It was her place of peace, where she felt away from the entire world; her own little world. Since he changed his job, he hasn’t been much in the house in the daytime. He missed seeing her sitting on that cushiony chair and smiling to him in her red frame spectacles. As he sat on the chair, he saw her book on the stool beside his chair also has a layer of dust on it. He got up and dialled his wife number, aking her when will she be back home. Her song began playing in the room and he saw her beeping phone beside the television.

She chose to drive her bicycle today to the supermarket. She felt the breeze on her face as she passed through the air, cycling through the roads. Her bag and the jar of cherries in her basket in the front of the cycle, she paddled. She took a turn to the right of the bridge, where she saw a little girl looking at her, standing by the streetlight. The girl took a step forward and Madie took a turn towards her.

He receives a call. He rushes to Parkington Street. A crowd is gathered around the yellow tape in the area alongside an ambulance. There’s a police car parked at a distance.  He sees her on the floor alongside the broken jar of cherries, all shattered on the floor.

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Beneath.

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He noticed his uncut, uneven nails dark on the ends with dirt. He observed how ugly the nail of his little toe was, minuscule and just unattractive. His faded blue paragon chappals reminded him about how long it had been since he went to the market to purchase any footwear, which was astonishing for him given the exertion he subjected them to everyday. He liked those faded blue chappals, though he had a pair of black ones at home too. But they weren’t just the same as them. In his lost thoughts, he was interrupted by a sweaty man standing behind him,

‘Will you move ahead? Where are you lost man?’

‘Yeah. Sorry.’

Clutching his old brown bag to his chest he took two steps ahead in the line. He pulled an ironed white handkerchief out of his left pocket and wiped his forehead with it. He felt kind of breathless standing there, surrounded by impatient office people, who after their tiring shift in the day were desperate to withdraw money from the ATM and leave for home. He looked at all their feet. Brown dusky leather shoes, mustard wedge sandals with orange ends, dark red cotton slippers with black stripes, black shining belles with powdered dirt over it. They all spoke of the distance their owners covered each day.

Two men similar to his age, standing in his front began ranting,

‘What did we just end up doing? Sir, you bet that this man would change India. All he’s done with this move is that he’s created more lines for us to stand in. As if there were any lesser before’.

He couldn’t understand where to look anymore. The constant rattling wasn’t appealing to him. He took out his cellphone for a few minutes and texted a few replies to unread messages that came in the day. He wanted to leave the line and just be somewhere else, anywhere else but there.

But he stayed there. For he had to buy white sneakers for his son’s sports day. The promise kept him bonded to the line.

Suddenly his neck began aching, and the weight of his body felt too heavy for him to stand anymore. The sight of dirty feet, the footwear they were in and the ground they were upon. wasn’t as entertaining to him anymore. He looked at people around, all walking or standing, looking at one another, or below, or at the ATM or their phones, some in their wallets, some at other women as they walked by and some with their eyes on the verge of shutting. And. he looked above.

There they were, within the peaceful blue shade of the sky like speckles of cotton attached in a painting. Soft, subtle, calm as a river, serene as silence. Just there, unaffected by the dilemmas that were occurring down here. They didn’t care, they didn’t bother. They were just being. And more time he spent looking at them, he realized they weren’t still, they were moving too. And the thoughts in his mind suddenly became slow and his breath came in sync themselves with clouds.

The man behind shouted again, ‘Dude, are you high? Move dammit.’

He took two steps forward.

Parley.

The words rising within
Losing their fortitude
The growing anger relishing the pain
I see your eyes shouting out loud

Afraid for doom to bide
And bring the worlds to collide
The silence maintaining a balance
Requisite for peace to thrive

But is the peace being threatened
By neglecting the ringing chide
Your silence, and avoidance
Silently burying freedom in denial

The ring will stop,
Once the other side loses its time
For your reluctance
Will cost you a repent of a lifetime

And in the end,
Winning against all odds,
Beating every dubious assumption,
He picked the call.

Against the Odds

When Heaven Met Me.

Picture taken at Dal Lake, Srinagar (Jammu & Kashmir, India)

 

I had been hearing of constant references to Kashmir, whenever anything about heaven was spoken of, endless lauds of its majestic beauty and serenity. What was in this place that two nations have been battling furiously for decades over the ownership of this land, kept me inquisitive till I finally got to witness it myself.

A major zone of conflicts in India, the state of Jammu & Kashmir has troops everywhere, with guns and a vision of suspect at all times on them. It’s kind of frightening to have that kind of constant presence of force over you all the time.

Nevertheless, the trip was a life altering experience for me. Srinagar has a fragrance that I can never forget. And howsoever amusing that might sound, gallivanting through the lanes of the city in a car, witnessing the soothing surrounding, the cultural habitancy of the place, the enduring built of houses, everything about the city feels like a walk down heaven. The place honestly felt like a literal mesmerizing depiction of the term.

Moments spent on a shikara at Dal Lake shall stay with you forever, as reminiscence of a time where you witnessed serenity and absoluteness of nature.

Relax