Momma Cat

What is the word for frequently whacked, without connotations of serious violence? Is there word of such specific colours? If yes, then that is the colour of my childhood, courtesy my Momma. But let me give credit where credit is due: I eat most vegetables without flinching. Eating tantrums bring back the feeling of a freshly thumped back.

I grew up around a very blurred definition of “bad” manners. The result of this (you guessed it) whacks every now and then, interspersed with many, many verbal whacks. Established examples of bad manners aside, this volatile word could encompass anything: from laughing loudly to opening one’s own birthday presents without permission. Ah, how far do lie discipline and logic. How far indeed. To this day, the letter “G” can bring a feeling of terror. Consider this scenario:

SDM (momma) is teaching me the alphabet while preparing dinner (I can barely prepare dinner while preparing dinner). I reach “G” on that clolourful bore of a book. I’m stuck. The time of my “stuckness” is directly proportionate to my mother’s rising temper. The silence grows heavier and heavier.

Me: *silently praying* Dad please come home. Come home. God what is this letter. Dad come home!

Whack. “Its G! What is it?”

Me: “G.” *sobs.*

Later, sisters see me sniffing. They laugh.

It’s a rite of passage. A long, long passage. But to be fair, I still know what “G” is supposed to sound like.

Looks like a grim picture, except it was not. You see, in our little world SDM has to balance things out for us, because my father’s go to line when he saw us studying was “Eh. Why are you wasting time with all this? Are you in 10th? Come lets go nap.”

But she also has her moments, which are useful in explaining mine. For instance, the first time a mixer-grinder arrives at our house, the excitement is palpable. My grandmother has long shunned these “shortcuts that make for flavourless food”, while my mother is on cloud nine because here is a new appliance for her to clean. Yes, that’s right. Not to use. Clean. No one bothers with the manual much. In go the mustard seeds (because, Bong) and whirl. Seeds everywhere because the lid is loose.

There are mustard seeds in my dress. In my shoe. In my soul (it’s called inflated writing. I just made it up).

Many years on, she puts them chillies and what not into a utensil, puts that on the machine and keeps pressing the button saying “It’s not working!” She does that about three times before realisation dawns. I remember my grandma. Shortcuts alright.

A few years later, a washing machine arrives. This time, the manual is read and re-read. Big whoop. It is used only for bedsheets. Which is not often because bedsheets, being a passion of my mother’s (among utensils and bedcovers) are dry-cleaned. Mind you, the washing machine is sparkling clean and empty.

The first time I hear her gushing about me is to my domestic help, when I’m about 6 and under a bed sweeping. It was fun for me, sweeping. And for my mother, because I was tiny enough to really get at the corners. That is what the gushing was about.

The first time my sister and I are watching television in a new house, we hear strange noises from behind it. we switch it off thinking some wire is sparking. Later we realise it’s mother cleaning the tiles of the other side of that wall. Cleaning in between tiles with a safety-pin.

OCD aside, she also has a long list of amusing phobias. The number one being drunken men.You could be a drunk man on the other side of a busy street, minding your own business (as best you can) and she would run as fast as she could from the spot. How would she know you are drunk? No idea. Not saying its an accurate radar.

Once on a horribly 10-hour delayed Rajdhani to Delhi, a man offers us his mobile to call people waiting at the station. She throws me nervous glances. I go sit next to her:

SDM: Don’t take his phone. He is drinking alcohol!

(There is no distinction here. No beer no whisky. It’s all always simply ‘alcohol’).

Me: How do you know?

SDM: You didn’t see? He is drinking out of that can! In front of me! These men. Disgusting.

Me: That’s Del Monte juice Ma!

SDM: Oh? Well go ask him and call your sister then.How nice of him to offer.

I never received much advice in the way of cosmetics from her. The first time I got my eyebrows done, she had one comment to make:”Idiot.” Not one for public beauty standards, my mother. I don’t this this counted as advice. But I have a scenario which is closer:

SDM: Don’t use this face cream. It’s so sticky. It’s pulling my skin and my face is white.

Me: That’s because it’s a facewash Ma.

I was not entirely sure she had made a mistake. Having found no soap at hand (while in the process of shifting houses), she had washed her face with surf and went to the bank.

On being called to school to take an ill me home, she caused much confusion by asking for my sister who has graduated about 3 years earlier. Then she caused much laughter at me by sarcastic english teacher who said “See how umimportant you are to your family? Your mom doesn’t remember who you are.” To which I said “Thankyou sir. Now you can treat me with the special kindness that you would extend to David Copperfield.”

A lot of us spend much of our childhood in the belief that our parents are infallible. They are not allowed mistakes. These episodes help us become wiser. So that eventually, some of us can reach a point where we see them for the people that they are and can get to know the same. The more I realise my state of affairs, the more I wonder how she did all that she did.

By my age she had already had children. I consider coming out alive on the other side of a weekend alone with my cats (with them alive too) and the house not at all in flames, as praiseworthy.

It is going to be ten years. And the questions keep multiplying. I cannot do much, except write them down, hoping she can hear. So I will do the same. Forgive me.

How did you do it Ma? How did manage to go to work, cook meals everyday for 5 people, knit, sew, clean and keep with with those annoying soaps, every single day? How, being as overtly cautious as you, break away from your own family to marry a man you loved and knew only in letters? How did you know love? How did you hold your own in a house full of strangers? How did you feel the first time you held your baby? When among all of this, did you cry? Did you also have days when the tears wouldn’t stop? What did you want to be when you were a child? Did you have a happy childhood? Which is your favourite story?

And how, how did you manage to impress upon a home, an aroma and aura so strong that it leaves every other prospect of home as always already incomplete?

It is not loss that haunts. It is all the lost conversations that haunt. But you probably know that.

And there isn’t much you cannot face, if you have lived through the moment when your mother asks you to let her go. That there, was unfair.

Let me tell you a few things. I like washing dishes too. I love buying new bedsheets too. I brush at night while on trains as well. I’m dead scared of earthquakes too. I’m scared of leading life all by myself as well.

The only time I feel beautiful is when people say I look like you. I keep cooking in the hope that something come close to the taste of your cooking. And by the way, the only reason those cakes of yours would often not rise is because the baking powder was not in proportion to the other ingredients.

Ten years or twenty, I will never get over you. I think of you every single day. And even though i always favoured dad, or anyone else over you in general, I miss you more than anyone else. There is nothing i wouldn’t give up for you.

Ans Harry Potter is not about ghosts for god’s sake!







I’d have to be dead to be more irregular. — thewisdomouscat

Lady 1: “Where is Saudi Arabia?” Lady 2: “I’m not sure. Isn’t it in Europe?” Me: *Eyeballs popping out. Must. Stop.* Silent me (Sm)*: Wouldn’t you know it? History just almost changed right here Lady 1: “I’ll Google it” Sm: They analyse data for a living. Shiver me timbers. *Sm is the voice in my […]

via I’d have to be dead to be more irregular. — thewisdomouscat

I’d have to be dead to be more irregular.

Lady 1: “Where is Saudi Arabia?”

Lady 2: “I’m not sure. Isn’t it in Europe?”

Me: *Eyeballs popping out. Must. Stop.*

Silent me (Sm)*: Wouldn’t you know it? History just almost changed right  here

Lady 1: “I’ll Google it”

Sm: They analyse data for a living. Shiver me timbers.

*Sm is the voice in my head. A most mellow, helpful voice. Not at all bitter.

We learn a lot by meeting people and the conversations that ensue. We also learn a lot from conversations that do not belong to us. Now, I’m not saying let’s listen in on other people’s conversations in pursuit of knowledge but, with the world fast running out of space, there isn’t much of a choice.

For some months now I’ve been spending around 3 something hours crammed into a tin can which defies all laws of space-volume-mass (aka the metro train). This is followed by many more hours in a box like establishment full of uninhibited strangers (a corporate office. Not a shady bar. I see the room for confusion here). So, you know, I hear things. It’s all part of God’s plan to enrich my life.

I’m not saying its a good plan.

You read and you hear how each woman is beautiful and special in her own way., etc. The routine objectifying-with-a-difference things we are all familiar with. All of it evaporates between 8-10 am in the ladies coach in the metro. When you are crushed between butts, boobs and bags, trust me, you do not have the capacity to think about individual beauty. You are also a wee bit pre-occupied with the assault on your nose, because, the smell.

Oh! the smell. Stuff fit for a bard’s song. Much, much sweat air molecules that enter into open relationships with a gazillion floral fragrances. Some trapped into commitment with underarm crevices by synthetic fabrics in the summer. Aah.

Time stands still when the trains do — many minutes after a train stands still for seemingly no good reason, a voice will say “There is a short delay in this service.” Sm: Why! You don’t say! “Inconvenience is regretted.” Sm: As is life.

It is during such times that you learn much from other people’s conversation. Because, well, you cannot move. Like schools, you don’t really have a choice.

Once I came across the best live examples of optimism and its opposite. They discussed about 3-4 people’s lives, one with fondness about others’ good fortune, the other spilling cold water on it. Let’s call them O & P.

O: She is a teacher now. Good for her. Earns well and gets vacation time.

P: Yes but teachers have no time for a life. They can’t leave work at the workplace.

Sm: As opposed to us, the town-red-painters?

O: That one left her job to study again. Her family is quite supportive about it.

Sm: What’s sunshine going to say to this one?

P: Yes. That’s good. you know, for people who like those things.

O: And that one got another job. She is happier now. And her sister is earning a lot as well.

Sm: What can sunshine possibly have to say about this. Can’t wait!

P: Yes but their relatives do not get along with each other.

Sm: Applause!

Another evening. A chirpy passenger (its a big thing to be standing in the evening metro and still be chirpy). When I first heard her talking, she was talking about ants in her room and how she was up one night killing them, so she could sleep. Twenty minutes later, she was still talking about them ants. If you’re thinking they must have been complicated ants and many, you’re right. Because:

CP: I poured water on them thinking it would kill them. But those ants were playing dead! They weren’t really dead!

Sm: I wish I was dead.

To be fair, knowledge is found even outside the trains. The epigraph to this post (yes, I just called that an epigraph) was from the office space. During some of these instances, I am obliged to play songs in my head. That is because of the texture of these sounds. For example:

“We have to be careful with biographical write-ups about Americans. Because anyone can be a wife and a husband there. Husband doesn’t mean, you know, man. Hehehehhheheheh.”

Sm: *Jingle bells. Jingle bells.”

“That guy has a dog. It’s not surprising. These gay people often keep pets.*

Sm: *Smelly cat. smelly cat.*

“I hate all muslims.”

*need to walk out now. song will not do.*

But it’s not like I am placing my conversations in any other category. For instance, this washroom conversation:

SC (friend): I think next time i ask for a leave, i’ll show some cleavage. *Does a little shimmy at the mirror*

Me: Won’t work. The guy who grants leaves has a better cleavage than you. It could lead to a cleavage dance-off. His wife has enough cleavage to drown you.

SC: Ew. Imagine swimming in cleavage. sweaty cleavage*pretends to swim*

Me: But. Why?

Wow. Long post. I will end this with some reflections about birth control. Wedding season starts from the fall. By June next year, you will have to give up seats to women with babies. So, about birth control: where is it? I have to let at least three metros go, then run against pushes and shoves to find a seat in the evenings. i have given up seats 5 times in three months. So what if it’s the right thing to do? I will still complain. Because the fifth time it was to an un-pregnant person who wanted my seat so as to eat a whole pizza.

You can ask why do i not just travel in the general compartment. Because when I did (braving the stares and the undisguised stink), an oldish man asked for the seat. my friend offered it, got grazed by many a hand (accidental or otherwise, who can tell?). And for the next 30 mins, we heard about every accomplished relative he had/has and got much unsolicited career advice.

So your daughter earns $90,000? Then why sir did you need my seat?


Scaredy Cat. Purr.

You see? It was almost happening again. My loyalty is boundless-Have blog. Will not write. Yet another testimony to my gusto for life. But it was not too late. I know this because I had not forgotten the blog’s password. Also because i am writing this now. A bit of an obvious point, I agree. But we all must start somewhere. Ah well, poo.

At the outset, I intend to offend no one. Nor make little of or light of or be insensitive. Although it is a Herculean feat to go from one day to another without doing any of these, it is not my intention here; should intention ever matter in such situations. (This is my first attempt at writing a disclaimer. I do not think it reads very polished. Dear dear).

This post is in and around the not nice phenomenon of earthquakes. It is something I had wanted to write about  for quite a while. As in months. Never got around to it (but obviously); and then the phenomenon itself sort of caught up with everyone in a terrible way. What I learnt from the one is that i am terrified of earthquakes. What I learnt from the rest is the terrifying bit some more; and that I should get on and write because I am terrified and I need to step back from the fear. Also because one fine day it (among other things) may not leave me with the option. (As you can see, haven’t quite mastered the stepping back yet).

Growing up in towns like Shillong train you for a few things: umbrellas are the stuff of constant vigilance, always to be kept by your side; do not argue with the cabbie, you are not half as powerful or disgruntled; do not question the importance of a hot water bag, embrace it. One among these is that earthquakes are only to be expected. More frequently than rainbows. In my years there, I have spent many a moment dropping anything and everything and heading for the door. (Except once when I wondered whether I should shut down the pc and run or just run. Thankfully it stopped and I did not need to choose). But it never inspired such fear or panic; there was little fear of death attached to it. It was more of a ritual really. Sometimes people would not even bother to run. Because in the town that it used to be, Shillong still had the scope of a few free and open spaces, added to the childhood faith in your own invincibility. Now, not so much.

Since moving to Delhi, I have developed an anxiety disorder, this being a pretty powerful stressor. The mind begins to shake when the ground stops. So much that you feel tremors when none come.Buildings weigh heavy on fragile minds with the scope of no where to run. The thing about fear is that it is so silent; so crippling. Panic comes only at the point of explosion; fear is a deeper reaching disease of the mind. And a longer staying guest.

Yet, when any phenomenon, including earthquakes are almost part of routine life, memories get attached to them. I’ve learnt that the mind thinks randomly; in a random stream. So a cup of tea can remind you of a really nice evening spent with someone; which can then remind you of how expensive a cup of coffee has become nowadays; or just that you have not put sugar in your current cup of tea. But the mind also remembers categorically. So that while I think of this frightening experience this time, I think of others as well, which now just make me laugh. And how right Rowling was when she said that they only way to get over your fear, is to laugh at it.

Let me introduce you to the primary characters in my revisit: SDd (my dad. characteristic induced at quake: sarcasm); SDm (my ma. characteristic: hysterical loud panic screams); sd1 (eldest sibling. characteristic: not bothered much.); sd2 (elder sibling. characteristic: reaction to quake depends on time of occurrence) and yours truly.

The earliest memory I have is not my own because, before my time.  One indulgence Shillong gives you is the unbelievably amazing feeling of sleeping through cold nights wrapped in fuzzy quilts. It is quite hard to let go of, even in dangerous situations.I am told that one night when there was a particularly strong quake, SDm ran about screaming at the neighbours to run, while the children gathered around the rest of the calm family. An aunt who was staying with us did not wake up when called. She only awoke when she fell out of the bed, still wrapped in a quilt. I am told that many of the neighbours stood observing a huge pine tree sway back and forth,  taking terrified guesses at where it would fall, if it did and cursing the person whose garden it was in. Some women whispered defeated, ‘the end of the world is here.’ this exclamation is repeated whenever a quake string enough to cause people to run out on cold nights occurs; along with ‘scientific’ predictions of a huge one that is to come. (It’s been coming since i was in 4th grade). Also, on such occasions, the people in that neighbourhood run out screaming Krishna’s name. Hope and doom, all together.

The next memory is of a night when the quake begins softly. So SDd says to me, ‘No need (to run).’ Then it starts to make itself felt. SDd: ‘Oh ho. I have work tomorrow. Have to get out of bed now.’ As in: run! So I follow with SDm, who whimpers, ‘Oh my god! my god! We stop at the door and I think, ‘Ok so the door is safety point?’ Nope. We are waiting for the siblings. SDm screams at them to hurry up. A moment later, we are joined by sd1. When asked where the other one is, she reports that sd2 wouldn’t get up. Now, SDd is faced with a dilemma: save the children who are consious and let the other one be? Or give the whole being family thing a shot? So he orders sd1 to force sd2 out. SDm meanwhile is whimpering at a louder pitch now. sd1, not bothered, shrugs and heads back in. fortunately at that point, the quake stops. We go to the siblings’ room and witness: the quilt is on the floor; with both hands, sd1 is pulling sd2 by the leg. sd2 is holding onto a pillow and mumbling, ‘Let me sleep. I wont go.’

sd2’s reaction is dual in nature. On a sunday afternoon, SDd, sd1 and I are on the bed lazing after lunch. sd2 is also there. SDm is sitting by the heater, fresh from a bath and content after having cleaned between sparkling bathroom tiles with a pin. Slow, half-hearted quake strikes. sd2 sprints out quickly; SDm follows, comb in hand and I  also begin the ritual. The rest stay put. By the time I put one leg down, the quake stops. SDm is at the building stairs by this point. She returns just as quick. Relieved. sd2 continues to run. I watch from the balcony as she runs, looking like she has a purpose of Greek tragic play proportions, towards the gates, only stopping when she notices no one else has stepped out of their houses. As SDm announces the end of the occasion with a ‘thank god,’ SDd says, ‘ Your mother sure is a team player. taking one for the team. Children and husband can wait. Run run.’

This refined sense of humour shines at another occasion of a dinner time quake. We make it out the door when it stops. And we see that sd1 has come with an empty plate in hand. SDd says, ‘Your sister thinks ahead. She will be the best prepared when the rescue teams come to give us food.’

Earthquakes are terrible not just because they remind us of the fragility of life. That fact is never forgotten easily. But because they tear down things one works so hard to put together in a lifetime. Relationships, memories and even identities. The fear is not just that you will not live; but also that someone you hold close may not. The fear of being left behind, in another sense altogether. It is what so many people in a country very close are facing right now. Grief of horrid proportions to which some of us react with ‘told-you-so’s’ and pseudo psychic explanations and predictions. There are hopes that these things teach us lessons; but faint hopes. Still, it is important to respect grief before we rationalize them. And treat fear with compassion; not just dismiss them. Or mumble, Sheldon like, ‘There. There.’ He, mind you, has evacuation plans ready.

Cats do not only purr when they are happy; but also when they are scared and in pain? It is a reminder: pain and fear are of different kinds; not always obvious or even what they seem. Fears manifest themselves in different ways; perhaps they can also be overcome in different ways.


How do you react when approached by beggars at traffic signals?

That questioned is meant to be answered in your head, if answered at all. Obviously this is the wrong platform to expect an interpretation of what the answer might say of you at another level. Least of all by me, as I follow in the steps of Joey Tribbiani and proclaim, ‘I don’t have another level.’

When you shift to a big, big city from a teeny little town (whether with happy hopes *coughs-you-filmy-lot-coughs*, or general grumpiness), you are subjected to a culture shock of subjective proportions. One of the big differences I noticed was in the practice of begging.

I suppose it is true of most cities: the rhythmic approach of beggars at traffic signals; their coming and going in sync with the traffic lights. In my then tiny town of Shillong, they had a more, lets say, scattered approach. Maybe because Shillong has no traffic lights? (Hmm just thought of that). As as aside you should know, in a sudden fit of heaven knows what in Merlin’s pants, traffic lights were put up in Shillong. Huge expenses by the government. Huge. None of them worked. There was more random traffic in those few weeks than ever before. Soon the lights were shut (not a big loss since most of them only blinked one colour) and the traffic police were back with their bribable but quick ways. Needless to say, it was the cause of much laughter and still is. It’s on its way to becoming the stuff of hilarious oral legends.

Anyway. The beggars of Shillong could be anywhere and nowhere. Well, not exactly no where. (I use the past tense because I do not live their and so, cannot provide authentic data. Even if I did, I could not provide authentic data, as explained by the section dedicated to my hapless short term memory disorder in the previous post). Their movements were not very restricted. Mostly, they would be found in the lanes of the big central market in Shillong, Police Bazaar. You can laugh at the name but it’s not really very funny. What did you expect? Another Mall Road?

You could run into them in any lane; they had none of the organizational skill as is found in Delhi. Not that there were many beggars to begin with. Except one year when there was an influx from UP and Bihar. It was covered by the local news ( it was impressive even though there was not much meat to cover in Shillong then).

Mostly they would ask you for alms and move on. But some were very determined. They would follow you around till either you caved, or made a run for it. But they would take anything you gave them, cash or kind. (In Delhi if you pay two rupees, you run the risk of the other person returning it to you with another rupee or two attached. At least, that’s the expression you are met with).Once, a child kept buzzing around me as I waited for a ride home with nothing except the fare to go home. Bespectacled dorks in salwars make for a smart place to ask, I suppose. I had nothing except a packet of Hajmola, which I gave. He gave me an expression which progressed like so: ‘Whaaa?? Well alright.’  But not all seekers are that kind. A girl once followed my sister and her ice-cream eating friend for quite a distance, asking for the ice-cream. When at last the friend handed the ice-cream over, the girl said to her, ‘Moti!’ and ran.

Another time, this same sister (lets call her D-2) was home alone. An old man in a frayed suit showed her a prescription for medicines his daughter needed but he could not afford. He asked her for any help she could give. She had no money and the folks were not home. So she gave him the five rupees she had saved from her school travel fare. The next day, while walking home from school, she saw him on the street, completely drunk and yelling, ‘Kitna Baje? Kitna Baje?’ That is the local Hindi for ‘What time? What time?’ She felt quite cheated. No doubt her money sponsored one sort of medicinal alchohol. We just laughed.

But in Delhi, this practice is at another level all together. The beggars are just as grumpy as anyone else. A cousin of mine, seated in an auto, tried ignoring a kid once. When he saw she would not budge, he hit her on the leg and ran (which, considering her treatment of people financially weaker than her was very much deserved). I was told that it is all a racket etc, etc. Yet I had my own lessons to learn.

During my college days, my monthly budget was a little more than what a nice meal outside costs me now. And Lord knows I stuck to it. Once, on my way home, a woman came to my auto saying her daugther was in labour and needed to be taken to the hospital. I said, ‘Where?’ She said, ‘Right there! Behind those cars.’ I was hardly going to go inspect. So I gave her the twenty I had saved. Two days later, same signal, same lady with the same frigging birthing daughter. The woman did not recognize me and proceeded with the same hogwash. I politely asked how her daughter managed to acquire a fertility of such epic proportions. It was then that she recognized me, shrugged,  said a simple, ‘Oh,’ and left. This was three years ago.

This year. Same signal, same woman, same daughter. Again. This time I stopped her speech, gave her ten rupees and asked her to at least come up with a new story.

Most people, like me, are told that there is no point giving money. The money is taken by the jerks who put them there in the first place. But the children are hard to ignore, aren’t they? Because there is no justice that they should be there in the first place. No child dreams of staring into car windows with a palm outstreched. Because I know that only dumb random luck kept me from being the child I am to now ignore. And the babies. Who knows where dumb luck decided they be born;and who knows why dumb luck decided they end up here, most likely stolen.

Of course it makes sense to not give them money. They are not the ones who will use it. But times I’ve wondered whether returning empty handed will not just get them treated worse? Whether the next batch of children deployed will not get deformed for guaranteed cash?

Apparently the lesser evil is to give the children food. So some carry packets of biscuits. As a kid, I hated biscuits. Dry and stupid. Especially those butter and pista flavoured ones. Ugh. Though I get both the logic and the ultimate uselessness of it all.

I do not know what would be a happy solution to this practice. I do not know if human greed which drives people to hurt children and adults, even has a cure. I suppose not knowing is a comfortable excuse.

But I do plan to carry biscuits. The kind that I used to love: Cream biscuits. In the moment of separating a cream biscuit to lick the cream before chewing the biscuit, I would feel and insane sense of glee, regardless of what was around me. Now, i simply do not remember. Growing up is perhaps when you forget that insane happiness can be had entirely on your own. Every child deserves moments of glee. We are not so powerful as to be able to bring joy to others with one act or two. At least we can bring them a shot at it, frequently.

P.S: The wisdomous cat has no wisdom (duh!). But I can relate what I am forced to realize. This time, it is this: the creator has given me zero hand-eye coordination. This was proven to me the day when while playing badminton with D-1, I ran in the opposite direction than that of the flying cork. Instinctively. But this creator does not like it’s skills mocked. So I realize, when your head spins for two entire days, you appreciate the sheer skill of orientation. Period.

Meow 1.

I used to have a blog years ago. Things between us did not quite work out.

I got lazy. Like i mostly do. I am ridiculously loyal to it. Things between us are always well.

So yes. I got lazy. My posts became rarer than the kind co-passenger on the metro who offers you their seat. Or smells pleasant.

But this morning i thought , “Eh. Why not?” (Most of my thoughts end or begin with an ‘eh’).  Do I suddenly imagine the world is terribly interested in what i have to type? Hell no. But I figure, at the end of a lifetime, there are always going to be so many words we did not, could not give form to. Why add to the list? Also because, there are times when we have things to say, to no one in particular; yet they must be said.

Of all people I know, I need to appreciate the art of recording most. Because if there is one thing that I do well, it is forgetting. I forget most things. More than most. There have been times when I am told something in my room; and I forget it on my way to the living room the next minute. And I do not live in a great big house. Then there have been the standard instances of walking into a room for a purpose and forgetting what the purpose is. I recently read somewhere that there is a name for this phenomenon. But I do not remember what it is. You name it and I’ll probably have forgotten it.

It would seem fairly contradictory to have weak memory skills and a fair OCD problem at the same time. How would you remember your compulsions from one week to the next? But i am nothing if not self-contradictory. Wait. That did not come out right. Or it did. ( See what i did there? Huh? HUH?). I do possess both. A compulsive disorder so intrusive, it is disabling at times; so old, it is hard to remember how life was like without it. I used to be bit of a fair reader in school. I finished the entire Nancy Drew collection at the school library soon enough. (Do not judge me. Judge the school library. There was nothing else. Except stupid teen magazines, telling you how to be a cool religious teen). For the past year i have not been able to read a single book.  That there is a problem. But putting problems out there makes them seem less serious somehow; its a reminder that there is an option to just not do a few things.

The last time I had a blog, I was a teenager. I cannot say exactly what has changed since. But if I were to meet my teenage self now, I would probably give her the look of sneering disgust Lucius Malfoy gave the Weasleys.

I have not gathered immense knowledge since. But i do know a few things:

Making people laugh can bring a strange sense of happiness.

Baking goodies and feeding people makes them silly happy.

Animals are beautiful; and the best examples of how to be true to oneself.

Prejudice is silent. Especially our own.

Periods are not half as painful as the attitudes around them.

There is a line between a blog post and a preachy post.

Tow the line.