11.11.11

Eleven random thoughts on 11-11-11. Because I am totally random like that.

Thanks Meghana and Ano for your posts – you inspired me to come out of hibernation.¬† No mean task. ūüôā

1. Miss A will be 10 next month. 10. Double digits. Not really a baby anymore. And yet I kiss her butter soft cheeks when she is asleep and take in giant gulps of that little-girl-with-sunshine- in-her- hair scent. I love her as a person in her own right now, not just as my little girl. I think I would absolutely choose her to be one of my closest friends even if I were not related to her.

The thought at once saddens me and delights me like no other. It saddens me because she is the core of who I am and the stray thought of there ever being a life where I was not related or allowed to love her seems so terribly sad. It delights me because I love the person she is Рdelicate, beautiful, intelligent, hilarious, kind, passionate about her views, principled and with a largess that belies her years. And funny, did I mention that? She is the funniest person I know.  I think the funniness gets me every single time.

2. The more I read, the more I learn. I have so much to learn. My writing has so many raw edges. I need to work so hard. And yet, this admission makes me giddy with delight like I were cooking an elaborate feast for myself or perhaps organising a sumptous banquet to fraternize. Writing is what keeps me going, I have come to realise. It is my own delicious secret, my hiding nook, my happy place. I had no idea it meant this much to me, but I am glad it does. It makes things better.

3. Life has come full circle in that I find a deep contentment within the rooms of my childhood home. I do not want to go out or meet people or do anything else when I am at my parents’ place. The sleepy home nestled between overgrown trees allows me the ridiculous luxury of just being.¬† Placid lakes, those moments are, there are no ripples. There is not much we want when we like our surroundings, I have learnt this.

4. Over the past few years, I have gone from having a large circle of friends to a few close treasured relationships. The situation came about by part choice, part circumstance. I never saw myself as that kind of a person, I always saw myself at a crowded table with friends and accquaintances where there was much merriment, shared laughter, backslapping familiarity. And yet, here I am. I now know that sometimes you have to share tables with strangers. I now know that if all the relationships I believe in today were to fail, I would still pick myself up, dust the pieces and start all over again. It would hurt but I think I would be okay. We see ourselves through a lot, we nearly do not give ourselves enough credit.

5. I am more at peace with myself than I ever was. I am who I am. I believe in myself, my family, my child, my faith, my spirituality and the goodness of life, generally. There is a place and an age for doubt. No matter, what changes, I do not see these things changing.  I am built of these things, they make me. 

I also am short tempered and impulsive, yet prone to painful introspections.

“But that is just who you are, ” Miss A said to me the other day when we were discussing personalities. ” Otherwise you¬†would be someone else. How dreadful would¬†that be!¬†”

She is generous, like I said. A bit of generosity helps us accept things so much better. 

6. I am really good at what I do, professionally. It took me years to say that out aloud. To walk into a boardroom full of people and say “Look at this, I pulled off a tricky implementation,¬† I can handle the most finicky of clients, I can go the extra mile for them and provide solutions.”¬† For a long time, I apologised for my abilities or added them as an endnote¬†because it seemed like such an awful thing to talk myself up. But. If I am not bragging, I am telling the truth. And everyone is entitled to the truth ūüôā

7. I cry everytime Miss A performs on stage.¬† I become a sobbing mass of tears and tissues and then I end up video-taping the floor or a spot above her head. I do not see that changing – ever. She does roll her eyes at me sometimes. On somedays, she mouths a “I am okay,” from the stage. Which makes me blubber all the more.

8. I have an obsession with clothes. Sometimes it scares me. Then to cheer myself up, I buy some clothes. I normally feel better immediately. Sometimes it scares me.

9. I do not think I could ever go on a diet. I will eat the last piece of cheescake if you do not want it. I will eat the deep-fried goodies you daintily abhor. I need chocolate and martinis and deep fried food and mangoes and coffee and bhelpuri and kachoris and second helpings and third serves. 

I am Scarlett and I love my food.

10.Love wears a disguise. So does dislike. So does hatred. Sometimes they dress up as one another.

11. Rainy days, overcast skies, droopy trees, silent roads. My mind wanders to those days of the monsoons in India, to gumboots and wet satchels and to the warmth of sun-dried blankets on stormy nights. Everytime I think of those days, something inside my heart twists and turns and aches deeply. I hear my parents conversing in the hall even as I try to fall asleep. I hear the patter of rain-drops against the glass panes, the gentle swoosh of the mango trees against the steadfastness of the house. I feel the satin of the blankets, I can see the blue flowers on the bedspread, I almost blink my eyes to adjust to the night light in my room. And then I toss and turn and fall asleep and outside the rain hums and swirls and covers meadows and fields and town roads and village squares.

It is my most tangible childhood memory, the strongest one I have. It is also the most perfect snapshot of the idyllic childhood I had.  It still rains like that, my parents still talk in the hall on those nights. I am far, far away. Not a child anymore, nevermore. Under a different roof, a different country, a different sky.  The rain has moved on, the village square is almost dry. But in some corner of my heart,  I smell the damp earth. Still a child somewhere, still scared of the storm, still looked after.

In some corner of my heart, the rain lingers within the fences around my yard, and I watch from the windows, one more time.