Jun 30, 2011

frangipani dreams...

there were days when i used to wake up with these recurring dreams of a quaint little house in a quaint little town with dainty little bushes full of flowers and creepers as a fence. iron gates are so not my style! of course, there was a charming not-so-little garden surrounding the gorgeous little home as well.
ah! the garden had it all - every possible tree (with/without fruits but with a whole lot of shade), plants, potted herbs, flowers, butterflies, birds, birdhouses, feeders, bushes, vegetables, fountain, creepers, ferns, honeybees,...it also had one very basic sturdy little swing hanging from a banyan tree!
and there are 2 images that still remain vivid in my memory:
1. myself on that swing.
2. a courtyard full of frangipani flowers. and the aroma from the flowers stimulating my entire being.


in the real world though, my sister and i were quite fortunate enough to have a little patch of land for a garden when we stayed in the BARC quarters. we fulfilled all our over-enthusiastic dreams of gardening by growing every possible thing there with the much-needed help from our father (our love for gardening comes from him!). it was a secret little world we disappeared into after coming back from school every single day. we were deeply attached to that space for a long long time. we carry on living with much fond memories of our 'lessons and little adventures in the garden'.
and now i consider myself lucky again to have a quaint little terrace all for myself. it remains a poor substitute for any garden of course but atleast i get to indulge myself a bit as far as my love for all things green and gardening is concerned :-)). a few months back i happened to pick up the frangipani (plumeria pudica or wild plumeria) plant from a local nursery and it hasn't stopped flowering ever since. touchwood. day in and day out, the smiles of the flowers make my days worthwhile! if not a 'courtyard', they sure fill up my terrace and verandah with much happiness :-) 
here are a few shots only for your eyes!

all the photographs taken by me
and besides these flowers, there is someone else who knows just how to make my day - Suranga m'am! she instantly came up with a lovely verse for it after i posted a photograph on FB :-)) 
here are those lines translated by her in english for you ::

A hot and sultry May afternoon
at the family homestead in Konkan,
little girl cousins at grandma's,
playing in soft frilled white summer frocks;
the Sagargota stones have been abandoned,
for the liquid gold of the Raiwal mango,
squeezed,slurped and swallowed,
as is,
while the yellow gold drips indulgently
on to the pristine white innocence....

And while grandma takes a nap,
the creaking of the old swing,
the giggles,
and plundering of mangoes continues,
in the mind,
making you smile,
hot and sultry,
this Monday morning in Mumbai...

- Suranga Date

for the original delightful description and actual poem in marathi, please visit her blog here

Jun 25, 2011

Life! Oh Life...

2 things happened last sunday within a span of 12 hours. one human broke my trust. another human reaffirmed it. one is 50+ and the other is only about 5. one i have known for about a year now and the other 'met' me for all of a minute or two. so i choose to talk only about the 5 year old instead because the 50+ year old breaking my trust is not even worth occupying space in my mind or the blog!
there is something about kids and me. am fond of them is an understatement. i love them! i grew up with them (we all do i know i know!). but i literally grew up with kids around me all the time. my aai attracted kids i guess. so whether it was neighbours, relatives or couples in our residential township looking for someone to babysit their kids for a few hours after school, we were always surrounded by them. i actually feel heartbroken sometimes when a kid fails to warm upto me. i see it as some shortcoming in me if they don't happen to like me. yes am 'weird' i admit :-) i still love and used to look forward to all the bonding with the kids (ESPECIALLY loved the way they came running towards me to be in my arms after i used to come back from school/college/office! :D )
(okay thy will not digress from the topic!)
since the time i shifted to the new home and started working from home for past 1 year and more, i have become 'more' aware of and begun to appreciate all the sounds around me. esp. those of the lovely birds who visit my door, windows and terrace throughout the day. apart from that, there are tons of other sounds which fall under different categories! one such sound(s) is that of the kids in my residential complex. they play, fight, giggle, joke around, crib, discuss school/studies/friends, cry, sing, dance, brag, shout, scream, chase the dogs, trouble the cats, celebrate and do a lot of masti. their mums yell at them for - not eating food on time, getting hurt, ruining clothes, fighting with neighbours' kids, getting late, studies, etc etc. i am a silent witness to all of this (it's a very middle-class neighbourhood with a strong sense of community bonding unlike people living in tower buildings / closed apartments) and i only realize how much i truly miss it all when i don't 'hear' these sounds once in a while. they keep a wonderful and amusing company to my lonely weekdays. and no i have never met any of these moms and their children till date as they happen to live in the buildings behind my building wing entrance so we never even bump into each other whenever i step out of home. or even if i might have bumped into them in the local markets i wouldn't have really known who is who! :D
(okay thy will not digress from the topic!)
there is one such mommy and her 2 sons i have grown to be fond of :-) the kids are called 'Sonu' and 'Monu'! am quite confident if she comes in front of me, i'd be able to recognize her the moment she 'speaks' something.
so on sunday afternoon, i was lazying around reading a book post a sumptuous breakfast and lunch (I live to EAT!). there was a knock at the door and not the usual doorbell ringing through my ears. i opened the main door to find myself peering at two 3-feet high boys through the grill door. they said their cricket ball had landed on my terrace so they had come to take it back and resume their play. i asked them if they are sure about this. they said, "haan didi. hamare saath jo bada ladka khelta hai, usne dekha jab woh cricket ball upar terrace pe ja ke gira!". so i asked them to wait till i go upstairs and check if it's really there. it had actually landed on the terrace hiding right behind the leg of a stool i keep there for some of my planters. i got it downstairs and asked them playfully what do i get in return for giving back the ball to them.
the elder one: "didi, you get a 'thank-you' from us with a smile!"
me: "well, that's not enough!"
the elder one: "aapko kya chahiye, didi?"
me: "i want a chocolate or toffee in return"
the elder one: "okay! i promise"
i grinned and while handing back the ball to them asked the elder one his name. pat came the reply, "Sonu and this is my brother Monu"!
aaaaaah i wanted to dance and scream and hug the kids so bad that very moment. call me silly, stupid, mad and what-you-wish but that's how madly happy i was that day :D so i just about managed to compose myself and said "Oooooh! Sonu!!!!! soooo glad to meet you!" :D (and this is what i actually wanted to say - i know you and your little brother too well and say 'hi' to your mommy as well! :D :D but i controlled myself lest they'd think am one crazy didi!). they ran away with the ball with a 'thank you' echoing back at me from the staircase :D i closed the doors with a huge grin pasted on my face and got back to my dream world (aka reading). after about 10-15 minutes, there was another knock at the door. i actually wondered if it is my neighbour next-door bringing over some non-veg lunch for me which she usually does on sunday afternoons (yes my neighbours also know by now just HOW MUCH I LOVE FOOD! am SUPER-BLESSED! :D ) with a spring in my step i opened the door and there they were again - the duo 'Sonu and Monu'! i asked them, "what is it? is the cricket ball again on the terrace?? he gave a sheepish smile and shook his head (saying 'no'). while i looked away puzzled at both of them, his tiny hand reached up through the grilled door and passed on 1 tiny toffee bar of Melody (it used to be our favourite when we were kids :D :D). okay by now i can't even express in so many words what went through my head and heart that very moment. am no wordsmith. i had forgotten all about the toffee and the promise and the kid cared to go down and get one for me so he could keep his promise! :D the toffee must have cost them a mere 50 paise (half an Indian Rupee) but for me the whole experience that afternoon remains extremely precious and priceless in the whole wide world! i thanked them profusely and tapped on their heads and ruffled their hair a bit and let them go. i closed the door and jumped up and down and round and round with overflowing joy :D :D after all this i had one BIG MANGO to celebrate the moment!
“Sometimes”, said Pooh, “the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” - A.A. Milne