Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Retrograde evolution.

I might have previously stated that mallu freak accidents have no relation to coconuts or coconut trees. I take that back. Having experienced one such freak accident, I'm forced to retract my statement. I'm notorious in my family for being the kind of person who is always, ALWAYS present where something explodes, someone falls off a bridge, dog chases someone, someone runs into a giant field full of stinging nettles! And as always, I'm that someone (no surprises there!). The stinging nettle incident could send my relatives into peels of laughter, they've very tragically caught it on tape. That story could be the source for an entire novel.

Unfortunately, the coconut tree incident happened very recently, too recent an incident for my liking. A visit to my paternal home required me to drop in at an aunt's place. It is set in one of the most picturesque places in Kerala. It overlooks the backwaters and has gently sloping coconut trees, hugging its fringes. Damn those gently sloping coconut trees! A chimp of a cousin ran up one, and challenged me to do the same. In retrospect, the sheer stupidity that gripped me then, makes me want to kick myself in the rear repeatedly. I ran up some feet with ease, the next few, I tiptoed, the "en pointe" I did next would make a ballet dancer jealous (I was several feet up in the air already). The next thing I knew, my cousin had swung on to the tree I was on, and it began to wobble dangerously. I slipped and was holding on to the "tree" with all my life. It looked as though I was some sort of game about to be roasted over slow fire. An enterprising uncle had already clicked a picture of that, not intentionally of course.

Everyone knows how abrasive a tree's bark is against the skin, I slipped off so fast that my hands looked as though I had sandpaper scrubbed all over me. I heard shrieks of laughter and from the corner of my eye saw my cousins guffawing madly. The hilarity of the incident, I still don't fully comprehend. I let go, that being the only option left with me (I know what you're thinking, I'm not spiderman.). The thud with which I landed still resonates all too loudly. The pain that ensued was nothing compared to the deluge of laughter and jokes that followed.

You'd think that me, being the product of a Jillion years of evolution would know better than to climb a tree at this age like some arboreal ancestors, or in this case, cousin. Perhaps evolution skipped this family. Perhaps retrograde evolution is the new black.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rain country monsoons

Somebody very wisely once stated that, God went on a riot with the colour green in my country. And by "country" she meant Kerala. After a gap of several years, I went to my ancestral home in Parur, Kerala, this time to attend the funeral of my Ammuma. This was probably the place where I first met her, consciously. With very little to do, besides engaging in the senseless rituals, small talk and listening to ancient relatives tut, I took to staring ceaselessly at the seemingly endless expanse of lush greenery around me. The memories of a woman clad in the softest of white saris seemed to smother me, and I couldn't even cry. She probably never realised, that she left behind a vacuum in my heart the size of the universe. For as long as I can remember, she had had the softest hands and a smile that could light up the darkest of days. The sari with the blue patterns at the border, the one that I constantly tugged at, will never again be a source of comfort to me. Never again will a small voice sing songs, that brought to my mind vivid images of a beautiful time I never saw.

Somehow all the words ever coined, in any language seems insufficient to describe the world's most loving person, my grandmother. All I could do was pray hard for the monsoons, torrential rain and thunder, that would mirror a fraction of what was going on inside me.

At the end of it all, I let the tears flow as I painfully realised that there will never again come someone in my life, who will love me as unconditionally as she did.