But, what if…?
The next moment
I weigh harder.
I go for it!
But, what if…?
The next moment
I weigh harder.
I go for it!
At this point
I start wondering –
What have I done?
Have I been doing it right?
Is there an undo option?
Can I start all over again?
Where are the roads?
Through the gloom I grope around.
They say there is light at the end
But for me seeing is believing.
I am waiting for my albatross.
Or have I already killed it?
Am I being plagued by its spirit?
Given up grumbling
And taken up yearning.
Yearning for the impossible.
Wait a minute – impossible?
My body is weighing me down.
The weight loss didn’t help,
The dropping BMI doesn’t satisfy.
I now relate better to the anorexic.
Not just a size zero,
but only zero weight would gratify.
The vast universe is calling
But with this demanding body –
a liability – how far can I go?
I don’t care about eating,
cleaning, rest – I’ve no time!
My soul, too enormous,
has been squeezed into this fragile form
Where he chokes, frantically knocks,
And moans in distress.
I beg him to wait
till I’m done with my chores.
Till tomorrow? Next year?
Till my kids have grown up?
I don’t know!
But he is in misery, he signals.
Every earthly moment kills.
The universe is calling!
I dream of blending in with it
Feeling its infinity with each atom.
Atom? Or just energy?
The universe keeps calling,
My soul is desperate
but I won’t give up.
I set out
on this journey –
from room to room.
This room, that room,
the other room – the end.
Creating – Repeat.
Yoga for relaxation,
Yoga for flat belly,
Power yoga –
Two sessions a day!
I open the windows
only to close it –
struck by the desert summer.
shall I hang on?!
Occasion: School assembly – World Environment Day .
Anchor: Coming up next, a group song by H and party!
Well, that would be a relief. We were intrigued too – environment day… song? Soon H and ‘party’ were on the stage – H in the middle and two girls each on her either side. H had on many previous occasions entertained us with both her solo and group performances. And it began – another typical school group song. The main singer, H, started with a song that did justice to the topic of the day. Her open, bold voice was a sure entertainer. Thus it went on.
So far, so good.
But soon the song ceased to ‘entertain’. H was still singing, but ALL ALONE, yet to be joined and supported by the chorus. It was almost half way into the song, but there was no sign of it being a ‘group’ song. We could no longer pay attention to H’s song. The other four girls stood rooted, perplexed, like the audience who by now were impatiently waiting for the other four to open their mouths. After all why were they there? What was their role? Were they simply accompanying H? Or did they forget their lines? Did they suddenly give up their plan to sing? Was it some kind of a sweet revenge on H? Was it the ultimate WE Day prank?
Within minutes the group/solo identity-confused performance was over. They were courteous enough to thank the patient audience before leaving the stage. Mesmerized by the nature of the performance, even the grade one students (most sincere applauders) forgot to applaud.
* * *
I knew the answer would come my way, and it did, shortly afterwards. H and party dropped by with the explanation. Yes, it was actually supposed to be a group song. They had all learned the lyrics. But due to lack of time they could not get a rehearsal together. The poor chorus had no idea when to take out their lines. And thus it ended up a solo! We had a good laugh.
Ever since, the English teachers of the school are found to be using this example for the Third Conditional (Gr.):
If the girls had practised the song together they would have ……… :)
“Good! Next, you there, read out your answer, please.” F stood up and started preparing to read. Everything looked just fine, so far, but nobody knew those were the initial peaceful minutes of a slight thriller. Seconds passed by, and she was still preparing to read. A chuckle started to spread all over the class. The busy teacher became curious, and before losing herself to anger, confirmed F had been (physically and emotionally) all right. The friends had no evidence to prove it otherwise. F grew more pathetic and looked at her neighbour helplessly. The teacher, holding on to her last vestige of self-control, tried to encourage her to read. But alas, nothing happened! F was alarmingly quiet as if someone had accidentally pressed her mute button. She miserably gestured something to her friend who failed to decipher it. Already about five precious minutes from those final periods of the Term had been spent in anticipation of an answer that seemed infinitely remote. The chuckling had by now given way to a perplexed, uneasy silence. Ms. J. , unable to take it any more, stormed out of the class passing this verdict – “Call me when you are ready!” The confused class almost let out a cry, shocked by the disconcerting turn of events.
Ms. J. was at sea. Unlike many previous occasions, that day there was no homework defaulter, leaving no reason for the girls to worry about, or the teacher to take out her vehement sermon the nth time in two months. What must have gone wrong?
As Ms. J. sat there in her room, they arrived – F escorted by the beneficent school leader who of late had been sincerely carrying out her role as the helping angel for the ill-fated ones. “Teacher, she will read it.” Ms. J. readily agreed to the compromise. The angel was asked to leave. F looked desperate to let go the only shield against the likely onslaught of the annoyed teacher. Having no time to risk that favourable twist, F was released too.
No other story might have had a smoother ending. The teacher got back to the class, F read out her answers and the teacher continued from where she had stopped as if nothing had gone wrong.
But Ms. J is still waiting – for F to explain it all to her, someday.
The weather was cool (or, for me, cold)
The room was comfortable, neat, homely,
The bed was cozy; yet I couldn’t sleep.
Because it was not my bed.
The bedspreads were clean,
The blanket warm, the pillows snugly
Still I couldn’t sleep.
I peevishly felt for the pea.
The bed didn’t fit me!
Or was it vice versa?
I did not belong.
Some force was trying to expel me.
I missed my dent on my dear bed
That knew me and my curves well,
And held me soothingly like a cradle.
This bed didn’t smell familiar,
Someone had been there before me,
I sniffed for a stranger,
It was a disgusting thought.
And oh, I couldn’t sleep!
Like a fish I lay there tossing,
Yearning for my own bed.
What a night! What a nightmare!
“When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on”
― Theodore Roosevelt
“The bell is not ringing!” This was a frequent complaint during the last two days from the annoyed teachers.
To understand the extent of the problem you need to be a teacher. In a school the absence of bell means a standstill. This is how one teacher reported, “I came prepared for the 40 min class, but even after completing it, together with some activities I concocted just now, it’s not getting over. 40 minutes, this long? What’s going on?” I looked at the clock and sensed trouble. The bell!
The fed up teachers longed to flee the thoroughly enlightened class; the bored students awaited the next teacher for a different kind of replenishment.
Who was responsible? Who had been ringing the bell all these days? Kaka, a hapless victim of the new laws, used to do it. The bell had been punctual all these years and we never noticed the presence, the effort of a human being behind it. We took his service for granted. Now the person has left, leaving the bell dumb and the whole schedule upset.
* * *
The attendant is reminded once again, the bell goes and the each one heaves a sigh of relief.
The situation rings a bell and I recall O. Henry’s The Pendulum:
Nobody heard the click and rattle of the cog-wheels as the third-floor front of the Frogmore flats buzzed its machinery back into the Order of Things. A band slipped, a spring was touched, the gear was adjusted and the wheels revolve in their old orbit.
I reflect: We miss you Kaka. Grateful to you. May God keep you safe, wherever you are!
[Thank you, Julia, for the inspiration!]