Simple pleasures…

umbrella_girl_by_endintears

Umbrella Girl, by endintears

It’s taken a while, but here’s my list of random, silly things that make me happy. Inspired by RD’s adorable post. More than ten, but I’ve always been prone to rambling :)

  • Coming home after a long, tiring, crowded day and finding myself deliciously alone, left up to my own devices for the evening.
  • Hugging someone and breathing them in.  Safe, warm, loved.
  • Getting that urge to write – I never know when it’ll hit me or what will come out of me when it does, but I love that feeling of sudden, uncontrollable  inspiration. Like I’ll go mad if I don’t find a pen and some surface to write on.
  • Watching babies do anything.
  • When someone strokes my hair. It (literally) makes me purr.
  • Curling up to a movie or book with cookies and milk. And a blanket. And chocolate.
  • When I reach the last page of a great novel and want to cry because it’s over and I feel too much a part of it to let go.
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Fire.

Worried little eyes peer out from behind thin fabric, reflecting fire.

A little child has her mother’s skirt pulled over her face, covering a mouth open with fascinated fear. The faded cloth smells of her mother and, though she doesn’t know it, ash. She wrinkles her nose at the unfamiliar odor but cannot tear her eyes away from the sight of her house being burnt down to the ground.

Fire. She knows what it is but has only seen it in the form of candle flames and, when those weren’t available, small bonfires. The first time she’d seen it she’d reached out curiously to touch the live orange. She’d only just barely reached it when her mother snatched her hand away. But that little touch stung and she had bawled lustily as her mother gently sucked on her fingertip, soothing the pain.

She had never gone near the cunning flames again. Continue reading Fire.

Impressions of a night.

Feathers. Hundreds of them coating the road, lit by evening traffic. Whipped, wrenched and tossed around by fast-passing cars, flying up to disappear momentarily against the dark sky before settling into the spotlight again. At once yellow, at once red – headlights follow their jerky prime-time dance. Beautiful until you think about how they got there. Road kill. But there’s no sign of the ugly death.

Just the feathers – hundreds of them coating the road, lit by evening traffic.

*

She never usually watches the road, but she does today as she flees towards her destination in her trishaw bubble. The rush of road beneath her makes her feel weirdly like she was a sewing machine needle, watching yards of fabric race beneath and beyond her.

A bump in the road. A catch in the cloth. She tries to stop, go back, correct the mistake, the extra stitch, but she can’t. The needle rushes past, heedless that it’s pricked her and she’s bleeding.

Confused metaphors fly through her mind, whipping with the wind. She tries in vain to hold her loose hair in place and finally gives up, letting the flagellating strands slash against her neck, face and gloss-coated lips. Continue reading Impressions of a night.

I’ll be the sun again

sunshine_by_sabi_krabi
Sunshine, by Sabi-Krabi

Evening. Dusk would hint its imminent arrival, readying the sky for sunset. Shadows would lengthen with the darkening of light and in our shared bedroom, my sister and I would take our cue and switch on all the lights, unable to bear even a slight change in the bright light of day.

My mother – a die-hard environmentalist – would despair at the unabashed lack of conscientiousness in her daughters and our evenings would invariably be peppered with anything from gentle lectures on energy saving to irritated scoldings accompanied by the switching off of some of our lights.

“But we’re children of the light” my sister would protest, leaping about in front of my mother hopefully. My mother would roll her eyes and smile at this defence and I would giggle in spite of myself.

The lights stayed off though.

*          *          * Continue reading I’ll be the sun again

The Drummer

There was just something about him. She couldn’t put her finger on what it was, but it was there and it captivated her.

She’d read his words, laughed with him, giggled with him and rolled her eyes at with him. She had sat down at her computer, in a bad mood, angry at the world; in a sad mood, with tears leaking out from under half closed eyes; in a groggy mood, heavy with sleep, her coffee clutched in her hands, and as soon she started reading, she’d start laughing. Every time. Every time.

He wrote about everything. Love, life, his kids, his music, his books, his love for Sri Lanka, poo… His depth of knowledge on this last subject was astonishing. A hand would fly to her mouth in scandalized shock at the intimate details he would divulge about that particular topic and without fail, a stifled guffaw would explode from behind the hand clamped to her lips and her friend sitting next to her at work would smile knowingly.

“Ah, she’s reading RD”.

A furtive look around for patrolling bosses and, if the coast was clear, her friend would scoot over and read with her.

She’d never met this man, but she wanted to. She wondered what it would be like…

…To walk into Barefoot café or another one of his favourite haunts around Colombo, and see him sitting there, at a table, casually dressed, with that good-looking-in-an-old-man-kind-of-way drummer-like look about him.

Her pace would quicken and so would her heartbeat. What would she say?

Hi, most probably. But then what? She frantically searches for the right words – something that would make her seem cool, calm and sophisticated instead of a blathering stalker fan. All she can think of is “OMG you’re blog is like, so TOTALLY COOL and it TOTALLY makes me like, LOL”. God. She can’t say that. That would be like, so totally embarrassing.

As she imagines the scenario, she can almost feel her own faltering footsteps. Each one taking her closer to him.

“Hi” she would blurt, colouring instantly, as soon as the words were out of her mouth.

He’d hear her voice, recognize it somehow, and get up. Turn around in one swift, graceful movement – the kind only Lankan Drummers who live in London can accomplish with such a degree of finesse…

…Stun her with that adorable British accent and say…

“Hi Gyppo”

…and everything would be right with the world.

*     *     *

RD, thank you for every single time you’ve made me laugh with your incredible writing and correspondence. It’s been great getting to know you and your unique brand of Brit/Lankan wit. Excuse this rather awkward tribute to you but it was the best I could do on short notice!

Please keep writing. There are days when some of us depend on you for smiles :)

Happy 3rd Blog Anniversary!

“Of cabbages and kings…”

signs__by_rasuul

Signs, by Rasuul

He leans back in his chair and watches her, enjoying the way she studiously avoids his gaze. She studies the menu in front of her, bending over it, giving it more attention than it needs. Her hair falls over her face and his eyes follow her quick move to tuck the strands behind her ear. It’s a sweet, school-girlish gesture and he realizes that he’s smiling.

*

She’s nervous. And she knows he knows it. With the little cool she has fast running out, she stares unseeingly at the menu, racking her brains for something sophisticated to say. Too quickly, the waiter comes to take her order and flustered, she orders something she doesn’t even want. As she watches the waiter walk away she resists a ridiculous urge to call him back so she wouldn’t have to be alone with this man. Not that she didn’t want to be. He just made her nervous in a way she couldn’t quite understand.

* Continue reading “Of cabbages and kings…”

Heated thoughts

The heat of the afternoon smothers her in an uncomfortable embrace. She’s desperate for escape but there is none.

She’s at her desk. Her work is open and politely asking for attention, but unrelated thoughts meddle with her focus.

If three’s a crowd, her brain is home to a multitude. She can almost feel them jostling, shoulder to shoulder, trying to push in front of each other, competing for prominence.

There are those beautiful people who she’s refusing to let go of. People who took her into their collective arms and provided her with a makeshift home and family at a time when she was surrounded only by the rubble of her past mistakes, ugly destruction. They made her sing. Their life and energy worked her stiff muscles, making it easier to move, to move on, to walk away. She misses them and wants them around her so that she can feel at peace again.

There is one who is experiencing that unimaginable pain of having to walk away from something that meant everything. She sees the invisible cuts, the eyes that pretend to focus while hiding wells of hurt, she hears the voice that rings out sweet and strong but knows it is on the verge of breaking, heavy with tears. She recognizes the symptoms of heartbreak and aches to ease the constant throbbing pain.   Continue reading Heated thoughts