Monday, August 31, 2009

A Childhood Fascination

Unlike the present day, children in my generation were not decision makers. They had little freedom to express desires and had to contend with what they received. As a result, many desires -even simple ones - remained unfulfilled within. Some of these died away with growing years;some lay dormant biding the right time.
One such gnawing desire was to own and wear thin chains of colourful beads knotted in copper wire.These chains, though inexpensive, looked enticing and matched most occasions from casual to festive ones. I craved for owning one but finally gave up.
However,after nearly 50 years in time, when I spotted these chains, recently at an exhibition, I, now a grandmother, was overcome with nostalgia. I donot why I picked it up happily.Having bought it,I brought it home to feel and admire this art object of timeless beauty. Is there a child in every adult?
I donot know what to use it for now . Perhaps, I should give it away to some little girl in the street,who may be yearning for it...... that'd be ideal and perfect way of fulfiling my childhood desire.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A pleasant ritual

A flock of colourful parrots start their chorus beeps and chirrups at 6 a.m on the branches of a bilimbi tree growing in the compound outside our kitchen. They stir up a racket till we hurriedly cool the freshly cooked rice and spread it out for their breakfast, in a thick long line, on a clean narrow stone platform, beneath the tree. It started with 2 parrots initially, but they being good natured, fetched their cousins and friends and in-laws, so that their strength is now 25, which meant we needed to stretch the line of cooked rice- which in turn,required more rice to be cooked.

They are a cautious lot however.They wait up the tree, till some squirrels hop down as food tasters. After ensuring safety,the parrots now descend,sending the squirrels scampering,while they take up positions on either side of the platform. Everybody finds space.They dine hurriedly keeping vigil.Sometimes, the naughty squirrels let out an alarm cry. Fearing the common enemy cat, all the parrots take off in a jiffy.!Then the squirrels take over the clear field !! Soon, the parrots return to chase them away. The game continues....

Saturday, August 1, 2009

eh, to be a girl!

They were planning to shift house. A lot of unwanted junk accumulated over the years was being cleared. A tray full of old letters lay among the discarded junk including some broken toys ,dolls, which the 12 year old Amini was forced to abandon. Wanting to have one last look at it, Amini scoured the heap. A letter bearing her date of birth ,caught her attention. It was from her grandpa to her father . The letter said, 'Alas,your third born is also a girl!! What a tragedy, but God's ways are indeed inscrutable!'
It took a few moments for the truth to dawn on Amini that none had rejoiced at her birth. Tears began to flow down her cheeks . She did not hear her mother's call . Then came the yelling' Ah, the foolish girl, crying for her broken worthless doll. Is she?Born a girl, eh, What will you do when you have to leave behind all and go to your husband's? '
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Thoughts and Voices by Radha Iyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 India License.