Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Bad Example

She's my age. A distant cousin I met just once. Known to be a pretty and smart girl.

When I was in college, worrying over tutorials and classes, entirely focused on studies like the 'good girl' I was, we heard news that she'd run away from home with a boy. The horror of it all. My parents spoke of it disapprovingly, worrying for her parents. Apparently she got married, and then came home to ask for her parents' blessings. We just heard about it in whispers, because she was A Bad Example. To me it seemed she'd done something unthinkable - defied her parents.

I often wondered about her. How their life was. If she ever regretted her actions. If his family accepted her. If they were happy.

She seemed to be. I occasionally saw chirpy messages from her on a cousin's Facebook wall. I heard that her parents eventually came around to the marriage. Especially after she'd had a son.

Her son is 12 now. And this morning I heard she lost her husband to cerebral malaria.

I don't know how her life played out. Or what her future holds. Neither did they. But sitting so far away, I'm glad she went for what she loved. Made a life happen with a man she loved. I hope that she has no regrets.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Agenda for the Day

Just two and a half centimetres of paper, gripped between my thumb and forefinger.

It's day 292 of 2010, and the bunched pages of my agenda book tell of scrawled to-dos, deadlines met, missed or extended, people I met, people I called, places I went, meetings I attended, invoices I sent, cheques I received, drycleaning dropped off, laundry delivered, tickets booked, plays attended, movies watched. They record birthdays and anniversaries, phone numbers taken down while talking, and feature the inevitable doodles - smileys, signatures, faces, flowers, patterns. I can tell what pen I was using, when the ink ran out, when I refilled. I see entries and remember entering a doctor's appointment with dread, scratching out a completed task with pleasure.

The blank pages tell of days when I was away from my desk, having fun. Thankfully, there are several of those as well. Occasional entries already made for the days to come hint at what is yet to be. Of things I am looking forward to and commitments I must keep.

It is most of 2010. It is a chronicle of my life this year. In point format, though, it leaves out many details, friends and foes, tears and triumphs. But I can fill in those blanks.

19th October 2010. My pen hovers, then writes firmly on Today, waiting to fill up this page before I start on tomorrow.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Incensed mornings

Spirals waft in my wake, weakening into wisps as I turn away or walk very fast.

The fragrance remains, locked in spaces I choose to enclose. But soon, it escapes into ether, becoming nothing but a faint recollection of a fragrance that once was, clinging only to the folds of clothes unused for long, papers untouched, books unread.

Strong, the smell-strands of lemon grass tickle my nostrils, refreshing the stale air in a room locked for the night. Lavender speaks of flowers from far, reduced to a few moments of magic, meant to soothe and calm, Sandalwood is a prayer, even in the hands of an atheist.

The scented air of freshly-bathed mornings, a scramble to get to work, the last moments of peace before the emails begin.

The stick burns down. It's soul of smoke spins up and away. And the remains of the morning lie on the floor, a pattern of ashes to be swept away.

Till tomorrow.