Fingers hover. Eyes blink. Pages, Apple calls this. Memories fade as fast as the next breath. The hands get used to typing on the touch keypad, beginning with some discomfort. And, then the thoughts let loose.

The raging fear of time not being enough. And, the blank page. So much to put down, but how? 

She woke up later than her alarm clock that day. She longed for the Yoga that wasn’t just a fitness need but a regulator, a comforter, that things were right in the world, or would be. Some time.

However, the new Word processor won and she sat down to type. The morning mist closed out the outside world, slating the glass window panes as it condensed and trickled down to the ledges. Most of the world hadn’t risen yet, except for the street dogs outside who never seemed to tire of barking and protecting their turf. A bed of dried fronds and leaves, their resting place for the night, beckoned, but keeping strays out seemed more important. 
She looked back and longed for the days when she hung onto the handle bars in a crowded bus on the way to college, of walking the long driveways, and chatting in the canteen eating egg puffs and drinking milky teas, made by the chatty Achamma. THe stone walls and the walk to the chapel behind, the rose gardens, and the beautiful life. She struck that out. Life was always beautiful – you must accept that. Amid sadness, the pain, or deep regrets, there lay moments of undiluted joy. Writing, for one. Reading, like she now was devouring Master Dickens, creating aromatic food and feeding loved ones, walking among the tall eucalyptus trees, and staring amazed at the many colours of a hibiscus flower in the garden, talking to a friend or even a stranger, watching the birds at her window sill. 

Work, of course, brought all of this together, giving life a purpose and a reason to wake up each day–brightened at the prospect. Even if there was a one hour long commute to get there.

The festival of flowers were right at their doorstep. The festive season in India begins in August and goes on till January, they say. They give you reasons to make the most delicious food, dress up to the nines, meet with long lost loved ones, and tempt your soul to begin life again. Onam, after all is the welcoming of the King, Mahabali, from the Nether world.
A voice called out breaking the morning reverie, and she realised that her cup of tea had gone cold. The family were waking up, children in the neighbors calling to their moms as they got dressed for school, the roar of vehicles on the road beside brought faint streams of sunbeams inside. Her mother came in to the room, bringing in sketches for the pookolam that they were all going to create in the morning, before they began cooking the pradhamans, the vada and the Onasadya.

Onam Pookolam

Onasadya. The meal cooked on Onam day.

Images courtesy nikhitaonline, onampookolam designs on the web.


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