30.12.08

Zouina

Pull back the curtain, dear Zouina, and smile at a stranger. Silence, Zouina, stand back and laugh at teenagers' problems on the radio. Listen to french women talk about the things you don't talk about, about love and sexuality. But Zouina, simple Zouina, on sunday go look for that familiarity of Algeria so that Inch'Allah, on that day, you'll find your peace again.

When you're torn apart from your mother like that, I can feel your heart being torn away. Your home, your Algeria, has been left behind, and your husband and La France wait in anticipation. Your husband, he kisses your mother and hugs your children, but for you Zouina, he has only a perfunctory nod as he takes your luggage to put it in a van.

What is this strange new place you have been brought to? Who are these people? Your neighbours peek at you through a curtain and call your Indian. Their garden is full of flowers and dolls. They live alone, without husbands. They even take their coffee plain without any sugar - even when your mother-in-law gives your visitor sugar from the box.

The couple next door, they are old and lonely. They spend their time pruning their garden and pretending to win their competitions. Look, she practices her speech in front of her mirror, as her husband smiles at her secretly. She is harsh, this lady who killed your children's ball, why does she torment them so? You hit her, yes, and tore her clothes, but watch her husband as he politely coaxes her into shaking hands with you. Your husband, he pushes you and jabs you in your back while he commands you to shake hands.

The colonel's wife, she's a wonderful friend. Sunday after Sunday, she comes to help you search for your companions. That day at the cemetery, when your child had an accident, you tried to tell her that he was okay. Her tears were for the dog she lost, Simca, who you buried in your backyard in the dead of the night. When she found you again, she helped you find Malika, the Algerian on 12, Alouette street. Malika betrayed you, and threw you out, but didn't you find a friend in the stranger on the bus who you smiled at like Eleanor Rigby with her face in a jar by the door? 

Your loneliness, dear Zouina, and your tears you lost on the day Algeria asked you to leave. But on this day, when the Algerian betrayed you, your husband saw you smile for the first time.

**

This is a movie review that I submitted for a competition. The name of the movie is Inch'Allah Dimanche. It is a french film about an algerian lady who migrates to France with her mother in law and children to stay with her husband. This was a move that tore her away from her home and left her in a strange new country with no company, a mother-in-law who wasn't nice to her, a husband who was on the surface indifferent to her, and children who she cared for. It is about her search for a companion, the way she deals with the new place, cultural differences, women's issues, migration, patriarchal structures.. It is a film that has to be watched.

25.11.08

in being alone, i am liberated.

14.10.08

isn't it true, sir, that your eyes are made of sunshine?
oh, don't look at me like that, i blush so.
why don't you tell me a story, like you used to?
tell me about the trees, and how they dance with the wind.
and when you laugh, sir, does your voice come from thunder?
because i know, when you cry, your tears come from the sea.
and sir, tell me your secrets, those you tell noone,
about who you loved, and what you sang to her.
isn't it true, sir, that you were humming the songs of raindrops,
when she was taken away in a hurricane, and buried under the apple trees?

11.10.08

happy fourth birthday, blog!

5.10.08

being older is overrated.

4.9.08

"i'm just a fucked up girl looking for her own peace of mind."


~clem, eternal sunshine of a spotless mind.

27.8.08

i hate:

bright, happy people.
the coffee in college.
using my laptop.
dirty toe nails.
not having any appetite, even for the good food.
running out of ink.
not having lazy clothes to wear.
my white bag being colourful (and mostly brown).
yellow food. nasty yellow food. dal-tasting, nasty yellow food.
cauliflower. and potato.
my new toothpaste.
not having a stylus again. or an umberella again.
not getting an auto when i want one.
crowded trains.
crowded buses.
late night drunk people singing lewd songs.
having to iron clothes.
not having time to read.
not having time to watch a movie.
not having time to talk to people on the phone.
being stressed out.
being frustrated.
being social.
being sociable.
knowing the difference.
smiling.
waking up.
looking at my face in the mirror, before brushing in the morning.
jasmine smells.
my new pretty-looking, jasmine-smelling deodorant.
breakfast.
having to deal with people.
people. in general.

gah.

9.8.08

..and sometimes, when we fall, we fly..

-fables and reflections. neil gaiman.

7.8.08




bombay. not sure where. very late at night.

25.7.08

it's two am i'm drunk again and it's heavy on my mind

in three beers and a new friend, i found my loneliness strangely magnified and expelled at the same time. the idea was to walk down marine drive and watch the sea. and at twelve fifteen in the night while we waited for the last train to VT, the many people who waited with us blurred themselves into the background. comfortable silences, gaps in the silences filled by insignificant conversation, the element of familiarity.. the balm i was seeking. i found it all, and i found comfortable conversation.
a song we had heard many times over was playing on somebody's cellphone is the compartment next to ours. the brief traveller sat with us for a period, shared a glimpse into her life, her anxieties, and left us. the stations came and went. we traced them all on a map pasted on the space above the doorway. we stood there with the wind in our faces, enveloped in the worlds we left behind us, trying to make do with what we had.
we got off into a beautiful, empty station. the only other times i had been there, it was full, bustling, with no space to breathe. the policemen at the entrance smiled at us. we hoped for beer mostly, or ice cream at the least. we took a taxi with a blue light to colaba. it was my first time. the near empty roads of bombay seemed to be reflecting our state of mind. just our luck, a cafe, mondegar's was open and was taking its last orders. they played my song too, all the roads are winding and all the lights are blinding.
a sandwich, a pitcher of beer, and ketchup later, we ventured into the streets. we walked by many shiny horse carriages, lit up for couples' romance along the sea. old buildings, perfectly built to the 19th century detail we walked by. we stared like villagers, new to a city. suddenly, we stopped. the world looks very different at two am. gateway of india stood there in front of us, quite unassuming without its hundreds of people, without its many, million lights on the other side of the water. we sat there, happy with ourselves, listened to the sea crash into the wall. we took pictures of ghost hands and the moon, bumped noses into the louis vuitton store and admired old street lights.
on three beers, in a new place with a new friend, life seems good.


(title from dave matthew's band, grace is gone)

11.7.08

twenty friggin' one. yeah baby!

22.6.08

of replies

i:

"leaving on a jet plane. don't know when i'll be back again. oh babe, i hate to go."

her:

"Aww.. Why do you kill like that re.."

and her:

"Your arse have fun have a blast. It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away :)"

**
i'll miss you so.

11.6.08

16.5.08

so on a very very personal note, guess who's moving to bombay and not feeling nice about it at all..

mostly, it's the feeling of finally winning any competition. it feels good.

9.5.08

the fat lady has sung!
meet me, graduate.

4.4.08

it's too late now,
isn't it,
to think about it?

it's too late now,
pandora's box is open,
and every misery in the world
has broken loose.

**

ain't it funny, how time slips away..

17.3.08

i'm bleeding mediocrity. it hurts, oh, it hurts so.

12.2.08

where do books that were forgotten in autos go?

1. last night i dreamt that the bhelpuri man outside college was using pages of my dolls house, neil gaiman to wrap Rs. 10 bhelpuri in. it was so scary, i woke up and drank a glass of water.

2. i imagined while doodling in class that the daughter of the auto uncle in whose auto i left my 3rd semester notebook in was studying from my extensive and brilliant political science notes, while admiring my highly creative geometric designs on the side of every page and laughing at the conversations i had in class. while doing so, she also stuck the spongebob squarepants card that said "you're a star!" in her dad's auto. and then, and then, i would see this card in an auto and exclaim that it's mine, and get that notebook back.

3. my sixth sem notebook is a sad story. there's nothing exciting in it, except, well, democratic socialism. which is really sad, because i don't get it from the text book i have. i feel like i've turned into some geek.

4. haroun and the sea of stories, flowing beautifully out of my hot water tap, with batcheat singing in her ugly voice like a siren in the night.