A cool breeze touched my cheeks as I sat by the window, painting. The light outside the house turning golden as the day prepares to end. I turned to at look Babar who was lying down calmly on the floor. He raised his head, stood up and walked towards me. He wagged his tail happily as I brushed his head with my hands. I smiled, looking at his innocent wide eyes.
The pleasant weather lingered until evening. It lightened up our moods too. My husband and I kept on laughing over something trivial and silly while he ruffled Babar’s fur. Babar was sleeping contentedly on his stomach . The same lightness settled in my heart. I paused for a moment in acknowledgement. This is happiness.
-JMKhapra, copyright 2013
My mind is hardened by philosophy
But my heart remains soft with love
– JMKhapra, 2013
My heart lay bare. The walls around it crumbled little by little inconspicuously each passing day I was with you. Now, it loves like a child unfamiliar with sorrow or betrayal. Without reservation. Without hesitation. Ever trusting. I delight in the rawness of my emotions. I feel alive. I feel human.
Your heart lay bare. You did not build a wall around it. Ever. You love like a child unfamiliar with sorrow or betrayal. You always give yourself fully. Without reservation. Without hesitation. Ever trusting. The frankness of your emotions killed the cynic in me. It feels wonderful to be alive and to be with you.
To feel like this is beautiful and bitter sweet like poignant lines of a poem. Happiness and sadness, joy and pain add salt and pepper to life. Without it you are dead. Dead inside.
It is a good thing I did not give up on love. I was about to but I met you.
We are so different yet so much alike too. I am perpetually in awe of you.
You keep me whole, together, cohesive, sane. I will be lost without you.
With each passing year our love never faltered. It grows, it soars, it intensified.
If I ever did believed in fairy tales and happy endings then it seems my dreams have finally come true.
-JMKhapra, for my husband on our 6th wedding anniversary.
Do you have foresight? Given your current situation, are you able to predict where your life would be in ten years? It is eerie how the vision of the future unfolds clearly before my eyes. It makes me believe even more that life is not random. It moves in a neat, straight path, unbending and sometimes unforgiving. I am tempted to throw physics in the equation again. Please don’t roll your eyes, I know I talk about that a lot. It just that the universe is so exact in all the laws that govern it. It can be very stifling.
There are times my mind would open up. I can calculate human nature, plus a given situation equals the inevitable result. Older wiser people will say, oh, that is just what we call experience. Human actions and their consequences always fall into some kind of pattern that makes it easy to predict the outcome. I guess so. Still, I find that fascinating and terrifying at the same time. Rebels of the rigid rules of life always end up defeated in the end. There is no way to cheat the system. Continue reading
I thought I understand this world, but, it turns out I genuinely don’t. After a series of life-changing experiences, I secretly prided myself that I get it. I know what this life is all about. That the meaning of life depends on what it means to you. That the question of life is unique to each individual. That your life is how you project yourself into your reality. That everything takes place in your brain. That each decision in choosing the path you take is the result of how you process your life experiences in your mind. That you have a choice of how your future will shape up.
I have been living in a bubble of bliss ever since I met the love of my life. Our life together remained harmonious and happy for more than six years. Life is beautiful. Full of sunshine and laughter, inside our home. But the longer I live in this kind of misty existence, the longer I cannot ignore the chaos outside; the violence and hatred that filled the streets; greed and selfishness that lurk in every corner. Unhappiness exists. Evil exists. And they weigh heavily upon whatever it is that is beautiful in this world. Continue reading
One winter morning when my husband and I took Babar for a walk in a jungle park near our place we came across a couple of Nilgais or blue cows. The Nilgai is the largest antelope in Asia and are among the wild animals that inhabit the jungle park. Plenty of beautiful peacocks roam around the place also.We saw a huge wild pig and a jackal once. They usually come out when there are less people in the park.
It was colder than usual that morning probably that’s why we were the only ones walking around there when we saw the antelopes. One of them watched us curiously for a few minutes before it ran after his mate. Babar tried to chase them but he was running with a some hesitation. They were much bigger than him and he could not figure out what they were!
A clear photo of Nilgai from google just to show how it looks.
At two year old, Babar still displays his puppy cuteness once in a while but sans his tasmanian devil-like energy which nearly drove hubby and I to the mad house when he was just months old. Our house has resumed its peace and order which in two years I have almost forgotten what feels like. He also stopped stealing pillows and wrestling with it. I can make up the bed without keeping the pillows inside the closet or out of his reach. I can again display my favorite Indian cushions on the sofa without its guts getting ripped out.
I have also returned my books to a low bookshelf ( almost level to his snout) and arrange it together with some wooden knick knacks we collected during our travels without worrying them being knockdown and chewed to pieces. I even placed some hard bound books on the coffee table without the fear of him snatching it and tearing the pages apart. Oh how I mourn the literary casualties my book collection suffered during one of his manic moments. A book of short stories by Saki lay wounded and spineless somewhere in one of the cabinets. Baudolino by Umberto Eco is defaced, hidden in between his other books. Continue reading
” Let’s put up a trap and then when we caught her in the act, let’s lock her in a room and we will then take each turns to rape her.” All four boys laughed, hooted and discussed the possibility. I stared at them wide eyed. Their excitement and anticipation impregnated the dim lit room, shadows falling on their faces as they squatted on the hardwood floor. I wondered at the nightmarish quality of the moment. I could not believe what I was hearing. I felt Analyn who was sitting beside me in my bed, shivered. The landlady looked at the boys approvingly and giggled.
The boys were talking about Chona. One of the boarders in that boarding house near the campus where I was enrolled for college.They suspected her of stealing the landlady’s money and a ring my mother had given me a year ago as a gift for entering my first year in college. Chona was a trash talking good looking young woman who dressed in shorts skirts and tube tops all the time. She chain smoked and engaged in late night drinking with the boys on her day offs. She was always in need of money and had left college to be a bar girl. Base on that the male boarders seemed to think that she was also capable of stealing. I used to like her before she started working in bars. She was fun to be around, honest and was genuine. But when she quit college and started working in the evenings she became withdrawn and antagonistic. She often came home drunk and would sleep for the entire day until she has to go to work again in the night. Continue reading
I killed a plant today and I feel bad. I was getting confused on what this plant wants. When I took it home from the nursery it looked vibrant and happy. It was a tall plant covered in perky yellow leaves with a blot of green. Now it is all dried up and withering. All along I deceived myself I have a green thumb. How proudly I would announce when a sprout pops out from a seed I myself have sown. But now I doubt myself If I really know anything about gardening.
It is a houseplant you see, so I placed it inside my living room just about three foot away from the main door. Every morning it was touched by a bit of indirect sunlight and I do water it properly. But day by day the leaves turn yellow and fall, its vibrancy diminishing. I thought probably it needed more sun so today I put it out just by the door where the sunlight is falling . But we are at the heights of summer so suddenly all of the leaves turned brown. With an aching heart I took it in and trimmed all the dead leaves. Now here all the bald stems are staring at me accusingly. I killed a plant today and I am sorry.