Unexpectedly, sometimes, I lose them all.
I washed my hair late in the evening just so I could blow dry it fresh for the musical night-out. Spent extra minutes on the left-of-back part of the head, where a bunch of strands never, just never, rolls in properly. That elusive perfect wedge! Matched my silk scarf with the spaghetti top, contrasted both with the pants. Cleaned the family’s shoes for the evening. Even the son’s shirt, tucked tightly into place. Socks pulled up, teeth brushed. Proper. Everything. The husband did his own bit. The best of South Asian bands were playing at Purana Quila and neat-3 walked into the crowd just in time.
Oh, the crowd. Madness sans method. The band from Bhutan was going hard rock and the mass of heads around us were banging to the rhythm. Caught husband’s feet in suede tapping, fingers clicking. Junior was taking time to let the lights, the sound, the noise sink in. And the banging heads. Not a care in the world not a hair in place. Not conscious if they looked like maniacs, or even their age. They were with it and with the drunken beams of light. Sunk deep into the moment. (Is this what they call trance?)
A few ticked minutes away it began. A self-conscious swaying of the body, of a 31-year-old mother who felt old standing amongst the sea of youth but wanted to, so badly, live college again. To let go. To, what they call, be. Bass to guitars to drums to trumpet and gentle swaying had matured into the real thing. I looked at him and winked. He smiled saying do your thing. Eyes closed, music in the ears, nothing in the head and feet in air. Thoughts of troubles and troubling thoughts, all gone. And the well-set wedge I spent those extra minutes on? Nowhere to be seen!
Unexpectedly, sometimes, I lose them all.
Are the shorts too short? They’re not if you think they aren’t, said he getting dressed for the beach. Oh, let me just wrap a skirt over them in any case. When I sit they travel up. You care? Incredulous, it seemed to him. To me, in front of the hotel mirror, they seemed like very short shorts. As if my son’s I was wearing! Anyway, we went. Goggles and sun cream and baby food and a wrap-around on a white scooter zooming to Om Café, Anjuna Beach.
Their chairs were so comfy. We dug some rolls and poured much Feni. My legs remained crossed. Uncrossing meant a slit right down the centre where the skirt played naughty. It flew too much too, that skirt, as I walked with slippers in one hand and baby’s hand in the other on the black rocks lining the sea. The beige shorts kept winking at me, happy to be peeping and showing. Stop leaving my hand, mamma, was his complaint every time I tried minding the skirt into place. What would he understand? My thighs will jiggle and jaggle, an eye sore in this beautiful place, oh why did I have to wear this damn pair. We walked on, the shadows grew longer, and bodies in bikinis appeared for an evening dip.
Bodies. Foreigners, some Indians too. Most so shapely I wanted to stare and whistle. Others, quite like mine. Some in their twilight, too much bone or too much flab but so carefree. As if boasting to the setting sun with their wrinkled cleavages and bright bikinis that they had lived their lives and loved what it did to them. I had bunched up the slit of my knee-length wrap in my right hand. To keep it from flying. I let go now. It flapped like a bird and my thighs felt the wind, caught the orange light. Weee, screamed he. I tied the skirt around his neck, like a cape. Made him a superhero. Much like how I felt, heroic and free.
Unexpectedly, sometimes, I lose them all.
Examples upon examples...
Of singing aloud at decibels that shiver on hearing my voice. Because he says he wants to listen to Jingle Bells as we drive back from school. He wants it so how can I hiccup? Never before did I hear my voice thus. Always excused myself from wedding singing, or sang in a whisper that even I couldn’t hear. Singing was not my thing. But it is. Now.
Of meeting estranged family after years of blood they call bad, but blood of the same family. The discomfort in the fidgety hands and feet but the comfort of breaking the ice and leaving bygones where they belong. Loud laughter and back-slapping between kin! There is no better way. Actually, there is no other way!
Of dancing on the road in strangers’ wedding baraats, wearing torn jeans and looking like misfits but feeling happy. Turning gaping stares of dressed up people into amused smiles. Hoping for an invite. Just desserts, please, uncle ji? We were poor, hungry hostellers. A second’s nudge from a buddy and hesitation had been thrown to the wind. I had crossed the road. Hands in the air, pumping shoulders, drums all around and soaked in fun. Living it. At someone else’s wedding, that too!
Examples upon examples, still...
Of tightly packed buses, with a pervert right behind and a public totally blind. (Life’s not all fun and games, now is it?) Exchanging stares with a female friend standing close by. Our eyes asking each other, what can we do? Silence. Just bending and looking out of the window hoping to see our stop. And then suddenly, as if the repressed spring decided to stand up, letting go of the wall of tolerance. Turning around and slapping him, the balding face who was someone’s grandfather. Khataak! Finally. And finally waking the public up, to kick him out of the bus.
Countless more examples.
Of a life with times when, unexpectedly, I lose them all.
[Written for WordPress Daily Prompts : 365 Writing Prompts. The prompt for today was - Unexpected - Unexpectedly, you lose your job. (Or a loved one. Or something or someone important to you.) What do you do next?]
Photo of Sakshi in shorts, with son wearing her skirt like a cape, please. *Stares imploringly at Sakshi*ReplyDelete
I second Ritu's request :)Delete
Look what you've done, Ritu ma'am!Delete
I'll try contacting the narrator of this post and ask her if she agrees. Privately, of course! :D
Sid, off with you!
That's quite a twist on the prompt. I'd have never though of relating 'letting go of inhibitions' to this one. Sometimes the most interesting posts are the ones that flow naturally. Like this one. Those examples - especially the band one and the shorts one - and how you wove the entire scene around that. Really enjoyed reading it, Sakshi.ReplyDelete
P.S. One more to go ....*emotional moment* :) It's been a good ride.
Yes, I did wring the prompt by the neck. I guess I let go of all inhibitions even in doing that. :DDelete
I am so happy you enjoyed this one. It just kind of ... came out, so to say. Heck, the punctuations should tell you that. :D
P.S. - I am all senti too. Let us go to Vegas, us 4, and celebrate. :D
Good one Saks, more so considering that you churned this out in record time.ReplyDelete
Record time, true true. I'm sure it shows too. :PDelete
Love the way you have used the prompt.ReplyDelete
Thank you for reading, Prasanna! :)Delete
What a lovely take. Loved all the examples narrated with such finesse.ReplyDelete
I am going to read it again. To soak in the bindass spirit of the post.
Thank you so much, Alka. Happy you want to read it again.Delete
This was a cool read, Sakshi. We all need to do that from time to time, lose our inhibitions and just be :)ReplyDelete
True, isn't it, Beloo? How liberating those moments of letting-go can be.Delete
Thanks for the 'cool read'. :)
yes we canReplyDelete
oh dear.... I'm not one to lose my inhibitions. It's holding back my book as well. I wrote about it on my other blog on Medium https://medium.com/slo-word-the-blog/stillness-5da436b49e4bReplyDelete
When I read this it makes me think of all the things that I could do that I haven't yet. Like writing about women, the look of a pair of smooth legs clad in sandals at one end and shorts at the other, the sight of a woman brushing her hair, smooth armpits - oh hell, wait a second!!! You tricked me.....!!
Ha ha ha! I always look forward to your comments on my post, Slo. Thankfully, you are reading me without any inhibition. :DDelete
On a serious note now - Book? Wow!
3 years 3 chapters, no plot, no characters...yes, a book I said. :) That's actually how I got into blogging - to teach me how to write. I wrote absolutely nothing between Grade 12 and 2 years ago, a span of 30odd years.Delete
But wait! I now have a short story / section that is showing signs of life, I think I may have found my plot and my characters. I'll show you a draft section in a week or so,if you're interested.
3 chapters, no plot and no characters sounds like the sapling of a book, indeed! Well, I believe blogging might make you write regularly (because who doesn't like to be read and hear 'brilliant' in return) but it cannot 'Teach me how to write'. Look at me. Whatever little shabaashees I get make me believe I am a superhero writer. :D I'm going to get away from here soon to really write.Delete
I would really like to see that draft. Very, very interested!
Blogging really has helped me. Unlike my buddy Soumya I haven't been active at all, never even attempted anything, and definitely had no clue about my style, story construction nothing. I have never been to a creative writing class, my degree is in accounting and I've spent 30+ years in IT :(Delete
There was a time when the blog became too much of a distraction, I became too involved in trying for the instant gratification.But I now treat it as a way to get some writing practice in.
My readers have kept me firmly grounded by stinting heavily on the "shabashes"... :(
I'll send you a draft.
This was beautifully crafted and I read it twice to appreciate the lovely flow of words, Sakshi!ReplyDelete
Thank you, Rahul. Means a lot. :)Delete
Enjoyed reading it ! :)ReplyDelete
Thank you! :)Delete
Wow! A 30 year old mom shedding off inhibition to enjoy a lil bit more than allowed by the society guidelines is really bindaassss...Even I don't that much guts. Kudos to freedom. :)ReplyDelete
Ahem! Make that almost-32-years-old, Namrata.Delete
I am sure you have your share of guts to use more wisely than I do mine. :D
Lots of love for reading and kudos to nuggets of freedom!
The post brought back memories and the jobless me will relive those happily now..ReplyDelete
Well penned sakshi ...
:D If all reliving is a happy reliving, we're living life right, I guess. :DDelete
Thank you so much for liking it.
A lovely post refreshing and what an awesome take on the prompt, keep it coming. :)ReplyDelete
Thank you. :)Delete
Good one. Specially the bus incident. It really takes a lot of guts to actually turn back and confront the person. These things take place only because of (as mentioned by you) The Blind society. Kudos to your guts!!ReplyDelete
It's good to do whatever you can to feel free, even if at times you know it's just a semblance of freedom.Delete
Thank you for reading me, Nikita!
Cackle of laughter..loosing my inhibition here with my beer can, reading this post,flawless and perfect like Pure Desi Ghee. A take of feeling free between Right and Wrong. But, then, who cares as long as you are yourself. Khataak post:)ReplyDelete
Goa is always bliss:)
Oh I love your perspective - 'on feeling between Right and Wrong'. That's wonderful!Delete
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