Teardrops and Rose Petals

Some people are “beautiful yet scary, evil yet lovely. Bittersweet. Cold yet welcoming.”
The girl here was probably inspired by Liesel Meiminger from The Book Thief (I’m still reading it)…

Beautiful teardrops fall on rose petals. The petals bend lightly as the drops of tears move in slow motion from petal to petal, finally falling off to the floor. They hit the floor, a drop at a time. Clear grey floor, clean drops of tears. Rose petals, like pages written in the life of the young girl crying. Yellow shades made on pink petals… the smiles, the pains, the hard times. How they all blended in one petal, one life, one person. Sun kissed petals, upturned, they must have jumped up and down when they saw the sun peep from behind the clouds. They must have seen this girl jump up and down when she had sunny days she could play too. Some petals, a very dark pink, curled away from her, never taking in any of her tears. They were the ones that cried with her. They were the ones that were saturated with tears themselves. Too much to take in. So young, so tender, yet so much to take in. At this point they can’t take it any longer. Petal after petal, they fall off… they drop to the floor along with the tears. Day after day, sunshine and rain. Beautiful days, beautiful friends, beautiful things to think of. Her soft, silky hair falls off her shoulders onto her fingers. The fingers hold tight onto the rose thorns. She holds onto them even when they pierce her skin. The petals litter the floor but in a sinister kind of way… beautiful yet scary, evil yet lovely. Bittersweet. Cold yet welcoming. Slowly, slowly… as if her life depended on it, she lowers her hand and breathes in courage she never had. Courage to drop the rose, the one that killed her and kept her alive at the same time. She lets go of the rose, a finger at a time, until she loses the grip altogether. It falls off and without a backward glance the girl runs. Her bare feet run as fast as they could possibly take her, her red dress sweeps behind her and her brown hair dances with the wind that follows. She leaves the memories in the rose petals that someone else would collect.



“Blue eyes”? No, just contact lenses. P.S: This is yet again about you-know-who, so I kindly request of you not to speculate things that are not.
On a more positive note, I’m really exited about something for tomorrow. I’ve been excited since the day I received a telephone call from one of my friends. It all comes to place tomorrow. I don’t know why I typed that here -________-

All I see when I look are your blue eyes,
They are callous, as cold as ice.
All I hear when I listen is your voice,
The curses and all the unkind noise.
All I smell around is your presence,
The lies and all the wrong reasons.
All I sense when I touch is your feel,
Coloured fingernails as strong as steel.
All I can taste is your poison in my mouth,
Waiting to kill me, to shut me down.

Where are the eyes that were warm and welcoming?
Where are the eyes those spoke when there was warning?
Where is the voice that once spoke with love and care?
Where is the voice that told me nightmare after nightmare?
Where is the smell of surprises cooking in the kitchen for me?
Where is the presence that told me you would always be?
Where is the feeling I felt every time I entered your room?
Where is the feeling that ensured there was no doom?
Where is the taste of burnt tomatoes and roasted marshmellows?
Where on Earth are those beautiful smiles and better hellos?

We had our times when we could,
We did everything we should.
Now it’s too late to wish for the times gone,
Just like the radio, it’s now another song.
The flowers have now dries and the leaves have fallen,
I’ve had many vain attempts to fix what was broken.
I guess we’re left with what remains to us today,
Feels like you told me you loved me only yesterday.
But do things really have to be this way?, ask yourself…
Think again and if I’m wrong I’ll correct myself.

Eid, when I was six.

This is a brief account of what Eid was like a ten years ago, to me. Tomorrow being our festival, I think this is an appropriate post. While some of the things remain unchanged, most of the things have changed with time…

The rush begins with the sighting of the new moon. The phone rings without a pause and my mother keeps going on about how much more work there is to do and how today everyone should get to bed early in order to wake up early the next day. Somehow the day before Eid happens to be the day we all go to bed late. Bags of sweetmeats are packed and our new dresses are ironed and hung up for the next day. Just when my brother and I’ve been put to sleep the phone rings again, waking us both up as my mother hurriedly tells her sister that it’s 500 grams of sugar and 10 eggs (or something like that) and my father would come to check how red the henna on my hand has turned. Mom would chide us all back to our beds before she goes to sleep herself. Some nights, I used to be so excited that I couldn’t sleep so I’d grab a pen and my diary to write on it under the night light, sometimes falling asleep atop it. 

The day of Eid, my mom and dad would wake my brother and me at 04:00 am. I always woke up first full of excitement. Having a cup of milk in the morning after an entire month seems a bit weird but soon enough we would be filling our stomachs to make up for what we didn’t. My father would recite aloud the ‘thakbir’ and that is one of my favorite things about Eid. The sound of his voice echoing around the house. Slightly shaking, I would get dressed in my new clothes and my brother as usual would be late but he always made it a  point to make a  special entrance. Then he would poke me lovingly, I’d poke him back a little harder, a quarrel would start, my parents would say “you should not fight on the day of the festival” and  then we would exchange smiles and  be friends again. By 05:30 am we begin the hour long journey to our grandparents’ house, from Kandy to Matale, a whole hour worth the ride.

Now, if you haven’t taken the road from Kandy to Matale at 5:30am, you wouldn’t know what I’m talking about. The sun would be peeking out from between the mountains and the paddy fields as you pass Alawathugoda are a splendid sight to see, especially with Yes Fm tuned in on 96.8 (if I’m not mistaken).

My grandfather would wait to welcome us with a hug and the warmest smile I will ever know. My cousin would run out of the house in her pyjamas, see us and run back in to wake her little brother up to tell him his favorite cousins were here. We’d spot our grandmother busy making festive specials in the kitchen, and my uncle would come running and give us presents and he always has such perfect choice of clothes that my favorite dresses were always from him. My aunt would go around asking my cousins to hurry up or we’d miss the festival prayers. By 06:50 the beautiful  ladies of the house start our ten-fifteen minute walk to the mosque. It would always rain on the day of the festival and we had to constantly jump to avoid a splash of mud on our new clothes. We would walk in pairs. My cousin and I would always walk together, catching up on what we had missed since the last time we met (the 24 hour break we had between us).

Sometimes my cousin and I didn’t pray at the mosque… we were too small to understand how it all worked so we would sit and talk in hushed voices, making sure we didn’t disturb anyone. Then we would spot someone we knew and try to get them look at us; “psychic power” our paranormal activity obsessed uncle had once let slip.

We would walk back home, stopping every now and then when we saw someone we knew, asking them to stop by our grandparents place. Soon we would be back and the men would go to the mosque. Until they came back, we would all help prepare the table for breakfast.

When they come back from the mosque we would greet each other with “salaams” and the rest of the morning would be spent visiting relatives, being visited by relatives, and my cousin and me making secret plans. At times, my cousin and I would be lucky enough to squeeze in some time to hear a bit of the ‘Johnson’ story from our grandfather. Then lunch would arrive from the famous cook in town, Mr. Dawood. My uncle would sneak in and steal some food (Chicken, if we were lucky) from the lunch basins and share it with us. The cats would also try sneaking in but they were never as clever  or skilled as my uncle was.

On the way to my dad’s parents’ house in Akurana, we would stop by the burial grounds to pay our respect to my dad’s father who was always a man of cheer, especially around Eid. Around the time of dusk, the sky turns a beautiful shade of orange and as night falls and we approach Akurana our grandmother would welcome us home. Slowly, the crowds would start pouring in. Aunts, uncles, cousins… and every one of them came with a smile.

Greetings are exchanged and relatives come over, and my aunts would complain about how little of their dodol or boondi or wattalapam I ate. High on sugar, my cousins and I would walk outside, laugh till we were out of breath. Sometimes we managed to get to the top of the roof. The stars look way better when you watch them, lying flat on your back at the top of the roof. But soon someone would slip, yelp and my aunts and uncles would rush out thinking it was the monkeys on the roof again, but find us instead.

Dinner is always extra special… home-made and nothing like it anywhere else. Signature dishes coming from family recepies and a load of sweat meats to top it off again. I would already feel sleepy but the grown ups would have just started speaking. They speak and speak and speak and only when the day dawns, do my parents realize it’s time we got home.

On our way home, I would fall asleep and my father would carry me to my room in his strong arms. My day ends with the warmth of dad’s hugs the way they dawned with mom’s voice. Growing up I’ve come to realize that even the cousin who swore to eat with you ten years later might have forgotten she said that, and the people you were so certain would be with you till the end of time might see their end before time does. A lot has changed but a lot still remains the same, and what I’m grateful for is that after all the years, my day still ends with dad’s warm hugs the way they began with mom’s voice waking me up.

Moment of Recognition

Holidays and I miss my friends. Seeing one in town is really something to be excited about.

You’re in your comfort zone under the watchful eyes of your parents. The streets always look better when you don’t have an umbrella being poked  at you. The shops look bigger, the street lights have a special glow to them and every thing seems to move in slow motion. That’s when you catch a glipmse of a little too familiar pair of eyes. His curly hair falling onto his face, he seems to have recognised the blue. You look, he looks, you recognise, he realises and then a lorry drives past blocking sight of each other. You look out after the vehicle passes to make sure he’s still there… to make sure he hung up to see if it really was you. He’s still there, he’s still watching you, he’s still got that surprised expression painted on his face. Blue t-shirt, blue sky, blue background… friends seeing each other after two weeks. You wave at him unsure if he’d see you with the glare. He waves back… he smiles, you smile… your car speeds up and he’s still watching you.

I have and I haven’t [Aug 2012]

What have you done? And what haven’t you done?

I have…

… jumped off a tree
… walked up a down-escalator
… jumped between two buildings
… attempted to break a lock
… screamed out loud in the middle of a tea estate
… been asked to accompany some friends of mine to the zoo (yes, the zoo!)
… made the funniest sounds in class
… been accused of things I’ve never done
… hiked
… danced in the rain
… camped with my friends  for 6 nights
… ridden and fallen off a push bicycle
… climbed the monkey-ladder in a ship
… made friends with native Africans (masai)
… been on a camel in a dessert
… star gazed
… built fortresses out of sheets and pillows
… lived on an island for all my life
… built sandcastles
… been on a train
… reunited with my best friend after nine years
… learnt that looks are deceptive
… picked up fights with my brother
… had my portrait drawn (twice)
… been a teacher to my friends
… spoken to the sky hoping ‘they’ would be speaking back
… watched the moon rise and the sun set simultaneously from the middle of the ocean
… won a game of rugger against my brother (I’ll be forever proud of this!)
… performed at a school concert
… sneaked in to watch the school Talent Show auditions (I could only watch one audition though)
… had strangers reading my blog (and liking my posts!)
… tried vlogging
… almost had my grandma’s kitchen burnt down
… been on a row boat
… chopped down a tree with an axe
… redesigned a log as a tribute to all my friends
… been to a real concert with recognized people singing on it
… sent messages in bottles (yes, I have)
… spent a day each week for three months making girls smile
… hidden in a wardrobe
… put up a sign on the door to my room saying “Enter at your own risk”
… been hospitalized on the day of my first birthday
… survived dengue
… written letters to friends
… had an entire website custom-designed for my birthday
… had a friend of mine copy all the missed Biology notes (And I didn’t even ask him to!)
… met a friend who got nervous at my sight!
… sung at the top of my lungs
… tried speaking in French for an entire day
… made friends through the internet
… been said to have a ‘cunning smile’ (I don’t know if he meant it though)
… had dogs jump on me (over and over again)
… always loved country music
… been mistaken for my mom (over the phone)
… stood on my head
… spoken to the stars (did I mention that earlier?)
… walked out of a conversation
… threatened on various occasions (but I was first threatened when I was in year 3)

I have never…

… crossed a street on my own
… walked in town on my own
… skipped a class
… faked to be sick
… stolen anything
… been on a safari
… been on a hot air balloon
… been on a motorcycle
… been rude to a teacher
… been rude to my parents
… hated Taylor Swift
… owned a cat / dog
… learnt to be fluent in French (even though I’ve tried)
… learnt to play the guitar
… been mad at anyone for more than 30 minutes
… danced hip-hop (or even liked it)
… ate something that’s alive (like an insect or something)
… gone fishing for real
… held grudges
… sung to my friends
… spoken in any language besides English in front of my friends
… jumped off a balcony
… climbed a coconut tree
… held a burning matchstick for more than a second
… written on a wall
… liked playing with dolls
… liked fluffy, glittery dresses
… been on an ambulance (never plan on either)
… had a broken bone
… switched off the ‘trip switch’ at school
… been late to return a library book
… been on facebook
… hurt anyone intentionally
… met my pen-friend in person
… been late to school
… broken a window or anything glass or ceramic
… been confident about speaking in front of a crowd (I think I am but it never seems I can)
… been ashamed of who I am
… been to the moon (don’t want to either)
… been a good story-teller
… been a good liar
… been afraid of speaking the truth
… got my finger cut to a ceiling fan blade
… understood why some things had to happen the way they did

Sun rise from the middle of the ocean

The tribute to all my friends

Written letters to friends

I can’t upload the rest of the photos because there’s either me or my brother poking our faces into the camera, and I’m certain I’d get killed if my brother’s photos end up here. To save my neck, I have to stop here.