Saturday, 23 July 2016

Last Sail

The familiar smell of cheap rum filled the one roomed house. Valentine and Valeria knew their father was home. He was drunk as usual. Anna, the mother served him the last cup of porridge. Far above the village of Salsk, the full moon watched the little hut with great agony.

Valentine was a boy of six and Valeria was a girl of ten. They never had a good fortune, though they have seen great fortunes materializing in front of them as children of rich parents. Valentine’s only possession was a wooden doll of a sailor who had traveled all the seven seas. He inherited the doll from his sister Valeria, when the parents told her she was too old to play with toys.

Anna has made a swing on the courtyard. She would swing the children up to heaven and then catch them down at earth. Anna would let them paint the back wall of the house with mud and water and later would ask them clean the wall, so that they could paint again the next day. These were their little perks of being poor.

Anton, their father was a laborer. The war gave him bread and when the war ended, he became poor. “Wars create martyrs, so does peace”, he tells the children during their Sunday walk to the lake that had huge frogs.

Anna warns the children often about the man on the corner of the street. Boris, was told to be a merchant of children. “He snatches children for work”, tells Anna.

Anna poured the little porridge that was left to Anton’s cup. She went to the children and asked them to go to bed. She prepared them a bed on one end of the room. She gave Valentine, the wooden doll of the sailor to hold while sleeping.

“Are they asleep?”, asked Anton.

“They are.”, replied Anna.

“We should agree upon what we have discussed yesterday. I find no other way. We have no money.”

“But Valeria is just ten.”

“The orphanage will take care of her. She might even get schooling.”

Anna stared at the moon outside the window. The moon wasn’t white. She lowered the kerosene lamp and went to bed along with her husband.

The next morning they woke up to find a small bundle of cash on the children’s bed. Valentine wasn’t there; the wooden doll of the sailor who had traveled all the seven seas wasn’t there. It was just the full moon who had watched him walking out of the house last night, to Boris, the man on the corner of the street.



Sunday, 5 June 2016

Camelio Green

I

The spirit of earth strolled,
To watch her body slayed.

The trees lay dead on ground,
The last drop of oxygen given.

The fishes swam their last,
To the pool of their own tears.

The birds tried to sing a sad song,
To find their throats so dry.

The earth was mere a ghost house,
The spirit of earth, haunting.

II

Then came Camelio Green,
The one who knows sorcery.

The wand of life swung gently,
The earth was refilled yet again.

The trees, the fishes, the birds,
They enjoyed the alchemy.

The men searched for Camelio Green,
To learn about the witchery.

Then came Camelio Green,
To tell them he is “themselves”.





Thursday, 19 May 2016

Another Member

I woke listening to baang from the old mosque across the street. “Goodbye Muscat”, I said in my mind. The flight was silent.  I slept for most of the hours, resting my head on mother’s shoulder.

There is something enchanted with the roads of Peerumedu. The leaves on either side of the road were like little children drenched in rain. They moved on wind’s cadence. The path was muddy with tiny grasses extending their head out of the soil. The car moved to the old and fabled house of “Madathil”.

“There comes Janu and family. Its vacation.”, the family says.

“Janu, Shall we open the suit case.”, asks aunties expecting Yardley and Dove.

“Govindan Aliya, Scotch Whisky”, uncles consider my father as their imperishable source of foreign liquor.

“My kids are finally here.”, Grandparent’s wait is over..

For me, this is freedom. I can now run to the top of the mountain whose height cannot be measured. I can wait under the lemon tree until the cool breeze run chills down the trunk to make a fruit fall down. Kitkat, Toblerone, Cousins, Freedom; this is a remarkable blend.
Vacation at Madathil that year was different. We had an extra member. Towards the backyard of the house, under a roof made of hay was a long tailed, always merry, white cow.

“We call her Velumbi.”, said Vijayan Valiyachan.

I promise, my vacation had exceptionally transformed from that moment onwards. I forgot the mountain whose height cannot be measured, the lemon tree that gives fruits when cool breeze run chills down the trunks, kitkats and toblerons. It got shrunk to me and Velumbi. The good thing with her was that, she doesn’t dispute. All she wanted from me was an occasional feed of hay and water.

Every dawn and dusk, Kunjumon came to milk Velumbi. He splashes water over her breast and pulls it to the last drop of milk.

“Amma, why is Velumbi producing milk when she has no calf?” I asked mother one day. She said nothing. May be her calf was dead. Or could it be taken away from her?

Two months passed in quick time. I was sitting on the veranda with cousins. We saw a huge man entering the gates. We watched him approaching.

“Mothalaai, Im here”, he roared. He had a huge knife hanging on his shoulder.

“It’s standing inside the shed at backyard. I need the cash now.”, said Valiyachan

After five minutes, we saw Velumbi walking out the gates of the old and fabled house of “Madathil”.

Was Velumbi taken to her calf? Was she taken to another house like ours? I never knew.

Two days passed. I slept on my mother’s shoulder on our way back to Muscat. 

Light from a dream

Once upon a night, in a murky lane
I walked as lost as star.
Far so long, I saw a light
The light you lit for me.

I glided to you, with love and fear
That was to be with you.
I reached near you, stood before you
That was the best thing to do.

Of all the splendid orbs, Of all the glided lights
You shine the best, You outsmart the rest.
Oh dear lord, if this is a dream
Never let me wake.

p.s: you are the best dream I've ever had.