Lyrical Love – Part V

Back¬†to writing about the two things that could keep me awake and on a high permanently in life – Love and Music ūüôā¬†

The last time I featured (previous editions in this series :¬†1,¬†2,¬†3¬†and¬†4)¬†3 Malayalam songs and this time, I’m switching to another language – Tamil. These three phenomenal songs have been on a loop on my phone and laptop for the whole of last month and I cannot stop. Here goes:

—–

So I’ve watched this movie Goa (Tamil), and only because this song¬†Arabic Sea¬†playing on the TV¬†had piqued my interest¬†because I loved Goa the couple of times I’ve been there and even a movie situated in Goa can transport me into a romantic world of my own. After all, who can blame me?

But I never kind of “noticed” this song, and it had to wait for a couple of years for my ears to discover it – and never want to stop listening after that. I stumbled onto it while researching Andrea Jeremiah (she starred in a Malayalam film Annayum Rasoolum and I was kinda checking her out :P) ¬†and heard her croon this song in a video. Wondering why I had never noticed it, I find the actual song on youtube…

…and realized just *why* the hero of the Malayalam movie Fahadh Faasil fell in love with Andrea (yes, in real life – they are together currently).

Whatay voice!! But oh, what a song.

This, is a woman’s song. A powerful woman’s song.

A woman who can look straight into the eyes of her lover and not hesitate to tell him that she loves him and what thoughts of him do to her. Sensual, bursting with life, and yet fluttering longingly around the senses to create a kind of excitement that makes you want to touch, and yet, stop inches before you do.

Andrea’s voice is magic. Throaty and raw, she brings life to the piece and I’ve heard several renditions of the song after that, but there is truly only one Andrea.

Ajeesh Рa reality music show find, is the perfect foil for her. Muted and melodious, his rendition of Dhegam ippodhu unarndhadhu, Thendral en meedhu padarndhadhu, Mogam munneri varugudhu munne makes me want to stretch my arms à la SRK, and forget everything else that exists around me. A fine find indeed!

While I am waxing eloquent on the choice of singers, it’s not just them but the music and the perfect lyrics, particularly for the situation in the movie.¬†You can find a (poetic attempt at) translation for the song¬†Here.

leg

Song: Idhu Varai
Movie: Goa
Music: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Lyrics: Gangai Amaran
Singers: Andrea Jeremiah, Ajeesh

YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGztE6CDn08

Idhu varai illaadha unarvidhu
Idhayathil undaana kanavidhu
Palithidum annaalai thedidum paadal kettaayo…

Moodamal moodi maraithadhu
Thaanaga poothu varughudhu
Thedamal thedi kidaithadhu ingey… (2)

Inge oru inbam vandhu niraya
Eppodhu en unmai nilai ariya
Thaangamalum thoongamalum naal selludhey…

Illamale nitham varum kanavu
Kollamal kolla, sugam ennendru solla

Nee thunai varavendum neenda vazhi en payanam…

Ange ange vandhu vandhu kalakkum
Venmegamum vennilavum pola
Endhan manam, ennangalai, yaar arivar…

En nenjamo un pola alla
Yedho ore maatram
Nilai puriyadha thottram

Idhu nirandharam alla
maarividum mananilai dhan…

Manadhile ullorum unarvugal
Malarnthadhey muthaana uravugal
Piranthadhe thannale kadhavugal namakku munnale… ¬†(2)

Dhegam ippodhu unarndhadhu
Thendral en meedhu padarndhadhu
Mogam munneri varugudhu munne… ¬†(2)

—–

I kid (pun intended) sometimes that the only thing one gains out of Facebook is the tiredness from having to like and ooh and awww these oh-so-adorable pictures of infants & toddlers (offsprings of one’s classmates & colleagues – hmph, ¬†this is probably the problem with this generation I belong to: eminently fertile and prone to gushing about one’s own babies :P).

Sarcasm aside :), once in a while¬†this difficulty brings along with it some surprises. I came across this song from a video one of my friends had posted, of her lovely little 2 year old, trying to lisp a song – apparently taught to him by his grandpa, and the only Tamil that comes out of his mouth for now. The attempt was very cute and so¬†I tried to check out what the real song was like. I mean, if the grandpa wanted this to be the first Tamil words the kid could speak/sing, it probably meant the song was a favorite, right?¬†I was thinking this would be one of those 50’s classics or so. Surprise, surprise – a 2012 number!

It took me just one watch to decide I wanted the song on my iphone playlist. Now that’s a commitment, guys – and I’m usually not one to make commitments so easily :P.

A few hours of listening to the song on loop followed and after that, there’s not been a day when I can stop at listening to it just once. If I could describe the song in one word, that would be:

Nirvana.

Haricharan, hitherto unknown to me, suddenly added a die-hard fan to his account. I must have spent atleast half a Sunday, researching him on the net, and listening to everything else that he lent his golden voice to.

The song sets your heart soaring as soon as the first beats emerge. The tinkling bells, and Haricharan’s voice rushes into your being like an incoming tide as he sings Ayyayayo … forceful, deliberate, and leaving you gasping. And just as you’re submitting yourself to his force, he’s touching silvery notes, almost whispering into your ears with a yearning “karai sera neeyum kaiyil yendha vaa”¬†and all you can do is melt.

I’ve believed that only A R Rahman could create music that evokes the senses of the elements… until I heard this song.¬†The song is perfectly matched by the visuals in Kumki – the brute force of an elephant, gushing water, the denseness of the forest … and the spirit of love.

nirvana

Song: Ayyayayo Aananathame
Movie: Kumki
Music: D. Imman
Lyrics: Yugabharathi
Singers: Haricharan 

YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB1VSViOaC4

Ayyayayo aananthame, nenjukulle aarambamae

Nooru kodi vaanavil, maarimaari seruthae
Kaadhal podum thooralil, thaegam moozhgi poguthae

Aedho oru aasai vaava katha paesa
Ayyayayo…

Unnai muthalmurai kanda nodiyinil thanikulla vizhunthaen
Andru vizhunthavan innum ezhumbala mella mella karainthaen
Karai sera neeyum kaiyil aenthava, uyir kaathalodu naanum neenthavaa..

Kangalil kandathu paathi, varum karpanai thanthathu meethi
Thoduthae.. Suduthae.. Manathae….
Ayyayayo…

Kangal irupathu unnai rasithida endru solla piranthaen
Kaigal iruppathu thottu anaithida alli kolla thuninthaen
Etharkaaga kaalgal kaelvi kaetkiraen, thunai saernthupoga thaethi paarkiraen..

Netriyil kungumam sooda, ilanenjinil inbamum kooda
Methuva.. Varava.. Tharava….
Ayyayayo…
—–

There are probably no words of mine that can laud the greatness that was these two people РPadmini and Sivaji Ganesan. I still remember the moment I saw this song as a child РI would have been about 7 and I was mesmerised. Not by Padmini (even though she is mesmerising in this song) but by Sivaji Ganesan. Watch from 2.04 to 2.07 minutes of this video and the way he looks at her Рyep, this is what did it. (those eyes, oh, those eyes!!!)

It’s hard to recollect another song in cinema that could have captured how two people, surrounded by countless others, could be completely immersed in each other and where the words of the song could have captured the subtle dynamics of their relationship. Padmini is the kind of dancer who could have inspired the countless dancing sculptures on the facade of temples in India. Not petite, her proportions belie the grace and ease of movement that she has and there isn’t much else you can watch when she’s on screen – her craft is best seen in her navarasas (watch from 2.43 to 2.53 in the video).

My favorite portion of the song is not that though. It’s the

Engirundhaalum unnai naanariven, unnai ennaiyallal veru yaar arivaar 
Paavai en patham kaana naanamaa? Undhan paattukku naan aada vendaama?
Maanava, venava, maayava .. Shanmuga!

Watch from 4.20 to 4.25 – the exchange between Mohanmbal (Padmini) and Shanmuga Sundaram (Sivaji Ganesan) – the hide and seek, the play on the name Shanmuga (to the audience, intended to be the name of the God; to him, a hint hat she knows he’s watching) and his reaction – pure thrill.

[I’m trying to find a good translation for this song somewhere – will link once I find it]

dancer

Song: Maraithirundhu paarkum
Movie: Thillana Mohanambal
Music: KV Mahadevan
Lyrics: Kannadasan
Singers: P Susheela

YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gPwCtBidy_8

Maraithirundhu paarkum marmam enna… swami
Maraithirundhu paarkum marmam enna
Azagar malai azagaa, indha silai azagaa … Endru
(Maraithirundhe paarkum…)

Navarasamum;
Mugathil, navarasamum malarnthirukkum mugathil navarasamum
Chekka sivanthirukkum ithazil kani rasamum… Kandu
(Maraithirundhe paarkum…)

Engirundhaalum unnai naanariven
Unnai ennaiyallal veru yaar arivaar (2)

Paavai en patham kaana naanamaa? (2)
Undhan paattukku naan aada vendaama? (2)

Maanava, venava, maayava .. Shanmuga!
(Maraithirundhe paarkum…)

Naathathiley thalaivan kuzhal ketten (2)
Andha naanathile ennai naan marandhen (2)
Mohathiley ennai mozgavaithu (2)
Oru orathiley nindru kalvanai pol

Maanava, venava, maayava .. Shanmuga!
(Maraithirundhe paarkum…)

Maan aada malar aada mathi aada nadhi aada, mangai ival nadanam aada
Vaan aada mann aada kodi aada idai aada, vanji ival kaigal aada
Suvaiodu naanaadum enainadi ithuvelai viralvinil thunaiyaaga odi varuvaai
Thooyane maalava maayane velavaa
Enai aalum shanmmuga vaa
(Maraithirundhe paarkum…)

to be continued…

Existential Happiness

Image

She watched him as he lay sprawled on the couch, his muted snore being the only sound in the room. No judgment, she thought to herself. He’s here, and that’s all there is.

A few minutes later, his sleep-weary eyes opened and carefully averted her. She did them a favor by looking away and pretending to be busy.

“You’re very busy?!”, he called out to her a couple of hours later as she wiped the kitchen counter top for the 5th time. She needn’t have done so, it was already clean. But she was nervous and wanted to keep at something so that she could forget how much she wanted to sit by his side.

She let out a nervous giggle (“ugh. Do you realize how stupid you sound right now?”, the alter-ego admonished) and said “Not really, just finishing up here”. She walked over to the couch, and sat down gingerly a couple of feet away from him, smoothing her skirt as she sat. He was typing away at his laptop, his eyes focused on the screen and didn’t look up.

She watched him, enveloped in a soft halo of golden light that filtered in through the lace-curtains, and breathed in his essence: his masculine energy, his smell, his lazy physique and his easy dominance of the environment.

Tranquil beingness. That was how she would describe him.

She willed the image of him to be imprinted in her mind. For those days when life became too much for her. She would take out that picture of him in her mind then, and let these feelings bloom in her heart.

It wasn’t “love”, was it?

Love implied a right of possession. She didn’t want to possess. She wanted to let him be. Be in his element and be HIM. Because that’s what she¬†marveled¬†at. That’s what caused her to feel what she felt. Gratitude.¬†Yes, that’s what it was.

Almost on cue, he looked up and their eyes met. She felt a ripple of fear inside – she hoped her eyes hadn’t betrayed her. He was saying something, narrating a story and the ripple died out. It was fine. She carefully matched the tone of his voice and it was then, just a conversation between friends. No other implication.

Her alter-ego grinned evilly.

In the after, there was a moment. She picked up the cushion that had been nestling close to him, and caressed her face with it, taking in the scent of his presence that was gone by then.

“Existential happiness”, she told herself. Happiness in that which exists.

* * *

Just if anyone is wondering, yes, this is inspired from real life :). And also this song (not the visuals, just the words and the singing):

Arike

Image

Just watched the malayalam movie Arike (So Close) by Shyamaprasad.

Now I’ve not been a fan of Shyamaprasad’s previous endeavours. I’ve always felt that while he does have his heart in the right place and knows how to weave in humor in unexpected ways, his movies often skim the surface of what he really wants the viewer to feel – thereby missing the point completely.

Arike however, is good. Languid and unhurried, a summer afternoon movie that let’s you soak in lives that could be just about anywhere in the world, and yet resonate with you. There’s no overt attempt to benefit from the Kerala/Malayalee background (script is based on a bengali short story) and that’s (for me) a huge plus.

There are subtle hints about relationships that are mostly just a scene and a few words: a father whose expectations from his daughter and obsession with fatality narrows down to a man who lives with the fear of having almost lost his raison d’etre:¬†his wife; a guruji who’s compassion towards a beautiful child reflects in his outpouring of joy in her presence – there’s a message there – true spirituality is unconditional love; an indulgent mother who hasn’t been able to make her daughter grow beyond frivolousness perhaps because she is guilty of the same; a boy who feeds on perceived weakness of those around him using them as a channel for his anger at being deprived…

In most movies, not devoting enough time and space to develop the ethos of the characters often makes them seem hollow and unnecessary in the script. In Arike, Shyamaprasad manages to avert the danger smartly, without spending reel and air-time. I would put it to his skill as a director in extracting unspoken words out of the actors and using their body language to the maximum Рworks beautifully here.

This is not a review btw, and is just my appreciation of the movie, so I won’t belabor on the plot per se. Mamta Mohandas stands tall in her role – strength in softness devoid of feminity. It’s something I didn’t think could be shown on screen, but she does it and how. Muted and yet intense without needing either dialogue or action. There are scenes where she could just merge into the background and yet, the story flows through her. I’ll probably have to watch this movie again to see how that’s done.

There’s Dileep and he proves my belief yet again that he’s an actor who can rise above the crass and comic when he needs to. He’s almost feminine energy in this movie – in movement, words and emotions. The scene where he realizes that the woman he loved chose not to be with him – there’s denial, trauma, a hint of anger, helplessness, and finally a revelation w.r.t what she & her friend meant to him – all in a few minutes. I watched that scene closely because that is something that could easily suffer from a casual treatment and emerge dramatic or worse insensitive – no dialogue can really convey the intensity of the loss if the character was really in love. But here again, the cleverness of the director and the actor scores.

Samvritha: in this movie she’s like little silver bells; pretty, enamored by herself and the state of being in love, and obtuse about everyone else. As a character, there is intentionally nothing that draws you to her – she’s eye candy and that’s it. Maybe there would have been merit in exploring just why she changes her mind at the end, but I don’t grudge Shyamaprasad for his slightly¬†meager¬†treatment of this considering the rest.

Having spoken about everyone else and everything else in the movie, I come to the one reason why I’m writing this post first of all. Vineeth and his cameo. The cameo is crucial only to divulge why Mamta’s character is what she is and even with the first hint of his presence, one could easily guess what follows. But Vineeth bursts through the screen with a presence that is at once magnetic and repelling, and is riveting in the process.

I’m just¬†marveling¬†at how he managed to nail it like this with the brief that he got. Here emerges a man for whom no one else exists in the world but he. And yet, he manages to reach out and make the person next to him feel glorified. You know exactly what he is upto and Mamta’s character, sitting next to him – you know she knows to say no if she wants to, but she doesn’t. His occasional sighs, the shower of abrupt laughter, the inappropriate casualness, breaching personal boundaries without a flicker of worry, and throughout it all, conveying that his lust is the most natural thing in the world. There’s a dialogue that, when loosely translated, is him telling her “I want to make love to you”. It’s said with so much ease that the implication doesn’t even register in the consciousness.¬†Because it just seems right that a man would want to appreciate a woman of beauty and flawlessness with all the love in the world!

Gautham Menon needs to take a page out of Shyamaprasad’s diary on how it’s not enough to have these words in the script for the shock-value but to express it’s real worth ūüôā (remember Vinnaithandi Varuvaya?)

For me, Vineeth is really the pick of the movie. And as a movie that explores with honesty several facets of love and lust, and makes no attempt to be complicated in the process – I really enjoyed Arike.

Kudos, Shyamaprasad!

Poetic Musings

[Prologue: Pls. don’t take the “poetic” part of the title literally. The serious-champions-of-poetry may take it as sacrilege that I dared to declare it this way ;). This is for now, just one of my inspiration-driven-attempts, and something to commemorate today.]

Wordless Music

She sat under the boughs of the tree,
unmoving, almost merging into the landscape.
Poring over a book, absorbing it in,
oblivious of the attention she had captured.

He watched her with guilelessness.
If he had asked himself what arrested his glance,
he would have casually tossed aside the question.
It was nothing, of course. He just knew that he wanted to watch.

She flipped the pages of the book carefully,
almost with a kind of reverence.
He watched as her finger traced the edges of the page,
and wondered how that page felt.

She shifted the position she had been in,
unwrapping her legs from beneath her,
wincing as the pins and needles bored into her,
as she arched out against the tree.

With amusement he wondered why
he perceived music in her movement.
Why he wanted to lend a hand, and pull her into his space.
Experience the melody that was woven around her body.

He was reminded of his violin, and
the strain of its strings against his finger tips.
In his ear, he heard those notes; the divinity that was them.
It was a song that described her. The song that she was.

The unheard strains of the music in his mind
reached her ears, or so it seemed.
For she looked up with a start,
and for a moment, he felt her eyes bore right into his soul.

Time stopped still for him,
as his eyes longingly explored the vision that was her face.
Words no longer told him what he felt. There was only the want.
To freeze in time, and never stop looking at her.

What seemed like eternity, was but an instant,
and she had only glanced at him.
Her eyes returned to the pages that had occupied her thoughts.
The pages that he now longed to be.

* * *

This could have been prose, but is a poem.

And oh, what’s today, you ask?

My birthday!! :).

Lyrical Love ‚Äď Part IV

[It’s been a long time that I’ve written about Lyrical Love, and so this is *still* the 4th installment in a series, after 1, 2 and 3 – even though there have been 100 others written in my head ;). Nevertheless, I’m pretty kicked to be writing this, because as a post, this is what I LOVE writing about]

Some of the most beautiful poetry about love, I realize, has been written in Malayalam film music. Particularly, those 80s classics for which the poet ONV Kurup wielded his pen, and got immortalized in beautiful music by masters.

Having grown up with these songs, it’s pretty easy for me to get lost in the nostalgia of its music as soon as I listen to them. But as I discovered a few years ago, and keep discovering each time I listen to these songs now, they have a completely different prospect for a listener with a good ear – particularly someone who has a fair understanding of the words (though some are cloaked in a maze of poetic expression :/).

The ease with which ONV is able to navigate the nuances of love, and create a tapestry of emotions that come very close to invoking the actual feeling within you – is incredible. Being an intensely romantic person (yeah, I have rose-colored-glasses :)), all I have to do is to sit still and listen. If I ever called love “sublime”, this would be when I understand what it means to be sublime.

Today morning, as I listened to these songs, and discovered yet more layers in these songs, I decided I’d post them today – not just with the Malayalam lyrics, but with my crude English translation *grimace*.

This is still not quite effective translation, since much of the language specific constructs get destroyed in a literal translation. However, I’ve tried my best to write it so that it makes *some* sense (and seriously, there’s not a single other decent translation available online!).

[Interestingly, all 3 songs Рthough from 3 different movies, feature the same actor РVineeth, who btw, used to be quite the heartthrob (AND a temporary crush of yours truly) right from the very early age that he began acting in a lead role  (14 yrs!). Lucky guy Рto be the face for these songs, I mean.]

Song: Aathmavil Mutti Vilichchathu
Movie: Aranyakam
Music: Raghunath Seth
Lyrics: O.N.V Kurup
YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uNsG2-A2dOE

Song Context: First kiss – the song plays in the background while a girl mulls about how a boy kissed her in a fit of (err..)passion, albeit without her consent. The song’s more of a play on adolescent love…and about the realization of love itself – the “awakening” of the emotion.

[Malayalam Lyrics]

Kanni poonkavilil thottu kadannupokuvathaaro
Kulir pakarnnu pokuvatharo
Thennalo, thenthumpiyo,
Ponnarayaalil maranjirunnu
Ninne kandu kothichchu paadiya
Kinnara poomaarano…
(Kanni poo..)

Thazhampoo kaattu thalodiya pole
Noorathirathan rakkuliraadiya pole (2)
Kunnathe vilakku thelikkum kayyaal
Kunjuppoovin anjanathil chaanthu thottathu pole
Chanthu thottathu pole
(Kanni poo..)

Aathmaavil mutti vilichathu pole
Snehaathuramay thotturiyaadiya pole (2)
Manninte ilam choodaarnnoru maaril
Eeranaamorindu kiranam poovu chaarthiya pole
Poovu chaarthiya pole
(Kanni poo..)

[English Translation]
Who’s run away, having touched (your) virgin cheeks, and causing a chill (to rise in you)…
Was it the breeze? Was it a honeybee?
Or was it your lover, hiding behind the banyan tree,
(and) looking at you, singing with desire?

Like the wind has caressed the falling flower,
Like a hundred stars dancing in the chill of the night, and
Like the hand that lights the lamp on the hill
ouches (and thereby adds color) to the purity of a small flower…

Like (someone has) knocked on your soul,
Has gently touched you, and spoken,
Like a moist ray of moonlight has graced
the warm body of the earth…
(Who’s run away…)

Song: Kevala marthya
Movie: Nakakshathangal
Music: Bombay Ravi
Lyrics: O.N.V Kurup
YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVpXFyFz2yo&feature=related

Song Context: The protagonist (a young boy) is around a beautiful girl who’s deaf and mute; the song plays begins as an indication of his thoughts about her as ¬†observes her, lost in her own silent world, growing to admire and fall in love with her. (Read the poet’s interpretation of the “silent universe” – it’s pure brilliance).

[Malayalam Lyrics]

Kevala marthya bhasha kelkkaatha
Deva dhoothikayanu nee, oru deva dhoothikayanu nee

Chithravarnnangal nritthamaadum nin
Ull prapanchatthin seemayil,
Njangal kelkkaatha paattile
Swaravarnna raajikal illayo, illayo…
(kevala marthya..)

Antharashru sarassil neenthidum
Hamsa geethangal illayo
Shabda saagarathin agaadha
Nishabda shaanthatha illayo, illayo…
(kevala marthya..)

[English Translation]
You are a messenger from the Gods,
a woman who doesn’t hear the languages of all mortals…

Vivid colors dance in your inner universe.
Don’t the extents of this universe conceal
a myriad of music that we are unable to hear?

(Aren’t there) the songs of swans that
swim in the lakes of your countless tears?

In the ocean of sound, isn’t there
a bottomless ocean of silent peace?


Song: Vaathil pazhuthilooden munnil
Movie: Idanazhiyil Oru Kaalocha
Music: V. Dakshinamoorthy
Lyrics: O.N.V Kurup
YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-TH-aG4-hE&feature=related

Song Context: The protagonist (a guy) falls in hopeless adoration-love with a beautiful dancer, who’s older than him. The lyrics convey the intensity of his infatuation for her – and yet, does not for a moment transcend into a crude or obvious description of her. The word play is just on what he feels when he listens to her footsteps ¬†and is a clever use of words to evoke imagery.

[Malayalam Lyrics]

Vaathil Pazhuthilooden munnil kunkumam
Vaari vitharum thrisandhya polae
Athilolamen idanaazhiyil nin, kala madhuramaam kaalocha kaettu
Madhuramam kaalocha kaettu

Hridhayathin thanthiyil aaro viralthodum
Mridulamaam nisvanam polae
Ilakalil jalakanam ittu veezhum polen
Uyiril amrutham thalicha polae
Tharala vilolam nin kalocha kettu njan
Ariyaathe koritharicchu poyi
Ariyathe koritharicchu poyi
(Vaathil…)

Himabindhu mukhapadam chaarthiya poovine
Mathukaram nugaraathae uzharum polae
Ariya nin kalocha cholliya manthrathin
Porulariyathe njan ninnu
Nizhalukal kalamezhuthunnoren munnil
Mattoru sandhyayai nee vannu
Mattoru sandhyayai nee vannu
(Vaathil…)

[English Translation]
The evening sun goes by, scattering redness before me, through the gap of a door
as I hear your sweet footsteps reverberating across the sublime passage (leading to me)

Like the tender sound that emanates because someone touched the strings of my heart,
Like droplets falling softly on leaves, someone showered upon my being, the nectar of immortality…
Unbeknownst to me, a shudder of pleasure went through me, as I listened to your sacred footsteps.

Like the bee that circles a flower that’s been decorated by a drop of snow, without touching it,
I stood, unable to understand the meaning of the mantra that your footsteps spoke (to me)
While shadows drew columns in front of me, you arrived in the form of yet another sunset…

Beautiful Blogger!

An award comes with a lot of responsibility, doesn’t it?

Well several ages ago, Lazy Pineapple demonstrated her kindness of heart by giving me …*gasps*, …the

and weighed by her kindness, I thought I’d wait till I was able to do justice to the award – and finally, I’m able to do this NOW.

LP, I’m touched. Thank you very much! ūüôā

Now, the best thing about this award is that it comes with a tag. And as you know, tags are just my favorite things :), so here goes. Rules:

1) Thank the person who gave you the award.
2) Paste the award on your blog.
3) Link to the person who nominated you for the award.
4) Share 7 things you find to be beautiful around you.
5) Nominate 7 bloggers or more

Okay, so I’ve done 1, 2, 3. Now, for 4:

  • Rain. Fresh, brilliant, pure drops of ecstasy. The rain experience is particularly exquisite in the balmy monsoons of Kerala (*sigh*..let me try not to remind myself that I’m missing that just now!). ¬†Standing in the rain, absorbing the sensation on every pore of your body, letting it consume you…

  • Nostalgia. For the last one month, I’ve added scores of 80s and 90s songs in my iPod. Searched high and low, and thought back to all those days when I studied with the radio or the walkman on and listened to songs playing in my dad’s car. Gone back to every composer I could think of, and searched wikipedia extensively for the songs that I couldn’t remember anymore. And then, once I had them all on the pod, every day, as I travel to and from office, I listen to them. Can anything beat nostalgia? ūüėČ

  • Paris. What’s more beautiful than rain? Champs Elysees in the rain, that’s what! Paris, is the one city that I would want to go to again and again and again. There’s just something about the place… romantic, sensuous and mysterious. Three years ago, I had my experience of Paris in the rain and it is something I cannot forget. It drizzled lightly as I walked on Champs Elysees in the evening, and the breathtaking beauty was something I wish I could have captured in my camera, as well as the picture below. I remember, as I stood admiring the Notre Dame Cathedral from the outside, heavy sheets of rain came down abruptly, and I ran and took refuge next to a shop, only to realize I was standing next to a guy making french crepes. A little conversation in broken English later, I had him happily hand over warm, flaky, deliciously sweet crepes to me – and eat them, even as the warmth from his stove gave me comfort in the cold — talk about paradise!

  • Reunions. A few days ago, I met friends from college. After 10 years! It was a spot reunion, blessed by the hand of the Facebook God, which has ensured that people like me who’re generally terrible at keeping in touch, can still get to see picture, hear and connect with the people who mattered in life. My friends and I – we’d last met as 20 year olds, confused about our future career choices, carping about exams, and remembering 3 years of graduation that zipped past us even as we, a gang of 6, had stayed by each other’s sides throughout. Over the years, most of us have married, a few have had kids, and we’re in the thick of our (high profile ;)) careers, careening past 30. But you know what? When we met, we just zoomed back in time to being the same 20 year olds. Nothing had changed. Not even the jokes, or the bitching about teachers :D. It was an hour of catching up and watching the way our faces had grown older but our hearts had stayed the same – and we all remembered how we’d fantasized 10 years ago about such a meeting. Hopefully, we don’t wait for 10 more years to meet :D. And meanwhile, this is something I’ll highly recommend to everyone!

  • Companionship. Having someone in life, to share your silences with. To march alongside you, holding your hands, and just letting you feel one with the world. To sit beside you, watching a movie, and munching on biscuits late in the night. To wake up beside you and give you a cuddle. To offer a shoulder where you can wipe your face and the tears running on it. Companionship is one of the wonderful gifts of life and needn’t come with having that special person in your life. If you know that you can spend hours being yourself with someone (or something ;)) – then, well, let out a whoop of joy! You’ve got yourself a companion :).

(P.S. The credit and copyright for the work of art above goes to the brilliantly talented Abhilash Menon. Find him and his work on India’s first portal that brings together Indian artists and showcases their incredible potential to the world – Dhonuk)

  • Dance. The way two feet can break into a rhythm, and the hands then follow, moving about the body, getting it to sway in tune with the music. Waves created in the air, sparkling about the dancer’s body. Re-telling stories, transcending languages and cultures, dance has the power to bring time to a standstill and transport viewers into sheer bliss. And to tell you how, here’s a picture of one of my favorite dancers and one of the most beautiful women in India – Shobhana:

  • Mothers. Today is my Mother’s birthday ¬†– and she’s the first most beautiful thing I ever set my sights on. I love you mummy and Happy Birthday :).

Alright, now for the last bit. It should have been 7 but I decided on 5 ¬†– tagging 5 beaaaautiful women ūüôā – Judy, Andy, Dhanya, Sawani, and Anjali – I bestow this award to you!

Yay! I’m done!

A Cloak of Invisibility

“Make a wish!”, said her friend, as she picked up an eyelash that had nestled comfortably on her cheek and handed it to her. She made a fist, placed the wayward strand on it, closed her eyes, and whispered to herself….”I want a cloak. A cloak of invisibility”. And then blew hard so that the lash would fly away. Away…faraway, carrying her wish with it.

* * *

She stood in the balcony, looking at the many tall buildings that surrounded her apartment. It was a cool night and the breeze felt wonderful, with her curls brushing softly against her cheeks. She would have noticed the moonlight, had her attention not been captured by the golden lights on the street, and in the windows of the apartments.

“I wonder what goes on, behind those windows. How would those homes look? Cosy and inviting, perhaps. There would be a family… a mother, father, and kids. A family that eats together at the dinner table, talking all the while.”, she thought to herself. Her mind conjured up images of children laughing, and a mother who hugged them. Involuntarily, she gave herself a squeeze. As if to embrace the feelings that came out of the pictures in her head and make them a part of herself.

Out of the warmth, came a different kind of an emotion.

A part of her inner self stirred. And she found herself thinking. Of him. Was he in one of those houses that she was looking at now?

An wave of pleasure swept through her… and there were goosebumps on her arms. Just thinking of him could do that to her!, she smiled to herself.

Him. She’d been seeing him for many days now, in the park nearby. He’d come with his dog, and they’d be walking and running in the park. Oblivious to the world around him. He’d have his attention solely focussed on his companion; petting it, chiding and laughing at its peculiarities.

Her attention would be on him. It started off as an innocuous observation Рthere was something attractive about his face, and his demeanor. His agility. The sight of a grown man with his dog Рtheir companionship was amusing. But after sometime, she realized that she went to the park solely to see him.

To look at him, and to keep looking at him till he left. Her eyes searched him out of the crowd, and could spot him, a mile away. There was a terrible urgency till she could find him. But once she did, she would be at peace. Watching him and moving stealthily behind him. He hadn’t noticed her yet. She was sure of that. The one time he’d looked straight at her face – and her heart whooshed down, till she couldn’t breathe – he turned his face away, never to look at her again.

She grinned to herself, “I might as well have been a ghost”.

Thinking of which, she wondered. What if she could be like a ghost? Someone he couldn’t see, but who could see him?

Invisible.

Invisible by choice. She needed, …an invisibility cloak. Something she could put on herself, whenever she felt like it.

She could walk out right now. It wouldn’t matter that it was late night because no one on the road would be able to see her. She could walk out on the streets, and past those buildings that she was looking at.

If she knew his home, she could walk in and see him. Now.

A shiver went up her spine.

His beautiful face would be next to her. That quality of innocence and vulnerability – she’d be able to see it up close. She could watch him, as he sat comfortably at home. She’d be able to watch him as he saw TV, and as he ate. He’d smile and she’d be able to see how his lips curled and his cheeks dimpled, ever so slightly. She’d be able to watch him go to sleep. And sit by his side, as his eyes closed and his breathing became rhythmic.

She thought of tracing her finger gently, on the bridge of his perfect nose, and feeling his skin under her touch. She imagined he’d have a musky smell about him. She’d watch him…as he slept without a care in the world. Not knowing she existed. Not knowing she was by his side. Loving him for all he was worth.

Yes. That was what she wanted. Freedom to love without being loved back. A cloak of invisibility.