I don't know how or when this happened: I can only remember bits and pieces of myself over these 29 years,barring the mandatory sharp clear high points, or dull large low points. It has been that way in my relationships as well: I can tell you the firsts, but I cannot for the life of me, map the evolutionary trajectory of how things have come to be.
I spent Janmashtami last week with my folks, dressing up Nino as Kanha, seeking the familiar smells and sights of Mum's much loved silver diyas and jhula for the little God.
As with everytime I stay over, my father tires to pack off some of my leftovers from the house - books, diaries, photographs, letters. He handed me a beautiful spiral notebook that contained a massively long report of the time that I spent as a television production assistant in Mumbai: and I was startled to realise that I had pursued something with such passion once. The realisation was metallic in taste: not necessarily regret, but perhaps an awe of someone who was once me.
A few loose graph papers had angsty poems about love and longing and cigarettes scrawled over them... and again I marveled at this person who spoke her mind so freely, who caved under her feelings, welcoming her weaknesses. I leave you with one such poem.
The Guilt of the Audience.
I left the auditorium,
before you said all you had to say,
munched popcorn outside,
beside sound-proof doors
that closed out your cries.
I walk back in,
to see you gone,
flash-bulb lit empty stage
costumes on the stairs
and trees in the wings.
I can imagine the pain in your face when you turned
to face an empty hall,
the grimace on the face
as you pulled your best mask off -
Had you imagined me cry
as you prepared your part,
smiled as you anticipated my claps
and fierce attention?
I betrayed you then -
stretched a little,
and walked out of the electrocution-chamber.