Monday, January 9

Congress grass
and touch-me-nots
remind me of
alcoves of my childhood
spent
hopping around
every two years.

And why is it
that
after spending nearly ten dotted years
in this house,
in this city,
I still don't feel belonged?

________________________________________________________________


I went out to get my visa picture clicked. It's come out horrible, as most mugshots do. After that I went to a general store to buy biscuits and stuff. While I was at the toothbrush rack, a boy came up and began to arrange the toothbrushes. I bought biscuits and noodles and the same boy put them in a bag for me. I didn't have the guts to look at him. I'm sorry, you have to work when you should be out playing with your friends, eating monkey nuts and dangling your legs from walls and trees branches. How long will I keep looking away and apologising later for being part of something undigestable, but being part of it, nevertheless? It cannot be denied, only feeling for something and doing nothing about it, counts as nearly being patronising about it, no? How long will I keep extending my plans to work on things I feel for?

The old stationers's shop was warm, as all stationers' shops should be. Not warm because of several room heaters. No, it was a small shop and the door was open. Warm because of the old stationers, themselves. Now, I've had this fetish for stationery ever since I was a child. So when I go to these shops, I try and extend my stay there as much as possible because it's a feast for my eyes! So I ask for something that I know they'll take a long time to fish out. I asked for sablehair brushes today and luckily for me, this shop wasn't well arranged. Which meant, they took nearly ten minutes to fetch the brushes from a drawer full of a lot of other paraphernalia as well! A man came in and said, "Reynolds' refill", to which one of the old stationers said, " Billu?", to which the man said," Billu". End of conversation, a blue Reynolds refill was handed out to him.

Finally I bought two HB pencils (even though I don't use HB) (bought them because they're all striped and nice and all...), two paint brushes and one palette. On the way out, I got a comfleement!! A lady who'd walked in before I left told me I have loverly eyes! (big grin)


Next, I sat in my very own chariot, okay not my own but it sure felt like that. Went to book my train tickets and an old man chatted with me. I was reminded of Coyote's poem. The woman standing in front of me in the queue was looking at another woman, I was looking at her, and this old man sitting nearby (it was a queue for ladiss and senior citizens) was looking at me. I don't know who was looking at the old man and who was looking at the one looking at the old man... The woman at the counter, buying a ticket suddenly almost shrieked, " No!! Please don't give me the side berth!! Give me the upper berth, or the middle berth even, but not the side berth...Plisss!".

Oh I also bought some hairpins for my friend, B, who has the shortest possible haircut right now. She's been called Kiran Bedi's sister too many times and the last time we were at Connaught Place, eating some roadside crunchies, a funny man in a red blazer came up to her and asked if she was indeed happening to be Kiran Bedi's sis (hic!) ter, by annny chance? She said a quick and terse, " NO" and turned away.
I told the guy selling hairpins, they weren't of very good quality and that they snap after a month. He insisted they were the best at which point I had to tell him, he wouldn't know because he's clearly never used them! Hawww!! I can't believe I said that to him! He laughed and thought of a retort, too late...

6 comments:

Zofo The Hermit of Wandering Thoughts said...

Arre Terrorizing hair pin sellers... and ogling at women...Aiyeeyooo..where r ye off to now!!
I am back after a month away and strangely I feel soooo much at home.. and its around 1.4 degrees in Gurgoan as my rusty old barometer tells me...woweee.... monkey nuts indeedy
cheers
z

Atul Sabnis said...

ah! stationery shops. I spend a lot of time in them too. Just like that, feel good, and come out :)

coyote said...

I smile when I read this, Lucy, and you too Atul. I'm an affirmed stationery geek. Perhaps it's related to the book thing. I like those, too. But stationery: I love the look and feel and smell of good heavy rag bond, and pens and pencils, and sharpeners and dozens of different sizes&shapes&colours of pads crayons and rulers and, oh, the hundred and one other fascinating little bits of paraphernalia that surround paper and make it work... it's the simple things, innit?

Heretic said...

Love them shops too... stick around and glare at the shopkeeper hoping he'd given in and sell me stuff at a discount. I used to have this sad unused collection of hand-made paper bought one sheaf at a time, along with a bunch of pencils that never lasted more than a day on my desk.

Aah, for the smell of that shop. :-)
Where u headed? Best wishes for visa. And hope you have good luck with the weather.

David Scrimshaw said...

Perhaps you and Kiran Bedi's non-sister should switch to Binder Clips (also known as bulldog clips)

They are sturdy and fashionable.

Fingers said...

Zofo ~ I;m off to Ahmedabad, finally!! Yippee

Atul ~ They're surely nice places, aren't they?

Coyote ~ Do you also have a varied collection of froggy pencilheads and elephant erasers? :)

Heretic ~ Pencils got stolen?

David ~ Are binder clips really considered fashionable?! Har Har