Word potrait #9 The balloon-seller.

The city roads are turning suffocating-ly busy and chaotic. Sometimes I imagine them like ambitious river beds trying to contain the sea (of vehicles) . The smoke rises alike from the exhausts of the tin automobiles to the most sophisticated cars and thickens the air, bluring the vision .

It’s like all colors around have turned some shade of grey . The mundane of life mingling with endless smoky commutes and long pauses called ‘traffic-jams’.

Amidst this, morose unavoidable byproduct of a technologically advanced life, he walks-in barefoot on the burning ashphalt (or maybe he had some cheap rubber-barely visible-flipflops on).

He is in no hurry and holds a long bamboo pole with a ‘host’ of the most brightly colored balloons tied to the top of it .Perhaps I felt as delighted as William Wordsworth ‘when all at once he saw a crowd a host of golden daffodils… besides the lake , beneath the trees, fluttering and dancing in the breeze ‘ .

The grey scene suddenly transformed and I stare at him while the traffic snails . I have all the time to look at those magically bright balloons ‘cos comically when everyone wants a fast life they end up slowing down on the road.

I watched unblinking, as if my eyes were feeding on those colors and marveling the beauty of the unspoiled air trapped in those rubber shells ( protected from the toxic air I was breathing in). As if this man had saved some air from getting poisoned and was carrying it treasured in these humble balloons.

It was strange but reassuring . A poor balloon-seller had infused life in a crazy-lifestyle and I couldn’t help but be feel thankful that he did.


She … ponders over the geometry of ‘Chapaatis’.

She ponders over the geometry of ‘chapaatis’ . The beloved flat bread of India , without which a north Indian meal is orphaned … actually incomplete. She wonders at how easily she strays from the the expected geometry of it. A decent (correction acceptable) ‘chapati’ has a radius and circumference of a perfect circle . It mystifies her how the perfect chapati transforms on the fire from a flat round to a sphere …. its as enlightening as the paradigm shift to the humankind when it was discovered that the earth is not a flat but a sphere!

But sigh the geometry of her ‘chapaatis’ is not the celestial shape of the earth but the measly maps of the landforms over this life giving planet . The frayed jagged corners . The differing thickness . The way every ‘Chapaati’ comes out unique . Some even puff up like little dis-shapen toys . Some rare ones are perfect rounds and turn spheres over the gas on fire . Those are thrilling moments .

Perhaps that’s why she has been working on chappatis more than anything else in the kitchen . Not for the perfection that the social code has defined for her … but for the enlightening variants she can come up with. The frustrating failed attempts of her initial trying at ‘something that has been perfected by many’… never succeeded in deterring her. She fondly rolls the dough over and delights in the imperfections of the geometry of her chapaatis … cos in the end it tastes alright .

She… Organizes her day.

She organizes her day in the hope of bringing back some control to chaos .She makes notes,lists and reminders.It helps her to some extent but little does she know that a day cannot be harnessed with a daily planner.It’s only the dawn and the dusk that can contain it. Rest of us can only hope to use moments to our best capacity but to control the movement of the day is no mortals calling.

Time flows in its own dear ways. She can either be in or out of tune with it.Lists are an illusion to pacify the realization of her otherwise insignificant existence in the cosmos and to keep her occupied from the larger queries of existence.The uncertainties are definitely mind boggling .

So she finds rescue in making to do lists and crossing them off. Just an illusion of control she knows …. but isn’t everything in life we do IS?