Sunday, December 18, 2011

A smile from June 2011

I walked into the Yam store with a tune in my head, finally I had given my 21 year old classic to be restrung. I did not remember a thing except for “Every good boy does fine “, a mnemonic to remember EGBDF and FACE, the notes on the frets. But I was happy, as a child I was too flighty, today I felt surer of myself, more stable you know.

Jimmy was sitting facing the wall and playing somebody else’s guitar. He was the sales guy who was fixing it for me, by night he played at bars or taught a few unfortunate few. Oh no his music was not bad or so I figured from that little bit of interaction. It’s just that he loved to talk and fleece you off money. God , who would pay 100 bucks for re-stringing a guitar and have to listen about his five sisters, a Nepali distant cousin who looked like me, his stint with music and his stay at Bangalore. Well I do not look like a Nepali from any angle if you ask me, but well for a nice cup of tea, I would go to any extent of nodding my head.

And then he walked in, just so out of character from everyone in that store. Have you seen an Indian priest, well that is how he was dressed. A white kurta, dhoti, nammam on his forehead and the sacred thread. Well I imagined the thread. The only thing incongruous were the neat pair of Nike floaters he was wearing. He walked in and gave me this huge grin as if he knew for like a thousand years. I smiled back, anyone would have. Then I followed Jimmy man to the back of the store to pick up my guitar and all that while I could feel his shiny diamond eyes bear into my back. Jimmy got the guitar out and asked me to check. I turned to find a place to sit and try my hand at strumming and there he was smiling down on me. He turned to go and then turned back again at me and smiled. I smiled and he was gone.

I could not decipher the smile that day or the week after that.


It was a cold autumn evening, if it can be termed autumn in india. It was more like the few days before spring began and winter ended. Her soul felt empty as empty as the road next to her. Not a soul was around, nothing could be heard except maybe the occasional rustle of the leaves on the trees on the footpath. She walked aimlessly, had no where to go really, no one was waiting back home. She had all the time in the world and nothing to do besides kicking stones around.
She started chasing a tiny bluish grey pebble, which flew from one point to another creating a racket, a racket that only a tiny pebble can. Her skin seemed to have got back some color with every leap the pebble took and suddenly it fell into a heap of leaves. You should have seen the dismay on her face. She fell down on her knees and started raking up the leaves.

“Anna, where are you? Can’t you answer young lady”. She could hear a faint yell, but the leaves, the musty moist leaves smelled divine and more importantly she had lost her a tiny brooch somewhere there. She would have to find it before she answered that yell or she would have to really sleep in the tiny store room tonight. It was getting dark and she really could not see much. “Ouch” she cried. Something had pierced her palm and warm blood trickled out of her palm which she quickly licked away after pulling out what belonged to her. “Coming” she screamed back!

Ah, she touched something cold and smooth and pulled it out with a grin. She did not want to kick it any more. She was going to take it home with her, slide it into the aquarium. No, she would put it in the sole flower pot in her balcony along with the others. Oh well, she strained her ears harder, but could not hear a sound. If only she had come back home early that day, if only she had left the medicines within her reach, Mamma would have been up and about, baking Anna's birthday cake.