Pashmina – A seductive dance with a stranger.

Dear Reader,

Please hear this song  before you read the blog. This is an audio only link – Please don’t see the video!!

————————————————————————————————————————-

I was alone in the studio that afternoon. With Pashmina blaring on the audio system, I danced within myself. My moves were silted, controlled. I danced not for passion, but for a show. Somewhere I had lost the fire.

It was hot outisde, and I wore a wispy thin dress which fell just on my knees. I need them thin flowing dresses – the costumes I wear sometimes choke me. As the song roared, I hugged myself and danced. Suddenly there was a threatening silence. The music was cut off. I turned, angry at having my peace and space invaded. Before I could focus, the music started again – softly this time, like an echo of a inner heart beat and the song of a soul. I was whirled  towards the wall, my head facing away, and a rough calloused hand slid on my waist, while the other hand moved up and down my bare arms. Holding me, but giving me space. And as the lyrics hit the room, our dance started. I had no time to feel anything, not even fear.

 

Pashmina dhaagon ke sang
Koi aaj bune khwaab aise kaise
Waadi mein goonje kahin naye saaz
Ye rawaab aise kaise
Pashmina dhaagon ke sang

 I was still not facing him, but I felt him – tall lean and muscled. Smelling faintly of tobacco.  Like a far away fragrance, I had always known, but forgotten. His long fingers caressed my dress, from my arms to the hem, from where hung faint wisps of threads. I felt like I was that soft pliant pashmina thread, and that thread was being felt and stroked for its susceptible beauty.

His fingers, just two of them, moved up my thighs, just grazing them, and his other hand rested on my forehead. Calloused, rough, long seductive fingers stroked my temple, while the other hand grasped my waist, and we both – our hips stuck to each other, did a half turn to the lyrics. My head felt light, dreamy. I had still not seen his face.

Just then I felt his  stubble, next to my face. Lifting me by my waist he swung me around. My legs taut and extended, my dress billowing around me, I felt like I was on the top of a misty mountain, and the breeze tingled on my skin. When he put me down, his fingers again moved along my arms, tingling with goosebumps, and my skin pricked in anticipation.

I felt in my head a long forgotten song. I felt it in my head, I heard it in my heart. And somewhere as I was being whirled around by this stranger, I realised that the music echoed in me from valleys of misty mountains.   

He let me slide down, and as his hands once again skimmed down my bare arms, his fingers twined themselves around mine, and locked them in.  His face was still to be seen.                                             

 

Kaliyon ne badle abhi ye mizaaj
Ehsaas aise kaise
Palkon ne khole abhi naye raaz
Jazbaat aise kaise
Pashmina dhaagon ke sang
Koi aaj bune khwaab aise kaise

His strong wrists felt mine. It was a signal, a move a dancer knows. I locked my palms around his wrists, and when I was lifted into the air, I knew he would let go of me for a few split seconds. I rose up, and free untethered. The trust was impulse, the move calculated. When I tucked my hand around me, hugging myself and twirled in the air, I knew I would land into his strong lean arms. There was anticipation. A tumble in the stomach –  I would finally see his face.

As I descended I opened my arms, knowing I would want to tangle them around his neck. Not had to – for he would hold me – but want to. He did not let my feet touch the floor, but grasped my waist when my face was just above his head. I lost all semblance. The dance and it’s grace were no longer my concern, and I struggled to peer down. Who was this stranger, who felt like home?

I looked down, and he looked up, his nose touching the bottom of my chin, and my world opened up. I gazed into eyes the colour of chocolate that is melting in front of you. Long eyelashes hid those half closed liquid eyes. Eyes that were locked into mine. Still held tight agains’t his chest, I heard and felt the world whisper its deepest secrets to me. Tumultuous emotions overwhelmed me. Had I been standing, I would have dissolved into a heap of passion. I felt frail, yet strong. I existed, but my soul had moved elsewhere.

 

 

Kacchi hawa, kaccha dhuaan ghul raha
Kaccha sa dil lamhe naye chun raha
Kacchi si dhoop, kacchi dagar phisal rahi
Koi khada chupke se keh raha
Main saaya banun, tere piche chalun
Chalta rahoon…

Pashmina dhaagon ke sang
Koi aaj bune khwaab aise kaise hmm…

I could  not take my eyes off him. Curly wisps of his hair stroked my face. I did not have to see the rest of him. Our dance so far had made our bodies an elemental knowledge to each other. Now only the eyes met and souls touched. I felt vulnerable! Soft! New! Old! Happy! Sad!

It was a new feeling. A raw awareness of self, but tangled with another secret, a known familiarity. I knew the path I had taken, which I had no control over, was dangerous, and a further dip into the labyrinth of emotions would have me crossing over into new territories. I was not ready, and yet my entire being yearned only to complete this journey.

His arms wrapped around me, my heart thudding , we danced. In slow motion, his steps synchronising with mine. Round and round we went, spinning over and over again, turning and whirling circles, head, body, mind and soul – until he lifted me and holding my waist – me standing straight, balancing only on his hands, he ran with me across the room. I don’t know how he held me. There was no definite grasp or hold.. like I was sitting on his palms, yet standing upright.

Poised in front of the huge sparkling studio mirror, he let me slide down. Like butter falling of the rim off a heating pan. Just as I was gliding below his knee, he stopped my drop, and slid his arms under my arms, holding me just under my shoulders. With the song belting its heart rendering lyrics, he lifted me up again, and his hands fell to his side. I immediately felt bereft.  For a moment we were two people – a man standing behind a woman, eyes locked into each other – reflecting in the mirror.

Before I could drown in his eyes, his hands went up and circled my neck, while his other hand thrust against my hips. Now I was to lead the dance, and he would be my shadow. I moved, my right  foot sliding towards the back. He followed. Both of us on the floor, in a split position.  My left feet to his left, my right to his right. Other than his hands around my neck, and his palms on my hips, no part of our body touched – yet the sync was perfect.

A dance where the partner can read your mind, is as near to bliss as one can get. Holding our sitting positions, I leaned back against him, and he leaned back towards the floor, till my back had arched and moulded perfectly to his perfectly bowed torso. Both his arms went around me, and both of us rose again, and in one fluid motion we were standing. I fell forward, my arms straight on my side, and his cheeks grazed my back, his palms went parallel to mine and our fingers entwined.

 

 

Shabnam ke do qatre yunhi tehal rahe
Shaakhon pe wo moti se khel rahe
Befikr se ik dooje mein ghul rahe

I had lost all sense of time and self. I only existed for this dance, for this moment and now for him.

His right fingers still entangled in mine, we let go of every other contact. Slowly facing each other, arms extended and holding only our right hands cupped into each other, we circled. looping the same path – slowly. His eyes held mine, all my control sacrificed. His fingers crawled up my pulsing wrist till we held each others arms. The feel of his rippling muscles, his penetrating glance, straight roman nose, damn it! his entire structure, made me feel like I was thrust into an alternate surreal world.

As the lyrics changed he pulled me to him, crushing me to his chest. My arms went around him, and I held him fiercly. We stood there, all dance forgotten, the world surrounding us forgotten. We only heard the din of volatile, erratic heart beats. Two bodies fused as one. Before the song could finish, he pulled out of my hold and without turning around, with his eyes still fixed into mine, he backed out of the studio, leaving me trembling and in tears.

I was left without words. What can one say to an interlude of this kind? What can one think? All logical reasoning had left me. I was a puddle of emotions. Wave over wave of tremors went through my body. Where had he come from, who was he? Who was I? – after he had danced with me?

I left the studio, not knowing what to do, where to go, how to proceed with life after this.

A dance with this seductive stranger.
A dance with this seductive stranger.

 

 

Jab ho judaa, khayalon mein mill rahe
Khayalon mein yun yeh guftagu chalti rahe
Haan haa..

When my stage show got over, I got a standing ovation for over 10 minutes. Abandoning my former routine and choreography, I danced alone. To Pashmina. And my partner was his absent shadow. 

 

Ye rawaab.. aise kaise
Aise kaise.. aise kaise..
Aise kaise.. aise kaise..

 

For English translation of the song – click here

Advertisements

The hands that warmed my soul – a short story.

I was being wheeled away into surgery. It was time to face the inevitable.

The brains were already a little fuzzy with the sedative they had administered an hour before. I saw serious faces around me, peering from above, trying to push their positive feelings into me through their touch. But it was all superficial, because no one was feeling positive.

And in the middle of all this I was giggling. Not because of the sedative, but because I knew this was the end – of something. The final point, the final dance, the final sigh!

As I sunk into deep sleep, and slipped into oblivion, I felt cold all over. Almost immediately, a warm hand slid into mine and lifted me up. I did not hang around the operation theatre. I did not see the surgeons. But I heard them – there was no panic in their voice. The body was still breathing they way they deemed perfect. But the breaths I took, when I left with the warm hands were deep, and pure. It felt that if I leave those hands, my breath might just leave me altogether. So I clung harder. I felt complete and utter trust.

The breaths were different. My chest did not move, my nostrils did not flare, but still the lungs filled with deep satisfying pure oxygen. We flew over the hill, across the sea. I could see the lights of my city fade away. Somewhere inside that city, in the hospital, they were still operating on my body.

The hands holding mine had no face. Just a feeling, of intense love, of happiness and freedom. A massive heart warming energy. I could see a formless floating body next to me. The hands stayed steady in my focus, but the body kept shifting and stirring.It was like every movement of the air, did something internal to that body and changed it’s appearance. It shifted form but the colour remained the same. Weird colour. I could not put a name to that colour. It was somewhere between a hazy transparent thready blue grey. Everytime the form shifted, the colour got more or less intense, more or less transparent. It had no face yet it had a contour. No features yet I felt the eyes on me and the breath sweet on my neck. I named this creature Love. Because no other name seemed to fit better. And no other word was in my brain. All language and its accessories had vanished.

There was no feeling of space or time. No thought of wonder. No anxiety about where we are headed. Yet my mind was clear – of the pre surgery fuzz, of the anesthesia. My body was floating, mindlessly, but the mind was all there. I had never felt clearer, or more confident and intelligent, yet at the same time more thought free.

There was no talk. Just words communicated by the touch of warm hands. I felt enlightened, filled in with what seemed like very pertinent information. I knew that information, but if that time some one asked me to write it down, I would not have the words to. If someone asked me to communicate through osmosis I could talk volumes!

We did not float, as much as just moved. It wasn’t jerky. It wasn’t even smooth. I felt like I am skidding along a wire, balanced to perfection – with no fear of falling or even a perception of plunging into a depthless pit. Like I am a creature who has done this since the time I have walked.

I don’t know how long we were up there. To this day, I have lost the sense of time.

We did not meet anyone else. Did not see any other person. Nothing. Just plain blank space, yet a feeling of being in connect with everything and everyone. Connected but not disconcerted. Involved but not disturbed. Happy, but not excitable. A perfect state of being. A utopia of emotion.

We neared the city again, and I started hearing distressed voices. As we neared the hospital I heard everybody in the operation theatre shouting “ We have lost her! We have lost her!” And I realized I had died.

In the next instant I was in my body again. But not in the theatre. It was just that moment when I was fuzzy brained and people were peering down at me with concern and I was giggling.

I went in – and the entire story repeated itself.

I was trapped in the astral plane of happiness forever and ever.

 

 

( I have joined a writing workshop – the prompt for the day was – stare at a picture and write a story on it)

 

My approach to life – 50 things I have learn’t.

  1. Dont stress! For every problem there exists a solution. Trust me. Find it. It’s there somewhere.
  2. Read. There is a world hidden amongst words, and sometimes an answer to your questions.
  3. Make work fun. I have a friend who has to travel 3 hours back and forth, thrice a week. He has a picnic breakfast, en route,with fellow travellers who are now, thick friends.
  4. Have a drink with your friends. Look them in the eye and say cheers!
  5. Hear Music. It has the capacity to uplift you , or to stir up your emotions. Catharsis both ways.
  6. Travel. When you don’t have money. You will see things, you cannot – from fancy hotel rooms.
  7. Travel. When you have money. You will experience a different side of your destination.
  8. Cook. It’s an important skill – and – it’s amazingly de stressing.
  9. Eat healthy. Binge on healthy food, nibble on junk.
  10. Exercise. Every day. Minimum 5 days a week. Without fail.
  11. Take Deep Breaths. Conciously. We don’t take in enough oxygen.
  12. Walk. It’s the best way to see the places you travel to.
  13. Pray. It helps. It heals.
  14. Talk to your kids. About everything. Decisions – family matters – grief – loss. Just everything. They are more intelligent than you think.
  15. Don’t become friends with your kids. Who will be their parents?
  16. Be polite to those who work for you. I once sat with two men for dinner. The difference between polite and harsh was so vast, it made me rethink what I want to be.
  17. My friends mom always told her – don’t fight with your spouse and sleep. Resolve the tiff, or then, decide to call peace till next morning.
  18. Hug people you like.
  19. Don’t be bullied or black mailed into spending time with people you don’t want to.
  20. The people you love ? – Hug them extra hard.
  21. Take naps. Sleep always makes thing better.
  22. Tough decision to make? Sleep over it. I promise you – the morning will bring clarity.
  23. Make girl friends. (Women — This is for you!)
  24. Take girls’ only trips.
  25. Learn something new every year. Let your self be challenged. Let the brain cells exercise.
  26. Dance. Even if you have uncoordinated, buckling feet.
  27. Make your bucket list. Start ticking off your bucket list, earnestly and immediately.
  28. Hug a small baby.
  29. Pour out your emotions to a dog. Nothing is more unconditional than that.
  30. Keep a clean house. Clean office. Clean mind.
  31. Follow your intuition. Your soul will always guide you.
  32. Meet your school friends. They have seen you poop in your pants. What more can they judge?
  33. Stare. At nature. At the sky. At the sea. Into space. When you come out of the reverie a few questions will be answered. Trust me on this!
  34. Meet your siblings. Have dinner with them. Talk to them. They have shared the womb you came from. The same blood runs in you’ll. What can get closer?
  35. Walk bare feet. On the sand. On grass…..
  36. Sleep on grass. On sand. Let your body meet the earth.
  37. Sit by the sea. Aimlessly. No agenda. The wave more than roars. It whispers. To you – personally.
  38. Start that hobby – the one you always wanted to. Time waits for no one.
  39. Laugh! Loudly. Happily. Copiously. 
  40. Sleep in late. Laziness is good – sometimes.
  41. Take care of your parents. They have lost at least 1000 hours plus of sleep on you – and continue to do so.
  42. Do something unusual at least once a year. Milk a cow. Bungee Jump. Take up martial arts.
  43. Don’t let age EVER get in your way. Shrug at them nay sayers and carry on.
  44. Make your kids skip school once in a while. And take them for a movie or to the park. The bond made that day stays forever.
  45. Drink loads of water. Loads.
  46. Eat on time.
  47. Don’t forget romance.
  48. Wear what you want to wear. Whats the point of wearing something in fashion and almost having an asthma attack because its so uncomfortable?
  49. Follow a rainbow. They might not exist. But they sure are pretty. Don’t let your dreams rot! Act!
  50. LIVE. BREATHE. LOVE. BE HAPPY. SMILE. LAUGH.

Gyaan!

Some body somewhere insulted God, via some random Facebook page. Another bunch of random people, reacted. Some got defensive about Him, and tried to clear his name and explain his actions. Some defended the defender. Some went off and started a different rant. Yet another group took it personally and started a hysterical family drama!

Why?  For what joy?

God is supreme. He can defend himself. I am sure he knew what he was doing, and why he was doing what he was doing! Hell – Even I say what I did ten years ago, I did to the best of my knowledge. I don’t believe in hindsights and looking back. I did what I thought was right at that moment of time.

If I slapped my kid, I thought he deserved it. I have no regrets now! I am sure God too feels the same way! Leave him alone, to his devices. I am sure he will be fine!

“Not my monkey, Not my circus!” Well said, whoever said it. Live and let live.

If it’s not our issue, why go all big time “principally” over it? Leave it be.

Just because some one calls us a fool, we don’t become one! If calling names helped – I would call myself a classical singer, an amazing chef and a great personality!

Gah!

We all have a circle of solitude in us. If we make that a peaceful place to be in, its a wonderful space to exist. Not traumatised by the world and it’s meaningful vengeance against the world and it’s loose mouthed people!

I say, take 10 calm breaths, each to the count of 10. Then say what you have to say. Mostly I loose my patience and just walk off!

I’ve heard a story of an ancestor, who had an ungodly number of children. She wanted to whack some number of them at most times of the day. She would tell them, “Just you wait, I am going to give you a solid one on your bum! Just let me push all my bangles up. They will get in the way!” She got a breather while doing it, and had the time to think about her actions. But most importantly the kid got the message and backed off!!

I never knew her, but I really liked this lady!

Breathe, meditate, let go!!

Nothing can bother you, nothing should bother you!

 

For the progeny, nieces and nephews!

I recently heard a tale of horror.

A family goes to a beach resort. Their 21 years old boy, decides to go out with some friends. When he doesn’t arrive on time the father calls, and a friend picks up. Says he is asleep, not to worry he will come in on time for the flight back home. Come morning, again a friend picks up and says he is a bit unwell, will take the next flight home. The father leaves for hometown. Lands, calls once again and friend says, “ Sorry uncle, your son is dead!!”

Overdose? I don’t know!

Every body has a different physical and internal structure. The same dose, which relaxes your friend, could be lethal for you!

When I heard this I was shocked. But soon got over it and went to bed. The story shot through my head once more and I got up panicking. My kids were 24 hours away. Alone. Left to their own devices – with pot and molly taking acquaintances all around them.

My niece and nephew are at a vulnerable phase of life. The younger ones, are too cute for their own good!

I wanted to immediately, wrap them all up in cotton wool. Then – in a layer of bubble paper. And finally corset them in a blanket and dump them in my largest closet.

I want to keep them safe. Hidden and away from the forbidden.

Distanced from trauma. Safe from harm.

I don’t want their hearts breaking, or their legs for that matter.

I would like them cocooned and nestled, in a comforting loving atmosphere.

Fear should never touch them.

 

But that’s not possible. And that’s not what I really want!

I want broken legs and hearts. I want thorns in their feet and thorns by their side when they get out of the protective shadows of their parents. They need fears and scares. They need to be tempted and learn to resist it. They need to go hungry once in a while. They need to live.

They have to face life. With all it’s little jagged ends.

Fear should produce fight and not flight.

Sweat will build their personality, and scars – character.

Heartbreaks will make them softer and choosier.

Hunger will teach them to be frugal. It might even teach them to cook !!

Overcoming trauma will help strengthen them.

A broken leg will teach my babies a lesson.

Failures will beget success and arrogance will beget failure.

Pride will come before fall, and happiness after sadness.

Some temptations will be yielded to, while some will be rejected. Each choice will teach them something.

And while they go through their turmoil and triumphs, they need to know they have parents (and uncles and aunts) who will hold their hands as well as cheer for them.

 

 

 

 

Be water my friend!

I have known this for a while. I just could not explain it to anyone. Actually not even to myself. It was just an emotion I had learnt one fine day. Like a Satori. When it arrives – it arrives.

I was struggling with my work. Everyday was fraught with tension. My nose was permanently buried in paper work and accounts. Money had become the main focus of my day.

One day I just gave up. I bent my shoulders and said “To hell with it”.

Dad had always said two things – Maintain quality. If you do that you can never go wrong. And – his other conviction was – whatever happens – happens for the best.

I could identify with the first. It somehow made logical sense to me. So even when I lost hope in my food business, ever taking off, I still maintained very high standards of quality.

I could not accept the second belief, about things being really shitty, but for our own benefit.

Because I was no longer stressing all day about money, and there was time in hand, I started getting creative once again. My mind left the by lanes of accounts and traveled the misty forest paths of new food textures, novel recipes and more research. I was suddenly free and my clients could communicate with me. There was more easy time and especially, more easy happy times with the kids. Friends were more in touch with me. The hub once more realized he had a wife!

And Bingo! One day when I dipped into the drawer to pull out some money for a bigger purchase, I suddenly had notes strewn haphazardly. I was making money and I did not even know about it.

That was my Satori – the Buddhist word for “Sudden Enlightenment”. I mean there was no flashing lights and cello music. Just a ping, somewhere in the recess of the brains, which said, “Let go! Don’t struggle. And that’s the key to your success and happiness”.

I have known this a while, and used it very often. Most of the times, without realizing.

When my main oven just died in front of our eyes, my men panicked. I just cancelled all orders, called in favors and had a new one installed within two days. What happened in those two days without orders? Nothing! Heavens did not fall. Clients did not write us off. We cleaned out long due clutter, and my men got a day off.

Recently my son fell and hurt his legs. He is a tedious, twenty-four hours journey away from us. Once he went to the hospital, we just settled down and waited for the news. Of course, there were mild palpitations and episodes of the heart about to squeeze out it’s last drop of blood, but there was this resigned attitude of just accepting the fact that – Yes! The kid is injured. And he will have to learn to deal with it. And deal with it he did!

I love, admire and adore Bruce Lee. When I realized, that his form of martial art is not all about physical strength, but in fact a philosophy of living, I started reading about him. Only then was I able to put into words, the theory I have been trying to live by.

He quotes :

Empty your mind. Be formless, shapeless, like water.

When you put water into a cup, it becomes a cup;

When you put water into a bottle, it becomes a bottle;

When you put water into a teapot, it becomes a teapot.

Now water can flow – or it can crash.

Be water, my friend.

(Bruce Lee)

The nature of water is to adapt itself instantly to any obstacle in its path, and by moving at its own pace, begin a natural process of surmounting it. Basically it means, to flow with the adversity in our lives till we can find a way to overcome it.

It’s so convoluted. But so simple.

 

(The Warrior Within – John Little)

Scent of a man.

I was in the mall, when the scent drifted towards me. Soft, sensual and all male. A scent I knew as well as I knew myself! I was rooted to the ground, unable to move, unable to think. Someone bumped pass me, and only then did I shake out of the past. I quickly went and hid behind a pillar.

I realized that his smell still held me enthralled. The scent of powder and all male sweat, which always clung to his back. It took me back to the many times we sat holding hands, sitting by the sea, walking on the road, or just lying in bed and watching the birds chirp at the window.

I continued to peek at him. He was busy sorting out some clothes (ties I think) from a huge table. The lower lips pursed up in that typical manner I remembered, when he needed to concentrate. Those thin lips still held that mildly mean look, which when snarled at someone, meant business. I could imagine his tongue. How could this small piece of flesh, with no bone, part my lips and then dive directly into my soul? How could those long lean fingers, gently glide up and down my back and melt my knees? How could another human being hold so much power over me?

It must have been only a few minutes, but all the years came rushing back to me. Unabated memories, swirling in my mind, making me dizzy, making me sweat. For the mind knew now, that these are only memories. And that even when they were a reality, they were also dreams. For we knew each other, but no one knew of us.

Suddenly he moved towards my pillar and I hastily moved to the other side. I could still see him.

His head went up, and he seemed to smell the air. He too had caught a scent.

Was it me? Or the woman he had betrayed me for?