I write so I can breathe. I am constantly evolving, mindless at times, frustrating even perhaps but heck, I wouldn't change the smell of freedom that comes with writing.

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Dilemma of the Round Roti

Really? When I was told by a friend that is what #Indispire topic for the week is, I said "Whaaat?" Yep. That is what I did. I was greatly amused and I sat smiling and wondering what to write. What does one write about "Do round rotis taste better than non-round ones?" My mind wandered. I realized that I hadn't seen the round of a roti for ages. In short, I hadn't cooked one for ages! The last I had a roti was...well, not in the recent weeks at least. For a Punjabi, that amounts to ages. 

I sat mulling over the realization even as my dog Nike looked on reminding me that he had not had one either. (He likes to be involved and absolutely loves parathas!)

Sure enough, this morning, I woke, quietly ignored the easy cooking of rice and opted to give my meal for the afternoon a little effort and make roti instead. A TV show by Vikas Khanna where he sits in a Ratnagiri kitchen watching the Puran Poli Aunty make perfect round ones flashed in my head. I love puran polis (slathered in ghee...Sin! Utter sin I tell you!). You get the drift.

Making plain rotis would be easy but I got more adventurous and boiled green peas to mash it with a few aromatic spices and make simple 'round' parathas for lunch instead. They were perfect; round, small, beautifully dotted with green stuffing. I am hungry already but I will wait for lunch to relish them. Would I be hungry still if they were not perfectly round or were shaped more like the map of India or Africa or whatever else? Of course! They would still taste as good, be a piece of art but, no, I would frown if I was served with that in a high end restaurant. Hmm. 

They would look different yes, but they would taste the same. 

Gratitude. You actually went through my ramblings. 

If this makes to a top post, I will be be Indispired to make more. 


- Sandy

Friday, February 13, 2015

Freedom's Price

He rummaged around in a frenzy while she watched. Just back from a great evening with a friend, she had been telling him about it. While she talked, he got up, searching for something, asking her questions about how she had felt, where she went, what they spoke about. She happily narrated the amazing evening she had, connecting up surprisingly well with the new friend she had made, telling him how refreshing it was to find someone to discuss literature with for a change. 

At some point, she stopped, realizing he had stopped hunting for whatever he was looking for. He stood a distance away with a crepe bandage in his hand that he had unwound the length of. She had loaned it to him when he had twisted his ankle a couple of days, perhaps a week, ago. 

"What are you doing?" she asked, a sense of foreboding coursing through her veins. The air was suddenly ominous and she hated the fear that crept inside her stomach, an eddy of trepidation that coursed through her and ran her body cold. 

She tried to get up.

"Sit." he ordered. She sat back, petrified.

A pair of scissors in his hands cut the bandage into two. That was however not what stopped her short, choking her breath and intimidated her. It was his eyes, watching her, in a cold murderous gaze while he began to slowly wrap the bandages around his hands, slowly, deliberately, never once taking his eyes off her. She held his gaze, feeling the bile rise to her throat slowly. She was spiralling into a space she didn't want to be in and fought hard to keep her calm.

He had not answered.

"Why are are you tying bandage on your hands? Are you hurt?" she asked again, amazed that her voice came out without the chill she felt inside her. 

"Do you know," he said smiling, eyes still not leaving her, "You wrap something around you and then put on your gloves for boxing? It prevents bruising."

She let go a breath slowly, realizing she had been holding it a while, relaxing a bit.

"Are you going somewhere for practice?" she asked. He was a fitness fanatic and she played around with the possibility even as he spoke.

"I don't need to." he said, stepping closer to where she was seated on the worn-out sofa. "I can practice right here."

She smiled and later would recall the irony of that smile. 

A million stars blinded her as the first punch hit her nose throwing her head back, her neck turning to the side as she realized she was his punching bag. Her face was pounding with the first hit and then came another, which she tried to duck but the punch managed to graze her cheek. 

Oh God! What was wrong with him? Pain seared through while she tried to get herself to stay calm. So far, she had not screamed and she shuddered at her capacity to withstand physical pain. Stop! Stop! Please stop!

She managed to get out of the sofa and ran to reach the door. She needed to get out. This man had gone mad. Her head spun with the shock of it, with the stupefying realization of the reality that the man who said he loved her had turned into a jealous raving madman who was unleashing unfettered violence on her. She needed to get out. 

He swung her around a few meters away from the door. That is when she lost track of the pain. The punches came without a break, her back against the wall he had pushed her to, her ribs cracking, breaking, and the kicks landed on her pelvis and that hurt. It was as if a stubbornness began filling her up. She refused to scream or cry. He did not stop until her legs gave way, and she slid onto the floor, curling up, blood soaking up on her t-shirt, the size of the blotch increasing as her hazy vision struggled to stay aware of what was around her. 

"You went out with a man?" he blazed. 

"I asked you if I could and you encouraged me remember?" she responded quietly, salty blood seeping out from the corner of her mouth. She sat up on the floor, her arms holding her knees and she realized she was swaying, as if singing herself a lullaby. She needed some rhythm to keep her composure. She would not cry. She did not want to give him that satisfaction. It took all of her energy, but she held on. She needed to hear it from him even though she had it figured out by then that this man was insanely jealous that she had gone out with one of his friends for coffee.

"So?" he retorted, his eyes still cruel, bearing down on her, without sympathy at what he had just done to her. 

"This doesn't make sense. It was just coffee!" she replied. Pain was throbbing through her and she dared not raise her hand to even touch her face. It felt ripped apart. She inwardly prayed it was lesser damage than she felt. 

"You don't understand, do you?" he said, a short laugh and sarcasm dripping together. She looked at him then, a question in her eyes, pain set aside for that instance. 

"I own you." he continued. "You will always be my slave and do you know why?"

She waited. 

"If you ever refuse me, for anything, or even so much as look at another man, no man will ever want you. I will make sure of it. I will tell them all about you; every little detail, all of it. If you ever tell anyone I hit you, I will destroy you."

Sitting on the bare floor, cold seeping to her bones, she believed him. With a sickening heartache, she knew he meant it. He was capable of it. She wanted to get out. She needed to find her strength to end it all. 

He raved, ranted, telling her about how he thought she was a cheap whore, telling her about other women he was sleeping with, about how he didn't love her. She believed he didn't. Love is not this. She listened. She made no move. She had been trapped into this relationship, a fly who unwittingly got caught into the spider's web and wasn't able to leave thereafter. It had been months and she hadn't found a way to come out of this clean. She felt dirty and knew nothing could cleanse her spirit. it was that thought that scared her the most. 

Finally he stopped talking, watching her. She sat, staring at him, dead eyes, not giving him a reaction to his endless tirade. 

"Get out." he said. "Go clean up. Not a word to anyone."

She got up, surprised to manage on her own. The cold breeze hit her face as she stepped out into the darkness. It was late she noticed, relieved that she would hopefully not cross anyone on the way back to her apartment. She lived down the street and she found her way into the bathroom, managing to drag herself to the mirror. 

Her eyes remained shut, afraid of what she would see. 

He was right. 

The damage was more internal. Her nose had bled onto the t-shirt and her cheek was slightly grazed. a cut on the top of her nose looked like it needed attention but she would manage that. The t-shirt came off and she could see the bruises forming, below her breasts, a red welt on her pelvis was sign of another injury. She knew they would be blue by morning. All she wanted was to be able to treat her nose without having the doctor ask her too many questions. 

A couple of lies about hitting her nose on the door and falling, she managed to get through the doctor. It had taken all her strength to not squirm, or limp. Broken nose. 

She would have to live with that. It was a reminder to never let a man ever hit her. 

A week later, she walked on the street and ran into him. It had been a week since that night he had broken her nose. 

"Why haven't you shown up bitch?" he asked. "I hope you haven't told anyone."

She looked up at him. "No, I haven't," she said, her voice calm and without emotion. "Isn't that obvious considering you are not in jail?"

He smirked. 

"Also," she added, resolve and strength in her voice, "I am not sure what you will do, but I am dumping you. I am not your slave and I never will be."

His eyes blazed. "Why you..." and he stopped as a group of youngsters passed by. 

"Never been dumped, have you?" she asked, putting as much sarcasm into her voice as she could. "Well then...here is your first."

She did not wait for him to respond. She turned and walked away, head held high, back to her apartment. Her heart was resounding. She thought it would burst. She managed to shut the door behind her as her legs became jelly and gave way. She slid down to the floor, thankful to whatever had given her strength to face him. She smiled for the first time in days. 

She was scarred but alive. She let out a sigh,the dam broke...and the tears never stopped. 

Copyright @Sandy2015

Monday, February 2, 2015

I Am Someone's Soulmate

The belief in a soul mate cannot exist if one doesn't believe in souls, that we are all souls in transit on Earth, each seeking another that will complete us. Even at that, with those who believe in souls, see the existence of soul mates in a different light. Soul mates - of passion, love, friendship, desire, happiness, peace, serendipity, chaos...what have you.

Yes, if you ask me, soul mates do exist. They may not be life partners. But here, how do you define a life partner? Does that person have to live with you under the same roof? Be committed to you? Marry you? Are those people who connect to your soul either way not bound to you? Are they ever away from the depths of your soul? Romance is simply an add on. Soul mates - who are they really?

I am not sure how the world views this thing about soul mates. I can however tell you how it works for me, what it means to me. Is a soul mate really the love of your life? We may never really figure that out. I know soul mates are the eternal source of your evolving into the real you. For me, there is no single soul mate. If there is, I have yet to really be absorbed by that. I have soul mates. Yes.

Let me tell you about my soul mates. They are the people I connect with more than anyone else. They are not just limited to men. These are the people who understand me as perfectly as anyone can; some of them are people I have never met in my life and there is a virtual connect that can put a lot of real relationships to utter shame. These are people I confide in without a second thought; tell them things I wouldn't tell another. Truth is, I believe, my soul is so vast that each soul mate who touches my life covers a part of my life and touches it in a way no one else ever can. Perhaps, that is why there are so many. They are meant to touch a certain part of my life. Perhaps, when all of me has been covered by all these soul mates, somewhere there will be one who I will seek thereafter and know that this is the one. This is theory though, a line of thought I am keeping aside.

Do I tell one single person everything? Is that the basis of qualifying as a soul mate? I do not know. I know there are a few people who I can tell everything to. Do I though do that despite knowing I can? Perhaps not. Soul mates for me come in all kinds. The dark one who sees the darkness in me and doesn't judge me. The positive one who never lets me doubt myself. The pain-ridden one who makes me walk through my pain and allows me to befriend it. The loving unconditionally one that is always there when I reach out. The one that laughs at my silliness and adores my streaks of madness. The one who encourages me a step beyond my own belief. 

The choices we make, the road we walk, the bridges we cross, the pinnacles we stand alone on, the possibilities of someone touching your life is always there. Only, you have to open your soul to it. The soul will seek you. You have to enable it to be sought. Have no fear. The soul knows no fear. Seek not to change yourself to someone you are not. The wrong idea of a soul mate can lead to all kinds of madness. It is true. It is terribly sad.

Soul mates. They belong to everyone. They belong to no one. They will always be in the periphery of your life. They will let you be. They will embrace, hug, cuddle, nudge, push, pull, badger, laugh, smile, sit with you in utter serenity, invoke passions of unbridled love and lust, calm your spirit and hush your tears away. In each friend, there is a soul mate. In each life mate, sometimes there are no traces of this.

All I know is that this is my reality. I am someone's soul mate for sure. Maybe I will not be a life mate. But, a soul mate? Sure!

- Sandy