freedom is the freedom to choose whose slave you want to be.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

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My heart isn't beating quite right today.

22nd May: 8.42 a.m.

I step out of the bathroom quietly, eyes still adjusting to wakefulness, slightly burning from sleeplessness, hours of monitors and three hours of Rang De Basanti. The silence of people still sleeping fills the room. I move forward on tip toe.
On my mattress on the floor is a little bundle of blue and white flannel, narrow brown eyes looking at me, hair standing on end, a smile playing upon the lips dangerously close to turning into a loud squeal of laughter. I smile back at him and Abdullah looks at me and I am late and he flings his arms open and in an instant we are wrapped up in a white sheet and a little leg is thrown across my waist and he has an arm around my neck and his round nose is under my chin, he blinks his little eyes and the eyelashes brush against my cheek. In the curtained darkness of the morning and the silent uniform hum of the a.c he whispers to me 'Lala, so jaayen.'
Shampoo mixed with sweat from the park in his hair and its morning but he doesn't have bad breath we stay there nose to nose and then it's 8.50 and I have to get dressed.

8.00 p.m

The worst kind of unannounced dinner guests at the end of a gruelling day. I can barely walk. But there's dinner, and I am alone in the kitchen and my hands smell like onions and even through a light film of sweat and a smattering of hot oil from the frying pan on my feet I find small talk and sweetness and niceness and I am asking myself over and over again: where is this coming from?
Where is my frown where is my attitude where is the sarrialpan why am I not tired all of a sudden?

The little girl adores me and I humour her, show her things I don't know how to do, because I am not your vision of perfection, I can be fat and I am not quite the same pretty person you saw so many months ago with makeup and my dressing table is gathering dust mixed with stale rose petals I am asking where is all this positivity coming from?

11.50 p.m

The guests have left. The sheets should be changed. My room smells like someone else, of fruity soap, and possibly of illness and sorrow, but Puppho won't be here for another ten days. There are a few rose petals on the dusty dressing table. I don't know what to do with them.
I know I have been wondering for the past four days how I have survived giving my room up to strangers to cancer to hospital-ness and vomiting and a smell of medicines. How have I become so fluid and giving and accomodating. I have been wondering and I don't have answers but I have a smile and that is enough.

The stereo that played Surah Rehman to Puppho is still on the floor in a corner under the chair that doesn't belong there and I think what the hell and I turn the radio on and three crazy happy songs from last year and one from the last time I watched tv and I am lying on my bed with my head hanging down on one side, my hair grazing the carpet. What do I do with this completion? I've had my fill and it's time to share, so I message N and stay in the blast of the a.c till it's time to stop the music again.

23rd May: 9.50 a.m

It's overcast and still my eyes burn and I soak up the rapidly passing green to soothe my eyes it's instant therapy and on Constitution Avenue all of a sudden my hand is pressed down over my eyes and there is extreme gratitude spilling forth.


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