Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nothingness

I started counting the stars in the sky. The vast expanse of canopy was breathing slowly and was going to slip into a deep slumber. But I could not sleep. I forgot those days when I used to sleep like a log. It was when she was here. I counted the stars just to find out the most glistening amidst them. It could be her– my mother. I missed her badly. She would always tell me to count the stars to relieve my anger and I did that every night. I was angry with me -angry for not being as beautiful as her, for not being as adept as her in anything.

My father married again. You would be surprised to know that I did not even know her name. She never was a cunning stepmother. She was neither like a mother too. We both were two hapless creatures who ended up in the same place for the reasons of not our own. We knew it but never cared to show it to each other. We never felt like it. She toiled and moiled until she was worn out. Thank God! She knew how to get rid of those dirty emotions out of her. But I was smarting under me. I always felt like laughing aloud but could not. It felt as if a rope was tied between my cheeks and the corner of my temples. It restrained me from laughing aloud.

I always wondered how my mother could fall for a man like him, who was always scared of loving his children, who always believed love could destroy them. They had an inter-religious as well as an inter-caste marriage. They had to start right from the very beginning. Each penny was saved to build their future.

We had a single room house to start with. I remember those when we four (father, mother, brother and myself) slept together in the same room. I could hear them loving each other in the middle of the night. They took extreme care to limit their caresses for the fear of awaking us. When they were asleep after the long process of loving each other they wrapped themselves in each other's arms and slept till the crack of the dawn. I could not make it out what was it. But I felt it as soothing and lovable. The deep moaning late at night soon became a comforting song and I always lent my ears for it. 

Now no moaning and caresses, only deep cries. I always wondered whether he could be the same man with my stepmother. I tried to eavesdrop on them but now the one room home had given way to a house with strong walls. If the walls had the ears they could hear it and would hide it in their heart.

He never told us that he was going to marry which he did six years after my mother's death. It might not be easy for him to resist the call of flesh and blood. But I was certain that the moaning would not have the charms it had before.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The desire to suspect

Oh honey! How long we have to do this in hiding?

Cameron emerged from his room.

Who is it? His mom was already gone. Who was in his father's room? He did not want to eavesdrop but that was what he exactly did. Somebody was inside the room with his father – a woman. Who was she?

The keyhole was of not much help. Suddenly, the lock was turning. Cameron dashed for a hiding from where he could see the prying voice. The door opened in no time.  He ducked his head for not to be visible. He could see her silhouette. She was tall, taller than her mother. He lifted his head from his hiding.

She was beautiful than her mother.

Drop dead gorgeous- that's what he had heard people saying in the TV for beautiful women. That's exactly she was. But his dad loved her mom.

A sharp pain pricked his heart.  

 Unlike the other children of his age, he loved to cuddle himself in the warmth of his bed to delve into a book. He devoured everything too deeply that he would spent sleepless nights pondering over the characters he come across. It had its own way of comforting him.

Those raven black eyes were still haunting him.

                                                                         ****
Charlotte was back home after her work. Tedious work in the bank always made her sick at the end of the day. It was Ben who took care of all the household chores. He was a writer and mostly he spent his days at home, writing.

Ben Thigpen was a prolific writer. He wrote and his Thigpen enterprises took care of all his other affairs.

“Cameron...baby, I am home...where are you? Just take your head out of your book for a little while...I've got something for you”.

Cameron was upstairs, brooding over the new conundrum he was faced with.

“Honey, don't put your head too much into it.” Charlotte came and took a seat beside her son. He had taken after his father. His eyes, his hair, his chubby cheeks, his smile - everything looked the same. She brushed a light kiss on his plump cheek.

“Hey macho! I've got something for you”.

“Another gift of course”...he said without much zeal.

“How do you know that”.

He didn't reply. She always caressed him with gifts, her way of expressing love.

She gave him a neatly gift wrapped box she was hiding at her back.

“Mom...why do you always buy me gifts”.

 “Coz I love you baby...now give me a tight hug...carry on with your work, Cameron”, and she left the room.

I love you too mom. Cameron gazed at the door. He realized that he was going have sleepless nights.
                                                                           ****

Cameron confronted the mystery woman quite too often and one day they bumped into each other.

She was sitting on the couch with a glass full of blushing wine. Cameron could see her now. The door was open and his father was nowhere to be seen. He looked at her without a wink. The wine and her cheeks resembled. Her voluptuous lips sipped the wine and it was slowly washed in. Her eyes were shut with each sip. She was savoring every bit of it. Her hair was neatly tucked into a pony tail. It was dazzling gold.  He stood there for a long time until, she saw him. She stood and her long and elegant legs were now approaching him. She was too tall that he had to look up. She bent and placed her hand on his shoulder.

“Hey! I never got to see you. You must be Cameron.  I am Nicole”. She extended her hand for a shake.

“Who are you?”

“I am Nicole Brooke.”

“What are you doing in my house?” 

“Oh! I am just a friend of your father.”

“What are you doing with my father?”

“I just came here to see your father.”

“Don’t come again.”

“What?”

“Why are you sitting on my mother's couch?”

“You know why, coz soon this is going to be my couch. Now, get away.”

Cameron could not sleep that night. His mom was too good. Why it was happening to her?

But he could not bring himself to disclose to his mother what was happening behind her. But all his control exploded when he again saw Nicole in lingerie in his father's room. His father could not spoof his mother anymore.

“Mom, Dad is seeing someone.”

“What?  Cameron, Are you nuts?. Be careful before you say something like this.”

“Yes Mom, she was right there on the couch with a glass of wine.”

“Cameron, enough”.

“She spoke to me.”

“What did she speak?

“That ...that she was going to have your couch soon.”

“What? Stop your crap, Cameron.”

“No mom, I am speaking the truth. She is beautiful...I...I mean don't allow dad to spoof you.”

“Cameron...you are not supposed to speak like this and eavesdrop your father.”
Charlotte waited until Cameron finished his supper.

 No sooner he reached his room he could hear the commotion downstairs.

“Charlotte, What do you mean by I am secretly seeing some one.”

“I mean what I said, Ben.”

“Baby! I love you. Trust me.”

“I love you too, Ben. But why should Cameron lie.”

“Donno...I am not seeing anybody.”

“He said, he saw her sitting on this couch.”

“What?”

“She spoke to him. She said she was going to have this couch soon.”

“What a crap, Charlotte...Let me talk to Cameron.”

“No, you won't. May be he is upset with something.” retorted Charlotte.

“Might be. But why should he lie.”

“ I'll talk to him,Ben.”

Cameron was now quite good at eavesdropping and learned that his dad convinced his mom with his fake story. He was decided that he would come up with his clandestine affair.

He didn't leave for the school next morning.

“Cameron, get ready for the school...Cameron.”

“Gosh...you are still asleep.”

“What’s up, baby?”

“Feel feverish.”

“Oh baby...Don't worry. You'll be awright.”
Charlotte, knew that he was upset over yesterday and what he needed was rest. She placed a smothering kiss on his temple.

Ben could not forget the way he looked at him. It was full of hatred. He was more than a father to him. He knew that his son was not like him. Cameron loved to be in his self cocoon and Ben loved people and places. But Cameron was all he wanted and loved and he could not tolerate his son's abhorrence anymore.

 “Cameron, why don't you come downstairs and have your breakfast. Hey dude!, are you upset with me.”

Cameron said nothing

“Hey baby, I love you. What's up?”

“You cannot spoof my mom anymore.”

                                                                            ****
Cameron was waiting for her and Nicole did turn up the very next day.

“I heard you told your mom about me. You are going to see me quite often.”

She came every day and Cameron made bogus excuses to confront her.

Charlotte was aware of her son's change. But she waited and wanted to give her son a little more time.

“She was here, yesterday” Cameron was sitting opposite to his father at the breakfast table.

“Who was here?” Charlotte asked without taking her eyes from him.

“That woman...Nicole.”

“Stop it, Cameron” Ben screamed at the top of his voice.

“Why should I stop? I was here all day...no...all these days just to see her...She was coming here every day, mom...I also saw her wearing your black lingerie”.

“Cameron...Get out of my way.” Ben yelled at him.

“Ben, Please...no...Keep cool.”

Cameron was seeing his father's outburst for the first time. He rushed and hid himself where he first hid for the first time to see that woman.

“It’s OK baby....come out...I trust you...come out.”

“Mom...don't give your couch, mom.”

“No, I won't...” She hugged her son so tightly.

“Do you still believe your son, Charlotte. I do not know any Nicole. Oh God! I haven't done anything to upset him. Speak up. Don't kill me with your silence”.

“I trust you Ben... I don't have black lingerie. We should do something. Something is happening to him. Why don't we call Judd?”

“Judd.”

“Yes, Dr. Judd Reid.”

Ben and Charlotte Thigpen were in front of their friend and a famous psychologist Dr. Judd Reid.

“What’s it Judd? Why is he behaving so strangely?”. Ben asked with a tired voice.

“Ben, he is having hallucinations. That lady Nicole is just his hallucination. She doesn't exist? Dr. Judd could read the worry that written all over his friend's face.

“What do you mean by that?” 

 “Charlotte! He is Schizophrenic”.

SCHIZOPHRENIA- Charlotte was numb. Her son had Schizophrenia. She looked at Ben unbelievably, just to see that Judd was sprinkling water on her unconscious husband's face.

“Mom, I saw her.” Charlotte turned back just to see her son's anxious face.

“She is here. She'll hurt you.”

“No baby, she won't.” She hugged her son tightly as if she won't give her son to anything.


                                                                           ****

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Njan Gandharvan

Those movies appeal to me through which I could relate or identify myself."Njan Gandharvan" by Padmarajan is of no exception.
" Njan Gandharvan" is like riding a horse of fantacy.It has illusion and reality which has been interwoven and gives a grand fiesta to our senses." Gandharvan"- a mythical figure descends from the heaven to the earth and falls for a girl.

This movie is so close to my heart for I usually takes solace in the flight of imagination, fantasies and reveries.I could easily relate me with the character which is portrayed by Suparna.

The Paalamaram, the bead which Gandharvan gives her when she needs to meet him, the fire fly, the butterfly.........all these creates an ethereal feel which is much more to mesmerize a fantasized heart.I could intensely feel the flow of emotions between Bhama and Gandharvan which is eternal and it could be explicitly seen in the very last scenes of the movie.

She is deprived of him and he is deprived of her, though they never wanted it to happen.

Bhama , a student who comes across a tiny statue incourse of her tour turns out to be the statue of Gandharvan.It instills in her a sort of excitement.But the real excitement begins when he appears before her in flesh and blood.

His romantic sessions with the girl is too intense and unlike humans he can meet her anywhere and everywhere.He has given her a bead which she wears on her chain,so that he can be easily accessible when she kisses it.Thus the romantic saga goes on for a while.........

It is the rule of the heaven that a Gandharvan should return to heaven after marauding the chastity of the girl who has fallen prey to his love.These mystical figures do not bear children.Once their purpose is served they would leave the earth forever and also do not leave behind any traces of memories for the girl to cherish.

There is a scene in which we hear Bhama's grandmother saying "a girl broods over something and does nothing if she is inflicted with the memories of Gandharvan"This is what has exactly happened with Bhama.

Time has arrived for him to leave her.But the real conflict occurs when a desire sprouts in him to live with her forever and ever.But it is not quite easy for him to have an escapade from the entanglement of heaven.He has to go back and he decides to do so without tormenting her, though he is aware that the aftermath of his decision would be "Hell."

But Bhama cannot grant him the hell. She loves him. She cannot bear her chastity being an infliction on him.She is ready to cull out her heart but could not tolerate his self torture.
Thus happens the consummation of love...their love...and he leaves her.

What would have happened to her?..Does her heart still ache for him?..Has she completely gone into the oblivion?..Is she still in a state of torment?

I saw " Njan Gandharvan" when I was a very little girl.But still could not forget her.