Archive for November, 2013
The partner comes home after working out really hard at the gym. Who knows what he did, he reveals to me that there’s incessant pain in both hands/elbows. And with all that soreness he is unable to move his arms as usual. Every time he tries to the ache shoots up. Amma watches his expressions intently all evening long. After a lot of observing, she turns to the sister and wonders, out loud, what has happened to him. My sister wears a puzzled look and tells Amma to ask him if he bench pressed too much.
“Bench what” says Amma.
I turn to the partner and tell him that Amma has a question for him.
“What is it, Ma?” he asks her.
She glances around and inquires, hesitantly,
“Is something wrong with your ankle?”
And all of us take a minute to process her concerned words and then roll on the floor laughing.
Amma is using the tablet to watch some videos. The charge on the device is falling fast. She turns to me and voices her point,
“This is plugged in. I did it in the morning; still, it doesn’t seem like it is charging. In fact, the charge is being drained. It started off few hours ago with more than 40%, now it’s only 25%.”
“Is it really plugged in, Mother? Check the wall socket.”
“It is! I checked and double checked everything.”
I walk over to inspect – I find that the charger is plugged in to the wall and it seems like it is connected to the tablet too. I wiggle the charger out of the wall socket. Did it help? No. I plug it in to a different socket. Did that help? No. I take the tablet in my hand and notice that the other end of the charger is not pushed into the port but between the tablet and its cover. It just looks like it’s plugged in when seen from far, when in reality it’s only jammed in somewhere, which nowhere near the actual port. I show it to Amma and her reaction is priceless.
“I thought I did it right, she says, it’s my eyes you know, getting worse by the day,” she concludes.
The partner, Amma and I settle in the living room once we finish dinner and do some cleaning. After a while, the partner gets up to go to the kitchen. As he walks away, Amma turns to me and whispers her trepidation
“Ask him not to touch the pan on the stove. It’ll still be extremely hot.”
“Mummy, why would he go there and touch the pan on the stove for no reason?” I ask.
“Well, I don’t know. What if he gets overly curious? You never know…better warn him than let him get hurt, right?”
To date, just the thought this incident brings loads of laughter…I fail to understand why she thought, at that moment, that the partner’s curiosity is such that he will walk into the kitchen to put his hand on a hot pan.
Home alone, I mostly stay put in one room. That’s because I am such a coward. I find solace in settling in one place rather than walking around all over and scaring myself somehow (it happens, yes). So today, when I decided to work from home and the partner bid me goodbye, I choose the bedroom to be that room.
Suddenly, I hear noises. But then again, even the jingle of pin dropping at an instance of such silence will scare me, no doubt. Perhaps it’s the wood creaking. Perhaps it’s the wind outside singing frightening tunes. Perhaps it’s the refrigerator coming alive after a deep slumber. I console myself with agreeable explanations, and let it be.
Few minutes pass, and I hear what sounds like someone stomping on the kitchen floor. And this time, no matter what I try to express, my mind doesn’t fall for the trick. I push myself out of the bed and slowly walk down, still carefully listening to every little noise that comes my way. My own footsteps startle me. Yet, I put up a brave face and tread along. Right when I reach the last stair, an orange balloon comes into sight.
WHAT???!?!? Why is there a balloon idly cruising through my living room? Is the partner back home already? Or did he plan this for when he wouldn’t be around? Why a balloon though? And that too such a creepy looking one at that? This is definitely the partner’s handiwork.
A million thoughts run through my mind most of which accuses the partner for being the brain behind this prank some way or the other. But, in spite of all the possibilities that I consider, something keeps nagging me. Every little sound that I’ve heard since morning is magnified in my mind. I wonder if any or some or all of it is part of the plan. But what plan? Isn’t there a likelihood that it’s not the partner who is behind this? Then what? I heard footsteps, although there’s no one in sight. Should I be more worried? Where is my phone? Oh, it’s in the bedroom. I run back upstairs, with the orange balloon in hand, so I can get my hands on the phone; maybe I can try calling the partner.
As soon as I am in the bedroom, my safe place, I decide against making any calls. After all, if it is the partner’s idea to petrify me, then I am too proud to let him know that it has worked. I settle back on the bed and get back to work. In between, my mind traces back the happenings and I try to think of how I can get away, should this happen again. I consider jumping off the window, in case someone comes into the room. I consider walking out of the house right away and not returning until I can get someone for company. I consider this. I consider that.
Within what seems like eternity (but only a few minutes in reality), I hear another heavy thud downstairs. This time, unlike last, I get my phone before I step out and run down the stairs. I see no one. But there’s a candle that’s been lit. The flame sways blissfully as it always does, oblivious to the agony my heart and mind is racing through. I consider the chances of me lighting the candle when I came down minutes ago, but that’s easily erased by the fact that I never keep the candle on the floor, its place is on the table.
Not being able to think clearly about what to do next, I run for the door, along with trying to call the partner. He’s unavailable. I strongly feel, once again, that this is all his doing. I am going to call 911. I shout out with the hope that if it is indeed the partner, then he will come out before I do anything drastic. Within the blink of an eye, out of nowhere, a hand grabs mine and pulls my phone out. I scream, and open the door, just as I get glimpse of the person in the house. Thankfully, there are a few people walking on the street. I summon for help, because who I saw inside isn’t the partner. One of those good people that come to my rescue is my friend’s sister. While the others are busy handing me their phone so I can call the police and/or the partner, my friend’s sister steps in and starts a conversation with the perpetrator as though he’s her long lost friend. Do you know him? I ask. Yes, she says, and assures me that he means no harm. No imminent danger? You’ve got to be kidding me! He made me think of the possibility of jumping down the bedroom window. I yell. And my heart’s still beating loudly…
…even after I wake up. I dread going downstairs now. The ten minute afternoon nap is going to cost me my peace of mind for the rest of the day. Such a nightmare. Sigh.
Happy weekend, folks!
Family and friends. Every corner of the house filled with the aroma of freshly baked homemade pumpkin cake. Surprises and thoughtfulness that sees happy tears trickling down. Cozy and comfortable throw to keep me warm on the coldest of cold evenings. Yummy mixed berry smoothie for breakfast. Tickle fights. Laughter and screams (ones filled with joy!) that ring through the walls. Books to love. Sweet nothings. Deep, overwhelming emotions felt. Piggy back ride up the stairs. Lunch, shared in the same plate. Adorable poem written while I take a nap. The said poem excitedly recited to me as soon as I open my eyes. Head massage. Hot bath. Made up songs sung in made up tunes. Never-ending reasons to smile and rejoice. Candle lit rooms. Dinner time conversations. Milkshake on a cold night. Endless hugs and kisses.
Love. Three hundred and sixty four days plus one. Blessed, yes I am.
The partner and I lived by ourselves for years, even though for few months here and there during that time we actually resided in the same city. It’s not that we didn’t want to live together; it’s just that whatever plans were made never actually materialized. Every time we looked into moving in together something or the other would come up and eventually we would end up dropping the plan. And all those weekends that the partner would visit (or the few times that I went to visit him), were hard. When it came time to bid goodbye, I would turn into a well of tears. Going back to the apartment, leaving the partner to go his way, wasn’t something I looked forward to, even though I was going home.
Things aren’t the same now. If someone asked me for a snapshot of my idea of ideal life, I would close my eyes and picture the two of together in Boston. But life took a different turn and here we are. We’ve been living together ever since we moved away from Boston. It’s been over a year. I still go through that bout of yearning to be in Boston, but those are few and far between compared to this time last year. And, to make the most of what we’ve got, the transition of calling this place home is happening, albeit slowly.
After every vacation or weekend getaway, I look forward to getting back home. There are no more waterworks to worry about, no farewell to bid. Even returning home after work every evening is a pleasant urge. I enjoy the feeling of comfort that surrounds. I quite like experiencing the contentment that it offers. I love that it is ours.
Our home, our haven.
We have had friends and family visit us in the past year. While there is nothing remarkably beautiful about the décor around the house (I must admit that I don’t have eyes for decorating. I can go ‘ooohh’ and ‘aaahh’ looking at photos of beautiful interiors, but when it comes to doing that myself I lack the talent and enthusiasm. Credit goes to the partner for small things that have been done right) , I have had people notice and comment on two things in particular.
One – the books that are all over the place. It makes me particularly happy when someone notices this. I don’t know why. Most of the books in my possession I know I have bought with a lot of love. It takes me back to all those times that I’ve walked around different bookshops and bought the ones I fell in love with. And the rest came into my life in the form of gifts. So, each and every one of them is precious to me in one way or another. And someone taking interest in that makes my heart swell with joy.
Two – the fragrance that encases the rooms. It’s no secret that I love candles and incenses. Back in Boston, that small room of mine in that apartment used to be lit every single evening that I was home. The ambiance of a room changes when the flame of candle gracefully sways. And to me, especially, it feels magical. So, even after moving here, I have kept up with the tradition of lighting candles and incenses every chance I get. And people spot it. A friend visited us earlier this year… as soon as she entered our home she said she loved the way it smells. When we went to her place a few weeks ago she kept mentioning the same and asked me over and over what I did to make the house smell so heavenly. And with that remark, she made my day.
So, there. While I may not have given any artsy touches to the house, I still have my books and fragrance to take the attention away from the otherwise ordinary place. My most cherished collection of books. My divinely scented candles. My blissful adobe. Life is good.
Lazily, I walk around the house. I stand near the big window facing the lawn and gaze out aimlessly. After a while I settle on the couch and continue to survey the sunlit backyard. Few squirrels run around hunting for their food, the neighbor’s cat (the one we have lovingly named Tiger) sits comfortably on the concrete patch only getting up to scare a bird or two every so often, the rain of yellow leaves happens with every crispy Fall breeze. It is a beautiful sight. I have forgotten about work. I could sit here all day and be lost in this world that, at this moment, is only mine.
Time passes, I don’t know how long. And then come a family of deer. Their pace swift, their senses intent, their presence abundantly joyous. Of the four or five that graze around on the lawn there is a tiny one that is exceptionally cute. Before I can get enough of ogling at how adorable he is, he hops away and goes to hide between two trees. Sigh.
I email the partner right away letting him know that there was this cute little fawn on our lawn. He immediately responds asking me to take photos. I am too lazy to move, I tell him. Moreover, that one has skillfully found his place between two trees making it impossible to get a proper photo from the living room. The partner responds saying ‘In that case look at it for a long long time and I will look into your eyes when I get home.’ I smile as I read it, and that’s that.
Hours pass by and the partner comes back home from work. The first thing he does as he sees me is place his hands on my cheeks and looks deep into my eyes. By this time I have already forgotten the email exchange from afternoon. Moments later, still unblinking, he says ‘let’s see… He was this tall and was facing that way wasn’t he? Wow, he is cute!’ And I melt. I argue about possibilities, probability and what not (yes, I do know how to ruin the moment, don’t I?). Still he maintains that it was Love because of which he could enjoy the beautiful sight through my eyes. A huge happy smile appears on my face.
And I fall in love with him, again.