May 3, 2007

Grandmother's stories

The days grow longer.

I'm watching the city grow. Towards a four-track railway system. And as a result towards an inevitable extra point of entry/exit in the sunken pedestrian subway. And like other nostalgic tales avidly told. Like stories that begin with words but end as mysterious smiles. Tales that require a gentle shaking of the head to bring the narrator back to the present..

I will say that I used to travel on the local train everyday. That for two whole months in January and February, the sun rose with me. The great ball of fire began its gentle ascent as a wonderful gleam. I'll mention that I once saw a young woman take a picture of the sunrise with her Camera-Phone. (They were new back then, I'll add.) I will fondly remember that as I stood in the gangway leaning on the side, book in hand, I used to watch the pages bathe themselves golden in the early morning glow. Then, everyday, I'd look up and watch the sun for a few minutes, as it rose behind buildings and hoardings, old and new... and especially when framed against the massive crane on top of an under-construction highrise. And in March I'd watch the sunlight stream in through an unfamiliar orifice inside the subway.

And I'd think that I'm watching my city grow.


shreya said...


With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
And gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
And pick the flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
And eat three pounds of sausages at a go
Or only bread and pickle for a week
And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
And pay our rent and not swear in the street
And set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

vaidehi vishwasrao said...



oh.. spitting, most definitely..

mystic rose said...

you know, theres the red hat society.. sort of along hte lines of what Shreya wrote.. they even made a movie about htat, very interesting and sweet.