The Chronicles of Miss Shola

The blog's epitaph: Miss Shola came and went as she pleased

Archive for February 2010

Patterned sky

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It’s so heartening to look up at the sky sometimes and see this, rather than a pattern of crisscrossed wires.










Written by Miss Shola

February 26, 2010 at 2:22 pm

Posted in Shots

Nissim Ezekiel’s

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Talking of mothers, here’s a poem from my school days…

Night of the Scorpion

I remember the night my mother was stung by a scorpion.
Ten hours of steady rain had driven him to crawl beneath a sack of rice.
Parting with his poison — flash of diabolic tail in the dark room — he risked the rain again.
The peasants came like swarms of flies and buzzed the Name of God a hundred times to paralyse the Evil One.
With candles and with lanterns throwing giant scorpion shadows on the sun-baked walls they searched for him; he was not found.
They clicked their tongues. With every movement the scorpion made his poison moved in Mother’s blood, they said.
May he sit still, they said.
May the sins of your previous birth be burned away tonight, they said.
May your suffering decrease the misfortunes of your next birth, they said.
May the sum of evil balanced in this unreal world against the sum of good become diminished by your pain.
May the poison purify your flesh of desire, and your spirit of ambition, they said, and they sat around on the floor with my mother in the centre.
The peace of understanding on each face.
More candles, more lanterns, more neighbours, more insects and the endless rain.
My mother twisted through and through groaning on a mat.
My father, sceptic, rationalist, trying every curse and blessing, powder, mixture, herb, and hybrid. He even poured a little paraffin upon the bitten toes and put a match to it.
I watched the flame feeding on my mother.
I watched the holy man perform his rites to tame the poison with incantation.
After twenty hours it lost its sting.
My mother only said:
“Thank God the scorpion picked on me and spared my children.”

~ Nissim Ezekiel (1924 – 2004) was born in India to an Indian Jewish family. He is credited with beginning the modernist movement in India and was one of India’s best known poets.

Written by Miss Shola

February 25, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Posted in Poetry

Mirror, mirror on the wall…

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Snippet of a conversation with a colleague last week:

She: So do you look like your Mom or Dad?

Me: I look like my Dad ya. My Mom is very pretty. I remember when I was 8-10 years old and we had all gone for a wedding reception, I was standing at a crowded food counter much behind her when she suddenly turned around and I looked right at her face; my jaw dropped…she looked so beautiful!

She has fine age lines on her face now and her skin has started to wrinkle gloriously but she is still the most beautiful woman I know.

PS: To be fair to my Dad (and me), he did look like dashing young Dharmendra in his wedding pictures.

Written by Miss Shola

February 25, 2010 at 12:57 pm

Posted in Ramblings

Murakami again

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All we have to do is separate from the flesh, leave all substance behind, and allow ourselves to become a conceptual point of view devoid of mass. With that accomplished, we can pass through any wall, any leap over any abyss. When we pass through the wall and leap the abyss, the world undergoes a great deformation, splits and crumbles, and is momentarily gone. Everything takes into fine, pure dust that scatters in all directions. And then the world is reconstructed. A new substance surrounds us. And all this takes but the blink of an eye.

I think there has to be something like reincarnation. Or maybe I should say I’m scared to think there isn’t. I can’t understand nothingness. I can’t understand it and I can’t imagine it. Nothingness means there’s absolutely nothing, so maybe there’s no need to understand it or imagine it. But what if nothingness is not like that? What if it’s the kind of thing that demands that you understand it or imagine it? I mean, you don’t know what it’s like to die. Maybe a person really has to die to understand what it’s like. It’s so much easier to just believe in reincarnation. You might be reborn as something awful, but at least you can imagine what you’d look like – a horse, say, or a snail. And even if it was something bad, you might be luckier next time.

In this world, there are things you can only do alone, and things you can only do with somebody else. It’s important to combine the two in just the right amount.

People’s memories are maybe the fuel they burn to stay alive. Whether those memories have any actual importance or not, it doesn’t matter as far as the maintenance of life is concerned. They’re all just fuel. Important memories, not-so-important memories, totally useless memories: there’s no distinction – they’re all just fuel. I think if I didn’t have that fuel, I didn’t have those memory drawers inside me, I would’ve snapped a long time ago. I would’ve curled up in a ditch somewhere and died. It’s because I can pull the memories out of the drawers when I have to – the important ones and the useless ones – that I can go on living this nightmare of a life.

~ from ‘After Dark’, Haruki Murakami

Written by Miss Shola

February 24, 2010 at 11:02 am

Posted in Quotes

Chalti ka naam gaadi

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I became a proud owner of a car on Feb 22nd 2010. While S got a brand new maroon Hyundai i20 fresh out of the showroom, I became the de-facto owner of his six and a half year old dented and scratched black Hyundai Santro. I’m happy with my old and experienced man, and he is happier with his pretty young thing.

But both our keychains are new and mine is prettier…see! It’s got a real orchid flower preserved in it.

Written by Miss Shola

February 23, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Posted in Ramblings

Anatomy of heartache

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It starts with a throb, turns into an incessant pound, balloons and balloons till it fills you up completely. You gasp for breath till a sharp pin pierces it; then it leaks out through the eyes. When it’s deflated enough, it whimpers for attention like an unattended child. Leave it alone and it transforms into a dull stubborn pain and remains so, deep inside.

Written by Miss Shola

February 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm

Posted in Ramblings

Meet Daru

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Here’s presenting the latest addition to my plant family. He lives in a beer bottle and sits on the bathroom window ledge all by himself. Upsides of being him: unlike his other brothers and sisters, he gets to stare at me lecherously when I’m having a bath. Downsides: he is subjected to a mix of pleasant and not-so-pleasant smells in the morning and also some awful bathroom singing!

Written by Miss Shola

February 20, 2010 at 1:19 pm

Posted in Home Projects