Thursday, October 13, 2016

It's Time

I noticed when she tiptoed into room,
Careful not to wake me up.
She had her hands full,
Two children, work and a husband to take care of.
I wasn't asleep,
She didn't notice my breathing was uneven.
I watched her go into the kitchen and eat a little.
Her left hand seemed itchy,
I knew the itching would start today.

Hence there was blueberry cheesecake in the fridge.
The bathroom was cleaned and the tabletops dusted.
The clothes washed and set out for the next day.
She loved the fact that whenever she checked her phone,
A text saying "I love you" waited for her.
Three personal words interspersed between
the millions of corporate words
she had to go through everyday.

At the end of the day, her hair still smelled like the start of it,
Little nooks and crannies on her body where my limbs fitted perfectly.
Changing into my t-shirts over sized for her,
She could fall asleep almost anywhere when tired.
I snuggled in beside her if there was room for me.
Or I would carry her to the bed.
We always woke up with our backs to each other.
She had a habit of finishing my cigarette after sex.

She didn't make the connection between
Her itchy left hand and the cheesecake.
Probably just assumed I was in a good mood;
I loved going that extra mile
And making sure she never knew I did.
Her smile said it all.
There was always her favourite music,
Books and food I blended in with mine.
I had no complaints about a gorgeous woman
hugging me and kissing me anytime.

I knew the itching would start today
So an extra mile had been added to the
daily extra mile.
We had seen a doctor about it months back.
He concluded it was some weird connection with her time of the month.

A memory from a trip to Kerala

I was molested once. It might not be the correct word to use here but I have no other words to relate the incident to.
It hasn't affected me in anyway in my life whatsoever and I had even forgotten that it ever happened.
Some days back, I was watching some movie which suddenly reminded me of the incident.
And I recall this book I read a few months back by Arundhati Roy called The God Of Small Things.
I wonder why that book didn't bring this memory back.
The book had an incident with one of the children Estha being molested by the "Orangedrink Lemondrink Man" at a movie theater when he steps out alone while on a trip with his family to watch "The Sound Of Music".
This particular section in the book should have brought back the memory but didn't quite stir the cerebral cortex. 

In a land far far away from the country I call home, half way around the world, trying to make it alone and watching some movie( I can't recall the name of ), the memory suddenly flashed in front of my eyes. The movie submerged into a colored daze and a handful of arbitrary noises while the memory floated by in front of my eyes after all these years. Either the movie stirred it somehow or it was just making space for new memories to settle in and I caught it unawares during its momentary dislodgement.

It happened in Kerala, God's Own Country.
(Hence I wonder more why The God Of Small Things wasn't able to stir it!)
I was in the seventh grade and on a typical loud Bengali vacation with my family and relatives and cousins.
We had a Tata Sumo booked for the trip. I don't remember much of my younger life, my memory is not that strong. So I don't quite remember what tourist attraction spots I visited, how the roads were, how the hotels we stayed in looked. I remember vendors selling tapioca chips, trying to eat chicken biryani with cashewnut, raisins, pineapples and ultimately giving up on the (very very)sweet rice and just having the chicken,a boat ride on the backwaters(more of black waters,we joked!), a visit to Munnar, Trivandrum but not many details about these visits.

All family trips like this one was all fun and frolic for us kids. Nothing to worry about, no homework to do, no tuitions to go to,eat, sleep, play, horse around-our glory days. 
What could possibly be wrong if there was no homework to do nor school to go to?

I don't even remember where it happened. We must have been on our way somewhere and had stopped for lunch.When we finished eating, all of us came out of the hotel. The hotel was on a meandering road on the hills and the car was kept just around a bend on the road a little way from the hotel and hence, just out of sight. Everyone had leisurely started back towards the car in groups of two or three. I was the last to finish lunch and went to wash my hands. My father was waiting for me. As soon as I finished washing my hands, we started towards the car; him walking a few paces ahead and me trudging along behind him. 

I strolled along the road, with a satisfied belly, towards the bend and the car just around it. There were a few other local people walking along the road too but as with roads on hills, it was mostly deserted. A tall dark man with a thick mustache in a red shirt  and black trousers, wearing glasses rounded the bend and came walking towards our direction on the same road. As he rounded the bend towards us, he crossed my father who disappeared around the bend. I trudged along. As the man reached me,  he suddenly reached out and grabbed my private parts with one hand and smacked my behind with the other, turning me around. He held on to my private parts for a few seconds before letting go and then gestured me rudely to get on my way with that "tch tch" noise a lot of people make in parts of India (when gesturing).
It all happened so fast I didn't realize what happened fully until I was back in the car. I just ran back to the car and remember asking for a "Frooti" to drink. It was when the car had started and we were again on our way that it all sunk in and of course, it was too late to do anything about it. I debated whether I should tell anyone about. I was the only brother-all my cousins and siblings are sisters so it seemed weird to talk about this in front of them. Someone cracked a joke and everyone laughed. The moment seemed to have passed. I decided not to tell anyone about it. There was no undoing it anyway. 

Right from childhood, I had been quite the introvert - less friends, less picnics, more of keeping to myself, studying, doing my homework and most importantly, not really talking to anyone much. The rebound of not talking to people much was that people didn't talk much to me-I seemed okay to everyone, because I did everything a normal and well-behaved child was supposed to do-eat,sleep, do homework, pack my bags for school next day-all on time apparently. And in the seventh grade, no one had questions about my personal life because I was too young to have one. So it was assumed I was okay. And I was okay. I was okay.

So I never told anyone that day, the next day or ever! I thought about the incident for a few days over the vacation and kept it to myself. It did not seem to be as important as having fun. It distracted me for a few seconds each day and I guess it bothered me for a few days. But with time, the incident became less important and the memory of it snuggled back into the deep recesses of the brain and remained lost till a few days back. 

Memories now will always be what you remember of them. The original whole memory with the details of the scenery, the particular feelings I had that day and the next few days, how it affected me, how it distracted me is mostly gone. I remember a gist of these details now and that's how each memory survives I guess; the brain edits it out the unimportant details from a memory and leaves you a link to relate to forever. You can make your way back to the details if you really think hard.

As stated before, the incident has had no effect on my life at all. I work my day job, I blog, I write poetry, I work out, I play instruments and compose music, I travel and get to do a lot of things, all of which could make many people jealous! I just did not have words for what happened back then. Now I do. And so when this memory popped up, I wrote it down.
What could possibly be wrong if there was no homework to do nor school to go to?

P.S. If I was Deadpool and told this story to my really hot girlfriend(Morena Baccarin WOW!), I bet she would have said, " So you had a family huh?"

P.P.S. I wish I was Deadpool! 

   
'You don't remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened. -John Green'


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