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December 08, 2005

என் மனதை திருடியது...(Captured my heart...)

I blame this post entirely on Subha who leaves to India this week :)

What is it that captivates my heart thus? Is it the sweet fragrance of home? The familiarity with which the delicate white petals nod at me? The dance that captures the essence of everything alluring and pristine, as the wind whispers to them? What is it about the sight of jasmine flowers that delights me and fills me with a feeling that I know not I possessed? A feeling of nostalgia, familiarity and home...

"How come you don't demand jasmine flowers when you are here?", he asks.

I don't know. I associate "here" with the white that is reflected all around by a cold blanklet of snow, not with the whiteness of flowers peeping out from pretty braids that steals my sight, as I go around the navagraham one more time...

It's hard to explain. I stayed in Bombay for four days last time when I visited India. Each day, as I travelled the city so involved with itself, so busy, so hurried, I looked for a sign, a glimpse of something that would remind me of home. My eyes would scour through the forever thronging crowds, for an echo of a familiar thamizh word, for a glimpse of a well-worn silk saree, for a wisp of a closely woven string of mallipoo, for the smell of home.

I don't think anyone understood why I frantically looked with unexpectedly watery eyes, at the rows and rows of stalls outside SidhiVinayakar temple, at the seedy stalls lining Andheri railway station, at the peddlers selling trinkets at Chowpatty beach, searching for the familiar woven straw baskets of little piles of malli and jadi poo, the cool wetness of the green leaves in which the flowers are wrapped and the smell of my kovil, my mother and me, a part of me that I left behind...

I don't know whether to believe in omens, probably because I am too young to have seen many of them in my life. Perhaps we have to be away from home, away from our comfort zone, to keep our eyes open for omens. But, in those four days in Bombay, I believed that my prayers, my beliefs, my feelings existed for a reason and someone up there heard the desperation in my little voice, among a sea of such similar voices...

I went home that day, to find a neatly wrapped green package sitting for me in the kitchen counter, held together by a fraying brown thread. The sight of it filled me with an inexplicable sense of happiness. I could not explain it...I clumsily and gratefully arranged the flowers in my hair - Was I being silly? Maybe. Sentimental? Yes.

But, I think I began to believe more, that day.

9 comments:

TJ said...

And what abt the prasadam she would bring frm the kovil, the smell of the sakkarapongal or the sight of the kothukadali sundal...

I am wanting to run back home now. :(

And the closest you can get to, it outside tamilnadu, is in singapore or london.

I havent found it between Atlantic and Pacific, not even in the bay area. :(

Subha said...

RS
Bingo!! I had written a veryyyyyyy similar post in my tamil blog. I guess it is just us girls..:)Just for you, I shall send you pictures of malligai and jaathi tightly woven into strands by expert hands...:)

RS said...

tj - sigh...somehow I think we are all bound by this common feeling that tugs at our hearts at times...:)

subha - I think we keep revisiting our love for malli...from my post back in April... :)

If I had one adornment to choose for myself, I would ask that I be given a string of jasmine flowers. I know not of a fragrance that endears more, of a hue that conveys more purity, of petals that convey more bashfulness even as they bloom...I know not of a flower more alluring in its beauty.

Zeppelin said...

oh my God ! you just like to wallow in romance and nostalgia..dont you ?? if you can allow that understatement, of course.... :)

nice one... :)

"I Likes" ;)

Saranya Kishore said...

That pic is awesome! :) Where do u pick them from?

RS said...

arun - me the made the like that the...kya karen? :)

saranya - google images :)

sb said...

RS,
Malli poo, I can empathize with you but not fully associate it with being home. idhe, if you had mentioned about some vibudhi smell or Chennai bashai, may be yeah, immediatea it wud have rung a a bell. :-)

RS said...

sujan, you have to be silly and sentimental like me to understand....not many did :)

Rangakrishnan Srinivasan said...

a nice post.. hmmm.. what more can I say? everything in life has its price.. and the simple things in life are infact the most extraordinary... (lifted shamelessly from the alchemist.. but then guess apt out here.)

keep writing!

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