Monday, December 5, 2011

Lowered defenses

A lazy, quiet morning with nothing to distract the random trains of thought that start from someplace and meander through the remote, lost feelings deep inside. A fleeting vision of the hibiscus shrubs that we had in our terrace at home in Madurai a decade ago (I am growing old). The  small tank-like structure in the terrace had the parapet wall as one side and was filled with soil. The hibiscus shrubs were there ever since I was a baby. Ayamma (grandmother) tended to them and then when she could climb to the terrace no more, mom took over and added more plants nearby. A house in the packed streets of Madurai - we can peep into the neighbours' houses on either side, they are too close to have any space left for plants outside the house- the small tank in the terrace was our garden. Photographs taken on occasions at home often had the shrubs in the background - our only nature patch at home. A quick slideshow of those frozen moments passed through the mind. The joint family days - running behind the big cousins, not wanting to be left out of any fun - the gang-leader-cousin digging the soil with a stick and showing me the earthworms underneath. Picking the longest and the most unfortunate one out of the soil, captivating it inside a box filled with leaves and a tiny water container. Adding natural fertilizer(goat dung)  to the soil and checking on the plants every hour, expecting them to shoot up like the beanstalk in the fairytale. Watering the plants was a herculean task - had to fill the pot with water to the brim from a tap 5 meters away and carry it on my hip to the plants, lift it up to the tank and pour the water in. 9 out of 10 times I'd drench myself when pouring it in and get bashed by mom for not being careful. Breaking away branches to have a stick-fight with the little sis. Plucking and grinding the leaves into paste, applying it on my face - impersonating the beautician on tv. The huge hive that built up under the tank - just when I had convinced my mom to get someone who would chase the bees away and get us the dripping honey - the bees seemed to have sensed our intentions - they left an empty honeycomb and shifted to the nearby tree branch. Many years ago our garden was removed from the terrace as the water seeped into the building and seemed to cause damage to its structure. Back then, it was a welcome change for me as it meant less work and more space in the terrace - I could peep down on the street from the parapet wall which was not possible earlier with the tank in place. More time spent gazing down at people on the street. Forgotten shrubs. 

It was with a little jolt that I remembered them in the morning. Memories that tend to slip away and get lost forever. I don't want the shrubs to die that way. 

Bondhu and I ran 20 minutes late to 'Mayakkam enna' yesterday evening. We kept chattering away in the theatre till the marriage scene, after which I got totally engrossed in the movie - thanks to the amazing editing. The first half was entertaining. The second half was gripping. I liked it enough to overlook all the flaws.  <3 Especially 'Kanna thorandhu paaruda,mundam', 'Poove poochooda vaa', 'life-ayum restart panna nalla irukkum', his shock near the pool of blood, the serendipitous passing of kumudam, 'idhu sundar pona maasam vaangina award' and the final chasing of  Madesh - the quiet  'Thanks' to him - Unexpectedly amazing - Selvaraghavan, Dhanush, Richa and the whole crew.