Monday, October 18, 2004
Livinghigh was here at 11:00 PM /

Bride song

Sitting home this evening, and listening to songs that a part of me is attracted to. Songs that remind me of love, songs that remind me of friends dancing the night away, of other nights spent in a room over a bar of chocolate doing the rounds as various men, women and bitches of both genders are discussed, happy nights spent snuggling close to someone, days spent mooning about a person and the things you've done with that person, and so on and so forth. There's a beat there, somewhere. Hasn't some wise old/young man/woman in some wise old/young age said something about a song fitting every man, every mood - well, if not, at the risk of sounding pompous and overbearing, let me be that old/young man. That / between 'old' and 'young' remains, because I'm still quite unsure of where I fall. Call it one of the confusions of mental adolescence. Call it what you will.

Then, there is the woman I see sitting hunched everyday, down the street where I live, perennially in her glittering red bride's garb, with a white polythene bag in her hand, her eyes searching the ground for that mystical, mythical seed that will grow into that tree of bounty she is always on the look-out for. I stand and look sometimes, and try hard to be unobtrusive, but don't really think I succeed any time, and try to make out what she's doing there, why she's dressed like that. Spin strange yarns about her. Something in true Bollywood ishtyle - about her being jilted at the ground, about her fleeing the sacrificial fire when she discovered she was being sold away by her family to some toothless old bald man, or some other strange medieval tale. I picture her there, then, watching for some prince charming to emerge from the shadows of the lower middle-class Marathi-dominated neighbourhood I live in, who will perhaps give her something more than her search for the mystical, mythical seed can grant her.

I see her chatting with the shopkeeper, and the taxi driver, and I wonder what she's saying, when I walk back home from work. I think about her red gauze veil, criss-crossed with gold, and cheap mirror work, when I hang up my trousers in my closet. I need a new pair, I tell myself, and I'm wondering now whether she ever says that about her red veil. Her sari she changes, I can see - but they're all like that, in dark red-magenta hues, with brash golden work, that jars in the morning light, and shocks in the dusk as it cloaks Bombay city. And sometimes, sometimes, I even wonder what she owns in that white polythene bag, faded and stained, that bulges softly down the middle.

But I am yet to hear a song that fits her. Some people are like that, too. They do not fit a song, and a song does not fit them. Strange, I mutter.


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