Saturday, October 8, 2011

unexpected



No one saw you coming. Not the horoscopes, not the signs, not even the ravens that hopped across the railtrack, and cocking their heads in mock confusion. You were a bolt out of the blue. A freak act of nature. Your arrival even confounded the stars. They shuffled around their confused positions, like fat ladies being jostled around in a packed bus. The tides shifted guiltily for letting this epiphany pass undetected. Epiphany to me, catastrophe to the rest. 
Ammama looked daggers at the jothsyan for not seeing you coming. He kept shaking his head and muttering, like that would absolve him of any blame. Amma put salt into the payasam instead of sugar. She was distracted and tense as a mouse being watched by a very sadistic cat. And Acha harrumphed ceaselessly like it was stuck in his throat and he just couldn’t dislodge it. But my bones. They knew all along. They expected your arrival. They coaxed my hands into an unwrenched calm. And they stopped my fingers from tussling each other like unlimbed wrestlers. They sweetened the line of my shoulders into a streamline of calm. I had more carriage than a ship in full sail in perfect weather. They released the tension from my very core, oh they did. Like efficient housekeeping, they opened the windows and aired the dank and dark parts of my soul. They tugged ever so gently at the deepest part of me, that I blossomed like a flower in the early morning sun, one sweet petal after the other. I sat with an expectant knowing smile, hands in a perpetual comradely embrace. Auto drivers looked over their shoulders, uneasy about that smile that played at the corners of my mouth. You know what they say about still waters. 
You were trouble from the very beginning. But no one saw you coming. Except my bones. My bones who warned no one. Because unlike my heart, they could never be broken by you.