Sunday, January 1

the chasm

I woke up to the smell of cooking oil; I knew Maa was making Parathas. The kitchen and the passage were filled with nostalgic of the cooking oil.

The pigeons in the kitchen, witness to my toasted mornings watched Maa in surprise, rolling out the dough with one hand and turning the paratha to a crispy brown on the simmering tawa. For the morning intruders in my kitchen the tawa spectacle was an unusual one.

The brown fluffy triangular shaped paratha, cooked in postman was an unadulterated smell of childhood. The oil smudged fluff felt heavy now, stuck somewhere in the throat, like a lump.

Lump of time lost. Lump of innocence relinquished. Lump of betrayed love.

Maa and I finished the parathas in uncomfortable silence.

She groped for words.

It was strange. Words flew out of her like oil. With measured viscosity.

Yet she groped for words.

It is difficult to find the right words to say things to a part of yourself.

A part of you that you fed and nourished, a part of you that you grew like the rest of you, but a part of you that grew away. Never to return.

Like your own hand that slaps you in public. or an invisible head that laughs with an ugly noise when the other head mourns the loss of a part of you.

I saw her picking up the plates and take them to the washbasin wordlessly.

She let silence flow between us.

A silent chasm of 7 years. Where a part of her packed a suitcase on a cold evening to find her own way.

A part of her that sounded distant and preoccupied through those metered public booth phone calls.

A part of her that came home for an occasional weekend home with a wall around her.

A part of her that shrunk to sms messages of well being.

A part of her that was determined to fight her own battles. Alone. A part of her that did not want to share.At any cost.

I looked at her bent over the wash basin soaking the plates in a studied motion. I saw the dark circles. I knew they held the dark secret of a life led.

A consistent dark truth.

I knew if I looked hard enough the dark circles would talk to me. Through the silence.

I would fill the chasm between us.

They would tell me all about the forsaken dinners, reread messages, life hung on phone calls, old albums ,polished old medals.

A part of me felt nauseated. Of the expectations that a life hung on a phone call put on my whirlwind existence.

A part of me wanted to look hard enough at the dark circles that would talk to me. Through the silence.

I would fill the chasm between us. Yet I withdrew in my own carefully crafted indifferent world.

It is difficult to find the right words to say things to a part of yourself.


... said...

PLEASE PLEASE talk to her lest you regret later in your life. Break the akward silence. The post was a little disconcerting. It makes me miss my mom who lives just 5 minutes from where I live. Do not be indifferent...

shuchika said...


wish i was still part of the world that was simple like the fluufy brown paratha on a simmering tawa.

thanks for visiting my blog. I went to yours too.

heartfelt stuff, will keep going again.

Ajit Chouhan said...

Truly Amazing.Pensive,nostalgic and really thought provoking.Happy new year Shuchika appears you've been to our good old Patna and back with some home made eatables.

shuchika said...


I couldnt go home, was not keeping very well, hence maa came down.

Happy new year to you. what did you do?

Anonymous said...

'The Circle Game'... by Joni Mitchell... listen to it sometime...

Anonymous said...

still u can be the part of the world ..were out of our own inhibitions; own ambitions and own selfishes ,,,we say we cant ,,,u sounded u want to be part but u cant .... u can do everything in the world ..only if u want... i find u deifter; findly excuse ..for not doing things ... but if u could understnd the balc lining under her eye u have power to understand the nusances in an realtionship.... go show your power here .. mONEY ... which u value the most .... u will get ; power will come to u .. run ... ur patna ; ur ma ; appa; papa; brother granny are all waiting for you... and then with aroma of humaness to spres to your mumbai .. this life BABY