Monday, July 23, 2012

What is it about the rains?

(Note: This post is basically a really long conversation I had with myself. However, if you ARE reading it, and it isn't raining outside where you are, do not forget to click here, turn up your volume, and let it play in the background while you read)

Rain at the Window by ~magoscuro

What is it about the rain that makes one so happy and lonely and eloquent, all at the same time?

Rainy mornings send sparks of anticipation down your spine, with a tiny secret smile and a light restlessness surging through the body. You cannot deny the feeling that something wonderful is about to happen to you, soon.

There is just something about the cool humid air lightly touching your face, carrying with it those drops of rainwater, and the smell of wet earth thick in your nose, that slows down your heart, exuding an air of calm, and simultaneously takes your mind into an overdrive of sensations. You're thinking all these millions of tiny little thoughts, all so separate and unrelated and yet all intertwined and tangled up; a mess, which you would love to roll about in forever.

There's something that pulls you to the window to look at the world in shades of gray and green, with deep, pensive eyes. Something that makes you want to be so in love and also entirely alone, and just stand still, in time, at that window. No life, no chaos, no deadlines, no rules; no big dreams, no promises, no broken hearts. Just you, your heart, and the rain. And stillness.

The stillness, it lets you concentrate on the pitter-patter of falling drops on the tin roof outside; on the water droplets sticking to the glass panes and then dripping down, slowly, and falling off; on the green leaves on the tree outside, shivering under the barrage of water; and on the lone man walking down the street hugging a parcel to his chest and slouching under a broken black umbrella. All these details, which you would otherwise be blind to, suddenly just seem to draw you in, while the sound of the rain lightly haunts your conscience.

Just what is it about the rain, that makes all your life disappear while it falls, and makes a whole new universe unfold around you, while you look on with the over-awed, uninitiated, eyes of a newborn? What is it that makes all those details in the rain so much more important than your life goals and pressing chores and the next deadline waiting to be met?

And then as soon as the rain stops and the sunshine starts streaming in, it's like you wake up from your dream, and lose all memory of what happened, and go back to the mundane robotics of everyday! It's like some dark magic! Witchcraft! Sorcery! It's like a dream that was given to you only to be woken up from, or a blessing that was given to you along with a fixed, cursed ending.

I can never win, with the rains, try as I may. I can never make them stay. I can never make myself remember and retain how they made me feel. And believe me, I try. I try with all my might, little as that may be. But life always takes precedence in the end, and, sooner or later, the sun always comes up.  


I guess I never will know what is it about those danged rains... till the next time they come around to my window. Then, once again, I will attempt to solve their mysteries.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jane Eyre: Book Review and Quotes

Now see, all my friends probably think I am in hibernation, studying with a crazed obsession or something. But what I HAVE been doing, while cozily cut-off from the word, is reading Charlotte Bronte's classic, Jane Eyre. It's been like a secret sin which I am now owning up to. Also, that is one book ticked off my list.

 Talking about the book - it was long, and winding, like most classics are. It was also thoroughly enjoyable, a very much heartening romance, which had much more depth and emotion as compared to Jane Austen's light-hearted and simple tales. The first half of the novel is more of drama, with social commentary and even some elements of a horror story, but as the story advances, it becomes a story of human nature and perseverance, and religion and societal values. But, at the end, more than anything, what you are left with, is a wonderful love story. And a truly filmy one as any good novel would demand, of course.

I felt some minor uneasiness at how religion seemed to rule the lead's, and in fact, all the character's lives, but then, again, that is a reflection of England in those times when this book was written, and the Author's personal beliefs.

Anyone who likes reading, and has a taste for Classics, this book is highly recommended. I am now gleefully looking forward to watching both the TV mini series, and the movie.

Now on to the most important part, some of my favourite quotes from the book:

1. "When we are struck at without a reason, we should strike back again very hard; I am sure we should – so hard as to teach the person who struck us never to do it again." - A very young, and truly amazing Jane Eyre, early on in the book.

2. “I care for myself. The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself.”- Jane.

3. Rochester: "Jane, be still; don't struggle so like a wild, frantic bird, that is rending its own plumage in its desperation."

Jane: "I am no bird; and no net ensnares me; I am a free human being, with an independent will; which I now exert to leave you.”

4. "I must, then, repeat continually that we are forever sundered: - and yet, while I breathe and think, I must love him.” - Jane

5. “Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation: they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigour ... If at my convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?” - Jane.

6. “Conventionality is not morality. Self-righteousness is not religion. To attack the first is not to assail the last. To pluck the mask from the face of the Pharisee, is not to lift an impious hand to the Crown of Thorns."

7. “They spoke almost as loud as Feeling: and that clamoured wildly. "Oh, comply!" it said. "Think of his misery; think of his danger — look at his state when left alone; remember his headlong nature; consider the recklessness following on despair — soothe him; save him; love him; tell him you love him and will be his. Who in the world cares for you? or who will be injured by what you do?" - Jane.

8. “Am I hideous, Jane?
Very, sir: you always were, you know.”

9.  “Mademoiselle is a fairy," he said, whispering mysteriously.”

10.  “I loved him very much - more than I could trust myself to say - more than words had power to express." - Jane.

11. “You, Jane, I must have you for my own--entirely my own.”- Mr. Rochester

 12.  “When you are inquisitive, Jane, you always make me smile. You open your eyes like an eager bird, and make every now and then a restless movement, as if answers in speech did not flow fast enough for you, and you wanted to read the tablet of one's heart.”- Mr. Rochester.

13. “You are my sympathy - my better self - my good angel; I am bound to you by a strong attachment. I think you good, gifted, lovely; a fervant, a solemn passion is conceived in my heart; it leans to you, draws you to my center and spring of life, wraps my existence about you - and, kindling in pure, powerful flame, fuses you and me in one.”

14. “You are going, Jane?"

"I am going, sir."

"You are leaving me?"


"You will not come? You will not be my comforter, my rescuer? My deep love, my wild woe, my frantic prayer, are all nothing to you?"

What unutterable pathos was in his voice! How hard was it to reiterate firmly, "I am going!"


"Mr. Rochester."

17. “Reader, I married him.”- Jane.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012


Growing up, home was a crowded place. So many people; so many adults, so many children. So many girls.

We children lived in an alternate universe. The adults did all their adult things, while we played, and laughed, and cried, and ate and slept, and told stories, and heard stories, and played "ghar-ghar" endlessly. We went to the library in droves, and lived for the Sunday Morning cartoons on Doordarshan. Home was all we knew.

Home was where you always had your parents. They were often busy, but they were also always there, somewhere, around, and nearby. And that was all we needed to know.

Home was where Mom told us bedtime stories. Highly anticipated and eagerly awaited, those stories were what shaped us and molded us, I think, in retrospect.

Home was a lot of schoolbags, and lunch boxes, and water bottles, and brown paper covered books.  Home was also where we lined up to get our hair braided in two braids with ugly green ribbons wound into them every morning.

Home was long waist length hair, well oiled through the week, and washed on Sunday Mornings.

Home was our favorite Sunday Mornings, with TV, and no school.

Home was reading every story in the English textbook in the summer vacations itself, before school reopened, and skipping all the poems. 

Home was the shoe flower tree in the backyard, and the jamun tree in the garden beyond.  Also, the squirrels, birds, flowers, fruits, chameleons, insects, fruit-stealing-men, jamun-collecting-escapades, and everything else that came along.
Home was space, and sunshine. Large, large windows, with the sun always streaming in. Wintry morning chills, and the perfect view outside the windows. Sitting over the window sill, your feet hanging down the grill, in the pouring rain. Home, was gorgeous.

Home was love, and family. Sunday lunch on the floor, and then dinner, and stories, and joy. Home was pressure-cooker cakes and spaghetti meals and steaming pav bhaji. Hot food, matke ka paani, that was always home.

Home was pouring milk into the kitchen sink and hiding rotis behind the dustbin.

Home was adopting stray kittens and puppies and making them sick with unhealthy food.

Home was where butterflies frequently flew in and honeybees sometimes tried to build hives.

Home was also awkward birthday wishes, and squabbles, and tears. Home was cat fights and shouting matches and temper tantrums.

Home was fighting against destiny and then accepting it.

Home was where first pets were brought and loved and lost. Home was where Barbies and Amar Chitra Kathas were collected and treasured and eventually given away.

Home was sisters' tête-à-têtes, late into the quiet of the night. Whispered conversations, shared philosophy, and muffled giggles.

Home was the chaos of the evening when Daddy came home, the quiet of the morning when Mom bustled in the kitchen. The shouts in our ears when we slept away the summer holidays, and the light poking our eyes when our blankets were pulled away.

Home was snuggling under blankets in the AC on summer nights. Home was rented VCRs and very fairly divided "foreign" chocolates.

Home was being afraid of the dark, forever and ever, and then one fine day, just becoming unafraid.

Home was solace, and solitude, and peace, and comfort.

Home was also the groaning swing, and crumbling ceilings, the peeling paint, the leaking taps, and the squeaking doors.

Home was religion, and home was principles. Home was knowledge, and education.

Home was where we left our nests, and flew away, as our parents watched proudly.

And home is where we assemble, ever so often, and then everything is just the same.

Home is home, and there's only one of it's kind, the only place we will ever call home.