Forward..Tap..Backward...Tap, 1-2-3 and 5-6-7.... :)

Friday, March 17, 2017

Its pitch dark and the window is open. The curtain keeps making waves of letter S in a certain rhythm. When the wave is moving through the upper part of S, it throws a little moonlight on my face and pushes me back into the darkness while it travels down. When the moonlight dares to break the darkness, my closed eyelids shiver but don't open. Occasionally my skin keeps feeling the smoothness of the sheets and my hair keeps tangling among itself while i keep rubbing my neck against the pillow. I am not dreaming yet because the sleep seems to be a bit far to reach right now. Naturally i am dreaming in a different in how you dream when you are in I am thinking with my eyes closed.

I am thinking about a friend who had asked me to go Salsa with him, some 11 years ago. He asked me very casually and i said "ok", very casually as well. I was so naive that salsa was just a dance style for me. Without knowing what an intimate couple dance it is, i simply agreed to go with him. I embarrassed myself further by wearing a simple t-shirt and a capri with a pair of shoe that was more close to sneakers than casual flats. He looked at me and was stunned, "Well, you might need heels", he said. I looked at my shoes and said adamantly, "Umm... No, i am good!" With a great difficulty, he convinced me to borrow heels from his friend who was going with us. And this is how I went for my first ever salsa lesson with the most casual outfit in my wardrobe which was eventually matched with the most beautiful pair of heels that i had never owned until then.

Everyone in the room were wearing casual but beautiful dresses and not to forget, heels! I secretly thanked my friend for saving me from looking like an idiot in my sneakers in front of so many westerners. And we stood in a circle, salsa-ing to the count of 1-2-3 and 5-6-7. My dressing sense might be terrible but dance was never an issue. I was thrilled and thoroughly enjoying this new experience... until i kept moving forward in the circle, finally to face my friend. A terrible awkwardness struck me. Well, he wasn't really a childhood friend, this was truly a couple dance and i had just stepped into the US, freshly from India. He gave his hand and i had to hold it, looking into each others eyes, our fingers barely touching, 1-2-3 and 5-6-7, 1-2-3 and 5-6-7 and zuppp, a salsa turn. I was facing the next partner in the circle. The truth is, my heart wanted to turn back and go in a reverse circle. I kept looking at my friend while doing the salsa turns with others. He seemed pretty unaffected, unlike me, which hurt, just a little.

After the end of the lesson, me, my friend and his friend, we three sat in the car to drive back. The drive back home was not the same. I was not the same either. I decided what to wear for the next lesson before reaching home that night. I decided to go and buy prettier heels the next day. I promised myself to look in the mirror more often than not.

That night i never imagined that 11 years later, i would book 2 tickets for Salsa with the same guy and we would be a real couple doing this intimate couple dance, as Mr. and Mrs., as husband and wife. Now the wave is moving through upper part of S again, but its throwing sunlight on my face. Oh, looks like half way through, i actually fell asleep and started dreaming :)

'You don't fall in love, you only rise'... I kinda like that line, a lot :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Image result for nikhil and riya ira trivedi

The colourful paperbacks in this store @ the Bangalore airport attracted me so much that I walked in tapping my fingers over the fresh and new stack of books, creatively selected fonts, wonderfully designed covers, dash of colors splashed within 5 × 7⅜ inches. So very attractive! Picked my pleasure for the next few days, it’s called..."Nikhil and Riya” by Ira Trivedi.

For some reason the synopsis pulled me in and I was almost impatient to start this book, I might have actually started reading even before paying at the cash counter. And boy, I have been literally flying like a light feather through this book since then because it talks so much about young love, teenage madness, and crazy school days. Ira writes passionately about that phase of life when nothing really matters…when you are such an insignificant part of this big world, it doesn’t matter which political party is leading the country, where is terrorism taking us, are women taking self-defence seriously yet …the phase of life that I left behind years ago. But it only takes an author like Ira Trivedi to hold your hand and subtlety pull you back in time without you even knowing. I have been giggling unknowingly to myself while reading this when the tele at home is on, the kid is running around and husband is talking to a friend on the phone. In the midst of all this, I am in a world of Riya and Nikhil’s residency school envisioned through Ira’s eyes. I kind of know how Riya’s house looks, in my head their classroom resembles mine and her running track is like the one I used to run on the NTU campus. I wonder how mysteriously our brains work; some imaginations are led by the author and others are deeply connected to your own past.

The way this Nikhil has fallen for Riya is adorable and fallen over what…a girl in her school uniform and a lightly tied ponytail uttering words, ‘Prem ma’am?’. Is there anything exotic about asking permission to enter the classroom? Not really but it’s the age and that feeling of having only a few things to worry about, even the slightest of the cute things grab your attention. Nikhil, brightest student in the class, a nerd wearing spectacles, would do anything for a glance of Riya because he can’t stand not seeing her every day and this girl, one carefree practical headstrong soul, least interested in Mathematics, whose life is all about her passion for running and breaking her own records. She doesn’t say much but whatever little she has said in the book does have a much bigger meaning, like ‘You don't fall in love, Specs, you only rise’ or ‘this day isn’t going to last forever Specs” and more. By the way, Specs (as in spectacles) is her name for the nerd Nikhil.

It’s an extremely light read, for many a little too common or ordinary probably. However, the essence of this book lies in the time leap it will take you through and play some older chords in your head. Don’t worry too much about the simple linguistic nature and a predictable plot of this book. A novel doesn’t always need a big twist as long as the author manages to cut through the stranger’s wall and make a place in the reader’s heart.