Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Girl in the Mirror

I stared at my gymnastics coach with the a big puppy dog face. It was yet another of those times when we clash head-on in silence. Well, at least it was the language of signs for me. He generally won.
'Please Sir, just this once?' I pleaded with every ounce of yearning in me.Every single time.
I always got the same answer.

I had never know how it feels to brush my hair all the way till my shoulders or more almost until I reached my  seventh grade. I never did know how it feels to even brush Barbie's hair. I never had one. I was curious to know how it felt like to have hair any more than the Bob style that I possessed. People would sit together- my parents, sister and my coach. Mother realized that in the daily ruckus I created every morning, it was going to be impossible to sit and plait my hair. My coach decided that it was too difficult for him to help me with my floor elements if my hair kept coming in the way. My father was fine with anything that got me out of the house in the right time in the mornings. (Why wouldn't he? He had to drop me at school.)
As for my sister.. she liked to see me go through the misery of having my hair cropped till my ears.
So,  that was decided then.

    It was not that I didn't enjoy the bob hair that bounced with my every step, but as you all might know, the grass is always greener on the other side. I was the tom-boy (girl?) at school and the short hair helped no more. When you're young, you tend to look at the fallen hair with attachment in the barber shop that your father frequents. There was only one hair style in that small saloon. He had no issues with me, that barber. Boy-cut for the little girl, every time. He did a satisfactory job, I must say. I was once approached by a curious boy after my gymnastics class who wanted to know if I was a boy or a girl.

   So, when you ask me my childhood stories, I'm all tears for the fallen-could-have-been-pretty braids.But there is a smile that assists me on my mirror. That kid smiles back at me all the time. She had a tiny comb the size of her palm and ran that through her thick hair and felt its bountifulness. It fell all vertical when she did her hand-stands, back flips and back somersaults.
 (Not to forget that fountain on my head when I attended school and classes.)

    As every story goes, I grew up. (Damn!)
   A small change in the scene that you see up until now.
  Now, this was when I wanted to cut my hair short while everyone around me insisted I grow it long. Beauty parlours became the new saloons and I had hair styles to choose from. Hair dressers got tired of waiting on my indecisiveness as I sit down with the nylon cape round my neck.
   I entered third year in college and sat around with Barbie dolls for the first and last time at my friend's place. I wonder if that exactly counts for growing up but let us just safely say I finally learnt how to dress a Barbie doll with different clothes and hair styles. (I still don't know if it's the right way to play. Like I said- that was the first and last time.)

    Again, the grass is always greener on the other side. I now want short hair. I want to go snip, snip, snip and my mother gives me deathly glances and amazing warnings that fall a little short of threat that my hair would never grow back if I cut it too short now.

  It's amazing how we grow up into something we were the opposite of. My mum wants me to nourish my hair until it falls till my waist and I want that bob cut from the times when the boy on the street didn't know whether I was a girl or a boy. Ah, how times change!

For now when I see the girl in the mirror, she tugs at her curls and smooths them over. She has three different types of combs and other materials that compliment what it probably was. She now knows the difference between ordinary braids and fish braid.

She's grown up now. And wants that hair short like the girl in the mirror from the fifth grade.

But for change, the world would be boring. But for some constant entities, the world would have now perished. Do you know that ever-changing and ever-constant girl in the mirror?

I really don't.

Image from the internet 


This post has been submitted for Indiblogger contest in association with Dove


Friday, March 1, 2013

Radio Love!

When the days where much in the past filled with joy and innocence, when technology hasn't taken an advert turn forcing itself down our necks, but during a time when we were the masters of the same, there lived a radio in my home that made my whole family's day from morning till the night falls and gloats. This post is dedicated to that radio that braved everyday along with us, thorough the thick, tough and the truce times after many fights and eternal love.
 When I was still in my underwear, trotting around in elementary school,  there was no proper television at my place. ('proper' with reference to nowadays) It was a tiny black and white square box of red and black colours holding up the black oblong Philips radio on its head. (That, was the sole purpose of the television other than Sunday morning happy times watching 'Rangoli' on DD channel where the colours kept filling the Hindi subtitles as the actors danced around the trees that Bollywood had had planted for the very purpose!) There were a couple of buttons, a round disc to tune into radio and a cassette player. I used to wish I had a bigger television to watch cartoons and more movies, but now, I thank my parents for never having bought one till I was much,  much older and myself for never having pushed them for one. I was content with the people who spoke to me through that black being's speakers.
     Mornings began with the radio broadcasting devotional songs for which my mother was highly grateful. I never was awake during those hours but I remember those hours as my mom would chant or sing along with the radio working her way through the kitchen. It was dreamy, with the Tindell effect working it's way into our house's mosaic floors and the smell of food rising up in the air. Sometimes, I would be in and out of sleep  when I would hear her voice in all my drowsiness. It was beautiful.
Later, the radio was tuned into one of the famous radio stations. Songs kept playing and radio jockeys kept talking to us. There would be music while I brush my teeth, when I take my bath, when I put on my uniform's belt, while I gulp down my breakfast, while my father helps me put on my gleaming white canvas shoes and till I run out of the door with him. They made my day into music, into notes and lyrics that kept playing in my head all the time. Back then, with no remote or buttons to immediately change the channels and given our busy or lazy nature in the mornings, there would be but one channel floating it's offerings through the wind. We listened to the RJ speak about women's issues, about America, about the traffic and last night's rain.There was continuity and an anonymous bond that existed unlike now when radio means more often the time killer during the wait in traffic; in cars with buttons to change the channels every second.

But this was completely different. There was something about it, that radio.

   The morning news would be relayed on the 'Aakashwani' which told me of the time. My father and I would beat for the door, for it meant the time was 8.15 a.m and time for school. The newsreader had such a pleasant voice but it also meant I was late and so never during weekdays did I ever get to hear her recite the news fully nor during the weekends for I would still be dozing.

The radio that we once had at home! 
 Evenings, when I think about it now, were pleasant. No television sounds, no serials and soap operas, no movies. Just good music that assists you finish your evening chores, that helps you relax with some good milk, that helps you read and that helps you write. I wonder how much I would be into either reading or writing if I had had a 'state-of-the-art' television at home. Radio, music and RJ's taught me so much more than an idiot box could ever have. Just as they taught me to fall in love with the old Tamil and Hindi songs that were played well into the night lulling us to sleep. I do remember vividly how my entire family would gather and sit together to listen to one particular RJ during the nights. His voice was the most soothing one ever and his thoughts were stringed in such a beautiful way that all we could ever do was listen to him and smile. I wonder if he or any of the other RJ's knew how much they moved us, made us smile and tear up or just plainly engage without an idle mind for company. Well, they made our day always, starting up the next day where they had left the night before.

   There were no fights in the evenings for the television remote or what channel one wants to watch, merely songs that we all loved and listened to, as a family.
  To the rushing mornings with peppy music and liveliness, to the evenings that helped us run around and the soothing nights of family dinner and sheer dulcet mood before our eyes drop into dreams, I am forever thankful to that companion, our dear radio!

                                         Images are from the internet and not owned by me