Discussion in 'Stories (Fiction)' started by Iravati, Nov 15, 2017.
Poorni and Adi for you!
More later. Hectic week ahead with holidays.
That looks like the picture from one of those family Holiday Greetings the Neelakantans would send out to their friends.
I wonder who'd be their friend ? Captain Nemo?
Best wishes for a happy holiday season.
Thus Spoke Zarathustra
Poorni is lounging on her tufted-leather sofa when the phone rings.
"Hey, Poorni here."
"Main marjawan, finally found you."
"Kaise marjawan, the three Moroi who decide your fate, Clotho, who spins your life thread, Lachetis, who measures your life thread, and Atropos, who cuts that thread would want to have a say in kab tu marjawan. Don't make them redundant. BTW, who are you?"
"There she is! My G(r)eeky Hermione."
"You are that scarless Harry Potter whom I met in the train. Right?"
"She remembers me. I must have made some impression. Dare I ask what impression."
"The impression is someone tolerant of my crooked nose and disproportional ear. What took you so long to find my contact? How many Poornis have you confounded before reaching me?"
"Lady Hamilton, this is Twitter and FB and Tinder and LinkedIn era. You were sought in less than ten minutes."
"Ten minutes? Cruel! So, what do you want Lord Nelson?"
"A date with you. Come for coffee and meet me."
"Am I allowed to ask, why a date? I hardly know you. You just have a charming last name ...what was it ..some blue tooth or throat."
"Ha! Utterly funny joke that even a paid claque won't clap for. This is Aditya Neelakantan. Poorni, don't play too hard. I know that you are attracted to me."
"Whoa ...and why do you think this Crooked Nose should be attracted to the Blue Throat. Do our deformities complement?"
"I am the only one who would not hesitate to correct you: not Lachetis, but Lachesis, your Greek diction is shabby though your expanse is amusing."
"Only one? Has the Achilles in you slayed all other men who know a thing or two about Lachetisis to eliminate competition?"
"Lachesis, Lady Fiona. Well, there may be men but not men who are crazy about you the way I am. How crazy? Last night, I dreamt that we were in an arranged set-up playing 20-20 questions game. You asked me about Siddharth Basu, and I asked you about Fellini. It was a surreal dream but it felt very real."
"Bad pick-up line, sorry, paragraph. Dude, you don't woo a woman with alternate timelines and counter-factual set-ups. You must learn a thing or two about wooing a woman. Men these days are untutored in the ways to win over the heart of a woman."
"Poorni, come down for coffee and teach me the rules of woo-ship."
"Coffee and coffee houses are trite. Meet me in the evening at the Arcadia Market where they sell Persian rugs. I know a Parsi cafe near that marketplace. I intend to buy a rug and then meet you up as well. Does that suit you?"
"Whoa! Iranian cafe?! Is that any of your ploys? Would you quiz me on Zoroastrian philosophies? Do I have to read up all the Persian encyclopaedic entries and recite to you as Thus Spoke Zarathustra."
"You lucked out with Lachetisissa. No Persian for you."
"Poorni, I fancy you."
"I like you."
"I am interested in you?"
"I desire you?"
"How may I describe to please this Lady Finicky?"
"Find out the right expression and let me know."
"Is that Turandot's counter challenge to Calaf ? Man, Puccini would have to rewrite his opera as what's in a name, everything is in a feeling. Find that feeling. Poorni, will you meet me and not stand me up?"
"How could I not meet the 'only man' who persists to fix my Greek diction. Meet me. Dress well. Not too formal and not too casual. Something smart. And don't stink."
"Strange! The alternate Poorni in my dream also spoke the same words. Nevermind. I will kit out smart for you to not take your eyes off me in our first ever Zarathustra date. See you in the Parsi cafe in the evening. Poorni, how about 'I am falling for you'."
"Tut ..too dramatic an expression."
"Till the next try then. I will see the Crooked Fiona in the evening."
"See you Blue Throat."
eh ? Nyet-ché for a first date request ?
A 78 rpm vinyl record of an old Tamil language song was in my Penang (Malaysia) home collection. My parents/auntie's home had a hand-crank record player as well. One song I remember was sung by Vasantakokilam. I had linked that in a IL forum post.
The song is about a confession from a girl as to how she had fallen for this crazy, fearsome looking, stinky, ash-covered feller... and so on. I don't understand all the lyrics; however, the name blue-throat was the stimulus that tweaked up that tune and it started an echolalia in my brain.
Vasantakokilam -- meaning "designs of Spring (season)"-- quite appropriate for the way Blue-T is smitten with the Crooked-N. The song is also often featured in dance recitals in forin.
I listened to the song and I too could not understand the lyrics. But I know no Tamil. I am sure the song is sweet and meaningful unlike our Bollywood raps. I have never heard of the singer Vasantakokila. Again, my classical knowledge is nyet. Thanks for introducing her to me. I will try listening to her other recitals.
You made me thinking (again). What song would Poorni relate to? Poorni might be humming this song en route to the Arcadia Market. Goofy people, classical sangeet-wangeet kuch aata nahi inko.
I've been reading books of old
The legends and the myths
Achilles and his gold
Hercules and his gifts
And Batman with his fists
And clearly I don't see myself upon that list
But she said, where'd you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
I'm not looking for somebody
With some superhuman gifts
Some fairytale bliss
Just something I can turn to
Somebody I can kiss
I want something just like this
Never mind about the lyrics or Vasanta-Kokila. When forin language words and phrases get sprinkled in stories, it invites us to elide over that. Quite often there is pretty much nothing lost if we do that. This particular song has the name Neelakantan in the lyrics. The girl who loves him, inspite of his problems (which she lists in detail), and looks, cannot really say why she is in love with that kind of a choice.
The girl who dances to that song (linked in my post above, and here) makes a mudhra with her right hand, and draws a line at neck level, when the name Neelakantan comes up in the song at 4:25 minutes, and the repeated twice more.
Her abhinayas are quite good. You can see her "demented" Neelakantan in how he is both confused-in-the-head as well as in his heart:
Foreigners can thank Bollywood for the little Hindi they know.
This is sweet. In stories, the writer has to get the fans to root for a character. If Poorni is thinking this song, I am planning to be a cheerleader, wishing her a win, although I already know she'll be married to him after they exhaust themselves with all the conversations, and she put him through appropriate wringers. Good...good..good.
First impressions are not the best impressions but almost genuine impressions. Given enough time I could force myself to fall in love with any mule and call it "unconditional love". The first sparks though intuitive are fairly accurate. When she cannot really say what she is in love with is a reasonable way of falling in love. I prefer being jaded later on familiarity rather than take a liking to him from familiarity. Crushes, infatuations and Cupid's punctures are veritable indicators of a promising "romance" which is as important as the other profound undertaking called "love" where you whet a person so much over the years that your resources are drained and you eventually succumb to the fatality of accepting the presumptive soulmate from sunken cost fallacy more than compatibility. Whereas the initial sparks though brisk are sharp assessments of physicality and deportment and charm.
I see that now. Nice catch! You are way acute than I calibrated in discerning the subtleties.
I like Adi. He has no airs about himself whereas Poorni is hoity-toity, or is pretending to be. I too root for characters quite early in the plot. However, my idols are not the lead pair but the sidekicks who are less complicated and exude froideur in dealing with the contretemps of life. Take this sweetu for example (watch: 2:18 - 2:32). That's my girl. Practical, cute and resilient in life. Hoping for a fantasy but prepared for the reality and willing to hazard her hunch and repeat if needed. I am not enamoured of the rhetoric jeena marna isi pavitra rishta mein kind of nautanki and desiccated pyar which is neither rewarding for the couple nor for anyone following their untold misery on the silver screen. Back to you in this cross-over with our shifty lovers from academic calendar.
Quite a lot of active members are engaged in Relationships-forum==>Married_Life sub-forum dealing with this sunk-cost. This is no different in any other nation/culture. Economics, and Children force people to muddle through life, in grim ways they could never have imagined when they were young, and frisky.
Down-and-out calls for Double-or-nothin' is one of those things that I've heard the Americans say.
Nothing of that sort. My niece in Malaysia went to dance class for years. Everytime I had visited, I had looked at all her notes, and the pictures of mudras in them. The dance teacher would exercise them by calling out a certain number of syllables in lyrics that mean various emotions, or meanings, and the children would all jump to it. Some of the mudras are also used in sign language for the deaf.
The way you had written them makes Adi come across too heavy, too early. And girls have a real problem with such characters in the real world. There are steps a girl has to go through to filter the available (approaching suitors) specimens to get to a short list, or The One. Adi could'a been just released from an asylum, and was trying to sneak away in a train. Once she knows that she can keep him at arms length, she can deal with the notion of finding out who/what it is that talks so much and wants to marry right pronto. That kind of speedy gonzalez approach would have to put Poorni on guard. Perhaps h-toity is her way to scare him to a safe distance.
Ode to a Large Rug in the Market
Arcadia Market is the most popular open-air market in the city for antique wares and upholstery and linen. The city patrons delight in the prestige more than the artistry of owning goods from this market. The arched entrance to the market is rundown and the terracotta-tiled forecourt is lustreless. Not far from the entrance, Adi in his lanky and broody posture flexes his arms. Adi has been to the market several times, but unlike other visits when he enjoyed the bustle and wafts of the market, today, he is agitated with the incessant din from the hawkers and the dust whorl flared by the unloading of a nearby truck. He shoots a prickly gaze at his watch and sighs. She cannot do this. He relaxes his white-knuckled fist and leans against the graffitied wall extending the entrance. His sigh is interrupted by a pale voice.
"Hey, am I late?"
"Miss Lachesis has arrived finally."
"You know how it is with the traffic, Adi. Don't hiss now."
"Whoa ...first, she is late. Then, she bursts into the scene to fix the rules of a petulant lover. How to grin when he is bathed in dust and tanned waiting for his girl. How to welcome her in enthused arms at her later arrival. How to suppress the grunt at her lapse."
"Henry David Thoreau once said, 'any fool can make a rule and any fool will mind it'. Are you usually this sulky or it's just me who brings out the petulant demon in you."
"My demon is tethered to your snide. Late and flippant. Not even an apologetic pout."
"Mind you, if you are seeking pouts and apologies, find someone else. With that winsome scowl you would find many."
"The Lady is armed to the teeth in bristles with no provocation. Are you usually this scrappy or is it because you were routed in a wrestling match and carried that temper over."
"Adi, we could go on till sundown on tempers and apologies and pleas and pardons and get you more tanned or find a rug quickly and get you some shade, which one would you prefer."
"Poorni, you are feral."
"Bad luck. You asked for it. We can squabble another day with fully-armed barbs and teeth and bristles. Today is an ode to a rug in the market."
"What a gumption! You don't even spare Pablo Neruda. Thoreau might be forgiving of your abuse of his essay but Neruda might object to your irreverent adaptation. And that Tuna might sue you. Ok, let's go."
Poorni strides ahead and lightly waves at him to follow her. Adi fleetingly notices her familiar winged and shapely brows arching with joy as she turns about and leads him into the market. He is fraught with hitherto untasted emotions. What am I doing here. How does she have that intoxicating affect on me. Am I a captive of this beguiling creature. An air of sensuality engulfs him as his senses are awakened and his desire thickened in that reverie. Am I a besotted fool struck by her enigmatic scent. What did that Henry David Thoreau warn? Drat! Why am I inflicted by her come-hither eyes. Why does her wild manners drive me crazy. Poorni points to a marquee and dives in. Adi snaps out of his inner monologue and follows her.
"I am going to buy this rug."
"Poorni, this is the first rug you have touched. Why don't you look around? You might fancy more another rug."
"No, I am pleased with this. I want to buy this rug."
"I have never seen a woman buy even a hair pin so swiftly."
"Go and bill this."
"Am I buying this rug for you?"
"Absolutely. You greet me with no flowers, no chocolates, holy heavens, not even a water bottle when your fatigued girl arrives on her first date. Go and bill this and gift it to me."
"You are brilliantly feral."
Poorni's gaze lingers on his broad shoulders as he whisks away the rug to the payment counter. She giggles at his shock of jet-black hair specked in dust. She watches how he languidly folds his arms across whilst waiting out on the billing. He turns around and locks his gaze with hers and squints. She wrenches her stare away and pretends to lazily unfold a nearby linen.
"Here it is, Poorni. I don't know anything about you and you have finagled a gift out of me. Who's at home Poorni?"
"Mom and dad and a brother."
"Is he a burly and protective brother from Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya."
"Nah, he is that singing and silly one from Baton Baton Mein."
"I am saved."
"What about you?"
"Mom and dad and just me. They were frightened with one mischievous rascal and never dared to have another."
"Poorni, come to a dance ball this weekend."
"Is that an invite or a command or a threat or a what's that ..."
"Are you always this fussy with expressions or wish to be serenaded in knees and pleas?"
"I know no dance."
"You don't have to. The charity ball is an informal gathering organised by my cousins for family and dear ones. And none know how to dance. If you can sway your hips a little you might even win a prize against the other swinging arms and wobbling legs."
"I will think about it."
"When do I get to hear the outcome of your think-tank."
Both walk out of the marquee and proceed to the entrance. They exit the entrance and stroll along the forecourt.
"Poorni, I may have to leave now. Cafe some other day. Would you want me to drop you?"
"No, I will take a cab."
"I will see you around then, Poorni"
Adi flicks his eye at her waspish countenance. He narrows his gaze around her droopy eyelashes and courses along the contours of her glower.
"Poorni, I will make it up to you another day. I promise."
"Adi, can I kiss you?"
"Can I kiss you?"
Poorni steps closer. She lifts herself on her arched heels to meet the puzzled glint in his eye. She nuzzles his throbbing nose whilst searing his aching mouth with her hot flush and lowers her lips to meet the corner of his curved mouth. He parts his lips to take her hungered desire when she abruptly grazes her lips along the cheek and plants a kiss on his rugged cheekbone. Adi gasps as she pulls away from him.
"I will see you around, Adi."
"This is unfair Poorni! This is cheating!"
"I will make it up to you another day, Adi."
She spins around playfully on her ankle boots waving her one hand while hauling the rug in the other hand.
"Poorni, I shall remember this day as an ode to a withdrawn kiss in the market from a dodgy woman with more melancholy and betrayal than your Pablo Neruda could muster in his lyrical outpour."
"Remember however you want as I would remember this day as an ode to a gratis rug in the market from a handsome fool with equal dynamics that your Thoreau would not have predicted."
Adi smiles at the ravishing silhouette who has bewitched him. He puckers his duped lips. I will marry her someday.
References: Title is a wordplay on this.
Neruda, while on exile in Italy, was teaching metaphors to a local postman. And the local postman goes out and pitches woo at a buxom waitress in a local cantina. Hilarious and slightly sad...movie: IL POSTINO
The waitress' mother finds the whole metaphores thing totally distasteful and downright dangerous.
< Busy today. I will read the story again... and see where I drift off to>
Enjoy these clips: