Last week, I opened an old diary and flipped through its pages. As I read out aloud the vaguely familiar words, my mother stared at me. “What on earth went on in your little mind? How did you retain your sanity?” I never spoke much as a child. Even now, I am terrible at making conversations. Writing was the only way I emptied my head. The poetry was terrible, but it was never meant to be read by any one else. So my mother never knew I wrote.
Reading all those words written as a young adolescent so many years ago, I felt like I had entered a time machine. Oddly though, almost everything in those pages dealt with the frustration of subtle social sexism and blatant natural destruction.
I was particularly amused by one of the poems, which, in a sense, is the most revealing. To me at least, it reveals the struggle against established stereotypes, moulding racist and sexist mindsets. And between the old Grimm tales and the newly unveiled magic of J.K. Rowling, it reveals the struggle of an adolescent caught between two different worlds!
Written on 31st January 2004 at 5:30 pm*, enjoy!
Once there lived a grumpy ol’ witch
Her hair a mess,
And her clothes of bad stitch.
She hated spring times
When the birds and the bees would sing in rhymes.
One day she went out to collect poison ivy.
But near the bush lay a blue eyed baby.
May be some other witch would have eaten it with delight.
But this witch just screamed with fright.
For she had always lived in the forest
And never came across an infant.
She scrambled back to her cottage
Hidden ever so cleverly amongst the foliage.
She looked at a picture
Hanging on the wall.
Her picture — when she was so small.
She had lived her entire life all alone
In the cottage made of stone.
She had longed for company.
And it seemed as if God had gifted her a baby — for company
Although she was a witch — a grumpy old witch
She had a heart
As sweet as tart
And so she went back to the bush of poison ivy
And saw the blue-eyed baby.
The baby smiled so sweetly
And the witch picked it up carefully.
And ever since then
She was never the same again.
*My grandfather (mother’s father) once told me to always jot down the date and time I wrote anything. I don’t remember if I questioned him, but I followed it religiously, and am thankful for that wonderful piece of advice.
The photograph featured in this post is the original poem written in a diary which was gifted to me by my aunt.
Photo edited in BeFunky
PS. I can’t help reading the story it in the tone of a narrator of a children’s movie 😛
A speck of dust
A stitch on a rag
The artist’s note
The labourer’s hand
The rainbow above
A bug below
Dense air around
A journal unbound
Can it be seen?
Can it be heard?
Pray, tell me!
Where can it be found?
This evening, inspiration came to me through the electricity. Or rather, the lack of it! With no computer or wifi, I decided to pick up an unfinished drawing (and there are plenty of them!). I’m not sure when I started drawing it, and I’m not sure when I will complete it. I don’t even know what it is that I am creating! Hopefully I’ll be able to complete this soon and show it to you.
Meanwhile, I can’t seem to move away from seashells. Some of them made their way to my painting!
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I salute the deity before beginning, I salute mother earth, for the strength I derive from her, I salute my guru for all the knowledge I inherit.
I help protect the innocent from savages, And heal the victims of ravages.
Over the ages, I have travelled across the seas, And been nurtured by different cultures.
I gave birth to Shaolin Kung fu. But my roots remain hidden, And only a select few Can uncover the deeply guarded secrets that define me.
I am Kalaripayattu, An ancient Indian martial art, The mother of all martial arts.
I had written this little piece for a voice over for a video almost two and a half years ago. Inspired by the salutation sequence of kalaripayattu students and gurus, I had hoped to spread awareness about the art form. I couldn’t quite do justice to the theme at that time. And I do not think I will ever be able to, not in the near future at least. When I discovered this in my post drafts, I figured it was better ‘out there’ in the wild than gathering virtual dust.