From cold to heat

The weather changed. Two days ago, having not stepped outside for a while, my weather was still chilly. I wore my light blue cashmere sweater that had seen a few hailstorms. It is old and only I know it is frayed; the label inside has threads hanging loose like they are being disowned. It has travelled far with me to lands that were never fixed addresses, but stop-overs.

I added a thick waistcoat over it. As I walked from where I was to where I was to be, I felt the heat creeping right through the wool into my skin. A patch of perspiration had formed in the armpits. I could do nothing. I had not worn layered clothing.

One should always do that. Then, when you have to discard something, it becomes easy. Take off one, then another, then one more…I wonder if the outermost garment ever wants to touch the skin, to feel the gooseflesh as cold winds blow.

I digress.

The weather changed.

Yesterday I was out again. This time I wore the right clothes and felt cold because of the airconditioner. They offered me coffee.

I walked the same road I had the day before. Stalls were set up on the roads, things spilling out. As I was making my way through one such lot I saw a man aim his spit far, a red pichkari. Am not sure but I thought I felt a drop on my feet. I was angry. There were no stains.

Hawkers came up to you. I don’t want handkerchiefs. I don’t want trinkets. I don’t want someone to dangle things before me like they can lure me. One of the guys had this big transparent bottle in which there were coloured balls of gel. “Gel, gel,” he said.

Le lo, achcha hai…(Take it, it’s good)” he persisted as I hastened my step.

Kyon? (Why?)” I asked.

Kamre mein daalne ka. Decoration mast hoga. (It is great decoration for the room)”

Hum kaafi hai ghar ke decoration ke liye (I am enough to embellish my home),” I said and walked away before he could react.

I have been thinking about those transparent blue, pink, yellow gel balls all over the room, in bottles, bowls…they might shine in the light.

But, where is the light?


  1. Diya talle andhera... The light is in your heart.

    You radiate light all over thousands of miles. The gel balls should be lucky enough to be at the source.

  2. FV:

    If it is not light, is it heavy? The heaviness of our hearts isn't reflected off these trinkets.

  3. Dreading the heat, I am...every other season seems to limp in and out of an endless summer...the Monsoons are the only perk...

  4. The light? Why does one need a light?

    Reminds me of the song:

    Blinded by the light,
    revved up like a deuce,
    another runner in the night.

    Some silicone sister with a manager mister told me I got what it takes.

    She said "I'll turn you on sonny to something strong, play the song with the funky break".

    And go-cart Mozart was checkin' out the weather chart to see if it was safe outside.

    And little Early-Pearly came by in his curly-wurly and asked me if I needed a ride.

    Asked me if I needed a ride!

    But she was... Blinded by the light!

    Crazy lyrics, but good for single cell brains like mine:) One doesn't have to try to figure out what they mean because they mean 'nothing'.

  5. Manzoor:

    The gel balls would get more than light here!


    Akin to 'darkness at noon'...come to think of it, even the 'unbearable lightness of being' cannot be reflected off trinkets.


    We usually have an endless summer here, and the monsoons let the heat from the earth waft up. How we become creatures of season (dare I say seasonal creatures?).


    If she told ya you got what it takes
    Then that is a break
    It ain't a single cell
    Seems more like hell
    Where you hafta up your stakes!

    (That will teach you not to take potshots at me with "One doesn't have to try to figure out what they mean..." :-)

  6. Hey FV who was taking potshots at you? Arey? I was just remembering some crazy lyrics. Here's my absolute all-time favourite!

    Step inside! Hello! We've the most amazing show
    You'll enjoy it all we know
    Step inside! Step Inside!

    We've got thrills and shocks, supersonic fighting cocks.
    Leave your hammers at the box
    Come Inside! Come Inside!
    Roll up! Roll up! Roll up!
    See the show!

    Left behind the bars, rows of Bishops' heads in jars
    and a bomb inside a car
    Spectacular! Spectacular!

    If you follow me there's a speciality
    some tears for you to see
    Misery, misery,
    Roll up! Roll up! Roll up!
    See the show!

    Next upon the bill in our House of Vaudeville
    We've a stripper in a till
    What a thrill! What a thrill!
    And not content with that, with our hands behind our backs,
    We pull Jesus from a hat,
    Get into that! Get into that!
    Roll up! Roll up! Roll up!
    See the show!

    Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends
    We're so glad you could attend
    Come inside! Come inside!
    There behind a glass is a real blade of grass
    be careful as you pass.
    Move along! Move along!

    Come inside, the show's about to start
    guaranteed to blow your head apart
    Rest assured you'll get your money's worth
    The greatest show in Heaven, Hell or Earth.
    You've got to see the show, it's a dynamo.
    You've got to see the show, it's rock and roll ....

    Right before your eyes, we pull laughter from the skies
    And he laughs until he cries, then he dies, then he dies
    Come inside the show's about to start, guaranteed to blow your head apart
    You've got to see the show, it's a dynamo
    You've got to see the show, it's rock and roll...

    Soon the Gypsy Queen in a glaze of Vaseline
    Will perform on guillotine
    What a scene! What a scene!
    Next upon the stand will you please extend a hand
    to Alexander's Ragtime Band
    Roll up! Roll up! Roll up!
    See the show!

    Performing on a stool we've a sight to make you drool
    Seven virgins and a mule
    Keep it cool. Keep it cool.
    We would like it to be known the exhibits that were shown
    were exclusively our own,
    All our own. All our own.
    Come and see the show! Come and see the show! Come and see the show!
    See the show!

    The context of-course is the Pakistani elections on Monday!

    FV, have you ever considered writing lyrics for musical compositions? You do have a profound sense of the macabre ... quite intriguing.

  7. WMW:

    The potshot was about single cell brain, and my being unfathomable!

    Hai ke nahin?

    Cool silly lyrics...

    Yes, I always wanted to write lyrics, but what made you think the macabre has a market for them?

  8. For unknown reasons, when you ended the post, I thought of you as a prism , light falls on you and everything becomes colorful.

  9. SM:

    Issey kehte hai laal-peela hona :)