Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Repeat Orders

Such is Life...with a capital L. The past week has been tumultuous.

One of my favourite blogs has this beautiful poem that just summed it up really well. No more..no less. That it revolves around food is no coincidence.

I sit at my favorite table
In a purple coffee shop
Wearing smart corduroys
And a flimsy orange top.

I usually just take the largest cup
Of the hottest, strongest brew,
But it’s one of those days when I decide
To check out the menu.

Next to a dried blob of ketchup
Is a dish that sounds wry
It’s called ‘A slice of Life’
And it’s a piece of creamy fruit pie

I order it immediately
It sounds so cheery bright
It promises of taste and sin
And sounds just about right

I get my pie on a yellow plate
It’s a heaving slice in the center
A long metal spoon to scoop up with
It’s a positive Dementer

The pie has blueberries and apples
Folded cozily in creamy layers
And also hunks of warm custard bread
As some of its major players

It’s soft and spongy and buttery-sweet
And thickened to perfection
The fruit pieces blend in like
Image and reflection

I pick up the last morsel
And savour it with a sigh
I promise to remember this forever…
But I forget it by and by

Many seasons later
I am at a club for drinks,
I am now quite the party animal
Or so everyone around me thinks

I look for ruby concoctions
They are my secret fancy
I like to hear my ice cubes clink
To the feet of people dancing

But today there is something strange
The menu has a new wine
It’s called ‘A slice of Life’
So surreal, I sense, so apt,
and so completely mine

I order it and it comes
In an icy, sweaty glass
It has a thick, treacly residue
The color of sun-burnt grass

The slice of life that I had thought
To indicate a gesture divine
Was nothing more than a tubby squish
A squeeze of wet, sour lime

The music fades around me
And I remember a misty dream
A day in time in life in world
A pie with fruits and cream

They say there is rapture
In a sublimity that is unblinking
But the things one understands so well
When you are simply eating and drinking

A slice of life – a slice of life
How it changes so with time
Sometimes it is a cherished pie
Sometimes it is expensive wine

A slice of life – a slice of life
How it pushes perspective to the border
But however unexpected it may turn out
You only get it when you order.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The snug feeling

Hrithik is Adonis personified in JA. Those rippling well cut sinews are up for grabs…….by eyeballs that is. J It must be snug stuff.

I have been happily ignoring the snug feeling all these years. Yeah, it’s been 10 years, on and off, (more on than off) that I’ve been working out now. There’s not a machine I did not try or a technique I have not used. It took years for something close to a bulge to be added to my biceps, triceps, quads and calf. But when they did emerge finally, they were there to stay. I have given up on the six pack dream long ago..so we’re not going there. As long as I can see my feet completely when I bow my head and look, I’m OK, I think.

Gymming is a religion. The brotherhood of iron. So where were we..yes..the snug feeling. While my muscles decided to grow themselves, I was busy perusing fashions for active people. At one time I owned close to 5 track pants and a dozen tees, exclusively for the gym. I did not notice it when I could easily lift a 25 kg sack and carry it some distance. Nor I did not notice it when my stamina and endurance increased considerably and helped me achieve more in my outdoor adventures. I failed to take in the ease of being in my body and the comfort it gave. And I did not notice the confidence I exuded. All my eyes could see was how well my clothes fitted me toned frame and how my muscles.

It was the age for muscles to flourish and that they did superbly. I maintained an exercise log (still do) and meticulously recorded measurements. I looked forward to every month end when I could see and measure the progress. It was all about the data . . . every mm counted. Arrgh! The tiny details, the fine print.

Before I knew it, I was closer to the 30s. I can do all the above and more….but I see differently now. One grey winter day, I was packing up after working on my shoulders, lats and back. I changed my shoes, returned the thumb supports to their cases and dropped the towel in my bag. My back was aching with the effort. I winced as put on my sweatshirt. Everyone around was blowing on their hands, pulling on layers of woolly clothing, and generally trying to be warm. And all I could feel was snug….in just a tee, track pant and sweatshirt. The chill could not touch me..for I was warm on the inside. This was a different kind of snug. Not the kind you feel when you have the thickest fur or the fattest windcheater on you. This was the ‘hugging-the-teddy’ kind of snug. The ‘stay-in-bed-under-the-blanket’ kind of snug. While I was busy with the details, the big picture had passed me by.

I drove home with the joy of Archimedes making a discovery. The cold breeze licked my bare head and teased my 2 mm hair. It pinched my ears and turned them red. It could not make them cold to touch though. They were glowing in the warmth of new found old familiarity and the joy of discovering one more reason to live.