Was on my way back from Mumbai,had a day in hand in Delhi.Was doing the round of the guest houses to book one for my cousins who were in town,managed to sprain my ankle.
This is become a norm for me.My ankle haS been unstable eversince I chose to wear the white boot in the traffic in Delhi when I was ten.I was in it for a whole month.Went under the wheel of a newly married sardar who was still in his honeymoon haze in defence colony in Delhi.Incidently, my eyes were on the window of a bookshop,while my two sisters walked along with me on the side-walk.I decided to step down instinctively while I watched the white ambassador slowly climb onto my leg.This is India,so the car was immediately surrounded.The agitated man parked his car on my leg.I thought it was crushed but by God's grace it was just the shoe which was torn and I did have a bad sprain to while my winter vacation on and a legacy which keeps taking me back to that winter so many years ago.
I have become quite a veteran with the sprain but for the first half an hour or so ,it literally takes me back to hell and back,sweating cold sweat,nauseated and unable to speak while all concerned are at it asking 101 questions...how I wish they would leave me alone till the pain subsided.My sister who has become an expert of sorts at managing my sprain was quick to order some ice and that helped a lot even as I hobbled into the car ...the next morning the leg was swollen and I had my crepe on,swallowed an analgesic and attended a clinic where I got an X-ray done.My bones were in order.
While on my beige boot I saw the 'Devil's double',a movie on the life of Uday Hussein,Sadaam's bane during his lifetime.Frightening to think that such charecters held so much of people's life in their hands.We see quite a few clones in and around elite circles.
Also managed to squeeze in the '.....dog's story' which was extremely sad.
In the mean time,I have been able to spend some time with my little niece who amazes me with her instant ability to connect with me at such a tender age..she has answers to quite a lot of questions I increasingly find myself asking her.Just for records,she is only twelve,is four inches taller than me and has started passing down her clothes to me.I just fit into a jeans which is a size smaller for her.Sometimes I almost forget that I have lived so much longer than her,we gel like sisters...I guess that comes with being the youngest in the family.
I remember the time when my nephew was born.I was sixteen then and the idea of having a baby in the family just did not appeal to me.I had always been the little one in the family and suddenly the whole equilibrium looked like it was changing.I had a tough time accepting him.He still remembers my being mean to him.My sister went off to Australia with her family and for quite a while the only clear memory of his childhood my nephew had, was of me snatching his crayons away from him and making him cry...there was one patent question he had for me much to my embarrasment then-'why did you snatch my crayons away from me?'.He is grown up into a fine young man , that question often comes on in lighter moments.
My time in Mumbai ,in the writer's workshop was educative,so was my time spent with the Eicher's.I had the opportunity to see lives in different tiny boxes,compartmentalised but uplifting ...everyone stretching out and reaching out to each other ,the Christ's way in a jungle of haze where one could just get lost in the humdrum of it all.Mumbai has a charecter allright .Every little space stands a testimony to a life of struggle,victory,losses and a moment lost forever in the rush of everyday living.Some have relics of their achievement in the infrastructures which ring a thousand bells just by their name...what does the noun 'Cadbury'bring to your mind's eye?You have lived with it forever.....that's what we cross everyday when we travel to attend the workshop in Andheri from Thane.
On my way to the air-port,I cross 'Dharavi',a slum and a famous one for that.
No wonder the India's film industry is based in Mumbai.I should think there would be no dearth of inspiration for someone looking for a story.
It poured cats and dogs all the days of my stay in Mumbai.I have saved myself from the rain for the last five years inspite of my obstinate norm not to carry umbrellas around ....suddenly I find myself drenched in Herbertpur and in Mumbai..for the umpteenth time.Guess what,I did not fall sick.
I am slowly preparing myself to get back into the Herbertpur mode with my swollen legs,et al....I should be fine.....I know the Lord will see me through this as he has done always in the past.I realise I have not even talked to my mother about my sprain..........now when did I change??