1) we stand by the side of the road mapping the quickest route. we wait and look at the time knowing we’re cutting it close. “But taxis aren’t worth it” we say. Why pay rs 350 when you could pay rs 35? we lament the whole affair of a taxi: the negotiation, the cost, and the fact that we always end up taking taxis when we’re late. And how we end up paying for it. We laugh, time is money eh? We get into a cab.
the problem is, you say, I’m always late. and I laugh because I’m late more than I’d like to be too. Time is money indeed.
2) I used to miss sleeping by someone, I don’t anymore. Anyone on my bed feels like my space is being cramped. I need the whole bed, I am expanding, I don’t want to contain myself for any reason. There is so much joy in growing into my dreams. In the quiet lull of my thoughts. In the soundtrack of the night.
I find comfort in cuddling the covers. A few folds tucked under my knee. The sheet keeping my shoulder warm. Sometimes I catch a whiff of my own shampoo and I am pleased by my choice. Lost in the folds and fabrics, it’s one of my favorite places to be. So many hours spent. No where near as many regrets.
3) as a micro-bus-wallah I’ve come to enjoy being able to give perfect change for my fare. It just makes it easier on everyone, and it avoids having to haggle over a rupee out of principle.
On a route I normally take with a difference of a few stops, I handed rs 17 over. A ten, a five, and two coins. He handed me back the two rupees. I told him where I was getting off. He confirmed where I got on. It’s 15 rps from there. He says and the two coins remain in my palm.
I find myself surprised at the integrity. Of the thousands of rides I’ve taken on public transport, I’ve been jipped a rupee or the more times than i could care to count.
But this one day, a young man caught my attention. I sat stunned and then wondered if I should acknowledge this small act. I wanted to say thank you, to tell him that this rarely happens, to let him know I noticed and that it was appreciated.
Before I had figured out what I’d say, he left my side and went about his duties. It occurred to me it would be odd to thank him much later after the incident.
I wish I hadn’t been so surprised. I wish I had responded quicker.
There are three other times I can remember being surprised by the happenings on public transport. One other time a young boy did the same and collected the right fare as opposed to what I’d given him. Another time a boy surprised me with the calm and politeness he used to speak to passengers. And yet, another time, an elderly man who didn’t have change for 1,000 was given the ride pro-bono.
At each instance I was taken aback, I wish integrity and kindness weren’t so unexpected, i wish it wasn’t so rare.
4) I’ve been going to the same bank for years with periodic gaps in between. From my very first day there I have been interacting with the same tellers. These two women–one with a sharp nose, heavy eyebrows, and long curly hair. The another is tall, lean, and fair…I’ve only ever seen her with her hair up.
It had been a while since I’d stopped by, recently I saw them and noticed they had aged. Some white streaks in hair. More wrinkles for sure. A weariness acquired with time. i picture as they were years ago, I wonder about the subtle changes in between–acquiring sindur in the part of hair for one. i looked at them as they are now, and i wonder if I’ll see them as grandmothers.
There is a song where a line sings ‘love is watching someone die’. What is it to watch someone age? What is it to watch strangers age?
5) bras are odd things. Far more complex than necessary. Though the concept is simple enough, the contraption has infinite space for flaws. The material, the cut, the fit, the shape, the width, the cup. The wire, the clips, the cleavage, the perk. All this for beauties that remain under shirts and blouses, contained and confined all day.
Each day I look forward to when I can reach around, unhook, and slide the bra out of my shirt. In that moment I truly breath. In that moment there is release. There is bliss.
Sometimes i trace the imprint left by straps with my finger. It’s a oddly deep groove. It takes a while for the submerged skin to surface. Other times straps slip over shoulders and they peek from under shirts. Society says I should hide it, that I shouldn’t let anyone know I’ve got breasts to keep up. And that’s just silly. I almost envy girls who can go around bra-less. For my size I think it would be uncomfortable. Who knows, maybe I’d get used to it.