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Saturday, July 01, 2006 

The Fight Club

The scene unfolds, as it has done several times before, in disjointed, disconnected pieces. The fluster of checking tickets, of checking that the train is on time, of howling at the driver who has elected to push off for a cuppa at this time: it is almost welcome. There have been the usual spats over the last weeks. As a family, we are rarely shy of pronouncing our judgements, usually disapproving, over each other’s lives. But the fights have lacked the passion of old; the fighting and the making up compressed into too short a timeframe. Thank god for the kids, says the youngest in a moment of candour. They fight much more freely, and make up much more easily, than us. The spouses stand a tad apart, not used in their families to anything apart from conventional handshakes and some tears during goodbyes.

So we fill in the awkward moments with terse comments. Eat your pickle with curd, I tell the eldest. Better still, forgo it. And I tell the second to smile more in photographs. It helps hide the double chin. The eldest gives me quite a painful knock on the head: her habit of reacting with visceral violence towards any discomfort hasn’t left her in all these years. The second says stupididiotretard without either a pause or rancour. The youngest, as usual, looks defocused and vague. Mail me those songs, she says. And do you have a book for the journey ? I like salt and pepper, by the way. But you are losing hair faster than you are greying. Maybe you should try henna.

We each have lives that are so far removed from each other that we do not even peripherally impinge on the others’ consciousness. Sometimes, it is easy to tell oneself that it is only the mother and the grandmother who actually retain those bonds. For the rest, objectively, we are a disparate lot who happened to spend a childhood together. It is easy, and one tells oneself, it is true. Except for moments like these, when suddenly the second sniffles and we all look askance at this aberration.

The straying driver is back, and we are all loaded up and ready to roll. A last round of handshakes amongst the spouses, and we are off. The youngest comes hesitantly forward, and we hug. For just that moment, she holds on instead of letting go, and I do not disengage either. Go, orders the eldest with some roughness, and reaches out for her with a protective, if heavy, hand.

Thank God it is getting over, mother says loudly to one of the menfolk. Look at their ages, and they still fight with each other everyday. I look at them, and like a camera shutter in slow motion, the driver rolls up the tinted glass with a whir. The image blurs, and then disappears as he drives on.

sweet, bitter-sweet? :)

Shall I gush? Shall I? Shall I?

I was nodding so much as I read it. At this, particularly - 'For the rest, objectively, we are a disparate lot who happened to spend a childhood together'

And I understand it too! Wonderful.

Just the opposite here. we are a bunch who tried to keep our childhood separate from each other in our insular ways. Now my sis and i talk to each other everyday, several times a day - very often.

Bah...lump the spouses together and lets get back together - now, when we are better friends :-)

psssst...wasnt my comment supposed to be about u and what u wrote? nevermind - thats for another day.

Sh: As I posted somewhere else ...

"It is bitter-bitter," he answered;
"But I like it
Because it is bitter,
And because it is my heart."

Mornin man : Thankee. If only I was sure that it wasn't just the twin strikes (Jayasuriya/Portugal) that caused you to unbend : )

p..avi : Paavam, spouses. After all they put up with, too : )

:-) For a moment there, I did not feel the usual cynicism I feel about me siblings.

*Poof*! The moment's gone :D.

hmm, so a Crane to uplift you/ break up the fight club? mebbe it works here - it did NOT uplift there - somewhere elsewhere - where one did nod off.

And am not cellibate anymore!

Me : One can be realistic without being cynical. One can learn to feel affection for disparate people without crutches of shared childhoods. And as for your second comment : if it is what it seems to be, err... congratulations ?

Sh : That that person that that tastes in lullabies : )

Cell-ibate. Get?

Lullaby? Is it on it way?

heh, why do I get Sh.ed? shushed? Kari ri, as we say in kannada.

me- not got:(


Hope this helps.

That's a great story. Waiting for more. »

Very nice site! »

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