Today as I sat down to complete my book, the work which has to be done for this and the launch event, had me thinking. While I sat thinking random thoughts, I realized that I was jumping from one to the other so like I used to jump on the rocks of a flowing rivulet when I was small. When I thought of the rivulet, I thought of Kashmir and I thought of Jhansi – two places which were different from each other as if poles apart but which had given me similar memories: of happiness.
When I thought of Kashmir, I remembered my school and from there I remembered my friend , who I met in the city I now live and she too was from my old school in Kashmir.
When I jumped-thoughts to Jhansi, I remembered the Betwa river and I remembered this small town which we frequented for a weekend picnic called Orcha. Which was also the reason for my first set of thoughts – jumping onto rocks in the river.
As I jumped-thoughts to Jhansi, I remembered my old school as well. I had a smile as an annual day play: If only we could cook – came to memory. It was hilarious as we kind off made the ‘dinner’ scene of the play, the most natural, for we got busy eating the pie, the roasted nuts and the coca cola poured into wine glasses (to make it look like wine, of course – why else, people??) which had been arranged from the nun’s parlor.
The play led me to jump-thoughts to an army school some time later, where we did an elaborate George Bernard Shaw play – Arms and the Man and I played the lead role of Diana Petkoff. In the Act I, Scene I, the heroine – Diana Petkoff is in her chamber at night with a picture frame in her hands, remembering love-lorn her fiance and lover, Major Sergious. Now the fun thing was that I had the picture frame, no doubt in my hands but the picture I had refused to have of my classmate who was playing the part of Major Sergious, much to the annoyance of our English teacher. The picture was of my dear friend who was playing my mother’s role in the play. Our English teacher was, in that scene, more concerned with the fact that I might accidentally turn the frame at a wrong angle and my friend’s picture would be visible!! I fail to understand why we did not remove her picture entirely from the picture frame. A blank frame may have had a better explanation to be given than one with a young girl’s picture especially when the heroine is pinning for her finance who is a mustached army soldier.
The soldier of the play made me jump-thought to Leh the northern most state of our country where on a holiday I remembered a trip to Pangong lake (
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pangong_Tso ). The ITBP (The Indo-Tibetan Border police – https://www.itbpolice.nic.in/)battalion convoy which took us there had made arrangements for everything. In fact, when the high altitude and the severe sun led me to get a bad migraine, they had everything from ginger tea to hot pakoras (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pakora ) to a warm bed on offer, so as to make me feel well.
The ginger-tea made me jump-thoughts back to my book where a rock-salt ginger tea, a first of its kind which I had tasted, was offered to me by a very gracious Icon, who features in my book. Now come to think of it, the tea must have been really awesome for it finds mention in my article on her too!
The Icons, made me thought-jump to them. Meeting and interacting with them has been lovely and more satisfying has been writing about them, for I always end up thought-jumping to that day when I met them. I have a long memory (touch-wood! & beware, those who have wrongly, crossed my path!!!) which allows me the luxury of drifting back to that date and time. And the smile re-appears. Someone candidly asked me the other day, where I was positioning the book – not at the ‘best -selling’ category, it was equipped. I thought that extra long and said: No, I don’t think so. It was then I realized was I naive? May be. But I care not – for the book for me is already a ‘Best Seller’, as the people featured in it are worth their weight in gold and the memories I have made, much more!! So who cares!
I spent it well on a book with some wonderful people in it which is cool, I think. (the gold, I meant!) For I am as it is not going to be carting my money, the little but sufficient that I have, after my finale in this world is done. There isn’t an encore curtain call, my friends, in this play called Life!
I thought-jumped to the Arms and the Man play where we had three curtain calls and a standing ovation from the General-Officer-Commanding of the Eastern Command, himself! So, I’m sure I hugged the picture frame tight & at the right angle and emoted the right emotions. The rest as they say is history!
History made me thought-jump to my two months on this endeavor of my book and who have I spoken to? Well, regarding the chapters, to about 20 people. And apart from one friend, with whom I have shared details of my calendar as to when I am going to meet whom, who all I have met, the progress of my book, deciding how I should plan my event – I haven’t spoken to anyone else in any detail about my book. Except the fact that I am writing one. And the next enthusiastic question which is asked is: what is it about? I am afraid the line does go silent for that extra- two seconds, when I tell them what its about. DO not worry, my dear, dear Icons – for I do not think its about you – its definitely about me. For after the hectic years of work schedule that I have kept, especially the last four, I am sure they worry about my mental health. Their concern, I am sure is very genuine for they worry that the poor woman may have lost her marbles and couldn’t find anything else more suitable, so got down to doing so. It’s quite funny actually for I am looking forward to proving them wrong in July. See ya guys!!
The marbles made me thought-jump to a hamper I put together for a soon-to-be-mom and I wanted to put ‘marbles’ in it as I wanted to write: for all those that you have lost. And you tend too, some during pregnancy and most of it afterwards! The baby is the only best thing that happens in all this. The rest of it, is hardly the stuff normal situations are made-off, leave alone romantic. When the baby sleeps , you can’t for there are a million things to do and when you want to sleep, the baby decides its show time! Please do not count the ‘extras’ – the hubby, the moms, dads, aunts and uncles – not because they do not want to or can’t be of help – just that Prince/Princess decides that it has to be Mommy dearest only who will have the honor at that moment. Its a different thing that Mommy may not feel so ‘honored’ and wouldn’t have mind some extra pair of hands and laps and lips taking care of dear Prince/Princess.
But sorry, I missed the point – since I did not find any marbles – fortunately I haven’t been loosing mine so often now – I used the ‘Nutties’ chocolates instead. Served the purpose quite well. Only I ended up feasting on some myself and then lost some off my ‘peace marbles’ as I realized that with little or minimal exercise these days, having the calories had not been a wise thing to do. But I didn’t have to dwell too long on it, neither then nor now for a phone interrupted my thought-jumping at both times. Then it was call from my friend to thank me for the hamper and today its a recorded election message telling me how well my country is governed under a certain someone. That call that day had made me happy while this one almost made me thought-jump on to our elections and politics but I quickly, just in time stopped myself – for its not worth loosing my marbles over it! Is it?