So almost a year after my last right leg injury, a new one decides to make its presence felt. I've always seen accidents as signs. I've now had three fairly major ones with men whilst riding pillion on their bikes. Same leg. Different spots (god's been kind?). Heck I love them. And accidents with a man for company are even better. Not the injury, of course, just the whole follow-up frenzy ensuing the mishap.
The rush to the closest clinic to get the injury checked, being lifted by three men because I’d have fallen otherwise, to be bought and brought a way-too-big bar of chocolate and glucose to prevent me from fainting, the cleaning of the wound, the stitches, the dressing, the affectionate care, buying medicines, getting me to eat (evidently I’m pretty difficult to bring to that at such times), the making me comfortable… The process is much like taking a trip with someone. Suddenly you know so much about him or her. Kind'a in isolation, because he or she takes on the carer's role. And when you're away from home, you can't really take them for granted unlike the mother at home.
I reckon, like anyone else, I too prefer physical injuries to hurt of the heart.
But I think what I’m already beginning to enjoy even more than I did last night, as I told Veeram, is his house. Our Saturday night haunt, Veeram’s house aka The Weekend Getaway (TWG :P) is truly just the therapy one wants at the end of an especially unfavourable week. Of course, when you arrive at the humble 2 BHK abode, the clutter of mattresses, antique furniture, clothes, curios, books, condom and cigarette boxes, rum bottles, sheaves of papers, musical instrument first hits you and you want to flee as soon as. Then a veteran privileged holds your hand and leads you to the sanctum – the shrine of Veeram – and then it dawns upon you as you take in these extremities, that this house is really beautiful!
To be absorbed into V’s space is a lot about one’s personal fortune. By nature, the man (and one of the most cultured hosts) is a recluse. His space is so his and shut away from all things commercial and dispassionate, that you’d have to be a musician to gain license to enter. And once you have won his approval, you could be a third grade architecture student or even just an ordinary copywriter, and yet be personally invited for successive weekends to spend hours elaborating and exploring the intricacies of Raag Desh punctuated with some Puriya or the dreaded Todi, and gracefully end with Pink Floyd’s Wish You Were Here.
And yet V’s place is not even about the things in it, or its people. It’s really about him. How warm he makes one feel on the coldest winter nights, how free he can set you from the clutches of where you come from and where you must head afterwards. You might get to listen to staples and a few new numbers. Some classical, some jazz, some baroque melodies.
There is of course, the conversation that meanders with sharp turns and steep falls and sudden heights of passionate discourse about music, love, freedom, values, religion, food (of course!). To most, V would seem something of an idealist oddity amidst compromising commercialization of our time and place. And even that is not what defines his home. One time he might tell you how he egg-napped a pigeon’s egg to teach it a lesson to not hover around his balcony again, and then he would also keep it safe. One of those puppy kidnappers, this.
I have still not managed to articulate what it is about V’s place that elates me each time I’m here. Veeram says, (about the walls in his house) “they have absorbed everything in the past two years.” And why not? The evidence is all over the place. Dates, arbitrary mind-thoughts, caricatures have been graffitied on all the walls of the house – in paint, felt pens, pencils even (like a 4-year-old that’s just learnt to write and draw)!
I have now flown kites here, spent nights, taken in the night’s horizon and the day’s view of the hills, swum, cooked, lay injured, sang and confessed in this house.
Comfort is an understatement for what one experiences here. Let it suffice to say then, that it’s the only place in years where I sleep like a child. For someone who is a light sleeper, it’s like letting a mask slip. Deliberately. In blind trust.