Nov 7, 2014

5 Random things about me

    My friend Cheryl recently blogged about 5 truly random facts that help me see and  know her that tiny bit better. She tagged me to do the same. In the words of Cameron (also tagged), I'm also usually "the place where memes go to die" but not this time. I'm taking the bait and tagging others. Because celebrating random traits rocks in these times when carefully crafted images are so easy to perpetuate. They often deceive whereas the honestly random ones might just give you away. The real 'you'. 

Here are '5 random things about me'

I suffer from Olfactory Overload
My nose is too nosey, it works over-time.
Picking up molecules that're way out of line.
It throws me off when I least expect.
Brain all tingly, antennae erect.
     This applies to everything. I smell the pungent molecules of residual curry in the air at home (from weekend cooking) and the smokey hints of squealing car tires on a busy road. I smell cleaning supplies from 3 days ago and the dried up patch of juice on the table from this morning. I smell the almost-neutral skin oils that have cured wooded pews in an aged church and the hand lotion the lady three rows away applied earlier that day. I smell campfire notes on the smoker striding by and the Downy fabric softener on a karate classmate's as she moves through 'kata dai ich' next to me. 
           Many of these olfactory overloads are stressful and distracting. It takes me minutes sometimes to re-focus as my overstimulated nose grapples with input and my brain twitches out images and thoughts in response. Others bring in their wakes, washes of happy memories that leave me with a smile. Good and bad, my nosey nose bring my life to life.

I'm taken by tokens.
Little things matter more than they ought.
Especially when they aren't things that I sought.

One bear earring whose partner I dropped down the sink drain as I went to put them on for the first time. Foreboding and heartbreak followed that this first loving gift from my fiancée should receive such unseemly negligence. 17 years later, I've still got it.
This necklace Michele handed me one night after I had vented about disappointments lightly to her via texts. She had helped me laugh it off then but brought me this after. Though it's a 'silver lining' necklace (that she made) and reminded her of my blog, it was also meant to remind me of who I am and who I need to be. 
         There's another like it that comes to friend Shalinee's Jamaica shaped silver pendant. She lent it to me when I left her and my group of college mates out on a field trip  in the Rajasthan deserts to travel home for a medical emergency. My dad had suddenly been taken ill. The pendant was one of Shalinee's most prized possessions, a memento of her childhood years in Jamaica. When she hung it around my neck, she was offering up what she could...which was a lot because it was support and companionship in terrifying times of loneliness. I clutched it all the way home. (She still does this for me, decades later and from a thousand miles away). My friends, old and new, and their tokens of caring.
This trinket box that my aunt and uncle brought it back for me from their vacation (Hyderabad, I think) when I was a teenager. They (we) lived in a joint family in Kolkata where life was stressful as (or more) often as it was fun. Their vacations were reprieves yet during them, they always remembered the niece to whom they'd return only too soon.

An envelope full of prayers my mom gave it to me to tuck under the hospital pillow when I was pregnant and bed-ridden. Terrible times of danger and despair as I fought to retain what seemed a hopeless pregnancy. It now lives underneath my 8 year old sons twin bed mattress. It has spent time under his bassinet, crib and toddler bed too. If it was stuffed full of used dental floss and old shopping receipts, it would have still remained...a package of blessings and love.

My first dream in color
Fantastic dreams in technicolor
Makes waking seem so much duller.
The first dream I recall (cos I must have had many before then) was about a cave painting and some Neanderthals. It was in color because the mom was wearing a yellow tiger skin and the cave wall was bottle green. I was about 12. I remember other interesting dreams I've had (once I dreamed in serial: each episode started where last nights ended) but this one stands out as the first.

Sometimes my ears cry
All noses leak when tears get going.
But my ears weep, without me knowing.
       This is a recent development, but I swear it's true. On a day of feeling emotionally fragile (much was going on in my life) I caught a glimpse of a pic on someone's FB wall of a toddler running into its mothers arms. The mom was a marine standing in formation with her troop with full military gravitas. In the pic she was bending with open arms to receive the little body hurtling towards her. The caption read that she had just recently returned from a long tour of duty and maintained composure and did not respond  to her little child's gleeful yells until he wriggled out and shot her way. Apparently she had resisted breaking form until the very last second before scooping him up. 
That's the part when my ears  started to cry.  They cried for my mom (who'd just broken her leg and was alone, in pain thousands of miles away). They cried for my son whom I'd only just left and whose legs were just fine. They cried for my recently deceased cousin who will never again get to hug her little boys. They cried for my aunt, who will never again hold her daughter. They. Just. Cried. 
        It only happened that once and the oddness of it shocked me out of my potential bawling. It helped me shake off my sappiness and start my workday temporarily purged of the ghosts that were obviously haunting me. (I really hope my ears don't cry again. It was creepy)

I read too fast and so...twice
"Whats' inside?!" I HAVE to know!
So I read it fast, then read it slow.
       I'm greedy, impatient and too eager for release and escape when I pick up a book. So I race through it, fully - if briefly - immersed in mood, plot and characters but constantly peering at the winding plots, trying to see what's coming next. It's a full-sensory workout. Then, when I've reached the end and if the storyteller's voice has captured my interest.....I turn right back to the beginning and read again in a calmer state. This time, I savor the imagery, think about the characters and appreciate the voice. I keep promising myself that I'll start out slow but Fiction just won't work that way for me. 

And those were my 5 random things. 

Here are some of the bloggers I like to read. You should read them too. They can carry on this tag or not, whatever works. 
Angie (Boston LTYM alum) of
Julie (Boston LTYM alum) of
Liz O'Donell (Boston LTYM alum) of
Tina of
Pia of
Yash of
Michele of
Liz McCarthey of

Oyon-ism (7 and a half)
A few weeks into his new school year in Second Grade, we got to chatting about his new class mates. Apparently he 'made friends with' a kid on the playground who was very quiet the entire time they played. I commented on how most kids are usually crazy excited on the playground.
O:Well you can't be bothered by different.
Me (startled at the non-sequitur): Huh?
O: If someone is different there's nothing you can DO about it! So just don't worry.
Me (trying to make sense of it): So, your new friend.....he's 'different' and you like him?
O: Yeah, I do. And I'm not worried.
Me: Ok.Good for you.

I'm intrigued he thought he was expected to 'worry' or be bothered' about someone being 'different'. His world is obviously SO much bigger than us and the things we model for him. He always has marched to his own beat but it's lovely to catch it's rhythm once in a while.

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