The plate brims with a mess of popcorn in various stages of development – there are those that haven’t popped, those that popped with the nurturing touch of oil and those that were burnt to death. Of which, burnt to death and haven’t popped seem like the most popular categories. Maybe it’s just my popcorn history – ideally, one learns from past mistakes, but I haven’t – the last popcorn-making session in an electric rice cooker ended in threatening thuds from the cooker, the lid flying to the other end of the room, leaving oil all over the sheets and my winter clothes. That the cooker didn’t work after that is implied.
Today has been a hugely soporific day – I did not go to a Kutiyattam conference in the morning since my lazy half assumed it would be in Malayalam – I think it was. I wish it would rain more in Trivandrum. The day my train entered Kerala, it rained heavily in spurts. I could have sworn I had never seen greenery so green. Geography lessons were recalled as I saw the rain slithering down the sloped roofs of tiny houses dotting the railway tracks. Someone had remarked about Trivandrum, “It is so sultry, not a leaf moves.” I’m beginning to think that it is true.
Not that there haven’t been any nice weather moments. The other day, I was returning from the market when I got caught in a heavy shower. Initially, I stopped for shelter, but then I decided it’s more fun to get wet. Being a wet woman at 8.30 pm on a street full of mirrors in shiny jewellery shops with people gawking at you and wondering if you are right in the head can be amusing sometimes.
I never thought I'd be the one making mistakes as far as food was concerned. But I mixed payasam into my rice today, thinking it was rasam, to the amusement of everyone around me, triggering sniggers of 'Malayalam Iliya' or something similar sounding.
I grew tired of being stared at and mentally undressed by men. And being appraised by women. So, today, I decided to stare back. And now I feel much better about going out on the roads. Men are used to letting their eyes rove wherever the mind pleases. It comes as a shock to them when someone does the same to them. I loved the feeling that coursed through me when the men looked at me, and I looked back at them and let my eyes pointedly go up and down, up and down. Everyone looked away. And did not look me in the eye again. I loved the power I wielded.