Writer’s Quote: The Beauty Within

Writer’s Quote: The Beauty Within


We moved into my parent’s new home when I was 12 years old. There was this neighbour who lived in the house adjoining ours. Word in the neighbourhood was- he was an old man who lived alone and wasn’t very nice. The neighbours avoided him and the children were terrified of him. It didn’t make matters any easier, the fact that he was the only resident of a 6 roomed duplex, surrounded by overgrown trees and bushes and lots of cats too.

But, yes, there is a point to this story. I don’t know what happened before we arrived but my interaction with him was nothing but nice. He turned out to be a very nice man. Plus, he had all kinds of fruits growing: coconuts, oranges, limes, bananas, which sometimes fell across the fence into our house, and became finders keepers. He passed away about 2-3 years ago.

The reason I am sharing this story is because, my poem for today’s writer’s quote/poem Wednesday, reminded me of it. It reminded me that some people are actually really nice once you get to know them. And neighbourhood’s unanimous declaration is not always the truth. The Poem is titled Mrs Caldera’s House of things, and I hope you have a blast in Mrs Calderas kitchen.

Mrs. Caldera’s House of Things BY GREGORY DJANIKIAN
You are sitting in Mrs. Caldera’s kitchen,
you are sipping a glass of lemonade
and trying not to be too curious about
the box of plastic hummingbirds behind you,
the tray of tineless forks at your elbow.

You have heard about the backroom
where no one else has ever gone
and whatever enters, remains,
refrigerator doors, fused coils,
mower blades, milk bottles, pistons, gears.

“You never know,” she says, rummaging
through a cedar chest of recipes,
“when something will come of use.”

There is a vase of pencil tips on the table,
a bowl full of miniature wheels and axles.

Upstairs, where her children slept,
the doors will not close,
the stacks of magazines are burgeoning,
there are snow shoes and lampshades,
bedsprings and picture tubes,
and boxes and boxes of irreducibles!

You imagine the headline in the Literalist Express:
House Founders Under Weight Of Past.

But Mrs Caldera is baking cookies,
she is humming a song from childhood,
her arms are heavy and strong,
they have held babies, a husband,
tractor parts and gas tanks,
what have they not found a place for?

It is getting dark, you have sat for a long time.
If you move, you feel something will be disturbed,
there is room enough only for your body.
“Stay awhile,” Mrs. Caldera says,
and never have you felt so valuable.

I just have to add this. Ever since I read the poem, that last five lines have stayed with me. So, was there anyone in your neighbourhood who had a mystery surrounding them?

How Puberty did me wrong

How Puberty did me wrong

I don’t think 400 words is going to be enough for me to talk about this but still, here goes. Today for free write, I decided to tackle PUBERTY! A stage I’m pretty sure everyone reading this has gone through. Well, I ain’t got any love for puberty. It did me bad, real bad. I remember seeing many girls blossom into barbies when they hit puberty. I didn’t think I was going to turn into one of them, no, but I also didn’t think puberty would hate me so much and do me so wrongly.

First from a mere 33kg at the beginning of middle school, by the time I graduated I was over 55kg (thanks Puberty). And then came the Pimples. Well, they weren’t really pimples more like rashes. They were all over my face and neck. My lord, I looked like a hornet of baby bees. I remember someone (a friend) when he saw my face, suggested that maybe I should begin to cover up with a veil (we call it Niqab). It’s the veil that some Muslims cover their faces with; he suggested it cause my face looked that bad.

And when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, ‘Hormonal Imbalance’. Ever been on your period for more than two weeks? It is the most uncomfortable thing ever! At first, I didn’t think something was wrong. But then 3 days, 5days, 7days passed and the period didn’t stop. I could use up a whole packet of Pad in just one day. The flow was so much that the blood clotted.

In the 2nd week of my period, I remember standing with my classmates (who were boys) talking and then, I felt a dribble down my leg. I look down, It was Blood! I ran to the toilet like it was nobody’s business. And it was barely an hour since I changed. For someone who on a regular period had little flow, it was a huge change.

Later on that same day, I was sitting in the class with my girl friend and a bunch of boys playing whot. I had a feeling something was wrong so I whispered to Musa (the girl) that I’d stand up and she should check me. When she did, I wasn’t just stained, the whole of the Neon Yellow chair I was sitting on was now Red. Oh Lord! I was mortified.

I just sat down there, scared, angry, frustrated, you name it! And it felt like the boys were never going to leave. One minor embarrassing detail I intentionally forgot to add is, I could see one or two flies circling around me (that was real embarrassing).

I would explain how I finally left the class, cleaned up the chair and walked all the way to the main gate of the school in my now ‘red skirt’, but maybe in another post. I’d say this- When I got to the school gate, the first thing we did (I and Musa) was call my mum to pick us up, and the hospital was the next stop.

Day 4: serially Lost

Day 4: serially Lost

She picks up the phome, ‘mama, I need help’ ‘I don’t know what’s wrong with me’

She was trembling, shaking, barely getting the words out. Okay, I was trembling and shaking barely getting the words out. The tears were streaming out, my nose was clogged, and my head was spinning. I knew I couldn’t take it anymore, I couldn’t handle it. There is only so much a teenage soul can take. Teenage soul, or rather an adult soul, I was turning 18 that day.

For almost a week, I could barely hold myself together. A week of hell on earth. The only person I trusted enough was over a thousand miles away from me, my mother. I didn’t know what was happening. I wake up in the morning feeling good and then slip into the depressive cycle. I was way behind In school- I stopped going to school. Nothing felt right anymore. I could barely eat, I was losing weight ( which at the time I thought was the only good thing, to become slim again).

“Baby, breathe” …
Stop crying and explain to me, what’s going on?”
Mama, I don’t know”, I managed to say amid the sniffs

How do I explain to her, I feel like my head is about to explode, my body is trembling and I can’t stop crying. It’s been a week, I can’t stop! I can’t read, I can barely function properly. I get tired and agitated easily, the list goes on and on. Still, I managed to explain to the woman that gave birth to me, to the best thing I ever had, roughly what was wrong with me.

What could she do, she was in a different country. Maybe that was a good thing, seeing me In that state was sure to break her heart. Knowing I wake every morning with the hope of not making it through the day. I was prepared for the angel of death, or so I thought.

“Don’t cry, it’s going to be okay“, she says
Okay? Never in my life had I felt so lost as I did in those few days. And she says it’s going to be okay. And yet, whether I believed things will get better or not, there was something just so true in her voice, that I knew I wasn’t alone. It was time to find that lost soul.