Every now and then I find myself slipping down a dark hole.
Having been fed a steady diet of English fairy tales growing up, it is only reasonable to expect that at the bottom of any dark hole, one will eventually encounter a shisha smoking, vowelly correct caterpillar and then get whisked away to a celebration of your un-birthday at a delightfully absurd tea party presided over by a (hopefully) Johnny Depp lookalike Mad Hatter.
It is never like that. It feels morose and melancholic and raw. And there are never any Johnny Depp lookalikes feeding me scones and clotted cream over half a cup of tea.
Recently I have felt myself slipping, and I don’t want to write about something deep and meaningful. I want to write about whimsy and joy. I want to think about all the things that give me pleasure; whether silly, or frivolous, or intense, or deep, or whatever. Because sometimes writing about something gives it shape, colours in the lines, fluffs it up, makes it technicolour and tricks your brain into feeling as if you are experiencing it afresh.
So here goes. ‘A few of my favourite things’
The feeling after yoga where your whole body is a tangled weave of hypersensitive nerves, and you feel every whisper of the wind on your skin, when the leaves look a dazzling green, and you can distinguish every note from every bird in the orchestra of chirping in the trees, when your body craves suspect looking green vegetable juice that you would normally find disgusting, when you want to passionately kiss someone you really love, and feel lightheaded and dizzy and just not care who is watching.
Walking into the house after a shitty day, putting my hand on my granny’s ethereal silver hair, and her looking up at me with a smile that dissolves whatever nonsense is in my head.
Being infected with giggles by my brother and sister, and for no good reason laughing and laughing, roaring and snorting, guffawing and hiccupping, till your body is shaking and tears are streaming down your face; and just when you think that’s it, your body has been squeezed dry of any more laughs, and everybody is calm, you make eye contact with one of them, and a giggle worms its way out of your nose, and you all collapse on the floor in a cacophony of chuckling.
The feeling of dewey grass as you squelch barefoot in the garden. The feeling of soft sand as the ocean licks your toes. The feeling of woven mkeka as you tip toe into the mosque. The feeling of wet mud sploshing around the sides of your feet.
Sitting outside, listening to the crickets chirping, as old Indian Ghazals play in the background, whiskey tinkles over ice and my dad talks nostalgically about his wild days.
Early Sunday mornings, when the world is asleep, and the sun peeps through the curtains, and the bed is warm, and you have hours to lose yourself in a great book before the world wakes up.
Long walks in the forest, with butterflies sashaying by, and mushrooms poking out from the grass.
Bright red lipstick. Polka dotted everything. Fuschia nailpolish. Molesine notebooks. Very good pens. Jasmine perfume. Silver jangley bangles. Kitenge. Bandani. Beautiful fabric.
The smell of aftershave snaking through the house after my father or brother have left the house. The smell of onions frying on the morning of Idd. The smell of Udh wafting through the house every evening. The smell of jasmine in my hair.
Road trips with friends, windows down, singing loudly to Michael Jackson tunes on the stereo as the wind tears through my hair.
The purple explosion of Jacaranda trees.
That moment in a Squash game, when you fake a short swing, and instead thwack it really hard against the front wall, so it bounces right into the back corner, slithering down the wall, stealing any possibility of your opponent being able to get it.
Old romantic Bollywood songs. Shammi Kapoor’s dance moves. Salman Khan’s dance moves. NOT Hrithilk Roshan’s dance moves!
That fluttery, buttery, swirly feeling that starts in the bottom of your stomach and travels up to the tip of your eyelashes when you realise the person you are talking to that you quite fancy, is sending the signals that they kinda dig you too.
The drive home after a Safari Rally, window down, feet up on the dashboard, watching the trees zoom by, everyone silent, sleepy, sunburned and sublimely satisfied.
Spending time with women I love; soaking in a sisterhood that nurtures and nourishes and replenishes my soul.
Witty repartee. With a dashing man
That momentary feeling of invincibility after having written something I like; the sense of having conquered something, that feeling which lasts only a few seconds before I am struck with the familiar terror that maybe I will never write anything I like ever again, and this was just a fluke…and I blew my one stroke of halfway decent writing potential on a silly, frivolous blog post that nobody will read. Wait. Remember. The things that give me pleasure – being delighted by something I wrote, and not caring if anyone else thinks so, because it delighted me to read it.
There. I feel much better. And it didn’t even take Johnny Depp to sweep me into his arms.
(As I finished this post, my sister just came in with a scarlet and yellow kitenge for me; a gift from her coast trip; two of the things that give me pleasure – my siblings, and gorgeous fabric. Thanks Tiffs)
What are the things that give you pleasure?
Photo from Flickr. Credit: Lmfna (copyright)