Monday, November 26, 2007

Speaking eyes - II

Speaking Eyes

He felt his hands go clammy as he turned into the driveway of her home, the steering wheel slippery beneath his grip. Why call it her home? Well, it was, wasn’t it? He was there too. Her husband. But the house, the kids, in his mind, these would always be hers. Just as some small part of him would always belong to her.

“Wow, will you look at that!” Shehnaaz, his wife, at the sight of the table, laid out in the entrance hall. A chocolate fountain cascaded warm chocolate; strawberries - blood red and enormous – awaited fondue forks and a heavenly bath of what he guessed to be Lindt. Knowing her, it would be nothing less. There were plump cherries too, marshmallows. Frosted glasses of fruit cocktail meandered along the table, weaving between exquisite platters of entrees. Cocktail, the colour of which reminded him of a sunset so long ago. A sunset that only the two of them would remember.

He heard her laugh somewhere inside the cavernous dwelling and found himself rubbing his arm to smooth out the goose bumps.

He barely heard Shehnaaz exclaim over some or other food item. His ears were trained on the sounds of cutlery, people talking, chairs scraping and the general cacophony that was part of a Luncheon. Amid these sounds he tried in vain to isolate her voice.

“Assalaamu alaikum, Fatima,” Shehnaaz gushed. He turned, a strawberry dripping chocolate at his mouth and found himself barely a metre away from her. She looked amazing. Her face was flushed from the heat of the stove where her masterpiece was at this moment simmering , no doubt. She brought with her a whiff of something that promised to be delicious, though he could not guess at what it would be.

”Wa alaikum salaam.” The women exchanged pecks on the cheek. She turned to him now.

“Erm, Munir, you…”She gestured to her cheek, laughter dancing in her eyes. His hand went up automatically. His fingers came away wet and warm. Chocolate. He felt his ears go up in flames. He stuck his finger into his mouth, sucking away the decadebt confection and turned away.

“S’cuse me,” he muttered. The sound of them laughing, Shehnaaz and Fatima, followed him to the bathroom.

The kebab that was the starter had a hint of clove, and mint. He could taste saffron too. There was a crunchiness that he guessed to be pine nuts. Most unusual. Mint was almost her signature ingredient. She used it so liberally. He on the other hand was rather partial to coriander – fresh coriander - often from his own garden.

When he first broke the kebab open, he released a cloud of steam. Juices oozed from it, attesting to its succulence before his tongue could. The thel naan that accompanied it was crisp and warm. Feather light and buttery, it rolled around the mouth leaving a burst of flavour and then a sudden emptiness that left you wanting more.

A truthful portend of what was to come.

Lunch was a seamless affair. Course followed superb course, each delighting the palate more than the last. She was an excellent chef. His enjoyment of the meal was enhanced by the fact that she was far from him, busy in the kitchen sending out the laden platters. He would not be forced to meet her gaze, listen to those speaking eyes, and attempt to answer the questions that often came from them.

Rather he could concentrate on the meal, dissect it in his mind, attempt to fathom where this accent in the chicken came from, or that tang in the roast and compile a recipe mentally, one that he would try on his own family in the near future.

It was this, an invisible thread that bound them inextricably to one another. This capacity for seeing ingredients as wholes with which to produce the greater whole. With which to create a music that would leave everyone feeling hungry yet sated at the same time. Few were the chefs who treated ingredients so lovingly and could coax from them their everything.

It was the colour of the almond ice cream that appeared on little plates, a delicate golden sauce dancing down its’ side, that reminded him of that sunset once more. That pinkish tinge of the roasted almond – the sky that bled gently at first then gushed across the land turning the very air pink, and gold of the sauce – the last rays of a dying sun pouring out from behind the clouds, clearly defined beams that seemed to be calling to be rescued just as he had that day.

Note: Blogger is being right nasty again. No pictures for me, or I would have treated you with a sunset at least. Or maybe some stunning strawberries...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Speaking eyes

Don't ask me why I wrote this. It appeared of its own volition. A few lines from a soul that has too long had a forced silence imposed opon it.

The air between them simmered with possibility and throbbed with unspoken words. Their eyes met across the space, above the heads of the milling crowd. They looked away. A dance that left both with a cavernous space in their hearts. A space that yearned to be fulfilled.

It cannot be, his eyes said.

And hers? Well they looked away. And he was left to guess at what the response to his truthful statement would be.

The people they loved stood between them. Like unbending mountains that sought to block their view of one another.

He read this thought in her eyes later that day. He looked away. He took himself to a place where things were different. And in his mind, they were together.

Perhaps it has something to do with a a certain person reappearing, inserting himself into the life of someone dear to me. Go figure!

Oh, and I know it's raw. Call it a first draft. I shall refine it now. And perhaps turn it into a short story...

Thursday, November 15, 2007


I was going to hang on to this post until the editing was complete. But I don't seem to be getting there. So I announce to one and all - IT'S DONE! AND IT HAS A NAME!

Now don't scratch your head so. It's rather unbecoming.

All I mean is that my collection is done. Has come together in a way I would never have expected. And I've decided to call it a SHOVEL. Meaning - Short Story Novel.

So now you know. Any editors out there who won't ask me to part with the clothes off my back in order to do the editing?

Oh and I was supposed to announce a caption competition for the last pic of my previous post. The one of my wee adorable darling. Any takers? Captions will be published along with the picture shortly. See, blogger has PMS, so I can't add and pictures for now. I shall send a box of bananas her way.

Thus far Debi has deigned to proffer one. Anyone else?

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

More of what I've been doing

Ya, ya, I know, you didn't ask. But I'm letting you know anyway. I've been planting and taking care of these...

A purple and white snowstorm

Amaryllis to die for...

Me charming hanging basket. And in case you wanted to know, these are impatiens

A regal potted cycad

In between taking care of this!!!!

So now, you know why I don't get to visit anyone anymore :P
Hope you're all well, fellow bloggers.