Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Our bodies - (from The Goa Vignettes)

Have you also noticed
we have different bodies here?
My legs lounge carelessly over yours
Uncaring of the angle and closeness of limbs
mine or yours.
They do not talk to seduce
Skin on skin is just drowsy and friendly.
Our stomachs protrude on beer and prawns
Unashamedly Rubenesque.
Sand-encrusted feet graze against each other
heads thrown back insolently, almost,
To a sun unused to our honesty.
My hands seem always in yours
Fingers tracing the almost-forgotten mounds of your palms.
Someone slowed the speed
and your kisses are nearly as long
as they were when we waited outside the door
at 4 am after stealthy dates,
a lifetime ago.
Our bodies do not fly or fight here
They gently rock unto themselves
Did you notice?
Our bodies are different here.

© Anita Vasudeva, Feb 2006

The Goa Vignettes I


Is Lawrence here
after all these years?
Yes, Madam, so glad to see you back.
He has no clue of who I am
But we sit close on the deck chair I hire from him
and talk as long lost friends do
when they pick up threads effortlessly
to knit a new camaraderie
that we then wear close to our skins over the next four days.

His innocent smile now enmeshed into an ingratiating body
leans forward eagerly to provide
a chair,
the moving shade,
the passion cocktail,
a surfboard,
coconut water,
a boat ride,
friendship : whatever Madam wants

The conversation is better than at the cocktail party
in Mumbai last night.
The seasons have taught him to read the economic state of the
Finns and the East Europeans,
the socio-cultural nuances of the Israelis,
the psychological profile of Indian high-schoolers who descend
every summer after their stressful exams;
the routes of the narcotic mafia;
and a philosophy that is wise and Zen.

I am the student.
I learn not to eat crabs on a full-moon night,
recipes with kokum and curry,
the gradations of Roman Catholic community politics;
the intricacies of roadside commerce.
I learn how to pack the hookah that is sent down from Bangalore
every season with an assortment of flavors,
and how to smoke it nonchalantly.
I learn of the decadence of humanity
and the innocence of every sunset.

He is doing well now.
He has 18 chairs
and they all know him at the shacks.
I want to tell him he had 16 chairs five years ago
and wore the same Vodafone tee.
But he is happy
(and perhaps he is high
and I cannot always believe what he tells me )
and it is not he, but I, who needs to go away
every now and then
from my daily world
and take a break.

(c)Anita Vasudeva, Feb 2006