Monday, August 24, 2015

Lip-Stuck Memories

There is a pet theory of mine, which , manifests itself in many posts on my prose blog Gappa.  It has to do with my conviction, that all our body organs/parts are living tissue and contain a "thinking" part, a local brain. 

And so when a friend in her middle forties suddenly decided to start wearing lipstick after many years, and her friends rallied around, it suddenly occured to me, that the lips would probably have something to say , given their amazing memory and four decades of dedicated uninterrupted service.

And so, as is the current custom, here they are , saying "a few words"....

First in Marathi, and then in English....

झालरीचे झगे घालून
गिरक्या मारण्याच्या वयात
एका रखरखीत दुपारच्या उन्हात
सवनग्ड्यान बरोबर खाल्ल्लेली जांभळ,
जाम्भळी जीभ ओठावर फिरवून
खोटे लिपस्टिक ,
चोरून खाल्लेल्या विड्याने
अप्रतीम रंगलेले ओठ ,
शाळेच्या स्नेहसंमेलनात
नृत्यासाठी केलेला मेकप ,
रात्री चुपचाप
लिपस्टिक आणि रूज न काढता झोपणे,
आणि मग कधीतरी
पेटिकोट मध्ये बसून,
आंब्याचा रस काढायला "मदत",
आणि चेहर्यावर चाटता यॆइल
असा सोनेरी स्वाभाविक मेकप.

झगे, साड्या , स्मृती जुन्या झाल्या ,
पण अनेक दशके
बघितलेले ओठ , अचंबित होतात
आणि म्हणतात ,
"आज काल ओठावर जीभ फिरवली
कि भलतीच चव येते ;
ती जांभळे , ते आंबे,
ती करवंद , आणि ते विडे ,
आणि हो, दूध ;
ती चव काही वेगळीच होती …. "
The age of twirling around
in frocks with frills,
jamuns enjoyed with
sitting in the loft,
on hot dry summer afternoons
and a tongue secretly
licking the lips
hoping the color sticks;

A paan
surreptitiously chewed
and celebrated
for the amazing
lip and tongue pigment;

at the school's
Annual Day play,
and hurrying to sleep
with the lipstick and rouge
before facing  a maternal glare;

And then an
offer to help squeeze
mango juice,
sitting ready in a petticoat,
creating golden makeup
on an already happy face .

The frocks, petticoats and memories
have aged,
but the lips ,
in non stop action
over decades,
ask in consternation,
"Why is there a weird taste
these days,
when the tongue licks us ,
and whatever happened
to the taste
of jamuns,karwandas,
mangoes, paan,
and yes,
milk ?"

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