Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Between a rock and a heart place

Instead of working on my many, many.. fuck...many pending stories, I'm googling lithopytes and talking break-up songs. The connection is tenuous, and I'll get to the break-up songs for always trivia first.

Lithophytes are a type of plant that grows in or on rocks. Lithophytes feed off moss, nutrients in rain water, litter, and even their own dead tissue.

Examples of lithophytes include several Paphiopedilum orchids, the pitcher plant Nepenthes campanulata, and several Utricularia species.

I don't understand why updaters of wiki stubs don't speak english. What is a paphio-whatever orchid? Why call it that when, as google further tells you, it is also known as 'lady slipper orchid'. That much prettier a Cinderella evocation, don't you think? Than bloody Paphiopedilum/ Phragmipedium/ Cypripedium/ Selenipedium/ and Mexipedium hands down, even though I quite like 'mexipedium'. Reminds me vaguely of a post I remember vaguely posting.

Paphiopedilum orchid/ lady slipper orchid
Anyway. Narrative.

I was driving to work, with a folded magazine in my lunch basket at the feet of my co driver's seat. I had the magazine with me yesterday, too, but pfft, yesterday was troubled, so I didn't read it. Today, traffic let me. And so it is, that at the Ber Sarai stretch, I learn about lithophytes while reading this article about greening the impenetrable, unwieldy, arid, rocky area around Mehrangarh fort. Fascinating. I must have been honked at some three hundred times to get going, you stupid woman, for I wouldn't engage gears till I completed a sentence. Truly painful, these lady drivers who think the world owes them a second more to read some environmentalist type articles on the commute!

Reading when stationary safer than texting when not, I suppose. Lost as I was in something like this:

"In Marwari they call Prosopis juliflora ‘baavlia’ — the mad one. Probably because it’s crazy enough to seek out such inhospitable places, where it hunkers down and digs itself in. Baavlia seems to require no water or nutrients in the soil. It discourages everything else from growing by secreting toxic alkaloids in its root-zone. It is successful in an unlikely, maverick sort of way and fully deserves its Marwari epithet.

If you cut baavlia at ground level, it sprouts with redoubled vigour. Digging and pulling it out mechanically by its roots is difficult and expensive because of the nature of volcanic rock. Using chemicals to kill it is not feasible in a place where water runoff is collected and stored. What to do?

We received busloads of cockeyed advice. “Cut it less than an inch above ground and cover the stumps with green gobar.” Tried. Didn’t work. “Let goats nibble it — the stems will never resprout.” Goats don’t eat baavlia leaves. Too toxic. “Set fire to the plant on a full-moon night.” Didn’t even bother with that one. (Would you?)"
'Vilayti keekar'/ Prosopis juliflora/ ‘baavlia’

I told myself I won't buy a book this month. Flipkart is draining my non-existent savings. 'In a good way', she says softly. And I guess I'll stick to my word. But has to be said, this 'Journeys Through Rajasthan' sounds fascinating. Next month. I promise me. For the love of the tree.

"Reaching moisture deep in the soil by means of enormous, penetrative roots works well too, but you have to be a tree to be able to do this — and it’s not so easy being a tree in a rocky desert"

I get to office, magazine still folded, me still reading. I'm the first person in office. I tuck the folded mag under my arm. I put on the tea, the jasmine tea (into the coffee machine -- tea brews just as well in a coffee machine), and take out my phone to see if all well with the world. Gtalk remains open, whether or not I am invisible, and I see a friend's status -- somebody I used to know. I ping her. What, you're listening to Gotye?? How come, I love that song! It's a great break up song! She's only saying 'han' to everything I say. Turns out she's on from the phone, too.

'Dadduu', she calls me- this friend. For how frog-like I look when I wear my glasses. I call her dadduu, too. I don't know why. It's just funny to us. Dadduu and I went to college together. Same, English. She was a batch senior, wore army pants and had the biggest boobs. I went to her wedding. Happy bride. She remembers my sari --  how ridiculous, ankle-grazingly high I had draped it. Despite the mutual affection, we haven't been 'close-close'. Not even when we worked together. She was pissed when I resigned from my job last and didn't even tell her.  We've gotten friendlier in the last couple of months. Call it buffoon bonding. In a different context and to my total amusement, once mildly hammered and outside a Shiv temple that she dragged three of us women to, she told me, "I couldn't decide whether you're the biggest bitch or a total sweetheart and I still don't know!"

Yesterday, she emailed me a link. Modern Love. I get it in my feed anyway, but isn't there a certain happiness in knowing someone thought of you and sent you something PERSONALLY? Subject? "Dadduuu". Hopeless smiles this fellow frog brings on. In turn I sent her the link to a song I know she hadn't heard and when i found out, I did this mock horror thing, this how could you have NOT have, o meri jaan o meri jaan? Not that it's a break up song or anything..

We've been meeting weekly for many months now, with our very good common friend. Invariably, we three, sometimes four, behave badly so well. We meet, get drunk, laugh a lot, discuss our sex lives, repeat cycle, latch on to one phrase for the evening, milk it dry, bring it up till we coin a new one. It's a great custom. On Thurday we're on again. Some new place.

And while all this is super fun, and makes great memories, it breaks my heart to see her be brave about the divorce. There are glimpses into her naturally battling heart, sure, and she is drained, yes. But there is a lovely fragility in her that she isn't ashamed of, that she doesn't blink away, that is a joy to see. I look up to this. I respect the show of levity, her earthiness and the willingness to exhibit her vulnerability. I love her for not taking the route so many can't help but take - of being morose and wistful and imagining her world is up the creek. Fuck that. Dadduu's being brave. And mad. And jovial. And often, just so bloody crass. It's a deadly, endearing, dumbfounding combination.

I like her husband very much. We have in the past, hung, and had our rounds of uncontrolled hysteria. I think he's a fun chap. But her reasons are her reasons and, well, all I was saying, mock sombre and everything: was to please not listen to bloody MLTR and the rest of the puppy gang, and instead give some respect to her ongoing godfather of break ups. I need her to listen to not-rubbish songs about heartbreak. I've already told her to go for Guru Dutt. Mohammad Rafi is anyway my favourite. Who else? Can you please tell me the saddest, most weep till you sleep songs you can think of? I promised a frog I'd compile a list. And I intend to present my charter of boo-hoo music on Thursday. 


MinCat said...

best breakupsong EVER. mala gente by juanes, colombian band. slight linguistic fuckup though, so this is my second fav.
this ain't goodbye by train.
is song of me and my ex.

Miss.Mystic said...

Somewhere between happiness and routine is a funny little place where we like all like being, not too happy and not too dull, just the like Baby Bear's porridge.

Nimpipi said...

Mincat: No no, don't relurk! I was just telling my friend here to sort of take a leaf out of your food pics on kitteh cooks. Love the cookie plate on mooda !
And danks for songs. Looking up the colombian thingie.

Myst: Waah! Sounds very cosy. Baby bear porridge and all..

Miss.Mystic said...

thank u thank u... just trying my hand at Babbbar Shers

NdeL said...

I got over a faux break up last month by listening to Adele's Rolling In The Deep on loop. Turned out quite unnecessary.
Anyway, this isn't a song about a break up, but it helps in both facing the pain as well as escaping it.
How To Disappear Completely by Radiohead.

Anonymous said...

not much to do about break-up, but one of my boss-friends-lifegurus type people worked on the impact of prosopis julifloria on the lives of people in rajasthan - apparently being a weed it makes people who own cattle have to venture further out into tiger territory, thus exacerbating imbalance between man and beast

- k

Pringle Man said...

I boo-hoo'd to this song once.


oo, and Movies by Alien Ant Farm.

Incognito said...

.... and to kill it



Nimpipi said...

<3 Danke, all. Links have been passed on to an indebeted soul.

Kriti said...

I discovered Gotye through your post, and when I discovered this -http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hOKuAigsrec&feature=relmfu - recently,I felt obliged to come back and share.

Ignore if you've already seen the cover. :)