Tuesday, 7 August 2007

Paper Cuts

You have children visiting you. You feel the urge to engage them in something, feel the urge to connect to them. They are crouched on the ground. You step in between them. They seem to be arguing quietly, in an alien (as in American) tongue. You see the book. You light up, its origami. You are in the zone. Or, rather, they are in your zone.

Transported to childhood again. The boy could well be his uncle, your cousin. The girl, well a visiting friend perhaps, or that imaginary one even. You, you are yourself, several kilos lighter, eons and eons younger. The floor is a nice red-oxide (whatever) and not this fake Italian marble. The papers are papers though the scissors are a trifle sharper. Your need for cleanliness is markedly more now than then, but then you are also more efficient at clean-up.

Fifty-six hours later, you have completely exhaustively finished one of the two books. You have identified errors in the instructions. You have imparted knowledge about the mountain, the valley, the reverse folds. Your team has been successful in mastering the fish, the swan, the white-faced monkey, even the seagull. You are contemplating actually using the wallet. Your mother is in paroxysms again over the amount of cut paper on the floor. You have Karan Johar peering from the fish, Sanjay Dutt from the swan. The other book is inviting, it even has a section on three-dimensional models. But then adulthood kicks in, you remember your three-year old, grocery shopping, office.

You go on out on a high note with the fully mastered cube. The children have a tendency to use cello-tape to strengthen their models. You are a purist. Paper, maybe occasionally scissors. No gum or tape. The cube, with its perfect four-fold symmetry (during folding), is a hit. You have connected. They are to leave soon, a part of you will go with them. But a part will wait here, perhaps for their children, some rainy afternoon twenty years out.


madrasi said...

Oh Preeti. I know running is your first love but you should write more. write a book.
Don't ask me why I am sitting here reading your blog posts from eons ago.
And loving them.

Preeti Aghalayam aka kbpm said...

It's amazing how many things one needs to just live. Yes, I need running, I don't deny it. But I also need this. And have been missing how it allows me to sort the mind out. Thanks for the nudge!