plazmah: Abstract circle and square with "plazmah" underneath (bollywood: lyrics)
[personal profile] plazmah
Fun fact: up until a few months ago, I didn't realize that paisley print was the same thing as mango print. I've always called the pattern "mango print" because that's what we call it at home. That's what my mom and my aunts all call it. Come to think of it, I wasn't really ever sure what paisley print referred to. I thought it was some kind of flowery polka-dotted pattern, for some reason. Then one day I was online looking for tiling Twitter backgrounds, came across a pattern labeled as paisley, and became very confused. "Wait, that's a mango print! It's called paisley too? But... why?" Wiki came to the rescue of course. Basically, the East India Company couldn't import as many paisley shawls as they wanted to from India, so they started making them in a Scottish town called Paisley.

I dunno about anyone else, but I think "paisley" is a really odd name for the pattern when you consider its linguistic roots. Like I said, I think of paisley and I envision flowers and polka-dots. This? Is none of that. I'm calling it mango print til the end of time and I don't care if people don't know what I'm talking about. :P

***

So last night I suddenly got the BSOD on my laptop for no apparent reason. Fucking BSOD. Anyway, I glibly thought that perhaps there was a god I needed to appease in order to get my technology to work. But then the question remains: who would the Hindu god of technology be? As I fell asleep I decided it was Saraswati but then my mind made a leap to the question "if the Hindu gods were high school students at some posh boarding school in the Himalayan foothills, what would they be like?"

This is what I came up with. (I'm too fannish for my own good.)

She knows, somehow, that they're all connected to each other. When they cross paths in the hallway their eyes meet and there's a spark of understanding, even if they can't verbalize what exactly is going on. One of these days everything will become clear but until then, Swati tries to piece things together. This one and that one, we're all a part of something bigger. Six of them, herself included.

Swati sees Lux walking down the hall with her textbooks tightly held to her chest, moving in a straight line without looking to either side. She doesn't need to see the familiar sight, the other students slowing down and parting to let her pass, gazing at her as if mesmerized. Her locks are long and thick, the gentle curls of her hair bouncing with her every step and shining slightly red in the sunlight. She's wearing a swishy pink skirt with gold sequins that scatter light across the corridors, match gold anklets that cheerfully chime around her delicate feet. But Lux is neither cheerful nor bouncy nor anything the others want her to be, caught in the spell of her beauty. She's focused, single-minded. It's an accounting textbook Lux is carrying and Swati can practically see the numbers running through her best friend's head.

In computer class, Swati can't help but smile at Vishi's antics. She knows he doesn't want to be here, confined to a hard plastic chair as he squints at the characters on the screen. He doesn't care about programming or coding like she does. To her, computers are fascinating, all that knowledge stored in tiny microchips, the vast network that is the internet. But not everyone sees technology the way she does. So Swati indulges Vishi's constant chatter, nodding at all the right places as he waxes poetic about the play he's directing in drama class. She takes her eyes off the screen for a split second to tell him yes, she will most definitely come the performance. And why wouldn't she? Vishi was made to be on stage, sparkles in the spotlight like the brightest diamond in the universe. Mesmerizing in his own way. Kind of like Lux. Huh. Maybe that's why they like each other so much.

She has to cross the school grounds to get to her next class, weaving her way through various walkways. In the main garden, Shiv and Paro are arguing with each other. Again. Shiv has done the unthinkable and driven his motorcycle right onto the manicured grass, the thrumming machine underneath him as he wears both a lofty expression and that leather & fur jacket he refuses to remove, even when it's sweltering outside. Swati can see his fingernails are dirty and there's a streak of grease crossing his cheek. He's good with his hands, endlessly intrigued with how things come apart, making machines break down and fall to pieces. It's what he lives for... that and Paro. Even with all the fighting, everyone knows that Paro and Shiv are crazy about each other. And possibly crazy because of each other. On the surface Paro looks a lot like Lux, lovely and feminine and pristine. But Paro doesn't walk like Lux. She walks like she dares you to stand in her way. Paro snarls if she's unhappy. Paro will set her cousins Durg and Kalima upon you if you piss her off. Paro doesn't care for money, she takes law and sociology very seriously instead, intent on learning what makes people tick and how to stop them from doing things that she deems are stupid. Even if it's Shiv. And so it's a cycle with them; he can't take her apart like a car engine and she punishes him for his bone-headed actions, they push back and forth until there's an explosion of curses, followed by immediate declarations of love and forgiveness. It's strange, but somewhat comforting in its predictability.

Swati finally makes her way to her last class. He's waiting for her, eyes her quietly and beckons her over to his bench. He's holding a plump, white pigeon in his hands, smoothing his hands over its feathers soothingly. Today's biology class is about hormones and Swati wonders if he's comfortable injecting the bird in his hands with so much adrenaline that its heart stops. He has a thing for animals. All kinds of living things, really. This can't be easy for him.

"Nothing to worry about." Brahm whispers to her as the teacher writes on the board. "I talked the teacher into reducing the dose; they'll just pass out."

Swati was skeptical. "I still think there's a chance it'll die. This isn't a controlled experiment in a laboratory, we're just a bunch of tenth standard kids at an ordinary boarding school."

He doesn't respond, focuses instead on gently injecting the bird at the teacher's instruction. "You're right, this isn't a controlled laboratory. But you and I both know we aren't just regular kids." Brahm is holding the pigeon in his hands and she doesn't know how but she can hear its heartbeat slowing, quieting. She can hear every bird, every student, every teacher, every creature and stone in the whole universe thrumming with energy. She can hear poetry and debates, fiber optic cables crackling with information a thousand meters beneath the seas, satellites whizzing through the heavens. She can hear Lux doing calculations, Shiv and Paro sitting under the banyan tree, Vishi reciting his lines in his head. And they hear her too, trying to figure it all out.

The pigeon in front of her has quieted but yes, he's right, it's still alive. "See? Nothing to worry about." Brahm repeats, looking at her from the corner of his eyes. "But you already knew that, right?"

"Yes." Swati pets the small bird and lets the teachers words fly over her, thinking of Brahm's gentleness and affinity for life. She feels like she's missing something important, something familiar. Stars and light and ether, the cosmic balance. But then the teacher calls on her for not paying attention and she's back to the reality around her, reciting memorized answers like a good student should.
Well. It's a good thing I don't find my religion particularly sacred, huh? ;)

***

The only male version of the MPDG I've ever seen in a movie is SRK's character in Kal Ho Na Ho, hahaha. Please tell me there are others out there, in either Bollywood or Hollywood.
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