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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Monday, 15 January 2007

Reflection: She of the simple mind

Yesterday, I watched an Indian woman parked at a tea-stall, frying curry puffs in a pan of sizzling oil in the hot sun.

The middle-aged lady in her tightly-coiled bun, wore a faded short-sleeved blouse and a sarong, that was tied neatly around her liberal tummy. No doubt, she would have had a few children in her time. On her right shoulder, lay a small towel. Now and then, she reached out for that stained rag, to wipe her sweaty brow or sticky fingers.

As she fried her curry puffs, she smiled.

Yes, she smiled to herself as if she had suddenly remembered a tender moment, a romantic song, laughter, a Hindustani film clip, an embrace.

As if she was consumed by the carefreeness of that moment.
As if, she didn't want to be anywhere else.

I realised with a jolt as her ladle swung this way and that, that she was happy.

I wondered about this lady.

Perhaps she was one of the lucky ones.

The children's school fees were settled. And perhaps, her husband didn't drink so much anymore. It didn't look like he beat her. Perhaps too, her Hindu deities had blessed her in some way. A little more milk in the cupboards. A saree for her birthday. You knew she had very little education. But she knew how to fry a good curry puff and that she loved her pan.

And then I thought of me.

And why couldn't I just be her...or just like her. My destiny is turbulent and restless...my spirit ever-searching and not that I would want it to stop. Just that I could never stand in one place too long - metaphorically speaking. So from now and from where I came, where will I end up? Will I someday be doing the forgotten thing, with that same merry smile etched on my face?

Could I ever hope to be this lady frying curry puffs?

I remembered watching a British telly show, My Life on Film, starring Kris Marshall as a bit of a comic idiot. He said he wanted to make films and
go to the Isle of Man. His best friend asked him where that was. And Marshall said with his genius pretend-stupidity, that he didn't know. But that it was out there somewhere and he wanted to head out to the out there somewhere.

Then I think that through some rough times, it was my sense of adventure that preserved my sanity. Perhaps none of us are meant to be the same.

Oh...for a slice of this Indian lady's contented life..she of the simple mind. That I could search for all my life and yet, may never find. But then to be honest, when it comes to the crunch,would I really want to at the end of the day?

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