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Stealing Chocolates in Sinclair

April 17, 2009


I didn’t realize this, but there was a point when I think I used to judge people by the size of their apartments. I wasn’t particularly aware of such bigotry, so it went unexamined. It wasn’t until I stepped into that Sinclair apartment that I realized my prejudice, and more importantly, how quickly it could be overpowered.

That said, the apartment was really tiny. The distance between the rather basic but tidy kitchen and the living room was less than three feet. It could’ve even been about a foot and a six inches. The living room itself was sparse. There was a clutter of images on the right wall. They appeared to be European paintings, possibly Victorian. Miniatures mostly, and mounted. Almost all of them had a grayish background and were melancholic.

I caught a glimpse of a portrait of a young caucasian girl in a hat. My friend later told me that when she was little, she used to feel some sort of aesthetic connection with the girl in that painting. I remember smiling back, feeling slightly intrigued and indulgent.

I was intrigued at her ability to connect aesthetically with a blond caucasian girl, and wondering what the basis was for such a self-image. Growing up fair-skinned and light-eyed in South Asia, I suppose, and being brought up by a mother who spoke mostly English and played the piano. Well, sort of played the piano.

The furniture and furnishings were minimal. Strikingly minimal, considering, if what my friend had said were true, their family had bought her a 200, 000 USD worth apartment not so long ago a year after her marriage.

Aside from a few basic paintings, that must’ve been as old as her family’s stay in that apartment, there was a picture of a Saint her community revered (maybe worshipped, not sure), a clock, a personalized M. F. Hussain doodle, some souvenirs (a plate from Israel had caught my attention), and a very basic coffee table.

In fact, now as I write this, I wonder about this whole minimalism deal. There was certainly a lot to this, in the way she and her family chose to do many things. Take her fridge for instance. The fridge usually had as much food as was left over after the day’s meals. In one of the cabinets, there were chocolates, but they were never eaten. Perhaps this was understandable given that the father was a cardiac patient, the mother ostensibly not a foodie, while she herself was determindely anoerexic to “preserve the shape she was in since she was 15”. That last bit was almost verbatim, as you may have guessed, because of the ferocity with which it was declared to me more than once. A side-order of guilt for my role in making her fall out of her exercise schedule.

But despite all that, it still didn’t make sense to me why none of the chocolates, and some of them were good stuff I have to say, never got eaten. I couldn’t help but think that the chocolates didn’t get eaten because they were being saved. Maybe for a rainy day. When all their food would run out. Or more likely, for guests. Maybe if the guests had children. Whatever the more rational reasons were, I couldn’t help but think that there was a basic minimalism and maybe even miserliness that explained why all that good chocolate never got eaten.

I stole them once in a while, when everybody would sleep. Of course, I wasn’t always careful disposing with the wrappers, and no doubt, they were aware that their chocolates were getting stolen. I don’t think they liked it much. Which, in turn, troubled me for some reason.

Another fond memory I have of the chocolates is my ration of one a day that I was officially allowed. I appreciated the concern for my health, and I have to say, it was one of the good things about getting to know her. There were many good things, but her occasional concern was certainly very nice. Although, I can’t help but feel sometimes that I give her too much credit because the affection was always laced with expectation. An expectaton of an impatient kind that became more turgid with time.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. Chris permalink
    February 8, 2009 9:21 pm

    Turgid with time is inevitable. Best to run at the hint of turgidity I say.

  2. February 9, 2009 2:24 pm

    first time on your blog, very well written..

    for the chocolates i think it was there just in case some guest dropped by, nobody there might have liked chocolate may be thats y they are left uneaten. i m saying this because because there is are chocolates in our refrigerator and nobody wants to eat it, its given to if some kids drop by..

  3. Mishael permalink
    April 20, 2009 9:51 am

    how about this: a cabinet full of chocolate perhaps reminds her of her childhood? an abundance of luxury and wealth with which she was so familiar while growing up! you have mentioned that the house has minimal furnitures, where as, she claims of possessing an expensive apartment, and with all those souvenirs and the israel made plate, speaks of an exotic past that no longer exists for her. think about it!

  4. Sajid Huq permalink
    April 20, 2009 10:08 am

    haha, possible.

  5. Raisa permalink
    April 23, 2009 5:21 pm

    “while she herself was determindely anoerexic to “preserve the shape she was in since she was 15″.”

    She sounds like a weirdo to me. I’d say it’s good it ended (?)

  6. Sajid Huq permalink
    May 11, 2009 5:36 pm

    Yes, its over. Sadly.

  7. Emma Z permalink
    May 13, 2011 3:02 am

    I feel sad for her. I don’t think she is a weirdo, she is probably like a million other girls. People have dreams, hopes, aspirations, etc that hardly ever converts into anything and one waits to be rescued and keeps waiting……..Not telling I think she is amazing but I feel sad for her :/

  8. Surah permalink
    July 6, 2011 12:55 pm

    I am quoting from one of my favorite movies “Life [is] like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” Maybe she was too scared to give life a chance! In a very strange way I can relate to that.

    Just stumbled on this blog…hope you don’t mind me commenting on an old post.

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