Archive for July, 2008

BOB DYLAN’S COMPLETE LYRICS TO 2001 – NOW IN PORTUGUESE TRANSLATION

Fresh on the market in Portugal is the second volume of the first-ever complete (up to 2001)
translation into Portuguese of Bob Dylan’s lyrics. This is a translation of the man from Minnesota’s ‘Lyrics 1962-2001’, ably carried out by Angelina Barbosa and Pedro Serrano (vol. 1 appeared in 2006).
 
Book details:
Bob Dylan, "Canções vol I 1962-73" (2006) and "Canções vol II 1974-2001" (2008),
Lisbon: Relógio d’Agua
 
The translations have been done very carefully and accurately (the translators have preferred
to err on the literal side). They are accompanied by informed and informative footnotes and
endnotes, and a bibliography. Indeed, this volume has been put together with rather more care
than the original ‘Lyrics’: the translators have spotted most of the transcription errors that mar the
original here and there, and while leaving the errors in the English have corrected them either in the
Portuguese text or in a note!
 
These two volumes are a labour of love. I myself had the privilege of helping the translators on a number of details, and am delighted to find myself cited in notes and bibliography and given a
credit at the end!
 
MUITO OBRIGADO, ANGELINA E PEDRO!
 
**
Note added 16 May 2010
 

For those who read Portuguese, I am pleased to add that on his blog at : http://www.semcompromisso.com/2010/05/once-upon-time-bob-dylan-na-cozinha-de.html Pedro Serrano, has now  posted an interesting piece on the history of that translation, in which he also kindly credits me.

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REPORT FROM 2Oth ECMSAS CONFERENCE, MANCHESTER JUL 08 – HISTORY AND THE SOUTH ASIAN NOVEL IN ENGLISH

PANEL ON “HISTORY AND THE SOUTH ASIAN NOVEL WRITTEN IN ENGLISH”,

20th EUROPEAN CONFERENCE ON MODERN SOUTH ASIAN STUDIES,

UNIVERSITY OF MANCHESTER, JULY 2008

 

Report by Christopher Rollason, Ph.D (Metz, France) – July 2008

 

 

From 8 to 11 July 2008, the city often described as England’s “Capital of the North” played host to the 20th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies (ECMSAS) (cf. entry on this blog for 14 Jul 08). The University of Manchester’s Humanities Building was the backdrop to this vast event, whose participants were also regaled with an official reception in the city’s superb Victorian Town Hall and, suitably enough, a conference dinner at the Lal Qila restaurant on Manchester’s fabled ‘Curry Mile’. The conference ranged across remarkably wide swathes of South Asian studies, from ‘Political economy of Bangladesh’ to ‘The Sanskrit tradition in the modern world’, taking in history, sociology, economics, fine arts, popular culture, regional studies and more. So enormous an event, split as it was into almost forty panels, each one virtually a conference within the conference, could not usefully be summarised by any one participant: the present writer will therefore describe only a small portion of the elephant, and will concentrate on teasing out the significance of Panel 13 (capably and sympathetically organised by <<Nicole Weickgennant of Manchester Metropolitan University), whose subject was ‘History and the South Asian novel written in English’.

 

The rubric of the panel was clear: the theme of debate was the modern (20th and 21st  century) English-language novel as practised by writers from India/ South Asia and their diasporas, in its relation to history, whether of the region or also of the wider world. The panel consisted of 14 papers and took place over the last two days of the conference, 10 and 11 July 2008. The  authors of the papers – subcontinental/diasporic, European or North American – were mostly literary scholars, but other disciplines – translation studies, history – were also represented. The discussions following each sub-panel of two to four papers were as lively as they were passionate, and a strong sense of camaraderie was generated among the participants as the two hard-working days unfolded.

 

The writers whose work was analysed in detail in the various papers (others of course being mentioned in passing) were: from India and its diaspora, Mulk Raj Anand, Amitav Ghosh, Manju Kapur, Rohinton Mistry, V.S. Naipaul, R.K. Narayan, Raja Rao,  Arundhati Roy and Salman Rushdie; and from Pakistan, Kamila Shamsie. The selection of authors may certainly be considered representative, in terms of period, geographical location and gender, though one may note the absence of, say, Vikram Chandra, Shobha Dé, Anita Desai or Vikram Seth. Certain key works, significantly enough, were examined in more than one paper: Ghosh’s ‘The Shadow Lines’ (in three), Mistry’s ‘A Fine Balance’ (in two), Roy’s ‘The God of Small Things’ (in two) and, inevitably, the one that – at least for many in the west – started it all, Rushdie’s ‘Midnight’s Children’ (in four papers). Thematically, many of the papers criss-crossed over time and space, and it therefore seems best here to summarise them in their chronological order of delivery.

 

The historical theme was challengingly introduced by Raita Merivita-Chakrabarti (La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia and University of Turku, Finland), who spoke on ‘History and Historiography in (Post-Emergency) Indian Novels in English’, focusing on ‘Midnight’s Children’ and a number of its successors and arguing that the models of history adopted by the novelists concerned tend to subvert and question the domimant notions of historiography emanating from the West, notably the idea of linear progress. This orientation was echoed by Susmita Roye (University of Bristol, England), whose paper (‘Salvaging the “Past” from “History” and Etching it into “His Story”: Stories of Rushdie’s Saleem and Ghosh’s Tridib”), explored the tension in ‘Midnight’s Children’ and ‘The Shadow Lines’ between the canonic events of the official history of South Asia and the more personalised, incomplete but intensively lived experiences of the protagonists. Still exploring Rushdie, Jenni Ramone (Newman University College, Birmingham), in ‘Happy Endings: Rushdie’s History of Kashmir’) examined a more localised strand of South Asian history – in, once again, ‘Midnight’s Children’ and also in Rushdie’s more recent ‘Shalimar the Clown’- showing how those two novels foreground Kashmir as a metonym for both communal politics and a threatened subcontinental tradition of diversity.

 

Next, moving out into a wider area of comparative studies, John Schwetman (University of Minnesota – Duluth, USA) offered, in ‘Prejudicial Encounters: Race, Caste and Extrajudicial Killings in Arundhati Roy’s “The God of Small Things” and William Faulkner’s “Light in August”’, a side-by-side analysis of Roy’s Booker-winning novel and Faulkner’s US classic, showing how both narratives, albeit written by non-subalterns, dramatise the plight of the subaltern (Dalit and African-American) in societies (Kerala and the American South) where an allegedly compassionate Christianity is a major component of the dominant order. Also concerned with India’s interaction with the wider world was the paper by Kumar Parag (University of Allahabad), ‘Exile, Alienation and Identity Crisis in V.S. Naipaul’s “Half A Life”’, in which, tracing the odyssey of Naipaul’s failed-writer protagonist Willie Chandan from India to England to Mozambique, he read the Nobel laureate’s novel as emblematic of a fractured and hybridated postcolonial identity.

 

The Dalit/subaltern theme was again highlighted in the next two papers. Rajeshwar Mittapalli (Kakatiya University, Warangal, India), in ‘Subaltern Subjectivity and Resistance: Dalit Social History in Postcolonial Indian Fiction in English’, showed how the official narrative of state-sponsored Dalit emancipation is challenged and exposed in the pages of three novels by non-Dalits – ‘The God of Small Things’ (again), Mulk Raj Anand’s ‘The Road’, and Rohinton Mistry’s ‘A Fine Balance’. The last-named novel was taken up in more detail in the contribution of the panel organiser Nicole Weickgenannt (Manchester Metropolitan University), ‘Rohinton Mistry’s “A Fine Balance”: Dalits, Subaltern History and the Emergency’, in which she read Mistry’s novel as a narrative of both Indira Gandhi’s Emergency and of an alternative history foregrounding the marginalised community of Dalits. The notion of alternative historiography received further support from the following paper, ‘Scripting the Unwritten: “Little History” in Indian Fiction’, by Meenakshi Bharat (Sri Venkateswara College, University of Delhi, India), which, drawing on Jean-François Lyotard’s celebrated postmodernist critique of “grand narratives”, focused on how a number of postcolonial novels, especially Ghosh’s “The Shadow Lines”, choose to home in, not on the “big” events of Independence and Partition, but on “lesser” moments such as the 1963-1964 Calcutta/Dhaka riots described by Ghosh, thus questioning the dominant official narratives of South Asian history.

 

The subaltern theme recurred in a different context, indeed being returned to its origins (it was first used in its modern sense as a military metaphor by the Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci) in the contribution by Talat Ahmed, a historian from the University of Leeds (England), ‘Sepoys and World War One: A subaltern perspective’. Eloquently testifying in her paper to the value of literature for historians as a source of historical evidence, she analysed Mulk Raj Anand’s novel of World War I, ‘Across the Black Water’, as a fictionalised account of the complex experiences of Indian sepoys as foot-soldiers ‘defending’ one enemy (the colonial oppressor) against another. This was followed by a paper – “’To build or to destroy”’: History and the individual in Manju Kapur’s “A Married Woman”’, by Christopher Rollason (independent scholar, Metz, France) – focusing on a more exclusively subcontinental event (nonetheless located in Kapur’s novel in a wider context of globalisatio), namely the destruction by Hindu militants of the Babri Masjid mosque at Ayodhya in 1992. This contribution showed how this novel’s text underscores both the objective status of the city of Ayodhya as an emblem of Indian pluralism and the appropriation of that same city by the Hindutva tendency as a politically charged locus of communalism.

 

Major Indian historical events returned to the fore in the paper by Kamayani Kaushiva (Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi), ‘Editing the “gaps” and “silences” in “historical truth” of Partition through “memory’s truth”’, which, like Susmita Roye’s, examined the Rushdie-Ghosh dyad of ‘Midnight’s Children’ and ‘The Shadow Lines’, showing how the two novels privilege heterogeneous and disparate accounts of history over the official totalising versions. Next came the panel’s sole paper entirely on Pakistan, ‘Karachi as a Map: Kamila Shamsie’s “Kartography”’, by Dalia Said Mostafa (University of Manchester), which examined the multiplicities and complexities of that country’s biggest metropolis as revealed in Shamsie’s novel. This was followed by a re-examination of major components of modern Indian iconography, featuring Anand once again, this time in the company of R.K. Narayan: Sejal Sutaria (Monmouth University, New Jersey, USA), in ‘Writing the Mahatma: Literary Renderings of Gandhi and his India by Mulk Raj Anand and R.K. Narayan’, showed how the two fictions, Anand’s ‘Untouchable’ and Narayan’s ‘Waiting for the Mahatma’, both embody, yet endeavour to resolve, Indian tensions over tradition and modernity. Finally, in the panel’s closing paper, Letizia Alterno (University of Manchester), in ‘Re-constructed history in Raja Rao’s “Kanthapura”: Dynamics of Hindu Nationalism and Anti-colonial Politics’, offered a reading of Rao’s famous Gandhian novel in terms of Homi Bhabha’s concept of liminality, suggesting that the narrative of resistance in ‘Kanthapura’ offers an alternative notion of historical dynamics that permits a specifically Indian interpretation of history in the modern period.

 

All told, the papers of this panel, while diverse in their subject-matter and ranging widely over modern subcontinental history, may be said as a group to have thrown up, or indeed shared, certain underlying concerns. One may here identify: interest in the smaller and more personal areas of historical experience as opposed to totalising ‘grand narratives’ (though it is hard to see how one can narrate the modern subcontinent without referring to Independence and Partition); identification of autochthonous models of history that are diverse and heterogeneous in contrast to both triumphalist Western and homegrown nationalist-communalist discourses; and, perhaps most important for the convergence of literature and history, the privileging of non-linear, indeed traditional Indian forms of narrative. The debates will continue, and conference and panel offered a fruitful contribution to them. Meanwhile, the present report is humbly offered as, in its way, the “little history” of a panel whose work and discussions have helped to enrich the ongoing greater history of modern South Asian studies. 

 

Photos:

Below are a number of images of different moments in the panel, featuring, among others,

Rajeshwar Mittapalli (5 and 6), Letizia Alterno (3 and 4) and Christopher Rollason (1 and 2).

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOTE added 8 January 2009:

 

This blog entry has been kindly linked to by Dr Rajeshwar Mittapalli in a piece on his visit to Manchester, ‘English July: An Indian Scholar’s Travelogue’, published in THE EUROPEAN ENGLISH MESSENGER (European Society for the Study of English), Vol. 17.2, Autumn 2008, pp. 28-35.

 

NOTE added 3 September 2009:

 

This report has now been published in:
Parnassus (Rae Bareli, India), Vol. I, 2009, pp. 108-112 – for more details, see entry on this blog for 2 September 2009.

 

 

 

THE SEALED FIGURINE – story by Cristina Galeano (my translation)

Here is the English version, in my translation, of THE SEALED FIGURINE / LA FIGURITA SELLADA, a short story by Cristina Galeano (Uruguay). It’s also on my site Yatra at:
The Spanish original is also on this blog (entry for 1 February 2008).
 
**

THE SEALED FIGURINE (LA FIGURITA SELLADA)

 

A story by Cristina Galeano (Uruguay)

 

Translation (2008) by Christopher Rollason

           

 

 

            6.30 p.m., said my watch.  I was crouching. The moment I’d stowed your brand-new pair of sky-blue baby-shoes in the cupboard drawer, a tremor seized me from head to toe. I could have sworn it! Something extraordinary was about to happen to me!

            Softly, turned to one side, slowly, I sat down on the mattress with its white coverlet decorated with carriages and locomotives. At that very moment, four months pregnant, I decided I’d give you your first present. Julián, out of all the things I might choose, can you guess what …? Something unbreakable, something very delicate. Not a fluffy animal, not a mechanical toy. Not something to touch with your hands but something to feel with the melody of a recollection. No idea? Let me whisper it in your ear: it’s a story, made just for you.

             

            My son, for some time now I’ve been wanting to tell you your story, my story, your father’s story. It’s so important to know where we’re coming from … and where we’re going!

             

            Shhh, even if most likely they’ll fob you off with the gossips’ tale that I was late in marrying. Don’t you take any notice! One always gets there at the right time, why choose  in a hurry? And now here’s a surprise! You may not believe it, but one fine day and after a whole lifetime, in the middle of a chaste kiss I suddenly fell head over heels for my next-door neighbour.

            People said he was a ladies’ man, a stingy fellow, a confirmed bachelor. But even so, six months after that kiss he’d already bought this comfortable flat, and a ring for me, a-gleam with brilliants.

             

            "Tick tock", says the clock on the table where your lamp is. My pulse beats faster. It’s 6.45: just half an hour before he’s through with his last patient and comes home, the man who fascinates me, the man whom I admire and love.

            I hold my breath and turn up my ears as I listen out for the imperceptible turn of the key in the lock … I put my hand on my belly. Mmm, where were we just now?

             

             My son, I can’t tell you anything but the truth! It wasn’t easy, adapting to living together. We were both set in our ways in so many things…! And yet, let me tell you, we knew it was for us and we really did make an effort! Day in, day out, we practised that hardest of the virtues called patience. We learnt maxims like: ‘We do have two ears and a mouth for a reason’, or ‘Negotiating means meeting the other half way’. And what was our reward? Well, if you want to know, here it is, right here when you, my darling, appear on the scene. Very soon came the pregnancy test, crying out ‘Yes!’.

             

            7 p.m. I’m looking without seeing, in front of your toy car-track with its bright colours. I’m imagining what you’re going to be like, inside and outside. Will you be tall and blonde? Overweight? Intelligent, a good friend? Self-centred? Oh, my son! I get so anxious! What will be your fate in this world?

             

             7.13. And just now, between one plan and another, a sigh escaped me: "Maybe you’ll be a doctor like your father? Or a metalworker like your grandfather? Or most probably an original, not taking after anyone…?". Ah, with my heartbeat clattering like a toy train, here I am completing this unforgettable story, and at the same time … uncovering the Sealed Figurine: What are we here in this world for? What gets bigger and multiplies if you share it? What is it that can’t be bought and is ever sought? That’s it…! That’s what matters!

             

            7.15.  "Happiness!", someone whispered in my ear…

            – Hello, dearest!, I heard your father greet me from the entrance door.

            – Hurry up, my love, run! Come and feel Julián! Oh! He’s moving inside me!

             

             

             

 

 

20th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies, Manchester, July 2008; my paper on MANJU KAPUR’S “A MARRIED WOMAN” and the Babri Masjid issue

The 20th European Conference on Modern South Asian Studies (ECMSAS) was held at the University of Manchester, 8-11 July 2008. It was a mammoth event, with over 30 panels covering multiple aspects of modern South Asian politics, history, sociology, arts, literature, popular culture and more. I participated in the very successful and stimulating Panel 13 (History and the South Asian Novel written in English, capably organised by Nicole Weickgennant), with a paper on Manju Kapur’s "A Married Woman" and the Babri Masjid issue. Other papers featured Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Rohinton Mistry, V.S. Naipaul, Amitav Ghosh, Raja Rao, Mulk Raj Anand, R.K. Narayan, and Kamila Shamsie (Pakistan). The conference site is at:
 
 
Manchester, with its superb Victorian town hall recalling buildings in Bombay and its wonderful ‘Curry Mile’ replete with Indian restaurants, was a most appropriate setting for this conference, and I am most grateful to all those who made my participation possible.
**
The photos below – some featuring Rajeshwar Mittapalli, Letizia Alterno and myself –
highlight, variously: the University of Manchester’s distinguished Victorian buildings; conference time at the Humanities Building concourse; and the conference dinner. 
 

 

My own contribution took the form of a (well-received) paper entitled:
 

"To build or to destroy": History and the individual in Manju Kapur’s "A Married Woman"

The paper is available online at my Yatra site:

http://yatrarollason.info.files/ManjuAMWManchester.pdf

Abstract:

The theme of South Asian individuals being caught up in and having their lives reshaped by major collective historical events (such as Independence and Partition) has been a constant in postcolonial Indian Writing in English, in such key works as Salman Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children, Amitav Ghosh’s The Shadow Lines or Manju Kapur’s own Difficult Daughters. In A Married Woman (2002), the second of her three novels and the only one so far to incorporate public concerns into a contemporary setting, Kapur focuses on, among other themes, the Hindu-Muslim conflict as crystallised around the Ayodhya/Babri Masjid issue. This novel has attracted attention for its frank depiction of a love affair between two women, but less attention has been paid to the historical and political context in which that relationship develops. Kapur boldly returns to the Ramayana’s sense of a beginning by initiating the transgressive relationship in Ayodhya, in the wake of an anti-communalist rally, and by making one of the pair the Hindu widow of a secularist Muslim. The tale that thus unfolds powerfully explores how, in a still-traditionalist India entering the age of globalisation, evolving personal relations on the microsocial level are shaped by wider historical forces, yet can in their turn reshape that same history in an adumbration, potentially utopian even if partial and temporary, of new and more diverse forms of human relationship.

**

Dr Rajeshwar Mittapalli’s paper from the conference:

‘Subaltern Subjectivity and Resistance: Dalit Social History in Postcolonial Indian Fiction in English’,

is on-line at the SavifaDok site maintained by the University of Heidelberg, Germany:

http://archiv.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/savifadok/frontdoor.php?source_opus=178&la=en

 

 

 

JSL (Delhi), No 9 (Spring 2008) – with my essay on INDIAN WRITING IN ENGLISH – TRANSLATION ISSUES

Now out is No 9 (second series), Spring 2008, of JSL,
the Journal of the School of Language, Literature and
Cultural Studies of Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
(editor: GJV Prasad –
gjvprasad@yahoo.com).

It includes, inter alia, articles on:
Amitav Ghosh, THE GLASS PALACE (Rohini Mokashi-Punekar
and Abhigyan Prasad), Shashi Deshpande, SMALL REMEDIES
(Nancy E. Batty), Toni Morrison, LOVE (Neenakshi F. Paul),
Nietzsche and Bahktin (Yelena Mazour-Matusevich), and  (pp 20-39) ‘Indian Writing
in English: Some Language Issues and Translation Problems’
(Christopher Rollason; given as a lecture at JNU in 2006 – see blog entry for 15 March 2006).

My article is available on-line at:

http://yatrarollason.info/files/INDIANENGLISHJSLversion.pdf

**

Note added 2 January 2010:

I am pleased to say that this article has (along with many of the authors it refers to) been cited in:

 Manju Roy, "Language and Style in Manju Kapur’s Difficult Daughters". Indian Review of World Literature in English (on-line journal) . Vol. 6, No. 1, Jan. 2010.  http://worldlitonline.net/language-and-style.html.

**

Note added 16 July 2010:

This article has now been republished in: G.J.V. Prasad (ed.),Translation and culture: Indian perspectives, New Delhi: Pencraft, 2010, pp. 88-10 –

see entry on this blog for 15 July 2010.

 

 

TU ÚLTIMA MUÑECA: relato de Cristina Galeano (Uruguay)

TU ÚLTIMA MUÑECA

 

Faltando una hora para terminar mi horario de trabajo en la inmobiliaria, tú, aún mi tierna hijita con 23 años, envuelta en voz de misterio me decías por teléfono:

—Mamá, cuando salgas pasá por lo de Cecilia, tengo una noticia para darte.

—¿Buena o mala?— respondí con el corazón en la mano

—“Clic“, sonó del otro lado.

 

 Apenas te miré, una vena marcada en tu frente me puso en estado de alerta:

 —Mamá, estoy embarazada, ¡vas a ser abuela!— me anunciaste.

Cuatro tazas de té caliente al hilo me hicieron bien para entrar en calor, apenas.

 ¡A mí, esto no me está pasando! ¿O, sí?, me pregunté, aún, clavada a la silla…

Para que no lo dudara, tú me ayudabas un poquito:

—¿Sabes mamá? Con Gonzalo queremos formar un hogar. Queremos casarnos… ¿Verdad que estás contentísima de tener un nietito? ¡¿Verdad que sí?!

En una respuesta de oso desconcertado, mi respuesta fue una sola:   

¡Sí, claro, hijita! … ¡Pero a partir de este momento, te va a cambiar a la vida…!

 

Al minuto nomás, yo me preguntaba, pidiendo socorro por dentro “Ay, ¿hacia dónde correr primero?”

 Tú, hija, me indicaste el primer paso:

 — Mamá, ¡tú que eres tan buena…! ¿Podrías decírselo a papi?

Te obedecí ciegamente; no podía aún razonar demasiado. Sin mucho preámbulo, con la mirada húmeda y el amor de siempre, le conté la primicia al flamante abuelo.

El segundo paso lo dio Gonzalo, con aquella expresión de respeto por la familia y de orgullo por el hijo que venía en camino; cuando, ni más ni menos,… ¡nos pidió la mano de la nena!

 

De allí en adelante, todo sucedió de corrido. Nos quedaban dos meses, para conversar con los consuegros, ir al Registro, a la imprenta, buscar modista, comprar tela para el vestido, elegir salón de fiestas, discoteca, fotógrafo, decidir si habría brindis con champagne y torta o,… una fiesta con tutti.

La elección de la Iglesia comenzó por entrenarnos en salto de obstáculos. Allí hubo que resolver desde que si cura o mejor diácono, de que color serían los arreglos florales, quienes leerían algunas palabras, hasta sacar una “mariposa technicolor“en coro de guitarras.

 

 Sin embargo, no creas, que entre tantas corridas no tuve mi día de “PARE”…Fue cuando desde el fondo de mi rincón de mis recuerdos, encontré tu última muñeca…, la que te había regalado tu papá a la bajada de aquel ómnibus en una madrugada de escarcha…

Aquella a la que con cualquier trapito le hacías algo lindo…

Aquella… con la que jugabas cuando eras una nena de colitas.

 “¡Oh! Mi pequeña hijita, ¡va a ser madre!“, me decía, aún anonadada. Sin embargo, había mucho para pensar, muchísimo para planear, y tanto más para concretar. Por lo tanto, aquella muñeca, con una caricia de mi corazón volvió a quedar bien guardada, en el hondo rincón de mis recuerdos.

 

 Inolvidables aquellos aprontes ¡Qué contagiosas tus carcajadas en los ensayos con tu papá, practicando la entrada a la Iglesia…! ¡Ahh!, y,…cuando faltarían dos días para la fecha tan esperada… ¡Qué expresión de enamorada tenías al escuchar la voz de Gonzalo en el teléfono! De pronto, me sobresalté, tu cara se fue poniendo algo violácea. El te comentaba cordialmente:

Silvi, mi amor, hoy me encontré con los amigos del barrio y le conté que me casaba. Me dijeron que irían a la Iglesia y a la fiesta para acompañarnos.

 

 ¡Oh, no!, tu obsesión de que nunca falte ni miga ni gramo, hizo que gritaras ante mi desmayo:

 —¿Sabés qué, Gonzalo? ¡No me caso nada!

¡Horror! se me caía de la mano la lista de los invitados. Sin embargo, el refrán: “una vez andando el carro, se acomodan los zapallos“, resultó ser muy acertado en este caso.

 

¡Sí! También abrigo vívidos recuerdos de aquel 25 de octubre…La llegada al Registro Civil, en un día húmedo por donde se mirara… ¡Qué chic, estabas tú Silvana con aquel trajecito turquesa! Embobada, yo observaba cada detalle de tu carita de ángel…Tus pocitos en las mejillas, tus labios sonrientes, tu mirada brillante… ¡Todo desparramaba amor a raudales, cuando le diste el “sí“, a quien amabas con toda tu alma!

 

Mmm…Fue en ese momento cuando me sentí algo descolocada. Por supuesto, aunque muy feliz por ti…, bien, bien en el fondo, me preguntaba: ¿Aún, será un poquito mía?…

 Salvadores abrazos y felicitaciones desviaron mis pensamientos en otra dirección. Con un ahogado sollozo te dije al abrazarte: “¡Te felicito, querida!”

 

Veinticuatro horas más tarde, había llegado el gran día. Tu vestido había sido ajustado, y el cierre del mío, ¡subido, por fin hasta arriba! Ya era hora de irnos al hotel con aquellos dos carritos rojos. Allá nos vestiríamos para irnos a la Iglesia…

 ¡Pienso que fue aquella y no otra tu despedida de soltera! ¡Qué alboroto!

—¡Estoy tan contenta, mamá!, me decías saltando en tu cama, aún, de una plaza…

¡Eras mi nena,…y estabas a punto de vestirte de novia! Yo disimulaba mi emoción, con la vista en el jardín. Justo elevaba vuelo una paloma.

Para la “producción“nos fuimos a la peluquería. ¡Nos sentíamos unas reinas! Con sendos rulos y un delicado maquillaje, ¡nos guiñábamos un ojo tan compinches! Todo estuvo muy bien coordinado. A las cinco en punto ya llegaba tu delicado ramito de novia con rositas perfumadas. ¡Tu alegría, al verlo, se reflejó en el espejo de la peluquería!

 

 ¿Un recuerdo imborrable? Sin duda, la luz en tu mirada, al entrar a la habitación ya lista para vestirte de blanco; sin inmutarte, ni cuando los impacientes bocinazos del padrino, te instaban a ponerte en movimiento. ¡Ah! ¡Qué lindos recuerdos…!

 

Luego, cerca del anochecer, se escucharon las impactantes palabras: ¡Ya llegaron…!

 ¡Qué emoción! La marcha nupcial ya comenzaba su primer acorde. Me pregunté si bien amorosamente te estarían acomodando tu glorioso vestido blanco…Con un hondo suspiro, yo volaba detrás de aquella puerta maciza que, asombrosamente, se abría de par en par, como un capullo con el sonido de una campanita.

 

En aquel instante me estiraba desde mis zapatos como una jirafa. Era imposible aún verte por la distancia… ¡Pero sí podía imaginarte! ¡Mi pecho me hacía de redoblante!

En instantes, los dos ya estaban más cerca. Tu papá, de los nervios parecía acelerar el paso. y tú, con una sonrisa parecías decirle: “Papi, mas despacio“…

Cuando llegaron, ¡sentí que flotaba en el aire! Allí estaban, mi amor del brazo de mi hija vestida de novia. Demasiado sentimiento para el pecho de una madre ¡Casi, casi, me desmayo allá adelante…!

¡Por fin habías llegado! ¡Por fin podía mirarte! ¡Tú, querida hijita, simplemente estabas radiante…! Parecía movérseme el piso allá debajo ¿O serían quizás mis tacos tan altos? Me preguntaba cuando, cuando, sería el último acorde… Apretaba bien, bien fuerte mis labios para aguantar el llanto. Fervorosamente, rogaba:

 —¡Por favor!, ¡que no se me corra el maquillaje!

 

Algo que sin duda me caló hondo fue aquel “sí“, aquel que pronunciaste, acompañando el son de las guitarras, con adoración en tu mirada… ¡Yo, desde mi lugar de madrina, no me perdía detalle! Ese era el primer paso en tu camino, igual, al que yo, hace tantos años, había dado con tu padre…Pensé con un dejo de nostalgia y los ojos nublados:

 “¡Ahora sí, ahora sí, ya no habría vuelta atrás! ¡Te alejarías de mí y de aquella muñeca Barbie!“… Entonces, Gonzalo, te puso la alianza.

 

 Hoy, a casi cuatro años de aquel día, mucha agua ha pasado bajo el puente y algunas incógnitas se me han revelado:

Siento que con tu familia estás en el camino correcto. Cada cosa ocurre por alguna razón y en el momento exacto. Es algo maravilloso ser abuela de tu hijo Lucas…

Con él tengo la misma afinidad que contigo: el fútbol, el básquetbol, el tejo, las escondidas, la mancha color o simplemente imaginar juntos a la Tía Anacleta ¡todo es fantástico! Además, de yappa, tiene un segundo nombre que amo: Javier, ¡el nombre de mi padre…!

 

Pero hay además, una tercer incógnita que también me fue revelada…

El día que naciste le pedí algo a Dios…

Algo que temí mientras te observaba jugar con aquella muñeca de acción en las manos…

Algo que dudé mientras mirabas en el altar a Gonzalo…

Algo que dudé más aún,… cuando te vi con tu hijo en brazos…

Algo que ya sé, que siento cada vez que miro esa vena marcada en tu frente, ¡por la que corre tu sangre, sangre de mi sangre…!

¿Sabes, Silvana? ¡Toda la vida…, vas a ser un poquito mía!

 

 Autora – María Cristina Galeano

LIBRO – “Cosas que pasan”

 cristinagaleano@netgate.com.uy

www.regalato.wordpress.com