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People close to me think I am some sort of Jumping Jill.

By the way, this version of Jumping Jill is in no way related to the original Jumping Jack Jeetendra, of Bollywood fame, who earned the sobriquet by jumping in tune to the many songs in the movies he acted. Besides, if I tried jumping in a similar manner, the plantar fasciitis and sciatica, not to mention more of the whatchamacallits and thingamabobs that bother my lower extremities would all rise in revolt incapacitating me forthwith.

The Jumping Jill in my context refers more to the supposed penchant of mine to jump from one topic to the next. Or so they say. Balderdash, say I. They are wrong. Oh so wrong. To prove my point, I present my case below.

Your Honors, Mi’Lord, or whatever. I humbly request to submit my version to this unfair accusation that I jump from one topic to another without fair warning, confusing and confounding people with whom I converse. At the end of my well-thought out the haphazard explanation, I am pretty sure Your Honors will start pulling out handfuls of hair from your heads find me blameless as the driven snow, though to be fair I have never ever seen snow, driven or otherwise. Anyways…

It is like this Your Honors, Mi’Lords or whatever. My mind, or what I call my mind, treads a non-linear path, makes connection between this, that, and the other, and arrives at a fresh new destination while my staid audience remains stuck at Point Zero. What do you mean I should have taken them along? There was/is no time. All this happens in a split second, Mi’Lords.

Let’s say we are discussing the growing of red roses. While they are still going at it, I would have remembered a man with a red rose in his lapel from a show on Netflix, which then reminds me I have not sent that coat for dry-cleaning. The Dry-cleaning shop being called Snow-White reminds me of white forest cake. Why? What do Your Honors mean by why. There is no why to this. It just is the way it is. If you must know, Snow White and white forest cake both have ‘white’ in them.

The white forest cake reminds me about the red velvet cake. Both are cakes you see? That’s a connection you understand, I bet. Velvet cake reminds me of velvet curtains. The army mess had them, deep red curtains. I wonder where Mrs A is who used to be my neighbor back in the days of army life. She had a dog, which had a purple collar. Yes, purple! Purple like the kite we saw dancing against the vast blue sky while we were on the beach the time we went on a trip to…. At this point (and you must remember only seconds have elapsed from beginning to end), I stop to ask, ‘Where’s the photo of that thing we took when we went to that place?’

Silence greets me. Everyone stares at me blankly. I mean, what the heck. Milords, could the question have been any more clearer? That thing from that place. Which thing, from where, they want to know. I sigh and tell them. Yes, I have to tell them! The photo of the purple kite from the time we went to the beach in Seychelles, or may be it was Mauritius. ‘How do we know,’ they ask annoyed. ‘In the midst of discussing growing of red roses you start asking about purple kites. You are crazy, jumping from one topic to another with no connection whatsoever!

You see how it is. This happens over and over again. They tell me my mind jumps in a haphazard manner. I maintain it merely makes connections. Red roses to purple kite, you see how inevitable it was, don’t you? So, tell me, am I blameless like the snow I told you of that I am yet to see? Please answer, and stop pulling out your hair by the roots. If you persist, Your Honors will go bald.

© Shail Mohan 2020

By the way, I am Jill Of All Trades, but that’s an altogether different story which you may read by clicking the link.