One thousand and one texts

Lovers text. And text all the time. It's pretty much who they are. Gooey and cuddled up against each other via tiny telephonic devices. Their fingertips are like glued to the keypads. Writing love letters in shorthand. Baby this, baby that. And all that. No offense.

But mishaps happen. Disasters arise out of short message service. You wouldn't deny. Just one con of our non neanderthal lives. It's crazy, how inconspicuously some texts are lost. As simple as that. Just lost. Somewhere in the stratosphere/ionosphere, wherever. Never delivered. To the rightful other half of your heart. The godforsaken delivery notification beeps Pending and that's that. That sent text is pronounced dead forever.

It could've been a rosy text, it could've been a dirty text, a moist one sent from the faint lit fantasy of midnight, or anything for that matter. Very very momentary. A message whose message is very much contained in that very moment. And might be lost in the next.

If you're still reading this, allow me to make this banal assumption. What if. What if, one such lost sms, finds its way out to the erstwhile other half of your heart. Erstwhile. Months or years after whatever you'd wanted to say. Some crazy lustful night, depicting the exact technique in which you wanted to kiss him. Now that you're no longer together. I mean could it ever be more uncomfortable!

Monologue

Since long I have been planning to write this monologue. I wish to make it start like it were a dialogue. Of two people deeply involved in conversation. Talking about entirely unrelated ideas. But still involved. It's crazy I know. But who cares. And gradually that dialogue becomes a monologue. Because probably, the two ideas converge, when extended. Or because the two people were indeed one. One person, not two. Only they were under the impression that they were separate. But the one person was conversing with another shade of her own. And that's how my dialogue would translate into a monologue. It's crazy I know.

I get a lot more of these momentary mad ideas these days. Whenever I cross a street. Or stare at my monitor. Thoughtless. Unfinished sentences linger inside my head. Grey interiors flash again. Times come back, and whiz past. Mostly leave me unaffected. Because there is no time to breathe. No time to live. No time to pee. And this fatigue is driving me nuts. Venomous monotony is not a drop short of poison. For a mind as nascent as mine. This moment I am here, the next I am no-more.

What is to be done. Sometimes I remember, my greatest fear was that I would lose my ability to write. My uncontrollable urge to write. Write down, whatever's running inside me. The simple art of undoing my taut muscles. But today the paucity of words doesn't scare me. Somehow, I don't know how, but it doesn't. Probably I don't care that I don't write. Or have I found an alternative to writing. And am empowered by the more affordable choice.

My thoughts are so fleeting. They don't stay, I cannot remember. I cannot connect. Or build stories. Like I used to. My thoughts are random. Very wild. And make no sense at all. None. It's like I am in this unending monologue with myself. Realizing that all my stories, about sad and lonely people, written in the past few years, were indeed a monologue. And now all of them, have converged, when extended, into me.

Monologue. 
There is a sect of people who are meant never to be satisfied. In love. No offense, meant or taken. This is just a fact stated, honestly. And nobody is to blame. Probably fate conspires to get the hearts of the captioned people  broken irreversibly as soon as there is love in sight. Or probably these people are devoid of that gene that produces contentment. Somehow, anyhow, they are perennially shattered. Angry. In waiting.

I once met a man such. And a woman such. And apparently were reflections of each other with a minor alteration of gender. Both equally venomous, spiteful misanthropic loners, without visible reason. Somewhat intimidating at times. With such prominent shades of grey that could turn into black in the span of a heart-beat.

Somehow, no credit to me though, they met. And I am so told, fell in love. Had this passionate dream like affair that lasted not more than months. Turbulent. Very turbulent. Too much information in public domain, I must say. But what can we do. Gossip mongers that we are. Their love was almost written about. Read out loud. Bitched back at.

But, all this before the inevitable happened. They weren't meant to be. Together or whatever. Too much friction happened, I must assume. The heat could have killed either. They unfastened like two mutually destructive forces could never coexist.

And later, not much later though, I happened. Unfortunately, aware. With the wisdom of all truths. A friend of both broken sides, anti parties. Keeping record. Negotiating with life's ill meant pathetic co-incidences. Fuck

It's time to get drunk babe!

Make me close my eyes. Shut them hard. Hide my face with a pillow. And make all this go away. All of this. In a moment. Forever. And lets start over. Anew. I don't want to be my age tonite. But that unreasonable inconsolable kid who doesn't know how to deal with her problems. Please God make all of this go away. I know you and I haven't had much of an affair lately, but please. I need help here. Get me out. I shouldn't have to deal with all this. Understand. Save me someone. I don't want to accept defeat. I want back my fake fucking sheen. I want anything but the truth. Don't you get me. Reality is too hard to sink into my skin. My pores are too small. Hide me somewhere.It scares me to think that the only one love I have ever relished is the true love of nicotine. And that I am going to die soon of the consequences. The pictures inside my head are hideous. You have no idea. It's so gloomy in here. There is no hope. Make my past vanish. Please! Do something with the time machine thing. Take me to some other era. Where I am not. Where non of this is. And where trying to escape is no sin. All my life I have tried to escape from one disaster and ran right into another. Make me forget I have ever been this stupid. Incorrigibly moronic.Take away all memory of my mistakes. My shame. Of being who I am. My guilt. Of having tortured myself. Make me fall in the middle of this leap that I have taken. Right in the middle of it. I don't want to see the other shore. Or any other shore. For that matter.

Or just get me drunk. 

Touch me again

Don't rob me of my high, w'd you?
Let me lie this way,
In your shadow
Among cheap untruths.

For once,
Let me savour
This fantasy with shut eyes
The fragrance of bottled perfume.

Stay
Should I want to feel
The texture of your touch again,
Later tonight.

Hold on,
Draw dreams in my head
As I capture the warmth of your breath
For cold nights to come.

Push me
Off the edge of this cliff
Make me want to fly
Together, alone

And when need be,
Touch me again



Pins & Needles

It had happened once that I used to live in a room. All the color I saw was the pale yellow of the walls. The only fragrance was that of crisp folded sheets in my closet. A bottle of nail paint forgotten in a corner of my suitcase. Shoes flung under the bed. Hot showers after midnight. And passage of time meant nothing more than ticking of the clock. It was as good as me living in the moment before I  had moved into that room. Either days were too sluggish or were they too fast for me to even be conscious of their passage. They ended sometimes in inhuman fatigue and a sullen face of the cook who would threaten to leave. If I got back that late the next day.

Sometime in between, I stopped feeling. I felt pins and needles. You know pins and needles?

I called up people to tell them I had developed this incapacity to feel, understand. Loss. Loneliness. Hunger. Even sorrow. I couldn't even feel sorrow. There was this mild immunity that had grown inside me and protected me from almost everything. I used to feel like this body of flesh walking around.

After a few days of being that way, I felt a surge of fear. What if this numbness never left me? What would it be like to be marooned in this utopia forever? Alone.

So I pinched myself hard. Like you sometimes do, when your leg's gone to sleep. Because pain is the surest sign of feeling. I pinched myself hard.

Now it does pain. Sometimes, a lot. But I am relieved that I can feel. That I am more than numb. More than dead. More than utopian, I feel human. And a trifle alive. And even rarely, happy.  

Lest,

Love could never be associated with anger. You think. Because they are opposites. Love and anger. In their intense shades, however, ironically, they go hand in hand. Shooting up and nose diving like parallels. Like uneasy twins.

Today, I was out in the afternoon. And scorched in the November heat, I waited. For nothing in particular. In the dark exhaust of trucks that passed by. In the disgust on the faces of strangers. In whatever reflected of life on its surface. In the chaos of a forgettable winter afternoon.

I waited for nothing in particular. Except for time to pass.

And somewhere similar, you be. Walking by. Not stopping. Not smiling. Not remembering, me. Or anything that's even my distant cousin. Like you have had an attack of amnesia. It's ridiculous, what a son of a bitch you are.

But I don't blame you. I don't blame me. I don't blame love. I don't blame nothing. But I can't track this surge of anger. When my mind drifts to you. Back and forth in time. And sticks around what is now.

Now, you be. In someplace like I do. Under the same hot sun. The dust of a dormant afternoon, the noisy traffic. No strums of guitar, no flowers. Or diamonds or moons. Just an excruciating truth, that you had blinded me from.

I miss not you. I don't even love you. But that you broke my heart this way, heartlessly, I am angry. In fits of mad rage, I bite off pillows and end up in splits of tears. That I can't scream, makes me want to burst.

And again, I can't draw a line that connects the both of us that we used to be, to the beasts we have now become.

Why. Tell me why.

Or not. Lest, I get the unfortunate pleasure of writing an equally banal post once again!



Chasm

There used to be a lingerie store around the corner, she would sneak into at times. And there was this one particular camisole hung in the row with other sleep ins. Almost invisible, as if somebody wanted to keep it a secret. It used to be a brilliant shade of purple. Not magenta, not violet. But purple. A shade that would shine in dim lit nights. The straps were thin, delicate. Like the strings that tie desire with austerity. The lace knit in alluring designs, stood out. Caught her eyes and not let them look away. Sometimes, she touched it with her fingers, the feel enlivened her, aroused even the dead of senses. She would slide in her palm and feel the fabric, and smile to herself. But she could never muster the courage to actually try it on, you know. She couldn't. Or she wouldn't. Like she were saving it. For some other day. All she would do was hold it on herself, and steal a glance at the mirror when no one was looking, just to check if it would finish below her waist or above it. 

Then she would slide it into the hanger and hide it among the other sleep ins wishing that no other woman would see it. The purple camisole. Its shiny lace. The lingerie store at the corner. Strings that stitched together a naughty little whim. 

But the last time she checked into the store at the corner, it wasn't there anymore. And this terrible despair took over. Along with envy. For that bitch who had found herself a lover! 


Fantasy

Fantasy. It's not what never happens in the depth of midnight. It's not the whim that never lasts. Fantasy is just a hidden shade of mundane.

I am surprised when I walk into the arms of the same dream every night. Into your thoughts, so inevitably. Despite the world that has gone wrong. Despite me, despite you. I can't help nestling this hope of you. 

My first love 
The only answer
The end of this fantasy
You.

Fantasy is not what never happens in the depth of midnight. Fantasy is how I walk into the arms of this dream every night, no matter what. Fantasy is how I religiously cannot abandon this mundane practice of years. No matter how ridiculous it sounds.

And if this mundane resilience of life is not fantasy, nothing else could be. 

after dark

before this



legs like beings of golden sheath. splashing in whirlpools of dark water. swimming backwards, spreading hands like wings of a butterfly. among scattered rays of the sun. in beams of light pouring from heaven. she floated. weightless. toward one corner of the pond where the shrub of hibiscus leaned over the water, like a lover. sultry silhouettes of her limbs, alongwith drunken waves, forming insane illusions. one half born flower, a bud as red as blood, snuck behind her ear, stayed there between curls of dripping mane. as she kissed drenched boughs and floating yellowed leaves. then, she swam away. that bud fell off midway, before she trespassed into the herd of water lilies. white, yet wild. plucked a few, she flirted, sucked from their succulent stems. for once, she looked like an apparition. as a lily emerged from her navel, the center of her being. 


either she hadn't sunk to death. or was born again. 

Secret

All I have kept is a secret. That in between quiet folds of time, I have been creating. A world that is just enough for me. That can contain the leaps of my desire. And yet not disappoint.

T
he decadent process of waiting, can ruin, you know. When you merely wait for the lines on your palm to join and bring into the picture the subtle presence of a possibility called destiny. The sluggish passage of time decays you. Even more, when you look back and can't keep track of the moments lost. In that soul wringing search for solace. 

Subconsciously, you practice detachment for an era before when you are ready to take your chances for real. And put outside your throbbing heart. For once. With no prospect in mind, just for the heck of it. Just for the heck of you. You move on from being godless to fearless.


Sometime today, I felt I have. Moved on. Suitably so. Have learnt not to care, among other things. You wouldn't believe. I have carved out that delicate niche, my corner. Where the walls are a wild turquoise. And there are no roofs. 


I hold hands of strangers. Just for the warmth in them. And clutch their fingers tight, between mine. Until the next fork in the road, when they just leave me, with either of us, hungry for more. 


I feel free, because probably I have realized, hunger knows no bounds. One loves as much to be tied down as much she craves to be free. And the idea to draw the line between the two is just a crazy idea. I have learnt to let my hunger drive me. Whichever way it wants. Unbridled. Until my toes want to touch ground. And not regret the guileless flight I have had.


These days, I do things my way. I shamelessly break rules. I disobey. And not care. I lie and cheat. Just for the heck of it. Just for the heck of me! And save the secret. 

11/11/11

There comes a time when it's no longer about me or you.

For some reason, let today be the beginning of that time.

Now on, we are forgotten memories. lost dreams. shredded ideas. aimless conversations. half read books. we are faded colors. unfinished poems

We are a life that's going no where. static, stochastic

Now on, we are no longer us/

Like bodies flung apart..illusions torn apart. whims unexcused. sleepless nights

Unshed tears. suppressed sighs

We are a cold unfeeling night. the realization, of a deep loss. Loss of a thing that probably never was.

We're a crumbling house of cards. Shrinking into each other, enveloped by vacuum

You and I are an unfinished poem. A meaningless poem. Just like this one



Somehow life runs in circles. And no matter how far you go, you end up in the same place. At least I do. Sometimes, I am just scared, life hasn't changed for years. And may be it hasn't. It's the same people, the same woes. The same hollows that swallow my being. Same fears govern me. It's all so much the same, I want to go back to the calender and check. What have I gotten except getting older. And getting older pretty swift at that.

The same strings tie me, those same illusions untie me. Those same vile imaginations, free me. Madden me. Sadden me. Leave me alone. Make me be, whoever I am.

It's the same traffic I make my way through every night on my way back. The same dark room I try to get sleep in. It's not that I have had enough of the people I've met. But seriously, why haven't I met someone refreshingly new. For a long time now. This is how constancy scares you.

Change scares you in an entirely different fashion though. Whatever! 

Nothing is lost

Nothing is lost because nothing could ever be. It's just the insides of your head making so much noise. Come to think of it, loss is just that temporary emptiness. And our minds are too momentary to capture something that can stretch beyond moments.

May be I am just crazy, but. No matter what you do, wherever you be, this emptiness never leaves you. I mean right now, you could be very elated and be with someone. But the fear of tomorrow takes over. You should know that is absolutely irrational. I mean my entire future could be this big black swan event stretching over decades. Or it could be just the quintessential. Unsatisfactory, yet mundane and peaceful. And I have no idea which one I would choose, because either way, I am so gonna despise it. Or brood over how else I could have been, but. Couldn't.

I remember the time he said he was designed to be slightly dissatisfied with life. And I am pretty sure I am designed to despise it. So no matter what, I am going to find my reasons to be unhappy every single day. To figure out which ways I am less gifted or cursed. Unfortunate and forgettable. Unlovable and irrelevant. And nothing is gonna happen about this anyway. I wouldn't change because, I just wouldn't. I need an excuse that doesn't let me sleep, every night. Every day. Till the end.

And if what I've written has even an ounce of truth in it, then may be. Nothing is lost. Yet. Or ever. 

Elope

Keeping off the highway, we routed the night through less known roads. Where the traffic is thin, some patches are bright, some have no lights at all. Like altering phases of distance and intimacy.

A speed just enough to keep pace with our heartbeats. Lessening human existence. Away, out of this city, into a place unbuilt.

Words spoken, taken back. Lengthening silences. Deepening sighs. The faint solace of a presence, that cares to be. Just be, at an arms length, from where I am. Touchable. Yet very far. But does that matter.

The lights get hazy as we gain speed. I pull the windows down, and feel the cold wind in my hair. To feel waves of it to float away with.

And I dont care being seen with you. This way, eloping. Running away. From everything, only closer to myself, hence closer to you. Shame has lost me. And my fears have gone gutless.

Life itself has become so scarce. And I have come to be who I am. Having abandoned all I could go back to, I have nothing to head for, either.

And I have never felt so chainless ever. This way, being driven by you. Darlin' darlin'

Miserabilia

Because writing is voluntary amnesia, I wouldn't write something I have been conspiring to write since morning, because I want to hold on to that pain. And that pain is all I have.

My day began with my mind rushing back and forth to the good times when love was all we had. I passed lunch, breaking bread with some of the initial hitches! The problems that arise because two people don't get along well together because they're fundamentally different. Or antithetic. When I sipped my evening coffee, things were getting worse, because I had actually begun missing him. But the worst happened when I got back home and started reading stuff I used to write a year ago. Hah!

Anyhow, I have ended up writing the whole thing away anyway. Though I could really use a drink write now, I think I am just fine. And will make through tonite just fine.,

But, before I shut up, of all things in the world, Happy Anniversary!

Cheers to whatever was, and never will be again.

Fetish

I have a fetish. To inhale more of life with every breath, sometimes, stare at billboards like I were blind, as they whiz past the windows of public transport. To count the wings of dust that arise, when some cobbler on the sidewalk polishes some forgotten shoe. To hear the patter of a familiar pigeon that paces to and fro, outside my kitchen window, waiting for a batch of scattered grains.

Or whiling away dusks by looking in the eyes of diminishing headlights of home bound cars. Or at lonely cattle on the streets. Or people running behind a bus. Scream-bargaining with autowallahs. Staring at the mehndi in the hands of the girl in the next seat. Building stories.

Sometimes, wringing out the last bit of humor in life, by looking at the stretch of muscle on the face of some pissed off traffic policewoman. Or making the most of the lack of parking space. Of honks, honks and honks. And school children, crossing roads, holding hands.

And beggars, running behind. Some limbless and some clutching stolen children. The ring of a coin thrown into their pale silver twisted bowls. In parks, in secluded corners, behind bushes, utterly homeless lovers making out!

Standing on the divider in the middle of a noisy highway, and wondering if life indeed is as funny as it seems. I seem to have a new fetish. 

try-st

CCD just became a self service place, you know?
Isn't that okay?
Of course not. People go there not to stand in a queue and place your order.
That should be fine, you can have the chat after you get your coffee to the table?
You don't have to get the stuff to your table, thank god. They still do that.
So is standing at the counter for two minutes so much less fun?
You won't get it. You're not the guy I should be talking to. 
Should we get you one? Your kinda guy?
You've no idea. I know everyone and everyone knows me in there. I can throw unique tantrums.
What tantrums?
Mmm..like I return my cappuccino twice everyday, to make it stronger, or some other excuse. Keep asking for honey and milk, and brown sugar and sugar free and etc!
And what else?
You're laughing at me. Don't!
I am n't laughing. Who says I am laughing?
You're not the right guy, you make me talk so much. 
Isn't that a good thing? 
But you end every sentence with a question.
Do I? 
..

blackout

now you're here
and i know.. where i'm goin'
no more doubt.. no more fear
i've found my way..
so let's live.. today
..anyway*

It was the advent of winter, and my first venture into the basement of the mall. I'd bought fresh sheets; my bed was cleaned, room dusted/ my favorite song played all night. A sizzling hot shower, in the middle of the night, drenched hair, loose curls, the black beauty spot under my chin. Solo. Either unseen or forgotten. Showed up, suddenly in that mirror, life sized.

Now, in retrospect, when a million cab rides and a dozen flights from one unknown sanctuary to another, seem too small to encapsulate what I've become, I see all my visible memory converging into a point. Into something like the mark under my chin. To be left there, for as long I will be, unseen or forgotten. Abandoned, yet there. 

Reminding me of times when I was unafraid of being insane, now that I am. Reminding me of how crazy I have become, that I shatter rules with a hard earned vengeance, and get away with it, suave and sober. Reminding me of how bars could cage me, now that the world outside doesn't entice me either. 


Whenever, after a gap of years, I find the black spot, I would think of the love that was lost, the faith  that was ditched and the illusions that have fallen apart. Once again, standing on the ruins which were once me, I would giggle away at myself.





* Nina Simone- Just In Time

purple haze


never could have been a kiss more confused
naive
paused by sighs, silences

or the brush of his cheeks more tickly
smells intoxicating, caged, under his chin, around his neck
could have been aftershave
or that of erupting bouts of my desire

..

Redemption

One moment, pockets full of sand. Washed ashore by waves, still afloat. Water receding from between toes. My glistening anklet of silver. A melange of the shades of sunset, burst of orange, invisible streaks of purple. Palms dug an inch in the wet sand, sinking deeper with every new tide. Wondering what to write. A couple of precious words, that eyes could see erased. In the next moment.

Another moment, struggling for dear life, holding on to a thread to be alive. Mid sea. Looking for a hand, that could pull me up. On to my toppled boat. An untiring effort, of the lungs to breath, of the heart to beat, of my eyes to cry. And appreciate, that thin line of a difference between being alive and being not so.

The next moment, sinking. Swallowed an unbearable expanse of blue. Into a white infinity. Falling meters in seconds. Into a depth where life jackets wouldn't work anymore. Flapping hands and legs. Fear giving up its hold on my mind, numbness fast taking over. Not looking for that hand anymore. To come save me. Letting go.

In that final moment, hanging from a parachute. Sailing across from top. Having conquered, seas, skies. And myself. Like another bird. Feet off in the air, hands clutching tight no more. Hearing my own screams stop. In a kind of a redemptive pause. Between absolute faith and a destiny-less randomness.

And a quiet decision to let me be. Just be. 

Che

It's not this blog. It's not the black shorts I  bought today. Or the never worn frock in my wardrobe. It's not him either. Nor is it the other him. Or some random guy I saw. Came across. It's not the weather. It's not stuff I am running away from. Nor is it my job. Or the money. Or the new shades. That look too big on my face. And make my lips look old. Or the lessening fragrance of shampoo in my hair. Nor is it that the weekend is here and I am feeling so fat again. Or the couches I sat on, the magazines I zipped through. Pausing on the pictures. Waiting for un-happening appointments. Or the cups I sipped from. Or the times I wiped my lipstick off. Or the couple of times my sandals gave me the feel they were about to break off in the middle of the road. Or the cabbies that didn't halt to my screams. Nor the weird make up sales girl who stood by me at the mall. It's also not that I ain't writing much lately. Or that I walk back alone every night not thinking of what I would write when I get home. Nor is it my internet connection that sucks. Nor the sitcoms I watch despite them boring me to death. Or the sleep that I don't get. It's not those numerous calls I make to numerous customer care toll free numbers and keep talking to machines. Hoping I would get to talk to a person, who would just solve my problem off in a wink. Nor is it affecting me that I have stopped believing. And trusting on mad forces outside my control. It's nothing. It's nothing that I can see.

Yet there is something, somewhere that's killing me. Absolutely. It's some wild excitement that thrills the ends of my nerves. And I feel, the walls of my body shouldn't contain me anymore. 

Godless

Have you heard of a peace that lies in self destruction? A love that translates into hatred? Have you heard of an anger that victimises oneself, like I was the beginning and end of all curses. Have you tasted that victory that lies in tearing apart every one of your wishes. Denying you the cheap joys of existence, lest you get spoilt. Every moment uncoiling every entangled emotion from your heart, not letting go of one breath of gay abandon. Living life like it was a remnant of some self inflicted nightmare. Gliding from one sigh to another in a ruined godless existence. Sans any destiny. Carried away by wicked waves, into dystopia.

love, unbridled

Hide from me what is the truth
my eyes can't see anymore, any of it

hanging from the edge,
hurts my fingers

even my tears are tired now
of being held back tight 

they so want to come out now,
only as those of joy

they don't understand

and for a moment,
i don't want to console either

all i crave for 
is your palm on my forehead

a warm whisper
telling me that you're here

right by me,
though you aren't

lie to me, and
i won't blame you 

cut out on my hands, new lines 
such that our fates meet, fleetingly

somehow, make it happen
get me you

get me you

let me love,
unbridled

love, unbridled
wanting nothing in return


Bundles of piles of spring onions, by the road. Smoke from burnt charcoal and the mild advent of winter. Scores of bystanders, lines of lights in faint twilight. Brisk steps, tapping of heels on the pavement, the urgency to be somewhere. Somewhere else. A frigid immovability of desire. The line between what should have been and what is, the line connecting all dots of regrets, gets thicker as the rest of everything blurs away into oblivion. Dizzy headlights, shining on tired eyes. But what can we do.

We are born believers, in destiny and other calculated coincidences. Until now, when life wears us out. Until certain sad accidents make us believe that there are no distinct lines cut out on our palms. And that life is a random chain of the unwanted and the inconsequential. Nothing can ever be destined, because we are headed in absolutely unrelated directions. We have nowhere to go.

This is one great turning point realizations that time punishes us with. Post this, we do never again take that leap of faith. And we move on from being believers to non-believers, from theists to atheists to blasphemous rebels.

In the moment the said change happened for me, I met life. I didn't have to go scuba diving or bungee jumping for that but walk by a pile of spring onions.

Painting myself red.

The heart aside, the mind is a genius. Think of it like you are a slave and your mind its master. Mysteries of my mind are in the dark. And I have no clue of the plans it carves out for me..wierd bunch of miracles, good and bad. It makes illusions seem real and reality seem distant. Sometimes it makes me feel there is no strict line between what I imagine and what is. My mind steals the remnant of my sanity. Locks me in a dark room for days and lets me free on an unexpected sunday evening. And the hooliganism I am capable of after that long an isolation, it is very well aware of. These dirty tricks I tell you. Now it just sits in a corner and watches over me as I paint myself red.

First Fight

A first fight is a fresh page. It's that slightly ugly slightly cute conversation in which the acquisition of each others' hearts is complete. Somewhat.

I don't have words for a thing like that. But it adds on to the love.

Sometimes I just want to get back to the night when we had ours. In a crazy way it cemented what was between us.

A friend chose to have her bday just when u wanted me with you. But I had to go. And u wudn't get why I couldn't just call everything else off for you.

It wasn't a fight exactly as it was a disagreement of sorts. And I remember that hardening of your voice when you wanted me to just stay with you..and go nowhere else..
Miss that crazy town in the cusp of clouds. Those smoky cafes, strums of guitar. Forgotten alleys, ancient houses. Stray children, playing between random rays of sun. Hazy evening strolls. And bookstores selling antiques..names of previous owners scribbled on cover pages.

Looking for a moment like that, I whiled away all my time waiting to find you. I didn't.

And now look! What a blunder. You're here. Fuck
There is a fine line between denial and faith. And now I am placed on that line. It's the most absolute thing I have ever seen. Transitionary though. But absolute. And as I inch from one side to another, from denial to faith, I can see why. Why. Hence I shant ask anymore.

It's a trick of truth, how you can see it all when realism touches you. Things that either pessimism or optimism always hide.

And realism comes to you, when you turn twentyfour in a dark room, alone.
Thank god, you can see enough of the ashtray, in the glow of the cigarette butt.

Else life would have been set afire long ago.

Hence, the faith. Instead of denial.
And I used to have a life. Whatever I have now sux

The lack of lust.

Life is shitty expensive. To be let lose, this way. I don't just think I am enough. Can't ever be. Staring at things glide away, from my hold. This way.
It's like staring down a sky scraper and watching cars zip past. Like I am an entity other than me. Like I am outside of me, like an independent third party observer. Uninterested.
And That observer wanted to become the antithesis of what she sees. In me. She craves the life that others so lustfully indulge in.
There are those moments in life when the reason behind everything reveals itself and a lot of whys are quenched. The era of suspense that life is suddenly ceases to be. The people u have known, the things u have done, and the ones u cudn't, all fall into place.
No..that moment is not here for me now. Pretty sure wont ever be. But I cherish this damned hope that my wait for that moment will see me thru my life.
There are those moments in life when the reason behind everything reveals itself and a lot of whys are quenched. The era of suspense that life is suddenly ceases to be. The people u have known, the things u have done, and the ones u cudn't, all falls into place.
No..that moment is not here for me. Pretty sure wont ever be. But I cherish this damned hope that the wait for moment will see me thru my life.

Insomnia- mother of second chances.

You know it's funny. I write stuff people don't understand. People write stuff on my stuff which I don't understand. This is not sarcasm. Just that this stalemate is something I am not enjoying. I mean you can sense that. Else I wouldn't be blogging at 3 in the morning. Usually in the last few months, by this time, I should be sleeping.

Should be. But that's utopia. By 12, I am done reading the papers. And I switch on my laptop and start watching  some sitcom, tempted by the possibility that it would lull me to sleep, bore me to sleep, whatever. By 1:30 I am really worried that I am not sleepy at all. Infact, I could be laughing, very elated at some stupid American joke that I so totally get. By 2, I am running in and out of thoughts. Of work. Of people at work. About deadlines and fears of not meeting them. My mind is swaying over the chances of a big professional failure. And blah blah.

And gradually, I really don't know when and how, by quarter past 2, I would have moved to severely dangerously sentimental stuff. About how I am failing as a person, how I am missing out on all that I always wanted, how my plans are far from working out, how I have wasted away almost one third of my life, having accomplished nothing much on any random scale. And blah blah. From there on, the fears take charge. This could be something that one might be ashamed to confess, but I am so so scared of being alone all my life. I mean, now with all the seasoning that has gone into my loneliness, this doesn't come as an insecurity as it comes as an assured fact. Something that's going to happen. A long life, all by myself. So what would I be doing.

I start chalking out the people I could still keep in my life. And how often and how should I meet them, and whether they would find it acceptable to see me once in a long while. Would I be imposing myself like a crazy grandmother, old and abandoned. What would I do. What would I do. I mean I have already lost my knack for writing. And reading doesn't hold me on for too long either. Television sucks. I can't paint. Inside four walls, and under a roof, what could engage me.

It probably reads funny to you. But it isn't. Not an ounce. It's scary, it's painful, it's so dreadful, I can't even dream about sleep coming to me. Even sleep has better places to go to. But I. I feel so discarded, like shoved away. Just when I can't deal with the issue anymore, I draw patterns in my mind, brush colors around, count sheep, the quintessential cure for insomnia they say. Very recently, there was a time I couldn't even spell it right.

Just when it gets absolutely awful, and it gets impossible to contain my mind, I plan out second chances. Of all those failures and abandoned dreams I was talking about, I pick up a few and wish to give them a second chance. Give me a second chance, rather. Sometimes, I have been told, it's all about second chances. I try to lull myself to sleep, promising that I would give that another shot. And that even though it is all upside down, noone can stop me, if I wanted to try again. Of course, they could ridicule me. And I could fail again too. More miserably so. And end up heartbroken.

But what the heck. I am heartbroken anyway. 

I-topia.

A smoky bar. Disheveled hair. Long loose curls. Falling off the sides of her face. Lowered eyelids. Impossible to get a hint of the expression on them. Nevermind the feeling in them. Dissolved in thought. Wild and stochastic. Her presence, as good as her absence. Merging into the varied shades of black. Of the imposing night.

A held glass. Between fingers holding hard enough. Like they were tempted by the ice on the whiskey. Like it were the only hope, for the rest of the night. To come and leave her, unharmed. By memory or fear.

Her shaky head. Gradually rising above her body. Limbs feeling loose. Like they would fall off, any moment now. Except for the cold glass, the stronghold of which could still be felt. She could move around with her legs on the couch. She had forgotten to blink. And her eyes were perennially open, in some dream wide awake. Sleepless, yet at peace.

Laughter, unbridled. Un-caged. Rippled across the room. Like the most benign of whims had come true. Like the wildest of temptations stood before her, satiated. And there was nothing else. Nothing more. Tonite was coming to an end. A happy end.

You could spot the marks of her lips, remnants of their gloss, left on the edge of the glass like a memoir. Of their first touch. A bitter aftertaste on the tongue. A confused palate, which dips further into the tumbler of insanity, tempted by a deeper loss of senses. Nascent happyness. Smoothening the journey into utopia. I-topia. 

Undead


My life is ordinary.

Ordinary. Home to work. Work to home. Nothing much in between. I practice nor preach a thing un-ordinary. I brush shoulders with ones who are as ordinary as I.

I have too many weaknesses. Not many strengths. Most of the times I curse. Myself and the conspiracy behind my existence. But then surviving, not living should do the trick. And learning to live with that thought could make a life out of a life.

There must be a niche in my brain where sorrow erupts and engulfs all else that is. Else, I wouldn't be the one I am. Most profoundly pessimistic and fucked they say. Severely, I feel. Stuck, almost. Unmoving. Like a frog in a deep deep well. Enclosed in a minuscule space compared to what the human mind could occupy, but yet lost. Yet lost.

Sometimes, like once in a fortnight, I indulge. At random, nothing drawn out from before. I be me. And get happy. I mean I really laugh out loud. My decibels gather some attention too. But after that whimsical dream ends, I ask myself why was I ever happy. Be it even for those few minutes. Why was I happy. Amid all that is, how could ever see joy? The worth of it all plummets in like a second. The fleeting house of cards collapses. Life is back to being ordinary. Very ordinary.

Sometimes, I look at myself in the mirror. Into my naked eyes first. And then I count the faint wrinkles arising of age. I see the sluggish slow movement of time along the lines under my eyes. Along the cracks on my lips. I find the smudge of  my kohl and the darkness of my future, very much the same. I count the days I have lived. Or rather, the days I have not lived. And the crazy crazy relapses I have had, into being happy, into trying to being happy.

Among other things I count, I count my sinful escapades. Stolen smooches on drunk nights. Thick chocolate underneath layers of layers of Hershey's chocolate sauce. The friends I won. And the same I lost. My fallen attempts at dance. The books I read, the characters that I have almost almost made into undying ghosts in my head. I count the hearts I have broken. Not many. Just a couple. Exactly a couple. And the times, I have been stabbed. Too bad that heartbreaks don't bleed. I keep a count. Of a lot of things you know.

And religiously ensure, my life is ordinary.

But when a written word escapes the tips of my fingers, hell breaks loose. I feel anything but ordinary. Like floating, like ecstatic, even though I write sorrow. I feel un-ordinary. Gifted. Anything but dead. Undead.

Cuff-links for him!

Cuff-links for him. I was shopping for another friend, online of course. From shoppers stop. And there was this entire gifts section. Where I was actually supposed to send something for that friend. But things din't work out well, my eyes strayed. And I went into the Gifts for Him category. You know how much that trouble that could mean don't you. And my eyes were stuck to this awesome pair of silver cuff-links, with shades of black, the classiest, almost the sexiest. My mind hovered over how neatly they would fit into the cuffs of his shirt. His wide wrists, and his prim shirt, that violent corporate look. Oh! Very arousing. And for once I thought I could actually send them over. Of course they shouldn't disclose the name of the sender, would they. I have his address and all that. Could post it to his place though, he wouldn't be there during the day when it would most probably be delivered. So should I send it over to his office. Wondering so forth, I hiccuped a little when it occurred to me that it would be like stalking. Not just amateur stalking. But something way more tactful and all that. So I just ogled at the picture of those sinful things for a minute or two and then just gave up the thought.

Like I opened up my fist, and the thought flew out like a feather.

Cuff-links for him. Haha! 

Off the record!

Someone once must have said. Love is the lack of it.

I have been there. On the edge of the cliff making one dying wish. To see you. To find you. To be loved by you. Cried nights. Lost breath. Gasped, ran into and away from love. Lost my way. Broke my heart. In a way that could be never unbroken. Suffered. Cursed. Written. Turned insane. You know the rest of the story.

Probably I have survived. The sin that is called love. In many ways, outgrown. Outlived. Proved wrong the ones who once said, love is all that is. Ever.

I have never felt love. But things that come very close it. More or less. Almost. And I am almost satiated. There is a dire need of strength and patience, both of which many weak at the heart lack. The have-nots of my species.

I am unfortunate. But what can we do. But what can we do. Even if we could, we are lazy and scared. Haha!

Anyway. In afterthought, seriously off the record, now that the game is finally over and I grow fatter and uglier by the day, I have called it quits. A stray picture comes before my eyes. Just a could have been. And the assurance that comes with him, is mind jolting, belief breaking. Status quo shattering.

This is it. Love it is.


Wy I shd carry headphns on d waybak!!

At the end of a long tiring day, which has nearly vanished from before your eyes, when retrospection visits you, you try to ward it off, call it a day, and use hard, the drug of sleep. Don't you?

I do.

Never pause or think. It saves a lot more trouble. Go on. If you can, simply afford to. I do.

The only fifteen minutes I steal for myself is when I get back home every night after work. Those uncomfortable fifteen minutes in public transport. When my past coagulates. Before my eyes. Future seems pretty blank. Pretty much.

Dude. What all had I dreamt of. Slogging, yet never giving upon the dreaming part. And now, future disrobes herself as a shy bride, slowly, but you are assured you are going to get there. Only that the consequences are going to be the ones you warned yourself against. That makes life very shitty. And honestly, that's all the truth that's there in it.

Every other passerby on the road, reminds you of your failures, every single click on facebook makes clear another hurting regret, some random name in your phonebook, kicks you in the heart. Haha!

Shit happens. Always!  

Taken

There has always been her. The other woman. That seductress wild wind, holder of desires. The red little luscious fruit in his eyes shining. Settled like she lived in them. From an era ago.

It is her from who he gets all his happyness. Calmly invisibly, she has captured his soul so well. Merely being around him, tells me about her hold on him. Tenacious, not letting go, assured.

That content certainty makes me envious. Notwithstanding who we are. The both of us. She and I. The two absolute ends of his fate. Each, one of the two mutually exclusive choices he could make. Options he could pick. Lifealtering, nevertheless.

He is the translucent shield of glass between us. In him I see her. Through him, she sees me. She must. Else this game wouldn't be fair. Like everything else. In the man he is, I see not the man he is but the man she has made of him. Every bent of emotion, every glance of expression, everything in him reminds me of her. And how she had him taken from me. Taken.

And invariably turned the tables. Twisted destiny, what was to be. Made me into the other woman.

Meanwhile

Wondering what has changed
nothing much actually
there haven't been many new movies that I have watched
meanwhile
nor licked icecreams when it's freezing outside

o yeah i have shopped a lot
lots of new dresses and shoes
closets full of colors, i have even experimented
found that mauve and purple are different
convinced myself they are
and shoes
many gave up in this rain
the way it has poured this year
you have no idea
of course you don't

nail paint in the shades of blood and black
kohl
everything. all that
i also counted my age
in decades, i look so believable
in days so impossible

never stood on rooftops to feel the wind
always ran for shelter in the rain
never ever sat down and talked
to myself or anyone
meanwhile
talking has come to scare me crazy

i bought a bracelet of gold, coiled
like a cozy snake on my wrist
has a mystic red flower on it,
somewhere in the middle
also i should get a ring
must be time
i don't know


still the same people around
who never understood my insanity
just like you didn't
but then insanity is not to be understood
it can't ever be

insanity is to be celebrated, the way i did
and stared at, the way you did


besides
nothing much has changed
not much water under the bridge
just been a few months
life has turned topsy turvy and back to fine
many times over


house.

this house is the dumbest of them all. corners jammed with forgotten furniture. beds slept in. rooms lived in. scratched crockery stocked in the kitchen. a mirror which makes fatter of the fat, uglier of the necessarily not pretty. this house, a lot lived in. windows with cracked panes, windows to look out at nothing from.nothing much, striking or noticeable. just mundane absurdity. that nobody peeks out to notice. thesedays unlike earlier. closets full of old torn smelly dresses of children who left, undonated abandoned. sighs of what is now unrequited love. shrunken pillows, ancient sheets. and a windchime that doesn't ring anymore. but sometimes on stormy afternoons when the wind's angry and rain pours. followed by a lull of an evening. of dark ruminations. perfectly stochastic. by fast dying candles, and molten wax. calenders on damp swollen walls. of years ago. now tilting, falling off. pictures of gods, adorned with shrunken flowers. yellowed pages of dozens of books, on rusty racks, tilting unbalanced, falling off.

and moist pots of soil, with weeds in the balcony, watered in the afternoon by those who hadn't had much to do all day. giving flowers, wild ones, in purples and violets. and leaves, ones that were pressed between the pages of the fat old yellowed books on rusty racks, now tilting unbalanced. with unposted love letters of mad scribblings used as perfect bookmarks. and so on and so forth. this house, dumbest of them all, ironically never pauses from being heard. understood.

Anhedonia-ad-infinitum

There won't be a plethora of posts. I promise. 

Just this. Today while walking back home, I missed seeing the fat middle aged professor walking the other way. He was bald, and wore a constant expression on his face. Eyes, which from a distance looked obviously content and old. But they must have been dull and empty when stared into. There wasn't another soul around his. You know what I mean. He taught a class that didn't give a damn. His wife had left him a few years ago. The children left with her. Some said his mind was sick. The reasons behind him being that absolutely alone were never discovered. He died some days ago. Some said he killed himself. He could have. Very much could have. The way he was stuck in his bathroom door. Don't know who came to his funeral. There must have been one.

The other day. A few months ago. I was staring at pumpkin creepers. In faint moonlight. On the other side of the valley, between two hillocks. You know what I mean. Under pines. It must have been a cold night. Who cared. I didn't. Under layers of wool, I felt the safest. Farthest from fear. Assured that nothing would go wrong. Ever. It was like forever was enclosed in those few minutes after midnight. Do you remember? Something was glowing between those pumpkin creepers. It couldn't have been a lamp or a candle. It was to faint to be earthly. So I stared on, and listened to you talk. Half conscious. Wondering if there was a ghost in there. And then getting back to you and saying yeah yeah, I heard it all.

Extremes, no? I ain't crazy. Semi-crazy may be. There won't be a plethora of posts, I promise. Just this.


Solo

The way I look for you in crowded streets in the morning rush, the way I scan faces in cabs passing by hoping one could be yours, on rainy nights, wanting to see you by the turn of the road, drenched, probably wanting to be found by me, my life has become dangerously entwined around yours. But the glitch is that I have learned to live with this. Gotten used to breathing sans you. Waiting for you, and never watching you arrive. The need inside me is so persistent that it is almost like a limb. It is so obvious that I do not notice it. You do not notice it.

This is a new stage for us. All those unsent letters in your name, lying in forgotten folders, are testimony still. Always will be, to my madness. To the craving that used to drive me insane. But not anymore. Because I know, you aren't mine. Never to be. Because loneliness is my sole benefactor. This acceptance is my genius. Being far from you has so seasoned me to live by myself,  I can't thank the gods of estrangement enough. I have learned to bow down and let go.

But on nights like these, when I return to empty rooms after tiring days, of endless searches of looking for you amongst the unknown, I know that I will find you, one day I will. Because you are mine. I have kept you as mine. And that nothing should do me apart from you. Not even you. No matter where you go, you will come back to me. To take me along.

I don't know why. I think I love you.

May be I am just crazy. One expensive wish every few days. Let me live with it. Let me live without.

Antidote

I don't keep a picture of you. I would lose my mind if I did.

So I look at mine.

Strangely enough I am the only thing that reminds me of you. My love for you shows shamelessly in my picture. Between those eyes of mine, I see you. In the curl of lips, the mild pout, I see you. Definite memories of you.

It's a helpless situation. Because, now I can never get to you. Nor will you to me. I have desperately ensured that we lose each other and that every strand of contact be broken. And now that there is nothing between, you and I, I feel love. Nothing but love. Pure, stagnant, glistening, love. For the first time in forever. I feel assured that I love you. There is no glitch or doubt.

And yet I don't feel helpless  at all. Could be because I have learned not to hope. I have drawn a line & abandoned the world on the other side.

Nevertheless on some nights, I cry. And cry relentless. My mind missing out on that line between truth & untruth, I sway into thinking, wondering how would I have been if I had you.

I would have been like me, in that picture.

Raising Hope

What have I missed? A few long full moon nights.Of a big moon hanging behind solitary buildings. Long chats and aching laughter. I have missed hoping. The art of hoping. Terribly missed it. How I used to place one hope on four pillars, each another hope. Like a complicated geometrical structure, each arm of which is a hope, some random wish that longs to come true. All by itself, like an unruly child.

What that unruly child doesn't realize is an entire world of things that could negate, crush and destroy mere delicate threads of hopes.  And entangle them in a way, life could never again dare to disentagle.

So that's what has happened. Threads are entangled, knots are tied, heart beats have halted, eyes have promised never to look up at the sky making forms of clouds, stealing dreams. The art of hoping is forgotten.

Ceteris paribus is a phrase from utopia. At every fork of the road, I take the most unexpected unwanted of turns. Sometimes, I head back and return to where I had begun.

In afterthought, hoping seems to be the most ridiculous of escapes a wastrel could engage herself in.

;

Girl in the wind. Strands of hair wipe her face. Like there was no tomorrow. Girl in the wind. Stopping. Believing, in make belief. Living a night or two. In closed rooms. Away, in closed rooms. No dreams. A regretful past. Fleeting present. Like worthless. No tomorrow. Just tonite. Just she. Only I.

Stranger man. Forgotten romance. A drowned city. Knee deep in sorrow. And a love that wouldn't be. Broken promises, heart torn apart. Holding hands. No glances shared or love exchanged. A night like it never lived. A night like it was the only one. Ever. Soaked in tears and rain. In redemption, and with the hopes of many many regrets to come. With the girl in the wind.

No pictures. None. Bonds neither. Quest for freedom. Quest for love. Search for the unknown. Probably. The power of not knowing. An intoxication of uncertainty. The gutlessness of flowing. As is expected. Bowing down. Numbness. Dearth. Dearth of life in life.

Hollow shells. Hanging in mid air. Creaking noises. Discarded fates, alongside hollow shells. Swallowing darkness. Swaying by thin strands of thread. Hollow shells. And discarded fates. Like dead lovers. Like wishes that were.

Like him & I. Like only I. And the him I assumed existed. Never did. Never did.

The end of assumption.

A tilted aspiration of sorts. Wanting to be who you know you wouldn't want to be. But you would be that anyway. Because that's how you always thought you should be. And by now there are too many assumptions and prejudices involved behind those dreams to be altered otherwise. All the rights and wrongs have been decided long ago. Like this life has been lived in totality in the past. All that is going on in the present is just a reflection of that hallowed past of righteous assumptions. Of what should and shouldn't be. So much tied by fixations I am that life feels more static than dynamic. More absolute than relative. Terms and conditions are too many. And my happyness is a function of a plethora of factors. Many of those factors I am not even aware of until they exit my life suddenly. Blatantly. As if just to mock me for taking them for granted.

For once, I have a tiny wish. If only I could live in moments. And not the way I do, in lapses, deciding first what I want to be, and then regretting what I couldn't become. I wish I could forget, erase all my assumptions. And begin and end every breath as if it were the only one. Seems utopic.  But now that all the threads of survival that held me together like a cobweb, have snapped off, I wish I could take up the liberty to make this tiny, teeny-weeny wish.

Somehow, the ridiculousness of everything catches on. I understand how much the joke is on me. But still can't make myself to accept and change. Recover from shock for that matter. I just can't. I am so much in shambles that now I don't want to gather myself together and walk away. If that be the only viable escape. I would lie this way, abandoned by fate. Forgotten, left behind. I am too ashamed to face myself in the mirror. Forget about equally or unequally concerned third parties. Now it feels that my resilience wouldn't give up. And I would die with my assumptions intact. Those assumptions I was talking about earlier, in case you've forgotten. That's how badly they're rooted in me. Yeah. The plight is pretty sad, to be honest.

You don't know where to go, when your own definitions fail you. And I have no-one else to become that mine have failed me. 

Despite.

The way  I walk, I could be walking into the past. If space were time i.e. If you could alter a few dimensions, a lot else would alter themselves. Relative becomes absolute. And absolute becomes relative again. The two keep swapping each other at such fast rates, you wouldn't know which is which. And get lost in a chaotic peace. But you're getting none of this anyway. That is the charm. That is the curse.

Life lives itself off in its if's and then's. But ultimately it survives the despite's. Sometimes that it goes on, and on despite all the despite's is the utter shock. The realization that you're still alive even when all your hopes and dreams and decaying down in the gutter somewhere, is the shock, the ugliest worst possibility. And yet, that is the beauty. And in a very ironic way, that only is the beauty. The resilience of survival, keeps proving itself again and again. Hence, I write this. Hence, you read this. And despite everything that is, we are. Not alive though, yet alive.

The way I walk, on rainy nights, all alone, opposite the traffic, with lights blinding vision, I could be walking into the past. Or the future. But the past is a hopeful illusion now, and the future, a fake promise. All that is, is thus the present. And I am stuck in it. Going nowhere, walking into nothing. Stuck, like paralyzed would be. The grey clouds, full of rain for many days to come, try to scare me away.

What they don't realize is that I am incapable of fear. I am incapable of any feeling, whatsoever. I know, the grey clouds, cage my stolen lover, my dreams, all I had. And left me impoverished. This way. But I am, despite. 

Continuance

Decades ago, there was a bride. A sari crudely wrapped around her frail figure, whatever skin showed, was filled in with gold. There was a groom, and that old grunting ambassador adorned in threads of jasmine. A dozen drunken men, dancing in mad moves; a perfumed night. Dimming yellow bulbs, shamianas hung out, colors of which aren’t readable in the black and white pictures now stuck on forgotten albums.

There was a bride, not too young, not too old. The groom may or may not have had a moustache. Nobody had seen nobody. Love hadn’t been discovered in those ages. Decades ago. Hymns were read out, women with saris drawn to their noses, sat beside the summer night fire, and dozed. Funnily enough, there is no proof to that demi-heavenly drama. Almost everyone must have been half asleep. But there is the continuance.

Continuance. Scores of fights behind bedroom doors, disagreements, many scars. Children born and fed because they had to be born and fed. Who grew by inches in months, and fell apart. Strings of the womb couldn’t hold anyone together. Each had a mind of his own, too many minds inside one rather.

They fought over who should have the TV remote, they sat on terraces, hidden, stealing a smoke every now and then. Each tenaciously clutched her own secrets, under one roof. Nothing shared, not even glances. Slept turning sides, secretly hating each other. And still posed for photographs together, some of them framed and kept in the living room. Space became a problem, the big problem.

And so the menagerie was complete. Too much for continuance!

A Time Traveller's Whim

Hundreds of years ago, a land where reality was nothing short of magic, was struck by the insomnia plague. Contagious that it was, soon an entire village was gobbled up. In the beginning, the people couldn't have been more thankful to God because they had twice the time they used to have. But gradually, the peril unveiled itself, insomnia was obviously accompanied by amnesia. People began to forget. Everything about everything. Soon they had post-its on their cows saying that this was a cow. And later, lest they forgot, what to do with the cow, a note was added that it was to be milked every morning, milk which was to be boiled, added to coffee and sugar and drunk.

In a matter of months, entire houses had chits pasted on every inch of the wall. But one thing was inevitable, the past began to erase itself. Quietly, people began to lose track of who they were, who they had been. Like their life had been reduced to a single point; now. There used to be a palmist cum card reader who used to foretell the future before the plague had struck. Now she was asked by many, to read the past. And this old woman, studied lines on palms from their very origin, to reconstruct what had been, before hungry eyes who had lost all sense of their being.

This story appealed to me, got me thinking. The past is all I have. Despite being strewn with my anger and disappointments, strangely enough I owe it my entire life. And besides, before I deny it, I have wanted to go back in moments, sometimes to etched dates on the calender, sometimes to random stretches of time. To one of those grueling days at college, when I would open my eyes after a night's journey to the familiarity of home. To one of those long pre-dawn walks, intended to go nowhere, not even to see sunrise, but just to keep walking till the calves gave up. To not staring at the crackers bursting in the night sky, but at their reflection in his glasses, and being asked, what kind of a guy I thought he was. Some changed answers could have changed a lifetime of other things, filled solitude with compassion or even love.

But that's not why I want to go back, I wouldn't ever want to change what has happened. Like I said, I owe myself to the past, as it is. But the sheer wish to go back in time, the helplessness of not being able to do so, makes me realize that I am still, no matter how frailly, connected to myself. That fleeting whim of time travel, also makes me believe that what has been has almost been a trifle worth it.

Portrait of a Woman

There is a love that unsettles you. One that makes an unbelievable, wildly passionate, insane maniac out of you. Also, there is another, which makes you know peace, makes you grow roots. But who could choose..

She would write in wild bursts of energy. Words that, least to say never flowed rationally, from what was written before. Every new scribble felt like a non-sequitur. There could have been a flow though, not an obvious one but. A connection too vague, in your plane. Too obvious in hers. No body read her mind, she wouldn't stay as long to let them.

In unwashed jeans and with the collar of her jacket raised up, she would roam around. In this obscure, neglected hilly town. Wherein she arrived because she wanted to be treated like the town itself, thrown away, forgotten. Dwell in absolute solitude. Once a month, she would while into the grocery store, hurl in jars of coffee and packs of cigarettes into her bag. Like she was greedy, and she wouldn't survive till her next visit there.

She would walk back, glide rather, on the uphill roads breathing in the sooty exhaust of standstill cars in unending traffic jams. Panting, underneath her layers of wool and the jacket with the collar raised up. With an umbrella in one hand, that she would throw away the moment it rained, and get drenched. Would stop at the most unpredictable of places, never take pictures, or notes. Visit the wildest of dreams, clandestine brothels, deserted monasteries, abattoirs. Stare, with still eyes, a mocking cold glare in them, and move on.

She had abandoned, nobody knew how many accomplished years behind. Middle-aged she was. With no past. No future, only a fleeting present. With a quest, a faint one though, to empty herself into words. And to live by those.

Alone, you soak pillows, yearning for love. In the company of a man, who doesn't get you, you're lonely. On a lunch table with family, you feel even lonelier. More the listless souls, the more left out you are. In a crowd, you feel the loneliest. The only company that survives, is the one which is drawn to you by the measureless understanding of solitude..

Just Friends -3

I took those glances for a tantrum. Her explicit efforts to avoid me, at times behave like nothing had changed. Thought it would pass. And we would come around, to where we were before, before one accidental night happened. I tried not to be alone with her, was afraid she would ask me something I wouldn't have the answer to. I never had the answers to anything those days. Wasn't a seeker of sorts, I lived like a life had been thrown upon me from the clouds, and I could do nothing else with it but live it through. She too pretended to be like me, and may be that's why we hung out together. But she wasn't, she was only trying too hard. She had to get a thick skin of indifference to defend the dangerously sensitive person she was. I knew that, but didn't make a fuss over it because I just wanted to keep her with me. I was teaching her stoicism, but an accidental night came our way.

I hadn't returned the shoes she had forgotten at my place the morning after. She had walked out in haste with a pair of my slippers instead, and it was only after I found them missing, I traced her shoes flung under my bed. Did she want them back? Because those slippers were the only pair I had. I couldn't ask, she couldn't tell. A week ago, we were friends, who could talk about any damn thing. And we literally sunk our minds into each other, we were like this one siamese soul, trading notions till we reached a mental orgasm. That some things would alter so irreversibly, I hadn't quite calculated.

She would often repeat her ideas to me, many times over. I mistook those to be the principles of her life. I had no idea that she told them to me again and again, because she herself wanted to believe in them. Funny, isn't it. And from those mindless babblings of hers, I had made a strict mental note. That she felt no relationship could go from physical to emotional, only vice versa. Had I doubted her, I could have asked her if she wanted her shoes back! And some other things too. I didn't. Couldn't.

Just Friends-2
Just Friends-1

Chhaya.

Chhaya. You're not beautiful. You have one of those thousand faces, that one could easily miss. Very predictable. Very rejectable. You ain't fair. And your dusky doesn't sell either. It's a bad dusky. Almost tending to dark. Tanned. Like grilled in the sun. Your lips are too thin. Very unkissable. They're not even rosy, they're a darker shade of brown. Brown lips. Your nose isn't like that of a princess. Not as pointed. And look, you don't have a nose ring either, that could have added some quotient. You don't. The eyes, they don't have lashes long enough. Not dreamy enough, no. Big eyes, don't make up for all your other lacunae. Big eyes are not worth a dime. Your hair doesn't stand up for your face either. It's not straight, like ironed. It's not curly, like curly is supposed to be. It's a mad wavy. Nobody would fuck that. Take my word. The chin, even the very end of your face is a ridiculous bony protrusion. It makes you look older. Way older. Yours is a lost battle. Your cheeks are sunken. And despite your sunken cheeks, you have a double chin. Have you asked yourself why. Because, you're ugly. 

There is no thing called inner beauty. It is one of the most pseudointellectual illusions ever created, to satisfy man, to euphemize your ugliness. Don't listen to them, Chhaya. Listen to me. I am the truth. 

And beauty is an opiate older than life itself. It's a myth because nobody knows what it is, truly is. Beauty is a bias, not even the creator could overcome, Chhaya. So I have created thee. To always remind me that your exact antithesis is what appeases.

Between Us

Intimacy cannot fade. It is merely coated on top by other emotions, for other people. The naked warmth, the sighs and whispers shared, the confessions and intimacies traded, do not fade. Illusions, as if seen by only one pair of eyes, stay, unforgotten. Intimacy cannot fade, no, time isn't that powerful. Once you scrape off those settled layers of dust, you can see it preserved, far from fossilized. 

Because, when minds have conversed, mouths needn't reassure. What has been said, is never taken back. And whenever you turn your head to see what you have left behind, you find some memories, unmoved, as you created them. Even after a million waves have crashed on the beach where you felt it for the first time; even after the creases on the bed on which you slept for the first time have gone amiss, and it has been unmade and remade as days whiled away, one glance is sometimes 'nough to take you back.

Or a date. When you look at your cellphone and realize that it's the anniversary you once celebrated. But now it's another useless, unaccountable day. You skip a breath, palms go sweaty like you were nervous, about to make a speech to yourself. You fling the cellphone back, and stare at the wall opposite, re-living, trying not to, yet re-living.

'Her earrings were made out of metal twisted into circles, tiny stones hung from which, delicately, relfecting the setting sun's rays. He felt dazed by that shine, and by her faint golden summer skin. He held back her hands as she tried to tie her hair wildly yielding to the wind, and it fell like waves on both sides of her face. To that, he smiled. And asked, 'Do you remember, what day it is?''

So much for a book!

Someone once asked me to write a book. I tried hard to listen to his sarcastic laughter. I couldn't. Loss of hearing I guess.

On second thoughts, I have tried to stitch together some nights, and write a story. A story. It doesn't begin, it doesn't end. It doesn't even go on. It's short, shorter than expected. It's just a flap of time. Stolen, by a self obsessed writer, who sees herself in every character.

She can't otherwise. It's difficult for my story to have more than one character, I cannot be that generous. A severe limitation of my imagination, it's pretty constricted, can't stretch a bit. I find it challenging. To create a person, out of nothing, inside my mind, whose every cell I am supposed to know, to knit together his attributes, to bring into existence his subconscious, and then hide it, to ensure he justifies his presence in the plot's every move, it's hard. It's hard to create a character you don't know.

So I create me, the only one I know. Again and again. And sometimes I crib in the guilt of selfishness.

There have been books, of course in which all the characters are reflections of real people in the author's life. With names changed, so that they can't file that hefty lawsuit. Writing that way must be easier. But I wonder if it's worth it. May be it is. How does it even matter!

A night of memories and of sighs

A night of memories and of sighs. Awaits me. On the other side of this orangish evening. Leaning off a precarious terrace. Into dust filled air. Mild summer breeze. Sweaty summer skin. Glowing in remnant sunlight.

Feeling like the connector of fates. When she asks me a question. Should she stay with him. Or move away. He, who betrays, loses his way, comes back to beg forgiveness. She, a mixture of fiction and many realities.

I, the confidant.

Can see the unwithstandable pain, obvious in her eyes. Even when, we, women try to engage in friendly banter. Try to shift topics. To forget her heartbreak. And just be girls.

And just be girls.With hair blowing carelessly in the wind. Messing up. Skirts gloating up like umbrellas. But despair takes over. Cars on the highway. Hundreds of them. Forming human chains, homebound.

I tell her, I may listen, but cannot answer. For I don't know, a bit, about him, about her. About love.

Of accurate misunderstandings, and clashing egos, of straying fantasies, and fluctuating loyalties, of the weaning of attachment, and voids between hearts, of being pragmatic over romantic and vice versa, of expecting things, and learning to be unconditional, I do not understand love. For me, it's a thing too far away. How could I be even expected to answer her.

I laugh, and it gets to her by contagion. I don't have any answers. Nobody has them rather. The night takes over the orangish evening. Smothered by memories and by sighs. And we part.

The Fever Bird

A poet of repute writes about love. He mentions how he wakes up disturbed to the cries of the papiha in his garden, in the dead of the night. The lunatic bird sings in the midnight heat, without relief. Like a bone of pain is stuck in its throat. And our poet doesn't know sleep. He feels that the papiha is conspiring only against him, because there is no one else in the house awake. He looks out of his room, and can't trace the hidden bird. Its throttling cries split his heart apart. Those cries of pee-kahan, pee-kahan. Where is my love, where is my love. The poet christens this emotion as love. And tries to make me believe so.

Yet again, I have been lied to. Call me a man for having said this. But love is an extended mating-ritual. It's like fore-foreplay. At least this once, men are right. It's a terrible facade that love puts on, it cheats you for half a life. It's all about chemicals gone crazy in your brain. Some hormones out stepping their fucking limits. The same ones that ensure you get hair under your arms. That's about it. It's animal instinct. All that we suppose sets man apart from animals has been doctored to fill in books, to make people fantasize. And make this hunt for an okayish mate, a pink one after all. That's about it.

I saw a blind man and a blind woman. I don't know if I could impose our jargons on them. But they would have been objectionable had they not been blind. It was a public place, there were scores of people, like me, like you, who would but ogle at people who make out in public. But I couldn't find a term for them. I couldn't force any thought on what I saw. No one else was watching, so I could just stare on. Like an almost involved by stander. The woman was taking the man's hand and running it across her face, above her eyes, with almost all white and the squinted black, the dark circles around her eyes, her nose, the slightly hollow cheeks, and then his hands paused for a short breathtaking moment on her mouth, fingered gradually from the upper lip to the lower, like a beat of music. Then down to her chin and below her neck. There was a smile on the man's face. It was a like a mad man's. He must have been happy. So must have been the woman. Now I wonder, was that about it?

Poet in reference: Vikram Seth

Man-Woman-&-MBA

It's a much denied fact, but we all look for support. And when all else fails, we look for an ideology we could stick to. So as to say, if at the end of the day, everything else is taken away from you, you could still say, you stood by what you believed in. Or pretended to believe in.

I am going fishing. For one such comforting ideology to stick to. You see I do not have many other sources of solace or engagement. So I would rather hunt down my beliefs, and try to knit them into what they call a belief system. And call it a day. And go off to sleep again, as my mom says.

It's a funny post, me writing about all this. You see I never had the time or more importantly the stretchable attention span to look for an ideology, I was running the rat race like all of you. I don't intend to call you a rat anyway, if you quit, I do bow before thee. Why I was engaged breathlessly doing what everyone else was doing was because the risks of being unique and hence ostracize-able weren't involved at all. So there was a comfort, a safety rather. It's my typical middle class, I-don't-want-to-be-left-homeless fear. It has nothing to do with anything. I have been brought up on fear. Not that I aspire for the filthy rich worthless millionaires, or sympathize any less for the decaying chunk of the population in slums.

Just that I have been so busy with me, that there has hardly been anytime to be actually concerned per se. But now, I have been lounging lazy for two months, and I need something desperately to comfort myself. So I am here to knit my belief system. So that I can call something my own.

I was never slightly inclined towards the left, but as a kid I have seen appalling poverty around. I mean really! So I began thinking that something should be done about all the poor people. I read a few books, I wouldn't name them and bore you to death, but the filth in their lives was so accurately described, I was drawn closer and closer to wanting to find a solution.

Then I saw the helplessness of it. Conversations with people, with myself, the absolute inability of the system to change, the lackadaisical attitude towards it all, frustrated me. And since I had so many other frustrations in my life, I quit on this one and became indifferent.

Later, I read some more books and gave my heart to individualism. And thanks to my stint with a master's degree, I supported the staunch capitalist, and became a vague rightist. You get these bi-directional sways of my heart, don't you?

There were too many questions, a quagmire of them actually. A mess inside my mind, justifications I sake, guilt I felt. The lingering silence became very disturbing, but that disturbance is anyway a respite from my perennial issue of heartache.

However, now I have stopped looking for the absolut. My solution, if I may call it one, is that I have begun seeing things on scale, that extends indefinitely in opposite directions. And everything can be explained in a relative context to something else. But that something else is never the absolute, can be explained again with respect to something else. And so we move on the scale, in either direction, and sometimes multi-dimensionally.

And if the luster of the title attracted you, but the post bored you to death, but still you read on till the end, then you may in fact ask for an apology!

Living, Without

She opened her medicine box twice the same morning, she had been becoming forgetful. She smiled and shut it the second time. As a kid, she had always confused senility to be a synonym of insanity. And now, she laughed at that silly childish misunderstanding. She never lost track, as such.

But despite all the forgetting, she sometimes remembered too much. Most of which had never happened. They say, you live your thoughts. The subconscious must be a tricky thing you know, to make you live in a world of make-belief. Rather, live on a past of make-belief.

For instance, the gulmohar that dusted off on both sides of the road they walked by. Some red flamboyance, covered the dull asphalt, wind carried the rest away. Some came back and stuck to her hair. He carefully plucked those and placed in her hands. She smiled. Like she smiled now. That road didn't exist, neither did the gulmohar, nor they.

For another instance, those conversations didn't exist. Things she thought he had said to her. She must have imagined them all. There weren't many witnesses sans he. And he wasn't anymore, with her. She deleted the rest (of the witnesses), in a drive of an impassioned massacre, hurrying lest she gained consciousness. Because she wanted to live in belief, rather than without.

Her ridiculous excuses should make you laugh, but the wrinkles on her decaying face would deserve your pity better. You would let her die uncontradicted. Live some more, uncontradicted.

She remembered, she met his mother once, at his ancestral place, and blushed back at him, her firm cheeks then, in faint baby pink. She had imagined the curtains at his place and the other details etcetera.  Everything, as it should have happened. As she yearned for it to happen.

But it didn't. So she lived, without. Only imagining that she lived, with.

The Soldier's Wife

You fight your own battles
I am the woman who waits home alone
Fighting a bigger battle

My emotions alter between
Sorrow and Anger

Sorrow
As I wait by this window
Giving myself false hope

Anger
Because you leave no trace
You take me as a given

I worry
For you, on the crests of mountains
In the cold and snow

Amidst gunshots
Smoke and death
When you forget me, for your purpose

I ain't as selfless, I
Want you all mine
Want you all mine

You don't wonder as I do
And weigh possibilities out of nothing
Alone in the dark

Aghast, all I do is wait

When you are all I have
And I still don't have you

Love may be unconditional
Wait isn't.
Isn't.

And everytime you return
To me
Wounded, and lost

I won't be here.


Pic Courtesy: $uch!

A Room of One's Own

Her room is the best melange of any creator's inspirations. Because in her room you see her at her worst, in her element. I have lived my life shifts, changing my room every year. And I ensure I never grow any affection for any room. However I can't help a couple of memories in the cracks of my brain, left behind, by mistake.

There was once a room I lived in. Some four years ago. It was the one in which I fell badly sick for the first time and met a ghost. Probably a ghost, can't be sure. The room was stashed away in a corner of the top floor of a rickety old building. Overlooking the basketball court, overlooking a jungle. A jungle I wanted to walk in someday, but couldn't even once in those long years. And, it was in that room that I came into being, I believe. We all have some stages in our lives when we come into being. Post that I have been pretty much the same.

That room, you wouldn't like the vision that I would now give you. Summer must have been approaching quite like the devil. And it must have been a Saturday, a stolen Saturday of no work. Washed wet clothes hung from a plastic string running from corner to corner, incessantly dripping, filling the depressions in the uneven floor. Salwar kameezes and duppattas, of tens of hues, all washed, dipped in detergent and shown under a running tap, merely to ensure the smell of sweat went away, no qualms for the dirt. Wrung for the sake of it, and hung to dry across the room, squeezing into each others' space, sometimes overlapping, sometimes sliding off the string itself. In such a room, I whiled away the last chapters of adolescence, with my generous share of heartbreak. Waiting for the clothes to dry, so that they could be folded and stacked in a shelf in the wall.

But they never were. The life of my clothes ended on that very string. They were worn right from there and thrown back after use, probably awaiting another wash. Who knew! That string must have become the delicate balance of my life. Because one day the loose nails hammered into the walls that held it, gave in after some mild encouragement from a visitor, some random intruder. And down came the string, along with my world, thrown astray on the floor. I stood there, for a moment, celebrating the sheer shock of it.

Our feet
On wet sand, digging puddles
Chasing crabs into their holes

I stepping into your footprints
Guilelessly, in abandon.
Foam of waves, receding from our toes

We stand still
Our fingers melted into one
My toe ring of silver, glistens like a star in the sea

Sky split into a brilliant dusk
Not even birds, it's just us
You & I

I write our names on the sand
You wait for them to be washed away
And then you laugh

That intoxicating, open mouthed laughter
Waits for me to join in mid-way
I feign anger and walk away

And you console me
The sea won't stand our names
Because we're not forever.

Nothing is forever.
That we're here only for now
After a day has ended, & another hasn't begun

And I am deep in a dream.



beached in tangles of flicker

To make sure none followed where you led
I used my hair to cover our tracks.
Sun set on the island of our bed
night rose
eating echoes
and we were beached there, in tangles of flicker,
candles whispering at our driftwood backs.
Your eyes above me
afraid of the promises I might keep
regretting the truth we did say
less than the lie we didn't,
I went in deep, I went in deep,
to fight the past for you.
Now we both know
sorrows are the seeds of loving.
Now we both know I will live and
I will die for this love.


~Karla Saaranen

I feel it inching closer, I feel my utopia inching closer. I do. Though I know of its weak resistance and that it wouldn't last more than a month, I want my tongue to remember utopia's taste. For solace in the days that will break into me and take my utopia away. 

Utopia is the dampening of my senses, the numbing of feeling. It is perfect isolation. Utopia is the lack of any need to communicate, to explain myself. Nothing enters, nothing leaves, and only the absolute is preserved.

And it's just great! I am almost proud of what I have done to myself.

Drawing Parallels

A book feels like a man. Force yourself enough and you may catch a glimpse of the parallels. One or two, here and there. Your lines may not be parallel enough if you haven't read too many books or haven't met too many men. No offense. Read on if you feel this will make some sense. Or if you want me to give you another reason to quit reading me.

I judge a book by the cover, by the title. A man by his face. I do, I am a hypocrite. I choose a book by its smell. The one that emanates from between unread pages, if you take your nostrils close enough. The smell aspect is the most uselessly non-functional utility of a book. I choose a man on similar useless non-functional parameters. I say I look for connection. But whenever I chance upon a connection guy, I pass him on as a friend. A connection guy is never perfect. The connection I am talking about is the core functional utility of the man, everything else is a useless non-functional utility, if you know what I mean. I choose a man based on what he is, rather than who is. The ones I have had ruthless infatuations on, I have been attracted to for the most evil of reasons.

I love all the books that I have read. I haven't read many, but it's hard to hate one that I have read. It could be because of the sheer amount of time and labor that has gone into finishing it from cover to cover. Each one has too much of my love in it to be hated. I haven't met many men either. But it's hard to hate all those that I have passed by. Even underneath my shallow sheath of hatred, there is a secret love. I never truly get over a man. Just like I can go back to a book I have read and flip through it, read through my favorite lines, pause at the pages folded in their corners. Kiss the creased covers, fill its fragrance into my soul, once again. It's never too late for me to go back to an old flame. Because I can never hate him, no matter how badly he has abandoned me. Because I always see the fault in me, rather than him. And he has had too much my love to be hated.

Books are heartbreaking. Some of them scream the truth so loud in my ears, the truth that I am not, that it breaks my heart to know it. Books tell me of love that I have not, books give me thrill that in my life I have none, books make me understand how despicable life is which I am too inert to feel, books show me that we're all beautiful indeed which I no more believe in. When I am touched by a book, I close my eyes and lay it on my chest. When I inhale and exhale, it seems I am breathing from the book. The book has suddenly reached a place inside me where no one had been before. I didn't know such a place even existed. At that precise moment books are heartbreaking. Men too are heartbreaking.