Man Woman & Child

Summer afternoon. There is a drizzle waiting in the air. A patch of golden sky, is visible above the shoulder of the woman. It's reflecting on the window pane, and she's leaning out. Her thighs are oozing out of her shorts. And there's gooey face-pack over her face. She's waiting for it dry. It has dried up in parts, developed cracks and can be scraped off already. The breeze has just gotten cooler.

Unopened boxes lay on the floor. Like someone has just moved in. Or is about to move out. There is dust on the floor. There's some stuff outside too. Some things. Like a rocking chair. Left alone in the corner, all by itself. And there's a scarf tied around one of its arms. A few books. Hardbound, with the author's name fading into an insignificant golden yellow.

Just like the sun that reflects on the window pane. The wind has become virile now. And the window pane bangs harder. It might shatter into shards of glass, tonite.

The woman has moved away, into some deep insides of the house. And there's of course the child, rolling on the floor.

The man however is, invisible. 

Man & Woman

Obviously we rushed in to see the new bride the moment we were told there was one. I must have been tenoreleven. And I hadn't seen a bride till then. All of those got married at night and left before I woke up the morning next. Even the air wore a deserted look after that departure. Crushed petals of rose strewn on the floor where the feast was last night, but no sign of the bride.

So obviously when told there was a bride, we couldn't hold ourselves still. And waited after one of us, tall enough, to reach for the door bell pressed it. I must have wished I was tall enough for my eyes to reach the door eye to look into the house from outside. To catch a glimpse of that burly mass covered in red and gold, beforehand. But they never made see through door eyes then.

When she opened the door in only a starched cotton sari, prim and pleated like she was some housewife in mid life crisis. Only happier. We were disappointed, to say the least. A brief while after, we were told she was the new bride of a man such and such. Who had a slight of a paunch and was old and was balding. Who had more than a couple children, stacked away in distant cities. And an insane first wife who had been shunned. For that woman was as good as dead. To him. To his children. Everyone.

And this new wife was the spinsterish daughter abandoned in a family of lots of other people who definitely had other things to worry about than getting her married off. So her years of youth had passed and settled down as tiny wrinkles on the corners of her eyes. Which always shrank when she smiled, the way she smiled the first time she opened the door to us.

I can recollect. How much their lives felt entwined into each other those days. How she would roast brinjals pricked with garlic for him. Or he would get strands of lilies for her hair.

Of course, back then I wouldn't have deduced what I now deduce. And I realize, it's ridiculously obvious how much man and woman need each other. Notwithstanding.

Now I think about them. And then I think about us.

A kiss on the lips

Have you been there? When the person right next to you, in your bed, wrapped in the same sheets feels like is miles away. And you're somewhere else. You don't particularly wish to be though. But you can't help it. And it feels only natural to be that way. Disconnected. A couple of years ago, you would even wonder if that was ever possible. Emotionally, biologically, rationally, irrationally, whatever.

With time, more than a few tides turn. Innocence leaves. Suddenly, as in almost overnight. Promises recede into oblivion. Particularly those written down on the last pages of school notebooks. If they don't head back stage, sometimes you kill them. In a heinous way you never imagined you could.

A lot of things change. The mind allows layers and layers protective sheaths over itself. Yet we remain the same within. It's funny, how you pretend to be different just to protect your undiluted self.

And one day you wake up with a stranger. Picking up shreds of clothing and not looking each other in the eye. You're not particularly ashamed of what you've done. Life wasn't supposed to be special anyway, and you've learned it the hard way. Nor do you let regret hover anywhere around your conscious. But still there is something, that itches. Could be that person you caged and protected underneath what you've become. And you don't let it torture you anymore.

You put up a bold face in the mirror and behave like nothing much has happened, but the obvious. Like you knew those wishes you fabricated before were juvenile hallucinations or something. Impractical nonsense.


Seen Unseen

It's spring already. And I have a bevy of reasons, for why you wouldn't even think of loving me. Because I have this subtle quality to merge into the backgroud. The hem of my clothes must look like the edge of a weird piece of furniture. And my hair must look like wool. Or a tree. Perfectly overlookable. I must be almost invisible. Or completely invisible. And you wouldn't know until I scream that I am. That I am absolutely taking advantage of my invisibility to relish your every move. Every single movement that your muscles make. Absorbing each pause between your laughs. Understanding whom you be. And feast on the slight delights of the man you are.

I am almost proud,of how you wouldn't screech to a halt even if I rain dance right past your eyes. Or run hither and thither. Or use worn out archaic English for that matter. Because you are married to everything I am not. For you, I could at best be a non-existent no-body. Or in the very least, be like the lone girl at the next table in a restaurant you're at with someone else. You're only probably faintly aware of my presence and couldn't practically care any less.
Spring is almost over. And the first phase of Summer is breaking itself upon us by intermittent afternoon thundershowers. And I count that as first rain. In which today I got drenched. Bulbous drops tripped on my head and broke apart on my shoulders. And I felt like flinging away my hands and let virgin rain seep in. Wild waves made inroads into my mind. And dreams that would never be dropped in hints that they could be only if you had raised your eyes once. And looked at me,crouching, right next to you. Staring at you already, and waiting to be seen. Merely seen.


Being influenced comes easy. Even now. Books, even books drive me nuts. Movies addict me. To almost a point of no return. That point of no return, where onward I begin to worship, believe in, and love, without reason. Such love, attraction and intoxication is an insult to my intelligence, shouldn't deny. And books and the like apart, you are a man.

You could a bimbo. And I could love you only for the assumptions I have of you. Without considering who you are for real. You look alright to me. Good rather. And I love your smile. God, I adore your smile. I adore it so much that it makes my inner being beam. In the few seconds your face flexes into a smile, it's like each and every bit of you is happy. Oozing with joy. In those few seconds, I wonder, how could anyone, ever impersonate such honest an emotion. Your smile is so pure, it makes me want to tell you how I feel about it. Like I said, it drives me crazy. But in a good way though.

And I should be shameless to feel anything like this about anyone. Now. After everything. It's almost embarrassing. And I wish I could get help. You could be a bimbo after all. And not the person of my dreams. Not the man I see behind the face, the gentle humility. And all that. But seriously, you're like a delicious slice of chocolate pastry. I find you too sweet to swallow because I am already floored the moment you touch the tip of my tongue. Quite non-literally.

It couldn't be the naughty teenage infatuation. It shouldn't. Because that would mean I have regressed. Or I haven't evolved. At all. But I wonder if we ever do. I still feel like that butterfly-in-my-heart seventeen year old. In the few seconds I just stand there to see you smile.

Adam. Adam Adam

The Mating Game

This post is supposed to bring back the magic. And announce, aloud, the return of fiction. The return of romance. To this blog. After a year of an almost continuous typed out sequence of psychobabble. And remind us after all, of those days when this thing was read.

Ideally, this post should have been named after the inglorious series 'Men in My Life' . But then that's too cheesy, so lets skip that, should we. Because ideally a lot of things should have happened, which never did, do, will. Hence.

In a crowded room, full of strangers, when the only man I knew failed to give me the attention I thought was due, he had absolutely no idea what game of mutual humiliation he had just begun. Because I had walked down to say hi, totally endowed with the knowledge that he was an ass, after all. And he snapped it back right in my face. How crazy was I to overestimate his skills at being human. Affable and chivalrous, be at bay.

But anyway, we get used to shrugging and walking away. In due course of time, in life, we all do. I assumed that episode never happened. And settled down with a drink. Inside my mind.

Later that evening, things changed. It was getting pretty late. And I stood by the road, trying to hail a cab. But all the cabbies, as usual, hated the place where I stayed. They raised their noses and drove off. And there he was. Shirt tucked out. Tie-less. Loitering. And assuming I wasn't there.

And I know how un-feminist it sounds, but just his being there made me feel safe.Our world is so small, it's too hard not to know people. Most of who I know, fall somewhere between being a friend and an acquaintance. With distinct loyalties towards being the latter. Because sometimes, I don't let them in, and sometimes they run away. But as long as the guy is in between the points, there is a probability, and a few may-be's. The hope of a possibility.

Clinging to that possibility, when he walked up to me, that night, I has an 'apology accepted' written on my face. Somehow, I knew we had been put up in the same hotel. It was honestly, very comforting to know that  now, being the man, he would hail us a cab. So, I stopped screaming for one. And we got talking.

Unbelievable as it sounds. We never ran out of words. It was obviously getting late. But nothing seemed to matter. I assumed that happened, because we had lived similar lives till then. Only at different places. With different set of people. Etc.

But what irritated me was that he wasn't looking for a cab at all. I mean, of course conversations could be taken to other places. Two minutes later, I found out that he wasn't headed to the damn hotel after all. Shock gripped me hard, I wanted to hit him with a hammer. Why did he waste so much of my time if he wasn't going to get me a cab. Ugh.

Some sanity must have dawned on him, and he dropped me at my hotel, before heading to wherever he was headed. And it was a goodnight after all.

Today, he is not someone I barely know. I mean I guess I know him well. Rather well. He assumes I am a friend. I assume he is an acquaintance. And I also assume, he isn't reading this right now.