Threshold of a Dream

Shame, precisely was the lost element. There was barely any fear of consequence. So they would hide behind giant tree trunks on sultry afternoons. The birds would chirp away in drunken siesta as they were, underneath, below. Or if the birds made more noise alarmed, they would shift into the tree's holy womb, its crevice. Sharing the warmth of the rugged walls of wood, and the cold of the air trapped inside for months, with their bodies.

Or be on the river bed. Upon yellow sand, reflecting mirages into the sky. Stretched out asleep, their lithe limbs parallel. On the threshold of a dream. Once up, they would walk toward the tiny island in the middle that cut the river into two, for a while and let them merge again, out of relentless love. Down the line. They dug their ankles into, to check if there was any quicksand. 

They breathed the clouds, breathed the smoke. Of dead leaves burning in summer. In wild forest fires, ravenous and all-consuming. Giving up, giving in. Laughing. Inhaling carbon monoxide and losing senses. Clasping palms and being children. Hiding and seeking.

In December, sinking in snow.

Why tell me, again, can't we be like them. You & me. Tell me again. 


I must smell of him
Molecules of his, stuck in between mine
In empty spaces
Trapped odour, irreversible love
He's my envelope,
Like my stratosphere
All around me,
Sometimes you couldn't tell us apart
Entwined lovers

When my nostrils graze from
Chin downwards
Via the throat, his neck
They collect souvenirs.
Memories to be saved forever
No matter how we end up.

Enroute they collect bubbles of his odour.
Aftershave, sweat, flesh, skin, soap
Love, estrangement,
Fear and frustration
My nostrils cage a bit of his spirit
And save it in my lungs

When it gets dark,
That smell seeps into my blood
And oozes out of my skin

I must smell of him. 

Faded Flamboyance.

It's unfair to say, but I couldn't recognize him. From behind, I felt a pang of uncertainty, who could this man be. And then he turned around and I saw his face. The same face except he looked older by a decade than I had seen him last. I must have grown too, but it's difficult to notice age on oneself. He had lost all his color. He had no hair at all, whatever little he did was grey. He had trimmed it today, that was his excuse. Though I wanted to ask what was so desperately wrong with him, I couldn't. There is nothing that is ever cardinally wrong. Life ruins us all in general, in bits, in its own slow paced process. The loss of friendship, fading of love, tarnishing of belief, being few of the numerous causes. Therefore I didn't ask. No questions were exchanged. 

He said he'd come by, our place. He should better, I stressed. His wife was fine and the two sunshine daughters were growing up alrite, he said. I asked if the older one was resembling their mother more by the year, he stayed shut.  I didn't ask about the younger one then. It had been long I had forgotten their names, but their childlike faces stayed framed in my eyes. The younger one, who looked like her father was more my favorite, though I never had the chance to say it. Whenever he took me to see a doctor when I fell sick, or picked me up from the train station, saw me off for holidays. Or the once or twice he took me out for dinner with his resentful wife. 

A few years from now, he would be more open about the falling apart of his marriage. The people in his life who may have demanded an explanation would be long gone. We may meet after another lost decade of his life, on his face.

Then decades afterward, real decades i.e. he would come visit his daughter for winter in the hills, the younger one. Flip through old albums, pictures of his children in their school uniforms, purple water-bottles hanging from their necks. Pictures from the few vacations they had cared to take. Right then, he would close his eyes and regain his lost flamboyance. 

Breaking Out

Stout diabetic man. Staring at a lunch of boiled vegetables. In the corner. The smile in his voice. His nonchalance. His apparent lack of fear, wants me to break out. The strings of gerberas hanging from the walls. In bunches, between leaves they don't belong to. In dim lit wedding days of previous besties. The angst in their voice when we understand. How bad time is tricking us. Into believing that it's running slow. When it's not. When we are losing so much and so fast of our quintessential past that seemed like nothing more than average. Until now, when suddenly we are beginning to feel that we are growing up faster than we can handle. So we pause. 

For a while, hold our wrists between our thumb and the index finger. Merely to feel the pulse. To realise the restlessness of all that blood, flowing for no purpose. Chasing something that may in the end not be. Like running toward a mirage. Wasting our destiny, erasing scratched fate lines on our palms only by worrying. Worrying that we are getting nowhere. 

When that pause ends, we decide to make our deal more peaceful. Our thoughts more legible. With more foresight. Such that we chase things that only matter. Matter more. Such that the blood through our wrists slows down. Our temples don't sweat. We sit under trees of silent thought, holding love close to our chest. Like real tight. With a respect for our own self, that we don't shy away from the mirror every time we try to look at it. 

Because, in the end, we all become the stout diabetic man staring at a pale lunch alone in the corner. And then, all that would matter is did we have courage in our soul, that absolute lack of fear. Did we stand up when we should have. 

Love in the Afternoon

He recognized her from the other side of the table. They were aware, that they were both there. But then there always is that head nod. With the warm familiarity of an old lover. Yes, warm. There was a hint of a smile in her eyes. It has been years.

Hasn't it been? Years. Just three. Two years and ten months. Nobody kept a count from the precise day they had quietly to decided to call it off. No fanfare. As quietly as they had begun. Between the occasional clinking of glasses and passing of salads on that lunch table, they had met again after a couple winters had come and gone. Their host that afternoon, was a common friend who had thought them to be a couple until he announced that he was to marry another woman. Someone else. 

Someone else, another person, who didn't have her finicky fingers or her roving mind. A third person, out of the sphere of her imagination was going to be with the man she had loved the longest. Loved the deepest. Everything after l'affaire felt only lesser. The news of his wedding had crippled her, that they were expecting a baby, not as much. By then, the hot air had passed. Her blood rippled less often. 

And now she was just a distant person, sitting on the far end of the table with a lot of strangers but one. That lunch stretched long, he walked with her to the parking. Their baby was due in July. The child that could have been hers. Only it was not. Only they had drifted far apart even when they were with each other. Still in love. 

On a similar afternoon, long time ago, he had been plucking out stray strands of white hair from her head. Fishing them out from amongst bunches of black as she lay on his chest. In another world, yet on his chest. Feeling his heart beat. But that was a thousand afternoons ago.

The Seamstress

Once a young girl started sewing a dress for her best friend's wedding. She bought the piece of cloth with assumed measurements. But ran short of time, largely. The stitching couldn't finish before the night of the wedding. So she left it unfinished. Then about a year later, she decided she would wear it at another best friend's wedding, and picked up the work where she had left it. But that friend's wedding also came and went by, largely due to how slow and amateur her stitching was. Now that dress felt like more than a dress.

She began embroidering upon it, threads of various colors, chain stitched with curled bunches of roses in between. She stitched a little for each man that broke her heart, a little for those who she loved nevertheless. A little for those who she had left estranged unapologized. A bit for the mundane hassles of life. More across each of the nights she felt ugly and worthless and abandoned. Even more when she felt she was turning into a good for nothing though she had so much talent. So on and so forth, she embroidered for growing old. A circle of threads for each wrinkle that appeared on her face. For each child she bore. Child of hopes, child of new beginnings, child of last chances. Sewed in sleeves when her one and final love discarded her for another woman, walking away.

She stitched until blindness. And then died. They dressed her in that, in her coffin. It then looked complete. Just about adequate. Dressed in the stupid coagulated pain of a lifetime.


Closure is very necessary. Haven't we talked about this in the past? Oh yeah, hell lots of times. We only talk, never make it work. Women of words not actions, we seem to be. Because we have no clue how to close an episode and move ahead. Forget it, or atleast learn to live with it. We don't know peace, any peace, as a result. We bury the same thing numerous times, but then the grave opens up and zombies start walking all over us. God, why is this so hard. Letting go. Moving on. It's probably because our minds are like semi-solid right now. Very unsettled. Don't we truly believe in what we are holding on to for dear life. We do, but we want everything. Insatiable ghosts we are. Hence the bygone keeps popping up. Decent burials don't work anymore. Do they. God, I don't believe in resolutions. But please would you help me walk through this one. And get a closure and shut the chapter for now and forever. You see, I am a decent human being. A closure is the least I deserve. So let me just walk away. Because I am not getting away with anything else. Enough already. It's been fuckin years. I don't wanna add another one to it.