You lose hope, not overnight. Not over the night. That's too sudden. In the period of a night, you cry out. And wake up swollen. Eyes burning like fire. Skin glistening sorrow. But you don't lose hope. Hope sheds itself over days. Months. At times, years. You slowly let go. Consciously, breathing, let go, like noone's watching. But you are. You believe, that way it will affect you less. Pity you and forgive. Well, does it?

Similar to the process of unloving. Unloving, keep note, is not the same as falling out of love. It's an active verb. Falling out of love is more passive an event. more real, commonplace, easier. Unloving too, doesn't happen overnight. Slow squeezing of the heart, is supposed to take time. There is no anesthesia for this one. Quite the anti-process of amnesia happens here. Instead of forgetting, one remembers. Tiny details. So much that entire events feel little before the little nothings. Unloving takes its own sour time, and mostly with no certainty of results. 

What tempts me the most is that, is there freedom beyond these? Untethered freedom, as you would put it. I don't know. And ironically, I wouldn't want to. Either. 

Losing all hope was freedom.
- Narrator. Fight Club

Force Majeure

Nobody truly knows Anjum. Nobody cares. Nobody.

Anjum is a stout,  almost cuboidal, a person. Her braid finishes above her waist. Thinning towards the end, like a snake's tail and vanishing. She has a shiny black olive color of skin. Her lips are darker. Even, may be, probably. Nobody ever notices.

Anjum is a nurse. Has been for the last years. And years. Living with her parents in their reasonably respectable house.  A few years ago, word went around that her brother killed himself. There could have been a girl involved. Nobody knows a thing. They guess. Merely. Since then, right from the moment of the blood splattered sheets in the ambulance, from the moment of definite truth and numbing vagary of slit wrists, Anjum has taken the onus. Of seeing things through.

She meets death on a daily basis. Wrinkling by the month. Age seems to defy her. She must be what, forty now? Her parents though, don't seem to age. Thanks to hair color. And other things. Everybody considers Anjum to be a part of the walls or like a door. Like something that's never going to change, depreciate, or grow fuller. Sometimes they do greet her in the corridor. The same exact smile of years. 

I wonder. I vaguely do. Does she have thoughts? Does she wait for something that's going to alter everything about her life? 



I feel certain I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write this properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that – everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer.

I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.


Suddenly, I am seventeen again. There is a flickering candle by my window. The thin breeze shakes the flame a bit. Its dancing in the unforeseen darkness. I have a scrap of paper in my hands, crushed, in my fist. Minutes ago, I was writing a name on it. Some guy I was infatuated to at school. I unfold the crush and bare an edge of the sheet to the flame. I watch it catch fire slowly, I see the name burn.

Then I am thirteen, in between. My regular history teacher is on maternity leave. Her replacement's eyes shine when he teaches. He doesn't use the black board much. Just speaks, endlessly. I remember feeling bright eyed and bushy tailed. Pretty squirelly. History could be fun. I wanted the regular teacher to quit, I wish this one continued. 

I am twenty-two. Living in a big city. He brings me a coffee. I smile. We are so young. There are no promises. I tousle his hair. He likes it. These tricks seem to work. Everything feels like a fun experiment. My fingertips are new to touch. I feel the wind in my hair. And outstretch. On the way back that day, I trip and sprain my ankle.

In the end, I am twenty seven again. The time for promises has come and gone. My heart has been erased. Know what I mean. I am driven around. A lot. I run a lot, panting to find peace. I find it momentarily. Then let go, for chaos. I wonder if  anything has any meaning at all. I sob at weddings. Dabbing my fork into cheesecake after another. He asks me look up straight. Ahead. 

Celine: I was having this awful nightmare that I was 32. And then I woke up and I was 23. So relieved. And then I woke up for real, and I was 32.