Whole Again

While smudging kohl in my eye, I noticed a hole. A tiny hole to the corner on the lower flap, on the inside, towards the nose. I thought to myself, this must be the tear gland. Not the gland, but the orifice for the gland beneath. It's amazing, how I hadn't known where tears came from. After crying my eyes out. And today, it shows itself. It's like finding a blackspot under your chin. You had it ever since, without knowing. Without caring to know.

My mood lately is a cosine curve. I sink into troughs, for a set of predefined reasons. Loss, failure, disappointment, a deep, really deep sense of feeling misplaced. Mostly, I sink because I think I am stupid. Just foolish. And that's not a good thing, feeling foolish. Because it is accompanied with inexplicable anger. I choke myself screaming, howling, literally. I tear down wall hangings, punch pillows. It's like a mad woman has gotten into me. And I actually do relate to her in the span of my fit. And cry, cry a lot. I sink into the trough of the cosine. 

A while after, I consolidate. Very mechanically. Like an auto restoring system. I cool down. I feel up again. I try hard, really hard to convince myself that being a good person compensates for being stupid. I know, it doesn't. But I try. What can we do? I try to tell myself stories. That things will turn around. Even if they don't, I am strong enough to just take the shit. I fail, I shatter. I cry. Again.

And such, it goes on and on. I don't know if there's an escape, but an escape. I so want to feel whole again. 


I tend to be extremely myopic in terms of life. That I can't see beyond a certain point, I acknowledge. So I be within constraints. I don't see myself anywhere in the next 5 years, like they ask in job interviews. I don't see myself anywhere. I used to keep a vague imagery of myself at 40. But that's slowly fading. Pictures, we can't afford. Sometimes, just merely being, maintaining a decent status quo, is such a struggle. Breath sucking, blood curdling struggle. I had foreseen myself at this age that I am now, but when it's for real, it's nothing like that, actually. It keeps getting more and more disappointing. Because of the cages I built inside my head. And prefer to stay, incarcerated. 

There is an old man. He must be in his seventies. He wears a washed out dhoti and carries a huge sack of mudhi (puffed rice, for the uninitiated) on his head and climbs up four flight of stairs. He calls out in that shrill voice, he addresses the women in the houses as mothers, they may be less than half his age. And asks who wants mudhi. He also sells those balls of mudhi rolled in sweet jaggery. Golden looking delicious balls. He would arrive sharp at 9:30 almost on all week days. And that is the most chaotic time of the day for me, I would be swallowing an unchewed breakfast, in the self immolating shame of being late for work. The old man would ring the bell, I would open and shut the door within the span of a few seconds, refusing, caring not if we had enough mudhi or not. 

In afterthought. I would wonder. If I should have given him some money, just for taking all those stairs. I never did that though. 

Last Monday, I was taking a break, for several reasons. Life can get too much you know. I realized I was getting nowhere despite all the running and all the 9 o'clock chaos undertook daily. So I felt like showering in the evening for a few days, instead in the morning. I felt like being myopic all over again and took those days off. 

So, last Monday, I was there when the old man rang the bell. I was. I bought those delicious balls of mudhi rolled in jaggery.   

Red Light

Today she spread on her pink bedsheet. And stared back at the room once before heading out. The TV was adjacent to the bed, you needed no remote. The window was shut. The light was about dim. And blue. The bejewelled actress in the poster she had hung up, blushed, like everyday.

Out on the street a dozen other girls like her waited. They chuckled. Made expressions with their hands. Some lifted their skirts as they teased the men that walked by, rejecting them for fleshier and prettier looking girls down the street. If that didn't work, they lifted the veils off their breasts, before ultimately slashing their prices by a hundred or two, as a last resort.

But tonite she had decided, she wouldn't let anyone bargain with her. She needed the money. She would coil her hands around any man's neck, with all the love and all the desertion. And have what she is worth. No negotiation. She prayed that there be no raid that night. And went in one final time to check whether the mosquito coil had worked or what.