Do you remember the dim lit alleys. And cafes with bowls of water and petals floating amongst floating candle flames. Have the slightest memory, do you. Of the long nauseous drives, uphill and downhill and then uphill again. Do you remember, how our friends hooked up and went for long walks leaving us behind, alone, alone-together and writhing in unbearable adolescent solitude. Seated on wooden benches under tall, very tall pine trees, picking up pine cones from the ground and counting them. And those long sun less mornings of fog mixed with steamy breakfast. Memory is a tricky thing. You forget the obvious. But store these tiny irrelevant details. Like the big flat-screen TV. Or the aimless strolls uptown and getting lost. And then not finding a cab on the way back and getting caught amidst a hail storm. Do you still think of late night, almost running into dawn, parties. Do you remember the first time you held a drink in your hands while another girl mixed up vodka with rum with whiskey and danced and puked. Do you remember watching, and being watched. And how the feeling of undiluted lust was. When you lusted for a man, so blindly without considering parameters of beauty or money, just lust. Pure lust, on plastic chairs, holding drinks in plastic cups, until dawn, under pines. And then witnessing a gorgeous orange sun crack the sky and washing off that illegitimate lust with all the pragmatism you could gather. And walking back to your room and taking a really hot shower. You could never claim what was not rightfully yours. Nevertheless, you smoked in disquiet corners in insomniac parties and imagined poems. You wondered what it would feel like to doze off on each other's shoulders and wake up in the touch of undiminished love. Even if things didn't work out much, you thought of dinners in cafes of floating candles on rooftops. Same rooftops that were too tempting not jump off from. Yeah.

On a slightly different note, do you remember home. Unbearable summer days and sucking off seeds from melons. And forest fires. And rickshaw rides of total absolute liberation. Do you remember long chats and unacknowledged affections. Do you remember splitting the cheque on a date to make it look platonic, how fearful were we. Do you remember wearing capris and skirts and hiding your bosom full of love in loose immortal t shirts. Do you remember the earphones and endless playlists on loop. And windows media player. Do you remember boat rides and swooping bats. Propositions and heartbreaks. That could never be healed. And walking back in the rain, plucking wildflowers. Strange train journeys and waking up bare feet because your slippers were stolen. Staining your fingernails in flower juice. Do you remember grainy pictures and unsophisticated phone cameras. First touches, shoulder brushes and kisses in the dark. How naive were you, how unloved were you darling. Do you remember. Chomping off platefuls of noodles and gravies in garlic sauce, and espresso, all that. Yes. Do you remember being ugly, particularly. 

Picture courtesy: Ukiyo-e 

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