Midnight Musing

I am not supposed to be writing this or thinking about it. I should be sleeping. Dreaming up new dreamy concoctions. Living my many parallel, fictional lives. Stretching out on this cool, breezy veranda as all the stress and anxiety of an ironically uneventful day ebbs away from my body. But here I am. Body and mind- thinking, stressing, being anxious.

And my heart? That’s somewhere else. In some far foreign land that my mind and body have not had the time to explore and to demean forever. She is meeting new people, turning new stones over and over again in her hand till they become smooth, making her own path where the grass is yet green. She is living the life I never had. She is still crying over the death of a stranger she has only imagined to resemble a scorned lover without much basis. She is still clinging on to the hope that another day will bring news of this attractive stranger finding his love and of their story ending like all others do, Happily. She is still not ready to dig her unkempt hair out of the many letters and verses and rhymes that are caught up in it. Just like her disheveled self is not ready to cross over the parapet of this pool of absurdity to dive into the bone chilling, but quite necessary reality.

My heart, is still pressed between the pages of some book lying neglected somewhere in the clutter my body and mind have managed to ever so skillfully procure. It is drying away its tears and drowning out its importunate laughter. In a last sigh dragged far too long, it is trying to find a medicine for both the heartache and the happiness that these dog eared, coffee stained pages have brought upon it.

And soon, it shall join us again. On our mindless touristic peregrination. Only till I send it off, again. On the real journey whose path stretches across the length and breadth of this book rack. and another. and another. and another.

My New Beginnings And Other Banalities.

Side stepping from my regular style of blogging, this post is going to be about one albeit usual but magical day in my life.
Today.

As I type this out to the world, the gravity of what has just passed hits me with all its force. For a single exhalation I feel everything slip out of my hands and I start losing my nerve. Only to be calmed by the thought that if I am here writing about it, it can’t turn out to be so bad. It just can not.
All I can tell myself at this point is that no good thing ever came without being headstrong and risking everything for the one portion of chance you know you can’t afford but also know is worth all the pain and trouble and uncertainty in the world.

If my memory is not playing tricks on me, roughly one month back I added a Countdown date to my Blog’s widgets. Many people inquired what this landmark day was. Most, out of the pointless curiosity that often paves way to gossip and has become a way of life with people now. A select few, out of genuine concern and interest.
For the latter, I write this today.

With a shameless disregard for modesty, let me say this. I was born with a gift to have my hand in multiple things at one time and do well at all of them. Unlike other people my age who were behind on studies the minute they took up an activity outside the defined syllabus, I could do fairly well both at school exams and at extra-curricular activities. Athletics, Music, Drama, Debate, Dance, Sports, Cooking, Volunteer work. You name it, I’ve done it. Sometimes, all of it packed into one school year.  I was not the geek who always topped the class or the person with fingers that could create heaven on a paper or the person people stopped dead in their tracks to hear talking. I’d say I was a bit of all of those people. “Jack of all trades, Master of some” would be me put in a simple compound sentence. My modest self would say a wonderful combination of genes from a genius mother and a go-getter father are to thank.  And she would not be wrong entirely.

So When in the December of one year that seems so far away now, I did exceptionally well at something I was a novice at and thought a herculean task before, I credited that achievement to my innate ability of taking on new things with a certain ease as. Even the in-suppressible urge to do nothing but this particular task was shunned away without much thought. Only when I froze in the face of performance at the same task a year later did I realize, this is what I am meant to do. And that nothing but this can give me true contentment in life. Not happiness. Not fame. Not Money. But contentment that none of those things and more often than not very insignificant and banal things can bring.

Today I have put three years of complete dedication and hard-work towards my parents’ dream behind me to give myself entirely to this one thing that has robbed me of sleep many a nights. It has been my own personal (and until now, secret) love interest. Like any good, masala Bollywood flick would guarantee, we have a horde of vamps and villains chasing us around 24×7.  They’re planning covert plots to do us apart and we are reciting sweet nothings every second complete to the till-death-d0-us-apart/s.
Like any good heroine would, I have put my trust in him without a speck of doubt. Now it is for all to see and time to tell where he takes me. A battered old house with no supplies? A mansion with all riches and comforts? I know not. And neither do I care to find out. Wherever he takes me, our love will be enough to quench my thirst and our mutual admiration enough to fill my stomach. And could one ask for more? Austere living is the mantra here.

As I left home in a hurry with a less than modest breakfast of 3 Marie biscuits and Green Tea in me, I moved with a certain purpose. My gait was not slow and relaxed. I was not looking at every inanimate object and observing (but never judging) every moving person. I walked like people with important things to look to do. Like a tiger stealthily moves to grab the night’s dinner. Like a business person trots away with another poor man to rob today and another yet tomorrow. Like a person with a purpose

The metro was surprisingly full for a Sunday. I noticed that people will do anything in the name of fashion. A girl sitting on the opposite seat was wearing blue corduroy pants and knee-high suede boots. This is Delhi. Some 35 degrees and very sunny. I was sweating just looking at her.

I took an auto to the destination. The first auto-waalle-bhaiya refused to go by the meter. The second one agreed.
One expects a good crowd on such a day. But I guess when they come, they come in small groups. It is when they leave that big mad rush happens. And it did.
I had to walk a kilometer, maybe more, to get an auto back to the metro station. The ratio of auto to people who wanted to hire them must have been 1:50. So when I saw an old woman expectantly look in the direction of the auto I had just hired and then sighing in disappointment at the site of me sitting in the back seat I asked her where she wanted to go. It turned out she wanted to go the same metro station as me. I suggested we share the auto. And, after much thought(I think she was working out the odds of  a 19 year old girl that looks like I do being a terrorist or something) she agreed.

It had been a long day. I was tired, thirsty and very hungry. Remember the scrumptious breakfast I had mentioned earlier? It was 6 o’clock in the evening now. And nothing else had found its way into my mouth since. But I was in a hurry to get back home and could not afford to kill time buying a bottle of water, let alone eating something. Just when the image of ice-cold water from my fridge trickling down my throat and some of it spilling on me was plastered on my mind, the woman sitting next to me dished out a bottle of water from her bag and drank mouthfuls. She did not offer. I guess after all the cases of strangers drugging people and running away with their valuables even decent people dare not offer a drink or a snack to a stranger. And I was a young woman in this infamous city. This reminds me of the time when I was a kid and we would journey very long distances in trains. Other than eating train food that was just about doable and pointless banter with my shy sibling and constant warnings from my mother (Bebo, don’t stick your head of the compartment. Bebo, don’t run around in the gallery. Bebo, don’t drink the tap water when you brush your teeth. Bebo, don’t climb the top berth every 5 minutes. BEBO! STOP HITTING YOUR BROTHER WITH THAT DOLL RIGHT NOW!), the thing I miss the most is meeting new people on trains. I am sure every Indian family has that one friend they met on a train and instantly clicked off with. My Nanaji recently attended one such friend’s daughter’s wedding (they met on a train some 30 years back). It is sad to live with the fact that no such train friends will attend my daughter’s wedding. Because today, trusting someone you meet on a train is nothing if not insane. It really pains me to know that trust does not flow freely even in blood relations now, let alone strangers.

My clock tells me that this has been stretched far too long than was desired. I was telling a friend just today that I never know how and when to end something I write. Endings are just awkward for me.
But I guess here it will suffice to say that today I start my new life as The person I always was but never could be.
Today, I wrote an exam for admission into my dream college for Journalism.
Today, I drowned a perfect career opportunity in medicine.
Today, I paved way for maybe not a perfect but a regret and blame free future.
Today, I gave my dreams a chance.

And I must have you know, I have never felt better. It like being born again. New things to learn. New lives to live. New places to explore. New people to run into. And New dreams to decorate on soft pillows.
Here is one to Dreams, the kind that don’t let you sleep 🙂

Funereal Whispers.

Lost and I will not be found again
Like water melting into thirsty sand.
Or words breathed but left unattended
Or perhaps turned away.

Failed and I will not triumph again
Like precious silk but weak at each thread.
Or a pen that stopped squirting ink
on the last page of life.

Defeated by none but self.
With no will to live a tear-drop more
Or a smile that tried but never
manifested on your chipped lips.
Or kind things that only ever your
thoughts left but never expressed.

Am I even a blip on your canvas?
A fading spot of carcass perhaps.
Or maybe nothing but a numb
thorn to curse and pluck out to shun away.

Trigger

I always thought I would start with a sigh and it would take off from there. I thought you would create yourself. I thought it would bleed from me on a sunny monday morning. You would argue about my choice of weather had you been here today. It has to be a sunny monday morning. A cold winter night? Not a chance. All of those are wasted away in your oversized sweat-shirt reading books I dont like. Why dont I stop reading? Because they are your books. Even a sliver of hope of finding a dry, yellowing tear drop staining the pages of grief is enough to pull me through those nights of dying moons and ashen dreams. Now I doubt my choice of words. Were such nights wasted afterall?
A gloomy saturday evening while raindrops race eachother down the window glass, perhaps? The words would wash away. Do you remember how you would drag me outside to get drenched? You wanted to shoo away my childhood fear of getting lice in my hair from playing in the rain. I have overcome most fears now. And those days are, rightfully, spent walking on wet grass. Am I secretly clinging on to the idea that someday you will see me braving the let down of sad clouds and be proud of how “grown up” I am?
It has to be a sunny monday morning.
And it is.

It has been 4 years to that day.

Your voice on the other end of the phone. Calculated. Each pause exactly where it should be. Each word just where it belongs. Not a break less nor a sound more. As if you were reading from a script you’ve mastered over frequent recitals. Yet so fresh. As if the words were uttered for the very first time. Like the laughter of a newborn. Unheard of. Like the tray after tray and batch after batch of muffins you would bake when things seemed squally in your head. Each one perfect but not same as another.
As opposed to what?
Someone called me. The smell of jasmine in a bottle carelessly left uncapped in the wind, Wafting without a direction. The last drop of juice left inside the carton, struggling to be let out but never trying hard enough. The two words stitched on to the end of a sentence, not necessary but changing the meaning irreversibly.
Not a perfect match. But not half bad either. If we ever spoke of such matters you’d laugh it off with the same words each time. “Your father has a lot money and I, a decent brain. Think of things we can do with that. Could a match get any more perfect?” Gullible as I am, I would accept that you loved me for my father’s fortune, albeit momentarily.

And today, you changed my mind again. The ease with which I expected this transition turned to be a struggle. An unbearable, excruciatingly painful process.

Something on the television, as I aimlessly flicked its channels, reminded me of that song you used to sing to me on the phone. But the song did not start playing in my head. I could not even remember the lyrics. Or what the song was about. Was it a sad song? But why would you sing a sad song to me? When I could not hear you singing it into my ears, my fingers started shaking. This could not be. I panicked. How could I forget your voice? How could I not imagine you singing to me instantaneously, at will? A few hours and a lot of struggle later I found the original song on the internet. I heard the entire track for the very first time. And it just did not sound right. You were supposed to be singing it. Not with all those fancy instruments playing in the background. Only the bleak sound of your guitar streaming in through the phone. And your voice. Your voice. You. And you singing every single word like you meant it. You made it seem that the song was written by you for me and could never be sung to another. But here he was. This strange man singing your song, our song, to the entire world. It is just not right.
I can bear standing alone in the rain. Wet from head to toe.
I can suffer cold winter nights and live through gloomy autumn afternoons. Alone and suffocating myself in your essence.
But this. This I am not far enough to brave.
Not today. Not tomorrow. Not the day after. Or the week, month, year after that. Never.

What else can I do?
I need you to be with me. And years of waiting tell me that you just wont come back.
I pull the trigger and wait till you bleed from me.

But here I am Yours, Unloved.

Found but here I am
lost again.
Healed but here I am
in pain.
Begun but here I am
at the end.
Real but here I
pretend.
Read but here I am
untouched.
Tall but here I am
crushed.
Safe but here I am
exposed.
Stable but here I am
desposed.
Sane but here I am
deranged.
Owned but here I am
unclaimed.
Crowned but here I am
subverted.
Believer but here I am
converted.
Brimming but here I am
exhausted.
Filled but here I am
vacated.
Ripe but here I am
juvenile.
Confessed but here I am
in denial.
Accepted but here I am
refused.
Sorted but here I am
confused.
Bound but here I am
unchained.
Flowing but here I am
retained.
Expected but here I am
turned away.

Unloved, but here I am yours.

When Man met Time: A Conversation.

Picture Courtesy: Fine Art America

 

Can your eyes see the unreal? Like wind that is but only ever felt, never imprinted at the back of your eye. Just fleeting over your iris like an ominous thought, never too sure to enter.
Can you understand that which is not to be understood? Can you undo that which was never done?
To make the clock’s hands move forward but preserve each second in a drop of saline water and forever drown your mortal self in its enveloping, almost morbid, stillness- yet so dynamic that it seems unreal, invisible and undone the same.

How dare you bring this thought home along with your hands stained in blood and shoes dripping wet in dirt.

To trace your footsteps on sand that has moved since. Just like the clock that never stopped to breath.
To ask the lonely grain of dirt swept away, into your eye by the careless wind if it ever felt your feet and the tired longing of your soul. And ask another still. Then piece their stories together and cover the odd gaps with your own patched memory. Bring the picture to life on a digitzed canvas standing in thin air without any apparent support, your retina. Dont say a word. Only speak in your head, if you must. I can hear you that way.
And whenever the picture is complete, Place the origin of now. Of this unreal stop. The beginning of an end. The end of a beginning.

Will you be able to live through it over again? With the knowledge of what it comes to? Oh the misery of being caged in a prison of your own unfruitful, powerless enlightenment. Should it kill you before your death catches up or Should it make you immune to mortality. A timeless thing. Like the thought. Yes.
Forever preserved in a drop of Saline water. Drowning some mortal identity in its boiling stillness.

You went to look for your purpose on the sands of time. You saw what was not to be seen. You understood what was rendered meaningless eons back. You undid what was never done. You disturbed the perfectly harmonic pandemonium time had created with such caution. And something warned you but you let your serpentious tongue slip out all secrets in the open.

Decide now.
Do you really want to know your purpose? Do you really want to take all uncertainty and ignorance out? Are you ready to be held responsible for every action without a destiny to put the blame on?
Are you ready to give up being human?

Of Stars, Love and Promises.

 

Two bodies sprawled on the grass, one soul by night. Wriggling wet earth with their toes. Unscrupulous enough to invade the defenseless worm’s habitat. And they call themselves lovers. Such blasphemy!
But they’re watching the sky. And thats evidence enough for insanity. Insanity which for the lesser world translates to love.
Star gazing is their little secret. Watching them twinkle yet never really move. She is convinced they’ll move for her someday, like a million little fire flies. And when they do, He will pinch them off the big dark blanket and weave them in her hair. So she grows them longer still. Thats a lot of stars albeit the possibilities.

Her eyes hurt from all this dreaming and no living. From carrying the burden of a vast black emptiness for which she is to blame and a girl who has stars braided in her hair.
She must dream on.
She will be his only fire. The lighthouse guiding him ashore were he to ever forget the way home after a long walk for more stars to catch. He’ll narrate tweaked tales of his adventures on the skyship and she’ll never fail to act surprised, never letting slip that he told the same story the week before the last.

When they will put their heads on the grass again some night, there will be no dancing fireflies and no dreams of a girl who wove stars in her long hair weighing down her pretty lashes. And what else will cease to be?
That eagerness to wait for the night sky, wriggling wet earth with their toes impatiently. That hope of a distinctive star winking at them and orchestrating their private and exclusive show, her favorite dance on his favorite music.
And yes, Promises. There wont be promises he hasn’t kept and the glow in her smile that says he will.
The waiting, the hope, the dreams, the daring, the love, the lies, the blasphemies.
All lost in a single stroke of contentment.
Stagnation is morbid, if only they knew.

That is how love is. It wraps you in a warm cozy blanket and then it puts you in a very hot place. You, inevitably, throw the blanket over. Your foresight blinded by the illusion, The Oz of Love.
And then, like it always does, bitter winter sets in. Harsh and unforgiving. An indiscriminate killer. Why could it spare those enveloped in a sea of fake promises and comforting illusions? Not after they’ve rid themselves of the blanket of individuality, of freedom, of self. It is a test you can not choose to skip. Its not a ladder to something higher, its the journey of your desire and you can not miss this destination.
You can hold eachother close with the blush on her cheek and the fire in his bellly for warmth. Or you can be lost forever. Alone in an abmysal hollow. With no courage to break the ice.
And If the former it came to, when in some world that once was yours a bird sings, you’ll know its time.. for new promises to be written on the grass with the sratching of your feet.
Promises..
Of a home on some high cloud, perhaps.

Gypsy Girl

Image Courtesy: Amohs On dA

In forgotten places and lost memories,
In love I grew out of and extant civilities,
Maybe in that song  you’ll find me.
There I maybe yours
to love.
There I shall be only yours
To keep.

For now I have set this blithe mind free.
And here thy light guides me no more.
How long can I wait for your signal fire?
You take me higher. Just take me higher,
Away from me.
Take me beyond these clefts of desire,
Away from me.

Should I love and care and be loved back
But this spirit just wont rest.
It will stare at the empty bottom of your heart.
It wont fix your faults or plug the hole
You’ve been oozing love from.
Let it flow -to lose its own-
Into this soul, This liquid gypsy soul.

I want you back this instant, now.
But my gypsy soul wont know somehow.
Please dont throw a chain around
This gypsy girl that doesn’t settle down.

A moment alone is a thousand words, Unchained.
Which strung together will never be the same.
For it quite likes wandering to far fields
Untamed.
Please dont give its home a name.

Just stay with it another while
And leave where my thoughts no longer rhyme.
That day, it will be the right time
To return this borrowed soul.
This life I lived was never mine.
For a gypsy soul you can not keep.
It is wind- it will not be caged
In your broken ideas.
And its loud presence
Will drown
The silence of my unsettling thought.
Baby, Gypsy souls can’t be bought.

It is desert sand.
Try to hold and it will slip
Right through your hand.
It is a gypsy, it believes
That is why the gap in your fingers is.
Not to hold a lover’s in her sleep
Or to fill the spaces when lovers kiss
But to let go
Slip unnoticed out
this gypsy soul to go about
To stop where it hears a shout
Of your signal fire, perhaps?

My Two year old Soulmate.

What is a Soulmate really?
If this concept is born out of any conclusive evidence and has some real significance in a person’s life then it must be defined by some words or pictures or just imaginary lines passing through and dissecting nothing in particular. There must be boundaries you can’t cross with it like all other concepts we ever conceived.

Let’s take the existence of a supreme power for instance. We’ve managed to set boundaries for the Almighty as well. Very cleverly we cage his being in hollow words like christian, hindu, muslim, buddhist, karma, destiny, idol worship, scriptures, religions, pilgrimages, offerings, prayers, temples, mosques, churches, monasteries, believers, followers, atheists and if at all there exists an immortal being he is suffocating beneath layer after layer of false idea and storytelling.

So in our mad obsession with putting everything in convenient categories and deflated definitions how did we spare Soulmate? Or is it that difficult for us to put our faith in anything not written about in books, anything men clad in white robes who fancy calling themselves saints do not say out aloud to a room full of unsuspecting people on a sunday morning?

For if there is a line one mustn’t cross or a rule one must follow, then tell me now. Stop me before its too late. Before I cross over to the unacceptable.

Because there is a little man all of two who understands me better than any grown men or women I’ve ever known, even better than my own sibling and parents for that matter. And he is not even biologically my own.
If effortless spontaniety and telepathic capabilities are anything to go by, we are two identities but only one person. If you know someone you are naturally attuned to, you understand what I am trying to say.
I twitch a muscle and he knows. He learns a new word and I know it before he decides to stage a grand scene in front of 20 people, surprise them and then indulge in the applause that follows. He refuses to speak on the phone despite innumerable efforts from both his parents. Surprisingly, my ex has been spending a lot of phone credit on “boy talk” with him. Just yesterday he started sitting the way I do. Legs crossed and hands uncomfortably flinging from one side to another in an odd fashion.
His mother tells me that somedays he wakes up in the middle of the night and all he asks for is me- his aatya (marathi for aunt).
I swear I saw a tint of jealousy flicker across her eyes as she said that. But that doesn’t matter. Because there is a little man she got into this world and I can’t care less if its wrong to say this..He is the other half I was seperated from in some world all those years ago only to be reunited.
And wordly principles can’t touch this and corrupt its pristine self.
Nothing can take away from me My two year old Soulmate.

Amiable Animosity.

Like the tip of a needle stained in blood houses a million units of life. Each unit so stable- unmoving – but so alive. Always in motion. Yet never letting surface the struggle of the positive and the negative within. Only peaceful coexistence for one to see. The opposites, the anti-forces forever trapped in such proximity. Yet never questioning their fate. Ceaselessly working to resort calm and order in all they are part of- The flowers your admirer sent you and the tears you wasted when young, first love walked out and left you a broken heart.
Born out of nothing and vanishing into thin air. Dying without as much as a sigh. They are everything and almost nothing in the same string of reason. They are the way she smells and the skin draped on her body like the most elegant, custom- made pashmina, priceless. They are the words you etch and the many questions unasked, just left unattended – floating in a myriad of other unfulfilled desires. They are the promises you made and the burning scars it stamped on the canvas of her memory. They are the unsettling eyes that haunt your every dream and the ring you slid on her finger – fake, like your many promises- not kept.

Sometimes, I wish we were the cell. You, the matter. I, the anti force. So close that we could be one. But far enough to not repel the other away. Opposites that do not attract. We would work together to never let our struggle be seen. Resolving all conflict without a ripple of disorder on the surface. Our bonds made of thoughts or just thin air. We’ll be in everything and in nothing. Uncared for, like the backbone of life. Taking each other for granted.

But were we to separate, if ever such occasion came..we will melt to nothing but set on fire the entire meaningless universe with us. Destroying, the way we created. Life, this is. Death, this is.

Destiny’s Sister: Serendipity.

What of Destiny?

Were you not planning to offer me your seat on the train I missed helping the old man with directions?
And I was sure we’d meet at the Seven Sisters concert that I bunked to stay cooped up in my room filled with the scent of someone who hasnt been here..all alone but for Sinatra to take me all the way to Paaradise.
Didn’t we cross eachother on the subway just yesterday? But you were with your brigade of friends and I was in the middle of a bad, bad hair day.
Or the week before when you were too preoccupied passionately discussing politics for tea in the cafeteria and me, wrinkling my nose up another sneeze.
I’d bet you frequent that chicken corner we dont eat at. My roommate is Vegan.
When it rained and I wouldn’t dare walk out sans an umbrella. You were waiting for me by the tea stall on the road to dance to that Bollywood song about the thing with love and rains.
You are petrified of blood and needles, aren’t you? And of all the professions in all the worlds, I picked medicine.
On that test, You needed my help on the solitary question I wasn’t sure of.

Or maybe you didn’t.

Just the way I did not look at these signs with enough deliberation.
Sometimes with a tad too much hope..so turgid… if your thoughts saw mine, my fantasy would burst right out and undress the many sleepless nights weighing down my eyelids for you to see.
On other days too flaccid…without even a sliver of hope of running into the person with a shameless ball of golden light shining over his left shoulder, the person I am not a fraction, a part of but the whole. Since forever and towards eternity. The person, as some people from some age would know, is a Soulmate.

If my voice swelled with emotion gets caught up in your unkept locks of hair, Come and Find me.
Or make me find you lest its too late. I dont want to end up buying any shoe for the simple excuse that the right pair for me was stacked up too far and too high in the store. Dare you pluck my song out of your hair and send it free in the hope that it finds me someday and brings me home to you. Don’t you leave “us” to Destiny. Trust me, she has no idea what we’re looking for. And you know who she runs with?

That treacherous thing-

Serendipity!