Since the New Year’s Eve, a lot has changed! I’ve stopped dreaming, dreaming about how perfectly I could be with someone, how easily I could fit in his jam packed life, how mildly I’d run my fingers through his dark, wavy hair and lock my fingers with his! How I wish I too could complete the years of togetherness with someone and post it to the bewildered, curious social eyes, glued to their phones and desktops! How I wish I could return to someone from my past, who already knows the tit- bits of me, and so easily I revert, as I know past has nothing new to offer anybody.
My crestfallen heart pours out its lament in the darkest hours of the night, when I unplug from the outer world, retire to my cold bed and throw off that mask. I go through a pattern of multiple pains that make me weak, weak to face the next dawn with a smile on my face. Weak to get up and show up no matter how I feel.
I feel homesick for the arms that will no longer hold me. The feels come back and go like the ocean waves and I dive into that wide somber sea that embraces me like no one else! I am used to the dark creature that resides in me, that visits me every night and sleeps with me in my cold bed, that holds on to me. I feel home with the darkness that rests in me and talks to me every night! The dark creature manifests itself in pain and tears and slowly the lights get dimmer or maybe my swollen eyes nearing sleep. I smile, I’m in love.
We talk of being friends with like minded people, the ones who “twin” with us. On my last day in Thailand, I came across these two little ladies, one of whom was incessantly talking about the scarlet dress she got for her birthday and stories of her cousins back in India while the other acknowledging her, patiently! I paced towards them, hoping to click the light moment that they shared (without their knowing) but they received me with a grin as if already acquainted with my intentions.
Afroz, the silent listener, and the loquacious Roohi, after a couple of minutes of blushing pink, agreed to have their picture clicked. They told me stories about how they loved sharing their Tiffin’s at school, and how they loved staying over at each other’s place on weekends and how they wish to grow up old together and race in wheelchairs😄. The one thing that I could not get my eyes off was their interlocked hands. What binds them so strongly together in such a tender age, I wondered. Maybe their being on the different pages of the book of their life, doesn’t really matter. They are those pieces of the puzzle that complete each other. Their purpose isn’t to become each other or fit in according to each other but to recognise each other and respect each other’s differences. Friendships aren’t always about rejoicing in similar ways, but in rejoicing together.
A journey I took, to shudder off the monotony that held me so tight, that I started to suffocate. It weakened my nerves. The Spleen replaced the blood and ran through my veins, I felt homesick for those arms that showed me a blithe disregard. So I was ready to escape. Packing a survival kit, I set forth with a great panache to tread the path towards the majestic mountains of triund.
The breeze caressed my face softly and I forgot how tiresome the whole trek was. The spleen was getting replaced by the warm blood. The purple hued evening studded with tiny stars and the clouds played a maestoso with the mountains that stood in front of me, ready to embrace me. I was basking in the purple rain, and my mind played back the song “little red corvette” yes, I had found the everlasting love here.
And when the Shepherd sang in his rustic voice “laal chiriye” the lore of the dusk, the hour of the cow dust…(godhooli) by the fireside, that spit orange embers into the inked sky, I absorbed the image of the silhouetted mountains for the last time, that left me teary eyed, for I had never felt a consummation so deep and fulfilling. I was blitzed as the night put its dark warm blanket on me, I was longing for this sleep and I wish I’d never woke up from that steady slumber.
Picture credits : Rajiv Srivastava
Under the star studded winter sky, when people usually don’t prefer walks, he’d go out covering his neck with a pashmina scarf, holding a lantern that dissipated tangerine beams on to the deserted rack, glistening with frost. He would gulp the cold wind that hit his face. Winter was a Vanita art to him, aesthetically pleasurable than the “Ars moriendi” where wreck and decay were symbolic of new beginnings.
He’d return unusually earlier with a face numbed from cold and, the dying embers in the grate would give a crimson flush to his numbed nose. “There’s magic happening outside” he would say to me and I’d look at his now vigorous face and I would acknowledge with a smile. Winter was a sip of vintage to him, a balmy beam on the graveyard, a beautiful death he’d like to embrace. Sitting in his armchair, he would sip the hot joe, putting off the lights and gazing at me with the filtered beams of the lantern, he’d scribble on his diary :
” Do you notice the pride of this winter night, seems as if it has come after meeting you….do you see what benevolence it holds, drags me home a little early to be with you.”
In the colossal depths of my reveries,
I see aches and wounds and filth,
My self stained with spleen,
And the rejections I’ve been blessed amply with.
Colliding with souls in haze and haste,
Do I know where I am destined?
My maiden thoughts about the world so chaste,
My doleful encounters doth have ruined.
Launched and lounged in another tale of woe,
My stories seem not to halt,
Inviting my sorrows for a hot joe,
For discussing a fair record of (my) faults.
Deserted I stand as the world paces,
Drowning in suffocating thoughts
I see all those masked faces
To loathe their unmasked self my words fall short.
Picture courtesy: tumblr.com
An unusual silence enveloped the place that usually was lighted up by life always! And there we sat, gazing at the purple evening, where clouds kissed and parted, only to meet sooner, and the cold night fell, like an ink on a clean paper.
I would lend an ear to his memories of this place, while ordering another two cups of tea. Except for the two of us and a couple of workers, there was none. I could hear the cold air sonorating through the pines like chimes. “Buddies” was a pent up to his emotions that he kept bottled up somewhere inside him. And since then the place coupled perfectly with us every evening.
A set of friends would come by at times to share a light moment after a rough day at work and I would watch them, listen to their endless talks and wonder how they managed to talk endlessly!
On our way back, I would try matching his footsteps, or listen to him humming an old song, and the walk didn’t seem long then! We had befriended the paths, the woods, and the birds. What was to be afraid of then! I was pampered by his silence, I was embraced by his gestures, I was loved by his glances and everything around me was all about him!
I wasn’t unfamiliar with that silence! I could lounge in its warmth and dawdle in its chill! His careful whispers would startle my ears. He’d blow softly on the window glass and I’d gently move my finger on that fog to write the first alphabets of our names. And he’d flash his rare smile, it would make my day!
Never did we walk holding hands, for he felt his love was greater than possession. We’d walk to the scandal delights on the Mall, and I’d gaze at him in that balmy evening, in those dim lights among those unfamiliar faces and those colourful bottles of wine. He was a sort who would order tea in the bar and endlessly scribble on his notepad.
“Don’t drink beyond your capacity, we have a long way to go!” He’d say to me, and I would care less, for nothing could blitzed me any further! What his tea did to him, his presence did to me!
And the night would be silent again, so silent that I could hear the breeze whispering to the leaves and fondling the pages of his notepad. I’d advance towards the window, to shut ourselves close to the world outside, for I was selfish to have him for myself, for a while!
He’d open the window to let the moonlight flood our abode, and we’d sit beside the window, making patterns in the star studded sky. And I’d put my selfishness to bed; every minute and second, in every breath I took and every step I walked, he has been mine.