The ceaseless ache

Leela’s eyes had lost none of their glitter nor her walk it’s old rhythm.

She ascended the stairs, her anklets jostling, her infectious giggle rippling like a fresh brook finding its way into the locked domains of his heart.

The memory of that moment hit her like a surging ocean wave- drawing her into it, the sour smell of darkness, those sobs erupting like an echo from a bottomless pit. She held his burnt photograph in her old, wrinkled hands feeling odd how simple things can still remind one of those terrible times and how the moment one tries so hard to forget becomes ones sharpest memory!

He caught her by her tender arm ornate with green glass bangles that made a cracking sound. His lips whispered “leela” in her ears, she shivered and giggled and started running…he ran after her and caught her by her slender waist….delving deep into her fragrant jasmine adorned hair, he felt her entering into him through the forbidden passages.

She thought about all the rules they broke in the name of love. Those evenings at Assi ghat when on the far end they mused over the pyres burning, and feared they’d too die someday, feared about who would be left alone if one of them dies early! She walked on those water smeared steps telling him to take her away….it was time she turned on the radio, and request for the song ja ja ja o bewafaaa….that played every evening on one of the monks radio on the ghat, he would’ve been a victim of unrequited love, she thought then, and empathised with him now! And with a cold sigh, “Angad” she would say….and lie on her broken chair, plunging back to thoughts of him that were now 40 years old and still new!

But he IS there…she knows, in the balmy Subha- e- banaras, whispering her name in her ears. He is there in the orange embers spitting from the pyres, he is there among the boats on the Ganges, in those simmering hot tea cups, he is there in the evening Aarti on the ghat….he is there in the floating oil lamps, he is still there holding her by her old tender waist….he is there like no one else ever was, or ever would be!


Chalk and cheese

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.

Pseudo evolution 

The journey wasn’t easy…

The flux even worse,

 I wish I never have to undergo again,

I swore I would but…

I forgot the promises I had to keep.

The heat and blood,

My position furled,

Kicking walls…..

Unable to sprawl, 

I swore I would but…

I forgot the promises I had to keep.

Those final seconds hung heavy,

Her yelling soothed me,

Still wished coming out was easy,

I swore I would….

But I forgot the promises I had to keep.

Tears of happiness broke,

The clutched fists unrolled,

Growing up was speedy,

I had sworn I would… 

But I forgot the promises I had to keep.

Entering twilight years,

When vision blurred, 

Hearing unclear,

Praying death to be easy on me, 

I swore I would Chant each day so deep….

But I had never kept the promises I had to keep. 

Picture credits: Rajiv Srivastava srivastava

The child in me…

Because even after my staunch efforts to ignore it,  I could not bring myself not to do it this tag.

‘The child in me…’ Well I don’t even consider myself grown up yet. So the child in me, walks with me, stays with me and is too stubborn to leave me. 

Well I could not arrange for a better picture reason being I am away from home. 

 When I was a kid I made friends with people younger to me and now I am a complete opposite😁. 

What I remember is 

• I had a knack for collecting Barbie dolls that I wished my children would have a glimpse of, before my mom threw all of them out. I still wonder where she threw them.

• I remember reading the ‘KARDI KATHA’ and watching its movie time and again. I had a penchant for it. I still remember the story by heart.

•playing ‘house house’ was obvious! 

Cheers to all the hotties who would die after seeing the picture! Except for me because this one’s really close to my it your friends birthday or yours doesn’t matter…you are always left with a gift! (Be it a return gift). I was obsessed with gifts.

I was always a serious and competitive student. I had good pictures to support that but I will have to travel all the way to home to get those. 

• I was always the leader of the group.

• loved mutter paneer🍲

• was a tomboy 

• crybaby (follows me till date)

• hated grass

• hated icing on the cake and all the sweets

• Dexter was a favourite show 

• “katti-batti’s”

• pinky promises 

Tan fades, cold vanishes, but memories stay forever. The child in me too has stated back!

#Goin’ the extra…aaamile