Melodic melancholy

Barefoot, I sauntered on the old, cracked wooden floor of the little deserted cottage that I had rented for a week in the unruffled backwoods of Dagshai. The morning mist collided with my face, with the gush of raindrops, numbing my nose. With no hint of morning sunlight, the fog grew denser and rested on my gossamer covered body. The frozen wind sat cross legged on my nape, and untied the knots of my hair.

And there was a sound…

A maiden voice, practising the morning Riyaz, the Farida khanum song woh jo Hume tumhe Qaraar tha….tumhe yaad ho ke na ho..” escorted by mild tabla flaps, along the wistful wailing of the melancholic flute. I could hear the subtle tinkling of her anklets and treading of her soft slumber feet. With the murmuring shadow of the intricate raag and riyaaz in that dark dawn, my oblique memories of you filtered.

Years ago when we were here, under the evening sky and the faint scent of the sultry air, resting together in the great lone hills in the storm filled weather, watching the skies as they paled and burnt. Under the shade of crimson dyed Palash trees, I rested my head in your lap, looking at your sunlit, passionate eyes, touching your roseate velvet skin, slipping into a brisk siesta. Waking up from which, I know not where you went! Maybe you hid yourself behind the branches of the Palash or went wandering alone in the woods…Or got lost in the hills somewhere, and you never came back…just never!

Now when I stroll in the Moreish calmness, amidst the squealing sound of towering pine trees, I feel your placental presence, your fingers locked with mine, your cologne mixes with the fresh roses in my hands, and walks with me to the cemetery, where you sprawl in the moist mud, recline in the turf of grass and whisper with the wind, lifting the strands of my hair and blowing soft kisses on my ear, giving me chills…still!

वो जो हममे तुममे क़रार था तुम्हें याद हो के ना याद हो
वही यानी वादा निभाः का तुम्हें याद हो के ना याद हो….

Here At dagshai, by your side, I too shall sleep, a sleep that lasts forever, too deep for dreams….in flesh and blood we couldn’t mingle, maybe among the shingles and mud our dust may mingle. I haven’t forgotten that promise! I wouldn’t!

Picture credits : Pinterest

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Shades….

In the cloudplay on a blustery day and dead drizzling on a stormy night, he came to my mind in shades of greys leaving me in blues. The winds whispered to my ears a thousand memories of him and I sauntered down the memory lane.

Standing on the edge of a cliff, ready to take off, his deadpan gaze at the world beneath his feet, so unflinching, so passive, his glider would unfurl and I would skip a beat, and open my eyes to see him flying, higher and fearless! Those were the times he would forget me….forget himself…..forget the world!

On the moonless nights, we would stare at the shallow sky and talk of this and that! He would warm up my cold feet under the sheets and caress my nape with his soft lips until I fell asleep! I’d wake up in the middle of the night to a balmy view of a thousand glittering lights festooning the hills and his head on my my lap, and I would feel complete!

The dark dawns would keep us in covers for a little longer, and I’d feel melancholic with the thought of letting him go! He’d hold me closer and whisper to my ears- “these mountains that you are carrying, you were only supposed to climb.”

And I saw him slowly and hazily disappear into a thick, dark forest, dispersing into a thousand shades of grey, swaying away with the winds, far away somewhere where he greets me when I’m lost and blue!

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.

दूर वादियों में कहीं

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

imazinindia03@gmail.com

http://instagram.com/rajiv_srivastava

Memory lane..

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! 

“Mine” 

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. 

The walk….

His silence cast a spell on me, sloshed me in ways no alcohol could!

Black” he said, was his favourite colour!

And those cold nights in the blue hills, his silence kept me warm!

There were times when he spoke, as if he had perfected the art of speaking! We took the long walks among the silent pines of charabara forest, that echoed with his shayari’s! And it seemed the birds too joined the feat!

He would tell me tales about the haunted dhukani house, and I would drape my shawl more tightly, that was the time he would put his hand on my shoulder, that was the only physical touch we had, and it kept me warm till we would reach our abode! 

He’d ask me to feel the fragrance of the mud, freshly wetted by the elixir that God poured from above ; it would sedate my body and soul, and he’d say he felt the same for me!

Those were rare moments when he’d confess his love to me! But I never craved for more.

We’d savour the misty mornings with a cup of creamy hot tea. His fingers would flatter my tresses, I’d feel his tips caressing my nape, and that would startle me! There would be but us, the sky, the hills, the muddy aroma, his poetry and that sonorous silence!

I turned the pages of his jotted reveries and this tugged at my heartstrings……

“Jab do logon ke darmiyan khamoshi aaramdeh ho, 
Jan jao ki tumhe jis pyar ki talash thi weh talaash ab khatm hui !”