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!

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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!

Wintry warmth

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.”

My habitual dolour…

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

Grieving hopes…

The ghastly silent dawn would draw me closer to the window, 

Where I’d sit for hours sipping the hot joe.

Waiting for him to finish building castles in the clouds 

flying rockets and Inspecting planets around.

With his tiny feet he’d come running to me

Rubbing his eyes as if it was still too early!

He’d jump in my lap and close his eyes,

For a little more than a while.

That warmth would fill my chasm,

And I’d pull him even closer to my bosom.

And then his echoing footsteps in the bare room

Would wake me up only to worsen my gloom!

My barren body would plunge like a dagger in his back 

His gloom would deepen but I’ll always have his back!

The balmy days would receive us with a frown,

Our lukewarm glances would weaken us down. 

The file started to gather dust,

Stronger and staunch grew our mistrust.

We’ve draped the sombre dawns such, 

Because sometimes you can’t fight the destiny’s clutch!

Picture credits: tumblr.