Tangled Secrecies

But darling, let’s not hurry just yet. Let us sit across, cross-legged, and untangle each other. Let us strip away each other’s guilts, regrets, everything that weighs us down. Let us caress our changes and marks that our body has bore over time. Let us not go to bed tonight. Instead, make love with our nervous and scared souls; let them out in the open, reveal our raw self, and let one another touch us bare. No, not the bare skin; the bare emotions and feelings which we keep battling with day and night, the ones we shove into the dusty corners of our mind because we are too afraid to accept what might become of us if we let them mate with our tongue. Let us untangle each other, nerve by nerve, bone by bone, and witness the bits and pieces of our memories and our passions clinging to our veins, the happy and hard times flowing in our blood. Let’s just let the blood ooze out of us till what remains in us are happy times and lessons; just lessons – not a pinch of guilt or regret. Because we get this short life and we waste it away on events we can’t undo. We keep replaying them and torturing ourselves time and again. Let us break that replay button and create love in the voids left by washed out nervousness and dirt of the past.
Come on love, let us redefine ourselves and fall in love.

Come, let’s sit across one another, cross-legged, and create each other.

Hide and Seek

Holding you between the pages of the books, feeling you flow from one person to another, watching you wrap every person in your embrace like the mild breeze, I stand there; still, numb.

I have always been unable to understand what magic you hold in yourself that makes people dance and cry, jump and slump, smile and shrug. I don’t know how you can cut like a knife yet soothe like a peaceful walk on a calm night.

It has always been difficult for me to know when you are around me, for we have been playing hide and seek since childhood and I haven’t been able to find you till date. All the people around me tried to get us along, but our wavelengths never matched.

I probably will never be able to hug you like other people or be calmed by your warmth, for I am the dumb and you are the words. We live in the same world but will never have the privilege of meeting.

Certain Uncertainties

You feel like hiding your face in the pillow or sitting in the closet all day, every day. You are so vulnerable that you’re always on the verge of crying and you know that you’ll burst in tears if someone genuinely comes and asks you ‘are you okay?’.

I know. You sit on the grass digging holes in the ground, plucking each blade of grass thinking about their fragile life. You feel lost most of the times. And you’re in a constant state of numbing nothingness where you don’t know anything about what’s happening around you, where you have no answer to any question that is being asked to you. You just sit there, in an irritatingly lost mood, trying to figure out things; trying to figure out life.
So let me tell you this one thing – I don’t know if you’ll ever feel complete, or if you’ll find a way back to love, or if everything in your life will piece together. I don’t know if you’re going to figure out your life, or if you’ll ever get back to being your old self again.
All I can tell you is that I know, and I know for sure is that despite all these problems, all this blankness, you’re going to be alright. You’ll survive. You will be a changed person, yes. But a changed person for good.
You’re going to wake up one day, and I don’t know if you’ll find the sun shining a little brighter, but you’ll find one thing –

You’ll find a way back to yourself.

Midnight Dilemmas

There was something about her on which I couldn’t really put a finger on that didn’t let me sleep for nights at length. It was the good times that we had spent together that came in rushing like a wind and brought down my wall that I had built with so much difficulty to keep her away.

No, it was not my fault. Yes, she was the one to free our knot of love and friendship. But yes, she still, to this day wrecks havoc in my mind.

There’s something about her that keeps bothering me. Making me relive all the times we lived together and all the conversations we had and the secrets we shared so I could find one place where I must’ve gone wrong.

But this empty, horrid void stares back at me with numbing nothingness, painted with her recent carefree smiles. I plunge again into the darkness hoping to find a way out of this mind-jail.

I go through every detail again, one by one by one.

Maybe it is the sound of my entire heart shattering to bits and pieces that prevents me from putting a finger on that something, or a simple yet foreign fact to my understanding that some people can burn you piece by piece and grow gardens out of those ashes and build their happy castles on where your grave lies.

Beauty

I sit here in this empty hallway, thinking about the memories that are engraved in a way here. Memories of me and you spending quiet moments, appreciating each other’s existence; memories where I couldn’t take my eyes off you and you stood still, beautiful as always. Whenever I crossed you in this hallway, I couldn’t resist appreciating your grace and beauty. You, in turn, never said a word. But your presence said it all. All the profound words, you expressed with grace. I still can’t forget the day I first saw you. It was love at first sight and I couldn’t hold back my feelings so elite! I also can’t forget the day when you came into this house, our home. It was pure bliss, to have you around. To have your quiet yet strong presence was the strongest of feelings I felt till date.
And yet, today I stand alone in a home we made together, now abandoned. So I take this moment to say that I miss you. I miss standing so close to you, tracing your curves, looking at you with eyes and heart full of love. All that I am today is because of you. It is you who inspired me to become an artist. It is you who aroused my love for art! And yet, I had to let you go today, to another appreciator of beauty.. my most honored, beloved Hussain painting.

Daunting Lullabies

image

When some other girl comes in your life, she will find my ghost still lurking in the dark corners of you.
She will be the priest who will try to purify you and I will be the evil that will refuse to leave.

She will get to know you inside out except for why you never visit that coffee shop in your neighborhood anymore. It’s because its every nook and cranny is haunted by our love.

She will never know why you always take her only to the clubs and the discos. It is because I was the one who you took home to your mother.

She will always know the best of you but I will always be the one who will have seen the worst of you. I will always be a visitor of parts of you that you have now abandoned.

I will always be there, sauntering in and around your memories.
I will always be the one who you dream of.
Daydreams then, nightmares now.

She will come to know that you had loved a lioness and tried to tame her. She will then know why you have claw marks on your soul and bite scars on your heart and why the long past pain still lingers in you.
She will know why you walk around with a decapitated self.
It’s because no one has ever walked unharmed after trying to handicap a fierce woman.
You will crave for my kind of love like an addict craves for drugs. But you will not find it anywhere.
Because my love is one of its kind and you were too late in realizing that I won’t turn back once I decide to leave.
So you will see me living happily with a lion, making memories in some other coffee shop; and your insides will burn like molten lava, when you’ll look at us from a distance like a hyena.

You will never be able to love anyone anymore, no matter how hard you try.
Because I am the one whose footprints you can’t wash off your mind and heart, whose voice flows like blood in your veins, whose laughter defines the beats of your heart; and now that I have left, your eyes give an insight of your emptiness.

Others will never know why your hollow laughter and every single breath reek with my presence and why you walk around with a ‘haunted’ placard, giving out my fragrance in every word you speak.

~ Memoirs of your haunted dreams

Beauty and Reflections

I lost a couple strands of hair today.

Maa says that my hair will become stronger and shinier with the special oil she massages on my scalp once in every two days. Everyone in the family has loved my mane and the way I look. Dadi always puts a black teeka behind my right ear to keep away all harm from me.

Some of my classmates are beauty freaks. But instead of the natural beauty, they go for all kinds of made up perfection to show others how flawless they look. Following in their footsteps, some of the not-so-popular girls transform themselves into someone they’re not, just to match the beauty standards defined by other people.

All I see around me is that every person, be it a boy or a girl, is running after perfection without actually realizing that their imperfections are what make them unique. Everyone wears these fake masks for so long that their originality starts to fade away with time. Today’s generation is all about looking good instead of being good.

If you look through my eyes, even the overweight girl who carves out tally marks on her body is as beautiful as the girl with spotless, shiny skin. Everything that lives is beautiful. Every breath we breathe is a proof that we are a miracle.

Maa tells me at times that we are all living paintings and that whenever there are tough times and one needs to find magic, all they need to look into is the mirror.

I look in the mirror at times and try to love the reflection that stares back at me. I look at my eighteen year old self and look at my receding hairline. My beautiful hair, taken away by the chemo sessions.

My cancer got detected when I was seventeen and since then, my life has taken a hundred and eighty degree flip. Earlier, I wanted to fit in. Now, I just want to live. This one year of struggles has changed the way I look at life. Harry Potter series are my favourite. The one thing that has me hooked to them is the fact that Harry overcame every difficult situation and defeated the Dark Lord. If he can be the boy who lived, I will be the girl who survived.

I lost a couple strands of hair today. Some from the very few I have left.

Letters to Love

Dear love,

Would you still remember my birthday like you remember that of your girl best friends’ if I didn’t take you out shopping just days before my birthday, with so many excuses?
Would you still remember our anniversary if I didn’t make my friend deliberately slip her tongue just a day before?
Would you still remember to visit my parents every time they come in our town if I stopped mentioning how much they adore you?
Would you still let me go out with my male friend if I didn’t keep reminding you of our distances time and again?

Would you still cook if I didn’t keep eating the terribly cooked food without a word?
Wouldn’t you come and kiss me goodnight in the middle of your match?
Wouldn’t you feel sorry for bursting out your anger on me for no apparent reason?
Wouldn’t you let me know if you are to spend the night out?
Wouldn’t you pick the pieces of shattered glass that broke while you hurried to leave for office?

Would the little things still matter like they did back when we were like two young birds in love? When nothing mattered more than the shells I picked while walking on the beach, or the imperfect yet perfectly crafted handmade cards you gave to me on my birthdays, or a soothing ice-cream after hours of our endless chatter.

“If you get closer to someone more than you should, you drift away more than you can bear”, they say. Is that what happened to us? Is it because we talked day and night and kept in mind all the minute details, that we now barely talk the random chatter and observe the least about each other? Or is it because we gave too much attention to each other while being teens that now we can’t really get our minds off our daily works? Tell me it’s not because we enjoyed our carefree days so much that we now stay serious most of the times!

Uncontrollable laughter has turned to made-up smiles, everyday walks have turned to monthly drives, happy, chirping meals have become long lost memories.
Seems like growing up got the better of us.

I wonder at times if you still notice that I got myself a different haircut, that I now fit perfectly into that once undersized black dress, that I changed the arrangement of our room. I wonder if you realize that we’re growing old and in a decade or two, all we’d be left with would be each other and this house. We don’t need money to fill this house with memories, we need time and moments to make memories.

So, I take this moment to say that I still love you with all the madness within me, that the smell of your cologne still sends chills down my spine, that my heart still skips a beat when I lay my eyes on your broad jawline, that I still feel butterflies flutter when I see your face after I wake up in the morning, that the crazy bike rides and the long silent walks are still afresh in my memories.

Tell me love, how did we grow apart? How did we not remind ourselves of the promise we did to each other that we’ll always be the same? How did we forget to appreciate the little things?
Tell me love, how did we come to this? How?

Love,
Aa

Equals

I open my eyes to the scattered sun rays entering my room through the giant windows. I get up lazily and look around and my gaze falls on the date marked on my calendar. “24th June” is encircled with a red marker. I suddenly recall that it’s Bhaiya’s birthday today!
I hurriedly get out of bed, take a bath, and get dressed.

I come out of my bedroom to find Maa and Papa chanting the morning prayers. Maa then puts a red mark on Bhaiya’s forehead. Bhaiya smiles back like he always has. I smile looking at his charming smile that never fades. After all, pictures never change, do they?

I still remember the war to which I lost my most prized possession – my Bhaiya. It has been 2 years since his death, and I still can’t believe that he’s no longer with us in person. Maa says that he’s with us in every smile, every laugh, every joy. He had always had this passion to protect his country from all the harm there could be. He always stood for having peace in the country. He wanted to spend his life defending the country that had given him so much to live for, so much to die for. He believed in peace, he believed in bringing people together with love.
I have grown up under the shade of his selfless love and maybe that is why I have come to see people beyond societal divisions. Thinking about Bhaiya unknowingly brings a smile on my face.

I go out for my afternoon walk, and when I roam around on the street, my smile fades away. I see people fighting with each other over issues that don’t matter so much. On one side of the street I see a girl being made fun of just because she is oversized, on the other I see a kid being looked down upon just because he cleans tables at a local restaurant. I hear about racism still clawing at the fabric of our society, about people fighting over lands that aren’t theirs, about religious disputes that take away so many innocent lives, and it just breaks my heart to know that the things Bhaiya fought for are the things that are no longer valued by the people he fought for. He defended the borders day and night from outsiders that intended to cause bloodshed; what he couldn’t realize was that it is the country’s own people who are poisoning rivers with each other’s blood, and are most responsible for conflicts just because they can’t make peace with the differences between people. His ideals, his values, even his existence has been forgotten by his very own people. Now he just exists as a picture of a smiling young man hung on the wall with a garland around it.

I sigh with disappointment and head back home. It is a camping night so I grab the necessities and drive with Maa Papa to our ancestral fields on the outskirts of town. It gives me some peace to drive away from this cluttered town for a while and chase shooting stars on a moonless night. Tonight, the stars are shining a little brighter than usual. It is Bhaiya’s birthday after all, how could he not make it special just because he cannot be physically present here?

I park the car in the fields while Maa cooks for us. The whiff that escapes from the kitchen’s window waters my mouth. I climb onto the hood of my car and lie on it, blank. I gaze at the beauty of the sky, so effortlessly magnificent. Its vastness makes me stare at it in awe. It has no starting, no ending, it just holds our little world in its womb. In that moment, I realize, that it doesn’t matter how many wars we wage against each other, or the number of boundaries we build to bring distance between countries, or the divisions in society we create to discriminate against those originally cut from the same cloth as us. It really doesn’t matter.

Why?

Because when the sun sets, and the world plunges into the pool of darkness, we all share the same blanket of a starry night sky that covers each one of us, equally.

An Evening Of Dance

Darling, can I have this dance?

Can I have this dance, not to the piano keys, not on this stage, not before this audience, but to the midnight tunes of darkness and love?

I’d take you amidst the woods, where there would be no one but the stars and the moon as our spectators. I’d hold your hand and keep you close. We’d sway to the winds and dance to our love. We’d dance in the twilight, indifferent towards the freezing cold, warm with each other’s touch, enough for each other. We’d dance to our own tune and sing to our own chords, lost in each other. Yes, like a dream come true. Like everything we ever wished for, coming to life before our eyes.

We’d dance carefree, lost into the blissful rhythms of our hearts tuning with each other and our lips playing the strings. We’d dance in the dark oblivion with light of our love illuminating around us. We’d dance to the unknown yet serene music created by the rattling winter leaves, whistles of a mild breeze, and tapping of our rhythmic steps.

Wouldn’t it be beautiful to dance just for each other, to open our eyes, brimming with magic, to see through each other? Wouldn’t you let me have this honor of showing you my naked soul and accept you as you are, intact with every flaw and beauty, to dance with bare souls under the moonlight? Wouldn’t you dance with me in the starlight where we forget about our past and stand as individuals, vulnerable to all emotions, where there exists no “you” or “I”, just our song of love? Wouldn’t you let me hold your hand if you happen to stumble or hold mine if I do, for we are all flawed humans trying to make sense of our imperfections? Wouldn’t you let me see you as you walk under the moon and not on the red carpet or touch your bare rosy flesh without the layers of made-up perfection?

I’d hold your hand and dance through this life. I’d listen to all your rhythms and create some with you. I’d dance with you forever just like I would in the darkness of this night. I’d feed your passions and take away your fears, capture the raw emotions and let you free like a bird in the sky. Together we’d create a legacy of wild, passionate romance and leave behind this tune of love to reverberate in our posterity.

Now tell me darling, won’t you dance with me?