Friday, 12 September 2014

Hope, prayer, and love.

He loves her, or so he thinks. She is a constant hum at the back of his mind – everything he sees, hears , feels - his first thought is of her. He has lost himself to her wholly, and he knows it’s no use denying himself the truth. He wonders if she feels the same way about him, with the same intensity. She indulges him, gives into his every word, hangs on to him -  but perhaps his mind is reading too much into the words she says. Perhaps she is no longer as invested in him as he is in her – he allows himself the delusion. Though it stabs a million knives in his heart – he wants to believe that even after all that has been done and said – she will keep her end of the promise. 

 He is aware of the bleak uncertain future that awaits them, the fight he will have to put up and he knows he will – with every fibre of his being, all the madness in his soul. He knows this secret, this love -it will raise a storm that could possibly obliterate everything that stands in its path. He does not doubt for one second the strength of his love, he is certain of that much and it gives him hope for the future – for them. He has been adamant in this matter and he will remain adamant regardless.
 But he wonders who will be left standing strong after the storm has passed - he fears the end of the battle – he fears the collateral damage. Nothing is gained with out loss,  that is the natural order of this world, to maintain the balance of the universe - for every thing there is a price to pay. The bigger the desire, higher the price.  

He wishes things were easier, and those wishes weigh heavy on his fragile heart. He prays because he doesn’t know what else to do. He puts his hope in the creator of the universe to allow him this pleasure. He knows he is not the most obedient of slaves – but he begs his Master to have mercy on the ones he loves.  He is willing to change himself if it takes. He wakes up late at night – just before dawn, on the advice of a well-wisher. He performs ablution and stands in prayer, he has never felt so helpless before. His prayer is for a miracle, because it would take nothing short of a miracle to bring them together in peace.  He now knows humility before his Lord – knowing only god can work miracles and his faith has ascended to the heavens. 

He laughs amidst the tears he would never admit - this love had changed him, made him a better person – at least in his mind. He falls down in prostration and it is a while before he raises his head, and when he does , his heart is stable. He understands how people of faith seek help and hope in prayer, he realizes that nothing is within his control, and the only way to get what you want is to please the One who can control everything. He raises his hands and lifts his eyes to the sky - God is near, and he prays like his life depends on it.

Come morning - he finishes his prayers and watches the sun rise - just above the horizon, rays of hope, signs of the God he has now placed his trust in. The darkness is always followed by the sun, there is always light at the end. A poem by a sufi poet comes to his mind "

He lets the light illuminate him, fill him with courage to go through the darkness he is facing.   He knows god has a way of doing things and our hearts - they are better left to chance. He rises to face another day away from her - for the sake of the God he loves - his love will soon light up his sky - he only has to wait for the right time, and he will wait with a beautiful patience.

Saturday, 28 December 2013


Why does she ask so many questions you wonder? She’s never been nosy and you don’t know her to be super inquisitive. But you see something is off, though you can’t quite place your finger on it. All you see is her asking many questions, jumping from topic to topic, and you wonder why. 

For some reason you think it's so childish. Not that it’s an insult - Although not many would agree.  

Children ask questions because they are constantly exploring, discovering, learning, their innocence leads them to ask questions. And they only ask those whom they trust to give them correct answers. They ask to learn, to find out and to build trust. 
As does she. 

And you can see the child within when she learns a new piece of information about you, you see her eyes light up as she knows she’s going to get a story in response to her question. Even when you are chatting you can picture her eyebrows clash as she wonders, and her eyes lashes flutter as she confuses and clears the doubts in her mind.

She asks to discover you more, to know what made you who you are, and sometimes just to keep conversation running. She asks you because she trusts you, and she needs that. 
You finally get it, though initially you were kind of irritated by the constant questioning, but when you do figure it out - you love her more for it.

Thursday, 28 November 2013


She knows it sounds crazy. But her heart just does not belong here. There are days when she feels like this, here, surrounded by friends and family- is home. 

But there is a longing in her heart she cannot express, for lack of better words, a deep painful desire she cannot explain. She has been raised with comfort and glory among people she loves, and has always loved, people who love her beyond measure and it’s adversely endearing how much they’d do for her. It’s nothing short of that on her part as well, she’d give up the world, move heaven and earth if she had to – she is momentarily mesmerized by the enormity of love a tiny fragile indecisive human heart can fathom and the extents to which that love drives them. Love she concludes, is a terrible retribution, a persistent punishment God decided to inflict upon his creation – to keep them grounded, a reminder of how weak we can be, how weak we are. It melts the hearts of ice and stone, it bends the will of the strong-minded, it fights and consumes everything that stands in it’s way, it humbles and it prides, it leads and it follows, it spreads and it with-holds, it fights faith and belief and morale and upbringing. It pulls the rug out from right under your feet, leaving you unsteady in the moment you take to comprehend what happened.

However, her heart sighs not for the love, or the almost suffocating abundance of it, it sighs for the dreams she knows she may never see - The ardent desire to travel – the wanderlust. The thrill of the travel, the excitement to be somewhere you’ve never been, that constant state of discovering something new, the experience of different cultures, the flighty uncertainty of plans you have not made, the freedom she craves like a  bird craves the sky - freedom that arises from absolving of all responsibilities, free to do whatever one pleases without having to worry about it’s consequences upon others, free to make decisions without having to worry about what people would say, free to be you and me. All her heart desired, lusted for, was to wonder away in the beauty of this world. She just wanted to break the monotony of her routine, wanted to be away from what she knew, away from certainty, she wanted a change. All the castles she built in the air, the plans she had ready in her head, she wanted for them to be true.

 But she knows they will never come to pass – because those plans do not keep in account one key factor – the fact that there were people she loved, the staggering amount of love she harbored for them, and how it reigns her dreams. This beautiful love she had witnessed all her life, the very same love anchors her to one place and she fears she would never be able to leave this place. The fear takes root and makes her uneasy and it troubles her in ways she cannot fix. She has known home and safety, and security, and abundance and she knows this is what some people search for all their lives, but she is not one of them.

She is shattered at the lack of freedom, as she defines it, so every little chance she gets, she takes it. And it tempts and teases her, it invites her and she waves it away knowing she may never get that opportunity again, but she never stops dreaming about the wanderlust that feeds her soul.      

Saturday, 16 November 2013

The other factor

She sits at her desk, tired and stressed. And unsure. This was so not how she had planned to go about this, but when does life grant anyone that simple pleasure?  She has just finished praying and is waiting - the intentness building up. Her stomach feels like jelly and her head is hurting, the fever is on the rise and her breathing is shallow, the open window lets in the cool morning breeze, she shivers and blinks at twice her normal speed as she wonders if she is truly ready. The inaudible prayers on her lips don’t stop, she wants His blessing in this. 

She can conjure up a thousand different reasons for her unsteady heart, and her wavering hands – she hasn’t been keeping well, she’s got other worries on her mind, she’s dealing with family issues, she’s not prepared enough, it’s her first exam with this institute, she wants more time, she just wants to do well, all the above – she is the queen of excuses, but she knows she’s just pacifying herself and it doesn’t do much good.

 Because she’s given enough exams, enough interviews, and been enough times on stage to know this is just routine to her, only stronger in the essence that this is now, because no amount of experience or confidence or preparation actually helps with the anticipation. Because it’s never really the same.  

She stares at the screen, just a click away from that exam she’d been so eager to give, but right now, she is in two minds. And she can’t comprehend why. She’s prayed and prepared and studied most of the night, she’s done everything she could. This was the end of her rope, she would normally just go ahead and pick the cards, let fate decide the rest.  Apparently not today though.  

She closes her eyes as her silent prayers become nearly vehement. She wants to hold them in, but they spill out anyways, irrational fears push stronger and the fruitless anguish burdens her. She would give anything to be able to get a grip on herself. Her tears are for the ease of the exam, for her to have the benefit of her knowledge, to experience contentment of the cause she’s serving. She spills for the parents she feels she’s burdening, for the teachers she feels she has let down, for the turmoil in her heart regarding her knowledge, for her lack of action on it, for the friends she fears she’ll lose, for the burden of the sins, for hope of forgiveness,  above all for herself – for not being strong enough.

She feels a warm breath on her, that smell or perhaps the familiarity of that smell engulfs her. She feels a hand on her head, the hand that has always been a guide, the hand that has worn itself out raising her, the hand that has caressed her so many times, and the very touch is a blessing. She realizes how terribly she’s missed it and she almost leans into the comfort of the touch. She doesn’t want to seem unstable or indecisive, she’s grown up and mature and doesn’t need taking care of. The touch heals her nevertheless. She sits up straighter in protest, and a kiss is dropped on her head and that feeble heart is steady and her fingers aren’t shaking anymore, she’s taking deeper breaths. The determination takes hold. 

She wants to linger in the moment because it’s been a while since her mom has shown such blunt affection. She knows her mother’s prayers are always with her, but in this moment she has experienced the fleeting mirage of being loved, and it reminds her of days gone by when she was not so much of a burden upon them.  Her tears dry up and she thrives in that loving gaze and she feels confident. It lifts her spirits. It makes her smile. The dawn seems beautiful – she says one last prayer – for her parents.

She clicks that button she’s been staring at for the past half an hour.
And she hopes it goes well.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

and she will be loved

There only so many people we sift thoroughly to let deep down into our hearts. I too, have had my share of all kinds of friends, but today I will raise a toast to my soul-sister. The one girl who through time & distance will always be a huge part of my life.

My ninth- grade was a pretty rough year. There was this girl in my class K who sat right in front of me & she had the jolliest nature ever. K was perpetually sunshine and smiles & there’s no better way to describe her. Our first talk in class went like this.
Me: where are you from?
K: Tamil nadu
Me: oh a pandu
K: excuse me!
Me: yeah a pandu & an enemy
K: why? We don't even know each other enough to be enemies
Me: because you guys want to steal the kaveri water from us
And thus fake wars were waged as we fought for the kaveri we hadn't even seen.

 Since I was kind of alone & in no real intention to make any more close friends (due to a huge dramatic full - fledged Indian serial type break up with my ex-best friend) I took refuge in the library. Every recess & every free period I would run away to the library & bury myself in books. And every once in a while she would swing by & check on me, she didn't have to, no one else did, but she would and it pretty much made her almost top of my list of awesome people. She was a reader herself & we would have many talks about our heroes.

Skip a few years. We just got closer.

She got married & had a child. We didn't tell any of our other friends because when life tends to find out you are too happy it jinxes your happiness. I was leaving for vacation when she went into labor & I kept trying her cell but could not reach her. Finally she did call me & I was so happy for her that I thought I might just shoot out like a rocket with all the joy. And then she dropped the bomb. "Will you be godmother to my child?" If I had any doubts about rocketing away, I was fairly certain I would now. Needless to say I spent an entire vacation planning on stuff I’ll buy my godson, and what kind of a god mother I would be.

In a few months, she called me & said she had a big announcement and I still remember regretting being a happy go lucky loser who joked about everything because I teased her if it was a second pregnancy or something when she broke down on the phone & after moments of uncertain silence and panicking she told me she was getting a divorce. I was dumbstruck. I didn't know what to say so I cried & tried to convince her that it would be ok & I was there for her - always. I had known for a while that there was something going on between them but she hadn't spoken about it ever & I didn't ask because I knew if she wanted to tell she would have told me- I didn't want to intrude into her personal life. So I spoke to her more often & though I wanted to visit her more often than I could, I tried. Eventually she got the divorce but then there was the custody battle & we plotted & fought court - of course I only had a minimal role to play except for the daily prayers. But in the end we won. She got my godson & it wasn't all great & glorious but we got through. And I feel like hell even now because I wanted to do more for her & be there in more ways than I could but I tried & that is my saving grace. I visited her & we cried & sought solace in reminding each other of god's mercy & greatness & His grand plan.
And then she left. For good to India (family emergency). I was upset for a whole week before I could be normal again.

I cannot think of her without a smile creeping up on me because she made me a better person, and for the sister she has been she deserves nothing short of heaven.

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