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.
This was written for my darling kidsis on her birthday but fate delayed it for us and I'm sorry love but here it is anyway.
Saturday, 16 November 2013
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
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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Thursday, 27 June 2013
You wake up drowsy, still drunk on last night's ecstasy. You can feel the sunlight on your skin so you don't want to open your eyes, your hand reaches out of its own accord , searching the bed, longing for his touch. You find nothing. Panic rushes within as you sit up holding the duvet against your chest. Afterall dreams only last while you are sleeping. The bed is still molded in his form and his warmth lingers on the side of the pillow near to you. You look around and release the breath you didn't know you were holding when you hear clanking from the overlooking balcony. Relief escapes your lips in a subtle curve and you find your inner self reprimanding you for being easily carried away. Dreams have a way of calming you, arousing you, and inspite of themselves weakening you. Making you vulnerable.
You let the duvet fall and climb out of the (very inviting) bed. As you make your way towards the adjoining balcony you sheild your eyes against the dim sunlight. You don't really want to wake up yet. You want to remain in last night forever if that's possible.
Before you enter you see him in all his morning glory - sex hair, loose shorts, bare chested and it's enough to take your breath away. You lean in the doorway under the pretense of watching him but really you are just a tiny bit weak in the knees at the very sight of him. He looks up at you and smiles and it's so enchanting that you are sure by the time he strides over to you, you will be a puddle of mess on the floor. Your heart has now forgotten the natural order and is beating to a dubstep - so loud you think the city will wake up. He stands millimeters away from you and you are hyper consciously aware of your flimsy nightdress and what it is doing to him. He leans in and asks 'I hope you didnt have too bad a time last night.' You blush and suddenly you are shy and flashes of last night make you speechless so you run a hand in your hair and purse your lips to hold that smile but actually you just want to buy time. He studies your face with a victorious sly smile that makes even the butterflies in your tummy quiver.
He pouts and says 'you have some damage to pay for' and you look up under your lashes knowing exactly what damage you caused - unaware you could be capable of it. You blush some more but now you have built up the courage to open your mouth and you really want to say something to make him blush because babe you can handle it. So you raise a hand and lay it upon his cheek because actions speak louder than words and he leans into your palm and the smirk on his face has given way to need and hell actions really do speak louder than words, you rise up to meet his lips and there's no where else you'd rather be. He asks you to join him for breakfast and you take a quick bathroom break and come back for some food because god knows you're famished. He brings out his guitar and having found out last night what a Zayn Malik fan you are he sings to you - what makes you beautiful. You notice for the first time the depth of his voice and the pain it masks and you are consumed by desire to hold him. You look around to distract yourself and a word escapes your lips- phantasmagoria. He stops mid tune and says' English is my language and even I don't know what that means.' You laugh and explain 'its a series of events real or imaginary that are dream like - and this, you gesture with your hand, - it's phantasmagorial for me'. 'Me too' he replies and you do believe him.
You go for a shower as the sun rises a little bit over the horizon. You take off the nightdress and step into the shower - unsated. And as is the case with bathrooms and long showers - clarity, divine clarity sets in. You stand for a while in front of the full length mirror in the washroom inspecting your body for any visible signs of last night's events. You remember coming out of the one direction concert, you remember lying to your parents about a supposed friends wedding in Delhi, you remember the flight and every hostess and steward on it because you were so excited to be here, you remember all the lies you had to say to cover for that 'wedding ' you are supposedly attending, you remember the crazy crowd in the heat of the concert, you remember feeling exhilarated, you also remember meeting this disguised god on the way to your cheap hotel room and you remember taking your suitcase and joining him here. You look in the mirror and try hard but you cannot find the little crazy headed fangirl. Instead you find a woman altered beyond recognition - making a decision. When you are dressed you come out of the bathroom and he's sitting on the bed toying with his phone and looking at you - happy and maybe amused. '28 misscalls baby- you indulge me well. They're going to be mad. ' - he says.
You start rummaging for your stuff lying around and he looks confused. He asks if something's wrong and you remind him of your flight home in a couple of hours. He looks sad. He opens his mouth in protest but you beat him to it because babe you really can handle this and because you just might change your mind if you give him the chance to just because well you know how impractical this is. So even though you wanted to sugar coat it you decide against your better judgement to just speak the truth and let the pieces fall wherever and even though you had prepped yourself during your divine shower about what and how exactly to say to him you can never be enough prepped to break a heart so you just go with instinct - 'we belong to different worlds. We're like the moth drawn to the flame and maybe we can stay near each other for a while but it won't be long before one consumes and finishes the other. We may have given in to our desires but this is not as serious as we want to believe it is. It will not do you good to have let loose you slept with a random girl and I come from a normal middle class family and I'm the only daughter and my parents will always be the most important people in my life and this - I don't normally do this. It's against everything I've been raised to be and don't tell me it will be fine because it won't. And when and if my parents find out all hell will break loose. And I couldn't run away - I'm not that insensitive. So for the greater good it's best we never talk about this to anyone ever - please - to protect us. If you really cherished this - then let this be our secret.'
He asks if it wasn't real enough or important enough for you and you are taken aback by how desperately he's trying to keep you but you hold strong and say ' I am not saying it was unimportant or anything short of real and amazing and ethereal but it was just in that moment. It will always be special to me because in that time and space it was all I wanted - but look at the bigger picture here. It's a messed up situation and there's only one solution.'
You're done stuffing everything into your suitcase and you head towards the door s he follows you and you are acutely aware of his presence. At the door you turn around and place one finger to his lips and he's taken by surprise - infact you've even surprised yourself by this sudden boldness. You reach up and whisper 'it was a dream - a beautifull dream.' His eyes beg you and it weakens every bit of your will - so you rise to give him a kiss and he leans in and looks so starved for you that your heart melts right there - you give him a chaste one compared to the few recent ones. But right now you are the very embodiment of practicality which is not usually you and you know this last night has changed you in ways you will not heal. He smiles with a certain pleasant kind of sadness and says thank you for a phantasmagoria and the word sounds so magnificently divine in his deep British accent. You step out of the room before your heart begins to take control and walk across the hallway, turn around and smile - you speak the final words though you kind of hoped he would be the first to say them goodbye zayn. He smiles back and you notice its not the same smile he usually has but it will do -for the greater good goodbye he says. You wink at him and turn away.