Saturday, January 26, 2013

Excerpts... The last night

He looked at her standing by the window staring at the reflection of the street lamp in the puddle that had formed on the road. The raindrops smeared the pool with the orange light of the neon lamp. Hundreds of ripples formed every moment and manifested their existence before they merged with hundreds of others and lost it. Her life bore a strong resemblance to those ripples. Just a week back, she knew where her life was headed and what lay in store ahead – just like the newly formed ripples that moved away from the core in hope of ending their journey at the confluence of land and water, unaware of those unseen forces that possessed the prowess to change the course of their journey. And now, merely seven days and as many meetings later with a stranger as foreign as any ripple was to any other ripple in the pool, she found herself lost, voyaging on a path propelled by her heart. She was better off than the ripples for she had the option to change course and revert back to the path she was meant to tread. But she also had a heart that granted her the liberty to decide which path she wanted to tread.
 
“Change your clothes. The wet clothes might make you sick”, he said.
 
There was no reaction from her. She stood pondering over the things he had said in the last seven days. She was amazed at the how the truth in his words had begun to unfurl. She realized how stupid she had been to blindly believe that life was indeed a fairy tale. The realization gave way to fear as her thoughts wandered to those things he had said that were still to be encountered. It sent a shiver down her spine. She perceived some movement behind her. He had walked to her and stood just behind her.
 
Another shiver ran down her spine as she felt the soft touch of his hand on her left shoulder. She closed her eyes. Uncertainty of the moments to follow tormented her. A feeling of guilt gripped her. She was all set to commit the rest of her life to a stranger she had never met in ten days, and here she stood inches away from a stranger for whom she felt an affection stronger than she had ever felt for anyone in her life. She said a silent prayer for strength in her mind. She debated if only the fact that her parents had selected the former should make her feel guilty - for he was still a stranger to her and stranger than the one who stood with his hand on her shoulder. She was probably meeting him for the last time and if all his words were as true as the one’s that had come true; she wanted to express her love for him before they parted.
 
She felt the grip on her shoulder tighten as he turned her to face him. She stood there head lowered, looking at his feet. The expression on her face resembled that of a child caught guilty of some wrongdoing. He removed his hand from her shoulder and bent over, trying to catch her sight.
 
“What happened? Are you okay?” he said.
 
She stood there motionless; her heart beating hard. She was unsure of what she should do. She could listen to her mind and walk away or she could listen to her heart and stay. Walking away would mean that only one person in this world would know of the guy she fell in love with days before her marriage. Staying would mean two people would know of it, and she trusted him enough to believe that number won’t increase. She would have nothing to fear from the world and perhaps have a memory that she would cherish all her life.
 
He placed his hand gently below her chin and raised her face. She still looked down.
 
“What’s wrong? Are you okay?” he asked again.
 
She shook her head. She still looked down and the expression on her face made him think she was about to break into tears. With a voice more gentle and more caring, he spoke again.
 
“What happened?”
 
She stood still for a few moments gathering all the courage and power to reason she had. The turbulence in her heart and mind had reached its peak now. The wet clothes and the turbulence made her shiver.
 
“I love you,” she said.
 
She did not look up as she said those words. The feeling of guilt still lingered in her mind. She found herself lost in a spate of questions. For the first time since it was planned, she questioned her decision to marry the match her parents had found for her. She questioned the possibility of the stranger she had never met being anywhere close to this perfect stranger she met only a week back. She questioned if the man standing next to her was a stranger anymore at all. She questioned how this no-more-a-stranger would react to her words. She questioned and she questioned but there was no one to answer those questions tonight. She resigned herself to her fate and waited.
 
It came as a surprise for him. He could feel his heart beating hard and his feet trembling. It had taken him only a couple to days to make himself believe that nothing lay store for them together and perhaps she would never feel the same for him as he did for her. He had effortlessly believed that a marriage scheduled in ten days denied her the right to fall in love. He had decided, against his own rationales, that revelation of one's love wasn't always in the best interest of the heart. And here he stood ,silent, astounded by the manifestation of her love. He realized he had been a coward to hide his feelings for her. He tried to reason that it was only an infatuation that would have faded in a matter of days. But deep inside even he knew it was only his ego that brought this thought to his mind. He had felt a very strong sense of attraction for her and it was only the fear of rejection that had forced him to into a blanket of silence. The same blanket of silence that still prevailed upon him.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Sleepless on a winter night

He rolled over in his bed; again. He had stopped counting after the seventh time this had happened. The chill in the air and the lullaby churned out by the rhythmic whirring of the fan failed to put him to sleep. He tried to look beyond the darkness that shrouded the walls and the roof. He failed. He shut his eyes, letting images that kept him awake fill his mind again. This wasn't the first time this had happened . This had become a common occurrence since the last some weeks. He knew not to expect sleep for the next few hours - just like he knew not to expect the reply to his previous sms.

Images of her reeled past his eyes, waiting momentarily to pull the smile on his lips wider. Memories, old and new, lured him into the enchantment that made him dream of her every night. Her appearance from the morning evoked in him an uncontrollable urge to be with her. The colors of her attire, dull golden and a glossy shade of pink, painted the darkness in them every time he opened his eyes. He chuckled at how words from those numerous imaginary conversations with her had desolated him that morning and he had found himself merely standing behind her wishing for her fragrance to waft into his nose.

Time and again his thoughts wandered across to that image of her fiddling with the stone studded strap of her sandal. He had looked up from her foot on the golden leather, finding a strange joy in those short toes and small, cute toenails, only to discover a more elating sight awaiting him. He looked at her hair meandering along her face, denying to cloud the radiance that emanated from it. The incongruity in appearance struck him. He sat mesmerized by the face that was strong and proud and eyes that did not give out their secrets. These contrasted well with the old memories he had of her - a face somewhat shy and nervous and eyes that had probably never had a secret. Laughter that was usually stifled, now rang in the ears for hours, sending the mind into a frenzy of exultation.

Just like he did in all those sleepless nights, he wondered again - if a day with her felt so good, how a lifetime with her would feel!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Coming of age - solitude

He gazed at the sun emerge from behind the clouds that moments ago had obscured its glare. The same glare that now made it impossible to ascertain the color of its radiance. He watched in bliss the souffle of clouds entombing the sun, lone and dimming. The prospect of the darkness that was to follow comforted him. He had come to love the dark for it curbed his desire for company.

He re-read those lines. His smiles gave way to the old sting in his chest. It was not as intense as it had been in those initial days when it needed the eyes to dissipate the suffering. Now it almost unfailingly lost its way and scarcely brought out the tears. He read those lines again hoping to revive those dying emotions - enough to damp his eyes - but in vain. He recalled the lone and agonizing hours of the last few weeks, every minute of which he endured with a heavy and seeking heart.

His mind reeled back to the days when he had wished to grasp any one's fancy to make his phone ring, when names flashed and disappeared without troubling his messenger to buzz, and when words found no reason to leave the lips. He missed waiting eagerly for those small conversations that kept his spirits perpetually high and gave him something to look forward to.But a lot had changed in the weeks that followed.

He no more resented those days of forlornness. He had come to find solace in his aloofness that shielded his vulnerable heart. He zealously despised company for fear of another wound to his heart. He feared speaking for he now realized that it was a sin for reality to be stranger than fiction for minds have been so well conditioned by fiction that an outlandish piece of genuineness tends to lose its authenticity. He admired the beauty of solitude for he was now the only audience of his words that no longer needed to be spoken.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Excerpts.. The last meeting

He opened the small box that enclosed his fate and looked at the floral arrangement of the white stones carefully grafted on the yellow metal – the metal that had so fascinated her and the stone she had always craved for. He knew that this was his only chance. For a moment, he was carried away from the misery of the last two weeks. He pictured the expression on her face when he would present it to her. He imagined her hands around him and her head on his chest. The thought made him smile – the first time in two weeks. He did not want to think of the contrary today. He knew her well and he was sure of his success. But somewhere deep in his heart, he also knew how unpredictable she could be.

He reached the bus stand half an hour before the bus was to depart. He did not want to take any chances today. After a fortnight of pleading, she had finally agreed to meet him and with the distance between them increasing ever passing day, it would be difficult to persuade her to meet him again a week later. He placed his bag in the overhead cabinet. The box that carried his fate lay stuffed in his shirt’s pocket. The corners poked into his chest causing him a slight discomfort. He chose the discomfort for it made him feel secure that his fate still lay with him.

The bus started to move marking the beginning of a sixteen hour long journey. It was still early in the evening. He had an entire night and a complete morning to pass before he could meet her. He tried to shut his eyes and get some sleep but like every day and every night in the last two weeks, it eluded him. He sat picturing his meeting with her. He had met her merely a month back and yet in this one month, the distance between them had multiplied manifold. He knew she had had her hair trimmed and they barely reached her shoulders. The visualization made him chuckle. He could imagine her looking like a kid; short hair always made her look like a kid. The image lingered in his thoughts for some time before they shifted to the reality that was to be faced the next morning.

For the first time in four years he found himself struggling to predict her reaction. His optimism was lost at bay; denying him the picture of a felicitous reconciliation. He tried hard but all he envisioned was a ruthless expression on her face and a biting tone in her voice. The thought gave rise to a stinging pain in his chest. He could see himself standing in front of her – speechless. He couldn’t think of what he would say if the unthinkable happened. The pain in his chest was now anguishing. He did not realize when he fell asleep.

The doorbell rang. His already racing heart started beating harder. With hands trembling, he opened the door.

She stood there wearing the black sari he knew belonged to her mom. A gentle smile adorned her face. His heart started beating harder in anxiety. He resisted a strong urge to kiss those fair shoulders that perfectly contrasted the black fabric. He smiled back and moved his eyes from her head to her toes. He smiled loud, looking into her eyes. Her smile broadened.

‘What! Haven’t you seen me in a sari before?’ The mischief in her voice was alive - again.

He looked away from her eyes, smiling. He hadn’t expected to meet her smiling face. Her smile made his heart beat faster in hope that his greatest fears won’t come true. He felt a strong desire to take her in his arms but the fear of not finding her hands around him prevailed. He decided to be patient and let her into the room.

He turned and faced his room. His clothes lay scattered on the mattress. The glass bowl that had served as his ashtray lay filled with ash and those numerous stubs that were the only remnants of the cigarettes he had smoked in the last week of emotional turbulence.
His anxiety suddenly lost its existence as the smoke from those cigarettes had. He stood staring at her; baffled by the sight that greeted him.

His eyes opened to the honking of the horn of the stationary bus. It sunlight was still soft. It was well past dawn but still quite early in the day. He looked at his watch. He still had a little more than two hours before his bus reached its destination. He had no clue about how long it would be before he reached his - if he did.

The memories of the latest prank played by his subconscious made him smile. He sat there hoping it was one of those dreams – dreams that came true. The age old legend about morning dreams coming true raised his level of optimism. He still felt that box poking at his chest but he reached out for it with his hand just to reassure his heart. He reclined as the bus started to move again. His heart was lighter now – just a bit. He was optimistic that he would be able to put together the pieces of his life that had had been jig sawed by choicest refinements of her desires...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

You know you are in love...


When every passing day makes the feelings stronger
And every passing seconds make the nights longer.
When all you wish for is a hint of her scent
And you know she's the one you always dreamt
When all that you think of in weeks
Are her words and the way she speaks
When her laugh makes you smile
And a small step feels like a mile
When every moment brings a new desire
That makes your heart fly higher
When all you want is her hand in yours
And you think of her when the rain pours
When all you dream of are your arms around her
And you hold your blanket as if it were her
When staying away is a pain
That no book can ever explain
When in those long sleepless nights
You burn in the fire her thought ignites
When you are haunted by her eyes
And the line of kohl she applies
When you get to meet her every day
And every night, the day looks so faraway
When you wish for your hearts to unite
In those lonely nights like tonight...

Monday, January 4, 2010

Of love and choices...

The light died out with a loud beep from the laptop burying me in the dark grave my room resembled. I looked at the part of the floor just under the curtain. The moon usually lit up those few tiles in its journey across the sky. It was midnight and an almost full moon had been greying the night sky recently. However,the tiles were dark tonight. To quench my growing inquisitiveness. i set out for the door; my pupils still dilating, still unaccustomed to this sudden darkness. I pulled aside the curtain and slid open the door that opened into the balcony.

The scent of fresh rain filled my lungs. The world around was a stretch of darkness with a few lights scattered haphazardly, signaling the existence of the almost inconspicuous habitation. I stepped out onto the wet floor. A light drizzle and a cool breeze welcomed me. The rain drops hitting the face brought with them an unfathomable joy. I stood there relishing the rain the breeze and the darkness, bereft of thoughts. With eyes closed,mouth open,arms spread and a childlike joy in the heart, i looked up into the sky hoping to catch a few drops of the ambrosial rain, hoping someone/something to embrace me.

I moved to the railing and stared into the hollowness that surrounded me. A pinkish glow at the horizon merged into a grey shade that eventually dissolved in the black sky. No stars adored the sky tonight. Breaking the deafening silence of nature, Pink Floyd played on my laptop...

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
The taste was sweeter
The nights of wonder
With friends surrounded
The dawn mist glowing
The water flowing
The endless river
Forever and ever

The mind reeled back through the journey that started almost two years back. A journey undertaken for the sake of greater good - love. And here i stood on the grave of all dreams, looking wistfully at those days of pain and agony, lost more than Columbus ever was, wondering where life was heading. I stood cursing those months of isolation from friends who were closest to the heart, having lost myself in a whirlwind of emotions, feigning a smile to conceal a crying heart, detesting those numerous blabbers made to drive away loneliness. I remembered those days of sorrow and nights of loneliness. I remembered those weeks longing for moments of a feminine company. I remembered those months of wishing someone to hold my hand, to sooth my pain. It had been quite a long time and yet i stool alone. Those once close were now very far and those who were near were not so close. A cold shiver ran down the spine followed by a moment of realization of how much change the journey had brought. The journey that was all set to end in the next few weeks to mark the start of an unwilling new one. The heart was beating fast now. Not at the thought of the new journey but at the thought of everything i would be walking away from.

In the darkness i pictured friends who stood by me in times of need. Friends who got more closer than very old ones. Friends who had kept my secrets as securely as their own. Friends who made up most of my world for the last two years. Thoughts drifted to the place i had called home all this time. There was indeed the balcony that had heard the most treasured upon gossips with friends and had served as one of the best hangouts. The balcony that had seen me romance in the moonlight and had seen the rain wash away tears from my eyes. A gust of breeze blew the thoughts to my office. It was difficult figuring out what i was set to lose - those small chats, those tea making sessions, those crushes, those comments, those outings. I was indeed sure to miss my cubicle that bestowed upon me the exclusive right to sleep, watch movies and do what not in office hours, and for sure i would miss the girl who sits next to me. Sweet, simple, gossip-loving and a lot for what people would think of her. Something in me tells me i am gonna miss her a lot. Bothered by the smallest matter, always drowsy and with a severe memory problem greater than Ghajini, absolute fun to be with. I am unsure why but i seem to harbor a strange affection for her. I feel i can go on and on about her but i feel i should stop for i am sure she would file for harassment if she ever happens to read this. And how could i not miss her, the girl i had been in love with since the past so many weeks.

A thousand thoughts rush through the mind. I hadn't thought about her all this time. Another shiver brings me back to reality. A thousand, perhaps million images fill the mind. Images of her smiling, laughing, talking, amused, scared. I never realized i had to walk away from her. Someone i had been in love so deeply. Someone who had made a broken heart beat again. I closed my eyes. Her kohl filled eyes looked back at me. Those black mysterious gleaming eyes that are so difficult to look into. Her lips curled as they always did to hide the laughter. Her hair flowed with the breeze. Memories of those numerous but short interactions with her fill the mind. Memories of those words from the heart that were never spoken made the lips twitch. Memories of those nights spent looking at her pictures shook my existence. One journey had brought me so far from life and here i was starting another away from life. A revolting confusion filled the mind. For the first time in days i was unsure if moving on was the right thing to do. There was still a lot of thinking to do before the journey begins.... if it indeed does.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

nostalgia...

bas ek bar wapas lautne ka man karta hai

Aaj har wo din jeene ko man karta hai.

kuch buri batein jo ab acchi lagti hain

kuch batein jo kal ki hi batein lagti hain.

abki baar class attend karne ka man karta hai

Dopahar ki class mein aakhein band karne ko man karta hai.

Doston ke room ki wo baatein yaad aati hai

exam ke time pe wo hasi mazak yaad aati hai,

college ke paas Jaggi ka dhabe ki yaad aati hai

tab ki bekar lagne wali photos chehre pe hasi laati hai.

Apni galtiyon pe tumse daat khana yaad aata hai.

Par tumhari galti dekhne ka ab bhi mann karta hai.

Ek aisi subah uthne ka mann karta hai

bas ek bar wapas lautne ka man karta hai.

bas ek bar aur

wapas lautne ka man karta hai