Will you turn up?

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A pat on your shoulder means somebody needs your attention. When it’s from the back, we must turn our heads for some time.

I saw something when I turned- a face that’s a part of my memory.  But it wasn’t a part of my story. My part of the story was either gone, or yet to arrive. But I stood there for some time, and then moved in the wrong direction, to the right place. Onwards.

“Lose her, it’s not your fault.”

“When the past knocks, say you’re not at home.”

“You don’t want to see her again, tell her.”

When hours speak to me, I must listen. The less important things in life are what I like to call resistances. Faces are some resistance but I might want to believe she has changed things in a single meeting. An escape from routine might seem obvious for the moment. I might want to ignore a few creative calls, deter from a few plans. But all of this must not happen if I want to succeed. Besides, she doesn’t need me anyway. But as they say, when it comes back, it comes back harder than ever.

Text message- *Hello, I watched your favourite movie today. Is it still your favourite?”

She watched it? All those years she kept denying, but now!

*Did you like it?

*Meet me, I’ll tell you.

*Not today, I’ll be out of town. Sorry.

*I’ll be waiting. Same place as yesterday.

I must tell her the truth. It’s easier now than it was that day. I put a cringe on me, and leave for a surprise- a bad one for her. Can I pay back? Her way of course.

“Can I ask you something?” I made it clear that I was in no mood to talk about movies. That’s everything I ever talk about, but she’s a waste of time.

“Yes, anything.”

“You look pale, thin, and dull. Are you okay?”

“And you look tensed. Are you okay?”

“I didn’t want to come. But I had to ask this question.”

“Time has got the better of me. I took a break because I was exhausted. This is the exhaust that you’re seeing. And you could be the break I need.”

“I’m doing good without you. Everything is perfect in my life and things don’t change in a day. It’s been the same for six years now.”

“Do you remember everything?”

“Everything.”

“Good or bad?”

“Indifferent.”

“Are you imitating me?”

“I couldn’t possibly be as bad as you, even if I tried.”

“See, it’s coming together. Things converge this way,”

“If convergence means an end, I’m here to end it.”

“So this is it? This is why you came?”

“I came for a thing. Not for a person. Do you get the difference?”

“What is that thing you want to take away from this meeting? You hardly said anything yesterday. But today it seems you’ve come prepared…….and since when did you learn to be boring?”

“When the story gets boring, you need to end it.”

“Maybe keep it for some other day. Can I see you again tomorrow? Same place. Will you turn up?”

I must not.

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The Doubt

“Do you love me?”

“That’s not the right question, I’m afraid.”

“Learn to say no like a man, please. This isn’t a joke.”

“Then what is? Isn’t it funny to see me like this? Don’t  you think I’m far from being a man?”

“You hate yourself so much, don’t you?”

“I don’t know. I have this doubt and I need some time.”

“How long?”

“Forever. Take forever as a given. And leave me alone.”

“Alone? Look at you. You’ve been alone for so long but what good have you done to yourself?”

I tend to clean my room right after times like this. Take a bath, have a nice warm coffee, rearrange the books I read last night, switch on the T.V. and keep my eyes on it till I get bored. It’s time for some music, but not the usual songs with deep meanings. I crave for something light. Something that doesn’t make me feel anything. Every now and then, some kind of philosophy pops out on my head? Should I make a plan? Should I go out? Should I just drink the night away? No, what a big sadist I am! It’s time to do something productive. I should make some notes, finish some chapters of the new book I just bought. Oh! I love this novel already. I can relate to the guy. What would he have done on a day like this? I don’t know, and I keep thinking about it all day. Is it time to be sure about everything? The beautiful girl who stood in front of me had no idea. But I had doubts. I still have doubts. When the time comes, I will tell her everything. Just when I know what I feel, I will let her know for sure.

 

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Unhappiness

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Some people think differently. That is what makes them kind even though they can’t see the difference. But of course, they see the indifference.

My friends tell me otherwise and I know why they do this. They want me to live a life of honour and be happy all the time. I never understood honour or happiness. Yet there was a part of me always trying to buy away the unhappiness with conscious humane attitude. Humane, in the sense, I never felt the importance of doing what is best for me. That’s the most humane quality anybody could have because it trades for nothing. Some people call it sacrifice but that adds some glory to it which isn’t supposed to be there. I think of it as a weakness that you choose for yourself when the clock is ticking and people wait for your answer. The question being, “Do you have any self-respect?” Yes, and no. But if I couldn’t care telling them what I feel about myself, then what’s the point? I see myself no better than I see them. And they being my friends should always know that.

As long as someone listens to what I have to say, that’s respect. That’s everything for me and my share of everything doesn’t grow like a man’s ego.

Honestly, never in my life I have felt disrespected. But sometimes when someone doesn’t listen to me, I question myself rather than questioning them. They’d wish I could forget the love, the friendship and everything that was between us and simply move on. But that isn’t happiness for me. That’s mere satisfaction and it’s momentary. It does not let you feel good or bad about things that didn’t go the way you wanted. If there’s a strain, it’s safe to lose the ends, but one shouldn’t lose friends so easily. One shouldn’t lose themselves so easily. One shouldn’t forget so easily.

I have seen people lose themselves to pride and honour, but most of all to happiness. What I understand by looking at the way they behave, they are at peace. There isn’t one void that needs to be filled. Only boxes to tick, and they successfully tick them one by one. But do they remember the names, the faces, or the voices? The beautiful thing about success is that you don’t have to trade your unhappiness for it. You don’t give away your ability to feel vulnerable. And if you have known the character Forrest Gump, you would know what exactly I mean to say. When unhappiness came, it wasn’t a question for Forrest to answer. He was never tired of being unhappy, but that didn’t stop him. He could possess superhuman qualities, and be sad at the same time. But if you have given up your ability to be unhappy, you wouldn’t understand the honesty behind his dialogue, “I’m not a smart man, but I know what love is.”

Delusions test a man, and if he reacts, in any way, he cannot be Forrest Gump.

Phantasmagoria

I must have imagined this night a thousand times already- just the two of us, sitting under a star studded summer sky, leaving everything else behind for some time.

I’m just happy that the time has come again, and she’s here.

“Tell me Tara, as your name goes, do you ever feel fascinated about the universe, and make up stellar stories as you look right up at the night sky?”

“Ha ha, not exactly. I don’t think much about the universe as I don’t understand it very well, but I like the beauty of a night sky. I kind of fall in love with it, you know what I mean.”

“There, look at the moon for a moment, and follow me for a trip maybe. Do you see the surface of it?”

“Yeah, just as beautiful as it should be. I’m following you.”

“No, not just beautiful. Concentrate on the surface only. Doesn’t it look like a distant physical map? All those dark patches could just be different countries or continents. Just like the pictures of Earth taken from Moon.”

“Yes, you’re right. And the white shining part could be the oceans? Is that what you mean?”

“Now imagine, as we look at it, it’s more than three hundred thousand kilometres away from us. But there have been people who’ve landed on it, and stayed there for a while. Imagine what life would be like up there!”

“Sigh! I now regret my degree in Biology. I wish I could just step on it for a moment to find out. Astronaut Tara heading out for the Moon. Ha ha ha!”

“A moment wouldn’t be enough for me. I could stay there for days, but then I might feel abandoned.”

“It must be lonely up there. Am I right?”

“Yes, now look at that star. That brighter one up there.”

“Yes, I feel like I’m looking at myself.”

“You know it is light years away from us.”

“Yeah, like light would take years to reach over there, and we would take a little longer maybe.”

“Don’t even think…. Now look at that one, near that tower right in front of us. Another few light years away from us. Both these stars could be a few more light years apart from each other. And yet we can see them.”

“What’s the point?”

“The point is, the way I look at it, the universe itself is almost hundred percent filled with loneliness. Loneliness stretching far, far away that it just wouldn’t end. And we’re here, perfectly placed at this one point in the universe, where we could have a social life. I could sit next to you, and there’s air so that we could hear each other. Probability, right?”

“That’s really fascinating I must say, Ved.”

“And when we come back to this Earth, Tara, it’s not a bad place either. People make us feel alive to the moments, and if we have enough opportunities to thank them, we must give it back when they need it…….. I’ve waited long for this night and I never ran out of hope. I knew you would come. So it’s just my opportunity to thank you, and give it back to you.”

“Don’t thank me, Ved. I always knew you were gifted, and I’m just lucky to be your friend. I’m lucky to be here tonight. I’m sorry that I kept you waiting for so long. You’ve been lonely for years while I wasn’t doing anything great either. Now it feels like I’ve been lonelier than you’ve even been, just because I was away from you.”

“No Tara, we are here for a reason, surely not to regret anything. But you know, it wasn’t always the same. I mean loneliness; sometimes I was okay with it. I’d spend hours looking at the sky, scribbling down something every now and then, but then, after a while, I would hate it. I would miss you, I would miss my brothers, my cousins, and I would miss everyone I know. I’d feel like I’m standing on the moon, and it’s empty all around. But tonight Tara, I’m the happiest person in the entire universe. My happiness is with you. I’m happy that you came. This night is all I have to feel lucky about.”

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Maybe this wasn’t just a dream. I felt so lost in it, that it seemed like light was getting in through every single crack in my soul.

It’s a new day, a new morning, and I hope to see her again.

I love you, Tara. Come back soon.

We

If you could get me laughing and wanting to go out of my room and do something, be it a long shot for a cup of tea, or a candid moment at the puja store asking for a pipe to smoke with(look, the man is holding his laugh), you are my favourite person for the day. It’s a secret nobody knew about me until now- that I love being embarrassed, and have a moment where we both find a joke to laugh at, be it the odd turn when I forget that the fan is already switched off, or that I need to switch off before I blow the match-stick, we have our genius on our minds who is about to come on YouTube to make us laugh for the nth time with the same jokes(jokes that only we can find). The next few hours need no savage. Not from the landlord making our fans stop with his fucking ACs(we assume there are 17 or 23 or any fancy number that comes to our mind), or the motherfucking mosquitoes that have always been here(we sometimes personify them). We get cheaper and cheaper in our own eyes. It only gets more comfortable once we stop feeling our legs, and start hurting our stomach(that guy on YouTube is on a repeat). The guy in front of me says that he’s done, and can not blow the pipe. I tell him how good he is at it, and that’s hope motherfucker. That’s determination. We always succeed when we back our hope with reasons. He is getting numb, physically. His eyes are bleeding, and there I am totally fucked up with my momentary Alzheimer’s. We have insane ideas coming up. A whole lot of insight. Less individualism. More shared responsibilities. And secrets unfold. We’ve kept them inside for too long, and now we’re a generation that wears its heart on its sleeves. And how the thing that we called gross, and considered evil, has made us better persons? We do not take its name, but thank it from our hearts. And yes, if you ever wondered, “we” is a better word than “I”. So come, join us if you can be a better person for a day.

As of now, we are only two days away from having another 140 rupees party. And I’m already looking for better episodes, but damn ya! We’re gonna watch the same lame shit because that’s genius for us. We’re having the best time of our lives. 🙂

 

 

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PRICE OF LOVE

On another day, it will cost you your pride,
To do well with a bad taste, love, that is served on your favourite plate.
Will you manage another sleepless night,
Given the empty stomach, and how your lover is stealing on you?
Slowly, you might not notice, but it’s still early into the night,
This is another person you should learn to love,
And she comes with this night as her wildest choice, the same routine.
Just when you think you can manage,
There is always another person you should learn to love.
So tell me. How will you love a person who tastes like love,
And all the things you’ve never liked?

The Girl From The Mountain

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It’s a diaphane, this day, with all the lives stringed to one another.

The filament of life is asking for something I wouldn’t know.

For this is all but nothing. Or a little something, a little nothing, a little both.

Vertigo! Vertigo! Ends like this. Ends like this.

Little confusion, little confusion, spinning about itself.

Yet wouldn’t know. Wouldn’t know. When to stop and feel stupid.

But now I know. Now I know.

‘til the clouding stops, and mountain starts, I must keep moving. Keep moving.

Keep my shoes clean, and heart abbott.

I’m stupid lot. Stupid lot.

 

When did sweltering heat become the winter gales?

I won’t hear this, but within earshot

Restful, yet I fluster. I once took a red road,

Walked into an Australian day, foamed. Now I defoam.

I must listen, to all the silent lines in my head.

The fate that vanishes, becomes a feat.

And I wake up, waking up with the fowl flow of a river,

That reminds me of a Syrian night, no antigram to go with it.

So I respawn.

 

One stream of consciousness, and I recall,

Half my head is underwater, where things are clear.

The other half, wandering about someplace good in a little light weather.

I hope it’s the same Australian day in the ferns.

Hitherto moving along the daylight, hitherthen dreaming twice,

Of the same Syrian night in the fall,

Where I trip over a lazy way off, and toss my thoughts for a call.

Head; and this mountain is all I have in the middle of another day.

So I must not stop, till I see what she’s like in the sun.

Tail; and I hope she likes the Sun.

 

But who is she? Is she the mountain I want to see?

I always knew people are, where they are.

And not who they are, I know for sure.

Is it morning yet? I walk indifferent, to the sky that keeps changing.

But to tell this a plethora of it, I do not have one.

I feel one ray on my skin, only dreaming of a myriad.

Now this dream sets my skin, sleep inducing,

Not a ray would wake it up, it will take more.

So I keep walking till I see a lot of mornings.

More than I have ever seen, more than I can take.

I have known for long, tranquility not.

 

Why do the most beautiful words not sound so good?

Rhapsodic moments take away all the illness, to not feel so good.

Grotesque vestige of my behaviours, wear me out for the rest of the day.

Yet for long, I couldn’t walk so far, not the fear, but the far.

I am never too afraid to not wait, to not walk the red road.

It’s always like this, waiting seems like walking.

So I wait two miles, walk long in gaze, grimace to go with it.

Not a lot of it, but it still is the story that echoes in my head.

Sits calm in the bucolic, watches me wait, watches me walk.

So I must not stop, till I see the Harbinger become so.

 

This is ineffable, this hearth that has taken the place,

Of mantles in my labyrinth. Love, is the only way I know,

To walk out if it. So I must love what I see.

Penumbra of daily thoughts waiting with me as I walk,

My love is waiting for me in the mountain, as the mountain.

So I must not stop, riparian to this talisman, the one that keeps me going,

Wherewithal to all my quintessence, my love is watching me wait, watching me walk.

And when all lives merge with me, erstwhile.

I must read the first few lines in my head,

And keep going.

 

They say, this love, it is for someone else to take, but I do not care.

I just keep walking, telling my red road romance,

Submerging into it, the panoply of stories I always needed to tell.

To my love.

The girl from the mountain, I must walk up to her.

For only she can end my vertigo,

Or tell me why I should keep spinning, so I don’t stop and brood into it.

I have always loved her in stranger ways I wouldn’t know.

Dear Crush!

Everything happens too soon.

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Dear crush,

I think this will never reach you, just the way it should be. I think I will know you just how I know you, and not any more. And you will not know me any less than you do. But to be honest, I like it this way.

I have never really had the life that I wanted. There is no real emotion to sum it up, but sometimes I enjoy being blessed in a different way. I explored this truth about myself, the day when I felt something getting right inside. Some strings coming together, some fire going down and now I feel a lot cooler inside. I can almost give you a thing to think about, do you know? Do you know that there is always one more person looking at you than the ones around you? The tree that saves you at the end of the day, saves me too. The memories you make under that tree, are my memories too. Every day after school, you stop by the that tree, and the next few moments you spend with your friends, you give me another day I could step on to. I never saw you elsewhere. I am sure we are not in the same class. So if I had to thank you, I could never sneak into your classroom and write a thank you note for you on the board. That would be so unlike me. I have never had so much excitement in my life. I’m afraid I can’t take it, so I like it this way.

Our paths don’t cross, but every day after school we stop at the same time. What is insane is how I remember the little things that you do. I remember that view, that piece of art that could save me from anything, like it did. It saved me from all that was tiring, and consuming. The other day, I saw you laughing with your friends. You were laughing like crazy. I was at my place, staring at you from distance. My tree is a lot smaller than yours; and less popular. I hope no one saw me laughing with you. I hope no one had the freedom that I had, to laugh like crazy without getting noticed. I hate getting noticed when I laugh. It was a bad day until then, so thank you for making me laugh. It wasn’t always so good. The day you cried like a child, I was crying with you. My tears meant nothing, but that day I got to know that maybe, people are supposed cry alone. There was no one around you. I just couldn’t walk up to you, and tell you that you weren’t alone. I just couldn’t give you my shoulders. I will never forgive you for that, just like my shoulders will never forgive me. They wanted to reach out to you, lie low, so that you could lean on them. I never made peace with my shoulders. I’m glad I didn’t. It wasn’t easy. But if it was any easier, I would be your friend.

It wasn’t always something I wanted to see. One day, I saw you with a guy. You were smiling, and the world around me stopped. The guy must have been your lover, and as you came closer, I could almost see the first kiss coming through. I couldn’t keep my eyes on you. I went home earlier that day. I was not jealous, nothing broke inside me. I hate the fact that it bothered me. This was one rare occasion when I almost gave up. I felt it was no more innocent, the way I looked at you. I had a feeling that the bird must have now patronized. Yet the next day, when I saw you there, everything was normal again. The only other thing that caught my attention was the tree. It had always seemed so boring to me. I am happy that I have started loving that tree. Along with you, the tree is now my savage too.

You are so beautiful, you make everything behind you beautiful. You go so well with everything, and I love the little games you play with my perception. These days, I kind of love everything I see. I thank you for something you gave me for a lifetime. Perception! I can not remember the last time I felt such real romance. The kind of romance that touches two points that are far apart. Your tree was at some distance from mine. But every day after you left, I would walk up to your tree rather fast to catch the scent of you. And every single place I went to after that, I carried that scent of you with me. Yet while you were still there, I could never walk those few steps to get more of it. The excitement in my eyes could never make up for my fragile legs. My legs failed my eyes, always. Although sometimes, I imagine things. I imagine things like walking up to you, looking right into your eyes, confident, and I know that you would surprise me. You would look right into mine, and be my friend. You’re so good, that you make me feel insecure. There will never be enough goodness in me to be your friend. I never had an understanding for magic, so if I ever thought of something magical, it was never going to be the kind of magic that would bring you any closer. We are already so close, yet so far. But to be honest, I like it this way. Not knowing where you were this weekend, so that I could not blame myself for not being there, staring at you. Honestly, no place can ever make up for the tree.

The school is ending in 37 days. I want to celebrate all of them, like 37 years in 37 moments. And after that, if I ever need a glance, a swing of your hair, or the scent of you, I would know that I am this tree that is much like me, less occupying, less popular, and you are the one I drool over, so walking up to you would be difficult. But if was any easier, I would be your friend. I don’t know what that would be like.

Yours,

Not so important.