Saturday, March 31, 2007
He looked perturbed.
"Did you know that you can miss something you never really had?"
"What do you mean?" he asked, confused.
"I am constantly haunted by your absence. I would rather not be tormented by your presence. And the absence that it silently promises."
Friday, March 30, 2007
"I won't let him be happy." countered Zoya, bitterly.
"But you're denying happiness to yourself, too."
She looked shrewdly at her best friend.
"And you as well?"
Aarti looked up, startled.
"What do you mean?" she stammered nervously.
Zoya sighed in resignation. "I know."
“You will have to promise me a signed book, from the first batch that comes out.... no excuses allowed.”
She gets blinded by the shutter bugs, the mics jostling for her words. Her photos splashed all over.
“Have you completed the appraisal normalization?”
“So how do you find my writing? How about commenting?”
“My comments are an interesting insight into the writer, not for the larger world.”
“There is a distinct aroma of rebellion---like a caged bird, who has unlatched the door (but may be slightly frightened to fly out) -- what an outdated analogy!!!”
“No, it is awesome.”
“But I do see a person, who wants to challenge convention, who sees different shades of the world that most people see, but probably is also saddened that other people around her do not see things in the same manner.”
“There is pain, vulnerability.”
“You can also be vulnerable to happiness, right?”
Thursday, March 29, 2007
She flounced airily in, wearing one of those lacy creations. Threw a smile here, a wave there, whispered conspiratorially with the hopefully-flirty waiter. Her usual came in from the kitchen; she sat down with a set jaw to another solitary dinner. She’d decided to stop feeling sorry for herself long Fridays ago.
The rain forced them into the bus shelter. As usual she was wearing something that made her look like a wet porn star. As usual he hadn’t wanted to pay for a cab.
Leaning against the bike with no plans of an evening and a shared damp old dusty smell, he wiped a trickle off her big nose.
She woke up one morning and decided to be a writer. She could go on forever about Travel! Or Food! Children’s stuff, fantasy, the cup brimming over. She would start her first book tonight.
As life ebbed away 36 years later in the psychosis unit bed, she figured it had been a good shot anyway.
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
"E equals m to the power of 3/2 into v 3/2 into T 3/2 into pi 3/2 by q into...
Thus we see probability density becomes independent of fermi level."
Why can't I be independent of fermi level??
I can’t handle this anymore. I think we should stop talking. No more games.
A week later, much tempted, she thought
I didn’t say I wouldn’t call him though, did I?
Then she sighed and reminded herself that word solitaire was a game too.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
NO…No looking at him! I squeezed my eyes shut.
“Maya, I hate to break your reverie, but could you please read ‘Ode to a Nightingale’ for us?”
The class waited.
This was going to be tough.
You were around; I could feel you, like I always did, even before I actually saw you.
You smiled as you saw me, knowing that I’d waited impatiently for you.
You opened your arms wide.
I ran towards the comfort of your touch.
I opened my eyes to gaze into yours.
You were gone…
First, she was easy, then sad and now restless. Sieving through, she got stuck on whom else?
Does it not deter her?...I mean not receiving responses to text, calls and emails?
Well, she still says “Hi! Long time…”, holding her heavy block!
Monday, March 26, 2007
"What do you want now?" she snapped.
"Jaanu, don't be mad."
"Don't be mad? You cheated on me seven times! Enough is enough."
He grimaced. "I love you. I'm sorry."
"Doesn't quite cut it."
"I would go to the end of the world for you."
"But would you stay there?"
The phone rang. Shivering with anticipation, she answered.
"Beta, we're home. Come down and we'll take you to get icecream."
Smiling, he murmured
How do I make it?Childlike glee turned cherubic disappointment
Charmed, he promised fairy godmother-like
Don’t worry, I’ll find out!
Wish I had a flowing gown to match that classy conical glass!
I’d wish I was on a romantic date but this is better!
Martinis we said, not champagne!!!
No glasses available, ma’am
Enthusiasm renewed, they faced each other
3 olives, 2 olives, here’s yours and here’s mine and here’s to us!
Martini dreams discarded, they split a dish of calamari and reminisced often during the friendship born over a disastrous martini.
“Naaah!” I slur, a little.
“Come, let’s go home”
As we step out, the maître de calls him aside.
He comes back grinning and whispers.
“Pull up your zip, Pee”
“W h a t?”
“Here, lemme help you” he winks and pulls me close.
The elevator thankfully was empty.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
So he blew up the 8 year old boy with the terrified eyes. An offer of proof for the Merciful One.
Pulled her coat tighter and entered
He was waiting at the end of the room
She was crying for the first time in days
But his serene smile gave her strength
Even as the blood caked on his wrist flaked off
There was no need for words
They were instantly one
Allowing herself the luxury of a faint smile
Before donning her trademark frown along with her coat
She couldn’t risk anyone seeing her
Self-preservation was her forte
And if seen, she had no answer to
What’s an atheist doing in church?
Friday, March 23, 2007
I writhed in pain. Screams escaped my dry lips.
No one heard me.
Probably, because it was all within me…
I’m tied, chained.
‘Leave me’, I screamed.
Someone smirked from above.
Pulled at my chains. Felt blood.
Someone laughed louder.
I pulled harder.
Gazed at the chains that’d tied me,
Every night he calls when she is just by herself and none other. They talk till the skies clear up…they fight, dream, love. Often, he calls her into his arms. Often, he raises a red flag warning of their illegitimate addiction for each other.
They go to bed knowing one more day is breaking.
Small lights flicker through the matchboxes in the sky.
She shrivels up in bed. The print in front of her gradually gets blurred. There is a wheezing noise in her head, like that of distant seas in a conch shell. The light gradually dims creating a haze. The empty bottle on the table.
He locks the door of the study and the ante-chamber. Then he carefully dials the secret number on the safe and pulls it apart.
Trrring..ring…ring the sound of crashing gold. He lets them fall in a heap near his feet.
Then he takes out The Powder, nicely wrapped in cigar boxes and smiles.
She feeds her little boy, tells him an improbable story and tucks him in bed. Then she quickly grabs a bite and gobbles up the excess too not knowing when and where the next meal would be.
Then she checks her pre-packed bag, her make-up kit. Calls a rickshaw saying “Galaxy Dance Bar.”
Thursday, March 22, 2007
He: So, what plans do you have for the evening?
She (please ask me out): Nothing
Err..um..what are you doing?
He: Movie. Why don’t you join?
She: Oh sure.
He (Shit! I was playing around, doesn’t she get that?): (smiles)
She (wow blue skirt? No maroon drawstring….will we have a post-movie dinner? What is he thinking?)
She (am I looking pretty, my eyes..): Hey am ready, where are you?
He (Oh no!): May I finish off watching this game?
She (Oh no!): Yeah sure thing.
Twiddling her fingers,
She: Well, why don’t we order pizzas? The movie can happen later.
He: Yeah I have got a dinner to attend.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
"Why so down?" she inquired.
"I only get comment love when I am angsty.. I plan to embark on a hunt for angst.. I shall find it and be very unhappy.. and everyone will love me."
"You have discovered the secret to happiness, o wiseling."
Once strapped, however...
Words of encouragement around me, passed by like the light wind, both of which I felt not.
I was a perspiring mess.
Only failures lead to success! Or whatever. Dont worry.
I looked below me. First time wall-rappelling is not the best time to say that to yourself.
Note: Did I overshoot the time limit? Some idiot says a picture is worth a thousand words. Lol. Sad na? I specialize.
His snoring was deafening. The weight of his arm, unforgiving.
Looking around, she sighed. The walls were stained with patches of an unbecoming, reddish sepia. Like paan juice, she thought.
The creaking fan caught her attention. Ironically, it had O.K. stamped on it. She winced.
She smiled. Tomorrow, the postman wouldn't answer her hopeful eyes with ones filled with pity.
"You're eating a bar of chocolate outside the gym?"
"But it's a gym!"
"I felt like a flake today."
Monday, March 19, 2007
"Beta, don't talk to strangers." runs through her head.
"Strangers have better candy," he smirks.
She smiles. "Maybe it's time to rebel."
“ No, no, I’m at work. No world cup – schmurld cup chutti for me.”
“What!!!!!! OMFG!!! I can't even come home!! My boss will pitch a fit!”
Have Faith, Fickle Indian!
I envisioned her slogging over a fire in some chawl.
Slaving for a heartless man and ungrateful children…
Her phone rang. In perfect English, she said she was on her way for the meeting.
Suddenly, I was even more pitiful.
She shut her eyes tight, as if to block out disjointed images from flooding her head.
‘The tighter they shut,’ she thought, ‘the more I concentrate.’
It didn’t work. She stared blankly. She had it.
Saturday, March 17, 2007
She eyed the poisoned apple ruefully. She didn’t really want to put it away…
Friday, March 16, 2007
They loved each other, knew each other. But perfect relationships just didn’t work for her. She had been unhappy. Now, thankfully, he would never know.
He tried to stop looking for hidden messages in her posts, but couldn’t. Had she been unhappy? Had it really been an accident?
“She swerved instead of braking. Probably panicked.”
Yep, I did” he smiled.
“You booked five rows for her?”
“I would book the entire theater for you” he smiled again.
“Liar! The show was houseful because of you!”
“I didn’t know you then”
“I would have killed you!”
“I would have kissed you”
“It’s never too late you know” she smiles.
but I know her now.
I have never heard her speak
but now her words float in my memory.
I have never seen her
but now her image is everywhere I see.
I have never met her
but I know somehow.
Unknown, unheard, unseen
She is now everything to me.
Thursday, March 15, 2007
She smiled as he left. He had always given her what she wanted, even when she didn’t ask. She wanted her blog to be like her, a story with no ending.
She waits impatiently.“If you can’t even think of one thing, your life is really sad.”
“What’s your one thing?”
“I want these cells to mate”, wistfully looking at her cultures on the benchtop.
“You’re rooting for yeast sex?? And my life is sad?”
His eyes glistened while small drops of sweat gathered on his temple and above his grey-brown lips.
He stank of something and she hated to be near.
It has been more than a decade since she screamed in pain.
The twinkling light on the porch dulls the living room lamp.
Upstairs she follows the red bubbly slowly trickling down her wrist on the white floor.
Rebirth on Christmas Eve!
She is right here with her dreams, listening to her own heart-beat.
In the quietude of Nothing between, will he reach out before they run out of
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
And then one day, he didn’t.
He smiles and says, “Yea I know…”
She smiles and thinks, “He’s sweet”
He smiles and thinks, “PMS...”
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Then one of them walked into the silent, eerie room. The artificial respirator was the only thing that was seemingly alive.
He picked up daddy’s hand and held the pen before they ran out of…
“I know. The news is that they have looted the treasury of the next village”
Their estate burnt behind them with cries of “Vande Mataram!” and they fled in a carriage towards the unknown, before they ran out of…
The fan trudged along slowly, very slowly which made a noise keeping with her heart beat….dhuk-puk,dhuk-puk…
A little light trickled in from somewhere ensuring that nobody knew they were there.
They made love…once, twice, so many times, before they run out of ….
A nomad. Without home and roots and anchors and binding, limiting ties. Going where the wind takes her, to faraway lands, places unseen.
In her head, she was that person, headstrong and independent. In real life, her adventures were limited to 20 minute taxi ride from home to office. And back. Six days a week.
Every once in a while, the routine, the meetings and the endless smiling got to her. Then she would sneak out to the fire escape and stand at the very edge, her back to the building and all it stood for. And the wind sweeping in over the sea would beckon with its wild tales.
The wind was the perfect lover. It didn't try to woo her with flowers and fancy dinners and stories of feats of strength. Instead it talked to her till it was hoarse, and even after that. They were like Othello and Desdemona. She fell in love with its stories. If only it'd never stop talking.
That he hadn't had to leave. Not that way.
That he hadn't been so blind before.
He wishes for just one more day of happiness together. Before...
Sometimes he wishes for strength to throw away her last love-note from his wallet.
Not only sometimes. But still.
Only sometimes, though.
The thoughts are their own, not fed by others. Their pondering at once amazing, yet so obvious to them. They were always curious.
What do I want really?
Only sometimes though.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Sometimes they shudder to think of the unknown future but soon enough love like there is no tomorrow.
Sometimes they celebrate their unusual lightness of being.
Only sometimes, though.
His funeral, his insignia.
Sometimes he wants to pull the trigger and play the game of gold.
Only sometimes, though.
Why can’t she jump off the cliff?
Sometimes as the day darkens she feels like not going back home.
Only sometimes, though.
"No, no dont worry about that. Ram cooks excellently."
"Oh, the sound? Some friends have come over. That's all."
"Oh." "No, no. I have to go myself. The guys are calling me."
He switched the TV off and faced the silence. Darkness can hide some things.
"My deepest condolences, sir. Your wife was a wonderful woman."
Too bad she’d left her brains at home.
Sometimes, I think I should give up. I’ve run scared, lived in the pages of second hand romances, cried quietly in the dark. It’s now time to settle down, grow roots. But then the wind whispers to me, telling stories of the places it’s seen. And I’m a nomad again, restless and a little crazy.
This one courtesy N.
I don’t want anybody to touch you ever, do you get that?
He held her tightly against his body till she couldn’t breathe any longer.
She deserved that for a truth gone awry years ago.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
I can’t help a soprano.
‘Shhh. They’ll wake up.’
‘No, we’re professionals. Hehe.’
‘Pass the tools. Wonder why there’s a high-safety lock on the back door.’
Clang went the tools as they hit the floor.
He carefully picked the lock and crept in.
Sleepy voice: ‘Honey, forgot to close the front door?’
She smiled to herself at the way he looked over the crowd, a little frustrated – he was looking for her.
A surge of love filled her every pore, she couldn’t imagine life without him.
She walked up to him, “Hi daddy, sorry I’m late…”
He didn’t notice me at first, but then I caught his eye.
I wanted him to come over and talk to me –I wished it. He didn’t.
I wanted to go over too. I didn’t.
I hate dreaming about him.
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Only sometimes, though.
She watched her sitting in the chair – bound, gagged and shaking with fear, and continued to sharpen her butcher knife.
“How’s this for a Friday night plan?” she smiled madly.
She makes several calls-
What you doing? Oh, you busy, no just wondering – ya, for sure some other time.
Hey, we should meet up… No, no, I didn’t mean tonight...
It dawns on her. She has no friends.
Friday, March 9, 2007
She knew the routine.
Last minute loss of confidence, an unnecessary trip to the bar, the dollar being exchanged. Everyday.
So she was startled at “You are Jesse’s friend?”
“Can you help me find her?”
She slumped back..
They didn’t exchange the dollar that day.
I have to sneak a quick look. I just have to!
Gingerly, I lift the curtain…
I creep back to the corner, shaking.
I sink deeper into the shadows.
An impatient tap.
I walk numbly.
Stage fright is normal.
From a distance she watches him on the phone, almost devotedly.
She tries to suppress it, but the thought pops up yet again.
“Maybe he’d like me if I wasn’t fat”
“I have to tell you something” He says slowly.
He leaves the door open and lets her step inside.
“Oh good! Me too!” She beams.
“We are going to have a baby!” She hugs him tight.
He sits down on the sofa with a thud.
She hasn’t seen his packed suitcase upstairs yet.
“I have to tell you something” He says as she opens the door.
“Shall I get you tea?”
“ I don’t know how to begin…” he trails off.
“Don’t. I have packed your suitcase”
“You can leave before Vicky comes back from school”
Yes, I saw her message last night”
Damn! But she knows, he wont mind.
She opens the door for him to walk in.
He comes in and lays his head in her lap. Looks at her adoringly as she lays out the chicken.
Sniffing it, he wags his tail
She relaxed. She couldn't expect more.
She nodded at the men exchanging the dollar. She saw them too. Everyday.
She liked the tranquility here. The silence of glances. Let it be. She wondered how he thought.
Sigh...Let it be.
It is indeed a strange bird that cannot find a place to land.
Yes...Noooo...I'm going mad!
He looked up. Another guy was leading her away. She vanished into the dancing throng. Damn!
“So you like models?”
Her sarcasm is evident.
He smiles. The calendar still in his hands.
“But they stay here”
He quickly returns the calendar. Walks away embarrassed.
“Idiot” she thinks.
“I like her” he thinks.
On her desk she stares at the long to-do list in her planner. Thinks of the post-lunch deadline.
Smirking, closes the planner, opens the word document and starts her response to lies XI – non fiction.
“You working on those lines, I hope.”
“Yea, I have options, I will share them with you post-lunch?”
“Yea, Lets finish it…” he mutters as he walks away.
She surreptitiously opens the word document, and continues to type another 55 fiction story.
It smells good – so what if it’s taken over two hours of her time?
Table laid, she waits for him to walk in– any minute now.
He slams the door shut.
Walks into the bedroom saying, “I’m too tired to eat, im just gonna watch TV.”
Damn, she should’ve learnt to cook from her mother.
She opens the window to let out the smoke - he’s going to be home any minute.
He smells the smoke, and smiles, “I’m too tired to eat, let’s just watch TV, ok?”
“How long has what been?”
“Since you got laid…”
“What? We gotta find you some chicks, dude!”
“Err, yea, here’s the thing… I’m gay …”
“This won’t affect our friendship, right?”
“Huh? Dude… of course not…” he says, as he scratches the back of his neck.
You have no right to question my authenticity if you don’t stand up for love.”
“If that is the expectation then am sorry. Am a weak man. Please forgive me.”
For a while she was crestfallen.
In a jiffy she ran, held him from behind and said “I love you anyway.”
Thursday, March 8, 2007
Then he straightens his tie, picks up the folder, checks his CV for the last time and steps out of his door.
And then cuddled back in the sheet with a faint smile.
Wish you were here.
And I love you so.
You dream with me, you talk to me, you love without a burden.
You are just outside my world.
No. In fact, I completed 5 laps as the doctor said.
The grey shawl tore along the dried sugar syrup.
And I love you so.
I seek you with all my being and soul.
Of course, I can’t violate you. Only if you wish…
“What? Don’t you delete old messages?”
“No but don’t worry your wife’ll never see them.”
“It’s not about that.”
“I can’t get home for dinner tonight. I have a meeting.”
And then he held her hand and said “Honey!”
“Hope you are not smoking!”
“No way. I threw them last week.”
A ring of smoke touched her nose and vanished gradually in the air above. And a crumpled piece of smelly hospital paper topped the heap in the basket at her feet.
The night gradually gave way.
"I am happy for you, you know…"
"Hey you have to help me with the ring…"
"Yeah….I wanna surprise her on her birthday!"
He gives her a tight hug and walks to his car.
She sits at the café hoping it wouldn't hurt forever.
"I hope you can jump."
"I have a trampoline, love."
Eventually my trampoline tore, but your wall stayed standing, mocking. Funny thing about homes, the way they stay the same, no matter how much you change. And how much you regret that careless cigarette stub. The one that burnt yours down.
“Yeah. From up there. To see to it that nothing bad happens to good people.”
“But, how does he know who’s good?”
“He knows everything, honey.”
“So dad died cos he was bad?”
“Course not. There’s some great big plan, sweets. Somewhere. You won't understand it. Only He does.”
“How long has what been?”
“Oh, come on, since you got laid, dude”
“Oh that... hah, like, three days ago, dude…”
“Really? Sweet! Who was she?”
“She...yea...she was this damn hot chick from this club...Great legs. Was all over me – couldn’t fight it man. Couldn’t fight it.”
“ I knit.”
She handed me the X-rays ruefully smiling.
He has been laid up for a while now.(Near fatal accident)
He had slipped.
Lately he just angered me. To the point of maddening rage.
He was gone now._But the Brylcreem stained pillowcases stayed on as an annoying remainder.
Only the promised thousand rupees at the end of the hour that kept the bile down.
“Come baby. Come. Come.” He said picking his teeth.
She’ll show them, she resolved as she came back with her lunch. Grilled asparagus.Now if only she could stick to her diet. And not cave in.
“ Beta, some halwa? “, Ma called out!
There was that noise again; this time something was definitely wrong.
The cocker spaniel continued to sleep. She tried nudging it awake with her toes.
It was then, she noticed the masked intruder.
Funny, instead of her life flashing by, an Ilaiyaraaja tune sprung up!
She looks endearingly at him. He looks fascinated, at the children.
Without looking at her, he says, “I want to have a bunch of them, someday.”
Her hand wanders over the flat stomach she took years to attain.
Still looking at him she says, “Yeah. Me too.”
He watches it in bed with her - his girlfriend of three years.
Jesse to Celine, “I know happy couples... but I think they lie to each other”
Movie ends. He waits for his girlfriend to fall asleep.
Gets his mobile phone and texts someone- ‘Wish you were here. Goodnight.’
I look back now, at the me I was and the you you were. Even at the us that could have been. We’re both better off, my dear.
You see, I’ve never known what I wanted. I like it that way.
His eyes continued to watch her as she walked down the corridor - "Yeah, she's got great breasts too…"
"Really?" I said questioningly, "I hadn't noticed."
“Your office is really far”
“You should have started earlier!”
“I did! But you know the traffic here….”
“Tell that to my BOSS!”
“ Did you get your BP checked today?”
“Huuuh? I hate you!”
She begins to speak. He bends over and kisses her lips.
Star Movies. Dominick and Eugene.
Mid movie, he turns and says. " We are like that na?"
"Yeah.." she says distractedly.
“We’re just two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl…...” he sings softly.
“Oh…not again” she rolls her eyes.
Years later she watches the movie again. Alone. “…wish you were here…” she sings off key.
With a wry smile he thought of the letters now lying under her door.
Exactly eighty nine steps away.
It’s not that bad, really.
So what if we’ve had a past, but don’t have a future?
It’s not that bad, really.
So, we’ve made love? So what if you don’t look at me anymore.
So what, if whenever you walk by, I crumble?
It’s not that bad. Really.
I loved the way she stroked me while asking the question.
Everyday I annoyed her by saying “No”
Then one day I replied “Maybe”
She never asked the question after that. I still wait.
Wonder if I said the wrong thing!
The night was inside him; the cold slowly numbing his pain. Get up.He looked up. The moon hid; stars shone light. Strength. Jaws firmed, he got up, suitcase in hand. And didn't stumble once as he walked away from her door. Inside, they continued to kiss, unaware.
“ Damn! The coward!”
They exchanged the dollar. Everyday.
Perhaps I inspired him.
I would annoy him with the same question over and over again, to which he would reply ‘no’ every single time– “Sammy, If I die, will you cry?”
One day, he looked over and said – "Maybe."
Without looking up I muttered, “Life sucks. And then you die.”
Fork in hand, she looked straight at me and sighed, “And what’s more… we live in a third world country.”
I looked at her in shocked silence. She masticated nonchalantly on her noodles.
Wednesday, March 7, 2007
"Is everything alright?"
"Oh yeah..er...I love the pearls Ryan got me this time."
“Diya, what is it? You are fretting.”
“Well am going to the hospital, there is something wobbly in my uterus. You know, you can never be woman enough till you are a mother.”
She pulled her close and kissed her in the mouth.
They looked into each other’s eyes and she touched her pale cheeks getting back their colour and pushed a stray lock behind her ears. She remained in her arms for a long, long time.
“Should I drive you?”
“No I’ll manage.”
After a pause,
And she hid her face in her breast.
[Woman to woman fiction on Women's Day]
I was always your home.
Ten years and I still think of you sometimes. I wonder if you found someone who played your insecurities enough to make you stay. You left me homeless and wandering, but she took me in. Fixed the wing-menders' wings.
She became my home.
Because you'll always be home to me.
I will always be home to you.
Will you still be home to me?
I can still be home to you.
You could have been home to me.
Update: Just realised that's the big 55 :)
This is my first attempt at Fifty Five Fun.
Nomad and Nomad 2 gave rise to Nomads.
We laugh. We talk. We play. We share. But we are afraid to allow ourselves to really care. History taught us lessons we should not have learned. And so we never fight.
Being with each other could have always felt like being on an exciting vacation - but could have never felt like being home.
"Don't leave me. Please."
He weakly reached up and brushed a tear away from her face.
"Don't cry, love. It'll be over soon. You'll be okay."
"How can you say that?" she choked out.
"I would have died for you."
"Yes, I know. But can you live for me?"
Update: Go here for another version.
"They fight all the time! Talk about the antithesis of a perfect relationship!"
He kissed her nose. She giggled.
"I'm sorry about.... you know."
"Shh! It's okay. We're okay. Always."
"I love you, you know. No matter what."
"And I you."
Scotch-tape can do wonders sometimes.
[He screamed. She cried. He walked out. She cried. Even the fresh bruises after his every visit didn't stop her from taking him back. Every single time. ]
As she glanced down at his doormat, she realized that she was looking at herself.
"Mummy, new bai has come."
Sometimes, her smiles are more than just to obscure her anguish. Sometimes, she knows that her tears are nothing to be ashamed of. They may not be a sign of weakness, or even strength. Standing in the shower, saltly rivulets flowing down her face, she revels in the feeling of simply being. She is alive.
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief...and unspeakable love.” - Washington Ivring.
It was a baby pink shirt with yellow polka dots and she loved it. But not as much as she love(d) him.
She couldn't help smiling wistfully at the trusting naïveté.
"Belongings are easily replaced, choti. People are not."
He: I wasn't your best friend before? pout
She: Yes, but in a "He's my best friend and I can tell him anything except that I'm absolutely crazy about him" kind of way.
[Inspired by this post by Ideasmith.... Yes, he does exist and I love him to death. :)]
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
An anonymous stranger in a sea of beautiful people, she was alone, and happy.
"I love you with my heart and soul!"
She smiled indulgently.
"I love you with my whole heart."
"Only your heart?"
he asked, pouting.
"Yeah.. I don't have a soul."
"What d'ya mean?"
"I sold it."
He gaped at her.
"A candy bar."
"In my defense, it was a really good candy bar."
Second floor. Third room on the left.
[Exactly eighty-nine steps.]
She quietly surveyed the room, eyes flickering briefly, almost imperceptably, as they passed over a laughing couple in the corner.
Watching the perfectly formed smoke rings dissolve into nothingness, she smiled wryly.
Stubbing her cigarette in his ashtray, she left.
And then I go back to my little shell, hurt, broken, waiting for a priceless dimple and a fleeting twinkle.
Yes, you could have been home to me.
I could have been home to you.
The plum banarasi and Nani’s jadoa were laid out. The haldi, chandan and kumkum for the tilak.
Did someone call the shehnaiwalla? The jalebis were piping hot.
She was blushing to see her man.
He never came for her. Ten years ago.
The therapist poured a glass of water.
In the din at the store, they lost him. She thought of calling but…
And then suddenly, “Are you looking for me?”
She quickly complained “Yes we were, but you were having your own experience and left us behind!”
Was met with a priceless sparkler and a fleeting twinkle.
They held her fixated for eternity.
In the din at the store, they lost him. She patted his head one moment and he was gone the next.
Through the maze, her heart ran faster than she did.
A glimpse of his tee stuck on the escalator rail. And she collapsed.
Till from behind a huge grey fridge, a shirtless wonder, “Momma”
In the din at the store, they lost him.
She screamed “Tibu!” Not a whimper.
She scaled the foods rack and the aquariums but of no avail.
And then ran to the water front where he was having a ball chasing the pigeons in a flutter. His golden brown coat glistening in the mid-day sun.
In the din at the store, they lost him.
The huge screens and the sleek ware no longer pulled her. Her eyes searching for an elusive yellow shirt.
“Did he leave alone?”
“Does he not want me?”
“Oh yeah, am not pretty, not good enough!”
He was but lost in the world of X-box games.
In the din at the store, they lost him.
“Where have you been? We were looking for you.”
“Duh. You guys don’t like music not my fault. I was waiting to get bedazzled, by the music myself. Didn’t happen.”
Not a reason, she was just looking for him.
And she loves music too.
He gazed at her silent form, almost in a trance.
Like sleeping beauty... he mused.
Bending down to kiss her, to revive her,
he felt a hand on his shoulder.
"It's time to light the pyre papa..."
They twinkled at her. She showed no emotion.
Inhale deeply, exhale slowly.
The tainted smoke dissolved into the night.
She flicked the butt into the immaculate ivory snow, stealing it's virginity.
No longer alone, she smiled.
Monday, March 5, 2007
She weaves a web with blink of her eyes
The unsuspecting male, hardly knows of the perils to come
A manipulative glint, a tigresses’ scorn
Watching from the vantage point afar, smiling a smile unseen
Then caught unaware by the revelation: it started with me.
Heavy hearted she put the phone down and began to walk away. Someday he’ll understand.
Adopted or not, he was her son to her. Her own.
“I am Ria and am an alcoholic.”
She came here. Every day.
Elegance and perfection.
Always the same red chair, always the same black coffee.
Two cubes of sugar, a dash of cream, no milk please.
She crossed her legs, just so, an impeccably composed image.
Three sips till she sparked the cigarette and languidly puffed away.
He watched her. Every day.
I'm posting one right now... feel free to add your own spin..
I don't know if you guys want to do this as updating on the same post or writing a new post.. but whatever strikes your fancy! :)
Note: An apology is due cos this isn't technically a stand-alone. The story makes sense only in conjunction with Vi's. But I couldn't resist the tempation. Pliss to forgive.
Her eyes, highlighed in a swirl of burgundy.
Cheekbones smeared with ripe plums, iridescent over sepia skin.
Flawless. Immaculate. Composed.
She contemplated her mirror image, facinated at the ease with which she concealed the scars.
"Baraat Aa Gayi Hai..."
Outside. And inside.
note: "Baraat Aa Gayi Hai..." loosely translates to "The groom and his family are here..."
Poking at her Greek salad (ironically enough, with an Asian dressing,) she looked around the table at the people she liked to call friends.
Big bites, small giggles.
She laughed because they did.
"What was that again?"
It's almost like I'm an afterthought....
And in that moment, she realized, she had never felt more alone.
Poking at her Greek salad (this time with a lemon dressing,) she looked around the table at the people who called her a friend. Good friend. Best friend.
Big bites. Shared giggles.
"Hey, don't steal my olive!"
"But I like olives too, and you have two."
And in that moment, she realized, she felt loved.
"How long?" she asked, as she lit the offending cigarette.
He looked at her with contempt,
"It's seven in the morning. Must you?"
She gave him a searching look.
"Yes. The worst part of being lied to is knowing you weren't worth the truth."
"Everyone has at least five dreams every night. That's thirty-billion dreams. One of them has got to be about me."
Overheard: words from half a conversation, past nudging the present. I look up. She smiles. Words ensue. Inevitably, the question pops out. "Are you from Madras?" Her face lights up. "You too?" disbelievingly. "Yeah" I confess. "Do you stay with your parents?". "No, they live back home. In India. I live alone". Observed: Heartfelt sympathy.
Espied: a stranger's startled upward glance. A smile offered. A conversation sparked. The question "Are you from Madras?", unexpected. To travel half the world and hear this on my first bus trip. Startled into commitment, "I shifted here as soon as I got married. With my husband." Her steady gaze met fleetingly. Recognised: Heartfelt sympathy.
I refuse to be the ‘other woman’.
Part circumstance. Part consequence. Irrelevant.
Filled with strange trepidation I turned the key. Like premonition ignored, I walked in on you both.
It should not hurt, but it does. I miss you.
I didn’t know if I should laugh or just cry.
She was like that. Organized. Scheduled everything in advance. Never missed a birthday or anniversary.
But to get these flowers today, was just cruel.
Two months after her death, just heartbreaking.
And I began to wonder if the gleaming whites and speeding heart had anything to do with me at all!
Like Wiseling, am first going to start by posting what has already been up at my blog and then take it from there...
I know am going to have fun.
Hope you do too.
(And a quick shout out to Wiseling: Thanks for inviting me here!)
Do you, he asked. She replied noncommittally. Perhaps. Maybe. Another day. We shall see. No promises.
They skirted around the issue again.
Will you, he asked. Perhaps. Maybe. We shall see. Tomorrow’s tomorrow.
Can you, he asked.
Foolish girl. She did not reply.
She sighed. I will not ask again, he said.
Yes, she thought.
"My life is a 55 fiction story."
The wine was expensive. She had saved it for a special occasion.
The glass slipped and shattered. It was 2 am.
As she glanced around the room, she giggled. Nervously. Needlessly.
"I'll wash it when I clean the blood," she thought,
as she reached for another glass...
Sunday, March 4, 2007
He cheated. Multiple times. His sister told her. They broke up. She got a haircut. She refused to eat. She sat in the bathroom staring at a blade for hours. She was never strong enough to use it. Three days later, she ate. Three weeks later, she smiled. And just like that, she grew up.
"Between you and her?"
"It's a difficult question to answer."
"Essentially, sex, I suppose."
"So the difference is that she's easy and I'm not? You know it was always all or nothing with me."
"Yeah, I know."
"So you chose her."
He kissed her.
She turned away.
“We’re not dating. You know I don’t want a relationship.”
“Why? You always disappoint me.”
“You’ll go home with her.”
“You don’t know that.”
“Then come home with me.”
“It’s always the same.”
She turned to leave.
He spun her around and kissed her.
“Please leave. She’s waiting for you.”
“That’s not it.”
“You know it is.”
“I’ll call you tomorrow.”
He wiped away the solitary tear,
brushed the hair out of her eye,
and ever so softly, he kissed her.
And then, he left.
He gently pushed her away. "What do you want from me?"
She contemplated him, gnawing on her bottom lip.
"I don't know. Does it matter?"
"Not right now, I suppose."
He kissed her.
"Can I refuse?" he answered with an indulgent smile.
"It was a question, not a statement." she said indignantly.
He ran a finger down her cheek. "I know." She shivered.
"It wasn't easy."
"Where are we going with... this?"
He kissed her.
"How have you been?" he asked easily.
"Shut up and kiss me."
"Don't. My self-respect might hear you, and then I would have to leave."
He kissed her.
So, I'm going to start reposting what's already on my website, and then move on from there....
Oh, and here are the rules, if you need them. :)