In the light, we all shove, the darkness, hidden beneath us. Rays of bright sunshine, let us forget, the loneliness of the moon. While catching, the fireflies, in the jar, we dismiss their pain. Enjoying the rains, from our balcony, we fail to see, the drenched ones. Amongst people, we ignore, our sadness, until the coldness, of our bed, hits us. Looking far away, at horizon, we manifest, union of sky and sea, While reality says, their separation, is for eternity.
On this birthday of yours, I want to unleash one beautiful memory that is part of you and me. I don’t know how much of it you remember now, after all, you have a terrible memory. But somehow as I am growing up in years, my mind wants to hold on to all the precious memories of my past. Unlike other families, we don’t have too many photographs of us. But I have memories that keep me going in difficult times. These memories remind me that I was, I am, and I will always be loved.
So please hold my hand, to walk back into the time when I was so little that you used to carry me in your arms and take me out for the simple pleasures of riding a bike.
The light breeze making my short hair sway, the rustling of our clothes against the wind, and the feeling of flying like a bird. You, me and our weekly Sunday rides, on your black atlas bicycle. The little me sitting in front, on the crossbar and you on the rider’s seat, taking us away from the chaos of the world we inhabited.
The roads awaited us, and we ventured on them as if we both were on a secret mission. The lanes were different each time, but the destination was always the same. The deserted road surrounded by Aravali range with big brickyards on the side, there stood a war memorial. Unbeknownst to many, it was a hidden treasure that you found for our outings. You would sit on one seat, smiling at me, and I would circle the memorial stone reading the names aloud. Sometimes you shared stories about different wars that the soldiers were fighting. You explained to me how the people named on the stone laid their life for the country we all call home. The little mind of mine would not understand everything that you would say, but it realized one thing at that time. The place of our outing is not a regular place, it was as sacred as a holy place.
At other times the two of us would sit in silence, each lost in musings of once mind. The silence taught me that sometimes it’s much more important to feel the same thing rather than having a conversation about it. After all, always talking doesn’t mean we are conversating. In that calmness, I learned to listen to my soul at a young age.
You gave me a precious gift daddy, and here I am merely attempting to preserve the memory of the beautiful experience you gave me. Thank you for the best childhood a child could ever ask for, from a parent.
Happy 64th birthday daddy, I wish good health and blissful days for you, in the years to come.
Her slow walk alludes, that she wants to be in disguise, from the real world. Wearing a layer, of invisibility cloak, preserving herself, from outwardly tainted injections. With messy buns, and subtle colors, she hides her body, from the piercing eyes, of strangers. A wry smile with long strides, upholding the deception, of surging tides. Sealed lips, and vacant eyes, concealing all that’s, inside. Camouflaged, with her surroundings, she buries, her inner and outer self, in the dug well, of her soul. Invisibility, until the upheaval, is what she, demands. .
PS: There are days where I like to become invisible to the people around me. I love it if no one notices my presence or absence. I will just be, me. Surviving my struggles with life without being answerable to anyone.
The gifts people bestow on you by introducing you to new experiences are the best gifts. Sometimes even they are unaware that they have given a gift of a lifetime to someone. Now that I think of about my choices or my favorite things in retrospect, I feel that not all items are mine, somehow they were given or lent to me to be experienced by others.
I became curious about Harry Potter when I saw my crush in school reading it, I was fascinated by the cover, but more so I was curious what exactly was he reading and when my brother’s friend lent me the series, I was blown over. I moved on from that crush long ago but never from that book.
Then in college, I met H, who is a very close friend of mine, who introduced me to music. Music didn’t mean much to me until he gifted me a CD with a vast collection of great music. Those songs are still my go-to songs.
My best friend M introduced me to great food, and she is that one person with whom I have so many firsts when it comes to food. We have explored so much from high-end restaurants in Canaught Place to the narrow lanes of Old Delhi, which smells like a heaven of food.
Another guy whom I met in a college club while doing my masters introduced me to my favorite author, Orhan Pamuk. Reading Pamuk opened a whole different world for me. Reading became more than just a hobby from then on. I can never thank him enough for this gesture.
And then I met someone who gave me, my favorite movie — the Eternal Sunshine of Spotless Mind. I have professed my love for this movie so many times, but this is one movie that introduced me to the depth of my emotions. I persuaded my brother to watch it, and then we ended up discussing it for hours. I think that is the most extended discussion we ever had about art. Yes, I am in depth of this person for all the experiences.
I have come to realize that people move in and out of your life, and you get used to their presence and absence. And somehow, life goes on. But it’s the experiences they give you that become part of your soul. The soul that’s eternal even if you leave this body of yours. So thank you, everyone, for marking my soul with a great experience.
On last note sharing my favorite quote from the movie, which is taken from the beautiful poem Eloisa to Abelard by Alexander Pope.
“How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot! The world forgetting, by the world, forgot. Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind! Each prayer accepted, and each wish resigned.”
PS: I haven’t included everything here. Today it was just about the small things.
Sometimes this world seems a strange place, I go round and round in search of things, Sometimes I find things that I never thought of looking for, And other times I just keep digging, till my nails are filled with dirt and my clothes are soiled with mud. Sometimes I think of people who left me, Sometimes I think of those who stood by me, Sometimes I feel empty and hollow inside, Sometimes I feel so fulfilled that I burst up laughing with tears in my eyes. Sometimes I look around to find a mirror, but everything seems like a mirage, And I keep running towards it in despair and thirst for finding myself. Sometimes I lose my essence in the crowd, Not knowing where I belong. Sometimes the craving for this belongingness takes me deep down in the well, Sometimes I know too well that I no longer want to belong anywhere. Sometimes I suddenly start missing people and places of past, Sometimes I want to run away from all of it. Sometimes I care so much that I will go out of my way to help everyone I meet, Sometimes I turn up so cold that I don’t want to look at other people’s wounds. Sometimes I am so, me that I wish that someone could know this real me, hidden inside layers and layers of expectations. Sometimes I am so afar from myself, that I couldn’t see myself from my naked eyes, but this version is more loved. Sometimes, just sometimes, I wish that someone could hold me for a second when I can no longer hold myself.
Walking past the vacant road, in the blaring light, of the mighty sun, I see you. The flames of fire, painting the world, scarlet with its galore, I see you. Captured, in words, in the strokes, in the frames, of mortal beings, I see you. Bringing solace, in the hearts, of lovers, I see you. Giving hope, to the lost, giving desire, to the found, I see you. In the arid plains, you swoon, like a danseur, whirling your green leaves. I see you. Sometimes, the zephyr, whispers in your ear, to let it go. I see you. Letting the, the deep red petals, fall, from your heart, in the laps, of the barren land. I see you. Witnessing the untold stories, under your shade. I see you. When your edges, turn hues of red, allowing love, to seep in, feeding, the vacant souls, I see you.
Love someone so much that when they leave, you become an empty vessel. Dance till the time, your foot starts bleeding. Laugh until your mouth hurts, and tears come rolling down your eyes. Talk until you have exhausted, all the rumblings of your mind. Be Silent, until the urge to speak goes away. Sing aloud your favorite songs, up to the time, you only croak. Run until you start feeling, the throbbing of your heart in your brain. Isolate yourself, until the deepest desire to be among the crowd vanishes. Write all those hidden stories of your life, that you fear would be lost, if you are gone this very minute. Be Vulnerable once in front of someone, Let them ruin your emotional wellbeing. Set your mind on a play, Then, watch your darkest fear getting real in front of you. Be wild, irrational, stupid and crazy all at once, Be the best Extremist you could be, just for once.
PS: A long time back when I was 16, I participated in school debate where the topic was “Excess of Everything is Bad,” and I spoke on Aff side. I am someone who loves being in control of oneself and the situations around me. But in past few years I have come to realize that being in control never saves you from catastrophes, life has its own way of taking the key out of your hand. I think its Ok to be wild and crazy, after all who knows what the future holds. So, today I changed by side to Neg side, just for once.
The winds once again have changed their direction, there was certain coldness in it now, signalling the oncoming winter season. She wobbled around in her swollen belly, collecting clothes from the clothesline. She was due in the next fifteen days, but the old ladies of the village said that children are always born before their due date. She doesn’t know much about it, and it’s her first pregnancy. She doesn’t even have any access to books and magazines to help her in this hilly village which is cut out of the city by miles. So everything she knew came from the mouths of other experienced women.
In his last letter, her husband informed her that he would not be able to come during the birth of the child. But he promised that he would visit around March. He asked her to take good care of herself and the child.
Her life took a huge turn, a year and a half ago. She was an educated city girl, now living in a remote village, where you walked miles to get the water. The poetry and the hidden words of wisdom that her books gave her were diminishing. But the entry of the tiny seed inside her womb revived her back to life. It gave meaning to her existence. Now at night, she was no longer alone, there was a companion who was listening to her. She recited all the poetry and the stories she has read all along. She knew the baby was in love with words just like her. They had an invincible bond, making them two burning flames of the same light.
Slowly she stepped on the staircase with the bundle of dry clothes. She lowered her body to sit on the floor and started folding the clothes in a neat pile next to her. It was then that she felt some prickling pain in her abdomen. She tried standing up from the floor, but she couldn’t. The pain was increasing with such intensity that she knew that the time has come.
She cried in pain, calling her aunt in law for help, who was busy setting up the dinner for the family. Before someone could come over for help, she collapsed on the floor. They revived her somehow, and her body was aching all over the place. She was in a different room now, and someone was holding her hands. The saree was taken off from her body, and she could feel a hand touching her genitals. An unknown soft wrinkled faced woman loomed over her. With an old white cotton saree draped on her sagging skin, covering her head which hid the streaks of white hair among the lustrous black, parted from the middle, gave her a wry smile. She knew from that smile that woman was the midwife, who will help her bring the life inside her in the outside world. She was profusely sweating, and she could feel someone’s hand wiping her face again and again. Her cries were getting louder with the passing time, and the voices around her kept asking her to push harder. She pushed hard enough one last time and everything after that was hazy in her mind, now.
It’s been years now, but the memory of that day still haunts her at times. The blue body of her first born child never entered this world, but somehow, it never left her soul. The small warm droplets have started falling from her eyes now. A warm hand wipes up her tears, and she looks up at her daughter’s face, her third born but to the world her second born child. It took her twenty-five years to open her wounded soul to someone. She held her daughter’s hand and said “that’s why I never buy any new thing on Dhanteras” because that day I lost something so precious to my existence that no worldly thing would ever compensate it.
After that day her daughter never asked her mother to celebrate the festival. Years later when her daughter started her own family, she would follow in her mother’s footsteps. Never buying any new thing but never forgetting lighting up a diya in her brother’s name. For the world, she had only one brother, but in her heart, she never forgot that she had another one in another realm.
PS: Today I have completed four years of my Blogging journey on WordPress. So I thought of sharing this true story. Some pieces are hard to write and this one is one such write up. So with lot of shilly-shallying, I bring this story out here for you to read. I hope you guys like it