Treachery

Two weeks back, on a sunny afternoon, she got a call. “Rhythm, there is a new task for you, check your mail, and report to Headquarters immediately.” Before she could ask any further questions, he hung up. Hurriedly, she got out of bed and packed her bag to visit the Headquarters. 

She has been working as Pennyweighter for a man called Jack. It started as a game when one day she painted a replica of Salvador Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci and replaced it with the original and earned her first Billion dollar. No one noticed this theft except Jack, who had his eye on her throughout the auction night. To keep his mouth shut, he took thirty percent of the total payment and asked her to join his monkey business. 

Rhythm was an orphan from the time she can remember; she shuttled herself between orphanages and different foster homes. It made her skeptical about people and their intentions. She considered trust as the first step towards self-destruction. That’s why she always kept herself one step ahead of the others in the game of life.  

The auction is in a palace with an invite-only guest list. The world’s best security surrounds the castle. Rhythm is not exquisitely beautiful, but you couldn’t resist looking at her when she walks into a room. She is a hummingbird amidst the crowd of white swans, small yet colourful with a melody to melt every heart. She is wearing a simple vintage white dress; a matching fascinator adorns her long, tied hair. With the elegance of a princess, she walks down the hall.

Holding a glass of sparkling champagne, she moves towards her destination. In the centre of the room on in a beautiful pink coloured glass box lies the lustrous Kohinoor. While she is still rehearsing her plan, a tall man clad in a black tuxedo walks towards her. “Isn’t it beautiful,” she looks up at the speaker and nods in agreement. He laughs and whispers in her ear, “I know, you are planning to steal it.” Bewildered, she takes a few steps back. But he pulls her back and gazes deeply into her eyes and declares, “You are soon going to fall in love with me,” and walks away casually, leaving her befuddled. 

She calms herself and looks around for the man. She has to execute her plan before the mysterious man returns. She stealthily pulled out the replica and tapped the left corner of the case with a laser beam intact in her nails. A small opening appears, she surreptitiously replaces the diamond with the replica. While the crowd is busy laughing at Prince’s jokes, Rhythm walks away with the Kohinoor.

She picks up her phone, said, “Please bring the car to the gate.” She crossed the room briskly. A smile of relief adorns her face when she sees the Rolls-Royce at the gate. But before she could sit in the car, the tuxedo man stops her. “You cannot leave now,” she politely rejects his advances and says, “My car is here.” A wicked smile plasters his face, and he utters, “But you haven’t seen the real Kohinoor yet.” She splutters with an ashen face, “What about the one in the hall.” Smirking, he replies, “Oh, It’s just a replica. The original one is inside a safe, shown only to VVIPs.” 

He held out his hand, unwilling she grabbed it and went inside. They walk into the elevators, and the man pressed the button for the top floor. On reaching the top floor, they walked straight into a brightly lit room. There, on a high slender, wooden table sat the Kohinoor laced in a red velvet cloth without any other protection. She freed herself from his grip and moved towards the table. She picked up the magnifying glass from the side and examined the diamond. She turns back and asks, “Why isn’t it inside a secured case,” he laughs and says, “A thief would never be able to enter inside this floor without my permission.” Leaning in, he kissed her rosy lips. The kiss felt like melting sugar; the more she devoured, the more she craved his luscious lips. And when he gently pulled away, there was a fire of desire in his eyes, engulfing every tiny molecule of her body.

He held her hand, and they silently walked in his suite; he called his Butler and said: “The Night is over for me.” Keeping his phone aside in silent mode, he ferociously kissed her nape. They were like a well and thirsty traveler to each other; the more they drank, the more they craved, filling their body and soul’s insatiable desires. 

The next morning when she woke up, the only thing she remembered was his handsome face in the moonlit night, the gentle breeze ruffling his dark brown hair, his synchronous breath, and the reassuringly slow and steady heartbeat of his heart. 

She got out of bed and went to the bathroom to take a shower. When she came out, she saw a message on the side table saying, “I am in a meeting, don’t leave without meeting me.” She smiled, liked a fool in love and got ready, and moved out of his suite. She was leisurely walking around when she heard a peal of laughter; inquisitively, she walked towards the incoming voices. 

When she peeped in through the slight gap of the door, she saw two-man talking obnoxiously. To her horror, she realized it was Her Man and Jack, her boss. And they were talking about her. “I told you she would fall for me; no woman can resist aristocracy, now we will have both the diamond and the insurance money.” 

Jack asked, “What about her?”.

The Man laughed, “She will go to jail in case of robbery, but not before I get the money from the insurance company.” 

Tears rolled down her eyes; she was right all along in not trusting people. She moved back into the suite and changed into her biking gear, which she kept handy for emergency escapes. She left the place, leaving only a note for the deceitful men. 

“Leaving right now, but my surprise awaits you tomorrow.”

The next morning, the world woke up with Prince’s news in police custody for the missing Kohinoor’s treachery.

Yugen

When the wind keep rushing and the plant slants in the direction of gushing rain, a fog surrounds you. As far as your vision takes you, there is only fog, and beyond it, a world untouched by these tiny droplets. You slowly take your palm out of the window and let it soak the weather. But that is never enough, gradually you take your face out. The lashing rain takes the burning heat away from your body. Relaxing the furrowed brows and turning the corner of your mouth upward. An electric wave of calmness starts enveloping you. Now you can focus on things beyond the heat of the burning summer. You see, the drops fly foxing on the black wires from one transmitter to the other. When you look up at the dark gray sky, you see a blank canvas. You wonder where did the flying beings go. 

Are they hiding beneath some shady surface, or still drenching themselves in the sky’s freedom? When you look out, below your window on an awning, you see a pair of pigeons, watching the rain’s dance.

They both are busy fluttering their wings. They don’t pay any attention to your cooing calls. You get lost once again in the beauty of nature and its various beings. 

Nature always has been an inspiration for writers, especially poets. Famous poets like Robert Frost and WB Yeats have written various poems on the beauty of nature. Nature can turn you into a more thoughtful and kind being. For me, nature has always been a force of calmness to my utter inner chaos. A walk in the woods has always decluttered my thoughts. The grass’s dewiness, the sun’s auburn beauty, and the brightness of the full moon in the sky are the zenith of zen. Yet there are times it so indescribable in words. I, at those times, start envying painters and photographers for capturing it to the nearest perfection. 

Nature has always been a healer. Whenever the inner conundrum drifts you away from self, take shelter in nature, but walk alone. Enjoying solitude while being in laps of nature makes you one with the universe. In the vastness of this world, you find yourself as a speck of dust. This realisation of being nothing makes you braver while strengthening your inner capability to accept the ever-changing real world. 

“I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees.” – Henry David Thoreau

PS: The Japanese word yugen refers to the awareness that the universe is so profound that the emotions we feel when we try to contemplate it are too deep and mysterious to convey. 

Also if you are interested in reading poetry on nature which soothes your soul, check out Nico’s blog. His poetry has always helped me.

Anecdote 1 !!

Yesterday, over a cup of tea, my mom told me an anecdote. Something strange happened to one of her friends. A few months ago, she lost her sister to cancer, and within two days, her brother in law also died. After his wife passed away, he refused to eat and drink anything and eventually succumbed to dehydration. By the time help arrived and they took him to the hospital, he was already dead.

The story made me wonder, is it possible to die of heartache. Did the man die because of the loss of love or loneliness? Or was it fear of being alone for the rest of his life? Can you turn this lonely in two days? Does old age turn your heart a bit weaker, that losing someone can lead you to death?

And then, there is this Indian view of things on everything, where they proclaim couples who die naturally in a very short span of each other have an eternal bond. They say such a pair have true love and can’t bear the separation. They are declared as soulmates, leading them to leave their bodies almost together to rejoin each other in heaven.

I, on the other hand, have questions regarding this theory of love. I right now don’t believe someone could die of a love loss. I mean, if you start boozing or taking drugs in sadness to a level which can lead to death, then that’s another thing. There was a time when I was naive enough to believe in death’s theory due to love. Right now, I know it can turn you sad, make you feel like you are dying but believe me, you will not break. I have seen all kinds of people come out of it. It might turn you into a poet or painter or a lyricist; after all, there are artists whose first work came out of a heartbreak. And then there are established artists who create masterpieces from their losses.

There is one thing I truly believe in that love loss changes you as a person; something within you turns off like a switch which no amount of happiness could ever switch back on. Things might change, people might find love again, but the loss always leaves a scar, however small it might be. And from time to time, when we are alone, we dig deep inside to look at that scar. We try to rub, touch and feel the spot, sometimes to relive the moments and sometimes to feel the pain.

Love loss is not about losing a lover; love loss is about losing anyone you loved. It can be your friend, your pet, your child, or your parent. I know enough people who have lost someone very dear at a younger age, and they still carry that pain inside them. The void never gets filled. There comes the point where people even forget the face of the person they are missing, but they never forget the gamut of emotions the memories evoke in them.

Eventually, the memories dim, and you have to dust them up to catch up with the precious fragments. If you ever truly loved someone, the vestiges remain. Even an Alzheimer’s patient in the wake of consciousness could recall some precious ones.

“Love never get lost; it remains hidden in the labyrinth of human emotions.”

On another note, I am sharing a beautiful art, which came out of someone’s loss.

PS : Maroon 5 served tribute to their late manager Jordan Feldstein, who died unexpectedly in December 2017 from a pulmonary embolism with this beautiful song, Memories.

How Human…

The silver knife in the pool of redness was lying in the sink. Among all those dirty yellow dishes, there were spots of red. And then there was this day-old curry smell, with a hint of fresh blood smell.

Sometimes we cut ourselves, and sometimes others cut us. Sometimes it’s physical, while sometimes it’s emotional. Sometimes it’s apparent, and sometimes it’s a little obscure. Sometimes its words said very non-nonchalantly, that slit you apart, leaving you to writhe in pain, with paleness left behind. Most often, the malefactor is unaware of the consequences of their words. And sometimes they are, and they intentionally go on, causing the massacre. Sometimes its revenge and sometimes it’s their idea of fun.

Alizah, who has recently converted herself into a human, was unable to comprehend this capacity of human hatred. She has witnessed their love for each other; this aggravated malice was unthinkable for her newly adapted human brain. In her race, they killed each other with a touch, when someone crossed the written code. But she realised that human though considered killing an offence and called it murder, took great pleasure in throwing heart-wrenching words. And no one is to be blamed if someone dies of bad words. Those who die because of words were often considered too weak and unfit for human society. There was no social code that found death with words as murder.

Closing her eyes, she tried to recall the medication to stop the bleeding. In her veins, there was still some element of her past life, which was capable of healing injuries, caused by humans. Holding her wrists, she concentrated on her black molecules, which slowly stopped the oozing blood.

Today she was able to survive and heal, but who knows for how long will she be able to bear the atrocities of humans? Whether the love of millimetres, provided over short spans, will turn the hatred of litres. Only time will tell whether humans can be real humans to a non-human.

Rainbow Bulle

The yellow boots,
drenched in rainwater,
with mud spatters,
enters the big puddle.
A small rainbow bubble
welcomes the two feet.
Two adjoining dots,
peer back,
the lurking shadow.
It resembles someone,
but whom,
it knows, not.
They both,
watch,
unfolding layers,
of the other.
They both look the same,
yet they are years apart.
One with yellow boots,
only smiles,
while the other,
laugh with eyes closed.
One has melancholy eyes,
the other, sunlit sparkles in them.
The furrowed eyebrows,
gaze,
at moonlit glow,
of the other.
Yes, they might look the same
but are years apart.
The umbra,
with knitted eyebrows,
gaze quizzically,
towards the two poles,
of this side.
As if asking,
the why’s
of the metamorphosis.
With a wry smile,
the vulnerable self,
answers, back politely.
People and time,
the
ever changing,
two’s of the world.
The silhouette,
slowly picks up,
the
coloured droplet,
and passes it on,
to the absolute.
The reverie breaks.
The yellow boots,
drenched in rainwater,
with mud spatters,
moves out of the large puddle,
leaving the trace,
of seven-band,
healed aura.

How overrated you are?

Do you know how overrated you are?
Arising from the pit of my stomach,
leading to a racing heart.
The waterfall from my eyes,

causing this unbearable pain in my chest,
and yet, they all tell me,
blessed I am, because I know you.
What kind of blessing is it,
where I give,
All of me.
and wait,
and wait,
and wait,
for all of you,
to hold me.
The poets praise you,
the writers write their stories about you,
and here I am,
holding the bare threads,
trying to roll them into a ball,
Always thinking,
how overrated are you?
From Moonlight sonata
to Rumi’s words,

you are every artist’s best muse.
And yet, I am sliding,
in abyss,
while trying to,
hold you.
And pondering,
why are you so overrated?
But then,
comes,
the spur of moments,
with gentle showers,
and warm breezes,

with a radiant smile,
and tearful laughter,
enlightening,
the corners,
and igniting,
the soul,
and in those,
fractions,
I know,
my dear,
why you are so overrated.

Sleepless in a city

Two big brown pair of lost eyes peer through the window. The dark blanket of the night covers the footprints of the city. Not a soul in the vicinity, only the silence of unsaid words hangs in the air. Even the usual whistle of the security guard is missing today. Maybe today of all nights, the city has once again decided to desert her.

She was out in the patio with soundless footsteps as if she has acquired the paw pads of a cat. She doesn’t know what she is looking for; maybe she is looking for an omen or something that will tell; she is not the only soul who is sleepless at night, in this city.

In the middle of this darkness, the lights from a few apartments make her feel a little less disoriented. Lights that tell that there are souls like her who are awake beyond the usual hours. People who are either productive or killing time because sleep has disowned them too.

It reminds you of the movie Sleepless in Seattle, where two people start talking because they are sleepless and alone in a city. Sometimes sleeplessness has nothing to do with loneliness. Instead, if you are audacious enough and try to dig deeper inside yourself, you realise that loneliness is one of the most beautiful things at times. It teaches you the most valuable lessons about life, but mostly it lets you crusade your vulnerability.

We all have sides that surface only when we are alone and in the dark. You pretend that it doesn’t exist inside you, or if you are brave enough, you learn to live with that side of yours as a second skin, which comes out at nights like these.

That’s why they say you might love someone with your whole being, yet there will always be parts of them that you never reach. Parts you will never know exist, until one day they come out like a punch in the throat or if they are careful enough, they won’t haunt you. That’s why they say we could love someone with all our might and yet never completely understand them. Because there are some calluses which don’t fade with time, we often learn a new technique to walk with them.

What you do when you are sleepless like her in a city, you read with piano music in the background. Most of the days, it works, but some days, like these, it doesn’t, so she let the darkness engulf her, and let them wash away the weariness of carrying them. And if it still doesn’t work, she opens a blank sheet and types whatever comes to her mind. Most of the time, it works, but if somehow it doesn’t. Then she simply waits for the sun to rise so that when everyone is up, she could peacefully lie down.

Silence

You ask me, “How are you” as a pleasantry, not as a question.

The question I answer with only a few syllables.

I say I am fine, but sometimes out of the prettiness of the weather, I might end up saying, I am good.

You never intend to ask, and I never mean to reveal the truth hidden behind the veil of smiles.

With time I have hushed the voices, hidden deep inside my head.

Instead, I have become a silent observer, like you, watching the tides of my emotion.

I am silently learning to burn the fierce fires of my belly.

I am silently befriending, the silence.

Letting my silences do the wonders that my words could not.

Alas! That’s the irony of being human; we need words for everything.

Words for our simple joys,

To our mundane sorrows.

Words to read the intricacy of someone’s heart,

To the conundrum of their mind.

How great it would have been, if we could read each other’s silences.

And if we could, the world would not have existed, as it exists.

Because if we could, you might see that,

It’s the silhouette of darkness, that watches over me.

It’s the soft hand of night breeze that caresses my hair.

The stillness of the moon that holds me in its care.

The chirpiness of the birds which bring me joy,

The glory of the sun that brightens up my day.

It’s the nature that holds me intact, not you.

So, this time, I silently choose, Silence over words, to pierce through your soul.

The Time Turner

Some time in the heaps of clutter on your desk are things hidden to your naked eye. Somehow they get lost to your current memory until one day while organising the stack you find them. Reminiscing the past, you walk down the memory lane.

Today, while dusting my desk, I picked up this watch box. Usually, I sweep the area overlooking the lying objects. But today, I felt the urge to open and see its contents. With dusting glove in one hand and some dirt on another, I opened the black box. And there it was, the old worn out, not in a working condition, the black beauty of mine.

This simple old watch was gifted to me by my father eight years ago on my birthday, as a birthday present as well as a gift for getting my first job.
It was unlike the shows we watch, where parents take their kids to a fancy restaurant and give them gifts. For me, it was like, I walked into a store with my brother and bought it with my own money and later took the paid amount from my dad.

I wore it for a very long time, or I must say till the time it worked. I don’t know why I chose a black watch. Black is not even my favourite colour, but I wanted a strap watch instead of a chain one. I used to have a beautiful silver chain watch as a teenager; my brother gifted it to me with his pocket money. That was one of the first expensive gifts he ever bought me. But I lost it, and that story is for some another time.

Now that I think of it, the big dial strap watches were in fashion then, and I have started working, so I wanted a watch that will go with all my outfits. So there it was a big black dial watch.

I don’t know what it is about watches, I have always loved them, and as a kid, I always thought of having a great watch as that next step of making your mark in the small world of yours. I still don’t own that watch, and it’s a constant reminder that I haven’t accomplished my dreams yet.

In a day and age where people wear watches as accessories, for me, the watch has always been a reminder of time.

It reminded me of the time when I was ecstatic, and the only worries on my mind were about my career. It’s a reminder that time changes, with it, you too. It tries to tell me that I will never be able to turn back the time, but at least for a few seconds, through this gift, I can surely rejoice the memory of happy times. So I pause, the present and go back to the past, to bring back the bliss; into my future.

And as they say, “The time never turns back, but memory does”. So cherish your time with people and create great memories.

Window Views

I sit by my window at night and look at the world below. I see a few puddles of water left by rain an hour ago. The garden seems so barren, not a single soul around. At least people in my area are following the Lockdown. 

The soothing breeze makes you shiver, and the chirping of the birds in this silence is like a call to your soul. You know birds are enjoying their freedom. They are enjoying the free blue skies, away from human intervention. But then I think of the pets who are confined to their houses because their owners can’t go out. Are they envious of the free animals, do they miss being free? Or Do they think that even though they are stuck with humans, they are better off? But of course, we will never know until someone makes an animal mind reading app.

Just opposite my window, I see three apartments, having the same size of TV in precisely the same position in their living room. Most of the time, I can figure out what they are watching. The funny thing is they are often watching the same thing. 

Then there is this fourth apartment, which has a balcony fully covered with lights. I am not sure from how long it’s like this; maybe they have turned their gallery into some kind of light up zone, or they just into fancy lights. But whatever it is, these lights prevents you from seeing inside their living room; maybe these lights are a fence up. 

Another apartment has a hanging chair in their living room, and I see some one’s silhouette on it, the light is dim, and I can’t figure them out. It is just a shadow to me. Sometimes a shadow is a relief enough that someone else is hanging up there, somewhere just like you in times of home quarantine.

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It’s been more than a month that I haven’t written anything at all on this blog. And it has been quite a journey in the past month. It’s a Lock down in India until April 14, and we are working from home from the last two weeks. Mostly I am very busy with household chores and office work, and the time I am free, I usually read or watch a show or movie. It’s not that I am in a writer’s block; I am not even sure what happens to me is a writer’s block or not? It could be a clear case of procrastination, or I am naturally lazy. 

So today, I decided to leave all the laziness aside and start writing whatever comes to my mind. Of course, I looked for some inspiration; I got my hands on a book. Yes, You Can Write by Brian Collins. The book has 101 writing prompts to bring you back in the zone. 

The first prompt was, “Look out the window. What’s happening outside, and how have things changed since you last sat here?” so if you too are dealing with writer’s block or not finding enough inspiration in times of quarantine, you can use these prompts to give yourself the required push.

After all, it is always to good to have more people giving their Window Views.