Saturday, October 3, 2015

The Long Road

She had always meant for it to last forever. He knew this was the right way to move ahead in life. It was the logical thing to do. She stretched her arm out to him and he thought that holding it would make her feel nice and so he did. The wind blew her hair over her face as she smiled through those strands. He was happy that she felt this way. Her hands were cold as ice and he always seemed to have the warm and soft ones. He let the ice of her hands melt on him, it was a feeling similar to that in his heart. He did not feel warm inside, he just felt, nothing. As the rains of Mumbai started to fall on them, he escorted her to the nearest taxi and bid her goodbye. As he turned around to walk back home, she had been watching him the entire time as the car moved away from him. Till he was nothing but a small speck in the distance, till a drop fell on it and it trailed the length of the window out of her sight.

Now, his hands were not as soft as before. He was struggling to keep them warm. He had his only thick jacket on him to keep him from freezing as he trudged along the path up the mountain. Surrounded by the thick trees of Transylvania, he stared up at the skies which had turned grey now. It would be snowing soon. He had grown a beard since then and shed a couple of kilos. As for her, he never saw her again after that rainy night and today he woke up to know that she was somebody else's. He let the cold numb his regret and the pain in his knees drown his sorrow. His solitude was his fate and he would embrace it. He had shared the laughs, the smiles, the arguments, the fights but there always seemed to be a part of him that was selfish. To live a life less ordinary is what he looked out for and today, no one knew where he was and what he was up to. Each day was another struggle to survive, a story to be told. From being the center of her world to be being ousted from it, he was now a renegade, a dark memory, a speck of dust on a photograph.

He was now ready, to erase her from his mind and as a last tribute to this solemn occasion, he shouts out her name, one last time. The air from his lungs comes out as a cloud as the scream echoes through the trees. Birds fly out in alarm as the words bounce off the Carpathians and back to his ears.

And then there was silence, as if someone had pressed the mute button. And in that silence, a flake of snow drops from the skies, beside the mountains, missing the trees and on his face. And this time, he felt warmth.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Ground Control to Major Tom

I heard a song today. It was called Space Oddity by David Bowie with a girl's voice that came in between as well.
She soothed me as the Bourbon flowed through my veins. It talked of a man going to space and drifting away into space sitting in a tin can.
The feeling resonates with me, the one to drift away into space and be away from all this animosity, this hatred, this jealousness and this constant nagging. The time has come yet again, to shed my skin, forget all those who mattered who I thought mattered and step in through the door. This room was too old now, the walls were worn out, the carpet was dirty, the bed was creaking now. As the sun came in through the window and made the dust dance as if snow was falling in space. The third glass of bourbon was on its way now, the stubble had to go. Patience has become my virtue, I have controlled my loss but that glimmer of hope is on its way yet again. I wish nothing of it, this solitude is just fine. Keep away ye scurvy sea dogs, I go down with this sinking ship and arise yet again from the ashes. I had read somewhere that my birth month was that of the phoenix. I for some reason believe in it, many a time I have been through these maladies but I have always recovered. I shall do it once more.

The rest now lie in the feet for me to run, run as if there was a green football field with blue skies and a stream running beside it.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Son of Humanity

His pyjamas dragged on the dirt as he walked past the thousands with his mother.

Holding onto her finger, his face stared at the ground that passed beneath his feet, kicking the odd stone, skipping over a lonesome hole and letting his eyes follow the lone plastic bag that swayed in the air. He did not know where it might be tomorrow and what was it doing yesterday but he hoped that it had once been the proud possession of a kind hearted man. Today it was alone, ignored, defeated but hopeful. As he lifted his head towards the skies, he saw the crows hover up above and as they glided past each other, they slowed down and perched themselves upon on a minaret. This was the minaret of the Nawab Masjid, a mosque in the heart of the Muslim colony of Bhendi Bazar. He looked at the hand that was holding his and the aroma of rose that came from it, the sleeve of her burqa was a dark shade of pink, matching the colour on her nails. In the 6 years of his life, he had never seen the colour on those nails change nor even fade. Maybe she was born with such nails, maybe he might grow up to have them too.

The ground beneath his feet turned into hard cemented steps, he felt his knees bend as he ascended into the great hall that shielded him from the scorching sun. He took his free hand and felt the wall next to him, the slippery dust caught on as he felt the coolness spread over his palm. There was an air of familiarity here, the ground was now in the form of patterns, traversing from beneath his feet and over his eyes, under his arms and into the far reaches of the ceiling above him which was in the shape of a large dome. He felt as if he was in the presence of something high and mighty.He had felt a similar feeling someplace else. The carpet below his feet pricked his feet as he walked on it, he had the option of coming on to the floor but it was too cold. He lifted his foot and looked beneath it to see red marks poked in like holes. Like small craters they flourished over his bare white skin. She told him to kneel down and start praying. As he closed his eyes and knelt down, he remembered the day before.

Echoes of bells ringed through his ears, the smell of incense sticks flooded his nose, there was crowd, there was clutter and all he could see in the darkness was a man's hand reaching out to his and clutching it tightly. His neatly combed hair was now a ruffle, the red tilak on his forehead was a smudge. He was shouting out in despair for a while now but none paid heed to him. Finally, a face appeared from the darkness and with both arms, lifted him up from the darkness and out in the open. A fish out of water he felt like, the brightness blinded him for a bit but he was relieved to be out there. If he was the fish then what lay in front him was the sea, a sea of hundreds clad in white and red, slowly trudging through the corridors of this shrine. The sign above him read 'Santoshi Mata Mandir' and his feet were hurting just as they are today. He looked at the hands holding him, firm hands they were, hairy with a shade of salt and pepper on them. He felt the number of rings on them and counted up to a total of 4. Two of them had stones on them and the other two were gold. The rings were as cold as the floor of the temple. He looked up at the face and it was one that he had always been a little scared of. The bristles of his moustache stood like sentinels and his eyes stared straight ahead as if they were hunting for food. Between his eyes was the tilak brandished right up to his hair. He stared at the tilak for quite some time, till he was shaken from his thoughts back into the masjid.

He was back home now, surrounded by those who loved him and those who defined him. The lady with the pink nails and the man with the red tilak stared at him as he stared back at them. His eyes were moist with tears as he wailed to the two about his day at school. Children picked on him for being an outcast, even the teachers weren't very nice to him either. This was not the first time this was happening, it had been going on for the past few months ever since he started going to school. The man and woman did not know who to blame, was it themselves, was it the community or was it the crazy mania that had surrounded this country. They did not wait to think over this, they could not change it. They decided that till the time was right, they would be his teachers. He would learn of the world, what lies beyond the boundaries of this land and make sure that he gets to visit those lands one day. He will learn to love one day and be loved as well.

For he was not the son of a Hindu or a Muslim, he was the son of humanity.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Springtime Sadness

Killing time. That is all I have been doing ever since I landed here. I wait for the lunch hour, the dinner hour, I make my own breakfast, I visit shops, I jog, I wander, I dream of running away from here. It’s strange, I always considered myself as one who could live in solitary confinement for as long as I wished but as of now, the feeling is excruciating. During my days of academic preparation, I lay in the same state except there was an objective at hand, something had to be done and more importantly, I was not compromised. The heart, lay still, unfazed, unused, unadulterated. The rush of hormones within my body has started once again. Something that I longed to feel for 8 long years post my mental rollercoaster of a girl issue. It is the imagination that is to blame over here. I have gone beyond the roof of this house, swam into the skies, passed over the grassy plains, the deserted villages, the haunting warehouses, the winding roads, the forested hills and right on top of the snow covered mountains. Like a helpless ghost I stand there, looking at the world. A resemblance can be made to Ebenezer Scrooge who watches the Cratchit family eat in joy while I stand and sulk in silence. It is my forte, to sulk. I choose to ignore such things and focus on the task at hand but even the silence tends to kill me. Forgotten, forsaken, not one ring has come onto my phone. I don’t mind the silence, I will soon get over it but what happens when it does ring again? A glimmer of hope rises once more, I feel loved, appreciated, accepted till it has gone once again into the oblivion. It is better to go off the radar, begone but what if there is an emergency and I need to be contacted? Who are you kidding? Nobody is going to be in an emergency and nobody is going to call you. I don’t say that I’d rather be somewhere else but is it wrong of me to feel this sense of loss? I had felt the same when I had missed out on my US trip but technology was a friend of mine, it had refused to evolve till then. I had no clue what was up over there while my Mom had the time of her life and thankfully, I had my girl by my side to console me. Best days of my life, best.

Karma has a way of telling me that I shall be rewarded from what I am doing but Karma is no well-defined rule. But wait, I’m being selfish again, I know that its wrong. I must move on. But then do me a favour, don’t tell me anything. Don’t tell me about the fun, the frolic, the beer, the games, the what ifs and the what not ifs because my mind runs crazy imagining the walls, the fragrance, the laughter, the slaughter. I’m glad nobody will read this. They might lose whatever respect they have for me. Sometimes, its better to just stay unnoticed, but keep it like that, my solitude is my friend and nobody can take it away from me, nobody.