Society

Her uniqueness. Her invisible tiara. She wore it with pride. Scoffed at the society for dictating terms. How should she live. How she should behave. How softly she should laugh.

“Fudge the society!” Her independent, unique mind would scream. Trying to hold on to her identity. Her freedom. The invisible freedom. The air around her flew easy, blowing her apparent indifference to what the society thought about her. Her choices.

“I am me. Untouched. Undefined. Boundless.” She would think and smile. She wore her uniqueness with pride.

The was a squeal. Out of her reverie, she saw her 3 year old. Bouncing. Screaming with her invisible friend. Her daughter. Ready. Eager. Mould-able.

She remembered, she was sitting in a crowded subway. Homebound.

“Hush!” She told her daughter, annoyed. “That’s not how you behave in public. Look, they are all looking at you.”

Her daughter held her tongue.

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Fragile

Sometimes, it is stuck at the back of your head like caramel stubbornly stuck in your molars. A thought. Feelings born out of those thought.

“Maybe it’s just in my head”, you would have consoled yourself thousands of time. Berated. Quietened. Ignored. Depending on your mood.

But it would be stuck to just being that – a thought at the back of your head. It would be in between. In between treated as, humoured mildly or on the verge of driving your crazy.

Then one day, you meet your confidant. Someone who is unaware of anything, because of the lack of proximity in the relationship. But someone who hands you the truth in a clean plate. Professionally. Maybe it would an assumption. Maybe it’s from experience and observations. But that confidant, utters those few words. That one day. He steals it right from the highest tower of your mind castle. Word by word.

Shaken. You might be forced to acknowledge and accept it as the truth.

Truth, that’s supposed to set you free.

Truth. Or maybe it’s not.

But in that moment, there it is. Naked. Raw. Handed to you in a clean plate. Professionally.

That moment, you taste your fragility. Your humanness. That moment, the trust in yourself stands out bare for you to see. Your instincts chanting, “I told you so!”, in a sing song voice.

Truth.

It does set you free, but only after demonstrating your fragility.

Beach

A long drive
Windows down
Or maybe helmets off
Shoes in hands
Sand between toes
A walk
Breeze between the locks
The moon
The night
The quiet
And some solitude
With you.

Home

The skies looked like morning had just breathed in. The clouds were on the verge of breaking down. Last night’s storm had not calmed it down.

I am with my own company. In the middle of somewhere I couldn’t recognise. There were ruins – the aftermath of what an ancient war had left behind. Grass grew between the rubbles. I looked ahead – a water body. I walked towards it, breathing in the untold stories around me. I reached a small stone wall which overlooked a dense green river. I climbed over and sat on a rubble with my legs close to my chest. The river looked inviting – a strong desire to dip my feet in it. The pull was strong but the climb down seemed dangerous for the clutz in me.

There was a boy. He looked familiar. He came and sat next to me. Unheard words were spoken. He tried planting the idea – asking me to jump right into the water. I resisted – pointing out a pathway which would safely take us to the mouth of the water. But, where’s the fun in that he asked and dove right in.

I looked down. My heart beat fast. My blue wallet fell down and the water engulfed it. It seemed to hold my life. Unflinching I dove right behind it and my head broke out of the water – sputtering and gasping for air. Both the boy and the wallet werw not to be found.

The current was strong. I felt a strong tug now. My arms splayed around when the reality hit me. He pulled me to safety and disappeared again. Last I saw when I turned around was his head going deep inside the water. It felt like hours before he came up again with my life in his hands.

I never saw him again.

I looked around. I realised I was in my school grounds. I had ventured further than I was allowed.

I found my way back to my class. Dazed I sat on a seat. Almost at the end of the class. Next to me sat a boy with his locks tied up in a small pony. Brown eyes, maybe. Another familiar smile, I felt when he flashed a toothy grin.

Maybe it was chemistry class,who knows. But he sat next to me. A friend, it felt like it. Warmth. That was the next feeling. Followed by a sense of being safe. He spoke to me, like he knows me. I couldn’t hear the words.

Finally the classes were over. He sat next to me, in our bus ride back home. Unflinching. Like it was routine. We got down at the same stop. Both of us paused in front of an old building. A hospital. I was looking for a head full of white hair. I found her. I was home.

He was looking for his home. He found her leading an organisation for people’s safety.

Maybe we said out goodbyes. We lived next to each other. I had started walking inside my green doors. He was behind.

Innocence

“I want to kiss you”, he told her softly.

“Where?”, She asked just shy of 18. Wondering if she understood him right. “Not my cheeks, please!” She pleaded in her head.

“Your lips, if you are ok”, he said.

She smiled.

The days of innocence. She never got to taste his lips. They could never meet.

Then one day, a year or two later, there was a new friend. She was still nursing from her loss of him.

“This friend”, she thought, “is one of my good friends.

“I can trust him to allow myself to be true.” She decided.

Until one day. One day, he took what was hers to give. Hers to decide to whom.

Why? Because he wanted to.

Before she could gather what was happening, her first kiss was stolen. With it, her innocence.

Doe Eyes

17 July 2018

Bangalore

Kohel does bring out the black colour of her eyes. Her eyes… shaped like doe’s eyes. Kohel strokes, that only look effortless, are beautifully joined up and down her eyes. Thickly coated, she carries it off like it’s part of her skin. The inside corners of her eyes are beautifully shaped like the end of a water droplet. She never closes her eyes fully while she blinks. Her expression poker faced. You would want to think that. Her thickly kohled doe eyes seem to be screaming emotions in her silence. Loud. Beautifully. Just like her eyes.

Love

Steady, my friend.

Why are you fixated on one type of love,

And turning blind eye to the abundance of love around you?

Remember when you had a headache?

You rested your head on your mother’s lap.

She combed her fingers through your hair.

Trying to sooth the pain.

Unasked.

Like her fingers knew. Her fingers had a mind of their own.

She knew.

Unspoken.

Her actions.

What was it, if not love?

Don’t be weary, my friend.

Don’t let loneliness scar your soul.

Remember.

Remember all those unspoken gesture oozing affection.

That’s love. You are loved.

Type of love – mother and child.

Trust

Steady for some. Shaken for most of us. While shaken, it still exists. Subconsciously.

What is it, when you get inside an Uber cab? A stranger, who you’ve never met till the instance you stand in front of their cab? Trust. How does that trust come so easily?

Sleep. You go to bed every night, confident that you’ll be up and going with the plan you set up last night before you went to bed. A blind belief that sleep is safe and will rise you you up tomorrow morning feeling energised. Belief? Trust is a better word. How does this blind trust exist deep in our atoms?

Then there’s a dirty secret about yourself. You learned today. A few hours back. You reach out to that one friend who you would swear your trust on. The friend you instantly tell everything. Yet, when you reach out to share what you learnt, the words – your secret – gets stuck in your throat. There are no tears, but a deep sense of sadness. It’s a dirty secret that you believe if you tell them, they will have power over you to destroy you. A very vulnerable part exposed to be hidden, first time. Trust.

Yet, you got into the stranger’s Uber cab. Someone who might murder you, maybe. Yet, you get in knowing you will reach your destination. Trust.

Unfair comparison?

I don’t know. But the irony. The places we easily trust and the places we hold our steps back. The irony of where our fear lies. Friend knowing the real you vs an unknown stranger – might be a psychopath. Who knows of the possibilities?

Want to know something funnier?

That sometimes, even if you’ll call yourself your own best friend, you lack trust in self.

What does success look like to you?

When I find my window to light(ness) at the nearing end of my dark(ness) alley. When the dark(ness) begins to become lighter. When I’m able to get out of my bed with a sense of purpose to live. With the sense of purpose to get things done. Get some juice out of my life. Feel alive from the inside. Be part of something. Create something.

When I find myself want to be alive to taste my life – all phases of it. This is what success looks like to me.

And you?

Undefined minutes in heaven

Run. There’s a small “lake to cross”. Beyond that lake is a mountain. And that mountain is the entrance to heaven. But you’ve got to run. Because there’s lot of explore

But turn back and see. There is a huge wave building up. Time is relative. But see, it’s building up. Storing the energy. It’s higher than a tree. It looks humungous, like a mountain. Rich emerald blue. With white tip of foam. Tiny ripples all over. It’s just never crashing down.

It’s like either time is still or slow.

So she runs. She crossed the “lake”. She reaches the mountains. She keeps running. The twists and turns. The ups and downs. The green and brown. It never seemed to end. She stops to take breath. She sees a small cave ahead. She sees small groove which would have made a big water puddle ahead. She stops in her track. Goosebumps spread around her arms then her chest to inside her heart. “Is that fear?” She wondered.

She decides to run again. But back to the other side. But the wave had crashed down. The time wasn’t slow either. The speed with which it flowed was like a stream flowing, gently. Yet, it gushed away.

She looked for a tree to climb.

She caught one. She climbed. It had comfortable ‘Vs’ to put her leg on and boost herself up. She wanted to climb more, but there were red spiders. A scream was caught in her throat which rang loud in her head. She stopped climbing higher. The water was here. Filling up all the downs, all the groves…all the spaces. But slower. Yet she couldn’t make the dash, because if she got back on the ground, the water was too deep.

The wave was in, but yet wasnt near her. Or the tree she was perched on. Yet, it was there. She had to wait. How long, she couldn’t tell. Time was different here vs on the other side.

She tried to relax. The bark of the tree felt mushy. Soft. Like it had too much water inside it. Or like it had spent too much time inside the water.

She gulped.