A Picture of Victory

She was a vision to behold. Born out of a dream.

She stood, spine erect, her legs sightly apart. Her hands balled into fists, rested softly at the side of her waist. The breeze blew softly through her long, wavy, black tresses. It swayed to the right of her face; a tender lock caressing her cheeks now and then.

She stood tall with a strong armour hugging her body. The silver on her armour shone as the sun rays hit her. She glowed. She had scars all over. Battle scars. Emotional scars. Imperfection scars. She didn’t hide them. She wore them with pride.

A small smile played on her lips.

Behind her sat her now small ‘big black dog’. Present yet but not daring to touch her. She had him under control.

Another conquer tucked in her belt.

She knew it was going to be a long battle with the black dog. Yet, she celebrated this was a small victory, for now.

She was strong.

She was the strength.

She was the freedom.

She was a live wire with a wild heart.

She was alive.

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Tiny Magical Hands

The chapati refused to go down her throat. It just seemed dry. Even her favourite gravy that her mother made to go along with it, refused to help her swallow.

She refused to eat. She would sit, staring at the wall; speaking with silence and hugging the void. Everything, she felt, was crushing her. Her spirit and soul were disappearing in an abyss.

She just sat. Thinking and listening to the white noise in her head. Unaware of her surroundings.

Till something tiny walked by and almost pushed her off the chair she sat on to force fit its butt. There were two tiny hands and a sweet singsong voice which insisted on interrupting her state of being a rock. It said, “I want to feed you!”

Before she could answer, the hands had torn a piece of chapati, dipped it in the gravy and pushed it near her lips. She smiled and took a bite. It was easy to swallow now.

The singsong voice said, “Once more!” Till she had all of her dinner inside her tummy. Successfully.

Those tiny hands had magic to break the spell she was under.

The magic was her two year old daughter’s pure, innocent love.

Feeling Secure

Remember those long drives with your family, when you were small? When even an hour ride would feel like forever.

Remember when your dad drove the car when the stars were out? You would watch vehicles zoom by. And watch the headlights of the oncoming vehicles. Fasinated by the yellow light. And you would wonder, “How does dad not get distracted by them lights while driving?” Until, your eyes got tired and heavy. You would like down on the backseat, watching the stars. Blink several times in a vain attempt to keep yourself awake. And the next time you open your eyes, it’s morning already and you are snugly wrapped inside your blanket.

All that is left is a faint memory of a touch. Of being lifted and held close to mom’s/dad’s heart. Head resting on the shoulder as one hand held your head in place. Gently put you in bed. Tucked you in your favourite blanket.

Just like that the world was at peace. Secure.

Remember that feeling?

For a few hours

I’ve known her for over 10 years. Feels like forever though. She’s was my first friend. THE person who helped me bring out my own unique colours and paint the world with her. She infused life in my black and white.

I am always told I don’t smile much. But I’m sure she will disagree. Because whenever she’s around me, I am always smiling. Every other moment when she turns around to throw some “her moment” punches, I laugh. I laugh so hard that she has to pull me by the arm to remind me that we are walking on the road. Laughing my heart out. Impervious to the world around me, or the heads that would have turned our way.

We grew together. Our lives separated. She got married. Two years later we were in two different countries with manageable time zone. France and India. Distance had tested us. Our ups and downs. Yet, we were thick through and through.

It had been three years since we had met each other. Longest we have gone on without meeting. And then one fine day she calls me to tell that she’s coming home for the holidays.

My heart bursted.

She had her plans. The only time we could work out was a day and half over the weekend. And after days of silence because of lack of the internet, a day before I landed in our city, she showed some signs of life. My hesitation and doubts of not being able to meet was gone. She would always come through.

The day was still unplanned. And it still was till the end of the night. It was us. Just us. Like we meet everyday. Doing things we would have pulled each other into if we were in same town, every single day. A lazy lunch. Dress hunt for a reception. Another lazy snack. Gorging on a common craving for dinner. And ending it with ice cream and disclosures to her husband. The story of how we became friends. A shaky start, a strong in between and no end.

We were where it began. Just the streets were different.

It was for a few hours. Yet, I felt light. Felt myself. I felt secure.

The goodbye at the airport was like how she would say when we reached our homes, before we became adults. I ignored the thoughts of “when next?” Till she said it out loud. Tears threatened from her eyes. Like everytime she bid me goodbye. Everytime she saw me off. Because we wouldn’t know how long our next gap would be.

She ignored my warnings. Which had turned into desperate pleas. Being taller than me, she hugged me and planted a kiss on my head. Her face turned red. A vein popped out on her forehead. Ironically, it would also pop out when she laughed hard. She wiped her eyes and my heart broke. I kissed her cheek and ran inside the airport. I couldn’t bear the lump in my throat and I found myself turning back. Our goodbyes could never ever be abrupt.

But it wasn’t so bad. I walked inside the airport remembering her bear tight hugs. Me standing on my toes to rest my chin on her shoulder while hugging her back. It always makes me smile.

All that hustle, just for those few hours was totally worth it. Anything and everything.

Because, she is my person.

The Bitter Bile

Anger: it corrupts the mind. The mind stops thinking. A darkness grows, slowly spreading in the small confines of the heart. It will hear nothing. It will feel nothing but spite and hatred. These feelings dominate and take over everything, leaving no room to even reach out and try to kill them.

The anger just rises. Getting bitter by the day. No explanation. Just raw bitter bile.

The intimacy of the relationship doesn’t matter. The bitterness was harbouring and festing in the body for so long, that the soul refused to acknowledge anything else. There is no stopping. It grows, the bitterness, till the mind loses sense of anything good. The body will find itself standing, filled with black bitter bile. Unforgiving. Not thinking. Not anymore.

Until one day, the mind cracks. The bile spills out. The soul will rationalize the outburst by saying it needs to cleanse, express and emote. The tongue will wag. Fingers will point. There will be explosion. Maybe minor enough to cause a small burn. Or big enough to kill.

Then comes the calm after the storm.

The whole being, shaking, will question the root of the cause. It will question is it worth going that far in the past. Maybe it matters. Maybe it will heal. Maybe it doesn’t matter. May it will do nothing at all.

Until one day, the right question will be asked, “How do I stop the rise of this bile. How do I put an end to this all?”

And finally plead, “Just make it stop. Please.”

The 15 Minutes

Those 15 mins every morning with my mother has come to become the best part of my day, life. The drop from home to her bus stop which is on the way to mine. Takes 15 minutes. Everyday.

She is with me. She talks. She shares. Stuff she wouldn’t otherwise at home. She talks about her work. She talks about her college get-together. She talks about her plans. She talks about her calls with her sisters. She talks.

Though a grown child that I am, I am still happy about the fact that, those 15 minutes she is completely with me. Her eyes for me her ears for me. Her thoughts for me. She is present around me. The lighter part of her day, when it has just begun is also shared with me.

Those 15 minutes that she gives me, is the most beautiful thing anyone can ever do for me.

Time.

A Crush

He stood on the balcony. The twinkly lights draped on the railing of the balcony threw light on his face. He stood, lost in his thoughts. One hand in his pocket. His beautiful digits of his other hand lightly wrapped around the green beer bottle. He took a sip as he watched the city sleep under the yellow street lights.

Light drizzle. He runs his beautiful digits through his hair. Hair tousled.

At that moment, exactly that moment she felt the wind knocked out of her chest. Swollen heart. Unbearable, undefined emotions.

That was it.

The Devil’s Handshake

Easy way out at times, rather most of the times, is deceiving. It might seem shorter. It would also appear to provide a respite, because would seem to be very convenient. Very, very alluring to jump on it when that bus stops in front of you and imagine all the lighter days ahead.

Untill you take it.

Most of the times, it will leave you with a broken back and an irritated soul.

Yet, at times you would hesitate to let the easy way go. Even if it’s the right thing to do.

Let go.

Better to walk down the hard path with a satisfying journey than shake hands with the devil.