“Look at me”, she screamed hoarse in her head

“Stop looking at the time! And look at me! I’m right here, with you. Next to you. Why don’t you see me?

Talk to me. Distance between us grows because our silence fills the gaps. Set down your phone. Forget your work. Talk to me!

Open up with me. Share your thoughts and ease your mind. I will never judge, for the thoughts that cross your mind. Open up with me!

Words that flowed easy as did our emotions, are now bounded by chains. We are growing with our priorities, I agree. But stop. Let’s stop pushing each other away.

I’ll simply say, hey! pay attention to me. The wouldn’t be much left after we are done.

Let’s not lose you and me.”


Actions Instead of Words

Sometimes you don’t tell, just do.

An act of love.

A decision in action, silently taken.

Maybe an impulsive one. Maybe out of deep hurt. Maybe out of kindness. Maybe because you’re biting back words, so as to not scar another human. Maybe out of a silent protest. Maybe out of passion.

So, sometimes, you don’t tell, just take actions. At times they are louder than words. If not, at times they serve better than words.

Silent action.

Silence at times speaks the loudest.

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.

Walking with the Differences

They were two individuals.

He loathed some things she loved.

She loathed some things he loved.

Emotionally, both would be on different planes. Always.

Yet, they co-existed and were the best of friends.

They accepted and walked with the their differences with their arms around each other.


A walk after dinner. The streets, strongly lit by neon and colourful lights, was beginning to slowly fill in with strangers. Her mind reeled. Thoughts raced past the reality: Strangers. Proximity breaches. Small bumps. Accidental touches. Loud noise. Disgusted looks over her appearance. Eyes over her flaws. Space, lack of space.


One quick heartbeat. “Was it because of the climb?” she wondered.

Then there was the second heartbeat. Followed by third. Succession of rapid thuds. Hands on her chest, she tried to hold it back. Rubbing her fists in small circles over her heart, silently asking the red thing to slow down.


He looked at her.  “Are you ok?” he asked.

Silence. A nod.

They kept walking towards the brightly lit street.

The easy, comfortable silence between them let her mind wander. Her thoughts raced again: His disappointment when she says no. The decline of interest. The need to search for interesting communication for the lack of hers. Questions. Multiple questions. “Why is he with me? Would he rather spend time with someone else? Would he rather talk to strangers than watch me struggle vibrate my vocal chords?” Lack of knowledge. Lack of interest in common topics. Ignorance in politics. Ignorance in music. Ignorance in movies. Ignorance. Lowering self-esteem. Feeling ordinary. Wondering if he is there next to her out of obligation of friendship. Repeated nos. Repeated denials to him to do that one thing he wants to do together. Unable to fit in, again. Frustration. Questioning the very existing thread of friendship. “Why friends with me?”



Eyes closed. Fear gnawed at her hesitant heart.  She agreed to do it with him. She walked next to him in the middle of the street.

Mouth sealed. Words dead in her throat before they materialized. Discomfort ignored. Her sense and soul as empty as the emotions of the city.

Wild mess of paranoia threatened to burst out of the vein in her head.

Deep breathes. Control. Pause.

She walked on next to him, as he looked into his phone.

For acceptance.

For love.

Truth Behind that Lie

She kept speaking to his namesake. Calling out his name when speaking with the namesake, to taste the missing flavour on her tongue. Hesitant to pick up the call and end the silence. But when the silence ended, he missed hearing her sigh of relief. Of being able to call him out without using the namesake as a reason.

Yet, their friendship grew stronger after survived this storm.

Over The Edge

They were thick friends. Almost inseparable. Even the distance couldn’t keep them apart. They made memories, every single day, even if it was over the phone. They were that sticky, close, inseparable friends.

One day, unknown to her knowledge, he was pushed at the edge of the cliff. He stood there, silently, feeling the gravity pull on to his center. He closed his eyes, feeling the breeze gently push him closer to the edge. He swayed, but he had held on to his balance.

She was his last piece of silky silver thread that he could hold on to and pull himself out of the abyss, if he happened to tip over.

So, his mother sent him away to her. Maybe spending a week with her would help him clear his head, his mother thought. She sent him away to be her, with huge hope nursing in her heart. She wanted her son back. Badly.

Next day, there he was at the airport, reluctantly embracing her in a lose hug. She was disappointed with the lack of his usual enthusiasm. She shrugged it off and pulled him in a cab to take him home.

She tried to get him to talk. But he now preferred long silences.

She wanted to help, but she didn’t know what that worm was that was slowly digging into his brain. She only knew he wanted to talk but couldn’t find the right words.

Her patience was running thin.

She was only 24. She didn’t understand the mighty darkness that he was enveloped into. She prided herself into being practical. She prided herself into believing that everything about her was in the proper place.

She didn’t understand his inability to get out of bed or go for the long walks that they once enjoyed doing together.

He had crawled tighter in his shell. Lost to her, forever.

She failed. The guilt was beginning to build in her. It stayed inside. Suppressed. Closed.

She assumed the air of being practical and fair. He needed to hear the truth. He needed to be shaken out of his numbing tune. But he was gone. Lost in his music. And she pretended to move on as the silence between then grew. It ate into her. Her eyes had grown old.

Time passed into months.

She believed it was love. The idea of love was enticing. She was pulled into it. Dragged to make a decision. A rash one that too. She was encouraged to take it. She was also warned against it. Mostly, she was warned about the reckless risk she was jumping in. It was impulsive. She did it anyway. She thought, “Fuck this shit. I don’t want to look back in regret.”

But she did. She had lost.

It didn’t matter who looked down on her. It mattered when her mother like figure looked down on her. She wasn’t angry. She didn’t reprimand. She just was disappointed.

Hell broke loose.

She was pushed in silence. Her eyes closed. Her mind closed. A wall was built around.

A plea for help was denied.

The pile of guilt and shame kept getting bigger.

She could no longer pretend. There was lengthy silence. Panic attacks in the middle of the road. A mind that was slipping away in darkness.

In midst of this, there was a failed marriage. Battle of ego and pride. Sanctity of relationship was lost. Belief was shattered. Ideology was broken. Her last source of comfort had slipped from her hand.

Panic attacks got worse.

She went down to see him. She had lost him. He was there near her, but not with her. It felt like her heart was socked hard.


Went back to routine.

She was living with constant panic attacks. They owned her.

A doctor treated her without meeting her. Thrusted 12 small pills in her hands. Advised her to take one every night. It will help you sleep, he said. It will help you breathe easy, he said. But it would only numb her muscles and her senses.

Things felt bleak. She didn’t know where she was anymore. Where her mind was wandering, she didn’t know. She grew fragile. Fragile enough to let a stranger’s taunt get to her.

She found herself standing in front of her own abyss. But there was a friend, who had touched her shoulder, and unwitting asked her to stay back. It was a faint, muffled sound. But she heard it and took a step back.

She had reached out to her phone, thinking of giving him a call. She typed his name and then locked her phone. She couldn’t give him a call. Someone, whom she could reach out to at any time of the day or night. She needed to speak but the words were stuck in her belly.

Her mind was losing its strength to hold on.

Panic attacks came with added wandering thoughts. Scary thoughts. Thoughts that gave her ideas. Made her believe in disillusion. Pushed her. She was close to touching insanity.

She was tipped over the edge.

She stood over the end of the abyss ready to make her final lunge.

But before that, she had to speak with him. She had to reach out to him. She had heard he was doing well now.

She plucked her courage and spoke to him. She spoke about how vain she was. She spoke about how she had failed with him. She spoke how the pressure had buckled her down. She spoke about her guilt of not being able to help him. Of all the guilt that had eaten her away. The unspoken love. Trying to me up for the lost time. It had only taken her 3 years.

She felt lighter after speaking with him. With every tear flowing down her cheeks, she felt her chest getting lighter. The pile of guilt seemed to slowly disappear.

It felt like she was getting her business in place before the deed was done. With this thought, she went to bed.

A rested sleep after a long while.

The next morning, it was worth being alive.