Mindnight Lullaby

The room was dark. She had just closed her eyes in an attempt to fall asleep. But suddenly there​ was a gush of strong breeze. The curtain rose in the air, sending the wind chimes in a tizzy. And then she heard someone jump. Startled, her eyes opened with a start.

She consoled herself that it was her mind playing dirty tricks again to steal her sleep. Stopped the anxiety before it burst out of control.

The breeze blew again bringing a relief on this night of hot summer. The wind chimes tinkling in a rhythm. Lulling her back to sleep. 

Her eyes drooped shut.

All was silent again.

Birth of Hope

The setting was perfect. The sun had just set. There was a hint of rainy clouds coupled with a light breeze. The sky was the shade of dark navy blue slowly darkening to black.

I was nearing my block, that’s when I saw them. A couple. They must have been in their late 70s. The first thing that I noticed was the way they held each others hands. She had a firm grip, maybe helping him balance. Maybe holding herself steady. Or maybe, just holding because she wanted to. He had his walking stick in his other hand. They walked slowly, one small step at a time. In perfect sync. 

I couldn’t help but smile. 

Even for a cynic, with all the distrust in the world, looking at them couldn’t help but for that moment believe that things could be as real as that couple who had grown old together and still seemed to be very much in love.

That One Kiss

She would rush around the rooms of her house, her mind swirling in turmoil. Her elder daughter’s marriage was failing. Her younger daughter refused to settle down. She found no comfort in her husband’s words, rather they flared up her temper even more. So she rushed around, busied herself in work. She overworked at her hospital as a consultant. Her patients choosing her over other doctors, because of her soft, patient and sweet nature, provided her no comfort. This success was nothing. She threw herself at the kitchen to not let her thoughts overtake her sanity. Her home was where she could be herself. Even if she held herself back, she was herself. Her impatience, her irritation and her tiredness would spill out in her tone. 

This one day when her daughters were going out together they saw her brows crossed. She had her hands on her hips as she came at the door to close after them. The younger daughter called for the lift. Neither of the daughters would dare, but the younger one pushed the door open while her mother was closing it. She looked annoyed. The daughter rushed near her and planted a kiss on her right cheek and ran off to a safe distance near the lift.

The kiss seemed to melt her bitterness away. Her brows were uncrossed and she couldn’t help herself and she gave a reluctant albeit a big smile. 

For a while, in that moment, everything was perfect and fine again. 

Her Adventures with Mismatched Socks

She was meticulous, organised and obsessive about perfection. She was diagnosed by her friends as a specimen with a mild case of OCD. She refused and claimed to be healthily obsessed. It was just her fond love for symmetry and unblemished perfection.

Accepting the unsymetry wasn’t tough, but it made her nervous. One day, she decided to brave it, and she wore two different socks to work. Grey on the left and black on the right. Since she wore ballerinas, they were pretty much visible. 

She glanced at her feet every now and then, but then the day went by without anyone pointing her flaw out. Rather, no one noticed it at all. There was this vague feeling in her head of being watched, scrutinized and judged for her mismatched pair, when everyone around her were busy feeling the same about their mismatch and living in their own heads.

It was impossible for her not to think of the mismatched pair the entire day, but it was not that difficult to accept the mismatch either. It was as simple as that. Acceptance.

She chased the perfect symmetry in life so furiously, that she had missed seeing the beauty in the other powerful but ignored things. Like: Her mother’s love. Her mother silently listening to things she wasn’t speaking out loud. Her accomplishments. Her aging parents. Her own self.

If accepting this unsymmetrical mismatch could, if not silence, tone down the restless voice in her head and let her get going the entire day, why not the same with the mismatched unsymetry in herself?

This was her first step towards being a little adventurous, in her own little way.

It Is What It Is

Did I get too comfortable?
Or was it my vanity?
When everything was at my finger tips
I walked away
Leaving everything behind
Should I blame it on the youth?
Or do I call it a wondrous risk?
Embarked on a journey born from an infatuation
To see it crumble at my feet
Most often I look back
And wonder what could have been
The places I would have traveled
The heights I would achieved
Only if I would have waited, a little while longer…
But I wonder
If universe turned back time
And granted me this wish
Would I have done anything different than this?

That One Hug

They stood on the porch at four hours past midnight, as their paths awaited to be diverged again. Their adventure had come to an end. With time, the familiarity that the distance had deprived them of, was discovered in an unknown land. With time, the comfort of being themselves with each other had fallen in comfortably like that one missing puzzle of a jigsaw.

When it was time to say their goodbyes, he held his hand forward while she glared at his formality. She opened her arms timidly and he took a step forward and gave her a hug. This was not a drunken state of mind hug. This was a conscious hug. And his hug conveyed everything that maybe his words couldn’t for the last three years of knowing each other over long distance.

That one hug, opened up a box of suppressed emotions in her. But she hid her face in the dark as she saw him sit in the car and head towards the airport. She walked away towards the elevator before he could see her again from his car.

But that one hug…

The pretense icicles in her heart had melted. There was acceptance of deep attachment to another human being. She was overwhelmed and surprised with the enormity of the feelings she had for him.

She held back the dry tears that threatened to break from her eyes. She thought maybe sleep will make it easy to bear. Maybe sleep will make the ‘momentary’ feeling wash away, she thought. She went and slept on his freshly made bed.

The morning after dark was cloudy with light drizzles. The enormity of being able to feel so deeply had still successfully caught on with her as she boarded her cab towards the airport. She confided in her friend, who sat next to her with her arms on her shoulder, as she began to understand that she was simply missing him. She had gotten used to the unasked assurance from him. The unasked fulfilled promise of being by her side, no matter how, when she needed him the most. She had gotten used to his presence around her during their adventure together. As her friend held her, she let go of her pride and felt hot tears flow freely from her eyes.

It was finally the acceptance of a beautiful bond that they shared – friendship. It was a pure, unadulterated, unselfish, maybe a little selfish, friendship. It was the acceptance of letting go of her controlled boundaries and acknowledge the special place he held in her life. It was this acceptance that made her determine to make an attempt to show her emotions like he did with her all the time.

To be honest, she had taken a while to realize the emotions of his hug. Once the feeling of his arms around her shoulders was gone, only thing that remained was the warmth that he had left behind. Maybe this was their last goodbye after all.

The Adventures of a Bluejay

The river flowed peacefully, reflecting the shimmering golden hues. The Bluejay spread it’s wings wide in joy as it glided over the vastness of the river, enjoying its crystal clear pureness. This was better than a dream. It felt like it is a free soul. A soul in a quest to explore. The vibration in its wings emaneted the power within.

It flew dangerously close, taking in everything the nature had to offer. Then suddenly, it saw something. At the corner of the river lay a crocodile with its mouth wide open. Resting. Minding its own business.

The Bluejay felt a feeling rise in it. That feeling was boosting its confidence, slowly tipping towards arrogance. The Bluejay scooped a stone in its break and threw in the crocodile’s mouth. The stone lodged itself in the crocodile’s throat, causing the poor beast to choke and choke. It chocked till it pushed the stone out of its throat with a powerful cough. The Bluejay snickered and flew away from the scene before the crocodile recovered and realised what hit it.

Was there a little bit of arrogance, the observer wondered. What had overcome the gentle Bluejay? Was the arrogance because of its smooth sailing success that caused it to belittle the crocodile on the shore?

But the questions had to wait.

The Bluejay kept flying, now with its eyes closed. Letting the wind take it wherever it blew. And soon enough, the Bluejay bumped into a wall and was on the other side of the world.

It was a world where it’s legs were chained in an invisible cage. It was a world where it was controlled at the whims of the unseen voices. The Bluejay was subjected to sadism by making it a playing of a boy who loved to beat up his toys.

Karma smiled.

The Bluejay wished for the other side of the wall, to see the river again. It flapped it’s wings, struggling to break the chain, desperate to breathe in the air of the world he was thrown away from. To feel the familiarity of success and ease of acceptance that came along with it.

The Bluejay promised to remember humility if it broke free and gave a powerful tug to loosen the links in the chain. But the chain wouldn’t budge. The lesson and its essence were being stubborn and insisted to live bounded to the Bluejay’s feet. Forever. A glaring reminder. Maybe that will keep it down, the observer thought.

The Bluejay felt the its energy ebb out. It felt the weight of its own past action beginning to sink in. It felt like a terrible dream.

“But I’m not that person!”, the Bluejay cried and it finally opened its eyes. The Bluejay found itself perched on a branch of a tree on the riverside. The river still flowed peacefully, now reflecting a subdued orange hue of the setting sunlight.

A dream had opened its eyes. It was a much needed humbling fall after an aggressive rise. Saving the Bluejay from falling into its worst fears of turning into something that it couldn’t itself recognise at all.

Him, Her and Her Journey

He stood with his legs apart, his hands on his hips. He stood there in the middle of no where. Maybe he was in the middle of a desert. Maybe in he was in the middle of a national highway. Maybe. Right there in the middle, he stood on her way, patiently. Waiting to greet her.

She saw him. Panic gripped her heart. The space within the confines of her car seemed to suffocate her. She wanted to burst out of the door and at the same time wanted to stay in the pretense security of the four metallic doors. Her hands tightened on the wheels and she pressed the accelerator to keep moving.

But, he stood there, wordlessly demanding her to slow down.

“Do I have a choice?”, she asked herself as she slowly brought her car to halt. He was there on the other side of the door. Her hands still on the wheels, she slowly turned her head and looked at him. His face bore no signs of emotions. His eyes, yellow in colour with a small dot for pupil, spoke loud and clear. The black soot that he had spread around his eyes with his fingers added to the ferocity of his steady, cold gaze.

She was trapped in the confines of her fear. Her mind drew a blank. The flight response seemed to start kicking into her. Yet, she sat there, facing her storm.

“Would he cease to exist if I close my eyes?”, she wondered.

“Would he disappear if I breathe in slowly and deeply?”

“Would he ever go away?”

Her heart raced. He had managed to control her. He was successful in making her forget about her journey.

Her head started spinning. A bead of sweat broke on her forehead.

“Breathe!” she reminded herself.

She started begging for him to go away as panic gripped the core of her soul.  At that moment, an agnostic prayed for things to be fine again.

Her eyes remained tightly shut. She knew now she had two choices, as usual. One – to let him, her fear, crush her to nothingness and let him hold her hand and take her into depression. Two – face him head on, confront him, accept him and fight him, and continue with her journey.

“Breathe!”

What would you do?

And then, she opened her eyes and…

Pining After Long Shots

That’s the thing about hope – it makes us dream and get ahead of ourselves. We give our best, putting in every last bit of our will, fully aware that it’s a long shot. Aware that there is a fair chance of that something not working out. But we anyways give our everything in because we believe we have got nothing to lose. Slowly gambling on the our fragile heart’s naivety and letting it get ahead of itself. So we dream and inadvertantly start hoping, pining and praying asking, “God! I hope it works out.” Making it seem more like our ticket out of the current​ misery and our ultimate happy spot. Suddenly, there is so much to lose: A trail of dreams and the whispered promises on the dependencies… Forgetting that there is a fair chance that it might not work out. Maybe, it was the audacity of our confidence which made us forget about different scenarios. Maybe it was something else. 

Then there is a slip. Your gut picks on the vibes, and we begin to pray, “God! I hope I’m wrong about that!” But then, hey earth to… reality is the ultimate truth. This is life. In mum’s wise words, “You won’t always get what you want. However bad you want it. However desperate you are about it. But don’t forget to live. Don’t forget to be happy. Give your sincere shot. And don’t forget to nurture your patience.”

And then, there comes the wait. The wait to let it pass, the news to sink in and the final acceptance of reality. Till something else comes along and the cycle repeats.Maybe the next time, pining, hoping and dreaming about it would not be so bad. Maybe this time, it would be right time to receive.

Till then, don’t give up.

Everything will be ok.