Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Abandoned Life

The staircase was desolate.
There is a difference between things appearing deserted and being actually deserted by life itself. This cannot be realized until you happen to, in the blackest hour of your life, come across such a place. The staircase would continue to serve its purpose; many sets of feet would continue to prance happily or run urgently or drudge lazily along its length, but still it would never be whole again because on pair of feet has disappeared forever. Never again will there be the calculated rhythmic sound of those two going up after a long day. However the echo will remain always like a fractious kid who creeps up behind you as soon as you are distracted, touches you or speaks in your ear and is gone again as soon as you turn around leaving you to frantically search for something to explain the noise, and you wonder with a hopeful but despaired heart hammering in your chest whether it was the person your eyes longed to see and your ears strained to hear from.
In the day, the light appeared too white, too serene, devoid of colour and allure. It was like living in a dream in alien surroundings where you don’t understand anything, nothing is under your control and you just float around trying to piece together an answer which makes some sense. The white world was like a hospital where there is so much pain and sadness around you that it becomes essential to cut yourself away from it to continue with your existence, just existence not life.
The nights were worse – the darkness was even darker- the pain and longing kept at bay because of the fear that the daylight would reveal them and they would lie naked demeaned by the presence of unfelt empathy in strange eyes, would come crashing down in a moment. Eyes that never glistened in company could barely contain themselves. Hands which longed for the touch, the feel, the presence shivered. The emptiness inside would expand to fill all the crevices and the recesses of the entire being in all its complexity and reduce it to just infinite, unendurable and inexplicable pain. The eyes refused to close dreading the moment they did and there would be sharp jibes of pain from the dull fire that keeps burning endlessly chilling and numbing everything.
The sense of loss is one of the most imperishable of all the feelings that exist in the universe. To add to the despair it is accompanied by regrets that so much was left unsaid, so much undone and so much time was lost, precious, invaluable time. This guilt never goes away and maybe that is why the memory of death often outlives the joy of the life it purloined.
The heart and eyes always lie in wait at the bottom of the desolate staircase, even when the mind tells them to move on; turn around and never ever look there, but still the echo and memory remain, coming back to haunt you and make you stare and search fruitlessly in the past again and again.
* * *
When you were there before my eyes
There were reasons to laugh and smile,
And wishes came true without any compromise
Because you would go that extra mile.

It was easy to tell you secrets
Because I knew you would understand
And somehow erase all my regrets
As if you possesed a magic wand.

The happiness and ease came naturally,
Never forced or grudgingly forgone,
And comforts were given gift wrapped to me.
Now it is just I and I alone.

You have gone too far to come back
But still I long for the sound of your voice,
Instead I am haunted by echos that lack
Your soul, or you to be precise.

Your voice, your face, your love and your feel
Are irrevocably lost forever
But in prayer before you, not god I kneel
For I know you will leave me never.

The memory of you is safe with me,
It’ll always be fresher than dew and never fade.
The precious past is under lock and key,
But for another moment with you, centuries I’ll happily trade.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Candles, Balloons, Chocolates And A Heart...But Why's The Other Seat Vacant?


Well I guess many people will either derive a satisfactory smirk from the knowledge that unlike them I am going to spend the evening of valentine's day alone at home watching T.V. and eating (which might appear to be the only interesting part) or solace that like them I too lack a valentine. Well I have always been a good sport and everyone is welcome to their share of smirk or solace from my fate. Yes I am still at the shore looking at the huge sea, feeling the breeze and the sun on my face both tempted and scared by the prospect of embarking on a journey which may end in my finding the Elysium or lying stone like and unfeeling at the bottom with my capsized boat of dreams beside me. To do myself justice may be the decision would not have been this hard if there had been a boat of dreams or, dropping the metaphor, a guy around. However as there isn't any immediate need (read as opportunity) coming my way I might as well think it through.

Smart, caring, loving, sensible, easy to be with and a friend above all who knows and understands me (and male, definitely male)...that's it, are these really hard specifications to be found in one person? I do not think so and well even if they are I am ready to wait afterall I am a dreamer and a believer, making me see sense is as good as hammering nails upside down. Besides one thing I know about myself for sure that though I am fickle minded and completely clueless when it comes to what I want, I will recognise it whatever the difference may be between reality and dreams.

Until then I am content with my fantasies and hopes, and ready to wait with candles, balloons and a heart in front of a vacant seat for years to come. Plus there is chocolate which makes everything better.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Meteor

The blackest of moods often descend on the liveliest of people, completely engulfing and trapping them, rendering them incapable of enjoying the small joys of life which are so absolutely essential to a happy existence. The nearest I have ever been to tying this despair in the shackles of words is a pitiable attempt. Life becomes a fruit squeezed of its nectar- and it does not stop there- its squashed and trampled upon by every small misery that treads the path, bruised and battered it lies there craving for a kind eye a kind touch –for what- just to be thrown into the dustbin. Does not appear very inviting, does it?

To add to these uninvited, unexpected and detested black moods there exists a human tendency in all individuals (especially me) to fall prey to irrational, unexplained but completely crippling desires. Here I paraphrase Ed - without these needs life is a an endless night but there are tiny pinpricks of reason but then a sudden need shoots through the night sky like a meteor lighting up everything. And when the meteor has passed leaving behind darkness, somehow more pressing than before, everything vanishes. The stars still exist but its just the eyes which have been blinded, incapable of looking at reason and finding zest.

Yesterday I fell prey to one such longing. My heart would listen to no reason and see no fact, it refused to behave rationally threatening to burst or shrivel- whichever it felt was easier- if I did not listen to it. Paintings, colours, other curious little pieces and originality of thought which usually exhilarate me ‘hath no shine’. What I wanted was to feel the brilliance of a writer long dead but never forgotten. I wanted to see and marvel at the words written ages ago but which still stand true, words which have withstood the blows of time and promise to keep doing so, words which attain a musical quality never apparent when they stand alone. I wanted to read poetry.

Often the next best thing suffices a lesser mind but the tricky part is finding that next best thing, afterall ‘all that shines is not gold’. Hence the tragedy of the lesser mind is that its companion, the heart, need not go through the pain it manufactures for itself but the mind’s poor judgment leave it with no other option than to endure. As for me, I tried writing something. Two unfinished poems and several unfinished prose pieces later this option proved to be a fault of my lesser mind’s judgment.

Thus longing and craving I went to sleep but alas there was no solace in dreams too, what of interest can come out of a poor mind and a broken heart…

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Message From The Grave

The following is a message from a mother, who is dying after a long struggle with a disease, to her newborn child, expressing her hopes and despair about the future.
* * *
A Message From The Grave

When I first held you in my arms
And cradled your head against my chest,
The joy was somewhat marred by my qualms
Of what will happen to you when eternally I will rest.

Know, that I tried and fought my child,
Against the impending doom ahead,
And to shelter you from the wild
Before the endless path I begin to tread.

But all my hopes have perished and efforts have failed,
For I am going to leave you alone and bereft.
Without your mother your life will be forever maimed
And mine will be desirous of you and a suffering for the duration left.

Now I am living on borrowed time
Hugging you to my bosom, feasting my sight,
To know your fragrance and make your touch forever mine
Constantly aware of the receding light.

There is just one wish I am holding on to,
That to the world you will be my legacy
And the stars will eternally shine down upon you
Showing the pride I will feel and also my ecstasy.

When I am nothing more to you than lore
And you feel we are a universe apart,
Just take a peek inside and you will know in your core,
I miss you and love you with all my heart.
Thanks Sh, I owe you one. I knew it was a beautiful idea, hope I did justice to it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Why I Paint?

There is something especially beautiful and wonderful when anything breaks through the walls surrounding it expanding itself to appear before the world in its full glory and majestically making a statement-' This is what I can do, never underestimate me again.'

Strangely I have had a decided preference of sketching over painting. Ever since I first picked up a pencil to marr the surface of paper with cruel and harsh blows to produce something so amazing, soft and delicate that I forgot the process and its brutality, I have been in love with pencils and paper. We read poetry about clouds, candles, earth and many more things which are praised and revered because they take pains and then extremely selflessly provide us with something precious whether it be rain, light or food. Inspite of a wonderous collection of such writings I am yet to encounter any praise dedicated to paper. How can something so obviously important be so easily overlooked. We sharpen our pencils and then start putting down our words or images, carving a reminder of our pleasure, on its surface.

With this realisation in mind, one day I picked up a sable haired paint brush just to put some colour on the paper without any base sketch to work on, partly because of my newlyfound compassion for paper and partly because I did not have any idea but just an insufferable need to see colour. Smeared with paint and water when I touched the paper with its tips I had another feeling. I felt, somehow I was making up for my years of torture, somehow I was applying a balm to a bruised soul, somehow I was providing it with a reason or an assurance that its value is appreciated. It felt that my gentle massage and the rainbow of colours would give it new hope and let it know that whatever it suffers is for a higher purpose. The end product of all the toil on its part does not go into oblivion unrecognised because it is something of insurpassable beauty.

The paints stuffed inside tubes, sealed until someone is ready to 'Create' do not lose their character in confinement. What I believe is that they signify hope and patience. Confined in tubes forced to forego their shape, hiding their character from the world, they patiently abide their their time keeping up the prtense of objects -mere objects- until they are released to appear in their full grandeur as colours of life, not just as constituents but as life itself.

Astoundingly with this revelation the quality of my paintings has considerably improved, they are no more abyssmally pathetic attempts at creation but they are wonders. They are amazing objects... no that would be wrong, objects are exactly what they are not, they are precious...and just that. Thruthfully- no, my paintings have not improved, I have not had a rendezvous with Picasso's ghost who gave me overnight excellence but now my paintings are not imitations of objects which can go bad and niether they are portrayal of ideas which can be less than perfect, now they are ideas in themselves which are perfect and unique in the true sense because even I never visualised them while painting. They are life which is never what is expected or planned.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Walk Down The Aisle Part-2

She wanted to preserve this moment forever, live it to its fullest. She wanted to learn each and every detail, each and every feeling as well as she knew his face and then after the passing of the moment, embalm the memories and stow them away in a corner of her mind. A corner with dust and cobwebs, a corner which should never see the light of conscious or subconscious thought again. A corner where she would never allow herself to go again. Some things are best left undisturbed and forgotten.

Looking at the speedily darkening golden sky her mind drifted back towards another memory of another day two years ago…

* * *

They had just seen the end of their first fight and to celebrate they were going to their favorite coffee-house. It had been over something very small but somehow they had managed to treat it in the exact wrong manner to make it a full blown fight, their first fight. They had decided to meet at their usual spot on the beach road but she had not been their on time. With her characteristic lack of clairvoyance she had not taken traffic into consideration and had ended up being two hours late...

She stepped out of the cab checking her arsenal for every apology she could think of ready to bombard him with them and demolish his anger. However when she saw him what she encountered was a cold stare, not angry, not anymore just cold and resigned. She barely opened her mouth and uttered a syllable of her fairly detailed apology when he said “So you finally did come? I was beginning to wonder whether you were going to even inform me if you had decided not to bother with it at all. I know you think that I have no other work or the least consideration of my time since I spend it being in love with you and if I am as useless as that let me wait. What difference do a couple of hours make to my life”? She knew that he had the right to be angry but that didn’t mean that it didn’t hurt her. When they had just started going out, she would say that he must be pretty useless because he was going out with someone like her and then beam with pleasure when he would reply that it was completely absurd of her to think like this and tell her how wonderful she was.

His words hurt her more than they should have because deep down she knew that she just said it to hear him deny it, and how much she wanted it to be true. Angry and unreasonably disappointed she retorted without thinking. She said “ well I have no intention of wasting any more of your excess of free time so please just go away never to come again and believe me I will not bother you anymore”. She turned around. He was not supposed to see the tears welling up in her eyes. Walking briskly towards the first cab she saw, she clutched her handbag tightly. He was not supposed to see her trembling hands too. It was not until she got into the cab that the tears started falling…

Two whole, long, painful days passed but he did not call. She didn’t call him either. She had picked up the phone innumerable times, sometimes even dialed the number, but had hung up each time. Her own words were not letting her find peace anywhere. She had never been as happy as when she was with him and now she knew that she had never been this upset too. They had promised each other that they would stay together and happy forever, but she had broken it. She couldn’t help thinking that only she could be so obtuse and devoid of an instinct of self preservation to lose something so precious.

The third morning she decided that she could not stay in the house and look at the disappointing, beastly phone for another second. She took a cab and went to the library intending to bury the memory of that last meeting in some deep dark corner of her mind, under tons of information from an encyclopedia or a bundle of latest gadget magazines, never to be remembered again. The attempt was pretty futile and ineffective and by noon she had started wishing that libraries were noisier places.

When she reached home she saw the red light blinking on her answering machine. With a racing heart she pressed the button. The message was from him, infact her inbox was full of his messages. She stayed there just long enough to hear the last message say that he was waiting at their usual spot on the beach road and would continue to wait as long as it takes her, because life without her did not make sense and after all he had plenty of free time.

Luckily the traffic was light and half an hour later both of them were leaning on the rail towards the sea. Their fingers were loosely entwined, just an assurance that they were together. She smiled to herself when she remembered his torrent of apologies for hurting her and how similar it had been to the words which had stumbled out of her mouth, roughly meaning that she was an idiot. But now everything was well, the setting sun marked the close of a beautiful day. The music of the waves and the silence of the sun’s movements somehow belonged together. But the best of all was the knowledge that the sun would rise again the next day and they would still be together, happy, precious…together.

* * *

She was not so sure now. Was this the last sunset? How could it never rise again? In all its stillness and silence it still belonged with the waves but then maybe she was singularly unfortunate…may be it was the last time only for her. The sea would still have its sun which would keep on rising and setting each day…maybe it wasn’t so obtuse and devoid of an instinct of self preservation that it would lose something so precious, so perfect, so essential…

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Walk Down The Aisle Part-1

Treading on the wet slipper road all that could be heard of her footsteps were faint whispers. Small droplets of water leaped in air and fell down with her each step making an almost inaudible pitter patter sound of falling raindrops as if gently massaging the kicked and bruised blue-black of the road. Her eyes rhythmically followed the progress of her own feet, drinking in all the scars and blemishes on the ground beneath them. She tried to lift her eyes many times, but as soon as her sight would gain some altitude she would blush and abandon the attempt.

Secretly and very hurriedly she stole a glance at him walking besides her, to reassure herself that he was still there, then reverted back to her original poise. Even though she was not looking at him anymore she could feel his presence, the warmth and the sense of security, it enveloped her entire being into a cocoon of happiness ready to burst from the excess of it and blind her, making her numb to everything else inside and outside.

She could see his firm, assured feet just giving a hint of the strength in him and yet they barely disturbed the thin film of water and if it was possible they made even less noise than her own. There was so little evidence to give away their presence that they might not have been there at all, if not for the fact that she could see them.

She wanted to move her hand in a casual gesture and hold his in hers but refrained from doing it, as if somehow touching him would wake her up from a beautiful dream. No, she was content and happy, the feeling of his presence so warm and assuring was enough for her. She would have been greedy had she desired for more.

A sudden wind ruffled her hair and made her look towards the sea. The setting sun looked like a huge round bump at the otherwise straight horizon. The sky was not blue anymore it was golden now, gloating at its beauty and wealth. The surface of the sea was tranquil and smooth, occasionally broken here and there by small waves. It appeared like a second sky, a polished floor which mirrored the golden hue of the sky stretched above. Vast and unending. Everything which wasn’t land or water was the same camouflaging golden sky occupying every remaining gap of the universe but then was it really there?

She had not realized that they had stopped an were leaning on the rail which separated the metallic, sharp, hard, cold and unreasonably practical world from the huge boulders, the fine sand, the tranquil sea and the sky, which might not have been there…

Once in while a car would pass and its blaring horn would tear through the notes of the silent music surrounding them, little dots of careless folly of a brush on the outskirts of an otherwise picturesque scene of a sunset.

Like the perfection of the scene, the happiness in her heart was marred by the knowledge that it was the last time they were walking there together, making music the way they always did. A single tear quietly dislodged itself from her lashes and trickled down her cheek.
Yes, it was the last time. She gazed at the bulging folder in her left arm. Definitely the very last time…