My heart out I tell story of the two beleaguered souls.
He teased you fought with you and even left you in tears many times. But when you left ,taking golden strait to the other side. He weeped, sobbed, cried and yearned for you. My lap was his pillow and my arms were for consoling. However nothing mattered as he lay shaking calling you a traitor for leaving him. He looked like a baby and cried uncontrollably. You left and he felt the shadows creeping over him. I tried to make him laugh but even a solitary smile was a big task. Could it be he really loved you? or Was he just missing a piece of puzzle which before was always in place. He was fighting death not to save himself but to take him to the place where you are. Nothing mattered to him i guess, not his family ,friends and even the wretched daily newspaper. After you left, over time he even stopped reading it. The wall between you and him crumbled to pieces but you were not there. In his last days he forgot his Jester who like a loyal servant was always trying to make him laugh. He knew only you, that you betrayed and left him. The day he died Grandma I felt sad but no remorse of his death because he finally got his wish. Grandma forgive him he didn’t knew how to love. He felt emotions but never could place them as love and express.
Grandma I was scared if I’m like him but one thing is certain I learned to love and not let emotion run loose. I will not be pessimistic and celebrate my feelings and love towards other.
P.s. Grandma you loved him too right?
I know a man who wants to die. A man who spent his entire life in a vague mist of daily chores. Never was he interested in what life has to offer. Never had I seen such a waste of talent.
He didn’t put much thought to others around him. As if concentrating only on his own welfare can keep the equilibrium of the world. To him written words are sense of understanding; work an ethical drama in which he played the lead and to raise a family, mandatory convention of society. So he earned an honest meagre piece of bread and never took a bribe or holiday. Also, he never tried to better his life as he was content,
He married a woman no less then a princess with her beauty, intelligence and haughty behaviour. Not because he fell in love with her but because their family arranged the match. The princess was supposed to be an ideal woman to raise a family with. But his dream actually did not extent to raising a family. You see he was pampered spoilt beyond comparisons while his dreams shattered because his parents were scared they would loose him. Just like Rapunzel not allowed to venture into unknown territories for one’s selfish reason; or like Sleeping Beauty not to get his finger pricked by a needle as he will fall into infinite slumber.
In his old age he speaks of death in respite. A relief from pain in which he lived for half of his life. The pain always alluded in his stomach troubling him sometimes he said for a day, then days to months but never this pain receded. Why didn’t the pain receded if he took all his medications on time and with proper diet? And as he walked many his age looked at him in envy for the old man could walk. Still it was not and could never be enough for him but why? Maybe the pain which alluded him was not in his stomach but in his mind. He seemed uneasy in company always preferring the old kins over new chums and sometimes old kins were too much. In large gathering you could see his lined-face in anxiety. His hands moving along from his head to cheeks in wonder. And it is then he actually seemed in pain. People were loud with their pleasantries, questions, and raucous laughter. He never felt alive in anybody’s company not even in the princess company. So, he wants to die.
She gazes at the pilfered sky set on the ceiling of her room, an uninspiring imitation to the original artist’s craft “with as little as possible” imagination into play. A bit weary but very much awake she tries to makes herself comfortable with a little shift to left while moving her right hand underneath her head. The mattress was pushed and bruised by her constant torment, she even crawled into a ball and pinched herself close but nothing worked. Was it the anxiety taking over her mind or was it the dilemma of her heart? Probably she already has answer but for life of her she was totally blank then.
With the little sigh and “humph” for added effect she just settled herself back punishing her pillow with her fist a little more. Her mind wandered in all directions never staying for anything more or anything less. It was as if she was in a flea market standing their haggard by chaos around knowing not what she was doing there. The street vendors were shouting the most aggravating sounds as an Auntie was imparting her negotiation skills with the girl of gen-next. To be frank the girl is looking baffled with Auntie’s depth of knowledge. The whole scenario revealed the debacle of her mind and how crazed her sleeping pattern was.
It had been more than a fortnight since she had a good night sleep. She always ended up in the same fatal position of drowsiness gazing at the artless ceiling wondering about trivial matters but never giving in to sleep. The night blooms in her peripheral vision lassitude she felt not in her body but her mind. Though she has tried everything the darkness carries more appeal than morning, to her state of mind seems to be under wicked spell. Awakened though tired she is in night the morning routine feels like an obligation every day. She follows same set of rules each day of waking up, eating, working and eventually sleeping. Redundant her days have become so in night her imagination gets active as she feels in control then and she plays out different scenarios some from memories and some just wishful dreams. In the end she felt like ticking Time bomb which will explode soon leading to massacre of emotions in her days of fiasco.
Annant heard it all; the music, the anger, the love and the war. It was all that defined her, made her who she was. Similar to a tree who had its branches and roots spread over wide towards the sky and the ground. She also kept her arms open wide not knowing that instead of praying she was ready to embrace a peculiar feeling haunting her heart. The pray of hymns didn’t seem that strong today. Her brows knit together she concentrated keeping the eyes shut. And murmured the words she remembered but the words forming in her mind weren’t the one she was actually breathing from lips.
It was like a cosmic revelation to her, queer but a piece of unsolved puzzle. She needed to put the markers at the right place. She needed to understand her brain and her heart was not in sync. The roots grounding her were trembling. The flesh of hers could feel contradiction in her and it was not good. Especially not now, when she needed to keep her wits together make the mark she required, no, needed to make. She opens her fist to feel the wind or something that could trigger her senses but not lead her to the path of cacophony. Biting her low lip she felt an epiphany no matter how harsh this storm is, she needed to fight, to survive. Never mind the constant thumping of her pulse. Nevermind the cry of sharp No, screaming through her nerves causing goosebumps. She has to make it through, try one more time, face her demons. Stronger she act stronger will she be. In the path of procrastination and anxiety she was her self-made destruction. It will take time to build something meaningful out of her life. After all Rome wasn’t built in one day and this was her whole life 8,766 days she left behind and fragments of lifetime yet to be lived.
“To be human and not hope is like watching sunrise without feeling its warmth.
To be a person who is looking for validation is like a starving artist wandering aimlessly for inspiration.”
She sat down patting soft cloth on her face checking her reflection in the mirror while doing so. Her demeanour was poised and elegant when she kept the cloth back but her eyes crinkled just a little and lines were creasing her forehead. She was frowning, at what she saw, the sparkling eyes seem dull to her. The natural rogue on her plum cheeks reminded of her predicament. Holding in her breath for few seconds she sucked in the bloated tummy. The image floating in front of her eyes felt grotesque to her. This is not how she should feel she knew that but every night sitting here the tawny fingers of hers touched and followed a pattern of masking her face. The fingers try to paint her contour in certain way so she looked beautiful and felt beautiful. Perhaps then he will notice her think of her little more and then he may whisper sweet nothings in her ear like he did . He will not look tired (“Possibly he was tired of looking at her” she thought) and would pay more attention then look weary when she told him about her day.
Her eyes fell on various tubes, gels, expensive creams she used to become his Fair Queen. Yet nothing seems to be working she even started eating less (though when he just switch on T.V. in the living room in their room alone she finds solace in the tub of ice-cream) to reduce weight. In morning she joined yoga classes to help her get better and healthy. While in night she thinks of putting two fingers inside her mouth but is scared to do so. The eyes of her turns into saucer as the surge of anxiety hit her. The tears well up as a quiver is formed on her lips but she tries to keep it in, by biting her lips. The man she loved did love her back, always sweet and respectful to her but still she wished he looked at her in manner of amazement and pride. The way he once did.
The lights of the other bathroom went off and a shadow of man entered in dim lit room. She saw his every move with bated breath. While cleaning his glasses he looked at the cot on the other side of room. “Is she a sleep?” he asked while looking at her reflection in the mirror. “Yes” was her dichotomous answer not knowing what else she could say. He nodded “Hmm..Good” he said to her while moving towards the bed “Are you coming?” he looked expectantly at her “Is something bothering you?” this question startled her. “Um..N..no” she stuttered”Why do you ask?” looking at him curiously. He shrugged “You are not sleeping or eating properly for a while”. She bit her lip and closed her eyes, he noticed. Hope rushed into her system but she tried not think much of it. “It’s nothing. Everything is alright.” she lied as he looked at her curiously “You go on and sleep, I’ll be there in a minute” she said as she hesitantly smiled at him. His eyes still were curious but nodded and he went to sleep. Her insidious secret was safe for now but she had an idea she will crack soon. She knew her thoughts were far from being cheerful and could be hazardous to not only her but their relationship.
She checked on her daughter before going to bed. Trying to enter her side as gently as possible without waking him up. s she joined him her mind assessed her earlier conversation with him “ He noticed” it whispered. Something welled up inside of her as she turned over facing the cot. Suddenly she felt his arms around her which surprised her. His embrace was negating the doubts forming in her mind. In the end perhaps everything will actually be alright. And perhaps in his embrace she is already beautiful and validated.
Ode to Her
Let her sleep through the lullaby sung by her Mamma
Absolve her from your pride, from fate and karma
Deliver her to the doorsteps which she can call her home
Immensity of her bravery on other people never prolonged
Fortiude that she had bitter life didn’t hurt her
Forcing her to move forward in storm
She is courage, She is survivor
The palpable sky on eve of partition couldn’t understand the grief which divided an ex-British Colony. The celebration turned sour when families had to leave their home and decide to be part of one of the two great nations, Union of India and Dominion of Pakistan. The family of my maternal grandmother was under the same dilemma being a Hindu family based in the city of Lahore. Both countries were painted red with blood and violence on innocent people. With the glare of harsh reality set up on many, friends and family couldn’t move forward with the so called independence. And many who did had to travel forward leaving behind the carcasses of their loved ones. On one of such days my Grandmother and her family waited for the passenger train which will take them from Lahore to Delhi. While the station was chock-full of people having no time to do more than worry of one’s own safety and look inquisitively at the guards doing rounds. None of these people noticed a toddler just 6-8 months playing gaily on railway tracks. Then moment of abeyance set in when the train was seen approaching making large rattling and hoot like noise. Suddenly cry of little baby sitting on track was noticed by many. I don’t know if she was the one closest or the only one who had the courage. But a girl of around 15 years saved the little baby while losing her hand in process. The little baby was her brother and the girl was my grand-mother. Was it the adrenaline of the situation which led her to do this suicidal act of heroism? Or was it just plain fright of losing one more person who was close? From the day my parents told me the story of her life as refugee, in poverty, marriage (to be saved from being “raped”), determination and fortitude with which she lived not only inspires me but humbles me too.
To me she is:“ The Angel who survived darkness”
Fairytale or Her: The Magic of Fantasies or Pragmatism of Real Life
When I was a little girl, naïve that I was at heart I viewed world differently. To my gentle eyes the fairytale my Maa and Grandmaa told me were absolutely fantastic. The princesses in these stories were the most cherished characters of mine with every demon and dragon slayed more enamoured of Knight-in-shining-armor I got. At first it was the warm embrace, familiar scent and soft voice of Maa which were the reasons I listened to these fables but then I built a liking towards these stories.
When summer vacations started other scrawny little kids went on a holiday with their family. While I visited library nearby Maa’s office, and my visit there were the simply serene. Each day I was off to a new place, island and sometimes a whole new world. I became devout to the finely binded books with written letters profound to my lips and even today the scent of an old book set me at peace. Through the aisles of cherry wood bookcases I searched with my pudgy hands a tale weaved so rich that every script of letter I read would open doors for new possibility. And i was always delivered such possibilities every time and I was always put off when at the end of the day I had to leave them behind.
In fairytale I found a whole new world but that was all they were tales to churn my mind. The princess was this ever docile character, the damsel in distress, who always even by their best efforts ended up in the dump of their impending dooms and a prince or Knight-in-Shining-Armor was the only person who can revive princess good fortune. I loved these stories, I cared for these characters but I missed on the real heroines, women who everyday fought the impending doom by themselves with or without their prince to support them. In last hundred years women have brought the change in society which if these women hadn’t faced or resisted things would have been different or if i may say a lot similar to the time fifty years back. The tragedies and horror these women faced and all the support they got is more than lore. So even after so many happy memories with books I’m ready to read about more than a fairytale. I’m ready to read and listen to the story of her.