Saturday, August 27, 2016

How I almost stopped writing




Of late, I don't feel the urge to pick up my  pen like before. It makes me think, have I really lost it? The one thing that I love more than anything else in this world, the one thing that kept me going all these years? I don't know. I like to think not. I prefer to believe that writing has not abandoned me completely. How can something that's a part of you be taken away?

I took to writing when I was going through one of the lowest phases of my life. Writing healed me, it was my therapy and I made some life long friends along the way. Some of whom are still there with me and some had to leave or I had to let them go. But the one thing that gave me hope through all of the curveballs that life threw my way was writing. I lost myself in the world of words. 

Though there have been days I have gone without writing a word, when I always came back, it felt right like home. Even now, there's a little nudge inside me to keep writing, to keep creating. I haven't been a prompt blogger, I haven't been replying to comments and I'm extremely sorry for all that. But thanks so much for having faith in me. 

It's been a tough time for me and as things get better, I hope to write more. To do justice to all the stories in my head. It would be easier to give up, shut down this blog, an idea that I have been toying with. But that would simply make me a coward, to shut down my voice for fear of being judged. I want to write, to speak what's on my mind, just like I used to. And even if I don't succeed, I'm definitely not going to stop trying. I owe it to myself, to the words that I have been gifted with, to the people who had faith in me even when I didn't. It took me a while to realize it, life may change but somethings are forever...

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Reunited



It starts with a kiss, the kind that takes your breath away. The deliciousness of the surprise, the taste of your lover's lips. Peppermint and spice. 

It's been far too long. I want to cry out but I don't. It dies inside my throat and I concentrate on relishing the little time that we have. 

So much to say, so much to catch up on.  Never before have we been parted so long. My first love, my savior. Welcome back, Words. I have missed you so. More than I can say, more than you will ever know...

P.S. Howdy? I missed you all! 

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Hiraeth

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How are you?

Your message blinks on my mobile screen. How am I? That has been a question that I have been asking myself of late. Couple of years back, you wouldn't have felt the need to ask me that, you would know how I was just by looking into my eyes. You would have been by my side and not on the other side of my screen.

After all, we are were best friends. You know of all the times Hagrid made me cry, you grumbled when you had to tag along with me on my book shopping sprees. I was the first one you dissected your favorite movies with. 'Blue is the warmest color' kept us awake talking about relationships and love for hours. 

Butterscotch was your flavor, chocolate was mine. You always knew how rainy days made me write bad, sappy poems. But life as we know it, changes. You got married, moved across oceans and countries to start a new life while I stayed behind. Our friendship was uncomplicated, untainted by love. 

Today, your display picture shows you kissing your new born daughter. She is cute, your little one. I can see that she will grow up to be like you. And in another, I see you looking at her fondly, that look that was reserved only for me. It now belongs to someone else. 

The day you left, you took a part of me with you. Inside my chest is a scooped out hollow where you used to be. I have been seeing someone for the past few months, but I know that he will leave soon when he sees the blankness behind my eyes. Some things and people can never be replaced. Drifting apart was only natural. Was it your fault or mine? Or why don't we take the easier route and blame it on destiny? 

You will never know about the dark nights I spent battling my demons, that rainy nights scare the hell out of me now and that writing love poems is a thing of the past, just like you. I may never get to hear from you about those sleepless nights and the joy of that first smile. Likes on your vacation pictures, a comment once in a while on my status updates, that's what we have turned out to be. 

I'm fine, I reply. And you?

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Stalker

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Aditi tried to ignore the heaviness inside her as she got dressed for the party. The text from Vivek was read, but not deleted. He wanted a break, that's what he had told her, that they were going too fast and he wanted time to think things over. The jerk. He didn't even have the guts to say it to her face. A text was all that he had sent. 

I hope we can continue being friends. 

How very convenient for him. She felt the hidden rage bubbling over, threatening to spill. She took her phone and deleted all the messages from him. Next she opened all her social media accounts and blocked him there too. He was just like the rest, it was her foolishness to think that he would be any different. He too had used her, and when he had his share of fun, she was discarded, unwanted, an afterthought.  

Never again, Aditi swore under her breath. She was done with men. She didn't feel like going out, not in her current state of mind. But she knew what would happen if she were to spend the night in. There would be pizza and binge watching sessions of one of her favorite TV shows. And then, there would be tears and she would go to sleep in her pajamas, weeping on the couch. 

Not tonight. She had a party to get to. One that she wasn't interested in going to in the first place. Two days back, she had made plans to spend it at home with Vivek, just the both of them. Well, look how well that turned out. No more plans either, she would go where life took her. She might as well make an effort and spend it with people and party music around her. 

The red dress she chose had a plunging neckline and the necklace she wore lay against her bare skin, the heart shaped pendent kissing her there. She dusted the bronzer on her skin, highlighting her features. The bronzer shimmered in the dull light as she turned. Her waist length hair lay in cascading waves on her back, the deep red lipstick was applied to perfection. Grabbing her purse and stepping into her six inch heels, she finally felt ready, a little like her old self.

The night breeze was cool and the traffic on the road that would normally have bothered her, was tonight oddly soothing in its familiar honks and noises. The party was in full blast as Aditi stepped inside. The music hit her head on in full force, and she allowed to be enfolded into its embrace, desperate to forget, eager to move forward. She saw a few friends and joined them, swaying to the music. It was too loud to talk and she was glad, the last thing she wanted was to answer awkward questions about Vivek.

After what felt like hours, but was probably just a few minutes, she felt the pain on her feet as a result of dancing in her too high heels. She made her way to the bar, to catch her breath and order a drink. Maybe it was the muted silence that greeted her in this corner of the pub, the sounds of the party seemed to fade away, or maybe it was her feelings that were finally catching up on her, she felt the sharp sting of tears. Closing her eyes, she tried to brush it away, aware that the mascara would run down her cheeks, giving her away. 

And all of a sudden, Aditi felt claustrophobic, the walls seemed to close in on her, her chest tightened, her breathing turned ragged. Her hands held on to the bar counter as she closed her eyes and tried to take deep breaths. 

One, two, three. Breathe in, breathe out. 

This was what usually helped when she had one of these panic attacks. She had managed to keep it hidden from the world till now, allowing her walls to come down only when she was alone. They were increasing in frequency with each day, slackening her grip on reality. Her sweaty palms and labored breathing must have given her away, for the bartender was looking at her with concern etched on his face. She gave a feeble smile to show that she was all right and he turned back to mixing drinks with a wary look. He must be used to all sort of weirdos by now, she mused silently. 

She sipped the virgin margarita that she had been nursing for a while, feeling the sensation returning to her limbs when the same bartender pushed another one towards her. 

"I'm sorry, there must be a mistake. I did not order this," Aditi told him. 

"Oh, this one is already paid for. By the gentleman," he said with a slight nod of his head towards the far end. 

In the velvety darkness, it was next to impossible to see his face. All that she caught sight of was a towering silhouette that walked away, not even glancing her way to gauge her reaction. Who was he? Was he simply looking for a girl to pick up, to have fun with for the night? But if he was, why did he leave? 

Feeling puzzled, she turned back to the glass that the bartender had pushed across, and that was when she saw the note on the paper napkin, beneath it. The words written in some kind of marker, had started bleeding across, merging with the drops of condensation that slipped from the glass and onto the napkin. 

No man is worth those tears, Beautiful. No one. 

Was this some kind of joke? Or did she really look that pathetic? Aditi had prided herself on managing to hide her feelings from the rest of the world all this while. Crumbling the tissue and taking a final sip from her drink, she resumed to the dance floor, unaware of the turn of events that her life was to take from that night. 

... to be continued. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Childhood sweetheart




I have seen you as a wobbly kneed boy
As you ran behind me pulling my pigtails 
Throwing little stones far into the middle of the pond 
Seen you climb trees, taught me to ride my bicycle 

Skipping classes together, muffled giggles
Sharing lunch boxes, snatching away what was already yours 
But somewhere in the middle, we lost each other 
I moved across cities, you stayed behind 

The next time we saw each other, the boy had gone 
In place was a man, with a deep voice and scruffy voice
I felt intimidated, distant 
Drifting apart was only natural, hurting was all the more so 

Today once again, you are there by my side 
Rushing in when I needed you the most 
Holding my hands, tightening your grip
Once again, I saw a man in you 
And no, it wasn't love, it was kindness that drew me back to you 

Not just for me, but for the whole world 
Your ability to empathize with others 
Feeling their pain, making it yours 
As for love, it would come later

Creeping in between phone conversations 
And late night strolls 
Through the books exchanged 
A new story that I had begun to write, but the beginning always remains the same
A childhood sweetheart... 


Monday, May 23, 2016

The woman who worshiped Serpents

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She was the woman who worshiped serpents. Some called her a witch who practiced dark magic. Others claimed to have seen her walking naked near the serpent shrine some nights. I had seen her only from far, she looked the same now and many years earlier when I had seen her for the first time as a boy. Her skin was dusky, her flowing hair swayed with her hips, an unruly mass of oiled black curls. She was seen placing milk near the shrine at twilight, for the snakes to feed on. 

Vasugi. The woman who held mystery in her eyes and the only one who enticed me with her charms. Dark magic? I do not know. Nor do I care. In many ways, we were both misfits, sticking out like a sore thumb in a small village of like minded souls. I was married for a short while, till my wife decided to run away with an old lover. They said it was because I couldn't give her a child. Impotent. The jibes continued to follow me wherever I went. 

That night, I don't know what led me to her hut. Was it the rain that threatened to drown out my entire village that led me to seek shelter near the shrine? I like to call it destiny. There she was drenched to the bone, petting a snake that lay crawling by her feet. What happened next is still unclear to me. She got up and went, after one look at me, a smile tugging at the corner of her lips. Was she so arrogantly sure that I would follow her?

The inside of her hut was sparsely furnished. A tiny cot at the corner, some vessels in another. A few placed strategically to catch the rain water leaking from the thatched roof. She took my hands and placed it on her bare skin, skin that should have been cold, but was burning like fire. I traced the contours of her face, the hollow in her neck, her closed eyelids. I kissed the raindrops in her hair. 

That night, in her, I lived. In her mystique depths, I finally felt like a man. A year later, she gave birth to my daughter. With her curls and my toothy grin. We still attract looks and hushed whispers wherever we go. But I was no longer termed impotent. There were others who said that the child was not mine, but a boon that was bestowed upon her by the snakes. As for her, she turned a deaf ear to them and continued to worship the serpents, the only God that she believed in. For me, she was no longer just the woman who worshiped serpents. She was the air that I breathed. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

The writer who couldn't write

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Words. They run around on the inside of her skull. Random. Haphazard. The moment she tries to string them together in a pearl necklace of a sentence, they scatter all around. Silently. Some run under her bed, some go into hiding behind her bookshelves. She knows there is no use going hunting, they were stubborn. Much like her. They would reveal themselves only if they felt like it. 

The cursor blinks on the blank screen. She feels claustrophobic, her hands grow clammy, slick with sweat. She shuts down her laptop and tries to drown herself in her books, in the faint hope of finding some form of inspiration. But again, they escape her, the words going above her head. 

Is this the writer's curse, she wonders, that when the muse disappears, along with some memories, her words would betray her as well and leave with him too? Or was it her punishment for loving too much too soon? For now, the only option that she has in order to make a semblance of her life is to go back to where it all started. To go back home...

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