Feeds:
Posts
Comments

To be happy

You can’t say I don’t try. I try all the time. I try . When I make myself spiced tea, inhaling deeply the whiff of cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg and all those spices which remind me of home , I’m breathing in a light breeze that flew all the way across the seas, instantly painting my mind with forests deep green, backwaters still and skies thundery and wet. But then I remember you, pale and slightly ill. I remember wanting to make you feel the warmth of the spices, so that they’d make you see what I could; I remember making you the same tea. The spices are not just mine any more. I stir my tea vacantly, stir and stir. Clockwise and anti clockwise. I forget how many times I’ve stirred. There are still faint swirls of steam floating up from the cup. I place my hands over the cup, letting the steam warm my hands. I try.

Reason has long since left the recesses of my mind. I gaze at my necklace. Golden chain, dusky rose stone pendant. Pretty, I thought when buying it. I gaze at myself in the mirror, wearing it. I touch the necklace , feeling it rise and fall gently across my collarbones. But then I remember you, I remember you touching it. Pretty, you told me. You took it off. And then you touch my collarbones, your fingers trace their outline, your lips lightly skim across them, sending shivers across me and making me kiss you. I look up sharply and take it off. I fling it away, furious. I try.

There is barely any space to sit or any space to even move my arm. The room was filled with people. I knew some, but not many. The room’s owner was sitting on the window ledge, casually strumming her guitar, drawing glances of drunken admiration from the room’s inhabitants. I hoped she wouldn’t drop the guitar. Everyone had a glass. I had one too, but it was half empty. I sipped my wine and noticed the photos on the mantlepiece. Her and her friends, her and her guitar, her and her family. Your photos were all across your walls. In one straight line that crossed them. You and your friends, you and your family, you and yourself. You would fall asleep, but I would stay awake and look at your walls. I saw bits of your life on these walls, the bits which I had never felt and the bits which I would never be a part of. I break my gaze away from her mantlepiece , away from the photos and walk out of the room. It might be colder outside, but at least I try.

My heart was beating fast. Too fast, the nurse said, her voice laced with concern. I look at her face, searching it for a sign that she wasn’t serious. It wasn’t there. She held my hand gently and squeezed it. I could feel the tears welling up at the back of my throat. I wring my hand away weakly and clutch the sheet. I feel a sharp sliver of pain and I see her pushing the needle into my vein. It scared me, watching my own blood rush up into the syringe, dark and red. Then I remember you, angry, upset and in pain. I remember my heart beating fast as I held your hand. The hospital made me nervous but funnily you made me more nervous. I remember the nurse telling you that you would be fine. I remember sighing with relief. I’m cold now, and the drip sends cold drops of fluid into my parched body.They’re keeping me overnight. Someone takes my hand again, and I respond gratefully to the touch. It’s the nurse, ofcourse. Not you. But now, you see, I don’t have to try any more.

Breathe

The room smelt different, it was foreign and yet it was hers. She closed the door behind her and leant against it. Her hands were cold, but then, they were always cold. She inhaled deeply. She let the air in, and it moved and spread through her like a drop of ink on paper that grows bigger and spreads out in tiny tendrils. She tried to calm her heavy breathing. Slowly, but surely, the tension was leaving her. It was like a heavy cloak had wrapped itself around her, wrapping her in its warmth, one that she couldn’t lift off. The tight feeling around her heart, the clenched stomach, the lump in her throat- she wanted to shake it all off and she did just that. Like a dog that emerges out of water and shakes the droplets off, she shook herself.

The window was open and there was a breeze that lifted the curtains ever so lightly. Those yellow curtains with the white flowers. That had been a good day. Shopping in the market. Lots of laughter, a broken slipper and the resulting hobbling around. She moved closer to the window and let the breeze touch her face. It was cool . Like the glass on the side table near her bed. The other one lay fallen on the table. A short, thin rivulet of red wine had trickled down the side of the table, but it had already dried. She hadn’t noticed that last night. She picked the wine glass up by the stem,twirled it slowly and set it down straight. She traced her finger along the little river of red, sat down on the bed and closed her eyes. Her resolve was crumbling. She could feel it dying to break out, a huge mass of pain, for so long having been rolled into a tight ball, perched on a precipice, ready to fall. She lifted her face and then lowered her eyes to the ground in a final, defeated gesture. She fell backward and hit the bed but she could feel herself falling deeper and deeper, into a dark crevasse. Her tears crept out slowly, they stole their way out, taking with them her last shreds of fraying self control. She flailed her arms out wildly, reaching out for something to hold onto, to give her support, but her fists only managed to clench the rumpled sheets. She grasped them tightly and inhaled the scent still lingering on the sheets, of him, of their sweat that mingled and coalesced when they could feel nothing but pain and pleasure at the same instant in time.

She smiled, then, through her tears. A smile that made the falling stop. She was floating now. His laughter and words were the clouds underneath her, they buoyed her up. His teasing, his kisses, his embraces, his voice. His crooked half-grin. Stop! A voice inside her cried. Stop it! The desperation grew louder and louder, like the roar of the sea that engulfs a tiny boat caught in a storm. He’s not coming back, the voice screamed. She sobbed. She screamed. Called out to him. Her scream could wake the dead, he used to tell her. Could it not wake him, then? Wake up. Wake up. Come back.For me! The unspoken words lay formed on her lips. Never to leave. Never to be heard by him.

The Daily Show

 

Kill me if you dare, hold my head up everywhere

Keep myself right on this train

I’m the underdog, live my life on a lullaby
Keep myself riding on this train
Keep myself riding on this train

Love in Technicolor sprayed out on walls
Well, I’ve been pounding at the pavement till there’s nothing at all
I got my cloak and dagger in a bar room brawl
See the local loves a fighter, loves a winner to fall

Feels like I’m lost in a moment
I’m always losing to win
Can’t get away from the moment
Seems like it’s time to begin

Kill me if you dare, hold my head up everywhere
Keep myself right on this train
I’m the underdog, live my life on a lullaby
Keep myself riding on this train
Keep myself riding on this train

It don’t matter, I won’t do what you say
You’ve got the money and the power, I won’t go your way
I can’t take from the people, they don’t matter at all
I’ll be waiting in the shadows till the day that you fall

Feels like I’m lost in a moment
I’m always losing to win
Can’t get away from the moment
Seems like it’s time to begin

Kill me if you dare, hold my head up everywhere
Keep myself right on this train
I’m the underdog, live my life on a lullaby
Keep myself riding on this train

Tell me if you’re down, throw your weapons to the ground
Keep myself right on this train
Hey bird you’re on the wire, sold yourself for another one
Keep myself riding on this train
Keep myself riding on this train

Underdog by Kasabian

 

The Undergound.

It always disappears. Much like the time needed to get to work. What disappears, you ask? My strength disappears. The strength I need to fight a million people just to get onto what is known as the London Underground-the sole fast mode of transportation that does not get stuck in traffic in the great city of London. The rush down the long flight of stairs, the hasty dash into the doors ever ready to slam, the elbowing and clenched lips, all part of the daily effort to accomplish the first step-getting onto the train. Once that is over with, you stare around (if you’re me) at the other people who are unwittingly either a)  in your same plight and wishing fervently that they arrive at their destination soon or b) dozing carelessly/pretending to doze carelessly c) the rare species who are happily chatting to someone else , totally oblivious of the manner in which you are pressed up against someone’s chest/armpit/shoulder/neck( you get the idea I’m short).

The train winds its way across the city and sometimes it hurtles along, literally throwing you around in the metal box and other times it floats along gracefully like a cloud in the clear blue summer sky (Note- said blue sky is rare in London and most parts of the UK). What, however, is fiercely astonishing is the silence. Mostly, there is absolute pin-drop silence in each carriage, which would have been on the top of the list of my fifth grade teacher’s ardent desires. Apart from the faint beats emanating from various music playing devices (usually the ubiquitous IPod) and the rustling of the pages of a book or news paper, there really isn’t much said/heard on the train. Sure, I’ve heard of the British upper lip but boy, this can either be seen as admirable or ridiculously stuffy behaviour.

Finally, halfway through the journey, I manage to get a seat and plop down unceremoniously. The old man next to me is tapping furiously at his Iphone and the blonde twenty something opposite me unleashes one make-up device after the other-mascara, eyeliner, lipstick, blush… Most of the passengers stare at her finishing her makeup routine and the blonde twenty something is transformed into a HOT blonde twenty something. I sneak glances at her too; secretly jealous and secretly glad I don’t go through this rigorous regimen everyday in front of at least 50 –odd strangers.

Then, there’s the (if you’re lucky) inevitable highlight of the journey- eye contact with an attractive stranger. You’ve never spoken to him but you happened to catch each other’s eyes and you repeatedly smile in a I- think- you’re –cute manner , but always knowing that there’s nothing beyond this protracted daily show. And then all too soon you reach the end. For today.


The Bench

She’d been waiting for him. There had been no goodbyes said or exchanged. That had been five years ago. She had known that she would never see him again. Unless it was true what they said about the universe. But could you really expect the universe to have such a genial personality when 98% of those who make up your universe don’t have one?Would it really ‘conspire’ with you? The office complex was gigantic. She had no idea which floor he was on, all she knew was that he worked here. What could she do, except wait?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2wmKcBm4Ik&feature=related

So she sat on the bench. Right opposite the steel and glass monstrosity.


She felt tiny, and lost. There was a steady stream of people walking by. Men with dreadlocks, women in suits, girls in baseball caps and boys in skinny jeans. The sun began to set and the sky was soon a dark pink streaked with orange. It changed and kept on changing, till the creamy moon set itself in an inky black sky. People began to leave the building. Some in groups and some alone. Knowing him , he was probably one of the last to leave and was still in one of those offices that shone with a tiny dancing light. She was nervous,certainly. She didn’t know what to say. He had no idea she was here. She had no idea what she wanted. She just wanted to meet him. Or at least catch a glimpse of him.

Six hours since she’d been sitting on the bench, he came out. He was tired, she could see that, by the way he walked, by the way in which his hair had been run through several times. She smiled, thinking of how he’d always run his hands through his hair and make them stand on edge leaving him looking like a confused school boy. He walked slowly and mostly looked at the ground. His gaze would have reached her by now. But he had turned around and now stood with his back to her. He was waiting too, she realised. A pit of fear grew inside her. And she suddenly wanted to run. What had she been thinking? He turned about, looked at his watch and then suddenly looked at the bench on which she was sitting, frozen with indecision. He stared at her. He didn’t say anything. She heard his name being called out and his eyes widened further. He quickly looked around and was enveloped in a hug from another woman. They held hands and he turned around to look at the bench. There was noone there.

Had he imagined her? That was impossible. She still looked the same, but her hair was longer. Her eyes. Still the most beautiful eyes he had ever seen. He disentangled himself from her hand gently and walked to the bench. He sat down and put his head in his hands. Then he swiftly got up. He couldn’t let her go, not again. He ran. He ran up the street, there was noone. He ran back to the bench and ran in the opposite direction. He kept running. He couldn’t see anyone. But he didn’t want to go back to the bench. He entered the park. He was so angry. Angry with her. Angry with himself. He saw her then. It had to be her. There she was, sitting with her back against him. He walked over slowly, trying to think of what he could say. Nothing. He sat down. They looked at each other and then they looked away.

Time

The trails of smoke from the dead cigarette grow faint as the moon gets brighter and rises higher, leaving me as I stay hidden in the shadows.  But I liked where I was, hidden but still able to see everything that I wanted to.It started to rain and I sat up. I’d been lying on the roof, trying to think of one thing at a time but failing miserably.My mind had woven intricate spirals of relationships and possibilites. I smiled and shook my head.  I pulled out the jacket from underneath me and put it on. There was a persistent rustling of the leaves as the trees shook in the strong breeze that was now blowing my hair in my face. I sighed impatiently. The weather seemed to contrive to throw me inside my all too familiar room . I loved these breaks on the roof, where I lay looking at the sky. Suddenly, there was a crash. I peered cautiously over the edge  and stared onto the street. Anticipating a bunch of drunken revellers soon to start singing away some 90s pop song, I was surprised to see just one person. There was a broken bottle behind her and she kept tottering forward determinedly. I shifted to lie on my stomach, feeling curiouser and curiouser. Four inch heels and a silvery dress that swung about her thighs with short ,bedraggled deep chestnut brown hair.

She was humming to herself and had one hand on the wall to keep propelling herself forward as well as to prevent a confrontation with the cold stone pavement. I strained forward as she walked further away. Then she stopped. Slowly, she moved away from the wall and walked to the middle of the lane. She pirouetted around to an imaginary audience and slowly tilted her head up. At that precise moment, the rain stopped and our eyes met. I wasn’t sure, but it seemed as if she could see me, even though there was barely any light from the street lamp. She smiled, twirled again, and curtseyed. I clapped.  The noise echoed throughout the lane,seeming loud and garish. I stopped at once and retreated back into the shadows. The air had grown still now and it carried her soft voice  as she said ” Goodnight then” . It floated inside me and I tried to catch it.But ,it floated too far away and hid itself. I had managed to touch it, but not to catch it. I rummaged around in my jacket and found another cigarette. I couldn’t find my lighter though. I stared in exasperation at the street lamp, wishing for the flame to leap lightly on to my cigarette. Oh well. Tomorrow, again, then.

Being Panacea

Unfathomable depths of grey green seas.
Laughter that tries to dye yellow sorrow blue.
Never a sigh that escapes, but I become Panacea.
Never the fall shall come, always an Atlas.
Cathedrals ,rivers, ancient windows and old true lives
Boats, rivers, many many lights, doors to new true lives
A curving of imaginary lines for new rivers in a new world
A glorious rule that bestows favoured grace.
Green wine bottles and a stolen moon
Violins plead for the bow to touch the strings
A profusion of harmony or a discordant riot?
A net of time that bleeds.

The Stone Roses

I don’t have to sell my soul

He’s already in me

I don’t have to sell my soul

He’s already in me

 

I wanna be adored

I wanna be adored

I wanna, I wanna

I gotta be adored

–The Stone Roses

 

The song was playing over and over in my head, as some songs often do. I’d heard Fool’s Gold a long time ago and not really explored the Stone Roses any further. Clearly, a mistake to be rued. But, I think I possess the finesse now to appreciate them better, at least. The haunting opening of the bass guitar renders the song as a plea first but the build up  finally reaches a stage where “I wanna” is replaced by ” I gotta”; perfectly embodying the soul of the song. Its one of those songs to which you picture yourself walking on cobbled streets on a chilly evening. It’s just rained and the roads are glistening in the reflected light from the store windows and street lamps combined. You kick  a random twig and then you suddenly shake the leaves from your hair. You try to straighten from the hunch that you know is a self protecting gesture, it always slips in unnoticed. And you yearn for a light, just this once. Just to keep you warm.

Well, at least that’s what I do.

I try hard not to think of someone. The longing for the adoration. A narcissistic tendency or just being plain human? But I want to adore too. Maybe that absolves me? I bemoaned my silliness. Why on earth was I doing this to myself?

I thought of the night. Dark . So still. So complacent. I’ve always liked the night better than the day. I love how everything  seems so alien and new. That familiar park bench that you’d simply sit on and read takes on a different tenor.

Night heralds all the cliches of secrecy and passion.You sit there, you glance at the spot on the other side of the chair where he should be. The one whom you don’t want to sell your soul to. But then, the song says you don’t need to . And you wish that’s true, with every fibre in you chanting the prayer. The song ends,ofcourse,after reaching a near frenzy. But before it ends, you also remember that the song  says this just before the final cymbal beat

You adore me

You adore me

You adore me