Upside Down

At night there is this entire universe of crazy that takes up space within. A universe that breathes secretively within the 3 walls of a cubicle all day, sinking lower and lower in the chair to avoid eye contact with people, occupies the entire night finding solace in silence, power to keep itself alive because only this universe understands that if it sleeps at night, it would be euthanized by the day.

Why does everybody wake up in the morning and go to sleep at night? Why not the other way round? Though I have been practicing it for quite some time now, but it is more of an over duty to be done, abiding by the rules of this earth to wake up every morning, but also abide by what I want which is to still be wide awake even when gong strikes 3. I asked google for a word which means ‘the love for night’, ‘Nyctophilia’ it said. The night, a world where everybody I know is sleeping, how comforting. Only a few, somewhere, on this side of the globe where night has dawned are enjoying the dark, the silence; just like I am. Most part of the night is spent on crazy imaginations, it feels abnormal having all these thoughts without any weed. These thoughts make sleeping difficult, they raise a sense of excitement within. At night there is this entire universe of crazy that takes up space within. A universe that breathes secretively within the 3 walls of a cubicle all day, sinking lower and lower in the chair to avoid eye contact with people, occupies the entire night finding solace in silence, power to keep itself alive because only this universe understands that if it sleeps at night, it would be euthanized by the day. This universe knows, it knows that it needs to expand, grow, inundate the day. Make people realize that it is not made only for the night, not made to hide under the covers of the dark sky. It needs to show it exists, it needs to stand up and step out of the cubicle that can barely contain its magnanimity. Instead of waiting for people to sleep and then rise, it has to rise so that the ones asleep are woken. This universe could be anything, for some the emotions they pour on a white canvas leaving it aurora-tic, for some the numerous combinations of 26 alphabets put together to express what their heart feels, for some the tune they can sing to that makes their soul alive. Everywhere, I see kids in adult bodies hiding their universe within, crushed under the 25 grams weight of the string they wear like an ornament every day. A corporate ID card that has now become the identity of this universe within, worth it? You hold so much, worth so much and all you are identified by is the designation, pay check and the company name you have mortgaged your dreams to. It is still mortgaged and not sold, it will be sold the moment you allow your night to be put to sleep by the day. Turn this upside down, you know your universe deserves the daylight. For so long you have whispered to the night your hidden desires, shown it your inner soul, dare to propose them to the day. Those on the path to drag dreams to reality, rarely fear rejection and failure, they tread the journey no matter how difficult because they know the destinations they have planned for themselves deserve it all. Don’t let the morning sun dawn on you; you from night. Let the dark go, but you be the same. The night has not blessed many with an alternate life, make it your only life.

Thirst…

This inability makes me feel like I got Midas to touch me, but instead of gold, he turned me into a stone. Yes, I thirst but I do not thirst for happiness that makes my heart pound against my ribs, but I thirst for the grief that makes my heart sink to deep bottoms, with no anchor to rescue.

Thirst, this word usually reminds us of water, rain, desert, dry, monsoon awaited ground or various forms of feelings that find resemblance with peace that comes after a long period of anticipation. Any feeling that quenches this longing. Any feeling which we wait for, and the moment it personifies itself. A feeling between something that your mind has been running after, and the day when your heart finally feels what your mind has been rehearsing for over and over for so long. The wait is always painful, and the moment of fulfillment, the ultimate joy.
But what if, the feeling that gives you joy is actually pain?

Why is the beauty of happiness alone, appreciated? Can’t anyone see the beauty in pain? How beautiful are those tears that flow without the fear of being stopped midway. Why is the twisting, turning, wrangling feeling within the heart not waited for? Fortunate are those who can cry, it feels like a decade that I haven’t been fortunate enough to feel it. Somehow that pain in my chest makes me feel I am alive. This inability makes me feel like I got Midas to touch me, but instead of gold, he turned me into a stone. Yes, I thirst but I do not thirst for happiness that makes my heart pound against my ribs, but I thirst for the grief that makes my heart sink to deep bottoms, with no anchor to rescue. I want to measure the extremes of my feelings. Yes, I thirst. I thirst for the time when I can let go this imposter of me, walking in high stilettos of hollow self-awareness. I want to walk barefoot and feel every pebble that makes me, every pebble that breaks me as I trek through life. I want to climb a high mountain, a very high mountain. I want to reach the peak, not to hug myself with a sense of achievement or fill my lungs with fresh air, but to feel lonely. There is solace in pain, there is peace in distortion and not many can feel it, in fact we pray for it to pass. Sit down, hold back and live the pain, don’t wish for it to pass. Pain contains within itself so much more than happiness does.

Today, I don’t long for happiness, I long for tears! Tears that used to flow, on listening to even the background score of a Karan Johar movie, or the view of a cat purring, or children on the signal selling flowers, beggars outside the temple or simply someone else crying. These tears have now become salty glaciers hidden somewhere  behind my eyes, glaciers  that refuse to melt. Yes I thirst, and I thirst for the rain only my eyes can shower, to quench the barren land of my heart.

The place where I met myself.

Sometimes I even dare myself to drink black coffee without sugar, just to check if that or your love is more bitter? Well, it has still not helped me get sober from the hangover of your love.

“I need to go there, right now!” my heart kept repeating this as I ran. Ran towards my bike, and off I went, to that same place I have been going to since I was 18. My friends introduced me to this place, it was a grassy downhill road that led to a small river. Since then I have been coming here, my heaven. This place knows me, it has heard every secret, every deep thought, every silly tantrum, the drunk music from my lips, just all! This place, knows all that I couldn’t tell people. All about me, all about the people in my life, the good, the bad, the scarred and the painted. But today I ran, I ran to make sure, it was still the same, not the place but what I felt for the place!
He came, and with him he bought new colors to my summer, new warmth to my winters, and a new shelter for my monsoons, but things were changing when he came, and that change went unnoticed, until everything fell back to its original being. Original? Well things were original, like my sofa was the same, my college was the same, the park I went to was the same, ice-cream outlet was the same, the theatres were the same but what I felt about them was different now. It was as though I gifted a 4 year old brat with charcoal in his hands, a beautifully decorated wall and allowed him to scar it. Change is so weird, when it is in our favor and we are happy with it it goes unappreciated, but when it goes against us and pains us, that is when it gets our attention. Love came and love went. I don’t repent the going of love as much as I repent what I allowed it to take away from me. As a parting gift, I gifted all the happy memories these places held before he scarred them. The coffee shop I sat in peace, now when I enter, the waitress asks, “You alone today? Where’s sir?”. The sofa I sat on and listened to my favorite music, is now stained from the tears I cried all night. The diary I held with love every night and wrote our stories on, is now sobbing in some corner, all covered in dust. You ripped me of all I had, and these places too. I would forgive you but would they? Everything is just so same, but still so different. My feelings for these places is like a cacophony of paradoxes now. Sometimes I even dare myself to drink black coffee without sugar, just to check if that or your love is more bitter? Well, it has still not helped me get sober from the hangover of your love.

But now as everything is changing, it’s difficult but I am coping. Today, as I went to the coffee shop, and faced the same question, I ran, ran to go and check if there was a place left where the old me was still alive. I just wanted to make sure, you and your memories have spared this place, hoping its untouched by the poison of your thoughts that sting everywhere I go. I push these thoughts aside, as I was about to reach my place. I ran through the meadow till I reached the river. Panting, I tried to take a deep breath, and first time, in a long time, I felt alive. So far I was breathing, simply inhaling and exhaling the flashbacks of your existence, but today I took a breath, a breath for me. It felt so much lighter. I was glad this place still had it, it was this place that would introduce me to the old me; my last connection to rebuild her. This time a more better her, the best version, with a bagful of knowledge and wisdom. It stood true that the best lessons are what life teaches, no school can match that.

Somewhere, when that brat with charcoal in his hands painted the wall black, he forgot that black was my favorite and I would redecorate the wall with contrast colors; such that it would make an elegant masterpiece.

That little room with a window

 

I woke up again, 2.15 am on the clock, a different dream but the same room. Today I saw myself walking up the wooden stairs, stairs that took me to a room. A little room with a window. My actions would differ from dream to dream, but the room remained static. All I did, all I was, all my actions were contained in that same room. Standing on the entrance, I was looking for something. A ball maybe, or a doll, I don’t know what it was, but then, a beam of light fighting through the cavities of the wooden window distracted me. Scared of the dark and excited about what existed at the source of the light, I took one step at a time. Slow but anxious. I reached out to the window handle, just as I was trying to open it, I felt a tug on my shoulder, light descending from the window stung my skin; I woke up in agony.

In another dream, I saw myself playing in that same light, making way from the window cracks. It formed circles on the floor of the room. I kept putting my right palm on those circles, in order to hide it, but then it would appear on the back of my palm, and I would repeat with my left palm, and it would reappear. I did this for quite some time, but then another hand, placed itself on my palm. It turned my hand red. I woke up with a jerk, and checked the back of my hand, it wasn’t red.

In a dream I had some time after the previous dream, I saw myself holding yellow flowers, sunflowers maybe. Again I was walking upstairs. Happy, murmuring a rhyme maybe. This time I had no problem opening the window, but the moment I did and looked at my sunflowers and they were dead, dried and brown. First time in my dream, I had an emotion other than fear. This time it was an internal pain, an uneasy feeling within. When I woke up, the same feeling still persisted. I still felt like crying my heart out. I did.

That little room from my dreams, was the same room I was molested in as a kid. Some fine day, it all re-appears, in the form of a dream, in the form of a news headline, in the form of a latest hit movie, in the form of an instrumental music or even in the form of darkness. The memories still prevail, sometimes around and sometimes within. I wait for a dream where I can breathe in that room, not cry, not be afraid. Open the window like I used to and stare at the world outside. The open sky, the lush green trees, the fresh air, hoping it would fill my lungs again, which now felt hollow. A day I would have a dream, where that room felt just like it was, before being possessed by the demons of a paedophile.

Life’s parody

It’s a story of me,

A hard, lousy being.

Alcohol addict,

Dark humor, you can’t predict.

I’m 24 and so vain,

Not taken, unrestrained.

I live my life in a backpack and a case

diving into valleys without a base.

I grew up saying yes mommy, yes daddy,

little did they know I was the devil’s caddy.

I slapped a guy in kindergarten,

oh! Right from 3 I was a Spartan.

Thus, was put in an all-girls school,

trust me it wasn’t all that cool.

All around, pony and skirts both high,

to all the boyish stuff, I said aye-aye.

I was born a girl, but I grew up a boy,

Mohallewali aunties saying haye-haye.

I had dreams, I soared to touch the sky,

undying courage that never went dry.

Meantime, I also liked a guy,

soon, he said didi bye-bye.

So long is life, so melancholic,

without an old-monk,

can you tell I’m an alcoholic?

So much to do, such less time,

should I chase my dreams,

Or run after a dime?

Here I am still figuring right from wrong,

temporary, or is this lifelong?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A wish for “Love”

I guess he is home!” I heard his bike roar in the parking. I rushed to the balcony. He must be walking upstairs now. I met him every day, through the silent spaces between our apartments, through the unsaid words resting on my lips, through the love that reflects in my eyes and is waiting to meet his.  Our apartment structure was such that I could have a sweeping view of his kitchen, his living area and a part of his bedroom. He lived alone, opposite my apartment on the second floor. I loved sitting in the balcony and gazing at his apartment, empty or full. I know it sounds creepy. It in fact is! Yet for me it was my little fort, where I spent a lot of time waiting for him. Just like Rapunzel, waited up on her prince.

I could see him walking into his living area. He looked a little different, a little more energized. He vanished for some time and re-appeared looking fabulous in a blue shirt. To me, he was always ravishing. I saw him a couple of times up close, when I went to the park with Aditi, my best friend. Aditi knew every bit of what I felt for him. There is a discernable calm on his face, the one we feel when the sun sets, on the hushing of trees as wind blows, the silence of a full moon night. I admired the nerves that could be seen so vividly on his arms, they somehow were so manly. He was not a handsome-hunk, the way other girls liked. Tall, brown, with biceps that bulge, but somehow with his average stature and a beaming smile that brightened my day; I fell in love. Gathering my thoughts together, I was looking for him again. He left in a hurry. Is he going on a date? Has he met someone he loves? Is he getting married? The rest of evening I paced about in the balcony. I read in one of the Mills & Boons, the guy goes out on a date with beautiful, witty girl, they hit it off and the guys gets the girl to his apartment. Was that going to happen today? After four hours of mindless, anxious pacing in the balcony, I finally saw him. Alone. Yay!

The next day, Aditi stopped by, it was a Saturday she had a day off. She usually spent a few hours on Saturdays with me. Aditi and I sat in the balcony, like I said my little fort. He was leaving for office, we both sat there giggling like little girls every time we saw him. He left his house. With a sigh I said, ”I got to wait until evening now, to see him again”. Just as I turned, Aditi saw him pass from under the balcony. She dropped a book in his direction. Shocked I stared back at her. A voice form below said, “Hey, is this your book?” I nodded. He called out to a little girl playing downstairs and asked her to give me the book. I slapped Aditi’s lap, pretending to be really angry, but instead I just smiled, and the secret was no more a secret.

Day in and day out I learned a little things about a stranger who was all mine. All assumptions, but all an important part of my reality. The time he made coffee, his favorite color, some of his best friends who visited often, binge watching of a combination of F.R.I.E.N.D.S and Game of Thrones back to back on a Saturday night. I just learned it all. I knew he was a sweetheart, I saw him help an old lady with her groceries one day. How I wanted to know more than just bits and pieces of him, but I knew, distances were best. I could silently love him this way, without the fear of being judged, being looked upon. I still had a fear of losing him, fear of losing something that didn’t even belong to me. Fear of facing the day when this beautifully decorated world of mine would come crashing down. From someone who doesn’t even know I exist, I wanted promise; a promise to just be. Be, so that my existence becomes a little more bearable to me. Aditi efforts to convince me to talk to him were futile.

I sat there contemplating my life, confined to only a certain spaces. Tied down. But now I had entered a new phase of my life. Love. The sound of this word soothes my soul, and also rises a tornado within. I knew Love was for me but also, not for me. In the books I read, love came in all hues. Love was a dying person’s last wish, love was a psychopath’s agony, love was what a husband had for his wife, love was also friendship that started in the third grade and lived long till the 80th anniversary. Love was also defeat, it was a cry for help. Love could make one strong, love could also weaken. Somewhere it grows in spite of distances, somewhere gets used up in the journey. Here love was just tied, tied to a wheelchair. Silently wrapping the turmoil within, I rolled my wheelchair to the balcony again.
 

Tu me manques💖

“I miss you” she uttered in a muffled voice. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she hugged her best friend. Amaira realized, distances were difficult to handle. Amaira and Ritika were childhood best friends, their play time was usually occupied with Amaira posing in her mamma’s heels and Ritika capturing Amaira’s innocent dreams to become a model in her cardboard camera. Amaira used to tuck a pillow cover over her head and act like a princess or a bride, and Ritika as
her bridesmaid. With an imaginary groom, together they enacted their wedding.
As they moved to their teenage, the cardboard camera was replaced with a ‘handycam’
and Amaira’s childhood fantasy of becoming a model was taking a serious turn to become her only passion. Whereas, Ritika took up to a multitude of hobbies. Sometimes she was the head-cook in her kitchen, and Amaira her associate-chef.
Other times you would find them both sitting at table and bringing their imagination to life on a canvas. Sleepovers at Amaira’s place were dutifully designed leading to a full-fledged make up session, forcing Ritika to color her face followed by an hour or two of selfie taking sessions. Whereas sleepovers at Ritika’s place were packed with binge-watching of her favorite shows, which Amaira had no interest in, but they both took joy in doing it for the other.

From sharing their candies as toddlers, to sharing their first break up, somewhere they grew up. Together, as an important part of each
other. They never imagined a world where distances would creep in, be it
physical or emotional. They were each other’s die-hard fans, worst critics,
shoulder in times of despair and a strict judge when needed. Here they stood today, singing a farewell to each other, filled with unspoken emotions, unsaid
promises, and a sisterly love that will never wither. Growing up had parted
their ways, where Ritika moved out of the city for her new job and Amaira on
her road to becoming a decent model.

“I will miss you too!”,Ritika said. Such few words exchanged, but they hold such deep meaning.

When we say we miss someone, what do we exactly miss? The presence?
The moments? Yes we do, but there is a deeper meaning. There are pieces of us,
which match exactly with pieces of someone else. Those pieces glow their
brightest, when they meet their matching soul. We miss the union of the pieces,
we sure do miss the person and their presence but what we miss the most is
being what we are, when we are with them. Rightly said in French, “You are
missing from me”. Such beautiful is the spark of two souls that find solace
with each other.

Ritika missed how her hair bow would look a little different, if
it was done by Amaira. Amaira missed how Ritika would laugh her lungs out, when she enacted one of her old professors. They were complete in all aspects, still
so incomplete without each other.

Resting her laptop on the nearby table, Ritika speed dials
Amaira.

“Hey babe, check the new article!”