Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Sometimes inspiration comes from places you’ve never heard of. Sometimes, it comes and you don’t answer the door. Sometimes, a hand holding yours seems warmer than your mother’s bosom. Sometimes a kiss would mean the world to someone. Sometimes somebody would pick you up and show you your right place and price. Sometimes, these dreams seem futile.

I started to write because I wanted to improve my handwriting but for you it might be your dinner or your wildest dream come true. I wasn’t made a star but I was born one. I do not shine for all like the sun but I wink with sparkling eyes at that special person. Sometimes, you never find that special someone.

When I walk the streets they look at me for I just walked out of their dreams. They say “he is my inspiration” but I have none. I walk alone without any inhibitions. All I got is time, leisure and power. What I lack is will. Will I?

That was the question. That was always the question. Sometimes, you need to ask the right questions. Answers are irrelevant. Someone did say so but I guess I was too busy with the question to notice who it was.

I walked into the rain, I walked all along with the sun and I walked out of the snow: I was. No. I am Perfection. But doesn’t that mean that I lack nothing? I believe I don’t. I don’t.

They often talk about a thousand different memories. I sing about them and they echo my lyrics. But what about my memories which always had four walls of thickest concrete about them? Am I a prisoner? But I am the only one who has known true freedom. I am that person who can touch anyone as per his whims while no one can touch him unless he desires that touch. And yet, he remains untouched by humanity. Only perfection touches him. He became Perfection.

Like the Sphinx, like Tireisias, like the Ardhanaareeshwara, he was complete in himself. Yes, I lack nothing; I am complete.

But when I touched her, a droplet of crystalline blood spilt from her chalice and I realized my imperfection. And she, like a naiad from my wet dreams, vanished into a puff of cassia fumes. For the first time, I realized my incompleteness. I wandered like a Fakir in search of that true music of my soul. She was a soulful melody who danced to my Sufi heart’s rhythm.  I became a wandering sage and she became my melancholy. A happy melancholy. Transience became her eyes and through them I saw the Baul in me. My Iktara became I, me, myself.

And she talked to me for the first time. The ghunghroo of her feet matched my Damru’s joyful skipping of heartbeats.

Dugeun Dugeun.

My heart beats.

Dugeun Dugeun.

Her face seemed familiar for the first time and I recognized. It was she. My eyes, my ears, my taste, my smell, my touch, my emotions: it was all her. She was my all. She was me and I am she.

And I entered my trance, yet again. I was complete, again. I am complete, now. You are my inspiration. You are the light that illuminates the darkness of my heart.

Darkness, beautiful darkness.

 

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  • Dedication

  • Jang Keun-Suk will always remain to be a bright star that ignites the minds of many and this I dedicate to him. Be the same, Oppa.

    Stars of Destiny

    There was a Star weeping in my horizon when I woke up from that nightmarish slumber. His reddish gaze melted my icy eyes. Why are you hiding in the dark corners of the Night, I asked him. Sometimes the dark visage of the Night is brighter than the bright agony of the Dawn, he retorted. But why do diamonds run down your cheeks like this; I wished to pacify. The Moon, the Moon – he wept with a roaring sound. But the Moon is just miles away from you, I said. Why do you cry? She will be with you in some time, I smiled. She’s dead, he told me. She’s dead! The blood drained off her cheeks. The Sun sucked the darkness out of her. Now she’s but a corpse. She’s dead, she’s dead! He wept with a roaring sound. And he fell from the high Heavens.

    I, who was waiting for him, caught him swiftly. Deep in my heart, I felt the pangs of guilt as I secretly enjoyed the fall, for I knew that he had a different destiny. Moon is not thy destiny, I sighed. Blasphemy! He roared. You speak venom! He spitted fire at me. The Moon, my Moon. He wept.

    In a fortnight’s time, the Moon entered her bedchamber to shut herself away from the hues and melodies of the outer world. And he wept for her all through the day and the night. So I held his hands throughout the day and the night and I saw him breathe moist smoke and felt his chest burn in the acidic melancholy. It hurts, I know. I told him. Hold my hand, please. I told him. And the pain will course through your veins into mine. I told him. And we will be joined in the pain, I told him. He didn’t recognize the warm guilt boiling in my throat. He didn’t recognize the sweet love beating against my chest. But he knew that I could be trusted and he gave me the promise of sharing. Of sharing pain. Of sharing.

    As the petals of the days that came by opened one after the other, we blossomed as blooms of the same wild shrub. His pain made him glow and my love made me so. We conducted the clouds as if we were Mozarts of our own realm. We drew tales in the water with our own blood while the swans read them with red pleasure.
    What are you afraid of, I asked him. Of losing her again, he told me. But you don’t have her now, I pitched in. But if I did, I’d never want to lose her again. I cringed at the thought of that union. My sighs became little whirlwinds that made the maple trees shed their pristine red autumn’s share of leaves when it was only the earliest of spring.

    Danpung-Nori.

    They say maple trees constantly looked for something new; somebody new. For once, I hoped that they will make him look. Look for me? I begged my sibling maple spirit.

    Maples reminded me of them. Mahua. Mahua, my sisters. I have basked in the glorious wine of their youth in the vain attempt to reach the skies; to reach him. They always told me that it wasn’t my time yet. I wish if I could see them again. And ask. Is it my time?

    We floated on the clouds that took us to the heights of spring. The dewy blossoms smiled at us and we, as blossoms of a new world, camouflaged our radiance in a gleeful smile. The bright diamonds giggled as their crystalline shadows were cast on our feathery skin. Sunlight, he said, and smiled sadly.
    I had to do it.

    I leant towards him and placed a kiss, softly, on one of those reflections and they wavered in coy innocence. A drop of blood started to spread its roots across his otherwise pale face. The redness conquered his beautiful face. And I smiled sadly.

    The sadness evaporated as he drew it out of my lips with his. Like a chill being pulled out from your chest through your mouth. A sweet chill. A chill you love.

    A star, I own. I laughed in harmony with the laughter in his eyes as I said it.

    And a star I made, that no one else can ever have. He said it with a proud, glittering smile.

    Those eyes, those eyes! They make my breath vacillate in between my lungs and my throat. And yet, they are mine.

    The Wings of Glorious Love swept us away from the clouds and hid us beneath its magnificence. The clouds played symphonies that were never heard before in Life or Death. The Wind passed invitations to watch the royal revelry of our love sealed in these Wings to all that’s ever walked the skies.

    And a dew drop fell on to the Earth. And it was green and red and yellow and white. I held out my arms to him. Amidst all the whites that covered us, a red thread of passion, which grew out of my veins, exultingly rushed to meet his veins. And in that moment, we were one. Inseparable. Congruent. Yin and Yang.

    The Night and the Dawn conjoined. The Stars in the high Heavens gleamed with pride. The mystery unveiled itself as it happened. The Earth stood in all stillness; in awe.

    A new star was born. Born.

    ©

    Have you ever, even for once, thought that teaching little kids is an easy job? It’s not. I am telling you from my own experience.

    Late at night, when all my best friends were probably snuggling cosily with their husbands or boyfriends, I was evaluating the answer sheets of twelve year olds. Quite a life, I have.

    You know what I do when I get stressed out? I read poetry. I am that awful writer who always wished that one day I might write something which I wouldn’t regret later on in life. That never happened. I still write like a lovesick teenage girl. Yes, you got it right. I wouldn’t do well as a feminist.

    I ran my fingers through my bookshelf and randomly picked up a poetry book and surprise, surprise! It was Blake’s lucky night. As I imagined a fiery, ever powerful man, pouring the flame of his candlelight into the sockets of a tiger which he just sculpted out of thin air, I stood awed. The tiger’s physique and the description were truly sensuous, to the point of hyperventilation even; that is if you know what I mean. The only relief I had after this quick escape to the realms of the imaginary was that ‘Twilight’ was not the first or only book in which people romanticized animals to the point of eccentricity.

    I rushed to the kitchen to ease my restlessness by finding something to munch. I quickly made some salad, so that my hunger could find its salvation. Quietly gobbling down the vegetables, I switched on my laptop to find someone online to chat with. Apart from few random friends, nobody was online. At least, not the people I wanted to pour my heart out to. I was getting more restless with each passing second. What can I do?

    I woke up the next morning to realize I got only two weeks of vacation left. Two weeks from now, the school will reopen and by then I’ll have to evaluate all the papers and make progress reports too. Surprisingly, I finished all that yesterday night. The perks of having nothing much to do, I should tell you.

    I started packing after breakfast. I’ll have to reach the old farmhouse by the evening and set up the ambience for the meeting that was going to take place on the 13th of June. My best friends and I had decided to meet after 10 years and it was day after tomorrow. Even though we were in touch, thanks to technology, we never really got a chance to meet up not even once in these ten years. Five of them were married, two engaged and the one left has been in a steady relationship for 8 years now. I’ve always been the black sheep. An excellent example for the after effects of “playing with the fire”, I was. Some of them call me “commitment-phobic” and the others think I am too proud to be in a relationship with a man. Truth to be told, I got heartbroken once and then I promised myself that I’d never get to that position ever again. And I believe in keeping promises.

    When I got to the old farmhouse, it was as quiet and beautiful as ever; like a loving mother, waiting for her children to come back. Look at her; she will forgive us all for our every sin. I asked the housekeeper to clean the place up and decorate the place with red and blue lights: fire and ice would be the theme. I set out to the town to order some flowers for day after. The florist’s place was literally “heaven on earth” with a hundred varieties of flowers and leaves adorning its every nook and corner. I smiled melancholically and they smiled back at me as if they knew my secrets; my pain.

    There is this view of the lake on the way back to the farmhouse. There are these wooden benches and a boulevard of cherry trees. I always wished to live in a place like this. Never really liked the din and frenzy of city life, I should add. I sat down on one of those benches and conversed with the water and air about their own beauty. “How come you never age?” I asked them. They laughed and told me that they change with every rain and every drought; “It is you who don’t change”, they told me. “You can die, we can’t and therefore, you are luckier than us; we are cursed”. They looked sad when they engrossed themselves in their melancholic ramblings. I sighed and looked at the sky. She acknowledged my sorrow and sighed with me and the winds roared across the cherry trees.

    With my eyes fixed at the distant nothingness, I failed to realize a dark, tall and lonely figure approaching me. It came and sat next to me. The wind brushed past our faces. The long lost fragrance of memories burned my nostrils. “I prayed much that you wouldn’t come”, I said. “I am cursed with a remarkable memory. Even though the optimist in me was made a martyr of love 10 years ago, I never stopped believing in myself”, he said. “Well done, Ry. You’ve managed to keep yourself as insane as you were”, I told him. I stood up and started walking. He followed me.

    We walked into the realms of our past. There stood the younger version of us, holding hands and looking at each other with eyes that spoke of profound sadness. That was the first time he broke a promise: let’s part, he told me then. The Us from the present walked further down the memory lane and reached the college gates. Sports day, it was. Sitting in those stands with friends and watching the finale of the intercollegiate football match where Ry was a midfielder, I was waiting for them to win and to end the long awaited suspense. In twenty minutes, I did break it to Ry.

    He proposed in the first year and me, being the haughty New Girl, rejected him and stuck to the Lets-Be-Friends theme. And on that last football match, I proposed to him. He accepted with a cheeky smile that said “You are stuck with me forever, girl”. One more month and college would end. But we were waiting for the end as we planned to make it all known to our parents. We were the craziest couple you could set your eyes on. Our wordplay was quite famous in the whole friend circle. Even more famous were our weird fights – yes, we used to fight for fun. We were that couple who enjoyed being at each other’s throat at every given opportunity; but our love was evident even in those cat-eats-rat games of ours.

    The excitement and the adrenaline rush kept on increasing with each kiss and every slap. On the eve of the very last day, he proposed to marriage – the only thing left to do. As always, the coward in me rejected the notion. What was my excuse? We are too young to be married. He was furious. We got into a fierce cold war which resulted in a physical fight and eventually, in sweet lovemaking. I was leaving the next day and we won’t be able to meet up for years. Neither of us liked the idea. So we went for a therapeutic walk. Under the cherry trees, we sat reminiscing the past for a long time. A mad tripe of our insane days together flashed before our eyes. We were meant to be together, said our friends’ adoring eyes. You’ll be remembered, chanted the college walls. So we decided to part and meet in 10 years if we were really meant to be. It was then that he broke our promise. He cried. I never wanted our last meeting to end with tears. But he had to cry. That was how it was supposed to be. So much so that the poetry in his tears rung in my ears even after a decade.

    My eyes found its destination and it was reciprocating the gaze. Ryan. How much I missed you! My eyes told him thus. You can read my eyes but I can read your sighs, said his eyes. I have been reading them for 10 years, give me some credit! – He added. I passionately gazed at those windows that showed me my dream. It came true.

    “Can we walk into the future together?” he asked earnestly. I thought for a while. “Yes”, I said.
    The sky split open to shower us with heavenly fireworks. Invisible crystalline flowers kept tickling us as it fell on our bodies. The Night conquered us with a majestic sweep of her arms. We stepped forward to enter into that wild dance with which the wind was engaged. It swept us off our feet and threw us into the crescent where we landed, giggling wildly. The laughter transgressed the boundaries of inflaming lust. And in that ecstatic moment, did we close our eyes to open it in the split of a second.

    I found myself alone, waiting for the night to wake me up. I stood up and followed the quiet path to the old farmhouse. The grassy path whispered an occult chant into my weary ears. But I was too engrossed with the rhythm of my footsteps. An eternity awaits me. Not many get a chance to go back and change the past. My firm footsteps annoyed my tiny grassy friends but I marched on. My heart and foot marched hand in hand to go back to that day, to Ry and to a future that never existed before.

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    Break

    Posted: January 7, 2012 in Fiction, Random
    Tags: , , , , ,

    I want to cry, I told him. I want to scream till every pore in my skin oozed out the pain I bore in my heart. Everything will be ok and things will be better, he said. I am not so sure, I replied. He got up and left.

    My last hope, my best friend, just left me. I was not to stop believing in myself though. I will still fight, I told myself.

    It was on the very same day that I met Him last year. Everything was just the same except for my partner at this Café. I was waiting for my bestie but he didn’t turn up. And He turned up instead.  He was waiting for no one. Seeing that I am waiting for someone, He came and sat next to me. Do you have a cigarette to spare? I asked Him as I saw Him smoking. He offered me a pack and I took one out of decency. I want to fall in love, I told Him. Sure, let’s get married, He said. Okay. When? That was my response. He got up and left without saying a word. I knew I’d never forget Him. And I didn’t. My bestie told me that I am crazy, though. Maybe he is right.

    Six months later, I dreamt of Him. He got married to me in a dream.  My bestie took me to a shrink when I told him this. The shrink told my friend that “there are reasons to worry about.” He was right. I was diagnosed with cancer last month. And it was the last stage. Just my luck, you know.

    So I decided to be normal for a change. Or what my bestie thought was normal. I woke up at 6 and went to the piano classes and got back around 8 and went to college. I was never a brilliant student so it didn’t matter if I went to classes or not. I spent my evening with Sam, my bestie. I should have told his name before, no?

    I made it a point to have supper with my parents. They’ll soon lose their only child. Sam says it’s really painful to lose someone whom you loved. I never really loved anyone.  I always asked Sam if it is necessary to have eyesight to fall in love. I have always been sans vision. I mean eyesight. I’d never agree with someone who would say that I got no “vision”. Am I weird?

    I was born blind, yes.  Out of curiosity, I’d ask Sam to tell me about his girlfriend. He’d get really irritated. She was a sweet girl but she’d never hang out with us. Later, I came to know that she never came along with him because he left her for someone else. The next girl didn’t like Sam hanging out with me so he left me for sometime until she broke up with him. I teased him that no one can stand his nonsense as much as I can. He’d love it when I told him that. He’d laugh and hug me and also, tell me that I am the best. He’s nice to me.

    Anyways, I am dying and I wanted to be remembered for something. So you know what I did? I called up a random number and asked the person who took up the phone to come and meet me here at the café. She said yes. And now I am waiting. She didn’t turn up as I guessed. So I’ve decided to handover the story that I wrote to the first person I meet on my way back.

    But you did know that Sam was my boyfriend, right? And I broke up with him just a few minutes ago, right? It’s just that I like imagining stuff all the time. Hope you didn’t mind. Oh yeah, the rest of it was true. I am barking mad. 

    P

    Posted: December 19, 2011 in Fiction
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

    The noiseless memories rattled my mind with a pain I cannot narrate. I was walking back home after a movie. The story of a dancer. A tribute. The pain pierced through my heart to my spine. He was a wonderful dancer, my P. They called him the future. Until the day of his death, he danced like there was no tomorrow or even today. People lived a life or perhaps many lifetimes in his one performance. He was a legend; a modern master, even.

    How could he fall in love with me? It was simple: I was an abstract painting that made no sense to him and he always fancied things he never understood. He liked puzzles and the slow unraveling of the mystery. In simple words, he was a man fond of foreplay than the act of sex itself. We were a couple made to tear the bedspreads.
    I walked into my studio apartment on the fourth floor and switched on the lights. As always the first thing I saw was the pictures of P all along the wall. Being a professional photographer, I was always proud of my skills. But looking at these pictures, I felt that I couldn’t really capture that elemental thing about P. I don’t know how to put it. What do you call it? Essence? I don’t know.

    The darkness emanated a sorrow which voiced my thoughts. I swiftly had a bath and went to bed. Hunger left me the day he left. I usually had a filling lunch and nothing else; no breakfast and no supper. P used to say that I cooked the same way an artist produced a work of art. Licking the food off my finger, he’d tell me that he liked the taste of my hand better than the taste of any food. Now you know what Riyan meant when he said we were made for the jungles.

    Initially, I thought he was making fun of me when he said he’d die on the eve of his 29th birthday. I spent the entire month preparing for his birthday. A week before D-day, he fainted whilst rehearsals. I was dead worried and we rushed him into the hospital to face the hard truth: P was suffering from brain tumor, final stage. Even at that point, the only thing he was worried about was his show the next day. And you know what, he did it. And not just that, he danced till his last breath. He died onstage, before his fans; his wish was fulfilled.

    It was two weeks after his death, that I started receiving those letters. Somebody sent me letters that told me about P’s life. Things I never knew. At first, me being the eternal romantic, I thought that it was something like P.S. I love you. But no, it wasn’t P. It wasn’t his handwriting, and those weren’t his words. P had a magic language; he’d woo you with his charming speech. The Writer had plain language, like me.

    The first letter told me about the first day he saw her: Annabel. Naked. Jealousy shook me like the wind which twirls those dry leaves in the boulevard. It told me about how P by hearted the rhythm of her heartbeats and how he’d dance to it even in the darkness of his bedroom. How come I never had that effect on him?

    And I thought I had never felt this jealous of any woman until I got the subsequent letters about Riza, Moira, Ameana, Nimi, Sira, Hiruki and the entire list. Suddenly, I felt so insignificant. But the fourth letter told me about the only girl with whom P wanted to have a baby. That was me. I felt like a volcano, which was confused whether to erupt or not. First of all, I couldn’t believe that P could ever nurture such “typical” thoughts and then again, I couldn’t believe I never thought of this myself.

    By the eighth letter, I knew most things about P’s life. But I didn’t have as much interest in knowing P’s life as I had in knowing the Writer. Who could be this jobless to write letters to me? And moreover, who knew so much about P? It couldn’t be his parents, I was sure of that. P’s mom died 4 years ago while his dad was with his sister, in a comatose condition. His sister has a job, 3 crazy kids and a loving husband and P told me that they were never close as kids. P had one best friend, Noah. But he’s in Australia, with his wife and children and probably doesn’t even know that P died. The funniest thing about those letters was the fact that it never had an address. It just had my name. It didn’t even carry any stamps. I asked the postman, but he said that he had no idea, which, I know, is untrue.

    Eight months after the death, one day, I tried to follow the postman to find out if someone passes this letter personally to the man instead of posting it. But no, I was wrong; it was indeed posted. This was getting creepier. I lost my sleep and appetite. But one day the letters stopped. I waited, but they never came. And as they never came to my doorsteps, the adventure ceased and P’s memories rushed back to the original spot. I started spending days with those memories of him that I had accumulated over the years. I organized a photo exhibition which showcased pictures of him that I had taken. It was much appreciated by many people, especially P’s fans. Some people tried to boo me my saying things which they thought would hurt me. One of them said that I photographed P during our intimate moments because I knew he was suffering and I’d earn from it some day. I don’t care, I tell you. I knew why I took those pictures. P asked me to. He did. He told me that he’d want to live in those pictures for a long time. He would not break the tie with this earth and Life, as long as he could. Why didn’t I conceive? I kept asking myself. If only I did. His tie with this world would not have broken, in a sense.

    All these insanely melodramatic thoughts kept me going. Until the day I received the last letter. Finally, I got to know the Writer. He was another fan of P who got to convince P to help him write a detailed biography, which would be semi-autobiographical as it included stuff written by P too. Things he wrote to Syame, the fan, in the form of letters and which he didn’t want to be edited at all. I got to read a copy of it all. And I almost swooned in mad ecstasy when I read about a day when we had the craziest of adventures. We went on a road trip, on P’s Harley Davidson and we didn’t stop till night. And where did we stop? In a jungle, of course. We slept on the ground and made love like animals. And woke up the next day to find out that we had got so far into the jungle at night, that we were actually lost. So what did we do? No points for guessing. Made love till we embarrassed the skies, and it in return turned red. And we somehow managed to find some sense out of our nonsensical minds and we rode around for 20 minutes before hitting the main roads. When we were with each other, nothing mattered. There was the energy that flowed from me to him and vice versa and nothing other than that.

    And tonight, I miss him more than ever. He would have been 30 today. On his 28th birthday, I came back to his life after staying away for a year and a half. We’ve been together since college times. He left photography for dancing. Dance was his passion and he was my Muse. I suffer from lack of inspiration at work, each and every day now. You must sleep, I told myself.

    Did I know that I’d never wake up again? Yes, the doze of Seconal that I had before getting into bed was way over the limit. But you know what? P would have loved these sorts of things.

    “To your memory, do I write a sonnet?
    Or an epic? You say.
    I will write a lyric with my love,
    Dipped in the ink of my heart.
    I bleed with love; and
    You stained me with yours.
    And now let me stain your death with mine.
    Can you see me yet?
    I am almost there.
    Almost there.
    There. “

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