I am drunk right now and I can't think straight. I can't remember where I belong, I don't remember my own name. I'm weeping and I want to write. I slit my vein and paint the walls of my soulless home, letter by letter. "Y-O-U". I can't think of any other word. My pashmina carpet is a shade redder. By eyes delved in a bloodlust. I walk to the bathroom, stumbling upon furniture, eye sight blurring with each step, my eyeliner melting into puddles from the side of eyes. I take off my summer dress, yellow now turned to red. I peel off my undergarments and stand infront of the bathroom mirror, all naked. I trace the cigarette burn scars on my stomach, I trace the slit skin on my thighs. My body has been a temple to the satan, exorcised by too many disciples. My skin is a layer of unsuspended guilt, hatred, brutality. I turn on the shower and stand under the water. I rub my breasts with all the soapsuds in the bathroom shelves, to erase his touch from my pores. But they have seeped too deep. I fall on my knees, crumble like a saran wrap thrown in the dustbin. I rock myself back and forth, hushing the anxiety sitting next to me. I stare at the clock above my head. I stare at it for half an hour. One, two, three, four.... The hand of the clock ticking. I reach out for my phone. I dialed your number. I am high, drunk, upset and wasted. I knew tomorrow morning I would spend thinking about the consequences of this phone call. Nevertheless, I am drunk, I have an excuse to call you. "Hello", you said and my time froze. I smile, like I rediscovered a lost part of my childhood. "There's a scar below my collar bone, like a sickle of Titan. Do you remember how you kissed it first and told me this is a part of 'us'? You left yourself in my body. I cut and burn myself to let go of you. I can't. Hello, I am dying." I was sobbing as I spoke, alcohol does this to broken hearts. "Where are you? Are you safe? How drunk are you? " you sounded genuinely concerned. Were you? "Drunk enough to remember nothing but you. Safe? No, I am dead." I laughed. I put the phone on speaker and slit another vein. The bathroom floor now a light shade of crimson. Vermilion pleased my eyes. "Hello, you. I miss you.", I say and I hang up the call. I wait for you to call back. You don't. 'Just-another-wasted-chick'? Yes. I hold the shower knob and turn it off. I walk out of the bathroom, stark. I lay down on the bed, bury my head on the pillow with the mark of my smudged lipstick. I cry until sleep has the mercy to embrace me.
I woke up feeling upset. I started my day thinking it's another day of struggle and worthlessness. I lay in my bed for an hour, trying to fall back into sleep . I can't sleep. I'm cursed that way. I get up and make my bed. I wash my face and bring out the packet of bread from my refrigerator. It smells stale. It has expired. I forgot getting groceries again. I throw away the bread and make myself a cup of coffee and some instant noodles. I can't eat. I try to swallow but everything seems to be stuck on my throat. I've checked my phone 10 times already. I'm left on seen. I sigh and start to study. My laptop is on my lap and I'm writing down notes. My fingers are trembling. I can't decipher whatever I'm noting down on the sheets. Tears are jerking at the corner of my eyes. I pick my phone and drop a good morning to you. You reply back 3 hours later. I try to talk to you. You dodge me. I'm hurting but I'm still asking you if you're okay, if you're feeling feverish, if you've taken your medicines. You leave me on seen and disappear. For hours. I watch you coming online and going away. I'm crying. I'm waiting. I puke in the washroom. Anxiety. Nightmares. I think of running away, going away from you. Then again, I've tried all this. Hurts to keep you close, kills to let you go. Do you read me? Do you know that I wish I never met you? Do you know that you're becoming a black hole to me?
It's a quarter to 11. I'm impatiently waiting for you to text me back. I turn off my WiFi to distract myself. I pick a book. I read 3 lines and then I'm thinking of how it feels when you read me your favourite lines. I pick my phone again. You haven't replied . I sit at my dining table and tap my fingers, a bandwagon to my anxiety. I gulp down a few spoons of my food and leave the rest. I cannot. My stomach hurts. I check my phone . You haven't replied. I text you again "did you sleep?". You are asleep, I know. I'm feeling hollow. Another night. I'm on the verge of tears. I lay down on the bed and curl my knees close to my stomach. I try to breathe. I'm crying. The tears are soiling my pillow. I stare at your chat box blankly, running my fingers through your name. I take the last resort. I go to my gallery and scroll down the pictures of your hand that I have saved into my phone. Your palm. The back of your palm. I stare at them and they stare back at me. I zoom the pictures, observing the lines that run on your palm. I try stupid things like finding the initials of my name on your palm, like I read in the article about soulmates. I'm sobbing by now, aching physically . Ali Sethi sings in my ear " na khule aankh agar khwab hai toh khwab hi sahi". I look back at our conversations, my forceful attempts to keep talking to you after you reply with "hmm" . I face the ceiling, tears rolling down my ears. I think about your promises. I think about holding you. I think about how much you mean to me and how little you care about it. I think of my love that I keep pouring into you , the love at you do not want at all. You know, when you tell me that I deserve better, that I should focus on myself, I become certain yet another time that you do not love me . How stupid it is of me, crying about you every night, knowing you're sleeping. I'll fall asleep holding the phone into my palm as though I'll lose you if I part from it. And tomorrow morning, I'll watch myself being left on seen.
Cause I don't wanna lose you now I'm lookin' right at the other half of me The vacancy that sat in my heart Is a space that now you hold Show me how to fight for now And I'll tell you, baby, it was easy Comin' back here to you once I figured it out You were right here all along. - mirrors ( Justin Timberlake)
We sit under an apricot tree. Kashmir this year, is colder than the previous years. The breeze stroll past his hair ; his hair , my honeydew. He leans back on the trunk of the tree and crosses his legs. He invites me to lay my head on his lap. He smells like tenderness. I call him my chaand, he calls me his Noor. I rest my head on his lap and close my eyes. His fingers find their way to my forehead. But I demand his lips to caress my skin before his fingers do. He nods his head, I'm his queen after all. He kisses my forehead and his kiss stays there long after his lips part from my skin. I've learnt to memorize his touch, I can recognise it with my eyes closed. He massages my scalp with Jasmine oil and holds my back against his chest. He plucks wildflowers from around us and embed them into my tresses. I smile, he smiles. We look like a frozen moment. He kisses me right behind my ear , just above the nape of my neck. I breathe and then I don't. He gets me breathless. He makes me breathe. He's humming our song now. I sit beside him and play my Sarang . We are singing together. I'm happy. He's my happiness. He completes me but I'm complete without him. I close my eyes wishing not to wake up from this dream.
We lay in bed and I observe him sinking into a deep sleep after making love to me. His chest rises and falls, my finger tracing my name on his bare skin,just above his heart , marking what's mine. His breaths lull me into the arms of peace and I finally fall asleep. In the middle of the night, I wake up startled, my nightmares following me. I'm short of breath, I'm choking, my body is shaking, anxiety is tying knots on my stomach. He wakes up hearing my teeth jittering. He grasps my hand, fill the gap between my fingers with his. His hand is patting my back, caressing my hair and he says "shaant boo, main yahin hoon. It's okay. It's going to be okay." I have trust issues. But I trust him. I stare at his curls and slow down my breathing . I'm believing him. "He said it's okay, it's going to be okay, he'll be here to make it okay", I whisper in my thoughts. I squeeze close to him until he and I are skin on skin. I close my eyes and relax into him. He's holding me. He'll hold me. I'll be okay. I look into his eyes. He smiles and my fingers run circles on his beard. He says "I love you, J". He loves me. He brings me a glass of water. I take slow sips while he kisses the knuckles on my hand. His palm is fitting into mine. I lean to kiss him ; long and slow and soft. I disappear into him.
//Aaj jaane ki zid na karo Yun hi pehlu mein baithe raho Aaj jaane ki zid na karo//
Now when I walk by the streets, I don't hold your hand. I don't assure myself that you'll help me cross the road. I walk alone , thinking how you're walking alone. We're in two parallel worlds. But we have not stopped walking, haina? This night I hum, aaj jaane ki zidd na karo bubu, aaj jaane ki zid na karo.
//Tum hi socho Zara Kyu na Roke tumhe Jaan jaati hai uthke jaate ho tum//
I don't drink coffee anymore. I don't look at the sky. I don't understand these galaxies and constellations . But some evenings, when nothing fills your void, I walk to the terrace with a cup of coffee and I stare blanky at the stars. Can you see them too? Do you think of us when you look at them? Aaj jaane ki zidd na karo bubu, aaj jaane ki zidd na karo.
//Waqt ki kaid mein Zindagi hai magar Chand ghadiya yahi hai Jo aazad hai //
I've lost all my strength to fight back this loneliness. I want to sleep. The clock ticks to 3 am. I'm thinking of us. Of you. Of your voice. I want you to hold me together, put me back into pieces that are parts of your puzzle. Aaj jaane ki zid na karo bubu, aaj jaane ki zid na karo.
//You are wrong if you think that the joy of life comes principally from human relationships.// - Into the wild
If you listen closely, you can hear the rain plattering against the window or the cars swooshing by even the summer breeze that touches every flower growing in your backyard ever so gingerly but the whole world seems to be in a hurry with no time to spare, with no time to care.
Some world, where we are busy smothering one another with boundaries and restrictions where I grit my teeth in pain and tell you this; I belong to no man, no woman but I feel a sense of kinship with trees swaying away from the nearest human settlement and even when the sky is speaking in tongues, I do understand.