The piece of torn paper dropped from Sudha’s hand. Tears welled up in her eyes. Her legs gave way and she collapsed in a heap on the couch right next to her. Numbing grief gripped her heart with its icy fingers. Sobs died quietly in her chest and she found breathing difficult. She propped herself back on her trembling legs and carefully cradled her swollen belly with her seven month old fetus inside. She bent down and picked up the piece of paper and read the writing again. It was unmistakably in Suresh’s hand and the words once again ripped her apart – ‘I am tired of living this life, so I am going to end it. It’s no one’s fault that my life turned out this way. I can’t really blame anyone but me …’ The writing apparently had continued, but since what Sudha had chanced upon was only a piece of the entire document which obviously had been torn to bits, she had no way of knowing what the rest of the writing was about. It did not matter. The words which she read were telling enough. Her world, the way she knew it had ended. When she had a break in her sleep in the wee hours that morning, she was a bit surprised to see the bed next to her empty. She assumed Suresh had probably gone to the washroom and went back to sleep. But when she woke up for the day a couple of hours later and found Suresh still missing, she became apprehensive. A brisk search of their apartment confirmed her suspicion that Suresh was not at home. She broke out into a cold sweat, her worst fears seemed to have come true. She had found the bit of paper sticking out from under the couch in their living room. When she had picked it up and read it, her world had crashed around her. *** Ever since the lockdown began, Suresh who was in the habit of going for morning walks had begun to walk on their building’s terrace to keep his habit going. So finding him missing from the bed was not unusual at that time. But that had stopped when the lockdown had been extended after the initial twenty-one days. Suresh ran a garment shop in a posh shopping mall but as it was not a shop selling essential items, he had to keep it shut following the directives set by the government. Their expenses had not diminished much whereas his income had dried up completely. With salaries, EMIs and bills to pay and a baby on the way, responsibility hung heavy on his shoulders. Suresh’s father, who had stayed on in their native town, never failed to remind him that if he had got a job after doing a masters in software engineering and not followed his “dream” of starting a business of his own in the glitzy big bad metropolis, he would not be in the trouble he was in. Although Sudha was still drawing her salary from the primary school where she taught mathematics, Suresh had found it increasingly difficult to make ends meet in a set-up that was tuned to running on two sources of income. Forced to take a loan from his caustic father, his self esteem had plummeted to its nadir. And when the lockdown dragged on Suresh slipped further into the depths of hopelessness and despair. He started spending his days in bed, staring blankly at the television screen, hours on end. Sudha, much to her dismay, had realised what these symptoms were and was petrified about what the consequences could be. However, much to her relief, from a couple of days back, Suresh showed signs of recovering from the onset of clinical depression. He seemed more energetic and optimistic about turning things around. The day before, he had in fact told Sudha he had a surprise in store for her. But for Sudha, the events of that morning came as a chilling shock – much different from the thrilling surprise she was anticipating. Patients of melancholia are often known to feel bursts of lucidity before succumbing to chaotic outbursts of hopelessness and guilt which often make them suicidal. Fearing the worst, Sudha composed herself, left the apartment and rung the neighbours’ doorbell, intending to ask them for help. But before the neighbours opened their door, she saw Suresh step out from the lift in the foyer. He was carrying a bouquet of flowers and a big packet of goodies. Sudha could make out from his eyes that he was smiling wanly under the mask he was wearing. A rush of relief flooded her and Sudha happily drowned in it. *** On hearing from Sudha about the ordeal she had gone through, Suresh felt extremely guilty. He then went on to explain what had actually happened – ‘I never for a moment thought that my trying to set up a surprise would end up being such a cataclysmic shock for you. For the last few days, I have been reflecting on the financial quagmire we are stuck in and trying to find a way out of it. A week or so ago, I had reached out to my college friend Shankar who owns a software company in Bengaluru to find out if he could pass on some work my way. On hearing about my problem, he did me a huge favour. He has appointed me as his company’s freelance representative in our city and has already put me in charge of two portfolios. So our financial woes are over for now. And then when I do open my shop, I hope to put Manoj, our current manager, in charge of running our day-to-day activities while I continue to service clients on behalf of Shankar in our city. I had gone out early in the morning to buy some flowers for you and pick up some snacks. We’ve gone through a lot in the past few months and I wanted us to celebrate in a small way. I thought I’d be back before you woke up but got delayed as the snack-shop was implementing strict social distancing and sanitization procedures which took up more time than I had anticipated. As for the torn note which caused the entire problem, it was actually a part of a sort of a letter I had addressed to me to help me motivate myself to end my current life of stagnation which I had brought upon myself and to start afresh with a new outlook towards handling the adversities of life. I had torn up the letter and had thrown away the pieces in the trash and I had absolutely no clue that a piece had been left behind by accident, a piece which would lead to such chaos.’ *** Sudha held Suresh in a tight embrace. They had realised, life was full of ups and downs, replete with trials and tribulations where the only way forward was through the morass of fears and problems. As long as they fought their battles together, they felt, they would win …
Time is a wily trickster It alludes you to illusions It tells you that your tomorrow is formed by the actions of your today
But what it doesn’t tell you is that your today has been built up over several yesterdays -
Yesterdays in which, every time you’ve shouted ‘carpe diem’ in the confines of your mind you’ve only ruptured the somnolent silence of complacency blanketing your consciousness
Yesterdays in which, each and every minute, second or instant you were thinking of grabbing hold of and latching onto, had already slipped through your fingers before you even realised
It’s because Time is like fluid sand, which, the harder you try to grasp, the tougher it becomes to hold on to
Time is quite the prankster too, it builds you up, and leads you to the edge and once there, if you dither for even a bit before taking the plunge, it pushes you over nonchalantly
Then when you are in a free-fall, screaming in morbid fear with not a soul around to hear you, Time doubles over in a racking laughter that echoes and reverberates in the very insides of your quivering shuddering self
But Time has its moments of weakness, which you need to seize to survive, for those are the moments which make or break your life
So be wary and be cunning to beat Time at its own convoluted malevolent game by making the most of its weaknesses …
In case you’re wondering what these weaknesses are, well the answer is quite simple really It’s an answer you’ve known all along, an answer that has stared you right in the face and has been hiding in plain sight
These weaknesses ... they all go by the name – OPPORTUNITY
Make most of them and then Time will really tell ___
A work-related hiatus had kept me away from posting. Since time is of the essence for me at present, I thought of writing an ode to Time itself. Hope to keep posting regularly, though not as frequently as before … Thanks to everyone for your kind reads and your gracious support
I know we aren't together anymore. But some nights, your memories burn down my house of peace I'm striving to build everyday. I know it's impossible, forbidden. But I long for you.
There was this shirt heavy with your fragrance I found in my closet. And I kept it a secret to myself. Afterall, what else have you ever given me. I decide to keep it. Unwashed, tucked away neatly, I preferred to preserve it.
Some nights I hallucinate about a warm hug while being enveloped in the cold winter wind. Some days I hallucinate about being in love while being broken because of love.
I wish I could keep you. The way sky keeps the moon. I wish I could accept letting you go. The way sky accepts the fall of stars. I'm upset. I could do none.
So many days have passed and I can feel every essence fading. But I don't know why, I haven't seen anything disappearing totally; lately.
I wish you could promise me before going, that I could still remain the same person when the world keeps changing.
I want you to make me the 11:11 wish of a 31st December because you miss me. I will stay with you till 12:01 am and tell you about the withering garden of love I'm keeping in my heart and sing you a midnight song that reminds you about us. I'll tell you about all the empty nights of the year that passed and how much afraid I am to face the nights of the year to come.
I won't stay with you for long. I promise. But just this brief moment, when its neither the previous year nor the next, I want you to remember that 'we' exist together even when 'we' aren't together. And when everything is in transition, we are permanent; atleast our memories are. And that's our forever.
In this withering garden of love, you are the only trespasser I am willing to give a shelter.
You have always been my 11:59 wish of a 31st December. You smile there, kiss me soft, apologise and disappear in the 12 am of a 1st January.
And just like that, another year passes when I meet you and let you go in the moment of a forever.
'Because a year lies between one minute of two days of two months'.
Goodbye to the past for it showed us what we weren't aware of. This ferocious wave of discrepancies that was going to engulf the entire world.
Some of us learnt new skills, some polished their existing ones. Some stayed at home in the comforts of being amidst family members, some worked day and night to save a plethora of lives. Some got much addicted to the digital medium, some had to learn the basics of the same from scratch. Some were faced with the dilemma of physical pain, some had to bear the burn of mental ones.
Some were draped with the rug of warmth from loved ones, some couldn't even see their near and dear ones. Some broke rules to go out just for the sake of it, some had to walk miles to reach their respective houses. Some were adamant on spreading venom and pessimism, some taught us to stay positive and to hope, for a merrier morning. Some earned huge amounts, some lost everything they ever had.
Some found ways to stay fit, some fell down deep in the abyss of indolence. Some welcomed their little ones into this world, some bid sorrowful goodbyes to their family members or acquaintances. Some got along with the new normal, some were exasperated with their caged life.
But the common thought that each and every individual in this world had, was to see a new year. A year of hope, of a better start. Where all the wrongs will be converted into rights. All sorrows into happiness. All tears into glee. And ironically, all the Positives into the Negatives. And that too, forever.
Heartbeats are shattering chaos inside,I felt when you held me in search of love with soulful ride of our happening memories . I kept searching the peace of mind in your brown eyes, staring out at me now as dawn of aromatic letters moulding hanging pain. Do you remember the rain of silver drops and dark sky, we cherished as blanket of sunshine?
// , , , ...//
You wrote me in those poetries & Urdu Shayaris of your's reciprocating the beautiful ups and downs of being ‘us' or just you wanted to give another reminder to the world that love is one of the purest genre narrating literature, was it so?.You were never a dull moment of metaphors for me but a selenophile of green light blending in secrets of love slowly..
// , , , .//
I wonder someday if you find those broken piece of mine which writes thousand thoughts of you everyday with pinch of bloodstains and convincing the evidences of love, you gifted me.I learned a lot from your memories and carved a rock with rose petals binding it in bouquet of sorrow, claiming it as ‘still in mess'. I'm dead with those shades of grey feelings I scribble out.My dead soul is still waiting for you with smiles helping tears to flow and screams at world with underwater silence.
// , . , .//
Puzzle of my words are too complex with star of your arms I survive into. Whenever my heart settles with the slide show of constellation images forming your presence in gravity around, the irony still fears to admit that I'm in love with your sky of trustful addiction.I never stop you to grew apart from me, But before my coffin gets the autumn, will you tell me how to survive with dead ‘me' and alive ‘you' ?
// , , , ...//
~ you are stairs of my life , someday I will reach out the destiny.
That bygone era still brings back tears to my eyes. The most discussed desire still haunts me at night. If the past could just be a place, take me back to the times I didn't know love. Take me back to the times I was carefree yet ambitious. The times when I wouldn't be jealous of looking at couples. The time I didn't know heartache and neither could I brood like a writer. Those were the times my lexicon was limited to mere syllables and I was at the utmost distance from the seraphic verses.
Bring back those golden years or take me back to them. . .
//In the end, our desires always get the better of us//