How about a day, some ages later…when you have lived your life and I have lived mine. When you are old enough not to be cherished by others nor cherish others. When it is just me who remains to have seen you for who you really were . When I am old enough to bask in the calmness of an aged life. And it is just you who chided me like the remenscences of a selfless youth that you had. When the love we entrusted and nurtured for our partners fulfills its counts. When we have founded the land where our children, and theirs frolick in freedom. When the layers of the heart are reduced to but one. When you realize that no love is eternal or livable. When we have done every part we were supposed to do, live the life we were supposed to live, fulfill the destiny we were supposed to fulfill, laugh the way we were supposed to laugh, cry the way we were supposed to cry, earn the way we were supposed to earn and hold the hand we were supposed to hold. In that part of our lifetime, can I come to you? Can I then, be with you? And can you, then, be with me?
"They"! the ones whose taunts coaxed your parents to draw the curtains every night when you screamed to be heard by them, they, us and anyone possible? Or do the "they" fall into the ever burdening responsibility of themselves as well? The knock knock of the doors, the thud thud of the bed, the wail wail of your throat, the hush hush of the lips! Are the "they" not comforted by the rest of the "they" being them as well?
Isn’t that human nature? The another crux of being humane so as to put it? The faith that there is no them but “us” in all? Or are some “us” higher than that other “us”? Or are there no “us” but just “me”? And if there is a demarcation between they, us and me then where was the handbook lost before being provided to each of us?
Nihilism, is it? The fancy word that eventually tells you what your gut has been trying to for ages? Oh how ironic it is that we remember to brush every day of every year of our entire life and yet forget the very thing that cores your very existence. The will to live? Or the will to live without they telling you how to. “They”! Do you remember the word? That very powerful word your parents told you as a child?
How is the existence of humans discomfited to the existence of other kind of humans. And till when shall the people pleasing to turn the they into me so that the me can become they to be accepted by everyone go on?
A tired mind rambles on till the senses laugh at it and beg it to forgive itself. And here we enter the “it”….. The “it” of it all. The “it” that beckons the world of competition and makes brothers fight brothers, sisters fight sisters, mothers scorn at daughter, fathers vilify sons till one day all of us lie in the dimensions of what we believe in is all but a little too bland.
Thus ends the story of “they” till time stops turning.
Till you reach the end
Or till the end reaches you
Till you see the closest ones vanish in the despair of the night
And take you with them
Till you scream resisting what is inevitable
Until the inevitable catches with you
And slyly grins at your turmoil
Till the life givers suck the life out of you
Till the last drop of blood severs what you once held dearly
Till the deared ones dare you to dear anything else beside them
Till the world stands between you and your breath
And snubs at your very existence
Gorging on everything you held tight to yourself
Till there is nothing more to take away from you other than your own self
Till the yearns of the ages turn themselves into wails
Wails that only you hear, or rather, are adept to hear
Till the last hand on your head viciously takes itself away
Till you lie in an empty room gasping for breath
And when the termites come
You stand back up
Ready to take it all in
That is when, you remember, my friend, to ask for me
There in that tiny cottage where time stands still
I shall stand awaiting the shadow
That we both had recognized for long
Come here, love, I have something to tell you. Ever so in life you wake up from waking up. A squirrel tautology in itself.
You remember a part of yours that had believed, you remember who you were once upon a time, standing in front of the Lecture annexe, decked up and with your heart beating faster at every moment as young love made its way into your life for the first time. You remember seeing a salvation in a person. You remember hastily building a shelter. You remember the promises you made with each breath you took, You remember how the world around you danced with the pitter-patter of the raindrops and the graceful leaves of autumn. You remember those roads that you took, the library that you felt belonged to only you, the corridor whereform you peeked every now and then as he took his little bicycle and waved at you while rushing to class. You remember the roadside stalls, the innocuous arguments, the infatuation of little kids together. You remember how you felt alive.
You remember the storm that came after. The little devil seeking its way out from the bushes into the little paradise you had built for each other, and how your shelter stood ahead of you as you believed in belief a little more.
And then you wake up. Paradise ceases to exist too soon in the world as polluted as ours, love. You remember the nights as the stroke of reality belittled your very self of existence. You remember as your sense of spirit was thwarted in the middle of the road next to the banyan tree. You remember how the winter arrived with every empty promise of its. You remember how a vulnerability was cut into pieces of putrid loathe and you continued failing your own self. You were young, my love. You were young to ken the dissimilitude of the seasons.
You sit up straight and start looking around seeking a familiarity. The dream has ended, my love. You will have to open the curtains today and perceive the polluted world. The devil is still here but the door? Of all the things you remember, do you remember that the door to the paradise was always yours to keep? You stand at the threshold of the door. You cannot bring the seasons back, my love. That is beyond sway. But don’t stand there resigned, my love. I have something to tell you that I have hidden from you for ages. I wanted to protect you, love, but you need this knowledge more so than ever today.
Look in here, love, yes, within you. That tiny devil slyly peeking through the Gulmohar tree stands there and you can show it the door. You could always show it the door and set yourself free, but you had to learn from its presence before you shunned it away.
Remember the shelter you dreamed of? This time, bring the trees to your house. Water them, and watch the beauties grow. Sit on the bed and sing a song, take the glasses out and pour the wine as you toast at the trees you’ve named by now. Remember the roads that you missed oh so delicately? There were two pairs of feet, and one belonged to you. Keep your share of the memories and pen them down in that novel you had always wanted to write. You have tried so hard, my love and I have seen you do it as I wilily held the secret from you.
An innocence lost is a curtain opened, a heart broken is a devil shown the door, a devil the two of you had fed for long, a pain felt is a maturation stolen. May, your shelter find a shelter of his own, in a world where the devil knows not exists, and may you finish that poem you have been writing for your self. May you find the strength to send the poem to the un-attained address some day and smile at the horizons before you reach for the door.
This cottage I called home had a view of a tiny stream from the verandah. I remember sitting calmly trying to witness the mystical motion of it flowing through the hill while kids out there played their own sweet gully cricket, ocassionally of which a ball hit my head and grandmother came out of the kitchen all enraged ready to take those kids down for hurting her precious child.
We played our favorite games of the Ludo and she did give me a tough time at it. Grandmother did not like losing you know, she never did. Oh, and the Sunday morning breakfast were something she concocted with every drop of heart and soul she could gather.
And then I left. I was young and I wanted the light. I wanted the warmth and my own sense of magic. The cottage stayed though, still reminiscing of what it once was a home to.
Years later, well 8, to be precise, as homecoming happened like never before, I gathered my courage to visit my humble cottage once again. A lot had happened by then. A part of me broken never to be revived and another part built meticulously of every previous shatter. How overwhelming was it at even as I stood in front of my childhood, a sense of familiarity passed through me. A sense of belongingness came and hit only to be reverted back for it wasn’t hitting me anymore.
There was someone else in that home now. New people, building their own set of memories. I stood outside listening to their banter, the kids giggle and the faint sound of the TV playing in the background. It was time for me to go. My home was there, it still remembered me. But I had stopped remembering it for what it actually was in all these years.
Places aren’t cursed, our moments are. Had my beautiful little home not existed, I probably wouldn’t have come this far, albeit trying to run away from something that was trying to engulf me in its darkness some ages ago. Like everything else, I needed a one last visit to a part of me that had stopped existing now only to re-evaluate the beauty of what continues to stay and what lies ahead.
Closures come with your own acceptance...
Don’t believe in it. They will want you to. And they will do anything in their power to drive you nuts so that you give up everything that you believed in and start believing in what they want you to. But don’t. Don’t give them the pleasure of getting into you. Into your head. Into your system. Into how you look, what you love, what you stand for. Because if you do, then you shall very well give up on who you are. And at what cost? You came here to make yourself a better version of you. What entails that you give up on the pretty good version of yourself for the sake of someone else whose intentions weren’t even woven for your sake.
Through the course of your life, each person that you run paths with teach you everything that acts as an add on. Consider your life to be an interesting novel. A novel that is in continuation. In and out comes these characters who in their own unique way give a part of themselves to you. Just as you give a part of yourself to them. Revere these people, some will stay for a chapter, some will recur. And you know what the best part of all of this is? You get to write this story on your own. So you get to play the puppet-master to these characters. So when once in a while, you do come across those characters who inadvertently just inserted themselves into your life without your permission and you have to use them to run the story, use them as props. Props for the bits of comedy or the ushering of tragedy. But they don’t play the centre of your story.
Who then shall be the central characters? Well, here’s is the thing. It’s your story. And the impact of your characters shall change based on their importance in your life. Just because someone played the lead once does not mean he/she cannot be shifted to the position of a prop at any point of time.
No one is doing you a favor, more than what you are doing to yourself by adding on to your life. They are in the story because you are writing it. Give yourself some credit in that area. So in the end, it is you, with your work-space, and your mind. Do not, for heaven’s sake, do not believe otherwise. Do not believe anything other than this. The moment you do, you give them the power to hold your pen and write your story for you.
One day, you shall look back into the chapters you have completed. And as you get to the last pages of your novel, let that drop of tear rush through your cheeks that every bit of your life was that pen that you held onto, that pen that you refused to let go despite all odds.
The very essence of love is dynamic. Love is free in its entirety. And the very reason that people call it liberating instead of a bondage is because love demands none. For me to love someone in whatever way I know might be completely different than me being a partner to him or her. Love in certain cases can be a huge sign of reverence, a token of an utmost respect that stands for every action of that person. It constitutes a beautiful world in itself. Intimate, respectful, caring, pure, but not a representation of building a family together. For, even though the two seem like a case of causation and effect, they are again, very independent of each other. For firstly, building a family is not a child’s play. And not everyone is equipped for that or even has that objective in the list of their priorities. Secondly, here in this part of the globe, a lot more than just love constitutes what we know as marriage. Familial ties, comfort and habit, and several other things must fall in alignment. And once they do, you grab onto that fish.
And thirdy, some relations are not meant to belong to the real world that marriage provides. Some are meant to be inside a happy bubble, momentary, but enough to provide a lifetime of strength and wholeness. And it is probably this kind of bond, that demands nothing and that doesn’t buckle trying to please the society, this one sustains. Stays the sacred piece in an ever evolving world.
So why only marriage seems to be a happy ending to only one particular type of love is again a wwhole concept in itself. But let me tell you this, just as love is not a one-to-one function, the forms of love are quite varied as well.
Once you start realising that, vices such as envy get done for good. Afterall, isn’t it love to see someone you love happy? And isn’t happiness constituted in a multitude as well? Be a part of that, make love a service rather than a sacrifice. Even a tiny part of that piece is, at times, much better than a whole lot of reality. And even a tiny part of ‘today’ might end up being much better than an entirety of ‘forever’.
Would you escape?
If I gave you a chance to?
If I stood here with my arms open and told you that out here lay a world where you were just you, barren of your inhibitions, out of the skin and you lay naked in the sun-kissed monsoon?
Would you take the deal?
If I told you that judgement and shame and snidness and mendacities were the weak’s weapons and you were not weak, but strong, Oh so strong! That strength that years of falling down thrusted upon your bruises and that out there you were the only beneficiary to your own fortune?
Would you look back?
If I told you that it was nothing but pitch dark behind you and that you have been bestowed with the wisdom now to move ahead because what you have is what others envy and you might be oblivious to it but the truth still exists?
Would you feel better about yourself?
If I told you that the life you have now is what you once pined for and the life you shall have later is going to be built from scratch out of your blood and sweat and no those drops did not fall to waste, but it did shine on each element it touched and blessed you with a might that no other has.
Would you still?
Would you still shed a tear or two and count your blessings and bow down in humility for every step you take is the Universe welcoming you with its arms open…just as I am?
As she sat beside him, lying on the bed, covered with a thin piece of bedsheet, head turned to the other side, sleeping peacefully with a twitched smile on his face, she mused. A muse over what she had done. A muse over what she had chosen.
Beyond our ideas of right-doing and wrong-doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there. When the soul lies down in that grass, the world is too full to talk about.Rumi.
What did I choose? And how did I end up choosing this life for myself? A life that you say is so wrong, yet satisfies every cell of my body, heart and mind. Perhaps, I do know somethings more than you. Of course, I do know somethings more than you. I know myself more than you. I am what I am, and what to better in myself according the rules that you set for me? She turns and looks at him, and sees what she was probably waiting to see her entire life. Liberation…. She was free, finally. From the so-called society, from the expectations set by everyone around her. Yes, it was not perfect, or even acceptable to all. But finally, it did not matter. Acceptance no longer mattered. Because she knew the world now, she knew herself now. Her lips, her skin had touched liberation. And she was never going back. Going back? To what? She turned her head and tried looking at the past. But the past was a blackhole, you can’t enter a blackhole and expect not to get torn into pieces.
It did happen once, not too long ago, in another life perhaps. It did happen once, she faintly remembers. She remembers picking up her broken pieces and running off to save herself. You laughed as she ran. You laughed because how could she escape? and how did she escape? how did she have it in her what you claimed to but never had in yourself? Because she did love you. Of course, it wouldn’t chime in your twisted head, it wouldn’t and she realized it the hard way. So she had to protect something more valuable than you. Herself. She had to protect who she was. Because if she didn’t do that, she would be lost. And she knew losing herself would close the door to millions of people like her.
She had to protect herself from not only the strange world but from her own protector as well. Ironic! And harsh! And nothing if not the truth. We seldom have to fight with outsiders with the strength with which we fight on the inside.
So here she sat, in that small bubble of a room, in her emancipation and stared at him, as she knew what had finally happened. The rules of the society shattered. It wasn’t the ‘love’ that people claim it to be, though it certainly was ‘love’. but then again, you set what love should be too, didn’t you? Love freed, and here she sat freeing herself. Now, finally, she found that respect, for the right person. A no-future, a no-past, an only-present, an only-moment.
No, not for a second believe that she wasn’t afraid. Of course she was. And no, her life wasn’t easier, it’s not a fairy tale, my dear! It was going to be rough, the road ahead. For what sets you free, binds you with it as well. But for a flicker of a moment, as she brushed his hair, she was happy.
You are free to decide, if it was worth it or not…….