“What are you doing here at this hour of the night?” she asked.
He gave away an evil grin and said,
“You tell me. After all, it’s your mind I am in right now.”
Two broken chairs
And one peg leg.
If one stands erect,
the other tips.
But if flock & bear,
In a vast stretch of resonating green,
Every root tickled into fits of laughter
And tips swayed in perpetual cadency.
A little too passion a little too heat
Of the two, one swept off its feet
Like a rock crumbling into sand.
The heart charmed by munificence
Begged and yet bereft of repletion,
That every crumb yearned.
The incessant craving, relentlessly spurned.
A mediocre zephyr churns a part
At times, a hasty gust carries it away
Still more is bred in what’s left.
In the vast stretch of green
Now lies a patch of orange grass
In a fear of extermination
Harboring a flickering hope
And waiting for the green,
To someday, turn akin.
I finally saw him coming towards me. I had waited for him many a time before. But this time, he made me wait for too long. It was hard. Harder than I had imagined. But seeing him after all, seems worth it. He was wearing a new t-shirt. Blue in color. I was waiting for him to come a little closer so that I could figure out its brand. This time, on my own. We have not talked in the past 8 months. So many things have changed, including his wardrobe. I remember how he used to call me up and tell me everything about his day. Especially, when he went to shop (he usually shopped alone) or had a nice meal, he would call. Just to tease me and make me jealous. He would tell every detail of his new collection; the brand, the color, the price, how he found it, everything, every night. Airtel to Airtel night minutes. I use Vodafone now. He got closer. It was a Nike t-shirt. Blue, I believed, always looked good on him. I wondered if he noticed the kohl in my eyes yet. He had never seen me wearing kohl. I started wearing it months after we became strangers again. Or at least, pretended. He was getting closer. I wondered if I should greet him with a smile, a hug, a handshake or just remain cold, like he had been. I don’t remember what I did, how I greeted him, or didn’t hail at all. All I remember is, not remembering anything else on finding him standing in front of me. The air was cold. Due to the air condition, I assumed. I had thought about him all this while, and now he was here. He had lost weight. Of course, he had reasons to travel so many miles, every week. Or every day. Who knew? Even thinking about made my heart ache. I wondered what he was thinking. I tried to read his mind. He just stared at me. Blankly. Or so I guessed. May be, he had millions of thoughts running in his mind. May be, he noticed my kohl and liked it, or didn’t. May be, he’s wondering if he should compliment me, like he always did. Or just keep a glimpse of those eyes in his mind for the rest of his life, like so many other moments.
My kohled eyes blinked and the next moment, he and I were sitting on the platform of the metro station. Not too far from each other. Or so I believed. Or at least, wanted to. We stayed quiet. May be, our minds weren’t done thinking yet. I noticed his feet. Puma replaced Nike. Memories ran in. I remember how we sat for hours in a Café, talking to each other, while our feet would be locked together under the table. Sometimes, we would walk hand-in-hand, my little hand would perfectly fit in his plump one. I turned my gaze away, to one of the sides, where I couldn’t see him. I saw Kareena smiling at me, instead. Memories again. I sighed, thinking of the many movies we saw together. If only we could make it to the one we both promised to see together. I sighed again. I sighed often these days. Too many sighs means too many regrets. Or may be, too much regret for just one mistake. I mustered all my strength and turned to my right, to look at him.
“I wanna say something.” I finally said. I noticed his specs had changed too. He wasn’t wearing Zeiss anymore, so he can be wrong now, I cracked the joke in my mind. But I had no strength to chuckle. Not even in my imagination. Every part of me knew how wrong he was. May be, every part of me was wrong. But that hardly mattered now.
He was still facing down. I wondered if it was guilt. I wished it was.
“I never really knew what I wanted. And I assumed I knew what I didn’t want. But it seems, I was never really aware of my own self. I always admired you for not judging me. If only I knew, all this while, when you were silently listening to every word I said, you were doing nothing but judging me. And you used your judgement and you gave your verdict. The verdict to part your way from mine. You decided to move on without me. You were brave enough to make that decision. Or may be, too weak to hold on to us. You know it better.”
He was absolutely silent. I expected him to answer back. I expected him to justify. He just kept staring at his goddamn shoes. Nike was better, I thought. My opinion didn’t matter anymore.
“I wanted everyone to be mine. I never wanted anyone to own me. And with that thought deeply instilled in my mind, I made everyone want me. At some point, you wanted me too. And I took it for granted. Until you began to know me. So well, that you didn’t want me anymore and I wanted to be yours. Now, I have everyone I wanted. And I am nobody’s. But a part of me is. A part of me has always been. Yours. It’s too late. I know. But I’m hoping it isn’t. And you could still come back to me…”
He finally turned his gaze towards me and looked straight into my hopeful eyes. With just a word, my entire world could change or shatter into a million pieces, all over again. I was afraid to imagine either. Interrupting the chain of my thoughts, a metro suddenly entered the platform with a strong blinding flash of light and stormed out with an immense speed. I shut my eyes in reflex. When I opened them, I was all alone on the platform. He was gone. A sharp sound almost deafened me in my sleep. It was my alarm. A typical end to an atypical dream, I thought. I dismissed it and tried to go back to sleep again, hoping to run into him on the platform and learn his answer. I had not asked him a question. But I was still hoping for an answer. An answer, I never really got…
It’s all in my mind.
Yes it is.
I don’t speak. I think.
I font my thoughts, virtually express.
They crack a joke
But my lips do not curve
Although I smile
I do so only in my mind.
They be rude, I get hurt
But I frown not
Only, my mind’s eye
I feel them love, I feel them care
All the real stuff with me they share
But I have not a clue
If, unlike them, that’s real too.
When despair envelops my mind, my spirits crash and the color of my face turns blue (from red), I take refuge under your song “All Good Things Come to an End”. Without a slightest doubt, your song is beautiful. But unfortunately, since June 2006, it has been misinterpreted my millions. Until this time, I belonged to that set too. All this while, my gloomy thoughts and your libretto were in complete harmony. Akin you, I monotonously wondered, “Why do all good things come to an end?” By no means did I endeavor to hunt for an answer and thus, I kept on sinking deeper and deeper inside a bottomless pit. A short time ago, however, I accidentally stumbled on a way out to your speculations. And now I finally have an answer to your million dollar question (that literally paid you well, a million dollars!) Here it goes…
To cut a long story short, all the good things in the world come to an end simply to make room for the better ones, my dear. As simple as that! You see, I recently read a book by Dr. Spencer Johnson called “Who Moved My Cheese?” In case you haven’t read this already, I’d suggest you to glance at it. The book highlights the importance of adapting oneself to ceaseless changes; the sooner the better. For when a chunk of your favorite “cheese” turns mossy or has been “removed”, you can always look out for a “new cheese” that outshines the former “cheese”. Using cheese as a metaphor for one’s desires, job, relationship, etc, Dr. Johnson delivers a simple yet profound message. Going by the same logic, when a good thing comes to an end, sooner or later, a better one always comes into sight. And the best part is, the best ones never end!
Here’s an instance to support my argument- I know of a friend who loved this guy madly that dumped her after 2 years of relationship. She lost all her hopes and kept wondering for about a year and a half “why did this happen to her?” Few years later, she met another guy who could finally teach her to love again and now she feels thankful that she underwent such a terrible heartbreak then only to meet a guy who truly respects her feelings. So, a good thing came to an end and a better one became apparent. I am also aware of a kind of love which is “the best of all” and so will never end. It’s the love that I am blessed to receive from my parents. Come what may, it will never end. I can bet your entire million dollars on it!
Nelly, I do not intend to criticize the lyrics of your song. It conveys optimism but indirectly and thus, people with brains often fail to notice the latent and the obvious. I merely aim at sharing this little message with you and any one who reads this letter. I hope that people like you and I, instead of retreating from a dark tunnel, will try to perceive the luminosity that lies at the end of it and move ahead.
A Newly Enlightened Soul.