Tag Archives: anger

Of Edited Pictures and More

She is holding a tattered notebook, close to her heart. A few pages stick out of the spiral bound black book. The letters are fading. Each time it rains, each drop, washes away some more of the pages scribbled with blue ink. She glances down at it from time to time.

He is holding a broken guitar. A small guitar with a string taut and the others hanging loose. He runs his hand over the metal body and then sighs. Biting his lip, he leans over and plucks a chord. The sound makes him twist his face in disgust. He keeps quiet, holds the guitar down and waits for his bus.

She is holding an old camera and a few photos. As she looks down at the rainbow-coloured images that she had once clicked, it takes her back to the happy times. But a moment later, when the rain comes pouring down in a torrential downpour, she forces herself to look away from the pictures. Now they mean nothing to her but blurred Polaroids.

He is holding a broken record player and his favourite pair of dance shoes. He looks at them and feels everything and nothing simultaneously. He feels desperate, almost to go back to the very world he had created with them. But then, he looks away and tells another tale.

I stand there, faking the same smile that I had been long holding on to. But the corners of my lips are starting to hurt. The smile is giving away and I can feel the tears pricking. The bus will be here any moment, I say myself and fake the same smile.

When the wheels screech in front of us, we stand up and take a deep breath. Each one of us walks ahead and boards the bus, leaving behind the things we had brought along. I drop my smile; she forgets her notebook; he leaves his guitar; she abandons her camera; and he walks away without his dancing shoes.

Our pictures are no longer real. The camera will lie from here on. We are nothing but blurred Polaroids and films without our dreams. We are nothing but the images found in the recycle bin. The colours may be brighter, the hues may be sharper, but all we are inside are edited pictures, drowned in black and white.

The bus takes off and we leave a part of us behind.

Of Moving On

She sat by the window. She wasn’t looking at anything in particular. She was engrossed in her shallow lanes of thoughts. She couldn’t help but visit every single corner of her neurons. They seemed unstable. She didn’t seem upset. Something about her was heartbreaking. Like, she needed somebody to just listen to her, pat her and not speak a word. She was in need of a person who would take her far away from the atrocities of life.

She wanted to breath without the fear of suffocating. She wanted to smile without having to think about the lonely nights she would have to cry herself to sleep. Her eyes were not teary but I could hear her weeping copiously. The strings in her heart seemed to break. Slowly, one by one. She was not so sure about why things seemed baffled. Her conscience was silent. Calm. She seemed careless about the world and the people in it. She was rewinding every single thing that happened. She didn’t want to speak about it. She was afraid of feeling vulnerable. She wished she could cry in the rain so that she didn’t have to open her heart up to anybody. Everybody she trusted, everyone she really cared about didn’t even look back for a second. Now, what do you expect from somebody who has been stabbed in the back again and again and now she’s so broken from inside that she couldn’t even lean to find the tattered pieces of her heart.

Her flames were washed away. She had to actually gather guts to smile. Who does that to a person? She swiftly stood up and walked towards the bed where her baby girl was deep asleep. She kissed her forehead gently and patted her little belly. She decided she wouldn’t let that happen to her. She had a long way to go. So, what if some random guy came, explored and left? People will come into your life just as easily as they would leave. But that doesn’t make anything worse. You are here to love, to shadow people you love and let go of people who are willing to leave.

Just remember, when you are sad, lonely and everything is shattered, watch the stars and drink the rain and speak softly to yourself that you drank all that you could.

Of Real Attachments

Here’s the thing. We hold on to our principles and beliefs. We make decisions and draw solid lines to see to the fact that everything goes according to our flow chart. But it never turns out just like we plan, does it? We try every possible way to hide our true feelings, remain dormant, close all the emotions in some vault to which nobody is possibly allowed to pay a visit, not even us. We convince ourselves that we can deal with it, go a long way with it. But the fear remains. Self-control is not an easy task at all. But is it always about us? Or maybe it is about the thing we are so hopelessly addicted to? For a moment, we scour for reasons to strike it out. Strike everything out. But then another version of ourselves speaks differently. It gives us a wise sermon about not letting it go. We cling to our hopes. We see vivid images and make movies in our mind. Letting go of something that strong is not an easy job. Because you cannot not notice something that genuine. You cannot strike something out when every cell of your body is reluctant to do so. Because, when it’s real, you cannot walk away.

Of Late Night Talks (II)

“I’m scared.”

“Why?”

“It’s like everything, every hope is slipping right past me. I see people far ahead of me. The race has started and I’ve only barely begun walking. The goal seems so far away.”

“I can relate.”

“What’s your story?”

“Me?” he pauses a while. “Lost, I guess. Everyone around me feels that I’ve no direction in life. That I’d end up useless, probably spending nights sleeping on railway platforms and being jobless. See, I’m alcoholic. I lose my temper most of the time. All I feel like doing to sitting in some cold, empty place..and just being there. I don’t want to move. I don’t want to talk. For once, I want to disappear.”

She tilts the glass and fiddles with the cocktail onions on the edge of her glass.

“It is weird, but I feel the same way too. Sometimes, I feel as if the world is moving too fast. People aren’t bothered to spare a glance at what’s happening around them. All of  them have their eyes set on the goal and they are madly running towards it. But what after that? What happens after they reach their goal? Their life isn’t complete, is it? They start looking forward to other milestones. It’s like amidst the entire career, money, education, we are forgetting about life! Why, if life is about going to a prestigious university, having shitload of money and driving to parties and meeting business targets and getting back home, tired and lifeless, I better not live it at all. Because, that is not life for me! It isn’t about the highs always, is it?”

He shakes his head quietly.

Turning around, he rests his elbows against the metal railings and leans against it.

“It’s about the lows too,” he says. “It’s not always about the noise. The silence carries as much meaning, in fact more. It’s not about how much you earn and how much you work and how much settled you are, sometimes the very essence of life lies in going through the lows and then standing up, ready to face the world all over again. I want a story like that. I don’t want to tread down the known road. I want to get lost. I want to get drunk. I want to be clueless. And I want to fall down, cry and learn. And then, when it dawns, I want to be stronger. I don’t want to be the same person I was the other night. I want to be the person who is happy. And I want to bask under that feeling. I want to really feel the moment. Be right in it. And remember it when I breathe my last.”

She smiles.

“Isn’t it crazy that we all can talk so much about life and give advice on how to live, yet when it comes to applying the very same thing, we back away and go back to being the same people? We embrace the concept of “unpredictability” in theoretical approach. But when it comes to being clueless and not being able to know where we land up and how, we run away scared. I want to breathe.”

He nods slowly.

For a minute, neither of them speak.

They think of the dawn that is a few hours away. But it isn’t their dawn. The sunshine may wipe away their tears, but inside, they will be still sad.

“May be we are supposed to live our life this way?” she speaks again. “Scared. Confused. Driven by dreams. And then, mocked and told that reality is bitter. May be life’s supposed to be this way only? But then, why can’t I be as secure and as happy as other people when I’m doing the exactly same thing as them?”

He shrugs.

“May be life is not supposed to be this way?” he responds. “May be our formula is wrong. May be because people are scared, they don’t take another road and like a herd, we all walk down the same way?”

“I had this strange idea as a kid. I was always thinking that our life is just this crazy dream and we are aliens on another planet and we’ll wake up one day and realize that all this was a dream and then everything will be all right again,” she takes a sip of her drink. “I want to forget everything for a moment and start afresh.”

“I had that stupid idea too. And yes,” he tilts his glass against his parched lips and gulps down the burning liquid, “I want to forget everything too.”

When the morning arrived, he found himself walking down the muddy road, back to his house, three blocks away. And she found herself calling a taxi to take her to the airport.

But they weren’t scared and confused anymore. Although the road in front of them wasn’t exactly a straight road, they knew that if they kept running, if they kept chasing their dream, one day, it will be theirs. One day, the life they had dreamt of, they will be living it.

They faced the morning with brighter hopes.

Of Mothers and Daughters

I have always wanted to tell you a lot many things Mom. Though these things have always been in my mind, somewhere between busy days and petty arguments, I’ve forgotten to tell you about them.

Mom, I still believe that make-up is more important than the rest of the world and that you should not glare at me while I apply my mascara because I’m young, Mom, and I need to look beautiful. And no matter how many times you tell me I look beautiful without make-up, I’m still not going to believe that. My boyfriend doesn’t even tell that to me, nor do my friends. I don’t know how to believe you!

Mom, I need new clothes every month or two. My friends have their wardrobes lined with the latest designer jeans and I’m quite embarrassed about the pair of faded blue jeans that I have. And no matter how many times you tell me that nobody pays that much attention to what I wear or not, I’m still not going to believe that. My boyfriend doesn’t even tell that to me, nor do my friends. I don’t know how to believe you!

Mom, junk food is healthy too. And it’s hygienic! It’s not like there are flies everywhere. It would be wonderful Mom if we could have pizza thrice a week. Eating pizza is kind of cool! And no matter how many times you tell me that the green salad will do me more good, I’m still not going to believe that. My boyfriend doesn’t even tell that to me, nor do my friends. I don’t know how to believe you!

Mom, please don’t peek into my room again and again while I’m on the phone. I know you’ve work to do, but is it wrong to demand a little bit of privacy Mom? My friends are my life Mom and it’s important to talk to them at least once a day! And no matter how many times you tell me to sit with my books because talking over the phone for so much time is bad, I’m still not going to believe that. My boyfriend doesn’t even tell that to me, nor do my friends. I don’t know how to believe you!

Mom, I’ve grown up! Stop calling me, “Darling”, “Baby”, “Child” and “Sweetheart” in the parking lot, Mom. I can always hear my friends giggling behind my back. I’m no longer a child, Mom. And no matter how many times you tell me otherwise, I’m still not going to believe that. My boyfriend doesn’t even tell that to me, nor do my friends. I don’t know how to believe you!

That Friday night, she sits next to her window, with her heart broken and trust shattered. The city lights are dazzling and three blocks down, people are dancing to loud music. She has been invited too, but she chooses not to go.

Her legs swing back and forth and she squeezes her palms. She’s waiting for the phone to ring and someone to tell her from the other end that it’s going to be all right. She’s waiting for someone to call, concerned and bothered about her. She’s waiting for someone to call and ask her if they should drive down there.

But there are no calls. The little story in her head is a twisted illusion. The reality is bitter and she fights not to break down into tears.

The door opens with a rather noisy creak and her mother steps inside the cold room.

“Here,” she walks closer with two boxes of pizzas and ice cream.

They sit there awhile, silently, swinging their legs back and forth to the rhythm of their synchronous breaths.

“I’m sorry, Mom,” she breaks down, clinging to her mother. “I’m sorry!”

They hold each other between the muffled sobs. When she’s done crying and finally gets up, her mother pushes the box of pizza towards her and smiles.

“Let’s talk,” she says.

Over the night, she tells her mother of all the things that had happened back in college. After the pizza boxes are empty and the ice cream has been licked clean, she hugs her mother and falls asleep with a smile.

She doesn’t feel sad about having a fight with her friends or breaking up with her boyfriend. There’s a brighter thing she sees – the bond she shares with her mother and their friendship. In her darkest times, does she realize the truest friend she has – her mother.

This time, the letter she writes is different.

I have always wanted to tell you a lot many things Mom. Though these things have always been in my mind, somewhere between busy days and petty arguments, I’ve forgotten to tell you about them.

Mom, make-up doesn’t make a girl look beautiful. For a girl will always be the most beautiful girl in her mother’s eyes.

Mom, who cares about clothes and shopping. They are not as important as family. Nothing will ever be.

Mom, I’d eat anything happily as long a you’ve cooked it. Though junk food is a very good choice after break ups!

Mom, I feel alive every time you call me “Darling”, “Baby”, “Child” and “Sweetheart” in the parking lot. It took me a while to realize that no matter how much one grows up, he or she will still be a child in their parents’ eyes.

Mom, you are the one who has always got my back. And though we may not indulge in a lot of gossips and have night-outs and go for shopping, please know that you will always be my best friend no matter what.

Years later, she folds the sheet of paper neatly and cries without her mother. Sitting next to the window, swinging her legs back and forth, she wishes for her mom to come around. The night is eternally silent. Though it is not the type of closure she had dreamt about, she knows that it’ll have to do.

Of Eclipsed Dreams

Why can’t I see the sun?”, the blind girl asked curiously.

“You can see fine, honey. Just try to imagine a ball of yellow light.”, the mother replied.

“But, I don’t want to imagine. I want to actually see it. Why can everyone see and not me?”

“The difference between them and you is they have to close their eyes to things they find hard to see. But, you can keep your eyes open and see whatever you want to.”

She didn’t question anymore. She knew it was pointless. Her mother would tell her nice things but nothing would outweigh the joy of actually being able to see things. She could feel her wooden support and the weight of the black glasses resting on her nose made her feel belittled. She took baby steps and walked up to the window. She knew exactly where to sit. She could feel the wind blowing her little strands of hair. Something grew strong inside of her. It was not a good feeling at all. A very heavy weight of abandonment from the feeling of being able to enjoy the beautiful Mother Nature overcame her. She wished she could ask for a pair of eyes for her birthday. There’s nothing she would want more.

She could hear the birds chirping. She could hear the noises of a progressing construction work. For a moment, she turned numb. She would never be able to see the faces of her loved ones. How would she remember them? How would she distinguish between her favourites and common? She would never be able to tell who made that chocolate cake for her and who bought her the cap. She would never have a favourite colour. She would never be able to have a crush or a favourite cartoon. She could only hear them. The voices of her beloved ones. She could only judge their tones. What if they are betraying her right infront of her? She would never be able to tell.

Then, the words of her mother echoed. “Darling, it’s a good thing after all. There are pros and cons to everything, dear. Find out something about it that would make you happy.”

She started thinking about it. Maybe, there’s something more. God would never do that to her. Then, something struck her. She won’t be able to see her loved ones. But, that also means she won’t be able to see the people she won’t like in the long run. She’ll have no faces to hate. She won’t be able to cherish the colours. But that means, she would like all of it. She smiled at her deduction. She would have nothing to witness and nothing to judge. She could be a better human being. That’s all that mattered, isn’t it? She had nothing to whine about. She was devoid of eyesight. But she was endowed with vision. She didn’t need a teacher. What she needed was her own self. She decided she wouldn’t end up being miserable. She could see the Sun the way she would want to see it. She didn’t have to see what others saw. Her lost eyesight was a blessing in disguise, after all.

Of Hopeless Tales of Hope

It had been raining for days. Days and nights.

The eternal mist had settled in front of the windows, draping a cloak of darkness for the people who wished to see the light.

To the tune of ferocious winds, the lifeless trees would sway all night.

To some unheard crescendo of a low moan, the rain would come battering down on the roofs like bullets.

The river would swell each night. More and more. Wiping away everything on its path – every bridge and every house.

Radios would chatter on evenings, coupled with feverish prayers of people.

The nights were scary. The days were as dark.

Each night, under the little light from the candle, as she’d prepare her bed, she’d hope for a miracle.

Each night, before falling asleep, she’d look out at the misted window panes and believe, deep in her heart, that the next day would be different. That it would be bright. That the rain would stop. That a miracle would happen at the dead of the night.

The next day, even though the day would be darker and the rain even worse and no miracle would have occurred, before falling asleep, she’d look out at the misted window panes and believe that the following day would be different.

No matter what, at the end of the day, she held onto the tiniest bit of hope.

No matter what, at the end of the day, she believed.

No matter what, deep in her heart, despite the thousand voices in her head that told her otherwise, she believed.

Of Twisted Tales Of Pain

She wanted to live a happy life.

But each night, after the enchanting chaos of the city had dwindled and the orbs of light blurred in her vision, she found herself walking down the narrow bridge. At times, she’d stop abruptly and lean over the wooden rails to see her reflection in the dark waters. The planks under her feet would creak slowly under her weight as she’d gaze deep into the fading reflection of herself. Her eyes lacked mirth. Her lips were always twisted, painting a frown.

At other times, she’d walk and walk until she’d reach the willow tree at the end of the bridge. Leaning against it, she’d quietly slip into the gravel road and watch the world walk past her.

As the night would slowly merge into darker shades, the tears that she’d been holding would give way and into the silence of the night, she’d scream out all her sorrow. She loved the way the night hid her pain. Never did Darkness let anyone know about the one poor girl who cried into its embrace. Alone.

When the colours would slowly start to melt and dawn would arrive, she’d pick herself up, wipe away her tears with the back of her hand and pretend as if everything with her was just all right. With that brave face of hers, she’d face every dawn, no matter how much she was breaking on the inside.

One Friday night though, when the neon lights at every club were bright and high and oven timers pierced the thick air, and she walked down the bridge, she wasn’t alone. For Darkness followed her step.

When she stopped to look at her reflection, Darkness looked down too.

“You are here, every night, without fail,” it said.

“This is the only place that never fails to make me feel lighter,” she answered.

“And you are the only person here,” it said again.

“It probably seems like I’m the most disappointed person around, doesn’t it? A broken family. Unsatisfying life. A stressful job. And when I get back home, there’s nobody to hear me out. So, I come here, thinking that someone will understand. No one does. They sleep silently, tucked inside their blankets and wake up to loud alarms in the dawn. And they face the day. As for me, each morning, I wish to go back to bed and sleep away forever.”

“It wrenches my heart, dear, to hear you say like that. How I wish I could tell you otherwise. How I wish I could tell you of the stories that hide in the light. You see people, walking straight, heads held high, their shoulders straight, and it is as if they’re afraid of nothing. I’ll tell you a different story – they are afraid. Deep inside, each one of them is a mess. When they talk, they are still thinking of a hundred different things in their brain. When they laze back in their beds, they think of the world. They have broken hearts. They are lonely people. And they hide their true faces under the bright light of the dawn, pretending that nothing’s wrong.”

“It is okay,” it continued,”to be a little sad, to a little frustrated and to be a little broken. Each one of them is. Some of them keep telling themselves that there’ll be brighter days, holding on to the minuscule glimmer of hope in their hearts; while some of them come here on fateful nights and end their stories. What you need to do, is face the dawn. It holds surprises for each one. But if you are busy grieving about the night, you’ll never relish what the dawn has in store for you.”

“It won’t make my life any better, will it?” she said.

“You’ve to hold on to hope and live yet another day to find out.”

That morning, when she walked amongst the crowd of people, she didn’t feel lost. Deep inside her heart, sorrow lingered, but just like the rest of them, she knew she had to keep going on. The very hope that she held was that, the next day was going to be even better.

Of People Who ‘Have’ To Leave

“My greatest loss, huh?”, she asked the interviewer. Her eyes were gleamy. One could not tell if she was in pain or deep regret. She seemed to walk down an unperturbed memory lane. She sat there. Lips sealed, for like a minute. “Ma’am? Your greatest loss? Do you recall any?”, the interviewer distracted her. She glanced at her. She thought for a second to just shake her head and deny but she couldn’t. She had to speak. It’s been such a long time she never spoke about it to anybody.

“You know, all of us go through a phase where everything seems just so perfect and at times, everything just seems so perfectly wrong. But when we are in the phase of the perfectly right things, we begin to take things for granted. That these good things are meant to happen to us. Well, no. We are supposed to learn that things don’t always remain the same. Some people stay. Some choose to leave. Some, we say goodbye. And a very few, need to leave. That’s the hardest part. The most difficult of all is kicking out all your dreams with that one person. The one who taught you how to learn your alphabets. The one who held your fingers when you were struggling to walk. The one who smiled at your stupidness and you knew you needed to not do it anymore. The one who defended you when both your parents were on a wrath. The one who lent you money when you were bankrupt. The one whose cellphone you stole to call your boyfriend. When a person like that needs to leave and there’s nothing you can do about it, that’s the most difficult of all”, she was wandering in a some other universe when she spoke. Like, she was going through all of it all over again. Teardrops fell. She managed to wipe them off. “I’m sorry I became so emotional”.

“No, that’s okay”, the interviewer tried to console her. “Well, who is this person you were talking about?”, she couldn’t hold it within herself.

“That beautiful lady was my grandmom”, she said with a grin across her face.

“Would you like to share with us a piece of her?”

“She was the most beautiful lady ever born. She had the spirit of an eagle yet her soul carried more secrets than The Secret Chamber itself. She knew how to smile when all she wanted to do was cry incessantly. She would love you selflessly and she exactly knew how to make someone feel good. Her eyes spoke love. The aura around her, I tell you, it was pure. Maybe, you think I’m exaggerating or something. But, no. She was no goddess. She was my grandmother. And i wish I could take you to her for authenticity of the information but…I can’t. She’s dead.”

“Do you remember anything about that day?”

” That’s not a day I really want to remember, though. Well, I can still see the faded bedsheets she was covered with. I remember the fluorescent bulbs and the shoes scattered outside the room and the mosaic tiled floor. I am holding her body so tight that I wish she’s playing some kind of trick. She couldn’t be that cold and lifeless.

She pulls the jacket closer around her and a dull pain fills her nostrils as she is trying to keep from crying.

“Enough about that. Anything you cherish the most?”

She smiles softly. The transition seemed quite genuine.

“Yes, I do. The most? Well, all of it. If I could, I would cherish every single moment I spent with her. Every single imagery of hers is vividly awake in my thoughts. I remember how her wrinkled hands clasped mine and she taught me how to write. She spoke numbers and letters with her broken, raspy voice that still held so much love. And sometimes,  even today, when I am on my way back, I dream of returning home to find my grandmother sitting on the sofa, knitting me a red scarf. I remember she used to massage my hair with the same jasmine oil, her favourite. The warmth of her hands used to spread in every little corner of my scalp. The jingle of her bangles while she did that, melodious they were to me. Oh, I wish I could bring her back!”

Of A Bright Little Dark Story

“I want to be a failure in life,” she spoke slowly.

Against the backdrop of enticing beauty of majestic fountains and dense forests, her words never echoed. Yet, she spoke them again. Clearly. Slowly. Waiting for someone at the other end of the cliff to hear her and say the same.

But nobody did.

Of course, nobody would. Everyone wanted to be successful at life. Who would even want to be a failure!

“I want to be a failure in life,” she said again.

The vast emptiness that stretched above her was soon merging into a gorgeous shade of dark. The sun had gone down. The breeze slowly danced to some unheard rhythm. And Venus glimmered across the horizon.

She was supposed to be scared. She was supposed to stand up, get away from the steep cliff and return back home. She had been afraid of heights. She had been afraid of the dark. She had always wanted to be in the light. Strangely, that evening, the cold and the dark didn’t bother her. The steepness of the jagged rocks on which she sat, didn’t worry her. She knew that it was better there. The illusion of merry and peace that she had built right in front of her eyes was far better than the reality that awaited her on the other side of the world.

“I want to be a failure in life,” she spoke for the umpteenth time that evening  and yet again, there wasn’t an echo.

How she wished somebody would hold her hand and tell her that she wasn’t alone. She couldn’t take the competition. She couldn’t keep up with the expectations of people around her. They all wanted her to be a winner. They all wanted her to be at the top, never having a fall. And she was slowly making them lose their faith in her. Each time she was trying to get up, she was falling.

She was scared. Right around her, she watched people fight their way to the end. She watched people with dreams glimmering in their eyes, not giving up until they reached their goal. She watched people fall and then pick themselves up. And it scared her to know that her determination was not enough. That she was never going to get anywhere in life.

She could never be a winner, she felt. Instead of keeping people in dark hopes, she believed that it would be better if she became a failure in life. Nobody would place their deepest faith in her. Nobody would be bothered. And she could just walk. Peacefully. Without having to feel sad.

“I want to be a failure in life!” she spoke again, loudly. Again, there wasn’t a single voice that followed back. “Doesn’t anyone want to be a failure? Why does everybody want to be a winner? What’s so great about winning, anyway? The struggle continues, despite the wins and the losses.”

“The struggle continues, despite the wins and the losses,” someone uttered back finally.

She stood up and took a step back. She understood. The “winning” and “losing” were transient. They were like the waves that arrived at the shore and then retreated. The struggle to get somewhere – that was only constant. The struggle to reach the final destination – that was constant. There were going to be ups and downs. Sometimes, there’d be a high tide or two. On other days, sunshine. The storm didn’t always last.

That night, when she got back home and fell asleep, she dreamt of the sunshine that was about to arrive. Deep in her heart, she knew and she believed.