Tag Archives: hopes

Of Sad, Lonely Days

Curled up in the bed, her face plastered against the mess of her own hair, clutching the pillow, she peeked out from the duvet and looked out of the window.

Drops of rain lazily trickled down the frosted windows, blurring the world outside. Only flashes of red taillights were all she could see.

Sighing, she buried her face into her hair again, smelling the faint aroma of her shampoo and for a moment, her eyes fluttered close. The very next moment, she woke up, fumbling for her phone under the sheets; found it, and sighed again as she stared at the screen.

Wasn’t anybody bothered, she wondered. Would anybody ask for her if she disappeared the other day?

Curled up in the bed, her face plastered against the mess of her own hair, she waited a little longer. Up until another dawn.

But there were no calls. There were no voice messages.

Curled up in the bed, her face plastered against the mess of her own hair, all she wished for was somebody to whisper her words of joy; somebody to call her up and ask her how she was; somebody to tell her that they are there and that she is not alone.

But the evening sky merged into inky darkness and darkness faded to give place to the sunshine and yet, her phone never rang. Nobody called her up to tell her that they’ve got her back. Nobody called, bothered about her. Nobody called.

Curled up in the bed, now in a pool of her tears, her face plastered against the mess of her own hair, she waited only to realize she was all alone. So, she stood up, and went out for work, sad and tired..

Of Nights Like These

She sits alongside the pavement, hugging her knees, waiting for the night to fall asleep.

Above her, vastness stretches far and wide. The cars have stopped. The traffic lights keep blinking. The streetlights flicker to a random rhythm. And the wind blows to a silent crescendo.

She looks up at the million infinite stars above her, light years away from where she is. She looks up and sees them twinkling from up there, looking down at her and perhaps smiling. She realizes that the existence is so vast and she is so tiny.

Placing the glass bottle on the stony pavement, she stands up and manages to find her way back home.

That night, when she falls asleep, she remembers to wake up as a newer being. Her life is so tiny when compared with the eternal universe that she resides in.

Looking up at the stars, she smiles and sleeps.

They look back at her and fall asleep.

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.

How I Lost You

“Do not save your loving speeches

For your friends till they are dead;

Do not write them on their tombstones

Speak them rather now instead.” – Anna Cumins

I met her in junior high. We had been those bubbly little girls, always fangirling over some Hollywood character. The memories are hazy. I don’t remember how we looked like, back then. I remember she used to chatter all day long about Brett Lee, often mentioning facts as ridiculous as how many teeth he had lost!

We became quick friends. We used to talk to each other for hours over phone. We used to call dibs on hot anime guys! I was going to be her bridesmaid, she was going to be mine.

Indeed, I have too many happy memories with her.

When and where things went wrong, I don’t remember. I guess, she doesn’t too. Perhaps, it was when I had to leave school due to my Dad’s transfer.

Moving away didn’t seem like a big deal. We had telephones and e-mails and Facebook to remain in contact and I presumed blindly that things wouldn’t change.

Somehow, they did.

Conversations started getting shorter and most of the time, it seemed like we were calling each other just for the sake of old times. Our priorities changed. So did our friends’ circle. We thought that we were still going to remain friends forever, but deep inside our hearts, we knew that the thread was slowly withering away.

Five years of friendship was lost to a year of separation.

Slowly, other people started taking her place and a part of me still holds a profound amount of guilt that I had given up on our friendship so easily.

I used to browse through her pictures on Facebook and see her with her new friends, happier that I’d ever seen her. Though both of us used to be online at the same time, none of us took an effort of dropping a message. Strangely, it didn’t hurt.

At that moment, I knew, I had lost her.

When I returned back, two years later, our friendship remained as messed up as ever. We did talk, but it was no longer the same.

The good, old times remained carved in some forgettable corners of our classrooms.

Perhaps, we grew up. And life moved crazily fast.

Or may be, we never had been friends in the first place.

I went through the darkest phases of my life, alone. There were times when I believed there was no hope. And what hurt me the most was, I had no shoulder to cry on. So I cried, alone.

That period of darkness I went through, convinced me that nothing was permanent in life and that I was going to lose people. It made me numb. And it made me forget about her.

Until a couple of months ago, we started talking again.

Of course, conversations were pretty short and awkward. I used to think a lot before saying her something. I hid certain things from her. She did too.

Nevertheless, we talked.

I waited for her messages. I desperately wished for things to go back to being the same again, just like the olden, golden times. I wanted to meet her and talk and talk and talk about nothing in particular. Yet, I kept all that to myself.

I’m talking to her as I write this. I tell her I’m going to write about her in the next post. She wants to read it. I want her to. But I don’t know where to start.

The happy childhood memories are fading away with each passing second. So are the not-so-good memories. Now, I remember the little arguments we had. I think about the time she threw a water pouch right at my face and burst out laughing, while I stood in the middle of the staircase, absolutely clueless about how I was supposed to react.

I remember the one time something happened between us and I refused to talk to her. She had cried over the phone. Yes, she did. I was the stronger person. But I’m crying as I write this.

The memories are withering away and no matter how frantically I’m trying to hold them close, they are slipping away. The castles I had built are slowly crumbling to pieces and she’s not there to lend a hand.

However, along with the happy memories, the bitter ones are gone too. They are replaced by a set of new memories – of this friendship blooming again. May be we can never go back to being the best friends we had once been, but I’ll try. I don’t know about her.

Looking back, I still can’t figure out where things went downhill. A part of me doesn’t want to.

I had never figured out that writing about her would be so tough. We have our fair share of memories and sorrow. And we’ve been through all that together.

And I owe it to her – she taught me the importance of having friends. She made me realize that some friendships will fall and some will last and some friends will leave and some will keep coming back. They are people who are going to raise a toast at your wedding day and even raise a mop if you want them to. They are people who one writes about. They are people who have the most impact on one’s life.

They are called, friends.

She is mine. She is my friend.

And I believe there will be brighter days.

No, I know there will be even brighter ones.

We’ll see them together.

The BEST Things About Wattpad – #4 – The People Out There (Fourth Edition)

So, I’m back with a conversation from another up and coming writer from the Wattpad community!

When I visited her profile in the morning to copy her username, I found out that her book Growing was at #11 in Spiritual! We congratulate you on reaching such a high rank!

Here are excerpts from the interview

akan_great16.128.33180Me – Hello there! In fact, good morning! Share with us a few words about yourself. How would you describe yourself?

Nafla3.128.90209

She – Umm well My name is Nafla. My hair color is brownish black. I’m Asian but not with the Chinese Eyes; I’m more of an Indian Asian (I am not from India). And ummm I like cheese… I think?

akan_great16.128.33180

 How did you stumble across Wattpad in the first place? Were you excited with the idea of free books or it was something else?

Nafla3.128.90209

 My sister recommended it to read some books and reading became writing and writing became obsession.

akan_great16.128.33180

 What is the one thing that you’re always doing?

Nafla3.128.90209

 Eating. And when I’m not doing that- I am baking. I love food. I am the biggest foodie there is. And I am luckily not obese.

akan_great16.128.33180

 Twelve years from now, where do you see yourself?

Nafla3.128.90209

  With kids, living the perfect life of a housewife.

akan_great16.128.33180

 *Wondering if I’ve ever heard an answer as sincere at that* Considering you are a big foodie, share with us some of the best dishes you’ve tried.

Nafla3.128.90209

 Well I eat Indian everyday; I’ve tried English, British, Mexican, Chinese, and Italian. My favourite out of all would be Hot Tandoori Chicken topping on a Cheesy Cheesy Pizza, Nachos in the side, Sweet Corn Chicken Soup for Starters, Hot n Spicy Wings and French Fries. Lol Don’t ask me about food; the list never stops. I think this was the longest paragraph of all the questions. Haha.

akan_great16.128.33180

 I bet we all talk a lot about food. Describe your everyday life. Is it something from out of a story book?

Nafla3.128.90209

 My life is pretty much the same as it has always been. Loving parents, busy family, loving husband, and grateful for each moment.  My characters however focus on the tragedies and the downside of life. My thoughts and emotions that I am unable to say out loud comes down in words from my character’s POVs.  The ultra cliché life would be wake up, go to school and there’s a new boy. All girls like him but he only likes you because out of everyone in the school, only you are real and only you can see his rude behaviours. Others are all swoon over him.

akan_great16.128.33180

Which plot do you believe is slowly losing its originality?

Nafla3.128.90209

 Bad boys definitely. And what irritates me the most is how they underestimate the meaning of a bad boy. Dating all the girls and saying rude things doesn’t make you a bad boy. It makes you human. An original bad boy- one who does drugs, goes to jail, gets expelled, fights in clubs and rolls in blood bath. This is the meaning of bad- not dating and dropping a few girls.  And yes I do think that. Writing should be about expressing your feelings and imaginations. But now it’s about what others would like to read. What ever happened to originality?

akan_great16.128.33180

Do you believe in superstitions? Do you feel that thirteen is an unlucky number?

Nafla3.128.90209

 Lol no not really. In my country however, the airport had Gate no. 13 and the President thought it was unlucky and now there is Gate 1-12 and 14-17. It’s just a number. I don’t believe in numerology; only God can decide how your life is supposed to be- not some people on the other side of the table with the same taro cards which they read to everyone.

Her book Growing and Pain can be read by clicking on the covers below. We wish her even greater success.

GrowingPainStay tuned for more interviews and book reviews!

The Rain That Never Came

The sweet-smelling dust of a scorching May evening settled in front of Daya’s house. The blistering sun had dipped down beneath the horizon, the salmon sky sporting a canopy of faint grey clouds which never rained. As the darkness spread its veil over the land, the clouds seemed to be devoured into the night, replaced by a sprinkle of stars. The clouds brought with them, a little spark of hope- a hope that led farmers like Daya to believe that it would rain that night. When it didn’t, they felt their hearts wrenched out till it shed the last drop of blood. This type of hope was dangerous, for it brought them happy dreams and later pushed them into the dungeons of delusion.

 That evening was no different.

 Daya sat in front of his house, on top of the weak bamboo fence that had cost him a small fortune.

When his old father had passed away, the land in front of their dingy hut had been passed on to him. With high hopes and brimming dreams, he had taken out his broken bicycle with the bent wheel frame and leather-less seat and rode to the marketplace where he had brought five fences to cover either side of his land.

 On his way back from the marketplace, he had stopped at the moneylender Govind ji’s house and asked him for a little bit of money to buy the seeds and the fertilizers. When the scrawny, greedy man with a bald head had hesitated, Daya had told him about the piece of fertile land he had inherited and how it would reap the gold. With eyes on the little land, the moneylender had given some money to Daya.

 It was strange how things had suddenly started favouring him. He had money. He had the land. He had the spirits. And he had a bundle of hopes that he was going to make it big. Perhaps, they might appoint him as a member of the Farmer’s Association in their little town of Kaman. For a man who had spent almost half of his life doing odd jobs on another person’s land, even six feet of earth meant a lot to him.

 That very evening, the rains had come lashing down on the little village, quenching the thirst of the parched soil. The rain had drenched the flamboyant trees and their leaves had turned a shade brighter. Little saplings were awoken from their slumber and they greeted the silver sheets of rain as it crashed deafeningly on the thatched roof of Daya’s hut. In a matter of few minutes, the sky had gone from an eloquent blue to an ominous shade of gravel grey.

 Daya and his wife had sat in a corner of their little hut, escaping the dripping droplets of rain. As occasional flashes of lightning lit up the dark sky, Daya had felt a uncontainable joy at the pit of his heart. Oh, how he would plant the radishes and carrots and potatoes in this little land! Oh, how generous were the lords to bring them a spell of showers in early summer! It certainly meant something good, didn’t it? Daya’s poor human heart exploited his hopes with richer thoughts.

 Daya had tilled his land with viral enthusiasm, singing songs in merry stupor and buying his wife a brocaded silk saree from the market. When his wife had complained, he had asked her not to worry for they were going to be rich! Such were his hopes that it drove him into a frenzy.

 Each night he had gone to sleep, smelling the rain that lingered in the air and the canopy of stars in the desert night sky.

 However, only the smell of rain had lingered. It never came down in a glorious downpour. It never kissed his land and never brought it back to life. It doused off all his dreams, zoning them out into oblivion.

 How he had waited for the rain! How he had waited for his hopes to come back!

 Two dry months.

 And it hadn’t rained.

 The last traces of summer wind waltzed past him, creeping into his lonely house where his pale wife lay, bathed in the glorious light of the evening that trickled in through the little windows. The same saree, that  Daya had given her months ago, was wrapped around her in a careless fashion, rough knots of her unwashed, dark hair drowning into the creases of the fabric.

 The sound of a little bird rose and fell with the wind, the wispy clouds clearing from the sky to make way for the stars.

 The chilly desert air had taken its toll, but it did nothing to the restless, thirsty throats of the couple who hadn’t eaten for a week. The land in front of their house had cracked open. The little saplings that Daya had planted had withered away, leaving no trace behind.

 A faint light from the lantern flickered inside his house and smelling the scent of the burnt wick and the smoked glass, Daya turned around to see the same, obliterated by the rapidly darkening night. The darkness of the moment devoured his sanity, transforming him into a madman.

 Everything had started chalking his doom.

 When he had visited the mukhiya the other day, he had waved Daya off. At a time when drought had taken over the land, there was very little anyone could do for anybody.

 The greedy, heartless moneylender had come to his house, demanding him to return the money. Poor Daya could only give him the brass utensils and a pair of bronze bangles that belonged to his wife. Although the man had his eyes set on the piece of land, he left, knowing that the land wouldn’t be of any use as the drought had set in.

 There was nothing left in the house. Only two pitchers of clear water stayed in a desolate corner of the house, staring at the agony of the helpless couple.

 Daya jumped off the fence and started making his way inside his little abode. The tatters, he wore were unwashed, and covered with freckles of dirt and his bony chest glistened as the low light of the lantern hit him. His wife sat leaning against the mud wall, her hand on her head, wondering if they were suffering because of some sin they had committed in their previous lives.

Oh, the heartbreaking explanations we resort to!

 The things that had seemed to be going so well had instantly stopped, driving their ripened dreams into an unfathomable dead-end. Life was a brute, wasn’t it? And so was the restless human heart that held on to the withering thread of hope, thinking that one day or the other, radiance shall come through the pain.

 Daya staggered down beside his wife, crawling up to the bed and leaning against it. Staring at the faint darkness that was interrupted by the light from the night sky, he let out a hollow laugh.

 “It will rain!” he cried in feverish excitement. “We will grow everything on our land! We will be rich! Everyone will look up to us!”

 A slight sob escaped his wife’s lips.

 On a dull, summer night, when the moon was high up in the sky, a blissful cry erupted from somewhere, the breeze carrying its echoes into forgettable corners of the land.

 From nowhere, the air became thick with moisture, the rain-laden breeze calling out to the people of the land. A clammy haze of rain spread across the land, hiding the moon and the stars somewhere behind their drapes.

 Tiny drops of rain splattered across the unpaved paths, clearing out the sand and trickling in between the cracks. A few drops trickled into Daya’s house through the thatched roof and landed on their limp bodies. If only they had held on to that hope for a little more.

 The next morning, all the people of the land knew was that, the drought had driven yet another farmer to his death. No one sympathized. They blamed it on fate and they blamed it the sins the poor couple had probably committed in their previous lives. No one blamed the rain. No one blamed the drought. For them, it had become an everyday phenomenon, waking up each day to hear how a couple of farmers had given up. They stared at their abject poverty and prayed it didn’t happen to them.

 It rained for the next few days as well.

 If only Daya was alive to see the same. If only…