“Today I’ll let it seep in, all the feelings that have confused me from the beginning. For once, I’m giving them a chance to untangle themselves. It’s around 12 in the night and I’m struggling to sleep. The ticking of the clock disturbs me. I throw my blanket away, it’s starting to suffocate me. I go to the balcony. It’s not that I always do it, take walks during midnight but since I’ve acquired the habit of taking solo walks in the evening, I’ve realised that looking at the limitless sky can solve a lot of your problems. If not solve them, then maybe just give you your breath back amidst all the chaos. I’ve always loved the night more than the day. I don’t know how people can find the night time nothing but dark. They may find darkness depressing but for me, darkness gives me warmth when I’m cold, like the walls of a shell I can hide into. The stars are still sparkling. I don’t think they are affected by our world and the fantasies we live in. They have a world of their own, a world where they are the masters of their lives, where no one’s watching them. The best part is, they are beautiful when they live and remain beautiful when they die. I believe they’ve been somehow giving everyone the hope they need while they sit there in the sky just like they’ve been giving me and will also give us all a wish to ask for when they die too, only if we are lucky to see them die. My words could just keep coming out of my mind endlessly, like some road who’s end is always covered with those trees that attract you so much towards themselves that you want to desperately know what lies beyond them even if it means walking such a long distance. But when you reach where the trees are, you realise that it’s still not the end. My words are such, attractting and deceiving at the same time. I look straight above me again. The sky’s limitless, and unending. Wherever you go, it’s always there above you, looking just the same everytime, the moon following you everywhere, and the stars smiling. It’s just so huge. Maybe a part of me comes here not just to gaze at the stars but because the sky always tells it that it’s so large, consuming everything above and that all my problems are so small among the things that exist. It tells me that it cries, like I do too sometimes, but the next morning it’s back with its blue. For us. No matter what it faces, it’s still there, covering all of us. Saving all of us. It makes the sun rise for us, it makes the birds fly for us. It tells me that it’s huge. Larger than all the adversities. It tells me that it will give hope to so many solitary souls like me even if one of us gives it up. It lives for us. Whenever I fill up my mind with the thoughts of some things happening that I won’t be able to bear or some things I yet cannot fathom, it looks at me and smiles, tells me that if it can, why can’t I?
The sky’s so beautiful, so strong and larger than anything each of us is facing. It tells me that darkness is beautiful, so is misery and so is strength.
I realise that I’ve written so much. My musings never end. Nor do the problems. But neither does the sky, and neither do all the things that look beautiful today. Look closely, and you’ll see that they are all mirrors, having the exact same smiles, groans, cries, and laughs as you.
My eyelashes flicker and my eyes feel tired. I need to hug my bed now. I know that this sky will still be there tomorrow. Waiting for me, waiting for all of us to wake up again like it always does.”
I love this part of the bridge, specially at this time of the night. Long drives have provided me with so much peace, that I’ve always wanted when I needed to think straight. The wind’s still blowing and throwing some strands of hair on my face. I smile. Today I realise that why planning is such a waste. I’ll tell you why too. You know how when you hangout with your friends and one day they ask you your ‘type’. And you’ll just give an answer that every girl/boy would give. You would want them to be handsome/good looking of course. Then, they should also be humorous. Humor is anyway, attractive. They should dress well, smell good. And ultimately understand and support you. That’s the kind of answer I gave them too. And I know you guys won’t be surprised when I tell you that nothing went as planned. I fell in love with a person I never thought I would. I fell in love with a person who’s just a bit more complicated than you can think of. It was nothing like they show in movies. Not even a bit similar. On one day you’ll find him happy, he’ll seem to be the best person you’ve met in your life. And the next day, he won’t say a word. You’ll try to make him talk, try to make him open up, but he won’t. He would crouch back in his cocoon for a few days. And suddenly one day, he’ll be back leaving you confused. He sucks at confessing and is a master in overthinking. He’ll always be so caught up in his own problems that he won’t even notice when is it that you’re sad or happy or angry or anything else. He’ll crack jokes at times and in those jokes indicate something to you. Something deeper. And again, they’ll leave you confused. You’ll just struggle to understand him. You’ll think that with time it’ll get better. But it doesn’t. And the problem is, it doesn’t get worse too. It’s like you’re stuck there. You’ll be so frustrated when he promises to call but doesn’t. When you ask him why he didn’t, he’ll tell you that he had something going on in his life, something that breaks the rock solid facade you were trying to maintain. And then in that very moment, you’ ll fall for him. Again. He’ll tell you that he doesn’t like getting all dressed up. You ask him why, and he’ll tell you that it’s a strategy to draw people away from him. You’ll see the truth in that. You’ll see that broken soul that people overlook. You’ll see that person who’s just trying to be real for once. And you’ll fall for him. Again. He’ll tell you that he doesn’t look good enough. And you’ll tell him that’s not true. He won’t believe you and in that moment, you’ll feel like you don’t matter, not even your opinion. He’ll have nothing to say when it’s the right time, just nothing. And some days, you’ll feel tired of being stuck there. But then, can a few words that I’m writing or a few days of that frustration make you stay away from him? You’re right. They don’t. He’s not someone’s type. He’s not a person someone dreams of being with some day. He’s not the kind you’ll like in the first meet. But then, nothing goes as planned, doesn’t it?
So that’s the point I was getting to. I know I weaved some words together into sentences this long but I kind of hope that I’m not the only one who’s been through this. Anyway, I just want to tell you that stop planning about things because they are going to turn the way you never expected them too. You may tell me that he’s not good enough, that he doesn’t deserve me. It maybe true. It maybe not. But that doesn’t matter. And as it turns out for me, I’m still happy. When I planned things, I never knew someone like him existed. And life surprised me. So, just wait for your surprises. And stop planning. Because some things and some people you see today, may become an inseparable part of your life some day. And life may take a turn soon and leave you spellbound.
Endurance isn’t a virtue. When I was a kid, whenver I fell and hurt myself while playing I would just go crying to daddy, and daddy would always tell me to be strong. Just like all other kids, I did not pay much attention to what he said because what was the need to be strong when you always had people you could run to when you encountered some problems! Now, things have become different. Now, that I’ve officially become an adult do I realise what he meant. I know what I or maybe we need strength for. I still have them, my parents and I still can always count on them when I face a problem but it’s different now. Whenever I encounter a problem anymore, I do not run to them. Although, I may feel weak at times, but the same ‘me’ talks to myself and tells me that I can be strong, definitely stronger than the adversity I’m facing right now. I know I have them to ask for solutions, or for sympathy, but now, I appreciate their presence more than actually using their presence. I, not only want, but maybe need to build walls by myself this time. I’m not really saying that you don’t need others in your life anymore as an adult. No, definitely not. The difference lies in our developement level as a kid, and as an adult. As a kid, it’s like the problems that enter our ears, leave them without getting filtered or processed, and enter our parent’s ears, who ultimately on this basis decide upon the action to be taken. While we, as an adult do the processing and filtering job by ourselves first and then, if we find ourselves unable to find solutions then pass it on to our elders. Just a difference of development levels. I’m not really writing this over some scientific fact I discovered or something else like that, it’s just that I’ve heard people say that growing up sucks. But maybe like every other coin, this coin has two sides too. Ofcourse, you rarely hear about crimes committed by children, because again, ofcourse, adults have brains which are highly developed than children. But let’s be pretty honest, aren’t living beings especially humans, the luckiest? I mean, we get to experience the best of both worlds. While other living beings in general, may have longer or shorter life span than ours, aren’t we privileged to experience innocence and intelligence and curiosity for an amount of time that’s just enough? The world has taught us so much. And we’ve learnt so much. The good part is that this is going to continue, the learning part. What if we were a child for the whole life? Like there was no ‘being an adult’ phase? Wouldn’t have we craved all our life for being a little more sensible, little more mature, and more learnt and developed, just like we wanted to be in our childhood? Can you just imagine craving for something for your whole life? I don’t see anything but stagnation in that. Life without a purpose. Work without a result. And a phase with no beginning and no end.
Well, I don’t want to force my views on all those reading. But I feel, maybe, growing up isn’t too bad. Nor is growing old. Nor is changing the perspective with which you see the world, or learning new things, or so many more things that come to us as we enter the new phases of life. After all, aren’t we as humans, supposed to be the most intelligent living being on earth? How can we be that, if we do not learn more, change more?
“The lights were still flickering, and the sun was about to set. I wasn’t sure if I was going the right way. Not that I didn’t know the directions. I knew every lane, every nook and cranny of this city with which I had memories attached that could certainly last a lifetime. It was just that I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing by going where I was going. I turned left from the traffic signal which had still not been repaired. It’s an irony that nothing here had changed, while my whole life had changed in the past 2 years. As I approached the house at the end of the lane my hands and feet already felt nervous, and I felt like bursting. I don’t know if I was desperate or curious but I was surely hesitant. My heart and ears were thumping with the sound of my heart beat and the butterflies started slam dancing in my stomach.
I finally reached there, to the same old bungalow I had grown to call my home two years ago.
Everything around it was the same, but the house had changed. There had been a big lawn outside the house, with all the types of flowers one had ever seen. She was fond of them. Too fond. She believed that flowers could bring all the positivity and fragrance in the house. Now, they were gone. Anybody who saw this place for the first time now, would never believe that this land was beautiful some time. The colour of the walls had faded along with the colours in our lives, and the doors had turned wobbly and lose. I entered through the door and my eye caught sight of a photograph, hanging in the centre of the room. The dust had settled on the glass frame rendering the picture unclear to the eye. But my heart knew, that it was our picture, clicked on our first anniversary. My fingers went for the photograph, wiped the dust and there I saw her smile while I held her hand and looked her in the eye. My eyes felt a little sensation and I knew that tears would soon start rolling down my cheeks. The thoughts of regret started clouding my mind. Maybe I had been wrong to come here. At the same time, I wondered that while shifting, how did I forget to take off that picture from the wall? Maybe I wanted to leave something as a mark, or I don’t know.
I went to the bedroom and accidently stepped on a piece of glass, one of the bits of the broken night lamp that fallen on the ground. The windows were open and so, the lamp may have tumbled from the air coming in. The view from the windows was nothing like it used to be. One of the many reasons she had liked the house so much was because of the view from the windows that one could see in the evening. There was a field where small children used to play football in their school uniforms in the evening and their mothers used to drag them to their homes when it got dark. She used to talk to those little boys and once even invited them for dinner. That day, she told me that as a child she did not have a family like those children had and she felt deprived of all that love and now, looking at the children, she felt that they deserved all the love and care that one could give. Now that I think of it, it isn’t too shocking that even after marrying her I felt like loving her more and more each day. Today, there were no children to be seen, but only a warehouse of a company where once existed the field.
I moved to the other room, that I rememeber as the room where she had kept a small temple. She would pray to God everyday. She was spiritual in every sense. She prayed for everyone, anyone, even for a stranger who had trouble crossing the road, or the children begging. She would forget to wish me luck for the rest of the day when I started off for my workplace, but never would she forget to pray while I have been a person who’s just never really believed in the existence of God. I still wonder what she saw in me. And I still question God’s presence because of the fate we’ve suffered. Maybe she prayed for everyone but forgot to pray for us. I had not taken the furniture with me, because their place was in the house she had loved. They ought to remain here. I looked at the dining table. “It’s sesame”, she had screamed when they delivered it. The sofa was still intact, just in front of the tv. It had been my favourite piece of furniture. Every sunday, we used to watch a movie together at home, mostly horror movies that didn’t scare her a bit but I was mostly a victim to them. To pretend that she was scared too, she would hug me tightly, and would not leave me until the movie was over. I still don’t know if that didn’t mean happiness, then what does.
I decided that it had been a lot to handle in a day. I looked outside the window and saw that the sun had already set and it was time that I leave. The sleeves of my shirt had been wet by that time as I was repeatedly trying to dry my tears up before they became prominent. I went to the main door, turned to close it and there I found the golden bracelet, that I had brought her, hanging on the knob. I tried to remember if I had seen it too when I had come. It had been there maybe, and I may have overlooked it. And suddenly, I was struck with a thought that not only chilled my vein but seemed impossible. My legs felt hard to maintain a balance, and soon I fell to the ground with nothing but sobs. It’s just amazingly beautiful and yet so tragic. We had been sync even when apart, and she had felt the same pain as I was feeling. My mind kept struggling to reconcile with the memories of the past, and searching for any hints that would prove my imagination to be true. And I turned to the photograph hanging on the wall, yes it had been true. The windows were open because someone had opened them. The bracelet was there for a reason. The reason was that she had continued to love me just like I still love her. I realised that she had been here too. She had been here too before she died.”
“I don’t stay in the world you live in. Well not anymore. I don’t know if its the smell or the coarse touch of the pages that attracts my nerves and gets my blood going fast in the vessels. But I’ve long left the world where people exist for things. For now, I’ve entered into a world where we exist for stories, stories from the time of yore and stories still meant to be written. This world doesn’t have a shape, doesn’t have a time, unlike the world you live in. This world exists on caffeine and languid faces. The air that we breathe here is not filled with the smoke of hideousness of our thoughts but is the assemblage of words, loud and clear. They are loud not in their intensity, not in volume but in the impact they cause. I am talking about the words that find a place in our minds and stay, the words that help germinate ideas and embrace feelings. These words are bound in cases, as beautiful as a painter’s canvas. Mind you, these cases are hard to unlock, and these words, hard to decipher. But this world will allow you to fail and fall until you stand up. This world will allow you to let your tears flow until you know how to make paragraphs of words out of them. But once you have the key, this world here will give you all the compassion, all the serenity that you’ll need, to escape from the other world.
This world, the world of books of words, wit and wonder will become a door, an exit to a world where thoughts cannot find a way to your mouth, and an entrance to a world where your hands would work on their own on paper, and your mind will constantly bring you discoveries of your own soul. This world here, merges magic with reality. I know I am drowning into it, but this water, entering into my lungs just doesn’t make me uneasy for I know that this same water, this same world has given me the power to fly without even leaving the ground. This world here, can be the world in your bedroom, beneath the tree, the field you sit in everyday, your car or wherever you want it to be.
So, where shall we meet this time then? In the library maybe?”
”It just comes to me in bits and pieces. It just returns when I see you, we make eye contact and just there, our eyes turn to the other side. It just comes back to me when I see you going out with people, laughing at those inside jokes which I was a part of once. I’m still hung there, still standing behind the door I just closed on your face.
It still comes back to me. The ache.”
They say that people leave, it’s normal, it’s okay, just get over that. Well, you’ve gotten over somebody. But what if I strike up a topic that involves them too? Will your ears not widen themselves? Will you be able to stop your thoughts from verbalising themselves?
So let me just put it this way. Don’t get over people. Simply because you can’t. Just accept that they are not there anymore, not in the stories you’ll be writing now, not in the call logs, messages, no where in your life. Stop pretending to not care when you know that they are going to affect you, even if you get successful in pretending that they don’t. Stop pretending that people’s stories come to an end as soon as they leave your life. Their stories continue, the new chapters of which are deprived of your presence. Accept that it’ll always be one of the things that’ll come to your mind when someone asks you ‘what is the one thing you wish didn’t happen?’ Accept that there will be days when you’ll find it hard to not send a text after spending an hour trying to convince yourself that a simple ‘hi’ couldn’t do any harm. Well, because then and there you’ll also know that this ‘simple hi’ will be followed by so many ‘not simple’ things. Accept that there will be days when the memories, feelings will come creeping up your skin. Accept that even if it’s 3 in the morning, and they call you asking for help, you won’t be able to sleep for a while after refusing to do so. Accept that you just can’t ‘get over’ people. You can only accept the fact that they are some where, just not here anymore. Simple as that.
The sky was almost red, and the sun, on the verge of hiding behind the mountains.
“You know, the sunset, the mountains, the breeze that makes crisp leaves rub against each other, and us, sitting here looking at everything around, it all seems just like they show it in the movies.”
“It does. She brought me to this place for the first time, and that was the day I knew that this place would always become the crib whenever the kid inside me would cry.”
“So that’s why you’ve been coming here for months now. Tell me, what will you do if she appears in front of you just now? Do you still feel the same for her?”
His face twitched. And he said, “I’ll do nothing. And I’ll feel nothing.”
I turned my face away from him, dissatisfied by the answer he gave. Because somewhere deep down we both knew that he was lying.
After a pause, he said, “I’m sorry but I don’t know what I’ll be doing. I don’t know what I’ll be feeling. But it won’t ever be nothing. I have to be honest with you. I’ve moved on from her and the hopes of us being together. I’ve stopped dreaming of building my world with her as an inseparable part of it. My aspirations and ambitions are the same. I’m still my old self, strong, merry and confident, working as hard as I can to make a difference in this world. With her, I had started imagining that amidst everything that I want in life, she’s there too. In fact, I had started believing that she was the most important of them all. And moving on for me is, removing her from the list. But yet, if she comes to me, I won’t ever be able to feel nothing for her. I won’t love her, ofcourse. I can’t hate her too. But there surely be a burst of emotions, a myriad of memories that’ll come flashing back, an ache in the heart, maybe just for a milisecond, but it’ll be there. I know. And those emotions that would last for a split of the second, would be strong and would cost me my senses. I don’t know how it’ll pass, but it will. After all, our hearts are fidgets, trying to open themselves while you lock them from the people you gave their keys to, once. After all, you cannot just stop feeling something for people you once felt a lot for.”
I turn towards him, our eyes looking into each other’s, his filled with helplessness and mine with desperation. I ask “So, I won’t ever be her then?”
He put his hands on mine, smiled and said, “No, you are not like her. And believe me, I’m surviving life on the belief that you won’t ever be her. Because she left while you stayed.”
“This chaos is deepening. But here I sit, amidst the people running and hustling to create a place of their own in this world. There’s noises here and voices there, but what I see is silence. Silence that lets me sit alone in solitude, silence that has led me to the path of introspection, silence that can be found only in chaos. I wonder if I can ever run as fast as those around me, or speak when nobody is speaking, or keep trying to become a master out of a jack. I don’t know if I can, but at least I can stop, breathe life in and out of my lungs, and then gain my pace steadily, and still be a part of the race. I don’t know if I can, but at least I can spend five minutes of the day looking around, discovering silences in others’ souls that they’ve been overlooking since long. At the end of the day, I can at least proclaim that I did not merely survive a day, but found pleasure in the chaos that came with it.
I’m searching for places in me, still left undiscovered. My soul is promiscuous. So let me just separate and refine the elements I’m made up of. Consider me a secret diary whose pages are yet left to be turned, and whose stories are yet to be written. Do not belittle my expedition and the truths that I hope to unfold, because I’ve seen, I’ve heard and I’ve spoken before. I’ve seen, I’ve heard and I’ve spoken before that the greatest have generally been found at the most hopeless places.”