Sunday, July 26, 2015

Love is it?.....Part 7

They knew it would not last.

She let her hair be as they were the last night - scattered on his broad shoulders, half smooth, half tangled. The balmy air from the sea kissed the entire room and swept it clean of the musk odor. He was still in bed, trying to make sense of what was happening between this woman and him.

She will not be hers. He knew it. But she was completely his while they lay together. In the same bed – sometimes in hotel rooms, sometimes in her house, sometimes on his bed. Mostly in dreams and always in unfulfilled realities.

After months she saw him. They kissed. Soft, lingering – as if tasting every sliver of time that had licked the gap between them, painting all those moments of separation with passion. The moonlight washed her house in a pastel yellow. The color of love. From outside, the neem tree waved its branches on the white freshly painted wall. The mirror on the wall had a beautiful patina – of lost love.

They exchanged wine – mouth to mouth. She said she had read it somewhere, in one of her collections. Balancing her in his arms, toppling the Kafka and Marquez that lay on the brown table and gave her company while he was away, he claimed her – in that short moment of nostalgic togetherness.

She cooked. He rolled for them. She slept. He watched her over. He worked. She read her poetry. Together, they had built a dream of sand that they knew would not last.

Last night on Goa. It was a blissful reinvention of herself. On the orange moon kissed beach – no sound but that of the sea. Bearing witness to the last night of silence and quiet assurance – that was to be clipped short soon.

They made love when back in the room. Crazy, teary love.  Every time he would take her in, she cried. She felt as if the world was about to crash. She felt strangely claimed and discarded. She felt complete but empty. And he kissed her deeply, crying out her name each time they finished. All the while, tears kept soaking and matting her hair. She didn’t want to cry. But each time they made love, she ended up filled with emotions – longing, fulfillment, separation, submission, claim, loss; lot more that words can not explain.

The last drag of Black. Spicy, sweet, fragrant. It reminded her of loss. Of belonging. Of being forgotten. Of the hills. Of him.

On the fort, above the din of the cities and lives they left, the wind blew in abundance. The first time they went, they sat. Quiet. Not a word between them. Only the story of the kids in the car played on the radio.

It was the story of two children. Neighbours. One boy and one girl. The boy’s dad was transferred to another city and he had come to bid goodbye to his friend. As kids are, they discussed in innocence how nice it was to be together, to share and care. How she will miss him and he will miss her. Both curious to know if they would ever meet again.  The boy wanting to know more. The girl eager to make him understand the practicality of fading memories and time. The boy at once overcome with emotions, the girl pacifying him with words. Tables reversing. The girl, amidst all the maturity, shuns it all at once. Tells him they might never meet. The boy breaks down too. Perhaps they hug. Perhaps they just wailed. Who knows what’s the end, anyway.

They had reached the hotel. She did not know the rest of the story. He, did not bother to discuss with her. But the story stayed. Perhaps too long than it should have.

He never said why he loved her. She never fell short of explanations. Once while reading that paperback edition of poetry, she felt a tear roll down her eyes. Her cheeks at once red. She rose. Lit a cigarette. Blew out the smoke drag after drag. They would never meet again.

But they did. And each time, it was, it was with an urgency that time was running short. That they needed to hurry up. But once in each other’s arms, time ceased. Moments waited. It was as if everything stood still.

She was diagnosed with blood cancer. Doctors said, it ran in her family. She wanted to meet him once before she left. And talk to him like the children did. But she chose not to.

Alone, frail yet determined at 40, she left. In her own obituary, she dedicated these words to him:
“I wish I could fight for me, against me.”

He came to know from the newspaper clipping.

It was dusk in Lonavala, night in Goa, day in Mumbai and gloominess in Delhi. He rolled down the window and frantically searched for the last book she gave him – tucked between the pages were the poems she wrote – the last one she wrote for him - while they were together.  On the cigarette paper, she had scribbled, her tears smearing the ink.

He looked vacant – at the sea, at the sky, at the memories that lay behind him - splattered on the green hills, soaked in the rain. Just as she had spread herself – in the sun, amidst the air.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Winter, memories...

I like winter nights – dark, foggy, windy and quiet – as if life is overwhelming in its shades, rubbing off its energy in memories that come flooding. Yes, you are right. I am lonely and vacant – with no work at 10 35 pm. The day’s spoils fulfilled, commitments met. This month’s shortages filled to the brim with essentials. That’s what you called my skin, no?

Vacant, erased of any marks, clear, shining, golden in that perfunctory greenish yellow light and the light of the heating rod.

How you melted in the darkness and shone with each sliver of heat and light corroding your skin just as I seeped into you, rusting your life into meaningless meanings. And perhaps calm. Homely is what you called the house – my house. The pronoun ‘my’. How cosy, and warm and home-like and quiet!

You know I like winter nights. Especially in the balcony. With just the outside white light of the CFL glowing with a switch. Click, snap. Cut and open. Clank, swish. At once illuminated and within a nano second pale. With just the streetlamps, lending grace to the shadows of trees dancing on the walls opposite the expanse of the city. Cold, graceful silhouettes. My visage on the wall too. Interrupting the straight and linear progression of the dance of lights on those walls. Mirrored and washed. In memories.

I like winter nights in the balcony. They are calm, quiet, serene peaceful. No one claims any share in the space of the night. While warm quilts embrace the day soaked skins and winter heaters and hot blowers wash away the ruins of tiredness from sleep deprived number punching fingers and data crunching minds, I stand outside smoking.

How else will I push you away than by defying you? Removing you, carefully, craftily erasing you bit by bit each day by doing what you said not to do. Black. Clove flavored. Leaving a sweet aftertaste on the lips. Smearing the tears with those minty memories of fresh assault.

Yes, assault. Violence. Terrible molestation. Forced conversion. Of slipping between one sheet to the other. And each time being raped of the last hit of memory.

I like winter nights when you are not around. Cold. Chill. Chilled.  Chilling to the bones. At once adjective. At other noun. At the other tense. Past. Gone. And the very next moment present. Chilling. Present continuous. Still fresh. Still assaulting. Still tormenting. Still not gone. Still in the process of leaving, coming back, hugging, tightly fixing. Leaving again. This time slowly. Surreptitiously. Watching over me. Intently. Time. You. All observe. Watch. Letting destiny, karma play its role.

I love winter nights when I can smoke outside in the open air. Breeze wafting through loosened hair. Dropping that one hair clutch, or band or whatever it is called carelessly – somewhere. Never to be found elsewhere. Anywhere in fact. Hair, wind, muffler soaking in the skin around the neck, throat, ears, head. Fingers melting with desire. To hold you once more. One last time. Enwrapping you for that last moment of ‘being together.’

Shhhh. Let me listen. To the barking dogs. Barking with each rustle of dry, half wet with dew leaves. Detached from that tree in the park. Just as perhaps you detached, or clutched out free. From THIS – whatever it is called.

I like winter nights in the balcony, with you – now only in slivers of memory which come not as an epic narrative beginning in media res or perhaps a tragedy - with a beginning, middle and an end but as punctuated prose. Like Woolf’s. Unarranged. Random, Chaotic. Like my mind. Like whatever THIS is or is it THAT was yet?

The final ash flicked. The final drag inhaled. Seeped in. Exhaled. The butt, consumed and absorbed of its contents completely. Lost. Thrown carefully down. So that no trace remains. Not even a whiff.

The balcony doors shut. Noises of the road, of the rustling leaves, the barking dogs, the sometime crashing whoosh of aeroplanes, the accidental announcement of car horns – clanked shut. With that final bolt.

An evening without you. A night of your absence awaits.

Friday, January 2, 2015


My meaning
invaded by those lips of silent leaves
staring at the infinite possibilities
within finite limits
of time, space, continuum.

My flesh into you
yours into mine.

Meaning  -
at once revealed
at once gone.

You won’t come back
i won't return
while i will relive
each of those moments
those whispers
those beautiful pure times,
in ecstasy
Death – of time
a possibility
an infinite hope
of togetherness
and perhaps

Will you dream too? 
will you remember too? 

Conservation, preservation, invention..

rescue vocabularies 
develop a new grammar 
for the aphorism of time 
will not let you articulate 

punctuations are important 
just as conjuctions are 
breaking and forging new identities 
lost in the conundrum of civilizational wars 

they say globalization 
and mean unabashed consumption 
subsuming of the whole in a powerful part 

they say culture 
and mean a monolith 

they say america 
and mean the whole of United States 

they say India 
and mean all - 
kashmir, north east 
(forget that there are 7 different states -they themselves identified
dots of new, fresh, organic tastes - 
they celebrated one in Nagi pokhri) 
nostalic over Bombay 
and Calcutta 
and Cawnpore 

we need language 
rather languages 
to chronicle each hurt 
each flesh pinched 
each nipple bit 
each breast manhandled 
each bread snatched 
each dog killed 
each dream shattered 
and each moment lived. 

Rescue words 
save vocabulary 
build new architecture
invent new syntax

we need it 
i need it 
you need it 

caese the fleeting time
the chasing, fast erasing memories
moments frozen in skinny details.