Thursday, January 19

a life waits

Between us a life waits
to be lived
waking up lazily to
waiting tea turned cold
the deceit of togetherness
in an already worn T shirt
hot running water
dripping with anticipation
a tired remote coping
with squabbling channels
yawning chandler with
sideways glances
waiting to end
those thousand whispers
to start a morning
with a folded newspaper
lying on the floor
spurned off. unread.
rushed baths.
overworked morning cream
moisturising a dull day
frenzied arrogant afternoons
of meaningless games
vodka with tonic laden evenings
rented happiness of few hours
foil packed dinners of
conceited independence
elusive slumber
through bad radio music
and a life waits on hold
between us
to be lived

Wednesday, January 11

a new year

The sand in the proverbial hour- glass announced the going away. Decided to celebrate the going away like any one else. Mostly.

Loud Music. Booze. Bad dancing. Mad friends. Revelry.

But just before the clock struck 12 and the world at INS Hamla waited to wade into the New Year by the high tide I was thrown into my default state.

Alone.

I saw the year 2005 dissolving into a new year as fireworks exploded in the halogen soaked night at the Aksa beach.

I saw my own inhibitions dissolving into the smoke.The vodka mingled in my hopeful veins as I clapped with strangers to usher 2006.

I took the tipsiest walk of my life all alone by the sea, with cold sand under my feet and the breeze that told me dark sea secrets.

Aksa beach swayed to Kajra re Kajra re while I dug my heel in the sand.

I made a small sand hill with a little boy whose name I couldn’t recall. Maybe I didn’t ask.

It was strange; I tiptoed to where he was sitting alone trying to build a house. Together we first heaped sand and smoothened it. We started digging from the two ends of the smooth hill till our hands met.

In the mid night madness I shook hands under a sandy hill with a child whose name I didn’t ask.

And I got on with my walk. Alone. Till friends tired of looking for me caught up for niceties.

Another strange year in my life slipped away. Unceremoniously.

2005 was like the tepid tea on a bland morning.

Yet there were some things that stuck on through out the blandness.

Old Man and wife

Their world hung around news from children who announced their independence rather hurriedly.

Bunty

Whose childhood had exploded into an adult world. Just like mine. Without a warning.

Loneliness

I was lonely. All through 2005.

lonely in a crowd, drunk and dancing badly with mad friends.

lonely when I was part of something that felt beautiful. Lonely also when it turned ugly.

Reading and writing

They lay claim to my here and now.

Read some good people last year and wrote some bad stuff last year.

Mostly wrote on borrowed time. During sleepless nights or early mornings or delayed flights or on the way to office in a yellow black cubicle.

Friends

They were there. In my loneliness and in my revelry.

Homelessness and Drift

Happens to all of us. All the time.

Heartbreaks

Yeah, that too.

Things I would do again

Getting drenched in the rain, worse wading through knee deep water to home

Getting drunk and losing myself on the sea beach

Dancing badly and madly

Writing another story, and the much awaited book

Reading

Falling in love


Things I would not want again

Trips to my physiotherapist for the bad back

Shutting down pubs at 1 pm

Working on weekends

Traffic jams

Laloo & Rabri in Bihar

Early morning flights & the micro waved breakfast

Salad lunches

Bad bollywood movies (hah, tall ask!)

I would drink to the New Year. And to that smile I lived for, for a while, the sunshine that streams through life’s window on an occasional morning, the squabbling of the pigeons in my kitchen and yes for Life.

It works.

Sunday, January 1

the chasm

I woke up to the smell of cooking oil; I knew Maa was making Parathas. The kitchen and the passage were filled with nostalgic of the cooking oil.

The pigeons in the kitchen, witness to my toasted mornings watched Maa in surprise, rolling out the dough with one hand and turning the paratha to a crispy brown on the simmering tawa. For the morning intruders in my kitchen the tawa spectacle was an unusual one.

The brown fluffy triangular shaped paratha, cooked in postman was an unadulterated smell of childhood. The oil smudged fluff felt heavy now, stuck somewhere in the throat, like a lump.

Lump of time lost. Lump of innocence relinquished. Lump of betrayed love.

Maa and I finished the parathas in uncomfortable silence.

She groped for words.

It was strange. Words flew out of her like oil. With measured viscosity.

Yet she groped for words.

It is difficult to find the right words to say things to a part of yourself.

A part of you that you fed and nourished, a part of you that you grew like the rest of you, but a part of you that grew away. Never to return.

Like your own hand that slaps you in public. or an invisible head that laughs with an ugly noise when the other head mourns the loss of a part of you.

I saw her picking up the plates and take them to the washbasin wordlessly.

She let silence flow between us.

A silent chasm of 7 years. Where a part of her packed a suitcase on a cold evening to find her own way.

A part of her that sounded distant and preoccupied through those metered public booth phone calls.

A part of her that came home for an occasional weekend home with a wall around her.

A part of her that shrunk to sms messages of well being.

A part of her that was determined to fight her own battles. Alone. A part of her that did not want to share.At any cost.

I looked at her bent over the wash basin soaking the plates in a studied motion. I saw the dark circles. I knew they held the dark secret of a life led.

A consistent dark truth.

I knew if I looked hard enough the dark circles would talk to me. Through the silence.

I would fill the chasm between us.

They would tell me all about the forsaken dinners, reread messages, life hung on phone calls, old albums ,polished old medals.

A part of me felt nauseated. Of the expectations that a life hung on a phone call put on my whirlwind existence.

A part of me wanted to look hard enough at the dark circles that would talk to me. Through the silence.

I would fill the chasm between us. Yet I withdrew in my own carefully crafted indifferent world.

It is difficult to find the right words to say things to a part of yourself.