اکثر (Aksar: Often)

I find myself being pushed out of sleep, deep at night,

A faint cry of time, an abandoned dream, a lost star.

Pulling the quilt over my head, I remind myself to breathe,

In ones, twos and threes.

One

A song I learnt long back, a decade and a half between the times,

The rhythm and words difficult to roll over my tongue,

A particular antara always managed to throw me off,

When I sang, I ran out of breath midway.

Every night I listened to my music teacher sing, on a cassette, in an old walkman,

Rewinding the tape with my fingers and letting the shruti flow.

Late one night at the ninth attempt, I figured her trick.

One sharp breath in the beginning and to pause at the right places,

The music magically took over, and she let her heart sing.

When I feel overwhelmed, I sing this song, to breathe easier.

Two

A few years back while studying I realised that no amount of cramming could help me,

The concepts flew over my head and all I wanted to do was, raise my hands and walk away.

Which is what I did.

I shut the books, made myself a tall glass of chai and looked out of the balcony,

Watched the traffic make its way through the narrow arterial lane,

Tiny marigold flowers, bright orange and yellow resting against the lazy creepers,

The sun set in all its glory, calling the birds and bread winners alike.

And for once, in a long time I slept, for fourteen hours straight.

I woke up in the morning and thought to myself, what was the worse that would happen if I fail?

I walked out in the balcony with the question, to breathe in some air and sunshine, and the question answered itself,

Nothing.

A moment of surreal clarity amidst chaos.

Three

There was a time when the pain was much to bear,

I can’t quantify the time, sometimes it seems like yesterday and during others, a previous lifetime,

One that reddened my eyes, choked my throat, brought tears and anger bubbling right beneath my skin.

Everytime I felt I couldn’t, I would remind myself to breathe and repeat,

This too shall pass.

A stab turned to sear, slowly became a dull throb and now is blue and numb.

And that’s okay, for maybe time heals all.

 

 

Thoughts over the week

I bury my nose in a pillow, my legs resting atop another, I close my eyes and inhale. A tired muffled sound, of fatigue of travel that has come tumbling down. Through the streets of sri lanka, specks of sand that coat my legs, sting of salt still in the humid air, to the winding cobblestone streets in England, behind closed windows that smell of illicit affairs, to strolling down generations in Calcutta, nostalgia of a language, of a childhood that ran by, a stream of events that altered the course of many entwined lives.

Over the course of two days, I devoured 3 books, in the company of a tall glass of sweet brown chai, 6 marie biscuits, intermittent rains and a burst of glitter coloring the skies.

Oddly I feel like the words have traveled, through my fingertips and into my veins, an odd sense of calm in my heart. The promise of the pages of a book bearing the story of a library in Japan to make peace with the pile of work that the week brings.

I watched a movie last Saturday, and of the many words uttered between characters, one line struck a nerve, rather an artery that made my heart bleed, yearning for a long forgotten feeling. The protagonist describes his happiness as “dil ka pet bhar gaya“, which loosely translated meant that the heart’s stomach was full. What a strange yet accurate way of describing happiness, the feeling of contentment, of not wanting any more.

Oddly enough this got me wondering about companionship, of the feeling of content that seeps through your pores, makes you heart smile, sends your brain on a high, makes your pulse race. Offlate my phone has been buzzing with messages, some etch a punctual good morning, others indulge in flattery, words strung like a delicate string of pearls, of brash inquiries of weekend plans, of resorting to reason for a yes.

I have realised, been painfully aware of it for a while that I bear no affection for a skin, dressed in expensive clothes, doused in aftershave and perfume, of a collage of words from movies and books, of the need to replicate the usual romantic gestures.

What lies beneath that carefully embroidered mask and the instant noodles philosophy that you are so quick to dish out, of the things you think when you are alone, of the thoughts that haunt you, of the talisman that you live by. What drives you, stops you, makes you smile, brings tears to your eyes, crack into laughter or descend into silence.

There are days like today when I do not feel the need of someone else, when I’m mindful of the fact that I have nothing to give in return for someone else’s time. When I can feel the gears that keep the clock of this world running slow down, my heartbeat sink to a low whimper.

When solitude no longer means being alone.

Jab We Met

jwm


Last sunday I sat by a lake and as soon as I saw this place, I was reminded of a scene from a bollywood movie called Jab We Met in which the heroine convinces hero to jump into the lake and try out an act of madness for once instead of always trying to control things and do what others might consider the right decision to make.

She believes in choosing only that option in which she believes, which sounds right to her at that time instead of worrying about what its future consequences are, of running behind your dreams and taking all the decisions that you are in favour of, also to accept that whatever does unfold in future is purely your doing and to make peace with it 🙂

Sometimes, that leap of faith (or jump in this case 😀 ) is all you need!

For you.

Someday

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Someday, lets sit and chat,

Over a glass of chai maybe?

 

On all the trivial and non trivial things,

The happiness, fun and love,

And the pain, sorrow and sadness of life,

While watching the hands of the clock melt away.

 

Of how we don’t need picturesque locations,

Or a vacation to enjoy the sunrise.

 

To share a few stories of our lives,

Under the cool shade of the trees.

 

Or to sit in silence for a while,

And listen to the distant laughter of the children playing,

Of the sound of water hitting against the rocky shore,

And the innumerable birds and crickets.


 

Last sunday I spent a few hours with myself, walking at my own pace and watching the world rush by.

Here is where I sat for a while and let the noise in my head just be, not to sort things out, but to accept the madness the way it is! 🙂