A letter of fiction

I recently came across a post on terribly tiny tales, which started with “Dear long distance lover”. And thus it made me think. We all talk, see, hear and live through love in forms more than one but how does distance really factor in “love”. Well although I ended up pretty much turning round a blind curve every now and  then, there are two more reasons as to why i decided on writing about it on my own terms.

1. Because I needed to break down the block I was going through

2. The title was just too good !!

And thus,

Dear long distance lover,

How’ve you been ? Well I choose to ask you this rather cliched opening question because I figured there might be a few things that you might have missed out or chosen to skip in those numerous whatsapp texts and skype sessions that we have shared. I have been fine, I have been well and more so i have been loved. And yes while I attribute a lot of it to you sadly enough I have to share that bit with my parents and siblings too.

The best part about being in love and sharing a huge distance is that we have so much to talk about, its like we have two different worlds that come together through the header, “you know what happened today?”. We smile, we cry, we complaint, we fight but there is a screen that separates us through all of it. Now that’s just sad , as all those moments just make me wish even more, a wish that can come true with time and time only and you know how impatient I can get. He he !! Yes you know me , don’t you ? I think you are THE “farthest” person who knows me so much better even than those who appear “near”. Well i guess not all ironies are morose. That’s hope you have right there.

Do you remember the first time we met ? It was a blessed dusk, the birds flew over the big lake in the south of our city creating rippled shadows like dots on a canvas waiting to be joined into a piece of art. We were nervous weren’t we ? I remember rehearsing all those words in my mind all the while on what to say next but all I could manage was an occasional jittery giggle or a rather nervous “Ok. acha ok”. I remember you wore that white kurti that day, the one you proudly proclaimed to be a fabric from Lucknow, I had no idea what you were talking about but all I believed was that it was one lucky piece of fabric to get the opportunity to be wrapped around you like that ! I remember a lot more than that too, i guess. I think the farther you get , the more you realize on how important memories are and that they are actually made everyday from the faintest and simplest of incidents.

The windchime still makes that light tingle of a sound, the one you had gifted me on “our” day telling me no matter how far we stay the tings and tongs would always be as sweet as our conversations. Infact , I am wearing that t-shirt you sent me over because once I happened to say on how I missed your smell,however it just gives the illusion of your fragrance now. I blame the detergents !! There is one more thing i figured about being distantly in love, and that is, we talk a lot more about what will happen than what is happening, the future is a much believable perspective than the present and if you ask me i would tell you that its just the tricks of the trade.

You know there is yet another thing that i discovered, Distance runs in cycles. It neither stays nor leaves your back that easy. Its been 70 years of me being in love with you of which you were or should i say have been, away for 40 of it. We did get to the future we spoke about all the time, the one where we would stay together, have a family, make people around us so happy and keep each other in each other’s arms but we missed this bit out and I blame you. You knew I was an Epicurean and you being the Plato should have reminded me of it. You should have told me that just like the job offer after your masters degree , life would come calling and once again this relationship had to live off “long distance” and that too a really long one. That one day you would leave without leaving me your whatsapp contact, without giving your skype id, that one day that couch will be all mine to lie down in and I would no longer have to fight with you for a cushion and most of all ,without even giving me a hint. This hit me hard until the day you called me from behind the screen of night and told me that you were doing fine, that your “flat mates” were good people, that you missed me and looked forward to seeing me soon. It was skype all over again just the screen was much bigger than my laptop’s. I have learnt to live with it just like when we started dating, here is how i spend my days now. My eyes open to your smile lying within a frame on my desk, I drink my milk, I kiss our grand children off to school!! They have turned out as good kids you see. Who am I kidding, ofcourse you do!. I come back and read through the newspaper as I am called on for lunch, after lunch I sit with some of our photos and letters from our days, scroll through whatsapp, I never manage to go real far up as my fingers start to hurt, then I lie down and skype you once again. At night I put the kids off to bed, come into my room , change the kurta and wear your tshirt and go off to sleep.

But like any other long distance relationship, its getting a bit difficult these days, age seems like a linchpin in the dominoes when it comes to maintaining a long distance relationship. Just yesterday I had to go through an emergency album viewing session. Lately, I remember all my memories but the faces are getting blur. And that scared me so much. It still does. I had a long skype session with you a couple of days back, our daughter said that they got scared, I was given a very comfortable bed in a hospital for that session, and I could swear I felt your palm on mine. After that day I am not really sad anymore, although I doubt our children know something about me that i don’t. I think they know that its time I moved. I know it makes them sad but to be honest it makes me really happy because they have all their promises left to keep and they must do so, on the other hand I have just one more left and the feeling that its going to happen soon fills me with calm, the promise of our “pincodes and timezones being same”, once and for all.

Signing off and see you really soon.

With love

Your long distance lover.

17.2.2170

Advertisements

The written autobiography of a writer

I have seen many come, and many go and many stay on forever. I have seen fictions being made, imaginations been drawn, dreams come true and also those that remained so. I have built people and i have built lives, i have gone on for days to come to an abrupt stop. I am a persons identity at time, character at others. I have witnessed the life that one wished for and the life they wished they never had and it all came down from my brain fluid. I am a pen.

Some people smirk when they open me from a packed box that say “with love, aunt Sarah” and poor aunt Sarah gets nothing more than an ignorant and obligatory smile simply because i am not something interesting, i do not fly neither do i create virtual worlds for my holder to seek refuge in, i just write and thus i am boring. While i have seen such kids i have also met people who quiver about getting me in newer forms every now them, i have names that appeal to them like the name of a bottle of scotch to an alcoholic. To them i am a collectible, a piece of emerald in their gold clad chest and something they boast about. Though i cant say that they use me to my satisfaction but at the same time i cannot deny that i do not enjoy the attention on strange palms. I can feel their pulse as they look down at me and wave me in the air to mimic their signatures, i can see the diamond reflect in their pupils as they look to the one on my head through the glass doors of my cage. I feel proud, oh yes i do! But happy ? well…….i guess the “well” says it all.

Like every breed of bird is divided into two sects so is our society, the one behind the gold cage and the other on the dusty branch of an amazonian forest. And thus comes the third kind of people in the freckled fingers of whom my life finds its true meaning. The ape men in the dense forest of words. They make me work, they scratch with me, make me bite trough lines, makes me write them and sometimes in a manner i write things that hold the meaning of what actually is unwritten. They show me my world and i play, swirve, read, mark and write my way through it. I see the world in so may forms on so many sheets of flattened wood that they call paper (well he too has a story to tell, but that’s for some other time because as of now he is “digitally”busy from being written on to by my “digital”form). A life grows through me. Rivalries are born and i give birth to them, and then end them just like that, with a few unique movements. I am there in the proof of the first cry to the proof of the last breath and i smile and cry as much as the ones who use me then. I see smiles coming on the beholders face as he writes a passage of happiness and i know it when they are blue because sometimes my letter get blurred by a sudden drop of a salty liquid on them. I have seen love grow through my tips and seen them being shattered to bits from the same. I have written true stories that appear a fiction and fictions that actually are true. I have drawn pictures of maidens of dreams,to the maidens who made them dream, to crooks and criminals whom i helped to put behind bars.The most powerful symbol of this world of ours is also built by me-a signature. The signature that can give one the power to win on worlds and the same same signature that defines that one has lost it all, from their money, their home to their wives who even a day ago he loved with his might. Oh how have i seen and known the mortal being, how have i felt what they felt exactly the same and ten times more!! I have see them struggle ,when I found those fingers decked up tightly on my head, the tip stuck on the paper and not a sound was made, sorry, not a word was made. I have trembled with their fear as they wrote with me their last words while the rope hung behind them from the roof and perhaps that’s one of the moments i felt most helpless for not being able to speak my own. I lay their as a moment later i was covered by the shadow of his dangling feet. I have been broken in many forms , its their friustration that broke me. But the morose is not all that there is. As much as i have felt their nerves i have felt their hearts to.I have felt them write as if they were talking to someone about their feelings. I have seen them smile as they wrote letters of home coming and numerous other events like christmas, new year, hanukkah and many more. I have felt them sing as they wrote in rhyme and i have seen them blush as they drew her in words. I have had two hands on my tip sometimes, a big one over a little one, a hand so little that even i was bigger than the arm on whose tip it was, managing a difficult A B C as others looked on. I have witnessed that hand transit from a little soft ball of tissue writing its letters, to a playful hand doing its homework, to a matured one writing to his “her” for the first time, to a dutiful one writing his thesis, to a weak and skinny one writing his will. I have seen and been through everything and everywhere.

I have given this world a way into their own world and a way to build one of their own outside their own.I help this world decide whats right and whats wrong, i help it decide what should be and what should be not, i am the creator of the creator and i am the sheild of their glory. And yes i am mightier than the sword!! I do not fight i write and a scar vanishes over time, but a word even though can be rubbed can never be deleted. For my “ink” might stay on paper but its born in the mind. I do wish sometimes that i could have spoken, but then again feel like its fine because if i would have , you would have been speechless (are you now? ), so its fine.

Savour me , enjoy me, write with me and never stop at the end of a refill, just get one and help me define you in every form of its meaning. I am tired now , so i would like my testimony to end like this

“remember remember the days of forever

the paintings, the poems ,the plot

and i will remember and shall forget never

all the words that you ever thought”

  And so i began, and thus i end.

“Signing” off

Yours faithfully

A pen

P.S. try to not chew my head when you are tensed or rotate me round the same, the spit makes me gooey and the turn makes me dizzy.!!

The thing about love.

Original post date on blogspot : 22/02/2016

 

The thing behind the first word. The thing about the first smile. The thing about the first miracle. The thing about the first sight. The thing about the first fight . The thing around the first wink. The thing about the first letter. The thing behind the first secret, the thing behind sharing it the first time. The thing about the first tear, the thing behind the first palm to wipe it away. The thing about pulling through. The thing about the first walk to the park, the first walk through the park. The thing about the first flower and the first wilt. The thing about holding a finger, to holding a hand, to wrapping round a palm and also joining ones both in a prayer. The thing about knowing that it almost never ends up to be the “first” of everything every time, In short, the thing, about love.

Love is that miracle that helps us be. The feeling behind our first breath, the feeling behind our first cry and also the feeling on our mothers little finger, tight, for the very first time, It brings us this world of ours, helps us grow with it, through it , while it enjoys a seat in the bench and only comes in as the super sub when we cry for help (and not everytime is it heard). A parents love knows no bound, it is biased, loud, tough and binds us like a cloud round the summer sun , it gets denser, the more it burns and then drains itself out , only to put it to rest for a while. We learn our first words and use the rest on them, they smile. We bring down all our wrath on them, they soothe. We cry our sorrows out to them, they strengthen while breaking down inside. They lay their palms with petals of roses for us to walk on and have them pierced by as much thorns as they can. The thing about love to them is sacrifice —- with a smile.

The love of a sibling is perhaps the most confusing of all. They begin as arch enemies, and come to think of it , they prefer to stay that way. They will drag each other to the corner of the cliff but will still not let go. Even if they fall they fall together. Its the fear that counts. Hairs are pulled, notes are misplaced, study sessions are disrupted, slaps are thrown and even then the smallest of jokes are shared, the smallest of pancakes are eaten half, the biggest of hearts belong to the other, the strongest of supports are what they are to each other. A sibling always knows when the other is in trouble and draws out every possible hay from the stack to look for the needle and remove it. The elder one holds the hand of the little one forever and pulls him through no matter what. When the news of a heartbreak comes they are the first to quip, “i had told you so!!”, but the only one to sit beside and tell, “come on! as long as you are into people, everything is going out fine”, and the best part is, perhaps the only person in the world who means it. The first wake up call, the last goodnight wish, the first career solution and the first relationship mockery, they see it all, but the best part, they see you through it all.  Love of a sibling is unbearably unbearable yet a predilect without which your life remains a forever half portion.

Love for that special one  ( from a guys stand point) . It is something new, something unprecedented, something that hits you out of nowhere although you might have seen it coming and wanted it but you relish the mystery and suddenness of it. The first time you learn that seeing a person can actually give you goosebumps and make you want to be stupid by choice. The first time you know that the feeling of being complete is actually incomplete until you meet that very stranger you becomes your own to fulfill your own. The dream giver, she turns out to be the dew on the pebble that every bare feet looks for in the early morning field. The first time you feel like taking up a pen rather than your voice. The first time you stare without having the least bit of idea why you are doing so. The paradox of strange insight gulps you down and by the time you realize it you are deep in the abyss of “everythingness”. She becomes a part of you as much as you never were to yourself. You begin hitting the backspace more than the spacebar just to get those words out perfectly for her, to her and still feel like you should have gone for a “feel” check. She smiles anyway and that not just makes your day but gives you the arm to hold (or atleast dream of holding round, but that’s another story. lets not dim the lights) to make your entire world around it.

God claims all, sees all, loves all and yes seeks the love of all that ever was, ever is and ever will be. Love of God is a miracle, a miracle to show us light in forms old and new, in pictures, statues and shadows, in mysteries one would never see the end of, in arguments one would never wind and most of all in ways one would never measure. So we pray and we promise what we fail to often realize is nothing, not a stone turns out of a plan, and so our thoughts, they never really are our own, they are verses from names unknown, from places unknown just making their were through our heart to our actions.

So for the love of all there is to love and for the love of life lets not lose out on love and let love never lose out on us for its there from the cot we breath out first, to the laps and arms we breathe through and the shoulders on which we breathe our last..

Cheers !!

A ballad

A ballad

We all speak of love as being something of a fairy tale, a notion that gives our existence a storyline to grab on to. We all eagerly wait on for that very moment when we would feel it unanimously and fall into it at the time when we least expect it to be. But I think its the stories of love that once was are much more interesting than the love that we dream of. Love drawn in the canvas of the past. Our heart never breaks the moment love leaves, but instead it does so when we reminiscence of how it left, in short “you only know you were in love when you let it go”. Two people, complete strangers , hold hands in a moment that they dream of building their lives around. They fight as if all they will ever have to lose is each other. But what they fail to realize is that the fights are much harder in their own backyard than in the neighbourhood ahead. They become so perfect to each other that when the war approaches to their doorstep they find it hard to hold on to their horses. People fall in love all the time, but falling out of it is what it becomes all about. They promise of being with each other no matter how hard the road ahead may be but when the speed breaker approaches beneath their own feet, their hand slide down to the edge of their little fingers. Everything that once was neatly drawn out get draped by a pale of paint thrown recklessly onto it and all of it becomes a monotone. Compatibility, issues, cheats, faith , the objects that suffer the blame but what hides beneath the burkha is nothing but a lie , a lie that no human has ever been able to hide for long, the lie of knowing the other person. Canaries become vultures feeding on each others disappointments. In the crowd of “what”, “when”, “how” and “where” s , loses its way a very quite “why”. A single question that might just have been the perfect solution. They cry, they shout, they blame, they listen but they never ask. Forgiveness becomes a myth and along with it their story. They learn , to change. They force, to not be what they were or simply become what they had always been but had never wanted to be. Career sometimes shows a way out of such situations. Mirrors become their worst enemies, they can hide those drops from everyone but what happens when it comes to themselves ? Some sigh to think as to what went wrong ? Some cry to conventionally null their pains ? Some run, run as fast as they can, but in circles, and then become still with nothing left but a shivering pair of hands. The hands that wrapped around each other when they sat by the river bank and held each other tight failed to hold for one last time to make the other sit and just speak. In the torrential pour of the fights , speaking drenched and drained. Leaving two unknown souls, that knew each other more than they knew themselves in tatters. They say they learned, but did they? They say they stopped dreaming, but did they? What does it mean by moving on ? Where do they move on to ? How far can someone go once they move in into an apartment, called the heart ? Is this actually what it was all about ? The hands that once spread they never draw to a close, but also do not spread even wider. And that is where lies the tiny little thing called irony. To soothe is myth, to forgive is a sin, chances are risks and thus to forget is the only option.
But lets not lose hope. Lets dream of our lives to be like movies, lets keep wishing for the happily ever after ending, lets not lose out on love, not once, not twice not ever. Lets dream of finding it back even if we have lost it forever.
That’s all the optimism that you might find out me through this post.
To all the love in the world,
Wish you find strength to hold on.

Cheers!!

P.S. I know this came out pretty dark but hey! no ballads came out of successful love stories. Its the failures that write the sweetest songs.

The “away” half

Siblings. The unavoidable competition. The unwilling part of your soul. The spotlight sharer. The often privileged elder one. The talks, no matter how small or big, ending with a fight, hand and legs included. The worst critique. The reason for the question, “why the hell could i have not been the only one?”. The sudden soft corner, the friend for all needs, the advice for every situation, the first pat on the back. The body protecting me from a beating. The first relationship advice. The first tear wiper. The first “letke chetke”. The reason behind the prayer “thank god i am not an only one!”

AND THEN AN AIRPORT TERMINAL. THE WAVING HAND. THE TEARY EYE. THE SAD HEART BENEATH THE PROUD MIND.

The sudden loneliness that follows is nothing like one could ever imagine. Its like a carnival coming to a sudden close because of a tidal wave that swept its shore. Suddenly conversations become an ISD call and emotions “skyped”. Bhaiphotas become a long distance affair and the luchi is now eaten full. Never thought how much a half luchi could prove to be such an apt diet therapy. Fights still prevail but the charm seems lost because they end very soon based on the thought “lets not fight she is so far away”. Songs start reminding you of her and make you all mushy mushy (something you would have never even had nightmares of). You start writing poems and proses that remind you of her and her, you. I mean its my sister (brother for the rest, please change the she & her in the appropriate places with he and him. Sorry for the inconvenience caused!), i should be blaming her for all that is bad in this world and moving all my efforts to get on her nerves, not MISSING her. This certainly does not feel normal. You are filled with a sudden storm of weak feelings and she becomes an inspiration rather than the more believable “issue”.  I mean, she was the sole reason behind my miserable existence and the shield to all that i did, that were ill intended and in a sudden jerk of events (am not complaining that they were bad) your wish of being the lone child comes true and oh my god, do you hate it like anything! The fantasy becomes a nightmare and you spend nights looking at the empty bed that once had her studying on it.

But you do get used to it like anything else in life and also because you understand the situation as a result of  the curse of growing up. You start believing that your brother-in-law can actually take care of her (not better than you obviously, that is never possible) and in no time didia gives you many more reasons to look forward to, only this time the loathing decreases in degree and life through her thoughts seem more influential a setting. You start looking forward to the huge suitcases that she brings home every alternate year and sit with one luchi on one of those dreamt about sunday mornings to hear about her life, the best part, she always misses me. You take a note of her career advices and go about them as bedbakyo.  Yes, believe it or not elder siblings have the best predicition about your life and thus always give the best advice. The outings seem a bit awkward at first but become more normal with her stay getting prolonged. Her visa creating problems and making her stay longer turn out to be the most unusual of good news. Nothing feels better. Evil i know but eh! what the heck! And there is something more you develope. Everytime you see her the first time you are bound to feel a bit nervous. I am still not sure why that happens. Time flies within plans through her stay and she waves again and sets sail in the clouds and every time you hear the same thing,”grow up”. Time stops for your sister the moment you are born and though you may get old as much as you want to, they always look at you as you would pee your pants any moment now. It doesn’t feel that inappropriate though, i must accept. And while she is away you start making plans about her next visit , though you may not be sure when that would actually be happening. Time, once again, proves to be the judge as well as the sentence.

Siblings. The most beautiful thing that can ever happen to you. The only thing better than you yourself. The sole inspiration in your life, The only person you love to brag about. The person whom your near and dear ones hear the first thing ,right after your own introduction. The reason behind the paved path under your feet. The only person who can actually make your parents believe that time has changed and not everything is “amader shomoi to erom chilo”. The pampering hand, the leading finger, the best example of “far yet near”. The worst beating of your life with the best outcomes. The mend it all smile and the first one to accept your thoughts without judging them (but only till the matter subsides, the judgement starts then and ends at the order) . The best gift that your parents have ever gifted you. When they go far, it hurts, when they stay far, it hurts more, when they speak of dragging you near, you dream and when finally when the ends meet, you feel complete.

So here is to the most unpleasant blessing of my life and of all those who might be reading it.

May you never be far even if you end up being away!

Cheers!

(Sorry if it sounds a bit personal, but couldn’t really help it! )

The Pitter Patter trail

“Ei meghla dine ekla kano thakena ko mon

kache jabo kobe pabo ogo tomar nimontron”

(in this overcast day why does my heart not be calm?

i want to be near you, and thus i seek your invitation)

The start of the rains. As you well may figure, the rains come as a prophet of romance, invoking thoughts and feelings and puts a pinch in the most colorful  corners of thy heart. You spend hours sitting in front of the window thinking of the one you love and imagining on how she may be doing the exact same thing, or you may sit and think of home, which, as situation dictates is in a far off place. One starts missing and reminiscing. It brings within its little droplets consolation for the sighs of a hectic summer. Farmers look up in prayer to the Gods thanking them for their bounty that he so showers to bring peace and cool on the land. Poems are written, songs are sung, umbrellas are held up with a smile, hands are held and dances are staged on gutters with ankle deep of soil water. Everything changes through a swift shower that comes about at times, Some places experience with anticipation others with surprise. Nevertheless, rain is something that is well look forwarded to as a sign of relief, A spray that washes off all that is hot and sweaty, and dry and dusty. Something that cleans away the past,with a clear stream of the present, bringing on its shoulders the promises of a calm future ahead. In  a split shower all the frowns turn into a smile. Rain is the savior that saves us all.

But only for a while.

“Bajra manik gnatha tomar boron dala
Bame rakho bhoyonkori bonya maron-dala”

(your garland is made of thunder

but thou keep aside the garland of floods)

The rains that start as a sign of pleasure, as a symbol of positivity soon turn into storms. Strong winds rage through the land making it devoid of all the flora that it may have nourished. The water chases people out of there homes and this is perhaps the only time that homeless people can’t even take to the streets for shelter. As the rain gives way to floods, the hopes give way to despair. The crops that one grew under its promise now perish to its flow. The songs change in mood and people pray to see the sun once again, the same sun that scorches their lives. It proves again that all that is good is temporary, everlasting happiness yet again turns into a myth. The kids who went out to play in the rain just last week, sit on the bed all day as the floors of his home are flooded. Trees clog roads and cars make way to boats. The khichdi that they once made to celebrate the showers has now turned into a daily square meal. It does not taste the same anymore, All the ingredients are the same its just that the ladle now turns in a different mindset. The newspapers get busy recording the number of deaths, the priests get tired chanting slokas to shoo the rain away, the amount of recorded rainfall now raises eyebrows instead of spreading the lips. Calm turns to catastrophe.

But not for long.

“Clouds come floating into my life 

no longer to carry rain or usher storm 

but to add color to my sunset sky”

Well no matter how many dark clouds may cover up one’s horizon, that does not make its silver lining a lie. After weeks of painting the town “wet” when the clouds finally give up on their strength and feel its best to make way for the sky , the world unravels in a state of joyous excite. It rejoices the sun once again, looks up at the sky with eyes of hope , only this time the color is blue and not grey. The sun brings about a new morning, promising that “everything is gonna be all right”. The ray of faith shines on the worlds face and it smiles again. Distance perhaps does make the heart grow fonder, even the sun plays the part of a parting lover to make the world feel its place in their cycle and as the sun does that the rain takes over its former part. Life is just as round as the earth with a bit of being flat at the edges (well i don’t know why i used this metaphor, it had a nice ring in my head, look for your own explanations !! ) . The rain however does not leave, leaving only, damage, destruction , clogs and floods, it leaves behind several remains of its bounty.Be it the little drops on the edge of leaves, the deposition of silt to nourish the lands, the rainy day holidays, the beautiful smell of the water on the ground while it makes its way back to the sky or be it in the gushing flow of a river that had been dry for years till it came. Rain comes with a smile, fills with a frown and leaves with a smirk.

“Dahane shayane tapto dharani parechilo pipasharta

Pathale tahare indraloker amrito bani barta”

(Heated earth was lying in a scorching bed, thirsty

You send them a celestial message from your land o lord)

Rain, be it a boon or a bane has the power to do one thing that perhaps makes it the most influential of all elements of nature. To cleanse. It cleanses from the road to our doorstep, to the road to our heart, it washes away all that dry bits of our lives and gives them a medium to float on, to live on and most importantly to  feel the importance of light , something that the “modern” nights too fail to do sometimes.