There is a very peculiar reason why some of us choose certain words over others, ‘it matters’- and so you run past the world, searching, until you find it, or not. You sit down on the couch and inevitably sleep, it’s a weird sensation, almost like a needle sticking to your sensitive skin, ‘it moves’ and hurts. You still haven’t found the right word. When you wake up, you only have 18 minutes to find the right word, before Kit barges through the door, your editor, looking for just that right letter, essay, article, poem, story or you. But this is the story of just one of these days, when you lie down on your own couch searching for words, before finding a new place to find words in, maybe tomorrow, or the day after. Writing is hard these days, let alone the rest of your life.
Let us sit together at the shoreline today. At 3 am in the morning and do nothing, be nothing, whilst we stare at the city lights fade away. Let us sit close together, holding hands, never letting each other go away. You, my lover, have become my poetry from nothing to things that are now taking shapes, though are still ambiguous.
You, my lover, have become me, like something that belongs to me as much as the moonlight belongs to the sun. So promise me, that you will never ask for it back. And I like the moon will shine and burn and burn and shine. Into nothingness.
Thank goodness for the world that I cannot love you. Otherwise, what do you do when you fall in love with your brother or with your best friend. You die, or you suffocate yourself and lie. It’s a blunder.
But not really, you die, only metaphorically. Which is worse.
And then you meet them, the ones you loved, love,…… and end up with improper goodbyes, empty conversations and the love decays, except not really, because, he, still smiles. And you fall in love again. Except not really.
Not this time.
The first time I met him, I passed by my lover, in the busy streets of Connaught Place, walking without a reason. Today when he and I are here again, primarily in response to our love for a certain cafe, I am reminded of our abrupt meet. Though in all honesty, I was in need of someone, mostly because of the fact that most of my friends’ lives were peopled already. Under these enormous buildings made of white marble, one is often dazed by the number of shops that have taken permanent residence here.
We sip coffee, munch egg sandwiches and engender rapport. It is easy to loose oneself in the restlessness that the city is always consumed in. I am meeting my boyfriend after a period of 3 months, and both of us know that we’ll make love soon after in either of our tiny flats, but the restlessness in our hearts is perfectly obvious. But that’s fine.
I have decided not to complain.
When we wake up the next morning, my arm splayed across his bare chest, I realize that it’s half past 11 and I have already missed my appointment with the dentist.
My body has reminisced of us making love, so I wear a turtle neck shirt, blushing at the same time. My parents would disapprove of me. Not only am I making love before getting married, but that also with someone from the same sex. Joy feels like a kind of revolt.
I endanger the lives of my neighbors every time my boyfriend is home, or when I am home a little too drunk. Divine is my body that has given birth to my senses. I have come to love a man, just like any straight person would love a woman but divine is my body.
My boyfriend wakes up soon after, but we do not talk for a short while. He tells me that he has to go for a seminar just outside the city and invites me for the same, but I refuse. I’ve come to terms with parting and meeting.There is always a form of urgency even when we meet, lost always in our words.
I leave his place after breakfast, and in hope to find a bus that goes directly towards my place, I wait at the bus stop. The bus stop is unusually crowded for a Sunday morning, so I decide to go to a friend’s place at Hauz Khas. It’s only the month of March, but it’s already over 35 degrees here. The city doesn’t have the same mystic charm as Gregory Davis Robert describes Mumbai with, but it is undoubtedly no less ambiguous to the unwary traveler. I, too am hidden in its smog-filled streets. Leaving the city to decide my fate as it goes.
I leave my friend’s place sometime around 3.3o and the market is filled now. I reach Sarojini Nagar in search of a few basic necessities, and it’s packed. With men who sell only bangles on their carts, bangles that are long discarded by their own wives to small kulfi joints, inevitably crowded by a lousy and loud group of teenagers.
I have conjured most of my life’s realities in dreams and in short write-ups, but today doesn’t feel like a day to write or dream. I feel ashamed of making love with the person I love the most, and my hands reach out for the arteries and bleeding veins inside my heart, prying with force.
But so long as I walk with a smile on my face and nobody notices me bleeding none shall stop or mutter a word. To muster enough care for my heart to nurture again. For life, for love, for sensuality. And for days to come.
The day mother doesn’t come home from work, father gets worried that he will have to raise both of us all on his own. And I and my sister get worried because the father isn’t a good cook, and all we have had for our dinner, the past three nights, are oats and mashed potatoes.
But two children with neither of their parents alive aren’t looked up in the society. So we have decided against killing our father. He also earns, for us, of course.
My sister would be a fine writer one day, I’m sure. And on days when we won’t have a story to tell, we will tell the tale of our dead mother and a father who cooked terribly.
Our friends in the neighborhood are stupid and cannot fend for themselves if their mothers die. Just like little Tim, who fell down on the playground while playing with us the other day, and we tried to bury him, but the sand fell short.
Their parents complain that we make too much noise, but silencers are costly, and real kids don’t use them. Father is annoyed, but he still doesn’t cook very well, and I hope that mother is seeing this.
Father has booked our tickets to our grandparent’s house, and I remember very vividly, that the last time I visited grandmother, we were served apple pies and delicious banana cakes. Funny how they’ll live longer than the father. Or maybe not.
In its undisturbed stationary ways,
the sun is hotter than ever
and it burns
like paper on fire
while on others
it is soft, somewhere
between the clouds,
as if it were
too shy or forced to hide
and then there are times
when the same sun
reminds me of, oh,
I don’t know
of broken twig, still stuck with the plant
like a tender heart
yearning to be free.