Strangers

To share the secrets closest to heart, or the ones that render most pain, one chooses a stranger. I was pretty young when I first read this. Took many years for me process. It was a whole new world of no best friends and no confidants when I did. A whole new world where strangers are who you choose to open up when you can’t share it with a best friend.

I was a stranger. I did not know a thing about you. And you did not know a thing about me. You had no responsibility towards me. To make me feel good. To rescue me from getting hurt. To care about what I do when I am not listening to you. You had no concerns. No concerns for my thoughts and emotions and validations and anything that might make you know me. Or make me know you. You were free. You were at ease. The most you could be, when you were with me. You could open your heart without fearing to break mine. For it did not matter to me – at least in your eyes. And it did not matter to you – more importantly. You could speak. As much. As long. As anything.

And then I spoke up. One day. No matter how much I regret to have spoken up. Truth is I did speak up one day. Making you know me. Making you care. Dragging me mercilessly out of the pool of strangers and putting me into acquaintances, friends, ah confidants. I was happy. Foolishly happy. It was a part of your world I hadn’t seen before. It was like a dream but awake. Oh I was so happy. Till I realized. Now you care. Till I realized, now I am a friend and confidant in a world of no friends and no confidants. Till I realized. I am no more the stranger you chose to open your heart to.

Can you hear that? My heart

Life is slow. Sometimes. Sometimes it’s still. Sometimes you look back and see so much of it has passed in a split second.  When you walk by the road, when you see the gulmohar leaves and yellow light peeking through them. On the traffic lights, or in the arms of three balcony walls, when it’s all so damn still, life passes by. Did you see it just passed by. Did you see the passing by light… did you hear the hush of speed. did you hear the bubbles of turbulence.

Did you hear the calm. did you hear the hum of stagnant. Can you hear that…?

Life skips a beat sometimes. Sometimes it collects an extra one. Steals a moment, selfishly. That moment… the ‘not destined for you’ one. It steals beauty where is finds. It steals love sometimes. Sometimes it gives it all away so generously. Sometimes giving is not generous. It’s selfish. It’s needed sometimes. Craved for. Like a heartbeat. My heartbeat. The only connection to the wild stretch of space.

The only hold… only grip of life. Loosening. Draining. Dizzy. Drowsy. Dampened. My life. My heart…

Life waits sometimes. sometimes it rushes off. It opens itself sometimes. It moves. It travels. A dull but constant journey. You can’t even see when it leaves you behind. like sands between the fingers… it runs off… off the fingers. Off the limits. and other times, it waits. For something. It closes itself to open some time. It holds itself hard and it waits. Keeps waiting. Still. Numb. With a thin wire like breathe.

It’s waiting. It’s still waiting there for you to open…

Walking away from Mirages

God… I so much wanted to have a post with the title Mirages… since the inception. Only I knew nothing of the message I was trying to convey with the name. Or more like I did not have a message to convey. But that’s past… anyway…

So someone recently told me, not really to me, not in the context, not related even… but told he rightly… When you see a mirage, pause, turn around and walk away.

But I don’t do that. Do I? We don’t do that… we take pleasure in running for a mirage, not finding nothing, getting to see more mirages, running more, dying more, wishing more, writing more, crying more. Ah we! For if there are no mirages there are no stories. Stories are about mirages. Oh they are the best mirages in the world, aren’t they?

Stories are your ‘self’ that doesn’t get to live, the mirage that your inexistent self doesn’t get to find. Stories are mirages that never be, yet you see them, invariably, consistently, faithfully. I love fiction. Fiction that never comes true. Everyone loves that. Don’t you. It’s all in its never coming true that makes it so special. I use to love writing stories as a kid. Though most of them made no sense. They lied somewhere under the beds, tight, waiting to make sense someday.  Only they knew very well all along, they never would make sense. Those are the best kinds. Utopian. So unrealistic that you can’t get drifted from real. You never lose the sense of their being unreal. You never leave the sense of their being a mirage and not even a tiny drop of water.

Oh it’s all sun. Shining sun. and Mirages. And no drops of any waters. Here… in a bunch of old stories in my hand. From under the cushions. It’s all fiction in here, strange unrealistic stories of strange unrealistic people… Karan… Antara… Kabir… Bella… Jon… they don’t exist. They never did. They never would. Other than in here. I Can’t let them go, a part of my heart says. But you let them go, for writings might be, stories might be, but life is not about mirages. In life when you see a mirage, you pause, you turn around and you walk away… silently. For that’s all you could do.

Or no melancholy…

I walk lost… kicking no dust,

I avoid it unknowingly and careful

They deserve to not get kicked… as if

 

I walk on the footpath…  alone

Holding care, holding knowing-ness

Holding breath sometimes… unknowingly

 

Sometimes I hold tears… in eyes

Not to hide sadness, but waiting on smile

To stretch, to push eyes close, to scatter a few drops

 

In the dead of night… I wake up

I fix water tapping meaninglessly,

I fix a dirty little doormat by the door… carefully

 

I see the peach moist walls

They are not so disgusting after all,

The wooden swing in my balcony, I stand by it, sometimes

 

Hold a feeling of being me

Forgotten… long lost me, just seen

In a huge bucket of lost and founds… as if

 

The city growing on me…

I’ve learnt to laugh the thought off

It doesn’t grow, I’ve known this city for a while now

 

With things out of place

I am at peace, easy, unconcerned

The moist rejection, the anguish feels gone blur

 

Holding a thin smile in eyes

I walk alone, away from the cosmos

Connected yet… to me… more than ever before.

Melancholy

I walk, kick the empty can,

Crumpled and broken

Lying harmless on the footpath

 

I kick in the muddy road

Lazy lofty heavy lying dumb

Leaves a little stain on my boot

 

Kick the small dirty foot mat

In front of my door

Kick every time, without a look

 

Peach moist walls of my room

Continuous showers

The wooden swing in balcony

 

I kick the mess of wires

Under my office desk

I kick hard the connections

 

I think of you sometimes

Times when I felt for once

The city was growing on me

 

I kick away things as they stand

Those once made sense

And then ceased to, forever

 

I stand at door coming back

I think of you if at all

On the other side of the door

 

The keys slip through my fingers

I ring the doorbell

For no one to hear

 

Bend down to pick up the keys

I kick away the keys

Waiting to be picked up

 

I enter the empty house

With moist smell of rejection

Kicking me hard on forehead.