This man came and sat on the chair across the table infront of me. He was reading a book, Raiders of the North. Historical fiction.
This was a library-cum-book store. There was a section where You could borrow books, another where You could buy. I would buy the ones that would really touch my soul, the words of which would perch into my mind and stay there, free to leave but choosing to stay.
You know how is it with something You create Yourself. You hold it in reverence, admire it, love it, edit it, loathe it and then forget it. I do. I was sitting there in the store staring into the screen reading my own words. Tender notes from a recent scar.
“Usually people keep these books for the whole term that they borrow it for” the store boy chirped in.
“ I have read it” I got up as he handed me my store card back. Ready to collect another book.
“You want to talk?” the man sitting across asked me.
“You look surprised.” He continued.
“Well You’ve been sitting here for the past half an hour without as much moving your eyes away from that sheet of paper.”
“So it’s an easy conclusion that You are gravely hurt about something. I have found talking to strangers about Your hurt sometimes help. You don’t fear their judgement. So, do you want to talk?”
“Not really.. why? You want to know?”
“If You want me to.” He shrugged.
“Doesn’t really matter. My friend… he is..” I trailed off..I hadn’t anticipated I’d choke on the words. To avoid this strangers stream of questions I picked a book pretending to be interested in it. Those few seconds I was all but interested in ANYTHING. The storm had just hit and I had to keep it off bay.
I continued thumbing through a stack of mills and boons magazines, realised I shouldn’t and reached out for the science-fiction section.
He prompted me again “He is..?”
I looked back at him unmindfully. “He is..oh..He is seeing someone.”
“He was seeing someone?” he questioned pointing towards me.
“Hmm. And now Someone else.”
“You know her/him?”
I gave him a glare through my spectacles. “ Her. And he definitely wanted me to. He had called her for coffee too.”
He raised an eyebrow.
He kept the surprise look going, apparently waiting for an explanation.
Finally, “Hmmm..” he breathed and got back to his book.
I too returned back to my escapade. Books. But irritated. I wanted him to ask me. Inquire about the entire thing. Bug me with questions. Show me remorse. And while I am countering and dodging him I might just end up feeling better. But.. Hmm!
I almost snarled:
“Oh please! Don’t You dare pretend to be empathetic about the situation. You might have done the same thing. People ‘in love’ do stupid things”
“You are still defending him?” He expressed, rather submissively.
“No” I said angrily “Now I am fending you off. Don’t play the am-good-at-heart-card!”
This was me venting my anger out. Arguing for no reason. I could feel my body tense up with strange sentiments infront of a stranger. But I couldn’t control.
His spark came back. Strangely enough. And I collected my book back to read through a few pages before deciding I was taking this one or not. My stomach retched. I was aching to scream.
He continued “Keeping the anger inside won’t help.”
This, I found relaxing. “Why will I be angry with him? I am not. It was me. I fell for him knowing well what could come of it. I let my whole world circle around him. And i didn’t have it in my heart to seek after my instincts. While he worked upon them. He knew nothing would come of remaining in a certain place A so he moved to B.” I had said more than I had planned on.
I reeled back to his qualities, he could listen to his heart in a conundrum too. This was one of the qualities that had attracted me to him in the first place. His impulsiveness. Why did my legs feel stoned and why I couldn’t walk away when I had the chance, was another story. There was no point in wallowing now.
Aachoo.. he sneezed. Great. Any which way I catch a cold quickly when i cry and now these pathogens are going to accelerate the process.
Wait! Why was I worried about crying? Why will I cry? I had known where this was heading. We couldn’t be together when no one wanted us to be. And now that even we didn’t want.. ‘the us’.
My phone buzzed with a message from my Mom. Yeah she trailed me wherever I went. Even now that I was in another city! I hadn’t eaten proper food for two days now. I was famished. And she probably had sensed my distraction and was worried. I was deciding on leaving when he asked.
“What are you doing tonight?
Now I knew where was this heading. I, with a child like untrained temper replied
“ What hath night to do with sleep” he retorted, cheekily quoting Milton.
My annoyance dissolved a little. Paradise lost. Careful girl. I got up, mumbled a goodbye and left. I was halfway down to the bus stand when I realised I had left my piece back on the table. I ran back like a fawn frightened of its predator. My heart too palpitating so. I didn’t want to lose my creation. I reached their breathless, dishevelled and disoriented. My piece was missing. In its place was an invite for an event that night. I couldn’t read the name through the tears. I turned it over. In an impressive cursive writing I read, after straining a lot, ‘I knew You’d come.’
I walked back to the stand, hailed a cab and dragged myself back home. With mixed feelings. I didn’t go for that event that night. But i didn’t go home and cry either. I felt light. A lot lighter than I had anticipated.
A month later.
I was looking for a magazine in a stand when I came across a similar invite only it wasn’t an invite, it only had a poem printed on it.
“Smiles forged from some past lesson revived.
A sad end to an expressed thought: Sublime!
Some days I wake up to a sorrow unattended:
Smothered and beaten.
Beaten and beating heart inside.
Am more of a story than a poem…
This life in words doesn’t have a note,
The tune dischorded..it doesn’t know how to move.
Long enough have i progressed:
Pretending it didn’t exist.
It has, and now decided to come:
And speak of itself..!”
“Soft and tender- Your notes I remember,
And I remember the howl of the hollow insides.
Why should I be burdened so
With these memories and You so few.
It’s cruel- I know not what
For those notes to ripple all through in my life
Reminding me of the shivers, Your fingers ran down my spine.
Or for You to forget all that we shared
Every song and every happy memory
Or that parting sweet desperate prayer.”
“Crazy anecdote with a Mad girl” It said. To find out more You had to go watch that play.
A romance: cliché? Maybe.. but since am romantic in moments I’d like to share this romance I witnessed between the sky and the haze of clouds.. and the Sun.
I witnessed the fall of the clouds after the break. The ripples of heart break into thundering, roaring dark clouds. The shatter of their soul, the mass. The giving up of the sky on the rain. The weight of darkness looming heavily upon them. The fall of their being, raining. The hide of the falling rain in every depth, crevice, corner of this earth. The embrace of the sun and the acceptance of the sky. And something beyond…. discover this ride further…
When I first started writing I had my doubts like everyone else. Who will read? What will be everyone’s reaction. Are my thoughts strong and convincing enough to be voiced?
The gnawing suspicion of failure would eat me. But that was before. Before I started and a few months after that.
Not suddenly one day, but eventually I realised, even before I would blog, I never wrote to be read. I have a ton of journals stalked in shelves gathering dust. Even I don’t usually read what I had written, unless am really looking for something from myself. Nothing specific.
So why the fear of failure at all. I wasn’t sitting for a test. Neither was I looking to be approved. Instead of pencilling it down in my journal I’d be logging it in my blog. For minds across the world to comprehend and connect with me, and the likes of me. Its a platform for me to voice and get a grunt, reply, meh or a little appreciation from the ones I know or don’t. So here is a little piece of my mind that I share.
When dreams touch you with their glowing effervescent light. The naive thought of a possibility. The courage and vigour that says anything is possible. The nascent need to achieve, to reach out, to accomplish a dream. A dream when it is still a baby. Impregnating your thoughts. The concept aching to break out of its shell. Inexperienced and unpolluted. A suspended thought.
Lazy afternoons in West Bengal. The summers here would be super sleepy. All the kids in here would be brimming with energy and parents would pin them down to the beds for an afternoon siesta. The entire city would swoon down for an hour or two. “Ghum holo na?” (Didn’t sleep properly?) neighbours ‘d ask if they’d see You cranky in the evening. The towns would quite down and hustle only again in the evening.
It was one such afternoon. I was visiting my Uncle’s. We were chatting, discussing, joking, having fun. When an idea had hushed us. From somewhere we started discussing dreams and the dream that had intrigued me the most was my Uncle’s. He had an after retirement plan.
He had a dream of opening a cafe. A cafe he said would serve not only hot/cold drinks but also hot and cold dreams. He had this plan of opening a reading cafe. A cafe which allowed its customer to go through the plethora of books that he would assemble in his cafe. No it wasn’t a library. You couldn’t take the books home. But you could contribute books. You could bring books you wanted read, to be kept here. He said it with pious simplicity that he revered books. And he wanted to reach out to everyone who wanted to read. He wanted his cafe to be a “boi over a cup of coffee” (a book over a cup of coffee).
Dreams hot and cold. When I said dreams hot and cold I meant, he meant, the books served in the cafe would be of both renowned writers, classic writers, best selling writers and of upcoming artists, budding talents. Or simply pieces from where writers wanted read. He wanted a pin board where articles from minds could be pinned. He had a dream that looked alive to me when he spoke to me. He wanted to become a part of their narration of their own life. To become the water to their seed or sun or that occasional manure. But to play a role. A role in the readers life by introducing them to that story that might just change their life or the writers so that they get an audience with the crowd they want to introduce their work to. It was a podium to nurture dreams. He said it and I revered it. I was transfixed with the idea of such a dream like place. A place I would av given anything to be at when I was a child.
Entrepreneurs don’t go the conventional way. They don’t take the set path. So what’s new about that, we all know that. Right? Wrong. What they do take is a safe path, they take the safe path of success. They know it’s safer to try to be successful than to not at all. Cause if You try to be successful You might fail but you just might also succeed. But if You don’t try You won’t succeed at all. So to play safe, they try. Try, aim and work for success. So what is it exactly that these entrepreneurs don’t do? What is the “different” in their regular?
Contd. on : invulgah
“Eat the frog”- the weirdest expression ever. Seriously, but its caught in my head off late. Almost every day now I wake up thinking I need to “eat today’s frog” first. I have been on an unanticipated light holiday of sorts. Ok.. ok.. am between jobs. Ok am jobless . But I-am-looking-for-one.
So they don’t suit me. Jobs. Sometimes I don’t suit me. I think so high of myself, nothing I do reaches to what I am. The only thing I have been doing a lot lately is writing. And guess what, I am the proud little owner of the talent of writing-from-the-heart. Someone tells me that is the easiest job in the world. Writing about what has happened. Imagine.. Aargh..
I do not lack imagination. I am more of a pragmatic writer.
Yeah. Easy-peasy! I CAN CONCOCT A FICTITIOUS STORY, I only think people relate more to the ordinary panoramic view of their everyday life. Only with a hint of honest sarcasm maybe. Witty? No.. am not. But am a lot of other things.
Alright, eating the frog. Mark twain said that. No of course not to me. He said it.
“If you eat a frog first thing in the morning that will probably be the worst thing you do all day.” – Mark Twain
Brian Tracy bought it, twisted it and gave it his own flavour. He said instead of laying around about the one job of the day that you hate: do it first in the morning. So you have your entire day to do things you enjoy. So my frog of the day? Write something surreal, ethereal, imaginative , ingenious, fairy-tale like account and still make it relatable.
Only if I could do all that I want to. I would be so much more.
Ofcourse i would, we all would be.
p.s: No image on this post. To the selfish reader!