Wednesday, 20 January 2016 0 comments

The Dream

Her hair was her sole crest of beauty, or so she believed. It was the only feature of her physical appearance that she flaunted with immense pride. It was a heavy dark mass of waves that extended well beyond her lower back. He was taken by all her physical features but her hair was his favourite. He often found himself stroking her gentle curls as she slept. Sometimes she would smile secretly as she pretended to sleep while his fingers carefully detangled the knots in her hair. 

She retained the length of her hair for his sake because she enjoyed the way he was drawn to it and how he played with it, sometimes in almost childlike fashion. She would find maintaining her long hair increasingly difficult with time and many a times she considered keeping it at a slightly shorter length. His heartfelt protests always made a haircut impossible. 

That night as she lay alone in bed, she made up her mind to finally get it chopped off. He wasn't around to appreciate her beauty anymore. He wasn't around to make his case against a pair of scissors on her hair, pleading her to keep her long dark hair the way it was. He wasn't around anymore and day by day, the awareness of his absence was increasingly drawing upon her. 

" Don't" , came his muffled voice in the still darkness of their bedroom. Startled, she looked around and found him by her side, his fingers laced delicately through her beautifully long hair. 
" Don't ever cut your hair. It's so beautiful", he pleaded in his gentle voice. 
She smiled mischievously at his fervent request. She loved playing this joke on him wherein she'd threaten to cut off her long tresses,  knowing full well that he would passionately object to the idea. She was surprised to find him still playing along with this game. She was surprised he even knew this was on her mind. 
" Why not?" , she asked him, looking into his eyes deeply. 
" Because everytime you'll brush a stray strand of your hair behind your ear, you will think of me. Everytime you glance at its reflection in the mirror, you will be reminded of me. You will always remember how i played with it and how much i loved the beauty of it " 
She lay speechless at his words, as a smile crept upon her lips. He was right. Her hair always did remind her of him. 

Before she could say anything else, he was gone. She opened her eyes and it was light in her room. Her eyes strayed to his side of the bed where their seven year old son lay. 

It had been 4 years since her husband's untimely death but this was the first time she saw him again. His presence in her dream seemed so real that she sat there for a few minutes till reality hit her. It was a dream, she realised with a tinge of disappointment. It was a dream, but he was still with her. He was still watching over her and their son. She looked on at their sleeping son and the smile returned to her lips. She tied her hair in a messy bun and made a new resolution. She would keep her hair long always, just the way he liked it. 

This post has been inspired by my own mother, who never got her long hair cut. When i asked her the reason, her answer was " Because your dad loved it like this. It reminds me of him." I'm publishing this today on what would have been a grand 25th anniversary celebration if he were still here. Nevertheless, Happy 25th Mom and Dad!

Sunday, 13 December 2015 0 comments

Woes of Long Distance Relationships

I hadn't met him yet but he was the most important person in my life. I hadn't met him yet but his face was the happiest sight in my world. I hadn't met him yet but i was incapable of surviving without him. 

Long distance relationships are never easy, especially ones where you haven't even met the person yet. It seems unconventional to be so committed to a person you haven't seen in flesh and blood. Unconventional it is, without a doubt. But the minor insignificant detail does not diminish the depth of your feelings for the person or how real the bond between you feels.

We progressed like any ordinary relationship would. For us, the long distance was nothing but a minor complication. A minor complication that we found ways of avoiding and getting past. The relationship was all the more beautiful and rewarding because it wasn't easy yet we made it work so beautifully.

He lived in London, I in New Delhi. We were separated by barriers of time, culture and thousands of miles. But we were united by our love for each other. We were a concoction of all things British and all things Indian and we found merriment in the cultural differences. His inability to speak Hindi was an unending source of amusement for me. My Indian accent continual entertainment for him. We'd laugh the differences away, teaching each other the intricacies of our cultures and languages, and i found myself surprisingly familiar with British slang that i never knew existed. 

Its not easy to be apart from someone who you want to spend all your time with. On some days, you want to cuddle up against them. On somedays you want to fall asleep looking at them. On somedays you want to go out in your prettiest outfit with their arm around your waist. And for all those days, we found a remedy in virtual media. We'd prop our phones up on our desks when we worked so we could each look at the other while working. We took immense comfort in each other's presence. We would talk for hours before bed and occasionally fall asleep together. His was the last voice i heard at night and mine was the first voice he heard every morning as i became his perpetual alarm clock. 

When someone asks us how we met, we answer with the honest technicality that we hadn't yet met. The responses we would get from people would range from incredulous to judgmental to occasionally supportive. To our friends, we made perfect sense as a couple because they knew they had never seen us happier in our lives before. And in all honesty, no one's opinion, supportive or otherwise, mattered to us. We were secure in ourselves as a couple and we were happily making it work. The only thing that was important to us was that we were madly in love with each other and everything else was inconsequential.

It wasn't always easy but it was definitely worth the effort. And with each progressing day i fell a little more in love with him. He suited me perfectly in all imaginable ways and the realization within me intensified that he is too special to let go of, even if he's in another part of the world. 

They were right indeed when they said love has no boundaries. It doesn't. It doesn't even require a person's physical presence to make you realize they're the one you want to spend your future with. And the miles turn to dust when all you can focus on is the warm gushy feeling you have inside of you everytime you hear their voice or catch a glimpse of their gorgeous face. 
Sunday, 8 April 2012 2 comments

Miseries Of Love

 Falling in love with your best friend is a hackneyed idea, a story that is repeatedly shown in movies. Two best friends, living in denial about their feelings, eventually see the light and the piece of fiction ends with a conventional union of souls. Such was not the case with her. She was in love with her best friend, but this fact only caused undue complications , for her bestie was a girl too.
      They were both 19 years of age. She had known her best friend Jess since 2nd grade, which was a matter of great pride for the two of them. Jess wasn't a very constant person when it came to relationships. The people in her life entered and exitted like characters in a play, each with a fixed role and stage-time. She was the only stable person in Jess's life. They loved each other, albeit in two very different ways. Ignorance on Jess's part was the reason why their friendship survived the odds, although it only increased the undue anxiety for her.
   Jess had always wondered why her best friend had such a strong aversion to romantic relationships. She could discern how much the words 'love' and 'boys' bothered her friend. She would actually cringe at the very mention of those words. No matter how hard Jess pleaded, she would not yield. Jess wanted to see her happy. She was temperamental and moody and had walls around her that were impossible to scale. Eventually, She gave up on the attempt of setting her friend up.
   Jess was the exact opposite. She fell in love each day anew, and by evening had her heart in pieces. Her friend was always around to pick her up when she fell. She patiently endured Jess's trysts with love,even though it sparked off intense feelings of envy in her.
   She was strangely possessive about Jess. It had taken her an excruciatingly long time to recognise her sexual orientation, and an even longer time to label her feelings for Jess. Every moment around Jess hurt her, but every moment away hurt more. She was constantly waging a battle with her feelings- a cruel war between her mind and her heart. She knew the truth would shatter Jess, but the secrecy was becoming too much of a burden for her. She couldnt handle the traumatic pain of her situation, yet she could seek no remedy.
        Jess knew something was amiss, as she saw her friend's anxiety and unease compound on a regular basis. It bothered her that she couldnt help her. She failed to understand the reason and that troubled her more. She was completely oblivious of the fact that she was the reason behind her friend's misery.
     As time went on, the steady bond between the two was waning, its strength was put to test. On one occassion, she found herself lying next to Jess, struggling to maintain her composure. She closed her eyes and pondered about the grevious situation. Jess would be heart-broken, maybe even disgusted. She hated herself for putting Jess in this situation. But she knew their friendship wouldn't last if the emotional burden on their minds became unbearable. The delicate bond of friendship was but a fragile thread. She realised she had to ease the tension , reduce that emotional burden. The truth seemed to be the only solution. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Calling Jess's name, she prepared herself for the big confession. She had finally gained the boldness to come out of the suffocating closet and to take her first steps out in the open.  

Sunday, 18 March 2012 1 comments


   She loved him. She did. Yet fate was unkind. The Lord was unkind. She dint know how she was supposed to live now. Was she to remarry? Replace what she had lost?
       These thoughts were revolting. She had no one. No family,except him. Now that he wasnt there any more, purposelessness engulfed her. She was young. She could have had a brighter future,had she been a little less dramatic.
    She did realise her fault. Only when it was too late. For while she pondered about her circumstances, the excruciating pain of losing him faced her. The pain blinded her, untill she lost focus. She dropped to her knees, shaking, quivering, praying.
      She closed her eyes and prayed,something she wasnt used to. She was an athiest and a sceptic. She doubted everyone, including herself. He was the only exception to her doubting ways. His absence punched a whole in her heart. She usually wasn't one of those people who believed in heartbreaks when viewed on a screen. But now that she was experiencing it, all the overacting suddenly made sense.
     It wasn't like he was returning. He was dead. Death was the only permanent change. She had faced it before, but never in such magnitude.
    No one can ever fathom the pain she was undergoing. Her thoughts were waging a battle. She sought light, she sought knowledge. She sought reason to continue living. She found none.
     On an impulse, she stabbed herself to death. In her dying moments, she realised the consequences of her actions. She faced a final moment of self-loathing. She had just closed the book without reading the ending. She would never know what her life could have been like. With tears leaking out of her eyes, she felt the searing pain of the wounds and the darkness closing in on her. Regrets... Lots of regrets... Yet, it was too late to regret losing her life.

Thursday, 19 January 2012 0 comments

A Well-Said Goodbye

     The light in his room illuminated the dull moonless night. She was restless in bed and his apparent sleeplessness next door gave her comfort. She was not the only one who had trouble sleeping at night. It was a Monday morning, probably after 4am. The week was not starting on a very pleasant note. She shuddered at the thought of attending school the next day. Sleep-deprived days did not qualify as good days.
       She got up and checked her phone. He'd texted her precisely 7 minutes back. She couldnt stop herself from smiling. Had he guessed her restlessness too? And yet again her heart skipped a beat.
          He was her neighbour; the school jock with a girlfriend and a ton of female fans. She had a crush on him, as is apparent. He was completely oblivious of her feelings, as was expected. A very typical high school love story, hackneyed to be exact. She realised how much her situation resembled a Taylor Swift song, yet she could not laugh at the humour behind it. She was too love-lorn for that.
        She was a tiny, frail creature. Pretty in some people's book, fairly ordinary in her own judgement. He was tall, well-built and perfectly handsome. Yet that was not the reason for her infatuation. She knew there was an amazing person behind that pretty face, an amazing person under the semblance of arrogance and pride.
           She texted him back, "Walk?". This was their midnight ritual. They would sneak out of their house and talk under the starlit sky in the rare occassions when sleep refused to cooperate. He gave an affirmative answer. She again smiled briefly to herself in the dark, feeling moronic.
          They hadn't talked to each other in a while. His girlfriend and soccer kept him busy. Oh-so-busy. She, on the other hand, was too busy looking busy. She was also preoccupied with thoughts of him, however she stubbornly denied this to herself. She wasn't the kinds to admit submission easily.
     "What keeps you up? " , she whispered. Her voice trembled and she put her might into making it sound steady. His voice was gentle, "Nothing". That one word reply roughly translated to "Everything". She could feel his grief in the still night. They walked silently for a while. Finally, he puckered up the courage to whisper, "My parents are getting divorced. Im moving with my mom, to the other part of the country. "
         She was speechless. Of course. Things always have to go awry. Why was she so surprised? She choked out the word, "When?". "In 3 Days. Im sorry." She briefly pondered over why he was apologising. He dint give her a lot of time to mull things over in her head. Her pulled her in a bear-like hug, knocking the wind out of her. He mumbled , "I love you", incoherently against her hair.
       They could hear the birds chirping. The first rays of sunlight shone through. Dawn was breaking. A fresh day, a fresh start. She decided it was best to keep him in the dark. It would make the separation easier for him. Silently, she smiled and walked back home, leaving him alone on the road.

Friday, 6 January 2012 0 comments


      She was acutely aware of his presence in the mundane atmosphere of the crowded hall. The room was filled with inconsequential people discussing uneventful topics, making it hard for her to concentrate on anything over the din. If only people appreciated the beauty of silence, she thought gloomily. She caught wifts of fiery gossip from the circle of women who surrounded her. Something about someone's daughter marrying a man beneath her social standing. She couldnt care less. Again she wondered why someone else's life should be of any interest to these ladies.' Human Nature',she thought, answering her own mental queries.
      He sat on the other end of the room,enjoying the party with a woman,who she assumed,was his wife. And yet again,their eyes locked. Blushing and swearing under breath, she vowed not to let her gaze wander in his direction.She realised soon enough that this was an impossible task. Every few seconds,her eyes would scan the room for him, and again he would catch her staring. Embarrassed as she was, she decided to move to a calmer location where his presence would not tempt her.
      Almost as if he'd read her mind, she found him in the garden outside,by the rose bush. The same rose bush where years back, he'd kissed her for the first time. 9 years it had been, she counted in her head. Seeing him there gave her a headrush. She wanted to avoid any awkward confrontation,yet fate seemed determined at going against her wishes.
      She tried to steal away from him while his back was to her. The sound broke his reverie and he caught her standing behind him. Colour rose in her cheeks. Her long gown fluttered in the chilly night breeze, the only audible sound apart from the rustling leaves. 'You dont have to avoid me', he muttered in a matter-of-fact tone. He looked exactly the same to her, though his face had gained the maturity of his late twenties.
     Quick at defending herself, she denied avoiding him. His lips turned into a knowing grin. She hated how he still had a peculiar insight into the workings of her mind.
     "You remember-" , he started to say, when her affirmative answer interrupted him. He edged closer and every fibre of her being responded to his proximity. She could think of no subtle way of escaping, so she stood still as a statue.
     "So many years have gone by... I've lost count..."
     "Nine", she answered calmly.
    "You've just not changed."
    She grunted. "Neither have you."
      They stood silently next to each other, peering at the starlit sky. The awkwardness of their encounter faded. She whispered, 'Your wife must be waiting for you now....'
     He started at her with an incredulous expression on his face, humour clearly evident in his eyes. Trust him to destroy the solemn moment, she thought.
    "Thats not my wife."
     " It was great meeting you after all this while" , he said, clearly trying not to laugh. Resisting the urge to punch him, she responded with a polite, "You too." Still smiling at her blunder, he strolled off, leaving her alone under the purple nightsky.
     She was pleased with how his cocky grin and sarcastic humour had not taken leave of him. He was more or less the same guy she had surrendered her heart to 9 years back. Smiling to herself, she secretly prayed that they might cross paths again. She dint know that her unspoken plea had been answered, for in the course of the next few weeks, she saw him on more than one occassion, and this time, it wasn't a coincidence.

Monday, 19 December 2011 1 comments


  The darkness engulfed her, wrapping her in a black shroud. The colours fizzled out and what remained was all-encompassing blackness. She sought light. The darkness pinched her eyes. In the absence of vision, her sense of sound seemed heightened. Every sound she heard was disorienting as its source was untraceable. Her own sobs were disorienting.
    In crude colloquial terms, one would address her as blind. In cold medical terms, 'visually impaired'. To her, she was handicapped. The skill of her hands was of no account without her eyes to guide them, for she was an artist.
      She painted for a living. Painting wasn't just a recreational hobby. It was her life, her passion. People have their own ways of dealing with anguish and pain. Hers was by giving life to a canvass with the strokes of her brush.
      There she sat on a stool facing the empty canvass, a delicate brush in her hand. She felt the brush, recognised its touch and felt a part of her old self making her way inside. Yet, the cage of darkness that imprisoned her forbade her from continuing with her present endeavour.
        She was determined, although it was impossible. She willed herself to hold back the tears, all to no avail. The warm moisture leaking from her eyes was the only activity she could coax out of them. Her attempts seemed futile, as she felt her will-power crumble to dust before her.
         She was hysterical. She lost control over her emotions as she sank to the floor, struggling to remain conscious. She could no longer fight with the darkness. Her bleak senses were inefficient. She felt the small bucket of paint near her body. With the swift dramatic motion of her hand, she dipped her palm in the paint can, and made an impression of her fingers on the canvass. The blank canvass, now stained with the blood red hue, was her masterpiece. Paint leaked from the bottom of the canvass, as the obscure palm impression turned blurry, and the shade of red added to the haunting effect of painting.
          Her face buried in her hands, as tears oozed out of her sightless eyes. The blood red paint on her face was a shade that stood out boldly infront of black. A colour that she couldnt see, as she closed her sightless eyes and basked in the comfort of unconsciousness.