Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Old Conversations

I like going back to old conversations.

Letter-writing went out of fashion a generation or two before us. Today, we neither have the perfume nor the handwriting. We have nothing to touch, nothing to hold. I would rather keep turning pages and pages of long, long letters but I try to make do with what we've got.  

I scroll up our chat-archive; up, up and up until I find conversations garnished generously with " :P ". Then, I scroll down slowly to find more " :) ". It may mean nothing but to me it marks an important transition. It's when the need to pretend you were just kidding when you said something nice gave way to saying it, and letting me know that you really meant it.

The conversation never ends. I know when you woke up and what you did all day. I know where you went, with whom you were, what you ate, what made you angry and when you slept. It really isn't a lot of important information but it made me feel really special knowing the ordinary things about somebody.

I like going back to old conversations especially those that we pretend never happened; those that we will never have again. I go back to them to find some lost happiness; and I do, but now it is tinged with pain. Not intense; but chronic.

So much has changed. It is awkward to even say "hi" anymore. Wouldn't it be better if we pretended to not know each other when we meet now? It feels worse to just shake hands and meet like acquaintances. But it doesn't matter. You and I will just be a fraction of all the letting go we will have to do in our respective lives.

Have I let go? I like to think that I most certainly have. It isn't really about  reminiscing anymore or even regretting. It is more about acceptance that all this is a part and parcel of life. Some stories find their conclusions while others just meander their way into oblivion.

If I have let go, why do I still go back to our old conversations? It is a tough one to explain, but I think I go back to feel sane. It would drive you crazy to feel a great pain in your shoulders for no reason, but if you saw your dismembered arms, it'd make sense that it hurts. The old conversations will always bear testimony to the fact that there was something we let go of.

An evening by myself usually leads my thoughts to strange places. I'd much rather step out, get a good cup of coffee, and find someone to have new conversations.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Sweet Vengeance

"What are you doing here?" she stared in astonishment at the man standing in front of her, outside the entrance of the airport.
"You really thought I would let you go without saying a good-bye?" he exclaimed with an expression of fake horror.
"You do know I am not going forever, right?" she asked him with a raised eyebrow. "I will be back."
"I know," he replied nonchalantly. "That doesn't mean I can't come to the airport and see you off."
"Fine," she sighed. "Let's not argue. Say your good-byes, give me a hug and let me go. I don't want to be late - I want a window seat!"
He chuckled. "I wish you would pre-book your seats."
"No more lectures," she groaned and put her arms around him.
"Take care," he said. "I hate it when you go away - even though I  know it's only for a few weeks."
"Really?" she said with a look of disbelief though she could not stop a smile from escaping her lips.
"Of course," he said. "Every time you leave, I feel you take with you a piece of my heart. Thankfully, you come back and the piece gets restored again to its rightful owner."
"Ha! Ha! Very funny," she laughed. "Since when did you start sounding so cheesy?"
He suddenly pulled her closer to him, "You  know I love you, right?"
Startled at his sudden declaration, she just brushed him aside, "Sure, if you say so." She wasn't sure if she really believed him.
As if he had read her mind, he continued, "I know there are times when you think I do not care. The truth is..." he paused. She stared at him as he nervously looked down at the ground whilst shuffling his feet. He continued, "The truth is that I care a lot about you. I may not express it and I know that hurts you but I do love you." He looked at her. There seemed to be no visible reaction on her face. "What's wrong? Don't tell me that you had no clue about the way I felt about you!"
A sad smile appeared on her face. "There was a time when I thought I would die of ecstasy if you ever came and told me that you love me."
"But now, you feel differently?" he asked with a somewhat hurt look on his face.
"I love you," she said. "I always have; and I don't think I know how to re-program my system to stop loving you. Believe me for I have tried! But I cannot be with you."
"What do you mean?" he asked. "We both love each other. What's the problem?"
"Love," she replied.
"I don't understand," he said perplexed.
"You don't have to," she reassured him. "I need to go now. I cannot afford to miss this plane!"

She walked straight inside the airport successfully fighting all temptation to turn back and look at him one last time. He was still standing there, looking at her until he could see her no more. Nothing had gone according to plan. He found her behaviour confusing. Why had she said she could not be with him if she loved him? He could feel the anger welling up inside him as he realized how he could never get a grip on what was happening inside her head.
She knew she had walked off without explaining herself. She knew he was bound to be very puzzled by her behaviour. She felt a sense of guilt surging up her chest but she buried it inside as immediately as it had surfaced. She would not justify herself to him or anyone. She had spent many a night waiting to accept the love that she thought she deserved. Each moment of disappointment killed a part of her until she was in so much pain that she started hating the person who had made her experience the hurt in the first place. That started a new cycle of hate where she started despising herself for being incapable of 'unconditional love'.
His confession had surprised her but she, herself, was stunned at her indifference to his  words. Although she hated to admit it, she actually felt a part of her smiling wickedly for turning him down. He would now get a taste of his own medicine and learn what it felt like to have your love ignored or rejected. Vengeance was, indeed, sweet. She smiled to herself as she sat on the window-seat of the flight.

Unknowingly, his profession of love had helped her reconnect with the most important person in her life - her. Her feeling of self-loathe seemed to have evaporated and re-instilled in her a new sense of adoration for herself. She knew she still cared about him and she'd be there for him when he needed her but she no more worshipped him the way she used to before. She had gone back to her old affair of loving herself more than anyone.

Sunday, 5 October 2014


Her head was spinning with endless questions. She wished she could stop the destructive thoughts flooding her head but she wasn't powerful enough. Never in her life had she felt more alone than she did at that particular moment.
She wished she had someone to tell her that they cared. She wanted someone around because she needed a friend; someone who would have the sense to tell her that she was not alone...Someone who would tell her that they knew how it felt to be lonely in a crowd. There was more to life than living, there was beauty and real joy and she wished there were people around to protect her from the hurt that she experienced...
The pain was too much to bear. As she dug the blade of the knife on to her skin, she kept wishing till that very moment when she breathed her last that someone would call her, just say "hello", laugh with her and share those things with her that she had been forced to face alone all this while. She wished she had been brave enough to talk about the way things were - and she ardently wished someone would have told her to take things easy, how close they had come themselves and how lovingly they had been sheltered...
Things could have been alright. But it was too late now. Unable to seek help and unable to endure her suffering, she murdered herself with the hope that it would take her to a better place.

He was home when he received the phone call informing him that she had ended things...The news shocked him beyond belief. She had not left any note - this bit of information did not surprise him. She had a habit of leaving things unsaid. He couldn't really blame her. This was something she had picked up from him - but at that moment, he couldn't help repenting the fact that she was not in front of him for him to say the things he wanted to say to her.
He wished he could have talked to her about the seriousness of her problems. He knew she rarely opened up to people but perhaps if he had persisted, she would have told him what she was going through. He wished she would have let him have a bigger role in the story of her life. He wished he could tell her that he knew what it was like to wake up in the morning and feel that life is completely meaningless. Even if she wasn't in a mood to listen, he wished they could have sat together in silence until that insight dawned on both of them that life wasn't so bad after all...
He wished he could tell her all the things he had kept away from her...She would scold him for keeping secrets but maybe then they could get to talk about things she had kept away from him, like the fact that she was dying on the inside the whole time.
He wished he could tell her all the wonderful things he loved about her. With no care of the world, he loved the way she always spoke her mind and did what she wanted to do. Always caring more about others than herself, he knew she had not shared her problems with anyone because she would not have wanted to burden them with her troubles. Now the only burden people carried was the knowledge that she had suffered so much, until she could take it no more.
He wished he could tell her that he loved her and that he would always love  her. He knew that without her, his life would never be the same. But it was too late now to do anything...All he could do was live with the regret that he could not save her...

Suicide is a dark word. It stole her from him. They could have grown close, helped each other...But just because he did not realize that he could make a difference, he actually didn't.

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Message In A Bottle

They sat at the sea-shore knowing that the time to bid farewell had arrived.
"Each time you leave me with more questions than answers," he complained.
"You, no more, sort things out for me," she retorted. "No longer do you iron out my doubts, fold neatly my dilemmas and no more do you leave me well-stocked on enough clarity to face life."
"You will need a housekeeper for that, my love," he teased her in reply. "Not me."

"Time flies when we are together," she pondered.
"I wonder if time flies," he replied, "Or if it is feelings which have flown?"
With a heavy heart she sighed, "What can I say? I know I have to let go of you as we depart to distant shores. I know a part of me aches when there seems no ache of parting in yours."
He simply smiled, "I have witnessed many more partings than you; yet in each parting, I experience an ache anew. If  you were to move from your head to your heart, you would feel it too."

She looked at him with tear-filled eyes and poured out all that she had stored in her heart, "There used to be a time when we would exchange messages in bottles made of sighs. I would float my feelings on a thought and you would catch and expand them on your island. Thus, we were tied across the waves of life...But these days, why do I feel as if we are caught up in separating tides?"
His voice remained calm as his eyes shifted in a thoughtful gaze, "Yes, there was a time when you floated your feelings of heart-felt desire. But these days, you have started building a ship to endure doubts within those very sighs. You guard the bottle of doubts, not allowing the contents to float away. There's only so much a bottle can hold - doubts or desires - choose one to drop away."
"Would you rather I allow my desires to find their own way?" she quizzed.
He replied, "How does one sail through life without a compass of security to show the way?"

She stayed silent, settled in her bottle. He stared silent, at the lap of the waves. In the absence of intent, the currents of life drifted them away to where stories without ends somehow find their place.