Day 4: Street (A Poem)

Love is not a one-way street.
It is not your trip to the mountains
or a holiday in a beachside resort.
Love is not that summer
you spent chilling in your shorts.

Love is the journey back home
to the street long forgotten
to the house,
with an unkempt garden,
a windowpane that broke
last monsoon,
and plumbing that needs
to be taken care of.

*****

The Untravelled Paths

(I can’t write about love anymore, that too a poem, so damn difficult. But here is an attempt. These lines came to my mind in a flash and I spent two days in refining them, adding something more, but I am giving up now. This is what it originally was, and I can’t add anything to it. Sometimes you just have to let it go, even in love. )

Day 3: Song

This one is my favourite prompt so far. I have associated songs with people, places, and important moments of my life. They bring back so many memories. A long time ago, I moved out of my hometown to a big city and went out for one last walk with my cousin. I saw my first ever crush coming back from school. The song  “Do, pal ruka, khwaabo ka karwa aur phir chal diye, tum kaha, ham kaha” (The caravan of dreams stopped for a few moments, and then we walked off our separate ways!) was playing on a bus. I got goosebumps.

It was the last time I saw him. I don’t even like him anymore. (Some of our past crushes can be so cringy, right!) But, I am filmy like that. I live through my daydreams. That world is so much brighter and happier than my real life. 

Last year I heard this Bengali song from the movie Parineeta, and I fell in love with it. It is such a melodious and sweet song. Aren’t most Bengali songs charming? They have such a fantastic ability to make you feel something that might not even be real? Like, love. Every time I hear this song, I want to fall in love again. And yes, I am talking about that sweet teenage type love, not the complex, irritating, difficult to decipher feeling it later becomes. 

You know, I’ve always been such a romantic person. I have always wanted things to be super filmy. I have seen almost every rom-com ever made (TRUST ME!). I know those things just set very unrealistic expectations about romance or whatever, but how can you not cry when Anna Scott says, “I’m also just a girl standing in front of a boy asking him to love her.” to William Thacker in Notting Hill.

Or when Kathleen Kelly says, ” I wanted it to be you, I wanted it to be you so badly.” to Joe Fox in You’ve Got Mail.

Even a five worded sentence like, ” You had me at Hello” in Jerry Maguire makes one weak in the knees. 

How I wish Life were a 120-minute movie!

Anyway, I am going to link the song down below if anyone wants to hear it. I think you’ll get the emotions even if you don’t understand Bengali. I listen to so many songs from languages that I don’t even comprehend at all. Have you ever heard Nepali songs? They are genuinely another level. I mean, I like those beats and rhythm more than the lyrics, and that is so not me. I am totally a lyric girl. 

Coming to the prompts, while I am using Days in my title, I will not write them daily. Who has the mental strength to do that, so bear with me kindly! But I will finish these prompts, whether it takes me two months or a year. 

Ciao! I hope you guys are okayish. It’s tough being an adult. I don’t know how you guys do it. Give me tips! 

*****

The Song

Life, Death and Everything in Between…

Death has been my constant companion since September last year. No, I didn’t lose anyone close to me except Ak last year but every death, close or distant takes me to that familiar, heart crushing state of grief. The same thing happened today with the passing of the marvelous actor Irrfan Khan. Although it is the most certain thing known to all natural beings, death is really incomprehensible. Even with the knowledge that cancer, particularly the one Irrfan was suffering from was most certainly fatal, none of us were expecting to hear such terrible news. Or does it feel worse, because 2020 has already treated us with so much mess? This does feel like a personal loss to me. So did many things that happened in the past few months, be it the death of a neighbour I hardly spoke with, or that of a plant I looked upon as a symbol of hope. Ever since last year I’ve cried for every person/animal I see dying on screen. I have always been touchy on the subject of death and have shed a tear or two in movies but this sense of familiarity with grief is such a new thing for me. I can’t believe I spent twenty eight years without knowing grief, how incredibly lucky of me!

The world is going through a dark time right now. Every day is filled with news of numerous deaths, uncertainty and a feeling of impending doom. It has been really difficult for me to write anything after whatever happened. Even writing these few lines has been a real pain. I spent lots of time online looking for ways to deal with grief in the past few months (along with several queries on ghosts, afterlife, tarot cards, Ouija boards and whatnot). I found a quote by a user named Gsnow on a subreddit, and I go back to read it several times. I don’t know if it matters to anyone, but I would like to write this down somewhere, more for me than for anyone else.

“Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.

I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.

As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.”

I don’t know how many shipwrecks I am yet to face in life but love will see me through.

I find you…

…in crumpled sticky-notes in old textbooks,

in rusted old lockets hanging by the mirror,

in a promise ring, you forgot all about,

in all my conversations about food,

the nine year plans and broken dreams,

the thukpas at MT, the kormas at Kareems,

in songs Taylor writes about all her ex-lovers,

from everything has changed to the last time,

in the melancholy of a river flowing down,

in the bus stops of unknown small towns,

inside this hollow that was once my heart,

in the words of my poem, in every piece of art

and then,

with a shiver and a long drawn breath

I lose you,

all over again.

*****

MT: Majnu ka tilla, a cool place in Delhi with great food.

Everything has changed, The last time: Songs by Taylor Swift.

Untitled

Your eyes follow me around,

in a room full of strangers,

and I can hear your voice

amongst millions of sounds.

Love, they say, brings you warmth,

but I am frozen in time

when your hand brushes past mine.

You unwrap me, in the slightest of gestures,

remove the layers I’ve spent years building upon,

one by one, while I stand still,

lost in your eyes.

Someone I loved, took away my words,

you brought back poems to my life,

and for now,

that is enough.

IMG_3138

P.S. August 20, this blog will turn 7 years old. I know I’ve not been consistent here, but this blog has been a very important part of my life throughout these years. It has been a witness to all my failures, my love, heartbreaks, my growth and I am thankful for it and for all you wonderful people out there who have spent minutes to hours going through my life. Thank you. 🙂

Hope Is A Good Thing

Someday we are going to have a good life.

The things we dreamed about will be right in front of our eyes, not in the form we want them to be but probably in a way we need them to be.

We are going to travel to places we haven’t seen, if not in first class then in economy but what matters is that we are going to be there together and isn’t that the point, to be with the ones we love.

We are going to fill our tummies with the yummiest food ever, probably not at a high end restaurant but at a road side dhaba and that’s better because a girl like me would probably embarrass you at a fancy place.

We are going to gift crazy, stupid, little things to each other, sometimes from a flea market or from festive online sales even if it means celebrating your birthday on valentines day and mine on our anniversary. It is perfectly okay as long as we find new days to celebrate our lives together.

We are going to fail and fight and stop talking a hundred times but we’ll be fine as long as we find our way back to each other.

And all these may sound like vague, hollow sentences from a cheap, cheesy novel to you but for us, I can be a total loser.

As long as we shall live, I want you to hope for a better day and a better life. Don’t give up just yet because these times will change and we’ll embark on a new journey, stronger, together.

As someone recently told me, hope is a good thing, may be the best of things and no good thing ever dies.

Have hope.

Love As It Is…

“Let someone love you just the way you are – as flawed as you might be, as unattractive as
you sometimes feel, and as unaccomplished as you think you are.
To believe that you must hide all the parts of you that are broken,
out of fear that someone else is incapable of loving what is less than perfect,
is to believe that sunlight is incapable of entering a broken window and illuminating a dark room.”—Marc Chernoff

P. S. I am alive.

The Missed Appointment

So yes, we could kiss. I could kiss you and you could kiss me. There is no science, plane ticket or clock stopping us. But if we kiss, it’ll end the world. And I have ended the world before. No one survived.

Least of all me.

(Iain S. Thomas)

************************************

I’ve been sharing a lot of work by Iain S. Thomas lately. That is because he’s my favourite poet of all times. His work speaks to me on so many levels. He makes me feel like I lost a friend even before I met him. He makes me fall in love with love, even though it is painful. Wherever I find a picture in my gallery that somehow suits a poem or a quote written by him, I post it down here to show my admiration for this great man.

Chit Chat-3

Me: Hey! You there? ☺️

He: Yup. What Happened? 🤔

Me: Nothing. ☺️

He: Enjoying the food at home?

Me: Yeah, mom made Dosa, Sambhar and chutney! 😛

He: Even I want to eat Dosa. 😭

Me: I know how to make Dosa. I’ll make it for you next time.

He: Yay!!!!😍

Me: Plus my mom makes this really incredible peanut chutney. I’ll ask her for the recipe and we’ll try to make that too.

He: Idiot, that’s coconut chutney not peanut.😑

Me: Mental, there are all kinds of chutney: coconut, peanut, mix. You have limited knowledge regarding South-Indian dishes so shut up!😤

He: Okay ji.😳

Me: And my mom’s Sambhar is awesome too. She makes it differently, like a south Indian dish with a northern twist. I’ll learn to make that too.

He: Hmm… Great!😊

Me: Btw I was horny.😈

He: What!!! When?😯

Me: When I texted Hey! You there?🙈

He: Then?🤔

Me: Then we started talking about Dosa, sambhar and chutney.🙄

He: And now you are horny for food.😝

Me: hehe…yes.😂

He: haha 😂

Me: We are a weird couple.

He: I know. ❤️

*************************************************************************************

(Chit-Chat: A series where I record conversations between me and my guy. Read the previous ones here. )