Monday, June 16, 2014


Part I - Unwritten

Part II - Rewritten

Part III - Erased

It rained today. It rained all over my story today.

It rained with ferocity. I witnessed the mad love making of rain and wind cast gloom and bliss together in the city. I had a crazy schedule and a dozen tasks to finish in remote corners of the city, but I knew to which centre my day would converge. By six, I had to be where I was yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. The first two days I spent beside the green water of a still lake, located within a bubbling hub of urban jabberwocky, were what enticing aromas of Earl Grey were made of, or what the smoky seduction of his piercing gaze was made of. The third day made the Earl Grey go undrinkably cold. It also made smoke smell like the irritation that smoke is.

I had first met him at this secluded, pretty spot beside the lake, flipping the pages of his little green diary, throwing down velvet caressed words as impalpable ripples on unbelievably still and lifeless water. His words were what he was made of. His expressions - casual, yet precise - were his weapons of choice to illuminate a moment by voicing them, or sadden the climate by withholding them. I loved listening to him - to whatever he said. So, when the next day, he was reticent (but charming as hell), even the usually garrulous girl in me felt it pressurizing to be the one talking. I could clearly not think myself saying anything half as worthy as the lamest thing that came out of his lips. I would have loved to speak the language of silence with him, but he did not know I had already been doing that since the first hour we spent together, and I did not know how to actually make this language known to him.  I was with him in my mind, and, I had a feeling, he was with himself, in his own.

I walked back to the same spot beside the lake yesterday, but he was not there. It felt odd. I walked on, sat down there, opened my diary, and scribbled whatever I remembered of the earthy countenance of his. Amicable, and inscrutable dwelt beautifully within the features which now seemed distant. I had his number, hesitantly yes, but I called. No answer. And so became the trend for my next eleven calls made over several diurnal and nocturnal hours. I slept with the trepidation that he has disappeared on me - my chance at poetry had disappeared on me. Today, amid a hectic schedule of dry powerpoints and dull meetings, I managed to find time to be fearful and indignant at the same time. How could he disappear on me?

Braving rains now threatening to be violent, I reached the same spot today as well - but he was not here. How could he be - it was raining, right? But then again, he was not here, or anywhere around. Drenched, I smiled helplessly, and leaned across to the same place where his hands had caressed mine. His fingers, rather boldly, had then curled around in a firm grip - the embrace of gestures ever so natural that I had failed to notice it till I actually did. I did not feel coy, I just lived.

Today, I felt raindrops run in a ticklish path down my neck - and I sat down, wishing, if that tickle could have been caused by him, his words that touch. He could not have been here in this downpour - I was mad to think that. But I was here in this downpour - mad enough to do that.

He was glorious, sure, but undecipherable still. He was beguiling, yes, but unwritten still. He gave names to feelings I had not felt since ages, but he demanded to be erased now. He was my chance at poetry, but probably I was not his. At some core, insistent, crying part of ours, we all want to be written, but while I was writing him, probably he was sketching someone else. To think again, I was writing him, and I was sure he was writing himself. And it hurt. Hurt enough to make me calm.

I walked away, drenched. I will probably come back here tomorrow, when the sun would be up there, winking at the lake. However, I will not forget him not being here when it rained, and when it was dark, and when I was alone, searching for even the tiniest reflection of his. He will probably be back here, but he will not be back here.

As I said, it rained today. It rained all over my story today.

Clicked by Aaqib Raza Khan

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Part I - Unwritten

Part II - Rewritten

There are these mornings when you step out of the bath and have your hair eerily smell of him. And this, with the smokiness of his smell alive in your shampoo. How does that happen, I have no clue, but I believe that smell makes a man. Smells help you remember people, especially those you've met only a few times and have happened to draw too close for comfort. Of course, I am not talking of people -I am talking of him, whom I had tried to breathe in via the cup of Earl Grey. Too close for comfort. At this nervous proximity, features dissolve and olfactory senses takes over. Do you remember your breath quickening the last time he touched you - not with his touch, but his vulnerabilities? The classic search and yearning for your own, personal Byronic protagonist takes over all senses - and ridiculous, smoky smells become enticing. Smoke is addictive, they said. Its bad, but addictive. So perhaps is he. And I still say perhaps.

The initial impact is always the strongest - matched in intensity by a brackish wave crashing against your senses to leave you psychologically and emotionally uprooted, with little premonition left of the good and the bad, the right or the wrong. You're submerged, and you might even begin to enjoy the floating, light sensation, scarce reflecting on the fact that in moments the salty, scratchy liquid would have entered your nostrils, choking you; your eyes, burning you; and your heart, stopping you. You're not floating, you are drowning. But do you still fight for survival? Do you shake yourself up and urge the delusions of a grand journey to vanish? Do you apply all your might and push out this thing that is choking you from the point at which lies the source of your existence? Or do you give in, and flow and hope that perhaps in time you'll reach an island all yours. Not pretty, but yours. After drowning that deep, coming alive to humanly necessities would irritate, at least for sometime.

It was not easy to grasp him, literally and figuratively. However, that the difficulty would begin manifesting as a corrosive, intense force within me so soon was something I was not prepared for. I cried, but even worse, I did not stop enjoying. It was like the romance which fatalities inherently comprise of. The ride with the jerk was getting jerkier - but would I like it as much if it were any different? He was not as indecipherable now as he seemed dubious. He was unwritten still, and gloriously so, but I rewrote him in the moment I saw him allow me to walk away. Our acquaintance was a few days old, but we had begun expecting some ridiculous, scarred part of ours to be tended to by the other. Weighed down, and weighing down.

He smelled of smoke. Not just that, I reckon he was a creature of smoke. If you could hallucinate molten smoke, that's how his eyes would look at their worst, and their best.

My memories of him are of the moments I spent with him inside my head, no necessarily in his arms. And this should change before smoke rises to narrate its own tale.
By Leonid Afremov

Sunday, June 8, 2014


There is this clear, brown, whiskey-ish tinged glass of Earl Grey resting lazily on the table in front of me. Its been sitting like that for ten minutes now, and even though I really want to sip in the warm liquid and feel my nose and throat react to the subtle strength of the concoction like a cold child wrapped in the benevolence of a blanket, I merely inhale the aroma and stop. And smile. And remember. Wasn’t he similar to this cup of tea – magnificent in his beauty like amber in a crystal goblet, but someone to inhale, not someone to sip from too soon? Or ever?

I wasn't falling for him. I did, however, for a brief moment, fall into him. He had a careless stare, but one which could pierce right through you when he so desired. He had a million irrelevant details to talk about, but somehow, when his velvet voice touched the words, they acquired importance, even if they were mouthed out in a slumber-deprived, slurred speech. There was so much visibly wrong about him, and yet, there was nothing I could point at that I did not like. He had it, he flaunted it. And no, not in the average style of a self-possessed narcissist. I mean, narcissist he was, but strangely enough, he flaunted his vulnerabilities with, almost, a performative ease. Perhaps that’s what he was – a performer, and a darn skilful one at that. Perhaps I was seeing him exactly as he wanted to be seen by me, my own judgement feeling miniaturized under his imposing (yet not arrogant) personality. In plain terms, perhaps he was a jerk. But then, perhaps he was not. And this dint of a fiercely enticing possibility kept my senses in an overdrive – for I had to use some, and curb some. I was not yet sipping, you see.

At the end of it all, I reckon I could finally arrive at a safe inference about him. He was not a majestic idea bound in the rhythmic prosody of a refined poem. He was the gloriously unwritten plot of a novel which held the promise of indecipherability since its inception in the author’s brain. If anything, he was that. To top it, he had a cute smile. And since remembering that smile puts me off-track in a strangely lunatic sort of way, I should probably focus on gulping down the cup of Earl Grey, now cold, but also pregnant with reflections of my thoughts, or him. A cup of tea, sometimes, is all it takes.