Twinge.

Have you ever paused in the middle of a footstep and felt an unbearable sadness creeping up from behind?

In the time it takes for you to place your foot on the ground to complete your stride the sadness falls instep, accompanying you till such time as it pleases. This sadness is transient yet its element of surprise is as consistent as the pain you’ll feel if a brick was thrown at you and did not miss the mark. It hurts.

You feel a twinge. The little bundle of His in your heart is strung like the chords of an old guitar being tested for a new melody. It quivers, scared it might be broken, or worse – out of tune.

You feel a twinge of acceptance. The sadness manages to catch you off guard but the crushing weight of a lonely existence feels familiar. Much like a tight embrace from a loved one which makes it difficult to breathe fully. Comforting in its inherent discomfort.

You feel a twinge. It is sudden, a pain smack in the middle of your consciousness, but not localised. It spills over from the dark, murky streams of subconscious thought.

Within five steps you realise—again—that the last few years have all been alone.

And you keep walking. It is but a twinge after all.

“Well I tried to repress it and I carried its crown
I reached out to undress it and love let me down
Love let me down…

Peace.

“All I want is the taste that your lips allow.”

There is a certain unreal peace that blankets the world at 6 am. It is quiet.

Remnants of the night can be seen in the way clouds cling to the ground; not wanting to leave the surfaces that give them shape.

The knowledge of their impending and unavoidable departure makes the ground ache, it makes the clouds prolong each second. But they do not cling for there is peace.

The clouds– fast turning into wisps of the kisses shared–soar above to the skies they belong. The ground smiles because it knows the night will bring them back.

There is peace; the kind which envelops everything. The kind that makes mornings sane, the coffee tasty and the first sunbeam feel like a farewell kiss from the night’s clouds for the ground it bid goodbye–holding promise until the next meet.

Weathered Away.

He was ordinary. An ordinary man with a tedious job.

He was the “weather man”. The boring old fart who drew up the charts, compiled the data and sat behind the green curtains while the ditzy blonde with the fake chest droned on about the damn weather. No-one noticed him, not even her. She simply took the date sheets from him, flashed a bit of a smile and walked away. Walked away, never looking back, never a word of thanks. The job paid well, sure, but it got boring. The clouds would shift, the wind would blow, the sun shone behind people’s asses and it would pour. And people waxed eloquent about the changes in weather, for him it was nothing but a monotonous pattern.

He had a swanky computer on a big, expensive desk with coffee spills as art. Images from the company’s satellite were streamed onto the bright screen. All day, images of nothing but clouds and land. Oh what beauty. The swanky computer did the processing while he munched on Cheerios. The night shift weather man did nothing as the folk don’t care about the weather at night. No one cared.  Munching and staring. The office internet didn’t allow for “site browsing” even. Staring at them clouds all day. He wished something would happen. Anything. God, couldn’t the weather DO something? Something he, with the expert knowledge , could report about? Something, anything. He sat there munching.

He blinked; the screen flickered. He figured it was static. Images seemed to blur rapidly , he kept the Cheerios aside and sat up straighter. His mind sluggishly tried to comprehend the phenomena on the screen. There had never been any errors prior to this. He pressed a few keys and turned up the resolution. The flickering continued. It was unsettling. Suddenly, he could see 

The clouds shifted, casting an ominous shadow on the ground.  He could see her too. She was walking towards her car. He didn’t know what was happening. He could hear her; the clickity clack of her heels, the whooshing sound her skirt made. He sat there transfixed. The clouds seemed to circle over her, round and round but strangely there was no wind. She removed her shades on reaching the door to her car. The sun was hidden, the clouds so close, he felt a growing excitement down to his gut. She seemed not to notice anything (when DID she?) and opened the car door. The lipstick in her hand fell and started to  roll away.  She took a step and just like that, in that very instant the clouds gobbled her up. There was no other word for it. Gobble. One minute he could see her expression of irritation and in the next instant she was gone.

“Weathered” away.

The lipstick rolled in the deep end and fell into the nearby drain. The clouds cleared away.

He smiled. He didn’t know what happened but he knew why . He straightened his tie and waited for show time.

Today was his day, finally.

ominous-clouds

 

 

 

 

 

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From ‘What If’ To ‘What Is’.

well

Life had once been defined by linears and absolutes. Life had once been colored all in black

and grey.Life had once been orderly and monotonous.

She had been content; she slept at night with a clean conscience. A devoted mother, an excellent teacher and a wife who tried hard; she was unhappy but she tried. Her weekdays were set in their path like the Earth’s revolutionary orbit and her weekends were just that; the week’s end.

Unhappiness and discontentment are slow gradual feelings. They sneak into your heart, planting seeds of doubt and discord in your mind and make life miserable in general. It’s slow poison. Twenty three years of marriage;  a long time for those seeds to turn into trees. How does a woman with undeniable beauty and grace, with a passion for life and a heart of gold get reduced to nothing but a haggard shell who goes through the motions of life just because death is  not an option? When does life become about settling rather than achieving? When do memories from a golden youth become the only reasons for your smile in the present?

It was yet another day of getting stuck in the horror story that is the Delhi evening traffic. Or was it? Her cell phone vibrated, a message on Whats-app. She sneaked a look while waiting for the light to turn green. 132 seconds.

“Hey! Remember me? Rahul here. Long time!”

Of course she remembered. How could she not? He had been one of her best friends back in college. He was the one guy in their group of four. He had been the provider of pens, pencils, samosas and photocopied notes before an exam. He had had a crush on her. She never deigned to acknowledge it. In her eyes he had been a dear friend, a happy-go-lucky boy. That and only that.

“Hello! I remember, obviously. How are you? How’d you get my number? Its been 20 years since we last talked.”

Her heart was beating faster. Odd. Continue reading

The End Had Begun.

Part 1.
She had trusted , she had been betrayed
a hasty prayer to the heavens she said
a plea to be given a painless death.
She knew her end was near
she knew it deep in her bones
drenched in sweat she ran
she ran those last few miles alone.
No escaping , no looking back
all scheming and planning gone waste
she wanted to but couldn’t
she could not slow down her pace.
Her heart pumped with a frantic beat
her legs threatened to collapse
with her lungs on fire she ran,
no escaping, no looking back.
She ran like she had never before
she had to , she had to run
death awaited her with open arms,
her ending had begun.

Part 2.
He sat in pleasant anticipation,
like a lion about to pounce its prey
a wicked smile, an ugly frown
he knew this was to be her doomsday.
She had escaped , eluded him
like quicksilver in his hands
but today the hide and seek was over.
This was to be her last day spent alive,
he waited for her patiently..
contemplating how she should die.
The gun would be a tad too quick,
while the knife was too messy an affair.
A poisoned glass of champagne maybe..
or was it to be the electric chair?
A thousand choices , a single death
which one should he choose?
Or should he like a gentleman ask
” Lady, the knife, the poison or noose?”

Part 3.
She came to a halt at the front door
her instincts warned that he waited within
She clenched her hands into two tight fists..
felt beads of sweat slide down her spine.
She took a step forward while her mind dragged her back
back to those hauntingly happy days,
she recalled those unburdened joyous memories..
that now seemed to her eons away.
She shifted her weight, the floorboard creaked
the slight sound brought her crashing to reality.

***
He heard the sound.
The wooden floor had always creaked
it had to be her, he knew it.
She would surely come to this room.
the room where it had all started.
There hung a smiling portrait of them together,
his mind dwelled upon those happy times
He listened to the opening of the door downstairs
memories derisively forgotten, he waited.

***

The door opened noiselessly or so she thought
surely he wouldn’t have heard it open?
She needed to go to the room
see it for one last time
She suppressed the tide of emotions
that threatened to drown her.
She forced her fatigued legs
to climb up the stairs
furiously hoping he wasn’t there.

***
How long would she take to reach the room?
His patience was fast turning to rage.
She had come this far, hadn’t she?
Now couldn’t she move a little faster?
He was growing impatient and doubtful
had she decided to give up? To scarper?
He made a move to rise but then decided not to,
a few minutes,he reasoned would do no harm
She needed time he knew, facing death wasn’t easy
after all it came only once, he could wait.
***

She opened the door of the room
her eyes seeking him in the pale moonlight
She forced herself to stand straight, to die dignified
He saw her enter, the way she stood
he couldn’t see her fear, he could feel it.
The air around them crackled..
Was it love? Was it hatred? Was it terror?
They both stood staring, not at each other
but at their portrait that adorned the wall.
For her time seemed to stand still but the seconds ticked by,
the silence was oppressing her, she could not find her voice
Finally with an effort she asked” How will I die?”
His lips curled in a menacing smile” Its yours to choose..
you have your options open, the knife, the poison or noose.”

 

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Image credit –http://devillolita666.deviantart.com/art/306-Pistol-Poison-Noose-and-Knife-346663742