Someone recently asked her to look in the mirror and narrate what she saw. She couldn’t do it. Not only because she couldn’t lie to that person, but she didn’t recognise what she saw. The person standing across from her wasn’t horrible. The person just needed to shake out of the funk and get rid of the dark cloud hovering above her head.
She had been lying to herself for a while. Pretending things that bothered her, didn’t. Assuming that putting herself above others was a bad thing. She was being harsh. She had forgotten how to look after herself. Importantly, she had forgotten to forgive herself. Nobody is perfect and that cannot be said enough. In an attempt to acquire the things she wanted, she made mistakes. Probably horrible feats of numerous errors piled randomly on top of the other. But these weren’t intentional to harm another. Does that make it okay?
She wholly believed that ‘Carpe Diem‘ was the way to live her life. She tried to swallow the principle. But in practice, she fared poorly. In fact she didn’t seize life by the moment. She actually didn’t seize life at all. It mostly passed her by as she looked on apathetically. Until retrospectively, it pinched her. Like in that moment.
She looked in the mirror. She didn’t focus on the tired eyes or the frizzled up, unkempt hair. She sought to piercingly look at these patterns she mapped out.
Could she snap out of this mode?
Meanwhile, she pulled out her phone and replied to someone’s text: ‘I am looking. But I am yet to see.’
I hate the word normal. I didn’t realise how much I hated it until I heard it too many times. And, till it was pointed out to me of course. It is an ordinary word that really, truly means nothing. What is normal for me is hardly normal for others? Coincidentally, one might find people who’s ‘normal’ radars fall on along similar lines. But that doesn’t happen often, I assume.
Normal doesn’t cut it. Normal doesn’t fit it. It is a loose word thrown around that means nothing. From being indifferent about it, I have realised I need to be cautious about its random usage. Normalising any behaviour leaves space for negligence and callousness. Neither I wish to entertain. At this point.
Somehow ordinary doesn’t make me half as agitated. Though it has a similar ring to it. An undertone of acceptance and submission clouds both the words. But normal fares worse. Much worse.
I spent hours negotiating with her. Telling her what to do, how to do it and when to do it. It was a tiring ritual that I had gotten used to over the past 20 odd years. Day in and day out, I found that I was repeating myself. The words tumbled out in the same fashion, the material stopped changing. The patterns, however, remained. I never learned. I persisted, painstakingly. Eventually, it dawned on me that it was pointless. A lie rather. It was in my head after all. That is the biggest problem when you negotiate with the dead. The response is stoic. Zilch. Nada.
long and soft
deeper than the skin.
Touching the soul,
caressing my dreams
and deepening my desires.
making paths and
as you feel
your way along.
create sensual delight.
Goosebumps on the skin,
ripples in the soul,
a quivering body.
yearn for more.
I stood in the middle of the square in the centre of town. I stared at the world whiz past me. Cars, bikes, people, birds, buses, dogs all continued their lives.
It took a while to sink in that I was nothing but a speck in the world. To tonnes of people around I didn’t exist or matter. I decorated just their backgrounds. Photos could be clicked at that moment and I would only be a passer-by in their memory. A blur in some and insignificant to others.
The realisation was not saddening but relief inducing. I watched the world continue to be even as I stood transfixed in my thoughts, in my selfishness. A weight lifted. A shadow emerged.
I could just be. Without any responsibility.
She imagined a beautiful house underwater. Far away from the ruckus of the mainland and from the chaos that ensued. It would be a beautiful orange coloured house, preferably made from orange extracts. Oranges smelt so delicious; she would love her house to smell that way. Added to that, orange was such a pleasant colour. It would be impossible to be upset in an orange coloured house.
Or so she thought.
The underground, the water, the lack of humans, the colour, the noiselessness seemed pointless as the inevitable kept showing up at her doorstep. She needed to deal. She shut the door in a hurry. Not today. Not yet.
The languid gait
or the cold stare
I sat in the corner,
for the stars
on a cloudy night.
I wondered if the sun
will rise the next day.
For unusual had became the norm.
Did you wonder the same,
when you watched me digress.
I lied to me for a while.
For I was disconnected,
from something so core;
my physical being,
every inch of my body.
There was no tenderness
or love there.
There was just an unease
and resistance to learn.
I thought I knew more.
I thought I loved more.
I unlearn this unease
and embrace the power,
of this body.
I had to lie to myself,
for a while.
Now, I stop.
The cop came running into the station, today. ‘What is it?’ I asked, ‘Why the hurry?’
‘There are naxals in the village, bhaisaab,’ he yelled in between deep breaths. ‘We need to put together enough men to circle them. They need to be caught immediately,’ he said. I was new to the location and I had no clue of the process. I allowed Inspector Singh to brief me for a bit. Still panting, he raced through the procedure in place.
I allowed him to catch his breath and offered him a glass of water before I said, ‘How do you know they are naxals?’
‘They were wearing boards with naxalite written in three languages, bhaisaab,’ he said.
‘Then, let us proceed to make the arrangements,’ I ordered.
By sunset, the men along with their boards were in our lock up. The media was informed and numerous versions of our heroics were in the papers the next day.
‘Naxals caught’; ‘5 Naxals in jail’
Our duty was done. All was right with the world.
Insanity came in the bottle. We sipped at it as it inched through us and slowly consumed us. The dining table dissolved as the bottle emptied.
A smell wafted towards us. We stood transfixed in the centre of the restaurant. It was sweeter than the sweetest smelling perfume. It wasn’t flowery but fragrant it was. It was distinctive. It was the opposite of everything we thought it would be. It was alluring.
Mesmerised by the other and by the intoxicating smell, we floated into the distance. We held hands, waist, arms. As much of the other as we moved to the edge of madness. Insanity became us. To the brink of reality. Our imagination took over us.
We were neither here. Nor there. We were neither real. Nor dead.