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Expectations were high

for the daughter of the night,

who contemplated the madness

that kept her awake and alive.

Days passed by and the year drew to an end,

as she clung to memory and nostalgia

waiting for change to begin

and sink in.

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Some needs are basic and simple. Others are convoluted and heavy. As I drift away from the simple, I find myself clutching the nuances and complexities. Desperately. I urge myself to believe that the simple will no longer do. I demand the difficult, the hard-to-find, the unthinkable. Everyone hushs and shushs me. Tells me I am expecting too much. I am warned of loneliness and detachment. I hush and shush them in return. I will not let this go. I demand nothing short of exceptional. I am willing to give up a lot of mediocre for it. I am willing to fight battles for it. It would possibly lead to being labelled crazy. But I think it will be worth it.

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She couldn’t believe her luck. Or the lack of it rather. The confusion filled her up and she fought for clarity. She liked clarity and control. Currently, it was all she lacked. It was being stripped away from her, both willingly and unwillingly; this irked her. She wished she could fix it. But fix it how? She would never again feel like the same person after this was done. But life was beautiful that way wasn’t it? Only living in this confusion was too much for her. She hated the discomfort and hated feeling helpless. The fact is that she would have loved a phone call with her future self to find out how life actually turned out. Suppose there would be no fun in that. She would perhaps, most certainly learn zero lessons. The trouble lay in the conflict of wanting to know anyway. But she needed to ‘live out the confusions until they became clear‘.

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The story will go on.

I am merely a delivery mechanism. A vessel to voice its emotions and feelings. A story, any story, every story, quite possibly did not start here and will not end here. I am just the vague in between halt. It enriched my life more than I brought it to life.

There is no right or wrong.

This story can be shaped by me in any way, sometimes with grace and elegantly; sometimes atrociously. I must allow my mind to flesh it out or end it in my mind. Unfortunately, often prematurely. The time comes when forces align, when stars shine and when the entire story falls in place. Even then, it is not the end. It is always in limbo.

‘Stories never end.’

 

Inspired from song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC63HGcsfEg

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When she met people for the first time, she was always nervous; she ruffled her short, messy hair before she walked into the coffee shop.

The helmet had made it oily and flat. She hated that style. She preferred the mad look it always had. She searched the coffee shop for him. She almost crashed into the really clean glass on her way in. She spotted him seated alone at a table fiddling with his phone. Should I say hello or just sit down at that table, she thought.

She just walked up to the table he was seated at and sat down. She chair made a nasty creak as she pulled it close to the table.

He must have recognised her from her photo as he didn’t look surprised. He put his phone aside.

“I was just going to text you. You were last seen on Whatsapp this morning at 1 something. Who were you talking to?”

Snap! I heard myself lose it.

“This is the first time we meet face-to-face and that is the first thing you want to ask me?”

“It has been bothering me since I woke up this morning.”

“That I was awake at 1?”

“Yea.”

“I hardly know you, Ramesh. I agreed to meet you cause I thought this was going well. I no longer think so. Good bye and good luck.”

She walked out. The door slammed behind her. He sat in his chair staring at the closed door.

She walked back in.

“Couldn’t resist?” he asked, all smiles.

She sneered at him, picked up his phone and tried to unlock it. Luckily for her, he didn’t have a swipe lock. She looked for the contacts list and deleted her number.

“Poof! Just like that I am out of your hair. No need to spend any more hours wondering what I was doing awake.”

She walked out again; this time with class and shutting the door gracefully. She will never let Neena set her up again. She seemed to associate with a new kind of idiot. The kind that used technology to stalk inappropriately!

 

 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

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“Long time ago or was it once upon a time?” she began.

“Either way, amma. Tell me a scary story today,” I said.

“Want to sleep in my room?” my mother joked.

We laughed it off.

“There was a small community who were outcasts for their practices didn’t match the lofty standards others had. They believed in life after death; they even had sacrifices.”

“Sacrifices? Of what?” I asked.

“Human sacrifices. They believed that evil must be sacrificed each time a good soul dies of old age. This was done to keep the balance of good and evil.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“It was said that there was an old lady. She turned 80, then 90 and eventually died. Her family was devastated. So they went to the lead men of the village and pleaded to bring her back. They told them about the many wonderful things she had done; her good deeds towards society and the wonderful children she had given birth to. Upon understanding their situation, one of the men marched over to the local prison to chose their bait. Despite the village being an outcast, they had strict rule of law. Guilty were punished in the jail. The man randomly picked a prisoner. He asked him, ‘What crime did you commit?’ The man replied, ‘I killed a bird.’ The head man of the village nodded at the prison guard. The guard released him with chains and the marched over to their public execution ground. The head man ordered for the old lady to be brought. They placed her on a hospital bed along side the guillotine. The bird-murderer was executed, slowly and painfully. As life left him, it entered the old woman. Slowly, the body hung limp. The old woman stretched and sat up. She was alive again. The family cried tears of joy. She was with them, once again.”

I stared at my mother. “Is this a real story, amma?”

“No. No, Nina. You cannot bring back the dead,” she said.

“It is just a story?” I asked.

“Just a story. Now go to sleep.”

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She believed in karma. I told her it was rubbish. She was spiritual and religious. I mocked her relentlessly. She fasted twice a week for god. I ate meat at every chance I got. She prayed and I laughed. She told me I needed to go to heaven. I told her neither heaven nor hell existed. She asked me to join her to the temple, which she visited everyday. I laughed louder.

We never discussed it. We adamantly held our own points of view. So tightly that neither of us even brought it up. After a while we got on with our individual lives without reacting towards the others’ behaviour. I told myself there was no solution anyway. So we continued to live in an uncomfortable stony silence. She held on to her belief systems and I held on to my mockery. Even if we ever spoke, I couldn’t fathom what we would say to the other. Years of ridiculing on my end had made her belief possibly stricter. She announced one day that she was praying for me, too, to relieve me of my sins. Though I was angered, I didn’t ask what sins. It ate away at me for days, weeks, months.

I broke our silence and asked, “What sins you speak of?”

“There is no greater sin than denying god’s existence,” she said.

I realised that day we didn’t love each other. We probably didn’t even know each other. What we built in that house was a compromise. Not a relationship. I lived with a stranger and shared my bed with one, too. I packed my bags and left the same night. There was nothing left to save. Even the final ‘sin’ was committed. Obviously by me.

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To understand this dance she did, one needed some background information.

An unbelievable quiet set in but she preferred a storm instead. The calm was unsettling and discomforting for her. It didn’t let her think. The blaring music brought back the rush; she shook the floor with her steps. She danced with a passion and a madness. It didn’t send her into a trance. It revoked and revitalised her senses; she danced to reclaim consciousness.

I understood this dance she did. She didn’t like me watching. I peeped from behind the curtains, though. I invaded the private moment she revelled in with her body. I had seen her go through the routines numerous times before. She danced to focus all her energies on the present, the moment and the motions of her body. She used the movements as a means to channel her inner thoughts and externalise them. I understood her need to perform though we never spoke about it. It was, in all probability, a ritual and reminder to break the silence and protest.

She stamped her feet as I wondered how to keep myself connected to my voice. For, I didn’t dance.