When I talk of the moon that shines on us in our sorrow,
as we promise to do better and be better,
I am again omitting something
that needs to be said.
Something that everyone reading us should know,
before they tell us the best course to reach happiness from here,
before they believe us when even we have learnt not to.
I am omitting that we are comfortable in our sorrows,
that happiness is an alien land.
We would rather break our hearts
than visit that place where we don’t fit in.
I am omitting that
we are obsessed about fitting in
as much as we are
about doing it without changing anything about ourselves.
So we will only be what we have always been.
I am omitting
that our love is primarily
about navigating life with heavy hearts
just to reach moments like these
where we feel we can be forgiven as long as we forgive.
The moon that shines on us in our sorrow
on the absurdity of this refuge that protects us from nothing,
on this love where there is no place for ‘better’.
Even when we know that this is a cycle of pain and deception
we revel in the fact
that this won’t end like everything else in this world.
I tried being cool about it.
I tried not to call it a heartbreak.
I tried forgiving.
I tried thinking ‘my life is not over’.
I even invented some feelings that can be talked about.
I entertained the stupid idea – “it’s all for the best”.
I fed it all I owned,
and soon I didn’t have much left to keep that play going.
I think there are still hundred things more
that I have not yet tried.
Maybe one of them would work.
Or maybe till I reach the end of this list,
I would probably forget
who I was or who you were,
and maybe you would just melt into my identity –
claiming 2% of my faults, causing 25% of my breakdowns,
the major reason for my suspiciousness,
the only reason I can’t seem to be myself.
Just like how I pick up all odd habits and mannerism
from people I don’t even recall,
will you end up
becoming things that I do without reason,
becoming my convenient excuse for turning my back
on anything that can become
more important that me in my own life.
I wanted to tell him
“You have not lost much.
For sunsets you missed
are not even there in the hearts of those
who saw it everyday.
They walked past it,
shut their windows tight,
and sat in their darkest caves
trying to run away from what you want so deeply.”
I almost said to him
that even though it hurts,
it is a hurt I would like to have-
to yearn for the things that never happened.
That unlike him I yearned for things
that I walked over and killed.
Things that I can still see and hear
in my dreams, telling me, showing me
all the marks of my hatred on their skin, on their hearts.
I cry for them, look for them,
seek forgiveness from them when I am awake.
I dread them when they find me in sleep.
I almost confessed to him
that being the maker of caves, a lover of sunsets,
being the one who filled half the world and half the hearts
with a blindness even I can’t cure,
maybe I shouldn’t be his savior,
maybe I shouldn’t be relied upon for answers.
The last stranger at the funeral home
brought in the worst rain of the season,
the coldest wind of the night
along with your last letter.
He leaned against the window
and called up everyone he won’t be able to meet today
looking at me all the while.
As if he knew every word that I was reading.
to see whether I cry at the same lines that he did.
His eyes look like the ones who have got used
to crying for things that cannot be undone,
for a life that cannot be.
I wondered if he loved you. Maybe he did.
Maybe you knew. I hope you did.
He sat beside me
trying not to grieve more than a mother,
trying not mourn like a lover,
making himself invisible with every word
i read under my tearful breath
“…even when I sat at the dinner table with my brightest smile and deepest hunger, i couldn’t convince me that i needed to exist here.
even the warmest embrace of this world could do nothing but break me. i knew opening my heart could only bring floods and all ends of all kind.
i knew all along of this end. forgive me for pretending otherwise….”
Amidst the clutter of her living room, I sat down with the last drink in her refrigerator- an extremely sour and almost suspicious orange juice.
I could look up the expiry date but it was already too late. I was almost down to my third sip. A thought that arrives a bit too late is probably a thought best forgotten. If I end up in ER for this, this might be my last orange drink. Sort of sad that the last orange drink in my life tasted like calculated foolishness rather than a bright sun and its shameless almost applaudable want of attention.
I walk around her apartment, looking at all the stuff she has accumulated over the years, things that I am rather too conscious to look at when she is awake. I do not know the face that I should make at the face of all that she can’t get rid of – the things she wants to throw away, the things that make her believe that she is an actual person with a life that was actually lived.
When I see her bleeding fingers, her grip, her intent to never fall from this precipice, her intent not to ever pull her self out of it; I end up finding all thing that I could have done, all that I could have been. I end up finding ways to have broken beautifully, to break in a way that wouldn’t endanger my will to live so much.
Which is weird because she is sadder than me. Which is weird cause I do not think the type of breaking matters that much.
They are just thoughts that have arrived a bit too late because now I have time to think, because now I have the heart to forgive, because I am that ideal age where I might opt to forget for the sake of my own heart.
If I end up in another heartache because of the things we can’t change anyway, if this turns out to by last love, then it is sort of sad that I can do only so little, that I can love this much.
I folded her note and placed it carefully in my wallet. And I smiled. I told her something I do not remember now. It was something sweet, something weird, because that was the only sort of thing that could make her smile like that.
I folded her smile and placed it carefully in my wallet. And I smiled for a bit. I smiled till I saw the crease that now divided her in half. Trying to ignore the apparition of her breaking, trying to ignore my guilty heart, I gave her few words to smile about. She smiled as if she knew nothing. She smiled as if she knew everything that could ever be hidden in my heart.
I folded her forgiveness and placed it in my wallet. I smiled apologetically. She smiled back as if this is what love was. I recited to her all her favorite promises, probably to soothe my own heart.
I folded another note of forgiveness, and another, and another. The thickness of my wallet and her cracks increased by millimeters, they always walked hand in hand, unlike us. I bought her new flowers and she bought me new wallets. With a smile she told me something untrue about us, something that she could believe in. Maybe she waited for me to tell her something true for once.
But I folded every truth about us and hid it in the memories we won’t find our way back to. And just when I thought nothing can go wrong. I realized that I had also left her at that place where I was not allowed to live. She stared out and smiled from the warm rooms of love, far away from my unlovable heart.
the green pastures
the white fences
the perfect fake loving gaze
the debts of kindness
the half that never completes itself for once
the ornamental lackings of my being
the personal sun, the privilege to look away
and never know the heart of one who can’t
the greed such that I can’t stop receiving
the ideals that I can live without,
ideals that are already falling short
my monstrous growth, my falls from grace,
everything that I say I don’t need
all that I cannot give back.
It is easier for me
to be kind,
with a life of hypocrisy,
with a guilt weighing down my heart,
with the smile that I can get only because
the world is unfair.
It is easier for me to smile
at the knife stuck in my back.
It is easier to forgive
when I cannot forget my own blood stained hands,
my own reckless selfish heart.
All the wildflowers of our soul,
all the drops of yellow suns
dissolve in the air of shrieks.
One by one we loose ourselves.
The moments of despair and pain
are not only ours now.
When I speak,
When I am silenced,
when I accept suffering,
when I am trodden upon
thousands wake up
with bruises they do not deserve.
How should I live?
How should I forgive?
Knowing my pain is someone else’s as well.
Today you are silent
and you don’t care.
You have changed
without changing anything about you.
You don’t want to be concerned with
should-be or could-be
as all that matters is what is.
what-is is a fact that needs no forgiveness
You beg me not drag you down
into the waters of the past, “They are ugly
they are hard, they are things that we can’t have.”
is all you say about the life we once had.
what-didn’t-come-to-be is an ocean I must swim alone,
an ocean that just grows and grows deeper and wider
cause I can’t seem to stop hoping from you.
In the forms of “Renewal and Hope”,
in the forms of “Happy Married Life Again?”,
you fill the reason as “wandering and its joys”.
So I burn up all such papers
where you won’t look me in the eye
and tell me the truth
or at least some believable lie.
I burn away this life
where you wander in every direction but mine.
Where I am not wrong for you,
you just don’t want me to be the right.
“It scares me”, you once said, “the thought of losing you.”
How well you have grown, how far you have strayed
from your words, from yourself, and from everything
that you once happily called fate.
The trees that flower
may extend their hands to the pitiful us
and ask us to walk with them,
learn a bit more about beginnings,
about the ends that we must eventually be.
Tell me, in those moments of hope
am I allowed to want?
What should I do with the people
I have abandoned, about the things
I can’t be forgiven for?
On the new roads,
am I allowed to keep the heart that I once had?
How do I grow up into someone
who doesn’t have to put effort to be kind,
who can smile without guilt?
Do I even deserve that?