And across this street is my old home, the one I won’t ever visit. This year they have painted it yellow. How sad is that, isn’t it? My mother hated that color. She said that yellow kills happiness. She said such colors convinced even a happy person, that their smile is not enough. Her smile, as a rule, was mostly not enough for anyone and it made sense to me that she would hate to compete with her wallpapers, her furniture, her mirror, her curtains – for the sake of validating her existence and importance.
The woman who stole our lives years later – I heard her telling my mother that “she was an insecure woman, that she was bound to lose”. As if she, who paints this house now with horrible colors every year, knew what loss is. My mother – she liked browns and greys and greens. She grew life out of her blood. She loved dearly and irrationally- whenever she sat still and saw at us smiling and playing, she would break into tears. We loved her more dearly for that.
She loved that house and the man that owns it. She hated herself a bit too much. She tried not to but saving her was a work she had to do by herself -a tiring chore, no one wanted to be part of. She brought us the most beautiful yellow frocks one day and looked at us, trying to love something impossible through us. She looked at us hoping that her love for one thing could make her bear her hate for another. Like a fool, she believed that her trying would mean something to this world.
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 also shines 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.
Her floor had always been the color of the season I remember this, only when I step into the mess of her life. The spring issues lay scattered like the flowers The pink, red, yellows, and greens, women who only know youth, women who only grow younger the kind of woman she wanted to be (what a small impossible dream) and she almost is. And now that she can never change would she be happy? When/if she comes across her own lifeless eyes in the missing posters would she be glad to be one of the “sad popular”? I shatter the home of her missing goldfish in my haste efforts to pick them up and put them out of sight- the bundles of glossy paper that my eyes can’t handle. I try to put them away, wanting to throw them away now that she wouldn’t mind, now that she won’t yell at me or anyone for taking away too much of her. I want to try it. i want to try, so she has no option but to stop me. “let’s leave her in peace” tells me my moral compass and my grief. “i don’t want to show her the kind of respect that only dead deserve” shouts back my anger and my love. I drop the heaviest bag in this world on her rain soaked bed. Her last dress, her last chocolate wrapper, her last bus ticket, her last mistake, her last breath everything spilling out, everything ruining the spring that I dreamed for her along with her.
strangely even there, even on the canvas of my imagination where I get to act the god, even in that world where you are nothing but my creation, even there I can’t imagine a happier end for us.
because i can edit our photos on the cities we never got to visit and i can write you some words, give you some hints on how to make me want you want you back. but even when your puppet hugs mine back i know it’s only me, my hands, my heart, my body, my hopes hanging onto something that would never be you.
“so let it go“, i tell myself. “let’s stop calling every ache by the name of love. let’s put our ego to rest.“
These lines that
connect to my heart,
pass through landscapes
devoid of human presence.
This frail thread
passes through valley of flowers
that have no color.
Through balconies overlooking
desolate streets and
sky crowded with stars.
Through stairs leading to floors
that no one visits.
Through the branches of old trees
broken in the storms.
Through abandoned toys in locked rooms
with no owners.
Through the warm sheets
where I rest with my dreams.
and bring loneliness of the world
that lies beside me,
while I wonder
why do I feel so hollow inside.
You sit beside my favorite book,
after you hand me a cup of tea.
Though I want to know what you’ve been up to,
we just look out
as we have done numerous times,
when we had too much to say
but didn’t want to.
Knowing that silence of this room
we will make us forget all of it,
one by one.
The struggle you had to had to face
on your way here,
with streets flooded with monsoon rains;
the fact that when the doorbell rang
I was just about to immerse myself
in sleep that had evaded me for so long;
how I sat up and wondered
would it be you
and dismissed it as another dream
that would not hurt
until I go back to reality;
how you almost wanted to run back
the moment you pressed the bell;
how you looked around my room
and felt pity and relief
at same time,
for seeing that I have not changed.
I would have made you a cup of tea
if not for my fever
and I knew you’d make me one
for you are here to say the goodbye
that you couldn’t say all the other days
just like this.
You’d ask me if I have someone
to look after me.
And I’d ask you to stay
till the rain stops,
till the water flooding the streets recede,
till we can let go,
either of each other
or our pride.