Just like rain

The sight of trees swaying in the wind from my bedroom window had me rivet to the bed in the afternoon languor. It’s the sight I love the most, and also the moments leading up to it. Moments where the sun would sequester itself behind the clouds and the sky would turn gray. Some would say that a sky bereft of colour is inauspicious, that dark clouds gathering around in the sky is a sign of bad weather. But it’s moments like these, which I really love.

You must be really romantic, they’d say.

I’d shake my head at such banal and hackneyed analogy.

Romantic notions is what I thrive on, I’d tell them.

So it goes. I step out into the dark to have my own love affair. Much awaited. The intoxicating smell of the potential rain hanged around in the air. I lift my head up to breathe it in, and as soon as I did that, two big rain drops fell upon my lips; a watery kiss, an airy love affair. Not strange at all.

There’s something about rain and monsoons- apart from the mud, the traffic, the mess and the insects creeping out of their hiding places-which is plainly romantic. There’s no sugar coating it. The intoxicating smell of rain, the capricious weather, the fascination, the ferocity, all of it had me genuflecting. Albeit the definition of the word romantic is very simple, it says-

Romantic (adj.): conducive to or characterized by the expression of love.

Therefore my feelings and yearning is same, it is love, and a much wider range of feelings that need to be placated by something other than rain itself. It’s such an absurd concept, of something as cold as rain relating to something as warm as love. Opposites attract, which is a scientific fact but it relates only to objects. Is it true when it comes to feelings as well? Is it what pulls people towards unrequited love? Like the rain. It’s something that you could have; it’s something that you long for. As if rain were a limbo, and the next thing you know, you’ve landed someplace where you could feel the warmth in your heart.

Books and coffee on a rainy day give me as much warmth. I’m just saying. Maybe the warmth that objects and humans render is different. It’s something I’ve never paid heed to.

Now won’t you follow me?

It’s raining.

You don’t like it?

No. I hate the rain.

Why?

It’s ephemeral, I hate that. Too much of it makes me sick. Just like short lived romances. I hate it.

And I ran into him in a cafe on a day just like this. Call it serendipity, call it chance. But these things happen often, so often that we take them for granted. I least expected it though, that is why it seemed surreal, out of the blue. You know, too good to be true and all? It’s too cliché, too mainstream. It’s predictable. Sometimes I’m taken aback, even when this kind of thing happens often with me. I just shrug it off. When it comes to chance, you can’t have expectations. It’s just an aphorism.

“You say you love rain, but you use an umbrella to walk under it.”

 

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We thrive on such twisted feelings and things that entangle our emotions, spreading like a colour. And then you have its fifty rendered shades. No, not the fifty shades of gray. Or is it?

Rain- fifty shades of gray. How uncanny.

Some people grow out of it, while some of us are too passionate.

When we stepped out of the cafe that day, it was drizzling. The trees were swaying, the moon was shinning and the air was cool. He was conscious, just because it was so romantic. I could feel the warmth radiating from him.

Then it started raining. And we just stood there in the rain, side by side. In the distance, a couple kissed as rain poured down in torrents. It was just like how they show it in the movies. I pondered over the idea of kissing in the rain, it fazed me. I don’t think I can handle such strong urges or emotions. I’ve always wanted something subtle, something as diaphanous and as transparent as the falling rain; and yet, something unbreakable.

But then again, you can’t predict such things. Maybe nobody really knows what they want until they have it. The world is funny. Maybe these two people were just lost in the moment, or maybe not. Maybe they were head over heels in love with each other, or maybe not. Maybe it was just an ostentatious display of love, aka, public display of affection. It had to be.

And I, I could almost touch him. I could almost contain the rain. But it slipped through my fingers every time. Maybe you can’t have something like the rain. Maybe it is just a postulate of love.

I caught him looking at me. He looked away. I smiled. Almost like the benign rain, I thought. And maybe this was our public display of affection.

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The right time, the right place.

IMG_0184She thought about it a lot, she wanted to let go of the exigent demands of her heart. She wanted nothing more than for it to lie still, for it to not complain. She listened to her head, and her dreams were sandpapered away, slowly, and then all at once. Not even a speck of dust settled. Everything was reduced to nothing more than a disillusioned reality. Life in its pristine form some would say, perfectly imperfect, as it should be. Maybe this is what makes life so interesting, where you’re just inches away from the precipice and all it takes is just one step, a wrong turn, an inadvertent swerve.

These incessant ramblings of her heart and the illusory gaiety with she led most part of her life, proved to be antithetical.

The juxtaposition of wanting to set roots and being free baffled her. It baffled her, to follow set guidelines, to reach somewhere and sacrifice all your life for an unwarranted achievement. It baffled her, to finally reach somewhere, only to start planning out the next big thing, the next big vacation. The destination mania is nothing less than a chronic illness, which is one of the many human obscure tendencies. It’s monomaniacal to think of life as progressive. But day after day, she’s jostling, thriving on a PDF of fifty pages to be tested on a mere two marker question. She’s swirling, like a frail paper on a stormy afternoon, wanting to get stuck somewhere where she’s free(as oxymoronic as it may seem); only to be swirled away again, not on whim, but by force. Not the driving force, surely.

And drifting within confined spaces is rarely ever fun, you see the same people who talk about the same things. It’s draining, all the lollygagging that you get enveloped in sometimes. And she doesn’t want to be dowsed with flimflam all the time. It makes everything shrouded; like a mountain is by clouds. Therefore she’s caught in a pattern, her life’s modus operandi.

She can’t help wondering how the mind is free to travel to numerous places but still at the end of the day, your heart is pumping blood in the same body, to which the place is immaterial and the experiences, impersonal.  So she perorates in her mind – what if we could stay at the same place and in the same time, and still feel that we’ve learned something worthwhile?

She just wants to put things in their right places, wherever it feels that they’re a little off. Whatever that right place and time is, it has to be undecided. Nothing grand, is all she wants it to be. Embrace it, some would say. She just wants to be her own hero, knowing that only rarely the ground beneath her would be firm.

Flummoxed, aren’t you? She’d say.

With love, daughter. (Unapologetically cliché)

You cuddled me and cheered me up. You told me that it’s all right, again and again. In your arms, I felt the warmth of your love. I felt safe, as you caressed me. When I cried, you wiped my tears and you cried with me. You spent sleepless nights during my sickness and bad days. You’re the method to my madness, the reason why I am so brave. You always managed to sense the desperation beneath my cajolery. You’re the reason why I’ve taken several steps towards events where I knew I was surely to get hurt. Yet, you asked me to take a chance. And you were the only one who did, so I did, I got hurt, but I learnt to lift myself up. You never let me be the burnt child who dreaded the fire. You helped me gain ground. You’re a Good Samaritan, you forgive so easily. You extol the person who has hurt you, and it’s beyond my realms of understanding how you manage to do that.

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You must have been trying to prepare me for different situations that might present themselves to me in future, and I was benighted at times. Because I could never comprehend what shape they might take in future, and this is where I was really a child to you.

And the times I have turned my face away from yours might be innumerable. A hundred little conflicts, fights and wishes that entailed being born far away from you now seem evil on my part, because it was always you who consoled me. Oh, how I always thought that you picked me to pieces and projected your aspirations on mine. But it’s not your fault. Everybody in this world is allowed to have expectations. I do too. And yet you supported me no matter what.

Your beliefs were never my beliefs, I evolved and changed and yet you accepted me for all that I am. I never believed in your God- his infinite knowledge, his love, his existence-it’s always a big joke to me. Yet we understood each other and existed on the same ground, happily. Our subtle perceptions and abstruse philosophies learnt to intermingle, and it’s still a work in progress. I can only imagine somebody to love me unconditionally, like you have. When did it matter if it were an obligation or not?

But I know now that I’m not a child anymore; I can’t crawl back into your arms whenever I feel scared. I can’t cry to you every time things went haywire because the number is uncountable. I can’t discuss with you the interminable fights I fight with myself. I can’t bother you with callow stories of all the whippersnappers I’d to deal with in my life. You don’t tell me anymore that I’m too young for love because I’m too old to not know. You don’t ask me where I’m headed, because I’m too old to not figure out the directions to a place that’s far away from home. You don’t ask me whom I’m talking to (not until you see a smile on my face!).

You know exactly how much pain I can tolerate as I say I can’t be hurt.

And you know one thing best, mother – to mollycoddle me.

Oh don’t I hate being so cliché?

But take this as a spiritual epiphany. I’ve always wanted to be myself. And these are my very genuine feelings. Here’s to you, before these words get lost in a cobweb at the back of my mind and I’m too dazed to make sense of it all, before I use up all the words to cook up stories that hold no face value, here’s to you.

Behind the castle wall

 

Are you afraid, of the touch which made you feel as if it had rained inside your whole body? -Rain, which stifled the fire within and made you reconsider the rules; rain, which slowed down time and made sublime moments flourish.

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Weren’t you catapulted back into your safe haven, away from a sepulchral picture of the future, away from the infinite procession of life? Didn’t you step out of the quagmire that environed you?

She could never find a clear pure language, so she swayed, in some black alley, nowhere. She zoned out with heavy metal music blasting in her ears. She let her imagination forge profoundest of moments, which otherwise would have never led them anywhere. Moments which hung still in nothingness, and then were euphemistically called “something”. But beneath her beatific smile, lay no conditions. Beneath the vagueness of her words lay a solid foundation for a new beginning. Behind her stupidity, was a nervous confusion of all that could be said, all that should not be said, and ultimately, all that was actually said.

Did you think it was immoral when the feelings came gushing up to the throat, fearing that you might initiate something? Are you a patron of ignorance, rigid, and incapable of being drawn into an embrace?

You’re living in a split-level reality, you’re afraid to struggle with a panorama of possibilities. Can you indemnify her, for all the time she has lost thinking, maybe? Can you stand your ground in this boisterous sea of doubt, and hold on to an unequivocal answer, an unequivocal judgment? Can you curb your thoughts, only to traverse in a direction not cobbled by your hurtful thoughts?

She’s part of the devil’s conspiracy, as she helped abet the same.

Are you satisfied? That you’re not poles asunder after all? How many short-term scenarios did you make in your mind? How many times did you deceive her by sweetening her life? You took whatever you could get, to assuage your need, so did she.

Obscure theories, imbroglio of 21st century.

Cinderella ran wearing both of her shoes; and the prince came asking for one of them. It’s no fairytale, the glitter and glue is a mess. And a hundred white horses have gone berserk. 

Holding on and letting go.

I’ve learnt that in a sum that coheres, I owe everything that I am, to myself. I may have glutted myself on opinions that didn’t matter, impertinent debates that slewed into oblivion, and small talks that always ran into a ditch – all this and several spurious manifestations with which I had begun to become familiar with, came sporadically and in pieces.

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I have decided to step back to look at the bigger picture. I don’t want to contract into tiny pixels, as and when different situations present themselves to me. I want to become one person, from sundown to sundown.

Of late, I’ve been playing myself in a role that I never knowingly assigned to myself. It’s something that I took up as I went along the way, to fit into the second best thing; which was really the distorted version of the very best thing that I could’ve wanted for myself. But I’ve realized that the second best thing for me is the worst thing, as it is not me. And if I continue being on the same path, I will contrive a big crisis upon myself.

I know for a fact that we all have varied aspirations which certainly do not have a common denominator; but what they do have in common is the quality and the dignity. And when I say that I wanted the very best thing, I do not mean it in an absolute sense, since we don’t live in a utopia. I mean it in a sense which entails my very limitations, and my knowledge of them, calculated and sorted.

So, I refuse to rush with the flow.

I have decided to take a few steps back to come back to where I really belong. For I have found a sense of satisfaction in remaining still and observing more than I could ever comprehend; before leaving it all to dust. I have found happiness in going in depth about a subject than rushing through it for the sake of the exam. I have learnt that being responsible is difficult, when absconding responsibility and getting rid of it, isn’t. I’ve learnt that I will have to deal with a lot of nonsense from whippersnappers, and that I’ll find it difficult to stay calm.

But stepping back has made me realize, where life truly resides- in the broadened horizons of a child, for whom, anything is possible. Life resides in the guilt of wrongdoing, the insecurities and the fears; it resides in the lowest of lows and highest of highs.

And as far as the second best thing goes, I would describe it as an aberration from my main goal. Because I believe in holding on, before I really have to let go. 🙂

And trust me, holding on is always the better option, until it’s an age old notion which does nobody any good; then you should really learn how to let go.

Middle of nowhere.

Without any warning, the car angled off of a smooth floor to an uneven bumpy rough terrain, Chris’s grip on the steering wheel tightened. After suffering the bumps for a while, it stopped. Holly looked at Chris, wide eyed, not knowing where he was taking her. His grip on the steering wheel loosened, he turned towards Holly and smiled.

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“We’re almost there.” He said. His eyes were again on the rough road ahead.

Holly sighed for the billionth time, being the most impatient person in the car out of the two of them.

“I just hope you’re not taking me to the middle of nowhere, Chris. I don’t enjoy visiting places without a purpose.” She said, her head now resting on the window.

“Boy! Aren’t you grumpy today?” He teased

“Chris!” She frowned.

The sun was now setting down and it looked so much larger from where they were, the yellow light was slowly blending into orange and red. They were slowing moving ahead, as if towards the sun, which was very soothing to watch. And with the windows pulled down, the air around them was also quite warm.

Holly suddenly wanted Chris to drive slower, so they never reach where they intended to reach. But these were just thoughts swimming in and out of her head, keeping her awake, when she just wanted to cuddle up in this newfound warmth.

Chris nudged her when he noticed that she was falling asleep, she turns towards him to find him pointing to the front of the car.

“It’s a candy to the eye.”  She said.

Holly could see the gorgeous hills, crisp and clear, truly breathtaking.

“You think?” He raised his eyebrows at her.

She rolled her eyes at him, “Yes, Chris. And I’ll forever be obliged to you.”

They both laughed. They knew she was bad at the comebacks. And it was alright.

The car came to a stop at a spot. She climbs out of the car and realizes that they really were in the middle of nowhere, with the hills in far sight, she was just standing on a rough dirty ground.

Even though she could spend the whole evening gazing at the hills turning dark, she knew there had to be more to this place. Since this was Chris’s “special place”.

“Chris, aren’t you coming now?” She called out to him.

“I’ll be there in a moment, with my favourite killing knife.”

“I’ve got mace in my purse, Chris, try me.”

He laughed through his nose, shaking his head.

After a while Chris joined Holly and they both started walking towards a low terrain, a quiet excitement was now engulfing Holly, and as soon as they reached its end, she came to a halt.

“It is just like the movies.” She was sure she was smiling her widest, her eyes absorbing the view.

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They could see the whole city from that place. All the buildings, the city lights, all the vehicles, the stadium, everything appeared so small yet looked so beautiful. Under their feet and over their head, big or small, this was their world.

“I used to come here a lot. When you’re in the city, you feel overburdened with it all, the buildings, the people, the vehicles- everything seems to get to you every once in a while. But when you come up here, it all appears so small, you know. Up here, you’re part of something much greater that the city does not seem so suffocating. And somewhere you learn to appreciate it all.”

She grabs his hand and squeezes it, “I didn’t know it was suffocating down there, until I came up here, Chris.”

He laughs, “Sorry, but I guess we’re both at the same page now, aren’t we?”

“We sure are.” Holly said.

Don’t let me be selfish.

Let me be selfish today,

Let me cry and not wonder how,

Someone has it worse than me.

Let me think, about my deferred dreams,

About my deterred aspirations,

Let me call myself a victim today.

Let me be unhappy today,

Let me know that it’s normal.

So don’t say that I’m depressed, 

Without knowing the extent of my problems

And please,

Don’t say that I’m always unhappy

Because it’s just for today,

I promise, I’m not “always like this”

 

Oh, I forgot about my problems,

In trying to seek for your validation,

It’s a beautiful trick, to suppress my demons,

So that we could talk about yours’.

 

But,

 

Let me be selfish today

Let me walk out of the door,

Without taking any permission,

Let me drown in my sorrows today,

And please don’t try to make me feel better,

Because it’s ok,

So let me think about the what ifs and could’ve been,

Without making me feel like I’m a wreck.

I promise that it’s not a first world problem.

 

But it’s trivial alright, and I’m ashamed of calling it a problem

Because you laughed,

But let me cry today

So that when I smile tomorrow, 

You could ask me to smile my widest. 

 

And I’ll realize, like I always do, 

That it was nothing to worry about,

And that you were right. 

 

I get the point now,

After many years,

That your life is as complicated as you want it to get

 

And the time I spent hating you for not caring for my mental health,

Was the time I was annihilating my own self. 

 

So, please never let me be selfish, ever again.