How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

I probably read this question somewhere on the internet some time back and it hasn't left me ever since. I have an uncanny urge to ask this question outright to everyone I know, both young and old. Not that I am a purveyor of moral values or even consider myself to be one, it's probably an inexorable curiosity which seems to be reaching out for the past. Or maybe it's because I can probably guess at what the answers are going to be, so my cognition is abetted by my curiosity. I know grief when I see it; I feel it myself too, it deftly amalgamates into my subconscious, while happiness and love ooze out and rarely need explanation; grief always does.

And I know, every time I ask this question to you, you'd go back to that exact moment where you could've gathered a little more courage to dignify what you had back then, to have it now in all its glory. Mistakes. Regrets. You're always under the haunting shadow of them all. And you'd give anything to get rid of the reminder of it all which is your age. Rewind, pause, rectify and replay or perish. If only it didn't slip away. If only you were...Edward Cullen? Forever young. The mere thought of it is exhilarating, isn't it? But then your life would always be at stake (pun intended). 

We don't realize it often that what's passed is past. Moments come and go; all you can do is reflect upon them and keep on moving forward. And perhaps age is nothing but a number and all you ever do is stop, rewind and reflect. That's how I've always felt about it, age is a disconnection from all that I could be or could've been; a jagged edge to my otherwise unruffled exterior which cuts bits and pieces of me every time I go back. And then I have to hide the bleeding, hide the pain. It's self-annihilation at its best. But some people have the remarkable resilience to embrace age with grace, some whose point of view is anything but awry. 

So I probably can't answer this question astutely. I know I am a child if I claim to know everything but know nothing at all. I know I am mature if I am wise and have a high emotional intelligence to make life-changing decisions. And that's how I can be as old and as young as I want to be.

But still, tell me, I’m intrigued- How old would you be? Would you go back to being 5 and experience watching the rainbow for the first time? Because that’d be breathtaking. 

Flowers at the doorstep

Friday, 9 September 2016

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

“Tomorrow is your birthday, I am sure you have made a list of things you want, ranked by priority? Is it five pages long yet?” Chris said with a smile on his face, a genuinely amused one, it’s nothing rare for me as I’ve gotten used to it by now. Seeing him almost every day at work had brought us closer.

I wanted to roll my eyes at him or shake my head but ended up articulately staring at him, with a smile on my face, heart palpitating like a sleeping volcano, at the unexplored possibilities, at the percolating realizations. Anything I might have wanted- a new dress, an iPod or art supplies even - seemed to be vacuous. I’ve far long stopped caring about the materialistic things, they were nothing compared to the one thing I wanted the most.

“No,” I said. “There isn’t any list.”

He laughed through his nose, shaking his head, his hair falling on his eyes, dishevelled as always. Also, he had a habit of running his hands through his hair every now and then, making them more messy. His hair was black, like mine, but not nearly as light. Mine looked brown at times. He runs his fingers through his hair, only to have them fall on his forehead again.

“There must be something you really want; otherwise it’s going to be a boring birthday.”

If he knew nearly as much as I knew, it would have been a different conversation. But if there is one thing, it’d be the freedom; freedom to love who I wanted and freedom to make my own choices.

“Let it be.” I said instead.

He stayed silent, studying me like he was trying to remember something, trying to find something; I tried not to give myself away and started working instead. I was aware that he was looking at me still and I know before he stops looking, he’ll shake his head, laugh through his nose and get back to his work.

It was why we connected the way we did, in spite of the five-year gap in our ages. I’d fallen for him last December. It has been a year. I met him during one of the coffee breaks which I took that day. I’d never seen him in the office before; he was in the canteen, running towards his colleagues when the Marlboro pack fell out of his pants. I almost didn’t care, but something unusual caught my attention and I had to pick up the Marlboro pack. There was a note attached to it which said: 'You know you want it, Chris'. And I don’t know if he was trying to stop smoking or trying to kill himself. It amused me and I went up to him to return the pack, attached a note to it which said: 'Why would you drop me? Don’t you want me now?' Humph. The rest is history.

“I know that every girl has a predilection for flowers, you need not hide it.” He said

“Don’t you have work, Mr. Sexist?” I said without glancing at him.

In a not-so-obvious way to change the subject, he said “Need to make a call, don’t miss me.” I rolled my eyes at him.

At almost seven in the evening, we left the office. I reached my flat in about twenty minutes. Surprised at what my eyes were seeing. Because at the doorstep, were roses. I hastened to pick them up, they were beautiful, immaculate red colour glittered under the yellow light, the smell was intoxicating. There was a note attached to them, I opened it up and read it aloud: See, girls do have a predilection for flowers.

Credits: Google.

I laughed, looked around me to make sure no one was there to catch me smiling like a fool or to point out how red my cheeks have had become. Fool. He is. And here is another sublime moment to cherish, I may have never had a predilection for flowers before but I certainly do now. 

Best friends forever?

Monday, 5 September 2016

“How would you like your coffee, ma’am?” the dreary waiter asked.

“Hot.” She replies without paying attention to his face.

But she likes the coffee cold. In fact, her favourite coffee is the Devil’s Own with Vanilla Ice-cream on top.  Somehow it’s not a great day for her to be indulging in something that she loves and every choice she makes today would be a forlorn attempt to escape that. It’s going to be hard for her to be herself today, she thinks. And to aggravate her misery, a hot coffee sits right in front of her. She picks it up and dejectedly takes a sip; just then a haze of steam covers her spectacles. She laughs, shaking her head, remembering the time when a certain someone laughed at the same site like a little child.
Somebody she used to know, in fact, still knows. But she also knows where the reality lies, nobody ever stays the same. Even though you might have known a person dearest to you for years, suddenly they change, suddenly there’s a void, between you and them and it’s like you don’t know them anymore. Maybe time sweeps them away from you, maybe distance doesn’t necessarily strengthen bonds or maybe some friendships aren’t supposed to last long.

                          Cause nothing lasts forever and we both know hearts can change.

Skullcandy banging in her ears, she wallows in a misery so tenacious that she knows will grow into something splendid as the day advanced, to lift off the penumbra of confusion, to reveal the shame. After all, she was the one who let go; the one who relinquished. In retrospect, it was a bond which would’ve kept on blossoming with love, unbroken and enigmatic, emancipated and glorious. A bond which would’ve reminded the world of its voracity, mend the broken bones of the damaged soul, revive memories of lost love, eradicate the abject misery from the minds of young and give hope to the bodies which have been famished into despondency.

But the conversations started to wane, the charm lifted off and the bond broke from places which undermined the impertinence, held her back from being the happiest girl and relegated her to her worst. Maybe it was all a matter of losing interest. She still wonders why she could never bring herself to share the most exciting happenings of the day with her best friend and more so, how she was always scared to talk to her when she was happy. It seemed to her, that her best friend wasn’t interested anymore. And soon, she could say the same for herself.

She’d be incandescent, she felt lonely and belittled. She knew that it has started to fall apart. Broken beyond repair now, fallen into decrepitude, gracelessly, ahead of its time. And if the bond persists for any longer, it’ll become the cause of annihilation of two beautiful souls. Forever had come to end.

And it was a million times worse than any of her break-ups in the past, letting go of a best friend, the other half of a complete idiot, a soul sister. Now what is left is the plethora of bittersweet memories, laughter, jokes, photographs, letters, gifts and old messages. Her best friend had defined her and will never cease to do so. Maybe that is why they call it what they call it, BFF. Maybe they’ll meet halfway, on their way back home. But for now, it has come to an end, no more walking in the dark.

She sighs in relief as she takes the last sip of her coffee. Steps out of the cafe, the sun is indifferent towards her and shines like it would on any other hot afternoon. The world doesn’t stop. Because the world doesn’t know that a best friend has been lost.

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