Monday, January 11, 2010

Nine souls

"In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine." - Milan Kundera

They were no longer separate individuals, but a single creature with nine tongues, nine hearts and one raw instinct - survival.
Friendships quickly formed, foes too; bitchiness is inevitable. Women are the biggest misogynists I read once, sadly there is a lot of truth in that.
It’s the animal impulse for survival I think, the fight for attention, to get the best mate, to preserve, to procreate. Refinement can never take away inborn instinct. But something greater held them together, made them forget, at least overlook the differences, the irritations, the suspicious. They lived, bathed, cooked, watched the sunsets and sunrises, bonded.

It was the summer of disillusionment; of incompleteness; of loss

Icings smeared across faces, birthday songs, laptops exchanged, borrowed milk, love, trust, reluctant sharing of space and the evening talks, so many evenings that scattered like burning blobs of revelations across that one year. That’s when the guts were spilled, where they exposed each other’s shameful secrets.

They are very good at coercing someone to talk, no truth potion required, just the right setting. Words tumbled over each other, incoherent, spurts of giggles.

Throat cleared, an encouraging hand pats a nervous back. The story continues with all the delicious details.  They drank in every word. Each pair of eyes shining, dilated, transported into different imaginary worlds where the stories were enacted as plays, nine separate plays, but one story.

Same story, same old story.

 Any given day the cloths line was full. Full of swishing, dripping wet cloths along with half-dried and fully dried ones waving in the wind. It filled the cemented terrace with the airy scent of detergent. It was a fabric extravaganza - pastel sheets, crimson and yellow dupattas, skirts in earthy shades, sparkling t-shirts, cotton kurtas and chaddis galore.

Chaddis, a heterogeneous mass - pink, green and blue, chaddis with pretty bows, laces, chaddis in satin, chaddis with naughty phrases, branded chaddis with the brand names proudly displayed all over them, chaddis that were washed with special soaps, shampoos and fabric conditioners - all fluttering like strange flags in the afternoon sun and gathered at twilight into sweet smelling colourful piles on the beds.

And then there were those sensible, uninteresting, quadrilateral chaddis that hung dripping in stoic silence. The ones washed with plain bar soap, dried, meticulously folded and arranged in drawers - no frills or fluffs, mere utilitarian existences.

Finally there were the sad, threadbare chaddis - scrubbed clean but still having faint indelible stains. The shabby chaddis, torn and re-stitched - the black and red thread like fresh, sore scars on wrinkled skin. The miserable, shameful chaddis soaked in loneliness. These were never flaunted, they never flapped proudly in wind. No, these sulked under half-dried skirts, under damp bed sheets and fading t-shirts. They never felt the wind nor the sun, but the filtered musty air through wet fabric pores. There they crouched quietly and dried slowly, their owners are ashamed of them but desparately took care of them - gently washing them at night, secretly and furiously stitching up the tears. Sometimes they are caught peeking under a careless shirt or seen when they fall down accidentally from a clumsy hand (if the hand isn’t quick enough to hide them in the bundle of dry cloths). Once seen, they wear the look of a criminal guilty of heinous crimes. Under the burning disgusted eyes, they cringe. Their owners, with fearfully beating hearts instantly disown them ("eww.. how can anyone were this! must be R...'s"). They are gawked at, mocked and kicked to a corner where they lie alternatively drying and drenching in the sun and rain until they disintegrate and disappear one day. 

Four years have passed since the nine souls dispersed, flew, walked and crawled away.
The walls filled with million scrawls are repainted perhaps; the cockroach infested shelf that once held nine mugs, nine plates, several orphaned spoons, forks, and plastic jars might now holds a different set of things.

It wasn’t the end, the conclusion or the one giant step as I expected it to be. It was not the metamorphosis, nor the transitions; it was just a mediocre, microcosmic sample of life as everywhere else. Routine followed by routine, even the not-so-routine soon became routine. It was just a game, a gambling, with no second chances. No going back and reliving, no, your course is over kid, move out and move on.
The giggles, the conversations, the secrets, the screams, the tears, the boy friends, the crushes, the loves, the tragedies, the fights, the food, the laughter - all so human, so forgettable, so sad.

Friday, January 1, 2010

January 2nd

Constrains, remorse tarnish me
Selective amnesia, emotional paralysis
Books pile up read, re-read, underlined, highlighted, and worn;
given away with a subtle arrogance. You fools!
Remnants of delectable nectar stain the stomach lining-
half-chewed chicken churn in the digestive juices.

You sigh and whisper an expletive,
that reverberates, like an eternal echo-
through my trembling self, a shell.
It wasn’t a mockery you plead, I smile.
I turn my fleshless skull skywards,
awaiting a single drop of solace.

A brand new diary, the old diaries some pulped,
some lost, some stolen, hidden in hated nooks,
the rest, like tombstones, arranged
in straight line on the cemented shelf.
Cynical lipstick, frosted cherries always the same colour;
Year after year, brownish orange like anodyne blood-
dried too soon, coating a bloated lip.

Cobwebs creep across the drying decked up tree-
Sudden longing for parents, for things that were.
Voice break, swing between fantasy and reality,
grows larger until it swallows the frame-
takes a form, becomes a lost paradise.

Kisses, “surprise!” yelled into deaf ears, hugs.
wrapped goodies, another book, another bangle
an envelope smelling of roses, a crisp currency.
Advanced, belated, you name it, its there.

Grasshopper treads softly over the yellow leaves, dew-laden,
green, curved needles, construction of cells and tissue;
pierced patterns invisible,
dew falls silently, like transparent pot-bellies.

Ear strain to catch a sound, a plop-plop. Nothing.
Damn. the tongue has lashed through clenched teeth.
Reflex action, the God has lost control over his creation,
they obey their own laws; mind scolds the unruly pink invertebrate,
it screams again, mocking, the faceless head thrashing,
eye sniggers, the grey matter grumbles.

A useful box of handkerchiefs, immaculate white, blue bordered,
no kitten this year too, atleast a tiny gold fish?
Curry, conversations, a candle blown-
piece of icing and cake stuffed into a wrinkled mouth,
The weary tongue barely tastes the creamy morsel.

Sorrow of unfinished deeds, incomplete thoughts
Unfulfilled dreams, a vague scrawl,
etched, charcoal-black, across the moon mirror.
The pink head twitches again, curling and tasting unspoken words
mind throbs angrily, silences the wet slob;
rattles against the drying skull, a rasping sigh.

Ego gives away to egolessness;
Suspended animation, a limp balloon.
Cataracted inner eye shuts slowly
Cerebral metabolism has slowed down
Creaking bones strain with each move.

Age has withered thoughts,
A stale, out-dated fragment
An archaic ramble; the metaphorical toothlessness,
A long drawn bitter shriek-
I mumble intelligibly while the rest of the world moves away;
grating breath leaves odour of decayed memories.
Shrunken, withered, old
Senility hath set in

I turned 24 today.