Friday, June 18, 2010

A Love Letter

Dearest beloved…this is I speaking to you, yes me, you know me very well; rack your brains, think hard, how can you not know me? Of course, it will be a bit difficult to recognize me since you probably never imagined me speaking to you like this, but this where I was created - in your imagination. I don’t exist in the real sense of the term, I exist only in your mind, for you see, I am the girl of your dreams – your dream girl, the woman almost every man conjures up in his mind and long to bring to life. I am the manifestation of all that you want in a woman; the whimsical depiction of the way a man perceives how a woman should know and love him. And this love story is about us, about you and me, the greatest love story in any man’s life and the one which will hardly ever be a reality. No, don’t deny my existence, you cannot, you will have thought of me atleast at some point of your life, imagined my face, my mannerisms, my body….come on admit it my love, haven’t you fantasized me? Oh yes you have! Doesn’t all men, infact all humans, have a dream soul mate for whom they long for?

When does a guy first fantasize about his dream girl? Let me tell you, much earlier than you think. Breaking voices, downy beards and the first wet dreams are just physical manifestations of manhood. I know I was there in your mind way before that. I was there before social conditions, lifestyle and upbringing fashion a male psyche. I know you more than anyone else because that’s how you want me to be, that’s how you have made me to be. And we know that we share the most intense, sibylline and marvelous relationship on earth.

I am not a permanent representation of your ideal woman, I change overtime, acquire and let go of traits and physical attributes according to your whims and impulses. Sometimes I remain the same throughout your lifetime but mostly I change as you grow older and get to see more of the world. We both transform together usually don’t we? I attain all the pleasing characteristics that you find in your favourite actresses, models and other women you come across. If a character in a book or a movie has a quality you admire, you add it to me, making me better and more compatible to you. Think back…my love… was it Megan fox’s curves? Demi Moore’s sexiness? Cameron Diaz’s bubbliness? the cool intelligence of that pretty news reporter? perhaps the adorable craziness of the blue-haired rock star? the demure smile of the girl you saw at the bus stop? or the luscious expression of pleasure on the face of the woman in the porn flick you saw last week? Oh, wouldn’t it be so awesome if I could materialize in front of you, a conglomeration of all those delicious qualities? You build me like an unending jig saw puzzle, piece by piece, adding or discarding parts fashioning me into that perfect non-existent woman, the woman of your dreams.

You wish I were real, that I was there beside you to hold your hand, listen to you, and together do all those delightful, dark and magical things that you crave to do … in short, fulfill your wildest fantasies. I know my love, deep within me is that tender understanding that you constantly seek in other women of flesh and blood in whom you try to find my likeness.

I was the one you turned to comfort while you struggled with the complexities of adolescence - the fear of adulthood, peer pressure, identity crisis, the fuzzy stubble that took ages to grow and your own uncontrollable urges that you tried to satiate while you clung to me desperately and made me do what you will probably never get any woman to do for you. I sat by you for hours and perfectly understood your problems, your anxieties. I spoke at the correct times and remained silent when I knew you wanted to be alone, I gave you the perfect advices, the apt suggestion, smiled, frowned, laughed, all at the appropriate moments, oh how you yearned for my presence, how you wished that I really existed. I patted you, petted you, fondled you did everything exactly how you wanted it to be. I appeased atleast temporarily, your cravings, your confusions and your sorrow.

But I am not real, you knew it so my abilities stopped where your imagination ceased, the real world caught up with you while I lingered behind waiting for you to summon me into your presence once more.

The more you find traces of me in a woman, the more attracted you become to her. But they are not me, they are real people with limitations and hence imperfections. No one can be perfect as we are my love, you and I, in our secret little world.
Usually you hook up with a girl who resembles me the most. In each of her features and mannerisms, you try to identify me. Still they are not absolute because they are not me. But you will get used to them perhaps even learn to like them because, after all, reality is hardly ever faultless. At times your mind wishes they were different. “If only her hair was curly”, “If only she liked pizzas we could have had more fun”, “If only she wasn’t so obsessed with movies, we could have gone to the beach”, “Wish she wasn’t so pessimistic”, “Wish she had smaller lips”, “Why is she lying like a corpse? doesn’t she enjoy it?”, “Why doesn’t she understand that I don’t want her advises, I just want her to shut up and hold me”, “Damn that woman, doesn’t she know that I am so fucked up, why is she sitting silently?”, “Why is so inhibited about leaving the lights on?”, “Wish she would lighten up instead of brooding over my every remark”. Your heart screams in frustration, you try to mould her into me but eventually you sigh and give up, adapting yourself to the situation.

You spent all your life searching for me in other women. Perhaps you will find traces of me in them; remember that primary school teacher who had my appealing voice? the classmate who had my face? the cousin that you secretly wished weren’t your cousin? then in your girl-friend whom you initially thought was I until you discovered that I wasn’t fully visible in her and your wife, whom you dearly love yet at times you wished were a bit different?.You might even be permanently disillusioned, jumping from woman to woman, having affairs, craving only their bodies because you know you’ll never discover me in then.

There are times when you have killed me in anger, in despair when veracity hits you and you know I am a waste of your energy and time, but I don’t die so easily. However hard you try, every now and then in the deep stillness of the night, in some sudden flash, perhaps when you least expect, I come to you in a flood of passion and emotions. You cannot prevent me as I envelope you in my overwhelming embrace which is both blissful and torturous at the same time. I cannot let you go as much as you cannot let me go, we need each other to exist, my love.
Sometimes, once in a rare lifetime, I’ll manifest to you as a real woman. If you have that destiny then you’ll have the most fulfilling life which you will never regret. But such incidents are exceptional. Life is all about adjustments and making the best out of what is available. Hence, we constantly live in that enchanting realm where we enact our love story each day. In those moments you and I are filled with that immense joy, satisfaction and unbearable love all tinged with a sad realization that it’s not real because I am only a figment of your imagination. But we still hold on to it, you and I, because you need me and I need you. You still hope that one day I can come to you in real, be with you, touch you, caress you and love you the way you have imagined a thousand times over. It’s that hope that keeps our love going, that keeps our little fantasy world alive. I can exist as long as you have that spark of imagination left in you, as long as despair and age doesn’t drown out your dreams. Invoke me, my love, let me come into your dreams and spent precious moments in your arms once more. This is who I am, your dream girl and this is our love story.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Shapes

Squares are gratifying,
neat, structured equilibrium.
A flattened finality,
reproduced in modern dwellings,
in handkerchiefs, in leaflets.
In the television that encloses-
unbounded experiences,
for the mind yearning to forget.

Circles, I see in daily living,
cornerless perpetuity,
the simplest symbol of
cosmic inescapability-
of seasons, menstruation cycles
birth, death and re-birth.

Rectangles, personification of
geometric elegance.
Houses, buses,
The urban garden of conclusiveness,
a four lined copybook of
carefully emulated alphabets.

But triangles loath I, fear too
their vacant supercilious shapes.
Odd numbered, indivisible
sometimes fraught with fractions-
triangles made me share him with her-
Me, him, her
Me, mine, him,
Him, me, her
Angle A, Angle B, Angle C
Acute, obtuse, isosceles,
slithering, shape shifting, sometimes-
a rigid unforgiving right angle,
at times equilateral which is worse,
as I get what she gets-
nothing more, nothing less,
then the possessive scalene that
fluctuates hope and despair!
Caught in the unchangeable rules
of triangle inequality, a tragic game,
So far apart, what painful perfection!
And one day it will break
the fixed lines, oh, it can’t go on indeed!
this seamless connection of agony-
he will go, she will go
Angle A and Angle B
and only C will remain,
no longer the part of-
a perfect line of you and me
but just another lonely point,
a dot, period.





Inspired after reading a Maths textbook.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Tragedy

The hero, the heroine,
the man, the woman and
the apple, the quintessential plot.
And an off-stage guttural voice-
over a faulty microphone.
Throw in a snake for a dramatic effect
for a heart-wrenching twist.
A common one will do,
we’ll make the off-stage voice
mime the hiss and the dialogue.
the villain and the nemesis.

Some good props,
a large fictional tree
Some extras with wings,
with verses to sing.
Go check the slums, the prisons,
all baby-faces can join-
an hour’s pay and a can of beer.

A gentle persuasion,
a bite, more bites
Cover ups, blame games,
faulty lines, expletives.
Curtain falls, lights dim.

The play without script,
no rehearsal, no stage,
Nobody invited, no audience to clap,
The first tragedy enacted
And the ones who ask “why?” were damned.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dream and Awakening - A Random Piece

I had another absurd dream in which I am spying at a dining table from a dank wooden ceiling. I don’t know how I came to be on the ceiling, but I seem to be stuck there ( Infact a lot of my dreams seem to be related to ceilings). An enormous woman is serving chicken soup to two sniveling kids in blue uniforms. The woman is muttering curses and the soup is swirling and churning by itself in the bowls, strange chirping and cooing sounds came from the soup. Sometimes drops of soup formed shapes, became faces and belched loudly before dissolving into steaming liquid. In the background was an unnerving grainy sound like the white noise in the old TV sets. Suddenly my nose started to bleed. A drop of blood trickled down and fell plop right in the middle of the table. I watch with dismal horror as the three faces turn up to look at me. Instead of eyes I saw three pairs of hollow sockets through with appalling screams where echoing and filling the room. The faces shrunk around the eye sockets until all that was left were three lumps of flesh, each with a pair of dark chasms which emitted soulless shrieks.

I had a vaguely irritating sensation of being a displaced and slightly awkward Spiderman. I was definitely in the wrong movie, my hands were stuck, my mask was itching and before I could ponder further on the gender identity crisis which I’ll have to face if this is the state of things, I woke up and fell off the bed onto the suitcase below. It was raining outside; I suppose it was the sound of the rain which I heard as the white noise in my dream.

There is nothing to be done, I cant go back to sleep. I search my bag for fags, but the last one was soaked in yesterday’s rain so I had no choice but to throw it away and mutter some newly-learnt profanities at my snoring room-mate. It’s during times like this, when you wake up for no reason and cannot go back to sleep, that you are plagued by utterly gloomy thoughts that you have to forcefully stuff back into your head before it shrouds and suffocates you. I huddle in my blanket and watch the rain until daylight trickled in.

Hours later I go up to the dining hall to get my quota of food and a cup of watery coffee which comprises my breakfast. The pea stew was full of overcooked squashed peas bobbing on the surface like sludgy bubbles that appear on a swamp after someone had been sucked down.

I stared with my aching, blood-shot eyes at the soup. The peas and the onions floated about sometimes they looked like faces of goblins full of warts. I gave the stew a swirl with a spoon and the faces contorted, grinned, frowned and dissolved. I had an overwhelming sense of déjà vu. The rain lashed the walls, leaked in through the roof while I stuffed in the pieces of bread soaked in stew into my reluctant mouth and forced it down with sips of coffee. Somebody giggled seeing my stuffed, puffed up cheeks while I struggle to chew. I imagined their horror if I just choked and died on this piece of bread right now. But it wasn’t worth the effort. Later, while I was in the bus stuck between drenched bodies, I felt like laughing for no reason. Water slapped around our ankles and as the bus dragged on we staggered and rolled like a bundle of dead pythons in a suitcase.

Switched on system-wrote article-checked face book-article-facebook-banana chips-facebook-article-chips-facebook-dream-drink water-get depressed-watch rain-article-bite nails-article-facebook-talk with colleagues-think of names for a pet cat that I might get in future-bite nails-article-facebook-cough-article.

In the afternoon I dismantled the paper punch, collected the tiny round paper bits and dropped them down from the terrace. They fluttered down the moist air like fragments of baby dreams falling softly over an infant’s sleeping head. A sense of vertigo, the wet ground far below seem to be lurching and tilting. Pavements opened to reveal hidden hollows and terrible voices that can never occupy a body. I turn quickly, probably a little too quickly, causing a crick on my neck. After muttering another stream of expletives I walk down to my cubicle. Suddenly the 3.00 deadline which had earlier resembled a negligible little dung beetle now assumed the proportions of a rabid tyrannosaurus. Nursing the crick I settled down to finish the task. It’s Thursday anyway, two more days to go and then it’s –sigh – Sunday!

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Billion Beginnings

I must begin again,
over and over
from the scratch-
the long, red one-
on the left shoulder.
No, not there, here,
behind the ear-
see the scar? Open it!
Dismantle a few bricks-
you can place your finger in.
Feel it. A hard, papery wall.
Dig, claw, and clear the web,
bring a sweep, storm it clean.
The swinging doors never close-
but sway in the midnight breeze,
Come on, go on, go in.

Trace the elusive echo-
the tear on the fabric of present.
Past is the viscous oil, lazily floating,
at the bottom of an oval jar.
Upturn, shake, squeeze-
let it trickle, seep in through the tear-
become a tear and dribble down-
fill the limpid frame
with the tired resonance of long ago.

On a night
a hundred moons ago,
arced necks assembled
and watched the drama unfold-
of death, silence and blood.
Played out on the tarred dust.
Muted video, as though of-
a grainy sequence shot
with a clandestine camera-
it filled the amazed eye.
Blood black on the monochrome body,
broken, bend and lifeless.
A mass of destroyed ego.

It splayed out, sucking in all shades
inhaled breath, motion and emotion-
a slow shutter, a prolonged exposure,
a moment stilled, petrified
captured and stored
wrapped up in the shroud of past.

How memories can be conjured up!
When near-asleep, or sipping tea,
chewing a crumbling cake,
perhaps the sight of the empty cup
or of a spittle-speckled street.

Indelible streaks, looping footage-
playing over and over again,
emitting numerous beginning,
identical starts, like the morning anthem-
singing in all radios,
across the sub-continent.
On sooty walls, tea shops, shelves.
A systematic chorus of genesis.

I dread these snakes,
reptiles of still-born time,
fate and haunting irreversibilities-
biting their own tails and spinning out
unending beginnings, impossible endings-
the hours go on and on and on.

- Jeena Mary Chacko