An Hour and a Half

Ask me how long it takes for one to fall in love, and I would scoff at you for assuming one can fall in love at all.

~

Like crayons of every colour sticking out of their box – lined close to one another – the houses stood in front of me as the boat docked onto the port. I was expecting a camera to pop out and a ‘cut’ to be yelled out, expecting the beauty in front of me to collapse like a temporary set up for a movie, for like a picturesque movie scene the site in front of me looked.

As I proceeded, I came up to a place where a canal snaked through – boats floating stagnant on the water – dividing the island, only to be connected by beautiful bridges that arched over it.

The balconies and windows lined with potted flowers, a common sight, but only adding to the dreamy haze that seemed to surround the place; their colours seeming to imitate those of the houses around.

I imagine: Juliet out on one of the balconies and Romeo standing on the cobbled streets below, committing themselves to one another.

A cluster of tables scattered at intervals outside restaurants, bustling with tourists. Small stalls bursting with souvenirs – postcards, key chains, magnets, bookmarks – dotted around the place. Shops adorned with intricate lace and glass works stand along the path where houses aren’t.

An hour and a half. I was in Burano for only an hour and a half, rushing through the beauty around to get to the next place on the list like a typical tourist. But that short time, apparently, was enough.

~

Ask me how long it takes for one to fall in love, and I would smile and say with certainty, ‘An hour and a half.’

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Dipped in Blue

As the years go by,
you slip them
and the memories they
contain
between plastic sheets in your
album of souvenirs.
They gather dust,
and get shifted from
the most accessible spot –
right there,
to that place above the cupboard,
the one saved for things which are
not of immediate use –
out of reach.
And then one day
your surroundings get dipped in
a dreamy blue of nostalgia.
Sudden or with reason,
the nostalgia sinks into you,
engulfs you
and plays you like a
puppet,
taking your hand
and making it reach into the
foggy recesses of a corner which is
out of reach.
It plays you a tinted
vintage movie
starring those who told you to
‘keep in touch, okay?’ 
and those who do.

The albums keep
filling up,
but you still find yourself
flipping backwards,
the details missing
and the facts blurred,
but the comfort of the washed out
memories remaining warm and
unchanged.

~

Image from here.

 

 

The Dilemma of Not Growing Up

 

Going by my friends,

I should’ve known my
future plans
by now.
According to my parents,
I should’ve become
more assertive
in my beliefs,
in my opinions.
The books I’ve read
(the crappy ones),
taunt me about my
(nonexistent)
love life.
But here I am,
stuck.
 
Stuck,
and still laughing on
fart jokes,
still making fart jokes.
Stuck
with my opinions,
strong and weak,
and all of them
unspoken.
Stuck,
and scared of what
my heart wants me to do,
because for the past
five years
ignoring logic
has only given me
regrets.
Stuck,
as I see my friends
socialize with what seems like
ease,
while I sit anxious,
knees jingling,
fingers fiddling,
devising the best
strategy,
playing out the
worst case scenario
in my chaotic head,
before breathing in deep
the courage to just go and say
‘Hi!’
I can’t seem to
grow up.
It’s like I’m clinging onto
my past self
whom I don’t even
like,
while others are letting go
and jumping headfirst
into the adult bandwagon.
The dilemma of
not growing up,
the dilemma of not being
able to
grow up,
is gobbling me up
and spitting me out
relentlessly.

Touchwood

Death, a daily occurrence. Not much unlike life. People live, people die. And yet, and yet at the slightest mention of it, everyone runs around searching for wood.

Touchwood.
He passed away. She is no more. He isn’t among us anymore.

You rarely hear someone say that a person is dead. We’ll find some other way to convey the wrenching news, any other way but to say that word.

I’ve never used the word myself, not for someone I knew and loved. No, because that sounds too definite, too sudden. But then isn’t definite better? Isn’t, as they say, ripping off the bandaid more merciful?

In this case, it seems, merciful and uncaring are the only adjectives that suit a ‘cutting to the chase’ messenger. One can feel either or both towards a person bringing the sorrowful news.

Death can do that to us, it can manage to bring forward conflicting emotions. No one wants to meet up with him, with death. Even a brush past him can terrify people to, well, death. And despite this, despite not wanting to die, when we do come into death’s vicinity, we don’t want it to prolong.

One Cup of Sadness

There’s a glass full of liquid,
filled upto the brim
which stares at me
wickedly.
The velvety juice mocks me,
daring me to drink it,
else it might spill.
Else it might spill,
’cause it’s filled up
to the brim.
But,
they say,
it’s unhealthy
to drink one’s
sadness in.
It’s unhealthy,
for grief has a way of
smothering the heart.
My hand reaches out,
inches away from the glass.
No one cares about
someone else’s sorrow
anyway,
whispers my mind.
I snatch it up
swiftly,
swallow it down
quickly.
And still,
one drop manages to
escape,
making its way down my cheek,
for everyone to
see.

 

A Thief. A Criminal.

“Time is a thief,”

you had said once.

And I hadn’t quite grasped the meaning of it back then. Your words always had a way of baffling me. And even though your face is fading away from my memory with every passing moment, your words, your words still echo through me clearly and sharply.

Time is indeed a thief, it is a criminal for taking you away from me and making me see sense in your unfathomable words.

~

posted for Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction.

Walking In The Rain

A shadow fell all over the place, the dark rumbling clouds obstructing the path of the sun, the sombre camouflaging a figure whose mood seemed darker than the almost inky puffs in the sky.

The boy trudged on, not caring about the people bustling around him restlessly in order to reach their destinations as fast as possible. No one wanted to get stuck in the inevitable showers, the groaning clouds acting as a herald for the majestic rain to descend. His whole persona seemed to be competing with the grey spread in the sky. His heart heavier than the pregnant clouds. And then the barriers burst, the rain pattering on the ground, giving it a shine that wetness usually brings with it.

He was drenched, the clothes sticking to his body; his face, his cheeks damp. A small sad rueful smile appeared on his face as he strained his neck and looked up. The rain was stinging his eyes, but he didn’t mind. His heart seemed to be shedding the weight that had been clinging to it, getting lighter with every passing moment.

“I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.”

– Sir Charles Spencer “Charlie” Chaplin

Almost

“Everyone has flaws – some are magnanimous, defining the person, while others are miniscule, not visible to the untrained eye. It is the latter, with barely visible flaws who are perceived as ‘perfect’. And when even a tiny blotch appears on this pure veil of perfection, people feel deceived, not understanding, not knowing that a human can never be perfect. All one can ever be, if even that, is almost perfect.”

Fragrance of Memories

“When a moment seeps into your mind and imprints itself as a fond memory in your heart, it’s not just the site you remember, but also the feel of it. Every sense in our body comes alive at such a moment, every detail of it intricately filled.”

*

It’s strange how a particular scent can trigger a memory. I’ve been transported back in time quite often by just taking a whiff of a fragrance familiar to me.

Whenever my nose catches the aroma of anything that smells similar to sarson ka tel (mustard oil), I am reminded of my dadi. She oils her hair with mustard oil every morning, and the fragrance is so warm and comforting.

The fragrance of wet earth, or of rain, cues my memory to Jodhpur, my nana – nani’s home. Though it rains a lot (a lot) where I live, and it doesn’t really make sense to associate something as common as rain with a particular memory, I still get reminded of that one day in Jodhpur when it had rained so very heavily. The wind was howling and we had closed all the doors and windows, preventing the wild wind from breaking anything in the house. And it rained, it rained cats and dogs and tigers and elephants. When the rain finally stopped and the calm settled in, allowing us to open the windows, the cool and serene wind carried in the most soothing aroma. And the next day when it rained again, instead of just sitting in the house, my brother and I went out to play in the rain. Since then, having fun in the rain has been my most favourite thing ever.

These scents wrap a comforting blanket around me, make me feel at home even when I am not. They dip me in the tranquillity that nostalgia usually carries, bringing a smile on my face.

Glued, Taped and Sewn Together

I watched as the woman he loved walked away from him,

and I heard his heart break.

I had known all along that he loved her with all of his heart,

but never thought that it had filled up his heart to the brim.

As his love walked away without a single glance back,

the cracking, shattering sound seemed like a haunting music playing to her retreat.

That haunting music resonated through me,

chipping my heart a little,

a few of the cracks finally giving in.

But I had to get out of my reverie,

I couldn’t let the pieces of his heart just be.

I had to get them all together before they got lost,

before a treacherous gust of wind blew them away forever,

never to be found.

So, I gathered them all,

the tiny little pieces and the big gigantic ones,

swiping up the parts which had turned to dust.

I tried sewing them together at first,

one piece and then another,

but it came out haphazardly,

the stitches uneven.

So then I settled with gluing the pieces together,

and when I ran out of glue, I taped them together.

Tapes of all colours and sizes and patterns adorning it,

the haunting emptiness that she left her with

now overflowing with my love.

The heart I put together was a bit misshapen,

a bit crooked and battered.

The cracks were still visible,

and it looked as if the slightest wind would disintegrate it.

But it was beating and pumping 

and it was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen.

 

Photo taken from pinterest