Tag Archives: life

A frivolous demise

The frivolity of death has always bewildered me.

Sometimes I feel close to it. I sense it around me, slowly inching forwards. I hear it inside my own beating heart and in the hopes and dreams of the people I love. Some nights when I can’t sleep, I can see it hovering, lingering, lurking in the shadows that dance on the walls, whispering with the moonlight. I dive inside a blanket, shut my eyes tightly and plug my fingers in my ears but now there is a loud ringing in my ears, the shadows on the wall are dancing on the canvas of my mind and death is suddenly a spiraling loop of the faces of my loved ones, creeping closer every day.

Sometimes I see it in the vastness of the ocean, an endless, bottomless life form that breathes and recedes, exhales and flows and engulfs our dead. The living seem as dead as the dying, and it pains to see precious lives die a little more with each nightfall.

And yet I’ve known a few moments, when life pushes me to the brink, right at the edge, the closest I could get to the stairway to heaven, and I do not even think about death; I simply live. I know it when I make heady, passionate love. I feel it in the thin air at the top of the mountain. I welcome it when I take a hit, smoke a joint, piss in the wind, howl at the moon, succumb to the highs and soar among the clouds. I can sense life in the trickles of water that drip down my skin after a dive. I can taste it in my nostalgia as I summon memories of sunshine, laughter and friendship.

It mesmerizes me, amazes me and drowns me. I am befuddled, still, at the transience of life. After all our struggles, ups and downs, hits and misses, what remains is the absurd frivolity of life and death.

Another lie

He lies.

He speaks with fantastic conviction, spilling half-truths and twisted facts with every word. He’s mastered the art; he keeps a straight face and looks directly into your eyes. His hands do not tremble when he looks away, and his lips do not press together to hide his guilt.

You’ve known for weeks now. He comes home sweaty and tired after work and immediately hops into the shower. Once you thought you saw a bite mark on his neck; another time you leaned in to kiss him and detected the unmistakable scent of another woman on his mouth. You recoiled from him then. You began to watch him closely for signs of a nervous collapse, but he seemed to have it together.

He makes no mistakes; no phone calls, messages, no photos. All data erased from memory. But you know it, you have felt it. There were no signs, but you have noticed the occasional hushed phone call to a ‘colleague’, meeting ‘college friends’ on Sunday afternoons. He never once slipped, but you saw and understood the ache in his bones after fucking her, or the smell of her pussy on his lips. He sleeps soundly at night, snoring loudly the moment he hits the bed. And you lie awake in the dark, wondering what your life has come to.

So why haven’t you confronted him yet? Perhaps you aren’t really sure and there’s a possibility that he isn’t cheating? Or perhaps you are scared to find out that he is; it opens doors to darker and disturbing questions – Who did he fuck? Did he love her? Are you not good enough for him? You close your eyes and push the thoughts out of your head, too painful to deal with at the moment. You find yourself still hoping for all this to go away, like a bad dream that never happened.

He wakes you up one day with kisses and caresses. He wishes you good morning, plays with your hair, smiling the way he used to. You smile back at him sleepily, and suddenly you’ve gone two years back in time; when you were young and stupid and madly in love. His lips graze your earlobe and whisper words of love. And just like that, you fall for his lies yet again.


Demons

Your past is carefully locked up, demons and all. It makes you feel stronger in the now, knowing there’s an iron door between your two worlds. You have never once opened that door, though the demons are rearing to have a go. You could never face them yourself, because you were never strong enough for that kind of thing.

Such doors are never meant to be opened alone. That world comes into discourse only when you can rely on the strength of someone else, the one who coaxes you to face your demons.

I open that door

I see it; I see those red eyes now

Staring intently, sensing my fear

I tremble on the doorstep

You give me a slight push

And I cross the threshold

 

They don’t attack all at once

(Yes, ‘they’ are more than one)

They wait for me to choose my opponent

I start with the oldest, the weakest

And as my triumph slays fear,

You look jubilant, from the corner…

 

I move on to the others

The ghosts & the vicious ones

I raise my sword and shield,

But it is stronger, it hits back

I look to you for help

And see you cowering, terrified

 

I stare in shock then comprehend,

My demons scare you more!

They have unified, ready to pounce

I realize I am alone in this fight

A moment of panic, a scream

I need to get out, “get out now!”

 

But you have still not moved

As the monsters strike, I flee;

My fingers slam the door shut

Divided again, my two worlds

But now you’re in there, locked in that room

Locked within my past

Dream is destiny

wakinglife

Last night I had sex with a stranger. I don’t remember who, but it definitely wasn’t you. I don’t remember the details clearly, it was just a dream. Just a dream that ended in a scream. I woke up feeling guilty, that you might think it was cheating. Blurry dream images flash before my eyes in a swirling mix of alcohol and lies. And the dream started fading into the distance, dissolving into the blackness within.

Early morning streaking sunlight; blushing memories of last night. Your lips crushing mine, suddenly demanding; your hands in my hair, roughly commanding; and me surrendering to your urgency, willingly obeying. We tease pleasure and pain’s fine line; but you only find your pleasure in mine. Memories, more real than the rapidly dissolving dream. Memories can be held in the palm of your hand; dreams become lost time, sifting through the hourglass like fine grains of sand.

We can surrender body and mind, a consciousness, a waking life. But dream is destiny, they say; waking or dreaming, life’s in disarray; I wonder what remains at the end of day? Is it memories that come to stay… or haunting dreams that won’t go away?

Dream is destiny

 

Cafe Diaries!

I saw him the moment I walked into the café. He wasn’t hard to miss, as he sat alone at the table in the corner. He sat hunched over a sheaf of papers, a cigarette dangling from his lips. He wore a black leather jacket that fit him smugly. His hair stretched curly and unkempt towards his shoulders, and he grew a rough beard that gave him the overall appearance of a burly biker dude who rode into town only once in 6 months, and that too for a haircut and a shave. There was a cup of coffee on the table before him, and next to it, an ashtray with the stubbed ends of 3 cigarettes, and a music player with earphones plugged in.

As I walked in, he looked up and waved. He rose to give me a small hug, and as we sat back down, I noticed that he had looked a lot leaner, fitter in the pictures. I looked questioningly at the papers before him, and silently he shuffled back the pages and laid the bunch before me. It was Leonard Cohen. ‘You’ve read him?’ he asked me. I told him no, and he gave an inert smile. Before long, we were jumping from poets to authors to music to movies, and spoke of our shared love for Woody Allen movies, and Hank Moody.

Coffee & Cigarettes (2)

In between laughing over tales of drunken bar fights and shady dealings in drugs, he quietly asked me, ‘Tell me one significant event of your life in the past 5 years…’

And I replied, ‘My life began 3 months ago. I guess that is significant enough.’


He stared back at me impassively. His eyes bore into mine, and in his long, measured glance, I willed my eyes to pour out the story to him. Maybe they did, because finally he took a long drag on his cigarette, and his mouth turned up in a slow drawn-out smile. A smile that later left me wondering what it was that he read in my eyes. But in that moment, I knew he understood exactly what I meant.

coffee-conversations

For a long time, we both said nothing. He settled back, and lit another cigarette, with an expression that meant he was done asking the questions, and that it was my turn. His demeanor was so relaxed it made me fidgety. I shifted uncomfortably in my chair and racked my brains to come up with a topic of conversation. There were so many things I wanted to ask him. So many topics to touch upon.

I was getting the sense that he was there, where one day I would hope to be. I tried to imagine a younger version of him, new to the city, all boyish innocence and bursting with optimism. It was difficult to believe that a guy like him would have ever been innocent. And yet I was sure some years back his story had begun similar to mine. I wondered what his story was. Failure? Heartbreak? All great stories begin with a setback.

“I… I want to understand life.” I blurted out, frustrated.

“Have you ever fucked a guy?”

I pretended not to be shocked at his bluntness. He smirked and said, “Until you have, you will not have known life.” As simple as that.

Strangers

The good thing about strangers is that they don’t know you. With them, you can be anyone you want. Mix, match and throw on a borrowed personality, see how it works out. Go get wasted with a stranger.

There’s a time when you feel a layer of disconnect and discontent settling around you. Try as you might, you can’t seem to get through, can’t seem to convey what you mean. The sea of familiar faces feel like strangers. They don’t know you and never will.

We spend hours mulling over some person’s character, trying to read between the lines. We spend an entire lifetime searching, not knowing what we seek, not understanding, not recognizing who we really are. We’re all lost within the eternal quest to know ourselves, lost in the search for love and happiness. We don’t know exactly who we are and there’s always a part of us that remains unknown, unexplored.

We’re scared to put our trust in strangers when reality is that we’re strangers to ourselves.

Invisible strings

She was no stranger to the pangs of love, and her body was attuned to the torments of passion and lust. But this was neither love nor lust. And yet it was a little of both.

It wasn’t love that made butterflies scatter deep inside her stomach, or filled her ears with violins playing hauntingly beautiful music while he kissed her. He wasn’t the warm fuzzy feeling of being wrapped within a blanket when it’s cold outside, only to realise too late that one can’t live inside a blanket forever; just until it’s warm again.

It wasn’t even lust, making her skin long for his touch and his touch arousing that fire within. His touch was gentle and questioning, and her understanding smile sheltered his inexperience and guided him into the depths and folds of her womanhood.

Long after he was gone, she’d lie in her bed thinking of him, inhaling his scent, and trying to relive their moments. She would think of the way he kissed her, how he’d let her sleep with her head on his chest, and how he held her close. She decided that this is how she’d remember him always.

She knew very well that need to feel close to someone, and she knew he needed it too. She was aware that in his heart there was place for only one, and she was not the one for him. She had never known what it was she wanted in life, but she knew this little thing wasn’t going to last. So she would hold on to it for as long as she could.

It wasn’t love, it wasn’t lust. She couldn’t define what it was, but it seemed a little of both. Or a lot like it.