The World is Bitter for a Bride-To-Be

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It started three years ago. The search for groom. Searching online, telling relatives, meeting some of the guys, Kundali matching, question-answer sessions, and everything related to arrange marriage. When I showed green signal to get married, I was treated like a princess who is now a bride-to-be.

But it has been three years now. One thing that has not been changed is my marital status. I’m still unmarried. But there is one thing that has changed. The attitude of my parents toward me.

They have become so superstitious. Wear a ring with a shining aqua blue colored stone to get married soon, use some yellow colored powder while bathing, and keep a fast on Thursdays, and what not. Then consulting a marriage counselor, spending money unnecessarily on their already known & implemented tips, and many unnecessary ideas they ask to implement.

One of their ideas was a brand new photo shoot. My mother brought two new dresses, asked to wear both turn by turn, and took photos in every possible pose. While giving poses, they suggested nearly 100 postures and prompted every single change their mind can think of. Then they checked out their clicks and were unsatisfied. So, they took me to a professional photographer. While going at the studio, I felt like I am a product in the market which will be cleaned, well-furnished, polished, and kept on the shelf in the most presentable way. During the photo shoot, I could see my eyes were heavy and teary. Like those eyeballs will pop out at any moment. Still, they suggested and prompted poses and postures. And photo shoot was carried out.

Everything has changed. My parents have become desperate and always hover over me to find a groom and get married. I don’t feel like staying at home because I feel miserable. I avoid talking to them and talk only when they ask me something. The world seems bitter now. Because, the precious princess has turned into a burdensome bride-to-be. Maybe the world is not bitter, but my parents are. And they are world to me, no matter how they treat me. So yes, the world is bitter. Bitter for a bride-to-be.

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गुमसुमसा रहने लगा हूँ

​इस रातकी खामोशीमें गूंज रही बेबसीको सुन रहा हूँ मैं,
इस चाँदके सितारोंसे बने गुमनाम रिश्तेका नाम ढूंढ रहा हूँ मैं।

इस बहती हवामें सिमटी हुई तनहाईया महसूस कर रहा हूँ मैं,
इस जलते दीयेकी लौमें छुपी हुई बेचैनी बुझानेकी कोशिश रहा हूँ मैं।

हुआ है क्या मुझे, जो इतना गुमसुमसा रहने लगा हूँ,
इस जिन्दगीकी भागदौडमे तेजी से बीते हुए लम्होको फिरसे जीनेकी मांग करने लगा हूँ।

Unknown Corners Of Someone’s Heart

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‘I can’t give up on her. I just can’t.’

‘Why not?’

‘Because she opened up some corners of her heart to me that she didn’t even know existed. And I didn’t even know if I was worthy of such privilege. Yet, she did open up.’

‘How could she not know? It was her heart after all.’

‘Because her heart was wounded. She never tried to explore, never tried to heal. She just left it the way it was after the war.’

‘Did she win the war?’

‘No, she lost.’

‘If she found and opened up those corners, you never know, they might heal those wounds. She might be on the path of recovery.’

‘Maybe. And if they are, it would be great. The best thing in the world.’

‘Sounds like, you must be someone special as she chose you to open up to.’

‘No, I was an ordinary guy. Mr. Nobody. But she made me special by opening up to me. The crazy fact, what a privilege it is to explore the unknown corners of someone’s heart!’

Her Womb Promised Her

 

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Her father forced her to marry against her wishes. Her boyfriend promised he would come to ask for her hand, but never showed up. Her husband loved her, but she couldn’t love him back. Though she never backed off from vows she made to him during wedding. But still, she couldn’t love him the way she could.

All important men in her life contributed to her misery. She couldn’t get over attachments she had to them. Her heart always bled for each one of them.

But when she saw those gleaming eyes radiating innocence, those tiny fingers holding her finger, that cheerful smile showing two front teeth, and those chubby pink chicks, she knew, she had found a man who is rightfully hers. No power in the world can deprive her of that little marvel.

When she looked into his eyes and he looked into hers, she thought all the misery she endured and still endures is worthwhile. That little creature became the center of her life. The only wonder of the world. He was everything she thinks he was. The one man on whom she can bestow all the love she reserved in the pieces of her broken heart. The one man who will never make her feel miserable about herself. The crazy fact, her womb promised her that, each day, for nine months.

आसूओमें शरीक ना हुए तो बात क्या

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शिकायत हमे उस मुकद्दरसे नहीं,
जो हमसे उन्हें जुदा कर गया,
शिकायत हमे उस लम्हे से है,
जो आखरी अलविदे के वक़्त थम नहीं गया |

वो मुस्कुराहटे, वो तकरारे, वो मीठी बाते,
वो यादे, दर्द देती हे जर्रे जर्रे से,
बिछडनेसे कुछ अंश निकल गया हमारे अंदरसे,
तो आजकल हम रहते है सहमे सहमे से |

आसू ना बहे, पागल ना हुए,
चंद दिनों का सफ़र सदियो की तरह ना लगे तो बात क्या,
और उन आसूओमें सदियों का सफ़र सिमट कर,
हम उसमें शरीक ना हुए तो बात क्या |

Because You Are… Irreplaceable

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It doesn’t matter how far you go,
you are always going to be,
In my mind, in my heart, and in my soul.
Because you are… Irreplaceable.

I think, no, I know, for sure,
you have been imbibed in my soul.
Not For a day or a year, but forever.
Because you are… Irreplaceable.

That’s why, wherever you go,
I always find you around me.
The same girl, the same innocence.
Because you are… Irreplaceable.

I have imaginary conversations with you,
I replay our conversations,
And I just smile at myself.
Because you are… Irreplaceable.

Whenever I feel like sharing something,
Something deep, something special with someone,
I think of you, and only you,
Because you are… Irreplaceable.

But you are not there,
So I keep everything inside,
And it stays there forever,
Because you are… Irreplaceable.

The crazy fact,
I don’t even share special moments,
Because the special person is gone,
I try to think of someone else, but I can’t.
Because you are… Irreplaceable.

Taken For Granted, Once Again

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I waited. Counting each second, feeling each breath, listening every sound, and watching every thought. The stomach twisting with hunger, tears dripping with memories, and body shrinking with cold. The hope and anticipation running through every vein. Every heartbeat telling me, she will come. We were meeting after a decade. All the chaos, all the anxiety, all the turbulence, and all the thoughts, about just one thing. When will she come?

But she must had been there. An hour passed since the time we decided to meet. How could not she come on time? Wasn’t she excited to see me?

The impatience growing inside me, those memories replaying in my head, and the recollection of suffering I endured were making me restless. I thought she must have been stuck somewhere. So I started the bike and traced along the path from where she was supposed to come. My eyes craved for a glance of her and she kept them craving.

I returned to the place. I sat there for one more hour. At last, I realized, I accepted, she is not coming. I swirled the chocolate on the road, threw the gift in dustbin, and rushed to restroom to wipe away tears. I looked into the mirror. I could literally tell the difference between my tears and water splashed on my face. I had to wash four to five times. They were tears of unfairness. First, I had to endure the suffering of separation. And now, I had to endure the emptiness. Still, tears didn’t stop. How could they? The crazy fact is, I had been taken for granted. Once again.

In One Sided Love

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‘Where are you going?’

‘Why do you want to know?’

‘Just tell me.’

‘I’m not telling you. Why should I?’

‘Why not? Tell me.’

‘You know, you insisting me tells me a lot about what you feel about me.’

‘Is it? Tell me then.’

‘Yeah, I will tell you. Else you’ll insist on that too.’

‘Cut the crap and tell me.’

‘You’re into me. You are insecure if I’m going to meet someone else. The way you look at me, the kind of names you have given me, and you listen to all my crap. Now, you behave like you have gained rights to know everything about me. And if I hide something from you, you can’t take it. You got to know. You become restless and restlessness leads to desperation to know what I’m hiding.’

‘Yes, that’s true.’

‘But I’m not getting one thing. If you don’t want me to hide something from you, why did you hide this from me?’

‘Because that’s what happens in one sided love. You can’t open up. I have seen that. You don’t look at me the way I look at you, you don’t give me names, and what’s happening with me matters very less to you. I know, you don’t feel the same way I feel about you. And that’s perfectly alright. I’m fortunate that you brought it up. Else I don’t know if I would have told you what I feel about you. And I couldn’t think of any better way to make this happen. The crazy fact, what a privilege it is to be in love with such person who doesn’t love you back, but make things happen for you in the most unexpected yet beautiful ways!’

बड़े अरसे के बाद मिले वो

वो हमे बड़े अरसे के बाद मिले। एक दूसरे के सामने आते ही कुछ देर के लिए ना वो कुछ बोल पाए, ना हम।

हमारे बीचकी उस खामोशीको खत्म करते हुए हमने कहा –

इतनी सारी है बातें, कितने सारे है किस्से, कहासे शुरु करे कहा खत्म करे, समझ नही आता,
बिताए है इतने सारे हसीन लम्हें आपके साथ, कोनसे दोहराए कोनसे छोड़ दे, समझ नही आता।

तो उन्होंने कहा –

कुछ ना कहिए, कुछ ना दोहराइए, बस चुप बैठे रहिए।

तो हमने जवाब दिया –

किसीको चुप करानेसे या चुप बैठेनेसे, आँखोंमे आनेवाले आँसुओ को रोका नही जाता,
साथ बिताए हुए लम्होंको नजरअंदाज करके… यादोंको मिटाया नही जाता।

Who Left That Window Ajar

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I don’t know who left that window ajar. I stepped into his room to gather his clothes, but my gaze diverted toward the rays of sunlight infiltrating into the room. I opened the window and peered into the sky. A tint of yellow and blue spread across it. A cool breeze of the evening caressed my body. A kid is chasing another kid on the street ecstatically​, both of them filled with delight.

Everything is supposed to make me feel blithesome. No, it failed. When this heavy heart has to drift an unfathomable sorrow for the rest of the life and all attempts to run toward gayety go in vain, the turbulent riot inside becomes unstoppable, sometimes unbearable. Who can obliterate his fond, bitter memories? I remember my tumultuous wail of pain howling inside these four walls a year ago on the same day. 

My life ceased at that moment when I realized the blood won’t circulate anymore into his veins, he won’t respond to my call, he won’t see anything, and his heart won’t beat anymore. He was 27. That appealing call from a stranger that night gave me ineffable sensations​. I rushed to the hospital and doctor conveyed that the fate deprived me of the best person in the world.

Everyone reassured that my life isn’t over. I can’t change what happened, but I must not lose hope. I think he wants the same. That’s why he left this window ajar. So he could say hi to me through this breeze and instill a ray of hope through these rays entering through the slit. These clothes absorbed all the love he had and now they are permeating it in the air I am breathing into. I can try to convince myself all I want. The crazy fact is, two people demised that day. A son and… a mother.