Motherly Instinct

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Bruises on knee, thighs, and feet were covered with jeans. I took sweatshirt out from bag and wore it to cover bruises on arms. Then I called my brother out of the home, told him to inspect bike to ensure there were no leaks. He affirmed there were none. The scratches on leg guard, mud guard, and silencer were not much visible. I asked him to not tell mother anything. He agreed. As we entered home, she asked me why I was late from work. I gave an excuse of work overload as I passed without looking at her and went directly into bedroom. I needed to change as soon as possible. The jeans had blood stains and torn little at right knee.

As I was about to take the sweatshirt off, she commanded me to get back in the living room immediately. I pulled down the half pulled up part, went into the living room, and stood in front of her. She was sitting on a sofa with TV remote in her hand. I put left leg forward, turned my body sideways from right, and put right leg behind left.

“What’s wrong?” she said.

I noticed my brother, who was standing at the door, shaking his head with a sympathetic smile.

“Nothing,” I said to mother.

“Nothing?” she repeated.

Then she shot a hard look at me. I stood expressionless. But the mother is the mother. You blink and she knows what it means. She stepped toward me and peeped at my right leg.

And what followed after that was what I had feared and been trying to avoid. The outburst. Before even knowing what happened to me, she just lashed out at me. How careless, reckless I have become. How I do not care about what would have happened to her if things would have been worse, and what not. All the attempts to convince her I was alright went in vain. I just walked out into bedroom. But the outburst didn’t stop.

When she vented out everything, she came in bedroom and checked on bruises.

Later that night, she prepared a lotion of turmeric and ghee. Then she applied it on bruises. I even asked her to let me do it. Her reaction, no, let me do it, you’ve done more than enough. When she finished, she asked me to be cautious while driving. I promised.

The crazy fact is, at the end of the day, the whole world may change, but a motherly instinct will always be sharp as ever.

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She Gets Into My Head

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She gets into my head.
Whatever she does,
Whatever she feels,
Whatever she says,
Whatever her reactions are,
Whatever she is.

She gets into my head.
When she’s around,
I get distracted.
My attention is toward her.
I may do something else,
But think only about her.

She gets into my head.
Every small detail of her,
Significant or insignificant,
Likes and dislikes,
Everything matters to me,
I admire everything.

She gets into my head.
Even when she’s not around,
I recall our interactions,
Funny, deep, and emotional ones.
And feel good about it.
Like finding a reason to be distracted.

The crazy fact,
She gets into my head.
And she is travelling from there,
Through the road of feelings.
And I never knew,
When she got into my heart.

You’re There For me, All The Time..

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‘Please don’t say anything, just… Walk along.’

‘You’re saying, we should walk on this beach quietly? See this beautiful tint the sun had spread upon the sky while going down, feel this cool wind fondling our hair, and this touch of soft sand sending goosebumps into our bodies through our bare feet. And above all, we are holding each other’s hand. How romantic is this! And you want me walk quietly?’

‘Yes, you’re right. Everything is romantic. I’m asking you to walk along quietly because… Because I want to feel someone is there for me all the time. Someone is there no matter what is happening to me, good or bad, how I am, happy or sad, healthy or sick, how I look, handsome or ugly, who I am, mature or childish, sensible or irrational, successful or failure, I don’t know. I just want you to be there. I want to feel this when I am holding​ your hand and you’re saying nothing. But assuring me with the touch of your hand that you are and will always be there for me. The crazy fact is, I just want to feel that emotion.. You are there… For me, all the time.’

बस छीन ना लेना हमसे हक़….

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होश हमारे उड़ाकर, क्यों मदहोश हे हम, पूछ रहे हो आप,
घने अँधेरे में खूबसूरतकी नुमाइश करने वाले, उस चाँद से भी खूबसूरत हो आप।

धुंधले लगने लगे हे मंजर, जिसे हम खूबसूरत कहा करते थे,
धोका दे रही थी हमारी नजर हमे, जिन पर हम नाज किया करते थे।

नजरोसे भी भूल हो जाती हे कई बार, खूबसूरती को परखनेमे,
और अल्फाज भी कम पड जाते हे, किसीकी तारीफ़ करनेकी आजमाइशमे।

अंजाम भुगतने के लिए तैयार हे हम, खूबसूरतीकी परिभाषा करने में जल्दबाज़ी करनेका,
बस छीन ना लेना हमसे हक़…. आपके इश्क में फना हो जानेका।


(Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Materialistic World

“Hey, how are you?” Sukriti greeted Nakul with an utmost affection.
“I’m good,” replied he in a usual tone as he got off his bike in the college parking. While locking his helmet, he asked about her and checked whether he handle-locked his 100cc bike. Her smile glistened as he looked at her.
She was content as he asked about her well-being. But she replied adorably, “I’m good too.”
Sukriti admired him for his simplicity, sincerity, and integrity. She was in love with him, but never told him. An introvert nature, feeling of not being good-enough, and average looks resulted in a low esteem in her. Though she was eloquent and articulate about how she feels, but when it came to Nakul, it was different. The admiration and confrontation to genuine feelings prevented her from expressing love for him. Nakul was so conservative, quiet, and emotional. Whenever he complimented her, she expressed her gratitude through blushing only.
“Look who is looking ravishing today?” Nakul said as he stepped outside the parking lane and noticed her black kurta and red leggings. An embroidered border on Chinese collar and plain black color dispered all over kurta magnified her beauty.
She blushed, but to hide her genuine feelings, she replied noticing his white shirt, “Guess how many girls will have a crush on the dude in white?”
“Stop flattering me. A ‘thank you’ would have been enough.”
Nakul was aware of her admiration, but he avoided having that uncomfortable conversation about her feelings for him. He was in love with Parul. A beautiful, witty, and charming Parul always emphasized on the fact that she has a taste. Knowing Parul’s way of thinking and her entire demeanor, he knew she was out of his league. But he was ready to love her with every bit of his heart. She never showed any love interest in Nakul. Every day, he thought of different ways to impress Parul with his witty talks, his very few funny experiences, and helping her in every way possible. One thing he knew he will never be able to do is lure her with cool gadgets, bike, and all the materialistic things which she defined as her taste. Nakul, being a simple guy without a smartphone, or cool looks, and having a bike with good fuel economy only dreamed for a long ride with Parul on his bike. He lived in a hope that his love will change her. But till now, all his attempts to form an emotional bonding were in vain.
As they reached cafeteria, all of their friends were already there including Parul. They greeted everyone. Their friends showered compliments over Sukriti, while Nakul was interested in Parul’s reaction on his shirt. She didn’t seem to notice. She greeted him and got busy in her phone. Though he was disappointed, he behaved normally. The disappointment in his eyes was evident to Sukriti. As they finished breakfast and usual chatting, they moved toward classes. Nakul was walking alone, behind everyone else to prevent his feelings from bursting if he gets into a conversation with anyone. He didn’t tell anyone about his crush. As Sukriti noticed him walking alone and his pitiful face, she approached him.
“Hey, what happened?” asked she.
“Nothing,” said he.
“I know you’re pretending that you are normal and also trying to avoid expression of your honest feelings. So why don’t you spit out what really is the matter and we’ll find what we can do about it?”
“If you could figure that out, then I guess you also figured out that I have a crush on Parul. And I don’t know how to impress her. She is way out of my league.”
“Yes, you’re right. I know. But I’m not able to figure out why do you need to impress her? Just be who you are. No need to change yourself in trying to be good enough for her.”
“You are not getting my point. She won’t date a guy like me.”
“No, you are not getting my point. You don’t have to make you feel inferior because a girl has high materialistic expectations for her boyfriend. You don’t have to try to fit into her expectations.”
“Yeah, I hate to admit this. The world respects people with high materialistic belongings. But she is the one who does that. So the only way to impress her is to show that I can get to that level.”
“Really? I think you are also one of them who respect materialistic belongings. You were not, but you are becoming one of them with thoughts like this.”
“I know. But what can I do now? I’m not about to get it out my head. I’ve taken a step in the direction I’m not able to get back.”
“You will. Because this isn’t love. It’s infatuation. It comes and goes.”
“How do you know?”
“Because I know what love is. And you’ll know when you will be in love.”
“I think I’m in love.”
“No, you’re not. You won’t need to change yourself when you are in love. You accept your love as the way they are and also yourself as the way you are. This materialism doesn’t matter.”
“Yes, it does.”
“If you think it does, then you are devaluing yourself. You are overlooking the fact that you are special and you are disguising your true self in chasing oasis of materialism. You are overlooking the fact that you swum for eight straight hours in Bay of Bengal. You are national swimming champion. You have endurance of a marathon runner, and above all, you have a kind heart. You are enough, you don’t have to focus on showing off you are capable enough. You should be proud of it.”
“Ohh, I could never think of this. I never looked at myself in this way. Thanks for showing me this. How stupid I was to compromise who I am.”
“It’s fine. You don’t have to go hard on yourself.”
“Yes, you are right. But I want to know, how do you know what the love is?”
“Just the way I know we have reached the class.”
“This is not done.”
“We’re done here. Time for studies.”
“But you won’t escape from this after the class.”
“We’ll see that.”
And they entered the class.
The crazy fact is, an endeavor to fulfill the materialistic expectations set by the world sinks the true value of a person.

Mine Is Also Broken

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He stopped on his way to home from office as he saw her outside his office building. She could see a disappointing expression on his face, but pretended that everything was fine between them. He continues walking; neglecting her with his face indicating a rift that cannot be fixed.
“Is that how you treat your acquaintances? Don’t they teach you manners in here?” said she, playfully. He stopped.
“Is that how you break someone’s heart?” said he, without looking at her. Sumit was an IT professional, in his mid twenties, and chose to walk 10 kilometers every day from office to home as a punishment after heartbreak.
“How about, hi Ayushi, how are you? And then we can talk about that?” said she, a cheerful, vivacious, and articulate girl. They were in a relationship for eight years. This was the first they were meeting after the marriage of Ayushi.
“You broke my heart and there is nothing else to talk about. Then why are you here?”
“I’m here to talk to you to make you realize that just because I broke your heart doesn’t mean mine is not broken.”

***

They strolled up to a kilometer. Sumit was still hesitant to talk, while Ayushi was trying to cheer him up to talk in an attempt to make him forgive her.
“Let’s be adults now and talk about what happened and how it happened, so you will stop giving yourself this senseless punishment,” said she.
“I don’t know why people think this is senseless, like they did all the meaningful things in their lives,” replied he. The sarcasm hurt her. But she knew there was a lot more coming on her way.
“Let me tell you something. I take full responsibility of what happened. But please listen to me. I’m asking you to be a guy who always understood me in a way no one else did.”
“Why? Are you the same caring girl who always cared about my feelings? And taking full responsibility after what happened, doesn’t change anything.”
“But opening about how you feel does.”
“Let’s do that. I’m ready to open up and tell you how I feel.”
He paused for a moment. Ayushi was excited to hear what he had to say.
He said, “I feel you are wearing nice shoes. But looking at those, I don’t think you can walk into it for 10 kilometers, so why don’t you just stop, leave me alone, and get along with your life?”
“Thanks. And how about you getting into those shoes? Forget about walking next 10 kilometers, you will get an idea of how I have walked till now.”
He halted, gazed at her, and said, “Okay, I’m listening.”
***

She told her about the emotional roller coaster ride she went through and not involving him in the process because of her father’s threats. Acquainted with her father’s capabilities, she knew her father didn’t make any empty threats. She told Sumit that she took the decision to go against her wishes only to protect him. He didn’t buy it. But he also forgot that he was also responsible equally for not coming forward. Though Ayushi didn’t allow him to confront her father, he had to take a chance. After all, she was his life. But he was into the periphery of blaming her that he could not see a mirror. And she was not aware of any mirror because the lack of confrontation was out of integrity of their relationship.
***

“You told me your side of story. Now, let me tell you, I’m not mad at you anymore. Whatever happened was not entirely your fault. I’m equally responsible for it. I should have confronted your father. I know your father and I also know why were you stopping me. It would have been my privilege to die for you. I should’ve died once, because it’s better than dying every day,” admitted Sumit. Tears dripped down from Ayushi’s eyes.
“Don’t say that,” said Ayushi, trying to take blame on herself.
“Ayushi, wake up,” aroused her husband. “I’m sorry. Last night, I was way off the line. I shouldn’t have said that. I’m ready to apologize and I’ll make up for that. How about shopping and then lunch at your favorite place?”
It took a moment to figure out that it was a dream and yet Sumit had not forgiven her.
“I know it hurt you so much that you can’t stop thinking about it in your sleep. I know I’ve hurt you. Please forgive me,” said her husband.
“It’s fine,” said Ayushi. Her husband hugged and thanked her. Her mother-in-law called them for breakfast from kitchen.
After two years of marriage, she was still seeking forgiveness from Sumit. The crazy fact is, she had to go through another day in which she had to choose what she had with them over she might have had with Sumit.


(Image courtesy of smarnad at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

I’m Talking Through My Heart

She’s so angry at me,
I irritate her a lot,
With my unreasonable talks,
She complains.
But why can’t she understand?
All I want is, her attention.
Actually, she’s being unreasonable.
The crazy fact is,
I’m talking through my heart,
And she’s listening through her mind.

The Dusk of Desire

The sun lazily crept down the horizon as they held each other’s hand enjoying the view in front. The fog leapt hills adjoining the dam and greenery adorned the hill. Seated on a high wall beside the dam, their eyes twinkled as they watched the water flow calmly; the soothing effect reached deep into their minds. A gentle breeze blew every now and then, sending slight shivers through their veins. The surrounding greenery soaked into their sub-conscience, they looked into each other’s eyes. She gave him an affectionate smile. He held her closer, sliding his hand comfortably over her shoulder. They turned back their gazes to experience the magnificent beauty of the scenery that lay ahead. Immersed deep into the profoundness of the moment, they hardly realized that this would be another priced addition to their treasure of memories.

It was in that moment when they were dissociated from the rest of the world. Their cellphones stashed aside, it was their eyes which did the capturing – slowly acknowledging each other’s presence and the surreal atmosphere around.

‘This is too beautiful to be real!’ she remarked.
‘Yes. And so are you,’ he nudged.
‘But I am here. With you, right now!’
She edged closer.
‘Don’t act all surprised. I know you think you are the most beautiful in the world.’
‘Yeah… That’s right!’ She shrugged.
‘And you have no idea how ‘right’ it is!’
He smiled.
‘Let’s do it now,’ she said.

They propped against each other and stood up against the blowing wind. Both looked down at the flowing water once again – towards the blinding white froth that would act as the end-curtain to their epic stories.


This post was written in association with my friend, writer, and a nyctophile, Anamika Kumari.

It’s Good to See You

‘We are done with the interview. Do you want to ask me anything?’ asked Ms. Shivangi, an interviewer with a pretty smile.

I applied for a job of creative writer at a leading viral content company. I took a deep breath and asked the question I wanted to ask so ardently, ‘Tell me something about yourself.’

She smiled amusingly and replied, ‘I am working as a senior editor for this firm from last six months. I graduated from New York University in MFA and returned to India. This is my first job after graduation.’

I nodded.

‘Anything else you want to know?’

‘No.’

‘Then we are done here. Thanks for coming, we will get back to you shortly.’

I expressed gratitude, stood up from chair, and stared blindly at desk.

‘Anything else?’ asked she.

‘Have you not been my interviewer, I would have said something to you what I am about to say now.’

She looked intently at me.

I continued, ‘I like your smile. It is the most beautiful smile I’ve ever seen. And I couldn’t help but notice, you don’t have a ring on your finger. So I just want to say, I love you, will you marry me?’

She frowned and said, ‘Yes.’

‘You just said yes?’ I asked, exalted.

‘Yeah, I said yes. Yes, you can leave now. Because, have you not been my interviewee, I would have said something to you what I am about to say now. Your writing is a piece of crap, your interview was waste of my time, and above all, your charm is ridiculous. And I couldn’t help but notice, this is the end of our discussion.’

We both were silent for a moment.

I smiled softly and said, ‘It’s good to see you.’

She appreciated with a brittle smile and a blink. A guilt radiated through her eyes.

The crazy fact, she was my ex-girlfriend who left me five years ago for NYU.

Broken Strings of Guitar

“Do they conduct guitar classes in here?” asked Pratiksha as Kaushal stepped out of a multi-facility hall.

“I don’t know that,” replied Kaushal. “But I know one thing, no guitarist can compose a tune as beautiful as you.”

She laughed. And he lost himself in her uninhibited laughter, just like he did when he used to stare her furtively in college and she laughed like there was no tomorrow.

“No, you’re wrong,” said she as she regained her gasp. “I know two guitarists who composed a tune as beautiful as me.”

“Ohh! You are right,” exclaimed he. “Your parents.”

“Yes.”

Both of them remained quiet for few moments, looked around nervously to avoid eye contact, and pretended everything was normal.

Finally, Pratiksha broke that awkward silence, “It’s good to see you, Kaushal. You are doing great. You have become a guitar teacher and a member of a band, which plays at Hard Rock Café every Tuesday.”

“What are you doing here?” retorted he.

“Do you mean, how are you? Good to see you too.”

He was quiet and staring at the ring in her finger. She left him without a goodbye after being in a relationship for six years.

“I want to talk to you,” said she.

“There is nothing to talk about,” said he, indifferently.

“Yes, there is.”

“No, there isn’t.”

“You don’t know what is happening to that tune now? And what that tune is going through?”

“I know one thing. Those two guitarists composed a beautiful tune and then broke the strings. The only difference was; those were the strings of two hearts. Those strings always played a melodious tunes of love. But social stigmas found those tunes discordant, so they broke it and thought one of those strings will compose a tune harmoniously with an unknown strings. And you followed them.”

“That’s not the whole symphony.”

“I don’t want to strike those cords now. I realized that some tunes, no matter how harmonious they sound, were not meant to be played together.”

“There is a reason why they were not forced to play together. And I’m here to tell that.”

“Then you have to keep that reason to yourself. Because I’m not mad at you for what you have done. You don’t have to clarify yourself. I’ve moved on. I also realized that destiny is a conductor in the orchestra and we are just musicians playing on its directions.”