Oh Stranger


Ae ajnabi,

(Oh stranger!)

Tu bhi kabhi, awaz de kahin se..

(Call out to me some time, from somewhere)

Main yahan tukdo mein jee rahi hoon,

(I am living in pieces here)

Tu kahin, tukdo mein jee raha hai.

(You are living in pieces somewhere)

Ae ajnabi

Tu bhi kabhi awaz de kahin se..

(Oh stranger, call out to me some time from somewhere)

Tu toh nahi hai

(You are not here)

Lekin teri muskurahatein hain

(But your smile lingers)

Chehra nahi hai par teri aahatein hain

(Your face isn’t here, but I hear your footfalls)

Tu hai kahan, kahan hai?

(Where are you, where are you?)

Tera nishaan kahan hai?

(Where is your sign?)

Mera jahan kahan hai?

(Where is my world?)

Main adhoori, tu adhoora jee raha hai

(I am incomplete, you’re incomplete, and we live this way)

Ae ajnabi,

Tu bhi kabhi awaz de kahin se.

(Oh stranger, you also call out to me some time, from somewhere..)

Oh Stranger

What Was It That I Truly Lost That Day


What was it that I truly lost that day? I forgot about it a long time ago

As the sun was setting, we slowly lost sight of each other

And we couldn’t go home

Somewhere is my seemingly broken and fragile heart
Covered and hidden, 

Covered and hidden by words under the pretence of being strong

You said that we can’t meet anymore, so we’ll move on, farewell
Even if you aren’t in this world, I will run,

I will keep on running in this world without you

To overcome the pain of the past, some day

Broken fragments of glass, the scent of grassy places, the wounds of summer

Hey, where are you now?

Unnoticed, the perfectly clear water has become dull and muddy
When you realised that, I too had grown up

The water’s surface wobbled; diffusing my reflection

A light is still shining through, shining through

Even you must have changed since that day we waved our hands in farewell

But still I live on, surpassing the many nights I want to cry

What was it that I truly lost that day?

You said that we can’t meet anymore, so we’ll move on, farewell
How should I make the world I’m running to, surpassing the future I once saw

– Naruto Shippuden

What Was It That I Truly Lost That Day

Peace And Pain

People say as time passes, memories fade and their intensity diminishes. But then why am I experiencing quite the opposite? 

With every passing day, I miss you more. As each day adds to the 27th of November 2016, your memories grow stronger and stronger, and harder to shrug aside. And the harder it is to live without you.

Right after the final ‘cut-off’, what followed was anger, and more anger, which survived a couple of hours. And these hours slowly moulded the anger into something similar to grief, pain, anguish. 

What followed a few days later was- peace. A feeling I had long longed for. Peace. No fights, no hurt, no abusing, no accusing, no blade and no blood. And I thought life was better. Despite which, pain still hovered in the background and refused to leave. But I kept my focus adjusted on the peace. 

At that time it was easier to push your thoughts away, to divert my mind, to lure myself with small luxuries of reading, watching funny movies, bombarding my tympanic membanes with happy hip hop music, hanging around with friends, indulging in random acts of kindness, hitting the gym, joining some dance classes, and all those temporary positive-giving-vibes-acitivities you come up with. 

The grief of your loss still hung there in the background, constantly, never budging. But I kind of erected a wall, more like a translucent membranous wall between that world containing grief and my world of fake shallow luxuries. A wall in whose direction my eyes often strayed. 

Maybe that easy phase continued for what seemed like a month, or more, or less, I don’t know. I have not been keeping track of time. And then it began. The cold gelatinous wall slowly started to thaw, and before I knew it, it started giving away, for the force on other side of the wall was much too big to hold for too long. It started propelling little bits of memories in the direction of my ‘peaceful’ world erected of fragile glass, which gradually began to crack. 

I am sitting with a group of friends at the cafeteria, trying to join in for a good laugh, and suddenly I am quiet, I am hit by one of those small fragments that come hurling at me from the other side of the fence. And your face is before my eyes. Those eyes. That voice. And the way you said my name. The last meeting. The goodbye kiss on my forehead at the airport, the sadness in your eyes, the tears in mine. The way you were still gazing at me when I — I shake my head, God I must stop, put on my memory-proof jacket and bring myself back to earth, and join in the shallow laughter. 

                                  * * * 

Three months minus two days from the final-cut-off-day, the peace is long gone. There is no wall anymore. The fake world of fractured glass has fallen apart. Like the world on the opposite side of the wall were a giant black hole, and the small little world of small little luxuries pulled inside the black hole with a vigorous gravitational pull. 

All that remains now is a constant pain, combined with an indolent numbess. 

I think of you every day. Almost every ritual of the day somehow traces a link back to you. I make no efforts to put on my memory-proof jacket anymore. The little luxuries long forgotten. I set my tethers loose. I make no attempts to land myself back on earth. I let myself float. I am swirling in this black hole, whirling deeper and deeper, not knowing where I am headed. And I don’t care. I have closed my eyes. The Black Hole is You . 

Peace And Pain

August 1944

August 1944. 

I am in the walled city of Saint Malo, in the northwestern France. 

The membranes of my ears seem to be giving away. The whole city is roaring. I cannot hear my own voice. The ground I stand transfixed on trembles, as though dreading the outward entity that has attacked it’s peaceful world. Is it an earthquake, is the first thought.

Books are catapulted out of shelves, crockeries smash onto the ground. I feel the magma within has torn the crust apart. Thud. Thud. I smell cement and plaster, concocted with the strong smell of smoke. Lots of it. There is a rain of bits of bricks. Cement and plaster and dust cascade down the air. 

Doors are soaring out of their frames. The glasses on the windows shatter out. 

This is it. Word had it that they were going to drop bombs to drive out the Germans. They have done it.

I must remain calm and think. I need to find my way out. But where? There is smoke everywhere. 

August 1944

My Book Thief 

Do you find yourself attached to your books? Like they weren’t merely a bundle of heavenly scented pages but a part of you? Like each book is associated with a phase in your life because you read it during that time, absorbed it. And nothing can replace it? 
I have a couple of such all time favourite books, which mean more than pages to me. One of them being, ‘The Book Thief’. 

I’m clearly very possessive and protective about my books and I don’t really indulge in lending books (because I know a whole lot of careless asses who never learnt ho to take care of a book). 

So there’s this cousin who requested me to inculcate in him a reading habit. He said he really needed me to do it for him. So I decided on a book which wasn’t TOO thick, which didn’t have those tiny fonts, and was interesting to read and which leaves you thinking about it long after you’ve closed the book. So there it was- The Book Thief ofcourse! 

I lent him my ever so favourite- The Book Thief – A big mistake.

It stayed with him for over a month, and he barely read the first ten pages. And then, he claimed that the book wasn’t being found and that his brother misplaced it. 

Damn ! 

The Book Thief lost ? The thought makes me want to cry. It wasn’t just a book! And losing it would be like losing a part of me. Because yes, my Book Thief is a part of who I am. 

He asks me not to worry. If he doesn’t find it, he will get me a new Book Thief. Shallow. People who aren’t readers will never understand readers. 

I say, I don’t want a new Book Thief. Because it will never be the same as my Book Thief. 

He: No, I will get the same edition. 

God! It isn’t about the same edition. Even if you get me the same book with the same cover page, it would never be the same.

There will be only one Book Thief which I read for the first time. And all those favourite pages were turned many a times after the first reading too. And all those lines I marked, and the corners of the pages I folded.

The first page where I wrote my name and the signature with the date on which I got that book. Can it be the same ? 

A couple of times I flung that book across my room (which I regretted later) with a pile of other books that sat on my bedside table when I was angry and mad because of someone, and the damage done to that book because it hit the floor and furniture so hard. Could it be redone? Although the damage was something I regretted later and would like to undo, but somehow that represented that point in space-time, and that wrinkle that ran over the cover page from having hit the cupboard or whatsoever it hit, could that be re-done the same way?

That book has sat on my bedside table back in the hostel room which is now a distant yet clear memory, and has witnessed the many phases of my life, has sympathised with me when I cried those sleepless nights away, heard my yellings and shoutings and the loud cries, has traveled with me from one city in the south to one in the middle, to another in the north, where I am. 

Can a new book be the same as the old one, just because it has the same cover page and is the same edition ? 

My Book Thief 

Words….

Words are all I have left in me . Words, they make me, and they break me . They fill my heart with immense joy, and burn it with sadness all at the same time . Words, I am made of words… They give me pain, and ease the pain too . Words, my mask and my shield, a spell. I’m hiding behind words . Sometimes I’m standing atop these words , and I can peer over the world, and sometimes I find myself drowning beneath these same words…. Words, they kill me, they torment me, but towards the close of the day, that’s where I find solace . 

Words….

Life?

I am tired of living. This is not living. I am sick of dragging on this meaningless existence . What does it matter to anyone how I am? What I am going through? They think about everyone but me…. Is there even one person in this world who really cares how I feel, what I think? What hurts me and what doesn’t? 

What am I living for? I thought I had atleast two people who would always be there for me no matter what… But gradually they too have turned their backs on me. Those two people who claim to be my parents. Do they care what their daughter feels? When I say I think I will end my life, does it matter to them ? 

What am I living for ? I am sick of being alone…. It’s so lonely. So lonely. The world is a crowded place, yet how empty . 

I can’t have someone I love.. Though he loved me too.. But we couldn’t be together. What kind of a life is that ? And across all this distance, and these lonely miles between us, I still continue to love him and live on the prospect to hear from him some day, combined with the fear of hearing from him again, fear as to what would happen then? 

It’s so lonely . I want more than anything in the world to die . 

I just want to close my eyes forever, never having to open them again . 

Life?

Where Are You Now ?

You’re still the first person I think of when I open my eyes . And the first thing I do every day is open my old email account and check for any email from you…. And it’s been almost three months since there has been an email from you. And I wonder, how are you.. Do you still think of me ? 

You had said I would stay forever in your heart. Am I still there? 

Where are you now ?

Where Are You Now ?