Sunday, July 28, 2013

The Sketch


I sat in the meeting room, glumly looking at each of them in the room, the meeting was not official, it was about a colleagues wedding trip that the whole team was planning to attend. I was not going, I could have stood out of the meeting too but I stayed to watch. One of them, a new joinee asked if I would be bringing the family, before I could reply, someone else said I don’t usually join such events that marked the end of the conversation. Interestingly none of them enquired if I was married or not. At thirty three with receding hair line, I might have looked like a convincing indebted father of two, I didn’t bother to correct them.

By the time I reached home, after my hunting for groceries I was tired. I opened my one bed room home and locked it behind me. A packet of good day biscuit and black tea served as my dinner and before I knew I was sleeping. I woke up in the middle of the night to watch dark lines of rain water seeping into the walls from the creeks above. I watched it with the sound of rain behind me. In the dark lines on the white wall, I was reminded of my sketching days. I was an amateur artist, with no distinctive flair or passion or course money to spend I still remain an amateur. 

But during college days one painting of mine became a sensation. I was suspended from college for that. I remember sitting in my class watching my lecturer write in the black board. She had worn a low cut blouse and had crossed the saree and held it to the other end of her hip. Silently I drew her, and when I did, I did not let the saree be in the way I sketched her back of the neck, the low cut blouse and the slightly wider hip. I did not notice her walk towards me, or let out a gasp, until she reached for the paper in my hand. She tore the paper and crumbled it in her hand and I was suspended.

It took me a long time again to draw, I was no hero, to start again like a rebelling revolutionist. I was a normal person with raw emotions, and  the impact of the incident shook me to an extend that I felt as they expected. I thought, what I did indeed was no art.

After few years, it was that phase of my life looking for a job, and I hunted job viciously like any other young man with a dream of job, a family and eternal bliss. I had long forgotten my interest to sketch, on a sunny day, I wandered into the park and slumped into a bench, weary with fatigue I looked around and my eyes fell on her. She was siting few feet away in a bench before me and as the crimson of the sun descended slowly beneath her, I watched her beautiful neck and slender back. She was reading a book but her body was not slumped it sat straight in front of me.. Taunting me.. I felt an urge to sketch her, a desire I had not felt in a long time, but this time I approached her.

She was a young woman probably in her early twenties. My unshaven and un-kept face, intimidated her and I could feel that in her eyes. Her eyes expressed lot more than needed and I felt that she astutely lets them do that. It took me few fidgeting movements to introduce myself and a few more dragging ones to let her know my intention. As expected she walked away. Once again with a hurt conscience, i decided against pursuing her, instead i went to the park every day to observe, I never approached her I sat in the same bench and drew everything that fell in my eyes in the park.. mostly nature. On the fourth day, she walked over to me, she sat at the corner of the bench and looked at my drawings. I held it to her and she took them and watched one after the other. This time her eyes did not convey appreciation or abhor and I naturally wanted her opinion, but she just looked, next day she accepted my request.

I asked her to sit down on the grass facing away from me, her right hand casually resting on the bench and left touching her long tresses that had come out of the loose bun in her head. Her legs casually left to her side.. and her face a bit turned to the side so that I could draw her eyes, when I did not get the angle I wanted, I walked towards her and tilted her chin a little, and in that moment I felt an intimacy with her but she obeyed like a professional model. I sketched her with my pencil on a white chart for 2 hours, even in my resolute intend, I wondered why she visited the park every day and why alone, but words were very minimal between us and when they existed, they lived only in my head.

By the time I finished it was almost dark and she slouched in front of the drawing to take a look. When I turned to look, our eyes met for a split second and locked. But again, she moved away without batting an eye or a quick breath. I walked with her until her hostel and she smiled at the gate and walked away.
Unintended to go out and not disturbed I worked on the drawing for hours and after two weeks, when she walked into the park bench she saw me, surprise and cheer danced in her face, and this time she did not mask it. She came to me wearing a white and blue salwar. I had in my hand three set of drawings, She took the first one and smiled, it was an image of her siting in the park with sun descending in front of her. She took the second one and her eyes widened in surprise, it was the same sketch but instead of the park she was sitting on a bed room floor. I hesitated before giving her the last one.. She took it and after several moments looked up at me, I said, “You can take it or tear it as you wish”.

It was the bed room with only a bed with crumbled sheet and a cushioned chair in it, on the chair rested her one hand and the other carelessly tried to mend her loosely tied bun with few tresses falling on her fair neck and slender back which was naked. A slight curve of her bare breast was seen along with the thin line that started in her neck and merged with her bottom line. Except her eyes no other features of her face were evident, the hand concealed them and on the corner where her gaze was fixed, was a shut window and the only garb she wore was the longing in her eyes when she stared at the window.

It was what I felt of her, a picture that game the answer to her quizzical indifference. I was disturbed form my reverie when I felt her eyes on me and back to the chart, confused she sat there breathing heavily and after few minutes took that picture in hand and in the other took my hand and kissed it gently and walked away. For many years, every time a romance in my life failed, I would think of her coming back to me in the same park, and I grabbing her slender waist and kissing her hard in the mouth. Or stumbling on to her in the park, when she is alone and waiting for me. I moved away from the city and soon forgot my amateur passion  for her and for my artistic mind and along with the hair in my head, these thoughts also faded, but I kept the two drawings with me, as a treasure.

Now, like today, in my single bed room house that leaked, I imagine her married and settled. I would wonder if the painting was still with her and imagine the drawing falling in the hands of her husband, will she with those expressive eyes tell him, “I can explain” or has she destroyed it long ago.


Friday, July 26, 2013

Does Silence speak?

"Hush.. dont cry.."
"You left me.. "
"But I came back for you!"
"Because you are the only one in this world, I connect with"
"Hmm.. "
"I missed you.. Did you?"
"Promise me something"
"Anything for you!"
"(Sob) Never ever.. go away like this"
"Never ever le leave m me.."
"I promise"
"No.. Never ever leave me with out a good bye"

Happy birthday
"Hey! happy Birthday dear"
"Thank you.. glad you remembered"
"How will I forget.."
"So.. what gift do you want from me?
"what can you give"
"Anything you ask!"
"Anything I ask?"
"   Yes!"
"Umm humm.. no I dont know"
"Oh ok.. So there is nothing you want from me now, is there anything you ever wanted?"
"Nope..  I am content.. I don’t want anything from anyone"
"I meant… me.. from me.."
"No.. nothing I can think of.."

"Come here"
"you are beautiful"
"Please stop"
"Your body... its mine.."
"Please stop speaking"
"Your curves drive me crazy.. come closer"
"Stop speaking for God Sake"
"Huh? Why???"
"Those words.. they trash what is between us.. you make it look.. you make it look pedestrian.. and..
“Infidel.. “
"Isnt it?"

"Hey you look upset, is there any problem?"
"Ya its my husband"
"Gosh mine too! He never listens you know, keeps shouting at me"
"hmmm.. that looks far better than the silent treatment I get"
"Oh bad that he treats you so.. but my condition is worse because I get up every day with headache and the wailing of my child"
"Hmm There is a child at least to forget worries, I don’t have even that! Sigh!"
"But without the child it is easy to walk away"
"Not so true.. kids are not and should not be the reason for being together"
"Ya that is right.. like in our case.. we do have kid but it is something else that bonds us together"
"I cannot think of any one else in my life either!!"
"I am so glad I had this conversation with you!"
"I  feel much better now"
"So Glad that I have you and I connect."
"Me too!"

"Do you like me"
"Of course I like you dear.."
"Do you think of me when alone"
"Do I excite you?"
"More than anything else"
"Do you want to spend the rest of your life with me"
"Yes.." May be
"Do you see us married in the future to each other?"
"Yes.." why not
"Do you love me?"
"Hmmm.. I don’t.. don’t  know.. Do you?"

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Something called Love


I missed you” the first time she heard it, her heart fluttered.. his feeling found words while hers still ached in her heart..  she swallowed and fought her tears.. it took him two whole years of separation from her to realize this and 6 more months to finally blurt this out in a party, to which they both seem to have decided to go only to catch a glimpse of the other person. He had looked into her eyes and said it sincerely and meant it.  Their relation dated back to their college days, where they experienced love and romance and lust for the first time in their life. Her concept of love and his were different as night and day or as any men or woman would want. When his thoughts hit the right side or the pendulum she was swinging towards the left. He sought to take it slow and she fancied extreme steps like marriage, acceptance and eloping more than anything she needed confirmation.

That was the point when he felt that things were moving very fast, her demands and love suffocated him like overdose of sweetness, he panicked, advocated this sabbatical, she accepted, to satisfy him, to shut him and to have him come back she waited for 2 years doting her love for him as much as or even more than the love as such. If he had noticed it then, she would have made a good beloved and understanding wife, the one he always wanted, the one his hypocritical mind ridiculed but craved for, in those endless fantasies.

Meeting again after 2 years, and with those magical words they were together again, like there never was a split-up. Soon they settled into their pre-separation era and continued their episodes with more passion and fire and vigour. Her days were filled with his memories and his.. waiting for the moments with her. Apart from the regular clichés and hormones there was something else that made them come together, they felt that they were meant to be together.

To a normal eye, she was a typical modern woman secretly crying over her fat and blunt nose and he an epitome of gloominess and was a more depressed version of her, a simple man indulging in his dark fantasies unspotted behind his locked and dark room of his parents apartment and ridiculing them in broad day light before others. But together their veil lifted. To her, his erotic fantasies were an obligation of her beauty and her submission an victory to him.

They continued their courtship and romance with the same vigour for few more months until one day he wakes up again feeling different and that they were not similar at all. He then casually and unintentionally sprinkled that idea into her with his fights… pointed glances and double ended dialogues. He enjoyed overpowering her with the doubts.. but why? He never knew.. but it worked and started to go ablaze and shook the whole foundation of them. It alarmed her, on a fateful day, they argued, cried, pacified, sympathized each other competing to walk out as the more pained and suffered one, as the one that can be un-guilty and blame the other for this situation and call themselves cheated and call it a sacrifice. Like serendipity both their untouched coffees were removed by two different waiters separately. Then the boy and girl, I like to call them as a boy and girl or a man and women and not give them a name, a name detaches them from me and us, without name they are in us and around us. So the boy and the girl walked away in their separate ways.

After three more years, when she lay sprawled in her room after a long day’s work, undisturbed by the storm outside she receives an email with only a “I missed you”. After a delay, she sat up and cried into the phone.

I understood that she was crying because he took the phone and walked away to the bathroom and started pacifying her. I lay in the bed awake on contrary to his thoughts that I was sound asleep and his voice was chocking. I listened turned to the other side of bed with silence, just  the way I listened on my wedding night when he recited to me about his love and the girl with rough hands and probably soft bosom. To me.. it is something… called love..