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..  


Sunday, June 16, 2013


When they talk.. I listen
When I listen.. I dont think
When I dont think.. I don't contemplate
When I dont contemplate.. I stop listening
When I stop listening.. I seek solitude
When in Solitude.. I feel peace
When in peace.. I get disturbed
When disturbed.. I see populaces
When I see people.. They talk
When they talk.. I listen...

In a closed conversation conduit..
where scrutiny is raped..
I shrug away as a wallflower
afraid to hurt.. to lose
petrified to think.. to respond
anxious to reply.. to love
but end up a recluse...
a tête-à-tête of life.. verses
a denounced futile locution..

Monday, March 4, 2013

Reminder of a Haven


When the letter arrived in the post this morning, I smiled. It was from Riya an ex member of the Haven. It was her marriage invitation. I don’t know if the invite elicited my memories to think about my first day in Raven or my frequent contact to books and movies wanted me to reminisce those old days like it was a rule to remember. But nevertheless I remembered..

‘Haven’ was the brain child of my friend and philanthropist Divya a nurse in her early thirties then, and when I indicated my interest in joining she felt it was a joke at first for I was just twenty five but she accepted and made me promise that I would not come up with some sarcastic joke when I go in for my first meeting. I can just tell one thing not even once did I come up with my witty jokes, how many times I was tempted to make one is another story..

My first meeting was on the last Saturday of the same month and we met at Divya’s house, over pizzas and colas, some even smoked. The only imperative to be a part of the Raven apart from being a women is that, one should not be married. When I looked around I found women ranging of 25 (me) to 35 or even more.

It was not approved for women to stay unmarried in those days, leave off being independent and this forum helps the women to be so, with grace. “We do not advocate you against marriages, we just give you the moral support that you don’t get just because you don’t have a husband, for whatever reason it might be. Here you get the support and guidance and security that you get from a husband except sex.” Finished Divya with a straight face, and some of them giggled and some smirked. She turned to me and said, this is my prep talk to the new members and every time I say the last words they giggle.. Girls..! she rolled her eyes.

It was hard for me to believe that women can gather and speak about things other than gossip, wailing or self-pity. Jasmin was the first women I spoke to there an good-looking looking catholic in her late twenties, and she said ,”I feel confident being here, who needs men” and she turned around and shouted "who needs men" then they all chanted it for 5 times like in a trance, “Here in Haven who needs men!!” Jasmin looked pleased at the response and said, I created that phrase and it just caught on. I bit my tongue and walked away, to avoid doing what I promised I won’t. I wonder at times, if it was now that they started it, the group would have turned into a worldwide Cult kind of organization and tougher to manage and who knows there might have been movies based on it.

There were no ideologies in there, although people boasted of one, some women stayed because they were desperate to get married but depressed that it did not work out and when they met similar women there they felt that they were not alone, some did because they were feminist and suffragettes who wanted an equal rights in everything just because they fight for it… but those were the ones who married and left faster than the others. People left too, especially when they got married and rarely because they did not like the group. Those who left never came back except one. The souvenir allowed was the wedding invites from the ex members.

I felt interested to go there because of my difference of opinion on the whole concept of marriages, I was not for it or I was not against it, but my mind conflicted over it like the way it did with religion and I delved an answer or in simple words I can say that it was just because I was bored and had nothing else to do.

Many things were discussed on that day, like the 20 yrs old stalking Divya or the woman hater manager of Jasmin and so on.. Riya a bank employee who could be around 36 spoke,

“I want to tell you guys something. I have already made up my mind, but I am still saying I don’t want any one to make any kind of jokes”
 “Its about my mother, she is getting married”

Someone chuckled and was about to make a nasty comment, but a look from Divya reprimanded her from continuing.

Riya spoke again, after some time “My father, left us when I was 5 and mother was taking care of me, and when I got a job, I started taking care of her. She is the only one I got in this whole world, and now she wants to be married to a friend of my dad”

“What is her age” asked the one who chuckled, with a look of intensity like what she was about to say depended on the reply.

“She is 61 and he may be 72”

“what did you decide” asked someone else

“Its tomorrow and I am not going”

The wise woman who asked the age was silent, after contemplating and making some serious looks she said “you said you are taking care of her, may be she did not want to be a burden for you, you did not get married because of her right?”

Riya’s face brightened up, like it was a revelation, a revelation mixed with altruistic remorse.

“what if she wants to be happy, wants a companion for herself” Said I

They gave me a stern disapproving look.. I shrugged!, they chucked me out...

Then she burst out and cried for some fifteen minutes and people consoled her

Today I saw a post script in the invite,

PS: I have invited my mother also..

When I closed the invite, placed it carefully in the cover, and kept it in my cupboard I tried to decipher the reason for her tears, I couldn’t single out one.. there must have been several reasons.. well.. what happened in haven let it stay in Haven!


Saturday, February 23, 2013


'Come back’ oh how much I would love to come back to my first love.. Did I feel the familiar symptoms..  heart beat increasing.. hurrying for no apparent reason.. panicking or even hurried short breaths.. no not at all… all I feel is curiosity, anticipation and even despair.. when at this moment I decide to come back to my first love.. to write.. again..

But will I be remembered after all these many days.. I have been gone an awfully long time when things changed around me.. why would I be etched in your memory? What sort of credit do I have compared to others that makes me stay there?

What is the use in seeking others esteem… people create, to quench their own thirst don’t they? Then why anticipate?

An artist.. a writer.. a performer.. they live survive in the understanding and admiration that flicks on the audience eyes.. without that the thirst will always remain…

How much of truth is there in those words..?

But even if I find the truth what would I write about..

There are hundreds of things to write about but still one topic is hard to find?

Let me write about the current social conditions.. but what is the use in performing autopsy on something long dead and ever decaying? Am I not one of those little birds that sit around the corner and feed on the ashes deluding myself that it is a fruit.. or slumping down without even the strength or ability to think and know that ashes are not meant to be eaten..

Or I could write about my day to day life.. but that would not take more than a page.. the tiring life can be put in an endless loop with my life time as exit scenario and keep it rolling copying from each page and into each page the same old words.. the same old life and the same old actions..

Despair and self-loathing suits well with poetry.. than short story.. I think

I could blend in the truth and fiction plating them up together into long braids until the point of what is reality and what is fiction just vanishes.. and I could sit there and watch my own life in my own words..

Is it possible?

Why not? I could write like this..
“Today as I came home from office yet another tiring day.. I looked unintentionally but as I do every day to the right side of the big highway.. where the Swampland of the state lay neglected with only a dilapidated board saying that the property is taken care of by the government.. just like the way our life’s are taken care of.. hanging helplessly with the iron plates corroded and eaten by the fat ass rust, waiting happily for a big wind to come in the way to fall off with no care to the marsh and blend-in with the earth and soil.
And there at the corner of the Swampland, behind the tree hidden from the normal view but visible to those who seek..  stood a girl just like the day before and the day before. She wore bright saree that glittered in the street light and had I smelled I would have got the wimps of the jasmine flowers in her head. Men if they want her would slow down the vehicle and she would get in.. within a second like she was with them even before they stopped the vehicle. I had seen this for few days now and today involuntarily I looked again… but was met with her gaze.. I averted my eyes in too short a jiffy and kept them to the road.. and at the very second when i crossed her again.. I looked.. and saw in her eyes the look of..”
It is easy once started.. just have to keep going and writing that is all.. 
No its not that easy.. also i may not be politically correct If i go on wiring...also that would be too serious one to come back to writing with.. I could write something hilarious.. a poetry per say? Like the Muddlehead..

What a muddle head was he,
That man who lived in Petushkee!

He walked upto a tram one day
And climbed in very sprightly;
Conductor thought that he would pay,
Instead he said politely:

"Parding your beggon,
Kister Monductor,
I'm off for a week's vacation;
I stop you to beg your cramway tar
As soon as we reach the station."
Conductor got a fright
And didn't sleep that nite.

What a muddle head was he,
That man who lived in Petushkee!

I could write it to suit current times..

The man I met today looked very serious
And told me a story of a divorce that was precarious
When he finished I felt it was hilarious
Coz his wife ran-away with his attorney whom he thought was a genius

Is that hilarious? Is that not? Well that is what is happening now a days..

“Forget reality fiction suits life better” says a friend..

Hmm then I can sit around and write about two lovers who never propose and brood “if only”? A lady sipping her “monsoon coffee” forgetting her real life? Or about “The Dusty cupboards"! Like the way you write..???

 “Shut up.. If u wanna write.. write! stop criticizing my works..” 
So saying I started to walk away cursing my decision to sit through this discussion with a friend who wanted to start writing again.

“Hey I am sorry.. I was just kidding you.. come here” he called me back..

I forgave him at that instant, for he was a good writer.. and after few deep breaths to calm myself I said..
“You talked about many things now.. pull any one of those and start writing…”

He looked at me with a puzzled gaze and asked..
“About what..!!!”


Phew that was an irritating encounter.. what did you think?
Any way.. I am back too! 

How are you guys.. I missed you all…! :)