Dreams Tossed In Paper Boats – New Poems


imprisoned in the melancholy of this long  winter

my heart is an origami of desires

no glue

no scissors

no staples

no ripping

no stretching

no crossing

just

a simple folding

unfolding

refolding

and  becoming

what we couldn’t

*********************

Torn
between magic and mayhem
need and disruption
I write
of dreams
tossed in paper boats

*****************

I am weary of being entangled

in the tangle of your customized truths
take away those distorted mirrors
those ever-changing, ever concealing masks
take your carnival to some other town
set me free, my love

**********

Even though you are gone

to another country

another arms

I will forgive you

and keep alive

the illusion of our

doomed futurity

***************

your love
was
the ‘road not taken’

the adventure is over

now

 back to writing

*********************

I had vowed not to write love poems but my fingers have a mind of their own as you can see.

You and Me – Four Seasons


In memory of that love which was there and yet not.

I lost all the four seasons in an autumn I don’t even want to remember and now it is winter and my heart is filled with the agony of untold stories. I no longer understand their alchemy or follow their plots,  the strange portals that lead to them remain closed or obscured behind a dense fog that has settled inside my head. I have known these characters from the days of their inception and now they refuse to obey. The words sound  trite and concocted. Devoid of joy the projects choke for the lack of air. Outlines fill the pile of drafts.

I am beginning to understand my limitations, my insanities. Beginning to feel my cracks. my fragments and the dislocations in myself. My vials of love have dried in the environment filled with ache and isolation. I have lost the elixir of life from which were born my stories, my poems . The cup is empty, the papers blank. Their voices mute. The strings inside me have broken, a pearl has slipped away into the dusts of time. Soon others will scatter too unable to hold on to the flimsy thread. It doesn’t matter When.

They say I look anaemic, that I have lost blood. A ghost of my former self. A writer’s blood is the ink and her tongue the pen with which she fills the blank papers. I let myself loose on paper and spilled the stories of love, pain, joy, terror, apprehensions and all that was me. I  squeezed myself in each droplet of ink till there was nothing left. I have nothing more to give, nothing more to tell.

Till then read those words that await in their shadows for you. They may seem just lifeless markings on a plain white sheet to you but look closely and you may see my heart and soul stapled to them. You may feel a pulse, a breath, a drop of crimson and salt in some of them. They may cling to you, ride on your mind, make you think, look within. They may crackle under your feet like autumn leaves that died and fell from the trees and like parts of me. Don’t forget to remember the colours they brought. It was a grand finale to something very beautiful. Gather those scurrying leaves rustling with the breeze. Listen and they will tell you the stories. Each colour, each crack, each pattern a cascade of nostalgia. Words, mysterious and magical even in death.

Nothing burns like cold. Find the winter in those words. The melancholy of lonesome nights. The deepening silences. The snow flurries. The long hours of waiting. Words ice locked gripped with bitter cold. You will see them trembling inside some story, invisible under a curtain of thick fog.  Numb. The air burning with their Fragrance. Our fragrance and the fragile familiarity of it.

Watch them cling to the sadness of things like droplets of dew. On a sunny day you may even see a prism of our dreams and hopes in the morning dew as the sun fills their lives. Jewelled words, a verse, a tale on wires, grass, flowers and leaves. Evanescent  as love.

Of endless summers and flirting springs I shall not talk, for you will find them as you rummage through that autumn  long forgotten this winter. I lost all the four seasons to it, the words turned strangers just the way you did and the story-teller disappeared in her own story.

Video courtesy You Tube. All rights to the owner.

Monday Memories 19 – You and Me – That’s as good as it gets ..


Prelude to 2014

One thought

One need

One want

Despite all

In spite of all

To love you

To wake up with you

in your arms

every day

all my life

in your home

our home  (though I know you will tell me to sleep on my side of the bed. The left side. 😉 fully clothed. ) (“years of conditioning baby”,  you will say..but still..)

To make that first cup of morning coffee

To sit snuggled up on the couch and watch your favorite game

or a mushy romantic movie

with you dozing off , your head cradled in the curve of my neck

To cook those simple meals, deliberately making them elaborate

soaking in the smell of sex, love and spices

To tiptoe barefoot on cool wooden floorboards

taking in the  scent of you in the empty house

in your oversized shirt

after a lingering good-bye kiss at the door

To ready a romantic bath

an extravagant array of bubbles

bath soaks, a languishing dip in the steamy tub

indulgent back rubs (and much more)

conversations, (shoptalk? For heavens sake !) &  laughter

Wrapped in fluffy towel

to watch you work from home

taking client calls

shooting urgent emails,

drafting a complex deals  (while trying hard not to glance sideways )

with my mind spooning you  (It must be tough to ignore the heat rising from the bare legs next to you)

and in between all this

to fill  in the mundane

grocery, laundry, doing the dishes

polishing the floor, tending the yard,

mending the roof

having arguments

followed by fights (love quarrels I call them)

followed by make up sex

It is not a fairy tale after all

I dreamed of you last night. Like all other nights.

I dreamed of us doing all the above listed things among others.

Together.

In our home.

When you know you are never going to get the man of your dreams, never going to come closer , the dream itself  becomes kind of important.

To close your eyes and let your imagination catch fire, to pretend you are with the man you love, doing things you will never be able to do in real life, that’s as good as it gets.

Monday Memories 18 – You And Me – Absentia


The moment I opened the door of my home a sudden heartache hit me like a jab of an invisible knife. For a few seconds everything blurred. I held on to the door knob staring into the empty quietness that had occupied everything animate and inanimate. It was a home I cherished, my private sanctuary, a place of my own where I lived on my own but never felt lonely.  A place decorated with the imagined invisible tales of our love that warmed me and gave me company at all times but today it all seemed unfamiliar and surreal as if I did not belong there. Everything  gazed at me with mournful eyes. His brief visit had violently altered my side of the world. He had left but his absence still lingered, making itself more poignant with its presence.  I crossed the threshold stepped inside dropped the bag and the purse on the floor and began to assess the magnitude of the void which becomes more apparent as it gets filled and this one was rapidly filling up with missingness that was  flowing out from every pore of my body. Each step  more difficult than the last. The heaviness began to occupy me turning my limbs to stone. It hurt to be hurting.

The ephimiraliity and uncertainty that has hovered around me while he was here had transformed itself into sorrow and a gnawing sense of disbelief. A  tumultuous place a few days ago the house seemed like an echoing tomb today.  I felt that if I stayed there one more minute the hollowness will gather and  bury me alive in this plastered grave. It’s strange how I felt the lack of him more than his presence which has morphed into my tortured existence and everything around it.

I moved like a lost soul from room to room unsettling the quite trying in vain to fill the space he has left. Up till now I had too little time but now there was nothing but time and I felt myself being engulfed by it.

I had lost all my sides to him and in this altered reality I stood completely stripped off. Exposed. The cold creeping up my spine, filling me from foot to head even though it was a bright warm day. Numb is a feeling too, I always said and in this numbness I wasn’t aware if my heart still beat. Everything had come to a standstill inside me as if I had entered a zero sensation space. I wanted to cry but tears had dried and turned to heaps of salt. Something had malfunctioned inside me shutting down all my senses and bringing it all to an irrevocable breakdown.

A whirlpool was swirling deep within me.  Unable to contain the surge of emotions I rushed out picking my purse and closing the door in one swift action. Without looking back I ran down the stairs forgetting about the elevator and briskly walked down the street shutting myself to all the sights and sounds. I could not understand what was building up inside  – sorrow or rage  or just a feeling of loss.

I wanted to unscrew and pull out the  corkscrew of absence that had gone in so neatly. I needed to push the rising deluge deep into some unknown depth and to do that I bought myself  the biggest tub of the Haagen-Dazs’ ice cream and parked myself  on a high stool in a corner away from the huge glass windows overlooking the street. I did not want distractions and dug into it shoving it in my mouth and almost swallowing it  with no attention to taste or chill that was sending waves of cold fire down my throat. After finishing three-fourths of it  I closed the lid tucked the tub in a paper bag and walked out . The market was flooded with weekend shoppers but I just kept walking through it all hugging on to the tub hoping it  would heal the sickening ache that had taken residence inside her gut.. I didn’t hear the honking from behind till a hand pulled me to the side. The car driver hurled some angry words  at me and all I could catch was “die”. Yes sir that would be really nice. I found the lump in my throat melting and rising up. I mumbled a feeble thank you , lowered my head and shouldered my way  through the crowd of local vendors, rickshaws, sleeping dogs, blinded myself into a few shoppers, got two portions of spicy, oily hot comfort food packed, picked two king-sized candy bars, a big bag of potato chips and walked back home. The ice cream box had become warm from the mid day sun but I felt  unable to trash it.

I emptied the food on a tray , threw the candy bars on bed, stepped out of my clothes and curled up in a corner, knees to chin.  and stared at the steaming hot oil dripping food and spicy pickle. A wave of nausea hit me and pushing the tray aside I pressed my naked body on the hard cold marbled floor and wept fiercely. crumbling and disintegrating as if I was invaded and shamelessly plundered through and through. I felt ashamed of stuffing my face with a thousand calories in order to stuff my emotions and not just that I had also bought a cart load of it home. Tears flowed freely again as guilt and regret hit me like a knife. I wanted to feel the pain not tranquillize it with gallons of  food. I wondered what was hurting me more, letting go or holding on to something unreal. One side of my body had gone numb. I had never felt so exposed. Slowly I picked myself up from the floor, pulled a Tee over my  tired body dragged myself to the bathroom and stood under the shower with eyes closed. Letting the water  wash away everything not needed by my body, mind and soul. I did not bother to remove the tee which clung to me like a second skin. There were no tears, no thoughts, nothing, just a calm one feels inside the womb. Water is a healer so is the salt. It is not just for any reason our tears are salty.

I removed the Tee and gently rubbed a handful of  Epsom salt  all over my body feeling it release the old pain and melt away all the hurt with every stroke of my hand.  I let myself soak into the universal healing and then patted myself dry, got into fresh clothes. Once in the room I shoved the food in the fridge making a mental note to give it to the house help in the morning. along with the candy bars. The bag of chips went into the cabinet. I unpacked, uncovered the Buddha and pressed it against my heart before placing it on a shelf  where I could see it from anywhere in the house.

The sun was concentrated in a shaft of light in one corner of the drawing-room. I pulled the wicker chair in the pool of light and cuddled into it. I loved him and either I could stay trapped in what wasn’t or move freely into what is. The choice was mine to make.  I had decided to move on with him in my heart. It is never ‘over’ and I did not want it to be either. We were just living in two different worlds but I knew in my heart of hearts that he felt the same.  I smoothened the little silk cloth on my lap.  “Never too far away from you“, I ran my finger tip over it feeling the words pulsate with life.

The phone began to play a familiar ringtone. The heart skipped three beats then fluttered.

You and Me – A Collection of Chaos


lately I have become  a collector of chaos. smudged words, crazily crisscrossed paragraphs, some images, music, assortments of drawings, skirmishes, idiosyncrasies,  noises and distractions, thoughts pressed into wayside, visual ideas, blotches of ink(tear stained)- marginalia and the frail silences that crumbles at touch. it is so good to write on paper with pen/pencil (sometimes colored, mostly black). this click clack of keys and the letters popping up is so impersonal, unfeeling and yet here they are some scratchings of  my mind.

****

sit back,  relax

let me tell you a story

hand-feed you words (said and unsaid)

in bite size morsels

i owe them to you

these handful of stories

spiced and seasoned pieces of me

that i have carved and cut out just for you

let me ooze my honeyed voice all over your naked body

and unveil unawakened pleasures

nothing abstract

but something that you can see, touch, taste

drift with the heated slumbering lemon minted aroma

of this mindless concoction

i have thrown your logics and cynicism

into the beat-up tin pot

unsavoury as they are

dinner tonight is sex on plate

and an extra olive in your martini.

******

i miss the taste of sun

its sweet heat dripping from your mouth to mine

all the way to our necks and further down

i miss the summer

 the cayenne dusted ripe mangoes 

eaten as they should be (with bare hands) , with abandon

just the way we love

in all its messiness

love can be messy in many ways

and we loved that messiness, didn’t we?

till you gave it an entirely new meaning

*************

sometimes it is difficult to make out if  it is loss of feeling or a feeling of loss

downward and inward

i let my soul sink into yours

a bottomless pit of hopeless despair

i could have avoided it( really?)

had i asked you normal questions (but you hate all type of questions so its something i am assuming) (i also assume too much)

questions about outside

your work,  the holiday you took (family holiday)

your favorite movie dialogues

the car you drive

your financial investments

the highs and lows of

day to day existence

the occupational hazards

the deals that found closure or slipped away

your future prospects

normal questions that normal  people ask

but what did i do?

I asked you about your fears

asked you to tear out your  inside

unravel that wound-tight ball of yarn (that’s you)

drop and let it roll freely, mindlessly

to come undone fully

to examine the knots, the snags, the frayed ends

and tell me what you felt

i wish i was normal

and asked you  normal questions ( maybe about the weather)(change of season)

I should have tried harder

with the the niceties  that defined our relationship

(sometimes i wonder if it was the same thing that powered it and weakened it) 

I should have carefully thought out interesting stories

constructed delightful light headed conversations

I wish I was normal and done those normal things

I shouldn’t  have asked you to fill the long deafening silences (weren’t they already filled with silent shattering noise of heartbreak? sheesh.. I should listen closely and more often)

or asked if the songs you played meant something (it was all about positioning, wasn’t it?)

I should have given those practiced smiles

made silly faces, worn funny masks ( i tried at times)

goofed around (made small talk)

I wish I was normal and done those normal things

but I did not

Instead

I asked about your fears and what moved you

evoked your secret longings

i made you open  lids after lids 

of what you preferred to keep closed ( did i talk you into this? guess i talk too much 😦 )

i tried,  tried ceaselessly

to rekindle ‘something’ (rekindle? or kindle?)

but it will never be the same again (i lost but did you win?)

and i wonder if  ‘you’  and ‘i’

will ever be ‘us’ again

or if  there is any ‘we’ left

a spark maybe ? in the embers slowly turning cold (i am afraid to stir the dying fire lest it consumes me)

if i had believed

in the illusions of normalcy

i would  not have suffered dreams

(i would have been normal. ‘and the ‘we’ in ‘us’ would still have been there)

You and Me – Chasing The Shadow In The Dark


It was nonsensical to pretend he would leave her. It could never happen.  I was in denial.  My mind weaved grand tales to turn that denial into reality, to make some sense out of it even while knowing clearly it was fooling itself.  I stretched my mind so much that now at this point it was impossible to bring it back to its former shape. It was in a different dimension all together. I knew that he would never be able to let her go and the guilt and fear will always make him feel wrong about being with me. . and yet  I stood at the door of the colorful souvenir shop there hallucinating what could happen.

I watched as he slid beside her on the boat. Her face beaming with happiness at something he was saying. I could see them merrily taking pictures and chatting. There were a few other couples and a group of tourists I had seen earlier in the market apart from the local crowd and yet  the moon light seemed to shine just above them like a spotlight on their semblance. I could see their silhouettes slowly fading into the pearly night.  Entwined without touching, their bodies fused as one. Drunk on the lust filled air, my limbs tingling with what I thought was a want of him. A dream he would resume after fulfilling his duty towards her. I pretended it to be that. Hoping that he would turn his head at least once, give me that gaze of reassurance, a smile maybe. He did not.

He had left me as effortlessly as I had loved him. There was nothing more to wait for and that nothingness filled the increasing distance as the boat carried him away to where I did not fit. She wore his promise on her finger. I , on my heart. It was all of him that belonged to me.

My exotic little adventure was over. Torn between magic and mayhem, need and disruption I walked back to the hotel. Faced with the biggest truth of my life I  did not wish to look at the challenge that stared at my face. A challenge of letting go of someone I loved, cared about and more than that I found it exceedingly difficult to let go of the idea, the belief in him because the intensity of disappointment of knowing that he wasn’t what he pretended to be was too much of a betrayal to bear. I often mulled over what could have happened in a certain situations but did not and often a voice in my head said,  “if it should have, it would have. ‘Could have’ was a stressful waste of time.”

I pushed the deluge of emotions at the back of my mind. I needed silence to reconnect with myself , to find some way to deal with the demons within. I had realized from past experience that seeking emotional support, love , care and a shoulder to lean on to was nothing but a smoke screen. A big lie. It did not in any way help to resolve the turmoil inside. All the smoke gave were burning tear filled eyes.

I was violently confused my his real inaccessible presence. For months I had been possessed by the imagination of his. He was distant and closed away and yet my imagination made him present to my mind and senses. I had spun romantic fantasies about us, written tales of love and longing, of a constant togetherness to keep me afloat in those long hours of  constantly hungry waiting.

I kept thinking of the ways in which he resembled or differed from the man I loved, dreamed of, reached out for and every thought only exacerbated things. The illusion had hit me real and sharp. Stung, I wanted to cry but the tears did not flow. Maybe they did, inwardly, too proud to be seen. I could feel the familiar knot in my chest. My eyes were like two smouldering pools but not a single drop fell. I stared at the blur that had enveloped me. I could not bear to look at the bed which was still unmade. Each fold , each crumple reminder of him, of us, of a man who would never come back to me. I felt as if I was getting morphed into liquefied hurt. The room was buzzing with silent echoes of things lost. I grabbed the chair to steady myself and  slowly stepped out in the small balcony. The shimmering waters of the river were filled with overwhelming grief and unspeakable love. The silhouettes of long-tailed boats tied to the dock swayed gently with the night breeze, its touch light and cold like that of a departing lover.  The bamboo-hated vendors had all gone home after a busy day.  It was all so quiet on the waterway. Just like the water-colour painting that hung in my room. Dreams blurred with tears. In my case the unshed ones.

I sighed and dragged myself back to the room. Each step felt as if I was carrying a weight of a lifetime. One by one I began to throw my belongings into the open travel bag. Things I should have thrown in the trash bin instead but could not. I intended to keep what was mine. Even him. I was committed to the  memories, heartaches, laugher and joy, all moments of intimacy however short-lived they were. Committed to the tales of love, the dreams that kept me company in his long months of absence, the hope and the futility of it all. I wanted to treasure that “true love” which could never show forth. I did not want to wipe the slate clean and so I did not cry. I wanted to keep the flickering fireflies like stars in my eyes.  It was preferable than to face  the fear of letting go everything that meant a world to me. It was preferable than to step into the nightmare called future which was going to be  horribly empty without him. I knew it because I had planned  to share it with him. Even after knowing how utterly impossible it had sounded even to my imagination.

Usually one could see the fireflies at the waterfront during the nights of the waxing moon but tonight even their glow had dimmed. I had not been able to see even one. Such are some nights.

I held him tightly in my heart but had no hold over him. I loved him and I was not giving up on that I was just letting him go and even that hurt as much as hanging on.

With the daybreak I would be on my way home or let us say to the place I call home. For a home is where the heart is and my heart is a gypsy forever wandering  on paths where my dreams lead me to him. In my heart I also knew that in dreaming about being the queen of the ocean I had lost the pond too. There was never going to be a  “home”. Only stopovers.

The cell phone which had replaced  the watch for the lack of any other activity showed that the night was well into the last phase. I had been betrayed before in body as well as in mind and yet I had fallen in love again. Opened myself to another world of hurt. Knowing he would never be mine. He had a world of his own beyond those two oceans that lay between them. A family, a profession he was passionate about, a home whose comfort he was used too.  I neither belonged there not fitted.

He was a saviour who had lifted me out from the mess that I was living every day. Given me a source for dignified living. Given me kindness, care and … love. Given it to me as a fuel to my boost my confidence in myself and the life that lay ahead of me. I, on the other hand had given him myself.  Suddenly I had everything I had longed for, a friend, a confidante, a lover ( what did distance matter when the hearts were one.. so I thought)  and a man I implicitly trusted.

I had felt betrayed when I had seen them together for the first time. Maybe I should not use the word “betrayal” . It sounds utterly insensitive in our case. I felt betrayed because I had built up expectations and carved out an image of him from my imagination.  Occupational hazard of being a writer. He on the other hand had not promised anything but my freedom from the shackles that held me back to the world I needed to escape and happiness that it would bring. Nothing more.  As I said earlier there are variations of love and we ( I take the liberty and luxury of  calling “us” “we” here.  He did Love me but not in the same way I did. There was no question of any betrayal at all. Everything else , yes.

That made me think about her and the question, which one of us was less fortunate? I was seeking a bond of complete trust which could only be built on the foundation of  his breaking trust of someone else. The pangs of guilt hit me like a bolt of lightning. Love doesn’t consider all these things conscience does and my tug of war with the two popped up very timely to curb the flight of the heart. The mind was nothing but a manipulating mind controlling freak and in those moments of vulnerability , it leaves no chance to whiplash. I pushed the thought aside. There was no place for guilt and fear in Love. They came to me in glimpses and flashes but for him they acted like a fence that separated us.  Some things just happen and it is better not to dig deep.

He was faint hearted, I was a romantic and she didn’t know any better. We were all afloat like the boats on that graceful timeless river. Trusting the flow of life to take us to our final destination.

I was now at a point where I had to decide whether to wait or to forget . I decided to choose the first. I wanted to remain his best friend and not become some heartbroken stranger I was becoming. I checked myself before it was too late . I loved him with whatever there was or wasn’t. Call it a flaw in me to love an unattainable man, it is what it is. I am flawed and fractured but it is a better option than losing. It was maybe my destiny to fall in love with someone I could not have. Over and over again. With him , unlike others, I felt at home. You know the feeling, don’t you? The feeling that your search had ended and you have found your match. All about the Karmic soul-mate or the twin soul etc. It made me warm even through the coldest of hurts. It was a feeling of being a book with two volumes, one incomplete without the other. That’s what we were to me.  Strange are the ways of heart.

I watched the empty bed from the couch where I had curled up. The sadness of  which spoke to me in his absence. The faint light of daybreak made it look surreal. I felt as if he was there, lying on his back, feet overlapped, head buried in the soft pillow, asleep like a baby just like last night when I had watched him sleeping after we had made love. This time a tear quietly escaped my eye. Missingness is the worse feeling ever a human can experience. We aren’t designed  to endure it.

I stretched my limbs and rubbed them to get the blood flowing then got up and walked out to the balcony. Birdsongs of predawn veiled in mist greeted me. I could see the locals arranging their wares on the little canoes and in rows and rows of wooden shops along the edge of the river selling almost the same stuff. Most of them were closed at this hour.

The people in the houses built on planks were slowly waking up to another noisy day. A few Sampans waited for the tourists to begin their journey down the river. The whole place was a tourist trap but people came back again and again to be a part of the old world oriental charm. To escape the maddening city life they  took a plunge in another kind of madness. Soon the serene river would be plugged with boats and the place would resemble a tropical forest with exotic vibrant colours and people of all shapes and sizes. There were locals waiting at the banks to offer food to the monks. A sight that always filled me with a sense of calm. The boats selling fruits and delicious meals would soon outnumber the tourist boats.  I wanted to get away before their return. I was supposed to. The bills were already paid so all I had to do was pick up my overnight bag and disappear.

We were two hours away from the main city where he had come on the pretext of a conference a few days earlier to my city and from there we had came  to this small province for our little adventure. She had flown in only yesterday morning. They were staying in some swanky city hotel and he had gone back to pick her up and brought her in the morning as part of a tour. It had hectic but then all these secret getaways are usually time bound and messy.

I longed for a hot mug of coffee and decided to go down to the small quaint, richly decorated 24 hours coffee shop the hotel had. I needed some human warmth and company to help me cope with the long lonely day that lay ahead.

It was a gorgeous property set in a century old house and had exquisite ornate interiors done in traditional Thai style.  The sleepy lobby was draped in early morning rays that filtered through huge windows overlooking a magnificent oriental garden with fruit trees and exotic flowers. A small wat called temple of dawn stood at a strategic angle where the first rays of the rising sun flooded the statue of Buddha.  I decided to spend some time there. A section of cafe cha was open air. I decided to sit there in the midst of rose vines and from where I sat I could feel the energy of peace and calm radiating from the sun-kissed statue. Mesmerized by the aura that surrounded me I barely noticed his presence.

“Beautiful isn’t it?”

“Huh? Yes it is.” I smiled as the steward laid the breakfast and coffee on the bamboo table. I had decided to eat and leave before they came. They were staying in a boutique hotel right at the river front and I did not want to be of any embarrassment or trouble. Any way my stay here was till noon.

I thanked the elderly gentleman for remembering to bring exactly the kind of coffee I needed. He nodded and gazed at me for what seemed like a long time.

“You must go and light some incense sticks there. I will bring you some.  It is better to ask for love, compassion, joy and sympathy from Him than ordinary people.” His gaze was fixed on me. Suddenly my eyes filled and I looked away unable to stop the flood of tears welling up inside me.  I snatched a tissue from the table and hurriedly wiped the tears away.

” Kob Khun maak Ka” I said. He nodded and walked back to the main café.

With the first bite of Waffles I realized how hungry I was. The piping hot coffee almost scalded my tongue. It was the best meal since I arrived here. We had not got chance to do any site seeing r indulge in any local cuisine. It was all room service and a hurried dinner at the dining hall. Food was the last thing on our mind. The thought made me smile and the warmth of the memory of time spent together brought colour to my face.

I wasn’t feeling so low now , maybe it was the Buddha or the breakfast and coffee or just plain affection that the old man had bestowed on me. Sometimes hearts connect and there is an instant energy exchange between two strangers. Whatever it was it charged me for the day.

I licked the plate clean to the last crumb and was about to step into the garden when the old man returned.

” I think you should leave. I will burn the incense for you. Here take this.” With that he handed me a small figurine of exquisite black wood Buddha set in a silver case. He took out a fine silk cloth from his pocket  wrapped it and handed it to me.

“Something we give to our special guests.”

I kissed the gift and tucked it in my  purse.

“May he look after you and show you the light.” I took his hand and pressed it gently.

” Thank you. You made my trip memorable” I said.

“Go safe.” He said and hastily walked back inside without waiting for my response.

“Yes, I will.” I said softly and went to my room.

I hadn’t asked him why he wanted me to leave so suddenly. I just followed his words.

After a quick shower I changed into a casual denim and tee picked  my bag and took one last look at the room.

On second thoughts I kept he bag on the wooden floor and walked to the bed and  ran my fingers over the creases of the bed sheet. A fragrance I still carry on my fingertips.

I kissed the pillow and pressed its cool white surface against my cheeks. I held it for a while tightly hugged and then in a swift moment kept it back , picked the bag and walked out in the corridor closing the door behind to yet another parting.

A girl was at the reception and I said my goodbye to her, handed the key and walked out in the morning sun. The mist had lifted long ago and the place was a riot of colours and noise. Quickly I making my way through the notoriously chaotic traffic to get to the bus station when I spotted them just a few shops away. Before I could react our eyes met and instantly he looked away and turned his back. She was bargaining with the vendor about some stuff and I stood there staring as if I had taken roots through the dusty pavement. Everything else blurred.

Without realizing , as if pulled by a force, I began to walk towards them. I think he sensed it and tuned. His eyes not believing what they were seeing. I could feel the rising conflict of emotions swirling inside him. His face intense, his eyes following my every move.

She struck a final price and turned to him with the magnificent stroll in her hand and stopped mid sentence. I was near enough to overhear her. She asked him if he was alright to which he nodded and forced himself to appreciate her purchase. She looked around as if sensing something but missed me in the crowd of tourists who had emerged from the adjacent shop. I turned and walked away with the group without looking back. I put my hand inside the purse and grabbed the little Buddha in my fist and walked briskly through the crowd to catch the bus back home. “Please leave” that’s was his eyes had conveyed in those few moments.

I still don’t know what had made me do that bizarre thing in the market . Sometimes we just do certain things however unreasonable they may be. I knew this will surely come up in our conversations later. I knew that however I may try to harden my heart I would never be able to break away from him. I could not. He was too much a part of me.

“Your phone.” The woman next to me pointed at my bag.

“Oh! Thanks. I didn’t hear it ringing.” I took out the cell phone amazed that it still did what it was meant to do. I had totally forgotten about it being in the bag.

I stared at his face on the screen unable to decide if I wanted to take the call or not. Thankfully it stopped ringing. A beep indicated a text and I opened the message with trembling hands.

“Tried calling. Go safe. Will connect once I am back.” After a minute there was another beep.

“By the way that was wicked. You almost gave me a heart attack. Love always.”

For the first time I giggled at the little prank I had played.

I replied with a digital heart and kiss and placed the phone back in the bag.

At the airport I browsed at the book store, had another cup of coffee and some sandwiches and waited.

Waiting  was one thing I did well.

With nothing much to do I took out the Buddha encased in the shimmering silver case. I had not paid much attention to its beautiful ornate carving. The smooth black wood had a lovely shine to it. I ran my fingers over it and turned around the case. Something caught my attention and my heart skipped a beat when I saw my name engraved at the bottom of the case. It was then my eyes fell on the inside of the silk cloth. On its ivory surface were scribbled a few words. “Never too far away from you.”

Monday Memories 17 – You and Me – Variations of love


Sometimes things simply are a matter of “is” ,” is not” and ” won’t be”.

It seems odd that a casual unexpected meeting with someone could bring about such a change in one’s life but that’s life , isn’t it? Since the day we connected on that nameless day  my each step has been to bring myself closer to you.  Some bonds are karmic . People are brought together on the checkerboard of life for a purpose, to accomplish something, to help each other evolve. It is as intense a relationship as any other but never culminates into anything.  A house that isn’t abandoned and yet is uninhabited. Only visited.

Karmic love is different from romantic love , friendship or passionate longing. These things may be a part of  that karmic bond but they are not the essence, they are just part of a bigger scheme of things. It is a bond of a lifetime and is understood only when the expectations are dropped.

I will tell you a little story here.

There was a woman devoted to the love of music and she practiced it all her life for a performance she would never give. It is the same with love sometimes. You can only keep on loving. There is nothing else to it. There never be a spotlight on you nor you will ever come in public view. Some loves stay on the backstage but that does not mean they wither , they blossom unnoticed. Sometimes the breeze may carry their fragrance to the beloved at others it may linger and spread far and wide slowly fading until only a hint remains.  Just like the smell of sweet pines in the mountains.

Hurt and ache springs from expectations. From a want to mold a person in the image you create of him. The moment  you fall in love  you believe that the universe has planned this for you for ever , that everything is a cue in that direction, you choose the characters, rearrange the scenery , guide the plot and do all in your power to make possible what is utterly impossible. Love itself has no power to conquer anything , it wants us to do it on its behalf and we do it all wrong. Smothering it in our wish to dam that whose intrinsic nature is to flow.

Some things are never meant to be and daydreams are fine till they do not take bearing on the reality.  At times when you find love unexpectedly and in great abundance you  become selfish and possessive but slowly over the period then comes a time when one is at a crossroad and there is light. Either you smother the self and the person you love with hopes, demands and expectations or set free each other and enjoy what is.

Over the time I realized that all this talk of unrequited love is nothing but expectations gone wrong. When the relationships weighs heavy on heart it is a cue to reflect upon it. It is a difficult process as it involves looking within in a totally unbiased way. Relationships should be a source of joy, not heartache.

Loving you is my feeling not yours and no one can take it away. You may or may not love in same way or not love at all. One can not force other person to accept your love, no matter how deep and meaningful it is to you. So either we form a karmic bond and do good, happy things or suffer the illusions.

If your love is deep and meaningful to you , you don’t push the other person, you let it flow and mean well and accept things as they are. Most of the time when we push we lose the other person, we lose a friend too and all that is sweetness turns bitter.

Karmic bonds are life long two people who respect and appreciate each other and yet do not smother each other. The degree of intensity of this can vary between the two people involved. The reasons too. It is better not to question because the answers usually lead to more questions and an endless process of speculation begins. Love is , as Rumi said, meeting beyond the ideas of our right-doings and wrong-doings. It is like a seed, you plant it in others with acts of affection, kindness and respect, you water it with your hopes, and it will either flourish so that you can eat the fruit that grows from the plant that grew from the seed or it will lie dormant, never to flourish. True love is the love of equals but there are occasions where love is unconditionally given because one keeps the ego below the relationship.

Sometimes it is what it is.  There is no future or hope for any togetherness of a level one may dream of in a love relationship but one still gives.  It is meant to be that way and if one finds solace and joy in it then there is nothing more precious to live for in one life. Reciprocation, however longed for, is not the goal. Love then takes a spiritual form. A devotion. It is also a way to express gratitude for being part of the journey. Of evolution.  Sometimes two people are bound by events in their lives and all they can do it give in their own way. Sometimes in shot measures sometimes completely.

Not many people agree but to accept the things one can not change and give what is needed and receive whatever is there is also a form of love. If it doesn’t hurt either that is. For if it does then it is not love and maybe never was.

It is funny that we expect honesty and trust in a relationship but are ready to let the other person compromise it to love us back. It is true of the relationships where there is a third person involved but the moment you respect and love yourself and your love for the person it feels good. It feels good  not to feel the pangs of jealousy, of loneliness and want , or absence, guilt and whatever it was bringing. You accept your place in their lives and theirs in your life. There is nothing more than that to look forward to. Or is there? I think there is.  Someday you will know it too.

There was a time I would cringe at the thought of being outside the periphery of your world and lament non stop of the heartache it caused but it has all dissolved. For my love for you does not need crutches to stand. It isn’t dependent on anything.  I said once, “I wear your love like a scarlet letter on my being” but not anymore. I wear it as a warmth that was lacking all through my life and know it will see me through all the winters of my life.

Time is an illusion where your past and future lives run simultaneously in the present and in this present I am happy and content with the variations of love you have brought. Together in distance each in its own way for mutual growth and personal evolution. If the universe has brought us together there ought to be a purpose and it will fulfill itself at the right time. Till then You and Me will keep flowing like a river finding and charting its path in the landscape of our lives.

I leave you with Neruda’s Sonnet XVII from 100 Love Sonnets

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep

♥ ***************************♥

You And Me – Solitary Amid Silent Ruins


I am tired of building sand castles, tired of so tastefully infusing each grain with love and passion only to be swept away by tide or the strong breeze blowing across the oceans that lie between us. Nothing remains, not even ruins. Nothing but handfuls of sand slipping through my fingers into the void left by crashing waves. I love the stories written in stones and bricks, ancient, crumbling structures that once were home to lovers and kings, temples made in honor of goddesses, tombs, castles and once vibrant, thriving city states now nothing but crumbling ruins shrouded in folklore, mystery, and intrigue, blurring that thin line between myth and reality. Each brick, each stone whispering a story. Touch them, run your hand on these broken walls and they will come alive and speak to you of passion, betrayal, envy, compassion, deceit, and death, everything that love is capable of. Sometimes I feel they were built as ruins and all the grandeur was added to them only to fall off with time to reveal once gain the alluring perennial beauty like that of a  woman whose true essence lies underneath the layers and layers that cover her. Her true self emerges only when all the veils drop.

Ruins have that strong naked feminine energy running through them, holding them together in all their beauty despite the ravages of time. Tinged with melancholy there is an unsaid acceptance that these ruins are more real than the perfection we aspire to.

We ventured into this haze, arms locked together, hand in hand strange warmth radiating between us, a light squeeze of hand in the grip of another, a message, assurance of being there in that moment. We traced invisible lines on the crumbling walls, our fingers laced together as one. It was in this moment of togetherness I realized even if this meeting had an end at least it had a beginning.  Time stood still as we talked along the trodden path. The fringes of the day lingered on the arches and columns that stood like trees of life. Supporting whatever still remained of the glorious past. The stones spoke to me and I seemed to know their mute language, and they too seemed to understand what I felt.

Patches of light played hide and seek on the building facades as the sun played mysteriously sought its path among the silhouettes frozen in time. He was a tourist I a traveler  seeking something more than what lay before my eyes but somehow it was enough to just be with him even in our differences.  The unintentional occasional brush against each other sent sparks shooting up my spine like a comet. I wondered what feelings these ruins evoked in him. Between the sunset of past glory and an uncertain dawn he and I stood separated by a dark frightening night.

Today I stand solitary amid the silent ruins. We never really forget someone after we have felt their hands, their fingerprints on ancient walls, after we have engrained their body heat into our very body chemistry and the fragility of it all. Today these ruins are filled with silent murmurs of our hearts. I ran my fingers along the weather-beaten Gothic columns like prayer wheels of monastery and suddenly I felt his presence, as if he had come back to me travelling all the seven thousand five hundred miles, filling all the gaps and cracks in me, filling the emptiness, the void, for I am a ruin myself, wandering among the ruins.

I leaned against the pillars draped in twilight and felt my inner darkness merge with the lengthening shadows of these pillars. I began to walk along the familiar path, now empty and more ruinous that it was meant to be. I reached the arch from where we had looked down upon the eerily silent, dramatic, desolate vast expanses of structures with dark lonesome interiors. My own loneliness and the pain of separation began to rise from some deep dark crevice within. The walls of my heart resembled those that lay beyond the frame the door made. Piles and piles of abandoned stones once part of some structure built brick by brick with some ol’ loving hands now in ruins flung up in jealous rage by winds of change. No wonder these ruins remind me of love, of distances, of  deep sorrow that clings to the senescent walls like jungle vines eclipsing everything that comes in its way.

Strange, how darkness paints everything in its own color.  I climbed the staircase into the open, out of the darkest recesses of my being. These stairs had seen many ups and downs in the lives of those who lived and dreamed. I chased scents of those as the landscape began to dissolve into inky night.  Sometimes a sorrow greater than ours acts like a sedative and tranquilizes the emotional pain, the ruins did just that today and now It was time to leave , the company of inner storm and wind that rushed through the decaying, neglected, lonesome structures of the past.

I know why I love to linger among them. It is because they aren’t neat and safe like buildings of today too superficial and undisturbing. It is only in the broken, obscure, jumble one can find oneself. only here one can shed all that is not part of the real self and look at the naked truth. I picked a handful of sand and watched it slip slowly from between my fingers.  Just like time.

The moment that brought us together as one had ended. Each of us carried with them a part of other. He was gone for I don’t know how long and left me wrapped in a myriad of emotions. I took the bridge which he had crossed with me that day filling my world with laughter, love and an immense feeling of togetherness leaving the shadows of the past behind.

I will wait for you as these ruins wait for travelers who seek the voice of  their soul. I will wait for you to run your fingers along the contours of my body just as we ran them along the walls and columns, plinths and arches. I will wait, even though it is hard to be left behind.  I want to get used to this feeling that you are with me even though you are not by my side or may never be. Waiting isn’t about patience or even hope, it is about keeping the dream alive for sometimes it is the only thing one has. The only thing to live for. A mirage that keeps a lost and lonesome traveler alive with hope in the harsh reality of life. I know that no oasis awaits me with its bountiful gifts .. love is sometimes just a distant dream, togetherness an illusion. Sometimes one knows one’s place –  outside the periphery, just as these ruins in the desert and that is the beauty of it.

I would like to thank James Goddard  for allowing me to use these excellent photographs from his travels to Syria and Spain. The photo credit goes  to him. 

This is the last post of the  series    You and Me .. at least for now ..

You and I – Secret Tales


“I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,
I love you simply, without problems or pride:
I love you in this way because I don’t know any other way of loving.”  Neruda

There is a certain relish in what you steal, in savoring the flavour of forbidden fruit. Stolen kisses . … stolen moments … a sudden brush against me in the cyberspace that made my soul dizzy. Today I am searching for words, searching for those apt words to describe the feeling of intense love that I feel for you. Love that is not laced with passion or lust or longing but with a  warmth that rises from different strategically located places in your body and then slowly sweeps over your entire being .

You entered my life like a comet and exploded into a zillion stars, illuminating my night , my life, me. I felt star spattered. A blooming new galaxy.

You made me feel like meadow of wild flowers. Not roses. Not tulips. No. Just a beautiful landscape blazing with thousands and thousands of wild flowers.

You brought out all the essences of a woman in me. The wild gypsy girl , the sensuous lover, the porn star, a nurturer and a healer . You stimulated and ignited my intellectual side, spiked it with wit and humor.

With that and much more you gave me dignity, honored my womanhood, held my hand and pulled me up into the comfort of your embrace.  Shielding and protecting me like a cocoon. A womb for my metamorphosis.

Unlike all those who scarred my life where ever it touched theirs, you asked for nothing in return and that I guess made me open myself to you completely without fear and inhibitions.

This is called Trust.

One doesn’t sign a treaty for this. One just believes totally and with no reservations and second thoughts.

This is called Love .

Across thousands of miles hearts connect, blossom into something nameless. Something much above the usual norms of friendship and romance, above everything that’s temporal and ephemeral.

I know when we meet , it will be enough for me to just sit beside you.

There were million little things that added up together over the time and I knew we were destined to be together. I knew it the first time we reached out to each other. It was like a journey back home and You were the talisman I needed to survive the highest highs and the lowest lows.

It is so simple to love you. To go about doing the mundane just with knowledge that you are there. It’s easy to let you be with your solitude, understand the language of your quiet and return when beckoned with love.  It is an aromatic blend of cinnamon and clove, ginger and honey, strawberry and cream,  Fragrant Tisanes.  It is the raw mango and mint. It is the citrus moon and the marmalade sky.

A margarita with its lush flavors and smooth delicate blend in a salt rimmed glass. A long tropical cocktail. A tequila shot. Single malt on a rainy day besides the fireplace.

We are different, yet similar. Distant  and alone yet together. Whatever we do is as much  yours as mine. Love grows in spaces between, not in bodies or someplace else.

Every time you call my name some piece of me falls into place. I’m glad to have you in my life. I feel  infused with glitter and stars and popping candy. It’s flowing in my blood and brain. fingertips and toes. I love him. I don’t know how to describe how happy I am. I am still searching for some apt words to describe my love for you.

For now I will just surrender myself to you, my laughter, pain, truth, lies, half-truths, half lies, my hopes, dreams and secrets, my fleeting days, endless nights, . I give you my flesh my skeleton . I let you occupy me. I will remain vulnerable for that is how love is supposed to be.

There is a pleasure in simple things. Simple words of love carelessly thrown , stolen kisses, stolen moments. These are secret tales. You may have your own. We all have unbridled desires, secret wish lists and they all start coming out when you are in love. 

read all the posts here YOU AND ME 

You and I – Corazon


Heart 

helium filled balloon

there is goes 

floating into unknown

chasing dreams

mine but not really 

who is it seeking ?

who knows? 

whose calling ?

Only the heart knows

I am flawed, fractured,scared and I know am living an impossible dream Love is a long haul and am ready to brave the tides and the whirlpools, storms and crushing waves.  I call it impossible not because I fear of losing it but because you are afraid to push though your fears. Nothing kills love more brutally than our own incapability to hold it together.

we talk more say less

think more act less

hear more listen less 

forget more remember less

empty more fill less 

conceal more reveal less 

take more give little

we leave a lot unsaid undone 

we do everything wrong 

just about everything

we turn love into a mental illness 

we pretend

we deny

and then we regret

we suffer

we live a heartache

.

 .

.

I wrote a letter to you last night. I wrote it on a white paper. With a pencil. I did not just write it to fill the nightmarish hours, or to make it seem as close to reality as possible, nor did I write it so I could trace my fingers over it and feel the throb of each word. I did not write it to bring it to my lips and kiss the way I would have loved to kiss you – gently or to inhale your imagined warmth from it.

 I wrote it for a simple reason that I missed you in the most desperate human way. Raw naked want. Just that. Simple hunger. No , not the one that consumes the body and makes it burn over the cool white sheets. Not that. A want , a hunger of togetherness. Of being with each other.

It is something very private. Something that you may not even feel or may clothe it with your perfectly woven wordrobe so that it loses bits of its reality but I, I miss you more than you can imagine, more that I can  believe and I was prepared to miss you a great deal you see. This missingness is a deluge.

How do you miss someone whom you haven’t met in flesh and blood?

Why?

Let us not debate that. This is not a courtroom. This is not a trial of love .

It just is . Period.

It is a wait.

A wait that maybe you may realize and accept  that you too want me with the same intensity after all.

If not , maybe you will gather strength to say it otherwise, to put love to trial, to hold court, and the verdict will be given and love will lead us to our separate graves.

Have you walked through empty corridors? There is an intimacy there. Like love. It fills you.  A fusion of light and dark. Shadow and light.

Sometimes I feel you brush past against me , a presence, just as you in my mind, in my heart, sending a tingling sensation down the nape of my neck all the way to the small of my back.  It gets under my skin, circulates, and takes residence at various places I had forgotten they existed.

I wrote to you with a pencil .. why ? you will ask.

I never liked pens. I like the black on white. I like the fragility and fluidity of writing with a pencil. I like the way it softly moves, like foreplay.  Pens are crude in my opinion. violent.

There is a movement in words written with pencil.. I watch them lazily curl up on your pillow or slide beneath your nightshirt clinging to your chest, I watch them nestle in your hair as my fingers would. I watch them trace patterns on your body like kisses.  They are secrets, sensuous syllables cuddled under the supple  folds of your skin. Taking your shape, spooning . Only words written with pencil can do this. This perfect merger of hard lead and soft smooth delicate paper. Only they come with so many more possibilities.

Only they can map the topography of your body without leaving a tell-tale sign, silently like a tendril wrapped around a stem. With thousand miles between us I let them make what we can not. Love

So I wrote a letter to you last night, like every night . I can not keep away from you.

Go buy a pencil. Run your fingers over its spine. Hold it gently. Let its soft tip move on a white paper. Let the heart do the rest.

I wrote to you a letter like I do each night  and tied it to my heart .. there it goes .. it will find you … if you chose so.

Read all the YOU AND I posts here.