I gaze upon gen z clusters looking with disgust and worthlessness on ordinary and simple lives of the bygone generations, and I like a 90s trend, drive by the sunset boulevard, before disappearing into a blind turn, leaving behind echoing laughter.
I've genuine hate for this word, because it's so meaningless, steals the emotion, and mirth from small things in life, steals the beauty from simplicity; either nothing is ordinary, or everything is ordinary; "extra" is just a measure of pretentiousness.
How do you live a simple, sober and minimalistic life?
Perhaps, you mow the thought that what you've now isn't enough, and maybe it's not, but gratefulness, as my mother would say, is a spice that must be present in every meal you have.
And then you just live, without seeking happiness in the stereotypical corners, but you let it find you like a marshmallow hitting your tongue in a cup of hot chocolate.
expectations; disappointments; do you stop hoping then? Being heartbroken is a habit I guess.
But all you ever have is nostalgia, for the things that are gone, for a time that can't be replaced, or refunded, because you dreamt too much, and every time you did a nail was added to your bed; it wasn't your fault to dream vastly, it was to assume that one is of more value than the other, to assume that all the colours of the kaleidoscope were happy hues, and now all that's left is nostalgia, for a future, that died in your past, and a deathbed of broken dreams.
We dance to the slow melody of moonlight. My head is on your chest a little tilted, a little listless. I hear your heartbeat closely, like my life depends on it. Your hands on my waist, mine are hanging on your neck. We dance in silence, yet I hear you humming a song whose lyrics I have forgotten. The night sky is engulfing our niche and the trees are swaying whispering psithurism. Your voice is so sad that I want to kiss away your pain, I think. But I don't want the humming to stop, so I bury myself deeper in your arms. I try my best not to cry. I touch your hair, soft and smooth and fragrant. Your humming stops suddenly and you take my face in your hands like glass, like something that would break easily. I had warned you that this day would come, you hadn't trusted me back then. I pull myself from your arms and stand one feet within your body and it pulls me back but I resist. I didn't want you to go through this all. I didn't want to break you through this illness of mine. I didn't want to fall in love with life whom I had hated 20 years of my life. After all this monologue I realise I had uttered this aloud and I find my breath, hushed.
You fell for this ugly hideous face of mine. Your chirpy aura allured me to give life chances once again.
You take my name as soft as the zephyr. I refuse to look into your eyes. You take my hand and I let you take it. You don't say anything and I see tears in your eyes. I wipe them silently.
I ask, "Siddharth, what if I die right here, then what? You know that my survival chances are minimal and I don't want you remember me as long as you live, or be sad or be afraid of love" And you say, "Who says I'm afraid of love? You have given me the love I need for my lifetime and I don't want anything more and it's sad, you, young lady have to go so early. I had so many wishes and expectations about the life we'd live, it's okay Tara, you go I'll find you there whenever you go, and also you'll be so young and beautiful and I'll be old and saddened. We'll meet again, IMAGINE" The thought makes me cry but the way you said made me smile and chuckle. You add, Tara, life goes on. But I'll love you forever.
It starts raining. And we run back to the house. Suddenly my hands loosen grip from your hands as I hear a crack, my prosthetics twists and breaks, I fall and my head collides to something hard. A strange memories pops up and I hear your voice fading away. I still remember the day you asked about the long scar on my left side that stretched from my eyebrow downward to my cheekbone. I knew you were famous and popular. And that almost every girl was after you. It was the first time someone asked me about the backstory except my best friend. You asked if you could touch it. I allowed you, instead you touched that part of mine with your lips. Another first. I was shocked and suprised. Three days later, you became my first kiss.
"Tara, do you hear me calling you"?
"Tara, please open your eyes"
I hear your voice on the verge of tears, shaken and shocked. Tara, please don't leave me. And your voice echoes. I'm dazed confused and lost. I slightly open my eyes, and see bright lights everywhere. And I see an angel in red dress, its arms stretched. And I smile. And try to take your name but my lips don't part. I go into a deep slumber. All is blackness afterwards.
"We danced to the slow tunes of pale moonlight, but nothing matched her beauty. Her head was on my chest; she looked like a baby taking the support of my neck to stand still. I wondered what her thoughts were. Perhaps she was thinking about the moon, or her favourite song, or novel. All I could do was think about her and nothing. Her skin was dusky as the twilight glowed brighter than the stars that night. The arc of her smile and her crooked teeth were gorgeous than the moon and its surface. Her hands found my hair touching me like a goddess. Her godly hands emanated words through fingertips. And I could no longer resist the silence, took her face in my hands; she pulled back from my hands; her mouth slightly opened and said, "I had warned you that this day would come, you hadn't trusted me back then." She took two seconds of silence and heaved a sigh, I tried my best to embrace her again, but she was a little ball of adamancy and my love for her kept multiplying by the passage of each second beside her. "I didn't want you to go through this all. I didn't want to break you through this illness of mine. I didn't want to fall in love with life whom I had hated 20 years of my life."
She tried to speak relentlessly and found herself out of breath. My eyes couldn't just behold; my hands itched to touch her. Despite her illness, she was so brave and battled life despite constant losses. I wanted to make her mine yet give her freedom of everything. My senses couldn't believe that the girl who stood before me loved me and allowed me to take care of her. I took her name, "Tara, come here, please?" Her eyes refused to meet mine, so instead, I tried to take her hand; she gave it without second thoughts. Her slender hands perfectly fitted into mine. I had so many things to say, so many things to tell her before she was gone. I had to touch her one last time, feel the warmth of her hands I had to touch her flushed cheeks, the beautiful scar on her cheekbones, the taste of her lips, gaze into her slightly dark blue eyes, hear her heartbeats and make her feel home into my arms. Instead, I chose silence and gave her time to feel calm, to let her speak first, 'Siddharth', she said, every time she took my name it felt as if time stopped as if I had held my breath for one minute, and the relief I got was equivalent when she uttered it. Countless nights I had spent lay awaken, waiting for her to call me, to tell that she was alive. She spent her days in the hospital; her mother was there for her always.
She had continued, 'What if I die right here, then what? You know that my survival chances are minimal and I don't want you remember me as long as you live, or be sad or be afraid of love." I knew she was dying and her memory was depleting yet I never wanted her to feel sad, I wanted to see her beautiful smile. She had been given five more days to live.
So I spoke in the most optimistic way I could, "Who says I'm afraid of love? You have given me the love I need for my lifetime and I don't want anything more and it's sad, you, young lady have to go so early. I had so many wishes and expectations about the life we'd live, it's okay Tara, you go I'll find you there whenever you go, and also you'll be so young and beautiful and I'll be old and saddened. We'll meet again, IMAGINE"
She frowned first and then she laughed a bit. My heart bloomed right there.
I remember the first day I had met her. She had come in the mid semester. She was dressed in yellow, so ebullient yet shy. Her face was bright and she had a scar over her face on the left. She radiated an attractive aura, I was pulled towards her instantly. Our eyes met for a fraction of second and she had reverted her gaze.
Suddenly clouds engulfed her and it started raining, she seemed out of breath, we almost run towards the house but her hands slipped away and right in that moment I knew I was going to lose her forever. Her head hit a large rock like thing in that garden and there was blood everywhere. Her head was bleeding blood, I had never seen this much blood before. I quickly wrapped her in my arms and called for ambulance, her eyes they kept closely, and I continued to take her name, I had to keep her awaken, I couldn't do the one thing I could properly. I wanted to cry right there but I had to first make sure she was alright. I called her mother to come to the nearest hospital. We reached the hospital. We reached the ally, my whole white cloth had turned red. They told me I had to take leave, I called her name as loud as I could, and right there I saw her eyes partly open and her smile widened but she was gone. I cried that night, it kept raining, and my tears came pouring.
Twenty days later she was discharged from her ward. She had lost all memory. She fought against life one more time. She remembered nothing. Or her mother. Not even her own name. It was tough beyond point for me and perhaps more tough for her mother. Having lost her husband 6 years ago, and then her daughter's memory. Life is strange. So cruel. I smiled wryly, I had no reason to smile except she was back. I was grateful for life for giving me a chance to be with her, though her health continued to decline. We saw each other very less and whenever we could time elapsed faster than I'd imagined. Introducing each other after we'd known each other for the past 20 months, it seemed like the end of the world. We were patient with her. She needed love and care. My love for her never diminished, not even today. We watched sunsets together. She frequently had caught me staring at her longer than it was supposed to. She just smiled. She was learning new things everyday, new words everyday. She was a fast learner like always. I had always admired her rich vocabulary and envied the way she was so philosophical. And those days I taught her the English alphabet. There was hope for her once again.
But one month later she passed away peacefully. A pyre was built and physical presence was mixed into earth back. It rained that night too. I was broken. Her mother was a brave lady. She had done everything she could. Tara was gone forever. But we knew her presence would always be there in our hearts.
I had got the admission where we both had applied for. She had got the admission too. I almost cried everyday. Then life happened. I tried to love other people too but I couldn't. And Riya fell in love with me. I loved her too but never as I loved Tara. We had one kid. His son's graduation was last month. So you can imagine how old I am."
He trembles a little when he finishes the story. His wrinkles are scattered everywhere and his eyes looks tired, moist with nostalgia and memory of his beloved and his smile calm. I found the story quite a bit cliched but honestly speaking he had a charm indeed despite being so old. I wonder how handsome he must used to be when he was young. And I see our stations nearing. I say, "Umm hey I really hope you find what you're looking for her, my station is the next and happy day. The story was really beautiful and I'm happy you converted the sad things into happy moments. You really are a good person." And I give him my hands, he firmly shakes it gentlemanly. He says, "Thank you Vandita for being my listener. I'm glad I found a soul who I could share this. This happened 65 years ago. Now I feel relieved."
With a smile he bids me goodbye and I have this feeling that he was a person who knew exactly what he was doing, except this last journey he was embarking on.
• sangfroid Ignore the tenses. Ignore the lame plot. '-'