Fall in love, yes do. When you are Eighteen, nineteen or ninety For " n " number of times Fall in love Along the corridors Of a college library, Or in a strange city Or around a new alley, Or in a wornout park Anywhere and Everywhere Fall in love Easily and quickly.
Sneak into an abandoned Corner holding hands , Sail your lips upon his Behind a Sycamore tree, Let him make a voyage round your being , Your hills and your valleys And you trace the map of a world he carries under his robes.
Thereafter when he waves a Goodbye, you smile and say goodbye too.
Don't become Sylvia Plath in love, never make poetries for him, don't write an elegy when he departs, okay? Try not to become Frida Kahlo In love either, don't paint tears In your canvas when he starts unwrapping another woman.
Ah, fall in love I say Just don't make him an art you know, Coz my professor says Art out lives all, Art is immortal. So in that case he would continue to live in you while you die!
Sometime back a friend told me that World War III memes are trending on social media. I didn't know how to react to that. And I don't know how one can laugh about wars.
All I know is that I see a man limping and struggling to walk along the roads of my university campus everyday while passers by keep mocking about the way his one leg is. That man is my history professor who told us in the first lecture that he lost his one leg during Kargil War. Is sensitivity a forgotten art? I hope and pray it's not. There's NOTHING funny about a war. Understand. And grow up.
" Is it that easy for me to embarrass you ? ", he asks staring at me. " No " , I reply almost trying to avoid an eye contact. " But I just did thrice " , he says giggling.
That's when my city first witnessed how those tweety eyelashes of yours droop down half closing your window of gazes and those bunny teeths flash behind your pink hills when you laugh. In all my silent lanes of mind I was trying to find perfect metaphors for a man who travelled miles to travel my mind.
" Ah, there's Dominos even in your city " he exclaims smirking to get his favourite sarcastic reaction from me. " That's not a good one ", I reply to his surprise. " Why " " The good ones are in Mumbai " " No, the best ones are in Mumbai " and he breaks into laughter still staring at me.
Do I not keep sarcasms at my tongue tip ! And here I was letting you win. Like my smartness and sanity, even the period cramps went on a vacation the moment you entered my city. And I had walked to meet you like a river who awaits ages to meet the sea. Yet I intended not to reveal how when you get busy looking at my city, I quickly stare at you and in no time I look away as your eyes turn to me.
" I don't usually like tea but this is really good " " Are people in Mumbai not good in making tea ? " , finally trying to be sarcastic I ask. " They are. I am amazed that even people in your city know how to make it " he says giggling again. " Come on , I am waiting for a sarcasm " he adds. But I keep quiet and smile.
Did I walk out of my room today to fail in conversations. Maybe yes. But some failures can make you smile like an insane child each time you recall them. And I am jotting this down to celebrate it like victory and to celebrate you like poetry.
A fifteen minutes conversation had almost reached its denouement when she asked, " when are you coming home? " " 2nd of October, Mum " I say before disconnecting the call.
Home. The place she taught me to call home is painted in the lightest shade of green hue with charcoal black windows. Close to one window laid an old guava tree and few lilies amidst wild grasses which I loved gazing at for hours as a child.
Those lilies over years started smelling like the alcohol my father gulped every night and soon stopped growing. The guaves grew bitter like my parents' relationship and the echo of my mother's voice abandoned the place.
The place now houses a man in his early fifties who chose himself over everyone else, who every now and then complains that no one cares. I smile and tell him that lilies were dying in the garden and he refused to water. The last text from him reads " I am the culprit ". I don't know what to reply.
But I did want to tell mum that though I long to be home, tell me if it ever existed!
When do you know that you have fallen out of love?
When you wake up every morning To realise that you will never see that familiar face beside you, When you stop counting the days You heard him last, When the calendar is unknown About your span of separation, Or when that face fades a little more In the heap of memories and tears,
When do you know that you are still in love?
Maybe when you realise that you Never unloved but learnt to stay alone, Or when you acknowledge that you Only chose yourself over a storm, That could ruin.
Hello. Wherever you are, I hope you're warm. I hope this gives you something to smile at.
WHERE ARE YOU?
When my sister was leaving for college, I tried to be happy for her. I was, actually. I was quite happy. But a part of me was moping in a corner watching my little sister leave the warmth and familiarity of our home to go to this new place.
I wondered if Tris had felt the same several years ago, when I had been leaving. Then I felt a pang of jealousy. Tris had the privilege of holding onto Mum and bawling and throwing a fit as I tried to get my clothes out of her grip. I wasn't the kid and we didn't have Mum anymore.
Somewhere, in the middle of packing the boxes, Tris looked longingly between me and the birds we had painted on the wall and I glimpsed the little girl who had put up sticky notes on these very walls the day I was leaving filling it with "I love you. Please don't go.", "I promise I won't steal your Chapstick.", "You can take my cookies." When I smiled at the memories, I felt the taste of tears on them. Tris had never made things easy.
She was still sitting on the floor, leaning against the bed that will soon be cold and barren. I brushed that thought away, pushed the box and sat down beside her.
We had this game we played. Whenever we needed to find each other, our ourselves, whenever we were lost, we'd sit beside each other and ask "Where are you?" We had played this game so many times over the years. When mum had passed away, Tris had told me. I'm locked inside a closet, and no one can find the keys, Eva.
And I had held her, as we sat against this very bed. "Hear my voice through the door? I'm calling out to you, Tris. We'll find the keys. I'm on the other side. I'm here. I'm always here."
So when I asked her this time "Where are you, midget?" She smiled, and closed her eyes "I'm at sea. The ship is rocking. The waves are huge, really. It's beautiful. But it's scary and it's making me a little dizzy." She looked at me.
"But the skies, Tris. The skies are clear. They're blue. We love blue. And the sun is bright, so bright that my skin is all red, the way that makes you laugh. And we're wearing straw hats looking at the horizon because you know what? We'll soon see the island. Wouldn't that be wonderful?"
When she laughed, a part of me wanted to wrap her in a hug right away and tell her everything that I couldn't put in words.
That night, she crawled into my bed, falling asleep to Simon and Garfunkel playing on mum's mixed tape. I stayed up late, willing all my warmth and courage into my baby sister. And some, into the letter.
Dear Tris, You're about to start what is going to be your life from today. There's so much I want to tell you. There's so much I want to protect you from. But I know that they're all going to be your stories. So you'd have to write them. They could be gifts, they could be lessons learned from mistakes, but they're all yours. So, my darling, I'll tell you this.
It's going to be beautiful. It really is. You'll find friends you'll keep for life. You'll also find people you'd never want to meet again. You'll run out of money all the time. You'll eat a lot of cold pizza. And drink a lot of coffee. You'll skip deadlines and you'll somehow always run late. You'll miss out on sleep a lot of days, and some days, you'll sleep through breakfast and lunch.
I know you're already smiling, and you're slightly slackjawed imagining all that. And I know you're both happy and scared. I know you're scared of getting lost, or getting hurt. And chances are that you will. But would you let that be your story? You'll get hurt. But I promise you you'll also get better. You'll learn to dream, and you'll find your feet to chase them too.
And you'll find people. You'll find your people, people who make you feel like you belong. Even if people is just one person. Or two. Or a handful.
You'll fall in love, Tris. And you'll realise, maybe with time, that it's the little things that matter. You'll realise that contrary to what we always think, it's not the big things that build or break a bond. You could tell someone you'd die for them, you'd cross oceans and fight everything and take a bullet for them. But you know? The bullet never comes. And it's always easier for people to love you when you're alive, than dead. Because what matters is that you're around. That's the magic. Being around. Being there for the little things. The little moments. When you trip and fall, and you're having a bad day, that is when you want someone. When they're staring out into the dark, at two in the night, thinking thoughts that are gnawing at them, that is when they need you around. When you're lying in a heap of tears and loneliness, wondering if this is what it will always come to, that is when you want someone.
Don't wait for the big things to define your life, Tris. Don't wait for death or bullets to make you and the people you love realise you love them. Don't wait until you're out of time to do and to say the things you want to to the people you love. Take the little moments and make them big. Make them yours. Be there. Show up for the little things, Tris, because they're going to be the big memories when you look back. The little things, midget. Always the little things.
Be there, even when you have to wait. I promise you they'll find you. Just like I had found you. Even if you're locked away in a closet. So that whenever you ask each other "Where are you?", you can both say "I'm here. I'm always here."