I knew exactly what Loneliness looked like even before I had learnt to spell it.
If chaos and unrest, ever made love, "Loneliness" is what you'd get.
For someone whose head has always been full of voices that are more like a broken tape-recorder stuck on a song called
"M i s f i t" ;
Loneliness came in unannounced, barring the visit of any other emotion except his lady love, Overthinking.
For Loneliness the muse and the poem are always a string of would haves, could haves and should haves, with which he composes a rather cacophonous song; the notes of which are known only to him.
But there are days when hopelessness
w r e c k s
every belief that you once nurtured. And on one such day, I
the belief that Loneliness is a gigantic tree that my heart nurtured.
I often wonder how the roots strengthened their grip on my heart.
was it my "friends" who had gifted me those seeds?
Or was I destined to carry this unwarranted ache called "loneliness"?
I never had answers.
But what I knew was that all the arable land in my heart was occupied by Loneliness. Needless to say, Self love could never rejuvenate and in the absence of love, Hope wilted.
Shedding its bark like a sycamore tree, Loneliness, soon became strangely comforting. ("Solitude is what they call it, but I've developed a certain fondness for the word "lonely")
And on nights when the shreds of Loneliness manage to pierce my skin like slivers of wood, I pen down a poem and name it after Emptiness.
(You see, Loneliness has mastered the art of pointing fingers (like me) and blames it all on emptiness)
Winter is anything but a poem that was left incomplete with a promise that it'll be completed some day.
A poem that embraces the Earth, and the Earth blushes thus, covering itself in sheets of snow to hide its true feelings.
The sunshine clad snow transcends the face of E a r t h, while drowning some memories and reviving others.
On days, when my vision gets blurred with hopelessness, I find Winter enveloping my tongue, trying to lure my words to fall into its lap just before I decide to set them free.
(that is perhaps why my voice b. r. e. a. k. s and s h i v e rs )
Freezing, shrieking and trembling, my words find a way to slide into my aching throat.That by chance, is brimming with all the words that I never had the audacity to utter.
So, on days, when it snows both inside and outside, I find myself being cradled by Melancholy in streets full of wilted hyacinths and half written elegies.
She looks at me and her eyes sparkle like dazzling fairy lights and I can almost feel anxiety melting away; as if she knows how to lull anxiety to sleep.
Her arms are perhaps the only place which I can label H O M E and the serenity that encompasses her aura is enough for my miseries to cloak themselves as poems and walk around shamelessly.
She ties a few metaphors on my wrist as tokens of love. But each time, I try to set my pale wrists free, they leave a few goodbye kisses.
Reasons never surrounded her presence and that's exactly why I always thought of her as a soft drizzle that whispered sweet nothings. Something that I wanted my intellect to dissect but at the same time, I hoped not to taint her beauty with stains of over thinking.
Therefore, when the myriad hues of a rainbow fade away and the sky is a blank canvas, she drenches me in her greys and I wrap her in s(i)miles.
A face that has countless scattered lines of anxiety, scattered --- as if they were playfully drawn by a kid.
Those almond shaped eyes are an ocean. An ocean that has learnt to gulp everything in one go. Yes, sadness has a face. A face that hides in plain sight.
It's the face :
1. of that old woman you met on the. metro station --- the lady who carried loose folds of skin and bulging eyes like they were heavy bags, tiresome to carry. But she somehow managed to zip them to keep the contents safe (And hidden)
2. of that teenager who walks with drooped shoulders --- the one who reminded you of wilted hyacinths. His heart is a desert where dreams once bloomed. Now, he carries his broken dreams and insomnia on his fragile shoulders.
3. of that lean man, who is a warrior in disguise. The one whose callous fingers are swords that murder sorrows, his eyes are flame throwers and his silence--- his ultimate weapon. All for the sake of his family.
Yes, sadness has a face. A face that has been taught to camouflage. A face that hides in plain sight.
A face that resembles your smile, my eyes, his nose, her hairs, or maybe, it has parts, of you and me and all of us.
And at times, this face, coincides with the face of poetry.
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."
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!