If I ever sent you a voicemail, this would be it.

I almost miss the sound of your voice but know that the rain
outside my window will suffice for tonight.
I’m not drunk yet, but we haven’t spoken in months now
and I wanted to tell you that someone threw a bouquet of roses
in the trash bin on the corner of my street, and I wanted to cry
because, because —
well,
you know exactly why.
And, I guess I’m calling because only you understand
how that would break my heart.

I’m running out of things to say. My gas is running on empty.
I’ve stopped stealing pages out of poetry books, but last week I pocketed a thesaurus
and looked for synonyms for you but could only find rain and more rain
and a thunderstorm that sounded like glass, like crystal, like an orchestra.
I wanted to tell you that I’m not afraid of being moved anymore;
Not afraid of this heart packing up its things and flying transcontinental
with only a wool coat and a pocket with a folded-up address inside.
I’ve saved up enough money to disappear.
I know you never thought the day would come.

Do you remember when we said goodbye and promised that
it was only for then? It’s been years since I last saw you, years
since we last have spoken.
Sometimes, it gets quiet enough that I can hear the cicadas rubbing their thighs
against each other’s.
I’ve forgotten almost everything about you already, except that
your skin was soft, like the belly of a peach, and
how you would laugh,
making fun of me for the way I pronounced almonds
like I was falling in love
with language.

– Shinji Moon

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The love letter of a mild schizophrenic.

“No, it’s you. You make me miss you, like a person who’s just missed his flight, regretting his decision to linger over his morning coffee to think about his children.
You make me uncomfortable, like the tiny ball of threads at the edge of my socks; the more I scrunch my toes, the more it exists.
You make me feel like a traveller without an umbrella stranded in pouring rain and I’ve never enjoyed the rain, don’t you know that already?
You make me think like an addict on the lookout for new ways to get a fix for just one last time before I bid you goodbye.

But I keep coming back because;

You make me feel alive, like a dog that’s finally found the ball, like an adult who stumbles across a piece of her past that makes her feel as if her life has been worthwhile. Funny, how a single fragment of nostalgia can validate the past, when the past is where it stems from, how a thread from the days gone by is all that’s required to tie up the jigsaw that’s been baffling us since time began. A single piece of insignificance attains massive proportions of importance once we realise how slyly it has been evading our conscious minds. It has always been right there- under the dining table, or on the window sill, against the wall, under my nose and I didn’t look at it with the right question in my mind.
Will you be mine? No? It is quite all right. Not everything is for me to possess, especially not something that drenches me so completely and at the same time makes me feel icky about being so transparent.

You make me feel transparent, yes, like a window that has been washed and re – washed by someone with OCD. You make me feel transparent like a piece of polished glass that was meant to be a mirror,  but someone just forgot to put the layer of silver behind it and now, here I am, purposeless and letting everything pass through me, letting you see everything I feel and sense everything I watch. Am I over thinking?

Love is painful, like a hair thin needle passing through the tips of my finger all the way into my heart and with each beat, I die a little more with the pain knowing all the same, that if it doesn’t beat, I’d die anyway. So, I love you anyway. Now that I think of it, I’ve always been able to bear more pain than you. You’ve been weak on numerous occasions, turning to me for comfort and a cup of warm coffee with extra froth. You couldn’t even drink the coffee hot!

No, I wasn’t asking the right question earlier. It should not be whether you’d be mine. Instead, why should I be yours? I’ll tell you. When I was a little girl, I never did bite my nails or pick my nose. As I grew older, I didn’t smoke cigarettes and didn’t do drugs. I didn’t even rebel a lot. I just fell for you and you became my habit. You are the bad habit my mother had warned me against on the last day of high school. This is what I derive pleasure from. You. And that’s why I’ll be yours, that’s all. You’re my imagination. MY imagination. My IMAGINATION. You’re all mine to be with.”

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Artwork: Christine Wu

When We First Met.

The universe twisted on its spine
When it felt what I felt
When I first met you.
Every breath left my body
With a dozen lighting strikes
Raining into the ocean.
And, as you quenched my soul
The earth swallowed
Every droplet of rain
Like morsels of rice
To a starving man.

The words you said
Rang in my ears like
Wooden chimes
Making love to the wind
On a stormy evening
Right before sunset.
And, the leaves bent over
Backwards;
Belly up with joy
Every time you
Whispered my name.

You swept me over
Like a glacier in sun
While I melted into
You.
And time itself moved,
Like a tadpole of water
On an infinite panel
Of translucent glass
Engulfing every drop
That it could ensconce
When you embraced me.
When we first met.

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Made by, Yours truly.

..the unspoken

She could feel his gaze rest on her hair and then slowly slither down to her shoulders. He hesitated, but carried on, as if she were his property. His eyes, they halted at her waist, almost as if he was giving her time to deal with it. She clenched her hand into a fist, and his gaze shifted downwards. He could see the nape of her neck. He had always loved her hair. Thick, dark, laden with coconut oil and tied in a neat bun.
She was looking out of the window at the tea-stall a few hundred yards away. Shalini was with her.
“Move back.” He said it calmly. He had no sense of urgency or any intonation of worry in his voice. Shalini looked at her friend with questioning eyes. Surely, she had heard her brother’s command? Neethi ignored it and continued to fascinate about the rain.
“I asked you two to move back.” He was still calm, only this time he was louder. Neethi shot back “Why are you bothering us?”
“Simply because the tea-stall is going to burst in a minute or two.”
Shalini’s eyes widened with disbelief. “Move Neethi, I smell it too now that he has mentioned it”
The air was slowly growing dense with the aroma of leaking gas and tense emotions. Arjun walked toward the two girls and physically brought them away while sheltering their frail, delicate frames from the splinters which came from the tea-stall that was.

Neethi had never liked Arjun. He was her step brother. Her amma had died when she was nine and her dad had remarried. The new amma was good, she was kind to Neethi and tied her pony tail every morning before school. Arjun was her son. He was thirteen when they had first met and ten years had passed between then and now.

While the tea stall kept burning ablaze, it started to pour heavily. Neethi noted the play of nature and smiled, while shrugging off Arjun’s protective hand from over her shoulder. Arjun let go, they were safe now.

“I need to go home, Neethi. I have assignments to do for classes tomorrow”
Neethi and Shalini has been friends for the last three years. It was difficult to find girls of the same tastes, and more importantly; caste and background these days. Arjun never approved of her choices. Some were too loud or too shallow, the others weren’t from Tamil Nadu or weren’t Brahmins. Neethi felt claustrophobic around his narrow mindedness, but that was until she had met Shalini.

Now that her only friend had left, she was left alone with Arjun. They sat under a blue tarpaulin sheet tied by two knots on either side to a bamboo stick. There were three broken cardboard boxes, on which they sat. One waiting for the rain to cease, the other hoping it would never stop.

“Do you like the rain, Neethi?” Arjun wanted to know her. She was always so quiet around him. It has been more than six years since she had properly spoken to him. One she had started thinking for herself, it was as if she did not care about his existence. He knew that she did not respect him for what he believed in but he had his reasons. Someone had to hold on to her, isn’t it?

She looked straight ahead, pretending to have not heard the question. She hoped that her indifference would squash his efforts of this rendezvous. But he was persistent. She heard him clear his throat and repeat the question. “Neethi, do you like the rain?”
“Yes, I do.”

Her reply was curt, just like he had expected it to be. She was a child in ways that couldn’t be counted on the fingers of both hands. A crow flew across the sky, took two turns and rested itself on the highest pole in the vicinity. Neethi looked at it and envied the freedom it had. The crow, it could fly anywhere, and pretend the world was its oyster. And indeed, it was.

She looked at Arjun. He had a stubble. Hadn’t he shaved in the last few days? No, she couldn’t recall it. His round cheeks and the dimpled chin suited his dark and shiny skin. He was robust, stout, and any girl would be happy to have him around. His hair was damp with the rain dripping on him through a hole in the tarpaulin. His fingers were podgy, with a ring for each stone on eight of his fingers. She looked at her own frail hands, they lacked any accessory and had long nails. She made a mental note to trim them as soon as they headed back.

“Would like to go there?” Neethi looked up from her hands and saw Arjun pointing toward a small hill. It was basically a heap of pebbles which had grown over time.
“Now?”

“Yes, right now. You said you enjoy the rain.”
“But..”

“I am going. Follow me if you wish to.”
Neethi saw her step brother get off the make shift seat, brush is pants off the dirt, then rub his hands together; as if he was beginning a feast. Then, he walked off toward the ‘hill’.

Several years ago, Neethi had cut her hand while wearing a bangle. It was pink, with glitters and made of glass, and their amma had purchased two dozen such bangles. Often, Neethi would wear them and pretend to be a bride and ask for her brother’s permission to marry a certain make-belief-husband. But he used to always deny, and that is how the game ended for her each time. She could distinctly remember the disdain in his eyes when she asked to marry a SRK. “How can you marry a mussalman, Neethi?” is what Arjun had said. Slowly, she stopped asking for his permission. The game became a lot more fun, after that. The bangles broke, one by one, and she stopped playing.

Neethi got off too. Her sari was wet near the hem. Her chappals were covered with mud. She curled her toes in and tweaked her nose. She loved the rain, but it made her messy and she did not like the feeling. “WAIT!”, she shouted, “I’LL COME!”

Arjun waited in the rain while she tapped her feet on the ground and looked at the tea-stall. The flames had burnt down and there were just the black remnants of the shop that was there. The glasses had shattered and the road was covered with soot.

That bangle had cut her quite deeply. Red, gushing blood oozed out from her index finger. She had big, fat tears dripping down her cheek. She was scared of their amma scolding her. She was in pain and he couldn’t do much to ease her discomfort. He never liked her game in the first place. Why would she want to marry other men when it was him that she was supposed to desire? She had gradually stopped asking him and he had forgotten about it. But the broken glasses…

He held out his hand and she took it, without hesitating.
“Let us go.” Neethi instructed him to walk ahead. With one hand, she held up her sari and with the other, she held on to Arjun tightly.

There was one day in school, where he had held her hands. There was torrential rain. His grip was firm, almost hurting, but he never let go. His small hands held her smaller hands and they had walked back from school together, jumping over and navigating between puddles. His grip had not changed.

As children, Arjun and Neethi would climb up the ‘Mountain’. Both of them thought of how childish the game was and how big everything looked then. It was barely a few steps high, now. Had they grown or was the Hill never that big? Neethi let go of his hand and sat down. Arjun looked at her and smiled. He knew exactly what she was about to do. He sat down beside her, their feet touching each other. He looked at her waist peeking through the sari. Water dripped down, making tadpoles across the clear skin of her back. Her hair was coming undone, three stray strands of hair were embracing her shoulder. His hand ached to touch her again.

She slid down, laughing. Her head was arched backward in joy. He hadn’t seen her happy. He realised that he was the cause of many of her sorrows. He shook his head, in disgust and then laughed at how cruel life had been with them.
This wasn’t the time for melancholy.

He slid down too, laughing. There, they met again. There, they were surrounded by joy and laughter and a sprinkle of happiness. She touched his hand. She looked deeply into his eyes and then, almost as if someone had whispered into her ears to not do so, she recoiled her gesture as quickly as she had done it. And there, he was left feeling distraught, drained and alone all over again after what felt like what it would have been like, had there been more rain and less reign in her life. He understood, but he wouldn’t change. Silently, she got up, and they moved back into their routine, as if the last hour had never happened.

– tangled?

104.

Lets call this post ‘Train of Thoughts’. Why? Because it has been raining continuously for a long time and therefore I have been stuck in the room for a long time leading me to have a…train of thoughts which is well, long. There are a lot of wires that run from one electricity pole to another here, in Burdwan. And ever since it has been raining, there has been a formation of a train of droplets on them, every new drop ending in the one preceeding it. It keeps happening, no matter how much I will them to move ahead, the drops simply refuse to see that the wire continues beyond the point of coalescence.

Much like what’s happening to me. Remember, it was mum’s birthday on 18th? (which reminds me, thank you for the huge readership on that day!) Well, on the same day I got the news of one of my favourite teacher’s passing away. And everyone I spoke to asked me to move on on THAT very day. How? More importantly, why? When a person passes away, the world should stop, even if for a minute, but it should. It should make a difference. People should be sad. There should be a change. The earth must shift..only a litlle bit, but it should happen. Now ofcourse, if you did not know her, none of this is expected from you, but if you did know her, then hell yes- you should cry. There is nothing to be ashamed of, cry because she deserves it..
Ma’am had touched me and so many more. She was kind, beautiful and an amazing person not only from outside but also from the inside. She saw us as kids, not students. She saw her son in each one of us. She understood me. Ma’am you will be missed and you know that better than I can explain. I hope god takes you to a better place.

Yeh jeevan hai, iss jeevan ka, yahi hai yahi hai yahi hai rang-o-roop.
Thode gam hai, thodi khushiyan, yahi hai yahi hai yahi hai chao dhup.

– This song cannot get more appropriate.

It is still raining. My room-mate is cleaning her part of the room and organising her books. I, like always,am sneezing and snuggled under a blanket typing this out on my phone. There is a cat, sitting by the ledge near the window sill. It is white, with browninsh grey spots. And it is that cat which doesnt eat Marie biscuits so we have nothing better to offer. Choosy bitch, err, cat. I had decided to start studying at 5pm. That got postponed to 5:30pm and now, it is finally resting at 6pm. Have to start at a whole number, you see!

The rain has led like a gazillion insects into our lit room, we bengalis call this one urchinga. Not that you needed to know, but whats the harm in some free knowledge? Oh! I saw this horrendous movie yesterday – I Spit On Your Grave. It is a story about a girl who gets gang raped and then, about how she gets her revenge on those men (all of the men die in the end). It is ghastly and it made me nauseous. Surprisingly, the roomie I have cannot watch ghost stories cuz she’s scared of them could watch, follow and enjoy this movie which had me semi-puking after about an hour-and-half! Don’t watch it if you don’t think you can stomach teeth being pulled out, eyes being swallowed by crows, penises being cut and faces being acid-burnt.

Don’t, even if you think you can, because, you cant!

It has stopped raining, well reduced. I should go eat maggi. And study.

-wired and droplets make me smile. :’)