And like most people, she had big dreams-legislative research-small money-hopes and fears-
Sat on her desk-brunette hair basking in the tyndall effect of Dilli’s December sun- blowing hot and cold at the same time-sips chai and opens her inbox.
It wasn’t a typical day at work- what with the VP’s annual lecture around the corner and three MPs threatening to file a suit for slander and libel on one of India’s most celebrated journalist- someone on her ‘one that got away’ list-toxic mix-he wanted too much too soon and she was too much of herself to begin with-it ached now and then.
(Leaves office-puts on N 95 mask-blares Zeppelin in the background-ignores human race in entirety- routine on)
She sees-pretty shoes-actually shoes with bows-which were just shoes before-now branded feminine because of a simple bow-wonders as to who made these sexist rules- notices her shoe had ‘em bows too-she snickers-Zeppelin hit the softer note-hears the metro lady’s recorded voice-her cue to realize that she was on the wrong direction- the neon sign read ‘Delhi Gate’-runs to the door-dramatically jumps out to draw attention-only to ignore it-again-walks to the other side.
(For someone who topped her class in behavioral economics, she still had trouble figuring out how the violet and yellow lines behaved-after a month in Dilli-she still lost her way.)
“Umm. Excuse me? Is Moolchand station on this side?” She asked, hesitant and reluctant to make conversations with people, let alone strangers.
He looks around, desperate to spot another soul-empty station.
“Uhh. One sec. Lemme check” he said, unlocking his cracked screen that looked like spider man’s web.
“Yep. Its this side” He said with a polite smile as he folded his white sleeves and that caught her attention-what a weirdly wired brain-she sighed-dismisses further line of thought- removes her mask-more like out of courtesy-his pupils slightly dilate-she notices but doesn’t react-thanks him-they take the metro towards Kashmere Gate.
(A week later)
“Fuck. Not again” she cussed loudly as she jumped out of the metro unceremoniously.
Her phone falls for the millionth time-being a klutz was second nature to her-someone picks it up-she had already removed her mask-more out of curiosity than courtesy-to see if this stranger’s eyes would pop up too-his eyes didn’t-hers did-such a cliché-she thought.
“Chai piyogi?” he asked.
She smiled and mentally checked a box -walks towards the exit-she wanted to be the one that got away- for once.
Because- Sometimes,it wasn’t the story-but the possibilities.
“It’s so cold. Do you wanna go out for chai?” She snapped while biting her red lipstick wala lips.
Boring-snobbish-co-intern-way too quiet office-she didn’t wanna let go of the goody goody image- and like expected, she said, “No yaar, maybe we can have it when we leave home”.
Nevertheless, our protagonist left for chai.
The chai burnt her tongue and she wondered how nice it would be if she could feel them again in the middle of a slow and passionate kiss with babe.
(Comes back to office-desperately prays for the Parliament’s winter session to start-Leaves office-gets on to the metro.)
Being back on the metro was an altogether different experience for our protagonist; someone who believes that trains are romance.
(Notices a cute and sleepy guy sitting in front of her)
Reminds her of a different guy, same metro- Last time, there was a guy sitting in front of her. Again, cute and sleepy. With a hickey on his chubby cheek-and somehow everything felt haunted by the ghost of him-with time- at least everything around the metro.
Reminds her of a different guy, different metro- way way back- drunk and excited to attend a concert in hard rock cafe. Again, cute and sleepy. But she had a hickey on her chubby arm instead.
None of that seemed to matter. They weren’t anything more than a figment from the past; shiny little filaments on her pensive.
Didn’t matter now- Not anymore.
What she misses again, is an altogether different guy to be on the same metro.
So she let Baraz do her thing in the background.
She opened his chat box, and typed, “Babe. Come soon.”
All while , I looked at you from a window, Like a caged bird.
Like a caged bird , I longed to pour myself a dose of the atmosphere.
Like a caged bird , I believed in a tomorrow for us and held on to my utopian dreams.
Like a caged bird , I couldn’t wait to fly.
And then one day, the lock broke. I was free.
I filled my lungs with that cold evening breeze as I flew.
As I exhaled , I realised that the concept of our togetherness was merely a bitchy battle of perspectives.
I took a deeper breath as I flew higher.
After all , even the birds are chained to the sky !
I sat down to ink something…
Trying to clear the thunderous train of thoughts… And like always, I held on to poetry for dear life !
After infinite minutes of staring with my eyes closed and screaming with my voice muted.,
I realized the paper before me was empty..
That is when it hit me., Even my ellipsis have become comfortably numb …
” Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.., I cannot tell you how grateful I am for our little infinity ” There happens to be situations when words fail…. So., just know it.
If four walls were the greatest form of confinement , under what tag would I brand my heart?
A thousand miles away yours beat as fast as mine. And I know so.
Every gesture of yours tries to breakthrough my soul in a million fractals..,
Surfacing over the long lost love. There is more. There is less.
Every touch of yours tries to fit into the space that you thought would complete me.
But I’ve become numb. So numb that I no longer feel. Neither your touch nor your gesture.
And so complete that there isn’t space for any debris.
If a piece of me is what you are searching for..,well honey,they were never yours in the first place to begin with.
Happy Valentine’s day :*
I was three when Kbv took me in a warm embrace,
Brick coloured gates sided by a big sturdy tree.
At five, I thought Camlin crayons were irreplaceable treasures.
At ten, I thought cursive writing would be the most difficult art to master.
At fifteen, I thought I would never be able to let go of my crush.
At sixteen, I thought I would never become strong enough to handle reality.
I am seventeen and here I sit mystified…
With faces becoming names and names becoming faces , the only constant being the delta. The change.