When rock bottom becomes your night bed
and an inevitable obscurity envelopes your soul,
it is difficult to breathe with head under water.
The unbroken consciousness,
desperate measures to survive,
an ardent urge to launch above on the surface
instills a hope that the light will illuminate,
however, fastidious it may seem, at first.
Despite what they say,
despite the incessant struggles,
despite the battles that we have lost,
everything comes down to this;
and this sole belief that that there is light,
there is hope and there is a better tomorrow
that is fulfilling, all consuming.
We may give up today, assuming that
this is the end of all good things but what if,
for a slight chance,
this is the moment that will burn you down to ashes
only to give rise to a phoenix?
I found myself sitting in the same café today that I had last visited 10 months ago when you had stepped in nonchalantly and ordered a hot latte. Drenched from the rain outside, you finished the entire cup in a gulp and waited for the water to stop pouring down. We did talk. A lot. We heard Pink Floyd and argued about the new age trash music. How you didn’t like rain and how I wished it never stopped. Coming from different routes, we walked outside on the cobbled street, holding hands, the whiff of freshly baked croissants coming from the pastry shop nearby blending the humid air and on to the narrow lane that led us to the same path.
It was raining again today and the memory seemed blurred. I could only remember the fragments of the time that we had spent; memories that I had deliberately kept with me. I guess, maybe, it’s not the time but space that heals the wounds. The empty space that is created when you change your city which gave you only the worst memories or the person who you walked away from thinking that that was the last real love that you’ll ever have in your lifetime. So, you moved ahead, creating the space, the void, away from the memories that are now slowly fading away, becoming invisible. I finished my cappuccino and stole a few rain drops in my hand that were dripping down on the street and felt a sense of relief that I hadn’t actually lost anything. You did, though.
That’s the thing about getting close
to a person who you never thought
would see your naked soul and scarred body.
You shed all of your inhibitions,
your 2 AM over thinking wave ebbs,
you sing the songs that you once considered
over dramatic, and for a change,
you find the world around you a little better;
if not movie reel perfect.
And then, one day, you look at yourself in the mirror
and find that the lost smile is now
constantly stuck on your face and
you look like a silly child who is unaware of
the tragedies of life.
In that smile, you see all the joys that had become
dry like autumn leaves
falling off from the giant tree are now,
The parched eyes are now bright dew drops,
the body emits a particular whiff and
the face radiates for you to realize that all this time,
you needed those dark, grey clouds
to pour and wash away all the dead
before you become someone who is joy,
who is happiness and a soul
that is drenched in love.
An incessant number of times Zoya was asked to not to enter her father’s work place but little did she budge. She had those eyes, the glazed ones that would make anyone’s heart melt and she would always put them to good use like convincing her ammi to not to ask her to study from the textbooks or persuade her bhai jaan to buy her one plate of 4 rasgullas.
But when it came to her father or Bapu, as she called him due to an uncanny resemblance with Gandhi; she knew she had to face tough stares and silence from him.
In his absence, she would run like a mouse and sit near the sewing machine with clippings and thread strings spread across the floor. That was her playground. Her first ever design was a tiny skirt for her doll made of leftover cotton piece and she had showed it to all of her friends. When Bapu came to know about it, he scolded her for playing with the scissors and she was restricted to enter the workplace for a week.
Something has changed since a few days. Zoya would still get the tough stares from her father but now she finds herself sitting amid colorful clothes, chalk and strings quite often. A small cupboard in the room stores a sewing set for kids wrapped in a silver sheet that will be gifted to her this year end on her birthday. ‘How will Zoya react to this,’ Bapu keeps drifting off to his thought while working. Only 4 weeks left, he crosses another date in the calendar.