Dreams and Love

And so it was,
That last night,
I realized,
How love felt like.

A warm hug tight,
A peck on the cheek,
A shy smile,
All in a dream.

I woke up to nothingness,
She wasn’t around,
But I still felt,
Her presence, her warmth.

And so it was,
That today morning,
I called her up,
And told her my dream.

She laughed merrily,
And denied,
The possibility,
Of it ever happening.

And so it was,
That I realized,
How love is sweet,
Only in dreams.

But one wakes up,
To bitterness sometimes,
And forsake dreams,
To waste-bins.

Finally a Graduate

A lot is on my mind right now. I am officially an engineer now.

Er. Anindya Dutta. Sounds cool. I spent the entire weekend back at my college with friends, one last time, reminiscing all the fun and frolic we had in the last four years. Looking back, I have changed so much in the last four years that if someone was there who hadn’t met me these four years, he or she would be taken aback at how I have become. There is a lot of learning that I am taking back, but if I were to choose the most important thing that I have learnt in these four years, I already know what the answer is. It is to keep moving on.

Moving on. People would say it is easier said than done. However, as a guy who has had a first-hand experience in this, let me tell you something that you should know. It is not tough to move on. You sometimes need to. You sometimes have to. You sometimes must. Leave it be. Some things are meant to just leave them be as they are, for moving mountains to make paths is tougher than making paths through mountains. A college is a place where you are supposed to fall for someone, fall deep for that person, yet when the time comes, God forbid it comes, but if it comes, you should have the guts to move on. It will pain, that’s true. But it will wither off, in due time, like the scabs on the toes after running naked-feet on the sands for days, constantly burning because the salt of the sea waters, but slowly healing, forming a tough skin, that the water cannot pierce through anymore.

Life is not a race. College is not a competition. You do not need to aspire to be the top scorer. Live your life, for once this goes away, it won’t come again. And when after working for twelve hours a day, you come back tired from your office, tune in to the radio in your car, and your favorite song from college plays, don’t hold back your tears. Cry it out. Cry. Weep. Feel sad. Feel nostalgic. Don’t suppress it. Don’t be stoic. Because that is not who you are. You are you, and you should remember that. Don’t fall for life. Ever.

Until later.

Subtle Differences

As the land and the sea,
And the day and night,
Opposites, yet complementing,
We ourselves have become.
Have we changed so much,
Than when we started,
That now when I look back,
All I see is the remnants of an old self,
Looking into a mirror,
Finding his image mentally altered,
Seeing his reflection in the ponds,
Ripples distorting his face,
Just as much as his mind was distorted.
How the smiles back then,
Turn into frowns inside the heart,
But the face never shows them,
Fearing it would be contagious,
Seeping into the lives around,
Yet when all around seem happy,
With whatever this change is,
Good or bad,
Should we think so much about it?
Or leave it be,
As the rocks wither out into grains of sand,
By the rushing streams,
From the top, that is where the mind is,
To there, where the heart resides.

The Point of No Return

Don’t push him,
To the point of no return,
Quiescence though might prevail now,
The storms will rise with tumultuous waves,
And you won’t succeed in stopping him then,
So don’t push him,
To the point of no return.

He balances on a rope and walks on a leg,
His master drumming nonchalantly below,
Everyone’s eyes up at the sky,
Looking at him with penchant glimpses,
Whilst the tears from his eyes never stop running,
And rains down on them,
Evaporating before they reach their skins.

You’ll elope with him at the stroke of midnight,
To a faraway land of striped zorses and unicorns,
Did you ask him if he is happy?
No, don’t push him,
To the point of no return.
For when he turns, and when he strikes,
You’d be helpless like a sheep amongst wolves,
Do you know what happens to sheep amongst wolves?
No, you don’t, so don’t push him,
To the point of no return.

Those Complete Days

The cool breeze brought in with it an essence, an essence of happiness, a fragrance of hope, and a perfume of completeness, as I sat at my desk, completing my homework. It was less cold today, I hadn’t put on my pullover after waking up, and though after every five sums I went to my bed to feel the warmth of my quilt, the cool breeze still soothed me, and for a change, being wrapped by it felt better than the quilt. My mother brought in the tea, with two biscuits; I was not supposed to have tea empty-stomached, and sat by me for some time. Then she went off, continuing with her daily chores, whilst I sat at the window sill, looking out. Today was special.

The trees had just bore new leaves yesterday. They were small, they were green. As green as the eyes of that girl, whom I had seen yesterday under the tree, waiting for the rain to stop so she could resume her way back. She was wearing a white top, and a red skirt, and it looked more like a school uniform. She didn’t see me, I didn’t want to be seen either, for I felt ashamed to be spotted the first time with me wearing a vest and bermuda. I had seen her from the space in between the two curtains, which were at two corners of the pelmet today, allowing the light inside the room, so that I did not have to switch on the lamp to study. I gave one biscuit to the crow, one to the dog, and had the tea myself. They were always around at this time of the day, it had become a routine for them to get the biscuits. They did not wait for more, they knew they would get only one.

I heard the motorcycle’s engine start, rushed to the balcony to wave my father good-bye as he went to work; I did this every day. Sometimes I would go off with him when he left and would stop at a shop, buying myself a chocolate, and then walk my way home. My mother would be surprised when occasionally I brought in a samosa for her, not knowing that I had bought myself no chocolate that day. And as she smashed the samosa and mix it with puffed rice, put a spoon of mustard oil, and some onion, I would stand by her, smiling. That was my mother’s favorite breakfast.

Sometimes she would make herself a cup of tea after breakfast, softly so as I do not get to know about it, but the sound as the hot tea touched the dry heated upper part of the saucepan while pouring it, clearly alerted me, and I would rush into the kitchen, and she would smile, pouring the tea into two cups, and we drank half a cup of tea each, chatting throughout. She would ask me what I wanted for lunch, telling me the names of all the vegetables in the refrigerator, and I would choose one, and she would make something out of it for lunch that day.

I would return to my room, which was no more cool, but hot due to the asbestos roof heating up quickly. I would retire to my chair, take a book in my hand and continue reading, whilst my mother cooked for me and father, who would be shortly arriving then, for his lunch. By the time he would come home for lunch, I would already be sleeping; I needed a nap in the afternoons to keep me awake through the evenings. When in the evening he finally returned from his office after it closed, he would sometimes bring two jalebees for us, mother and me, and would smile as we ate them after tea. I couldn’t have it before tea; the tea wouldn’t taste sweet then, a phenomena I couldn’t reason out why.

Then we all went back to our work, mother to the kitchen, I to my studies, and dad, well, to the television. He needed some rest after the day’s hard work. In two hours we would have finished with dinner. Sometimes we played a game of cards before everyone finally felt too sleepy. And there it would end, another special day. Tomorrow will be special again.

Abyss

** I dedicate this verse to one of my best friends over time, and who sadly isn’t with me anymore. Abhishek Kumar (Nov. 8, 1991 – May 25, 2010). I miss you a lot. **

And now again my dreams you fill,
With your presence around the ambience you kill.
I don’t like your presence in this peculiar way,
Either come back to where we were or just go away.
Gone away are those days when we played at school,
Together cracked jokes and made the teacher a fool.
You never said goodbye, you just left me,
As on the shore, leaves the sand the sea.
How thought-provoking it was to think,
That wearing glasses and a watch you would sink,
But the truth is truth, and question it we cannot,
Although my life you made it into a naught.
I cannot say much, my lips are behind a seal,
The grief that you gave me by going, the wounds can never heal.
Yet don’t be so happy, for very very soon,
I’ll come to meet you and we’ll play on the moon.
We’ll talk of things you heard, not saw,
We’ll again laugh at jokes, proper and raw.
I still wish we’d study and roam on bikes as we did,
And do all and everything we did when I was a kid.
I challenge you to come back, and as always you lose,
You know I have lost much more, yet I know you will refuse.
Don’t worry so much because that day is coming soon,
Abyss and Anindya will play together on the moon.

Nanny

It was now evening. Although I didn’t have a watch; I had lost my best one I bought from the Sunday footpath market on a bet over a pack of cigarettes; it was a nice one, a bit of gold plated, but smoking was much better than wearing watches, so I dealt it, but lost…. Anyways, by the sky I could tell there was still about an hour left for the sun to set. The sky was growing a bit dark, from white it started turning purple, and the crows and white pigeons sitting with me, had also started leaving, for their homes, leaving me alone as earlier. I kept sitting on the steps, waiting for my father to come, and say “Let’s go.” I had told him to reach here by afternoon, but as usual, he is late, and today was no different.

I always loved my father. He was a different man. Not like the other dads, but a soft-hearted, and I always took advantage of that… may be he will never realize how much I loved him and how much I cared for him; he was bald, with a  bit of hair in the front, although the sides and the back of the head was covered with hair. He looked good that way, short-heighted, with a moustache; black-white combined, no beard, and wore a pair of spectacles sometimes which made him look even cuter. I loved the way he smiled at me…. All sweet memories suddenly coming to my mind; but now I was angry with him, for being late; the river flowed with its own slow speed, it was rather dirty, but the reflection of the sky made it look beautiful.

I was getting bored, and the only way I could devise now of entertaining me was throwing stones in the river, pebbles, but there also my bad luck… the small children did this so passionately that there was hardly any pebble left. “Ahem!” I suddenly got alarmed by a voice from behind. I turned back, uninterested… the dim light around me lessened by the shadows of the palm trees, huge tall ones, but no palms; it wasn’t the season,; prevented me from figuring out who it is. So then I had to stand up and then turn around… hated doing that, I was so happy sitting, I am a bit lazy I guess.

Standing at a bit distance I figured it was a woman. In a white sari, and a big smile, she was looking beautiful. If only I can see her face I thought. She was definitely not my mother, my mother never used to wear white saris, those were meant only for old women, and my mother was young, very young, at least for me. No she wasn’t my mother. I went a bit closer. Now I could decipher her face. Yes she was old, as I knew old women had wrinkles on their faces, and she had a number of them. Her eyes, more beautiful than any other girl even of my age…. I stopped thinking. I just ran to her. Yes, yes, I guessed right, she was my grandma. My sweetest pal. Oh!!! How did she get to know I was here?

When I was small, and when I used to be sitting alone, she would come and sit with me, telling me stories about her childhood. God knows whether they were true or just a fairy tale, I couldn’t care less. Old memories started flashing through my mind. She always came to our home during the puja vacations, and we used to roam the cities together, papa, mummy, nanny and I. And then at night we used to chatter and chatter and chatter. Oh what a lovely time it was……. Wait!!! Was I dreaming??? Is it really my nanny??? I took a second deep look, yes, definitely she is my own sweet nanny. Why were both of us acting so awkwardly??? We were not talking only. I went up to her, “Nanny!” I had been used to calling her Nanny, since my elder cousins did the same. I said, “There’s time for dad to come. Let’s go and sit by the river and talk.” She just smiled, but didn’t say anything. I clasped her hand and we moved slowly back to the steps.

I started tweeting away, I always did that; never allowed her to answer my questions. I used to question her, and then I would answer them myself, and my nanny would just look at me and smile. I started telling her how bored I was feeling here. “Dad’s so bad,” I said.  “I told him to come an hour earlier, he didn’t reach till now.” And I kept on talking and talking and talking. I somehow assumed that my nanny had come to the temple beside, although she never said anything like that, but the basket in her hand… the basket I had given her a few years back; and it was her favorite basket… and the flowers in it brought me to that conclusion.

I had so much to tell her, all about my new school friends, and how one had beaten me up so much that he was suspended from school. Oh, that boy, I really really hate him. And then I wanted to tell her about our new teacher who came to teach me at my house… and my new computer… and that my dad had bought a new car, the one in which you wished to sit. Suddenly she rose, and when I asked whether she was getting late, she smiled, patted on my head, and then…. She kissed me. Yeah, I felt it. I couldn’t control myself. I hugged her hard and started crying. Then she left.

It wasn’t even five minutes she left that my dad came to pick me up. I had planned to shout at him for being late, but now I was so overjoyed I wanted to tell him everything that just happened. He came, and I suppose he was also expecting me to shout at him, so he got rather astonished at me smiling wide. I asked him, “Did you see her?”

“Who?” retorted my father, puzzled.

“Why, nanny of course! She just left. Didn’t you see her on the way back?”

My father silent. After a moment he said, “No. May be I missed her. Let’s go now.”

I agreed and we both drove home. Reaching home, I rushed inside. And……… I was then shocked. There was my nanny, lying down, my mother lamenting over her body. She had left for her heavenly abode that noon…. but I had talked to her in the evening…. Then…… was it….?