A Brighter Color

I sit in a dark room, silence all around,
No one knows the pain deep within,
I have kept it to myself,
Not wanting you to know,
For fear of troubling you,
With my baseless fears.
I fear, and do you know that?
I fear, that I might lose you again,
For my life has for sheer luck,
Given me another chance to be with you.
But the rose that had withered off,
The black rose that you’d last seen,
It’s still the same,
And will be, forever.

For love you I not anymore,
But I cannot ignore you either,
Such is the trauma in the lives of lovers,
Who can think all they wish,
That they have moved on,
Yet only a sentence,
Or sometimes only a song,
Is enough to rekindle,
All that was lost,
And much is not lost,
For you are still there, and so am I.

But let bygones be bygones,
Let a new rose bloom,
Let us let luck decide its color,
For when the night is blue,
And full of stars,
When we’d be drinking,
To wash away our scars,
We’d probably lie in one another’s arms,
For you are still there, and so am I.

I sit in a dark room, silence all around,
But will you fill it,
With lights and noise?
I hear clamors, yet only in my mind,
And the light through the windows,
Come warily at those times,
When I think of you the most,
And light my lap,
Does that ring a bell?

For now I must stop,
Yet I pray you, come back,
Forget what can yet be forgotten,
And let us turn our lives,
Into a merry affair,
For when all is said and done,
The black rose will still be,
Hidden in a pocket deep somewhere,
Wishing it met another of its kind,
Only a brighter color.

How It Changed Entirely

This is a sequel to Nothing Has Changed.

It is true that you change,
When people around you do,
Or else I wouldn’t be writing this today.
It is true that you change,
When I am absent,
Or else I wouldn’t be writing this today.
For coming back and starting,
From the point you left off,
Is never the same as not leaving at all.

You understood my eyes,
What they meant without speaking,
Now you can’t hear me,
Tell me, who changed?
You smiled at silly jokes,
Now you mock me with others,
Say I am stupid,
Why, who changed?

Goodbyes were meant to be happy,
Yet this time it isn’t,
I am sad and I’m upset,
But you wouldn’t know,
You are busy there, out with new ones,
And like old newspapers I’m trashed in a can,
Know that I’m sad to see,
How it changed entirely.

Quietly I Weep

A winter night, in the quilt I lie,
Thinking of days gone past by,
When I could have lived happier than I was,
And in my heart, something thaws.
It melts and gives way to things underneath,
Words to be said, deeds that I did,
Tears that I shed, and secrets that I keep,
And here in my quilt, quietly I weep.
Words have no worth, deeds undone,
Songs unheard, happiness shun,
Where I stand today I have stood before,
Only then she was there, now no more,
Quietly I weep, and no one knows,
How dries in me a small black rose,
She knew I loved her, then why do I,
Stand here today, all happiness wry?
Call the birds and tell them to go,
Tell her what she did no one will know,
And people will think I was but mad,
To lose knowingly what I had,
But she and I know, and it will prick,
I loved you and I will, the clocks still tick.

Shaena – Finale – Chapter 9

A little bit of background research never harmed anyone, so I had proceeded to do that two days earlier, only to reach to the conclusion that Saeeka studied Commerce in our school, which was of course, by no means, a path towards finding solutions to problems in graph theory. As I strolled down the path, I saw her. She hurried out of her block, and pretended not to see anyone around, though I already knew what just happened. Research says that when you are more than nervous you tend to spill out all the truth, and I was going to apply just the same in the next few minutes, for Saeeka’s presence at Shaena’s block made absolutely no sense to me.

“Okay, I know what this is about, and Shaena already told me everything about it,” I said as I moved towards Saeeka from behind. She turned, dismayed, eyes staring the concrete road, and for the first time, it wasn’t how we talked earlier. She spoke up, “Okay, I am sorry. I did not intend to do all this. I have always considered a friend to be above everything. But sisterhood sometimes takes priority, and what I did was for your good. You didn’t stand up to it, and I am sorry about that.” Of course, that made no sense to me, because neither had Saeeka been much explanatory in her excuse, nor had Shaena ever actually told me anything about it.

In the next few minutes, what I gathered was that Shaena still had hopes that I love her, and was trying to find if it was still true, so he had asked for help from her first cousin, Saeeka. I had absolutely no clue why she would try to do this, but since I had never talked to Saeeka about Shaena, they both assumed I had got over it. And that was not true anyways. So, here I was, in the midst of a conspiracy, with no way to go out, losing something unintentionally again, and not being where I should have been.

Saeeka and I never met again after that. Shaena continues her no talking system even today. Sometimes now when I think what all happened, I can’t help but laugh at how things turn out just the opposite of how you want it. Of course, there is no God that does things good. If there were, I would have killed Him by now for being so helpful towards me. Had I believed in God, I would have prayed things turned out good one day and that she realised the fact that I loved her, only without deploying queer ways to do that. And there it ended, not so happily ever after.

Previous Chapter

 

Nothing

Sometimes I sit and I wonder,
What to write if ever I write,
‘Cause nothing happens in my life nowadays,
No more fun, no more life.
Gone are the days when you missed me,
And talked to me thrice a day,
Now you don’t even remember my face,
And I let it go that way.
Gone are the days when I thought about,
Convincing you of the fact that I love you,
Now I’ve just let it go, hoping some day,
You’ll realise and come to me.
Gone are the days when I cried softly,
Because my friends hurt me to the heart,
Now I don’t care, because I’m used to,
Giving everything and getting nothing back.
I wish sometimes I could go,
To a time some three years back,
When you were all that my thoughts comprised,
How happy was I then, how am I now.
Sometimes the smell of the past lingers around,
I stop sniffing then, I cannot bear it anymore,
And though I never told you that it was true,
I wish you’d know everything by yourself.
Sometimes I wish fairies were real,
So that there were more like you,
But being only one on this world, you won’t survive,
I’m telling you, I’m telling you.
Now I know you don’t know how I am,
And I know you don’t care either,
But I wish if we’d cross paths again,
I wouldn’t smile at you, you would neither.

Then and Now

Its three and a half years, and still nothing has changed,
I was happy then, I am happy now,
But a portion of my heart still laughs at me,
Tells me I can’t lie to it and get away,
And I find myself back to where I begun everything,
That evening, that night, those words, my plight.
Come summer and to that day rewinds my life,
When it first all began, the end of everything,
And when I think about it I quietly smile,
That I am happy now, and I was happy then.
Some things are meant to happen and be forgotten,
This was no doubt one of them for sure,
Then why does my mind, my heart, and my soul,
Tend to keep it stored safely within it somewhere?
Sometimes on a moonlit night when I look at the moon,
I promise to you everything will be good again,
And then I laugh at myself how I saw your face in the moon,
When it was something that one could never get.
Somewhere deep inside somebody tells me,
All is well, you know you did the right thing,
Then tonight why do I wait for you, at the same place where you left me?
The moments we shared, are safe with me,
Come back once, and take them with you,
So that we double them and keep them with us,
Your love, your eyes, my pain, my cries.

Tonight I’m Missing You

16th September, 2005
11 pm

Dad returned from his trip today. He brought sweets. A lot. Grandma just looks at them. Mom wants to give her one, but refrains from doing so. Grandma has diabetes. We all go to sleep.

17th September, 2005
7 am

I wake up. The maid’s cleaning the floor. The tube light is switched on in the front room. Bhalo (my favorite uncle who stays with us) is awake too. It is not quite usual for him to be awake so early. Grandma’s sitting. Her eyes bulge out. She says she has been feeling so since early morning. Mom scolds her for telling her so late. Grandma asks Mom to call up all her brothers. Mom does so. Dad goes out to call the doctor who lives in the next building. He opens the door, and after hearing what Dad has to say, he says he can’t help since he doesn’t have anything right now at home. Dad comes back. Grandma looks choked. My uncles arrive. They take her to the nearby hospital.

I sit back on my computer playing Dangerous Dave, not understanding quite much what just happened. Bhalo’s in the same room, watching television.

8 am

The phone rings. I am still at my computer, clearing level 6 of Dave. Bhalo picks up the call, talks, keeps the receiver down, comes back. “Dani” (the name by which I am called at home), he says. I turn around to look at him. He is quiet for a moment. Then he looks up at me and says, “Your grandma’s no more.” The words keep ringing in my ears over and over again. And again. And again. Just an hour ago I saw her and she smiled at me. “Oh”, the wryest answer possible, I couldn’t come up with anything else at the moment. I continue playing Dave for two minutes, after which I directly turn off the main switch of the computer without shutting it down.

29th September, 2005

My mom presents the same sweet in front of my Grandma’s photo.

…….

7th June, 2011

My summer holidays after my second semester in college. Results out and I call up Bhalo. He is joyous at my result. “What do you want?”, the same same question which he asks every year whenever I score a good result, or come first in something. “Anything,” the same same answer I have been saying since I was seven. “Okay, I will come to meet you. I am a bit busy today, will call you up day after tomorrow possibly”. Phone down.

20th June, 2011
5 pm

A phone call again. A cousin. Bhalo is very ill. My dad rushes to where he is staying. They take him to the hospital. The doctors admit him to the Intensive Care Unit.

8 pm

I learn that Bhalo had a heart attack.

21st June,2011
2 am

Second heart attack.

5 pm

I learn that Bhalo had a heart attack on Sunday itself. He regarded it lightly, thinking it was a mere chest pain due to gas.

9 pm

Bhalo is shifted to the Critical Care Unit.

22nd-23rd June 2011

My parents come regularly to visit Bhalo. I stay at a nearby uncle’s house, since I feel uncomfortable at the thought of going to the hospital. Bhalo’s condition weakens. They shift him to the ventilator.

24th June, 2011

I go to the hospital myself. Bhalo sees me, first looks strangely. I understand he can’t figure me out because of my long hair. I smile and say it’s me. He smiles. There are about five pipes fixed into his nose, mouth, chest… He opens his mouth and says something. No voice. I don’t understand. I try figuring it out, am unable. His face shows a sense of disappointment and he turns to the other side. I leave. I later figure out he just might have been saying “Ma”, asking whether or not my mother was around. She had taken care of him for the past seventeen years that I know of.

25th June, 2011

Someone from the hospital informs Bhalo’s condition is better than before. An air of happiness spreads through our house.

26th June, 2011
4:30 pm

A phone call comes. This time it is from a different cousin. Dad picks up the call, listens, says “I’m coming”, keeps the phone down, and drops down on the sofa. Bhalo’s no more.

Dad’s broken. He says he is not in a condition to drive. He can’t speak. He just sits. I call up some of my relatives, inform them. Then I call up my brother-in-law, ask him to pick us up and reach us to the hospital.

We reach the hospital. Dad hasn’t spoken much till now. He holds my hand as we move through the hospital to the end where the Critical Care Unit is located. 500 meters before the room, he stops. Suddenly he clutches my hand tighter than before. I look at him. He is looking at me with a sense of helplessness. The last straw. He breaks down on my shoulder, crying loudly. I am still quiet. I can’t cry. I have to support my father first.

27th June, 2011

Bhalo’s brought to the house where everyone’s got together. As he is put down on the floor, his sisters, nieces and grand-daughters cover him wailing loudly. I leave, and stand afar. I know I will break down the moment I see his face. I still gather courage and move up to him. I touch his face. It is rough with beard, and it is cold. There’s a droplet of water in his nose which moves in and out, and I feel for a second he is breathing. I leave.

……..

17th September, 2011

I have turned an insomniac. The moment I close my eyes, my grandmother comes in front of me, I remember the moment Bhalo says to me, “Dani, your grandma’s no more.” And then all of a sudden I realize Bhalo’s no more. The words “Okay, I will come to meet you” rings again and again. I don’t know what to do. I can’t call up my parents and share this, they will become sadder. I quietly bury it deep somewhere in my heart, so that even my mind doesn’t find it.