Wintry Fragrances

Sunshine kisses the floors of my house, mosaic floors, painted luminously with red, blue and green stones, and my feet get a degree warmer. I sit in the verandah, on a chair which we had bought some nine years from now, that day I was so happy we had new chairs; now they lie there, gathering dust, unless I go there, take the pains of dusting it, and sit on it. Two kids, one of nine, and the other, I think of nine as well, play badminton. They play it really bad, and they never touch the shuttle-cock. They are happy still.

There, on the road, a mother takes her child on a walk in the perambulator. The baby sits up and looks out, and raises its hands signaling to the mother to take it in her arms, while the mother, oblivious of all this, keeps walking, talking to one of her friends on the phone. A van comes in, and a thousand schoolchildren get down, shouting, happy for the fact that today was their last school day; it’s winter vacations from tomorrow. As I sit, a mynah comes and sits in the verandah, but as soon as I move a bit, it flies away, and goes and sits on the window sill of our neighbor, the fat but kind Mr. Abdullah.

Through the opposite window, she, smiles at me. She is inside a blanket, and she refuses to get down when her mother comes in. The mother sees me looking at her, and then comes to the window. I feel a bit awkward, but then she doesn’t say anything. She only draws the curtains and returns. Inside, I hear her scolding her for making friends with a boy like me. As her mother leaves, she comes, draws the curtains aside, smiles at me and signals me to leave, then draws the curtains back. Someone in the adjacent room rings bells. He pretends to the world he is a pious man, and yesterday evening, I saw him molest a girl.

The paper boy comes. He is very regular in his business. He takes a newspaper, folds it into a cylinder, then halves it like a boomerang; and there, he throws it. He throws it accurately enough to land into the balcony of the fifth floor Mr. Karim, who can shout at petty things like someone sitting on his scooter. The song playing in my walkman changes. It now plays a song by Mehdi Hassan, and it reminds me of the day when I first heard that song. It was the day when she had last talked to me properly. Then something happened, and I still do not know what it was that happened.

The fragrance of winter kisses me, it lingers around my soul, and asks me to come back to where I had left it alone. It asks me to go back to the winter years ago, when I jumped and laughed and shouted in happiness. I smile at it wryly, smelling it all the time, and promise it that I will fulfill its wish soon, very soon.

Toy

The morning arrived with an aroma, an aroma of sweetness, a flavor of brightness, a scent of indeterminable affection, and spread around it the light of happiness, love, affection, passion and gratitude. Today I was awake at 5 a.m., and no wonder, it was my birthday. I rushed down to the hall, and lying there, amongst many other gifts, I could see that special gift. Right now, the heaps of chocolate kept didn’t matter to me, the deodorants and the new clothes did not matter a bit, the basket full of potato chips and “Kurkure” hardly incited any hunger, and the home-made tarts could be taken care of later. Nothing was so important for me, as was this. This, the one which I could see and see and never get tired. This, the one, which meant half my life to me. This, the one, I could staple to my heart and carry it with me all my life. My girlfriend’s gift for me.

A plethora of emotions rushed through my nerves. It was as if the whole world had stopped for a moment, and everything was paused, and I could cherish the moment for as long as I wanted to. Kept on the sofa, was an electric guitar, a coffee mug and a card with a rose. A red rose. Until today I had always got a yellow rose. This was the first time someone had given me a red one. I knew she loved me a lot, I loved her hundredfold. I could keep seeing and seeing and seeing, but I was getting late for school, and I could, by no chance, miss school today. I took the card up in my hands, no, I would read that in front of her in school, when I would be with her. Yes, that would be a good idea.

Beep beep! Beep beep! A message on my cell phone. Quoting, “Happy bday to you, Happy bday to you, Happy bday dear Anindya, Happy bday to you! Ok, now get ready for school. And a request, read the card only after you get back home from school.” A text from her. I read it again. Why should she have such a queer request? Anyhow, I was too excited to figure out anything at the moment, so I dressed up and prepared to leave for school.

In school, to my surprise, she didn’t turn up. God knows why, I thought. I waited for her practically the whole day, wishing she would come to attend at least one period, but no, she did not show her face the whole day. I kept wondering, but got no valid reason for her absence from school that day. Then the last bell rang, and I got back to my vehicle, trudging my way, and went back home.

As soon as I reached home, I rushed to my cell. And sure enough, there it was, a brand new message lying there in my inbox. I opened it. Quoting,

“Hey! Happy birthday again! 🙂 You can now read the card, thanks for keeping my request btw!”

Okay, I thought. Where was this leading to? Puzzled, I went inside my room, took out the card, and prepared myself to read it.

“My dearest has turned nineteen today,
So throw all your problems away,
Enjoy the day, albeit without me,
And forever shall I love thee.”

Queer I thought, why would someone have to write such a strange couple of lines on a birthday card. I continued reading,

“I never wanted to leave you to yourself, but circumstances have forced me to do so. Please do not be upset. Although I am not physically present around you, I’ll always be there for you, whenever you need me, wherever you need me, however you need me. It’s just that I need to go now, a bit far, quite a bit far away from you. And I am sure you are brave enough to manage this by yourself, so I decided to tell everything to you straightaway.

I have a hole in my heart. It’s not something new, it’s been there since I was born. And I am not very sure how long I will be able to sustain my life with this. I do not want to come so close to you that you find it unbearable lest something happens to me. So I am going, far, very far. I hope you understand this and will forgive me.

Happy birthday again, and don’t spoil your mood and the day because of all this. I love you.”

Ok. A moment of silence. I thought I needed to read through the whole thing once again lest I missed out the line where she said, “Lol! I was joking. I am not going anywhere! Haha!” but, no, nothing like that. Twice, thrice, I read it, each time my heart sinking deeper and deeper into the sea of death. Why did all of this have to happen to me? Why couldn’t God give me an equal share as he gave others? Why… Why did He choose to make me a toy, which could be used and thrown, when broken, and was not fit for any seriousness, why?

Names Fade

The breath passes softly through the air all time,
Creating a warmth that makes all the bells chime.
Standing beside the window on a cold frosty night,
Sticking myself to it very tight,
Writing her name through the breath on the window,
Trying to get rid day and night of my shadow.
But the breath disappears into its shade,
And although I don’t want, the names fade,
Fade and settle at the back of my mind,
And I can’t recall her face how much ever I rewind.
Everything which they said was impossible,
Now they seem so easily possible,
And they said getting you was so much possible,
Yet it turned out the only thing impossible.
The colors of life are fading slowly,
The lights diminishing, the light of life,
Those names back there in my mind are fading,
And I am going through a tough strife.
It seems as if the window panes cry each night,
They behave as if they are in a fright,
Fright that they too will lose from their pane,
A name that was written by a boy insane.
They cry aloud and the rivers murmur,
That he was the only one made for her,
But time keeps moving, and it will,
Until the day my body will chill.
I tell God at last, she is my only jade,
And may in my mind never her name fade.

Lullaby

And now whenever that tune I hear,
Thoughts come to me of what was so dear,
Precious more than a diamond it was,
And tears roll out when I think of my loss.
My ears yearn for what it had heard,
Which once upon a time felt absurd,
Long for the afternoons with her,
When we were so near to each other.
The whisper in my ears, that sounded cold and wry,
Now the same tune sounds a lullaby.
Melodious evenings, cool was the breeze,
Her lips on my throat, oh it made me freeze,
Where are those days, where did they go,
I don’t see them anymore though I search high and low.
Sing me the same song, and I will dance like a dove,
Bring me back those old days, those old days of love.
Nights will again see me sleeping soundly,
As when I slept after hearing that lullaby.
Now that I have called you, come back to me again,
Forget the past, forget each and every pain .
Things are going wrong, they always will,
The road I am trudging on seems one uphill.
Come and give your hand, and holding it I will,
Smoothly pass over each and every hill.
If not so much, I have a last wish,
Once more sing me that lullaby after my last dinner’s dish.

Magnetic Skin

Listen folks over here let me tell you somethin’,
I will tell you today of the magnetic skin.
The heart craves for those days of the past,
Which we have only heard of, saw nothin’.
Heard that she with the pot on her head,
Went miles to the river where her clothes she shed,
And whilst bathing in the sunshine she used to sing,
And from far places water she used to bring,
Perspiring on her way, she being of weak built,
And heavy being the pot, in front she would tilt.
We search today for those earrings around,
And we search today for lips tight bound,
Kohl on the eyes, and braids on her hair,
And the beautiful gait of girls slim and fair,
Those days have passed, it won’t come again,
When she used to dance in the beautiful rain.
And the three small spots at the end of the chin,
When we used to wait to see the magnetic skin.
The anklets, the bangles, the silences all gone,
The swings of rain, the letters all torn,
Nights awake, pillows wet,
No more these things anyone will get,
Eyes’ talks, lips’ words, promises to die,
All these seem now cold and wry.
Still there is a wish, deep in my heart,
That we’ll again see them, when death do us apart.

Café and Bouquet

The world cries out to me all day,
To forget the people that have left me alone,
I cry back to the world and say,
Whatever they have done, they have to me the way shown,
Then it laughs out loud and laughs again,
And bewildered when I look at it,
Ask me to tell it my loss and my gain,
And unable to tell it, I am in a fit.
Then it clutches my hand, on to it tight,
And though I have always hated it,
Takes me out to the torturing light,
And tells me to continuously stare at it.
Then when I see it shining on raw hay,
I am reminded of the bouquet,
The bouquet I bought for my lady that day,
When we were seated at the café.
And even now I go to the places where we,
Used to sit together watching the sea.
The sand which we sat still hold the temple,
We made with our hands, and they still tell,
They cry for you, I don’t know why,
The chairs have become cold and dry,
Where we sat together each evening and day,
That park still lies on my way.
And when I sit there the wind about you asks,
It recognizes me under all my masks,
The masks I wore since you left me,
Of happiness to show everyone that we,
That we are happy as happy as can be.
But deep in my heart, my soul cries all day,
To bring back the days of the café and bouquet.

Alone

When the world seems angry for no reason at all,
When all the small walls start seeming tall,
And the night seems so long you’d wish only,
That tonight you weren’t so much lonely.
Stand up and smile, ’cause you came alone,
Have worked alone, and will go alone.
Don’t crave for the one you loved so much,
For your love has no value as such.
The only truth that one has known,
To each his own, so no more moan.
Live your life to the fullest, don’t think of her,
You know your life has much more to offer,
Don’t think of the future, and forget the past
,Live in your today, ’cause you know that will last.
Tomorrow may come, or it may not,
You may be laughing, or sobbing out.
Control your destiny, how hard it may sound,
And it will come to you, when your goal you have found.
Friends are no one, no one is a foe,
Near are no ones, alone you must go.
So stand up and smile, ’cause you came alone,
Have worked alone, and will go alone.