Music (Minis #2)

Music has the power to mend, heal, rupture, and damage. What you listen at times is a clear indicator about your state of mind. Somewhere between dancing wildly to loud beats and understanding the lyrics at 3 am, we all grew up. I believe that every individual’s playlist if analysed, can tell you everything about […]

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O Death, Do Us Part

A scythe is clutched in her bony hand. Her face is hidden in darkness beneath a hood. Her pitch black endless robe is flowing behind her. The Grim Reaper stands in front of me, her other arm extended towards me. Her blood red eyes almost seem kind, full of pity and remorse, probably even guilt. Her form radiates power, yet she seems fragile, as if the millions of souls she’s reaped have cursed her. Her extended arm may not be to escort my soul to purgatory. It may just be an extension of friendship, from a loner surrounded by the dead to another, surrounded by the living.

Put a scythe on my throat and I won’t flinch. I wouldn’t worry about dying, nor would I be afraid of the suffering. The prospect of death doesn’t intimidate me – if I die, I die. Yet, there’s a newfound indifference in me about death, for now, I don’t even seem to care about who will be affected if I die. Death, if ever arrives, I pray it arrives stealthily and takes me silently. I hope to be taken in isolation – invisible, unnoticed and unrealised – very much like the way I’ve lived.

Earlier, I did not know who will cry when I die. Now, I don’t care about it. People may wish to be remembered after their death as good people, and usually, death grants them that wish. I’ve seen people turn up to funerals of the wicked, for cowards hate to be painted with the brush of sentimental judgement which crumbles logic. I, on the other hand, wish to die; and wish to die alone. Let me be ravaged by the vultures and the scavengers, for that’s how humanity’s vultures have always picked on me. Let me be eaten by the dirt, making me dust, therefore allowing me to belong somewhere truly. Let there not be a funeral, for I do not want pretentiously pious people praying for me when all they did was prey on me. Let there not be gatherings of people with remorse or regret, for I hold no grudge. Let there not be any tears of acid which will corrode me even after I am gone. I wasn’t truly there with you though, and please, when I really go, let me go in peace, even if I am in pieces.

Yet, life purges in me and prevents me from grasping her hand. Our need for each other is forbidden, for as uncanny it is for a mortal to voluntarily seek death as a friend, it is totally unheard of death seeking a suitor.

She ‘lives’ for me, and I ‘die’ for her everyday. There’s something about love which baffles everyone. And there’s something about death that mystifies everyone. It is forbidden to mix love and death, but often the unloved seek love in death; and the loved fear the lack of love in it. Forbidden it may be, but to live and belove death is my choice, and to be death and belove a life is hers. Something has to go. Either she gives in, or I give up.

It’s as if there’s a wall.. and my life is in it, trapping me away from her. Life that is enclosed within walls which cannot be broken, but can be jumped over or dug out of. Walls of pious prayers, of societal norms, of staple love and conditioned minds. Essentially, it is life that remains the same regardless of what happens beyond the walls. But she’s there, beyond the walls, alone, and waiting. I cannot see her, but I can feel her need. Unless of course, I manage to break the boundaries and jump over the walls..

I don’t know if I can. And the walls are closing in.

Kaaga Re Kaaga Re Mori Itni Araj Tose;
Chun Chun Khaiyo Maans!
Arajiya Re Khaaiyo Na Tu Naina More,
Khaaiyon Na Tu Naina;
Mohe Piya Ke Milan Ki Aas!

TRANSLATION: O Crow, I have only this request to you,
eat every bit of (my body’s) flesh,
but do not eat my eyes,
don’t eat my eyes
as I have a wish to see my lover..
© Marvel Comics, Deadpool

We Meet Again

I’m – I’m not the same person that I was five years ago,” she said.

I looked at her. There was the same set of dark brown eyes; her beautifully shaped jawline which was perhaps even more distinct now; same slender arms, one of which still had the silver quartz watch her mom gifted her; and a rather dull colour choice of clothes. She would seem the same to anyone who’d known her before.

Yet I could see some differences. Her eye sockets were a shade heavier than her cheeks, and her once restless, trusting gaze was now steely and fiery. Her hair, which she liked long, was shorter than usual. Once jet black and thick, her hair seemed a little thinned and betrayed a couple of white strands. Her knuckles looked bonier than before, and her skin whiter than before, which made me worry about she skipping her iron supplements. Her poise had changed, it portrayed strength which overshadowed her previously held mild joviality. It was as if she was constantly on her toes.

If she was a cinnamon roll then, she definitely looked like she had left it in the past.

When I had met her initially, I knew straight away that I was going to immortalize her. I knew that my pen would jot her down and prepare a sketch of her in the only way it knew – with my words. If I wasn’t lucky, I would have to do with only a fleeting glance as inspiration. However, I was lucky. Very, very lucky.

Which may or may not have been a blessing.

You see, the moment I saw her, she birthed a range of verses and poetry within me. I knew that this woman was going to be the fodder of my pieces. I knew that she would make me get up from my bed at three in the morning because my heart had just shown me an imagery of her which I just had to write then and there. The catch was, what emotions would weave themselves into the writing. She could be the panache of requited love, or she could be the spiritlessness of love unanswered. The more I knew her the more I could craft, but the more I got of her the more direction our story would get. And then the direction would control the quill. I could imagine me and her entwined in a hug, but that hug could be of union or of farewell. And depending on how things panned out in reality, the subsequent piece would either make the reader giddy in the stomach or heavy in the eyes.

But here we were, years after the hug of farewell. During that time we had been subjected to the phenomenon of change, along with the responsibility of moving on.

Initially, it was just the change in the habit of each other. The first few days were the worst, when every small thing echoed her presence. Her scent was everywhere, her influence engraved on my days. As the days passed her essence slowly diffused, but never really went away. Her absence led to a decrease in her influence, and I learnt to do things for myself again. As the weeks passed by she turned into a reminder of the past I had. This was the buffer zone, wherein I felt I had moved on – only to see her picture on social media and drop back into her. I ended up checking her profile for hours, investigating every face in her pictures to overstating and trying to read between the lines of her posts – until I finally checked myself. Then, as soon as I abolished her out of my days, she barraged into my nights – again. She popped up in one too many dreams, which would ruin mornings and the subsquent days. And then, months later, when I finally started ‘living’ without her, I thought I was through. Until I finally met her again.

The changes in my situation led to many changes in me – I stopped being dependent on the small things she brought into my life. I began doing things on my own, engrossing myself and engulfing her out. I spoke to people with greater cautiousness, which at times helped me out as it passed off as respect. I did not prod around, minded my own business, but never allowed someone to encroach. I was definitely not available. I grew up, I matured. I learnt pain, and learnt how to deal with it. I began to download older songs whose lyrics began to make more and more sense to me day by day. Soon, my playlist was only mine – it no longer was something universally praised. I became a better listner, probably because I feared talking more would make me let things out which should not be out. I became an empathizer from a sympathizer. I learnt how to defocus from a trigger. Soon, I started giving out advice at 2 AM calls instead of asking for it.

The day I would meet her again was the day I feared the most. The prospect of facing her again and telling her, probably untruthfully, that I had moved on from her was horrendous. What would she think? That I didn’t love her enough at all? Or that my love is fickle and easily washed off? Another thing which scared me even more was if she had moved on? What if she refused to acknowledge me? Or worse, even refuse to recognise me? What if, she was still something to me, but I was nothing to her? What if, she has moved on so well that she’s found somebody else?

They say you have to face your worst fears. And that’s what I did when we met again, by chance.

I could see some changes in her which were similar to mine. I saw some changes which were not, and I wished to ask her about them. And then I realised I don’t have the right anymore. Nor do I have the permission, else she’d have asked me about the way I’ve changed. Instead we talked about the good times, and then after we were done we looked into each other’s eyes. I did not back away, but she looked away exasperated. I realised I’d made her uncomfortable, and we awkwardly sat in silence. But there was one question that was nagging me ever since I had met her again, and I willed for her to look at me again. Reluctantly, she obliged, and the fact that we still possesed that telepathic connection made it worse – and gave me half of my answer. Nevertheless, I implored the question with my eyes, and this time, she stared right back, as tears formed into her eyes, which said without voice, “Not yet.

I hope, for the sake of us both, that the “Not yet” doesn’t change to “Probably never.

Maybe we have differently aged, contrastingly matured souls now. Maybe we were in love but incompatible then, and we may be more compatible now as much in love, but probably not meant to be.

I pray, this is a case of “Not yet” over “Probably never.

Whatever it is, but we respect each other’s changes and take certain responsibility for it – to the extent that when she said, “I’m – I’m not the same person that I was five years ago,

I replied, “I hope so,” and smiled.