In The Mangrove

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The night grew darker across the sky with the twinkles glowing brighter. He looked at the ancient wall clock that hung on the wall beside his dead grandfather’s framed black and white photo. The needles measured the depth of the night as 2:30. He had to leave.

On the room opposite to the other side of the hall slept his parents. He could hear his father’s snores like an old truck made to climb a steep hill. His mother wouldn’t realise. For a second he stood at the door of their room and asked them for forgiveness in his mind. He had to do this. He had to leave.

Slowly, he took the bag from under his bed which he had packed earlier in the night, just before dinner. When he slowly walked across the hall towards the main door, he felt his grandfather seeing everything through his black and white eyes. The wooden door generally creaks when opened, so he unlocked the door and pulled it open graciously making sure that the rusted hinges did not give out a loud screech. The darkness of a moonless night was scary but he had made his mind. He had to leave.

“Will you wait for me?” he had asked her the other day.

“Mmm,” she nodded.  Her fingers were intertwined with his and he could feel the chill of the evening breeze in her fingers.

“I’ll come to take you away next Friday night around 3. We will run away from everything that’s holding us back and start a new life together” he said, confidently.

“I wish we could,” she said. The smile on her face made him forget the world and was the most beautiful thing he had seen. “You are made for me”, she whispered.

He had met her one evening while he was returning back from the temple. His house being on the other side and he had to walk across the fields and through the mangroves. The sun had almost disappeared into the distant horizon and the sky was slowly turning into a beautiful collage of blue and bright orange amidst the scattered clouds. He could hear the train pass by through the other side of the fields and the shouts of ladies calling out to their cows who were refusing to end their daily feast. His grandfather, when alive, used to bring the two cows for grazing to the fields and he used to tag along as a kid in his knickers, carrying a stick just to be sure of Ammu, the cow. While in the fields he used to tell him stories about everything. Stories about men and women of the village. Stories about ghosts of the village. Stories about the petty thieves of their village. Stories about Gandharvas who were celestial and supernatural men, visiting to seduce women. Time had passed by swiftly and his grandfather had died of a heart attack. The cows were sold off to another man and the days where he wore knickers were long gone.

When he entered the mangroves from the fields, the sky had lost its tint and darkness was slowly growing across. The pathway through the mangroves was seldom travelled after sunset.  It was generally taken only by people returning home after visiting the temple.

“Does this way lead to the temple?” came a voice from behind. At first, he was surprised, then he was mesmerised. Before him stood a girl whom he had never seen before.

“Mmm…” he stuttered. He had never been good with talking to the opposite sex since his school days. He hadn’t spoken a single word to the girl whom he had always believed would be his wife someday. Years passed and now she was the mother of two kids. “Yes! I haven’t seen you here before” he managed to blurt out.

“I came to visit just like every year, but I always seem to get confused in the mangroves” she replied without any hesitation as if she had known him for a long time.

“I see” he replied. He could not stop admiring her beauty even in the darkening mangroves. Her knee length hair lay open across her shoulders occasionally swaying in the cool evening breeze, showing him a glimpse of the golden earrings that hung on her ears.

“I shall take my leave then,” she said, her beautiful smile still brightening her face. “Thank you!” she turned and walked away into the opposite direction of the mangrove. He stood there till she disappeared into the darkness. He lit his torch and walked home.

That night he slept thinking about the girl he met in the mangroves. Her smile. He wanted to see her again but was sure he would never be able to. Her voice musically hummed in his dreams like a distant lullaby, calling him home.

The next evening when he was in the temple, he prayed that she would come too but she didn’t. While walking back home through the mangroves, he was struck by a sadness of not being able to see her another time.

“So you visit the temple daily is it?” she asked from behind him.

“Wha… Yeah… I was” he stuttered, turning back surprised.

“Did I scare you?” she asked. She was now laughing, covering her mouth with her left hand, adding to her beauty.

“No! I didn’t expect to see you again” he said.

“Neither did I, but we did,” she said smiling.

“May I ask your name?” he asked with utmost manners he could add in his vocabulary.

“Vaikha” she replied and he felt her eyes flicker.

“Where do you stay?” he asked.

“Now, we mustn’t reveal everything at once, ” she said, giving him that smile he could die for and ran away into the mangroves and he stood there like a kid who was waiting for his turn for a ride.

Days passed and he kept meeting her every evening in the mangroves. This had become the only reason he used to go to the temple these days. She told him that she used to visit her ancestral place to complete a work which she had to, once in a year, for a month and left after finishing the task. The summer evenings were growing warmer by every night and they grew closer. He stopped going to the temple and used to meet her in the mangroves. They used to talk. Talk to each other about everything. About the stories of the universe and the mysteries. About the life, they spent till date. About their dreams that they kept sacred to themselves. He had never felt this way before. Looking into her eyes, losing himself into the depths of the ocean it was. Submerging his mind into a trance every time he was lost in her talks. One evening, they grew onto each other like a crawler on a tree. Engulfing each other with extended arms, reaching everywhere, wanting for more. Like a morning dew dripping down the length of the leaf, the two lives wanted to be one under the setting sun. The oceans had roared, emotions flaring like the all-consuming fire, swaying beautifully under the influence of the violent breeze of ecstasy. The rhythm was intense, shadows becoming one in the darkness.

“Marry me” he had said, not sure what he was saying. Was it the heat of the moment? He pushed himself away from the thought. He wanted her.

“Take me away” she replied, her eyes pulling him into her.

“Will you wait for me?” he had asked.

“Mmm…” she nodded. Her fingers were intertwined with his like their bodies. He could feel the chill of the evening breeze between them. “You are made for me”, she whispered. “I believe that this year, my visit was just to meet you”.

She had promised that she will wait for him in the mangroves because that was where they first met and always did. She told him that the mangroves were an important part of their life and he knew she was correct.

The night was dark. He walked as fast as his legs could carry, through the darkness, towards the mangroves. She had promised. He looked around for her in the darkness of the mangroves but didn’t find her. He couldn’t stop his mind from retching out negative thoughts. May be it was the darkness. He waited because she had promised.

A few minutes later, once his eyes adjusted to the surroundings standing in the darkness, on the pathway he saw a figure in the distance. A girl. His heart jumped, and he couldn’t stop the smile that grew on his face. He was going away with her. She was going to be his wife. He was sure his parents who would never accept this at the moment will definitely understand his feelings towards her. Especially when they know that they have become grandparents. He stood there, smiling.

The figure in the distance was moving, but not towards him. She wouldn’t have seen him, he realised and walked towards her. When he grew closer, he realised that she was dancing naked beside a tree. Her hands held high and hair open, she swayed her body, occasionally moving her head to the sides. She was facing the opposite side. He was about to call out her name but his voice stopped midway in his throat and his legs stopped moving. There was a man standing in front of her and she was dancing for him. The man was beautifully handsome and was wearing nothing on his body.

“He will come” he heard her tell the man, who was now pulling her closer to him. She placed her hands on the man’s shoulders and he saw that her nails had grown. Her voice was not the same anymore and that was when his bag fell from his hands onto the dried leaves of the mangrove. He felt their eyes fall on him. The man smiled. She smiled. Even in the darkness, he could see her eyes bore into his. He felt fear for the first time when he saw her teeth.

He ran, gasping for air, tears of fear flowing down his cheeks. He didn’t know what was happening but he knew that he had to run. Run as fast as he could. As fast as his legs could carry. All the beautiful moments with her replayed in his mind and was now being overshadowed by fear. The stories his grandfather had told him breezed through his mind. He tried to scream but choked on his own voice. The darkness of the night had grown into the air and he felt a pair of fingers dig into the flesh of his left arm.

“You are made for me” he heard her whisper in his ear just before he felt the excruciating pain of the darkness engulf his body and mind.

 

Homecoming

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The phone on her car seat sprang to life, but she could hardly hear the sound of her ringtone. Outside, on the road, the city was burning. She would be lying if she said that she wasn’t scared. She was really scared.

After many years of staying in the city, she had finally decided to visit her hometown. It had been 21 years since she ran away. It had been 21 years since she celebrated Onam. Every year, on Onam, she would reminisce through all the memories of her childhood celebrating it. Every year, she would wish to go back home, and every year she would lose to herself. The beautiful memory of the festival that always remained close to her heart was slowly becoming a distant dream. That is when she decided that she will take a break, get back to where she belonged and may not return even.

That morning when she left for her office, she was happy as she knew that she would be going back to her village that evening. She had decided to leave early. She had a train to catch.

When she left office she hear the news that the situation in the city was worsening. The mob was getting instigated by the happenings and violence was slowly breaking out at different places. She decided to reach the railway station much sooner to avoid all the disturbances. She was determined to celebrate this year’s Onam at her hometown.

When she drove, she couldn’t stop thinking about all the beautiful memories that were once again blooming in her. The memories of the festive season. The happiness that it brought along and filled her with. She was smiling again.

She was a child once again. A child who woke up on the festival day when the golden rays of the sun splashed between the coconut trees into her room through the wooden panes of the window, while the chicken sang its morning song. A child whose only worry had been to collect as many colorful flowers as possible.

She was  looking at her grandfather, sitting at the porch, on the wooden armchair giving her his beautiful toothless grin. Holding a new dress for her. Delight was gleaming in her eyes and he could see that while he handed her the dress and planted a kiss on her forehead.

“Go collect flowers” he said and she had run away into the green of the fields where her friends were waiting for her, straw baskets held in their hands. On the way, Amminiammoomma, the oldest woman in her village, would wave at them and invite them for a homemade cookie.

The flowers were waiting for them. There were smiles on everybody’s faces. Shankaran who always plucked mangoes from the tallest of branches was the one with the most flowers. The mangroves that were their second home, always filled the air with the smell of mangoes. Raw and ripe. After all the flower collection, they used to sit under their favourite mango tree and eat few mangoes before running back home. The aroma of the lavish spread on the plantain leaf that was lunch waited for her. The swing that her father had tied up onto the tree on the courtyard had been her and her cousins’ favourite. When she ran away, she never thought she would miss the swing as much as she did.

Years had passed and the swing of life and taken her a long way. There were no more flowers nor the lavish spread of the Sadya. The city life to which she had run into was the same life she now wanted to run away from. It had gifted her a monotonous life, strangers and a failed marriage. Her memories from childhood called onto her and they were still fresh, unharmed.

The phone eventually died, of ignorance. Her eyes spoke fear. The mob, with flags, had stopped her car and was asking her to get out immediately. The AC inside the car wasn’t enough to stop the sweat dripping from her forehead. She was scared and everything else seemed to blur.

When the train started moving, the image of her burning car was to become her nightmare for the coming days. She knew in her heart that she was running away once again. Running away from everything she had run to. It took her twenty one years to build that courage. The passing city lights and the cold wind bid their farewell to her. A droplet found its way to trickle down her cheek and she let it. She was running away into the place where she grew her memories. To her land of festive and happiness.

She was going to have the Sadya again.

The Innocent Giggle

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The water was very cold in the summer dawn. The air smelled of camphor from the temple across the fields. The sky was still lit with distant twinkles of stars. She could feel the hair on her legs stand up when she stepped into the temple pond. Her father and brother were undressing themselves at the steps. It had always been funny to see her little brother wearing only his langot. She was wearing her white shimmy as she always used to, while coming for the bath. Today it seemed to be exceptionally cold like it would have been during a winter morning.

Acha, are we early today? The water is very cold”, she shouted out to her father who was helping Ananthu, her little brother, walk down the stone steps.

“No you little idiot”, he said, smiling.

Acha, will I catch fever?” the squeaky voice of Ananthu seemed worried.

“No. Only Ammu will” he said, winking at her. This seemed to make him happy as he burst into giggles. She only stood there with her hands on her hips, rolling her eyes.

“One dip in the water and you’ll feel how warm it is” said her father and stepped down into the temple pond. She could hear Ananthu shiver loudly at first and then giggle when he was half covered by water.

She knew her father was right. He always has been. That was one of the reasons why she loved her father. When she took a dip in the water of the temple pond, she felt fresh again. It was warm. In the northern side, she could see the temple from where she stood. The sky was still dark.

By the time they finished with their bath and got out to dry themselves, they were shivering. The temple was slowly being lit by the lamps that surrounded the walls of the temple. The air was now filled with the faint sound of the bell that the priest rang inside the temple. They could also hear the old woman sing praises to the Lord. She had always been the first person to visit the temple every morning. Once the priest opens the door, she would start singing and this would continue till later into the morning.

Ammu had always seen the old woman in the temple when she went in after the bath in the temple pond. She used to sit leaning on one of the wooden pillars at the porch of the temple. Her eyes either closed or looking straight at the idol of the Lord, illuminated by the lamps. The atmosphere in the temple was something that somehow had the power to bring peace in your minds. May be that was the reason the old lady used to sit there most of the times. She didn’t look like she had any relative who would actually worry about her, or wanted her home. Ammu was suddenly scared at the thought of what would happen if she were an old woman without anybody to look after her.

Acha, what will happen if I were to become like that old woman in the temple when I grow old?” she did not hide the obvious worry in her tone.

Her dad smiled, through the thick moustache and beard. “Ammu, when you were born, I was the happiest man in the world. Your mother had cried when she heard you make a grumpy noise the very first time. When your brother was born, I was still the happiest man alive. Only your mother wasn’t there to hear Ananthu’s little grump. Now, all I have in my world is you two. Am I complaining? No.

Sadness is obvious. It is a part of our life. Else we aren’t humans. I know that this is too much of advice that I am giving to you at this age, but Ammu, we are always alone. We meet different people when we begin the journey called life. Few choose to stay while others decide to take a different path than yours. Few have to leave given the circumstances, but we should learn from each person we meet. We should learn that we only have ourselves to depend on and nobody else. The old lady has learnt that. She is strong. You must learn from her that you too can survive alone if that were to happen.”

The mind of the eleven year old was not ready to accept the facts of life narrated by her father. She held onto his hand and walked quietly. She missed her mother.

By the time they reached the door of the temple, there were many others standing there and praying with folded hands, chanting the name of the Lord. In a world of ecstasy. The old woman was one of them. Now, her father too.

“Krishna…” the air echoed.­­­

That day when she was returning home from school, the sky seemed to grow dark. The sun had completely disappeared between the darkening clouds. The rains were not far away it seemed. She had to walk faster, else she would get drenched by the time she would reach the middle of the fields.

“Didn’t you bring your umbrella?” came a voice from behind her. She turned back to find a boy of seemingly her age, standing next to her, with a wide smile on his face. His thigh length knickers looked clean unlike his shirt which had a smudge of dirt on its right shoulder.

“Who are you?” she asked. She had never seen him before.

“Hye… You don’t know me you say?” he asked, the smile had disappeared from his face.

“No and sorry, I don’t talk to random boys whom I don’t know” she said and turned back to walk.

“But I see you every day” he said. “I’m sure you have seen me too”

“What rubbish!”

“I’m serious”.

“You wanted to know whether I have got an umbrella right? No I haven’t. So now you can walk away. I’m not talking to you” she said in an irritated attempt to shoo the boy away. She was sure that she had never seen that boy before.

“But look at the sky, it’s going to rain” he said, still walking along, smiling.

The lane that led to the fields was narrow, covered by trees and bushes on either side. She could hear Gopi uncle talk amidst the trees. He used to cut the long grasses to feed his cattle.

“What’s your name?” she asked, making haste in her sole attempt to not get wet in the rains. Her exams were not far and she couldn’t afford to fall sick.

“Narayanan” he said.

“Why haven’t I seen you, even though you say that you see me daily?” she was curious. “Wait a second. Are you the kind of boy who hides and peeps at girls?” her face was turning into a big frown.

He laughed, and she knew he wasn’t, from the innocence and naughtiness that was mixed in his voice.

“Do you know an old lady who sings in the temple?” he asked.

“The old lady? Well yes. But I don’t know her. I just know her” she said, trying to not confuse him.

“Well, great. I happen to be her grandson” he said, with a faint smile.

“Wow. I thought that she did not have any relatives or anyone” Ammu couldn’t hide her surprise.

“You just said that you didn’t know her” he snapped.

“I meant that is what everyone says, because she’s always alone” she replied.

“How can people make up stories even without knowing her” he seemed irritated. “Judgemental pricks”.

“You trying to act too matured for your age” she frowned and walked faster, holding on tightly to the satchel that hung on her back. The stones on the uneven path was pricking her little feet.

“You are her daughter’s son? Where’s your mother? Why haven’t I seen you earlier?” she asked unable to hide her curiosity anymore.

“I am not exactly from around here, though I am her grandson. I just ran from home today to see her. Keep this a secret. Nobody knows” he lowered his voice all of a sudden.

“Okay” she said. She knew that she was great at keeping secrets. She had never told a single soul when her friend Anjali had told her that she stole a rupee from her father’s money box the other day.

“So I need your help” he said, increasing his pace to keep up with her.

“What is that?”

“Please come with me to her house. I don’t know the way and I don’t want to get lost here” he said. She could feel the genuine sense of request in his voice. “I just want to see how she is doing and I will run back home soon after that” he added.

They were almost nearing the fields and she didn’t want to deny his request to see his grandmother, the old lady. The sky had grown dark and there were distant roars of thunders. She didn’t think twice.

“Fine, come with me” was all she said and walked along the lane instead of getting down into the fields.

They walked quite a distance. After they crossed the grove of bamboo trees, the little hut made out of coconut leaves was visible amidst the bushes. They walked towards the hut and saw the makeshift door open ajar.  There was a Tulsi plant just a few feet from the door. They slowly walked upto the door.

“I don’t think she is here” Ammu said, hesitant to make another step towards the hut.

“Why will she leave her door open if she isn’t at home?” he asked and it seemed like a genuine reason to her. “Call out to her”.

“You do. She’s your grandmother” the hesitation was eminent in her voice.

“So? I have throat problem. Can’t shout” he complained.

“Okay fine” she agreed. “Grandma…” she shouted. “Are you home?”

There was no response from inside.

“I told you she isn’t here” she said. “Let’s go. You can come back another day.”

“You stupid girl. Call for her again” he scolded.

Somehow she didn’t feel like ignoring what he said. “Grandma…” she shouted again, with a louder voice. “Are you here?”

Both of them heard a noise, more like a wailing grumble from the back of the house. Without saying another word, they rushed towards the back. There was an old well behind the house and there lay few steel utensils and plates. Two of the pots that lay there were filled with water while the third one had fallen, spilling the water around the well. When they reached closer to the well, she saw the old lady lying on the muddy ground, beside the bucket used to draw water from the well. She ran towards her and when she brought her face closer to hers’, she was relieved as the old lady was breathing. She gently took the old lady’s head and placed it on her lap. Her forehead was smeared with the sandalwood paste from the temple. Her white saree had now become dirty with the wet mud. Ammu reached her hand and took some water from one of the pots and sprinkled it on her face. The old lady struggled to open her eyes, but did. She looked shocked to see her lap resting on a little girl’s lap but was too tired to show her expression.

“Water… Wa…” she mumbled.

Ammu took some water in her palms and let the old lady drink directly. She seemed to gain some energy after a while and could stand on her feet while Ammu still held her. The old lady wasn’t that tall she realised. When they got up and started taking little steps towards the house, she realised that Narayanan had run away. That stupid boy.

She helped her till her wooden cot inside the hut and help her lay down.

“Thank you little girl. What is your name?” the old lady asked.

“Ammu” she replied.

If you weren’t there today, I might’ve suffered down there. Especially when it is just about to rain” the old lady said. There were tears in her eyes.

“You don’t have to thank me grandma” Ammu said, smiling.

“How did you happen to come this side? I have not seen you around here”

“Yeah. I came along with your grandson. He wanted to see you, but then ran away. He got really scared after seeing you that way I guess” she said. “But that’s okay, I’ll bring him to you the next time”.

“My grandson?” the old lady gave a surprised smile.

“Yes. Your daughter’s son I thought”.

“Little girl. I do not have any children, let alone a grandson. You must be mistaken” she said, still smiling.

“But..” Ammu was sceptical.

“Now you must run away home. It’s getting dark and the rains are also coming” the old lady said, the smile beautifully adding on to the wrinkles on her face.

“Okay Grandma. I will see you later in the temple” she said and ran home. Luckily for her, it only started raining after she reached back home that evening.

The next day when she went to bath along with her father and brother, she explained the incident to him.

“Ha ha. Som kid just fooled you” her dad said, laughing. “But, it did result in something good didn’t it? You could help the old woman. If it weren’t for the boy’s prank, who knows what would have happened to that poor old lady? Thank god that you were there. I’m proud of my little girl” he said and gave a kiss on her cheek.

Ammu smiled even though her father’s moustache poked her face, but she wasn’t just satisfied with the fact that the boy ran away. The next time he comes over, she decided that she was going to hit him with a stick.

In the temple, the old lady sat beside the pillar and was singing her songs praising the lord as usual. When she saw Ammu , she smiled and waved at her. Asking her to come over to her. Ammu obediently walked towards her and her father walked behind her.

“Your daughter saved my life yesterday” she said and hugged Ammu. The affection was something that Ammu had never received from anyone except her father. She smiled.

“She just told me” said her father. “I’m proud of her”

“You should be. Not everyone are lucky to have daughters like you” the old lady said.

The bells of the temple then started ringing continuously and the doors were opened. People held their hands together and prayed to the Lord. Few were chanting while few others were singing praises. Ammu took a glimpse of the illuminated stone idol of the Lord and closed her eyes. Praying.

“I told you, that I see you everyday” said a voice followed by an innocent giggle.

She opened her eyes. She was sure she just heard the boy from yesterday but he was nowhere around.

“What is it?” asked her father, surprised at his daughter looking around.

“Nothing” she said and closed her eyes, praying.

In that atmosphere which was filled with the chants of people praying and the infinite music of the bells, she could still hear a distant giggle.

 

Her.

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27th June 2013

I had a terrible day today. I don’t think anybody likes me much. Well, I knew this was kind of true but I guess I was just in denial about this. I hardly find anybody talking to me in college. I don’t know if I look that ugly to be avoided. But that girl Akshaya who sits in the 4th row is the ugliest girl I have ever seen, I don’t think she faces this problem but. Am I being too mean here? It shouldn’t matter as this is a diary only.

Today something beautiful happened. While I was sitting near my window, reading Fountainhead, I happened to glance out for no apparent reason. That is when I saw her walking across the road. I am sure I saw her glance towards me through the window. She is pretty. She’s way prettier than her photos I have seen on Facebook.

I don’t know why I am feeling all happy.

I’m sure she mustn’t have seen me.

But I’m sure I saw her look at me.

 

 

11th August 2013

I haven’t been able to make a daily entry into my diary these days. Doesn’t matter. All that matters is her.

Was I in actual shock when she messaged me on Facebook saying that she must’ve seen me the other day? Though she did it few days later, she did!

I knew that she did.

We chatted for a long time on the 6th day. I think I’m blushing while writing this. I don’t know exactly what that means though, but I guess it should be this.

She is beautiful. She is pretty.

Tomorrow she has asked me to meet her. I am excited. We’re going for a movie.

I haven’t been to a movie with anyone. And I’m so glad that it’s with her.

Why’s is my heart beating this fast.

I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep till morning.

 

 

12th August 2013

Today was the best day of my life.

I couldn’t believe that I had spent the day with her. I could feel my heart skip a beat when she smiled at me. Laughing at my stupid jokes.

Her curly hair made her look much prettier contrary to what she believed. Her eyes seemed to tell a story by themselves. I couldn’t stop admiring her the whole time.

Am I in love?

 

 

23rd August 2013

I’m in love.

I just cannot stop thinking about her.

 

 

5th October 2013

Today she confessed that she is in love with me. I almost had an heart attack. I never had the balls to confess this to her, but she did. She later told me that I was crying.

She hugged me.

She smells so nice. So addictive.

 

 

9th November 2013

We have been spending most of the time together. My hands feel empty and useless without her hand clasping it.

My college classmates should be jealous now. That I have such a beautiful girl who loves me more than anybody does. May be not more than my mother, but yeah.

I just cannot stop thinking about her every minute.

Waiting for classes to end has become a habit. I don’t even get time to write the diary as we keep talking on phone. Today she had some guests visiting, so I got some time.

I guess she is calling.

 

 

19th January 2014

Today she told me that she feels we wouldn’t work out. She believes that we have no future.

I was almost devastated when I heard that How could she say something like that. I had built up my dreams and future revolving around her. I wanted to be with her in every step of my life.

She has told me that she’ll go away. Move on.

I can’t understand what is happening.

Has she started to hate me too?

Like everyone else?

 

 

17th February 2014

I don’t have the strength to even write this down.

The pages are getting wet from my tears. Fuck.

I shouldn’t cry. She moved on. She doesn’t want me anymore. I’m ugly after all.

How will I live now? I need to shout this out to somebody. I don’t have anybody. She was the only one. The only one I thought that was mine. Why is she doing this?

I’ll die.

 

 

16th March 2014

My mom tells me not to lie.

They don’t believe she was actually my girlfriend. Heck, they don’t even believe that she exists. Even my parents feel that I don’t deserve a person who would love me. Now, I cannot say that she loves me.

But did she?

Yes she did. I would like to believe that. Her eyes would never lie. Nor will her smile.

I still love her.

Fuck, I’m crying again.

Why did she disappear from my life?

I need her.

 

 

23rd March 2014

I overheard that doctor with shiny head tell mom that I’m having something called shitzohenia. I don’t think that’s the correct word too. I don’t know what that means either. Google isn’t helping.

He asked me how often I used to see her. I explained them everything.

I explained him how pretty she looked when she used her finger to push her hair behind her ear. How beautiful she looked when she smiled.

They don’t believe me.

 

 

24th March 2014

The bald doctor asked me to show her Facebook page to him. I told him that she had blocked me.

He then told me that he could search from his account instead.

I don’t know why, I couldn’t remember her name at the moment. I can remember only her face. Her smile.

I have forgotten her name.

 

 

12th April 2014

They tell me she wasn’t real.

That she was something I created. I refuse to believe that. How can I love someone so hard if they weren’t real. Also how could my imaginary girlfriend love me back so much?

The next time he tells me that she was non-existent, I’m going to ask that old man who is always standing beside the bald doctor, to throw him out of the door with his horns.

He has agreed that he will.

Window

Standard

After taking a glance at the clock that hung on the wall of my room since the time of Alexander, I turned back to the outside of the window at which I sat. The sun, sinking at the distant horizon that was filled with the evening clouds, seemed to be in a hurry unlike me. Sunset at this part of the country had always been around seven in the evening and today was no special. The birds rushed towards their nests as they had realized that the sun had decided to kill the day for the time being. The reddish-orange sky was now filled with the moving dots towards the disappearing horizon.
This was the time of the day when I always sat at the window gazing into the outside world which I was restricted from, since I’d come here. The wooden paned window with two rusted rods at both its upper and lower ends was the only friend I had apart from my blue teddy. It was gifted to me by a boy in my class who was smitten by me. I can still remember clearly, the way, I always used to ignore him as he kept laying his love for me wherever I went and I mean literally. He used to follow me as I walked back home from school wearing that blue skirt and white shirt of mine which was the only one I had since 3 years. My father had refused to buy me a new one as he felt that, me going to school as it was one hell of a non-social thing it seems. Being the only girl in the family of six, I was given no preference unlike the government school I studied in which paid me for attending the classes. That was the only reason my father had agreed to send me to school.
The boy who said he loved me did try his level best to win my heart but I guess i was as stone cold as I’m now but a lot lesser. He, as I said earlier, always followed me hiding behind the trees and I never made him realise that I knew he was right behind me.
During one of the hot sunny days, as I was walking back home with my torn satchel in the right hand and covering my face with the other from the burning sun that shone right above my head on the afternoon sky, I could see him follow me in between through the paddy that filled the fields over the road. Even though I tried walking a bit faster, he had somehow managed to catch me up near the huge banyan tree. The perspiration that filled his face made it clear that he had just had a run through the narrow path in the fields. Wiping the drops of sweat on his forehead with his sleeves, he extended his hand towards me holding a very uncute teddy. He told me that he had spent a month in creating that thing his hand-held. He wanted me to have it.
I looked at the lump of cloth that I was now holding. It looked nothing what a teddy should ever look like unless the teddy was the ugliest one that ever existed. With the fur made out of, probably his own old thick woollen sweater and the eyes from uneven buttons of different colours, it looked less like a teddy and more like a coloured bat to me.
With a smile forcing on my face, I looked at him and could see his eyes gleaming with pride as I told him I liked the teddy. His eyes said everything that his tongue had refused to before. They sparkled in the hot sun with the tears that brimmed in them. Without saying a word, he turned back and walked away towards the path in between the paddy fields with the wind pushing his shirt onto his skin, he looked like a thin, walking scarecrow. Taking a deep breath and pushing my gift into my bag, I walked the other way away from the paddy fields. I could still see his gleaming eyes as I neared my house a couple of minutes later.
And I can still see those eyes clearly in my mind. They haunted me ever since.
As I now look into the darkening streets that would come into life a few minutes later, I could feel the darkness that had crept into me through all these years, devour me. All my dreams were shattered once again as the streets below lit up to life.
The flight that just took off from the runway near the street, took away my dreams along with it like every day, leaving me void inside, letting the darkness eat a bit more of me. Dreams are the only thing a person can call his own and hold onto but in my case, I no longer had any dreams.
At least now I didn’t.
I lay my head on the base of my window staring at the distancing aeroplane that was disappearing into the night sky as a twinkle of the star. The plane had to reach its destination on time without delay. It had its own responsibilities and I had my own.
A sudden pinch on my left cheek made my eyes wince as I looked for the one who caused that pain. A smile came across my face as I saw a red ant walk away where I lay my face with its head held high with pride. It would never have thought that it could escape after biting a human. Now that is something to be proud of. I looked out of the window yet again but now into the streets that roared with life underneath. The crowd that had started filling in was something that I used to see daily and didn’t have anything new in them. The usual eyes that filled the streets with lust was something that scared me in the beginning but as time passed, I learnt that those lust in the eyes of men who came here, young and old, was just a cover they put around themselves. There was a lot to them than that.
As usual, I spent my time waiting for my master for the night, looking at those eyes that were flowing through the crowded nights. It had become a habit that was hard to get over. I lit a cigarette and blew the smoke through the window and watched every bit of it dissolve into the air. I dint want the smoke filling up my room and leaving its essence on the walls, which used to give me another pastime of discovering a new map of a country everyday with the fainting paint daubs and the leaks that bulged out the paint layer. All these didn’t seem to matter to those who visited me. All that mattered to them was whether I could please them according to their wish and to their wonder, I could. And I guess that’s the reason many preferred me over those who waited in the rooms beside.
The dissolving smoke from my cigarette led me to see a pair of eyes that stared straight through me. For a moment I was lightning struck and couldn’t move a muscle. It felt like I knew that stare. It was not lust that filled those eyes, but something else. The cigarette dropped from my hand down to the street below. I could hear an elderly woman shout at me as it had nearly fallen on her face. But that didn’t seem to bother me. I was still feeling myself melt away in pain as those eyes kept piercing their gaze through me. After a few seconds as I gained control over myself, I couldn’t see the person no more. I glanced my eyes over every single person I could in the street, but it was in vain.
I sat there on my bed wiping the drops of perspiration that had sprouted on my forehead and my face. It felt like a déja-vu, that stare. The past flashed through my eyes as I realized who that was and why it had felt like a déja-vu. I wondered the reason for him to be here, in the street of lust and I also knew that it would be foolish to search for him in the crowd below. I just sat on my bed and for a moment I regretted everything. Few drops of tears ran down my cheeks.
I missed him.
A knock on the door brought me back into reality. I got up from my bed and set my hairs and put that red lipstick that was gifted to me by one of the elderly customer who had like my ability to please him. Some gift it is. I knew it was necessary I put that, as men loved to see women with dark lipstick even though he would wipe it off either with his lips or his fingers.
I hurried myself as the knocks from my agent persisted. I opened the doors after making a last attempt to set myself to please the person waiting for me tonight. I lay my hand on the knob and turned the door open. I almost fell back when I saw the person standing in front of me who, my agent introduced as my master of the night.
That stare which pierced itself through me, was standing at my door. The eyes that were filled brimming tears the last time I saw, was at my door for a night’s pleasure. I tried controlling myself as my agent pushed him into my room and the shut door from outside.
I brought my professional self back into myself and led him to the bed with a smile that I forced onto my face with great pressure. He would never know. He shouldn’t.
I missed him all this while.