Bright dark days

One day the sun came up.

I truly never believed it would.

But it did.

The cloud of darkness still existed inside of me,

Thundering and lighting up with hurt and sadness,

Though one would argue it was the latter that took precedence.

But I knew that one day it wouldn’t feel like this.

So I stepped out to take in some sun,

As the storm continued to rage inside.

Two packages

Artist: Xavieralopez

I came back home

Tired and defeated,

With two packages in hand,

My heart and my bruised ego.

The ego was my doing,

The heart I gave to you for safe keeping.

It slipped from your beautiful fingers several times,

But this time it broke before you could grasp it.

So that’s that.

I came home with two packages in hand.

One was my doing.

The other was yours.

What’s in a name?


I always made up new names for you. When you’d shrug and roll your eyes in annoyance (and I’d like to think you were faking it), I’d ask you, “really, what’s in a name? You, by any other name would still be as adorable”. You’d roll your eyes again.

Now, when I spot your name on hoardings, in magazines or as the name of the most absurd character on television, it floods my heart with sadness.

Your name. I say it out aloud sometimes, just to remember how it felt.
Your name. A seemingly ordinary one, something I wouldn’t have ever taken notice of before. 
But now, every time someone says it out aloud I turn to look for you. Hoping to find your familiar eyes that once made me smile endlessly.

What’s in a name, you ask?
Everything and then suddenly,
Nothing at all.

What happened when I left.

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I was scared to say your name, I didn’t even want to whisper it.
I worried that the moment it left my lips it would vanish,
like a wisp of smoke and with it, I knew you would too.
So I let it sit, heavy on my lips that you refused to touch.

I longed for you, but the rain never came.
There were clouds, dark and heavy, but it didn’t pour.
Not even a drizzle to quench my ever-increasing thirst.
I told myself that it was okay, there have been droughts,
Most people perished, but many survived it too.

One day I  walked far and unknowingly stepped into the rain,
Suddenly everything came alive.
Death gave way to life.

That day, I took a deep breath…
And slowly uttered your name.

Things we need to talk about. 

I never liked empty spaces, hearts or homes.
So I started filling them both.
A couch here, a person there, a coffee table where it wasn’t needed,
a lover when there was space for none.

In hindsight it wasn’t the room full of things that bothered me.
Rooms could be filled and emptied, things could be bought and sold.

But people… people were the problem.
They came at their will sometimes, and that was all right.
It was their leaving that I  never recovered from.

Arriving late.

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That’s how you drive a car. Mastering the side-eye look since the ’90s.

Of all the things I’ve achieved so far (that would be two things, not being awkward at one party is the first) learning to drive a car is the one I cherish the most.

I started trying to drive when I was three. At least, I posed like I was, inside the Fiat Padmini that my dad first bought. I knew back then that I was born to be a badass driver. But, I didn’t know that the road to being badass, would be paved with extremely disgusting drivers, bucket loads of tears and getting yelled at by mean people.

When I turned 18, I didn’t have too many aspirations, I only wanted to master straightening my hair. Since most of my time was spent doing that, I never had much left to learn driving.

But after a lot of coaxing by mum, I enrolled into a driving school and that episode scarred me for life. The teacher would grunt, spit outside the moving car, dig his nose, scratch his crotch and would also manage to ask me to drive. I was so grossed out by him that I never concentrated on driving.

My second teacher was a kind man, with a red beard and paan-stained lips. He taught me how to drive and never yelled at me. We drove around the city, by that I mean, I pretended to turn the steering wheel, while he controlled the car. He would make me stop at paan shops so that he could buy a paan for himself.
I really liked him. He would abuse people on the road, drive through the ditches and laugh at men who used to get scared of my driving. In many ways, he was a lot like me.
I finally got my license, thanks to him.

But I never ventured out in a car on my own. My family never pestered me to get married, on second thoughts I wish they did. Instead, they badgered me about driving. Sometimes my father wouldn’t bug me, I think he felt the world was safer without me as a driver.

One day, my mother bullied my father into letting me drive his car, under his supervision. That was the second worst mistake of her life, the first was giving birth to my brother.
It was early on a Sunday morning. I left home sleepy, but returned bawling my eyes out. What was mummy thinking?  I rammed into a bike, hit a passerby (he was walking on the road), wailed on a beautiful stretch of road because my father couldn’t stop scolding me and returned home a failed warrior.

After that, I stuck to autorickshaws.
But one bright day, I woke up with a new plan. I was going to buy a car. Yes, I still couldn’t drive but I wanted a car. Being a self-sustained, strong and independent woman, one who couldn’t afford to buy a Mini Cooper, I settled for an adorable Swift.

But what good was a car that wasn’t being driven?
My car sat in the basement for three months before the battery died and then, once again I burst into tears.
This time, I woke up with another life-altering plan…
I WAS GOING TO DRIVE MY DAMN CAR.
For three months, a new driver patiently taught me how to drive to and from work.

Everything was rosy again: I had nice shiny tyres (thank you, daddy) a car that smelt of plastic heaven, a stereo that played some sweet music and a cute face that made sexist oafs ask me if my father bought me my car.

It’s been three years now since I started driving. I was no 18-year-old who was excited to get to places, I was a 20-something, who was tired of arguing with autorickshaw drivers and a little tired of relying on people to pick me up from work.

For now, I have many more miles to go… because I just refueled my car.

Identities.

 

You are not your father.
You are not your mother.
And for better or worse, you will never become them.

You are your own. You might have their laugh, their smile, their ability to make people feel special. Your eyes might look like your theirs, the way you squeak when you laugh might just be like what they do.
You can be like them, but you will never be them.

You should never allow things to damage you.
Not anger, not love and definitely not people.

You are not your father.
You are not your mother.
You are completely, wholly, flawfully, wonderfully you.

 

Quiet noise.

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There is a strange restlessness growing. Like the distant murmur of the sea on a simple summer afternoon, when a lonely seagull is the only one that is soaring in the sky.
You’re far away from the beach, but you’re driving and getting closer to the shore. You don’t know what to expect, but there is a sense of excitement and a slight nervousness that is beginning to set in.

The sea is beginning to reflect your thoughts – rough and dangerous, threatening to destroy everything that comes in its way. But then there are days when everything is so calm that you begin to worry. Is there a storm brewing and most importantly, will you survive it?

It has started to drizzle; the rain drops are only getting bigger. You look for a way to escape this, but you can’t see beyond the windscreen because the rain is hitting you in full force.
It dawns on you then:
There is no escape from this.
The only way out,
Is through the storm.