Home with a Broken Heater

Sometimes I don’t know if I know love anymore.
Love feels like a familiar unfamiliar territory.
Love feels distant and cold.
Love doesn’t feel like home.


But then comes the unexpected play of string,
the light banters in the morning,
a smile that lights his face,
a giggle that warms my heart.


And I realize that love still feels like home.

Love is home.
One with an occasionally broken heater
that needs to be fixed with giggles, banters, patience, and care

every now and then.

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What would you do?

What would you do
if you get a cheat day?

One more day;
a chance to relive your last day.

What things would you do differently?
How many more memories would you make?

Would you let your loved ones know?
Would you slip in a silent goodbye with every kiss,
every hug,
every “I love you”?

Or would you push them away?
All so that you wouldn’t be a grenade
So you wouldn’t destroy them when you leave.

Would you try to change the fate?
Not give up without a fight?
Would you die fighting?

Or would you accept it to leave gracefully
as it is meant to be.
Let the people know that you love them
whisper in your goodbyes
with all the love and affection
you can pour out for them.

What would you do
if you get a cheat day?

 

16 Mini Tales and a Tragedy

21 March 2015
A tall lanky guy sat right beside
“Hey! Nice scarf”
“Thanks!”
I smiled

20th Birthday of mine
First one that we celebrated together
Of all the things you did
My favorite was
your perfectly wrapped kiss.

19 roses
Were at my doorstep on valentine.
You said fourteen were too cliché
But never gave me a reason for why nineteen

18 days till our anniversary
When we had our very first fight
Over the date of our anniversary
You said it’s twentieth, I said it’s nineteenth
We later resolve this agreeing how the date doesn’t matter
All that matter is that we’re here, together.
But I know it’s nineteenth

17th, turns out it was seventeen
A photo from our dinner that night
Had a time stamp that we didn’t care to see
Sheepishly enough we celebrated our anniversary in
With a takeaway dinner and a bucket of ice cream

16 songs in the mixtape
Your best friend told me about all the cassette players that you went through
All because that rainy night
We were talking about how mixtapes were so cool
And I told you how I missed old school

15 shades of orange scarves
Cause you couldn’t decide which one was
Exactly like the one I lost last summer
Thanks to you being a perfectly great distraction

14 minutes late into the movie
Thanks to the pretty black dress
That took ages to put back on
After you unceremoniously took them off

“13 dine together, first to rise will be the first to die”
Quoted a friend as we were almost done with our dinner.
you stood up laughing and rest of us right after
that night as we made our way home
I held you a little tighter
Not superstitious
But scared

12 storeys high
The flat I liked was perched on the very top
Mint shade rooms and yellow kitchen
As we looked at the city lights
Sipping our tea was the first time
you admitted your fear of heights.

“11 more hours, love”
You try to console me through the phone
Although it felt more like you were consoling yourself
We somehow were able to spend a month apart
Without losing our sanity
But these unexpected additional few hours felt like a complete agony

10 minutes to eight
I sit there anxiously fidgeting with the tablecloth
You put your hand over mine
And calm me down
And the first time in this evening
I feel like I belong
Still not in this party
but definitely with you

9 generous slices of your favorite chocolate cake
It took you to finally admit
That there is such thing
as too much of sweet
I wasn’t surprised when you ran away
From anything that had chocolate, for a week.

8 chairs were left empty
We still decided to sit on the bigger table meant for ten
The tables meant for two had chairs opposite to each other
Keeping us at arm lengths
Keeping us from holding hands beneath the table
Keeping me from tickling you
And stealing your food.

7 tries it took you to unlock the door
Because you were too drunk to see
And I was too giggly to be steady on my feet
So after we finally got the door open
We sat hysterically laughing on the porch steps

6 days of burnt curries
And half cooked rice for dinner
Till you finally agreed on the new Chinese place that opened down the street
That one day I finally convinced you,
Turned out they burned their curries too.
That night our kiss tasted of burnt curries
and all the peppermint we had after.

Of all the numbers
I have lost the number of times we’ve been called out for being too handsy in public
You’re just too good to be true
Can’t take my eyes off you
Nor my hands

5 missed calls
I stopped mid walk to look at the phone
Seconds away
A speeding car

4….

3…

2..

1.

 

 

~~

 

Loop

We lay
like we have all the time in the world.

Lazy lingering touches,
soft kisses,
no urgencies.

As if slowing down our actions
would slow down the time too,
but it wouldn’t.

So we hold each other tight,
hearts beating as one;
entangled in one another,
not knowing where one ends and the other begins.

We lay
savoring every touch,
memorising every curve and plains,
every bumps and moles
to hold on to.

Till we again,
have all the time in the world.

The Ending; The Beginning – Part One

2016 didn’t exactly begin as I envisioned it to begin in 2015.

I lost friendships; lost the love that I had stopped loving a long time ago. I lost myself while chasing who I was to be. I lost my compassion in bitterness. I lost my way and got stuck in what felt like a never ending loop of monotony. 2016 started with loss.

I started letting go. Letting go of people. Letting go of resentment. Letting go of caution. Letting go of dreams that no longer felt like my own. 2016 continued with letting go.

Or so I believed.

Where I thought I was freeing myself by letting go, I was only holding in things more. I was building up this toxic poison of inside me of hurt I didn’t pour out. Of pain I didn’t care to heal. Of loss I didn’t grieve. All crippling me from within. I was frustrated. And depressed. And the worst part was, I didn’t let myself accept that. Holding in the things I should’ve let go of the most. 2016 dragged on and dragged me down with all the holding on and holding in.

What  do you do when you do not really want to  accept how fucked up you are; how fucked up life is; and how fucked up everything is? You run. And so I ran away with the people who barely knew me, people who couldn’t really see through my disguise, letting them think that they know me but they didn’t. They didn’t know me or the demons I was running from. No one can run away forever, I know. But for now I can. And so I will. Run from the people I left behind. Run from the pitiful looks and sympathy sent my way from those who could see through me. Run from the life that was still waiting for me to come back. Run knowing that in the end I’m gonna have to go back. 2016 ran on and so did I.

Everything has its limit. Everyone has their limit. A bucket can only hold so much water without overflowing. One can only run so much without stopping. One can only take so much in without bursting; breaking down; exploding with all that I kept holding in – the pain, grief, loss, disappointment, self- loathing, hurt. Everything I kept wound up broke free. Crying, screaming, shouting and crying again; it all came pouring out. Till it felt like there was nothing left. Eternity in a moment. 2016 remained still for a while, letting me have my ending and emptying.

The Hard Part

[Originally posted on 16th February 2015 in http://scarlet-grace.blogspot.com/
The revised version of this story is also printed on the September 2015’s issue of Navyaata magazine as “The End Game”]

With sweaty hands I finally managed to press “send” and few moments later there came a “seen”. I waited and waited, there was nothing but silence. Suddenly he called. I didn’t know what to do. I pressed “reject” sign on the screen. He called and I cancelled again. We did that few more times and then he called again. I knew he wanted answers, he needed them but did he deserve it? I didn’t know. With shaking hands I finally answered. I expected him to ask “why”, scream at me maybe, call me names but all I got was silence. “Hello?” I said.

“Hmm… Why didn’t you pick up the call?” what was that in his voice? Annoyance? Sadness?

“Er… I just uh…”What could I possibly say? How could I say that I was being a coward that I was running away from what was coming, that I didn’t want to face the consequences of what I had done.

“So… did you have your dinner?” he asked again filling the dead silence.

“Yeah…” Why was he doing this? Why wasn’t he saying anything? Why was he acting so normal? Like nothing had happened. I knew he had seen it. I knew that he knew, so why? Finally my curiosity got the best of me and I asked. “You got the message didn’t you?”

“What message?” He was lying! He was lying! I knew he was! I knew he had seen it.

“The one I sent on Facebook?” I asked unsure of his response.

“Nope” Liar!

“I think you should see it.” I tried to keep a cool voice.

“I don’t want to” His voice suddenly pleading, filled with the obvious pain. What had I done?

“You need to.” I said sadly though I had already known that he had seen it.

“No I really don’t want to, please?” No. No. No. He was doing it wrong! This was supposed to be the easy part! Why is it becoming the hard one then? He deserved this! Or that was what I thought few moments ago… Had I gone too far? Had I been too harsh? He hadn’t become serious, had he? He couldn’t be! He isn’t the type of guy to get serious, at least not so soon… but isn’t this what we wanted? Isn’t this how he was supposed pay for what he did to her?

“Is it true?” His voice was in the verge of tears. It almost broke my heart. What was I supposed to do now?

“Yes. Every word of it.” I never resented myself more in my life than this particular moment. When had I become so heartless?
“Okay. Thank you.” And that very moment he hated me more than ever. “You’re welcome.” I replied coolly. He gave a small sound of disbelief, pain, hatred and then ended the call. I slowly put my cellphone down feeling numb and empty, hollow. It was over. I had done it. I had broken his heart and all I felt was relief. Relief that it was over.