Moth and the Flame

He was like the sun

Same old perfect self, day after day

The brightest being of all

Well thought words, measured actions, ordered habits.

That was him

Always sure of himself

With a promise of glory days ahead of him

Sitting daintily in his fort of silence and composure

Where no one could break in.

 

And she was like the moon

She couldn’t get her heart to settle

She held within her,

Both the dark and the bright side

Constantly engaged in a battle within

Struggling between choices

Second guessing and doubting herself

Trying to tame her demons

 

Then they met.

Instantly, she was drawn to him

Like a moth to a fiery orange flame

After all, she was the one with endless questions

And he had all the answers

She got closer to him,

Despite knowing she would be burnt by his flame.

But, call it a twisted game of fate

Scorched, was not the moth

But the flame that got extinguished

That’s when she realized what she really was to him

An eclipse to his thoughts

Chaos to his order

And finally,

An oblivion to his existence.

The Revelation

Fiction

There I was, sitting on a stone up above the hill watching the sun touch the horizon. Leaves rustled softly against the wind. Everything was painted a colour of orange lilac. All these looked new and thus fascinated me. But for what reason, I wasn’t so sure of that. The atmosphere was absolutely still and a strange kind of silence hung over the place.

Time passed by and soon it was dusk. Trees danced around in their shadows against the twilight. Suddenly, I heard a distant wailing. It gradually became louder and louder. The sound was breaking through the peaceful ambience like lightning across the serene dark sky. It was quite annoying. I got irritated to the point where I stood up and started following that awful noise.  By now the moon was out and was casting a milky white light. I made my way through the moonlit path, guided by the sound. I had to stop on my tracks several times as the moon hid behind the clouds, trying to play a game of hide and seek.  After walking for five minutes or so, I finally reached the source. What I saw there was a group of people huddled around a stone and sobbing bitterly. Without giving a second thought, I went up to them and said, “Cut it out people!” .But none took notice of me. I tried shouting again, in a stern tone this time. Again, I got no reply. Impatient by nature, I turned to an old man who was standing next to me. His red and puffy eyes were fixed on the stone.  I reached over to him, intending to put some sense into his head. But what happened next left me baffled. Strangely, I didn’t touch him. No, that’s not it. To be precise, I couldn’t touch him. My hands passed right through him as if they were made of smoke.

Now truly confused, I turned and started walking away oblivious to my surroundings. I was so lost in thought that I really didn’t know where I was headed to. After a couple of minutes, when I had recovered from the initial shock, I looked around. It was the same place where I had been sitting a moment ago. A sense of calmness came over me and for some unknown reasons; I felt that I was at home. I tried to convince myself that it was my imagination and proceeded towards the stone I was sitting on earlier. The stone looked lovely as it shone brightly in the moonlight. But something wasn’t right. Suddenly, I stopped dead on my tracks. There, etched beautifully on that stone was my name. At the same time, I felt a familiar tightening around my chest and seconds later tears welled up. My legs gave way and I collapsed to the ground, hands shaking and crying uncontrollably.

I was devastated, not because I was dead. But the thought that no one had come to visit my grave, that’s what bothered me. No one had noticed that I was gone. I was here the whole time and saw no familiar faces. Composing myself, I sat there and started reflecting upon the life that I had lived. Come to think of it, I brought this upon myself.  When I was alive, all I wanted was my freedom and to be independent. My whole life, I had been running not realising that I was losing people along the way. At some point, it didn’t matter either. Less people meant less drama to handle and more time for me. I believed that getting tied down by emotions and relationships would just hinder my growth as a human being. This theory of mine seemed so right and practical back then. Little did I know that in the afterlife, it had a whole new dimension to it: loneliness, perhaps?

Now the night was at its full glory and I sat on my grave once again. The emotional turmoil I was in, I couldn’t really understand it. I kept looking at the path as far as my sight would allow, expecting to see a familiar face. The very sound of crying that had annoyed me, felt like a soothing lullaby. I yearned to listen to it more.  All I wished for was a few drops of tears shed in my memory. Soon the night gave way to the morning and at the first break of dawn, I was still there gazing up the path. I sighed. I guess that’s what I’m destined to do for the rest of the eternity; hoping, praying and wishing that someone would come. By now, the ugly truth of the sad reality had dawned on me. I am not dead now. I was dead long before my death. There wasn’t much difference. The peaceful silence which I had liked the day before wasn’t beautiful anymore. I had just fallen in love with a prettily disguised sound of melancholy like a fool.

The Journey

I woke up to the sound of rain and thunder. It was 3 AM. Being an insomniac, I knew that I wouldn’t be able to go back to sleep. So, I opened up my windows and let the earthy smell of rain seep into the room.Overcome with a strong sense of nostalgia, I thought it would be a good time to reminisce and contemplate about my life. Rain does that to me, you know. Hailing from a coastal town, 18 years worth of beautiful memories are associated with the rain. Rainy days have always been my favorite. When the classes would recommence after a long summer holiday on the first of June, the first day back to school wouldn’t have its charm unless we got to use( read as show off) our new colourful umbrellas. While returning home from school, we would play in the puddle and set sail paper boats, normal clichéd stuff kids would do. And as I got older, I would grab a book and a cup of coffee and settle down to read by the window, allowing splash of rain bouncing off the window sill to drench my face and soak the pages I’m reading.

It’s been four years now since I moved to this new city to pursue my education and more importantly, to heal. To embark on a journey of self-discovery and introspection which I knew would eventually lead me to the path of attaining inner peace, I had to distance myself from all things familiar. And Mysore, being a calm and peaceful city, suited the purpose. Having always had a hard time letting go of things, I had decided that I wouldn’t form any kind of attachment that would tie me down to this place. This was just supposed to be a brief stop for recuperation; a four-year long vacation from my actual life. In the beginning, it wasn’t that easy. During bouts of homesickness,  there were times when all of this seemed like a bad idea and I found myself asking, “What am I even doing?”.

Now with only a couple of days left in this city, the journey would soon come to an end. As I sit by the window, typing this out, I can declare with confidence that I have become a much better person than who I was when I came here. Taking a break was the best decision I ever made. Armed with lessons, experiences, wisdom, new found peace and clarity of mind, I’m ready to take on whatever comes next. I know that I have found my answers.I know that I’m ready for this world now.

Without You

Have you ever had a tune stuck in your head and you have no idea where exactly you had picked it up from? You keep humming it, trying desperately to grab on and just when you think it’s within your grasp, it’s gone. It drives you crazy. You get this feeling of having listened to that tune or the song somewhere but you can’t really figure it out when and where. You have this wave of sentiments flooding inside and you realize, it’s not the first time you are experiencing it.  That tune has the ability to bring out a thousand nuances of sensation which you never knew you were capable of feeling. One minute you are doing something ordinary and the next thing you know, you are hit face first with a strong current of emotions. It’s like you plunged into cold water and all your senses became widely conscious.

Couple of months ago I was watching a Korean movie called Twenty. It was a hilarious movie and I was thoroughly enjoying it until a song started playing. The lyrics went something like,

No, i can’t forget this evening

Or your face as you were leaving

But I guess that’s just the way the story goes

You always smile, but in your eyes

Your sorrow shows

Yes, it shows…

 

I did some digging and found out that the song is called Without You, originally performed by Badfinger in 1970.The one I listened to was Mariah Carey’s version released in 1994.  Just like the lyrics, the song had a forlorn tune to it which would make anyone’s heart ache. The pain of loss coupled with a sense of nostalgia this song brings out, there’s only one word for it: Beautiful. If you are a sensitive person and you do decide to listen to it, you must know beforehand that your emotions are in for a crazy rollercoaster ride.

 

 

 

 

The Little Mermaid

I was six years old and was living in London at that time. It was a short stay of just a few months. My dad had invited a few of his Indian colleagues over for dinner so that we could all get acquainted. And they came bearing gifts! I got a golden colored hardcover version of The Little Mermaid and my sister got Alice in Wonderland. The Alice in Wonderland book was red, bright and shiny and my 6 years old brain instantly interpreted it as ‘shinier the book, better must be the story inside’. So I succeeded in persuading my sister who was four then, to exchange the book. It was my first storybook ever. I had graduated from the coloring and activity books and was ready to dwell into the world of fairytales. That very night I asked my dad to read it to me. For some reason, the story of a little girl who falls down a rabbit hole and has magical experiences in the wonderland failed to amuse or impress me. You can say that I was truly disappointed. The shiny red book had betrayed me, with no regard to the effort I had put in to acquire it from my sister.

Then came a day, which I refer to as the earliest life-changing moment of my life. That was the day my dad read to me The Little Mermaid. The storytelling went as usual while I occasionally nodded my head to show that I wasn’t asleep. Towards the end of the story, I sensed that something wasn’t right. The little mermaid had a chance to reclaim everything she had lost and go back with her sisters to the castle. All she had to do was stab the sleeping prince. Easy as pie, right? So imagine my surprise and utter confusion when she refuses to do so and instead go on to live as the wind in the sky. I had so many questions in my mind. Here’s a girl who left her family and her life as a mermaid princess, sought help from a witch, drank disgusting potion so that she can turn into a human and above all, gave her tongue to the witch in exchange for her service. And all these things she did for the prince, only to remain unnoticed and he never reciprocates her feelings. My young heart couldn’t take the unfairness of the situation. I asked my dad why she couldn’t bring herself to kill him. I was sure that if I was in her shoes, I wouldn’t have wasted even a minute to stab the prince. My dad replied, “Because she loved him”. At an age when I didn’t know what love or liking someone meant, my instant thought was, “Well, if that’s what love is, then, it sucks!” Not in those words exactly of course, but the toned down version of it a kid could comprehend.

Well folks, there it is. The first ever love story that I came across and it happened to be a tragic one. Maybe that’s why I believe that all kinds of relationships are doomed by design. Maybe that explains the unhealthy obsession I have with movies and novels that don’t quite end along the lines of “…..and they lived happily ever after”. Or maybe I’m just over-thinking.  Oh, stupid little mermaid! You should have known better.

 

The Intro

As kids, most of us might remember how we were always told that we are the company we keep. While not many of us listened to that advice, no amount of denial would change the fact that we grow to be like the people we associate ourselves with. During our early days the key influence in our life was our parents’ and the majority of the daily routine we follow now, may it be the way we tie our shoe laces or amount of sugar we put in our coffee, were most probably acquired from them, right? A couple of years later we start interacting with the environment which in a child’s life includes primarily the neighborhood and school. Thus begins an endless process of learning new things. Like sponges, we would go on to absorb anything and everything, both good and bad. With this, a new task gets added to the parenting list: filtering. It is up to the parents to make sure that we retain only the things that are socially accepted as right and eliminate everything else.

Other than our parents, it’s the teachers who play a significant role in educating us and at the same time grooming us so that one day we would fit in well with the society. Have you ever considered a possibility that your handwriting and pronunciation might be, just might be, same as your preschool teachers’? It’s like every person who touches you has an ability to leave a part of themselves in you, whether you want it or not. And there are other things like the plot of a movie, ending of a novel, sensuality of a poem, warmth of a relationship, beauty of a new city, companionship of a kindred spirit, intensity of a quote by someone powerful, tune of a song to speak of, all of which can have an impact on us that could be a defining moment of our existence.

So basically what I’m trying to say is that we are mostly a sum total of all the experiences, encounters, adventures and lessons we come across in our lifetime. All we do is take these small defining moments which might not hold much value alone and seem insignificant at the time and project it as a whole new personality of our own. They are often mirrored in our actions, thoughts, decision making capability or just simply on the way we view this world.

Having said this, I’m here now to write about the things that somehow shaped me, strengthened or weakened my beliefs, initiated personal growth and made me the way I am today. They are my life defining moments.

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