The clock and the black hole

I have a black hole and its name is X!

 

The night of 28 April, 2017 was spent walking from the living room where the body lay to the master bedroom where I was asked to get some rest. Much like today, every time I saw the watch the hands seemed to be getting slower and more sluggish with each passing moment. Time had become lazy.

Tick tock, tiicckk toocckk, ttiiiccckkk ttoooccckkk,….

It went on and on. The sun seemed to be taking an extended lunch break and the moon seemed quite happy and reluctant to move from where it was.

Sometimes I wonder what I thought then, at that very slowly passing moment. But all I remember is the clock and it’s hand. The rest is blank.

It is 1:40 am, 17 June, 2017. The clock has stopped. I wonder what it could be that made it stop. The battery? The temperature, global warming, apocalypse or just grief?

Maybe not grief. Maybe just a big slice of blank, emotionless space that has dominated my mind off late. Maybe it is the black hole. Maybe it is post traumatic stress. Maybe shock, maybe denial, or maybe nothing.

I asked the ether a question today, a quite serious one and quite seriously too,- what does death mean to the person who hasn’t died?

The ether remained silent. I asked again, and again, and again till my ears became deaf with the silence.

Then I had a sip of my whisky and I turned within and I questioned. The black hole told me- go to sleep, you don’t want to know.

I took another sip and I asked again. This time the answer came louder- Go sleep you moron. You do NOT want to know.

A third sip and the same question lead to a louder, much filthy version of the same answer.

Many sips and same questions later the answer was weaker, quieter- it means grief.

What does that mean?- I asked again.

Look in the mirror. What do you see?- the answer challenged.

I did as I was asked. I saw nothing. There was emptiness where I should have been.

I still don’t get it and I hope at least a minute has passed since!

The clock is still stuck at 1:40 am. I am not too sure of the date and day. All I know is- I need another glass and then hopefully I can sleep!

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Miss Fake Cake

The past year Miss Fake Cake bid adieu to this world after swallowing a fly. This lady, if you can call her one, was sitting by her French window in her very elite town house, admiring her situation in life when a huge fly flew in through the window and started chasing her all around the house. After 20 minutes of running around, her temper got the better of her and she decided to eat up that ‘black-blue pest’ whole. She opened her mouth wide and that poor soul flew straight in, as if it had always dreamt of exploring the interiors of her large mouth.

The fly had expected to come out of her alive, however she was persistent in swallowing it. But our hero was a fighter. It bit her digestive tract as it journeyed down the gastric lane and did the tango in her stomach. By the time it reached her intestines, it had become a martyr. But good for it, it caused internal bleeding in Fake Cake, which resulted in her untimely death shortly after.

I knew her since college days. She was one of the biggest ass-biters in the history of ass biting females- the kind of person who is sugar sweet on your face and has a truck driver’s mouth when your back is turned. She was Little Miss Perfect to the world- always the best dressed; having all the right things to say; the teacher’s pet, etc. Back in college, she used to apply a thick layer of bright red lipstick and it resembled a traffic signal light.

All of us knew that it was our queue to run when that red thing opened to give way to black. The insides of her big, fat, mouth resembled a rotting corpse, metaphorically of course. Her tales of owning five villas, 6 Lamborghinis, Gucci- Prada and all of her pretty things, sounded like chanting of ABCs to us by the time we graduated college. Her boyfriend was the perfect guy, in her twisted little mind- tall, dark and handsome- straight out of a Mills and Boons novel.

After she married him, she got to know exactly how repulsive that creature was. She recalled, in one of the gatherings, that he barely ever washed his underwear and wore the same inners for days on end. Also, he slept on a bed of rotting bananas- one of his many fetishes and she had to do so too, by unofficial laws of holy matrimony. In the same breath, she sang his praises and gloated that he gave her a 50 carat diamond necklace every month and so on.

One would make the biggest mistake of their life if they asked her to speak about herself- she could fill pages which if stacked upwards, towards the sky, would reach the sun. The word ‘privacy’ did not exist in her dictionary. Our conversations were more of monologues during which she bragged about her parents being the richest folks she knew and filled it with unsolicited advice on my life.

In short, she was a pain in the buttocks whose only aim in life was to feed on other people’s grey cells. One could see the pleasure in her eyes when she bitched about some poor, unsuspicious soul. She got high on gossip and fed on other people’s life stories.

Since this is an obituary, I am required to say some good about her too. The best praise I can give her person is that she closely resembled Homo sapiens. Last but not the least, I am indebted to the fly for its courageous deeds.

Old parchments and cold tea

Imagine a room stripped of dignity;

Now add an old tattered sofa in a corner

and a dead fish tank in the opposite.

It doesn’t have to be fancy- just decaying.

 

Color the walls dirty yellow

and add splash of black smug here and there.

Hang old photos:

laughing faces and embracing arms.

Comfortable isn’t it?

 

Put a rug that has been slept on

and add the musty smell to it.

Don’t forget the old shoes and the coat hanger

with just a lonely coat for company.

Familiar?

 

This room had no windows;

only a wooden door with a broken knob.

A ceiling fan and warm lights

that flicker like the firefly at dawn.

Feeling hot already?

 

The cold tea cup has a grim in the bottom

that smiles across the yellow.

The parchment has ink across it

and the word writer written in bold.

The pen is broken.

 

You can hear laboured breathing.

Now place a man with a protruding belly

sprawled on the couch;

bubbles in his mouth and the stench of smoke about him.

 

He is a writer by profession

and this is his life.

Now try living it and tell me how you feel.

 

 

Girl on the bus

I never thought I would actually see her in real. Yes, she did dominate my imaginary world at one point in time. There were dreams—when awake and asleep both, and in those dreams I had lived this situation a million times. I had played it over and over in my head like a song that is stuck on loop. I thought I was prepared for it, for her and for those eyes.

I have never been more wrong.

I recognized her the moment she got on the bus– as if she owned it along with the rest of the world. She smiled at every person who she laid her eyes on. It was a private smile—the type that emerges after knowing a person for decades or more.

My luck– she sat in the seat right in front on me. That is when it became difficult to breathe. The way she tied her hair in a high bun, her black earrings, the way her nose crinkled in the corners when she smiled and the dimple on her left cheek—they were all as he had described them to me, a lifetime ago.

My heartbeat raced and the body started responding. Along with difficulty in breathing, I could feel the perspiration and the hollowness in the chest. You would know the latter if you are familiar with bungee jumping or paragliding.

After about half hour of that ordeal, she turned back to look directly at me. She could probably feel my eyes boring into her back. Our eyes met and I could see that she recognized me. I knew those eyes. They were mine but a hundred times more powerful. He had a fondness for our eyes. There can be nothing better than a pair of hazel buttons, he used to say.

Did I expect to see anger, irritation or shame? I know not. What I saw in them took me by surprise. It was love—unadulterated love. She smiled. But this one was different. It calmed my racing heart, cleared my nasal passage and relaxed my muscles.

She came over to me and kissed me on the cheeks. “Hello, I’ve missed you,” she said. I understood her. “Sorry to have kept you waiting. It won’t happen again.”

I gave her space to come and sit in the empty seat near me and we held hands the rest of the way home.

She had loved him as I had and now, we had both lost him. And in loving him, she had loved me more than she would ever know. She was half me and I was half her and now we could start getting to know our lost pieces.

Late night musing

Late night musing—the phrase holds a question. What is it about the night that encourages thought? We feel an ache—a familiar one. Like something pulling at one’s heart strings; tugging so hard that it hurts. We yearn for solace and comfort. We yearn for what the fool likes to call- home. For some of us, home is the cup of hot chocolate had with the dog asleep on the lap, listening to jazz. For some it may mean the long walks with dad. Some may consider their lover’s snore home. For some, it may be the open sky and for some it is their nightly ritual of a phone call to mom and granny. But for the fool, home is concrete. For folks like me, who have no home, my cup of hot chocolate, my dog, my long walks with dad and my phone call to mom is home.

It is at this concluding period of the day that we yearn the most. We want to belong, we want to feel wanted. We want the tugging to stop. We want the warm blanket back around our heart. Even the worst of us roll in balls and clutch the pillow or the blanket tight- hope they magically turn into those people, those things we desire the most. What is it about the silence of the night that we hear our memories scream out vehemently at us? Make us question whether we are actually lonely or just scared of being alone. Why does the darkness scare us? Isn’t black just a mixture of all the colours. Why do we label the night the hour of the devil and desire?

My father says—things will look better in the morning? Why morning? Why not 3 am? Why can’t night be the new dawn? Why can’t the soul be happier at night? Just why?

Raining Colors

– Abstraction allows man to see with his mind what he cannot see physically with his eyes….Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas.

Acrylic on paper.

abstract