The Ghost- a girl’s best friend

It’s been a couple of months since she visited. It was very often initially- everyday almost, then it reduced to about twice a week and then she vanished for a month without leaving a trace of where she had gone. I missed her. I cannot lie. I missed her cold touch and her visions, as weird as it may sound.

Somewhere deep inside the mesh that is my heart, she felt like home. She was my constant and her being there meant that I still had feelings. She would make me dream reality when awake and she would spin stories from the remnant fabrics in my mind as I slept.

Who is she? She is my ghost- my friend, my past and my present. It was six months since I moved back home- the small apartment with more windows than doors that I call home. The morning of January 25th was grey with specks of black dispersed here and there. The golden had been replaced by the gloom and even the birds thought it safe to stick to their nests and not venture out far.

The cookie man across the street didn’t show up to lift the shutters off his store and the milk man seemed to be in a smoke induced haze of opium as he handed the milk packet. I knew she was coming even before I opened my eyes.

I had to prepare for her- make her a welcome feast and burn down certain documents in the archives of my head. I kept the drugs close at hand. Just in case…

As I opened my eyes, I saw her dark boring eyes just inches away from my face. She had the same paleness and was accompanied by the chill. When she saw me smile, her cracked lips extended into a full smile. Now, reader, you might get deterred by her features. It’s almost death like, but know this she is the part of me that is just naked emotions manifested in physical form.

Very silently without a whisper, she changed positions and rested her hand on my head. Her nails were half eaten and half chopped. But it didn’t matter.

I closed my eyes and I saw a little girl run towards a dog. The dog wagged its tail and welcomed the girl with licks. They seemed happy. The kid’s hair was tied into a ponytail and her frock was turquoise. Her laughter echoed in my ears making me smile.

The scene changed. The dog, now old and haggard lay on a steel table that seemed to have no space for emotions whatsoever. A woman, presumably the little girl now grown up, stood holding the dog’s hand with tears streaming down her face. Her long hair was tangled and hung around her like mist and her mascara poured down her cheeks along with the salt water.

It was time, the man in the white coat said. It was time indeed. She gave the dog one last look; there were tears in the dog’s eyes but they smiled none the less. She bent down, gave him one last kiss and watched the life ebb away from her only friend. She was all alone in the white room, holding on to the only piece of life that was hers and hers alone.

It was done.

After what seemed like an eternity, I was back in my bedroom with her by my side.

“Until next time,” she said as she faded away in the grey once more, not to return soon.

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The French Love

Blue eyes, brown hair and the French air;

He was straight out of Mills and Boons.

Saw him first mixing tequila with vodka.

He dealt the cards with expertise

As if they were friends from old.

The scene was set,

The curtains up,

The music—ZAZ.

We argued:

The English were cold;

The Spaniards spoke from the heart;

London was a bore;

But Milan was his whore;

Caviar was disgusting;

But ratatouille felt like home.

It started gently:

His hand in mine;

The battle of wits;

The battle of hearts;

It was to commence at last.

I asked him meekly- will it last?

‘Je ne sais pas,

But I love you…for now.’

That was all I was to get

No empty promises;

No plans for tomorrow;

No roses in satin;

Nothing but….just love.

Love that lasted a moment,

Disappeared with the fading moon.

Something that tasted like spirits

And made the head heavy.

Something that encouraged smiles,

Conversation and delirium.

Something warm,

Something pretty,

And something very French.

How am I to ever forget that night?

That night I met my French love.

The funny thing:

I left the morning after without a note,

Knowing it won’t last.

Bangalore Diaries (Chapter 1- First Glimpse)

They say the soul of a city resides in its street. It has not been very long since i shifted to bangalore- just about a month or so. Being a typical north indian, my only encounter with the south is the few years i spend in hyderabad as a kid of four. My mind associates south india with women wearing gajras, spicy food, curd rice and a strange tongue. When the talks of my moving to this city started, i was a little apprehensive. I had heard a lot about Bangaluru– people called it the air conditioned city, the garden city, the brewery of india and so on. However, despite all the encouraging talks, the prospect of leaving my beloved kolkata was hard to digest. However with time, i warmed up to the idea.

My first impression of this city- like most others- came from the airport. Otherwise a little intimidating owing to its vastness, the airport came across as friendly and warm. The staff were welcoming and helpful folks who never lost patience despite me pestering them for my luggage which was last to be loaded on the conveyor belt.

For the past month, i have travelled around in this city mainly in the public transport– buses and autos. The locals, wearing their perpetual smile, are a treat, especially at 6 am when the eyes are heavy with sleep and the mind is just getting used to the fact that it is a new day.

I found a friend in an old gentlemen who boards the same bus as me at Spice Garden and gets off a little after Domlur. We just exchange a smile, a ‘Good morning’ and a ‘Have a nice Day’. Maybe our friendship will be limited to this, but finding a friend so easily can only happen in this city I guess.

In time, I will come to admire this city more. But at the moment, I am content with the fact that the city welcomed me with open arms and gave me smiling faces from early in the morning into the wee hours of the night.

Time

Today I sit looking into the horizon;

the colours are similar-

similar to the day we sat hand in hand

staring at the skyline.

Our eyeballs had changed colors;

our mouths had been shut;

but our hearts rang with music.

You told me that day-

this is not the end.

A goodbye said today

is a hello said tomorrow.

You will live in me

as a vague memory;

An unforgotten feeling;

A half remembered poem.

We dreamt of the day we would meet.

Once again as sailors in this sea;

In an unknown latitude.

Then the memory would turn into reality;

The feeling would spring out from our depths;

The poem would ring loud and clear.

Goodbye- you said- was redundant.

I believed you for the fool i was.

Maybe the latitude and time are non existent.

Maybe your words were mere words.

But all i know, for now,

I remember you in the horizon;

I don’t need your promise.

A goodbye is a goodbye-

full and final.

The next we meet;

If we meet;

We meet as strangers.

The boat we float on,

you forget, is time.

And we are both its victims.

So goodbye my friend.

It was good knowing you.