I know I shouldn’t be thinking of you. But yet I am. Why am I in such a daze? How are you doing? What have you been up to? How’s life? Meet anyone interesting? Are you able to get by? Do you not miss those endless arguments? Tell me. Tell me everything. I want to know it all. I’m sorry I put you through hell. Is this the end of it all? Do we meet no more more? Are our lives no longer entwined? Was it not meant to be? Was it all for nought? Was the bond we shared all a lie? Do you not miss me?
What keeps us going?
What drives us?
What motivates us to get our butts out of our beds every single day?
Is it love?
Is it hope?
Is it fantasy?
Is it our sense of belonging in the universe?
Is it our natural instinct for survival as a species?
Is it the seeming rewards of life?
Is it desperation?
Is it boredom?
Or is it just plain cluelessness?
Darkness. Only the subtlest senses of touch and smell truly alive. Distorted swells of sound making its way through the deafening silence. A sweet, fruity smell emanating from beside me. The comforting warmth of a familiar figure – even more than familiar. The world seemed to close in on me as the proximity between us increased. The anticipation grew with every passing millisecond. My body was ready with its surplus supplies of dopamine and testosterone. Everything else was background now. All that mattered was that figure inching increasingly closer, threatening to shatter all sensibilities of emotional and physical space. Air no longer seemed abundant. The mundane no longer mattered. In fact, nothing at all mattered. Nothing, except the growing sense of ecstasy in my heart and that soft touch of the softest set of lips in the whole wide world.
Marriage. Something way complicated. Way more complicated than being in love. Anything can happen. There’s no guarantee. No sure shot at happiness. A blind leap of faith. A jump into a void. You’re not sure what the other person is going through. You desperately try to help them. You can’t find it in you to take care of yourself, let alone your significant better. Sure, you could end up having a splendid one. Other times, it could break you. Put your sanity to question. Your life gets entwined with the other person’s so much you can’t imagine your life without them. They become part of your routine. Part of your stories. They become you. And when the worst, the most dreaded happens, you’re never quite prepared for it. You lose all control. You start questioning yourself. You go nuts. You can’t quite take in what had happened. You don’t believe it. You start yelling. You start conflicting. The pain is too much. Hell takes over. You start doubting everything. You are scarred for life. Things somehow feel like they’re never going to be the same again. You scream at the inhumane injustice of life.
On one hand, a new marriage. A young love. Things are going good. But somewhere out of the blue, the devil that is depression hits her. The mad love-making comes to an abrupt end. He wants kids. She’s still trying to figure out her life. One day, after work, he decides to get her a little something to bring back the spark. A perfectly noble intention. On the way back, he gets hit by a car while having stopped to help someone with a flat tyre, and dies. Just like that. How would she even react? Why had it have to happen? They could’ve found a way. They were good. They were in love. Just why? She didn’t deserve it. All she needed was a caring shoulder. All she needed was love.
On the other hand, a moderately young marriage. But things certainly weren’t in place. Complaining, fights, arguments. Wanting the other to change. Desperate attempts to mend a disarrayed marriage. He tries hard to make it work. She finds solace in another guy. One day, the husband comes home to find them showering together. In a fit of outrageous rage, he starts beating up the guy, severely injuring him. He is admitted into a mental facility, only to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety issues.
Months pass. He is brimming with positive energy by the time it’s time for him to get back to his life. He has this whole new game-plan of being positive and getting in shape, to win back his wife. His parents tell him she had sold their house and that she might not return. His psychiatrist tells him to be ready for the worst. He has his occasional bipolar bouts. But he does not lose hope. He wants to believe in happy endings. He believes everyone has a chance at a silver lining, if they give it their all.
Meanwhile, she wasn’t doing so great. After the suffering had ended, emptiness had crept in. She yearned for company. She made herself an easy target. She started substituting the fleeting highs of coital pleasure for the compassion of love. It cost her her job. She was on the highway to destruction.
It was fate that she met him at a dinner one day. Seeming awkwardness. You know how they say you can’t really describe how you fall in love with someone. Like, how it just happens. It’s just you and your raw gut feeling of incredible attraction, and the other person. Something along the lines of this happened. It was evident in her eyes, if only for a split second. A slight gasp. A mild widening of the pupils. But he, on the other hand, is terrified. Terrified of what he’s feeling towards this woman he’d just met. Terrified whether his love for his wife was true. Terrified of the consequences this encounter might bring about. But in the end, all they had to do was hold on. Because that’s what it took to find happiness once more.
To live inside your head, what a terrific boon that would be
To live inside your head, where the grass is always green
To live inside your head, just a slight manipulation it would involve
To live inside your head, where the heart is content and troubles not heard of
To live inside your head, on your face—ever a smile
To live inside your head, where you are king and get to control everything
To live inside your head, ecstasy all the while
To live inside your head, a dream so fragile.
The flawless night sky,
Stretching into the horizon
The cool breeze,
Carrying with it stories untold
90’s Rahman playing in the background,
Setting the perfect mood
Half-finished glasses of Johnnie Walker, a beautiful gold,
Glistening in the moonlight
Perched at a safe elevation, two silhouettes,
Legs dangling in the air
An easy bonding, breezy conversations,
Countless tales unfold
A tear or two, the pain that wasn’t deserved,
Excruciating at times, bearable at others,
A reassuring smile broke through, another grateful one followed,
Chests were cleared,
One shoulder, two heads.
Moments re-enacted, feelings revisited
Passions talked about, musings mused
The night wore on, our youths shone bright
Our never-ending dreams, our unrelenting souls
It was just us,