Thursday, December 6, 2018

The Final Door

I had started packing at least two weeks before.

Packing, cleaning, removing all the garbage that had gathered over the years. So much - you have no idea. 'They had gathered' - I make it sound like they had all walked in of their own accord. 'I had collected' is more correct - I had brought them all. Invited them in and allowed them to stay.

Now it was time to send them away - out of my life. Overnight, they had lost meaning, they had lost purpose.

When the door is in sight, priorities shift. All the unnecessary stuff we had been holding on to, begin to fade. It's only a matter of time before we step across the threshold and close the door behind us. What do we want to do, in those final minutes? Leave some memories behind? Brace ourselves for the journey ahead? Say goodbyes? Take one last look?

It kept me busy, the clearing of my space. Kept my mind off things. Things that were thronging my head, jostling for attention. Secondly, it gave me a chance to stage my disappearance - slowly, without anyone noticing. Honestly, no one was interested anyway. They did not observe that every day I was wiping myself from their view. Erasing myself right before their eyes. Or did they not care?

Every day I walked out, taking stuff with me like Andy Dufresne in Shawshank Redemption emptying dirt out in the yard, little by little daily. Andy had all the time in the world. I had slightly lesser.

The door beckons, closing by inches. Too soon, too quick. Every minute it leaps closer. On the other side lies uncertainty. 

I didn't know what I was going to tell my friends. Yes I had a few. They didn't know what to tell me either. We kept safely away from the elephant in the room. I spoke about other things, for their sake. Their embarrassment and sympathy would only make me more miserable.

On the Last Day...

I was ready. A handful of people knew - none of them my friends. It just happened to be their duty to know. They would much rather have remained ignorant. This was awkward for them. Seeing me made them uncomfortable. Avoiding me was easier. Their forced smiles said as much. I wonder if they expected me to make a big hue and cry of the situation. Did they even bother? Or were they relieved when it was over, quietly, just like the end of another day?

I don't remember much of that Day. I have wiped it clean too, when I closed the door behind me. I must have walked around, bidding farewell in my mind. To things, to people. Touching the walls and the doors and the coffee machine for the last time. If I met any of my acquaintances, I must have said goodbye as usual. Some of them might have said, See you tomorrow. I must have smiled: I knew I won't see them tomorrow. They didn't have to know yet.

I turned my back on that part of life - with a vengeance. Pushed it out of my mind. Drowned it in my newfound independence.

Vanished. 

I heard them utter my name. Wondering, questioning,... finally comprehending. And then my name would fade from their lips too. The final stab.

Some memories are like quicksand. They just keep pulling you back in, no matter what you do. You remain still, and you tell yourself you're out, you're safe, but all the while you're right in the middle of it. If you move, you sink. But they don't take you in completely, they just leave enough for you, just enough to make you sigh over and over again, years later.

When it is time for you to leave, and if you're fortunate enough to get ample time to prepare, would you take the time to look around? To say goodbyes? To hand over unfinished work to someone you trust?

We are mortal. But our work can be immortal. 

The question remains. Did we matter?

Did I matter?


* Background vector created by Freepik

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Books to read

​Sometimes
I wither in panic
Remembering​​ the books I'm yet to read
The many titles I wish to re-read
And fear that
Life will take me away
Before I can savour them
To my heart's content.

Sometimes
I bloom in ecstasy
Remembering the books I'm yet to read
The many titles I wish to re-read
Because no matter how many years pass by
Or I live till eternity
I'll always have something new
To read.

There is no cage that can hold me
No prison that can contain me
No four walls can restrain me
Or take away my freedom
As long as I have a book
Within reach.
Take them away, and you've as good as
Taken my life away.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Shadows of the Past - now in Justbooks library

That exciting moment when your book is listed by your favourite library:



Yes, "Shadows of the Past and other stories" is now available at a Justbooks CLC branch near you.

(Photo credit: Justbooks, Banshankari)


Saturday, November 3, 2018

When you left

​You​​ left without saying Goodbye.
I waited, hoping you'd return, remembering.
Because the last time we met,
Years ago, 
I was the first to leave, 
And I had remembered. I had waved. 
A special farewell, just for you. 

And all through the night
It kept me awake: 
Why did you not say Goodbye?
Why was it so difficult?
You knew you were leaving.
I didn't. 

The acknowledgement was casual.
The kind people exchange when 
They pass each other by.

I waited. 
The evening retreated,
The guests flowed in and out,
Until they flowed in no more.

Then it came home to me.
You had never seen me the way I saw you.
The frequency, the wavelength,
All those clichés I'd used 
T o describe us, albeit to myself,
None of it was real.

Looking back, our conversations
So interesting and engrossing, to me,
Seem so fragile, so thin 
Like smoke, 
Rising, spreading, dissipating,
Thin ice, cracking, breaking,
Non existent now. 
I'd read too much between the lines.
Which had been nothing but vacuum.

So ridiculous, such a mockery.
I must have made a fine spectacle.
The support I offered
The sympathetic ear, the shoulder...
A fine spectacle indeed
If all that had meant nothing.

Perhaps I should just laugh
At my own foolishness-
Jumping to conclusions that never existed.
Perhaps I should forget,
Because it had been clearly 
All in my own mind, and 
Perhaps it is time to
Return to my land of silence.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Book lover

​Whose book is this?
Asks the six-year-old
In a loud whisper,
Awe and respect in her words,
Her hands reverently caressing
The hard cover.

Whose book is this?
She says, looking around
At her mother and friends;
Then she looks around
At her own little friends.
Whose book is this?

Hers, replies the mother
Pointing to me.
The little girl's eyes rest on me
With newfound admiration.
She's known me a long time, but
Today she sees me with new eyes.

Can I see it? Again the polite whisper
As though the majestic book
Must not be disturbed, or
Awakened from its slumber.
Of course, I say, and she
Opens it carefully.

It's not a picture book,
She does not care.
She's not old enough to read it;
The six hundred page book
Does not intimidate her;
The tiny font does not deter her.

I watch her turn the pages
Slowly, lovingly, respectfully,
And when it is time to leave
She replaces it gently,
And smiles at me.
Today I see her with new eyes too.

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Giveaway: my novel "Temple of Time" #ebook #Kindle


My novel, Temple of Time (in ebook format) can be purchased for FREE from Amazon until Sunday, October 7th. Download now. You can also read the first few pages, the synopsis and reviews from the links below.

Amazon India: https://www.amazon.in/dp/B00U54HX3I
Amazon US and other countries: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00U54HX3I

If you have friends who love reading ebooks, please share this with them.

To know more about the book, click here: http://navy-blue-jeans.blogspot.com/2015/03/temple-of-time.html

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

"It's always the woman's fault"

It wasn't, by the way. Not even close.

It's like saying, the thunderstorm is a person's fault, or the flood is.

The problem with writing a blog in one's own name is that there is a limit to the stuff you can divulge. You ask yourself how desperately you want to tell the complete story and how badly you want to piss off someone. They might never see the blog, but then someone might and tongues, as we know so well, wag, especially when there is something juicy to wag about. Do I want to write, or do I want to fight?

It wasn't the woman's fault. Anyone with an ounce of common sense in them could see it. But the thing about rumours is that there need be no truth attached to it.There is a special channel by which rumours spread - and that is a path often shunned by common sense.

Someone said, when the shadow of the earth falls on the moon, poisonous substances will be released from your food.

The shadow falls all the time, across space. It just so happens that once in a while there is a satellite on its path - big enough to be visible from our home. They teach science in school. It's just a shadow. Harmless. Don't give in to superstition.

But no...

What if poison is actually released? What if it is true? We don't actually know, do we? What if,...

What if it is the woman's fault? What if she brought about the thunderstorm? The flood?

The tragedy is that she had been trying hard to be good. That's what irks me. She has sacrificed a great deal to be where she is. She wasn't managing somehow.

Nothing I said to the rumour-monger would change their opinion. They would spread the tale anyway. Because there was something so delectable about fresh gossip. About someone who was already in their radar. Someone who had been admired greatly at the start. Someone who seemed to have no failing. Someone who did not give away much about themselves. Controlled. Cultured. Nonetheless, ripe to be talked about. The more difficult it is to find something about them, the more delicious it becomes. And the ears that gather the news would be thrilled to spread it further.

What if it is her fault?

Actually, it is her fault. It must be. Everything had been so perfect. There is no other culprit. Then it must be. 

When the shadow enters, venomous creatures raise their heads... Once the shadow recedes, they crawl back to the hole they came from. It sounds true, so it must be.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Deliverance

​Adrift in the ocean
No sense of direction
A​​mong the waves
And the sky and solitude

Dawn has arrived. Ahoy!
Land has been sighted
The wind draws me closer
Mountains come to view

The sparkle of a brook
Slipping in and out
Signs of habitation
Smoke from ​the ​chimneys

My heart leaps out...
Only a matter of hours
For my deliverance
Patience, my heart...

To be safe, on firm earth
Free from the rocking sea...
Land, beloved land,
The destination, ultimate.

Suddenly the wind changes
It begins to blow out
Dragging me away
Farther from the land

And as I watch helpless
The brook vanishes
The mountains grow smaller
Land retreats, diminishes

My boat, rising and falling,
Driven far out into the sea...
A brief vision, a tiny possibility-
Now an unattained dream!

Between the lashing waves
And the apathetic sky...
Adrift in the ocean...
Once again-