Entangled in the sheets one early morning, you gingerly took my hands in yours and asked me what excited me more – the mountains or the oceans?
Our bodies pressed together for warmth encased in the mountain air as we sipped the roadside masala chai, mildly in awe of the ruddy sunrise
or laying around lazily in a quaint beach with our feet sinking in the sultry sand as the sunset stretched across the horizon, changing from indigo to scarlet to a bright orange before finally resolving into a warm tangerine?
Inevitably I was bereft of any words but then I thought of you and how intangible your love for the majestic unknown was. How always lost in imagination you were sitting at the beach waiting for the tides to rise as if with each uprising a new secret would unveil itself for you and how your hands would never leave mine till the dusk had mildly settled in the creases of my face.
I never answered your question and you never brought it up again though at that moment the mountain girl flipped and realised she was in love with the ocean.
At the end of the day, like the aftertaste of a bittersweet memory, a thought continues to linger on, humming infinitely in rhythm to our desires, floating like the wisps of a cloud left behind. It beats with a severity strong enough to claw out our own skin and mild enough to let sleep find its way back after the strenuous journey.
It rises like a soft whisper from somewhere within the hollows of our subconscious and saunters its way up when the eyes finally find their pilgrimage in the dark to haunt the last shreds of peace that the heart conjured meekly and to char our dreams with a benevolent promise.
A fragile mind, beleaguered by the monotonous charades ends up cribbing and cringing as his love for travel doesn’t pan out according to his whim but aren’t we all travelling? From one phase to another, from one emotion to a new one, living life one heartbeat at a time, unbeknownst to the adventures of future?
We travel in time, in experience and in age. Leaving parts of our soul in people and places like little souvenirs of our presence. We capture their essence and arrive back at a different phase, exhausted due to the culmination of one journey and slightly ecstatic at the beginning of another.
Somedays the seraphic morning light reminds me of butterflies and daisies, frolicking around with each other in open fields of sublime beauty, untarnished from the spoils of human greed and somedays even the thought of removing the covers from my face to let that light brush against the skin, to let it quash out the gray clouds seems revolting. Somedays humanity seems to fill me up with hope for the future; maybe Armageddon is just another big religious conspiracy of the church to ensure that fear never abandons the mind of common folk; everything is seizable, those far fetched fantasies that don’t let you sleep at night seem just a dream away and somedays even breathing becomes hard, you grasp on memories to keep you afloat and all that you find is regret.
Life dances in front of your eyes, playing hide and seek and sometimes you are too exhausted to blur out the line between dreams and reality, just so as to carve out a niche where the gray doesn’t persevere. The dreams become the reality and the world fades away in the background as you quietly slip into another fantasy.
When you’re struck with tragedy, what is the first thought that resurrects itself firmly in your head? The thought that pushes itself up from the numbness of shock, the one that reverberates inside on an infinte loop? It is of death, your newfound lust for death. Suddenly all sense of reality leaves your body and whats left inside is a silent tale of crippling sorrow. The tragedy runs in your blood now; life fleeting in tiny drops of grief, flowing out facilely because the sunsets have lost their charm and the stars are just inept stones of light. Your spirit has died and the haven of bliss is slowly slipping like grains of sand. Everything you once held sacred seems futile and all love empty; life has faintly donned the hideous white robe of death, barring your soul of colours and joy. But the irony is, even in loss, when you readily accept death, you keep on living because that is the most logical thing to do, accept the circumstances and move on, even with a heart that has been ripped into shreds. You move on and you keep on living, sometimes searching and sometimes hunting desperately for a laconic peace of mind that you lost when the moon still shined bright. Life goes on and so does tragedy. You never forget it, you never leave it behind, you just let it slip from your mind, even if momentarily and find your harmony.
I stopped to look at the calendar before grabbing my stuff and heading out. 30 June’17, the last day of June. June has always been my happy month; my month of life. June symbolises warmth and love and gifts and long drives and birthday lunches. This is the month of laughter, of sunlit fields brimming with flowers, of strawberries and impromptu trips to the snowy hills. Lately, everything has been changing over like the new colors of bud after spring. June has lost its charm and life has lost its meaning. I’m leaving my city, my home, my ownself. I’m leaving my June behind.
I meant to write something long, something from the heart, something to take the edge off, just something, to heal the bruised art. The words had arrived, tumbling in their path, dragging along with them the dripping ink and its pristine canvas. I meant to rip open every portal there was, to let the pain out, to let it all escape me; to be finally bereft of those silent tears and it felt so soothing, at least in my thoughts. I had it all, my muse was back, but the words betrayed me yet again, this time laughing sinisterly at my gaped soul. The sands of time had etiolated the initial enthusiasm of their arrival and my pen remained unmoved, burdened by the weight of the ink of my thoughts. The canvas lies in tatters now, simply because it could not escape the wrath of my frustrated mind. Another day passes and the pain is still inside begging for the words to stop their sabbatical. I cannot end this cycle and the war inside wages on. The words are fleeting but the agony is perpetual.
Perched on my shoulders, rests a lost little bird, drinking in everything through his shiny beady eyes, somewhat awry of his surroundings yet in a unique state of bliss.
“What keeps you so high about, oh little bird?” I ask him earnestly, curious of his meanderings and adventures.
“I escaped my cage today.” comes his joyful reply.
“What was it like?”
“Like that first drop of rain after a sultry summer, like those precious moments in the morning when there’s nothing more beautiful than a few rays of sunshine. It was like waking up after a horrible nightmare and realising that the demons that torture our souls cannot overpower our flamboyant selves. I escaped my prison with a heavy heart and an exuberant smile, when will you escape yours?” He peers at me slightly, preparing to fly away any minute.
“I’m not a prisoner, just an obstinate person.” I laugh shakily, bewildered at his delusional words.
The bird only gives me a sad smile, pecks my heart repeatedly and takes his leave. He turns back for the last time, stares at me with utter determination and whispers, “
One day even you will be free from your caged heart.”