A Quest on Overdrive … :)

An eccentric rambler on life's lessons and mercies, found and lost… :)


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Renewal

(This one’s a sequel, if you wish. A write prompted by a dear reader’s “:(” and a “Whyyyy”! Yep. This rambler is certified… 🙂 And so, this came to be. Unbeknownst 🙂 )

Renewal (a sequel to Redemption)

(or, What were the Odds!)

She stumbled out of the slowly brightening hall. The credits had rolled out, a smattering of applause gathered momentum, and by the time she’d reached the exit, everyone was standing.

She paused at the door, turned, raised her hands and applauded. She saw him, at the end of the aisle, his parents beside him, Raksha behind. That endearing smile lit his face. She blew him a kiss, which he wouldn’t see anyway, and slipped out. The lobby was deserted. His favourite, this theatre used to be, from school, she remembered.

Glad and sad, she made her way outside, called an auto and fled before the others came. Straight to her hotel. She was booked for the early morning flight. Her goodbyes were done – even though he’d asked for her company at the post-screening informal do he’d arranged. She’d made non-committal noises but had already decided. He knew of course. He couldn’t not.

She was packed. With nothing but her thoughts for company – she felt undone, claustrophobic. Quickly changing into jeans, shirt and sneakers, she fled once again, this time to the park, where they had first met. A couple of introverts who somehow found the courage to smile at each other and talk. She had been in the city as a resource person for a couple of workshops on creative writing. Serendipity, it had to be, that he had been part of a group she worked with. What were the odds, she mused, that a decade on they’d remained friends; more than that, in the least clichéd way.

She’s watched, seen him grow, in confidence, find focus, despite the way life shattered pyrotechnically around him. As it had been for her as well. To have the luxury of owning yourself – with no lien of love, of another’s heart, was at once a tragedy as it was satisfying. She knew that wasn’t her state of being, but she was working towards it.

She walked past the park, to the road that bordered the sea. This was his favourite place. He’d mentioned it often, of taking her there, but it had never happened. Distances, physical distances, the obligation to life, to family, meant it hadn’t been possible. It was pretty much a miracle that they’d even been in touch over the years, and stayed close – mirrored thoughts, hopes, hearts even – both being in hopeless relationships with entirely different people! What were the odds, indeed! She smiled. Found a spot, relatively free, and watched the ocean, perched on the built up wall, with the rocks stretching beyond to meet the waves.

The ebb and surge, the gurgling, the splashing, that constant, hypnotic hum of the waves…she lost herself in it. She wasn’t sure how much time had elapsed, but she was at peace. She held her backpack on her lap, arms wrapped around it, chin resting on top of it. Wispy tendrils framed her face, her tired eyes at peace. The silence, despite the sounds around her, was tangible; almost as if she’d created a bubble of stillness around her.

A bubble of stillness, in which she sat, with that faraway look. These were his thoughts, as he stood a few feet away, watching intently, a warm smile in his eyes, a sigh of relief hovering, unreleased. He continued to stand, and watch- in a stance akin to communion, a prayer. He did so, knowing her to be oblivious even to the night, so alive around her bubble of solitude.

Uncharacteristically, he was lost for words. He did not want to impinge upon her peace, though he longed to smoothen her hair, those wispy tendrils, rest his hands on her shoulders and drop a kiss on the top of her head. A surge of love rushed, and overwhelmed him. With sudden clarity, he recognized it for what it was. What were the odds! It was as if her thoughts had sneaked into his.

In the three hours, post screening, he’d smiled and talked, and been a quiet, but genial host, receiving with gratitude the kind and fulsome words of appreciation. As soon as he was able, he’d beat a hasty retreat, knowing a sense of loss. Of someone. Raksha was beside herself with joy. He was glad for that – that was truly redemption – the dream they had had, had now come to fruition. Honestly the credit went to her, her indefatigable spirit in pushing him. As co-author and instigator, he made sure she’d shared all the credit, in large, bold letters and presence. Yes, he loved her, and would always do so. But her hold on him seemed to diminish, now that he was on the road to forgiveness, to himself. She got that dream of hers, made him work towards his, and now had a foothold for further progress. A certain peace flooded him, lightening his ever heavy heart, filling a vacuum carried too long.

At the same time, his palm tingled with reminiscent warmth. It was the first time she’d reached out in public to hold his hand, even though they were not the hand-holding type. His lips quirked into a grin, as he felt that familiar sense of security, whenever he thought of her. His rock of Gibraltar, that was what she’d been all along. If there was one thing she’d brought back to his life, it was laughter and trust.

He wouldn’t find that elsewhere. It was something he needed, right now.

She wasn’t at her hotel. Her cell phone was switched off. On a chance, he decided to go to the park. Nothing. There was only one place he found solace in all those troubled times. The shoreline. He decided to walk it down, and reaching, began to slowly savour the throbbing life this place always lent to his weary heart. As he walked, he felt that faint prickling at the back of his neck – seriously, it was such a dramatic moment that he nearly laughed out loud, involuntarily.

All those times they’d talked about this, that instinctive knowing, a gut feeling – all that played back, and he knew now what she meant. She was near. As incredible as it was, he simply knew it for real. Walking on, he found her bunched up, chin on backpack resting on her lap. She’d changed into the casual clothes she loved so much.

He stepped up to her, and did just exactly what he’d thought he would. Smoothened her hair, dropped his hands to her shoulders, and dropped a kiss on her head. Sat beside her.

She sighed. Smiled. Leaned into his shoulders, as he put an arm around her shoulders and tucked her head under his chin. This moment was theirs alone. His arm tightened as she snuggled close. He’d tell her, soon, how those demons would never again bother him much. If she’d stay.

She thought. Tonight. It would happen tonight. The inevitable recognition of a soulmate. She prayed for strength to leave; he, that she’d stay. She, fierce, headstrong, independent, kind.

That chasm of yearning, yawning between them, suddenly seemed bridgeable.

22 January, 2017
One of those things, again, that simply had to be.

 

 


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Redemption

In the quiet hush before the screen lit up, she slid her hand, quick, warm, and covered his, as it rested on his knee, his tension evident in the controlled drumming of his fingertips. His hand stilled, turned over, intertwined his fingers with hers, as their palms fitted perfectly into each others’.

She did not care if she was noticed. He never did worry about it anyway. But this moment, it was special. It was just as she imagined it, over the decade plus years from when she’d first visualized it. The ambiance, the feels.Apart from herself, there was Him, his dearest friends, Her, that line-up of family, critics he’d had to suck up to (his wry words!)

She knew too, he was taut, as a string, his emotions playing a concerto, with its slow rhythm, a build-up. All of it, she knew. How, she did not question or seek. Near or far, they’d been tuned into each other.

A resigned smile tugged at the corners of her lips – it wasn’t the soulmate variety, all mushy, though even that perhaps would fit. That smile widened at the thought, into a happy grin. She was glad they had each other, whatever part of each other that they could be, and give.

He’d often called her his muse’s bodyguard. A term, at once an endearment, and a reminder of her place, as the keeper of his sanity. His heart was branded with another’s pulse. His thoughts, though, were hers to seek and share. Just as she gave of hers.

Life, she mused, is just as complicated as you make it – a cliched line from a hackneyed Hindi film, of an aeon ago. She smiled again. She did not need to look at him, to know he wouldn’t, till it was over.

A weeping guitar serenaded titles, the acknowledgements, and then faces, voices, larger than life paintings came alive. She watched absorbed. For her, as with the others, this was a first time watch. Not sneak preview. She’d even avoided the trailer, deliberatedly.

On his other side, she could sense her tension too. Raksha’s.The muse creator. The instigator. The almost-give-up-er. Till he found his way back, to his dream, to her. She would always have his heart though.

A fond quote from a teacher, back in college flashed in her mind. The greatest tempation in life is to confuse dreams with reality. The greatest defeat in life is to surrender dreams to reality. Making sense of what to surrender, and what to pursue, therein lay the biggest challenge. She was simply glad he was discerning enough. He did.

A tear slid down her cheek. Followed by more, as she watched the way the story unfolded – the motif of the road, of a murmuration of swallows, bridges, the slow falling mist (not rising), the story of bridging a yawning chasm, of yearning, between star-crossed lovers. It was too real. It was her story, she realized, as she turned to him, in wonder.He turned that same instant. Tightened his fingers, slightly, warmly. And smiled. The first real smile, that day.

Through the haze of tears, she glimpsed the relief on his face. It was done. He was glad it went off well. For him. Now, of course, it was public – to be taken, torn, touted…as they wished. Knowing him, she knew what he felt, she, and Raksha did, about the film,  would be far greater than any other voice.

Her tears were her gift. Her critique. She leaned over and gave him a quick peck on the cheek, got up and left. He’d understand.

There were other dreams to redeem, for him. He would too. The healing had begun.

12 January, to 21 January, 2017

The Sequel (LINK)

Sometimes, so sometimes, there is a rush of the absurd, that will not let you be, till you let it loose. Here is best 🙂

 


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Living on the edge…

A random thought blows on the breeze tonight, as an organizer takes over my brain. So many compartments, so many heads, so many many chapters of an un-writeable story  mill in the teeming flurry, dead centre, and pound the wall of the skull demanding space, to be freed from the endless rigmarole of the vicious circle of life.

One random thought – what do my thoughts matter? What do I matter? Wait. Do I matter? What if I left this world, as we know it, and not one single person knew what it took for me to inhabit myself? Now, why did I want that?

He called, and told me to cut short my holiday. Said he was missing me. Couldn’t understand why I needed to be away, get away. From him? His bewilderment is understandable. If he’d done the same though, I’d probably have asked too. Wait. Would I? Another pondering thought, and I realize, maybe not…Not. Definitely. Me-times are good times. Charge-yourself-up-times.

Another thought stings. Do I get enough of them times? To know me, if at all, and dang if anyone else does not?

I should have been a counsellor, I tell you, not a data analyst with a hot shot company. I read data, figure out the trends, progressions, make projections and fail to read my own progression in my relationships. That irony sucks. Big time. How I partition bits of me – please everyone, share that bit of an acceptable me with her, him, them….

And what if, so desperately, I wanted just one person to know me, all of me, all that I could be, am and will potentially be? It suddenly seemed so important.

I can’t come right now, love. I spoke to him, inside my head. Not nowThough I miss you so! How can I tell you more! Explaining when you wouldn’t understand. You know, it’s much easier to edit things when I share them, so that I take care not to rock your boat. That sense of you being a rock to me, when I am finding a steadfast core, crumbly at times, but a core nonetheless, within me. I wish I could, but I can’t, knowing how quick you’d jump to less than obvious conclusions. I wish I could tell you of this new friend. 

~~~~ ****~~~~

That new young trainee at office. Quiet, concerned, attentive. Unfailingly courteous, says the right things. Uh uh. A paragon, sometimes – would have to be, to be like this in her office! And an absolute fake, no? She asks herself, disbeievingly. Do they make people like them anymore. People who get you, respond to your quicksilver changes, keep tabs on how she was? She supposed it takes one introvert to recognize another. That acknowledgement of one’s quirks and the empathy thereof, that’s an undoing. A vulnerability too, that she was not entirely sure, she could take. A newness of being able to be yourself – not a role model, not an always-happy-beaming-inspirer!

That stray thought zings and zeroes in on him. Him. That colleague. Had to be a him, somehow. The universe always conspires, to confound, and confirm how connections form on a pre written script. Had to be him.

And what was worse, is that compartmentalization that ruled her life. She supposed everyone did it. Or was it just her? How she could be who she was with this one, boderline friend, more than one, really. But she could not tell anyone of him. Not her him, anyway. He’d never understand, believing they were enough for each other, not ever understanding that sometimes, just so sometimes, limiting a thought, and judging it was the sure fire way of inhibiting another share, another time. She knew now, enough, enough to inhibit her. That she loved him, would always love him, but would never be able to fully share of herself, was one of the greatest ironies ever! Still she couldn’t let him know or wonder what she’d been upto, for that is the progression that conversation would take. If she told him, his response after a sudden meaningful, almost reproachful silence, would ensure she’d shut up further, and shut out that cohort at the office, forever. Wasn’t that how she’d been living?

Peace-keeping forces had it easy in conflict zones, when compared to the number of cease-fires she’d carried out, without ever trying to talk it out, for she’s do anything to avoid that war! That kind of fallout she could do without!

So this time, she did not speak of her friend, but quietly went on about getting to know him better. Being a  renegade of the heart was better than ravaging it for one who’d always question.

Life was not linear, and that was a lesson she was learning. That it was perfectly okay to be who she was. All along, though, there would always be this particular totem she’d need to carry. From the alternate lifetime, of her choices that she could not share, to the one she needed to be in, for her own succor as well as that she provided, on demand, infinitely patient, empathetic.

Her phone rang, as if on cue. So, you’ll come home earlier, won’t you? I really miss you!

Ah. Dear me! I miss you too! And yes, I shall, I shall. I’ll definitely do that, as scheduled. At the New Years’!

She laughed, as she said it. To take the sting out of any rebuff he could feel.

He grunted. She continued to smile, into the phone.

A tiny triumph this. A steely resolve to end a year most forgettable. Apromise, to be more of herself to her. A closure to being taken for granted. A good way to end the year.

She was beginning to enjoy living on the edge.

29 December, 2016


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Trailer

Chapter ONE (LINK)

Chapter TWO (LINK)

This is the last of the three. 🙂

********************************************************

This one is for Day#14 of #RamblingsInFebruary 🙂 Valentine’s day 🙂 So of course…!

Let’s go back to that Teaser (LINK) , and a story that burgeoned 🙂

Disclaimer: This blog is pure nonsense. All characters in this write are made up in part, and actual in part. Which is to say, don’t take them seriously. Take the notion of Love seriously though. 😀

The eavesdropper was intrigued. Yes, I’ve said that. So she (why not he? Who’s telling the so called story here, please? 😛 ) She, being she, who was privy to many a story shared by all manner of people, constantly surprised that they’d found something in her that called to their trust, decided to sniff around.

Turned out it wasn’t one of those puppy love tiffs she’d imagined. Oh, she was quite imaginative! You see, as I hear it, he had heard things about her -it doesn’t take a degree in rocket science to figure that out! (though having a degree in rocket science might sometimes get you to miss out on the obvious 😛 ) He’d heard she was being over friendly with a someone who he knew, deep inside, to be anything but chivalrous, though that guy pretended to be one! And he was MAD. They were best friends. Don’t smirk, please. There does exist a variety of people like that you know! And yes, to add to your fantasy, she was lovely, and he was quite a looker 😀 Cliche? Ah!

That’s Mishika, we’re talking about by the way. And he? Let’s guess, shall we? (Mishika is from here – Serendipity click on that to find out 😛 )

Mishika that day got words from him when he shared his angst at what he perceived to be irresponsible behaviour. She in turn was MAD because he did not trust her. There we have it, them trust issues. I mean, she thought, there wasn’t even a reason to even listen to someone say they were disappointed in you! Boo! She’d never cared about it, but when he said it, something hurt, and angered her. But looking at him, she knew it wasn’t jealousy but genuine concern!

Boys talk, Mishika!

Yeah yeah yeah. They’re worse gossips than those girls, and than women and women are labelled so! I refuse to be responsible for talk like that!

But remember that ride into the sunset, and things to do?

I, dear person, have not, and you haven’t either. What you have forgotten is who I am. To you. Have you, indeed? Sarcastically, this.

Aaarrrghhhh! Literally and poetically it is that time. And on this beach, sitting on these sands, I want to wax poetic too! I am, aren’t I? I don’t know how to handle talk, M. It’s as simple as that!

I have stories to write. To share. To learn from. People to meet. Who I shall, no matter what. I also cannot stand not being known and believed, most especially, by someone who I’ve always talked to. I’m now wondering what I am to you!

Gawd! Please don’t mouth the Hum Aapke Hain Kaun dialogue! Not that one! He cringed. Laughed comically. Giggled. 

She joined him. Then cocked her head, and asked anyway…

Hum Aapke hain kaun? Giggling. 

He put an arm around her, tucked her head into his shoulder, as both of hers wound around his waist, still giggling. I love that movie you know!

I do. It’s something I like too. Acquired taste from the company I keep. We belong together in ways I have only read about in poetry and ballads. 

Remember though that those ballads most often ended in tragedy! A tickle at his ribs.

Even so, Happy Valentine’s Day, darling!

Darling! Daaarling!!! Oooooh! Now we’re talking! Happy day to you too!

Quite indifferent to the gaze of other evening time visitors to the beach, these two sat companionably, and did not notice a bittersweet look sent their way from a distance. Raksh wondered how on Earth the storyline that should have been his, became that Nerd’s!

28 February, for Day 14 of Ramblings in February. 15 posts to go by tomorrow evening. Let’s see if this blog can manage that kind of flooding 😀

 

february ramblings


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Equations

He added to her existence as she negated his, from hers. His time divided, as it was, into his own pursuits, knowing her to be the common denominator of his life, and therefore dependable, was never hers in a way that quite eroded the precarious balance she maintained. The progression, quite undramatic, yet consistent, step by step devalued that common denominator, until it quite disappeared.

You know what you get, when a whole is fractured with no denominator, don’t you?

And the Master thought he had solved all the problems, by fitting them into neat identities, pigeon-holed to perfection, not anticipating that his creation would be the nemesis that creations are, to all creators. One step ahead, always heading into resultant chaos.

So it was with them. The carpet when pulled from under one’s feet, is not a pleasant experience, as when the one on top loses that denominator. Forget balancing – finding their own numbers, and places would have been enough.

If the Master so desired.

She handed in her Math paper, with equanimity, a hint of a smile playing out. It was the most daring thing she’d ever done. She stifled a giggle. The only one. She couldn’t wait to see the response on the teacher’s face. Fatalistically, she visualized the explosion, the flurry of calls, the summons to the HM’s room, the inquisition, the referrals, the gentle invasion into her mind, the well-meaning pitiful looks for the wispy, geeky, frail nobody of a girl.

Now they’d take note. A sudden rush of love, for herself, overwhelmed her.

11 February, 2016

february ramblings

Day#11 of #RamblingsInFebruary – this one goes beyond surreal. That’s why these are called ramblings 😛