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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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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Teaser

Is that what you thought about me?

No, not really, but one hears, you know.

One hears, yes, but you listened?

Well, I oughtn’t have, I know…

Damned right, I should say!

But, really, given what’s happened,

And what will…

Eh? Really! So what WILL?

I’ll simply go on being me, to you,
Even if you hear otherwise.

No matter what?

No matter what.

No riding into the sunset.
We’ve got lots to do by then!

Told you. So just listen, to me, won’t ya?

****

The eavesdropper of this conversation was intrigued. She’s yet to make a story of it. 😀

february ramblings

Day#8 of #RamblingsInFebruary 🙂

8 February, 2016

Chapter ONE (LINK)

This is Chapter TWO

Chapter THREE (LINK)


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Serendipity

Apparently this is one of the most difficult words in English to explain. So, what does it mean? How ’bout we try and figure it out? That is if you haven’t figured it out yet. Errrmmm… you go. I understand. You don’t have the time, and you’d rather be told, so that you can go on to that other bit of reading you had to do; (or watch that episode of the serendipitous Once Upon a Time, which, incidentally I’m watching, yes, FINALLY. S01E04 done. Yeah. I got a wayyy to go, and don’t you dare tell me the story, most of which I already know, being that die-hard romantic. Serendipity. I tell ya. I had to watch it, and now is the time 🙂 ) Sigh. There I go again. So, no spoonfeeding, hence we try to unravel it 😀 What better than a wee story?

It was Aashna’s comment on Day#2’s story (LINK) that made me want to use it. The gleeful way she jumped at me, tugged at me and implored, in askance, that she be given space. Serendipity. Not Aashna 😀 (One of these days, I’ll probably be begging her on her space 🙂 )

Therefore, a new fable.

Serendipity

It wasn’t the first time Mishika noticed that whenever she happened to go to the Library, he was there, either just before her, or maybe a little while after. But then there were others too, and she couldn’t be sure. Now you, dear reader, must probably wonder why Mishika should notice only him? Ha! Indeed. Something there is that warms your heart, does it not, when you think that?

But Mishika wasn’t the sort to moon. She noticed a lot of things. The way that burnished leaf hung for days on the badam tree, late January, and how a multitude of butterflies of different colours came by the gulmohar trees, sometime in February. The distant pigeon, seeming aimless in their sudden flight, circling, to yet again come back to their perch just between the roof and the netting of the Auditorium. There was a keenness in the way she even looked at you.

Others looked through you sometimes, but not her. I had always noticed that about her. She saw. She noticed. She did not simply hear, but listened. And, that, he noticed too. That charmer, the sportsy, artsy, n’er-do’well rakish mop of deliberately ruffled hair shouted in wild abandon at who he was, a devil-may-care cuteness in the bland practised wickedness of his “look”. A bad boy indeed, was the assessment, many a time from many a teacher, whose misfortune it was to engage him in serious study. He gave elaborately devious answers, laced with subtle sarcasm, that quite went above many a teacher’s head.

I watched, sometimes in sheer joy, as some of them got their comeuppance, them “teachers”. There are times, you know, when some of them do get on their high horse, and their *&@*#$@ in a twist, when what they say isn’t implicitly “obeyed”! For Chrissakes, these are kids, I want to tell them, not soldiers on the field! But who’s to listen, and who’s to fight for them? Duh.

You know what they say about how good girls love bad boys? Cliché, perhaps, but then there was something to it. Mishika, dreamer, listener, charming, piquant girl, came up to me, all of a sudden, one day to talk. I’m easy to talk too, you know. As much as I love to talk, and watch, I do love to listen to those stories. And believe you me, everyone who comes, of their own volition to talk to you has stories within stories, that have wheels within wheels. We’d been on easy terms, she and I, but never had any confidences sprung between us.

Is it okay if I talk to you? She asked one day.

Uh uh. Sure, come sit by me.

It’s something I feel only you can understand, that’s why I wanted to give it a try, She said.

Okay, I said. What’s bothering you? Or should I ask who?

Oh no no no no no… she laughed, and then held that grin, that suppressed a guffaw. I imagined her mocking my earnestness- my inquisitive tone 😀 It isn’t me. It’s him.

Oh. Who?

You know, our in-house wannabe rake. That RDJ look-alike. Raksh. God! He even has the same letter for his first name! I’m positive he’s going to change his name to Raksh Stark one of these days! Giggling, that.

What happened to him now? Got into trouble with the Math teacher? He’s always needling her!

Well, not exactly. You see, we had group work the previous period. We’re in the same group, you know that, and I didn’t get back to my place because he began to sell me the idea of reading JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. Boy! That guy knows how to tell a story, I tell you!

Okay. But what’s the errr… problem?

Well, he got asked by the Math teacher to report in the Staff Room where he was asked what was going on between me and him.

And…?

He simply guffawed, I believe, and said nothing. That laugh was the problem!

And…?

And nothing. You know, something’s going to happen between us. He isn’t the only storyteller around. Beaming, she left, just as suddenly as she came.

I wanted to call her back and give her a thumbs up. I resisted. After all, I was that nerdy guy in the class, one without the extreme feelings. Or so everyone thought. I just wished she would some day say she wanted to be part of my story too.

I still wish. Why?

I believe in serendipity. There is a world of meaning there, most of it built on hope.

****

Day#4 of #RamblingsInFebruary

february ramblings

4 February, 2016

This is Chapter ONE

Chapter TWO (LINK)

Chapter THREE (LINK)

(Thank you Aashna 😀 )