30 Apr 2014

Z - Zenith

She stood in the sweeping balcony, her slender fingers wrapped with just the right amount of class around the flute of Dom Perignon White Gold – her Greek clients had assured her that it was one of the most exquisite elixirs in the world when they happily gifted her the bottle as a token of their appreciation. The Chanel-ed nails were a sparkling blue against the bubbly, they tapped absently at the rim of the glass as she recalled how truly lust-worthy those businessmen had been and the way she had them wrapped around her little finger made her perfectly pouty lips break into a smug smile. She shifted her weight to the other toned leg and the smooth silk that enwrapped her full figure slid to accommodate the movement. 

Her success was no surprise to anyone. Born with a golden spoon, she was bred in the best of private schools till she ended up in Harvard and graduated summa cum laude only to be lapped up with glee by the best firm in the country. After a few years when she had gained the necessary experience, she broke away from the firm, where she was pitted to be the next leader, with the desire to become a private practitioner. The banks were only too glad to give her loans, not that she needed them though. Her very first client was so pleased with her work, he offered to get her a table at the President’s Ball, the most influential party of the year. There was no looking back from then.... She was simply the best.

She turned her back to the stunning cityscape and her eyes took in the grandeur that she stood in – the lovely plush wall-to-wall handcrafted carpets from Persia that made her feel like she was walking on clouds, the walls painted a light crème that matched her furniture and decor, all of which had been done up personally by an award-winning interior decorator after a dozen consultations with her, the discreet door that led to her inner chamber that boasted of a queen-sized bed, her walk-in closet with a wardrobe that probably cost more than what the average man earned in a year, her shoe closet which had been featured in women’s magazines and a huge ceiling to floor ornate mirror that had been the gift of the French Minister she had sorted out some stuff for. She had it all. 

She was at the peak of her life, the zenith that she was born to conquer.
Little did she expect that returning back to riches alone wouldn’t feel much like success. 

29 Apr 2014

Y - You

I picture you by my side, wrapped up in a blanket together so that your warmth keeps me cozy even as my nose is nipped by the chill of the night. I get comfortable on the bench and pass on the mug of hot chocolate after taking a sip. While you look at my face and laugh at the milk moustache I have given myself. I scowl at you, making you laugh harder. Sundarikutty, you say. And we unpause The Red Wedding and watch with rapt attention. Together.

I picture you pulling a T-shirt on to go fetch milk to make me some tea on a lazy Sunday morning. I slide onto the kitchen counter and cross my legs while you wash the vessels I used last night and potter around the stove to get the tea just right, just the way I like it. You entertain me with your constant chatter till it’s time to hand me my mug and then wait quietly for me to pronounce the verdict. When I don’t, you say chai kaise bani hai and I say bohot acchi hai in between slurps and then you start sipping your own between torrents of words that I’m only half-listening to.

I picture you standing at the altar, grinning from ear to ear with happiness, with your brother by your side and your parents at the pew. You turn around to look at me, your smile falters just a bit and your eyes widen just a bit. I take my place by your side and think if it is weird that I know everything that you want to say but are not saying it because Father is standing right in front of us. Especially the thoughts about the cut of my neckline. I’m just glad I’m the focus of your attention today.

I picture you sitting on the rocking chair with the child on your lap, your wrinkled hands tapping the screen impatiently as the child stops you and teaches you how to tap it right. You sigh with frustration and remember a time when I used to frustrate you with my know-it-all-ness – about how I have always been the one who’s good with the gadgets. When I walk in with your evening dose of medicines, you take it from me and give my hand a squeeze to let me know that you are thinking of me.

I picture you standing by my grave. I want to tell you not to waste money on the elaborate flowers you have brought for me and you suddenly smile through tears as if you can hear me. You stand by my side long after everyone else is gone, just like you always have.

You. My life.
Everything started with you. And everything ends in you. 

I dedicate this to K and her G, my wedding present :*

P.S: This is the kind of love I want for myself. Sigh.
P.P.S: I'm allowed to be sappy once in a while. I am. I AM. Hmph. 

28 Apr 2014

X - Xyrophobia

As a child, I was terrified. Terrified that I would displease Father somehow and be punished for it. He wouldn’t yell or scream or take out his belt to flay my tender skin. 

My father had a special punishment for me.

He would go deathly quiet and sit at his table. He would ask me go and stand by the chair and ask me to hold out my hand. He would put his legs around mine and lock his feet behind my knees to prevent me from running away.

This went on for years.

Then he would take out the 7 o’ clock blade from under his stationary box and start running its edge on the side of my palm. One long slice, not enough to cause any serious damage but enough to drain a few fat drops of blood and leave a lasting mark. By the second slice, I would be hyperventilating, choking on my own tears and begging his mercy for eating that extra slice of bread from the fridge.

This went on for years.

And every time I would cry out for my mother amidst the pain that scarred my very soul. If only she were around. I never told anyone for fear that he will give me up – somehow I chose this over a life of being an orphan but my recurring scars had their own tale to tell.

This went on for years.

In the eyes of the world, we were the quiet, grieving widower and distraught son but in the security of the home we shared brought out the monster and the victim. I never had any friends, never made any for fear that my secret would be exposed and I would be ridiculed at – so I was always that weird child in the corner who nobody liked, not even the teachers.

This went on for years.

Till the day they found him dead in his bed, his body covered with deep cuts, his neck hacked at repeatedly and his wrists almost severed off. An empty pack was on the stool beside and bloody seven o’clock blades strewn all over the floor.

P.S: You’d be surprised at how many sadistic parents are out there. You’d be surprised at how many children suffer punishment in the most painful of forms and grow up believing it is their fault. You’d be surprised at the number of psychologically messed up men and women these children turn into.

26 Apr 2014

W - Wasted

She clutched the neck of the bottle like it was a lifeline and took another swig. Her step staggered just a little bit but her glazed eyes gave away the number of drinks she had downed before she had laid her hands on the bottle. 

Hours ago, when she had taken her first sip, the alcohol had burnt at her throat. Now, she didn’t really feel anything.

And that’s pretty much how she liked it. Numbed.

Numbed from the pain of reality. Numbed from the wreck of a family which had never given her any security, let alone love, the pain of being stuck in a dream job with a boss who put his hands up her skirt every single chance he got. Numbed from the complications and implications of having too many people wishing her a happy birthday but too few friends.

Today, she reveled in that state of numbness when the only thing she could feel was the buzz in her ear. Today, she took pleasure in the buzz even as her head sagged onto her shoulder and her spine slumped against the couch.

Today, she got wasted. For tomorrow was going to be a fresh battle.

P.S: There is something very mysterious about people who drink alone.

25 Apr 2014

V - Vacation

It’s been more than a couple of years since I went on vacation. And by vacation I mean having the freedom to do exactly as I please when I please to without having people interfering with what I should eat, what I should wear, how I should travel and all the rest. 

While I have been to Coorg and Ooty and godknowswhereelse, it has been either with people from the office (which comes with its own set of paabandhis) or with family in which case I’m working out the logistics, herding the sheep, making reservations and whatnot (all of which counts as responsibilities and not relaxation).

I have not had the luxury of throwing flipflops in one direction, my bags in another and flopping down on a fluffy hotel bedroom with nothing to worry about for the rest of the week. I haven’t had the excitement of having places to explore, cuisines to try and people to meet. I haven’t had the prospect of cheap shopping to be done and getting back home and to routine with a refreshed mind and tonnes of new stuff.

Why am I telling y’all this now? With summer draining the life out of me and work gnawing at my bones, if I don’t take off somewhere soon, I might just blow up. So if you hear a ‘pop’ from the South Bangalore area, you should assume that it is me. 

Hmmm, Gokarna is just a night’s journey away…. I’m tempted.

If any of my friends are reading this (which I know you are, you lurkers, you), TAKE NOTE.  

24 Apr 2014

U - Utopia

For her Utopia was where she owned a wall full of books, a roomful, a houseful even. It was where she was capable of making strawberry preserve and scones just like Enid Blyton described it. In Utopia, she would sit down with her five friends who loved her unconditionally, and she loved them back too, and have the scones with clotted cream and her own preserve while they racked their brains to solve the latest, most baffling of mysteries. 

For her Utopia was where she could write at will and the words that came out would be so perfect that people would be transformed, their lives would be bettered. But in Utopia, she would be euphoric, not for the appreciation of the work, but the perfection of the words that came out of her pen. In Utopia, she would put a fine-nibbed pen to crisp, white paper and she would write her heart out without the distractions of the world pulling her away from the stream of words that bubbled from within her. 

For her Utopia was the perfect pain of tattoos, artwork that was as beautiful and complicated as a fine filigree work of lace or a monument dedicated to a loved wife. In Utopia, the pain made her a better person and the memory lasted a lifetime, etched on her skin. 

For her Utopia was where her family was complete, where the family was safe and sane and well-fed and well taken care of. In Utopia, there would be no blank spaces in family portraits which were complete only in the wonderful memories of the years gone by.

For her Utopia was love so strong that it went all the way from secret giggles to wrinkled hands by the fire and she knew that 'death do us apart' was that one part of the vows she took that would not come true, for their bond would last beyond just a lifetime. In Utopia, the crests of the waves always came crashing down but never failed to rise into another crest – only because of the presence of the rock, her rock.

For her Utopia was where the world was peaceful and green and had the best of men overlooking things, like God’s angels, only not so fictitious. In Utopia, everyone co-existed and minded their own businesses because they had realized that that is the only way to be a truly enlightened race if they were to survive the next great change that the Universe might bring to them.

For her Utopia was where she learnt from mistakes and never made them again, where she was truly happy in the sun and the sand as much as she was in the blankets that protected her from the sleet. In Utopia, there was nothing, really, that could get her so down that she couldn’t...wouldn't bounce back up after a few dark moments.

And guess what, she does live in her Utopia for no one can take away the strength of her dreams and her will to make those dreams, reality. 

P.S: Just being whimsical, bear with me.