The End

The way they show it in movies. There's a sad ending. Colors disappear and the screen goes black and white. The ending often has some or the other huge message behind it. And your eyes are about to well up. Deep inside, you must be touched by this poignance. Because there is some beauty in it. Or may be you see glimpses of your life in the movie, etc.

Sometimes, after that moist climax, they bring up the beginning. The beginning that they din't show earlier. Just a couple of glimpses. During the movie those moments of the beginning must have been referred to many a time. Making you imagine how must have they gone for real. Arousing related general curiosity. So you wonder, a couple of times. About those happy moments. When our story began. And strangers held on to the eyes of other strangers. For a little longer than the usual stretch of time for which memories are involuntarily erased.

You then travel to the other end to see the beginning for real.

And then you can connect the dots. The beginning after the end. All the blanks are filled. Everything falls into place. And you are relieved, at least there was this happy beginning.

Now assume that movie is life indeed. And you feel like you are fast approaching the climax. The sad ending. Because you really don't know why, your sense of loss keeps getting deeper and deeper. And colors disappear. You begin to think, you must be somewhere very very close to The End. A closure must be in the offing.

And you are trapped in amnesia. You can't remember how long you have been walking. Incessantly. Panting for breath, half in tears. But most of all, you can't remember the happy beginning. The one they show in the movie. In the end, after the end. No matter how hard you try, you just cannot remember. What the beginning felt like. And you're not sure if it was a happy one. So that must not have been the beginning after all. So you keep going back in memory. And yet there is nothing in your hands. Probably, there was no happy beginning after all. And all your life has been this way. Dis-satisfactory and flooded with ennui.

Drawing parallels, between the movie and life, you never stop wishing. For a miracle that could bring back in a flash, the memory of the first few happy moments before the drama began. For any Closure, other than this, would be unfair

Chronic mental congestion

A shaky fingertip on the button of the remote. Impatient, ready to flick any moment. And skip this one to see what's on the next channel. Then wait for a few seconds, and repeat. Merging such seconds into minutes, minutes collapsing into hours. Spent with nothing done. Nothing gained or lost. Time consumed as if it hadn't even been there. Just the mind, more unsettled.

Looking. For something unknown. Probably. Aimlessly, loitering in shady corridors of an abandoned apartment. Weekdays gone by, weekends apart. Two days of pain. And Television is no consolation. Neither is the paper. Sheet after sheet of gibberish. Unread. Stacked under the bed. Crosswords, lost at. Peace, flung into pieces. Just so you know, time doesn't pass on its own anymore.

One has to make it glide by. Slowly and slowly. But without break. One has to try to ensure that time hasn't gotten stuck. Somewhere it was. Hours ago. And that it has moved on, relentlessly. You've grown older. Just the way you deserved. And you do it whatever way you want. No body cares. Stare mind-fucked at the TV. Stash away unread newspaper, assuming you read them. Paint your nails. Un-paint them. And then paint them again. Turn sides on the couch. Look out of the window. Write. Delete. Try to forget. And then try to remember. Or cry. No body cares what you do. As long as you try to keep your mind busy when time takes its own sweet time and moves on in the background.

These subtle distractions are indeed the drug. Because save them, there is nothing. There is nothing that can numb you. And make bearable the merging of seconds into minutes, and that of minutes collapsing into hours. When nothing meaningful is gained or lost. When time hasn't passed for a cause.

Blocks of the day, filled in with utter useless acts as such. Voids, sewed up. So that they don't stare open mouthed and breathe in anymore air. Wounds, unexposed. You abandon the remote, and hold the nib of a pen in one hand and dictionary in another. Braving to begin solving the next crossword of the day.


Due to the certain degree of harmless guilt associated with narcissism and for the fear of dying alone with black cats on an arm chair, I couldn't restrain my affections for the one who was me. But he was too much me, staring at him felt like looking into the mirror. And anyway, nobody likes the mirror for long. Does she.

Nothing, absolutely nothing else makes two people more alike than sharing the same insecurities. That makes those two one from within. When the deep set fears seem to freeze, there are a dozen common fatalities to blame. The chemistry must have begun right there.

In retrospect, it occurs to me that the thing that scared me the most about him was that he knew me. That he knew exactly what I was so wary of. My well kept secrets were out there, right in front of his eyes. It ceased to matter that I too knew his secrets. Which, then of course, became our secrets. That should be kept from every third person. Just in between the two of us. But the burden of those secrets shrank my shoulders.

Sometimes loving him felt like narcissism. Sometimes, it felt beneath me. Like a last resort. Must have been the most carnal need to look for a dissimilar set of qualities in a mate, because our minds like to diversify. Stretch beyond who we have been. I left him. 


One summer many summers ago. Was spent walking between rows of gulmohar. And feline infested jungles. Or so we believed. Slept in sweaty dorms. With half a dozen stranger women. Dozed off till midnight by the sea with brackish water and no waves. Licked ice cream on our way back. Our slippers went missing. Walked bare-feet again. Between rows of gulmohar. Kicking amuck heaps of yellow petals. Stacked together by sweepers. Who would surprise us between wee hours and dawn. If we were woken up by a random incessant nightmare. Staring down from the top floor window grille of a near ancient girls' hostel. In whose bathrooms we sat and wept. When we PMS-ed. Or smoked. And the gardens on whose grass we lay. Biting off the ends of grilled cheese sandwiches. Soiled with ketchup. Right in the mid of May. Haggling with public transport, for the last rupee. Which wasn't hard earned then. We knit stories. Sans climaxes. For we couldn't see the end. The end, right then. Assumed that that Summer would go on forever. 

Somehow, the aftertaste of infinite freedom hasn't dwindled off my tongue yet. Even though many more summers have been by.


And then there is that stage. The optional one. Not everyone sees it through but a few. Punctuation-wise it wouldn't be a comma, it's not a pause. Not a semi-colon, because I don't think so. Not a full stop at all, that would be too rude. And too un-affordable an assumption. It could be a conjunction of spaces. Because minds haunted by the said stage develop voids within.Or not. Sometimes it's not even a stage, it could last a forever. And it seems to last one anyway.

Talking about Separation. Lovers separated. Do you get how polished that sounds. We're not together. Not broken up. We're separated.  For now. For a while now. Could be a while longer. Or forever. But we're no more in love. Or may be we are. And we don't care. Because the by products of this affair are too much to take. And the stakes are high.

Also, there's no uncertainty. Only the nausea of a forced peace.

Punctuation-wise, this stage could be an ellipsis. We don't know what words to fill in anymore, so we hold the pen still and let the ink blotch into three dots. Inside our minds we keep asking, what else is there to say. Bewitched by this wordlesness, no one could say if there will be another shore. A few words after the ellipsis. Or some love that survived this separation...


All the shitty movies you have walked out of, and all the suffocating dresses I have barely gotten into and barely   gotten out of, in trial rooms, whose mirrors I have suspected to be see through sheets o glass. All the summer days and the unreal mirages and real hallucinations. That we've lived through. In all these decades of our lives. Most of your unfinished paintings and my untold stories. Half dead love stories. Walks around the planet. On windy winter evenings. Each time i wore a skirt and shaved my legs. The fresh nailpaint. Cracks under my toes. The women in your life. The beads in your key ring. The letters I swept under your carpet. Letters you never read. Letters you didn't even know existed. The number of times our clocks ran out of batteries. And made us feel so stuck in time. Cozy and far away. Those cold, really cold showers. And everytime the towel fell down from the hanger and wet itself. The big fat moon. Your pictures from far away lands. Post cards rather. Telling me how you've become who you wanted to become. Your fairy tale climax. Yet the growing dark circles around your eyes. The lines on your forehead. My crazy writing. The humble acceptance of loss. The violent middle of the night screams. Screams inside my mind. My peaceful sleep. The books you read and died for. Others that you thought were a farce. The way our minds never met. Your insomnia. Your state of eternal heartache. And how I never got you. Your anger for life. That breath that you squeezed between your lungs and never let out. And other things. Random things that never made sense. To me or you. Or them.

But will always be an Ode. An ode to us. And that we aren't exactly over until we are exactly that. Over 
There is an alternate world. A parallel universe. Running simultaneously as this one. Wherein we are our immaculate selves. And together. Sans the drama. No drama. Yeah, because I totally hate drama. I hate the costs we pay for wanting what we want and not getting it yet. In that world, we're designed to be absolutely who we wish to be. And we're happy. Definitely more content. And our throats are lump-less. Nights, our nights are gaps between lovey-dovey smoothly planned out days, when we wink at each other and take a nap. There's no hanging like a bat in public transport. No calamity. No nail biting death like slow sequences everyday. Most importantly, no heartache. In that parallel universe, we are the same. And everything else is just more perfect.

It's the drunken dream to see that alternate world that still sometimes makes me want to write. Despite the hazard that I have become.

Some tell me my writing has become illegible. It's not that I don't care. I think I must be somewhere between caring and not caring. Fast approaching towards making no sense. But what can we do. It just lets off steam. And writing comes cheaper, than other pernicious self destructive options.

I wonder if writing could buy me some sleep tonite. Right now, may be I am sleepy enough. To turn sides a couple of times and then snap out. But anyway. I make no sense. Nor do I intend to.

So why am I still writing this. Probably because, you're still reading this!