Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Maybe


Seema quietly tiptoed into the living room, after an evening of mindless gallivanting within the limited confines of the suburb she called home; with the people she called friends. The comforting silences that pervaded her living room was interrupted by the obscene chime of the wall clock which screamed that an hour still remained before she was accosted by yet another day.
Her eyeballs hurt from the strain of attempting to fervently look beyond the parameters of her vision, for in her harried state to reach her destination on time she had carelessly left her spectacles at home. Seema slowly and deliberately massaged her shut eyelids in circular rotations to ease away the strain that was assaulting her senses when suddenly the room got bathed in a burst of ugly, fluorescent light with the definite click of a button. Seema winced at the unwarranted intrusion upon her private exercise of relaxation, but did not rebel openly.

Mother started intently from a sharp corner, adjacent to the light switch that divided their shared living quarters in a definite square. They exchanged a silent greeting with the flutter of their eyelids, acknowledging each others commanding yet reassuring presence with least awkwardness. Seema wiped her kohl smudged fingers on the front of her jeans, which were tainted by some of the smoky blackness that had been transferred onto her tips while she rubbed her eyes vigorously. She flopped upon sofa as she carelessly tossed her bag in the corner and gazed at mother with a warm stare that could possibly initiate the dawn of an interaction, the mood and tone of which unfamiliar to both.

“How was your evening?” She enquired.

“It was alright, coffee and dinner, the usual.” She quipped.

“I really wish you would stop wasting money eating and drinking out almost everyday, especially when there is food at home.” She muttered. Her decibels and irritation heightened with each passing word.

Seema stretched out on the sofa and shuffled around for the television remote, only half listening to her mothers rants that she was rather impervious to by now. After a long, lazy and a rather boring Saturday, she was ready to indulge in a good few hours of dreamless slumber that would refresh her senses and comfort her aching body that was fatigued from the week’s activities.

“I visited the astrologer today.” Mother said nonchalantly.

Her unexpected, matter of fact declaration invaded the empty thoughts that were beginning to wander into the deeply hidden barren wastelands of Seema’s mind. Her left kneecap twitched from the goose bumps that emanated from its epicenter and quickly coursed through the remainder of her limb. Her sprawled stance ended when she drew her knees to her chest and sat upright in one swift motion, now completely alert.

Encouraged by Seema’s minor show of curiosity and lack of dismissal in her belief that the seemingly miniscule twinkling celestial beings, nestled far away in some remote corners of this galaxy, held the ultimate power to unabashedly chart the course of our destiny, without so much as a passing thought towards our hopes and desires, mother continued almost uninterrupted for the next few minutes.

Seema sat horrifically mesmerized as mother unraveled the mystery of impending future meticulously and chronologically.
“December is a good month for you.”

“For what?”

“The stars are in your favor, a new phase unfolds.”

“Yeah?” She questioned with some hopeful caution.

“It’s an auspicious month to start something new.”

Seema brightened a little, the past year had been some what of a disappointment, largely due to her incapacity to finish anything she started or begin anything she wished to start. She wasn’t too deeply dejected though, the cold winter months always brightened her spirits, the tail end of the calendar year always brought with it the hope that the terrible waste she has subjected her being to would officially come to an end and the new year always brought with it possibility of a brand new beginning, something she embraced with childlike ardor.

“The starts favor your marriage prospects in the near future.” Mother added brightly.

Seema sat utterly still, paralyzed by the unwanted bulletin; her heart lurched forward with a deafening thud, while her lips parted wordlessly. Was this the news that she has secretly hoped to hear after all? Seema furrowed her brows in concentration neither encouraging nor dissuading mother to reveal further more.

“There is a good possibility that this maybe a love match. The stars are in its favor.”

The prospect of spending the rest of her life with someone she cared about, whomever it maybe cheered Seema more than she had ever anticipated. Her heart did a dainty summersault once again, thrilled by the prospect of being in love, again, hopefully for the last time this time around.

“Well, she asked me if you were in love in the past, the charts indicated that there was a phase like this once before.” Mom questioned, trying rather unsuccessfully to mask her peaking interest.

“Nah…” Seema replied with the nonchalance of a unseasoned liar as she smirked a little in amusement.

“I told her frankly that my daughter and I are friends and she tells me everything.” Mother said with uncertain finality as she stared at Seema pointedly hoping to fish out some of the truth carefully masked under an air of nonchalance.

Seema looked at mother with an equally challenging look of her own, almost daring her to prod her further, her silent smirk quietly tormenting her with the notion that there maybe many salacious revelations about her daughters life that she may possibly never be a spectator to.

The small and large hand of the clock in near perfect synchrony landed on the number twelve almost simultaneous, just when the breathing space between the two had begun to turn almost rancid with defiance and hostility.

“Tong” chimed the clock singularly, denoting the advent of another day.

*To be continued, maybe*

Thursday, November 6, 2008

This is How the World Turns

Once upon a time, in a land all too familiar for comfort, there lived a girl who desperately and hopelessly tried to live her life by following the simple yet seemingly hard to achieve principle of live and let live.

Although cynical and jaded about most things in life, somewhere deep within her heart, she secretly harbored a small but substantial amount of unadulterated hope and optimism that helped her get through life’s seemingly unending, painful and tumultuous phases. With time however, this stream of hope eventually ran dry and what remained of a once flourishing body, was a thin, nearly depleted trickle.

Never once did she believe that she could muster the courage and willingness to abandon her reservations and insecurities that twenty three years of living in fleeting times had thrown her way. Yet there she was out for public display and scrutiny once again, almost ready and willing to possibly impose upon herself great humiliation and heart wrenching failure, all in a desperate attempt to seek a small iota of comfort and solace in an exceedingly over crowded yet terribly lonely city.


After leaving behind a life that she had grown to love and cherish in a land not quite close to the place she once considered home, she felt unsure where to begin once more. Everything had a familiar ring to it, yet when she ventured too close, she couldn’t help but experience an overwhelming sense of alienation and loss. Oh how terribly afraid she was of once again being left to fend for herself alone. In these times, fraught with great unrest and distress, she managed to once again dig deep inside of her and resurrect that thin trickle of optimism and hope that had saved her from utter despondency time and again.

This thing called time is a funny entity; a whole year can go by without you even noticing its passing or it reminding you of its definite and speedy departure. Very little that is monumental or earth shattering takes places in such a finite space of time, yet seemingly inconsequential scenarios snowball into what you later label as ‘another year of your life.’ At the end of it all, you sit back and reexamine your life with false pragmatism and all you are left with is a sour taste of defeat and a possible indigestion from the bad Chinese food you consumed in your drunken stupor the previous night.

So our nameless heroine chugged along through the motions of living, going through periodic cycles of exhilaration and desolation. A very long time ago when she was still young and he was still humane, she had met a boy she grown to understand and eventually love. Unlike most fairy tale love stories however, these two did not engage in a youthful, passionate, all consuming love affair that ravaged and consumed their bodies and minds. Before their love had a chance to blossom into one of the many fantasies that filtered through her head during countless waking and sleeping hours, she boarded a jet plane to peruse a life somewhere else, while he stayed behind.

Unlike many other juvenile romances that would have ended that very night she left the country, these two managed to stay in touch and become better friends over the next six years. Neither of them was stupid enough to think that their love could survive the grueling test of time and distance. Each of them was open about their physical and emotional needs and went through a string of partners in their respective cities to make ends meet. Yet there was a small inkling of hope and longing; at least within heart that one day, if they ever ended up in the same part of the world again, they could possibly rekindle their intimacy once more, this time as adults.

One of the greatest consolations of returning back, after a long and tedious voyage for our nameless heroine was the knowledge that she could see him and possibly be with him, in flesh. They got along wonderfully well, were uncannily similar and terribly attracted to each other, or so she thought. Hectic work schedules and competitive, demanding careers took up most of their time, yet somehow they managed to take time out for each other, one out of longing and desire and the other possibly out of obligation.

This story does not have a happy ending, happy endings start and end in the movies. The more time they spent together, the more they realized how much things had changed over time. This change wasn’t something that her love for him could overcome, for she was the only one that was in love. The painful realization that this was unfortunately a one way street wasn’t the sad tragic end that she expected.

The charade of keeping up the friendship that they both supposedly valued and cherished brought with it a fresh onslaught of unexpected and undeserving pain. Alas, the fa├žade could not last much longer; it had already dragged past its life expectancy. The humiliation, pain and anguish weren’t something that she could stand to ignore any more. All pretenses of nobility and putting their friendship above selfish personal agendas like ‘love’ fell through the roof.

Their friendship that was already treading on a fragile surface cracked completely, when she realized that he had ‘hooked up’ with one of her supposedly good friends and was now riding the relationship high-horse, after only three days of what she assumed was some fairly rigorous copulation .

All this after pointedly telling her time and again that there was no room in his heart for anyone else after his last big romance ended in great tragedy, sometimes right after they had indulged in some steamy foreplay and following it up by sleeping with a sting of women and never seeing them again just to prove his point.