stories

On the verge…

We lived on the hill; the plains were already flooded. The house suddenly looked like a riverfront. Electricity was knocked out to avoid hazards. The rain started the day I was packed and ready to leave. He had nothing to say. I didn’t want him to say anything, that was the thing about me, I’d annoy people for explanations until I didn’t. Then, I’d stop engaging. No questions, no conversations. But the flood situation was getting worse forcing us to coexist but in silence.

We hadn’t spoken a single word to one another, and this somehow baffled my dog Caesar who kept looking at me as if to ask if I had lost the ability to talk. The cat sprawled as usual at the sofa, both of my pets were agitated and wanted to go out for some air, but the rain was just relentless. Caesar wanted to hunt all the reptiles it could see from the window and kept barking at it while I sat with it and stared at the waterfall outside my window. All that separated us from what we wanted was a massive life-sized window.

He slept through the day making appearances only at the table for food and some evenings we’d read in silence. He was reading ‘Analog Electronic Circuits,’ I hated that book. Hate is a lesser word to magnify the degree of dislike I had for the book. The book was pure evil. It took me three attempts to clear the subject. It reminded me of the dark time where I almost chose to instead sell my soul than to writing that paper again. I wanted to snatch the text and hurl it down the hill so that the floods could carry it away. I always stared at him with more disdain. He knew it would get to me and he exactly wanted that. He wanted me to react, and I wasn’t going to walk into the trap.

Today, however, I decided to clean the room finally and entered what used to be our bedroom after months. I sat around layers of dust as it poured outside. There was a musky odor to the room. The books shelves had changed colors. Only two things were spotlessly clean in the room, our picture and the bean bag on which he was fast asleep with the same book on placed on his chest. I took a cold hard glance at him, he who used to be my husband. I wondered if I could strangle him at the moment. I bent over very close to his face as if to read it.

The thing with men is no matter how fearless they look when they are conscious; are just harmless and naive when asleep as if they transform into the little boys looking for warmth. Their hearts beat at a faster pace as if they are anxious about their mothers leaving them behind. I suppressed the urge to feel his face. I was angry and cold but somewhere deep within I wanted to hold his face one more time.

He woke up startled to find at proximity to his face with a broom in one hand and a duster in another. ‘Am I going to die?’ he quizzed. ‘You wish,’ I retorted as I snatched the book and flung it across the room. He grabbed my hand and twisted it until my palm changed color due to the blood block. I continued looking him in the eye. The battle was on, and I wasn’t going to let him win. I had learned this when a dog chased me on my way home because I looked it in the eye. I saw the rage in its eyes and was petrified. It was later it hit me that I was the intimidating one whereas he was the reactive one. It feared me. It changed the way I looked at humans. I provoked them whenever I felt like it. Provocation brought forth vulnerability, in this case in the form of anger for anger was blind, blinder than love.

Does love turn toxic in the long run or is that which turns toxic is not love. The idealists define love as something that is immortal whereas the dreamers don’t think the golden days ever end. What about us cynics? The romantic cynics that idolize love but don’t trust people.

When we started, we were both young, ambitious, like water, tearing apart anything that’s in our way. We were elemental souls, the one that could either light up the sky or destroy the world. They envy us because we smell all lemongrass and honey on good days. But on the days we remain concealed from the world, we reek of alcohol and gunpowder, some TNT and nicotine. While we look all rainbows and butterflies, we are just playing a deadly game of Russian Roulette. I mean we chose this. We talked about this, and we wouldn’t settle for anything less. So it is choices and consequences.

He held my throat and pushed me down the bean bag. ‘Enough,’ he said as he applied pressure on my throat. My eyeballs looked like they were bursting out of the socket, so clear from the reflection in his eyes. ‘Close them now,’ he screamed in a manner that threatened Caesar who started barking at the door. I smiled at him seconds before gasping for breath. Caesar had sharp ears like any other canine. It started howling and barking louder coming for the door.

As I opened my mouth for air, he breathed into mine releasing his hold, and at the moment all the oxygen I needed came from him. He tightened his grip over my left ear and the edge of my face as he felt insides of my mouth that were now as dry as my throat. He flicked his tongue as if it were a magic wand, several swishes later it slowly started coming to life again and I could feel his lips over mine. It hurt as they bled through the cracks, he tasted everything that flowed at the moment. I wondered if it burned his throat as it did me. I slowly shut my eyes as my lips twitched and bled as if it was an orgasm of my face. They say you don’t realize the extent of heat until it pours and you see smoke emanating from the tar on the road. Only as it pricked, I knew how I much I longed for a touch. Caesar somehow seemed to be embarrassed and retreated.

He pulled my sleeves off my shoulders and dug his teeth into my skin till I pushed him away. He always clenched it around my skin as he was asserting a point. He moved his tongue around the teeth marks, that was when it hit me that he was trying to suggest that he knew his way through the most intimate crevices of my skin. I curled my toes around the ties of his lowers, as I slid them down. If it was a fight, I wanted to ready for combat, even if it meant throwing the first grenade. He pulled the fabric in one swift motion as its palms rested in the center of my chest to keep me steady as he buried his face between my legs.

Sex is a physical manifestation of a soul connection that transcends the mind. It is better known as making love, where two or more come together to blend with the universe, maybe that is why sex is about breathing deep, all the way in and out. It is where two energies collide to form a formidable union that connects sacral bonds that also connects the life that is born out of this meeting. But the challenge is dissolving resistance between minds. When it came to us, it was always me, the resistant one and he was the voltage that kept the current flowing.

His stubble pricked around as he paced around my being. I anchored partly to his hair while my palm pushed him away. More I wanted him away, the more I wanted him closer. He persevered until I clenched my legs together and finally threw him out. He could sense at the moment that I was losing my strength, the power was on the verge of surrender. I struggled my way up and pushed him on the bed as the dust flew like phosphenes around the room. It was my turn at the wheel, and we were going to cruise all the way up the sky. Somedays it’s either space or crash-landing, nothing in between.

‘You know where you belong?’ I whispered as he raised his eyebrows. ‘In the void,’ I said as dragged him all the way in like a strong blunt that hits you right in the throat. We swayed as the rain lashed outside the window, and broken twigs flew around, and the water level rose. Now musky odor of our bedroom just mixed with sweat, blood, a tinge of death combined with a brew of life that was in the making. My body controlled his; his face went pale as his hand gripped mine and he rolled his eyes up and hid his face in my hair as he shook. So close, so close to an actual stroke.

It all felt as if contact had been made with space and security clearances had arrived. He took flight as I shuddered partly in coming and partly in the cold. We lay there for the rest of the morning. The water level was rising at an alarming rate, and there was no way to escape other than being airlifted. But with all the communication cut off and being the only residents on the hill, there were fewer chances they’d come looking for us. But then and there, it didn’t matter, we had survived before, and we’d survive again.

poetry

Mess

Love was a mess

A mess we made on the bed

Hair strands, broken nails and

Raindrops and blood

All things now us

Potions creating life are now

Stains on the bed

The empty space that now holds your face

Devoid of expression

A faint smile

Unkempt curls on your head

Wet eyes

And a pink strand between your lips

That belongs to me

Clothes thrown across the room

The mirror covered in mist

Our names written in dancing letters

The air carrying the fragrance

Of all the things that lay beside us now

We could have been anywhere now

In this moment

But we are just here

Making a mess of love

poetry

When I am about to die…

When our house is on fire

And there’s no way to get out

I give up and take a corner

Crawl beside me and recite

Poems of love and longing

Poems written by you and me

When cancer eats me

And doctors tell you

I am counting days down

Sleep beside me

And tell me stories

Tales of urchins and dolphins

Tell me how we met

When I am sinking to death

And there’s no way you can save me

Hold my hand

Sing me songs

Songs of the Lord and life beyond life

Sing me a love song

Or heck! Make up one for us

You see love, I am not afraid of death

I am just afraid of dying alone

poetry

Cats and the moon

We crashed on the mosaic floor on the terrace,
on the night of the pink moon.
It was not late at night just 20:30 hours;
But we were sufficiently intoxicated,
From the party, we snuck out of
To watch the moon.

We traced the moon
until came a dragon, and
He swallowed the moon.
The moon slipped through its stomach to the tail.
The baby elephant held the dragon’s tail,
but he let the moon rise above his head;
But in the end, an evil blanket covered the moon again.

It was a serene summer night,
Nothing moved except the dragon in the sky
And my hair strands due to the occasional breeze.
The dragon left for another moon
As he turned his gaze
and looked at my eyes covered by a netted veil.

“Look at the moon,” I pointed to the sky;
He said, “You are my only moon tonight.”
I held his face and pushed his curls away from his eyes,
His eyes were as cute as buttons on his shirt.
White covered in blue dots.
“Hi meeewww,” he smirked,

I dressed as a cat,
In a black dress that fit and flared
With black stockings covering the rest
Of my legs.
My cat-eared hairband ended in the netted veil that covered my eyes.
He drew my nose with whiskers,
While I closed my eyes
And giggled like a happy girl,
I messed his stache
to look like whiskers and now
I was the Persian
and he was my rogue street cat.

I unbuttoned his shirt,
His shoulders glistened in the moonlight.
I ran my fingers through the dimples
As he held my face to show me the sky
And a translucent dragon swallowed my moon this time,
Then came the mean catfish and ate him.

My lips reached for his lips
Our kiss was soft and subtle, teenage-ey,
Not much tongue;
Just kisses that taste like
Candies and
Smell like strawberries.
Kisses that feel like
unicorns are flying in the night sky.

“Meeeeeeewww” he whispered as he broke away from the kiss
I beamed as a sky lit with a million stars
And his eyes glistened
As his slender manicured fingers ran
Through the center of my face.
Like I was back in my hometown
When I was a child,
As the sugar rush flowed to the brain
I felt the same happiness I felt.
As a schoolgirl that runs home for summer vacations.

I smother his face with mine,
We both rise
To look around for a while,
Whispering meeeewwww into each other,
As he holds me
Around my waist
And I hold his neatly moisturized neck.
The sea is still at a distance,
The dockyard has a colorful ships
Anchored to the shore.
As I crane from the terrace into the horizon
He holds me from behind.

He unzips the hold of my dress
Goes a long way down,
As goes to sleep the town
The faint sound of the train engine
Adds to the rhythm
As he kisses my neck
And I stand still and watch as time moves ahead.
He slides my dress off my shoulders
As he turns me around
Kisses my eyes over the veil
before he yanks me closer,
Our masks slip through our skin
Until we are just us,
Without sham or pretense.

He holds me close
And I keep him near to my heart
Our hearts beat through the quiet of the night
Tomorrow we’d be him and me.
But tonight we were just two cats making love
Under the moonlight.

poetry

Once upon a time in Mumbai …

Every morning
He walked past her,
Watering Tulsi outside on the balcony
A young man,
Curly haired, long face, wore shoes
With a denim jacket and white pants
With his bullet
Rose colored lens
He lived in the 70s while we walked into 90s
She was a woman in 30s she looked like
she just stepped into the 20s
Her modest sarees clad body
Don’t let that fool you
Until you see her, Kohl lined eyes
Or till you see her through his sight

He’d park his bike, at a perfect angle
To get a second glance
Of her face
She looked at him whenever he didn’t
But somewhere both waited for
The morning
For that one moment of scandal
In their otherwise sober life

She turns left,
He changes his side to the right
Every night
The restlessness, the weird pull
The tension of the summer rain
Looming over humid skies
The temptation was so irresistible
Through their eyes
Her husband paid her attention
Now in money, and
Somedays when he wanted a child
He was a single soul
Vagabond, shy, women found him attractive
But he was just a grown child

Every sunrise
Bought them together
As he passed by, her body came alive
Some electric forces pulled them together
As she climbed her stairs
And he was running down
And they almost crashed into each other
She smiled
He was sly
Her husband walked past them
As if he was never alive
With her

Straightens her saree
As he flicks his curls
He descends over her
As she steps down
Probably, along down from
What defines her

He pins her to the wall,
At the corner of the spiral staircase
It was a rainy morning
Surprise thunderstorms rocked the earth
While he placed his hand beside her head
And with the other
He roved o’er his neck
She traced her fingers on his lips
Her soft, firm movements
She made music on them

The young boy could take no more
He wasn’t ever touched this way
No one ever felt him away
He proceeded closer with his eyes
Rolled to the sky
He covered his mouth
As he looked at her for a while
He flicked his hand through the end
Of her face
Way down, swirling over her neck
And she closed her eyes
Her Kohl kept him awake
He’d never sleep again

He kissed her hand
She kissed her hand
Lips fought them to reach each other
But her beautiful hand
Was now damp
From the leaky roof, droplets from the rain
Hit her forehead and slipped down
He traced them on her nose
When they reached her lips
Her hand came off
And they kissed
While his nails etched her waist

Her saree slipped through the shoulder
He placed his hand in between
The rain poured like
An unexpected stranger
Droplets trickled down her face
Quenching then
All those thirsts filled nights
Sleepless touching themselves
Her touch felt his fire
His feel was ice
As they were about to burn in desire

Her toddler,
Called her out,
She freed herself from his hold
And returned home
While he walked into the rain
And rode his bike

Monsoons were beginning.

The photo was used from Pinterest.com.

poetry

The best thing

The best thing to do at this moment
Is to place one word after another
Bead them together
Wishing it’d make us feel better
When it’s done
As if these words give birth
A new lease of life

The best thing to do at this moment
Is to let you go
So you may one day find your
Way back to me

The best thing to do at this moment
Is choose my words
Intricately like picking beads of different
Sizes and colours
To weave a necklace
As if the necklace either adds to my life
Or just chokes me to death

The best thing to do at this moment
Is to let you go
So you may one day find your
Way back to me

The best thing to do at this moment
Is to hope that you really buy
These words
That stem like mini explosives from the
Root of my throat
As a parting gift.
Hoping this is not a goodbye
At least not yet.

The best thing to do at this moment
Is to let you go
So you may one day find your
Way back to me

poetry

Sid

My son Sid

His Thomas kept falling in the ditch

O’er and o’er and o’er again

He wakes me up at 6

“Mama, Thomas fell in the ditch”

He says no good morning

No good night, no good day

Just Thomas falling in the ditch

He screams at my every touch, like

His body has third degree burns

My child, mine but not yet

He holds his Thomas engine and runs

Around the house

Whole day, in circles

Like my relationship with him

For all the vocabulary he’d inherited from me

All he retains:

“Thomas fell in the ditch”

I wish I could save Thomas

For once,

But I guess, Thomas has to keep falling

In the same ditch

At least it makes Sid happy