Category Archives: Emotions

Waiting: Story 1


“Good! Next, you there, read out your answer, please.” F stood up and started preparing to read. Everything looked just fine, so far, but nobody knew those were the initial peaceful minutes of a slight thriller. Seconds passed by, and she was still preparing to read. A chuckle started to spread all over the class. The busy teacher became curious, and before losing herself to anger, confirmed F had been (physically and emotionally) all right. The friends had no evidence to prove it otherwise. F grew more pathetic and looked at her neighbour helplessly. The teacher, holding on to her last vestige of self-control, tried to encourage her to read. But alas, nothing happened! F was alarmingly quiet as if someone had accidentally pressed her mute button. She miserably gestured something to her friend who failed to decipher it. Already about five precious minutes from those final periods of the Term had been spent in anticipation of an answer that seemed infinitely remote. The  chuckling had by now given way to a perplexed, uneasy silence. Ms. J. , unable to take it any more, stormed out of the class passing this verdict – “Call me when you are ready!” The confused class almost let out a cry, shocked by the disconcerting turn of events.

***

Ms.  J. was at sea. Unlike many previous occasions, that day there was no homework defaulter, leaving no reason for the girls to worry about, or the teacher to take out her vehement sermon the nth time in two months. What must have gone wrong?

As Ms. J. sat there in her room, they arrived - F escorted by the beneficent school leader who of late had been sincerely carrying out her role as the helping angel for the ill-fated ones. “Teacher, she will read it.” Ms. J. readily agreed to the compromise. The angel was asked to leave. F looked desperate to let go the only shield against the  likely onslaught of the annoyed teacher. Having no time to risk that favourable twist, F was released too.

***

No other story might have had a smoother ending. The teacher got back to the class, F read out her answers and the teacher continued from where she had stopped as if nothing had gone wrong.

But Ms. J is still waiting – for F to explain it all to her, someday.

A Blessing For One Who Is Exhausted, by John O’Donohue


A Blessing For One Who Is Exhausted, by John O’Donohue.

In Love


Falling in love
So late!
Better late!

Was gravitation responsible
In any way?

It was there all along
Only that they ‘fell’ in it now.
They had been too rigid and smart
To ‘fall’ into that humble, heavenly pit.

Now, being more flexible,
The pit can hold them.
They have mellowed
Comfortably!

So what about their form,
Their identity?
Who cares!

For the time being
They are two jolly good fellows.
That’s all they know,
All they need!

Who needs honesty?


I am obsessed with honesty -
Two-way.
Excuse me if I sound
‘Holier-than-thou’.

It’s a wretched addiction,
An unfair expectation,
And a crazy passion,
An unrequited act.

Should I be so unrelenting?
Need I go mad
When others swerve?

Deeds of dishonesty
Are often left unfurled
Right on my way,
Just for me to see.
It’s a hoax, I fear.

The bull sees red
And goes hysterical!

Why not put an end
To this cruel game?

Let them do it,
But do me a favour -
Make me blind to it!

Visitors


She just came in
and decided to stay.

So prying
She followed me everywhere.
Though I was busy,
She was adamant
And held me captive.

And she left
Discourteously.

When? How?
Who knows!

And then came in another -
Yet another familiar face,
Just familiar.

My mind, the indulgent guard
Opens the fence gate and
Lets them in often
without my knowledge.

Will they be thinking of me?
Is there some link?
Does it matter?
So who’s next?

Can you hear me?


Can you hear me?
How come I miss you so?

At times I store stories to share
Keep doubts to clear.
Then I remember,
And I shudder.

All my life I believed
Death is normal
Something that’ll fade out soon
After which I could be myself.

But you had carved and occupied
This large a niche in my heart
Empty now.

Do you like the colour of your grave?
I chose the colours
We gave special instructions
To your friend, the painter.
I know how carefully you made
The grave with your own hands,
Years back…
The outside looks beautiful,
I wonder how it feels in there…

How silly I am -
You are not there…
The song reminded me

Still, do you hear me, Papa?

Loss


DSCF1954The moments of solitude gather the very same thoughts I dread. Memories keep pecking and picking at me. They rub salt on the bruises over and over. The adamant wounds refuse to heal. It hurts.

I am not the first human to lose a parent. However for me the experience of losing someone I had known all my life was not like what I had expected it to be.

We were prepared – that’s what we all supposed. Prepared for what? To see him die? However, there was a lot more we were not prepared for. The void left behind by the departed one is unfathomable and alarming. I feel it now. Though trite, such statements about death seem to be gaining more depth at this point.

When I saw him on his last night (Oct. 10, the day I reached there), the glow in his eyes was on the wane. His eyes were open and gazing but I doubt whether they perceived anything. He was greedily devouring every bit of air. The laboured breath was not at all giving him any ‘satisfaction’, I could read his thoughts. Seeing his struggle I realized there is nothing more (mundanely) divine than to be able to breathe normally!

I could not believe I was looking at the same person I bid goodbye five weeks before.

What was in his mind? Did he have something to tell us?

While others tried to inform him about my arrival he kept on murmuring, “Aara? Aara?” (Who’s that?) Did he recognize me? No cue. He had no last words for me, not even my name. When I asked him if he needed something he clearly stated he did not. All communication was gradually coming to an end, so were his requirements. After all what was left to say and ask? Or, were all the untold words, the unexpressed feelings and fears choking him?

By the next morning it was as if his body had already given itself the pack up call. After two feeds we felt we were just filling in a body that was no more in need of such nourishment. The huge oxygen cylinder bubbled listlessly. He was perspiring with each variation in his body. We could read the changes even without the pulse/saturation meter (a device that is going to haunt me forever). And my sister asked me later, “What were we waiting for, monitoring the readings each minute?” Maybe there was nothing left to do other than just watch.

By noon the readings started hitting new lows.

Were we disturbing and distracting him with all our expressions of concern?

Around 5.30 in the evening I saw something gurgling in his mouth. He opened his eyes wide for the first time that day and stared up the ceiling one last time with tremendous effort. The numbers kept on descending. And then the next moment…    the meter had nothing to say except some meaningful/less dots… We knew it was all over.

The days and nights he spent in constant fear of the looming death came to an end. An entity that moved, thought, loved, hated, desired, planned, rejoiced, won, defeated, failed, created, ate, drank, fought for about eight decades finally gave up.

Did he have the courage to go alone?

The body was still warm and quivering with the last vestige of life left. And for the first time I saw an unusual serenity and stillness spread and then linger on his face. He was relieved of all strain and anxieties. Peace!

*   *  *

Even these thousands of miles in between me and his abode is not thick enough to prevent the agonizing memories from seeping in.

*   *   *

Life thrilled him as much as it failed and hurt him. The thrill came from his talents and the disappointment, from his expectations about life and people. He was never short of solutions, ideas, plans, preparations, stories. Nothing irritated him more than lack of punctuality and perfection. Was he punctual? Yes, to the core. Was he perfect? According to his unique parameters, yes.

I don’t intend to go for sentimental eulogies right now. I owe my life to my parents and I am grateful to my father for what I have inherited and learned from him. [Link]

He had been much more than an average human being and the impressions he left will pose real hard work for time to erase. I am not underestimating the powers of time. It’s just a month – obviously too early to forget a dear and near one.

[Link] And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides, that it may rise and expand and seek God unencumbered?

Only when you drink from the river of silence shall you indeed sing.
And when you have reached the mountain top, then you shall begin to climb.
And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then shall you truly dance.

 

Invisible roots


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I had no idea
That I had grown
So many
Roots invisible
That supported
Sustained,
Tethered too -
Never letting go,
Smothering, pulling,
Whining, threatening,
Emotionally blackmailing!

Fed up,
I broke off,
Dreaming of new pastures
Unknown nourishment,
And experiences.

Now they haunt me -
The unseen ghosts
Of my Invisible Roots.
They blame me
Entice me
They whisper out loud
‘Come back!’

Some day I must,
And try to reconnect
The severed roots
One by one,

Patiently!

Hope


“She wondered that hope was so much harder then despair.”
― Patricia BriggsCry Wolf

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“When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on”
Theodore Roosevelt

Happy Hormones


 

I feel happy!
(Just feel?)

Happy Hormones
Activated, I sense.

I want them to stay
Prospects are bright.

Cheerful,
Chattering,
Complying,
Consenting,
Condoning,
Cooking ‘successfully’ (!),
Lavishing stars and marks…

Don’t you think
It’s worth it?

But the minute
My HH’s get deactivated,
Keep
*
*
*
*
*

distance.

[Written in June when I was in a real happy mood.]

Who knows what made this unknown person so cheerful that day!