Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Friday, January 22, 2010
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
I have this online friend of mine. I know him very well.
We started our first conversation on farting and puking - and our mutual appreciation of both important mechanisms, on January 27, 2007. Looking back over our eloquent talks, "LOL, :P, :D, hahahaha" were our favorite fillers. We eagerly shared all our Youtube links, and my knowledge of music quickly grew to include Porcupine Tree and the Fray. We learnt to have pillow fights with "-smacks-" and "-throws-" and I quickly realized India is considered a poor country, really.
He was from the UK, you see. So one day, we would be discussing the finer points of Rene Descartes' while on most days, I would suggest different hair color experimentation. He would explain to me, it was okay to drink at 16, and shake his head in wonder when I explained our oft-odd rituals.
He wanted to be a writer, eventually. We used to discuss, disseminate and analyze each other's works.
X : "No waii!"
Our conversations were enlightening, in the least. One would think, if you talk to the same person for two years or more, you would know him, right? Right?
I don't know. Salinger, Jane Eyre mention superficiality in eras not replete with iPods, Macs or the Internet. ( God, how did they survive...? )
Well, he was nice enough. He made me laugh at times. I got into the habit of saying, "lol" aloud. I guess, in most ways, even honest. He shared details with me, most of his real friends or boyfriends did not know.
I'm assuming he noticed that it would be hard for me to travel 10,000 miles or more, knock on his door and let slip his little secrets.
I would giggle and say, "Ooh, did you know he was the one who spilt the wine on your white bear rug, Claire?"
I would term it "inter-ficiality." No, that doesn't make any sense. "Anony-ficiality"? Closer.
Our bond didn't develop due to mutual interests in Linkin Park, Descartes or snot alone - but the fact that I was too far away to shake and rattle his life, the stable rhythms of his time with my new-found knowledge.
He could even imagine stuff and tell me. I didn't need evidence to believe he went to meet Chester Bennington last night, but hey, it could be true. Hey, he could dream.
He died a week ago.
His mom got his Messenger acct. from the whole "next of kin" thing. I'm not sure how that works. Anyway, she came online, and she gave me the biggest shock of my life.
He didn't have any goddamn red hair.
He was my online friend. I didn't know him at all.
Monday, January 18, 2010
After all, this was what we had planned for past couple of years. Stan’s childhood had bloomed into adulthood in a conservative educated middle class Indian family and he was the youngest of the siblings. All his siblings were settled across the globe and remained well connected. His parents were adorably simple and highly educated. Mom was a house wife and father was retired government servant. They had built their cozy family house already and his parents often lived in oblivion that Stan will choose to live together and raise his family living with them. They were of course very community conscience, thus proposals for Stan trickled from marriage bureau every now and then. He was very handsome boy muscular and tall, curly hair, soft, and expressive eyes and artistic long fingers. He had a flawless wheat complexion that gleamed of his love for me and I felt so soulfully in sync with his shadow. But the best part was that he was more in love with me than I was. I so desired to be the one to love him more than he did , but he never gave me an opportunity to love him more than he did love me, he just took all trickling moments to shower me with his love one can only dream of.
Mating souls impeding obstacles unseen, blissful silence, quivering touch where would the final destination be? We had cherished every dance together and every trophy we won had carved a silver lining, yet there was inveterate loneliness dancing at every heart beat. Elevator door opened and we walked hesitantly to our room. Door closed, our eyes met, lust fret, and moment stood still. A blessed moment yet our feet struggled to the rhythm and trembling hands lost the grip to hold on tight. We sat at the edge of shame & lust, one bed for the first time with our bodies shivering to unite forever, our trembling hands gently caressing each other, wanting to feel the ripples in that sea of passion that lay between our love that night. A moment of deep silence awaited the sound of our breath. Heavens humming - “Take my breath away……..”. We waited for the storms inside to subside lest the passion would loose bounds and the world would fathom our love. We chose to hold on to that quiet moment for a while. After all mind lives in what it sees.
I finally broke loose, my tear journeyed my eyes & found an anchor on Stan’s lips. His hands reached my neck, fingers caressed my body, and I could not hold on to my hunger. The kiss oozing of passion, the touch brimming with lust, just love had the space between and nothing else. Our night was consumed by the lust of our desire to unite our souls as our bodies had united. It had never been so beautiful and I felt a complete woman as we made first love the entire night. I had always felt so sure of life and every challenge in life seemed fluid when I was with Stan. Stan absorbed every breath of me and voiced my mind before I could even utter any word. I had barely felt the need to voice my fears and doubts. His undying support & understanding parried between life’s hurdles & our journey of love together. We both spent that night in each other’s arms making love like never before and didn’t realize when dreams paved their way in. Morning dawned with a knock on the door; Stan’s friend was standing with bed tea for the two of us. This day would by far be the most crucial day of our lives, as we’d candor our alliance to Stan’s parents. A brief and heartfelt Thank you quickly bade adieu. Stan’s friend had been an absolute gentleman for the night’s arrangement. And now we were, finally fathoming into our reality.
As we stood on the huge entrance of Stan’s house our heart beats perched to skies, the sound of air around was deafening, fear was pounding with every breath. With an awkward hesitation we rang the door bell, Stan’s mother opened the door, dad was behind her and much to our shock they didn’t seem flabbergasted at all. I hesitated to broaden the corners of my lips and in a smack she took us in her warm embrace congratulating us with her shivering and cold palms. They felt emotional and I was absolutely awed, as Stan stood choked. She let us in as the maid put our luggage in Stan’s room. They both posed so normal that the suspense was now shrilling the fear. How on earth could this ever happen? Stan very hesitatingly queried the reason for their earlier disapproval of this marriage, but mom explained in less than two sentences –“Plans we make in our life eliminate discontent by promising us change, but ironically it’s only OUR decision to imagine a different future, if we had to follow this rigid plan we would only block our own connection with people we love!” I was sure by now that forgiveness is the willingness to begin afresh, and guilt only signifies the love of staying stuck. A second before she was an object we feared and now she is like a god with feelings of love for us with whom we felt protected. Truly there was no absolute for something as relative as a mother; there can’t be rules for something as gentle as a heart of a mother. However as for that moment the acceptance and first breakfast with family had relieved much of the tension we had both been through in the past couple of months.
Stan was quite settled in his job, and I had an offer to teach dance in the local dance studio alongside freelancing my designs to a fashion boutique. Since mine was a part time job I was able to strike good balance between my life at home, with friends, Stan and family. Most evenings when I would teach late Stan would wait outside the studio and after the last class, as my lessons would end, and my student would leave, Stan would play our favorite song and have the last dance as if it were our first. In those days every dance was like the first dance. Between our soul’s lay just two steps, I’d take the first step and in an instant my love would take the next and the union was complete. Our love wasn’t a substance of theology but significance itself. We could both listen to our inner rhythm of being. I had realized that once in awhile even in ordinary people’s lives it happens. We knew those few moments when suddenly one day we woke up in the morning and everything seemed to fit in perfectly. The birds were singing, the air was fresh, the sun was rising, all seemed quiet. That’s when I believed, whenever we fall in harmony with ourselves, we fall in harmony with our existence too, if all the inner conflict disappears even for a single moment then in that moment we are one, consumed by love. We knew the glory and splendor of our life; each step we danced together.
Just as life was dancing by, a moment of fated negligence changed the course of life that left us no earth to step onto. A still in the night, no breeze, no movement & a menacing silence filled in. I finished my last session with my students and Stan was waiting outside the studio as always. Slowly one by one all my students left & Stan played our music, he pulled me closer & held me, but something was different, his looks pale, his eyes drooping, his touch shivering, and his passion receding. His eyes met mine, and yet the magic didn’t happen, hints of passion deflecting in coy glances, I was worried he had never missed his beats and his eyes never failed to stare at me giving me weak knees every time we danced. Suddenly Stan fell in my arms, his body cold and numb. I held him gently and put him on floor. He had a blank out. I squeaked in a nervous rage, the guard ran in with some water, we splashed some water on his face and as he regained, he still complaint of feeling weak and was unable to hold himself stiff. I rushed to call dad and in few minutes Stan was with our family Doc. Dad and Mom were clam and serene, to my dismay. I just could not understand how his parents could stay so clam in the gravest of moments and there was not a frown on their foreheads.
The doctor took his time examining and then expressed the desire to talk to me and Stan alone. Dad didn’t look very pleased but co-operated as I insisted I go by wishes of the doc. The Doc stared at us and in a very grimly & trembling voice cracking in between, explained the reasons for Stan’s fall, we were now a couple and so I held the right to know facts. The entire world crashed in for me in one second, when my ears heard him say that Stan was born with a rare birth anomaly that would grow worse with age. His bones would degenerate with time and dissolve; chances were he’d often feel weak and numb for a few seconds and then regain himself back. It’s not sure what part of his body would suffer this adversity first. He had it couple of times when he was in school and his parents were in complete knowledge of Stan’s uncertain future. Although after that he was kept on medication for sometime, there was no routine medication or permanent cure for this, it was a rare disease that one in a thousand could get, and Stan just happened to be one of them. I died a million deaths in that one second, WHY my Stan? If he was the chosen one, why chosen for this? I knew then why his parents resisted our marriage and why they accepted it with equal dignity.
Stan was mum, my eyes met his. He was calm like never before. He held me close in his blink, and it didn’t take my heart a beat to know what I had to do. No science could demystify our life, to science love is just chemistry, but the grandeur and splendor of our love could not have been reduced to one answer. Our mind lived in what it saw or heard. Mom and Dad explained that in that moment fear was neither an intelligence we wished would lead us, nor was it a sin. We couldn’t still our fearful thoughts, but we could always bring into focus the thoughts of stillness and our love. Yet, between our hearts fear was the static at that moment, prevented us from hearing to our intuition. Anxiety paved a run, there was an image a thought at the corner of our minds and we didn’t want to eye it, just like a child closing eyes as it sees the ball come towards it. Yet awareness needed a free mind. Our inadequacy awaited a description of the fateful reality of our present. I knew why god chose me to belong to him, and him to belong to me.
I called my parents and as I disclosed the news finally they got the shock of their lives, as they had believed I was still doing my internship and will return back to them once completed. Given the circumstances they decided to fly down immediately. That week felt like a lifetime of wait. It was so hard for me to see my mother in front of me, I coupled her emotions to my present, realized what she’d have felt without me, how could I live without my Stan Ma? I left my whole world Ma, to belong to him, who would hold me & Dance a lifetime when he’s gone Ma? As she held me close, I sobbed in her arms for hours, our tears met on the way and her tears absorbed all of mine, the moment taught me, I was her weakness but she was always my strength.
They accepted my fate & what I was destined to live, and why not; after all our life was half way through creating a history. My parents lived with us for a few weeks, living a hundred lifetime’s pleasure in that destined togetherness. They did their best to conceal their hurts and applauded my efforts to live brave. In a few weeks after spending emotional moments with everyone they left thanking Stan’s parents for being considerate and promised to keep in touch with us always. They even insisted we accompany them to USA to get some treatment from best of doctors. We were all open to this idea but it was a very tough decision to make and time was the only solution.
As time passed Stan’s condition worsened slowly, He often worked from home when he felt up to it, and dad always brought him to the studio when I had my late evening sessions with my students. He would drop Stan so I could play the music we danced on always and Stan would watch me dance. His toes tapping to every beat, his hands reaching out to hold me, his breath feeling my heart beat, his tears melting with my sweat, his eyes drowning in my passion, his lips waiting to caress my tender hands & his body trembling in the sheer joy of my moves. Not a soul stood between us, when I danced for him those nights.
I was so proud to belong to Stan, and my life became an inspiration for many of my friends, who could ne’er have imagined how a girl like me could live this through. I can’t say who was blessed, I believe the love was blessed, and I was where I rightly belonged. After all who needed me more than Stan? At the end of my dance he’d always whisper to me “Sophie, I am your night; I will fade into the arms of the morning for you to wade.” Oh! Stan, “Please stay - Let me Belong to you just a little longer!”
When you call me yours
Springville, Utah, USA
Some of the most beautiful things in life are inexplicable, like the sunrise from an airplane, or the sound of waves crashing on the shore, or a little baby's giggle, the crackle of a warm fireplace, the sound of dewdrops falling from leaves, the warmth of the summer sun after a long cold winter... poems, sonnets, and literary treatise have been written about such phenomenon and more. It is a challenge for people like me to express the unexpressed in words, to capture in all within one's grasp to fathom it, to perceive the tangible...
With you it's different now and somehow I like the change. You make me want to aspire for something I have never given a chance... SILENCE...
You make me want to perceive the silence, the absence, the unknown, and make me look for meaning in the have-nots, the seeming gaps, the unsaid words. You find meaning in all this by not looking for it. You don't seek conclusions out, you let them evolve, you grow with the process.
You teach me how to not get lost in the quagmire of the day to day and instead look for the beauty in the complete picture. The light, the dark, the greys, the reds, all mesh into a plethora of hues that cannot be described anymore. Life itself looks more real, not more or less beautiful or happy.. just real. And that can never be a bad thing right?
I don't know who you are at times and at times you are inseparable from my core. I have given up wanting to define what we share, because I realize I cannot. I don't know if I love you, because even love seems confining in boundaries of what I feel for you. I have stopped looking for answers because there are no more questions. I know I will falter, slip, but I know each time, it will get easier for me to get up.
I feel like a child at times with you as I rediscover things about myself and life that I could only try to describe in words, but maybe never really felt. The heady romanticism was all it was about.. the sensuality, the tangible beauty. Somehow I find myself wanting more than that... wanting to find my peace not in you, with you or without you..but in this solitary space within myself.. where you are omnipresent, always real.
There is no definition to what we share, there never was.. and today I don't even want it. I don't want to lose myself in you because, you enable me to find myself a little bit more each day. Am feeling this unique sense of freedom today where all the strings I had that tied you down are gradually coming off and it is like I am setting myself free and you too in the process. It is not a goodbye nor is it a reaffirmation of unsaid vows. It is the most amazing feeling of knowing, your soul lies within you and with it.... what you share.. can never be fathomed.. because it is and will forever remain...................
Friday, January 15, 2010
Tu mujhse khafaa hai to zamaane kay liye aa
(Who else must I explain the reason of separation
This morning, I decide to take the road less traveled. This one in particular, is a favorite of mine. Meandering uphill to almost touch the sky, it's camouflaged by thick deodar and pine trees and lined up with bushy musk roses. The end of this winding stretch rolls down to a seemingly endless cul-de-sac, a metaphor of my own life, I feel. Every time I stroll by this route, I end up walking up right till the edge of this inestimable little road-to nowhere and spend an hour or so looking at the glowing dawn across the valley. Despite being repetitive, it is always a delightfully amazing sight every day, as the sun shears its way through the dark curtains of the night sky with a master stroke and creates a riot of colors; bold, distinct flashes of vermillion, blue, magenta and scarlet spill generously over the valley in a rich abundance.
Not many locals from the town or the villages at the foothills come here. It's also an area where the Army has wired the territory and put up a rusty board that says, "Prohibited area. Trespassers will be prosecuted." However, no one has ever stopped me from watching the sunrise and invoking my energy and positivism from the majestic beginning of the day.
Beneath those layers of unfamiliar expressions against an unforeseen, unplanned backdrop, I see a face—yours.
You probably don't recognize me at the first glance. Time has faded out the images of a relationship that once grew around a few hundred songs and poems, everyday giggles, grins and gripe, conversations that started from the sunshine and winded up with the starlight, enough to leave behind timeless impressions; yet too little to hold back the hands of the clock. The lyrics of a long-forgotten poem, one that used to be one of our favorites, flashes on my mind…
Ek umr se hoon lazzat-e-giryaa se bhi mehruum
(Too long have I been deprived of the pathos of longing;
( If not for our past association
Come to fulfill the rituals of the world)
My favorite author Paulo Coelho had told me once….”Let love be the guiding light of your life”. In this timeless, placeless destination, unprepared and unarmed as we sit, I see that spark of life glowing in you, I see the stars shining in your eyes and I tell myself, how can I not fly free, high, above and beyond the limitations of lines, when you are the wind beneath my wings?
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
But what exactly do we mean and whom do we refer to, when we say "Buddhijibi" ? Do we refer to our celebs or do we refer to our authors and musicians ? Do we refer to our dramatists or do we refer to our philosophers ? As far as I can remember, this word had stirred up quite a storm during the Nandigram/Singur episode in Bengal and rightly so. The influence of our "Buddhijibis" in bringing about the winds of change has been paramount and they have had an important role to play in redefining the socio-political environment of our state. But I have often wondered if it has really been appropriate to address these people as "Buddhijibis". What exactly does this term mean ? To me, it would sound like someone who is "wise" and "knowledgeable" about the topic being discussed; a person who has sufficient "expertise" and "experience" in the field in which he/she has been requested to comment. But as far as I can recollect, I have rarely seen any engineer, doctor or professional manager comment on these issues on TV or in any other form of media.
The whole issue regarding the setting up of a small-car factory at Singur has been greatly debated on television and various opinions have been placed regarding the exact land-requirements of the project, and the "majority" of the people who have presented their "expert" opinion regarding the same, either bear allegiance to some political party (left, right or centre) or hail from the field of literature or the fine arts. What surprises me most is that this is a technical question and only technical people should be consulted to provide their "relevant" opinion about this sensitive issue. But I have never seen any television interview on any of our popular (and sometimes biased) news channels involving people from a technical or scientific background. Are technical people not wise enough, or do they lack emotions ? I do not have anything personal against any profession neither do I swear allegiance to any political party - I am just an ordinary individual trying to make sense out of the comments made by our not-so-ordinary "Buddhijibis". Whenever a production unit is set up, there are a lot of parameters which have to be taken into consideration. It requires a complete analytical analysis of the supply chain and the output potential in order to determine how much land would be necessary for an auto project, and it is also not necessary that every auto-project in India would have the same requirements. It depends upon the technology being used and the business process being adopted. It is not the forte of some painter, singer, author, journalist or politician to comment on the technical requirements. But, unfortunately, so far we have only witnessed "Buddhijibis" making somewhat irresponsible statements on mass media without understanding its feasibility.
As I have already mentioned, I do not wish to offend any profession, but it is high time that we assign the right responsibilities to the right people. Celebs and people from the fine arts have done an incredible job in generating an unprecedented political awareness among the masses. This is worthy of a standing ovation and deserves the highest praise. They have provided us the courage to stand upright and vote for our own future. They have empowered us to dream that even Bengal can attain "11% GDP growth" like our "neighbours", but in the process, it appears that they have also empowered themselves to interfere and comment on almost every social and political issue. This is not desirable. I think it would be better if our brothers and sisters from the media could interview people with relevant knowledge about a particular topic, rather than selecting them purely on the basis of popularity and mass appeal.
It is very important that our social leaders have the necessary EQ, but it would really not be advisable to ignore IQ. Correct me if I am wrong......