But then, a little won’t hurt, would it?

As Taransh held the baby in his arms, caressing his fragile temples and softly tussling his soft, sparse and silky sprouting hairshoots…he saw what a spitting image of Roshni the baby was.

The bulbous eyes, the bushy eyelashes, the groovy philtrum… they were all her genetic bequeathal to the baby.

In that moment, Taransh was overwhelmed by the enormity of his mishap. Of loving Rosh’s baby like his own….like the one he never had. Of loving Roshni..

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The unfailing friends

With every passing day, his curiosity grew manifold. He was eager to unravel the mystery she enveloped herself in, a shield of thoughts that was impossible to break into.

As she gleaned every word in her mind, locking it in her breath and letting it linger as she read along, he did the same. Albeit, he held his breath and gaze in amazement. At how she sank in dutifully, willingly..and even subserviently to THEIR commands.

The softest of their whispers, the slightest of their rants.. she sensed them all with a perfection that seemed congenital.

There was something about THEM that made her pledge her unflinching fealty to them. She found the ethereal joy in these friends who had ever-so-furtively yet substantially accreted to become a part of her life. The part called FRIENDS.

She hated when her friends were time and again reduced to *PERSONIFICATION* , by the so called doyens of the literary construct….

But her friends never complained, the very antithesis of Personification…

Episode 2

*How many best friends do you have?* The question pealed, chimed and reverberated loud in the little child’s ears.

Quelling the sounds in her head, she stepped into her little alcove. The one that offered her the most solace.

Today, she went back to the same place, to her best friends who loved her unflinchingly. She smiled at them, hugged them fondly.

Just that they couldn’t hug her back. Because BOOKS have minds and souls but not garlanding arms!!

Episode 3

Apart from the amicable mortals she’d known, here are few treasures which meant a lot more to her, unfathomably more than what best friends could ever be…

Corruscating yet balmy Books, Soulful Music, the Eerily comforting silences of sleepless nights, the invigorating rays of breaking dawn, and all those miniscule yet majestic moments of memorabilia!

Tangible in form, intangible in the pleasures they elicited. Such were her unfailing friends – unflinchingly loving, inevitably desirable, silently fidel and eternally stoic.

Modalities

It’s surprising how we tend to take our sensory stimuli and receptions so lightly, despite knowing that we are driven by them all, at all times. We may have come closer virtually, that’s an incongruent substitute for all the things we yearn for. Can a virtual *HUG* lend the warmth of two arms garlanding you to solace? But yes, it’s better to have a virtual *HUG* over the absolute lack of contact 🙂 So, this post, is for the one who has inspired me the most to write. Propelled me into motion and infused me with energy like never-before. Stirring up my literary archives and blending them with my thoughts, breaking the shackles that stymied my emotions from meeting the pen and the pen from the sheet. The obstacles to do what we all love doing the most, like we all know, are MANY. But an inspiration can change it all.

So, let’s inspire. Seek inspiration that can lend suffrage to our thoughts. And alongside, thrive and strive to make lives better by being an inspiration. The latter, of course is very objective and obscure in its meaning. Nevertheless, let expressions flow 🙂

*Hard it seems, to persuade them
my fingers, that tell a story of their own..
they sit by ,grazing our montages alone
Each has its enigmatic quest
Each awaits its tryst , to rest
in the warmth that your fingers invoke
Our fingers too are embraced in hope…
Their yearning is a subaltern
of what constitutes my being,
yet ,each writes along with the rest
the lines that call for my living…
Each of them was created for the other,
to rise in unison when the prayer beckons..
All they pray for, every breath, every moment
is the connubial bliss of your fingers’ consent..
They know they’re made for yours, just like you and I…
They divisively still love more than what I try.*

To the CREATOR 🙂

Hear between the Pauses..Read between the lines

Roshni sat along the lake, staring into the vast expanse of the mildly starry night. In her head, a few bees of uncertainty and insecurity buzzed and whizzed her into a sense of discomfort. All this while, Aryan sat by, talking animatedly about the things that had fascinated him recently, about a few happenings in a country that she had never bothered knowing much about.

It was perfect. She was lost in her little world of looming trivialities. He, in his ways, was happily loquacious about his fetish. Suddenly, she chose to break the monotony of that moment by asking *Have you ever felt this way? The way I do.. a hundred invisible barbs ripping through my flesh, a zillion spikes of febrile posterity clutching you by the nape of your neck?*

In his characteristic insouciance, he replied *Oh, that’s just a phase. We all go through it. You’ll coast along it. Even I have. And then.. you know in Budapest..*

The talk gave her anything but assurance. She smiled, and chose to overlook the sprouting concern, the one that had been creeping like tendrils at her amygdala. The next day, Taransh picked her up from work. After their routine exchange of the week’s happenings, Taransh could sense something that quietened the otherwise effervescent Roshni.

He halted the car, at the nook of a waning bylane. When Rosh shot him a surprised glance, he wrapped her in his meaty arms , with the cold dial of his wristwatch sending a quick shiver on her sleeveless arm.

*Rosh, speak up. You’ll only feel better*, he said. Deep within, she questioned herself if she should lay her inconsistencies bare, for the fear that they may only be trivial to him and his mountain of dilemmas. As she unleashed her concerns, he held her palms and exclaimed softly * You know, the fact that you think about it so much is what makes you different. It means you care. And you know what happens when you care for something, you end up giving it your best. Just do that. As for the fear, leave it for our drives like these. Agony Aunt banne ka mauka roz thode hi milta hai, woh bhi Query Aunt agar Roshni jaisi ho toh*

In that laughter that ensued, she knew what she wanted. She knew whom she wanted

Not every silence is golden…

As she  carefully outlined the details of Binodini’s fledgling grey shades, of Bihari’s sense of foreboding, of Mahen’s transient and fleeting fealty, of Ashalata’s deplorable gullibleness… He heard her in rapt attention.

*This is Chokher Bali* , she remarked in a tone marked in an undertone of pensive interjection, as  continued to look into her eyes.. 

The words had ceased to flow, but her eyes were weaving a storyline of their own. He awaited the unabridged rendition of *Chokher Bali* that was yet to come…

In the soft, intentionally curated pauses she took while narrating, to whet his curiosity  ; when she locked her gaze with his for a long train of moments unblinking, so as to let his thoughts be imbued with those of the protagonist’s dilemma…

TO BE CONTINUED..

Of sweet nothings, careless whispers, murmuring silences..

Peering at himself in the mirror, his reflection made him feel sorry for himself. Overworked, stressed, depressed, sleep-deprived.. a slew of such anti-climactic epithets could follow suit.

Alas, this wasn’t a poem that could be adorned with a string like these. He reminisced about the STORY he had planned it out. THEY had planned it out. When about 6 years ago, a tiny germ of mutual affection had taken roots, and something in them both had prompted to nurture it, to thrive on and along with it, to make it see the light of the day.

The harsh sunlight caving in through the wedge of the door stung his eyes, shaking him to the astringent reality of the present.

Splashing some water to bring him some sanity and senses, he thought about the times, the times when he breathed.

Her fragrance, her enthusiasm, her child-like innocence, her curiosity, her compassion, her hesitation, her soothing embraces, her comforting caresses, her thoughtful silences, her anger-filled invectives, her insouciance making way for peals of laughter, just after he’d cheer her up after a tiff…

What had he traded these for? And what had he gained in return? The reflection staring back at him was a grim reminder of these. The incompleteness, the loneliness, the chagrin of separation, the desperation, the futility of feigning normalcy..

Today, the reflection had given up on him. It thought of him as the incorrigible. The indomitable lover in him smiled. It’s never too late, no?

He set on his path to rekindle those memories. To mend the loosened bolts of their relationship plank. To abridge the gaping hole that slept as silence amidst them. To taut the string of smiles he loved.

For a new reflection this time. Because when she smiled, his smile was the reflection. And his arrival was the reflection of her yearning, her faith and her unwavering love 🙂

Meta-Morphosis

He allowed himself a self-imposed stupor and stared into the oblivion, as he sat by the beach.

Reminiscing, he looked at how his life had changed. Carefree to Catastrophic. Wedging a burning cigarette between his fingers, he retrospected. How these very fingers had once held the tiny tube that dispensed soap-bubbles!

How those bubbles caught the sun’s sparkles!

(To be continued…)

Strangers in the Night

As she took a drag from his cigarette, an uncanny similarity dawned upon her. He watched her with a smouldering gaze, amazed at himself and how he’d shared it with her, something he despised doing otherwise. Just then, she saw him stealing glances and threw her arms around him, handing him the cigarette and softly whispered into his ears *Not quite like you. Tell me what’s running on your mind*. Just then, he drew her closer, enough to feel her fragrance, the one which reeked of a soft lavender. Staring deeply into her eyes, almost searing through her soul, he remarked with a heavy heart * Because I wish I could give you all that you are rightly entitled to. You made a choice to be with me despite knowing that we’d never be able to have a life together. You have chosen to live as the OTHER WOMAN.* As he said the lines, he stomped on the cigarette-butt which had begun to die a slow death. And she told herself, *You loved a writer who held her lover’s cigarette butts in her closets, as a reminder of the sharp sting of unrequited love.*

Somewhere beneath, a cigarette-butt still glowed.