Saturday, 27 December 2014

The Tragedy Of One Time


They told us we live forever,
That time is nothing to fear,
Second Chances are here to stay.
Wait. did they? 
Or we heard our own whispers?

Took it as it came,
Toiled for what I wanted,
Just never knew what I needed.
Lessons came galore but in futile,
Nothing could be saved if you miss
That One Time.

She was kind more than you would need,
Faced a thousand words and things way more,
Kept a brave face of forgiveness ,
Even to those less deserved.

Save one time when she had it enough,
Spoke her mind and some more,
As fate would have in an ironic twist,
Those whom she forgave, 
Were miser in compassion.

A thousand acts of kindness went to dust,
As all they could recount was that one time.

He always wore his heart upon the sleeve,
Let it all feel the way it deserved to be,
Gave kindness away as it felt right,
Until the heart met her and froze in time.

It burned bright and it flickered dark,
But it was here to stay,  
As long as eternity he thought,
But she broke and burnt the heart given.

He closed the chest and hide the key,
"Never again" was the new motto,
Better to be cruel than be faced with cruelty.

Someone came and knocked,
Begged and confessed how he was all she wanted,
Yet he remained adamant to keep it close.
Tired of waiting, she left scarred.

Little did he know that true love just went away,
As the door remain closed that one time.

Theirs was the love that no one got,
Brother and Sister by blood,friends by choice.
Always fighting but even more caring,
Nothing could break it,
The whole world thought.

Once came a pebble of complaint,
It transformed into a mountain of contention,
Soon there was a creek of silence,
Followed by practiced indifference.

Years went by and there was no word,
Until he called her one time out of urgent need,
The forgotten anger came surging back,
The call was cut with no acceptance.

He cried and called to tell her it was his last day,
He wanted to hear the sister who made him laugh,
Before he left her to cry alone.
And in that fit of anger one time,
She could have heard his last line.

We run and run to create something for the years,
Think of the future, forget the past,
But what of the present?

It's in these bouts of naivety and bubbles,
We forget the importance of the one time.
Life is not quantified
as you think,
But a string of One Times.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

See You At The Gate


"See You At The Gate"
That is all she could keep looking at. The last text from him. What if this is not real. What if he is at the gate. I must go and see. 
She runs out her door without fixing herself in the mirror for the first time. After avoiding pitfalls on every other floor staircase, she rushes towards the main road. After passing two lanes, she stops in front of a white building with a broken black gate.
He will come. He will come.
The wait was interrupted by a call from her mother. She trembled back home, as though a part of herself was still chained to stand in front of the gate.
Once she was back in her room, she found herself frantically calling a number. But there was no answer on the other end. She fell asleep, holding her bed sheets tightly until an unexpected visitor knocked on the door.
A guy with a plain face entered the room. She immediately got up and hugged him.
"I have been calling you since afternoon."
"There was nothing to talk about"
She backs away,
"Don't be like this. Please, atleast be real now."
"What do you want me to do? Cry? Howl?"
"Yes! Act like he was your friend too. That he mattered."
"He didn't. He knew that."
"Oh God Aakash!"
He sits on the chair trying to be nonchalant as he flips through a book.
"Ruhi, I have only come because aunty called me to tell me that you are really upset. We are not going to play "Therapy" here."
" So you are saying you don't feel anything? He texts us saying "See You At The Gate" and a couple of hours later we learn that he..."
"Stop it. Just stop it."
Aakash is about to barge out the door when Ruhi stops him. She makes him face her.
"You don't have to be so hard on yourself. You can let it all out."
Aakash takes a deep breathe and says-
"Say what? How our best friend took his own life? A guy in his mid-twenties, with everything going for him finally, decided to poison himself. He did not even think once for his parents, his responsibilities, and the joy that awaited him everyday."
"He was not like the rest of us."
"Yeah. He was supposed to be smarter! Now, he is nothing more than a coward. He could have faced life head on. He could have just got over it."
"How can you say that? We both knew what all he was going through."
"Yes. And a month back he told us he was finally fine. He had seen that therapy was a waste of time. We were out all night and he was laughing and smiling. He was funny on the group. He told us his plan to get his life back on track. He had applied and got that job he wanted. He had stopped fixating on the past."
" I ...don't know..maybe.. we didn't see something"
" Don't even go there. We did everything. We were there listening to him- whining about his life, the irrational upsets and mood swings. He would blackmail us and guilt trip us into everything. We did everything and more to ensure he could pass this difficult time. So no, I am not taking the guilt of his death on my head."
"Do you remember how he was yesterday? All excited to tell us about his first week at the new place. He was so happy on the phone. I did not remember a time he was like this. He was joking with you."
"Ruhi, please. Stop it. I know it hurts right now. But give it time, we will get over this. We will forget he even existed.."
"Aakash!" Ruhi shouted as she repeatedly hit his arm violently.
He made his way towards the door and with a lump in his throat
"There is so much to do in this life. So much to live for. So much to convince yourself. If you think too much, stop and focus. If you feel too much, become stoic. If you have pain, deal with it. He should've been a man. Fucking pussy."
He makes his way through the door as Ruhi bursts into tears.
The next few days were a blur for her. She went to the funeral but avoided his parents as much as she could. She came back home and decided she wanted to do nothing.
The plan of sleeping in bed all day, recounting his messages and memories of the 3 of them lasted for a couple of hours. The constant reminders of the pain began to wither as guilt alleviation took precedence. Her father asked her to do some urgent work and that kept her busy for a couple of days. The days became weeks and she was back into the routine. The only difference was the lack of a daily message on the group or the occasional weekly calls. She had started talking to an old college friend and talking to him was now the weekly ritual.
A month later, she was searching for a text when she saw the last group message
"See You At The Gate"
Why can't I remember his voice? What was he wearing the last time I saw him? His..his face..do I not remember it?
The guilt of being so lost and callous started eating away at her as she anxiously sat on her bed. She kept reading the line. Was there a message to be decoded in it?  After a few minutes of deliberation, she felt she had an answer. She got up to get busy again and finally dismiss the thought of him, once and for all.
                                                       He will see me at the Gate.