The Dream(s)

So many clichés.

So many lies.

So many self assurances.

Yet so many sleepless nights.

And the “forced” dreams help you see this one sight that you ALWAYS wanted to see.

Of him.

Appearing in your dreams like the knight in shining armor.

The one who saves you from all the atrocities.

The one whose sole purpose on this Earth is to rescue you in times of adversities.

And you?

The strong person who always opposes repression of women,

The feminist in you who always fought for equal rights and opportunities,

The independent and self-reliant 21st century woman who gives karate lessons to others.

You, woman.

You.

Despite being all of that.

What would you not give to live those moments of rescue?

Rescue.

From the atrocious people, yes.

But more from your life’s hard hitting reality.

What would you not give to live those dreams where you are just an ordinary girl and he is your superhero?

You.

The woman who is otherwise bold enough to hit trouble right below the belt, succumbs to reality only to find reprieve in her dreams.

Dreams wherein she can be whoever she wants.

The soft version of herself who has no care in the world.

Or the tantrum-filled lover who knows how to make him go weak in knees even as he puts on a show of resistance.

They say you dream about people, places and products you don’t want to let go of.

And I have only been dreaming about you in the last 4 years.

Does that say enough?

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4 years since you left…

Fragment 1:

It’s funny how even after so many years, the sound of those anklets you brought me for Valentine’s day still rings in my ears.

It’s funny how the very memory of you returning from Gujarat that year is the only thing I have now. Not the fights that preceded your trip to Gandhinagar. Not the love you showered me with after you came back from your moot Court competition. Just the memory of you being away from me for those 4 days. Yes, you are long gone and may be this is all I can relate to, now.

The only period when we were together and you weren’t around.

Fragment 2:

They are haunting me again. These Memories of the times when we carefully crafted a list of all the songs I wanted to be played during our pre-wedding shoot. But then that was before you walked out on me 4 years ago, leaving behind a trail of broken records and melodies that now sound more like horror songs.

For some inexplicable reason, Din shagna da no longer leaves goosebumps on my skin and nights in white satin no longer makes me cringe. And no, the heart of life is NOT good.

Fragment 3:

We are moving from one chapter to the other and to another, just like that.

All these years, all these months have been all about incredible experiences and life altering lessons.

Instead of romanticising it all, can I just simply say that you are the reason I still exist!

Dear Santa, just sit back & relax! Let ‘karma’ give everyone the gift they deserve!

In response to self-proclaimed Santa’s 3-months old letters:

Santa talks of absolution. Can someone tell me why does he seek the same in the first place?

Santa was supposed to keep those who believed in him, happy. Then was it someone whom he failed terribly?

Santa keeps walking, sure. But why does he feel unfulfilled? What keeps him gawking? Is there more he could have done to save those who believed in him from drowning?

Does Santa keep staring into the Oblivion, trying to find answers to a thousand what ifs? What effort was missing on his part? Perhaps reciprocation! Perhaps willingness. Perhaps being more than being just the messenger of God. Perhaps being more human?

Santa talks of redemption, says it’s a sin to redeem false hopes. But Isn’t betrayal the biggest sin of all? Then how come Santa still roams around unabashed? Is no one keeping his sin count?

Santa says he won’t yield more to please, and the entire universe laughs at the irony.

Santa wishes for his dream to be fufilled, forgetting that one has to pay a certain cost for each dream.

In response to Santa’s 3-months old letters:

Dear Santa,

Just sit back and relax.

Let karma give everyone the gift they deserve.

You think listening to John Mayer will help you attain that absolution? Then God alone can bless you! Cuz… Seriously, now?

She is a good girl, loves her mama, loves Jesus, and her boyfriend too..”

Remember?

You’re a bad boy coz you don’t even miss her, you’re a bad boy, for breaking her heart..”

And now, you are free falling, and only heavens above know where your deeds will land you!

You seek absolution. Why?

Because deep down inside, you know that you have wronged someone so bad that her life is never going to be the same again.

You were proud that “your child” is writing the zenith of her stream. You wanted her to be busy after all. Eh?

Do you see how busy she is today that she has no time to attend to the wounds that still give her pain. She has all the money and niceties, but nowhere to go and nothing else to do.

So busy that there are days when she fails to tell the difference between beginning and ending.

Days when she is so occupied that the only thought she sleeps with is: Do I have a life of my own?

Where did we go so wrong? Why is it that we have both settled down – but in different cities. Why couldn’t we end up together – like we promised?,” She asks.

And each time she cries herself to sleep even after 4 years, in her dreams she asks him the same set of questions:

Do you like going back to an empty bed after working your ass off for 11 hours at work?

Don’t you crave for that one long compassionate hug?

Now all that is left within me is a trail of broken dreams that has somehow managed to follow me till date. It’s like my life is a background on which John Mayer keeps playing like a broken record.

You still don’t get it. Now, do you? How the memories of those shared dreams are just reduced to the sweet nothings now! How all that I do is to secretly cry over random pre-wedding shoots, realising that we could have been so much more than just strangers with memories. How I still go silent when someone brings up your name, or asks me to marry.

How after all these years of being at the receiving end, I still want to believe that love lasts.

How I still write to you, hoping that my words would be able to do what I couldn’t – turn it all around like an hourglass.

The night that wasn’t about life’s blues, but our crazy moves & cheap booze

So I went to this same old place in Malaviya Nagar where you were all flattered by my dance moves for the very first time.

Remember that shady lounge that you took me to, on the day I was insistent that we go some place new?

The very moment I entered the community centre, I was hit by flashbacks – one after another, and the other.

And the most prominent memory of course was your jaw-drop moment – when you were completely swayed by this small town girl you had known for years.

That one moment I won’t forget even if I never go back to that place again.

The fond memory of you completely in awe of my dance moves, and your honest confession that followed your unforgettable expressions.

The moment you skirted your hand around my waist and whispered in my ear that you could not match up to my level. That I was too good a dancing partner to go out on a date with.

That if it were up to you and you had a glue, you would have tied me with you just to protect me from all the staring eyes inside that dark room.

How can I ever forget that night when I was actually doing what we keep telling ourselves all our lives – live in the moment.

That night when we could have danced till we dropped, but were rather asked to leave because the management had to close the bar.

The night that was not about the life’s blues, but our crazy moves and the cheap booze.

The night that was about incredible madness, stolen kisses, super shady pictures and unusual hand holding.

The night that was so much more than I could ever write about.

That night which still echoes of the Love that once was.

‘Reverie’ 2011 – The day our story started…

28 January, 2011.

It was on this day that our story started, when you came running back from Andrews Ganj to Gargi college back in 2011.

Even though it’s been 8 years since the saga of our madness started, it still feels like yesterday.

And remembering those beautiful times, I cried a little less today..

The very memory of meeting that child who ordered two plates of veg chowmein along with two other dishes and a beverage for two people to consume in their very first meeting – is something that is going to stay with me for the rest of my life.

After all, it was the same child I fell in love with, eventually.

That kid in the mould of a 19-year-old who would steal ice-cream cones from me just to get clicked in the not-so-cool underpass routes in the heart of the city.

Not to mention his cutesy dimples and his antics that he ensured to use vicariously whenever he was with me.

A story straight out of a fairy tale – where the girl and the boy knew each other from before (4 years to be precise) but never really interacted.

And then on an unforgettable day like this, something magical happened – I first met him!

It will only be unfair if I skip mentioning that there were fireworks all above us – Not the metaphorical ones that we get to to read in every fine piece of poetry ever produced on Love – but there were fireworks, for real – with hues of pink, purple, and silver lighting up the heavens above.

Yes, we met in that crazy madness where people were being lathi-charged for illegally entering an all girls college during the two-day musical fest – Reverie – organized by its students union.

It’s about those days when Nadaan Parindey was none less than an anthem and Mohit Chouhan was a music sensation.

It is about those days when I Googled oxytocin for the very first time in my life, as I held on to that gush of emotions inside of me when he brushed past me. (The best part? He still doesn’t know it!)

It was about those moments when I had, for the first time, felt happiness (read: love) “differently”.

Saying that it was Pure Bliss will only ruin it. It was more, so much more, that even though the person who made me feel that way is now long gone, I am still compelled to write about it.

It was as if someone had enthused life in me.

It was the day when our story started, the very beginning of a beautiful journey…

4 years since you left…

First came shock. Then denial. And then grief followed on for about two-and-a-half years, only to give way to healing.

Healing which came with acceptance.

Acceptance of my life’s reality.

Reality that you are now long gone and sooner or later, I will have to live with it.

As the 25th of December is about to end, there are a few things I would like to remind myself.

Even though it’s been 1,460 days without you by my side, I am doing just fine.

I gifted myself 4 parting gifts today in the garb of Christmas presents.

Did I mention that I even bought an overpriced pair of accessories from BG’s in the memory of our once beautiful relationship. I’m sure you remember the first ever piece of jewellery you gifted me was from the BG’s.

How happy I was on receiving that present back then. May be I was trying to find that happiness again.

May be I was desperately looking for ways to feel closer to you once again.

Talking of feeling closer to each other…

Can you relate why I chose this donut to mark today’s date?

Someday, when you are ready to let go of your inhibitions, do tell me coz I’d still be eager to listen.

Talking of listening.

Did I tell you that..

I no longer listen to “another day without your smile” and still manage to get some sleep.

All the craft work I made for you on your last birthday is still lying unattended inside the closet that I never open.

Of late, I have come to realize that coughing my lungs out due to dust from past is not that good an idea after all. So I let the latch of the closet catch the rust instead and I tell myself that I will never have to open it.

You know, I have given myself enough time to heal, and that time alone did reveal that my love for you was (unfortunately) greater than my hatred.

Coz there’s no denying the fact that I did kill you a thousand times in my head, but telling you the other day that I won’t forgive you is something that I regret.

Or at least I feel so, today.

My therapist thinks that I have made some progress. But I know this for a fact that telling you that I still miss you will only be an understatement.