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.

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‘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.

This year, just Let Me Go …

Let me go.

Because even though you left me 4 years back, the memory of you still lives inside of me.

Let me go.

Because our egos sit tight, while our love doesn’t.

Let me go.

Because my eyes are tired of staring into Oblivion. I have waited for you for hours, days, months and years and yet you never returned.

Let me go.

Because the promise of a forever was shamelessly broken 4 years back and ever since then, I have been trying to learn how to trust people, from scratch.

Let me go.

Because there are still things that I haven’t laughed at.

Let me go.

Because there still are emotions that I haven’t felt.

Let me go.

Because I want to think about the beautiful sunsets, and not drowning to the bottom of the ocean each time I go to a beach.

Let me go.

Because there are days when I forget to eat and then there are some when I forget to sleep. You see, during those forgetful moments, the very thought of you keeps me busy.

Let me go.

Because I want the thought of breathtaking views to replace the thoughts of jumping from the rooftop each time my cab crosses a high rise building.

Let me go.

Because the weight of the past is becoming a little too much for me to carry along, and am afraid that you won’t come running to save me if I get buried under the weight of our mistakes.

Let me go.

Because you are no longer there to protect me, so I guess I will have to wear my own cape.

Let me go.

Because I have been vulnerable and exposed for far too long, and am not so sure when my insides would start crumbling down.

Let me go.

Because a part of me died when you walked away and it still needs to learn how to live again.

Let me go.

Because I want to experience the joy of togetherness, instead of turning my head away from the happy faces during weddings.

Let me go.

Because when I get an hour or two for myself after 11 hours of work, all I ever think about is where did I go so wrong!

Let me go.

Because my life shouldn’t just be about writing these letters to you in vain.

Let me go.

Because I have tried it all, only to learn that nothing ever mattered to you – the countless tears or the persistent heartache.

Let me go.

Because I can no longer live with shadows from the past circling my present. History repeats itself, sure. You should ask those who hallucinate.

Let me go.

Because you are never there when I need someone to hold my hand.

Let me go.

Because I haven’t smiled in a long, long time and I need to find a reason to do that.

Let me go.

Because I, like everyone else, want to sing the Christmas carols once and experience the joy of Thanksgiving for real. And yet each year around this time, what I do instead is avoid any human contact as the very memory of you holding my hand for the last time creeps up in my head, only to eventually consume my entire existence.

That picture we clicked inside McDonald’s on the cold morning of 24th December 2014 keeps reminding me of all those dreadful moments that followed.

Your hand slipping from mine as you bade your last goodbyes. The naive me, who was ignorant to what was really happening.

The way you subtly ended our three years of relationship, and the perfect metaphor in that one moment that would make the best of poets cringe.

4 years back in time.

We are at the unusually crowded Anand Vihar ISBT around 9:30 in the morning.

I can’t hug you as it’s a public space, and everyone is around.

So I kiss the back of your palm, and I can already feel your hand slipping from mine.

There’s an unusual calm on your face today, even though all we have been doing is fighting with each other, in the last so many days.

You wish me a safe journey before getting down from the bus that hasn’t started moving yet, and a part of me already knows that it’s going to be a long, long journey ahead.

Straddling between the calm and chaos, I try to catch a glimpse of you, and so I peep outside the window.

I see you walking away from me even though my bus hasn’t started moving.

And just in a matter of seconds, you disappeared, never to come back.

Back to the present day.

Here I am, 4 years hence, still contemplating what difference would it have made had I never left this city in the first place.

Because never on Earth could I have imagined that my whole life was going to change from that day.

Because each year I write to you, hoping that some day, it won’t go in vain.

Diwali: Another year of difficult choices, another month of bargain!

The month of Diwali was here again.

Another year of difficult choices.

Another month of bargain.

“Why do you want to go home on Diwali?” My boss asked.

Looking for an appropriate answer to his (stupid) question, I stood there dumbstruck.

“Why do people go home on festivals after all?” I wondered!

May be he is right.

Or may be he doesn’t have a life beyond work!

Whichever the case was, he still gave me a choice, which was not.

“If you are off on Diwali then you will be working on Christmas and the New Year. Are we clear?” He asked.

So now I had to choose between Lord Ram and Jesus.

Why do I even have to do that?
Why does it have to be this way?
Seriously, have I really reached this stage in life where I have to choose which incarnation of God do I want to celebrate with most zeal and fervor?
Is this all happening for real?

And while I was struggling to look for answers to all these questions, my boss clicked his fingers, asking me “what? Where are you lost?”

In a fit of panic and disgust alike, I shrugged and said: “nothing boss! I choose Lord Ram!”

(He burst into laughter as if I had cracked a joke.

I thought aloud: Boss, the joke’s on you!)

Anyway, the bargain was done and the deal was made.

I somehow managed to negotiate a three-day holiday to be with my family on Diwali.

But two months from now, when most of you will be relishing the plum cakes while lighting candles and listening to Carols inside a church, I will most likely be sitting inside my office, whining over this time when I was made to choose between the incarnations of God.

So for now, Happy Diwali y’all.

And it’s a wrap…

Sitting here in such a large hall, typing this out at the cusp of dawn, I have come to realize that change is the only thing constant in the world.

It was about yesterday only when I was checking the restaurants that offered midnight delivery to my workplace.

“My workplace” – I can say it now, but I know it won’t be the same 4 days henceforth.

There is only so much you can do about the decisions you make in life.

For the difficult choices you make for yourself during perilous times are often the ones that give you life-altering moments.

I look around this perfectly lit place and sigh.

Unlike all my previous night shifts, there is an unusual calm today, and this sinking feel in my heart just won’t go away.

I tell myself: “It’s perfectly normal. It’s okay. Everyone leaves their first job at some point, on some day.”

So what if there won’t be late night pizzas and choco lavas to relish much while bitching about the people I don’t like?

There is a whole new bunch of experiences awaiting me as I am about to enter into a new phase of life.

But before that, let me be on the roller coaster of emotions, and feel all that my heart wants to.

Let me be anxious, let me be nostalgic, let me be afraid of the unknown, but most of all, let me be full of hope.

One last night.

One last time.

That moment of honesty..

The alarm in my phone goes off. It’s 5:02 in the morning. “I need to wake up but before that isn’t one supposed to sleep?” I ask myself secretly.

Needless to say, it’s the memories of you as usual, doing what they do best. Pushing me into self-loathing mode, with each flashback from the past killing my self-respect.

I have to be in office by 7am and yet I am contemplating not sleeping till the cab comes. The ghosts from a shared past with you are frightening enough as it is. I don’t need these memories playing the bad cop and arresting my peace.

Back in time, you are already down to level 2. All those kisses for no reason have surely worked wonders for you.

A friendly touch here and there is only a testament to the fact that you are trying too hard. And for God Knows what! You had my undivided attention since the day you asked me what I wanted to do on my birthday.

And as we steal glances for the umpteenth time, I can clearly see that desire burning in your eyes. Holding my hand in yours, you coax me into telling you about my past life. And as you saw me timidly trying to change the topic, you looked me right in the eye to tell me that you won’t talk to me if I don’t open up.

For a moment, I felt perhaps that moment of honesty was the only thing that ever mattered.