Friday, September 25, 2009

Black Coffee and Daisies - Part I

It was an evening like any other and as usual my afternoon nap had extended well beyond it's usual duration. But what did I really have to look forward to, wouldn't it be better to just go back to sleep, dream a while longer, atleast there, some things, if not all, were right.

NO! came a scream from somewhere inside...stop feeling sorry for yourself and make something of the day...being locked and cooped up inside the apartment is no way to waste a perfectly fine evening. I unwillingly accepted the pep talk and made my way out of bed.

Ten minutes and a shower later, I was actually more optimistic about the imperfectness and tribulations of my life and how to deal with them, amazing what some hot water can do to your perspective. I knew what I needed, I grabbed my Jacket and keys and rushed out the door.

The weather outside was a little chilly, but just as welcoming as it seemed from my apartment window.

I decided to drive down to my favourite coffee house. That should do the trick, a nice dose of caffeine should give me the kick I so desperately needed. I parked my car in the nearly packed parking lot, and scurried towards the coffee house. As I pushed the door to enter, I was welcomed by a flurry of glares, emotions and aromas, some I was accustomed to and some that were new, some curious and some indifferent, some that made me feel comfortable and others that made me queasy. I scanned the room trying to locate my regular table, hopefully it had not been taken yet. It took some time for me to locate it. I knew where it was just that a place looks so different when it's full of people against when it's empty. To my delight it was empty, there are not many takers for a table in a quiet corner. I made my way through the crowd and took my seat. The table felt a little cut off from the rest of the coffee house, and that could be one of the reasons I liked it. It let me be.

I was a constant visitor and had developed a cordial relationship with the owner, a chubby man in his late 40's, with a slight beer belly and a beaming smile, his spectacles constantly looked like they were going to fall off his nose any moment, but surprisingly they never did, like they were glued that way.

I hinted at the attendant and he knew what my order was. A while later, he placed a tray on my table with my order. I looked at the familiar contents of the tray. A blueberry swizzle and a cuppuccino.

Being a writer, one learns to observe one's sorrounding with an eye for detail. You learn to pick up stuff, the way people walk, they way they talk, sit, play with their hands, squint their eyes, their laughter, their frowns and a plethora of human emotions, habits and sensibilities.

Sitting on this table, was like being posted at a vantage point. The rest of the coffee house became a drama unfolding itself layer by layer, part by part. It helps to observe, that I have already stated, but it's more than that. It allows me to be both a spectator and a participant, even if it's a passive one. Allows me to be a part of their conversations and in a non-personal way become a part of a minute instant in their lives. Helps me to medicate the scars of my loneliness.

Anyways, the reason for writing this particular story is not to tell you about my tribulations as a writer or fish for sympathy. It's about what happened on this particular day that has stayed with me till today.

Like most days, I usually sat at the coffee house for hours, I had the luxury of time unlike most people who frequent this place. The crowd usually begins to thin as the evening wears on. Today was no different, there were only a few tables that were occupied. I was just overhearing a couple of men on the table to my left, arguing over stocks and the volatility of the stock market. I couldn't make head or tail of their conversation and the subject of finance was not one of my strengths in college. But I kept listening, being bored was better than having nothing to do.

Suddenly, I was jolted from monotony by the sound of the door opening and my attention swayed in it's direction. A very immaculately dressed man entered, he looked like he was in his late 50's, but his posture and mannerism gave the impression that he might be younger. He seemed to be a little extravagantly dressed for something as routine as having coffee. The coffee house in itself was more humbler when compared to the other more elite shops located in many of the five-star hotels in the city. If it hadn't been for his age, I would have thought the man was getting married or maybe on his way to a stately dinner. He had his right hand in his coat pocket and it seemed like he was toying with something, maybe a watch or a piece of jewelry, I couldn't be sure. His left hand had a single ring, probably his wedding ring. As he walked towards an empty table, he had an elegance, a poise about him, almost an aura which differentiated him from the genre of people that I had been observing all evening. This was an interesting development, my day might not be a complete waste, I thought to myself.

He took the table almost parallel to mine, with the counter to his left and the men discussing their stocks to his right, and sat down. Motioned for an attendant, and whispered something in his ear and then returned to fumbling with the contents of his pocket. He didn't even look at the menu, which meant that he frequented the place often and almost always placed the same order. Funny, I had never seen him before. But it was nice to note that we had something in common.

He looked relaxed and rather peaceful, although he wore a bereaved look on his face. His order arrived a few minutes later. He picked up a sugar sachet and began emptying it's contents into the cup. He stirred for a while and then lay the spoon down on the tray. Nothing till now, seemed out of the ordinary so I decided to find another subject till something more interesting happened. Just as I was about to lift my gaze, he did something peculiar. He took out his wedding ring and placed it in the saucer. He then withdrew, threw back his head and closed his eyes for a few seconds, his lips moved as if in a prayer or reciting a sermon, took a deep breath and returned to his normal posture. He did this with such subtlety that I doubted anyone else in the vicinity even noticed.

When he opened his eyes again, the seemed moist, like a few tears were floating but reluctant to fall. He then held the cup and saucer in his hands, in some sort if an embrace, like one would hold a pastor's hand at church. And he stayed that way for the rest of the time he was there, like he was in a trance. Apart from some odd moments when he would sip his coffee, he remained indifferent to his surroundings like he was in some other world. I was almost aching to see some sort of reaction or to make some sense of what was progressing before me. But I couldn't. I had lost track of time myself.

Finally, I saw his fingers relax and let go of the cup, then just as unexpected and astounding as his entry had been, he put the ring back on his finger, paid for his coffee and walked out.

( be continued)

(Image courtesy -

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Retribution Song

I stand with my back against the setting sun,
there's still a bullet left in my vengeful gun,
wish I halted this carnage before it begun,
now I'm buying time to fix what can't be undone,

A bruise for each mile I've run,
a scar for each torment overcome,
a blister for each right I made wrong,
a curse for each heart I burnt,

Some of you I hurt, some of you I disowned,
I confess my intention was never to harm,
my devout apology to the people I have wronged,
I only gave to the world what I got in return,

An existense with no one to count upon,
the burden of my choices I shall carry alone,
my search for a smile, was met with scorn,
when I pleaded for love, I got hope forlorn,

Happiness and Pain, diverse feelings for some,
to me they both seem as one,
the latter so hard to forget, the previous so hard to treasure,
complaining is not my style, so don't get me wrong,
these words just add rhythm to my retribution song,

So I stand with my back against the setting sun,
the story returns to where it begun,
a bullet with my name in that vengeful gun,
the lord speaketh, your time has come,
embrace the suffering in this life my son,
it'll soothe your journey to the world beyond.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Why does it feel so right?

And you say, you love me tonight,
you kiss me, and you hold me tight,
at this moment, everything seems all right,
emotions, intimacy all at their height,

But how long will this last, how long must I wait,
Till we are together again,
will u ever return, will u miss that train,
just so you can see my smile again,

I am tired of motels and hotel rooms,
I am tired of being your shadow groom,
If everything about us needs to be so discrete,
Let's not love, let's not ever meet,

I want you to stay and never leave,
I want a home, a family and dreams in between,
I want to able to wish for you tonight,
and not find you gone by morning light,

And you say, you love me tonight,
you kiss me, and you hold me tight,
at this moment, everything seems all right,
emotions, intimacy all at their height,

You want my love, my soul, my everything,
then why am I the one waiting for the phone to ring,
my ambitions, my dreams to your door I bring,
All I return with is despair and longing,

Measure these words from a beatles rhyme,
sentiments I'd want you to cultivate,
"And in the end, the love you take,
is equal to the love you make"

So you say, you love me tonight,
you kiss me, and you hold me tight,
at this moment, when everything seems so wrong,
why does it still feel so right?
why does it still feel so right?

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Smells like Love

Days, months and years seem to have gone by. But I'm still stuck in that one moment. Like some part of me is frozen in time. Refusing to let go, of that moment. Still trying to hold on to the memory, to the sentiments, to the association and companionship, even if it is hanging by a single string. It keeps reminding me that there was a point of time that I loved someone and someone loved me. That there was a level of intimacy that blossomed, which I may probably never share with anyone else. That familiarity is what I savour and commemorate. Familiarity is such a comforting feeling. Ask a traveler how he feels when he sees a familiar face or returns to a familiar place. Like the emotions going through a mother who finds her long lost child. Looking at you again made me feel that way.

I first tried to believe if I was actually seeing you or was it a figment of my imagination, maybe even a mirage. Maybe my mind had been so deeply affected that it had developed the ability to bring you to life. I reached out to touch you, hesitantly moving my fingers towards your cheek, you felt real enough, your skin felt just like it used to, my fingers recognized it's perfume. But maybe it might still be a dream, so I closed my eyes and let my fingers slip down to your shoulders, when I opened them you were still there. Ohhh...God!! you were actually here, I had been right. A few tears escaped and slipped down my cheek. I smiled to myself and then looked towards the heavens. The Good Lord had shown me mercy. I didn't ask you why or how, questions were not important, the only thing that mattered was that you were here, in front of me, you had returned. This was the moment I had been stuck in all this while. I remember that day now, so ironical, the same situation, the same characters, the same feelings, but the outcome completely contrary to the present.

As I said, familiarity is such a soothing, tranquilising feeling. You were the same, the same as I had left you, your eyes shimmering like black pearls in the moonlight, you felt the same to the touch and to the senses. I held you close, there was no need to worry anymore. You were safe, you were with me, you were finally home. I had missed you so much. Nothing else in my life fascinated me as much as you, nothing else completed me like you did. This lifetime was too short for me to love you as much as I wanted to, I guess I will need a few more eternities. It's the kind of love they write about in fairy tales and books of fiction. The way we all want it to be, the way we all dream it to be, the way it should be...raw, unadulterated and magical.

Love is so much in our reign and yet so out of our can choose to love...but who...only your Heart decides much as u can...even in the end if it destroys you...coz it's better to crash and burn than never to fly at all...spread ur Selflessly...give ur Heart & the end if ur left empty know u gave everything...didn't hold anything back...true feelings cannot be manipulated...they will always stand the test of time...the sweet pain that comes from the inability to control ur pulsating feeling more fulfilling in this world...that's the only way to love...that's the only love I recognise...the only form in which I understand love...the only way I know how to love.

My soul was smiling for the first time since my emotional exile, I wanted to laugh out loud, scream out, cry and sing with the chorus of the wind, all at the same time. Life does come full circle sometimes, I don't know if this is destiny or if this is meant to last forever, but there is no other way I want life to be. I want to live life one breath at a time now, I never know, my next might be my last. I collect my thoughts, take your hand in mine, kiss you softly, I am a part of you once more...I smell of you again...I smell of love!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Letting Go

Love stands defined when I say your name,
Life's incomplete without you in the frame,
I love you so much I can't begin to define,
you're my heart, my soul, my only valentine,

We have said our goodbye once and many times more,
But every time we return, I love you more than before,
I can read the thought that lingers in those haunting eyes,
"I wish I came back before I became his bride"

Now all that I have is a dream so to say,
that we'll meet someday in a place far away,
the moon will be full and the stars will shine bright,
and I can dance with you all through the night,

I smile to myself at the possibility,
Alas you and I are not reality,
I guess sometimes we should let things be,
The way they were always meant to be,

Back then,I had no reason to love you so,
Now, I have no reason for letting you go,
Times change and so do we,
Loving you remains the perpetual irony.