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Saturday, December 29, 2012

2013




It’s that time of the year again, when you do an annual round up of all that’s happened, and make lists of all that is to be.

But you know what, I’m not going to, not this year.

Because 2012 was all about what was never meant to be. Enough that an entire life got ignored, goals were forgotten, rewritten, adjusted. And now, finally, finally it’s coming to an end.

It has to.

Because 2013, there is way too much to do, for you to have one moment of resting peace. 2012 was lazy and sneaky, and managed to leave all of life to you.

So, gear up.

P.S. 2012 did do one really good thing as it drew to a close. It kicked me in my face and reminded me just how much of a bitch it had been. And for that, I shall always be thankful.


Monday, December 24, 2012

The Bride




She looked lovingly at her dress, as it hung from the closet door. The satin, smooth and sensual under her fingertips, the net, so fine that she couldn’t help feeling scared she might damage it by a simple touch. But all those months of designing and trying had finally paid off. She knew she’d look just perfect, walking down the aisle, in that beautiful perfect dress.

As a tear slowly escaped from the corner of her eyes, a click resounded through the room, followed by a slow tiresome, cackling sound, as she withdrew the lighter from the corner of the dress, and watched her life go up in flames.



Monday, December 17, 2012

Under the stars


As the bike cruised through the Mumbai roads, slowly but steadily leaving the crawling traffic behind, she smiled at the wind brutally hitting her face. She didn’t know where they were going, and she didn’t care. All that mattered to her at this moment was them. Him and her. Him.

She took in a deep breath, trying to conserve his perfume in every last cell in her body. She didn’t know if she’ll ever get to do that again. And at that moment, she didn’t care. All that mattered was now.

They rode for hours, but the expression on her face at the end told him it had been worth it.

Before them lay an expanse of sand, for miles on each side, the sea thundering in front of them, and not a soul in sight.

Just the stars, the waves, and them.

She was scared, yet excited.

“I never believed Mumbai had a beach like this!” she gasped.
“I’ll show you things you never believed possible.” He whispered.

And at that moment, holding hands under the stars, with the waves as their witness, they both truly believed, they’d be together forever.




Friday, December 14, 2012

Tequila Sunrise




She took a deep breath, hoping to calm her heartbeat down, praying he couldn’t hear it. She smiled. It was all she could do to not show it in her eyes. As she got out of the car, she turned to wave goodbye, and her heart did a somersault.

She saw it in his eyes.



Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Something Good...


I looked out of the window at the scenery, buildings and dirt painted upon the still horizon. Mumbai had grown on me, but it remained alien beyond repair. The dull ache inside me weighed me down, nudging me to not move, come back to the bed, engulf myself in darkness and stay in. Everything beyond seemed pointless, worthless, too painful.

In a last desperate attempt, I reached out to the world.

I need something good to happen today.

I trudged through the day, the everyday drudgery swallowing me and engulfing any sparks of happiness that may have remained. At a time when all I needed was a direction and a reason, all I seemed to find were thoughts more depressing than the last.

I reached home, glad the day was over, dreading the one looming ahead.

And there it was, a beautiful bouquet of flowers, waiting, for me. The scrawl on the card next to it made me smile, and cry, all at once.

I hope this qualifies as something good.

She had barely ever met me. Rarely, had we had a conversation. And yet, over the years, we read each other’s blogs, and wondered how we went through time, literally next door, and never met or talked.

And then, one dark day, she decided, to make something good, happen, for me.



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Vacation Diaries - 3


I was drenched, for the nth time that day. Every time I felt I’d had enough of the rain, it rained some more. It was luck testing my patience, in a way she’s truly a master at. But I wasn’t going to give her the satisfaction. Not this time.

The lightening made me look around the dingy hole I was sitting in. A scrap yard almost, built in the corner of the lanes housing some of the most happening places in Singapore. Yet here we were, sitting on discarded chairs, looking out at the boats dancing in the shimmering lights of the boat quay.

He let out a breath of smoke, the calm clearly spreading across his face. His face. He had changed, a lot. But then, so had I.

He breathed deeply again. I smiled, remembering how much I detested smokers. And how cruelly my life seemed to revolve around them.

For once, it was a relief, to not care.

It had been a long day. My feet hurt. My vacation was nearing an end, and the next day, I was heading back to everything I had run away from. And all I had was this, this moment, of looking out at the lit up sky, listening to the drunken laughter in the air, the sounds of music from the clubs throbbing at the back of my head, the rain thrashing against the make-shift roof we sheltered under.

We talked of our lives in the last thirteen years. We laughed at memories of games played back in sixth grade, looked surprised at how much people had changed over the years, and yet smiled, knowing, that so had we.

There’s a comfort in talking to strangers that can never be found in those close to ourselves, those who care. There is a sense of freedom in finally relaxing and being who you’re most comfortable being, because you know you really couldn’t care less. Because right now, at this moment, with this person you've met after years and will never meet again, it just doesn't matter. There is relief, in having no expectations, of making no explanations, in just, being.

We talked, some more, of lives which had never crossed paths and never will. He smiled, and took a deep drag. I smiled, remembering how much I detested smokers.

And it rained, through the night.




Monday, December 3, 2012

The Vacation Diaries - Part 2


I was on a vacation. A rather badly needed one. Mostly alone, with a friend along for certain parts of it. Here it is. My vacation diaries.


The day I arrived in Singapore, there was enthu galore. From me and my friend. For the sake of anonymity let’s call her A.
Evening of the day I arrived...

A: We can do something today (even though I’m dead tired after my day at office)
S: We should TOTALLY do something today (even though I’ve just had 2 hours of sleep, and have sat in a crowded crappy flight, and am proceeding to now infest your room with the bed bugs I carried from it)
A: What? What?? You want to go drinking?
S: I feel high on lack of sleep already.
A: Shopping?
S: It’s my first day! I won’t have money left for the rest of the trip!
A: Ooh, Night Safari??
S: Ooh, Night Safari!!
And so we booked the atrociously expensive tickets online, and headed to Orchard to catch the bus and commence our looong journey to the Night Safari.
The shows got cancelled due to the pouring rain that refused to stop.

***

Our first day at Langkawi. We arrived at the hotel, changed into shorts and sexy clothes like enthu cutlets and ran off to the beach. You know, that pretty crystal clear beach, the zillions of bikini clad foreigners, who we soon planned to join, the pubs right on the sand…

S: Where are all the bikini clad foreigners?
A: Where is…anyone?
S: The pubs?
A: Eeee…I just stepped on something gross.
Random man on the beach <whistles>: Woohooo, ladies, want to join?

I wish I could describe the expression on our faces at that time. We rushed off to the one and only occupied restaurant on the beach (where the racist side of both of us found some skimpily clad foreigners), and felt a little safer.

Calling it a windy day would be like saying Mumbai gets a little wet during monsoons. We were thankful we didn’t wear skirts, or we would’ve been doing a Marilyn Monroe for all the world to see without an ounce of her grace. It was all we could do to keep our drinks from toppling over.

We slowly forgot about the not-very clean beach and the weird catcalls, enjoying the strong winds, the sound of the waves, and the weird siren-like music in the background from some club nearby. Just as I was about to dig into my chips…

A: Is it just me, or is that a siren?
S: Hain? I thought it’s part of the music.
By then, it seemed to have grown louder and louder….along with an announcement in Malay… We ignored it. And ignored it some more. Until…
S: Dude, did they just say Tsunami?
A: <Pretends to not hear me>
I turned to the waiter.
S: Err, was that a tsunami warning?
Waiter: <grins>
A: It wasn’t serious, right?
Waiter: <grins>
S: Was that a drill, or an actual tsunami warning?
Waiter: No, no, don’t worry.
A: Oh! So there isn’t a tsunami coming?
Waiter: No, don’t worry. It’s just a warning. When tsunami comes, you see, big wave. You run.”

And grinning, he left to run after the flying menus, leaving a flabbergasted A and me sitting at the beach, nervously checking out the horizon.

***

A and I couldn’t stop grinning. We’d just been on an unexpectedly pretty cable car ride. We could still feel the remnants of the clouds on our cheeks. Langkawi was finally living up to its promise. We talked to localites, checked out maps, found out about a nice little hidden waterfall nearby.

S: So do we cab it? Or save money and walk it?
A: Cab it. No, wait. Walk it. No, wait.
S: It is pretty, and I love walking, and the hills and the mountains…
A: Do you think it’s safe?
S: Well, it isn’t India.
A: And we never do anything daring.
S: Walk it?
A: Walk it.
And so us two girls, travelling alone, decided to walk into the wild, feeling herculean and Xena-ish all at the same time. We walked for two minutes, grinning ear to ear, looking at the empty roads and the mountains and the dense jungles… Until.
A: Oh god.
S: Monkeys.
And that’s when we turned around, ran to the taxi stand and got in.
S: So much for adventure…
A: Shut up.

***

It was the last day of my trip. Also, weirdly one of the best. Universal Studios had us running around like school kids, squealing like girls, and shouting ourselves hoarse on crazy rides. We jumped around, we danced, we stalked Shrek, and posed with the Brendan Frasier lookalike. And we just couldn’t stop smiling. Until now.

Before us stood a monstrosity, of epic proportions, making us weak in the knees, just standing there, watching.

A: It’s too much.
S: Don’t look at it, or we’ll get scared.
A: Look at it! We can’t do that!
S: No, we have to! You can’t come all the way till here and not do this. We’ll never forgive ourselves.
A: Nope. I’m good at forgiving myself.
Just then the screaming reached our ears.
A: NO. WAY. Can you see the number of 360 degree turns that thing just did?!
S: WE HAVE TO! It’s on my wish-list!
A: It’s your damn wish-list! I want to still be alive to make my wish-list after this!
S: Okay. Here’s the thing. We are bloody phattu. We got scared of monkeys in Langkawi!  MONKEYS! We HAVE to conquer this!
A: I hate you.
S: It’s okay, I still love you.

We went in. There was no waiting time. Thankfully. I don’t know if we would have lasted the wait. Strapped in, I knew both of us were positively shaking. A turned to me.

A: Thanks for forcing me to do this.

I nodded. It looked like the nice serious thing to do at the time. More so because I wasn’t sure it was words that would have come out at that moment if I opened my mouth.

It was by far, one of the most amazing experiences of my life. When your world willingly turns upside down. And you can do nothing about it. So you strap yourself in, and enjoy it.

And scream like madmen.

And we did.



P.S. I did finally go to the night safari, and overcome any and every bad luck event I came across. Just saying.

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