Oh dear lady, engrossed in your pain,
Don’t look at the brighter day,
There’s nothing to gain.
Steal me away when ghosts invade the time,
Darkness can love you back,
Let me be your rhyme!!

I bickered with tranquility as people retreated to their naked veils like a sudden release, a free fall of a winged bird, a deliberate disposition of an era counted by the innumerable dots in communication. It’s a prolonged departure of vowels and sporadic resonance of consonants altering my rhyme, created and dissolved in the velvet purrs of the insomniac cat. The estranged leaves strew the fragrance of the coquettish jasmine leading my wakeful eyes to that particular one subdued by the sloppy thirst of our circadian encounters. She was there spreading her loneliness in the vegetable colors of the appliqué neatly preened to be worn the next day. She was there smelling her loneliness in the soliloquy of the deep wink of her eyes, her eye-lashes soaked in water, she hides from everyone, oblivious of my presence in our lives. She was there existing in the unnecessary burden of existence, a road treaded by people to cross the abysmal turbulence and reach the precious, the majestic...the light, the morning, the divinity and peace smeared by the synonyms of fulfillment of desires, wishes and dreams.
I drew the colors close to the paint-brush bearing the remnants of my creativity...bright like their smiles when they see the embellishments ...turquoise, lime, lemon chiffon, candy, arctic, admiral and the countless other shades of colors, of green, red, blue. Amidst the queerness and a despicable question of a bizarre future of my becoming an artist, equations turned out to be simple, at least for them.
‘I need to talk.’
‘Now? But I have to go to class.’
‘Can’t you hold on for a minute?’
‘Yeah. Okay. So?’
‘There’s a huge problem and I think he is cheating on me.’
It often makes me wonder how their world is so simple. Even mixing of colors takes longer than their anticipations and judgments. It’s a priority I have grown sharing with them, understanding the needs, the mood-swings and the randomness of their emergencies.
I leave the colors to dry, a new design to the saree.
‘It’s so pretty, can I have it?’
‘Oh sure.’
‘Then could you make me my favorite design?’
‘Sure. When do you need it?’
‘In two days. I have to attend my friend’s brother’s wedding.’
There’s a knock at my door and I open it even before affirming.
‘You do know you have to come back home early tomorrow.’
‘Do you remember the reason?’
‘Yes of course.’
‘Just yes and yes of course? Is this how we taught you to talk to us? Don’t you have respect for your own parents?’

My clock doesn’t tick. Not for me. It’s intimidating when my hours pass through the menopause, fiddling between the child imprisoned in the birthmark around my neck and a mother burning every moment in my abdominal cramps.

I take a stress from the chair, aligned carefully against the wall and then finally release it with my pen dropping. My fingers liberated from their passion, crumple at whim’s ease, my hair mussed in the reflection of those disordered stashes. Reviews grin at me from the placid laptop screen, colder than death sentences. I hear noises, stories who come to me like them and they like stories often confusing me with the phonetics of my aging memory.
And there she sat, staring bluntly at her laptop screen, releasing her fingers with a face full of stories. WORK... she opens her folder. Her sullen lips procure the moisture of the zephyr of spring, carrying nuances of protests around...protest for a brassiere , protest for the freedom of speech, protest for conducting the protest ...all dumped in our memories like pseudo-revolution.
There is a need to merge the movements together...

Her hands typed faster before sleep could rob her off her strength. The reading light understands its obsolete switch. I watch her eyes close before I close mine under the blanket of the sun.

It’s another day, a bright and sunny one, a happy one with the life waking up in all its dynamism to one more day. The wheels start and the brain starts receiving impulses forcing reaction. So I fit my roles in their categories. The notebook comes in handy at times with appointments fixed. Phone calls to be made and received.

The colour on the appliqué looks brighter to everyone, an eye-candy for those lustful bodies, desperate to cover their insecurities. It’s a part of my daily habit...like breathing where one is forced to exhale carbon dioxide. Victorious oxygen enters our body like the inspector you see examining dead corpses, post-mortem reports and drag the court-cases till there’s satisfaction among all. The body stays alive in the anaesthetic pain understanding the scars, the incisions, the occasional flow of blood, the emergency of clotting; yet the hands are not meant to protest but are there to absorb and return back the desired output.
‘You can’t leave now. You have to cook that special meal. Guests are coming over.’
‘What’s the need to waste your time and go for a movie? Why can’t you do the field work? Just because you are a volunteer, that doesn’t mean you can skip your work.’
‘I’m in grave trouble. I have my exam in a day. Could you please teach me Kristeva’s theory of feminism? I bunked class because my better-half was upset and needed me.’
She sat there all alone in her room as I woke up. Like a transition from the dazzling day to the cold, broken me, she transformed into a woman they never knew and in my ever-growing love for her, I felt privileged to see her in an outlandish tearful grandeur. She rested her head upon the pillow, her collar bones shivering like the bleeding wings of a wounded bird; her bones broke in a thousand earthquakes emanating from her delicate sullen naval...her legs crumpled around the bed-sheet who has grown old witnessing the thundering restlessness of a lonely moaning. Then it all stops like my sudden darkness when the moon gets tired of stealing the light and we call it a truce. She does too, all of a sudden when tears revolt against her dehydrated body, the relentless thumping in her head closes her eyes and a loud breath comes out of her mouth lacking her voice, her words, her desires.

Oh dear night, when will you know,
I love the darkness of your desolate snow,
Oh dear night, when will you see?
I’m there for you, listen to me!!

The relief sets in. The liberation comes to me smoothly, smoother than the false words of admiration they used to move my emotions. The sun sets in letting go of the smog, the sun sets to sleep as the night comes, guarding all of us. Guarding our peaceful slumber the night gracefully dwells in a misunderstood darkness.
‘You have failed us parents. How can a daughter remain unmarried even at the age of 30?’
‘I’m sorry. I can’t be with you anymore. I think we are better off as just friends.’
‘You know marriage is a patriarchal institution. How can you even call yourself a feminist when you want to get married?’
‘You have to give me time if I really mean to you. I burnt my hand while cooking today. I need you to talk to me. Skip a class.’
Night, my beloved is the night when they fall asleep releasing me from the shackles of performing my duties, as if my birth was marked with these shackles. Had I been a poet myself, I would have written a different version of night where people float through the absorbed darkness finally meeting their light, their cherished haven forgetting how selflessly the night has guarded them. I wait for slumber and in the transcendence of this wait, I fall in love with the night, my night.

Oh dear beloved, listen to me,
Give voice to the words you wanted to be,
Oh dear beloved, I hear your silence cry,
There’s a world for us, don’t let it die.
Oh dear beloved, trespassed and violated we are,
Beautiful and intelligent in the shine of our scar,
Betrayed in the eons of love and war,
Soothed by memories, let’s drive away the fear.
Oh dear beloved, listeners we can be,
Of each other,  of you and me.



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