Tag Archives: Death

Parenthesis

19 Aug

How do thoughts travel? From a lifetime of memories that make me feel like I am being forced into a matchbox to trivialities to making me soar across the endless vista of clear skies towards a thousand wishes and dreams…

2011. The world dissolved around me and I thought I could get it whole again by sheer force of will. I went through the motions. What is the appropriate behaviour when you are offered condolences? I still don’t know. I looked at the sea of people and wondered what is that they see on my face. People I haven’t seen or known of. I envied our cat crawling under the bed. I recall not being able to cry. I wanted to do something to replace the strange vacuum I was cocooned in. Bits and pieces come to me about the week that passed. I walk around in a daze. I find shirts and other knickknacks. They still smell of him. Of comfort, filter coffee and incense.

***

2012. Not seeing him around is confusing. I keep thinking he is bathing or lying down. I am able to look at things he loved and while my throat clogs up, I think I am getting better at not being a wreck. There is a strange sense of deja-vu as I see people I saw last year. Some laughter tinged with tears, lots of memories and plenty of photo albums. I find myself talking to him and writing letters. I am clearing things up and I find an unopened bottle of his shaving cream. I look at his stamps, his books. Those accounts he kept of what and how much was spent where. There are random scribbles of his. As I look at the familiar scrawl the knot loosens a little.

***

2013. I am in a new place. New faces. A few idiots. I remember being angry with him for leaving. I am writing a letter to a friend. We go for a drive in the evening and there is a tense cold silence, shifting and moving. Suddenly we are near a small school and I talk while the dashboard is being subject to a stony glare and swear words. Suddenly my eyes are being shielded from the fierce glare of headlights with a palm. The heat coming off is gentle, like the fire warming your house. I smell his soap, the chocolate we shared and air freshener. Throughout the walk back home and after reaching I feel my heart galloping and I wonder if they can see in my eyes.. How my world faded away …

***

2014. This year has been awful so far. I think about how events would have played out if he were still alive. I wonder if the vacant expression on her face will vanish if he comes back, just for a moment… Or has she forgotten him too? I think about that moment when a fairy tale came to life and I wonder if I dreamed it up. I wait for the cold to dissipate and for the blood to start flowing again. I remember feeling guilty that I was feeling this .. this giddy… happy on the same date I lost someone. I am seeing with fresh eyes and yet I am longing for familiarity. I wish I didn’t have to write letters or talk alone as I try to bridge a distance that is insurmountable. I remember hearing that he was glad that the date wasn’t one of only loss anymore…

***

2015. I am wondering about DNA. Life. The entire day goes by and I remember rather late what the date is. Existential crises continue to swirl in my head when I look at the mirror and see that people who have gone, aren’t as gone as we think. That maybe their legacy will live on vicariously in you, even if they aren’t around anymore. That sharing their memories is how keep them alive. And I realize that even though it has been four years since I spoke to him I remember the finer details. Like him leaving paste over my brush after he brushed. The bottles of cold water. Groundnut candy. An anthology. I ask him why he left, swiping at stray, traitorous tears absent-mindedly. Amidst all this there are snatches of normalcy. Me being a fool in love.

***

2016. Now, it’s been five years. I thought I would never be able to get over the grief. And yet, here I am. I miss you terribly and I know it’s something that I will always carry around. As I am typing this, my eyes go to the clock as it ticks closer to the end of three years… I am opening random apps on my phone and grimacing at my impatience. Loss is a funny thing, isn’t it? You think you will never be able to get over something or someone who was so deeply entwined into your life. And yet, it morphs and it gets easier to breathe with time. Like a battle scar. Love is confusing. With each passing day, you are less sure of how to define it. Comes along when you least expect it, shakes everything up and leaves behind a flavour you will never be completely free of. Then again, do you want to be?

***

© My Rickety Typewriter, 2016; Vintage Ink.
No part of the text – partial or complete – may be copied/ reproduced or transmitted without prior permission from the author. The content is the intellectual property of the author. The above applies no matter what way the access to the blog was granted.

Black

23 Mar

Ominous.

A small whisper of something.. Something that makes you look around and feel a little edgy and restless..  You look around, feeling a little uneasy and slowly, you begin to increase your pace. Then you put on a burst of speed and just run.. Your limbs understand the urgency and comply with your demands.  As the adrenaline kicks in, your awareness becomes more pronounced. You feel the burn in your calf muscles as they protest against the unexpected exertion.. The perspiration leaves a trail on your back even as it drips from your forehead on to the bridge of your nose.

Deceptive

Your body reels under the onslaught of sensations while your mind dredges up a multitude of images, as to what could happen, each more horrifying than the last, making your heart beat so hard, it hurt to breathe. You slow down and take deep breaths as your lungs scream exhaustion. Everything seems to slow down and it gradually comes to a halt… You convince yourself that it was just your imagination and you slowly let out a sigh of relief.. As you look over your shoulder, it looms up in front of you and grabs you around the neck. The fingers are hard, unrelenting..  You gasp, trying to breathe and claw at the hand clutching your throat, but it doesn’t seem to make any difference. 

Crippling.

You try to kick. Scream. Anything.. Just about anything, to get it off you. As your eyes adjust, you notice their dark hooded cloaks blending into the night.  It feels cold. So very cold. The dampness seeps through.. From the hands holding you prisoner, through your throat.. As it moves, in pace with your blood, all sensation is brought to a stand-still. As you swallow, you feel the chill spread down to your heart freezing all thought, every bit of emotion and then pulverizing them.

Harrowing. 

You want to run away. Take me away, you plead. Or at the very least, pray you don’t see another day. You wonder if your store of tears would ever dry up… The slightest nudge pushes you over the edge… You let it lull you into an exhausted sleep with a false sense of security that tomorrow will be better than today. But, the darkness seems to follow you around through the day. They don’t need walls to hold you hostage, not when they’re inside your head.

Malignant.

All your dreams, the ones you wrapped in soft cloth and preserved were let out like birds from a cage. And fly they did.. Just not how you thought they would. You want to wake up without feeling like you are being chased… without feeling like you have nothing to look forward to.. without feeling like it is a never-ending night… You want to fall asleep feeling safe and you wonder if it is too much to ask?

Corrosive.

You get through each day, counting the minutes until you could see them, again. You breathe the fear in, trying to be brave. You don’t let any of your tears fall after that first day. It was only when you met them and they opened their arms that your tears started falling..

Would you understand why it feels as though the colours have leached out, leaving behind a monochrome?

Fear.

© My Rickety Typewriter, 2014; Vintage Ink.
No part of the text – partial or complete – may be copied/ reproduced or transmitted without prior permission from the author. The content is the intellectual property of the author. The above applies no matter what way the access to the blog was granted.

Perspectives

4 Mar

His rage.

Her fear.

He grit his teeth, blood pounding at the temples, roaring in his ears. His nails dug into the rough skin of his palms. He felt this uncontrollable urge to destroy, to rip, to break something.. He opened his eyes and saw her looking at him. She looked puzzled at his reaction and it was reflected in her eyes. He saw her hand stretch out and nearly touch his arm, before he slapped it aside. She flinched. It wasn’t what she had done. It was how she was reacting after. As though she was innocent. That brought on a fresh wave of anger and he slapped her across the face, hard.

This man, with eyes like hard ice, mouth pinched, clenched fists and a barely reigned in temper was a stranger. She felt a frisson of fear travel down her spine as she looked at him. He seemed cold and.. There was an elusive restraint in his stance. His corded muscles were all chained back . She didn’t know what to do or what he would do to her. She clenched her palms close, she felt her hands turn cold and clammy as the feeling took over, her nails digging into her palm, leaving red, crescent-shaped marks. She hoped she would be able to get through it, unscathed, this time. As she released the breath she had been holding, he slapped her. 

He was starting to feel the rage build up and he started hitting her, repeatedly. He wasn’t able to get past what had happened. The red haze he was seeing the world through didn’t seem to be diminishing.. If anything, it seemed to get stronger. It got to a point where he didn’t realize why he was reaching out to hit her.. It became a habit. A body in motion, keeps moving..

She wasn’t scared of the pain. The part of her that came in contact with his hand, felt raw. She had never been exceptionally fair-skinned, but now as she looked on, she could see her skin turn pink and then an angry red with the force of each strike. It burnt for a while and then it gradually receded. It was the feeling of complete helplessness that scared her. 

He had done so much for her. How could she do this? Did she not understand the concept of honesty? Of trust?

These hands had once held her hand and helped her. Been with her. But now, all they did was beat her. Physically, the bruises would fade, if they ever appeared. Emotionally, it was a different story altogether. Every time his hand made contact, it slowly ate up her insides. Of not being able to do anything to stop him. She hated how her heart lurched every time he lifted his hand and yet she couldn’t do anything to stop him. She hated the feeling where every thing she did was wrong. She hated spending every waking moment in fear, anticipating when he would hit her next.

He told her then, what he thought of her. How low she had fallen. And how he didn’t think she could become better. That she was doomed to a life of hardship and infidelity.

She let it all slide. Everything, he said, she let it go. She had never found it important to air her opinions. She let people say what they wanted, she didn’t interfere with their opinions or individuality. It became apparent to her, that he assumed her opinion was the same as his, because she didn’t argue or wage a war for beliefs. She had always been introverted and rather private about her wants, needs, desires.. Was being different, wrong? The sun and moon, different and yet cherished for different reasons. You won’t be able to see colors without the sun neither would you know warmth, but without the moon, wouldn’t you burn?  

She disgusted him. She was a pathetic excuse for a person and she didn’t deserve any respect. Gradually, it came to a point where, he would start hitting her with anything that was around. She became the reason for every thing wrong happening in his life.

She didn’t want much anymore. Just a life without him or at least, far from him. Away from this crippling fear of not knowing what might happen. Away from this feeling of utter helplessness. Just to be herself. To be able to breathe, laugh, read, walk normally. To not look over her shoulder every moment to see if sh did anything wrong. Was that too much to ask?

It was an awful day to begin with. He got there in a hurry. He started hitting her, without any preamble, with blind rage.

The blows seemed harder today or had she become weaker? 

He pushed her on to the glass.

It hurt. Her insides hurt. She felt her legs give away and she slid down the wall. She didn’t want it to hurt anymore. Please make it stop, she prayed.

She always stayed passive. She never fought back or tried to stop him. And that always egged him on. Her silence. Her ability to take it all in.. It got to him, like nothing else did.

She just wanted to be. Maybe it would be okay if it stopped. Maybe it would become better then.

He left the room then after giving her a look of disgust.

She had gotten so used to him striking her, she had forgotten what it used to be like.. before..

He came back a while later. The room was dark. He had forgotten to switch on the lights. As he felt around in the dark for the switch, a small pang of unease hit him. He brushed it away, as stupidity. She deserved everything that happened.

This felt surreal. The pain wasn’t there anymore. It felt as if she was floating somewhere. Had they gone on a holiday?

As the lights came on, he noticed that his steps had been a bit squelchy. He looked down and he then turned a full circle, in the same posture.

More than him hitting her, it was the fact that nobody tried to stop him that nearly always got to her. That maybe, nobody stopped him, because it was just her.. Or was it because she was really wrong? Or was it because they were scared too?

She was sitting against the wall. If not for her blood, he would have thought she was asleep. Her eyes were closed. He walked up to her and reached out. His hands shook, ever so slightly as they reached for her. He watched the whole thing happening as if it were from outside himself. Is this what they call an out of the body experience? She couldn’t have just bled out. She was stronger than that.. Wasn’t she?

She felt a small something at her shoulder. She tried opening her eyes, but they just wouldn’t. She was exhausted. She knew it was him. He had probably come back in anger. She opened her mouth, to ask him to give her some time to be able to stand.

She was getting colder. He felt a frisson of fear, for the first time. He started calling her, when it struck him that her name sounded almost alien on his tongue, after not having taken it in .. a long time.

“I am sorry, I wasn’t good enough.”

Her whispered apology was the last thing he heard her say. It was then he remembered that it had been so long since she had spoken or laughed or been happy. He had forgotten what she looked like.. As he saw, really saw her, he felt disgust at himself. She looked almost waif-like. She had a lost of weight in the past few months and she looked tired. She had purplish bruises under her eyes and her face looked  He wondered how he had never noticed it. Every last bit of anger, hate, revulsion seeped out of him and filled up the entire room, mingling with the blood until it turned into something dark.. Almost tangible. The walls were closing in. He couldn’t breathe. It felt as though somebody had tied a noose around his neck and it had been tightening gradually.. Until he realized the hands that tied the noose were the same hands that couldn’t stop hitting. His guilt became a living, breathing thing; dark, ominous and as ravenous as a newly born child. Little did he know, it would perpetually be hungry. It slowly started eating him up from the inside, never stopping. Because like someone once said, a body in motion, keeps moving..

And right there, with her whispered apology, she destroyed him.

***

A/N- 

This was written after I read about a really bad case of domestic violence and I just couldn’t sit still. To anybody who has ever been at the receiving end of any form of domestic violence, you have to get help and tell somebody. You don’t deserve any of it and no matter what anyone (including the voice inside your head) says, it is NEVER your fault! And for those of you who silently see it and do nothing or pretend like nothing is wrong,would you be doing nothing, if it was someone from your family who was being beaten? Or would you want a silent spectator much like yourself, when you were being beaten? Friendship is more powerful, more comforting and more courageous than people think. I think it is one of the few things that reinforces belief, faith and hope.

***

© My Rickety Typewriter, 2014; Vintage Ink.
No part of the text – partial or complete – may be copied/ reproduced or transmitted without prior permission from the author. The content is the intellectual property of the author. The above applies no matter what way the access to the blog was granted.

Der Schrei

19 Feb

I see soldiers camouflaged, moving into a forest, ready to destroy. I stop to look around. There seems to an undeniable crackling of energy in the air.  The setting seems rather familiar. The forest looks lush and green with the trees standing close to one another, they might just be one single entity. Their canopy is so dense, that only a few slivers of sunlight, pass through. I walk further inside. There don’t seem to be any paths that have been forged due to constant walking. It seems unexplored.

The forest looks intimidating, yet there is a rather unbridled freedom to be yourself. Far from civilization, yet closer to being humane. Not a sound was to be  heard, save for the wind whistling through the trees. As I watched, a small flower slowly falls down. As it falls, it slowly turns, the petals fluttering.. I can see the pollen getting scattered. How deceptive are looks, I wonder. Light yellow and so small and seemingly empty, yet having the potential to create everything.

I keep walking and a while later, I stop in surprise. I see a small bridge going from one side of a small stream to the other. It is made of creepers and there are several small flowers peeking from within the corded thickness. There are several large trees with hanging roots and they have woven through these creepers quietly providing their strength and structure. I walk towards it wondering if I will be able to walk over it.

I gingerly place a foot in front and another and another and before I know it, I am on the other side. This side of the stream seems to provide a new meaning to silence. I can hear the breath I take, the crunch of old leaves as I step over them, an occasional cricket and my heart. It looks like I have reached the heart of the forest. The trees here seem.. different. There is more diversity and they seem to have.. character? The inside seems rather melancholic, as compared to the periphery. 

As I wander further, I come across an enormous tree.. It looks magnificent and at least a few hundred years old. It reminded me of the phrase “old-soul”. I touch the trunk and I flinch at the texture. It is.. soft, warm. The tree itself seems to be thrumming with life. I walk around it, running my hand over the surface. As I bend, to touch my face to it, I look at the ground and a small gasp escapes me. 

The roots that have been growing above ground have been poisoned. Somebody has also drilled through the base of the tree and poured something within. I remember the soldiers I saw. Whose fault would it be if the tree died? Theirs because they started it or mine because I couldn’t stop it? 

I hear a battle cry and I turn around to see something aimed at me.  I realize this is war. And yet, I’m powerless to stop it. The soldiers march on. The infantry destroys. I feel blood flowing down. I look at my hand to see deep gashes. A knife materializes in my hand. I drop it and run. A way out. I scream, I yell, I cry out. But it doesn’t seem to matter. The soldiers sense my turmoil and see an easy target. As they move toward me, I run faster. A cliff looms ahead and suddenly, I’m at peace. I know I’ll fall. I feel something warm and sticky over my right shoulder. My left hand goes up and there is something sharp sticking out. I pull and a small dart comes away, dripping with blood and something.. black. 

I realize that I don’t want to go, over a period of days, wasting away, with each moment drawn out. Rage is the only thing I feel.. It moves fast and burns out every coherent thought. I want to scream out loud until my  insides splinter. The rage is slowly joined by pain. It feels like I have been set on fire. I scream in agony.

I want this to stop. I place my hands over my ears and scream. It comes out, drawn out and guttural.. I fall down on my knees  as I plead for the pain to stop, knowing it won’t.. I crawl to the edge of the cliff and look below. It seems a long way down. I can barely see the ground. I take a deep breath and simply roll off.

 

***

© My Rickety Typewriter, 2014; Vintage Ink.
No part of the text – partial or complete – may be copied/ reproduced or transmitted without prior permission from the author. The content is the intellectual property of the author. The above applies no matter what way the access to the blog was granted.

Void

1 Jun

download

That void, it never goes away.
The ghost of their presence, always around.
When you are happy or sad and turn to find them it’s only then you realize they are gone.
You go around like you are okay, but you wonder what would they say or do if they could see you now.

Would they smile and run their hand over your head?
Would they laugh and tell that they are right here?
Or would they allow you to hug them and cry.

You can’t even cry now, can you? Because it’s been so long, people have expected you to have moved on.
But you don’t know how.
You don’t know if you should cry because somewhere inside, you are glad they are free from pain and are away from this darkness.

If only you would come back, but for a moment ..
If only you would come back, I would tell how much I love you and always will.
If only you would come back, I would show you how grateful I am for having been in your life.
If only you would come back, I would tell the world how much you mean to me.
If only you would come back, I would hug you and never let go.
If only you would come back, I would fight the world for you, for without you, where is my world?

If only..

For all the times you have made me smile.
For all the times you have wiped my tears.
For all the times you have pulled the blanket over me.
For all the times I have eaten off your plate.
For all the times I have hugged you.
For all the times you have told me it will be alright.
For all the fights we have had.
For all the times you took care of me.
For all the times you told me you will always be there.

Sometimes people tell me this kind of intensity will only burn me down.
Be more mellow, they tell me.
But they didn’t know you, did they?
Why aren’t you crying they asked me the very day you left.
What could I tell?

That I could still sense you?
That I was always ensconced in your warmth, safely?
That I couldn’t believe you were gone?
I will make you proud, I promise.

P.S. This is because of you, Kruthika Maheswar.

Reading that poem of yours made me cry my eyes out.

P.P.S- I don’t know why I posted this. Be gentle, please.

© My Rickety Typewriter, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Vintage Ink and My Rickety Typewriter with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. The content is the intellectual property of the author. The above applies no matter what way the access to the blog was granted.

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