Grief 

2016 was not an easy year. I had to let go of someone really special. He meant the world to me. I don’t care if I have to use cliches to describe our bond. It is just amazing how one person can make you feel so special and so wanted. Our break-up was such that till now this sense of loss had not seeped in. But now it has started to find its way through my insides. In three years, I had charted out our lives for the next thirty years. And now there is a very real and strong possibility that none of this will ever come to life. All of these thoughts will just find some place in my art. 

This year, maybe love for my own self can fill in this void. No secret rendezvous or some fling can match up to the power of those three years. For the first time, I am writing without any concern for the way my craft is flowing. 

Everyday in the morning I resolve that today I will be strong. I won’t see his profile or our chat. But by the day end, all that resolve finds itself in a drain. I gave the last of me to him. How can I really put myself together? My art just reduces the intensity of that pain, but it never really takes it all away from me. 

I try to find him everywhere and I am just restless all the damn time. I just want to be so strong that I am not crippled by this pain, and I can take a big stride ahead, hoping that he will be at the destination. 

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Free Writing- The First Time

You are probably dressed in your best today. The kurti and the leggings are looking fine. The silver jhumkis are a prized catch from the trains. The kajal has not smudged yet. The effect of the gloss is there and the kolhapuris are the finishing touch to this ethnic appearance. All is hunky and dory till He passes by.

You are probably standing at the coffee machine. Maybe, you are cursing the watery brew that you have just collected in your mug till he utters the magical words, ‘Excuse me’ in that deep ‘oh-you-probably-want-me’ voice. As soon as he utters these words, the mug in your hand may be fine but within you, it will feel as if a gazillion mugs broke at the same time.

All the calm and collect on the face might just distribute itself into countless streams of anxieties and worries. Your nightingale-like voice might just turn into a squeak that is barely able to say, ‘Ya. Sure.’

This one encounter lays the foundation for those endless fantasies. For instance, you will want to crash into him while you are handling a huge bunch of unorganised papers. You will think he will take you into his arms and look deeply into your eyes. If you are a writer, you might feel as if he is gauging the depths of your souls. A well synchronised orchestra will play and he might keep stealing glances through the day. Such scenarios in your mind might just be ‘I am sorry’ in the real life.

While listening to your favourite running-around-the-trees track, you and him will become the protagonists. You will be amazed at his dancing skills ( In real, he might be the king of two-left feet people). But, at that point, nothing really matters.

You get a fairy tale amidst a crappy day. For all you know, you will wake up early to actually go to work ( for most of us, it is the opposite). Just one glance at him and you will be in la-la-land. The day he has a proper conversation with you, which could be him explaining how to get to a location, you will probably just throw a party. The man of your dreams went beyond the ‘hi-bye’ conversation.

Let me not even talk about the day when he is wearing a white shirt and blue jeans. That day ‘calm’ will meet with a catastrophe when it crashes into your raging hormones.

If you are lucky, while walking towards the station, he might be walking ahead. You will just be gawking and admiring that tall and lean frame and wondering that how can one man look so gorgeous.

While all this candy-floss is churning in your head, for all you know he might be a prick to someone or maybe not. In any case, enjoy it till it lasts. Good things come to an end and then begins the relationship. 😉

Fragments of You

I thought I was done with you;

I was over with the idea of our ‘toxicity’;

But, I found you;

Fragments of you;

Lurking in the corners of my mails;

Holding on to your tight spot in my favourite song;

The shadow of your fragments at my favourite haunt;

In the light of the new day’s sun;

In the grainy sand particles never visited;

In old and forgotten words;

In stories that never saw the light of the day;

In pictures never taken;

In sunsets never enjoyed;

In sunrises never experienced;

On hills never climbed;

During leaps of faith taken alone;

Maybe you were never there;

Maybe you were;

Maybe it was your idea;

Maybe it was me;

Finding something in nothing.

Stories from the ad world

Because of my time in advertising, I have met several individuals. I am the sorts, who will reach home late, have ma’s delicious food and sleep by her side when some thought of a nightmare scares me to no extent. Most of the women I have met, they have moved cities to pursue a career in this exciting profession. Personally, I cannot even think of going away from home, but these women have inspiring stories. They ignite the thought of how life would have been if I was away from my comfort zone.

In my previous organisation, I was working with two copywriters who were from Lucknow and Allahabad respectively. Now in this profession, you can practically forget the thought of leaving work during the day or early or basically, when there is light. Days will keep passing, but the work and the client’s demands never end. In times like these, advertising professionals end up leaving their offices post midnight and this even includes women.

These days, safety has been a raging topic of discussion in our society. In this scenario, leaving office at such late hours to go home, which is not even nearby is quite commendable. But, these women did it fearlessly. They did not have a single frown. It is quite inspiring to work with such women who have moved cities to pursue their dreams, away from family and carried on with lives here fearlessly. Trust ambition to give a person the strength to get through the most difficult of the situations for a new life.

Now, at times, I might come off as coy. But, these women, they are bold. Not in the conventional sense. But, they are not afraid to voice their opinion without batting their eyelids. When you stay in Mumbai, you become like the city. Constantly on the move; Not ready to give up; Still very kind. This city is like a larger home where we all stay and tend to imbibe all of its qualities.

And the best part about both these women is that their parents have been equally supportive about them moving cities. Sometimes, you don’t need this drama of parents not letting you leave home, but staying in a new city comes with its own share of challenges and teachings that can mould you into an independent and a much stronger individual.

Through their own efforts, these two women have proved that nothing is impossible. Women can do just about anything and no one can stop them from attaining what they want to. They can stay alone safely and work in the ad world without any fear. All of this for a new life that they can live on their own terms.  They truly keep it phenomenal.

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After all, you need their services to find a home that can make you feel safe and comfortable.

Happily never after

You stood on our threshold,

Without so much of a word,

You crept in with such ease,

Through age old stories,

Through age old customs,

Along with your age old buddy,

Along with your age old lover,

You formed a triumvirate,

To give us triple the misery.

Your claws spread everywhere,

They poisoned our happiness,

You showed us our place,

Forgetting that you were the intruder

In our lives.

Not content at clipping our wings,

And deriving a sadistic pleasure,

In your excessive time with us,

Your lover went a step ahead,

And chose to take the little that belonged to us.

You called it a new identity,

We called it a forced one.

Of sacred altars and garlands, it was not a new life.

It was the end of an old and delightful one,

Just as per the wishes of everyone,

Except us.

Fortitude

Her screams could not stop haunting him,

Being in solitude was his hell,

Her visions kept fading in and out in front of his eyes,

 Memories of his barbaric self,

Had caused sleep also to turn its face away from him,

 He had used an iron rod to test her fortitude,

She kept fighting till the last second,

Only to be welcomed like a warrior in a better world,

Away from this one that couldn’t do much for her,

That just prisoned her tormentor,

 Till he got an easy death,

Unlike hers.