Paint me a memory .

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Paint me a memory so bright,
Under the darkness of my sleepy eyes.
A memory so bright,
from those pages that we wrote together,
in this fast filling notebook of life.

Paint me a memory so bright,
with colors that bring feelings to life.
A memory so bright.
To light up, even for a moment,
the dullness of this lonely night.

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Dependency is a killer.

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Another day without a single drop of water. The sun was shining bright ; too bright. But the more, the better. Not always though ; not when there was no water to quench the thirst. How they wished they were out in the open. Breathing in the warm summer air. They wish they could look up to the sky, and wave excitingly with the wind, as the black clouds would approach. These days they could still see the black clouds coming and going, but useless. Useless, because there was no way out. The raindrops would smear the window panes for hours, but why would they rejoice? Why would they rejoice when they couldn’t quench their thirst? They would look at the beautiful tiny raindrops. They would call out to them, and probably imagine what it feels like, when they touched. How soothing and refreshing it was. But now, the windows were a barrier. It was as if the raindrops were calling out to them too, but the barrier was impossible for them to break. They questioned why they even had to be alive, when their basic necessities couldn’t be met. They questioned God and blamed him for not making them fit enough to walk, so they could find their own sources of needs. Yes, needs. Why were they destined to be trapped in a world where nobody cared about them? Were they only an aesthetic element that didn’t need care? Or were the people around them so absorbed in their own aesthetic value, that they couldn’t care about anything else?

They wished, time and again that they didn’t have to take birth in the first place. But who was to be blamed? God certainly wasn’t responsible for their painful death. They knew they were wrong to blame him. For they could see their fellow beings rejoicing and growing up in his care, out in the open, under the blue sky and timely rains. Who was to be blamed then? Of course, the human beings who locked the doors, and windows, packed their bags, and went off for a two weeks holiday, forgetting all about them.

Dependency is such a killer. But only if they could do something about it, only if they could make decisions for themselves ; if they could choose where to be ; if they could do what these humans did : talk, walk, sing, dance, touch, jump, run!

“How lucky they are! And how happy they must be in this life!”, the dying rose plant said to the bougainvillea.

The Rain Messenger .

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Photo credits : Instagram @armaanmehra

.. 5 am in the morning. She sits at the doorstep of her house. All-nighters were not a choice; insomnia is a disease when one awaits the return of a loved one. She had tried to fall asleep all night, twisting and turning in the bed. But she finally gets up at the sound of the early morning temple bells, and settles down at the doorstep. Her eyes are full of sleep and dizziness. She wants to fall asleep for once, peacefully, like in her mother’s lap. The peace that she had known only for a little while. Since as long as she could remember, she was told every day that she was a girl, and girls don’t belong to the homes they are born in. She was told that she would be sent away to her husband’s home, and that is where her real life would begin. She cursed the childhood version of herself, for getting the gudda-guddi married as a part of a game. “Maybe that’s why they got me married – because they misinterpreted a childhood game as a wish of little girl”, she thought to herself – an eighteen year old dressed up as a bride. But little did she know – this was the game the elders liked to play.

At the doorstep, she lifts her drooping eyes. Black clouds are settling in the predawn sky. It is easy to see them coming in the light of the day. But when it is dark, and the sun is still going to take a while to show its face, you feel the black clouds of rain ; like an army of soldiers ready to attack while the town is still asleep. The goose bumps start appearing on her skin, and her saree ruffles with the wind, as she gets up to breathe in the new day. Thunder and lightning scowling; the temple bells responding equally. Not a drop of rain on her body. She waits; she waits to get soaked in the morning rain. Before the neighbors are awake, and before the rules bound her again. She waits, her arms stretched to the infinite sky. She waits, as she has been waiting for a while now. For an year now, in vain. No news of her husband.

Tears course down her cheeks, even before a raindrop could make its way to her barren body.

Contemplating on the couch .

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Her eyelids were heavy, at the peak hour in the afternoon. Her eyes full of sleep and dizziness, wanting to fall asleep on the couch. She lived in a house with an attic, and watched the raindrops falling on the window, that gave a view of other houses: the houses that she was taught how to draw as a child. Triangles and parallel lines, a road leading to it, mountains in the background, a river flowing from the valley, and the sun setting or rising: you’d never know. The houses were the same, but they were too many. More than she could have drawn in one scenery. Of course, it was when she grew up that she realized that the houses that she drew along the river, were fantasies turned into standards of happiness, that generation after generation would fight all their lives for. Just like the girl with the golden locks and rosy cheeks that she learnt of in stories and recited as poems, would define beauty standards. The world was full of so much bullshit, she thought to herself. She wondered who would shed a tear, if she took her last breath at this moment. She closed her eyes for a moment and pictured herself sitting by the sea. The waves washing her feet, coming and going away, just like her fluctuating feelings about living in this world full of so much bullshit. She wished to stay there a while longer, and understand why the waves did what they did. She had learnt about it in the science textbook at school. But she did not want science to answer her questions about this world full of so much bullshit. Because she knew science could give reason to so much that humans go through in life, but it could never answer the questions that are common to every breathing body: why do we fall in love? What is this pain that the heart feels, when you part ways with someone you loved? What happens to those who die for love? And what happens to those who die anyway? Where are the people who once wiped away our tears? And which lifetime will we meet them again in? … She wants to stay by the sea for a little while longer and watch the waves dancing to the shore and then disappearing on the sand bed. One after the other, with all its force and passion, dancing towards the sand bed, only to mingle with it and then rest in peace.

She wakes up at the sound of her phone notifying her of an email. A deadline for her next assignment. She gets up from the couch to make herself a cup of coffee. Steaming hot liquid pouring out from the machine, turning to froth and bubbles in the blue mug. She sits on her desk to begin with an all-nighter. Meanwhile, the sun dries up the raindrops, and the bubbles disappear in her coffee mug.

To every person I see on social media .

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Image source : weheartit.com

 

Hello,
I never got to know you in person – maybe we texted once or twice – about something that concerned you, or me. The small talk that is now saved in our inbox for many, many years to come.

Maybe we smiled a little at each other’s post, as we scrolled through thousands of lives as part of our mundane routine. Maybe in a moment where you were crying yourself to sleep, I was envying the life you chose to show in photographs. Or maybe vice versa.

Maybe we wondered what it would have been like, if we knew each other. Not like we know each through our job titles and degrees and the places we visited. I’d rather ask you about the job you wanted to get and tried hard for ; the course that you really wanted to do at university ; and how you saved up for that hard earned trip to the mountains.

Maybe we wondered what it would be like – if I knew you, and you knew me. Maybe there was potential in us, together, to laugh together and wipe away each other’s tears. Maybe I was waiting for you to take the first step, and you were waiting for me to say hello.

Maybe we did, and we ended up with the small talk that is now saved in our inbox, for many many years to come.

Just wanted to tell you – that I appreciate you, and the way you’re keeping up with this life that can get so difficult to deal with at times ; I know. But remember, in this world so closely, yet loosely connected, I am just a text message away. Because hey, anyone with that blue badge on messenger – can be reached instantly!

Smiles and love to you!

Simran

Our Cups of Tea .

They say you’ll never come back.
That my words won’t find their way to you.
And yet, I send them out into the universe.
I ignite your soul with my thoughts
and bring back to life
the fading memories of my childhood under your wings.

They say you’re gone, but only I know..
How you haunt my cups of tea.
How you paint your smile into my eyes.
How you take me on a ride back home.
To you, and me, and our cups of tea.

I close my eyes;
breathe in the fragrance I know so dearly.
And there, for a moment,
we melt together into the secrets of invisiblity.

Italy – Part 3 – Verona

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“There is no world for me outside the walls of Verona, except purgatory, torture, and hell itself. So to be banished from Verona is like being banished from the world, and being banished from the world is death.”

– Shakespeare, Rome and Juliet, Act III, Scene III.

This is a quote engraved on one of the walls in Verona. And this is also the first significant thing I remember seeing, as I walked through the streets of Verona with a map and a suitcase in hand, trying to find the hostel I was booked at. The memories of this city are now fading with time, and I must write them down to preserve them better.

This was February 2015. I have already written the first two parts about Rome and Venice, but somehow completely missed out on Verona.. Maybe I was lazy to pen down all my feelings about Verona, or maybe I thought I shouldn’t ruin the feelings by penning them down, because really, Verona enchanted me and no blogpost can do justice to that enchantment. But let me still try, because I want my favourite city in Europe (till date) to be a part of my travel diaries.

Verona.. Oh Verona! (Shakespeare much!) .. The only reason why I ever wanted to visit Italy was Verona.. and though it sounds stupid to me today, it was because of the movie “Letters to Juliet” that I had watched years ago when I was naive. I do now understand that there is a major difference between movies and real life (actually I still sometimes unbelieve it and slip into dreamland). Of course I didn’t end up finding the love of my life in Verona, like the actress does, but well, I did fall in love with the city!

Verona was different from Rome and Venice. Quite different. The latter being majorly hyped and for that reason, loses its charm when compared to Verona. Though Venice too enchanted me, for the same reason that Verona did.. the “slipping back in time” vibe that it gives. There is something about Italy and its narrow streets, its houses, its architecture, its food, and its people!

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So.. On our 8th day in Italy, we reached Verona via train from Venice. Smooth journey. Bought a map at the train stations, figured out where the hostel was, and started walking towards it. By the time we reached the hostel, we had already seen half of Verona – It was that far! And why we didn’t take a taxi or bus? Because duh! Save money!

After checking in at the hostel, we headed straight to where I had been dying to go ! Juliet’s house ! Even though its not Juliet’s house for real, it looks like something close to what it could have been. And so it has been converted into a monument for Juliet. Apparently, it also has links to the Capulet family. Well, I don’t know how true that is, but thats what they say ! Okay, now I had no idea that the Juliet’s house wasn’t just about Juliet’s balcony, but there was also a museum inside, which had paintings, antiques, and quotes from Romeo & Juliet on display. That was quite a treat for a history buff like me ! And coming to the main point – Yes, people do write their letters to Juliet, and there is a post box where you can put them in. There also a million notes stuck on the wall and of course love locks ! The ghost of Paris is everywhere in Europe ! I am pretty sure they can build an iron bridge with all the love locks hanging everywhere in Europe.

I wouldn’t say I was disappointed with Juliet’s house.. it did have quite a lot of tourists and wasn’t quite like that in the movie, but I was pretty satisfied with the experience – the credits for which go to the museum. I wondered if the letters were answered back though ? The answer to which I found later, when I met a Swedish girl at the hostel who had lived in Verona for quite sometime. She told me that there is indeed a group that writes back, and she herself had worked there. If I had a little more time in Verona, I would definitely have wanted to do it !

That evening, we treated ourselves to a lavish dinner (treat to ourselves for saving the taxi money) at a restaurant in front of the famous arena (which btw is the place where the beginning of Rockstar was shot). That evening, I tasted my favorite wine in the world for the first time – Prosecco – magical Italian white wine. That, and Lasagna. Life was at its best in that moment.

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The Arena where Rockstar (2011) was shot.

The sun in Verona was a breath of fresh air. The next day, we walked around the city and looked for things to do. We knew there was a castle somewhere on a hill, so we just ended up randomly walking towards it. We ended up walking up a hill with a forest full of ruins, and when we reached the top, the view was breathtaking. Verona from above looked gorgeous !

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Hey thats my back!

It was a chill two days in Verona. Went out for drinks with the Swedish girl and her local friends, walking around the city, contemplating by the river, and the like..

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At the end of it all, I was quite happy. I would have liked to stay longer in Verona, but I knew I would come back to this city someday. I had decided. I would come back to Venice and Verona, so I didn’t let disappointment set in, and said see you soon to one of my favourite cities !