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The Grimoire

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Prose and Prose Poetry

Impasse.

‘So you wanted me to be honest. Did you think you could handle it? Every single excruciating detail from every single day of our lives. It is believed that the average human being thinks around 600 thoughts per second. Do you think you can handle them all, each one of them waving their red and green banners in a cacophony of opposites, an amalgam of contradictions? Did you think that I entertained only one kind of thought? I can assure you that I’ve had the kind thoughts which would please you on any given day and I’ve had those, you’re afraid I might be having. Do you think you could bear acquainting yourself with all the filthy, nasty, self-deprecating doubts that you have for yourself reflected all over my thoughts?

You wanted to know why I went away. You thought I could not love you, for if I had, I would have stayed. Don’t you think it’s easier for you to think this way? Is it easier that you hate me? Hatred is a comfort when you have no answer. But what if you knew that I did love you. What then? Perhaps you would not be able to hate me anymore. Perhaps you would be left grappling in the dark for answers that suddenly went poof into the emptiness.

My demons, they will become yours, battling with you with all the fears that you so successfully keep at bay.

They will take my form and seduce you and then leave you in the dust and you will feel such a resentment towards me, you will shake and shiver in your revulsion. Do you want that? Will that be better than this impasse we have reached, this reality we have paused at, this distance we have adopted to keep our characters intact? Maybe, maybe not. But the question remains, do you still want me to be honest?

Cobwebs.

I write about you.

All the time.

In every one of my poems and stories and ramblings you will find hints leading you one step up the ladder into the shadowy, hazy, illusional space I call my mind. Some of the hints are brazen, when I am feeling bold. Some of them are more subtle because I do not want the world to know of my infatuation with you. I can still have a perfectly lucid conversation with you in my head, the way that we used to talk, never coming to any concrete conclusion, living life as if we were two binary stars revolving around each other, never to meet, till one day, we will maybe collapse into a blackhole in which we incinerate ourselves. Our truth was made up of a tapestry of lies, deftly spun into words and conversations and late-night-outs lying on the grass, we were clever enough never to reveal who we are, who we were.

For what is the use of talking about tangibility, when we had all the abstract to ourselves?

Our world was not confined to the boundaries of what we could see and touch, no, we went beyond it, we played around with what was and what could have been. Time was immaterial when we were together, it seemed to just hang in the air in front of us, like a cobweb which seems wispy enough to fly away if you blow ever so slightly. When I was with you, I was a physicist who saw great wonders and who discovered the meaning behind space and time during our conversations because; what is space and time if not relative?

I knew. And you understood. And that was my truth.

Through the cobweb, we could still see “outside”, where the world was flowing on without us, never once did it cross our minds that we might want to become a part of it.

I still write about you. It has been ten years and nine days and I am counting from the time we have not spoken. In my mind, I see the bench where we used to sit, looking at each other with sparkling eyes. The way, we used to hum certain tunes, sometimes, your fingers playing an invisible piano whilst I sat on the floor and made up melodies. In my minds eye, I see the water flowing away in front of us while we talked about words and dreams and boats and love.

I still write about you. I was foolish enough to think that the present will extend to the future, if only we just stood still, if only we did not ‘spook’ time. But fate, if only we can call the passage of time that, had other plans, which it whispered in your ears whilst I was looking away and just like that, when I turned back, you were gone. Gone were the conversations, gone was the bench, gone was the music and gone were your eyes. All that was left behind was the cobweb while I was expelled out on to the other side.

Now, sometimes, when I am falling asleep, in that state between sleep and dreaming, I go and stand in front of the cobweb and try to look through it to see you again.

(This post has been first accepted and published in a medium publication “The Coffeelicious“.)

She Was Weird.

She was weird.

Certifiably weird.

I mean, who else says that she has fallen in love with “blue”? Or the number eight? Or a tree? That the universe speaks to her when its raining.

Storms. She used to love storms. Wild heavy storms which made a lot of noise and lightning. She used to say that the rain was like a curtain around her house which cocoons her and the day it stormed, she would sleep like a baby knowing that she was safe.

She was curious too. She always said “Curiosity killed the cat and I am that cat!” and then laughed her deep heartfelt laughter. There were days when her eyes would be dead and her lips would not smile and she would hear what you said but seem like she is a thousand miles away. Her hair, to her, on those days, always seemed lank and she would look like a painting stripped of color but resplendent in black and white. Her head would nod, but through her eyes, you could see her in some parallel universe crunching some impossible problem.

And hell yeah! It was difficult to love her, it was difficult to live with her but god! was it impossible to leave her! She was like a drug whom I kept craving more and more knowing that I will impossibly waste away while she lives her life in her fantasy land.

But then there would be days when she would say that her head is blank and that she has nothing deep to ponder upon and wonder whether she is becoming an airhead who has no troubles in life or whether she is turning into someone who cares for nothing. But those would be the happiest days for me. Little things would make her smile brightly, a slight wind ruffling her hair would make her laugh and clap her hands, her twinkling eyes and undying energy would be contagious and I would be swept along with her to some universe in which I was floating on a cotton candy.

Dusty books, old letters, ancient broken trinkets, silent movies and children’s smiles: those were her salvation. She would pour her heart out in a diary writing abstract-nothings day in and day out and would keep it out in the open. I would take a peek in it to try to understand her soul but to me it seemed that she wrote nothing of substance. The pages would be filled with blue ink in that slanting beautiful handwriting that I had gotten used to seeing on grocery lists but the diary was, as if, telling the story of someone else. She smiled and never cried while the pages of the diary: they never seemed to know a cloudless day.

But maybe, she cried her tears in ink.

Sadness-anger-hope, they formed an impossible cycle for the rebel inside and she would shake and rage and cry herself to sleep only to wake up in the middle of the night in a fit of hope to write a solution which came to her in the serendipity of dreams. A sad smile, a brimming eye, a begging hand, they touched her heart in such ways that they left a gaping hole and she would agonize over the fate of the world. At that time, her blazing eyes could set an ocean on fire.

And I was left wondering whether she was “storm wrapped in a skin for hire!”.

Millennials Are People Too

"Be like Aslan," she wrote.

I’m tired, y’all.

Tired of not fully understanding my French reading. Tired of not having proper time to go the the Rec. Tired of my phone being broken.

Above all, dear reader, I am tired of being a Millennial.

Not because I’m ashamed of my Millennial brothers and sisters. Not because I wish I was born in another era (that’s a whole other story). But because I’m tired of being bashed in popular media.

I read anotherarticle the other day which sarcastically mocked 20-somethings. And it just might have been the straw that broke the 20-something’s back.

Hi, I’m an entitled and broke 20-something and today I’m here to share with you some tips and tricks to grocery shopping on a budget that I’ve picked up over the past year and a half. You see, I graduated college a year and a half ago and, without meal plans or…

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A new style of Writing (Trying out).

He looked so lost. So lost, I wished to take his hand and pull him close to me. Me, I wished to hold him close and whisper.Whisper words of comfort. Comfort on those cold lonely nights. Lonely nights that were made lonelier by the twinkle of the street lights and the brightly lighted windows and the gay voices echoing from inside and rebounding from the street corners. The street corners where he sat alone and friendless and broken and clayed. Clayed hands and feet melting in the rain that has been falling relentlessly. Relentlessly walking all day long for a scrap of food. Food for thought. For thought and inspiration formed the basis of his life. Life that is lived solely on the power of imagination. Imagination for his food, for his clothes, to suffice for a touch, stand in for a companion and pen for his writings. His writings that seem so disconnected actually strike a deeper chord. A chord that resonates when the note of longing is struck. Struck I am by the look in his eyes when he sings them out loud. Loud certainly is the bell that tolls inside my heart. My heart which is bleeding due to his tears. Tears unseen. Unseen, yet loud and overflowing.

A leap of faith

When I was just a child.. I believed that I had super powers hidden deep within me.  Powers of love, affection, beauty, and divinity.  That somehow I was full of all these and overflowing so that I tried to share it everyone who came my way. I used to look in the mirror and imagine that my the outer rim of my eyes are glowing.. and I used to think maybe it’s a gift of looking through people’s character. I loved to think that these special powers helped me understand people at once. The days went by and slowly my imaginings changed. My imagination now no longer involved me.. They involved pretty flowers and a world so different from ours that wishes are like cotton flower floating on the wind. A place where I could immerse in the beauty that surrounded me. My dreams became my inside as well as my outside.

Then came the time when the world became my dream. My world, our world.  I saw the people and all of them seemed to be infused with a special light, everybody  had something to give and so many people gave freely. I felt blessed.

And then I grew up some more and saw that not everything was black and white. I started slowly receeding back to my world..that world in my mind.

And now I have decided to face the grey!!

The silent revolution..

I was on a bus. One of those local buses in Kolkata where you stand really really squeezed into a tiny space. Now, I was standing near the ladies section at the front. Another girl a little older than me was returning from her job.. she squeezed in next to me. Behind us there were some men. Now this girl near me was feeling a little uncomfortable and she told the man behind her to take a step back. There was a little space to his left. But he did not move. I could see the hesitation in her face and just how uncomfortable she was feeling. She requested the man to move again. Again he told that there is no space without making any effort. Now she got really frustrated and told him(A little angrily) “What is your problem? I am asking you three times and you just do not wanna move!” To this the man loudly and sarcastically started telling his fellow men “Look at this lady. What is she exactly accusing me of?? It is as if she is saying that I am staying her on purpose” . To this the lady to her credit replied “Yes, that is exactly what I am saying.. so as you have understood please move” Now this man made some more mocking comments related to her. Through all this I was silent., observing and thinking. Now on my nearest seat there was an elderly bengali lady, very respectable looking and demanding attention if she spoke if you know what I mean. She said “Stop!” Please adjust a little bit, this is a bus and these things happen. And the man took it to be in his support and started telling the lady to adjust. Now the lady on my right started speaking and said “Why cant you try to move a little if she is uncomfortable? What is your problem? Ladies do face problems like this so do not try to escape from what you are doing by pinning the blame on her and mocking her!” And I was thinking that times are slowly changing.. ladies are speaking up for other ladies.. Now this man started mocking the other lady too. Now we cant let that happen,. can we? So I politely told him.. “Hello, can you look to your left? Theres a tiny liny little space there see? Now you dun really want to stand behind her on purpose right.. so it s all right just go stand in peace there, yes just there. She wont harass you anymore the, right? You will be quite safe, Thank You!” and winked at the lady. Now the conductor squeezed in more people onto the bus and invariably they came towards the ladies section! Now this elderly lady started telling in a commanding voice to them to go back! and then will some amusement I heard other men calling out to people who were squeezing here to move back towards the men section. And feeling a little proud of being a girl, I laughed. Of course people looking at me did not understand my sudden laughter!!

Ethereal

Its like the sun is just shining its rays upon the sleeping meadow.. silently she stands, she is pure music, her gown a rich symphony of colours and as she raises her hand in a dance – an ode to the earth, a curtain for the day…the unicorns flock to her across the meadows and she raises a gentle hand to caress their flanks, the bridge from earth to heaven is complete and the maiden of the skies, the dancer of the night dances across it and disappears..

Selfishness and generosity…a circle.

Somebody once said that to be extremely selfish you need to be generous. Wait did I say that the other way round? Ha ha, I Sonali hereby pledge that I am going to be extremely selfish. Which means I will try to get the maximum happiness for myself.  And I have had one more of my epiphanies. How do I get the maximum happiness, the sort of happiness u can carry inside you like a talisman? Which can act as a shining beacon of hope to remind u in your direst times and which can infect people at the speed to thought?? Yes, it is to be generous, generous in love, generous in words, generous in money and generous in happiness. All the times I had it right when I was a child, I had it right even when I entered my teenage.. and slowly as I saw the world around me.. I thought I found less and less of it.. of generosity and of love and of trust and all those beautiful things that form a part of my world, my fantasy world, inside every book I read and that is why I read childrens’ fantasy.. because there you see the full measure of generosity. Children never ‘forget’ to be generous! So, weren’t we all children once? Aren’t we all children in our hearts? So today, let us all take a pledge to do one small thing for others and ask them to pass it on. Let us see if it completes the circle.

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