31st December

Another year ends, look back—the past tense,

sitting under a quiet evening sky,

remembering fag ends of happy days and sad,

the colours of Holi now a little brown

with heartbreak, new friends, love lost, luck found,

a long scorching summer followed by thundering rain,

the hypnotic boom of dhak, our ten-armed visitant,

faraway places, the scent of the universe in open skies,

feeling the pulse of the mountains in its streams,

long walks and longer daydreams,

a few hurried birthdays, a cousin’s wedding,

lots of reading,

Christmas in a pagan house, homemade wine

and a fruitcake wanting zest.

my earphones blaring music at midnight and movies

all spun into one fabric,

smelling of old newsprint in a damp building

rolled into empty joints and set to fire,

a false high with people, some of who truly care.

 

When tonight spills in through my window, popping into distant sparks

I’ll say my goodbye and wish parts of you don’t come by, again.

 

23:59 December 31st.

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no sunset blues

 

Falta, by the River Ganga. South 24 Parganas, West Bengal.

 

—so many things must have been said about sunset evenings as background framings.

so much—enough to fill the 12,000 electronic cemeteries where we bury our feelings.

But tonight is different:

because I’m walking away,

and not with death pervading my senses

but to my own personal port of familiar sadness—

My sadness is not blue,

it’s gold nail polish with red lipstick,

black coffee and LED screens

—my own silent island of disenchanted daydreams.

Remembering a scene from life in boarding school.

I had this conversation with an especially perceptive batchmate of mine, he had posted an Owl City lyric quote (which I love) in his WhatsApp story and what followed was a brief exchange which reinstated my faith in good conversation:

So we spoke of nostalgia and I remember saying how I:

…never delete old music, I have everything people think are “trashy” now and whenever I listen to them, I remember how I used to be, who I listened to those songs with, how they smiled when “our” song came up and all of it, and I realize that I liked myself, I was satiated, content, I didn’t have demands and most of the good memories are from boarding so all of it, our farewell bonfire parties, end of school year November chill in the air, the night sky like an endless inky blue sea placid in its starry brightness and I’ve never seen so many stars in my life, I remember stargazing with my best friends, desperately looking for Draco and it was so quiet, no one would speak, we would wait and listen to the wild come alive, and I can’t do justice describing how unreal the night was, the crisp smell of winter air, crackling fire and us sitting away in the dark, overcoats up to our ears, rubbing our palms, huddled together, watching our backs after exchanging ghost stories, warily glancing at the outline the trees made against the sky, distinguishing it from the mountains’, pretending to hear a wolf howl, really hearing one! Bats, the wind, the trees swaying as coming alive, the hills descending with the darkness of the night broken only by the few stars that were peeping from the clouds, then the clouds overcasting the sky, the first drop of an occasional winter spray. And we’re all running inside, current failure, running up to dormitories, candles and fireplaces lit up. Sitting around for dinner, elated about getting home with the pinch of not seeing each other for 3 long, long months. It was magic

Because:

[7/28, 21:17] Ayana: No experience can be disregarded. I’ve been to seven schools and I die to know how it would’ve been to have belonged to one place for 14 years [7/28, 21:34] Ayana: It’s so complicated now. Everything, complicated, convoluted and ill-meaning and self serving all the time. It’s a small piece of paradise to be able to reconnect with memories of innocence. Really, that’s all I have to keep me going. Whenever I’m upset, I close my eyes and go away to kurseong, to those nights, years and years surrounded by perfect quiet with only the sounds of nature and good natured banter

And of course: his extremely valid point:

See, that’s why you ought not to question nostalgia 😛 Yeah, I would say, in other words, that life, Ayana, is simply waiting to see the present in retrospect. Nostalgia is our only way of time travel, by which the human mind uses it’s marvellous faculty of imagination to turn back the very laws of physics-we live at that moment of past, more powerfully than we live in our present, because we acutely try to feel and somewhat succeed in replicating the original emotion again and again. We live powerfully in those moments as our own ghosts. Perhaps the ability to visit our past, our past as we know it, is the best gift humanity has ever had.

I agreed:

[7/28, 22:11] Ayana: I don’t question it simply because I want to keep some things to myself, because it’s necessary to believe in the magic of old times, otherwise there isn’t much to live for, nothing except memories. [7/28, 22:12] Ayana: But I’m also aware that it’s not sacrosanct and it’s painful. But its always better to keep it out from dissection, because, really, bitterness of the soul/mind is directly proportional to time.

And still nodding my agreement to this statement he made:

Yeah. We need to keep certain things out of dissection. Dissect the body, not life.

Do you think agree with me? Tell me what you think.

Small relief.

I woke up today with you on my mind, nothing unusual. Nothing more painful.

A glass of tepid water, handing father the newspaper, asking mum if she wanted a sandwich, my usual routine. My time in my balcony, the tropical sun beating down hot and heavy, no gentle breeze rustling the leaves, the heat of roads glittering, glaring at me.

My morning routine, scrolling through news feed. The black portal to my loneliness clutched safe in my palm, my other hand shielding it from the heat of the sun. Nothing keeps, fleeting, false colours of joy keep me going—every day, the same way, the strangest attachment to my world of lies.

When evening comes with small relief and I’m distracted by the sound of the wind between the trees—

It’s sudden, the rain comes lashing, unforgiving, purging the concrete of unbearable heat. Thunder strikes loud and lightning licks the ground and I’m afraid earth’s come for me.

It’s with fear in my heart that I drag myself out and feel the rain pushing me underground. My soul is drenched, my heart swells and for once, there are no tears. I wanted to talk about beginnings in the end but I’m not part of this world anymore—

A small relief from my thoughts tonight.