If I Lay Here

Response to Writing101 Prompt: Write about the three most important songs in your life — what do they mean to you?

I wouldn’t call it my favourite song, but Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol is one song which I have listened to over and over again and still haven’t gotten sick of. Sometimes, the meaning of the lyrics change. Sometimes, I realize that each line has many more layers to it than what is just on the surface. It’s a beautiful song, mostly because of the meaning its lyrics hold which transcends to the music. But my favourite lines are these:

If I lay here

If I just lay here,

Would you lie with me and just forget the world?

People come and go in life. There are people with whom you have so much of fun that every moment you spend with them is soaked in stomach aching laughter. There are people who irritate you so much that their mere presence clouds your face. There are people you call friends when you’re in the same place, but whom you forget once you move away; and when you finally realize you’ve forgotten, you know they didn’t matter anyway. There are people you think would be by your side till the end of your life, the people you imagine you’d die for, but who slowly fade away as you try desperately to hold on through awkward phone conversations and one-line texts. There are people who make you wonder why you put up with them, yet to whom you stick to, maybe merely as a force of habit. There are people who make your heart beat so loud you’re almost positive they heard it when they smiled at you. There are people of whom you’re so insanely jealous that you already hate them before they’ve said a word. People come and go in life. It’s difficult to accept this, but it is inevitable.

But the ones that stay, the ones who even after they’ve gone, have such a grip on your memory that you’re overwhelmed when you think about them, the ones you know have unmistakeably, irrevocably changed your life are the ones who’ve passed the Chasing Cars test. It’s the person who lies with you, amidst the rush and the noise, amid the people and the pain, and forget the world with you. And you remember them mostly, for that time you forgot the world together.

A Fever and a Fall

Response to Writing101 challenge: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?

It had been a terrible day, the kind that he hated: sticky, busy and messy. The work in the office had seemed duller than ever as the heat drenched the back of his neck and the tie choked his throat. The boss’s sexist jokes during the break seemed more unbearable than usual, and he felt tiny as he laughed dully to them. The ride back home was long and constantly interrupted by speeding cars. He expected coffee when he reached home. But when she opened the door, she told him she had been sleeping the entire day.

“I couldn’t go for work. I have a fever.”, she murmured feebly.

“I didn’t call you because I didn’t want you to get worried”, she answered his unspoken question.

He made coffee, the kind she liked: with barely any sugar and a lot of coffee powder, and brought her a cup. He stopped when he saw her huddled in her blanket, fast asleep. He realized, for the first time since they got married, that he liked being with her. He had never imagined that he could fall in love with the awkward girl he had met for the first time in the presence both their parents smiling at the match. But he ended up falling anyway. Looking at her sleep, he realized that this was where he wanted to be.

Paradise Lost and Some Thoughts

Paradise Lost and Some Thoughts

A week long holiday. The college is almost empty.

Books in hand, I step out

To enjoy the last smiling breezes of spring

Before it is cruelly extinguished

By the summer sun.

 

Under the cafe tree I sit,

My head trying to concentrate

On Satan’s seduction of Eve in Paradise Lost.

But the debate of good and evil

Seemed so hard to believe 

In a world coloured with

Different, brilliant shades of grey.

 

I close my book.

The question of Free Will

Seemed distant as I watch

Dry leaves being tossed around

By the wind.

 

Adam and Eve’s folly seems distant,

Yet their loss familiar. 

Could I trace back my mistakes

To the day Eve’s hand reached for that fruit?

Or was it just in me, to be so imperfect?

 

I close my eyes,

And the questions suddenly stop.

Everything becomes clear suddenly:

I am here, this moment is mine,

I feel happy, it may not last, but it exists now.

I will enjoy this moment, I can cry tomorrow. 

Happiness

What is it to be happy?

Is it a constant state of mind,

A barrier which holds strong

Against every adversity, trial or loss?

A calm confidence which stops you from breaking

Even when the world is closing up on you?

 

or is happiness found only in fleeting moments,

In a distant memory, stale laughter, almost forgotten dreams?

Is it just a pause

Between the tireless grief that is life,

A moment of cool relief merely to hold on to

When daily you burn in the heat of life?

 

Do you have to seek happiness,

Knocking shamelessly until you find it?

Or does it come to you,

And embrace you in a moment unexpected?

Is happiness real, or is it just a superstition we invent

To bring some meaning to our senseless lives?

Poetry at the airport

I can never find poetry in airports. Something about the severe cleanliness of the place, the brightly lit shops selling merchandise for double the price you get them outside, the processed food outlets and the dull eyed people in an airport prematurely aborts any romantic emotion that was beginning to well in my gut. My eyes blink under the strain of the bright lights, and as I drink a cup of coffee which my consumerist mind bought, ignoring the silent contentment of my stomach, I feel the dullness of the airport set in inside me too. Somehow, this place has succeeded in squeezing dry any emotion, any sort of music from its vicinity. People walk around, purposeless until their flight is due, their hearts completely unattached to their surroundings. I find a place to sit, a small jigsaw piece in this great crowd; and yet, feeling that I somehow wasn’t made for this puzzle.

The lady next to me looks at me and quickly looks away before meeting my eyes. If this was a railway station, we would have at least graced each other with a half smile. I sit down; make phone calls informing people of the progress of my journey. When the last call is done, a dull sense of loneliness slowly seeps into my head. I miss the rush of the railway station, of people hurrying to different platforms, the way the crowd pushes you around or dashes past you. I miss the distant chugging sound of a train approaching, the smoke visible from far away, and the excited chaos in the station which commences once the train arrives at the platform. People hop out, carrying unbelievable numbers of suitcases and bags. Children desperately cling on to the tip of their parents’ clothes, sure that they’d be lost if they let go. The bustling surrounding the arrival of a train, excited relatives shouting to be heard, friends laughing with each other, those waiting for a train eyeing the drama unfolding with a hope that soon, they’d become actors too. Something about the accumulated smell of the station, the absence of silence, the huge mass of humanity meeting at that one point chokes a person with an exhilarating amount of emotions.

All this seem absent in the airport. Maybe it’s just that I’m not listening enough to the poetry whispered in the air all around me, maybe I’m not skilled enough to find a poem in every place I go to. Or maybe, the lights are too bright and the cleanliness too impeccable that poetry could find no dark corner to sing from.

Why do I Write?

Why do I write? Is it merely for the rush I get when words magically flow out of the tip of my pen, and spread everywhere, like ink on water? Is it to express feelings which I otherwise choose to repress or deny? Is it to bring out a part of me which others cannot see, and which surprises even me? Or is it so that I can become something I wish to be; a free, fearless person I can only meet at the endings of my sentences?

 

Do I write to try to give a voice to the inexpressible sorrow which sometimes infiltrates my being and gradually consumes me? Do i write to break free from these walls which are silently preparing to come crashing down on me? Do I write because of that unbearable yearning within me to live completely: away from here, away from this body; so that I can be completely alive?

 

Why do I write? To try to bring meaning to a chaotic life? To elaborate on my otherwise insignificant and ignored thoughts? To explore all the feelings I usually deny possessing? Or to simply fill this void within me; a void already sick of leading a dead existence? 

 

Maybe it is for all of this.

And maybe there isn’t an answer.