Would you bring me no flowers coz I like them more in gardens, pots, and much less in hands but be blushingly sensitive to not come empty handed? Would you compliment just enough for me to not get embarrassed but also feel noticed? Would you wear the prettiest smile so I know you had been exceptionally giggling on your way of coming over with a mere thought of seeing me? Would you forever be grateful to universe for me being a part of this world right when you are existing? Would you be understanding that I am not complicated or weird—I just crave attention in simplest ways possible?
There is no urge in me to prove a point in any conversation I have. I just want to hear. I want to listen to distorted views, their stories of idleness, of debatable topics, of their overwhelming work, of funny clothes, of childhood Sundays, of them as rock and crumbling under pain, of messy kitchen after super savoury meal, of their insufferable colleague, of their escape sanctuaries- being a part of their emotional rainbow. I want to hear how they tell their stories. I want to hear sigh when they draw breath while talking something painful. I want to hear with the chin on their knees. I want to hear and I want to be heard.
Melting in your arms, We snapped the best picture of us for Instagram. That night we fought a lot and sat on stairs to have our first uncomfortable adult conversation.
We danced to our heart’s content and partied through the night. I fell sick and you tended to me for couple of days so I could party again, healthily.
My Red floral dress perfectly matched your grey suit and they complimented us for being a perfect couple. That evening we both changed into cozy tracksuits and watched FRIENDS together for the hundredth time.
We showed off our cocktails to the world cheering our anniversaries. But the time I’m grateful for you is when you remind me to drink water everyday.
Night movie shows capture how lovely of a couple we make. But fight over UNOs, snake and ladders and video games bonded us better.
I was congratulated for best of my achievements. And then there was you patting me on my days filled with anxieties and ugly running noses for having a courage to dream.
I refuse to believe that everyone is not suffering. Suffering is (almost) the only thing that makes you wanna live more, strive for a better life, to find an escape. A wonderland only to return to realities at night. I don’t believe people are as carefree and untroubled as much they show in their personal or social lives.
They’re merely passing the baton of suffering from today to their tomorrow’s self.
And it’s going to be draining, exhausting, exciting, scary, wonderful, bitter and it will feel you leaving your castle behind to build a single room on your own terms and finances. The fear, the pain along with the freedom and eagerness to explore world will overwhelm you. You’d be free but you’d also be responsible for your house, cooking, cleaning, trash, dishes, maintenance, vehicles. It ain’t going to be easy. No one would be waiting at home. At times, you won’t be able to talk to your family much because of busy schedules or time zones or mood. It will take a heavier toll on you when you’d fall sick. You’ll miss home more than anything. All the plates of cut fruits that used to enter your room without a word will pile into uncooked meals which you gotta prepare yourself. You’ll become a person of lists, reminders if you aren’t already. You’ll become a cook over the phone while talking to your mom. You’ll think like her when buying groceries. You’d definitely do things more freely but you’d experience yourself becoming more and more responsible. It’s not going to be easy but it will be worth it.
With the scent of Ghee draped all over her clothes she prepares my favourite and the lengthiest snack. Her legs wobbling like the thinnest shoot of a newbie plant, you bet be gone in the next windstorm but it withstands the gambling words.
I want to have a pre-nurtured taste of her hand’s magic when I reach for ‘Mitthi Roti’ while she is busy with the next dough rolling into a perfect sphere in her deep palms. But she slaps hard on my extending greed, the way you shoo away the paws of your spoiled pet that tries to grab the fattest pieces of anything before it’s prepared. How did I forget she still excels in multitasking?
When I ask why this sugar cubes are bigger or has yarn threads coming out of it, she proudly explains it’s ‘misri’; much better than my cavity-inducing chocolates I keep popping up through my incessant anxious sessions. And the other brown rock is ‘gurr’ that would cleanse my body and probably the skin when I don’t have to waste much on the fancy bottles of creamy substances that I keep putting on my face.
I pout and argue with my silliest face and arms tugging around her back to not to pick up on the things that I buy. She being 2x me, pouts harder and says “you would never know the value of natural substances.”
She abhors sugar crystals or anything that is saturated upto the level it loses its originality. She detests any plastic covers of the stuff I order that claims ‘natural’ as she proclaims, anything that is genuine or real does not require a stamp on its forehead for others to believe.
While I munch on the first batch of Mitthi Roti; soft, sticky and a little cakey but with plump-y edges, I say it tastes somewhat like waffles and she narrows her brow saying one mustn’t try to translate everything into a language (or taste) understood by many.
“Preserve the old traditions and the food (esp the name) that comes from it for you won’t be getting much when you are older.
Put your love into the food you prepare and you will have your forever.”
“Jeremy you know, people leave but places don’t. They exist holding back all the memories, fragrances, silliness, shared meals and smiles over the cloudy skylines traced through the fingertips.
I declared all the strange places, my home because you stepped into that abode with me. The terrace of a skyscraper where we kissed with no care in the world, the roads in the scorching heat where you placed the edge of your hand horizontally on my forehead; to save me from the burn, the beaches where you playfully picked me only to throw in the water for me to get over my hysteria, the afternoons in our favourite though thinly crowded cafe for our brunch dates and crazy daydreams.
You see, Jeremy, all these places still exist yet I became homeless after you left. A vagrant begging to you, to God, to self to bring back those memories because otherwise this destitution would have cut my nerves with a blunt knife sluggishly, at every passing moment. And in those knelt down, begging episodes at 5 in the morning; one thing I realised was that the only person who was there in my journey of agony and misery was I, myself.
So, thank you, Jeremy for helping me meet myself and finding a permanent, pristine home. Believe me, I have no qualms about the consequences because what we shared was inexplicable and otherworldly. So the result was somewhat unexpected too. And all the things; living or non-living come to an end. This was our end. But I’m now prepared to reserve the postal codes of my home only for myself.”
• The common language among distinct people. This unique connection shatters the barriers among strangers of different & vast background in colleges, offices, workplaces with a single line, “Chai pini hai?”
• Its calming effect. We can’t deny the way tea satiates our soul and not just the taste buds.
• Gossips with your mother over a chai in fresh mornings, hit differently.
• Nothing against the Coffee but the homely feeling chai enfolds in its warmth is otherworldly.
• The way you feel proud and are punished at the same time if you make the best tea in home. It always comes down to ‘You make good tea. You do it.’
• If you’re someone who is little socially inept then you’d be happy going into kitchen and making chai while your mother is attending to guests. And tea makes it bearable to have polite talks with them, afterwards.
• There is no particular season for having tea. Though, winters top the chart but Every season is chai season. Atleast for me
• How cleverly chai reduces the difference between the rich and the poor and the way it breaks the ice with a small but heartily talk with one another.
• The only streaming I enjoy is the hot steaming cup of tea in the morning. But then there is ‘shaam ki chai’ after ‘subah ki chai.’
• Warm hugs and hot tea are always welcomed.
• If drinking lot of chai opens the gate of hell, I’d proudly be the protector of the doors, welcoming the others, for I know I won’t be alone there.