Unspoken

Simi rushed upstairs, in a fit of anger and agitation, and fainted all of a sudden as she reached the upper landing in front  of her bedroom door.

After twenty minutes…

“How do you feel now?” asked Kevin, placing a pillow under her head.

“I’m feeling fine. Thank you,” said Simi, with a weak smile. She felt extremely delighted by his earnest gestures and concern but was careful not to show it on her face.

“Okay, sleep and I’ll come back tomorrow. Same time,” said Kevin and left the house. Within no time Simi dozed off to sleep under the effect of her sleeping pills.

Simi woke up after a few hours expecting to see Kevin reading a book in the living room, or fixing something in the garden. But he wasn’t there. She then remembered that he had left in the morning and had promised to be there the next day. She bit her lip in disappointment. She looked around at the room, the empty couch, the piano, the recliner that he bought her, and the soft beige carpet under her feet. The emptiness was overpowering. For her, like many, loneliness was something she could never get used to no matter how many years she lived with it. But, unlike many, she could not even get used to simple human interactions such as social visits from friends or family;  solitude was  precious. She watered the houseplants and cooked some  pasta for dinner.

After eating, she picked the phone to call Kevin but declined on second thoughts. She wondered where he was. She went upstairs to her bedroom, sat by her writing table and tried to add a chapter to her new novel. It was snowing outside her window and there were cars passing on the street below. She noticed snow flakes randomly choosing to settle on her window sill, one by one, accumulating, as if to bury her alive in an icy grave, unnoticed by the world outside. She pondered some  more and it made her dizzy. She could hardly add a sentence to her book; she was too tired that day to meet the demands – of  high wit, active dialogue, new emotions – of the characters she herself created so fondly for her novel. She switched the lights off  and slipped under the warm quilt.

The next day Kevin appeared at her front door as he promised, looking dashing as ever. She could smell the cologne that she was getting addicted to. He got her flowers too. Yellow and white roses, her favorite. Simi felt suddenly conscious of her disheveled hair, her puffy eyes and her shabby appearance. She excused herself to freshen up and get dressed. She put on a  nice new cardigan and jeans; they had breakfast together.

He asked, “How is the novel coming along?”.

“Fine,” she said, looking at the collar of his white cotton shirt.

“You deserve a better, bigger publisher this time.” She didn’t respond to his suggestion. Her face started showing signs of worry.

“I found one to save you the trouble. He agrees to all your terms too. Talk to him when he calls,” said Kevin with a warm smile, as always solving all her problems as his own.

Her face brightened at once. She looked towards him and before she could thank him he nodded his head sideways and said, “I’m your friend, darling. Eat your breakfast in peace now.” After breakfast he cleared the table and she went upstairs to get her writing pad and ink.

He sat at the piano by the time she came down. He started playing music on the instrument; a song she hadn’t heard before.

His music filled her with new emotions, new sentiments, new character. She fulfilled the demands of all her characters, effortlessly. Her pen danced on the paper to the tune of his passionate song. She penned down a good number of pages before he reached the end of his musical exercise.

“Read it out for us, please…” she requested, blushing her cheeks as he took the sheets of paper from her. He abided. Her freshly concocted love scene, being read in his melodious voice, was like a lullaby to her…she drifted into a dreamless sleep. By the time she had woken up, he was making lunch and on the table beside her was a chocolate box. She had opened it quickly as she felt quite hungry. There were no chocolates, only a diamond ring.

She slowly walked into the kitchen, with  the ring in one hand, and stood before him with tears in her eyes. He got down on his knees, held her right hand and asked her the question, for the third time, guessing her answer. This time, unlike the last two times, she hadn’t fainted at his proposal. She pulled her hand back as she was too shy of his touch, she just dropped the ring in his pocket, and said, “Don’t.” He understood her, he understood everything then; he just needed to hear her speak – anything – when she was calm, unagitated. He said, “I know what you want. Preserve the ring.  It belongs to you, only you…” , showing that he understood her. Her heart leapt in joy but she only smiled at him and took the ring from him.

After lunch Kevin left. Both of them were at ease again, after the awkwardness that prevailed in varying degrees over the last two months – ever since he first popped the question.

She eventually finished her book, and many other books in the subsequent years, and dedicated all of them to Kevin. Kevin had her at all his concerts as the chief guest. They often talked of love, but only in the context of characters in books and films. They attended weddings, parties, award ceremonies together. The ring was safe in her possession all those years. They spent even more time together in their old age. She wrote him short stories, love stories, bedtime stories…while he sang to her in his beautiful voice everyday.

She wished to be buried with the ring when her time came.  He was laid to rest next to her. They were devoted to each other. He loved her and she loved him, in popular language. Their love was unspoken, not unrequited.

(Photo courtesy: http://fourlettersword.blogspot.com/2010/04/why.html)

Insomniac until a better tomorrow…

I’m uninspired. I feel totally out of sorts. I can’t think. I can’t sleep. I can’t just let it be. I’m nervous for no reason. I can’t feel what I want to feel. I can’t unwrap my birthday presents. I can’t respond the way I want. I can’t speak any louder than this. I can’t make out the meaning of words. I can’t love. I can’t see what you expect me to see. I can’t read between the lines. I can’t feel innocent. I’m not myself. I can’t calculate. I can’t feel unhappy. I can’t learn  things that I wish to. I can’t find anything I look for. I can’t remember what I’m looking for. I can’t find your number to call you. I can’t smell the flowers you sent. I can’t check my mail. I can’t eat till I’m hungry like hell. I can’t understand. I can’t be sweet. I can’t float in my tub. I can’t describe my mood. I can’t roll over to the other side of my bed. I can’t write any better than this. Amen.

(Photo courtesy: http://www.undyinglove.org/effects-of-insomnia.htm)

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Susanna’s Seven Husbands

Susanna, sixteen and sweet as honey
loved a boy in her Spanish class.
Cute he was, hadn’t much money,
but soon exchanged rings of brass.
Features fine, manners he lacked many;
soon into his grave she let him pass!

A pleasant gentleman made her stop
at his backyard daily where his roses grew.
He too watched, shyly, at her coffee shop
pretty Susanna who was nearly twenty-two.
Married when, in a letter, the question popp’d
but his laconic love made poison bid him adieu!

Touring the world, she met a rich man;
talkative, humorous, a handsome Dutch.
A man of many hobbies – he wrote,swam,ran…
He loved to talk – of his hobbies and such;
She wedded him when they visited Japan;
also, aptly silenced him as he talked too much!

Thirty, lovelier, more mature,
took to poetry in her idle evening hours;
would read and relish lines so pure
by tranquil poets of love, nature, stars…
So married she, out of innocent allure;
a poet, infidel – soon pushed up daisy flowers!

Forty and pretty, love she did crave;
found a doctor, her suitor, lovable for sure.
After marriage, more and more love he gave,
said often, “For my sadness, it’s the cure…”
till the day she plonked him into his grave.
She thought his love too selfish to endure!

For a very brief period, she married a professor
-a scientist, genius, unselfish, naive-
for he said, “Marry me now,” in a puerile manner
and waited very long, from husband one to five.
At the end of a month, she, with an electric driller,
bored him to death – as he did, in a way, when alive!

The last of her husbands, but not the least-
he loved her in a way she hadn’t known before…
Sixty, as old as she, handsome, was a holy priest;
Prince Charming was he, the stuff of folklore.
Not a day into wedlock he was among the deceased…
because true love they finally got; and so, she too was no more!

P.S. The inspiration to write on this particular subject came from the title of one of Ruskin Bond’s short stories, ‘Susanna’s Seven Husbands’, on which the yet to be released Bollywood flick, ‘7 Khoon Maaf’ is supposedly based. Though I don’t know a single detail further about the short story as such, I picked up hints from the promos of the film (of it being a dark comedy, of  there being murders of husbands etc. ) to conjure up this amateurish play of words to convey my own imagination of a dark story about Susanna’s seven husbands.

P.P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day. This is the primary inspiration to write about love. It had to be dark because it’s my blog and today I celebrate the first anniversary of my blog.

Things to remember on this Valentine’s Day, especially if you have broken up a relationship recently

Lately having read many a blog-post dripping with cynicism over the tradition of Valentine’s, the overt commercialization, the artificiality of setting aside a day for loved ones, blah blah blah, I, for a change, decided to depart from my own customary cynicism and write something positive about Valentine’s, especially for those of us who are healing the wounds caused by a vicious break-up. After all, there is still space for “love”, the concept as opposed to the emotion, on Earth, in whatever form or method it is practiced. Well, well, I’m atleast trying to be positive.

Love comes in many forms these days. Let me roll out a few examples, as they come to my mind with or without price-tags,…..greeting cards, SMS, e-cards, balloons, cakes, occasional lengthy phone calls, rarely flowers. While these are on the low-end of love tokens, on the high-end they have candle-light dinners, designer clothes, vintage watches, expensive perfumes, diamond-studded  earrings, sleek cars, bungalows, aircraft, nuclear armament…I mean there is no upper limit to it. I don’t mean to underscore the commercial element of it. Money is only secondary; at least, it ought to be so. The reason being – whatever token of love you receive on this symbolic day, it is not as lovely as when you receive it from the man/woman you most desire.

There is a lover in every one of us. While many of us are fortunate enough to be accompanied by a Valentine on this special day, the rest of us can still dream about having that special person by our side in the nearest future. There must be a few of us who may have broken up with  our partners recently. Those of us must be viewing the impending Valentine’s Day as a major stumbling block to the obscenely difficult course of moving on. To this last group of lovers I want to say, cheer up, because there must be better lovers waiting for you elsewhere. Here are a few tips to get yourself back on your feet, feeling great and looking up again.

First and foremost, get out of those social networking websites which can only beleaguer you with a barrage of status updates and photo uploads from people who are ever ready to flaunt their fake love, and loveless gifts from their insincere lovers. (I assure you that those who update their V-Day adventures surely haven’t enjoyed the day as much as they did uploading the pictures in the aftermath. And, if some of those usual self-publicizing dickheads didn’t update it surely means that they didn’t have any worthwhile adventures to share or are just trying to be elusive. So, there is nothing you would likely miss by not logging into those loser-friendly networks anyway, any day.)

Take a warm water bath. Put on your best-loved dress and get out of your cubbyhole. Get yourself some bright-colored fragrant roses, and chocolates… treat yourself.

On this cheerful day spread your love to those who have the capacity to cherish it. Flush out from your fragile mind those unwanted memories of your ex, forever and ever.  Light up his/her photos with a match and wash them down the drain. It works well as surely as it did for Geet and Adi in Jab We Met.

Don’t cringe at posters of romance movies or at the sound of love songs on your i-POD but enjoy them in your new-found freedom.

Gorge on your favorite pastimes in your renewed perspective of being by yourself again.  Try out new clothes, new tastes, new music, new movies, new books, new forms of art.

It is not really a good idea to reconnect with your old friends on V-Day  for you may be risking hearing an aggrandized update of their V-Day news by doing so; but don’t block an old friend from reconnecting with you.

Finally, take a deep breath and take a moment to realize that  the day wouldn’t have been so awesome had you tried to stretch that exhausted relationship this far and spoiled one of the most divine pleasures of mankind – solitude. So congratulate yourself on breaking that unwieldy relationship for the better. Remember not to blame yourself for entering into it or for being the one who was dumped. No mistake is a bad mistake for you get to learn  something from every one of your mistakes. Likewise, no relationship is a bad relationship for you get to learn something from every one of them.

Happy girl

Remember that though it may seem to you presently that every man or every woman, as the case may be, is as big a douche-bag as your ex, it is not quite true.  So do not hesitate to welcome love with open arms into your life. It may come in the form of a cheerful ray of sunlight, or a wild flower blown into your window by a stray breeze; or perhaps, embodied as a lover knocking at your door on this wonderful day.  

(Photo courtesy: http://umangsota.blogspot.com/)

How I Met A Corporate Bitch And Puked All Over Him

If you are one of those subspecies of Canis lupus appropriately self-domesticated for the purpose of corporate breeding then it is all the better for you to refrain from perusal of my blogposts at this very instant or you might aggravate your rabies  (which is not necessarily good for your career though it might work well with your poor driver or domestic aid).

Well, it is tough to be funny in these trying times. But I manage to squeeze out my daily dose of humor from incidental interactions (an instance of which I will narrate shortly) with members of the corporate community. I can’t help running into at least one of these social parasites every time I step out of my apartment. I swear they are omnipresent,  gracing every space on the earth with their ubiquitous obnoxiousness. I’ll save the subject of management business for another day and for the present I will talk about the more noxious entities of the corporate world – Managers. While most of  them are injected with the virus and are chronic hosts of this affliction, the rest are just wannabes as opposed to ‘aspiring  managers’. FYI, there are aspiring doctors, aspiring engineers, even (as preposterous as it may sound) aspiring  scientists…but there is no such thing as an Aspiring Manager. Yes, yes, (thanks to our highly regarded IIMs and the multitudes that strive for admission into these worshiped temples of education that) it may not be a commonly acknowledged fact as of now but it’ll be very soon. At least as soon as India sees its first openly gay, if not lesbian, President. Anyway,  here it is – the rungs of the ladder (bottom-to-top) one has to climb to get to be a top-level manager are represented here fyi:

wannabe manager–>

desperately wannabe manager–>

cocksucking manager stage1–>

cocksucking manager stage2–>

cocksucking manager stage3–>

…50 years later…

–>blowjob mongering manager (goes home every day to  see his wife  fucking her driver and contemplates  suicide on a daily basis but lacks the fucking bit of nerve)

Besides the front desk receptionists in other departments/offices, English language is one of the items in the long list of things heavily abused  with impunity by these airheads. Don’t get it? Sample this: Management education is one thing and management as an occupation is an “entirely different ball game altogether“. “Ring any bells?”, “Think out of the the box, guys”,  “Well then, let’s cut to the chase“.

Laugh Out Loud. Seriously. Are they serious! This corporate language started evolving  way back in the primitive ages in America, I agree, but why are these Indian monkeys aping it! I hope they are not trying to challenge the notion that Mathematics is the only true universal language… Anyway, coming back to the incident I promised to narrate, here is an everyday regular conversation I overheard between two wannabe managers while traveling in the city bus today morning and standing adjacent to their seats:

wannabe 1: “Good Morning. How are you feeling today?” <shakes hand firmly with wannabe 2, gives him a warm smile, offers the seat next to him>

wannabe 2: “Good Morning. Real good, thanks. How about you?” <with a wide smile, seating himself next to 1>

(An innocuous exchange of greetings as it seemed but may have led some uninitiated onlookers to believe they were homosexual friends who had casual sex last night. It’s just the beginning…)

wannabe 1: “So how was the job?” <maintaining steady eye contact while lowering his head>

(Only for a second I presumed it was blowjob, from the way the line was delivered, but I continued to listen to the chat in that assumption for kicks. To add to my kicks my friend who was traveling with me and standing next to me really believed  what I only assumed, and I didn’t bother to give her any perspective because for all I knew they might’ve really been homosexual, casual sex partners who were wannabes too. So we continued listening to their conversation.)

wannabe 2: “I just went with the flow, dude. My performance was appreciated thoroughly by one and all in the department. I can’t thank you enough for that opportunity.”

(Not much innuendo there…?)

wannabe 1: “You should thank my boss for it. It’s his call dude, not mine really.”

wannabe 2: “Hmm. I liked the job and I’m sticking with it.”

wannabe 1: “Great. Now it’s a win-win situation for you as well as our company, eh?”

wannabe 2: “Maybe. But it is hard to get my arms around it, if you know what I mean. I think I need more teammates for better performance and delivery.”

(Ewww…)

wannabe 1: “The ball is in your court, dude. You are free to take the ball and run with it. But first you should meet my boss.”

wannabe 2: “My previous boss threw me under the bus last week over a project I gave my sweat and blood to. So I had to quit. Hope the new boss is different.”

(My poor friend wondered if he was tossed under the same bus we were traveling in and how in heaven’s name this guy was out  of the hospital so soon.)

wannabe 1: “Definitely. But with our boss you should really mind your Ps and Qs.”

wannabe 2: “Anything else?”

wannabe 1: “You got to keep a stiff upper lip while dealing with boss’s fancies sometimes. And be on your toes. You should always make it happen but not take in more than you can chew.”

(At this point I couldn’t control my laughter any longer, I had to laugh out loud and so I let it out. Unfortunately, the  last dialogue I heard about chewing changed my laughter into puke and I puked all over wannabe 1)

wannabe 1: “Lady, is something wrong with you?” <with the nastiest face in the world, raised his voice, clenched his fist>

(My friend apologized and said that I wasn’t well. I laughed my heart out this time. No more puke. She explained I was delirious because of an overdose of medicines. He, being a pussy as expected, loosened his fist and tried to wipe puke out of his shirt. Meanwhile…)

wannabe 2: “You and your friend may take our seats, please, we can stand, we are close to our station.” <He prompted 1 to  get up and offered the seats to us, with a corporate variety plastic smile plastered to his face>

wannabe 1: “Yes sure, be seated. We have to get down in a minute anyway.” <quite irritated>

(I was thoroughly enjoying it all. My friend was a little shaken by the sudden turn of events..)

wannabe 1: “Friend, please hold my cellphone and wallet. I’ll wipe my pants and put on my coat before we get down.” <handing over his phone and wallet to wannabe 2>

wannabe 2: “Cool phone. Oh, it’s vibrating. You are getting a call from……..from my previous boss?!?!” <utterly baffled,  confused, shocked>

wannabe 1: “What? Are you sure? Check the number again. Give it to me.”

wannabe 2: “Yes, I’m damn sure. It’s his number and his photo too flashing on your screen. To come to think of it he looks a lot like you too. Are you relatives?”

wannabe 1: “Wait, let me see…….Shit. Our boss. I mean my boss. He asked me to engage you in this project somehow.  So I did. You won’t quit now, will you? You signed the contract, remember. Come on now, beggars can’t be choosers, I say.” <Adding insult to injury. The bus stopped and it was their turn to get down>

(“Meet the new boss. Same as the Old boss,”my friend and I cried in unison and I laughed hysterically, till I slipped into delirium. They either don’t listen to music or they didn’t get the joke right then. How could they? Wannabe 2 was almost in tears and wannabe 1 was covered in my puke.)