imagination

Hopeless patterns

There was a pattern,

always a pattern

In the books read, recent playlists played,

Colors of weather and unwritten letters,

Badly scribbled notes under the mattress of the bed.

There was a pattern in the first said words of that broken conversation—if only you knew

Those tucked away pictures hidden from the world,

And tickets that were never used to fly 7000 miles away.

There was a shameless pattern in all the words unsaid, all the endeavors to make you break away

In the first days when seasons changed—the leaves falling off or turning green,

There were patterns in the first fall of snow and my perfect summer dream,

There were patterns in the waves of the ocean that connected lands in between.

There were perfect patterns in the winds that blew; signs if only you knew.

But oh well, never mind

Why did it matter?

When our minds were always a mess, a hopeless clatter.

 

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3 am

Have you often wondered about that middle hour of the night, when it’s only you and your silence to accompany?

Have you wondered why you feel so connected at this time of the night? What is it about 3 am, when it’s neither the beginning of the morning nor the end of the night? It’s when you can’t decide what you want to do with your life.

3 am is when you listen you to those songs that haunt you during the day, full of memories you’re afraid to replay. 3 am is when you think of replying to some texts, those emails that you’ve been ignoring since God knows when. It’s the hour when courage comes from within, for it’s the time when you’ve applied to that school you’ve been dreaming about, registered for that course you’ve always wanted to be a part of, filled that job application, wrote that short story that has always been at the back of your mind but could never come out.   3 am is that time which always cries, ‘send away that text, we’ll see what happens next.’
3 am is when a movie has just ended and you don’t know what to do with your life anymore, so you try to listen to the silence around, breathe and take in everything that is around in that odd hour of the night when even the early birds are sleeping.
3 am is when you have conversations with people in other time zones, mostly because you can’t ignore them or because they are too funny to be ignored.

3 am is also when you recognize your true friends. An hour more needy hasn’t been discovered yet.
3 am also brings upon conversations with God, about life, and things that you’ve been trying to understand but failing. It’s the time when heartfelt prayers are made, listened and answered to.
3 am is the hour that is mostly deserted yet always awaiting guests who are either smiling at the past day or crying for the pains tomorrow brings. It silently blankets the drunk, the homeless, the artists, the depressed and those who are preparing for an exam tomorrow and haven’t studied a word before.
3 am sounds really late and perhaps a lonely time of the night but it really is another world altogether waiting to be discovered where the best secrets are shared, the best conversations take place, the best books are read, the best bars, the best friends and the best people are found.

Dream in a dream

I think it was a dream. But then I could not be so sure. Because one moment it felt like a dream, from someone else’s perspective and the next moment, I was there getting out of my warm car and into the cold winter night.

It was cold, almost 5 degree Celsius but there I was, walking into a fancy Halloween party. The ones that you could see from outside through windows, with shimmery lights fading into the dark. So technically, it must have been October. I strode towards the house and climbed up the front stairs.

Now that I recall, I don’t know whose house was it or who invited me for the party.

I was only wearing a plain black suit but I could see Gandalfs and Batmen and Jasmines, a Dumbledore, a Harry Potter and a fat little dwarf among others. There was Chucky with his knife—a little taller than the actual—and Annabelle, a recent addition to horror tales. For a moment I could not decide where I belonged and so I lingered in the hallway. But then I turned to a corner where I had spotted Bellitrix Lestrange in the bluish darkness. Now, in reality I hate the existence of Belitrix but the fact that I decided to move towards her and not Hermoine (in the far end of the room, also by her own) tells me that this could not be real.

Bellitrix was, Bellitrix. There is no other way to explain it. But she was gentle. Although she did not smile while we talked, she never made me feel intimidated. But she kept hidden in shadows. This concerned me. I feel stupid right now but I tried really hard to make her smile. Maybe I wanted to see whether she her soul too was Bellitrix or not. It’s very hard to understand I know, so I won’t try to explain. It was one of those moments when the lights were changing and I was trying to crack lame jokes that she laughed—a heartless Bellitrix laugh. I swear I heard my heart tremble. I wish I could see her face and not her silhouette then—see whether her laugh reached her eyes. But by the time the lights made their way back, the laugh was gone and so were her expressions—if there were any. She was back to being dry and gentle.

We had drinks soon. As I followed her down the hallway I could faintly smell her—raspberry, herbs and perhaps, burnt wood. I liked thinking of burnt wood then. The drinks were in blue and red. I had never tasted those before. She held a paper cup for me while took a sip from the other. I did not like my blood-red drink but gladly finished it because well—because I was having a drink with her!

I think she read my mind because she smiled at me for the first time without hiding herself behind the dark shadows. And I swear I saw two black teeth between her smile. I needed to know if they were fake and unreal just like her costume or was that really her—the dry-laughed, black toothed Bellitrix. I needed the answers but I couldn’t dare to ask. And so I tried to run away.

She said she would come see me off. I almost did not hear. But she followed anyway. When we came out of the house into the silence, it was snowing—in October. I must be losing myself completely.

She looked at me and then up at the sky for a few seconds before she looked at me again. ‘Amazing isn’t it? What’s been happening tonight?’ She smiled at me. Her teeth didn’t show.

I didn’t know what she had been hinting at. ‘I think I’m just tired tonight. So I’ll go. It was nice meeting you.’ I could only manage.

‘I’ll see you around I guess.’ She said and went back to the illuminated house.

I did not wait to look at her back. And I don’t remember what happened next. I had begun to imagine that it must have been a dream after all

But when I was shopping today for the weekly groceries, days after the Halloween incident, she appeared in my aisle (which was deserted except of course myself), at the far end—I cannot imagine how that might have been—and said, ‘Hi’. She was still dressed as Bellitrix, her hair was as messy as you could imagine. Only she was more cheerful.

I could make up my words together to say hi back. I was struck, dumbfounded.

‘I told you I’ll see you around, didn’t I?’ She said nonchalantly. ‘And oh, by the way, those teeth were fake.’ She smiled her brilliant smile so that all her white teeth showed in the bright light.

I have been trying to remember what happened next.

Of vivid imagination

It only seems natural to write the way you imagine things, but it never comes out on paper the way you would want it to. The easiest thing to write about, I think is your opinion. It is based on a judgment and while it may be right or wrong, it is yours at the end of the day.  What is most difficult to write about is your imagination because I think it seldom comes out the way you want it to be seen or the way you have seen it. And although one would say that what does it matter, it’s yours too at the end of the day, but no it’s not. What you’ve seen is different from what you’ve produced and making the difference between the two minimal is where lies your satisfaction. Thus, in the former, success is where your satisfaction lies while in the latter, it’s the other way round.

I want to write about the way I imagine things. The way my mind depicts them- of glimpses of weird imagery, of memories of people I’ve seen and those I‘ve never seen but always dreamt, of light from the trees and rivers, of many places neither seen nor visited. Often dreamt of is a boulevard that is covered with leaves that are green and yellow- a mixture of spring and fall- no matter what season it is, it looks like the mechanics of time does not work there because no matter when it is seen, it’s always a time before dusk when I can always listen to the birds chirping and peeping from one branch of the tree to another, that stand on both the sides of the road. I can even see the insects that crawl on the leaves as vividly as one sees them in their lawn. But the mystery of that long boulevard is the bench that lies right in the middle of it: white, made of wood that is always empty, like it’s waiting for a traveler to come by who would sit there giving the bench its due share for which it is placed in the long lonely way.

It looks like this boulevard is a part of some other world; some other universe where creatures such as humans do not exist that might pollute the beauty of it even by their thoughts, though it might have a way towards the humanly world at one end of it, the end from where I always look at it; while the other end of it that I can only see clearly while I squint is light- a light so powerful that it might absorb everything under its influence, a light that although is a total opposite of a Black hole but attracts things the same way a Black hole does; only, this light makes you want to come towards it and be a part of it as opposed to a Black hole which would suck you towards it even if you don’t want to be absorbed into it to be disappeared forever.

And while you look at that light at the other end of the boulevard, this long beautiful road seems like it had only been made to honor the illumination, like an attractive pavement that has been paved only to strike the magnificence of the destiny, or an attractive frame added to an already expensive work of art; the road with the trees from both sides- where time never changes, where birds keep chirping forever, where the lonely white bench stands there alone waiting for a passenger, where the insects keep crawling on the green and yellow leaves- only stays there in the hope that someday someone might travel on this path and honor its existence by getting to the other end it–The eternity.

 

(Jan 31, 2013)