What dreams were made of

Home
With you and me
The two of us
Enough to be a family

How long have I waited
Not for a white dress
Or a knight in shining armour
Or for a red poofy skirt
Or to throw puffs of rice

Neither did I long for the yellow tattoos
Nor for the henna to darken
The big special day
Never trumps the normal decades that follow
Not for me

What I wanted was
The weekly trips to the supermarket
Fights over monthly expenditure
Small wins over who gets the remote
And then sleeping halfway through it

My dreams were full of
Sunday morning drives
Followed by a simple breakfast in a corner stall
Then came the lunch
Cooked with last night’s leftovers
And a deep fulfilling nap

No romantic roses made the cut
Nor did vows of forever after or the impossibles
I only wanted the daily routine
A partner to witness and share
The meagre vagaries of life

Was it too much to ask for?

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How was your day?

How was your day

You complain

I never ask

You narrate the top headlines

The unruly maid

The unkempt help

The untimely call

The unnecessary gossip

The untidy laundry

The unhappy husband

The unseen sorrow

The unwell joys

The undoing of your mind

And if time permits

The tidings of the neighbors

Of siblings, cousins and nephews

Of promises broken and words unkept

Of those long lost

And the silent goodbyes

In my mind

I narrate the same

With words

Punctuated by silence

And then you complain

I never speak

A clean house

A clean house

Things in place

People in quiet corners

Stuck to their poison

Laptops, mobiles or television

It’s a clean house

No sign of anything amiss

Bedsheets tucked, clothes folded

Utensils washed, windows cleaned

It’s a very clean house

Donned with polite smiles

And goody small talk

A diplomat couldn’t be prouder

One step in

And you’d be wowed

The open floor

The gleaming surfaces

Except for the cobwebs

Hidden in the corners

Or under the table

Or the dust beneath the carpet

Open the closets

You’ll see the grime

The rust that rots the iron

And the rancid acid

That dissolves from the inside

Within the wardrobe

Are stuffed

The broken hearts

Dreams and trusts

Inside the mind

That’s forgotten kinship

Empathy and compassion

Only apathy lies

Behind a face plaid with make-up

Designed to beguile

Designed to dazzle

But it’s a very clean house

Oh, yes indeed

Thoughts

Thoughts
Like shards of glass
Pinch
Pierce
Draw blood
Break through
The perceived numbness

These thoughts
Like Jasmine petals
Spread fragrance
Soft and smooth
Bring joy
Comfort
Hope

These thoughts
Swell
Recede
Happy
Bitter
Relive joys
Dread

These thoughts
Like a stone
Drawing waves
On a still surface
At a soul-less place
Just a hint
Of the currents underwater

These thoughts
They’re all we have

Displacement

Impulsive hair cuts

Expensive evenings shopping

Idle days online

Replacing the hollow

Inside one post, one picture

One dress at a time

Busy days, jittery nights

One more project. One extra glass

One pitcher of wine

Or whiskey on the rocks of hope

Maybe liquid will do to the gaps

That solid can’t fill

Science class from school taught

Displacement

Tectonic shifts

Earthquakes

Quiet aftershocks

But as they also taught

Mass & energy can only be moved

Neither destroyed nor created

So where did it go

That which filled the hollows

In search, travel

Pictures on Instagram

New friends, large smiles

Adventure. Excitement

Momentary joys

Shedding ties. Burning bridges

Blurring the way home

Losing track of time

Displaced emotions

Replaced objects

New hair cuts. Beautiful dresses

Monies spent

Renting happiness

How much did life cost?

The accountants count

X moments of joy

Long and short

Y million dollars

Your balance sheet of life

Written over your shroud

As it hides

Your fresh haircut, your bright new dress

Someday

Regularly
We clean up
The debris
Around
The eye of the storm
And sweep it
Under the carpet

Regularly
We take out for a wash
The skeletons hidden inside
Dust the wardrobe
The bleached bones old and new
And put it back in fresh as a dew

Someday
The skeletons will see
The salvation they seek
Resolutions
Absolving of guilt

Someday

Until then
Regularly
We clean

Dear beloved absentee,

Thank you so much. You are teaching me so much by being absent. So many meaningful life lessons.

Thank you so much. You are teaching me so much by being absent. So many meaningful life lessons.

You’ve taught me that there will be times when you have to single handedly hold on to the threads of the relationship in this tug of war with loss. You let go, and you lose—you lose so much. But if you hold on, oh the joy it could bring!

But at other times , you taught me that there will be times when it’s important to let go. For what is a better teacher than loss. Sometimes, it’s the very loss of something that brings you closer to it. That brings you closer to me.

Then, there’s the lesson you’ve taught me about the different types of effort, pain, and hurt. The pain that holding on brings, and the hurt that letting go carves in your being.

How different are they!

Yet, like an investment, one reaps a return at the end of the waiting holding period. And the other, like a mindless expense, takes you on the road to debt and liabilities. Baggage too. So much extra baggage on your shoulders that may be uncalled for.

Oh, and thank you for introducing me to Hope—she’s a frustrating but happy person whom you want and don’t want to be around. Hope, who keeps whispering in your ears about fortunes yet to be unlocked at the end of this tiring, hard level. Hope—the likes of which keeps a gamer going on and on despite tired hands and eyes. It’s the fire that’s lit in your soul that eggs you on, doesn’t it?

But a request—can you help me keep Disappointment away? He keeps whispering in my other ear that Hope is lying. That maybe, letting go would be easier. That maybe, there isn’t much to hold on to. Maybe you can take him away with you to whatever far away place you’re lost in. He’s tiring. Very much so.

By God, you’ve taught me this big lesson—the power of memory to reconfirm and reaffirm your decisions. For sometimes, it’s not about what lies at the end of the dark tunnel. Sometimes, it’s about what you had in the past and what you really really really dream for in the next chapter of your life.

Thank you for reminding me that I’m in this because of what I want, and what I want to give—not just because of what I’ll get in the future. For aren’t you with a friend because of a deep love you feel for them instead of what they do for you?

And most importantly, this valuable lesson—deep inside me lies a lava of fiery power and strength. To keep aflame the fickle lights of want. To assuage in a vacuum. To keep adding threads extending this thin bond. To carry on.

Lots of love and strength,

Someone who awaits your return