I continued, “This was happening the other day. Appa came home late, like 11:00. I was very close to sleeping off and he just asked me. Ok! What are you going to do next” But yeah in a, in a very normal tone? So, I had to tell him…”
The night lamp was turned on.
Our photo by my side was dimly lit but visible.
Moving on thoughts got carried away.
Left arm was not searching for her.
It dabbled over the glasses and the paper
“To Maple” was completed.
The pen kissed the next paper.
Its cruel to ask the pen to move on too.
Let the kiss last.
To keep a journal is not my way
To forget happens all day.
To the first word of every line.
To memories, that I think are now only mine.
If you find sometime.
Help me forget you, us and all this
To the hours of us doing nothing…
Ok! Stargazing, maybe.
To the Tea-Bags and the Sugar-Cubes you are really generous about.
To the Laundry Days, I need to be around and talk you through, when you worry about the coffee stain on your favourite-tee.
To the ‘Bye’, ‘I am leaving’, ‘I am seriously going’ ‘Ok! Bye’ and kicking me out after ‘Should I really go’.
To Waking you up after the Old Monk
and lying that you were not creepy after the 4th round.
To responsible discussions where we convinced each other cleverly!
And we could never convince ourselves.
To the cozy blanket, that saved us from reality and where my words were prohibited.
To the Romantic Burgers and Double-Cheese One-liners.
To all the moments I forgot and you might remind me.
Drive me there.
I would tell
I can read maps so well while you are driving us.
I don’t care about how you drive
Because, I too don’t have experience reading maps
Let’s get lost one more time.
Trying to forget
And remembering things more
is not a crime.
“Sands of Time” denote memories.
Remember the beach sand that entered your shoe and never really left.
The crushed paper was sent to where it belongs.
The thoughts could not be sent, because
that is where the promises belong.
And we fail trying to keep up with promises.
(Ok!) Dear Barath!
Shucks! Man. I think this is not my thing. I think you asked me to write a letter to you on purpose! But let me try. This is the first thing you ever asked me. So I’m trying to write something that looks like a letter.
You and your literature things are starting to become interesting for me. All because of you. You talk about it and make me feel like, it’s a mandatory part of my survival. You add those fancy words at the right places and make something out of it, that gets me in this trance, while I am already struck by your handsomeness(Someone’s smiling a lot, now).
This being evident as you are reading, when are you going to get me our first book?
Yes! OUR freaking first book!! I am taking so much control over us. I know all that. That’s because, I miss “us” sometimes and this is the only way I can hold someone’s hand and not feel any pain over the juxtaposed, interlocked fingers(God! Me and my Stupid word choices!)
Writers take a walk by Heartbreak lane on a daily-basis. I know you are new to the neighbourhood, so take your time, learn and get over to me as soon as possible.
I think I am starting to love letters. It gives me this 60s English Womenfolk feel. The Flower-Basket Cycles, Hats, Blue and White checked Shirts. I know you would have picturized me in the above scenarios I listed. Don’t you ever start your plan. I will have to use the Kitchen-Knife just like those 60s movies.
Now coming back to what I really wanted to say.
One fact about humans on earth, irrespective of what songs they hear, or what kinda creatures they live with, humans cheat on themselves for the sake of others, there’s this extent for doing that. You never crossed that, even for me.. that was the thing that amazed me first. You do what you want! I do what I want! And we do what we want(Except when it comes to movies! Because you kinda take the decision always).
We are good! better at times?!
So, write back to me, when the freaking butterfly effect you go mad about lets you!
Write slow and steady, because your handwriting shouldn’t have come past the four line notebooks of kindergarten. I am clueless about how it did!
We are already something. I don’t want an approval by words. Words are bitches.
Say ‘Yes’ with a kiss,
‘Yes’ with two kisses.
You know my name!
P.s.- Its time start loving her. So, Duffer’s diary is closed and kept safely inbetween Vairamuthu and Tolstoy in my book rack.
just barath a.k.a Duffer©
Forgiving is hard, forgetting harder.
I’m on the verge of forgiving one person in my life. That night made it kinda easier. We decided to have a drink. My first and her 11th(I mean she drinks rarely! I don’t know the number of times she drank).
STATUTORY WARNING: Drinking is injurious to health, so is talking, speaking, answering, discussing and everything.
6’o clock on that fine evening. We both decided to sleep over at our friend’s places after it. Yes! We are grown-ups and we can’t explain it to our homes. We are cheating on ourselves by cheating our parents. We know!
Judge us through all the ways you want for just the one reason that she asked me to drink. But if it reaches her ears, that is when your trouble starts.
It’s Mr.Jack Daniel’s turn to speak up. One gulp, quarter cup. Felt like someone set my oesophagus on fire. Drinkers all over the world! Why do you guys want to burn your food pipe!
“Don’t make me call an ambulance now!” she looked at me.
“It’s! It’s nothing” I tried to be casual.
“Why do you look like you’re going to kill yourselves then?” she laughed.
I heard that. But a headache started. I was trying to balance it out. Man! I was indeed doing it like a pro! One tip and I’m skipping on to what happened after the 5th round. If you are getting high when you don’t want to, just try to think something really different from anything running on your mind. It helped!
“I love you, Barath” she said.
“Eh!” that came out of nowhere.
“It won’t be romantic when I tell that again” she dragged.
“You know what! I am steadier than you!” I told a little loud.
“OK! Your first lesson of Alcoholics! Don’t think women can’t stand high like boys. In reality, women don’t get high like those heroines on-screen. That is bullshit! I meant what I said. In fact, I have told you that a number of times” she said.
The high wore down a little after those words. I could remember most parts of what happened that evening.
“Where do I start? Is it just an approval through words you want? Words are bitches sometimes! I write and I am still telling this” I started.
“There is never this, no strings attached feeling with words. We are accountable. I just have this tiny feeling of fear. I don’t wanna lie to you about it. In fact, you are the one person I totally do not wanna lie about” took another sip.
“Clearly I don’t want to go the past. But I don’t have a present. I don’t know if.. if I can give this my all. I’m in this phase where every goal I walk turns out to be a mirage. I need you. I need you now. I’ll need you always. I am just this far from the Suicidal Thoughts.You know what gets me going YOU”
“I don’t know if I am high. I don’t know how you define it. But alcohol gave me some serious confidence today” I think I said it all.
“This gives me some responsibilities. So I’m not going to let you drink a lot from today. You did speak so much and that matters to me. It’s just this freedom I have when I am with you that makes this so special for me. I don’t have that freedom even when I am alone. Wait! I don’t know if you are going to remember this evening properly!” she smiled while she said that.
“If I won’t rem..remember don’t tell any more important things. Already my memory power is damn poor” I stammered through.
“Barath! You are really in a good kinda high. You never accepted about this memory thing. Never before” she laughed at me.
“I think you got these words out. Not even Mr.Jack here. I’m down and normal. But this left side is less functional” I demonstrated.
She laughed again. You did not note that I told her I love her. She understood that. There is this one thing about humans. They keep you happy or teach you lessons! She was doing both and as I told in the very beginning, I am forgiving someone and Fuck! I am not drinking again! For sometime atleast!!
It’s time for the HOME RUN!
– just barath (c)
Maybe the last- Write side of the heart
I’m still just a beginner when it comes to using the hand dryer at mall restrooms. It doesn’t dry my hands completely. Or is that how things work there. Why am I even thinking about this now?
Especially, when I have a girl waiting for me outside. And Good heavens this mall had the parking stairs. I could sneak in inspite of being late.
What am I gonna tell her for being late?
‘The hand dryer is messed up!’
Its time to silence my doppelganger talking, with the Ads and Anthem that’s going to be played inside the theatre. Its time to walk out. Because, if I don’t, she might complain about my missing to the Mall Security.
I started walking out and there I saw her. Wait! That’s some other girl. I wore my specs! Now I saw her, smiling at me.
‘Hi, Hand dryer.’
Shut the Fuck Up! CONFUSED BARATH.
I got to her, “Hi, Sorry for keeping you waiting…”
“No, Not a problem. I walked in only now.” and another smile.
‘You can walk in 3 hours later too.. But don’t forget to smile. Because if you forget, I can’t write poetry about you for your Birthday’ I thought.
“The hand dryer is messed up!”
Shut Up Barath!!! Wait! I did not say that. To confirm I asked, “What?” She told, “The hand dryer inside was not working properly.”
That screwed-up hand dryer. Yayy!! Its my turn to talk about the Men’s hand dryers’ mechanics. But I was satisfied with, “This problem happens everywhere. They care a lot about what’s on the outside and forget that the inside things keep everything going.” “Wow! Metaphorical and philosophical Barath is!” she told, she really did.
“Did you interpret it that way? You are so cool” I told her. Someone play that happy tears Music here, please.
“I don’t hear that cool part often” she dragged. “I think I should tell this frequently.. if you want” we started walking.
“That won’t change my inside” she told.
“Nothing should. Except for you talking to yourself, nothing can change your inside” I cleverly replied.
Then she looked at me. That’s the kinda look they talk about in my kinda movies. Barath! don’t try explicating this. I caught her looking at me and still she did not turn away. I was living the second and then she turned aside. What ran in her mind then? I’m just clueless.
Then I asked, “Why were you looking at me that way?” “I.. I can’t tell! You find out” she told taking a pause.
‘I shouldn’t have asked that!’ I did not know how to react after those words. That’s when some lines from PULP FICTION came running to my left cerebral hemisphere.
“That’s when you know you have found somebody really special. When you can just Shut the fuck up for a minute and comfortably share a silence.”
She followed me to the theatre door and then our movie began.
-just barath ©
The 2nd Episode- Something’s brewing
P.s. Barath will be the name only till I find a name for that role. Yeah! It’s just a name.
“Chai, chai”, the dirty, uninteresting tea vendor was shouting by the Railway Station. But he was interesting to just one person in the entire crowd. One, one person. He checked his purse. Counted the last 2 rupee coin and it summed up to 17 rupees. He looked for the uninteresting tea vendor, who was long gone. Long gone into the crowd filled with many one persons, 17 rupees and black pens.
Little did his supporters realise that 17 rupees and unquenchable dreams are an irremovable part of him and his unique, impractical race.
They tried consoling him with words when only shoulders and lies can save him. They tried giving him luncheons when only spiral notebooks and Writing softwares can save him and Yes! By law of nature he knows he will consider it stupid in a few days. They tried making him joyous by appreciating every little step he took when only he could see his skill rotting.
He remembers lots of things, even things which he wants to forget. And that gave him Words (Fortunate or Unfortunate, his readers will decide!), and then started a War between his Heart and Mind, a WALK OF SOLITUDE to fucking Neptune.
And still he decided to walk with his 60-year old lean shoes, catching his Branded Low-hip jeans from going down, holding his shoulders high to get hit by every crafted entrances of rooms towards death and also towards his home as he finally bought a cup of coffee from another uninteresting tea vendor with his Ticket Amount. He wanted to write when he reaches home with a pen that he had to shake well in-between 27 words to be precise,,,
“©”(This is the funny bone’s work)
“Hey! Hi, how are you?” She asked as she saw me sitting on the stairs of the Concert Hall.
She was Akshara. I met her last year at the same Hindu Literature Festival. We mostly attended all the events on a day together and spent the day really well. I did not get her number and Wait! She didn’t too. I forgot her face, but as the advertisements for this year’s festival popped up, she came to my mind first. I even thought of searching the Likes of the event’s Facebook Page. But from 26,000 I don’t even have the slightest chance of finding her name, even before the next event.
“Hi, Akshara Right?” I told. “Yes, Barath, without the second ‘h’ ” she remembered my name, the actual name. “So you’re a volunteer this year?” I asked. “Yes, wanted a clear picture of the event. So signed up as a volunteer. No one would see the show better than me. I am at the front, passing Time Prompts to the moderators” she told, in what seemed like a proud and happy tone. “So, you were the one, who was actually tapping on the stage when Kanhaiya was speaking,” I asked. “You saw me already! Why didn’t you talk to me then” she answered with a question. “Dude I was on the Balcony and how do you expect me to get your face and I hated you a lot, How can you ask people to end such Good Shows. I hated you a lot”. “That job was for the Iron-Hearts, someone who can stand so much Hatred, but it’s not that serious. Everyone understands the situation” she told completing the sentence with a smile.
“Had your lunch?” I asked. “Yeah Man! And don’t tell me skipped your lunch again”. I nodded. “Grow leaner and leaner,” she said. “I’m lean and healthy” I replied instantly. Before she could begin her sentence, I asked her, if she wants a coffee. We started walking to the Coffee Place. Being a crazy coffee aficionado I told her about that brewery’s coffee “This coffee is one of the good coffees in Madras. Its 50 years old” I completed a little louder. “Really!” she asked in a rather dragging tone. “Barath, last time I ordered a coffee, got it and in 15 minutes the coffee turned cold. 50 years doesn’t sound good” she told looking at me. I started walking back. She caught me and turned me back simultaneously laughing at me and telling, “Ok! Ok! I won’t talk”.
We got our coffees and I suggested we sit on the stairs with the View of the Entrance. She nodded and we walked slowly and carefully, fearing the coffee might dye someone else’s dress. We care for our strangers you know.
“So Akshara, What do you think about the festival?” I told and took the first sip. She completed her first sip. She looked like she liked the taste, told “Hmmm, Cool Man. Better than last year’s show. More People! Learned a lot”. “The decor is heavenly, little things with so much beauty. You changed the place altogether, It’s going to be harder removing all this and getting this back to normal” I told. She replied “They hired a team for it. It’s going to be hard for them.”
As we were talking a woman passed by us wearing a White floral Printed Frock and Neon-Orange Puma Shoes. “Look at that fashion sense Akshara!” I told her pointing the direction with my eyes. “Get used to it Barath. This might be a big fashion statement in 2 years” she told. “But would you do that?” “Definitely not” she was confident and I was happy. “So many new faces right? This year” she asked. “Not just faces new Skin tones, dresses, and way of life. I have not seen this kind of an Intellectual English crowd before. These people are the Elites of MADRAS. You get a chance to look at them only in a Few Sabhas, Secluded Cafes, and temples. I have seen a few of them. But seeing all these people together puts me in a state of a Cultural Shock. But in a good Sense. I mean I just admire” I told. “How good it would be to live like them! But sometimes I think it would be boring with too many responsibilities. What do you think?” she asked and took the last sip of the coffee. “It would just be a pain in the ass, for you and me. I am very sure” I told and we both started laughing. Happily, unhurtingly judgemental!
We turned towards the entrance still smiling and spotted Rishi Kapoor Ji, some 10 steps ahead of us walking casually amidst few organizers.
-© just Barath.
P.s. – Purely Fictional. I went to the festival (The best lit fest I have been to!). But met no one like Akshara. I started reading my old works and missed writing so much, getting back little by little. It’s hard to get the first word out and even harder not writing. So long!