At the end of the day, it’s always about her.

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At the end of the day it’s always about her.

At the end of the day when you finally retire to what you refer as home,

Try to sleep because your eyes demand you to,

Blame yourself once again for the mistakes and screw ups along the way,

At the end of the day it’s always about her.

When you try in vain to free yourself from the clutches of selfish world,

World which you left her for,

World which seemed like a perfect paradise,

Until it got over and you woke up to the reality.

You woke up dreaming of her.

She was your destiny once, but you chose the diversion.

For it looked tempting and yielding to temptations had always been your weakness.

Weakness that became a habit now and she became your karma.

How badly now you yearn for the acceptance of long due apologies,

And a time-machine that could put you back into the lap of golden time.

Time when you were still with her and had not fucked up things yet.

You see yourself smiling with her walking together through busy streets,

You see yourself kissing her hands and watching her melt into your wide arms.

You wake up again to the darkness around.

3 am.

You try to sleep again, close your eyes to fool the world.

At the end of the day, it’s always about her.

 

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Incomplete

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March 2013, a parched dry afternoon at Indore…

I checked my hair for the second time in the mirror of that random bike parked outside cafe coffee day. I wondered as to why my friends say I take too much time checking myself when I only took ten minutes or so doing my hair.

So I rolled up the sleeves of my recently bought shirt & confidently pushed the door of the cafe to walk straight in.

I had to waste not more than two minutes to locate her sitting at right hand corner wearing a knee length black dress.

She rose gracefully from behind the menu card. Her face wore the same intelligent smile with black glasses sitting firmly on it. She waved a bit more casually this time.

It took us only few minutes to get engrossed into the conversation. Not because we knew each other so well but because it was my last day in the town.

“So, you must be all happy that you are moving to Delhi. I mean it sounds good” she said in an articulated way.

“Yeah, well. I genuinely wished it was Mumbai. But fine not bad.” I finished my sentence while I tried to read her face through the faint vapours of caffeine that separated us.

It was the first time I met her outside. I was used to seeing her behind the busy desk in that small newspaper office of hers.

We had shared a strictly professional relation in past two years. Two years as we were calling them now, had brushed aside so fast. The first time she ever asked me out on a coffee..was in the monsoon of last year. And I had to politely put her offer down, saying I was accompanied by my junior team.

Not that we longed for anything more than keeping in touch beyond these two years, but today I couldn’t leave this town without saying her a final goodbye.

There had been numerous occasions when I had been to her office, citing reasons such as I needed her newspaper to cover the events at my institute. And she would then brisk out of her cabin, that dusty old wooden furniture with array of files on them.

“Hey! Good to see you” is how she would greet while adjusting the spectacles sitting on her sharp nose.

“Hi” I would greet her back and hand over the invitation.

She would keep the eyes fixed on mine and keep the envelope aside carefully.

It was then followed by a series of futile attempts to break the barrier of grave nature of our relation.

But today she was not a senior reporter waiting to accept the envelope from me.

“So, what are your plans afterwards? I asked her hurriedly. “As in do you plan to move out of Indore to get into some big newspaper or something?”

“Not really” came her quick reply. I love this place & besides I have looked after this newspaper as if it’s my child. I plan to stick to it. I know it’s a small city & I’m working for a small time newspaper. But I kind of love it. I love being a big fish in the small pond” she said with a smile & her eyes twinkled as if to accompany her smile.

“Wow…yeah I understand. I love this town too. I mean it’s just been two years that I spent here…but I already have an emotional attachment to this place. I wish I had more time.”

“I wish we had more time” I said with a proud feeling to hit the strike one.

“True. But you know, it was probably bound to be like this. Maybe you can find solace in the thought that we even got this far. This far as in – knowing each other beyond those lame professional lingering handshakes that we shared in past two years.” She said with a stronger strike two.

“Hahaa!” We both laughed together followed by a sip of the cappuccino which had gone cold long time back.

“So, you keep in touch…” she said with a gulp in her throat.

“Yeah…” I replied and said goodbye.

A gentle hug had replaced the lame professional lingering handshake.

She adjusted her spectacles before moving her hair back.

As we rose from the chair, I realised that she not only looked pretty but also had a descent height. ‘Stupid thought’ I reminded myself.

“So, you be good. Take care of yourself and make your small pond proud” I bantered.

“Okay…Mr. Waiting to be a Dolphin in the sea”. You take care too. And I will definitely miss you.”

“Same here” I replied and moved towards the waiting cab in the distance.

I turned back one last time before jumping into the van. Her hands waved at me as if there was more to this tale which just began.

“I am coming back one day” I murmured and waved goodbye to the town and her.

 

A date with a midnight

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He was one those silent whispered children, glued to the shadows. Ink was his blood and paper was his realm. Such was the magic of her that she brought out the best in him with her arrival every time. He was a writer and she was a midnight.

He felt strangely connected to her in the loneliest of those after hours. Her cold breeze oozing through the gap of half shut window whispered of first rain somewhere far where it belonged. 3 am was the time he was most awake and she knew all of his secrets. What he went through that day and what had made him smile. He was the shoulder to many and at night, he turned to her for she was a refuge to his tears waiting to swim out. His fingers moved fast narrating a story to her, a story of what he saw, heard and went through. He lived a lonely life because he had to get the best tale out. For he had to be with her all night and be inspired. She was his only inspiration at times to transform the severed words and bond them into a meaningful chronicle for everyone.

He slept less and thought more. Midnight saw him restless, happy, scribbling, resurrecting the thrown out words back. A date with a midnight was all he needed for he was a writer and words danced in his dreamy eyes, waiting to be told. He needed her and she needed him too because he was the only one who did not desert her. He worked in the tranquility of her world and she kept him company by lingering over his shoulders, tickling him occasionally with a cold gust of air.

Troubled girl

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Troubled girl, you keep me getting back to you,

The puff of your cologne,

It fills my lungs.

It smells of your lost love.

Your smell it feels my nose, your smell that is melancholy to your tears.

Tears which on my shoulders took refuge,

That smell keeps me getting back to you girl…

The summer wind – it mocks at me quietly,

It reminds me of tossing up and down of your coloured hair streaks.

This wind whispers in my ears,

Of troubles you shared.

The ones I borrowed and heard your story,

Your troubles and your past,

Your hope and your teen age dreams,

The wind keeps me getting back to you girl…

The couples that I know and ones that I see,

And those stupid mundane fights that they keep getting in.

Are reminiscent of your aqua brown eyes,

The ones I drowned in when I held your hand and let you in,

Along with you, I let your baggage sweep in.

I spoke to you while you gazed at the lake,

I envied the orange sun & even the tranquil air that you breathed in.

They keep me getting back to you girl…

I kissed dried tears on your chin and listen to you talk about him,

Of how you set him free for something else that he had been chasing.

I heard it all and watched you laugh as I pinched you gently.

I became a story-teller and with closed eyes you heard them,

With your head resting on me.

Those stories keep me getting back to you girl…

But now I do see you dream,

In a new photo you shared with your round face wearing a grin.

Same aqua brown eyes,

But different arms now hold you in.

If it rejuvenates your teen age dreams,

Then maybe worth it is.

My hands search for you troubled girl,

You, who now have become a story for me.

Oh troubled girl, you keep me getting back to you,

You left, you did.

But honey, you left your troubles with me.