Let me lead you through

Commit

On the thirteenth page of Barnes’ Levels of Life, I was drawn away for the fraction of a second- I was distracted by a vague recollection of the dream I had last night.

I was also distracted by the FM radio playing in the background. I was fiddling with the thought of switching it off and concentrating on the words in front of me. And the moment passed. I kept on reading: freedom…..moral space…. and a Kishore Da song about love and other things kept filling the room.

In a corner, I sat with my bare back pressed against his chest, with him against the wall, his lips on my shoulder as I turn my face and guide them to mine- our hands trying to caress and hold and let go all at the same time.

In the reception of a resort, I bid him goodbye. We stand there, between us feelings that we didn’t wish to acknowledge. Between us miles that may never be traversed.

In the reception of a resort, I bid him goodbye. Don’t shrug this off as a repetition just yet. Let me lead you. 

We stand expectantly, hoping to make this departure a statement that declares pent up feelings that we’re unable to understand.

In the reception of a resort, between us an electric current, a magnetic attraction of unprecedented proportions.

I hesitated, closed this distance between us and slid my hands across his waist hoping to give him a momentary half hug, better than the weight of words struggling to explain what we felt. I think it is allowed. It is allowed to make a gesture that says nothing but brings us closer.

We close our eyes for the split second contact that our bodies make and sigh. Both of us perhaps wishing to go farther than this but held back in a restraining urgency arising out of a lack of mutual declaration of love.

In the reception of a resort, you watch two people saying their goodbyes. You watch the story as I create it for you. You wonder what has happened before this and if this really is as simple as it looks. It’s not. But thank you for taking a peek inside my imagination. 

In the reception of a resort, a half hearted goodbye that stays lingering in the air after you’ve seen her walk away towards the exit and him undecided- watching her go.

The Daily Post Prompt

Paper

What is it to you,

A piece of paper with words on it.

But to me a photograph of my thoughts,

As they flit across my mind.

But to me a way to record what I remember of these darts,

Flying across a canvas that has been overwritten time and again,

And I can’t discover anyone,

What has already transpired.

So to me,

A memoir it becomes of vague phrases and sentences trying to make sense.

To you, just a sheet of paper,

To me, the beginning of everything.

Allusion: Amazon Original: The Beginning Of Everything

Prompt: Loop

The Daily Post Prompt

My dream runs into a roadblock,

And begins again,

As if in a loop.

I go back again to the turn around the corner of the street,

And I know not where,

I am headed.

It’s the crowd that pulls me in and my skin changes to asphalt,

People walking over me, their heads turned to the sky.

Will I end up where you are?

But no,

My dream runs into a technical glitch,

And I begin again, hoping that one of those people is you.

Leave me alone with the mountains

Meddle

Desolate, unkempt hills of darkness, 

I am here to find my way.

Through your valleys I pass,

and dead lies the day.

There runs a brook of my memories across your million crevices, 

oozing in and out,

and flooding about. 

Damp lies your floor and starry overhead, 

the sky dances to the tune I hum.

Alone I traverse your abandoned recesses,

though sometimes I hear voices. 

Voices of my mind drown me out,

drain me in,

or the other way round,

Meddling with the sound of my breath.

To homesick men and women out there

Relieved
I know this city feels new. I know it intimidates you with its nooks and corners that you have never set foot into.

And you can’t bring yourself to call it home.

Everyday as you walk back that rented apartment you co inhabit with another person to share the cost of living in a place that is as far removed from the feeling of belonging as are you from your little town, you yearn to find yourself in a familiar vaccum.

A vaccum that suffocated you.

But let it grow. Let this city with it’s cross crossing network of gullies and lanes grow on you until you are no longer afraid to be lost here.

Make it your own. Faces become familiar after a while if you only give it some time. They stop being hostile to a stranger and relax into a faint smile as you come across them- day in and day out.

You are one of us now.

It doesn’t feel homesick anymore. Somewhere, as you talk to your mom over the phone and she asks you where you are,

You break into a relieved sigh and say, ‘I am home.’

Blossom

No one prepared you to grow up. As kids, what we have always wanted is to grow up so that nobody snatches the TV remote from us as we watch our favorite shows on after the another with no one to admonish us or to keep our binge in check. Our wallets shall be stuffed at all times with money that will have us helping ourvelves to all the candy in the world.

What I grow up, I am not going to school anymore! 

Nobody prepared us for this.

Our elders hoped we’d blossom into beautiful human beings but we haven’t. At least not yet. I don’t know why it is taking us so long to belong to this humanity. 

Strange how the hype around growing up seems such a sham once we are there as adults trying to make ends meet and comfortably settling into a routine.

Leather, leather as light as feather.

Where do I begin?

There is a leather industry. It is abominable, but it thrives too. And a market exists because there are consumers and there is enough demand.

These consumers, while purchasing leather products, pay the retailers who in turn obtain products from the whole sellers on a supply first payment next basis. When these and the manufacturing units are put in motion, they pay wage/income to their workers involved in a process that begins with procuring of hide. 

Some leather Craftsmen sell directly to retailers or peddle their products themselves. These are often unorganized and marginalized. They are not registered for sale or trade in the hide/tanning/leather business but they owe their subsistence to it. Often their family members are involved in the work that goes into a finished product because that is all they can do to survive.

Even before the procurement of hide, there has to be an animal that is killed for it. It is brutal. This shouldn’t be happening in the first place well because it is cruel and it does not take into account only a COW. The same goes for slaughtering of any animal for the purpose of creating a marketable commodity out of it, be it horse, buffalo or crocodile.

But here is the thing. We are hypocrites and bigots. It is this bigotry that makes killing of a horse for hide more acceptable than that of a cow. It is this hypocrisy that makes us buy leather products and imagine it probably appeared out of nowhere and with a disclaimer that says:

No cows or animals were harmed in the process of making this pure leather product.

Because well, all animals are equal- cows being more equal than others.

It is this duplicity that makes us conveniently ignore the fact that Centre wants to generate leather revenues of $27 billion by 2020.

Where is all that leather coming from?

And when you’re being so angry about animal slaughter, do you care if it’s coming from some other animal? What then puts you on a higher pedestal to go about thrashing people who deal in hides? What moral ground do you adhere to?

If we had our religious sentiments attached with chicken, I am sure we’d be this agitated. But since that is not the case, guess what’s in lunch today? 

Chicken Butter Masala.

Also, I don’t eat chicken on Tuesday since it is an auspicious day relating to the deity I worship. I’d rather have it killed on any other day of the week. Let me put up a straight face as I say that and expect you to revere me.

What are these cow vigilantes fighting for? Someone can tell them to stop because that is not a fight anymore. You’re not angry because your religious sentiments have been hurt. You’re not offended because you love animals.

You cannot stand your own people and as we all know and I quote, “wars are always personal” 

Sherlock in School

As I finished reading A Study in Scarlet, a vague and distant recollection hit me about having read a bit of Doyle’s fine detective when I was in school.

Intrigued as I was, I went through the titles of his works and found the one I was looking for! 

The Speckled Band

I found an apt description about the story on this post A summary and analysis of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Speckled Band

When I first read the story, I remember that for most part I kept thinking the gypsies we’re somehow in the act. Only towards the end is the truth revealed.

As Sherlock and Watson waited in the middle of the night, observing intently and looking for any deviation from the ordinary,

I found a parallel in the British TV Series Sherlock when they wait for the abominable bride at Carmichael house.

How shall I ever forget that dreadful vigil? I could not hear a sound, not even the drawing of a breath, and yet I knew that my companion sat open-eyed, within a few feet of me, in the same state of nervous tension in which I was myself. The shutters cut off the least ray of light, and we waited in absolute darkness.

When you see Martin Freeman acting the part of a nervous Watson, one could very well believe this excerpt from The Speckled Band be an explanation of how he was to express himself and his fright as the two waited! 

Quoting Sherlock

The victims of persecution had now turned persecutors on their own account, and persecutors of the most terrible description.

Hence every man feared his neighbour, and none spoke of the things which were nearest his heart.

I get in the dumps at times, and don’t open my mouth for days on end. You must not think I am sulky when I do that. Just let me alone, and I’ll soon be right.

Quoting Sherlock 

“I consider that a man’s brain originally is like an empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it.”

I am currently reading A Study in Scarlet. I have watched the British show Sherlock as well as the American spin-off Elementary set in contemporary Manhattan. I have also watched the two movies with Robert Downey Jr and I adore the person that Doyle has created: a classic. The characters transcend time and the ages and still speak as if making sense, years later. 

I am reading the novels once again and will be quoting what I find share worthy for some time now. Like this part of a paragraph. 

The shortcomings of an inefficient memory plague me from time to time and I could relate to this. Easier said than done now, isn’t it? You’ve wished so many times that you don’t want to remember that day when you embarrassed yourself in front of others. Or that you don’t want that flashback keep coming back to you when you thought your heart could never love anyone again.

And now in retrospect you realise how you’ve grown! We create memories as we go on living our unremarkable lives so that we have something to remember it by: like photographs, only that the faded blue shirt might some years feel more like grey. Only that the people change around us in these photographs- in substance and character. 

We need anecdotes to tell others our stories of overcoming grief and failure, even the embarrassing moments that had us want to die only that we didn’t. 

Perhaps that is why Sherlock gets away with implying that the common person fills up his mind with meaningless mumbo-jumbo. He exists in fiction- a man in the throes of deductive reasoning and we don’t find ourselves stumbling across roommates of such a peculiar bend.