All posts by Pratibha

I miss you

Rishikesh ..
Before I met you, I had no memory of this city. I had visited it a few times with my parents during summer vacations. I remember stopping at random shops to pick mangoes on the way and my mother reminding us not to soil our clothes because mango stains are too hard to get rid of. Mangoes, road trip, my mother teaching us old Bollywood songs while my father slept most of the time – that is all I remember. You had laughed when I told you this because when I met you, I did not like mangoes at all.

But with you next to me, the city did not feel new when I first looked at the temples on the riverbanks ahead of me. This city was so deeply embedded in your stories, your poems, your memories that I felt it seep into me when I first kissed you. When you smiled at my desire of together forever, I knew you were imagining of us sitting at a riverbank in this city. I knew the city by heart from the time you left one weekend without informing me but then kept sending me pictures every few hours of what you were up to. There were no words exchanged that week till you came back to me but every image helped me forgive you for running away. When you took me with you next time, I felt like you were sharing a secret with me, something no one else would ever know.

Reading the name of this city, a place that is a second home to you and me, a place whose waters are witness to the promises we made to each other, the name that makes me miss you with a new intensity today.

Was it a lie

Was it ever real,
those 3 am emails after office,
the morning calls for breakfast
the reminders for a walk
and the night full of poems
sent in multiple parts
over emails, texts and calls;


Did you ever realize
the tears I shed when you left
my silent wishes to just see you once
the false stories I told myself
or the poems through winds i sent
the time I roamed in your city
wondering if fate will intervene
and bring you to my lonely world.


Was it all a lie
or my imagination, I fell so hard
what words did you mean from your part
no matter how many times I held my heart
I can only see a shattered love
reflected in the pools of memory
of the doomed moment,I gave you myself.

Love wrapped in colors

It started with the lock down. The idea had taken root much before that, I admit. But being alone at home all day and night, made me think of picking a new hobby. With the least number of materials required and the fact that I could always call my mother to give me video instructions, Knitting was the obvious choice for the new hobby. Even though I began with a dark purple yarn to knit a scarf for myself, the yarn got over before I could finish the scarf. Since I had to pick next yarn by shopping online, I chose a multicolored one this time – four yarn bundles of synthetic yarn. I should mention that this yarn type is really hard to control and it took me multiple attempts to even begin knitting. I swear if my mother was not watching me on a video call, I would have cried a little out of frustration.

This new yarn is yellow , orange , magenta , green and blue all rolled in a single ball. It compensates for the mild discomfort I feel sometimes in my shoulder after knitting. This will be another scarf ( I am going to practice only the basic stitch till I am confident in my work ), which I have decided to gift to the beautiful wife of my best friend. This young couple took care of me when I was down with flu early this year and for all the weekend meals that they have shared with me whenever I was alone at home, I could not think of a better token of my appreciation than my time making this scarf.

Someone recently asked me if it hard to learn to knit but isn’t that the fun about learning? To have a good challenge and to be able to make something with your patience, hard work, and a lot of love. I have a request from four people to make a simple scarf for them. I am already keeping a list so I do not forget or gift someone out of the order in which I got these requests. As for me, I only look forward to learning a new pattern for my next project and to mix a little white yarn to balance all this brightness.

She left love behind
hidden in colors on canvas
smiles follow the heart.


Written for the Haibun Monday @ dVerse Poetics

#DramaReview : He’s coming to me

He’s Coming To Me (HCTM) is a supernatural BL (Boys Love) show from Thailand which has a good mystery element to it too. HCTM is the story of a boy who can see ghosts and a ghost stuck in the mortal world. In one of his earlies visits to the cemetery with his dad, Than meets the ghost Mes. Mes does not have any family to offer him ceremonial food so Than offers candy to him. From that year, he visits Mes for a few more years whenever he goes to pay his respect to his grandmother and his father whose grave is nearby to Mes.

Many years later, when Than is all grown-up, he starts visiting Mes again. This time he asks Mes the reason for being stuck on Earth as a ghost. Ideally, all souls go back to heaven and are later reincarnated. Than finds that Mes does not know the true reason for his death which might be the reason that he is still on Earth. After his last visit to the cemetery, Than feels bad about leaving Mes alone with no visitor and decides to bring Mes to his college dorm. He promises to help Mes find his identity and the reason for his death so he can leave this world.

The other prominent characters in the story are Than’s mother and his college friends – two other guys and a girl who likes Than. There are two other ghosts in the cemetery with Mes who have kept him company for all the years and offer him both good company and support when he is down.

Once Than & Mes starts living together, they form a beautiful friendship as they hang out with each other. Than teaches Mes about the changing world while Mes helps him with his studies. While Mes had no one from the outside world to meet, Than had his own reasons not to feel close to his best friends and been struggling with his thoughts. Mes helps him unburden some of these thoughts and gradually these two lonely people develop deeper feelings for each other without being too vocal about it.

Than’s & Mes attempts to find about Mes and his death add a good pace and story arc to the show. It is not just a side plot but was very integral to hooking me to this show.

HCTM : Than & Mes

HCTM starts off on a very sweet and funny note as Mes finds that the kid visiting him can not only see him but understand his requests too. The initial scenes between Than and Mes as really adorable and by the end of episode 1, one can not escape the charming Than’s infectious smile. Ohm Pawat who plays the role of Than has done a brilliant job in portraying the sweet innocent college guy who is funny, loyal and also flawed & confused as many college kids are. Singto who plays the role of Mes is already a well-known actor. His amazing acting skills can be seen in each of his impeccable expressions. Whether it is the happy puppy looks in the beginning when he first comes out of the cemetery or the scene when he realized his own feelings of this doomed love, I could not stop admiring him in the show.

The college scenes with Than & his friends are so natural, fun and much relatable in their talks and actions. One can feel that some of the supporting actors are chosen carefully and they add so much value to the show in every interaction. Than’s mother’s character is of very modern friendly mother and was quite an interesting one to watch in the show. Ohm totally shows his skills in the scene where Than comes out in front of his mother. In fact, HCTM has one of the best coming out scene among all  BL shows I have seen so far.

I had heard of Singto’s brilliance before but this was my first time watching him & Ohm in any show. Their on-screen chemistry was so magnetic that one feels drawn towards this story and before you realize you are emotionally invested in their fate. I am glad I picked this show based on the plot and the fact that it is just an 8 episodes long show. This is one of the most underrated BL story

This series was the winner for LINE TV Awards 2020: Most Dramatic Scene: Ohm & Singto. [ I would not post the scene for that will be a spoiler but the award was well deserved ] Here is a part of Ohm’s speech after accepting the award –

Bracelet

It is a family tradition –
a tiny gold bracelet with little bells
a bird, a flower, an protective eye,
added at random to the sleek chain
Passed to every newlywed
a reminder to the expectations.


Many years later, the unused bracelet
rests heavily on my hopeless heart
like chains, it holds me a slave
to feel like a failure, even if privately.

Inspired by Day#7 prompt at Toads : Bracelet

Regret

I sometimes regret
once knowing you so well
like a part of my own soul,
your words that healed me
like the blood of my own;
if only I could have kept you
trapped in my memories alone,
as if you were never mine to be;
I wished for a sister, a companion
to my lonely, loveless world,
forgetting how our forbidden love
would bring upon us, all the ill-luck.

The prompt for day#6 poem @ toads was to write a poem in the voice of another: in this case, the voice of a woman living in feudal times, addressing her laotang (a lifelong BFF/soul sister matched to young girls in China).

Warning

Darkness. Violence. You & Me

Me – drowning within a sea of hands,

taking away my dignity & sanity

one handful at a time;

You – silent tears trapped behind

the glass tower you locked yourself in

assuming I can fight once more

without laying guilt on your soul;

Guess what , I did escape again

no thanks to you, all on my own

so what if it is a recurring dream,

how could you dismiss it so easily,

the one time i bared my fears

should i take it is a warning ,

to never again depend on someone

to fight my demons away.

The corner table

Often I find my thoughts
Subjected to microscope
Of my own history with you –
Pastel walls surround Me,
on the corner table with metal chairs,
next to the only window in the cafe,
I see under the natural light,
Across the road I see you,
throwing smiles at everyone
picking flowers and coffee
I follow your path to me
One more time or last, I wonder;
My feet lead me here, again
even with a new name and address
memories refuse to leave me,
this window, this corner, our breakup


Inspired by NaPoWriMo day 2 & Linked to Open Link Night @ Dverse

Red is for you

Us
From my wedding day

The day I first loved this color;
buying bangles, dress, jewelry
everything in shades of gold & red –
the auspicious color of traditions,
of tying two hearts & fates together
of prayers, wishes, hopes and dreams
A symbol of me being with you
for next seven lifetimes
a mark of me belonging
not just you, but a new life
of passion, of loyalty, of honor
The day I first picked this dress,
I realized the power of red
to change a nervous lover
into the most confident bride.

Written for DVerse Poets prompt : Red

Until We Meet Again the series & intro to BL dramas

I started watching Asian Dramas ( mostly the kdramas initially ) sometime last year. It was one or two shows from Netflix initially but then I had a lot of free time in the last two months of 2019, and I finished watching about 15+ Asian dramas before the year ended.

Based on my watchlist on MyDramaList ( MDL) recommended me the series Until We Meet Again the series (UWMAseries) which had just started airing [the last episode will be released on Feb 29th]

The mention of the red thread of fate tying the two couples with each other was the only reason I decided to give the show a try. I dived into it without any expectation and it hooked me with the opening scene itself. The emotional rollercoaster that the scene threw me into, continues with every passing episode. The show is slow-paced (in a nice way), a very intimate look at the love life of the couples in the show. And I am a sucker for stories spanning across generations and how fate ties people to each other. It is a story of three gay couples and it was amusing for me to see a show where the straight coupling is almost absent and there are more people cheering for the gay couple. Another thing that was so new to me was witnessing a completely different culture through this show. I am kind of used to Korean shows by now but this being the first Thai show for me, it was interesting to learn new salutations,about the food, the places and interaction of the people through this series.

Trailer – Until We meet Again the series


Till two episodes into the show, it had not fully dawned to me that this is a m/m love story and it is completely different from the romance stories I usually watch. This Thai drama made me wonder about the reception of such shows in the country and worldwide among the viewers of Asian dramas. That’s how I came across the term Boys’ Love / BL / Yaoi

Yaoi also known as boys’ love or BL  is a genre of fictional media that features homoerotic relationships between male characters.[1] It is typically created by women for women but it can also attract male readers and male creators can also produce it. It spans a wide range of media, including manga, anime, drama CDs, novels, games, and fan production. Boys love and its abbreviation BL are the generic terms for this kind of media in Japan and have, in recent years, become more commonly used in English as well.

( from Wikipedia)

During a recent book-related conversation, it was pointed to me that most of my fav YA book recommendations were of the BL category. What started as an out-of-comfort-zone read for me, subconsciously became a favorite genre over time. But I avoided watching dramas/ movies of this genre as I was not sure if I would be comfortable with some of the sex scenes (I skip them in the books most times). UWMAseries though, with its beautiful story and brilliant acting by the young cast, and subtle hints towards a slow-building intimacy, broke that bias in my head. Case-in-point, the latest episode [ linked to youtube] which was a highly awaited one to finally see the lead couple to “do it”. We get to see only the initial kiss and then the next morning scene. But later in the show, we hear about it from a neighbor in a third POV. So you know what happened without the actual scene being shown. This and many such scenes together make this show a benchmark for me. In a way, it was a perfect show for me to explore the BL drama genre. It is a no-nonsense, happy feel show, though quite a tear-jerker in most episodes.

This series also highlights some amazing friendship bonds as much as it focuses on the couples. Whether it is Dean – Win / Dean – Sorn / Pharm – Team or Manaow – Del bonding, every scene is full of fun, affection and genuine care for each other. Families of both Dean & Pharm are understanding and loving towards them and the partners alike even when telling them that it will not be easy for them in society.

Though I have already watched each episode twice, I am eagerly awaiting the show to end so I can watch it once again from beginning to end and cry one more time. The only thing I want right now is to have a happy and satisfying end to the show *fingers crossed* and then maybe one more mini-series for Win – Team pairing. Looks like I have become a fan of some of the BL couples and shows.

********

While reading about UWMAseries on twitter, I came across Psycho Milk and his blog. Within a week, I had read half of the blog sts on the BL dramas – the history [ I started with this opinion post on the blog], the initial works current ones and his reviews of these dramas /movies. [Linked to notable BL drama list from his blog ]. This led me to watch a few (or a lot) more BL dramas, about which I will talk in the next post.