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.
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
It’s not just coffee, or the stale sandwich (from previous day of course – who delivers fresh at 6:00 AM) of any random all-night cafe I miss. It is the corner one on stop that was the farthest for us both so none could ever find us, it’s that very cafe, that last table, the coffee as fresh as the rising sun when we would meet for secret dates; It is that coffee and the sandwich I wish to be having this week – memories of our love and fights, of tears and smiles as we faced the world together as one, to be forever one; but first some coffee.
For almost an year before we got married , me and my husband would meet at this non descript cafe every alternate Saturday morning. I would later go to my parent’s home for the weekend and he would spend the day playing with friends. This week we celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary in a different country and I miss all those places that have seen us grow together and grow in love.
Amidst a sea of faces,
I wandered alone –
politely nodding hellos,
avoiding unnecessary attention;
till she came visiting –
stretched on my bed,
she lazily looked at
the truly inconsequential ME!
knocking a few books off,
she declared her territory
(as if anyone had missed)
as she left me giggling
and responding to her welcome. MEOW i said,( little one, come again)
Reading the Poetics Tuesday prompt brought back a memory from my graduation days. In college, when I was so utterly bored in a class, instead of yawning, I said “meow”. It wasn’t too loud but neither too low that it could escape a few of my classmates around. The girls who lived in the same dorm as me of course immediately knew it was me. I realized later that “meow” had become my standard reply to anything amusing, including daydreaming of my bed in the middle of a boring lecture.
Certain words fondly nudge
memories of making merry
On a house boat;In the river
Meandering across villages
No more than ten homes big,
serving the best toddy
spiciest fish, scrambled eggs
Simple food by strangers
served with love stay life long.
This is a Quadrille (poem of exact 44 words) as prompted on dVerse and also linked to the Toads .
*Toddy is the south indian name for palm wine created fresh from the coconut palmtreesin villages. It smells pungent but is very delicious.
The coffee went cold, as she greedily absorbed his words,his actions,his confusions and the shyness. All this and more of him,she kept filing in her head. The names being called out at the starbucks counter,the conversations on next table,the phone ringing,the constant message beeps;nothing disturbed her today. She was meeting him after an year and even when things had gone silent in head,the stories kept spilling out of her. The moment smelled of black coffee and the color grey.He always managed to make her feel like a child again – trying to impress,narrating the stupidest things,watching him give her all the time and attention he had. She wanted time to know how much she valued his share of stories. Perhaps then she will be able to appear in some of his memories. She smiled, sighed and walked away with mixed emotions.
This was all she could claim of him – the words , the feeling and the inspiration. No picture could evoke the same again.
How do you channel
of love ( and maybe lust )
on the inky nights
you want to be alone
he refuses to sense
the hidden meanings
of mood swings,
rendering your frustrations
generate the feelings
of being ignored
or ignorance ?
Oh the social norms
to be discreet about love about wanting
him, his touch, his ……
Linked to Sunday Whirl and Monthsof the year Challenge
As much as I try hard to think , I can’t think of any disaster sort of situation in my life. blame it on my forgetful nature or the fact that I don’t let any event ‘s feelings clog my memories and moods for long. But if there can be any day that I can disastrous , it be the only day at my job when I got scolded really bad by my PM. I can not recall the details but all I know is that I acted lazy and careless that week and so by Thursday , my module was much delayed. Friday was declared a sudden holiday so the panic set in by lunch. It was a miracle sort that the task was finished with help from PM and another senior team mate. I had never been so embarrassed in my life before that. and I have made sure the record stays so.
This reminds me of disaster management session we had in our office last month. It was related to natural or the locally created disaster situations and how people should respond to it w.r.t work. Later that night , I thought about how thinking clear , being pro active , being independent , asking for timely help , re-evaluating our actions and having a backup plan ready is so damn important. All this seems to take a lot of time but it eventually saves a lot of time and effort.