Category Archives: People

An Audience Of One

His readers marvel at how well he puts their deepest desires, the fragile failings of their heart, and the whimsical workings of their mind on paper. The way he peeks into the secrets of their soul.

Each and every day, they find a fragment of themselves in his words, between his lines.

They gasp, they swoon, they balk and they are stunned. And they keep coming back in increasing numbers, for more.

It’s a strange, heady feeling that his writing invokes: they feel both vulnerable and validated. He manages to understand them in a way no one has; he strums the chords of their mind and they find the emerging tune familiar, yet breath taking. Their secret feelings are out in the open, ferretted out from the dark cave of guilt and transformed into something soothing, almost luminous.

Only he knows that what finds resonance, an echo in each of his teeming readers, is written for an audience of one. The one who can never be his.

Only his thoughts can claim her, only his words can own her.

These are the spaces where he is whole again, where he is free to surrender all that he feels for her. The disquiet that is a constant hum in his waking hours, finds a relief here. He feels free to explore the tangled strands of love, longing, loneliness and loss, trying to prise them apart, hoping to make sense of where he finds himself.

And hoping that she reads him today. Understands how much of the beauty that he creates for everyone is actually a cry to her, a cry for her. Knows that the blazing creativity that seizes him each day stems from her, causing him to pour out what burns inside him, quite like a shooting star that leaves a luminous trail across the crimson horizon, only to dive into the unending dark again, exhausted and spent.

His readers rave at this meteoric display, while he burns, burns, burns only for one.


A way of seeing

She liked the way her whole world changed just by changing her position. While sitting she could see her life before her. The undone work, her myriad duties, things that weighed her down, and the drudge of everyday life.

But the moment she lay down, and looked through the gap in her thatched roof that opened out to the sky, her life changed dramatically. She saw the trees swaying in the breeze, their leaves open and unarmed and lit by the sun. She saw the birds flying, silhouetted against the cotton candy clouds, specks of wings on the powder blue skies. She felt the breeze of freedom, the surge of possibility, the faintly clear strains of a song that urged her towards her own self, growing louder from within. Till she felt uplifted by it, felt she could touch the azure sky as it floated towards her, coming closer and closer to her outstretched hand, and she floated and drowned in its expanse, wondering yet again if it was an ocean or the sky.10933858_10152613229201723_336132493500315447_n

Those that go on and on and on…

Listening to some people is the best cure for insomnia. So this is a tribute to such souls who inadvertently give others their much needed 40 winks;)

She talked around in circles. Her words meandered through phrases like a mountain stream let loose from snow, trickling and swinging through meaning and matter. Her voice went round and round in surges and lulls, circling and teasing a point till it smudged into oblivion. Her narrative waltzed over coherent sense, threading into tangents that were held tenously by my glazed eyes. A tingling sensation stirred from the synapses of my brain, seeping into the crevices of my nerves. It was getting difficult to focus, yet her voice wove into my consciousness like wisps of sound, insignificant, yet refusing to be silenced. And slowly, stealthily, without warning, bang in the middle of the conversation…..I fell fast asleep.11231151_10153114473151723_3555340153812028824_n

His Voice

His voice was like the monsoon calling in over the mountains. Memory hung like a mist over the mind. Timbre, sharp as the scent of the pine trees soaked in mountain dew that you inhaled deeply as you climbed the narrow winding road up the cliff. And just as suddenly as the first soft drizzle brushed the cliffs, he filled the soul with the fragrance of the first rains.11145227_10152789017271723_8926486499750195925_n

Her House

Though impeccably tasteful and elegantly done, Aalia’s home was more of a house.

I was ushered into the living room. My heels echoed off the pristine white, silent walls and on the spotless marble floor.

There was a hint of fragrance lingering in the air, the kind that someone wearing a strong perfume leaves behind long after they’ve passed that way. It clung to everything, leaving a trace of her everywhere, scenting the lace cushion covers on the plush sofa, between the venetian blinds, making her presence felt.

There were stacks of international magazines aligned neatly on the low-lying centre table whose legs dug deeply into the soft cream rug. Along the hallway were framed pictures; some of the family, but mostly of Aalia, doing what she loves best- commanding the attention of the lens. Even in the pictures where she was with others, she stood out, as if focussing all her presence onto the image, not a hair out of place, a smile that looked beautiful but somehow didn’t reach her kohl-rimmed smoky eyes.

It was then that I noticed it- in this straight-out-of-an-interiors magazine décor: a pearl-shaped ashtray tucked away in the far end of the room, across the mantel ledge, placed as if it was embarrassed to be there. It was all but overflowing with cigarette butts – red lipstick stained butts, most of them only marginally smoked and stubbed away.

I could imagine her hand, the fingers shiny and manicured, encrusted with diamonds, shaking as she sat there, a picture of poise. Only the ashes that fell haphazardly around the tray, like a giant pattern gone astray, gave her away.10624040_10152553828026723_7761066445851634782_o


Though not conventionally beautiful, there was something arresting in her face. Even amidst a crowd of beautiful, well turned out people, she stood out. Maybe it was the sheen on her skin, the sparkle in her expression, the glow in her eyes that shone like baubles, much like the moon that dispelled the deep darkness of the night as it hung low and luminescent in the sky. She had the same effect on the soul.