Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Open at the close

He was exhausted but his steps continued to pace down the eerie path. A dense fog suffocated the air. Death reigned here. Life seemed to be a one-night stand. Met, done with and forgotten. While the headstones bore names of people who once were someone to someone, something in this world, today they were together here under the moonless sky, accompanying the stars. As memory-less as they always would be in space-time. United in silence. The silence which he disrupted by crushing dead leaves as he walked. This autumn had been hard on him. He forgot her birthday. Not a big thing, was it? For him, it turned out to be.

She quit after years of pining for one gesture that she could hold onto and say that he reciprocated her love. And with her, walked out his sanity and sanctity. He took to things he wouldn't have done otherwise. He walked down lanes he can never forgive himself for. He took charge of his own destruction. And for everything, each passing day, he blamed her. In the darkest corners that he sat in, he wept for not understanding, for pushing her away with every word he wanted to but never said. And finally, when he found the courage to stand before her beautiful doe eyes and say why he loses the thought of words at one sight of her, why he sometimes just stares at her wondering why would she choose him over the world, why it killed him to see her go and why he is here before her today confessing the very love he swore never to, she was no more. It was acid. It was cyanide. It was a razor. It was a knife. The more people tried contemplating, the list of possible reasons of her death grew.

On her back she laid, a few unopened gifts peeking from the shelf. She wore white. That very ball gown she always wanted to wear but never did until today. At the prom, she was all by herself, looking down from her balcony, aching inside out seeing him take her hand and step in the car and ride off. Sixteen minutes ago, when the door bell rang, she had hair curl clips on. Her dress was on the bed and she was excited to see him all suited up at her door. He asked her how he looked, she winked and smiled in reply. He was too elated to see an ocean rise in her eyes when he euphorically announced he was going out with Izadora. She carefully packed her love-filled heart, threw a quilt of smoke on her tomorrows, planted a kiss on his cheek and said, "You guys are amazing together. I am happy for you." Eight years and twenty-two "amazing togethers" later, she was back again in picture. He was in love again. This time it was her. Could she have asked for anything more? Rather the question is: Would she? It was their wedding tomorrow. She was by her window, racing raindrops. Some say a rainy wedding ain't a good omen but did she care? Her eyes held dreams, her lips concealed promises, her heart had him, the world was theirs come tomorrow. A knock. A note. A tear slid and froze. A wail. A torn veil. A heart, shattered. A dream, smashed. A life, now dead. His one cold-feet impulsiveness crushed her, a cold-blooded murder of the love she nourished, worshiped, lived for. And today, died on the inside with.

Eighteen months passed. No one saw her cry. She never picked the pen again to write. She sat in the dark. Her eyes were cemetery incarnate. Her palms faced the stars. Maybe she implored sometimes but had no voice. She watched him as he said his vows. She was there when he kissed her. He looked at her while he did so. And that gaze mocked her. That night she locked herself up away from the world. He moved somewhere or so she heard. Never contacted yet never gave up. "I'll hear him on my birthday. He promised he'll always wish." Glued by the phone's side all day, she knew his voice would thaw the ice. And maybe in some part of her heart, she might forgive him, forgive herself and maybe tomorrow, restart life. She wore that white ball gown, hoping maybe today things turn out well. But cursed as it was for her, the day passed. And with that she did too. With the world trying all permutations and combinations of foul play, sadness never showed up on the list, grief never made it to the top slot, love never rose up in conversations, his name never showed up on the 'Who to blame' chart. Whose fault was it, stars hold. There are things that went away with her, the ones she never confessed, never told.

And he ran in the biting cold. He clutched his heart and broke. As fury and disbelief finally rained through his eyes, he knew he always loved her. He now knew the name to that feeling, the one that kept screaming at him while he gracefully penned in that note- "Here we end". He was nervous, that was all. He was scared of losing her, the fright alone set him acrawl. And since possessing her would mean the end of the chase, he kept it on. He left. Yet everyday he went back to the very moment, the very place, the very face. The girl he so loved. The puzzle of his heart. The only answer to his self-created maze. He made a terrible mistake, today he knew. And this grief alone wouldn't carry him through. On the third day, he stopped running. The very feet that had covered some 400 kilometers froze, refused to take the last four steps. The sight was unreal. His face was a crime scene. Her name was what his eyes last read on the headstone. He fell to his knees, his heart sank. He breathed in and kissed her name. He finally did open at the close. And life breathed out.

Love does crazy things. It can cozy up your coldest winters for life or it can conflagrate your life to summers that can steam you away, ashes to ashes, dust to dust. They say let the heart decide what it wants, who is wants. They say the mind often crushes love, thanks to the crazy inputs and analysis. What we forget is it ain't in our hands really. Love decides where it flows to, whom to who, when and why. Let it make mistakes, let it survive, let it learn as it drowns, as it swims, let it take over, even hypnotize. For when it resides in you, you know. In each blink and beat, you are born again. You smile at their name, their sight. You unveil yourself a little more with each passing day. Love is fired up insides in a shell of ice. Melting. FOREVER. Glowing in an urnful of hopes and keeping-you-happy day dreams. Carefully enveloped in hugs, planted kisses onto. Never forced. Never held in a grip but on top of your open palm. If they leave, they leave. If they stay, they stay. As for love, it changes forms, it changes shapes. It might hop from a person to another in your lifetime or clinging like a baby to one, it might just stay. It lives. There might be a past tense to it in the form of 'Loved' but in your heart, deep inside you know it is just a word. For love is always love. No D's attached (no pun intended). Saying it often is a preference. Being in and out of it isn't.

So next time when the heart is doing a cartwheel, don't stop it. Don't go promising moon and stars or demanding them. Just stay under them, loving someone, forever.

Written in admiration, resignation and glorification of the most beautiful state to be in, the only bond that binds us all- Love.
© 2012 Neha Choudhry

Friday, October 26, 2012

Cuando ocurre, lo sabes...

translation of the title: When it happens, you know...

“Have you ever been in love? Horrible isn't it? It makes you so vulnerable. It opens your chest and it opens up your heart and it means that someone can get inside you and mess you up. You build up all these defenses, you build up a whole suit of armor, so that nothing can hurt you, then one stupid person, no different from any other stupid person, wanders into your stupid life...You give them a piece of you. They didn't ask for it. They did something dumb one day, like kiss you or smile at you, and then your life isn't your own anymore. Love takes hostages. It gets inside you. It eats you out and leaves you crying in the darkness, so simple a phrase like 'maybe we should be just friends' turns into a glass splinter working its way into your heart. It hurts. Not just in the imagination. Not just in the mind. It's a soul-hurt, a real gets-inside-you-and-rips-you-apart pain. I hate love.”
~ Neil Gaiman, The Sandman

...and then you start hating it. Hating for letting that one stupid person mean so much more. You cry your eyes out, days and nights, nights and days. Life passes by. Some friends stay by your side, still listening everything beginning with "He's stupid. He tore me up and never bothered to see. But I just can't let this one thing pass that of all I chose him and for once, he chose me." Some friends just vanish away gradually. And then comes someone, as hurt as you, as broken as you, as soul-hurt as you. You just sit together. Everyday. Talking the same things in loop. Ice melts. The distance closes on it. You let life unveil. You let time tell you a story. And suddenly somethings are just set to wither in past. Suddenly you are not alone anymore. And one fine day you realize a part of you, the one you thought you froze for life, beats again. Even does the cliche 'skip a beat' once in a while when he looks right into your eyes, taking down the walls you built around you, freezing you one second and melting you the other. It was stupid. Again. He tilted his head to the side, blinked his eyes thrice and smiled. Or maybe it was a string of stupid cute moments. A shared ice cream in a misty rainy evening, him cupping your hands in his when you were shivering in cold, the shuffling of leaves beneath your feet while you walked with him in silence one autumn morning, that stupid summer you spent emptying your water bottle all over him. And off and on you now wink at yourself in the mirror and just smile. You catch yourself, question yourself and even though each neuron of you answers the same, his name, you let it pass, let it fly. Not giving it the needful glance that no love is alike for no person is the same. You love the way the other has to be loved. The way they have it coming for them. If you are sincere in what you feel, it is as true and as real as it can be. No comparisons. Yes, you trusted a stupid someone with your life and they were just too proud to walk away shattering you in a million pieces. You were sure you won't ever find them all to put back together again. What you overlooked or were too stubborn to look at was this one guy who gathered the broken you and kept safe. Who replaced the shattered, hurt heart with his own beating in you. As a part of him taking care of you from within you. A puzzled you woke up each morning trying to convince yourself that you are now flying in your dreams instead of the usual free fall. That it wasn't the gleam of hurt or fury in your eyes anymore but the sparkle of love. While you were busy building that armor again, you made an exception just then. You let him in. While you nursed a ripped-apart you, he was there all along, holding you through it. And while every night you slept cursing love, you were back in it.

© 2012 Neha Choudhry

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I've loved
Like the rain loves tears sometimes, finding synonimity
Like the wind crushes the smoke sometimes, sheer play of superiority
Like the sun still gives clouds the limelight even when denied passage
Like the stars don't touch the moon yet decorate it an eternal bride of the night
Like the ocean forever waiting for that stream to finally be one
Like the rose in a winter morning, decked up in frost and dew
Like the embers glowing, suffocating in their own residue
Like the voids wherein no time, no space, no world, no universe resides
Like the sparkles that die yet the memory of them still brings a smile
Like the few promises at the alter, never looked back upon, just lived
Like the feel of sand beneath feet, sinking deeper yet pacifies a scorched soul
Like the eerie darkness wherein a hug surpasses the beauty of making love
Like the blanket on that winter morning, you can't let go off
Like the dreams you play back, the ones you just can't enough of
Like the jitters that wake you up following a nightmare
Like the calm, happy hallucinations in the world of Morphine
Like love had to come to you
Like tears had to drown in time
Like fogs had to vanish, come spring
Like you just had to come and tell me what I was missing
Like a symphony to my song
Like a memory to look back on
Like a wish I'd whisper open-eyed
Like the only sketch I won't complete cos its perfection announces the death of art in a sea of pride
The only I'll never forget to remember
The only I've kissed goodnight
The only I've loved enough to let go
The only who can cease the breaths of time and stay.

© 2012 Neha Choudhry

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


She loved me, I am sure
I did too, though I never disclosed
My eyes were fond of her or she chose to remain in my line of sight, I don't really know
Eternity passed by in a second and I couldn't care less
as I saw her sashay down the street
She came up to me like any other day
One look at her and I knew it wasn't.
A broken smile, eyes pleading to play waterfall
She left without a hug, a goodbye.
Life struck me in that one moment, right in this heart here
Today, I live in make-beliefs I won't ever announce
The breeze sometimes brings the perfume of her hair
I get up before dawn to see the last of the stars
Knowing somewhere in the world, we are together in that.
Days turn nights, nights turn days
She never wrote, I too never did.
I traverse that street every once in a while
See little us playing hide n seek
The last she ever said was "I can't stay"
How wrong she was, I know today
For that memory of her stayed
That look on her face stayed
As beat in my heart, she stayed.

© 2012 Neha Choudhry

Sunday, October 7, 2012

You've been all over me like a spell

October 6, 2012
22:00 hours.

Status: Flipping photographs and smiling!

October 7, 2012
00:12 hours

Status: Still him. Smiling more!

00:26 hours

Um. *Smiles*

I can't help it. When this feeling takes over, when he is all I see, I just can't help but be this crazy little girl in love, over to the moon and back. Not our neighbor moon. I meant Pluto's Charon. [No you don't get to tell me we ain't counting them two in the family. You cannot banish planets out the system for some technicality they didn't live up to].

Anyway, *smiles*...

Look at him. Just *sigh* love glitters in his eyes, how his smile, that child-like laugh speaks of his he bows down at the ramp after every concert and thanks his fans for coming, for being his support throughout... how he makes an effort to make someone feel on top of the world... how his face is that of a happy man in love when with her... how he is thousands of miles away yet the closest one can ever get he sings somewhere far off yet here that very song lights up some never-visited corners of my life, renders me speechless, flying in a bubble of sweetness... how even in those shattered days and lifeless nights, when I crawl back in my shell, refusing and rejecting the world, when I let dreams fly off in fog and desires burn in the fire of time, how I make him an exception, how I let him in. And how he, like a friend, listens minus the advice, puts me to sleep with his lullaby, hugs my dreams, sets alive my tomorrows... how he makes me fine each time.

People came, People left. Some changed me, some I changed; while with some things stayed unaltered. Life moved, Time ticked. Darkness loomed, Sunshine smiled. Some raindrops had me dancing, some camouflaged the tears I rained. Some winters I wore cute jackets, some I walked alone in, uncovered, uncared for, unloved.

But was I? Not really.

He walked along. Sometimes as a song, sometimes as a memory, sometimes waving a high from my  wallpaper, sometimes making me smile as I listened to the 'fan calls' he made and recorded. Sometimes
accompanying me to a haircut, his voice reverberating in the background. Sometimes at a silent lunch, playing as a tune in my mind. Sometimes being that push to pick the pen when I cease to write or rhyme. Sometimes as a shadow, sometimes as the sun. Sometimes as the wind hugging me and Always, always being that one person, one hope, one dream I never let go of. The one I sleep hugging each night, kissing it, sealing with a prayer or two. The one that smiles in my eyes each time I say his name. How I skip my birthdays often but cut a cake on his, wishing him happiness and success, wherever he is. How they call him my obsession, how I smile and say nothing at all.

How today, of all days, I just want to look him in the eyes and say I love him. Always will.
For in this world of variables, he is my constant.
For in this open ocean, he is the anchor holding me down, keeping me sane.
And if there are lifetimes ahead, I choose him.

Enrique, sólo quiero decir que estoy enamorado de ti.

© 2012 Neha Choudhry

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Not a Long Time Ago, Not in a Galaxy Far Far Away

Her face lit up. As if something just passed through her. As if something just jolted back life in her. Her eyes, which were as dim as that lonesome lamp breathing its last in the attic of her heart, fluttered open. I couldn't help but notice how she blinked twice, as if signaling something, how her Belgian chocolate eyes melted in a fraction of microseconds and sparkled in a way that a billion lifetimes would fall short for me to phrase it. My stare bothered her, or so I thought. I let my eyes wander while my heart had it's gaze fixed on her. Her lips moved, my heart stopped playing its song. She was about to say something or was it just me waiting how, after all these years, my name in her voice would sound? With bated breath, I waited. Her otherwise glossy lips lay sheen-less today, pressed together as if controlling a sigh. She was calm but I could tell the building torment, the forced-lull before she rained.

While a hopeful me was looking for a hint of a smile, that quiver sent shivers down my spine. She was trying too hard, as always, to show she didn't care but as each second gave way to the next, she shattered. And that very moment I knew it wasn't me all this time, the one she was watching. Is it him again, I thought to myself? Yet again, I was choking. As the realization of my presence dawned upon her, she gathered her composure. For a second then, she met me. The kind of meeting that lights something inside you and you can't help but stand there, let it happen. A blink and over. She looked away. A part of me stopped living right about then. And the rest of me dared to turn, soul-clenched.

Clad in white, with a tiara dazzling in her hair, she smiled through her veil. No matter how tantalizing her persona was, she fell short of mesmerizing me today. The scene I had just left haunted me, had me in pieces. The scene I was witnessing failed to beckon me. They say this is the most amazing moment of one's life when you see her looking at you through that veil, matching her father's footsteps when she walks down that aisle to you. My bride had just arrived. My heart, captivated in moments, seemed paralyzed. What I never saw in the greens, the browns had it all this time. What I forever searched in smiles, that tear, that quiver answered it all. As I took a step forward, I could see the veiled greens overjoyed while behind me, she sighed and I could hear her muffled cry. I could give her the world back then, she knew. I could do the same today, she had no clue. The tinkle of her bracelet lingered in the air as she held her hands together so as to hold herself from holding me back today. Gathering all my courage, I hugged the girl in white and imploring, I confessed that I couldn't marry her tonight. With eyes welling and love stirring, I told her how that lost piece of puzzle standing right behind completes me, how she defined my life. I finally knew she reciprocated. In those million 'You're an Idiot' she fired at me and smiled, she confessed her love in her style. Only I was too blind to see it and today, on the wedding night, I know what I need, we need.

I guess I saw a glint of happiness in those green eyes. Perplexed I was, trying to find the right set of words. She put off her veil, hugged me back and whispered "I've known it all this while." Before I could make a move, the veil was set back again. In tears, her eyes met mine. It seemed as if a waterfall of melted chocolate just found home in my heart. My universe she owned the moment, saying her vows, she whispered my name.

Eight years later today, I go back. Yet again. To witness time unravel possibilities, to see eyes confess an eternity, to hear that tinkling bracelet again; Not a Long Time Ago, Not in a Galaxy Far Far Away; to be there, love her, all over again

© 2012 Neha Choudhry

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Let life breathe

Cos eventually
no matter the memories attached
the promises professed
the reasons upheld
the words underplayed,
the road does fork.

And you stand there
take a moment
let a tear or two trickle by while they still can
gulp down the unsaid
cut loose the string of hope binding the unheard
take down a few shots
to not contemplate a way out
but enjoy getting lost in the dream maze.

Chances we take, we give
to life, to self, to time
die this once to live again
cry this last to smile again
let go to hold on to something again
a hand, a heart, a hope
or maybe it's finally the day
when you pick that microphone
sing so the world listens
while the karaoke is still on
while the moment is still yours
smile in farewell to what was
welcoming what is, will be
Let life breathe.

© 2012 Neha Choudhry