Memories.

I am imagining myself sitting on the top of this cliff. It’s brown in color, yes just like in the cartoons and it’s hard. The bottom part of my body that touches this rock has gone numb because of the very reason. The wind is blowing fiercely trying to make me blow away with it. But I don’t. The 48 kilos me is now wighing almost 60, thanks to the backpack that consists of more number of books and diaries and pens than clothes. I am staring at these tall white mountains who make me feel so tiny that I don’t think I exist. But I do, because I am suddenly panting for my breath.

I find myself not on a cliff watching the breathtaking mountains but on my favorite spot in Mangalbazaar. I am panting for breath because I am choking on my own thoughts.

This is the very first place you took me too. Because it was your favorite spot to. We held hands. My tiny hands fitted perfectly in your big hands that it disappeared. The memories of you running after me because I tickled you flashes by. We passed this spot at that time and many times after it. I also see myself once again holding your hand, pulling it towards the chiya pasal in front of me. The shop has always disappeared beneath the vapours of boiling water and noises of people from all over the city. And we’ve always loved tea. You always wanted the one with lemon. I, with milk. And we would always argue on which tea is the best, giving numerous stupid reasons we’ve lost track of.

But now, I am sitting here alone. Wondering about things, wishing I was far away instead. Like probably staring at that mountain. Mainly because you are not here. And you will not be here from now. You have left me alone without a proper goodbye. “But I deserve a goodbye, no?” I had once asked you. “Well, probably he doesn’t have guts to see you cry if he’d said his goodbye.” You’d told me. An almost best friend ghosted me because he didn’t want to see me cry. Instead, he left me with sleepless nights because of worry, sadness and mainly a shattered heart.

And now, you’ve done the same.

***

I wonder what I will tell my daughter when she will ask about you. She wouldn’t know what you looked like even if I am sure people will tell her, “You look like her Maa.” She will be dark skinned and pretty, with short curly hairs. She will have your eyes. Now, she wouldn’t be able to come to you and complain about me. You wouldn’t be telling her stories and singing her lullabies if she too cannot drift back to sleep. She won’t know your favorite spot to sit in the kitchen, she will never know that you’re the best cook in the world. She will not hear your stories, or the ones about your mother or the grandmother from your voice. I might tell her all of these, but it will never be the same. Her winter vacation will not be the same like mine.

I know that I’ve told you millions of times I won’t have kids. But this is all because of seeing you toiling around for me. I was always the first one you’d think of. I was always the first one you’d keep. I grew up seeing you giving up your favorite things for me. That last piece of the bread. The rasbari. The last sip of tea. And how you’ve always worked so hard to make sure I didn’t need to do the same. You wanted to give me things you never had – toys, books, Barbie dolls, copies, pencils, frocks. And you worked day in and day out for it. You washed the dishes at Kancha Uncle’s place and washed clothes at Rashmi Aunty’s home. You cooked dinner for Santa Ram and his family. In your free time, you would knit caps and mittens to sell during the winter.

I don’t think I will be able to do the same for someone else. I don’t think I can give up my favorite food or work so hard that I didn’t even have time to settle down and rest. Because I don’t want to end up being you. I don’t think I can love someone better than me or put that person first. But I know, if you had another chance and choice, you would do everything happily again.

I also didn’t think I would ever have kids because I don’t think I will ever find a man who will love me deeply. And even if he did, I am sure will just push him away. I don’t think I will find someone who had the same insecurities and who loved me not because of how I looked, behaved, worked, created or how I am abused by myself but for something I don’t know at the moment. But now sitting here, watching the sun finally settling down, staring at the brick road paved with patterns and watching at the people rushing towards home, tears run down my eyes. In case I will ever find a man who will make me fall in love with a dog, you will not meet him. He will not meet you too. You will never see his handsome face, wavy hair, green eyes, freckles in the nose and the hard bones. You will never hear our story, the first time I saw him and how my heart skipped a beat. How we were in this expedition together, staring at the tall mountains and feeling tiny and how he told me some clichéd line and I liked it. You will never get updates about our dates – the chiya pasal I took him to, the momo pasal he took me to, the kisses we shared inside the galli of Paltan Ghar. You will never hear me babble about how I asked him to leave or how I wanted to leave or how I almost left or how I did leave but he still waited for me. Outside my office, sitting on a pavement, looking at a window with a flower in his hands. And how I let him in again – because I saw how his eyes twinkled when he saw me, just like yours did. And how he was always there when he said he would be despite of having his heart broken by me many times. How he always took me back even when I ran away from him. And you won’t be able to laugh at me and say, “You’ve finally found the guy you will stay with.” And I won’t be able to laugh at you when you’d say that. “No mama, I finally found the guy who will never leave me without a goodbye.”

But little did I know that you’d be the one to leave me without a goodbye. The one to heal all my broken hearts, scarred cheeks, wounded knees and shattered minds. The one to listen to all by rants and pants, mumbles and grumbles. The one who would be the first one to know my newest crush and my ever-changing dreams and the people I’d come across. The one who would cook me tiffin because the food from the canteen always tasted horrible. And the one who soothed me, singing me lullabies when I couldn’t go back to sleep.

***

Today, I woke up to find you gone. Disappeared from my life. Well not exactly, because your body was still in your bed and you looked like you’d gone back to sleep. You were sleeping, but just never to wake up again.

I stared at your swollen face, not being able to cry. I touched your cold body. I combed your hair like I used to do as a little girl whose hand were tinier comparing to your big ones that it fitted perfectly. I even thought about putting up lipsticks and eye-shadows and doing up your nails but I stopped. I couldn’t do it. You’re the one to leave me without a goodbye, I won’t do it. So I ran away to our favorite spots and started to dream about the tall white mountains. Before I was panting for the breathe.

***

I still can’t breathe. I feel suffocated, choked inside. I try moving but my hand has gone numb. I can’t move my body either. There is something blocking me. I try opening my eyes because I realize I am not staring at the temples and the bricks at all. I have been just dreaming about them. I realize you are probably still there back at home, waiting for me in the kitchen and whatever I had been feeling was just my thoughts and not the reality at all. I try to remember where I am. The last thing I remember was walking down the mountains and slipping. I remember falling into a block of ice and plunging inside the glacier that was slowly melting. I remember that I was stuck inside glacier, slowly drowning. And I realize, I am the one who’s leaving, without a goodbye, this time.

Our Story.

Sometimes, I feel as if we’ve been married for a long time. Married but living in separate cities because of our work. Especially when he takes care of me like a husband would. Singing songs with and without words, telling me stories. Like that time, around 6 months back, when he used to come to take me home from my work everyday. Till he became sure that I was back to my normal state. And he would make sure I ate on time, drank lots of water and rested well.

Every relationship has a start. The boy and the girl have crush on each other. They feel shy and nervous around each other before admitting that they are in love. We never had that situation. I was always comfortable around him, loud too. We didn’t have any problem sharing our stuffs – from our dreams to hidden secrets. That’s why I feel that we’ve been married for a long time. And that ours was an arranged marriage. Because we both don’t know for real, since when we fell or in our case, realized that we were in love.

I like to think that we got married when we started becoming close to each other without our knowledge. That was almost 1 and half years back. We had already started talking and sharing stuffs but all of sudden that increased rapidly. We supported each other in every way possible. He used to help me out with my work, I used to listen to him and his stories. We would chat and talk almost everyday sometimes whole day joking around. Even at that time, he was  strict about me sleeping on time, I used to nag him about eating , just like a wife would.

And I like to think that the time we first saw each other three years back was our mha: swegu din. The day, usually arranged by the family (in case of arrange marriage), for the boy and girl to see each other.

And we both fell in love only around a year back or even less. We never blushed around each other. I remember telling him that I might like him after thinking about it for more than a month. And even after confessing, we actually never felt the need of being in a relationship, probably because in the back of our heads we already were. Or maybe because even at that time we felt that we were already married. And we would meet during weekends and fall asleep talking to each other on the phone.

Also, we never had the need of impressing each other knowingly. Of course we tried other ways. He sang me songs and I wrote about us. He had his hair cut according to my likeness and I would keep my hair according to his choice. We both have always been comfortable being ourselves around each other. Just like our mom and dad. Old couples.

So when I told him that we might have fallen in love with each other too early, he told me no. “It took us 3 years to do so, just like an arranged married couple.”

The Beginning.

We first met when my heart was broken. The second time in that year. And his was turned into stones. I was walking on the street when we stumbled upon each other. He smiled. I felt as if I found a friend.

I was going to this event for inspiration. It had been almost 2 months since I had lost it. I couldn’t write or even think. I had sleepless nights where I spent my time thinking “May be I’ll never gain happiness again.” He decided to join me. But because we didn’t find the place, we ended up walking for hours. He told me his stories, different phases in life. I listened attentively for the very first time in my life.

We immediately became friends. Sharing life-stories and daily musings. There were times when I would get lost among the crowd I was surrounded with. I would forget every thing I had and get lost in this new-found world of pretense. And he would take me back to where I came from. Where I belonged. To Words. He would get lost in his past and I would try my best to bring him back to present.

One day, I let him inside my world. Let him get inside my most precious possession. My journal. This was the place where I shared every part of my feelings and emotions. Wrote them down to forget about them.

His skin darkened and brow frowned deeper as he turned each page.

“See, you are not a good writer. Look at his skin getting all wrinkled up after reading your shitty writings.” I told myself, trying to calm down.

“Your writing is amazing you know.” He finally spoke, “but the themes are all so negative. Every thing you have written here is about fear, anger, hatred, and stuffs like that. And I guess you have really grown lazy. Look at this, it’s all only half-page” He showed me the journal, turning pages.

“Well, there is not much to write about.” I whispered.

“You can write about happiness and joy.”

“I no longer know what happiness is. Or joy.” I looked at the dirty ground.

“Then start by writing about me.” He demanded.

I then looked at him startled. He was smiling all of sudden, like a 5-year-old child. “I will try. But don’t expect much.”

“Just write. I will be happy with it. And I’ll be taking this journal. Seeing the former pages, you will get discouraged that’s why.”

“Are you kidnapping my journal? Ha-ha!” I laughed.

“If that’s what you think it is.” He joined my laughter.

**********

We first met when my heart was broken. Twice. And his was turned into stones. Now, after a year from that first meet, my heart’s all good. The wounds have healed and the scars have faded. His, hopefully has warmed up. No more frozen.

A.N: This is the third and probably last installment of the Purple Sky Trilogy. Here are the first two: The Purple Sky and Him. I might write more in the series if I get inspired in the future. 🙂

The Stroll

The sun was slowly setting down, with orange flames scattered in the western sky making it look like it had caught the fire. The small village set in a valley some 20 kilometers from the town also seemed as if it had caught fire because of the reddish-orange bricked paved houses with tiled roofs and roads.

All the inhabitants were readying themselves to call it a day when she entered the village as slowly and swiftly as she could. She wandered through the streets, the alleys and the boulevards aimlessly. Wearing a tank-top, a pair of trousers and a jacket, she wasn’t appropriately dressed according to many people. Her hair was flying with the wind, and her skin was tanned enough to be mistaken for a ghost.

She was oblivious to the glares and stares from the people there. She couldn’t hear the comments being passed on by old women and young boys alike. She was living in her own world while walking on the real one. Her eyes looked distant and so was her mind. And her legs seemed to be guided by a soul that wasn’t hers. Something was definitely cooking up in her mind. She would laugh out loud without any reason or frown within fragment of seconds. She would then again smile remembering something as if those streets and the alleys and the boulevards had memories in store for her even if she was there for the first time.

She didn’t look at the people. Instead, little things lying in the street caught her attention. In between her wandering mind and legs, she would stare at a piece of stone or a dead rat. And every time the breeze blew pass over her, she would stay still and take it all in. Also, time and again, she would watch the sun going down and the orange turning into red in the heaven. And during those very brief moments, when she would come out of her world, something flickered in her face – her face glowed somehow.

After wandering off for hours, she finally left the village as swiftly as she had come in. Nobody noticed her leaving but after she was gone, everyone felt as if they had changed somehow. Nobody said a word to each other, but talked to themselves about this strange girl who stumbled upon their village one day and changed them completely.

Him

His skin gets darker as the seconds tick by. I try staying calm even when my mind’s rushing in millions places thinking about what ifs and what nots. And time and again I steal a glance at him trying to guess what he could be thinking about but I fail. Like always, I fail. Probably sensing my aloofness, he looks at me and I give him a faint smile. Then he holds my hand, and gives me a big wide smile in return that leaves me in tears.

We both are sitting in a park bench waiting for the rain. I, because rain always soothes me down. He, because he wants me to get over this whatever feeling I have right now. The thing is I don’t know what I’m feeling. I have a big day tomorrow. My biggest dream is going to come true. I make faces at him, indicating I do not like what I’m feeling. He stays calm, listening to my breathes going in and out, thinking.

“Will it rain?” I ask him doubting the possibility.

He looks up at the sky and let out a sigh. I had been adamant about waiting for the rain. I say it is the only thing that makes me calm. And like always he’d given in without a fight.

“Hmm… I don’t know. But what I know is that you’re hungry and you need to eat something.”

“I do not feel like eating anything.” I murmur.

“Well, I do. All those waiting made my stomach empty. So, let’s eat something, get up.” He starts moving and I start following.

Our hands fall apart for a while and that’s when I feel heaviness in my heart. I stand still, finding it difficult to walk on. After few steps, he calls me out, “You’re such a slow poke. Let’s walk fast, I can’t take my hunger anymore.” I stay still, staring at him.

He then walks towards me, takes my hand and gives me a look that says “I’m never leaving you, so don’t you ever worry or get scared about being alone, even when we don’t hold hands.” My heart starts beating again.

We sit in our usual cafe, and order our usual stuff. I still stay quiet, glancing occasionally at the window for a glimpse of rain. I feel his look, that grave look he gives, every time something’s cooking up in his mind. Without looking at him, I feel his brows frowning and face wrinkling up.

“I know it’s going to be alright.” He suddenly exclaims, making me turn to look at him with a surprise.

“How?” I ask.

“Well, I know. I know that you’re going to nail it, but only if you stop getting scared.”

“I’m not scared.” I deny.

“May be you are, may be you aren’t. But don’t worry, it is going to be alright you know. You are going to be alright.”

“But what if I screw up? You know how I am – ruining everything at the last moment.”

“I know you will not.”

“But..”

“Don’t you trust me? You and I, both know that I know you better than yourself. So, you better believe me when I say, you are going to be perfect tomorrow, shining bright.” He commands.

And suddenly, a smile appears out of blue in my face.

************

He does that to me. Every now and then. While I take all my anger, anguish and fear out to him; he keeps his calm and makes me laugh instead. I remember calling him, many times just to pour my anger out at him. I remember shouting at him and screaming every time I switch on to self-induced low mood. And he would just take it all. Of course, at times, he fights back. But then he would fend it off saying I’m just over-reacting (which is true most of the times). And then, there are times, he would hurriedly come out to meet me, because he knows; more than rain, it’s his presence that makes me calm.