The Blue Bell Balloon

 

It was Friday afternoon and Oishi had just bagged the best student award and was beaming with pride. She knew few of her classmates would be jealous, but most of them would understand that she deserved it. She had not missed a day in school. She had taken all the precautions to avoid falling sick. She had burnt the night oil day after day to make sure that she was up-to-date with the chapters in all the subjects. She had sacrificed her play time to memorise dates in history and formulae in maths. She had persevered relentlessly to top her class in all the tests and examinations. Her mother had been a strict taskmaster and had not given Oishi any respite from her daily routine.
In the middle of all this she also managed to attend all her extracurricular classes that included dancing, singing, painting, and swimming. At last her hard work had paid off and she held the Best Student Trophy with a shine.
“All I will do this weekend is sleep.” Oishi told her best friend, Srimoyee.
“You have to hold that off till tomorrow morning. Tonight we are all going to The Bluebell Resort. We will party through the night and be back by morning.” Srimoyee looked eager about the plan.
“I doubt if Mother will let me go.” Oishi was uncertain about obtaining permission from her mother.
“Don’t worry; we have already spoken to her. She is fine with your going to the resort as long as Shoumali and I are there with you. Of course we did not tell her that Shayan is coming as well.” There was glint of mischief in Srimoyee’s eyes.
Shoumali was the second most studious girl in class after Oishi and had a sense of responsibility in her demeanour. Srimoyee was street smart and quite capable of handling troubles on her own. The duo gave Oishi’s mother the assurance that her daughter will be fine in their company. Shayan on the other hand was a cynosure. He was from the boys’ school next to Sunshine High, where Oishi studied. He was tall, athletic, and had sharp features. Girls swooned over his gorgeous smile, but this lad had reserved his affections for Oishi. As was common with high school boys, he conveyed his feelings to the Oishi through her best friend all this time. Today would be the first day they would actually find the opportunity to speak to each other.
The Blue Bell Resort was just a few kilometres from Oishi’s house. So she decided to go home, pack a change of clothes, wear something pretty yet casual, grab a quick bite of the delicious chocolate cake Mother had baked and then head to the resort on her moped. But she felt sleep dragging down her eyelids.
The party was in full swing when she reached the venue. The resort was decorated with dazzling streamers, and tinsels. There were balloons on the walls with the name of the resort printed on them. As Oishi entered the party hall, there were cheers from her friends. She was in a peach tunic with matching leggings. She wore a sleek silver chain around her slender neck, and beige ballerinas to walk about comfortably. It was a party organised by high school kids and therefore alcohol was allowed. But soft fizzy beverages were freely flowing and each kid had a big glass filled with the sweet liquid.
“Hi Oishi. Finally you are here. Try some of these nachos. They are so yummy. Don’t forget to get the jalapeno dip. The combination tastes heavenly.” Shouted Srimoyee with glee.
Shoumalee, Joyeeta, Ashmita, Priyanka, and Sunayana were all huddled in a corner chatting and laughing. Shubhayan, Shayan’s friend had also come to the party. The two boys were busy trying to look responsible and making sure that the girls did not run out of soft drinks and snacks. Plates full of prawn, chicken and paneer pakodas made the rounds. The girls bit into crunchy French fries and wiped the oily fingers in soft pink paper towels. The aroma of the delicious dinner buffet and the lively giggles of the youthful crowd filled every corner of the hall. Oishi was getting into the groove and enjoying the bash, when Shayan, mustering all the courage he could, approached her.
“Hi. The party is great, isn’t it?” just on the brink of stammering, Shayan finished his question.
“Yes it is. Sri said your father got the place booked for us. He is a trustee here, isn’t he?” Oishi said.
“Yes, baba told the management to take care of the arrangements. We are booked till tomorrow morning. There are two big suites beside the swimming pool for the girls. Shubhayan and I have a single room on the first floor.” Shayan did not know why he was telling all this when he had come to tell her something completely different.
“Umm, Oishi, it’s getting a little stuffy in here. Would you mind a walk by the garden?” Shayan was feeling brave.
Oishi smiled. “Yes why not?”
So the two slowly got out of the hall and made their way to the garden. The breezy night made the walk a pleasant one. The sleek silver chain shone brightly around Oishi’s neck. The two were walking in silence. Shayan did not know what to say now that they were alone.
Suddenly a heart shaped balloon landed near them. Blue Bell was printed on it.
This is a sign. I should tell her now. Shayan thought
Shayan picked the heart and casually gave it to Oishi.
“I think I am in love with you Oishi.” Shayan blurted even before he could run the sentence in his mind. Oishi suddenly became eerily quiet. Her face was devoid of expressions. Shayan did not know whether it was a rejection or not. But a look of uncanny calm resided on her face. She looked ethereal in the full moon night. Was it the chain that reflected a silver glow around her?
With a heavy silence choking the night, the two kept on walking. They walked past the garden on to the winding narrow road outside the resort. All this while Oishi and Shayan were walking side by side but now she took the lead. She held the balloon with both her hand close to her bosom.
If she wanted to reject me, she could have just let the balloon go. There is something more to her silence. Shayan wondered.
“Do you want to go back?” he enquired.
“You can go back. I have left my bike at a blind turn.” Oishi answered.
May be she wants to be left alone. She had not yet spoken about her feelings towards him. May be she wanted some time to think things over. Shayan tried finding a logical explanation to her sudden change. He decided to go back and send Srimoyee, in case Oishi wanted to speak her heart toher best friend.
He turned back. As he was walking towards the resort, a thought struck him. Why did Oishi park her bike in some godforsaken turn instead of bringing it inside the resort? There was zero traffic on that road after 7pm.
A feeling of unease began to engulf him. He could not leave Oishi alone. Even if she did not want to talk about her feelings, even if she did not want to speak to him, he still could not leave her alone at this time of the night. Despite his misgivings about her reaction, he started walking towards the point where he had left her.
She could not have gone far. Or maybe she could with her beige ballerinas. Nevertheless Shayan increased his pace and walk past the point where he had left the girl of his dream. Soon he came across a hairpin bend. No sight of her still. He kept walking along the road and then suddenly next to some bushes on the side of the road lay the wreck of a bike. A little further from the bike he saw a mangled body, a beige ballerina hanging precariously from one foot. The other foot was bare. Perspiring profusely he took a few steps closer. There she lay, limp and lifeless. The shiny silver chain was hanging from her slender neck. Fear and grief stirred his soul. The heart shaped Blue Bell balloon was clutched tightly against her bosom. Shayan started shivering as he realised the truth. Or was it an illusion?

You left me breathless

I hear complains, “She does not keep in touch,”
She does not receive calls, I miss her very much.
I am a heartless bitch; I don’t care for your feelings,
You can get lost, go to hell, but I’m not listening.
Let that soft heart curse me with its grievance,
With your polished language and finesse;
I am the stone heart goddess, having a fling with the dark,
Your bruise may heal, but I have made the mark.
You ask why I am icy cold, devoid of love
Why do I look beneath, standing above?
Why do I lure you and then throw you away,
Why do I burn a hole and leave your boat at bay.
I can only pity your meaningless life, wasted on the sands of time
The waves move away, your tears remain while you whine.
Remember the day to crushed my hopes with your vagueness,
The day you left me fighting my battles, taking away my weapons.
The sword of love that could slice at despair,
The shell of warmth could burst sadness into a million flare.
But you took them all away, you left me breathless,
I died a thousand deaths, alone and without defense.
And then from the ashes of a flaming heart, rose a gelid alter;
A form that’s fenced and needs no shelter.
Call me a whore, a bitch, or just a plane Jane,
But for me you are a mere tainted saint.
You preach goodness, and speak of righteousness,
While your heart now bleeds and you wallow in your wretchedness.
You unfurled my innocence, and left me to die a lonely death so cold
You left me breathless and now I will excruciatingly seep out your soul.

Hungry Dreams

Sea mist collects on Casco Bay at Dawn in South Portland, Maine.

Hungry dreams in search of a new dawn

My dreams are hungry because the future looks bleak

My dreams are hungry, it’s starving and weak

My dreams are hungry, because I am scared to try

My emaciated dreams wait slowly to die

My dreams are hungry, I cannot see beyond the present truth

I see them collapse, pulled down by decaying roots

My dreams are hungry; they are frantically searching for food,

But my life is normal; I’m surviving through my womanhood.

My dreams are hungry; they are crawling towards light,

I know I need to feed them, if I am to win this fight.

A life without dreams is like a dawn without mist

Without them,  I will die, while just this body will exist.

My dreams are hungry, but their food is beyond this wall

I try to escape the prison, I begin to wiggle and crawl!

Pillars of tradition, begin to shake

My zone of familiarity begins to break.

I try to stand steady, but the ground beneath trembles,

My dreams gnaw at hope, while the tower of rules lies in shambles.

As we walk across the broken wall,

There is a buffet for my dreams and thought

There are steaks of color and rolls of hope

There is an entire spread of options and scope.

As my dreams feast and satiate their hunger,

With wide-open eyes, I become a dreamer.

My dreams give me the strength to carry on,

To make my life beautiful like the misty dawn.

For a comfort zone, I care no more;

I am embarking on a voyage, away from the safe shore.

Its not an easy task

Hands

To hold hands and cover endless miles is not an easy task,

To reveal your true face, and not hide behind a mask

Is not an easy task!

To love forever without faltering is not an easy task,

To wait patiently as long as your breathing lasts

Is not an easy task!

To care even when you have hit the low, is not an easy task,

To believe that there is still light, amid the dark

Is not an easy task!

To turn away from the warmth of an old flame is not an easy task,

To drown your dreams in the whirlpool of a passionate past

Is not an easy task!

To hold on to your spirits till the very end is not an easy task,

To keep your desperation bottled within the little cask

Is not an easy task!

But then you see that one familiar face, all feels fine,

When you find true love, there is beauty despite the dirt and grime

All feels fine!

When love becomes a real thing, all feels fine

Even in the darkest hour, you see the silver line

And all feels fine!

It’s not too late to harness the passion, till all feels fine

Just look into those eyes, hold the hand again and smile

And all will be fine!

Shots for an undying love

With a crystal drop from her eyes, her world came shattering down,

The smile that was promised to last a lifetime, disappeared into the dark crevices

Of betrayal, and lies.

Her veins will turn blue, with the pain that runs within

Her skin will grow pale and wither like a winter tree.

The flaming passions will never be the same,

It will always be a beautiful face masked with guilt and shame.

But the ugliness of a fierce force will drown with her

The sweet kiss shall forever taste bitter.

The sound of the night seared her heart

Null and void the words stand ‘Till death do us part’

His handsome face on the bosom of another woman,

Her fingers curl up tighter around the gun.

Another shot and the pretty head shifts

The heaving stops at the heart of the beasts.

Oh no, they are lovers and she is the beast

The light goes out seeping away the heat.

A memory, a ring, a bond of marriage

All’s lost, as she sits down amid the wreckage.

Revenge is sweet, she had heard once upon a time,

But her heart, her mind, sings another rhyme.

Alone she will walk the rest of the mile,

Just a tear, a cold heart, a corpse without a smile.

A little imperfection in a perfect world

smiling

She had been searching all her life…searching for that one little curve of the lips that could bring her happiness; but had failed every time she came close to her mission. One real smile is all she desired. One little smile that was meant just for her. The warmth that was targeted only towards her. But the little girl failed again and again.

Her reflection in a shiny mirror just looked at her. It mocked her if she even made the slightest attempt to part her lips more than needed. She was perfect; a perfectly engineered human being with perfect genes. She would never fall ill. She would never have a creased fold on her face. Her nerves would never give up on her. Her enhanced brain functioning would contribute the already perfect world. She would not feel pain till the very end. Till her 100 years were up. And even after that, her body would be re-engineered to transform the lifeless form into another work of sheer perfection.

And she was not alone in this perfect world. Humans and nature had collaborated to bring the world (as we know it) to an end. Only the strongest, the fittest, the wisest, and the wealthiest were allowed to be a part of the new clan; a clean, violence-free, disease-free mechanical world. Here everything could be controlled with tiny buttons. When you wake up, how hungry you should be, how much you should eat, how much intercourse was essential for procreation, the oxygen level in your system, and so on.

The strong and the fit humans were redesigned, this time by their own species, to create the perfect human form. Not the ones vulnerable to germs and hurt. Their organs and systems worked like perfect clockwork. No ailments. No pain. These living idols of flawlessness did not fight for power. Did not kill for passion. They had no greed. No corruption in them. They were pure.

They did not feel love, they did not cry, they did not have butterflies in their stomachs, their hearts never skipped a beat. All was just perfect.

The wealth distribution system in the perfect world ensured that every mouth had just the right amount of nutrition. There was no imbalance in the food preparation. The perfect humans knew exactly how each nutrition pill tasted. The same. Always.

But just like in the old, disorganized, messy world, one saying was true for this new ideal world: Exceptions prove the rule. And the little girl was the exception. She was just like the others, but once, just once she had chanced upon a rough scribbling of a child where a woman was curving her lips into an expression that filled the girl with a feeling she had never experienced before. Probably this single sheet of an imperfect crumpled paper was the only thing that had not been destroyed during the human and nature collaboration. And so the little girl kept searching for the live demonstration of a real smile.

In another far corner of the perfect world, which now resembled a massive sterilized laboratory, sat a blunder. A major folly committed by the ever careful intelligent humans. They had made a mistake and allowed a defective new born into their perfect world and had let him grow to see the outcome. But now the imperfect boy with bad genes sat on a perfectly made wheel chair staring into absolute nothingness.

And then after years of perfection, on a perfect day in the perfect world, the girl strolled into the other corner of the world laboratory. She was so shocked at the sight of imperfection that she almost fell on it. Suddenly the imperfect boy held her hand to prevent her from falling down. And that’s when she saw it for the first time in her long perfect life: A smile; the curving of the lips to send a message only to her. Her body experienced transformations she never knew existed. That spot of blunder, that imperfect human was all she desired at that very moment.

They held hands for timeless moments, only to realize that they could not fit in anymore in this absolutely perfect world.

Tiny tales of loss

sad-bear1

  1. She was in love with him; so she convinced his girlfriend to marry him.
  1. He spent his savings to go to his son in America; when he reached, the ornamented teak wood door said ‘To Let’
  1. He always enjoyed the deep conversations with her; so he visits the cemetery often.
  1. The mother always kept her child’s favorite chocolate at the door, just in case he returned
  1. She said ‘I love you’ while she held another man’s hand
  1. They were happily married till she saw his ‘lost’ ring on the young storekeeper’s finger
  1. He could only clap whenever his favorite football team won.
  1. When her mother accidentally burnt her doll’s face, she exclaimed “now we look like real sisters.”
  1. The little girl loved her mommy’s make-up box; she wouldn’t let it go when the police found the syringe and the drug hidden inside.
  1. As the little boy saw the doctor, he said “Give him bitter medicines and injections; maybe then daddy will breathe and talk to me”
  2. All her life she saved to buy dry wood, lots of ghee and a bright red saree; when her son burnt the pyre, he knew she had bought the stairway to heaven.