It’s A Start

Just then we knew, we had miles to go and yet in that silence we were already getting better at understanding each other a little better- one laughter at a time.

Toes curling to hold onto the sand, taking support- placing one foot in front of the other. Breeze gently whistling through my ears, humidity causing perspiration in my strands. 
The sweet noise of dragonflies closing their business day and probably hustling back to their families. Fleets of big and small fishing boats racing against the setting sun from a day long adventure on the sea. The sight of a decaying tortoise, laying on its back at its final resting place- fishermen said that it had been washed ashore in this state the day before, maybe the century old limbs had given way, we’ll never really know. Crows scavenging to their hearts content. Little crabs running around while being camouflaged by the sands, avoiding being trampled by foreign feet. Roaring waves meeting the shore and parting like a lover kissing goodbye.
The comfort of a setting sun, the warmth of a loving arm, the music of a carefree laughter. What more could I have asked for? Briefly closing my eyes, I sent a quick prayer, paying gratitude for everything that I had in that moment. A simple evening of no frills, the sanguinity of a blazing but soothing sun, a new and promising life, a companion.
Taking unsure and short steps towards the waves and watching it pull the land from under us. Holding onto each other for support and giggling like little kids at our smarts in the moment. Letting our funny bones being poked, tickled and worked. 
Just then we knew, we had miles to go and yet in that silence we were already getting better at understanding each other a little better- one laughter at a time.

LOVE

Love is patient, Love is kind…
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

STORY 1
Boy met Girl. Girl was terrified of him. She was amused by him and he needed her help. He had puppy eyes and she had a caring heart. Locked in a situation with no probable alternatives. Girl begins to look after Boy with a determination of completing checklists. Before she knew it, he became her home. He knew how to lighten her up and she knew how to make him drool. They went through years of happy-sad, excitement-monotony, calm-distant like a wave in the ocean… effortless. One morning, while she was on a train away from home and he was being his happy self… He was gone, just like that.

STORY 2
She is curves. He is her pool of comfort.
He is always there. She always walks right into his arms.
She has a temper. He has solid shoulders.
He never judges. She is a ball of complexes.
And each night, they meet like the first time.
And each morning they part with a promise of a repeat.

STORY 3
Even at a distance his cologne tantalised her senses. Since her mid teens she spent hours being lost in his world. Smiling at the joys, crying with him through his hardships, laughing at moments of surprise and fun, calmly holding on when she didn’t know anything better, learning something new each time and experiencing more than a lifetime with him… ever since the first time she walked down the corridor, her hand holding him tight, she knew. She knew that this bond was forever. And so it was… just that simple!


A few days back I was asked if I have any love stories that I could share, for an assignment. While I had nothing that could help the person in question, I did realise that there are a few romances that I’ve been nurturing since a while now.
Here are my atypical love stories, in which I have invested just as much as I do in my human relationships. That’s right, in all the above stories the girl/woman is me. The male counterpart changes in each one of them.
The first is about Bruno- who walked into my life on his little fours and years later left us with no time to prepare.
The second one is about me and my mattress.
And the last one is for the love of books (think physical books and not soft copies).

Now quickly go and revisit the stories above if you thought love was all about two people. Love is actually an emotion and it is on us to feel and associate it with people places and things, which have an impact on us, which require us to put in an extra effort and sustain that commitment.

Soirée

Everyone sees the same world but experiences and expresses it very uniquely!

Over a drive with someone close, I realised that each one of us likes the same music/songs for our own unique reasons. Intrigued by this thought, I decided to share with you all a bunch of songs that I love dearly, along with the reason why!

So here it goes…

“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be, this is me”
-This Is Me by Keala Settle

The strength of the vocals, the scene that leads to the song in ‘The Greatest Showman’ and everything that the song stands for; its an absolute package deal for me! With the layers of complexes that each one of us deals with on a daily basis, a song that asks you to brace yourself is a perfect fit.

 “Vaqt kee Kaid mezindagee hai maghar
Chaand gadiyaan yahin hai jo azad hain
Chaand gadiyaan yahin hai jo azad hain
Inko ko kar meree jane jaan aa
Umar bar na taraste rho”
– Aaj Jaane Ki Zid Na Karo by FaridaKhanum

(Translates to: Life is restricted by time, it’s only these few moments that are free. So don’t loose out on them and then regret it for the rest of your life)
This song has always helped me when I know I’m in the dilemma of doing what is expected of me and what I really wish to do. It also reminds me to enjoy every little and big thing. For me its about travel, about reading and about all those things that I wish to do, that don’t necessarily add monetary or tangible value to me immediately.

“If it hadn’t been for Cotton-Eye Joe
I’d been married a long time ago
Where did you come from, where did you go?
Where did you come from, Cotton-Eye Joe?”
-Cotton Eyed Joe by Rednex

This song is like a pandora box of memories and a gateway into my childhood. Its my favourite song to get everyone dancing at an informal party. For me its about letting go and being childlike once again. You should try the dance!

Dil ki patang chahon mein gothe khati hai
Dhel toh do dekho kahan pe jati hai
Uljhe nahi toh kaise suljhoge
Bikhre nahi to kaise nihkroge”
-Pankhon Ko by Salim Merchant

(Translates to: Your heart is like a kite that runs wild in the shadows, but youry need to let it loose and then see where it reaches. If you aren’t ever messed up, you can’t be sorted. And if you haven’t been shattered, how will you ever glow.)
This one has always been very close to my heart. The lyrics sure are inspiring and romantic of life. The simplistic lens with which life has been penned down is something that I admire. But it’s the voice that first caught my attention and then the rest. And ever since I had the chance to hear Salim Merchant sing it live, it’s a sure shot at goosebumps for me.

Guaranteed (Humming Version) by Eddie Vedder
The entire album by Vedder for Into TheWild is beautiful and fitting. But this specific one finds me peace. I’ve heard it on loop when I just wanted to block everything out. Give it a try and go figure for yourself.

“You hit me once
I hit you back
You gave a kick
I gave a slap
You smashed a plate over my head
Then I set fire to our bed”
– Kiss With A Fist by Florence + the Machine

As opposed to popular judgement, this one for me is about a love/hate relationship. Its about two things that can’t exist with and without one another. The energy that this song presents has made it my wake up song on many days; on days I don’t wish to wake up but I know I have to.

“Tu Soche Ki Ziandagi Ye Na BadalegiKabhi 
Mai Sochu Sab Badalta Tu Na Badlegi Kabh”
-Tu Bole… Mein Bolun by A R Rahman

(Translates to: You think this is life and it’ll never change. I think that its you who will never change)
The lyrics dwell on the ‘glass half full and half empty’ logic (even the lyrics have the same analogy) about people. Its beautiful how two opposing perspectives about the same thing can be equally right. The music has elements of jazz and all things amazing.

“And they scream
The worst things in life come free to us
‘Cause she’s just under the upper-hand
And goes mad for a couple of grams
And she don’t want to go outside tonight
‘Cause in a pipe she flies to the Motherland”
-The A Team by Ed Sheeran

Talking about addiction and its struggle,this song offers a new perspective as opposed to the stereotype of pity and hate. I caught on to the meaning way after I’d already fallen in love with the ease of the tone and his sweet voice.

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide”
-Demons by Imagine Dragons

The band today needs no introduction and nor does this song. I’m in love with the rawness and vulnerability that’s been captured in these lyrics that we often don’t find the words to express. Its about coming clean of all the layers and hoping to be accepted; of admitting about all your secrets and wishing to beloved despite them.

“We’re far from home, it’s for the better
What we dream, it’s all that matters
We’re on our way, united”
-SaveThe World Tonight by SHM

Oh the collaboration of these three God-like DJs and their music has been on my playlist in some form or the other. This one is just a reminder of the fact that they came together, gave a lot of us some great memories and times, and then they parted as already promised. Its the life of the super-group that has caught my attention as much as their work; they came together with a pre-decided end, and still aced it all!

Ba-Dastoor

‘O Soul, thou art at rest.
Return to the Lord at peace with Him,
and He at peace with you.’

There was the light blue sky, white marble domes with emerald and ruby pietradura floral art, guarded by a sandstone red prayer hall on the west and its mirror image for a guest house on its east side. The palette in front of me, as I sat on the Victorian bench in the heart of the lush green gardens, could not have been better.

In a borrowed kurta from baba’s suitcase and a pair of breezy pants, my sleepy eyes looked around with the excitement of a child when I first walked through the arch and glimpsed at the beauty in white. Said to have been constructed as a symbol of love by a man for his beloved over a period of two decades, this marble structure had me falling in love slowly but surely.

While I waited for nature to play out its theatrics, I tried to remember my first visit to the mausoleum-that has been a whooping part of the country’s identity. I wasn’t sure what we had done the first time; there were no strong associations or incidents to create a foundation upon. But there was a lingering feeling of déjà vu once our guide started unraveling the details about its history and symmetry of scales.

All I did was sit down and stay still.

I had to sit down and stay still while everyone around me kept moving in an over whelming frenzy.

I sat down and stayed still when everyone around me was high on anticipation of what was next.

I sat down and stayed still while the silhouette went through the shade card and eventually shifted form.

At first I saw the sky as a deep blue curtain floating against some sprinkled chalk dust and a fading moon; and the winds whispered to me

Then there were emerging patterns of cotton clouds and flying beings against a canvas splattered with gold; while the leaves rustled against the hardened path.

This gold ever so beautifully enveloped into a glowing sun left on a comfortable sheet of light blue; with the morning birds bursting into an acapella.

The scene unfolded from being a glittery performer to a somber lady of pastels.

In an urge to make a lasting association this time over, my mind pulled me back to something I had overlooked in my childlike haste of what lay ahead-

‘O Soul, thou art at rest.

Return to the Lord at peace with Him,

and He at peace with you.’

-the inscriptions on the entrance arch had translated.

On the way, most buildings were coloured dust and red with benches under trees that stood witness to the tales of love and romance over the ages. The air was stained with the crisp stench of hand rolled tobacco and the mildly brewing tealeaves. With cobbled streets and modest houses, the streets around the Taj felt like an architectural conspiracy.

Like most of my early morning squanders on vacations, even this involved baba obliging to my relentless pleas to go to the marvel and breath it in its glory along with the chirping songs at ungodly hours. There was suddenly an unknown comfort in this strange city, like I had become a part of its story as the story had become a part of me

*Ba-Dastoor is an urdu word, meaning unaltered