What do I write?
What is my story?
No holds barred abandon to love, to rage, to sing or to cry piteously. It’s not different from the pages of your book, these stories within stories. Of time and places, pleasure and pain, a life very ordinary. I can’t speak for the extraordinaire so I’ll stick to the song of my life. A song…
Of a tempestuous love that burnt as it burned, of babies that never wriggled out of a bloody womb, of shame and guilt, of lust and hate, of a slow dying and a slower resurrection. The chorus remains the same, the choir changing as seasons do their march and children grow. The stanzas meander through chaos and calm, as the suckling child runs through childhood. Soon she is poised on the threshold of menarche and heartache. Terrible teens, they should say, not terrible twos. Terribly long and cruel too.
Sometimes there are breakdowns of the soul and the night is endless. But there is light, if you can just wait out the years. If not, there’s always the cigarette to pause the blur and whiskey to blank it all. Maybe you flirt with a stranger or wake up in someone else’s bed. Maybe, you just drool over your arms as you fall asleep in shabby rooms.
Somewhere in this crushing, there are deaths and weddings, illnesses and births. There are friends that come, friends that go and there are those that stay. There are fleeting moments of tenderness and stolen love, frantic searching and stale breath. Fragments of burning shame and terrible guilt. There are dinners and coffees, laughter and whining, as you battle weeks which will never be tamed. But once in a while, you stop and celebrate the light and hug those loved ones extra tight. The debt of friendship will forever remain unpaid.
And then, one fine day, as you wait outside in hospital corridors, you realise 40, 50, 60, 70 years have passed by and you are bald and slow. You need your bed and your bathroom even more. Your nest is empty and you wonder how. But secretly, you’re glad for the time and space for the thoughts that have raced all these years, months, weeks and days. So you sit with your cup of coffee and open that book to tease those wisps in your head on to that blank expanse.
And then you see, there are no pages left, only stories. Stories of your life that were written while you waited…
Note: This was an entry for a the Tata lit fest contest last year. I can’t seem to find the T&C for the submissions to see if it’s ok to put it up on my blog. I hope I’m not violating any rules here.