A Banasura Memoir

A long winding road led us to the foot of the Hills. A stone laid path took us forth, forking into two before us. Either sides of the paths were lined by thick green ferns, purple lilacs and other colored flowers. At the end of those graveled pathways, stood two subtle looking huts. Made of mud, the huts were a blunt shade of brown, unevenly bulging at the edges. The roofs were hidden beneath a non-porous sheath of creepers. Inside the main and rather larger hut, we found ourselves overlooking a canopy of trees. The constant rustle of the leaves, owing to a cold breeze, interspersed the monotony of the chirruping birds and disturbed crickets. 

Down a flight of stairs, it was almost like discovering the secret cellars of an ancient palace. We were in an airy lounge that echoed an eerie silence, from which sprawled two long hallways, studded with wooden doors along its walls. The doors made way to dimly lit, tastefully furnished rooms, that had a scent of romance in the air. One could call upon all occurrences of déjà vu and would find none that was as beautiful. We let out short gasps in awe, amidst the muffled noises of shoes scratching against thatched mud.
We were a group of 44 and more. Each one utterly different from the other, yet delicately knit together by one common bond. As for me, I find it much easier to have imaginary conversations in my head than in person, and there I was, busily engaged in my multiple virtual monologues with all the new faces. Monologues because it was more of them doing the talking and I doing the listening. And that’s exactly how I liked it, trust me. There was a rare excitement found in getting to know new people. 
In all, those 14 hours kind of taught me there is no special time to feel good about oneself, all you need is a tad bit of luck and a great employer! 
P.S : The venue described is the Banasura Hill Resort, at Wayanad, Kerala. And my employer is Mr. RCKR (short for Rajesh CKR). 

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Bereft

Bereft is such a wise word. It expresses that unfathomable emotion that you can only understand if you have loved and lost. Yes,  you need to have known love in its highest form and then have it snatched away in the most ruthless ways for reasons you fail to understand. It is like a recurring series of unbearable pain (more physical than mental), where you feel your ribs cringing and bones crushing. Sometimes after long ordeals of trying to deal with this pain, you are left too tired to even gasp a relief. You look at yourself and find an empty soul looking back, with hollow eyes and a lifeless body. You try to force a smile, only to end up faking an ugly grin on an ugly face. With a repulsive gut, each breath you take becomes an upheaval. Survival becomes a war with yourself, a bloody war between a desolate being with a barren heart and a vandalised animal with cold instincts, and you know you couldn’t let both sides win. 

The good Indian girl? 

She talked rarely. Hardly opened her mouth in front of strangers. They called her a silent girl,  a good girl. I had a loud mind,  I had opinions to make, I couldn’t help indulging in conversations that raised my curiosity and I had to speak against men who thought little of women. They called me a noisy girl, a bad girl. 

She had pretty salwars, 

 tightly knit and she wore them with the Holy dupatta draped around her entire upper body. She spent hours in front of the mirror, turning left and right and then left again. Making soft curls with her long maintained locks of hair was the first thing she did in the morning. They called her a good girl, always well dressed. I, wore loose shirts with comfy pants. I never understood the meaning in wearing well stitched salwars if it was to go under the Holy dupatta. I was happy as long as my hair was kept from falling to my face. They called me unkempt, a bad example of a girl.

 She was taught men and women were two separate species, it was unruly to consider them alike. She was taught that all men were beasts and that women who helped men would meet God’s wrath. They called her shy, and that’s what girls should be. And I was called unabashed because my parents taught me that homo sapiens were all the same inside, that there are as many good men as there are bad women. I was called audacious, because being bold was not a girl’s quality. 

She told me one day secretly that her biggest dream was to ride a bike like a man. But she was scared of being called adventurous by the world. Really? I could simply look into her eyes and she giggled saying “Am I not daring enough  “. 

Dear life

Dear life,
I’m drained out. You’ve successfully sucked out every drop of hope left in me. I surrender, before you defeat me. Although, it makes no difference now.

I’m left, a wrenched out soul, withering away slowly yet steadily, like flowers after a day’s labour under the scorching sun. However a flower has the glory of being an object of beauty, the reason for somebody’s happiness and I can only long for either.

My eyes have shadowed, body wearied and my heart weighs me down. Where’s the meaning in this soulless existence, I fail to find an answer. The days pull on and misery mulls over like a never ending train with countless boggeys having windows that seem to open to a certain kind of void dullness. Or is it dull voidness? Who cares, both are no trinkets of hope.

No dear life, you haven’t been the same to everyone, for I see hasty happenings around me most days. There are people having much eventful times;  taking new steps, building new relationships, moving on to betterments. You just seem to have forgotten me amongst the more important things. I ain’t complaining, oh am I at peace. A weird sense of peace with this austerity.

For me, emotions have ceased to exist altogether. And I’ve come to terms with this rotting away. It makes no sense, why I still long to see a flicker of hope. Why I wish there was somebody to ask me to hold on, when I’ve let myself in to this with the whole of my heart. Dear life, I know you’re not cruel and this is just how its meant to be. I’m grateful for everything you gave me, even the sorrows with their deeply intended messages. I would not miss the past, but I will miss what will not be that could have been. I will miss striving for a future that will only lead us to the inevitable.

Yet, I could not have asked for a different end. I’m calm and at ease, dry and without feelings for the world. I wish I could say ends are beautiful, but even the power of perception evades me. Beauty seems a surreal word. Dear life, I promise to put up a nicer show next time. If only there’s a next time…

My last editorial

And thus I sit down to write. My final editorial. My final attempt of chronicling GEC per se. I write as I think, this could well end up like a chaotic mess of resurfacing emotions, jumbled into a beauty-less heap of piled up dirty clothes waiting to go to the laundry. Where do I begin? Definitely not the overused, overheard story that begins with the first day one meets GEC and ends in a high note of how the journey over the years colored one’s life with friendship and hardships and other hashtag adjectives. May be I should just go brutally honest and blurt out what only the bold have been able to uncover yet. But then, I am not the bold, let alone ever have been. For yes, there have been times when I ought to have taken the stand, even though that meant being stranded in a crowd. Perhaps that would’ve been a different story altogether, perhaps not as unforgiving as now.

But pause. Pause for some air, lest I choke on the finality of a regretful past. On the invariability of things that were. And as equally on the inevitability of the unseen future. How this is coming to an end today, is not even close to what was planned about it yesterday. Four year gave unprecedented lessons with deeply intended messages, sometimes even solo morbid ones. I have a heart sagging with a thousand memories, whilst I sadly surrendered before more of them could weigh me down. And for all I know, when this will finally be over, and what will be left is a lonely whimpering soul, I’ll know and I’ll remember with a weird sense of gratification that I’ve let myself in through these thousand worlds with the whole of my heart, and that in no small or big amounts could I have asked for a different ending.

It pains me to think, when time takes shape, each one of us will wither away to oblivion. Dreadful the thought is, but firm as your truest belief. You will be missed. I will miss you, the campus will miss you, graffiti will miss you, the gulmohars will miss you, the evening breeze by the side of the gallery, the canteen and milma will miss you, the nights in crammed up rooms, the shared lunchboxes and borrowed shirts will miss you, time will miss you. And at this hour of vanity, the only right thing to do is to bid farewell to all that will be missed. Adieu GEC.

Peace befalls me.

The dive

It was like, a deep rooted tree was suddenly pulled up and thrown away, leaving a large gaping hole that smelled of wound, of pain, of grief. I was engulfed in whole by a thick impregnable sheath of sorrow. Despair was pulling me by heart and soul. A single dive, that would do the job. All these years of living under a shade, those long heaving days and their memories would be gone too soon.

I stood gazing at the enormity of the expanse that spread before me. Its vastness, and oh! That eerie feel of the void. I wished to become one with that emptiness, to unburden the chaos that had become my existence. The prairie wind tickled the back of my neck and for a moment I considered letting it pass and walking back to catch life at where I had left it. But in the next moment, when all of it came flooding back, terrific as a storm, I knew this was all that was left for me to do.

Scrunching the cold blades of grass beneath my feet, I stammered and steadied my footing. I closed my eyes and let my mind wander back for one last time. Myriad times have I wondered, but still couldn’t understand what had gone wrong, nor why. There was a time, when life for me was cherry and roses. And yet, with the wind was gone my days of summer too. Loneliness thrashed into my broken heart. Regret crept up my tired limbs. My body gave in to the wicked snatches of hopelessness, it kept me awake at nights, like the silent wails of a whore. I had held on for as long as my fingers bled. And then, even blood seemed to know the better.

I was a giant mess. I closed my eyes again, pulled in a deep puffy breath. Yes I was a giant filthy pile of mess. But for all I know, just a while longer couldn’t worsen things. And I took the step back.