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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

If I lose you.

The old gods or the new, I believe in none as such for they've given me no reason to. That's my defence, my shield. There's too much wrong in this world for there to be the existence of a higher power taking care or even looking over everyone and everything.

Yet, he gave me you.
If there is a god, sadistic as he maybe, he gave me many things. As I read through the pages of a brilliantly written book today, I try to feel what it must feel like to lose a loved one, to watch your father beheaded or your sisters raped or your lover slain with blood.

So till I have you, I thank not him, but the universe above for I can't bear to even imagine going through this degree of loss ever. But remember, I will be strong enough to avenge those who dare to do you wrong, strong enough to perform your rites myself and stronger still to follow you, to your very end.

When they write my epitaph, it may not read many things, but my love for you, it will always profess.

Monday, November 28, 2011

What does it take to come alive?

She walked to the cliff, stronger this time. It would set her free. She would set herself free tonight. She sat at the edge listening to all her favourite songs. Music was the answer, always. But what when music led you to the same person over and over again?

"Then maybe you're supposed to walk to them" said a little voice in her head. She drowned that voice with a hard shot of scotch. Her instincts weren't hers. They'd not been hers for long now. Ever since she met him really..

And she swung another long sip just as her mind started to wander towards him. There wasn't possibly enough whiskey in the world to make her forget him. A few drinks down though, the music called to her soul and she found herself swaying at the edge. She took a step back, she was waiting for the perfect time.

The sunset was an unseeming purple. Or maybe it was just her imagination playing with her mind again. She'd been forging reality for so long now, she'd grown accustomed to hallucinations. And tonight she would get high, her first and last time, know once and for all what it felt like. She looked on and saw the sun going down, the sun had gone down on her such a long time ago.

Very soon now, she thought to herself.

The alcohol ran out on her, too soon, before nightfall had hit her properly but she'd been prepared for this. She traced her way back to the car, found another bottle and smashed this one to bits. The splintering sound of glass on hard rock was the last thing she heard before she hit "play" for what she knew would be the last song.

As luck would have it, she found Martin singing to her, telling her what a shame it was for them to part. Sigh, so be it. The sky had turned a blissful black now, and there was a star shining diagonally across her in the distance, just one, and she closed her eyes. The beat found her feet and she danced her way to the very tip again. She didn't open her eyes for the star seemed to be haunting her with his memory as if he'd followed her up to her mountaintop.

He saw her dancing in the distance, under the moonlit sky. If only she knew how beautiful she looked just slowly moving there. He would have gladly stood there all night, and for many more nights to come but he knew any second now she could make one wrong step and she'd cross over, once and for all. He'd not looked back since that fateful night but he knew by her words tonight that she was going away, forever and a universe in which there was no possibility of reaching out and meeting her was not one he was willing to accept he realized. So he moved forward. Counting the steps. The fourteenth step, and he could tap her shoulder. And so he did.

She turned around, dazed. She blinked her eyes. It was her vision playing tricks on her again. But she hadn't seen his face this clear for so long now that she stared unabashed. She stared to take it all in. That impeccable jaw line, that lazily maintained goatee, the non-existent cheeks she loved to pull at, those perfect lips, and those heavenly eyes. The eyes is where she stopped. There was something wrong. No twinkle. In her head, his eyes always had that crazy spark.. where was it? She raised her hand and traced it along his face before she accepted that he was here, inches away from her. And then she looked away, embarrassed at how blatantly she'd been staring.

He removed the earplugs from her ears and as she resisted they fell out and the music stopped. Her cigarette case fell off too. He picked it up and slid open the red box over which they'd become acquaintances first. Even he was mildly surprised.

"Really now? Your first without me?" he said inspecting if it had even been rolled properly.
"It's my last too." she whispered, still amazed at the ease at which he had strolled up into her realm once more.

He ignored her, rolled it a bit better and sat down on the rocks.
"What, are you planning to stand all night now?"
She slipped by his side, noticing the uneven surface she'd placed herself on for the first time that night. She was suddenly very aware of her surroundings, of herself. Her strewn hair which she hadn't brushed in days, the eyes which were a dense brown now minus the specs that she had broken in a fit of unexpected rage, the lose tshirt that hung so limp over her shoulders and the ragged shorts which she hadn't bothered to change out of for days.
He took a drag, and as if reading her mind said, "you still smell the same."

He passed it to her an she inhaled it a little too much at once and ended up coughing it all out. He stroked her back gently, and taught her how it was done and then they shared it in silence. She reached out for the bottle, but he held her hand, "I pour the drinks baby."

He poured them shots and she didn't know what to click them to. The end?
"What are we drinking to but?"
"For me walking to someone to pull them back for the first time ever?"
His reply was simple, the click quick and he drained his glass empty before she even had a sip.

"Why?"
"What why?"
"Why should we do this anymore? I'm tired. And you're weary. We've gone so long without talking..." she took a long sip before she could complete her sentence "..but I still can't imagine a world without you in it. It's too hard baby."
"So you're taking the easy way out?"

She didn't miss the tone of his voice, the slight edge, the clear disdain. He'd never get it. And yet as she even formed the thought in her head, his hand found hers and her fingers held on tightly, for dear life. They sat like together for hours, drinking, making no conversation, none was needed, the eyes said it all; both too stubborn and afraid to blink for the fear that it might end.

Once the alcohol was over, and they only had each other, she finally found her voice again.
"Why, why tonight after all those texts and calls? Why did you come?"
"Because I knew it was now or never."
"How?"

He slipped out his phone and clicked a few buttons and she re-read her text to him early that morning.
I tried. I really did. But it doesn't make sense anymore. None of it without you. I'd rather jump off than fall apart bit by bit. And even though it's been years, there was only just one you so I can't watch your face fade from my memory any more than it already has. Know that I love you, always have, always will. Forever.

It meant nothing to her, they were just words and she had written so many to him over the time and distance. What stood out to her was the fact that her name was still saved as superwoman. She looked at him, the questions stuck in her throat. Had he really flown to her? She couldn't stop the tears anymore. She hadn't cried in so long, he'd made her promise that she never would so she had soaked them all in and not let them fall and still they came rushing now, as if making up for all the times she bled but did not cry.

She was crying now. He didn't know what to do. He held her and tried to cradle her but she just sobbed and sobbed relentlessly. He hugged her and pulled her close trying to wipe off those tears which always left him speechless but she was such a stubborn baby. My baby. He recalled all the times he'd said it and it seemed just like yesterday and he didn't know why they'd ever gone a day without him saying it. 

"Baby.. stop? Please?"
And that was when she looked up and saw the hurt in his eyes. She took a broken breath in and tried to not exhale for she knew not how to hold it back anymore. Neither did he. So their lips found each other and he was ever so gentle as if scared to hurt her. She broke away first and wiped her tears dry.

"You want me to live?"
"When we end it, we do it together. That's all. Living or dying is your call to make."
"I feel I've been dead all this while anyway.. What would it take to come alive?"
"You."

And just like that, there was music in the world again. She was kissing him, and not gently at all for she had a blinding rage in her. He'd not seen her in so long and this is how he remembered her always. Fierce and unrelenting. And she was just that when his touch met hers. He realized now what she'd meant when she'd said 'they fit together' and he'd jeered it off. He hadn't fit like this with anyone, ever since. Her shuffle was his and as it panned out, he felt himself smile after what seemed like years.


As she heard the track change, her eyes met his and she saw what she'd missed earlier, that twinkle, that spark. "If I lay here, if I just lay here, would you lie with me and just forget the world?", she'd whispered it out to him as she'd pulled him to lie beside her. "I did already didn't I baby?"

She looked up at the sky to show him the star she'd seen his face in but there were two now. He'd brought her to life.

Epilogue:
"Baby?"
"Yeah?"
"Why did you come?"
"You won't let this go, will you?"
"No."
"I had to tell you this in person."
"What?"
"I love YOU too.. soo fucking much."


With that another twenty eighth came to an end, they crossed another bridge and they lay back to see another dawn through each other's eyes. She lived to feel the sun warm her again. Her sun.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The two 23rds.

I looked at the calendar long and hard to find some math to it, but as always all I found was love.

About this precise time and date, seven months back, you told me you loved me when I felt nobody did; or could. I never asked you why. I probably should have, in retrospect.

Today I give it back. Because today I know your definition of love that I trusted so blindly is more screwed up than mine.

I came to you just to learn a lesson I learnt long back, once more. I wasn't made of stone though I should have been. I hadn't died inside despite all reason to. I know now why I didn't. You had to be the one to kill me. But,
Nothing has killed me yet. Not even you. Doesn't mean I've lost faith in your ability to. I'm sure you'll succeed eventually. (Quote: someone?)

But not tonight. The count stands at three because four is our number. And you can't take it away from me. Not yet.

I stood in the rain, and that was the only thing that wet me. And I read all you wrote, that's all what burnt me. So, I listened to your voice, which is what healed me.

And in my head, you said what you'd said all those days back, but this time I said it back. And we meant it. Like never before.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Bad day.

"When she was just a girl, she expected the world.
But it flew away from her reach, and so she ran away in her sleep."

I dreamed of a paradise too but it was snatched even before I could form the image in my head properly. That's why dreams suck. Because they shatter and they break and then the glass splinters prick you deep within your soul. Nobody should have the ability to hurt you because once they have that ability, they inevitably always use it to hit you at your lowest.

I want to sleep and just not wake up anymore. I'm done here. You're all living for yourself and I am not a consideration through any of it. I shouldn't be starving myself to make anyone happy. I shouldn't be calling a million times to hear your voice. Fuck. You.

So live. In your own parallel universes now.
I don't even want anything anymore because whatever I ever asked for was just a joke to you anyway.
Because none of you give a fuck about what I want.
So thank you. And I'm sorry for believing the best in you which doesn't even exist. And no, there is no self blame anymore. I am a nice person and I have been fucking good to you. BOTH OF YOU. And this is really not what I deserve, NO.
Screw it.
Screw all of it now.

I'll run away soon some day and none of you will see me or hear from me ever again. If drowning in a deep, dark sea is what it takes, I'll do that precisely. Use my love for you against me and I'll kill myself altogether. No me, equals no love for you and hence nothing you can take advantage of anymore. I'm seriously done, trying. Love is a piece of shit. The only thing it ever did is hurt me and pour a carton of acid over my breaking heart. This time it's not my fault and I refuse to take any blame for it either. You all screwed up. You screwed me up.

Congratulations. And thanks. A lot.
For the silence, and everything else.

"I'm not listening to you, I'm wandering right through,
Through this distance.
With no purpose and no drive,
In the end we're all alive,
Two thousand years I've been awake, 
Waiting for the day of shame,
Dear all of you who've wronged me, I am, I am a zombie,
Again again you want me to fall on my head.
I am, I am, I am a zombie,
Again, again, again you push me."

Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy eighteenth to me .

. start the to back going i'm . hard so be would it said ever noone , easy was it said nobody . part to us for shame a such it's oh , easy was it said nobody . are we as back coming . tails our chasing, circles in running . start the to rush i and oh . me haunt and back come, me love you me tell but . heart my as loud as speak not do, progress and science, science of questions . apart puzzles the pulling, figures and numbers at guessing just was i . start the to back me take, oh . hard so be would it said ever noone, easy was it said nobody . part to us for shame a such it's, easy was it said nobody . apart science a on heads, tails in coming, circles in running . start the to back go let's oh, questions your me ask and secrets your me tell . apart you set I you tell, you need I you tell, you find to had I. are you lovely how know don't you, sorry i'm you tell, you meet to up come

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nadaan parindey, ghar aa ja.

When will I not wake up to an empty bed and these ugly walls? When will I learn that to snooze means to lose hours that I'm never getting back? When will I reach out for arms that are reaching back for me? When will I stop checking my phone for a red blinking light? When will I stop waiting for a miracle? When will I stop wishing for something impossible? When will I stop aching for a hug? When will I be kissed like i'm the only pair of lips left in this world? When will I trace somebody's name in the sand that I walk on? When will the glass splinters that I place my feet on each day, hurt less? When will I make a friend that I don't lose to circumstances, or distance, or the difference of gender. When will I stop finding comfort in the magnificent flames that my unsent letters form? When will I look up to see my mother looking down at me, extending a helping hand? When will I hear my name being yelled out in a street by an acquaintance I bumped into? When will my head rest on my best friend's shoulder? When will these rants stop? When will they get over the past and then teach me also how it's done? When will music cease to make me miss people? When will I be forgiven? When will my cellphone flash those ten digits? When will my father not have to take care of my finances? When will I stop questioning every good thing that ever happens to me? When will I stop searching for the right words to tell the people I love, just how much I love them? When will I stop being my worst judge? When will I not see such horrific things in my sleep? When will she hold my hand, tell me it'll all be alright. When will I stop blaming myself? When will everything finally, fall into place? When will I be home, for good? When will someone write "Always" for me? When will the beats in my head become louder than the noise of this world? When will my body fit into someone's so perfectly again? When will I live to see a day in which I don't procrastinate? When will I stop looking for his eyes in every pair of eyes that mine burn? When will I accept I can be loved deeply too? When will I halt to look around me, take it all in and thank the universe instead of curse at it? When will Murphy ignore me like an innocent bystander? When will I be innocent again? When will I read, all that I want to read, see all that needs to be seen and do whatever I ever aspired to do? When will my dreams become dreams that I look forward to and not run away from? When will he breathe me back to a life that I seem to be draining myself of, drop by drop. When will this darkness change to light? When will I stop waiting for the end?

When will I accept that I'm alone? When will we accept that we're all alone?
We're all in this, alone.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I looked your way a long time today, but you were gazing elsewhere.

"You've ruined everything now, forever."

He says the words with absolute brutality. And yet there's not anger in his words, but hurt. She's crying and can't stop. How could she do it? How could she let it happen? How was she blind all along? He pats her head and starts to walk out the door. She doesn't ask him to stop, she hasn't done that for over a decade now.

"I despise myself more than you, I hope you know that."

He came back. He always did. Moreover, there was nothing left to do. Nowhere left to go. She was all he really had, his one prized possession, the one he never earned but deserved nonetheless. Him and her. Two broken souls came together to produced the most scarred one there ever was. And they watched it happen, didn't see the signs or read the skies crying out to them.

"How could this happen?"

They ask each other this repeatedly. Neither can ever answer. They look at her and it's all changed. She's grown so much in one night. How did they miss it all? How did they watch her childhood just pass them by? More importantly, did they actually just let her miss all of it herself?

"I failed you."

Neither says this, they're proud people, them. They shoulder the blame together but it's done in utter silence for years.

"I didn't mean for it."
"But it happened. You took my daughter from me."
"I .."
"Save it. I'll never forgive you."
"I'll never forgive myself."

They grew to ignore the unpleasant bits. They erased the horrific ones in ways of their own. Fought their demons in ways they knew best. But it was always there, that something, seeping beneath the surface, lurking in the shadows. The unspeakable truth.

Years later, she thanked him.
Thank you for giving me a wonderful daughter, she said.

Him - "I love you, despite everything."
Her - "I love you, because of everything."

Friday, November 11, 2011

If you're going to be just another demon, I'll fight you too.
I'll not be seeing you in my dreams anymore, if torture me is what you do.
I told the sky, the wind and the air, long back, so I'll tell you too.
Whatever gets between me and him,
Will scar black, end up red and bleed blue.

The long conversation.

I meet him and his roommate in delhi and we sit for hours and talk. We kid around and pretend like nothing ever happened. That we're two friends catching up on old memories. He's supposed to help me catch my bus to Jaipur but I miss it. Intentionally? Through the blur, I think yes, because my subconscious makes me want to stay with him, a little while longer, always. We come back to the room where just hours earlier he was telling me how studious he's become. 


I sit with the two of you, what was his name again? What was his face? Were you the only thing I noticed? I casually pick up a notebook and see your messy cursives and read some math scribbled in it.

Her - Any good at math yet?
Him - Always.

I scoff. 'Did I miss something?' You laugh and pour me a drink. Your friend fades away. I tell you to not make it strong.

Him - Now that's a first.
Her - I kind of want to stay in my senses.

Him - Relax, I wouldn't be touching you.

He pours me the usual. Our glasses click. What are we drinking to, I wonder even then. Drinking together is a bad idea, I know somewhere in my head.

Her - So I should call Anirudh. Tell him I stayed back.
Him - Let him call.
Her - Why? I'm the one who always calls.
Him - Well then, that's kind of the problem still, isn't it?

I choke down my retort. I don't want us to rip each other's head off, just yet. We've had such a normal, fun day till now. I gulp down the shot and pour myself another drink. 'He doesn't know shit', I think to myself.

Him - We're all the same Shiromi.
Her - No, you're not.
Him - Trust me?
Her - I did, remember?

The tones are changing and I don't like where this is going. Maybe I should have left. What is the point to this. The outcome will be.. Well. I decide to browse through his notebook and see the doodles instead.

Her - What's this?
Him - Forgotten your name have you?
Her - But.. Since when do you trace my name?
Him - You know everything right? Work this one out on your own too.

There's no rage in the words. Just hurt. I've hurt him again. I hit myself in my head for not knowing better.

Her - I'm sorry.
Him - Me too.
Her - You? What are you sorry for?
Him - Everything? For all those tears. When all you did was cry, all I did was let you. For all those fights. For treating you like property. But most of all for letting you go. For not believing in the love that you never gave up on.


I need more alcohol. I don't want these words. Not anymore. I keep the notebook away.

Her - It had to end. It would have been no other way.
Him - No, I used to think that too. But it didn't. If I wasn't such a jerk, it wouldn't have.
Her - But you were.
Him - Yes I was.
Her - Stop it man. I love him now.
Him - I know. That's the sucky bit.
Her - Excuse me?

I get up. Walk-outs come naturally to me. But he knows me well. He holds my hand, trying to calm me down and make me sit. We fight and somehow I have a lot more power than I usually would. I want to get out of this room, out of his face. He blocks the door.

Her - Let me go.
Him - Again?
Her - Yeah.
Him - No. You suck at walking away you know.

I put up a fight. I think I scratch his face for there's blood when I look at it. 'Oh shit', I mutter and grab inside my bag for cotton. I seat him down and clean the cut with alcohol gently. 'It stings a little', he says. I reply, "I know it's the damn alcohol.' He shakes his head in disagreement, 'No, this stings a little. Your touch which won't last a second longer than it needs to.'



The only thing I notice as he says that are the eyes. There's no glint in them, no light even. What happened? I stop for them, nothing else.

Her - You had beautiful eyes.
Him - You still do.
Her - You're noticing them now?
Him - Yeah..

We sit on the same bed. I'm tired. Of fighting it. Of fighting him. I drown another drink and he looks at me like he can't comprehend something. Like I'm a puzzle he can't solve.

Him - Are you happy?
Her - Yeah. I really am.
Him - Does he know what actually makes you happy? Does he even know you'll never really be happy?
Her - Huh? He knows everything.
Him - You believe in fairytales. You hate it but you do. You want a happily ever after. You like it when someone holds you back, you walk away just to be stopped. You like it when someone whispers to you, so only you can hear it. You like presents, it makes you feel like someone remembered and cared enough to go through the entire ordeal of buying you something you'd mentioned you like. You like surprises because you like being blown away. You expect only the best from the people you love, which kind of raises the bar enormously and the person inevitably always falls short. You like being quoted to, sung for and put to bed. You whine about chic flicks but somewhere you want one of them for yourself. You're not a pessimist, you're actually the secret romanticist. At the end of the day, you're just a scared, little girl.
Her - What bullshit.
Him - You're saying you don't want to be someone's princess forever?
Her - I..
Him - Don't.
Her - Don't, what?
Him - Don't lie to yourself.

I fall back on the bed and stare at the ceiling. As I close my eyes, my head is resting on his arm. I open them, then close them shut again.

Him - What are you thinking about?
Her - Him...
Him - Oh. You really love him?
Her - You disregard everything anyway so why should I answer that?
Him - He's lucky then.
Her - I sense the sarcasm.
Him - There is none. I've never known a girl who loves like you. Honestly. You're.. Mad. 

Her - Heh, five years you know me now and that's the word you use?

I've smiled finally. There's relief in those empty eyes. He takes my hand and I don't resist. Not until he starts to trace somethings on the palm and takes it up to my shoulder and then the collar-bone.

Her - Don't.
Him - Why? He won't like it?
Her - I don't like it.
Him - And so you lie to me now?
Her - Well, you always thought I did.
Him - Stop it.
Her - What? 
Him - Stop fooling yourself. You know how this ends.
Her - Enlighten me please?
Him - It ends with you in tears. Haven't you learnt by now? This isn't a fairytale. You're not a princess. You're emotionally damaged and he's not going to be the one to save you.

I jerk myself up. I've had enough. I start screaming now.

Her - Why the fuck do you always do this huh? Everytime I'm happy. Why do you come and haunt me? I'm his princess. I don't want a happily ever after. Just a happy right now! I don't live in the future. You'd know that if you knew shit about me. I live in the past.

Him - I'm your past.
Her - Don't flatter yourself. A lot of things may change but the fact that he loves me will not change. You don't even know HIM!
Him - I know enough. You were my world too right. Where did that leave you?
Her - No where.
Him - Exactly. If that could end, why will this not?
Her - Because..
Him - Because?

I'm crying now. As he inches closer, I push him away. I switch off the phone that refuses to ring. 

Him - It's true. We weren't supposed to end..
Her 
(interjecting) We were. What did you think we'd end up married or what?

Him - Well, I wanted to.
Her - You're.. Impossible.

Him - But you loved me first.
Her - It matters not who I loved first. I care about who I loved last.

He's trying to soothe me now because I don't stop crying. I'm weeping like never before. Sadly, it's his shirt I'm ruining in the process.

Him - Why're you crying?
Her - Why're you doing this? I believe in him. Why are you shaking the belief it took so long to build? Do you even know what you did to me? 
Him - Shh. I didn't do anything. I'm not doing anything. It's all in your head. Come here. You know you're the only one I've ever loved.

He pulls me close, takes my glass and keeps my spectacles away. He puts me on his friend's bed and pulls the covers. Then turns off the light. I don't let him get into bed with me even for a reassuring hug. He reluctantly sits by the edge of my headstand.

Him - I'm just in your head baby..
Her - I'm not your baby. I'm not your girl.
Him - That's the thing. You're nobody's girl.

He kisses my forehead and shuts the door, his words still vibrating in my ears, telling me I'm nobody's girl. 



*


I wake up and the bright white light blinds me. These pale blue walls seem familiar. I reach for my bottle of water and realize I'm in my own bed. Then why do all his words stand so still in my mind? Why's the pillowcase wet and stained with my tears? Why did he come back with all the insecurities and fears?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Seasons.

It's getting cold. In some parts of the world it's even snowing. At about this time now, I'd take out my muffler back home, for I have sensitive ears. It never did get to cover them though for my friend Priyamvada Rathore always shared it for some crap. I never complained. I still won't. One shawl, one jacket, one pair of gloves, whatever either of us had on us for an iota of warmth, was automatically the other's. No questions asked. If there was any resistance shown by the owner, it was snatched right away so the protests were meaningless and unnecessary really.

Rats. She wouldn't let anybody else call her that, ever. Just like I'd not be Meow for anyone else. And no matter how much anyone may ridicule us, this we both always will be. Because, it's simple really. Some people do break all the way through and then that stays. No matter what. The time taken varies but once your guard is off, it just is.

"And I miss you when you're not around."
With uncle Bono singing this in my ears, I can't help but miss him too. I actually try to not miss him you know, like I make that effort. But what did I just say about defenses? Once broken through, they can't really be set back up. And we somehow broke each-other's without even meaning to.

Been there, done that.
I've said that for a long time but he's changed that for me. It's more of a 'been there, done that, but not quite' now. And to all those people who told me he was just "a stoned motherfucking player" I would just say, hah. In your face. You can't judge something until you feel it. You can't disregard someone until you know them. And I know him, I always have known him.

So darling as it turns out, I wasn't just a season for him. Because it's getting chilly now. And he's still saying those three words to me like he first did. He meant them then and he means them now. But you'd have known that if you knew how much that one word means to some of us. We didn't just blurt it out. It was said and meant and felt in most sincerity and certainty.

I don't define things and people and situations. I don't even define love. I don't like putting tags. But all of this changed for him. He called me his soulmate, we called this perfect, and the tag boyfriend/girlfriend followed too. Oh and I call this love. Years down the line I will still call this love. Because if this isn't it, nothing ever will be.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Maa..

Those are usually the first words out of any toddler's mouth. Because since before our own existence, mothers nourish us and make us a part of them, literally so. It's not just the nine months (eight, my magical number in our case) that a kid spends in her mother's womb that make it the relation of a lifetime, though that pretty much should be it. No, it's much more. It's the decision by that one person before that pregnancy to make something, someone a part of her, someone she'll love and cherish like nothing else and someone she'd not only give her life for but take lives for as well. In that instant when she conceives her child is when she becomes a mother for it's selfless right then to want to go through that ordeal.

Then comes the struggle. The morning sickness, the cravings, the cramps, the misshaped body, the restrictions, the kicks, the what-nots. You bore that patiently for me. Ever since my first cell shaped to become a part of you and you took that two-pink-stripes-life-changing-test, you were relentless, untiring and careful beyond measure that no harm, ever, came my way. From perfectly timed and nutritious meals to giving up things you liked most, to reading and singing to me, you never took being a mother lightly. And for that, among other things I owe you baby.

Maa.. It's usually a kid's first word but as we both know it wasn't mine. I'm not a cliche, never have been so my first words were "kya hai?"
Yes, I was an inquisitive little pest from the very start. And you had the patience to answer each and every query that I had. You never lost your temper or got short at me. You taught me everything that books couldn't, and never imposed your choices on me. All you ever dreamt for me was that I be a "good, happy human". Yes, I remember every word you ever put down in that baby book mom for I saw the zeal and passion with which you'd preserved every tiny detail of my childhood which parents so casually ignore or don't bother about. Every picture that you and Dad clicked, every recording you made with me being the drama queen that I was and then watched for hours later. When you thought I wasn't looking, I noticed all the pains you took to do all that. I noticed how you put off things you both needed/wanted just to be able to give me the perfect childhood.

As I started to speak, you never dismissed me for the lack of time. Instead you quit on your entire world, and became mine instead. You listened to my annoyingly boring stories and encouraged me to tell more, so much more. Slowly I started to love details as much as you and looked forward to coming home to you to tell every second of my day. All the way home on that Hero Winner of yours, i chattered and chattered away. You took the detour to Masi's house one too many times just because I wanted to go, 'someplace else'.

You taught me how to play out of nothing and everything and then watched me, amused as I turned into a block-builder then a teacher then vegetable-vendor (remember the tarazu dad made for me to weigh veggies? Boy, you both really were perfectionists!) and even the owner of a cigarette shop (I turned cassettes into cigarette boxes). Yes, you never hindered my ways.. you let me and my imagination always run free (and pretty wild).

You were there at every poem recital, every play, every debate in town to cheer me on. You were there to wipe off my tears and bitch about the unfair judgement when I rarely lost a competition. You were there to kiss me on my forehead after every result and everything that I did win. The biggest compliment always came from you, in that smile, in that kiss, in those four words, "You were the best", you are still my best praise and only critic. If I manage to please you then the rest of the world pretty much ceases to matter but I won anyway, for you raised me to be a winner baby, you taught me to never be anything but the best.

This is not to thank you, no, that I couldn't do in a million years. This doesn't even come close to describing what we have (and what the world only looks at enviously). Those afternoons on your bed, those fifteen minutes in the kitchen which inevitably led to an amazing meal, that rush to watch a movie and as long as we're together, always making it on time, those long drives and dinner dates, those ice-cream treats, those shopping sprees, ah there's so much!

Maa.. You know why that was never my first word baby? Because you're so much more to me than just that. You're like an elder sister (quite frankly you look hot dude!), you're like an annoying sibling who fights for the loo (how many times have we raced and you thrown a tantrum on losing?), a younger brother who whines for attention when I'm busy on the phone (I can really multi-task!), an older brother when someone hurt me and you kicked their ass for it, a best-friend (and this needs no reason or explanation even).. You've been everything for me. The world has crashed around me, one too many times but with your help, I've found it in me to build it all over again. I've been the phoenix but trust me I would never rise from my ashes if you didn't put all these ashes back together for bits of me scatter and fly off with the winds but you pick each of them out and put me back together, always.

You marvel at how I love people so much mom? As to how I find it in me to give myself to my friends the way I do? How I love unconditionally and forever despite the hurt and pain it brings me? How I trust people easy and let them into my life and believe the best in them always? It's you mom, you. You've taught me how to love, to trust, to believe. And so I just do. I've been loved, trusted and believed in so much by you that it's not tough to share that with the few people I do share it with. You give me so much in just that one smile of yours, in those eyes.

And I never really wrote about you before this because I never wanted to not do justice to your name Maa. You may have never comprehended that but you don't even know what you are to me. You're it. I may cry for all the lost friends, boys, and random trash like that but at the end of the day as long as I have you standing by me, nothing else matters.

Happy Birthday Mom.
Across this distance, this my baby is my present to you.

I love you beyond measure (duh), and I miss your presence around me so much I can't tell you. Writing this has been one of the toughest things I've done for it's brought tears to my eyes at so many points. But I did not cry nor weep. For today is a happy day. It's your day. No room for even tears of happiness on this special day baby.

And always remember,
For you, a thousand times over.