Back to School

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As I walk today through this empty corridor of what once used to be my school, I am shocked. Shocked at the change. I mean, everything look the same. The lockers, the corridor, the ever-so-depressing lights, the paraphernalia of childhood. It looks exactly the same. But everything seems so changed.

I am changed. I am no longer the gangly kid with braces and plastic frame glasses. I am no longer the last person to be chosen on any game team. I am no longer the heartbroken kid who doesn’t have the guts to go and tell that boy that I like him. I am no longer the kid who comes up with stories to impress her friends about how cool her father is. Yes, I have changed.

I am grown-up and successful and decent looking. I can draw people’s attention for all he right things if I want to. I can go ahead and buy that pretty dress I loved without thinking twice. I can make good-looking men buy me drinks at a bar whenever I want to. And all this is all that the gangly kid ever wanted.

So why does walking through this corridor make me ache today? Because the world is not the same. Because I am not the same. Because I have realized that the world, as I saw through those plastic frame glasses, is a myth. The “Ideal Life” doesn’t exist. I have lost my innocence. I have lost the ability to give without expecting anything in return. I have lost my childhood. And today, I would give away anything to be back to what I was. To go back to school.

—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X

This post has been written for picture it & write  by ermilia

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Talking To You

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Talking to you was easy,

Once upon a time.

I could see you

I could feel your presence

I could reach out to you

Today, we are so far apart

All I can do is tap on this keyboard

And hope that you read what I want to say

Not the words, no.

The thought, the feel, the emotion

The knot in my throat

The smile on my face

The goosebumps on my arm

The water in my wet hair

I know you do not feel that

Because tapping here on this keyboard

Is not the same as

Talking to you.

—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X

This post has been written for picture it & write  by ermilia

The Broken Bride

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She was happy just thinking about what she wanted. She wanted a spectacular wedding. A groom who would dote on her. A mother who would cry as she walked down the aisle. A father who would look at her with utmost affection as he walked her down the aisle. The melody of the harp soothing her nerves. And the red roses all around.

She was happy thinking about what she wanted. But she knew she could never have what she wanted. They had made sure of that. The military, the soldiers, the bombings. They had taken away all that she had. Her perfect groom, her loving parents, her best friends and everyone else who even looked familiar. All that was left was the wait. The wait for the next bombing, the next night when the hungry soldiers would come to hunt, the next time she would actually have food to eat.

But she dreamt and thought and wondered. And she was happy when she did that. She knew that her days were numbered. Until the day it all ended. The pain that was beyond tolerance, the hunger that never ceased, the darkness that never lost.

And she saw a flash. Something close to a million cameras being flashed at her. And she saw them all. The groom, the parents, the friends. And she was happy. The broken bride was happy.

—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X

This post has been written for picture it & write  by ermilia

Life

I live

Breath by breath

Hour by hour

Trying to know why I am here

Trying to figure out life’s different shades

Trying to figure out the different pieces

I live

Person by person

Relation  by relation

Trying to find what everyone means to me

Trying to feel what everyone needs from me

I live

Job by job

Duty by duty

Trying to know what’s needed of me

I live

Moment by moment

Day by day

Trying to make sense of my being

Trying to bring out the colours of my life

Trying to bring together the colours of my life

I feel it’s all in my hands

The colours, the illusions, the mirage

The shimmering glass called life

I believe I have it figured

And just when I am happy

It turns its back on me

And shatters into a million sparkling pieces

The mosaic called Life

Because I liveMagic

This post has been written for picture it & write by ermilia

The Tale of the Friendliest Strangers and a Little Bit More

So I am not one of those people who makes friends easily. I take my own time. To get to know people. To become comfortable being who I am. So if you come meet me tomorrow, you’ll find this awkward, self-conscious girl who doesn’t know what kind of a face to make while looking at you.

So about a month ago, when I found myself in this strange country called Germany when I didn’t even know the language spoken there, I was intimidated. Okay, intimidated is a bit of an understatement to what I was actually feeling. Shit scared. I was alone. I didn’t really know anyone there. This was my first time outside India. So, yeah, I was bound to be scared.

To top it all off, I had NEVER, EVER taken a flight. So when I got into the flight to Dubai, I was a little lost. Yes, my friends had described to me how it is like inside the airplane. But I was still jittery. All I could do was observe what people did around me and do the same. But, to my rescue came this lady who sat besides me. She asked me if I was scared. I told her I was flying for the first time. She was this kind woman who talked to me. About nothing in particular. But talking to her made me feel calmer. I do not know her name. But I know I’m probably never forgetting her all my life.

I think I should now give you a little bit of a background on my situation. I had an economy class ticket all the way to Frankfurt. When I get to the Mumbai Airport, they tell me they don’t have my boarding pass for the flight from Dubai to Frankfurt. That there’s some problem with the system. I get to Dubai and I get a Business Class boarding pass as they are out of seats on the economy. I am happy. But as I enter the plane I find myself ever so more uncomfortable about Business Class. Because it’s all new again. The TV Screen, the remote control, everything.. Ahhhh!!! I was literally just about to pull at my hair in frustration.

And then comes this lady. All tall, long, blonde hair, nicely dressed, pink pumps, pink jeans, a nice silver top, a huge silver bag, face fully made up. Everything about her was either pink or silver. I looked down at my oversized yellow Jim Morrison t-shirt, worn out jeans, black and purple Pumas, hair in a knot. I had never felt so much out of place! But then she flashed me this huge smile and sat besides me and we talked. A lot. She was a Polish model who has been to tons of different places. She told me how it was at her shoots and at the fashion shows and how she hated all of it. And believe it or not, she was really fascinated at the fact that I was an engineer who did a job and most of all, the fact that I was an Indian. She had told me her name I think. I don’t remember it.

Then I get to Germany. A couple of days pass in a haze. And one day, at breakfast in my hotel I meet this Indian guy. I’m sitting alone, he’s sitting alone, so he just walks up to my table and we get to talking. He’s an Indian who’s lived in the US for more than 8 years and we talk about all the random things under the sun. After that day we met at breakfast everyday. He cooked dinner for me twice and I spoke to his wife and his kids and it was fun! He even introduced me to this friend of his. She’s an American and even we hit it off instantly. I’m friends with both of them on facebook today. And I know I’ve made two friends for life.

Then one day I go shopping. I really wanted to shop for boots and I found this place that had an awesome sale running on boots. So I look through the numerous racks filled with boots and finally come down to the two pairs of boots I like the most. I try the first one, go and check in the mirror. I like it. I try the second one, go to the mirror. I like this one too. I repeat this entire routine thrice and still I’m nowhere closer to a decision. This woman comes up behind me and says, “I think you should go for the pink one”. I turn around, thank her, buy the pink pair of boots and leave the shop. I don’t know her name but I have her to thank for  my kickass pair of pink boots. If it hadn’t been for her, I probably wouldn’t have bought anything because of my confusion.

I had a free weekend when I was in Germany and so I decided to visit Paris over the weekend. I get down the bus in Paris and I’m just looking around trying to decide what to do next. I hear these two voices talking in English. I see they belong to these two females, one young and one quite old. The younger one looks at me and says, “I saw you sitting alone at the cafe. If you want you can join us for breakfast”. And I spent the next two days with them! It was such fun!! I have about a hundred pictures with the two of them. And when we got to Germany we promised each other that we would become friends on facebook. I know her first name which is a pretty common American name. I do not remember her last name. And as for her Grandma, that’s what I called her the entire trip.

So here I am at the end of my trip having made a handful of good friends, but I get to keep only two of them. I’m probably never meeting any of them again. But it was fun meeting so many different people. And I’m glad that I was alone on that trip. If I had company, I would never have made these friends.

PS: Another friendly stranger that I’ve met here in the blogging world has offered me this award. Thank you Sheikh. Amna Rafiq. This means a lot to me.

Who Am I?

I am proud

Of stupid things under the sun

Of how my nails look or how many shoes I have or just the fact that I have grown up

Yes, of course I have my lows when I don’t know if I’m worth anything

But, I am proud

I am emo

No, I don’t have black nails or hair that cover up three quarters of my face

But little things move me

Stupid, little things

Doesn’t mean anyone can fool me by putting up an act

But, I am emo

I am pretty

There are days when I look at myself and smile at what I see

Doesn’t mean I don’t have bad days

There are so many things I wish I could change about me

But, I am pretty

I am strong

Nope, not physically

But I have the strength to face whatever shit life offers

Of course I have my share of helpless days when I pray the world ends right there

But, I am strong

I am confident

I can face a crowd with a smile on my face, look them dead in the eye and say what I have to say

Stages draw me towards them

I feel vibrant under those yellow lights facing numerous strangers

Still, I am absolutely jittery right before I step onto a stage

I freak out

But, I am confident

I am lonely

There are times when I am surrounded by people but don’t even know if any one of them knows me

I don’t think anyone can ever know me, or anyone, for that matter

But I do have a lot of friends

And I have so many people who love me and I love them

But, I am lonely

I am alive

The music that is playing in the background right at this moment

The breeze that is trying so hard to dry my wet hair

The baby crying across the street

All these things make me feel alive

Of course I have those moments when everything seems surreal

When I don’t know if I exist

But, I am alive

I am all these things

And a little more

But I’m still not absolutely sure

Who am I?

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This post has been written for picture it & write by ermilia

The Urge To Wander

I love my Mom. She’s beautiful and funny and understanding and amazing. She knows so much about so many things. She travels a lot, you know. A lot. She buys me stuff from all those places that she visits. All those far-off mysterious lands. But she has a lot of friends that she travels with. And I live with my Grandmom when she is gone. But even when she’s here we live with Grandma.

I wished my Mom would live with me. I wish she would be here when I get back from school everyday. I wish we could just walk to the market on Saturdays like so many of my friends. But she is different. She doesn’t like living at one place, she tells me. She loves moving around. “The urge to wander is too big than the urge to live a life”, she says. I don’t get that. All my friends have their mothers living with them. They don’t give a shit about the “urge to wander”, whatever that means.

She’s been back for the past 10 days now. I love it! I love hugging her and sleeping. I love the smell of her hair. I just love my Mom. Especially when she’s around. Me and her are about to take a walk now. I love walking with her on the bridge. It feels like I have her all to myself. I love that.

Today we are talking about the time she was my age. 10 is the perfect age to be, she tells me. I am happy. She has these long, dark hair that I wish I had. I love looking at her talk to me. The weather is nice today. I like foggy days. They just have this mystery to them. Makes me feel like a detective. The curtains of fog are the secret I have to unveil.

“What are you smiling about”, my Mom says. Oops, I forgot she was here.

“I think I have to leave today, sweetheart”, she says.

“When will you be back?”, I’m shocked.

“In another couple of months.”

“You always say that and you’re gone for almost a year all the time. I don’t want you to go away”, I scream.

“Do not scream at your mother!”

“You are the one who’s always leaving and I’m the one who’s stuck living here with Grandma. Take me with you.”

“Sweety, you can’t come to the places I visit. You’re too young.”

“But I don’t want to be too young. I wanna come with you. I wanna be with you all the time”, I cry.

“Let’s just sit on the parapet like we always do and we’ll decide later if you can come.”

I know she’s lying. She always lies. About taking me with her the next time. About coming back in the next couple of months. About not knowing who my father is. She is always lying.

I climb on the parapet with her. And we sit side by side swinging our legs like all the other times that she has left. She is pretending as if nothing has happened. I’m sick of her going away. I don’t want her to go away. I want her to myself. She’s my Mother. I deserve that she’s around all the time. I look at her. She’s beautiful and I love her. More than I can ever tell her. But I want her for myself.

She’s saying something. I smile. Her eyes are beautiful. So is her smile. Her dimple. Her teeth are perfect. I wish I could just keep her with me forever. And then I know. I look at her swinging her legs and I give her a shove. She screams. I think she’s trying to hold on to me. She fails. I see her falling towards the curtain of fog. She is staring at me and screaming.

“Don’t worry Mom. I’m going to be with you. Always”, I smile to myself.

My Mom is not going anywhere. I’m happy. I really love her, you know.

—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X—X

This post has been written for picture it & write by ermilia

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