The Surreal Ordeal

I woke up engulfed in the darkness,

Lonely and restless as it gets,

With my head rising above,

Like a Phoenix I emerged,

Although, there was no hint of light anywhere close to me.

Giving up was never taught to me,

I knew there was an end for the tunnel

There was a light waiting for me

I stood strong walking up to,

What awaited me

Embracing the darkness that I detested once,

I loved the pathway under that dark tunnel

As days passed by, I rose to shine,

For a bright day came to my rescue

Lending me its hand,

For I survived its surreal ordeal

                                                                                     -AS

the-surreal-ordeal

The Truth

If I were a human being,

I would have been a living melancholy

Constantly tormenting people,

With what they cannot afford to see

If I had a heart beating in me,

Perhaps I would be more merciful

If I had a mind,

I could have been more thoughtful

Alas!! End of the day,

I still am but a truth

The truth that everyone runs away from

The truth that not everyone can afford

The faint-hearted are scared

The stronger ones do not care

But I stand still,

Waiting for I still believe

That one day, I might be looked out for.

One fine day.

Get out of that dreaded zone

If someone in the future wrote a biography on me, then I’d say today would be one of the remarkable chapters in my life.

I have never done this, nor did I think that I’d ever do this.

And this has been the most awkward moment of my life. I looked at the mirror one last time, before I could take my plunge of faith. I was decked up in a beautiful fuchsia lehenga all decked up with jewelry and make-up. What a waste, I feel!

I take a look and without thinking twice, I made my move.

It was hard and it was unexpected. Whims and fancies have never been my best friends, but then they cannot be worse enemies.

My life has never been so histrionic before. At least before now. That is all that I can say, at least. I took out my strongest quilts and entangled them forming into a formidable foe that helped me through my quest.

Before it could get any late, I made my jump like I was in the arms of Spiderman, and before anyone could notice I was swept away in the wailing hours of dawn.

I walked past the footpath, as I had suspicious eyes checking me out. I don’t blame them. I would have been there in their shoes and done the same.

I took large steps, running and panting, taking breaths every now and then until I reached the Purple Box.

I lifted my lehenga a bit from my foot so that I could walk in piece. My heels were hurting me more than I could imagine. Removing my heels, I took them in my right hand, and my wallet in my left hand. I’m lucky that I at least managed to grab my wallet.

The café staff were staring at me in awe, not awestruck but with an awful look – the obvious did she elope from her marriage look. I also saw them looking at the door waiting for someone to come behind me. Well, how predictable!! That’s how the world thinks, If she eloped, who did she elope with. Duh!!! I can run away alone. DO NOT NEED A COMPANY for that.

I yelled at him “Mind taking my order?”

“Mam, did you run….?” He tried his hand at being a moral police, at least he sounded like that.

“You know what, go to a news channel and make this as breaking news.” I was clearly frustrated. Not angry with them. But then he was just adding the fuel to the burning fire.

He apologised “I’m sorry ma’am. Can I please have your order?”

“One Cappuccino,  One french fries with extra cheese and Mayo, and a Mushroom Sandwich.  Also, add a lemonade to it, and a basil and tomato soup.” I blabbered.

I didn’t even know if I needed all these things. I was clearly frustrated and hungry. And trust me it is a terrible combination.

The café began to fill up with a few people here and there – mostly college students who were just trying to make their own story with my attire. God !!! I should have left my wedding attire before running away. I don’t even have a set of normal clothes and I don’t have my cell phone. Now what? Deal with it.

As my order arrives, I ignore the obviously suspicious stares and focus on the problem. Like he said “ When in problem, forget everything and focus on food. It solves the problem.”

If not solving the problem, it at least takes your mind off it and distracts you for a bit.

Just while I was engrossed in my thoughts, I felt a hand on my head.  Accumulating all the wrath within me, I look back to find a familiar face staring at me. I expect an angry face, but it was calm. Which meant a hurricane is whirling to attack me anytime soon now.

I keep a poker face not saying anything focussing on my blue lemonade. It cools me in the moments of stress.

“You couldn’t have gotten more irresponsible.” He mocked at me.

“Then why are you here?”

“Well, when you make mistakes somebody has to correct.” He further added “I’m terribly upset, Arianna!”

“Look, I’m sorry…” before I could complete he begins “I don’t need your apology.” He had this stern look on his face, which always meant that I’m in for some serious trouble.

“Dush, just listen. I..”

He cuts me again. “Why did you have to do this?”

“I don’t know.” I hung my head down not facing him. Because deep down my guilt was stronger than anything else. I kind of spoiled his life, my parents reputation and my life probably.

“Why, Arie?”

“I don’t know, Dush. I’m just not sure about it. Mom and dad were too excited about it, and I didn’t want to let them down. And you!!! I don’t even know where to start it from? I just felt this was the right choice.”

He rubbed his eye brows, and snatched my lemonade from hand and places  it on the table “You did what you felt was easy. Running away. That was the easiest part. Not having to deal with anything, isn’t that right?”

“That’s not how it is.” I justified. But I know there is no justification for this act of cowardice.

He gave me a completely apathetical look and I continued “Okay fine. That’s how it is. I ran away because it is convenient. It suited me. I did not have the incessant need to confront anyone. I don’t even know why. But it is a strong gut feeling that this is not right. And I just did what felt right?”

He stared at me for a really long time, or at least it did feel so “You never wanted this, did you?”

“To be honest, yes. Never.” I confessed.

“So why not come up with this, before. You could have saved us all some time.” He seemed to mock at me.

But he continued “Look Arie, I have known you since we were kids. I thought I understood you. And this disappoints me!” I look at the crowd staring at two people who were supposed to be at a wedding. But both of them have eloped for different reasons and are meeting at a coffee shop. It might look like we are having a date. But we clearly are far from what it is. Not a date!

I just felt like closing my eyes, wishing that all this was just a bad dream and I would wake up and things got normal. Or that I was playing a game at which I was losing, and I would restart the system and everything would fall back and the game would go the way I want.

Alas!!! This is nothing like that. I close my eyes for a while, and then I open them. The same me, the same him and nothing has changed. Both of us in our wedding attire, in a coffee shop with a bunch of idiots staring at us. Typically bourgeoisie. And predictable. Like it was some clichéd movie!

I can’t believe that our lives had taken a sudden twist making our lives so convoluted.

He waits patiently for my answer “What happened, Arianna?”

“What disappoints you?” I countered his question.

“This!! Why did you do this?”

Well it is a long story, indeed. What could I tell him?

I have known him for the past 14 years, which is a long time. But not long for us to get married. I have never known him that way. Nor did I feel for him that way. He has always been a great friend, and a guardian angel. He has always been there when I was in trouble. Helping my with my homework, protecting me when my parents were about to whack me. It was perfect. But I never did feel that way about him. Nor, did he feel that way about me. And we were happy. We were best friends. He moved to Germany, and I moved on with my life. Never knew this serpentine twist would engulf our lives.

One day our parents decided to get us married. And I said Yes. Okay. Not a problem. I don’t realise when was the last time that my life had been so fucked up. I do not realise when was the last time, that I was stupid enough to turn my life into a complete turmoil .

We were great as friends. But when our parents decided that we should get married, neither of us rejected it. I mean, why? Oh god, why??

I was in relationship with him for over one year before this. And I was happy. He made me happy. But it was awkward and weird. And it was just a long distance relationship. Talking over Skype and WhatsApp. In this one year he just came here once, and that was when we were getting engaged. Just like my friends, I was supposed to be in love with this man that I have to get married, thinking about what I will upload on my FaceBook Page, what my candid wedding photos would look like. How many likes would I get. How many people would wish me. How awesome my honeymoon would be! Where would we go?? Greece or Mauritius?

And here I am eloping from my own wedding, sitting in front of a guy that I was supposed to be taking oaths. But here we are here. Sitting in front of each other. Confronting on the fact that I eloped from my own wedding – the wedding for which my consent had been taken.

Dushyanth had asked me if I was happy with it. For a thousand times, and over. And I said yes. All the time. Yet I eloped. Why?

“I’m sorry Dush. I have no words, but sorry. I spoiled your life. And you have every right to hate with all your might. You can even abuse me. I am sorry, that’s all I have.”

“And I do not need your sorry. You can’t fix this with I’m-so-sorry. You’re not going to have an easy escape out of this, Arianna !”

“Fine, what do you want me to do?”

“I want to punish you. Make you suffer. Like how you put me through pain.”

“So, what are you going to do?” I  questioned.

“Tell me why did you do this?”

“As I told you, I wasn’t ready.”

“Then why did you not tell me?”

“Because, I was scared. And you were happy. Everyone was happy, and I did not want to spoil it.”

“Sometimes, we have to do what’s right for us, Arie. You have always been doing what makes everyone happy. You can’t keep doing it. At some point of time in your life, you are going to upset someone.”

“SO, you are not mad at me for doing this?” I was astonished.

He yelled at me. This was my chance to be yelled at” Of course, I am mad at you. I am mad at you for not including you in this rendezvous. I am mad at you, that in spite of being best friends you did not consider talking to me once. Of course, I am mad at you from the bottom of my heart.”

“I’m sorry, Dush.”

“What do you want now, Arie?”

“I don’t understand.”

“You eloped. You are sitting in a coffee shop with me. What do you want to do?” he asked.

“Suggest.”

“Who eloped.”

“Even you eloped.” I pointed.

“I came here to find you. Your mom was worried.”

“They all know.”

“The entire area knows by now, perhaps!” he giggled.

“You’re not being funny.”

“It’s funny how you have turned a serious event into a funny one. “ He had this sly smirk on his face that drove me wild with guilt. I was on the wrong side. Couldn’t do anything much.

“Look, I am in love with you. But that is not an enough reason to get married to you. And if you are not happy with it, I cannot be happy either. The idea was we would spend our rest of lives together. But..”

I stopped him “It’s not like I don’t. But we do not know each other, and I did not want to make more mistakes. “ I hope he understands. But I do not know.

“You need to figure out a lot of things.”

“As in ???”

“Arie, you are a cornucopia of confusions right now. Go home. Take a warm bath and go to sleep. Get up, have a hot cup of coffee and think. You will have a lot of questions. And you need your answers. Seek them. Seek your answers. They’re waiting for you.

“I don’t know, Dush. It feels so stagnant in life. Everything seems to have come to a stand still.” I confessed.

“Why do you feel so?”

“I live the same life every day. Go to the work at the same place, come back to the same home, live the same monotonous life. It’s gotten far too insipid.” I said.

“Do you know why you feel that way?”

I nodded a no.

“That’s because you have not tried something new in your life. You do the same old things, and if you think that you are going to feel different each day. You won’t. You bloody won’t. You have to get out there. Get out of that dreaded comfort zone. You’ve gotten too comfortable with that zoning of yours. You are happy. And you can’t move on in your life if you live like that. Occasionally in life, you got to go out and meet people. People who hate you. People you hate. Try understanding things that you always shy away from. Do things that freak you out. Like the stint you performed this morning. It was out of your comfort zone, Arie. You did something, because there was a force that pushed you. You can’t always have that. You have a force within you. Keep that spirit. Keep pushing yourself.”

He suddenly made a lot of sense, and I suddenly remembered what was coming to me.

“I can’t go back..”

“They’re your family. Waiting for you.” He raised his voice “ Don’t be ridiculous. Go home.” He held his hand and took my in his. “Let’s go.”

“We haven’t paid the bill.” I said.

“Then pay it.” He commanded.

“How can you make a girl pay while you are here?” I teased him.

“Well, we are not on a date. So suck it up!!” he grinned.

I paid the bills and held his hands. I was sweating with the fear in me. I did not know what to do. I was scared of facing my parents, after today’s adventure.

He held my hand throughout giving me hopes of a happy future.

We reached home after what seemed a very long time.

The house was deserted with just my parents waiting for us. I was devastated to see them like that. I never wanted to hurt them, but I made a choice that resulted in that state.

“I’m sorry, mom.” She just walked away. Her tears said more than anything. Dad came to me, separated my hands from his and said “ I don’t understand what your generation does. We both love you, and want you to be happy, always. Just trust us.”

“I am sorry, dad. I should have spoken to you.”

“Arie, we make mistakes in life. They all help us grow. Sometimes, we make mistakes that result in collateral damage. We end up losing people. And we go beyond what we thought. Just be strong with your instincts, and I am glad that you just did that.”

I looked at him, and knew that damage was already done. But I could still undo that.

It’s my nature to triumph

Our lives revolve around stories,

The ones which defines us,

And the ones that define our world

One such is the one I grew old with

The eternal story about the war between the good and the evil;

But was it really a war,

Or was it just redemption?

It was always taught that the good wins over the battle

In any given world at any point of time

Over the years, I have dreamt of it,

Lived with it, believing it to be true

But my friend the truth is that,

The world just looks like a fairer vista,

But it is convoluted beyond the words,

Paving the way for the world of evil,

Ruthlessness takes place of compassion,

Apathy destroys the ruins of love

There is a minute space for love,

In this world inundated with hatred

As the day passes by,

It makes more sense;

The goodness has been nothing,

Beyond vulnerability and a sheer sign of losing

While the evil has been triumphing,

Merely because it isn’t held by any bit of emotions

Running down its nerves

There is no respite left in the world of evil,

For it neither sees compassion,

Nor does it believe in empathy.

While the one that believes in empathy,

Suffers the most as the love

Brings an endless supply of misery,

Attached with it, in addition to this;

It also brings an additional baggage of hope,

That one day the evil understands that love

Surpasses all

Alas!! That one day, never came.

The love sacrificed,

While the hatred always snatched what was never its.

The love forgave,

While the hatred held on to the grudges

Crumpled by the shackles of hatred,

Love soon took its last breath

Hoping that one day evil might be resurrected;

But alas!!

It’s not what it looks like

She kept looking through the window, letting the mischievous wind caress her hair. A tiny droplet fell on her cheek as the clouds decided to rain pour the city for the night.

She looked around to find the bus crowded with people – young and old, happy and miserable. They all seemed to be ordinary to her. But little did she know, that each of them had their own battles to fight and not just to fight, they had to survive it. Going through battles each day with renewed vigour.

She mused to herself “I’m stuck in an ordinary world with ordinary people. People who get up at 6 in the morning, prepare themselves for the day ahead. Struggle through buses and metros to reach my office, and then it is the same journey back home. But am I as ordinary as others? I do wonder, what differentiates me from the rest of the crowd.”

Before she knew it, it started pouring heavily. Although, she knew she had to wait, she got down at her stop. Unlike others, who were waiting at the bus stop for the rains to calm down, she walked through the muddy roads like she owned it.

After what seemed like eternity, she finally reached the destination.

“Hey!! Sorry, I’m late.”

“And drenched.” he teased looking at her.

“Usually, in such an occasion people offer to say a hi”. she fussed. “But I guess, with you I shouldn’t be demanding much. But you could definetly afford, what don’t i buy a cup of coffee?”

He had a devilish smirk on his face “Well, if it is coffee that you want, you can order one.”

“And your numbers just keep dropping. How do you manage to be so annoying?” she yelled at him displaying her displeasure.

“Well, I need someone to show my annoying side. I’m tired of being the good boy, you see.”

She knew she couldn’t beat him up with it.

He held her hand and said ” I’m sorry. I have missed you. I have missed annoying you. You know, I just cannot afford to be annoying with others. They’d run away looking at my lunatic side.”

“And what makes you think, I won’t run away? “she snapped.

“If you could have, you would have. You wouldn’t have stayed by for so long. I know, I can count on you for bearing my eccentricity.”

“It’s okay.” he said “How was your day?”

“Ordinary” she fussed. “How was yours?”

“Extraordinary. Just like each day, with a new surprise. I have never had such a beautiful day. That probably explains the smile on my face.” his over enthusiastic energy levels could make anyone envious.

“What’s with extraordinary” she enquired.

“You mean how was it extraordinary?” he tried to correct her.

“No, I mean why was it extraordinary?”

He looked puzzled and tried to explain “Well, I did not postpone my alarm. I got up at 6 in the morning, went for my jog. And it’s such a beautiful thing to run in the morning. The sun rays welcome you, the birds are chirping, you feel the fresh air and before you go to the office you feel renewed and refreshed. I never longed for being at work. My office seemed to be very pleasant. Overall I had a pleasant day.  But more than that, I am meeting you this evening and I love it. It’s been long since we spent time like this.”

“So, that’s ordinary.” she appeared crossed.

” No – that’s extraordinary. I don’t like sleeping at 3 in the morning, binge watching all the shows on Netflix. Getting up late, running late for office. I don’t want such a life. I like it to be organised and not messy.”

“By organised, what do you mean?”

“Something that is not you.” he tried to get on her nerves.

“I am very well organised, and I do not remember asking for your opinion, actually.” she retorted with renewed anger.

Before he could say anything she added, ” And by the way what makes you say, I am disorganised?”

“You’re a cornucopia of mess, Ahana.”

“How exaclty?”

“Look at you. You are clearly not happy. You feel everyone is ordinary. You have no idea what you are seeking from your life. You think you are left behind. You lock up yourself in your house for days together. I don’t remember you letting sunshine past you. Your house is filled with dark curtains, you rarely open the window. You call it your abode, but it clearly is nothing but darkness. You just surround yourself with darkness, and you talk about everyone being ordinary. There is nothing called as ordinary, Ahana. It’s all in the mind. Every soul out there is different.”

“Well, that’s the thing. Perception. Looking from my eyes, yeah, every day I see the same thing, same people doing the same thing, living the same life, going through the same chores, and the same monotony sets it. People think it is normal. It’s not normal.It’s very depressing. Don’t you think?” she let out a deep sigh.

“No, it is not. It’s about what you do. It’s about loving what you do. It’s about loving life, Ahana. Not everyone is lucky as us.”

“Oh, I know what you mean. The categorical, there are people working on limited wages, people who struggle for basic necessities of life and we should be grateful to the life we live, for what we have, and for as long as it lasts, right. I have heard it like for a zillion times now, Pratyush.” she vented.

There was something restless about her. She was an unhappy soul. Unhappy with her life, with people around her and most importantly herself. She felt let down by herself for having unrealistic expectations.

“What do you think makes you lucky, Ahana?”

“I don’t know. I feel stuck at life. Everyone I know, is getting a job, getting married, going abroad. Day in and day out, I look at my instagram and wonder if I will be able to live such a life. So many hashtags that make you a cringe with anger.

#Relationship goals

#Life Goals

#Career goals

#Parenting Goals

#Travel Goals

#Friendship Goals.

God, I am so tired of it.” she was clearly frustrated.

“Huh!!” he snorted. “You know social networking sites make you connect with your friends and family. You’re supposed to be happy for them and not be envious about what they’re up to in life. It’s like, you are envious about your own friends who are happy in their life. And it’s not always a greener vista. The instagram pictures never tell you the harsh side of their life. People put the happy things out there to spread happiness not to invoke negativity around them. What has gotten into you?”

“I don’t know.” she looked down. ” I don’t even feel myself, anymore. It’s like, I have hit saturation. And there’s a cave with many doors, and I don’t know which door to open. I need to get out of it, please help me Pratyush.”

“Tell you what!! You’ve been shutting yourself down from every bit of emotion that you can ever have. You feel envious looking at people around you. The same people whom you loved. The same people who made you happy. You were the one who preached about love and bliss. You were the one who taught me that to love a person is to be happy with their happiness. That was you, Ahana. Not this callous monster that you claim to be. You just convince yourself that you are a cold monster that cares about no one. Deep down, you want the life others are leading. There’s nothing wrong about it, though. But you can be happy about them. You are constantly comparing yourself with your peers, and that is not going to take you anywhere. That’s also the reason why you feel that that your life has been stuck forever. But that’s not true. It’s just that you are convincing yourself that.”

“What do you mean?” she hit back ” I love being like this. Don’t you mean that? You think I enjoy being this pessimist.”

“No, that’s not what I mean.” he clarified.” But what I mean is that you have found your comfort zone here and you don’t want to let go of that. You feel it’s saturated, but have you tried anything to get out of the saturation? I have known you as a fiesty girl, who is forever ready to take risks, add up new adventures and lead a new day every day. And I had this unfaltering faith that you would never become this. I’m disappointed.”

“People change. It’s inevitable.” she justified.

“You don’t like the change. What’s the point of change, if it doesn’t help you grow in any way.”

“You think, I like my life this way?” she reasoned.

“You do. You just do not know it. If you didn’t like it, you would have gotten out of it, long ago.” he argued. ” You just cannot admit that you like it now, because it makes you comfortable. It’s very difficult for you to let go of the comfort zone that you are in.”

“Help me!!!”

“The problem with you is that you believe in what you feel right now.”

“How does what I feel, affect my life?”

“Do you know your brain is the most powerful thing in the world. And did you know, that it is most feeble and vulnerable thing in this world. Quite fragile. Just like a robot – a machine that anyone can operate. You just have to know the process. Now think of a king who is powerful yet vulnerable. And the entire world knows his weakness. Do you think the world will show him mercy. It will rip him apart, till he is broken into a thousand pieces. Dead. Now imagine, if your brain was that king.  What would happen? Don’t let the world rip it apart into a thousand pieces. You have to stop feeding this negativity to it.”

“What crap!!” she rubbished his theory.

“It’s true. Try it out. I was once, in the same phase that you are in, today. Then, I learnt that your mind can be easily controlled. Not just by you, but by anyone. Your emotions are not at all depended on upon you. It’s tested by everyone. It’s manipulated by people. You believe, you stand for things that your brain is manipulated into.”

“Help me change that, please.” she beseeched him. Not for a second did she feel desperate in front of him seeking help. She knew if someone could help it was herself. But Pratyush was known to be with her for all the time.

“You’re the only one who can change that, unfortunately. Remember the Ahana, who stood for things, who believed in what she did, who had nothing but love within her to give to the world. She never learnt what jealously or envy meant. I don’t know this Ahana. But then, neither do you. Call the older version back, I love that spark.”

Both of them giggled.

But then he was right.

You just make your life miserable by comparing yourself to others, being envious about others, being too concerned with someone’s life. Often forgetting to lead our own, we obsess with what is not ours.

Ahana probably knew this earlier. She just needed to hear it out from the right mouth. It was time for her to set things right. The time, when she would be happy.

It was time for her to break the shackles..

Oh!! The Mercy

Perhaps!! If someone could have saved you;

It would not be anyone apart from you!

But, behold!!

The scariest part lies in here.

For I have woken up,

To tear you apart, watch you writh in pain

And beg for mercy

But who could I have mercy with

I am the goddess of pain and hell,

Reincarnated, to unleash hell on the earth.

To torment those, who deserve nothing but joy.

My purpose is to watch people suffer with pain.

And I sure will do that, till the very end of dooms day!

But, Behold.

The Fallen

I look so alluring that you’re tempted to have me,

I make you feel like this is the amazing thing that can happen to you,

Trust me, you do not want this.

I am the Fall!!

A lot of people in this world fall,

And when you look at it, it may seem fresh out of the bottle romantic,

But trust me, I can change all that,

I am the Fall!!!

It may seem very comforting when one is falling,

And someone is catching them from getting hurt,

With some when they fall,

They have people around to help them get up.

I am the Fall!!!

But believe me, I can be one of the ruthless wishes,

You can ever ask for,

I can make your fall quite fatal,

I am the Fall!!!

While when I come to you,

You might feel, that someone is going to save you from my wrath,

But that is far from happening,

I am the Fall!!

When I come to you, I make every ounce of your life miserable,

You’d rather wish to be dead than deal with me,

You’re going to feel pathetic, with no one to help you around

I am the Fall!!

With me, I bring tonnes of misery,

I make you feel  the pain of fixing up the broken pieces,

You’re going to hurt yourself in that process,

I am the Fall!!!

With every piece, piercing through your blood,

I make you feel strong,

You no longer feel the vulnerable need,

I am the Fall!!!

I come to you,

As an angel in guise of a devil,

To make you strong,

Because I am the Fall!!!!

 

 

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