Forty

There’s a grace to falling.

Like deft hands skittering across a piano, notes tumbling out hurriedly.
Yet, a grace to it.

Like walking a giddy, high wall. And falling.
Not slipping, mind you. But leaping, of your own volition.

Falling from grace.
Falling to it.

Falling anywhere. Free falling. In love. Out of it.
Falling down.

A wedding of opposites –
The body effortlessly passing through a condition it is predisposed to avoid.

Strands of hair that flutter, barely escaping gravity’s clutch.
Arms that float on wind currents.
Bulk that fights a g-force.

A strange crescendo.

And the landing.
Sharp. Ultimate.

Like the cymbal, shaking out every molecule of music,
finally standing still, as a spicy ssss.

Thirty Nine

The brownie sizzler has gone quiet. The whispy, white ice-cream dreamily slides off the sides.

And we stir our lemon teas in silence.
The action of stirring, is actually buying time to organize whatever it is in our heads, into meaningful conversation.
An act of keeping the hands busy, as higher faculties engage themselves in a very precise science – the construction of argument.

Beefcake. I point at the assortment of bulging muscles.
It’s a typical him posture. He leans against the backrest, arms crossed across his chest. A seemingly relaxed position. Yet, his leg shakes. Tense. Astute.

Beefcake?
He takes offense, pouts a little, and smiles. Cuts. This boy is all about semantics.

He blinks, It’s normal for me to worry. He purses his lips. Bites them.
He falls into a million little pieces, under the shroud of his pride.
He can deal with this. It’s never unsurmountable.

Easier said than done. He snorts. Half-smiles.
Twenty four years of bitterness. Bottled. Waiting to explode. Pickled in brine.

I heed protocol. Glue the gapes with well-constructed argument. Lull the storm to sleep.

Maybe what bothers you, is the unexpectedness of it. Her reaction’s in the grey area. Not ugly. Not nice. I shrug. It’s something you didn’t figure out first.

Maybe. He frowns. It just feels weird. And I can’t help feeling it.

More stirring.
The sugar sachets read Trust.

Because no amount of words can undo things. Because things happen.
Because things are outside the realm of reason.
This is my only argument – no amount of reasoning, even inside your own head, can change things.
Let it be. Please.

Much love. Because Evil Twin just might know what’s best. =)

Thirty Eight

Om bhuur bhuvaha swaha, tat savitur varenyam,
Bhargo devasya dheemahi, dheeyo yo naha prachodayaat.

The head-priest at the temple two kilometers away plays it on his tinny but loud speaker system, every morning at four. I know this not because I’m religious, but because I’m wide awake at this time, standing at this accident prone intersection, and trying to make sense of different kinds of mangles.

Here, the drunk, the sleepless, the one who couldn’t gauge the curve of the road and the incidentally there, come from every demographic. Male, female. Owner, sibling, child, parent, friend, thief, chauffeur. SUV, moped, public transport. Driver, pillion, pedestrian, homeless.

However, they all break at the same joints, hemorrhage and bleed the same red.

Standing at this junction, dealing with the deceased is something that I just do.
Like breaking official rules and smoking the 4:00AM cigarette. Like chanting the Gayatri Mantra by default, without really giving thanks to the creator.

The abruptness of how these lives have ended, is routine for me.
The cruelty is in telling their survivors to move on with life.

Today, I find myself censoring gore to a mother. The boy was 22 years old, clearly pinned and decorated with each of his mother’s hopes and aspirations. I can barely tell her he was recognized by his bike insurance papers, and very little else.

This woman refuses to break down.
Maybe it’s in the way I say it.

I try again. Try telling her she will never see her dear one, ever again. The dead, they’re part of a time that was.
And now, time has changed. Now is something else.
A something else needing new cognition.
We pray for divine light to illuminate our minds.

I don’t know how else to tell my wife our son is dead.