'It was dark there and cold, so we sat close to each other. I cupped my palms around my mouth and tried to blow some air out of myself but it was cold anyway, so I decided to rather feel it.

I could hear Amanda breathe, slow and deep, and it struck me for the thousandth time that her presence was relishing, like everything that made her exist wanted her to have a point more than anyone else.

"You look cold, Everett." 
Her voice broke the silence of stars.

"Oh, I am cold, yes." I replied quickly.

She laughed, and you could see it in her eyes. Then she reached out her hand to me and I held it beneath my arm.

"I am cold and afraid." I muttered.

"Of what?" She said leaning towards me.

"Of the fact, that you are more beautiful than my eyes could possibly see and that I'd never be able to feel you truly. The thought that I'd never have something to make you feel things you have made me feel. The thought, that maybe we are just two different tales that would not fathom into a story.
But, you know, honest things die if you don't say them for too long and I love you." 

"I love you too, Everett. I do." 

She kissed me on my cheek and it was warm.

#YQbaba Goodnight. :-)

15 MAY 2017 AT 1:38

उंस की क़ासिद है ये 
इस नज़र की बंदगी 
आपकी ख़्वाहिश से रंजिश 
कर रही है जिंदगी

इश्क की तासीर ग़म है 
तल्खी यूँ तो आम है 
शगुफ़्ता हो जो तबस्सुम 
कामिल तब ये शाम है 

आपके चेहरे की बरकत 
रेशमी सा नूर ये 
हसरतों का है तमाशा 
बे-हया अवाम है 

इत्तिला कर लीजिये 
इस गै़र की मौजूदगी 
आपकी महफिल में यूँ तो 
रोज़ कत्ल-ए-आम है

#YQbaba Corrections are welcome.

17 MAY 2017 AT 18:16

As the winters fell I stopped going out to cliff. I'd try to sleep all day long curled inside my blanket.
And It was sad, the kind of sad which does not get better.

For a long time, all of the days were same until the day when it rained. That sky was brown, bleak and it felt like it was raining pain all over the world. 
And that rain of winters had a promise to break through something. 

Maybe when we are sad we form a shell around our heart in hope not to get hurt more by a specific thing but then there is a point when the heart swallows much of pain and the shell restricts the beating and everything else starts to hurt. 

I remembered Amanda, and the last time when I had truly remembered her. 
And then the shell broke off.
That evening I cried more pain than the rain ever could fall with.

There are pains in this world which could be cured and those, which could not be. But the affliction is when you can not have your cure, and I did not have mine. 
So I closed the curtains and tried to fall asleep with the damping sound of rain.

#YQbaba The rain of winters.

20 MAY 2017 AT 11:05

That what lies across the woods
That what gives black to the moon
Makes the pain crawl Inside my skin
I hold my breath and look for you

In midst of these rotten waters
You can not be here, it's dead
You are across the woods 
Making the moon sad

It comes to me
Watching me alone
Killing the hills silently
This hazel night of dreams

I lie here under our shadow
And wait for morning 
When I'd die of thirst 
In the ocean of your love.

#YQbaba This hazel night of dreams.

9 MAY 2017 AT 18:20

Until the evening of last day when it rained, I had concluded that it is not getting better.
As if all the days I had ever lived left me to the day where I was finally ruined and collapsed on my bed trying to find a way to let go of myself. 

There were smaller pains like pain of the dead butterfly out of my window, pain of the everlasting bleak sky, pain of the broken flower pot, pain of the fact that Amanda was never coming back and pain of myself dissipating slowly in midst of all the little pains.
And then there was a bigger pain which was unexplainable but certain, filling my heart with stagnant dense mud making it hard to breathe every next day. 
The true thing is that whole of the pain, is always greater than sum of little pains forming it.

At night when it stopped raining, I decided to write a letter.

I wrote, " There is no final point to it, and in a way I like it. I like that there has always been something inside me which needed to be destroyed in order to let this world keep going on. And only now when no eyes are here for my eyes to be seen by them, I could feel that the death of true things is always hurtful." 

I never sent it to anyone.

#YQbaba The sentence "the true thing..." is inspired by Mohini Dhankhar's recent quote about explanation of love. Also, please like or comment only after you've read it. Numbers end up with little meaning when they have lost their very purpose of being there. It takes a lot to write anything and liking it without reading it breaks the promise between us.

22 MAY 2017 AT 14:48

The night I escaped the sad blue house, I ran towards the promised cliff. Amanda described it in her last letter.
She wrote, "A lonesome wheelbarrow kept in the aisle beside a garden full of black rosemary flowers if pulled straight, would take you to the cliff, where there is a certain sun." 

But I did not know where it had to be, so I just came as far as I could and reached to a meadow across which laid a vast pine forest.
I kept running until I formed the belief that I was lost in the middle of somewhere.
Maybe there was no cliff, not the ocean beyond it. Maybe people from dreams never say true things. 
I realized that all running in this world is pointless because in the end you are lost. 

It was shining when I woke up next morning. I looked for Amanda, she was not there. 
I unfolded her letter, there were more words visible under the sun. 
It read, "You are the wheelbarrow, Everett. There would always be a sun wherever you go. You just have to run." 

I could feel an ocean beyond each step, a cliff from where I had to jump, a certain sun everywhere it could be looked and a blue house I never belonged to.

I looked up closing my eyes and smiled.


24 MAY 2017 AT 0:11


In caption. 
(पहले दी लल्लनटॅाप पर प्रकाशित )

Posted after getting inspired by Harsh Snehanshu's story 'Intzar'.  Lallantoplallantopmail@gmail.com सितंबर 27, 2016 04:38 PM  “देखो, कुछ चीजें बताना ना हमको बड़ा मुश्किल सा लगता है. आप यूं कुछ और पूछ लो. नदी वाला किस्सा सुन लो या बाबा की बेंत का… पर यार देखो ये उस वाली किसी सरिता का नाम ना लिया करो. हमारी ज़िन्दगी बढ़िया एकदम कटती रहती है और तुम यार दिन दो दिन में आ ही जाते हो गड़े मुर्दे उखाड़ने” ये नीलेश है ना भाव खाता है थोड़ा. लगता इसे भी बड़ा अच्छा है कि मैं आ जाता हूं. इसके मुर्दे उखाड़ने जो इससे तो गड़ने से रहे. खैर, सर्दियों का मौसम है, बाहर झांकें खिड़की से तो शाम उतर आई है. साहब बैठे हैं कमरे में कम्बल में लिपटे हुए. बैठे हम भी उनके पास ही हैं पर जब किस्सा सुनने का होता है तब हम थोड़ा दूर बैठ जाते हैं, क्या है कि इससे इनको फील आ जाता है. “यार देखो ये डायलॅाग ना, हम जब नए-नए थे ना तब बड़ा कचोटता था अब हम पक्के बेशर्म हो चुके हैं. तुम बस जल्दी से कथा शुरू करो.” और हां, मेरा नाम बसंत है. नीलेश और मैं एक-दूसरे को कुछ वर्षों से जानते हैं . इन्हें कहने का शौक है और हमें सुनने का. उम्र दोनों की चालीस पार है, बाकी ज्यादा हमने पूछा नहीं. “चलो सुन लो यार क्या तुम भी याद रखोगे, पर देखो चाय मत मांगना बीच में, भाभी बाजार गई है तुम्हारी और हमसे लाला बनती नहीं.” “अरे सुनाओ भी अब!” “हां तो बात ऐसी है उन दिनों हम ग्रेजुएशन कर रहे थे. मौसम वही तुम्हारे नाम वाला और बडी सुहानी सी शामें हुआ करती थीं उन दिनों. एग्ज़ाम खत्म हो गए थे और गांव से बुलावा भी आ गया था, पिताजी ने एक लड़की देख ली थी हमारे लिए. कुल मिलाकर ये मानो कि सब सेट था.” “गुरू भूकंप तभी आता है जब सब सेट होता है.” मैं बीच में बोल पड़ा . “यार या तो हम बोल लें या तुम ही सुना लो.” “अच्छा सॉरी भैया चलो सुनाओ.” “हां तो जैसा तुमने कहा भूकंप के बारे मैं, लेकिन देखो भूकंप से पहले बडी प्यारी सी शांति होती है.” बस वहीं हम गिर पडे. ब्रीफ में सुनाएं तो हमें बडा मन चला कि यार गांव लौटने से पहले एक दफा शहर तरीके से घूम लिया जाए. हम रोज़ निकल लेते कहीं ना कहीं, एक शाम निकले गुरू तो हम वहीं छोड आये अपने आप को. हमें बडे अच्छे से याद है, वही सुहानी शाम और झरने का बहता कलकल पानी. किनारे बैठी वो सुंदर लड़की, बसंत तुम्हारी कसम हमने उसके आगे और कुछ नहीं देखा. बड़े आराम से हम बैठकर बहुत देर तक उसे देखते रहे बस देखते रहे. और मुझे याद है एक बार उसने पीछे मुडकर भी देखा था…” “पक्का?” “हां लिख के दे दें, आए बड़े पक्का वाले.” “अच्छा फिर आगे…” “आगे क्या होना था यार हम फिर अगले दिन वहीं पहुंच गए , किस्मत देखो वो आज भी आई थी.” फिर वही देखना-पलटना. बस ये समझो दूरी कम हो गई थी. कुछ दिनों बाद तो हम पास बैठने लगे थे, वो अपलक शून्य में निहारती रहती हमेशा, उसे शायद झरने में भी कुछ स्थिरता दिखती होगी, जब मेरी तरफ देखती तो कभी हल्के से मुस्कुरा देती . एक दिन मैंने यूं ही कह दिया, “क्या आप रोज़ आती हैं यहां?” गिने हुए दो सेकंड के मौन के बाद उसने कहा, “जैसे आपको पता ही ना हो…” और फिर हंस पडी. तुम्हे पता है बसंत, दुनिया में बहुत कुछ महसूस होता है. तुम्हें क्या होता है, ये इस बात पर निर्भर करता है कि तुम क्या होते हुए देखना चाहते हो और हर बीते पल में मैं उसे मेरे प्रेम में पड़ते हुए देखना चाहता था. इसके बाद हमने काफ़ी बातें की, बातें करते-करते मैं उसके करीब खिसक आया था. उसे हमेशा से सब मालूम होता था. नाम सरिता था. शहर में ही पढ़ती थी, गहरे भूरे रंग की आंखे, घने बाल, तीखे नक्श. दुनिया की ऐसी कोई खूबसूरती ना होगी जिसने उसको ना छुआ हो . जाते-जाते उसने पूछा क्या मैं कल आऊंगा. भला मैं ना क्यों करता. सारी रात मुझे अगले दिन का इंतज़ार रहा. दोपहर ना जाने कैसे-कैसे कटी पर आखिर में हम दोनों फिर वहीं बैठे थे. बातें होती रहीं और शामें गुजरती गईं. सरिता अच्छी लडकी थी, मुझे बहुत समझती थी. हमारा एक दूसरे के प्रति आकर्षण कब प्रेम में बदल गया पता ही नहीं चला. मुझे उससे मिलकर लगा कि इस संसार में हर इंसान के लिये एक दूसरा इंसान है. जिसके साथ रहते हुए आपको तर्क की जरूरत नहीं रहती. शब्दों के पार जो भावनाएं होती हैं. उनके लिए वो पहले दिन भी उतनी ही महसूस होती हैं जितनी एक समय बाद. हमें बस पता होता है हम एक-दूसरे के लिए बने होते हैं. ये कितना अच्छा है ना बसंत ?” “हां” मैंने कहा ‘वैसे कई बार ऐसा हुआ था, कुछ सुनने से पहले मुझे लगता रहता था कि नीलेश उतना गहरा व्यक्ति नहीं है. लेकिन कभी-कभी वो मुझसे कुछ ऐसा मत पूछ लेता जिसके बारे में शायद ही कभी मैंने सोचा हो. “खैर सुनो, अब इस प्रेमपाश में हम एक बार को भूल गए कि हमको वापस गांव भी जाना है.” एक दिन पिताजी का फोन आया तो बोले, बेटा घर आना है कि नहीं? अब हम क्या कहते. एग्ज़ाम तो खत्म हो चुकी थी, कोई बहाना भी नहीं था. ऊपर से पिताजी ने दोहराया कि उन्होंने कोई लड़की भी देख रखी है. हमारा इंतज़ार किया जा रहा है घर पे. हमने ऐसे ही पूछ लिया लड़की का नाम क्या है पिताजी बोले , ‘सरिता’ . यार बसंत कभी-कभी दिल रुक सा जाता है ना बस वही समझ लो. अब ये तो कोई उम्मीद थी नहीं कि दोनो सरिता एक हो जाएं पर हमारे लिये बड़ी समस्या हो गयी थी. रात भर सरिता का चेहरा सामने आता रहा , मैं उसे बयान करूं तो उसकी खूबसूरती कम हो जाएगी . मुझे मेरी हर कल्पना में वो वहीं बैठी दिखती थी बहते झरने में अपलक स्थिरता तलाशती हुई. माफ करना पर मुझे उससे जितना प्रेम था उसे मैं कभी शब्दों में नहीं ढाल सकता. अगले दिन मैंने सरिता को सब बताया . उसने कहा , नीलेश तुम एक अच्छे इंसान हो और मुझे तुमसे प्रेम है. किसी भी दूसरे प्रेमी की तरह मैं भी यही चाहती हूं कि हम साथ रहें. तुम जिसे चाहो उसे चुन सकते हो. मेरा ह्रदय तुम्हारे लिये हमेशा ही सच्चा था और हमेशा रहेगा. तुम जिस भी सरिता को चुनो, उसे प्रेम जरूर करना. बस इतना कहकर उसने मुझे गले लगा लिया.” नीलेश इतना कहकर रुक गया. “हां तो फिर आगे क्या हुआ, तुमने कौन सी सरिता को…” मेरा सवाल अधूरा ही था कि दरवाजे पर दस्तक हुई. “कौन?” नीलेश ने पूछा “अरे मैं हूं.” “रुको आता हूं, सरिता.” नीलेश मुस्कुराते हुए खड़ा हुआ और दरवाजे की तरफ चल पड़ा.

21 MAY 2017 AT 14:24

I met Amanda, the night before I left claremont. 
She was supposed to be waiting inside the secret dome we once found across a creek in a rock, lying by a field full of lupine flowers. I reached and called out her name, she was there.

It was dark but a rift in the uppermost stones would let some light pass through it and we could see the stars.
We sat against the wall watching the space.

"It's dark" she said.
She had a distinct fragrance in her breaths, one that could not be captured. Unlike that of roses and lupines and dying promises.

"And what if all the stars collapse someday?", I asked. 

She said as she ran her finger on mine,
"They are gone, much before they had to. it's just the light that remains.
light is a memory, the fragrance of their dying promises."

"Maybe, there is so much light that it would never get dark, but I am afraid of the fact that they are not there." I bowed down and kept my head in her lap.

For a while she ran her fingers through my hair and then whispered in my ear,

"You know Everett, they are just like you."


24 MAY 2017 AT 14:03

I felt tired, much more than I'd ever had. 
And it was not the simple missing, it was the moment when I realized the losing. 
As if I was a bottom hole in a large bathtub through which all of the life keeps draining out and now in the end there is no life but just the hole.

(Rest in caption.)

#YQbaba Two days later when I returned, I closed the door and sat laying my forehead against it. I Closed my eyes and tried to picture Amanda's face. I remembered all of her small parts, her dark brown hair running down until the curve of her waist, cheekbones those you could feel with back of your finger, and her hazel eyes glittering under the moonlight. Most of all I remembered her nose, and warmth of her breathes and my desire to swallow them so that I could feel her running all inside me, through my lungs to my blood and right there in the centre of some void in my body which only could have filled with her love. But I failed to see her as a whole. I squeezed my eyes tight into themselves. Maybe when you see someone so many times, you begin to forget how they look. And it was a hard thought not to be able to picture her. It did hurt. I felt tired, much more than I'd ever had. And it was not the simple missing, it was the moment when I realized the losing. As if I was a bottom hole in a large bathtub through which all of the life drains out and in the end there is no life but just the hole. I collapsed in my bed, rolling myself under my blanket. It was dark now. Over my eyes. A moment of silence, and I breathed in. Her smell was in my bedsheets, and blanket and everywhere else in my room. When I hugged her last time, I hugged her tight enough so to feel that when we'd fall apart she'd still remain on me, maybe in a thin layer but yes. Enough for me to feel it. But she was not there now, and I could not hug her anymore. I looked if I'd find a hair or two of her. But none. She was elegant, carrying a hurricane behind herself which could only get visible in her absence. And the hurricane was in my void now and she was not, and the room was filled of her absence and her scent which was fading slowly as I had to breathe more and more to keep her running through me. There is that thin line between the part when all I wanted was to live for the rest and spend the ephemeral scent and the part where I wanted to capture in it a bottle. And I knew that wherever I'd fall, it was going to hurt. The pain had always been of uncontrollable things. Sometimes of bigger things, other times of smaller things. But it was always there. I could see it creeping on walls, entering through the space between floor and the door's bottom. And it all came toward me. I breathed in all I could have a last time. Felt her running all inside me for a while, like a drop of white paint miserably falling into a bucket full of black one. But she was there. I knew she was there for a while. I fell. Not in any of those parts. Her smell was both too faded away either to capture or to live. She was gone. I fell into pain. Sometimes, pain is the safest place to fall in.

26 MAY 2017 AT 19:43

As we walked through the aisle, smell of freshly made cookies from the bakery and of persian rose perfumes from selerio's soothed our noses.
We kept singing our song  'what keeps the stars awake'  louder and louder all our way to the end of the road. Until she had to diverge.

It felt bad, everyday when she'd leave. As if there'd appear a pebble at the bottom of my heart when I'd be without her.
A feeling, that all of the world was going to shatter in pieces if we'd not happen to meet again.  

Before she left for the bus, she took my hand and kissed my palm. 
She was innocent, it was all in her eyes.

I felt close to her, closer than I had been to anything before. I felt her to be an integral part of the system that kept me alive.
Maybe, all of our lives are based upon the simple fear of losing. 

And so I asked the silliest thing one could ask to another.


She smiled. Her bus was there, she left my hand and ran towards it and before it'd have gone, she shouted, smiling and leaning out of the window of her seat.


That night I figured out what keeps the stars awake.


28 MAY 2017 AT 16:47