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Thursday, December 01, 2005

lapse of reason: simply comlicated: one face - fm

Lapse of Reason

February 12, 2004

Eternal promises,
Forever in warmth,
Both realize,
Us cannot be.

She runs away,
Amidst soul
Deafening clutter.

He stays back,
In seclusion,
Fighting conscience.

In vain time brings,
Tear beaded smiles,
Words of hope,
Dreams of silver.

Her pale, vacant face,
Eternity he offers,
Consequence he suffers.

His dark, sunk eyes,
Pain she tempts,
Redemption she seeks.

Making love at midnight,
Crackling wood in silence,
Flames lashing blindly,
Mocking reality.

Both fearing,
Rays of morn'
Birds of dawn
Parting of ways.

Simply Complicated
January 21, 2004

It was early in the morning. Sunlight was peeping through the windows and reflecting against the white walls of the room. I open my eyes expecting the warmth of my own room to welcome me with its rich mahogany colored bed, the maroon-red curtains, the candles, the sweet smell of potpourri and incense sticks. But instead I wake up to be stared at by the stark white floor, the naked walls, the bare windows and an empty room echoing with the sound of chirping birds outside. It's cold. It makes me shiver for a split second. This is as alien to me as I am to it. In a state of limbo I realize that I'm on vacation.

Vacation seemed like a good idea to me a few days back. I was exhausted by my work coupled with the hectic schedule of my day. Nights were always dreamless for me. I was emotionally and physically drained which not only decapitated my reasoning a few days before I came here but also severed my relationship with people who are important to me. And now that I'm here, I must admit with all this time on my hands, it seems like thinking is all I do which eventually leads to some good and most not so good realizations. Something is missing from my life. It is an abysmal feeling of a huge void some where deep inside. I'm missing. I think I lost myself a long way back somewhere during the time when I was conditioning myself to become a better suited person for my sake and trying to make a career for myself.

Sitting cross-legged here in the far corner of this empty room, with the laptop in front of me I can feel the cold floor under me. It feels like the floor itself is draining away the very energy I need to process my thoughts. My thighs have almost lost sensation and like the rest of me have become numb. My head throbs with a dull ache. I need to feel warm again. Noticing the window, I realize that this is the only beautiful inviting feature about the room that can bring me back to positivity. The walls around it, standing proud and erect, throw back at me everything I say to them. They seem to lack substance like so many other things in my life. I need to filter them out from my sub-conscience. I go out quite often, to feel the parching heat gradually thaw its way through my frozen self which seems to have completely overtaken me lately, to feel the wind blow against my skin and tingle my nerves to life again and to feel my hair fly away promising in the least a hint of life and vitality. It makes me feel alive, even if it is just for a while.

Smoking is something, which I was thinking of quitting for a long time. And now that I think about it, that is probably the only thing that I've done persistently over the past seven years or so. In the past seven years my `home` changed, people I thought I loved changed, my priorities took a sharp turn, friends came and went, sisters grew up to be individuals in their own right, moreover I changed. Everything that is now wasn't then except for me smoking. Its funny that I still do it after so much resistance from not only my own rationality but also by those around me. So many deterrents came and went. People told my of how girls are considered second grade if they smoke, friends warned me of my `bad` repute in college because of it, co-workers elaborated on 'what so and so thinks about me', parents were devastated, sisters stunned, some guys I knew fascinated (mainly because not many of my gender are as blatant about it) and others who claimed to be serious about me were conventionally unconventional. Alas! Wanted me to quit! Thus known as a perpetual charsi by the ones left.

I've just had a smoke. I like the way I can inhale a cigarette; deep and unrelenting, not caring of the consequences it bears. It spreads, ever so slowly, coaxing every muscle in my body to relax. Aware of all moralities rather immoralities related to the issue, it becomes inevitably evitable to smoke one cigarette.

There are incidents in life best if forgotten. There are things in life best if not possessed. There are emotions in life best if neglected. There are people in life best if kept far from. I've never believed in any of the above. I remember `everything` that happened, possessed everything that fascinated me, did everything that I felt like doing and lastly have been with all those people who were worth it. If something or someone ever disappointed me once, I gave it another chance, if again... I threw it away. I don't believe in holding back or holding on. Sound so selfish right now. May be I am, or may be that is how I've evolved in the past five years. You eventually become practical about things that turn bad and start to taste bitter. Sehgal and Umer were two people in my life who taught me this in their own way. I'll always be thankful to them for it. I was always the sort who thought that I could make 'it' go right. That nothing was as bad as it seemed. That no matter what happens, if I hold on to the good things and hold back my innate and at times skeptical feelings about them, everything would go right. I was proved wrong. Made me bitter. I learnt the facts…then moved on.

Life should ideally be categorized into black and white. It never can be. The grays are always predominant. I never know how to deal with the grays. Do I use my brain? Do I use my feelings? Or do I just let things be and see where it takes me? Though I know in the end it all simmers down to 'right and wrong'. I wish it were that simple.

One face: A Thousand Masks
September 30, 2003

Vania looked beautiful standing in the kitchen, the early morning sun reflecting through her hair making them look like strands of dark brown sea weeds with hints of honey lining them. She had a tall handsome figure. Slightly broad yet stream lined and toned to perfection with the regular workout she managed in her busy schedule. Her olive brown skin would give off a slightly rosy glow when she laughed.

Umer admired his wife in many ways. She was not only beautiful but sported a classic much wanted combination of 'beauty with brains'. One could describe her by using words such as elegant, graceful, refined, cultured…simply exquisite. The couple was five years into their marriage and both were very content. Both had planned their future together in early college days. Children were still a few years away.

Vania had a habit of detaching herself from her surroundings at times. Umer knew better than to bother his wife during these short and infrequent lapses of 'quiet'. Times like these she would strain on understanding the constant dialogue going on inside her. Today was one of those days. 'Baby I'll be a little late from work today, the big boss has called in a meeting over dinner'. 'Hmmm…ok…'. He kissed her neck and was going out the door when she called to him: '…but ill be all alone for the day and there's no-one to watch TV with me after lunch'. He looked back and saw his wife pouting like a small child with hands on hip. She looked so adorable, so innocent. 'I'll try to make it early..I promise'. 'Please bring chocolate for me on your way back'. He smiled and walked out.

She missed his company so much at times. Her mind was swamped with memories of her being alone all day when both her parents would go off for work and massi was busy with the housework. Tears were clouding her eyes and she sat down on the floor. 'I want to eat chocolate and watch Cinderella. I cant even find that Barbie which Amma gave me on my last birthday'. The voice inside sounded like a little child. A little, lonely, sad child.

Looking at the cup of tea in her hand she knew she wasn't supposed to have tea. Amma said tea wasn't for children…milk is what they are supposed to have. Standing up she pulled up her tracks like she used to when ten years old. She poured some milk into a glass, switched on the TV and gulped it in 5-4-3-2-1 seconds. Feeling better, she thought ' Vania stop sulking around like a baby, get up woman you have chores to do'. Ofcourse she did! She wanted to surprise Umer today with her new sari she had bought. The beautiful black chiffon sari that she would wear with her new backless blouse. He would definitely be shocked at that! She smiled to her self.

It was seven in the evening and Umer had called earlier to tell her he would be home in about an hour. She rushed to the washroom to take a shower. She always enjoyed a long steamy bath. It was there in the mistiness of her washroom that she would look at herself in the mirror and admire her body. Her long smooth back, her never ending legs, the firmness of her body, the roundness of her thighs…all of which Umer was in love with. She was all dressed up for him by the time he came back.

When he unlocked the door he saw a glamorous looking woman clad in a clingy sari which showed off her height…her waist…her grace…her perfection. Office had been tiring today and this was exactly what he needed to wind down. He could sense a change in his wife. A spark in her eyes. A glow on her skin. A seduction in her gestures. A smile on her face. A warmth in her touch. A peculiar charm in her movement. A moment later they both forgot about chocolate.

Later in the warmth of their bed, she never remembered asking him to bring chocolate for her. She told him how she had milk in the morning today instead of the regular cup of tea. Sharing these small things was what kept them close, involved and interested in each other.

It was a few weeks later when both of them were cuddled on their favorite couch watching 'Friends', when she jumped out of his hug, 'hey c'mon lets play snooker!'. Smiling at her abruptness and unexpected comment he teased her, 'darling I'd love to but I'd have to teach you first…and we both know that's not happening in this life time at least!' Vania was not much of a 'game player' in any sense. Card games she could manage, anything other than that was too much to ask for.

'Oh yea! Buster…I bet ill beat you in the first round…we take best of!' A little surprised at her persistence and confidence that she would win he took up the deal and took her to a nearby club. In all the five years of their marriage, she had never once touched a cue in front of him. Today she stunned him by winning all three games. He was amused, surprised and shocked. On their way back he was quiet and so was she. 'I never knew you could play snooker…wasn't it ever important enough for you to mention that you are a pro at it!'. 'I've always loved snooker darling and always won!' Either she was just teasing him or was testing his 'Vania-IQ'. He was still too surprised to persue the topic and so decided to let it go.

Next morning when she was alone she could hear it again. 'if I'm so good at snooker I might as well get into some tournament and earn some money!' 'You must be kidding yourself Mrs. Umer, you have never touched a snooker table all your life' 'that's not true, you won all three games from Umer yesterday didn't you?' 'I didn't win them you did!' 'I'm you too, you have to realize that' A little louder she went on, 'How can that be! I am Vania --- Vania Umer, have never played snooker, and don't know how to!' the other voice raised higher too, 'I am a part of you, stop pretending I don't exist!' the voices were getting louder.

She paced hurriedly from the lounge to the kitchen and back. Her breathing was getting heavy, hands rolled into a fist, eyes narrowed into slits of frustration. She pulled out her shirt and opened the first few buttons, tied up her hair, everything was suffocating her. Talking to herself she went to the washroom to wash her face and clear her thoughts. She looked at herself in the mirror. What was she doing with her life? Why wasn't she working? Why wasn't she independent? Why wasn't she pursuing her career? Why wasn't she competing in the world of professionals? Why wasn't she examining her patients? Why wasn't she operating on people? She felt inundated by the whys.

She turned around to see someone staring at her open-mouthed. Something inside her told her it was 'him'. Must be the husband. 'Vania? Whats going on?' 'Nothing is going on… I've been thinking of taking up my work again'. Not a question or confused wondering and certainly not open for discussion. It was a statement. She had to set herself up straight. She had wasted too much of her time already. Vania loved her husband, but she was overcome with emotions for herself. Umer couldn't understand what he saw or heard. Lately she had been rather enigmatic. She looked almost vicious right now and he didn't want to provoke her.

Later that night as Umer was lying on his back and staring at the ceiling, she turned to him and began to cry without a warning. She cried uncontrollably clinging on to him tightly. She was inconsolable, hitting his chest with her closed fists. He got up to fetch her a glass of water to calm her down.

When he was gone they were all screaming at her. Accusing her of being weak. The little one wanted attention. Vano wanted to go to snooker. Veena wanted her to gather herself up and make plans for her future. Vani wanted her to take a shower and make love to Umer. And Vania was perplexed listening to all of them.

So much noise and clutter. All of them talking at once. Glowering at her. Accusing her. She had to run away. When Umer walked in she was lying on the soft green of the floor with blood oozing out of her wrist.

A few months later when Vania had fully recovered, she was diagnosed with MPD-Multiple Personality Disorder. Umer was always by her side. He'd spoken to all of them. They all loved him. Loved him for being there, for saving her, for understanding them, and for accepting the little one, Vano, Veena, Vani and most of all Vania.


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