I won’t lie to you. This is a result of an idea that was planted in my head. I won’t mention who it is, because he was quite drunk when he told me the story. But this post is the person I’ve created by adding flesh upon the skeleton he’s provided, and I’m grateful to have him as a friend.
“I shut my eyes and all world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.”
I don’t know what scared me the most. Was it the fact that I was standing at the edge of a cliff; In the horizon of an endless abyss, waiting; to engulf me. Or was it the pitch-black night that had fallen all around. Maybe it was the thunder and the lightning, that reminded me where was I standing, for a moment and then left me alone,
How did I end up here?
The answer was obvious. The years I’ve lived my life. The illusion of free will and freedom of choices had led me here. The path that I’ve walked, the roads I’ve taken and the place where I stand today, is of my own making. I brought myself here. But where do I go now? Maybe I can just walk back, one step at a time and go back where I came from? Maybe even back to the warm womb where I had nothing to worry and nothing to care about.
But that’s not possible.
I can only regret now. I can hear my mind telling me ‘if only’. ‘Choices’ are the most dangerous thing that any human brain has to offer.
I can hear a clock… tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…
Is my time running out? Are my choices running out? I really don’t know. The thunder cracks again. A storm is coming. I can feel it in my face. I can feel the ice cold drops of water tickling down my cheeks.
Has my past finally caught up with me?
I tried to remember where I was yesterday. But everything seemed bit of a blur. One can easily remember where he’s been for the last few days, that is the basic purpose of memory. But somehow, I am out of luck. Maybe… If I can try a little harder… Maybe I’ll remember something.
As I started to think; closed my eyes and rattled my brain. When I opened my eyes, I was in a different place. I was in a city in fact… Standing in the middle of a road, all I could see was cars moving away from me and all I could hear is the cacophony of the traffic. It was daytime. So maybe this is where I was yesterday? The street seemed familiar. I know this place well. But still, something seemed off. As if something was missing. Something that was supposed to be there. But it is not. Then I realized. I can see no colors. And by that,
I mean that it seemed like the colors are squeezed out from everything. What remains are the stains of the ash; grey… lifeless… as if someone carefully burnt all the colors away.
And then I saw him…
A man… walking towards me. Surprisingly, he was the only painted object in this miserable street. As he approached me, I saw a disgusting smirk on his lips. I had nowhere to go… I can’t escape him… I had to stand as he stood in front of me and said,
“Do you write what’s right?
Is right’s what you write?
If you write things the right way;
Then write is your right way…”
This ridiculous poem, (if it can even be called that;) started ringing in my ears, like a loud church bell, growing louder and louder until it turned into a static which rang my eardrums like a merry-go-round. I closed my eyes, and covered my ears with my hands. Before I could do that, I saw that man, saw the whole street, everything is vibrating; as if I’m going into trance.
My eardrums are going to burst. It’s pure agony. I should be bleeding from my ears any moment now…
Then it all stopped. When I opened my eyes, I was in a mansion. In the master bedroom, In a king-sized bed; all alone. Before I could get down on the floor, a man walked in. He looked like a servant. Ever so gently, he put a velvet slipper in my feet, and left silently. As I came out of the bedroom, and came down the stairs, I smelled bacon. A warm breakfast was ready, and waiting by it were two more servants who looked the same. It was a lavish dining room. All sparkling, and a chandelier above my head. I could feel the floor carpet through the slippers. I could see oil paintings of men I don’t recognize. As I came near the dining table, one of those servants pulled a chair for me and the other one uncovered my plate. There was an angel sculpture on the table. It was a cupid. I looked at my plate. I had plenty of omelets, breads and bacons. Even more than one could eat. I looked in front, and saw the servant twins waiting for me to finish. Waiting eagerly. I looked around again. I had that uncanny feeling of things being out of place again. Am I the one out of place? Am I on someone else’s house? Or this is where I belong? As I picked up a piece of bacon from the fine porcelain plate and put it in my mouth. It felt like the best bacon I’ve ever had.
But that too for a moment.
That bacon turned sour in my mouth. It was bacon no more, just raw meat. I spit it out, furiously and next thing I know I woke up coughing in a room. An overly familiar room. A stinky, moist room. The red bricked walls reeked of saline moisture and rat droppings. The room had only one window and one door. The light from the window was sufficient
enough to keep the room lit, for now. I was wearing a shabby shirt and an equally shabby pants.
I know this place, all too well…
This room with brick walls and no furniture, but just a bed. This room which reeks of moisture, cold and… defeat…
“I shut my eyes and all world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)”
P.S : Inbox Me, If You want to know who he is…
email@example.com / neelotpals.sarahah.com
“All the Characters and Incidents in this article are fictitious and bears no resemblance to Reality. Therefore, hold your horses before you post a tirade in your comment, you’ve stumbled upon a garden variety Co-incidence…”
“Long Long Time Ago…
I can still remember how that music used to make me smile”
When I was a kid; I never respected anyone’s privacy. Especially that of my elder sister. Actually, I never thought of her as an Elder; She is what… only 13 years older than me! But anyway, I was in 7th or 8th standard maybe, woke up every morning, and the first thing I did, was to go to my sister’s room and search her bag thoroughly; maybe I’ll find something interesting! Usually, there was nothing, except for a pen drive full of animated movies, but sometimes I used to find other things.
The day I’m talking about is the day I found a Pouch containing 2 CDs, marked as “Let’s Folk” Disc One and Two. Anyway, I thought it might be a movie, so I went to the drawing-room and put the first disc in the CD player. But there was no movie. I was a bit disappointed when the TV Screen displayed “Audio CD” and started playing a song. I immediately went to the second track, but this time, I heard something familiar.
“Down the Way, where the nights are Gay
and the Sun shines daily on the Mountain top…”
The words were not familiar, but the strain sure was. I remembered a Bengali song that I heard;
“Pother Prante oi Sudur Gnaay,
Jetha somoy thomke thame Boter chhay”
I stopped and listened to the song. Once… Twice… and then I lost count. Little did I know, I was listening to “Jamaica Farewell” by Harry Belafonte.
Like I said, I was just a kid, and like every other teenager, I felt like I was in love. And just like every other teenage love story, my love was one-sided. At that time, it felt like love and it felt real. But anyway…
I won’t tell you her name; but sometimes she made me wonder, am I invisible? Jokes apart…
Every day at school felt like a defeat; as if somehow I can make her at least notice me or something, but every day when I came back home, I had those two CDs to keep me company. By that time, I have heard many ‘iconic’ songs, like “Blowin’ in the Wind” (Bob Dylan), “Monday Morning” (Peter, Paul, and Mary), “Scarborough Fair” (Simon and Garfunkel), I never understood all of them, I never even knew who or what I was listening to at that time, but I liked them all. As time passed, and I came home every day reeking of sour defeat; I started trying to figure out exactly what I was listening to. I created a list, and I had so many names, some of which, I’ve already mentioned before. But anyway, nothing much excited happened till my secondary examinations. After that, I learned that there was a song on that CD, called “Annie’s Song”, and it was sung by someone named John Denver. So, out of the blue, I downloaded an album called “Best of John Denver” and boy! That was amazing! Rocky Mountain High, Country Roads, Seasons Of The Heart. I became a John Denver Fan overnight.
By the way, that girl, she was still in my class. And she still can’t see me, and I felt like screaming at her…
“Come let me love you,
Let me give my life to you
Let me drown in your laughter
Let me die in your arms…”
But as usual, nothing happened. By the end of the 11th standard, I was listening to Peter, Paul and Mary, The Brothers Four, Joan Baez. Then something spectacular happened.
There was another girl… Well, she was not there before, but she is newly admitted to our school. And… She… Liked talking to me. Now, before things get more complicated I will assign two names for these two ‘girl type variables’
The old one is, say… Cecilia? and the new one is Emily; ok? So, Emily became my friend. I liked spending time with her, she was funny, witty and blah blah blah. Before I could realize anything, I started thinking about Emily, rather than Cecilia, and I don’t know why, but it felt like cheating (!) but before I could tame my treacherous heart, it was just drowning in the love of Emily. But lucky for me, she felt the same. So, on a warm December evening, during school recesses, behind the school compound, she said
“I Love You”
I felt like I was in some kind of trance, and before I could know, my heart was singing,
“I couldn’t hope to say how I feel, The joy in my heart no words can reveal…”
I remembered I was listening to Nana Mouskouri last night…
So, it began… as ridiculous as it might seem, me, a weirdo, a socially awkward introvert became the boyfriend of a beautiful girl.
But, before we could realize, our school life was over. We went to different colleges (obviously; I was the one wasting time listening to music, she was studying ) But, that was not so bad; I mean…
“Sometimes we grow together,
Sometimes we drift apart…”
In college, I was exploring more and more country music; Seals and Crofts, Jim Croce, Don Mclean… the list was endless. And before I could understand, my life was as much dependent on her, as much as it was on Country Music. We had our problems, like every other couple; but we always seem to find the way to get back to each other. By the end of the college, we were closer than ever.
I had a bad habit of going against the usual, and ordinary; so, most of the times I ended up alone and people making fun of me, as my extravagant ideas always met an untimely demise. I felt like the Boxer, whom Simon and Garfunkel describes…
“In the clearing stands a boxer and a fighter by his trade;
And he carries the reminder of every glove that let him down
Or cut him till he cries out in his anger and his shame
I’m leaving, I am leaving but the fighter still remains.”
Maybe country music is what gave me some comfort, but she was the reason I carried on, never stopping and worrying about ‘people’. As embarrassing as it may sound, she indulged my craziness, and for sometimes I thought she even fuelled it. Kenny Loggins had a beautiful song; “Danny’s Song”; it goes like this
“People smile and tell me I’m the lucky one
And we’ve only just begun”
And the song progresses making some very brave and flamboyant promises; such as;
“And even though we ain’t got money
I’m so in love with you, honey
And everything will bring a chain of love
And in the morning, when I rise
You bring a tear of joy to my eyes
And tell me everything is gonna be alright”
That’s what she was to me exactly; “The girl who holds the world in a paper cup”.
I never thought of my future, never planned ahead. Plans never work for me, I always focused on the present and moved forward. Because I’ve always thought whatever might happen in the future, I’ll always have her; she will take care of me, as I will hers. I never wanted to be a larger than life person, stuffed with fame and fortune; I just wanted to be a regular guy, living a regular life but having an extraordinary woman as a wife. I thought to be a teacher might suit my needs, after all, she is the ambitious one. So, I was thinking of focusing there, once my Masters’ Course was over.
It was 2014. Two days before Mahalaya. She called me, overjoyed! She got a job! I was euphoric too! But then came the less pleasant news. She’s moving to Some other city. So, after puja, she went away.
We talked every day. As her company was paying her bills, she used to call more, but we talked, I missed her presence. I missed doing all the crazy stuff I did just to make her smile when she was angry with me. Like all other couples, we counted days, when we will meet, again…
In those days I used to hear one song, every day, countless times;
“Till the white rose blooms again, you must leave me lonely,
So goodbye my love till then, till the white rose blooms again.
The Summer days are ending in the valley,
And soon the time will come when we must be apart,
But like the rose, that comes back in the spring time,
You will return to me when the spring time comes around…”
When she finally returned, I was in a bit of a sticky situation. My best friend’s dad was hospitalized, and there was very little hope of his recovery. I was restless, but still, I felt it was necessary for me to go to the station and receive her (God help me If I neglected an elderly man whom I will never see again). We sat in the cab together. After six months. I held her hand, for a few minutes, and then she did something she never did before, She talked less, and checked her mobile more. I got a very uncanny feeling; something I never experienced before. There were quite a few times in the past years, when I taunted her, asking who’s the guy she’s having affair with; just to watch her smile and punch me. But this time, I knew, I was not joking…
-“Who’s the Boy ?”
-“Are you kidding me ?”
She smiled. I smiled back. And she went back to her mobile.
That was the day, no country song could soothe me, or calm me down. Next day she called, what she said can be interpreted by a song by Gordon Lightfoot;
“I never thought I could act this way
And I’ve got to say that I just don’t get it.
I don’t know where we went wrong
But the feelings gone and I just can’t get it back.”
That’s what she said, she doesn’t feel for me. She doesn’t belong to my future anymore.
I begged her… I cried, And
I begged her…
After a whole lot of crying and begging, she said she needed some time. I still thought I could fix that. Everything’s gonna be ok. We will be back together in no time.
One day after that, my friend’s father died. I went to the crematorium, and that day, it felt like a part of me got cremated too. She went back to her workplace. Months passed. Surprisingly, I did not hear any songs except for Scarborough Fair… and Sound of Silence.
Then the day finally came. She made a decision; This is not working out. All that time she needed, didn’t do any good. She can’t be with me, ever. She doesn’t feel for me, actually, she fell for someone else.
I cried some more… and begged some more… And cried again…
After Six long, happy years… It ended…
“The day, the music died”
I never had much of an ego, but that day, I killed my self-respect. She said it’s over. For the next two days, I felt like everything and everyone is laughing
at me, and when I tried to sleep, all that darkness in my room used to choke me. I lost the only balance I had in my life.
And then I met him… Eddie Vedder… He told me,
“Practiced on our sins
Never gonna let me win, uh huh
Just another human being, uh huh
Yeah, I don’t want to hurt
There’s so much in this world To make me bleed”
I rediscovered Gordon Lightfoot…
“Picking up the pieces of my sweet shattered dreams
I wonder how the old folks are tonight,
Her name was Anne and I’ll be damned
If I recall her face,
She left me not knowing what to do”
I don’t know how, but once again the country songs saved my life. It’s what kept me from self-destruction and emotional drainage. That and my ever supporting family. Actually, family is always there, But I had an extra advantage, and that is why this “writing” is called Country Songs and a Broken Heart” not “Breakup and My Family”.
I know, I wrote about six pages of complete gibberish. But I felt like writing, So, what can anyone do about that? I don’t know where to end, But now would be a good time… I think…
Peace and Love…
P.S. : If someone’s interested in the songs I’ve mentioned in this post, feel free to chech out the YouTube links given below. Thanks !
How was your weekend? I hope it was amazing!
Now, I need your help here… Actually, I have a couple of questions for my readers (If there’s any !?)
- Do You Listen to Country/Folk Songs ?
If Yes, then
- Who is your Favourite ?
If there’s more than one, don’t hesitate; just write to me on firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ll be waiting for your input; can’t tell you much, but country music will play an integral part in my next post which will go up on next weekend.
Eagerly waiting for your mails to turn up !!! Thanks in advance…
P.S. – If you’re unwiling to give up your identity, or plain and simple shy, then chat me up on My Sarahah (neelotpals.sarahah.com)
“A time to be reaping, A time to be sowing
The green leaves of summer Are calling me home”
-The Brothers Four
As I opened my eyes, I saw stars everywhere. I remembered falling asleep under the open sky in the afternoon. And now it’s evening. The dark sky was shimmering in the starlight.
-“Are you sick, mister?”
A young girl was standing beside me.
-“No, I just want to be left alone…”
I answered. The girl left; I hope I wasn’t too rude to her. Actually, it’s not very normal. A full-grown man just came and lied down in the green grass of the children’s playground. Kids are curious.
I don’t know what fell upon me. I was tired, walking aimlessly beside the playground, and suddenly I felt an undeniable urge to just lie down on the grass; and I did just that. The grass was very well maintained. But it was also sharp. Felt good on my back, although hands felt a bit stingy. But I didn’t get up. That uneasiness, such is life. When you feel, you need to do something in your life, you must do something. And, once you’ve done it, you will feel good for most of the part. But there will be complaints, there will be problems, one way or another.
There’s a common saying ‘The Biggest Mistake of My Life’ or ‘The Only Thing I Regret’… I feel there is no such thing! In the heart of regret lies some achievement. And in every big success, there is a tiny, infinitesimally small piece of failure, regret. But I think, it’s better to have a bigger victory than a bigger regret.
Anyway… my hands were getting used to the irritation caused by the grass. Now I started thinking about questions of most rhetorical varieties, the questions, no one can answer, no one can ever comprehend.
Am I doing the right thing? With my life? With people near me, close to me? Am I doing justice?
…like I said, nobody could answer these questions. There are no answers, only perspective and mindset. The answer of same question could, and will be different in a same day, depending on your situation, your perspective. Funny thing is, both the answer could be right or wrong, at the same time. The only thing that matters is how are you feeling, inside, at the core while doing what you’re doing. It’s not what you show all people. It’s what’s keeps you going, keeps you alive. It may be frustrating, tiresome, even painful at times, but beneath that cover, there is a feeling, that is beyond any human comprehension… and that’s bliss, that’s purity, and that’s humanity itself.
I know… I’m thinking too much. I should probably close my eyes and try to calm my mind. Put this budding philosopher to sleep and hope he doesn’t wake up for a few days now.
Now, I’m awake. Looking up to the sky and hoping not to be disturbed. Suddenly a cold wind swept in. rushing through the tree leaves, making a husky rattling sound. And then I felt the rain. One or two drops, falling. Not rain actually. A pre-drizzle. It felt good. I was expecting the water droplets to grow bigger, and I will run home only when the rain seriously threatens my existence. Well, I know the rains can’t wash me away, but realistically, I have one or two electronic items with me. So, I can’t just get drenched in the rain. There are limitations. But, I can feel those drops, again. Getting bigger, winds are making more rattling sound. Any moment now…
But, before the rain, came my mom. She insisted (pretty much ordered) me to go home quickly, freshen up, and lie down on a bed, for god’s sake! So, this little hide-and-go-seek with the rain stopped there. I went home. With some regret, but those stillborn raindrops on my cheek felt nothing but accomplishment…
The First Quote is Taken from “The Green Leaves of Summer” by The Brothers Four
A Beautiful Song. If you’re interested, the YouTube link is given below
I must warn you; if you think you are here to encounter a literary genius, who is writing blogs because he is broke, has a troubled past, probably orphan, and writing blogs hoping that someday, some over enthusiastic publisher would be so kind to visit his blog and discover his ingenuity.
If that was your impression, then sadly, you’re mistaken.
I’m actually that creepy nerd you avoided so much in school, and I’m here because I have a computer and an internet connection at my disposal. Anyhow, I guess if you’ve read this far, might as well read the rest of the post too.
Now, like I said, I was the creepy nerd of the class in school, and everyone bullied me. So, once I was out of the school I thought I should make an impact on society and tone down my creepiness. So, I tried to become a Physicist. Thanks to the University of Calcutta, I failed, miserably. But there I was, with a Bachelor degree of little value, and nothing else to do. My father insisted for a Master’s Degree, and I thought, why not! As my career in Physics went down the drains. I changed stream. Went to Atmospheric Sciences and thought I’d become a Meteorologist. But I failed again; Although my results were not bad, I was unable to secure a position as a Ph.D. scholar, even after a year of trying.
Yet again I was with a degree and nothing to do. I realized I need a job. Options were Government Jobs or Something Else… I forgot to mention, I have an elder sister. She identified me as the geek I was, and suggested, “Something Else”. So here I am, Writing this post sitting in a MCA class.
Enough about me, now let’s say something about this thing I call a blog. Well, I will be writing here as regularly as possible, though being a bong, I can’t resist the overwhelming addiction that is “ল্যাদ” ( Lyad n. (Bengali) – The habit of not leaving the bed, even when one’s not sleeping, but also not wide awake, saying ‘To hell with…” to all the important works to be done…). And I will post in both English and বাংলা, and tag them accordingly.
“Libberish” is a word means Literature and Gibberish, and it also has a hint of Liberty In it… Of course, there is no such word, I made it up…
So, let’s begin… Let’s start this blog… Hope to hear from you soon enough…
P.S. – Click on The Heading(s) to open the Post to leave comments…