Prolonged Silence

Terrible, loud silence fills my ears,
syllables all lost in chasms of hurt.
I wait with patience in hope of finding peace,
whilst chaos run amok in my thoughts.

silence
I play all night poker with certain questions,
answers of which have eluded me for long.
I sit with silence tearing at my ears,
as my pain searches for its swan song.

“There she is!”

Oscar opened his eyes slowly and didn’t recognize the place. He didn’t know the room, the lights, nothing. The only sounds were the periodic beeps of the various machines monitoring his heartbeat and body temperature. He looked at the table on the left and saw framed pictures of the only moments he could remember. He turned his head towards the right side of the room and found Sophie dozing silently on the couch. He smiled and said, “There she is”. She opened her eyes and  smiled at him.

*

The first time he had seen her was a day he could never forget. A mutual friend had set them up for a date. He was running fifteen minutes late. He dashed out of the cab as fast as he could after paying the fare. For the rest of his life, he had described the next twenty seconds something like this, “I saw her waiting, waiting for me at table number 7. The way her eyes looked when she smiled, I felt like crying. I knew that she was the girl I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. I looked at her and said to myself “There she is”.”

woman in cafe
Six months later they got married. And two years later, he started forgetting things. Doctor said it was early onset of Alzheimer’s. Sophie started staying at home all the time, working from home itself and taking care of the man she loved so much.

*

Five years had passed since then. Oscar’s disease had hit him with full force leaving behind a broken man. He remembered nothing except Sophie. And during his periods of acute dementia, when he had a few moments of clarity, he would kiss Sophie and utter his three favorite words “There she is.” He would remember their first date, their initial life and then like a firefly, that entire glow would fade slowly.

*

Sophie looked at Oscar lovingly and adjusted his pillow so that he could be more comfortable. She sat on the couch and looked at the first man whom she had managed to love truly. Then that smile slowly faded.
She went outside the hospital room. On a chair sat Matt, the person who was responsible for them meeting each other. As she occupied the chair next to him, Matt asked, “How’s he doing?” Sophie let out a sigh and looked at Matt, “His heart his stable now. The doctors cleared up the blocked arteries. They say I can take him home this weekend.” Matt squeezed her hand and leaned in to kiss her forehead. “Don’t worry Sophie. I’m there with you through all this.” She suddenly felt sick. She told Matt she had to use the toilet. She locked the toilet door behind her and broke down crying! “What am I doing?! I love Oscar! What the hell am I doing with Matt?” she asked herself.
She looked at herself in the mirror and started talking to herself. “I can’t take care of him anymore. I’ve known my husband longer with Alzheimer’s than without. I’ve watched more of him disappear than I ever got to know. I just can’t do this anymore.”
woman crying

*

Oscar gained his senses and became aware of his surroundings. He found Sophie sitting next to his bed, smiling. “There she is!” came out his voice, loaded with love and affection for the woman of his dreams. “Yes, Oscar sweetheart. Here I am”, said Sophie. Her voice sounded heavy and sad. “I need to go and see the doctor, honey. Now, you be a good boy and don’t do anything stupid while I’m gone.”
She stepped out of the room silently closing the door behind her. The nurse handed her a clipboard with various forms attached. Sophie paused for a moment and then signed on all the forms. She was sending Oscar to a special facility where they took care of people like Oscar.

She handed over the forms to the nurse and looked at Matt. He put his arms around her and they walked in silence down the hospital corridor.

The Shadow Traveller

Everyone’s moving too soon, too fast,
There’s a freeway ahead, a whole new world.
Inconspicuous like a shadow, on the sidewalk,
I stand and watch you all go by.
Scurrying like rabbits, hurrying like bees,
rolling down the road like pod-burst peas.
And while such speed accompanies your stride,
Somewhere unnoticed, I’ll join your side.

A good bit of the road I’ll be with you,
even if you change every few miles without a clue.
But remember, the road ends for me where the freeway starts,
So, I’ll see you off there and turn back my cart.
If ever, between then, you find my company sore,
If I strike you as a companion who’ll bore,
I promise that very soon I’ll fade,
And slip onto the sidewalk, my familiar shade.

man-in-the-shade

FRIENDS…

Like an agnostic who just discovered that God does exist, I was overwhelmed by the revelation a single phone call presented before me today. Frankly speaking, I suck at relationships of all kind (as much as the rest of the human race, probably more). But it’s surprising how a single strand of human emotion, a single form of relation has endured centuries of sucky human beings without fail.

Finger friends
Finger friends

I am a difficult guy (probably slightly sociopathic if I believe in all the crap that Dexter Morgan says). And I know that I am perfectly capable of throwing away good friendships (having observed myself over the years like a certain detective who used to live in 221B, Baker Street). Yet it surprises me the number of people who have stuck with me over all these years. There are people whom I meet once every 5-6 months, people whom I haven’t seen in 3 years since school life ended and people I haven’t met in person till now. Yet they ARE my friends.
Yes, we fight. We get angry. But everytime it happens, both of us keep checking the phone every five seconds, secretly hoping that the other person texts “I am sorry”; and in the end we end up apologizing together. Everytime I push them away or make a mistake, I keep hoping that they would stop me. I keep hoping that they pull me back. And they do.
It doesn’t matter whether we talk once in a fortnight or once a month and there are some I haven’t talked to properly in months. Yet when my phone finds the time to give them a call or my bike finds the time to go and hang out with them, it does not matter when we had talked last. What matters is the fact that there is no resentment or anger. We know that the other person is there for us when we need them and it feels as if we were never away from each other.

Quote
Quote

I always wished for a perfect ever-lasting friendship without any ‘terms and conditions apply’ clause. I always wanted ‘perfection’ in my friendships. But I was a fool not to have realized that those many little moments of pure unadulterated happiness I’ve gathered over the years complete my perfect little album of memories. And even though I’ve screwed up so many times, never have they left my side (except for the occasional semester breaks of course).

I’m thankful for these people in my life who have stuck with me at all times, good and bad. I’m indebted because they accept me as a jerk! I’m grateful that they took the pains to know the real me and didn’t shy away. I’m happy that I managed to touch their hearts and be an ‘okay-okay’ friend.

“So long as the memory of certain beloved friends lives in my heart, I shall say that life is good.”
Helen Keller

 Friendship quotes 1