Hum Tum


Would you like it if you met yourself outside of you? Would you like yourself? Would you talk to yourself? Knowing everything about this other being that stands close to you–knowing the thoughts, the deep dark secrets? The broken dreams and the hundreds of graveyards you carry within yourself?

Now imagine if the two of you ran around each other–deflecting each other and then finally–away from each other. You want to merge into one but they hold you back with chains and you can not fathom anything anymore–you cannot understand the disillusionment which prevails in the disoriented and macabre surroundings because it seems that you have seen it all through a screen before.

But the two of you linger outside of each other and this is no imagination.

And you both walk away–in despair and in a hallucination of bright white lights and rivers made of cushions of pink threads and a sky made of golden silk. But that is what it is–a hallucination–because there are little children floating giddily in mid air bleating ‘You know it never stays the same’ at you like fairies.

But you both know–it never stays at all…

Now when you enter the opposite ends of some Holocene wonder ebbed in fragile glass–you both remember the multitudes of vacant memories all piled up as debris–but it is not your fault. Because you both can clearly see yourself as one touch starved child running amuck with the silver horses at the edge of the sea. Or the love famished fox–when it stood alone and stared deep into the green bushes of the lush jungle. Or when the people–like clouds would cease being clouds and turn into dusty rooms where no one could enter and no one could leave.

And you both remember the clowns when they gathered around and sang you happy birthday and there was no one else there but balloons and candies and cake. And in the tragedy of simplicity you both can see all the times which were, are and will be– but pulled away from each other.

The sparrows in the air hover–and tell you that they see you–that you both are still not magnificent and you are both still a long way from each other. There is a Watcher watching you and it is silent. And thus–you are silent.

And you both remember touch–all kinds of touch–good and bad–taken and given–forced and longed–and neither of you are magnificent. And miles away—there is still a hollow sense of nothingness.

And so you both come back to where it all started and see that people are dancing with feelings and singing around in a virginal glory–and they all cry because they can feel so much of everything that the weight of the world crushes them beneath and they are out of breath. And both of you stand apart from each other–watching it all, and you have seen all this through a screen before. And you both who are denied each other–try to merge as one–cannot decipher any of it, because on the edge of reason, nothing remains.

So you give one last look to each other–your own selves–a look of knowing, of understanding, of deception, of flawed love, of shadows and you both know. One of You disappears in thin air while the other one of You–has never been more alive–so it walks away in a half.



The unrehearsed waves crash into the rocks–and they do a little dance before disintegrating into whispers of the sea. And the morning comes like a glint of light and caresses the whispers and takes them into its arms. Would they wake up? Or would they dissolve?

No talk of travelers and suddenly no talk of the forlorn shadows which play hide and seek with their own selves.

And unrehearsed waves keep crashing into the shores of summer and longing. And they keep on breathing and they keep on dying.

The people standing on the shore–they look like ropes knit together. They do a little unrehearsed dance too–before they become untangled into threads. And the wind blows these threads away–they all disperse.

And the stars have nowhere to go–they keep staring at the waves–they keep mourning for them–they keep doing an unrehearsed dance for them. They keep disappearing into thin nothingness which is so immense that they sometimes get lost. But they always come back.

And I–standing on the lighthouse, searching for the lost ship–cast a glance on the waves. They have no message for me. They have no meaning for me. And I am reduced to a shell–empty. And I have no shadows anymore–I have no self. I have no ideas, or thoughts. I have no questions–Who am I? What am I? Why am I?

And the future keeps perturbing the past. They do an unrehearsed dance together–and each gives itself away to the present–unkempt.

And I have no face anymore. And I have no shape anymore–unkempt.

So what will I reap? And what will I sow? I thought I had wings–but I have none. I thought I was–I am not.

I am not the sea, I am not the sand, the sky or the moon…or the stars, or the sun! I am not the clouds, or the waves–or the whisper.

Slowly–like a wilted flower–I dance with myself, an unrehearsed dance– me, the disfigured, unhinged and enchanted atom–and slowly I realize… the entirety of the frightened world, which hides itself from me.

Everything seems unrehearsed.

I realize–everything and nothing.




Who knew closure could be a phone call, late at night with a stranger! Names, we had none and faces we didn’t know of each other. Yet it was closure. From what–it wasn’t intercepted. And to me, it was like coming out of a machine and watching a show at a theater. In these dismal gory days. When death roams around. When there is distance. When there is silence.

Entangled knots are hard to undo, especially when you are the one who tied them together. Because when you tie them, you make sure they aren’t loose.

There was no music–only a mark which I left myself. And soon it will fade. Like the words of Closure, which I do not remember very much. Just like the words I forgot to say then–on the phone call.

And we are all tourists–passing by. And we go to a place–and empty it inside out. Tourists cannot live in a city for long. When they do, they become permanent. And tourists of all people know, there is nothing permanent.

I hadn’t waited for this closure, yet I never knew that it was one I needed the most. Because feelings cannot be fathomed. And there are sick affections. They are the worst.

Maybe he did wait. Once or twice—I never asked, I never bothered because I didn’t care. I still do not. Because if I did–I would never recall it again. Because if I do not recall it now–I will never forget it.

The voice–reminded me of someone I knew. But I never asked. I didn’t want to.

What did we talk about you ask! Only the most absurd things. But he tried telling me something–hidden in words he was careful about. There was a denial, a despair–perhaps. Or maybe not. Maybe I have become so addicted to despair that it is all what I can see. And you see–I never asked. Because it wasn’t my place to. That is hat closure does to you. It closes doors.

And a picture was painted–actually many. Some were spoken of. Others were thought about and buried. Only I knew I would dream of unknown faces for some time.

But time traveled fast. Very fast. We didn’t realize. Until I could not speak anymore. Neither could he. But we both wanted to. But we both knew what was happening. Every performance has to end somewhere. Especially phone calls. Especially those with strangers. Whom you knew in the past.

He asked me things–questions. And told me things. Stories. And I listened. And so did he.

I told him goodbye. I knew this was the end. Because I knew this level would never be reached again. Whatever magic happened that night needs to be preserved. The memory of a shadow–which has not given its own shape–has to be drawn, but I knew on my own terms. Because I could not mar it with the grim reality.

He hung up–because he was bored soon. Because on the runway–the end isn’t reached. Because the end is when the plane takes off.

So that was closure.

But I had a mark–on my hand. To remember. But it will soon fade. Just like the voice I heard and the conversations and the pictures. Because we were two people who wanted it that way. Because I am cursed to never love or have feelings. And his curse? I never asked.

So the next day–I saw my name, off from a chart. But it did tug at me for about a minute. Then it became a fading haunting idea. I am glad we were strangers. I also know our paths will never cross. I also know they probably did once before. I am glad because life is already still.



What is home? Do most of us have one? Do we ever stop trying to find a home? Did the young orphan try to find his home in other people or empty hotel rooms where his mistresses would come and go? Or in shadows of people he thought he knew? Or in people he met at drab restaurants? Did he ever quit finding a home? Do we ever stop? Does the tired traveler ever get to his home? Or does he keep changing train-stations? Did he lose himself in the air?

Migratory birds.

At the party, someone asked, “Have you ever found that one place which you can call home?”

Everyone had something to say. Mostly because they had been to places. Mostly because they were empty. Mostly because they had nothing to share. All of them had found homes in residues and filters of cigarettes and wines and liquor. All of them had found homes in slot machines and airports and seas and mountains. In people and love and sorrow.

What did I have to show for my home?

I do not think I am meant to be here. I have no home–so I am not meant to find it, to search for it. I had a home once–in my own self. Until I messed up and now I am not allowed back in. People never let me in–and when they did, I never felt like staying. I never had any force entries–people were always scared and intimidated and I loved it. And home is lost to me just like I am lost to home. I am not lost just not found yet. And when and if I ever am found–I will get away from the fire-escape. Because I have no shadow. Because I am a shadow of someone not supposed to be here. Because I am the tide–it comes and it goes. I had a home once–and there was silence there. Because home is a sickness. It has no cure.

The room grew quiet for a second. Then the silence faded and there was music. And I danced because I had to escape, like most people. And like most of them–I knew it all.



We are nothing more than strangers in this grand absurd world. Billions of strangers scattered away from each other, connected by threads and dots which occasionally collide with each other.  This is because we are all webbed in a complex relationship with each other–of strangeness. And often, like a crowd we gather and like a flock we fly yet we do not know each other.

We know not of the next person who stands close to us who is a stranger. And much more than them, we do not know anything about the stranger who lives in our heads. Or for that matter, we often refuse to recognize the person we see in the mirror–another stranger. Because all of us are billions of solitudes, intricately linked with everyone and no one. Transfixed into each other–outside of each other, in our bubbles.

From the womb of our own selves, we are birthed and put into the laps of other strangers and made to live in a void full of a commotion filled with others like us who are lost souls and shards of, perhaps our own selves.

She had that strange dream again that night after which she woke up rather perplexed. But she was not scared or unhappy, rather with a feeling of dry giddiness.

In the dream she stood in an eerie crowd, apparently lost or perhaps, found for the first time. The sky was a pale orange–the color it has before a storm.

She did not know who or what she was looking for. But she was wearing a long sleeveless white summer dress with small blue flowers. In this mad frenzy, she saw a tall figure standing not very far from her own self. But when she focused her gaze, the figure was not very close either.

Both their eyes met. She did not know the man at all. She did not know or recognize his face which was long, chiselled and pale. He was wearing a white buttoned shirt with white cotton pants.

His amber colored eyes carried an unknown lucid expression, a deep emotional perplexity. Her own dark blue eyes stared back at his with a brazen emptiness. They both stared at each other. Their eyes bore and dug into the souls of the other, and went beyond each other’s oblivion.

There was a growing longing in his eyes which could be deciphered from far and in hers, an ever evolving hunger. She seemed to be standing in a euphoric trance while he was clearly enthralled because his shadow in the pale sun grew. His eyes carried the looks of a very known but forgotten delirious desire while hers stood pale in contrast. His eyes had depth, while hers had pain.

And in that moment, there was enigma and there was ecstasy. And there was heat–for she felt it brush against her face, her body and her soul. And she could taste it on her tongue. And with her nose, she could smell this passionate heat. And she could hear a chorus of divine beings singing somewhere. And she could see him–close yet far.

And there they were–two strangers, stuck in a vortex of time which seemed to be dilating. They could not move ahead, nor remember anymore the meaning of anything. They were both strangers-stuck in a dream which seemed to be shared. They were lost for there was no thought anymore and words became silent and devoid of meaning or sound. The moment seemed frozen

He smiled from afar and the smile hit her like lightening–suddenly! She smiled back and he, for some reason, seemed puzzled. And they both looked at each other—as if inquiring about the other in silence and from no one, exploring the naked souls which were clearly visible, as if quizzing the other, as if feeling the momentary suspended bodies of the other.

She felt a rush, a passion, a tug and in the dream she felt her heart beat–all at the same time.

It seemed like they were both involved in a question less, motionless and disembodied physical touch of the other–an out of body intercourse! Or perhaps it was something else. Something which was much more alive, much more real, more vigorous. It kept on going for a time unknown.

Suddenly the crowd grew and there was a lot of push and pull. Someone pushed her and she was startled, the spell was broken. She had to balance herself at the edge of the road and she had broken eye contact with her Stranger. When she looked back up, he was gone.

Now her longing eyes searched for him. That is when she was suddenly hit was a morbid, dismal realization that he was a Stranger–the crowd was full of them. And among them all–they were two solitudes who had perhaps met–from a distance.

The feelings– were now thawed. The heart went back to being frozen–unheard of. A cold sigh escaped out of her mouth–a warm breath into the cold, placid and haunted frenzy. Everyone seemed to be engulfed in a sea of emptiness and they all suffocated without knowing. It was an asphyxia. Everyone stared at the road–she was still searching and she could see the outline of the horizon and a man walking away from the sun. Wearing a white shirt and white pants.

And she suddenly woke up.




A Two Liner


And now that we must love from a distance–without touch, without digging deep in the souls of the others by locking their eyes with our own, without being mesmerized by their laughter and drinking it from a chalice, without playfully toiling with their hair with our fingers, without breathing fire into their hungry deceptive bodies–and now when we must stand in corners and long for touch, now that we have to listen to empty jazz tunes alone, and dance…from a distance, that we have to love from gory distances–now we miss Love and we will keep missing it until the grey macabre stillness takes it. And when we were driven mad by it, we looked away from it. Now we are being driven mad through it–without it. But now, we miss it and we are fools.



The tide was here last night and it left the ruminants of a colorless ocean on the silty beach. The children no longer come out to collect the shells. And the women do not come to lay on their bare backs on the beach while the sun caresses them gently. And neither do the men linger on the nifty shores. Everything seems to be taken up by the tide–the sickness. And there is no laughter anymore. And no one can even cry, for tears are forgotten. And everywhere there are empty streets and empty sheets. And mankind seems lost and it is nowhere to be found. The clubs are empty, the shops, the mosques, the churches, the synagogues…people seem to be wiped away from the face of the earth, perhaps taken in by the sickness.

And in a dusty corner, with an ink of fresh blood, a few lines can be read–by the ghosts of the living street

Today I am taken up by a sickness, It breathed within me
Yet I moved beyond the sun–into the turbulent sea
Because that was one way to go, and another way was to be
And did I want to be? Or did i wish to go
If I could recall the last time I laughed, it wasn’t long ago
Then why could I not feel–the beating of my heart
Every time I was to breathe
And now I will not be able to see
The love-starved faces with their touch-starved bodies
Feasting on emptiness and a livid glee
Because where I am going, a sickness lives
A sickness beyond our average needs