You,you,you.

You, you. You making me smile over the stupidest of things. Making me breathless, gasping for air, sore-stomached and teary-eyed with laughter. Making the world seem like a happier, livelier, brighter place.
Making me rediscover hope,that beautiful,dangerous thing.
You, with your way with words, twisting them to your will, making them dance to your tune. With your voice growing to become second nature to my ears, ringing as familiar as my own. With the scrunch between your eyebrows when you concentrate, the twiddle of your thumbs when you are restless. With that trademark, lopsided smirk of yours.
With your smell, the smell of comfort and laughter and home. With your smile reminiscent of the million other times we smiled together. You, with your eyes sparkling like stars, saying a thousand things to me without uttering a word.  With the light of the sun and the moon and all the galaxies in your smile.
You,you,you. It was always you.

-Gautami

The curious curve.

I am fascinated by smiles.
They amaze me. The spectrum of emotions they contain,the melee of emotions that can hide in one curve.
The shy,the tentative, the hesitant; layers of reserve built and consolidated over the years resulting in a slight curve of the lips. Nothing more.
The exuberant, ecstatic. Bundles and bundles of endless energy barely contained in a dazzling flash of teeth, sparkling eyes.
The trusting, open-hearted. The innocent invitation to explore one’s soul.
The wary, suspicious. The smile receding before it can even blossom completely, disappearing in the blink of an eye.
The mysterious. Concealing a thousand secrets in an enigmatic curve, carefully impassive eyes.
The sad,sad and heartbroken. Sorrow brimming over in the tremble of the lips. Struggling valiantly to keep the smile in place, even as tears mist your eyes;to keep that soft burst of sunshine shining through the rain.
The hopeful. Treading on that winding path of solid ground and sudden,treacherous quicksand that is the way of Hope. The flicker of flame in the darkness.
The special smile we unwittingly reserve for just that one person, glimmering with lovelight and blooming with joy.
The satiated. The slow, languorous curve of contentment and satisfaction. The bliss of fulfillment.
The wistful, the ache of longing barely concealed in a smile about as real as the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
The smile that rings of finality, the last farewell.
The mirthful, light dancing in laughter the way it dapples water.
The dry,mirthless, the mere stretching of facial muscles.
The toothless smiles of the aged, mild and mellow. The gap-toothed smile of a child, eyes shining with spirit and mischief.
Each smile different from the other, each containing that indefinable individuality that sets us all apart. That special something that is mixed in everything we do.
Each infinitely, colossally, boundlessly beautiful in its own way.
-Gautami.

Post purgation.

The book hit the water with a splash. For a second it floated on the surface, before sinking lower under the water, as though weighed down by the words penned in it.
And as it slowly dropped further, the water turned black around it. It was bleeding, bleeding ink. Thousands of words slowly leaching away into the water, years of scribbling melting away in a black cloud.
She watched it dip further and further away from her, feeling a torrent of emotions. The sharp tugging of nostalgia and attachment screaming at her to grab the book before it was too late, to salvage it as best she could. Surely there would be words left in it yet. Sacred, beautiful, beloved words. Words that she could touch, reread, even though they were branded in her memory.
But swamping it was a tidal wave of relief, and a strange lightness. The words had trapped her in a neverending maze of painful memories, catacombs of catastrophe, labyrinths of languish. And now that she was rid of it, they would stop haunting her. Maybe, now, she would have a nights’ sleep where she wouldn’t wake screaming, tearing at the sheets with desperate fingers;sweat clamming her forehead, trickling down her face, soaking,drenching her hair. Maybe now she could move forward with whatever life would bring. Maybe she could feel her lips curve in a smile, at long last. Feel the fulfillment that laughter would bring.
Funny, how throwing away a  bundle of pages could bring such relief.
And as the book disappeared from view, she smiled.

-Gautami.

Seek, and ye shall find.

Come, find me.
Find me in the thousand paths we traversed together, the miles we must have clocked.
In the half breaths, nose to nose, in the brief moments of shallow, quickened,anticipating breath, that preceded a kiss. Eyes looking into each other,fluttering lashes and lids.
Find me in the spaces between your fingers that I used to fill.
Find me in the taste of the cotton candy we would share,in the stickiness it leaves on your lips and fingertips.
In the faithful,melting brown eyes of my dog who waits for you,wondering why you don’t visit anymore.
In the tunes of the songs that we sang tunelessly together that one drunken night, giggling and laughing helplessly at our own complete disregard for tune.
In the touch and faded scent of the now-withered rose you had given me on our first date.
In the breath of wind near your ear, that sounded like someone whispering your name.
Find me in the files on your laptop that aren’t yours, the documents which have a style of writing that is too distinctive to be mistaken for anyone else’s.
In the screensaver on your phone that you haven’t yet changed.
In that handkerchief you found among your shirts the other day, that was too feminine to be yours, a smudge of my lipstick still on it, with the faintest wisp of my scent still clinging to it.
In the crumbs that cling to your shirt and blazer, that have gone unnoticed, undusted.
In the salt of tears that you had kissed away.
Find me lingering in the golden sunshine of our best memories and pouring rain of our toughest times.
And after you have revisited all that we were, find me waiting for you at the end of the road, waiting to take your hand while we make our way through the dirt-tracks of untravelled paths ahead.

-Gautami

All or nothing.

Know this: i won’t be satisfied by any piecemeal make-do, any half-hearted compensation, any fading substitute.
I want all there is to be had in love; the joys and sorrows,the exalted and shirked, the quested and shunned. The victories and the vanquishments. The welcomed and the banished. The soaring and the plummeting. The euphoria and the hopelessness; the ecstasy and the madness. The black-and-white and the technicolour. The sharp and the soft. The whispered murmurings and the passion-laced screams. The meetings and the partings. The dusks and dawns, the dew and the moondust. The heat and the frigidity. The melody and the cacophony. The harmony and the discord. The calm and the turbulence, the lull and the riptide. The aurora and the twilight, the sunbeams and the starlight.The weaving together and the unravelling. The earthy and the ethereal. The illumination and the eclipse. The elixir and the venom, the poison and the panacea. The sins and the virtues. The blessing and the damnation. The miracles and the ordinary. The infinitesimal and the monumental. The nothings and everythings. The bloomings and the witherings. The Utopia and the dystopia,the rapture of Elysium and the burning flames of hell. The kaleidoscopic and the monochromatic. The dull and the iridescent. The eclectic and dogmatic. The chaos and the tranquility. The mixtapes and the onetrack records. The verbosity and eloquence and the wordless wonder. The buoyant and effervescent, the restrained and reserved.
The jaw-dropping, heart stopping. The soul-shaking, the life-changing.

-Gautami.

Mazes

We all have our secret mazes.
Winding corridors and never ending tunnels that lead everywhere and nowhere. Paths we circle,again and again.

Why am I so fat? Why can’t I make friends? Why can’t people like me for long? Why am I not good at anything? Why doesn’t he love me?

What is wrong with me?

Our little mazes,our little circles of hell.
We wake up each morning and try to navigate a new path.

This time it will be different.
You’re careful. You count your steps,you look out for markers. You look at yourself in the mirror and try to speak sense into yourself.
And then you do see that light at the end of the tunnel. You’re almost there,you’ve made the changes you should have and now you’re finally getting out.

And then you trip.
And skid.
And fall.

Why doesn’t anyone ask you how you feel,and actually care about the answer? Why can’t you let go of that guy who never really gave a damn?
Why can’t anyone ever stay?

Then it’s just you in the end. With your nagging doubts and gnawing anxieties,stumbling through the well worn maze.

Maybe you’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel again. Maybe you’ll reach it this time. 

Or maybe the maze just swallows everyone up whole.

Nayantara.

Same love.

“Do what makes you happy.”
This is the most common piece of advice doled out by our loved ones. Whether it comes to getting a job, or even the most trivial, everyday of decisions, we are told to choose what will make us happiest. What satisfies us,what gives us joy. The most basic measurement of anything’s value is the happiness we derive from it.
Because after all, isn’t that the whole point of life? Doing, choosing what makes you happy,what you love?
But there’s a catch to it. Choose what makes you happy, but within the borders of what society deems fit. Toe the line of social acceptability,and everything is fine. Step out of those boundaries, and suddenly, fingers point at you from every direction; people call you names, judging your choices,casting judgement over you and your choices without even knowing you.
Because if you find love and happiness in the arms of someone who isn’t what society chooses for you or is of the same gender, it isn’t right.
Because if a person of the same gender is your soulmate, it is “sinful.” “Unnatural.”
But really,what choice do you have in the matter? Love doesn’t give us a warning,or a choice in the matter, when it arrives. So is it really that wrong to love someone and build a life,a home with them, just because your relationship doesn’t conform to society’s norms?
Isn’t the condemning of people just because of whom they love wrong instead? Isn’t punitive rape and homophobic violence unnatural,instead?
A little more love in the world isn’t going to hurt anyone, the world could do with it. But spreading hate and pain to tear apart people who love each other is just wrong. Because happiness is something that everyone in this world is entitled to,no matter what.
In the end, it is all the same love. The love that drives the whole world. Peel away the prejudice, the hate, the narrow mindedness, and that’s all that really is to it. Two people, in love.

-Gautami.