FRAGILE – HANDLE WITH CARE – XIII

Sanika put on her earplugs and wiped her eyes. She wanted to look normal to Atul; she tried to bring back the same stability to his heart that they always had between them. The call was through, and Atul’s face filled her phone screen as she tucked a loose hair lock behind her ear.

She waved one finger at him, “Hello Stranger!” She said with a faint smile.

“Hey”, he replied and Sanika couldn’t help but notice his tired eyes. His hair was unkempt, and stress was written all over his face. Her heart ached to see him like this.

“Honey! Why you look so fatigued?”, she couldn’t help but ask.

Atul combed his fingers through his hair and massaged the back of his neck, sighing. “Why do you think?”, he asked almost condescendingly. Sanika was a bit taken aback by the brazenness and gulped.

“Atul, there is nothing fishy happening on this side. Don’t you trust me? Just because there are a few hundred miles between us that doesn’t make us someone else for each other. I am still the same woman you have married and loved, and I will remain the same. Seeing a part of my past did catch me, and I was unnerved for a while, but now I am okay”, Sanika said in one breath, a desperate attempt to calm down Atul’s fears.

“Yeahhh!!???” Atul asked with acidity, “Then you are done with him. What then is the need to meet him again?” His tone was accusatory.

Sanika took a deep breath and tilted her head to the side, “Baby…. have faith. I have retrospected a lot these days, and I have concluded that even though I moved on, there was a gaping hole in my heart where my past was still waiting to pounce on me. It all happened because I never got the chance to close that wound. I never got closure. I want that. It’s my unfinished business.” Sanika said seeking approval subconsciously.

Atul crossed his fingers under his chin and nodded. “I understand. I have faith Baby, but when it’s you, I have that fear of losing you too. It’s driving me crazy.” He told, and Sanika gave a rueful smile.

“You…Are….IRREPLACEABLE!!!” She said punctuating each word with a tear. He nodded, and Sanika could tell he was struggling not to cry too.

Atul was about to say something when Sanika interrupted and said, “Now, no more talks… You are looking very tired and you need to sleep as it is very late there in India. Wish me, so that I can end the matter forever tomorrow. Good Night!” Atul nodded and they hung up.

The very next morning Sanika woke up really early with a purpose. After she finished her morning routine she was about to call Pranay to fix an appointment with him when she hear a knock on her door.

Sanika went to open the door, and she could hardly contain a groan when she saw Pranay standing there, not alone but with a bouquet of the most beautiful White Calla Lilies in his hand. He remembers! She raised her eyes in question, and he cleared his throat.

“Good Morning Sanika! May I come in?” Pranay asked politely, and Sanika nodded stepping aside.

Pranay stepped in, and Sanika showed him to the seating area. They both took opposite chairs, and Pranay placed the flowers on the round table between them.

“They are your favourite I know, saw them on the corner shop and couldn’t help but buy,” Pranay said pushing the flowers towards Sanika.

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Sanika picked up the bouquet and ran her fingers delicately on the flowers. “Why do you still remember? What was the need to bring me flowers?” Sanika was in a confrontation mood.

Pranay gave an impish smile, and Sanika noticed he was wearing the watch she had presented him during their courtship on his birthday. She rolled her eyes and sat back with baited breath, ready to hear what he had to say.

“Not just the flowers, I remember it all. You might have moved on and wanted to believe that I too forgot everything very conveniently, but I remember it all just like it was yesterday.” He told boldly, looking straight into her eyes as he went on, “As for the need to bring them to you was pressing. I have come to tell you something that I never had a chance to say before.” Sanika was stunned at his audacity, but she wanted to hear it all.

She cradled his bouquet in her lap like a baby and looked at him; he took it as a gesture to go on. “I know what you think. You think it was effortless for me to choose Tanu over you and dump you like that.” He loosened his shirt collar, “But you need to know that I had to do it. I had no other option.” He looked at Sanika for a reaction, but she gave none.

“My dad’s business was falling apart, and we were in dire need of investors, no one else was interested except Tanu’s father, and that too was an offer if I agreed to marry Tanu,” Pranay told pinching the bridge of his nose.

“You don’t know Sanika, but I have suffered a lot. Tanu was my compromise with life, and as fate would have it, we never had any children. Our marriage was neither cemented by love, nor reinforced by kids. It was bound to fail, and that’s what it ended in – a bitter court brawl, a tug of war”, Pranay said with desperation. Sanika could tell he had been bursting to tell her all this.

She maintained an impassive look as Pranay went on, “Sanika, I could never forget you. If I had chosen you over Tanu, I would have been in place of Atul, having a lovely wife and two beautiful kids. We both would have taken care of the money but…..” His voice trailed away as his forehead covered in sweat beads.

Sanika looked for remorse and guilt in his face but what she saw were hope and purpose. Sanika was startled as Pranay suddenly went on one knee and held her hand in his. “Sani, My Love, I have missed you so much. I didn’t even realise how incomplete I was until I saw you again in the conference. One look at you made it clear what I had been lacking. It’s You, Sani!!!” Sanika shifted uncomfortably in her chair.

“Come back Sani, Come back to me. It’s not too late. We can start from where we left. I love you so much, more than Atul ever can. I will even try to be a good father to your kids. I know you want me too, I have seen it in your eyes. It was not in vain that you were wasted in the club that night. You were fighting the urge to be with me.” Pranay got closer, and Sanika scooted back.

“I know your right place is with me. Atul is just your compromise like Tanu was mine. You still love me very much. You miss me. You think of me. This is our time Sani, come, take my hand and come with me. Let’s start afresh.” Pranay had said it all; he had told the unthinkable, the unspeakable.

There was a heavy silence that hung in the room between Sanika and Pranay as he looked at her hopefully with a reassuring smile.

 

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FRAGILE – HANDLE WITH CARE – III

Atul could see the double ticks on all his messages, which meant all were delivered to her and that in turn meant her phone was fine. Probably it was stolen, or she lost it! But No! Anyone would switch it off first, and each time he tried the number the bell was ringing, and Sanika’s caller tune rang in his ears. It was his favourite song ‘You are Beautiful‘ By James Blunt.

He was going over and over the possibilities in his head. What could have happened? He was trying to be rational before reaching any conclusions. He wasn’t a radical person, but it was not Sanika’s thing to be away from her phone that long. Wasn’t it human nature to reach the worst conclusions when there was uncertainty or was it preparing self for the worst?

(Image Credit: Candles Online)

Love, I am worried sick. REPLY!!!” It was his 82nd message to his wife as he was pacing his bedroom. It was 3 AM, and Switzerland was three and half hours behind, which meant it must be 11:30 PM there. ‘Where would she go at this hour?‘ Atul spoke to the empty room; his eyes were on the screen of his WhatsApp.

And just then all the ticks turned blue, he sighed in relief and ran his fingers through his hair. ‘Finally, she is there.’ He breathed.

He was about to call Sanika’s number when he saw she was typing something.

Hello!” Said the message. Atul gaped at the word and anger coursed in his system at the one word.

Sanika??? Where the hell were you all this time?” Atul texted back with gritted teeth.

This is not her Mr Trihan” Came the next message and Atul couldn’t make out what it meant.

I know you must be having a 100 questions running amok in your mind right now. Let me answer the first one. I am Pranay this side.” The message froze Atul. He massaged the back of his neck and pursed his lips.

Where is my wife?” he texted back apprehensively.

Don’t worry she is not kidnapped or something. I happen to be her old friend and saw her passed out on the couch of a bar here. I couldn’t leave her there as it was night and all sorts of people frequent bars, so I have brought her to her hotel. I am just leaving but decided to let you know she is fine when I saw that many calls and messages on her phone.” Came the next message which made Atul go through a plethora of emotions at once. From concern and worry to anger and suspicion to jealousy and fear, finally placing him in horror as he now knew who this man was. Sanika had shared all about her love life before marriage to Atul.

His thumb hovered over his keypad. What should he write back? He took a deep breath and typed “Thank You So Much; I guess I know you, Sanika mentioned you. I would appreciate if you wake her up and let make me speak to her once. I am sorry for all the trouble we are putting you through, but I need to hear her.” Atul texted back. It felt so weird, such breach of privacy. This man, his wife’s ex-lover bringing his wasted wife back to her hotel and being there in her room while he was texting, requesting to speak to his own wife.

Alright, let me try. I can understand your dilemma.” Came the reply.

Nothing happened for the next couple of minutes and Atul pictures a millennia different scenarios in his mind’s eye. He could see Pranay patting his wife’s cheek and calling her ‘Sani…Sani! Wake up your hubby is calling‘ He felt repulsed at the idea and immediately dialled Sanika’s the number.

The call was picked, and a polished and polite male voice spoke from the other end, “Hello Mr Trihan, Pranay this side.” Atul hesitated, cleared his throat and contemplated what does one say to his wife’s ex-lover.

MY IMPRINT ON HEARTS

Legacy is our mark on this Earth after we are gone. It outlives us, but it’s not immortal because legacy too has a shelf life. Just like sowing a seed which eventually blossoms into a tree laden with fruits and flowers for the reaping of generations to come when we cease to exist, and while they are enjoying its sweet nectar or ambrosial scent they might tell each other “hey, you know, this tree was planted by So & So”.

Do pardon me but I have a small anecdote I must share with you. I love the movie Troy, and at almost the beginning there is a curious dialogue between Thetis, the mother and Achilles, the son.

“If you stay in Larissa, you will find peace. You will find a wonderful woman, and you will have sons and daughters, who will have children. And they’ll all love you and remember your name. But when your children are dead, and their children after them, your name will be forgotten… If you go to Troy, glory will be yours. They will write stories about your victories in thousands of years! And the world will remember your name. But if you go to Troy, you will never come back… for your glory walks hand-in-hand with your doom. And I shall never see you again.”

And Achilles chose to be remembered. We all want to be remembered, mostly for the good things we did, anyway it’s wrong to speak ill of the dead. But when I think about me, I don’t think I will be all praises posthumously. So there is a constant conflict between what I want to leave as my legacy and what I would actually be leaving. I pity the person writing me a Eulogy or Elegy, for he wouldn’t know if to praise me or to voice all his stifled vexation for me outrightly.

I want to leave a lot of books as my legacy. Books that will inspire, motivate, uplift and entertain generations to come. I know it’s a very tangible thing to leave behind, but I want a motley group of eccentric readers who are strongly opinionated and have the guts to say that my book was boring or exhilarating or a page turner or just passable. I want them to discuss me, I want few of them to hate me and few of them to love me and have a heated debate over my writing style. I want to be compared with great writers of my era, and I want my book on people’s shelves.

The other thing I would love leaving behind as my legacy in all modesty and without sounding sanctimonious is a home. A home for the orphaned children, for the abandoned parents, for the ones without gifts of sight, sound or speech and for the invalids of the society which will not let them feel that they away from their families as they would become a family to each other. I hope that one day I earn enough to realise this dream of mine and make a trust to fund that Home.

I know I will be called a Zealot, a Hermit and a Radical by many. Many would address my depression and my anxiety; many would even pity me for my mood swings and ambiguity. I will be cherished for being an excellent hostess and a spendthrift. I would be abhorred for cutting out a few people out of my life and erecting enough walls around me.

I only want to leave this world a li’l better than what it was in my life. I want to make a change in people’s thought process about forgiveness, about being judgemental, about giving hope.

Many times I have been told that I forgive too quickly, and it’s being seen as my flaw, but I believe it’s my power. Forgiveness is a capacity that costs nothing but is coveted by the most wretched of the society. I can stay vindictive and ruthless too, but I would lose a bond, a friend, a relationship while forgiving lifts a weight off my chest also. People like to talk to me, confide in me, share things they would never tell anyone else and while doing so, they let me become an integral part of their life and become a vital part of mine. I get this privilege because I try not to be judgemental. I have seen people colour each other black or white over small things. Who am I to judge and pass a verdict on them, who gave me that authority when I am made up of a lifetime of mistakes and wrongdoings. To err is human, then why we deride people on their errors. I hope people will take this inspiration from me and give each other a clean chit. A clean slate to start over as they overlook transgressions assessed on supposition. As for hope, I know how important hope is to live. We can go on without food and water, but we can not go on without hope because then we lose our dreams and the desire to go on. That’s why when I come across anyone in need of some hope, I try to instil optimism and confidence in them with all my might, letting them know that this too shall pass and they will rise if they had taken a fall.

It doesn’t matter what and how you do, so long as you adapt something from the way it was before your personal touch and essence into something that has a semblance to your character you after you take your hands away

“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.”
― Shannon L. Alder

 

RAISED FROM THE PIT – XIII

The next morning Binoy woke up in the same old ramshackle and dilapidated hut that was home to the four boys. He saw all the other three boys sleeping and didn’t disturb them; it was a li’l too early to start the day. He went through his old morning routine and then went to the shopkeeper who used to give him roses to sell.

“Kaka, Roses?” Binoy asked in an accustomed tone.

The shopkeeper looked up and did a double take. “Binoy??!!! You? Here?” Kaka’s face was like a picture that changed emotions with realisation and Binoy’s head hung.

“What are you doing back here? I was told you had been taken up to live with some rich and educated couple to their home.” Kaka’s tone was part accusatory and part melancholic. He took one glimpse at Binoy’s fallen face and nodded with lowered eyes. “Ohhh!!! So it was the same old story this time as well. They had taken you to make a domestic help and were mistreating you.” He heaved and went on “It is good that you came back then, better to be amongst your own than to be a servant to the affluent society.” He spoke with bitterness of some past experiences and added “I was so happy for you, you know. I thought they had taken you to give you a bright future, but Alas! Reality is a harsh and a bitter pill to swallow.” He concluded.

Binoy was silent, but he choked at Kaka’s words and tears welled up in his eyes. Kaka took it to be a sign of dejection and patted his back “It’s alright boy, it’s alright. You study under the lamp like you used to do. I will buy you some books.” Kaka said with a genial smile in hope to cheer Binoy up, but his compassionate tone made Binoy hug him and sob like a baby. The young boy who was trying hard to be a man turned into a little boy and cried as Kaka messed his hair lovingly with soothing words.

Binoy looked up and said in a broken voice, “No Kaka, they were not trying to make me a servant. They were magnanimous people. Aru Di, she reminded me of Maa…..” Kaka heard him perplexed.

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“Binoy! If they were good then why are you back?” Saying this Kaka pulled Binoy back a little sternly. “Tell me, tell me boy, have you come back in fear after some wrongdoing or are you trying to hide some sin you committed to that couple?” Kaka was patronising Binoy with a rough hand.

Binoy couldn’t keep it to himself and told Kaka everything that transpired last night. He wiped his eyes on his sleeve and pleaded absolution “I had to come back Kaka, I just had to come back. I couldn’t let Bablu steal from them, be it at the cost of my future.” Binoy said earnestly, and Kaka’s eyes welled up at the young boy’s tenacity and grit. He patted his shoulder and gave him a bunch of roses to sell.

“Binoy I am proud of you son. Be careful at signal today, it’s raining.” Kaka said prudently looking at the dark sky.

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“I won’t go the regular signal today Kaka. I will go to the other red light at the back of the petrol pump. I know Aru Di, and Arnab Bhaiyya will come looking for me at the signal. I don’t want them to find me. They don’t take the road behind the Petrol pump on their way to work. So, I will go there from today.” Binoy told and took the bunch of roses from Kaka’s hand and ran like the wind.

Kaka watched his retreating back with blurred eyes as he dried his eyes on his shoulder cloth. He was sorry at the atrocities of life; he was helpless to see Binoy’s plight, he was furious at Bablu and his friends. He decided it was not the time to mind his beeswax and sit tight. He had to do something.

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In the Roy household Arunima was sitting on the edge of the bed with her head in her hands as Arnab sifted through the house to make sure nothing was missing.

“He took nothing. He went empty-handed.” Arnab told Arunima, and she looked away.

“I already told you Arnab; he wasn’t a thief. He must have felt your apathy towards him and taken it as a sign to leave.” Arunima cited Arnab as he stood on the threshold, leaning on the doorframe with crossed arms.

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Arnab hadn’t told Arunima that he had seen Binoy let three boys get into the house and had left with them willingly. He didn’t want to break her heart, even if he had to take the blame for it. He wanted her to remain kind and helpful. Her goodness was her essence, and he didn’t want it to be lost to the chicanery of the world. Though the fact that Binoy took nothing with him left him amazed. He was sure Binoy had stolen something, but he was getting late for office.

“Arunima happened is happened. Let’s go to work. We will talk about this at night.” Arnab tried to distract her.

Arunima looked at Arnab stunned and spat, “A kid is missing, and all you can think about is to go to work?” She questioned his intentions.

Arnab sighed with open palms and shrugged his shoulder, giving up.

“You can go where you want, but I am going to look for Binoy, find him and bring him back,” Arunima said determinedly. Arnab knew she was stubborn and he let her have her way. Maybe she will come across the truth and then come to terms with the facts.

RAISED FROM THE PIT- XII

“Bhaiya, I want to tell you something.” Binoy bit his lower lip contemplating if to spill the truth or fabricate a new lie. The facts might let Aru Di believe him, but Arnab Bhaiya would surely go back to being dubious and apathetic towards him and that too when they had just bonded. He couldn’t risk it. If he had to leave this place, then he would not be thrown out like a thief but go quietly letting them believe he was just a good-for-nothing boy.

He must have looked silly standing there thinking because Arnab stood up and came to Binoy placing a hand on his shoulder and shaking him hard.

“Binoy! You wanted to me something?” Asked Arnab and Binoy gulped, nodding.

“Three….I…I saw…..” Binoy was sweating now “I saw three rats creating racquet in the kitchen!!!” He lied.

Arunima got up at once, “NO! Not the rats again, last time they spoiled all the sweets and the food in the kitchen.” She hurried out of the door to the kitchens but Arnab stayed back a moment longer to give Binoy a once over, and Binoy tried to look impassive, which settled Arnab, and he left after Arunima.

As soon as the couple was out of earshot, Binoy pulled the curtains back and held all three boys by their arms, dragging and urging them back into his room. The trio didn’t want to get caught either and do juvenile jail time and complied. After them ushering into his bedroom, Binoy told them to keep quiet till he was back and he ran to the kitchen.

Arunima was crouching on her toes and checking each shelf under the kitchen counter while Arnab was checking over the racks on the wall. They both looked at Binoy and gave a look that told him their search wasn’t fruitful.

“Di, I guess they are into hiding. Let me set some rat traps, you two have looked enough. You are tired; you sleep, I will take care of the rest.” Binoy said with a helpful smile, and Arunima nodded with her hands on her hips, something made her smile, and Arnab too laughed, which in turn made Binoy chuckle as well. In that one moment, the doubt that they will mistreat him vanished from his heart, and he was glad he didn’t let his friends steal anything from the house.

All of them went back to their respective rooms. Binoy got his friends out from under his bed and gave them an annoyed look.

“Friends, please, never try to do this again. These are good people. If I do this to them, then they will never have mercy on any orphaned, poor kid ever again.” Binoy told sitting on his bed.

“Next time you feel like visiting me, come in the daytime, from the front door.” He told with a smile and a finality to his tone, forwarding his hand to Bablu in a handshake. Bablu knew it was goodbye.

“You think you are high and mighty to live in this palace while we, ‘The Rats’ go back to living in that hell-hole?” Bablu asked in a caustic tone. Binoy blinked.

“No!!! This won’t happen. You want us not to steal from these fine people? Okay, Fine! We won’t! But you, you have to come back with us, only then do we leave or we take you down with us, let them think you’re a thief and a lecher. We don’t care.” Bablu spat at Binoy, and his two friends stepped forward ominously as they rolled their sleeved up.

(Image Credit: Google Inc.)

Binoy’s eyes widened, he understood what Bablu meant to say, he wouldn’t let him stay here in any case. He considered everything and decided his fate was to leave this place, with their money as a thief or without it as a bitter memory. He chose the latter one, and his head bowed. Bablu smiled and sneaked back out of the same window from which he came; his two alleys stood on either side of Binoy as he too climbed out of the window taking nothing with him except the clothes on his person.

In the master bedroom, Arunima was fast asleep while Arnab was standing by the curtain at his window watching the four boys retreating backs. His phone in his hand, his thumb hovering over the Police’s number but he closed his phone and sighed as he went back to bed.

RAISED FROM THE PIT – IX

Three months, 90 days, they were someone’s vacation, someone’s honeymoon, someone’s first trimester, someone’s school term but for Binoy, the three months on the roads were a harsh teacher, an experience that taught him some hard driven lessons that would stay with him one lifetime. To sleep on an empty stomach, to be towed from one place to another by the police at night, to be shooed away by the people in posh cars like a stray dog and to live alone, all alone, and no one to call his own.

Binoy was not a kid. He was a boy of 14, a teenager as indecisive, rebellious and confused as any other boy of his age. His body was changing, and so were his thought process, his beliefs and his ideals. A time when boys need a mother to help shape her son’s future and a father to guide him to be a man. They say beggars are not choosers and until this point, he never had a choice. The first opportunity to choose was whether to stay with his stepmother and abusive father or leave and try his luck. He chose the latter, he savoured the freedom, but it came at a cost. And now again he was presented with an opportunity, whether to stay with these people who came as his saviours or to up and leave or as he thought, to up and leave with just enough money that would last him some good time on the outside, helping him keep off the streets.

He got up and paced the room, rubbing his hands together, contemplating the ramifications of his choice when he felt parched and went to the kitchen to fetch himself a glass of water. He opened the kitchen fridge and poured himself a glass of water when a hand on his shoulder startled him. He turned around in panic and was scared to see it was Arnab.

“I…..I was…..I was taking water.” Binoy said defensively, backing into the kitchen counter.

Arnab smiled and made him sit on a high chair in the kitchen “Why are you scared of me boy? I am no scary monster from your childhood fairytale.” He told while he opened the fridge and got out some Coca-Cola and Vanilla Ice-Cream. Binoy looked at Arnab with a peripheral view, his heart pounding, his guilt was clawing at him, and that made him get wary of Arnab.

Arnab removed two Highball glasses from the shelf and filled them with ice cream scoops, and then he filled those glasses with Coke. A smile on his lips as a perfect foam head crowned both glasses, and he came to Binoy with the glasses, placing one in front of him. “Here you go, my favourite midnight snack. You might enjoy it.” Saying this he added a long spoon to Binoy’s glass and took a sip from his own.

Binoy murmured a polite “Thank You” and took a sip. It cooled his insides at once, and the taste was enough to put him in a compatible silence with Arnab as they both ate.

“You know I used to eat these with a friend, his name was Vicky,” Arnab said, and Binoy looked up. Arnab placed one hand on Binoy’s shoulder and said in an easy tone “Look Binoy, I know I am not your fathers’ age, nor you are my son’s age. I don’t want to patronise you but be a friend and guide to you. I know you have seen dark days, tough times, but…..” Arnab paused to make sure he chose the correct set of words, and Binoy’s back stiffened thinking here comes the bitter pill under all the sugar coating “But Arunima is a woman, and woman are born mothers. She hasn’t thought of asking you, what do you want, so I want to do it. I want you to tell me what way you want this to go?” Arnab looked straight into Binoy’s eyes, not with any hostility but with concern.

Binoy swallowed and gave a nervous chortle “I thought you were going to ask me to leave.” It was Arnab’s turn to chuckle. “I….don’t know what I want,” Binoy said introspecting. A while later he said in a broken voice “When I was a little boy, I wanted to be an AirForce Pilot and serve my country. But that was before my mother’s death when I still had a future.” He added and tears welled up in his eyes.

Arnab messed Binoy’s hair playfully and scooted closer to him, “What makes you think now you don’t have a future?” He asked sincerely.

Binoy sniffed and gave a sarcastic laugh, wiping his eyes on his sleeve, “I know, you and Di, you won’t have me here for long, and even if you do, you will always doubt me, and then one day you will have a baby, and I would become a hindrance and I will end up being your baby’s caretaker.” He said as more tears came unbidden from his eyes. Arnab could understand his doubts, a boy who had been mistreated by his biological father can think no better.

“You know Binoy; I think you would be a great writer than you would an Airforce pilot,” Arnab said cheekily, and Binoy snapped his eyes up but burst to laugh when he saw Arnab had been kidding. They both laughed it, and later Arnab told him his plans to get him admission in a good school with the hostel, and he would be welcome home in every vacation, and they too would visit him now and then. Binoy liked the idea and nodded, thinking what a fool he had been to even think of looting them.

After an hour of hanging together, connecting and making a bond they both went to bed and decided to tell their decision to Arunima. Binoy was sleeping with a smile on his lips and a dream in his eyes on his bed when he missed the thudding sound that came from his window.

Bablu had entered his room with two other boys that were from the streets. One moment can change lives, and Binoy would take this lesson tonight.

 

THE TOPOGRAPHY OF TEARS

 

Tears from laughing until crying
Tears from laughing until crying
Tears of change
Tears of change
Tears of grief
Tears of grief
Tears from onions
Tears from onions
Basal tears
Basal tears
Tears of timeless reunion
Tears of timeless reunion
Tears of ending and beginning
Tears of ending and beginning
Tears of momentum, redirected
Tears of momentum redirected
Tears of release
Tears of release
Tears of possibility and hope
Tears of possibility and hope
Tears of elation at a liminal moment
Tears of elation at a liminal moment
Tears of remembrance
Tears of remembrance

You must be wondering these are sketches done by some brilliant artist who has given a pencil to his imagination of tears of different causes, but that is not what this is. These are microscopic images of tears of different reasons taken by a photographer named Rose-Lynn Fisher. Yes!!! Just like snowflakes, every tear has a different formation. 

Tears are always an emotional thing but if we look at the scientific aspect of tears, we cry three basic type of tears that are, Basal, Psychic and Reflex Tears ranging from one that keeps the eyes lubricated to the ones that are the outcome of emotions such as happiness and sadness and finally from response to reflex from things like Onions or certain gases respectively. 

This is what is said to be a scientific fact but you and me, both know that tears are much more than something that can be put into few words, I, at least cannot fathom to summarise tears in a small article but I am giving it my best shot. 

Tears mean so much to us, and tears change with age. For instance, a li’l baby cries, his tears imply very basic needs like hunger or sleep while when a toddler cries it is usually out of fear or stubbornness. Fast forward a few years and the tears change meaning, they indicate anger or disappointment while for a teenager tears don’t need to have a reason, they can cry for anything at all because they are touchy and highly temperamental at that age.  A plus two student cried because of pressure from parents to get best results and a fresher in college can cry because he was ragged and bullied. At the wedding, the bride cries because she is overwhelmed by the amalgamation of emotions of making new bonds and finding a new home while leaving old bonds and home behind. A mother can cry when she is too angry on her child and she can even cry when she is overcome by love for her baby. 

Woman cry more than more, much more than Men. Everyone cries when it pains, be it man, woman or child so why men hold back that flood of emotions? Maybe because they are stronger at handling pain or maybe because we expect no tears from men and look up to them as the pacifier. Or is it for the fact that our men are hard-wired into believing that ‘Men don’t cry’. 

There are numerous times when crying makes us feel lighter but we are discouraged not to cry because we are told they are the sign of weakness. Do tears always signify suffering, a broken heart or a unhappiness? Why has it become so god damn embarrassing for everyone to cry? 

I have cried all kinds tears. My father used to say as a baby I never used to cry while going to school but used to cry going to Dr’s because I feared the needle. I cried when he used to leave me for days at a stretch and went on tour. I cried my hardest when he passed away. That time a read a lot about the Five Stages of Grief. Did it help me? No! I was not crying to that pattern, I still cry for him but with a smile on my lips because it has become a bittersweet pain now that keeps aglow inside of me. I silently lay in my bed or sit in front of my laptop and cry silent tears that flow like a river soaking my pillow but they help me, they make me calm down after several minutes. I listen to his favourite songs and laugh and then shed a single tear. I smell his cupboard and feel the softness of his hand in his shirts and soak them in my tears. 

I have the power to cry intentionally, not to torture or manipulate someone, but to feel lighter of the burden on my heart. There are several days a month every woman is hormonal, at PMS, I cry for smallest of reasons those days. I tell people overly emotional things and make promises hard to keep, just because I am overcome by emotions. My eyes well up upon listening to certain songs that don’t just pass through the ears but through the soul as well. The last song I cried to was “Tu Maane Ya Maane Dildaara” By Wadali Brothers. I cry while reading books that are not written to be bestsellers but written to be best stories. The last book I cried to was “Me Before You”. I cry to watch the films that imbibe me with the pain of the characters. The last movie I cried to was “Life Is Beautiful” and trust me I would read, watch and listen to them again and again because it felt good to cry. 

I once heard someone say that when a heart is too full of love it turns to tears and overflows from the windows of your eyes, like rain on a lovely day. It made me feel good about my tears,  I am not weak, I am not embarrassed, I am not hiding my tears. But every time I am ready to have a round of those priceless tears I keep several tissues handy because, after each good cry, I have learnt to wipe my tears off and get back to life. 

Remember Tears are always purer than smiles because it is easy to fake a smile instantly but tough to fake tears. 

“That same night, I wrote my first short story. It took me thirty minutes. It was a dark little tale about a man who found a magic cup and learned that if he wept into the cup, his tears turned into pearls. But even though he had always been poor, he was a happy man and rarely shed a tear. So he found ways to make himself sad so that his tears could make him rich. As the pearls piled up, so did his greed grow. The story ended with the man sitting on a mountain of pearls, knife in hand, weeping helplessly into the cup with his beloved wife’s slain body in his arms.” 
― Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner