Thursday, August 17, 2006

Elegy written on a rainy vacation day

Some people can’t be forgotten. They can’t be remembered either. They just exist in your life. Maybe as tucked away memories of hurt... Or whispers of something you imagined…

This is about him. Someone I met years ago, who walked in uninvited into my life. True that I’d hoped fervently that he would. True that I’d thrown open doors for him to walk in. But uninvited still. I can’t bring myself to accept that I’d invited trouble.

I met him at a wedding years ago, to which he’d come on invitation.

Blue crumpled silk skirt which held my complete attention, strands of hair that were incessantly being pushed back and wouldn’t stay on, anklets in gold that I wasn’t to lose- you see, it was just too much of attention on myself coming from me. But this is to tell you how young I then was.

Young and almost innocent.

The next time he came in, he came as a letter. To an address I’d written on the back of the invitation or his palm- I don’t exactly remember. But I knew it was something quick and away from the eyes of my grandmother.

His letter, which I hid from mother. No, not under pillows. But among the numerous books on the bookshelf. You see, almost innocent.

His soft, pale envelopes and black inked writings came to signal something achingly secretive. Something I when tried to share, became distorted.

He wasn’t a lover. But I loved him.

He wasn’t a boyfriend. I had another.

He wasn’t a cousin. I had many.

He wasn’t a friend. I didn’t need one then.

His letters, all then carefully stored in a brown jute bag. Letters that bore fingerprints from constant reading. Letters that were opened proudly in front of girlfriends and read to memorize. Words that were stored in your mind. “I will look you after…”

I opened my heart to him in words. Girlish secrets of periods and pains and the furtive joy in sharing this with a boy. Childish guilt that was salvaged and presented. Almost innocent.

He was the one I cried to when my first love was discovered lost.

And then he walked away.

Reason as it existed, didn’t make much sense. Rather, there wasn't much of it to go around.

I wrote to him. Feverish scribbles on envelopes with his address. I kept writing to a reply that never came.

It hurt that I didn’t know the exact moment when he ceased to exist in my life. I didn’t even catch his shadow.

It was the day before having to go home after 4 years of early morning alarms, shared bathrooms and study.

College had wound up and serious decisions had to be made about memorabilia collected from the years. Gifts that were re-gifted. Pressed flowers from the numerous occasions that always existed in college life. Love letters from non-lovers. Things that mom would easily classify as- junk.

The brown jute bag that had remained idle for many months now. It would have made more sense to either keep it or throw it all away. But on the wet terrace of our house, in the fast fading light of the day, I sat down to tear all his letters.

One by one. My fingers hurt. The soft envelopes weren’t as soft as they seemed. They were more than I expected in number. But hot wet tears helped. They fell fast and furious on the black ink and turned them all spidery. A shivering spider.

My best friend sat watching me; her pile had gotten over quite sometime ago. I kept tearing and tearing. I finished them all.

He was now officially a memory. RIP.

38 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are many things I like about your writing. The most important one being- you write from the heart.

Felt like saying it now coz was waiting for a continuation of the previous posts and here comes something else. Something that you really felt like saying and hence.

Beautiful.

9:56 AM  
Blogger b v n said...

Beautiful.your flow is amazing.I think you should have kept those letters...but then there are many of us whose life goes around broken bangles and old notebooks.Again,nicely done.

10:02 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

When I read your blog, I thought you wrote about me...but unlike you I just can't kick(out of my mind!) the uninvited guest who wrecked my life.. Somehow I find solace in memories, though it hurts

10:04 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Anon: :)

BVN: Life does go around all that, right? Damn!

Immigrant: We all have interlinked stories. It is not easy to push away, but try. Rather- dont try. Time is the greatest healer.

10:19 AM  
Blogger Pritika Gupta said...

Ahh!! too ggood.. i luv ur blog...

10:43 AM  
Anonymous one among the crowd said...

hi,

the two week sabbatical has helped. good. shall be back.

11:18 AM  
Blogger sparsh said...

Letters were so much better. email replaced them and sadly so...coz it needs nothing more than a 'Delete' to kick those memories out of your life. not time to shed a few tears even. No jute bags here:(....Sometimes I wish the letter era to come back.
loved it.

11:30 AM  
Blogger Kaleidoscopic said...

Yet another good piece from you. Your blogs are always a heartfelt reading!

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Aparna said...

Lovely Porrnima...Keep it going :-)
I agree there are some relationships that can never be named. But they'd leave back memories.

There was this part-time cleaning lady who'd come to clean cubicles every evening. We never forgot to have a chat for 10 mins atleast. One fine day, she was gone....

I didn't know where to put her amongst my varied strains of relationship?

10:19 PM  
Blogger phatichar said...

wish there were some way to erase those memories too...

2:05 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Pritika: Thank you! :)

OAC: Am sad you didn't like my after marraige series! :P

Sparsh: There really was something about running your finger over the words, something almost akin to touching the person who wrote it. Yes..

Kaleidoscopic: :))

Aparna: Little does she know that the girl she talked to for some days misses her so. Sigh!

2:32 AM  
Blogger SilenceKilled said...

Reading ur new blog was like rain drops on thirsty earth....................
Thanks :)

4:47 AM  
Blogger mathew said...

Beautiful...and elegant..
you leave my smiling after reading a sad post in awe of your craft!!

wish you come up with a cheerful happy post!!!

5:13 AM  
Blogger Dhanush said...

Poornima,

Offlate I was always critic for your so called romantic tales:)I even started avoiding some.. saying "oh another one on the same lines" But I should say, this is one of the best - no THE BEST - in ur romantic tales. Simple awesome gal.Loved the way you paced it, and that thing about letters. Wow totally romantic.

Keep them coming gal. You have a briliant gift of writing. Use it very aptly. And above all this came straight from the heart. I guess almost all of the.. almost :)

6:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

nice...after a long break! :D
I once had to sit and burn moi cousin sister's letters and gifts...used her ex-bf's perfume as room freshner in the hostel ;p

Feb Pvij...Feb!! keep urself free...and before my memories get drowned by many more to come, do you want to, maybe, record some of them?! ;o)
P.S> Plasir d'amor...want to read that again! :D

10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You mean Eulogy ??

11:35 AM  
Blogger BaKfIrE said...

Some faces i like to cherish didnt leave any letters to be torn off and others which i didnt want left so many..... what an irony!!.

i enjoyed it.

1:51 PM  
Anonymous Reshmi said...

"Some people can’t be forgotten. They can’t be remembered either. They just exist in your life. Maybe as tucked away memories of hurt... Or whispers of something you imagined…"

I am lost for words ...........

Looking forward to your next post .......

10:30 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

SilenceKilled: :) Thank you!

Mathew: I don't do well with happy ones!

Dhanush: Same lines. Well different tools to write the same words. But always from the heart.

Sharat: Feb! Wowowoowow!

Anon: A poem or song composed especially as a lament for a deceased person...Something resembling such a poem or song.

Bakfire: It always is so!

Reshmi: Soon.

11:23 PM  
Anonymous one among the crowd said...

hi poornima,

your writing has generally been a roseate amalgam of quest for certainities, existential puzzle, lovely sensitivity and deep strength. As the strands of thoughts move through the plethora of words, the gamut of emotional upheavals are persistently evocative. However the after marriage series needs a much greater slant towards realism. when that is amiss, however hard hitting the style be, the intensity of evocation cannot be sustained.

7:00 AM  
Blogger raka said...

Regarding your story in prev. blogs- Congratulations on your (or the alter ego's) marriage. Good to know that he is a kind being.

Tearing up the letters - I would have burned them and watched it with joy in my eyes. Redemption by Fire is so soothing. Well thats just me.

You have nice pics accompanying the posts, where do you get them from?

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Shreesh said...

Nothing can get better than this. this post was definitely the best ... i dont want you to write better.. (even I dont know why i write stupid comments!!)

2:18 PM  
Blogger Lazy strokes said...

Is it with a whimsical sigh or is it with an amused smile that you read these comments to your blogs? I couldn't help laughing out, slightly loud to arouse myself from the afternoon laziness. Life is all around in its various shapes, aint it?

Been here after a short gap. You are a curious observer. Admire yuo for that. Now, please dont say thank you!

2:40 AM  
Blogger pallavi said...

i love that picture! speaks a thousand words... but none as good as yours :)
where's my phone call!!?

1:12 AM  
Blogger Xoff said...

very nice!!!

4:27 AM  
Blogger clash said...

Lucky him!! :D

5:16 AM  
Blogger Girl With Big Eyes said...

Of course I remember you and yup, it's really great bumping into you like this.


Hey add me in orkut. I couldn't find you among the thousands of other Poornimas.

5:54 AM  
Blogger Girl With Big Eyes said...

Forgot to mention - your blog is superb. Loved your writing style.

5:54 AM  
Blogger Banana said...

As always, good stuff :-)

7:57 PM  
Blogger Poornima said...

OAC: Hmm...

Raka: She is having an unhappy marraige mister! :P

Shreesh: I dont know what it was in what you said, but I have been buried in work and couldn't write!

Lazy Strokes: No thank you! :P

5:25 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Pallavi: Outrun my credit limit!!! Will call soon!

Xoff: Long time. How've you been?

Clash: Gah!

Priya: Will do!

Banaana: Why, thank you!

5:27 AM  
Blogger Xoff said...

Been away, will be back one of these days.

3:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love it. The words come from the heart, and dance beautifully on the page. Fantastic

N M F

10:59 AM  
Blogger Tarini said...

beautiful writing!

2:08 AM  
Blogger louhanna said...

Interesting blog about your hot passion poems, keep up the good work hot passion poems http://www.beautifully-wicked-poetry.com

12:19 PM  
Blogger A.G.Sudarshan said...

Lost you somewhere in between but amazing start and finish... astounding... ...

7:38 AM  
Anonymous SRK said...

If I were the person to have left, I have this to say:

" Who am I to you? Where do I fit in your scheme of things? Every moment I stayed in your life, I am at war with myself. Duty beckons, I need to go, for you, for me. For, every step I took towards you, I new I am going away. You were hurt - I knew it when I finally walked away. I was dead - I knew it when I first met you "

Oh...sorry...I am new to the blog and loved reading it. In the above comment I ignored the fact that the person who left came uninvited.

6:00 AM  
Anonymous SRK said...

If I were the person to have left, I have this to say:

" Who am I to you? Where do I fit in your scheme of things? Every moment I stayed in your life, I am at war with myself. Duty beckons, I need to go, for you, for me. For, every step I took towards you, I new I am going away. You were hurt - I knew it when I decided to walk away. I was dead - I knew it when I first met you "

Oh...sorry...I am new to the blog and loved reading it. In the above comment I ignored the fact that the person who left came uninvited.
I know its an old blog, but would love to read your thoughts on this comment.

6:02 AM  

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