“Where is the other earring?”
I asked myself. The hands of the clock were ticking away like a bullet train. I had to reach my office soon. I was expecting the wrinkles on the forehead of the frowny face of the gatekeeper to torment me today.
My drawer was killing me as usual. Filled with matchboxes, chewing gum wrappers, cigarettes, ear buds, hair pins, clips, small pieces of paper, anklets, rings and earrings. It was over brimming with useless things. My eyes stopped scanning when they were stuck at the pair of the most beautiful earrings in the whole world.
A round shaped dangling earring with two white stones and a lot of tiny bits hanging from them. The two white stones were made for each other. The earring was broken. I didn’t have the other earring. I had lost it. Lost it to a man. The earrings were my love.
It was strange. Nostalgic. A single earring could take me back to him.
“Time travel was possible with a pair of earrings?”
I was still wondering. Leaning against the old dirty wall of my room. On my bed. Deciding on what earrings to wear. The hands of the clock were still ticking. This time slower.
I was lost. I found him again. He was a drug. Like the caffeine of my coffee and the nicotine of my cigarettes.
It was a sultry afternoon when my sweaty hands felt heavenly for the first time in my life. We were a body with more nerves and less muscles. Those sweaty hands were making my heart crave for his soul forever. That day was when I had found the favourite earrings. And found them broken too. Maybe I was high.
“Coffee or tea behenji?”
Somebody was outside my room. Continuously knocking as if I was a ‘Kumbhkaran’ who would never wake up from his hibernation mode. The chaiwala.
“I don’t want anything, Bhaiya!”
The creaky noise of his jutees faded away. I heaved a sigh of relief.
After years. Again. I was with him. Busy.
My phone was flashing like the irritating Diwali neon lights of some distant shop on the streets near my home reminding me about him constantly; it was his birthday that day. My mind was filled with things I wanted to tell him.
The dial pad of the phone was not far away from my hands. I could have called him. But who knew that the dial pad was never reachable from my courage.
He was like a sweet poison. It seemed as if it was forever. I was shivering to even look into his eyes; I was looking at his photo.
I needed fuel for my lungs. I was frantically searching for a cigar in my drawer. He was stopping my mind. My breath. I felt like a chain smoker who will die without a cigar every second.
A treasure in my drawer. A Marlboro packet. I found a cigar. It smelt like him. He was with me. I was on cloud nine.
My hands started searching for the green notebook; my priced possession; my diary. My tongue felt like I was licking the bark of a tree. There was more blood flowing through my heart. Oxytocin was at its peak.
Turning the yellow pages, searching for the date. I found it. 28th February. My pen’s tip touched the paper. My phone started buzzing again.
“Reminder: Buffalo’s birthday! Wish him!”
I put it on snooze. The pages of my diary were starving. My brain was exploding and there was no space left to store things. Feeding my diary was the only choice left.
My pen’ tip was already busy scribbling away on those yellow pages.
I see those foolish girls getting so happy if you buy them a diamond ring. A gift they can show off to their other foolish friends. I see them getting so excited when someone goes shopping with them. I remember those women being happy if they have guys who owns a Jaguar or a Bugatti and can take them on a long drive on the busy roads of some overpopulated city.
“Do you know what I want?”
You should be afraid. Because I am going to ask something very expensive.
I don’t want any ribbons or any lacy gifts. I don’t want any branded pearl necklace. I don’t need any costly designer gold ring. I don’t wish for a Bugatti or a Jaguar or a bungalow. I don’t want you to buy me any clothes or slippers. I don’t want to go on some romantic shitty movie with you. I can do all that myself.
What I yearn for is a walk with you on the roadside. A wild flower you can get for me. Even if it smells bad, it will be one of a kind in thousands. A novel you can read to me. Your voice will fill those hollow spaces of my soul.
A warm feeling of holding your hand for a second. It will never feel the same even if I get to touch the best velvet clothes. An everlasting dream of staring into your eyes forever to get fulfilled. It will be like the best movie I will ever watch. A smile on your face. Those big ears of yours to tease about. A rainy date. An ice cream I can share with you. A hug. A sense of touch. Some moments of silence for communicating with you. Some minutes with you. I want you to be happy till the time I am with you.
“I crave for you.”
Yes. I am greedy. I know I am asking too much from you. This is too expensive. I hope you will be able to afford such things. But, things have changed now.
“I don’t miss you anymore.”
I found you today in those pair of earrings which you had broken. I take a sip of coffee and with every sip I feel you go through the esophagus and mix with my blood too. Like the Kohl in my eyes; which I can never live without. You are always there. I see the novel you had gifted me years back. “The God of small things” by Arundhati Roy. I see your fingers holding it carefully to gift it to me that day. I see the moon. And always wondered how can it look so romantic to people? But it feels good to look at it. As the moon and the earth are so close to each other, so are you and me. I listen to the songs you have sent me. And find you dancing to them like a fool.
You are everywhere. I don’t miss you anymore.
The words of I and you were missing from my dictionary. You was I. And I was you.
There is still an illusion of your presence but a persistence of your absence. And it kills me every second. What to think about and what not to think about has become a difficult task. Because there are deep imprints of your ghost in my mind. What if there was something like a time travel thing now with me. I would like to travel back and change everything for a while. Because then the persistence of your absence will have been gone for a while and I would feel as if I am in a paradise. And being in the most beautiful place, I would never want to come back.
I complained one day.
“You are a thief. I feel like a beggar. Give me my heart back.”
“I am a proud thief. Keep my heart safe. Don’t crush it.”
My pen stopped on the fifth yellow page. My diary didn’t feel hungry anymore. A single drop of water was enough to quench the thirst of the paper. The kohl of eyes was getting drowned in water. My cigar packet was empty. I needed more fuel.
The hands of the clock stopped ticking. I was on cloud nine. My phone kept buzzing. I switched it off. Forever.