Gambler

I was never much of a gambler. Well, not until I met you.

With you, came the silent promise of a friendship which could last a lifetime. I used to be a person who used to severe the ties once some relationship turned into a burden. But with you, I took the gamble.

With you, came love and your love came with healing. For someone like me, who had enough unhealed wounds and unhidden scars, love was the forbidden forest and healing was a distant dream. But I ventured into the forest and I dared to dream. With you, I took the gamble.

With you, came the feelings. I used to dread the flood that feelings were. I used to ignore them, lest the flood might turn into a tsunami. But with you, I took the gamble.

With you, came the definition of being complete. I was happy, but I wasn’t complete. I was that one piece of a zigsaw puzzle which couldn’t fit with any other piece. But you made me feel complete. With you, I took the gamble.

So, call me a gambler. Call me a fool who has gambled all her senses away. Call me someone who has gambled her life away for the sake of dreaming of a life with you.

Yes, I am one now. But I was never much of a gambler. Well, not until I met you.

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A Deserted House

I was once a deserted house;
Touched only by the sun, the winds and the rains,
Until you walked in
And kissed away all my pain.

I was once a deserted house
Which housed a deafening silence.
And then, you whispered to me
And your voice was the only thing my ears could sense.

I was once a deserted house.
I wore the look of a haunted one.
You took possession of me
And made me look like something you’d own.

I was once a deserted house,
Avoided by many, mocked by some.
You turned me into something beautiful
By turning me into your home.

Six Words

“Ma’am, can I have one minute of your time?” I say as I step forward to greet the young lady who might be returning home after a hectic day in the office.

“No, no. I don’t need it,” she says and storms off throwing those six words of rejection on my face.

I am used to that. I sell insurance cards of banks outside the office premises and who cares about cards these days, anyway?

But it’s my job to stand there on the side of the road every evening from 5pm to 11pm and to coax every single one of the passersby to atleast take a card from the lot that I have.

A few take my cards. Some out of curiosity, some out of pity, only to throw them into some drain after walking a few steps so that I don’t see them doing that.

Some people are concerned that they might hurt my feelings. I smile. If I were them, I might have done that.

Some of them shoo me away like I am some stray dog. I smile. If I were them, I might have done that too.

At the end of the night, when I stop at the nearest stall for a cup of tea, I hand a couple of cards to the vendor there and to his wife.

I walk back home with the cards placed safely in my rucksack. I open the door of my flat and I set the bag on my sofa. I rummage through the fridge to find something to eat and watch the television for a while.

I set my alarm for 6am. I have another day of work tomorrow. I have to go to my job as a salesman in the nearby mall in the morning and then as the insurance company card seller at evening.

I am sixty now. I live alone. My wife is a cancer patient. She is in the hospital. I am trying to save enough money for her treatment.

I dial a number.
The voice on the other side says, “Don’t worry, Sir. She is fine.”

And with those six words of consolation, I sleep.

Sand castles

“Come on, Raina. We are going to the beach,” I call out to my five-year-old daughter.

“Let’s go. Go to the beach…” she says in a singsong as she runs after me trying to hold on to my hand.

I can barely focus on her. I have had a big quarrel with my husband. I don’t even want to talk to him right now. I don’t want to see his face or hear his voice. So, I have come over to my parent’s house.

I had to bring Raina along. She was sobbing while my husband and I were screaming at each other. She couldn’t have stayed there without me.

“Ma, let’s make sand castles!” Raina says, breaking my line of thought.

I smile and help her make one. Then as she plays there, I go to sit under an umbrella and watch her from there.

“Let’s work this out,” my husband had told me last night over a call.

“For the sake of our family…” he had added.

“I love you,” he had said.

“I’ll think,” I had said and disconnected the call.

My alarm rings and breaks my reverie again. I look at Raina. She is sitting with her palms cupped around her sand castle, staring angrily at the sea.

She looks so funny that I can’t help but smile. It might be the first time I’ve smiled in five days.

“What is it, love?” I ask her.

“My home,” she says still not averting her gaze from the sea.

“What is it about your home?” I ask with a smile playing on my lips.

“I have made this castle. It is mine. It is my home. But the sea comes every time to break it. I can’t let it break my home now, can I, Ma?” she asks me.

I look at her and her big eyes stare back into mine.

My little child was ready to fight with the enormous sea just to save the sand castle that she called her home.

I, on the other hand, had let the differences between me and my husband drift us apart and I had left my home.

“No, baby. Nothing can break your home, our home,” I say and smile at Raina.

I call my husband and sort things with him. Nothing seems to be the issue between us anymore.

Who would have thought that my daughter’s sand castle would teach me the meaning of my home?

Gulf of love

I don’t ask for much;
I never do.

But there’s a thing I’d like to ask from you.

Will you look something up for me?

I need you to first know the thing;

I want you to see.

Open Google.

Type ‘Gulf of Alaska’ and just look.

Look how two oceans meet,

But they don’t mix.

Look how they become one,

Yet their originalities aren’t lost in their kiss.

I want our love to be just like this.

I fell in love with you because of who you were.

You fell in love with me because of who I was.

And losing ourselves for each other doesn’t sound fair.

So, let’s meet.

But let’s not mix.

Let’s become one.

But let’s not lose our originalities in our kiss.

Let’s love each other.

But let it not be our own selves whom we’d later miss.

Friend Request

“Why is he sending a Friend Request to me again? Doesn’t he get that I don’t want to add him?” she sighed with frustration.

“Well, add him then. What’s the problem?” asked her friend.

“No way! I have pictures of me and my boyfriend on my wall. I can’t just add anybody as a friend on Facebook. Does a thing called privacy even exist?” she said and fumed.

“Fine. Then let his request rot in the list of your pending Friend Requests then. Nevertheless, your follower count will increase,” her friend said.

“Good idea,” she said as she shut her laptop.

——–

“So, first I have to click on this picture, and then this blue button and it’s done. See?” the fourteen-year-old told him

The fourteen-year-old stayed at a neighbour’s house.

“Yes, okay,” he said as his trembling fingers hovered over the mouse.

“Go on, Grandpa,” the kid said.

“Let me try. I’ll send a friend request to my grand-daughter. She is twenty, you know. She studies in a college in Delhi,” he explains to the fourteen-year-old.

The kid smiles sadly. He has been teaching the old man how to use Facebook since the last three months. 

The old man has Alzheimer’s. The kid teaches him how to use Facebook over and over again. And every single time, the old man sends a Friend Request to his only grand-daughter and his grand-daughter rejects it.

Little does the old man know that his requests are being rejected. Instead, he claps with child-like glee after having successfully sent a Friend Request.

A Single Try

I believed them when they told me that I couldn’t fly.

They would mock me and I would cry.

I would stretch my wings and look at them after my tears would dry.

But one day, I fell off a branch;

And I almost thought I’d die.

But then my wings flapped in tandem with my heartbeat,

And I soared up high;

Higher than all the others.

I looked down and realised

That in the end, all it took for me to fly was a single try.