But love is like poetry. Like verse. And even the blankest of verse has some metre, some rhythm, something to measure it by. The champagne must fl ow at a patient pace in order to intoxicate and sustain itself in … Continue reading
Oranges know of love They are a romantic fruit They know the tingle of surprise Have tasted the sweet ache of waiting Also, the sourness of separation They can smell the salt on our skin When our bodies tangle in … Continue reading
Nayan too wrote him letters. In invisible ink. With a pen
dipped in fresh orange juice. Letters that could be read only
when passed over a candle flame.
‘Your letters are so delicate, your poetry so fragile that I fear
ruining them as I read them over and over again out of greed
for more and more of you. I treat them as something alive. I
show them the cool moonlight of midnight and the satin first
light of the sun at dawn. I fear getting overwhelmed when
reading through them, I worry that a careless drop of tear will
smudge the ink,’ she had written in invisible ink.
Salil had not known the trick. Did he ever get to read the
letters then? Maybe.
21 August 1999. It’s midnight, says Ghantidas.
You’ve been walking on the moon tonight,
You’ve been strolling out there tonight,
You have been walking up and down,
Sulking about something,
Pondering over some sonnet,
Some unfinished, silly lyric of yours,
Stamping, rubbing your feet
Out of irritability, I know.
’Cause the moon has come down tonight
Hanging from the branch
Of my neem tree,
Cribbing about those aching footmarks
On his shoulders.
From Lovers Like You and I
Lovers Like You and I cover
Excerpt#2 from Lovers Like You and I
A case of invisible letters
September 17, 1999. Ten minutes past one in the night by Ghantidas.
The sweet delusion of my soul rises in ecstasy like a bubble in a champagne flute, only to kiss the brim and burst into a union with the fluid twilight within… I can see two gold bands swim towards each other, intertwine, then disengage and chase each other, play and frolic in that sea of intoxication. I can almost touch the momentary exuberance of the mad convergence of my world with yours. That joy, fleeting, yet so eternal in its brief permanence, is like the world’s last sea wave lapping at my feet and ebbing away.
I feel drunk: drunk with the devastating mirage of an immeasurable, ambiguous emotion ─ love.
October 5, 1999. Two tranquil hours past midnight by Ghantidas.
But love is like poetry. Like verse. And even the blankest of verse has some metre, some rhythm, something to measure it by. The champagne must flow at a patient pace in order to intoxicate and sustain itself in the nerves of those who drink it. Love must echo love, some image, a shadow, a reflection or even a fragment of it, as in poetry, in which images must echo associations to carry it forward, to let its theme breathe alive.
Whoever thought love is a free verse was wrong. Free verse itself was never free. I am teaching myself to love with patience, to love in moderation, to love in a manner that it can sustain itself.
October 12, 1999. Two loony minutes past three in the night.
Love is insane, but lovers need sanity to make it swim. Or else the wine intoxicates to such a high that it spills over and the madness becomes difficult to contain in the goblet.
October 20, 1999. Three dark hours past midnight.
I wish I could trim, cut down and throw away memories like I cut my nails and shove them away into a dustbin… That reminds me, I haven’t cut my nails in so many days. They almost look like talons now. Do memories grow talons too?
November 5, 1999. Swinging to dusk.
It’s 28 minutes past five. I am sitting on the jhoola in the terrace. Love Papa for it. It is one of the most wonderful gifts he has given me. The sky has burst into whorls of dappled crimson. Clouds of gold have scattered across that end in the west where the sun’s pouring more colours – tangerine, rust and pink. It’s preparing to set in some minutes flashing a brilliant finale, sprinkling vermillion all over the endless expanse. Is there a wedding in the skies tonight?
You wanted to talk to me. In the same way as I wanted to talk to you. It didn’t help that we were always surrounded by people who loved us, who showered affection on us like we were their cats. (We were two cats, kept by perfectly nice people who knew how to love, and maybe much better than us. They filled our beds with fresh flowers when we’d be asleep, left long, coloured feathers alongside letters on the side table for us to wake up and read. I had close to 300 feathers in my bedside drawer when I walked out of my marriage.) Us cats would be attending parties and soirees and all manner of everything together those days, gliding up the walls and across the ceilings in our minds to come face to face with each other. Your eyes chased me, held my gaze, then tied me up with the ropes of some song playing inside your head. You’d light up at one end of the room; I would leave my body and join you there; if someone saw me then, he would notice my face gone blank, my eyes two empty rooms connected by a jammed door. And for all these risks taken, you’d reward me with silence. You wouldn’t say a word, just smiled a thin-lipped smile. I would feel loved and mocked, wanted-unwanted, all at once. You would have me in knots of the most romantic variety. And, by the next morning’s post, you’d send me the song you’d tied me up with. A dirty postcard with a box full of burnt-down cigarettes. I loved sniffing the remains of your nicotine breath. ©MinakshiThakur 2013
Postcard: ‘In a manner of speaking’ sung by Nouvelle Vague.
In a Manner of speaking
I just want to say
That I could never forget the way
You told me everything
By saying nothing
In a manner of speaking
I don’t understand
How love in silence becomes reprimand
But the way that i feel about you
Is beyond words
Oh give me the words
Give me the words
But tell me nothing
Ohohohoh give me the words
Give me the words
That tell me everything
In a manner of speaking
Semantics won’t do
In this life that we live we only make do
And the way that we feel
Might have to be sacrified
So in a manner of speaking
I just want to say
That just like you I should find a way
To tell you everything
By saying nothing.
To look up the band, click http://www.nouvellesvagues.com/MUSIC.html .
nistabdh hawa mein
kateeley manje ke
dhaage se tanga hua
tumhari kameez ki cuff mein
zid par adaa hua
turntable ki sui sa atka hua
nayi chitthi sa purane patey par
zehen ke kaaley bazaar mein
awara bhatka hua
joh kuch sunta nahi
kuch kehta nahi
joh ruka rehta hai
apni saansein rokey
jise pata hai
tum raat jalaane ko
bas kuch taarey
batorney nikle ho
alok varsh toh hamare liye
maamooli sa shay hai
hum ek hi andher nadi ke
do patthar hain
behte bhete paas
aa hi jayenge
bas abhi laut aaoge tum
hamare tanha antariksh
ko roshan karne ka saaman liye
©Minakshi Thakur 2012
Hello, hello! Just got to know that Lovers Like You and I, my first novel, has been shortlisted for the Tibor Jones South Asia Prize 2013.