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?