Happy Birthday!!

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~ Sahil Lakhmani

Unlike her usual days, Meera woke up early. She wanted to celebrate this day…. as him and for him. She doesn’t want to live this day for her but for him.

Each day Meera woke up by his favorite songs as her alarm tone, so that each morning could remind her the bond of lovely words between them. The gulf of the silence was always filled with the echo of songs between them. Then she made his favourite breakfast, feeling each moment of their togetherness. How he used to cry fake while chopping veggies and she got scared… how she puts smiley ketchup over bread making him smile and so much more.

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The Blue Crisp Shirt…

I was standing outside the changing room, holding a shirt, a few t-shirts one denim. It was about an hour since we were looking for clothes for my husband. Our taste in clothes doesn’t go well. He keeps looking for option and I keep standing holding choices for him. When I was a little girl I used to think I will marry someone like my father, who will happily wear clothes I choose for him, it seems now like a crazy fantasy. The young woman in me now knows it very well. Keeping all of it aside I chose a sky blue crisp shirt for him hoping he would like it. Perhaps today he will approve my choice as a wife.

Murmuring voice coming from inside.

“Nothing looks nice Shalu,” my husband, trying the fourth t-shirt and was about to reject it. The door keeps opening and closing but nothing allures him. I don’t understand what speciality he was looking for it was just a t-shirt. I was standing with the blue crisp shirt I chose for him hoping this one he would like yet I knew he could reject but that day I was kind of hopeful.

I yelled, “You come out to show it to me then only I can help. You keep rejecting all by yourself.”

Suddenly one of the doors opened. I stretched my hand towards him gave him the blue crisp shirt while looking for my phone which was ringing loud and lost in my bag.

“It will look great on you,” I said while adjusting other t-shirts in my hand. I asked again, “Could you please try this?”

Nothing he said, I turned around in dismay leaving my phone which was lost in my bag and keep ringing loud. The tip of his finger touched my skin shooting a rush inside my body sailing through my blood stuck in my head. It was not him, my husband. It was someone else, it was… Avinash!

Looking with a straight face gazing deep into my eyes, not a word he uttered.

Kept looking at me holding that blue shirt close to his chest wrapped his left hand around it, caressing the fabric of the shirt and quickly his bewildered face grew calm, his eyes became soft for a while like the little boy whom I had known; who overlooked every mistake I made and used to wear a calm composure when held his hands. It was a long time back still I could see that seventeen-year boy.

He has the same stillness my presence brought him years back. After such a long time when everything changed yet, he looked at me like nothing ever did. Behind his sombre face, I could see the hint of a childlike smile. His mouth chose no word instead his eyes asked and mine refused to say a word.

He took that blue shirt with him in the trail room. He shut the door and I was left behind. His unsaid word spoke loud; loud enough to scream in my ears the song of lost memories. Everything came back rolling in mind like a movie.

I, standing alone in front of a big mirror staring at my face changing colours, mind thinking aloud, a sudden rush in my breath, a cold blow of wind numbing my fingers and toes.

All the dreams of young love enfolded again. Old days and the fragrance of our love. Those wonderful rosy days when love was everything and our hearts were light as feathers when a young girl and boy of seventeen destined themselves as lovers, innocent Lovers.

That blue crisp shirt, he caressing his hands was a piece from our memory land. He took with him and left his unsaid words for me.

I felt moved and held, joyed and cursed. I was in a place with him now, where I was not, for a long long time, where I wanted to be and not to be.

My husband came out looking for more t-shirts I was holding I handed him all.

The rush in my eyes was for the blue shirt I had chosen was the only thing I wanted to see. I sat on a white cushioned stool wrapping all of me reminiscing the seventeen years of me and him. Avinash still accepts my choice as he did 17 years back.

The door opened, there he was, wearing the blue crisp shirt, he gazed into my eyes; no words fooled around; just his eyes pleading for my approval “Do I look good in your choice? The way you craved me to be? Be truthful, tell me what you have in your heart and mind?” His eyes looked desperate for my answer he did not want to be lost again he wanted to stay.

I looked at him as long as I could, as long as I could stop my heart to jump out on the floor and cry looking at him. I slowly nodded my head up and down. A drop of tear resting in his left eye fell slowly caressing his cheeks my hands wanted to do the same. My heart crumbled a thousand folds in that one moment. I kept looking at him like a lifeless statue- less of life left; none of the words to utter just a helpless stare. His feet moved towards the white cushion where I was now standing, each step he took my heart crumbled…more…a bit more leaving me short of breaths. I clenched my fist so hard that my nails were piercing my palms.

He did not stop moving closer and closer till his feet could touch my blue dupatta touched his black leather shoes. It was him, so close to me after so long. His eyes gazing my face, my lips trembling to tell him you just look as I dreamed once when we were seventeen. When I told you I will choose clothes for and you have to wear them as I will be your wife.

But I couldn’t tell him any of this.

Several unsaid things broken promises and dented heart was between us.

I wanted to embrace the moment, he wanted to cry. We wanted to stop everything around and run holding hand as we used to like old times but nothing could he do nor I except looking at me like a sweet child who wished for the “beautiful moon” in nights and cried to sleep thinking that he could not have it. I could see his pain the anger and all the unsaid thing I left behind wrapped in a promise that we won’t exchange a word never in life. He swore putting his hands on my head and eyes on my lips who said those cold words to a 17-year-old little boy. A seventeen-year-old girl who stabbed his heart and torn in pieces and my little boy still kept it.

In five steps he walked towards me, all things rolled in my mind and when he crossed me to go to the cash counter I felt his pain burdening my soul-crushing into pieces that could never join again.

He kept his promise and I kept holding the silence between us. I was still his heartless beautiful moon who has a gloomy shine, he was still my little boy who loved the moon and accepted all the moon said while leaving the sky.

He left again and I left him to do so. Some stories never change, time brings you in the same place perhaps this time something will change but not.

My story remained the same as it was 17 years back- of a beautiful heartless Moon, a seventeen-year little boy and blue crisp shirt.

~ Sahil Lakhmani

Yeshh, you molon!!…

“What are you playing?”, He asked her.

“We are playing family. I am the mother and teddy is the kid. Do you want to play?”, she asked him.

“I don’t play girlish games. I am a boy.”, he said.

“Okay, I’ll ask someone else to play. A baby needs a father after all.”, she said, playfully.

“No! I’ll play.”, he said.

She smiled her victory smile, her ruse had worked that day.

He smiled for unknown to her he desperately wanted to play.

Then they fought and she cried. In a voice slurred by tears she said,

“You molon, I hate you.”

20 years later,

He is sitting on the ground with a Teddy in his lap.

“What are you doing?”, she asks him.

“I am playing family. I am the father and Teddy is the kid. Do you want to play?”, he asks her.

She looks at him with a smile on her face, recognition dawns on her and she says,

“I don’t play kiddish games. I am a grownup now.”

He replies, “Okay. Don’t worry Teddy we’ll get you a new Mommy.”

“So you’ll get a new mommy?? Wait!!.”, she says and starts running after him.

He let’s her catch him after a while.

She leans against him, exhausted.

He lifts her head from his shoulders, goes down on one knee and offers her the Teddy.

She looks at him, then the Teddy and then she notices. Clutched in the Teddy’s small hands is a ring.

“Will you play this game of life with me?”, he says

She looks at him, unable to speak. She shakes her head, tears, tears of joy streaming down her face.

“Come on now, you have to say yes. It doesn’t work in sign language.”, he teases her.

“Yeshh you molon.”, she says.

Just like she did before.

~ Sahil Lakhmani

Eyes…

There was something about those eyes. Something special. As if the whole world was waiting to get a glimpse of those eyes but I was the lucky winner who got the chance to see them first.

“You have your mother’s eyes,” I whispered in her ears.

Her new little fingers grasped my finger tightly. Holding her in my arms I felt as if I was holding my entire world.

I still remember the day I first met her mother. She was sitting there all alone.

“ Can I take your picture? “

“ Why? “

She said this without looking at me.

“Of all the things I have seen, you are the second most beautiful. “

“And what is the first one? “

“ Your Eyes. “

“ Why should I believe you? “

She was still looking down stirring her cup of coffee.

“ I am a photographer. I capture beauty. No one knows about beauty better than me.” She looked in my direction but not at me.

“ Dead! “

“ What? “

“My eyes, they are dead. I am blind,“ Her eyes were trying to guess my position.

“ You said no one knows beauty better than you but I don’t know what is beauty. I don’t know the difference between beauty and ugliness. Do you still think that my eyes are beautiful?”

I couldn’t see her eyes because they were blurred with tears.

“ In our profession, they say, If the picture is blur, you are not close enough, ” I moved closer to her. Her face just inches away from mine. She was still trying to guess my position. My breath directed her to me. I kissed her eyes and she got her answer.

I was looking in those eyes. Her eyes. I tried to uncurl her little fingers by pressing on her palm, she curled them back into a tight fist and I captured this moment in my camera.

“ Operation theater is ready.”

“ Coming Doctor. “

“ Are you sure you want to do this? “

“ What do my reports say Doctor? “

“ You have maximum 4 months. “

“ Then I am pretty much sure. “

“ But you will never be able to capture beauty in your camera anymore. “

“ Doctor my wife is the second best beauty in this world and do you know what is the first one? My daughter’s eyes, ” I felt as if she smiled when I said this. “ and I have captured both in my camera.”

Lying in the bed I closed my eyes. All images started to fade. Now everything was black and when I opened my eyes it seemed like millions of years had passed. I opened my eyes but…but it was still dark.

“ What is this Doctor? Switch on the lights!! “

“ Lights are on. Are you alright? You have taken such a difficult decision…”

“ No, no Doctor don’t worry, I was just checking whether you did your job perfectly or not.” I laughed but I sensed Doctor’s displeasure to my joke.

“How is my wife? “

“ Operation was successful but… “

“ I know, she need some answers. Please Doctor take me to her. “

The distance to her room was the longest distance I have ever travelled.

” I told you not to take this decision and you said you were just kidding, then why you did this? ”

She said. She was crying.This time she could see me but I couldn’t see her. I have given my vision to my masterpiece. Her image was not on my retina but my mind was drawing a blur image of her in front of me.

“ In our profession they say, If the picture is blur, you are not close enough,”

I was trying to guess her position.She moved closer to me. Her breath directed me to her. I kissed her eyes and she got her answer.

~ Sahil Lakhmani

Let them be Free!!

Let them be free. Let them breathe. They are no possessions.

Don’t cage someone in the name of Love. Don’t make them the purpose of your life. You are not half but complete. They don’t need you to complete them.

You can choose your sky and fly with wings wide. They can choose theirs. Adjustments are needed, of course, compromises are not! Continue reading “Let them be Free!!”

It’s Burdening!!

I have seen people regretting, suffering who never get to confess their Love.

Different people different reasons- A thing in common “suffering”.

Some make peace with the situation hiding their feelings, some chose to be friends as they are afraid of confessing and losing the person, some distant themselves as they are left with no choice.

Continue reading “It’s Burdening!!”