Strangle Me Softly

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Resting on his shoulder, listening to the sound of our strange hearts beating softly, I exhaled my worries out for the last time. I tried to recall the words he’d spoken before and a few other things, but eventually I found that I couldn’t keep up with the side of me that was insulting me with the humongous issues that I’d so violated by thus lying there with him like that. I was aware, wholly aware of all of them, and yet there was no guilt.

I looked at his sleeping face, feeling his strange breath on my mouth. Only now I was finally getting to understand how very different we were physically. He’d warned me about it many times and yet neither of us seemed to have paid any heed to it. Our closeness now attested to the choice that we’d both made, a decision that we were meant for each other and neither of us would have it in any other way. I knew the future of this would be a difficult one, but we would have each other to take care of together. One last breath and I would wake him up and we’d pick up on what we’d left off before, and that I was sure of.

He would kill me. I knew it, that very first time I laid my eyes on him. I also knew I wanted him to. If I can’t have him, I’d rather be his memory, a delicious thought, a fantasy he would live with forever. But now I have him and he has me. It wasn’t just any situation, it was a simple, satisfying love that brought us together, in a way that I knew there was no other I would rather be happy with, than with him, in this way.

He was once my best friend, and I loved him then. I love him now, in a different way, which is all the same. Falling for him had always been easy. It could be explained to be as simple as a child’s stubbornness of not parting with her favorite toy even though it’s broken. She keeps trying to fix it, often failing, never caring that it doesn’t quite work in the same way. She just learns to love it in her own new ways, and it doesn’t matter to her – because for her, it never broke. She loves it, she’ll love it.

It was the same with Dusk. His internal world was just as complicated as mine, and maybe that’s why it makes it all too easy to just love him. He isn’t my prize, I didn’t win him. Again it was just love, the plain old kind that brought us together. Watching him sleep now, I can’t help letting go of any remnant guilt, and just breathe, and feel like suddenly we were just two kids finally happy of having won their prize.

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First Book Published

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It’s been great, after all these months of painstaking juggling between college life and the hassles of getting published, that finally it’s all over and I’m past the phase I used to be a closet poet and novelist. The journey though has been filled with difficulties, I have no regrets, and it adds a little more credit to my patience that I didn’t give up halfway and back out of the deal I signed when I had dared to dream of reaching out to the masses with my thoughts, ideals, dreams and words in print. It makes me immensely happy that finally I’m almost there where I had envisioned myself to be, and exactly at the right time I had wished it to be.

It had always been a cherished childhood desire to be like my grandfather, Tarini Kanta Bhattacharya, one of the most revered men in my life, a noted figure in the literary scene in Assam, where I come from. In my teenage and late adolescence I took up the pen to experiment with poetry, and failed a lot many times. And this year, 2013 being his 100th birth anniversary, I’m overjoyed to dedicate my book to the beloved legend, who never got to see the garden he had planted so long ago, flourishing so late, as me, a granddaughter he never got to lay eyes on, lives her life on principles he had once taught to his little children, which he himself believed in.

My wish to have a successful career in the world of science was in shatters, when I realized more than anything I’m an artist at heart. I was born to write, and I don’t know from where it just came to me, the desire to write about beauty, and love and anything that draws the soul to question monotony. Dreams, that’s where it all began. And harshness of the world, and still beauty that tore through all that. The complexities of human life, and the organism, that can think and yet with unthinking brutality, like just an animal indulges in savagery in the name of civility and all things holy.

By the time I reached my teenage, I’d seen enough, even at my home, the presence of a different kind of love other than the kind commercial Indian movies portray, but quite understandable by now, and petty squabbles. Even reading different story books and observing fellow friends in my school, made this desire grow, and gave me a silent voice that could be recorded only on paper. I wasn’t very good in my English lessons in school, and used to be despised by my teachers for tormenting them with my dullness and non-responsive behavior, and as you probably guessed, I was never a bright student; always average, at the corner, like a spectator than a participant.

In the romance department, I was worse than the advanced kind of disappointing. My fellow friends would be talking of their boyfriends and I would be pathetically eavesdropping on their chatter, creating in my mind, judging, contrasting, modifying on the basis of the existing kind, a new kind human being, who, as a lover would make up for anything anyone has suffered in their lives, the lack of adventure, the monotony of always doing the same thing, and following the same roads that lead to the grave, having no newness to the institution, and that guy, that kind of guy, I had in my mind, that I wanted for myself, actually never existed.

Then there’s a very famous writer, my idol, Joanne K. Rowling, who spoke through the fictitious Professor Albus Dumbledore, in her book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, “Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?” and that just changed my life towards the path I finally decided to take. This moment that I took up writing seriously, the year, 2007 also being very significantly important in my life.

Fanciful were those days, and also so memorable!!! Naive as I was, and pure of my unadulterated heart, foolishly I happened to stumble into the student activity room in my new school, my eyes opened to a sight like I’d never seen in my life so far… In the far corner of the room there sat this young boy with funny hair and the most carefree laughter scribbling on a desk with a couple of his friends and that sight, and with a glimpse of his eyes and smile, and my heart hasn’t been whole ever since. He fitted the mental image of my perfect lover, that I’d had so early in my head, with whom I’d begun writing my first story…the image of Dusk, and ever since I’ve never seen any other sight lovelier than that stranger boy sitting there laughing off with his friends, his entire guard down.

I wished to know him better, but then I wan’t very good at making friends, and retaining them. Especially people, I’m drawn to so fatally. IT didn’t last, but over these past six years, I’d had enough, to know he wasn’t at all that much the hero I had in mind, because I wasn’t that image, he had in his. Nevertheless, that love in return blossomed me into a woman, enabling me to write of my passions, and desires, and of love, to the closest degree I can mimic. My book is complete, the first one that I wrote to describe that ideal boy and introduce the chief character of my very first story, that is still under construction.

I wished to do a lot of things, and I’ve tried a little bit of everything. And I have no regrets. I’ve got a life ahead and I will live it as long as my time permits, and will do everything that I’ve ever had a wish in my mind (well, not everything…specially not those which are illegal, haha) to do. Beauty has always been my companion and my strong belief is that it’ll always continue to be for me who is one Libra born, and I believe in myself above all else, that I’ll never change for me, for the world, maybe yes, I might seem, but for me, it’ll be just choices that I made, which in my heart I’ll always remember, what I went through to decide standing on a crossroad.

Dreams of a Dessicated soul

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Over that hill, there is a meadow,

It’s a dream, and that, I do know.

You’re here, and I’m here, holding hands,

Faraway from the world, this strange land.

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Riding on horseback, in the sunset,

Through the tall grass wavering,

Lightly in the breeze…

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It’s a dream, it’s a dream,

To whom do I tell this?

My life woven around it…

Like and intricate sculpture of art.

 

It was once a memory too,

You and me, riding together,

Through those summer fields of wheat.

Running and falling, climbing the hills;

Destiny had woven us with its eternal magic

On the loom of time, to be together forever…

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Then you were gone, and gone, and gone,

A hundred and twice centuries have passed,

And my abyss has been cold as death,

Life’s a distant memory – my sun hasn’t dawned.

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It’s just these dreams, subconscious,

Filtering through ice-cold water,

Like little bubbles of hope escaping,

Broadens up the light overhead.

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In this dream, today, I dream of you,

You’re here, and I’m here, holding hands…

And we’re here this moment and till eternity,

When you’ll come back, will I wake up.

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Otherwise I’ll never have let you go.

Prologue – Shadows Linger Until Dusk (An Excerpt)

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Things could never have gotten better… The prevailing damp and drab aura compressing my abstract personal world could never have dissipated. I was not only certain about it–I believed it, whole heartedly. I’d had my whole life predicted–outlined into fragments, so I don’t get too disheartened to pursue that unglamorous destination. See, I was more hankering after glamour, than I should have…

I’d dreamed of this…you know? How from being the most unpopular kid in my school, I would go on to get a mediocre grade out of high school, just good enough to secure myself into an unpopular nerdy college, taking literature as my honors, I’d pass out with a slightly better grade and become a teacher in some primary school, preferably somewhere in the south, where you hardly happen to stumble into any interesting people…to whom you stand a chance of revealing your secrets… and like that, with the meager salary and lots of free time, I would have pursued my interest to write books under a pseudonym, of course. If successful, great. If not, I’d die like that, unknown, unaccounted, under an unmarked gravestone.

Well, that was my plan. As you’re already suspecting, I didn’t like it too much either. Doesn’t sound very interesting, does it? Well, it is as it was. Helpless as I was, I had but this one chance to survive and none other at all…

Though it was all in my mind, I didn’t know if somehow my mother knew about it or something. As it seemed, or I suspected – she knew it, when, one fine day, she declared to me that we were leaving this town forever. Maybe she knew how much this town was depressing me, that it was chasing me off to a life of complete anonymity…

But that decision did it… and my life and plans were never the same again. Innocence and happiness and satisfaction began to appear as easy and real like other words to me.

Real beauty existed too…and like Keats had said it hundreds of years ago, it is a really powerful thing and can inspire you, bind you to worldliness, tempt you to explore so much more and find beauty there too…and then you find things that unselfishly offer you a recluse from hideous things, you’ve witnessed, been a part of, the pain, the recollections… Now, these incidents no longer seem to be the thorn in your foot…they begin to appear like the milestones you’ve crossed on your way to a newfound land and counting those milestones back, you want to make an account of your journey, from where you’d begun…and where you are now…

Now, I’ll begin, where I’d begun…