PHOTOGRAPHIC MEMORIES


It was just a photograph of me dancing with a friend from twelve years ago. We were on stage, dressed up in our costumes, with a tonne of makeup on our faces. He wore a white formal shirt, black pants, white socks, and an adorable little black bowtie.

I wore a frilly white frock which appeared to look like a gown ending short, just below my knees. I had two pony tails, which weren’t really necessary for my hair were quite short. I also wore a white headband to go with it and white socks that sat somewhere above my knees, covering every inch of skin on my leg from the sight of the audience.

Next to us was another couple. It was my younger sister along with a rather short classmate of mine, which made him the only boy dancing with a younger girl and made my sister the youngest dancer. We were all dressed alike keeping in mind our genders and the appropriate costumes for that gender. My sister didn’t have hair as thick as mine and so she wore two little clips on either side of her head to hold her hair from falling into her face when we danced.

There were other couples in the back.  I didn’t know any of the boys besides my dance partner, my sister’s dance partner, and a friend’s dance partner – because all three of them were my classmates. However, I knew all the girls but one, or maybe two. They were all my friends and classmates, and one my sister!

The photograph was still in good condition, for it had been lost in a pile of untouched junk and hadn’t seen the daylight since forever. It had survived countless numbers of moving and shifting and kept us company through it all. It was forgotten until it was remembered and raided for in every single cupboard and album available.

When found, it seemed so fresh as if it were made and printed just yesterday. The song we danced to twelve years ago seemed to be playing when the photograph presented itself after years of hiding. A memory that was fading and worn was now refreshed. Not only did the photograph sing the song that we had danced to, it also let out little backstage secrets and upon closing our eyes, it showed us that the white frilly frock wasn’t just white – it had little flowers and leaves of green, orange and lavender that covered it all over.

It wasn’t a still anymore; the photograph was dancing; recreating the steps we so awkwardly had managed to perform on stage on the cold November night. It was magical; a nostalgia so long forgotten that it embedded itself into our memories and became a part of us.

FAN MAIL


Dear Mr A Razzak,

I’d like to start by congratulating you on your debut, and praying that this book be your cruise that will take you far in the ocean of stardom that you are now exploring. I hope you are a little happier now that you have your name printed along with your thoughts on a paperback that millions will read and admire.

I’m sure you’ve been busy for the past few months with the writing and editing, the publication work besides your own personal troubles that you once shared with me, and I hope your soul isn’t as restless. I hope you’ve made your place in the calligraphy of life among the splattered ink marks on the yellowing paper, and I hope you have picked up the quill and with this debut novella, have started working on the preface of the life you’ve always desired.

The past few months, if not already accounting to a year, have been a little too crazy for me. I haven’t heard from you since forever! I have been worried sick about whatever happened to my lovelorn friend. I was wondering whether the light of my Inspiration had already extinguished. I would call to automated machine replies and send messages that were probably discarded without being opened. On days that went too bad, I would cry until my head was splitting with an indescribably dull, throbbing pain.

I tried to find out what had happened to that one name I prayed for every morning, by contacting your friends. Friend. I knew just one. She never shared much about you.

I am afraid I have lost the man with the most beautiful thoughts, but I am more than glad to see him kiss his dreams. I remember the words you had said to me whenever I told you that I’d be the first in line cheering for A Razzak during his first book-launch. And to think I didn’t even know you were published until three days after the books were available – it hurts me more that I was unable to keep my promise than to think that your words may have been hollow.

Who am I to fall in love with the words of a boy who is so talented in playing with them? A fool, of course…

You, my dearest Boss, may have forgotten the existence a few of your well-wishers, but the thing about well-wishers is that they wish well even if they are rendered invisible. I guess I am one among the million fans now, who are unable to reach out to their idol. This letter might never reach you, or it may just lie around in the pile of virtual fan-mail that is never opened and eventually discarded after it has been lying around for too long.

Nevertheless, I need you to know that I am still that friend you left behind who is willing to sacrifice many-a-thing for you in order to see a smile on your face and success at your feet. I am Asha. It was a pleasure working with you, sir.

Love and Regards to an Inspiration who was, is, and will be remembered.


Check out ‘Fragile’, A Razzak’s first book, in collaboration with several other authors, here. Do buy the book if you please – he is a wonderful writer!Featured image

You can read his other works on his Facebook Page and follow him on Instagram!

AMY


She was a sea within herself of the million emotions she was still learning to name in a language she didn’t consider her own. She was gorgeous; a timeless beauty of innocence, who smiled with her eyes closed and whispered, ‘I wanna kiss you’, before she let a moan slip her lips while she held you in an eternal embrace you didn’t want to walk out of

She was drunk on her child-like self and would often giggle at nothing, or smile widely for a split second before she got back to her book. She would squeeze the life out of you if you were to hug her and would lose herself in your company until the wretched clock reminded her that it was time to part and get back to your own prison cells

She read her books while dancing in public, unaware, and you would lose your mind over how she swayed her hips to the beat of the music that resounded only in her head.

She would make a fuss of little things and study in a mess that to her was organized. Her time was spent scanning, not notes but different gadgets, for everything but the study material that was required. Music and pictures were calling out to her every second of the day, except for when she was with you. The only thing that ever called her then was the time, which was often represented by a waiting father in a car that stood outside the college gates.

She was innocent and young, like a child in the backyard who was still learning to grow out of his love of playing in a sandpit. She was Amy.

MAID OF HONOUR


I didn’t believe in spirits until now.

Pamela arrived with a bottle of champagne and a gift-wrapped box, congratulating me on my engagement. She had driven for hours to see me this evening.

We chatted for an hour over dinner and danced to the songs on the radio. An announcement interrupted our dancing – names of the deceased were being called. My phone rang. My maid-of-honour had passed away in a road accident an hour ago.

I turned around to see a disappearing image of my maid-of-honour. The radio announced Pamela’s name. The two dinner plates, the champagne, and the gift were still in my room, Pamela was not.

FEATHERS, FUR AND THE SUMMER HEAT


The birds are chirping outside today. They believe, for some reason, that I am in need of a song only they can sing, and so out of the thirty-eight odd balconies that open in the podium, they choose to sit outside mine and giggle at nothing in particular, these tiny, little, notorious mynas. Crows and pigeons join them sometimes and there is always the occasional call of the hawk that sends all the singers into temporary hiding.

The heat is unbearable these days. I cleaned the garden last week and pulled out a basket full of dry leaves from all sorts of plants – mostly climbers and shrubs, but even the cacti had given up this summer. I had seen the yellow-mouthed bird that day; she was trying to talk to me, so after I had cleaned the garden, I put out a bowl of fresh water for the little girl. Since then they wake me up every morning and sing to me in the afternoons until it’s time for them to go home.

A few pigeon-couples have also visited us since the beginning of this summer. They were on a house survey and had found the perfect spot to start a family in our kitchen utility. Unfortunately for them, our little furry brother didn’t like the idea of a feathery couple making love in our house, and so he shooed them away.

This is a summer of it’s kind!

NOT MADE FOR LOVE


You cannot contain what flows from within the cracks of a broken heart; and you shouldn’t try to do so either.

Once upon a time there was a girl – a weak, sensitive and skinny little creature that appealed to nobody’s sight – who had her heart broken. It was cracked in places and torn to bits by the words of a boy she had loved too dearly. He called her depressing, and a turn-off; he told her she was a disappointment. He made sure with every word he uttered that she knew how ugly she was, and how she didn’t have enough of anything in her – anything but depression, and suicidal thoughts.

Her family didn’t support her in any way for they were too busy fighting among themselves. All her friends slowly left her. She was bullied in her school and had given up on life. But she was a fighter! She had survived for eighteen years after a premature birth and the doctor’s announcement that she wouldn’t make it. She had survived a mother who didn’t want her when she was born, and all the negligence that was written in her fate.

With a battered self-image, a crushed heart, and almost no support system, this girl still managed to live just fine. She brought herself to a level where she stopped cutting her skin and spread endless love so others don’t go through what she went through. She was nice to strangers, and loyal to the people she considered friends. She cared for them eve when they cheated her off a generous amount of money, she cared for them when all they wanted was a counsellor.

She decided to stop caring about what the society thought of her and did what she had to do to make herself feel good. She indulged in pleasuring herself in the ways she knew she could pleasure herself – spiritually, and sexually. She was combination of two extremes in whatever field she entered, and her personality was no exception. A good girl with dirty thoughts, this girl realised that no one had written out a will where she would inherit any amount of love whatsoever, so she made love for herself. She made love. She created some for others, but for herself, she made love.

She found solace in the empty words of the boys she lied with. She found solace in writing, and in music she didn’t understand. She found solace in learning languages that made her feel beautiful as their words rolled off her tongue when she tried to speak them.

The love she gave others was something that was her own. It flowed from within the cracks of her broken heart and no one was allowed to contain it. One day, a girl came along and washed her hands in the flowing river of her love. Her thirsty soul liked it, so she immersed herself in the love that flowed from within the cracks of the broken heart of this girl; but then she got selfish. She left, and when she returned, she returned with a bottle…

She tried filling this love in the bottle and keeping it for herself when it was meant to flow and treat others just as it had treated her. She tried bottling up the girl who had it all bottled up for a long time and had suffocated enough before letting it go. What this girl didn’t understand was that a wild spirit cannot be contained.

She was a wild spirit that went everywhere spreading love; she wasn’t made for love, she was made of love – a love too pure to belong to anyone and too pure to not belong at all; so she spread it as far and as wide as she could, but she didn’t allow anyone to contain it. She didn’t allow anyone to contain her again.