When I found her I was overjoyed. Or rather she found me. Most of the times it happened that way. She was the active one, doing things, taking decisions, defining boundaries. Let’s go to the beach, we shouldn’t talk right now, let’s part. She was the one who left me. We parted at her insistence.

You know partings are not always the same. Some people fade into landscape, slowly but surely. Sadness fills you up and yet you know you won’t raise your voice and call them back. And they will at last blur against the horizon. Some disappear suddenly. Without a moment’s notice. As if they had gone over a cliff. And on some a curtain falls upon from the sky. The bare outlines can still be seen, but everything else gets swallowed up in blackness – of anger and hate. Even nearness doesn’t make any difference. They get lost to you. These partings are endurable. But there is one more that is not – when you clutch the hem of their shirts refusing to let them go and they drag you along with them over a cliff. You part while you are falling. Before crashing into the ground. Before going to pieces. But I didn’t go to pieces when she left me. I should have but I didn’t. Let me break into fragments. Have you ever felt like that? I felt like that. Wanted to cut my heart out it pained so much. All I wanted was emptiness, a moment’s calm. Wanted to clutch it in my hands and crush it, stop it for a moment. Let me be. I took a knife once and scratched deeply a piece of thermocol on which I had pasted the painting of a swan. A thrust on its body and then eight lines drawn outwards from that small dot, like the legs of a spider. A proxy for my breast. Then I took the pill – the key to help me keep my pieces together, preserve myself. I opened the room full of lampblack and rolled into it. The pill of cynicism.

It was all Beji’s fault. She had taught me everything but she hadn’t taught me how to go to pieces. How to accept it, let it happen. She never went to pieces. She was damn sure of herself. Of me. Firoj love is beautiful, she said. It has to be beautiful, that’s when it is true. I know it’s a cliché, but it’s important to remember this cliché. That’s why it has been repeated so many times, become a cliché. Wait and love will come to you. But you have to know what you want, recognize her when she comes. She made me feel that was all. I had just got to recognize her when she came, and everything would fall in place. There was nothing else. A closed world. Just her and me. Two tiny drops in a closed jar, waiting to become one. It happened that way. There was no other world, of complexities, of pain, of helpless drops that were more like puppets. Whom the finger of fate, the boneless wrist of time could flick around as they pleased. Send them somewhere else or leave them to dry. So I couldn’t accept it when they played around with us. I wanted to kill myself. Not my body, but the soul. I wanted to smother my heart in the black flakes. Stop the pain. Replace it with emptiness. I went and got myself married to a girl I didn’t even know.



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