Confessions: Lost chances( Short fiction)

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‘ Is it your fault.., or was it mine..? Whom do I blame for this sorrow..?’
– Translated from a tamil song

The basketball court grew translucently vacant after eleven in September… September made you feel different in the city.., as a watcher of people I pick up on a lot, all cities have the same traffic.., the same zone defense of public roads.., the same feisty cops pulling up bikers with helmets…, but God has different layers to each month.., the trees lose more leaves.., there are a lot more winds.., the waves of marina are are more lustful of the shore.., loneliness is much deeper in the underground caves.., and the antisocial appears every now and then when things grow still after the din grows low… A man who knew loneliness sat here often hoping to absorb the energy of sane souls, I knew him as well although he and I don’t really talk much.. I get the sense that the world that he occupies does not allow entry of people who talked.., he was a sad soul.., lost to a world that was indifferent to his plight.., unkind to his homelessness and harsh to his presence.., can’t really blame him.., but I wanted him to pour his soul into mine and feel my warming fire.., I was not exactly normal either.., I was a misfit myself.., a loner who preferred a ball and an empty court to people… Friends in my life were people whom I knew but who never knew me.., I was too deep to be understood, I was too distracted by the world to conform to their demands and expectations which seemed silly and childish in my eyes.., I was a man who knew things before they happened and who saw things before they were perceived.., I was whatever place I absorbed and I was whoever people wished me to be. The Park drew in folks.., the park did not catch your attention immediately, you would pass it by and it would not invoke any sensation.., it was bare, plain and possessed no juicy vibe.., like a plain woman you passed her by.., and then you encounter them and you begin to know them and you get the sense that you were guilty of perhaps discrimination but you’re safe since it happened in the secretive layers of your mind…. but this park was where I in all of Madras city found myself drawn to.. Perhaps this would be my own dream theater of performance.., where I can be the heroic motif that I pick in my day dreams.., where I create a legacy for my own knowledge but unseen and unrealized by those who frequent this same place as me.

There was always a buzz on the basketball court.., the eager to flaunt players held hostage by their domineering coach.., the visitors who sat on the stone galleries to ponder life’s mysteries.., the middle aged uncles who rested their vertebrae after a back breaking walk around the park to burn off calories.., shady cats whose eyes glinted with the spirit of marijuana and who scowled and mocked everybody that their eyes could see.., homeless drunks who argued loudly and later slept soundly in the top stair of the stone gallery.., local flower men who sold threaded jasmine buds to middle class city bred ‘Iyer’ ladies who slept on the hard stone floor.., Fatigued auto-rickshaw men resting after a tiring day…The court was my kingdom.., and I imagined myself to be the king of my court.., and it was my job to realize with the eyes of the heart the souls that walked through the court.. I would attempt stories from what I felt when my heart touched upon their souls.. I would also try to place each person with a song that I would spend hours searching for.., or perhaps crystallize them with a poem..By nature I am distant since I could care less about the formality of mere connectivity.. I could not understand why people had to spend so much time getting acquainted.., I know the bad ones.., they always try to make you love them and they always try to puff you up.., the rest are a mystery that requires patient chopping .., my mind is always afar since I alienate myself from the usual.., but there is a music to each soul that one can listen if one listens closely.., a hidden tale buried within each layer.., and I was determined to discern and navigate through the darkness of being.

He was one of those middle aged men who enjoyed mere banter. He had a charming and disarming way of engaging you.., He and I shared the same lonely space for quite a period of months, I wanted him to find it in himself to dare break the invisible walls that people erected around themselves.., He approached me with praise, a great conversation starter.., he wanted to understand why anybody would choose a public park to practice after 11.30.., a place well known for antisocial scum, insane marauding hooligans on bikes and bloodthirsty wanderers… I responded by saying that I could say the same about him to a certain extent.., A spark glowed in the darkness of that court which was a well-known magnet for unfinished tales.., broken hearts and restless souls… He would generally do his circular walks around the park with a distracted look, he found the practice difficult but he still kept at it.., he was from a small town deep in the south.., his language contained the soul of the town that he was from. The people there probably spoke from their heart.., lacked cunning and were delightful of people.., maybe they lacked the sophistication of deeper understanding.., for a brief while we clicked. Our souls are thirsty for as much of earth that we can find.., for in eternity our souls will suffer uncertain fates depending on our choices. I knew that a soul’s relation to the revelation of Jesus would decide one’s eternity.., but in the here and the now all souls starved and hungered for love and want.. They had a funny way of expressing it since immaterial realities kept pressing against their conscious shores…, but it was there and you had to learn to handle the bitter reality of people and their incapability of knowing their presence and their actions on another soul.

I am a chamber full of secrets.., many souls speak what besets their soul into my depths.., they share their hurts which are often painful realities that still torment their inmost minds..,I seem to inspire their openness.., and I seem to inspire them to enter into my inner stillness to phrase in fleeting lucidity their inmost torments which always found a way to confound their lingual capabilities.., for the moment they could find the perfect, most honest, most soulful and most heartfelt way of narrating their lives in his presence.., it would finally lift off and decrease in its intensity.

He remembered the first time he saw her.., he had known since he was 8…, it was not her eyes, her appearance or her behavior that he noticed…, he noticed instead how his heart fluttered when she walked past him oblivious to the nuclear damage that she was wreaking on his simple soul. Over a period of time the feelings became mutual…, he was 14 by then.., and she 13.., they held hands on the long mud paths surrounded by rice fields and sugar cane fields that led to their homes when nobody was watching.., he climbed trees to pluck mangoes for her and.., wrote her I love you hundred times… their love blossomed over the years.., he came from a conservative system.., multiple social walls stood in his way.., she was from another caste.., he belonged to another.., religion spoke about how he belonged higher.., but his heart could see no such reality.., his heart wanted her more intensely as the years progressed.., they promised each other multiple times that they would find each other no matter how far they got.., that the other would wait if something were to happen.., but as fate would have it education brought him to the chaotic city of Madras.., he would call her many times.., but there were no mobile phones back then.., the timing had to be perfect.., her Father owned a goods store and he would be out by 7 in the morning.., her mother was always at home.., but went at 2 pm to the temple for half an hour.., that would be their time.., even if her mother returned.., she would act as though the phone call was between her friends.., but one time her mother stayed back and long story short got wind of what was happening.., they beat her so bad that she swore to never contact him again.., but she was lying.., how can emotions such as love end in the face of adversity.., it is the very soil that it blooms and flourishes in.., he promised her that he would come back for her the moment he got a job.., but her parents got her married before he could make good on his promise.., marrying her off to some businessman…, heartbroken he wept, cried and wandered in sorrow and despair.., the years passed, he tried to forget her but to no avail.., how could someone forget someone who had inhabited his inmost being..? Who had loved him with a love all her own..? How could he overcome that which only made him linger.., stay and wander in a world of inner hurt..? He grieved like a man who knew not how to survive in a world devoid of his sweetheart.., he could not bear the thought of her in the arms of another man.., he could not bear another possessing her…, love was never meant to be shared by a third party.., Never.., His parents sensing his woe married him off to a proper Madras girl.., he hid his sorrow and began to live for his future.., family.., responsibility.., he had become so possessed by this intense hurt in his heart that he struggled to love his wife fully.., even though he had gotten over the deadly blow.., he could never forget his first love.., he shared this to me over a period of time and I listened as I always did like my life depended on it.., funny how strangers heal wounds that one’s own efforts seldom seem to. I know that the good Lord placed me on this planet to heal people, He did the healing.., I just had to reach out to the souls.., and I always could find them no matter how they hid their wounds.

I did my best to console him.., I spoke nothing .. there was nothing that I could say that would reach the inmost depths of him and pull him away from what he felt, I only listened and allowed my silence to do the healing.., I allowed my warmth to speak what I couldn’t.., what could I say..? I only felt myself grow sad.., there was a certain amount of sadness that this court seemed to attract…, I was a lost soul myself.., but I knew that Jesus healed.., you just had a sense for these things that was more than reason oriented.., I understood his moral reality.., He was married.., had kids in school and was a normal functioning member of society now.., but he would forever remember the lost chance.., and what could you do about it in this wild jungle..? Love more deeply..? Take more chances..? Marry for love..? I didn’t have a clue.., all I knew was that life moved on.., I had more souls to meet and more stories to glean. But what I encounter and see will always bleed within me.

Lost love

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The day does not possess enough hours for me to capture all of my thoughts on subjects that matter dearly to me. My life as a writer is on a hiatus, and for the time I have been coursing through the dry plains of ministry work and evangelism,  figuring out what exactly my calling requires of me and doing whatever nitty gritty work that I can find often creates a deep unrest within me. On one end, serving God is my strongest, most fiercest desire and I enjoy every minute of it, but my passion has been put on hold, and it relays its hurt time and time again, I believe that any unused gift dies a cruel death in the busyness of one’s personal life, and I don’t wish to become one such person. I am above and beyond everything, someone who has found his way through words, through dreams, through thoughts and primarily through questions. My life’s narrative is one of finding a way through the darkness of my being.

But I strongly believe that whatever has been done for the Glory of God will be put back in one’s life again, and that is why the joy of the Lord remains my one true strength, I keep returning to it time and time again even as I face the Sculptor’s hard hammer in my public, spiritual and private life.

I am up late, again. Lost in longings, wishes and thoughts.

I had wanted to spend some personal time with the Lord, but unread articles called me from my laptop, I have 60 unread tabs in my Android’s browser and twenty unopened ones in my laptop.., I need to read them…, I am putting away reading time and time again.., the book pile on my desk keeps growing.., the unfinished articles keep increasing.., up to 50 on my desktop actually and the unread articles keep increasing…, therefore I have temporarily put the Lord on hold, I feel like I am betraying Him whenever I write things that are actually the other way around…, It is me who loses important spiritual empowerment, nourishment and feeding by putting away time with the Lord, I feel tremendously upset whenever I am absorbed in myself more than I am in Him… But I believe and feel that His watchful eyes are over me always,even  as I wish to spend time around Him but engaged in other things.. I never want Him to be too far from me.., and that is not because He protects, loves and blesses me continually.., but I believe that the purpose of my creation is to enjoy Him above all things.., To love and to enjoy Him eternally.

I feed useful information to my thinker’s brain. I have before me various articles, a few New York times pieces, a few Christian themed articles, and a book about John Ramirez’s incredible coming to Christ after serving Satan for over 20 years through the Mexican spiritualism, Santeria. I don’t know if I will be able to read them all, I have too little time right now, and the office folks are tardy, self righteous folks of the sun grazed town… If there is one thing that I despise, it is impatience in dealing with people, and my fellow brethren seem to plunge and become possessed by it’s spirit often.

I am reading an article right now on Modern love, a realistic but contrived account of the love lives of modern day new yorkers. I am deeply struck by how messy, curious and difficult love is in it’s realest sense. Take away the attraction to the opposite sex, the lusts that drive the magnetism and the giddy completeness that grounds a couple deeply intent on connecting their hearts together… and love is reduced to the other refuse of our world, of our lives and of our own selves.  It’s end seems to shatter one in his deepest parts, it’s absence seems to make one seem as though he were the loneliest man on the planet, and it’s break or divorce seems to crush, vex and trouble the spirit incessantly until tremendous effort is expended in order to move forward. I should know, I am a survivor of broken love myself, and I have to tell you, it can crush one’s soul and life.. but then again, not everyone is as sensitive, intense and dreamy as I, but maybe we all are, but we just can’t seem to find it in the other person and in the way they use and fit their masks.

The theme was the pursuit of lost love. The last two words sent a shiver in me, a sense of delight that is joyful in it’s sorrow… ‘LOST LOVE’ – the single grandest pursuit of my former life. I must confess to a secret, to an obsession with lost things.. to chances that still haunt me after all these years – esp lost girlfriends, lost romantic opportunities, lost chances… I have been an optimist my entire life even if I have had an extended affair with sorrow and pain.., I have always believed that I would meet the great obsessions of my life at some point and that I would be able to rekindle what was lost, but as a man is being sobered up for the final romantic commitment of his life, his entire life flashes before him, the women he has loved at each part and act of his life, the joys that his infatuations provided unto him in the innocence of his innocuous youth, the long sleepless nights spent dreaming up a life with his sweetheart, those rare occasions in which his inner universe created a masterful drama with his muse as he slept, which he then proceeded to spend hours replaying during physics class in the mornings at a dreadful hostel located deep in Thirunelveli.

I have spent a major part of my life lost in finding love, I have lived for over 28 years now, that translates to roughly 10,521 days. My Instagram account meanwhile has 10,217 pics, unconsciously I have added a pic each for every day of my life on this planet, if only I had struck up a big fortune by now, I would have repayed every penny that I have ever owed to my parents…, because I want to…, because that way I could really really love them with the love of Christ that I am learning right now and not be so consumed about their investment in me…, but maybe the financial aspect of their love is important to me.., When one makes a financial investment on you, you become more generous towards them as well…I constantly dream about completing their housing loans, I constantly dream about striking it big and then sharing it with everyone that I have loved in my family. Repaying is a big principle of mine, it is something that I deeply deeply believe in, I believe this is where you get a glimpse into the type of person that I am.., Cherish it, honesty and genuineness these days is a rarity, much like the blue moon, like the Kohinoor diamonds, like the Haley’s comet and like everything else that was claimed to come to life, but rarely did.

I will be turning 29 this March, and I can sense powerful shifts at work in my life… People have begun to inquire about me in my town, send in pictures of their daughter to my parents who study it studiously and place it before our Lord and ask for His take on things. I don’t understand how the complications of all our lives will be sorted out, most of us repress the information, some of us seem to forget the events of the past, but the past has turned us into the people that we are today, and that is why I am praying that if I do get, dare I say..”Married”, that whoever she is.., She would help me forget everyone before her, and make sure that there are none after her…, I want her to be the one for me.., and I want myself to be her one as well.., after a lifetime of one sided infatuations that were rejected often times coldly and harshly.., I want the attraction to be mutual this time. Love has made me suffer too much.

And perhaps that is why I write, the article conjured up many memories, the memories always delight my heart, they delight me until they gently remind me of my loss. I guess they belong to me, I own them because I put myself out there, and allowed myself to feel rejected whenever someone I deeply loved became someone that I used to know. What sucks even more is the fact that I was socially challenged, insecure as the entire subcontinent of India and shier than all the men in all the known world, and possibly even in the deepest jungles of Africa and South America, since I assume that is where the deepest jungles lie. That is one of the great paradoxes of my life, the fact that I was never made for human contact, but yet my God given gifts are used in service on a pulpit, on Facebook, on WordPress, on Instagram, in my Ministry and in my life.., How strange that the single most antisocial person in the entire planet could be used by a HOLY, Almighty Creator for His Glory..? How Awesome to even imagine such a plight..! Yet it is becoming truer and truer in my life even as the tides hit me so powerfully every now and then.

The great tragedies of my life happened in places that I intensely dislike…, Object 1. I present to your perusal, Scene A,  as I prepared to board the Trivandrum Mail- 22 years old.., eager to experience the world but bitter about my current plight as an underpaid writer for a Coffee table magazine that nobody read, the overcrowded general compartment with it’s pungent, foul smelling stench of paan hit me hard, I have replayed the entire scene as it happened many many times…I ran into her one last time , she perhaps can claim the title of the single greatest love of my life…,  I had fallen for her hard, and had stayed that way for more than four years…, She had joined B.Tech Biotech as I was in my second year of B.sc Biotech at VIT…, The entire first year batch, raw, fresh and innocent had walked past me … In my former glory, I had been quite indecent in my glee of their fear of the seniors, I was visually checking them all out…, I enjoyed making them avert their eyes…, they would soon lose their fears and become more and more dominant…, whilst me being the shy introvert, would avoid all such power plays and become lost in my thoughts and fantasies…it was then that I saw her…, Sassy, beautiful, with milky skin.., scared but defiant.., cute but very feminine…, I never got the courage to talk to her.., much less interact with her.., I was in love with her for over five long years…, I followed her everywhere, not stalking her or making her uncomfortable.., just letting her know that I was like into her and stuff…, I guess she knew.., Girls always do.., they have an intuitive brain, they pick it out with ease and then proceed to promptly friendzone anyone and everyone who in their opinion is not worth their penny. In her eyes I was probably just a fawning, over-excited hormonal College punk, she never got to know the real me.., the shy, timid, soft spoken guy who wanted to save the world someday, I was denied an opportunity of knowing her…. The railway station scene happened after I had left college, disillusioned deeply about life.., desperately searching for strength and identity…, I had landed in MCC, a hip college, well known for it’s class, sophistication and name…, After a year there, I had started to work and had found a job writing for a software company’s magazine.., I felt entrapped, bitter and quite hurt for ending up in a place that was hard and difficult, I was routinely traveling by train from Vellore to Chennai, I had to make the journey two times in a day.., that amounted to four to five hours of travel, or maybe six. I was being broken down into something that had to fit, and then she returned like all my unexpected dreams…, I saw her without realizing it, She did too… She hesitated for a moment, jerked awake by who I was.., she remembered the muscular baller, she remembered the years of staring, she remembered the desperate attempts to notify her of my presence.., she remembered, but then she walked away.., and I went to my seat by the train steps.., never had the train sped by so fast…, She rushed back into my heart, into my life.., into everything.., but what rushed back were my desires, but she left… I never saw her again.. Ever. I may have searched for her in over 10,000 profiles on Facebook.., but yet I can’t seem to find her..,  I hate to say it.., but maybe sometimes things aren’t meant to be found.

I have a hard time accepting certain unchangeable realities in this harsh world of ours. Because I keep trying and trying but nobody seems to notice what I do right.., it is only the wrongs that they are quick to pick on. But I guess, that I should wrap up this writing session abruptly, since dawn is here and only a few hours remain before I can go on to work.., I have written approximately 2,833 words over an hour, I have allowed myself to become vulnerable again and the feelings will probably stay until I can talk it out with the Lord, I did not pray…, I did nothing useful today apart from the past few hours.., The day awaits with it’s challenges, pressures and emotions…, and it is time that I shut my eyes and forget the soul with it’s intake of my existence.., Lost loves.., maybe they are never meant to be found, if you love someone… Tell them today.., Tomorrow might just be too late.

 

 

 

Melting, Gripping Echoes – Poem

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Echoes of a billion souls,
Rising up to the highest heavens,
Aching with the void in the depths of their soul,
Why do we feel so alone here again..?
Don’t God love us as evil as we all are..?
Are our feeble, selfish prayers ever heard..?
Verses in an ancient book that seem to testify
to hope supernatural yet found in plain sight,
The Earth’s misery cries every day, But not everyone
perceives, When will the invisible screams still…?
Are there Angels walking among us..?
Why do I find it so hard to believe..?
We live in hell’s upper dens,
darkness gnaws away at our flimsy foundations,
we are helpless and possess no power to war against
the evil that lurks within and around,
We are thrown about, putting our hopes on decay,
we need something to numb the eternal, restless and anguished pain,
Lord… Do you even care about us..?
Broken as we are, Are you out there…?
Can you hear my tears, my pain and my suffering..?
I feel so alone again.