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.

The Drifter and his unfinished love- Part One ( Short Story)

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“Moon river, wider than a mile
I’m crossin’ you in style some day
Old dream maker, you heartbreaker
Wherever you’re goin’, I’m goin’ your way
Two drifters, off to see the world
There’s such a lot of world to see
We’re after the same rainbow’s end, waitin’ ’round the bend
My huckleberry friend, Moon River, and me”
– Breakfast at Tiffany’s

They were meant to meet.., they really were. He was supposed to meet her at a railway station as he was about to give up his hopes of ever making it as a novelist of life as it expresses itself in a humid city by the sweaty sea that he had spent 8 years in, she was supposed to bump into him at the end of a bittersweet college love affair that had rapidly gone sour.

They were meant to be in each other’s way, their hearts were meant to impact, their eyes were to meet and defenses were to slide and blur, they had already met…, years before in another grand design of divine will…, She had been a young blogger, spunky, dreamy and creative who spent her time blogging about gardening and independent music bands… He was the artist slowly learning to expose his soul to an audience through disoriented prose and emotional poetry. She did not know what she wanted out of her life, it felt too confusing… India was full of uncertainty, bureaucracy and political maneuvering.., Her heart would need to be compressed into a social conformist label that would make her accessible to workplaces, colleges and friendships, where her soul could find a relatable way of appealing to other people and their interests…, She felt that he was just another boy that had appeared on her radar. He would leave and somebody else would turn up, she had enough time, Her Prince charming would be a whole lot more fun, attractive and dreamier than Dreamer boy.. Her candidate was going to take her all over the world…, He was going to be perfect in her Instagram pictures … and He was going to treat her like a princess… Sheesh she had time.., she was only 22 after all.

She saw the buzzing industrial brain of her college, she saw the hyper-emotional young adults blooming around, she saw the freedom, the life and assumed that real life had to contain all such emotions…, but she had a troubled heart deep inside too, something that nobody ever seemed to understand.., Growing up, she had been thrust into a foreign state, her native tongue which came from the southern parts of India brought interest from human sharks and bullies interested in the pain of others… They teased her and opened the door of inner insecurity. But she was a happy person, it came from her Father.. He had had a sunny disposition, a trait that he had passed on to his daughter… she overcame the lowly punks, and other academia oriented obstacles and shined as bright as a star atop a Christmas tree. She excelled in everything that she came across, her parents had taught her to love God and she clung to Him as He powered her through strife and turmoil.

She had been dismissive of him instantly. She had come across a few of his confessions, a few of his short stories.. They were combustible, spontaneous material written with a lot of soul, heart and power, they energized her and made her see him as someone that she could get along with. If she was honest to herself, she found his charm quite attractive. But she did not want to lose her control, she felt connected to herself by purposeful work , But she was used to making plans, and then allowing her plans to consume her which proceeded to bury her inside some rock solid shell, impervious of the outer world whose insides was full of intense work and purpose…. He on the other hand did not know what he was going to do with his gift.

She allowed defensive assumptions to offer herself clarity, these type of romeos were a dime a dozen, they were shady, cunning charming savants interested in the attainment of one thing, and one thing only. Sex!!

Her parents had raised her a lot better than that, she was not going to fall for his tricks, he could be Fyodor Dostoevsky with his thoughts, but she had the last word on everything.

But time and time again, he surprised her. He seemed very willing to be tremendously honest with her. He spoke to her about his own failed relationship, a nightmarish experience that had had him in a relationship with someone who was engaged to somebody else. She could not ever imagine herself doing something as stupid as that, but she appreciated his effort at remaining completely honest with her.., She got the feeling that he would be honest with just about every soul on this planet.., Good, greedy, cunning and wicked… She liked that about him, even though she dismissed everything else.

The person had been his friend, and had fallen for him, she had confessed it to him one night as he was telling her stories by watching the stars.., But immediately after doing so she wept bitterly as she spoke to him of her reality. Seeing her tears, his compassionate heart had moved him to tell her that she did not need to worry, He was in love with her too. Thus began a turmoil and strife filled affair where she took all his love, but remained steadfast in her decision to marry her fiance, which only broke the young dreamer’s heart of happy endings and problem solving. People chose gritty, dark solutions since they were all selfish for their wants, but rarely to the needs of others.

He also told her about how God had saved him from taking his own life at the guilt, shame and pain of it all. He was using this blog to share comforting words it seemed. He always spoke to her about his love for Jesus, His passion for sharing his testimony, His compassionate heart wanted to help the poor, the sick and the suffering. He was different, he was not interested in attracting her, he would rather not have her than do something completely dishonest and cunning in obtaining her… but she could see that he liked her. They were both from different worlds, he was born with his heart on the outside, her heart meanwhile was so far within that she had to search for it in colors, in the strangely exhilarating sequences of movie frames overlooking room windows, and in accidents.

Destiny was drawing them both closer and closer.., but strangely they were being pulled apart by their own indecisive minds, full of directions that were not meant for their destiny. She wanted the comfort and the sophistication of Europe, America and France which is technically in Europe. He wanted to make everybody happy, he enjoyed making people smile, he enjoyed bringing joy to broken hearts and lost souls.., He was a Healer.., a rare commodity in a world as dense and artificial as this.

Now the Dreamer… He was a drifter…, a lost soul.., a dreamer stuck in the real world.. A mermaid who belonged in the underwater world of creativity, dreams, sighs, fancies, visions and intuition… His family were real good to him. They really were, but they never could see into his deep deep heart, he seemed to belong in another world,His inner world was too beautiful for the world to see much less comprehend… He was a rare flower, blooming far away from human eyes. His ways despite knowing the weight of this world’s smears seemed pure and innocent.., His eyes watched the skies finding soulful power from taking in Royal Eagles circling invisible atmospheric turfs miles away from the ground…, His heart absorbed each sight of the world with intense emotion and despair… he always saw with aching eyes and a deeply hurt soul… He desired to see new things but he was weighed heavily with the burden of what was never going to change…He knew things that others could not see.., He understood what pain, poverty, sin and emptiness meant…, He felt the deep lifeless void arouse unbearable questions that arose like ghoulish specters He sensed hurt below endless rows of lifeless homes.. He sensed the overwhelming complexity beneath each human life just buzzing with energy streaming within endless channels of thought, emotion and action… He had too big a heart for a world as cold as this… For a world so insensitive to sight, touch and feel…. But for all his gifts that he so severely despised as empty smoke, he longed for a heart that was fierce yet kind in that intoxicating drop of femininity that only his dreamer heart could concoct and desire. He longed each day since his heart was made to express God’s love in it’s purest form, he longed more and more each day for someone who would end his romantic drought once and for all.

He did not know where he was going or know what he was going to be, he only knew that he wished to serve his God… to him life was a mystery… he rarely ever saw himself, his soul was constructed in such a manner as to build complex mansions and realms based on the purely depleting sights of utter, carnal, earthly, gravity bound banality … His heart belonged to the outer world, to the world that his heart bled as it entered bit by bit, inch by inch, mile by mile, street by street into inner worlds of woods that were mystic symbols lost in time, into dense forests that were metaphors and soulful signs and into night skies full of shivering, diamond stars that were each nightly dreams. The more the outer world invaded his rich, inner world.., The more he suffered… The more intense was his pain. He longed more and more each day for Heaven.. But he saw his flesh struggling with sinful traps that he had allowed out of errors controlling him more and more. He did not know how long he could survive this world and it’s inability to connect to him and his lonesome heart.

His heart felt more and more pained as he neared the end of his single life. He was 27 years old, pressures were turning up by the dozen.. Families took on an interest when the drifter drifted about in-between divine service and evangelism… He had lost all hope. He had met his dream girl through his words, but it had not been enough…she was a butterfly who flitted about oblivious to his fiery inner heart.., she had her own fierce heart and will. He had to accept the inevitable and appreciate the turbulence that heartbreak often bought, he prayed often about it wondering if she was his to desire… He had not gained certainty through all the years of his life, all he had gained was loss, pain and hopelessness. But the more he saw his life, the more it felt like he was being separated from something that was meant to come towards him. His meeting had been brief, but had left an indelible mark… a mark that had become dreams.. fanciful longings and wishful thinking. He could not think of anybody else.. But he feared offending His Lord and God.., Was he doing the right thing..?

She was a rock solid lighthouse on the other hand. But she was tired of putting up a brave front on the outside whilst her doubts were growing more and more tense each day, why did she feel compelled to visit Madras over and over …? Why did her life with all its happiness still feel empty…? Incomplete..? Dissatisfying…?