Sunday, 2 February 2014

Diary of an insomniac

The sky slid slowly into another self, this time letting the stars take stage, and them, almost velvetting the unassuming  firmament with their glare. Happiness of sorts, enwrapped me tautly . Kept me rapt, as  the breath of my soul and the sound of the ticking clock now intertwined into one.  As the populace slipped deeper into the world of  its dreams, scripted intricately  with every detail inclining toward  its own  idea of 'perfect', in hope of an escape from an aching reality, for no matter how short, I  stood as I do everyday, unfailingly gazing at the scores of stars that seem to be yearning  to share their story, sketch an unknown figure or script a lamentful ballad- those that only I would comprehend.

On these nights, I stare raptly,  not noticing the seconds, minutes or even the hours as they speed into nothingness- kindly caressing my wakeful dreams, holding them closer as the world slips deeper into a welcoming slumber.. as I drift away into a newer world that the stars have set, that the sky has donned to welcome the visitor that is me. 

When nights pass, and my resistance to not stay awake seems futile, I expend them staring at the same stars again. Night after night, wondering what new stories they would hold for me. The dying sky glares back at me, as it does every night, selling its disinterested ideas- the same story, the same characters. I listen intently, like the scripts were new.

And when the moments have exhausted, when it seems like there's nothing more to say or that a break is necessary, as in most matters of life, the sky takes stage again. The black slyly giving itself away to the red, and then to  the blue.

And when the populace wakes up to receive the coming of dawn, believing the events of the day are yet to begin, I smile craftily at their misadventure, the nonchalant abandonment of such unparalleled beauty as these nights. 
In almost every childhood memory of mine, I recall myself with a book.

My first ever poem was along the creek side, about a butterfly, thanks to the marvelling world of nature that dad introduced me to, inspite of being brought up amidst big unearthy boxes as I call these structures, in defiance of being an aspiring architect and pledging to replicate one some day.

One of my only childhood memories about India is reading out loud about Goldilocks, the three bears, the fascination still unkempt after cycles of the same book. And also, writing to dad, while my aunts dictated with keen pleasure each word of what the letter would say.

I believe I have always loved writing; that when my younger sister would play with her dolls and be the girl that she had to be, I turned a blind eye to the world around me and entered a more fascinating one that I had scripted for myself, of me and my favorite characters.

Quoting my grandpa (a beautiful writer, to whom I owe this skill along with dad, if there's any at all), I remember him saying, "Give Sheru a book, you will not realize her presence even if you were to share the room."  As difficult as it was for me to open up to my own family about my troubles, I found solace in the few words that I would occasionally pen down. In hindsight. it has always been my go-to friend.

I was always an emotional child. Being the older of the two of us, I would often adorn my role as an elder sister and graciously accept my license to be rude. It was difficult most times, because not only was I fragile with respect to my age, despite being two years younger, Roshi was much stronger and bigger. But I was always sharper with my words- the only kind of hurt that I have ever been capable of imposing on others. I remember how I would cry myself to sleep most nights, overcome by guilt and remorse of how I had been rude to my only sister during the course of the day. I would pledge to myself every night, to be a better person the next day- a habit that has been instilled in me over the years.

And when I failed to be that nice person I dreamt of being, I would take to my diary. From the 9/11 attacks, to the death of Yasser Arafat and Sheikh Zayed, my diary has figuratively seen my grief and anger. The occasional insult that my easily furious mom would shower, the ensuing grief, the new girl in school that could be a potential threat to my academic achievement as the longest standing topper, our family visits to Jabal al Hafeet- my diary has been a kind listener.

I would also write about the people that matter the most to me- a habit I have maintained to this day. I would write about them in extreme gratitude. I remember writing about my mom, about her beauty (which has only heightened over the years) and her willingness to give it all to our family. I grew up as an extremely obedient child, and as I gradually, but surely transformed into a rebel in my adolescence, the memory of this poem probably kept my mom going. 

However, my most coveted piece of writing was to my grandpa, with gleaming hope that he'd recover to read it some day, but in vain. It was also the first time I ever felt confident about my skill as the self-proclaimed writer that I am today. He passed away, not reading a word of what I had written- how badly I wanted him back, how grateful I was for him, how I wished I had spent more time with him and how I wanted to make him proud someday. Some ten years since his death, I wish, even today that he could have read it. Maybe he'd have stayed back. For me!

In retrospection,  I haven't written much ever since. My latest spell of writing is what you'd see here on my blog- most of it only random ramblings. Also, I've taken to sketching landscapes in my free time- a new-found hobby that I have let myself be consumed by. When my mediocre knowledge of words and limited skill of articulation prove an arming enemy, I am glad I can expend some ink in shaping new worlds with my recently discovered love for sketching.

I'm worried, flustered.. scared out of my wits. I don't seem to remember much from the yester.
the way he raised me up everyday, from a fall I couldn't stop
The way he made me smile, the way he  smiled
the little things he did, our long stories,
the nights that seemed too short, and days without him that seemed endless
the walks, the food, the love; the memories have been washed way by the shores of an endless ocean that is time.

I don't seem to remember much from the yester.
The dark has given in to the light and the light has faded into another darkness. Now, theres only an emptiness 
like the  different lives we are steadily pacing towards.

So tomorrow, love, what when we are gone?
When the pages of the stories we hold so dear today, 
house only dust, and the memories seem meager
lost in translation amongst the newer sagas
what if i don't remember these, what if there's no you in my endless ocean and all i want is to hold my breath to save the lost drop that you are?
To diminish my existence for your survival..
How much harder would I have to try?
What will take me through? Through an emptiness that you leave behind,
a void no one else can fill? Through the destruction that my deceitful self puts you through.?
Should I then take to my forgetful memory too?