It’s not even 10pm, I’m sitting in bed, my room dark – it’s not unusual though, for me to get into a safe and warm spot on my bed at this hour. A space that is just mine, one where my thoughts fly around me, sometimes too quickly, at times though, not quick enough. Tonight though, things seem different.
It began when I sat in my car, a whole day had just passed me by. In front of the world, I was a strong girl, I stuck a smile on my face. A colleague even asked me, “How do you look so happy even at 7pm?” Little did she know – It was 9pm, I was sitting in my car. With the windows shut, there was no sound inside – just the sound of me breathing.
With trembling hands, I started the car, unsure of where I was supposed to go – the road home.
This word is so foreign to me now. No, not in the way most young adults my age wish it to feel. I’ve absolutely forgotten the feeling, of driving home, after a long day. It’s not a location, neither is it your waiting parents, or even the food your mom cooked lovingly for you, because she just knew you would have a bad day today. No, it’s none of that.
It’s a space. Your space. It’s a feeling, when you enter the doorway, that warm aura that engulfs you entirely. Your mind, body and soul, they smile in sync. That smile doesn’t need to show on your face mind you. And sometimes, you might be the only person who even notices that you’re smiling – but you know that you’re smiling.
I can’t remember the last time I smiled – the last time my mind, body and soul smiled together. When all my senses came together.
It’s easy to take a city, a love, comfort and even sanity for that matter, for granted. It’s true, whoever said, you only have to lose it all to know what you had to begin with.
But coming back to tonight. It’s around 10.40 now.
My room is dark; but I now live in what people fondly call, The City of Lights, The City of Dreams. The City of Love, Fame and Power.
Tonight – I can’t see the lights. I have no dreams. Love, fame and power are nowhere on Marine Drive’s horizon.
I miss home. But then, that’s just me.
Do you sometimes play all the right songs, just so that the tears come pouring out? Even as I type this, the tears won’t stop. Someone once told me, write, use your writing to your advantage when you think the whole world isn’t there to listen. Sometimes, it’s a curse. To know all the right words, and all the right ways to use those words to cause a stir in your heart. To leave your pillow with kaajal and tear stains, a reminder of a night that you wish would quickly turn into day.
Do you sometimes stare at your phone, wondering how it’s filled with contacts, filled to its entire capacity with number after number, email address after email address, groups on Whatsapp bubbling with chats – but your screen is just dark. It’s lonely. The phone won’t ring. And even if it does, you don’t know whose name you want to see on that screen.
Do you sometimes hold yourself so tightly – almost curl up into a ball, hoping that warmth reaches every part of you; both inside and outside. Put a blanket over your head, and keep your eyes shut tight, hoping that when you open it, all of this is just nightmare that’s now going to fade away with the rays of the morning sun? Do you?
Or is it just me?
It’s almost 11 now. The tears seemed to have stopped flowing, the world’s still moving, and a song on shuffle just made me smile. It’s odd – How a longing for a feeling can take your breath away.
Take me back,
Take me home,
If only for a day,
If only for a day.
This one is for Pune. My home. My love. My city. Me.
Everything, that was once Me, and tonight, just wants to be.
This one is for all the memories that made my love and hate my home, my love, my city, Me.
Ps. The song that made me smile, Intro, the XX. It’s brilliant.
But for tonight, why don’t you listen to – All Of These Stars, OST The Fault Lies In My Stars; Ed Sheeran.
“They’re playing chasing cars, and I thought of us.”