When my mother told me about rainbows and how the clouds would change for me, for once I believed. I believed when my sister showed me how the night sky looks like and I believed when she told me how old the stars are. I believed when the days passed and the seasons changed, my heart believed. Believed in things I shouldn’t have. Now, I sit here, I can see the sky clouding over my head, I remember the days I used to hold hands with him in the rain, I remember how he like his milk warm, not too hot, not too cold. I remember how his voice quivered every time he talked about his mother. I remember going to shops with him and feeling the softness and the hardness of the rugs, I remember wild guessing with him how many counts would have been there in one carpet. I remember how he used to make sure that he gifts me the old books. And always, always made sure that I would survive. I wonder if he sees me down here, writing and trying to make sense of a world without him. They say that, on some days, the moon looks like it is painted but on some days I fail to see how beautiful the moon looks because every time I look at the moon, my heart skips a beat, my mind revisits all the times we went to the terrace and slept on the floor with just a blanket and how we used to talk under the moon, me with a cup of coffee and him with his warm milk. Maybe memories really are chances to relive.
Some nights, love hangs on by a thread, on other nights, I am filled with it. Over coffee cups, we talked about our lives. We looked at life, the way it was. “This is where we are”, we said. Over and over. We ran to each other from our problems, until there was nowhere to run. I ran into every traphouse of your heart, every vein of your body, I ran and ran. We were so raw with each other, I think that is the most honest we will ever be in our lives. We pushed away each other because we needed each other.
It was November, a long night. I waited, I waited patiently for my heart to feel all of it’s silly sadness, for it to heal. For the tides that are hitting the shore to help me escape. I watched the sky, filled with stars. A sight I will never forget, I waited, for you, for me, for us to rewrite our stories.
My mother never forgets to pray for me. Every morning and every evening, she utters a prayer for me, during dusk. “Everything comes and goes in waves”, my mother told me. You trust yourself, you live by your instincts. She told me life advices while making her morning cup of tea, or on our way back home after our Ramadan prayers, as I watch the sun rise. One night, she forgot to utter a prayer for me, that night, I fell apart. I fell in love with you.
Keeping you here, I know this is not what I want. We meet each other, on ends of roads, while we walk back home, we choose to walk away. We choose to wonder if the other still thinks about you. We choose to go to our favourite places, without the other. We choose our hurt, we choose to be hurt. We choose to live with it. I can never show you my grief, or how it tastes like. In my mouth, it’s there, everyday, I struggle to swallow it. I can never let you taste my grief, but I can tell you, it tastes nothing like you, anymore.
“This is where we are”, we used to say.
We loved and we lost each other.
I hope you are breathing just fine.
I pray that you have found peace.
The 1993 Malayalam film ‘Akashadoothu’ directed by Sibi Malayail almost perfectly documents the struggles and the heartbreaks of a family. This film is based on an American biographical film ‘Who will love my children?’
Murali and Madhavi, who plays the roles of husband and wife, ‘Joney’ and ‘Annie’ – who were once orphans, try their best to keep up with their family, trying to give their children a life that they were never able to live, making ends meet to give a childhood the parents were unable to live.
The husband, ‘Joney’, who is an alcoholic brings home problems that the wife and the kids have had to deal with. The lives of the family of six starts to try go downhill when one of the kids get hit by the villain/pervert who tried sleeping with Annie when her husband wasn’t home. Fortunately, the kid survives but the twist in the movie comes when the doctors find out that Annie is suffering from the last stage of leukaemia. Their worlds turn upside down with this news but the husband and wife tries to support each other and stay strong, regardless, they try to keep it hidden from their children; the husband even stops drinking in order to live a life that Annie dreamt of. We can see a play at love, that has a strong foundation but that shivers, every now and then.
The family is content with what they had, one year more, with their loved one. There is a further twist in the storyline when the husband is killed by the villain when they get into a fight, this in turn causes the whole family to shatter again. Annie wants to make sure that her children don’t live a life in the orphanages like she did, so she goes ahead asking the community church to help her find families who would like to adopt. There is a heart-wrenching scene, where the handicapped son (who no one has adopted yet) tells his mother, “Don’t you think it is a good thing that I am handicapped, that way, I am able to stay with you and not leave you alone”, since all her other kids were sent to different homes.
The whole movie will leave you constantly crying and emotional, as it deals with a lot of emotions, all at once. It breaks your heart when the mother finally gives each of her kid to the families. The concept of addiction, adoption, and death, anger, revenge. Things that is still relevant to this day. This showcases how life encompasses – everything into one.
This movie, 26 years ago portrayed the idea of societal issues we faced then, which gets us to think, are we any different now?
The cinematography is art, at least that’s what I believe. Bringing into life the exact moments that each one of us faces, but doesn’t realize. Bringing on to screen, the familiar memories in one way or the other that we can all connect to. Bring into the picture, the idea of unity. The cinematography is an art, on its own. My favourite camera shots are in many movies, but my mind remembers ‘Amelie’, the movie I adore the most. I like the rawness in that movie, there is no concept of hiding behind dialogues and characters, it is just the rawness of Amelie, that is captured.
It’s not just the camera that plays the role, it’s the lighting, the angles, the settings and even the glare of light, all of this might just bring you the perfect shot. Colouring pictures into the written scripts are not as easy as it seems. To bring nostalgia into the moving picture is not as easy, to capture sadness as a magnificent emotion is sometimes the best shot one can ever get with their camera.
Being able to convey the right message, through cinematography is one of the hardest tasks to achieve in the field of shooting with cameras. So, get your cameras and shoot with it, till you achieve the one you envisioned.
May the odds be in your favour.
Like the red of blood.
The milk in my cup is filled upto it’s brim.
I wait for it to fall out,
Like how I wait for most things to happen.
Mostly, like my relationships.
I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes,
You just have to let go.
Even if it seems so right to fight for them.
I’ve learned that colours are not always what they seem like.
On some days, I see colours.
On other days, I see grey.
I see the mushed up concept of love in tiny scenes.
I see kindness on some days.
On other days,
I try to be as selfish as much as I can.
I am learning to be selfless,
Most people would find me too open.
My friend, you don’t know half of my story.
I’ve stopped judging people, even in my head.
Sometimes I don’t think twice before I speak.
I have hurt too many people when I say that they are beautiful.
I have hurt too many people by cutting them off.
I was only allowing myself to be happy.
Last year was filled with ups and downs.
This year too.
Today is the first of Feb.
Life is still full of ups and downs.
But I try to get through,
I have stopped cutting in places that are overflowing with scars.
I try not to judge myself as much as I can.
I am trying to work harder than I can.
I have collapsed working too hard.
Working too hard on myself.
I hope to see the world in just colours,
Colours that I like.
That I want to keep pursuing.
I have tried to come out of my comfort zone,
And every second, my skin wants to crawl back to the sheets.
The definition of home has changed me.
I see it in my niece’s eyes.
I see it in my mother’s smile.
I see it in my sister’s hug.
Home, is not a place anymore,
As much as I want it to be.
It’s not in any stranger’s eyes.
I have allowed myself to laugh a little more.
Cry a little more.
Do what I want to.
Read as much as I want to.
I hope you see it too.
For all the people who are not in my life anymore,
I am sorry it hurt more than it should have.
But that is just what makes me, me.
I am trying to find myself.
In places I have never searched before.
That’s what it does it you.
It makes you move past your own skin.
It puts itself in positions, you want to run away from.
It makes me who I am.
No, it’s not any of the cliched concept of hate.
I am content with it, for now.
It’s been my friend for so long,
That, at this point,
I am used to it.
And I am okay with it.
One of my once closest friend told me that I need to allow myself to be happy. I was caged in my own boxes definition of happiness. 2018 was the year of ups and downs. I loved and lost many people. Last year wasn’t any easier.
I was on a loop of right and wrong. I did things I can never forgive myself for. I lost people because I allowed myself to. I lost people who didn’t value me. I lost people who only loved me for who I am. I lost people who were toxic for me, with their love.
I never thought loving would be so hard, I still find it hard to open up. I don’t voice what I think, I don’t think they are any important. I’ve stopped trying to talk to people. And they have stopped too. I try to not explain myself anymore; those who get it, will understand.
The first day I came to Bangalore for my undergrad, it felt too much. I felt like I wouldn’t be able to handle all the lights and sounds and the people. But I had to hold onto this place for at least three years. I told myself that it was just for three years and I will be back home, where I want to be.
My first day of college was one of the scariest for me, being the confused introvert I am, I was scared, because I joined late and I was worried of not being able to catch up. But I was not scared of not being alone, but of how I am going to survive three years of college. There was constant doubts in me about myself and if I will be able to survive before I make a phone call to my Dad crying frantically to take me back home.
I walked into a classroom of about 60 students, I was paranoid and scared, but when I walked up to the front to introduce myself, I found a lot of friendly faces. It calmed me. Seeing the friendly faces reduced my anxiety. I came back to my seat after introducing myself and the girl beside asked me, if I wanted any help, I could approach her without any hesitation, I found a friend for life, that day.
The next day, I went to the library for reference and I signed up my name for my ID card, and right after I wrote down my class, a girl from behind me told me, “Hi, my name is –, I am in your same class and I am new to the class too”. And that’s who would be my best friend, who stuck by me during my ups and downs, forgiven me and loves me. Four years and counting.
These are just a few instances of my life in Bangalore, this city has a way of growing on you, it slowly makes its way to your heart. Bangalore gives you memories that you hold very dear to your heart. Bangalore has changed me, given me some of the toughest lessons I’ve had to learn. This city has allowed me to grow on my own, be who I really am. And this city has given me people that I know I can count on, no matter the situation I am in, I know I can rely on them. Bangalore has given me the best years of my young life, but worth living. Luckily, I’ve never had to call up my Dad, asking him to take me back home because Bangalore has let me learn things my own way. It has taught me things that I wouldn’t have otherwise. This city has given me a few of my closest of friends, beautiful memories and this city has been home to me for four years. Perhaps, after all these years, I can say, Bangalore is a part of me, this city will always be home to me.
Some things stay with you, they are meant to stay with you. When you let it go, they will find a way back to you. Some things, you love with all your being, you can never lose them. You will lose parts of it, yes, but a big part of it stays. It stays, to love you back or to destroy you and it is not up to us to decide. You stayed, you were the little boy that smiled at me through your photos, I watch the sun shine in between all the shadows, shadows of who you and I are, shadows of who we aspire to be.
For the longest time, I wondered what I felt, my words felt silly, writing about you, my mind felt powerless, trying to feel. Trying to be who I want to be. You still can find yourself amongst my words, amongst my thoughts, creeping in like the night. Through me, you wanted to be. To ceaselessly exist. But we both know, that’s not who we are. We never are what we were. With every passing day, we grow, we change. And it is here to stay not to diminish. I have asked you for your reasons, you only told me that you learned a lot of about me and maybe some about yourself. You never let me have the chance of knowing myself. You taught me about a kind of love that no one else could. You taught me about you, like a poetry book, having words flow out of your lips with things I did not know could exist. But you existed, ceaselessly, in my mind, in my heart, you live.
We sat in the park, talked about what it must feel to be happy, to be your true self. That’s something we both have suppressed, for too long. We grew up believing that we weren’t meant to be happy. When you took your last breath at the hospital, I sat at your home, not crying, I just knew. I put aside the utensils, I sat down, trying to feel everything I am supposed to feel. I watched the clock for a long time and I let it be. I let myself feel however I felt.
We said our goodbyes long before anyone else did. We knew what was coming, we knew we had to get through it. It was better for the both of us. I wonder about it now, are you better now?
When you break, at that moment, it is everything. It is how much you hurt and how much you allow yourself to hurt. You never knew a thing called home. You never cried out for help, you never asked for hope. You asked for love, a love that could sweep up from your demons, an escape from yourself.
I hope you have found your escape, I tried my best. But we did our best, with our broken pieces. We tried, we tried. And that’s what keeps me from destroying myself.