love

July 9, 2018
Mary,
I don’t know what love is. All I have come to the terms after pondering on excerpts from books is that it changes you. You wake up one fine morning and feel something different in the air around you. You start liking things that you didn’t the night before. You feel extreme restlessness in everything you do and the only comfort is talking to the one you love. Mary, if I can be brutally honest, YOUR love has become my maze. There is no escape from this.
What is coincidence, Mary? Is it a sign from the universe or merely an inevitable happening? Was our meeting a fate written eons ago? Neither did I believe in stars nor understood the language of the universe until I met you and it changed everything. If I hadn’t met you, the universe would have made me realize that my life was incomplete and I would have looked for the missing puzzle my whole life until I would have found you.
If I get a chance to fall for you all over again, I would still choose the same month — When the glow on your face perfectly blended with the color of autumn, as if a fine artist made a painting and you came alive from it to meet me.

Copyright © 2018, Aashish Barnwal,  All rights reserved.
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July 8, 2018
Mary,
I just woke up and all I’m thinking bout’ is you. I feel distracted and my mind has taken the back seat. I open the window, see the sun going down the horizon and all I picture is taking a stroll with you until the stars make their way out of clouds and lie down there afterwards. Do you believe in afterlife, Mary? Or heaven? Your presence makes me feel there is one. I am unsure of what love is. But if I were to arrange it in words in the most beautiful way possible with the best of my abilities, I would picture it as an ocean which has no boundaries and stretches to infinity as far as one can see. I would picture it as alcohol which takes all the thoughts away and captivates one in its effect. I would picture it as the morning sunshine which annihilates darkness and brings hope that bright day is ahead.

You’ve done to me what spring does to cherry trees. You’ve changed me overwhelmingly in ways I could never have imagined. Your enchantment is like sleep. I fell for you slowly and then all at once.

Copyright © 2018, Aashish Barnwal,  All rights reserved.
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July 3, 2018
Mary,
I wonder if you’ve even the slightest clue on how much helpless I am finding myself today to express my deep feelings for you. For the first time ever in my life, I have fallen short of words. If only you were here, strolling quietly on the pavement with me, while cool breeze plays with your silky hair, I would have recited a poem in silence, for best of the conversations happen through eyes. No matter how powerful the words are, they are minuscule in matters of the heart.

Copyright © 2018, Aashish Barnwal,  All rights reserved.
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While flipping through the pages of the book he had gifted her on her birthday which she didn’t care to open until now, she found a paper folded in the heart shape. Imprints of the writing in blue were peeking at her. On the top, words were penned in glitter sparkling ink, “Happy birthday to the most beautiful person I’ve ever known”.

She opened it carefully. It was a letter.

Mary,
I’m quieter than quiet most of these days for I have no words left to say. Without you, minutes make me feel like years. Each clock tick hammers my heart increasing the wish to see you multifold. O dear! If only I could, I would have written hundred books on love and yet it won’t be enough to justify the strength of enchantment you’ve casted upon me. If only I could, I would have crossed universes and brought the brightest star for you and yet it would be nothing as compared to the glow of your smile. If only I could…

The letter became engrossing and more & more intense as she read. Each sentence was so beautifully crafted that if the words could take the shape of sound, it would have possessed the power to enchant the darkest of souls. And he had penned all this for her. Only her. The letter was like flowers to be kept between pages of the book for eternity. That night, she read the letter again before dinner, and before going to bed, and when she was not getting the sleep. She spent the next hour contemplating the words before reading it all over again.

Copyright © 2018, Aashish Barnwal, All rights reserved.
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Alcohol, it starts with a strong no-no and slowly intoxicates you without even realizing. You keep on taking it because you like it and one fine day, your liver stops functioning well. You know what the funny thing is? You don’t blame the alcohol. You feel unfortunate for the liver not being strong enough. I guess I have been like that patient lately whose liver is damaged slowly by drinking you every evening and night. You took me down with your sweet intoxicating voice. I don’t care about my liver anymore. All I want is one more bottle of that intoxication.

Copyright © 2018, Aashish Barnwal,  All rights reserved.
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It was a lazy noon in summer, the time of the year when the sun is brightest, throwing its fire and burning every skin its rays fall upon. Good books are great companions. They don’t bore you. They are selfless. They entertain you, enlighten you and in return, they don’t ask for sacrifices. The reader opened a chapter from his favorite book and started reading quietly.

Time doesn’t wait for a person or an event to occur. Few things, fortunately for us, are timeless. Months had bled away since their last meeting. They stumbled upon each other again over coffee, probably for one last time. It was like old times, except something had changed with time. She had blossomed into a prettier and smarter woman. Her exuberance and flamboyance was storming him like hell. The new life had definitely done a remarkable work on her. She was never happier before.

Their deep meaningful talks were always very engrossing. It was an addiction. Once you’re deep inside, it’s hard to get out. But this time, it soon took a different, more interesting turn.

“So, how’s life? Did you get a new girlfriend? When are you getting married?”, she bombarded him with questions.

“Either I’m the most damaged and screwed up soul in the world or I’ve kept my doors tightly closed.”, he chuckled.

“You know it sounds almost impossible to hear statement like this from a person of your stature”, she said in a soft voice.

“Sometimes, I wonder how two persons end up living with one another the whole life without being bored”, he changed the topic swiftly like a traffic signal.

“Why so?”, she asked in wonder.

“You see human psychology is weird and all messed up. People usually get bored of things sooner or later. It is difficult to stick to one thing for long.”

“May be not if you get along with the right person. What kind of girl you’re looking for?”, she leaned forward.

“Well, I haven’t given a deep thought on this yet. But I think I am more inclined towards artistic things. Art fascinates me, for it doesn’t lie. It requires compassion, and patience. As you rightly said, choosing a life partner is the greatest risk one can take in life. It’s a lifelong bond of love, care and respect. I would like to end up with a girl who understands art or at least respects it.

“Well, here is the funny thing. The only such girl I know of is YOU.”, he said and tried to peek into her eyes. Some answers can’t be said in words.

The reader turned the page in haste as if it was a matter of life and death.

There was weird grave silence. She didn’t know what to say. If only god had designed heartbeats to be more throbbing, he could have probably known what was going on.

More than anything, the reader wished to have this exact conversation with the girl he strongly believes to be his potential better half. The only question was, was such a moment gonna happen in his life?

Farewell! Until we meet again.

Copyright © 2018, Aashish Barnwal, All rights reserved.
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I knew this was coming. But I wasn’t really prepared for it.

It was a happy jolly day in office. It was then I got to know from you. That’s how life is. When you are at the peak of happy moments, it drags you full down, reminding you that life can’t be pretty all the time.

My productivity dipped to zero. Absolute zero. I couldn’t think of anything. I was submerged in memories of our conversations in the past. Surrounded by Dementors in the broad daylight, I was being sucked of my sane and happiness.

You know since our very first conversation, I have liked only you. I don’t think I talked that many things with anyone else as I talked with you.

You had asked, “BTW, do you have something new to tell? Please say you have something new”.

Well, how could I have. The news you broke had shattered every bit of my sane mind. Things I was planning, suddenly seemed to hold no value at all. The distress was creeping inside me like hell, drowning me into the pool of sadness. I was like a pirate who had lost the most prized possession of his life.

I wished it to be one of those bad dreams, which when you wake up, you thank god that it wasn’t real. But as we know, real is different from the reel. And reality hurts, a lot. In the reel, the hero either gets his angel or steals away the show by hiding his pain under the hood of smile with finesse. I guess I ain’t an expert in either of the two.

I don’t think I would ever meet a girl like you in my life. You weren’t just a pretty face. You had a class, and panache. You were everything I dreamed of in my to-be-partner. To me, you were just perfect.

I will miss you S. Stay happy, wherever you are. You have lots of potential. I think I have already told you this many times, haven’t I?

There are many things I want to say. But my mind has stopped coordinating with the lips. Let those words unsaid. And those stories veiled.

Farewell!

Copyright © 2018, Aashish Barnwal, All rights reserved.
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It was a long tiring day. The worst thing about being single is that you can’t share experiences of the day with anyone but pillows. The reader opened a chapter from his favorite book and started reading quietly.

The night was at its peak. Grave silence was blended in the air. The moon was waiting impatiently for Mary near the lake.
“May I ask you something if you don’t mind”, the moon asked the girl. Curiosity was killing him since quite long.
“How do you know that you’ve found the one?”

This was a great question indeed. The reader of the book was longing for the answer since the moment he met his first crush in his early adolescence. He stopped for a moment, took a deep breathe and continued reading.

“I know that you guys don’t like the same music. You have different taste-buds. Your morning habits don’t rhyme with his. While I often see him lost in capturing my reflection in night, you seem to enjoy the silence.
How were you so sure that Peter was the one?”, the moon said with no halt as if he had practiced this many times.

After a pregnant pause, Mary spoke,
“Everything in life has got a purpose and a meaning. Sometimes, It’s important to see things the way they are.
I have learned that some poems don’t rhyme, yet they communicate the fullness of expression. Some trees don’t bear fruits, yet they give shade. Some days are not sunny, yet they are beautiful.
Look at yourself. Even after flaws and imperfections, you are so magnificent and beautiful that famous artists have been carving you in the best of their work since ages.
The starking contrast in our vision and different ways to perceive the same thing made us true companions. We might be different. But together, we are highly potent mixture.”

The reader had finished the chapter. In fact, he liked that part so much that he could never finish the book. “I must have read the story of moon and the girl a hundred times”, he whispered to himself.

Copyright © 2017, Aashish Barnwal,  All rights reserved.
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हमारी कहानी उसी दिन ख़त्म हो गई,
जिस वक़्त हमारी नज़रें तुमसे मिली,
शायद इश्क़ हो गया है तुमसे,
वरना हर मुस्कराहट की वजह तुम ना होती।

Copyright © 2017, Aashish Barnwal,  All rights reserved.
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