As good as fiction

Every day I wake up to the hope of hearing from you. And you don’t even know.
In my mind, it involves us turning over a gigantic, blank page that holds umpteen possibilities and fresh starts. I can’t think of a plausible way how it will happen though, a text message maybe or (God forbid) a phone call. There is every likelihood that the phone would be flung out of the window in nervous anticipation of hearing your voice. And if I were to run into you someday, say on an ordinary day, I would most likely flee in the opposite direction or hide behind the plastic foliage of a tall potted plant. Your presence makes me giddy and regresses my mental capabilities and instincts to that of an awkward, lovestruck adolescent. But I love that love can still create in me that clumsy, good nervousness; the sudden paralysing inability to vocalize or saying more than I had intended to; looking everywhere but at you and resorting to sneaking shy glances; the joyous somersault and quick jig that my heart performs at every memory of yours; the inevitable turning back at the sound of your name; the way my eyes search and pick, like a magpie, pieces of ‘you‘ in the crowd, that intense gaze, the familiar walk, your smile; and the inconceivable but infinitesimal possibility how every ring of the phone or doorbell could have you on the other end.
But then it all happens in my mind, doesn’t it? In the real world, I lurk in the no longer accessible fringes of your memory. I won’t ever see or hear from you. And as I don’t want anyone to misinterpret and trivialize my feelings and consider me a burden or nuisance, I won’t ever reach out for you too. Some day (hopefully soon), I will let go of this impossible love that never existed beyond the confines of my mind. I will wake up without the hope of hearing from you. And you won’t even know.

(Note: this was written nearly a decade ago and remained forever in the drafts folder. No longer relevant and is as good as fiction, hence, reposting.)


Consider for a moment that you are in love with someone you can never be with. 

What do you do? Do you let the person know despite knowing that certain hearts are out of reach? Or why even bother complicating things? Why risk getting hurt? But, what about the nagging regret and unrest of not saying what you really feel? Then again, what about the even more nagging regret and unrest of saying what you really feel and not hearing the answer you wanted to? Is it worth being rational and not letting emotions rule your life? Or is it worth being emotional and living in the moment? Why hold back what makes you happy? But then again, what if the happiness is momentary and when faced with rejection will lead only to a long phase of sorrow?
Why take risks? Why not take risks? Why bother? Why not bother? What should you follow, reason or intuition? What do you do, tell or shut up? Then again, why pursue love? Isn’t it tiring? Isn’t it scary? Why not wait for it to come to you? But then again, what if the wait is never-ending? Will you be courageous enough to say what’s on your mind irrespective of the consequences? Will you be courageous enough to let your heart get broken? Or will it be foolish enough? When does the unrest end? Why is it so hard to say what you feel? Why is not knowing so hard? Why is it so difficult getting from one day to another?
Of the few billion people in this world, why do you sometimes pine for the ones you can’t have? Why can’t you give up? But then, why even give up? Why do you wait? For what do you wait? Till when will you wait?  Why can’t you stop thinking about the one who would never think about you? Where is your self-restraint? But then, why is your love shackled by need for reciprocation and the opinion of others? Should you ashamed of an impossible love? Should you ever be ashamed of love? But then, wouldn’t it hurt if it’s not acknowledged or maybe even mocked at? What if it draws only indifference?
What if it is questioned? Why do you love me? What would you answer? How does one explain love? How can you be sure? Is there a minimum criterion of requirements that needs to be checked off before you can declare that you are in love? Who sets these standards? How can you ever be sure? When can you be sure? How do you even ask? Why do questions have to precede answers? 
Do you have to look out for signals? How can a person, who takes eons to process simple information, ever identify let alone interpret signals? But, seriously, do signals really exist? Or do we see what we want to see and hear what we want to hear? Why can’t the whole process be simple and doesn’t make you lose the hair on your sparsely populated scalp? Why can’t it be so that the name of the person one loves/likes flash on their foreheads, and since it would be a routine occurrence in the alternate universe I’m describing, it won’t be embarrassing, and make it much easier for people to find love without awkward questions and guesses?
But then, what if in another parallel universe, the one you love, loves you back? What would you then? Why did you go so numb with fear? Why is it so impossible even to indulge such a possibility in some faraway universe? Why are you so scared of admitting your love? Is it mere rejection? Is it fear of a broken heart? Or is it the realization that no one would ever come to be even a close second? If you don’t say it out loud, you won’t hear a ‘no’, and that would be a little solace, won’t it? Who would want to let go of that miniscule hope, however ridiculous and absurd it might be?
What is it about a certain person? Why do you feel happy that such a person exists? Finding your innermost thoughts reflected in another, sometimes that’s enough, isn’t it? Isn’t that rare? Isn’t that worth preserving the way it is, unsullied and uncomplicated? But then, what if you had imagined it?
Seriously, how can one know? How can you say it without compromising your dignity and self-respect? Or should you continue to wear a mask of indifference?
Such a dilemma!

She defined it

The morning rush of patients was over; monitoring vitals, sending laboratory investigations, prescribing medicines and all the relatively small yet hectic duties that internship brought were done with for the day. The patients were in their beds and that provided her some rare quiet moments. She pored over the books that would enable her to cross yet another threshold of her medical career, a postgraduate degree. She concentrated on the questions, mentally eliminating choices and zeroing on a single answer. Confidence surged and ebbed with every guess.

Two hours passed by. Apart from a casual chat with the nurse on duty, there was nothing to interrupt her studies. Few seniors came by later in the evening, and she updated them about any changes in the patients’ conditions. Her duties lessened and she closed her book and waited for nine pm when she could finally go home. Everything seemed dull. She looked at the clock, the minute hand mockingly refused to budge even after what seemed like an eon.

Then he walked in, a confident stride. He had come for his evening shift. Suddenly she became aware of how heavy and awkward her hands felt; and not knowing what to do with them she picked up the book in front of her. Emoting a bilaterally equivalent expression became impossible and she was stuck with the right side of her face trying a hesitant smile, while the left eyelid drooped and the nostril flared. She took in furtive glimpses of him without being too obvious. She was acutely aware of the fact that he stood a few inches away from her and that was her cue to freeze. The simple task of handing over a patient file to him made her sweat glands go into an overdrive. He was totally oblivious of what his presence was doing to her, he probably didn’t even notice that she existed. Time seemed to gallop now, and soon it was time for her to go home. She cursed this relativity of time!

He used to be just another face, another acquaintance. The words that came to her mind when she had first seen him were, “Oh My God! What Acne!” It might have been sudden or gradual, it’s a blur now, but she had looked flustered every time he looked at her or the rare times he talked to her. He hardly knew her, nor did she. And there was no use of harboring any romantic notions for him as it wouldn’t have led to anything. Be reasonable, she chided herself repeatedly. But the heart had stopped taking orders from the reason-seeing-logical-thinking brain. There was a visible disconnect between what she thought and what she felt.

So here she was, acting like an over-enthusiastic teenager, feeling elated every time she caught a glimpse of him or saw him smile; when she had firmly decided that falling in love wasn’t a consideration in the near future.

What was it?

It wasn’t love, it’s too deep a word to assign to her feelings for someone she hardly knew. It wasn’t lust, she didn’t obsess or fantasize about him. It wasn’t an infatuation, he was not the most eligible guy around. It wasn’t the want to be in a relationship, she knew and accepted that he would never reciprocate her feelings. She didn’t feel the urge to see him, or be with him constantly.

She was just happy that there was this boy out there who made her smile every time he crossed her mind. And that’s that.

A Simple Question

Do you see me?
Do you sense my eyes on you?
Do you appreciate my caring for you?
Do you know I go out of my way to help you?
Do you fathom the long waits I endure just to catch a glimpse of you?
Do you observe how clumsy, apprehensive and nervous I am around you?
Do you notice the smile I can’t hide each time we meet?
Do you detect my avoiding you at times just to calm my pounding heart?
Do you understand how scared I am about trusting you with my life?
Do you perceive my eagerness to know you like I know myself?
Do you realize how hard it is for me not knowing what you feel about me?
Do you know I love you?
Do you?