Clock’s ticking!

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Time

Leisure enriches our lives with gratification. Work, on the other hand, adds value and meaning to our lives. Imagine an absence of either of them.

You wake up one day and find yourself in an 18th-century workhouse. You are forced to hard labor for at least 18 hours each day. You are overworked and sleep-deprived, yet you continue to toil for a shabby meal. You dream with open eyes, thinking about blue sky and distant stars. Any fleeting thought or memory that might distract your mind from your present turmoil becomes your companion in misery. You want your suffering to end but you are stuck in a loop. Your soul dies a little every day. Your body becomes diseased and starts to rot. You hate your life and you want to end it. Sounds horrible! Doesn’t it?
Let’s experience the other end of the rope.
You wake up one day and find yourself in a mansion, surrounded with numerous helps. You have clean rooms, clean clothes, timely meals, and a tended garden. In short, there is no activity which requires your attention or supervision. You read interesting books and listen to music from all over the world. Days pass by, weeks vanish, months flee; the only constant sound is the ticking of a clock. Books appear uninteresting, music stops calming you down; you run around the mansion in a manic fit, trying to find something worth doing but all you see are clouds of leisure spread evenly till your eyes can see. You start acting crazy and pull your hair in a raging fit. You hate your life and you want to end it. Sounds horrible! Doesn’t it?
Leisure enriches our lives with gratification. Work, on the other hand, adds value and meaning to our lives. Absence or abundance of any of them can lead to a disaster.
A unique distinction between humans and animals is the understanding of time. We constantly live in all three avenues of time; past, present and future. We constantly ponder upon the past and waste our present, worrying about the future.
The correct way to go about is to understand that time is an expensive commodity. Even if you were born poor, you were showered with this priceless bounty called time. But it’s also so fleeting that anyone can steal it away from us. So, we have to use wisely, the little time we got, before it all runs out.
Most of our time is wasted in useless actions, entertainment, and things which are not of purpose.
You start working on a writing assignment and minutes later you find yourself on YouTube. You have no clue, how this happened.
You begin your day by trying to tidy up your room and end up playing PS4. You did not do it deliberately, I know.
You decide to go out to get groceries but end up chatting with a friend. Not your fault!
Let’s try a different approach. The first step about fixing any problem is to acknowledge the problem. You need to understand that you have limited time.
This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time.
You are dying daily and you need to grab every hour in your grasp.
Even with all the wealth in the world, you cannot buy a single second; that’s how priceless time is!

Once you have understood that your time is running out, you have won half the battle. Now plan and execute!
Your 24hr day should be divided in 3 components – Work, Leisure, and sleep.
Work – An ideal job steals 8 – 10 hours of your day. It’s important because it’s easy money. Till the time you have not achieved financial independence, you need to work for someone else. You cannot be master of your time; you cannot be totally free until you have earned the right. So happily lend 10 hours to your job. But shit doesn’t end here. What about your dreams? What about investing in you?
You thought of that great business idea, you want to monetize your creativity; for all of these, you need time to acquire new skills and hone them. Set aside 4-5 hours for self-improvement.
Leisure – After 15 hours of work, you earned the right to waste maybe 1 hour. Text that attractive female you wanted to go out with. Ask her out for a date. Listen to Morrison. Read Dostoyevsky.
Sleep – Good night and sleep well. 8 hours of training ahead. After such a disciplined day, your subconscious would train you in your sleep for another exciting day ahead. Nothing beats good, old, sleep after a hard, productive day.
What better way to end this chapter than a quote from the masters!

“Nothing, Lucilius, is ours, except time. We were entrusted by nature with the ownership of this single thing, so fleeting and slippery that anyone who will can oust us from possession. What fools these mortals be! They allow the cheapest and most useless things, which can easily be replaced, to be charged in the reckoning, after they have acquired them; but they never regard themselves as in debt when they have received some of that precious commodity—time! And yet time is the one loan which even a grateful recipient cannot repay.” – Seneca

Insomnia

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And her thought striked

Once again, last midnight

She leaves me be

When I think of dying

The moment my heart pumps blood

My socket of eyeballs starts crying

Lost in oblivion

She never nears

The moment I smile

She never bears

All the directions

Nine fathoms Deep

I got no dope

How the fuck do I sleep!

Closed eyes see her face

Open eyes menace

Go away go away

Lover, I got nothing to say

Go away, with your false bundle of joy

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Nothing is Static

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She moved slowly, towards him
With a definite pace
He moved slowly, away from her
With a chaotic pace
They moved closer with a sway
They parted away with decay
Everything is falling apart
Nothing is static
It’s appalling

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Those smiles faded
Lame cries echoed
No one to cheer
Souls lack the ability to hear
Those painful cries wrapped in love
Shut down feelings
Everything is falling apart
Nothing is static

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She smiled for a last night
Tears rolled down those pale cheeks
Salty are her bleeding lips
Blood dried between open legs
Nothing is static
Everything is falling apart

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It’s appalling 
She would go to find a new home
Today! This day!
The end; She said⁠⁠⁠⁠


Pics credit: Felisha

Absence makes the heart grow Fonder

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Yesterday night, the moon and the stars shone bright

The galaxy was alive, while I held you tight

And you slipped, like sand through my fingers

The clocks on the walls became motionless

While I secretly stole, few stars from your hair, tucked behind your right ear

I know someone else owns them, but ain’t finders, keepers

You belong to someone else but I never wanted to keep things

For myself!

I do want you to dance with me

But you prefer dying alone

I wish I could leave you be

But every morning, you & me

Need to travel to save those dying stars

You might but I can’t do it alone

Whoever you choose to spin with, on the dance floor

Whoever you wrap your arms around

The song would always be made of my broken words

The music would always be mine

The less you see of me

The more you would miss me, staring at you

With blank, silent eyes, laden with unsaid speech

I wanted to lie next to you

But haunting you in your dreams, works just fine

What the world fails to understand

Is, whoever you choose to dance with

Lover, you belong to me, You are mine

You would always be mine

I certainly miss the kiss, which I could not dare to steal

But then again, there’s always tomorrow, there’s always a fucking tomorrow!

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The Green Plant & The Lady in Red

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Grab Classy Sequin Wall Canvas – Lady in Red  www.grabclassy.com

 It rained last night

The stars were dull

The moon was gloomy

Her eyes shone bright

She flew kites, all her last days and all those lovely nights

She felt free, roaming around 

With a bear trap, chained to her leg

rattling the ground, as she walked and trampled and moved

This morning, the green plant caught her gaze

She got confused, she got dazed

The earth around was barren

Though her last night was brazenly wet

She looked at the green plant

The plant looked back

Staring he saw, his lovely lady in red

the plant bled, the plant bled

And the land around, blossomed

The lady in red stood motionless

She couldn’t see; hear no sound

Her heart skipped few beats

All she heard was a pointless rhythmic beating of few punctured valves

Lub-Dub Lub-Dub Lub-Dub Lub-Dub Lub-Dub

The lady in red, went back to her bed; she had witnessed enough rain for the season

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The Rain and The Song

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Brutally raining it was

In the middle of night when I paused

The waking dream of haunting past woke me up

my dried throat demanded a sup

My music player played a melody song

the sweetness of your voice; My soul felt the throng

Back to the time when we would be lovers

In a jiffy the period so long recapitulates

feeling the words that your lips tremble to utter

In the dark of these rainy nights

Baby, I want to feel the warmth of your breath on my neck

The song drowned me even deeper

Into a time where I would caress her

The lyrics appears lucid

corners of my memories bruised

Those haunting memories forces rolling tears

reminding me of a loss my soul bears

But I pick up my shattered pieces

I shrug off the daunting past

for there is no reason to steadfast

Our troubled times together

no longer offer, pain or respite

A day comes and you are a distant memory

I can’t even remember your face; you might

I want to thank you for the lessons taught

for the loyalty and gains that I had sought

Today my shackled self is free

like a bird on a sprouting spring tree

The rain and the song tried their best to drag me back

unshackling the chains I ran and ran, until I eluded the sack!

Malik Umar

Srinagar, Kashmir

 

Gun & Marriage licence!

Broken Radio

Nishant


Pillow talk is an essential bonding activity in a relationship. The less tenured is a relationship, the more impactful are pillow talks. It has been two years, now, since Dia and Nik moved in together but their love is still as potent, as it was, the first night. 

They make sure that the fire doesn’t burn down. Dia sits on Nik’s lap while he continues to shower her with nimble kisses. He loves licking her skin, with his tongue. He starts from her neck and continues going till her belly button, pauses for a second and then glides from her bellybutton to her thighs, till her toes.

‘Are you planning to eat me? You never get tired. Do you? You horny fuck,’ Dia says.
‘You can stop me, when, you want to. Why don’t you stop me?’ asks Nik.
‘I don’t want to.’

After burning some more calories Nik proposes, ‘Hey sweetie pie, we have been together for long and surprisingly, it’s working out, let’s get married.’
Dia gets surprised on hearing Nik talk about marriage.
You hate marriages,’ she enquires.
Yes, in principle, I do but I want to, spend the rest of my life, with you!’

You know, I can’t get married to a non-Muslim. It’s a sin for me,’ she states blatantly.

And what about this? Is this not a sin?’ he says while his hands, play, with her breasts. She moans in pleasure and whispers,

There are sins which can be forgiven and there are some which cannot. Sleeping with you makes me a sinner but I still would get forgiveness. Marrying a Kaffir is haraam. No forgiveness there
‘You and your beliefs, never made sense to me. You do know, you are twisting facts?’
How come you don’t believe in anything?’ asks Dia, in order to deflect.

‘I believe in nature. I do believe, in the universe. I believe in Kabir, Krishna, Mira, Jesus, Prophet but not as gods, as Rock stars. They were original Rock stars. They had long hair, their own bands, their original tunes; they had groupies, and they held concerts. I do believe in something and that is pretty straight. Not at all twisted!’

‘You and your beliefs never made sense to me,’ Dia says while biting him on his neck and they laugh.
They continue indulging in each other while Nik manages to convince Dia, that if it’s all the same to her, they should get married; If not a real one, then just, as an, interesting activity! ‘Let’s get married for fun!’
Nik pleads for hours, before, Dia agrees to take it as a fun activity and together they march to a registrar’s office. They dress fancy and enter the offices of  –                                                                                          ‘Gun & Marriage licence.’          

        They wait, there, for a while. Nik wore his happy face.
A clerk asks them to come to the desk.
‘Gun license would be ready in two hours. Marriage licenses take a week. What are you here for?’ asks the clerk.
I need a license,’ replies Nik.
Which model?
Oh no! I don’t need it for a gun. I need it to get married,’ says Nik.

The clerk looks at him, then looks at Dia, then looks at both of them and points his finger, towards few forms. ‘Fill these forms and come after a week!
Nik wanted to get married the same day.

I want this to be done by today’s evening. I can pay you extra, if that would help,’ he pleads. ‘I wish. Marriages, take time, my friend. Go for a gun instead. I would get you a licence by evening’ answers the clerk, sadly.

Dia looks at Nik, and they both burst into laughter. They leave, from that office and go to a nearby ice-cream parlour. 

Eating ice cream, together, is an essential bonding activity in a relationship. Nik loved vanilla and Dia loved strawberry. They order a two in one.


Source: Broken Radio(novel by Nishant). This book is not for those who believe in happily ever after tales. It’s brilliantly creepy, violent and extremely offensive in nature. It preaches a cult philosophy against an emasculating consumerist culture.

The story is a brilliant mix of transgressed elements held together by dirty realism. It focuses on characters who feel confined by the norms and expectations of society and who break free of those confines in unusual or illicit ways. Because they are rebelling against the basic norms of society, protagonists may seem mentally ill, anti-social, or nihilistic. The book deals extensively with taboo subject matters such as drugs, sexual activity, violence, pedophilia and crime.

Read Broken Radio – Novel

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What we talk, when we talk, about, Love! – Act II

Good Morning Planet

It’s a bright, sunny morning, here in the BrokenRadio Studios, and we bring you ACT II of

“What we talk, when we talk, about, Love!”

Act I – What we talk, when we talk, about, Love!


BrokenRadio Theaters present, to you, a play written by Khadija (You think You know) & Nishant (Broken Radio).

Act II – Begins,

( The stage is brightly lit with various performers dancing in the background. Nik is standing on the stage with few pages in his hand. He has, his reading glasses, on. The music fades away..performers continue dancing. Nik addresses the audience)

Curtains Rise!

(Crowd cheers. Loud Applause)

Understanding The Rise in Skies & the Fall on Earth

Nik : The title in itself, is enigmatic. The poetess is comparing two cosmic events. One being Eid and other falling in Love. The poetess talks about a confused and unsure kind of love, that is really rare and yet the most captivating. (He comes forward on the stage)  The protagonist to whom the poetess address as the ‘Dark Prince‘… is a great admirer of her and is madly in love with her. As much, as the poetess tries not to develop similar feelings, she does get smitten, eventually. Mostly, the poem talks about their secret encounters and exchange of words.. What poetess envies the most is when she experiences cosmic love, the Dark Prince is not their celebrating the rise in the sky; Eid.. As much as the poetess hates it, she’s willing to give him another chance as she too is hopelessly in love. (Nik throws the pages in air)
 But then again, who knows poetry.. It’s always, what’s not said, never, what is.

(Lights fade out. The background changes itself back to the Act I setting. Nik removes his reading glasses. Kate walks in)

Kate: Brilliant job. You scored an A. Although, it isn’t the true derivation entirely.

(Moves forward on the stage and addresses the audience)

Well, the rise in the sky and fall on the earth shows, how you take me high in the skies and then throw me down on the ground. I experience a bliss in a moment and in the next, you abandon me mercilessly. When the world spoke about us, You said; my destiny walked into my door. My pride and your ego clashed and doomed were we. Then one night we met again after your endless efforts of getting me back. And we celebrated the festival like it was the last Eid on earth. You said – it’s us against the world, give me time, cope with me.

(The stage fills itself with mystic silence. We could hear loud breathing.)

Nik: (murmurs slowly to himself) There was silence in the air. All three of us were breathing heavily. Me, her and Johnnie Walker. (Nik walks away from Kate and continues murmuring)  I am jealous of this Dark Prince, Kate dedicated a poem for him! (Looks at a picture of another women) The only lines she ever dedicated to me was – “I am nobody’s fool” and it took me weeks to understand, what it really meant.

Kate: Life was perfect!

Nik: (walks near Kate) Well, let me dedicate my prayers for your eternal, blissful, family stamped, first love. If this doesn’t see a happy ending, then love should, atleast, not be in dictionary and books should paint it black, with dark ink.

Kate: That’s so accurately put. This is not love, though! (pauses for a moment, looks lost in memories) I don’t know, what love is.. 

Nik: What is it, then? I have no clue, what love is! Truly, Sincerely, Please tell me.

(The performers swarm the stage and start dancing rigorously, there is no music, playing, in the background)

Kate: It’s hard to express. Maybe 10000 pages or maybe less! Why are you, so intent to know the definition of love?

Nik: I need to write about love and I have not, ever, experienced it. Hence the curiousity. I want to know, what love is!

Kate: (looks at him for a moment, lovingly, addresses the audience) Love is divine, it makes you experience the most extreme emotions that you were oblivious of. But it’s got one and only one rule; You have to forget self love and even if you can’t, have, your love, for yourself, forever, smile and be grateful for the memories and experiences. Love does not mean achieving. Love needs no labels, no possessions, no ownership. You welcome it’s arrival, with a smile, and then you let it go, with a smile. (looks at Nik and continues) So, If your fav doll is lost, don’t cry, rather cherish the moment you had with it and live life.

Nik: That does make a lot of sense, Miss. But, I need a clarification. I guess, in our lifetime, we experience love more than once. So is their something also called – True Love? Or it’s the same every time!

Kate: (addresses the audience) I don’t know, that’s an interesting question. According to me, love is just once, But that does not mean it seals your fate. You carry on and live life, settle for someone really charming, who makes you happy.

Nik: (looks at Kate) Would you care to know my thoughts? (Doesn’t wait for her response and continues, addresses the audience) To understand love, we need to understand time. (dancers in the background are not at all performing in sync, each artist seems to be following their own steps, the stage suddenly gets chaotic, lights flicker) 

There is past, present and future. Past is all memories and Future is entirely imagination. So, what matters is now! Present matters. Not what happened a moment ago, not what might happen next, No fear, no assumption, Just now – living in the moment. (Goes near Kate) What are you doing now? (she thinks, he doesn’t wait for her response and continues speaking to the audience) Right now…right fucking now…She is experiencing release of adrenaline and dopamine, look at her, how happy she seems (there is a sadness on Kate’s face) We are experiencing effects of tiny pills laced with love. (Nik comes to the edge of the stage and yells)

There is no absolute love. That is a cosmic event.. Barely happens.. I am trying to recreate, but still it takes ages.. This is day to day love.. What people call love, when they talk about love. What humanity needs to experience, is, Cosmic love. Feeling of being around even during absences.. Dreams.. Mutual dreams.. You communicate without words. You close your eyes and your partner feels you missing them…
Love is not necessarily both sided.. Moon and the sea try and hug each other, failing, every full moon night..When the moon is completely naked.. That’s the love I talk about. That’s the love I want to experience. I want to know what love is!

Kate: (holds his hand) Look at us, making a failed attempt at defining love..

(They both stare into each other eyes. Curtains Fall, Crowd goes crazy, Crowd whistles among the loud thud)

Play Ends.


Whoa! That was something. Huh? Let me make breakfast, she would be awake soon. You enjoy your friendly Tupperware! Have a nice day.

What we talk, when we talk, about, Love!

 

Good Evening Planet

It’s a lovely evening, indeed. There is a dazzling, shimmering, reason behind this love, in the evening. Yesterday morning, I released the first chapter of my 2nd book – Smokes & Strings – Boulevard of Broken Art. It’s a love story. A twisted one.

I had my doubts, because, what do I know? I, have, never been in love. I just experienced what television sold, not the books…the Television. I went out on dates in shopping malls, bought gifts and had sex. It did seem like love, back then. Now, I am a grown up. I no longer watch television. I only read books and I only talk to writers. And, I want to know what love is…..

I asked my friend, Khadija Fatima – Author of You Think You Know ,”Do you know, what love is?” She sent me a poem. The Rise in Skies & the Fall on Earth. But then we all know, we need to figure out ART. It’s always ”what’s not said” and never, ”what is”.

So, I made some failed attempts to understand it and finally gave up. I, then again, asked her to explain….And we both ended up writing this play….


Ladies and Gentlemen, Tonight’s entertainment is a play about love, loss, pride, humility and then, love, again. BrokenRadio Theatres Present, to you, a play written by Khadija (You think You know) and Nishant (Broken Radio) .

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Act I – Begins,

Lift the curtains!

(Crowd Cheers, Loud applause, A remarkably thin male is sitting on a stool, in front of a stunningly beautiful female. They both are in their prime youth and seem very cheerful. The entire stage is lit with bright lights, with no gloominess in any corner, apart from, in the eyes of, both the protagonists)

Nik: How are we doing today, Kate. What are we doing?

Kate: Heya! Ahh been occupied. I had company. Now, was enjoying my alone time, and then you walked in and sat, there, right, on that stool.

Nik: Well, if anyone would have such a delightful company as you, blessed are those few.

Kate: Ain’t you guys just too nice.

Nik: Well, you pay me to be nice. I think, I should get at least twice the amount you pay me, because, of the time I invest in you . Your project, I mean!

Kate: Oh, I didn’t know, I pay you to be nice.

Nik: Yeah, a very unfair amount though but then there are other perks which I truly enjoy.

Kate: You are funny! (Sarcastically)

Nik:  I am serious, always. It’s, you, who somehow induce humor in my deadbeat words.
And I guess, glamor, too.

Kate: Yes, glamor, I agree cause I just love it. We’re both sarcastic.

Nik: I am not. Talk about yourself, Lady! (pauses, clears throat) You are the friendliest ‘client’, I ever had the pleasure to service. Never met someone with your potential, in this, big, bad, round, uneven, world. 

(A smiles spreads on Kate’s face and the black and white lights change to a rainbow)

And, that smile, That’s, what makes my days, and evenings, and someday, other periods of my long, lonely, lazy, mundane, days.

Kate: My goodness. I think, I’m done with compliments. 

Nik: (stammers) Oh, Okay, no more for today, then. (Pauses for a second. Dramatic music plays in the background, for a second. Music stops) Glad, I have nothing to say about your, yesterday’s picture. It just made me speechless.

Kate: (blushes) Oh, about that, I think, I was too happy yesterday since everyone loved my poem. So, hence the glow. (Comes closer, and whispers in his ears) Even, in the theatre people were staring madly. (Pulls her face back and continues talking). So, Yeah, partial credit goes to you for publishing it. And my makeup of course 😸 I love shimmer!

Nik: (Comes closer, and stares in her eyes) The stares were all for you, so, you deserve the credit. (lights go dim, girl bows down) Shimmer, loves, being on you. (pulls her closer) You think, you know, let me tell you something, Ignorance is bliss. 

icelandic-dance

(Lights are back. It’s just a white, bright light. Nik and Kate adjust their seats, the moment lights, change color. There is a chaotic silence on the stage. The background music is of an animal being choked to death. The music gets louder. Nik stands up. Kate pulls her chair farther away from him.)

Kate: (coldly, her voice comes from far to the audience) So, what could you make from the poem? 

Nik: (Addresses the audience) And the poetess wants to know… What, the commoner sees… Okay! 

(looks at her and continues)

Understanding, The Rise in Skies & the Fall on Earth ….

The stage drifts away from behind, from beneath, his feet. The background metamorphoses into an old, dusty, rusty, library. Kate exits the scene. Nik wears reading glasses. And the curtains fall…Crowd cheers..) 

ACT I – Ends


Hope, you guys enjoyed reading this, as much as we enjoyed writing. BrokenRadio would return with the second act, soon enough. Grab a smoke for now. Will ya!

The Rise in Skies & the Fall on Earth

Good Evening Planet

An adrenaline junkie is somebody who engages in sensation-seeking behavior through “the pursuit of novel and intense experiences without regard for physical, social, legal or financial risk”. Such activities include extreme and risky sports, substance abuse, unsafe sex, and crime. The term relates to the increase in circulating levels of adrenaline during physiological stress.

Dopamine is another profound chemical. The effects of dopamine include increases in heart rate, body temperature, and sweating; improvements in alertness, attention, and endurance; increases in pleasure produced by rewarding events; but at higher doses agitation, anxiety, or even loss of contact with reality.  Stimulants such as nicotine, cocaine and methamphetamine promote increased levels of dopamine.

Only a handful of addicts are aware that ART induces a combination of both adrenaline and dopamine. This evening a dear friend of mine, Author – Khadija FatimaYou think You know, made me read one of her poems. Well, I am high on her words ; A perfect blend of two of the planet’s most profound chemical.

As much as I wanna save this drug for myself, I cannot deprive the world from such beautiful poetry. So, Ladies & Gentlemen, this terrific evening, Broken Radio presents you, an original poem by Miss Khadija Fatima!

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“The Rise in Skies & the Fall on Earth

You beamed with wits when you saw me

A little gut feeling went unattended

Danced like a lunatic when we met

Made me reminisce an old love song in your red dodge

Table with Kebabs and Game of thrones

Surprised me with taste of India in a Pak lounge

Twice the dawn turned into dusk, then we met again

Flirted with flamboyance until I gave up

We flew away as written in the palms of time

Months passed with eternal nights filled with thrills

Planning and preparation, our palpations never halted

Then you came crossing the deep seas

When we met in the mist of frosty days

I set eyes on you and I knew you were mine

When the world asked our story, your lips moved radiantly

And the bliss I heard, “my destiny walked into my door”

How we loved our chilly walks full of joy and fear

Our confound natures created a havoc

And it all ended in sorrow and vague

Until the darkest night crawled back, we met again

I buttoned your sleeves and relived your skin

Humoured and ridiculed the world in good faith

The mighty Eid arrived, and it struck what I missed

We spoke the unheard words, us against the world

My quest with the dark prince, who said we still got time…  “

— Kate

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The Crystal Ship

“People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality; their feelings most of all. People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit. Love hurts. Feelings are disturbing. People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous. How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel? Pain is meant to wake us up. People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong. Pain is something to carry, like a radio. You feel your strength in the experience of pain. It’s all in how you carry it. That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling. Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality. If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality. You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.”
― Jim Morrison

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“The Crystal Ship”

Before you slip into unconsciousness
I’d like to have another kiss
Another flashing chance at bliss
Another kiss, another kiss
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The days are bright and filled with pain
Enclose me in your gentle rain
The time you ran was too insane
We’ll meet again, we’ll meet again

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Oh tell me where your freedom lies
The streets are fields that never die
Deliver me from reasons why
You’d rather cry, I’d rather fly

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The crystal ship is being filled
A thousand girls, a thousand thrills
A million ways to spend your time
When we get back, I’ll drop a line

— Morrison

I Could See The Smallest Things

I was in bed when I heard the gate. I listened carefully. I didn’t hear anything else. But I heard that. I tried to wake Cliff. He was passed out. So I got up and went to the window. A big moon was laid over the mountains that went around the city. It was a white moon and covered with stars. Any damn fool could imagine a face there.

There was light enough so that I could see everything in the yard – lawn chairs, the willow tree, clothesline strung between the poles, the petunias, the fences, the gate standing wide open.

But nobody was moving around. There were no scary shadows. Everything lay in moonlight, and I could see the smallest things. The clothespins on the line for instance.

I put my hands on the glass to block out the moon. I looked some more. I listened. Then I went back to bed.

But I couldn’t get to sleep. I kept turning over. I thought about the gate standing open. It was like a dare.

Cliff’s breathing was awful to listen to. His mouth gaped open and his arms hugged his pale chest. He was taking up his side of the bed and most of mine.

I pushed and pushed on him. But he just groaned.

I stayed a while longer until I decided it was no use. I got up and got my slippers. I went to the kitchen and made tea and sat with it at the kitchen table. I smoked one of Cliff’s unfiltereds.

It was late. I didn’t want to look at the time. I drank the tea and smoked another cigarette. After a while I decided I’d go out and fasten up the gate.

So I got my robe.

The moon lighted up everything – houses and trees, poles and power lines, the whole world. I peered around the backyard before I stepped off the porch. A little breeze came along that made me close the robe.

I started for the gate.

There was a noise at the fences that separated our place from Sam Lawton’s place. I took a sharp look. Sam was leaning with his arms on his fence, there being two fences to lean on. He raised his fist to his mouth and gave a dry cough.

‘Evening Nancy’, Sam Lawton said.

I said, ‘Sam you scared me.’ I said, ‘What are you doing up?’ ‘Did you hear something?’ I said. ‘I heard the gate unlatch.’

He said, ‘I didn’t hear anything. Haven’t seen anything, either. It might have been the wind.’

He was chewing something. He looked at the open gate and shrugged. His hair was silvery in the moonlight and stood up on his head. I could see his long nose, the lines in his big sad face.

I said, ‘What are you doing up, Sam? and moved closer to the fence.

‘Want to see something?’ he said.

‘I’ll come round’, I said.

I let myself out and went along the walk. It felt funny walking around outside in my nightgown and my robe. I thought to myself that I should try to remember this, walking around outside like this.

Sam was standing over by the side of his house, his pyjamas way up high over his tan-and-white shoes. He was holding a flashlight in one hand and a can of something in the other.

Sam and Cliff used to be friends. Then one night they got to drinking. They had words. The next thing, Sam had built a fence and then Cliff built one too.

That was after Sam had lost Mille, gotten married again, and become a father again all in the space of no time at all. Millie had been a good friend until she died. She was only forty-five when she did it. Heart failure. It hit her just as she was coming into their drive. The car kept going and went through the back of the carport.

‘Look at this,’ Sam said, hitching his pyjama trousers and squatting down. He pointed his light at the ground.

I looked and saw some wormy things curled on a patch of dirt.

‘Slugs,’ he said. ‘I just gave them a dose of this’, he said, raising a can of something that looked like Ajax. ‘They’re taking over,’ he said, and worked whatever it was that he had in his mouth. He turned his head to one side and spit what could have been tobacco. ‘I have to keep at this to just come close to staying up with them.’ He turned his light on a jar that was filled with the things. ‘I put the bait out, and then every chance I get I come out here with this stuff. Bastards are all over. A crime what they can do. Look here,’ he said.

He got up. He took my arm and moved me over to his rosebushes. He showed me the little holes in the leaves.

‘Slugs’, he said. ‘Everywhere you look around here at night. I lay out bait and then I come out and get them,’ he said. ‘An awful invention, the slug. I save them up in that jar over there.’ He moved his light to under the rosebush.

A plane passed overhead. I imagined the people on it staring down at the ground.

‘Sam’, I said, ‘how’s everybody?’

‘They’re fine,’ he said, and shrugged.

He chewed on whatever it was he was chewing. ‘How’s Clifford?’ he said.

I said, ‘Same as ever.’

Sam said, ‘Sometimes when I’m out here after the slugs, I’ll look over in your direction.’ He said, ‘I wish me and Cliff were friends again. Look there now,’ he said, and drew a sharp breath. ‘There’s one there. See him? Right there where my light is.’ He had the beam directed onto the dirt under the rosebush. ‘Watch this,’ Sam said.

I closed my arms under my breasts and bent over to where he was shining his light. The thing stopped moving and turned its head from side to side. Then Sam was over it with his can of powder, sprinkling the powder down.

‘Slimy things’, he said.

The slug was twisting this way and that. Then it curled and straightened out. Sam picked up a toy shovel, and scooped the slug into it, and dumped it out in the jar.

‘I quit you know,’ Sam said. ‘Had to. For a while it was getting so I didn’t know up from down. We still keep it around the house but I don’t have much to do with it anymore.’

I nodded. He looked at me and he kept looking.

‘I’d better get back,’ I said.

‘Sure,’ he said. ‘I’ll continue with what I’m doing and then when I’m finished, I’ll head in too.’

I said, ‘Good night, Sam.’

He said, ‘Listen.’ He stopped chewing. With his tongue, he pushed whatever it was behind his lower lip. ‘Tell Cliff I said hello.’

I said, ‘I’ll tell him you said so, Sam.’

Sam ran his hand through his silvery hair as if he was going to make it sit down once and for all, and then he used his hand to wave.

In the bedroom, I took off the robe, folded it, put it within reach. Without looking at the time, I checked to make sure the stem was out on the clock. Then I got into bed, pulled the covers up, and closed my eyes.

It was then that I remembered I’d forgotten to latch the gate.

I opened my eyes and lay there. I gave Cliff a little shake. He cleared his throat. He swallowed. Something caught and dribbled in his chest.

I don’t know. It made me think of those things that Sam Lawton was dumping powder on.

I thought for a minute of the world outside my house, and then didn’t have any more thoughts except the thought that I had to hurry up and sleep.

Source: Raymond Carver (1985) The Stories of Raymond Carver, London, Picador/Pan Books, pp.204-7


“What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” is not only the most well-known short story title of the latter part of the 20th century; it has come to stand for an entire aesthetic, the bare-bones prose style for which Raymond Carver became famous. Perhaps, it could be argued, too famous, at least for his fiction’s own good. Like those of Hemingway or any other writer similarly loved, imitated, parodied, and reviled, these stories can sometimes produce the sense of reading pastiche. “A man without hands came to the door to sell me a photograph of my house.” “That morning she pours Teacher’s over my belly and licks it off. That afternoon she tries to jump out the window.” “My friend Mel McGinnis was talking. Mel is a cardiologist, and sometimes that gives him the right.” What other writer ever produced first sentences like these? They are like doors into Carverworld, where everyone speaks in simple declarative phrases, no one ever stops at one beer, and failure or violence are the true outcomes of the American dream.

Yet these stories bear careful re-reading, like any truly important and enduring work. For one thing, Carver is one of the few writers who can make desperation–cutting your ex-wife’s telephone cord in the middle of a conversation, standing on your own roof chunking rocks while a man with no hands takes your picture–deeply funny. Then there is the sheer craft that went into their creation. Despite their seeming simplicity, his tales are as artfully constructed as poems–and like poems, the best of them can make your breath catch in your throat. In the title piece, for instance, after the gin has been drunk, after the stories have been told, after the tensions in the room have come to the surface and subsided again, there comes a moment of strange lightness and peace: “I could hear my heart beating. I could hear everyone’s heart. I could hear the human noise we sat there making, not one of us moving, not even when the room went dark.”

Much of what happens in What We Talk About When We Talk About Love (1981) happens offstage, and we’re left with tragedy’s props: booze, instant coffee, furniture from a failed marriage, cigarettes smoked in the middle of the night. This is not merely a matter of technique. Carver leaves out a great deal, but that’s only a measure of his characters’ vulnerability, the nerve endings his stories lay bare. To say anything more, one feels, would simply hurt too much. –Mary Park

Smokes & Strings – Boulevard of Broken Art

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Good Morning Planet. My name is Nik. I think, I live and I write. Among all three, I like writing more.

This story is about three artists. The first being – Me, of course. I have to be in the story. After all, the story is, where, I am! My father never watched TV. I am the inquisitive kind. I wanted to ask him, “Why didn’t you enjoy television, like the million others who indulge in the magnificent human insight, offered by the men and women inside that glowing tube?”

I wrote him a letter from prison. Well, calling  my place of captivity, prison, would be lying, technically, ideally. But glad we do not live in an ideal, technical, world. No one needs to play by the rules. There is always a workaround.

So the story is about Me, Aisha and Karen.

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Part I – The Escape

“Dear Father,

Hope you are doing great. I am having a good time, here, in this wonderful institution which takes care of my mental health. I intend to stay here, till the institution which oversees the lawful conduct of people, wishes, me, to. In the end, it’s never about love. Society is about fairness and law. Everyone is a just being. Love is a lost cause.

The things we do, in the name of love. So low..So low!

Now marriages don’t happen. Corporate mergers are the new holy union of souls.

Anyways, I often wonder, here, alone, in darkness, why do you hate television so much? We all have a need of drama in our lives. Where did you find yours?

Do write back. I would wait eagerly!

Your’s truly,

Son”

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Thousands of persons must have said the same thing to him since, but Aisha happened to be the first in the line. Anyone likes to hear flattering sentiments, and more than others, I suppose, artists. They like to be told every hour of the day how well they use their creativity.

Part II – Aisha

I reached the house at a run and rested a while in the lobby to regain my breath. I went in, brushing back my hair with my hand and composing my features. The door was open. As I entered, I heard her voice –

You are early! What took you so long?

She looked both sad and profound. I sat down on a stool near her.

“You are alone. I suppose, I should not stay long.”

She choose neither to acknowledge nor answer.

I looked at my watch. She had been away from him for nearly 8 hours. I was wasting time. Time was slipping through my fingers. If I were to make good, I should utilize this chance.

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“Every night you generally sit up and cry, do you?” I asked boldly.

“When we are alone and start talking, we argue and quarrel over everything. We don’t agree on most matters, and then he leaves me alone and comes back and we are all right, that’s all.”

“It’s unthinkable that anyone should find it possible to quarrel or argue with you. You look like a smile machine for poor, tortured, souls. You are such a divine creature, even colors cannot paint, your reflection.”

She asked sharply, “What do you mean?”

I explained myself plainly. I was prepared to ruin myself today if need be, but I was going to talk and tell her. If she wanted to kick me out, she could do it after listening to me. I spoke my mind. Somehow, whenever we speak, time froze. Time became as slow as a tree falling in the forest.

Aisha lives at the Vista Regency, which is nothing but brown bricks held together with sleaze, where all the mattresses are sealed inside slippery plastic covers, so many people go there to die. You sit on any bed the wrong way, and you and the sheets and blanket slide right to the floor.

“Why did you marry at all?” I asked recklessly.

She remained moody and said, “I don’t know. It just happened. I guess, LOVE.”

People always talk about love. Everyone does. Whenever I hear, “Love”, Raymond’s voice echoes in my head.
“and it ought to make us feel ashamed when we talk like we know what we’re talking about when we talk about love. All this, all of this love we’re talking about, it would just be a memory. Maybe not even a memory. Am I wrong? Am I way off base? Because I want you to set me straight if you think I’m wrong. I want to know. I mean, I don’t know anything, and I’m the first one to admit it.” 
― Raymond Carver, What We Talk About When We Talk About Love”

CALIFORNICATION (Season 3)

 

I see love as a cosmic event that changes the course of our lives. True selfless love, obviously, contrary to what is currently sold by popular media ; Where love is found online via matrimony websites on the virtues of income. That’s our institution of marriage. The Holy union of souls. She also has a piece of paper validating her love for him.
A piece of paper is what is needed for two people to stay in love. – Society
Things we do, in the name of Love, so low…so low!
I sighed deeply, overcome with the sadness of her life. I placed my hand on her shoulder and gently stroked it. “I am really very unhappy to think of you, such a gem lost to the world. In his place I would have made you a queen of the world.” She didn’t push away my hand. I let it travel and pushed my fingers through the locks of her hair.
Next day she visited my studio. She opened the – door, passed in, and hesitated, leaving the door half open. She stood looking at me for a moment, as on the first day.
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If you really unite with your soulmate, you are doomed! Because you both would sit and talk and that is it. Now love is sex, money and revenge. An eternal revenge inflicted by two partners on each other for the sheer reason; they were not supposed to be together. Else time would freeze and it’s just that moment. You don’t eat, you don’t sleep, you don’t wake up, you don’t breathe, You just look into each other eyes and float in the space. You experience Nirvana, a state even the most potent opioids fail to induce.
She went in the resident artist’s bedroom and closed the door. She came out after a short while. She had taken off all her ornaments. She didn’t have gold rings in her ears, no gold chain hung around her neck, her arms were empty, her alms were empty. Apart from the tiny piece of silk cloth, covering her modesty, she did not have anything that she ever called hers. I could see her naked image, that slender frame, it must have took, God, six days to create her. On the seventh day, he created the world. That explains her divine beauty and this filthy world.
I stood up, held her neck, as I gently pushed her towards the bed, out of the way, and stepped in and locked the door on the world.
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Things we do, in the name of Love, so low…so low!

 

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to be continued….as the show must go on….. Have a lovely day ahead!

 

 

 

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