He grew up with it. It used to scare him, scare the living daylights… he wanted to be able to go out and play, but he dared not… He looked, talked and slept, normal; and as clichéd as it sounds, looks ARE deceptive; he was not normal! And, ma never told him that?? He was quite an upset figure, cross with himself, cross with ma, for keeping such an important (maybe, a little special??) fact from him! He had to discover it, accidentally.

Oh, he was so mistaken, ma didn’t know it herself. He tried asking her first and then telling her about it. Ah, all in vain… everything was put down as the resultant talks of functions of his 10 year old hyper active brains.

And, a perfectly normal brat turned a lonely child overnight. He did not have a name for it. But, he was careful of what crossed his brains. Careful!! Very careful! Fighting a battle with his, own mind. An idea crossed his mind and the abstracts were no more abstracts. Crystallizing, right before his eyes.

Miracles, if constant, become a habit. And, things which mutate in habits become so much a part of you, that, eventually, they are woven in the tapestry of your personality. You are no more conscious of them. You are no more conscious even of the efforts that you put in hiding these habits from every one else… Practice, is the road to perfection! And, mind is just so good at adapting and taking everything, miracles included, in it's stride!

So, he grew up with it. Crossing the bridge, from fear of unknown, to a friendly base. He arranged things, cleaned his room and amused himself by juggling knick knacks in air… all without lifting a finger. And, he knew he could not go out and play basketball. He so very wanted to do it.

Slowly, he discovered the power; and slowly he discovered the steam of this power… volatile enough to be lethal… it almost did!

With discoveries, came an understanding that, it is HIS mind, he HAS to control it; for, a tool cannot control the engineer, a brush cannot control the painter. A 15 year old understanding!

Tell a girl, that a guy is absolutely useless for her… and yep, most definitely… the guy becomes a god, thoroughly irresistible!! The eternal romantic, that, this gender is…

He looked every bit, straight out of some old forgotten Mills n Boons paperback… tall, lanky, loner, thick lashed eyes behind the specs… well carved lips gleaming in crooked smile...the smile which was so sparse, that when it suddenly did play on…. I had my heart doing a jig… the heart which I, so unconsciously and unpretentiously wore on my sleeves. 

He was very handsome and he didn’t know it. Non conformist, unconventional…

My schooling in, rock/alternative music, my education of bike rides, late night discussions and all things sneered upon, in this so called practical “get-a-MBA-so-you-land-a-cream-job” world; and so much more, so much of which held all the fascination of being deeper in meaning… I owe all this to him.

The sane called him delusional. And, much to the consternation of these “sane” ones; he had impeccable taste in life – in things that mattered.

I was taken in by the quietly simmering fire, the liquid of the eyes… and the honey of the voice… deep baritone… I loved it, all. He was a drop out, wasn’t actually doing anything “substantial” to get anywhere in life, he lived on his own terms… selfish and yet so selfless, a misfit…he was all so wrong. In his words, he was a “just an artist”. And, I loved it all.

I was a misfit, in my own way… alternating between being a wallflower and a blunt tongue… depending on my mood and the crowd ... not only those around me, but me myself have always had a tough time… slotting myself.

My only aim in life was… well, I didn’t know… what I wanted, not then… Was living each day, as it came by… had stepped out of the protective confines of a small town middle class family; and I was already surrounded by suave classmates with either a work experience or an engineering college/hostel know how on their resume; before I could make sense of what hit me. It was at best a rollercoaster ride, which I didn’t know, how to handle. I made some little mistakes, trying to fit myself and ended up being scalded. I did not make any moves, trying to keep myself away and ended up getting third degree burns. What is being dished out to you in the name of life is quite funny.

Ours was a relationship, not by default but by design… a mixed, confused, un named, relationship… with an acute fondness turning to an acute attraction. I believe, there’s always that element of chemistry at work, when one talks of mars and venus, even if it is a pure platonic, fun thing… we do first react, to the gender, and, then the person… somewhere deep inside, we do know, that we like the person, as a man or a woman.


She wasn’t a conventional beauty. And yet, there was something extremely magnetic about her. She entered a room and people had to take notice of her; and yet, no one could pin down any particular attribute, feature. People couldn’t slot her and she was so unsure of herself, it just doubled up her attractiveness. It just so drove everyone nuts. People hated her, because they could not understand the intensity she was and she evoked. And, she definitely was on innumerable wishlist. A surprise!

He did notice her and that’s that. And, then he noticed her eyes. And, that’s that! She politely, formally said “hi” and walked off. Ages passed. And, things went on like they do; and unlike the movies, nothing really happened. No sparks. No songs. No coincidental meetings. And, he being what he was… He was anyways, laced in his own thoughts. However, he was very conscious of her presence or absence. Along the way, he saw her growing from taciturn girl to life of the party. However, her eyes, were still the same. Same loneliness! And, the increasing depth!

And, slowly, by default, they became acquainted… and rest just happened. He was careful not to will his ideas, his thoughts, when it came to her…

Not all stories end with “ever after”…

So, it happened… he could no longer keep himself from willing and wishing and making things happen for her, for himself… for his version of “us”.

And, there ensued a battle of wills… One thing, she was absolutely averse to, being controlled, deeds or thoughts.

As for him, he was oblivious of there being any other mind equaling his let alone, more powerful than his.

The battle became war. He would click her pictures and she could not believe it was her, the picture looked ethereal. He painted her. He created things for her. Everything had a magical hue. And, she saw right through all of it. The spontaneity and the instinct were fast loosing ground. It was all for a benefit. So??

So, this wasn’t any different from hordes of other stories. It was fast becoming a game of manipulations.

The more he wanted her all wrapped up only for himself… only because, she was the only one who knew and understood things, without being told. And, he could give her the world. So, what was wrong with her?

More, she grew distant. She was like the air, which bottled up, became stale… even if you perfumed it with the Chanel 5! She didn’t need the world. She needed to live “the world”, together.

He had lived only with his mind forever. Locked up.
She had lived free in herself. Locked in the world.

The caress became lethal. The love became fatal.
The art was getting to be all too self destructive.

Copyright © Neerja Yadav

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