Monday, April 15, 2013

Locks First

Sarah stared at her surroundings a little apprehensively; she had never lived in a neighborhood like this before. The dry paint peeling off the walls, the smell of garbage that hadn't been picked up for what seemed like years and the lingering glances of men, all of it filled her with a sense of dread . She had to keep telling herself “I’ll be alright, I can do this”, she would just buy a few extra locks for the doors and the windows and any other place she could think of, and come home as early as it was possible for her. She entered the house quickly and looked around; finally she released that breath she had been holding in without even realizing  It had sparse furniture apart from a bed, writing table and TV box, the room was too small to hold much more but this was home now.
She was 21 and she had decided it was time to move out of her parents’ house and make a person out of herself. She couldn't explain it but she only felt like half a person all this time. She wasn't the most adventurous of people and had up till this moment always lived a very sheltered life with her parents, going to private schools, even during college she had opted to live with her parents since she hadn't found any real reason to move out. She even seemed to have always had a few close friends and never really had to interact a lot with people she didn't know too well or out of her way. She had liked her life but she had felt that of all adventures, life itself was the greatest and she had to go out there to live it, live it fully with her own mistakes, her own regrets and problems. When she got the internship offer as a junior feature writer for the local newspaper she had taken it without consulting anyone. She had also gone and found herself a tiny studio apartment close to the office. When she finally broke the news to her parents, they had been quite upset with her but had respected her wishes. They worried about her but understood her reasons.
Now staring at the hell-hole she called home, she realized that there was no food there; she needed to first buy cooking material before locks. No, she needed to learn to cook first. She sighed in frustration wondering if she had maybe jumped into all this a little too soon. Again the mantra rang in her head “I’ll be alright, I can do this”. It had all happened so suddenly she hadn't got a chance to buy all the essentials, she would go with mum next week. As she stepped out her mind again registered, “locks first”.
            She entered the nearby cafe and ordered a small burger meal with a strong hot coffee. She was sitting on the counter and waiting for her meal to arrive, when he entered. He was one the best looking male specimens she had ever seen. She could hardly believe her eyes. Who would believe that she would come across someone like him in a place like this? Then her eyes subtly, or so she thought, roved over his figure, torn jeans, faded shirt, broad shoulders, a slightly tired, irritable look on his face, maybe it wasn't so surprising, he looked more in tune with the atmosphere of the place than she did. She wanted to speak to him, say something, anything, but she had no experience in this kind of thing, so she was unable to make a sound. She turned back to the newspaper in her hand with a slightly defeated feeling inside her. She was startled when a voice said asked her if she was holding the today’s newspaper. She turned to see him, sitting next to her on the counter, she liked his voice, it was rich and calm. Actually she had to admit even if he had sounded like a whiney teenager she would have liked it. She nodded slightly and handed him the paper. He read in silence for the next ten minutes or so and she stared at him from the corner of her eyes hoping that she was being subtle. When he spoke again her food had come. He just looked at the paper and seemed to be saying to no one in particular, “I don’t know whether or not to believe half of the news printed these days”. She found her opening and responded “no, it’s not like that, I work for this paper, I’m sure everything written is well researched”. She sounded like petulant child, he was amused and he asked her how long she’s been working for the paper, when she squeaked out “one week”, he looked smug and thus began a short argument about the merits and believability of the newspaper that soon led to a more spirited discussion about the morals and fickleness of people in general. She felt invigorated. When she left the place, they didn't exchange numbers but she hoped she would see him again. Suddenly the world didn't seem like such a scary place anymore. She had a silly grin on her face all the way back home.

By Radha Agarwal

Monday, April 1, 2013

Let Go

Let go,
Let go of the old loves that never happened,
Let go of the promises that the new love will never fulfill.
Let go of the witch’s curse and snarky words that you never got to say.
Let go of friendships that don’t feel the same even though you haven’t changed and neither have they.
Let go,
Let go of dreams that never came true,
Let go of beautiful places that you never got to see.
Let go of stories that you never got to say.
Let go of kindness that never got returned.
Let go,
Let go of words almost forgotten and falling flowers that will never come back.
Let go of stories only half-finished and an imagination that won’t fill in the gaps.
Let go of thoughts that never got formed.
Let go of frustrations that make you guilty and are not really there.
Let go,
Let go of children’s tales and tales you thought might be yours.
Let go of the person you used to be.
Let go of the person you thought you might be.
Let go of everything that isn't the future.
Let go,
Because they may come to pass yet again,
Because worry won’t bring you closer to it,
Because while you can still taste it on your tongue you can’t move on, just yet.
Because, letting go might be just what you need.
Just let it go.