Iris

I met him today, yet again. He sat there in front of me, in all his glory and power. Indifferent as ever yet understanding the intensity more than he can ever show.

He was dressed in white and blue jeans, nothing too extraordinary though. I liked that. His simplicity failed as a cover or maybe his intensity is only exposed in front of me like that.

I looked away, knowing that his gaze will follow and it sure did. I smiled at him and asked him to like a picture. He refused. Not something I was not used to. We stared at each other, holding our egos wrapped in the fine sheet of humor between us. And before I could realize everything blurred out. The humor, the playful ego, the stubbornness, all of it, got replaced by this strange intensity. All I could think of was his eyes on me and mine on him, interlocked, beautiful, intense. I counted the seconds in the back of my head and lost the count after thirty. Skipped a beat and forgot the world around me. We looked into each other’s eyes and I swear in that moment he said so much more than he ever does. A smile broke across his face and I understood that I was doing the same. He broke off the eye contact, said something unintelligible which just past by me and left me awestruck and mesmerized by the moment.

I looked down at the way my fingers were tangled. I knew he was looking at me. I knew it all. But I didn’t make an effort to look back at him because I knew I wouldn’t have been able to resist. I resisted. He noticed. We treasured the moment and let it pass.

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Oh the sweet dilemma!

Oh these winter nights, they do wonderful things to you

Oh this magic in the air, it takes thee to a whole new world

And these winds, they whisper so many tales in your ears as they pass

Of union, betrayal, joy, despair, longing…

Of pairs of feet walking these streets, silently, hand in hand. Surrendering.

Oh this pitch blackness of the night, revealing and concealing

The smell from the coffee and the ashes from the cigarettes!

And then the story between you and me, folding and unfolding

The spark, the conversations, the ignited light…

A sudden joy has filled my soul, a sudden excitement has replaced the fear. Is it the wind or the blues or the whole concept of knowing you?

 

So much for ‘Love’ ?

“Honey can you write down your Facebook name on a paper for me?” My mom asked while watching the ridiculously lame soap, which is apparently the new Desperate Housewives for all Pakistani women these days.

“Why? So you can give it to some woman dying to hook me up with some rich, good looking guy, just so he can drool over my Cover Photos and assume I am too modern (read awesome) for them?!” I said, completely annoyed.

My mom’s jaw dropped down, my sister gasped and my grandmother uttered something unintelligible under her breath and all  three of them stared at me not able to comprehend what they just heard. I stared back at them probably with much more piercing intensity than they were capable of bearing. The minutes passed and the silence got awkward. I picked up the pen, wrote my name on the bright yellow sticky note, stuck it on the refrigerator and almost ran back to my room, unable to contain the anger building inside me.

Why do people relate love with relations and weddings? Why will they go to such lengths and hurt their beloveds just to find love? Doesn’t love free you from the hatred or the hurt? Aren’t you supposed to find love or let it find you on its own rather than having others try to take you to it or bring it at your doorstep? They have made love look overrated by relating it with romance and matrimony. It has become essential to wear an expensive diamond ring on your finger, spend a million bucks on the celebrations and sign legal documents just to assure others that you love someone and that they reciprocate your feelings. I can’t help wondering why? The concept of love goes beyond these worldly matters and ceremonies. Love is not finding someone perfect to spend your life with. It is to live with and love all the imperfections around you. Isn’t it?

I was only juggling with my thoughts and questions when my mom entered my room with expressions I couldn’t read. Or maybe the expressions I didn’t want to read.

“You know we only think about what is good for you and care about your best interest.” She said.

“Mom, I know and I love you for that but you need to understand that Happiness is not equal to Husband.”

“Listen young lady, you can’t always have things your way. Also, you need to fix your Facebook profile. The rules made by society must be followed in order to maintain good image and peace.”

“Isn’t society just a reflection of who we are? Its our good and our bad, mom? And which society are you talking about anyway? The one where you promised the mother inside you to love and protect me or the one where you pledged to present us as a picture perfect family or the society you resent so much because its full of hypocrites, liars, backbiters and bastards?”

She opened her mouth to say something but then didn’t. I saw her surrender there. Not in front of a misbehaving, spoiled daughter but in front of a woman trying to keep herself from being caged and defined by the society. She was left speechless yet once again and she knew why. She kissed my forehead and left the room without uttering another word. I saw understanding, envy, pain and love in her eyes. When she left, she left me with a million more questions and thoughts in my mind.

I sighed with a heavy heart and resumed reading Forty Rules Of  Love only to stumble upon these words;

“The quest for Love changes us. There is no seeker among those who search for Love who has not matured on the way. The moment you start looking for Love, you start to change within and without.”

I silently complained in my prayer and asked God to make people understand and make them let love be before drifting to a dreamless sleep.

Redefining.

They kissed. Slowly, between the smiles and living in the moment. It was surreal. The night was unusually quiet and dark. They kissed again. This time because it was the requirement of the moment. The cold breeze coming from the wide open windows brushed against their skin, making them shiver under each other’s touch.

“I like the easiness and vulnerability of this moment.” He said going through her book shelf and lighting a cigarette.

“Vulnerability is a social construct. And so is love. I like what this is.” She replied while going back to fixing her study table.

They both moved around the room, sharing a cigarette, kissing now and then, listening to music, tossing the empty coke cans, singing along the lyrics and ranting about random stuff.

“This, happening here, is right. It makes sense. Its harmless. You know not caring about being labeled. Friends with benefits. Such a stupid thing to say. Pathetic, don’t you think? I mean they have made romance look overrated by relating it with love all the time. Fucking helpless love-struck morons. You’re getting me, aren’t you? Isn’t it just…….”

And the night continued in the same fashion.