Month: August 2016

The Bay

Life and Other Such ThingsPoetry

The Bay

“I’d die for this sound to ring in my ears forever” he exclaimed. As the window opened to his apartment neighbouring the subtle morning waves of froth and liquid rolling over the brazen rock beds just like last night’s beer pouring smoothly in the glass and then down his throat, only a million times louder. His hair willowing in all sorts of direction and a beard smelling of some drinks and a woman, both he spilled. A vast unending sea of white waves and black rocks stood before him like a monochrome scene right out of his surreal dream, that swept him right off his feet and into the air that was now both inside him and around. There were gushes of wind, squeaks of hinges, roars of tides, cawing of crows, fluttering of a cotton curtain, light traffic sounds of a woken up city; and yet somehow for him nothing ever had been so quiet.

For a moment it almost felt like death; like he had managed to visit the other side in his silly little head, still obsessing over how the sea was growing onto him, and turning him inside out and upside down. The breeze caressed his ears just the way she did last night; slowly gulping him down into an endless abyss of never being able to let go of how he felt being in her arms and having made love to her. The sea occurred to do to him what she had, just before he fell asleep with his nose buried in her armpits and his head overflowing of contentment. Usually he would be the guy to point out that believing in something supernatural or metaphysical is just very childish but this time here he had no other word to sum it all up but ‘magic’.

His bones rested against the window frame and riding onto the air like a fast local train came the smell of a freshly brewed coffee. She walked towards him, had two mugs in her hand and one heart with him over admiration for the mighty sea. The stirring of the silverware in the ceramic mug made sounds like a cling and she was not aware that one of the tresses of her perfectly curled hair was taking a dip into her coffee. She was only staring at him and the sea in his eyes. They don’t talk; not until he says with a smile,

“Have you ever thought? How this sea has never really changed… This city and its people, everything, has changed but this, this right here has never really… I imagine this tide that’s about to hit the shore knows me, from that time I was little and stood on the soft sand of the Juhu with naked feet and watched my little footprints wash away; it knows me from all these mornings I spend at this window. I bet this wave waves at me everyday but I have only been too blind to see it do that. I bet it knows the old man that lived here before me; I bet it knows him since he was my age and may be his girl too from the time when they stood here with coffee in their hands just like us. I bet it knows every such man, his girl, his first kiss; I bet it just waves at the whole city every time it comes to visit and selflessly dies out against the shore. May be that’s why they call them “waves” as if they are just very sweet Goodbyes! I mean can you even imagine how many people that one wave could know?! People meeting, people laughing, people fighting, people crying, people in love, people breaking up, the kids selling the roses, the chaatwaalaas, people from ages ago! And its just there, right there, doing it’s everyday crawling on the sea and dying at the bay. I bet it knows every guy that ever fell in love with it and watched it everyday until his last breath… And now it’s going to watch me grow and die, but it’s just going to be polite and carry on even after me… It’s probably witnessed this place turn from a calm port city to the chaotic hodgepodge it has become today and all the people that have been a part of it. Can you imagine how crazy this is?!”

He looks at her and finds her adorably gazing at him in awe. She sips from her cup and then looks at the watch and gestures at him in sign language that it’s time to end this and bid farewell to this comfort for today. But moreover, not only does he fantasize about doing this baywatch again tomorrow but pictures himself doing it all his life till he is all wrinkled and bent and tears of happiness are rolling down his lips into his mouth. He pictures the old himself and feels the teardrops on his tongue, and only then does he realise why the sea is so salty. She pokes him again and pulls him back to the reality of the city of dreams.

He has to bathe, dress up, drive through traffic, reach work on time, he remembers the drill. They smile at each other… she comes close and leaves a seal of her lips on his. He gestures at her in sign language that he loves her, and she repeats the signs. He then looks at his mug and then at the sea again, and for the last of that morning says,

“Well this mug is empty… But don’t you worry, we have a whole sea for ourselves to finish…”