A forgotten acquaintance.

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I have heard that Passion and Love were comrades once. They lingered in the same alleys with half lift cigarettes dangling on their lips as they waited for new sitting ducks, someone to dupe and conquer.

They accompanied each other on long walks in winter-haunted gardens on days the sun was merciful enough to visit and take away the greys. Passion sliced tangerines under the shades of a mango orchid while Love lay sprawled on a cotton sheet, flitting away the dusty pages of an old noir fiction. My grandmother had once seen them together in her kitchen garden, helping my grandfather pluck some mint leaves and ripe lemons. That was the last time they visited our house together, she said. Passion paid unseasonable visits till my grandfather was alive. Love had since gone astray. I heard they both eventually vanished for a long time altogether.

They are no longer accomplices, I presume, for they have now chosen contrasting seasons for venturing. Passion visits the old brewery down the road where the central avenue splits into three others, as indistinguishable while standing in front of it’s patchy blood colored walls, as the faces of some twins matured into adulthood. Love traverses the broken concrete trails of the now-shut paper mill, sitting cross-legged outside the broken gates, tossing pebbles on the already unruly ground.

They have been two entities standing side by side at the point of permanent incongruity. Stealing awkward glances, as their mouths remain sewn shut. I chanced upon them both while taking my evening plod. Certainly, I invited them both for a cup of cinnamon coffee. This was about two weeks ago. As of now, they both have taken refuge in my being. Hated the winter rains outside, they pleaded. Now they accompany me when I water the weeds in my garden and stand conversing outside the verandah while I take my afternoon naps. I’m convinced it was your presence that brought them both into my house at the same time.

Passion is who I encountered on the night when you let go of my hand and rushed into the heap of autumn leaves the gardener had raked the evening before, only to tumble and laugh at your own behavior. Love is whose presence I feel when you walk down the patio answering a phone call as you’re leaving for work, just to turn out of habit for an instant and wave a dismissive see-you-later in my direction.

It seems fitting for I love you like it’s ordinary.

About the author:

Manpriya Sodhi- JMC, Delhi University

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