Met. Crossed. Stolen.

Sometimes when you walk in town, sometimes when you enter a room, sometimes by mere coincidence, you see someone. Someone familiar. Maybe it’s just for a fraction of a second but your eyes meet. Blue to black, black to brown, hazel to green… A spark ignites. A weird kind of feeling. So many things happen within that nano, mili or microsecond. A connection bridges between the two familiar faces – something a thousand years cannot put together. Past, present, future – it all appears in your mind in flashes. Fantasies, dreams, wild imaginations. Things you never expected to happen. What is it? How did it happen? Where did it start, where will it end? The connection lasts for so little time but it lives on forever more. The moment you realise what had happened you look back… but it’s gone. The pair of eyes that looked into yours, that read your thoughts, that made you lose contact with reality for a second is gone… Gone and will never come back. Gone like the wind, like the rain, like the beams of sunlight shining on a blond haired girl. And it did not leave alone: it  took all your thoughts, memories and emotions with it. Now reality strikes you, you look into empty space – you know it’s there yet you know it’s gone. When I told you it’s weird you questioned me…  Do you still think it’s not?

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Captivated By The Beauty Of Our School Auditorium

Thank you so much ‘Sally’, ‘Josh’ and ‘Frank’ for letting me have a look at the auditorium!

The bell signaling the end of school for the day rung and I said more to myself than to anyone else, “Oh! I couldn’t see the auditorium!” It was the best auditorium around from what I had heard. Some people were even saying “It’s not an auditorium, it’s a stadium!” and it was standing fifty meters away from me and I hadn’t seen it yet.
I was lost in thought when I felt two individual forces pushing my school bag along with me towards the closed doors of the auditorium. When I figured out what Frank and Josh were up to I made a one-hundred-and-eighty degree turn to run away but they pulled me by my school bag and dragged me towards the door. Taking advantage when Josh used both hands to open the doors, I jerked away from them and ran the opposite direction, nearly bumping into Sally.
Looking at the expression on my face she asked me what had happened and I told her that Josh and Frank were trying to show me the auditorium because I hadn’t seen it and I was trying to discuss how much trouble we could get into for sneaking into the auditorium. Josh and Frank caught up and explained to Sally how I thought it was against the school rules to look at the auditorium. Josh was actually a little angry about my escape. I expected Sally to think along my lines but she stopped, turned to me and set her face in an expression she would often fake to say “you hurt me”. Then she grabbed my wrist and changed direction and I was left with no choice but to hurry in the direction she was steering. When we finally stopped at the main entrance to the auditorium I stuttered: “What – what if we get killed? We might get caught – we’d be asked to go to the principal’s office – what would happen?”
She laughed and said, “Really? You’re funny, Mel!”
And then I stepped into the much spoken about auditorium. The carpeted floor beneath my dusty shoe, I felt like I was committing a crime. To my right the wall was a bright yellow and black. In front of me it was shading into colours of dark blue, green and finally turning into a sunset orange. Between each strip of colour was black, highlighting the elegance of the colours.
“What do you think” Sally asked and I was trying hard to keep my emotions away. It was so beautiful. Lost in the beauty of the walls I had almost forgotten to take in the stage. A dark blue background was set behind metallic poles which gave it a very out-of-Earth look. The black and blue curtains were open.
Taking the cue from Sally I followed her up the beautiful, lighted steps to the stage. I stood there and stared ahead of me. A thousand black cushioned chairs, empty of course, stood looking at me. Across the balcony were neatly placed doors which read “Exit” with the official Exit sign. Pillars around the corners were a dark green illuminating a luminous green light from within.
I was actually standing on a stage. A real stage – at the center looking out  at a thousand seats set out in ordered rows. It was really hard to control my emotions now.
Sally let me have my time before she came to me and asked me if I wanted to go backstage. Overwhelmed by the auditorium I didn’t actually mind risking it so I just followed her into the dark backstage taking glimpses of the boards that were made to stick out of the otherwise plain balcony wall. Just as I slid behind the curtains I saw a reel and I knew it from watching “High School Musical” that this was how you draw the curtains. This was so cool – I was getting to see one in real life!
I followed Sally up the staircase as she showed me the three dressing rooms and the wash rooms to each one of them. I did not speak, instead I was storing every word and sentence Sally was saying permanently into my mind.
When she was done explaining and I was done being dumb – in the literal sense, we stood looking down upon the stage from above, outside one of the dressing rooms.
“Can you imagine doing a play here?” Sally asked intoxicated by my fantasy world.
I was swallowing words as I said “It would be so cool! This auditorium is the best thing that ever happened to our school. I thought the basketball court was cool – look at this now! It’s beautiful!”
If it hadn’t been for Sally, Josh and Frank I wouldn’t have gone close to the first row of chairs, leave alone the stage… so, I guess that means THANK YOU!

 

Cold Shoulders

Let me go 2 years back in time…

I’ve taken the same road for thirteen years but it has never looked this sinister before. Merely out of habit I would jump off the car when I reach this place but this time I wasn’t even looking leftward, to where the ominous house stood. I can hold it for no more than two minutes before I jerk my head towards the window making a mental note to turn back in three seconds. What I found there leaves me star-stuck to this moment. I couldn’t take my eyes off the window. I couldn’t tear my eyes off that.

There, on the staircase leading to the house I twice went for sleepovers, were two faces that seemed slightly familiar. A boy around five years old and a girl who looked ten years older than the boy. They were throwing dried peas into their mouths, occasionally dropping one which rolled down the stairs. They were laughing about something and it didn’t take me very long to figure out what they were laughing about. They were pointing at me, at us. Half of my heart wanted to roll down down the window and scream at them: Tell them that they would eventually realise who was wrong, tell them what they did would not shake me… but fear, shock and disgust overcame me.

I was stuck in that moment: fingers like arrows pointing at my face. I could almost hear their hysterical laughter and sense their plans to drop me down again. I don’t know how long I was lost in thought but when I realised we had passed their  house I felt my brother’s hands grip on my shoulders. He slowly lifted his grey t-shirt and wiped the tears that were making their way down my cheeks, smiling innocently. He put his arm around me and held me tight as I cried onto his shoulder. He stroked my hair until I was ready to sit up but right then I figured out something I should have figured out much earlier. I realised what “a shoulder to cry on” really meant. All these years I’ve been crying on cold shoulders, like those of the five year old boy and the fifteen year old girl. The shoulder I had just cried on was real – one that radiated warmth… one which made me feel like everything was going to be alright.

Forever Friends

We share secrets so deep
Secrets no one else would keep.
The life of a person in the hands on another
Like teacher, like sister, like friend, like brother.

We walk distances ordinary legs won’t take
We share a bond no one else can make
Five minutes for a mile, Ten for two
Funny, patient, caring, me and you.

Swearing to sing till our death
We laugh till we’re out of breath.
Notice boards, staff rooms, staircases and gates,
Through it all we’re best friends, we’re mates.

We stand in a circle and play ‘Truth or Dare?’
We’re rational, we want things to be fair.
Movies, songs, cartoons, the worst, the best
We wish the stupid guys would give it a rest.

Chemistry, we’re nerds. Psychology, psychopaths.
We think we rule ’cause we’re awesome like that,
Mischievous, naughty, studious and brave.
To make a change, that’s what we crave.

We share secrets so deep
Secrets no one else would keep.
Fun, joy, I’ve had it all
All thanks to y’all.

When the stars speak

I’ve always been facinated by the night sky.

There’s a little window in my room that lets me look at the stars at night. I can spend forever speaking to them and sometimes I feel like they speak back to me. Today I felt that way. And I started to wonder about it… maybe, they really were speaking to me. Afterall, they are the ones that know me the best. The ones that’ve stood by me since childhood – since I first slept in my room, that’s when I was like 5 years old. They know me inside out. They know my worries, my joys, my tears and my smiles. There’s nothing they don’t know.
The stars have listened to me without a word of protest all these years. Sometimes they blink at me, and then I know they agree to what I say. They form constallations when I’m sad, never failing to make me smile. They always have a solution, a way which tells me this is right and not that.
So… maybe it’s time I let them speak. They’ve heard enough – it’s time for them to speak. I looked up once again at the cloudless night sky at the North star. It shined brighter today than ever before.
Suddenly, as if a knife had been thrusted into me things came flashing into my mind. I remember how once, 8 years ago my dad took me to the bridge of the ship when we were in the middle of the ocean. We looked at the stars together and he showed me how to map the constellations, how to follow the stars, and how the stars would listen to him every night. I asked him that day why they don’t come out in the day. He told me they would listen to a million people’s thought every night and think it over during the day so that they can connect people around the world the next night again. Now I’m big enough to understand why I don’t see the stars during the day but some lessons learnt as little kids remain with you forever. This was one of them: stars could connect people. Just like my dad said the North star can guide a ship – today the North star would guide me to my dreams.

Re-defining Hess’s Law

“The enthalpy change of a reaction is independent of the route followed”

It’s a cold and cloudy day. Three boys stand near the cafeteria twitching nervously, looking at an empty playground. The school is in session but these three seventeen year old boys had decided to take a break and that’s why they are here planning on something that would be against school rules, instead of being in Math class drawing exponential graphs. They are speaking in hurried, hoarse whispers even though there is no onlooker or eavesdropper. The boy with round spectacles and curly hair opens his school bag and checks, then he tightens it it around his shoulders. The other two just adjust the the belts of their own bags, but only to keep their fingers busy.

The math genius, the curly one with the suspicious bag, Feltson, looks both ways and takes a step forward as if he were in the zebra crossing of a busy road. The plump guy, with the school tie and flattened hair follows him but the third one remains behind whistling  a tune.

“Dude! We won’t get caught!” the innocent looking guy tells Blake.

“But what if we do? I can’t be grounded for the rest of my life! It’s easy for you to say that Perk, but it’s a lot harder for me!” Blake exclaims.

Feltson walks quietly to the two of them and they bridge an unspoken friendship. Leaving behind the words they had exchanged, the three of them walk together into the cemented floors of their school.

The corridors are lit with shimmering florescent bulbs, the wind whistles in. The three boys tiptoe across the primary classes, ducking beneath windows and occasionally jumping up at a teacher’s voice flowing out of a classroom window. Every now and then they look back to check if the other is following or if they are being followed. The principal is the least of their worries – he is a meeting, they had confirmed from the office. But the chances of getting caught to some other teacher is high, and that would mean real trouble.

Finally they reach the staircase outside the chemistry lab. They stand there panting even though they hadn’t done anything tiring. A prefect approaches them and they quickly turn to the noticeboard outside the lab holding notices about the weirdest elements like Einsteinium and Germanium and notices about Green Chemistry. Perk shivers visibly as the prefect stops to ask them what they are doing out of class. Blake, suprisingly speaks up,

“Perk’s sick. His notebook’s with Mr. Denver. We came to take it before he goes home.”

The prefect eyes them suspiciously but decides to swallow the lie. Blake and Feltson watch him leave and turn back to Perk.

“Oh come on! You can’t be that much of a chicken!” Feltson says.

Perk jumps up in surprise saying, “The enthalpy change of  a reaction is independent of the route followed!” He apparently thought it was Mr. Denver asking him a question.

The three boys laugh and try not to look suspicious as they walk up the stairs aware of the fact that the class inside the lab are watching them. Getting caught to Mr. Denver would be a matter between life and death so they walk they rattle under their breaths their plan A’s and plan B’s.

They come to a halt at the top of the staircase aware that they should turn to the right to attempt their mission. This meant crossing a lot more classes, so holding their hearts in their hands again they make their way to the outside of the sports room.  The three of them stand there looking at a newly sealed entrance to the auditorium. A notice on it read:
“Please note that students are not allowed to enter the auditorium while under construction since it poses a potentially hazardous environment. Any student attempting to go in would have to face the consequences. The management.”
The three of them look at each other, lost hope in their faces.

“This place has a higher chance of being noticed. Let’s try the floor above, there’s no one there.” Feltson breaks the silence.

Perk stutters: “You mean we’re not giving up?”

“Come on Perk! It’s not like we’re going to get killed.” Feltson says and puts each one of his arms around Perk and Blake.

In another half an hours time they arrive at the planned location. Feltson, tall and thin makes his way through the sealed door which also holds the same notice. Standing on the balcony of the auditorium under construction he signals his friends to follow him. Once inside, for a moment they stand there awing at the auditorium.

Blake laughs suddenly, “Look at all we’ve been through just for this. But… look at it! It’s beautiful! And we are the first to see it!”

Perk hugs the two of them and says, “I love you guys! You’re the best!”

Feltson opens the bag and takes out the hidden object: his camera. Blake and perk pose for the photo while Feltson tries to balance the camera on a broken chair and switch on the self-timing mode. Blake and Perk, speaking and laughing don’t notice someone approaching them. The moment Blake sees the silhouette of the person things blur out and Perk feels his weight on his left shoulder. Blake had just fainted. Feltson sees the principal too and catches the camera moments before it hits the floor.

“What are you doing here?” the principal asks with a straight face.

They don’t answer. Blake’s weight on Perk’s shoulder was making him feel numb. Perk is almost in tears, Feltson looks down embarrassed.

After a moment of awkward silence Feltson speaks up, “Sir, we’re sorry. Our friend refuses to believe that we’d be having our own auditorium. So,err.. sir, we wanted to take a photo and show him that our school is better that theirs.”

Surprisingly, the principal smiles. Perk and Feltson look at each other unsure if it’s a good thing or a bad one.
“Representing your school. Role models – that’s what you are… You could have just asked me.”

They bring Blake back to his senses, take photographs, take more photographs and get back to class. They could have got the same photos by speaking to the principal, but the harder way had been so much fun. They had feared, fainted, lied and freaked out which made the photos even more precious. They had re-defined Hess’s Law, replacing the words “Enthalpy change of a reaction” with “Photographs of the auditorium”…

 

Hope

This is how you should react the next time you think your life is over with just a few words, with just a phone call, with a rude gesture or with a fake person who appears every now and then under disguise of an innocent boy. There is still hope, still time to prove yourself.

Her eyes fill with tears as she stares at the mirror,
All these years she had been thinking herself  clever.
The first tear from her eyes hits the floor
And right then she realsies that there’s so much more.

She could still make those strangers smile,
For him, she could still walk a mile,
She could still dance like an insane person,
She could still laugh out loud with no apparent reason.

What if she hadn’t known about it at all?
What if she had never received that phone call?
Well it’s time to close her eyes and remove that string of thought,
It’s time to start thinking back about all the battles she fought.

She could still pretend as if  nothing happened,
She could still laugh about how things slackened,
She could still paint with her little sister,
Still play with her friend’s brother.

She looks back at the mirror…
This time she looks even more clever.
Behind all that there’s still hope,
Still time to pretend like there was nothing else to know.

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