Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Soul. That diseased, ignored fragment of life within her. Tearing her apart with its words. Making her whole with its love.
That white, glowing floating entity, remember? That part of her attending the judgement call, after her body is turned to dust. Her soul peeked in from the heavens and laughed when her friends recalled memories, and cried when her father held on to her sweater and cried. Each night.
Whoever said that her soul was just one? She was comprised of tiny bits of those white incandescent things. They floated around in her body, free, bouncing off one another, filling her with light. That day when this journey started, her mind was filled with their babble. All of hers in a chaotic tunnel.
They talked to one another, giggled when her tongue was tied as that tall geeky guy said hi. They wanted her to flirt, to change her social media status so that he thought she was so cool.
They poked at her, when she thought about ways to exact revenge on the bitch who flirted with him, some of them at least, the rest of those bits gave her a thumbs up. “You don’t always have to be an angel”, they said. And when her friend in the adjoining cubicle jumped into conspiring further about how to swap her compact with chalk powder, those tiny “soul” bits in her revered her, and did the hula dance. Soulmate, her friend was – hating the same bunch of god awful pretentious women. Bitching, hating, sassing was only ever fun with company. And that girl next to her cubicle was the perfect piece to this dimension in her. She even liked the same boys. She found what she was missing – that one other who understood the illusions of life, the charm of music and the liberation in dance. 
But you told her, there was something still missing.
Those tiny soul bits would explode with joy when she headed back and found her roommate waiting up for her, with a hot meal. Talk about the day. The intolerable boss. Those never-ending spreadsheets. They hated her boyfriend who was too perfect to be true. They even made you think what was so special about her. But, some of those bits in her fell in love with her roommate each day, when she braided her hair. And when she smiled in ecstasy as she gave her a head massage in return. She found in her the peace of home, away from home.
You told her, don’t you see how incomplete you are?
Some of those bits fluttered with joy, when after ages, that boy, who she helped cheat in college exams, who watched all those super hero movies with her, fought with her over who got the Wonder Woman figurine, called and chatted for over an hour. He asked, did she know about the Suicide Squad movie? No one understood the importance of graphic novels like he did. Who would get, why Batman could beat Superman, and why Jean Grey died so many times, if not him? She felt alive, talking about those movies, and that series, which she couldn’t make head or tail of, and he would calmly explain what DDOS in Mr. Robot meant. Those tiny soul bits in her, shared an immense tub of popcorn with similar bits of him and laughed till they gagged while watching Shutter. It was a funny ghost movie, wasn’t it? She found the wings to her imagination, the endless watchlist of movies and the perfect partner to duel with about the same.
You pointed out, that she had to realise what was missing, what still wasn’t complete.
Some of those bits in her rejoiced at the sight of fried chicken, and the others revolted, and put up banners of, “Eat Healthy, will you?”
She found reprieve in eating till she burst with her friend. She hated her thick thighs, and those soul bits made her sigh when a skinny female walked past her. She found serenity in exercising, for just a week, with another one of her best buds. Those soul bits made her head ache. To eat or not to eat?
Those bits in her found solace in the girl next door, heart broken, suffering alone and a lover of wine. Twin sisters. Her bits and yours wiped each other’s tears and hoped for a better tomorrow. Her friends wouldn’t know how to stitch up a broken heart. But she did. The girl always in black and three piercings, shy smile. She would look at her and tell her in no words, that somethings never really lasted in reality, but it was okay to try and make them last in your mind till as long as you wanted. It was okay to remain wounded till you wanted to heal.
She burst into tears when her brother came back from the city with a bundle of books. And when the both of them read to each other, stories of war, history, myths and magic till the sun came upon them. Her soul bits loved the sound of his voice. She would never have known the wonder of reading if not for him. That little escape window. That little treasure hunt for the deepest secrets of life. A Book. All her soul bits would wait till the weekend, to go huddle in the café shop, and wait for her brother and for the next story. She thought she found her missing pieces every time she read.
They found home when she picked up the paint brush and followed the strokes of her father on the empty canvas. Her mind rode free, found a new light in the myriad of colours, in the crinkled eyes of her father when he smiled. Life seemed complete.
Was it, you asked.
Those bits glowed more with pride, as she successfully closed a big deal. Added another certificate, and a small medal to her cubicle. They made her think, how lucky she was, educated, smart and going places. What else would she need?
Are you sure, you asked her again.
You asked, and you questioned, and filled her head with an absurd idea of completeness- a wholeness that clung to our eyelashes during our last dream of the night. In the sighs after reading a fairy tale. Your questions gradually silenced those glowy bits in her.
And then she had to grab all those pieces and glue them together. Hold them all in her hands at once, even as some slipped away, fell off, spilled over, never to be collected. That thing she made, as the pieces were stuck together, never thought freely again. Never watched a movie without thinking of spreadsheets. Never ate with a smile. Never found the time to read. She hoped that those pieces would together find a match, who would give her all – the highs and the lows, the warmth and the cream from his coffee cup. The words and the colours. That's what you were hinting at all along, weren't you?
You made her stitch them together, and match with something, someone who would make her complete. Whole. Surely, there was someone, she thought, ecstatic – who would fulfil all that she had found and more.
And hopes turned brittle with time, as the pieces were eroded by the storm, and none could escape. Stuck together in a two dimensional form, stored in an obvious visible alcove of her heart – that entity was robbed over and over in a journey that, in reality would never have a destination. Which in fact, never had to be a journey at all. Maybe, if they were free, some would have escaped, some survived to preserve a semblance of her in the  book of life. A memory of her laughing, crying or maybe just reading. A blush on her face as he stroked her chin. And then let her fly on the wings of her imagined beast with three horns. Maybe if they were free, he wouldn’t have left her, because she was too much.
Why don’t you ask now, if that was complete?
As her body turned to dust, those bits in her exploded within. They weren’t meant to be together, you know. They weren’t meant to be for just one person to trap her. She was a phoenix of the tales, a butterfly emerging from the caterpillar. Sometimes that brooding owl as well. Her separate forms were what made her a wonder. A spell. How could just one be a supposed soul mate? Your idea of the perfect wholeness ripped her apart, while gluing those bits together forcefully. Those bits in her found their mates in that boy who smiled, in that friend who she shopped with, in her brother’s voice, in her father’s eyes. Even the stranger who played online quizzes with her. Until you forced her to hold those pieces together. All in the quest for something that could never be. A person that wasn’t possible. Could you be so many things to another? Would you want so many things from another?
Was that fair? Was it needed?
How many lost souls would be bartered for your idea?
She was stranded on a lonely road, as slowly those bits lost their light. Gradually, the spark diminished in the thirst for the match.
How many such stories would you see, running in time loops?
Do you not see, that the farce you created was like a mirage in the desert, like the belief that a fairy sat on our shoulders guiding our paths, like the pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Generations ruined, dreams buried, lives burnt in the search of one answer, when there were several, waiting to be embraced. All those bits that made her, deserved to live. Each could be loved.
All the glowing embers of the fire within her. All the stars on her body. All her forms. All her souls. 
So, she asks you, did her soul, have to, have to be just one?