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You said take me where no oneâ€™s gone with you.
All I could ask was, youâ€™ll come with me?
And then, I put in a disclaimer.
I donâ€™t like to go from where I canâ€™t come back, I said.
Close your eyes, woman.
Listen to what he said, again.
No, youâ€™re not hearing.
Youâ€™re in too much of a rush to counter.
Hereâ€™s a journey you always wanted.
Where you didnâ€™t have to reach anywhere.
You just had to take the high road.
Heâ€™s offering it to you.
Go for broke.
So my dear, hereâ€™s my broke.
This is where I threw all the dry stalks from the raisins.
You see it has become a big mound.
Thatâ€™s how many years of raisins I ate after school.
Do you get the smell of tulasi?
And do you see these rabbits scampering around?
They are from my blue sweater
The one I left behind in school
And thought they were lost
The rabbits came back.
No no, Iâ€™m not taking you for a joy ride into my past.
This was just to get you my bearing.
You should know before we start.
In my books, there are two kinds of waiting.
One is a sort of a stifled choke-hold waiting.
Iâ€™m done with that.
The second? What I call drizzle waiting.
You ever stood in a drizzle?
Even with your head down the water traces the shape of your mouth
Your tongue quickly pulls the drop in and shuts the door.
Then you lift your face up.
The oyster drops choose different parts of your face.
Then you crane your neck.
That is the moment filled with anticipation.
You feel your face rising to meet the drops
But not just yet.
There is longing in the way you wait for the final handshake.
There is life bursting forth from your breath fogging your senses
There is the knowing of fulfillment.
That is what I call drizzle waiting
That is our starting point.
Some house rules before we start.
Will we pretend?
We will, to not.
Will we match our steps so we donâ€™t mislay each other?
But our feet need to seek each other
As our hands
As our mouths
As our eyes
As our bodies.
We will write both our names.
Separately on two shards of paper
And throw them both to the wind.
If we are meant to be, we will find both the shards
Somewhere along the way.
I know words are very important in this journey.
Poor buggers they try real hard
To show us the way
But can we give them a sabbatical please?
Letâ€™s go back to basics.
Before we invented the alphabet.
No self-serving conditions
Like Iâ€™m all about giving.
You donâ€™t know to give if you donâ€™t know to take.
I havenâ€™t figured out how to draw the line between the two.
Tell me. When you serenaded me that day, were you giving or taking?
Donâ€™t be a liar and say you were giving.
Words do this to you. They set up an obstacle course on your journey.
So now, no words.
If a strand of your hair falls on your forehead, I will push it away with my hand.
I wont say, hey, your hair is falling into your eyes, do you want a hair band?
See? This is better no?
Because my mouth wonâ€™t just stop at your forehead.
Like the hair band might.
My theory? Our bodies need to talk.
Our bodies need to be given stage time.
They are the real heroes.
Words are usurpers.
I want you to ask me, why am I quiet?
I want to be able to say, where is the opportunity to say anything?
Our bodies are talking their bloody heads off.
Donâ€™t seek refuge in words. Donâ€™t say I have read the nape of your neck is supposed to be your most erogenous zone.
I donâ€™t know. Maybe itâ€™s the webbing between my little toe and his neighbor.
Donâ€™t assume I know my body.
You want it, you explore it.
I donâ€™t want a squatter.
The other problem with words?
They celebrate sameness.
Last time you gasped when I pulled on the soft fold below your tail bone, with my mouth.
I shouldnâ€™t make that integral to my script, no, pull, pull, pull, willing it to make you gasp every time?
I donâ€™t know what I like.
I donâ€™t know what I donâ€™t like.
Because my body is not an SoP driven product.
Nor is yours. Donâ€™t believe that propaganda.
Thank god. Consistency is not the virtue of bodies.
You see this little rock?
You see the yellow flower under it?
Thatâ€™s where I buried the myth that bodies are not whole.
That parts of them will come alive.
That the whole is somehow subsumed in its parts
No thank you. All or nothing.
Did you hang my stole on the thorn tree?
You got it all wrong if you thought you will make me sing just once.
Not this thorn bird, darling.
You and I should outlast any symphony in this world.
We wonâ€™t but if we start saying we wonâ€™t, we wonâ€™t even know.
The promise of possibility.
So my dear, thatâ€™s where I want us to go.
Not who we are.
But who we are capable of becoming.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nandini Vaidyanathan is the founder of Carma Connect (www.CarmaConnect.in) which mentors entrepreneurs, teaches entrepreneurship in ivy league business schools across the world, writes on entrepreneurship (has written two best sellers), climbs and treks. She loves to live life on her terms, using her discretion and not someone elseâ€™s.
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