There is nothing as wistful as an unfinished letter, or an unanswered phone call. Even more so when you had so much to tell her.
I remember sitting through the hours at night, thinking about the plausibility of time and existence.
I remember staring at the telephone for hours, promising myself I would pick up on the first ring and tell you I loved you.
I’m surprised you noticed the past tense. But then you would eventually. You would find the past tense buried with my memories….if you happen to come by one of them, you will think, “Oh, this is Rudraneel. The foolish child who loved me.” I suppose I will always be a child to you.
My choices will always seem naïve, my thoughts conspiratorial, my verses meaningless and my proses uninspired.
“Some fine writing in it….but unfulfilled.”
I always wondered what the fuck you meant by that. But I never dared to ask you. Now I understand and wish I didn’t. It was just a made-up word word….a trivial but elegant insult. It didn’t mean a goddamn thing. Because I didn’t mean a goddamn thing to you either. I wish I did. That weakness I call virtue, or that virtue I think weakness draws me back……makes me dial those numbers again. Yours.
Ring Ring. Ring Ring.
I hope you don’t pick up. But you do. And I keep the phone down again.
I remember you asking me,” Do you love me?”
To be honest, I don’t really know what the hell that word means. I never did.
But I lied. Or maybe I didn’t. But from the way things look at present, I think I lied. And lies go a long way. They outlive us, that’s for sure. And I’m sure as hell they will outlive me.
It was always a choice between fighting you and loving you. It didn’t matter, really. Loving you meant fighting you. And I wasn’t prepared for both. But you thought I wasn’t prepared for either.
What matters is that I know now that none of it matters anyway. You are long gone. You were gone long before you left.
Yes I blame you for the fall. I blame you for the rise, the fall, and everything in between.
It’s all right. I will no longer condemn you to my world of echoes and shadows. But I want you to know I remember everything. Things only a poet remembers and longs to forget. A part of you is safe with me. The part you no longer acknowledge or accept. But I know. I always knew. And you hated me for knowing.
Your selfish selfishness has left me an altruist myself. I still wonder how the hell that happened. I still wonder how the hell you happened. But you did.
Hey Delilah. Make me those cheesecakes again will you? Or have you forgotten I liked them? No matter. You have forgotten I liked you.
And you hated cheesecakes anyway.
You have forgotten. But I remember.
I remember. I remember. Ring Ring. Ring Ring.
Photography: Surya Kiran Dutt
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