Namaste Paris!

Paris visited me in my dreamless slumber yesterday, with teeny tales to make me smile under the faint glow of moonlight, that crept in through my window. I woke up in a hotel near Notre Dame and the aura reminded me of Quasimodo’s unconditional love for Esmeralda. I wondered if their skeletons are still embracing each other in her tomb. I had to take my thoughts off their tragic story, so I stepped onto the balcony for a few minutes. While sipping hot chocolate from a cup that tasted like earth, I searched for my lavender coloured lace-trimmed blouse inside my messy suitcase. I took a quick shower, clicked a few pictures of my “room with a view” and sent them to my family.

After thirty minutes, I was on the road asking for directions to a true artisan bakery in Paris; the bakery’s name was too French that I cannot recollect it now. I ate an all-butter croissant for breakfast like a true Parisian and stared at an assortment of colourful macarons kept in a pretty box on the ancient table next to mine. The French woman who made those croissants which tasted like heaven asked me to take a train to the Eiffel Tower. As I stepped out of the bakery, I looked at the sky full of thousand different hues with a happy heart and waved at the next set of tourists on the road. The perfect weather nudged me and said, “Mademoiselle, the Eiffel Tower is just 5 kilometres away from Notre Dame, it’s an easy stroll along the beautiful Seine river.” That’s right, Paris is not so big, I can easily walk around the city; that’s what I told myself before the enchanting stroll of my dream began.

I saw beautiful French women in classic white shirts, oversized tops, high-waisted jeans and monochrome dresses, carelessly walking on the sunkissed road. Nearly all traditional French women’s attires were topped off by beret caps or some headwear. Handbags of Dior, Chanel and Prada greeted each other on the way and the fragrance of French perfume which smelled like poetry filled the air. Before you judge me, I did not give these women prolonged gazes and once I realized that I had “a morbid longing for the picturesque” and decided to enjoy the beauty of Seine, I saw that historical landmark instead. The wrought iron lattice tower, the Eiffel Tower, stood before my eyes! Well, I ran into a random souvenir shop, picked up some cute French stuff and asked the shopkeeper about the private apartment of Gustave Eiffel at the top of the tower.

Before I could hear that shopkeeper’s reply, before I could click hundreds of pictures near the Eiffel Tower, before I could drink wine at a dusty bookshop, before I could buy a bottle of Chloé: Absolu de Parfum, before I could visit L’Atelier des Lumières, which brought Van Gogh’s famous paintings to life and before I could go to the Arch of Triumph, the Louvre Museum and many more locations that I proudly mispronounce in my fake French accent, my Dad woke me up from my dream. And for the first time in twenty-three years, I felt the real sting of an unfinished dream.

Melanie Ann🌼

Image courtesy: Pinterest

A Berry Good Day!

Aami Brontë,
Let’s go for a not-so-fancy picnic before the end of summer. I’ll grab a dusty book from the library and you should bring an old blanket. On our way, we’ll pluck ripe strawberries, red with love and put them in the forsaken plastic cookie container in my bag. We’ll help an old woman to cross the road and she would ask us to wait at her gate to give us a piece of the papaya she had saved for her grandkids. During the stroll, let’s pluck pretty flowers and talk about nothing and everything, while we make floral tiaras for each other under the soft summer sun.

We’ll lie down in a field of lush green grass and watch the clouds paint the sky in different colours and call it “pathetic fallacy”.We’ll read a short story together like we used to do in college and come up with multiple interpretations to feel completely at ease. We’ll talk about our unfinished dissertations, the beauty of handwritten letters or about how all our troubles fade when our noses are stuck in a book. You should tell me that my lips healed from the overuse of lipstick and compare it to “sun-kissed strawberries bursting with flavour.” I’ll tell you that you rock in your short hair and that I haven’t seen a pair of eyes as beautiful as yours. We’ll ask the stranger with a guitar to click our pictures and later she’ll sit on our blanket and we’ll tell her about how we started calling ourselves the Brontë sisters. We’ll talk for insanely long hours and she’ll ask us to watch the sunset while she plays La Vie En Rose on her guitar. The sun will disappear with her song and she’ll whisper, “It was a berry good day” while chewing the last strawberry we had plucked.

On our way back home, we’ll stealthily climb the compound wall of the good old woman’s ancient home and plant the papaya seeds in her courtyard and lie to our parents about the dirt on our pants. Before the darkness begins to fall around us, we’ll click a few more happy pictures. Then we’ll lie in the middle of the empty highway to stargaze and discuss whether Van Gogh is overrated or art is insanity. So, Brontë, collect all your teeny wishes and keep them in a box, because we’re going for a not-so-fancy-but-berry -cute-picnic before the end of summer.

Love, now and always

Mel Brontë

Acid on her Heart

Her Professor called her the Nefelibata of Psychology Department, a cloud walker who happily lived in the dreamy clouds of her imagination. Nanki flew through the corridors of her ancient college, with books on her back and a paint brush in her hand, for she coloured the world around her in the wild shades of her heart.You can find her among the dusty shelves of the library, or under the cherry tree reading a bulky book and drowning in her thoughts, or feeding the emaciated stray dogs and petting them,or painting the bare walls of her second home with the beautiful melanges which formed in her palette.

On a cosy evening, when rest of the students were packing their bags in a hurry after the long bell, Nanki stared at the grey sky through the windows. She pressed her head against the table and waited for the clouds to wail.With a gleeful heart she stepped out, opened her umbrella, accompanied her classmate, a pluviophile and they started walking amidst the falling raindrops.

“I feel so much better now, Nanki. I think I did the right thing.”Alia said proudly. True, ending that toxic relationship was the right thing to do.

“Enjoy the rain now, I know how much you adore these tiny drops from the sky.” Nanki replied. Alia gave out her happiest smile, lifted her umbrella and took a twirl to mark her new found freedom.

They approached the gigantic gate, bid goodbye to the security and continued to walk, not knowing that the jilted lover was waiting on their way for Alia. When he caught sight of her,he carefully opened the jar which was hidden inside his bag and splashed the venom of his anguish onto her face. His eyes that sought for vengeance saw a poor soul on the ground, with a burned face, screaming for her life and his enemy, helplessly crying beside her friend. He realized that he blindly attacked the wrong girl on that wretched twilight.

Nanki’s heart pounded, as the acid penetrated through her youthful skin. A familiar voice uttered “Nanki,wake up.I have to clean this classroom before it’s getting too late.” She opened her eyes and saw an old woman with a broom in her hand. Was that a bad dream? She touched her face with both her hands, while taking heavy breaths and hysterically glanced at her watch.

“Are you alright child?” she asked her. Maybe she dozed off, waiting for the rain. Maybe it was a bad dream. The old woman gave her a sympathetic glare. She collected her belongings from the desk and packed her bag. The words written on the black board caught her eyes, “Trauma refers to the state of mind which results from an injury upon the soul.” Walking through the corridors, she gently touched her face to feel the burns. The burns had healed with time. But the acid that fell on her heart, it existed loudly and dangerously.

“The world should know my story” she told herself while staring at the rain drops mixed with blue ink that dripped slowly from the fountain pen she held in her hand. Probably a sign that it was time for her to bleed on the papers, fearlessly and beautifully. Wasn’t it?

Melanie Ann🌻

Image courtesy: Google

Watercolor Story🎨

Finally, I painted it!

The watercolour cakes on the corner of my table idly sat there for months, waiting for the tiny drops of water to fall from their clouds, shaped like paintbrushes. They waited so much so that the drought in their colourful land became unbearable for each one of them. They stared at the palette, who was blissfully sleeping on top of ‘The Alchemist’ and wondered whether he was happy without colours on his body.

Yesterday, I placed the paintbrushes next to the watercolour cakes and left the room to sip my cup of tea. As I latched the door, my watercolour cakes nudged the paintbrushes and whispered, “She’s not interested in us anymore. Or else, why on earth would she keep on ignoring us like this?” The paintbrushes frowned upon this remark and nodded their heads in disbelief. They said, “Don’t say that, maybe she’s painting her dreams inside her head.”

The palette woke up from his dreamless slumber and uttered “Heed the words of the paintbrushes. If colour is the beautiful language of the dreams that she’s painting inside her head, watercolours, do not fret, for she will come to you soon.” Words failed to console the poor watercolour cakes, and in dismay they sat, staring at the quote on my wall which read, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” and imagined how dusty my life is, without them.

The charcoal pencil, who listened to their conversation smirked. He announced, “Well, she sharpened me little before.” The watercolour cakes, the paintbrushes and the palette couldn’t believe what they just heard. True, I sharpened him, because I wanted to draw. I stood behind the door, eavesdropping. I loved how my paintbrushes and palette read my thoughts and fought for me. But it was the intense pain and suspicions of the watercolour cakes, that triggered my desire to paint.

The Dog Named Jake

I haven’t seen Jake once in my life.I haven’t seen his sparkly eyes or his wet nose. I haven’t heard his barks or growls. I haven’t seen him happily wagging his tail, when Neethu returns home.But I’ve watched him grow into a handsome doggy with a heart shaped of love, through the thousands of pictures that Neethu clicked of him, through the sweet tales that she narrated to me, through the joy that he brought into her life. Trust me, on a gloomy day, a glimpse of Jake could make me smile. If Jake the enchanter can do this to me, imagine the immeasurable delight Neethu had each day, with her baby boy. I believe that Jake has brought smiles and giggles on the faces of so many people like me, for the past five years. I’ve known Jake since the day he came into her life and yes, he was a teeny part of my life too.

When Neethu told me that Jake was missing, my heart skipped a beat. All of us frantically shared the information as much as we could, in the hope of finding him.That night, I woke up in the middle of my sleep, thinking about Jake, hoping that he would be safe and fine. It was then I realized how much he meant to me.

But the next day, I received a devastating text from Neethu saying that Jake was no more. He was hit by a car, and fell into a drainage. The driver and the spectators were least bothered to check up on the poor thing, as they were ‘too busy’ with their lives. Don’t we all know that ‘too busy’ is a myth? So, let me replace that mythical lie with a brutal truth called ’empathy deficit’, a condition which is pervasive but overlooked. To put ourselves in somebody else’s shoes, does not confine to, taking the perspective of someone else regardless of whether you’re experiencing the same emotions or not; it also includes acting upon the answers that empathy gives you. If one person made an attempt to understand Jake’s plight, many hearts wouldn’t have shattered.

For Neethu, Jake was ‘the best and most pure soul’ she had. She asked,’I wonder why humans are so heartless. How can someone see a dog been hit by a vehicle and let it die?’ If one person imagined what you would feel, if that four legged being, your synonym of love is hurt, he would have intervened in that emergency situation. For empathetic people not only just feel others’ pain as if it were their own, but also set their actions in motion to help them.Just imagine how every problem would be greatly reduced if people felt more empathy towards one another. Don’t you think it’s high time to shift from introspection to outrospection? And what is the ultimate art form for outrospection? Undoubtedly, it’s Empathy.

Neethu, I know that your loss is irreplaceable and no words can console your crushing disappointment. But think of this, can you come up with a better ending to the novel ‘marley&me’? I’m sure that you can’t. So, I hope with all my heart that you would find a Jake again, just like how John and Jenny found Marley’s twin after his death. And when you finally find him, you’ll realise that unconditional love, comes in many forms.

Melanie Ann🌼

Forever in our hearts!

Let it Grow

If it thrives in your heart

And blooms with your blood,

Let it grow.

But if it breaks other hearts

And glooms their days,

Should you let it go?

She scribbled these words on her gloomy notebook a few years ago. She calls it gloomy because it’s a handmade book of recycled papers; those papers look dreadfully dull, as if it’s still depressed for being a part of a painful recycling process that happened long ago. She wrote this on a day she was utterly disoriented; a day she was supposed to make a life altering decision. As she was tidying her book shelf, her eyes unknowingly searched the remnants of a memorable past,and she came across this unfinished poem.

“We blame Hamlet for his indecisiveness, but don’t we all go through the ‘to be or not to be’ dilemma at some point of time in our lives?” she thought. When she proclaimed to the world about her inborn inclination to hunt for the treasures in Literature, what she received in return were disdainful looks,outbursts of temper and unsolicited advices; some told her that “literature is useless and uninteresting,” others told her that “literature is for the maniacs” and several others nudged her to “bury her passion.” For the first time, the 18 year old girl felt burdened with the freedom of choice.A handful of people praised her in unimaginable ways and reminded her to follow her heart. But the disparaging words discouraged her, the sharpened tongues gave her brutal cuts. Bewildered, she bled on the paper and a poem was born.In a glimpse of time, she became adamant in what she believed was the best for her soul.Yes,she had to let her passion grow.Time flew, every nook and cranny of her heart filled with books and words flourished on her soul; in all these years, never did she once regret the commitment she made. In her fanciful reality, she’s falling in love with words, in new and incredible ways each day. How ridiculous it would have been, if she abandoned her passion for the sake of a bunch of humans, who cannot appreciate the beauty and grandeur of literature?

“I’m not asking you to turn a blind eye at the damage that some people cause,by following their treacherous hearts. I’m not saying that we should blithely disregard the pain of others,if we wreak havoc on their lives to selfishly follow our passions.I’m not asking you to turn a deaf ear to the advices we receive from others.No,I’m not saying that following the heart is always the right thing to do,” she stared at the wall and told herself.

But if it thrives in your heart,and blooms with your blood, should you let it grow or let it go? She looked at her gloomy notebook once again and left the poem unfinished. For,she believes that each one of you should finish it.

Melanie Ann 🌼

Image courtesy: Pinterest

Does Liquid Happiness Exist?

Every tongue in the world deserves a toothsome celebration each day. Is that the reason why it was born on the earth? My tongue’s gala seems the most festive when it is soaked with the delicious liquid magic – the hot, dark brown, masala-tinged, tempting aroma spreading TEA.

Each time I deeply inhale the mysterious odor of tea and exhale euphoria,my spectacles mist up. Yes, tea obscures my vision delibrately to make me feel it’s presence impeccably. As I curl my tongue against the tea drops on my lips, the world around me comes to a sudden screeching halt. In a glimpse of time, I’m cut off from what I perceived was real, to enter an alternative dreamy world of pure liquid happiness and warmth. At this point, tea becomes my only reality and tea cup,the sacred place that contains this actuality. Each time it slides down my throat, like the topsoil in a landslide, I shut my eyes, not perfunctorily, but with awe and gratefulness for the existence of this enigmatic liquid that has captivated my tastebuds in all the years.

As the monsoon season arrives,tea becomes elixir. Rainy days without big fat cups filled with tea is unimaginable. Reading books became harder without holding a cup of tea. My love for tea does not cease to exist even during the scorching summers; no matter how hot the world around me is,tea continues to be an enveloping obsession amdist every other passing fads.

Being a teaholic, I marvel at the different beautiful ways in which tea rejuvenates and restores me every single day. Tea surprised me on the first day it was spilled into the corners of my mouth and I hope that it continues this splendorous recreation for my tastebuds, until my last day on this planet.

Melanie Ann 🌼

In The Memory Of My Dearest Grandmother

My grandma, a pure soul who was named Ponnu, for her heart was made of gold, is my second favourite bold woman in the world. She taught me how to love myself, to embrace my flaws, to follow my dreams, to focus on the rays of sunshine even on a cloudy day (I’m still working on that one) and most importantly, she proved with her life that every woman needs a secular job which she loves, in order to establish her identity.

She was my venting room, emotional moisturizer and cuddle bunny. And of course, my only golden ticket to the chocolate factory. She was the typical candy-bringing grandma who always had chocolates and pocket money hidden in her handbag for her grandkids.

I miss her voice,her ears that always listened to my teeny secrets and big plans,her tight hugs and tender kisses,umpteen gifts and little surprises, her phone calls and constant complaints for not calling her as much as she called me. I miss the lingering fragrance of her favourite perfumes and stealing them for myself. I wish I could secretly read her diary entries once again, like I used to do and confess later. I miss her story-telling sessions and the way in which she recited poems for me. I loved the grandma in her, who would never get tired even after hours of culinary effort to feed her loved ones. I wish I could listen to the unforgettable memories of her past, by lying next to her on the floral bedsheets, and sing songs for her, for the one last time.

I feel super proud and happy when people fondly remember her and all her acts of love and courage,even after five years of her unfortunate demise.I like to meet people who calls her a philanthropist and to hear from them the accounts of my Grandma’s compassion towards the humankind. Your absence will always be a gaping hole in my heart.

Once I believed that, in the long journey of life, we might lose things that are the most important to us. But I was wrong. The important things always stay, no matter what. I’m eagerly waiting to meet her again in the Paradise and finish the tales that we left unfinished. I’ve loved her to the infinity and beyond, and I always will.

Melanie Ann 🌼