Sunrise, witness

I met him the year I turned twenty-two, and maybe this is a sign that we should keep count of the significant things that happen to us, not the monotony of the years in between during which we are bystanders in our own lives. It would have been the year of disappointments, of looking and never finding, of not knowing what I was looking for, but then I discovered him. There comes a moment when you find all the clichés to be true, your stomach really does lurch and your skin tingles deliciously, the days stretch and disappear with no regard for time, even the weather is agreeable, as though the sun decided to cool off while you got to know each other.

It is the year I remember as the one in which I began to like myself, in spite of the friendships I lost on purpose and the job I never found, the days I stayed in because to have fun you needed money and I was too proud to ask, fearing the chill that overstayed its welcome in my bones and nails.

The first time he asked me if I wanted to accompany him, I didn’t wait before answering yes. For so long I had wanted to. “For so long I wanted to,” I told him. I was going to jump in, not remain content touching the water with my big toe, I didn’t care if it was too cold or too hot. I was giddy, breathing in his smell and eating his words, arguing and retreating, drunk on all the possibilities that stretched before me, and the vodka I chased with orange juice, learning that screwdriver could also mean a drink. One thousand days later, when it would be demanded of me to reveal what I saw in him, I would be puzzled, because never has a more pointless question been asked.

I don’t know if this story changes each time I narrate it. I know this though – on that first night when we stayed up and talked until we saw the dew appear on leaves and the sky discard its clothes, as we fought with our eyelids that tried their best to close, I knew then that this would be a story to remember.


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15 thoughts on “Sunrise, witness

  1. What a glorious sketch. I especially liked the following lines — “…and talked until we saw the dew appear on leaves and the sky discard its clothes, as we fought with our eyelids that tried their best to close…” As I have recorded in the comments space earlier, your writing is at its best when it stops in its tracks to breathe in the beauty of a moment or a transient (but definite) feeling. This was one such fine piece of writing. Kudos to you.

    Your piece here has inspired me to write stuff that needn’t necessarily have a theme or a message but rather, something that captures a slice of life in an understated manner. I recently reunited with a group of my friends whom I have known since high-school – a bunch of eclectic characters (including me). I think I must capture a few of those moments in a short sketch. Will post it here if I get around to it. But, for now, thank you for the piece and thank you for the spark!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ram, you are too kind.
      I don’t always feel like writing about topics. I just realised that I haven’t written about movies for a long time now. This isn’t to say I haven’t been watching any, I just didn’t feel like writing about any of them. I was thinking I should make more of an effort to do that as well.
      Happy new year! 🙂

      Like

      1. Anusha – Happy New Year to you too!

        Regarding movies, see if you can catch “Ammani” somehow. That is one movie really worth reviewing. Not for the sake of a review as much as it is a movie that makes one think deeply. For now, if you haven’t done so already, listen to the “Mazhai Ingilliye” song from that movie. It beautifully captures the essence of the titular character and the movie’s core theme.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how this little tidbit of memory feels like an over heard conversation . It works well. My favorite line is this: One thousand days later, when it would be demanded of me to reveal what I saw in him, I would be puzzled…

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Interesting! Not sure if this is fiction or memoir, but it is a sweet piece either way. There were some lovely turns of phrase, like “the sky discards its clothes.” And “There comes a moment when you find all the cliches to be true” could be a poem in itself.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!
      I’m confused about that too.. what does it sound like to the person reading it, simply because it is written in first person? What happens if I just want to write about a mood or an image in my mind? I’m thinking these things through. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree, some lovely phrases. I think this is my favorite line, though: “I don’t know if this story changes each time I narrate it.” It grounds the piece in the sense that the narrator realizes she’s been gushing; perhaps another telling would be more clear-eyed…or not.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with all previous commenters about the elegant turns of phrase, but what intrigues me most about this sketch is the sentence that starts: “One thousand days later.” It pushed the scene past the edges of the story.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The voice in this is compelling – it feels conversational and believable. It feels almost like a song in places, especially with “fearing the chill that overstayed its welcome” and clothes/close.

    Liked by 1 person

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