An Open Letter to the Guy from my Gym

Dear Gym Hottie

It’s been ages since I’ve seen you and to be honest I’ve, in fact, forgotten your face. So let’s hope that you haven’t gone missing and the police doesn’t ask me to give them your description  (because I’m too hopeless to even attempt to do that).

I’ve seen you about twice in my whole life, but believe me, that was enough to make me always look for you in the crowd, rather hopelessly I might add.

For me, running on the treadmill next to you on that fateful day will always be a fond memory of our non existent relationship. I cannot seem to forget how I kept staring at my own reflection in the mirror to avoid looking at you, which made me fall in love even more.

With myself, that is. Because of the perfection that is me.

And then I realized, or rather imagined, that you were stealing glances at me too, which heightened my  adoration to the infinite sky.

For my own self, that is.

And then I almost broke my teeth as I skid down the treadmill because I was too preoccupied with the love fest and lost my footing as a result of it.

I still remember what attracted me to you was how tall you were. Tall enough to stand on your toes and pluck the moon from the sky if you wanted. Everything about you reminded me of the starry sky on a clear summer night: you were dark and mysterious, and immensely out of reach. And staring at you made me happy and my heart skip a beat.

So I did what any girl with a crush on a guy would do: I completely avoided you, scowled at you when you tried to smile at me, tripped on the floor a few times and even dropped my phone on someone’s foot when you were near.

You need to come back to the gym, dear Gym Dude. I miss the romance.

With love

The Girl Who You Think Hates You But Doesn’t Really Hate You In Fact It’s The Opposite


© That Girl in the Fray, 2017. All rights reserved.


The Right One

She told me to wait for the right one,
for he would brave the thunder and make sense of the storm in my heart.
For he would be my wings and let me fly above the sky and beyond.
For he would be my sun in the dusk and the splendour of my dawn.
For he would redefine my soul and cherish my imperfections.
For he would kiss the scars away and never let me go.

Half Past One on a Summer Night

I sighed a sigh on a summer night

the moon in its half innocence right in the corner of our eyes

the warmth radiating through our palms and finger intertwined

the freshly cut grass sweetly stinging my calves

we saw a firefly dissolve into the kingdom of the stars

they glistened and reflected in his eyes, his eyes that were made for mine

His coat on my shoulders, his voice humming my favourite song

I closed my eyes, I’d never felt so happy to be lost

the musky breeze messed my meticulous locks

I didn’t bother, my hands were right where they belonged

he pushed the hair out of my eyes and laughed

I smiled, knowing the universe and I were one

I was where I was meant to be

I was right where I finally belonged




A Letter from a Lifetime Ago


Coming across long forgotten words you penned down ages ago feels like a sign from the universe in its attempt to be noticed. To be precise, I wrote this letter about a year ago, to a friend who was a dear part of my soul. Or so I thought.

It’s ironic that the “change” I very boldly addressed in my awkward handwriting has turned out to be the fact that my friend and I have grown so apart that we aren’t what we once were. Maybe I need to be reminded of what it felt like before I turned into my present self. Maybe I need to be reminded of the meadows and the butterflies, the flowers, the fireflies, the stars. I need to be reminded what summer felt like, as I meander through this never ending winter. I need to be reminded of me.

So had I been blogging a year ago, I would have sounded something like this. (And people tell me time travel isn’t possible!)

“Everyday that we’re alive and breathing, we are adding new experiences to the pages of our lives. We meet new people, learn new things, explore new avenues, make new mistakes, fall, tremble, bruise ourselves, learn to stand up, fight back and repeat the entire process all over again, ever single day that we’re not dead. And after this entire circle, which people call ‘life’, it is totally and irrevocably impossible to be the same person, to be the same individuals that we were yesterday. What I’m saying is that change is inevitable. We WILL continue changing until the day we die.”


La Vie En Rose

I’ve come to realise that this blog is turning into a pannier full of all the wrongs that I can’t get over. Even though my darkness is an inherent part of me and overwhelms me most of the time, I do put on my rose coloured glasses once in a blue moon and turn a blind eye towards all my torments and destructive introspection. So, I wanted to write something while I was still high on blissfulness.

Today could have turned out to be one of those days when I curse the universe for all the unpleasantness plaguing me and repent and regret and cry at this existential crisis I can’t get out of no matter what. But somehow, no idea how, when I was left all alone in an unpleasant situation that initially left me so worried and melancholic that my thoughts were too loud for me to hear any other sound around me and my eyes were on the verge of a waterfall, I became conscious of my own power. I had an epiphany that it was completely in my hands how this day could turn out to be. I could turn it into a sob story or make an adventure out of it, explore a new dimension to my soul and find comfort in my ability to handle myself, something that only a handful of people on this planet can do. As I was left alone, with no one to turn to, no one to help me, I realised how utterly wrong it was of me to expect anything out of strangers who do not want to become a part of my world anyway, people who are so coloured in the conformity of their own lives and obsessed with their own tribulations that they do not care.

As I walked alone to a place I had never been before, I had words from a book I’d recently read in my head, the music from a movie I’d recently watched playing in my heart, a picture of one of the most awesome days I’ve ever had in my life in my phone, a green paradise all around me and a sense of freedom that I hadn’t experienced in quite a long while, something I had been unknowingly craving for. I understood why the universe had thrown me into a situation that was so far away from my comfort zone. To help me open my eyes and realise that the beauty I’d been ignoring for so long was escaping me with every passing second. Later as I sat alone, waiting for my ride home while reading The Old Man and the Sea by Hemingway and eating ramen, as the world moved on at its transient pace, I felt one with the universe. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t have to worry if I was boring the other person or revealing too much information and letting my walls down or if I was holding them against their will. I just had to please one person, me. As I sat alone, with the twilight dawning a new perspective on me, I realised how lucky I was to have this opportunity to be alone, with the thoughts of a literary genius and my favourite comfort food and was reminded of a beautiful song I’d once heard.

Hold me close and hold me fast this magic spell you cast, this is la vie en rose

When you kiss me, heaven sighs and though I close my eyes I see la vie en rose

Dirge of the Dying Year

“Thou dirge of the dying year,

To which this closing night will be the dome of a vast sepulchre,

Vaulted with all thy congregated might, of vapours, from whose solid atmosphere         

Black rain, and fire, and hail, will burst”

When I first came across “Ode to the West Wind”, I too was one among those tortured souls of high schoolers who cannot fathom why Shelley had to write something so complicated and why I was being forced to swallow this circus of literary devices down my throat. But somehow, as the tide of time flowed and years went by me, I have been able to understand his sentiments, his fears, his disappointments and wistfulness that led him to create this beautiful symphony of words that I now eternally appreciate. I guess I can identify with him as I too bleed upon the thorns of my life as time escapes me on its winged chariot and I’m left frail and powerless in the face of misery and darkness. So, here I am trying to write my own “dirge of the dying year”, as 2013 comes to a close and I’m forced to turn an inward eye towards all the major plot twists and tragic endings and introspect all that is lost forever. (“Dirge” means a funeral song)

This year, I’ve lost a lot of things dear to my heart.  I mourn them as I turn into a new phase, even though parts of me too have died along with those cryptic things and people I am not going to name or mention. And thus, the core of my beliefs has been shaken and I’ve been questioning everything in the universe ever since. I’ve never been so lost and filled with darkness, as I walk through this tunnel, with the light at the end ever descending, farther and farther, away and away, beyond my reach as my mind turns numb and I fall prey to my own demons. I’ve lost the ability to feel the genuine joy and peace I used to feel. Now all I ever notice is death and destruction, melancholy and darkness. Somewhere along all those bad experiences, I’ve tried to harden myself and have coated my feelings and sentiments with layers of stone, so as to preserve them from the cold attacks of this world and the bruises they want to inflict on me. In doing so, I’ve isolated them, from my own self too. I’ve grown numb to so many beautiful things that I’m scared a day would come when all that I will have left would be a barren wasteland with no sign of any light. An eternity of moonless nights, with nothing but a vacant starless sky. A hollow abyss of monsters of my own creation.

I want to bury every dark thought I’ve had this year. I want to cremate the presence all the vanity and pretentiousness around me, all my material desires and wants that have brought me to the brink of depression and all those unfulfilled unnecessary aspirations that have kept me up endless sleepless nights. I want to leave behind every bad experience and every harsh word I have ever spoken, as well as every cruel vowel and consonant ever directed at me. I want to wash away all these black and red blotches from my mind and go into the New Year in white, with nothing but peace, love, tranquility and patience.

I forgive everybody who has ever done me wrong. I burn the envious, angry and vengeful thoughts and desires in me, not holding ill will against anybody as I bask in the golden radiance of this new beginning. I forgive, but I shall not forget for that is not who I am. Though I pass all my experiences of this past year through a minute sieve so as to sort out all maliciousness from them, I do carry forward with me the lessons I have learnt and the truth that has been revealed to me. I spread this carpet of nothingness around me, facilitating the newness of thoughts, actions, words and deeds, but I will make no efforts to undo the past. What is done is done, and I will bear this in mind as I will make no effort to make amends of any kind. I’m tired of being mistreated at the hands of everybody who views me as nothing but a means to an end. I refuse to be a pawn in someone else’s game that can be sacrificed so that someone else’s chess pieces can be saved. I too am a human being. “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?” But no, I do not want revenge, of any sort. I free myself of the shackles of these feelings, embracing the angels of this new dawn.

Another thing that I have realized over this past year is that not everyone deserves to see behind your walls. If that makes me a loner, so be it, but I will never show my true self to anyone who doesn’t deserve me or doesn’t treat me the right way. Love, care, honour, friendship, dedication, that is all I desire in return for my loyalty, and I shall see through this resolution of staying away from people who are nothing but superficial plastic dolls, sans credibility of any kind.

In this new chapter, I will not let anybody affect me or my mind. I will dedicate 2014 to myself and live with a peaceful and open mind. I will be patient and kind to the ones I love and will absolutely feel nothing against anybody else. My indifference will be my shield in this war. I will surround myself with good people, books, music and stories that touch my heart. I know now that the world is a complicated place with an equal amount of good and evil. I will not let the dark shadow the light. Even though it may rain sometimes and the clouds may hide the golden sparkle of the sun, I will not yield.

My mind will be that undisturbed lake on a peaceful winter morning, sans ripples, a mirror to the grey silent sky, taking in all that wonder and beauty that is easily overlooked in one’s own haste, envy and pride. Pure and serene, untouched by the darkness of envy or hate. Tranquil, quiet, idyllic, calm.

“Maybe”- A Fictional Narrative

It was a few months after I’d realized I was in love with him. We were sitting in the gardens on a midsummer night, a large table set in the middle of the wondrous landscape in the cheer and bustle, amidst the grandeur of the moonlit orchid illuminated by a hundred candles, or so it felt. Our families had known each other forever, so we had the chance of growing up together. I knew everything there was to know about him, his education, his interests, his general outlook on life. I still had no idea who he was though, what colour his soul was, beneath all this lustre and magnificence. I believed his soul to be as beautiful as he was, kind, gentle, gallant and true, but knew absolutely nothing about his aspirations and inspirations, his fears and his frolics. I didn’t know what kind of music really touched his heart, what movies he could watch endlessly on a loop, if he read fiction or just pretended to or if someone had ever broken his heart. These tiny details were missing in our acquaintanceship, which I knew couldn’t possibly be filled in the course of a single evening, though I was determined not to be hesitant to try.

I kept staring at his face as he sat across me, trying to imbibe every line, every scar, every crevice of his face into his picture that was etched in my mind. I wanted to remember everything about these rare moments I was with him, the way the air smelt, the music playing in the background, the way his face shone in the light, the weather, the sky, everything. I knew this was one of those experiences in my life I would bookmark and go back to a million times, go over everything I said, everything he said. I knew I would be thinking about this moment and laugh at every sarcastic comment he made, think about every word that escaped his mouth and go over every detail I could notice, the crinkles near his eyes when he smiled, that eye roll whenever I tried to come up with a sly retort to his taunts, how he was organised enough to carry his cards in a wallet, the affection in his eyes whenever he looked at everybody but me.

But that was the only thing about him that made my heart ache. His eyes. His deep brown mesmerizing enchanting eyes. They didn’t have a speck of affection when they looked at me, which they rarely did, only when everybody else had their eyes on me anyway.

He didn’t have the same feelings that I did. They didn’t linger on me or bore into mine. He looked at me as he would at any inanimate object. No, he didn’t have any feelings for me, I was sure of that now. I began looking around, feeling really low. It was all a waste, the way I felt about him, the way my heart would almost stop and then start beating wildly when I was near him, how I couldn’t stop smiling or take my eyes off him. Such a waste of emotions. I began feeling like a fool, but I pushed away those thoughts as quickly as they had appeared. I’d have time to think about that later. Right now, I had to grab on to every moment I was there with him. These moments would never come back, no matter how much I cry and pray for them to.

Goodbye wasn’t as hard as I’d expected it to be. He cracked a few sarcastic jokes and even mocked me when I tried to tell him how pretty I thought the stars were. It didn’t offend me. It just confirmed that he didn’t feel the way I felt about him. That is what caused the piercing ache in my chest. His words didn’t matter. They did, but not to the way I felt. It were those little things that confirmed my emotions were one sided.

I walked up to him and said goodbye. I don’t remember the look on his face or who was watching us or anything else. The only thing I do remember is the electricity that ran through me when he held my hand and pulled me into his arms. It lasted just a few seconds, but I’m sure the clocks weren’t moving at the same speed as they usually do. It was a moment suspended in time and air, when I forgot anything else existed, except me and him. Maybe it was a friendly gesture, I couldn’t recall our manner of parting during the times I didn’t feel about him the way I did now. Maybe, it meant nothing to him, as I didn’t either. Maybe. Maybe. Maybe.


The story above is a fictional narrative with no relation whatsoever to anybody living or dead. To put it simply, I made it up. That’s what storytellers do. The characters I create aren’t me, but are a part of me.