You dream of her blissful honey brown eyes smiling distantly at you. That is something that had always bugged you subconsciously, her detached, indifferent ways. But in diminutive, almost indistinguishable moments, you had seen her virtuous smile. And in her so many selfless gestures, you had seen a purity that soothed your diffident, meek uncertainties.
You saw Malhaar for the first time on the subway. Sitting on the window seat, she was engrossed in a book. You sat beside her, partly hoping she would take notice of you. You kept looking at her while pretending to look out of the window. Quick glances at first, but after observing that she hardly noticed you, you stared at her quiet daringly. She devotedly read the novel, going from word to word, line to line and at a point you noticed her honey brown eyes began to gleam. It took you a while to realize that she was holding back tears. Tears betrayed her otherwise composed face.
Salty colourless honey drops escaped her honey brown eyes.
“Everything fine mam?”
She looked at you a bit surprised, but answered politely “Just a really sad book. That’s all.”
You would remember these moments forever. When you were a stranger to her. You would miss your Malhaar like this for the rest of your life.
The girl with honey brown eyes who was crying because of “a really sad book.”
Your delicate Malhaar.
After seeing her on the subway, even when she was a stranger to you, you saw her in your dreams. Not every night, but almost. You used to wake up then, surprised by the intrusion of a stranger in your dreams.
When you met her again after two months at the place you were singing at that time, it only felt right.
She told you she found your songs captivating. Your voice mesmerizing. There you talked for the first time to the stranger you had known for so long. There you got to know she was eight years older than you, and married.
She had that practical, indifferent air about her that people develop gradually with age. After accumulating an understanding in heartbreak and a familiarity in disappointments and regrets.
People always felt intimidated by her, mostly by her silences.
You remember the cold December evening when you took her to a secluded hill.
You sat there with her, in the snow, holding her hand in yours, watching the silver sunset. In that frosty silvery silence you kissed her for the first time. Your cold lips on hers. Your cold lips on her icy vanilla skin. You told her that you loved her. You told her that every pain that you had suffered in your life was justified because you had her.
“..you make me feel happy..” was all she said.
It was somehow enough back then, knowing that you made her happy.
Malhaar didn’t talk much about her husband. “There was something always wrong between us. I can never live up to his expectations.” She told you things finally fell apart when they found out that she was barren. “..Now there’s just too much left unsaid.” she said without showing the least glimpse of expression.
That’s your Malhaar. Practical, realistic Malhaar.
Hiding her sad little sorrows, pretending to be indifferent to them and almost succeeding.
Days went by.
She was in the cadence of the songs you sang. In the timbre of your voice. In the clarity of your psyche.
In all your beginnings, in all your ends. In every thought and decision.
All you ever knew was Malhaar. Malhaar. Malhaar.
You told her about your past, your pains, your dreams, your fears. She always listened keenly. She told you fragment and incidents of her memories and life. You listened in awe.
The day she turned twenty eight, you gifted her the violin she had wanted to buy for a long time. You had been saving for months, working part time where ever you could as the money you earned from your performances was meager. But it was all worth it. You just wanted to make her happy.
Your beloved Malhaar, with happy honey brown eyes.
Days went by.
You met her almost every day. You made love to her with the longing of centuries. Holding your dear Malhaar for your life. Skin on skin. Bones on Bones.
She whispered sweet nothings in your ears.
You knew her body like it was a part of you. The many beauty spots on her lower back. Brown and black. The hollow of her collarbone.
The scar on her elbow from a childhood fall. The scars on her arms from where she had slit her skin. Undulated scars on her vanilla skin.
And days went by.
This time for her birthday, you had bought her a pearl necklace. And you had finally gathered the courage to give her the letters you had been writing to her since the day you met her in the bar. One letter each day. When you ran out of things to write in your letters you wrote three words again and again. I love you. An inestimable number of I love you.
I love you. I love you. I love you. I love you.
You had been too shy to give her the letters before. Thinking the letters to be ridiculous, silly. But maybe they would make her happy. Anything to make Malhaar happy you see.
You met her for dinner on her birthday in her favourite restaurant. Malhaar was wearing a white dress with flowing white layers waist down ending just below her knees. She seemed preoccupied. You gave the pearl necklace to her wrapped in light blue and silver. With the eagerness of a child you couldn’t wait to see the smile on her face when she would see her gift. She kept the box aside, looked at you and said
“I can’t take this. Listen sweetheart..” she paused abruptly now suddenly avoiding your gaze focusing her eyes at some object on the table.
“ I don’t want to keep you under illusions..”
“I just don’t feel the same way anymore. Don’t try to stop me, because I don’t want to. I don’t love you anymore. I had loved you… really I had.. But for all the wrong reasons…..”
She said without betraying any emotion, not looking at you once. Your beloved Malhaar, with dead honey brown eyes, continued without your consent.
“Me and Jake are going to give our marriage another try, we are planning to adopt.. it’s for the best of all of us.. you’ll understand someday.”
Her parting words seemed too cold, too impersonal.
That’s your Malhaar. Practical Malhaar. The practically numb Malhaar. The practically frozen-inside Malhaar.
You left, without saying a word. In the forsaken, ghoulish, sad state of denial, it was hard to believe that the practical wretch, who had left you, was the same girl you had met on the subway.
The girl with honey brown eyes who was crying because of “a really sad book”.
“Just a really sad book. That’s all.”
You walked all night in unknown streets. Unaware that it was raining. Crying your heart out, falling apart in the cold rain. Walking, running, to god knows where, screaming her name to god knows who. She wasn’t listening. She was too faraway now. Or had she always been too far?
Your two years of forever with Malhaar, ended desolately. Leaving you lonelier than ever before.
She called you sometimes. You never talked to her. She left you messages.
“…. I m really worried about you. Please talk to me. We can be surely be good friends….”
You listened to her messages again and again. Clinging to her voice. The voice so dear to you. Disregarding her words. Listening to her messages over and over again. Desperately. Pathetically.
“No Malhaar. We cannot be fu3king friends.”
You were always high then. Your memory of those days is blurred and vague. Drenched in grief.
She called you sometimes more. Asking you why you didn't reply. What could you say now? That you were basically dead? That life seemed pointless and vain. Like an endless walk to the inevitable gallows.
The pearl necklace she never looked at. The ridiculous, silly letters you never gave her. Those were only the littlest of pains, because worse brutal pains were always waiting for you to catch on. That she did not ever deceive you or betray you. That maybe you knew all along that your relationship with Malhaar was a dead end journey.
If you hadn’t met her, you wouldn’t have been this lonely. But even if you had known what your sadly ever after would be, you would have still gone through your two years of forever with Malhaar. And finally and sadly, that you didn’t make her happy anymore.
Cruel sad realities, leaving forlorn gashes in heavily scarred places.
In a morbid little place in a lonely corner of your heart you are guiltily aware of the fact that you love dreaming about her. Because in your dreams you forget the unimportant, insignificant fact that she has left you. In your dreams she is the girl you loved madly with every little part of your derelict heart and soul, and in your dreams she is the Malhaar of yore, who loves you back.
And you know you will never be with her.
And you know she will never love you again.
But you still dream of her.