Sunday, 18 September 2016

Little Black Books

Her hands, withered yet supple handed me the little black books. I found her speaking with a voice roughened with wisdom, repeating the same words I'd heard last in a voice much flintier than hers, "Sky is the limit, Barfi. He taught your mother this. You must inherit it." 
Aware of everything the books cloaked, anxiety also misted over me knowing I'll be taking them away from whom they've always belonged to, the sky it belonged beneath. I could feel myself sinking into a conundrum by each second as I touched the wilting leather hardback of the diary that held his entire life. "What if I can't crack it?", shilly-shallying my indecisiveness as always. The bleak moment I saw her smile sardonically like never before, I felt a menial catastrophe that slight action instigated enveloping me. "Must you be so distrusting of yourself? You're quite like him in a way." Thrown back by her words, I failed to understand if my behaviour, and more so, my face reminded her of him. Not knowing anymore either if it was better I was there or not.
"Do you want me leave?"
"Everything that made him, makes you. You're all I've left of him." 
I picked the Little Black Books and left for the only place that would make me feel safe with the weight of an entire life I was holding in my hands. Butting here and pushing there, I made my way through outlandish streets and eccentric people to get to the cafe. Did he feel this helpless when he came here at the meagre age of 17? Did he also feel he'd lost the sky he wanted to taste? Would he be proud of my decision and indecision? Had I made a choice too easy to risk?
Cocooning in the usual corner of the cafe, I contemplate how to brace for all that was about to hit me, injure me and scar me. I open the rotund stack of pages, watching ample photographs that had its mouth snapped wide open, fall out. The one glaring back at me had a little me and younger him, holding me, no pain, no life, looking proud. 
A trivial action erupts out of me when I turn the photo around, and come across the familiar, strung out scrawl, "Barfi, the sky is everywhere."

Now, then, always,

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