Monday, February 20, 2017

A Little Luxury.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, February 20, 2017 0 comments Links to this post
When I was sixteen, I was given my first mobile phone. It did not have high-end features, but it had a radio. For reasons many, I was content with just that. I frequently stayed up late for studying or reading and found FM as my only companion. Sitting next to the window, I listened to the late night talk shows which were catching up in those days. Radio jockeys with an intense human connect, people going home from work or movies, and lovers going through heartbreaks - no matter what, everyone poured their souls out without any fear of seeming vulnerable.

Even before I had the freedom of exploring blogs and platforms where people had the power to share their experiences, I heard people talking about them on radio. I could hear them, sense their apprehensions, understand their joy and often hear what's unsaid and listen to their suppressed tears. I knew regular callers and I knew what exactly they would talk about. Maybe I saw a pattern in everything they shared. Or every failure they tended to ever so carefully.

As a child, I was told by my elders that a radio was the single most powerful device which connected you with the world outside. If my grandfather knew about India's independence, it was through a radio and if my mother heard a movie review, it too was through a radio. I mean, imagine the days when there was no TV, but only a certain voice emanating from a device. A certain voice without a face that everyone relied on.

Over the number of years, the way we procure information has exponentially changed. Now that I think about it, I don't plug in my earphones to hear the news on the FM as I did when I was a teenager. Because Google Assistant religiously updates me, every morning. Funnily enough, I don't even read them. On odd days, I turn on the radio on my way to work only to be bombarded with advertisements. And with so many of them.

What must have thrilled people around 60 years ago (or even 8 years ago), definitely doesn't anymore. A lot has changed in these years - my mobile phone with all the greatest of features that one can ask for does not even support something as basic as a radio. I remember being shocked at it when I was unboxing it.

"How can it not have a radio?"

I asked a couple of friends who never responded to my fury, appropriately. But as someone who literally spent several nights discovering new artists and albums on the radio or by receiving book suggestions from certain RJs, I wonder if our next generations will ever enjoy this simple luxury.

If they'll ever know that they can simply plug into the radio to feel a little less lonely during nights.

Monday, February 13, 2017

An Unsung Song.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, February 13, 2017 0 comments Links to this post

I remember the first time I saw you,
I was younger, and so were you,
The lights, like you, were at a proximity which was morosely faraway.
There was music in my head, which kept me oblivious to everything around,
Maybe even to the music that was played in the coffee shop.

Reticence and silence were lying astray in the air between us,
Like an unsung song whose lyrics I knew, but never the tune.
But even before we realized, we build a fort around awkward hushes and masked emotions,
The secret path to this fort, as someone once said, was not giving in to the urges.

We could have given in to it. Maybe we should have,
Instead, we made a deal with our mystical little minds,
To replace our hearts desires with vague reassurances and unsure answers.
Because in a battle between wants and needs, we were neither,
Maybe we were in-between but never enough to create symphonies.

Going back to the day when we first met, I now realize that,
Love was never our cup of tea,
It never was our humble abode.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017


Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, February 08, 2017 0 comments Links to this post

(Originally written for Paragraph.)

On a walk that deemed unfit for a cold winter night, he set off in a direction he never took before. The soles of his shoes were barely firm to protect his feet, but the condition of his windcheater was even worse. The streets were desolate as he paused under every streetlight before he moved any further and the wild wind did no good to his chapped cheeks. For a moment, he wondered if he was going in circles agonizing over the only shelter he left behind. Having no option left and no human in sight, he ran, engulfing himself in darkness and cold. He came to a halt when he saw a distant light. Catching his breath and senses, he approached the light. When he came close, he noticed that it was an all-night library. Glad to have found a roof for the night, he went in to find himself surrounded by large bookshelves and his long-lost lofty dreams. Life and blood rushed back to his cheeks as he held the hardcovers and inhaled the scent of the paperbacks. Maybe the world of fiction did more to the homeless than reality.

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Saturday, February 04, 2017

Between the Sheets.

Posted by Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, February 04, 2017 0 comments Links to this post

My emotions for you were strewn across the bed,
I loved you, I lusted for you but, I thrived on the sheer thought of owning you..of controlling you.

I always believed I knew every detail of you, even though you surprised me, sometimes,
Although my fingers knew every contour of you, it was you who made me pronounce my feelings better.

I remember the nights I'd come home from work; you'd wait for me in the darkness,
No questions asked, no answers given, we'd sit there in silence;
Looking each other in the eye, telling things that we'd never tell anyone.

We also had the nights when you refused to embrace me;
Blowing off the steam, you were. At least that's what you told me.

We had confessions, adventures, secrets, and stories to tell..some were nasty too,
I showed you the ugly parts of me and gave you the naked truths,
I wondered if you'd run away. But you stayed.

Every time I held a pen and poured myself out on countless papers, I knew you were working your magic on me,
You added meaning to my thoughts even when they were haywire.

But if someone asks me why I love you and if I'll ever grow out of you,
I'll tell them, what's a writer without words?
Especially when our romance - my romance with words is still...
In between the sheets.


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