‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo’
I’m so angry with you I’m so angry I don’t know what to do with this anger it’s pouring out of me in waves and it has no shore to crash against since you left.
‘Yunhi pehlu mein baithe raho’
I want to ask you to come back and it would be nice to have you come back, of course, but it will be terrible for me and the glass palace I constructed myself into.
‘Haaye mar jaayenge
Hum toh lutt jaayenge’
Learning how to breathe when you left took time, because your absense felt like the edge of water trying to snake into my lungs if I stopped thinking about not letting you drown me.
‘Aisi baatein kiya na karo’
You taught me how to sing that one song you half-remembered, but you only taught me a quarter of it, promising you’d always be around to complete the words you left out.
‘Tumhi socho zara
Kyun na roke tumhein’
I used to wake up screaming because all my nightmares saw you leaving, and it’s almost strange because they all are about you coming back now; the thought is terrifying.
‘Jaan jaati hai jab uth ke jaate ho tum’
You convinced me of the fact that I was built for you, my hollows meant to curve around your edges and wear them down, and those grew so so wide that I thought I’d collapse if you ever left.
‘Tum ko apni kasam jaan-e-jaan
Baat itni meri maan lo’
My victories centred around you. I wrapped myself around yours, feeding them with everything I had because I was sure you needed my light to shine (black holes don’t shine).
‘Waqt ki qaid mein zindagi hai magar
Chand ghadiyan yehi hain jo aazaad hain’
I learned how to love you within deadlines, little chunks of the day I stole just to water into the soil we planted ourselves in, but the soil was all wrong for us, too wet, too alive, too much.
‘Inko kho kar meri jaan-e-jaan
Umr bhar na taraste raho’
I thought this thirst would burrow under my muscles and never leave my throat, and every sip of water would burn like the first one I had after three days of mourning (I was wrong)
‘Kitna masoom rangeen hai yeh sama
Husn aur ishq ki aaj mairaaj hai’
There’s something to be said about firsts, after all- firsts are terrible, firsts strip you of innocence, firsts stain the lenses you stare out into the world through. Firsts break you.
‘Kal ki kis ko khabar jaan-e-jaan
Rok lo aaj ki raat ko’
What they don’t tell you about firsts is that they’re not the lasts, not always; firsts are warning signs, pressure gauges we embed into our skins for all the nexts and furthers and mores.
‘Aaj jaane ki zid na karo.’
Goodbye. You can leave.