Varsha 2020 Issue, Stories - Manasi Barmecha


Cure for Heartache

By Manasi Barmecha


You know what my favourite kind of people are? The kind that make me want to write. It's not about the words as much as it is about their power to stir something close to you, something so integral that it's part of who you are. For me, its words. And this string of words I’m writing right now is that stirring, that movement that I am so fond of.


It's the kind of pattern that a puddle with dust settled beneath makes when an oblivious child merrily jumps into it, the kind when you let a drop of ink fall into clear water or the swirls that smoke rising from the agarbattis make. Distinct, unpredictable, changing. Cleansing, healing, levitating.


“I'm never alone. I’m always surrounded by these wise old men.” I say in a matter-of-fact manner. We’re walking up a hill, the path is a faint trail the trees have carved haphazardly. I've already quoted Mark Twain and Kahlil Gibran to him.


I bring them into conversation freely, with him, I don't have to hide all these voices behind doors. Unlike when you have guests at home and the poorly dressed loud mouthed kid who speaks the truth blatantly is promptly pushed into some corner of a closed room. I can keep the doors open with this one. He reckons them with his steady gaze.


We sit at the top of the hill trying to make sense of this world as the sun is swallowed whole by the evening. From up here, the buildings seem like they are made of lego blocks, vulnerable to a child’s whim. The crisp thin air on the top of the city makes everything look so easy, so clear.


The clarity is not in a piece of archaic wisdom that makes life easier to navigate. It is the realisation that the maze never gets easier, the path no more evident, the choices never perfect, but that we’re not alone. The feeling of togetherness keeps us going indefinitely.


He asks me what I think of love. He says that being in love makes everything worthwhile. To see that one person smile can make your entire day joyous in the most unexpected ways. I felt like I am going to be less optimistic on this one. I start quoting some of my favourite authors on what they think of love but he stops me mid- sentence.


“What do you think about love?” , he emphasizes on the ‘you’. For the first time, I am helpless with the feigned company I have. These great people who have lived strange lives on earth and even stranger lives in my head are suddenly no more my friends, just cold observers in my confused misery.


On earth, they had said words that sounded like they made sense or perhaps were in the correct order of nonsense. But right now in my head, it all seemed to fade away, their voices growing fainter with every passing second. I wear a coat of quotes and without that insulation to my aid, I hope I am not cold beneath.


I’ve read somewhere that the second best feeling in this world is that of being heard, of being really listened to. He agreed with me quickly, saying it was rare and we must listen, not from the ends of our own worlds, but taking a peek into another’s. However, it is the second best thing .. The book says that the feeling of power is the most desired, the. This is not my answer though, never has been.


It’s the answer the world gave me by repeatedly doing unimaginable things to attain power. Sure, great feats have been done for power as well, but love seemed to me a more compelling motive. At this moment, love is the answer. The best feeling in the world. “Love is the answer”. John Lennon said this too. See, I told you, these men never leave my head.


As we tried to map our identities in the labyrinth of what we know of this world, trying to pin down landmarks, the people we love and spinning the yarn of our lives around them, I felt like I was touching the hem of this very fabric. It was as soft as laughter. We spoke of difficult times and anger, of mistakes and stupidity; the tone of the conversation always the hue of a warm hug, the smell of a safe secret, the sound of several reassuring smiles. There was nowhere else to go.


The sky turned the colour of sand half an hour after sunset and the moon arose till it was directly above us. I wonder if our sense of identity comes from negating what we are not. Often it happens that we realise something has gone because we are suddenly aware of its absence. It was tragic for me to think that all we are is a bundle of everything we’re not. As I was about to muse on this out loud, I see something. Leaves. More precisely, the silhouette of the leaves.


The boundaries where the leaves ended, the emptiness that made it beautiful. It doesn’t matter if you decide to draw the space around the leaves or the leaves themselves, they are always going to be beautiful. Everything around me is astounding, like listening to poetry that makes you believe that you have the bones of a miracle. Everything around me is tragic, like anger and mistakes, the kind that corrode you with guilt and yet, that makes we believe that we have the bones of a miracle. And we do. There is no medicine that can cure heartache.


It is true that time heals, but being on top of a hill with a friend heals better, heals deeper.




Manasi Barmecha from India is a a poet trying to figure out her place in the world though poetry. She is an undergraduate student, with double major in biology and education. She writes to help help her form a sense of self in this increasingly complex planet of ours.


Our Contributors !!

Some of our writers!

  • We occassionally invite writers to send their musings. Do send in your work, and we will host it here.
  • Do visit the Submit page to submit your work.