Never land is what we all seek,

A place we all wish to be,

Where timeless tales unfold

Tales that make us forget,

even the ground beneath our feet.

The cold and weary winter, coupled with an emotional, gloomy and broken soul. He walks down a deserted alley in Central London, heading to a place he believes is home.

What a weird world this is; we crave for solitude whilst in a crowded place and when we have it, we long for companionship.

He is clueless as to where he is headed, what he plans to do and of what lies ahead. He accepts solitude as his companion for the moment and works on making him his partner. Solitude: such an ironical concept- we fear him in the beginning, but as time goes by we get used to him, and soon, he becomes inseparable from us, becomes our alibi.

He tries to talk to people he knew, or rather people who knew him, only with his mask on.  He moonlights as a jester, humour being a strong defence mechanism, he uses it to create a farce of him being someone with an amazing sense of humour, who is always laughing and making others laugh.  This mask is God’s true blessing for him.  He can switch into character with a snap and pretend to laugh out loud even though he is engulfed in his own misery.

It was at one such gathering that he met her for the very first time. Her smile and the mesmerising brown eyes were all that he could think of.  There was no love or lust that could be noted in the very first meeting .Just a casual social get together involving some good food and some alcohol and a hearty laugh.

Well sometimes things you never ever imagined would just happen in the due course of time. The friends slowly became foes and then Solitude returned from his pseudo vacation and became a part of his life once again. He was a theatre enthusiast and longed to watch Shakespeare and being the courteous person he is, he went around asking the ones he knew if they would accompany him and the sole person to say yes was her.

And thus they went to watch an adaptation of “A Midsummer Night’s dream”

A subtle quiet suburb of London, a cold dreary night, a calm English pub, an eloquent and diminutive theatre, some mulled wine, Swedish cider and the magic potion which Puck accidently poured on Lysander’s eyes.  All through the play, she adored Puck for her wit and Demetrius for his raw magnetism, wishing she was Hermia for an instant. He wasn’t envious; he was enthralled to see her smiling ever so happily and was glad he was able to make her feel this way.

Little did they know Puck sprinkled some of the potion onto two souls in the audience?

The evening was well spent. Her eyes spoke more than her lips. He saw her eyes sparkle for everything he had to say. They spoke for hours together, about love, friendship, life beyond the dreaded winter of London and much more.

Who can say where the road goes,

Where the day flows,

He was carried away by the mist of her fragrance.

Who knows where this journey would end?

Who knows?

Only time

No, the magic didn’t happen right away. There is nothing that happens at first sight. They spoke through the week.  He was having a tough time with work and she was there for him. He could confide his misery in her and she assured him that everything will be alright.  He felt his alibi, Solitude, slowly tending to slip away, into his winter hibernation. At the end of the week, she called him over, for some company and to make sure he feels no agony for the week that went by.

Friday evening unfolds and he goes over to her place. Gently knocks on the door. She (as always) greets him with her trademark big smile, painted all across her face. Those dreamy brown eyes still sparkle with the twinkle of the night sky.

He was an awesome chef. He could make the tastiest dishes with the simplest ingredients. He was cooking for her and the presence of alcohol was mandatory, considering the winter was at its peak. Three drinks down and the food was set, they sat (on opposite couches) and started off where they left at the night of the play. He started opening himself to her, told her about his past, things he never told anyone else. Which was weird in a way that he was an emotional rock on the outside, which never let anything seep through, and yet he opened his Pandora’s Box to her with relative ease. She listened patiently. Time passed by and the magic potion started to take effect. This was the night of Dec 21st 2012; the Mayans predicted the world would come to an end.

But for him, his world had just begun.


The joys of watching her sleep,

The joys of holding her in your bare arms,

The joys of knowing she talks in her sleep, but talks only to you.

You stay awake all through the night, listening to her whisper sweet nothings,

Yet at the break of dawn, her smile illuminates your soul, all over again.

He was “happy” again. They were entwined in their own web, not wanting to step away from each other’s vicinity for even a moment. Inseparable, yes, their togetherness was insatiable, vivid and, one may say, impeccably enchanted. Night became day and night again, for them there was no difference. All they saw was a starry blue sky, a quiet beach with silent waves lashing by the shore and they were right there, like footprints in the sand.

Christmas Eve arrived. All of England had suddenly set on an exodus to their promised land – “Home”. Christmas is to be spent with loved ones. He had to leave as well. Friends waited for him in a hamlet far away. The thought of leaving her was unbearable. She was the most lovable soul for him now. They had just met, how can they part so early? He dragged himself, away from “their” home.  She assured him two days would pass by without them noticing it. He listened to her, kissed her goodbye and set off to a hamlet in Northampton.

As the train passed through city streets, suburban townships, meadows and grasslands, all he saw were mirages of her, smiling back at him. A smile that assured she was always by his side. He felt a new joy had embedded within him, he felt his heart leap each time he thought of her. Guess this is what happiness is.

His friends were delighted to see him. They had planned a lovely time amongst themselves, yet they saw in him a sense of restlessness, a longing for one soul. He tried to put it aside, but, the truth is, he missed her. Four hours were pure torture. They spoke over the phone, texted all through the day, longed for time to pass by so that they could be in each other’s arms once again. He coulndn’t take anymore, he would leave  the morning of Boxing Day. He shouldn’t let her be alone. Time was ticking. Every moment with her was sacred. He could not idle time away.

Christmas passed by. The melody of Christmas carols slowly started becoming a distant note.  Boxing Day arrived. He woke up to the dismay of knowing all transport had shut down and would reopen only the next day.  He had to go back. He wanted to go back. He sensed him being breathless, he needed her warmth, her fragrance, and the resonance of her voice was essential to pacify his soul. He would do what it takes to return to her abode.

He walked across the empty hamlet of Northampton, taking random coaches that went south. He travelled across different towns, by coaches, by rides offered by fellow Good Samaritans. He was ready to even trade his soul just to be back “home”.  He braved the cold winds, the icy rain, and the damp countryside and four hours later, she heard a knock on her door. Her Christmas wish came true. It was her Christmas miracle. He came back to her. He was back to his Neverland.

He stood by the mighty mountains,

Helpless in his quest to be in her midst

He looked unto the heavens and asked for one wish,

He longed to see her again.

He prayed to the myriads of angels,

To ferry him back home.

God’s winged messengers said unto him,

Cry not you smitten soul, hold out your arms,

We shall walk you through the clouds,

And set you down to her abode.

Life was surreal ever since that moment.  Their togetherness saw no boundaries. They lived each day to please one another. He treated her like a princess, from serving an eloquent breakfast in bed to a scrumptious meal, made just for her. She was his Tinkerbell, and he her Peter Pan.  They roamed the streets as two hearts but just one soul. The air they breathe had diffused in it the charisma of their romance.

Every tale has a twist, every story has an essence of gloom and inevitably, it occurred in their lives too. Time came for him to go back to his homeland, halfway across the world. Deep within him, a bleak voice kept screaming out, you’re her Houdini, you’re her Pied Piper, mesmerise her and take her with you, let her live forever, in Neverland , make her dream come true.  He worried about leaving her alone, even though it was just for a short while, he couldn’t think of letting her be in solitude.  The voice said unto him, do not worry child, she will be fine. You leave her with a graffiti of memories. She will be back soon.

With a ray of hope and a silent prayer for her in his heart, he leaves to the airport. She holds him tightly by the arm. As he arrived at the security gates at Heathrow, he turned to her, kissed her ever so passionately, his eyes speaking this time, saying “I’ll wait for you love, my heart is here with you, and I’ll wait for you till you return. Her eyes didn’t speak. Seemed like a cryptic ensemble of thoughts and emotions, not letting him through, none coming through either.

As he walked into the gates, he turned back for a glimpse of her again, she smiled at him, and he smiled back. Little did he know that would be the last time he smiled from his heart.

We all smile for millions of reasons, but do we actually smile from the heart? Does the phenomenon really exist? Or is it just a facade? A farce created to make us want more and not remain a stoic.

He returned home, he still had traces of happiness within him, knowing his heart was still in the cold snowy alleys of England, every tick of the clock tower brought her an inch closer to him. He held onto those tiny traces, he held onto that ray of hope, he waited. Patiently, he waited.

He waited for sundown,

He wished he would fall into deep slumber,

Wished the sun would never rise.

Between nightfall and dawn, he traversed to neverland.

To be one with her, to feel her warmth, hypnotized by her dreamy eyes.

He hoped the sun never shone on him again.

He hoped to remain in his neverland.

The hourglass finally favoured him. It was time for her to return. He was overjoyed, his heart skipped a beat each time he thought of having her in his midst again. He stayed awake all night, picturing their first  meeting. Like a little child he giggled from within, should I run upto her? A classic rendition of a cliched romantic film, or maybe just a welcome hug? The truth is, he never longed to see someone the way he longed for her. He sang tunes of her favourite songs, wore her favourite colours, relived those beautiful memories. He felt like he was part of a musical. His joy was unimaginable.

Finally D –day arrived. She returned to their homeland. She called him and said she wanted to meet him. Excited he was, he wore the best of his clothing, a first for him as he had never dressed up for anyone. He wished the roads were empty. He didn’t want any hindrances between him and her now.

He waited for her, on a street nearby.  He got a glimpse of her, walking to him from a distance. His heart leaped with joy, he wanted to run to her, hug her and kiss her and just feel her presence in his life once again.  This however, was short-lived. She wasn’t the same old person he had last seen at the gates of Heathrow, she was completely different, and he sensed it. She didn’t look as excited as he was. She was aloof.

He let this pass, they sat at a table in a nearby coffee shop and caught up on the times that they missed.  She spoke in a different tone and her words slowly started pricking him like a needle. The needle soon turned into a sharp knife. She broke it to him.  The magic had worn off her eyes. The love potion had faded away. He was no longer “the one” in her life. She came back to a mess. She chose the mess, over him.

He couldn’t believe what he just heard. He felt the heavens open up, tongues of fire coming down upon him, the ground beneath his feet just let go, he started falling into a bottomless pit. All he could see now was a glimpse of her face, at a distance, not smiling, just staring at him blankly.

He could feel the drops of blood percolating from every pore of his broken heart. What was so wrong? What did he do? All he did was adore her, mesmerise her, and keep her smiling, even in her sleep. He was crestfallen, not knowing what to do next. All his plans were now wiped off his Mystical Map, the one he made for them, which had only two sets of footprints on it, the map was a world only for two, and it traced their footprints and forgot the rest of the world.  At a distance far away, a long lost friend, Solitude, nonchalantly looked at him, with a smile on his face, and an expression that said “I’m coming back; I will never leave this time”

When you meet someone, who embraces your heart more than just yourself, you feel the whole universe is on your side. You forget all misery, all anxiety and just live as you always wanted, in Neverland. Yet when things go wrong, you realise there is nothing left. No slow dancing, no bright blue sky, not even the fragrance of their romance. How intriguing to realise that such beauty vanishes in an instant! Life inadvertently rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds. All this happens right before your eyes, and you stand there helpless. A sense of being stuck in quick sand, and as you slowly sink beneath, you click a mental picture of your last vision, a mirage of life the way you imagined it to be, and how you failed miserably, in making it real.

Stranded on an uninhabited island. That best explained the nature of his existence ever since.  For him, the world had come to a standstill. All he needed was a time machine or a curse to erase his memory, the only two antidotes for the excruciating pain he was going through. She, on the other hand, claimed to be in pain too, for the mess that was.  He never questioned her or even asked her to give them another chance. Ever since they were together, her words were his gospel. For him happiness was making her smile and making her happy. She wanted this, and he obliged.  He never blamed her for the Armageddon that came upon him; he blamed himself and Lady Luck, who had a smirk on her face, depicting an irony of some sort.

Truth is stranger that fiction. The truth – He never could stop loving her, he never could stop thinking about her. She pleaded him, to get over her and forget her. How can you forget someone who’s always on your mind? Wherever he went, he assumed she was beside him.  She was there with him always, in spirit. She was his lady behind the purple veil. They had amusing conversations; little nuances of his life he would first share with (the imaginary) her.  They went out for dinners together, spent evenings at petite coffee shops, went for long drives and did much, much more.

Well this was how he saw it.

In reality, the people around him saw him sitting all by himself at restaurants, talking to himself and enjoying a meal at a table for two. People saw him sitting alone at coffee shops over the weekend and indulging in hour long conversations with thin air. People saw him in his car, laughing out loud to a humorous conversation that only he could hear, as the car was empty.  He lived in a surreal world, where she was still with him.

In reality, She was nowhere in sight, she had moved on, she had a new life, without him. But for him, his life was just her and nobody else.

In reality, he was stranded alone, on an uninhabited island. He was an eccentric lover and dwelled on his dreams; he made his subconscious his reality.  He lived in Neverland.

Was this the beginning of his end?