Monday, May 30, 2011

I Call Your Name...



In the looming silence,
A word resounds –
It is but your name,
Which I speak, as if,
Uttering an incantation.
I close my eyes
And I see your name
Etched deeply, never to be effaced.
It surfaces as if a rock,
Against which I lean
Seeking strength amidst a stream
Of turbulent emotions and thoughts.
Do you hear me calling?
Does my voice ring in your ears,
My thoughts rattle your mind,
My memory haunt your dreams?
Or am I merely a presence,
Banished to a corner,
Not to be seen, heard, felt and touched?
I wonder, oh, I wonder,
Whether it is your name
That has bound me to your spell
In a bond that is irrevocable,
Even if I could turn back the time?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Abandon


The sight of the vast ocean never failed to lift her spirits.

Trudging through the sand as the sound of the crashing waves and the crescendo-like roar of the unceasing wind washed over her, it felt as if the sea sparked life into every fibre of her being.

She came to the shore where the colossal waves dwindled to flowing water that gently lapped against her feet.

As always, she was torn between dashing into the water and playing it safe, for she didn’t know how to swim.

But as she waded further into the waters, it was as if the sea were continually calling out to her…

…To do what? She wondered, but there was no answer.

Except, perhaps, an overwhelming feeling to simply submerge in the lulling comfort of the ocean.

At the sudden realisation, she smiled. With joyous abandon, she strode ahead as the waves threatened to immerse her. They would take her away, away from this troublesome land.

But then again, she couldn’t have asked for more. She laughed and cried; sometimes running across the wet strip that separated the waters and the sand, sometimes dodging and riding the breakers. Her dress clung to her, dripping wet and her hair resembled a tangled mess of seaweeds. But she was happy, carelessly ecstatic as she blithely plunged further into the current.

Until, a hand pulled her roughly onto the shore.

Breathless, she found herself looking not at the endless ultramarine that had filled her vision moments before, but into dark eyes that stared at her, doubting her sanity. She shook her head, struggling against the firm grip.

He placed his hands on her shoulders to steady her. “Do you realise what you’re doing?”

She looked up defiantly. “I’m not going to drown!”

“The sea is not going to ask you before it pulls you under. Come on, let’s go!”

She shook her head again, refusing to budge. Her shoulder-length hair stuck to her slender neck and as she met his gaze, her eyes shone. Her countenance presented a contrasting picture of vulnerability and strength. In her steely gaze, he found himself discerning a worrisome feeling of recklessness, as if she was finally going to do what she wanted.

And her wish was known to him very well.

He sighed. “You can’t possibly be thinking…”

She looked askance. “I don’t see any other way. But the sea’s so inviting!” she piped up.

He pointed to the horizon accusingly. “It is not a cure.”

“To the dull ache in your heart, it definitely is,” she retorted.

Surprised, he glanced at the petite, frail frame before him. How had she known that? How had she realized the melancholy he would unwittingly subject himself to, over her present condition?

“You should worry about yourself first, my dear,” he soothed, taking her into an embrace.

He didn’t know if he was doing it to comfort himself more than her.

Breaking away, he grasped her hand, ready to lead her back to the shore. Reluctantly she followed, glancing now and then at the glittering, fluid landscape that she was leaving behind.

She had every intention of returning to it.

Emerging out of the constraining palm trees, she stepped onto the shore as the wind whistled away, overpowering all her senses till she could only feel the slight tugging of air against her fluttering robes, swayed by the hypnotic rhythm of the gale.

The boundless sea remained where it was. Nothing ever changed.

Had it been not so dark, one would have easily seen the young girl tentatively treading towards the waters, prettily dressed in a billowing pale dress that fell beneath her knees, with shoes to match. A hat and the picture would be worth a postcard. But it was night time, and no one was around to ponder upon the young lady’s peculiar visit to the sea-shore.

She brushed back her hair as she squinted, trying to see the waves that ran up to the sand with their white claws, ready to devour anything that came their way. In her mind’s eye, she could picture them vividly, as they rushed up to where she stood and dragged her into the waters, to be lost forever…

She snapped open her eyes. The very image shook her to the bones.

Kicking off her shoes, she walked further, feeling oddly reassured by the howling wind. She ambled towards the wooden pier, its outline clearly visible against the dark backdrop of the sea.

She could feel the firmness of the wood underneath her bare feet as she glanced at the mysterious void beyond her, calling her to take the plunge.

A shout rose above the deafening rumble of the ocean. “Stop right there!”

She turned, straining to see against the light of the lantern. He ran across the sand and hastily climbed up the pier. Setting the lantern aside, he took her by her arms, trembling as she herself shivered.

“You can’t do this. For my sake, don’t!”

Wistfully, she reached out to caress his face as her vision grew misty. “I can’t live like this any longer, neither can you. Let me go.”

He looked away, unable to vanquish the torrent of emotions that tore through him. “I couldn’t save you.”

“You didn’t have to. I brought this upon myself.”

Gazing into her eyes, he managed to utter. “Allow me a chance...to redeem myself.”

She remained steadfast. “No. I want to set you free.”

“Not this way! Not by losing you!” he thundered.

There was no response and as he looked into her eyes, he saw the same careless abandon that ruled her whole life. She gave in to her miseries, she surrendered to people who simply abased her and she no longer wished to relinquish any control over her life that was never hers to begin with.

With a moan, he let her free from his grip and sank to his knees.

She remained where she was, unwilling to move.

Through sheer resolve, he willed himself to stir. He stood unsteadily, staggering across the same sands through which he had run so resolutely before, not sparing a glance even once to what had once been the reason of his living.

As the flickering light vanished among the rustling leaves, she turned towards the sea. Stepping on the edge of pier, her arms spread wide, she broke into laughter that was, ironically so, full of life and joy.

With a smile, she sank into the calming embrace of the ocean, its arms enclosing her into eternity.

Yes, I'm very erratic. Sometimes I might go for days without posting and suddenly I appear out of nowhere. But that is how creativity works.

I should take care the next time I visit a cliff. You don't know when that thought of jumping down overpowers you.

Doesn't mean that I'm suicidal, thank you very much. But yes, the mere thought of how it would feel to do something like prompted this lengthy drabble. And yes, I didn't click the picture. :)


Friday, May 20, 2011

A Fangirl's Wishlist

My Five Favourite Anime Characters:

Well, it is but obvious that this list is purely personal. I’m not the typical anime otaku whom you can find by the dozen. Suffice it to say that I’m not acquainted with a wide array of genres that Japanese anime/manga typically consist of, no, not even the most popular ones like Naruto and Sailor Moon (although Bleach is definitely one of my favourites) So, without much ado, I present the characters which have charmed the fangirl within me. Needless to say, they are quite popular with the ladies themselves.

5. Byakuya Kuchiki – Bleach
















I can see how people have already begun to question my taste.

No, Bleach is hardly for the characters with adequately normal features, the humans notwithstanding. If I were to think of this anime, the suave, elegant but stoic captain of Sixth Division comes to my mind first. I think it has to do more with the cherry blossoms that surround him perpetually, courtesy his zanpaktou Senbonzakura. For the uninitiated, it is his magical sword that dissolves into thousands of cherry blossoms on command. The way Byakuya carries himself - the epitome of nobility, the unique combination of strength and grace, coupled with his stern nature – it is enough to melt the heart of the most taciturn lady. Of course, his spirited fight with Ichigo (who, surprisingly, doesn’t feature on this list) still remains as one of my most favourite episodes.

Not that the man’s without any emotion – the enigma regarding his own feelings acted as an appealing factor in the earlier stages of his introduction. One might be appalled by the ruthlessness with which he chose to act with Rukia, but in the end, he was a poor, confused darling like the rest of the cast themselves. Even that guilt of almost killing his sister and his devotion to his deceased wife Hisana adds to his charisma. No, despondency is the last thing you will find in him and that is what makes him so lovable.

4. Syaoran – Tsubasa Chronicle Reservoir















Oh, what would I not give to be the Sakura in his arms...

Ahem, I might as well keep my fantasies aside, for Syaoran’s not the kind to leave his lady love behind for anyone. He would rather kill me for making such a suggestion. (now that’s an exaggeration too, for the poor thing won’t hurt anyone without a reason)

That is what I like about Tsubasa’s (my first anime) protagonist, fierce loyalty right down to every fibre of his being.

Any woman would give all her heart and soul to find someone like Syaoran. Caring, protective, self-righteous – all he cares about through the course of the plot-line is to give Sakura back her memories. Steadfast in his resolve and his affections too, he would kill and be killed himself to protect the one he loves. Where do you find such men nowadays? Although there’s a major drawback to him, considering how he is more defined by his overbearing concern for others than for himself. But the selflessness you get to see is refreshing.

I like this soft-spoken, brave young man much better than his counterpart in Cardcaptor Sakura. Syaoran Li was in a league of his own, but the tsundere act does not go down too well with me.

3. Roy Mustang – Fullmetal Alchemist















Aha, Flame Alchemy, anyone? I wonder how he would make for a husband. Would he go around, burning the whole house down with a snap of his fingers, I suppose?

Riza Hawkeye has a lot to consider even before saying yes to him, but of course, he won’t let any harm come to his precious Lieutenant.

Yes, another very loyal, very dedicated man. Although he’s arrogant and seems unruffled by sentiments (like typical men usually do), he does have a heart, and on height of intense emotion (usually rage provoked by injustice) he can be ruthless in killing – he has flames dancing on his fingertips which reduce enemies to drifting dust. His valour and confidence as a ranking military official (he’s a Colonel, after all, and an alchemist on top of that) reeks of classic masculinity and it is no wonder why girls lose their hearts to this charming man (otherwise very much prone to flirtatious and bordering on the licentious behaviour) who can protect them in times of turmoil – once determined, he will stop at nothing. It is Mustang who defines FMA, over and above the Elric brothers and the seven Homunculi.

2. Len Tsukimori – La Corda D’oro and Seiichi Yukimura – Prince of Tennis










Surprise, surprise, there’s a tie. I was going to make it three characters by adding the hugely popular Kunimitsu Tezuka from Prince of Tennis but two things – I don’t like him that much and I’m in rivalry with a dear friend of mine who simply happens to adore him, while demeaning my character. Oh well, random things aside, I might as well remind my readers that this list follows all the characters I was obsessed with, so do not question my taste. I know what they look like without sparing them an intensive scrutiny.

Len, oh Len. He was the only shining gem in the shoddy work that La Corda D’oro turned out to be. What with his virtuoso status when it came to the violin and his good looks (the blue hair, well, doesn’t make a difference when it comes to animation but my, his amber eyes are worth it), not to mention his aloof demeanour – he made the girls swoon for him, albeit not so obviously like Yunoki does, both in the La Corda verse and perhaps in real life too. His violin-playing took my breath away and while he was not so likable for being disdaining and curt, his subtle affection towards Kahoko (damn that girl for being to entice seven men altogether) of course appeals to every fan girl. Yes, he could be very well counted in the league of well-to-do, refined gentlemen who tenaciously pursue their ambitions and make sure others pursue theirs too (his inspirational mentorship to Kahoko, anyone?) Now only if he would smile a little and drop that contemptuous attitude...

Next comes the Child of God, namely Yukimura. The elusive Rikkai captain from Prince of Tennis has had very little screen time compared to others, and not much is known about him except his long-drawn battle with his fragile health which keeps him out of action for most of the series, save for Nationals. However it is that mystery which adds to his charm – which could be considered on the surface, for the gentle Yukimura may smile a lot, but he is merciless on the tennis courts, stripping the opponents of all their senses. It is not shown how he came to be this strong and therefore his demigod stature – again, a very persistent, determined leader who will go to any length to ensure success. I could never figure out as to why I was so fascinated by this enigmatic character, but that characteristic in itself provides all the reasoning, I suppose. As for his looks...haven’t you seen that all of them till now look decently human? For the acquainted, be glad that I didn’t include Ulquiorra Schiffer in this list, never mind my obsession with the Fourth Espada and his tear-streaked face.

1. Fuji Shusuke – Prince of Tennis












I say without using any hyperbole – I indeed did fall in love with this genius.

Of course, those who saw Prince of Tennis on my list must have guessed Fuji to obviously be there. Why do you think I’m not too fond of Tezuka?

Right from his startlingly blue eyes (which he rarely reveals) to his law-defying Triple Counters to the vengeful streak that leads him to exacting revenge by delivering humiliating defeats to his opponents (who have caused harm to his friends) on the tennis courts and not to forget, his overwhelming potential which he often keeps at bay and plays at the edge, just so he could challenge himself and the others – Fuji Shusuke is by far the most intriguing, complex character; being a member of the illustrious Seigaku team and yet managing to remain shrouded in a cloak of mystery. He is defined by his recklessness as a tennis player, his unspoken friendship with Tezuka, his fragile relationship with his brother Yuuta: it is evident that he is a person who intertwines both feelings and perception into a game so fine, it’s a delight to watch him play, the passion for tennis overriding everything, even the matters of victories and failures. One would want him to overpower his nemesis – Tezuka, Shiraishi; not many to name – but he never does so. And one can only wonder how his match with Ryoma Echizen would have ended, if allowed to be completed. If nothing else, he never lets anyone predict his movements even a little, a trait made irresistible by his angelic appearance.

Constantly misinterpreted to be sadistic in the fandom (which I believe is an attribute that belongs more to Yukimura than him) Fuji is definitely not the kind to torment anyone unless rightly called for, his pranks notwithstanding. He still gives tough competition to the likes of Atobe and Kirihara.

...

A common trait shared by these six? All of them are persistent and have quite the nerve. 


Perseverance and courage – aren’t these the qualities one looks for in a man?

Ah well, much as captivating these might be, they’re not real, sigh.

There, that ends my wish-list. Of course, a lot many can be included – Uryuu Ishida from Bleach, Shinichi Chiaki from Nodame Cantabile, Takumi Usui from Kaichou Wa Maid Sama! and so on and so forth, but if I were to do that, it would require me to have a separate list for every anime, considering the bulk of the cast. That project shall be undertaken sometime later, for now I’m simply content with these six characters after whom I have spent many hours hunting for wallpapers while reading up all the fanfiction I could possibly find. Thank you for bearing with me till now.