Book Review: Untold Lies. Storyoems – When Stories Become Poems

 

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Author: Raga Olga D’silva
Publisher: Embassy Books
Genre: Non fiction/ Poetry
Pages: 234

I picked up this book soon as it came out, because I have waited for it to be released for a long time. The author Raga Olga D’Silva is a very dear friend. The connection we share is one of stories, some fictional, some real, some told and a whole lot untold.

Untold Lies is an act of courage.
It’s not just the story of coming out, its one of shattering all the boxes that the world puts you in and wants you to stay confined within. Raga spells out pain and heartbreak with honesty topped with integrity. You feel is oozing through her words. She breaks you down and then heals you with the story.
The idea of storyems is unique to being with. When a story seamlessly transitions into a poem it completes it, in ways we didn’t know even existed. The unison is magical.

Raga’s emotional journey through the thick of judgements and the feeling of being unloved leaves you with a heavy heart and yet somehow gives you hope. The irony is delicious.

For anyone looking at a story that warms your insides like a hug from a friend, this book is a must read.

Rating: 3.5/5

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Besotted

 

Unknown

 

She sat across from me, in her shorts and tank. Legs pulled up to her chest and arms wrapped around them. Holding a warm mug with fingers intertwined. Eyes with smudged kohl and a sleepy smile on her lips, that she couldn’t help.

She said she loved the way I made it, that it was the best coffee in the world.
I believed her!

It was a little chilly and she probably should have worn some more clothes, but she knew I liked to touch her skin, and that wouldn’t let her sit for too long.
She didn’t plan these little things, that made me want her. But they did.

She said it was the eyes. Mine devoured her, while her’s craved me.
I believed her!

Always

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“My love for this city reduces every time I have to drive in it” She said as she unlocked the car
“I have to go now, too many things in my hands”
“tell me something new” the voice at the other end of the line smirked
“You might have to begin your start up checklist too, haha”
“hang up” she replied smiling
“later then” and he was gone 

Ruhi opened the rear door and like clockwork put the stuff inside. Everything had a specific place. The laptop bag went on the seat, the lunch basket under it. As she sat on the driver’s seat, her handbag went on the seat beside her, the phone in the exact place it was suppose to be. 

“Okay Nyx, lets go” she said, pulling out of her usual parking spot at the office.
Her beloved car was aptly named after the goddess of the night. Black and strong that she was. 

While crossing the gate, out of sheer muscle memory she dialed a number on her phone. Disconnected. And dialed another.
“You were working late” her favorite voice said
“Good days love” she replied “How did you know I just left work?”
“I know things. Like I also know that before you called me, you called him. And like everyday he didn’t answer ”
“He will call back, he mostly does” she sighed “Now stop getting angry at me and tell me about your day”
“I am not angry at you Ru, I am just reminding you that you are his “mostly”” Her best friend snapped.
“And he is my “always”. I know” Ruhi replied softly
“Fine I will tell you about my day” the other side of the line spoke, breaking the awkward silence
“It was definitely better than this conversation, anyway” 

One of the most important part of her driving checklist on the way home was talking to her girl. It was also a tradition they had followed for a decade. Most of their major life decisions were made while in transit. 

“What’s for dinner?” Ruhi asked as she reverse parked into her garage
“I feel like having something nice” came the reply
“You should type that on your food app and have it delivered” she laughed
“The kind of “something nice” I am looking for, wont be found on a food app” the line thundered with laugher on both sides
“You are incorrigible” Ruhi caught her breath
“My level of weirdness is above national average, I am completely okay with that”
“but incorrigible, my dear girl, is you! I don’t know what you see in him. That guy who doesn’t call you back” she continued “he is the only grey in your black and white life, Ru” “not grey, he is blue!” Ruhi deflected as she kissed her best friend good night and hung up. “I am going upstairs and chatting with you” 

Balancing each bag on its designated shoulder Ruhi opened the door to her house. She loved the place. It smelled of lavender and had big french windows overlooking a park. It had two bed rooms but was mostly inhabited by one person. On occasion it was two. She liked those occasions. “Should order that wind chime” she thought to herself as she opened the windows, placed her keys in the bowl on the table and her bags exactly where they went, everyday. 

“Black and white life, she says” she mumbled, ruminating on the conversation she had just had, walking into her room.
Took her bra off before she even took her shoes off and sat on her bed.
“you are right, my life is black and white” she typed in her most used chat window
“and you would rather have it black and blue!!” replied her best friend complete with a wink emoticon 

She put the phone aside smiling at the thought. 

Standing under the shower, with her eyes closed, she let the warm water wash away her day.
Her life had always been blue. She just hadn’t realized it till a few months ago. All the thinking had begun just after. She was adapting to this new color and its shades while blue was just being blue. She loved how it made her feel on the inside but hated that she had no control over it.
“Stop thinking Ruhi” she said aloud to herself as she wrapped herself in her towel, and looked at herself in the mirror.
The jacket on the bed caught her eye. 

He was sitting on the couch with his back towards her, in the room outside. She could only see his shirt from where she was standing. It was blue!
“Hi” he said as her heard her walk in. Still watching tv.
“Hi” She replied, smiling, happy. 

“Have you ever looked at someone and thought, I am so happy you are in my life”
“They might not even know of your existence then, but in that moment there is something about them that makes you think, I am just so happy you are in my life” Ruhi typed to her best friend 

“I am guessing “Mostly” came around” her phone chimed 

“He will Forever be my Always” was her last message for the night. 

Unbroken 

She had a smile that twinkled at the curve of her lips. A laugh..like when happiness tickled a kid.

The dark of her eyes was sad mostly but sometimes it sparkled. Like she was trying to break away and yet was in love with her shackles.

She was hurt, broken into pieces in parts unknown, yet holding it together like repaired with gold.

He knew she was torn, ruptured, and damaged.. but all he could see was how beautifully she was sewn!