The first time I heard cold/mess by Prateek Kuhad, I – rather we- were a bridge waiting to collapse. It was everything I wanted to tell you during those cold December nights. If things unsaid could be packaged with love and a bit of heartache and sent across, this song would be it. But, you didn’t listen. And two days later, we broke up. Or rather, you left me cold and crying on a corner of the floor of my dingy apartment in Mumbai. “My days they begin with your name/And nights end with your breath,” hummed my heart. 

A week later, as I lay down in the ladies room, after the umpteenth class I had bunked, starved and sleepless, there were a bunch of juniors playing music outside. As the speakers blared with skilful hands on the guitar and a soothing voice – “When I feel cold/I’ll keep you close” – I died a little inside. Can hearts be sown with a thread and needle? 

That day when I went home, I played the song on full volume and stood under the shower, the geyser on full, and the steam rising off my skin. Can you scrub off memories from your body? I tried. I failed. 

Today, 184 days later, as I take the bus back home, my playlist on autoplay, it rings in my ears, out of the blue; it’s funny how some memories are embedded in songs. “I wish I could leave you my love/But my heart is a mess.” 

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