Dreamer


I told you 
I'm a dreamer 
and then 
I dropped hints 
again and again
here and there. 
Repeatedly.

Yet, all you can talk about is
people
People who wronged you
or didn't.
People in 
politics,
business 
and bureaucracy
basking away in 
second-had success  
and delving into
second-had failures 

You talk about boundaries
when my head is limitless 
I suggest
you hammer nails 
around my head
and build a fence 
and see if that
might conform me 
into what you want me to become. 

Don't tell me about work
that is uninspired 
and safe like 
docu-men-tation
and how you do it for 60 hours a week.
It tires me. 

It tires me 
how
You talk about money
Like it can buy culture or class.

It tires me 
when you recite what you
hear on one idiot box 
and scan on another-
never pausing to
read between the lines 

Yet, I envy you. 

I envy you
for your depth as 
well as outwardness
towards
things, yes, things
that I feel nothing towards
and your
stoicism
towards  
subjects
that keep me 
sane.

I envy how
effortlessly you stay afloat
while I am suffering 
and struggling 

I wonder 
where are your layers? 
or are you as one dimensional as 
what meets
the eyes?
I dont know
what am I more afraid of.

I dare you,
for once-
Tell me about
your deepest, darkest
secrets,
fears and
fantasies 
and watch me not
flinch.
I promise 
I will not look away 
I will not blink

and hear me out
just once -
For I am here to find out
if you can return the courtesy. 

Can you for once
be real?
and not
what they are telling you to be. 
For once,
can you tell me
when was the last time you felt alive. 

A bridge

I had seen you
Around for so long
That I thought
You would stay around
Forever.

Forever,
Is such a loosely
Overused word.
But perhaps
at some point
We trick ourselves into
Believing that
No matter what,
few things are here to stay.

Stay because they
are too weak to
leave.

Leave and go where?

Where else would you
rather be than stay with
Me.

Me- I never fussed
Enough

Enough about why
You don’t take your medicines
Or go see a doctor
Or go for that walk-
Or see that therapist
You have been putting off
For years.

For years, I listened to
you so indifferently-
Scrolling meaninglessly
Through my phone,
Seeing things I will never remember.

Remember?
Hah!
They call it
attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder.

Disorders that
cannot be seen
Are so insidious
Just yesterday, I was trying to
Guess if I am
Depressed
Or bipolar
Or PMSing.

PMSing? You asked
‘I think I am PMSing too.’
And neither of us laughed
Because we know it might be true.

Truth is that even
you thought,
we would be around
Forever

‘Forever’, though
Is such an overused,
Abused word.

You see, the chasm separating
psyches
is the toughest
to bridge.

A bridge

painted in
a shade called facade which
carefully disguised
our
Idiosyncrasies.

Idiosyncrasies so stark
They couldn’t sit
Next to each other,
Let alone lay.

The rain washed
over that facade and

That bridge
is burned, so
Absolutely
Completely
Permanently
That now
the silence sits
in my mouth
rotten from
unspoken words
of love and tenderness. 

And I know for a fact,
That this void,
this emptiness,
this chasm-
Is here to stay
forever.

Forever, you see
After all
Is not such a loosely
Overused word.

🌻

A shadow engulfs
My heart
When i remember
The sunshine
My lover was

And like a little girl
Off i went
Running in the park

Mother said,
Come back, before it gets dark.

But I was gone too far.

I was helpless.
For one doesn’t
Escape the sunlight.
One can only surrender
And so I did,
I ceded.

Threw in the towel,
And lay down on it.

Soaking in the golden sun
With every inch of me
Drowsed by the fondness
Of the tempest heart,
Raging to be devoured.

I don’t know
how long
I lay there
I wish it were a lifetime
Because when I woke up
It was dark, and
Winter had arrived

And now,
the night doesn’t end.

The Other Woman

I, have a confession to make
The truth is
I like being the other woman.

Yes, The One
Hated by all
But revered by
One

I like the questioning eyes
that follow me
when I step out
their gaze like a red carpet 
rolled out 
right in front of me 
to strut over. 
I like the judgement
bestowed upon me 
from the moral high horse
The scoff,
in their tone. 
The smirk,
on their lips.
The surprise,
in their innocent eyes. 

The freedom.

Ah, the freedom!
Maybe, I want you
Maybe, I want you too.
And why not?
I like driving’em crazy.
Feet on the accelerator,
The car's gonna spin off.

I like knowing 
We are headed to this 
Beautiful town called ‘no-where-land’
Where we make no promises 
hence, dispense no misery.
But there’s adrenaline
and ecstasy
and love
As selfless as promoted 
in the archetypal world. 

I like keeping secrets
And also being one. 
I am the secret,
I am the truth,
I am the sin and
The forbidden fruit.

I like pulling the strings 
I like being worshipped
And I like the taboo
I am the taboo.

I am the taboo,
Yet you are drawn 
Like moth to a flame - 
Unable to retract 
what you started. 
Even if you wanted to. 

But don't take me
Otherwise. 
After all,
It was you who started with
“Everything is fair
In love and war”
And when we meet 
In the folds of midnight,
When the world drowns in darkness-
It's a dance of both.

Cotton Candies In the Sky

Cotton candies in the sky
Have been luring me
For a while
Whenever I look up
They are looking back at me
White, yellow, pink.
So devoted,
Damn, so divine.

Cotton candies in the sky
Have been enticing me
To come closer to them.
To get a taste.
To dare and come find them
And right there it is
So I decide to follow
I mean, how could I not?

I see a mountain
that my eyes know for real
is kissing the
Spiralling golden sea
moving silently
above my head.

The mountain is steep.
Yet I begin
to ascend.
Certain that the climb will be worth my while.
As I reach closer
I see it becoming slated
Readying itself
To greet me
To meet me
seductively draping itself
in a net of lights
Burning to unite.
Demanding me
to move faster
So I let it own me
like I never belonged
anywhere else.
And I rise
like a high tide.

Only to find out
It was all a tease
A ruse
Laid down very well to show me
what I can have
And what I cannot.

Cotton candies in the sky
Concealing a world
That some arrogant men
claim they know about
through ‘theories’
only wildly imagined,
Challenging their egos

Cotton candies in the sky
Changing everyday
Shifting and drifting
Shapeless yet constant
Hiding secrets I cannot see.
I will never see.
Till I cross over to the other side.

A new year?

I woke up this morning
And looked outside the window
To the same view
Constant for months now
10 months to be exact –
A quiet yellow house
jaded by rain and sun
With a rusted red door
And a black car
I think,  a Wagonar
That disappears at 9
and reappears at 7,
Sharp.
Dutifully parked across the
asphalt abraded road.
But I know the house has
residents
As they sun dry their clothes
In their verandah
On an aluminum stand
Near a banana tree
That refuses to grow any taller.

But they say
A year has gone by.
A year, is it?

True it must be
As it was this cold,
A long time back
When we wore 2 pairs of socks
And sweaters and pants.

Also, some people have
Made their presence scarce.
But alas, sooner the better.

Yes, a year must have gone by
For I don’t remember much from
That life.
The one before the virus.

Yes, the virus
That succeeded in breaking
My body but
Not my spirit
As I came back
Even stronger than before;
Ready to take on
Whatever comes next
And so did many others
For there is no other way to go on
Than to go on fearlessly.

Outside, the winter air
Hangs heavy with silence
Of those who mourned the past
10 months
From the loss of lives and livelihood.
Their heads
Scarred yet unbowed.

But apart from that
Everything is pretty much
Constant
yet they say,
A year has gone by.
I don’t believe them.

Walls

The walls were
pretty high
when you first started knocking.
No, I wasn’t behind the walls.
I was curled up
Under the bed, behind
the walls.
And you walked straight in
like you
owned the place.
You started talking
And looking around,

fiddling with my things
while i was still under the bed
I kept listening.
I can’t remember
at what point
did I decide to peak a boo-
Was it when you called me home?
Or was it when you told me about the time you decided to kill yourself?

Was it when you told me
you can’t sleep without me by your side
I can’t seem to recollect the exact moment
When i changed my mind
I wonder if it was when you told me if you hadn’t felt this way in a while
Or was it when you told me
that you had never felt this way before.
You said it
So many times
That i believed you
And slowly i crept out
From under the bed
And sat on it
Right where you were sitting.
And you put your
Arms around me
And told me
Your deepest darkest secrets

And i can’t remember when
But somewhere at some point
The walls came down
Oh, I cannot seem to remember
The exact moment when
I changed my mind about you.

but I know it doesn’t matter anymore
Because just when
I changed my mind
You changed yours too.

1 folly less

I know

our guise

changes

in time

forming

depressions, folds

and lines

sagging

underneath the weight of

Judgment 

and dust

collected every minute

with the air we breathe

and on we go 

changing and changing and changing

and transforming 

But wouldn’t it be 

so much better

I wonder

And I wonder –

Would

you still

look the way you do

If

your face resembled 

your deeds 

And 

your thoughts.

If not all of them 

even a few of them

And if 

and your guise wasn’t really

a surmise of your genes. 

and yet 

There are

advocates and advisors

of law and equality?

When

It seems like

Even the nature did

Not intend 

Transparency. 

If only 

you resembled

your deeds

I’d be

One

Folly less.

That first sip

That first sip of morning coffee
The music that trickles down my ears to my soul
The mirths of laughter
that make my body come alive from merely existing
That book on the bookshelf
The warmth of happiness
that spreads across my chest
like sun
on a winter morning
when my dog runs in circles
chasing his tail
just as I do
time to time
A call from a friend
lost in the race against time
A poem
transforming a lonely night into
a gathering so magical
that now I don’t want to shut my eyes
Watch my mother
adjust her bindi
in the mirror and
tuck that loose strand of hair
behind her ear
because she knows it’s time
and dad’s about to come home
A gesture of kindness
from the one I thought needed saving
A gesture of love
I thought had no feelings

Make me wanna keep coming back
From the precipice
to witness the colours of life
and to laugh
with him, with her, with them
laugh so much that
now I want to cry
Because once I believed
very firmly
I’d never laugh
this much.
again,
or ever.
What else could I ask for?
What else is there to live for?

Hello? Is anyone out there?

Hello?
Hello?
Oh,
The signal is
Weak
And hell
I can’t
See

You can’t see?

I
Mean
I can
See
But
There’s
Smog
Everywhere
There’s
Haze
Or are these
Clouds
That wouldn’t lift.
The point
Is
I cannot see anything
Around me.

Are you stranded?

Yes, i am
In the
Middle of
The road.

Is there
Anyone
Else there?

I wouldn’t know
I cannot see.
Anything but my
Feet. My shoes actually.
Ya, my feet.

Where should we send for help?

It’s hard to say..
It’s getting dark.
I don’t see any sign boards
But do send help.
I don’t know what else to do.

Wait, maybe?

But how
Long should I wait?

Can’t say.

Can’t say?

Can’t say. We don’t know
Where you are and the signal is weak.
And the weather might remain as
It is
For weeks.

But that’s no help!

It is what it is.

Might as well take

a step at a time and see
Where goes.

Good luck, bye.

I feel sorry

I feel sorry 

about that 19 year old 

Who was supposed to be 

Losing sleep over

Medicine vs engineering

Red suit vs the blue one

Manali vs Kasauli


But instead

Her butured body lies 

Ashened

for some men had to 

Show her her place 

In this world 

Which was no place at all. 


I feel sorry

Because she must have 

Tried to make a point 

And so

Her tongue was ripped off

To give her a message

That she had no voice 

She must stay quiet

And quietly must she pass on


I wonder 

Even then

If she tried to take a stand 

Not willing to back off

And fight for her dignity

For her spine was broken 

By men who could not 

Stand being stood up

By anyone but

A woman. 


And though it was 

Her tongue 

That was pulled out

And her spine 

Broken to shards 

But it is the nation

That has lost its voice

And the ability 

To stand up for a cause

Crystal clear as the daylight


Because you see

the people in the office are 

Saying there was no rape at all! 

And you must face

The pawns of the establishment 

Guarding the mafia lord 

Or else this time

your backs will be broken

By men in khaki

Who never had a spine at all. 


I feel sorry 

Because just right now

Must we talk about

Caste discrimination

Because the goons would have not done 

What they did

Had she been a woman 

of another household 

Just as millions of women 

Who walk freely at night. 

The goons would have treated her

With high tea and 

Crostinis


I feel sorry

Because she didn’t get the

Life she deserved 

But also not the farewell,

The last rights  

Because the

fascists must save 

Face 

Must take control

Must dictate

Must reshape 

The past present and future 

Because some of us

Made them believe  

that

They can get away with anything 


I am sorry

That her family will never get

Closure 

Because the dark reality

Will never completely sink in

And the next ten years will be 

Spent wondering 

Did that really happen?

Did we even have a daughter? 

Are we even sane? 

How could a facade this large

Could altogether be forgotten? 


I feel sorry

Because she wasn’t the first 

and 

She wouldn’t be the last.

Lucid.

Remember the time
You said
You wished the time must
Freeze and
Froze it did
like a painting
like an ocean
like a clock stuck on 9
since ages
but was it only yesterday
when we were racing against time.

but even a stopped clock is
right
twice a day,
they say.
and as the clocks continued
to chime
the dust settled
under water
as it usually does
not withstanding the test of time

But the seasons have changed
And the winter is coming
But their is a warmth in
My heart
now that a quiet room
distracts me a little less
with the clothes hanging in the closet
the car sitting in the garage
the forgotten heels in the shoe rack
and the world falling apart
Silent as a grave

I know I am
right where I should be.
because you see,
the dust settled,
underneath the water
and the view
now is
lucid.