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.


I should have known

I should have known that the world has become a shallow place,
a little vain
But the values from antecessors
Remain.
To give us a reminder of
What we’ve lost
And what we’ve gained.
It’s a confusing
time to be alive
To be forever torn
To be a semi-fit
Rather, an ill-fit
To have a grounded body
But a fluttering soul
Like a bird about
to take off
And off I would have gone
If I could
But only that
I cannot be everywhere.

do everything
not possibly.
There’s a limitation
There’s a price to pay
For one to be born as
Nature’s proudest experiment
To be its finest creation.
or a cosmic joke
Equipped and armed for
any adversity
But,
Only on the outside.
There’s a universe
Vast on the inside
That cannot be
Fathomed
Can never be fully explored but
Only survived.

Why Me?

I don’t go to a temple often

Neither do I go to a

A mosque or

A church

or anywhere else

Get the drift, right?

But yesterday I went

To a temple

Not too far

But the one in my home;

It was awkward

I have to say

The face off

With Him

Like meeting an

Old lover.

So I cut straight to the chase

And asked –

Why me?

I stood still and

Waited for an answer

Minutes passed

But nothing happened

No one spoke

None of the statues moved

But a tear did trickle down

My cheek

And I collapsed

On my knees.

Ok. I am on my knees.

Now, tell me.

Answer me.

Why me?

First, I howled

Then I pleaded

In a mumble

That barely escaped my throat

I submitted in a barely audible Why me?

I waited for a sign.

The hibiscus or the marigold

To fall on my feet

Or a cosmic intervention. Anything.

For I am stranded

in a vast

pitch-dark-room.

But, nothing happens.

So, I wanted to unhinge the temple,

slam it on the floor.

Watch Their smiling faces shatter

Into tiny little pieces

Perhaps then they will talk.

But they were quiet

As a stone could be.

And I collapsed further

My warm cheek pressed

against the cold floor

I need an answer.

See. You got me.

You got me on my all fours

for never bowing

before You the

Omnipotent

Omnipresent.

Now

Tell me-

Why me?

I did everything by the book.

I followed protocol.

I need an answer.

A reason to go on.

I laid there for a while

Made myself

Comfortable.

Maybe His holy Highness

Is busy

I laid there for

I don’t know how long

Like a wounded animal

Only wanting to be relieved of

her misery.

Wondering why people

Are so scared of death after all.

As I studied the scratches on my floor

I realised

Perhaps

The silence is the answer.

The quietude

The still flowers

The motionless figurines

Because you see

I had never raised

this question earlier

Never had I wondered Why me?

When self absorbed

I had strutted around

Like an

Entitled

Little

Snob.

Ashes

I walk through ashesLeft beh

From the fire 

that consumed my dreams.

The ones I concocted 

As a little girl

Sprawled on the grass

Under a tree

beneath the sky

Of chocolate houses 

And unicorns 

Swaying with the swings

thinking-

monsters are four legged

And fairies have wings.

The dreams 

Uninhibited Vast 

Lark, Open. 

 

Quite a fire it was 







Ignited by a spark

Of doubt. 

 

I walk through ashes

That fly

From the fire that

emblazoned my reveries 

The ones I concocted 

Sitting in the classrooms 

Bedrooms, parks and places. 

Comprehending the

quagmires of the system

And their measures 

of artistry

Knowledge 

Decorum and

Duties  

via books and lengthy monologues, 

Telling me about the foundations 

And a way of life.

 

Quite a furnace 

it was, 

Ignited by incongruity

Of the preacher that practiced

Hypocrisy and atrocities. 

 

I walk through ashes

Left behind

From the fire 

Which consumed my dreams

From when I was younger 

And walked with a 

Cloak of invincibility-

That years 

Will bring clarity

Less, if not much 

Half, if not full 

And a Change

shall commence 

Sooner or later

For 

They must 

see their oversight,

their error.  

 

The dreams I concocted 

of walking alone.

For those who seek love 

are weak and imbecile

And friendships don’t fray

Just as flowers don’t wither,

That honesty must win 

hard work must pay.

 

Radiant it was 

The pyre of 

My visions and dreams

Or lies force fed to me 

In legacy. 

 

And then the world tells me

They think I have changed

In ways they don’t recognize. 

Of course!

Of course,

They do not recognize 

The immolation, the devouring 

Of my dreams, in the fire

That raged within me 

An inferno in my core 

That singed my soul 

Time after time

They tell me

I am not the same

But they do see a

Flicker of

light in my eyes

And 

a fleck of ember

When i speak

attimes. 

Caught off guard

I don’t know what to say. 

I lean forward

Closer to their ear 

Unsure how else to cover  

I clear my throat 

And I tell them-

Likewise.