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. 

 

A Note from Posterity


Tell me father-
Were you a child?
To have thought you knew it all
To have thought you knew the best
To have thought that 
you
Understood religion
Understood universe
Understood humans
To have thought 
So highly of oneself 
And yet leaned on God
In the name of guiding light 
To unravel the great mystery of life
Of love and hate
Of love and loss
Wrong and right

Tell me father
Didn’t you know
You, your forefathers
And their grandfathers
Who knew not
the reason
Of blue skies
Of mountains high
That plants do live
the cycle of life
Your forefathers and their grandfathers
Knew not
Difference between 
a fact and a lie
Knew not
Physics
Maths chemistry history biology
Knew not fire 
Knew not rain
Yes them
Your those forefathers
And their fathers
created god.
Father, you created god.
It wasn’t waiting
When Adam and Eve arrived.

And in name of God
There were people whose
houses were burned
sons were lynched
Daughters were touched
Daughters were beaten
Daughters were dragged
And you sat in the comfort
Of your Home
Of your office
Of your car
And talked
And instigated
And polarized
While the capital burned down.
Their homes burned down.
Their homes.
Burned.
Down.
While you listened to music
Hummed in the shower
Attended fancy parties
Holding a glass of champagne 
Overlooking 
A lovely bed of flowers
reading
forwarded texts
With propaganda
Made you a rad
But I know
Your scars were borrowed
So was your pain
Your wars were
Uncalled for
Based on hatred and hunger
And revenge
Because today
None of it matters
And it was all an idea
Just as you were one. 

But i know
I know
You weren’t alone
You were united by divisions
With those you thought to be your own
Divided by boundaries
United by boundaries
Divided by color
United by color
Divided by theocracy
United by theocracy
And it went on and on
But sooner or later
one after another 
The veils were lifted 


And today when we know
There are other realities
We know
It was all a facade
A crutch
A conspiracy for commerce
For power
Just as slavery
Just as holocaust
Just as racism
And
I wish I could bring you
Back
Dig up your grave 
Sit you up
To show you
What a royal circus it was
And you 
a joker
a spectator
A puppet
But also
A co-conspirator 
Watching and clapping 
As you liked
living vicariously 
In a pseudo reality 
Of an idea
That played out too long 
I wish i could dig you up
To show you 
Your whole existence 
Was a lie. 
 

An Ode To My Lover

Dear darling,
this one is an ode
to the love lost
to the world
in which I myself am lost
the world that lured us
with other fantasies
and we got sold to what seemed to be best.
But must I say that
appearances my darling,
can be a fraud
and life a witch
only revealing as much as it wants
till one day,
it’s too late.

An ode
To the love lost
to the world.
the world as a stage
on which we’ll never bow together
for our acts are different.
the world as a circus
but we will never perform together
we will walk this life
alone or worse, with someone else.

This one is an ode
For the museums we will never visit
the gardens we would never stroll
the roads we will never kiss on
the mountains we will not take on

An ode to the poems
i will not send to you
the love songs I will not
sing for you
to the nights
i will not come back home to you
the days i will not spend with you

this one is an ode to
the prayers i will not say for you
and eventually will come the days
i will not think of you
and apart we will drift
tell ourselves-
it all happened for the best.
as if beggars are choosers

My soul, darling, feels cold
Feels hollow.
Is wounded.
Is bruised.
it’s too scared to be touched
by anyone else
But you.
and the heart doesn’t trust itself-
it’s never been this unsure
for the only thing it was sure about
was you. was us.
but oh, quite a joke.

the heart, darling, is still not listening
to the silence that came
with the absence of you
it’s being silly darling-
stubborn as a child
who thinks crying will get it what it wants
but life is a strict teacher
and soon it will learn
this teacher rewards the smartest. the bravest.
heart is a slow learner, darling.

but i wonder- does it not break your heart-
to go on without me?
it looks as if it doesn’t.
It clearly, doesn’t
because you darling don’t rest till you get what you want.

but then,
why does it break mine?
does it not break your heart
to embark on this journey of life without me?
to not celebrate your victories with me
and to not have my shoulder to cry on.
if this-
none of this-
doesn’t matter to you
doesn’t render you sleepless
doesn’t make your insides twist
then i might as well
prepare for this journey alone.

this one is an ode
to the future we do not hold.

Illusion

What if all

I had been

Seening till now

Was a mirage

An Illusion

My mind’s tricks

And games

And now that I have fallen

Flat on my face

The spell has been broken.

The Paradise has disappeared.

I see nothing for miles

Just me

Amidst a sea of sand

But I wonder-

Who tricked me?

A feeling tells me

From the memory or a dream-

Perhaps

I did.


Love is Love.

All this love

in my heart

couldn’t be wrong.

this i knew.

the touch

the sparks

the butterflies

couldn’t be wrong.

this i knew.

the mind doesn’t work

in matters of heart

and that only her love

got to me.

this i knew.

and I knew

my lover was

proud of me as I

was

proud of her.

yet a lot of worlds would crumble

if i told them about ours.

this i knew.

so i cradled this love

close to my heart.

behind closed doors.

hiding altogether

a part of me.

my better half.

but today-

we will kiss

under the stars,

holding hands

just as lovers do.

not worried to be

put behind bars

not worried to

prove the truth.

for they realised

what i always knew.

and i knew

All this love

in my heart

couldn’t be wrong.