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.

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 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.

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. 

 

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.

LONDON

Although I spent about six months living in London, now that I look back a few months later, the one thing I remember most vividly is the Red couch in my apartment. My couch was flanked by two table lamps on either side against a back drop of a cream colored wall. It was on this couch I’d sit for hours holding my laptop hoping to squeeze some words out of my brain. I’d wake up and lazily drag myself to this couch after which I would eventually open the curtains to allow the sunlight to flood my apartment. It was sitting here, I’d look outside the window at the houses, as still as a painting against the clear blue sky, wondering if anyone lived in those houses as no where ever seemed to come out. At times, I would try to analyze the sky for tens of minutes just to determine if it would rain that day. I would go through all this trouble just so that I did not have to carry an umbrella. I eventually learned that on days it shined the brightest, it rained the hardest and as always, I learned my lesson the hard way. The lesson in itself being that ‘always carry an umbrella’.

But the illusion of a quiet neighborhood broke as soon as one began to walk towards the Underground. An interesting fact about the London Underground is that around 55% of  it is actually above the ground. Ironic, right? But what I loved the most about the Underground is that there would always be some artist playing a guitar, a piano or even a violin, calm as a sea in midst of a hasty crowd of people. A reminder to smell the roses, as the Americans say. The nearest Underground station from my apartment was the Stratford station adjacent to the Westfield mall. They say that the Westfield mall is one of the largest malls in Europe. I am sure I never covered it entirely for like most humans, I am inclined towards familiarity. I’d often visit the same places and eat at the same resturants. The waiters in the resturants and the sales persons at the shops apart from the general public usually comprised of what are known as ‘immigrants’. I later learned that London is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world that gives you a fair glimpse of people from across the globe. I could hear hundreds of dialects as I would ideally window-shop for hours. However, my ears shot up only when I heard someone talk in Hindi. The beauty of this diversity is that you never feel like an outsider. You just blend in. Why? Because almost everyone else is an outsider too. In retrospect, I think that the Westfield mall is a correct representation of London in itself.

On some weekends, me and some friends of mine would go to central London and wait in never ending queues in cold and rain just so that we could tick off a known eating joint and kickstart our weekend. I have to admit that London is a food paradise even for a vegetarian like me and I always looked forward to eating at Punjab, Spaghetti house, Pret a Manger, Where the Pancakes Are,  Roti King and Wahaca to name a few.

We would later stroll on queen’s walk along the south bank of the River  Thames.  We would start somewhere near the London eye and go on till the Westminster bridge. It’s remarkable how almost everything has a piece of monarchy in it. The monarchy in itself contributes to ninety percent cultural heritage of the country which includes all the museums, palaces and other landmarks such as the big ben itself. In ways, the monarchy will always live through it’s subtle reminders.

sky sunset people tree
Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

On evenings, when my friends felt particularly adventurous, we’d go to Piccadaly circus and SOHO which is extra lit-up with the onset of the Christmas month. I’d look at the LGBT clubs in SOHO and wish for the same to happen in my country where the LGBT community is not only unrecognized but also ostracized. How wonderful it would be if people could just work anywhere without having to justify their genital status. I know one day this day too would come for it is only natural, I just wish it would happen sooner.

On weekdays, I would go to the same tube station to take the Jubilee line for my office in Canary Wharf. It used to be a short ride but it doesn’t take long to recognize that the Londoners don’t like it if you stand to the left of an escalator, cut the queue or try to get on a packed tube before everyone’s gotten off. The Canary Wharf comprises of endless high-rise glass buildings. At night, the buildings glitter as if studded with millions of yellow diamonds and the dainty Thames glitters along with these buildings. The ladies and gentlemen around here are often seen trotting in black coats and polished boots with an aura that states no-nonsense, strictly business. But no kidding, these buildings have very important roles to play in the practical matters of the world.

lights night water photographer
Photo by Negative Space on Pexels.com

On some evenings, I would come back home to an overheated apartment, often with a bag full of groceries from TESCO or Sainsbury and realize that I had forgotten to turn the  heater off. I would draw open the curtains and open the window to allow the fresh air to come in. Sometimes, I would see a couple making love in the apartment right across from mine. I would wonder if they left the window open on purpose for they put up quite a show. I wondered if the other residents of my building were hanging by their balcony too. It has always fascinated me how men let go of their ego behind closed doors. On some of these evenings, I would draw the curtains close and go back too doing my work but on other days, I would grab a glass of wine and enjoy the show once I slouched on my Red couch.

I am Not an Object

art asian butterfly color
Photo by Miguel u00c1. Padriu00f1u00e1n on Pexels.com

I am not an object

but they tell me

to become one

To polish my scars

and my Blemishes

so my edges remain sharp

untouched by age.

Like I never fell

Like I never faced

life as it is.

Like I am new as ever

waxed and furbished.

and I do.

and I attract

other objects like me.

comes a day, they sense

I am more than what they see

fragile, vulnerable and shatterable

and alas, even human.

Some stay, some lurk

but I count my blessings,

for only objects that leave.

 

 

 

What were you?

Background: There are a few things that remain unspoken of usually because the adult heart, which has experienced enough suffering does not want to plunge in too soon.  The adult heart chooses to be secure and sure. Most people choose not to express their feelings of affection for the same reason,  not just because they fear rejection but because they do not trust their heart and the games it plays. 

In her conversation with Cooper, Dr. Brand in the movie Interstellar has explained this sensation of feeling affectionate towards somebody quite optimally. She says: ‘it means something we can’t…yet understand. Maybe it’s some evidence, some artifact of a higher dimension that we can’t consciously perceive. I’m drawn across the universe to someone I haven’t seen in a decade… Who I know is probably dead. Love is the one thing we’re capable of perceiving that transcends dimensions of time and space’.

The following poem that was penned down in the summer of 2012 in a college classroom, gazing outside the window into nothingness, tries to articulate what remained to be largely unsaid but not un-felt during that time.    Continue reading “What were you?”

Beyond the Obvious

 

Navya, who took immense pride in her fashion sense, had gone borderline hysterical trying to decide upon a dress that she wanted to wear at a family wedding. In order to keep up with her reputation, the pressure to look her best in the big fat Indian wedding was overwhelming. After a great deal of contemplation and deliberation, she picked a saree, the color of which was mainly Red and Golden which meant that all her accessories such as earrings, bangles and other jewelry had to be coordinated accordingly in the same colors.

An intricate planner that she was, she made a list of things that were to be bought in order to prepare for the big day, bangles being on top of that list. Just as any craftsman who knows his art, she knew for a fact that her bangles had to be Red.She knew there was just one shop in her vicinity that sold the classic Indian glass bangles.  “Of course they must have plain Red bangles,” she thought to herself, there couldn’t be a color more common after all.

The next day, like a woman on mission, she announced to three bored faces as she stomped inside an otherwise empty shop, “I want Red bangles”. The bored faces sprang to attention, did a quick analysis of her wrist size, looked around and returned wearing an expression suggestive of an impending bad news and a few seconds later, there it was – “Sorry ma’am, we do not have red bangles in your size at the moment, we may have something in Maroon though.” Continue reading “Beyond the Obvious”

The Brownian Motion

Our Physics book back in school described ‘Brownian motion‘ as ‘the erratic random movement of microscopic particles in a fluid, as a result of continuous bombardment from molecules of the surrounding medium’.

Now imagine this – You are the ‘microscopic particle’; the world is the ‘fluid’ and ‘molecules of the surrounding medium’ are the life events that weave you/push you/dare you/compel you/create you and temporarily make you into who you are. But why temporary? Because the process is continuous and stops only when one ceases to exist and hence, presenting before you – The Brownian Motion.  Continue reading “The Brownian Motion”