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Showing posts from 2015

My Murderer’s “Second Chance”

A tribute to the Nirbhayas of this world, to those who did not get justice, to Jyoti #IndiaFailsNirbhaya
They were my sisters- Those two poor daughters of an Indian village, Clad in what they call decent clothing for women, Found one morbid morning, Dead and hanging from the branches of the tree, The same tree around which you and I had played once.
Yesterday I saw my mother, with tears in her eyes, When she said she saw no hope Of justice in this nation where once I lived.
“Avenge my death,” I had once said to my friends, To the people who once loved me; Maybe they still do And fate must have silenced them. Maybe the sticks they were beaten with While protesting against what was wrong, Have put lashes on their hearts, and locks on their mouths.
The same juvenile lad who had once Watched me writhing in pain, Probably, with a smile on his face, as I moaned, I heard he is now going to start working soon. And have a “career”, I heard them telling him.
He who then used that deadly rod Is …

Cities

So that was it,
Stepping on broken pieces of glass, bare feet till your toes too bleed,
Splinters that pierce the skin, that flow within you like blood, never to be found again...
Where darkness ended, another night began...
And that was the way things were for them
When they lived in different cities...

Five years later when they were united
They expected the world to turn all rosy,
The pain to go away
And happiness to stay.
So when they met, they made promises to keep.
To live in the same city.
But that was the way things were in that city.
They now live in different families

Beyond the Hilltop

Where does the serpentine road lead?
To the hill's top and beyond.
A tiny hut resides at the end of the road,
The road ends where people do not go.
There rests in peace my muse and love
Within a coffin made of soil and leaves.
Sometimes, she sits atop the mountains people do not see,
Touching the clouds, she smiles in glee.
And when the wars will end and birds will sing.
She will turn the serpentine road around,
For a new world to lead.

Exploring the City of Lakes - Udaipur

I like solitude, to be left alone for a date with my thoughts. It’s beautiful the way you do not feel lonely even though you know not a single person in the place you are in, in the city you are in. Although I have travelled alone before, gone to places all by myself, I’d never be entirely alone- I’d meet friends in the city or along the journey. This time I decided to make my comfort zone a little wider, to add one more escapade to it- a solo trip of four days and three nights to Udaipur, a must-visit city for tourists in the state of Rajasthan, India.
Beginning with the transportation from Gurgaon/Delhi to Udaipur- I luckily got flight tickets cheaper than that of train. I booked the tickets only a week before my departure date; train fare was somewhere around 1700 INR while airfare was around 1500 INR. (However, the return tickets cost me a fortune so I still suggest taking a bus or a train for those who have the time and patience/)
I expected Day #1 to be an uneventful one for t…

Your Story

Someday you will tell them your story.
But darling, do not think that they'll listen to it.
They will hush you up.
"Pretend that it never happened,"
They will tell this as they avert their eyes.
They will not pat your back.
They will not see how brave you were.
They will only see the scars and not the wounds.
All they will wish for is those scars to disappear.
But dear, when you have born those wounds
With all your heart and might,
Dare you not lose the scars.
Scars that define who you are now,
Scars that will tell your story
When the world will shut their ears,
Scars that will pat your back
And remind you of the courage you had shown,
For, darling, you will need to be brave
Again
And again.

Habit

Broken bones and a bruised face,
He checked the mirror-
The nightmare's back again.
Palms that bled and fingers without nails.
An empty heart and a blank page.
He feeds himself on the frozen salad-
Last year's leftovers, he did not forget.
He could let go of sleep
Or he could sit and bleed.
He chooses to embrace the red
So, within the four walls, he stayed.
Why stay when you can leave?
But all of this has happened before,
Not a curse, it's a habit, he said.

Prejudice

Exactly a year ago, I was stranded all alone on the highway of Kharghar​, devoid of people, with the cell phone on my hand losing its marbles just when they were needed the most.

Two men and a flock of goats were the only living beings to be seen on the road, if I do not take in account the grass that lost its greenery to the dirt of the vehicles that pass by, probably years ago.
I went to one of the two men - the one whose clothes were less disheveled than the other, but disheveled nonetheless and as dirty as the grass I stepped upon.

He combed his dark, oiled hair with his long and thin fingers as I approached him.

I ask him in a polite tone, hiding the desperateness inside me," Bhaiya, aapke paas mobile phone hoga? Ek call karna tha".

He shakes his head and I almost lose all my hopes on making a call to my friend.

He says, "Phone nahi hai. Par mere tab se call ho sakta hai, Chalega?"

Shattered

They say when you tell your dreams to the world
The Universe makes them come true.
I have seen dreams shattered into pieces,
Lying on a bed of thorns, I have seen them go all wrong.
They say it's dark when dreams become nightmares,
When dark shadows grow darker,
Forming the shapes of the monsters inside you.
They say dark is the colour of blood
That oozes out of your eyes when your world shatters,
Your dreams die, and you break down.
I have seen light creep in the dungeon
Only when there was nothing left behind.

You and I

Somewhere far,
In another constellation of stars,
Maybe you're right
And maybe I'm wrong,
And maybe I'm not as sick and frail and unsound,
And maybe you stay
Like the darkest of nights that didn't leave today.
A thousand years would go by,
Only to let in a thousand more.
Maybe we smile
There
Lying beneath the countless clouds of a faraway sky.
Maybe time stands still
For it no longer matters
Or maybe it gently passes by
Like the breeze from a land we visited once.
Once, Twice or thrice, maybe we shed tears too
On the wounds of distant scars
Slowly healing
The way rainbows disappear.
Maybe we smear dirt
On each other's faces
Like children play
With their eyes closed
But hearts open,
And maybe we no longer deny
That there still exists true love
Somewhere far
Beneath the same sky we look at tonight,
Love that overpowers eternity,
Oblivion and destiny.
Love, when it is just you and me.

Forgotten Forevers

If only truths were spoken,
I can say forevers can be counted,
On the tiny fingers of love
Born a few years ago,
On the walls painted red,
Every year on the same date.

But love has grown up now.
The red walls have been repainted,
This time, on another date,
Only to be repeated year after year,
One false forever after another.

And truths, these days, are spoken
The same way promises are made,
With gritted teeth and crossed fingers.

At the end of the day,
All smiles seem fake,
The fake forevers remain
To be counted upon the stars,
One after the other,
Some forgotten,
Some too dim to be seen,
But a forever, nevertheless,
Another star to keep.


Do you believe in MAGIC?

I wasn't old enough
When I first believed in magic.
Over the years, I have learned
To believe in it,
Even more.
Believe that doors will open,
Or at least, a window will do;
Believe the bars will be shattered,
Or at least, they will melt
The way blocks of ice-cream do.
I wasn't old enough,
When I first saw magic,
In a stranger's smile,
In a bar of chocolate
Handed to me out of the blue.
Over the years, I have seen
Magic still lingering around me.
I have believed in magic,
I still do.
The way I stumble and fall,
The day when things can't go more wrong,
The way it's all good again,
Faint smiles
And the tears I wipe.
And I still see magic
Before I go to sleep
The way the bird near my window
Probably smiles with its weird beak.
And everyday I wake up,
The bird awaits my call,
It flies away
As I take my morning stroll.
Gestures of kindness
And the humble people I meet,
I believe there is magic,
At every step, in every deed.
I am old enough now,
And I still believe in ma…

Faces

A second of eternity
Pouring into a frail heart,
Mouthful of love
And handful of trust.
Wounds that lasted
But only for a moment,
Have turned to rotten flesh,
And used-to-be-lips-and-a-face.
Then love comes again
Like a rainbow on a clear-sky-day.
The dark clouds must have
Withered away in pain.
A new skin appears now,
Fresh and unsullied
To be wounded again
But this time, with memories.

The Babies' Cry

Morbid days and morbid nights,
Trees that no longer live,
Blood in grandmother's hands,
Red fluid that bled thick.
The blood now powdered
By her hands that crushed
The necks of mint leaves.
Baby faces on the walls
Painted yellow and pink.
The same faces haunt at night,
Nights that remind them to laugh,
Laugh and giggle
Over their dead bodies
Thrown in the kitchen garden.
Trees that no longer live,
Plants that died in grief,
The tiny yellow leaves
Of the stems that grew on the bodies,
The roots that captured the hearts.
The blood is now powdered,
Maybe underneath grandmother's pestle.
The mortar smells of rotten flesh,
Grandfather's misery and mother's tears.
The babies laugh as they protest,
They would have bled every month anyway.
Ten dead babies and a newly born,
Grandmother's love and souls torn.
Let the baby live
That bleeds only once
At the time of its death
And not every month...

An Extra Cup of Tea

A lover of simple things and simple gestures as I have always been, I rub my eyes idly as I open them to celebrate the wee hours of the morning. An unusual air of serenity surrounds me each morning when I manage to wake up before the sun rises. The tiny alarm clock on my table confirms that it’s six. Half an hour of walking around the beautiful lake nearby leads me to my favourite destination – the tea shop.
Those were the days when life was as simple as it should have been. I had just left my previous company. There were another two weeks left for me to go home, which, in turn, meant another week free of the worries of packing my clothes and selling the furniture. I decided those days would be completely mine – days of my very own life dedicated to solely the one true owner of it.
I would walk for half an hour or cycle for a few minutes each morning. I would sit on my favourite seat in the park, hum songs that heal my soul, and dance to the tunes of those songs in my head which need no…

Ashes from Half a Moon

Blind eyes of the night, Half a moon to gaze at, Half a moon to cry for.
She steps on broken hearts, Pieces of fierce glass That used to be mirrors.
She walks a little too close To the burning walls of hell. The gates will burn too; The fire can no longer contain The wave of iced hearts.
She picks the broken pieces Till her fingers bleed, Till those walls turn to ashes. She steps on the ashes, Till they embrace the ground Till one can no longer tell Ashes from the soil.
A slow death, she says, Is the cure to all pain. And her last world is  Now ash, soil and blood.
She flies to a new world, Of iced hearts and blind eyes. Half a moon to gaze at, Half a moon gazing back.

The Unread Letters

I hope you still write her letters,
I hope tears still fall from her eyes,
Reading those letters she never found.
And when you look at the letters you never sent,
I hope it's her eyes that see the love wrapped,
For they no longer need to know the words.
But even when words fail to work magic,
I hope you still believe in your letters...
I hope you still write her letters
But I hope you send the letters you wrote..

A Night's Conversation

I turn out the lights
And he turns on the radio,
And it's almost like a routine
The way he approaches the bed
And I approach him.

We smile at each other
With other people
On our minds.

We start with a gentle peck
And then probably a kiss
Of feelings close to disgust.

He kisses my scars
Scars that remind me of wounds-
Wounds that he wasn't a part of.

It isn't love
And we both are in pain,
And we make love,
A good night's sleep is preordained.

I turn out the lights
Inside my head as well.
"Oh, stop thinking."

He turns on the radio
And a million thoughts
Approach his mind.

Tomorrow,
We shall not remember each other
for I have someone else to go to
And he has someone else in his mind.
But we'll smile at each other-
Smile close to disgust.

And we'll call it love
When naked bodies meet
Knowing not,
That love it is not.
For our naked souls await
To be revealed
And a good conversation
Was our sole need.

After Years

So many years have gone by
And age has made both of us
A lot older than we used to be,
A little wiser than we used to be.
And when the yesteryears
Enter stealthily through the doors
Of a veiled moon and a dark cirrus,
We look back at what we used to be
And what we have become today.

So many years have gone by
And I don't see a single sign of you
And you see me not in who I am today.
I have changed as I should have -
I have built a small hut in a new village now.
You still are in the city we used to live in.
And maybe we'd have been so much happier now,

But I have changed as I should have
And you, you still have those grey hairs
Like the rays of moonlight falling on my face now.
And when I have changed as I should have,
You still live in the city we used to live in,
Looking the way you used to look,
And maybe, just maybe, you haven't changed a bit,
The way you should have changed.

Open Doors

Of late, I have realized I left too many doors open.
I have this habit of not shutting the doors when I should, of leaving some space as tiny as a cleavage. Some doors I have shut a long time back. I didn’t simply shut them; I slammed some, the way only a teenager does when she is angry because her father snatched away her iPod. Some doors I struggled to close, one inch a day. A few of these doors are still left ajar, not awaiting someone’s arrival, but knowing there is nothing to hide behind closed doors.
Closed doors – I think it’s easy to close the doors, to hide underneath the blanket of comfort, to pretend there is no world outside. Of late, I have realized easy is no fun at all.
I have been trying to unlock the doors I shut eons ago. The rusted latches refuse to comply. Some doors I closed a few years ago, are giving up trying to stay shut.
I look at the rooms these doors protect – mostly empty, devoid of the life they once used to hold. Was it only after the treasure was stol…

Nothing Lasts

The star that burned
Into ashes today
Was once the star
Of his mother's death.

And the same ball of fire,
She had seen
When he was born,
She'd made a wish.

And now that you pick
The stardust lying
On the cold hard ground,
You call it special,
You call it lucky.

But he picks the same
And calls it dirt.

So, what's its name,
In this ephemeral world,
Where identity changes
And names don't last?

When She Comes

On some nights
When no one else is awake
She sits on my chest.
She walks in and out of the door
Till I recognize her face.
And when he falls asleep
In my arms,
She gently cuts his throat
And lets him bleed till dawn. She is named
As she should be -
The ugliness of glee.
And the corpse
That lie beside me now
Was no one but a memory...

Excerpts from the Pages of my Diary

I was just going through my diary to find out what happened the same time last year. Here's what I found worth sharing. Food for thought for me. What about you?
*
"It doesn't seem like you're living a life, it's almost like you're travelling on a train with a destination unknown.
You're sitting on a seat near the window looking outside, imagining how things are there outside, how is it like to live in the houses that you pass by. And when you’re busy noticing the outside, you at times do not pay heed to your surroundings inside the coach.
And thus some passengers who got down at a station midway fail to capture your interest, or maybe it is because of your deviation of interest towards the outside. While at other stops new people get up, and you like their company, you share and you laugh.
But sooner or later they get down.
Because it's your journey, you're the traveler and they just accompany you for some distances.
And then, maybe when you reach your d…

Men like You

I tried to save him From the demon I knew I'd be.
He came a little closer, Claiming his love for me.
But all the men Who've ever loved me Have loved but only For a short time of Spring.
Now in the middle of this storm When he still hasn't left, I wonder if he's real If he isn't a daydream.
For I've heard of men like him But never really seen one. I've met men like him before But only In my poem.

All Lies

She rewrites history,
Everyday,
She says.
I see lies.
And when he smiles,
And claims he is fine.
I see lies.
More lies.
And when I look at you,
And you make me feel good
I see you through,
I read your book.
I see lies.
More lies.
All lies.

Yesterday,
When you said
Things will be alright.
I knew at an instant,
That feeling,
That vibe.
You're going
To lie,
again.

Shackles of lies,
In everything I say.
And when I write
Our story today,
I see lies,
I see them, everywhere.

Who is She?

Who is she,
That ugly old woman?
She says she grew up
Facing the vagaries of life.
Oh, didn't I do the same?
I would tell her
Had she not been so vain.
I looked at her eyes,
Puffed up as if she just cried.
I've spent sleepless nights crying,
I could tell her,
Had she been my friend.

Who is she,
That woman who looks nothing like me?
She is dressed up in black,
Mourning the death of someone akin.
Haven't I mourned deaths?
I have mourned them
Till there were no tears left.
I would let her know
But she seemed tearless herself.

Who is she,
The lady I couldn't like?
She runs her fingers
Through her long grey hair
And sings songs of despair.

'Who are you?'
I asked her, at last.
The answer I couldn't bear
As I kept looking
At the image in the mirror.

Stay

When he made that charming cup of tea,
And when he smiled, so lovingly,
You knew you were changing,
Your stone cold heart was now melting,
One pebble at a time.

And when he touched you, gently,
You just smiled.
Oh, did it hurt then?
When you knew he was leaving?
Or, were you just embracing
The moment, without grieving?

His presence,
His perfume,
Did that make you forget
About someone you left
Long before he came?

And when he talked about his love,
Did you reminisce yours?
Or is it him you thought about,
And his lost love of yore?

When he asked about you,
You knew you were ready to tell,
To tell him about all you know,
And all that has bothered you, ever so.

Did you tell him then that you were broken?
Or did you just shed a drop of tear?
Tell me, did you just smile,
And pretended to be just fine?
Did your heart want to cry?
Did you feel like running away to hide?

When he caressed your hands,
You knew you wanted him to stay.
You knew if he just stayed,
You'd heal a little more,
You…

The Door

I took a step
And it dragged my body along.
I don't wanna go,
For I know what's behind that red door.
I fear I may ruin,
What has already been torn.
They say
Fear is nothing
But your future in your nightmares.
When I sleep these days,
I see that red door.
The door bleeds
And the cave, it guards,
Shrieks at midnight.
I don't wanna go.
But on some dark nights,
When the moon disappears,
I find myself caged
Behind that red door.

Goodbye

I have seen fresh flowers decay;
I have seen them rot and die.
So, I know things end
And I could just sulk and cry.
Tears slosh within me like waves.
No, don't look at me in the eye.
For even if your eyes touch mine
I'll just run away, hide and cry.
Things will never be the same
Now that you're leaving my side.
Who knows if we'll meet again
Or if it indeed is our last Goodbye.
Goodbye.

My Blah Poem

When I was fifteen
Growing up was the new thing :-)

I said no kissing
Till I turn eighteen :-/

A secret room for two
When I turn twenty-two <3

But now I'm twenty-four
And I throw him out that door  :-/

Tomorrow I'll be twenty-six
And I'll be in a fix  :-(

For when I'm thirty
Things might get dirty :-O

Because I'll again need you
When I turn thirty-two :-)

But when we both turn sixty
Being together will be risky :-/

For we'd want to be fifteen again
And break the promise of kissing too late. :-P

Song Of The Dead

She whispers words in my ears,
Songs in my head,
Dark songs in my soul.
She vanishes as dawn breaks.
And when the night
Covers me
With its starless blanket,
She appears again
On the doorstep.
Two gentle knocks
On the wooden door.
Third,
She calls out my name.
She then whispers my name,
Again and again.
She sings songs of the past,
Songs of the dead.
She wears the moon
On her face.
But tonight's a moonless night;
She bears no face.
She whispers death in my ears,
Songs in my head.
Songs forgotten,
Songs of the dead.

Fake

I bite the bitter leaves
Of the tree that grows in my backyard.
I pick up the yellow ones,
Dying and pretending to be
Beautiful,
Both.
I hear her speak,
In that familiar accent.
She laughs aloud;
A shrill pitch in her voice.
Deep red lipstick on her lips.
A little more flare in her hair.
Her eyes beam as she talks.
I look at myself,
Then I look at her.
I was more real
With the leaves I hold on to.
She plucks flowers
From my backyard.
I feel sorry
Both for the flower
And her.
Fake, I called her once
And made her cry.
He called her beautiful.
I looked at her again,
And that made me cry.

Mist-ified

Mist
In the air,
Thinning out
As it travels
Inside your soul.
You let it out,
Too soon.
You don't
Let it affect
The words
Your lungs breathe.
You float
For some seconds,
Ephemeral.
Later,
You sink in,
You let yourself drown.
Mist
In the air.
Now you're one.
The air outside.
The air inside.
You're the mist you breathe.
In every breath
You take
It is his name.
He says
The air that infuses
And permeates your soul.
You're the mist
Who lost its identity.
You're the mist
You breathed in.

The Couple

The hopeful, loyal girl
Waited as she promised
She would.
He has forgotten her face now.
She doesn't remember anything
More than his name, anyway.
There were days when they both
Wailed in the pain of separation.
"I'll come back," he said.
"I'll wait".
Promises are mere words.
Words were forgotten.
"He is probably dead by now,"
She declares,
Clutching the collar of her cane.
They are no longer young.
She doesn't remember much
Of even the previous day, anyway.
She chants his name
As she claims her deathbed.
She remembers how he used to smell.
"Probably he just passed by," she sighs at the familiar smell.
Traces of tears on her wrinkled face.
How would he know?
He has forgotten her face.
She is dead now.
Did it matter, anyway?

Between Love and Romance

I'm far from being a romantic person. Loving? Not at all. I giggle at the wrong time. My laugh is too loud. I dance weirdly. I often find myself away from people or I find a way to push them away.
But I giggle, laugh and dance anyway.
And whenever I find myself alone, I sing, I think and I write. That's the closest to love that I can ever be. And when I hug the trees and kiss the sunset, when I admire the birds fly and I dance on the beach, that's the closest to romance that I can ever be. I make poems in my head. I make them all the time.
I have always been in love. I'm still in love. I pour all my love to the notepad I write on. I romance the pen. The poems that are still lingering in my head, they say I'm incurably romantic. I still keep my poems. I live more in my imaginations than in reality. And if that's not love, I don't know what else is.
I don't need a him or a her. I'm in love with love itself. I'm a story in another story. I'm …

A Cup of Coffee

Like a cup of warm coffee
Kept on his table from long,
He takes a sip from me
As he kills a little piece of my heart
Every time he does.
He then keeps the cup away.
I long for him, hurt,
For just one more sip,
One more kiss,
One more time together.
"I promise I'll forget you," I lie.
He gives it a thought,
Reminiscing the last kiss.
Bitter.
He refuses.
Another chance?
He reconsiders.
Our lips meet yet again...
And while he takes the sip gently,
Taking in all of me slowly,
Killing a part of me as he does,
I know it is not over
Because after a little while
I'd ask for another chance,
He'd comply.
I'd call it love,
Knowing very well
That someday the coffee will be cold,
He will move on to another
Cup of warm coffee
Probably not as bitter
As my so-called love.

How I Learnt Cycling in 4 Hours

I’m 23, turning 24 after a month. I weigh 8kgs more than I should. I walk clumsily. I’m prone to colliding with objects that don’t move. I can’t cross busy roads alone. I can hardly run a few metres without stopping for breath.  And I do not know cycling.
In my defense, I never got the opportunity to learn cycling nor did I have much interest in it when I was young. Now that I realize I’m 24 and I just theoretically know to drive a car and nothing else, I decided to learn to ride a bicycle.
First Blocker – There are hardly any schools that would teach you cycling. Of course, I think there are none.
Solution – I spent 50% of my savings (Yes, I hardly save anything) and bought a new bicycle – a blue Avon Foster bicycle (I call it my bike, no other names, I’m not 8 anymore :-P) on 29th March 2015.
Second Blocker – They laughed when I asked for training wheels. “Not available,” they said.
Solution – I decided I have all the time on earth, so I can do without the extra wheels. And thus, I bou…