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A Traveler's Saga

Photo taken at Plitvice National Park, Croatia by Vibhor Dhote Oh! What are these days I have found myself in! The bagpacks I carry n...

Monday, April 27, 2015


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,
You sink in,
You let yourself drown.
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.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

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?

Sunday, April 12, 2015

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 somewhere beyond romance. I'm somewhere near love. In between all the love in the air and the romance in the souls, I'm eternal - I'm a poem...

Thursday, April 9, 2015

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.
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 bought my first bike at the age of almost-24, and I was ready to learn. My friend and colleague, Venkat volunteered to coach me.

Session 1: 30th March’15
Time: 7:30am – 8:00am

I was being too cautious. I was too afraid to fall. With the amount of fats I have in me with hardly any muscles I had no energy to push the pedal well. He’d push the cycle, the cycle would hardly move a couple of meters, and it would tilt; I’d stop.

I was whining that I’d never be able to do it right, that my weight would never make me balance it well, and I have no energy. I feared I’d fail miserably.

I returned home learning what I thought was nothing.

Session 2: 31st March’15
Time: 8:00am – 8:30am

It was just like Day 1, except the fact that Venkat would push the cycle enough that it would go further, perspiring as he did. The cycle would go lop-sided as I’d be unable to balance to my weight. I just had a little fun as I got to pedal for longer seconds, while he was somehow both pushing and balancing the cycle. His patience was laudable, my progress was not.

I decided I should not waste his time much, that I should just sell the cycle off and quit. He encouraged saying, “at least I didn’t have to teach you about how to handle the handle. You’re doing it all by yourself and you’re doing it well.”

I learnt using the brakes that day to save me from falling because I was so afraid to fall in front of other people. We were practicing on the narrow roads near his apartment.

1st April’15

I intentionally overslept in the morning. I didn’t turn up.

Session 3: 1st April’15
Time: 11:00pm – 12:00am

I was tired of failing, so I decided I should just stop being so cautious about falling and let myself fall. I wore my sports shoes, long trousers, brought antiseptic cream, muscle pain relief gel and I was ready for the day, I mean, the night. We chose the night time as it was cooler during the night-time and that would help Venkat perspire less. And I was in no mood to lose this time.

The first time he pushed, I rode my bike for a few metres, and then fell on the hard ground. The second time he pushed I did fine but when I tried to pedal myself I fell again. By the end of the day, he would just give the initial push to the bicycle and I’d ride for more than 80metres. I was more than happy. My calves were badly bruised, I had scratches on my palms and legs from falling. I was in pain but the pain was worth it. I realized I’d be able to do it.

Session 4: 2nd April’15
Time : 11:30pm – 12:30am

For the first few times, Venkat would push me and I’d ride for the length of the entire road (150 metres or so). After a while, I learned to push my own weight myself. I’d pedal, balance and enjoy the ride. While returning, I’d just lift the cycle and turn it around for I didn’t know to take U-turns. While attempting left and right turns, I fell badly on the ground as the stem of the bike was looser than it should be. My knee was wounded, bleeding and in pain. We called it a night.

 3rd April’15

The knee was in so much pain that we dropped the practice for that day.

Session 5: 4th April’15
Time : 11:30pm – 12:30am

The worst part was over now – I had already fallen, so there couldn’t be anything worse, there was no more fear. I practiced U-turns till I perfected it, and then I was all good to enjoy the ride. He’d be on his bike – a Hero CBZ and I’d follow him on mine. The feeling was awesome  as I rode myself home, 2kms away.

5th April and on

I’ve been on my own ever since, confident. I ride my bike daily as I drive to and fro my friends’ place. I go to the market on it and I go to the tea shop on it. I have even gone cycling on a very busy market road after which I decided that people don’t really follow traffic rules here, and it kind of pissed me off. Sometimes, I cycle out of necessity and sometimes I do it for fun.

Lesson learned: Dare to fall. Once you are done with the falling, the fear, which is so much larger inside your head, disappears and you’re all game to learn.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

After Death

You're all words,
When it is your death.
For people by then
Would have forgotten
How to love you, again.
They would remember
You not, for your deeds
Were forgotten too soon.
You lived on the smell
Of ephemeral cigarettes,
On the taste of bitter beer
And the whiskey that burns
Your guts as it vanishes.
What is it that you'll leave behind?
Your beauty was forgotten
When you succumbed
To the wrinkles of aging.
Your smile is no longer charming
When you hide the gum
That misses a tooth.
So what is that you'll leave behind?
Probably, those words,
Never spoken,
Only written down,
On the bark of a tree
To be read by strangers
Who know nothing about your struggle.
And when the tree dies,
And the soil embraces your words,
Probably it is then
That your soul will rest
As your words will finally leave love
For the soil,
That you couldn't.