It was in 2018 that I first started growing out my hair. At first, I was confused as to whether I really wanted it or not and thought that it would be too cumbersome to carry it around.
I have been cooped up in my home for about 50 days which I know is going to prolong and swallow me whole in uncertainty.
There was a lightbulb flickering outside my home,
The street looked different under that light,
But next day it was fixed and everything changed.
There was a hole in the road I traverse on,
The ride felt bumpy and my body ached,
But another day it was gone and everything changed.
There was a tree from whose branches
Pigeons constantly shat on my vehicle and tarnished the shine,
But one day it was taken down, displaced,
And much changed with the begone shade.
There was a lizard that came daily to my bathroom,
It watched me bathe though I constantly shooed it away,
One day it lay without motion on the strainer,
Everything changed with
Its body transparent as a ghost, free of any camaraderie.
Days tick by, hours pass by, time stops;
Does life stop?
You live as if you are dead but you know you are alive,
You sip a cup of hot tea, you feel the tinge,
Your mother berates about your existence,
The water clenches you deep yet you feel the warmth,
You light a cigarette for someone, you give money to some,
Someone calls out your name, you want someone to say your name
You worry, you try, you question; for what?
This life is nothing, you know that, yet it remains everything.
That day everyone had worn white. I have never known why people wear white whenever there is a death in a family; the colour doesn’t depict the melancholy that surrounds it. It is at that time that I see people in their skins, some saggy by dejection and some by mere practice. I have seen it all. The facade that people create for the society is more hideous than the brute way of wild animals.
A gust of wind rushes into the house, the curtains flutter and with it they bring strong smell of summer, of mangoes and lemon juice. Small noises can be heard from outside, children shouting and playing cricket, moos from cows chewing their cud in the shade. The hall is filled with aroma of sweet delicacies and freshly made pakodas. The table is set, the table cloth fluttering under the fan, as the people around the table chat happily. A small child maybe 7-8 years old can be seen playing with a toy car at the end of hall.
I am running to school again, the rain made it hard to move swiftly and not fall. This blasted rain has made me late again and now I will have to wait in the office before being let in. The whole building is shrouded, not an inch of it is visible and I can see nobody, neither a teacher nor a student. This is weird, the school is always open.
Look at all these people. Everyone sitting there just to listen to me. Do they really want to listen to me? Why would they want to listen to me? They are all intelligent people. Continue reading
I wake up to the sound of a train passing. Well, I haven’t slept like this since weeks. This was the best sleep I had in months. I pick up my cardboard from the floor and walk towards the water tap. I turn it, but no water is coming out of it. Now I cannot even get a free sip of water. Continue reading
The harsh sun is disseminating through the summer air. A wave of red and blue goes by and all the dust from the road flies up. Everything in the periphery is nebulous, one cannot make out anything. As the dust settles, a banyan tree is seen. Its large, leathery, glossy, green leaves flutter in the sudden gust of wind and then eventually settle. Continue reading
The tar laden way is empty right now. No cars and bikes whizzing by, no hawkers standing there trying to sell their goods. Just a traffic light, blinking orange. The road reflecting back the yellow street lights without any breakage like a golden way paved for the silence. A man can be seen walking on it half drunk, half sane. He is babbling and crying and laughing out loud. His clothes are torn and his hair is dirty. Constant fits of cough accompany him. His long nails filled with dirt, a putrid smell emanating from him, he goes to a medical shop. One of the prime examples of human degradation. Another Man is standing near a small shop, a cigarette in his hand and a phone on the other. The poor man comes out of the shop, shouting at the chemist. He seems to be crying and laughing at the same time. His lips are bloody with the coughing. The Man with the cigarette starts walking and eventually as they get closer, the poor man leans and they collide. The phone falls from his hands and so does the poor man. He lies there in the dust and laughs. The Man picks up his phone and asks what is he laughing about. “Our society”, says he. The Man smirks takes a deep drag and flicks the cigarette to the poor man. He reaches and searches for the cigarette in the dirt. He picks it up from near the dog shit and puts it on his lips. He gets up and walks away with half a smoke.
Hollowed out eyes, creases running on the face,
She comes after me, with a child, trying to keep pace.
I hold up my hand, but see her eyes filled with sadness,
Oh how do I say no to this woman who is subject to such hardness.
I look at the kid prancing about her mother’s legs,
Lustful with anticipation of something I will give, some dregs.
I look at the doleful eyes, the deplorable figure, the lives disconsolate,
My pockets search for something concrete in this harsh, cold world,
But hands from my pockets separate;
Only to much of my dismay, I figure a wallet forgotten somewhere else.
Farewells have always been dreaded by people the most. Farewells show people that somethings end, even if they are good, to begin something else. Farewell depicts change. The ever constant change. There are somethings in your time here that you love more than your own life. But for that to remain in your life forever is too much to ask for. It is something every person has to go through. For a mother it’s her child growing up, for a lover it is the time that ultimately ends for them, for a child it is her play time that just got over. Change big or small, always effects people. Small changes make people sad, while the bigger ones take one of the parts, grinds them to dust and moulds it into something else. The biggest change in life is when you have to leave your comfort zone, leave your family, for something you consider bigger for yourself. Here in India, it also depends on the societal pressures. Examples of Indian society are a boy leaving town for studies or job, or a girl leaving her home to her married home, a divorced parent bidding the kids a farewell. Till the time of leaving you don’t value anything. It’s when you leave it behind that you get to know the value of it. Saying good byes is just a way to console yourself of the future, of what you are leaving behind. I have a moment of reflection every time I leave home. Do I really need to do this? Do I really need to leave everything behind? I get up in the morning with mom fussing about me. Food all packed, ready to go. I get up on the vehicle and turn to say goodbye. The surroundings have turned to a red hue because of the rays emitting from the tail light. The red light encompassing Mom’s face, arm waving, a smile on her face. But the eyes tell differently. Red light shining through the eyes, I see sadness. Sitting behind my dad, I watch the roads take a turn, leading me to the place where I need to go. A temple comes in between, the aarti is going on. The road brightens up with sound and light. Bells tolling, emitting a radiant and powerful light. It gradually recedes away. Standing in the train, Dad standing outside giving notes on how to survive, I see the same shine I had seen in Mom’s eyes. The train whistles and begins to move. I see my dad standing on the platform, a hand raised to bid farewell. The image stays there, not moving, while it gets smaller and smaller. The platform of my home place gently cedes back with dad standing on the platform, waving, the city passing by. The lack of a guarantee that I will see those things back just the same way it was, the people just the same way it was makes me despair. There are a lot more definite examples to farewells, but even hearing them makes us sad. The thing is farewells are hard for everyone. People hate change. No matter what when they have to come out of their comfort zone, they start finding it uneasy. And the longing for that increases. For the situation, for the people close to us. It is never easy for the either of us. I don’t know how to say good bye to people who I love, to the places I fall in love with. I don’t know a painless way to do it, don’t know the words to capture a heart so full and a longing so intense. But the thing is there is no comfort in farewell. It is a word that is so full of sorrow that just saying that word brings back emotions long suppressed. It is a word that promises absolutely nothing.
I recently traveled to a place with one of my friends. We went there on a road trip, about 40 kms away from where we live. The way was filled with trees and canopies, sunlight filtering in at places, flashing us with warmth. We reached our destination. Not much of a place, but calm. It had this river flowing through it and the water was just knee deep in some places. We waded through the water slipping here and there, smiles on our faces running wide. We went and sat at a place, not worrying for a thing in the world. When we started coming back, we got these boards that city is coming soon. As soon as I saw those, my heart fell a little. Soon the journey would be over and soon we will just be sitting in a house not going through canopies. My friend started lamenting this fact. That’s when I came to know that this was not something that I felt, but everybody felt the same thing. Farewells are always sad. But the world is a scene of constant farewells, the hands that grasp in meeting today, are doomed to unite for the last time when the quivering lips utter the word- Farewell. But as Winnie the Pooh says, ” How lucky I am to have something that makes saying Goodbye so hard.”
Itch itch scratch scratch
Legs burning, ants scrambling
A swat with the hand,
A couple catched.
Friends lying beside, talking about fatal attractions.
I look up and see trees,
The incessant talk and fleeting glances I don’t miss,
A piece of a toy dangling to the keys,
Placing it between the people I see the wheels move,
The constant and ever moving wheels.
Unable to comprehend the need of yearning,
Wheels touch the ground,
The cycle with no handlebars riding itself to oblivion,
A fallen prey.
I flicker and smile;
Eyeing the fickleness of human temperament,
Way it constantly changes sides according to its desires.
People are beautiful: I learn from movies and advertisements,
But the only things that humanity right now is: ugly and attired.
I flicker and smile;
Capricious nature of it I learn,
A desperation to charge after money.
Changing shades when stygian,
At chance providing light, still going penny after penny.
I flicker and smile;
Creating a quagmire, truculent to spare.
Smiling I accept the only way to survive in this cruel world,
By gaining the knowledge of being rapacious.
I flicker and smile.
The poem for fragile souls I write,
With broken sunlight filtering in;
Of hopeful and fleeting romance bright.
Near tearful eyes I gaze into,
Of beautiful women paralysed;
By lost love or unhappy lives: ingenue.
Lips awaiting the kisses, that they somehow missed.
I want to be by their sides, breathe in their rooms,
Unlock their dreams shelved by careless men.
And teach all the gentlemen to be with their turbulent moods;
Open the emotional vaults every now and then.
And the feminine mystery of eternal goddess,
Possesses me relentlessly and mystically;
Durga guides me into pleasant contemplation.
I have often wondered why do memories hold so much strength? Be it happy or sad, they always tend to move you. Even if there is something sad happening before your eyes, the effect of the memory will always be more than what has happened. We, as humans, always tend to remember the deceased with a sense of kindness and optimism. The degradation of a human being before the time of his death is not seen after he dies. It is forgotten, only the deeds of his are remembered.
Driving through the roads of India can make one feel a little claustrophobic. The roads small and the great populace that inhabits it. One day, I was driving through and see that the sides of the road are occupied in great numbers. It was a day before EID so I guessed that it will be a group of Muslims doing something in accordance to their festival. Continue reading
We all sat huddled together in the cold in a large enough tent to accommodate 20 of us. The wind howled outside as we played a game, everyone rejoicing and in a hearty mood. I stood up and went outside. The rain drops fell on me as I looked upon the mountains from 11,000 feet and felt a contentment and bliss never felt before. The beauty of the place wrenched my heart. For a moment I stood transfixed, looking into the mountains’ snow. I felt warm droplets roll on my cheek. I came to know that these were not rain droplets racing down my cheeks. But they were something that leapt out of my heart as true as a song does when I am happy. The trek leader, who had come out to see to something, saw me, stood by my side and his voice resounded, “Welcome to the Himalayas.”
Broken,distant and alone, she craves for attention from every human below,
Waxing and waning, just to have someone look at her, all for a show.
Having a pull over the ocean, using the nature’s reality to hold,
Teasing and tantalising the ocean in the dream that only she could mould.
Wanting the attraction so desperately, the one we call love,
Beautiful she tries to be, riddled with scars is she, filling the void above.
So aesthetic that humans couldn’t take eyes off her; behoving,
Comparing their beloved with her, for she was unattainable; so very daunting.
Men tried hard to attain her, but only were able to touch her,
‘Cause her heart wants only the better half of it, not some commoner.
In her quest to find the love she wants, she rejects; creates a sheath,
She fails to see the fool who dies every night, just so she could breathe.
Something in the wild telling me to keep quiet,
The world engulfed in silent white.
Outrageous threats that are thrown around the world,
A Dictator and another Orange show the problem with exchange of words.
How everything seems to conspire for utter dominance,
But ultimately falls under the greed of utter prominence.
People and children, innocent and raged,
Fight they will when thoroughly surfeited.
Reprehending everyone voicing opinions, showing free will,
War conforming over countries, religious and impetuous overkill.
Free will is necessary, abolition leads to death of humanity,
But the leaders and people lead the world to where, possible is this insanity.
The trees move backwards as I stand watching,
Marveling at the things that are beyond conceiving.
People are so satisfied with their petty little instruments,
They fail to give any appreciation to these natural monuments.
Bustling with life and moving with certainty,
But forgetting the purpose that has given life clarity.
The birds chirping and people chattering,
Giving the world a soulful music worth listening.
A well conceived idea of a beautiful world – a perfect seed,
Destroyed very simply by the rapacious human deeds.
People have a pretty well conceived idea about the word that means so much to every human being, Love. They all have deliberated about what they want and how their love should be. Everybody dreams about the perfect love they will have and how they are going to live it. The dream that the movies and books have etched in our minds. Yes, having such a conception is good and this varies from person to person. Some people don’t want much while some think of enveloping their whole life in this love. Continue reading
One day, as I was sitting with my relatives, one of them told us about how they particularly took pride in their son settling and getting work in U.K. This made me think of the mind-set of the Indian society where being in their own society is considered decadent, while you can go and work under the ones whom India was in a colonial rule. To work with the “Goras” is still considered to be an achievement among the people of a society which had fought so hard to attain freedom. Continue reading
Ever get that feeling where you feel all lonely and hollow? When you can’t make sense of what is going on and everything seems monotonous, bleak and morose. Even when you are surrounded by your best friends and loved ones you just feel detached from them as if they can’t make sense of what’s going through your mind. When you tell them about it they will tell you that it’s all in the state of mind, if you think happy, you are happy. But it’s not that easy, is it? You constantly think of everything wrong with you, this life and this world and constantly avert activities that affect your thoughts behaviour, feelings and sense of well-being. Continue reading
I was traveling by the train today and I happened to observe something that makes us, humans, be far from humanity. This has nothing to do with benevolence or rapaciousness or poverty but with simply the set of rules mankind has created for itself and how if anyone tries to push past those rules they are ostracised from the society. A group of transgenders had walked into the coach of my train where I was sitting. They Continue reading
Somedays I am so full of love that I fill up like a pod and burst, scattering all my happiness everywhere, leaving that place to bloom in itself.Continue reading
I sat there listening to the water gurgle,
To my friend talking about time past
I saw small fishes trying to swim
Cutting through, forcing their way,
Against the steady flowing current of the slope
I saw crows and egrets trying to fill their beaks
With the same fish as they lay susceptible
In their dreams of the other side
I could see the sun’s dying light flashing,
Piercing the dust on the faces of humans
Who laugh, baring their teeth, with their socks on.
The water filled with bottles, dirt and corncobs,
Like the corncob held by my friend being eyed
By a tyke with orange hue plastered on its body.
I saw bubbles rushing up to the water and
Giving their last breath as they leave forever
Their flowing bodies, lives of short space and time.
I wonder if these string of words have any meaning,
Is this amour propre or just conceitedness of my brain,
To think the most generic and then to call myself a writer,
Frightened by my own phantasms,
I cry out in vanity about the dreams of being a writer,
With the smell of a burnt corncob and a half finished verse.