Leftovers from last night!

When my fusty little room is brimming
with leftovers as these from a certain meeting –
your big winter jacket with leather straps,
your weathered pocket book with local road maps,
your box of matches about half-empty,
loose, scattered coins about twenty or thirty,
all left behind on the tabletop, in the dark;
the poetry book you lovingly bookmarked,
the wilting red rose in a fat milk bottle,
my drugged slumber too powerful to throttle;
(hence) your unread message pasted to the door,
with a promise to meet again and so much more,
in the winter garden beyond the street
like crazy teenage lovers, reckless, indiscreet –
I’d buy a glass bowl with that loose change perhaps,
into which would go one of your leather straps,
the wilting rose pressed in my book of poems,
your love message rolled into the bottle,
and a page or two from the tattered guide;
and that bowl will stand by my bedside…
while we steal away into the gleaming moonlight,
with aim and hope to renew our promise by daylight
and thus I mark newer objects for the bowl daily
until all that is yours becomes mine slowly
and all that is mine, yours…
Then we belong to the bowl of memories,
just the two of us, the two of us entirely.
The next winter in the white winter garden
under the falling white snow,
swaying to familiar winter songs,
in a silent bliss,
we might just wonder if
we are that couple in a snow globe!

Two lovers

Two lovers

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“2+2=5”

It is almost too hard to think any further when you are confounded by sights such as the ones I see everyday, which are microcosms of the world which you are a part of, which you hate to be a part of. It is not nearly as simple as it sounds. It is so painful, so drastically cruel to come upon such scenes in everything that meets your eye and ear in the time that you are awake and moving around in search of some meaningful moment. When it hits you right in the face, knocking off one or two of those rotten teeth out of you, you just have to take a step back and lie down and take a look at what unfolds, wait for the end. Your nerves throb with a palpable optimism, tearing out of you so hard that it is tough not to visualize with all the functional faculties of the mind, that forever-elusive triumph of good, triumph of the inevitable truth. And, as you wait for it – the end – amid all the white noise, crunching flakes of corn, sounds of dripping mayonnaise, you are clutching the ends of your sleeves, exuding heavy drops of sweat from the surface of  your overworked body, crossing your fingers two folds over,  tongue-frisking the empty slots in your pasty gums, you feel lucky. Lucky that here you are, as a child watching ‘La vita è bella’ projected on the spotty white-wall of the community hall on Christmas eve, churning out all the possible happy ways to end the saga of love, here you are waiting for that happy ending to blow you away, the ending that is the entire truth, the entire wisdom that you swear you’ll live your life by, the secret resolution that will emerge from the wisdom, the  resolution that will rule over your life for the rest of your life beginning from the moment that the film projector is turned off.

So, seen the ending, right? Is the music out of you yet? No? The projector is off and the people are moving out. You are not a child anymore – discuss the movie, comment on the man behind the camera, criticize, praise, predict the number of awards it’s going to fetch. Try! The children have already put down the numbers on Face-book.

Those sights I was talking of earlier are not actually discussed by anyone unlike the movies. Nobody sees them,  there are no tickets. Only you and I watch them, they are our lives’ major decision-makers, and we, the wasteful consumers of  time. Scenes of ants near a jar of jam, fallen flowers on the road, swaying clouds in the sky. Mother ant, father ant, and baby ants, you think? Flowers decorating the path, you think? Clouds coming together to  pour down, you think? They all end the wrong way. Big ants kill small ants. Flowers linger, pressed under car-wheels and swept into the gutters. Swaying clouds break, break, break and move apart to make way for the planes. The days have changed.  We are an anachronism, you think? It’s been a while since I laughed about it. Laugh about it, it’s weekend.

Twisted is the new truth. Twisted is the only truth, was the only truth. Twisted is you, your truth. Truth is no joke. It is not for simple-minded fools like you and me to try to understand.  Forget what the writers were talking about, now, right now. Drunken fools and old maids. Let us go mend the broken bones and leave the rest to them-the others. The broken bones in your crossed fingers is what you are a symbol of, and not the other way round. Everything is twisted, mauled, broken, unhinged and torn apart and abused, from your  point of view, and not anywhere close to what you had been imagining a few moments ago. There are no surprises because what you see in the end is what you imagine AGAINST. Even you know what’s coming in the end, the worst. There is nothing beyond it, no curtains to move aside for the real thing, the wall is right in front of you, pressing against your forehead, marked with your sweat.  The marks of your drying sweat on the wall seem to be saying, “You are all done for the day, you can go ahead and press-dry that shirt of yours, puff on a dash of perfume on it, forget dinner and catch some sleep.”

Love comes and goes unrecognised. Love songs just fill the vacuum.

Love is like a little bird
on a rainy day;
it finds shelter in a tiny nook
carved in the grand design of a
building or formed in a
tree by the arrangement of leaves
and cloistered branches;
it remains well out of our sight
for we care little about
dusty nooks in brick walls
or tiny gaps under eaves
when the sky comes
pouring down
and forces us into our own
big shelters built of
cement and stone,
or the foliage in the garden
that we had carefully pruned and grown.
The birdie shows up,
and sings a sweet love song
at our windowsill
once the rain is gone
and the sun is out…
but it is not the little bird
on a rainy day anymore.

The Aid of Cunning

Cunning, Cunning,
they need thy aid
who tread the earth
in human frames
from one ordinary sunrise
till one ordinary sunset,
a fleeting moment –
the breadth of a lifetime.
Thy helping hand
to smile, to please,
and sometimes
to shed a tear;
to love and be loved,
to be unmoved, unhurt,
to be indifferent;
to not be different,
to be like and be liked;
to hide and seek,
as well as to be
at two places at once;
to be the same child
to one’s parents;
to be the same parent
to one’s child;
to be in a family,
to be a friendly neighbor,
to go to work daily and
to change into a thousand
versions of oneself;
to write
but not give oneself away,
also, to write
to give oneself away;
to not be touched
by Art;
to not believe in another;
to not always be right,
to be a great hypocrite;
to live and let die,
that is, to survive;
finally,
to do the things
one does
to prepare for the end.

Amorphous

Last morning, having little to do at work I walked down to my favorite coffee shop in town. I picked a seat in a cosy corner of the café and settled down to a drink of delicious hot coffee. Sitting right there, I could watch human beings bustling about outside the glass doors of that blissfully quiet café. They were like tiny amorphous specks in the sea of life flowing endlessly on wheels on the city roads. The next thing I knew, I began to ponder over life- my life. A little here and a little there I digressed but every time I bounced back to it, for the rest of the day, even after I left the café, till I reached home, and after…
As I delved deeper into the realms of introspection, I became aware that besides all the day-to-day trivialities which make up the froth that one has to swim through mindlessly to go forward in time, I have a passion for something in my life, just one thing: writing. The thoughts followed thus…
I’m not a great writer, not even close to it. I enjoy writing nevertheless. It is true that certain passionate thoughts and emotions easily translate into weighty words but it happens to me exclusively when I’m caught in situations with no access to writing pads or any sort of recording instruments. And, when I make efforts to retain them in my mind they somehow seem to lose their fire as soon as I prepare to set them down at the end of a busy day. At such times, I
put the pen away, save the ink for another day, and pick  a book to read. Maybe it is frustration caused by the emotionally unbalanced city lifestyle.  Maybe it’s just my mood. Anyhow, the next time that it happens, I decided to do away with pens and papers, typewriters and electronic machines, and just sit and muse with eyes closed, instead of begrudging some author her magnificent book…
So there I sit with my eyes closed, to mould amorphous thoughts into feelings, to inject life into dormant and dead ideas, to tune up emotions, to direct emotions through the Writer’s Magic Loop and to see them come out of it as delectably flavored English words. Then, with my eyes closed, I string the words together, shuffle the strings around till they hit the right notes and reflect the right shades. When the words all fit into a perfect composition and I’m
certain that they are impressed upon my memory, that I can soon grab a pen and commit to paper, a sense of accomplishment emerges. As soon as my eyelids part to reveal the spark of eternal triumph in my eyes, the words in my mind inevitably dissolve in the deluge of light they are exposed to…the sense of triumph is crushed with the disappearance of the Magic Loop…and alas! I find myself left abandoned in my car, eyes wide open, caught in a traffic jam, raucous horns honking all around; and I look out of the side-window to see what appears as an amorphous vision of a boy sitting in the corner seat of a café, sipping his coffee, staring directly at a speck that is me and probably wondering about his own life…his own frustrations.

Water-colours

If life is like blots of water-colours
on a paper-boat floating all alone
in a little puddle of rain-water
collected in a dent, in a narrow street
open to the sky above;
the colors getting pinched out of the boat
and dissolving in the water
with every slight jerk in the pool,
caused by droplets popping into it
from the drenched rooftops overhead…
then you’re like the minute creäture,
invisible to man’s naked eye,
sailing alone in that boat and
looking at the gathering clouds above,
afraid if it might rain again soon,
if a careless footstep might fall on the puddle,
if a wanton boy might crush the boat for fun,
most of all,
afraid if the boat might lose all its colors before anything…

Nowadays!

The following story and all the characters in the story are purely fictitious…

“Nowadays, every five minutes or so, I have to keep telling myself that it is not the end of the world.
Things seem to be going wrong almost EVERYDAY.
                      Like, three weeks back, I had the biggest fight ever with my boyfriend, on Valentine’s day, and as a result, we broke up after promising never to see each other again. And there is absolutely no hope of getting back together because long before the break-up, we reached a point where we couldn’t stand each other’s company for more than a minute. In fact the only thing that was holding us both together till then was the Valentine’s week’s excitement…yeah, weird as it may sound, we exchanged teddy bears, chocolates, and stuff, just like any other couple in love. He is smart but, I guess he is just incapable of love. I’m feeling better that I got out of that meaningless relationship anyway.
                       Just last week,  after a long series of disputes, my parents finally decided to separate forever. I tried desperately to settle things between them. They seemed just too immature to do anything about peacefully solving their silly problems and misunderstandings. Even if I’m their child, it is not like I can’t comprehend the problems faced by two working people in their married life. I had relationships too. They wouldn’t listen to anybody… not even my grandparents. Fine.
                       And two days back, I had the greatest shock of my life when I got a call from mum about my little sister…sis met with an accident, she said, when she was crossing the road. She got hit by a motorcycle. It was Saturday night and I was hanging out with my friends when mum called. I immediately drove down to the hospital, crying and sobbing all the way. I found her with mum and poor mum looked very disturbed. Sis was fine, after all, no major injuries. 
                       Yesterday, I finally found the time to go to the tattoo place that my friends have suggested. I parked my new car outside. It is silvery blue in colour and I still have to christen it. My dad bought it for my birthday last month. It was a surprise actually. My best birthday surprise ever! Well, I went in and got my favourite fairy tattoo on my wrist. My first tattoo! I came out in flying colours and hell! I didn’t notice the tiny Latin lettering on the wings of the fairy. I got it pierced into my skin without noticing the details. I rushed back in to know what it meant, hoping it was something nice…atleast something sensible. The woman translated it to me, with the dirtiest smirk on her face; she said, “It is ‘Hairy fairy’.” I came back out to the parking space, feeling horrible. And bloody hell! My car! Its left tail light cover came off and was lying on the ground. It got hit by something. But thank heavens, just some minor scratches in the rear…fine!
                         And, for the latest mishap, believe it or not, today morning, when I was on the phone with my best friend, wishing her ‘Happy Women’s Day’, the most disastrous thing ever happened to me- my first period. I didn’t want it to happen so soon. I mean, I’m just 13.”

Happy Women’s Day!!

…also, this story is a spinoff from the discussion with a friend on ‘teen freedom, how childhood is changing, and the transition from childhood to adulthood happening too soon in teenagers nowadays’