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Wary of Verse

I read some verse of beauty rare
In dainty thread of words ensnared
Wrapped in hues of golden thought
The poet to weave a web had sought.

Caught- readily, and waited I-
To drown in misery – but nay-
The web – souse in stilborn rue-
Was frail and could not carry through

Peals of broken heart- they weigh
More than well wrought words can say
(But less than what is in need
To be the blissful amnesic)

They fall through and hang by verse
Over the abyss of hope- midway-

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Witness

Not too long ago my friend and I

We sat like Humpty Dumpties on the stile

We watched the smoke-crossed cars go by

Sucking on a lollipop all the while.

 

When he had sucked  and so had I

We watched the man across wave and say hi

We saw his face stretch into a smile

Sucking on the lollipop all the while.

 

Soon the friend left, the lolly half-done

I peeked to see if the man wanted to share the fun

I watched the man across wave and say hi

And jump from the thirteenth to end his life

 

Who am I kidding, it was far too long ago

To remember if he smiled as he let himself go.

 

 

Daily Prompt: Lollipop

 

 

 

 

The Sunday Disconnect

I would rather write about a glorious Sunday. One that we all have painted out and ready in our heads, you know, a pretty little virtual movie with one of those watermarked Audiojunkie happy tunes in the background. One where I sleep in late and wake up to the familiar warmth of the midday sun or the sounds of a busy kitchen or the annoying screaming of kids playing cricket in the streets of a utopian gated community or the crackle of oil and the smell of breakfast or the floral scent of soap from Amma’s morning shower. Whichever happens first. But it is not to be. I wake up early, early for a Sunday that is, and try to remember what it is that woke me up, waiting for the all too familiar gushy feeling of I-have-nothing-to-do-it’s-a-Sunday to spread through my veins and provide the adrenaline to do nothing. I hit a blank. I just woke up, it seems. Outside the window the sun is bleak, looking like it did not sleep very well. Or maybe it just hasn’t reached its full potential yet. I realise all I ought to need is some brisk morning air to wake myself up. I step out into the garden.
The air is still and the ground is wet. It has apparently rained through the night, and this should be a relief. Google tells me today’s forecast for Coimbatore is 34 degrees with a thunderstorm. There’s nothing in there about the calm before the storm though. So much for the high hopes that the cool morning breeze will ruffle me up. The leaves stand in attention and the ants silently make their way up and down the stems, pushing me into a deep existential probe about the similarities between Sisyphus and the Ant. Out of the blue, I decide to sing to the plants. Surely that will wake both of us up? Unfortunately, I am not well informed about the song choices of the venerable Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and start humming Aerosmith’s Dream On . Like I discover, the song does not become humming very much and I growl out the refrain. I swear the plant shudders, and the thought disturbs me more than the fact that I have been unconsciously singing to the beat of the distant barks of a dog. At least somebody’s got their thing going this morning, I think.
I abandon the singing and pick up The Hindu, lying half wet on the porch. The paper boy must have overshot his aim today. It sits there, looking well informed and meaty and a little demonic. If newspapers can look that. It is Sunday and there is Jerry Pinto’s column to read, my mind rejoices. It is about snow. The article is well written, of course, but Pinto’s despondency only adds to mine. The two lines in the entire essay that I can relate to is when I picked my nose and found my finger completely red too, not due to low temperatures like in Pinto’s case, but from when I had dengue fever. That mental image refuses to make way for any more snow imagery and I sigh and give up on the article half way. The Sunday Disconnect weighs heavily upon me.
I trudge back to my room and put on my Sennheisers. The muffs need to be replaced, but my ears love them anyway, like the one pillow you love to hug though it’s not fluffy anymore. I hit play on my phone, and the tune picks up from where it left off.
Kitni dafaa subah ko meri tere aangan me baithe maine shaam kiya. Channa mereyaa..
How often my day has morphed into night waiting for you.

Sonnet XVII- Pablo Neruda

And whenever my heart should in agony pine

and need to explain incessant craving of thine

love- I turn to find you in the master of soul

Neruda- your letters bind the broken heart whole.

Sonnet XVII

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way

than this: where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

Pablo Neruda

And the heart speaks.

There are some days when you wake up and find the world upside down. You shake your head and it’s like a hundred weights have somehow lodged themselves within the confines of it. You stretch your hands and they feel crooked and look crooked. You try to feel your fingers but all you come across is numbness.

You lift a foot and gingerly place it on the floor. That is when the pain sears through.

It ripples up through your legs, sears through your stomach and lodges itself heavily in the middle of the chest. You move, but it feels like you’re stuck in space, frozen vacuum outside and resounding silence within. You try to clear your head, gather your thoughts, but all you remember is pain. And hurt. Did they never leave you then? You can’t say. You run your fingers through your hair. It feels like running your hand through cobwebs. And yet that can’t be true. Wasn’t it just yesterday that joy was yours? When that moment of pristine happiness took you to heights of ecstasy. That moment of exhilaration that made your heart cry out in joy. That moment when the world was yours and every other trouble was a trivial speck of dirt that you could only just see like tiny little black ants marching away. That resounding silence within you that signaled not the tide of hair-clutching despair but flying-in-the-wind laughter. Flying on your joys, on mirth, on togetherness, on the silence of demons, on the dance of the angels, on the song on God. That rush of wind that didn’t take away the last stream of joy from you but brought with it the whiff of chocolate and family and love and everything else you cherished so much. Those heartbeats that didn’t point to the hourglass tipped on its side, the glass broken and the sand slowly all running out quietly yet determinedly, but pointing at that fresh little sapling that had looked up expectantly from the earth, like that bud of hope that sometimes peeps up through disheveled layers of agony. Yesterday you could feel yourself. Feel the blood pumping through your veins, hear your heart proclaiming in loud thumps your life, see the world smiling back at you through your soul, taste the sweetness of the rain that seemed to share your glee. And yet today you look at the mirror, and see someone staring back at you. With lifeless eyes, deaf ears, tasteless tongue, an unfeeling heart. The gut wrenching, stony silence that only the labyrinth of pain has to offer.

Some days when you wake up, you find the world upside down.

MINE.

 

What am I?

You?

You’re the blush that winter brings and the gleam of summer rays. You’re the curve of a smile, the blink of kohl lined eyes. You’re the grace of ballet and the swish of the robe. You’re the heat of passion and the tingling cold. You’re an electric zing, you’re caressing silk, you’re butterfly wings on creamy skin. You’re hot chocolate on a wintry morn, you’re ice cubes pulled across my arm.

You’re the strange melody that plays on loop and fills my head with radiant dreams. You’re the twinkle fairy’s easy charm, my pied piper of Hamelin. You’re tingling laughter and searing light and piano keys that musically glide. You’re the snug sweater, binding bandage holding together rattling insides.

You’re the cocaine of the poetry of heartbeats. Your soft sigh is my high.

Your zig-zag hair, your criss-cross ways, your blink-back tears, your in-out dimples, your shush-shush words? You’re exhilarating.

You’re mine.

 

 

And the Liebster goes to..

Me, apparently! 😀

liebster-award

So, here’s the mandatory (though not regretted) speech. Thank you, for having given this month old assortment of poetry, fiction and miscellaneous thoughts an award. This comes to me from Anoop, who writes TRANQUIL, yet Alive ( http://anooppillaiz.wordpress.com/ ). I stumbled across his blog just a few days ago, and follow because I find it entertaining, Indian in its roots and honest in tone. Way to go, Anoop!

(And er, thanks for the follow back ((though that totally wasn’t what I was aiming for, of course :P)))

This is how the award works:

  1. Thank the Liebster Award presenter who nominated you and link back to his or her blog.
  2. Post 11 facts about yourself, answer the 11 questions you were asked and create 11 questions for your nominees.
  3. Nominate small (no more than 200 followers) blogs who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know that they have been chosen.
  4. Display the Liebster Award logo.
  5. No tag-backs, meaning you can’t just re-nominate the person who nominated you.

The speech of gratitude done, I now have to go through the pointless humiliating illuminating exercise of telling you 11 things (Why 11 though? Why can it not be 12 or 13?) about myself:

1. I started blogging only because my best friend/soulmate kept nagging me. I have always wanted to blog, but then, I have always been lazy as well. I like it though, and it gives me the drive to keep writing. Thank you soulmate! (Stop gloating.)

2. There are only three things I’d really like doing in life: Eat, Sleep and Read.

3. I go to university. Some day, I’d like to take up teaching or become a writer or win the lottery and become a millionaire- whichever happens first.

4. Lizards and cockroaches scare me, though I leave no stone unturned in telling people that they are harmless and one must care for them. So do strays. Come to think of it, so do hens strutting about.

5. I like posing trick questions. For eg., Do you think I talk a lot? This way, I get to make you feel bad whichever way you respond.

6. I write poetry. I’d like to get published, some day.

7. I am an ardent fan of people with humour and sarcasm. That is why I love House M.D (The show rocks kicks ass)

8. I am waiting for the day I wake up and find my head crammed with storylines for the hundred novels I am going to publish (Wish away..)

9. I cannot tolerate hate am learning how to cook, and hope I will some day achieve mastery over it.

10. Harry Potter is my childhood, present and future.

11. I am extremely impatient. Which makes me wonder how I got through writing all this. Fame gets to people’s heads I guess *sniff*

Now for the questions Anoop has for me:

1. Are you addicted to something? If yes, What? (other than alcohol, cigars and drugs)

Books. Will somebody pay me for reading please? PLEASE? My favourite authors are Wodehouse and Archer. I read all sorts of fiction. Day and night.

2. What does money mean to you? Why? (No one liners please)

Money means I have a future where I can do what I please and follow my dreams uninhibitedly. Money means my parents don’t have to work. Money means lesser worry and it is extremely important to me.

Money means I can tour Europe and meet the Harry Potter cast!

3. What is your passion? What do you like to do the most apart from eating and sleeping?

READING. Does that count as a passion? But it is! I thrive on books.

4. What quality of your best friend/friends do you admire?

She is patient, resilient and sturdy. She puts up with my tantrums. She cooks amazingly well? 😛

5. Have you ever felt guilty for doing something in life, that keeps troubling you even now?

No. I feel momentary lapses of guilt when I lie, but I’m a good advocate for myself and end up placating my conscience 😀

6. What is that one good thing that you can proudly say to anyone about yourself, I mean a lesson from your life that people can learn?

I followed my heart and took up literature in uni, though I took science in school. This raised eyebrows, but I stuck to what I wanted. I’m editing this post once I climb Everest though.

7. Have you ever been in a relationship with someone? If yes What did you learn/admire / hate about being in a relationship ?

Geez, this is personal man!

Who am I kidding, no. Unless we’re counting crushes and flirting.

8. Whom do you admire the most in your family? (Doesn’t need to be your parents or siblings, can be cousins or anyone in the family)

My brother. I look up to him because he stands up for what he believes in. He is awesome. And he doesn’t read this blog, so I can safely say all this and he can’t  chide me. HA!

9.What kind of person are you? (Funny/humorous/serious/shy…….)

I’m okay. A combination.

10. If you were given a chance to go out on a dinner with, Who would that lucky one be?

Hrithik Roshan.

11. Which is your favorite post from your blog? If I would insist that you pick one out of the lot, Which one would that be?

A poem I wrote, “Pray Tell Me“.

Now comes the awkward part! I need to nominate blogs that are “small”, but I only know two a few. Well, here go the deserving ones:

1. http://daydreamsandferriswheels.wordpress.com/

2. http://nazishnawab.wordpress.com/ ( She has more than 200 followers, but follow her anyway! )

These guys are great! Go follow.

Cheers.

PS: Too lazy to make up new questions. Answer the same ones?

 

 

Just another day.

As she threw back her head and laughed, she saw him. Her laughter caught in her throat, she froze. He stood slouched against the wall. He was hardly heart-stoppingly handsome- broad forehead, a mop of curly hair, close-set eyes, and lips that sloped up on one side when he smiled. However, it wasn’t his face but his demeanor that caught her attention. He just stood there, with his hands in his pockets, nodding in that way of his. He looked up suddenly, and their eyes met. An electric zing passed through her from head to toe. She wanted to tear herself away from his unfaltering gaze, but like the moon that resolvedly keeps revolving around the earth, held on. Did he feel that jolt too? She tried to fathom from his expression, but only met his deep blue eyes, eyes that seemingly gave nothing away. How she wished she could read them at the moment. The boy held her gaze. He looked supremely uninterested, but then, he still held her gaze. Was he intrigued? She wanted to know very much. He looked cool and calculating. She suddenly felt very self conscious. What was she wearing, she tried to remember. She couldn’t risk looking down and breaking eye-contact. After what seemed like an eternity, the boy looked away. The girl looked away too. There was chaos around her and resounding silence within. The thumping of her heart could clearly be heard in the din, and if she thought people could hear it, she didn’t care. Everything looked hazy, and if there was one point that had definite form in the place, it was where he stood. He was a focal point now, and everything around him seemed overshadowed by his sheer brilliance. She shook her head, trying to clear away the myriad of emotions that had suddenly sprung up, but to no avail. She gulped. No, do not look at him again, her conscience told her. She looked at him anyway. It was then that she saw it. The smile that took her breath away. Their eyes met again. Before she knew it, her feet had carried her towards him, and there she stood before him, blushing and furiously trying to hide it.

A few gazillion feet above them, Cupid ticked off yet another name on his list. Sighing contentedly, he glided away, his golden bow glimmering against the radiant sky.

Fluffy

 

I remember when I first came home, I smelt fresh paint all around. There was a big wooden bed with a beautiful headboard. And the baby! Gurgling, giggling and gleefully babbling away in that tongue that only other diaper-clad members of her race could understand. I could fit the whole of her in me!

She grew up into a young girl as I grew old and shriveled. She would hug me close and pour out her troubles and I would comfort her  the best I could, soaking in her tears and holding her tight. I was perhaps the last she sought before she turned in and I looked at her all night while she dreamt, her face a picture of calm and excitement, laughter and sorrow, reflecting her dreams. I would carefully collect her graceful brown locks and gave them up only when she insisted.

She got a job.

She met someone.

They made love all night, and I felt perverted. Though I was embarrassed, it was always me she chose to sleep with last, and not him. There was some smug satisfaction in that.

Suddenly, she left.

I was all alone for nearly a year. The cobwebs were my sky and all I saw was the dust grow on the bed and the mites multiply. I grew older and more shriveled by the day- my time was near. I had but one last wish.

Then one day, just as she  left, she returned. A blast of sunlight and chirpy talking woke me up. She was not alone. He was with her. And there was someone else too.

A baby girl.

I looked into her eyes and saw my girl in them, the girl I had loved deeply all these years, the girl who had grown up to be beautiful and elegant and now had her own baby.

My girl and her baby together, one a replica of the other was the last thing I saw before I closed my eyes.

A pillow’s life comes to an end.

 

 

Night terrors

A chill creeps up. I shudder. I sweat

as unseen horrors from beneath the bed-

They clamber on and run a long nail

down my shivering back, I can only wail

And masked men, with hair all over

stand over my naked torso

They close around me, I can’t breathe

I’m helpless though my insides seethe

And yet another where a mob of rats

Teeth gnashing and smelling putridly

of vomit and drains and everything vile

Gather by the thousands, air’s thick with bile

And chained am I to a wall of thorns when

Come horrors and rapists and gory rats

I pray for the blessed release

That only the drug of waking can lease.