Thursday, December 30, 2010
in heart and soul,
in half-truth and the whole,
in your thought and your scream
in your realisms and your dreams
Not because I have to,
Not because you wanted me to,
and Not for the flowers or the pain or the colour purple.
Not for nothingness either.
I tried everything to define me
in the empty ballrooms
by the dusty corridors
A cadaver of stories, of anecdotes
of secret thoughts that you never had.
So you look for me,
Hope, color, perspiration
Fogging up your coffee of thought.
Prove me, un-prove, reprove.
in the moth eaten books
in dimming aftershower rainbows
in broken violin bows
in sunshine, blackened by the night skies
Don't now. Stop.
Move over; you are standing on me
Under me, within me.
All over. Omnipresent.
Desecrate me, you cant.
[The year finally draws to a close; and what a year it has been! I have become a published writer, got a new job and finally chopped my locks (after 3 years!). And you, my reader, have been my side, through thick and thin. If you still haven't laid your hands on my book, do click on the big, black cover and get it home delivered. If you like what I write, spread the word among your friends and do Like my page on Facebook. Thanks for stickin' around. Cheers to a fantabulous year ahead!]
Monday, December 13, 2010
Saturday, November 13, 2010
But before all of that, heres whats happening next friday at Ramjas College, North Campus, Delhi University:
YES! be around for the workshop and there would be a lot of freebies too! Hope to see a few of you around there! Peace out! :)
Friday, October 29, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
against an anxious shore;
mysterious illusions walk around
waiting for a cure.
"No more, no more!"
he screams, in hate.
"no more!" he shouts,
a tad too late...
the sea, now lashing
of silent nights before.
The peace is gone
the shadows deep
the shore, now drenched in pain
he blames his heart
now torn apart
promising never to love again.
"I hoped for joy!
I hoped for bliss!
I hoped for yellows and pinks!
Now, heart of hearts,
We must depart
and for a moment, think.
The heart was meant
for blood well spent
to keep our bones alive
how was it then
that Love was when
it chose to lose its drive?
It now sits still,
against its will;
making people fall in love.
Through mush and kiss
and hugs and bliss,
it randomly peturbs.
The beach now seems to melt away
the sea does ruckus make
I sit now, sleepy, thinking of love
leaving corroded dreams in its wake...
[I am no poet and I hardly understand poetry the way it should be understood...but do drop in a word about what you think of it; suggestions on improvement would be welcome as well.]
Saturday, October 9, 2010
I have always loved dolls. The morning stands out like a well developed Polaroid, etched deep into the corner of my brain. It’s the corner which keeps my happy thoughts. I keep memories of walking through dead , scrunching leaves on a winter morning and cycling down a slope on a sunny day in there.
We are in the throes of a childhood memory; embracing the moment, hoping to never let it go. My hands are soft and pudgy, capable of holding only little things, meant for little hands, such as mine. The room is full of colours. I see bright oranges, sunny yellows and sparkling greens. They seem to be everywhere. And then I see the doll.
The doll looks deep into my eyes, caught in the moment of a Doll universe. Entrapped in an unknown Doll’s dream, the moment seems to stretch for ages. You sit there, at the corner, nose deep in one of your silly books. The walls stand around us, pale and faded, not interfering in our invisible games of hide-and-seek; the one which we play, without needing to move a muscle. My playthings are strewn all around; miniature pots and pans, a gas stove, even a little beauty kit. It is my world, and the doll lives with me here. I want you to stay with me here, but I am afraid. I am scared of you turning my offer down. I worry about you turning up your nose from the book, crinkling your forehead and saying “what sort of a silly game is this?” That is when ma walks in.
“This cannot go on!” she says, irritation painted in a bright red on her face. I see her standing there, quiet now, without a word more. I just gape at her. The doll doesn’t look at me anymore at this moment. Its face has found something new to do; stare at the fading walls with a stone cold expression. I can’t see out of the window; not because it’s dark. It’s only because I can’t. Just.
I move my gaze and stare at the floor. The pattern on the mosaic is bright; almost alive. My mood is rotten now. I want the floor to open up and allow me to run down a flight steps, so that I can disappear forever. Ma doesn’t know all of this. She cannot read my thoughts. I sit there, a picture of grumpiness, with a million toys before me lying neglected. As she gets ready to shoot another of her verbal arrows, you finally take your nose out of the book and look at her. Then you say “Why do you have to bother her? She doesn’t want to go! Let her be!”
The silent room somehow turns more silent. It feels as silent as a grave now. Ma just stands there looking at you. She doesn’t say anything. I haven’t changed my expression, but there seems to be a toy train filled with pretty flowers running around in circles in my head. The doll doesn’t seem to be interested in taking part at the proceedings, and continues to stare at the wall. You go back to reading your book. There may be guilt on your mind, but it doesn’t show on your forehead. Ma, perhaps in hope for some sort of a follow up, waits for a little while. When she sees no reaction from you, she decides to exit, stage right. She is gone for now, and with it, the room becomes a little brighter. I decide to go back to playing, considering you are back to reading. The doll now comes back from her doll universe and decides to spend time with me.
Ma is standing at the corridor speaking to another woman. I can’t see her face, but from Ma’s voice, I can make out that she is talking about the events that transpired a while back. I concentrate till the point I can hear her clearly. She tells her about how I don’t talk to her and won’t go back. She sounds perplexed. She says she doesn’t know how you know everything about me; what I want, what I would say or maybe wish for. Then I hear the other woman’s voice for the first time. It sounds like someone running a chalk on the blackboard. I don’t want to hear, but I have to. She says that there is only one solution to the entire predicament; and then she drops the bomb. She tells her that you must go back. You can’t talk on my behalf for the whole of my existence. You must be sent home.
I am so engrossed, that I don’t notice the walls or you or anything. I suddenly look around to find that everything around has changed. We aren’t kids anymore. The room is gone. We stand on the prettiest sea shore that was ever made. The beach is made up of sand which sparkles like diamond. We stand facing a emerald blue sea, packed prettily with a powdered blue sky. The doll is gone, and so are the toys; Ma cannot be seen anywhere either. That is when you suddenly break out “Go to the sea and never come back!” It almost sounds comical, but I am too happy to notice. I race down the beautiful beach towards the sea, the sand scrunching beneath my feet like coarse silk. The waves crash softly on the shore, spraying their foam in a soft caress, as droplets land on my face in soft unheard steps. I look back in a moment of elation. That’s when I notice that the beach is empty.
You are not there. In a moment of panic, I scream your name over and over. There is no reply. The sky darkens. The sea is turning into a deep shade of azure as I speak. The sand slowly heats up, like baking coals. I am still screaming.
And then, in the moment of desperation, I wake up...
Monday, October 4, 2010
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
The ship rocked as a wave came and slapped the north side. Was it really a ship? It could pass off as a glorified boat, but it was a ship to us. We pretended that the ship was more than a state, a country, or a continent; we pretended that it was the world to us. Because that’s where we lived. Like you have a choice in the sea.
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Crayons. That's how it looked. It looked like someone had rubbed crayons
all over the entire sky.
I sat there on the grassy stretch, looking out into the skies, the stars twinkling like glassy orbs of enchantment, stretching out over a marble universe. I did not have a home to go back to, no meals to swallow. No pets waiting for me. Occasional trees looming in the distance exchanged secrets among themselves, knowing fully well that I wouldn't go around asking about it. I decided to close my eyes and dream for a bit.
The sky came in the dream, and so did the stars. Only, they were bigger. They flickered like big yellow lamps, hung out in the open expanse, to guide unseen spirits traversing along the galaxies. The occasional clouds curled into strange spirals and floated about gently. I raised my hand and floated upwards, borne by the winds like a secret feather. The crayon sky continued to change around me, clouds turning, swirling, undulating like native snakes, brought out in the rain washed fields. That is when I felt the sharpness on my skin.
There were teeth on my arms. I tried to see them but couldn't. I tried to take my arm away, but the teeth seemed not to budge. The colors started changing now. The black slowly was giving way to a very deep red and the clouds danced, as if under a spell. I shook my head violently, hoping for the teeth to go. The stars shone with a deep fire within, lighting up the sky with renewed fervour.
"Let me go!", I said, and snatched my hand from the stupid mongrel dog. The moon shone in the sky, right among the clouds and blackened skies. The dream was over. I killed some time. The sky still looked the same, as it did the last time. I think I want to go home now.
Monday, August 23, 2010
” Wow! where did you get this one from?”
“Got it off the SETI project.”
“Wo! The one where they are trying to find extraterrestrial intelligence?”
“Hey! Wait a minute…this looks familiar…isnt this…”
“(sighs) Yeah…It is. But how does that make a difference now?”
“Er…I don’t know…shouldn’t it? I mean…don’t you feel anything anymore?”
“You know what? I don’t know! I mean how would it matter now?”
“I don’t know…It should have…it does to me atleast!”
“Yeah whatever!”, he said, firing up the engines now. “We anyways have a long way to go…next I know, you would be cribbing about this place too! What does the picture do to you anyways?”
He looked deeply into the picture for a while and placed in in front of the dash. As they strapped in and blasted off, he finally said,
(originally written for flashfiction.in, where I have recently started contributing. Check the site here. )
Thursday, August 19, 2010
I remember being on clouds since I can remember.
The older folk say there existed land below, once upon a time long past. You could set your feet on it, feel the warm, moist soil and tiny inanimate creatures called grass stick to the base of your foot and walk upon hard reality, filling your mind with a constant sense of heightened realism. There were hard structures, made of material called wood and softer growth on them called leaves, which sprang up high towards bright skies, embracing the openness, swallowing every bit of the atmosphere that they lived in. Creatures like us had extensions called limbs, which enabled us to walk upon this surface, among those green and brown creatures and a host of other animations. Life, had been “beautiful”; a word that the older folks used to describe something that could be looked at for long durations with a certain amount of elation in your psyche.
Alas, all of that doesn’t exist anymore.
It’s all white around. Expanses of soft, woolly, cotton-like clouds litter the skies as far as the eyes can see. You can perch for a little while, before it gives way, turning into wisps of shiny water droplets, twinkling in the light of the sun like a sea wave of a million diamonds. We have wings to keep us in the air all the time; suspended. I try to imagine what it must be like under the last layer of clouds. Does the land underneath still exist, like it is talked about in the legends? No one has been able to go down willingly. The stimulus ingrained in these wings of ours makes us take flight as soon as we start nearing the final cloud layer in the lower strata. They tell me that our ancestors had their own legends where they imagined people like us living among the clouds and christened them “fairies”. It was supposed to be their ultimate ideal of freedom. I smile to myself at the ignorance of the lost tribe and continue gazing at the wooly cloud tufts, floating by, as if in a dream.
I have always wanted freedom.
I want to break free of the monochrome circle of light and dark and venture into the unknown. I want to give up on the bales of clouds that our tribe has been surrounded by since eternity. I want to escape the legends of yore, the make belief heavens and abstract utopia. I want to reject the perpetual state of suspension and set foot on to reality, letting me feel the weight of my thought and flesh. I want to surrender the façade that my ancestors tagged ‘freedom’, and set upon an actual path of knowledge and wisdom. I want to explore the pathos attached to the lost emotion of ‘sacrifice’. I want to do all of this and so much more.
I don’t feel anything as I tear apart my wings; only a heightened sense of consciousness. I am too excited to feel the emotion they call “pain”. Maybe, just maybe, I shall be able to feel it once I have made it to the place below the last layer of the clouds. My mind is full of thoughts which seemed to have gained “feet” and finally seem to be moving around on them, instead of flying. I have started to descend at a rapid pace. The torn wings are still acting on impulse as I work hard to detach them from my existence. I don’t know if I shall live to see the wonders that I hope to see. I don’t know if my tribe would notice my disappearance and wonder at it. Streams of crimson flow upwards as I start to gather speed. My eyes feel moist. I know I have committed folly. I know I keeled over. I am aware of the thin line between servitude and self illumination that I overstepped as soon as the thought crowded into my mind. As I let go of my wing and fall through the final layer, I close my eyes and let a comforting thought, like the feel of grass, seep into my senses;
I am free…
Monday, August 16, 2010
The chirping of the birds on the lone tree near the door rose to a shrill cry as he turned the key into the lock. A thousand things played on his mind as his gaze caught a rather dreary looking cat jumping over the wall and disappearing on the other side. A few ruddy looking chicken played hopscotch nearby. Not the kind of neighborhood that he would want to stay in, but real estate was pricey. This was the only setup he could get. Afford.
I hate empty rooms. I have always hated them. They don’t scare me; they only make me uncomfortable. I remember the first time they had asked me to stay in one; I had probably been around seven years old. Young enough to be not taken seriously, old enough to remember every detail. It was in my mother’s village and we had gone there to attend a funeral. My parents decided to stay in one room and asked me to sleep in the other one which was vacant. I had decided not to complain and sleep in it. I slept pretty well and woke up to a bright and fresh morning. Everything was perfect; until the moment I overheard some elders saying that it was the same room that Shashi chacha committed suicide three days ago.
The room opened up and drowned him in a sea of dampness. He stood for a while surveying the place. The landlord, it seemed, had tricked him. Nothing complicated though. He had told him that the room would be his. Only his. And here he was, standing, looking at someone else’s luggage. He was sure that the house had been sold to the other guy with the same assurance. There was no use fighting about it; he just might lose the only abode that he had finally managed to get. He would have to figure it out with his new found roommate. He was a little disappointed. But more than that, he was happy. It wasn’t an empty room.
While growing up I always avoided empty rooms. They always reminded me of the room that I had spent the night in at the village. Once, during recess, as we played hide and seek, I went and hid in one of the empty unused classes. Some kid noticed it and latched the door from the outside. I screamed for about half an hour before fainting. The next memory I had was of four hours later, sitting with my parents’ worried expressions boring down on me. Obviously, I did not tell them anything.
“Hello! Will you be sharing my room?” a voice called out behind him as he stood there with his bag still slung over his shoulder. He turned around to see a decently built guy, sparse hair and smooth expression in place, standing at the door looking straight at him. “The other guy”, he thought. Half his problem seemed to have been solved. The other guy had taken him to be his roommate without even being asked. The landlord had probably given him a different story. No problems.
“Yes, looks like it”, he said finally, after doing a quick run through in his head. He would stick in now, and ask the landlord later. Not that he was complaining about the room not being empty. But the matter had to be sorted, sooner or later.
After we came back from the village, I could never sleep alone again. My mother never figured out the reason but she made it a point to sleep with me everyday. One night, she promised she would come in a bit. She was crying for some strange reason. She never did.
Did I tell you I hate lies?
I went and confronted the landlord, just as the sun decided to splash out of sight in the distance and drowned the whole place in darkness.
“What are you saying? There is no one in that house! The last guy who was living there passed away some two years back. Nice chap he was, well fed, looked from a good family! What a loss!”
I did not say anything. Strange, you might add. But I will tell you what bothered me now. If he was not staying there, it only meant that I was the only one. It also meant there was no one staying with me, which was kind of obvious. I tried my level best to take the supernatural angle out of it.
It meant the room was empty.
He slapped his knee, throwing back his head in a jerk and laughed. “ He told you I was a ghost?” he asked, eyes shining.
“Yes” I said defiantly. I was not used to having spirits laughing at me.
“And this guy, you said, rented you this house. His name was…let me remember, Manohar?”
“Ofcouse!” I replied, starting to feel a little irritated with his behavior now.
“The wit of that guy! Why don’t we go along and have a quick chat with him yes? Let him say that on my face! I hate people calling me a ghost behind my back!”
We walked to the door of the house where I had the conversation with my landlord the previous evening. He went boldly and knocked the door. A lady, in her mid fifties came out. He folded his hands and greeted her. She returned the greeting.
“Doesn’t look like she thinks I am a ghost unless she is one herself!” he whispered in my ear and asked her loudly, “Manohar ji hain?”
She nodded her head and seemed to looked through me. Then she looked straight at me and questioned at length “ Did he ask you to go and stay with this boy?”
“Yes” I replied, a little bewildered. “ I met him about three days ago at the very spot where we are standing!”
“He prabhu!” She said and looked up, paying her respects to someone in the skies. “ It’s high time he stops renting out the house to people when its already occupied!”she sighed.
“After all, it’s already been five years since he passed away!”
[ Another successful writer's meet down. New writers, newer writing, an overcast sky, the steps at Habitat Center...if you are in Delhi, you wouldnt want to miss this!The story above was written to the prompt of "an empty room". Also, add Disturbia and Devil's Advocate to the weekend affairs. More writing soon!]