Saturday, 27 December 2014

The Tragedy Of One Time

They told us we live forever,
That time is nothing to fear,
Second Chances are here to stay.
Wait. did they? 
Or we heard our own whispers?

Took it as it came,
Toiled for what I wanted,
Just never knew what I needed.
Lessons came galore but in futile,
Nothing could be saved if you miss
That One Time.

She was kind more than you would need,
Faced a thousand words and things way more,
Kept a brave face of forgiveness ,
Even to those less deserved.

Save one time when she had it enough,
Spoke her mind and some more,
As fate would have in an ironic twist,
Those whom she forgave, 
Were miser in compassion.

A thousand acts of kindness went to dust,
As all they could recount was that one time.

He always wore his heart upon the sleeve,
Let it all feel the way it deserved to be,
Gave kindness away as it felt right,
Until the heart met her and froze in time.

It burned bright and it flickered dark,
But it was here to stay,  
As long as eternity he thought,
But she broke and burnt the heart given.

He closed the chest and hide the key,
"Never again" was the new motto,
Better to be cruel than be faced with cruelty.

Someone came and knocked,
Begged and confessed how he was all she wanted,
Yet he remained adamant to keep it close.
Tired of waiting, she left scarred.

Little did he know that true love just went away,
As the door remain closed that one time.

Theirs was the love that no one got,
Brother and Sister by blood,friends by choice.
Always fighting but even more caring,
Nothing could break it,
The whole world thought.

Once came a pebble of complaint,
It transformed into a mountain of contention,
Soon there was a creek of silence,
Followed by practiced indifference.

Years went by and there was no word,
Until he called her one time out of urgent need,
The forgotten anger came surging back,
The call was cut with no acceptance.

He cried and called to tell her it was his last day,
He wanted to hear the sister who made him laugh,
Before he left her to cry alone.
And in that fit of anger one time,
She could have heard his last line.

We run and run to create something for the years,
Think of the future, forget the past,
But what of the present?

It's in these bouts of naivety and bubbles,
We forget the importance of the one time.
Life is not quantified
as you think,
But a string of One Times.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

See You At The Gate

"See You At The Gate"
That is all she could keep looking at. The last text from him. What if this is not real. What if he is at the gate. I must go and see. 
She runs out her door without fixing herself in the mirror for the first time. After avoiding pitfalls on every other floor staircase, she rushes towards the main road. After passing two lanes, she stops in front of a white building with a broken black gate.
He will come. He will come.
The wait was interrupted by a call from her mother. She trembled back home, as though a part of herself was still chained to stand in front of the gate.
Once she was back in her room, she found herself frantically calling a number. But there was no answer on the other end. She fell asleep, holding her bed sheets tightly until an unexpected visitor knocked on the door.
A guy with a plain face entered the room. She immediately got up and hugged him.
"I have been calling you since afternoon."
"There was nothing to talk about"
She backs away,
"Don't be like this. Please, atleast be real now."
"What do you want me to do? Cry? Howl?"
"Yes! Act like he was your friend too. That he mattered."
"He didn't. He knew that."
"Oh God Aakash!"
He sits on the chair trying to be nonchalant as he flips through a book.
"Ruhi, I have only come because aunty called me to tell me that you are really upset. We are not going to play "Therapy" here."
" So you are saying you don't feel anything? He texts us saying "See You At The Gate" and a couple of hours later we learn that he..."
"Stop it. Just stop it."
Aakash is about to barge out the door when Ruhi stops him. She makes him face her.
"You don't have to be so hard on yourself. You can let it all out."
Aakash takes a deep breathe and says-
"Say what? How our best friend took his own life? A guy in his mid-twenties, with everything going for him finally, decided to poison himself. He did not even think once for his parents, his responsibilities, and the joy that awaited him everyday."
"He was not like the rest of us."
"Yeah. He was supposed to be smarter! Now, he is nothing more than a coward. He could have faced life head on. He could have just got over it."
"How can you say that? We both knew what all he was going through."
"Yes. And a month back he told us he was finally fine. He had seen that therapy was a waste of time. We were out all night and he was laughing and smiling. He was funny on the group. He told us his plan to get his life back on track. He had applied and got that job he wanted. He had stopped fixating on the past."
" I ...don't know..maybe.. we didn't see something"
" Don't even go there. We did everything. We were there listening to him- whining about his life, the irrational upsets and mood swings. He would blackmail us and guilt trip us into everything. We did everything and more to ensure he could pass this difficult time. So no, I am not taking the guilt of his death on my head."
"Do you remember how he was yesterday? All excited to tell us about his first week at the new place. He was so happy on the phone. I did not remember a time he was like this. He was joking with you."
"Ruhi, please. Stop it. I know it hurts right now. But give it time, we will get over this. We will forget he even existed.."
"Aakash!" Ruhi shouted as she repeatedly hit his arm violently.
He made his way towards the door and with a lump in his throat
"There is so much to do in this life. So much to live for. So much to convince yourself. If you think too much, stop and focus. If you feel too much, become stoic. If you have pain, deal with it. He should've been a man. Fucking pussy."
He makes his way through the door as Ruhi bursts into tears.
The next few days were a blur for her. She went to the funeral but avoided his parents as much as she could. She came back home and decided she wanted to do nothing.
The plan of sleeping in bed all day, recounting his messages and memories of the 3 of them lasted for a couple of hours. The constant reminders of the pain began to wither as guilt alleviation took precedence. Her father asked her to do some urgent work and that kept her busy for a couple of days. The days became weeks and she was back into the routine. The only difference was the lack of a daily message on the group or the occasional weekly calls. She had started talking to an old college friend and talking to him was now the weekly ritual.
A month later, she was searching for a text when she saw the last group message
"See You At The Gate"
Why can't I remember his voice? What was he wearing the last time I saw him? His..his I not remember it?
The guilt of being so lost and callous started eating away at her as she anxiously sat on her bed. She kept reading the line. Was there a message to be decoded in it?  After a few minutes of deliberation, she felt she had an answer. She got up to get busy again and finally dismiss the thought of him, once and for all.
                                                       He will see me at the Gate.

Sunday, 2 November 2014


Flies buzz around the tea lying on the table. The heat sends them into a crazy tizzy ,thought the man on the table. They served as a break from the due diligent task at hand- to figure out if the building opposite his office always had seven floors or if there was a new addition. A knock on the door prevented him from returning to this investigation.
 "Rajesh Notary?"
"Yes. Please come in."
A tall, fair man sits on the chair across from the table. He has a large red file in his hand which he clutches tightly.  Branded White Shirt, Expensive Watch. Might be time to finally earn some money.
A bright smirk came across Rajesh’s face as he thought of that.
"How can I help you,Sir?"
"Name Change Application."
"Ok. Are you married ?"
" Yes."
" Ok. Then you must have bought the necessary documents for changing your wife's name. Do you wish to just change the last name or the first? Marriage Certificate? PAN Card?"
"I have all the documents required. But sir I am here to not change my wife's name. I am here to change my surname."
"Ohhh. So that will require the documents for both- you and your wife Sir."
"I don't think you understand sir. I am changing my surname to that of my wife."
Rajesh stared long and hard at the man and burst out into a loud laughter.
"Nice one sir. But please stop pulling my leg!"
The man in the white shirt gave a stern reply- "I am being very serious about it!"
Rajesh laid back in his chair for a while as he tried hard to control his amusement.
"I am very sorry Mr.."
" Ravi"
"I will help you with the application. Just give me a minute."
Rajesh quickly vacated his seat and rushed out the door. A few minutes later he walked in with a couple of men. 
" These are my colleagues. They will help us with this. You understand this is not a usual request which we get daily."
"Yes I do. What are the steps to get this done?"
"First, please answer some of our questions" the moustached man stated as he fold his hands.
" Did you get married under any kind of pressure from the bride's family?"
" No"
"You can be honest sir, we are here to help you. Are you being coerced in anyway?"
" No! Why would you think that?"
"Were there any conditions imposed on you? Are you being involved in your father-in-law's work or something? Where are you living? With the in-laws?"
"There are no conditions being imposed on me. I have a job and my wife and I have our own apartment."
"You must understand that we are with you." The other man who was silently listening till now, spoke up."The rights of men should be protected. The woman is supposed to change her surname after marriage. Is there some problem with the wife? Has there been some sort of scuffle or irrational demand from her? Because as experienced married men, we can teach you how to control the woman...."
"Enough! What is wrong with you people? I have come for an affidavit, not lessons on patriarchy. Do you want to provide the service or not?"
" We are just concerned Sir" Rajesh retorted." Why not consider an alternate like what these "Mordurn" couples do. Retain your original surnames and just add your spouse’s last name. You can add the wife's surname in the end! Though in all honesty, for forms and legal purposes we will only use the first one. Everybody wins."
"Are you gentlemen suffering from some mental deformity? I just stated what I want. How does everybody win? I don't get what I want. I am getting the feeling that you are not going to help me."
"Well, we aren't hearing a logical reason,Sir. You don't understand that you are setting a dangerous precedent. It is also a legal nightmare to accomplish this."
"I see. I will take your leave." said Ravi.
 As he reached the door, he turned back.
"Though the reason is none of your business, I will just say "Love" and leave it at that."
The men laughed out loud as he left the premises. "Poor parents. What about their legacy? What about their family? Who will carry the name forward? Today's generation is so selfish" remarked the moustached man.

It had been a week since the incident but it still made Rajesh chuckle. He opened the newspaper and browsed through. There was an informational advertisement which caught his attention-

I, Sri Ravi Damodar Sharma,  have changed my name from Ravi Damodar Sharma to Ravi Singh by affidavit sworn before the Notary Public S.Rajendra, Mumbai on 28/9/14. Henceforth, I shall be known as Ravi Singh for all purposes. Address- Suman and Ravi Singh, 504, Ballard Park, Lokhandwala, Mumbai- 50.

Rajesh laughed so hard that he almost fell from the chair."Someone needs to find this man his balls" he remarked as he kept the paper aside to admire the view outside his window.

[The news of Zoe Saldana's husband taking her last name give new dimension to this fictional post. Let's hope this happens in India too]

Author's Note: Women Don't Emasculate Men. Men Emasculate Men.

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Bailers & Keepers

It’s a loud process. There is incessant howling and shouts of “Why?".Meanwhile, a figure comes from the living room and taps on a door in the house.
“Vikram, Open the door. Come out.”
In the dark room, a man is in a corner, sitting with his legs folded. He is faintly murmuring- “Boys don’t cry, boys don’t cry”.
“I can’t come out. I won’t. You don’t need me. We came back from the pyre. Leave me alone.”
The figure abides and leaves the door.
A few minutes later, a girl approaches the door.
“Vicky, its Avantika.”
“The door is open.”
She enters the room and sits next to him after being able to see him with great difficulty. She is quiet and he does nothing to acknowledge her presence.
A few minutes later, he starts speaking-
“She was healthy. She was…. fine. But suddenly she falls sick. And then she is gone.”
He takes a deep breath.
“But boys don’t cry”. A faint laughter ensues.
She places a hand on his shoulder with a morose look as he looks over his shoulders to her.
“I slipped you know. I slipped. After a year of being strong and no contact, I slipped. I texted her.”
Avantika gives him a look of dismay and disapproval.
“Well what was I supposed to do, huh? Look ,you guys are great and always there, but you don’t know me like she did. At least that’s what I thought. “
Avantika gives a puzzled look. “What did you do?”
“I texted her saying my mother is dead.”
He covers his face with his hands and takes a long breathe again. “You know what she replied? I am sorry for your loss. That. Yeah. No call or a rush to the house. But a text. I haven’t received such texts even from acquaintances.You know who talks like that? A stranger.”
“Do you know how it feels to be completely naked with someone?”His voice breaks. “To be so weak and vulnerable in front of them and still get the assurance that you are safe. You tell them your fears, hopes, problems, secrets and secrets of secrets. They do the same or atleast they tell you they are doing the same. You feel strong to beat the odds- the odds that yours is just another naïve and clichéd fairytale in a world which does not believe in one.”
“Trust flows from you without any choice. And then that thin glass of blind trust breaks. Did you ever prepare for that? Of course not. I know I was no angel or anything. And it has been a year. The world has moved on. There were millions of breakups after mine. But these people, who gather in the name of love, how do they move on when it was so real? Do they not feel more than anger and pain over a broken heart? What about responsibility? A person spilled himself out to you. What about honouring his trust? Don’t love him. But be there because only you know a few things. Maybe you know everything. Like how worried he is about life after he loses his parents. Like how he confided in you that he did not feel weak anymore because he knew you would be there as his rock. Love is not everything. There is kindness too. The two of them don’t have to be the same all the time. You can be kind and not love and you can love but not be kind. There was no bad blood. I did not hit her. We did not cheat. We ended because it didn’t work anymore. That does not mean I wanted to lose my Safe. My safe of everything. I just… was I blind? Huh? Tell me.”

“Well” Avantika sighs. “You sure know how to pick them. We need to get you into a course which helps you understand the nature of people. I am not sure who teaches that. And where. But you my friend need help. Because you suck at picking people.”
They both burst into laughter.
“My Mother is dead.”Tears and loud sobs ooze out of Vikram as Avantika hugs him. He cries viciously and murmurs continuously.
But Boys Don’t Cry.

Meanwhile, in a city far from them,
 “I am telling you man, you should have listened to me".
Arya was shouting at the top of voice on the phone. He suddenly gets another call on his phone.
“Wait Rishi I am going to have to call you back.”
“Hello Arya. This is Zoey’s mother .I need to talk to you. Zoey has cancer. She has been in the City hospital for the past three months. You should come meet her, right now if possible.”
Arya responded with silence. Only few things kept encircling his mind-“Nope. I did not just hear it. It is not true.”
“Okay.” He hangs up.
Arya arrives at the hospital at 10 in the night. He sees a pensive woman sitting at the waiting area.
“She...she is fine now. They surgically removed the cancer but her chemo will continue for a while. She has been saying your name since the past one month. She would come back from her therapy and in her trance; she would repeatedly say your name. I thought you should meet her, she will never admit it, but she wants you by her side.”
Arya nods his head as he is unable to process the words he just heard and believe them even less.
However, when he walked into a room directed by Zoey’s mother, he had no choice but to believe it.
There laid Zoey and it would be so easy to not recognise her. Her hair, which she had always been proud of and cared for was gone. She looked pale. Arya had seen her in great pain before, but never this. Even with her eyes closed, he understood that she was going through something unfamiliar and it had taken a huge toll on her.
He sat next to her.”I will stay. If you guys need to go, you can go.”
“We will be outside . Call us if she needs anything” said her father.
Arya was dazed and confused. Zoey.  His Zoey for almost 4 years. They had parted ways eight months back. Neither of them knew the intricacies or the broad details of either person’s life thereafter. There was seething bitterness and anger in the end.
But that was the last thing on his mind. In fact, there was nothing on his mind. It was blank. He just wanted to do one thing-to look at her.
Zoey opened her eyes and on seeing Arya, closed them again.
“Hiya Stranger.”
“Hiya Back.” Zoey replied while rubbing her eyes.
“Who? What…..My mother.”
Arya nodded his head.
“Oh my ….. Please hand me my scarf over there….I...”
“I actually dig your new hairstyle.”
Zoey gives him an all too familiar look. It was the “I-do-not-believe- you” look.
She insisted on the scarf and as always, got what she wanted.
“So, I look hideous now. You must be thrilled that you broke up with me before such monstrosity took over me. Probably u must have wished it on me.”
Arya gave a smirk.”Classic. Firstly, we broke up because of you. I just said what was already pretty evident. Secondly, I did not wish awful things on you, sometimes in anger maybe, but never anything like this. I also do not think you look hideous.”
“Oh, so you have wished bad things for me.?”
“Seriously, THAT’s what you get out of it? You never change Zoey do you? That is why you make it so hard to keep on loving you.”
Suddenly, silence enveloped the once loud room.
“Glad to know the love is gone from both sides.”
“I am pretty sure it went away first from your heart.”
“Arya” Zoey cried in a low voice.”Why are you being so cruel? I am in no condition to fight. I am really sorry I broke your heart...”
“No honey, you broke my heart many times. When you would do things just to hurt me, when you would repeatedly try to break us up by telling me to walk away or always saying that we will never work and impulsively doing something just to defy me. No, you broke my “fickle minded heart” many times. But with your last act, you burned it. You burned my heart and then seasoned it with a salt of defiance. And you were even about to eat it. But that is when my balls hit my brain and told me that I had suffered enough.”
“Arya I told you I am sorry for what I did...”
“Please do not revisit it. I have to relive it every day, the lying and the betrayal. I am not here right now to talk about all of this. I am not even sure why I am here. When your mother called me, I even hesitated. But I knew that I would not sleep until I saw you tonight. We promised each other many things in love. But just because we broke up, does not mean you don’t tell your former best friend that you have cancer.”
“I am angry about that. Yes we ended. Yes it was not as pretty as we hoped. But 3 months and not even once u tell me “Hey I am battling for my life”. He sighed.
“I did not think you would be interested. I remember you looked at me as if you wished me dead.”
Arya was amazed. But he still understood where Zoey was coming from. He held her hand and asked her,”Forget about all of this. How are you? Tell me everything.”
They talked. Those endless talks. Just like before. When topics were few, useful even less but neither of them wanted to leave or to hang up. It seemed that life could end but not these talks.
It was 1 am when Zoey’s mother entered the room and told Arya that he should go home and rest. Arya reluctantly left, promising to come the next day.
At 12 pm, Arya flings open the door of Zoey’s room. Zoey and her parents are startled.
“Hey! I got you your favourite soup. Already checked with your doctor, you can have it.”
“Arya… you shaved your head.”
“Yeah. How does it look?”
“You did it for me so that I do not feel weird. God! When will you be mature? You are a Guy! You do not understand how a girl feels when she has a shaved head!”
This was the cue for her parents to leave.
“Ok. First things first I did it so that you understand that it is not a big deal. It will grow back. Secondly, stop with your “oh you are a guy, you won’t understand” jibe. Yes I have male genital organs. Sorry. I was born with them. If I had them replaced when we were dating… well can you imagine that? That must bum you out more than me not understanding. Unless you were cool with being a lesbian, in which case I would’ve loved you even more.”
Zoey laughed loudly till her eyes were wet. She had not laughed in months. He wasn’t that funny and yet, the laughter wasn’t forced.
Arya poured the soup and gave it to her.
 “Arya, What are we?”
“Sweetheart, do we give a rat’s furry ass about what we are? The people will want to know. But have I ever cared about the people? No right?”
Zoey nods.
“Then shut the hell up and eat your damn soup!”
Zoey smiles and eats.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

The Writer Who Loved Me

   20th June,2020.
                         It is finally done. It doesn't seem weird at all. Your body doesn't undergo any change except the daily food abuse ,the hours of cosmetic transformations ,exhaustion from the long ceremonies and even more so from the dancing. I guess I did kick it up a notch with my moves at the reception. He didn't seem too pleased though. The ceremonies and the long bouts of hunger can make anyone weary I guess.
                          I was pleased though that there were no tears shed by me at the ceremony. It felt good to be reassuring to my parents that I am still here. A sudden panic was about to set in inside the car but thankfully he held my hand and I was able stop the surge of emotions from riding down my cheeks. He showed me a note he wrote for himself in the morning.
" Yes. It's scary. But it's ok. It's her. Don't screw this up.You are ready."

He described it as a pep-talk. I found it childish and sweet.  But ever since I read those words, something has plagued my mind which forces me to be writing it all out on a page at the hotel on the first morning as a married woman. Someone else dominated my thoughts instead of my husband, when for all practical purposes, I should be utterly and hopelessly happy about this new chapter. Let's call him "The Writer".
                          Socially awkward. Brilliant when he opens his mouth. Slightly arrogant and aloof. These were just some of the things you could conclude by observing him over three months. And observation was all you could do since he would rarely talk. There was nothing remarkable about his physical looks or body language except the obvious- he was going to be a bald youth. I did make attempts at befriending or striking a conversation with the nerd in my usual friendly manner. Conversations had to be dragged out of him and you could easily deduce that he didn't trust anyone. And one day serendipitously, he decides to trust me.
                           The socially awkward turned out to be an emotional and vulnerable person ,suddenly divulging his deepest secrets to me. And then even you are comfortable sharing them back. The mistakes, the likes, the dislikes, the stories of the past and, the memories which still refuse to leave you. There is an air of informality and comfort which you get when for once there is someone listening to your monologues and strangely, you are equally curious to listen back to what they want to say. Suddenly, in this whole "someone to talk to", love pops its ugly head.
                           When things are going good and brisk in your bachelorette life of no consequences, your friend comes upto you and tells you that he likes you. My reaction? Flattered at first. It even makes sense since the poor loser had no one to talk to. I dismissed it as some temporary crush which will just wane away in a matter of time. But then slowly the feelings started to become more tangible.
                          When a normal guy falls in love with you, it is pretty cliched. He will text and flirt with you all the time and repeatedly ask you out. But when a writer falls (or claims to fall) for you, he will make things extremely weird. There will be poems and letters written which will never be understood at first glance. He will send you quotes and movie references as if they will make you fall for him. He in particular, had a severe problem with reality. He lived in the land of dreams, hopes and expectations. Now there is nothing wrong with dreaming, but you can't just live on it. And you have no right to bring someone down with your hopes and expectations. There would be the incessant cynical rants and complaints followed by intense claims and promises. I was busy taking them at face value and never allowed myself to delve deep in thinking about them. I kept telling him that I was at a point in my life where I didn't want anyone in my life. Besides, we had nothing in common and there were quite a few signs that he would make a possessive partner. I kept saying that I didn't want to hurt and lose him so I was trying to be distant to protect him. But perhaps it was me I was distancing myself from, to nip any remotely affectionate feelings in the bud and stop myself from losing the control I had fought so hard to gain after the breakup. He didn't stop.
                            There would be reminders and the ensuing fights. After a brief period of time, he seemed to finally get the point. He wanted to settle for being my best friend as a consolation prize. I agreed without giving much thought. "Few months then I never see him again, no harm in leading on". Something in me would be repelled by him and at the same time when he would write something for me, I could not help but be amazed. I would keep reiterating it to him-"It won't work. We are different people.I know it". He would retort saying that I wasn't Nostradamus and could not accurately predict the future. In hindsight, he was right. The years following my departure from the city were beyond and under my wildest expectations. My tastes, beliefs and views changed or I ensured I changed them to attract someone or some things in life. I fell for people I would never have even been associated with and every time they would break my heart, I would remember the one who loved me and whom I didn't say yes for even a single date.
                             The last few weeks are a bit hard to remember. I was so sick and tired by the end that I just continued on as a matter of civility. He was able to construe that his friend was tired of him. He came over to say goodbye before I left for my post-graduation. He handed me a couple of pages saying it was a story he had written with me in mind. I concealed my disgust at that being his idea for a gift, with every ounce of acting talent I could muster. He gave me a tight hug saying he had always thought we would be friends for a long time because there was no one he could be this open with. But he knew I had no such intention or resolve and that he would be replaced by someone else tomorrow.
                            He said two more words before he left, almost broken. What was it?....I remember being puzzled by it for days. These writers love their puns and metaphors and torture us in unravelling their mysteries. I haven't heard from him in six years. The grapevine tells me that he is doing fine with some business of his own. The writing seems to have worked, but in a very small way. He has been dating someone for a couple of years. She must be having her own personally crafted Bible by now I predict, filled with inscrutable poems,letters, confessions and love from him. 

                          I made the right choice. An overtly emotional fool with no definite source of income and lack of traditional life goals (get a job, build a career ) is not someone you can place your heart with. There was also no guarantee we would have even lasted, was there?
                          Now is not the time for me to atone the past or second guess. I have a smart and well-settled man who loves me and I love him. " What If"!! That is what he told me with tears in his eyes. His last words were "What If". Will I ask myself "What If"? Or he was talking to himself? I guess we will never know.

                          I still have his story though. I do read it occasionally. Did he get me even when I didn't get myself? Best to not go there. Writers can write anything they want, anytime. That is their talent. Doesn't mean they mean everything. Atleast that's what I will tell myself. I am sure he is happy without me and I am definitely happy. There was no dying need, romantic drama or destiny here. We both made it.
                                                             But......What If?                                                           

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Who Do We Think We Are?

Born by luck into the world,
Rich or poor was never a choice,
Yet punished and rewarded are we for it,
Who do we think we are?

"Look at her-the size of a planet"
Perfection is that which the papers said.
Let me judge her for the mass on the scale,
Because nothing else matters.

"Study.Ace it.Good Money.Good Life."
Followed the ladder all you could,
Had a slip as you climbed,
Now you are out of the race,
So long and Goodbye.

"Tell me a bunch of lies which sound good,
Sit there perfectly and impress me to give you a job."
System is broken but it doesn't matter,
It was done this way and will be done again,
In five minutes I will know all about you,
Except the things which truly mattered.

"What cowards they are? Gave up on life so soon."
Talk as if your life is so smooth,
Did you know the pain and suffocation in their heart?
"All life is Holy" is not just a slogan,
Talk when it is your point of action,
To give hope and love to all those who need,
And prove that there is more to life than misery.

All because she wears what she feels?
Something the world calls Fashion,
Plastered and coveted all around,
Good to see on models in magazines,
But the sister, wife or girlfriend wears it,
Lock them up for it’s a crime committed.

Good to see women in clubs,
Just not good enough to take them home,
"She better listen to me when I talk,
Or I have a right to hit her when I want."
Let her have education so that she makes me proud at parties,
Just not enough to make her stop relying on me.

"Consent is a matter of opinion."
But in every language you search,
"No" has never meant "Yes".
And after they mutilate life beyond recognition,
"Boys will be Boys; she should have been careful."
Who do "beings with penises" think they are?

He is cute, strong and stable,
The other is just ugly, weak and a mess,
Let him love me as much he wants,
A real man is only tall, handsome and successful.

"You call him X and I call him H,
Let us fight because the names don't match."
Pieces of stones fight over a being,
Neither has ever seen.
He exists that is for sure,
As long as you love him,
What is there to squabble for?

"The world is too big,
Let me think about me."
Little fleeting moments of kindness I pass,
To gain that materialistic object I think I want,
Not knowing who I stepped over and crushed,
In my greed for my wants.

I will rebuke you for your flaws and inadequacies,
Call you names for mirth and laughter,
Kindness feels good but is so boring,
Vanity is easy to believe than humility,
Alas! Humanity is such a scarcity.

Changed the world and reshaped it,
Perverted the forces we couldn't grasp,
"He made me the supreme being,
I am the king of all I deem fit."

We fixed things that were never broken,
And ignored those which were almost extinct,
As we wrote our chapter of self-destruction,
We failed to ask even once-
Who Do We Think We Are?

Saturday, 19 July 2014

I Cover You

Painting By-Alex Alemany

I cover you,
From the head to the toe,
Every inch of the freckle,
To the tiniest cell which grows,
I cover you.

From all your perfections to the flaws,
The anger inside and the fear you don’t show,
From the hatred for me to the secrets you keep,
I cover you.

From that bright shiny smile and thoughts,
To the dark and lonely truths,
I cover you,
Even if you don’t want me to.

From that heart which is kept locked away,
To the brain which always says no,
The hesitance and doubts which work against me,
To the feeling which never comes,
I cover you.

From the glitter of the smile,
To the cold wet plains of tears,
From the strength and bravery you have,
To the kindness you bestow here and there,
From the edges of your ears,
To the slight touch of your fingers,
From swaying to the beats,
To the laughter which deafens me,
From all that is good and pure,
To that which stales and rots,
I cover you.

Have me or not,
Take me or not,
Abandon me or not,
No one will cover you,
Like I do.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Love In The Time Of Emoticons.

Footsteps greet an empty Mumbai Street on a dark night. A young man struts towards the main road. His eyes are focused on the phone in his hand, barely conscious of the road ahead. His fingers are busy, sometimes working faster than time itself.

He: Hi
She: Hellooo
He: How's the family vacation?
She: Going good.But I miss you.
He:I miss you too.
She: :) Liar
He: Caught me :)
He: So... I was on Facebook. Saw your precious ex commenting on your new dp-"Beautiful Day"
She: Why are we talking about him?
He: Because you told me you were going to Phoenix to meet Neha. I just want the truth.
She: So you think I lied to you? Wow.
He: Everybody Lies. Especially the people we think can't.
She: Fuck You.
He: Don't curse. It looks evasive. Please just answer the question.
She: No! You jerk of a man. I was with Neha and he ran into us. I let him off with a casual Hi. He is just trying to show that he still matters in my life to create a discord. Thank you for making him win.
He:......Sorry. I just thought you would have mentioned it.
She: Didn't think it was important enough. Frankly, didn't even remember it. Are you satisfied Your Honor?
She: Fuck Off.
He: I was very very wrong. I just don't want history to be repeated.
She: For that you will gladly ruin the present.I am so tired today. On one hand my grandmother gives me this long sermon on how we got love wrong. She is like everyday you have your love in hand, on your fingertips. That is not love. You laugh with him in your hand. You fight with him in your hand. You cry with him in your hand. I didn't realize I loved your grandfather even after your father was born. It was in those 3 months that he was not home that I realized I loved him. I went from an insecure frightened woman who needed him to a strong, independent woman who cherished him. Where is the space? Where is the pain and learning? How do you cherish something which never leaves? How do you value something when you have everything? We trivialize things which are in abundance, sooner or later.
She: Most harrowing hour of my life.And then my Boyfriend the Great adds to it. Do you even care about me? I think not. Simply a badge value to show off.
He: You know that is not true.
She: Whatever.I am done. Switching my net off. Leave Me Alone.
She leaves the chat but he still continues typing.
He was still busy staring at the phone screen when the first blow hit his head. A masked man quickly retrieved his bag and wallet. His accomplice gave a damaging blow with another iron rod. This was followed by another blow to the head. They fled leaving the ground red with their actions.
With the last iota of strength, the man picks up his phone and presses a name, thinking “For the Last time”.

Miles away, her phone is ringing. She looks at the name and stares for few seconds. She cuts the call with viciousness and throws her phone away in the corner. There was not enough breathe left in him to try calling again and as it turns out, even live. A few minutes later, the ambulance came to collect a lifeless body.

A few hours had gone by before she saw her phone again. A message was waiting for her on chat:
"You will have to circle the whole world twice, go back to all the ages of time gone by and be born seven more times, before you can find someone who even remotely cares about you as much as I do."
 There was just no one to reply to anymore....

Thursday, 24 April 2014

They Didn't Care

 The globe moved, the trees grew,
Happiness swept and pain flew,
Anger ruled and fear drew,
But those two, if only they knew,
They didn't care.

The serpents came to bite them off,
But they stood there and smiled on,
Soon the serpents joined them too,
You cannot trust someone so slithery,
But not like they cared.

People howled and laughed,
Poked them all around,
Made mock of their foolishness,
And that silliness called love.
They walked away.
They just didn't care.

There were tons ready to meet,
Even more wanting to greet,
But these two were lost in each other,
It was infuriating for those who saw
A curse for those without love,
Soon stones were thrown at them,
But those drunken fools didn't care.

They were ecstatic when happy,
Destructive when angry,
Dead when sad and even worse when bored,
But she was his everything,
And for her,he was even more.

"It is too much. Stop it." the ancestors claimed,
"I am deaf to your ills against her"
"She is no alien. She is me. That part I yearned to be ."
"I am better and worse. I am vibrant and suicidal. I am glory and shame."
"But I am what I was meant to be.And it is all because of She."

"He is hurting you. Can't you see?" the soul sister screamed.
"I see everything-the anger, the flaws, the poison and jealousy.
I see that which the world misses- the pain, the beauty, the nobility and the honesty.
He is not perfect, not even close.But he is what he needs to be- the everything of me."

These "daft" creatures stayed,
In this naive little world of theirs,
To wrinkle and stay together.
The world rebuked and laughed,
Do you think they will ever adhere?

As the dawn of life approaches, She begs him to let go.
"I was born to perish with you." He defies
"Leave me now and be something for the world"
"My world is right here breathing"
Soon came the cloak of Death,
As his beloved lied there still.

A lifetime spent fighting away
The riches, the logic, the hate
The success which the world craves,
The acceptance others rave.
They defied it all away.
But if that was not blasphemous enough,
What is next will push you away.

He holds his beloved close to the heart,
Weeps in her breathless skin,
A tight embrace of a weak old man,
In this embrace he sighs his last,
Some say it was the dagger he used,
The wise know that it was the pain in his heart.

As they lie there lifeless,
The world finally sees the hidden,
How two souls which came to this cursed heaven,
Leave now as one.
The world couldn't seduce them,
The earthly pleasures were meaningless,
For they died in love eternal.
"Aren't you apalled at this travesty?
What could they make with their lives and instead chose love.
Fools they were, not worthy of this world."
The world questioned and moved on even faster,
The martyrs of love were busy in heaven,
Because they still didn't care.