Should You?

Have you ever paused just for the sake of it? You know, standing still on an old path, in the midst of a swarm… rushing through life just like you.
You find yourself greeting a strange kind of silence in that one moment. A silence, almost too magnetic for you to ever wish for a breakthrough. 


There are voices all around you.


Behind you, is a woman in her mid-twenties, shouting at someone on her phone. On one side, there’s a young man, with a baby in his arms. The baby chuckles as he speaks to it; his eyes though, are too worn to smile a full smile.
On the other side, there is an old woman, with a tired hunched back, passing glances to her frail hand hanging in the air. Is she trying to recollect how her lover’s arm used to feel around it?


In front of you, is a bright white light; around you, are people, as good as moths, rushing towards it. Yet you are not… should you?

To the one who is yet to bloom

To the one who is yet to bloom, 

Sketch Credit: Gauri Walecha

I see you…You have waited! You stood your ground when the Earth began to shake, you swam through the roughest of waters, you held your home when a storm took everything away… you waited through all yet never yelled a single curse!

I see you… and you are the strongest I have ever seen!

Now you have begun to run out of patience. Little things don’t dawn smiles over you anymore but leave you behind with risen haste. 
You have lost faith. 
You have lost strength. 
You have lost hope. 

The thick skin that you once grew, is now into ruins and you… you know you can’t take the pain anymore. 

So, what do you choose now? Defeat?
I don’t blame you… Neither do I blame the darkness. 

But I do blame something…
I blame those mouths who kept telling you how you must have achieved glory by a certain age. 
I blame those minds who came up with a structure to confine people’s lives. 
I blame those hands that had the audacity to strangle you into these chains.

But you? No, I don’t blame you!

Instead, 
I am standing by your side and cheering for you, making sure that my voice is louder than the taunts yelled at you.
I am waiting for you, on the other side of the finishing line with my arms wide stretched, ready to pull you in an embrace the moment you reach.

Who am I, you ask? 

I am the one meant to show you the right path.
I am here to hold your hand and guide you as you walk.
… and, as long as you follow me, I promise everything will be alright.

Just don’t stop! For me… don’t stop!

With love,
Your heart.

You will heal…

Glass boxes don’t sing lore to the warriors of freedom when the skies fall and the watersPSX_20200424_213616 rise. But, skies don’t fall and waters don’t rise in vain; they sob in vile.

There are a number of things that may conjure disdain into this world, but no other blade yearns to be struck with thunder as much as the one sitting on the hilt of heartbreaks.

Sword hilts, I believe, are haunted; rather cursed.

They hold power, enough to crown a head; they hold sin, enough to behead a crown. The hands which happen to hold these swords may either bring freedom or threaten it; regardless, blood is shed and scars are left to taint hearts for ages to come.

Ages; since ages, men have been driven to worship their own strength in the name of blind pride;
and pride, though may seem like a forbidden ally to the sung masters, is nothing but a thirst;

A deep unquenchable thirst sitting at the edge of our tongues, making us blurt rage and breathe revenge.
Pride is nothing but a cry for help; a veil hiding our scars ever so elegantly.

But veils fall and masks rot in due time; what is hidden can’t be hidden forever.

One day, you will see, you will see for yourself.
When the skin on your bones will feel too plastic to be alive and the heart in your chest will feel too alive to have gone dead.
When what’s whole will seem broken and what’s broken will feel safe.

Then.. you will hear, you will hear for yourself.

You will hear how beautifully you may have chanted the prayers of freedom if you wouldn’t have dug graves for your own tongue.
You will smile at your flaws and you will kiss your own scars.
You will sing in the chorus of joy and pray for peace in the choir of blatant hatred.

And when that day arrives… You will heal!

Hiraeth

Water flows through creeks and crevices of withered mountains when it rains over their pride ridden heads.
Heads, as they say, are meant to be held high; necks, as we have seen, break under the curse of ego sometimes.

In the end, if you don’t step over this grandeur and pay courtesy to love, a weak neck will make you fall into it someday.

Such are the tales of love gone rogue.
Such are the tales of life.


In life, we wander; we walk through the fields, we smile through the hearts, we fly through the skies and we swim through the waters; regardless, we wander.

Our skin hides behind rags; we sleep on dirt, under the dirt. We wash faces with the stream of our own tears, we feed on abandoned hearts and we gather memories; hand-picking charms and feathers on our way to nowhere.


Nowhere… is a place. An empty void, hanging somewhere in the middle of the air. It has walls, they are dark; so dark that they surpass the physical possibilities of darkness; so dark that they are mere shadows.

Nowhere… is a halt. A refuge away from the dank fluidity into the deserted narrow lanes of random oil strokes; the strokes are sharp; they stab sometimes and you may fall, but you will fall into nothing but comfort.


Journeys are like stories, and your footprints are like splattered ink, left behind by a broken nib. The writer, though, is fate; and it’s no less of a clown who knows magic.

You are the reader, more of a dazed one. You follow the plot, and by each passing metaphor, you age.
But… it is not before the evening that you begin to see your clown’s folly.

It is not before the evening that you have read these metaphors well enough to spot when they repeat.

By the night, though, all of it makes sense to you-
You were going around in circles.

You were running around like a lost child, looking for her mother.
Alas, you would only find yourself at the same place at the end of each hour.

Why?
Because… that place, in the middle of this huge endless crowd, was the last place where this world felt safe to you.

That was the last time when you held your mother’s hand, and each time you get closer to this tiny piece of land, the feeling of ‘being home’ washes all your exhaustion away.

But… Do you ever reach home?
No!

Hiraeth brings along a sense of unquenchable insanity, and you have no choice but to drown!

“Hiraeth- a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past”

clichés.

It is a fresh sunny day. You are strolling on this narrow street beside a park, listening to children giggling, riding high on their summer spirits.
The grass is tender. It is like a newborn baby that just made its way out of its mother’s womb; too scared to face the world, but too pure to feel the fear.
It is the peak of June. You are at the noon of your life, and if you were to paint this scene on a vacant white canvas, you would call your painting nothing but ‘Nostalgia’.

I am a poet, and I have been writing for as long as I can remember. Through my rendezvous with the tunes of Mozart and the legends of Shakespeare, I have found art, but not so much so as I have found ‘homes’.

Homes of all kinds and virtues. Some were simple; naked bricks on the outside and stained whites in their hearts. Others, though, were grand; they poured charm with their stature only to lure people into the shenanigans of their discomfort.

Regardless of what I say, these were ‘homes’. More so, these were the voids that were ‘once homes’. They were the clichés which we often find scattered like loose glitter; metaphors that decorate our poems.
Their residents left them to mother sentiments in the due course of history; what happened was just that!

Humans, of all things, have always been fascinated by clichés.
Why?
Because clichés make us feel safe. They take us back to a world that was once our concrete paradise a few heartaches ago.

People often denounce poetry to sing lore for the clichés; they call out poets to be lazy and frugal.
But there’s a lot that the world fails to understand about poetry.
There is no poem half as beautiful as the one woven by our memories. There is no metaphor half as endearing as nostalgia.
Clichés don’t need a poet’s pen to flow through a poem; they are exquisite poems all by themselves.

Bone china

These days, I find myself swooning over lazy afternoon naps. I may have found a strange solace in the cruel lucidity of my dreams. Well, it’s strange how sleep is my refuge in ‘our’ memories, away from the worn relics.

So, this afternoon, after I was done meandering in my beautiful dreams, I woke up…

I woke up to the taste of honey, dancing at the tip of my tongue.

An hour later, I stood there, with hot pancakes piled over my plate and the memoirs of my peaceful sleep hanging down my lashes. Warm soul hugging-fragrance of pancakes bathed in the gleaming yellows of honey… and that is how I paint winter on a white plate of bone china.

The glass jar sat in a lonely corner of the mahogany table, basking under hushed shadows of the evening twilight. Sliding into a chair, I grabbed a spoon and unscrewed the lid.

First spoon…

Second spoon…

And the third one to waltz on its way, from the tip of my tongue to the cusp at its end.

And… Ahhh! It stung! I gagged at the bitterness, stomped the plate against the table and then leaned back in my chair, frowning at the sugary scam that just stabbed me in my throat.

Right in front of my house, there is an old Sheesham tree. It has been there for years now and I wonder if it has ever heard me cry in the silence of lonely midnights… for, when I wake up to the dawns of such nights, I find some wilted leaves mourning at the ground underneath and the tree feels a little naked without them.

Four years ago, I walked up to it and drew a heart against your name, with the tip of my finger. Oh! Don’t worry, no one came to know… but, now when I walk past that well-kept secret…

The wind blows;

Leaves rustle;

And I look at the tree and sigh back… We have a language of our own.

I mean… of course, it has seen it all! From that dreamy smile, when you walked past that door for the first time… to that sly spark in my eyes, when our lips touched; from those quiet questions that yearned to leave my lips, when you left the door frowning… to that lonely sigh when you didn’t choose to return.

I am afraid… it knows way too much for comfort! I might have failed to hide the piercing hatred my eyes spat in the last four years.

I am afraid that the tree breathed in the poison of my rage, flowers wilted in the ruthless fire of my pain and some lost bees took that nectar away…

I am afraid… that those broken pieces of my heart burnt in my throat today… I am afraid that you left our story behind… and it lives here with me… I am afraid!

Dear ‘home’

We live in a lost world.
We are wanderers, miserable vagabonds!
We feed on anger and breathe out fires, then cry at the sight of burnt cities and homeless hearts.
We gulp tears and our eyes bleed, then we frown at the sight of spilled gore.
We smoke ashes, bathe in swamps, wear mere shreds of envy and then flaunt our prides.
Such is our foolery.
And, in a world as lost as ours, we dream of love and preach its beauty.
Sing it to glory.
I believe; hiding behind our quest for bliss, we are at strife for a ‘home’.
Enraged by our solitude and grieving our nostalgia…we are demons!
We are demons, hiding behind a charming bouquet of scented paper roses.
We hawk those flowers and break inside the deserted hearts of our patrons, vowing to fill their void with nectar and honey.
But….
We are hungry bandits!
We rob them off their peace and leave them to suffer in the torment of heartbreak.
Dear ‘home’,
I know; I know that you are lost in this pack of howling misers and you fear the day when you will have to wake up… to the nightmare of a shattered heart and an empty soul.
I know; I know that you want to find your ‘home’, as much as I want to find you.
But… what assures you, that our greed won’t take over and we won’t abandon each other, as soon as we catch our breathes and the sores on our feet stop oozing blood?
What assures you, that our ‘forever’ won’t be just another voice in the piercing cacophony of lies and that our ‘happy ending’ will not abide to the taunting title of ‘crippled rainbows and fantasies’?
Dear ‘home’,
Don’t you fret the horror… It may be lying at the end of our quests?
Isn’t ‘homelessness’ a bliss, when the walls of your abode chase the daylight out of your life?
With love,
From the ‘home’ that you may never find.

Abyss

Have you ever stared down the demonic depths of a dingy abyss?

Or

Have you ever felt that sudden urge to resign…when those dark eyes of lucid heights call you?

If not… then allow my words,
To take you,
Through the tranquilizing horror,
And the anxiety-ridden silence,
Of that moment.

That moment when life knocks you down,
You hit your head on the cold and rough floor;
The world goes dead;
Your feet go numb;
Your eyes meet the dark;
And your ears…
Your ears embody those maniacs,
Who talk to the hushed nights
And claim to have learnt the secrets of life.
Those maniacs might be poets!!

Anyhow…

That moment, my friend…
Can be the death of your soul.
That moment, my friend…
Can bequeath you with scars…so deep;

So deep…
That an artist won’t shy away before carving them onto a stone and shouting out loud,

“Has the world ever seen a carve so abstract?”

You… my friend,
Will be standing in that crowd of mute spectators,
About to raise your hand to claim that,

“This is the relic to my crippling agony!”

But…
Those words will never leave your lips;
Your teeth will bite your tongue before it sins to let them out!

Why?

Because…
When you take your pain and pour it onto those words;
When those words escape your mouth and reach some ears;
Then… your pain comes to life;

It becomes your “Forever”!

Dawn

The night smothered you,
With the smoke that rose above,
The burnt remains
Of your tender heart.

Now…
Now, your lungs ache,
Your guts lie,
Tied in knots,
Churning,
Wringing your life out of you.

Coiled like a foetus,
Drenched in tears,
Is that you?
Who carved these scars
Deep… in the tenders of your skin.
Is that a memoir
To your unworthy sin?

Pulling your hair,
Clenching your jaw,
Is that you?
Who strangled that beauty,
Over the rotting remains,
Of the fantasy of a paradise?

I know…
I know my friend,
You’ve waited for the dawn…
Like the staunch nightingale,
Waits for the last of the amber,
To fade away.

Don’t you fall prey,
To your bouts of fear!
Don’t you dare concede,
To the taunts,
Blurted by the deadly demons,
Of your crippling anxiety…!

For…
The dawn mustn’t shine
On your grave….

Hearts to console…

Fallacy…

When I walked through….

I pushed the door aside and rested my foot on the ground, in hopes of finding fresh and young grass, waiting for me, excited to tingle the sole of my feet!

I pushed the door aside and took a deep breath, in hopes of finding a sweet and flowery scent, waiting for me, excited to warm my heart!

I pushed the door aside and slowly opened my eyes, in hopes of adoring the beauty of nature, waiting for me, excited to calm my senses!

But…I found myself standing in the middle of spiny scrubs, thorns piercing through the sole of my feet; the rotten smell filled my heart with agony; the carcass that made me feel eerie!

They said… this was, once, a paradise!
They said… they are sorry for not showering it with love!

My heart cried for the forgotten paradise!
My soul wailed for the bereaved hearts!