Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Only If


 I still remember the day they came home. Every minute details. Everytime I think of it these details seem to compete with my pain to get noticed. It is not the day, but details. All that I heard. My feelings. What it smelt like. And all that I had seen.
The clear sky. The clouds scattered all around. The knock on the wooden door. They asked for you. You. They did not know, maybe, that you were never home. Except for a few nights I saw Ma weeping. You, the sole breadwinner. Still Ma stood up for you, to make the void you left filled. And that was the last day I had a family. I had hidden myself under the cot. Camouflaging with the dusty newspaper and the old green trunk. I had seen the brown sturdy pair of boots coming towards me. For me. It carried along the scent of death. Fear. Stench. Of sweat. Of my wet trousers.
The boots had found me. I was pulled out. And I wished for darkness, where I could dissolve in. Darkness like Ma failed to fight for my safety.
Innocence dripped from my tears. I cried for Ma. But she had become a heap of silence. No more words. No more life. My pleas drowned as bullets spoke. Boots spoke. And when you came back the nest Ma had built for us had become rubble and remains. I hugged you. Threw myself into you to feel safe. I cried. Pain bled. The boots had earned that day an 8 year old's hatred. Uncorrupted. Pure and intense. As deep as my love for Ma. As deep as my pain of having lost her. Hatred.
Ma, but never taught me to hate. And I believed my pain was hatred.
Time heals, I was told. But wounds were all that healed. Scars remained. Along with it the pain too. Having had to live without Ma for two years pain had become my only ally.
"I hid under the desk, waiting for my death." He told having had survived the bullets. Though the words were his the pain wasn't strange to me. I heard my voice in his words. My past. My life.And I too shuddered in fear as the world talked of the 140 lives. Only that but this time the boots were my Baba's.
And now, I do not know whom to hate. The boots that made people who wore them bad? The boots that had silenced my Ma? Baba?
But who deserved hatred? Ma had told none. And I know no better than that.
Only if I could get to lay my head on Ma's lap. Live her smile and lullaby. Only if the world got lessons on love. Only if Ma had taught them all to love. Only if the world had grown beyond this blame game of hatred. Only if anyone tried to understand. Only if!

Cause, hatred never heal wounded souls.




Sunday, 14 December 2014

A Letter To You - 1

Letters are always special. And trust me, nothing more than a handwritten letter can be a wonderful gift. It feels beautiful to know that someone out there penned down their heart in a piece of paper, smeared them with shades of the ink and addressed it to you.
These letters are those I scribbled in my diary. To not to be send. Do not ask me why I'm sharing them here. Cause, all I'm doing is making this my *personal* blog.
#LettersToYou


A letter to you whom I saw today

We met today. For a sparsely few moments our paths met, at the crossroad. You know what I saw of you first, the intense red painted lips. And when I think of you now that is what comes to my mind. Intense red.
A face plunged in rouge. The cheeks forced to blush. The dark kohl lined eyes. All that you made up but came trickling down your forehead to cheeks to chin as droplets of sweats, in shades of dyes you painted yourself.
The golden yellow salwar and crimson kameez. A vivid dupatta. You seemed a rainbow. You spelt colours.
The shingled hair and your malnourished built, but told me nothing of your sex. And I do not know whether to call you my sister or brother.
Yet I laughed. At my guy friend who went jumpy as you approached him. As you pulled his sleeves and caught his wrist. As you tried to "seduce" him.
Tried. You were not more than twenty years old. And let me tell you, weren't born to seduce. You failed. I do not know the tale of your life. But the streets you roamed and lived in now, the masks you wear now, have failed to teach you to seduce. After all you seem to be no more than a piece of flesh and a few colours. A butt of ridicule.
The streets you call home failed you. We, your fellow beings failed you. The world failed you. But you rose above the heights of failure.
And yet you find means to survive. You gather guts, put on masks and struggle to survive. Begging to prostitution to seduction. Begging for someone to share your body. For a few pennies that would keep you alive. Run your family, maybe.
The pain you bury within reflects in those shades you blush in.
You struggle to survive, sell your body. Beg keeping aside your dignity. And I laughed at you. I feel ashamed and am sorry. Sorry. For being able to not send this to you. For being able to do nothing but write this, right now.
I respect you. And wish, hope, and believe you'll find a shoulder once to lean on. A heart that'll understand. And a world that wouldn't shun you out of its horizon.

Yours


Friday, 21 November 2014

Blind

Google is a bliss! And google map a blessing.  As I googled for blue patches near to my place, a larger than usual blue blotch, I saw was prying for my attention.  It wasn’t a *spot* of any kind. And that made me more interested. The next day, grabbing the chance of the normal power cut, we set out. Believing Google Baba who promised that a 6 minute drive would take us there, the plan was clear, a 20 minute walk (so we calculated)!

All thanks to an Uncle who broke our heart by enlightening us with the fact that our destination is some 8 kms away.  Having no heart for a walkathon, we boarded buses (Yup. No straight route :P ). And all along we had for company, excitement of finding a new place, that little joy and bankruptcy.  Well, bankruptcy! That is a tale in itself.

And this was what we found.



            


Away from the pacing world, close
I found a world
Serene. Calm. Beautiful.
By its shore I walked breathing in the visual treat
A path that never seem to end
Water crystal and clear
 Water that mirrored the world around
None there to aww and click selfies
No prodigal DSLRs flashed
No livelihood thrived on the heart of the lake shore
Silence and solitude
A piece of tranquility fallen from clouds spread as water
Longingly smiling at the sky from below
A lake. A wide vast never ending trail
A paradise, I believed

And existed a world on the other side
A world battling to survive
A shore of refuses, a shore of left-overs
Leftover from the brimming world
Dust. Dirt. Filth. But not within.
Shelters. Sheets. Huts. Yet homes. Nests.
 Babies. Hunger. Childhood. Innocence. Smiles.
 A blind eye, I thought would’ve been a boon
 Dampened spirits. Downtrodden life. High flying kites.
Like dreams and hopes
High flying kites of colours many
Kites that peeped below into worlds different from the sky
Unlike the little hearts that flew them, who couldn’t
But dreamt. Hoped.
Were they calling out to us?

Away from the pacing world, yet so close
I found two worlds
Nature’s bounty. Bleeding reality.
Which shall I favour?
What shall I look at? And not?
I had beauty of everyday and -
Today’s pain and tomorrow’s hope to choose from.
Whom shall I listen to?
The cuckoos singing from the green amidst of waters
Or the heart wrenching plea of the hungry infant?

Which eye of mine should be blind?





Thursday, 16 October 2014

A Small World


The traffic bustled on. Fast and unheeding. This pace is always fascinating. Until you are the one pausing, and wishing someone would halt to take a look at you, lend a shoulder, listen. Here, the world was simple. The traffic around and the dark looming bridge above. Beyond this, world meant nothing. Just a few coins thrown out of mercy and the blaring traffic.

They were three. Ripped off from different families. Bound to the same fate. Partners in this struggle called life. Filthy. Puny. Knocking on rolled up windows and pulling down cuffs, pleading for your pity. Alms. None they earned would be theirs. A mother they had to pay to. Mother? A woman who tied the strings of their lives together and gave them the sky of this bridge to sleep under. Drugged. Kidnapped.

Today was but a battle. A fourth character had entered the scene. He and she exchanged words they couldn't fathom. Though colourless, their childhood still was beyond the understanding of such hatred in words. Until they started pulling their little limbs, they didn't know the fight was over them. For them. The man wanted to earn. So the threesome, he wanted to be his. The woman but couldn't let him take away her means of livelihood. Abuses. Physical might. Again abuses. Amidst this hurl of hatred none noticed the smallest of the three being pushed to the centre. Road. Where the world sped through. An undernourished shriek was heard, not beyond a radius of a few ears. Blood was all that splashed and remained.


The phone kept on ringing, until it got tired and chose to be a voicemail. "I'll be late today". She knew that would be his father, the usual call, the same line. She pursued what she was doing. Since past two years. She rocked the cradle, with a faint lullaby in her lips. An old, sad lullaby. She could see him there, smiling in his sleep as she kissed him goodbye and left for the movie. Trust on a maid, she didn't know could shatter her life. Two years. He would be four now. At times, she raised her head and stared at the open door. She believed he would one day walk in, along with the breeze that kept on swinging the door. But he came, never.  Her hope was smeared in the shades of immortality. After all a small box news about a child run-over in a town alien to her city would be what she would never choose to read.
          

Friday, 19 September 2014

A Blessing

She pushed her.
A moment her life sank.
The next she flew.
Fluttering her wings, splashing colors, she flew high.

When she had crawled through her wormy putrid existence,
Sulking and mourning,
She had told her of eyes that defines beauty
Hearts that could love and spread joy.

When she had found the cocoon so hard on her,
The life too dark,
She had dawned, as her sunshine.
Painting the cage colorless, opening the bars,
Wanting her to fly.

The lonely nights she cried,
She, as the dew drops kissed her,
And left her never.

She pushed her.
A moment her life sank.
The next she flew.

As she flew, spreading out her wings, free and happy
She showed her the flowers wither
The farewell sans tears.

She told her of touch that could heal
The petals, withered and fallen.
The eyes that could read and speak.
Words that could hurt and kill.

She fed her with tales of the world
And through Her eyes she saw,
Beauty that breathed in every being.

She taught her the nectar was always sweet,
The one who tastes, requires patience.

Clutching Her fingers she walked,
To a world beyond the horizon.
A world of dreams.
A touch of Hers and colors were born,
In the canvas of her beautiful world.

As the hopes She had sown sprouted in her,
She learned, the valley isn't too dark.
Darkness was just a night away from light.

Every moment she grieved over the unfair life
That entwined their paths so late,
She could hear her heart whisper,
Celebrate, for you have met.

Lessons She taught, graved in her heart,
Words of hers etched within.
Tales She fed her with,
Tears She never let her shed.
The love they shared beyond words and chains.
The warmth.
Blessing, She is to her.


Picture Courtesy : Google Images

 P.S.  Sreelekha Ma'am, this one is for you. You are someone who have touched my life in a thousand ways. And if today I love language, literature, my pen, and words, if today I'm following my dreams, it is all because of  you. And no words ever can describe what I feel for you. Call it love, respect or anything more or less meaningful.  The day you decided to quit teaching, I cried. The tears weren't for I'll miss your classes ( I had finished my schooling then) but I felt bad for the children who would miss being your students. Who would never get to hear you speak about a million little things in life that no one ever bothered to talk about in the classrooms. Who would never get to listen the stories you have told us, the poems you made seem more beautiful, the morals you etched in our minds. The smile you gave us, the knowing glances you threw when you caught us whispering in classes, the little jokes, the singing times, the encouraging pat and the love you had for us. In all true sense of the word, I'm proud to say that I am your student. And blessed to have you in my life.

A very Happy Birthday to you :) Let the smile never fade from your face.

Aamiyude ammummaykk Paruvinte janmadinaashamsakal :)

Monday, 1 September 2014

Beyond





She stared for long at the blank page. The page, filled with the void of words that wouldn't flow out of her heart. She had the words somewhere within her. Like clouds brimming with the yet to be rain, her heart tried to bear the heat of the words she couldn't give voice to. They formed images. Abstract, yet every atom of it made sense. Atleast to her. The words.
She envied the artists; the brush strokes, that would lead them to a heaven of contentment. The canvas. The palette. They were but foreign to her. And the ink that kept her alive, today, seemed dry. Words were evading her.
 She sealed the cap of her pen. What if the ink flows out when alone?  What if they ripple to form the words she concealed from the world? What if?
A walk. Fresh air and the world to look at. That was all she craved for right now. And the lake was always her haven. With the bright darkness of the night by her side, she walked. 
Sitting on the edge of the bridge, her legs swaying to the duet sung by the solemn zephyr and the coy ripple, she gazed at the world and the lights that flickered. The world that rushed never to halt for a moment to live this beauty. The beauty, the world wanted to capture in cameras for the future. The beauty they forget to live. The world seeming no more than blinking neons. Mere points, yet poignant. The world that exist beneath the very clouds as her, but had never seen the clouds. Never known the heartbeats of the lake that silently lived by.
She sat there hand in hand with silence. An entity the world never knew existed. Silence. The one who sought their company to always end up disappointed for they found a better ally in turbulence. Silence.
Like an answer to a call from somewhere within, she stood.
The leaves that flew in the air had always fascinated her. And now she could imagine how light they felt. How free were they? As much as she was. Now.
And within moments she explored a different world. The world of water she had seen only from the surface. The same water that had reflected her. Would it reflect her from inside too? She would find out. Soon.
Finding answers always thrilled her. 
Why this leap into the unknown, the world will muse. And tell tales of how sad it was. But within the sonnets they craft for her never would they sing how much she loved her life. How much she loved herself. And how much dear to her was freedom. The freedom life beyond the skies of this world  gave her. The freedom that unpinned her wings to fly above the world that wanted to cage her. 
Dear world understand, but love was in many ways strange. 
And the words that evaded her, they died too. To be heard never.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

I Apologize

I saw you searching my eyes, for me, within me
For my heart, you thought I had.
All I could do, but turn away.
The heat of your gaze I couldn’t stand,
Blame the conscience. 
Call it my guilt, if you want. 

I saw you polishing my shoes
The perfect black you paint. 
And I throw at you a coin, as the books you crave for,
Burden my satchel.

I was there when you were fed on tears
Waiting for the pizza I ordered.
Salt was to blame.

I was there when your tent was run over
Too comfy inside the AC car.
I saw you at the crossroad,
Longing for a helping hand
Blame the sun, I couldn’t walk upto you.

I saw you there, lying in the dirt.
Flies feasting on your wound that bled 
I could only stare.
My new sneakers, snow white.

I heard him thrashing you and could’ve rung the bell for you
The shackles but kept me moving past you.

I was there when they stripped you
A cry away, with ears mine shut tight.

When fire of hatred burned down the sanctum of love
I was there. Shut safe in a coffin.
A pitcher away from water that could kill the flames….

I saw them blow off your dreams but couldn’t move
A castle of mine I had to cling to.

I apologize for being there but not there.
For hearing your pleas but not listening.
For having thought of you a moment
And tossing you into nothingness the next.

For having seen your tears and heard you wail,
Too stagnant to wake up for you.

I was there when darkness swallowed you
And evil overpowered you
I heard you mourn your miseries
I saw you fighting endless darkness.

I could’ve chose to speak up
But silence had me in its grasp.
I could’ve stepped out of the glass walls
But chains had me stead fast.

World, but I aw-ed at it all.
I talked of it to curtained ears,
The only revolution I could think of.

Born with senses five yet grown up not to feel any,
Sorry world, all that I was just another human.



This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 48; the forty-eighth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Crimson Love

The first time she walked in through the gates, it was them who welcomed her. She felt loved when they had strewn a red carpet for her. And there budded their friendship. She was on her flight of dreams. All she had, her wings. And this new acquaintance.

A life away from all the hustle that had surrounded her till then. It was a fresh breath of air.  She had always wanted to find contentment within herself. Which she could never unearth in the loud city life. Here, it was different. The breeze hummed melodies in her ears. Birds sang for her.

She found heaven under the Bougainville trees that grew everywhere around her. And they, were her friends. They bloomed for her. Each branch smiled at her. Leaves whispered to her. Petals fell for her.

The letters she wrote brimmed with her love for the flame of forest. Now, flame of her life.  She wished they would bloom for her forever. And they did. Bloom. Love.

She woke up to little birds singing by her window. Beads of dew still glowing on green.  From behind the horizon the sun would slowly rise up. Blushing with envy. Green with jealousy. And the flowers bloomed in their majestic tinge. A bright orange even the sun envied.

In the scorching heat of noons, they kissed her with their cool shade. At nights, the star bedded sky sang lullabies. And they all slept. She. The petals. 

Springs and falls went by.  Beyond seasons their love only grew.

An evening, but she went and came back never. The petals waited to feel her feet crush them.  The leaves waited  to whisper secrets to her. But all that was left back were a few crimson notes she had tucked inside a hole in a tree trunk.  Letters with orange petals glued to it. Letters she had never send. Letters she treasured.  With the part of her heart she had left, they waited.

The glued petals dried. The crimson notes yellowed. Her words, now faint. But the Bougainvilleas still waited. Spreading out the blossom carpet. They longed for her. Her love. 

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Malhar

 She  had  always  loved  rain.  Rain  person,  they  even  called  her.  She  would  sit  lost  in  a  world  of  thoughts,  looking  out of  the  barred  window  watching  the  clouds  pour  down  from  above.  She  would  then  question  this  love  of  hers.  Rain?  No.  It  couldn’t  be  the  rain  she  loved.  Her  eyes  searched  for  answers.  Beyond  the  bars.  In  the drops  that  pooled.  In  the  drops  that  reluctantly  hung  on  to  the  rods.  In  the  fragrance  of  heaven  the  drops  gifted  the  earth.   And  slowly  her  heart  would  read  the  void  that  filled  the  raindrops  from  within.  She  would  run  her  fingers  over  the  bars  and  passionately  let  them  absorb  remnants  of  the  shower.  She  would  feel  the  moistness  speaking  to  her.  They  had  found  answers  for  her.  It  was  the  hope  that  a  rainbow  would  bloom  after  the  shower,  she  loved.  Like  a  smile  that  wiped  away  mist  off  eyes.  Rainbow.

 Rainbows  have  always  fascinated  her  as  much  they  puzzled  her.  But  she  loved  them  above  all.  The  colors  smiling  brightly.  The  different  shades  they  hid.  The  serenity.  Bliss  lasting  for  mere  moments.  Though  a  glee  of  mere  moments,  she  could  love  them.  The  moments  gifted  to  her  after  the  downpours  she  felt  would  sink  her  life.  The  moments  that  sought  no  returns  from  her.   But  none  knew  her  as  the  Rainbow  person.


 It  was  Amma  who  had  drawn  for  her  a  rainbow  first  time  ever.  Its  colors.  Later  another  evening  it  was  lying  on  her  lap,  she  had  seen  for  the  first  time,  a  rainbow  spread  wings  in  the  sky. 


 The  memory  of  the  rainy  night  would  always  haunt  her.  Like  words  in  the  missing  pages  torn  off  the  book  you  were  reading.  You  could  never  let  yourself  not  think  of  it.  The  words  you  have  missed.  The  feeling  of  helplessness  that  haunted.  Listening  to  the  rain  fall  mercilessly  on  the  roof  she  had  tried  to  sleep  through  the  night.  Least  she  knew  sleep  too  was  floating  over  puddles  of  water.  Taking  along  many of  what she called  her's.  Away  from  her.   


 Amma’s  shriek.  For  a  moment  she  felt,  Amma  and  rain  were  playing  games.  They  competed  to  be  heard  loudest.  Nature  always  emerged  victor  over  humans.  With  a  gasp  her  Amma  accepted  defeat  and  surrendered  life.   It  rained.  Heavily.  In  and  out.  The  midwife  handed  over  to  her  a  little  rainbow.  Blood  red.  Cuddled  in  a  white  cloth.  As  she  held  him  in  her  hands,  her  rainbow  blinked. 


 He  grew  beneath  her  shade.  Every  time  his  eyes  shed  tears  for  mother,  her  heart  longed  to  wipe  off  vestiges  of  that  rainy  night.  Her  hands  would  reach  for  his  face.  And  she  would  dry  his  face,  letting  her  fingers  go  wet.  And  a  smile  would  dawn.  His  lips  would  curve  and  eyes  would  glow.  She  knew  it  as  the  beautiful  rainbow  in  the  skies  of  her  heart. 


 Rains  and  rainbows  came  and  went  by.  Her  love  yet  too  strong.  Yet  too  deep.  Came  along  another  rainy  evening  she  would  never  forget.  


 There  were  still  things  years  couldn't  change.  He  was  lying,  head  on  her  lap.  And  he  repeated  his  question  for  a  4th  time.  Her  eyes  were  but  wandering  among  the  drops  beyond  the  bars.  She      hoped  they  would  find  an  answer  for  her.  Again.  “What  would  be  the  name  for  my  novel?”  His  question  drowned  in  the  chatter  of  rain.  She  but  didn't  knew  why  he  wanted  her  to  christen  his  first  child.  The  child  he  labored.  Out  of  his  soul.  


 Malhar.  She  breathed.  Malhar - the  music  of  clouds, would be the name.  The  music  that  celebrated   the  yet  to  come  rainbows.  He  planted  a  kiss  on  her  wrinkled  forehead.  Another  rainbow  adorned  her  sky  as  he  smiled. 



And world  yet  again  called  a  rainbow  person,  rain  person.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Janani


Trying to retell the story of a mother and son who got subdued under the shadow of greater tales in Mahabharata. Bheema's wife Hidimbi and her son Ghatothkacha. To know the original version go to these links.  
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidimbi
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ghatotkacha

And read on for the HER side of it. Though I couldn't find out what exactly happened to this mother after Kurukshetra, this is solely my imagination. 


She ran her fingers over her face. She could still feel the moistness of the kiss her son had planted on her cheeks years ago. For a last time she kissed his son on his forehead. But unlike the million times she kissed him on his forehead while he slept, she now knew that he would never wake up. "Princes are at times bound to make sacrifices", she told to herself as to make herself believe it. "And your sacrifice today saved your family's pride, my son." 

Maa tell me of you and Pitashri, he urged. Like a thousand times before, she, wise not to meet his eyes let her tears drown in herself and spoke. Of her Lord's valor. Muscle and nerve. Of her life. Love and family.

"A savage life we had led. Me and your Mamaji. And then came Them into our lives.

A night too dark with hoots and howls, we waited for prey to feast. A whiff of human brawn lured our appetite. With the claws to kill hid beneath with skill, I was sent to ruse them by will. But then I was stab with the most perilous bayonet ever carved! And even before I knew my destiny had found its way beyond horizons. Wings had sprouted. That was when my child, I had met Him. Your Father.

They were 6. A mother and her fingers 5. And as the rest slept in the shade, he was awake in guard. As always he proved a great one. Stricken by affection and admiration, like a child fascinated by stars, my heart longed him to be mine. As I confessed my primitivity and of my brother waiting out their, I saw a prowess dawn in him. He was gentle enough to fondle you as breeze and mighty as the storm that could devastate.
And I saw it, as he ripped apart my Brother's torso. All done without a clatter heard. As they slept on.

Marriage, more a noble pact. And in the balance, love was over weighed by gains and worth. But I was living my life with joy and the days fell upon me as showers and petals from the heaven. They were the days of my life I had a family. Days I knew of love. Soon in me grew a shade of him. And it was you. 

The pact was that you would come and he would leave. And true to the words, they left me and you, to where I belonged but not them and not you. My life and my family now, my dear son are you."

He kissed Hidimbi's cheeks and she felt how worthless were the dreams she cherished of her Bheema coming back to her. She felt her son was the treasure of joy she had always been in pursuit of. And now as his soft lips brushed over her rough face, she felt complete and profoundly in love.
He but then had got to taste his mother's tears.  Bitter and grieved. He wondered why she still loved his father. 

She cupped his face in her palms and said. "You know why I love your father so much?" He stared into his mother's eyes for what felt like an eternity. The words then rushed out but more slowly than the tears. "He gave me you."

As the 14th day of war at Kurushektra set, a mother had lost her son. The half shades of might and magic put in favor of the five-some clan through his death. In the clamor of trumpets foretelling the victory brought in due to her son's death, a mother's wailing was subdued. As the pyre consumed her son, she gave herself to the fire. Their hearts were woven into one. And death or life, they were to be together. The single mother and her son.

Monday, 21 April 2014

Unsaid


Picture courtesy https://www.facebook.com/themagnifier

What was she doing there. He couldn't help but wonder. Too many questions. Yet he had answers to none. The more he thought he was closer, the answers evaded him and he was left back miles yonder. Aah! He felt like a little kid pacing around to catch the butterflies. In pursuit of happiness of holding it to himself, happiness of feeling those colors on his fingers. Fruitless. He but loved the chase. 

He wanted her to be here. Hold hands with him. And he wanted to show off her to the world. Every weekend he made plans. Invited friends. Maybe she needed company. But she preferred being with herself. Lost in a world of thoughts he could never decipher. 

She stood there watching the sun set. Waves ebbed in and around her. Her tender self silhouetted against the dusky sky. Was it her fault that she wanted him all to herself. Her toes kept writing Papa on the sands. Each time but to get washed away. 

Raising a daughter alone wasn't easy He sighed. Still glistened beams of hope.

"I know he will understand me someday." Spoke Her heart.  


Saturday, 12 April 2014

MIDWAY



Shifting was never an easy task. With a broken heart, it was even more tedious. With tears gushing down her cheeks, she piled up her clothes in the travel case. A final sigh and she was ready to move. Dragging along the hefty luggage and an even heftier heart, she descended the stairs slowly.

It was her desire to have the staircase wall adorned with their photographs. She had them hung as in a timeline. The oldest ones at the bottom and moving each stair up meant cherishing the memories of a new chapter of their life. But then who had time to stand and stare at pictures? They all cling on to the wall, dust laden, craving for a fond glance from some one. Ah! Now but she had time. With each moment monotonously long, she, now had time.

Their final picture together, beneath the old tree where they had always met. Eyes portraying a million shades of love, the memoir of their second anniversary. It was in the days followed that everything had changed. Drifted apart they had slowly, or were they, even before they knew of it? Silence stood between them as a poignant third person and it changed everything.

One step down and their wedding photograph smiled at her. But that smile grieved her even more. What of all the hurdles they together had surpassed to have their families smiling on their day? Was that struggle for happiness too futile to have end up like this? Her eyes stared blankly at the beaming faces.

Then the proposal. The idea of living her life backwards vexed her rather painfully. He was kneeling on with the ring and she stood their half smiling and half crying. She had found it hard to explain the tears of happiness to him. But real joy was when he gifted her this picture on their wedding day. Until then she never knew that the moment too, was captured!

This was her favorite picture of their's. The college arts fest drama. It was on the stage, being his Juliet, her heart had first skipped a beat for him. She knew then, she was in love.



He didn't want all this happen to them. He too cursed the third person between. He could hear her upstairs. Packing she must be. Her swollen eyes he could never bare to even think of. Giving no time to thoughts, he decided to go to her and talk. May be things would then get back to normal. But then, that was when he actually gave time to the old photographs hung on the stair case wall. He hadn't ever understood why she wanted them hung there, in the timeline fashion.

The first picture. They both were crawling on knees. She was as beautiful as now even then. The toddlers were but unlike now, innocent. And words spoken and unspoken never meant anything.

Here she was in her favorite Cindrella gown and he was pulling her pony tail. The picture taken at an old family get together, brought in memories of the then, credulous life. Was he in love with her all the while? He thought to himself.

Next up was what she had called coming to age photograph. With the zealous air of adolescence, she had posed naively, Hijab clad, with him. And his bare chest showed off his Sacred thread. The only picture that reflected their differences. But the secret glow in his eyes always had told him that the moment had been special.

This was the picture he loved the most. All the while in college they had been together. But that day he was her Romeo. And then for the first ever time in life he had known what it was to be in love.



Their eyes met and tears then did all the speaking. And somewhere between, melted the stoic bridge of silence. Together they were meant to be and a deep hug was all it took for them to acknowledge it. Mid stairs they found the key to their happiness.



Above any bliss of words, beneath the shade of love.

Beyond the meum and tuums, a world of their own.


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Keeping them Short


RED 

She adorned her dreams in red.
Roses. Mehendi. Vermilion.
Her fondest dream of cradle, 
Now was swept off the floor.
Red that was too.  


APPLES


Hanging on to Papa's fingers, 
She saw her Mom lying inside.
Dark room and doctors.
She knew then, apples were an old lie. 



BEING 

She would run hard. He on her heels. 
Stealing morsels off his, her game of love.
Love only siblings would know of.


MUM 

Her cherub grew in a nest not hers.
The lullaby she could never sing,
Was hummed from a distance. 
Wings then drifted off her child to different skies.  
And the Koel never sung again. 



Picture courtesy https://www.facebook.com/themagnifier


Saturday, 29 March 2014

HE

Picture Courtesy  https://www.facebook.com/themagnifier

Routine. That was what being here meant to me. I don't know since when. All that I remember is being here, always. Amma says it was Grandpa who had held me in his hands and brought me here for the first time. That was when the world was too simple. Eat, sleep, wail, puke and burp. I don't even have the faintest of remembrance of anything else from that very beautiful time. Being a baby was fine. 
As a child I had touched the heights of sky swinging. Sometimes when I lend my ears to myself I can hear the little me laughing in abandon. I always had loved being in the swing. And Grandpa still remembers how the initial smile on my face would raise to become a shriek and then a belly laugh when it took me to the sky. It was here in this bench I had cuddled on to my Grandma and listened to stories she would feed me with. It was here she helped me read my first alphabets and rhymes.
 It was here where I had grown up. The balloons that would sway endlessly, waiting for that moment of freedom to float freely in the air. The inviting ice candies in a myriad of colors. The hot peanuts. They all had seen me grow. Grow up with a little sorrow buried in myself. And over the years the only thing that never changed was my being here and my uncherished sorrow.
It witnessed me being totally smitten by books. The same bench. And I was there reading. Reading. And reading. Till all the lights would fade. Later when the love for reading paved way to a passion for writing the bench became my alter ego. It have heard all the tales I left unsaid and remained a faithful friend.
I would scribble. Strike off. Tear. And look out to the world around me. To whom I seemed invisible. People having pretty a good family time. Friends shouting, laughing and teasing each other. Couples hand in hand relishing the breeze with eloquence giving words to their silence. A few lone souls who seemed to be lost somewhere between the horizon and the waves. The vendors all putting in their best to have good sales. And again I would start writing. As having drawn some secret inspiration from the aura around.
It was on one such day I had met him. Actually he had come up to me. I was quite surprised to see that someone actually bothered to spot me amidst these chaos. "Yes," I said in that inquiring tone. He offered to me an ice candy to which I declined. I  found him an interruption in my writing affair. With a slight tinge of disappointment he walked away. This wasn't the last time he did it. The subsequent days too saw the same drama unfold. And each time I heard myself utter No that had the air of anger increasing with each day. 
On the 5th day, when peace had finally come to me in the form of an appealing climax to my work he came again. In a mood to treat myself I accepted the offer and bought an ice candy. I paid him. But he wouldn't leave. I questioningly glanced at him. As having read my mind he uttered. " I kinda like you. Will you do something for me?" in somewhat a broken dialect. I was awkwardly tempted to know where was this conversation leading to. "What?" I asked in a jiffy. He went on to assure me that I needn't serve him for free. He offered to gift me free ice candies every day. He showed to me a set of paper, which could be seen was crumbled too fiercely once. It occurred to me that it was my own writing. What is the guy doing with all these papers I threw away? He had again read it out of my mind. "I see you here everyday. You read, write, look around, and leave all these papers here. I had first taken them out of curiosity. Just to know, what it was all about! ....." He went on to explain the whole affair. And that was when I noticed him. His thick bronze hair, fine but forced tanned texture and the very much athletic stature. Handsome, I blurted out. Oh no! I wasn't paying attention to what all he had said. We both knew that and I blushed in a little shade of pink. He repeated the tale. He was a drop out and desperately wanted to learn.  "So will you be my teacher?". He asked. In a tone from which I could decipher too much emotions. A tear drop rolled down my cheek, which I swiftly wiped off. "Yes" I said in an determined tone.
Days pass on often too fast. I wasn't alone in the bench now. And I knew I wouldn't be ever again. My sorrow too was washed away never to return. Reproachful fingers were raised when I finally found the happiness I always had longed for. He now lived with us as my little brother. And a family was draped around a nest of love. 




Saturday, 22 March 2014

Keeping It Short



Return

Silently she sneaked in and wore his glasses.
The mirror told her why hatred was his return to her love.


Speaking Portrait

She was whom World called an Artist.
He had told her of colors.
Never knew none the portraits resembled an unseen face.
Neither could he feel her heart.


Doom

I fear. I fear. I fear.
The present tensed.
Vultures of morrow and demons of past.
Tale of a doomed life.


Flight

Mother bird flew to heights infinite.
Then nest, now a house.


Music

SHE loved silence. HE a connoisseur of sounds.
A knot and eloquent music was born.



Friday, 21 March 2014

When Heart Probes




Mumma, look at this. Maasi bought it for me. She said I'll look a princess on the wedding day. After all she isn't that bad. You remember what I told you the day Papa brought you here na? How Papa was left with no option other than bringing you here! That was OUR secret then. But today I made Maasi too a part of our secret. And you know what Papa said? "The ice is melting." He said this with a cute smile, so I didn't retort. Maybe he was thinking of something else. Other wise why would he say that! Funny na! Or does it mean something that I don't know Mumma? I heard Naani saying to her friends that you would be so happy seeing me getting along with Maasi. Are you?
Oh Mumma! How could I forget this. You know Nita Ma'm selected me and Ashish for the Rhyme Dance and not Pinky. Serves her right! You remember na, how she made fun of me and was telling everyone that she dance better than me. Papa told, Maasi and he'll be coming to watch my dance. When I asked him about you, he picked up his phone and went out, as always. Poor Papa. He's always very busy na! Then Naani hugged me and told me something that I couldn't inderstand. She too is strange. She always end up in tears talking and I never know what she is saying! Not just Naani. Many does that. But I never say anything bad. Pakka promise. Everytime I feel like saying "bad" things, I remember your words. I'm your little angel and angels never do anything bad. Then why are they like this? Maybe they too have dust allergy like you. That's why they cry at times. So Mumma, won't you too come to watch me dance with Ashish?  
Papa told me not to go school tomorrow. He says, it's Haldi. Mumma, it is the same day when people play Holi with only yellow color na. Like you did in that picture of yours. I love yellow. How pretty you look in yellow! And I know I too will. After all I'm your little angel. I'm getting sleepy. Come let's sleep. Mumma, you know something, I love hugging you while sleeping. Good night Mumma.

 Questions and answers. Now, they dawned in her dreams. She loved this routine of asking and answering.
Alas! Sculptures wouldn't speak.




This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda.

Monday, 24 February 2014

The quill trophy


The audience was surely impressed. The standing ovation that longed more than the normal few moments revealed how much they loved his words. The award winning author Madhav smiled to himself as he was ushered to the dais. This day was something unusual. He always was keen on avoiding interviews and very politely declined to chair any such functions. More or less he found them an intrusion midst a life he was comfortable leading undercover, known by none. Surely he would have turned down this invitation too, but he conceded to attend this particular award function for a reason. For her. He knew She would love it. And how better could be a birthday gift for her than this beautiful "Quill" Trophy!

A moment of silence took over as the prodigy walked over to the mic. After all, they desperately wanted to hear their favorite author speak! Though a debutant, the appreciation earned made him quite popular and his work was even rated as one of the finest crime fiction of the decade. Finally he spoke. And his words once again conquered many a hearts! His words brimmed with love for his wife and the world "aaaww"-ed at the husband's heart.

And he went on to talk about his "child", his novel. He felt an air of palpating speculation rising around when he called himself a liar. Yes, he said. Lies was what made up his work. Else how could he just frame a crime fiction! Well that pun was taken to hearts, at least the short laughs told him so. The protagonist who loved his wife rather too much, decides that he wants her to himself. This brews quarrels and arguments to which the solution he finds seems unbelievable to the sane society. He believes that silencing her forever would make her his! He executes the murder of his beloved. He preserves her corpse and what follows is a brilliant manipulation that makes the world eventually forget her. And the crime remains undercover. This is what forms the gist of his tale, he explained. He hoped, never such disordered minds exist  and so he said concluding his - what the media called magical - speech. 
Liar I am, he said to himself once again, but none just heard! 

Away from the glitz of the night he drove back home, to his beloved. He beamed as he held the "Quill" trophy, showing it off to her - pickled in alcohol, away from the vulture eye of the world. She was all his! 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Summer Shower



12/5/2014



Two roads diverged in a wood, and I— 
I took the one less traveled by, 
And that has made all the difference. 


Meera penned the lines of her favourite poem, once again in her diary. The words seemed to have a lot more to tell her and each time she read them a new upsurge she always felt. She felt free and happy.

Showers of summer. She could hear the rain talking to her through the window. She fondly capped her pen like she once used to dress up her doll and drew her curtains open. And she sublimed in the petrichor that lingered in the air.

In the breeze, the pages turned. With a soft hustle they went on to halt at the day's entry. The day that changed everything. And even amidst the music of the drizzle, her words of the day echoed in an aura of eloquence.


24/3/2014


A lot of questions to be answered. But whom to answer first! Family? Society? Or my conscience that all ceased to bother about? Answers seemed too futile even to think of. After all they wouldn't matter once this was all over. I looked hard at my own reflection in the mirror. Pale and frail, was I just another corpse that had a live heart? I ran my fingers over the countless bruises that adorned my torso. No rogue nor powder could mask them from the people who knew my grief, yet they were masked from the world,brilliantly, by a dead smile and mere art of pancakes! The wounds but were nothing in par with the trauma that leeched my soul. Marriages are made in heaven? Oh! But I know nothing of it. But life could be made a hell by the tying of a knot. And sometimes all you can do is perish to the feeling of the knot being tightened around you. Sour was his love, bitter our relation and silence was my loudest cry. "The man of dreams" people wish their partner to be, when all I asked was to be treated with tenderness. No, nothing much as the petals of flowers you savor, but a very little more than the status of sheer flesh. Maybe that too was beyond the horizon I was granted to even think of. Long and hard I survived. But this heart whose fuel had worn out long before, could endure this saga of violence no more. All this had begun with tying of a knot and I decided to end this too with a knot. The latter would liberate me from the anguish the former had bestowed. And it was time for the curtain to fall.

"Mummaa" .... "Wha you doing up theere?" .... Rihaan in his naive accent questioned, nabbing whatever part of my saree, he could get hold of.

Among all the questions I had to answer, I couldn't turn a blind face to this one. No, not to this one. I loosened the knot and held my 2 and a half year old, close to my bosom. Now there won't be a look back. It was time to loosen all the knots.

I took out the document I had safely kept folded inside the cupboard. Buried deep down the clothes, for I hadn't wanted to entice this option, for the sake of "norms of society"! Why to adhere to the norms that never heard my pleas? I signed the petition.

“Hope” is the thing with feathers 
That perches in the soul 
And sings the tune without the words 
And never stops at all.

Hope was synonymous to tomorrow. The next rays of sunshine would gift me a new life. Freedom, peace and a life. A life with and for my Rihaan, sans the bondage of my wedding ring.

Yes, she had chosen the path less trodden and that had made all the difference.



This post is part of A significant turn.. on WriteUpCafe.com