leaf

The only time I could feel reassured again was when I read a story that wasn’t mine. Reading on a bench with trees and the chirpiest of birds all around me was the biggest adventure I’ve had in my life in the past few months. The birds keep calling out; Calling out to their peers, their friends, the air, the nature, and all of us. They sing so we can sleep but also stay awake and tune in to their voices- it was like watching a 4D movie. The tamarind tree under which I sat threw tamarind fruit pods without warning and you don’t know when one will hit you, but it will at some point and I can’t avoid it. So I did not move. The sudden thuds those tiny little pods made when they hit the ground made me understand pressure, and how they were full and ripe, came to the Earth where humans would stamp on them and they would mix with the tar, almost as if they’re invisible. Very familiar concept. There were ants all over under my bench but not one stung my bottom or back, because I didn’t know of their presence until I finished my reading and sat up and looked. Or did I? It is either ignorance or lack of awareness. I think that day the story was not just the one that was in the book. It was from all around me, and it was a good story. How I can give back to nature for that can only be through feeding myself with more and more of it, until I’m able to write one.

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Rosemilk with a sprinkle of heartache

my lips are pink, but not

from all the lipstick I put

and all the anger I shoot.

I’m holding a glass

much too heavy for my delicate wrists

where my bracelets still rest

and the beads form a nest

for my nerves to sit.

My pale, blue-green,

week nerves that they love to climb

and hold onto until my wrists

are more feeble than ever.

I gulp down the pink milk

and put the mug on the table

the colour dissolves into that of

my flesh,

but passes right through the hole

in my heart.


the milk is digested

the burps I made got them disgusted

my lips are sweet and my moustache, pink

that I pretend I didn’t know of, until you pointed to your own lips,

looking at me.

I wipe them off and laugh a little,

the pink from my mug

moves on to your cheeks.

The fork on your plate

is pointed at me

it is distracting me from your gaze

couldn’t you have just left it on my back,

so I can stare at you in peace?


The city is busy

and I’m finally alone

it begins to rain,

and my umbrella is with you

so, I just get wet.

The rain is as cold as the milk

and the colour is not any different.

I see pink everywhere now.

Like I am wearing a lens,

Like the roses that you gave me

have decided to churn themselves

in a mixie high above

and pour on not just you,

but me too.

Because I skip on the streets

that are slowly dying in hustle,

or of hustle;

And I smell the time

I was so much in love.

Now my rosemilk is drunk

and the rain washes my moustache.

I begin to melt.

My hair falls all over me,

my skirt crashes down and my shoulders

tumble with my shirt.

Soon enough I’m a puddle

grey and loose;

But with a clink,

Falls my heart.

Pink, and ever so rosy.


Wolves

For a girl
Who does not think she’s 

The best in the room

Even when she’s the only one there-

But also doesn’t really care;

Who trips in heels 

And falls over bookshelves

Makes everyone tea 

With ginger and honey;

Has a favourite sweatshirt 

With sewed patches

From cloth of different colors;

Who nibbled on chocolate

While brushing her hair

And thinking about how she should cut it

To avoid all the work;

Would have a humor of a child

But adults would laugh at it

Even at her, but

She kind of felt that it was safe that way;

Who wouldn’t look at anything in more awe

Than at the full moon-

The thought of which brought poetry out of her,

It is not so easy to fall in love. 

But when she would,

It would be so dreamy,

Because he was the prettiest in the room

But with insecurities;

He drank coffee but 

Wouldn’t refuse tea either;

He would lie on the grass 

With a book closed on his chest

Stressing about how 

He needs to patch his sweatshirt;

Sighed as the breath of chocolate

Filled the spring-time air;

He ran his fingers through his hair

Covered in grass and seeds

Chuckling to himself at the thought of

Anyone finding him attractive,

Then quickly going back to a gloomy gaze

At the clouds which he knew would fail

To conceal the full moon that night.

If only the moon were a portal

To each other’s universe

Where they could finally meet.

To Remus Lupin.

Idea of the sketch above is not original.

Happiness, and other disabilities.

 

The glasses I wear are thick.

They are heavy, a little too much

For the small cartilage that allows every reek and fragrance.

But thanks to them, I can see.

What is there, and much more.

Through the corner of my eyes when light is behind me,

I see rainbow colours.

When in front of me,

You can see me side-eye you better.

 


 

When I began to draw you,

I started hating colour.

When I still coloured you, you looked so ugly.

So I tossed you off,

And it missed the window by inches.

My cat still thinks you are what i knit my sweaters with.

She’s not wrong,

But it’s summer.

 


 

Guns and rifles,

Fire and havoc.

But don’t run away,

You’re the one holding the gun.

I am safe, but you need to save yourself.

Because now that I’m not crying, what will you feed on?

My blood? But how?

You’re the one with the gun,

But I am not imprudent anymore,

I know it’s not loaded.

 


 

Sunrise, birds and a good breakfast.

Been watching you grab my toast and toss it into your mouth.

Been watching you put your dirty finger into the jam bottle and lick it.

Been watching you grin with your chocolate-stained teeth after

You stole my cupcake and made conversation with my friends.

Been watching you feast

On my thought and imagination.

And as though you weren’t full, you drank my humor too?

Been watching you slowly die after that..you ok?

 


 

“Quick, move this face!”

*moves loneliness to the corner*

“Not phase, face.

“Oh!” *Smiles*

“Hmm, something is missing.”

“Cause?”

“Right!” *Caws and cries*

*laughs*

 


 

Watching horror movies with you

Is always fun.

Love the background music,

The yells, the bloodshed,

The thrill,

And how you got chased, killed, and bitten.

You won every time, but

The movies didn’t stop coming.

Loved the yells, the bloodshed, the thrill,

And loved watching myself in all those movies.


To depression, my best friend.


 

70 Seconds

In Freedom’s clasp.

 

Shuffling through radio stations,Indignantly.
Searching for music as I

Sallied along the roads of the country that did not make that music.

My feet pressed upon the brake paddle,

and I grumbled.

70 seconds of waiting.

 

The rays of Sun falling through a Sun-blocking glass was my inconvenience.

But I had shades on, right? In my AC car?- Yes.

Amidst my loud music and my mutters

Of cursing time, I heard a tap on my window.

I think she knocked on a lot of cars before-

her knuckles were darker than the rest of her skin colour.

 

The face of a young teenage girl, I saw.

Baking in the Sun, yet beaming at me.

She held up a white plastic stick-

Similar to the straw in my coffee cup placed down beside the gear-

except, much more delicate and dirtier.

 

To the end of the stick,

Loosely dangled a wrinkled, pale Tiranga.

8 more seconds until she mouthed-

“Five rupees madam!”

It was hard to make out if it was her request,

Or her adversity.

 

Her eyebrows formed a ‘V’ as she pulled them together,

To aid to her vision in the searing heat of the afternoon.

Her other hand carried a bunch of many such shabby flags.

She didn’t stop smiling. 

As I looked,

She stopped by six more cars. 

For 70 seconds, she knocked. 

Not one looked back at her. 

There were reluctant nods without eye contact. 

There was laughter inside, 
Shatter outside. 

Outside- was out of liberty. 

Green lights went off,

And the cars behind me honked in unease.

The girl dashed towards the divider as vehicles scooted as though she were invisible. 

The pale little flag on the top of my dashboard sunk lower than ever.

 

 

Blunt Nose

No curls in her hair,
A smile that could convince.

Eyes narrow, sleepy; lips dry and pale pink.

But nose- not sharp. 
Like a butter knife 

That glistens at night 

In photos clicked under the moonlight-

Reflected by her lip gloss
Her lip gloss was no longer peach

It had become coffee

From the cups she had and those she thought she did
Even if it was bad for her braces. 

She made jokes with it and laughed hard

At 19 she had braces
And a blunt nose

And no regrets. 
Because it couldn’t poke into others’ lives.

Taint 

I see a newly wedded couple in front of me. 

They’re sitting way too close to each other.

The wife is resting her head on the husband’s shoulder as they watch something on their phone,

And share a laugh.

They’re holding hands- fingers interlocked. 

She’s wearing bangles- like Sarita Didi did-  from her wrists down to her elbows.

They clink against each other as she gracefully laughs.

I hope it was funny, the joke. 

Because it reminded me of Sarita Didi’s laugh. 

Sarita Didi, she first introduced herself to as to me, was my neighbour. 

And last night I heard her scream again.

It was disquieting. Maybe she had spotted a cockroach in the sink.

I don’t know if anyone else heard it. Or maybe it was hard for them to hear it over the sound of their ignorance. 

Because that scream, wouldn’t have just been for a cockroach. 

I know it because I’m not 13 anymore. 

When I was 13, Sarita didi got married. 

When the couple came to their new home for the first time,they were holding hands. 

Fingers interlocked. 

She was in a yellow silk saree with bangles on her wrist that clinkered. 

I remember because I thought she was a beauty queen. Probably a little too shy for one, but nevertheless. 

Her mehendi was as red as her blush.

But the only time Sarita didi laughed was when her son would ask her what was wrong. 

“I’ll make you aloo parathas”, she used to say and we thought the smile was real.

Every other night, there’s a scream. One single, sharp, gut-wrenching, agonizing scream. And peace.

I look at the newly wedded couple in front of me. 

I wonder if the wife is afraid of cockroaches.