Friday, June 29, 2018

words

I gave you my words
but they were left unread, unacknowledged
were I born centuries ago
I would have dedicated sonnets and poems to you
I gave you my heart which
after you finished breaking it,
lies in pieces at my feet
but it is glue-able, super-glue-able
and I will glue it and reglue it every time I hand it to random people for the rest of my life
but what do I do with these words?
I have written them and put them out for the world to see
and now everyone knows I am in love with you,
no, wait,
and now everyone knows I was in love with you
for even if I were to erase them and throw them into the air,
they would still smell of the remnants of our love
that never was
I sit here near the shredder with all the letters I wrote to you
on those sleepless nights and restless afternoons and aching mornings
not long ago

but is there a shredder for memories
that I could use to rid my mind of you, of us?

Thursday, June 28, 2018

some happiness pls

yesterday the vegetable vendor's five year old daughter
painted my nails yellow,
with some cheap local nail polish.
at first i wanted to laugh saying it looks like, to borrow my son's words, potty
then i looked at her scrunched up little face and pouting mouth and how involved she was in it
'your hands are so pretty' she said
while the truth is they are ugly
i have old women's hands I think,
no i don't have old women's hands,
but i think i do,
it comes from my mother's dad's side of the family
and i always ask her peevishly 'why didn't you give me the milk-cream and hazel eyes and light brown hair genes from my father's side'
instead of mountain feet and bony hands
as if the sperm would have a lengthy discussion with the egg
and finalise on what all genes to put in
and sign papers after
and applaud at the successful design.
but the little girl thinks my hands are pretty and i believed her all evening
until the sun came out today and I saw them in the light next to my friend's hands.
'i like you', the vegetable vendor's daughter says, 'you are very kind and the clothes you gave my brother, they are nice, he refuses to take them off'
'i will buy a frock for you, on your birthday' I offer
'what will I do with a frock', she asks, eyes round and sad
'what if you buy me one eclairs toffee everyday for the rest of my life?'
'but why?, don't you want to twirl in a new frock and look pretty and be happy?' i ask, amused at her naivety and innocent bartering of a pricey frock for cheap toffees
'no, you see if you give me a frock i will be happy for only one day, and my happiness will run out the next day, but if you give me a toffee everyday,  i will be happy everyday, only a little  happy, but a little happy everyday'

i wonder who teaches children about sadness and happiness,
and injects so much sense into them
that they have to choose between
two measures of happiness - 'so-much-happiness,
and
'a-little-happiness'

i wonder who told her that happiness is doled out in quota, and that it runs out.

Come home.

for a long time
i waited
assuring myself
you would come home
that no matter where you went
and for how long
you would come home
to me.
so I waited while everyone said
what is gone is gone
and I told them instead
to shush and keep quiet.
so I kept the food warm
and the fire lit
and I patted down the feathers of our sparse bed
every night.
and I went and stood at our favourite spot
down there under the trees
where we counted the stars and fell asleep
inside each others' bodies.
what is gone is gone, they said
but I shushed them, hush,
so I waited
while you were gone.
i remember how you caressed my chin and said my body was your home and how could you ever not want to come home?
so here I am,
your home,
now ruined and empty.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Come back

how do people leave people behind
without any kind of hesitation
it is like one day they just turn their faces away
and walk away
and the sand has swallowed their footprints so that
you can not run behind them to stop them
sometimes I wonder why
I find it so difficult to do this,
this walking away without looking back
without giving a thought about
what the person you left back there is going through
maybe it's a he and he is crying
maybe it's a she and she is slashing her wrists
so I linger and wait for the closure that never comes
for the other person to break the chains
that were never linked at all except in my mind
I wonder whether you will stay if I cling onto you tighter
or let loose more tears
or take out my heart
and show you how it is filled with only your thoughts
and nothing else
how I have shown you my naked vulnerable self
and loved you with everything I have
and forgiven you every time you let me down
so when you turn back on me
and leave me here stranded
I fail to understand whether it is
because I am too much for you
or not enough

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Glue me with words

'I am drinking whiskey and I miss you'
sometimes you say the randomest of things
and even though I know you dont actually mean them
and they are just perfunctory words,
they do make me happy
even if I am forgotten, an old flame, a long lost lover
sometimes I wonder if you think of me the way I do
thinking of how you would hold, no,
gather me up in your arms
as if I was something falling apart
or something broken
i did fall apart but didn't know until later,
after you were done breaking me
even though I told you I was fragile
and I came with a 'handle with care' sticker
but sometimes you are the china in a china shop and a bull comes stampeding into you
and you are all damaged
then you peel away the fragile sticker to reveal 'broken twice and reglued' sticker
underneath counting the cracks in your broken china heart
'I am missing you and I love you'
sometimes you say the randomest words
years after you have broken me
years after I have glued my pieces back
and inspite of some fragments missing I function whole
but then you come again like a bull
and break more parts of me
and though they are just perfunctory words
and you don't mean them anymore,
they still make me happy for some reason.

Tell me about you

‘tell me about yourself’ you say over the phone 'where do I start and where do I end, what do you want to know'
'anything, I want to listen to you’ you reply

should I tell you about how I m so spontaneous
I broke an anthill one day
without thinking of the consequences
because I was watching ants carrying their eggs
and wanted to see where they were storing them
and I got bitten all over
so i rolled in the mud
and jumped into our family pond
I was eight but I did not cry

maybe I could tell of how on summer nights
when the balmy wind carries the scent of jasmine from my balcony garden I awaken and sit near the blooming creeper inhaling the fragrance like it is my last day on earth

if I told you of how one day when I was a little girl
someone told me to sit on his lap and it hurt
I was four but I did not cry

should I tell you that they call me 'the slightly happier version of Sylvia Plath' for the depressing stuff I write
but every other idiot is writing of pink teddies and red hearts and handholding and frankly I think the whole idea is boring

or how I have to count the bogies of a passing train like it is an OCD thing,
actually it is,
it IS OCD because I also go crazy if the bristles on my toothbrush are wet in the morning

sometimes I use a soap for bathing because I can't stand the squeaky squeak of the shower gel container and the soap has to be handmade

and sometimes I will buy
a local cheap thirty bucks nail polish on a whim
because I like the colour

should I tell you that I don't drink milk sold loose
because it smells of cowdung
or that I can hold a goat by its hind legs and milk it
or that I know everything about farming and running a rubber estate
and I can actually drive a tractor and a combine harvester

I can't tell you about anyone else except me you see
because no one was there to listen
and now I can't seem to shut up

I could tell you things about me the whole day until you drowned in them
and finally asked me to stop talking for God's sake

You see there is only so much you can take in
before you also get fed up of me
being too much.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

city of loss


the city of broken dreams they call los Angeles


what about this city where every hope has died
starry eyed I came here more than a decade ago
fell in love, drank and ate and made merry
waded through swampy friendships, now long lost and gone,
singing throatily in tucked away pubs where jobless singers and musicians sang
where we ordered cheap beer and chilly chicken
sitting for hours in a hazy screen of smoke
legs over armrests, arms around our friends'
solving the world's problems, one at a time
with poetry and songs and words that made no sense
a car and a drive to the hills, a little bonfire, warm coats,
just a bunch of friends revelling in the warmth of our amiable annoyance at each other
calling names and teasing, colored jokes that no one objected to
why does thinking if those days ten years later
bring an ache in my chest
akin to yearning for people long forgotten
and caught up in settling down
people i called friends and whom I so miss

Monday, June 18, 2018

Tower of Babel


being outside is like being in the tower of Babel

all the languages you can understand
are like a million voices in your head

that couple arguing over why he liked someone's Insta photo and why she wore this revealing top

the old man talking to a stray dog while it wags it's tail in reply, atleast the dog listens to him

a husband ordering two scoops of butterscotch icecream for his wife then remarking that the blue currant she actually likes is a stupid flavour and that only one scoop would have sufficed

a woman on the phone with her friend
giving advice on how to get out of a toxic relationship while she herself goes home to one

when you can speak so many languages
the voices in your head are not so loud

I sit there wondering what the fuck people are eating to spill so much venom with their words

Friday, June 15, 2018

not content


it is not enough

it is not
this meeting, so short,
just enough to prepare a drink for you,
sip it under watchful eyes
it is not enough
this talk of things mundane
next to ears tuned in to our conversations
it is not enough
the brushing of our hands as we pass the snacks bowls
the words forming in our mouths but not spoken
the hearts beating wildly but not acknowledged 
it is not enough
it is not
this longing and this wanting

Thursday, June 14, 2018

if

if i could come to you
with eyes wide open
soaring on a pair of wings
if i could come to you
sweeping my fears aside
the hesitation in my mind
if could come to you
ignoring the stumbling of my words as I make small talk
the trembling in my knees as our fingers brush
if i could come to you
with my heart beating wild
and my lungs wanting the same air that you breathe

but i have you seen burn others
and so I shall love you from afar

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Depend on yourself.

people say they feel lonely
and they feel all alone
i don't understand how someone can feel lonely when they have themselves, own

all your life you have people coming and going
some leave their boots by the door
in case they come back
some, you hear from no more,
why the fuck would you feel lonely when you have yourself, own

when you cry, it's YOU that cried with you
when you laugh, it's YOU that feels happy with you
YOU are your own friend
YOU are your own lover
YOUR body is yours
YOUR mind is yours
YOUR heart, well what of it that inspite of being stomped on by others, it beats on
only for you

you may feel sad
you may feel sorrow
but how the fuck can you say you are lonely or bored
for you can feel like that only when you depend on them,
on people, on things, on places
but when you have YOU holding onto you,
nothing and noone else matters.

OK this is more of a fucking rant, because it disgusts me when people say they are lonely and bored. Go somewhere, travel, walk outside, observe the ants carrying food to their house, grab a book, learn a hobby, create something, make a drink, shove chips into your mouth, play with an animal, tear up an old t shirt, put sprinkles in your coffee, make an omelette and burn it, or just crawl onto your balcony and think of what you would do if you were the president. But seriously this whole blaming the smartphone, gadgets, technology for feeling lonely and bored is pathetic....Ummm...rant over.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

All that I have, I give to you

it all starts in the same way
you have beautiful eyes
your smile makes me melt
i love your words, write to me, babygirl write for me.
it leads to a kiss
some handholding
a compliment
a promise of everlasting love
red velvety carpets of flattery
until you give in
bowled over
head over heels in love with them
then you spend nights and hours and minutes with them
feeling like nothing in the world could go wrong if you were with them
then an exchange of words
and more exchanges of words
until you start feeling that disconnect
the realisation that something is lacking
that something is amiss
it is now not the same as before
the compliments stop
the flattery stops
all the I miss you every minute stops
then it is you begging them to stay
then it is you begging them to call
somewhere along the way instead of them chasing you
it becomes you running after them
then the nights that you wonder what went wrong
and why they act this way
If they only knew the rivers of tears that you let loose
and the pieces of your heart that you handed out
to all and sundry
hoping someone will stay
for a while
for a little while longer
to know what makes you, you
and uncover what goes on in your mind
and quell the fears that you have
the love letters you wrote to all and sundry
Oh, but they made paper planes out of them
and ran laughing in the wind
while you stood there
let down
wondering why they won't stay
"Silly girl, you gave them your all, and that is why they walked all over you, because you gave them your all"
but how do you love them, if you don't give them your all, all of you?
because isn't that what they teach you about love?
isn't that how you are supposed to love?
you show them all, you give them all of you
your darkness and your light,
your sanity and your insanity
isn't that how you love?
so why do they stop loving you
after they have got your all?


Monday, June 11, 2018

To you.

there are days
when I want to
walk away from everyone and everything
days when my bipolarity
plays tug of war
with the happy and the sad
and on those days
when I am exhausted
and want to walk away
don't stop me
let me go
after all the things I have done
or not done
all the people I have talked to
or hidden from
all the places I have seen
or avoided visiting
i will come back to you 
to you
always

we silenced them

How did we go from adults
who swore to protect our children
to being the monsters we warned them about
how did we go about trapping their little hearts in our sinful cages
and amputating their limbs one by one
while they flapped helpless
they trusted us
and we took that trust from their eyes
blinded them with our fear
and threw them
like rag dolls
we brought them into our adult world
and did things to them that we call adult
we took their innocence
and twisted it with our bare evil hands
and then stuffed it down their throats with the words 'dont tell anyone'
eleven month old little girls
a three year old boy
a sixteen year old boy
a twelve year old girl-
we abused them all
we broke them
hid them and swept them under our carpets
then when they tried to seek help
we laughed at them
said they were imagining thinvs
and pinned down their little half broken wings
and we banished them behind the heavy curtains
and stuffed their screaming silence behind this facade we call a world
how do I know this
you adults ask
because when I was a little girl of four
you adults did it to me too

HOW DO WE NOT FEEL OUR BLOOD BOIL AT WHAT ABUSED CHILDREN GO THROUGH?

Saturday, June 09, 2018

Phone conversations

seven minutes and forty four seconds
was how long we spoke yesterday
why can't you say I love you, you ask
but don't you know I cannot
I find it easier to write
because when my mouth opens to form those words
they don't come out
and instead
I hear all the I love you's
that were spoken to me before
and not meant
If you don't mean something
if you don't feel something
how can they come out of your heart and travel all the way up and out of your mouth into your lover's ears
but with me they don't come out because they are too heavy to escape the wild beating frantic-ness of my heart
and I cannot mouth the words that roll around on my tongue
because now I no longer know whether I mean them or not
what do we talk about
since twenty questions get me two answers
and then I do not want to feel like I am breaching your privacy
even though you call me your life and say I am your weakness
but if you don't tell me details I can never love you
for I need to know everything about you and not just bits and pieces
so tell me everything you do and think of and speak and I will fall in love with you everytime we have a conversation
even if it is seven minutes forty four seconds long
and then perhaps I will say I love you
because then the words would escape me and fly into you

Friday, June 08, 2018

Teach us to be proud of us

Sorry to offend but if only women had the confidence that men have,
some of us would also be hairy, paunchy, smelly and bald at all amusement parks
but we cover up,
we look for that one hair left behind,
we look for that one strand of grey hair
that one imperfection that makes us sick
the wrong shade of lipstick
winged eyeliner gone wrong
body odour a little too strong
sweat stains in all places wrong
eyebrows not done
hair tied in a bun
the skin darkened by the sun
omg, did you Photoshop your selfie and hair
you look sooo fair
omg, your skin is dark
here take this fairness cream - they bark.

We look for excuses to criticise our flaws
to joke about them with friends
then hide behind iron curtains and nitpick each one
we are scared of the Hai-Hais and Hawwws
from other women
who
like you
like me
have their own flaws
If only we taught our daughters to celebrate their bodies
and taught our daughters-in-law to find beauty in their bodies
we would also be as cool as men

Thursday, June 07, 2018

Conversations with the mirror

the mirror knows
how you stood in front of it everyday
all those years ago
to look for budding breasts
but instead saw red pimples on your face
how you wanted to pop them but
somehow delighted in the red spots
they made on your cheeks
so when the boys whistled at you
they wouldn't know it made you blush
the mirror knows how
all those years ago
when you were naive and innocent
and thought
beauty was all about
your body and face
you wasted hours measuring yourself
on a scale of one to ten
no one told you you were perfect the way you were
skinny, petite, light and airy
then they would offer you food
'shall I buy you food?'
'do you even eat?'
'how can your stomach be so flat?' it became a game for them
everytime you posted a picture
or went shopping
'when you get pregnant no one will know coz you will be still skinny'
and you came back to the mirror and wondered what was wrong with you
and then
you came out into the world and realised that skinny shaming is as much painful as fat shaming
and you were hot and sexy and beautiful and desirable and gorgeous and wanted,
except that the latter always get to be bullies and also get fans
'Real women have curves'
'We need meat on those bones'
Lines like these became the slogan
for women who were obese because of their lifestyle choices
The ones who had weight issues because of illnesses, sympathised with you, sent you notes
You are beautiful, they said
So you see, now when I take a picture of myself,
after all these years of listening to this,
or take a selfie when I feel like it,
and see my flat stomach or my thigh gap or my collar bones,
I am absolutely satisfied with how I look.
I hope you do too, whether skinny or not.

Monday, June 04, 2018

color me

you are the blue of my sky
and the green of the grass beneath my feet
you are the red of the gentle bruises you leave on my thighs after we have made love
you are the pink of my eyes after I have spent whole nights crying for you
you are the yellow of the sunflower field we first kissed in
and the black of my eyes that long to look at you
you are the orange of the sunsets and sunrises that I lost count of while thinking of you
you are the brown of my skin that craves for your touch
you are all the colors of my world

and yet you see only my drab greys