It was a windy day in November, There was a power cut, I went upto the chhat, And lay there under my, Ma’s colorful sarees, Billowing in the window, With each attempt, Trying to escape the hold, Of the clothes’ pegs.
With every gush of wind, The green saree, Screamed to be let out, And when the wind left, The saree tempered down, And lovingly caressed, My face in return, Just like Ma.
Just like Ma, I thought, Wanting to be let out. She wants to flow, Freely with the wind. But something or, the Other always holds, Her down. And when she can’t, She’ll still come back, And lovingly, Take me in her arms.
Thirteen Don’t talk to boys Fourteen Don’t look them in the eye Fifteen Don’t wear lipstick Sixteen Don’t wear those jeans
Seventeen Eighteen For marriage aren’t you keen? Nineteen Twenty Can you make a round roti? Thirty How many kids do you have? Forty You still can’t talk back Fifty You are of no use to me Sixty Widowed, you are set free Of all rights and duties
Seventy You’ve found refuge in a shanty Surrounded by others like you Alone, yet together Together, yet alone
Eighty Wrapped in a white sari You stood up proud One last time To breathe in The air of liberty.
The roads lay bare The glass buildings stared At each other’s reflections The air lay still Waiting for the mighty train To whisk it away To lands unknown. The empty streets Whispered to each other Bidding their time Till the noises resume, Only, they still haven’t.
There was light But not bright enough There was darkness But not impregnable enough
Yes, We stood nonplussed Yes, Uncertainty surrounded us Yes, Our every attempt failed
But look, The birds are singing once again, The flamingoes have returned The air is breathable again The trees rustle in unison
Stars above her, Stars in her hands, That’s how I remember, Watching her, holding her, Probably for the last time, Her skin glowing softly, Against the black sea, Against the black night.
“Mama! Look! “, she bubbled, Or that’s what I presumed, She might have done, If only her tiny hands, Still had their strength, Instead they just lay, Unmoving, as the waves, Lapped to and fro, With each encounter, Deposited iridescent phytoplankton, On her porcelain arms.
My arms were strong, Mother’s arms, Had always tended to, Sheltered her child, And yet, they couldn’t Protect her, from disease. They couldn’t hold her, Tightly enough, when With her last breath, Her soul left, And scattered itself, Across the universe, Amidst the stars, Again.
What is it about love stories, that demands incompleteness? How can two lovestruck entities, who were an explosion of passion, a whirlwind of emotions, stay together for long? As Palermo from La Casa de Papel, rightly stated, Boom, Boom and then Cíao. True love doesn’t last forever. Asking for more, and being cupidinous will only lead to disillusionment, disenchantment, and alas disappointment.
But does increasing the distance between these two entities work? Most couples would flagrantly disagree as it will only burgeon their longing for each other. Even nuclear force, one of the strongest forces in nature, doesn’t work that way; the two entities need to be close enough for it to act. That does happen in the “Boom, Boom” phase, but what causes the saudade after that.
Is love just a hyperbolized human emotion or a force of nature, scientists have yet to discover. Or is it a far-fetched manifestation of quantum entanglement, much like Plato’s soulmate theory. Or at the end of the day, it could just simply be, “Boom, Boom” and then Cíao.
The sky A myriad blend of colors A thorny path strewn With dead flowers You stand at its end At the gates of paradise Want to reach out but Am wary of cowardice Questions float in my head Answers to which I’m unable to realize Should I bloody my feet? Bloody my heart? Or bloody your back, instead?
How many days of youth left, When exactly do you become old, When the sun reflects, Off your wrinkles, off your skin, Which once used to glow. Dreams of flying, fluttered, In your infantile eyes, Now your bones creak, And you know, Words don’t, actions speak, So you sit, and count, How many days of this youth left, How many days of this summer, Till when will these flowers bloom, And when will your roads be, Finally, snow-covered.