प्रमाथ (pramātha)

It wasn’t dark yet
Just four in the noon.

I wasn’t going to a night club
I just wanted to reach home

My dress wasn’t short or revealing
It was a salwar-kameez, with a dupatta

I wasn’t being chatty, wasn’t being bold
But I couldn’t resist screaming, under his hold

I wasn’t even a woman yet
I was just eleven years old.

© Darshana Mehta

Note: प्रमाथ (pramātha) means rape or molestation in Sanskrit.

Music

It’s a sweet lullaby
That transpires from
The whispers of your hair
The pink of your cheeks
The beats of your heart
Your toes brush mine
Our fingers intertwine
A distant ringing
In my ears
A soft melody
Composes itself
As we breathe,
My head over your chest,
In harmony.

© Darshana Mehta

Two Gifts

I bought you life daily
With the price of my flesh
Slowly, the devil took me
Night on night, into his den
Before leaving you left me
Two gifts, pieces you said
Were of your soul
One a book of prayers,
Hymns to ward off demons
In times of distress
And another a black lavaliere
With an inverted pentacle
To summon Satan, for whenever
I needed to be his mistress.

© Darshana Mehta

Stone

Sometimes,
In the middle of the night,
Those old,
Deep-set fears,
Creep onto you,
Your body stiffens,
And you feel the chill,
In your bones.

With years of practice,
You know how to suppress,
Those internal screams now,
How to close your eyes,
And rock your self back to sleep.

But not today.
Today, you let them flow,
Reliving, relishing,
Remembering,
How it feels to feel afraid,
Feel threatened, feel helpless.
Untill,
It hardens your soul,
And all that’s left of your heart,
Is a cold, cold stone.

©Darshana Mehta

Retrograde Motion

An endless stream
Of atoms collided
A new universe was born
Fire, heat, dust and rocks
Coalesced together for it to form
A pinch of hope
And a dash of luck
Was all that was needed
For life to start
But the dark lords above
Just couldn’t agree upon
To which caste did it belong
Of fire and heat?
Or of dust and rocks?

© Darshana Mehta

प्रेक्षकः [prēkṣakaḥ]

I’m oscillating
In and out of this circus
Of your reality
Where promises
Are made and broken
Where people and their virtues
Integrate and disintegrate
And integrate to
Disintegrate again.

I observe it
Like an outsider
In the third person
Like a spectator
Cheering and booing
Analysing and speculating
But never participating
Because if I do
Would it, still be fun?

© Darshana Mehta

Note: “प्रेक्षकः” means spectator in Sanskrit

Fun Fact: The meaning of my name “Darshana” (दर्शना) also lies on similar lines

Fixation

It was in shambles
The four walls
Which enclosed to form
What I used
To call home.

Ma told me to come soon
She doesn’t like that
I keep coming
Back here
For some or the other reason.

We now live in a
Better and brighter place
On a higher floor
With larger rooms
The perfect house.

But the salty air
No more dances
Through my hair at evenings
The chirping of the birds
No more wake me up at dawn.

The zooming cars
On the highway
Cannot substitute
The unobstructed view
I had of the sunset.

Instead of the unending sea
Always welcoming me
With open arms
My horizon is lined
With concrete structures now.

They say family is what
Makes a house a home
But don’t they also say?
Home is where
The heart is.

© Darshana Mehta

Note: Yes, that’s me in the cover.