Stay

Remember how it used to be
When it was just you and me
Laughing at the passers-by
“We’ll never leave each other”,
We said, almost a million times.

Now you only
Come in my dreams
A lingering presence,
The taste of which
I wake up to in the morning.

I’d begged you to stay
Yet you chose to walk away
Leaving me to fend for myself
To you probably,
It was all just a child’s play.
But, I died everyday
Questions upon questions
Filled my head to the brim
Couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep
Couldn’t think
I couldn’t blink
It all just away, like you did
Couldn’t throw you in the back-burner
Because I burned everyday
Had to keep the flame alive,
At your altar, in my heart
Oh dear, where to begin
Where to start
I’m confused, distraught.

Wasn’t there another way
That I could’ve
Convinced you to stay
Was it really so necessary
To just…go away?

©Darshana Mehta

(Cover photo also sketched by me)

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Collateral Damage

A faceless effigy
Hung from the light pole
Near the market
In front of the railway station.

It wore a garland
Of boots and chappals
It’s head hung in shame
Who’s wouldn’t?

Turn it around
You’d see, a sticker
Splashed in green, a white strip
A white waning moon and a star.

But, it had been dressed
In a white chequered shirt
And brown trousers
The common man’s clothes.

©Darshana Mehta

The Seven Sins

Each one of the seven deadly sins,
I promise to try,
Entry to the Devil’s abode,
Who dare me deny?

Let the wheel spin,
My spine full of pride,
Will not break, I’ll walk again,
In my thunderous stride

Freeze me, drown me,
But how can I not envy,
These ministers of injustice,
Living off others’ miseries.

Gluttony! Gluttony! Gluttony!
You’ve already force-fed me lies
Of how you keep people happy
So you can burp on their dignities.

Lust is for the sinful, they said
Smothering by fire, the penalty
Yet you, the self-styled protector Smothered your dirty hands, all over my modesty.

And you still have the audacity to ask
Why am I so angry?
Dismembering me alive
Won’t dismember my humanity.

You call it capitalism, I call it greed
Your friend is your enemy’s enemy
But believe me, one day he’ll boil you alive
That is your destiny.

Electing your favourites,
Raising an army of sloths
Their snakebites will come, once they’re
Done and you’ll be left to rot.

Come, come with me
To Dante’s Hell
Let’s see, in this game,
Who clears the most levels.

©Darshana Mehta

Come, surrender

The sword is about to swing,
The guillotine about to fall,
The noose slowly tightens,
Round the vulnerable neck of yours.
Must’ve braved many a weather,
Must’ve stood unbending,
Red against the sun,
But today it hangs (in shame?)
At the mercy of others
Exposed, don’t those tiny hair prickle?

©Darshana Mehta

Things we do in love

Yes, there was love
Of the forever always kind
Interspersed maybe,
With a few fault lines.

But it’s when in love
That we can’t tell
Wrong from right
Heaven from hell

Taking risks, dodging obstacles
Jumping into cold water, climbing fences,
All that, just to stick
To our loved one like barnacles.

How many miles can you travel?
Just to see their face?
A hundred? A thousand? Through hills,
Through mountains? Or pits of disgrace?

But hark now, you lovesick nincompoop,
At the end, it won’t matter
How much you stooped
Because love’s lust will never conclude.

©Darshana Mehta

Of Melodies and Maladies


The symphony
Of a thousand singing birds
Comes to me
If only I could describe it in words.
The Sun’s up
And the world goes around
No time to spare
If only we could listen to these sounds.
The maladies
Of the millions that we are
Escape me
If only they were as big
As we believe
They are.

© Darshana Mehta

Alone

Had been dreaming of it,
Since I discovered,
The purpose of my life,
But now when it stands,
Just a breath away from me,
Why does my heart,
Stop to beat?

What is keeping me away,
From fulfilling my destiny,
Which strings are
Still pulling me back?
I had given up everything,
Abandoned everyone,
And yet…

I take a step ahead,
Focussing on that,
White orb,
My source of salvation,
Only to find myself,
Standing, two steps behind,
From where I had begun.

My vision blurs,
My legs weaken,
Sweat snakes down my spine,
I stand still,
To find some ground,
To steady myself, but,
Instead, I look around.

It was only then,
That I realised,
There was
No one around me,
Is this why I couldn’t,
Reach where I’ve always
Dreamt to be?

© Darshana Mehta