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

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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.

खण्डशः (khaṇḍashä)

A strip of sky yours
A strip of sky mine
You colored it with rainbows
I filled it with stars
A strip for the moon
Another for the sun
Some drew clouds
Some the peaks of mountains
We chose our own Gods
In our fight for survival.

© Darshana Mehta

Note:

1. खण्डशः means to divide or cut in Sanskrit.

2. Cover photo: “A divide in the sky” captured by me at Andheri West, Mumbai, India

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)

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