Posted in Experience, Poem

The Curse Of Empathy

Slightly grazing my hair- oh it was sunny
That day it felt a tidbit funny
Something didn’t come across as right
What was it- I couldn’t put a finger on quite.
May be those were my shoes that felt itchy
To solve the riddle, an unsettling puzzle-
I moved ahead and took a walk
I was meeting with answers but wasn’t sure of veracity
In a quest to seek affirmation
I made a decision, may be with a tinge of bizarre-
I walked further to try on shoes that belonged to others.

The first shoe was warm from misery of a lost lover
The second seeped agony from unexplainable deeds
The third harboured chaos from qualms of kin,
I could feel the sadness for one and for all
But- with an ick ’cause of my own thoughts
Thoughts- afflicted by experiences of past.
What do I do?

I stepped back in my own shoes
Alas! Now were they drenched with ideas
Ideas that might have not been mine
Reeking of stories I never lived, only attempted to empathize.
Alas! Now it’s all blurry
And my head running haywire with no decision to make-
Without considering a bit too much.
What could I do?
I was living the curse of empathy.

Posted in People, Poem

Grandpa’s Hugs Are Now A Bit More Warm

Source: Unknown

He is tall but used to be taller
Weighed down by responsibilities, shrunken with age
His ego has now ebbed away as he brims with pride-
Ah! Those grand children and their glories he cannot stop talking about or may be try and hide.

Done with his fair share of responsibilities
Still anxious to make his children and grandchildren succeed
He wishes to see their next conquest and subtly even great grand children.
Passing on the tradition from one generation to another-
He aims to keep the lineage pure
But embraces the changing times with a clear scoff.
Stubborn just as am I, we know he is kind
He is made of experience and days that were a little too harsh.

In turn of events life played the inevitable turncoat-
Left him alone with people he loved
Each day he silently sheds a tear-
As his wife who rested her head on his chest now rests in peace.
He is strong but used to be stronger
Calmness harboured by him-
I hope it never reaches stillness
Now he scolds a little less and hugs a little longer
My Grandpa’s hugs are now warmer.

Posted in Poem

Silence Of The Skin

Recently I had a chance to collaborate with Smriti Gautam on a project with subject that we share a mutual interest for- women and the overpowering emotions.

Here is a glimpse of a very strong emotion- insecurity, that women face often and how they deal with it or choose to live with it.

Artworks by Smriti Gautam

A birth mark that looks a lil’ uncanny
A beauty spot in place revealing which feels funny
Scars from the everyday battle called life
Etched on my skin is my story.
Gazing at the color-
The pensive pigments and frivolous freckles
I see myself from a stranger’s eyes
The eyes with a shattering voice caging me in notions of beauty
Peeping at the mirror- I stand, I quiver, I introspect
A narrative of glory was written only to be trapped in qualms of unfortunate desire
Alas! I cover most of it-
Forging a smile attempting to embrace silence of my skin.

Days, weeks, months and years pass
I question who am I-
I discover many talents and some experiences worth tooting
Only. If only, I had the courage to stand tall with no fear of those wretched eyes and unkind voices
Alas! I stand covering myself in a piece of cloth constantly feeling naked.
The day I break away from the chains of being wanted
The moment I learn to savour my unconventional beauty
That day shall my skin recite the glorious tale of “becoming”
Till then I’ll stumble upon zones beyond comfort wishing to nurture who I am.

A big thanks to Smriti Gautam and all the lovely ladies who shared a piece of themselves and their stories with us.

Posted in Poem

I Now Sleep Well

After ages of tossing and turning on wrong side of an empty bed
Asking myself questions about the world, the crises and vividly my own existence
I lay awake- no more; battling the torments of purposelessness
I lay naked with a blanket of thoughts keeping me warm to spend a peaceful night
No man beside- just tomorrow’s ordeals to make me feel alive.

As the sun rise- I shall embrace new beginnings with dawn
I shall set foot for my journey-
I know of directions, destination yet being anticipated.
After a day’s hardwork- I’ll smile for trying
The food will taste sweeter with flavors of progress
I shall then sleep well- visited by dreams brimming with meaning
Might be nightmares; just a little kind-
For my body shall lay too dog-tired to pay any heed.

Posted in Poem

Why Do We Love?

Exhausted by one, traumatized by another
People are fickle yet they love each other
Are we desperate, needy and alone?
Wait, let’s not set that undertone.

We act fierce; irony- in the interest of life so farce
But isn’t it healing when a friend sees your scars?
People are annoying- with those quarrels and bickering
But isn’t it cozy when a parent listens to your qualms?

People bring drama- chaos muddled in heaps
But why does it hurt when a beloved weeps?
We wish we had never known someone
But why do we tear up to see them leave for a distant land?

Happy curious excited astonished envious, wrath fear sadness confusion jealousy
Emotions too twisted to decipher
Not as layered as a person
Yet here we attempt to unravel each other.

In times of uncertainty
My thoughts being naive- they brim with curiosity
Maybe, maybe I feel and might I even understand
Still- can someone answer my question in words that are clear
Here again I ask- ‘ why is it that we love’?

Posted in People, Poem

A Meal So Scrumptious

Image source: The Japan Times

Not one not two- there stood a queue never-ending
Each one splendid with joy
Holding a spot for the friend beloved-
For a gathering dressed down- a little too rugged
Ushering the loved ones gleaming with joy
What was the occasion! I could only wonder as a passerby.

Curiosity led me to the front of the line
Whilst I heard the intense remarks of a day being gracious
Oh to my surprise! It was a celebration
Oh to my dismay! An ill served meal was the occasion .
Hungry stomachs and tired hearts were being fed
But what happens to the day that comes next?

Coins scarcely managed for a day of survival
Shall now be kept aside for a daughter’s dowry dragged till the law-approved age
Or even better saved for a son’s education
Empowering him to work at a humble position in an office barely fancy-
An upgrade worth aspiring from the startling slums!
With dreams being fuelled- indeed, the meal was scrumptious.

Posted in Artwork, Photography, Poem

The Cupid Paradox

Garment – walking__vertical
Muse – Rakshit tariyal
Creative direction and photography- Akash Patwal

The roses on earth are colored pink, yellow and white
Somehow it is always the red that them people crave-
Layered and beautiful, tender yet fierce
Erotically scarlet- so has he been told
The cupid struck the arrow
But he understands not
Not blind, but colorblind-
The rose he sees is not red.

Two people meeting together,
At times even ‘some’ becoming one
The usuals, straights, queer, extraterrestrial what not-
All the glitters, butterflies, drama and hate
The cupid knows what did he create
But he feels not.

The magic in the air, a spell hard to get rid of
Red flags decorated as dainty-
A little too in love to ignore
A sweet disaster worth the taste, a tempting high worth the chase
The cupid sees the forbidden fruit
But he desires not.

Posted in Poem

I Am Not Superstitious, Touchwood.

Flip flip flop flop, flip and a flop-
The flip-flops on the floor went on quite a toss
Nothing unusual just a pair lying upside down on the floor
As I stare at them trying to decode where all have they been
Appears a friend rushing, she slaps her own face-
A reflex to deviate the quarrel that shall follow
I smirk at the peace bearer for missing out on her lessons in science.

The diva in me stood awake one night
Before dinner I proceed to paint my nails pretty from pale
Cutting them in the right shape- I dare not compromise on the tiny streak of glamour
Click! I cut them off-
Appears my mother horrified, she banters about the disrespect-
A fear masked in the name of disobedience
I pity the tradition for not evolving with time.

Are you afraid of them too?
I asked my grandmother looking at the cat that just passed by
She stood in silence for a while
As I noticed the color black
Appear her words calling the creature demonic-
Waiting to escape the years of bad luck
I sympathize with the feline for the misconstructed symbolism.

I share the day’s details with a man of wisdom
Seeking logic behind actions
Too proud as the one being rational
Bragging about the mind boggling progressions
Appears the thought I shouldn’t have let out-
“I am not superstitious, touchwood”.

Posted in Artwork, Painting, Poem

The Painting That Could Not Be Completed

Painting in progress

Can I call it art-
If the thoughts were too muddled
Leaving the canvas with blotches of chaos
Not draining the colour alone,
Not exhausting time alone,
But also the artist?

Can I call it art-
If the painter was looking for peace,
Wondering if her brushes had some skills bequeathed
Only to realize that more was required-
May be a deeper thought, an assertive reflection
A master stroke that might evoke a loud reaction?

Can I call it art-
If the existential crisis daunted upon the artist?
With all those ifs, whys and buts-
A gesture to move on and never return to the exacerbated canvas
Alas! That painting- that could not be completed.
Will it still be called- A R T-
If I am the artist?

Posted in People, Poem

A Family Reunion

Image source: Unknown

Alas! I can’t paint a soiree
With Victorian costumes and gestures that speak of grandiose
The year being twenty-twenty-one,
It’s just four people; and three screens.
Living in time zones with different days and nights
Measuring distance in kilometers- and also miles
Each day they try to stay together
Haha- to no surprise failing miserably.
But tonight it is special
The siblings laugh at their usual banters-
For they have learnt to put away the dullness quite adroitly,
The mother asks them to come back home just like each day-
Not for too long; may be just a visit till new memories are created for her to hold on
But tonight it’s the father who imparts new and the unknown
He sheds a tear of joy
And reveals that he stands tall with pride, acknowledging the two kids who try to now be adults
May be, it is the empty glass of whiskey beside the vacant dinner table
The two children: unaware, awkward and shy-
Gleam for a moment with joy- untill they return to their usual banters and frivolous complaints
The year being twenty-twenty-one
It’s just four people; and three screens-
And a million emotions that timidly scream.