Painting: The sitting woman by Rabindranath Tagore
Watercolor and ink on paper
National Gallery of Modern Art, Delhi
Whilst I write these words down- I am tired
But not half much as her.
As this thought stops by- I quiver
But nothing near her de-morphing shivers.
Her skin is now pale
Colours of youth long gone
Her experiences now shrunk to creases manifold
Each wrinkle has a story-
A few narrated; Many left untold.
I look at her tiny stature-
Barely walking; And wobbling more
That is when I realise my grandma is now old.
After years of delayed meetings
I might be here just in time
Scared and terrified charred by generation gap
A victim of brutal awkwardness
I stood there to realise that my grandma is now old.
Her glasses are heavier than emotions she carries
Her eyes- now they glitter no more
Her hunch rests as a heroic mark of responsibilities she took care of,
As I glance at her toothless mouth
Her mummed lips curl to become a smile
That is when all my uproaring torments die a silent death
And I know she shall nurture always
Yes, my grandma is now old
But her aura is enough to uphold all our souls.
The sun rises early
When my dad forges it upon
I wish to dream a bit more; but-
I like winters at my home.
His fear scattered across the rooms
On roof top sits his little garden
He nurtures the creepers and reckons the roses
He says things that:- I know he’s right
But no, I won’t listen.
I stand pompous and proud
I’ll fall and choose to rise on my own
That is when he looks at the creepers
And glances at the thorns
They say I resemble him-
Two egos too big and strong
But no- My father forgives me each noon.
I like winters at my home-
More cozy and less alone.
Kangra Fort, Himachal Pradesh
What if I tell you faith and religion didn’t go hand in hand?
What if one was belief and the other a human weaved story?
What if one was creation and the other a mere fantasy?
Dare not answer these questions loud,
But ponder and find out which is which
Or do they even exist?
Not all stary nights are bright
Let’s abandon solace for one lifetime
Looks better when written, Worse when spoken
But let’s abandon solace for one lifetime.
Not all starry nights are Van Gogh’s call
A few are better kept as shrieks and howls.
They split, they splatter- throwing away a bit of dirt
They tell stories when the days are lonely
Create a few when nights are mundane
They gorge upon the masochist dreams
Speaking while holding hands of the beloved nightmare
They make me cry-
That is when I drift towards something that wasn’t ever seen
And now that couldn’t be unseen.
These- these are my colours,
Fairer than any lover
Leaving me gobsmacked at every inch of canvas that is meant to be imprinted in my skin
They go deep beneath the surface
Not just incidents, they talk of narratives
Narratives that are too speculating to be known-
Even more sad to understand
Devastating to feel
Alas! These are my colours.
Prannath Mago|Oil on canvas| National Gallery of Modern Art
A girl of twenty-two – pretty and petite
Merely was she aware how lust and love had forbidden intersections
Yet she wakes up next to a strange man-
Now a woman
Four years older, two years wiser he holds her against his bare chest
She looks him in the eye- a little afraid, a little shy
That is when he caress her hair-
There! There she witnesses the beast glide towards a sight that was forever concealed
She peeps at his hand too scared to hold and graze her fingers at the scars of long lost wounds
That! That is when he surrenders himself beneath her gentleness
She steps back shy and hesitant,
Then! Then he leaps towards her and lets her melt amidst his bewildered kindness.
Strangers tied in bonds of matrimony
Together they learn to unravel the lovers they before had never met.
A few months after with love still afresh
She returns from work to home
Leaving behind the sorrows of daylight
At dusk she waits for her eternal sunshine.
Little did she know torments and tragedies awaited on that doomed day’s sunrise.
And HE DID NOT RETURN-
She couldn’t believe what her eyes saw-
Her lover now shrunk to a silent corpse
The words she heard could never be unheard-
The whispers- they say he’ll never stop by again.
His scent was forever lost
She now had no one who’s touch would melt her soul.
Yet to know the depths of the red in her hair
Yet to adjust the clinky bangles that wouldn’t just go with her outfit
With the awkward pretentious “serene” black and gold across her neck
With a baggage of what haven’t been shared yet
The newly wed widow stood baffled and lost.
Her friends would come; his friends would go
Both their families would say everything will be alright
But all these hopes- based on false pretense
While colour leaves her clothes, her skin stains to pale
Just blotches of red mark her teary eyes and mourning heart
Education drowns in traditions-
They cut her hair- shingled
Calmly, she accepts- not tired to rebel
Just a last gesture for the love she lost
She blames herself quietly for the bad luck she brought
But the people around make it loud and clear.
Though it’s not her fault
She wish to be punished.
She does not want to die
But all of a sudden her ambitions alone are not enough for her to carry on.
Her’s is not a tale of losing feminism
It’s a grieving void that would never be filled
Which is dug deeper with his memories lingering around
The newly wed widow mistakenly looks for him in the not so endearing crowd.