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.
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.
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.
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”.
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.
Victim of gadgets and networks Funny, how we think of flowers, trees and birds chirping- A foliage from mountains and waves from unknown seas drift right across the bittersweet memory lane Days pass by- A few with new learnings A few with breath afresh A few with just breaths.
Meaning or none; Feelings or some Time- it doesn’t cease From bud- to flower- to withered remnants all lost in blink of an eye We try to heal from “wounds of actions” Only to find ourselves etched with “scars of experience” Creations once brimming with youth Narrations now by voices forever tired A medley of gallantry: no, I am not certain A hum of survival: a lullaby before I say the final goodbye.
Oh no! This isn’t a sight the artists would paint pretty But the one the poets would run away from in search of peace Yet the writers would love to stumble upon the chaos- For the “rush” that inspires an early mid-life crisis or a moral turmoil once in a while. I might speak otherwise, but the city- it has my heart; Born here- you’ll never realise the difference Travel a step or two: within this city you’ll come across abundant hues. The roads here are always rushing The streets crave for pin drop silence- Alas! All they accomplish is pitch dark corners; Harbouring a new crime or conning a judge for an event soon to be deemed “historic”. History here once was a matter of gallantry and pride- Memoirs of war heroes; battles- now merely “narrated scars”, Monuments standing tall and wide; Crossroads named after idols who once had a future bright But how come the present is dusted with a “phenomenon” called smog? Is it a roof over head for those who are “forced” to sleep beneath the stars on the umpteen footpaths? Men and women torturing each other inside homes, keeping themselves vocal But no one to raise a voice against the unjust! Oh yes! Communities for festivities and fancy parties But in times of hardship are we all alone? I might speak otherwise, but does the city have my heart?
Did a few words ever brought you close to someone? Did they make you feel understood enough to communicate your feelings one more time and then another till it finally became a common abode for the both of you? Do you remember mumbling those few words (most of which were mere sounds) only your mother could make sense out of until you gradually learnt to form nonsensical sentences which were a cluster of random words? This was all happening in your mother tongue and slightly in English if you hail from an “educated” Indian family. As you grew up you still were struggling to pronounce your words right and absorbing more of those in your evolving memory so that you could communicate with clarity. With time, experience and adequate nutrition develops mind, physique and personality. This also leads to emotional and perceptive growth in turn enabling you to express your individual self as well as identification within a social group. Does language play an eminent role throughout? Remember entering teenage and creating your own jargon with a bunch of friends while the teacher emphasized on “minding your language”? Also, the schools made an attempt that you developed an extensive vocabulary and got the “English” grammar just right. We were told to speak in English, watch English movies and develop a habit of reading English books while the mother tongue was a havoc and led to “fine” or even deduction of a few marks/ credits here and there. Subconsciously, we were taught that English was a superior language. But what was determining this hierarchy? Who were the people influencing our mindset even with the presence of abundant diversity in the Indian heritage? Being a British colony did hit us hard but after that we had enough time to embrace our own culture! Yet we are awed by the Western lifestyle. The need for globalisation has made it necessary to share information via a mutual medium but that never meant for us to start demeaning our own regional ethnicity.
The early men started communicating using gestures which were accompanied with the sounds they made. It was slowly and gradually that the words were formulated. Scripts and grammar were created much later. Languages continue to evolve even today especially its vernacular attributes. This was happening simultaneously all across the world amidst the primitive civilizations. Now the modern man can easily learn languages that belong to a different country while sitting at home itself. He can improve his skills by talking to the native speakers who volunteer online or wish to exchange knowledge about each other’s language. The media now is easier to access. It is appreciated to be multilingual. It opens up our mind and broadens are learning abilities further. It allows us to empathise with different cultures with regional literature as a powerful tool. But again, hierarchy and popularity of languages is extensively analyzed and understood before taking up a new one. Every time we visit a new place, especially the ethnographic researchers, the natives share more of their lives with us if we speak their tongue. This hints at the sudden sense of belonging that a mutual language generates. Also, have you ever grooved to the tunes of a song that wasn’t in a familiar language but still felt relatable? It shows that language is aided with expressions and emotions that need to be conveyed. A language may not be that easy to decipher and would require linguistic professionals, however it is an extremely powerful tool to share all those beautiful thoughts in our head using the innumerable precious words.
Been stuck in a room; now for a while? The windows are at a stand still, The curtains flutter towards the familiar edges, The walls- they wouldn’t move The fan hums in an absurd harmony while the roof reeks of monotony- Truth be told, the time has come Try and take heed beyond that stubborn door.
Been trapped in a city full of lights; now feels like a lifetime? The road is drenched with noise The flicker of the red light glitters; Yet it doesn’t appease the one in your eyes The sky is dawned with dusk The pace now depraves the lust for the details- Truth be heard, the time has come Try and find peace in a lover’s arms.
Been loved like never before, now for an eternity? The walk- the talk- the fears- the tears- Lived through them all The fun and games have been left behind Curiosity now pays the debt of adapting; The stories aren’t wicked anymore, Just crooked with yet another encore Truth be felt, the time has come Try and stop being a slave to your inner boredom.
After years of dodging; every occasion with a more bitter excuse Finally came a day when somehow the visit just couldn’t be refused From far away, that house in village stood still and tall Now haunted with lifelessness On inside did it suddenly grow small? Or was it the memory of it that brimmed with grandeur? The windows creak The walls reek Spiders smile weaving a trap of nostalgia The garden once full of roses and lemons is now musty; Haunted by emptiness somehow braved through my grandmother’s beliefs- Evident by the statue of Shiva I remembered since I could remember; Survived lessons from my cousins teaching me to play games- While I stood there being timid, young and shy.
Monkeys in the yard My aunt’s smirky remarks Talking to uncles altogether a hurdle- I knew I never would fit in there, Now affirmed. Yet the lullaby from past lingered longer Singing to me of a wish why did I let go so easy- So early at an age so tender! Alas! Now it is too late to return Only reminscence, what hath been done cannot be undone.