Orange Juice. Don’t talk.

I want to hold a huge jar of the sickliest sweetest orange juice

and down it one go, and sit and talk no more

No more of the missing, the kissing and the bad girls hissing

No more of the guilt, the gilt and the Pining

No more of the maps of the world, and about graves of kings

Of kings, of knights, of that doctor that took someone’s life.

Shhh. Don’t even think of starting on life.

Its bad, we know. its good, it shows. It goes on, its a flow

We know.

About love ?

Well, let’s see. Its a head reeling, hand holding, breath taking, boring little tirade that is extremely fascinating because, we are all alive.

Oh you don’t love? Think its a weakness? Good for you.

I want to hold a huge jar of the sickliest sweetest orange juice and this time, two! And, none for you.

Shhhhhh, don’t talk.

Distant.

A carefully contained leap away from heralding itself

A little balcony red rose blossomed, knowing sun by light, never by sight

There she stood, just like that rose,draped dangerously delicate in the gemstone turquoise,

She looked like the vine that would support a rock.

Her hair , it fell, in a careless bashfulness, singing a silent ode to her wilderness

A wilderness she held captive, clasped in her two hands

Wrists caged in blue bangles, trapped within them all the gasps and sighs

She reminded me of a distant, clear mountain lake, meditating forever, to no end

Nonetheless, I saw, at the break of autumn,

That quiver, worded, sang like the river, died down in the sea.

Death, I felt, she would calmly take, should the quiver whisper “That’s the place”

She would draw life out to her, like the sun

And like the sun, she is warming and relentlessly distant.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just a little peek. No? Okay.

The way your skin hangs from the sides

Of that mouth, that is still feisty, oh my!

I watch you, you are chopping lamb.

The way you stand, looking crazy good in that lily white sweater.

Hands on hips, you look at me. Oh lady!  Those big brown eyes!

“You have stared at me for so long, what do you want?” You ask.

“Nothing, who got you that sweater?” I ask

“I made them myself.” You say, turning away.

“What did they call you back then?” I ask

” What they call me now” You say, a smile creeping up on those lips. Damn, woman!

“Oh come on! Give something away! ” I plead

“Tell me about all the men that you..”

“There were no men, I got married at fifteen, you idiot! ” You say.

“But why! ” I lament.

“Oh, don’t you absolutely want something romantic from me ?” You chide.

“Well, you see, you are old and between those folds of your skin, I expect to find blush and powder, can I please?” I ask.

” Get out.” You say, those eyes now almost at the brink of madness with the repressed laughter.

I feel offended and condescended.

I leave, stealing a last look at the firmly placed pillar of this woman, a dying breed of women.

Mist.

The tension in her bones on her wedding night

The clutching of the dress, with the plump fingers of a child

That swinging movement of the muscled arm, wielding the axe

The swaying of the forest in a hurricane

The slight arm brush that is never noticed, on either side

The staring out of a bus window, by weary eyes

The carefully carrying a full pitcher of water

That little scar , now clotted blood, now flaking away

The quietude of a dying brook

All meet in a single ever prevailing hush

The hush that hangs , a mistress of the mist

Not loving, not crying, not even sighing

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Walk to the home

Veiled I walk, the streets that lead

To my home, I go, The home I need

The home where everyone already left

I am alone, I am bereft

Still, for my youngest, I must go

He is so young, so alone!

Hurry!!! I spare a stray thought to my eldest

He is braving the cold, the desert dearest!

He is walking lands where he could be shot.

And I walked here, head held high, as high as they let a woman hold

For my son there, miles away, is a hero

I used to get letters, I don’t anymore

They say, they talk, they mock, they kill me inside

With all the stories about him

He isn’t killed, he can’t kill, he won’t die

Not without saying goodbye.

Hurry! My little one is now eating the ashes from the stove

Good heavens! You are just like your brother!

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A blue Diwali.

Never truly felt the mad rush of the sparkling cloudy skies

Carousing down my veins in a stupor and drunkenness

Never really felt the heart elated to almost bursting point

Didn’t really look at someone with eyes like a child.

Never felt an urge to light up a firecracker, to hear it explode, to watch it in its pride

Couldn’t quite savour the yellow balls of delight, like on other days

Never really felt like revering the stone god just that day, or being kind

Could let my self drown in the spirit of the celebration

Something held me afloat, held me tied to the rock, the safe rock

From where I see the drowning people, smiles on their faces, the skies reflecting in their eyes

They look happy

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Mama!

You always have to get somewhere, somewhere important

Somewhere where there is maybe a steaming hot or a sedately cold pot of rice for you

But you have to get there

And I had a place like that to go to

At six in the evening, a winter evening, when everything and everyone likes to sleep earlier than usual

A warm bath for your feet, a soft mattress under your back and a ceiling with cracks that you have christened

Ram, Shyam, Peter, Cause why  not ? Peter too!

I was driving, shabbily, annoying other people.

A stream of vehicles, trying to live through the grind went past me as I did by them

By the half night, half day, confused light that lit my way

I saw on the side of the road, two brown spots from a distance

Mother and puppy when I got closer,

Waiting for the madness to pass, so they could cross

I looked, I loved the sight, it was tender and magical

I could have stopped, who am I kidding, the guy behind me wouldn’t and I would have been dead

But I would have stopped. A mother dog and a puppy crossing the road, in the headlights, not confused.

Very patiently waiting, protecting, all seeing, understanding. I wanted to stop to look at them or to let them cross

That little bit of a dilemma, I leave to the gods.

A Child At Sixteen.

A lone, perfectly formed drop of honey

Slid down her plump fingers, cascaded down her almond nails

Fell softly into a bowl of warm water, making no noise at all

Her small brown eyes, swam with delight at the sight

Forty seven, Forty Eight, Forty nine, she kept counting

The drops still delighted her, the water didn’t complain

It rather, maybe liked it, for it was slowly turning into a golden bath

Silently submitting itself to the girl’s play

Noiselessly getting clad in the golden garb

Eighty nine, Ninety, Ninety one, she kept counting

The drops now dropped like rain, a heavy downpour

And then suddenly, the bowl tips over

The honey just falls all in, the water is no more

The girls almost squeals with delight and turns around

To face a very funny looking woman

Who was seething, and puffing and red

“Isn’t that magical, Sarita?” The girl says, unable to contain her happiness.

Sarita firmly pushes her out of the kitchen, shuts it close

The girl looks on pleadingly at the locked door and sits down

Sarita weeps bitter tears of desperation

Her forty year old self was now used to this daily madness

The sixteen year old outside the door never grew a day old

After she turned four.