Aside

Road no 12, Banjara Hills

It was this road that ran a good length into Banjara Hills, flanked protectively by luxury brands on either sides. Amrapali, the store read and an elevated cobblestoned driveway led to the side door. I walked in, step matching with Jigi. The first thing I noticed was some girl’s bleached hair, coloured rainbow, falling dry and limp on her shoulders. I turn away to look at Jigi.

” What are we doing here?” , I ask. We don’t normally just walk into a high end store without first drawing gigantic sketches that always concluded on, ” We’ll probably regret it, but lets do it”.

Standing a good foot tall above me, he barely looks at me and says, ” We are buying you a nosepin.”

“Here?”

“Yeah.”

“Yeah, No”

” Okay, I will buy a nosepin. You do whatever you want to do”

I sigh and maze my way to the bathrooms. When I was out, I could hear the lovely Indian classical music pouring right out of the papered walls onto the perfumed air. I could see the china, whose trims were writhed in pink roses and gold leaves. The world was a better place.

Jigi is waiting.

We climb up the stairs and reach our section of the store, that supposedly has nosepins. Well, not the kind my dear boyfriend envisioned. They were the size of a lemon. We laughed and looked around petty towels and perfumes until we got bored and out we went.

The first bubble of laughter from my lips escaped as fast as his first drag of cigarette that he blew at the setting sun. We walked, our backs against the sun, under a velvety blue sky.

Killed in an encounter.

My day is a series of nonevents. Turning my car into the parking lot is one. But, since the last two days, it has become a delight. Hyderabad is recovering from the rain battery it received a week ago.

Monsoons are receding but every now and then, a spell of rain, still threatens us. After each threat, the boughs of the arched trees of my lane, usually arrogant enough to let even sunlight through, grudgingly, in patches, tremble. This quiver lets loose the tiny, white flowers they hold dear all summer. The nature wars with itself, as the flowers are strewn, white and tiny all across the lane, on either side.

Destruction of all orders, ritually complete each other as the night approaches, colder than yesterday. And, as my car takes the much wished for curve into the lane, it lights the lane up. The streetlights are too few and apart. Just when I take the turn to my parking lot, the flowers come into sight, like tiny apparitions. Oh look, a crime scene.

They are stark and sudden. In the glare of my headlamps, they look disturbed, a hundred eyes widened in wonder and fear. I brake slowly, and stare. The petals stand up straight and defiant against the light I inflict on them.

They have grown wiser since their fall from the lofty perch. By the time, the first petal touched Earth, their reality shifted. They don’t look at me like an intrusion. They know that by daylight, they would be raked in by the city municipality. They know that they would be crushed under the weight of plastic in another 14 hours. The imminence of their existence is their reality, which they never forget, never let me forget.

They know that I would, after getting over my childish infatuation, drive my car over them, in another two minutes, killing a few so mercilessly, not even the tragic image of a crushed petal would be left behind. They would die pressed flat to my tire or pressed hard into the ground and then, be trodden upon, again and again and again, until, they became one with the oppressor or the prison.

A mere wave’s life.

To break free

of the ocean’s embrace, a mere wave, I see

A fierce beast, from a distance

It grazes the shore and what pulls it back?

Maybe, remembrance.

It tries till it tires

Relentlessy, over lifetimes

yet, the ocean pulls it back

Mercilessly over lifetmes

And I think of you

A mere wave in an ocean

And I’ve crooned the sweetest songs to lure you out

I’ve sung prayers day and night to make you mine

It must have hurt.

Still it fills me with life

To see you come rushing to me

Each time, towards the shore, I see.

Braid

Braiding a silken streak of afternoon

With the blue ribbons of twilight

The sky smiled down on us

Like my mother would, exactly like she would

If I was ten and she still braided her hair.

Clouds came in clumps and clusters

Drifting lazily across the grey expanse

Wisps of grey, silver and black

Like my mother’s braid, exactly like my mother’s braid

If I still looked if she braided her hair.

And it rained for hours

While I sat still, coffee untouched.

 

 

 

 

Aside

Everyday I am dancing.

I dance like there’s no home to go to

Like all doors are locked and I threw the keys into the ocean

Like all books are burnt and there is no recollection

Of a time before I danced, a time before this one.

I dance like there’s no one to see me

Like all the photographs are buried, well beneath me

Like it’s a moonless night, so find me

All you people who won’t ever see me dance, believe me!

I dance like  it hardly makes sense anymore

Like I’ve done this all, a hundred times before

Like I’m only doing this, cause I can’t take anymore

Of your constancy in my life, your presence and its indefinite store

So, I dance.

 

Walking postcards.

Long eyelashes, cast a shadow below your eyes

On nights, brought to life  by candle lights.

Each time you blink, or your lips curl into a smile

I swallow in dread.

You move too much, pretty girl. You die.

You’re like a sad lullaby,

That a dead mother sings to a dead child

Through the buzzing of flies in her rotting throat

To the ears of the babe, somewhere swollen and afloat

Still songs will drape that lullaby in layers of gold

And that’s how, pretty girl, I see you.

A corpse’s lullaby, wrapped in the hollow that’s you

You move too much, I lose my mind

One slip and you go spiraling down into the depths

Of memories sweet, sweeter and repressed

I want you to stay, bleed and be blessed

Oh girls like you, are walking pictures of dead

You move too much, you are breaking my heart

I can see you smiling from frames and postcards

Queen of tragedy, almost too accepting of it.

Don’t move so much, I can already see you dead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Its Pouring, I’m waiting.

In rain, we meet

In rain, let me revel

In rain, the hush, let me listen

To your heart pounding against your chest

 

When the sky is tearing itself to pieces

Madly pining and shrieking with lust

In rain, let me smile

Through rain, look at me

While it rains, I will see

Your toes curling with mad ecstasy

 

When the night is already upon us

When the stars are all behind dark clouds, shut up

This rain, can drench us

This rain, will drown your voice

This rain, will not stop.

This rain, will keep a secret.

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Autumn Party.

Moods are set to dusty pinks

Autumn evening in full swing

Spices of faraway lands, like dreams

 

Silks that dare to be fancied, by bodies unclean

Harps sing like birds in the spring

Hail the queen and the king

For this drop and this game 

For the crop and my dame

Crop burnt to ground, dame doomed for shame 

Hail the Queen and the king, again! 

Drunk with love, she looks at me

Eyes hollowed out to just barely see

Her arms just skin covering bones, so tiny

Yes, I love you too. You know me.

Hail the Queen and the king, one two three! 

This Autumn party will turn to night

With the palace gates closing, so shall the light

This game will get cold, the drop no more in sight

Someday, Someone will set things right.

 

 

 

 

Maiden no more, now I am the lore.

“I wear love”, she said

“Love?”, I ask.

“Love”, she nods

“Show me”, I say.

“Tear lovingly out of the warmest evening sky”

“Six yards of its expanse, six more if you like” She says, sounding like mist, if mist ever sang

“And then?”, I ask, stupefied.

“And then, let it engulf you, waist down, let it fall to your feet. What do you see now?” , She asks.

“I see my arms and breasts, so bare, so stark” I say, timidly,trembling.

“Do you know how the sea splashes against a rock, pleadingly?”

“Let it just as stealthily, reach your shoulder, shrouding your breasts in a temporary death.”

“What do you see now?” she asks

” I see, my navel bared to the whims of winds, slight and rogue alike”, I say.

“Brilliant. What else do you see?” she asks, she sounded like thunder, if thunder ever sang a lullaby.

“I see a stream of light, stretching forever behind, trailing, cascading behind me”, I say.

Just then she holds a mirror to my face, a mirror clearer than the clearest day.

A quiver runs through my veins, strengthening the spark in my eyes

A dull resolve took shape in my heart

And I saw love, when I saw eyes

Which knew how to love

The deadliest lies.

 

 

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

She watches.FullSizeRender (2)