Hickey

This morning, as I stood before the mirror,
I found new streaks on my body,
Semilunar temporary tattoos,
That have crept up overnight-

You left remembrance on my breasts
With gentle carresses of your teeth,
Sinking softly into my flesh.
I like to think of them as
One last valiant attempt, to hold on,
To these last pigmented bits of togetherness
When there’s no way that you, can, not, go.

But efforts, although valiant, can still be futile
And it’s just skin, flail with vanity, and it’ll forget.
The alive reds will soon turn,
First livid blue, then cold black, dull green,
And then, pale into Yellow.
An entire palette, and yet too insipid,
To match the entire myriad of colours,
That you run through my mind.

The entire myriad, too much for my mind,
Now leaching onto my skin, for a few brief days-
Like dark, forgotten water trails,
Through the faults of cracking limestone caves.
Iridescent, yet fleeting, memoirs, of secret seasons of love,
Bursting out, from the weakest parts of me,
Where my mortal body, cannot contain them.

But it’s just skin, it’ll soon forget.
The seasons will change soon too,
The sky outside our windows, sooner.
But the hickeys on my soul,
Will have your touch etched into them
Neither superficial, nor gentle.
Deeper.
Here, to last seasons,
Here, to stay longer.

All around me now, are dry autumn breezes,
Colours of Fall, on my body that only knew summers
And once in a while, downpours, untimely rains.
Marks on my body fade, not used to feeling this way
And I realise-
It’s not only the seasons, the bruises-
That change, that leave,
When I want them to stay.

Moth-eaten Memoirs

Yet another moondrop slowly drifts into my room. Half adrift into the land of slumber and yet half awake still, I find myself awake and asleep at the same time. Part of my being is still in my body, while part of it is hovering around. Is this what the Dreamwalk is like, a brief part of my mind wonders? But before I can build up further on it, my mind changes focus again. Shifting thoughts pass through me like sand sifting across fingers of the hand- no matter how hard you try to hold on to the quartz bits glittering among the obsidian darkness, all you’re left with in the end is a small fistful of dirt.

Of late, waking or sleeping, my entire life has been a repetition of this. I trudge through life half aware, like a muted, blunted version of myself. My mind held trapped under a mossy forest of subconscious thoughts, fears, and feelings and underneath all of it my thoughts stay, half-transpired, too obstinate to dissolve and yet too scared to condense. Just in this decade and yet a lifetime ago, my fingers formed words faster than my mind could weave them. Half-awake at night I have gotten up because they would not let me sleep- and I have poured them out in endless torrents of black ink scrawling, scratching, and defacing the surface of the sacred, bleached hearts of a 100 felled trees. And yet, now, for many a month, I have failed to pick up the pen and write one thing that mattered. I’ve gazed endlessly at teacups and found the abyss staring back at me, with no storm brewing within. I’ve painted only forgeries, and nothing has told a story of my own.

Maybe there is a Multiverse, and maybe we are all just balanced precariously like the phosphorescent specks on waves, endlessly moving towards the shore but never quite reaching there- an endless duel of restless tugs, until one day the light ebbs, and the seabed beckons, and lets the gravity talk. Maybe we are all a bit here, and a bit, nowhere. Maybe I have lost the part of me that was here and maybe I’ve left behind the part of me that was there. Maybe I am now just a shell, a hollow facade of what used to be me, a transient after-memory. Maybe the words that nourished me have either exhausted themselves, or worse- fled in agony over who I have become. Maybe this is just me, mortal, wounded, without the wings I have sheared off mercilessly, and burner to lose flight. Maybe this is the me drowning in an answerless cesspool of endless questions, all of which end in a visceral why. Why?

Fernweh

(Quite literally, a longing for far-off places.)

Last night,
The Boy with the Summer Caramel and Winter Chocolate eyes,
Told me, to set my second clock up at a difference of one more hour, because winter – and hence daylight saving time-
Jad crept into the Fairytale German Town, the one which will soon transform into Narnia with each snow.

The entire night-
I spent thinking,
Of Winters I never got to know
Of Monsoons that went by too fast,
And one whole night-
I thought of Forgotten Cemetaries
With the buried Sciencemen and Artists side by side
Of the sacred groves by the Oak and Willow trees,

But above all-
Above all, last night- I thought,
Of how, with The Boy moving to different shores in a fortnight-
I will never, never again get the chance,
To set this clock back by an hour.
In my hourglass – I will be the White Witch
That brought to this, My Narnia – a century long winter.

But slowly, slowly that same winter,
Crept in freezing my lungs, and I swear –
This morning, in this City of The Blazing Sun –
When I pulled up my knees to my chest,
And let out with some tears one aberrant sigh-
I felt the chill of the winter,
The pull of the approaching December,
fleeting by.

A 13, or perhaps 14- year old me,
Had read in a book that
” December people are temporary. “
Half my life went by wondering
if my effervescent nature will bring pestilence,
and sadness to the ones in my life.


But today – I realised,
December people are only temporary when you chain them
When you give them the wrong material things,
And expect them to grow Roots.

Give us December people,
A city where history lives on every door,
Give us a city with Solar Systems on its Cobblestone Pathways,
Give us a one-room apartment that has known more love-
More love than entire mansions can hold –
And you’ll find us – the Temporary People,
Weeping over cities, that we have
Hardly even lived in at all.

Of Sulphur winged Fireflies

You tell me, that it’s the Festival of Lights
Of Hopes, dreams & of Sulphur-winged Fireflies
Glittering transiently in the sky.

I want to believe you, I do.

But my battlefield of a body
Constantly haunted, by past tragedies
Looks at the orange sky, like Sauron’s Evil Eye,
And shudders, alone, at each thundering sound-

I only hear Guy Fawkes, this ain’t no Diwali.
This is Revolution. This is Retribution.
And it smells of Gunpowder, of Treason, and Plot.

The Sky colours up, with blood memories
Sparkles with wounds of distant explosions,
The City Cacophony, reminiscent of bygone wars.

Less Vision, More Blinding

Less Poetry, More PTSD.

Of uprooted trees and green genes

I came into this world with strong tree-genes in my roots. My granny, my ‘didu’, was an avid lover of plants. Nurse by profession, I used to see her run back at the end of her tiring workday in the humid sweltering May heat of Bengal, straight up to the terrace where the concrete floor would still burn, to see how her beloved saplings and plants (read grandchildren by choice) were doing. I would see her caress them with her hands while she watered them, not with the strictness of a governess and neither with the overindulgent abundance of the grandma, but with the perfected measurements of a mother. And my, did those plants bloom! They spread their arms skywards in leaps and bounds spreading way beyond the confines of the terracotta and the soil that held them, they twinkled in endless smiles every morning when she slowly said bye to them before work and as the clock struck past office hours, they dropped one by one as if they missed her way too much. And then in the evenings they danced with the mad tempests of the Bengal evening as if sharing their blues with her, and then spread their fragrance calling out to her, showing as much love to her as she did to them.

My mother is named after a flower, and so is my sister. My mother is ‘shiuli’, she spells autumn to our homesick hearts, unnoticed by many she blooms in the night and hands over the steed to my sister in the morning, leaving behind a heartful of home in the air. My sister is ‘aparajita’, proud and royal in the early hours, carrying forth the love into the day, spelling hope.

I carry no flower in my name, nor do I have my grandma’s nurturing hands to make plants grow, but where do I escape my tree genes?
This evening, with this concrete jungle taking its toll on me, I escaped a few miles away, to a place of solitude. But there, I found an aged, wizened old tree, with more rings on its stem than 4 times the years in my soul, lying felled. And the leaves, almost felt blue in their sadness. And I felt the tears welling up inside of me for a love I did not even know existed.

Please, please, don’t let the dragonfly fairies lose their wings. Please don’t make us moonchildren fade away.

Whispered Tales of Sedition

My breath holds dusts,
Like half-crumbling memoirs
Some figments from lost cities,
Some glitters from emerald tapestries,
Some bits of this maritime humidity
And frosted flakes of forgotten winters.

But I guess it’s for the better,
How no kiss came with complete abandon,
How your back under my nails,
Always shifted, uncomfortable
Betraying that tiniest bit of caution.
Scared, lest I transmit them-

Entire stories, captive under my eyelids
Entire worlds, inside my flesh and body.
Entire graveyards of almosts that died on my tongue.
Hand to hand, mouth to mouth,
More pamphlets, less poetry, reeking of my sedition.

Seppuku

Would you drive a dagger through yourself,
Unless reality, with its daily grisly ritual
Is used to cutting you deeper, bleeding harder?


Would you fall on a sword,
Unless the sharp blow slowly tearing into you,
Is still less cruel, still hurts lesser,
Than that daily sucker punch in your gut?


Would you, by your own hands,
Choose to stop the manic rhythm in your chest
Unless in its last beating throes, your dying heart,
Thanks you, for freedom, for emancipation
From the fist that was reaching into your ribs,
Crushing it, crumbling it, ripping you apart.