Sunday, September 06, 2009

Such a mad paroxysm of love for strangers

Is not normal, they say.

But staring out of the cocoon in which I live,

As each day rushes towards a violet death

And the world ages before my eyes,

I have had innumerable first loves.

Men lean against graphiti-ridden walls,

Shadows on their faces and black hole eyes.

Them, I have loved more than any lover of mine…

My lovers with their keen maleness

And professions of love.

Colourful women,I see, flying with wings

And as they catch my eye,

Start for a tiny moment,

And smile beautifully before they soar off,

Love sits in a lump in my throat.

Twilight thickens around me like a sweater.

Swathed in its warm security,

In such rare, fleeting moments

I dare to love.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Evening was waiting around the corner, eager to stride in. These days, she felt, she was in huge demand. A little girl in her tattered rag of a thrown away, once fancy dress, was whispering to herself, coaxing herself into believing that the day would end in a while and make everything alright, that another day would pass and the war would be over soon. Very meekly, bending over her ware of glittery bangles, she murmured, “Let it be evening soon”. Something pulsated inside Evening. She wanted to accompany the little one to her cottage. She suddenly wanted to sit on her haunches and watch the child glow and glitter, playing on the snow with her peers.

The street-lamps were a new bunch in this out-of-the-way little village but its humble ways had taught them to forego conspicuity. But they were a young lot and the charm that self-admiration presented was yet to wear off. And they had had a rather tedious job of keeping still all day long. They couldn’t wait to see the snow turn a beautiful mellow yellow under the haze of their diffused light. And when the throbbing gang of children,bathed in their light, looked up in admiration and frolicked happily, they felt extremely important and contented. Impatient to explode into life, they beseeched Evening to glide in. Evening was amused.

The old painter was still trying to paint a masterpiece, something he could pour his years and dreams into, something that would capture the sense of his thoughts and the essence of his being. It could be a trifle, but it should be a masterpiece. Tonight he wanted Evening to set in early and seep into his painting of the brightest star in the purple heaven overlooking a group of children playing on the snow, glowing and glittering in the puny haze of the yellow street-lamps. He had told his young daughter, “Evening will set in early today dear. Come back home before it is dark.”

The boy would be going away the very next day, Evening overheard anxiously, to a war. He had bought Daisies for his girl, but she wanted testimonies that would last longer. Evening felt she should throw her maternal arms around them but as the last crimson rays of the sun fell on their faces as they kissed, and she caught a rainbow in her tear, an overwhelming wave of sorrow inundated her. She lamented her power of uninhibited vision, sometimes unwilling. She crept into the shadows of an old ruin to catch a breath. The whiff of cold air whistling through the narrow openings between the crumbling bricks was a little surprised to see the lost look in her eyes when he shook her soft dark hands.

The crimson sun dropped behind the line of the white snowy field. Evening shook her head and trudged in.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It shall find a way…

Seep in through frayed holes in curtains,

Narrow gap between the wall and the door,

The door and the floor,

Through eyelids squeezed shut.

Whether you will or not

Light will force its way

Into the darkness behind your eyes.

Friday, July 03, 2009

There were whispered promises in the air

Jealous ears tried to steal,

And love in inebriated eyes.

There were dream-sellers too

Vending pretty bottle-fuls

In exchange for all your nightmares.

Hearts bobbed inside tall wine glasses

And hands touched,

Tenderer than before they part.

You touched music with your lips

And hung on to a kiss

As if you had tasted the light of the soul

And night melted away

like the aftertaste in your mouth.

Now the sun’s high on the horizon

And the night’s vapours are gone.

Molts litter the ground

You had danced upon

And the sequined mask

of last night’s Ball

Has welded into your face,

You, forever a Cinderella

In the endless masquerade

that began last night.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Splotches of colour
at each window
carelessly painted
and already running down…
Rain makes their outlines melt
from this side of the fuzzy glass.
Behind those ground glass,
once upon a time,
as in fairy-stories,
a new tune was sung
everynight, till the city
let its horns and bugles
kill and drown noise,
and they, behind those glass panes
forgot how to sing
and then, quickly
before a messiah could intervene,
music altogether.

And sometimes in June
when on a rainy evening
light from routine streetlamps
slides off
the rejuvenated, wet black city streets,
shapes I thought looked queerly like faces
broken-jawed and bleary eyed
peer from pot-holes.
Somebody, almost always,
too worldly to care,
splashes through them.
Some times I see them gather
the loose pieces and resurface
indifferent to the sound of the world,
or even the sights, the light,
staring blankly…
language lost.

Mostly they just float
in threads of molten colour,
like those behind the glass windows
till the sun has, by the next evening,
sucked them dry.

Monday, December 15, 2008

He’s a man of the rivers

And you can see it in his eyes.

He’ll look at you nice and plain

And take off his hat and bow.

But when on a full moon-drunk night,

You are looking for the moon

In his deep set blue eyes,

And you are not too careful

He’ll lift the flimsy scrim

And drown you full and well

In the calmly flowing river

At the back of blue ink eyes.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I have muted the TV’s voice, the crass cacophony of the radio channels. I have tuned in to a mirthful song where jazzy beings play at being in love, wooing, laughing, hugging the trees, gyrating, pirouetting in joyful bliss. I watch and watch and imagine they are you and me, us in our days of youthful glee. Youth shouldn’t have left us though, I am only 27 and you 28 or so, but outside our bedroom window the sky has gone grey, the grass in the garden dry and yellow, sorrow has been sitting on it for so long. And when at night, you are sleeping by the baby’s side, by the cold moonlight, I hear you sigh, and I count the wrinkles that cling to your face and the frozen tears that don’t come out. And I climb out of bed and press my nose against the frosted window-pane and in the garden I see Him, sitting silently, morose and grim. He looks me in the face but I am not scared, I don’t think I’m strong, I’ve just known him for much too long! You have come back from wherever you had gone. You ask me “ Have you seen the news honey? Read the papers? Heard anything in passing?” I point to the ashes that remain of newspapers; I burnt them...they reek of blood so! Then you say, “A killed B and C gunned A down. In Austria there have been homicides in a town…They were in their twenties who wielded those guns…” and I say “Stop! Don’t fill my ears with the sound of bullets! Stop! Don’t fill my tired eyes with slaughtered people’s blood! Stop! I lost my childhood sleep dreaming of lost souls! Stop! Don’t stain me red, I have my baby to tend. Stop! Hush! Drop the topic now! Love me, kiss me, hold me close!” You do so. You know I am right for you lost your childhood sleep too, once upon a time. For you are scared just as I am, when the baby cries what is it for? It’s not hunger, it’s not pain, it’s a terror that congests his chest, and returns again and again and again! I’m scared if he dreams of guns, I’m scared if he smells blood, like you and I do. I have seen you burying your nose in artificial flowers. So you go on, like you are told, loving me, kissing me, holding me close. But the sky is grey and the trees are bare, the waters calmly flow, and outside our window the world ages so, and in the garden I see Him. And when I love you and you love me and we both love and try to find a refuge and some warmth, I can see Him seeing us two and I can tell that you’ve seen him too! But you tell me to close my eyes and think of baby, you and love and you help and I try and I try to not give up and we try to stay alive.