one day you find yourself in the middle of The Forest;
how you slipped in here
when the entrance was open
you don’t remember; but that’s what limbo
does to you.

the networks of leaves
carry the vestiges of your memories
intertwined together like a spiders web
with knots intractable
that barely let the last rays of the sun in;

their colors change as seasons do,
fresh as spring, ripe as summer and
frail as autumn; and the little promises in
orange tear away from their branches and
tenderly fall to their death with the loving breeze

while you stay rooted to your spot
refusing to succumb to the loss;
hoping, that this is really the dream of someone
on the other side of the world,
and here –
here it’s still summer.

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Forest Fires

there are days when
you wish you could become empty.

you wish you could be drained off
everything that everyone hears when they speak to you –
the copious stories they call thought
coiled into each other
born from your body and dying slow deaths,
their time constant infinite.

you wish you could be stripped off
everything that everyone sees when they look at you –
the length of skin that conceals
every emotion that flutters your insides
like a wave in the pond
leaving dead fish on the banks.

you wish you could hide in the forest 
where silence and wind would sing to you

then you realize that you would still not be able to hide
from the eyes
which pore into you even when you are a tree in the forest
of oblivion 

where the stones tell the trees 
stories of days past in words of weight and lightness
and the trees respond in shadows and falling leaves;
and the stories rub against each other
to create a violent fire
that will eat through the trees and the stones and your shell

and still you will continue to exist
because no one ever disappears
as long as the fire rages.

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and just like that
as if they were the light of a lamp
that had just been turned on,
the tears start to pour
unearthing with them every secret plan,
dream, love, disappointment and desire

that now finding itself revealed
escapes into the nothingness
that surrounds

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For the one who came through me

You have turned but eight
and already
the labels have started –
talented, friendly, disruptive, naughty –
and be sure, there shall be more.

From those who love you
and those who don’t care;
from friends and acquaintances
and sometimes, passersby too.

From those who preach patience
to the impatient and relentless;
from adults and children,
teachers and role models, too.

Be still;
for no one save you
will fully know you.
So as long as there is truth
in your mind,
a love for this world,
and all its creatures,
be still, son;
for the labels are merely
a way for them to box in waves.

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for all who lay around me
withered, and lost to those
who once knew who they
were, and now barely remember

for all the moments captured
in the roots of trees
hidden, and growing away below
thick trunks, that have lost their leaves

for all the dreams
that once were evolving
stories, and now are memories
lost to those who once loved them

i wish time would unravel itself
and flow to me; and if it cannot
i wish, that at least tears would flow
and never stop.

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Ashes to ashes

One of these days
I will crumble –
like the end of a cigarette 
on fire,
in the middle of your lips 
does –
when you inhale,

glowing brightly 
one last time
before I distingerate at your feet –
a transitory source
of peace
and pleasure.

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Inspired by ideas in “Kafka on the shore” and “A hundred years of solitude”.

during the monsoons
when it rains
as if
you only have to wait long enough
and everything would end –
life, love, pain, fear –

time forgets to move forward
yesterday bumping into today
memory looping into imagination
death giving into life
love blending with hate
words dissipating into breaths.

i stand atop a mountain,
dark clouds
bearing down on me
and stare incredulously
at the vastness of space,
land, trees and human enterprise;
at time, past and present
as it stays still in front of me
and at the intersection of the two
where I blend into you.

you once asked me
what if there was a place where
time was stored?
maybe, I replied,
all of time is in front of you
a few moments stand out,
several fade into the background
and the ones you don’t want to lose
are hidden deep in a forest,
where nothing has decayed yet
and we are also there.

(The title is from “The Dictionary of obscure sorrows” and refers to “nostalgia for a time you’ve never known“)

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