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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Wishes

IMG_20171001_131550295-01.jpeg
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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Anemoia

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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Alternating light

i sat in an arm chair
next to the window,
a book in my lap, pondering,
hearing the breeze rustle,
staring at the trees
and the apricot yellow rays of dusk
leaking in between the leaves.

as I returned to my book
and slipped from my own
into anothers’ imagination,
you came to my door,
which I had left open –
perhaps by mistake,
perhaps hoping for company.

you turned on the lamp –
my favorite one, hanging in a corner,
the one with the rust yellow shade-
and i came out of fiction
into a different reality,
seeing everything around me,
in hues of amber and gold.

sit down, I said, and you did;
we sipped on some tea,
i spoke of my book,
you spoke of the world outside,
of its sights, its wonders,
its weather and its people,
while i listened, enthralled.

dusk turned to night,
the air stilled, and so did our words,
you got up to leave,
come again, i said!
we will meet when we meet,
you said, and switching off the lamp,
left through the same open door.

you’ve come several times again
just as dusk settles in,
never announced, never expected,
turning on the lamp each time,
talking, smiling, sipping tea,
always leaving when you wish,
always switching off the light.

on some occasions you stand
by the door, your hand on the switch
while you speak in mumbled words,
turning the lamp on and off,
switching the world from golden to monochrome
in a short painless instant,
as if it didn’t matter either way.

i am thrilled by the light,
the conversation and the laughter
and the interminable cups of tea,
so on days you stand at the door
waffling, i wait for you to decide;
most often you come in later,
and we speak like we always did.

on days when you don’t come,
i get up at dusk and turn on the lamp,
make some tea and read my book;
wondering if I ought to risk
another evening of uncertain light,
or get up each evening at sunset,
lock the door and turn on the lights myself?

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Keta

Poem in a picture

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Litost

Litost (Czech) : (Milan Kundera described the emotion as “a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one’s own misery.”)
___________________________________________________________________________
i wonder
why
with all the beautiful colors on the ground
i notice the gray skies first
why
despite the water droplets on the bright green leaves
i look at the mist slipping between the branches
why
despite the red gulmohar smiling at me
i notice the clouds dancing on the hills
***
i cleared away
pieces of my life
carefully preserved
in plastic boxes and paper bags
only filing away
a few representative moments
captured in silicon binaries
wondering
if i have the energy
to fill up more boxes?

or should i breathe in
the gentleness of memory
that returns
on rainy afternoons such as today
when
i can taste the prawns
salty and saucy on the outside
bland and meaty on the inside
that I bit into in joy
the day before
my heart broke
so exposed was it
in its shell-less simplicity
***
i read recently
that the God of love is bodiless
its true
love causes
bodies to melt
and spread into space
like the clouds in the hills
dissipating in the valleys
and entire lives
packed in cartons
hurled down trash chutes
***

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