Viola

Viola stood on the hilltop,
dwarfed amidst the cedars and pines;
yet rising up straight and strong,
delicately carved in cream and grey stone.

Her lips are set in a gentle smile
and her misty eyes radiate goodness,
and they come from across the hills and seas
to lay eyes on a masterful sculpture.

The Strong Wind came often,
whirling around her for hours;
come away with me, he insisted,
and i will make you better.

So persistent was he that Viola agreed,
even to break the base she stood on
and walk away with him;
alas, separated from her base she fell,
face down into the mountain slopes,
while the Wind receded back to its home.

The Forces pushed her downhill
until she rolled onto the seashore;
there she pulled herself up
and stood up on the legs carved into her.

The Water came and played at her feet,
teasing and licking her toes when it pleased,
but never when she called, as she often did,
because the Water did make her feel good.

But the Water was careless,
it gently seeped into her as it played,
cooling and making her smile;
so she didn’t feel her insides weaken.

And then the Strong Wind came back
and squeezed Viola’s shoulder again;
she shook and broke and crumbled to dust,
carried away by the Water and the Wind.

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Posted in Foodie Aside., Mountains, Poetry, water, Women | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

E for Escape

The sunlight in the leaves,
The sweetness playing inside flowers,
The breaths of ripe fruits,
The eyes behind your stoic face,
The feet resting on the ground,
The stories brewing on your lips,
And the realities being born inside your head –
They all seek me;
Searching with nimble fingers
For the opportunities,
The pathways to conversations,
The connections to laughter,
The bridges to anywhere,
That I allude to.
In reality though,
I am a book in a library,
Read and returned.
For I command a high price –
A security deposit –
Much more than I am worth?

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Perfect Water

I was perfect water-
Stayed in the vessel
And reflected the lights
Making them look magnificent.

I was perfect water-
Stayed in the vessel,
Neither dripping nor flowing,
Never going anywhere.

I was perfect water-
Until a drop of rain fell on me;
Then I became rippled and
The reflection muddled.
And I was perfect
No more.

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Hyderabad Heat

The heat in Hyderabad
Is deceptively cool.
It’s brilliance draws you out
And you feel no sweat and no thirst.
In the soft shade of the trees
And in their gentle breeze,
You feel pleasant and warm.

But the warmth in Hyderabad
Is never good for you.
It will enter your body slowly
Leaving nary a touch on your skin,
Bleeding into your lungs,
Settling into your stomach,
Until you can’t raise a foot anymore.

The heat in Hyderabad
Is like every lover you’ve had –
Helping you probe
Your insides a little more.
And like every lover,
It will knock you down
When you aren’t looking.

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Keeping it simple

Let’s talk –
Of the “situation” in Kashmir,
Of atrocities in Syria,
Of disillusionment in Manipur,
Of naxals and stone pelters,
Of the army and the police,
Of protestors and activists,
Of media, of politicians,
Of truths, half truths and post truths.

Let’s talk, let’s not stop;
Type, type, type,
Pause, breathe, continue.
What a great leader!
What great vision!
They deserve it!
But that won’t help matters!
So what is the solution?
Fighting violence with more violence?

And when we are done typing
Our indignation, our anger,
Our “well-considered” views,
Let’s not forget to sigh (in emoji),
What can we do,
Besides taking care of our families?
And then share pictures
Of our multi-crore rupee houses,
Every color coordinated
With every other one.
Every cushion, pillow, throw and rug
Firmly in its place.
Every wall adorned with the
Most “modern” pieces of art.

Let’s not forget to type wishes
For birthdays, anniversaries or interviews.
Let’s shower our words
On our family and friends
In our gigantic WhatsApp groups.
And then, make fun of their
Appearances, their life choices,
Their homes and personalities
On our private WhatsApp groups,
Which include “our” people,
And exclude the “others”.

Let’s keep our friends close,
And acquaintances closer.
Let’s party with them,
And go on trips,
Let’s drink, laugh and be merry,
Take selfies in the sunset,
At the top of the mountain,
On the shore of the giant ocean.
But let’s keep reality at bay,
And pretend that sorrow doesn’t exist.
Let’s do this by ignoring
The friend in pain,
The friend who needs help,
The friend who is sick,
The friend in whose heart
Grief has ripped a hole so big,
That his smile gets lost in it.
Because that’s what family is for, after all.
Blood is thicker than alcohol,
Which along with affection,
Is peed away at the end
Of every long nights party.

Let’s love with abandon and plenty.
Let’s talk –
No let’s type heart to heart, until 2am.
Let’s send each other flowers and chocolate.
And when we are done with virtual communication,
Let’s talk with our bodies.
Let’s not hold hands though,
When we are scared or tired.
Let’s not share our burdens,
When our bodies and minds hurt,
And our hearts are so full of nothing,
They threaten to explode.
Let’s all grow up, be strong,
Carry our own burdens
Because, that’s what being an adult is about.
And let’s be sure to strangle love
Before it grows too big
For it’s dainty little boots.
How dare it dream
Of a life of choice?

Let’s all get right on up after a big fall.
Move on and be practical.
And when we’re up,
Let’s meet again and celebrate,
We’ll have loads of fun,
We’ll kiss and dance,
Drink, talk and laugh,
And make new memories,
Enough to fill the blank spaces of the mind,
On sunny spring Sundays.

Let’s talk, type, discuss, live –
But let’s stop
Before we become alive humans
Of a burgeoning world.
Let’s silence the conscience
That threatens to clog our throats
Before we start wondering,
Where does “you” end
And “us” begin?
Where does the life
Of your bubbling 2 year old begin
And a Kashmiri girl’s end?
What is the difference in the pain
Of a Syrian mom and you?
What is the boundary between
Your neurons and theirs?
Let’s stop just before
It gets complicated.
Because
Don’t you know,
It’s all about keeping it simple, stupid.

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Closeness

Being with you,
Is like being in the memoryless state
Just before I fall asleep;
When the windows to my face
Have been pried apart
And my eyes are wide open,
While the body has lost all awareness
Of everything below my neck –
The pain in the arms,
The heaviness in the stomach,
The pull at the small of my back –
Everything except the eyes
That keep on staring at you.

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Imaginary::Real

Someone told me recently,
Imaginary things are obviously non-living.
I wonder then,
How come
the warmth of your touch,
the smell of your breath,
the feel of your embrace,
the sound of your voice,
the light in your smile,
Which I imagine
On days you distance yourself
From me,
Can be so alive
They breathe life into me.

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