Lilies

Wild, lilies they’ll grow,

Silently in your garden.

We need to go,

Be more spontaneous, ardent.

Rebellious lilies will outgrow your obedient petals.

Here comes the dust,

Its warning like rust,

Settles,

On all of us.

How far does your roof go?

Crying are your protected fools,

The dust is lust,

The air & dew tools,

They didn’t teach this at school,

Good must be bad before good,

The best lessons,

Never come at a good price.

A day in the life of…

I’m not a big worrier. Most days I go about my day like any other day even if I have an exam tomorrow. Except if its night. At night reality sinks in like an elephant on quicksand; gravity pulling, feet sinking. You sway to get away but it only gets harder, the only way out is a crane. Most days, for most people, that crane is standing in front of a clay god. I’m not much of a pray-person/prayer? I don’t think prayer can be a person, it can only be a chant, right? Except when I shit bricks before bad becomes worse. Consequences of a lazy heart. Consequences of a heartless worker. I tried following the rules, I swear I did. I read. I re-read. They say, if you read something enough, repeatedly, you’ll vomit out the same words, word for word eventually. I tried. I failed. But I was a survivor. I knew at what depth, the flailing would have to begin for me to walk out alive.

Oh, the irony. I hated drama but I never avoided it. I secretly liked it.

There’s no love lost if what was there wasn’t love to begin with right? Maybe it was just possession? Maybe just general human curiousity? Maybe all I ever wanted to do was to turn every stone in your garden till I didn’t want to walk anymore? And I don’t want to walk anymore. Walking along the grass, my feet feel great. The flowers around are the same red, blue, yellow I see everywhere. The trees are huge and I can imagine their roots deep and under my feet even when I’m 20 feet away from the tree. The fruits are juicy and beautiful. A bite and I can feel the sugar on my teeth; little sugar-men digging deeper into my canines to make their home. The fruits are the same pink, red, green you see everywhere.

Only, every time I’m walking I feel like it’s the wrong garden.  

Maybe everything is supposed to feel like a really bad dream till you wake up to an absurd reality. Maybe this reality does have flying unicorns and stars you can touch? If this were my reality, you could choose to be human or animal at the time of birth. If this were my reality you could choose to skip childhood only if you wanted to be 40 all your life. Would you choose being wise or being oblivious and naïve? Sometimes, I think there’s no difference. Let’s say I’m 23 now, let’s say I’m really wise, let’s say I have a master’s degree in something, would my words be any more reliable than a kid talking after consuming 50 candies on her birthday?

Most days, I don’t think there’s a difference.

Cardboard.

You’re not a child, they said,
Progress,
Move along,
The queue tagged children is already too long.

Grab the costume labeled adult,
This you forever,
Dressed in black and white,
Only a pile of dirt in sight.

This is your mess,
Clean, take responsibility,
Surrounded by cardboard,
A desk, a chair, and a frog named ‘toad’.

‘They told me I can get out’,
‘I am a toad ‘,
‘If I keep at it, I’ll grow I’m sure’
‘Just need to keep at it some more’

‘They told me, I’m bigger than the other guys’,
‘I have promise’
‘They told me I need to try harder’
‘They told me they’d give me a ladder’

Up, I can see the sky,
A distance not too short, not much high,
A trap or a road?
A frog’s been told he’s a toad.

‘Start now’, their voice echoed,
’40 years to life’, I’ve been sentenced,
I see the desk, I see the files,
Is this how I die?

I don’t want to be here,
This isn’t me,
I need a knife,
Can’t leash me to a chair and call this ‘life’.

I rope falls, adorned with thorns,
I look at the frog,
‘Let’s go!’ I shout,
‘And bleed to death on our way out?’

‘They’ll send the ladder, they told me’
‘Thorns are painful’
‘I can live in this box till then’
‘I tried once, never again’

‘Don’t take it, this is good’
‘They give you a bed and food’
‘Eventually you’ll like it here’
‘The outside is murky and unclear’

I looked the frog,
I walked towards the rope,
I looked up at the blue sky,
I could live here, why try?

Safe and sound I could live,
‘They give a bed and food’
A desk and a file,
‘Outside, you could be lost for miles’

A toad, a frog, a well, a box,
A rope, thorns, a fear, pain,
A sky, a tease, a hope, a lie,
A climb, a fall, I die.

I start, my hands bleed,
Unlocked, unboxed, I wished to be,
‘Maybe I’ll die, but I’ll be free’
‘I can’t wear this costume and pretend this is me’

You’re not a child’, they said,
Progress,
The further from the bottom I got,
I smelled grass, as the air grew hot,

And I smiled.

Amalgamation

I sat near a window and heard you cry,
You weeped a truth about a lie,
You held my hand and told me you’d die,
You told me you didn’t know how to survive this goodbye. 

I stood near a door and saw you smile,
About a boy you’ve been eyeing a while,
You laughed about how you were so docile,
How you didn’t see the last one crashing from a mile.

I sat on a table and touched your face,
Your cheeks pink, your breath paced,
You met my gaze, your expression dazed,
A lovesick child, a heart misplaced.

I slept on a bed with you on my side,
Stories shared about ghosts and brides,
The soft fall of your chest followed by life inside,
Like the game between the moon and tides.

Today’s a week, a month and 10 years gone by,
A thousand moments amalgamated in one life,
You share your stories, I’ll share mine,
Separate, meet, again intertwine.

My son, my man.

Born shy,
He was the apple of my eye,
Hidden behind my skirt,
Ruffled hair and a wrinkled shirt,
He would peek at the others,
Stay with the women, run from the brothers,
One day a time,
Between tantrums and whines,
I saw him grow into his father’s t-shirts.

The taller he became,
The smaller I got,
The smarter he became,
The sharper I got,
One day at a time,
I saw him change,
Prickly kisses, tighter hugs,
Larger portions, bigger mugs.
Smaller talks, faster walks,
Bigger doors, tighter locks.

My boy was aloof,
A wife, a baby, a new roof,
My hands on phone,
Waiting for his ringtone,
His love never changed, his woman did.

Lost Gold.

Let me paint you a picture.
Its the month of May. It’s hot and humid. The kind of humid that makes you sticky. The kind of humid where human contact is the last thing you’re looking for, physical that is. The kind of humid that makes you hope, every droplet you’re losing is all fat, no water. I’m bent over and I’m searching. Nope, not here. Nope, not here either. Where are you?, I’m annoyed. I’m asking my friend, we’ll call her ‘z’. Z, help me. I can’t find it. She’s sitting on a bench. We’re in a classroom. Nope, she says. I look at her, she looks at me back. Between the facade of ‘Come help me’ and ‘No, I’m too lazy’ looks we shared, we also shared a laugh. No, Z isn’t my best friend. No, Z isn’t someone I’ve known since forever. No, Z isn’t someone I strike with on another level. No, Z isn’t someone I travel with on a daily basis. Z is someone I’ve gotten a accustomed to. I like her. She likes me. That’s all. I make it sound temporary, in all probability, it is. Maybe she’s here to teach me a lesson and poof, she’ll be gone.

I lost the screw of my earring. All gold. A big classroom and two of us. I’m beginning to think, I should give up. I’ve finished going through columns 1 and 2. I’m at 3 and I’m exhausted. Looking for precious things is mentally more exhausting than physically. I’m not panicked anymore, because I’ve assumed its gone.

I’m below some desk trying to differentiate between fallen specks of food and metal, when Z murmurs something.
I come up. Eh? I have my one brow up. ‘I’m pregnant’ she repeats. My brow isn’t up anymore.

I’m instantly mulling over a list of questions to ask her.
Who is the father?
When did this happen?
Are you going to keep it?
How far along?
Does the father know?
I decided to go with, ‘ when did you find out? ‘
Yesterday she says. She missed her period.
I’m down again looking for my screw. I don’t know what to tell her. Pretending that I could offer her any advice would be deceptive, pretending that her pregnancy affected me as much would be lying. I care for her. Just not a lot. She didn’t say anything. We didn’t say anything. Mid column number 3, I pull myself up to peek at her. She’s sitting reading something on her phone. She sees me. I see her. I sit across her.
What are you going to do?
She looks up at me. Abortion she says. Unmarried and pregnant. And there’s unmarried, pregnant and Indian. Two very different scenes. Two very different outcomes. I nod in approval. I’d probably do the same thing.

Z makes eye contact and asks me to come. I’m looking at her uncomfortably. How will I be of any help? I’m the last person who knows how to provide emotional support. I tell her nothing. I’m curious, but no, I’m not ready to take that responsibility. I tell her I’m not sure if that’s such a good idea. She tells me the doctor has asked her to come on an empty stomach, she says her appointment is at 4pm, and she wants me to come. Says she doesn’t want obligation of a best friend or cousin, she just wants some support.

It’s a Thursday today. Tomorrow a Friday. When its Saturday I see Z smile at me. We’re at Chowpatty looking at the sea.
I never showed up.
She never went.
Now we’re here.
Between the sea and world.
I never saw Z again.

The sacred art of manipulation

Don’t touch me or I’ll wither. I’m soft like the petals of a flower. I’m beautiful like the fine shine of a well polished wooden desk. I’m most of all, poised like mahogany in a reputed office. My frame tall and stoic, my head held high.

Don’t think you can talk to me and not be judged. Don’t think you can erase your memory from my mind if you don’t show up a few months or years. I won’t remember your name, but I will remember the colour of your tie, the one you wore with the sky blue shirt and poker cufflinks.

Don’t think that I’m your confidant suddenly just because you’ve spoken to me a couple of times and it was liberating. I’m the soft drink you consume after a lot of Chinese, I’m settling all the poison, one burp at a time,  comforting and most importantly I make it seem like you can do more. I’m the strawberry flavoured candy after a rather heavy meal, I’m melting, making you forget everything you had and were during the meal, all I’m leaving is a  sweetness, a satisfaction of having your stomach, your day, full and heavy.

I am your friend.

Don’t blame me if I know things about you, you didnt want to tell. Don’t blame me if I don’t want to do the same. Give and take. I give. You take. You give. I take. I take. I take. Because I am this person. The weak stay away, the weak don’t gamble; when I play I won’t let you give up on me for a long time.

I’m needy and I need you. You don’t know it yet, but you’re needy too and you need me. Till the end of time, intertwined. That’s my dream, now it’s your dream too. We will have our moments, full of hope and resolve, to be better people. We will have our hands intertwined as we talk about the future. We will walk, I will talk, you’ll listen, your eyes glisten, with dreams that are ours now.

You are my friend.

Pull and push, the rule of everything. Physics is a lover’s tale, very few understand. Electricity. We are that. You know that.

You’re flexible, you’re the shape you want to be, you are water.

Electricity and water. See how well the glove fits? We are yin and yang. We are believe and make-believe. We are forever 21.
Until the day, you know you’re rubber.

Before it was love, now it’s obligation. I know that. You know that. But I’m still holding onto that dream we created. How far is far enough, I don’t know, but for me and you, not far enough.

Well i do think about more but for starters…