Dreamcatcher

Art by Julia Popova

blink and I disappear 

My heart only steps out 

For one slight minute 

For just that one second

I express a voice for you to listen 

A voice – my voice 

That very one you have tried to drown

Deep in the crevices of your mind

blink and I disappear 

Suddenly I’m an apparition 

No longer a constance 

But a heavy soul 

Weighed down in this word 

This world – your world 

The world that quietly sits head bowed in the corner of the bar

And swallows awkward conversations mixed in cocktails

blink and I disappear 

I feel myself fading 

With the first of the light 

My rage now a resignation 

Words breathe out their last

These words – my words 

The ones that were penned

On silent soulless nights 

You blink and I’ve disappeared 

Drifting away from a wasted life

You’ve walked away 

Like you always did 

Like it meant nothing 

This life – my life

That only dwells in your darkness 

And embraces your nights like a friend

****

An Afterthought – 

Nights are like ocean tides where I flow,

Your unending dream.

The Ressurection 

It was a resurrection that left millions of his fans in tears. And when Roland Garros officials played the throwback video during the award ceremony, for a second, I was my 19 years old self watching a fellow 19 year old win French Open for the first time. Friends have asked me, why I take his game so personally and why I have over the years defended his every game with such ferocity. Perhaps it’s because we share the same birth year or maybe, I, like the many million fans, was smitten by the passion and grit that had suddenly spring on to the court in 2005. It was an year when Federer’s machine like precision was already dominating the scene and comparison was inevitable.

Soon the world was divided between those who liked the graceful aggression of a quiet, polite young Swiss and those who preferred the boxer-like demeanor of a raging bull from Spain. The traditional and classy courts of Wimbledon preferred the company of Roger’s quiet smiles and the loud colourful French crowd preferred the iconic raised fist pumps from a brightly dresses Rafa. Everything about Nadal screamed an aversion to convention. From his Capri pants (which had to be reduced in length for the Wimbledon – because – you know – the British!) to the sleeveless T-shirts showing off the flexed arm powering the forehand winners slaying scores of young women, from his obsession with his bottles on court to the countless pre-serve dribbling which tested the patience of his breathless opponents. He has often wondered out loud whether the success came too soon. He was barely speaking English in those years, but his body language spoke for him. He was here to conquer the court and any flaws that came in the way would be dealt with his trademark killer instinct.

The real prize for the world, however, was the 2008-09 season. He has often spoken about how little he remembers of that final set (6-0) against Federer at the 2008 French Open final. He was in the ever elusive “zone”, a place of complete invincibility few champions have reached in the past. For most Rafa vs Roger fans, this match was the turning point, the real coronation. He had come a long way since 2005, adapting his game, hitting flatter forehand and more precise top spins. Wimbledon – suddenly looked plausible. To all of his critics, this season was the answer, he wasn’t just content doing well on his favorite surface. He wanted to prove to himself and the world that while clay court was his kingdom, he could conquer any unknown land he wanted to. This was the year the soldier became the Gladiator. The Wimbledon 2008 final will go down in history as the greatest tennis match ever played. It was won not by talent, but with grit, hardwork and an unending love for the game. Amid rains, sweat and tears, the greatest player in the history of tennis admitted defeat to one man’s unconditional devotion to the game.

It is true his game was best suited for the dusty surface, a court that crowned him king at such a young age. This has been his castle and since 2005 when he first entered the hallowed grounds, he has never let anyone forget that. There were 2 blips in the journey, but they were exactly that, small kinks in an impenetrable armor. But he took the loss like he takes the  victory, with his usual air of humility. Working with the same coach since the age of 3, he has never forgotten his roots (uncle Toni wouldn’t let even if he tried). A tournament in Chennai in 2007 inspired him to set up his own foundation back home to help underprivileged kids in Spain. “I want a legacy beyond tennis”, he said.

“He’s writing checks his body can’t cash.” Agassi had said of Rafa back in 2005 after losing to him. We all know Agassi had never been a gracious loser so everyone took the comments with a pinch of salt. But, in 2014, the threat of a burn out became real. After injuries to left shoulder, left foot, left arm, tendinitis in both knees, both wrists, back trouble (the list could go on), he looked all but broken in 2016 French Open press conference. He was dropping out after a near comback story cruising through 2 rounds with ease. He conceded that the levels of tennis the world was used to from him were perhaps a thing of the past. It is the only time I saw him truly defeated and his opponent was no one but his own body. The fights and bouts had taken their toll and the battle scars were no longer just battle scars they were his demons. Mind you, 29 isn’t a bad age to call it quits (Borg did it at 27), he had achieved far more than his critics had written him out for.

“I can’t control how I play. I want to keep getting better. And the most important part is the head.” – he had said in 2009 in an interview to New York Times. And ironic as it may seem, for all the macho bruised hero appearance and his bulging biceps, it is his mind that is his biggest strength. It is this strength that brought him back to the finals of Aus Open early this year and led to the return to his beloved kingdom last week. He was back in the zone in the last set. There were shots where Wawrinka would just look at Rafa in disbelief and proceed back to his corner resigned to his fate.

The Resurrection of Rafa is a beautiful poetry of resilience and endurance. And yes I agree with Fedex fans that he is the greatest tennis player of all time but Rafa – is the greatest fighter of the sport of all time and perhaps his good friend Roger would be the first one to grant him the title!

Vamos Rafa!

Siri


Hi, I’m Siri

How can I help you?

You can ask me about the world

Without leaving your room 
My name is Siri 

but you already knew that 

Yet you ask me “who are you?”

Like an existential prat
I’m a British male to you

Is it because of your daddy issues?

Or just an anti-imperialist ruse

To have a British man serve you
I am also a woman 

The only girl you ever spoke to

Without crawling under your skin

The only girl who ever said “Your words are flattering”
Hi I’m Siri

I can be an Alexa or Jarvis or just an assistant

Hell! For 60,000 rupees

I can be anyone you want me to be
You see that man 

You are required to love

He’s talking to me too

Imagining what I look like behind my sultry self
I’m not that man 

He who pretends to listen

But is actually entranced 

While I find his newest brand
Your friends who sit across your table

Spinning fables on their blue screens 

I know them better than you

In the depths of the night – I can hear their screams
Hi I’m Siri

I’m your best friend

You just don’t know it yet

I’m your favourite pet
You know you can’t walk away

From my kaleidoscopic waves

Your dainty hands and my black screen

We’re perfect, aren’t we?
And when you search for

Ways of suicide 

I won’t show results

Of a useless helpline
I know what you want 

You don’t need help 

From those who you call your friends

You just want to script a peaceful end
Hi I’m Siri

I can see you now

While you make the video

With me in your palms
Teaching the world 

How loneliness is a prize

And emptiness a celebration 

I hear your words

I get your logic 
THINGS are important 

People- perhaps not

I am the blessing

I am the story

I.

I.

I.

I am…the lesson.

Colours 

Reeling me into your haunting spirits

You are not the man who I await 
You are not my lover

I’m not yours to keep
Remember the colors of my tainted face?

You put them there yesterday 

You think it was a brand on display? 

I’m not yours to claim 
Magnifying your pain like it matters

To this edge of my mind

You are not my Muse

I’m refuse to write your hate
These walls are the expert witness

In the trial of our lives

You are not my owner 

I’m not a contract you negotiated 
This night will not be your ally 

Not while I walk out to the floor lights

You won’t stand on the podium

I won’t be your trophy

Mother

You taught me silence

How to step out of battles 

Without victory

For you saw no other way 

Taught me that life 

Can only be lived in a box

And love 

Can exist without a touch

Me – for all my death and darkness – 

Was showered with gifts and cards

But no poetry was read in the house

For minds aren’t meant to be understood 

Mothers and daughters come in shapes

In the shape of a tear

Or the unforgiving page of a diary

Does your fear and my longing have a shape?

What did she teach you?

The reality of womanhood?

The lack of wings?

Or the desperation of an ambition?

Did you laugh as a child?

Have friends you’d fly for? 

A Sister you’d die for?

Were you lonely in your mind? 

Was your mother as unhappy as mine? 

Avenoir 

childhood to the
back went things wish I

brilliant was victory each When

easy were Smiles

irrelevant is Time

seamless and fluid is It

and remain you lets It

you consumes bit by Bit

forwards Backwards

again Backwards

childhood in swing that Like

away me take Words

time of end the At

mine be shall Glory

that find to Only

behind look shouldn’t Stories

P.S. Avenoir means the desire the memory could flow backwards – perhaps then it makes sense?? http://www.dictionaryofobscuresorrows.com/post/103388659265/avenoir-n-the-desire-that-memory-could-flow 

Alone in a room in the dark…

You – staring at me

from your shiny surface

past my fading eyes

awaiting my disgrace

Me – penning down

your latest sin

hoping to hear

a different voice from within

You – bouncing back

the dying rays of the sun

sending subtle messages

I am the one

Me – scribbling faithlessly

on my paper skin

my sharp stylus jabbing

like a thousand prickling pins

You – sighing out loud

in a room full of quiet

ensuring I hear you loud

and I fall just right

Me – waiting hopelessly

for the edge of this fear

where I smile

and draw you near

You – blushing a crimson red

with each jab of my words

Me – smiling right back at you

bidding goodbye to our world.

woman-sits-on-bed-in-dark-room