On Lazy Vacations

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Think small, breathe deep

Wait for joy to rescue me?

 

Sit in silence across a table

Nodding off over crappy fables

 

Listening to the moans of an empty heart

Intensity to a man is just a small sum of parts

 

My soul will select her societies

My faith will live, perched on golden deities

 

Insignificance is dreary

When the mirror tells of it so clearly

 

I have barely been a day

Under the sun’s glare by the bay

 

And yet thoughts of life and death come easy

Like warm and cold in an empty sea breeze

 

Here in a room full of strangers

I find my voice the loudest and in danger

 

This thought

It had to be put down

That smile

It had to be spent

For a heart

Whose love knows no bounds

Hurts when

It is strummed into silence.

Endless

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I am not an enigma

Not one you have to figure out

I don’t dwell in bags

Or put my secrets in boxes locked out

My thoughts are simple

Although sometimes they rhyme

I don’t make plans

Not ones that have the biding of a time

I am endless

Because for you I never really began

And I know I might not be on your list

Or part of your best laid plans

I am the river and the mountain

I am the cosmos and the karma

My smile is a solved mystery

And my moan a known murmur

I won’t start, won’t stop

I am forever and I am right now

I am not an open book

And I don’t wish to be your court clown

I am a song that will play on

In your mind and mine

For one day I might breathe my last

But only to step into the abyss of time….

A Suitable Girl

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For when you think I’m too old
To love and to have and to hold
Your Dorian laughs in his frame
As cracks appear across his face

For when you tell me I should cook
And not be reading so many books
Your kitchen sink mocks you
When everyday your dinner gets brutally bruised

For when you chide me for being too loud
And ask me to hold my tongue in a crowd
You know not how your friends oblige
By laughing when you really make them cry

For when you wonder if I’d be a good trophy
Me, with my innate lack of propriety
Your workplace thanks heavens
When you step away from matters of importance

For when you check if I’m “suitable”
If I’m a good enough “marriage material”
Alas! You are not able to see
You are not good enough for me!

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The Red Shoe

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A little red shoe
Is the gateway
To the world
Full of dreams for you

It lies in innocence
Deep in the garden
Of my blooming daffodils
Awaiting your remembrance

A swing set sways
Blown by the wind
Wishing for your company
On this winter’s day

Awaiting your tiny hands
That held on to the chains
And with each rise
Imagined unknown mysterious lands

A lovely dressed up doll
Sits alone at your tea party
She misses the hugs
That kept away the night’s cold

She awaits mundane conversations
Your fairy tale concerns
The view from the dollhouse now:
Everyday is a dark revelation

Perched on my window sill
My cold dark mind
Flutters like that bee
Buzzing around my daffodils

They miss your touch so tender
Their beauty belying the truth
They bloom from the love
Seeping through from six feet under….

Her shadow

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I was born as an afterthought
A shadow of her truth
I was never surprised
That I wasn’t their God’s perfect muse

I was a plan B
A wilful addition
Aren’t we all?
We ,the secondary volitions…

I often wonder
Would I have been different
If she’d have stepped in after me
Like her, would I have been as benevolent

In sharing their love
Like a share of the pie
Would I have done the same?
If she teared up would I have cried?

Would I have felt then
What I feel now
Would I have thought myself
A useless tug along tow?

But it hits me
Uselessness is a disease
It has nothing to do with her
My mind goes where it pleases

And it pleases to think me
Unnecessary!
I’m masochistic that way
Without her as my blissfully ignorant glee

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Sigh. Smile. Reminisce.
The thought awakens real slow
In this empty world
I’d rather be her shadow
Than go it alone
Or grant her my own

Fate, thou art so temperate

Fate you are so temperate
Leaving me awash skin and bone
You drop in like a storm
Fly me away to a grim unknown

You dont care for a lonely heart
Made complete by love
You care for time
And not the wrinkles on the brow

Fate, you remain a friend
Who holds on when we let go
You wake me up at night
And hug my mortal soul

You shine through
The darkest hours you bring
Like a black star you shine
And motherless lullaby you sing

Fate, will you hold my hand
When I lose my pride
To the undead faces
I meet on this life’s ride

Will you sit beside me
Talk of where the angels lie
Will you hold on to me
And stop me when i die

In My City


I am living what seem to be the last few days here in this city. And yes the reference to the Priyanka Chopra Hall of Crap was just coincidental. It has a life this place like those scary horror movies that claim houses have spirits. Only this city is not scary, in fact it is the contrary. It lives and breathes every day. It sits with you in empty auto rides smiling and hugs the ocean on the Marine Drive from sunrise to sunset.
You can choose to be anyone here because the city is like that old friend who doesn’t judge you. It branches out into parts you probably haven’t seen before and yet holds it back together. There is a reason why the city has been a victim of more terror attacks than other Indian cities. It has this troubling sense of equilibrium; like it is going to descend to chaos any second and yet it hangs on, like an eternal pause. I suppose the terrorists would probably just think it is easy target to bring a nation down but unfortunately every time the city just gets a little ruffled and falls right back into its place as if nothing went wrong.
Unlike Delhi (and mind you it is my hometown and I love the city), people are not looking to pick fights with everyone else. They are instead all about doing their jobs. No wonder it is the financial capital because the culture is that of being industrious. There is no time for laziness, no afternoon siestas (unlike Kolkatta). This city means hard work even when it comes to art and music. It celebrates struggle and gives a grand prize to ones struggling the most. It has so many faces, you tend to lose count. Some days it is that old friend driving you home safe post a night of relentless partying at 1 30 AM. At others it is the boss who works you till the wee hours of the morning. It is also a parent who takes care of you and on many occasions, it is an actor that pretends there is no chaos in this world. The city is like many one night stands rolled into one. Every night you think you know it one bit better and in the morning it surprises you with a new twist in the story.
It is, of course, the people who make this city. I remember a taxi driver telling me this one day he explained why Mumbai is so safe and Delhi isn’t. His logic was that the men in this city come from their homes and earn for their families and send back money. For them, their job is of utmost importance, people are too busy making ends meet to even consider a crime. In Delhi, however, there is no such transience. I have another theory. In the heart of Maharashtrian culture, there lies this inherent respect for women. Perhaps something that slowly erodes as you go up north. Mumbai thankfully has managed to hold on to everything that is good in each culture and build its own humanity.
I didn’t even realize when this city became my best friend until I was sitting alone in an auto, Muhammad Rafi playing in the background and the auto driver quaintly humming “Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya”. That’s what it does, this city. It has an eternal friendship with life and you don’t even realize it and it has found a place in your heart.