Mumbai (The Canvas)

The sky is a grey canvas

On to which you claw your arms

Desperate to paint in flashes

Longing for a place in the universe

 

Do you not see

 

That woman on the side of the road

Praying for her child’s first meal?

That man hanging on the rails of a train

On his way to earn his house’s bread?

The millions of feet wading through a murky sea

To meet an enlightened merchant?

 

No.

 

Instead you throw yourself up

Painting pointy streaks on your sky

You are Icarus learning to fly

Too fast too high

 

You do not see

What happens in these small lanes at night

Where lost children hunt their latest fix

Dreamers stand outside celebrity houses

To get a glimpse of their Moses

Where a bad day at the stock exchange

Bankrupts a tea stall

 

Black.

 

As your canvas turns its shade

You fight its darkness with your bejeweled lights

You party, you drink, you dance

Pump up the sounds to SCREAM your existence

 

How do you not know?

You don’t need a mark on the universe

You are your own universe

You are the body and the spirit

The ethereal and the real

You don’t need your sky

You are your own canvas!

Mumbai.jpg

A love letter

Everytime you open those doors

You ebb and flow like waves

Kissing my mind’s sandy shores

Pulling my words away 
You are my medium

My spirit spelling myself

Outside my heart looking in

A spectator of each of my doom
You are also my Sceptre

A glory otherwise unknown

Scribbled on ageing paper

Regailing folklores of a different time…

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.

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.

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

She

She

Hides behind

Thinly veiled smiles

Talks of flowers

And knives

In the same stale breath

Envisions a death

She

Is Athena

Ethereal and yet – very real

Is her mirror’s favorite subject

And yet in her mind it rejects

Her

Voice sounds like an angel

When its busy not sounding like a mongrel

Walk is a swift breeze

And is also an easy tease

She

Is a merciful vengeance

A heart’s cold resurgence

Runs away from affection

And yet longs for an aching affliction

She

Is a vessel brimming with hope

With who you have decided to elope

Doesn’t always swing both ways

But you will take your chance today

She

Is slowly moving away

To your heart’s dismay

She

Is looking at you

Like you are the new Taboo

She

Doesn’t want this dance

Was never hinting at a romance?

She

Wishes to unsee

The desperation for love that is – me

she 

 

The Little Red Dot

I don’t remember

the first day

I just remember

it hurt.

I didn’t see

it coming

I only saw

the little red dot.

I never understood

the pain that seared through

I only understood

the shame that was passed on

Now I hide

the dull ache with a smile

Wish I didn’t have to hide

the lifeless cotton detritus

****

How does it feel?

He asks

I was never allowed to feel

I reply

Why don’t we make love?

He asks

Honey, I am too busy shedding love.

I reply

****

I was thirteen

when the little red dot came at first

I was suddenly NOT thirteen

women grow up in a day – my mother said

The world was quiet

all of a sudden

and the only thing that wasn’t quiet?

The screaming little red dot on my school uniform

They pointed, they laughed

Guess schools are tougher than the world

My sister didn’t laugh

she knew what it meant, those mean words.

****

Do you still hide

your stains?

She asks

Do you hide

your smiles?

I say

Did they whisper everyday to you too?

she asks

Did they tell you

that the little red dot

was taboo?

red rose.png