A letter to my 11 year old self (when I wrote my first poem – Butterfly)

Dear girl,

You aren’t so little anymore

Those rhymes you’ve just written down have aged your soul

You are now wise beyond your years

Your tears that dissolve your words into large blue dots

Will one day become rivers flowing through your veins

Filling your heart with an innocence you thought you forgot

You write of fluttering butterflies right now

You will soon turn to werewolves and vampires

And then

You won’t rhyme at all

You will just paint pictures of your soul on pieces of paper supposed to contain class notes

The doodled angels on the corner of your pages will smile

At your childish notions of sorrow

Soon your poems will be cries for help

All that angst of teen age will turn into a knife inching into your veins

Each poem will enter your heart like a shooting star

Burn through its chambers and turn into star dust

Every night you will crumple your pages into hugs

Till the words drill a hole though your chest

In the mornings you will wake up with a smile

Those pages will turn magically into blankets

You will write of unrequited love

Of that boy who thinks you will never be pretty enough

Of that boy who loves you relentlessly till you break his heart

You will walk over a thousand such hearts

And place your words like flowers on the graves of your failed relationships

You will then wait till you are alone

And then embrace your solitude like You are all you need!

And just like that, one winter morning

The green of the forests, the growls of the wolves and the grim of the fairy tales

Will be back to claim their space on your empty pages

You will shoo them away brandishing your pen like a sword

Soon your scribbles will becomes quivers of arrows

With which you hunt down the voices in your head

Until all you will hear are the waves of words washing poems on the shores of your pages

Little girl, my friend,

That pen you hold like a laser beam

Will one day vaporise your insecurities

It will fill your heartbreaks with hot chocolate

It will teach you that remembrance is the only cure to death

It will keep your innocence neatly wrapped up and safe

In the pages of your notebooks

And plant tiny pieces of your soul in every poem

Until there is a garden blooming new words each spring

That pen you hold like a mountain top in your hands

It will find your love, bury your anger and save your soul

My dear girl,

Don’t ever let that pen go.

How to Write a Love Poem

Step 1: Find your rhymes

They’re usually hidden

In the curves of a woman on the dance floor

Only she’s not on a dance floor

She’s head banging at a show to your favourite rock band

But let’s face it

In your head she’s dancing in slow motion to Ed Sheeran

Her hair is making music in the air ripe with the sweat of a thousand metal heads

And all you can hear is the symphony

Echoing across the hall every time her head rises and falls

Step 2: Stare at her

Not in a creepy I’d-like-to-see-you-naked kind of way

But like your life depended on it

Like you are desperate to catch the words coming out of her mouth

Even if those words are shouts of “zombie! Zombie!”

Like you want to hold those words in your hands

And whisper back into your clenched fists

Like you’d whisper sweet nothings into her ear

Look carefully for contours on her face

They are lines that are slowly turning into a poem

And then look away

And find out how ugly the world looks without her in the frame

Step 3: Wait for the words to come to you

Don’t walk over just yet

She isn’t ready to hear the words that make her essence

She still thinks it’s the concert rocking the world

Instead write a poem in your head

About the light beaming out of her into space

The launch pad of your inter-galactic adventure!

And smile as you imagine her slowly turning into the very words you’ve written

Sailing away into the mosh pit

Step 4: Don’t be afraid

Don’t fear rejection

Because by now she is already your poem

She is an unrelenting muse

The Galatea to your Pygmalion

The Helen of your Troy

In your mind She has already won you the Trojan War

She is the Wonder Woman, your Amazonian Goddess

And you the damsel in distress

Step 5: Walk over

No, Drift.

Drift towards her like you are the wave

And the crowd – an ocean

A relentless force pulling you to her shores

Listen to the music raining on you like a cloud burst

And flow, just flow till the beats take you to her

And when the music stops for a second

And all you hear is the pounding of your heart

Turn to her as you turn the page in your mind

And start a new poem with

Hi!

Video performed at a recent poetry slam

Dear 2017

www.cartoonmovement.com
You weren’t easy
You saw too much
You saw the coronation of a creep in the free world
You saw him grab them by the p—— and jab fingers at innocence
You saw women march for freedom from prejudice
You saw that freedom thrown away by bosses, leaders, kings and jokers
You saw the world tear up at the borders
You still had hope
You found it in men lining up to give blood to gun shots
In the courage of millions of women who wrote #metoo
In the celebrations of love over hate
In the music that unites us
Now in the darkness of midnight
You ask me in your fading voice
“Will you miss me?”
The dark of the sky is a black hole set to swallow you
You are vary of my answer
You know you weren’t easy
I found my moments of bliss in you
When I came home to a city that changes colours every time I leave
You saw me smile without an agenda
You saw me cry at poetry that touched my soul
I know it touched yours too!
It was here in this city I had found myself years ago
I got lost in between
But in you, I found myself again
You sigh and say, “the next one will be better”
You were a friend, a lover, a sworn enemy
All rolled into one
Yes, The next one will be beautiful
But the next one isn’t you
You will be safe in my memory box
Where I will keep you like a lucky charm
I will lock you in
Saving my hurt, my joy and my love
Saving the world, all of its light and none of the darkness
And as the sun begins to let you go
I await the start of a new love, a new you
With the few lessons you left behind
Always march together so no one’s left behind
Cry when you feel like it without judgement
Find your crowd and you will never be alone
Never try to stop your fall for it teaches you how to rise
Treat your friends like wine – preserve them, love them,
Age them, consume them.

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.