London

Fumes and mute conversations
Red buses and red buildings
Standing amidst
Moving adrift
Fenced by my earphones
The lone star and I
Solitude acknowledged in the sky.

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A late night thought

Hope is that someday it would make sense
Or maybe we’d to learn to accept the senselessness
Hope is that someday we would find order in the chaos
Or maybe we’d learn to deal with the high entropy
What, when, why, how
There’s no ignoring
There’s no escaping
Things happen;
Painful ones, joyful ones,
People happen;
Interesting ones, awful ones,
Who’s wrong?
Who’s right?
We are, in the end, just lines oriented at a random angle –
Converging, intersecting, diverging,
Maybe we make sense from a plane above,
Maybe our experiences together are infinite hues splashed over a vast canvas,
Maybe, maybe there’s a reason
Maybe, maybe there’s an answer
Hope is that someday our beautiful mind would find beauty of his own;
Hope is that till then, he wouldn’t give up hope over fears unknown.

*

Bonjour

My eyes flick open again,
Just as the sun wakes up,
Just when the moon falls asleep,
Too cold to step outside the blanket
Too late not to.
I gaze outside, tad bit drowsy,
tad bit curious,
tad bit joyous,
tad bit furious.
The buildings display quite an opposite effect of sunlight on them,
Reverse tanning, to be precise,
I can’t possibly count the shades of green I see,
I can’t possibly count the kinds of flowers,
The kinds of bees,
The kinds of buzz,
The kinds of me.
What’s wrong?
It’s too early.
So what?
I can’t sleep.
How come?
I can’t sleep.
What’d you do?
I can’t sleep.
Why’s that?
Maybe,
Maybe these days I am dreaming with my eyes wide open.

*

 

I fear,

I fear I won’t live again,
I fear death,
I fear I may wake up in the hospital tomorrow
complaining about migraine which maybe actually turn out to be tumor –
a beautifully malignant one.
I fear cancer
because cancer runs in my family.
I fear cardiovascular disease
because that runs in my family too.
I think I also fear every other kind of sickness,
irrespective of how related they are to me by blood,
for who knows what’s coming for ya?
I fear pain,
For I have witnessed it in action too closely;
Most of it has been forgotten
but the handful of remnants are enough to haunt me for the rest of my life.
I fear grief,
I can’t even think of it,
I don’t want to think of it,
I have been his neighbour, maybe his roommate, may have been him himself,
Anyway, now I want to stay the fuck away.

I fear love,
I fear people might disappoint,
Someone might wound my heart,
And what if it’s never healed again?
I fear dreams,
Often I dread that they are delusions,
Often I dread that I don’t love them enough,
Often I dread that I am running out of belief.
I fear future,
For there are so many things that I don’t know.
I fear past,
For there are so many things that I don’t know.
I fear present,
For there are so many things that I don’t know.
I fear hope,
For I fear failure,
I fear happiness,
For I fear success.
I fear my purpose,
Or lack of purpose,
I fear I may be meaningless after all.
And I fear that I fear too much.

I want to freeze
in this moment,
ice cold,
unblinking,
motionless.
Maybe I should be a tree,
I want to be a tree,
Bloom in various hues, through various seasons,
Overhear the conversations between birds and squirrels,
Dance in rain,
And bath in the sun,
Have people marvel at me,
Have people love me,
Have people chop me down.

I think I fear end,
I know I fear end,
And if this is the end –
I fear I just have to deal with it.

*

 

“Have you considered being a Model?”

Well, why not?
I am tall.
I am skinny.
Yes, I walk with a slouch,
Yes, I am not exactly photogenic,
but they can work on me, surely!
There’s always the training,
There’s always makeup,
There’s always good lighting and good photographers,
And there’s always Photoshop.
But still model?

No,
I am more qualified to be a coat-hanger,
Because…model?
Who the fucking fuck is a model?
Yes, I would like to be a model who tells you
that it’s okay if you have the talent to fall simply by standing, wearing a footwear that’s flatter than a coastline,
that it’s okay if you spend an hour searching for your lighter in your bag and find it in your pocket instead.
Yes, I would like to be a model who continuously wears the same sweater for three weeks and will continue to wear it for another three.
I can be the kind of model
who fumbles with forks and spoons,
who fumbles like a fucking cartoon,
who fumbles and tumbles
everywhere, every time.
Every step she takes
is an open invitation to all kinds of disasters;
Sudden climate change and alien invasion, all together.
Yes, I would like to be a model
who doesn’t have a sophisticated accent,
whose language doesn’t have a single trace of eloquence,
who could use a phrase like ‘fucking fuck’,
whose opinions are crude and brutal and maybe even stupid…

Maybe I could tie my hair in a french twist,
Wear suave shirts and trousers,
Wear long eyelashes and mauve lipstick,
And pronounce mauve the correct way,
Use contact lens that makes my eyes hazel,
Nails that make my hands an artist’s well-crafted miracle.
How tempting!
But how far away…
I am more likely to visit North Korea than this.
But thanks for suggesting,
Thanks for asking,
I would like to ask you back though,
“What is a model?”

Give me the centre stage
And I can’t, just can’t, greet you with a stone face
that tells you I am miles away from your wildest dreams.
I am not miles away from your wildest dreams,
I am there as the background in the most mundane ones.
Give me the centre stage
And I would pull you close,
And peel my heart,
Ask you to trace the scattered bits of self esteem
bit by bit,
tears by tears.
Together maybe we can discuss the utter misfortunes
of my privileged life,
of your privileged life,
about how bad we are,
about how worse we could be.
Peel my heart further
And if I show you my pain,
would you judge me for being ‘artificially complicated’?
And if I show you my insanity and wild happiness instead,
would you judge me for being naive and shallow?
Peel my heart
And if I show you that I am as equal as you are
would you judge me or judge yourself?

So what model?
I am the coat hanger.

*

The Accident

Liverpool

Our bus halts. There isn’t any bus stop in immediate vicinity. I don’t notice it at first, still enjoying the lingering taste of Dorayakis on my tongue. We had dropped these Japanese pancakes on the floor of the bus while trying to open the packet. That hadn’t stopped us from eating them though. We had picked them immediately and stuffed them into our mouths. There’s always that three seconds rule.

“Sorry, you’ll have to get off here. The road is closed ahead,” the driver tells us. Abruptly brought back into reality, we stare at him, puzzled.

“Don’t worry. Your stop is just 2 minutes walk away.”

We thank him and get off the bus. A few seconds pass by deciding which way we should head to. Which nothingness are we willing to choose tonight? The right one or the left? Our London plans are always nothing. We end up going to the same places, every time – Soho, Piccadilly, Camden, Shoreditch. London is too big to be explored on spontaneous weekend plans. We walk anyway, to the left or maybe to the right, hoping to find an interesting place and probably meet interesting people. My hopes are dim. The night has progressed too deep and it’s Sunday – nothing’s going to be open. But I am enjoying shivering in the cold and unsuccessfully trying to find the top of the buildings around me. It’s the first time I have been in Liverpool. With fancy buildings and offices splashed all over the man-made scenery I am walking through, I am too amazed to know where to look and fix my gaze at.

“So, that’s why the road was closed…” Lee nudges me.

I look at the ambulance as well. There’s been an accident.

Accidents are not unknown to me. I have seen plenty on Indian roads – the overturned trucks, cars with shattered windshields and their engines bleeding green, two wheelers lying in the middle of road – the victims engaged in a verbal fight, curious people gathering around them and traffic growing rapidly behind.

Lee and I continue walking past the accident scene.

“I..I..” a man is sobbing in front of us, trying to speak but failing horribly.

“There’s a woman on the road..” I tell Lee as cold shiver traverses through my backbone. She nods and we both look at her, immediately turn away afraid of what we might end up seeing. I can’t help it though. I turn to look again. There are three paramedics around her. She’s lying motionless, head covered in blood.

“Paramedics are already there, she should be alright,” I think.

I recall the face of the of the man we had just walked past. So, it was his car…

“Do you think…” I try asking something, immediately forgetting, feeling colder, falling numb. I want to get out of here. We both walk as briskly as we can.

“That woman was-”

“Dead” Lee completes the sentence for me.

I look at her, blink for a couple of seconds, wondering if there was a question mark or a full stop at the end of what she had just said.

The Movie Premier

We were walking on the streets of London again, still thinking about Mochi. Our tongues craved for one more but we were determined not to succumb to our perverse insatiable greed for this Japanese dessert.

“Is today 12th?” Lee asked.

“Yes,” I said checking my phone.

“I am not sure, I need to check, but if I think what’s tonight is really happening tonight, it might just turn out to be the best night of our lives.”

“Oh, nice!” I clasped my hands in excitement pretending I understood what she said.

“Yes! I know where we need to go!”

I followed Lee blindly. Wherever she would take me, I would happily go. No, I wasn’t in love, we just didn’t have any other plan.

We talked, walking on the pavements, crossing the roads, watching people around us.

“Look at that lady,” I mumbled to Lee. “Yes, I saw,” she nodded.

“I want to be like her when I am old.”

“Me too,” I thought. Who wouldn’t? How could one care to be so well dressed even at eighty something? I didn’t intend to be offensive, if that thought is offensive in anyway. I was just shocked because I am twenty four and I have given up on life already. I don’t even bother to comb my hair sometimes. I wear the same canvas every day. I wear the same jumper. I wear the same jacket. I don’t bother wearing contact lens, I prefer saving two minutes over doing nothing and looking weird in specs instead. This lady, on the other hand, was a model. How does she have so much life? Bottle green stylish hat, velvet dress, shiny pearls, red but not too loud lipstick, white gloves – Posh and graceful – this is what I would like to be. How do I end up being messy and loud instead?

Later, we started coming across even more fashionably dressed people. Despite expensive looking silk gowns and gloves, crisp and handsome tuxedos, no one could be compared to the old lady we had just seen though. The shiny sparkly queue of glamorous rich people was boisterous and long. Everyone seemed happy. Why wouldn’t they be? They were going to watch Star Wars with people who had starred in that movie themselves.

Lee was brimming with excitement. We walked till the very end of the queue, at the entrance of the Royal Theater. Actors were stepping out of the Limousine, posing in front of the camera, stopping by to say a word or few to the anchor, waving to the crowd, signing some autographs, smiling at the camera again and then going inside the theater.

We could have tried asking for an autograph or a selfie too, but we were on the sadder side of the barricade. The side that you don’t have to pay truck load of money for. I stared at the huge LED screen while Lee tried clicking some photos by going closer to the barricade hoping for better angles and views.

Star War premier, who would have thought?

A part of me was excited. I wanted to post photos on facebook, send snaps to my friends in India. “STAR WAR PREMIER! WOW!” #London #IloveLondon #RoyalTheater #soexcited #unbelievable #likereallyunbelievable #Pleasetellmeyouarejealous

But I didn’t.

Wish I had watched even a single Star War movie. Wish I had given a fuck.

I am offended.

If you tell me that I am beautiful, I will be offended.
If you tell me that I am ugly, I will be offended.
Don’t waste that cheesiness on me –
If you do, I will be offended.
If you don’t ever, however, I will be offended.

Tell me I am too tall, I will be offended,
Tell me I am not tall enough, I will be offended.
Tell me I am pretty,
I will say you don’t mean it.
Tell me that I am not,
I will say you are mean.
Tell me I am too thin,
that you are almost almost jealous,
I will say I badly need the gym,
And wonder how you’ve been callous.
“Your teeth are like pearls”
“Your teeth are like cat’s”
Whatever be the case,
I will try to conceal them while I chat.
Tell me to lose those specs –
So much better I might look without them,
Have you seen the dark coffins of my eyes?
What will I do about them?
A major concern as it seems –
My smartphone beaming with an awkward photo,
Snap a couple more sefies,
A game similar to ‘Lotto’,
A jolie, filter dipped face now finally bears my name,
And I will still be offended,
How I don’t actually look the same.
Tell me I look tired,
Had the previous night been rough?
Tell me I look sick,
Did I not sleep enough?
Why do I look so stoned?
Why do I look so drunk?
I guess my face carries a mystery,
A lot of myths to debunk.
Tell me I am smart,
I will judge you for being dumb,
Tell me I am a fool,
I will say you are an arrogant scum.
Use all the beautiful adjectives,
And I will ask, “What do you want?”
Use nothing, nothing at all,
And still that shall haunt.

Maybe, there doesn’t exist a compliment
That could bring a genuine smile,
So, I guess my offense isn’t your fault –
I am just stupidly vile.
Tell me it’s not the case, I will say you pretended.
If you don’t, however, I will still be offended.

 

 

The Sunset

Sure, it’s beautiful –
This ending day;
Crimson, Magenta
Tiffany, Tuscany
Why are the birds departing already?
Wings dispersed like charcoal ashes in the air,
The street lights shining like a long diamond necklace along the roads.
There’s moon on the other side
The love birds must be exchanging a cheesy dialogue or two.
This public display of affection makes me uncomfortable
But the moon alone makes me more uncomfortable –
For the night shall be gloomy,
Cold and restless,
Unsettling.
I am hoping you two understand human mentality more than I do.
You have been here much much longer than me after all.
You have witnessed thousands of lameness like this being written right here
And you will do that in future as well.
But here’s the thing –
Sun, stay here for a little more while
Moon, you can stay too if you want
I am just not sure if I am ready for the darkness yet.
Don’t leave me with my disorientated freezing heart,
I could appreciate some warmth right now,
The warmth that’s safer to obtain from you
Than a heartless lover
Or a bottle of wine,
Or a puff of smoke.
Don’t leave me just yet.
My treacherous mind is scarier than the ghosts outside.
Don’t leave me just yet,
Hear my plea if only you can.
Another day will be passed-
A new link of disappointment added to the chain
A new day dream of what could have been.
Be the present,
Don’t be the past yet.
I am not yet adjusted to your ridiculous speed.
But you won’t listen, will you?
You will say you are coming back,
With another dawn,
Another day,
But it is not the same!
It’s a different date.
It’s a different day.
It is NOT the same.

So, you have gone,
The dark starless night.
Maybe I could still fish you out of the horizon,
If I am patient enough
If I am quiet enough
But you have gone.
Gone.
Maybe someday I might visit you again through a time travelling machine.
Gone.
Or maybe just skim through some random memories
at a random day
reading a random diary entry
or listening to a random old song.
And I would long for you even more,
But gone,
Gone –
That’s what you are.
“Move on,” you say,
Like a person apologizing for not loving his lover back.
I will, of course
Not that I have any other choice,
I need to live in the end.
But I wish there was a pause button,
A rewind
Or even fast forward
But too bad;
It’s much more simple than that
Once you hit play,
The only thing you can press
Is Stop.

The Window

The white smoke rapidly escapes the distant chimneys –
Two brothers standing side by side through thick and thin.
Oh how they burn!
The waste less,
my heart more,
like red hot lava coated with grey ashes.
I gaze and gaze,
Hoping you would look back.
Shush! It’s a secret.
No one is supposed to know,
especially you.

The cold creeps into my skin,
every strand of hair gives me a standing ovation
as if thoroughly entertained by my bleeding heart.
It must be funny, I understand,
How the void is bigger now.
Hadn’t I harboured enough man-made gods inside that you had to leave me with another one?

The scattered shards of my obsession
spill over the pages again.
I am refraining from an open acknowledgement because…
Remember it’s a secret?
Why do I always end up exchanging love for indifference?
(Provided it’s love at all,
maybe just a temporary imbalance of hormones)
Surely, I think, I don’t deserve this.
Surely, you don’t share the same opinion.
What am I though?
A walking placard for “Use me”?
or maybe just a stinking landfill.
I admit that my notions of love are absurd.
You would slip into my ink much before than my heart.
Still, does that justify your cruelty?

I stare and stare,
I wish I could be the bird tottering about the green,
I wish I could be the amber leaves; lifeless and beautiful,
Or the raindrops eventually finding their path to the drains,
Or maybe a candle burning with all its might when the sun soars at its highest.
But I will get along
with another poem.
Dream another dream.
I will get along,
There will be more birds.
There will be more skeletons of trees flaunting off a leave or two.
There will be more colours
as my heart paints itself grey.
There will be more humour
as there will be more disappointment.
There will be softer sounds of my sobs,
as there will be more melodious notes of another beautiful song.
You will be there in my head, like so many others before, like so many others after.
I am not even sure if I want to forget…

So I watch a little more,
Through the vague reflections on the transparent glass of my window,
Abstract figures, abstract thoughts, abstract future,
Where I would trade love for uncertainty again.
And of course blame myself to the point that I am drowned in my own tears or something.
“No regrets”, and I shall regret even more.
But I will brush the hair off my forehead,
I will put on a red nose, a gigantic smile.
I must look like a clown,
As pathetic as it may sound.

Worry not though,
The grass is still chartreuse,
The sky is still misty and magical.
Sure you wouldn’t look back,
and I would turn thousand different times,
thousand different ways.
The fault is mine;
It’s cooler to be apathetic after all.
It’s cooler not to be hurt.
But what can I say?
You have your drugs and I have mine.
And whatever it may or may not entail,
I am addicted;
I have always been and I always will be.
The wet pages, the blurred margins, the smeared ink and the slurred words being my rehabilitation.

 *