A love letter

Dear,
How scandalous and embarrassing of me to anticipate for the day when I will be able to speak to you again,
when you are not supposed to exist,
when your charm is something I should easily resist
But look how glittering you are!
Even the dawn can’t make your presence disappear
How tempting it is to touch you,
even though it’s a common knowledge how toxic you are
How attractive it is to pursue you,
even though it’s widely known how forbidden you are
O Honey! O Darling!
Why mustn’t you desert my heart?
You bring death to my life,
You bring life to my death,
You bring love, you bring hate,
You bring joy, you frustrate,
You destroy, you create.
Are you even real?
How embarrassing and scandalous of me to be influenced by you so much,
Wasn’t my life already complicated enough?
No, it is pointless to accuse you
Because I think you make my life simpler instead.
You are blood into my veins,
Air that I could breathe,
Despite your debatable actuality,
You mean,
You exist,
As if nothing else matters.

***

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Dead lives,

Dead lives, dead leaves,
Scattered across the grey streets,
On a soulless journey to nowhere or everywhere
with the winds sweeping them onto different destinations
With the time decaying them back into life;
Just so they could fall lifeless once again.
What do you hope to find in this circular maze?
How are you different from other carbon corpses?
Dead eyes, dead voice,
After all, a beating heart was never your choice!
Like the stones, like the deepest ocean bed,
You are silently waiting for the end ahead.
Hush!Hush!Hush!
Don’t think it too loud!
Hush!Hush!Hush!
The stars might overhear!
Time might end today or after infinity,
But the blood must continue running stale in your veins
The thoughts must wander lost always.
Dead leaves, dead lives,
sleeping indifferently on the streets at nights.
Make sure there’s never anything to see
Make sure that the eyes are always wide shut
For if they blink open, if they ever do,
It will all come fiercely rushing through,
in all its unfairness,
tearing apart your blissfully protective wall of indifference-
The storming life,
The warrior love,
valiantly destroying your ignorant existence,
Your living death.

***

The Study Table – III

I

II

III

Life moves on. So, I moved on too –

My new destination? A scrap yard. How did I come to be there? Didn’t I tell you that my ex-owner found me too old and too obese for his “renovated” home? He was so sure of my ugliness and my uselessness that he didn’t even put me up on sale – He threw me straight to the Scrap yard. Before I could even analyze my surroundings, I was taken by a roadside barber. So, now I had a new job role. I watched people come and go, some getting shaved, some getting massaged and some getting their hair cut. I remember how happy the mirror placed on me used to be. I despised her. Her happiness made me grow immensely jealous of her. With each passing day, I became more and more morose. Throwing me away like garbage after all those years of my diligent service wasn’t a fair treatment. Couldn’t he just chop me off and use me in a bonfire? I would have been happy with that. Sitting there, by the road, was humiliating! I am the one who needs to be kept sedated with smell of books. I am the one who survives in the presence of poetry or the equations of chemical reactions or trigonometry problems. The lumps of hair accumulating on me were infuriating. The barber scratching the razors on me didn’t make me feel better either. Initially, I had thought that the girl was worst. Then I thought that the scrap yard was the worst. But somehow, I kept descending to worse of worsts! I was tempted to call the barber worst too. But I couldn’t, fearing the ironic implication of that statement. Nevertheless, fate took the unintentional and the unsaid challenge anyway.

The barber abruptly left one day. Initially, it seemed like a dream come true. But in reality, it has been a nightmare. I spend my days and nights alone on the road side. So, I get roasted in the afternoons, wet in the rains and remain immensely dusty all the time. The horns of the cars haunt me, my loneliness haunts me, my uselessness haunts me, my existence haunts me and I stand waiting, waiting for my end to finally make an entrance. The way things are progressing or regressing, I am sure my end isn’t far. But if it is, if it is somehow still far, then the worst haunts me. And here you are – miraculously standing with that unwavering look of admiration in your eyes. I am not flattered. I am amazed. For a moment, I am tempted to forget what I have been through. For a moment, I am tempted to be hopeful. For the first time in a really long time, I am happy. It doesn’t have to last long. I know it won’t. But I am grateful to you for this. I am grateful to you indeed.

“It’s a pity how this table is thrown here. It should be used, it’s so pretty!” I hear the woman’s voice.

“Pretty old, you mean. Pretty broken, you mean. Pretty ugly, you mean.”  Her friend replies and I find myself agreeing with him.

“Pretty apt for our café, I meant.” The woman replies.

“This? For our café? No way!”

“What’s wrong! It matches with the theme. Plus, I will work on it. I will make it pretty presentable and pretty awesome, you will see!”

“I am not so sure…”

The woman comes near me. I shiver at her proximity. I shiver at her touch. It really had been a long time since any human had stood so close to me.

“The table is old, yes, I know. But the wood is still good, see? They don’t make such furniture anymore! Let’s take it to our garage. I will repair it.”

“You do that in a month’s time. Or else I will throw it.”

“You can count on me!” she replies excitedly.

I refuse to believe my ears. Does she really mean it? After this long series of abandonment, did this just happen for real?

Epilogue

I was sure I was going to return to the road again. I didn’t think I was repairable. I was sure that the woman would give up on me soon. Miraculously, she didn’t. I ended up being in her café instead. I couldn’t believe my own transformation. Though I am no longer a study table I admit, but I am always sedated with a stack of books at my corner. Quite often, I am also greeted by the heat of laptops and the mild heat of the hot coffee filtered through the coasters. Sometimes I am greeted by interesting conversations, interesting people scribbling interesting things in their notebooks and I love it.  I love it all. But then amidst all these beautiful chaos and entropy, I keep myself reminding that I am, at the end of the day, just a table.

***

The Puppets

In this brief moment, when the puppeteer above has paused his show thinking about what his next move should be, the puppets below stand still and shocked at their absolute inability to move on their own. For the first time in their lives, they realize how badly they mistook their actions as their own voluntary movements. So, what has their life been? Nothing but a portrayal of some fictitious story weaved by the hands above? Their life has never been theirs. Their reality has been nothing but a performance. What is the relevance of this kind of life? Should it even be called a life? They examine the strings attached to several parts of their body. They want to look up, curse the man who had been leading their lives instead of them but they can’t, not without his permission. In their motionless state, they could feel their mind sinking deep into the ocean of restlessness. They suddenly become aware of the thrilled audience at the front who sat anticipating for yet another wasted show. What joy can one derive from this? From someone’s misery? Are their lives nothing but a medium of entertainment?

Why did the puppeteer pause? They had been living happily in their ignorance! Now, how would they continue breathing with this horrifying realization when every single hope of any possible meaning to their life has been completely annihilated? Meaning of life? Maybe, maybe to be “puppetted” had been their purpose all along. But what kind of purpose is this which is by default, already attained? But this was their reality. This is their reality. Maybe they should just go along with it. But should they not be angry at their pitiable state? At their irrelevant existence? But what kind of relevance would their “voluntary” actions would bring anyway? They would still be on stage. They would be still performing – maybe with a bit of spontaneity but that doesn’t really make a difference! Maybe, it’s good that now they don’t have to carry the burden of making their lives extraordinary. Maybe, it’s for the best that the responsibility of such magnitude has been taken off their shoulders. Maybe things would be simpler now. But the freedom! Aren’t they going to miss their freedom? How could they be so confused, hopeful, furious, curious, morose and even relieved at the same time?

It’s difficult to get out of the maze of their thoughts now. Too late, they went in too far. “Maybe we should simply accept who we are” one of them speaks quietly. Accept who we are? Accept who we are! But who are we? Plastic! Paint! Waste! That’s what our being has succumbed to! And we should just accept that? “Then maybe we should rebel against our own nature,” the crazy man speaks again. What is wrong with this guy? We can’t move a millimeter without this string telling us to and you suggest us to rebel? Are you out of your mind? “Then what should we do?” the man shouts. Who knows! We cannot do anything! Maybe, you are right. We should accept who we are. But it is difficult. It is unfair. It is heartbreaking. It is anything but acceptable. “Okay…Well let me tell you this in that case. Why should we go on about calling ourselves a waste! If we can’t do anything about our situation, then can’t we be happy about the fact that we are also a piece of art? Aren’t we also a creation?” the crazy man says again. What’s up with this guy being so hopeful! We are doomed, my friend. We are DOOMED! “But we had always been doomed. It’s just that we know that now.” Somebody must make this creature shut up.

And suddenly, the puppets find themselves moving again. The puppeteer has resumed his show. They can’t stop themselves from engaging in this dance. They can’t stop themselves from obeying. What pathetic state is this! Can they slip into the zone of ignorance again? Maybe they can. After all, isn’t imagination supposed to be the most powerful tool? And so it begins as the puppets start imagining every movement as the part of their own life – not their performance. Of course, it’s difficult at first. Good things aren’t supposed to come easy. Their minds both protest and comply. But they imagine again. Again. Again. And again until it transforms into an incessant dream of their ideal lives. The strings break away and they dance, walk, embrace with their own will. It’s beautiful! They have finally attained the freedom to pen down their own stories. Who cares about the delusion? Who cares about the ignorance? There’s too much beauty in their independence to think about those stupid stuff! So, they sing! They swoon! They rejoice! They celebrate until…Until the moment, the hands upstairs pause again.

***

That Bastard hope!

Hope isn’t a friend, my friend;
Even the popular norms can be misleading.
Hope isn’t the guy you can trust;
Sometimes, even strangers are less deluding.
Sure hope can gift you blissful dreams;
Dreams which are capable of making your hearts flutter with joy,
Shooing away all the things that might have got you annoyed
He would take you to a faraway destination –
On which you would do all kinds of investigation
For, of course, you will make that journey one day,
That one day won’t be tomorrow,
That one day won’t even be the day after tomorrow,
That one day!
That one day will be someday,
An abstract thing,
A floating entity not willing to be quantified as a date
And to be brought down into the ugliness of calendars at any rate!
But we don’t have to know this, yes.
Though even with this ignorance, don’t you dare transform that day into today
Hope won’t take it.
This very act jeopardizes the purpose of his existence,
So, he will put up with all forms of resistance,
Gaining the shape of its alter ego
Suddenly, he will transform into his apprehensive self—
What if? What if? What if?

Hope will always project an ideal parallel future,
ready to be touched but never intending to intersect;
When the limit tends to zero there would always be something to interject,
So, let your dreams thrive in the islands far far away,
Either they be tomorrows of tomorrows,
Or simply yesterdays,
Hope is a kind bastard,
who doesn’t mean you any harm, of course.
A guy a bit too concerned
who wants to protect you from remorse.
But don’t let him take control
After all what matters the most is his greatest fear—
Today.
Oh hope! It will be okay!
Frankly, I am pretty scared of your hazardous affection
Hope, you can’t always keep looking for acceptance
When you know what necessary part of life are rejections,
So, don’t leave me here in the midway-
when you have got me half dreamy but dangerously short of motivation
Be the chain reaction to my actions;
I don’t want your presence through scattered fractions,
Be honest hope! Be persistent!
If I give up, be insistent!
If I try, be an assistant!
If I fuck up, be resistant!
If I am bogged down lift me up,
Hold my hand through each hiccup,
Be real,
Not surreal,
I don’t need you as evasion,
Or some repeated persuasion,
Don’t function as a pill meant to abate,
I just need you as a mate!
But these aren’t in his basic nature,
For hope is a funny creature!
Known for his abrupt endings,
‘Hopeless’ is his second nomenclature
And so, you can only hope that he stays till the end.
Because yes, hope isn’t always a friend, my friend.

***

The Park

Do not judge her based on her aloofness or hostile temperament. If she asks you to stay away, try not to be offended. She doesn’t hate you, it’s just that she is not used to your unexpected presence. And if, despite her meaningless hostility, you still decide to stay with her, you would slowly and surprisingly discover how feigned her hatred is! The fact is she had been waiting for too long for someone like you to keep her company but just like everyone else she fears that you too would leave her eventually. And it is the inevitable truth, isn’t it?

She likes to believe that her life has been built over her choices rather than some bunch of uncontrollable circumstances. Is it really true? How does it matter even if it isn’t? In labyrinth of her thoughts, she has the liberty to believe in anything she wants to. In labyrinth of her thoughts, she doesn’t have to differentiate dreams from reality. Her dreams can be misleading but she has seen too much of life to care about this trivial thing called truth. Had she always been like this? In her days of youth, she recalls that that things had been different. In her decaying memories, there still exist the echoes of those noises that had once both annoyed and excited her. What was it like back in those days? When she was young and beautiful – when the swings weren’t broken, when the slides hadn’t been rusted, when the see-saws were capable of being used? What was it like when the children loved visiting her, annoying her, infuriating her, tickling her and making her laugh from the core of her heart? Faint projections of the past trickles down her hazy memory. “It was beautiful!” She exclaims. It was beautiful! Those were the days when each setting sun brought different stories, when imaginations of young minds would disperse incoherently in the air she breathed, when she was the canvas where each day creativity was splashed over in unpredictable ways; when she had the ability to be the island surrounded by river filled with crocodiles, when she could transgress from being a mere children’s park to the peak of the mountains or the sea of molten lava. Where have her shape shifting abilities disappeared? She is just a deserted and forgotten park now. What happened?

She aged.

How come, though? Wasn’t she supposed to live a long youthful life? Or was it just her immature assumption? After all, the things that glorified her, were paradoxically also the things that destroyed her. With the imaginations that excited her and made her feel invincible, came also the veiled curse of several diseases and senescence. She recalls how those very children who loved her also broke the chains in the swings, stomped too hard on the top of the slides, dismantled the seats on the see-saws and no one! No one ever bothered to take care of her or even think of rescuing her from her deteriorating condition. But they adored her, didn’t they? Then where did their cruelty and indifference stem from?

She immediately rebukes herself for blaming those kids. They had never been cruel! None of the bruises they inflicted on her was intentional! They were too innocent, that’s all. She should know that! Yes, they had been the harbingers of her downfall. Yes, the things she once flaunted off with pride, also brought her own doom. But isn’t life always like this for everyone – An irony? Things wouldn’t have changed even if the circumstances had been entirely different! It would have still been a tragic paradox.

Isn’t god overusing a trivial literary device? When would he retire from being this arrogant poet? But nothing matters now. Nothing matters. She remembers how she had also hoped for peace. She remembers how she had longed for calm sunsets. And now she has all of these in acute abundance. She gives away her toothless smile. Happiness peeks through her wrinkled face. The solicitous tears of sorrow accompany immediately as if too scared to leave happiness alone. The deserted park embraces them both and then suddenly, scorns at the funny looking thing, who stood scribbling in its notebook at her broken gate, shamelessly interrupting her private moment. “Go away you insolent thing!” she shouts through the rustle of leaves and a sudden gush of wind. The insolent thing doesn’t budge. Instead it stands and stares at her as the yellow light illuminates her face and the musical notes of melancholy floats beautifully under the unusually silent night. When the song finally ends, the funny insolent thing whispers “You are beautiful.”

“Oh! You liar!” The old lady whispers back through her disagreeing blush and laughs herself to sleep.

O Heart!

Heart

My dreams are too heavy
My will isn’t strong enough to hold that weight
Let me take that baggage off my shoulders
My struggle to breath is tiresome
Let me go back to the oceans before I die,
I am the trapped fish in an imaginary net
I know it’s not a good idea;
My gills sometimes malfunction
They long for the undissolved air when I swim
My lungs overestimate their capabilities
They long for the turquoise blue when I feel the sand under my toes
How heart, do you manage to be so lovingly deceitful?
Under the cover of your pretentious dumbness
You’ve still somehow got the smart brain in your grasp
How heart, do you manage to be so foolishly clever?

My dreams are too heavy
They gift me wings
And slowly clip them away
I guess I should appreciate the weightlessness then
But my imagination spreads with a combination of black and white
Not gray! Never the gray!
Never mind the circumstances
They can be different but they won’t be good.
Let me oscillate between these two areas –
A moment ago, I swear I couldn’t have been more proud!
But now self-abhorrence washes over me
How heart, do you manage to be so sweetly cruel?
What’s the reason behind your deception?
Your prolonged dissatisfaction?
Moving up the pyramid of desires,
Is there any end to your doomed existence?
To your search for meaning?
No! Heart, don’t throw those occasional rays of hope again!
I know there aren’t any better tomorrows
There will always be some codes to decipher of another realm altogether
How do you manage to be such an honest liar, heart?

So, yes, my dreams are heavy!
My will isn’t strong enough to hold that weight
Or easily accept the decisions of fate
If you hadn’t been so difficult to live without
I would have asked someone else to pump the blood, I swear
But how heart, do you manage to be so dispensably indispensable?
And probably the worst decisions of the history or the present or the future
Have been, are being and will be taken by you
And yet I can’t stop myself from floating along your crazy impulses
You should have never been allowed to lead
Or voted to such high position at all
I guess that’s where sometimes democracy falls
At its very foundation
But never mind this politics, you are mesmerizing!
How heart, do you manage to be such pathetic and yet popular leader?

My dreams are heavy but I will carry them along till I am crushed or something
If they feel like cotton, I will ensure that I take a dip in the river
On your stupid orders, heart, on your stupid orders!
I would trade my peace with ambition
Simplicity with complex imagination
My rationality with irrational bouts of rapture
You have a cruel sense of humor
I regret it now that I ignored this rumor.
They said that you would be fun
Ah! What an ugly pun!
I want to rebel against you, heart.
But there’s no way to escape your hypnotic grasp
Or my obsession without any lethal withdrawal syndrome
God, you are such an asshole!
How, heart do you manage to be so attractively ugly?
So repulsive that it’s hard not be in love with you.

***