no one tells you
that the person you are
was the person you'd hate.
was the person you were,
all of a sudden the person you ain't?
they told me i'd walk far but i chose to run,
far away from the person i wouldn't become.
it might've been a dream but baby, this is fate.
i'm running so hard, and staying up so late.
no sleeping tonight because i gotta fight,
always making things worse instead of making things right.
you're just another face that puts me to rest,
don't think for a moment that you know me or what's best.
my parents never call and my brothers aren't around,
there's nothing like the calm of being safe and sound.
The last few passengers hopped on catching their breaths with a huff and a puff and taking the remaining seats where they could, while handling their bags in one hand and their mufflers and hats with the other. It was just an ordinary day for them. A day when work and reaching their office on time was the only thing they could think about. A day when half their time on the launch was spent worrying if the Tiffin box packed so lovingly by their wives toppled over to create a mess. A day when they couldn't stop and stare. A day when materialism came before appreciating nature’s beauty.
Kolkata woke up one fine chilly morning to a sky set ablaze. There was always something about Kolkata and its lights that intrigued me. The perfection with which every corner was lit just as much as it should be, the hidden eye candy which could only be seen if you look into your soul to appreciate. Worshipers from all over flocked to the ghats to offer their prayers. And with the mindless honking of the city behind them and the open river in front, they dipped themselves in continuously to be forgiven of their sins. As they lifted their folded hands above their heads to pray and dipped themselves, they made the water all around them make huge ripples which were lost in the vastness of the mighty river. And with that, they were forgiven of their wrong doings, or at least that’s what they believed.
The engines roared to life as one of the crew, miserably opened the ropes and threw them on board after ringing a bell. I stood in one corner of the launch eyeing Kolkata, taking every bit of it in - its morning awakening, its old red bricked buildings, or at least the ones which still stood straight, its ghats green with moss and over crowded with devotees, its icy cold winter morning, and the current of the river beneath the launch floor. Kolkata had woken up to one of the coldest days in recent history. 9 degrees and the wind was up. On the Ganga it felt as if I had come away to some faraway land, away from the hustle and bustle of the city, to find peace. Silence surrounded me and the only sound faintly audible was the low whistle of the breeze brushing past my cheeks kissing them which felt like tiny needles poking me all at once.
The water looked like liquid glass, floating away to infinity and beyond, as far as my eyes took my vision. As the launch turned to face its destination the Howrah Bridge came into view. Standing tall with its two gigantic pillars the sun peeped from between the cables to shine on the water creating a river of gold while the sun’s reflection seemed a ball of fire just within our reach. The bridge cast huge shadows causing a sudden darkness to arise in the water which otherwise seemed ablaze.
Across the river the world waiting for me felt distant. Was civilization actually that beautiful? Or did nature just wrap its covers around to hide the flaws of mankind, his ruthlessness, his ignorance towards other beings and its lack of humanity? The dashes of green popped out of the corners of towering buildings, as sun cast its golden rays on them creating shadows on the opposite side.
The small boats sailed on as the launch took me from bank to bank. The rowers sat at the back on the edge with their rows half immersed in the water. And as the currents made them flow by, the ripples came and hit our launch and travelled back into the vastness and disappeared. They sailed through the disturbed water, and its shadows sailed alongside. The rivers serenity was contrasted with the blobs of weed floating by, entangled with driftwood and mixed with shiny cloths, probably the leftovers of the previous durga puja celebrations.
The sky was a game of colors by now. The sun, still a ball of fire, was slowly creeping upwards, the light grey clouds just behind it shot rays of gold down through the gaps they found on the world below, the sky otherwise was a play of grey, blue, red and orange set in order from the ground upwards without a definite point of distinction. A group of three birds, crows most probably, flew overhead enjoying the sun’s late arrival to the cold morning.
My hands reached for the railing. I gripped the rods tightly looking for security. I looked around me to spot the different lives sailing with me. Some on their phones, some sat with their eyes glued to the cold blank floor, as if they didn’t deserve to be uplifted by nature’s display of her beauty, some staring down at their watches to scrutinize each second to realize how late there were while others stood with a blank expression staring out onto the river, probably going over what they did wrong, playing the images on repeat, making themselves miserable. Me? I stood leaning on the railing looking out also. But I wasn’t in my misery. My misery was behind me. I looked forward to life. And for now I looked forward to my destination. And amongst the crowd I was alone. This was my moment and mine alone. No one could have robbed me of this moment, and no one can make me forget.
The river gave me peace of mind. Its tranquility and its continuity made an energy of constancy flow within me. A belief that this too shall pass, that every moment shall pass. Never ending was its path. A path which life had chosen. Who are we to disrupt it? Who are we to stop? Life flowed on. And times were not always smooth sailing. There will be waves rocking you, making you lose your balance, there will be rocks at the bottom, sometimes holding you together while other times damaging your base. With time and distance the river will get polluted, but it all depends on what you want to show and what you choose to see. It will be used, to its maximum capacity, with only a handful of souls to stop and think about it and do something about it to the best of their abilities. Things varying in all sizes will cross it, sail by without paying any heed to the water beneath it making them sail smoothly, never appreciating it, and soon it becomes a part of them which they pay no attention to it. It will always be there though. Its existence will always prevail over it being ignored. And when you stop to think, it’ll be there pushing you along the way, to your destination, where you will have to say goodbye to the picture perfect moments, the soul touching feelings and the voice within you which screams in its silence to set yourself free.
Like the turning sheets
of a monthly calender,
life has layers after layers.
How would he know that ,
just a callow youth on sea shore
playing with smooth pebbles,
that was when he saw her first.
She was the woman who
taught him, whole cities lay merged
within a woman, like wave after wave,
of inhabitants over time, leave their
archaeological markers of periods,
she was a mystery like life itself.
There is no way to decipher.
They first met
in the city of light,
Diwali lamps were lit
in all courtyards,
It was an immortal moment
in his life, he realized,
leading him gently to the light
which evaded him though he assiduously sought,
she parted without a word
Did she belong to someone else?
The city of sorrow,
yet again brought them face to face
Ridden with angst of existence
he stumbled, was about to fall, then
he could experience her iron will
more than a woman, she stood, like a pillar of strength,
she took his weary head in both hands, pressed to her breast,
pulled out the crown of thorns, their paths
diverged again, inexplicably complex, was their relationship.
In the city of guilt,
an unexpected meeting again,
they were surprised. Here, they were on their own.
They wanted to take their lives in their hands,
in spite of the currents that pulled them to different directions.
But he knew all the while that her self, was divided between
three cities within in her.They co-existed, Light.Guilt.Sorrow
will their love survive? Not all loves are intended to live long,
a parrot in his tree of loneliness always whispered.He pretended he didn't hear,
A game of dice, almost was their lives, mysterious forces did bet on their love,
Having traveled through fire and water, she was beyond pleasure and pain,
Kali with a fiery nose stud, female power that overcomes all pain,
she became, that shattered his dreams for them.
He was thankful, to be awakened by her,
the light she lit, burned bright, within.
Now or never.He crossed the river.
Deliverance comes from an inner source,
otherwise all will end as an idiot's tale
Her flame lighted his wick, liberated him.
Fire spitting dragons one can tame,
but in the duel with demons of life,
it could be a blood letting end,
call it play of chance or what ever
they are the easy game here
He packed his backpack and
started to move eastwards,
Westward bound was she, invariably,
her heart had still a song left for him,
the void was filled, the pain was stilled
with anesthetics of mind.
Just for one last time they went to the beach,
watching the sunset was their good bye to each other.
They never met again.
Will I hear you again?
Or even see you open your eyes?
If only I could have one last chance
I wouldn't change anything
Except make it easier on Mom
She took her ring off Dad
Left it by her pain killers
You tried your best, it wasn't good enough
Things have finally wrapped up
Just like you are this very moment
Seeing you in a casket,
Wrapping my still young hands around your fist
Tears staining your new dress shirt
Speaking for the dead, listening to the alive
Searching for the memory
Of the Concrete Cross
Reading the numbers of your hospital room
All of it a mixed memory,
I'll miss you Dad
I guess I'm supposed to say:
I love you
But I'll walk through the Church doors
My last words to you were
Summer, now just a ball of ruined treasures hanging above me
Thinking of 3 lonely months with nothing to keep me occupied.
Thinking.. Thinking way too much. No more thinking.
It's like drowning in a never ending wave
of cool ocean water.
The kind of water that's so clear, you can see all the way to the
bottom of the endless ocean.
It's like falling from the top of the highest mountain,
but the fall never ends.
You wait as the world passes you by,
full of anticipation for the moment of impact,
but it never comes.
It's like being at the center of
a vicious tornado.
You twist through streets and destroy everything in sight
leaving the damage behind to be repaired
by someone else.
But there is no one left when you've teared everything apart,
when everything falls down,
when everything sinks to the bottom.
All you have is your pride.
And all you've lost is me.
Against the lavender of a Capricorn:
less chubby at age fourteen than at eighteen,
produced at the wrong time.
Her stars are their least private in December,
moths pick up ovaries and eggs
from below her dress
left behind from relationship number one.
A lesbian curse, no offspring
for her girlfriend was a Capricorn spirit too.
A nymph who took ten seconds to leave
though eight years to disappear:
nurses say, “it just hurts for a moment,”
but needles ruin your whole goddamn week.
But out of two Capricorn women,
one is sure to get pregnant.
The first’s not heard of powdered milk,
nor would she have any,
calcium-deficient so others break her bones.
She has a cabinet of amber orbs
held with sickly insects, a million years old
and brown hair in like tiny balls of yarn.
Some parts of a person can belong to another.
This was not their cornflower-eyes
but an ability to bear child from straight sex
female parts tangled like herbs and stars.
I miss the look on your face when you saw me
I miss the smell on of the smoke on your skin
I miss the small, silver camera you held in your hand
I missed you the moment you'd taken me in
I miss the long drives past rolling corn feilds
I miss the tissue crumpled in my hand
I miss the trailer sat 10 feet from your porch light
I missed you the moment that I knew I can
I miss the family that I'd never known there
I miss my neices blue eyes, curly hair
I miss when Aunt Nikkie painted my nails green
It started chipping, but I didn't care
I miss the fireflies that I couldn't catch
I miss the movies you forced me to watch
I miss the ashtrays all over the house
I missed the jokes I continue to botch
I miss the grapes that you stuck by my bedside
I miss the feel of my neice on my lap
I miss my cousins attempting to drown me
I even miss Tristan, whom I wanted to slap
I miss the day that they took me out shopping
I miss watching movies with them late at night
I miss winning money on Grampa's 10 slot machines
I miss how hard those mosquitos would bite
I miss the day that you bought me a pizza
I miss the way that smoked everyday
I miss the drive to the airport that morning
I miss your face, as you drove away
We both found out simultaneously, coincidentally and instantaneously
Because when I saw him look into your eyes, right away I knew.
When he looked back at me, he knew.
When you looked at me, you knew.
And the pain in the pit of my soul dripped down to my stomach that then threatened so gratingly to let its contents out, as if smugly pronouncing that I was hollow, and I was.
The tears came in a hasty abundance and the words in an unfocused cluster and I attacked you.
And you were in the same state as I, but it was you whom my abrupt eyes saw fit to take blame.
It was you whom he used as a weapon to hurt me, and I know that guns don’t kill people, but at that moment I was ready to disassemble you, barrel, muzzle and grip because it was your trigger that was pulled when the bullet shot through my heart and I didn’t want to think about the shooter.
I didn’t want to think that he would hurt me.
I was used as a target by him and you would be used as a target by me
Because there is nothing easier than blaming those you don’t love, blameless as they may be.
I answered a call in the freezing night ....
A cold tone from a distance...
I was numb ... stunned by the news...
The picture of you cold fear dripping from my hands
My soul was screaming.. WHY YOU? WHY YOU?
Tried to recall your overjoyed laughters ..
Breaking the news of a Christmas eve together..
Only yesterday we both shared the smiles..
In a split second.. I was left alone..
My happiness was ripped my heart was broken
The visuals of a grand dinner for us two kept flashing in my head
We dined together smiling, dancing and kissing...
But Those filthy soldiers..
These blood thirsty monsters with their killing machines...
Heartless and brutal , they spared no one...
They gunned you down,
The whole platoon died in this bloody war..
Braved myself ... I took a look at the picture of you..
i took a breath I tried to remember the last look on your face
the moment when i knew you were gone forever
a tear slipped down my cheek
screaming my heart out as i stumbled and fell
with the picture of you... the memories of us...
Tore us apart... yes they did
Killed our love?... Never .. ever...
the picture of you cold fear dripping from my hands...
Good bye my love....
Its because I love….
Hope you’d be my Valentine again…
Its because I miss you…
Wish you’d come back to me…
Its because I need you..
Pray that you’d still love me too
Remembered the joy you gave me
For so brief a while…
In this world that we’d built together…
And shared as our own…
There was so much love
How to thank you for giving me so much….
You made my heart your home
And every time our eyes met,
My heart melted too
Even for a while I felt we were in heaven…
Thank you for being so faithful and for caring
Only you could make my world
As only you could do…
My wonderful love, you were the greatest friend and the best companion…
How I thanked god for this opportunity..
To having to love and be loved
By someone so loving like you…
Even a brief moment with you..
On this Valentine’s day..
I would cherish it forever..
Sweetheart….Would you be my Valentine once again?