Chew on it.

Chances are all we have.

Tag: life

Dimmed.

“What moves you?” you ask

Looking at me in a crowded room

As the crowd presses with its eyes

On the new victim of your unwanted curiosity.

But I will know that later.

 

That evening of dimmed lights and glasses half full,

I have nothing to say.

I know your gaze anchored to my unseeing eyes

Is a game you have played and mastered;

But a game that matters only to you

A personal victory that does not scratch the surface of another soul

Yet here I am writing about it.

Let me explain this.

You asked a question,

And I will answer it because the question

Intrigues me.

Let’s not presume it’s you.

 

You don’t know how far back

I have to scroll my photo stream

To find a picture of myself that I clicked

That I may like.

That show my eyes without the baggage

Of nights I lay trying to court sleep

He, like everything I desire, rejects me gently.

A picture of a friend pulling me close

To share the moment.

Of family that does not hand me the camera

To capture them, ever so complete without me.

Of any trace of my existence.

 

Further back, when a boy asked me

If I could honour him with my love

I refused to believe that my love is honourable.

No love that has rolls of fat

No love that has broken teeth

No love with pimples is honourable.

I shall get my share of loneliness

That my loud faults warrant.

Because anything good in me

Is swallowed by my lard.

 

A little before that, not long ago.

A woman whose womb I come from

Looked me in the eye and said,

I cannot love you anymore.

And she cut the umbilical cord.

She was free.

I was happy for her.

She was free

Of being tied to a millstone of disease

Of shame, of questions and worry.

She climbs mountains now,

Watches birds, flies with them.

The farther she goes away,

The closer my demons breathe.

 

Before that.

A school bell rang and a gang of girls

With quieter laughs and thinner knees

Sat away from me.

When I opened my lunch to share with them,

They inched away.

I’ll have all of my lunch myself.

Yet I felt hungrier.

 

What moves me?

I don’t move.

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Premonition

I know what this will feel like.

12 years from now
When we ‘meet up’
You’ll be with her
And I’ll be with him
And he and you will be
The awkward pals you were years ago

I’ll know you though
The slight of hand and the twist of your words
And how every word was a dreamy sound
I imagined your voice
And you imagined my feet
Why didn’t we meet?

He will then settle for a table
So you’re across or close
Do I meet your eyes or elbows
You will see the red seep in
And wish you could find a corner
To take it out
Sip it away
Lick it off

She is quiet
She is graceful and charming and well –
Quite like nothing you said you loved
She is observant of nothing
A dullard image of pristine perfection
Awash with your attention
Drowned in her assumption that
All is well, all is well
With you and your old friend and me
Who of course, you haven’t met before

Now the dinner has begun
And the memories and the chatter
Between the girls and the men
Begin to start again
‘What do you do?’
‘Do you remember?’
She watches in amusement
I mimic her expression to be part
Of the ruse you are living up to

If hearts have to be broken
Let them be ours.

Slowly the silence seeps in
Between the aridity of conversation
Between you and me
He and she are the quiet ones who
Never noticed the change in the air

I want to stomp off
Shake him
Point to you
Can’t you see?
I tell him
Can’t you see what happened?
We ruined everything
We ruined you and me
Him and her
Before we met
We ruined nights
And trust.
HA!
You fool
You empty man, you.

I sigh

Look up to see him and her
Looking at me
His brow
Her stiff lip
You lift your champagne and sip
I’m sweating and I’m dazed

Look here, I command you wordlessly
We need them to not know
Not even guess
Not even feel
Not even doubt
That there has been smoke
Without fire
And that dark, distorted desire
And dreams of uncertainty
In the last 15 minutes
Through the salad and the champagne
(I’ll sip it again)
You – do you realise?
You – look me in my eyes

I sigh.

They talk of illnesses now
And how suffering is physical and inconvenient
The worst kind, they comment

(She is looking at me though)

He is patting my knee
It’s a gesture, I want to tell you
A promise of attention
And that later tonight
As he unzips this dress
He’ll worry again
And hold me through the dark
I’ll let him

You?
Let’s leave it here.
I fold my napkin.
Good girl that I am
And intertwine his fingers
Give him the smile he loves

You sigh.

You? You have nothing of me now
Nothing I owe him
Though your knee against mine
Keeps me alive.

The chat window

The curse of the age is the ability to see how long it has been since you replied.

And the most embarrassing part?

That relief- that utter, complete, overwhelming relief when you do.

I know you’ll be too consumed by the day to probably type in something.

But there’s a tickle inside me that says, this moment, you want to.

It’s overconfidence, like every time before, that brought me down.

And again, that exactly, placed in you this time, that makes me feel that all of that,

What I told you about?

All of that wounding, bruising, bleeding?

Scarring?

That all of that was worth this.

I know it’s too soon.

I know it’s too optimistic.

I know it’s bordering on stupidity.

But just knowing that you are on the other side of the window,

Wanting, waiting,

Willing to say something to me?

It fills me up like orange juice.

I know. I know it’s different. I know it’s impulsive.

And I know we could be blown to smithereens if one moment went wrong.

But we’re still here. And I love the hope in your words.

This? This is as I wonder, one more time today, at how we even started here.

This is to remind myself, some years from now, that this is where I was.

And hopefully-

Just hopefully.

– Share it with you again.

Those many years from now,

That silly smile we have on our faces.

Good night, and I’ll let you have the last dance.

One of many.

Are you happy?

Maybe not as much as you’d want to be, not as much as you’d seen someone else be- which hurts more, if you’re that kind. It doesn’t hurt that they have the happiness, it’s not that you want to take it away from them, but it’s that teal-grey that seeps into your eyes with every time someone gets what you wish for and haven’t got.

Or even worse, something that just slipped out of your hand.

When you were looking somewhere else but thinking about what was in your hand. Who slipped, really? It’s awkward- being the dreamier of the two. But not being that is a lesson that you’ve tried learning over and over again but simply haven’t been able to grasp.

And this isn’t how you saw yourself- but then, what was it that you did?

Over time, and it will happen, it’ll be more about how you felt, than who you felt it for. How far you pushed yourself. Over time, the traces of him over you will fade. The scent will become less familiar, and the words will not be the same- at least, not their meaning. What’ll stay in your head is how you reacted to them. Those particular words.

It won’t hurt over time, and if you’re lucky, you’ll have those stolen moments of golden sunshine that see you patting your back for having got those 4 weeks right. Almost, that is. Because if it were perfectly right, you wouldn’t have been here. Trying to figure what went wrong. And in moments of weakness and being petty, trying to figure who went wrong.

The might of the ego versus the deception of the heart versus the craving of touch versus the silence of the mind.

All in one person who cannot abandon any of these- all in you.

And in your mind, all of the time- dreading. Dreaming. Stepping. Slipping. Falling. Flying. Fighting. Forgiving. Hiding. Highlighting.

You couldn’t be more alive, and certainly not more dead.

Kya safar, kya raasta
Innse na koi vaasta
Ab aaj iss mod pe
Kheench kar taare tod le

Roke na koi tumhein
Jeet lo jahaan
Tu hi tera armaan
Aur tu hi tera
Aahan

Karodon khwahishein teri
Anokhi teri pyaas
Bande tu bhool mat
Na hona tu udaas

Roke na koi tumhein
Jeet lo jahaan
Tu hi tera armaan
Aur tu hi tera
Aahan

Sarhaddon ke paar basera tera
Tu hi musafir, tu hi kaarwaan
Teri aawaz, tera andaaz
Teri kaabiliyat tu jaan

Tu hi ummeed
Tu hi junoon
Tu hi tera
Aahan

Roke na koi tumhein
Jeet lo jahaan
Tu hi tera armaan
Aur tu hi tera
Aahan

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