To the end…

… of a long era of procrastinating this new beginning. I started writing just two years ago(2015) with a poem which I aspire to make the first of many to come. In terms of writing I am but an infant,therefore, I do not care to call myself a writer or a poet just yet for that would be an injustice to both the words. My writing isn’t a perennial river but one that dries and gets replenished with the seasons. In other words, I am not a consistent writer and nor will I pretend to be one. Writing comes to me with sudden bursts of energy which are a result of the current weather. There is a stupor that I step into which forces words out of my brain onto the nearest means of penmanship. I am trying to improve and become better at this so that writing doesn’t remain a skill for me but adapts to be a bodily function. However, I can make no promises.

 Que Sera Sera. Whatever will be,will be.

Lastly, to the reader I say, Thank you.

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Rue

It’s been so many years she says
And I look for pictures;
Pictures of goofy kids with blurry cameras;
Pictures with weird hair and teeth too big for our faces;
Pictures of faces contorted with snorts of laughter;
Pictures taken from strange angles
with stranger people who insisted for more;
Pictures of people we called and still call our own.
But then, I remember how I rebuked them, years ago,
Narcissists and fools on a trip
obsessed with capturing their own faces
Not caring about the beautiful places we travelled to;
And then, me, an intellectual
Would go separate with my camera and
click away photographs on photographs
Of curious scenes and sunsets
which seemed precious and rare.
And right now, ironically enough,
I would give them all away,
the mountains, the evening skies and the likes,
To find atleast one picture with those fools
That could curb the nostalgia I feel today.

‘Never Again’

Love never enthused me more than
The occasional taste of a dish
which I had no taste for, long forgotten.
It starts with a mention they made
And makes you think and think about how
It could’ve been, had you been born the way others did.
You have a foggy memory of how it tickled your senses-
The smell is forgotten among the various other,
better, temptations;
The taste, the way it meddled with your tongue,
seems distant and foreign in your memories;
The looks of it, the best you can remember,
are surprisingly alluring,
But you have a faint alarm in the back of your head
that tells you not to fall for it again,
not quite elaborating on the why.
You notice them, soon enough, walking towards you
with that very dish you hate
but can’t seem to fathom the reasons of your rejection.
Instinctively, you shake your head when they offer
but something in your heart pulls the strings and it says yes.
Your brain cannot tackle the conflict,
which has reached its crescendo,
and gives up, granting your heart the authority
to raise that hand and pick up the courage to, finally,
pick up the spoon.
You slowly take it towards the waiting plate,
with alarm bells ringing, and take an itty-bitty portion,
just to be on the safer side.
You are nervous, hopeful, confused, frightened, excited,
high on adrenaline: an explosive mix of emotions
you have a vague memory of from long, long ago.
And then you smell the smell, recognising it dazedly.
You find it rather inviting and you go ahead and dig in.
The taste floods you with crystal memories,
it all comes back rushing to you.
Now you realise, yet again, why it was a bad idea.
Even though it revolts against your judgement,
You chew and swallow, nevertheless,
And give them a tight smile,
dripping with gratitude,
for it reminded you what you had ceased to remember.
And you go back to your place,
looking for water,
muttering ‘never again’.

A tale of the 15 minutes

Being a girl is no less than a mammoth of a task. There are certain things you need, certain places you need to go to, a certain way you need to be and of course, sit like a lady. Every girl’s holy pilgrimage is a satisfactory beauty parlour at a reasonable distance from her house; hence this girl was here too, just last Tuesday. Duty calls you see, meeting a friend the next day with a mustache on your face doesn’t really up your self-confidence. Oh, I’m all against the patriarchal conditioning about women being told against hair on places that the society doesn’t see fit but sometimes, a girl needs to hold her head high and feel wonderfully confident about it (yes that was a Game of Thrones reference, congratulations dear reader!). And if that requires hair being plucked out of your face for 15 minutes then so be it. The parlour is run by Seema Didi, the girl doesn’t really know anything about her but she just knows that she talks a lot, a lot and that generally entails to a lot of awkward nods and tight smiles from the side of people like this girl. So, she’s waiting for her turn to come. You see, it’s not a big parlour. Just one room filled up to brim with the regular paraphernalia. Two professional looking chairs, a big wall-high shelf filled with the magical powders and lotions and creams and a cauldron full of god-knows-what’s-legs-and-eyes to make women look pretty. And of course, a waiting bench to sit. There the girl sat patiently waiting for the completely foreign lady to start fussing over her skin, her hair and her eyebrows. Finally the aunty prior to her was done. The girl was summoned to the chair and asked what she wanted. “Well, I want a lot of things but for now  please make all the extra hair go away, thanks!”, the girl mused only saying out loud the latter, and necessary, half. Halfway through the right eyebrow, a child comes in. He’s apparently Seema didi’s son, she wonders with her eyes shut and trying her best not to frown and ruin her eyebrows. The kid is very excited and tells his mother that the fountain pen that he wanted wasn’t for forty but twenty rupees, the chauhan stationery said so, he swears by the gods. His mother pacifies him and tells him that he will get the pen if he behaves like a good boy and studies hard from the next session. She asks him for a promise and the kid, Chand as he is called, without missing a beat pacifies his mother back with a “han han, padh lunga”. Then in his eagerness he hops around a bit, the girl can only tell because she can hear his mother telling him to go home, which is just across the street. She knows that because she saw the lady getting out of there, but in all probability, she cannot be sure. Then the kid settles down and gets down to business. He asks his mother to give him twenty rupees. He wants the precious fountain pen, right now. She admonishes him and tells him to finish his newly bought gel pen and then she’ll think about buying him the pen he so desperately wants. Now all the Indian kids dread the phrase ‘dekhte hain’ because they know that just means a painfully delayed refusal. In the girl’s opinion, it is plain cruel to get the kid’s hopes fly and then let him fall from a high place. Alas, she is sitting on a chair under a woman who has complete control over the girl’s face and it is not an appealing position to make her opinion known, not that she feels any compulsion to do so. Ah, joy! Eyebrows done! But now comes the worst part. Getting your upper lip done is a horror which a considerable percentage of the female population goes through twice a month, mostly. It’s as if she relishes plucking out each hair from the face. The girl screams silently inside for at least five more minutes. The kid tries a little harder to get that fountain pen. Both trying to achieve something without having to go through the struggle. The mother resists his efforts and the kid then throws his arms up and muttering about how he will leak the pen he has to get a new one, while trying to get out of the door before the mother is outraged and gives him an earful. The girl however, is impressed and slightly shocked by the attitude of ‘aaj kal ke bacche’. I should probably mention at this point that the girl is not very fond of (read: loathes) kids. Voila! There, done. The girl feels a sense of victory and the very long fifteen minutes are over. She admires herself a bit more in the mirror, pays and leaves with a spring in her step, wind in her (wanted) hair, thinking about the kid and the door which looked at her with a smirk as she left.