Thursday, December 13, 2012

To make way for the new

Some things you understand
Like the harvest every hiyangei
The toiling in the fields
To celebrate the bounty of the earth
With Lai haraoba, to appease Ema Lairembi
Your daughter is getting married
You have little to give her for her awunpot
You search the till for the little savings
But found nothing but despair
All you have is the house of mud,
And the black earth sustaining lives
The ways of Epa-Epu of living by the land
are but ancient relics found in phuga wari
The old ways are dying
Last evening you looked like a woman
 who lost something she can't quite remember
You gave your grateful daughter
Lik, khuji,lei made of pure gold
You had given up the old ways
To make way for the new.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

You are always counting

You are always counting days left to go back to him,
counting the distance from the room in which
 you are hugging yourself wrapped in a red cardigan
to the street where he sits on a platform
 smoking a cigarette, perhaps 2696km give or take.
You count the two languages that set you apart,
 the one language you both share even though
 you both know how to say that one line
 in each other's language. You count the dishes
you eat which he might be alien to, nga for instance,
 not to mention eromba and soibum even though
 you are quite familiar what what he eats.
You stop counting because it's tiring to count so much,
and you need to tell him you can't wait to see him.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

You arrived at twenty two

You arrived at twenty two, congratulated yourself
on surviving the 2403 kilometre journey from the
edge of the northeatern part of the country to the
 capitals in stomach churning bus rides and filthy
overcrowded trains. You were overwhelmed by
 the city, by the opulence of the haves and the
wretched poverty of the have-nots. you had come
 to forge a vague dream. to escape settling for less.
Some government job or the other, more entrance
exams to sit through. That's why you had come.
 Always that voice that said you had to better yourself.
Become a saheb of some sort. The noise of the city
didn't let you sleep at night, the constant honking
of cars till the wee hours of the morning, the hawkers
 selling their wares by loud high pitched announcements.
 You were used to the stillness of nights in the valleys
except for the regular sound of the crickets. You visited
 the India Gate, got a photograph clicked which you
promptly sent home. And you lingered for a while,
your eyes fixed at the Raisina Hill. You wondered how
 those who lived in isolation, guarded from the vexing
ordinary  existence possibly make decisions pertaining
 to his land. a place they had never visited, never tried
to understand. Just the dispatch of more military,
more weapons, harsher laws along with neglect in all
other aspects. Like all diaspora you cling to memories
of home, in your exile you have become more Manipuri
than you ever did when you lived there, finding solace
 in songs sung in your mother tongue, indulging in gossips
and news of home while eating the Marie biscuit dipped
 in chai. Now you are in your forties, eromba features
in most of your meals, you still hunt
 the vegetable market for the rare find of maroi and hangam.

A Machine of Grief

You should have realized that the faces of your childhood
which you romantise conceal so much madness, so much
pain. And that you only had to go back in your mind to see
the signs. When you were five the man who used to drive
the van to ferry you and other neighbourhood children
committed suicide. Your mother told you he is driving
a truck now. You didn’t question her. You didn’t know what
death meant or what caused it. You heard whispers
of how your much older cousin which you have met but once,
had married a man whose parents didn’t accept her
because she wasn’t their kind, not from their community.
But you didn’t know because this was the limit of your
world and you knew no other.You didn’t really know what
different was and that you would be different once you
step out. Now you know that laughter is rare,pain more
frequent. You see the violet hills with a sadness in your guts.
and the morning mist intensifies the loneliness of your
existence. And when you walk the walk you have been 
taking as long as you had learnt to walk, you walk briskly 
as though you are trying to escape from some kind of
absence, the echo of decay. While your life is disintegrating, 
even that assumes a rhythm. Melancholy becomes a 
habit the mind exercises. You have become a machine of grief.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

When he told me I was full of contradictions,that I say one thing about being this strong independent woman who doesn't care about how people perceive me, I didn't know what to say apart from being slightly hurt. Someone had once told me I was very gullible, too weak to face the world. I was twelve years old then and I vowed to shield myself. I would not be gullible, I would not give in. To whatever that she thought I usually gave in to. I was young and foolish. I am still young and foolish both. I daresay I would be old and foolish too.
I am not clear about many things, be it about myself or others or even poetry. I am constantly adding and subtracting emotions and thoughts. How can I be expected not to change and remain the same, constituting the same thoughts and feelings? Sometimes I think as a woman or to-be-woman, certain things are expected of me. On on hand, I am expected to be the quintessential feminist, disdaining frivolous activities such as fashion and maybe even men altogether. On the other hand my mother wants me to be fairly balanced about things, observe the traditions, sometimes even reject some progressive things because they don't fit in with social norms and so on and so forth as most of you might already know. And in these many ways,I am being confronted with options forced down my throat. Clearly, I am not being given the choice the make up my own option. I am constantly being told this and that. Do's and Don'ts.
Sometimes I think I would love to have a place of my own but then again I wouldn't want to stay too long either. Yes, I am a living walking breathing contradiction and yes, I don't think of substantial reasons for doing the things I do because if I spent my time finding reasons, I would probably have starved to death by now. And then there is poetry, I have my books and my poetry to protect me, I am shielded in my armour.  But you broke that armour for me and now that I need it, I can't find it anymore.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

How can you eat so slow?
I am getting my money's worth,
each rupee's worth.
You are so immersed,
Like a three year old
Hanging onto the summer's last
Ice-cream, until next year.

You have come along way from home

You have come a long way from home,
from winter nights spent huddled around
the meiphu, when you were a bright-eyed
shiny-nosed eight year old listening to Ebok
telling you stories of Keibu Keioiba, the sole
candle in the room dripping wax on the mudfloor
of the spartan room, her bare belongings hung
on the walls,and the wind lashed on the
curtainless window, interspersed with rain.
You know you have come a long way from
home because you have forgotten the dance-steps,
 dropped the rhythm of grace in your walk,
 your hair no longer holds the leihou,
you speak a strange language.
And then you have to unlearn so many things,
 how to eat, what to eat, how to court,
 and be courted. You have come away
dreaming dreams sometimes not yours
sometimes bearing the collected memories
of a people who have seen too much
 but forgotten much.
You have come a long way but
Ima still asks when you would start back for home.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A sign of assurance

You joined it and that surprised you
because that's not what you would
 have done if you knew what it was
you wandered into it and you stayed
because it gave you slogans to
channel the anguish you have
borne ever since you took your first
breath, the first time you were
told you couldn't do this and that
 because that's not what girls do, the
first time you picked up a book in
 which the woman author wrote
with a man pseudonym, or the time
the first slave was separated from
 his family in America, saw the bullet
ridden eight year old girl's body
tossed into the swamp, hear him
 telling me "Why are you so desperate
 to go back?"" Why do you do this
to me?" and you don't seem to know
 enough, because you are a fool
 and you want to please everyone,
you are scared of ending up
a total failure or knee-deep in mediocrity,
 but then again you don't
want to lose out on him and that's
why you ask him for a sign of assurance.

Monday, November 12, 2012

With tea? A heart of tea?

You are not good at being alone. your feet
find themselves pacing up and down
the little room. too little space. you would
 think it would explode with the sum of
exaggerated loneliness.
You are not good at being alone. It makes
you want things which you can't get.
reconciliation, for instance.not the
conversations that go here and there
and never really speak just hollow words
to keep the semblance of normalcy
when you are burning with pride,hurt
 and thwarted efforts. you drink too much tea,
you fill mugfulls as though you are filling
 your loneliness, the emptiness
in your heart.
With tea? A heart of tea?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Because you don't know why you are the way you are

You tell yourself it will be alright,
Most times
It weighs you down
It leaves claw marks
And you don't know how it came,
 Like an avalanche of frustration
And you.just.don'
Because you have lost so much
 And gained what?
Nothing to show.
Just shadows.
And the dark.
The screaming silence.
Because this is all that is left of you.
Words. Tears. A mind tearing itself apart.
A descend to quiet madness.
Because you don't know why you are the way you are.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Do you see the lives you couldn't save?

I always saw you
 As the man who would get back home
 Later than other fathers
I was a little scared of you
And overawed because everyone saluted you
 You were always posted somewhere else
 And came home once or twice a month
 Sometimes fewer, 
You always brought me something
 Some little gift
 Even at nineteen
I think that is all you do,
Being a father
But you are a person too,
 With your own insecurities and fears
How do you live through it,
 Rescue the dying and come
 Back home to us,smiling for me?
How do you do it, Papa?
How do you wake up each day
Not knowing if you would come back to us?
Is that why you can't sleep at night sometimes,
 And you say it's because you are growing old?
Do you see the lives you couldn't save?


All the places you avoid

It's strange how we keep on living
Laughing, driving on the dusty roads
In newspapers they write
 Of the curfew, the dead toll
Of the faltering peace
My daughter still goes to school
Her hair tied with red ribbons
She kissed the apple I gave her for breakfast
My husband left for Moreh
 Halfway through breakfast.
Some disturbance at the border
The girls in the shop next door continue
 To weave the muga phi
Giggling at the young men
Who glance at them
The media would be disappointed
 At the presence of enthusiasm
Weren't the streets supposed to be deserted,
 Windows closed, lives halted?
In Manipur, Myanmar, Rwanda, Somalia, Afghanistan
All the places you avoid,
They go on living, breathing,
Sometimes more deeply than you do.

Over the years

Over the years
 I have realised that
The only way to get over
 This overwhelming sadness
(Perhaps of loss and scarred remains)
Which descends like a blanket
Of cold night stars
My warm blood
 Slowing turning Cold
 Cold like my collar bone
Over the years,
 I have begun
To depend on transferring it
 To a cause larger than one life
So I have a shelf of them
Like a collector's prized possession-
On Rwanda, Bosnia, Darfur, Gaza.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

We have established a routine

We have established a routine
 Sitting on the rocks,
Being pulled by the lure of the black sea
Violent, turbulent and it still calls
And you are tempted
Tempted to go just a bit nearer
 This happens everyday
 Till the third day
 For three days
We pile out of our rooms
 Knock on doors
We walk the streets christened with French names
We walk, we smoke
We sing a Puducherry song
And we eat, counting the decreasing wad of cash
Young, and penniless- our predicament
We file back into our rooms
By midnight
 Doors close
And in smoke-filled rooms
(The kind I imagined the poets inhabited
When struck by poverty
Or heartbreak, whichever you please)
You pull me close
Tug at my blouse
Mouths and tongues dissolve
 We have established a routine.

Wake me up tomorrow

You are going about the routine tasks
 Of attending social gatherings
Picking up glasses, red with alcohol
 Cool with ice
You witness yourself
Bent over a sink; sick
And then you lean back
Stare back at the bathroom tiles
Luminescent. Swirling.
You pick up your phone and type-
Wake me up tomorrow.
Come back to me.

Monday, October 15, 2012

....You grew up absurd
Thinking guns are the only things that talk
I grew up normal enough
In places where money talked
But isn't that twisted too?

Sunday, September 16, 2012

We are here, this is now

We are here, this is now
Things are just as they are
The unmade bed, the dried flowers
I look at you 
Oceans of your eyes 
Lash like waves 
On the shores of my life
I was a mermaid once,I will say
I used to watch you 
Setting the sails of your ship 
You will smile an indulgent smile 
And then?you will ask,
How long did you watch?
The span of twelve full  moons,
I would whisper into your ears
I waited,washed with melancholia 
Searching the seven seas 
Then I found you,shipwrecked 
Washed ashore, unconscious.
All things to be said 
Have been said 
Except for some things
You will say tomorrow 
Your nicotine stained fingers
Reach for the lamp
We are here,this is now

Friday, August 31, 2012

I leave behind nothing

I leave behind 
No marks of having occupied this space
No scribbles on the wall
Or a list of to dos
No timetable
No punched hole where
A poster of some popular movie star
I live sparsely
The tears dry up
The broken glasses are swept into the wastebasket
The thoughts I thought hang in the air
Invisible army 
Whose occupation will be another mind
Maybe a stray earring will
Betray me
I leave behind nothing
Except my absence 
I think I am keeping 
All of myself
For a space from which I no longer have to move
Which is mine and mine alone
Mine and maybe yours

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Maybe all I want is you
 And nothing else.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Once again
 I search for myself
In these grainy blurred pictures
You are there too
 Maybe just your hand
 Or your headgear
What were we then?
 You and I and the rest?
 We marvelled at the world outside
Mouth wide open
Of some distant promised land.
How were we then?
Did the hurt exist,
 The throbbing pain?
Age is catching up to us.
 Just the last moment of escape.
That was it. You and I
Bending our heads over books,
 Scraps of paper, old loves, life,

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

You mention it again
The name, and other specifics
I don't quite know
What to say
I never have known
Our hands lay entwined
Far removed from us
You tell me of things,
 Mostly fears
 Something about me,
 About the way my face arranges itself
How do I explain?
The silence drops
Fall on the ground.
I don't pick it up.
I say I have to go.

So many faces with no names

I am sitting down at the end of the day
Listing things to do
Tomorrow I will read,
Sit down somewhere and read
In a borrowed language.
Maybe under a tree.
Or at the obscure corner
Hidden by shadows
But what if it rains?
Curl up in my bed, I suppose
Climb up the library stairs
But it is not home to me
 The way the school library was
 Things are different now
 Even the rituals of reading.
Sometimes it sends me weeping
These detailed changes
The impersonality, the coldness,
So many faces with no names.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I ask instead of the time

We light our cigarettes
From the terrace we can see
Old houses,broken bricks, workers.
You tell me what you see,
Ten years from now,
 Or was it twenty?
I want that too, I want to say.
I want to be with you.
But there are other dreams
 I promised  myself
Dreams without which I won't be I.
I want you to know
My love won't change
I can't imagine any other way.
We will figure out ways.
 Maybe you can visit me for Christmas in New York
We will go ice-skating together,
These things I say
To suppress the heaviness
That almost chokes me
You will no longer be across the road
We will no longer spend lazy days
 Day after day.
No longer drive each other crazy.
It hits hard.
It is devastating.
Night is falling,
So is this conversation.

What do you know of love?
 I want to ask.
 I ask instead of the time.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

She wants to buy white lilies

She is unreasonable today
 She doesn't want to grudge
 Even half a smile
She doesn't want to talk
Or pretend to listen
She is far away
 To the place she crawls back to
Where we have always wanted to peek into
She doesn't want to wear red, pink, orange
Only black, only white, maybe drab gray
She wants to go to a less familiar place
 Not where we can watch her steps
Or bump into her in corners and pillars
And linger our hungry eyes on her
 On her strangeness
She wants to buy white lilies
 And place them on a forgotten grave.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The morning mist of Langol

I want for you to
 Inherit a little of my smile
The color of my skin
The rest you find your own
 Sift through centuries past
 Of eye color and hair texture
 Choose your pick
I want you to inherit
 The books of my childhood
 Scattered poems of yesteryears
 Of my time, of my life
Those lines I wrote to myself,
 Those unfinished stories
 Because life, in default, remains unfinished
Until you are no more.
I want you to inherit
My humour, my curiosity
Not my failed loves, not my notoriety
 Nor my obscurity of later years.
 I want you inherit the hills
The rain, the evening sky,
The morning mist of Langol,
The morning mist of Langol.

Claiming Myself

Someone told me I write well
But when I write about the things I know
 And that is mainly Manipuri in character
 Whole lives are lost
 Lost in translation.
 English was never suited for the tongue
Of people struggling with life
Amidst bullets and floods
Obscure, forgotten people speak
Their own obscure, forgotten language.
 For how can you translate warouba ;
The kind you feel when the person
 You gave your whole life to
Forsakes you to please people
 He once claimed didn't like him much?
Can you say pendaba is a sub-part of warouba;
The kind when your nights are wet with hot tears,
Visited by convulsions of sickness,
A life which has spiraled out of control?
What in English is called the leihou
 Barring from some ugly scientific name?
Nongjabis drive away the rain,
They paint the sky red, merry orange.
All I have with me are words now,
 Words of a language I neglected so long
 Which I am now tasting, swallowing,
 Slowly claiming myself.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Politically Born You Are

Politically born you are
 Your head is counted
 Twice over, maybe thrice
There is fear that we are
 Declining in numbers
There is fear of being swarmed
 Over by foreigners
You, my child
 Even as you learn to speak your first word
There are tensions soaring
On your chakumba numit,
Unknown assailants
 Murders two non-manipuris
In broad daylight at the bazaar.
 You, when you took your first walk
 From me to your father,
 There was the demand to secede the hills of Manipur.
Your bedtime stories are of good girls
 Who win over giants by their sheer kindness
Maybe I should tell you of the Manipuri lores
Of hingchabis, of baneshees,
 The ones my Imabok told me.
 Because good is scarcely found,
I want to arm you with courage,
And maybe some words,
 Incase you do find 
Those giants who might listen to you.
In the right they fight over boundaries,
 In the left over love
In my country,
 They fight over Gods,
 Over some young people who ran away 
To get married for love.
 Love is a crime in places,
 You have to pay for it
 With your life.
In my own house,
 Some fight over unmarried daughters
Some over why last night's food
 Wasn't thrown away and left to rot.
 Over misplaced badges of my father's
 Ima says she saw it a few days ago.
Grandmother says you shouldn't laugh
 On your own wedding,
 It's unbecoming of a young woman
But her own daughter giggled
Throwing flowers over the groom's koiyet
I sometimes cry when I read poetry
 Or read about Aung San Suu Kyi
 News flash that Ratko Mladic is on trial at the Hague
He ordered the Srebrenica Massacre
 It seems personal somehow
 I lived in Bosnia during the aftermath.
 I tremble a little with anger.
There are dreams of beaches,
 Of French towns on Indian shores.
You come to me now
In your blue jeans and white shirt
 You tell me your secrets
You whisper your life,
 Things lost, people found.
I search for you in crowds
 Searched for you in six lives
 Found you in the seventh.
I want you to know
 That I love watching you
 In the kitchen
 That I love it when you swing me 
 And sing me to sleep,
 When you pop a whole bunch
 of gems into your mouth
 Like a greedy child
 I found you, found you 
 In your blue jeans and white shirt.
I want you to know that
 It is worth six lives of search.

Friday, July 6, 2012

On writing a story

I start off with a girl.of sixteen
 Halfway through I realize
Her frivolity, her extremity
I am not pleased with her lines
 Her clothes are too perfect
In stories, clothes are badly worn
Perfect clothes belong in runaways
 In stories, fashion disasters are the norm.
Then there is the issue of the mother,
The father, How Do I deal with the parents?
 Too kind, too rigid, too affectionate, too strict?
The conversations flow,
It's the only thing which has dragged on
 While the rest have become sluggish,
 And then finally left to lie cold in the snow
 But there is no snow where the story is set
 Only rains and mud strewn roads.
There is a beautiful woman,
Like in all stories, we must have one too,
Caged in an unhappy marriage,
 There is the husband who is cold and grim.
 There are books and poetry,
 Garcia Marquez, Orhan Pamuk,
And there are weddings on the cards
 But you goes one way and then
When I wake up the next morning
 Quite another way.
Who must suffer, who must laugh?
 Someone has to die, surely
 But which one?

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Scaling a nearby hill

Everyday I suppose some persons come
Charging up this hill
 Like I am doing today
Why I chose today 
I don't know.
 Maybe there was nothing else to do
No company to keep
 But then again I never have company
No friends to drag me to car drives
 To some land far away
Nor to the waterfalls of Leimaram
Soaked in wine, soaked in carelessness.
Here, when I reach the summit,
 I tell myself it is some ancient place,
 Place of the Meitei Gods
 And I must tread carefully
 Or I might awaken them
 From their long slumber
 And test their patience.
 My mother told me
 There are waters where
 You don't see your reflection.
That there is a boulder under which
Someone was buried.
 A demon? A temptress?
I see the glittering lights of the city below,
 Where it has its own demons unleashed.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hey besty, hey besty hey hey hey.
God hey, hey you beautiful wonderful you.
Hey you fixing your new house while i feed on mangoes,
Hey you so far away from me, 
Hey you smiling and grinning likle a little boy,
 Hey you loving me hey you hey you
I want to hey you, poke you
Taste your smile and the twinkle in your eyes.
I want you to hey me,
Hold me, drag me to rain, snow, hail,
Wherever you go,
And love me hug me besty me.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

A garland of kundo

Once again
 I wear my mayek naibi
 My muga phi the colour of adorgulap
 Inland with gold it seems,
Trace chandon on my forehead
 Lik, khuji find their familiar places,
 My neck, my arms,
 The finality of sana on skin
Another wedding,
 When they ask me, 
I say absolutely not, 
Atleast not for another six-seven years
 But that is just half a truth
You, a stranger to my land, 
A valley surrounded by nine hill ranges
 Shrouded by mists and myths
 You would think time had stood still
 A little longer than in other places
You,who never heard Khamba-Thoibi stories
 While growing up
On you, my beloved stranger
 I would place around your neck
A garland of kundo.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

It's a strange kind of waiting

What is this game
 Of hide and seek?
You hide
 I seek in desperation
 And when I seek you out
 I don't say
 What I thought I would say
 We meet
 Sometimes we skip days
 Then days turn to weeks
 And weeks to months
 And we meet again
 We play the same game
 Over and over again
 Since the first time
 Five years ago
 I loved you then
 As only a child could
 I hate you now
 As only a scorned young woman could
 It's a strange kind of waiting
 Waiting for you to fade.

I write to you

I am writing to you now,
Writing to you makes me sane,
I imagine that you can hear the tone of my voice
I have a frightfully wild imagination
 Quite displaced from reality
 I wonder if you understanding my world is one of them.
 But I still write to you,
 I no longer care if you read them attentively,
 Smile appropriately at the amusing anecdotes
 Or just leave them sealed.
 It has become a drug now-
Writing to you.
Some posted, others still gathering dust in my locker
 Between the pages of my history books, between my sketches
 An out pour of my miseries, my love
 My sadness, my curiosities, my fears
 And also about the little delights
 Of waking up too early on Sunday mornings,
And that little girl who smiled and waved at me,
 And how badly I wanted her as my doll.
 That, all that and much more I write to you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Wait for me

When I am gone
 Love me sometimes
 Remember the last lines we spoke
The last glances of longing and love
 And something that only the thought
 Of impending separation can bring
 Take care of you because I love you so
 Take care of things that might cause pain
 When your eyelids drop heavy
Pray a bit if you can
 Drop in a word for me
I will see you in my dreams now
You with your beautiful eyes
Hold me close, sing me to sleep,
 Cast your nets and bring me back
Our city of dreams, our city of awakening,
 I know you will find its soul
 If you do find mine too.
 Tell me you will wait for me
 As I take my time to come back to you
 Because the heart loves you more than it can bear.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Our love is a twisted thing

I try to hate you

With daggers of last night’s outburst
With the strength of every ache that I went through
I see your love as self constructed and self centred
Through the prism of my rage
The thousand year old rage of one
Stuck between girlhood and womanhood
I devise ways of hating you
The instrument of silence
The tool of insolence
I count number of days I should not talk to you
Weeks I should not meet you
Months I want you to suffer
I want to summon all my hate
Fill it to the brim
And throw it all at you
Because my love is a twisted thing.
Then you say a hi
And all of it is gone in an instant
All of it is wiped clean
I no longer remember why I hated you
A part of me mourns the loss of the passionate hate
But the person becomes like a character in a movie
Living the dramatic life
Saying the thundering heartbreaking dialogues
Someone divorced from me.
Because it’s hard to hate you
When you say my name and look at me like that
Your love is a twisted thing too

Friday, April 27, 2012

This is Anger Writing

Mark it

The humiliation
Every time they laughed at
Your narrow eyes, your yellow skin
Mark the scars they made
When they raped your girls
The blows that killed your young men
Memorise their names
Never forget them
Mark the loss of those dreams
The dead harboured
The snide disapproving glances
Of the passers-by
Mark it, put it in a box, label it
Sort it out, classify it
You might need them as evidence
Or witness for what you are
About to set out for
Is this the outrage Herzl
Felt at the Dreyfus case,
Scapegoat-ed because he was a Jew
That even after a thousand years
They would never be integrated,
Your genius mistaken for crime?
Summon this anger
When the time comes
You might need this to build
Your life up again.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


The lingering warmth
On the tips of my fingers
Where yours had stayed
I now feel its aftertaste
Like the effect of a Schubert piece
Beauty wrought in longing
Like some things which don’t have a name
Your delicious mouth
And its aftertaste
Like coffee on a rainy Sunday evening
So that when I go away
There is still a mark
That continues to say
Those words we whisper
Into each other’s ears
Amidst peals of laughter
Stolen kisses and silent embraces
Perhaps on your unmade bed
The imprint of your scent
On my clothes
Also lies the aftertaste.
Till I swim back
Into your arms again.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Having a smoke with you

Having a smoke with you
Is stupid, as stupid and pointless as chasing cars,
But i would rather sigh with you, blow wisps of our dreams
Draw them for you with the spiralling smoke
Partly because I feel like a five year old kid who draws on walls,
Goes hop-hop on the sidewalks, partly because I love you so much
For reasons so numerous, and sometimes for no particular reason
Partly because i can sit with you all day, all night long
And talk about my fascination with Jews, at how brilliant they are and how determined
And that really kills me when I think about Munich
How that girl in class looked so beautiful today that I could simply die
Partly because we look so amazing in that photograph
And how my hand fit so snugly in yours, as though it was crafted that way
And when i think of all the places i want to visit,
I think of waltzing with you in Prague, Sitting on the banks of the Bosphorus with you in Istanbul
And that’s probably where Orhan Pamuk fell in love
Also because i want to take you back to Bosnia where i lived
By the river Drina where they found land mines
And i somehow cheated death though i used to built sand castles there
There are landmines in Vietnam too you told me
Partly because i fell in love with Delhi because of you
Even when i was determined to detest it
It now feels like home
Also because i love the sandwiches you make, they are so-so good
That i feel like clapping my hands and giving you a standing ovation
Also because i can sit in silence with you and the smoke builds up that silence for us
And it’s just wonderful to watch you from the corner of my eyes
And Love in that silence in the fleeting twilight hours in the yellow light that shines on you
And your shadow seems so aesthetic that i wish i had a camera with me then
And i feel i am living an extra-ordinary experience everyday,
Something others are cheated out of
And i just wanted you to know that it’s awefreakingsome
Which is why i am telling you about it.

Friday, April 13, 2012

How to tell you I love you?

It's sealed in a box
Wrapped in folds
Of whatever that makes me sigh
 When you are far away
And you lose a little bit
Of your love for me,
 Do you forget the feel of my skin,
 The taste of my mouth,
 The dreaminess I engulf you in?
How to tell you I love you?

They do terrible things to you

They do terrible things to you
Cruelly disillusion you
Disturb your sanity
Make you remember
 The mediocrity of your existence
And sometimes you wonder
If your life is as despicable as that
They end mostly in tragedies
Someone or the other dying,
 Leaving, falling apart
But you love them nonetheless
 Even when they make you cry
 You weep for them
 For yourself
Because in their misfortune
You find a way to end yours differently.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

There you are

There you are,
 Like you stood eight years ago,
Clothed in terrible innocence,
 Terrible sincerity
How did I bear the aching loss so long
 Only you know
But now we have one year worth of laughter
 To fit into three days,
 We have the gift of stupidity
And sincere role-playing
Of pseudo-intellectuals, commies,
 Garbage-collectors, world-savers,
And among the most wonderful things,
 Is doing the most ordinary things with you.

Waiting. Heart-aching.

When I woke up
And when I ghost-walked through the day
Trudging to class,
My heart was sinking
That terrible ache spreading
Right upto my fingertips.
 That you are gone.
 And she is not here yet.
And the waiting, the waiting,
The heart-aching.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Let That be My Scar

To what silly games

Did I forsake myself?
I forgot the girls I was fighting for.
I forgot for one, the real causes
The one I swore I would fight for
Live for and die for,
For the narrow slit of my eyes
For the history of my people,
Of your people.
Of all the misunderstood, forgotten people.
But now I have you crying over me
When I dont deserve your tears.
I nearly lost you
By my own carelessness,
Because I was a seventeen year old
Stuck in an eighteen year old's body
And I didnt think twice,
Infact I didnt think at all.
I didnt realise that I was the girl
I was supposed to save.
And that I failed.
Let that be my scar.

You are mine again

Your lips are parted slightly,
Your eyelids are dim,
 I touch them,
Run my fingers over them,
 Your softness, Your cold cold skin
Your collar bones,
 And press myself close to you,
 To hear the familiar rhythm of your heart,
 Once again I tell myself
You are
 Mine. Again.
  I lost you once
When you got caught in the web of your past
You lost me, I cried.
 You nearly broke me.
 Oh you did. Cruelly.
Viciously. Like an act of perfection.
I went over it. Over and over again.
It will take time to heal,
 The wounds are raw still.
But since you swore you would do whatever it takes.
Start by promising me you are just mine again.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Silence, cold star and your absence

Lost again
In piles of assignments
 Which I procratinate
Ambition- a little less today
 Just the swaying daisies hold my vision
And the sweet peas-
Pretty pink, pale, lavender
Creeping up the fence of brittle twigs
Ofcourse you remember
We talked of lavender dresses
And fairies who crashed their bikes
 Right over there
 And they would laugh like us
Clear, bright, alive.
Lost because this building
 Is a hundred and fifty years old
And too many lives have claimed it already
 And I am last in line
Laughter- today drowned in the disturbing silence
Of the yesterdays, the yesteryears
And lost again
Because you seem so far away
 All that belongs to me-
Silence, cold stars and your absence.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I think I did something wrong today

I think I did something wrong today
I think I broke your heart.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Come back and we will find new worlds

Do they tell you that they love you?
Do they tell you everything is going to be alright?
 All the mess. All the pain.
 Do they tell you that you have a choice?
 Do they tell you it doesnt't matter?
All the dying. Just because it's far.
 And it's not your father.
 All I do is listen to our old songs
 Read our old poetry
I don't even know what I m searching for
Or if I am searching for anything at all
Sometimes I am filled with so much love
But now weariness is all I feel
And dread
Dread of another tomorrow
Dread of waking up and finding you no more
Dread of seeing the sun
 As bright as ever
 As though nothing has changed
 When everything has
One word, just one word
From you
And I know I will be fine again
 So come back
 Come back and we will find our lost world.
 Come back and we will find new worlds.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I wear love lightly on my sleeves

I wear love lightly on my sleeves
Hardly conscious of it
You hold it carefully in your hands
Conscious of it almost every moment
I keep my love in ordinary things
Intangible, unseen
In books I pass on
In tunes I hum
In French words I don't understand
But like the sound of
In the frequency with which I check my watch
In the restless hours before I get to see you
In my ever-loudening heartbeats
Or in holding your hand
 Or the wind swept cruel cold evenings
 We spend together
Maybe lovers and best friends
 Do so much more
 But this is all I have to offer
This is all I know

And I am sorry I know so little.
 I am sorry it's not enough.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The problem with us

The problem with us

Was that we were too good for the world

Too silly, too smart

That we could live on words

We could for instance

Live on each other

And spend a whole Sunday

Lying on the grass

Laughing, eating,

Making speeches,

We would for instance

Cry for forgotten heroes

Laugh when the other cried

And scribble tear stained letters

That ran on for pages on end

How we ached for pain and sorrow

And departure;

Tragedies most of all.

But when we got our fair share of them,

How we try to cheat out of our sentence.

When I was in school

I would sit by a yellow lamp
And read all night long
Maybe just stop a while
Look at the non-existent stars
And pretend to cry a bit
Read a bit more
Glance at people sleeping in my dorm
(When I was in school
And everything was encrypted in codes)
Wonder for a while what they were dreaming of
Whether it was nightmares
Or dreams of Paris
Or just home
When home was some exotic place
And wonder about people I have never met
If I met would I fall in love with them?
Or would they, that moment
Be thinking about people they have never met too?

You gamble

You gamble
A dream as ancient as your being
For a newfound impatient love.
 Do the dead stop loving?
 Do the stars think of us at night?
 Do the Gods listen
To what we have to say?

Thursday, January 12, 2012

She is sitting by a fire

She is sitting by a fire
 Poorly lit
 Of paper and trash
We pass by
 Speaking of plane crashes
And budget proposals
She remins me
Of an old woman
 Who brought me up
As a child
 It is a winter's night
With yellow lamplights
 And cars whizzing past
 And pedestrians crossing
 Did I inhabit such a life once?
Because it sends me a warm feeling
 Not repulsion, not pity
 Just this strange sense
 Of a place I once knew
 And loved and belonged to
A stage of life
Which I outgrew
And I am visiting again
And the ripple of fire
 Enveloped me
 And those glistening eyes
 Smiles, so wise
But I walk on
 I don't stop by
Perhaps she will forget me
 As another ghost walking past
 In the dead of the night
Who stopped by
 Thinking she was home.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The heartbreak is not mine

The heartbreak is not mine
 But it kills me still
 The lie is not mine
 But maybe it is.
 Your lie
 I own
 Your truth
 Is yours.