Monday, 29 July 2013


And I waited till the questions evolved into answers, 

Question marks straightened into exclamations. 

Encrypted were the messages

Lost were the hints,

Scribbled and hidden scraps, paper thin.

Dipped in symbols,

To form, incoherent answers.

Master of such creations

Losing while deciphering.


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

As The White Broke Through

She was sprawled on the slightly damp grass in the wee hours of the morning; the time between dawn and sunrise, when the sky is a dull blue with white peeking from behind. Everything was silent, there was no chirping of the birds, no rush of vehicles or any sound of life. Sometimes in the back ground there was faint groan of an air conditioner or an occasional hum of a generator.

She lay there staring at the few stars that still twinkled in the sky. Her bare feet resting on the tingling grass, her knees bent. One of her hands ran through her hair that spread out like a coal black fire with blades of grass poking through it. The other hand stretched out to the grass, plucking out wisps of it. The world was just a blur of color through her partially closed eyes, like a water-color painting with one color merging into the other without a specified border.

The red of her dress contrasted sharply with the fresh green of the grass in the dull light. The red geraniums bordering the garden made a beautiful border of swaying red flowers. There was a serenity that flowed through the atmosphere. For once no fire burnt in the core of her being, nothing froze her bones till she was a fragile skeleton of ice. Rather, it was the first time she felt humane. There was no tug of war of love and hate but just an aura of joy and contentment that whipped up genuine happiness on its own. Somehow it was touching the light that was the ultimate solace that she had been fighting for.

There was a looming darkness that rang warning bells of doom and despair for her numb senses. And there was the dark past trying to suck her in, intent on creating a vacuum in her present. But then there was this; this happiness, satisfaction, bliss.

This was her final fight. Her mind urged her to stress upon these thoughts, to draw strategies and sense to secure her but the aura of her surrounding (or was it the light within?) It drew her into a slumber of its own. And she floated like a flail bird, resting, drooping lower and lower into an estranged stupor. For one there was no concern of all the deaths suffered already, there was no wake of fear for the future.

She slept in solace as the white broke through the blue, the east swelled with pink and peach hues and the golden shined upon her as people rushed about where she lay in peace.


Tuesday, 9 July 2013


I am not going to hold you back,
I am letting you go.
I know, that when
You want to drown in sadness
It doesn’t help
To stay afloat on hollow hopes.

So drown
Because it’s okay to do so.
To sit among you disappointments
Until you are at peace with them.

And it’s okay
To come up, gasping for air.
For those are
Treasured moments
Of sheer realizations.

So drown,
Because the next time you wither
You’ll know how to bloom,

You can’t live a life of no sadness
You can’t omit pieces of a puzzle
Because then
There will be no picture.

And when you look up
At the hazy image
Of what’s beyond that despair
You’ll know that there are people
Standing there,
Waiting for you to come out.
And the people
Who never came.

But that’s okay,
Because you’ll know them all,
Then. Truly.

So drown and call out
When it’s okay
When it’s time.
And I’ll be there
To pull you out.


Friday, 5 July 2013


She gets up at seven in the morning. She doesn’t have a clock, but her mental clock wakes her up at seven, daily. She still gazes at the empty side table the first thing after she wakes up, where her mother’s watch always rested, but it has long been broken; smashed into tiny pieces that never made their way back to the table or her. She silently walks into the kitchen and helps herself to a drink of water. The water direct from the tap is already too hot. It must be scorching hot already.

She dresses herself carefully and then binds her hair into a braid. There is a broken mirror behind the door but she doesn’t wish to look at herself any more. There is nothing that holds any attraction at all. What would she see anyway? Eyes that speak of hurt? A broken past and a non-existent future? Pain and sadness? There was no innocence left in her weak body, the innocence portrayed on her face was nothing but a lie, it had long been extricated from her in a series of events; every time life had thrown a pebble at her, she shed her innocence and cast a thick layer of stubbornness over herself. In her adolescent years she had barely anytime to think about playgrounds where she ought to be playing or the rain that called to her while she slaved.

She wraps her dupatta sensibly around her head spreading it diligently across her upper body, again without the aid of a mirror, before rushing out, but silently. She has already wasted too much of her time thinking. There is no time to clean the tiny apartment. She’ll have to deal with the consequences later. She was rather used to it. She walks swiftly with her tattered book under one arm. Her books were as tattered as her life, she wondered. What with a drunken and abusing unemployed father and two little siblings to support. There was no mother. There was but she managed to get away from here and gave up her children to a world of abuse and slavery for that. Were they supposed to be like that, the mothers? Maybe her mother was different.

She kept looking for some hope in the absence of her mother. Maybe she would come back and take them away. Maybe she went away to get help. Or for their security, maybe. All consolations were hollow of course but they were solaces at least.

The doorman opens the gate and barely gets to a side. He smirks at her. She holds her dupatta firmly under her chin and quickly passes through the gate, rushing to the kitchen door. She puts her plastic slippers in a corner and enters the kitchen bare foot. She proceeds to wash her hands and then takes a quick peek at clock. Too late. She draws out the bowl of kneaded dough and starts making chapatis: greased in fat. Her tiny hands work fast under the scrutiny of the mistress’s dark eyes. She keeps being bombarded with instructions and comments on her tardiness.

She cleans out the kitchen and then dusts down the rest of the huge house, sweeping out the rooms. If she gets all her work done before time the mistress might teach her the next lesson. She’s worked really hard on the first, as hard as she could in the time she has. There is a still a lot to do though. But if she learns all this she can even tutor the kids around her home. And she might grow up to be a teacher. She would teach lots of kids for free too. But she’d earn too and that will help them getaway, too.

Jewelry glints all around the room, where she sweeps, carelessly thrown around. Her mother stole some gold bangles when she vanished. She knew because she saw them shining under the hem of her dupatta which covered her wrist the day she went away. And her mother had never owned any gold. The wife of a drunken abusing man doesn’t get any gold. And if she has any it goes away and there is no use making futile attempts at fighting for it because they only get you more bruises and a sore body.

A slap on her jaw brings her back to the present. It’s the mistress. The tears sting but don’t leak. She is lecturing her about her daydreaming. And she pulls in her sluggishness in the lecture. She says she might cut her pay short. She stands silently with a clenched jaw, her head drooped.

Her father hit her today when she got home. She hadn’t washed out the only two glasses in the house that he uses for his drinking. He pulled her hair hard and had clumps of it when he let them go. She stood silently with a clenched jaw and head drooped low.

Everyone and everything is silent. Except the fan that whirs above. It makes more noise than it swirls air. The air is suffocating. It doesn’t matter where she goes, she always feels smothered. As if the air molecules around her have vowed to drown and choke her in her own sadness. It’s becoming too much to bear, everything. She is not responsible for her mother running away, of her father being an alcoholic, of the mistress’s house, of the penetrating gazes of the male bodies, of her doomed past.

She huddles inside her blanket and takes off her dupatta and opens the knotted corner. Inside are two rings. They are the mistress’s. Yes she stole them. They glint in the faint light. They are too pretty and intimidating. She’ll run away, she decides. Freedom clouds her vision.

She didn’t sleep. She held the rings in her clenched fists and waited for dawn. Once the light started to break through the sky, she got up silently. She goes through her usual routine of getting ready but it’s three hours early. Once she’s done with wrapping her scarf about her, she looks around the room. Her eyes meet the innocent sleepy ones of her younger sister. Innocence still prevails there. She whimpers and comes to hug her. Don’t go, she says, don’t leave us like mother. Don’t be her.

Don’t be her.
Is she not responsible for her siblings, she thinks, about her deeds, about the purity of her soul, about becoming like her mother? And how could she be something that wasn’t her. She wasn’t their mother. She wasn’t a hollow hope. Did she have to make her life more morbid and dark than it already was?

She thought while she sang her sister back to sleep. She went to the mistress’s house at seven. She silently put the glinting rings back. They seemed dull, now. All there sheen lost. She burned under the doorman’s gaze. She was degraded by the mistress. She violated her body by doing twice the amount of work. But when she proceeded for home, she felt more hopeful and fresh than she had in days. It wasn’t everyone’s imagination. The girl who had a solemn expression on her face for the past two years was indeed smiling today when she walked home with a jump in her step.