history

a reckless abandon. a careless fall. levitation. meditation. a light-footed walk to your street. every step forward erases the past. there are no resolutions, like there were none before. we still walk barefoot on treacherous territories of conflict of interests. you still do not let me decide which movie to watch. you still do not like when I fiddle with fire in your kitchen, while I hate the way you trespass on my treasured troves of truth. still bleeding on those cuts and cracks. mom doesn’t ask anymore. we have become warriors of sorts only because we can walk with secrets now.

as a kid, i once had a favourite pair of socks which did not belong to me but my cousin whom I visited every summer. i wouldn’t say i stole them. i just felt they belonged to me so i took them. there was nothing extra-ordinary or theatrical about them. they were pink; a shade darker than soft, fresh, moistened pink roses, with some incomprehensible thread work sprinkled like water here and there. they had begun to fade on the heels; the elastic had also begun to give way. i don’t remember what happened to them in the end, but the reason they were my most preferable piece of clothing was that they grew on me , like unwanted creepers. i hated how i needed them. i hated how i could not like any other pair of socks for a while- the lemon-green ones, the carmine ones, the ones with net borders and frills. i hated how the plain blue socks my mother got me, which i began to decently like, could still never make my feet look the way the pink ones did. i hated how a stupid pair of socks could revel in its full grown human subjectivity. i still hate how recklessly i mother.

in the yellow line of women’s metro coach abound jahangir puri, amidst silent women, women gossiping about their better-halves, haves and have-nots, women struggling to turn a page of Economic Times without disturbing the cosmic balance,  i watch myself through the glass. spreading over the tunnel walls like old pickle jam on toast (swoosh-swoosh!). two swift strokes.

i go to the university one person, and come back another. there is always something changed. something snapped. something enlightened. something apprehended. something made slower. something made faster. something new, something dying. i can barely carry myself whole through a single day.  and then there is the walk through your street.

i cover it in a minute and 54 seconds precise. not only because it stinks like a horse lying dead on his own horseshit, but perhaps because i am so sure of where to go.  and then i suppose we over-wore each other like the socks. we began to get undone at the heels. our colour began to come off. we ran out of positions. to watch movies. we ran out of lives to give away. the tea stall outside the astha kunj park across an ugly building in nehru place was the last of one hundred and twenty places and things that pirouette in my head when I take notes on Raymond Williams in the class.

you cannot possibly read a book over and over again; at least not in the same way. i suppose two people exhaust each other after a while. we just drag along old interpretations with a haggard man’s heart. walk into each others lives with a blind man’s precision. old buildings thunder with the footsteps of nostalgia at night. after a long day of braving the wreckage of time.

But,
breathe into my hands
so my fingers can exhale
in yours and when you
curl away from me to
make way for departures,
you find yourself caught in my spiderwebs.

do the stones we keep
on our hearts, make
stones of our heart?
I suppose not.
our hearts explode
like a river from a glacier,
mocking these trivialities.

 

 

 

 

 

Paper boats

//don’t be a paper boat,

paper boats tend to take in
more water than is allowed
by principles of physics,
so they drown on the insides
first, before they can tell themselves
dry up, honey, dry up,
there’s a lighthouse to reach,
there’s a lifejacket there,
there’s a harbour waiting.
don’t be a storm,
storms are known to have killed a lot of paper boats.

you could be water,
that doesn’t kill those who know how to stay afloat.

you could be the lighthouse,
that doesn’t care if its light reaches those who don’t deserve it.

know
that the opposite of fragile is strong, not cruelty.

know
that the fire you used to burn your bridges
can burn you, or light your way.

Of Bodies

// Of Bodies

Do you think that bodies are
like bended rivers, unexpected
gusts of violent desire rushing
forth from the hidden folds of
dark curves and darkening moles?
Do you clutch these moles
like you clasp the craggy edges
of a mountain, when falling in
your nightmarish vision of death?
Do you think I’m here to save you?
Do you think I will if I were?
What changed in twenty years
that a dimpled elbow transformed
from a little girl’s hand they’d hold
when she crossed the road to
the hand of a woman you need to hold?
Do you think that bodies are
cheap shimmery glass-gin potions
of magic you’d bottoms-up and forget?
Do you think I’ll allow you to forget?
Do you think I will if I could?
What changed in twenty years
that they can no longer stand the sight
of her chest which they together
made sure would never crack?
Do you think a body is a torpedo
you can arrange to explode at a distance
from you, sans the singed embers
of grief and burning smell of anger?
Do you think a body is the unfolding
of a poetic image through a meandering
meadow, slivers of your ghastly revelation,
concrete, precise, measured, revised.

Do you think I’ll reveal you?
Perhaps, I will