My First Child

When I started this blog, I had the heartfelt intentions of giving it a significant portion of my life, partly because I wanted to provide a window to the voices in my head and chiefly because I didn’t have anything better to do with my life. It has been more than six months and it was only last night, when I was feeling so alone that it made me sick, that i realised that I never gave it the promised piece of my time.

During the past more-than-six-months, other reasons have sprouted up like parasitic mushrooms feeding on chunks of my peace and making me more of a writer and less of everything else. All these reasons are in a constant battle for primacy with the mentioned ones. One of them is the hatred i have developed for people. Not some particular person, just people. Like when groups of friends collect like ghouls of regrets and they talk in howling voices that are meaningless and leave you hollow, empty and aloof. Like a lonely bubble floating in a sea of people. And it’s dark too. So dark that the only light that seems to enter my life comes from the embers of my cigarette. That. Those are the kind of people i’ve grown to hate.

The curious thing is that when I see these people as individuals who, from the tip of their head to their rounded heels, I’ve learnt to love and hate and love again, they stir the most primitive yet profound feelings that I concealed, long ago, in the most obscure regions of my existence under glacial covers of indifference.

What do i do about them?

The answer came to me last night in a dream that comprised of sloth, sullen expectations creeping up walls, that seemed endless, towards people frolicking on the horizons that I knew I would never touch. The answer was written on the walls. These were words of a writer that I’m not particularly fond of – Mr. John Green.

“1.Don’t care too much. 2. Shut up. Everything unfortunate that has ever happened to me has stemmed from failure to follow one of these rules.”

I know it was a weird dream and I can’t make much sense of it either but these words, I know for certain, are going to stick with me for a long time. A really long time.

Okay. I again lost track of the main motive for writing this post in the jibber-jabber stemming from my head. Arghhhh.

So what I wanted to declare is this: This blog, which is the victim of my mindless recklessness, is my first child from now on. My little baby. And also, burning carcinogenic sticks don’t need to be the only light sources in my life, machines with colorful display screens can do a far better job.

Welcome baby. (I know I sound cheeky.)

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Betrayal

*

I was driving on a lonely country road in the dark, and I crashed.

**

The sound of your deep rolling voice falls on my ears before I manage to turn myself around in a manner that I deem subtle and not the least bit nonplussed.

I see you, but the sight is corrupted by the flock of people that seems to be bound to you by chains that you wear.

I hear you, but the sound of your rough laugh is tainted by the musical sound of other voices, blending with yours only as well as dirt with gold.

You see me, standing almost in a corner, one half hoping you would slide past me without acknowledging my presence – and the other terrified that you would.

Maybe you think disappointment wouldn’t suit me.

You glide across the short distance between us and close it quickly – and your band of followers mimic. Without delay, you unleash the latest of your little quirks – a witty comment about how I should smile more. I parry with a smile that makes the hallway boom with your laughter, and inside, I’m torn – one half beaming with pure joy and desire, while the other wanting to cut myself with a blunt scalpel for becoming the kind of person I looked down on.

Your mere laughter gives me the heady feeling of a car crash survivor.

***

Lying in the ruins of my car, I hear the faint rumbling of your car and see you pull up, and the sight of your face in the flashing headlights of my car astounds me. I am left motionless.

****

In the warm comfort of the library, I am still haunted by visions of you, and while I feel like a veteran of a hundred fiery battles, the enemy shows no signs of retreating.

And then you walk right into my sanctuary.

Every step you take into this place feels stranger than the last, because a king isn’t supposed to walk into his stables. And that’s what you clearly think of yourself – and of my home.

Spurred momentarily by my repulsion more than my irrational desire, I call out to you and hand out a condescending remark about the “arrival of the lord”. The quirk I expected in return disappears in the light of the grave smile you offer me.

The flow of the rivers and the flaming of the sun seems stilled in that moment, and I see you – well and truly. Your tall form appears perfect, and the high nose, the dark hair and the deeply expressive eyes make for a mesmerizing sight.

But before I lose myself in the timeless suspension of a reverie, the world moves again.

The mere sight of your face leaves me shocked into stillness.

*****

IF

IF

You come closer, and glance at the ruin I am become, and I shy away from you. I feel daggers carving into my heart.

******

I’m putting one foot in front of the other, but it doesn’t feel like I’m going anywhere. My mind is scattered across the world, in a hundred different places where I’ve been dealt hurt or humiliation, and for once, the fortress of ice I’ve built around my heart seems to crack under the weight of its load.

You had to choose this moment to appear in front of me.

It takes you one glance at me to know what I feel, and I curse you for it. You dismiss your gaggle of minions, but I know that their conversations will continue.

You approach me cautiously, and warmth seems to emanate from you, that I’ve never felt before. I retreat warily, aware of the impact your flame will have on my ice-wall. Aware of the dangers of losing control.

That thought makes the crack in the wall dissolve into nothingness, and your flame seems to dampen momentarily. It would seem that the sun would not emerge victorious this day.

And then I realize that you radiate a chill yourself. The ache in my heart feels as if I took a spear through it.

*******

Unwillingly, a hope for aid from you lights up inside me – and you give me a glance of the real world by turning away and driving off.

********

The world is changed, for I come to you for assistance. Entering your domain feels like a walk into the halls of an enemy monarch, but deep inside my heart a spark lights up at the vision before me.

What have I become?

I approach you, and you turn towards me with all the theatrical poise you can conjure. The words exchanged between us are lost to me, for I had mind solely for your face – and then you struck me out of my dream.

You promised me aid and counsel, but what you give me is betrayal. As the whispered tales of my defeat reach my ears, I curse myself – for trusting, for hoping.

The fortress of ice thrums as it struggles to rebuild itself. I vow to myself to never let it falter again – but from somewhere in the darkest corner of my heart, I hear a voice that tells me it is a hopeless battle.

Time and again, the fortress will be taken – and burned and pillaged and razed to the ground.

*********

You are gone, and darkness keeps me company. But in that darkness, the stars sing to me, and I reach into the deepest dungeons of my heart and find courage – and rise from the ruins around me.

Nothing can take me down as long as I know where to look for help – within myself.

**********

Lessons

I’ve had my lessons in life that a girl falling from her balcony with a phone in her hand cannot be saved.
That the boy on the other end of the call, screaming that she made his life a living hell, cannot be saved either.

I‘ve had my lessons in life that the girl, with a broken spine and a cleft in her skull from which blood comes out like a dark secret, can never be brought back to life.
That the boy, buying his first black tux, can be confused about his size.
Should he buy a larger one for the future funerals patrolling his horizons, waiting to creep into his life the way water seeps into wood and leaves it, dead and broken?

I’ve had my lessons in life that people, like invidious quacks, know exactly where it hurts.
“Did she fall or did she jump?”
That they are perfectly capable of slipping in murderous accusations between pretentious condolences.

I’ve had my lessons in life that weed, vodka and orgasms – they always help.
That it is easier to fuck with a random stranger with palms sweaty and eyes closed than to dwell in the memory of a lost love.
Than to wonder if she would be waiting on the other side.

I’ve had my lessons in life that it’s alright to make love to a ghost of a girl with a cleft in her skull from which dark secrets still drip like poison from Death’s goblet.
That a Ghost of Denial is the mother of all solutions.

I’ve had my lessons in life that it’s okay to pray to a guilty temple already blooded on the memories of a broken girl.
That the gods above have no control over Gravity. She is their rogue child.

I’ve had my lessons in life that the memory of death always lasts longer then the life it stole away.

images

Postscript

Somewhere in the veins of bosomy earth, lives a boy reading a book under a pool of light, imparted by the booklight that a friend of his got from New York. It is a book about rebirth and incarnations. Flipping impatiently through the pages, he is looking for answers to a question that has haunted him his whole life. Did she fall or did she jump? When people ask him about what he went through, he simply answers – Life happened.

Beside him, on a piece of old yellow paper, lies a barely understandable string of words that he has been trying for long to pen down. It is titled “Lessons” and carries within it the teachings of his life. Life is a strict teacher. She always keeps a record of those who transgress and punishes them when the right time comes.

The note on paper doesn’t make much sense. What is it? A poem? Or just an attempt to glance off the brittle shards of a memory that he shouldn’t keep? A memory that contains a girl with a broken spine and a broken skull. The peculiar thing about the memory is that the blood dries up as the memory ages. As the girl in the memory ages. Curiously, she keeps the promise of growing old with him. They are both eighteen now. Terrifyingly adult, some would say.

There was nothing accidental about what happened that afternoon to the girl and the boy. Nothing incidental. Life was not playing or casually kissing her feet when the girl stumbled and fell, without the benefit of wings, out of her balcony. That was an era imprinting itself on those who lived in it.

Life in live performance.

The teacher was not punishing a student, she was exorcising fear. She had no instrument to calibrate how much punishment he could take. No means of gauging how much or how permanently she had damaged him. Then she stepped away from him. Craftswoman assessing her work. Seeking aesthetic distance.

That night he got a tattoo that depicted a dragon eating a butterfly. Who was the dragon? Life? Fate? He himself? Who was the butterfly? He himself? Her? Some other “works of art” also appeared on his body that night. A scar on his left wrist that would soon turn from red to brown to black to pink to white to red again. And some other scars that no one could see. Scars that always remained red.

Still she, Life, brought out the handcuffs. Cold. And dragged him to his lonely Ever After.

Some questions stay unanswered as the boy succumbs to sleep tonight.
Did she fall or did she jump?
Is birth always a fall?
Perhaps. Perhaps not.
Who can tell?
Perhaps. Perhaps not. Who can tell?

Pieces Of Us #2

Pieces of us – this chain of thoughts is nothing but my moments with various important people in my life. Those who make it worth living and a paradise. The wonders of my world.


“Hey? I think I’m in love.”
“Again? Prateek!! This is the 17th time you have fallen in love this year. You are such a man-whore!” she teases me.
“What can i do yaar? Mai hu hi itna generous.”
We both laugh.
It curious what we share. When you are with someone for seventeen years, you become a druggie. I can’t even explain it. What do we share? Love? Friendship? What?
And “we” here also includes the jerk beside us who is snoring loudly.
I can face for a moment the whole world –with its chaos, promises, lust, money– but i know that in the next moment i will concentrate on THEM with an irresistible prejudice in their favor. And they will look back with that eternal reassurance that they understood me just so far as i would like to be understood. That they have the same impression of me as I, in my best, would like to convey. That they would keep me safe and happy.
Perhaps it’s not tangible for the normal human mind to conceive.
I don’t know.

Eternity-Rose Hill Park-Port Arthur Texas


Pieces Of Us #1

Pieces of us – this chain of thoughts is nothing but my moments with various important people in my life. Those who make it worth living and a paradise. The wonders of my world.


“Prateek, I think I’m gonna go crazy!” She laughs.
She has a pretty laugh. I like the way it makes her glow.
I wish i could say things but I feel shy.
When you go crazy, just grab me and take me. I would follow you down anywhere.
Anywhere – this is all i wanna promise her.
I hope she doesn’t mind.

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The Yayo Spell

Two strips of yayo
And he knows where to find her.
His full moon on a lucky night.
Behind the curtains,
Under the stars.
She has him by his heart.

Pull a vessel and he tumbles and falls
At her feet.
His divine goddess.
Laughter permeates the air.
Her crass way.
Her ugly truth.
Things he doesn’t mind.
Their love born out of guilt.

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In a heaven fathered by suicide
They make love with reckless rage
And infinite tenderness.
The fumble and rush of familiar love
That comes from the fear of loss.
Loss?
They collide and collapse
And create a universe of their own.
A universe meant for only two stars.
Too confined to breath.
Too smothering for rationality.
The stars –
Their fingers pound like thunder
And so much more.
Tracing lines and catching breath.
Two worlds collide
And with a sobbing shuddering sigh
They drown.

He wakes up in a thick opaque air.
A cry flares across
And realization comes with dawn.
There were no stars last night.
No universe. No thunder.
Just a man and a wisp of smoke
And a failed stimulus.
Death had come to take away its missing ghost.
He said words
But every syllable lifted into a wail
And after a while he does what most humans do.
He moves on.
Puts on his coat and flamboyant tie
And steps out in search of a parallel universe
Where there is no truth.
The evening was yet to come…
Two strips of yayo
And he knows where to find her.
His full moon on a lucky night.
Behind the curtains,
Under the stars…

Honeymoon

My bad baby. My sunshine.
He prays to his God,
Seeks forgiveness,
And then its Champagne.
Drugs. Lust. Cigarettes. Wind.
Sick rampage. And Us.

He is a broken gust of maleficent wind
With soul as sweet as blood-red jam.
I’m a drifting masochist
Stuck in his ivory tower.
His tower, his place of worship
And I, his temple prostitute.

I don’t know how to make love to a man.
Every morning brings a lesson.
A smothering embrace.
My baby tracing my contour.
A tender kiss.
A semicircle of teeth marks on my hips.
A snuffling at the base of a lovely throat.
Blue bruises on a curved back.
Two arms like engulfing cheroot.
Mesmerizing nicotine.
Trapped yet happy
On our honeymoon.

The color of our love – an immodest black.

He calls us Lovers.
I say we are Idiots.
The world prefers Outcasts.
Criminals from Sodom.
It waits for its chance,
Cross-legged.
Left over right.
A dark worried moon watches.

2

I have glints of images in my mind that no one sees.
Visions of myself dancing, laughing, and crying with him.
Burying our horses,
Letting go Truth and Sanity,
A nomadic point of madness,
Burning the ghosts of regret,
Being held for ransom,
Counting stars and blessings
Rocking to the rhythm of an ancient, foetal heartbeat.
Loving him for the mere reason that I can.
Being loved for the mere reason that I exist
And many more other excuses.
A lot of things.
Said. Unsaid.
Seen. Unseen.
True. Untrue.

But the world is never content.
It loves drama.
And after all, Truth and Sanity are not meant to be abandoned.
So The world ties us in its dark, scarred pelt and drags us
To the place where we belong.
The place where Love Laws were laid down.
Laws that lay down who should be loved.
And how.
And how much.

P.S. : The last few lines about Love Laws are taken from The God Of Small Things by Arundhati Roy.

Dealing With Fears

So today Dikshat came to talk about his friends. Dikshat, the same old chubby guy who drives a scooty, has appeared in one of my posts and is among the most honest people I know. I have no idea about why i am writing about his friends on my blog, but , I guess, that’s the thing about relationships – you can draw happiness even from someone else’s personal bliss. You revel in their joy, even if it takes you to your own personal hell where your friendships are falling from the sky in pieces and you just watch. Nonetheless, I loved our conversation. And though I haven’t met anyone he was talking about but now, I know that my friend has found his people. And I am surprised Dikshat has a sense of humor.

I would try to recall everything he told me today..

“When I first entered my new class in a new building, I, at that very moment, knew that the coming year (2014) was going to be great. I knew I would make great friends. They would be like a family to me.

So the first class started. It was biology or physics, I don’t really remember and it doesn’t matter either because I was not studying anyways. So, moving on, in the silent, awkward atmosphere of the lunch break I made my first friend Sagar Prakash aka Bihari (well, Bihari, because he was proud to be one) and I can’t really say if I made a mistake by befriending him. As the days passed by, I found some other crazy people and my list included Fahad (a self-proclaimed physics genius), Prateek (who was very funny and looked like a limp noodle), Dinesh (don’t tell anyone but I think he bathes once in a week) and my best friend Rishav.

Its said that behind every successful man there is a woman, but in our case there are girls and it’s not like we are very successful either. These girls were Priyanka (a die-hard Emraan Hashmi fan), Aditi (very quiet and has a very cute smile), Priyanka ( SRK fan which says tons about her poor taste in men) and Deepanshi (the bright bulb, a total genius).”1The rest of the story went straight over my head. I was too lost in my own thoughts to listen to him. All I could figure out was that he has adopted these guys as his relatives. They had somehow managed to father, mother, brother, niece, nephew each other and were now looking for a pet or an uncle. I don’t know. And it doesn’t matter because my friend is happy. His face was glowing throughout.

I always wonder about my fears. Not finding my people is one of them. And there comes a point in life when these fears drive you mad. This meeting with Dikshat was one of them. With a throbbing head and a heavy heart I listened to him and imagined myself saying the same things to someone. Chattering like monkeys with someone. Laughing over silly things. I smiled at the thought.

As we stepped deeper into the conversation I became familiar with the people he was talking about. My versions of them hovered over the coffee table like an ectoplasm and with time I could see faces that I wanted to see. Faces of the people that I loved the most. An unexplained warmth enveloped me. It’s curious how your mind plays these tricks with you.

By the end of the talk I felt safe and content. I walked home with a certain knowledge that one of these days someone would find me and I would be having coffee and chatting about life and world. And perhaps weather too.

Longing for the day. Trying not to go crazy.

The Commotion

There were two of them – a boy and a girl.
He was a vision. A chatoyant fleck
In the dark gallows of destitution.
Anticipation, as if waiting for a surprise,
Marked his wonderful eyes.
He carried himself in a way only some men can,
As if he could change the world
With his hands behind his back.
If personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures
Then there was something gorgeous about him.
He had an extraordinary gift for hope. ,
A romantic readiness such as no has found.
He was the most limited of all specialists-
A well-rounded man.

She too was a vision.
Opulence radiating from her face.
A face that was sad and lovely
With bright little things in it-
bright eyes and a bright passionate mouth
but there was an excitement in her voice
That the men who had cared for her
Found difficult to forget: a singing compulsion,
A whispered “listen”,
A promise that she had done gay, exciting things
just a while since and that there were gay, exciting things
Hovering in the next hour.
It was the kind of voice
That the ear follows up and down
As if each speech is an arrangement of notes
That will never be played again.

So on a glittering yellow afternoon,
Under the spell of mystic winds,
They found each other.
They found Love.
She reminded him of a rose, an absolute rose,
And he made her laugh.
The elaborate formality of his speech amused her.
It just missed being absurd.
She knew she loved him the moment she saw him.
And a few days later his heart came out to her
Concealed in three breathless, thrilling words.
They stood there, holding each other for hours
Until light deserted them with lingering regret
Like children leaving a pleasant street at dusk.

But concealing love is a matter of infinite hope.
And hope is a cruel delusion.
So the world found out about the “commotion”
And it has it’s own ways of dealing with such things.
There is an innate impulse that compels it
To destroy everything beautiful.
So The World set out to bring order and peace.
When it found them
A haunting persistent wail flared across the overhanging skies

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The girl was shred to pieces.
In the sheer nervous dread of the moment
The boy, shrouded by dark,
hid in the intricate nest of Nature,
And watched her die. Wither and die.
That night, he saw The World
In its truest of shades.
The morning arrived and The World saw a serpent’s cast.
A blue poisoned boy was found a few feet away
And the holocaust was complete.
Sated and pleased, the world returned
To it’s abortive sorrows and short-winded elations.
But it’ll return when two souls,
jinxed by defiant wistfulness, will find Love again.

That’s the thing about Love and The World.
If you put them together,
There is an unmistakable air of natural intimacy
About the picture and anyone could tell
That they conspired together.
Found their victims and fed on them.
For them it’s entirely justified.
They were reckless predators – Love and The World.
They smashed up things and creatures
And then retreated back
Into their act of feigning innocence
Or their vast carelessness
Or whatever it was that kept them together
And let others pay for the sins that they executed.

The untold part of the story
Is the only thing that The World failed to see.
His heart beat faster and faster
As her mouth came up to his own.
He knew that when he kissed this girl,
And forever tied his unutterable visions
To her perishable breath
His mind would never romp again like the mind of God.
So he waited, listening for a moment longer
To the tuning fork that had been struck upon a star.
Then he kissed her.
At his lips’ touch
She blossomed for him like a flower
And the incarnation was complete.
They found their secret place
And made love to each other,
Sucked on the pap of life,
Gulped down the incomparable milk of wonder.

A Wistful Lover

So its February and I miss you..

Memories that I’ve been turning over in my head,
Wondering about the things that were left unsaid,
Your snobbishly suggested advices,
Unfinished letters that are hidden in forgotten crevices.
How you’d unjustly accuse me of being a veteran bore.
And how I’d look at my feet and talk no more.
Then you’d pull me to a riotous excursion with a privileged glimpse into your heart.
And how at the end of it, locked in your spell, I’d say that I’d set you apart.
I miss your heightened sensitivity to the promises of life,
The warm safety of your embrace when troubles were rife
Where did it all go? Why is there no you?
Abandoned by light, my visions are of the darkest hue.
I’m being consumed by guilt, remorse and demons profane.
I leave this existence with a knowledge certain

That there won’t be another like you. Like us.

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