poetry

Summer Nights

There is this thing about summer nights, a nostalgia that doesn’t fade, be it months or years or even decades.

I remember the nights I spent at my Nani’s place, lying in the cot on the night under a starry sky, the rings of the mortein coil rising to the sky while the pomeranian who slept below my cot snored lightly.

I remember the nights at my Dadi’s house, when there wasn’t even a cot to lie on, just a hard plastic mat and sometimes it used to get so cold in May that we used to bring out the blankets from the trunk on the terrace.

It was an altogether different feeling, waking up to sunshine on your face and once in a while, to rains, when you had to wake up and rush inside, taking your bedding and covers along.

I remember the nights at my house in Lucknow. It didn’t happen often but when it did, I was surprisingly glad. No electricity meant darkness, which meant freedom, to go to the terrace, in the middle of the night or outside, to exchange some notes with people you couldn’t meet otherwise.

Summer,

A love hate relationship with you has given me memories which are equally bittersweet. There were power cuts all the time, but anything beyond the mundane life was welcome. It seemed like life got even more monotonous during your time. It was the same day lived, over and over again, specially during the vacations which we craved  for but within 10 days, got bored of.

Now, there is watermelon in the evening, followed by finally switching off the A.C., when Maa came rushing in to tell us to get some fresh air. We reluctantly go to the rooftop and listen to some music until it is dark and the mosquitoes attack. And then we go back to our artificially created atmosphere.

I do miss you, it is true. I miss the feel of heat on my skin when I came back from school, craving a chilled glass of sherbet. I miss sitting on the staircase playing cards with my cousins because we couldn’t watch TV. Most of all, I miss the darkness of the night, where everyone gathered around together, because they had no screens to look at, no instruments to distract them, and we could just be there, in the moment, waiting for the light to come back and at the same time wishing that it does not.

I miss you, Summer.

Sober Notes 9: Twilight

Why do lovers wait for the moon to have a conversation?

I think sunsets are equally beautiful.

Sober Notes 8: Home

When my words became another brick in the wall that you built between us,

I realized it was time to find a new home.

Writer’s Block Part 2

When you overcome it, you write this:

I was trapped between pages, crisp and white – the ink hadn’t even dried yet.
Between lines- handwritten with loops and curls made with love and care.
Between words – big and small that held so much more than meanings in the dictionaries.
And finally I got lost amidst punctuations – deep, dark and complicated, which almost burst through into the next page.
This was what life had come to. Would it be a full-stop or just an ellipsis? Was it the beginning of “The Ends” or was it just another “To be continued. . .”
The ink stains had started wearing off. The pages began turning frail and yellow.
Overcome the commas and don’t limit yourself within parentheses’. Exclaim with joy, find happiness wherever possible. Do not be afraid of questioning things. Don’ let the semicolons delay your journey to success and turn the period into the ellipsis which will guide your way.
Turn the page!
Start a new Chapter!

If you were a book

If you were a book,
I would bookmark
all the good memories.
I would cover you in the finest jackets
And keep you at a place nearest my heart.

Everywhere I went
beaches or mountains
you would be there by my side.
A book that precious
could neither be exchanged nor replaced.

I would mark the first page with my name
and leave little notes on the rest.
Every night before going to sleep
I would look at those notes
under the light of the moon.

My favourite passage would be read
on the day that I die.
And even that wouldn’t be the end
because the sequel would yet remain to be read.

Kuch Ban Jaate Hain

Going through the channel ‘Hindi Kavita’ on YouTube today, I came across another gem. Credits again to Varun Grover. This was one of the poems he wanted to make into a song in the movie ‘Masaan’, but for some reason couldn’t. It is beautiful nevertheless. If somebody could find/give an english translation, that would be amazing.

Hindi Transcription:

Ignore the spelling mistakes, if any, this is my first time typing in Hindi 😛

तुम मिश्री की डली बन जाओ
मैं दूध बन जाता हूँ
तुम मुझमें घुल जाओ |

तुम ढाई साल की बच्ची बन जाओ
मैं मिश्री घुला दूध हूँ मीठा
मुझे एक साँस में पी जाओ |

अब मैं मैदान हूँ
तुम्हारे सामने दूर तक फैला हुआ |
मुझमें दौड़ो | मैं पहाड़ हूँ |
मेरे कंधों पर चढ़ो और फिसलो |
मैं सेमल का पेड़ हूँ
मुझे ज़ोर ज़ोर से झकझोरो और
मेरी रूई को हवा की तमाम परतों में
बादलों के छोटे छोटे टुकड़ो की तरह
उड़ जाने दो |

ऐसा करता हूँ की मैं
अखरोट बन जाता हूँ |
तुम उसे चुरा लो
और किसी कोने में छुपकर
चुपचाप उसे तोडो |

गेहूँ का दाना बन जाता हूँ मैं
तुम धूप बन जाओ
मिट्टी-हवा-पानी बन कर मुझे उगाओ
मेरे भीतर के रिक्त कोषों में
लुक्का छिप्पि खेलो
या कोपल होकर
मेरी किसी भी गाँठ से
कहीं से भी तुरंत फूट जाओ |

तुम अंधेरा बन जाओ
मैं बिल्ली बनकर दबे पावं चलूँगा चोरी चोरी |

क्यूँ ना ऐसा करें
की मैं चीनी मिट्टी का प्याला बन जाता हूँ
और तुम तश्तरी
और हम कहीं से गिर कर
एक साथ टूट जाते हैं सुबह सुबह |

या मैं गुब्बारा बनता हूँ
नीले रंग का |
तुम उसके भीतर की हवा बन कर फैलो
और बीच आकाश में मेरे साथ फुट जाओ |

या फिर ऐसा करते हैं
की हम कुछ और बन जाते हैं |

Sober Notes 7: Lights

During these nights when the moon is red
The sky is black but there is a halo around the moon
It seems confused, trying to be black
But red forces its way through
I saw an electric pole today
With those bright red lights
That are used to warn airplanes!
Only, this one didn’t flicker
And guess what? They became the red stars
And the pallete of the sky was complete
Never had I thought that man’s intervention
Could give birth to a scenery so beautiful
Bright shining red shining against the pitch black
Need I say any more?

-S.

Wishing upon a Star

I found a picture,
Between the tattered pages,
Of an old notebook.
It was a picture of you,
With your teeth shining,
Like the pearls sewn in your dress.
The colour of the sky,
And freshly plucked flowers,
Adorned the laces on your sleeve.
A prettier picture I had not seen.
I look back at those days,
When I asked mother;
“Why did you have to have
another daughter?”
How could I have been so ignorant,
I had always wished for someone magical,
To come into my life,
To fill in the vacant afternoons,
To be a partner-in-crime,
To be all mine.
What would have I ever done without you?
You are the greatest gift ever.
I never wished for anything again.

Letters for Love/Being Unwanted (Guest Post)

Before you wonder why I didn’t title this post ‘Love Letters’ or ‘Letters of Love”, I want to explain and ask you at the same time what Love means to you? To me it means so many things, even hate, but this is a letter written for Love, not out of Love, not about Love but just for it. Make what you can of it. 🙂

Oh and also Special thanks to our writer, i.e. not me but someone who I begged to write this for me, since I have been too busy with work. And he hasn’t let me down. I love your writing, I really do. Here it goes:

BEING UNWANTED

So today, I will like to confess one of the feelings that come to me more often than others. I, for some reason, always find myself with people who are facing some crisis. With time this thing rooted deep inside me. I started feeling satisfied with the knowledge that maybe people needed me sometimes even if it was only in their moments of sorrow. Call it a lame effort to be wanted by others or an attempt to hold some place important in others’ lives. Or maybe I think too much. Someone told me that I always look for tragedies, but this is just what I have become. I don’t mind tragedies a single bit because I feel that people reveal their innermost feelings at that moment. I wish I could take those moments of closeness, the belonging to merrier times also but almost always I find myself getting sidelined for someone else who simply makes their way into lives of others when the grass is green and when they don’t have to live through autumn. Then again I start looking out for the next estranged soul. I fully agree that my life may seem tempting to others. Some people have in fact asked me that why do I even get sad, but its ingrained in me. I try to be alone at times hoping someone will ask about me.

This feeling naturally comes, when I see people enjoying with others, I find myself looking at people’s happy faces thinking it would have been so fucking amazing if I would have been the one sharing that laughter, if your smile would have started from your lips and would have stopped at my cheekbones. I always try to find a crevice in people’s conversations to an untold secret which would act like a thread that would keep us entwined forever with each other. I love to gradually fade into the background watching how people react to my absence.

You have been a great support to me amidst all the negativity. As I have said a million times, a lighthouse in the cold wild raging sea, a drop of water in the scorching heat of the desert, that last breath for which a man craves on his deathbed, those last few  of oxygen in a man’s tank on a faraway planet.

P.S. – You are the one who I believe can take me out of this perpetual turmoil. Only you have the charm.

A Reply

I think I am cast in a very different stone. I am the kind who wants to be with people in their good times and their bad. If they choose to be with me only in either one of them, then I carve out a different path for myself, far away from theirs. For me, it’s always all or nothing. The only thing I hope for is that I make you a part of all my seasons. That, I think, could be the best gift I could ever give you.

P.S. Don’t talk about lighthouses, they drive me crazy! 🙂 ❤

Que Sera, Sera

 Whatever will be, will be.

Is this not what all of us should believe in and trust our faith in? Thanks to Alfred Hitchcock for making the song popular so that I can put my feelings in words easily – whatever will be, will be.

I was inspired by the song (and by Dumbledore) to write something really random:

When I was young, I read a book
I asked my heart, do these worlds really exist?
My heart replied, maybe it is only in your head,
But that doesn’t mean, that it doesn’t exist.

Here’s the song which also won the oscars. Some lyrics from the song:

When I was young, I fell in love
I asked my sweetheart what lies ahead
Will we have rainbows, day after day
Here’s what my sweetheart said.

Que Sera, Sera,
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be.