As my teacher with broken voice
dictated another question on radius and heights
and the mountains where no snow, no season, no name sticks;
I turned another page and wrote the name of an emperor
who died even though he believed he won’t.
I smiled and tried to correct the very very wrong spelling
of a national political party that my friend wrote. It doesn’t matter she said,
when I couldn’t figure out what was exactly wrong with it.
At lunch, she leaned against the wrong window,
the one with fresh coat of blue paint,
and told me a joke which she memorized
only to remember it wrong.
I again gave her the laugh that meant nothing in particular.
But I knew she loved it when I reacted like this-
as if she is forcing a laughter out of my silent sombre heart,
as if she is wining over me all my resistance.
But I was nothing like that.
I was nothing like she thought me to be.
My heart was already open. She was already inside me-
writing melodies with her soft steps beside me,
painting summer sun over every window I looked out of.
But these are things that need no telling,
there are my treasures I won’t allow her to take back,
these are the answer she will never realize.
I hand in another assignment, another answer sheet
that looks too little like me, that raises the eyebrows of people
who realize they couldn’t teach me a thing right.
I walk back to my seat wondering
if my shirt is tainted red with my love
like her back is filled with butterflies of blue.
she traced the light on my chest
pulled out everything that stung-
the swings, my feet,
the shadow i decided no longer to play with.
the comparision table of veins and arteries
copied into my notebook.
the eraser and pencil that helped me document
in those tables my lackings compared to everyone else.
a page torn, and then another, and then another.
pages that learnt immortality by choosing my heart as home.
she stayed up nights trying to free me
as i stuggled and begged not to empty me.
she smiled and said the words she didn’t mean,
words that i wanted to hear from someone, anyone.
so i slept because she couldn’t be stopped.
“leave me alone” now hurt me more than her.
i opened my eyes and cried
for her work was done,
now i was no one, now nothing was mine,
not even my pain, not even her.
she dusted her cobweb skirt,
placed a kiss on my forehead
and told me to breathe,
breathe in everything
that i didn’t think i had the right to.
she told me to breathe
and to never forget what suffocation felt like.
it helps in becoming kind, she said.
as she wiped clean her traces from my life,
i felt better, again i was full.
i was full of her, of this love that won’t work out.
being full of her, i refused to breathe,
because i wanted to keep it that way.
From my empty room,
from the edge of my personal cliff,
I looked into the windows of strangers,
looked over their shoulder at texts they write,
looked at the pages where their bookmark rests,
silently waited at the edge of my chair
trying to overhear responses to the big questions.
And all I have known by prying so hard
is that there is nothing there.
Nothing in the text that could pass for shorthand.
The same book rests on the same table for years,
serving only the role of a carefully thought out accessory.
No question is big enough to be carefully considered.
No relationship is important enough to be held to heart.
That I was foolish to believe otherwise till now.
That I am putting myself on another path to heartbreak
if I do not believe in the night that I see.
I must unlearn the way I have lived
to find a place to belong.
In between the cold beginning and cruel ends
that are the parentheses of our lives,
there is nothing for me to hang on to.
But it helps to know
that there are plenty of empty rooms in this painful smaller eternity,
that I need not kill myself over an emptiness so common.
And it is really difficult to feel alone once I know that.
i am a girl who reads too much between lines, especially yours.
and your words, they were cold
but they were warmer than the pages they were written on.
and since i wanted to love you
i tried to see your world as one big adventure
even when my heart was filled with fear.
i tried to do things that might make you happy,
to say the words that might put you at ease.
though i suffered greatly,
being with you made up for everything,
or so i thought.
but in the hope to be loved
i bent a little too much
forgot where to stop,
i went overboard with the idea of sacrifices and promises
and forgot to look at the blood and life i had lost.
“one day he would grow up,
one day he would realize,
one day his love for me, would actually feel like love“-
were the words i lived by.
but isn’t it pathetic
that even when i have no use for these words,
even my soul is more sore than alone,
at night when i count the pieces of me,
and the numbers just won’t add up,
the thing that i am most sad about is that
i was so easy to love
and yet you couldn’t.
No it is not an escape anymore
it is not only me
who is into these addictions of milder kind.
All I want is what everyone already has.
Don’t worry these books and music I get high on
don’t alter my perception of reality
like they used to before.
So I am fine with irrelevant goals of
having one more book to read, one more page to fill up,
and some hours to sit and stare at screens of literature of a cruder form.
They may not constitute the real meaning of life.
But I have not seen anyone who is particularly worried
about missing the real point of life.
. . . . . .
I know this consumerism and media culture irritates you.
That I look like one of the thousands who sit and demand
to be entertained, to be fed with something other than
the reality of insufficient time and cash.
Would it make me more real, would your gaze become more softer
if I bring up a portion of my life where I was hurt by this world,
when the reality didn’t change just because of my disappointment in it.
That not everyone can be one with the nature and one with society,
when nature is far away from where we are locked,
when society is all about waiting for someone else
to mess up on a grander scale than us.
See that is what I don’t want to talk about.
It is depressing enough to live it.
We can either discuss about how I almost found friend in a fictional character,
found a mirror or even a window in another,
how I do not agree with most reviews,
how I couldn’t get the tragic end of the story out my head.
. . . . . .
I don’t mind sitting in front immaculate shows of lies
if that is where the my temporary relief of my life is hidden,
at least we are entitled to that much – relief.
All objects that I possess
have stopped doing what they were meant to do.
The window doesn’t bring me new air.
The bed doesn’t give me rest.
The glass filled with water and handful of pills
promise me disconnection from reality, sleep, or even death
but never the rest that I so want.
The words on my books run around on pages, hating my gaze.
The music breaks itself into disjointed string on noises.
It is as if one night
while I lay trying to forget you,
they voted and decided to forget me unanimously.
They agreed and concluded
that if someone must be forgotten
it is me.
So now they rebel,
they serve only purpose-
to remind me
of all I lost simply by losing you.
The silence, whose reasons evades your understanding,
doesn’t fit in the the 200 page guide to this world you have made,
that irritates you,
also lets you paint me worse that what I am,
lets you add footnotes to my words.
“So much has been lost”
she said as she turned the page.
I looked at her
and then resumed my efforts of escape
as she did.
I couldn’t ask her what she meant
for this question exists
between us like a distance
that connects us.
I feared that
I could never
recount my losses to myself every night,
if I came to know hers.
I could never pity myself
if I witnessed her breaking.
While you read my words
“How strange is this world!”
Sunlight rushed in,
to hold a strand of your hair,
fell on these pages
and cried out like a child,
hurt that it could not have you.
I smiled to myself knowing what you meant.
These words of mine reminded you of the confusing
and volatile shores of right and wrong
that often you found yourself standing on.
And never knew when the land shifted,
when the tide came in.
Never knew when you changed your heart.
You thought it was strange.
But I know what your words mean,
it is same for me.
The strange feeling in my words
is a mere attempt to copy your strangeness,
So that the defeated packets of sunlight
can finally rest on the curves of your words.
Leafing through the pages of my picture book of dreams,
he smiled to himself and said to me-
I can make all of them come true for sure,
you can fill more pages, you can dream more.
The mirror with my face
lost in the light,
lost in thought of love soon to arrive,
while I wait not knowing how to calm myself down.
Where I hold a hand that touches me
like a rare cloud he found on ground.
The roads all lighted,
the words all sweet.
Our heartfelt smiles
at the end of the reel.
Going through my picture book of dreams
I smile at him, for not knowing better.
Not knowing that all I want
are for these dreams to die on these pages.
Cause I see the drop of tear that
glistens in the mirror
when my love threatens to leave,
forces me again to change
asks me why I can’t get rid of this mess,
why can’t I be calm again.
Me, wondering how to act
like a gentle cloud that I am not
not wanting to be genuine,
when I get love only when I am not me.
The road all lighted
The words all sweet.
The world going silent
under my scream.