in not so many words,
but maybe just really few.
can you tell me what you see?
when i am waiting for my turn,
when i am suspiciously silent,
when i am creating another corner
in this round room to sit, to sink into,
when i say no and get hated upon,
when i am walking away, always walking away.
can you tell me
what i look like?
is it obvious in my face,
how i miss what i am giving up?
how i feel removed from this life?
when i smile is it convincing?
or all you feel is pity?
i want to drop this act
if you already see the ruin that grows in me.
i break another glass today,
the girl with blue highlights in her hair
walks over it without bleeding
but tells me
not to try such things at home on my own,
that it took her years of invisibility
to even try such tricks.
but she has no suggestions for what else i should do
instead of breaking my smooth skin
and wrecking my good name.
so she tells me a story about a girl and wolf,
another about a girl and her impossible dream,
about a girl and her sad prince,
a girl and the dark world,
a girl and whatever wants to break her down.
she tells me i don’t have to be that girl.
that i just have to be person who happens to be a girl
and not hate herself for it.
it is night already.
i find myself in strange blue rooms.
i hold hands with another new stranger
who promises to sing me to sleep.
he walks like heartache that knows how to smile.
he pretends to be the real deal.
he is too drunk on his own sad story like me
to even see anyone else.
so no we are not in love.
i just want to borrow his songs,
his voice, his awareness of all that is wrong.
i look out of his window, at my own home
at my friends, at my love, at broken frame of my family,
at myself who is trying too hard
to be indifferent to it all.
the battery of my phone dies
and i am alone again in this life
that i can’t find my way around.
i am somewhat lost, tired,
and yet somehow happy
to have lived through this despair,
through another dark night.
I put on my favorite show
(that I have seen for umpteenth time),
increase the volume,
fill my plate.
My eyes glued to TV
notices too late all that I have spilled,
fill my plate with things I won’t eat.
The same beautiful scene.
Under the yellow light
stand two actors,
pretending to be in love,
doing a better job at it
that we ever could,
we could never say.
My heart breaks to see this love,
it pops like a bubble wrap,
bursts like a bubble of daydreams.
No, it doesn’t hurt.
I just hear a sound
from the otherwise silent machinery
that keeps me running.
I am glad you meant enough to me
to have become
a familiar bump on the familiar road
that my heart always takes.
In a dull handheld mirror
that had yet to be broken,
I looked at myself
that someone is dying inside me.
I didn’t know how to accept this,
so I solved every question in my math textbook.
I learned to eat more and sleep late.
Stared at my wrist for hours.
Pretended to sleep fearing questions.
Tried a bit of every sin
and waited around to be damned.
I felt a constant urge to break someone
so this world could be little less happier.
But death claimed my heart
before I could do that.
So now I write “love” on your tongue
without knowing what it means.
LOVE IS …
hiding my smile when you walk towards me
talking your name, just because i can
(just to make sure that i can).
feeling like a child when you call my name back.
interrupting the meaningful silence
with pointless debates,
pretending to sulk, acting cute,
being happy to act like idiots for once.
wasting away time,
walking towards nowhere
because that is what we do.
painting each other again
till we get it right.
loving in every way possible.
trying to become the love
that cannot be forgotten.
sweet words, sad past,
family tree in red ink,
lost friends, lost innocence
fill our time.
reliving the past that we suffered alone
in each other’s presence.
finding meaning in destiny,
agreeing with god’s plan,
begging for a day more
of this, this happiness
that fills us with dread and hope
of being understood.
waking at midnight,
hiding my body that you have killed for the day.
waking at noon,
looking for you, giving you second chances.
getting back only one word reply-
‘hi’,’ok’, ‘hmmm’, ‘lol’,’k’, ‘bye’.
waking up again and again.
going to sleep again and again.
murmuring your bitter name in my sleep
with tears i won’t remember.
silence – avoiding uncomfortable topics
silence – avoiding fights
silence – nursing wounded ego
silence – planning revenge (or something of that sort)
silence – being handed the list of shortcomings
silence – being handed ultimatums
silence – having nothing to talk
silence – feeling lonely
silence – ‘love’ has left the chat
waiting at cafes
that sell drinks which taste
like the mass-produced dreams
that make your heart burn
and everything with chocolate
as a cheap therapy,
as they play breakup songs on repeat
to normalize the pain of every kind.
that’s what i remember.
when the stones fell
onto the already breaking roofs of our class,
the girl who sat three rows ahead
everyone who was busy day dreaming,
who had shut their ears to every useless fact that we come to learn,
knew how to listen to this,
to this violence that could hurt but won’t.
i sat there listening,
wondering if my skin would also be able bear
what this tin sheet roof can,
if my classmates would look at me
understand their violence that could break me but hasn’t yet.
maybe it was our silence,
maybe it was the teachers glare
that made it stop,
made the loud shrieking rain to end.
and when she left
the stones had already turned into dripping water.
the kids wanting to forget
the trauma of being silenced,
of having their dreams interrupted,
of being reminded of their helplessness
recited incidents that didn’t happen,
tried to laugh a little louder than usual,
made another joke at the expense of someone like me
and so my only memory of hailstone
was also reduced to the din of students (who never liked me).
i closed my books and pretended to be asleep
while everyone ate and talked to their friends.
i waited for everyone to leave
so I could eat alone
without being ashamed for being left alone.
i said the word aloud in that empty classroom.
i had one more words now
to describe these kids who scared me by their meanness,
who made me like the prospect of loneliness.
there is a land of promise
that only promises an end.
end to everything.
a painless but a sure end.
i wondered if i should dream to be there.
if i would be able to say this aloud
if i can say,”i dream of an end”.
if you ask “end to what?”
what shall i say? what i should i answer?
how does one begin to answer such questions?
the questions that do not mean anything
till they have an answer.
then those questions become regrets,
become point of no return.
an end surely is better
than the unbearable stretch of time,
the long life
that lies after the such questions.
how can you look at me the same way
when you know that my monstrosity and my weakness are the same?
how will i be able to pretend or play dumb?
surely an end is better
the endless days of pretend.
an end is better
than carrying the burden of this life,
this life that i don’t want,
than loving you and loving myself
with closed eyes and closed heart.
As they casually made a remark
about my incompetence,
I found I hated them more than I should.
Even if all their words were true,
even though I was lacking.
I wanted them to speak well of me.
Not only speak well of me
but to think well of me.
I never realized
that they loved everything I pretended to be
and mocked everything I truly was.
I thought they would
see past the ugliness of my words
and understand how much I struggled to be myself.
Did I want too much?
As they leave for the day, I smile.
Try my best to be the fake that they love so much,
try my best to never be myself.
As they leave,
as my heart tries not to break,
I ask myself,
How long can I love someone
who never saw anything in me worth loving?
I hold my fist close to my heart,
I hold your hand tighter than ever.
How long has it been since we last saw each other?
How long before we meet again?
These few hours that separates
our periods of separation,
these hours have become minutes,
have become question marks
that we pretend we can’t see,
have become the silhouette
of the better women of your stories,
have become the words I never got to hear.
They remind me of your skin that bloomed and withered
without knowing my skin.
I have told myself numerous times
that it doesn’t matter.
I have tried my best not to be bothered,
but it is becoming more difficult
to feel that I am still loved by you.
And again you kiss me with caution,
hold me close, only to let go.
Again all I see is you
moving towards something I cannot understand,
leaving me in a life that I cannot accept.
The list of all the words that I use and don’t know meaning of:
friend, understanding, dream, ethics,
distance, space, wait, promise,
family, kindness, virtue, trust,
love, love, love, love, love, love,
(I was told I need to be especially obsessed with love
if I want to be normal)
memory (real or invented),
boundary between reality and fiction…
What a poor human I am
that I carry around these empty shells
pretending as if I know their worth.
All the flags that I carry
of the countries
to which I do not belong.
All the people who I live with,
only because I cannot live without them.
What an excuse to walk on this road
that will eventually to lead to a heartbreak.
Every heartbreak a drop on my window
and it has been monsoon for years altogether.
What a sloppy way to end all things
that I never wanted to begin.