I know I haven't been active, might not be for a while, but this is something I wrote which has grown close to me, and if someone ever comes looking for me here, I want them to read this. Please take care of yourselves, love and light to everyone :')
You are asleep on a bed that has unlearnt my outlines while I wrap your mattress around my skin to trace your moulds again and it has stopped smelling like the almonds you carried in your pockets, it has started to reek of my ugly tear folds. I wear black shirts and blue denims to hide your touch that my skin has refused to wash away. My goosebumps are pages in braille but my blind love walked away with the last pair of socks you took from my drawer. I have stopped wearing shoes, my feet long to melt in your footprints that the tiles of my room have reserved like scriptures on their foreheads. I walk like an empty closet with unhinged doors awaiting your unwashed clothes, while my knobs ache for the grasp of your fingers.
We made love in buttonless shirts and loose waist jeans, sugar-free tongues and hungry shoulders, Brandy trickled necks and hurting fingers- we kept learning each other's geometry only to lose each other to empty poetries. The last time we made love, you told me it has started to hurt- it was only then I placed our names together, (Hu)gh and Albe(rt)- and wished to forget every language that kept our tongues apart. Our lips were chapped while we licked each other's wounds but our sweaty palms were used to promises slipping away. I wonder if sizzling cheese still burns your mouth and reminds you of the warmth between our thighs that set our love aflame. We were two bearded lovers in a clean-shaved world, running away from blades while holding the knives ourselves.
I have grown used to pressed collars and ironed arms, the creases on my heart run like streams of water that never get to kiss the ocean. I fold my sleeves three times to grow familiar with empty hands and unheld wrists and stuff my sad toes in a pair of slippers that will never know the weight of your absence. I know there's a part of you that wants to come running to me, but don't turn back, Hugh, not when I have gotten used to your silence, I wouldn't know how to love your words again. I have shredded apart my bricks, there are no walls to hide you from the world, only roofless remnants of a home that has forgotten its own existence.
We shall love again, in another life, when the blades grow heavy in their hands, and they wrap their fingers around flowers which smell like pride and books that read 'Love is Love'.
i wish i could wrap myself in sheets of rhymes and sing my ironies to sleep because it's been too long that i am drowning in metaphors and i'm tired of wearing my heart on the sleeves
i wish i could bathe my words in honorary ink and let them mourn for the flowers on my grave because i have been veiling the emptiness behind strokes of alliterations and i'm tired of begging the pages to behave.
i wish i could hold my words like roses in a bouquet and watch them wilt with dying hours because i have been holding them captive in the lines of my palms and i'm tired of watching my veins go sour.
i wish i could bury my proses beneath fallen stars and shatter their punctuations under the weeping sky because they have been carrying my tears in the line breaks between stanzas and i'm tired of watching them fade with dead eyes
i wish i could wipe off the ink stains from my hand and hear them flow while i try to sleep because they have been weighing too much on the flesh i wear and i'm tired of peeling my skin too deep
i wish i could assassinate the feelings leeching on my mind and stitch every mouth that calls me a poet because i have been struggling to live in a world where death is romanticised and i'm still trying to fit in the label called 'human'
I know by the time this letter licks your hands, your heart would already have dried out of all the compassion it had held. After scrounging for days about your whereabouts, I have come to know that you're leaving Delhi tonight, to where, no one knows. They don't know why either, but I do. I can almost hear your parents telling you that depression is a myth, and mental illness doesn't run in your family, so your blood is healthy and untouched, while your brain is rotting away because of the company you keep.
I have spent countless nights awake with you, because you couldn't sleep, and I have shared that emptiness while people were adding to it. I have let you sign my name when you went to see a therapist, and we have always shared the metro rides back home, and everytime the announcement rang, 'Mind The Gap', I have felt you scoot closer to my side. But my love could never make up for the doubts and questions raised upon you by the society, and more so, your family.
I don't blame you for running away, because I have watched you undress in a manner that you didn't want to ease out of your clothes but your flesh. I have seen the hollow in your eyes, and felt the screams you have gulped down while everyone complained of you being anti-social. I have seen you laughing aloud wishing your tears would go by unnoticed and I know it was you who scribbled behind the washroom door, 'Let me live' while I was watching you die.
I wish my love would have been enough to conceal you from all the hurt from outside, but when your father asked you to shut up and forget about this mental health crap, I knew I could never save you from the hurt within yourself. I wish I could see you one more time, I'd have read you so intently, that your contours would have melted in my flesh. I would have worn your skin with pride.
But I let you go. Because I can already imagine you on the train running away from the silent wars of this city, from the ignorance of your parents, from the mockery of your siblings, from the toxicity of your friends, but more so because I can imagine you hoping to run away from yourself. I hope the new air frees you of the invisible prison they created for you.
It would have taken just a few words to keep you here and make you feel comfortable and confident in the sheets of your skin. 'are you really okay' instead of 'why are you so distant' 'do you want to talk' instead of 'stop overthinking' 'how can i help you' instead of 'what's wrong with you' If people would have said these more often, perhaps you would still be in the metro with me, sharing the ride home, clutching on your yellow t-shirt while the announcement rang in your ears, 'Change here for blue line'
I emptied my school bag off the books that taught me how to survive but not how to live I packed some t-shirts of my brother and dad, that smelt like cigarettes and sweat, but moreso because it would always smell like them. I took one of ma's saree so that someday when I am sad, I can drape the silk around myself and think of it as her arms caressing me to bed.
I also stuffed my pillow that smelt like lost lovers and broken dreams, insecurities and anxiety threaded into the seams. and I took my diary which I never happened to write upon the blank pages were a story that was not mine to tell. I stuffed a few packets of maggi because that's the only thing I know how to cook, and I knew my hands would never smell like mom's kitchen. So I stole chocolate cake from the fridge that my mother saved for the kid that wasn't yet born, because it tasted of new beginnings, of a future I wouldn't be a part of, so I lick away the icing before I let the present melt.
I took a shell that I found on the beach when we had the happiest day of our lives, together, but my happiest day is yet to come Because everything until now has been numb.
I tear the pockets off my dad's shirts because they often carried empty wallets that were too heavy on his chest And I slipped my feet into his torn shoes hoping that he'd buy something new for himself for the first time.
I empty the flower vase and keep the roses, the roses that were about to die, so that someday when I lose myself to the sky and the ground at once, I'll have someone to share the grave with me.
I took my empty lunch box and my pencil case because they trapped parts of my life that I was going to let go of. And I took those letters that my grandparents wrote to me How they still smelled like their saline hands and young hearts. I dress myself into a frock that my mother stitched for me when I was a kid, and i've outgrown that frock like someday i'll outgrow this home.
I snuck a look into my parents' bedroom and I wished I could take my mother's hands and bathe them with love and lotion and never let them do anything that mars them with rough creases on her palms and I wished I could take my father's eyes so that the nights when I struggle to sleep because my eyes are heavy, I can look at his, and they'd teach me how not to cry. And when I am bidding a silent goodbye to my brother, I wish I could take his feet, the round toes too alight, his feet too alive, while my limbs are tied to a death I am not supposed to mourn.
When I zip my school bag, and wear it on my shoulders, the bag is too heavy for my young heart and tiny shoulders, so I take pieces of big things and less of small things, and run away as fast as I can, losing myself to the dark.
So today when you told me you loved me with all your heart, I ran away, yet again, because I am not used to being and receiving whole, I've survived on pieces and all your love is too heavy for a heart that has never grown out of that child.
when my kindergarten teacher asked me to write about happiness i wondered if happiness was a silent smile or a loud laughter.
So ma, i thought, are you happy when you let out a giggle when i imitate your actions, the giggle that ripples through but dies when the stone drowns, and your face moulds into a frown over the lunchbox i didn't open?
are you happy when you let out a laugh with snorts in between, like with all the happiness roaring out of your mouth, the screams choked in your throat exit through your nose and your lips are curved but your face is straight, and you are still wondering if your world is flat or round?
are you happy when you laugh a deep rumbling laughter that aches your ribs- a laughter that awakens the four year old forced to sleep inside you, who is still dreaming to be a teacher while you guide me through my homework- and your mouth is open, but your heart trapped in the unsaid goodbye to your dreams?
are you happy when you half laugh and half cry, the tears start to flow but your soul remains dry- like the warm sound of your laughter is a reminder of your fading smile, and now that you put me to bed every night, you pray for everyone but yourself, hoping that while the years die inside of you, our hearts remain alive?
are you happy when your laughter has no sound, your teeth are grinning but like the songs inside of you have forgotten to chime- a laughter that escapes your lips when you see me covered in mud- like all the times you've bathed me, you've washed away a piece of yourself that makes me laugh aloud, while you smile without letting me know that your teeth are starting to fall out?
but i never asked if you were happy because you never showed me you were sad. i kept practicing all your laughters, while i was learning how to smile. So, when my kindergarten teacher asked me to write about happiness- i wrote 'ma'- i wonder now if i should tell them that you're gone leaving me these laughters and smiles that only make me sad.
I know I'll never send this letter to you, but no matter where I hide it, you'll find it, like all little things I often misplace and you can find them with closed eyes.
Papa told me you were the most beautiful woman in the society when you got married. That you didn't know how to cook, but the smile brewing on your face made up for the undercooked sabzi and the hint of love in your eyes added a warmth to the cold chapatis.
When I was four, and even before I knew I was a child I saw the childhood wrapped in your open arms. And when you held me and lifted me up to the roof I wasn't afraid because you were there to catch me even if I didn't know i was falling
When I was thirteen, and even before I knew I was a teenager, I saw the young love budding between adjacent chairs on the dining table, holding you and papa close. And when you denied me dessert late at night, I wasn't mad at you, because I knew you will have dahi cheeni ready before exam first thing in the morning.
When I was eighteen, and even before I knew I was an adult, I saw the responsibilities weighing on your drooping lids and wrinkled smile. And when you didn't let me go to my friend's flat for a party, I wasn't sad because of you, because I knew of the celebration you'll have planned for when I return.
When I am going to be thirty, and even before I know I am a mother, I would have seen it in all these years, in your welcoming smile and selfless heart. And when you don't let me leave my child for some chore, I will not do it mumma because I know you'll never leave me, even if you never find this letter.
i remember dadu saying, 'khao jo labh bhata pehno jo jag bhata', so i unpack the skirts and ask my brother to keep an extra pair of unisex pyjamas, long enough to hide my curling toes.
While I drool over my dinner that night, I practice having my food without lowering my back too much, knowing my plunging cleavage is considered an offering on the plate. I unpack the v-necks from my suitcase, and ask my brother to keep a couple of extra unisex t-shirts, the necks high enough to hide my choking breath.
While switching channels that night, I realise my legs are apart from each other - the space between is an open envelope inviting typed stares and unsealed mouths - so I close them like an accordion, making no music but an echo of stereotypes. I unpack the leggings from my suitcase, and ask my brother to hand me over the few unused salwars from the cupboard, loose enough to keep eyes off my tightening gut.
I stare out the windows of my apartment, realising the glass is merging my reflection into that of the sky - a peephole, only allowing sight both ways. I pull over the curtains and walk over to unpack the see-through kurtis from my suitcase, and ask my brother to keep an extra unisex jacket, solid enough to hide my lifeless flesh.
I curl into a ball to try and fall asleep when my breasts and stomach fall over to my left, and my night dress rolls up to let me breathe. I walk hushed steps and unpack the tops from my suitcase, and ask my brother to keep a couple of extra unisex shirts, straight enough to hide my curves.
I fall asleep with the thoughts of being with my relatives again in the morning, and breathe enough to make up for the confinements awaiting me in the peripheries of their smiles. I wake up next morning, too tired from the thoughts, while my brother is making preparations to board the train. He picks up my suitcase to place it near the door, when he tells me it's empty, and I sit on the bed with the weight of it sinking me down.
The coffee beans in my wallet cover the stink of brooding loneliness while the two hundred rupee note trapped in the back cover of my phone resonates with my limbs. Everything outside the walls of my room is chasing the end, and the drafts of my failed beginning lie crumpled on the cold tiles. My eyes sail over a five inch screen, whose brightness is a stark contrast to the light my soul is used to. Everyone around me is tailoring the epilogue of their stories, and I am still wondering if mine is supposed to rhyme.
I keep dried leaves in my pockets sometimes, they often creak whilst I walk, but I am used to sounds of things falling apart. I store the pieces in an empty drawer, I sleep peacefully knowing I am not the only one. Too often our camera tries to capture the sky, only when it's crowded with clouds or singing colours of dusk to the ground. I have pictures of empty sky in my phone and it looks exactly like a blank page. I am still working on my draft, you see.
The fabric that drapes me today is what sunshine would smell like if the clouds weren't so loud. But my face is still singing a twilight that people have fallen asleep to. The ink stains on my hand are temporary scars that I turned into poetries. I wear them like a proud Shakespearen sonnet while my mom asks me if I could for once stay spotless. Every second is drowning in the tears of a senile yesterday and the frown over a premature morrow, and I sit here asking myself if today is good enough to die.
I know it's not easy, but some things are meant to be tough. It's easy to be held in your arms, it'll never be easy to let go.
Someday, when you are in a foreign land, walking on an empty road on a night darker than the pool of pain brimming in your eyes, you'll come across an ice cream shop, and it'll remind you of my taste in your mouth and you'd order my favourite flavour and all voids that the distance between us created in your soul, will be filled in with the first lick, and the foreign land will begin to smell like home.
Someday, when you are seated on a rusted bench in a crowded park, and the noise would be ringing in your ears, you'll recall the moments when we both went silent over phonecalls, just listening to each other breathe. And at that moment, with all the people sticking against each other, hovering around you, the world will feel empty.
Someday, when you are laying under covers, struggling to find the remote and watch something on the weekend, your eyes will go towards the window, and my address would flashback in your mind, my flesh would reflect before your eyes, and the bed covers would start to feel cold.
Someday, when someone asks you out for a cup of coffee and compliment you on your lovely smile, you'll think of my last text to you that morning, and how they were the only words that could paint crimson across your cheeks. And when you say yes and are seated with her in the most alight and beautiful cafe on the block, your eyes would look for an ill-lit street covered with dirt, and how you want to cry, but the person who would wipe your tears would not be in front of you.
Someday, I am going to be yours, and you're going to be mine, but we still wouldn't be us, and everything that came alive with us being together will again begin to die.
We bathed in each other that night, like sky does with the sea, only they make love in parallel lines, we glide in brackets.
It was freezing outside the windows, but the season melted when my spring collided with your autumn. The air smelled of stolen kisses and melting passion. We were like two rhymes fallen off different stanzas, kindling our own free verse. Your fingers were like knitting needles, crocheting me to warmth yet hurting me with every ebb and weave. You let your dark night go deep in my pink sky, and twilight has since been spelled with silent moans.
My mother told me colour of hope is always yellow, bright and cheerful. From past 3 years, I gaze at the sunset to find a tiny speckle of yellow in the lilac sky. (I couldn't. I realized I don't like/can't/find yellow anymore.)
He told me colour of intimacy is always yellow. We sleep on our favourite yellow bedsheet every night and the aura of intimacy seems to be fading every time I wash it. (Your hugs have stopped feeling warm now. I don't use those bed covers anymore.)
regret is a longing for a non physical dimension, a moaning over a living carcass, a low pitched cry to combat your inadequacy. The clenched shutters of past are meant to bury but is it? burial is letting go but do you let go so easily? how do you bury whats inside of you? waving hands of a goodbye is a burial, an exhale is a burial, time is burial, you are letting go, digging a grave is a wedlock of earth and body, soul is a third wheel trapped in this notorious affair, memory become a prisoner, where does it go now? behind the bars, the bars are the moments you embraced, holded, iterated and cherished, how to find eternity in a moment? think-rethink-make alternate situations with a different ending, Break-heal-break-heal-break and the heart will heal, people say but does it make sense? sense is to bait the hook to suit the fish, sense is selling what you believe in, sense is trying to build a community of sane, insane is a threshold which triggers sane, living is a risky business, a compromise between love and lust for people and things, calling it a beautiful struggle is hyped or is it not? your nihilistic values are banging on closet doors of head for logic, hitting the bowls they carry to beg for science. proof, deduction and evidence, three pillars of reason to entertain your meaningless existense, vision is limited, visionary mind is tending to infinity. Pain is numbness under life support, pain is not poetry, poetry is a war that ends in peace, pain is a blood shedded earthquake, heart is an epicentre, seismic wave is a tragedy, the sound of the crashing earth plates is a heartbreak.
criticisms are like homing pigeons, they always return home, its a polluted homecoming that is never welcomed you speak thunders and, you are getting electrocuted, your shine is too bleak you face the endearing heat, A barter system of ignorance, newton's third law- an affidavit of justifying yourself. money is exchanging heated emotions, gratification is ego bathing with words creating surface tension. good character is a vacation that was not taught how to begin self control is self loathing trying to utter 'love yourself' and stutter 'hope' kindness is stranded on an island it has never been before, your name is a landslide and gravity is your lover. hate is on the top of a mountain shouting its echo, its mouth is a gnawing footprint of misery jealousy is on surface of that swirling gloomy lake eating silence and all that remains is noise noise is when you hear but you are unable to listen it spreads ripples of regrettable words, the throwing stones are the people you are envious of, the world is an oyster of unforeseen experiences letters are written with rage that of road accidents, ink stained with blood of an unknown martyr and heart devoid of faith dealing with creatures of logic is a heavy myth, a pill hard to digest, I, you are made of bursting emotions running our ecosystem everyday motivation is planting seeds and letting time take care of it inspiration is letting you take care of it and saving yourself, thoughts are abstract rocks volcano is feelings getting erupted emotion is a magma chamber mistake is, observing others as a bundle of prejudices and mistaking yourself as a bundle of moments you are an experiencer, not an experience present moment is a fallacy you cant seize it you only learn to let go of it out of conditioned hands taught to get attached to things the world is a mess, but so are you clutter and chaos shows us that life is being lived. .
You spend your Whole life learning How to correctly use The set of three Different glasses that Were tied around your wrists, Like a chain, Labelled 'Life Skills'.
Your vision was surgically altered To become a grey haze, Ever since you learnt to use your voice; It has you scampering From one corner to another, Nothing seems to make sense, As everything seems to be 'right'. Everything is branded 'grey'. You were asked to excel in 'Survival In The Big World 101'. It sought to teach you How to match each potential spectacle With the given pairs of spectacles.
There are crimson tinted glasses, That have you mistaking Blood shed on unjust grounds, For roses sprouting Out of a barren Earth. Your mother told you that life Is not a bed of roses, But you rationalised her warning, With her lack of knowledge On life and roses.
There are yellow shades, That have you falling for The sun and sunflowers - They mask the stench Of maggots crawling over Forgotten revolutionaries Locked behind forgotten dungeons; They could tell you things You aren't supposed to know. They could tell you things, Your father could never bring Himself to speak of.
The blue coloured spectacles, Are only for special cases, for special needs. They mask nothing but exhibit everything. They are windows for the other side. Their blue light singes pupils, And blinds spectators till they begin To label your criminally peculiar gaze As a classic case of the Blues, And shove a God-given definition Of sanity down your throat, In the form of a blue pill. You keep living their story, One pill after another.
You tried to use the three primary colours, To unsuccessfully debase The reasons behind their crooked choices, Which were imposed on you Under a justification They so brazenly titled 'grey'.