अदृश्य

अदृश्य हैं ,
सड़क पे चलते हुए बच्चों के नंगे पांव अदृश्य हैं,
वो छाले, वो घाव ,
वो चुभते पत्थर
अदृश्य हैं।

वो पटरियों पे फैली रोटियां ,
वो खून , वो चूड़ियां ,
वो बिखरे चप्पल, वो टूटे सपने, अदृश्य हैं
वो माँ के आँचल में सिमटी ममता
अदृश्य है।

वो संसद मे बनी नीतियां,
वो अरबों के पैकेज ,
गरीबों के आसुं पोछते नेता, अदृश्य हैं |
वो वोट बैंक की ताक़त,
वो इक्कीसवी सदी का भारत,
वो ईश्वर की रहमत,
वो अमीरों की दौलत,
वो राजाओं के तख्त,
अदृश्य है।

चीखती थी कभी जो,
वो जज वो अदालत
अदृश्य है,
इस जग से इंसान की इंसानियत
अदृश्य है।


Translation: I am not good with translations but I’ve tried a bit using google translate. I hope it is making sense.

Invisible

Invisible,
Children walking barefoot on the roads are invisible,
Those blisters, those wounds,
Those stinging stones
Are invisible.

Chapati spread on railway tracks,
That blood, those bangles,
Those slippers, those broken dreams, are invisible
Love within a mother’s lap, invisible.

Those policies made in Parliament,
Those packages worth billions,
Leaders wiping tears of the poor, are invisible.
That vote bank power,
twenty-first century India,
God’s mercy,
The wealth of the rich,
The throne of the kings,
all invisible.

The judges, and courts,
that once used to scream
are invisible,
In this world full of humans,
humanity
is invisible.


Lockdown In Pictures

March: Wheat almost ready for harvest, cooler temperatures, blue skies.
March: This is where I go everyday to get milk. That is a Mango tree in full bloom. The scene, and the cows are more beautiful than they look in the picture.
March: A day after it rained heavily. The hills nearby looked beautiful that day.
March: Moon and Venus, too far, too small, too beautiful!
March: A lady bug sitting on a wheat plant. We used to call it the pass-fail insect. If it flies off your hand, you’ll pass your exams, if it drops down or does nothing, you’ll fail… Very easy method.
April: Wheat is ready for harvest..the fields are golden, the atmosphere is dusty and too allergic.
April: I took a sunset picture almost every single day. This is not the best one. Those are for an altogether different post.
April: Mulberry I stole from a silkworm rearing government farm near our place.
April: Wheat threshing …earlier it used to be done manually..now there are machines that finish the work in minutes.
April: Our neighbours are building a new hut.
May: This dog thinks she’s a calf. I am serious. Ever since they are born, she hasn’t left their side. The proximity increases everyday..
May: This is how it looked at 2 pm one day. It felt like the apocalypse. The sky went dark suddenly and it rained like cats and dogs. It was too too scary.
May: The scenes after the storm. A buffalo calf grazing in the fields.
May: Not the supermoon but a day after that. It was actually this red, I haven’t edited this a bit.
May: This is what a makeshift apiary looks like. It looks like a graveyard to me to be honest.
May:The weather is finally hot in here. Thanks to western disturbances, we haven’t had temperature touching 40°C till now, but summer is coming and I am already stressed out. I hope the monsoons are here soon.

All these pictures were clicked by me in the last two months since the lockdown began. These are all scenes near my home. I didn’t even have to venture more than 500m for these photos. This is how the lockdown looks like when you live in a small Indian village. 😊

Conversations with the Universe- Part 2

ME to the universe: 2019 was horrendous for me, let 2020 be better.

The Universe: 2020 is going to be terrible for everyone. Revel in your miseries.

ME: But I’ve done my time in 2019. Can’t you be a little generous and let me live normally?

The Universe: Hahahahaha…. Suffer, human!!!!!

ME: Okay… 😦

Life, Death and Everything in Between…

Death has been my constant companion since September last year. No, I didn’t lose anyone close to me except Ak last year but every death, close or distant takes me to that familiar, heart crushing state of grief. The same thing happened today with the passing of the marvelous actor Irrfan Khan. Although it is the most certain thing known to all natural beings, death is really incomprehensible. Even with the knowledge that cancer, particularly the one Irrfan was suffering from was most certainly fatal, none of us were expecting to hear such terrible news. Or does it feel worse, because 2020 has already treated us with so much mess? This does feel like a personal loss to me. So did many things that happened in the past few months, be it the death of a neighbour I hardly spoke with, or that of a plant I looked upon as a symbol of hope. Ever since last year I’ve cried for every person/animal I see dying on screen. I have always been touchy on the subject of death and have shed a tear or two in movies but this sense of familiarity with grief is such a new thing for me. I can’t believe I spent twenty eight years without knowing grief, how incredibly lucky of me!

The world is going through a dark time right now. Every day is filled with news of numerous deaths, uncertainty and a feeling of impending doom. It has been really difficult for me to write anything after whatever happened. Even writing these few lines has been a real pain. I spent lots of time online looking for ways to deal with grief in the past few months (along with several queries on ghosts, afterlife, tarot cards, Ouija boards and whatnot). I found a quote by a user named Gsnow on a subreddit, and I go back to read it several times. I don’t know if it matters to anyone, but I would like to write this down somewhere, more for me than for anyone else.

“Alright, here goes. I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents.

I wish I could say you get used to people dying. I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.

As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.

In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.

Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.

Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.”

I don’t know how many shipwrecks I am yet to face in life but love will see me through.

Dear Ak,

You would have turned twenty seven today. We would have celebrated your birthday at work,clicked pictures with you, laughed with you. We don’t have a single picture together. Almost a year working together but not one photograph with just you and me. In the last few months I spent liking you I never even thought of taking a photo together. Who knew we would never get a chance again!

You are gone. I am here, mourning you, coping with the loss of a person who was never mine. One day we were laughing together, studying the difference between meteors and meteorites, India’s moon mission, the origin of marriage, the father of history, and the next day you were history yourself. Your cut up body was kept in ice, your insides removed, you were hollow, nothing but hollow. The guy I saw smiling every single day, the guy who laughed on my dirty jokes, who I thought was too nice to understand that I am flirting with him, nothing but hollow. I still can’t imagine that you are dead. Your eyes were half open and I waited for all this to be a long, bad dream. I hadn’t seen death before, not a mortuary, not a hollow person kept on ice and you dear friend were my first. I am sorry for talking about the gory details. For reminding you of my grief, a grief I never thought I would experience. We were nothing and yet we were something. People talked about us while you were alive, while we spent all our days together and laughed over how they thought we were a couple. Some of them talk about it now, how they thought we liked each other, but what do I do about it now. I wish I had told you how I felt. And another moment I thank my stars that I didn’t. It would have been so much more difficult. Not that it is easy now. I miss you. I miss you so much. I wish you were still here. You were my friend, my secret keeper and even though we spent only a year together, we were happy. I don’t even have a single bad memory of us. I can’t believe that I’ll never see you looking stealthily at me again. Why did you leave? I didn’t even look up when you told me goodbye the last time. I thought of seeing you the next day, to ask you why you were so tensed that day. But there was no tomorrow. No next day. Nothing. I didn’t see you again. I didn’t have the strength to see you dead, to look at your face one last time but I had to. It was my only chance to say goodbye. It didn’t look like you were gone. Your eyes half open, your face still beautiful, your beard, the one you were so proud of still so intact. You were the most beautiful boy I liked. You were the reason I felt like a teenager again, the one I started writing poems for,the one who helped me to get over my biggest heartbreak. And now, you are gone, giving me a pain, I had never experienced before.

You always wrote your name on all your things. All your drawers, your chair, your books, pens, pencils are untouched since you left. I took one pencil from your drawer and kept it with me. It is one of the two things I have that once belonged to you. The other one, a stupid wrapper that I saved is now buried at my favorite place in this world. It is a stupid gesture, and you would have probably laughed at it, but somehow it was my way to mourn you.

Your name meant “sky” and now everytime I miss you, I look up and think about you. I don’t know what happens after death and trust me I am giving it a lot of thought these days but I just want you to be happy wherever you are. You were having trouble sleeping in the last days of your life, I hope you have had a good sleep. That was the last thing you wished for. If reincarnation is a real thing I hope you get to live a fulfilled life someday.

You were a good guy, however cold hearted you appeared to the world, for me you were my only support at work, my reason to face Mondays, my saviour,my crush.

I miss you. I know, you know.

Yours,

MP.

I find you…

…in crumpled sticky-notes in old textbooks,

in rusted old lockets hanging by the mirror,

in a promise ring, you forgot all about,

in all my conversations about food,

the nine year plans and broken dreams,

the thukpas at MT, the kormas at Kareems,

in songs Taylor writes about all her ex-lovers,

from everything has changed to the last time,

in the melancholy of a river flowing down,

in the bus stops of unknown small towns,

inside this hollow that was once my heart,

in the words of my poem, in every piece of art

and then,

with a shiver and a long drawn breath

I lose you,

all over again.

*****

MT: Majnu ka tilla, a cool place in Delhi with great food.

Everything has changed, The last time: Songs by Taylor Swift.

Untitled

Your eyes follow me around,

in a room full of strangers,

and I can hear your voice

amongst millions of sounds.

Love, they say, brings you warmth,

but I am frozen in time

when your hand brushes past mine.

You unwrap me, in the slightest of gestures,

remove the layers I’ve spent years building upon,

one by one, while I stand still,

lost in your eyes.

Someone I loved, took away my words,

you brought back poems to my life,

and for now,

that is enough.

IMG_3138

P.S. August 20, this blog will turn 7 years old. I know I’ve not been consistent here, but this blog has been a very important part of my life throughout these years. It has been a witness to all my failures, my love, heartbreaks, my growth and I am thankful for it and for all you wonderful people out there who have spent minutes to hours going through my life. Thank you. 🙂

Good girls get married…

Good girls get married.

They go from one house to another,

Coyly smiling with their bright red lips

and mascara stained  eyes,

because only shameless girls

don’t cry during vidaai!

Good girls get married.

They never speak loud and

Always cover up their heads

With a saree,

They apply red bindi, sindoor

And a chain around their neck

To be a sanskari naari.

Good girls get married.

They don’t date random men

they meet on the internet.

They wait for their parents,

to set them up with strangers instead.

Good girls get married.

They remove the tattoos of past lovers

 from their shoulders,

And dye their hands with henna,

they tame their curls and tie them up in a bun,

They keep fasts on Fridays,

Praying for a son.

Good girls don’t swear,

complain or question

old, illogical  traditions,

they follow rules-

neither love nor lust,

without permission.

Good girls don’t laugh out loud,

Or write out poems on their oppression.

Good girls just get married.

Alas, I am not a good girl.

33dbdc06994b7bf8129009b09039e467

Image from here.

P.S. Well… Hello People!!!

Some Things End, Some Begin…

I am not sure whether this is a comeback post or just a culmination of all the posts I am trying to write in the past several months. I can’t believe that I started this blog with the dreams of becoming a writer someday but somehow it ended up being a graveyard of my sorrows and broken dreams.

I know I have written some pretty intense things here, my struggle with depression, my failures, my heartbreaks and if someone who knows me in real life right now ends up reading this, he’ll be in one hell of a shock. That is the thing with people, you never really know them in entirety but only bits and pieces of what they want you to know. But this blog is where I feel whole. The internet is usually a place to show off your best life but for me blogging turned out to be a journey to find myself and be true to my own beliefs. If this means I have to share my not-so-great life with others, I am okay with it.

***

I started working three months ago. It isn’t exactly a “job” but I get paid, get a chance to do something at a reputable place, and also see new people, talk , laugh, have tea or lunch with them, which is unlike what I’ve been doing since the past two years, that is sitting on my bed and contemplating my future.

The good part about this thing is I am working in my own town. For a long time now, I was really worried about my parents living alone. They are in their 60s-70s and although I am more of a liability than an asset but just being here with them calms my mind. I’ll admit, it is sometimes a pain to live with your parents when you are an adult and have tasted freedom before but I would rather spend time with my mom than on random “social” things.

***

To Alok,

It was the second week of September when I came to know about your untimely demise. It was much more difficult to accept that you took your own life. I have only known you through our blogs and the little interaction we had over comments but you were always a positive influence in my life. It is hard to believe that you aren’t around anymore. I’ll miss your motivating comments. I’ll miss seeing the world through your blog. You were such an enthusiastic and motivated individual. I wish the world wasn’t too hard on you.

I don’t know how many times I’ve opened WordPress to write you a proper goodbye, but it is just too difficult. I can’t imagine what your family is going through right now.

Goodbye my friend. I hope you find peace wherever you are.

***

I am okay. And I may not be in a state to write about this right now but I am okay. Sometimes, the things that you have worked for almost a third of your lifetime don’t work out but still feel worth it. I know nothing makes sense right now but someday it will. Love, like many other things is about how hard you work to make it work. And it doesn’t always have to end in a good way, or end at all. You could be in love without being in a relationship or feel unloved in spite of having someone to hold on to.

Everything comes to an end in this mortal world. It hurts, but this is what grief does. It makes you feel alive and even when something doesn’t work out the way you always imagined it to be, it doesn’t mean you have to live with regrets.

You’ll be okay one day.

***

It has been almost six years since I’ve been writing here, on and off. There are times when some people (and by some I mean you Nomadosauras) dig up my old posts and comment on them. I have a pretty bad memory and sometimes I don’t even get the context of what people are commenting on. So, I go back and read my posts and it feels amazingly weird. I feel like I am reading someone else’s words. Sometimes it doesn’t even sound like my life. Sometimes it does but written from someone else’s perspective. Just so weird. I don’t know if I am able to put words to my feelings but it is just surreal.

And boy, have I grown in all these years!!! I was such a stupid girl. Well, I am still pretty weird and stupid but I am happy, in spite of the zillions of problems in my life.

Just the other day I was telling Vishnu that happiness to me is contentment. I don’t think I am content with life, not yet and probably not ever. And there are days, or even weeks when I cry my eyes out but generally, in a normal kinda way, I feel okay.

For several years, I have had this feeling that I wasn’t rich, intelligent, or pretty enough. Everything felt inadequate. I looked at friends, with jobs, with life partners, with money, property and a “life” while I had nothing. I have almost none of these things even now but I have stopped looking. Not to sound too “enlightened” I still have my “days-of-doubt” but my feelings are a little controlled. I feel blessed… with all “the little” I have.

***

2019 is going to be a great year. I don’t know how or why or what am I going to do then but I have this belief that it is gonna be AWESOME.

I want to believe this.

I have to believe this.

To quote John Green, I’ll be on a roller-coaster that only goes up my friend.

***

HAPPY NEW YEAR. IMG_20181224_162356