The Night We Stayed

I saw your eyes closely in the light of the night,
Whilst they looked at me, two stones of jade,
And lest this be washed away by the sands of time,
This is the story of the night we stayed.

I think of the past, how funny it has been,
For us to come to the point where we are,
Been through memories that are thorns to the mind,
And some as sweet as lekvar.

For being in love is a strange affair,
Dreams weaved out of other dreams,
And love, like the sun, in the bright of the morning,
Falls in sleepy streams.

But come night, Absence,
Makes its presence known to the heart,
And the mind bewildered knocks on every door,
Looking out for its sweetheart.

The night we stayed, I learned you’re precious,
And that I cannot afford to lose you,
But the morning came soon enough,
And I had to bid you adieu.

I write this letter hoping you’ll smile,
Think of me for a minute or two,
And shower me with all the love you can,
For it has long been overdue.

Tulips

So here we are at last, at the end of another journey. Another round of thank-you’s and goodbye’s need to be done, and I am yet not ready for them. It seems as if only yesterday we met, and somehow time rushes so fast, like sand between the fingers, that you’ve lost almost all of it even if you stop thinking about it just for a while. So why did I choose tulips as the name for the last post? Why not something more conventional? Why not a hibiscus or a chrysanthemum or a lotus?

I associate tulips widely with my nostalgia. This dates back to several years later, when one of the Windows had as its default wallpaper the Tulips. Was it XP? No, XP had the green field. Maybe Windows 2000 or Windows NT or one of those, but it was at that time when I first started using the computer. I used to spend hours trying to draw figures on MS-Paint or play Pinball and beat my own high scores. Those were simpler times. How times have changed now. Now I am a computer engineer, and soon I will become a computer scientist. Where will I get the time to relive those moments? One can never say.

So long. Let me not talk about nostalgia and my previous experiences because that will become both redundant with a lot of my early posts as well as very boring. But the thing is this, and I think you will agree with me on this one fact at least; that nostalgia is something you cannot run away from. You never know what will trigger it, it is like a gunshot, point blank, direct to your brain, and it bleeds out profusely all those memories which have been buried like rubble under big buildings of new thoughts. And then you cannot help but think about them, and join all the broken strings, and tie all the knots, and cross all the t’s and dot all the i’s and it becomes overwhelming and you cannot handle it after a point of time. What do you do then?

You throw the bouquet away.

Hopes

Mothers, with their mortars and pestles,
Crushing red chiles on hot afternoons,
The aroma of spices, floating in the air,
Their smiles, their chuckles, and the whispers,
Their daughters come back,
Pails of water on their heads,
Their gait ever graceful,
Their faces benign.
She sees them from her cot,
Too old to rise up now,
Remembers how once she was the daughter,
And how once she was a mother,
Now too old, her only children,
Are her hopes, which she nurtures,
With loads of care, as she once did,
For her children and her husband.
She closes her eyes,
The heat makes the dark turn yellow,
She can feel the light with her eyes shut,
And her children float by, in her visions.
She hopes one day they will come back,
Their heads on her lap,
They will narrate to her stories,
From cities long forgotten,
From borders between nations,
From mines deep down.
She can smell already,
A tinge of love, floating in the air,
Her husband sleeping on the cot beside,
The toothless smile, the grey beard,
His auburn eyes, which can only stare,
She turns and finds it empty for now,
But hopes someone will sleep on it,
Before the night ends,
Before the winter ends,
Before her life ends.

A Poem From 1960

She looked at me, her eyes ever shining,
As if she wanted to tell me something,
But her lips were pursed, her eyes a million stories,
And I couldn’t make up my mind, which one to read.
She was an open book, then why couldn’t I,
Tell her apart from the rest?
And why couldn’t I figure out, if she felt for me,
The same that I felt for her?
Once a maiden at a fair had asked me if,
I had loved anyone in my life,
I had lied to her and told her no,
All the while thinking about her.
Then whilst she walked back, I intently followed,
But after a while she disappeared,
And afterwards I never saw her again,
And never saw anyone like her.
One night in my dreams, she came once again,
Her eyes still the same from all those years ago,
I held her in my arms, and there was music to the left,
Our feet tapped and we danced for a long time.
She hummed a rhythm that evening,
And I’ve never heard anyone more melodious,
But neither she came in my life any more,
Nor did I try looking for her.
And so fifty years later today,
When I think of the fair, and I think of the dream,
I smile at how when we were young,
Love was all that mattered,
And now when we count minutes unto death,
Love is all that matters.

Return – Chapter 2

I knocked on the door. I knew what was impending, and even as I knocked again, I felt it would have been a relief if I could just run down the road beside, and keep running until I was tired. But then, I wanted to face what reality had in store for me. It wouldn’t be easy, I knew. In fact, the next few minutes could be the most tough moments of my life, something that I could pass on to my grandchildren in anonymous stories. I waited. A lady shouted from inside, which roughly translated to “I swear this is the thousandth time since morning someone knocked on my door. I will break this door someday.” She opened the door, and for a while she kept looking at me. I realized she wouldn’t know me; when I had last left her, I did not have a stubble. My hair was neatly combed that morning as I left for school. That was four years back. I smiled at her, hoping that would remind her of the past. She did not look a day older. She was the same old woman that I had left a few years ago. Same white sari, same white hair, plump but weak, fat rimmed spectacles, nothing had changed; except time. “Namaste Taaya,” I said, which meant, “Hello, Taaya”. Taaya was what I called her when I was small. I did not know how I came to learnt that name, and why no one asserted a problem to me calling her by that name when she was in fact not my taaya. In relations, taaya refers to an elder aunt. But she was not an aunt of mine, neither did she have any nephews. I was the only person she had, and only had she been the only person I had, nothing would have ever gone wrong. She was my mother.

She looked at me melancholically, kept looking at my eyes for about a minute, and then shut the door on my face. I couldn’t expect anything less or more than that. When I was young, sometimes we used to fight over small trivial matters. Then I used to pretend I was angry and would shut the door of my room and lock myself inside for hours. My mother would cry, thinking I was really angry. I felt sad about that, but I didn’t want to break it to her. If I did, she would never again think I was angry, and things wouldn’t work out. So many incidents flashed into my mind. But then, things changed. Today we played a role reversal. I was crying, and she had shut the door. Only, she literally did it. There was only one person I could now go to. I didn’t know if she would remember me at all, or whether she would give it any thought if I stepped up in front of her, but I owed it to myself, and I owed it to her, to meet her once more, to try to set things right, and to live my life as I should have done before. It was late, but they say it’s better to be late than never. I was praying they said it right. As I walked down the road, an old friend met me. He looked at me strangely, as I stood, stagnated, not moving an inch. He hugged me for a while, and as we walked, he narrated all what had happened in the interim that I was gone. I was gone. I had never thought anyone would put it that way. I was not gone, I was right here. All the while, I was right here. But I couldn’t explain that to him, nor could I talk about it to anyone else around. So I just nodded. He left me after a while, when he saw the way I was headed. “Don’t do it,” he said. “For your sake.”

I strolled on. I had to see if there were a life that I wished for, if there were a destiny that defined me. So I reached her house. And I knocked, hoping she would open and recognize me. I hadn’t been away that long that she’d not recognize me. Unless she did it purposefully… The door opened. She looked at me with her shining eyes. So much of her had changed. Except her eyes. They were still the same. They still said the same story that they said four years ago. And her tears still pained me as it did in my dreams. She had grown thinner, and she looked prettier than I could have ever imagined her to be. “I still love you,” I said. She put a finger on her lips, indicating me to stop talking. And she hugged me. “I’ve missed you,” she said. “I’ve missed you too, Shaena,” I said.

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Food for Thought

It’s queer how small instances,
Which had gone unnoticed once,
Suddenly reach the bottoms of your heart,
Raking up emotions, pent-up for a long time,
Wanting to burst out, like tears from a baby,
Who’s not eaten, or probably not slept.
Dreams sometimes show you the path,
Tell you the solutions, give you answers,
That you’ve been trying to find for long,
It’s like a treasure hunt,
That you keep playing with your conscious mind,
All the time unaware,
That the player himself is wrong,
And that you should sometimes play,
And try to converse with the subconscious too.
A sand castle, in the heat,
Getting washed down by the warm waters,
The same waters, don’t they turn chilly at night,
Freezing the air above it?
See through it, see how transparent it is,
And how even then its depth remains unmeasured.
For those who drown, know not those who float.
Food for thought,
Would it be better to drown such instances,
Deep into the sea of your thoughts,
Or should you keep them afloat,
Like carcasses in the river,
To be haunted by them against the light of the moon?

Forever

As I sieve through the photographs,
Each moment vividly comes up,
And with it another thousand moments,
It’s hurting my head, to realize,
That such moments will never be created again.

Do you remember when I complained once,
That you should stop loving me so much,
Lest I become used to it,
You smiled at me and told me straight,
Take it for as long as you are getting it.
I now realize how true that was,
How none of that will ever happen again,
I miss you, now ever more than before,
And wish you were there beside me,
Forever.