I hear the sound of muffles,
And a grr-grr-grr,
Then they start rushing you,
And I have to run along too.
Then the pay-pay-pay,
Of the ambulance I hear,
And they put you in,
And I steal in too.
You keep shouting for a long time,
I wonder if it’s my fault,
But then the ambulance screeches to a halt.
There’s again some rushing,
Lots of people around you,
We enter a room,
People all dressed in green now,
I can feel them prying,
But then they start,
And you shout more,
I close my ears,
Can’t bear the noise,
They pull at me,
I don’t want to leave,
They force me to leave,
And I see the light,
It stings me in the eye,
People around laugh and chatter,
He says, “It’s a boy!”
Your smile makes me stop crying.
The hare challenged the tortoise,
To a race to see who’s faster,
The tortoise knew what’d happen,
Yet she still accepted to run,
Her love knew bounds for the hare,
She wished the hare knew that,
But never collected her guts to face him,
And so they were here today.
So on a fine sunny morning,
They decided to run the race,
The hare left his crutches at home,
And came limping to the starting point.
He ran on one leg for an hour or so,
The tortoise walking far behind,
Weeping when she thought how much pain,
The hare constantly endured for her.
When he almost reached the finish point,
The hare decided to sleep for a while,
And whilst he was dreaming of the tortoise,
She almost reached the finishing line.
She saw the hare sleeping,
Tired of running on one foot,
And came and sat beside him,
Dozing off to sleep in a while.
When they woke up, his pain was lesser,
The tortoise had bandaged all his cuts,
“Want to continue the race?” she asked,
They laughed and hugged each other.
For sometimes in the race of life,
Slow, steady, or fast, none matter,
But accepting each for what one is,
And still loving them, matters.
The village on the side of the road, ‘was’ a village. Now its houses burned and smoke clouded rows of huts. The picture suddenly started coming back into his mind. Burning huts, fleeing people, dying cattle, and the broken, all suddenly flashed through his mind. What a death that was! The man jumped from the bridge into the river and was never to be seen. His head bubbled up once, but no one could say if he was alive or dead. The dog that chased him all the way until he jumped cried in pain and nature kicked it on its face. No one could comprehend why this was happening.
Walking on the road, Uddin wondered whether this was all a dream or actually true. Indeed it was true. Wasn’t it true that the old woman who sat till yesterday at the corner of the road and asked for money died today when she was beaten up for doing so? A tooth was still there on the corner of the street. The broken branches were still lying on the ground, crying in pain of being separated from their mother, yet wasn’t the sweeper giving them all the more pain by taking them yet far? He kept walking. For the first time, he couldn’t figure out what was happening around him. He was in a dilemma, an unexplainable one, an unexplored one.
The black guy was surrounded by the white boys in the middle of the road. He was lying on the ground crying for help, yet all around just smiled and passed by. Probably that is what everyone is supposed to do, Uddin thought, and so he left the boy to his pain, and went off. Not once did he cry or look up for help. Far at the end of the road, a shop was put on fire. The shopkeeper was still inside and he could not come out. The flames engulfed the shops around, as the grocer spilled all the oil when his feet slipped. God knows what happened to him after that. Questions entangled him, and answers were nowhere. Where would he search for them?
Was the end of this world, and was it just the beginning of a new world? A new beginning, a fresh start. What had happened to him? He felt dizzy, or was the world going round about him? For a moment, he couldn’t say if it were night or if the sun only refused to come up into the skies? Who would give him the answers? Silence followed, as always. Silence, that had always been his companion, had now sought to make the entire world its friends. Everyone was silent. No one talked. It felt as if he lived in a world of dumb people. Dumb, deaf and blind.
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This is a sequel to Nothing Has Changed.
It is true that you change,
When people around you do,
Or else I wouldn’t be writing this today.
It is true that you change,
When I am absent,
Or else I wouldn’t be writing this today.
For coming back and starting,
From the point you left off,
Is never the same as not leaving at all.
You understood my eyes,
What they meant without speaking,
Now you can’t hear me,
Tell me, who changed?
You smiled at silly jokes,
Now you mock me with others,
Say I am stupid,
Why, who changed?
Goodbyes were meant to be happy,
Yet this time it isn’t,
I am sad and I’m upset,
But you wouldn’t know,
You are busy there, out with new ones,
And like old newspapers I’m trashed in a can,
Know that I’m sad to see,
How it changed entirely.
Someone walked in through the bedroom door,
Walked out through the balcony,
And jumped to the ground below.
I kept looking at him, a known silhouette,
A plethora of emotions, a croaking of a raven,
The smell of first rain, and the salt from the sea,
The early morning breeze, and the hundred known faces,
All converging into one, then diverging into many.
I looked at the mirror, he looked at me and smiled,
Then vanished as the waves that lap against the shore.
He jumped back from the ground into the balcony,
This time I jumped to reach him, to hold his hand,
He wasn’t real, the face was now mine,
We had interchanged, only if it were for true.
The smell of smoke, of petrol and the wind in my hair,
We were racing on a road travelled years ago,
He looked at me, and his bike speeded up,
In a moment he vanished.
I was back on my bed, getting down to open the door,
He visited me for some notes,
We broke our fast together but his plate was untouched.
There was another woman going up the stairs,
She waved at me, and her face changed into his.
Then there was laughter, and I was in the classroom,
Sitting behind him, and he cracked a joke.
Everyone around was laughing, laughing merrily.
We came out of the class into the open air,
The grass so green and soft, like it was alive all over again,
We smiled, and yet tears were shed.
Someone shook me and I woke up, it wasn’t that bad a dream,
After all it was only a dream.
Or so I wished.
I’ve hid it for long now, and this is painful,
To see how things could have turned out otherwise,
If only I’d told you how much you meant to me,
And that you realized, that they weren’t lies.
I said I love you, and you pretended to ignore,
Or did you intentionally ignore it, I don’t know,
But this is painful, staying without you,
Knowing how each moment of mine would’ve been happier.
Were you with me, the skies would shine,
The rains would stop, and love be blind,
I’d kiss the moon, and burn with the stars,
And at night, come back in your dreams.
My soul cries out each night to me,
Tells me to tell you to be with me,
But I’m afraid, so tell me how,
I’d be with you and not lose you still.
‘Cause if you knew how it feels this way,
Your eyes would shine and you’d come to me,
And for once your lips would curl to smile,
Smile at what you’ve done for me.
Do you remember the night we cried,
When I was lonely and afraid of the night,
When I wished someone was close to my heart?
No, you don’t ’cause that night never came,
‘Cause you weren’t with me then when I needed you,
You aren’t with me now, no you aren’t.
Do you remember the day we laughed,
When I felt your cry and I wiped your tear,
No you don’t ’cause you have other things,
To remember, to smile about, to laugh, to enjoy.
I haven’t slept, and do you know that,
No, ’cause you were sleeping with someone else,
I haven’t eaten, and do you know that,
No, ’cause someone else ate away what was mine,
I haven’t cried, and do you know that,
No, ’cause my tears have dried out forever,
I haven’t laughed, and do you know that,
Yes, for you stole my laughter forever.
Do you know why I write this today,
It’s ’cause I’m sure you’ll never read it once,
It’s ’cause you don’t know whether I even live,
It’s ’cause you don’t know I love you still.