Repeat

So it’s not you.
You’re not the one I’m going to curl up with under the blankets on the slow Sunday mornings.

You’re not the one that will dance around that oh-so messy apartment in some part of I-still-don’t-know-where-in-the-world with me, dressed in our work clothes.

You won’t bicker with me as we decide on how much sugar is just right for the spicy masala chai that we plan on drinking as we watch the rain.

You will never be the person who gets along with my best friend almost as much as I do (funny, because you are the one whose glasses she wants to punch off at the moment).

You won’t be the one to stay, even when I push against my walls, trying not to let them collapse, trying not to let you in.

You just won’t be the one I bring home to the dyfunctional mess I call a family.

So, for now, I’ll just repeat the words I always tell everyone, the words that have been echoed so much that I forgot whether they were true or not, the words that you took for face value, not bothering to check if they were true or not.
It’s fine.

Tizita

Tizita is a genre of Ethiopian music that characteristically describes longing, memory, and nostalgia. Image used not owned by me.

 

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The notes flowed husky

From their throats.

Closing her eyes,

And leaning into the music,

She saw around her

A distant city

She had only seen

In pictures

And in her haziest dreams.

She felt a pull

She’d only felt before

Towards the dusty streets

Of her hometown.

Was this where she was destined for?

She only knew one thing-

She would give anything to find out.

The Dancer and The Writer: 3

Three

I dance.

I try to tell him

How much he affects me

How his influx into my life

Has offset the harmony

How he has breached boundaries

That I let no one near.

How he forced his way in.

But I can’t find the words.

I am not like him.

Words do not come to me

As naturally as they do for him.

So I dance,

And I show him.

 

I write.

She is my muse

And she is my poetry.

I write to understand her

To define her

Pages and pages

Are filled with her

And yet it is not her.

Secretly, I am glad of my failure

Because once

I succeed in my attempts

It will be the end

Of us.

And yet,

For the life of me

I cannot stop.

So I write.

The Dancer and The Writer: 2

Two

He speaks to me

Smiling an honest smile

And I know then

That he is different.

I invite him into my life

But cannot let him in

Farther than the outer boundaries.

The world has given me

Nothing but hurt

And why would he be any different?

I muse.

And yet, even if only a little,

I let him in.

 

I speak and she listens.

I talk of my travels

Of the worlds I have been to

Of the people who shared my path

If even for a short time,

And she listens.

She does not speak much

She does not talk of her path

But I know.

I see the path she has travelled

In her eyes.

I see the walls around her heart

And I vow then and there

That I will break them down.

Of Love

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When they speak, they spout the wonders,

They speak of the magnificence, prattle on about how wonderful it is.

A deadly flame, but whose licks to your flesh rival none

In the morose delight it gives.

I have seen the face of love and survived

I am yet to see these blazes they speak of.

I do not see the beauty, nor the inexpressible joy,

Not even the roses and the sunny days.

The face that I saw,

The face of what you call love,

Is my own face, dulled in passivity,

Staring back at me.

Fickle face with its fickle intentions.

The lure at first was tempting, I agree,

But when I peeled back the layers,

All I could see was the true face.

But look at me now,

I am the broken shards that lay in your path,

But though it tempts me to say I will stay broken,

It is not so.

I have fallen,

But I have the power in me to rise.

One push will not keep me down,

Nor will it weaken my resolve.

I say to love, I am not your slave,

I am mine.

And though my nightmares are yet to be bereft

Of the face I give to the name of love,

I will not be bereft of my freedom.

For it is by falling that you learn to walk,

And I am now prepared to fall again.

365

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365 days can take you places.
Maybe in some other world,
With alien surroundings
And foreign people
Somehow yet holding in their eyes
A warmth that is the only familiar thing,
Maybe that is where you will be.
All the universe needs
To change and restructure
Around you
Is but a second,
So what of three hundred and sixty five days?

Image labelled free for reuse.

Wild Child

And on some days, she is the wild child,
Head held high with pride,
Single eyebrow raised,
Lips twisted in arrogance, even.
Determined to take one last selfie
Of her patiently uncut,
Years-old waist-length hair,
Before chopping it blunt
Just below her chin
With the kitchen scissors

Cutting herself free.

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Image not owned by me: Credits: Camille Marie Art. Camarie-art.tumblr.com

Social

With each click of the “Like”,
And each tap on the little heart,
Social media helped her
Take one little significant step
Away from her stubbornness,
From childhood insecurities,
And teenage grudges.
Contrary to what everyone said,
Facebook and Instagram
Are what helped her grow up.

Seek

I have seen him;
In an old faded photograph,
his laughing face amidst a sea of laughs
looking back through sparkling eyes;
I have seen him.
I have heard his voice;
Through the crackling speakers
Of a decrepit black telephone,
Hidden in a dusty corner of my-our-his room,
Uttering flawless Urdu verses,
Mesmerising, like the sunlight
that caroms off each ripple of the endless river;
I have heard his voice.
I have known him;
In a sketchbook that ended without ending,
Through the eyes of every stranger
who is his friend,
Who speaks incessantly
Of his wild untameable life,
Of how he only knows happiness
In its truest form- as freedom;
I have known him.
I see him now,
In front of me,
As we stand among an overwhelmed rout,
And our eyes meet for the first time,
The Seeker and the Seeked,
But know this,
I have seen him,
I have heard his voice,
I have known him for eons.

Over

In your miserable days,
You would think
That one day,
Like the flip of a switch,
In a polarising moment,
You will be over it all,
Over that person.
And something like
That moment
Does come.
What you don’t know
Is that more moments,
Of equal potential
To bring you to your knees
With the hope they bring,
Will succeed.
Too late, you will realise
You are never truly over someone,
But hopeful moments
Build up in you
The courage to stand.