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: 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.

The Dancer and The Writer: 1

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One

It was on an unassuming Sunday

As steam escapes my coffee

Into the humid air

That I see him.

He has already seen me.

His eyes are already on me,

It is the pull of his stare

That draws me in.

And I can’t look away.

His hands are frozen in their actions,

And I see he is paused

In the middle of writing something down.

But his eyes,

I remember clearly,

Hold some shocking familiarity,

An echo of some past.

 

I found her when I wasn’t searching for her

In a coffee shop that I visit

After sleepless nights

Of endless thoughts.

She is beauty in person

Even dressed in tattered nightwear

Sitting on the floor of her balcony

Enjoying her Sunday morning.

I correct-

She is poetry in person

And I want to make sense of her

To write her down

To make her flow from my pen.

I write down my thoughts

My eyes shifting from her to the paper

Back to her

When I see

She has seen me

And I am lost.

This is part one of a ten part anthology that I’ve kept wrapped up for a long time. Please bear with me. Image not mine.

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.

Duet

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Light hair falls in curtains over her rapturous face,

And her arms wielding the bow

Moves over the strings,

In impossible tandem

With his fingers over the keys.

He hears music,

His head out of the ocean now,

Dullness gives way to clarity,

Like the first shine in years

Breaking through clouds.

Aprils have come and gone,

Yet he hopes this time, it stays.

Together, they make something more than two.

Is he overtaking her?

Is she leading?

It is impossible to tell,

Or maybe it isn’t,

Because while the world sees the race,

They are locked in a dance.

Based on anime series “Your Lie In April”. Image not mine.

Beauty

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Her deep breaths
And the suddenly quiet sea,
This is beauty for me.
How she consumes me,
The way she never stays quite long enough,
Always hours short,
How she stays as salty fragrance,
Somewhere in the folds of my clothes,
Even gone.
The curve of her spine
As she holds me to her,
As our dangling bare feet tangle.
How her dreams are now mine,
And my life is now hers-
Beauty.

Image credits: http://favim.com/image/1313322/

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

Translate

“Will you do this for me?”

“Yes.”

The first evening, the first book. The cracking steps of a dusty campus building, weighed down by the stifling Sun. One voice reciting, in smoothly flowing Tamil, and echoing in English, the story of a crooked sage who dreamed of writing of a war that ended everything. The other silent, listening raptly.

The next, on a rainy morning, the second book. The iron-wrought balcony, and two black coffee mugs, steam spiralling into the nothingness. Through the muting sound of rain on everything, the first voice speaking of the dejected princess, her longing for revenge, and the beginning of the end. The second, listening, enthralled.

Then, the third book, as they sat beneath the sprawling banyan, as the mela existed in constant motion of color around them. In between bites of chaat and sips of buttermilk, the first voice, describing the tale of an unfortunate brethren, turned against each other by the deeds of their fathers. The second, listening.

The fourth book, on a summer afternoon. The sunlit grassy courtyard of a stark white colonial building, remnant of a chained and enslaved history, under the free open cloudless sky. A platter of mangoes between them. The first voice reading out some familiar age-old love story that was destined to end in sombre seperation. The other listening to the first, looking, but not seeing, the sky above, feeling a strange pleasant unease.

The saga does not end there, but the distance does.

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.