residue honesty

“Be mine” she said and watched as your eyes turned to blooming daisies with honest dew in the corners. You felt your blood calmly rushing and your cheeks turn into an honest pastel pink. As days grew and nights died, the honest raven kept slamming itself against your once dreamt-of bay window. Eyes turned prey to all that needn’t have been seen and you fell prey to the rest.

10 breaths to calm you down? 

Breathe.

One.

Two.

Three.

7 more, I can.

Three.

Cough.

Dry throat, as lifeless as a 3 year-old daisy.

A lump in the throat the never been a good sign, has it? Your nails turn into an honest red as you force them onto that turquoise pillow you bought for the rusting patio furniture. Eyes turn an ugly blotched red.

Four.

The number of times you forgave.

Five.

The number of times she expected you to.

Breathe.

Close your eyes, like the days are dying and the nights are honest ghosts now.

Six.

A warm blanket. A little too big for your puny figure. With faded green and yellow Lillies sprawling with a dishonest cheer about it.

Seven.

The first time you saw her, swinging while standing up like the brave little girl she was, in a park covered in weed, rust and laughter.

Eight.

Eight.

Eight.

The number of times you’ve tried to stop tearing up but honestly failing.

Nine.

The number of times you’ve failed when you tried to swallow away salty tears.

Ten.

The time you’ll try again.

Because it comes. Tomorrow always does.

Moonchild

Sun waves a goodbye
“In some time”
It murmurs

Slithering away
Horizon in its pocket

The flowers wilt
The May fades
The azure hides
The dew waits

Chestnut blankets
Pine cones
Nestle her
Into cotton dreams

The mynah sings promise
As fitful rain
And dry leaves
Purr along

The wind whistles
She snuggles as if
Her clay skin
Hides morrow’s warmth

A yellow crescent
Quizzes a tired Venus
“How long until?”

“Let the cuckoos sing
Let the lilies sprawl
Let the shadows follow
Let her lashes trust”

The cuckoos cry
The lilies bow
The shadow hides
Her lashes fight

The sunbeam chases
The teensy sprinter
Autumn grumbling
Through orange, yellow and green.

The ray wins
Settling on her fresh clay cheeks
Waltzing with her hazel eyes

“Oh wild one,
The sky is yours
To invade
Just know
What to chase”

Closed eyes
Rusted sighs
A bruised knee later,

“I’ll know
The moment I find it
I stop hurrying
I stop chasing
I stop asking
The moment.
Won’t I?

Glimmering hazel
Reflecting
All that is to be
And a little more.

Free Felt

And my heart was in free fall. Ignored the wind slashing at it. Listened to just gravity. Nostalgia puncturing all the veins, blood as crimson as infected insecurities spilled over vanilla clouds.

But the displaced heart still wanted to know if it would fall on a cushion of grass, as comforting as optimism or on the fear-stained end of a rose.

And it fell.

Loving the uncertainty. Relishing the stupidity.

Remembering that the chill that runs down your spine when your old demons whisper memories in your ear, was left behind at the cliff. The captors from your war between is and could be, sent down stranded silken ropes. But the scent of wrought ebony tugged gently at it too. It was addicted to the taste of oblivion.

And so it fell. Fell, feeling just itself beating.
Unrelenting. Unarmoured. Wounded. Stubborn.
Alive.

Caffeinated chaos

There’s a war that wakes up with me. The coffee stains on my diary pages are snickering at this peace I’m trying to fake. What is this numbness I’m trying to achieve?  Because each time my mind recalls your name, there’s a battle I’m trying to erase.

The shiver’s back again, too strong to be suppressed.The mug is going to fall soon and the ink is going to be dissolved in it like the rush meant nothing.

What you see is a skillfully painted mask. What you see are practised colours. I want you to be submerged in your soul, so when you finally see raw scars and bleeding insecurities, you’ll forget the mask. You’ll embrace the blotched heartbreaks.

You’ll fight this coffee-stained oblivion.

You’ll fight this imposed rebellion.

You’ll join me in this caffeinated chaos.

The Untamed.

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We are restless.

We find our calm in battles we fight with ourselves. We hunt and kill to make tear-stained armour from the toughest ones.

We kiss our oblivion while we burn our insides.

And somewhere in the spaces between this war you caused, our souls dissolved into our sunburnt swords.

Forgive us for not dancing to your overused hypnotic melodies.

We are the untamed. And it’s too late for us to join your circus.

Myriad moments

The sky keeps calling your name but I shake it off convincing myself it’s the sound of the wind. Or the clouds rumbling. Because the time you said your kiss was plain white and meant nothing, I hallucinated a rainbow in it.

Or the time I asked you to look at the fading hue of the sunset, you noticed just the sinking.

When we walked on the beach together barefoot, I asked you to close your eyes and feel the humid breeze on your skin, you told me the sand pricked your feet.

You’d see a cloud and I’d see a blazing dragon in it.

I guess you were always scared of moments. Moments are lethal, they make you want to believe in permanence. Moments can get you frozen in a place where there’s no wind to push your sail forward.

You’d be thousands of miles away from the shore. Thousands of miles away from home.

And I would notice the golden reflection of the sun on the still waters.

Cling.

I hear the cling of shackles as I try to shake them off.

Cling.

The sound of freedom.

The sound of creativity.

The sight of a vibrantly painted mural.

The sound of laughter.

The silence of us taking a walk in the beach at 1 am.

The instability I’m fearing as you hug me, trying to mend all your dark pieces through the warmth.

The warmth.

The wind hitting your face with a jolt as you put your head outside the window of your car.

The dream of holding a pen and writing all of this.

Or the lack of it. All of it.

Cling.

Strokes of Secrecy.

You.

Look at me.

Pick up your paintbrush. Wipe the dust off of your canvas. Close your eyes.

Paint with the vivid vibrance that’s been dormant since your eyes and ears took over your soul.

Don’t open your eyes yet.

Start your strokes of secrecy. Those strokes you thought you’d never be able to get out of yourself. Those strokes which feel familiar but seem too fragile to embrace. Those strokes that now feel melodious as the soft music of a violin. Increase your pace. You feel better? Feel lighter? Good.

Open your eyes.

Take a moment to just stare. Stare at the million things you’ve spoken through it.Things that weren’t meant to be hidden.

Is it messy? If yes, good.

Now, I promise to try and comprehend what your scared soul spoke about.

I promise to listen hard to the story its feeble voice is telling me.

I promise I’ll stand in its whirlpool of chaos and listen to its silence.

I promise to absorb the colours and see the darkness in them.

I promise to buy that painting.

Fearless.

Dear Rapists,

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry that I’m a woman. I’m sorry for daring. I’m sorry for believing that a man and a woman are equal. It was obviously very unreasonable and preposterous of me to even imagine that even we,the timid, weak, oppressed part of the society have a voice.

Obviously, we were created for doing your laundry, cleaning the house, cooking, making babies, taking care of the babies,voicelessly agree with your opinions, not be stupid enough to disagree with you.

We should just let you rape. Because that’s the only thing that defines us. Our vaginae. Oh, and also our cooking skills.

You can come alone, pairs, groups or whatever number you’d like. You can be my brother’s friend, my cousin, my dad’s colleague, a neighbour, my boss, my husband or even a stranger. It really doesn’t matter. I mean, how does it affect us after all.

You can assault us in public, molest us in public transportation, or just gag us, take us to a deserted place and rape us. You could kill us if you want to. It’s really your call.

I don’t know what my parents were thinking! Enrolling me into a good school!? Sheesh. Ridiculous. I should have stayed home, learnt to cook, learnt to dress, learnt to shut up, and learnt to agree with whatever the hell you choose to do with me.

I mean, when I wear shorts, or a dress, clearly, I’m just asking you to rape me. Isn’t it obvious?

I shall always wear a a saree, cover my face with the ghoonghat (veil).

I shouldn’t be having friends. ( Male friends? What am I? A slut!?) I shouldn’t get out of the house. I shall come back home early because it’s my duty of course. Who do I think I am? A citizen of India? A free, liberal woman? Bullshit.

I’m your slave.

Only then I’m a good woman who is following the Indian culture. Otherwise, just a bitch with a vagina.

Thank you,

Woman.

Actually, wait. I won’t end my letter there. I own this blog, I went to school, I learnt to speak. All that effort wasn’t so you could drag me one day and use me and throw me like I’m toilet paper.

I shall whisper in the beginning, raise my voice, try to get you to hear what I’m saying. It wouldn’t enter your perverted brain, so I will shout. I will shout with all the strength my lungs will give me. I will shout with all the frustration that was buried in me.

If you still can’t hear, I’m going to bring everyone I know, and we’re going to shout to repair your obscene deafness. I know, We know, you don’t like to hear our voices.

I don’t care. We don’t care.

Sometimes (very rarely), I feel like, brutally punishing you, castrating you, won’t mend the morally deficient conscience you have. You should all be taken, your ages reversed back to 4 (when you, hopefully, weren’t perverts) and sent to a school.

Grow mentally, physically and morally.

It’s not the documentary that should be banned. It’s eve teasing, molestation, rape, murder. And also M.L. Sharma, the defence lawyer of those rapists. ( You should listen to the things he said. The link to it is at the end of the article.)

A tiny reason why this is happening, is because of some women. No, not the way they dress, not the friends they have, not the time they come home, nor their sex life.

It’s because of those women who believe that they’re below men. They feel like they need a man’s protection. A man is the only reason a woman should live. It’s etched in their minds that they’re inferior. It wouldn’t have been like that if they’d believed in themselves.

So, here I am. Daring to disagree with you. Daring to raise my voice. Daring to say, with all the confidence I can muster, “You will be defeated.”

So get secure with your “manliness”. You may cringe with disgust. But we will take you down.  And any woman who’s reading this, remind yourself that you, can do anything you want. You can dress however, be with whoever and talk however you want. You know why? You’re strong.

We’re not smaller, inferior or below you.

We’re Fearless.

Now I’ll end my letter.

You’re welcome,

Woman.

P.S. Please don’t misinterpret this as against all men. There are millions of decent men who are with us and support us and we are in this together. This is not male bashing.

Watch the banned documentary here. Share it.

http://urbanasian.com/whats-happenin/2015/03/bbc-releases-indias-daughter-on-youtube/

Waking up.

It was about 11:30 PM and I had been out with my friends. I was starting to get worried, thinking about the lectures I would receive once I got home. I reached home, very carefully opened the door. Holding my heeled shoes, I crept into the house as noiselessly as I could.

Mum was asleep on the couch. Her wavy black hair in a mess but her cheekbones in their usual glory. Predictably, I melted and kissed her forehead as subtly as I could. She woke up, startled, as I was walking to my room. “It’s nearly midnight, Laila! What were you thinking! You’re 16, for crying out loud! “. “I’m sorry, ma”.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked, with a betrayed look on her face. “I didn’t tell you because you wouldn’t let me go.”, I said as apologetically as was possible. “Look, Laila, I don’t have a problem with where you go, who you go with. I just need to know where you are. Just in case something happens, I don’t want to be clueless about my own daughter.”

I nodded my head eagerly and smiled to myself. Sometimes, she’s not Medusa.

~

“Lailaaa! Wake up! It’s 7:30! You’ll get late for school!”. I pulled myself together, rubbing my groggy eyes. That was one hell of a dream. I looked in the mirror. The same brown eyes. The same wavy black hair. The same high cheekbones. I was a photocopy of my mother, I’ve heard.

After a normal day at school, I came home, freshened up, went to my room and studied. (To please ma, of course.) Anxiously, I crawled up to her. “Ma, Can I go out with my friends this weekend?”. She looked at me, annoyed by how frequently I was asking permissions like these. “Are there going to be boys?”, of course this was coming. She’s an Indian mother.

“Maybe. I don’t know yet”. I did know. I pulled out the card that works almost always, “But I studied!”.

She pointed the pen she had in her hand at me and said, “Look, You’ve got your exams coming. You’re not going to go anywhere until that’s over. And, you don’t have to come back again. This decision is final.”

Urgh! I missed the mother who came in my dream. I wished my real mum was like that. I sulked at the unfairness and went to my room. Well, Medusa was back!

~

“Lailaa! Wake up! Payal’s late for school!”. I struggled to open my eyes. I finally got up. I went out to the kitchen. I looked at her. She had tired brown eyes. Long black wavy hair pulled into a messy bun. Perfect high cheekbones.

She is my employer.

It wasn’t the luxury. Living here, I get a glimpse of it too. It’s the fact that she has a mother who yells at her. The fact that she has a school to go to.

I was envious of her normality.

I shrugged the dream away. Standing in front of the sink piled with dirty dishes, I stared at my normality.

~

This story is for all of you who feel you aren’t lucky enough. Every time you feel your life is unfair or not as glamorous as you’d like it to be, remember this inception.  No matter how much we have, we always crave what we don’t have. All of us do.

Gather all that self-pity in a big black bag, throw it into the trash.

Do all you can to make yourself feel like the luckiest person ever. Better, the most deserving person ever.

Do justice to those, whose dream, is your reality.