The house hushed like a little lamb As he walked in like a lion after hunt, Smiling Drenched In sweat He exclaimed- "The rally roared with claps during my address to the Labourers, And they hailed me like a God "
My docile grandmother then offered him a glass of cold water and despised he ordered her to bring Shikanji.
"The only lemon left after pickling yesterday was used to prepare Sharbat, for the panting old sewage cleaner"
He looked at her in dejection, and cried, "That lemon belonged to me"
Sikanji and Sarbat are hindi terms for lemon drinks.
In Mumbai alone it is estimated that over 600 sewer workers die every year. In just the last two years, over 1200 workers have died inside sewer line. Amidst this lockdown over 71 migrant workers have died while making their way to home. Old, paralysed, pregnant women and children are walking miles, across states. But yes we do have enough money for temples and detention camps! Kudos!
The clock strucks three And I silently walk up to my mother ; I tell her that I wish to write a book, a tragedy where I would name the protagonist Anna. And Anna won't grow her hair long for a prince to fall in love. My heroine would kill a king , pin his head on to a wall, weave a tiara out of his blood soaked hair and sip wine in strange cities. I tell her that my mind isn't a quiet place, that I still scribble poetries at midnight and more than his paintings, Van Gogh's death inspires me. I bend a little closer and reach her ears to whisper that her love keeps barking at me , asking me to not fall in love. And that noise doesn't let me sleep. I am awake since ages.
The alarm clock rings and I wake up ; Six in the morning And I find her awake : My mother!
The last time a girl fell in love , she grinned like a two year old child . Then she chanted your name in loops and you rested between her lips like a nursery rhyme, never to be forgotten.
The last time you asked that girl to leave , she started burying parts of herself that were in love until she realised that it was all of her. So then she turned into cold graveyard.
The last time a girl fell out of love a woman was born. A woman who laughed like a lioness and cried like rebellion. A woman who was a walking revolution with her bangles jinggling in the announcement of war. Fear , she carried it beneath her feet.
The last time fear escaped a woman's being, a mother was born. And she looked like that temple of devotion where you could only bow down and pray like a devotee.
// There's no turning back in the life of a woman //
If words were breath, I'm sure I would soon be running out of both.
But midnight trickles in and like a feather that goes with the flow; like withered leaves that dance with the zephyr, I begin picking words from the chasms of my heart (for nights are known to be cold and these words are the only armour I possess)
I pick my words carefully; like a young maiden who selects tea leaves oh-so-delicately; I pick my words hastily, like a 9 to 5 intern who is getting late for his first day at job.
And I weave my poems from the yarns of my imagination, I sew my thoughts and I knit a dreamcatcher.
But sometimes, just sometimes, when I can no more trace the contours of this absurd thing called h o p e I seek solace in my hastily knit dreamcatcher, it may not grasp nightmares by their collar, or worst, may not even shoo them away but its presence alone soothes me.
The itch to pick at a scab always gnaws at my insides, ergo, at times, I give in. I give in and the outcome is just me writing, rewriting and overwriting the same things.
Crimson, Cerulean or perhaps, turquoise? I no longer remember the colour of my sadness. For it has been painted over and over and over again.
But they do not tell you that painting withered leaves in shades of green does not make them alive.
And I think I have run out of scars to fashion into poetry.
My faith is taking new breaths, after recently being brought back from the dead. From gasping borrowed breaths to puffing clean fresh air, I've witnessed it flourish all because of you. You have renewed my faith in having a good life.
I've started to possess a healthy mind and a happy heart from the moment you walked through that door. You fixed my heart which was left in shatters by someone quite opposite of you. You picked up the broken pieces one by one, gathered them all and held them close to your soft heart. You attached your name on those pieces and in return, I sketched your face onto them. I made them scream your name out loud.
With contrast to all those loud screams, the way these lips of mine whisper your name with the slightest of breaths, puts a bright curve on your pretty face. I love to abuse that power to turn your frown around everytime things go wrong. I own the warmth of your breaths and you own the warmth of my heart.
Lately, I've been flying in a limitless sky of your smiles. The sky is overflowing like a modern canvas with your smiles gliding around everywhere my gaze falls. All those sweet giggles and laughter of yours make me smile even wider than these portraits of yours. And when we smile together, every complication seems to fade away, paving a clear path that leads to more beautiful days.
Your departure threw me off, in a swimming pool of emotions where I was left all alone. My feet barely touching the bottom of the pool, as I struggled to keep my head out of the water. I was trying my best not to drown in the sorrow and misery of your absence. But I didn't know how to cope with it, I never learned swimming because I didn't expect you to leave.
And suddenly, the ground slipped beneath my feet and I found myself in an ocean of recession. No land of hope , no shore of belief, in vicinity. Just waters of despair wherever fell my gaze. And a heavy anchor of anxiety tied around my legs. The anchor kept pulling me down and I started drowning in melancholy.
As my neck bid adieu to the surface, anxiety came gushing down my throat and I gasped for my very last breath. My lungs filled with distress which was my only mistress and the bleakness became my weakness. The pressure of grief crushed my lungs and the last bubbles of cries came out of it.
But I didn't die, I lived it over and over again. It was like a nightmare but I wasn't dreaming. Living through aeons of hell and the devil considered me his favourite captive. And after a point, I got used to it. It kind of numbed me within, left me emotionless and putrid.