About Last Night

How do I live a moment
Knowing precisely
That I am
Never gonna live it again
Just how

It is as if
A memory is being created
A memory is being cemented
Simultaneously, as I live this moment
Tonight, here now

You know,
Moments are like people
One very different from the other
And this one is made of
Profound nostalgia

A moment in which
A dozen more moments are caged
Memory within a memory
Moment inside a moment inside
Another moment, and so on

Probably, with the life I've chosen
There may be similar times
In the future as well
But not this one
In exactitude

I feel
Hopelessly incapable to let go
Of whatever sand
I have gathered in my hands
But I know, I rather would

Yet
I have bought myself
A piece of space and time,
And I would freeze the universe at that.

Perhaps

Again the question
How do birds sleep
Do their bulbous voluptuous bodies 
Balance on their thin tiny legs

Because a huge peepul tree
Faces my portico 
And even at 23:50
Two birds, I don't know which kind
Are fooling around on it, 
It's their time of the night, perhaps

As it is mine.
My time.

Once a friend of mine
A very dear one at that
Told me, exasperated 
With hands in the air
That I have everything

I smirked at the fulfillment 
Of possessing everything.

Now, I feel, that
My friend has it all.

Again the question
Why are we so incurably unhappy then. Why

This poem, is an ode to the truth that I have been writing something almost each night now. Writing every night is either a sign of distress. Or contentment, perhaps

Stranger

I, riddled in my own passive aggressive shit, still thought of him. I would be all quite fine by myself in my own peaceable cocoon. And without notice, he would come wafting into my mind. Very casually. Like the fragrance of spices cooking in a broth. And he would linger for hours. I wouldn't know what to do with those thoughts. Unrequited love works that way, and that way only. It's often a disaster. It addicts women for a lifetime. Then I would map times and spaces in my mind and try to locate where he would be. What he would be upto. And all for what? Nothing. It doesn't lead anywhere. Nowhere. I often take up this fruitless exercise and sit motionless inside my mind. 

Nuances of him would bother me further. Happy little things would now turn into dangerous memories and haunt me. He never once remembered my birthday. I would be silly enough to remind him a couple days in advance wishing he wouldn't forget it that time. But he always did. That would push any self destructive woman into further self destruction. Bouts of depression and loathing would follow. This used to be an annual event during my birthday, I recall. There was no escape. He would send across belated wishes. Even those sufficed, but not as much. That affair was not to last, we both knew. It was so skewed and one sided, it had no future at all.

We moved on after a fling of a few years. To newer people, fresher faces. But, I could never get him out of my mind. It seemed silly, the happenings of it now even felt juvenile and physical. Yet memories are unerasable. I had once called him on the night of my birthday to secretly extract my wish of being wished. He was having a party instead. He kept the phone on speaker on the table with all his friends gathered around it. And for what felt like the entire night, I eves dropped on their drunken conversations. His friends didn't know. I waited for him to say somethings about me. When you are in drunken stupor, you can hardly leash your tongue. May be he gave in in the end and said somethings. I cannot remember. 

He called me back the next morning to apologize for what he had said and asked me to ignore it entirely. He was really high on some authentic grass. Ah, grass I said. Yes, very smoked up. I told him I smoked too. A franker camaraderie developed that moment. May be I was upgraded in his eyes. I seemed deeper, more mysterious. 

But soon after that, we called it off. On my next birthday, I received a nameless package. It contained two packs of favorite brand of cigarettes. I lit one, inhaled the smoke and exhaled out all my heartache. In one long endless sigh. I would never think of him again. 





Self Portrait

He is an egotist. He has a suave exterior. Very gentlemanly. He carries the weight of his reputed degrees. Numerous foreign trips. His consultant like mannerisms. His erudite family as well. The elegant wife, with slender arms. Who wears sleeveless blouses. Looks nice without suffocating herself with the effort to do so. And their recent addition, a bubbly little baby girl. He is the center of all that. He seems to be a nice man. His face is somewhat chiseled. He would have felt tremendously geeky, only a couple years ago. Now he is more seasoned. He isn't outweighed by his net-worth. But he silently takes an aggregate amount of pride in himself. Now that is not bad, is it. But it is. The modest exterior, vis-a-vis a crouching ego within is no child's play. You could never guess, when he's playing you and how. He could keep you guessing, even perplexed, may be. He would shower you with attention, one day. Ignore you the next. I know this category of men, only too well. Old acquaintances. He will pamper you and at the same time, make you feel completely abandoned. He takes a long time before making you realize, this, that you cannot trust him. And also that he's not the one. Never the one. 

The Lightness of Being

Your feet tingle. Toes feel so light, they might just detach and take flight. In a deep drag, you think, sobriety is overrated. Why else would God have planted the opium. Words trickle into your head, you feel the whim to write on numerous subjects. You fling your arms out and let be. Another deep drag after, memories come back to you. Those that happened for real, and some that never did. The future that couldn't be. Alternate universes. Even remorse is mellowed down by nicotine. Everything feels easy. Stress melts. You wonder why you don't do this more often. It's winter. It's so hard to resist. And be sober. You remember how much you cajoled yourself not to. But you caved in. Almost imploded into yourself. In the end, it all comes down to pushing that window open, late after midnight and experimenting with your conscious. A tweak there, a twist here. The eternal lightness of being. What could go wrong. How much could be lost. And what, in the end cannot be risked. Everything has its own cost factored in. Isn't it. One moment you are the pawn. The next moment you are the empowered seductress of life. Erudite, fluent in intellect. Then again, you are a silly girl. You are everything locked up in your cocoon. The next drag tells you that. And then the next. Your chest puffs up, eyes begin to burn a little. Water a little. Your heart fills with ash. You un-clutch your hair and toss it all to one side. To rest peacefully on your shoulder.You think of the dreaming people asleep downstairs, upstairs. You feel stacked. In a building. In a chair. In a bed. One singular soul in billions. By yourself. Inconsequential. Then you look at the sky, the darkness is unfuckwithable. You think about your next poem and resign. You call it a day. You call it a night.  

Baker's Delight

Do you remember the year of depression? Because I do. A terrible year that. 2015. I don't know, why exactly I realize this just now. Now, that another year has also almost followed 2015 into the bygone and the forgotten. Yet, I cannot cease myself from writing about it. 

The weekdays used to be delusional. You understand the kind of delusion, when you cannot recall how did things get so worse. You cannot recall the steps, the small pouches of misery coming in before the surfeit of it choked your throat. And you ask yourself, rhetorically though. Only one mere word. Why.

That kind of delusion. That could nudge mental heath enthusiasts off their comfy couches. It was concerning. But what was more demanding of empathy was Sundays.

I recall, it started with a rant of not-feeling-well to I-feel-like-cake. I poured an instant cake mix into the pressure cooker as directed on the cover. And, voila. An amorphous antidote for depression. I knifed it out, spooned it out, in crumbs and that was the first of numerous.

I took to the heavily underused microwave then. And blatantly decided to mix my own batter for the better. Better batter. And boy, did I bake some mediocre unpalatable stuff. I am told baking is so simple and often asked, how can I be bad at baking. But I just was. Probably it as my mood. My mental heath, as enthusiasts would say. 

I was battling my own wars. Arguing, screaming. And almost simultaneously baking. I whisked flour, eggs, milk, sugar. Sometimes bananas. The baking soda was either too scant or too much, it always failed me. I was in tears. Chocolate powder or vanilla essence, nothing sufficed to fill the holes in my soul. The knife I stabbed into the cake to check if it was done, I weighed against it the option of stabbing it into myself. I couldn't handle anymore questions. I had no answers. 

It was such a ruthless time. And I was so callously lost. 

I Google-d newer recipes to keep my mind engaged. I once baked an apple pie with a bunch of overripe apples. I distinctly remember baking my personal favorite, the caramel custard. Cup cakes were done too, Jars and jars of Nutella, and Hershey's chocolate sauce. Powdered sugar as icing with cherry toppings. 

But nothing helped me as much as I would have wanted to be helped back then. I would cut myself two generous slices on a plate and go to bed, every Sunday afternoon. The rest of the cake would lay on the dining table next to the microwave, untouched. Sometimes, I ate the rest of it, on week nights. It didn't matter. 

And then suddenly, things changed. Both for the better and the worse. It's hard to imagine it bothways, but it's true. And I stopped baking altogether. Probably because I don't own a microwave anymore. Amen to that. 

Cocoon

A cocoon isn't necessarily a bad thing
Where I live, alone
Like the quiet li'l person, I am
It's a dumb, blind and deaf spot
Very inert
My holy chunk of heaven
Within ladles and ladles of silence

You 'member that story
About the old witch
Who slept serenely in her palace
And her life lay within the
Box inside the box inside the box
Seven such boxes
Well guarded
My cocoon is the smallest of all those boxes

It's here
That I've always longed to be
Forever, and ever
Probably, yes, sure, why not

These walls shall never crumble
The air doesn't even move much
Except fragrances that I sometimes wish to capture
And there's no noise at all, at all
It's dimly lit, it's always dusk, in here

People do come in,
They leave only memories behind
Their palm prints
Names scribbled in archaic fonts
But nobody stays long enough
And it's good that way, too

It's incorruptible, this place
Coated in the art I've treasured
And some that I've created
Even as I age, and my wrinkles come
My cocoon stays as it is
Undepreciated,
Like the spring of mindless youth.

The Couple by the Lake

It was an intense moment. Like a moment inside a moment.

We sat on a bench by the lake. City lights reflected on the black water. Nearly mesmerizingly. But there was nothing romantic about it. We were both deeply bothered, I guess.

We had a rule. One smoke per night, strictly. One each that is. Sharing a smoke would be too intimate. His black polythene bag was between us on the bench. It had his drink for the night. I would have a swig from it before we walked back to our rooms. Sometimes, two or three. 

There was a girl he loved deeply. She had recently been married off to another man and had been shipped abroad. She still loved him back. That so rebellious love of the early twenties. He had heard her voice after weeks, he was almost too benumbed to speak. He had told me about her earlier though. About how they had met and fallen in love at the place they worked. And how vehemently her parents had opposed the match, and so on. Their love had been obsessive-compulsive. 

Not the milder poetic version, but serious life endangering love that. I wasn't aware of such love myself back then. I only came to know of it later when I fell into it myself. Some mind-fucking, nerve-wrecking shit that. 

But back then, I was in a different kind of a love. With another man, who was as far away as far away could be. Victimized by my repetitive tendency to fall for unavailable men. That was young-vulnerable love. The love of cards and roses. And preferably, low sugar chocolates as well. 

One thing we had in common was that we had both been equally sequestered by the ones we had loved. And that pain was enough to make us sit side by side with the lake and with its shimmering lights on back water. Every night, for as long as it took for us, individually and together, to gather our heartbroken selves and walk back to our rooms. A strange camaraderie that. 

Somethings needn't be explained. This, needn't even be touched. Years have gone by, now all that remains is a faded memory of two jaded beings by the lake. Almost wiped clean, it is sometimes recovered to remember, so many loves since then, so many heartaches since then. But I can still recall the taste of the ice-cream he treated me with afterward, to snap me out of whatever depression that was. Dark chocolaty chocolate with cream, yes. And no, not sugar free.