Afterthought [NaPoWriMo Day 11]

I picked up the phone again, and put it down. The thoughts in my head run wild, and I blame myself for thinking too much, feeling too much, not shutting you out, like you seem to do so easily.

I’ve been waiting and wondering for a while now, because it’s too hard to let things go. But it’s just as hard to hold on. As much as I wanted to make you a part of my life, I’ve learnt to be happy by myself.

So I put the phone down, just to see how much of an afterthought I am. To see if you think about me, without needing a nudge, though this may very well be one. I put my phone down, and walk away.

 

The Divide

Separated from you by a border,

I wonder if you feel what I feel.

I wonder if you cringe at the words

‘War’, ‘Attack’, being thrown around lightly

Like they mean nothing.

As the world around us burns to the ground,

You only know what your people tell you,

And I only know what mine tell me.

My people, your people.

Does that even matter anymore?

We’re all just human beings,

Caught in the crossfire of hate.

Being fed big, bold headlines,

With a coffee on the side,

Tainted with cynicism.

When do we stop,

Paying for the crimes we didn’t commit,

Suffering for the sins that weren’t our own?

Ignorance is bliss, they say.

Ignorance, that you’re just like me,

Dazed and confused,

Wondering what the world is coming to.

I don’t know you, but I wish I did.

I wish I did so that I could understand,

What it is like, on the other side,

Of this divide, created and guarded by us.

I wish I could reach across the words,

Twisted and turned, the truth lost in there somewhere,

Molded into a new reality.

The reality which has divided us in two,

Which stops us from joining hands,

Against the beast that terrorizes us both.

As I sit writing this, in the comfort of my house,

And you read this in the safety of yours,

I wish we could see the people stuck in the middle,

Under siege,  terrified for what lies in their fate.

The little kids count days, till they can go back to school,

Till they can run outside the house, and play,

Because that’s what kids are supposed to do.

Instead, they cower in their house,

Waiting for another day to pass them by.

I wish I knew them, so that I could understand,

The pain of losing someone I grew up with,

The horror of people around me being blown to bits,

And the blind faith, with which I would close my eyes

Unsure if I would ever wake up.

 

I wonder if you feel the same,

Loathe the mess that we’ve created,

Struggling to clean it up.

Separated from you by a border,

I wonder if you feel what I feel.

If you look at people as people,

And wonder if everyone does the same.

Fighter

You can’t point to a moment, an hour, or a day,

‘This is where it happened. It broke me’.

Because you, you were a fighter,

And it was never just a moment.

It was all those hours you spent crying.

It was all those nights you couldn’t sleep.

It was all those days that cut your heart open enough,

For your words to make art.

You were a fighter, wounded, fighting with yourself.

And in that moment, all you broke were your chains.

You deserve the sun, and the stars and let no one

Tell you otherwise.

You deserve to be wild and free,

To fly and to dream.

You deserve to live, and not exist.

Be brave! Be strong!

You have yet to kiss the world.

You have yet to change lives.

And you have yet to live for yourself.

Because you are a fighter, and now you fight for yourself.

Cardboard and Kids

There are few things that give you immense satisfaction. I recently had a wonderful experience with little kids from a government school in Hyderabad running around with a Google cardboard stuck to their eyes, reveling in the joy of virtual reality for the first time in their lives.

Some of us might never understand what they felt when they were transported to a different world. For a privileged few among us, virtual reality is a means of entertainment in our free time. But for those kids, it was an experience they’ll remember all their life. They learnt about the human body by travelling through it, as a cell. And it was a sight to see them zooming around the classroom, driving their rover on the moon. And the fact that I was instrumental in providing this memorable experience to them fills my heart with unbound joy.

Children do find everything in nothing, and make you wonder why you haven’t been paying enough attention to marvel at that nothingness. As adults, what we learnt in that classroom was very different. It was everything that we knew as kids, but had pushed it somewhere in the dark corners of our mind as we grew up.

The experience had as much impact on me as it did on the kids. And I hope I carry the learning with me throughout my life, just like I hope they will.

Goodbye, dear father

When I saw you today,
When I saw you, lifeless
I thought back to fonder days

When you held my hand
And taught me how to walk
When you carried me around
Proudly, on your shoulders
When you hugged me
Every time you came home from work
When you taught me all
You thought I should know

As time took its toll
We did grow apart
But the fondness in my heart
Never went away

And today, you left
Without a goodbye
And all we have left
Are memories
But every time we think of you,
Dear father, we’ll think of you
Only with love

As you lie there, lifeless
I fight back tears
I have to be strong now
For mother, for myself

But don’t you worry
This too, shall pass
And I’ll be the brave little boy
You raised me up to be

So goodbye, dear father
Don’t you worry now
We have each other
And you, in our hearts

Goodbye, dear father
Rest in peace, now


Two of my friends recently lost their fathers. This poem is dedicated to both of them. I’m sure this poem didn’t do justice to how you must have felt, and I apologize for that.

I can’t even begin to comprehend what you would have gone through. But all I can do is assure you, that this too shall pass.  

If You Were Here Today

If you were here today, I would have invited you into my room and showed you the place I’ve been given for a month. It has comfortable beds and the softest pillows I’ve ever come across! I would have offered you the laddoos that my mother sent with me, just a little snack from home. You know how mothers are. You would have loved them.

I would have told you about my first day at my first job. I would have told you how surprised I was that I didn’t get bored in the orientation. You would have loved the people here, at least those that I’ve met till now (save a crabby cab driver). Then I would have told you how lost I was about the income tax returns, and the various banks. I would have cribbed about how I don’t feel old enough to do all this and you would have laughed. You would have told me to grow up. Well, the process has begun.

If you were here today, I would have told you about the delicious bagara baingan that I had for lunch today. It tasted just like my mother makes it. I don’t know if I’ll ever learn to cook. I think I’ll just manage to survive.

I would have told you how excited I was to start the new chapter in my life, and at the same time, how intimidated. I would have told you that I’m scared I’m not good enough, and you would have encouraged me. And you would have made me see that I am. I can almost hear you say ‘You deserve this’. And I would have believed you. I would have believed in myself.

Then I would have told you how frustrating it is to look for houses. I would have told you how I want to step into a house and see my home in there. Too much of a dreamer? Maybe.

If you were here today, I would have told you how I had forgotten that I’m growing up. I’m almost 22 now, but I don’t feel like an adult. I don’t feel responsible enough. I’m not. I won’t make a great adult. But I guess I’ll settle for being a good child-at-heart adult.

If you were here today, I would have had a lot to tell you.

If you were here.

IMG-20160613-WA0012

NaPoWriMo Day 14: Destruction

I’ve been participating in the Global/National Poetry Writing Month (GloPoWriMo/NaPoWriMo) in which I have to write one poem everyday for the month of April. I haven’t added all my poems on the blog, only the slightly decent ones. My other poems can be found on Instagram and Twitter.

Today’s prompt is for us to write a seven-line poem called a san san, which means “three three” in Chinese. The san san repeats, three times, each of three terms or images. The seven lines rhyme in the pattern a-b-c-a-b-d-c-d.


 

Ashes and smoke devour the world

As the ground turns a crimson red

Underneath the piles

Of bodies that lay curled

On their death bed

As the world does break

Through massacres and wiles

No tears shed at its wake