Coffee counter- behind the scenes

briskly she wakes up at 4
and shrugs off tiny remains of the dream that lingers from last night
it’s December
month of endings
giving way to beginnings

she scurries to the bathroom
and before the crisp morning air
could bite her lungs
and remind her she’s human

she’s behind the counter again
taking the morning shift
brewing coffee like she once
brewed her dreams

her eyes are of glass
smile is mechanical
‘thank you sir, please visit again’
like an encrypted code

the morning rush dies down
and she peers at the remains of
a coffee cup
once full of bubbling fuel
now only tiny specks of brown dirt

who could’ve guessed something
so coveted and longed for,
fresh and strong an hour ago
would reduce to nothing
in a few slurps

her eyes meet a mirror
she looks away
this metaphor is too much to endure

a bell rings
her thoughts break
and then a voice escapes out of her
without even trying
then a smile
like a mechanism
‘good morning sir, what can I get you today?’

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Blunder

The clock strikes 12 and my phone buzzes
It doesn’t feel right
I’m cucooned in my blanket
My heart is so heavy
It’s full of nothing but grief
I pick up the phone and
put up a good show
‘i’m proud of you, you can do this’

smile
smile between tears
don’t let them notice the hiccups
or how your voice wavers

say thank you
and hang up
stare at the ceiling
while you breathe from your mouth

Stare until the blades of the fan make you dizzy
wipe your nose
not your eyes

people, goblins, fairies and witches
Gods, kings, queens & elves
carry on
it’s another day
or raise your empty goblets
tonight

your girl turns 22

No sleep for this sad

The date was 15th,
and my head bobbed with the train’s rythemic jolts
two hours past midnight & everyone’s asleep
white ghosts hanging in the air
swaying softly as the train lulls them

the window which I peer through is shrouded in dark
and my own, restless reflection ornates it
Until i raise my head
and see lights twinkling in the distance
it’s a factory

I see small figures on metal beams
Pounding the hammer for tomorrow’s meal
silhouettes of smoke
rise through tall chambers
like a serpent keeping watch
the workers grind
quiet and morose

hours past midnight
and my train marches through
the factory recedes from view
so do the workers

the window is dark again
I’ll keep peering
untill tomorrow morning when I deboard
sip my morning tea at the station

and silently hope
they got their meal too.

 

Yet so far

In the math of two numbers
My life vacillates
11:10
So close to being lucky
So close to being loved
So close to being chosen
So close to 11:11
Almost
But never quite there.

I see the shore every time
From the boat
In which I paddle alone
Grappling, sweating
I reach out
Almost
I almost reach the shore
But I don’t make it.
Just like the numbers
11:10

I’m running
I see the finish line
I see the ribbon fluttering in the wind
I see it between my labored breaths
It’s right there
Only if I could just stretch my hand and grab it
But I don’t. I can’t.
Almost.

In a sea of numbers
I’ll always be 11:10
Almost reaching what my heart desires
But just missing it
Almost
But never quite there.

Don’t take my hand

My palms were never soft. If you ever held my hand you’d feel they’ve been chiseled and worked with.

They’re not fleshy, they’re not silken. They don’t possess any generic mark of femininity.

They are flat and pale. Like a slab of colorless granite. Green veins pulsate beneath my cold, pasty skin.

The upper terrain is rigged and rough, with blotches of sun burns I try to hide.

My palms are so even, so toned. There is no plumpness to denote that they were ever fostered or caressed.

So when you hold them, you might flinch, but you’ll come to know what years of struggle does to a pair of hands.

Because unlike other women, I never had a chance to be soft.

Simplicity Rhyme

simplicity

They promise me hoards of gold and glitter,
And a jewel to bedazzle my slender neck,
A ring to festoon my lady fingers,
A sparkly dress to adorn my chest.

I smile with gratitude,
While they try to find the perfect shoe,
For what more could a girl desire?
Than a closet full of exotic tulle.

They scamper across the country,
Fidget, fight, falter and ferment.
Frenzied by my lack of satisfaction,
My heart had exposed my furtive pretend.

Aghast they make a one last try,
And scour the stores for a velvet sweater,
Displeased I caress its threads and wonder,
When was the last time someone wrote me a letter?

Wistfully I smile at my list of pleasures,
A little pile of invaluable treasure,
A mix tape made of our favorite songs,
A good old journal, that time had worn.

A wooden mug, a home for my coffee,
Maybe flowers- tulips and lilies.
An album of old photographs,
Stuck on a paper haphazardly.

Matching bands,
A token for our friendship,
A ticket for a stage play,
A messy unplanned road trip?

A picture on a key-chain,
For I shall carry it forever,
Small antique wooden artistry,
A box of varied stationary!

And the most precious of all,
What you’d find in every corner and nook,
A beloved obsession,
A precious book.

While I tried on that sweater,
Smiling at my imaginary list,
Secretly bubbling at my fictional tryst,
My smile faded at the wonder of how,
They only measure joy in bills.

As I looked at my velvet image,
A living example of standing travesty,
My head shook in contempt,
How hard is it really to comprehend?
That a feeling as pure as felicity,
Some people still find in simplicity.

I Got It

I get it.
When you told me you loved me, while simultaneously replying to an urgent mail.
I get it.
When you said you were too tired from work, to listen to how much I loved the rain.
I get it.
When you said I should cut the carbs, for all the weight I’ve gained.
I get it.
How at parties I was invisible, for you were too busy shaking hands and making bargains.
I saw it.
How you fixed your gaze on how she talked and glowed like fire.  
I saw it.
How when we came home, you still couldn’t stop talking about her.
I noticed it.
How you started drifting away, for you said you had important work.
I understood it.
That you instead chose to spend your time with her.
I reckon. 
As I lie in my bed alone,
And the rain beats down my window pane.
If you ever managed to understand,
How fiercely I loved the rain.
My floor is covered with pictures of you.
While you’re with her singing a happy song.
I’m still here trying to contemplate,
Where is it that I went wrong?

I Drive

The road is long and I cannot see the end, yet my foot on the accelerator is stiff as I drive through the unknown.

A mountain range is following me through my journey as I glance at it frequently while I drive. I may feel bored of its perpetual rocky view, yet it refuses to leave my side; it stands there with all its might.  Like it’s somehow tied to my fate.
Just like a soul mate.

I drive and I see a lamp. Covered in a layer of nightly frost. A warm abode for the buzzing moths. It glows in the dark and shows me the way. The right, safe and honest way. I can see the direction it’s steering me in and I know I’ll be safe. For this lamp has brought several lost, to the right, successful place.
Just like a teacher.

I drive further and my feet ache. I am thirsty and I start to faint. I slam the break near a flowing stream, getting thinner and thinner as I further my journey. I lie down on its moist, grassy bed. I drink the crystal water and continue the path I tread.
The stream was a gushing river when I was young. Now it’s thin and old. But it still promises me solace and asks me to move even when I’ve lost my hold.
Just like a parent.

I resume my drive and the road ahead is no more straight. It bends and breaks and jerks. There are tortuous loops and bumpy potholes. There is a storm and thunder and lightning crashes on my way. The wind is strong and it tries to steer me away. I shudder and cry and start to lose my faith.  But my car doesn’t stop and I pass through unhurt, unbent, unbroken.
I pass through all the vicissitudes of life.

There comes a forest. Lush and green. Long deciduous trees wave at me through the dark. I pass by them anyway, and glance at them through my rear view, they are still waving at me. I prefer not to stop, they are ones I already left behind.
Just like the relations that never work out.

I once again begin to lose my way, and the path becomes darker. There is no light and I’m lost and scared. Suddenly a voice whispers from above and I look up to a scintillating view of a thousand stars. The night sky now burns with a silver glow, and now I realise I’m not alone. For these stars may not be visible throughout the path, but I know they’d always be there. Bright and cheering, guiding me midway.
Just like friends.

The journey continues and the stream is no more present, but the  moist earth it left behind reminds me of its existence. I come across a diversion, where the path breaks into two. I stand there still, wondering, fearing which one to leave and which one to choose. The mountain range is enveloped in fog, and the stream is no more there. The stars are hidden among the clouds and the forest wouldn’t care.
I am alone and my mind wonders. I close my eyes and breath in the air and ask the person inside me. I ask my little beating heart to resolve the query for me.
The air soothes my lungs and my body becomes light. A little voice inside me tells to follow the path to the right.
When nothing worked I closed my eyes and allowed the air to wake me up from inside.
Just like our conscience.

I turn right and I know not where I’ll go. Where the path would bend and where it would flow.
But I know this I’d drive unbowed and unbent, my faith strong and unshaken, the river will flow and the stars will shine, while I tread this road that is my life.

Straight from the Heart #2

Poetry and I, somewhat have a peculiar relationship. You see, the words come knocking at a very odd hour, mostly when either I’m at the highest point of tranquility or when my mind rumbles with a tornado of thoughts.

They come to me to either make me more peaceful or to release those tornadoes on a piece of paper, through poetry.

So here I am, releasing my tornadoes.

image

image

Note To Yourself

Who are You?

You are not your status updates or the posts you like.
You are not what you wear or the Instagram filters you’re unable to decide.
You are not your Facebook Profile picture,
Or the number of Retweets you get,
You are not your ‘number’ of followers,
Or the praises you see in those comments.
You are not Gucci or Steve Madden,
Or that dress you’re adamant on trying,
You are amazing, despite no likes,
Of which the world out there is ignorant.

You are one of those countless sleepless nights,
Or your seemingly long showers,
You are your first sip of coffee,
On rush Monday morning hours.

You are those shortness of breath,
When you can’t get enough of a joke,
You are your hysterical laughter,
When the joke comes haunting,
And you smile to yourself.

You are your thoughts,
When you stare at the infinite ocean,
You are your approval,
When you let the waters wash your sandy feet,
Even when your trousers get wet,
You smile;No regrets.

You are what you think,
When you are driving alone,
You are your heavy exhausted sigh,
When laying beneath the stars; young and forlorn.

You are your satisfaction,
When you finish a good book,
you are the glitter in your eye,
When you talk of the things you love.

And in the end, my friend,
You are a luminous blessing,
You are the silver fire of the stars,
You are the universe trapped in a body,
You are your mind, travelling to lands afar.

tumblr_m4czmzQtbf1rscl6no1_500

Picture Courtesy: http://www.tumblr.com

Dream

My dreams are weird films,
Of images wide and clear,
With messages hard to decipher,
Like it happened last night.

*

It shows me not planets but people,
Moments of life I’d like to be extraordinary,
Things I’d wish they would happen,
And it does this with such skilled fingers,
That I wake up sour and bitter.

*

It’s amazing that last night,
How precise my dream was,
Deprived of all the flaws,
Each event synchronized,
With my intense desires.

*

The words were precise,
Like I wanted them to be,
Which you possibly couldn’t see,
Because I kept them inside.

*

And for the first time I felt,
Dreams were better than reality,
But I hate them for their perfection,
And for plundering the inside of me.

Note: This actually happened, for real. I wish I could describe you how wonderful it was. And since it was such a perfect dream I could not find an equally perfect picture. And the words I wrote are the mere projection of how I felt. 

Eternity.

lovers-under-a-tree

One man and One woman,

hand in hand,

eye to eye,

singing to each other,

that silent lullaby,

of a love hard to deny.

~

From the drowsing evening,

 Through the chilly night,

they sit their intertwined,

Holding on tight.

~

Tracing each other’s skin,

With the brush of those soft, lean fingers,

Occasionally passing steams of warm breath,

surrendering to winters.

~

Supposed lovers, exuberant and gay,

But the people couldn’t accept, a prince and a maid,

Very soon they ran away,

Couldn’t watch their love fall,

how could they?

~

Leaves fall down swaying in the wind,

from the romantic tamarind,

Like flowers in a wedding,

“This is it,” he said,

The beginning of a new ending.

21st Century Affair.

Woman In Black.
In my black skinny jeans,

I scan the market,

I see shoulders and heads,

Passing me by,

Unnoticed.

 *

It is slightly windy today,

So my black straight hair drifts softly,

Tickling my cheek lightly,

I am alone,

Alone in a street full of heads and shoulders.

*

I settle the wings of my Black eye-liner,

Then I keep walking up a straight path,

Expectations fading like the sweetness of my chewing gum,

Heads and shoulders bent down,

Drowning in those touch screens,

Oblivious of the weather around.

*

That’s when I notice him,

Black Tuxedo, Black tie,

The pocket in his tux adorned by a prim,

Black shoes and Black watch.

Black dominating his wholesome attire.

 *

He comes in my direction,

Alas! he doesn’t see me,

Too engrossed in his touch-screen,

That he doesn’t glance a look,

At my black skinny jeans or my black straight hair.

*

He passes by me,

Moistening the air with his sweet perfume,

A Black scent, I suppose.

I turn around to have a look at him,

But he soon disappears amidst those,

Bent heads and bent shoulders,

Leaving me alone again,

Depriving me of the brief sense of companionship.

 *

I continue walking straight again,

Wondering if I’ll ever see him,

What would have happened if there wasn’t that touch screen,

And his eyes had met mine and mine his,

Would he have stopped and asked my name?

Or maybe a cup of coffee down the lane?

 *

My thoughts wither away,

And my eyes retreat,

As I walk down the busy street,

With bent heads and shoulders,

My gaze somehow affixed,

Over the Black Night Sky above,

Studded with Jewels, Diamonds and Love.

~~