There's a bridge to be built.
There's foundations to be laid,
And cement to be churned.
There's a skeleton of steel,
Resting upright on those concrete feet.
There's heat, and tar,
And ohh there's the heat!
There's machines and men,
And there are men who are just machines.
There's paints, rivets and drills,
There's a deafness in all the noise.
There's the ever present river,
Raging at this ambitious conquest.
There's a battle between water and concrete,
And there's mist for days to come.
There's a bridge to be made,
There's land to be created where it shouldn't be.
There's a lot left to be done,
And there's a lot longer left,
Before you walk on water and ...
Three's a Crowd
The three of us sit, at a table for two.
Sipping cheap wine, avoiding eye contact.
We raise a silent toast to Us.
To you, to me, and to your Pain.
I don't ask you about the scars on your wrists.
You don't tell me about the nightmare you had last night.
Only your Pain speaks, in silence.
And in silence, it devours our love.
I try to slide my hands across the table,
And hold your shaking palm.
But Pain, that strict chaperone, strikes it down,
And asks me to behave.
You crumble in my embrace,
And I, armed with all my words,
Fail to put your broken pieces together.
Pain takes pride in its jigsaw puzzle and orders for the cheque.
A familiar song plays in the backgr...
A Letter to Myself
If you are reading this,
You don't remember you wrote this.
It was the pen in your hand,
That gave life to these thoughts in your mind.
It was a time, when the words flowed,
And you dived into them ever so often.
If you are reading this,
Your fingers are itching to jot down a verse,
But you don't know where to begin.
The same fingers once weaved magic into stories,
And created worlds out of thin air.
If you are reading this,
You can't quite process what it means.
Words held you when a body couldn't.
These haphazard alphabets were all you had,
When the world around you stopped making sense.
If you are reading this,
Yesterday was the last day you ...
The Imitation of Life
Undettered on these unchanging paths.
Our shoes are too tight, our souls worn.
Rain falls, as the heavens put on a show.
We stomp it aside and move forward.
For things to change for the better.
Our coffee lines are too long, our weekdays too many.
Doors open, as every new station offers new hope.
We complain about the delay and stay inside.
Words that have already been spoken.
Our pleasantries are dry, our small talks rehearsed.
Poetry shivers, as some stories are laid bare.
We toss a dollar at them and turn our ears away.
A defined life with limited space.
Our worlds get smaller, our...
The Balance of Words
You were the rash free-spender of sentences.
Leaving behind anectodes like loose change.
And I, the miserly weigher of words,
Lined up my letters before uttering them.
You carelessly littered your thoughts at old reunions and new age debates.
Not a care for the tone deaf norms of the environment.
While I, silently picked up the discarded dialogues,
For fear of mild mannerisms.
Your rapid fire rhetoric and mindless monologues,
My secret serenades and calculated conversations.
A perfect equation in theory.
But words rarely follow the laws of mathematics.
Who knows, maybe someday,
You will keep some sentences saved in an old box.
And I, will write this let...
Please, don't try
I don't need your sympathy,
No tears will change my plight.
Your advice won't help either,
I don't want to win this fight.
I don't need your undivided attention,
Division suits me just fine.
And please don't further probe,
This solemn state of mine.
I don't need your concern,
I know it's real, and that scares me.
I don't do well with words,
When this sudden sadness ensnares me.
I don't need your optimism, not today.
No, it won't set me free.
So just give up and sit down,
And share this silence with me.
There's layers upon layers.
This onion-shaped existence.
The outermost layer is the aura.
Unsure amber mixed with ambiguous violet.
An ever changing rainbow.
Peel it off, and you'll find these dreams.
Cobweb-ridden, thinly spread, with a gaping hole in the middle.
Like Global warming gone too far.
Lying underneath, is the skin that binds.
Sensitive to proximity, prone to the madness beneath it.
A volcano moments away from erupting.
Peel further, to find a pool of mindless afterthoughts,
A sea bed of brittle bones,
And a coating of rusty romance on a workaholic heart.
Underneath all these layers,
At the centre of the onion,
Is something far more a...
Of Simpler Times
I'm afraid I'll always be stuck,
In old books and faded letters.
Like the wine stain you used,
To bookmark your favourite poem.
I'm afraid I'll always be tangled,
In the wires that connected our conversations,
While you slowly get swayed into
The banal boredom of your smartphone screen.
I'm afraid I'll always be humming,
The song that was played on the rickety radio.
A song that will get uried deep within the labyrinth of your ipod playlists.
I'm afraid, I'll always wait for you beneath the stars,
While you are cuddled up,
Under the warm glow of a Netflix original.
I'm afraid, I'll get left behind.
In the arms of a simpler time.
Who calls me?
What name do they use?
Do they mention my colour or sex?
What does the sketch artist need to know?
Who do I hear?
Are these words even meant for my ears?
Or is it just a passing whisper?
Where is the translator when you need him?
Where am I supposed to go?
Is there a final destination?
Can't I just sit here and enjoy the scenery?
Who is the guide on this tour?
Finding myself would require some more people.
I only know the name I am called by.
Losing myself, that I can do on my own.
This soul has frequented all the hiding spots.
The paths lay ahead and my feet at the ready.
Which one will it be?
He walks along the same roads,
That I traversed.
He speaks the same tongue,
I learnt from my mother.
He has the exact same laugh,
And his tears are the same size as mine.
He hangs around the same friends,
And cracks the same jokes.
He takes care of his loved ones,
Works himself dead everyday.
Falls asleep instantly on my bed,
He does not dream.
A stranger lives my life now.
Lives it the way it should have been.
While I stay behind and refuse to leave,
The growing fields of what could have been.
The Few Material Inches
The dervish waits at the door.
Parched tongue, tattered clothes,
Disheveled hair running wild,
Like tributaries that divide his land.
A layer of mud sits proudly on his feet.
"A bargain", he calls it.
Mother earth's slippers in return for all the footprints his feet carved.
Hands wavering, like strings of the Saz,
Dry lips, still murmuring a hymn.
He knocks the door, and patiently waits.
"Only those who measure Time, have a shortage of it", he says.
His eyes though, betray his appearance.
They shine brighter than a thousand fires.
In them, the wisdom of someone who has tasted the madness,
The belief of a frame guided by it's soul.
With open eyes, and...
I carefully fold a couple of dreams,
Moving my hand over each seam,
Making sure I know the touch of every fibre.
A time will come when they will become my second skin.
I roll up some grit within a raincoat of courage.
Checking each and every pocket,
Assuring myself that this will be enough.
A time will come when self-doubt will rain down and these would get me through.
I wipe the dust from my childhood scrapbook.
Remembering everything I wanted to be,
Reminding myself that it is never too late to start.
A time will come when these pages shall guide me ahead.
I gently pack all these things into a bag.
Waiting ever so patiently.
A time will ...
FOR THE SAKE OF THE RAINS
The mist covers the mountains,
I walk towards that yellow fence.
Remember, we used to gaze at it from afar?
An unspoken urge to someday jump over it.
The steam from the chai floats in the air.
I take a sip and the ginger hits my throat.
Remember, we used to build dreams on these rickety straw chairs?
And keep them in those old cookie jars.
The puddles fill up with muddy water,
I bend down and search for a rainbow in them.
Remember, these slippery roads we used to walk down?
When we thought we had all the time in the world.
The rain falls down again,
And the wind brings back a laughter I haven't heard in a while.
After years, I roam around this town,
Damn these poets!
How dare they glorify Sadness?
Tears are merely salt water,
Not precious little pearls.
As if scars are meant to be displayed openly.
Damn these poets!
Attacking perceptions with their metaphors and similes.
The seas and the shores are not lovers,
And neither do the moon and the stars exist for the sake of romance.
As if the universe is so obsessed with Love.
Damn these poets!
Blatantly exposing their souls through their words.
Diving through nostalgia and meddling with memories.
Immortalizing loved ones, exes, streets, cities and flowers.
As if everything has a hidden meaning to it.
Damn these poets!
And their pens, and typewriters, and keyboards.
And their odes, and s...
Of Carbon & Contradictions
Sometimes I am the flute.
A touch of the lips, and I begin singing.
A wail, a longing,
To be reunited with the tree I came from.
Enchanting, yet Empty.
Sometimes I am water.
Flowing relentlessly, towards the ocean.
A glass, a bucket, a teardrop,
I take the form of my bearer.
Assumptive, yet Ambiguous.
Sometimes I am a letter.
Words crammed together in passionate scribbles.
An "I love You", A "Miss You", A " Farewell Forever",
I try to recreate what should have just been said out loud to each other.
Naive, yet Necessary.
And Sometimes, amidst all this madness,
I am Myself.
A simple structure of carbon and contradictions.
Unsure, yet Unique.
I have prepared some words.
Grown organically in the farms of my temporal lobes,
These words have been hand picked for you.
Soaked in a marinade of humour, cynicism and speculation.
They have been left overnight in a pool of my thoughts.
Mixed with some anxious impatience and anger,
They have been brought to boil.
Only to be cooled down the next moment,
By dipping in ice cold stoicism.
Garnished with subtle sadness,
And finely chopped nostalgia.
Seasoned with a half hearted dash of punctuation,
And Ego added to taste.
I have prepared some words.
Best enjoyed with an open mind and a side of solemn solitude.
The Statistics of War
She ran outside as the sky roared.
Parcels of death raining from the clouds.
The first one hit the playground.
Chaos - 1 ; Childhood - 0
The walls crumbled, and the fires raged.
She stood frozen to the ground.
A carpet of ashes was spread along the streets.
With great pomp and show, Apocalypse had arrived.
Another parcel was delivered to the market,
As if it already wasn't hot there.
Life made a quick and open barter with death.
Evil - 1 ; Economy - 0
As a final parcel fell down from the sky,
She braced for a dignified death and whispered a prayer.
The prayer faded away, and her death ended up as just a statistic.
War - 1 ; Humanity - 0
Sing Me A Song
Sing me a song, that takes me home.
A melody which fills the air.
Like sunlight coming through a cracked window.
Like my brother's forgotten laughter.
A lyric, that wafts and lingers on.
Like the talcum scent of my grandfather's embrace.
Like the dash of masala in my mother's cooking.
A voice, that calms me down.
Like lemonade and video games on a hot afternoon.
Like the hymns in Punjabi which woke me up every morning.
Sing me a song, that tells me I'm safe.
And puts my guardian angels to sleep.
Sing me a song, that nurses my soul,
When Nostalgia decides to weep.
I Try So Hard
I wandered, I searched, I fled.
I prayed, I sinned, I bled.
I tried so hard to find a home,
That I started living within myself.
I thought, I acted, I thought some more.
I was a star, a clown, and a bore.
I tried so hard to fit in,
That I forgot what the puzzle was.
I sang, I danced, I choked.
I drank, I dieted, I smoked.
I tried so hard to change my reality,
That reality changed me.
I still wander, still search, still flee.
I still hear, still observe, still see.
I try so hard to find myself,
That I end up losing what's mine.
Before I knew words,
Before they gave me a name,
Before I opened my eyes.
Before I got stuck,
In this cycle of life and death.
Before I roamed around,
An empty mass through space.
Before the light entered me,
Before the first dawn.
Before time ever existed,
Before the great explosion.
There was a second before it all started.
When I collided with you for the first time.
Before I ever knew your touch,
The universe, it did not exist.
An Uncomfortable Masterpiece
Use your beliefs and ideals as tools.
Carve off the parts that you don't think are important.
Slowly, erode me.
We'll call it Polishing.
Use your society and structure as a blueprint.
File off these edges that cause me to stand out.
Slowly, make me fit.
We'll call it Architectural Uniformity.
Use your opinions as final touches.
Give me a form that will be more acceptable to the world.
Slowly, change me,
Until people see something more than just a rock.
Until I forget that all I ever wanted to be was just a rock.
Mould me into something that makes me forget my shape.
We'll call it An Uncomfortable Masterpiece.
The Four People You Meet in Hell
The first greeting you get,
Is from a face you don't recognize.
A waiter you were rude to,
A passerby with coffee spilled on his shirt,
Or a postman whom your smartphone defeated.
"Yes, hell sure does keep score", they say.
The next face you see,
Is a faded one that slowly comes to focus.
A long forgotten friend,
An aging frame, drooping at every visit you put off,
Or a teacher who held up the ladder, and watched you disappear into the clouds.
"Time heals nothing here", they reveal.
The next welcome you get,
Is from a face that you wish you didn't know.
A lover standing knee deep in broken promises,
A brother tied down by the words you 'didn't mean to s...
Why We Write
Backspaces and Bottled Spirits.
Crumpled papers, unfinished lyrics.
To write is to fight a constant battle with words.
To weigh each of them, and make sense of the absurd.
Bleeding pens and patched up hearts.
Screaming scribbles, silent bards.
To write is to leave breadcrumbs on paper trails.
To come across a mirror, to search for what ails.
Nostalgic notes and names forgotten.
Some memories that smile, some that are rotten.
To write is to remember, and paint a picture from a dream.
To forge a reality, different from what it seems.
For all the reasons we write,
For all our thoughts that hover.
To write is to fall in love with your soul,
A thousand times ov...
The Train Station
I have this dream,
Where the train comes to a halt,
At a familiar station.
The sandpaper voice of the tea sellers.
The smiling morning dew decorating a cold steel bench.
The smell of freshly cut cucumber.
The lingering taste of deja vu.
My feet subconsciously carry me,
To the station bookstore,
Where I come across a familiar face,
Immersed in the pages of Malgudi Days.
Gray lines run through jet black tresses,
As if someone highlited their favourite lines of a poem.
Wrinkles stand guard along her cheeks
As if protecting the secrets which those lips had known.
Fingers carefully caress the book,
As if turning the pages would turn back the time.
I sit down bes...
An A4 Sheet
The hills burned down to office cubicles,
The sea came to a boil, in the coffee machine.
The forest was tamed, and kept in small flower pots.
The landscape was captured and served as a screensaver.
Earphones drowned out the singing of the birds.
Keyboards stopped making music and just typed.
Long drives faded, as hard drives became priorities.
Conversations ended with 'best regards'.
Copies, memos, forms and files.
The same pattern repeated almost everyday.
For somedays, hidden deep within the pile of documents,
Poetry sprawled the length of an A4 sheet.
The Anatomy of the Universe
There's randomness in the universe,
Entropy they call it, I guess.
Much like the thoughts in our minds.
A haphazard, erratic mess.
We carry passion inside our hearts,
Enough passion to light up the stars.
We wonder why history repeats itself,
While Halley smiles from afar.
With our mouths we control the climate,
Clear skies one day, thunderous storms the other.
We are an arm's length away from Mars,
While Nature sheds tears of a mother.
We try to find ourselves in nebulae and galaxies.
A lover's eyes would work just as well.
In our quest to go up and beyond,
The world beside us fell.
And although everything around us,
Was created in the same instant.
Be as silent as the night.
That's when the magic happens.
Become unknown to words and sentences,
Forget the constraints of language.
See something, and feel something,
Cut out the middle man.
Be devoid of rationale for once,
Reverse the years of evolution.
See the night sky, as if you are seeing it for the first time.
You are made up of the same stardust,
For once, shine just as bright.
All these definitions and labels,
All these phrases, speeches and tones.
Denounce it all for just one night.
A lot has been said, a lot has been heard.
Tonight, give silence a chance to speak.
That's when the magic happens.
My Favourite Story
The house across from mine is empty now.
The dust on the door hasn't been disturbed in a while,
Cobwebs count the days since someone sat at the verandah.
It wasn't always the case.
For some years ago, I remember,
A story used to live there.
With its impish, mischievous eyes,
It used to stare at me from the first floor window.
Wild, free and alive,
A dash of mystery, and a pinch of poetry.
Needless to say, I was gripped.
I spent hours reading,
Every look, every word, every gesture.
Losing the world as I delved into it deeper.
It would offer respite, romance, revelry,
It would induce pain, peace and panic.
It would break structure every now and then,
Every now and then i...
I try not to think too much about change.
I try to ignore the passage of time.
I know it comes across as strange,
This heathen habit of mine.
I try not to scroll down to old Facebook posts and pages,
Lest I might stumble upon,
Old acquaintances and forgotten faces,
That are now faded and long gone.
And the same goes for the messages on my phone,
From the nights when i barely slept.
For fear I might find answers I should have known,
Or some promises I never kept.
I try not to remember the smell of my old home,
Or the sand of the playground I outgrew.
The glow in the dark stars that shone,
Upon the walls on which I drew.
I try to keep away f...
The lights will blaze, and the smoke will linger.
Those trembling hands will touch the mic and turn into rocks.
Your voice will find a mirror in the voices of people around you.
Every instrument will conjure up emotions,
Every word, every line, will be a spell.
Oh! When you are on the stage, your sound will create magic.
The spotlight will shine in your eyes,
And illuminate the soul that resides within.
Your shadow will remind you of your form.
Every flaw will be laid bare,
Every dream, joy, regret and pain on display.
The stories you tell will ignite a spark in the souls around you.
Oh! When you are on the stage, your stories will ignite souls.
One day, ...