On many a sunny afternoon at Grandma’s home, with cousins, partners in crime, I remember tiptoeing to the warm mango pickle jars full of oil shimmering in the lazy sun. As grandma slept, we would steal some and scamper away to our hiding place – a run down shed – to savour the heady concoction of tangy mango infused with spices-an explosion of flavour made magical by Grandma’s hands.
And then some adult would discover us and hurdle us all to bed for a nap. Reluctantly, we would succumb to sleep, grandpa’s hand on our brow. When the siesta would be over, in the sunny verandah we all will sit, sucking juicy mangoes, talking about nothing,talking about everything.
Amidst the of chatter of cousins, uncles and aunties, peace would reign, in the heart,not in the head. For the head would be full of plans for the rest of the afternoon. Afternoons of my childhood were long, and full and never dull.
Now, the afternoons are empty. But the taste of Grandma’s pickle still lingers, the hand on my head still keeps me warm and the long gone chatter still shatters the silence in my soul.
Sometimes, during the day, the storm inside of her threatens to break loose the demons crouching in the abyss of her heart. She swallows the fire raging within, locks it in with lips as red as the blood surging inside.
And then she wears a smile.
A serene smile that fools the world.
As demure as a goddess. As powerful as one.
But the devil lurks within. Ready to tear through the facade.
She holds him back as she goes through the motions of the day.
At last it is night. As darkness lulls the world to sleep, she lets him rise. Wiping off the red lips and the smile.
A knife in hand, she sets off, to roam the dark alleys, to look for something, someone to satiate its thirst.
Of musk and wood and hope
you smelled, the whiff of you
took my breath away.
You stood there without a care,
And didn’t give me a second glance.
Adonis unaware of his Aphrodite.
The unkind years have failed
to drown the longing,
Sometimes, when serenity
takes over, I look
at the orange blob setting,
and hear the trees rustling,
I get a whiff of you,
of musk and wood
As Aphrodite still waits
for her Adonis
to come back to life.
Getting lost in enchanted woods,
a visit to some fairylands,
eating scones in english summers,
a few first of our dates.
A sherlock cap, a magic carpet,
the first gifts you gave me.
Then off you took me to an adventure,
in an Arabian desert,
before I could catch a breath,
you swept me off to fight
a dictator in a dystopian world.
One day, you stole a kiss from me
in an old castle and whispered,
And I said Yes.
The loneliness of the night
is cut short by a twinkling friend.
Pinned to my window,
proud of itself,
unafraid of the looming clouds,
it whispers to me,
Darkness is just but
a chance to shine.
The skies open up
Manna showers from heavens,
its cracked edges melting,
the parched earth turns supple
In the middle of the fields
there, a lone farmer stands
in happiness he soaks
a prayer he mouths,
a gentle rumble echoes
as someone acknowledges.
The stars are in abundance tonight,
struggling for a space in the sky
The moon’s marks smooth, silky
beaming a silky ethereal light.
The trees rustle, parting ways
You walk in, shimmering in silver
into the light, into my heart
and the universe chimes in rhythm.