Don’t Be Late


She stripped off her dress and stood in front of the mirror. That tiny scar below her left eye, the first time, the first beating,twenty days after a fairy tale wedding. A minor glitch; happens in all marriages, she had rationalised, not wanting to take off the rose-tinted glasses that she had just put on.

Her eyes moved to a long thin line in her midriff. A mishap at the stairs, tripped, silly me, she had told the nurse who had stitched her up.

I hit the wall while heading to the bathroom at night, she had told a concerned friend who questioned a black eye.

A string of lies, so skilfully told that sometimes she believed them herself. Years of practice.

There had been a lot of time to walk out, leave him, start over. But she had waited, hoped, prayed that things would get better. He did seem so sorry in the mornings. I will stop it, I promise, he kept telling her. She kept believing him.

By the time her body filled with scars and cuts,

it was too late. She had died a thousand deaths every night, till she no longer felt the pain. Pain and love were buried by her in the same grave.

She gave a final look at the bruises she could see, and those only her heart could feel as she got dressed.

Kicking her bloodstained clothes aside, she sat back on the armchair and placed the 911 call.

There is always time to walk out, leave. Not just for her. She had waited too long.

“I have killed my husband”, she said into the phone, not looking at the lifeless body lying on the floor.


My Safe Place

The pink curves of the mouth
are a world of hidden mysteries,
beckoning me, maybe it is me
I will discover in them.

The blue specks of the eyes,
flanked by brown mountains
promise me of secrets,
sizzling and scintillating

Is it him I have dreamt of always?
Sense it I can that I have found the one,
the one whose smile will be my haven,
The one whose love, a shroud.
He has laced through my heart,
the one who will be my safe place.

The Wife

The shimmering silvery waters are seducing her, promising her of joy, a lack of which has today driven her to where she is standing now.

In the middle of nowhere, in the vastness of a shore playing hide and seek with the sea, an orange horizon keeping guard on God knows what.

She sits on a lone rock, clutching her Louis Vuitton. She remembers when he had presented her with the bag. The day after he had beaten her black and blue. She chuckles. Gifts making up for madness. Dollars intending to act as bandaids.

The day she killed him, she felt nothing. Nothing even after thrusting the knife on his chest 24 times. Atleast that is the count the lawyer yelled at the courtroom.

A heartless murder of an eminent citizen of the society, the lawyer had said. She knew she would be jailed for life.

But her lawyer had played a trump card. Saying she was insane- it had been self -defense and she had lost her sanity while protecting herself. And she was acquitted. Maybe he was right, maybe she had become a bit insane when she had plunged that knife on her sleeping husband. Maybe she had not.

But now she is free. Though she no longer knows herself. The ocean beckons, giving her a way out, the waves whispering of a better world on the other side.

She walks towards the ocean, letting the water play with her feet as she goes deeper and deeper, the waves greedily trying to swallow her.

Then suddenly she stops. She turns and pushes the waves away as she makes her way back to the shore. Picking her LV, she walks away, to gather the pieces of her life and stick them back together.

And to make something of it, for herself, for others. She is free- she will make sure no other woman pays as heavy a price as this for freedom.

She smiles. A new day has begun.

When The World Became Bright Again

A moment frozen in time
when all the love the world is made of
converged into my heart,
making it grow and grow
till it almost burst.

A baby in my arms,
all my dreams come true.
A tiny hand holding mine,
a prayer answered.

Invincible, unalloyed, unbound happiness flowing through my veins, throbbing,
The world now could hold nothing else.

Life screeched to a halt, I breathed
the fresh scent of new life, and I saw
the years ahead, of tears and snot,
of gurgles, giggles and what not.

My second chance, to dream, to love,
wings regrown to soar high again.
Beauty in a bundle to behold
Joy packed in a tiny parcel
The world had become bright again.

The Broken Crayons

As usual, the day has fallen short of time. She had so much to do; she couldn’t get to all of it. A day full of mistakes. She is exhausted as she moves about the house, switching off lights, picking up toys. And then she steps on them. Crayons.

All shades of colour in a bright green pack. And she has stepped on the box, breaking, it seems, all of them. She bends and takes the crayons out, spreading them on the dining table.

The broken crayons lie there, broken and tired. So much like her.

She stares at them, her mind -which always seems to be in in a rush thinking of the things to do and things that have been done- seems to slow down. She picks one of the broken crayons and scribbles on the table. It still colours. She tries the next one, and then the next one. They colour too.So much like her.

She smiles. Yes, she has colour left in her too. Life cannot take that out of her. Tomorrow will be a new day.

She carefully puts the crayons back inside the pack. The broken crayons that still hold myriad colours. So much like her.

You Are Still Here

Its been a while since you have gone,
yet, all I know is that you are still here.
Wasn’t that you, in the air today
that smells like musk,
sandalwood and and you?
And as I take a walk in the woods,
where the trees are rustling
as if whispering my name,
sure I am, that it is you.

In nights so lonely, as I fight to sleep,
it is you who lulls me back to dreams.
And in the day, as I go about,
doing things that I need to,
I suddenly sometimes burst into laughter,
at a joke you told me in the past.

Indeed, you are everywhere I know,
your soul enveloping my universe
walking with me as I live on,
loving me still, holding me still.


From sorrow stems my strength,

Pain I transform to hope

And a joy I become,

A woman I am.

When I Saw You

When I saw you, my heart ripped apart
and rearranged into something new
something that looked like love,
a shape that looked like hope.
You are the reason I am, my child,
else, this world had lost its shine,
you have brought back its gloss
and reshaped me into me again.

That Summer

It was the summer of possibilities
of hopes that filled the heart,
of dreams that strained to come true,
of joy that was smug and proud.

Youth can be foolish, I knew not then,
invincibility a mirage, I knew not then,
hopes, frail,a dried leaf, I knew not then,
broken I was when ended that summer.

It was the summer of pain and loss,
of pieces of me mixed with sweat,
of nursing a broken heart and penning
songs of betrayal and disbelief.

Those long afternoons, friends and guitar,
The sweet lemonade ma made,
did little to wipe off the bitterness,
A friend that had come to stay.

It was the summer I grew up
when naive me I buried and let go
When I stopped believing in hopes
and started trusting the darkness.
A foe was that summer and yet
t’was a summer to remember.

Will Love Stay?

Love arrives, raw and simple
bringing along cousins
questions and complexities.
Will love stay, will it grow?
Or with time, wither, will it?

You step into the unknown,
love rendering you fearless,
You believe that it will all be roses,
dreaming of a happily ever after.

Oh, my dear, blundering fool!
Your love is to be tested and tried
and tempered and tossed,
each corner measuring its strength
each turn assessing its value.

You want to give up, you are tired
Yet, you decide to cling on,
for you believe in your heart,
you believe in being together.

And then one day, the sun comes out,
and up there somewhere, God smiles,
At last, at the end of the last blow
and the last bump, it hits you.

Suddenly, you know, overcoming
tempests, turns and twists,
you know, now, this love is forever,
it is to stay, come what may.

I Am Made Of Stories Untold

The sweet nothings of the star struck lovers made me smile, the romance of the newly weds made me blush. Those first baby steps still reverberates in my soul.

I have seen it all. The fights, the love, the hate. I have chuckled at those bad TV shows you loved. The delicious smells from the kitchen, I have soaked in-I think I smell like the curries, the paellas, the baklavas, the barbequed ribs even now.

And I smell of you, of the families that made a home in me, of the families that grew, and those that sometimes, sadly became smaller.

Oh, the birthdays I celebrated with you and the mad parties I tolerated. The successes that made me proud, the failures that I helped you bear.

Your fights made me cringe, the hate that you spewed in that spur of that moment crushed my soul. But when you made up, I knew love owns a greater space in your hearts. And that made my heart grow big too.

I am the blend of so many of you, I am, in myself, a book not written. I am not made of bricks, but of stories untold.

I am the house you lived in, the one you called home, albeit just for sometime.

The Light At The End Of The Tunnel

She see a tiny dot that glows,
A blob so blinding that she blinks.
She edges closer, parched and dry,
The darkness still trying to swallow her.

The light comes closer to her,
Or she to it, she knows not,
But it beckons, it tempts, it seduces.
The blackness grabs her from the back.

But there is fight still left in her,
the dark tunnel cannot be her end.
It is enough, she says to the abyss
She drags herself and her soul
Towards the brilliance that is growing.

A light so ethereal, so imposing
that darkness recedes, giving up.
She reaches out, grabbing
a handful of luminescence,
a handful of hope.
She has made it, she has won,
defeating the darkness,
conquering the pain.