A piece of me lives in my childhood,
floats in paper boats,
jumps in little puddles,
soars in kites,
waves to planes from terraces,
sticks to dog eared school books.
The child in me is still out there,
digging for insects,
Building sand castles,
Climbing trees,scraping knees,
Nestling in dad’s arms,
feeling love in mom’s kiss.
There I see, a small me,
in rapt attention,
As Tom chases Jerry,
praying for the little mouse,
With a giggle or two,
breaking the solemnity.
There she is, that chubby me,
sun kissed cheeks,
whooshing in the swing,
levitating in the cool breeze,
Soaking in life.
The embers of yesterday,
glow in the darkness of life.
In moments of solitude,
when complexities become,
too heavy a burden to bear,
the little me emerges,
and takes me on a ride,
to the simplicity of the past,
to the dream called childhood.
As I sit on the balcony,
the landscape demands a smile.
The solemn hills try to lift,
the blanket of sadness I adorn.
The curves of the mountains,
the whispering pines,
seem to hold a message,
from the future I know not yet.
A message that love awaits,
Tidings of faith and hope.
The gurgling stream nearby,
seems to wash away my tears.
The single hut that sits alone,
signals to me that it stands proud,
that it is content in itself, with itself.
and asks me why am I not?
The cool breeze enters and heals
my soul and the cracks
that can barely hold my heart.
I sigh, I shed the last drop of tear.
A single leaf glides towards me,
And nestles in my lap.
a gift from the scenery,
a ticket to move on,
a symbol of hope.
Can you smell happiness? That divine scent of freshness, of some sun and dew mixed together to create a heavenly concoction?
I can smell happiness, in that baby’s giggle, in that first rush of love, in that bird singing, in that first payslip.
And what about hope? Do you get a whiff of hope sometimes?
A perfumed rose essence mixed with some woody musk? I smell hope in a marriage proposal, in a toddler’s first step, in that fresh gust of wind, in those sunrises.
Hmm, what about sorrow?
Alas, sadness has no smell. It is just void, a black hole. I see that blackness in a broken heart, in a homeless man, in a stray dog, in a drooping flower.
And what about love?
Oh, that fascinating, beautiful love. That can be touched, felt and that tingles your senses? That baby’s touch, that lover’s kiss, mom’s food, home.
And a fragrance like no other-Persian perfumes, honey, dew and wet earth stirred and spread in one’s being! How beautiful is that!
So come on, feel, touch and soak in the different fragrances of life!
Inside of me, somewhere deep,
A fire rages on, insatiable.
An urge to reach higher.
A thirst that is unquenchable.
The cacophony on the outside
is drowned by the silence inside,
A silence that screams to me,
To reach that star, to dream.
At nights, when I lay in bed,
I dream in a sleepless state,
Of the places I have to go to,
Of the heights I have to climb.
Life's journey is many colours,
I am painted now in just one.
It is the other colours of the rainbow
That I desire, that will one day be mine.
I notice the veins in leaves,
those lines that struggle to be seen,
afraid to get hidden,
by the glorious green of the leaf.
I notice the reluctance in the waves
to fall back into the sea
once they have met and tasted,
the soft silkiness of the sand.
And I notice the flicker of people's eyes when they meet someone new,
struggling to decide
whether this new person
will be a foe or a friend.
I notice the shadow of a smile,
when two pairs of eyes,
meet across the room, strangers
that seem to know each other,
maybe from another life.
I notice the little things.
Call me pedantic, but that is who I am.
I see that which struggles to be visible,
I see that which struggles to hide.
Of musk and wood and hope you smelledThe 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.
Dreams became you and the unkind years did nothing to drown my yearning,
Sometimes, when serenity takes over and I look at the orange blob setting,
and hear the trees rustling,
I get a whiff of you, of musk and hope.
And Aphrodite waits for her Adonis to come back to life.
Your first day in school,
I stood beside the little you,
And you brushed me away,
Oh! how I loved you then!
When you looked into her eyes,
Weaving words dripped with love,
I was within you,
goading you to ignore me.
When you sat at that interview,
I muted myself for you,
So that you could grab the first rung,
Of that fabled ladder.
At meetings, on stages,
in sport matches,
In love and in life,
as you quieted me down
We both won, each time.
For I was on your side,
As I always have been.
She crouches in the corner, in terror.
The door slams.
Hugging her knees, she sits still, afraid one movement of hers would make him return.
She is numb to the pain now. It is the silence after the storm that she dreads now. A silence that seems to mock her, taunting her that at least, it is free to vanish as it wishes.
The slanting, striped rays of the afternoon sun peep into the room through the blinds, touching her feet, shy of reaching her body, scared of illuminating the bruises.
She crawls towards the window, draws open the blinds. Slowly she opens the window. The wind is strong and pushes against her, as if urging her to move back. But determination surges into her. Carefully she climbs the window sill and looks down. The world below is normal. A mother picking up her baby and twirling him around in the park, a hawker trying to sell his wares to a watchman, a couple on the bench, two elderly ladies sunbathing.
A normalcy she craves.
And she jumps.
A thousand moons have gone by, but the smell of her lingers, filling the nights with a fragrance of hope. A hope that grows, never fades, even in the face of darkness that otherwise shrouds his life.He does not remember much nowadays, life is but a blur. Alzheimers, they call it. On the old rickety chair in the porch, he sits in evenings, looking into the rolling fields dotted by the glow of the fireflies and then suddenly he hears her voice, oh her sweet voice, and something in his soul stirs. He feels his heart beating. He calls out to the night, her name on his lips, her smell filling his being.
He knows she is calling out to him. And as he recedes into the chair and his thoughts fade slowly, he smiles. A smile of hope, for he knows soon, he will be with her.
On me , have rested tired souls
And have exulted the happy ones.
I have seen joy and pain,
equal and evenly spread.
I have known secrets shared
and love expressed,
I have seen fights and tiffs
and the sweet make-ups.
While the little ones play,
tired mums have rested on me.
and old ladies have found in me,
a place to go and muse on life.
For the ones without a home,
I have been a resting place.
A reprieve I am for lost souls,
I am that lone bench in the park,
the silent companion to many.
How do you write a story that has not ended yet.
At least not in your head. In reality, in this material world, it ended in the lack of money. That was when she walked away, with promises shattered, joys undiscovered.
But in my head, I like to wipe away those memories and begin anew. Sometimes, I win a lottery and she stays. Sometimes I write a book and become a famous author and she stays. And each time, we live happily ever after. Build a house with a white fence near the sea. Have a lot of children.
In my head it is always a happy ending.
I am now old and rich, with years of contemplation behind me. Yet I do not know what charm those notes of paper held for her.
Today, as I sit in my bed, surrounded by rolls of them, I touch and sniff them. They hold no love, no joy.
They could never have given the love, the happiness that I would have.
Pity, she left without seeing the heaven I could have created for her.
Well, in my head, I still did.
She clutched the baby close to her as she made her way out of the house, slowly and quietly. The hurriedly packed bag was light, so was the baby. Her steps became faster as she walked through the narrow lanes of the village. It was dead of the night, even the stray dogs did not bother to bark at her.
She was becoming tired, after all, she had delivered her baby just 2 days ago. But it was another 20 mins walk to the train station. She held the baby tighter, determined to make it.
As the late night train was about to pull out, she arrived, puffing, out of breath.
She got into the last compartment and shuffled to the window seat and as the train started to move slowly, she stared at the dark world outside, willing the train to move faster. And it did. It was soon chugging along, swiftly, leaving the village behind.
Two hours into the journey, she started breathing more easily. She held her baby close, kissed her forehead and as the first rays of the sun creeped into the carriage, she whispered to her baby girl,
“You are now safe, my angel.”