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HIS BELOVED

The smoky clouds parted,
Like her lips, before she’d departed,
The muddy earth parted,
As he dug the grave for his beloved.

Wisps of muddy fragrance blended about,
As if his dear lady was around,
The shovel sliced through the mud,
Like the sorrow in his heart.

The milky moon showered white,
Like her existence had, once,
But the sky was dark and blank,
Like the lover’s heart.

The trees swayed on their tiptoes,
Like her lovely hair had, once,
The wind howled through the night,
Like his quivering voice.

The rain fell in painful drops,
Like the trailing tears on his cheek.

The eerie quiet embraced him,
Like his beloved had once.

Thank you for reading, Do let me know your thoughts about this! Stay safe☺️💜

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POSSESSIONS

I scurried through the crowd without a sense of direction, letting my gut-instinct carry me along the right path. The warm and cosy airport would have been an inviting sight if it was not for the state I was in. Agoraphobia was creeping upon me even as I seated myself in the allotted terminal.

My stomach growled in frustration for I had had nothing since morning. I decided to stay hungry rather than talk to the waiters at the restaurant, the prospect was terrifying. But my stomach said otherwise.

I decided to grab a drink from the vending machine, trying my best to avoid any kind of human interactions. “Please choose your preference and drop your money!” the vending machine said. From the corner of my eyes, I spotted a kid watching me with curious eyes. “Need to hurry!” my mind probed me. I slipped my hands into my jacket pocket, only to feel the empty warmth. I hurriedly searched my pockets, my wallet had vanished. Fear was gripping at my throat even as I remembered how I had possessed it until I had entered the terminal. I have been robbed?!

My neck tingled as I could feel peoples’ gaze over me. I decided to settle myself at the corner seat of the lounge silently thanking god because the wallet comprised of money alone and nothing else of much prominence. It was true that I had to stay hungry but that was half as bad as walking around without a passport.

——————————————————————————————–The flight was roaming lazily along the runway preparing for take-off. I had skilfully acquired the window seat so as not to get sandwiched between a plump Indian-lady and a girl who looked like her daughter. However, I was stuck with the lady sitting beside me. She had that annoying habit of talking loudly over phone and fidgeting on her seat crushing me against the window.

Just as we took off, the lady asked, loud enough for the entire crew and passengers to hear, “Indian?” it took me some time to realise that the question was addressed to me. My heart whimpered. “Y-yes” I managed to say. “Haye ram! So difficult to find an Indian in this damned city. Glad to meet you young lady. Are you flying alone?” the string of words didn’t make much sense to me but I managed to stutter a ‘yes’ to her. She continued to banter on until the stewardess served the food.

It was served only to the other girl, who was clearly not the plump Indian’s daughter. I eyed the food hungrily. The girl seemed to notice my stare and ignored.

“Didn’t you have anything from the airport young lady?” the Indian asked scrutinising the situation.

“Umm…I…Uh…actually…my wallet was robbed.” I confessed with some difficulty, my heart leaping with the effort. I couldn’t believe I was socialising.

“Ayyo such a misfortune! And you look like you are hungry. Jeez, I wasted all my money in that shopping mart too. You wait!” I didn’t completely catch what she meant.

“Girl, don’t you hear what is happening, why can’t you share a morsel? Kids these days!” she bawled at the other girl. I was bewildered at how the things were proceeding. “No, no aunty. It’s absolutely fine. I will manage.” I said in alarm.

The other girl however embarrassed by her carelessness handed me her sandwich wholly, plugging in her ear pods her eyes popped out in amazement. I flushed with embarrassment.

 “Eat it!” the lady said, suddenly sounding like my mom. I smoothly obliged and swallowed it in a couple of bites. The onward journey commenced with a speech of her thoughts about the city and the people. I didn’t utter a word until it was time for us to depart.

“Young lady, it was a pleasure to meet you. Remember to be careful the next time you travel” she winked. She turned to leave and exclaimed, “Ayyo, the other girl left her wallet here. Did she leave?” I found my chance to make up with the girl for the awkward situation that I had created.

 “It’s ok aunty I will hand it over to her.” I said.

As I plucked the wallet from the seat, I was struck with the similarity it posed with my belonging. I opened to find my photo stuck along the nape of the wallet.

The money looked exactly as I had left it, just two notes missing, which probably went into buying the food that had filled my stomach.

Indeed I was full!

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AND THE GHOSTS LAUGHED…

I entered the eerily dim lit room furnished with shaved skeletal heads and bones that lay spread-eagled on the floor. The door opened to a void of darkness. As if this wasn’t scary enough, I sensed a pair of eyes watching my movements. The eyes belonged to a mass of cloth that hung above the door frame, my heart skipped a beat.

I had enough of my weird imagination! I immediately proceeded onto what I had come to do in my bedroom upstairs that lay deserted in the midnight hour, lest the cloth started moving.

But wait………….Was that mass of cloth laughing?

(Later I realized that it was just my mom downstairs )

THE THEORY

Wearing a milk white saree with flowing hair on a windy night in India typically invites the comment that one looks like a run- away ghost. But the true element of horror is the laughter. If your laughter emanates from the soul and resounds all the way around a mile, congratulations! You are an officially accepted ghost.

It all began with the Indian Cinema whole-heartedly welcoming the concept of horror into their films. Indian movies flourished in the early 20th century only because we had that secret weapon. Drama.

The lover throwing the flowers melodramatically and running through yellow mustard fields is only one example of how vivid the movies can get.

If we are overjoyed, we cry our heart out, and if we are upset, we cry our soul out, all with some dialogues that are thrown randomly at the protagonist/antagonist to catch him off-guard.

This is when the concept of horror-movie arose. The poor ghost dudes had no choice but to set a trend in this ever-sobbing film-industry.

They laughed. Laughed as if they were almost crying. Thus, the laughing ghosts became the National symbol of terror and fright for the country woven in drama!

So, the next time you witness an Indian ghost in your neighborhood, be sure to chuckle along and there, you have got a new buddy!

THAT WAS A VERY SMALL PIECE OF WORK. HOPE YOU ENJOYED!!

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OUR OWN SMALL WAY

The damp afternoon wind warped up by the unduly showers was clambering through the bones making me numb and cold. The hearty mid-day meal triggered my drowsy eyelids, making it flutter in an uncontrolled manner.

Sleep was threatening to take over my half-conscious self but my hands kept me awake as it was sprinting through the long white book unaware of what was happening to my head. I wanted to laugh at my uncoordinated hands and brain but it was difficult because I was trying to focus on the screen.

Almost all my online classes in the afternoon went like this. Not that I wasn’t listening, I do, and take notes and stuff, but somehow it all seemed unearthly.

From time to time, I tried to find reality by checking the class chat box in which my classmates’ names were proudly labelled. The comments usually went like-

Yes ma’am, no ma’am or clear ma’am or buffering or failed to load…an annoying thread of chat for the teachers but a rejuvenating one for us. Those perfectly synchronized chats, however small, is a humongous treat to the eyes, provided that you have not met them for over 6 months now.

“YOUR VIDEO’S STUCK!!!” I had bellowed in mom’s ear one night (as explained by her in the morning). The last trace of sleep that had desperately come her way flew into the dark night. This was only one of the many ways that the online classes were affecting me and arguably my mom too. My dreams are more thrilling than the TV series my grandmother watch.

It hurts to remind oneself that whatever had once been under our control is now totally out of control.

No matter how many times the virus will undergo mutation, human minds are far more adapted to changing circumstances. It is one of our power to find a silver lining, no matter how small. It’s difficult to have a hearty day, but it’s not difficult to find packets of happiness in this dark void.

Life’s sluggish in this unfathomable dark times of the world. Each soul is praying for the end of the war with this vast clan of tiny warriors, it will happen only if we fight it our own small way.

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THE GAME OF FLAMES

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I am just a trivial piece,

Till I spread my arms and feet.

A blob of light; that’s what I was at ease,

But, now I am a towering castle.

I can conquer heights,

When my flames endeavor,

I can bow to depths,

When the time is ripe and right.

My frolicking flames: they create.

My searing flames, they destroy.

A small scratch, a small flaw,

This is from where I am born.

But this doesn’t affect my flow,

‘Cos it is who I am, I am FIRE.

I am your friendly neighbor,

Or I am your deadly predator.

I am the beginning, I am the end.

I am the alive, I am the dead.

The poem is up to a degree about the real fire. But it is easily relatable to the fire inside us; the fire that drives our life force. What do you like the most about fire? Let me know in the comments.

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OLIVIA

A Black Woman Reading The Newspaper and Colonial Mansion House ...

Walking alone in the suburban was not as demanding as the prospect that lay ahead of her. Olivia was going to attend to what she felt, as the first real responsibility that had come her way. Her mother had deemed all the offers and finally decided to buy the house that lay just close to the city outskirts and now, it was Olivia who was going to check out the supposedly white mansion.

As she rounded the last corner of the street, she came to a halt. On either sides of a great banyan tree stood two beautiful mansions like she had never witnessed before. ‘Mansion’ was an understatement for the two seemingly spectacular buildings that were demanding all her attention. The duo were casting a whitish glow to the entire locality.

The contract manager had promised to be present just as she arrived, but there wasn’t a single soul around. The mansion to the left seemed to fit the description her mother had been relentlessly speaking about all morning. Now, driven by curiosity, she floated to the front gates that lay open.

The house was so humongous that she felt she might get lost if she ventured alone, so she decided to stay back at the entrance. She let her mind wander along the beautiful garden that surrounded the mansion, the mango leaves were fluttering, birds were chirping and the sweet fragrance of roses were playing in her nose. Just as she began enjoying the orchards, someone entered through the front gate.

Olivia had never expected the contract manager to be a boy of nearly her age. He looked close to eighteen and as he approached her, he was flashing a brilliant smile that lit his face just as much as the white mansion.

“Thank you for being on time.” She mumbled as he came closer.

“I am really sorry for keeping you waiting, I am Kevin.” He said, smiling and extending his slender arms. Olivia clutched his palm and shook it gently, “I am Olivia, now can we get on to the business. I am dying to explore the house.”

“Yeah sure, follow me.”

The way he show-cased the house was every bit as boring as it could be, but Olivia was finding the boy to be much too charming. She couldn’t help but keep staring at him as he grinned and ranted on about this and that. She had long since lost interest in the mansion and her eyes were always on Kevin. He didn’t seemed to mind her stare and looked on it, as if it was what he went through every day. Finally they sat down, back where they had started.

“So, what do you think about the house?” he asked her. “Fabulous!” she said without thinking.

“I guess you liked the chandelier in the dining hall the most, didn’t you?”

“Yes, absolutely. How do you know?” she echoed, her thoughts seemed clouded.

The boy laughed out loud. “What?” she demanded. “It’s just that the house doesn’t have a chandelier.” He said between fits of laughter. Even as she was ashamed of the way she was behaving, she was mystified by the beauty of the boy.

Olivia tried to collect her thoughts just as Kevin’s phone rang. “Just a sec.” he said and moved away from her view to attend the call.

As she wondered about the weird way things have been proceeding lately, a car came to a screeching halt right at the doorsteps of the veranda. A man in his mid-thirties stepped out in a flash and half- ran half- walked to her.

He said, “Hello ma’am, I am Kevin, the contract manager and I will be leading your house tour, sorry for arriving late. By the way, I am glad I found you here, this is not the mansion I was talking about, it is the other one, you see.”

 

 

 

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DESOLATION

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This poem is trying to depict the contradictions felt by a person isolated from humanity or in simple words, fallen into the trap of depression. Each situation, sparks within him a tiny bit of hope which is almost immediately replaced by the sorrow that rests deep within him.

DESOLATION 

What is that distant hum I hear?

Is it the long lost humanity that speaks?

Or is it my severed soul singing?

 

The tiny beam of light that I see,

Is it a ray of hope?

Or is it the power of the teeming darkness?

 

The drops that falls on my palm,

Is it the rain from the heavens?

Or is it my own toxic tears.

 

The words that my lips pronounce,

Is it a merry song I sing?

Or is it my hollow chatter?

 

The dreading weight on my chest,

Is it a swell of hope I feel?

Or is it the burden of my grief?

 

My limbs that are slack against my bones,

Is it from the efforts of chasing my dreams?

Or is the pain of running away from them?

 

The blood that gushes through my veins,

Is it from the courage that I used to feel?

Or is it the cowardice I had fallen into.

 

The final smile that parted my lips,

Was it the breath of my victory?

Or was it my own escaping life?

 

Being alone doesn’t make you lonely, but being lonely can make you alone.

This circumstance has brought with it even a greater threat than the virus itself. Loneliness. It is not an illness, it is a feeling than can be cured.

This pandemic period, keep your relationships taut, be there for each other even in the worst of times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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TIME FOR NATURE

 

Every time, we ramble on about how we feel about the greenery and the beauty of the trees that grow about us. This Environment day however, I tried to listen to what the plants had to tell me, this year’s theme being “TIME FOR NATURE”.

This simple poem are the thoughts of a paddy plant reverberated through my words.

THIS IS A ONE WAY CONVERSATION BETWEEN A PADDY PLANT AND A FARMER.

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Oh my dearest,

Was it the soil that caressed my soul,

Or was it the field on your palm?

Was it my seed that sprouted,

Or was it the smile on your lips?

 

Was it the sun that scorched bright,

Or was it your glowing shadow?

Was it the pregnant clouds’ young-lings that wet my feet,

Or was it the tangy rain from your temple?

 

Was it the sea of blue that watched me grow,

Or was it your starry eye?

Was it the brooding sky that rumbled,

Or was it your flaming gut?

 

Was it my grains that grew golden,

Or was it your beating heart?

Was it my leaves that wizened,

Or was it your unlined face?

 

Oh my dearest,

Was it I who banished hunger,

Or was it US?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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POSSIBILITY

The monotone of the alarm sang the same slow rhythm, coaxing me to drift further into the sweet slumber. Wrenching myself out of my dream was no more difficult than facing the reality that awaited to caress me in my wake.

The vintage backdrop of the early hours settled down as if everything was back to normal. The ripples of heat radiated by the sun and the blanket of white that poured over the neighborhood houses during the night remained the same. The gentle caress of the wind and the pit pat of raindrops too.

Only, it wasn’t.

It felt like the world has reborn and had come to a standstill, all at the same time.

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My legs advanced in the same unceremonious way it had been marching since 2 months back. The vector that I followed was supposedly identical to the previous day.

The omnipresent idlis and dosas along with the spectrum of chutneys festooned the dining room while empty drawers of snacks stood forlorn in the midst of a gloomy kitchen. Our home confined us inside the aging walls that gazed sadly at our face every morning (and night).

Time is abound.

Mom’s demeanour suggested that a ginormous amount of time meant a humongous load of scrubbing and dusting. Of course dragging me into her cleanliness spasms is her hobby, deftly ignoring the fact that my favorite time pass is to glue into that three-cornered soft spot on the sofa with a book and bag of cookies bedecked within my reach.

The stomach rumbled mimicking the thunder that resonated in the heavens and mom groaned even louder, every time I cast a sly glance at her, the hunger in my eyes confirming her worst suspicion.

My crazy dance moves and exercise routines shook mom out of her naps at noon while the songs that I listened to, collaborated with her humming tones.

The symbiotic relation between me and mom was conserved only because of the peace negotiations that dad had somehow budged into existence.

Sarcastically, remaining silently at home seemed to be a decisive battle with the tiny-global enemy that had apparently squeezed out emotions from our lives.

The emotions that swath our hearts every time we watch the news are foreign to us. Waves of grief resonate dully within the home that has transform into a shelter against the silent war that rage in the new battlefield. The war against the pandemic.

Every death is weighing the heart with grief, but every triumph over the virus wells it up with hope.

The silver lining in this dark mess is that, necessity has led to threshold of possibilities. My trials in kitchen ended up with appetizing new dishes. My thoughts expanded to fields that I had left unexplored. Relationships were renewed into a whole new meaning.

There is no antibody, but there is a possibility.

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ANGELIC

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The clouds parted, giving away, a charismatic view of the golden evening sky ringed with silver clouds. It looked as if the gods and angels in the heavenly abode were in a mood to fly over their precious creations.

At least that’s what June hoped for. Her mother had woven stories of beautiful angels late into the night and her dreams were now filled with puffs of white and flap of wings, though she never caught a glimpse of the angelic face nor did her creativity cook up one.

The disappointment was plain in her face. She let her mind wander along with the rhythm of the wind.

“What are you doing here June? I thought I told you to get inside the house. It’s beyond imagination what the wind nowadays can bring with them.” Her mom had materialised somehow in the garden where she was standing barefoot, pebbles tickling her feet.

She tried to deepen her expression of displeasure. However, before she could do so, her mom had placed one hand over her shoulder. “What’s wrong, June?” she asked. Her voice sweetened the way it always did when June was sick or worried.

“Mom, what does the angel look like?” she blurted out. Her mom laughed with a sound like chiming bells. “I think we would better get inside and talk.” She said.

Within moments she was leaning against the softest thing she could think of, her mom. “Do you want to know who my angel is?” her mom asked her softly. June nodded.

“Well, it’s you.” She said without a moment’s hesitation. June looked at her mother with wide black eyes. “ME?” she said, not unkindly.

“Yes. Because you make my life extra ordinary.” She smiled. “And I think I am more capable when I am around you.” she stroked June’s hair and suddenly became still. “Damn! The milk’s on the stove. I almost forgot.” She ran all the way to the kitchen leaving behind a dazed June.

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She didn’t want the doctor’s advice to know that her life was ticking away and it would end in a couple of minutes. June was lying awake because of the fresh pump of air that was entering into her lungs through the oxygen mask.

Anxious faces were hovering about the look-through in the ICU. She blocked her mind from thinking about them. Instead she focused on her hands that were trembling from old age. Her time was due.

“They say that you see angels right before you die”, she thought hopefully waiting to unveil the final mystique of her life. When she finally did close her eyes in submission, all she could see was her mother’s face.

Her mother was smiling gracefully coaxing her to rest peacefully.

“I see you.” She whispered just as the last breath escaped from her body and encompassed the ICU.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL THE ANGELS AROUND THE WORLD…

 

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