A chunk of meat suspended in a rock which is orbiting a literal fire ball? In a galaxy spanning to vast and unfathomable distances.
What am i? Among the quasars that scintillate four trillion times than that of the sun and Giant black holes that gobble up light in a flash and bend the fabrics of space-time.
What am i? Amid this grand circus of life. Amid all the hollow and shallow dreads of existence. Amid the perplexing carcass of gloomy reality.
What am i? Nothing.
I am nothing but the decimals between one and zero. A scruple of conscious matter fluctuating between nothing and something. A void trying to fill its own emptiness. A tragedy parodying a fortune. A beginning in the course of its own end. A book deserted in the middle of a busy street. Waiting to be read. Waiting for someone to rummage through my mess. Waiting for someone to read my story.
A story carved on the face of time. Of edges, mountains and rivers to trains, cars and office cafeterias. My entire existence can be compressed into the micro strings of DNA. Forged betwixt hormones and genes. And my life, a quaint burrow of a rabbit trying to hibernate and survive a dreadful winter.
I grazed at the surface of my own ridiculousness until i could finally convince myself not to. I trembled with fear in my eyes and an lump in my throat, Too busy to see that a cheerful life is a guile tint on the glass of reality.
Did i turn myself into it. Was it a deal? Maybe. The only thing that changed was time and do i have to tell you that time then changes everything? The involute becomes the absolute. The sight becomes the scene. The portrayal becomes the reality. I becomes us. Yes. Us, but without you. Us. But without all the songs and shillings. Us. But without all the poems and writings. Us. But with a pipkin of love lavish in pain. Us. But with a smudge on a letter without your name. Us. But with a sparkle on a sky of hue It's always us but without you.
When i would fall i would hold my gaze for the path was drifting from where it began and i held my head up mighty and high i made no declaration i made no sigh I play with my boys and i climb the giant rocks I ran on the fields penniless, in my socks, and i forged my way onto the mountain top It was my only journey, a beautiful start.
When i fell in love i rolled my dice gotta make a move gonna break the ice, If she is beautiful and she is hot "this is what is love.." That's what i thought, With hormones raging With emotions blazing and of all that i could make i knew that my heart was at stake, And i broke down a king with no queen a king with no crown.
When i saw myself fly like a swan on a lake there were no heart breaks there wasn't anything at stake, I made an elevator It took me to the stars But dead bodies left me with remnants of scars, I believe not in love but more in logic I call everything nonsense if it appears to me, magic. And youth is a song that all the warriors sing but old age is a gift that time would definitely bring.
When i saw myself fall and crumble into fragments, With my withered body With my fickle soul, I sit with treasures but no power to play, A curse of time, an utter dismay, But i stood afar and saw the sight when the day prepares for the arrival of night, My journey has ended and I'm still on my way But the sun will shine again that's the promise of today!
On a midsummer afternoon i heard the frantic and boisterous melody of time probing through the impervious pockets of space. My soul was perched with hundreds of arrows and my body was drenched in blood. There was a brutal yet tantalizing pain in losing what was never mine.
..Death asked me to leave but i refused.
I refused to walk away from my own funeral. My body remained on the floor, breathless, shed and disparate, like a chimerical skin of a serpent. No consolation, no assurance could quench my thirst. After all, waging a war against the world was easier than waging a war against my 'self'. There was melancholy in my eyes and a multitude of despair in my mind.
Every evening i sat near the lake throwing pebbles into water and keenly observing them sink and kiss the limestone floor. The half-cooked rice was cold, The desserts in the fridge were glaciating. Time was ticking but i was still waiting.
Waiting to see an expression on a blank face, Waiting for this nagging feeling of despair to disappear, Waiting for the demons to plunge in and dissect my heart, Waiting for the universe to devour me again into its mysterious and obscure patterns.
On that midsummer afternoon i received my fair share of misery encapsulated in a bitter chocolate bar wrapped in a yellow sachet and I ate it with both my hands cuffed. That afternoon, I could see the wavelength of blue light changing to red as the sky was receding. Suddenly there was a glitch in the matrix and i was back to start, all over again.
"I absolutely want nothing but to be held right now", she manages to whisper in between sniffles as the grip of her fingers entwined on mine tightens.
I look at her helplessly, my fists clench. How much more? I wonder, grudgingly. How close do I need to hold you for you to stop wanting to be held? How tight should my clasp on you be for you to not uproot my nails when you turn your back on me? All over again. I want to say it out loud and preface it with a bitter laugh. I don't, ofcourse. Because she's breaking down. And I'm tagging along, whether I like it or not.
"I'm such a mess", she finally forces a sigh, throwing her hands in the air, exasperatedly, almost mad at herself.
"You're such a ... Rudolph", I retort confused, only half joking because her sniffling nose beneath those glossy eyes is a shade of crimson due to all the sobbing over a jerk who wouldn rather love someone else. I close my eyes before they can roll.
"Stop making me laugh."
"Stop crying then!" I almost shout. Staring blankly at her, my face expressionless, hopefully not at all transparent to the frustration coursing through me.
She gives me one of her defiant looks. The one that says I'm-not-mad-but-I'm-gonna-be-a-brat. Eyes indignant, lips puckered up into a little pout. Face flushed and nose red. So much for having the prettiest face on the planet. Pathetic!
"Keep looking at me like that and I'll kiss you till you drop", I say with a straight face, not at all joking.
But she finally laughs. Ofcourse.
"You mean like my very platonic roommate?" She laughs sarcastically, making finger quotes around "platonic", evidently recalling what the bastard had said.
"Don't you quote that jerk to me, it's repulsive!" I clench my fist again.
"Hey! Don't be like that now. It's not his fault and you know it. We don't get to choose whom we fall for", says the girl who has just spent two hours breaking down, in defence of her heartbreaker.
"Besides", she continues, "I love the way he loves him. Keenan makes him happy in a way I never can. I'd never have known of the existence of that doe-eyed smile if it wasn't for him.", says this girl like it's the only truth she's ever known. Like it's not at all a punch in the gut to say it out loud. This girl who says stuff such as this with utmost sincerity and then wonders at 2:00 ams if there's anything even remotely lovable about her.
"I love the way he loves him."
I reiterate her words to myself, over and over again, because that's the only set of words that makes sense tonight.
They hang in the air around us as I hold her fragile frame a little closer than I intend to.
Hey, why do we have a whiteboard marker in the bathroom? he asked.
To practise Urdu calligraphy, so I can tattoo sabr(patience) in unmentionable places, I thought to myself and giggled, tickled by my own humour, but muffling it down to a smirk, considering how close I could be cutting to the bone.
Good question though, dear husband. I'm relieved he was only mildly curious, not rolling over on the floor, laughing, in wicked amusement. Then again, he couldn't do that, not even in his wildest imagination, because bathrooms in Mumbai are one tight squeeze. How romantic!
Hold on, while we entertain the shower sequence thought bubble, and I earnestly begin to answer the original question, I must demand to know, what was he even doing, fiddling behind the geyser.
My beloved, he has access to the choicest of writers and poets in our study, even more importantly he has easy ingress to his wife's mind, my rough drafts. But they all lie there, undisturbed, waiting for a pair of eager eyes.
He tried to read for my sake. Infact, I'll give it to him, he has struggled and failed, like three times in the last one year itself, to sincerely read one book, but somehow falls asleep at the same page, each time — except, except when he is on the throne in the small Indian washroom.
That's when he is alert and ravenous, hungry for every loitering alphabet around, that dives through his orbits and falls into the great intestines with a splash, stirring things up. The morning edition of the Financial Times is the routine laxative that works just fine. I scrunch my nose in disgust, each time I glance at this eyesore of the water crisped, warped version of the freshly minted news; but that's marriage for you. Eventually, you learn to tolerate each other's kinks.
There are days however, when the morning paper would lie abandoned. And in all honesty, I had never stopped to wonder, that if the news wasn't being flushed, what else was being processed. Today I finally asked.
That's when he confessed, that on days he forgets the papers, he would religiously read the labels of shampoo bars, shaving gel tubes and mouthwash bottles, or anything else he could lay his eyes on. Thus, while hunting for his next reading material, he stumbled upon my secret stash. The whiteboard marker in question, was found cornered in the crevice behind the geyser.
Coming to why I had the marker for private company, if you haven't already guessed, then it's for that flashing moment of epiphany, when that grand idea for my next piece bolts in, or when the perfect line in iambic pentameter flashes its toothless smile at me, or when a rhyme slides in smooth, with its arms wide open, like Shahrukh on his knees.
All of which usually happens right when I'm incapacitated to write it down anywhere, no phone, no paper, soaking wet in suds, splashing under the showerhead, singing high octaves of la la la laaaaaa, like the Liril girl from the 90's. I just can't rely on my memory that's already stretched too thin to remember anything for posterity.
My mind is a motley of disorganised thoughts stacked into each other like the women in 6:05 pm Andheri fast, ladies first class train coach, a hundred open tabs crowding and yanking at the central core of my attention. Ideas fly in and out of my head at blitz speeds. That's where it helps, a dry erase marker and the pristine white bathroom tiles, and I'm ready to capture the flashing genius.
And now with both of our weird confessions, what makes complete sense is to somehow juxtapose and encourage these individual quirks. And I think I may have figured the perfect white board, to inspire an otherwise philistine, business mind to cultivate the art of appreciating some fine poetry, sitting on the throne of a middle class mumbaikars tight washroom.
I did not break through. I could not break free. I surrendered. To make the chains stop hurting.
I often falter infront of the mirror because it reflects my reality. And only in it's dreaded face do I acknowledge my incessant addiction to fantasies. I am but an escapist, I murmur, staring into the mirror. The mirror smirks. People have it worse, it says. Heavens know the weight on my shoulders is enough to make my back droop but the mirror tells me, even with blunders as indelible as a birthmark, I am just an insignificant speck fading away to infinity, and that ought to offer me a moment of a few unburdened breaths. The mirror asks me to stop romanticising the pain in hopes of healing because true healing begins when you stop craving it. When you come to terms with the fact that some scars are going to stay, and not as embellishments. Scars are all they'll ever be. There will be no beauty to them. Just ugliness. And terror. But less pain and maybe one day, enough strength to narrate their stories. The mirror is not wrong. Not at all. Then why do I feel like a hostage of it's arguments?
Why do I take shelter within poems even when they're to no avail? For I am now, at the end of this one and the chains still won't stop grappling.
Though we met a year like before But it feels like a decade Already Time just flew by and our words just glued us From just commenting on written poetries now inviting over to each other city...we came a long way. Hafiiii...I know I am late as usual but here is wishing you a very happy Birthday.
H- his unwavering loyalty A - affectionate with shimmering insight F - family and home to many E - enveloping surrounding by his warmth and sincerity E- enduring every battle vehemently Z- zealous and generous , rare to find
Perhaps, the only thought that elicits a smirk as I stare at the empty walls is the fact that even after everything you couldn't break my heart. I had already been walking the tightropes, more or less. Was ready to let go of the slippery parapet when you came along and caught onto my hand. Your pleading eyes were somehow more appealing than the dive behind me that was meant to be my escape. In that moment, as I was dangling by the only thread of your hand holding mine, there was a relief beginning to surge through me. There was a part of me so high on your touch that it wanted to keep breathing. Was I doubtful of my will to end it all? I do not know. But regardless of my denial, the choice between living for you and dying for myself had been made. And the calm that it came with was so utterly consuming that I didn't realise when you let go. It took me a while to register that the string had broken leaving me at the mercy of freefall and before I could question the sudden emptiness in my hands, it was benumbed. The impact of the fall braced me before I could fall apart. I hit the ground before you could break my heart.
Imagine a tiny world where sunset lasts longer than few minutes, where children of all ages gather around a fire to sing, smile and write about water lilies, where nobody is chasing time and where everything is a story– shades of sky, wilted lilacs, pink men, young women and absurd poetry.
This is the world where I entered more than three years ago and my journey so far has been no less than magical. I call my Hogwarts, Mirakee and today Mirakee has turned FIVE. Period ❤
This collaboration is a tribute to this beautiful place and I am highly grateful to all the contributors for agreeing to be a part of this. Join us in the celebration, will you?