Friday, December 28, 2012

The found

O traveller under the blanket of night
Take little heed of your pitiful plight
Dark and wretched the path may be
Only by the light within will you see.

O seeker of the answers wise
Be wary of pride in disguise
The faults that down mansions are often small
So dwell in a place where there’s no further to fall.

O sailor of the tempestuous sea
Look how tenuous your life can be
Don’t you, with hands stretched heavenwards, implore
Only to forget on the safe lap of shore.

O wanderer of the distant lands
Your travels seem more aimless than drifting sands
Have you some secret that could only be
The traveller’s, the seeker’s, the sailor’s envy?

O lover of the Beloved unseen
More lost than the wanderer you seem
What can I, to this drunken soul, say
Which by losing itself has found the Way?

O Maker of worlds, most Divine
For these souls is this humble prayer of mine
Bless them; wake them up from their sobriety
Except for, as a lover himself said, let the lover be.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

The redemption

Sing me a lullaby deep into the night
Take me by the hand through the dark
Hold my world while the dreams take flight
Soaring and plunging, until sings the lark

You listen to my pleas with pitying eyes
You grant my wishes thinking me frail
I'm flawed, not frail, without fondness for lies
For indeed there's only truth in this sad tale

Your songs don't reach the abyss of my mind
Where nightmares mock at the guilt of my dreams
Not a fear they dispel, nor an end they find
Where my world only falls and the lark only screams

Yet give me no promise of a dawning hour
But bind me, chain me or just let me be
I will curb my desires, rob myself of power
When was I ever of this world to be free?

If my soul from sins can only darkness keep
Then a thousand sad tales I will live, and die
As long as you hold my world when I sleep
As long as you sing me your lullaby

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The closure - II

Even nightmares are a blessing in this difficult world. They hold a promise of unimaginable relief when they end with awakening.

It seemed like a monster had walked through our street, wreaking havoc, whether in mad fury or drunken frenzy I couldn't say. Trees were uprooted or bent or broken, leaves and twigs and mud were strewn all over, and the streetlights were all out, looking forlorn and dripping rain water like tears. I eased my breathing and inhaled slowly taking in the smells of wet earth, wood and ozone. I had slept through the cold and a storm. I bridled my mind. It was just a storm. It didn't change the necessity to find him. Storms were common. He was not. I walked into the wreck and the rain, barefoot and unmindful of the pebbles and twigs and other sharp debris. If not uncomfortable, the pain under my feet made me alert and aware of my surroundings. It was as if I had walked into a life sized greyscale picture. Past the lop sided iron gate, I walked on the cobblestone street. Cobblestone? I stopped and stared wide eyed at the grey stones at my feet and then slowly looked around taking in the stretch of cobblestone spread far till the eyes could see through the grey haze of rain that still fell lightly, relentlessly. Fear crept over me and I turned around and saw the same expanse of grey stones tightly packed into the ground, haphazard, bumpy and endless. The house was gone. My heart threatened to burst out of my chest as I slowly turned a full circle. All the houses were gone. The trees remained, the streetlights still stood, even the iron gate and the gates of other houses and their gardens and fences in various stages of damage. I broke into a run then, along what once was our street. The rain drops hit me and soaked my clothes and seeped into my hair. The cold seeped further into my skin and flesh and bones. I ran through the murky greyness and after a while a wall loomed suddenly in front of me. It was low, barely reaching my waist and made of stones that were, yet again stubbornly grey. And beyond the wall was a sudden drop of a couple of dozen feet ending with the same cobbled ground. That too stretched in every direction, strewn with destroyed vegetation and loose earth. There, at a distance just before my vision was limited by the grey haze, I saw something that stood out starkly against the monotony of destruction. The only bit of colour in the greyscale picture. Hope flared in me and I clung to it like a drowning person. I looked down, over the wall and my heart sank. It was quite a drop. I glanced to my right and saw that the wall stretch for quite a distance before disappearing behind the veils of falling rain. I turned left and to my amazement saw stairs leading down along the wall. I took the stairs without another thought and found myself plunged into a fog after a few steps. It faltered me a bit but I kept going hoping it would clear away at the end. It did thankfully as I reached the bottom. From there I couldn't see the coloured figure but I now had a sense of its location and bolted to my right. I ran hard and fast looking in every direction hoping to catch a glimpse of colour. I was almost out of breath and thinking of slowing down when I saw a flash of blue in front of me. All rest forgotten, I covered the last few feet and stopped dead when I realized that the blue belonged to a pair of jeans. A painfully familiar pair of jeans. One step closer, and I saw a white shirt, soaked yet somehow pristine. Another step, and I saw the face of the person whom the clothes belonged to. I hadn't noticed the feet since had blended so well with the grey stones; just like the face so pale and ashen and so familiar; just like the eyes so dark and vacant and dead staring sightlessly into the stormy sky, into the world that felt just as dead to me in that infinite moment.
 I gently touched her cheek hoping it would wake her up. The slight frown on her face troubled me and I debated whether to rouse her or not. The chill of the previous night had dissipated and apart from a few stray clouds, the day held a sunny promise. Her frown deepened and I became more worried. I was about to call her name to wake her up when tears suddenly sprung up at the corners of her closed eyes. Now my worry was bordering around panic. Just when I held her shoulders to shake her gently to wakefulness, her eyes flew open. At first I was startled and then shocked to see sheer terror on her face. For a moment that seemed to stretch endlessly she looked at me with those brown, terrified eyes and then, in the next, she was up and crashing into me, throwing her arms around my chest in a tight embrace that knocked my breath away and almost pushed me off my seat. When I could breathe again a beat later, I noticed that my hands had fallen off her shoulders and the front of my shirt was slowly getting drenched. Her tears were like tempest and she was weeping like a burst dam. But I just circled my arms around her protectively and didn't let that worry me. I knew she had forgiven me and, more importantly, forgiven herself and that was enough. For once, I didn't ask what had transpired beyond the frown and the tears. For once, I just held her close and let her cry.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The closure - I

My broken heart’s sorrows are deep.
Painful, disturbed, broken my sleep.
If you don’t believe, send me your thoughts
And you will see how in sleep I weep.
- Hafiz

We fought all morning. After almost an hour into the fight if I’d paused for a moment to recall how it had started I’d have had trouble remembering. Two hours into it and it wouldn’t have mattered at all. I was so angry and upset and hurt that I was blinded to reasoning. All I wanted to do was lash out at her. And to see that she wasn’t backing down either made me angrier. I’d been in a couple of fights before. But that day it was the first time for me where only words were involved. And for the first time that day I learnt that I preferred fists. The anger dissipated with each blow, whether mine or my opponent’s, in such fights and, they ended quickly. Here, the anger only increased and the words never seemed to end. That day they finally did after a particularly hurtful comment spoken by me that shocked me almost as much as it did her. Her eyes blazed, as if my words had stoked the ember already burning in there to a fire. Pain boiled over, spilling in rapid tears as she stepped purposefully towards me, raised her hand and slapped me. Hard. And then right in front of me she buried her face into her hands and crumpled to the floor. 
I knew I’d regret what I was about to do as soon as I’d taken the first step towards him, closing the gap that was in every way but physically ravaged by our war of words. What I didn’t know was how heavy the burden of regret would be. As I cried silently on the floor I felt the sting on my palm that had made contact with his cheek and I realized I preferred his hurtful words than this sudden and resounding silence brought about by me. It seemed to stretch for a terribly long time before I heard the sound of a door opening and shutting. He didn’t even slam it on his way out. I wished he had. I’d deserve it. Or maybe a kick in the gut before walking away. I closed my eyes and wept some more. My tears pooled around my cheek that was pressed on the cool floor. I was a mess but I didn’t care. I couldn’t think of anything but the person who’d just walked out of the house. I don’t know how long I lay there. When I opened my eyes it was dark and the tears had stopped, leaving sticky and salty trails on my face. My hair was a mess and my body stiff from lying curled up on the cold floor for too long. I blinked several times and realized I had a splitting headache and was thankful for the gloom. I got up slowly and groped my way across the dark and lonely house. When I reached my bed I fell gratefully into it, instantly asleep.
The streetlights seemed too harsh in the moonless and chilly night. I flinched every time I walked under one of those bright sentinels that regarded me silently while they shone with all their brilliance to keep the darkness at a safe distance. Unfortunately they couldn’t do the same for the cold that pressed me from all sides. I neither had a jacket nor were my clothes warm enough for the weather. Shivering slightly I stuffed my hands in my jeans pockets and started walking at a brisk pace to work up some body heat. It didn’t help much and it served me right. Leaving her there like that, all alone, crying was a stupid, stupid thing to do. Now I was going back hours later hoping the worst was over, like a coward. I turned the corner that led to the house and stopped dead in my tracks. The house was shrouded in darkness. After having walked down a too bright street, the sudden gloom was unnerving. It seemed like the nearest streetlights had taken great care to keep the house in shadows and shed their light elsewhere. I stepped in closing the door quietly behind me. Everywhere was darkness so absolute that it was disorienting. I navigated with little ease, even with the map of the house etched in my brain, until finally I reached the bedroom. Switching on the night light I saw her lying across the bed, still in the same clothes I’d last seen her, what seemed like, ages go. Under the soft light, with her hair untied and tousled and dried tears staining her cheeks, she was a heartbreaking sight. I suddenly felt very tired. Without bothering to change I tucked myself into the edge of bed and went to sleep.
I woke up with a start and immediately noticed two things. It wasn’t dark anymore and the room was freezing. My blanket lay neatly folded beside my legs and I briefly wondered if it was the cold that had woken me up. The other blanket however lay in a heap on the floor. He’d come back last night I was relieved to note. Also my headache and stiffness had vanished. All my idle musing and comfort were shattered when I realized I was, yet again, the only living soul in the house. The feeling of loneliness was too tangible to be dismissed. The day was cloudy and grey with bleak sunlight that made it impossible to guess the time. The wall clock was high up in the shadows that the light from the windows couldn’t dispel. Suddenly I didn’t want to know the time anymore. I forgot about the cold and the grumbling stomach that tried in vain to remind me that I hadn’t fed it since breakfast the previous morning. All I wanted was to find him, apologize and bring him back. As I passed by the windows on my way out I realized it was raining lightly. It seemed like God had particularly chosen the dreariest weather for this day. Ignoring my growing dread I stepped out of the house and almost reeled back at the sight in front me. Through the foggy breaths that were coming out rapidly of my mouth I saw utter destruction.