Weeds

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Don’t pull me out.

I’m a part of you.

I’ll sit more silently, I promise.

I’ll be there by your side.

Just sitting there, calm and poised.

I’m not unwanted.

Just let me in once.

Please. I won’t hurt you.

I’m unlike the others.

I’ll only need some light.

And some water.

And slowly, I’ll become stronger.

I’ll be as equal and tall as you.

I’ll sway with you.

We could be best friends.

And slowly, I’ll grow taller than you.

But don’t worry, we are still equals and friends right?

I’ll just take some of your light.

Some of the water.

Don’t mind me.

And then, when you are a little smaller than me.

I’ll grow on you.

No light or water would be enough.

I’ll prey on your living.

I’ll be your death.

But hey, we’ll still be friends right?

I’ll always remember you.

And a little later,

Maybe, just maybe,

I’ll find a new friend.

Don’t feel bad, you’ll be holding me back.

Now, is that what friends do?

 

 

20 Days

Everyone is sound asleep. Silently breathing. The night lamps alight in distance, somewhere round the corner. I can see the pillar casting a shadow. The watchman is patrolling.

That’s how a normal person would describe a typical night at 3 am.

But it’s not so easy for us. We lay here. I lay here wide awake and you are sleeping beside me. It’s so easy for you to fall asleep. I wish it were so easy for me too. I sit here, on our bed, flipping the side lamp switch. But I am not here, I don’t know where I am. Its someplace distant. Somewhere where my past is, the beautiful yet painful past. Or am I dreaming about our future? Where you and I could go back to being us. But it doesn’t matter if I am stuck in a reverse or a forward, I’ll be content living in either one of them, rather than the present. The present is not what the past was made of, of what promises we made in the past. Its hollow, suffocating, confining and it keeps getting worse. It’s not getting better. The last twenty days tell me where we are and how we can’t walk together anymore.

It’s been twenty days since we last talked to each other, well, pretended that we were talking to each other. Maybe, no words can damage us more than the silences already have. I can’t reminiscence what we talked about, which doesn’t happen to me. I remember every word you ever spoke, every heartbeat that my hands felt while I blissfully slept on your chest.

Nineteen days since we had dinner together. We like to pretend that you are busy at work and come home after you’ve ate and I, fulfill my end by still waiting at dinner table with at least one of your favorite dishes. You walk past the table and call me to bed. Tears well up easy and subside just as easily. We are whiling away something so pure with something so made up.

Eighteen days since I’ve cried. Poured my heart out in front of you. And you just sat there, asking me to tell you what the fuck was wrong with me. How can I tell you something that I don’t know the answer to? How can I assure you on something I’ve been unsure of since what seems like eternity. It doesn’t matter if you keep asking me, if you keep offering me your handkerchief, my heart doesn’t give me my answers.

Seventeen days since I smiled. I can’t find anything to smile at these days. Not the stupid reality shows, not the kids who giggle outside our house. Nothing is amusing, nothing gives me happiness. How can it, my happiness is you. And you are gone, you are so distant, I can’t reach out to you.

Sixteen days since we last held hands. It was raining that day and our car had broken down in the middle of the road. You walked ahead of me, my hands knotted in yours, resilient than ever. Like we had promised we would, wherever either one of us would go, the other would follow. Follow me back to that place darling, that moment is still ours, we just need to recapture it.

Fifteen days since we had a row. I don’t mind fighting with you. It just calms me down. It is settling to know that there’s still something we have left which was worth fighting for. Let’s fight for us honey, let’s not give up. Maybe we are still worth fighting for. Don’t abandon us just yet.

Fourteen days since I saw you laugh. I can’t let go of those 10 seconds, it’s my something beautiful. Something I am holding on tight to. You put half my demons to rest that day and I could finally sleep. The other half, woke me up after 4 hours. But I don’t mind, I got to breathe beside you, to sleep beside you.

Thirteen days since I got to know that we were having a baby. I should’ve been happy, it’s something you gave me, something I can keep for life. But I didn’t want to tell you. I didn’t want to share something so pure with something like us. Something destroyed and hopeless like us.

Twelve days since I’ve slept. I wander the halls, reliving all the moments we shared since we got married. How you picked me up in your arms and i smiled the brightest, the two beautiful years of love this house saw. It’s not a home anymore, it’s a house. Our love made it our home. Neither lasted as long as it should have. It’s just bricks and mud now.

Eleven days since I’ve cut myself. It liberates me, unshackles me from my misery. It pulls me out of the gloom that has surrounded me. If I drain my pain through my wrists, will you love me again? Just like you promised you would. Hold my hand once again honey, I swear the scars will heal.

Ten days since your friends came over and we feigned love. The love that’s been long lost. I yearn that love. Don’t you? Let’s pretend if we have to, let’s be the happy couple that we pretended to be that night. Let’s find a few seconds of calm in these days of chaos.

Nine days since our anniversary. You bought a ring for me. A sparkling solitaire. You got down on one knee and proposed to me. The dream was beautiful, contrasting to our harsh reality. The dreams are comforting, I fall asleep balled up on the couch, unlike our last anniversary. There were roses then, it’s just a wide field of thorns now.

Eight days since you made love to me. I wouldn’t call it making love. It was just sex. The passion, the warmth, the fierceness no longer defined it. It was just two bodies entwined, sans the barriers of clothes. Don’t you see the scars, not even now? Maybe they are hiding, hiding from the one who gave them to me.

Seven days since you woke up beside me. Happiest day so far. You wished me good morning with a kiss, a fervourless, customary kiss and made tea for me. I wish you’d sit beside me and nuzzle my neck like you used to. I wish you’d come back, come back to me.

Six days since I told you about our baby. You hugged me so tight I almost stopped breathing with happiness. You smile like a thousand sun rays just dawned on my face. Are we fixed? Are we back to being us? I must be hallucinating.

Five days since you kissed me goodbye. It feels like you are not a delusion anymore, it really is you. It really is us. This might be short-lived but I’ll still cherish every second of it and hope that the next isn’t the last one.

Four days since you talked to our baby. It feels so nice to feel your hands on me again. It’s satiating. It’s substantial. It’s filling.

Three days since you slipped away. You are distant and aloof again. Don’t do that to me, don’t let us fall prey to the silences again. Talk to me, I am here and so is our baby, hold on to us.

Two days since I have taken my meds. It’s for our baby, I should’ve taken. But if there’s  no us, no ours, it’s all in my dreams, in my nightmares. It’s all that is left now, I can only envision what was reality once.

A day since I’ve made peace with the lose broken strings our relationship is hanging from. It’s so surreal, how did we get here? I still can’t help asking myself.

And here I am, on the 21st night of our dead, fake reality. Insomnia still overpowering me, I leave this letter by your bedside, I leave your bedside. We don’t belong on each other sides anymore, we don’t define each other anymore.So, dear husband, I am letting go my insecurities that held me down for so long, I am letting go of the lies I had led myself to believe in. I am setting you free, I am leaving the baggage behind.

Marked

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Born in a hospital room, I was marked a girl.

Lying in the incubator, they labelled me with a name.

A name that would give my existence validation.

I had no say.

At 4, I was marked as a daughter.

My father’s hand hitting me hard across the face.

Too fragile to fight back, I cried.

I had no say.

At 14, I was marked as a girlfriend.

A kiss and my hands in his hair was all it took.

No matter my age, nobody ever asked.

I had no say.

Marks and scars grew with age

Hand in hand, pain and gains.

At 20, I was marked as a student.

He should’ve taught me psychology, but I got a piece of his mind.

Groping me by my waist, I stood there, numb, aghast.

Too humiliated to respond, I ran.

I had no say.

At 26, I was marked as a wife. On our wedding night.

His touch set my scars ablaze, like burning through a flame.

He’d come home every night, take me for 11 minutes and would push me over to my bed side.

Too used to sustain, I cringed at every turn with pain.

I had no say.

At 32, I was marked as a mother. It was a feeling like no other.

The little fingers touched my now yellow bruise.

I’ll never mark you, I said, it’s a truce.

No scars for you, no writhing with pain.

If there is, I’ll flush it down the drain.

You’ll always have a say.

Be marked, you never may.

I’ll Hold You

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Why didn’t you come?

I said I’d wait for you.

No matter how long I had to,

But I would.

And I know for sure,

That if not days,

If not months,

You would come by years later 

But you would.

But, you stomped on my trust and faith in you.

In time and in love.

You showed me a dusty mirror.

Which was squeaky clean with a promise of fruitful longing.

Again,

My love,

I ask of you.

Every time I offer you my hand, 

My hand is a tree.

A tree,

With branches for fingers.

Fingers that are lush

And fragrant of care and love.

Bloom, will flowers.

Once they feel you warmth.

Grab onto any one of them

I’ll make it the highest branch.

The branch which takes you closer to the sun, 

To all the warmth it has to offer.

 

Your Pain

 

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Do we have to compare our pain?

To the crushing rocks

To the bitter draughts

To the silent skies

And frozen nights,

If you can’t put it in words,

Your diary lies shattered,

Pages torn mercilessly

Taking up the pain of your wordless anguish.

Do you think?

He will understand.

Or,

She will?

No, honey.

They won’t.

They won’t get how you scream, only internally.

They won’t get the ripped canvas your soul has become.

They will try to bring back the colours,

But they don’t know which ones you lost.

The red of love, the yellow of friendship, the whites of peace.

It’s you, darling.

It was, is and always will be you.

Only you can understand you,

Only you, can heal you.

 

Ignite

She burned herself

In the quest of the unknown.

Someone called “him”

And hysteric conversations at odd hours

Of the night.
She screamed.

Exploded in tears and fresh sweat.

“I see him.”

She was comforted, by mother and father alike.

“But, there is nobody.”
She would know, 

By the ticking of the hour hand.

When it strikes 4 

And everyone is in a slumber deep.

He would make her scream.

Yet not letting her take his name.

She would call out,

“It’s him, it’s him.”

“Save me, it’s him.”

But his mention is silenced by the tear of her dress
And the blanket that lays slumped on the floor.

He leaves just as the hour hand strikes again.

And she knows it’s time.
When she would gather her gown lace,

Wrap it around her hands

And muffle her scream into a ball so made.

When she should sit in the blanket.
Too afraid to drag her naked, 

Scratched frame any further.

When she has to start accepting,

Yet another morning

That she ignited this war.

Taking Back

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If someday, ever, we collide.

Cross each other’s path on a road wide.

I’ll look at you and smile,

Maybe you would too.

Even if out of sheer courtesy.

Maybe, we’ll try to break the ice,

We never could.

You’ll ask me out for coffee, or maybe not.

But, I’d rather believe that you would.

For old times,

For our time’s sake.

We’d walk in silence.

Just like the last leg of our relationship.

Finally reaching somewhere, anywhere,

We’d sit and talk.

About work, pets, life.

Which you and I already know.

4 years is a long time, dear.

The conversation would drag,

The onlookers would smile

At the two friends who are carelessly laughing.

Not a care in the world.

No matter how many hours we sit there,

Trying to escape the tension,

Hiding with smiles.

You’ll ask,

” Do you miss it?”

” If you want a day back from our time, what will it be.”

“Do you love someone now.”

And an array of questions,

Which, if I answered, would hurt you.

But, I will answer one of the questions, if you asked that.

” If you want a day back from our time, what will it be.”

I’d say, without a doubt,

Or a frown,

“I’d want the one, the day you left me,

And decided I wasn’t enough to make you stay.

I’d want to relive that day, just as it was.

No, I won’t stop you.

And just when you’re about to leave,

When you are about to bang that door,

Whose bang still wakes me up in the middle of the night.

I would tell you, everything that I’ve been wanting to say.

All these months, all these minutes.

I’d tell you, our four years, were beautiful.

And you made me cry, you made me yell, you made me smile.

And I’d bid you goodbye.

One that I never had.

With a chaste kiss,

But no promises to drop by.”

Stars and The Clouds

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I can go on and on about my love for stars.

Stars, that are rarely visible in Delhi. The night sky here is more like a kid trying to learn to tie knots and every time he tries to strengthen the last one he tied, he ends up tying another one in some distant corner on the thread.

It’s not strong, it’s not unified or a pretty pattern. Some even barely existent.

Some even barely existent.

But it forms something, something to cheer that little child up. One big accomplishment added to his face with a smile. I wonder if God gets all joyous and giddy when he creates another star in the night sky. But when he looks down if we are just as happy as he is, we are clueless. Because we don’t see anything. It’s all black and dim.

Can we not cover god’s art with a nasty polluted blanket?

We’ve all heard the “how people who die become stars” story. To some, it’s another one of grandma’s story which is too good to be believed. But then grandma knows the best, doesn’t she? I like to believe that version, it’s nice to put your faith into something rather than into nothing. And it’s calming and comforting that you haven’t really lost the ones you loved, they are wandering up above with some new found friends and are happy.

Filling Up

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The mind has piled up an endless array,

Of thoughts, beliefs, contemplations.

The heart refuses the notions,

Reversing the role, often in motion.

 

The mind, as wild.

Wanders in lands of fears and fights.

Opens the gates of grounds forgotten.

Jumps through the darkness, throttles.

 

The heart admonishes, screams perpetually,

Dreads the forthcoming penalties.

The battle grows beyond sunset,

Killing heartbeats and peace with every concept.

Hands now riddled with a red maze,

Solved only with battle’s decline.

 

But who’s giving up?

Ask the heart and the brain,

Realization daunted,

Filling up the carcass,

Mistaken for the living.

Cracks, Thorns, and Roses

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I asked the cracks on my forehead, graciously accompanying marks and bruises,

“Who did this to you?”

There’s no reply, it just spreads, cracks further down to the side of my eyes. My eyes begin to water but my will still holds strong for a reply.

The scar, as stubborn as the parent, stays tenacious and splits further down, then in an odd fashion, sideways, marking its territory.

I still stand strong, adamant on getting a reply.

The battle continues and eventually, I break.

Upon my surrender, the scar turns to me and whispers I deadly undertone,

“You did this to me, you. You gave me away to someone else. You thought it was okay to be scared in love, it was okay to be left writing and screeching with a torn heart and muscles, with a few pulled hair. Because you’re never too broken, there’s always a better morning, with lies and promises you’ll readily believe. But, look where your love brought us. A silent, standstill. Where you’re just a rose, hoping someone will overlook your thorns and accept you with the love you lost.

Well, nobody will do that, because as poetic as it sounds, it not what happens. You, YOU, pick out your thorns, you don’t let yourself crack. And before you fall in love with someone who spreads cracks in the floor, choose the underground and fall for yourself. Because darling, did everyone ever buy a rose with thorns?”

Yes, Again.

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Yes, he lied again.

And you know it’s not the first time.

Yes, console your heart, he truly is late coz he is caught up with work.

Even when his secretory confirmed he left office at 6.

And now, its 2

Yes, keep the food laid on the table.

Because, he will come home hungry.

And with savor the dishes you cooked.

Yes, keep the lights off,

Surprise him when he comes home to you.

Even when, he isn’t really coming home to you.

Yes, wait eagerly for him to kiss you.

Even when, he’ll pass out on the couch before he even has the chance to blink.

Yes, he will hold you against his chest.

Even when he smells of another woman.

Yes, he’ll make love to you.

Even when it’s just a customary 11 minute ritual, where he will say inaudible, incomprehensible sentences, only ending In her name.

Her name. not yours.

Yes, moan and pretend. even when it hurts like seven hells just descended down on you.

Yes, believe he’s still your man.

Even when he’s long, long gone.

 

Stay

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It will never be easy enough to let go of your memories. One shard, one tiny piece will always remain. In my heart, in my diaries, in poems, in my conscience. It will always, always feel like it was just yesterday when it all went wrong, I will always remember that one night where you just threw us away, because of just one simple misunderstanding. When has love, friendship, hatred ever been easy? If it were, all the prose and poetry would burn in the ashes and would probably be all about how Apocalypse will take us all away one day. But you never gave me a chance to make you see what you had assumed. You never let me jostle you and make you see the light, make you see that, no, I never wanted to burn you, I always wanted to keep you warm. Always.

It’s just as hard as that night, still. After, all the places I went with a different set of people, who never mentioned you. But I always missed you. Between jokes, between gossip, between everything. You see, you were my connect to the world I once loved. You were the reason I wanted to live in a world where selfishness overtook breathing for a priority.

I always try though, to not to talk about you, to not meet your eye, to not be in the same room as you. But how long do I resist my wanton need for you? Your skin, your touch, your smile, your cries, how can I not want them? How can I not wrap your sweater around my body in the hot May summer and cry relentlessly?

Come back, and stay. Even if it’s a goodbye 5 minutes later, but, stay. Please.