Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Quiet

Language. Cross out.
Words. Cross out.
Thoughts. Cross out.

But how do I forget

That silent
intense
surreal
way I feel
around you?

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Somethings always stay

I wrote this for you when you were leaving last year but never shared it with you. Given that today is Siblings Day, I felt like it was an appropriate time to share it.

_____________________________________________________________________

Letting you go was extremely hard. Not because I will never see you again, but because I will never see you again like this. We have lived a certain life of dependency for the last two and a half decades now. Just our little, three people unit. Right from the time when protecting you against pain and bitterness was my only priority, to the time when you became the reason mom and I felt safe at night, it has been a tumultuous journey. We have had moments of disagreement, anger, disappointment. But there has always been the knowledge that no matter what, we have each other. 

The next time I meet you, it will be different. It will be your home, your friends, your context, and I will be a visitor. Perhaps we may live together again. But things will change. 

I long for the moments of insecurity and loneliness that made us so dependent upon each other. I long for the few dinners that we took with just each other. Even if we had nothing to talk about, the silence was always enough. I long for all the movies we went for, all the last minute rushing and fighting. I long for the consistent change that was our life. Moving homes, moving friends, moving lives. But always having us. I long for all of that. 

Can I ever explain to you how deeply I feel for you? So intense is the feeling that everything else pales in comparison. I don’t always express myself and most often I get perceived as cold and detached for it. But I wish I could explain to you exactly what I feel. How I long to always protect you from the world. How I wish that our few car rides with rockstar on full blast would never end. How I feel like hurting someone back that even brings the smallest of pain to you. How you are, and will always be my little brother - the one that didn’t understand anything because I shielded him from the harshness of life. 

Life has brought us full circle. Now it is you who shields me from all that life holds - from my inabilities to be social, from my feelings of loneliness, from my own self. 

I miss you, and a part of me will always pine for a moment of just you and me - playing chess in Europe, driving from hundreds of places to back home, goa, at home in our various rooms, in school buses, racing our cars on our way to college….our memories are endless, just like our love.

Monday, 30 March 2015

Breaking her silence

Sometimes I see her and pain and wonder where it comes from. She refuses to shine, she rejects any sense of warmth that comes her way, she has a tower erected all around her.

My gut tells me to look in his direction. To see the invisible scars he left on her and dig deeper to unearth the visible ones. I want to ask her the right questions, and give her enough courage to tell me their answers.

I want to release her from the suffocation that she's suffering in alone. I want to take on all that he's ruined her with, and I want to send it lashing right back at him.

I know what he did to her, I know it better than any truth she could accurately remember. I can sense it in such a real way, that her anguish is now mine. I am afraid she'll never break the silence, that she will be misunderstood for far too long a time, that once again, his demons will have their way.

Each time, I helplessly look in her direction, almost asking, almost telling. And then I shamefully look away, not knowing, not admitting.

Old school

I often wonder about the times before communication methods were so abundantly available. Reading Kafka's Letters to Milena makes me almost long that I was born during that time.

There is a certain romanticism in waiting. In knowing that your time together is extremely precious, limited, fleeting. In sending your emotions to someone with no confirmation of receipt.

I can only try and imagine what the lack of certainty created - a constant need, a permanently unfulfilled desire, release only in small doses.

There is something poetic about reading what someone wrote many days ago, imagining where they were sitting, what they were wearing, how they smelt, as they wrote those words to you. A sense of nostalgia and realism, wrapped together carefully. There is also so much deliberation and intense emotion that goes into the act that it restricts the number of people one can share that emotion with, ensuring that when you do, the understanding is as deep as it gets. It takes the frivolity away from communication as we see it today.

While there is a definite comfort in knowing that you can reach out to your loved ones, no matter where they are, unfortunately, comfort doesn't breed art.

Given a choice, I would trade comfort for poetry, in a heartbeat, each time.

Sunday, 29 March 2015

What’s Left of Us

If you could hear the last need as it echoes endlessly from me to you,
Would you hear the stifled childhood scream as it penetrates you?
Would my words have the honest intensity of my feelings?
Would the emotion come tearing through, unbridled, undeterred, unfettered?

If there was no fear of fall-outs, of hurt, of betrayal, of vacuum,
Would my expression lash out angrily as you string the sentences together?
Would the insane promise of comprehension last across ages and irrationality?
Would the words quietly reach you, and land on earnest understanding?

If ink could carry all the guilt, the nonchalance, the nothingness of us,
Would it tell you, how the empty hollow left inside of you has crushed me?
Would it show you my crevices, and their jagged, insistent, desperate stories?
Would it smudge the distance between rotten you and rotten me?

A question, and the hope for its answer, is all that’s left of you and me.





Thursday, 5 March 2015

Unsaid

It's the in between
In what is never said between us.
What does it take to put it out there?
To have it said, loudly.

Do you think about the same things?
Do you wonder with the same intensity?

When I am listening,
While I giggle,
While I chatter endlessly,
Do you perceive the subtle pause?

Do you hear the sudden catch in my breath?
Do you catch the sudden sparkle?

Are you simple, like your words,
Like your straightforward stories,
Like your child like reluctance,
Are you more? 

Friday, 6 February 2015

Goodbye to you my trusted friend

I still remember the day so vividly. It was nearly 15 years ago. You came to me in a cane basket, carefully wrapped with a red and white polka dot cloth. There were balloons on one side, and you, sitting there looking at me. You came with an instruction manual and I remember you liked curd rice.

I have never felt any emotion purer than my need to protect you. I was barely 10 but I felt like I had to shield you from the world. I remember standing on the balcony of my fathers home and crying by myself because you wouldn't eat the curd rice that mom said you so loved. I remember begging you to eat. I remember feeling so relieved when you did.

Your first few days with us were very heartbreaking. Having to leave you home alone for the first time, watching you cry like a baby and sense your calm when I came near you. Within a few days, you had given me memories for a lifetime. Your peeing on the bed and Angad and my turning the Dunlop around so our father wouldn't find out. How could you have known the impact your tiny presence was going to have on our life.

My little fighter, I would like to believe that you fought on, despite all the times that life almost took you out, only for me. As a puppy, you almost died a few times, but each time you would surprise us by springing back to life. Your body may have been tiny, but your spirit was so large. You took on every dog on the street, and even turned timid Xavier into a fighter. You never gave up.

So today when I saw you give up, I almost hoped that this was one more of your cruel jokes. That you would soon get up, bark like crazy, jump off the doctors table, because jumping was always your thing, and bow in front of me, begging me to play with you. I saw you like you were for many years, fierce and loyal, and oh so loving.

There is no way to fill the hole that you have left in my heart.

There is no one else that could be my silent companion, never judging, only sitting, watching, egging me to get up, kick the dust and play instead.

There is no one else who knew my secrets the way you did, who almost licked my tears, who almost felt my pain while silently curling up in my lap, a thousand times over.

I don't know what's next for you, but you make me hope in a life after. That someday, I will be able to run behind you as you run free, that someday my heart will skip one more beat as I watch you jump off the roof and land squarely on your paws. That someday, I will be able to feel your fast heartbeat with my palm. That someday you will look at me, stop in in your tracks and madly wag your tail, as I call out Muffin.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Do you turn?

There was a jungle full of roots and thorns and swamps and danger. A forest of destruction and emotional deforestation. I slowly navigated it. Sometimes going in circles. Sometimes moving forward. I marveled each time a root caught my foot. What was it that kept it growing over years and years buried deep inside a dark, quiet place? I caught my breath when fear gnawed its way inside and pushed me to turn and run. But I never turned and I never stopped.

The urge to cross over, to transcend, to transform, always pulled me like the earth's gravity.

And then I saw the sunlight catch the dew and I knew it was over.

What do you do when all the questions are answered, when you walk through all the ugly underbelly and face all the angriest demons?

Does self awareness become the cover up? Do you finally turn in any direction? Does realization make you different?

Everyday Romance

That moment. The little indecision, the fearless declaration, the long wait, the crashing, the rising.

I have read poetry that makes me wish it was written for me. Heard words that woo and swish me off my feet. I have felt eyes as they quickly duck another way. Heard endless gushed stories that seem like I belong in them.

When you know and deny, when you perceive and pretend, when you understand and ignore.

It is the catastrophe of almost touching, the devastation of roughly feeling, the trauma of nearly believing.

There is that.

And then, sometimes, unexpectedly, there may be intensity, and comfort, and calm, and dependability, and assurance, and passion. Sometimes, tragedies give way to an everyday romance.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Many years later

The damages are all still fresh. Not like fresh flowers and fragrance, or freshly brewed coffee. The cracks are blunted. Like the scent of a pressed flower, the aroma of a receipt from a coffee date many decades ago.

The wounds have healed but the salt still burns. Not like a lost limb or deafened ears. The burns are scars. Like an itch on a phantom limb, a scream in a vacuum.

The rage has calmed but the soul still simmers. Not like the death of a loved one or being cheated on. The memories are faded. Like the ache of watching love get Alzheimers, their eyes catching light because of someone else.

The desperation has dissipated but the urge still tingles. Not like the gasp for more oxygen or reading every last word for a favorable interpretation. The emotions are stunted. Like learning to breathe under water, comprehending the words never meant to be yours.

The sound is still hollow, the darkness is still dull.