Mind’s cacophony, paper’s poetry

Presenting my collection of amateur rhymes suited to a host of images that had, once upon a time, made my mind chatter endlessly!

Cacophony

WhatsApp Image 2017-10-23 at 10.03.00WhatsApp Image 2017-10-23 at 10.52.13

Turbulence defines me
It emanates in the sea
And while turbulence I be
The steady water I see
It winds around, joyous and glee
It teaches finding a path where free
Now in this new tenacious stability
And between the ripples and the silent sea
Balance, I find thee.
Now, it’s the warrior defining me.
-DH, on yoga by the ocean

WhatsApp Image 2017-10-23 at 10.06.41

The calm sea, before the storm brews
“How feisty!” murmur even the shrews
Childlike wonderment and yet wisely aware
I am all the drama one needs; I am a play, stare.
-DH

What do you see,
When you look at me?
See my mind, I tell thee.
What would you get, objectifying me?
Talk to me, listen, that is the key.
Argue, converse, challenge me.
I could destroy you, but bear with me;
Be a man, like I can be.
-DH

WhatsApp Image 2017-10-23 at 10.06.45

Staying within the four walls?
Not confinement, I say.
Braving the weather outside?
Cowardly? Nay!
To each their own
In the moment, stay.
I have this, my happy place;
I stay in and wander away.
-DH

WhatsApp Image 2017-10-23 at 10.06.45(1)

A world beyond
The scapes that surround
She looked with dreamy eyes.
Her struggle though
With mediocrity
She looked away, steeling her life.
It’s always today
Just for tomorrow
Selfish, at times, even cold.
A momentary lapse
In the today for her tomorrow
Forced her to write the psychedelic an ode.
-DH

She looked,
As baby steps she took.
The experiences she had,
She was glad.
This was the city that helped her craft;
The first to the many starts.
-DH, on Boston

A long week past,
A longer week ahead.
To work that lasts,
While stories are shared.

To home away from home and
Similarity in difference.
It’s a paradox, my friend.
It’s a transient smile while on the fence.

It’s experiences you never think you’ll have.
It’s growing up, while you already feel old.
It’s the quiet in the bustle you can nab.
It’s about today, though you work for tomorrow’s gold.
-DH

WhatsApp Image 2017-10-23 at 10.33.30

You think it’s a blank stare
You think she wouldn’t dare
But she sees the bigger picture
She believes she isn’t the preacher.
You think she’s lost
You think it didn’t cost
But she knows what she had to do
She knows it more than you.
It’s not blank
It’s a reverie
It’s not naivety
It’s the momentary
It’s a break
It’s to make
It’s for the whole from a piece
It’s a breath, please
It’s the race against the norm
It’s the quiet before the storm.
-DH

If I look beyond I see,
I wonder what might I find?
The future, so unpredictable
Or the past that I left behind?

If I ask you to look through my eyes,
Do I mean, “step in my shoes”?
Or to peek inside the product
Of the fate with whom I called it a truce?

Many lives I’ve seen around me
Many nastier than mine
So shall I complain
Or thank the divine?

But there doesn’t exist a soul, I believe.
It’s all the self-awareness that breeds.
Look, you’ll see!
It’s always you, it’s always me.
-DH

WhatsApp Image 2017-10-23 at 10.06.41(1)

I still need idlis and dosas,
I still need the Sunday Carnatic.
It’s the violin that forms my lullaby,
The kaapi that makes me tick.
It’s the potu that makes me feminine,
The mayee that makes my eyes pop.
It’s the nine yards that I’ll adorn one day
That’ll make someone’s heart stop.
I speak Tamil but am from Kerala,
The best of both worlds, if you may.
I’m southern in my heart and mind,
Home’s where Amma-Appa stay!
-DH

Cacophony

Happy brewing, happy reading! 🙂

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Life comes a half circle

me!
Me, smiling away at age 2 or 3!

I look up at them, knowing they are the two people I see the maximum – everyday or on most days. I know not who they are, but if they aren’t around, I feel something inexplicable. Or rather something I can’t explain. I do not have the words or the understanding yet. After all, I am but a few months old. I just began supporting my own head. One of the many firsts in life. Still, I know not the significance of the task. It will be eclipsed by other tasks I will accomplish in life; the list of significant tasks written to humankind.

Shush brain, my chatty friend, you wandered off. I still look up at them. This man would pick me up at the nursery and I would feel something else, something I can’t explain, again. Then this woman would return home late and feed me. The feeling of a full belly is something I will continue to appreciate throughout life. This man would someday sit down with me and explain how I’ll have to work toward a full belly forever. Well I do not know this just yet. I am but a few months old.

But for everything this couple does for me, it makes me something that I will learn eventually is called “happy.” And the only way I know to express happiness is to flash them a vibrant smile, the significant half of a circle.

I look at them now. I am older. I know they are Mom and Dad. I know that if they aren’t around me, the feeling is called sadness. Sadness which is caused not only by their absence but also when they do not give me what I want. I do not know why that makes me sad. I just know that it does. After all, I am but a few years old. I flash them a despondent smile, the symbolic half of a circle.

The man I learned to call Dad would give me what I want, without question because I am that important to him. I do not know why. I do not know what it is called, affection? Maybe that. He does this to turn that half circle upside down, and it works! I learned that “happy,” comes from being what you want.

I look at him now. A lot wiser, and yet, not really so. I know what the names for all those things I have felt over the years are. I know why my parents give me everything, why their absence makes me sad. It is something called “love.” I still don’t exactly know what that is but it exists. I know the feeling of wanting something. That’s more than needing something. It’s more possessive. Though, there is a fine line between wanting and needing. I do not know this just yet. I am but a teenager. I look at him, a man who is not my Dad. I look at him, wanting him, I don’t know why, just yet. A sense of possessiveness engulfs me. The same way that I wanted an object, I want him, to be all and only mine. He has something that made me “happy.” He does something that makes me smile.

I look at them now. A smart woman that I am, presenting my knowledge and opinion via a PowerPoint presentation. And yet they question my ability. The politics of this I may not know now, but will feel later probably. I look at the work I’ve done and I know if they aren’t the takers someone else will certainly be. This is a pivotal moment, you know. I begin to feel self-aware, aware of my worth. It is, how do you say it? Yes, an uplifting moment. The need for approval diminishes as I begin to understand it all. The feeling of sadness at not being recognized is replaced with confidence of walking out when not given the importance I deserve. I do so. And I go elsewhere. And they take me on as though I belonged. And I wear my pride and my smile, the beginning of the half circle of my life, on my face. A glitter in my eyes. And if I could do this, I knew I will be able to do what comes next.

I look at his number now. On my phone. I am aware it was lust, not love. Love would last, I know it does, when I call my parents everyday. I know there is love in the world. He wasn’t it though. I know about the fine line between want and need. I had crossed over. My want had become my need and when he couldn’t be there, my need just choked me. I know a lot now. After all, I am twenty. I delete the number, feeling the symbolic half circle on my face and the water that delineates it. The sadness of loss, of comfort, of trust, of affection. I know what every feeling is called now. I am not a child anymore.

And because I am not a child, I know how to change the half circle. I am self-aware. I know my strengths, my weaknesses. I am human, I know human. I know how to deal with everything. It takes time, courage and will, and I know each of these words with their practical meaning. My dictionary is appreciably big and I can frame sentences now. I am no longer confused. So, I prioritize. I decide. I don’t let life take me places, I make sure there’s been my hand in it. And I feel the dependency ebb, joining hands with a prefix I didn’t know had the power that it does. The “in” in independence is the “in” in the constant feeling I work toward – happ“in”ess.

It makes me happy to wake up every morning, to ready myself for the day. It makes me happy to do a set of tasks, to keep myself healthy, to keep problems at bay. It makes me happy that I can deal with the ups and downs that come along the way. It makes me happy that I am needed and I do not need, that I can give myself what I want, and do not have to ask for it. It makes me happy that I am the master of my life. It makes me happy that I can pamper myself after a long hard day. It makes me happy that I can intimidate those who come my way.

All through my infinitesimal time on earth, I have been learning and I continue to. It all started with feelings toward others and has finally propagated toward me, myself, I. Call it narcissism? But it’s not! I have to take care of myself so that I can transfer that happiness to others. It has taken me years to understand. As I reach the half circle of life, I learn the secret to the half circle on my face, something only in my hands. My decision, my actions, by the people I choose to keep in my life.

And I am sure, as my life reaches a full circle, which I shall define by saying, the situation in which someone else might look up at me, maybe, someday, not knowing who this woman is and why does she want a half giggly circle on his or her face, I will help them on the path of independence-defined happiness. That will be my full Circle, but for now, I shall happily flash a half! 😊

Circle

P.S. I know this is the most disorganized blog there is! Nevertheless, I hope the above makes sense. Happy brewing, happy reading! (insert your half circle) 😉

Three sins.

Disclaimer: The use of “she” is not symbolic, just poetic. I am one of those who believe that women are capable and powerful enough to destroy anything and anyone who deserves being destroyed. It is not to deprecate nor to degrade womankind because in doing so, I would be implicating myself as well, being a strong and independent woman. Hence, it is just poetic and in fact, empowering, that it is a “she”.

#1
How could I ever say no?
I had spent an hour without her.
My desire worsening,
I looked up again,
Trying to find an escape,
But I couldn’t.
All I could see
Was her.
In front of my eyes.
All I could feel,
Was her.
On my lips.
All I could think,
Was of her.
The scent I took in,
The flavors that I always tasted.
I needed to get out.
And then I did.
I got up, I ran.
I ran faster, then just fast.
Then I couldn’t.
I couldn’t breathe.
Her thought was suffocating me.
Her constant presence was killing me.
And yet I craved for her.
I knew I had to let her go.
But she was what I needed most.
She was my need, my want, my reprieve.
But I couldn’t run anymore.
I began coughing.
But I reached where I was headed.
I removed the pack out of my pocket.
I lit her, she was on fire.
I put her between my lips and let her fill me.
I had reached where I was headed.
Or so I thought.
I was close to reaching where I was ultimately headed anyway,
Because she was Disastrous for me.

#2

How could I ever say no?
It wasn’t my fault, you see.
She came to me.
Exquisite, to say the least.
She remained long after she left the room.
Almost indefinitely.
She remained in my mind, my thoughts.
I woke up to her.
I slept to her.
I wept to her.
I touched, to her.
And yet I slept next to a beauty.
Every night I slept, her hand over me.
She was everything I needed and yet,
My want overshadowed my need.
My love didn’t bleed,
For nine months or more.
And yet my lust..
I bled for my lust, albeit, differently.
My love cooked for me,
Yet my lust burnt me.
Alive, I craved.
Dead, I craved.
My lust took over one day.
How could I resist?
She came to me,
Her undeniable beauty.
Her lashes brushed her cheek,
Her bosom came up and fell deep,
Her legs wrapped around me,
And I let lust take over me.
I returned home then.
My love, waiting for me.
What had I done? I couldn’t believe.
Beauty so real, I’d reached an end, in my family.
I knew she was the forbidden fruit,
Because, ultimately, she proved Disastrous to me.

#3

How could I ever say no?
If she asked, I gave her.
I would give her everything.
I would give her my surface, my core and everything in between.
She used to ask me though.
Ask and I would provide.
But now she doesn’t.
She takes what she needs and a lot more.
She uses me everyday and I let her.
Do I say no?
I show her my pain.
I show her my anguish.
I show her my rage.
She understands but doesn’t act.
She sees but she never reacts.
She uses me, every inch of me.
She has begun giving back.
But her needs have become wants,
Her gifts have become ever small.
It won’t help, I know.
I won’t last, you know.
She knows and yet she uses me.
All of me.
From the top to the bottom.
From one end to the other.
I am a full circle.
She has gone around using me.
From my deepest to the farthest from me.
She has explored and continues.
She looks, learns and does more.
She is brilliant but careless.
It won’t help now.
I won’t last for our future.
I’m exhausted.
Yet I continue to give.
While she experiments to replace me.
But I’m irreplaceable.
It was great while it lasted
But if one ever asks,
Earth, how did you meet your end?
It was because the human was Disastrous for me.

P.S. Three acts – smoking, we kill ourselves – adultery, we kill two – global warming, we doom us all. Hope that came through to those who read! Happy brewing, happy reading! 🙂

The Caretaker

“It’s time to wake up!” she said to her. “Come on! There’s warm milk ready for you. It’s a big day today!” she continued and prodded her awake.

She continued looking at the face she knew so well. But her optimism for the day ebbed as a frown replaced her smile. She suddenly couldn’t bear to look at the all too familiar face. She turned around and left her, half awake, half asleep and headed to the kitchen to prepare their breakfast – porridge, as usual.

“Are you awake? We have to get you ready, bathed, dressed and ready to go!”

She went back into her room to check that she had packed everything. She had laid out the clothes she was going to dress her in. It was a big day indeed. She was worried about leaving her alone. Mother’s anxiety kicked in, and she began worrying a lot more.

Despite the melancholy creeping into her day, she pretended to be all happy and smiled while she went through the motions of a usual day. She fed her, bathed her and dressed her. Maybe she can do this, she thought. Maybe separation wasn’t the answer. But she had to let go. She had to live her life.

“So, you are all set for your first day! You’ll have a good time there, I promise. They will take very good care of you,” she kept saying, probably to console herself, more than anything else.

She looked at her; two sets of brown eyes met. Tears dripped from both.

“Don’t cry! I’m sorry, it’s all my fault I know. I am a terrible person. I’m sorry,” she said and she went to hug her. She felt her hand touch her head and felt as though she was making her look at something. She couldn’t speak much anymore.

She directed her gaze to the couch, around herself. The area around her seat was darker than the rest of the couch – it was wet. She had Soiled herself.

“Oh Mom..it’s okay,” she said, looking at her mother.

She had been taking care of her mother for years now. She soiling herself was nothing new, nothing she hadn’t always cleaned up. Her mother was an old woman. But a woman who had taken very good care of her. She could never come to let her go. But lately, it was getting very difficult to juggle her own life and that of the caretaker she was while at home. She felt terrible about entering her into a home, a facility that could and would do a better job of taking care of her.

She cleaned her mother up and helped her into new clothes. She drove her to the old-age home and checked her in. She sat with her until they were ready with the room. She put all her mother’s belongings in her room; put photos on the sill and her clothes in the closet.

She couldn’t bear to stay there any longer. She crouched in front of her mother and said, “I’ll visit often, I promise.”

She left her then. On her way out, she saw many others there, laughing, playing board games, sharing stories, reading books with their glasses perched low on their noses. She hoped her mother would have a similar time, a good time. She hoped they would take good care of her.

She drove back home. She had been worried about the stress of separation triggering an episode but she had made it through the morning. She dialed her doctor.

“Hi, it’s Zoya here.”

“Hi Zoya, how are you today?”

“I’m alright. I can come in anytime you want.”

“Oh, that’s great. Has your mother settled in?”

“The place looked great. I just dropped her there. Thank you for your suggestion, Doctor.”

“They will take good care of her, don’t worry. I’ll have your chemo scheduled at the earliest.”

“Thank you. I’ll be there.”

She hung up then and sat there. She allowed her concentration to waver for the first time in the day; allowed her brain to grow fuzzy. She looked at the nearly dried up spot of her mother’s urine, on the couch. She wondered about her own impending incontinence. At thirty, she wondered whose attention would she direct to the fact that she had soiled herself.

Soil

P.S. A short story after a long time. Happy brewing, happy reading! 🙂

Conversations in my head

the present
the present

I do not remember the last time I had a conversation I didn’t want to end. It has been too long. A person for whom a good conversation is the perfect food for thought, a person who craves it to the maximum, I am yet to have an invigorating one in Boston. Sad. I have friends but none to speak with. Frustration has ensued. I am having conversations with myself. Maybe I will revert to being the introverted kid who had imaginary friends. Maybe I should think of imaginary people who challenge me in thought, in words, who want me to think, who make me think, who ask for my opinion on things, whose perspective I could change, who themselves could provide me with the “Aha!” moment. Sigh. Double sigh. Triple sigh.
Sitting here, now, at this coffee shop, I am trying to have a one-sided conversation with my computer screen. My actual expression suppressed, my animated gestures oppressed. Suffocating? Well, it shouldn’t be. I am writing. It is a mode of expression. Perhaps I am worse than I thought, or perhaps my writer’s block is worse than I anticipated. If I am unable to express well even on a screen, then makes no sense to continue.
The problem, though, you see, is that it is all the more suffocating if communication with the screen stops. It is some outlet, after all, isn’t it.
It has all faded, unfortunately. It all just has. There were times I had a lot of time and also people to talk to. Say, my Dad. He is my replica in thoughts. I miss the conversations. They have always been fun. The topics would change from one to the other. Our talks, never ending. But now, I have reached the point where I have no time and if I do, I have no one to talk to. Finding solace in my talks to cabbies, but for how long will that last? For how long will I, who craves good conversation, be able to cope with this sinking feeling with just small talk?
Finding myself at a loss for words isn’t a new feeling anymore. I am getting accustomed to it lately. I haven’t had the opportunity to put them to use recently anyways.
No one gets it. Waiting for the one who could get me out of this. Anyone. One good conversation. One lasting conversation. A plethora of topics, words. One long talk which could go on forever. Can’t wait. Frustration mounting every day.
Patience, dear writer. You have made it this far, the road ends in a beautiful cul-de-sac soon. Contradictory, right? As much as I would like the end to come sooner, to find the one long conversation, I am just as scared that that won’t change into many new long conversations. But that is most unlikely. On the other hand, what if it does so for the other and not me? With all my quirks and wishes, I must admit, even that isn’t acceptable to me. Sigh. Double sigh. Sigh Sigh Sigh!
Nevertheless, puzzling though it is, how I have written today, I did write. The faded conversations shall come back. If not, new ones will emerge. Patience my dear conversationalist. Patience. Until then, the blank screen beckons you to have your conversations with it. Sitting in a coffee shop, listening to music and having what you want, in your head.

P.S. No words. Happy reverie 🙂

Faded

Gone are the days…

Disclaimer: Mostly fictional.

“Mommy! Mommy! Can I have another?” asked the little girl, jumping around her Mother, at the Cafe. I caught myself staring at her. She reminded me of someone.

“Oh, sure, honey!” replied her Mother. The little girl wanted another sweet. Her Mother bought another one for her.

I smiled in their general direction. Generous, I thought. My Mother would never have relented so easily. Of course, that was always just a momentary no. If I ever needed something and was denied, she would put it under my pillow, if small, or under my bed, if big, that very same night. She always made sure that I was happy.

I looked down at my poached egg; my hunger had suddenly abandoned me. I had to think before I spent now. I was away, far away from home, where a tantrum would get me what I wanted.

The smile I had had on my face just seconds ago, vanished. All that remained was a ghost of a smile, if at all.

I left the Cafe without eating anything and rushed to College. Lectures dragged on the whole day. I had no time to think about anything else.

So there was a study tour coming up, and the girl sitting two rows ahead was very excited about it.

“Well, obviously, the true reason we are going on this trip is to see the place and have fun! Who cares what the “tour” has to offer! I’m all packed already but I might shop a little more! I’ll probably have to get another bag to stuff it all in! Too much work, don’t you think!?” she kept chatting, incessantly with her girlfriends.

I looked at them and looked back down at my tattered, used copy of the textbook. I can’t go for this trip. I can’t pay for it. I was already working two jobs to help me through School, a trip was an expense I could avoid.

I couldn’t travel in reality but I could travel down memory lane..

“We are going on a holiday, my dear!” said my Father, as soon as he came back home from work that day.

“Yes!!! When, daddy, when!?” I shrieked, running to him and hugging him.

“Next week sounds good, right? Is your schedule all clear my busy little daughter??” he asked me.

“Let me check my Diary, Daddy! Hehe” I giggled, pretending to check an imaginary Diary. “Yes! I am available! Let’s go!!”

That had been a happy day, I thought, coming out of my reverie. I too had been in a position of not bothering where the money came from. I too had been happy once, excited and looking forward to the next day. That just seemed like a long time ago. All that remained was a ghost of that excitement, of years ago.

After classes and the shift at the library, I walked back home. A home, away from home. My responsibilities and the cruel realities weighing me down, making it difficult to walk. The day had reminded me too much of my carefree childhood; reminded me too much about the stresses I face everyday; of my demons, lurking around the corner. When my friends tell me to be content in the small things and that this too shall pass, I agree with them. But it is easier said, you see. As a child, I would dream big. About things I would achieve, do. Places I would see. People I would meet. But I found myself walking home, alone, a home, away from home, thinking how only the next day mattered, at the most. There was just worry, exhaustion now. The dream had faded away, and all that remained was a Ghost of it, if at all.

P. S. I guess I put a little too much of my current state of mind into this protagonist.. I guess that is just separation anxiety talking. Happy mind-clearing! 🙂

Ghost

Deprived of Everything

“Sir, you have a conference call at 0945h; the ROW marketing meeting at 1030h. Your lunch with Mr. Smith has been arranged at 1300h. You have Reg Inc. coming in at 1530h and Boss needs you dot at 1700h.”

He listened to his secretary ramble on about his schedule for the day. This was every day, nothing unusual. He didn’t even bother looking up. He made notes about pending work which he would have to finish before each of the mentioned meetings and asked, “Is there anything else?”

“Well, your Project report is due tomorrow.”

“Oh, yes. I’ll have to do that after my last meeting for the day.”

He had begun working on the report the previous night, after yet another day completely booked by appointments and meetings. He couldn’t recollect the last time he had slept the entire night. He sighed and continued working. He ordered coffee, after a while.

“You are going to ruin your health like this, honey,” his wife had warned him the previous night. “Please stop this and come to bed.”

“Yes, I’ll be there in a few, sweetheart, I promise,” he promised, falsely.

He awoke the next day and found that he had dozed off at the table, in the study. He had sighed and begun to get ready for the day.

“Stop thinking about irrelevant things,” he said to himself, shaking his head to come out of his reverie.

With the conference call and meeting done, he was sitting in the car, on his way to the restaurant when his phone rang.

“Hello, my sleep deprived husband!” chirped his wife.

“Hello, my observant wife!” he replied.

“I hope you remember that it is your son’s recital today? I expect you to be home by six, ok?”

A moment of silence followed. This would be the third consecutive recital he would be missing. He didn’t know how to break the news to his wife this time.

“I, uh..”

“Oh no. Oh no no. You can’t –”

“I’m sorry, darling. I really am! I’ll talk to him, I promise!”

“You cannot possibly think I’m ok with this!? Do you know that you haven’t attended a single one of his performances? Can’t you make an hour’s time for your son??” she asked, her tone accusatory.

“I’m really sorr –”

“Please. Don’t. You are hardly ever home, and even if you are, you stay in your study. You can’t make time for your own son, your wife. How important is your damn work? Is it more so than your family? You are depriving a son of his father and a wife of her husband. I have nothing more to say to you.”

She cut the call.

This too was usual. They often fought over his absence at home, important functions.

But he always tried to reason with her saying that his hard work is what offers them a luxurious life. He had never had one himself. He wanted his son to have one. He always had to think twice before spending on anything, had to curb his demands while seeing his other rich friends get what they want and also what they didn’t. He didn’t want this to happen to his son. He didn’t want him to cope with financial difficulties at a young age. So he worked and slogged his guts out.

“But you can’t buy your son some time with his father, you fool!” his wife would yell.

He just didn’t want to deprive his son of a good, secure life. Why couldn’t she understand that he was doing it all for them?

He stopped thinking about his wife and son, and continued through the day. He met his boss, who unloaded his own worries on him, his subordinate, quite conveniently. He took it silently and promised better results. This promise he will have to keep.

He walked back to his cabin, sat down and decided to grab some shut eye before starting with the report. He checked the time, it was 1817h. When is the recital, he wondered. He picked up the phone and dialed his wife’s number. He’ll make up for it tonight, he decided. He’ll take the weekend off and be with his son, he decided.

“Hello? Mr. Roy?” asked a male voice, instead of his wife.

“Huh? Hello? Who are you?”

“Mr. Roy, I’m speaking from Grant General Hospital. Sir, I’m extremely sorry to tell you, but your wife and son…

P. S. A short story after a long time. Disclaimer: Completely fictional. No happy anything…

Deprive