The First Rains of Monsoon

When the first rains of monsoons

Stir up the sand this year

I will smile, and remember you.

.

Do you smile now

When you see the plantain and jack fruit

You planted, shining under the blue grey sky?

.

You were a man of love.

I almost forgot how rare

Kindness is in this world,

How easily boys can break hearts,

When you smiled.

.

The land is dry now

A month later, the rains will arrive,

And I will be home.

A home without you.

 

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Changing Colour

Day#2 Prompt: Today, I’d like you to write a poem inspired by, or in the form of, a recipe! It can be a recipe for something real, like your grandmother’s lemon chiffon cake, or for something imaginary, like a love potion or a spell.

 

 

The  cold creamy paneer

Greedily licks up the fiery red

Gravy frothing above a blue

Orange yellow violet flame,

And flushes into a shy yellow.

It burns away the paleness,

Excitedly.

.

Your tender earlobes

Blush into a weeping pink

Salt leaves your eyes

But you smile blazing rainbow

The silver needle has left its mark,

Willingly.

Cliche

This poem is a cliche,

Like all small revelations are.

.

Today I learned

You can love

And not be together.

.

It was nice to talk.

It is always nice to hear your voice,

Even though it hurts now.

.

Today, we smiled, and it felt good

These tiny steps we take

To navigate the terrains we leaped over.

And I learned to appreciate another shade of

All that matters is love.

.

Today, I knew I would love you, always

And that we would not be together

And that was okay. Today I smiled

I hope you did too.

Loving the Night

You never understood why I love the night like I do

Maybe you never thought about things I love –

Only what I could and couldn’t do.

And the nights were definitely dangerous,

You had decided.

Soon, I started avoiding shadows for you.

.

Now I discover myself again in inky skies

The stars kiss parts of me you never saw

And I smile, because I can never explain

The allure of obscurity to one who glows

Under the gaze of the sun.

.

I, who wait hungrily for sunsets,

How could I have dared to love

The prodigy of the sun?

I, who am wrapped in darkness,

How could I have thirsted

For your burning touch?

.

Tonight, a cool wind

Strokes my bare arms

My burns are fading now,

But I wonder, if you still shiver

In places I touched with my cold hands,

If you still secretly yearn for shadows

And long to return to the cave of my embrace.

Don’t Call Me at 4 AM

Don’t call me at 4 AM

The thirty seconds of that call

Will fill up the hours of today,

And I will think of you more often

At a time I’m trying to forget.

.

You’re friends with strangers now –

They don’t call me when you want help.

Or maybe these friends aren’t to blame –

Maybe I am not the one you think of

When you are drunk, or want when sick.

.

I had turned invisible, I know that now.

You found pleasure in white and blue lights

On your lap that reflected in your eyes

While I sat next to you, hoping

My smile could light up your eyes again.

.

Don’t call me at 4 AM.

I used to draw a list of things

To tell you about – little events

That would be consequential

When I shared them with you.

.

The lists lie unopened –

It doesn’t matter.

I cannot read their contents anymore.

.

Your number stopped lighting up

My phone’s screen or my face

A long time ago.

It was more of an emergency number:

Call when sick, suicidal or dying;

Expect a response only when my tears

Can hold you hostage before they dry up.

.

Don’t call me at 4 AM

When you couldn’t call me every day

Or at 9 PM twice a week.

The phone didn’t ring, your voice

Never told me to stop waiting.

.

I don’t wait any longer.

Thirty seconds should not fill

The hours of today with regret

When an entire year lies naked –

Covered only with memories

I had to stretch to every corner.

.

Don’t call me at 4 AM

My sleepy voice isn’t for your ears

You cannot fill up today’s hours

Before you cover up for an entire year

That lies too cold, clinging to a past

Which no longer means anything.

Being God

It’s a strange world when

Half of its population cannot claim

Ownership of their bodies.

Stranger still, when the other half

Claims this as their right.

.

You have already pegged me, fit me in neat boxes

By the clothes I wear. Jeans, salwar or shorts:

They bear a silent testimony to my virtue, my marketability.

.

When my breasts, my curves, my blood

Are taboos, never meant to be spoken about:

Only for secret gropings and your possession,

Learning to love my own body

Feels like a transgression.

.

It is not right for me to feel beautiful,

You’ll find flaws plenty to undermine

The process of my unlearning.

I know my body is marked,

There are scars only I can see

Which I cover with demure smiles.

.

My body is marked

By your gaze, your colonizing thoughts,

Your relentless hands.

I’m left with what you’ve discarded.

It isn’t right for me to learn to love my body

It is a miracle that only I can perform.

That way, I’m nearer to God

Than you ever can be.