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.

 

Advertisements

Death of a Language

Your death was the last breath of a language

Our language.

Now when we laugh, it is

In a foreign tongue.

Many of us have been rendered

Mute

Some of us hunt for words

To capture your peace.

But the script has changed;

We cannot read these signs yet,

And we’ve already forgotten

The way our mouths used to move.

.

We know we have lost our language

We sit on your green bamboo chair

Stare at the trees you had planned

And squint to see your smile

Dancing with the swaying branches

.

Sometimes we remember

A stray phrase

The edge of a word

Or a whole syllable.

And for a flash your face lights up

Again.

.

But who can we tell, of

Our flashes of happiness

When you took its language

Away with you, smiling

All the way?

 

The Chooralkasera

Day#4 of IntrotoPoetry

Prompt: Chair

Device: Simile

Note: Chooralkasera is a type of chair made from cane.

This chair had never been adventurous.

Sure, once it was painted a dark green

Like the coriander chutney made without coconut –

The spicy, Delhi kind and not the sweet, cooling one

Amma spread on soft bread for hungry, sunset evenings –

But so were the three others with him. it didn’t

Make him feel any less special, though.

.

A chair has a very dull life, you see.

The only time it moved where when the veranda

With the brick red floor and the bamboo shades

Had to be cleaned, and then, it was placed back promptly.

.

But now the chair’s sighs matched the quiet grief

Of the woman who sat next to him, on her chair.

He was old, you see, and old people only long for one thing –

To disappear into photographs.

Let’s Dance

Let’s dance dance dance

Barefoot on top of all the mess,

With watery smiles to show we don’t care.

.

Let’s dance dance dance

Hold me close, let my lips touch your shoulders

So that the things that are shaking within me

Feel steady for a while, just a while.

.

Let’s dance dance dance

I don’t want to look into your eyes tonight

Don’t want to see for a while, just a while

Let’s keep swaying, the world’s stillness

Terrifies me. Hold me close, let’s dance.

.

We might be strangers now,

But in a moving universe

When I can lean on to you and close my eyes

I can almost be happy.

.

Let’s dance dance dance.

 

When People Move Away

When people move away, and you’re still in the same place

The same place turns into something strange:

It feels new because you seem to know nobody,

But it is still new because the new place excitement just isn’t there.

.

When people move away, you finally realize

How your mother felt when you left home.

The phone calls are rituals, obligations,

Like a habit which when stopped hurts the other.

They don’t depend on you so much any more,

Don’t tell you what they do, and leave out the details.

.

It sometimes scares you, always makes you sad

Do they not remember any more, the little things

That made things work? And sometimes, you wonder

If you’ll be the first they call, like they always did,

When nothing is going right, or they just want

A bit of love, a taste of home, a long hug…

.

Or would the geographical barrier have succeeded

In separating them from you? Will you be strangers

Who smile uncomfortably at reunions,

And make small talk about separate lives?

.

What makes relationships last, things work?

What makes the distance go away, so that

When you finally meet, it feels like home again?

Like the most comfortable love in the world?

How to Fall Apart

You do it slowly, agonizingly

Remember the past as if it was

Another life, until it becomes so.

Realize that a photo changes

Every time you look at it.

Watch your phone, waiting

For it to ring, for loved voices

To fill your life with their stories,

And sigh when the phone never rings.

Sit somewhere solitary, probably with a view

Of an orange sunset fading into purple.

Feel parts of you that you thought were true

Leaving you, and feel the burn of it,

Like a bruise you realize you had

Only when it stings you while bathing.

Pin your expectations on something hazy,

Like people, or conversations, or the past,

And tell yourself again and again,

Life is not how you want it to be,

But still keep hoping for it to be.

Waiting

One day, I hope not to wait

Watching as you erase  me

In new faces, places and stations.

I do not want to always hear

Your hurried goodbyes, two and a half minute

Long conversations about how busy you are,

While your friends laugh in the background.

.

I do not want to watch my days go away

As I watch my phone to make it ring,

My decision to be cold and not pick up

Evaporating the moment I hear your hey.

.

One day I hope to be you

Letting places and people push me around

Then I will not have to try

To make you a memory, it would be too easy

To forget you in the time I am busy.