night in shining armour

i saw a little girl a few days ago,
tears in her eyes, huddled close to a warm shoulder,
and somewhere in between taking a deep breath,
and trying to find a reason to continue crying,
she rubbed her tiny nose on her father's expensive t-shirt.
he held her close, for he knows
that's what t-shirts are for.
that's what shoulders are for.
because when the tears just refuse to stop
and your heart is wondering why your mind refuses to cry,
we look up and realise that shoulders ask no questions.

the entire universe in the length of your shoulders;
your collar bones straining against the weight of the world,
the scars from a fight, long forgotten, shining in the dark
the curve of your neck, like the oceans meeting the horizon.
the rise and fall of your chest, as you sleep for three minutes
while i count the stars so that i don't fall asleep too.

wake up, darling. it's time to go.
the sun will be up any minute now,
and the mountains bow to offer their respects
as you straighten your shoulders, take a deep breath
and kiss me goodbye.
and i pull the sheets closer, hug the pillow your neck rested on,
i rub my nose into the warmth.
the pillows don't complain either, and i imagine they are you
holding me close as i count the minutes
until i get to see you again.


rewards and recognitions

Ek khwaab ne aankhein kholi hain
Kya mod aaya hai kahaani mein
Wo bheeg rahi hai baarish mein
Aur aag lagi hai paani mein

Pehle to begaani nagari mein
Hum ko kisi ne poochha na tha
Saara sheher jab maan gaya to
Lagta hai kyoon koi rootha na tha

Sajde bichhawan ve
O gali gali,
Jis sehar vich mera yaar vasda

perhaps

in my head,
i imagine you said
"let me not ruin 
the end for you",
while we're cuddled up
in a blanket,
on the floor,
watching a movie
on the wall.
while the universe
is asleep,
and has left us alone
for a while. 

what time is it there?

It's usually at 3am that I think of you. My mind and body have become hard-wired to wake up, think of you, wonder what you might be doing, and then drift off to sleep again. It's a time thing. It's always the timing. Either it's perfect, like someone calling you just when you think of them, or it's just never right, like calling someone when you're not supposed to. They say even broken clocks tell the right time twice a day. But that's only because time never stops, even though the clock does. Like I will never stop loving you, even though you have. And maybe, I'll be right twice a day. And it's usually at 3am.

don't say my name

i didn't know what it was.
i could not recognise the signs, 
and i refused to believe the warnings.
to me, it sounded like warming. 
like how the cuddle would last for ten seconds
and somehow, it would keep me warm for days. 
i didn't know what it was,
love? maybe not. lust, maybe yes. 

it wasn't destiny, or some odd predicament like that.
it was just about finding a piece of someone else
that fits exactly into my puzzle.
your palms, made to be placed on my hips,
your fingers, shaped perfectly to caress my breasts,
your lips, curved just right to kiss mine. 

your soul, lost among the trees, 
and mine, lost in the fire.

you taught me how to be invisible,
and now, it has become
my superpower. 


punishment

i
will
always
love
only
you.

the theory of limits

let me do the math, so you don't have to.
one and one is two, they say
but they didn't know about you.
the unknown value, the surprise factor,
the X axis to my why.

i am only a fraction
of you.
the sum of my parts,
the parts of me that you have touched,
will always be greater than the whole
world.
you and me,
we are the cross check
in the margin on the side.
unnecessary maybe, but the only thing
that counts for something.
the tables haven't turned, the rules have not changed,
i exist only in your mind,
like a formula for happiness,
that cannot be learnt by heart.
you and me, we are that perfect sum,
worked out through several layers of doubt.
you and me, creating that division of thought.
you and me, the hypothetical question
with an answer to prove them all wrong.
they look at us is amazement,
the brilliant perfection of odd and even,
and then they wonder,
why something is not adding up.

"long nights"

the last one was for you.
about you, from you, to you.
because of you.
this one is just a post-it note.

i'm in the wild tonight,
lost beyond maps and directions,
alone, and I cannot even conjure up your voice.
because the last time I heard it,
you weren't talking to me.
your songs are all around me,
the wild is dangerous, they say.
to me, it's a familiar path.
the silence is childlike disobedience,
innocent yet audacious,
but only because I do not know the answer
to the questions your heart asks.

"society, you're a crazy breed"
I know you're not lonely
without me.
I'm looking for the orange hat,
stuck somewhere on the waves of your smiles,
and I wait for the next big one.

no hopes and no regrets,
and I hope you won't regret
that "if there was ever someone
to keep me home, it would be you"

it's not a mystery to me
how you won't be free,
till you have it all.

mein pal do pal ka shayar hoon

"....ke tujhe zameen pe, 
bhulaya gaya hai, 
mere liye"


the rain, the weed, the alcohol and the mixers. 
the perfect song, the kind we haven't heard for a long time. 
"tum haar ke dil apna, meri jeet amar kar do". 
the thin blanket, 
the little notes of things to tell you, 
the wind; 
i even got chocolate. 

all here, in perfect order, 
even the rain pacing itself. 

all of us waited for you a long time tonight. 

"woh nahin sunta usko, jal jaana hota hai,
har khushi se, har gham se, begaana hota hai" 

we didn't tire of waiting, we have seen
too many 
sleepless nights
together. 

why? you may ask. or more importantly, 
how? 

i will explain, allow me.

the weed stays alert, the alcohol shakes itself, 
the mixers stay calm,
the song sings itself over and over again, 
so that it doesn't forget its words. 
the little notes flit around, telling 
each other, 
their little important messages, like, 
for example, 
"that Chester something fellow died yesterday... 
was he someone you liked?" Or, 
"look up his songs. oh yes, that 
in-the-end-it-doesn't-even-matter guy"
the chocolate doesn't melt, stays just soft enough,
the wind keeps circling around, no trouble at all. 

all of them look to the skies.

the rain, 
leads them all. 

in between two long, slow spells, 
pauses to take a breath, 
and looks at me. 

and i look back at it,
as if it were you. 

and so it rains on, 
until I may blink, 
my eyes closed
only by your kiss. 

"yeh jhoot bolte hain, mere khayal..."

soothe

"write hard and clear about what hurts"

my fingers, my skin, my hips and my thighs, from the top of my head to the tips of my toes; from the air around me, and every fibre of my heart, to the bottom of that pit in my stomach; from the depths of my mind to every last crevice of my soul. everything hurts. because you are not here. 

never-ending sky

Why?
I don't want to know when,
Or how.
Or even if it is ever possible.
I don't need to know the time
Or the place or which lifetime.
I don't want promises,
Or hope or regret.
I don't need to know what it is,
Or where it can be found.
I just want to know why.
Why did we never choose
when we actually had a choice.
As if we were a corrupt two-member government,
Trying to grab what we can get,
rather than hold on to what we have.
As if we were the only two birds,
in a never-ending sky,
and we still fought for space.
Why did we not have the courage then,
to say what we should have.
Why do we not say it now?
Why do we hold back,
when there's nothing to lose?
Why do we rage against the rain,
As if the fault was in the stars.
Why do we not talk of love,
even though it's the only thing we have left?
Why won't you say you love me,
even though I won't say it back?

courage

i am always careful.
my caresses are gentle, my kisses soft,
even if I sometimes want to tear you apart to see if I am in your heart.
my hands press into your skin,
but my nails leave no marks.
my eyes drink in every drop of you,
as if to satisfy the thirst of the years we lost,
I breathe you in, because I was gasping for air,
drowning and trying to hold on,
before you taught me how to let go.
I am always careful,
I wash off my lipstick before I kiss you,
so it may not spread rumours about us.
I make sure your shirts are put up on hangers,
so that the wrinkles don't smell like me.
I am always careful.
the only ones who know about us
are the tissues you throw away, soaked in secrets,
or the tissues I throw away, soaked in tears.
I am careful not to let the words spill out of my mouth, 
even if they may choke me to death.
I am careful to never let you look at me,
the way I look at you.
I know how to turn love into laughs, and conversations into friendship,
and how to erase and delete and destroy any trace of us.
I am careful to never let them know,
that every minute we spend together,
is worth five you spend with them.
that every drop of rain that makes you think of me,
is worth more than every photograph they take.
I am careful to not let them see that I worship your smile,
Yes, the same one that they take for granted.
I am always careful.
I would never let another tongue near mine,
because I know that i would taste of you.
I am careful, I don't write down the things you say to me, 
because when they come looking,
they will find only me, not you.
They will only find me,
and if they knew what they were looking for,
they would see immediately
that you are in every part of me,
and they would bow their heads in acceptance,
knowing that they cannot unbind us.
I am always careful
to never let them see the bruises you gave me,
or even the ones I give myself.

let me tell you a little about myself

i am not who you thought i was,
i can surprise you everyday
i will disappoint you, and delight you 
and leave you exasperated.
you will declare that you never want to see me again,
and still yearn for me the next day.
i am not a good girlfriend, but i am the perfect wife.
i don't look perfect, i don't make heads turn.
my hair gets frizzy and wavy
about fifteen minutes after i blow dry it,
but my lips will leave you asking for more.
i have sexy, come hither eyes
that can cry at the slightest slight.
i don't always wear matching lingerie,
and i always forget to clean the curtains.
i know everyone's favourite song,
and your favourite food, and exactly how you like your drink.
i know why you prefer hidden by-lanes to highways.
i can name everything you don't like,
but i cannot remember the joke you told me last week.
i will wake up early to make your tea,
but i will not make dinner every night.
i go to bed every day wondering if you are thinking of me,
but i will not call until you do.
i will wear my favourite tshirt, even if it's torn in three places,
and save a valet ticket from our first date,
but i will not remember our anniversary. 
i will meet you for just fifteen minutes 
rather than go another fifteen minutes without you. 
i will pretend to like cocktails on the beach, though i prefer the mountains
but i will never lie to you.
i will drink until i forget you, 
and the next day, regret losing so much time. 

I will love you forever and ever,
but i will never hope that you do too. 

add to your wish list

i want to be the newspaper each morning
that you would read and despair of the state of the world.
i want to be the glass of scotch for your lonely evenings
drunk and forgotten the next day;
i would like to be the watch you wear on your hand
reminding you of being in the wrong place at the right time;
i want to be that song that you love
that always plays at the back of your mind;
the key that opens your doors
and allows you back in to the real world.
i want to be that one unfinished book
sitting patiently on your shelf;
i want to be your favourite movie, your everyday bag,
your gold-rimmed glasses that bring the words closer;
i want to be the pen, immensely treasured
yet lost somewhere in a moment of haste;
i want to be the idea that strikes you in the middle of a dream,
that no amount of cajoling will bring back;
i want to be the tears you spill at the death of a loved one,
precious, yet useless.
i want to be that joke you tell everyone;
that forgotten t-shirt at the back of your closet,
the familiar parking space, the habitual end-of-the-day cigarette;
i want to be the stamp that you lick,
before sending me off somewhere.

eastern lights

he is fragile.
easily scared, difficult to convince.
he takes a leap of faith every day;
he wakes up, ready for battle, 
ready for Valhalla to witness his soul.
but he scares easy.
he smiles, but doesn't let that bother his darkness.
sometimes,
he lets go. 
he closes his eyes, and believes in the blue of the sky;
he blinds his worries for a few moments,
for it only takes a few minutes for roaming hands to find their treasures.
he puts his world aside, and steps, ever so slightly, into mine.
he tests the waters; 
it's not the cold that bothers him, it's the ripples. 
he wants to be invisible.
i would trade in my wings for it, he says.
sometimes, he forgets
where he is, what he does, what he wants, and what he doesn't need.
he forgets to be polite, he forgets to hold back.
he is easily scared, but his laughter escapes him;
only for an instant.
and when he sees the world erupt in a blaze of love in her eyes,
he suddenly remembers to close the curtains of his soul.
as if an intruder had walked through your house,
disturbing nothing, and yet,
the air has been moved, and it's uncomfortable. 
he commands his eyes to look away from her,
he begs his hands to stop, he implores his heart to breathe slowly.
and then he disappears. 

he waits, patiently reminding himself to be wary.
he keeps careful vigil; he watches over her,
even though she has asked him not to. 
she waits, her skin warmed in the sun of his universe,
knowing it will take three days 
for him to resurrect.