Will You Recognize Me?

Are you really that intangible,
That you would come every single night,
Every single night in every single dream,
Yet fail to show up wherever I look for you,
Are you really that intangible?
Like a wisp of air, tangling in my hair,
Like the breeze of summer, and the gale of winter,
Throughout seasons, you are just there,
Sitting, smiling, waiting, looking at me,
Through those two shiny eyes that I have long not seen,
But as soon as I wake up, you are gone.
Where?
Where are you now, right now, in which world,
Tell me the color of the sky you see,
Do you look up to see at the skies,
Or do you look down silently watching me,
Tell me for I am tired of this melodrama,
Tell me.
Sometimes when I think of you before I sleep,
I see the face I saw so many years ago,
So many years have died since then,
A hundred seasons have passed,
And yet you are still there, holding time in your hands,
Not letting it pass by,
When I see you again,
Will you recognize me?

Six Months Today

I close my eyes, seeing the future,
He thinks I want to sleep,
And when I cry because she is sad,
She thinks I want to eat.
They misinterpret me in so many ways,
Ways more than my fingers can count,
I wish I could tell them something,
But I can only say ‘Maa’ now.
I could tell them what I felt about them,
But they don’t know my language yet,
So I’ll strive a bit and learn their words,
So that they can hear me out better.
It’s been half a year since I’ve come home,
I’ve shared their grief and happiness alike,
But they don’t realize that sometimes,
I weep for their misery.
I saw a dream yesterday, where I was grown up,
And was pleading to people to let me come back,
I think they had exiled me or something,
Couldn’t really figure out, my sleep broke midway.
I long for the day when I will walk,
And run about in the garden outside,
And play with the kitten that visits me daily,
But right now, I must go to sleep.

A Poem From 1960

She looked at me, her eyes ever shining,
As if she wanted to tell me something,
But her lips were pursed, her eyes a million stories,
And I couldn’t make up my mind, which one to read.
She was an open book, then why couldn’t I,
Tell her apart from the rest?
And why couldn’t I figure out, if she felt for me,
The same that I felt for her?
Once a maiden at a fair had asked me if,
I had loved anyone in my life,
I had lied to her and told her no,
All the while thinking about her.
Then whilst she walked back, I intently followed,
But after a while she disappeared,
And afterwards I never saw her again,
And never saw anyone like her.
One night in my dreams, she came once again,
Her eyes still the same from all those years ago,
I held her in my arms, and there was music to the left,
Our feet tapped and we danced for a long time.
She hummed a rhythm that evening,
And I’ve never heard anyone more melodious,
But neither she came in my life any more,
Nor did I try looking for her.
And so fifty years later today,
When I think of the fair, and I think of the dream,
I smile at how when we were young,
Love was all that mattered,
And now when we count minutes unto death,
Love is all that matters.

Return – Chapter 2

I knocked on the door. I knew what was impending, and even as I knocked again, I felt it would have been a relief if I could just run down the road beside, and keep running until I was tired. But then, I wanted to face what reality had in store for me. It wouldn’t be easy, I knew. In fact, the next few minutes could be the most tough moments of my life, something that I could pass on to my grandchildren in anonymous stories. I waited. A lady shouted from inside, which roughly translated to “I swear this is the thousandth time since morning someone knocked on my door. I will break this door someday.” She opened the door, and for a while she kept looking at me. I realized she wouldn’t know me; when I had last left her, I did not have a stubble. My hair was neatly combed that morning as I left for school. That was four years back. I smiled at her, hoping that would remind her of the past. She did not look a day older. She was the same old woman that I had left a few years ago. Same white sari, same white hair, plump but weak, fat rimmed spectacles, nothing had changed; except time. “Namaste Taaya,” I said, which meant, “Hello, Taaya”. Taaya was what I called her when I was small. I did not know how I came to learnt that name, and why no one asserted a problem to me calling her by that name when she was in fact not my taaya. In relations, taaya refers to an elder aunt. But she was not an aunt of mine, neither did she have any nephews. I was the only person she had, and only had she been the only person I had, nothing would have ever gone wrong. She was my mother.

She looked at me melancholically, kept looking at my eyes for about a minute, and then shut the door on my face. I couldn’t expect anything less or more than that. When I was young, sometimes we used to fight over small trivial matters. Then I used to pretend I was angry and would shut the door of my room and lock myself inside for hours. My mother would cry, thinking I was really angry. I felt sad about that, but I didn’t want to break it to her. If I did, she would never again think I was angry, and things wouldn’t work out. So many incidents flashed into my mind. But then, things changed. Today we played a role reversal. I was crying, and she had shut the door. Only, she literally did it. There was only one person I could now go to. I didn’t know if she would remember me at all, or whether she would give it any thought if I stepped up in front of her, but I owed it to myself, and I owed it to her, to meet her once more, to try to set things right, and to live my life as I should have done before. It was late, but they say it’s better to be late than never. I was praying they said it right. As I walked down the road, an old friend met me. He looked at me strangely, as I stood, stagnated, not moving an inch. He hugged me for a while, and as we walked, he narrated all what had happened in the interim that I was gone. I was gone. I had never thought anyone would put it that way. I was not gone, I was right here. All the while, I was right here. But I couldn’t explain that to him, nor could I talk about it to anyone else around. So I just nodded. He left me after a while, when he saw the way I was headed. “Don’t do it,” he said. “For your sake.”

I strolled on. I had to see if there were a life that I wished for, if there were a destiny that defined me. So I reached her house. And I knocked, hoping she would open and recognize me. I hadn’t been away that long that she’d not recognize me. Unless she did it purposefully… The door opened. She looked at me with her shining eyes. So much of her had changed. Except her eyes. They were still the same. They still said the same story that they said four years ago. And her tears still pained me as it did in my dreams. She had grown thinner, and she looked prettier than I could have ever imagined her to be. “I still love you,” I said. She put a finger on her lips, indicating me to stop talking. And she hugged me. “I’ve missed you,” she said. “I’ve missed you too, Shaena,” I said.

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Race

He dreams of the last time when he raced on that track.
He remembers each second as if it were a lifetime.
He remembers how in the last few seconds he was blinded.
He doesn’t know who threw sand into his eyes.
He remembers falling down and losing the race.
He dreams of winning the next one.

He picks up his crutches.

Those Eyes

Perhaps even they are angry tonight,
That’s why the stars aren’t shining that bright.
Awake at nights, pillows wet,
Eyes closed, still they are set
On those two eyes on that pretty face,
Black, blue, green, they change color always.
Far away on the sky so high,
Everyone looks at that star with a sigh,
Wish it were on earth tonight,
And wish it would be shining bright,
Why god called him, no one knows,
When He will call us, no one knows,
But happy I am that once again will I,
Meet him when I too go so high,
And silently I wait for that journey to start,
When I will be placed in everyone’s heart.
When I was born I cried, others laughed,
Do something so that others cry, I laugh.
And I know deep that at least one will be sad,
Irrespective of the fact that I am good or bad,
My eyes are still set on those two eyes,
All my truth seeming mere lies,
I don’t know how to justify me to her,
Being near her, yet I feel so far.
Sparrows die and no one asks,
All wrath hidden in happy masks.
My fingers are cold now, cold as the ice,
Yet my eyes still look for those two eyes.

Forbidden Love

The apple’s too sweet, I can see that already,
But I dare not touch it, it belongs to somebody.
Only God knows how day and night,
I resist my temptation with all my might.
It’s fascinating to be the apple’s caretaker,
Love it and yet love it not, behave like a faker.
It’s like the truth that the self wishes to deny,
It’s a mild happiness, yet one which is cold and wry.
Sitting under the glittering sun I sympathize with myself,
I keep crying all day and at nights talk to the elf,
Smiles which if they could would kill me ten times,
And somewhere behind I hear the bell chimes.
A river, they say, is there somewhere around,
Where many a people were killed by a hound.
I will go there and call with me the dove,
It will listen to my story, my story of forbidden love.
Cool and calm and composed those nights,
Have all died away and gone are the lights,
The stars twinkled and went off to sleep,
No one in the world my happiness could keep.
All but one left me forever,
And that one who did not did me a favor.
A favor by disappearing in the mist by the daylight,
And thinking about whom now passes my night.
Whoever you are come back to me,
The mermaid of my dreams, it’s you who my eyes die to see.