Short Stories & Poems

reconnected

By Smriti Mahale:

Last night’s dream had left me restless. Even in the world of the unknown I could sense it was her. The warmth I felt last night could have emerged only from an aura like hers. It had been ten long years since I had seen her. But the threads of time had forever bound me to her: through her thoughts, her values, her ways, and her morals.

I was six years old when I met her. The class bully had thrown my lunch into the dustbin and I had been helplessly crying out of hunger and anger. She had fondly taken me to the room reserved for teachers and treated me to a feast of crispy pooris and spicy chole. The taste still lingered in my heart, and so did our first meeting. I had run out of the staff room shouting out that I would ask the class bully to throw away my lunch everyday!

What built over the next ten years from that day at school was beyond a student-teacher relationship. She had become my mother at my second home, a companion with the understanding of a timeless comrade. She secretly had treated me with pooris and chole. On Saturday mornings, she undid my hair and plaited them into impeccable plaints. At the age of ten, she introduced me to the world of literature. From Blyton to Wordsworth, she unfolded a world I loved to explore. She kindled poetry in me at the age of twelve. I effortlessly wove magic with words she taught. She instilled me with culture and traditions, a quest to intrigue, a thirst for knowledge, a temptation to explore, the unexplored, the dome of unquestionable humanity… She did have a son, but she had resurrected her unborn daughter in me. And I revered this bonding beyond the ties of blood.

Even after school had ended, I was still in contact with her. Over the years that came over, she predominantly was given an authority to voice her views in the important decisions of my life. Until my marriage, when I settled down in the States forever.

Marriage had not only distanced me from my homeland but also from my dear ones. It was only birthdays and anniversaries now, that calls were exchanged. I had created my world over here and I had no regrets. I spoke of her often, to my husband and daughter while reminiscing olden days.

The whole day I only thought of her. Her words echoed in my ears throughout the day. There was some invisible force compelling me to see her again. I scampered through old photographs to reinitiate the bonding with her. That night, I buried myself in my husband’s chest and cried. Cried for the distances I created, for lost moments, for happier times. He simply held me tight. It was his way.

After two days, I found three tickets to India on the breakfast table. I was more than surprised. Just last month, when my in laws had called inviting us for a marriage at home, my husband had stubbornly refused to go, giving an excuse of an important meeting. Miraculously, the meeting had been put off the previous day. She had once told me, I would find an understanding husband.

After a decade or so, I was back in my homeland. My daughter was intrigued with every small thing. She asked about the dusty streets, the fragrant chamelis, the half clad women, the temples, the richness and the poverty. My husband and I patiently answered them all. The marriage was a fortnight away. I had my time.

After making a full fledged search, I finally found her. In fact, I found her son. He immediately recognized me. The ties of satin and silk had not weakened over the years. He was married now, fathering a son. And what he told me about her left me shattered.

She was suffering from Alzheimer, a disease much dreaded and feared. It was a question of now or then for her. Days and nights had lost count and she was dissolving into an ocean of nothingness engulfed by the dimness of confusion and grief. She lay quiet for most of the time and sometimes shrieked in sheer confusion. She called out to strangers and estranged people she knew.

I wasted no time in gong to visit her in the hospital. She was wrapped in a brown blanket and stared at the roof. Guilt and tears stung my eyes at the same instance. I went and sat down beside her, told her things I had planned to tell her when we met. I knew it was of no use. I gave her the book she had gifted me on my eighteenth birthday, ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’. She gave me her benign smile. After a few hours, I decided to leave. My dream had come true. She had forgotten me and I was helplessly crying for a reconnection.

As I turned to leave, I heard my name being called out. The same way she had done on our first meeting, this time with the quivers of a pointless existence. I turned back with all my hope coming back. What I saw stupefied me then and there.

My nine year old daughter, Aakriti was my shadow. She resembled me in every angle. Except for the dimple she had inherited from her father, her features were bestowed from my genes. Very often she would hold my old photographs in her hand and admire the impeccable resemblance. I often relived my childhood in her. There she was, my daughter, on her lap. She had undid her hair and was braiding them into the same plaints. For once, I envied my daughter. I wanted to snatch her away and sit there instead. Very soon the envy was replaced with what she had always taught me. I resurrected myself into my daughter. It was the only way for are connection!

The following story is published on my blog http://kaleidoscopemirages.blogspot.com/.

Rickshaw

By Pradyut Hande:

“Illa, Saar”, grunted the dour faced rickshaw driver, in a barely audible whisper through his tobacco-stained teeth and sped away in the opposite direction, leaving a plume of smoke and a bewildered potential fare in his wake. Drat! Rickshaw driver number seven had derailed my plans of getting to an important sales meeting on time. The twin thoughts of the arduous two hour journey that still awaited me and the flak I would receive for coming in late pranced around in my already cluttered head on that sprightly Monday morning. I stood cursing my luck on what could best be described as the remnants of a primeval pavement. My only solace was the fact that I wasn’t the only one being subjected to the caprice of the archetypal Bangalore rickshaw driver. A few others on the pavement who were being consistently rebuffed began resorting to desperate means. Lung-bursting screams, flailing limbs, hasty negotiations and what have you!

The familiar stench of urine and exhaust fumes assailed my nostrils while I calibrated my next move. A pretty lady standing near me was pleasantly surprised when a rickshaw pulled up beside her within minutes of her waiting for one. I am sure there exists a rule in the mythical ‘Cab & Rickshaw Driver Code’ that compels them to ‘choose’ a female passenger over a male counterpart! After a few more minutes of fruitless ‘hailing’, I began walking down the main road. Suddenly, a rickshaw pulled up beside me. A benevolent, bearded, bespectacled face peered out at me expectantly. “Yalli, saar?”, he asked. In disbelief, I sputtered out my destination to which he agreed to take me for an additional ten rupees. I got in before he could change his mind and off we went.

The inside of the rickety three wheeler was adorned with myriad stickers of deities, cricketers, film stars and believe it or not, a few politicians too! The mild aroma of incense hung in the air. A quick glance at the fading laminated details of the rickshaw behind the driver’s seat told me his name was Saeed Anwar. I told him to make haste as I still had an outside chance of making it to the meeting on time. Flipping through my file, I anxiously began preparing for the impending meeting, as we sped across the bustling metropolis through moderate Monday morning traffic. Whilst I was frantically composing e-mails on my BlackBerry (that wondrous gadget!), Mr. Anwar rightly observed in broken English, “Very stress you are”. Solicitously looking at me in his rear view mirror, he continued, “Young man like you today..always stress..only job, no time!” Although piqued at being interrupted, I was intrigued. I shut the file and got talking.

Over the next hour and a half, we talked about everything possible! Religion, cricket, movies, women, politics, business were all discussed with fervor. Mr. Anwar voiced his opinion most uninhibitedly. His depth of general knowledge and grasp of complex economic issues was astounding. He also displayed an inquisitive streak that had me groping for answers on multiple occasions. I learnt about his family — a bedridden wife, a college going son aspiring to join the civil services and a daughter for whom he was ‘groom-searching’. Mr. Anwar turned out to be a linguist; fluent in Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and could speak a smattering of Hindi and English too! “I learning proper English now”, he said proudly producing a self-learn English book from under his seat. He told me how he pursued his hobbies of carpentry and kite-making on weekends. He liberally doled out advice on seemingly everything! From judicious time management to good health practices, from relationships to stress busting techniques! All this whilst he drove like a manic Formula 1 driver, attempting to get me to my meeting on time! This man was a repository of knowledge and wisdom, brimming over. Time flew by as we shared a good laugh over the current predicament of the Indian cricket team. Scudding over the pot-holed roads of the Garden City, Mr. Anwar screeched to a halt before my office in an incredible hour and a half. “Reached fast, saar!”, he declared with a toothy grin. I paid him an extra fifty rupees which he accepted unwillingly and waved a cheery goodbye. I hurried into the building, managing to make the meeting in the nick of time.

On my way back home that evening, I reminisced about the morning ride with Mr. Anwar as the surly rickshaw driver crawled his way through traffic. I realized I had never met anyone like Mr. Anwar. His supremely optimistic outlook, his hunger to readily imbibe and the astounding passion with which he embraced life was something our generation could definitely strive to emulate. Ever since, whenever I hail a rickshaw or a taxi I am reminded of the endearing Mr. Anwar, his thought-provoking discourses and his sticker-adorned rickety old rickshaw…

Slut Walk

विनय वेद:

तेरी नज़र का गोश्त, तेरी नज़र की मैं गिरावट !

तेरी नज़र के जिम्मे, मेरी बनावट या दिखावट !!

क्यूँ तेरी नज़र के दायरे में मेरी ज़िंदगी, बंदगी,
क्यूँ नहीं मेरा खुदा, नहीं मेरी अपनी सजावट !

क्यूँ पर्दा मेरे चेहरे पे मगर तेरी नज़र पर नहीं,
क्यूँ मेरे जिस्म से होती तेरे मज़हब की बनावट !

आदम की छाती से तोड़ कर हड्डी से नहीं बनी,
मैं कोख़ की मल्लिका, मैं बराबर की हूँ बनावट !

बस कर अपने सहूलियत की आदम ये ठेकेदारी,
इंसान को इंसान रहने दे, बंद कर दे मिलावट !

हूँ मजबूर कि तुझे मैं कुछ और दिखती ही नहीं,
मैं चलूँ चाल तवाइफी, समझ जा मेरी सजावट !

चाल तवाइफी !

Life

By Nilima Chaudhary:

A piece I write now,
Some memories I carve now,
Few moments I treasure now,
Reminiscences I cherish now.
The times I cry upon,
The words I’ll laugh on.

Moments of rejoice,
Come undone by choice.
Broken mirrors and broken souls,
Bandaged by fright.
Captivation and suffocation,
left in the darkness behind.

But,there has been laughter
and there has been light.
Against the ocean current,
and against the pressing tide
Yet, again from the barren ashes,
a phoenix will rise.

Metropolitan woman

By Ritika:

 

Behold,
As there she is,
A woman,
Independent,
Beautiful, benign and bold,
Yet, fragile in her ways,
Walking high on her heels,
Her bangles and danglers decking her,
Like stars embellishing the dark night.

Sensuous are her moves,
And what loaded, assertive words and decree,
Are pronounced by that,
Rosy, nonchalant, gum chewing mouth.

Sensitive and childlike is she,
Yet full of substance, power and might,
With an urge to soar high,
Up in the sky. She is,
Capable of shaking ‘Mount Olympus’.
Raising her voice, glorifying her passions,
And like never before,
Rising above and beyond the reach of ‘MEN’.

Sophisticated and educated is she,
Which the patriarchal world never wanted her to be,
She takes her decisions and,
Decides the course of her life,
She has faith, she has trust,
In no one else, But in her.
Simple,Sensible yet Sacrificing is she,
A Charming, coquettish fighter is she,
She can no longer be ignored,
Oh, no more can she escape your attention,

Behold,
For she has arrived,
To leave you men gawking at her,
With your jaws dropped down low,
Yes, she is the new-age woman,
The ‘metropolitan” woman,
Following the footsteps of ‘Draupadi‘,
But certainly not walking in her shoes.

Introspection

By Brototi Roy:

Am I just a shadow of me now?

Is it time to take the last bow?

Was that the last card to be dealt?

Do I need to fold accepting I failed?

Did I reach the point of no return?

Can it never be again undone?

Can I only regret and repent every day?

And then with time slowly vanish away?

It doesn’t really matter what people say,

Coz when the sun shone, I did not make hay,

I was busy with momentary joy and sorrow,

I lived life like there was no tomorrow.

Well, guess what, tomorrow is finally here,

Bearing news worse than my worst fear,

The sun won’t shine on me anymore,

It can never be the same as before.

I have no one but myself to blame,

For this hurt, pain, sorrow and shame,

Numb and blank in silent lament,

Will I never get a chance for atonement?

I have let people down so bad, hurt them so,

Nothing that I promise will let the shame go,

That eerie silence that stretches every night over dinner,

That defeat in the eyes of the ones who considered you a winner

If I live for a hundred years, I will still not forget,

Another feat in my long list of regret,

Another new way I found to be humiliated,

Another new way to feel worthless and hated,

Every new day brings the same old tale,

Of how I threw it all away, how I did fail,

Of how I can never get it back now or ever,

Coz mistakes like these are meant to last forever.

They last forever, and remind you each new day,

How you ruined it all, how you threw it all away,

And with this thought, I will set to pick up the remains,

With this thought, I will get down to battle again.

Coz, yes I lost, I couldn’t do what everyone could,

But that was coz I didn’t do what I supposedly should,

I failed so bad, because I did not try to win,

I failed because I wasn’t ready from within.

So many false starts, so many goals to be met,

But nothing of consequence was ever really set,

Coz my head and heart were both not in sync with me,

And I let them be for way to long, you see.

So, on this November night, with a coffee mug on my left,

I pledge to myself, I will never let myself be bereft,

Bereft of what I can get if I only try a little more,

Coz I already lost too much and it has numbed my core.

I am never going to be that numb in life,

No matter how long I have to toil and strife,

I refuse to be just a shadow of me,

There is too much left to show and see.

 

Save girl child

By Nitin Dayal:

You show me the knife

And deprive me of life

I too wanna live

There is nothing that I cannot do

There is nothing that I cannot achieve

I am your mother

A friend a lover

I give you the strength to fight

And set things right

You hold my hands

I am the one who understands

I have a dream

A dream to belong

Sing my beautiful song

Please do not make this mistake

See me and let me awake

Holding Hands

By Ayushi Vats:

I Want to-

Sway In Your Arms. Now and Again.
Walk With You In Dry And Rain.

Your Presence Around Me Pleases Every Pain.
So love Me Now And Love Me Again.

I crave for you as FANATICALLY
As I crave For that “INTERRUPTED DREAM”
That should have reached the “desired” End and
Made it a moment cherished by me for good when
I woke up to the World Of Reality.
I want you. I crave for you this fanatically.

I want you as zealously as I had wanted
That first breath, out of the mother’s womb
I want you is all I know
And I will want you till I am advanced to the catacomb

I will conceal your presence as I am afraid
I will save you from all the prophecies and omen
I will love you till I am over
And I will love you till I am born again.

So Come and Come Closer, let the closeness be redefined
As for me Close is never closer, So let the closeness be redefined

Let the love be Insufficient, Let me urge for more
Let you be the donor and then you should lure

The breeze that flows, accelerates and slows
As you walk nearer and the nascent passion grows

Love Me and Love Me till the Brim
Love me when its dark and love me when its dim
Love me so much that you only love me
Love me so much as Loving is No Sin.

Many Thanks To The Lord

By Nupur Narula:

Giving me my soul,my eyes,my heart

Judicious use of it;

I tell people apart

For the parents,the calm

the blessings i amassed

I say

Many thanks to thy Lord

Sewing me up when

I’d fall from the stairs,

The ear to ear smiles

My dad would then wear,

The sumptuousness on the table

That’d never dis’pear,

I say

Many thanks to thy Lord

For the love,

I unknowingly explored

Fumigated my brain

With reasons galore,

Emerged my heart

Victorious as a tsar

I say

Many thanks to thy Lord.

Img

Good-Bye

By Anita Kala:

Oh… how easy would it have been  to use the two words

You said and just left without giving it a  thought,

I wish I could hold you right there ,drag you a bit closer

And, show  the ‘Agony’ , your words brought……

 

Did you realize when you said ‘Good bye’?

Did you notice the tear coming out of my eye?

 

I always took every word you uttered, reckoned on the terms of love,

But,  you never  cared  to assure it was true,

So, take a step back to the place which you  left,

‘TRY’  to feel the way I feel for you..

 

Did you realize when you said ‘Good bye’?

Did you notice the tear coming out of my eye?

 

I know life moves on, the way it’s meant to be,

You will get your ‘better-half’, I will get mine..

But an innocent thought boggles my mind,

Was loving you the way did, such a big crime?

 

Did you realize when you said ‘Good bye’?

Did you notice the tear coming out of my eye?

 

I know these answers I might never explore,

But just for the sake of the  ‘nostalgic beautiful times’,

A small favor my heart needs from yours,

Ask it to question to the body where it resides…

 

Did you realize when you said ‘Good bye’?

Did you notice the tear coming out of my eye?

child abuse

By Ratnesh Pandey:

Few are those
blessed their lives
on whom showers
the fruit of life

Tiny hands, Deep blue eyes
crying to the world
new life arrives
a spirit, a source
where happiness thrives
life feels free,from its multiple strife

she was something which
words cant scribble
indelible, feeble
filled with a vibe
perhaps something beyond
the mortals tribe

sigh!
emotions, affections lost to greed
committed thou a ghastly deed
for what? an orthodox blind creed!

all there lies, her numb dull eyes
snatched from them
right of life
oh yes! I could hear
those suppressed souls; their tears
those numb dull eyes,
mocking me,
mocking thee,

O mother of mine!
why your hands didn’t fumble
soul never trembled
you let them snatch me?

How did you forget
you too were once “me”!!!
you too were once “me”!!!

Now you know it - poem

 

By Ayushi Vats:

Would an embrace suffice it?
Or shall you give me a better fraction of you?
You seek to know.

I utter not a word, I look into your sight, deep inside.

I summon moxie to pierce through your verve.
I draw you closer to reaffirm the lurve.

You are not embellished with words any more.
I seem to have quitened you down and you may not lure.

My penchant settles in and I feel defined.
The votary shall be me, and master be thou.Kind.

So now you may know,

The Sun canst not be bright, when you do not reside.
The ripples canst not be moist and the Universe canst be flouted.
The Ultimity shall be reached and the Alpha be doubted.
You are the paramount. Preside over me.
Servility.? No. It is not. It is immense glee.

Myriad words have been put down. Some said some held.

Do you now know?

If an embrace would suffice it?
Or shall you give me a better fraction of you?
You sought to know.

I did not vouchsafe to you. I sommer uttered sheer love that shall always grow

Suicide_

By Reeti Singh:

When thoughts are many, but voice is none,
When wounds are many, but pain is none,
When blinks are many, but sleep is none,
When feasts are many, but hunger is none.
When lights are many, but hope is none,
When breaths are many, but sighs are none-
When laughs are many, but smiles are none,
Then , my friend, you are where I stand benumbed.

Tested for diseases all possible,
Doubted by many-
Trusted by none.
Surrounded by many, shielded by none,
Heard by many, believed by none-
Then , my friend, you are here-
Where I stand benumbed.

Can keep not quiet, but ears are none,
When silence is not quiet, but screams are none-
When you are all alone in a room, alone and with none,
And you still can feel someone, something lurking when even shadows are none-
Then , my dear friend you are here-
Where I stand, benumbed.

When every breath pierces deep in your chest,
When every step you take is a test-
When the sky above seems the same as the ground below,
When water is the same as the teardrops on your pillow-
When scars run deep,
And memories run deeper-
When bitter is sweet,
And delirium yet sweeter.

When questions are many, but answers are none-
When roads are many, but directions are none,
When the only solace lies in the veins of oneself-
When the stare into empty space is the one support, and none-
It is then, my dear friend, that you here-
Where I stand, benumbed.

Numbed and stilled-
Cautioned by my own shadow live now I,
Filthy, dirty, violated she-
That is what I feel when I peep and see,
The merry little girl known for her cheery little ways-
Jolly and bright,
Never ever quiet, never ever still-
I see her now stare ever in a hazy gaze.
All that they say of her now, my dear Sir-
Is,
“When the heart is careless, and you mend not your ways-
When silence is a smoke-screen, a mere escape,
When the truth revealed is a lie foretold-
When all your screaming earn you the label of a whore,
When the call for help is a reach-out for more-
It is then that you deserve a solace no more.”

A quiet bundled heap, I lie here now,
Alone in a room, with a little white light-
Huddled with myself,
In a little corner tight-
Drip-drop a drop now falls,
Drip-drop, yet another flows to the floor-
Drip-drop, oh, here I come,
Drip-drop, to a state benumbed.
Drip-drop, here I come…
Drip…drop…to a state…benumbed….
Drip…drop…here…I come…
D…ri..p d..rop …to a….st..at…e… benumbed…
Dr…i…p… drop…oh, come now here!
Dri…p d…rop…to a… st…ate… be…num…b…ed…
Drip…d…r..op… h..ere… I… c…ome….
D…ri…p d…rop ….to a… st..ate… benumbed…

And now lies she,
All dead, all cold-
Soaked in her own blood painted she her own face,
Her end here was not a coward’s dash,
It was but a driven state from where she was pulled not back-
Pulled not back, yet pushed not forward,
They found her dead, and called her a coward-
And that is what she earned herself,
For the days of silent sufferings-
All now gone, all put behind,
Lies there she-
Drip-drop, the drops are now a trickle,
The cut made deep, and the blood now thicker-
All clogged at the gash she deepened,
Deepened where the cut was a mere scratch-
Dug in deeper, with her own bare nails,
Deeper and deeper, and deeper still-
Slashed her wounds with her little sharp will,
Will to not cry, will to fight-
Will to be strong, not a coward and to hide.

There she now lies, all cold and dead-
Here I stand, at the edge of her bed.

There she lies, in a corner all huddled,
Face half red, all doused in the puddle-
Her eyes yet stare out still into empty space,
Still can be seen the despair in her gaze-
When fears are many, and strength lies numbed,
When you are all alone, alone and with none-
It is then that you stand here at the edge of her bed,
Her still cold body, all charred with a crimson soaked tale-
Lies she there in a corner,
Her will made quiet, her fight unfought-
Her jolly laughs silenced,
Her gaiety made still-
There she lies,
The heap I knew so well-
There she lies,
Drip-dropped, crouched in an embrace with her own one self-
There she lies as I stand at the edge of her bed,
Down on the floor, in a little heaped bundle-
Floating as if on the blood filled puddle,
Lies she there, her tale untold.

Breaths made quiet, her eyes yet speak,
Her days of silent anguish, her nights of wrench-filled screams-
Her sobs all silenced, her dreams not lived,
There lies she, drip-dropped and cold-
Lies she there benumbed, her “deserving” fate out doled,
Driven to drop crimson drip-drops of her veins-
Lies she there,
Drop-dripped and benumbed-
moving no more, quiet, still and very,very cold…
drip-drop sounds of a tik-tok clock,
keep me still and cold as arock-
died she today, the girl i knew,
no more cheery, but quietly benumbed…
drip-drop sounds of a tik-tok clock…
lies she there..cold as a rock…
drip-drop sounds…of a tik-tok…clock-
lies she cold…still as a rock…
drip-drop sounds of a tik-tok clock…
lies she there…benumbed, the girl we lost…

Be the Change

By Reeti Singh:

Oppression, suppression,

Abuse and misuse;

Beating and the weeping,

Crying and the screaming;

Stop lamenting your pains!

Come on, get up-

And be the change!

 

“  We will have to forever protest!”,

“ it is for us to serve”,

“ he screams and beats me”,

“I am his wife and still he cheats me”,

Stop lamenting your pains!

Come on, get up-

And be the change!

 

“We have to sit, shy”

“We have to drop tears till our eyes are dry”,

“we have to dress for our masters,

For  him and his friends,

For my in-laws and their men”,

Stop following all these rules,

Stop crying, It is for you to choose-

Lift the purdah, shed the veil!

It is for you to choose.

Stop lamenting your pains!

Come on, get up-

And be the change!

 

“we must not walk in the twilight,

Never ever wander through the night,

Thieves are many, out to loot you-

Men who wait to kill and wound you!”

Stop believing all this, for it is not true-

Stop acting the saint!

Stop lamenting your pains!

Come on, get up-

And be the change!

 

It is for you to decide,

It is for you to choose, Whether  to  live or to hide,

The world around you will forever sympathize,

Know you too in your heart  there is nothing to pride,

Pride not your own but that of the world.

Shun it all,

You need it not!

Choose within, or choose it not!

live within pity of the self or walk in the sunshine-

The choice is yours to live or to hide, in guises not of your own.

Stop lamenting your pains!

Come on, get up-

And be the change!

 

Living

By Ayushi Vats:

Somebody from the days of yore

Cries my name out. I hear it faintly.

Somebody from that dungeon pleads

Must I come and rescue him.

I step ahead, eschewing my votary

I walk ahead, on that boulevard that projects solely my shadow.

The next sojourn is a lush green floor with lea spread wide.

I resign to the narcoleptic air, thoughtless, tranquil and let the pregnant pause hail.

I let no quagmire survive. As I settle down.

I look up right in the boisterous sky. That has been there since ere and ages.

I think as I breathe. I think of moments I have lived.

I think of moments I wanted to live. And those that I never wanted to.

I want to venture into anonymity and not be deciphered.

I want to be showered with solitude and ignorance.

I realize of the sins I committed and also the eternal verities that I regarded

I wish for the rains to arrive now, the rains of honor that would wash me to purity.

I want to be taken off the walls that extol about mighty rivalries and victorious cavalries.

Award me an eternal exile. Away from the earthly possessions and other realms.

Let my requiem be the most harmonious melody.

Let the procession be the most united of all.

Let atleast, my buried figure achieve utopia.

Soothe the bruises of yester days.

This will be the mirth I seek. An idyll.

Struggle

By Shivendra Pati Tripathi:

I know I’m tied,
to live the obverse
of what I desired.

With my limbs fatigued
of crawling back.
After every defeat.

With two scorched and dull eyes,
of facing the sun’s cruelty,
and my society’s demise.

Now ‘tis only myself I can trust,
to keep on dancing in this
carnival of rust.

I see my feet tethered,
knowing I can’t,I still try,
my will has not yet withered.

I feel I don’t have many options,
go to sleep ,or keep on breathing
and stop my breaths from being auctioned.

My frail cries of mayday calls,
succumb
to this noise of busy footfalls.

They all are players, all over
same
‘You Shall Not Help’,
is one rule of the game.

I call out to no avail,
you’re crowded yet all alone,
to walk this path of rusty nails.

Now ‘tis only myself I can trust,
to keep on dancing in this
carnival of rust.

Strongest survives,
on the weak
it will thrive.

Minds etched with this thought,
souls lamenting,
to this disposition has them brought.

But somehow..

I guess I was too fast,
to consider myself
an outcast.

As I’m not the only dancer here,
all are unequal yet all the same,
with similar worries and same fears.

I KNOW, I was too fast,
to consider myself
an outcast.

Take each hand
as you walk through the rust
and make them dance,
love, smile and trust.

Public molestation

By Udita Garg:

Happy I was,
for a new beginning awaited me.
I was happy as I was
nearer to my dreams.

With excitement and some anxiety
after sometime, I boarded a bus in my city
to reach my college on its first day,
and as I was on my way.

I still remember how comfortably,
how easily and fearlessly,
almost as if rightfully
those hands felt me!

I was disgusted,helpless and afraid;
the crowded bus was his aid.
I was angry and tearful
but mostly fearful.

I tried to hit him;
I tried to run away.
I was helpless and he,
shameless and unafraid!

I tried all I could
in hope, stop he would.
But my suffering ended
only with the journey.

And I was shocked
and almost shattered
the man who had stalked
me, to him it did not matter.

But I have this fear;
at nights have this tear.
The incident had shook me
and though it was not first time,
that this way some one took me
but I fear every day and night.

And sometimes in nightmares I fight
with shameless men who think they have right,
on every woman who pass by
but I still don’t have fearless nights.

Though it happened to me before too
but I, could really not get over through
the plight I suffered that day
and though I travel in bus each day

I can never travel fearlessly
as I don’t feel safe in my city.

Painting by Daumier, Honore: The Uprising

By Digvijay Sisodia:

What do I choose to ignore
When my conscience fails to bear anymore
The everyday swindle that corrodes us?
Or the varied means by which democracy bites the dust?
Or tyranny at its deplorable summit while masses left to rust
Stagnating at the very roots,
They undermine the underlying truth
Incessantly gnaw the nation,
No respect or patriotic consideration

Painting by Daumier, Honore: The Uprising

Then they advertise national growth,
I ask what’s their contribution?
And who are they to tag a villain?
Or tag an enemy of the state?
When they dont resemble the national hero
Not even close, if I may say
When they serve a terrorist better than a guest
Millions spent on redundant tests!
My soul cant take it any longer
Tell me what do I ignore

What do I choose to ignore,
The suppressed desire to reside in peace,
When terror bombs every now and then,
Or the lure of under-table path to succeed,
As this is all my innocence has seen
For they are the ones who adulterated my world
Now accuse my remnant innocence?
This is how it has ever remained,
This is what they have maintained,
A cloak of deceit to hide the devil
But will they ever repent?
Pitiful weaklings, to be frank
Who dread the awakening of mine!
Its injustice if continue to overlook,
so tell me should I ignore?

But every dark cloud has a silver line,
The veil of deception shall vanish.
The sun will shine from across the mist
Redemption of nation would come
A new leader, true by the deepest meaning of the word,
Would bring a sensation anew,
And strive for harmony once known
And propel the country beyond the blue (sky).

Numb YKA

By Reeti Singh

When thoughts are many, but voice is none,

When wounds are many, but pain is none,

When blinks are many, but sleep is none,

When feasts are many, but hunger is none.

When lights are many, but hope is none,

When  breaths are many, but sighs are none-

When laughs are many, but smiles are none,

Then , my friend, you are where I stand benumbed.

 

Tested for diseases all possible,

Doubted by many-

Trusted by none.

Surrounded by many, shielded by none,

Heard by many, believed by none-

Then , my friend, you are here-

Where I stand benumbed.

 

Can keep not quiet, but ears are none,

When silence is not quiet, but screams are none-

When you are all alone in a room, alone and with none,

And you still can feel someone, something lurking when shadows are none-

Then my, my dear friend you are here-

Where I stand, benumbed.

 

When every breath pierces deep in your chest,

When every step you take is a test-

When the sky above seems the same as the ground below,

When water is the same as the teardrops on your pillow-

When scars run deep,

And memories run deeper-

When bitter is sweet,

And delirium yet sweeter.

 

When questions are many, but answers are none-

When roads are many, but directions are none,

When the only solace lies in the veins of oneself-

When the stare into empty space is the one support, and none-

It is then, my dear friend, that you here-

Where I stand, benumbed.

 

Numbed and stilled-

Cautioned by my own shadow live now I,

Filthy, dirty, violated she-

That is what I feel when I peep and see,

The merry little girl known for her cheery little ways-

Jolly and bright,

Never ever quiet, never ever still-

I see her now stare ever in a hazy gaze.

All that they say of her now, my dear Sir-

Is,

“ When the heart is careless, and you mend not your ways-

When silence is a smoke-screen, a mere escape,

When the truth revealed is a lie foretold-

When all your screaming earn you a label of a whore,

When the call for help is a reach-out for more-

It is then that you deserve a solace no more.”

 

A quiet bundled heap, I lie here now,

Alone in a room, with a little white light-

Drip-drop a drop now falls,

Drip-drop, yet another flows to the floor-

Drip-drop, here I come,

Drip-drop, to a state benumbed.

Drip-drop, here I come…

Drip…drop…to  a state…benumbed….

Drip…drop…here…I come…

D…ri..p  d..rop …to a….st..at..e…  benumbed…

 

Shadow

By Nandini Garg:

When you are alone, isolated from life,
There’s always someone with you.
Always ignored albeit tightly bound.
Knows your deepest secrets – what’s right, what’s true.

Born in the light, though in darkness it lives.
Engulfed in the dark, though on light it thrives.
As the day wears out it grows taller.
Fades in and out unaffected by the lives.

Stepped upon. Run over, it’s invincible.
No matter how much you suffer,
It imitates without pain, silence amusement.
In every strife, every climb — it is tougher.

Shadow of the sun plays with the shadow of the moon,
Numerous shadows sleep under the shadow of the stars.
At nightfall as doors close into sleep,
The shadows combine, casting darkness in their war!!

Img.

Woman burn

By Reeti Singh:

Smiling blisters of a burned, whipped body-
Lie here I, my dear Sir.
Cracked wounds bleeding blood,
Scars-
Black, red, blue and purple.

 

From father’s home,
I came encased in silken weaves of bridal prescriptions,
And with me came all that you kind Sirs demanded, and more…
Hoarded together and brought to your door-
Ahead of the palanquin that bore me,
Ahead of me, when welcomed to my future abode.

Greedy eyed, you kind Sirs examined the harbinger,
You kind Ladies took care of my jewels and precious yarns of traditional looms .
Promptly directed I was to march to the bedroom-
Where you lay, hungry eyed…

It took you not much time
To take care of the thin cotton sari imputed to me, –
My constant and sole attire within the household gates…
Now there it lies,
Charred, breathing its last-
Lashed by flame-licked wounds,
Drained of all its years of falsified adornment.

For years now I have served your family,
Washed your father’s, brother’s and mother’s underwear-
Swept the floors, swabbed every corner.
Cooked many meals, washed utensils, milked the cow-
Served your bed.

Satiated never was still your soul,
Not yours, nor your kind gendered family’s.
You kind Sirs and Ladies wanted more,
More and more and so much more-
A son you demanded,
You planted one and got it too-
But not once, not twice, nor thrice was enough still,
And so you planted another one of your little future-heirs in my fatigued, voided womb.

And then she came…
My little one…
I watched with silenced anguish,
While you drowned her in a bucket full of water-
My child… no older than an hour-while’s life…
but she was no heir,
She was but a burden-
Whose palanquin’s harbinger, to you now seemed a besetment-
She then became a bundle to be gotten rid of,
As was I-
When married at the age of thirteen,
To you my dear Sir…

Here I lie,
Here I lie-
Burnt, whipped, thrashed-
Punished appropriately for the birth of the nuisance,
Punished appropriately for the years I served.
Punished for I could not give you more-
More and more and so much more!

Here I lie,
Awaiting my much deserved end.
For no more gifts were left to be sent from my father’s home,
No more heirs had I to add to your gendered kin-peer of gendered Sirs and Ladies.
And therefore here I lie.

Here I lie,
Here I Lie-
Oozing wounds of a thrashed, flame-licked body-
Lie here I, my dear Sir.
Cracked wounds bleeding blood,
Scars-
Black, red, blue and purple.

Img.

Perfect world

By Ateendriya:

On the edge,
And just there.
A flash of hope,
In a million years,
Sometime.

Shut off windows,
And the mist that surrounds.
A bleeding rainbow,
At the other end of this monochrome.

A rainbow in the night?
Only she sees it.
The rainbow and her own plight.
One glimpse of her,
And the madness that follows
They’ve all got eyes,
But they seem not to know.

Such a warm world inside.
And the shut off windows.
She’s trying to kill us all!
Destroy!
Destruct!
And they fear- her.

Isn’t it all better,
…to wipe off the madness?
They’re trying,
With all they have.

To remove this insane little blemish.
From the perfect scenery.
Trying so hard
To deny her existence…
And in the cold winter night,
She waits on the edge.

Looks on…
The ones inside,
They never see.
It’s just her fate to be… right?
Let her be… there’s nothing we can do.
We’re all working towards a perfect lie… thank you.

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