Short Stories & Poems

Tanaya Singh:

If you don’t like me the way I am,

Go to hell; I don’t give a damn.

I believe in making my own ways….

I am not concerned with what Uncle Sam says.

You are free to call me a wishful thinker,

I’ll show you my fantasies were meant to twinkle.

You live like machines operated by somebody else,

I prefer living like the broaching jewels.

When will you cease this futile fuss?

Stop drifting with the “mob-rush”….

When will you walk out of the tyrant’s rule?

Or do you want to end up looking like a fool?

Life, is meant to be a montage of myriad dreams,

No matter you are grizzly, or in your teens….

Go out and be what you want to be,

Forget Uncle Sam; He does not have the key.

I can’t wither and crinkle like this,

I don’t believe in queries prior to a wish….

I don’t care if it’s a mistake and I fall,

I will never be just another brick in that wall.

Aditi Gala:

Wondering why You are always left behind??

The painful, seemingly endless struggle…
Some reach the Zenith…Some barely a few steps above the bottom…

Why does this happen?
Whose fault is it anyway?
Fate, Destiny, God, Religion, Parents, Country?
Crap…its all your own!
Blame anything You Wish…
And that’s what You’ll end up doing all Your Life!

Ancestors gave us umpteen warnings,
Nature proved it time and again,
Life is but a battle…
Weak versus Strong,
Truth versus False,
Winning versus Loosing.

Struggling to find the answers…
And endless number of times…
The same old question…
“What’s the secret of success”?
As Socrates did…Go Drown yourself in water.
And when You struggle to come up…
Thats when You will alas know the Big Answer!

Just two ways…No mid-way,
Either drown deep down in the miseries of nothingness,
Or Rise…Rise high above…So the sky is Your Equal…
Tired of struggling?
Tasted Failure time and again?

Just a Look Within…
A small voice tweeting with Rock-Solid Faith…
“I Will. Everything is mine to conquer.”
For Once…Erase Boundaries,
Banish Fear…
Feel the Wind…Breathe…Live…
Bask in your own Glory…
Say a Thank —you,
For all that You have been blessed With…
Its either Now…or its Never!

Tanaya Singh:

It is a lust to wander,

A lust to be the only one,

A lust to brood and ponder,

A lust to stare at the setting sun.

I was dazed by your beatific smile,

Wish I had taken less than a while….

You were just purlicue away,

Why didn’t I ask you to stay?

You said I live in my dreams….

I was a lot happier there it seems,

You were gone like an errant breeze…

And I am still here, waiting to freeze.

Your words keep recurring like plangent bells,

Deep within me your memory dwells…

I have been wandering for what seems like yore,

Ever since you said, you don’t want me anymore.

Here I am on this humungous plain,

Yanked out of my dreams, I feel insane.

I was out in the search of clarity,

But now I find myself lost in the world of reality.

It was a lust to wander,

A lust to be the only one,

A lust to brood and ponder,

A lust to stare at the setting sun.

Tanaya Singh:

Sitting beside a railway track,

All he could do, was to look back…

With a gloomy face,

And eyes fixed in a gaze,

He turned around to find himself in a maze.

He knew that he would never be able to cope up,

There was no ray of hope to help him look up.

He could see himself stuck,

In a place that was devoid of luck….

Memories of the last week,

Could only make him weep.

Being unable to find any way,

He started recalling each day….

The week had just begun,

But he could not see the sun.

He was on his seat,

Already feeling the heat.

“Gentlemen have patience,

We promise everything will soon make sense.”

Thus the proud employees of the past,

Could not find anywhere to go at last….

Once the “employees of Satyam” by the grace of god,

Were now nothing but victims of a fraud.

Tuesday came, but in vain….

Coz there was no news, of any use.

It was Wednesday,

or call it doomsday….

“Sorry gentlemen, as you all know,

Our company has got a blow.”

On Thursday he was not required for any job,

So he went to the bank to meet Bob.

He was no longer the friendly manager who used to come home,

All he was doing was inquiring about the loan.

Friday his son asked for his half yearly fees,

And his heart was broken, piece by piece.

The week has now come to an end,

But no good message has been send.

He wants to give up his life on this railway track,

As he cannot find any other way back…..

But this time when he turned around,

A gate out of the maze had been found.

It felt like another life,

When he could see his son and his wife….

Waiting for him at the door,

He knew they did not want anything more

They were his source of inspiration,

Giving him the courage to take firm decisions.

Now he was sure he would be able to cope,

Coz he had finally found the ray of hope.

Tanaya Singh:

It is a Thursday….
a year has passed….
but it seems like yesterday….
when she was asked….

“How does it feel to be the one who survived?”

The question remained unanswered then….
and so, will it forever remain….
cause how does one feel being alive….
after having lost the most precious person of your life….

She is standing at that very place….
and they are discussing the same stories again.

They are always there in the blabbering race…
she smiles and wonders in vain.

Will they ever stop and think….
how could all this happen in just a wink….
with just one last look at Taj’s dome….
she turns around to go home….

She hopes she’ll not have the same dreams….
it was just yesterday it seems..
but a year has passed since that day….
this is a new Thursday..

Tanaya Singh:

She saw him working throughout the day,
With the setting moon and the rising sun.
She knew he was transformed in every way,
But was she happy even after she had won?

For thirty long years of their marriage,
She had been chanting a single prayer,
To have in him a genial husband,
Who’d give her family the required care.

The prayer has been finally answered,
At the cost of a very precious pearl.
There only son lies in the coffin,
Taken away by the wars of the world.

He has taken this loss as a severe retribution,
A punishment from the inevitable heavens,
To a drunkard on the wrong road with many aberrations,
And had to face his son’s expropriation.

Drinking is not his habit any more,
But he does not speak like he did before.
Earlier she had to wait for him to return from gambling,
Now she yearns to see him enter the house smiling and rambling.

For him this was the only way,
To pay for that immutable past,
He wishes that time would sway,
And he’d go back to retrieve all that was lost.
She is standing by the weeping door,

Afraid to cross this moaning threshold.
There is a girl in impeccable white,
Who was to be his son’s wife.

The girl has not shed a single tear,
All she wants is to be there,
In the house of the guy she loved so much,
His memories are all she can feel and touch.

Her presence in the house is taken as curse
An anathema that’s socially unacceptable.
As long as she has his mother’s love in her purse
She will not consider her position debatable.

So she is the mother and the wife,
taking care of the people who were her son’s life
Her soul is stifling within, immured by the heart wrenching pain
That she is trying to hide but all in vain.

She can see her child, dressed in his beloved uniform,
Telling her with the same placating smile
“I miss you mom, I wish I could have taken you to the prom,
But they need you more, to successfully cross the dangerous Nile.”

Anmol Rajpurohit:

It was
The most beautiful thing in the world
In my heart
A rose unfurled

Love until then
Had in me slept
And now he woke
In joy he wept

The two of us got closer
We felt and people said
Indeed it seemed to me
that we were in heaven made

I always wished
These moments they never pass
I should’ve known
It was too perfect to last

Slowly the spell broke
And so did our love
I was desperate
I tried, seeked help from above.

But what I cherished most
You took away from me
Away from us
Yet so totally

Oh did you ever think
What we could be
I saw my dreams
Crashing before me

I wanted to warn you
Closed heart it never did
And you never felt it
Lost in your superiority

All was a farce
I felt vehemently
But the fool I was
I could never speak

And fool were you
You no longer believed
That someone as me
Could be your destiny

But my writ
Is written by me
So I wont blame you
For my indignity

All I need
Is to believe in me
Something thats too much
To ask of thee

Not long before
I was He
Now how can he
Desert me?

I will rise again
I will be me
What you have lost
You will see.

But I haven’t dropped
That rose still
Its scent lingers now
And always will…

Anmol Rajpurohit:

You understand bits and pieces of me
You think you know me
Alas! My world is not as carefree
Look into my eyes and you’ll find
A soul much darker than thee.

The blood that runs in my veins
Will dry up one day
And with it all the secrets that I didn’t share
Pray that you don’t find me on the dais someday
Speaking all that I couldn’t’ bear.

Dark are tomorrow’s eyes
Darker still was my past
For me, deceit and lies
For you, a man wishing his last.

Before I bend upon my knees
Put me in my grave
Alive, I cant sleep in peace
For its hell, not heaven, that I crave.

Tanaya Singh:

Make a move and
Open all the gates.
Veil away yours fears, to
Enlighten your fate. Go
Rekindle those desires to
Shimmer like the fire.

Adhere to your wishes….
Nurture your dreams….
Dare to say — “I want to gleam”

Search, peek, peep and seek for more,
Hues all around are waiting to be explored.
Approach, reproach, go out when you get bored.
Keep working for all that should be yours.
Express yourself in your own way….
Risk everything to feel that ray….
Spread your wings wide, and fly away. JJ

PS: This form of poetry is called ACROSTIC i.e., a poem in which certain letters of the lines, usually the first letters, form a word or message relating to the subject

Jubin Mehta:

Being served a bland plate;
The system in an impasse.

Is it me who is ignorant?
Or am I seeing the right picture?

Blank faces staring at empty blackboards,
The filled up boards staring back at them.

Is it my lack of aptitude?
Or am I too perspicacious?

Since when was education soporific,
Being taught in a dialect unknown.

Is it me who is so naïve?
Or is my faith in ignorance a fallacy?

I grope in the dark looking for answers,
My mind in a haze,
I question myself, am I in the right place?
Or should I just accept and be a part of the rut?

I try to push the grades up,
but the weight pulls me down.
Caught in an eternal rat-race,
I hope to jump the queue.

Someday I’ll succeed,
Sometime I’ll disperse the queue.
The day I do that,
I’d believe I broke the rut.

Gaurav Kumar:

The lantern lamp was struggling its best to fight with the wind blows coming through the half-bodied door of the strengthens cottage. Rukmani was puffing her lungs out to keep the chulha alive with wet logs of sesame branches. The chulha finally started reciprocating with the same wind blow from the same door and was ready to cook whatever Rukmani had in her wooden container which never got filled with enough wheat flour to feed her family. She peeped into the container, collected the stuff and after her effortful cooking the result was -“One single ROTI”.

Rukmani was sweating after her efforts to cook that miniature and looked at the roti with eyes of a hungry animal but with a heart of a mother, heart of a wife. She gulped some cold water down her throat and it got stuck in her wind pipe…Amidst her coughing, Bhuvan, her husband entered; abusing the hot weather and the customers he carried on his rickshaw for the whole day. The stingy smell of “Tharra” made Rukmani nauseatic but she was used to it. Bhuvan fell on cot nearby like a sea-sawed tree trunk. Rukmani thanked god for Bhuvan being drunk as he slept without waiting for dinner and she did not have to ask him for it. She had to protect that roti for her boys. Bhuvan had accepted his poverty and had accustomed himself to sleep with wine in his belly without any roti, giving chance to others. Pradeep, rukmani’s elder son came after an hour. He was unhappy about no sell even today from his Ferry of household things.”Why are you looking so low, I have made roti, should I bring it for you?” asked Rukmani.

“Did pramod eat anything? Pradeep asked about his 6 yr old younger brother who was lying on the ground on a piece of rag, his belly swollen out and houseflies hovering all over her body. Rukmani replied “I will feed him when he gets up”. pradeep prevaricated “I had some bhajjis on the way, I am stuffed, I am going to sleep, don’t disturb me.”

Rukmani knew, he had told a lie. She has no one left now, she sat down near Pramod, her younger son, shook him to open his eyes, he did not get up, he just threw his head on her lap. Rukmani kept the roti in her hand, tears rolling down her eye, she put a piece of roti in her mouth, getting mixed with saline tears, she liked the taste… anyway there was no salt in the house.

The writer is a story-teller of Youth Ki Awaaz.

photo: http://projectrice.wowbantayan.com/mt4/2006/07/gina-homeless-in-manila-2003.html

Tanaya Singh:

We can be brunette or fair and sometimes dusky or blonde,
We have got lots to share and loads to flaunt.
Be it in boardroom attires or an evening gown,
There’s an audacious girl heading towards the winning crown.

Meet us–the ubiquitous gang of girls,
We are not immured by ostentatious diamonds and pearls.
A group that fiercely opposes moochers,
And can send you to jail if you are a looter.

They say gals have a lot hidden behind those mascara eyes,
Dude, we call them ambitions or dreams, to touch the sky.
They prefer giving fragile and flimsy chores to these manicured hands,
I say we can conjure skyscrapers out of destroyed lands.

We are often called woolgatherers and stargazers.
But believe me; our pipe dreams help us be astute like lasers,
Cause once we boomerang out of our thoughts,
We start work and undo all knots.

Sometimes we love gossip and hate soccer,
We can be garrulous as well as groovy public talkers.
At times we hate gossip and become die-hard fans of soccer,
Or you may find us amongst lot of excited movie watchers.

We aspire, we inspire, we desire, we acquire.
We learn, we earn, we yearn and we never turn.
With felicity, audacity, agility and peculiarity,
Our confidence gives us a lot of virtuosity.

Our power has helped us reach the refulgent horizon,
Our enticing exuberance spreads like sweet poison.
We are the gang of girls,
We are not immured by diamonds and pearls.

Radhika Ghose:

I learnt it young, some learn younger & some will never,
They once “Acted” like I was one of Them – but I never was
And the wound still bleeds

Invisible

Struggle to be noticed
And when we are, we dont
Its a name, a wealth
Something that will even last beyond you
Its a Want

The Need
We Crave for, yet will always remain alien to us
And when its given, is given as a token
Accepted, but never given from the heart

Rplaceable.
But you’re not. You shouldn’t be.
Who’s anyone to tell you, “you’re gone”?
Its a Trap.A Game
And when you lose, you Lose

Invisibilty
Loneliness, a disease
of the worst kind, if it possesses you -when
The pain defines you
But Shelters.

Shadows.
protectors, we’re not hiding behind them
We just aren’t ready to face the world.

And when WE step out; they’ll see
That all they needed were
CLEAN GLASSES!

Tanaya Singh:

I don’t remember the time when I was born,

I have always been there,

in every element and in every form.

Some of you want me, and others hate me for what I am.

It was one of your own creations that gave birth to me,

you call my mother “region”; you fight for her every season.

Extend her name, and you’ll find me; I am —

“Regionalism”.

I have been puissant and vernal since eternity….

Trust me, I want to go but you have made staying my duty.

I was deliberately sent to every place on land,

Including the one I was trying to eschew from.

I was assaying to shun away at least your colleges,

But you dragged me there too; now I am immured in cages.

You took my name to sabotage nations,

I was the reason behind dilapidated creations.

A short time back when you were fighting again….

At the crest of the hot list, I found my name.

“Telangana — Telangana”, I heard you shout….

To wish that you’d stop someday was a hope in vain.

The Tamil, the Marathis, the ULAFAs and the saints….

The riots have been in lights for yore it seems.

They claim to be the sons of their soils,

That’s the only reason for all this turmoil.

Recently I met my latest crush,

He’s named Sachin; the hero of India’s favourite game.

He voiced a line I was yearning to hear,

And my heart missed a beat when he said the same.

“Mumbai belongs to all Indians”, he said

Raj Thackery was blown off and I was flared.

My crushes keep changing now and then,

Ambani then Shahrukh and now its Sachin.

Anyone who has the guts to go against me,

Is on my love list; my heart is so easy to win.

When will you understand a simple thing?

You are all Indians; the children of the same soil.

Cease the belligerence that you proudly nurture,

Kill me today and you will have an excellent future.

Don’t allow people to influence you with their parochial toils,

Take my pithy advice; just spread your wings.

I don’t remember the time when I was born,

I have always been there,

in every element and in every form.

Some of you want me, and others hate me for what I am.

It was one of your own creations that gave birth to me,

you call my mother “region”; you fight for her every season.

Extend her name, and you’ll find me; I am

Regionalism.

I have been puissant and vernal since eternity.

Trust me, I want to go but you have made staying my duty.

I was deliberately sent to every place on land,

Including the one I was trying to eschew from.

I was assaying to shun away at least your colleges,

But you dragged me there too; now I am immured in cages.

You took my name to sabotage nations,

I was the reason behind dilapidated creations.

A short time back when you were fighting again….

At the crest of the hot list, I found my name.

TelanganaTelangana”, I heard you shout….

To wish that you’d stop someday was a hope in vain.

The Tamil, the Marathis, the ULAFAs and the saints….

The riots have been in lights for yore it seems.

They claim to be the sons of their soils,

That’s the only reason for all this turmoil.

Recently I met my latest crush,

He’s named Sachin; the hero of India’s favourite game.

He voiced a line I was yearning to hear,

And my heart missed a beat when he said the same.

“Mumbai belongs to all Indians”, he said

Raj Thackery was blown off and I was flared.

My crushes keep changing now and then,

Ambani then Shahrukh and now its Sachin.

Anyone who has the guts to go against me,

Is on my love list; my heart is so easy to win.

When will you understand a simple thing?

You are all Indians; the children of the same soil.

Cease the belligerence that you proudly nurture,

Kill me today and you will have an excellent future.

Don’t allow people to influence you with their parochial toils,

Take my pithy advice; just spread your wings.

Jubin Mehta:

A finicky old man used to wander around the park every morning. His skin was saggy and he wore the same old ragged clothes. He looked tired but always had a glimmer of hope upon his face with a twinkle in his eye. He was unshaven for days and his beard had grown ragged because of negligence. He used to sit at a park bench and stare at the butterflies or the flowers. Sometimes he’d get up and pick up a leaf with some struggle and stare at it for hours together. The particular bench on which he sat was the only one from where he could see everything. People never noticed him. Small children were amazed when they looked at him as he kept staring at nothing in particular. They’d play this game with him. The kid who could go nearest to him would win. The parents grew concerned and did not allow their children to go near this man even though he hadn’t moved a muscle. The fragile man looked absolutely innocuous but the people gave him uncomfortable looks and made it clear that his presence was not appreciated. He was labelled a creep; no one tried to understand him or at least give the matter a second thought, not that he was asking for any consideration. He sat there serenely lost in his memories.

I long for the time that went by. I want to relive the moments I remember and a few others which I dreamt and dream about. I long for my mother’s touch on the forehead which felt like a tender leaf caressing my skin. I long for the smell of my love which smelt like the early morning marigold. I see the butterflies fly and I remember the days that sped by me. I see the children giggle and I remember the carefree laughter. I watch the branches sway and I remember about all those people who came into my life and swayed away; branches that touch the surface of the water creating ripples and then move away. I long to be able to carry myself and not be a burden on people.

The next day he came to the same place but to his surprise the park wasn’t there. Instead, he found a big old house in its place. He looked bewildered and started to fidget with his eyes in an effort to make them work properly. But nothing happened. He started to move around in circles, scratching his head. Looking at his consternation, a man walking outside by the gate asked him, “What seems to be the trouble Mr.Reddy?”

“Huh?”

“Yes, I’m talking to you. Can I help you?”

“There used to be a park here. Can you tell me where it is now?”

“This is your house Mr.Reddy! You stay here. It has been here for the last two decades! Are you okay?”

“Yes yes, thank you. I’m pretty okay I guess. I’ll go inside and sit on the bench.”

The writer is a story-teller at Youth Ki Awaaz.

Jubin Mehta:

I fall in the pool with a lungful of lust.

The chain that binds me and I let it bind me.

Aah! Attaining beatitude, elevating me to the seventh heaven;

The pang I feel when I free fall from the highest heaven.

My heart weeps for the angel I desire, the weighty tears not withstanding.

Self-pity is the biggest sin but I find pride indulging in it;

I indulge myself, let the spirit soar up into the skies.

Where mirth inflates to take flight with the birds.

Feel free to leap and jump crushing the fears beneath;

Merging in with the rest, shouting and screaming at my fears.

Doing nothing, saying the obvious!

Wrenching out my angst and saying it out loud;

With mouth wide open to take in the glory.

Wait a second and just look around to feel the energy.

This is what drives to idolize and manifest my dreams;

I don’t care what my dear world does.

Me and my own big space trying to stay clear from the rest.

Steer me through my longevity; keep me afloat!

All said and done, the universe remains a cosmic joke.

I try to break free just like everyone else,

Mocking, laughing and rolling my way through the rainbow.

Vidhi Kotecha:

Just a few days ago, Samira saw the legal papers which I had tried to keep away from her since so many years. Samira is my daughter. I had adopted her from an orphanage in 1994. I had gathered a lot of courage before taking this decision. I got married in 1992. My husband Ramesh had to go to the USA for his job just after a few months of our marriage. He was supposed to come back to India within a year. But he had some different plans. After a few months he called me up and told me, he had fallen in love with an English girl and was planning to settle there. So I knew I had to start my life again with a new beginning. This was the main reason, I planned to adopt a child. I couldn’t trust anyone. And living alone was very difficult.

The first time I took Samira in my arms, it felt like heaven. I had never felt so good. She was just 6 months old then. I knew she will change my life. We both were absolutely alone and we needed each other. And that was the moment I had promised myself, I will give Samira all the happiness in life. Many of my family members did not approve my decision but I didn’t care. I was independent enough to take this decision.

Everything was perfect until Samira grew and started to understand things. She kept asking me “Mumma, where is my father?” I neither wanted to lie nor did I want to hide things from her. I kept avoiding this question of hers by telling her “Do you need anyone else when I am there.”

Innocent as she was, she used to get convinced with my answer. But I knew somewhere down the line my daughter was not happy with the answer. She kept talking about her friends’ family members. I knew she wanted to know about her existence and her family. When she was in her late teens she became all the more adamant to know about everything.

I planned to tell her everything on her birthday which was 15th September. But fate had its own way. One day I was not well and I asked her to get my medical file from my cupboard and there she found out the file of adoption. She didn’t tell me the same day about it. She took care of me until I was well. But I could sense that something was wrong with Samira. After I recovered, I asked her about why the glow on her face had disappeared.

She sat beside me and asked me about the orphanage I had brought her from. I was shocked but I knew the time had arrived when I had to tell her everything. I told her everything starting from my marriage till that particular day.

After hearing all this she asked me a simple question “So you adopted me because you needed me? And my real mother left me because she did not need me.”

I felt the sadness in her. I knew how horrible she was feeling. I knew what kind of a feeling was that because I had been through the same when my husband left me for someone else.

I held her hand but she was crying like a baby. She was my baby and I loved her. I tried to explain things to her but she didn’t listen. She locked herself in her room. I thought it would be right to leave her alone for a couple of days. 2 days later she came up to me and asked me “Why am I here? Because you pity me? Or because you need me?”

I went close to her and told her “Samira, I love you and I just can’t stay without you. I need you as much I need to breathe dear and this is true. I won’t disagree with the fact that when I came to the orphanage I needed someone and that was the reason I adopted you. But believe me, the first time I took you in my arms, I started loving you. When you were with me I did not feel the need of anyone not even my parents. Now it’s up to you to decide whether I was wrong, whether I used your life or whether I love you.”

“Mumma, I want to tell you something. When I came to know I was adopted, I didn’t bother to think about that, the first preference was your health. Your health was more important than knowing about my existence. And I have realized that it has not changed my love for you. I have started respecting you all the more. Only one thing, I really wish you had told me all this before me coming across the file. I think you didn’t trust me enough. For me important is the love we have for one another. I love you…I love you a lot.”

“Thanks dear…you are my family and I love you.”, I replied

“It’s better to have a loving family than to have no family at all”

“Adoption is not about finding children for families, it’s about finding families for children”

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