The Courage To Be

Life is mostly tiring. I have often looked out of train windows late into nights and seen trains hurtling past on the opposite tracks. It is one racket of streaking steel with lights forming long lines of lightning. I have wondered if some lonely wanderer like me would have been looking out of those windows as well, trying to make sense of this whirl of life.
And amidst this terrible rush of everyday living, I have faced challenges that comes with the act of getting things done. Every decision I have had to ever take have come with a deadline. Either you take the decision within that time or the decision gets taken on its own. I am not sure which is better. Taking decisions or allowing life to take its own decisions. There is no data with me to prove that one is better than the other. However, I have always preferred taking decisions. Some augur well, while others are stuff about which stories of great failures can be written. I love it either ways. I love it when something works out and I love it when things don't. It helps me believe that I am central to the outcome. Makes me believe that I have a role to play in the success and in the failure of things happening around me. I don't think too hard, for then it may turn out that I am just a pawn parading as the player.

I have a say. I choose to exercise this say. It is a part of my being.

The girl in my wallet

Men's wallets are just as mysterious as those of women. Though smaller, they inturn have numerous pockets and pouches that are capable of safely tucking away many secrets.

Mine is a leather wallet I go for a replacement every three or maybe four years. Every time I get myself a new wallet, the transfer of contents from the old one to the new is like a spiritual ceremony. First I empty all the contents of the existing wallet into a clean and empty table. Them comes the close scrutiny part. There are coins from Riyadh that my uncle gave when I was young, so they automatically gets into the new wallet. There are unclaimed bills from past expenses and hurriedly scribbled phone numbers, and then there are small notes or at times, a couple of lines from a poem that never had a name. All these go into the 'to be discarded' section. Photos of gods find space in the new wallet. So does all the plastic cards for credit debit insurance vehicle id voting reliance Spenser etc. All these are carefully packed into the various pockets in the new wallet.

Once all is done, I know that you will still be hiding in one of the zipped pouches that are hard to reach. You always had to make it a point to come out last. I would take you out, look at you and think of how much both of us have changed in the last twenty years. You will still have the same smile and your eyes will hold the same twinkle that I fell in love with twenty years ago. You smile at me and I smile at you. For those thirty seconds or so, we make peace with time and space.

Off you go into the eleventh wallet and there you stay until this leather gets worn with time and it is time for a new hide. Every body I know has a girl in his wallet. Well...you are mine.

Heaven and Hell

Raj, does heaven and hell exist?
Yes Princess, it does.
What is this between Hell and Fire? Why is hell always fiery?
No idea baby, probably something to do with pain. I have heard that burns cause maximum pain.
But Raj, how will you burn if you have no body, you are dead right?
Hmm, good one. I have no answers Princess.

Ok. Do you remember the time you were having this fling with that girl from office?
Why bring it up now baby?
No, I am just asking. Do you remember?
I do.
I used to be so jealous, my heart was a smouldering cinder. Do you understand what I mean?
Yes baby. It was like hell for you.
I love you Raj.
So do I baby.
Now you guess what I am thinking....
This is heaven Princess.
Dog you are Raj.
Bhou Bhou Princess.

Long Winter Chill

If I could do a Neruda,
You would have smelt of summer roses
And Autumn pine.
There would have been sheer love
Of the kind that causes our hearts to ache
And loneliness bordering the divine.
You would have had so many secrets
Welling up as in a girly giggle
And so few friends who would hear them all.

I am no Neruda
I can't paint you a Summer breeze
Amidst this long winter chill.

Painting up

I go out into life each day
I do on my masks, and I play
Choose of me from the ones you like
I am an actor,
My worlds rarely collide.

Her Favorite Villain

Has anyone ever told you that you are almost impossible to manage? That you are grossly impossible of acting as if you had one normal cell in your body? You never tell me that you love me, you never wish me on my birthday and you never have time to take me out!! When was the last time you liked me on FB?, never! I have never heard you speak a gentle word to any adult. The only thing you are good at is your work and playing ghoda with the neighbors kids. Uff! Do you know how frustrating all this is to me? You should have been in Police. You don't have a heart. Why am I wasting my time, you are beyond listening as well! Are you there?

I am.

Is that aaaaaalllll you have to say? Twenty years and this is what you have to say: Aaaiiii Am?

Did you as just say twenty?
Yes goddammit. I have spent twenty years with you.

Oh shit, I guess I am better than I thought! Thank you baby!
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PS: Ghoda stands for Horse in Hindi.

The Color That Blinds

Every time I close my eyes
I see the green of Kerala countryside
The dark greens of lumbering rubber trees
The even tranquil green of silent paddy fields
The light lemon yellow green from tender clover leaves 

And then I remember your dupatta
Deep red or possibly maroon
Standing out among the Kerala countrysides.