Monday, 2 October 2017

She (II)

She closes her eyes to see what is done,
Another hole to dig her soul in,
She takes a deep breath it has only begun,
Selling her soul was her biggest sin.

She opens them wide to see where she was,
Blank screens and the ghost of her laughter.
Why was it so hard to do what she trusts?
Time ran thin, hanging her from a rafter.

She needed to breath, feel air in her lungs,
To fling her arms wide and free,
She was trapped in a world both stung and young
Where they couldn’t see what she could be.

So she picked up her guts and packed her bags
Bidding farewell to her table and walls,
They had supported her well through the song and the storm,
However big or small.

A tear trickled down as she brushed it away,
Sighing at what she had just done,
She knew in her heart, ignoring the mind play,
Her life had just begun.

Saturday, 13 June 2015

A Rant

Sometimes life can be funny. Not the hilarious peals of laughter type of funny, but rather the “I better laugh than cry” kind of eccentricity. We humans are emotional beings, interested in dissecting our mental state (whatever it might be at that current moment) in hope of understanding what lays beneath our fossilized layers of brain activity. Many have tried to conceptualize how far this is possible through deep research and studies which extend across psychology, psychiatry, neuroscience, anthropology, biology, sociology, literature and philosophy. Arguments galore  surround the topic, some delving into the fathomless ocean of feelings, and others claiming that the matter is too heterogeneous for systematic study. Any such introduction to human emotions without a generous helping of opinionated perspective turns out to be dull and largely incomprehensible. So I shall stop with this gibberish attempt of hoping to convey a sufficient image for you to think productively- as it is of copious complexity, and there is so little time.

Tuesday, 26 May 2015


She takes a moment for herself, slightly exhaling, as she applies black liner with a shaky hand. Sweeping her brush upwards over one lid, she stops, to study her far from meticulous work. Dissatisfied again, she re-dips her instrument into the dark kohl, this time determined to perfectly pull upwards, to get that wide-eyed, cat-eye - a look she seems to be partial to these days. " Next time..." she sighs through the mascara wand balancing precariously between her teeth. Accepting defeat wasn't her forte. 

She often missed the feel of her long silky locks brushing against her breast. It had always given her a peculiar and irrational rush of confidence. Now a messy mop of dark silk crowned her head, with the occasional rebellious strands that strayed a while, seduced by her slender, mocha neck. She flicked back the strays, clicking her tongue in annoyance, as she painted her perfect pout scarlet. She definitely hadn't lived or loved much, however one thing she was absolutely certain about was her love for red.  She grinned consciously at her reflection, accepting the simple fact, the colour made her pop.

She waited, staring blankly into her small pool of expresso, that rippled slightly, in rhythm to her monotonous breathing. Distracted by the sudden distortion she caused, she placed the cup on the table in front of her. The air was thick, wrapped in a suffocating duvet of humidity. She absentmindedly wiped a pearl of sweat that leisurely trickled down the curve of her high cheek bone. It had long passed the peppered freckles by her right eye, and was making its way down to join the slightly darker mole by her lips. Obviously the mission had now been severely compromised.

 She shook her head, discouraging these silly thoughts that constantly made her think. She thought too much. Thinking was her speciality. She majored in it at the tender age of ten, way back then,when her eyes were still genuinely bright. The voices would whisper little nothings into her ear, which would rush hungrily through it's deep cavities and tunnels, finally arriving at her brain. The warmth of young, innocent blood pumping in various chambers of developing grey cells was too tempting for them to leave. It was from that moment onward her smooth, petit forehead learned to crumple and fold. They needed to be fed, and she had been brought up to always be the perfect host. 

Photo credit: Elocodigodebarras from
It was now pitch dark. Some like to quote that "Time and tide wait for no man", but she hadn't even noticed when the pale, fluffy sky had morphed into it's inky depths. A few conspicuous stars  blinked back at her, as if in consolation of her dazed state. A tungsten bulb flickered on in the distance, as she grimaced at her untouched beverage. Pushing it away, she slowly stood up, brushing down imaginary crumbs from her cotton top, a distinctive habit of hers. The atmosphere had thinned down considerably, as she stretched her arms into it, breathing in its toxic medley into her lungs.  She needed the thin rush of oxygen to gush into her system, and clear the stale fog that clouded her mind.  Air -- she literally needed to come up for air.

She shook her dense mane, exhaling to what sounded like a low growl that rumbled in her throat.  Her once honey eyes now loomed grey and murky with the growing silence. She had never enjoyed packing up anything, be it clothes, cartons, or even little boxes- the monotony of the very action repelled her very core. Nonetheless, reason had bottled up all instinct letting it layer and grow with time, leaving petrified impressions in what had now become a collection of fossilized emotions. She didn't like to admit it, but by default she was an expert. No intelligent being would debate these skills, as proof clearly showed she was a professional packer.

Picking up her lead limbs, she dragged herself out of the  dying cafe. Hours had passed since she had nervously powdered her face, and sprayed on his favourite fragrance. With time she had grown to like it too- a splash of sweet vanilla blended with feisty hibiscus- she smelled warm and delicious. The soft street lights beckoned her forward, motivating her every step. Free motivation was never to be denied, even she knew that, so she strolled on in trance, graciously accepting whatever she had been served.  

After what seemed like forever, she finally reached her destination. Tall monoliths, a mish-mash of architectural styles swallowed her. Their sudden appearance snapped her out of her daze, making way for frustration, as she automatically fished into her purse for keys.
" favourite.." he smiled, opening the door before she had the chance to try. 
She smiled back mechanically, accepting the peck that was directed to her sulky cheek.
 "Where did you go? I missed you.." he said in a voice that sounded miles apart.
 She felt cold inside, despite the thick layer of dampness  that was slowly suffocating the general atmosphere. At this level, she thought aimlessly, her night brought in temperatures cool enough to bring the snow.

Photo credit: Thomas Saliot; oil painting from
She shuddered slightly as she sank back onto the mattress, pulling her knees to her chest. Eyes closed, she ran her tapering fingers over the smooth dome of her head, as though that might calm the the cyclone of thoughts raging within. Everything felt wrong, including the beautiful man that lay calm in sleep besides her. She envied his regular purring breaths, as she imagined him care-free and frolicking in a complete parallel sphere of dreams. It wasn't fair, but she had grown to repulse this same simplicity that had once drawn, and charmed her completely in. Everyone around her would blame it on nerves, or the stress of daily life; so she would nod and lie to herself to embrace the dished-out logic . However deep down she knew something more. She knew that whatever was sprouting, swelling, and developing within her was wrong. When the lights were out, and she just lay there, she would convince herself otherwise, comforted by the velvety darkness. But in the clear light of day, when the sun's rays viciously tickled her skin, she knew. There was something cold growing inside her. She knew. She could feel it.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015


She blinked at her reflection, and stared harder. The dark mole on her right cheek looked the same as it always did- almost a perfect dot on her pale skin.  Her faded freckles were darkening with the recent bouts of sunshine in the daily weather, now a generous sprinkle on her angular nose.  Coal brows sat over almond shaped eyes that were so dark at times, that she wondered if they were actually black. Her lips were thick and full, curving nicely whenever she  flashed a smile.  A long finger traced the slight dimple that revealed on her left cheek as she practiced smiling, the way children do when asked to smile for a photograph, close-mouthed and strained. 

She drifted to the open window framed by pale blue drapes that slightly swayed in the afternoon breeze. Tall buildings glared back at her through their grilled balconies, peeking through the sparse green leaves that were now slowly turning brown. She leaned forward, balancing all her weight on her toes, making little noise on the white marble floor. In the room there was only the faint hum of traffic filtered through the squabbling of frisky pigeons.  A stray strand fell across her neck, as she thought of glossy waves and golden sands in a world not so far away. She had always loved to dream. 

For a brief moment a dog barked, off in the distance, but quickly faded back from wherever it had come from. She was snapped back to reality with a jarring suddenness, instinctively jerking backwards. Her fingers slid into the smooth, steel sill and she yanked it towards her. A sharp sting made her hiss and pull her hand away, as she muttered a curse under her breath. A  strip of crimson marked her thumb. The throb of her cut finger drew her attention, so she quickly raised it into her mouth.

Blood- the copper scent of it disturbed her. She looked away, out of the window again. The long afternoon had gradually been closing in, and it was almost twilight. A purple haze stained the clear sky, predicting the birth of a beryl horizon. She tilted her head back as she breathed in deeply, inhaling what she believed to be the scent of fresh cut grass in a rain storm; a whiff of freedom. She sighed hard, swallowing back the tears that threatened to gush forth. Stupid, stupid tears that were always calling the shots, appearing anywhere on her face, rolling, unchallenged, streaking damp trails, and ruining her mask. 

Weakness was something she had been told to fight- but she was finally sick of fighting. There was nothing left, no energy,no breath. She had always reasoned that everyone was struggling, trying to fight a losing war, but it had gotten stronger, gathering power and feeding off her misery, waiting to launch at her.These constant blows were a pain that she had gotten accustomed too, but now even a slight wind tossed her around like a scrap tissue in a whirlwind.  She had finally given up. She had no fight left in her.

She turned the record on and glanced out of the window again. The moon peeked back at her, hiding stealthily behind a pair of dirty clouds. Even the stars had come to watch, cheekily winking bright in what was now a dark night's sky. Somewhere an owl hooted in a whisper, as a cars' headlights lit up a once invisible road. The music she could hardly hear before had suddenly got louder. Like a cat it jumped up out of nowhere inside her, arching her back, and stretching her long limbs. 

She felt herself purring, as her tumbling hair swayed from her scalp as she spun around in electric motion. She let the beat flow from the top of her head, down to her spine to the tip of her toes. Squeezing her eyes close, she shut out everything, and just focused on her body moving circles around itself. She no longer dared to open her eyes. She was safe here.

High up,she swung by the crook of one leg, throwing her arms in the air with an unabashed ferocity.The once drained blood had rushed to her chalky face flooding it with a burning flush. A drop of sweat trickled down her hairline and followed the faded scar on her neck, slipping on to her heaving chest. Twirling her bare feet on the floor, she pushed away the hair sticking to her glistening face. She pressed a clammy hand against the thumping in her chest. Her head spun dangerously and stars blinked behind her eyes, but she just couldn't stop dancing.  She was too busy spinning, dreaming, and hoping. She didn't know which way was up, but now that she was there, she wasn't sure if she ever wanted to come down.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Sun Kissed

The sun beat down relentlessly, transforming my pale skin into a delicious tan. My feet were snug between layers of sparkling fairy dust, those magical particles we commonly dismiss as “sand”.  And the bipolar ocean roared and murmured special somethings into my ear, making me sigh at every breath I took. I was lost...somewhere where I didn’t want to be found, for a very long time.

PC Jalasaya Federoff
Puri, a famous city and headquarters of the charming state of Odisha, India, soaks deep in art and culture, being the land of ancient temples and graceful dancers . For a couple years now, it has been almost a ritual for us to escape after the hustle of the Holi festival, and let ourselves sink along the high and low tides of  Puri’s coast. We weren’t renowned for being the best planners, and baring the weighty title of “The Queen of Procrastination”, I was no motivation to our chill group of seven to be more organised. However, as usual, it worked out for the best (as I always like taking the credit for, even if the majority claim it to be way off my appreciation quota).

We arrived  before sunrise, dragging stuffed bags, and groggy kids. The huge clock struck forcefully announcing we were thirty minutes late (All hail to the Indian Railway system!). We waited , and waited, till the colourful and persistent coolies nodded their heads in pity at our hopeful claim that we had people picking us up.  We did...didn’t we? 
“Lets start walking towards the entrance”, I suggested as cheerily as possible at the God forsaken hour. My lids were fighting to snap shut, and I needed some movement to shake me up ( yes I usually always have an ulterior motive). So off we trudged with our wobbly wheels, as the girls loudly cursed their significant others,who still hadn’t shown up.
“We got lost” they grinned, fifteen minutes after we set up camp along with the sleeping homeless at the station’s entrance. There was some profanities exchanged, and a lot of eye rolling in response to their very sheepish confession, but lets focus on the abundance of love and hugs that followed after that.

PC Jalasaya Federoff
Colour crept into the fading sky, streaking it pink, as we zoomed  past rows of closed shutters, in our rather spacey, and comfortable auto rickshaw. Puri was slowly waking up, stretching and yawning to the sound of gushing waves brimming at its gritty shores. Once checked into our friendly hotel, we dumped our belongings in our respective rooms, showering in world record speed, to go out and explore the numerous breakfast options listed out for us. We settled for Krishna Resorts,  a few hay thatched huts that served us steaming plates of ultimate, greasy deliciousness. Bellies full, and the enthusiastic sun now forcing us wide awake, we walked towards the beckoning waters.

It was love at first sight. The playful waves lapped meekly at my feet, as a gentle breeze teased my lose wavy locks into beachy curls. I peeled down my cotton T-shirt, allowing the morning rays to warm up my peeking shoulders.  The vast blue depths shimmered silver, stretching out lazily as the now burning sun reflected in the foam of the crashing tides. The kids had already stripped down to nothing, giggling in delight at the scurrying crabs playing hide and seek in the damp sand. 

PC Jalasaya Federoff

Days flew by, and so did we. Shells of every shape, size and colour were collected into massive heaps of stashed treasure. We were hard to lose as we left trails of glittering sand wherever we roamed. Our pallid skin went through an awakening, turning shades we would have never given ourselves credit for before now. We swam, laughed, lazed, ate, and even occasionally almost drowned. We built dams, dug holes, found rivers, had picnics, and always fell asleep to the soothing song of the ocean. Free of nagging thoughts, and to-do lists, we were soaking in the moments so close to perfection. We were free for now, bare footed and golden, ready to plunge into paradise.

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

One Night

Moving quickly, he slammed his fist into her face. Blood splattered everywhere, on both of them.

Sometimes she felt so full of emotion, she could feel it brim at her very edge, it’s colossal weight nearly buckling her knees.  Defiance would pounce forth shielding her, taunting  innocent passersby, provoking them in hope that they may react, and unleash the accumulated resentment tugging at her heart.

Rationality was a foreign word as her burning eyes whipped their damp lashes against her flushed cheeks. She anticipated the rage to accelerate, hard and fast- a catalyst to a potential tantrum; but it sat spineless, fizzling out, almost cold, as she desperately waited for something to happen. 

Nothing happened. The anger began to dissipate, now focusing on a calm, eerie, wave of misery. It washed right through her, chipping little pieces of her raw heart in the ebb and flow of its high tide. She ached. She felt lost. Panic made her chest thump and quake at every thought that pranced through her fleeting mind.She had stopped crying long ago. There was no one to hear her, and even given the remote possibility that there had been, she had run out of tears a long time ago.

She stiffened and shuddered at the pain which seemed to grip her whole body. She tried to  focus, but it was as if she was wandering through a dark tunnel with no way out. There was no light in this gloomy pit where answers seemed nonexistent. Soaked in pools of her own despair, she rubbed her face against the gritty wall, and the shock of pain as she hoped, made her stop frightening her self  for a split second. She had always believed, that the reality of pain wasn’t as bad as the morbid fear of it.

She stopped for a moment, and breathed in the cold air which stabbed her sharp in her heaving lungs.  A prisoner in the vast valleys of her loneliness, she was tired of  travelling in circles through mental labyrinths. She had lost all confidence,and convinced herself into believing that her cutting wounds were gaping crevices. Consumed by pure agony, her body had now contracted itself into a giant ball of concentrated grief. Barely conscious, her voice broke into a high pitch as a sob caught in her throat. 

Swallowing a whimper, she stumbled a couple steps forward, her brain racing with possibilities. He punched her again, looking down at her broken face with his black eyes.  Tears blurred her vision, stinging hard, as her toes curled in fury, and her pale fingers tightened into fists. She could taste something metal mingle with the saliva that travelled down her throbbing throat. Trying not to choke on her own blood swarming around in her mouth, she burrowed deeper, gathering the ripped material that hung off her battered hips.

He closed the door behind him, a wicked smile slowly creeping onto his coarse face. Instinctively she crossed her arms over her chest, but her eyes were now looking down. She felt too terrified to think, and too desperate to calm her self down. Her shaking arms dropped dead to their sides, as her feet rushed back in little, fumbled steps. He was much larger than her, but that did not matter now. Still smiling, his face now appeared frozen and humourless as he moved closer. She was petrified, but refused to panic.

He grabbed her hair as she reached out for the latch. With a loud crash, her head met the floor, streaking it crimson. Dazed and in a stupor, she felt his mouth pressed hard against her ear, as he kneeled over her, pressing all his weight against her. Rough hands cruelly prodded her like meat, poking, grasping, and punishing. With one hand around her neck, he effortlessly turned her limp body towards him, to stop her from slumping to the floor. She used her hands to push his shoulders, trying to shove him off, but he just thrust forward, killing her fight, right at the bud.

Her mouth was dry as cotton, and  her tongue felt as if it were swollen. She begged her body to relax, laying as still as possible while warm tears silently slid from beneath her swollen lids. She couldn’t see, she couldn’t smell- she had slammed her mind’s door shut on the depraved images that kept flashing in front of her. She focused on listening to her breathing, in and out, trying to thwart the hysteria that fogged her brain. She needed to stop feeling, turn off the pain, and anesthetize.

He panted like an animal into her face, as she screwed her eyes tight, shut, trying to block reality out.  She took another breath, slow and steady, wanting it all to stop, and everything to just blackout. She ignored the twinges of pain that clawed her gut, and the fading screams that racked her tiny frame. She opened her eyes slowly to see the moon shining abnormally large in the sky, as it crept over the horizon, peeking into a cloudy window. “Soon” she whispered to herself, “It will soon be over”.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Her Tears

  When she was just a wee little girl she had so many dreams, so many plans, so much of everything in that big head of hers. Now she is older, taller, and probably wiser, and her fantastic imagination has grown up with her. She had always wanted to dance in sapphire,mustard fields, with delicate fairies, and discover lonesome mermaids on jagged rocks amongst countless other things; but now she had downsized her great list- she only wanted to be happy.

  All she ever wanted was to be happy. She would smile in the mirror everyday, practicing how to laugh, and flash her pearly whites, as her face pulled muscles from many different angles. But her cheeks never heaved in rosy mounds, her eye brows never dipped with genuine pleasure, and  her  eyes never creased with unadulterated laughter. She smiled not by sensation, but by practice.

 Her heart felt heavy, lonely, and was suddenly yearning. Her emotions dangled fragilely  beneath her welling eyes, which occasionally got lost, staring widely into foggy space. She felt raw, almost naked in front of her own reflection. A stranger gazed back at her, ashen, gently melting away, dripping ivory onto the tiled floor. She was a sad girl cloaked in an empty shell of what once was.

When panic would creep in and begin to bite her brain, she would shut her mind- down completely.  All the anguish would disappear. And for the first time she would feel nothing,only a distinctive hollowness. It was a narcotic, her drug, and she knew she was starved for oxygen as she would welcome the deep slumber that followed. 

 With a mighty noise the walls would come crashing down, and the room would be filled with giddy sparks. She would wake up, lying flat on her back, hysterical tears drowning her contorted face. Her eyes automatically snapped shut- an instinctive reaction to escape the throbbing torture harvesting her chest. Consciousness had hurled a roaring avalanche at her, as her memory  would come back, gushing, and cutting.

“Oh, God! Oh God!” she would cry, now on her knees, covering her ears with her fists, rocking back and forth, moaning and sobbing.  Tears pushed and shoved forth her eyes, painting her pale cheeks with stained streaks of sorrow. She was sinking, she felt herself cracking. She was so sad , she did not know what to do. “Oh God!” she would whisper,
 “I can’t make it stop! My heart is breaking, and I don’t know why.....”.

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