Candies

Like the sour sweet orange candies we bought as little kids,

When the hawker came calling down in our compartment,

Just that color and that size,

The sun hangs in an early summer sky.

Across my seat and through the dusty glass pane of the window,

Of my train,

It took me back to when we were children,

Pestering ma for these treats.

Already hanging by the end of her saree,

Three of us few year olds

When of only eight and twenty I think it is a Herculean task now,

To raise one decent kid,

Than three broken ones.

Our mothers were made of steel.

We consider ourselves shards of a vase that’s already shattered.

Emotionally drained,

We like to imagine our souls as battered,

The same sun shines down even today,

Lights up our world like honey drops dripping on our palms,

As our little fingers hold wet half finished candies against the grilled windows of the compartment of our train,

Comparing them against the light.

Packing

Maybe,

This becomes a getaway and I don’t ever return

To the banality of stuffing my face,

And then stuffing my day

With huff and puff of discarded emails,

And left overs from the day before.

How much shall be enough?

Can I not close my eyes and open them again to find you by my side?

Perhaps that can save me the anxiety of having to decide,

If one or two or three lipsticks shall be enough.

What can I take with me,

That’s not at all necessary?

Every inch of space inside my duffle bag has been accounted for,

And I can only carry so much on my hands.

I know mid travel I shall be getting wary,

Oh I think I left something behind.

And yet,

I’m carrying so much.

Outside and Inside.

Permeable

At four in the middle of the night for me,

And an annoyingly early beginning of the day for most

I am up counting my dreams.

And recollecting how I kept calling for mom,

And she couldn’t hear me through the walls that I am contained in.

I thought the vigil was over,

And yet I hear someone’s staff over the pebbled street.

My eyelids are dropping down over wishing I go back to where I was:

Permeable to thoughts,

Of brushing my teeth by the taps my backyard that no longer exist,

And telling someone I no longer talk to that yes hed find tiffin services in the city.

There’s a cake no one is really attentive about,

Maybe its not an important detail.

But I already know the story between us on a rocking boat,

Ready to jump at the slightest manoeuvre.

I don’t care and let us not bother one another with stupid questions like

How are you?

I used to think I was beyond exams and here I was on a late revision,

Hoping I’d write enough to not fail,

Though failure is what creeps into our minds to scare us into waking up with a start.

And thinking: thank god this was just a dream.