Abandon

Abandoned Women

Have you seen the landscape fill up with abandoned women?     

She came home with acid on her face after a week at the hospital and she was already bereft of the neighbors’ acknowledgement

Her name a talk of the town,

Only her face walks around wearing blame.

People now address her as ‘You should not have…’

She was found lying unconscious on the highway having been raped twice during a night.

Once by the rapists and again by rescuers- until the line between them completely disappeared

And every face becomes her perpetrator. Can all of us be put in a jail?

Abandoned by humanity, a bloody disgusting pile of flesh and bones in the middle of the road.

A distressed cry, an erotic find.

She was beaten and sent back home,

Where was that bike that her father had promised the groom?

Abandoned next by her parents who brought her back,

Albeit on the shiny new pulsar her husband now uses to roam

Drink and beat her once in a while because theyre still due on that gold chain.

Defaulting on commitments- what sort of a lying cheating family was she from?

Abandoned by the women of her family who no longer notice how they’ve invariably begun banishing her from festivities and laughter,

Because six years on and childless,

Maketh her not  a

 woman.

So something must be wrong,

With her.

As is wrong with all women

Because they exist despite everything.

Thinking for us

I was sipping coffee to hold myself a little longer,

You were making plans for December.

Our eyes met and spoke volumes,

In a glance about-

How you love looking at the stars as the night seeps through sand on a beach

And how I love being mesmerized on walking trails through the woods

How you getting up early really gets on your nerves

And how I sleep late into the night after I’ve been trying for an hour

How you would have told me that I’m beautiful everyday after having woken up

And how I’d stick with you on days you feel like giving up.

Would you claim I’m yours?

Would I stop you from seeing your friends too often?

Would you tell me I’m crazy when I cry myself to sleep for no reason whatsoever?

Would I not talk to you for two days straight when you forget our anniversary?

Maybe on our eleventh anniversary we realise

It’s make or break from here onwards.

At fifty I might be wondering where we went wrong as we bicker about everything to begin with.

I say hurtful words that stab like daggers and you do too.

Or

It might come to a day when I’m 60 and running to the toilet every few hours while I’m reading my favourite book as you suggest what to gift to our favourite niece on her marriage.

And I complain about how her prospective in laws are such a show off.

And yet you manage to hold my hands as we see her off to her new home. And I realise we are doing just fine.

One fine October morning

We came a full circle,
When you asked me, what was wrong and I wrote you a song
Because that is how I talk-
I listen to Mukesh Kumar crooning,
And soundtracks from Dirty Dancing wishing all the while that we’d rather dance now.

Yes I think now is as good as any other time to start dancing to Pretty Woman.
I want your hands around my waist
And your gaze as your eyes rest,
Momentarily on my face so full of a wishlist.

Oh, and I wrote you a poem by that name.
I listen to Frost telling me the importance of roads,
And the way we juxtapose them with life choices
But wouldn’t you wonder-
How is it that I know what he sounded like.

I believe he sounded like the waterfalls,
The constant splashing of falling water on the rocks that lovers carve their names on,
When it hasn’t rained awhile.
So during the rains these names lay hidden under the foaming frothing cascades.
And as summer returns,
The rocks do too.
But the lovers don’t.
I am starting to imagine that water,
So timid in my glass and forgetful in your drink,
Out in the open let free,
Does not like her long lost love story be overwritten by transient beings like us.
And that we are transient- just passing by, is what frost talks to me about.

Aparajita

This picture was taken at Fateh Sagar Lake, Udaipur.

Questions

Before breakfast I’ve already written two and a half poems inside my head,

In fact,

It started right after I lie woken up on my bed,

Dreaming dreams that don’t feel like extensions of my waking memory.

Words string themselves when I’ve cornered myself into existential dread,

The usual question of what’s the point at all,

Of early sunrises

And late nights when the Earth doesn’t care what you call them.

A black lamb nibbles on the bags hanging by a motorbike

And I am thinking what else does the morning not know about last night.

Paperweights

Some days I feel like the parts of my body,

Have been taken apart and

Lie strewn around on my desk:

Paperweights to my thoughts-

They scatter just as it starts to get windy.

I had a terrible day at work

All I can think of is

Logging on and ordering an organizer

For my life.

I mean my files.

I have,

When I was little,

Held an oval glass ball against my eyes

And thought what happens when I throw it on the floor and break it?

Will water come gushing out along with the colours that I can quite place inside the walls of my imagination?

These streaks of blue and green-

Are they inside or on the surface?

And why doesn’t it bleed a rainbow when I drop it?

Have you ever broken someone to see how they turn out to be?

Some people do that.

They wait for you to show cracks and like humpty they shove you down a wall,

Curious to know if all the king’s men can undo the damage they began.

Wishlist

Tell me that you were listening to a song,

And it made you think of me,

And I will be playing it back to back,

Trying to find glimpses of my scattered self in words

And the music.

Tell me that this smell makes you relive the one moment,

When we were walking by the lake,

Licking our kulfi sticks

Until just the stick remained,

And the quest to find a dustbin-

I will rewind and go back to the time when we walked without a care, hand in hand, we knew not where.

Tell me you love it when I am happy like that

And I will tell you,

That you are the reason,

that I am grinning so wide.

I read somewhere today,

That we are capable of love,

But there is every possibility that the object of our love changes,

When we want it to.

And I don’t want to think ab

out that.

So I am putting my mind to test,

And asking it to remind me

How gently you kissed me against the wall.

Everytime I think about it all,

I can smell butter melting in a pot,

I can taste a bubble on my tongue.

And I want nothing.

Right now, you’re enough.

Trick or treating

Frankly,

I ordered another shade of my favorite lipstick,

Trying to trick my mind into treating myself-

And I feel none the better.

So I don’t know what that was for.

What’s done is done,

For the payment is made

And I just have to wait for my package to arrive.

It’s my birthday for the sake of reason,

And I will do as I please.

That color,

I wonder how it will sit on my face

The perfecr shade.

Oh the ordeal for the perfect shade.

Did I say shape?

I feel bad for devouring on junk this evening –

Deep fried samosas with chutney in a plate.

Well tomorrow is a good day to start eating healthy.

And exercise.

But if we’re all going to die,

How does it even matter?