Sunday, March 19, 2017

FML

Is there actually a reason I keep writing about love?
Songs that speak about futility
And poems that speak of insecurity.
Maybe I am in love
with the idea of love.
A distant dream
never fulfilled,
kept awakened by hope
and a mess of a life
that seeks to find solace
in fiction.
It's what other human beings would term as hopeless
the kind of endearment found in bygone tales.
Yet here I am,
living one of those tales,
seeking closure of some sort
hanging on by the slimmest of threads.
I don't know her anymore.
I don't know myself anymore.
But I know the idea of love exists somewhere,
I'm hooked to its enchanted arms.
It leads nowhere,
It doesn't have any of  the other worldly charms.
It leaves me broken and sorrowful.
That I could never be the man,
who was the right one in her eyes.
I was different.
She was different.
There were no points for similarity.
Not that there was any,
and that was important,
that decided,
if feelings were scarce,
or if feelings clashed somewhere.
Now it's been years
that I am in love
with the idea of love.
No other woman spoke to my soul
about singularities
and unions of people.
All I am good at now is being terrible at life,

Friday, March 03, 2017

Displacement

Displacement of the body
Displacement of the soul
Displacement of feelings
Displacement of the fact
that it takes a few years
to grow old.

Displacement of anxiety
Displacement of demeanor
Displacement of attachments
Displacement of  fears
that would at one time
make you cower.

Displacement of clothes,
shoes, computers,phones,
TVs, CDs,video games,
books, vehicles and everything material.
Displacement of trees,
sunlight, rain, air, politics,
druglords, religion,
love,notions and everything immaterial.

Displacement leaves gaps
Unfilled and unattended.
Gaping gaps in places
clock hands cannot point to anymore.
I can just visit the edges of the gaps and look into them.
I can make out the faces and gestures swim in its dark pool .
But I can't jump in,
there are mandates surrounding it,
it's not feasible territory anymore.

Displacement is vicious-
Almost primitive in nature.
A deadly predator of sorts
Unbecoming to behold,
Knives hidden under layers
of smooth promise, ageless laughter,
consistent contentment, sobriety
pitted with secrets never to be disclosed.

I was never able to recognize
this dark side that silently plotted
its own curve for my life.     
To me, displacement was freedom,
A new world far from watchful eyes
and ears that fed on the grains of my life;
far from social soreness and known visages,
A mountain that I needed to climb.
                     




Sunday, February 26, 2017

Memes and emojis

An Indian man had to die. This is within just a little over a month of Donald Trump's swearing in as the president of the USA. The roots of racism were buried far underneath the ground all these years. It was there, not totally absent, just out of sight. Ever since he has started being around, there have been several incidents of racism being reported all over the country, not just towards  Indians, towards people of all kinds of ethnicities. And the culmination of that along with no restrictions on guns has resulted in the incident at Kansas city. But there will still be no learning and no steps taken.

Why is it that the Americans want everyone out of their country? Do Indian people look like they just came , made and took jobs from Americans and settled in? No, it's not that easy. Relations and immigration between countries is always a highly controlled matter governed by a vast number of government policies and deals between both countries involved. It was a result of these instated policies and opportunities presented by these agreements that people traveled between the countries. Nobody can just wake up one day and decide," hey, I'm gonna go to American and get a job there" like they are going to get a job in their neighborhood. It takes paperwork, scrutiny, background checks, time and most importantly, the fact that the travel would benefit the US government in some way. Which, in the simplest of the ways, means paying taxes to  the US government. Which, is what a lot of Americans don't seem to get. There are people who think we don't pay taxes. I think my eyes rolled to the back of my head when I first heard this. But it's true. There are people who believe we are just earning money and not paying taxes ,all the while taking their jobs. I mean, if you are in high school and make this statement, I am ready to excuse you and explain it. But when an adult, a working, fully grown adult , and sometimes over 30, makes such statements, I wonder what happened to common sense and thinking before speaking. 

What would happen if there had been no H1B workers in the USA? Life as you know it would never have happened. The technology, the comfort of life all exist because countries united and worked together. I understand there has been misuse of the program in some cases but that's a minor percentage of the companies who have done it. The majority of companies using the H1B program have stuck to the rules. It's not entirely impossible to see that. Everyone is trying to make a life out of this crappy world we are right now in and doing the best we can for friends and family. If it does involve working abroad, meeting new people, creating new ideas, how is that bad? We are social beings, less than dolphins and killer whales though, but still, it's important for human beings to fraternize and collaborate and pursue ideas. 

When a nation progresses, its infrastructure develops, in the natural course of ways, a pride should develop along with it. This seems to have taken a turn for the worse with ego coming in to play. The conservative right wing playing police themselves and the wide array of news articles and videos constantly showing how more Americans have been killed by Americans and the "no gun control" policy than by people from other countries is startling. This development happened because of collaborations with other counties, and with the help of people who came in from other countries. And it did not happen overnight. It built up over the years. And it wasn't common people who just decided to come together and do something- everything is controlled in some way or the other by the governments themselves. This seems to be the point least understood by people who cry blame.

What is it that you mean when you say, "get out of MY country"? That country you are talking about has been shaped and built up over the years by hardworking people from all kinds of nationalities. The life that has been structured for every American is the result of years of hard work by people of all kinds of nationalities. Hypothetically, if after this one incident, all these people just stopped working, do you have any idea what would happen to the global economy, let alone the country's? Do you know how you own life would turn upside down? Hypothetically, if all these jobs were suddenly taken away from people of other nationalities and given to Americans, do you know what kind of a slump in stability you are looking at because the next thing you will do is blame your own government for not training and preparing you enough? Human beings always seek to blame and make excuses when things are rough. It's human nature. Do you know how long it will take to get out of that slump? YEARS! And do you want that? No, because at the same time, you still want to be on the top which is more impossible than anything else in the world. If these people had nothing to lose, they would stop. But they do have things to lose just like Americans too, they want to lead fulfilling lives just like Americans too, they want to reach old age and have stories to tell like Americans too. Don't tell me Americans don't want these things. Every person is just trying to make their way through.  These are things to ponder about- human lives, the common people, the government and understand before making one statement like "get out of my country" and firing a gun. There is something seriously wrong here and the government nor the president seems to be doing anything about it. If anything else, the seeming encouragement is frightening. 


If people in a first world country claim to have guns for safety, I shudder to think what would happen if there was no gun control in third world countries.

P.S. Last weekend we were at New Orleans and a bunch of us were walking through the pavements by the parade and one guy trailing behind. Apparently an old man reveling in the festivities stopped when he saw us and yelled "Fuck you you beggars go back to your country". We didn't hear him but the friend trailing behind saw and heard this. What is this sense of false supremacy that has come to exist? Common sense and humanity have become dwarfed in stupidity and ego. 




Monday, February 13, 2017

Haul Ass



I am caught in the headlights right now. Like a speeding car and a deer crossing the road in front of it suspended in time. I have three choices- make extra efforts to jump back or jump ahead out of the way or stay where I am. Because the moment this suspension in time ends, time will speed up indefinitely and no normal efforts to move out of the way will matter, it has to be way extra than normal. 
Now the driver has three choices too. He can keep plowing ahead, he can careen left or he can careen right. The brakes would never work in time.
So what do you do?
I don’t know how the driver will react, the driver doesn’t know how the deer will react. I may get saved as soon as the time suspension is up or I may get killed as soon as the time suspension is up. Keeping still, going left or right and putting extra efforts wouldn’t matter- I am fucked either way because I don’t know if the driver cares about deer or not.
That’s the thing with life. Consider each moment, dilemma, situation as suspended in time, the outcome of which can be anything, however much you put in efforts or you don’t. People say no, it’s up to you, how you make your life. Sure, it is. But it’s just till taking a decision, just till the point where you decide if you are going forward or backward or staying still. This is where most people’s advice stop: “You should move forward in your life, or keep doing what you are doing and you will succeed one day etc.” The advice doesn’t take into account realities of outcomes of the decisions.
After the decision, you are not in control because you don’t have control over what’s coming toward you. And what’s coming toward you has its own decision to make and take its own course of action- which may leave your ass alive or leave your ass to die.
The only thing you can keep doing in life is keep trying to save your ass and haul ass at the right moments. You are really not in control. The moment you take a new road, you are a part of the people, the cars, the weather, the dogs and everything on that road. Either way, you are fucked somewhere, somehow.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Stage Fright

I don't know why,
I am another version
of myself with you.
The hand got dealt,
and even though 
I have been in a position
to call the bluff several times,
I didn't.

This version of me 
is in love with you.
Even though I am unfamiliar
with this version of myself,
I can feel it's thoughts inside me.
And the feeling of familiarity 
it seems to have with you
is unmatched 
in terms of love explained
in society's stories, movies, music and songs.

This other version,
came out the moment I first met you.
At the party, everyone noticed you, I did too.
But it wasn't even taken aback as I was
by the smile that suddenly lit up the entire room,
It just kind of said, "There you are!" 
and walked over to you with utmost confidence.
And you seemed to know it too.
"How strange" I thought.
I was more baffled by the ease of conversation
and the way you two took each other in,
like it was a necessity to life-
an un-breathed gulp of air or an extra heartbeat
to compensate for a gush of adrenaline,
than the fact that you took me to your place
and I complied.
I was never this sure when meeting strangers.

It wasn't that dark and I could see the other version of myself
kiss you suddenly.
To my surprise, you kissed it back too.
And then, like jigsaw puzzles of childhood,
the spaces between your slender fingers
and the curves of your body seemed to fit
perfectly into the spaces between my fingers
and the curves on my own body.

Sometimes I wonder if there is actually a bluff to be called.


Image Source: Google Images

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Thank You



It was hardly a year that I had met Oliver and we decided to get married. I was twenty six then. Oliver was twenty eight. Even though we had known each other for almost a year, a new found closeness developed, fueled by the happiness that comes with a wedding, new people, new friends, and new experiences.

Within a month of getting married we got a kitten, a ginger tabby, with bright yellow eyes and a tail bushier than bottle brushes. To nobody's surprise (even though the cat was a female) we called her Garfield. Oliver and I were both big fans of the comic strip and collected books, movies and anything we could find related to it.

Garfield was the best cat one could ever hope to have. She had the usual habits cats generally have- rubbing her face into objects around the house, hissing at insects, catching small prey and bringing it to us at times to say thank you, randomly purring and stretching out all over the house, jumping at new unknown artifacts and furniture, wanting to get scratched etc. But unlike most cats, she never hid or slunk away when there were strangers around, she never had problems with us leaving her with our friends when we took trips, even learnt tricks Oliver taught her and turned out to be quite the star at any party we hosted at our place. Two years flew by in infinite happiness as we worked, traveled, laughed and spent time doing everything possible together. Two years before I missed my period for the first time in my life.  

In the third week of March 2014, I realized that the familiar squirming pain that usually accompanied the periods was not there. I gave it a week's time and then another to be sure before I let Oliver know. My husband's joy knew no bounds at the news. Over the next few months, Oliver took care of me as best as he could and Garfield never left my side the whole time, perhaps sensing the new adventure about to start. 


Lily was born on twentieth November, 2014. The two years that had seemed indescribably happy and the most peaceful stood no chance against the happiness that gushed through my body that day making me quiver. Lily had the tiniest nose, hands, ears, feet; her eyes were shut tightly as her eyeballs moved under the pale thin eyelids, dreaming of worlds we would never know about.

When we got home with Lily, we weren't sure how Garfield would react to this new member of the family. I watched as Oliver brought Garfield over to Lily's cot. Garfield's eyes widened and she looked back and forth between Lily, me and Oliver a couple of times. Finally, realization seemed to dawn as she finally looked at the sleeping baby. She stopped twitching and reached out a paw to touch Lily and let out a low purring noise. The family was complete now. Oliver and I smiled at each other. 

Lily was a weak child. She needed constant attention and seemed to be ill all the time. I had to quit my job to stay with her. Oliver got a new job but even though the money was good, he didn't like the work much. He would come back home in a sour mood most of the days and we had an increasing number of fights over the most trivial of issues.

As Lily grew up we understood that there was something wrong with her. Apart from being sick most of the time, she had trouble recognizing and responding to us, her speech abilities did not seem prominent yet her motor senses seemed fine. After prolific tests and checkups, the doctors pegged Lily's condition on autism.

The future looked a bit darker than before.

Oliver and I sat down that night to discuss how we would work things out. I couldn't go back to my job. Oliver was okay with the new job and agreed to make it work. We sat at the dinner table, talking into the night. Around midnight, Garfield came in from somewhere outside and dropped a small mouse at my feet and looked at me and purred. Now I would have to smile, pet her and say thank you and then throw out the mouse myself later. Once she was satisfied with my response, she went sauntering towards Lily's room.


Lily and Garfield were the best of friends. Whatever Garfield did, wherever Garfield went, Lily tried to imitate her. If Garfield was sleeping under the bed, Lily would curl up under the bed beside her. If Garfield was out in the backyard running around, Lily would be out there with her. They even slept in the same room on matching pillows. We were thankful we had Garfield to keep Lily company. The doctors always stressed on the fact that having pets around for companionship is good for autistic children and sometimes for even grown-ups.

When Lily was four years old, Oliver and I decided to have another baby following the advice of my mother and the doctors. A new baby, a sibling, always helped. Garfield was getting on in terms of age too. She was eight years old already. I could still remember that excited little ginger kitten we had brought home almost like yesterday.

Lily was almost five when Samuel was born. She and Garfield had almost the same reactions when Oliver and I brought home Samuel. As Garfield had done earlier with Lily, both of them looked at me and Oliver a couple of times before Garfield purred and Lily squealed. I picked up Lily and kissed her on the cheek telling her that the baby was her new brother, Samuel. She repeated the name slowly and smiled. Garfield went out of the room and Lily followed her out. I looked at Oliver with a hopeful smile- maybe things would get better here onward.

Lily's speech was slow and hesitant, her eyes seemed to focus late, she needed time to respond when talked to, she did not understand everything at the first time and kept making the same mistakes a few times before she understood that she was wrong. But she was immaculately perfect with her motor senses, if anything a little slow, but none that would hint in any way at her mental condition. We had put her in a different school that addressed students with special needs and she seemed to be doing good there. Oliver's new job left him tired and irritable most days and most nights, he would fall asleep on the couch in the living room itself, drink in hand. I never had the heart to wake him and covered him with a blanket as he slept.

A year later, on the day before Samuel's first birthday, Oliver had to work late in office. "Who works late on a Friday night?" I thought to myself but couldn't say anything. Instead, I called up the bakery and asked them if they could deliver the birthday cake we had ordered for Samuel. They did not have a delivery service. So I locked the doors and windows in the house, put Samuel to sleep and left Lily and Garfield playing in the house for half an hour to get the cake. They had done a really wonderful job on the racetrack decoration on the cake. I came home and started setting up decorations for the next day. There would be twelve children and their parents for the party next day. It was almost ten p.m. when Oliver pulled up in the driveway; by which time I was nearly done with the decorations. As Oliver came in, Lily and Garfield went running up to him, both prancing about, Lily shouting excitedly about the party next day, Garfield silently leaping about. Oliver  had got presents for all of them- A drag around musical duck for Samuel, a Birthday Barbie for Lily and a rubber toy duck for Garfield that bounced away as soon she jumped on it, making her chase after it everywhere.
I laughed.

We finished dinner and sat at the table talking about the next day. Lily sat on my lap and said that she wanted to dress up like birthday Barbie and Daddy had to dress up like Ken. Oliver smiled and agreed to do so. As we were getting up to go to bed, Garfield came in to the room with another dead mouse that he dropped at Oliver's feet. Great, so much for the present Oliver got her. The gesture of gratitude needed to be thrown outside. I looked at Oliver and said, "Hey, you got the cat a present, now you deal with her thank you!" Oliver patted Garfield in exasperation while Lily and I giggled.

The next morning, Oliver and I were both up early at six thirty a.m. to start getting things ready for the party. Samuel generally woke up crying around ten a.m. and Lily was usually up at nine on Saturday mornings before coming down for breakfast. We had ample time to finish off everything before the day started with all the kids. As we set up tables and chairs in the backyard, Garfield came out and watched us from the porch. After a few minutes, she got bored, climbed up and slept off on the porch swing. By eight thirty a.m. we were finished with setting up everything for the party. The guests would start trickling in at eleven a.m. Oliver settled at the kitchen table with the newspaper and I started putting together a breakfast of pancakes and fruit. 

Around nine, we heard shuffling upstairs- Lily was up. As she came down the stairs into the kitchen, I turned around to tell her she needed to get ready by eleven a.m. and paused. She was carrying Samuel in her arms. That was weird, I hadn't heard a sound from Samuel and it was an hour before he generally woke up so if he was awoken, he would have cried. Lily came up to Oliver and in her usual slow and hesitant manner, said "Daddy, I also wanted to thank you for the present you got me yesterday" and placed the tiny, puffy, red, lifeless body on his lap.


Saturday, January 14, 2017

Nowhere Man

We live in a world where everything can be categorized, stereotyped and judged.
There is no escape.
There are labels for everything now. Not just the everyday stuff, now you can even label and stereotype dreams, passions and any form of expression of the human soul.
There is no mystery to anything anymore. We took giant strides to get to know the unknown better. Now everyone knows about everything and has access to the world at their fingertips.
But suddenly the unknown seems to have been a better place. The places that were the escape caves have shrunk for everyone. Its crowded everywhere. If not filled with other escapists like you, with people trying to get photographs of the entire realm.
You dreamed of places where your soul could rush away in a flurry and you knew about things you didn't even have names for, things no one could take from you. But they know it all now, and have given it names. So you have nowhere to go.