Let’s Dance

Come then! Let’s dance till we drop dead.
We don’t dance to feel superior to others,
Or because our mothers made us do it,
We dance not because it’s a competition,
It’s not corrivalry, it’s freedom.

We dance for we like our body best that way,
We dance because it makes us close our eyes
and open our hearts, as if we are making love.
We dance because there’s nothing so good
than tapping your feet with someone who loves you.
We dance for our feet are not ugly when they create beauty,
We dance because we dream.

There’s an ecstasy in holding someone’s square shoulders,
And talk to the air in unafraid rhythm,
And building a snowstorm in the club, with bare hands and dauntless fingers.
There’s something audacious in swirling with the amicable wind,
And proposing to every insane heart with our love
or an imperfect Macarena.

We make deals with the gods so they could understand,
That there could be immense happiness in making music with our sadness.
Huddle up, let me tell you a secret!
That there’s a single moment while we dance, with our hearts true to ourselves,
And in that moment, a simple perfection resides,
A truth that we strive for, strikes us with an epiphany,
And a beauty so pure glows with utmost pride,
Because love is the theme tonight,

Come then! Let’s dance till we drop dead.

Capture

Candid picture of me dancing

A candy story

This is a candy story, a story of fusion
of passions, saliva and secrets.
it came to me like an ocean wave,
touched me and swept away swiftly,
like a roaring thunder, it struck me,
and struck me hard, and struck me twice,
the unspoken gesture left me gratified,
the celerity caused me the epitome of amusement,
and the gentleness left me in an amicable shock,
lead me to dance in an infinite felicity,
the  Utopia of caressing lips and love,
and a handful of love,
and a room full of it,
love, all the love.
On a scale of infatuation to deep affection,
I am pretty much naïve, but
I still don’t remember hands being involved,
fingers had the serious business
of being perfectly interlocked,
and the creases of our palms found their ways
to each other, like some crumbled map,
but they were away from the magic, away from the wizardry,
and a little eyelash came into the picture,
with its innocence, soon swallowed
by a churning tornado of the violets growing at the corners
of our closed eyes, the good ones.
It was nothing that I expected, nothing I signed up for,
but no sign of aloofness was present,
as if the answers were being breathed into me,
I could’ve survived in outer space and other galaxies,
and for some absurd reason,
my mind kept going back to the words of an old Bob Seger song,
and so I danced, and this,
this is the story of that song, that dance,
a candy story, a story of fusion
of passions, saliva and secrets,
this is the story of a kiss, which was enough.

To paint thine own self

With spots on all the wrong places and shadows lurking in the corners of the eyes,
not all of us wake up with a #Nofilter face in the morning.
With kind suggestions and constant reminders by the society, we splash water on us,
telling ourselves that we are nothing but a combination of carbon and water.

It shouldn’t take a poem for you to be a little less censorious towards women in makeup.
We  have heard it all before, to love who you are, and the ‘Girl, there ain’t no hiding what you’re made up of’,
But make up, for spelling out loud, is neither our salvation nor a means to survival.

make up, for me, is art, is poetry, is a painting that I bless myself with every time I look in the mirror.
I hold a brush like a painter’s weapon and pour the exact shade of sunsets that one could see from a hilltop, into my cheekbones.
With freckles already on the tip of my nose, like constellations in the starry-night sky, I fill moonlight and dusk around my eyes.

I put a killer winged eyeliner and a darker shade of lipstick when I dream of flying,
slightly bent  eyelashes and rose petal  kisses on the first-base romances,
I paint myself with colours I think they must lack in their paradise.
I sprinkle rose water on my face, wear a natural bliss and artificial raspberries when I tell my best friends that I love them,
And on days, when I couldn’t draw a straight line with trembling fingers and everything hunted in the world, I curl my hair, to tell myself that it’s going to be okay.

It is not a mask that I hide behind, but a version of me that will always be valid.
It’s not for someone else, but myself, an expression that sews fairytales with fabric,
and dyed the chunks of the hair blue.
It is a work of fiction, that reminds of the nebula of the milky way galaxies, outer space, and sometimes, the ocean.

make up, for the likes of me, is the only way to remind me that I am not just carbon and water,
but stardust and the sea. It is one of those things that struck me with an epiphany, that I myself am the prettiest poem on my bookshelf.
Makeup does not make me superficial or frivolous, it does not make my ideas inane,
Makeup does not mean that I am the brainwashed victim of the racist and patriarchal society,
It doesn’t show any sign that I advocate absurd ideas of beauty standards spawn by the world that is trying to kill us,
It doesn’t mean that I can’t see beyond the picture and that my mind doesn’t exist.
It’s an expression, a story, fashion.

You can’t know anything about me from something  as evanescent as makeup, it washes away in the rain, unlike human sins,
So it would be alright, better even, if you keep your judgement to yourself.images (1)

Peter pan within us

But we do grow up anyway!

“Lost boys! Lost boys, where are you?”
I screamed through the bushes, flying through the enchanted land.
Some Pixie dust sprinkled through my trail, as I lifted myself in the air and flew towards the lake,
and while searching thoroughly in the shadows of thick branches and the smell of wet grass and wildflowers, I asked the mermaids if they’ve seen them, and they shook their small heads and wiggled their fins as they resumed their swimming.
“Lost boys! Lost boys where are you?” I woke up from the dream,  yelling.
images
‘I was dreaming of  Neverland again’, I smiled, as I thought myself as Peter Pan flying around like a miracle through the beautiful world of fantasies and wishes.
I wish I could be like Peter Pan, the child who never grew up, for it’s a trap and he knows it, in his childish innocence.

I think we all have a Peter Pan within us, hiding in our dreams, flying through the Neverland, keeping us young at heart. Peter Pan, though living the dream of never growing up, longed for a mother. He eventually found Wendy, who, he thought, was suitable for the role. But Don’t we all, at some points of our lives, wishes to stay in her loving lap for eternity? True, we never really grow up for a mother after all.
Like Peter pan, we live inside stories and lifelong dreams of conquering every one of those stories.
Like Peter Pan, we touch lives of those who are lost to help them find their way, and someone to touch our lives to help us find ours.

But we do grow up. In a few days, or years, we wake up from our lazy sheets, twenty years old.
I, too, won’t stay a child forever, as I  see my innocence washing away in seasonal rains, committing sins I prayed against when I was 5, losing parts of myself like a tree shedding leaves in every fall, like an old ritual. My sweaty fingers could point towards the dying fire in my voice, and the blood racing through my veins leaving every ageing cell of my body to burn themselves like a phoenix, to give away space for the new ones.

No one sings a lullaby to me, no one bats an eye when I fall anymore.
I’m running short of questions, and whenever I feel something dripping from the corner of my mind, in between too many glasses of wine, I don’t care to pursue it, not anymore.
This is what growing up feels like, I reckon?
Like sitting in between two songs on the radio, waiting for a  punchline.
Like visiting the junction between hoot of guffaws and silence, spotting truths and lies with our eyes closed.
Like building a home between Neverland and the colonised world, wishing to never grow any older.

There is a Peter Pan within us all, he’s just not calling us anymore, for we aren’t lost, and It’s kind of okay in the end.

The Sweatshirt

It was a winter day of cool mist, and every shade of purple in the sky, when you asked me if I was cold,
and even though I denied, with my nerves counting every rain drop frozen in the air, trembling like a bird flying through her first December night, you still wrapped your sweatshirt around me anyway.
It was oversized on me,  but I immediately felt like home. “keep It. It  never looked this good on me.”

I felt warm and beautiful, every time I donned it, and dig deep into the pockets, to find more stories of yours, hidden, kept safely inside for me to find. I love the way fabric bears history, which doesn’t come out, even after millions of washing.

There were holes on its edges singing of branches and twigs, and a car crash, where no one got hurt.
A beer-stain near its round neck, proclaiming friendship, and late night football games, I reckon you danced with your best friend when you spilt it, for it still smells like love.
There were wrinkles on the arms, loose ends, which speaks of hard work and long walks, fist fights and your days at mountain climbing, I find myself to be quite envious of the adventures of your story.

So it became my favourite piece of clothing, and I started growing into it, oversized sweatshirt.
Its greyish tone of colour never bothered me, it even helped me remember the exact shade of dawn that I see from my rooftop, and the ocean I dreamt for weeks when I first kissed you.
I once hiked ten miles and picked all the lilacs I could find my way home, and put them into its pockets, because I missed the way you hugged me last spring.

And when the spring  really dawned, I used the sweatshirt to collect apples, hide them safely in the warmness to save the rosy flesh of the most beautiful  fruit of heaven, which reminds me of your laughter, from our childhood days, when we used to tumble-down the streets, skinning our knees while bicycling in the brownish neighbourhood, and your mother would wave her apron to us and give us pie to eat, while we sit near the window showing  each other our scraped elbows and stories, I think I was in love with you even then.

When the summer came, I folded it like an old love letter and enveloped it into my closet. There were days when it peeped through my sundresses like you would while playing hide-and-seek, in hot summer breaks from school, it made me smile. There were nights when I took it out to drape it over my eyes, in search of something old, which smelled of your hugs and kisses and apples and lilacs and whatnot, to remind me that I was loved.
When I kissed that other boy, It only broke me with all its might. I felt like the gods were vexed with me, and so was I. The other boy, though equally tall, with equally strong shoulders and soft lips, wasn’t the same as I remember you to be.  Where was the cinnamon? The taste of fresh, cool mint and the hint of stubble? Where was the ocean, the salt in the corners of the lips? I could not breathe through his tongue wrestling with mine, it was a nightmare I wish I could forget.
You came into my dreams that night and said that it was okay, the feeling would pass like the days used to, during every fall I spent with you.

And the fall had come, early this time, to whisper new songs to me, through the same sweatshirt.
there were new holes on its edges, girl made this time, and new stains, of milkshake,  that I smuggled inside the cinema, with my best friend who keeps me on my toes, when I sing or dance, or even when I write poetry. And in the same pockets, I once kept lilacs in, I hid my pencils which I hold, like an amulet, and write our stories on every leaf I could find. Let nature be my witness, I wrote our vows that matched every love song I ever danced to in the winter nights, while feeling every snowflake falling in the deserted streets, with my eyes closed.

And then the winter arrived. The same winter days of cool mist, and every shade of purple in the sky. The memories of the day, when you asked me if I was cold, and I said no, for it never was cold with you. And even though I denied, with my nerves counting every rain drop frozen in the air, trembling like a bird flying through her first December night, you still wrapped your sweatshirt around me anyway.
It was oversized on me, but I immediately felt like home. “keep It. It  never looked this good on me.”

And now that you’ve gone, on your own little journey, to the skies, kicking star-dust on your way, breathing in the moonlight, singing songs of your foot marks that you left behind on the grass veiled in dew, and dreams that you picked up from your pillows that never caught dust.  I think of you every night in my sleep, where we build a fire, a building and a home together, and the moment I wake up from the deep slumber of our endless story, I smile, like I did on the night I let you go, to win everything you ever wanted to, and you let me go, to win everything I ever wanted to. But the love stayed with me somehow, after all the wars and snowstorms.

And the same sweatshirt wraps around me, like a warrior’s armour, which you gave me a few moons ago. And it whispers softly of the days we spent together. Yes, the days were long, but oh my fragile heart, were the years ever so short.

Lionel Messi- How much does it hurt?

download (2)Big fluffy hair, tucked in shirt, a childlike innocence on his boyish face and a deadly left foot, this is how we were introduced to a great legend called ‘Lionel Messi’.

There was little debate in every Argentinian’s house, that Maradona was the greatest player ever, but as the new era dawned in the world of football, the nation found a new no. 10 jersey holder.
‘My dream was to be a professional footballer’ Said the kid with wizardry in his feet, waiting to shine at its fullest. Everyone thought that this kid, with his innocent dreams and fluffy hair, could be the greatest figure in Argentina.

And the kid from that day is a grown man today, and he surely lived up to the expectations as the FC Barcelona prodigy, won everything there was to win, and yet one of the most criticised players in his own Nation.
Messi knew the cost beforehand, knew the pride and honour of playing for his country, and the burden of the expectations everyone had for him. He tried, and tried hard to give Argentina what she waited for the last 28 years, lost his childlike innocence, and yet it wasn’t meant to be.
Argentina doesn’t give you any excuse, you either win, or you don’t. And there he was with tears in his eyes, and no hope left.
the message was clear to him, “just a club player”, “Will never be as great as Maradona”- said his own countrymen.

The blue and white stripes have always been a burden for the man.  He hoped, with his lucky beard, and an unusual glitter in his eyes, that maybe this year,  he could bring the cup home. But the unfortunate penalty was missed, and  everyone could see how much hurt he was, when he made his comments  after the game, after crying his heart out on the pitch,
“I’ve tried hard, I wanted this more than anything, but it wasn’t to be. Four finals… It (national team) is not for me. This is how I feel right now.” Said the man who once declared that he would retire the day he would stop enjoying football.

It was too early to tell, maybe he said it in a fit of a storm, maybe he was angry at himself, maybe it was too much of a burden on him that he just can’t take anymore, or maybe, he actually wasn’t enjoying playing for the national team. And retired himself with a heavy heart and unfinished goals.

It’s been 10 years, 113 games, and many scars left by heavy defeats that have been put down on him.
Any man, woman or a child sensitive over football, no matter what club they support, or what country they belong to, or if they idolise Cristiano Ronaldo or are his biggest critic, would never deny the contribution given by the legendary Lionel Messi to this beautiful game. Even if they hate Barcelona, or compare him to other legends, they would never deny the fact that the man has played arguably the greatest football of his career over the last couple of years.

He may ponder over his decisions and may return after a break, but it would still not change the fact that he didn’t enjoy playing football with that amount of burden, it would still not change the fact that he returned because of the same surreal expectations that he tried to outrun, and it would be outrageous of me to not say that his leaving was one of the saddest state of affairs in this era of football, but would it not be equally criminal to make him go through all of the hurt again?
Since I believe that life is too short to do something which breaks you, I am ready to let go of the idea
of his return, but what do I know of a man who has the magic in him and quite possibly  IS ‘out of this world’.
Maybe he does have some fight left in him, let’s hope for the best and play the game.

Your Wayward lover

Let me drink you from my eyes,
let every sweat of my palm tickle on your neck,
let me fill my mouth with every name of yours,
and let every claw of the meaning of your name scratch the skin of my throat,
down my spine-ruin me!
let me do with you what they wrote about in love stories,
let’s go and scrape our knees tumbling  on each other’s metaphors
kiss with your eyelashes but don’t bite tonight.
I want to fill my pockets with your cologne
and burn in the desire, shower flames on my lips today,
let me sink my fangs,
into the rosy softness, other fruits look hideous in comparison,
drop from the heaven, like ice cold water on  an empty stomach,
slip silently into the intimacy of 3 a.m. thoughts.
Don’t call me on the phone, don’t bring flowers to me,
show me the map of your childhood, let me trace every fear and memory,
happiness is over-rated tonight, let me find other emotions, let me cry over the moon far away,
pamper other snowflakes, not me dearest,
suffering builds character as well!
let me know how it feels to be haunted by the first kisses,
touch me not daily, let me wither  to death by desire  some nights,
exchange no rings, but reading glasses  and ink pens,
bring no gifts, but stain all my pretty dresses with the wine you’re going to spill tonight,
I want to give a hickey on your pillows,
bite lovingly where you leave all the dreams sometimes,
let me dance on the sand with you just once a year,
let’s remember every  note  of Hey Jude by hugs and cries,
I want to turn you inside out, but don’t let me do that,
let me cry and swallow crushed glass tonight, it feels alright!
let me cry, let me try.

The one who walked away

The wind wasn’t whispering, but howling that day. The sky was glorious and the sun was not very ready to set early. Everyone wanted to witness what was about to happen.
A huge chariot, larger than life, arrived.

‘She is home at last!’ someone cried,
‘she is saved at last!’ someone else shouted,
The crowd rejoiced, The kingdom rejoiced.

A slim figure of beauty stepped out,
dusky and tall,
a warrior and a worrier,
a jewel, the precious one!

Her royal blood racing through her veins as she felt all the eyes staring at her, the queen managed to smile, the demons of her past are finally dead. She stole a glance at the sun setting silently, leaving golden lines on the canvas of the sky, the lines whispering the word  ‘Tomorrow’, over and over again.

Her saviour was now standing right beside her, looking at the same sky, at the same hope. They smiled at the sky and the sky smiled back.

‘Don’t think about the past now, your pain is over. Oh, dearest! Don’t let the tears flow, no more, the pain of the past was overwhelming but now it’s over. Oh, precious wife! You already have created puddles of tears, seas, oceans as well!’
She wipes away her tears, ‘No more’ she smiled.

Now all she wanted was to hide in her king’s embrace, the strongest of shoulders, she knew so well, but missed deeply,  when she was not home, when she was in the thief’s hand, the scoundrel!
But now she was back home, her husband, her long lost everything was  standing with her.

The crowd was shedding tears of joy but soon curled up in a question mark. There were questions yet to be answered.

‘Is she true, though?’ whispered one.
‘Did the demon possessed her soul?’ wailed another.
‘Is the greatest maharani ever impure now?’ someone said out loud.

She heard every word, every cry, every doubt,
all of them, all at once!

A sister-in-law appeared out of the castle.
with garland and questions.
She showered all the garlands on the queen and the questions on her brother.
‘people are talking, how can we stop them?’
‘We can not. We can only have faith’ he offered.
‘But they deserve answers, they deserve proof. You deserve proof’ said his sister.
“there’s only one way” shouted someone from the crowd.

The sun wasn’t in the sky anymore, the golden lines of tomorrow had vanished.
The plaintive hearts ached at the sight of the people spreading burning coal on the grass.

‘These people are the spawn of evil, my precious!’ cried the king.
‘Then stop them’ offered his wife, without looking at the eyes now staring at her.
Both stood silent, ‘why should I stop them?’ he thought with pain. The familiar doubt was now swallowing him, he did not utter a word.

‘Let the trial by ordeal begin!’
‘Let the gods reveal the truth.’
‘The gods will save her if she is truly chaste’

She started walking on the fire, ‘No more tears?’ she whispered as she wiped her face with the corner of her saree.
Her footsteps  echoed as everyone stood there breathless.

The whole sky rejoiced as she reached to the soft grass again, everyone was crying with joy.
‘Long live the queen!’

Everyone wanted her to turn around, to see the glorious face of the true queen, the one who never lied, the one who was pure!

But she didn’t turn around. She stood there looking silently at the ground, her husband in her thoughts, she didn’t have to turn around to see his happiness now. He was so happy she could feel it, she could almost even taste it, and then,

she started walking again, she walked and walked, the cheering crowd was left far behind her, the strongest of the king chased her, begged her to stop but she walked so fast he couldn’t get hold of her.

The crowd was silenced now, but she never stopped walking.
The king fell on the ground in sweat and tears, but she never stopped walking.
Everyone went home satisfied. They knew she was true and pure. The ordeal was over.
the queen, err.. ‘what was her name again?’
the one who never stopped walking,  the one who walked away.