Eyes.

He taught me how to read people’s eyes,

to look deep into their souls

to look beyond the surface of their smiles,

to reach in and see that levels existed

in people’s minds.

He taught me that thoughts and actions

were seldom the same.

What appears and what is perceived

are different; what a shame

that we don’t see this.

He said that neither words

nor actions reveal ; a man’s

silence shows strength when spurred.

He taught me well,

he taught me all.

He told me secrets of life that

 lay in the banalities of each day

He said answers lay within,

all we needed was to think; not sway.

He gave me thought.

He’s left the world now,

left me wiser and alone.

I smile when people see me

oblivious that my eyes are forlorn

filled with unshed tears.

For people don’t read people’s eyes

and if they did, they’d see

that truth seldom lies and seldom is

what people want you to believe.

If only people read eyes.

 

 

 

Weathered Away.

He was ordinary. An ordinary man with a tedious job.

He was the “weather man”. The boring old fart who drew up the charts, compiled the data and sat behind the green curtains while the ditzy blonde with the fake chest droned on about the damn weather. No-one noticed him, not even her. She simply took the date sheets from him, flashed a bit of a smile and walked away. Walked away, never looking back, never a word of thanks. The job paid well, sure, but it got boring. The clouds would shift, the wind would blow, the sun shone behind people’s asses and it would pour. And people waxed eloquent about the changes in weather, for him it was nothing but a monotonous pattern.

He had a swanky computer on a big, expensive desk with coffee spills as art. Images from the company’s satellite were streamed onto the bright screen. All day, images of nothing but clouds and land. Oh what beauty. The swanky computer did the processing while he munched on Cheerios. The night shift weather man did nothing as the folk don’t care about the weather at night. No one cared.  Munching and staring. The office internet didn’t allow for “site browsing” even. Staring at them clouds all day. He wished something would happen. Anything. God, couldn’t the weather DO something? Something he, with the expert knowledge , could report about? Something, anything. He sat there munching.

He blinked; the screen flickered. He figured it was static. Images seemed to blur rapidly , he kept the Cheerios aside and sat up straighter. His mind sluggishly tried to comprehend the phenomena on the screen. There had never been any errors prior to this. He pressed a few keys and turned up the resolution. The flickering continued. It was unsettling. Suddenly, he could see 

The clouds shifted, casting an ominous shadow on the ground.  He could see her too. She was walking towards her car. He didn’t know what was happening. He could hear her; the clickity clack of her heels, the whooshing sound her skirt made. He sat there transfixed. The clouds seemed to circle over her, round and round but strangely there was no wind. She removed her shades on reaching the door to her car. The sun was hidden, the clouds so close, he felt a growing excitement down to his gut. She seemed not to notice anything (when DID she?) and opened the car door. The lipstick in her hand fell and started to  roll away.  She took a step and just like that, in that very instant the clouds gobbled her up. There was no other word for it. Gobble. One minute he could see her expression of irritation and in the next instant she was gone.

“Weathered” away.

The lipstick rolled in the deep end and fell into the nearby drain. The clouds cleared away.

He smiled. He didn’t know what happened but he knew why . He straightened his tie and waited for show time.

Today was his day, finally.

ominous-clouds

 

 

 

 

 

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Bake -a- Cake Crisis.

Tomorrow is my parents’ twenty second marriage anniversary. For me anniversaries, be it birth or marriage are not ordinary days. Ever since I learnt the happiness one derives from a surprise, it has been my obsessive mission to surprise the parents, brother or the boyfriend at the relevant anniversary. Being eternally short on cash and high on creativity I impress them all by my writing prowess and dexterousness at making “awww” inducing cards,hand-made gifts or baking a cake.

I came home from college early. On my way purchased a tin of pineapples, cherries and other paraphernalia that goes into the making of a Pineapple Upside Down cake. I also managed to remember that these nine days, we Hindus are not allowed to eat egg/chicken/variety of other food items due to religious reasons.  I was feeling pretty responsible having remembered this fact. After changing my clothes I took out the pans and spatulas, arranging all the ingredients neatly on the granite shelf. I began.

Everything went perfectly. The topping was brown and yummy. The batter smooth and so tasty in a way that makes one want to lick it off the container. The kitchen too was just the right amount of messy. Everything was so good. I poured the topping, followed by the batter, took a moment to admire my handiwork and put the dish in the oven. The damn oven; an evil witch’s scheming coven.

Having set the temperature, I went to my room to clean myself up. It was 1:46 PM when I entered my room and at 1:58 PM I smelt the wrongness in the air. I dashed to the kitchen barefoot just like a doctor rushes to the ER. I was too late. Smoke was billowing from the insides of the oven, I knew it was a lost battle. I switched off the power supply after a minute of agitated cursing and swearing. The charred remains of my beautiful, unbaked cake made me cry. It was tragic.  Grief stricken, I realized that now I had nothing to surprise my mom and dad with. The tears pooled up in my eyes and as a reflex I called up my father at his office.

“Hello?”

“Paa–paa” I whined.

“What happened? Everything okay? Are you okay? Why are you sounding so low? ARE-YOU-OKAY?” came the staccato burst of concern.

“I am okay. I burnt the cake, I have no surprise for tonight” I mumbled incoherently, in tears.

These words were greeted by a second’s silence.

“Calm down. It is okay, why cry?”

I calmed down. I am nothing if not obedient in crisis.

“I am happy that you wanted to bake, that is enough. You can make one again”, he said desperately trying to hide the laughter in his voice.

“Okay, I will. Bye!” I said, realizing the fact that he was working.

“Bye, chill out. We’ll go driving in the evening.”

I felt calmer and happier. Twenty minutes later my mother came back from her job. Her first question on entering the house was whether something had been baked. The second thing she did was to hug me because she knew from one look that the oven had burnt it. Not me, the oven. She then proceeded to eat the non-burnt part and joined me in cake-mourning. The brother also ate a few bites and said it was delicious.

So now, while typing this I am overwhelmed with happiness and love for my parents, my brother and  the boyfriend.

I feel blessed. Truly.

Problem Poke-man?

I live in New Delhi.  Fondly known as the Rape Capital; the situation here is beyond pathetic. Reading about cases of lecherousness, eve-teasing and groping where the woman/women quietly bear the brunt of male brutishness made me sick and furious at the meekness of womankind. I always felt affronted at the thought that in a nation that worships woman in the form of a fierce lion rider; the woman herself is afraid to land a kick in the crotch to a crotch that cannot behave. I believed myself to be an educated, vocal and brave woman. Silly me. Reality struck home a few days back. While travelling aboard a jam packed, sweat filled bus I realized I am not the ass-kicking Goddess I believed myself to be.  This particular bus that I am talking about had absolutely no place to stand properly even. I had given my seat to an old man and he returned the kindness by holding my heavy bag. As I next to the seat, ear-phone jammed in with Adam Levine crooning at a very high volume I found myself to be the recipient of a poke in my lower back. A trickle of unease dripped down my spine. Continue reading

Of Love and Goodbye

Goodbye

 

She had given him her all,

her very being, her soul.

He did not think so.

“I beg to differ”, he politely said.

The confusion in her mind,

the slowing down of her heart,

the tears that pooled in her eyes,

made it clear to every passerby

that his words had left her wounded.

 

 

The goodbye in his eyes

and the finality of his tone

left her bewildered, alone.

Doubts embraced her mind

like shadows in the dark,

questions she had locked within

came out; bursting forth

from the deepest recesses

because the door had failed to latch.

 

 

Time, they said, would heal her.

She wished it was true,

hiding behind the facade of normalcy

unseen, she’d dance like a maniac

letting her mind, her body loose.

Eyes filled with desperate hope,

the doors to her heart forever open,

she still awaited his return.

The news that he was long dead, something she’d never learn.

Image Credit- http://friendsfromfar.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/leaving.jpg

She ran away.

Image

She always felt inadequate. Born into the typical Indian family, where accomplishments in academics were not an expectation but a necessity.  It was not that she was a bad student, she was second in class. The typical model child; obedient and confident, playful yet well behaved.

When saying goodnight, her mother casually asked her about her Maths result. The bile rising up her mouth kept her mute. “The teacher has not checked the answer sheets yet mumma”, she glibly lied. Entering her room, she rushed to the bag pack stowed away under her bed and checked whether the dratted answer sheet was there or not. It was.  55 marks out of 100. The lowest she had ever scored.

The next day after coming back from school she decided to buck up and tell her mother the marks truthfully. “One bad paper wasn’t exactly a career ruining move in class sixth, was it?”, she thought to herself. Boy, was she wrong!

Before the frown lines on her mother’s forehead could be formed completely she felt the resounding slap on her left cheek. The volley of insults that followed fell on deaf ears. She was already crying, confused and hurt. “One paper, ONE MATHS paper where I did not teach you and you get these marks? Disgraceful! Stupid girl!” her mother screamed.

The ranting went on for almost fifteen minutes. Fifteen agonizing and painful minutes. The answer sheet lay torn at her feet, her lunch cold on the table. The certificates and medals adorning the pin-board in her room seemed to be jeering at her. Maths, her one weakness, one enemy. She had had enough.

Her  eleven year old brain wanted to run away. It is said that a child’s thoughts turn into actions immediately. This time they definitely did. After coming back from school the next day, she packed her bag with her favorite clothes and an unread Famous Five and prepared to run. Remembering a scene from an old movie, she scribbled a note ” I love you mom and dad but i hate maths. Sorry!”  and ran away.