About Me

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

The Walk

She stepped out of the house,
The fierce wind greeted her like one of her own.
She took a step and walked on...
Her face was stoic but her eyes glazed with a film of transparent ache.
She invited the tears to come out, out to the world,
But she forbid them to be seen by the people.
Confused, the bashful tears stayed on her eyes.
She walked forth, strong in her strides, weak in her heart
She was not the kind who wore her heart on her sleeve.
She liked the wind, it made her free-hair fly about haphazardly
At least her hair stayed true to her mind, she thought.
She set her hair into place with her hands, “wish everything was that easy” she said out loud.
She passed by a haggard man with red angry eyes, squatting on the ground
And she saw herself in him.
She turned away painfully.
She stopped at the small shop, asked the shopkeeper to give her some onions
Her voice sounded alien to her, is this the voice they called sweet? She questioned.
He gave her the packet and smiled.
She felt her lips twisting into a smile.
She turned about and walked back.
Is that it? Turning about and walking back?
Thoughts climbed on each other inside her brain,
Trying to break the elasticity of sanity that was wound to the nails of consciousness at her temples,
She felt her mind contracting, expanding, contracting and expanding—
She thought it might collapse,
Freedom from the entangled cobwebs of thoughts- useless, ubiquitous, unconquerable
Contracting,expanding,contracting, expanding
Maybe she would shrink down into a ball of grotesque flesh
More of an organism, less of a human
Maybe that is a better way to go on, exist, be…
Her eyes caught a young boy staring at the side of her t-shirt.
Ah! The supportive bra strap, inevitably out to invite the lewd glances.
Her hand rose automatically to push the strap in, but she brought it back down
She walked on, almost back where she began from,
Her howls still caged
Her tears, to the eyes, still engaged
Her thoughts in the cauldron of her brain emblazed
She stepped into the house and shouted “I am home”
Within her a thought knocked at her temple laughing “are you?”

Chugga Chugga Chug Chug

Chugga Chugga Chug Chug 

I have always looked at life as an Indian vintage compartmentalised train that moves on tracks going somewhere. And it isn’t some kind of electric train, it is one of those old coal ones. The narrow gauge ones.

Chugga Chugga Chug Chug 

Everything needs to be done with my bare hands. There is soot of the coal-traces of people’s love that I pumped my life with, gladly. There are calluses on my palms caused by me holding onto some painful beautiful past.
Every time I stoke that hard earned coal and start my journey.

I walk into the first compartment.
Messy, with tucked away little souvenirs.
Things that wouldn't mean anything to anybody but me, things that people would throw away-a pen, a napkin, an unwritten notebook,a tie- things that store in them a secret history. I look upon them with a sense of pride.

Chugga Chugga Chug Chug 

Reassured I walk into the next one, with a spring in my step.
The roof of it is torn away in an imperfect manner albeit aesthetically…like a turning page frozen in action. The floor is muddy, cool brown mud that makes you want to abandon your slippers. And I do so. I feel the mud cuddling my feet, I feel the wind , I see the sky, I touch the clouds with my eyes, I flutter my eyelashes in agreement of joy with a sparrow passing by.

Chugga Chugga Chug Chug 

Uninhibited , I walk into the next one with a hop in my step.
A shiny one with different sized mirrors all around. Beautiful mirrors of different sizes and shapes, a kind of beauty that makes you feel small.The sound of the train doesn’t feel friendly in here. There are broken mirror, there are blurry mirrors, there are round, rectangular, shallow and deep ones. Yet, the reflections don't make it spacious, it is uncomfortable narrow in here. One reflects me pretty, one reflects me ugly, only one reflects the truth. I have wasted too much time here but didn’t find myself in any of the reflections.

Chugga Chugga Chug Chug 

Drooped shoulders, I walk into the next.
Somebody said “I love you”. I blushed.
The same voice continued “I love you” with an intonation of expectancy for me to reply. I still smiled, ignoring the subtle question.
Another friendly baritone said “ I will keep you happy.No matter what” . I smiled limply.
Two more voices came from the sides, warmly, “You are perfect!”
“I want to spend my life with you”.
Lovely friendly wonderful familiar voices.
My head spun with a strange weight. I feeling of unnecessary attention rose in the dark pit of my stomach crawling it’s way into my mouth.

Chug Chugga Chugga Chug

And I leaped into the next compartment, puking at the entrance.
Happy, that my ugliness wasn’t seen. I felt a sense of relief. I took a look at this compartment- strangely colourful and vaguely dark. Startlingly me yet shockingly unfamiliar.
It had strange scents- drool, sweat, perfume, blood,tears,puke, saliva and gut. Real!
The walls were throbbing. One cool, one hot, the other watery, another moist. This was me! I sat there. Lost and found at the same moment.
I was beginning to feel the journey, I was beginning to feel myself be part of the journey, being one with the rhythm of the train, feeling my being slide smoothly over the tracks.
Chugga Chugga Chug Chug……chug…chug…..chuuuuuuuuuuugggggg

It was slowing down.
chuuuuggggg… ...  ... chuuuuggggg….
I jumped up.
Grabbed pieces from each compartment.
Ran through them , not paying attention.
Blood from the last,a sweet voice from the forth,a beautiful reflection from the third,a winged bird from the second,the tie from the first.
I leaped ahead, opened the coal shaft and stuffed them in with the coal frantically.
It sprang into life again. My heavy breathing slowed down.
Chugga Chugga Chug Chug 
Chugga Chugga Chug Chug 
Chugga Chugga Chug Chug 


Ah! This new smell and these new sounds.
Mind goes whirrrrrringg and feet go klick kluck klick kluck

“Jump into the tour bus! Let’s do the rounds”
Mind’s vaults open, putting in memories and tik tok tik tok

“Have you seen that golden sand glisten on that sandy plain?
Have you seen those little rivers meandering, held by those palms?”

“Have you seen the ancestral ruins in the rain?
Have you seen the cemetery underneath the deep cloud of balms?”

“Have you seen that great monument? The main attraction!
Now, You can check off the entire list on your must see and must know?”

“Bye. Bye.”  Said he.

No. No. Said I.

I need.
To be.
-In and out-

I sleep on the sunny beaches lurking at the brink of the lips
I swing by the hollow caves snuck within the soft lobes of the ears

Where do you begin, where do you end? Your land, your mountain tips
When do you dance, when do you cry? Your past, your foreboding years

I need to roll in the grime that sticks on the hard lines of your elbow
I need to crawl in the dirty lanes paved by the cracks on your feet

Do you shudder? When the hot wind hits your stomach with a blow
Or do you laugh derisively, making a home with a cloudy seat

No more monuments, walk me through the little anonymous streets
No more ruins, walk me through the hall of your little echoing pains

Where is your bread, where? are your sweet apple core treats?
Where do you bleed, your honey sweet syrup that bubbles in the veins?

Tell me.
Tell me.     Slow.

Seconds of your little hurt-lets talk.
Springs of your little joys-lets drink

I will skin the husk and chew on that raw stalk
I will peel the clothes and kiss you pink

I need to .
I NEED to.
Become part of that golden skin. In knowing. In discovering