Brevity

BLISS

For a moment you pause, in the middle of the road, silent, ignorant, calm, the small drops of rain splash across your face, a cool breeze engulfs you, your mind nudges your arms to spread out, as the air seems to give you the illusion of flying, you lift your face up, close your eyes, with the pitter-patter of rain, playing in a loop, a rhythm refusing to leave you. Forgetting the honking car behind you, or the people staring and sneering at you, floating in a reverie, the world and its shackles don’t bind you. Eyes are not needed to see the beauty of these colours swirling in your head, patterns, designs, folding, unfolding.

At this moment, you are alone, yet strong, asleep, yet awake, with the zephyr holding you in a tight embrace. For a few seconds, it seems that you have opened the door to freedom, unconscious of society and its norms.

For a few seconds, you smile, unabashedly.

Brevity

Pappa

I have always seen you standing tall, strong and brave. Be it while facing the policeman, issuing a challan or watching me participate in a competition. Most of the times, you say next to nothing, absorbing in the conversations, hiding from us your observations and judgments. But you are always there, behind our every step, alert, ready to catch us if we fall. You portray yourself as an unemotional man, unmoved by sentimentality, but cry whenever you see us flying high. You don’t know how to express yourself, but your rare smile says it all, that you are proud of us, whatever we may do. You don’t know how to comfort me when I cry, but lend your shoulder, lest I feel alone. You crack jokes about scary accidents and those days when you had no work, no money. But never make us feel the pain and agony you have been through. Building yourself up from scratch is by no means an easy task, but you did that so that we could have a better life. You live for us it seems, fulfilling our every demand, never realizing how tired you are when we tell you about the last-minute project to be submitted the next day, getting the print outs and files.

You love us, and you make us happy. I am proud of you Pappa, for how amazing you are and how you have changed to be warm, considerate and sincere. You may shut me up or shoo me away when I say this, but I know, that it always manages to make you smile.

Happy Fathers’ Day

Brevity

BLACKOUT

1,2,3,4,5,6

tHE WORLD seems so Strange at times, i look at it from dIFFerent angles, i notice that the sky is mostly the WRong COlour, humAns with mostly wrOng emotions, plANTS with mostly doomed futures

7,8,9,10,11,12

mum must be waiting, or is she, or she is, food, food, clean this, clean this, clean this, clap, clap, clap, clap, clap, the ticks start now, enter the ODDBALL, gloom, gloom, gloom, it is a gloomy day, it hurts, my back, HURTS, stop it, stop it, stop

13, 14, 15, 16

what comes next, hello Cheshire, how are you? kill, kill, kill, stupid cat, they are taking me to the detention centre, my parents are spies, help me, help, help, die, die, die, die

“He will be alright. Another of his attacks, I suppose. Is he taking his pills?”, says the doctor, bollocks, nonsense, die, you filthy animal, fee fie foe fum, i smell the blood of an abnormal one, abnormal, maladaptive, insensitive pigs, die, die, die, die

It hurts, my head hurts, can’t breathe, air, air, air, what happened, can’t remember, remember, touch, smell, hear, see, mother looks so pretty in her grave, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead, dead

This is one of many stories of children with mental health issues, schizophrenia, OCD, bipolar disorder etc. It illustrates the thoughts that go on in the mind of a child with no mother, often bullied in school for his OCD. Lonely, hurt and misunderstood, this child has no place to go to and no happiness to look forward to, trapped in his mind. It is a must for our society to give mental health its due importance.

Brevity

ACCEPTANCE

As soon as I said that, the world seemed to change, my world, rocked to and fro, trying to maintain its balance. You gasped, the lines on your face, hardening into a scowl. Suddenly, you looked so old and fragile, that I wanted to hold you in my arms and console you. But I was frozen, numb, saying those words out loud, had drained me of all courage I had mustered over the weeks.

I looked into your eyes for comfort, but they were scrutinizing me, from head to toe, flabbergasted, wounded, cold.

The bruises on my back and hands, frantic attempts to change me, my fate, the lines on my palm, so that I could be born again, normal, ordinary, average, the loving and doting daughter you had always known. Or had you?

Yes, there was shock, overshadowed by disappointment, your trophy, your pride, had fallen to the ground and broken into shards of glass, that hurt your being. After all, your every action, every ambition was because of me.

You came towards me and held my hands, wanting to caress, but hesitating to touch, lest you also get it. “Beta, chodd de yeh sab, kyun tang kar rahi hai, bol de na ki yeh sab jhooth h.”

Oh, how I wish Mumma, that this reality was a lie, for I have never wanted to stand out, just be with you, sharing secrets, laughter and love. But at that moment, words refused to come out, my mouth was zipped, tears sprang from my eyes, as I left you, setting out to search for acceptance elsewhere.

My body, being, sexuality, has built this wall between us, strengthened by phobia and hatred. I simply wish to send you a message, from a crevice in there, as I know that you still love me, but fail to see me for who I am, waiting for the day, when you would hold me as you always did.

Brevity

WORTH

What is the worth of your life?

Because, I can measure it, so less is its value, that I can trample it, but I must not, for your stench will continue to linger, your dirt will continue to blemish the floor, I have put in place with care.

You are worth nothing in this country of riches and prosperity, only a reminder of inequality, which I choose to ignore, for it is a ruse, to prevent progress, to stop the flourishing cities, from spreading their wings

And so, I ask myself when I look at the chapattis and a suitcase, strewn on a railway track in Aurangabad, as your dead bodies, send shivers down the spine of your family, but fail to rouse me, what was the worth of your life? For you were nothing but poor migrants, inconsequential to my life, my country

16 of you died, a million more await doles from the charitable, it doesn’t make any difference, for the country depends on the strong, not the weak, on the rich, not the destitute, on the minority, not the majority, doesn’t it?

Your life can never equal mine, this wall, this gap, this chasm, is here to stay.

Brevity

WIPEOUT

But in all probability, we all will survive, unlike the components of nature we damaged.

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In the blink of your eyes, it will vanish, the world you had built with so much love, the garbage you had strewn around with so much care will engulf you, till its hold starts to choke, just like that little bird on a barren island pecking on plastic, who suddenly found herself upside down with no life within.

The trails and tracks you left behind in the forest, blood flowing from the fresh carcass of the cheetah you shot, the sound of the bullet lulled the planet into a deafening silence.

In a moment, you find yourself locked up at home, unable to go out, unworthy of co-existence, this is your banishment and a moment of peace for the lives you wreaked throughout your existence.

Now, you realize that you wish to live, as you sit, tense, afraid and chaotic, probably like the baby elephant separated from his mother, waiting with raw fear, immobile, as its ivory tusks are taken out and it is left to die.

But in all probability, we all will survive, unlike the components of nature we damaged. And such is destiny that bad times will recede and good times will arrive, that we will once again forget this wipeout, embedded in the memories of only those who looked death in the eyes.

Brevity, Quill

WHISPER

It started with a whisper, a crackling whisper of resistance. It spread across regions, infecting the oppressed. It became the sound of the voiceless to fight for their rights. It moved people to stand up, it compelled them to raise their arms in solidarity, it burned in their hearts, it fired up their minds. It had slept soundly for centuries, showing up now and then. But this time, this day, it gained strength. It gave hope, embers of persistence. It made us speak, something we chose to ignore. But now, it resides in our resolve. It made us realize the world of inequality and injustice that we live in. It made us aware of the crumbling pillars of democracy. It opened our eyes to face the emaciated poverty-stricken strata, labouring on barren fields. It made us hear the wails of malnourished children, the victim of diseases. It made us feel the agony of traders and small businessmen. It made us smell the burning stubble.

It made us alive, ready to fight back. We, the people of India, stand tall, one for all and all for one.

This change started with a whisper, the crackling whisper of dissent.


    
Brevity, Quill

Sleep

PART 3

As I sleep today, the images of a happier and younger you flash in my dream and involuntarily, I smile in my sleep.
I wake up to your face staring me right in the eyes, the look I have always dreaded; firmly set on your luring face.
I look away and your burning gaze remains unchanged.
I walk upto where you have been sitting, your gaze still unmoved, I try to shake you alive, but the deadness in your flesh says exactly what my ears don’t want to hear.
I still have to figure out what gave up first, your body or your heart?
I still see your body as it was when you first climbed that chair to when you sat there at your end.
I still hear your weak voice telling me that one day you’ll achieve eternal sleep.

Brevity, Quill

Sleep

PART 2

When you tell me enthusiastically that sleep consumed you into it’s restful embrace, I believe you.
When you tell me of the giant clown that ran after you in your dream, I laugh with you.
When you tell me you woke up gasping for water, I assure you it was just a dream.
And when your smile starts to fade away like the memories of a baby as he grows older, I start to worry again.
What if your dreams are getting influenced by the exact same reality you want to run away from?
What’s if sleep is not longer your safe place?
How am I supposed to protect you from yourself then?
To elude myself of my failure yet again, I tell you to sleep. .

Brevity, Quill

Sleep

PART 1

When the growing pains of your melancholic heart ring as loud as the holy bells, I tell you to sleep.
When your psychologist contacts me about how you relapsed again, I tell you to sleep.
When your beautiful mind does nothing but disintegrate, I tell you to sleep.
When your bloodshot eyes are blinded by red, I tell you to lay down and close those eyes that once saw the world not as what it was but what it could be.
I tell you to rest your tired mouth that no longer sings of brave women.
I tell you to sleep because it’s the only way you’d drown your sorrows, it’s the only way you’d dream of unimaginable happiness again.