اکثر (Aksar: Often)

I find myself being pushed out of sleep, deep at night,

A faint cry of time, an abandoned dream, a lost star.

Pulling the quilt over my head, I remind myself to breathe,

In ones, twos and threes.

One

A song I learnt long back, a decade and a half between the times,

The rhythm and words difficult to roll over my tongue,

A particular antara always managed to throw me off,

When I sang, I ran out of breath midway.

Every night I listened to my music teacher sing, on a cassette, in an old walkman,

Rewinding the tape with my fingers and letting the shruti flow.

Late one night at the ninth attempt, I figured her trick.

One sharp breath in the beginning and to pause at the right places,

The music magically took over, and she let her heart sing.

When I feel overwhelmed, I sing this song, to breathe easier.

Two

A few years back while studying I realised that no amount of cramming could help me,

The concepts flew over my head and all I wanted to do was, raise my hands and walk away.

Which is what I did.

I shut the books, made myself a tall glass of chai and looked out of the balcony,

Watched the traffic make its way through the narrow arterial lane,

Tiny marigold flowers, bright orange and yellow resting against the lazy creepers,

The sun set in all its glory, calling the birds and bread winners alike.

And for once, in a long time I slept, for fourteen hours straight.

I woke up in the morning and thought to myself, what was the worse that would happen if I fail?

I walked out in the balcony with the question, to breathe in some air and sunshine, and the question answered itself,

Nothing.

A moment of surreal clarity amidst chaos.

Three

There was a time when the pain was much to bear,

I can’t quantify the time, sometimes it seems like yesterday and during others, a previous lifetime,

One that reddened my eyes, choked my throat, brought tears and anger bubbling right beneath my skin.

Everytime I felt I couldn’t, I would remind myself to breathe and repeat,

This too shall pass.

A stab turned to sear, slowly became a dull throb and now is blue and numb.

And that’s okay, for maybe time heals all.

 

 

Scribble

Okay, to hell with it.

I was going to write something sensible. Pour out sufi thoughts over here in line with a heartbreaking mail that I wrote today morning. But honestly I’m tired.

Why is love tiring?

Why can’t we just automatically find our ‘soul mate’ or whoever it is that we are supposed to live with for eternity?

Why do the people you love turn out to be wrong for you?

Born in a different century, Married, Commitment phobics, In a different state of mind or perfect?

More than half the people I know are heartbroken, the other half are love sick. We all have our own issues with love, at times we don’t find our match, sometimes we do but we are scared in our own weird way and drive people away, sometimes our not so better halves run away, infatuations are mistaken for love and at times we just don’t want to.

I’ve been holed up every weekend at home with myself, sure I day dream about falling head over heels in love most of the time but I’m scared. Petrified of putting in that effort, going out on dates, finding people to date, talking on the phone and getting involved in general, new dreams with them making a regular appearance.

Hence, I have decided to not look/search/seek love, if it wants to find me, it would have to pull me out of the pile of blankets that I’m under and convince me to fall back in the trap.

And to those who have given up, its okay to not want to look at the world around in love tinted glasses, its okay to not want to believe in the book romance and its okay to leave matters to fate.

But to all of those who still have their hopes up, may you find the strength to love and not stop seeking for it, may you cage your heart behind steel enclosures and not get hurt. May you find what you are look for.

Because what you seek, is seeking you..

Footprints

I sit here wondering of all the places I’ve walked, roamed and wandered in search of you. Sometimes a fervent prayer, daydreaming of you, at times a wish upon a star, in a blur of tears or in a daze of happiness.

I’ve left clues, breadcrumbs along the way, asked questions, looked out for neon signs with a hundred bulbs, but you manage to dodge me. In new people, places and experiences, I wonder if you’d tap my shoulder and call me out. Lend me your hand and pull me out of this maze.

I think of how easy you come to some, some bump into you unknowingly, at times others don’t realise your absence and then there are ones like me who are eternally seeking out for you.

When will our paths ever cross?

Middle Ground

And there you were, somewhere between reality and dreams,

Where the lines blur and the sea meets the sky,

An ethereal blue, all around, for as far as the eyes can see.

 

We fell in love, somewhere between midnight and morning,

Most of what we had, oscillated like a pendulum,

Taking in its wake the full spectrum of feelings.

 

Either we were word pairs or the pieces of an incomplete puzzle,

Middle ground never existed,

Now here you are, once again.

 

I don’t know what to term you,

Love or like? Friends or lovers?

For the longest time I decided to not name you,

Back into familiar warm corners.

 

Beyond being branded into boxes,

Like torrential rains during summer,

Confusing meteorologists, labels and conventions, all alike.

 

Visible mess,

Infallible guess,

Incomplete address,

Nonetheless.