A Room For Death


(Inspired from the lives of a few real people)

In April evenings, when the skies dimmed and sprinkled stars on our grassy cricket fields, we dropped our playthings and our concerns to lie down awhile. We had known our entire lives that these stars immortalized people long dead. To us, they were peepholes into the afterlife of those we were taught to love. Abhi would often point out one that was his grandfather. I knew of one which was my birth mother. If only I ever learnt how she died, she would become less a star and more a human. I turned sixteen in the moist months of twenty-twelve, the year Mr. Remarkable last caught me her star.

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The Romantic Mr. Remarkable


— Dedicated to a friend

(Inspired from the lives of a few real people)

An amorphous rain stifled the city, wetting us with pixie dust of an otherworldly romance. A few cars slid past in the wake of an earlier torrent. The streets were mottled with the vestiges of withdrawing umbrellas and blurred neon lights. The dying notes of Für Elise closed behind us. She smiled one last time, started to say again that it was nobody’s fault, but stopped when the departing bus caught up. Then a flash of light signaled another impending downpour and I was left alone on the kerb for a long time.

I remember sitting at Mr. Remarkable’s oblong dinner table as a child, my legs swinging like twin pendulums under the wooden tabletop. Not long after, Maa had whispered to me that I needed to stop that annoying habit, and everybody had whispered to one another that it was not okay for Mr. Remarkable to marry someone at his age.

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The Lark and The Nightingale


A grassy knoll awoke on the forest floor,
On whose soft form the sun each day would rise
And fall again with the ebbing light of day —
Quite like the dreamy games our children play
With yarns of sunny wonders. One small tree
Stood bluntly on the very crest of noon
And cast its shadows on daisies which bloom
All year round; I was there in twilit hours
Of twilit days, when all through the town, it rained.
 It rained that day like it had never rained.
The skies fell apart in thunderous blaze and spark
And I was there when Fate concealed the stars —
There, where the nightingale first met the lark;
I watched the knoll, the tree, in twilit hours.

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In Apology


If apologies were butterflies
Fluttering into a sunny haze, lost
Under burning trees, reflected from skies
On mirroring rivulets — and thus cost
Nothing, save your lovely smile, shimmering
Over a lovely smile — mirrored again.
When, thus down on my knees I sit, wishing
That you smile on my faults — perhaps then
Am I absolved of my wrongs, forgiven
As the butterflies hide in the flames.

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Larger Than Life


One grey day, an ashen street oversaw our tryst;
The ripples we made in the water spread afar.
This stillness of our lives challenged by whistling lips,
Succumbed to shuffling feet, succumbed to lazy cheer.
Like pigeons in the town whom no cages may hold —
And the footsteps we traced would be encased in gold.

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Negative Space


Many a full moon fell from the murky skies
Frequently accompanied by the fleeting stars;
Here, as my vain feathers screeched on mellowing lines,
A few wayward teardrops blurred their receding marks,
And lightly, through dusty hourglasses Time ran out
Obscuring words- words that would never again count.

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