Unblemished.

The leaves had left the branches and the aroma of autumn lingered in the air. The tall and lean tree’s silhouette perfectly laced the dark sky, studded with silver stars. The moon blurred itself behind the grey clouds as it’s halo contrasted the caliginous firmament. 
A robin sang itself a melancholic song in trebles, in which he seemed to outpour his deepest afflictions.

We humans believe nothing is perfect, but that night, nature had something else to provide.

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catharsis

happiness is important. it is what memories should be made of. but our personalities are built by pain. it makes us who we are and defines the strength we have today. as artists, we tend to transform torment into words to soften the blow. from heartbreaks to angst to indignation and loneliness. all of these emotions bleed though our pens, splattering themselves onto our pages. it is pure catharsis. 
i absolutely adore doodling on my arms and legs. and again in the middle of the night, as i had decorated my body with ink, inspiration struck like electricity and this piece was born. 

the blue and black you have punctured on my skin

i will take the pen i write this with
and draw circles bordering my bruises

and then i will turn these bruises into magnificent masterpieces

add a few petals around one
a sunflower

make two dots, one line and a curve
a child’s face

swish few luscious lashes on another
a glittering eye

elongate strings and fill in colours
a bunch of balloons

no, i am not trying to hide my wounds 

i’m just trying to trace the silver lining
on this dark cloudy body of mine. 

finger bowl

i began reading rupi kaur’s work last year and instantly fell in love with her way with words. her lowercase writing somehow calmed me. the best part was, each piece meant something new whenever i read it again. the words and illustrations flowed like thick golden honey. 

child molestation and abuse is repulsive and sickening beyond expression. it is the darkest and evilest sin. to take advantage of a child’s obliviousness and rob them of the purity of their childhood. 

ninety percent of child sexual abuse victims know the perpetrator in some way. the monsters are always right around the corner, ready to pounce. to all the parents out there, please teach your kids about ‘bad’ touch as early as possible. it’s never too early. 

this piece is inspired by rupi kaur, who hauntingly pens the agony of this crime. she’s my powerwoman. 

thank you, rupi. you are my sun, and i, your flower. 

throughout the dinner
i never once meet his eye
peas, bread, juice, butter, peas
anywhere and everywhere
but those eyes
for his
have the glimpse of a tiger
right before it’s kill
a lethal blend of
bloodthirst and lust

family dinners are already difficult
grandparents discussing the government
and the subtle comparisons with cousins
but with him around
they seem impossible

bottles of wine emptied
plates wiped clean
the waiters now place
the finger bowls
in front of us

i wince as i see him
pulp the juice
out of the lemon slice
just as he had
squeezed the innocence
out of me
at seven

nothing
could wash off
the filth from those hands
which had dared to pluck
to unripe fruit
from the forbidden forest of my body
which was supposed to
be savoured by
my lover from the future

but sadly
even though he had
swallowed the fruit
it is i
who remains wordless
with a lump in my throat
and the secret
buried somewhere below it.

Bite

We are all
pear hearted
shaped like russian dolls
juicy with passion
and as green as emeralds
are our hearts

They usually remain unaffected
but every once in a while
there is someone
who takes a bite
a sliver or a chunk
and steals a part of us

They get a taste of our
real self
and after that
whether they wish to
spit
or
swallow
is upon them
but the fact that
they’ve bitten
and stolen
a fraction of us
cannot be controlled
by us

They will still
occasionally linger
in our thoughts
and simple everyday things
will act as a reminder
for them

There are also times when
another being will
dig their vicious teeth
into our pears
but are unable to
take a bite
since our hearts
forbid it
so they leave their marks
deep into our cores
like scars
sometimes indelible
sometimes ephemeral

But by the time
our pears
beat for one last time
our pear
isn’t ours anymore
with others taking
parts of us
and we too
borrowing parts
of others
it doesn’t belong to us
anymore

it belongs to the world
and we
become a part of
everywhere.

Let Them In

THE OTHER SIDE

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.

-Jimi Hendrix

It has always seemed bizarre to me, how we human beings, share the same sun, the same moon and the same sky, but struggle to share our land. This earth does not belong to us, we belong to it.  But unfortunately, it looks like we’re all oblivious to this, leading to its gradual and eventual destruction.

The dictionary would define humanity as the quality of being humane or benevolent. But after recent events taking place across the globe, I think it’s time for some amendments.

Some parts of the world are on the pinnacle of chaos and disaster, in the depths of riots and bloodshed, as terrorism engulfs them. The worst part being the fact that their innocent residents are left homeless and hopeless. They’re either stranded on lifeboats or despairingly finding a roof above their heads. Whereas we, on the safe and invulnerable side of the same world, sit on our comfortable couches and thumb our remotes, only to surf through this nightmarish news.

As we tuck ourselves to sleep, we listen to the crickets chirping merrily. But on that side, the exploding of grenades and rain of gunshots is their midnight song. As we quarrel upon the restaurant of our choice with our sibling, on the other side another sister walks five miles for a pile of water and some bread for her little brother. As we look up to see the halo of the moon painted over the dark firmament at night, the other side’s sky seems to be clogged with smoke and dust, which swivel into vehement hands around émigrés necks, as well as establishing an inconspicuous atmosphere of haze. As we face the calm sea and the saline water caresses our faces, a river of guiltless and innocent blood flows on the other side. The missiles dropped on their homes, shattered it into a million fragments, and these fragments etched indelible scars on their souls.

These people, who are survivors, heroes, and most of all, believers, have walked straight through hell.

We live in this place, where a soft zephyr blows lightly on the green trees, where the streets are lively and the people are amiable. But most of all, a place where we don’t fear to step out of our own homes. This description is synonymous to what these refugees may look at, as paradise. Now, when our fellow brothers and sisters are in need of a fraction of this paradise, which we are fortunate enough to call our humble abode, why do we hesitate? Why can’t we keep the matter of conflict and rivalry aside for a moment and just save these incorrupt and helpless citizens? Help them get back on their feet and brush off the agonizing dust of the past.

Yes, like all adults that one thing comes to our minds… it’s not that simple. But I fail to understand why we have to barricade this spacious and utilizable land with walls made of insecurity and reluctance. Recent events have made us question the meaning of humanity, but I say, let’s prove ourselves wrong. We can help these people, who are tired of war and conflict, to build new homes with a bagful of memories awaiting them. We should instill some empathy and simply give them something which everyone deserves… a chance for a better future.

WRITTEN IN 2015.

The Dying Art of Reading

“In the previous month, I solved a mind-boggling murder with Agatha, had my soul stirred by Hosseini, flew on magical brooms with Rowling and peeked into the future with Orwell. How have you been?” I asked my now bored looking friend.

“Well, just tuitions and homework, I guess”, a monotonous voice shot back.

George R.R. Martin, the iconic author of the ‘Song of Fire and Ice’ series, once said that a reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, while the man who never reads, lives only one. Whenever I enter my classroom with a novel in my hand, my classmates watch me like I’m some sort of an insect.

“Is that in our course?”

“Why are you wasting your time?”

“Have you finished that math exercise?”

And I? I just smile sadly, wishing that the bookworm had bit them too.

I visit empty libraries, only to see dusty books gasping for breath as their tragic end seems near. I agree, we teenagers have a web of responsibilities in which we seem to be entangled, but what we cease to realize, is that books hold a whole new meaning for us. With all the ‘NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME’ phase, it the first time we find someone we relate to, fall in love, or let something brush so nearly with our soul.

I believe that stacking books upon books will truly build the stairway to our imagination. It kindles our curiosity and ignites the mind.

But unfortunately, our priorities seem to have drastically changed now. Reading is now synonymous to an instant sleeping pill or a pastime while waiting for a haircut appointment. When was the last time we bothered to switch off all out blinding gadgets, sit cross-legged on our balcony with a cup of coffee in one hand and a brilliant book in another? These beautifully woven words will eventually cease to exist if nobody reads them. Little blobs of ink splashed across pages. They will be sucked into a black hole of ignorance, without creating the puissant impact they were capable of. It lies on our shoulders to keep this ever glowing art alive.

One exceptional observation made by both Carl Sagan and William Shakespeare was that Time is a terribly treacherous thing. It flows dispassionately, taking along each and everything with it, whether it be stone or man, celestials or beasts.

It is all an ephemeral enchantment.

But the only force overcoming this tyrannous trap is the indomitable power of books. In Shakespeare’s fifty-fifth sonnet, ‘Not Marble, nor the Gilded Monuments’ he writes about how all shall pass, but his rhyme shall stay on forevermore.

“Not marble, nor the gilded monuments
Of princes, shall outlive this powerful rhyme;
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone, besmear’d with sluttish time.”

In his widely acclaimed television series, Sagan said that;

“Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

Here’s an amazing illustration of Sagan’s words by Gavin Aung Than of Zen Pencils (which is, by the way, my favorite website on the internet).

2012-07-12-books

These great men soaked in the indispensability of what lies between the covers. A whole new world, much more interesting, venturesome and beautiful than the one we live in.

There is an undiscovered mine of great books out there, and one of my greatest fears was voiced by my brother when he said,

“Out of the million masterpieces out there, doesn’t it make you sad that you will never be able to read all of them?”

So read, my friend. If you say you do, then do it even more.

Read for the joy. Read for the sorrow. Read for a good today and an even better tomorrow.

A Saga of Sovereignty 

I penned a poem this Independence Day (India) for the Mass Communications Club magazine in my school and those idiots published less than three paragraphs in it because they were ‘short on paper’, so it didn’t really sum up the message. 

This has been in my ‘unpublished posts’ since a really long time, so I feel that its high time that I should do justice to it. 

Looking back seventy years from this day,

We stood free at long last, distant from the dismay,

And tyranny and agony that encaged us for centuries,

The land of my country, now spoke words of autonomy.

The town’s painted with blood and tears before,

Covered with wounds which left us defaced and sore,

Now bloomed with liberty, passion and power,

We solemnly swore that never again will we cower. 

Like a Phoenix we rose, out of the soot and ruins, 

Fiery and ablaze, never to fall back into that abyss.

It wasn’t just yarn spun on the mighty spinning wheel,

But tales of rebels and martyrs made of glistening steel. 

Hope had never left their indomitable souls, 

Even after being brutally downtrodden,

The wind still carries their holy ash,

Keeping them eternally unforgotten