February 10, 2016

Scribbles - 4 An Ode to architecture

Glistening balustrades
Of gorgeous green
Slabs of concrete
Exposed and seen
Tread and rise, take me
from here to there.
Lead me to my destination
Oh! Flight of stairs.

Scribbles - 3

Carving away new forms
from the rocks of people we have become
ageing in spirit,
tempered in heat,
crystallized by the icy lack of love,
scrubbing, buffing
to a squeaky clean self.
Building over the remnants
of eternal clay chopped away.

To You

When distinctions were unclear
And my heart was a rocky boat
I waded across beaches looking for you
Not knowing that your love
Was not a tangible form
It thrashes as the mighty waves
I needed to drown
For you were the sea
That I dreamt about
in a far-off time

Scribbles 2

Reality, will you
now be my friend?
My imagination is ill
and needs a mend.

But, oh, stranger,
We first need to talk
Cross our paths
and take a long walk

I'll take you across
those purple streeets
in hot-air balloons
and ice-cream fleets

"Hello, Mr.Darcy"
and lunch with Anne.
Lessons with Harry
and a blue suntan.

Red carpet walks
and pony rides
at my will's command
My life's many sides.

Now tell me, reality
What do you have in store?
I want to know
that life could be much more.

My colours are fine
to cheer my day
sometimes at night
they dull away.

I want you beside me
to hold my hand
Reality, be my friend
and take me to your land.

Scribbles 1

I am digging through my plastic bags full of sheets of paper with scribbles of writing. As and when I find something decent enough, it is going to find its permanent home in the blog. Welcome to the series called 'Scribbles'! 

I took my hopes to be buried
to the grieving graveyard town
Many processions preceded mine
all the way, people at mourn

Some told me not to put them to rest
"They may still be alive, as yet"
The others stared with empty eyes
in silence, lamenting its death.

I was no fool to listen to either
With pomp and show all the way
A fancy farewell I bid to their fancy lives
for hope is a good thing to have, they say! 

December 24, 2015

Winters

There is a certain chill in the air
that reminds me 
of nights spent in waking;
hours that stifled my existence
making me burst from confines
to pace corridors and run into lawns,
feeling my insignificance.

The infinitesimal space
calmed my shivering soul
as bones 
still greeted one another 
in icy hellos.
For, with winter, came knocking
questions of why-nots,
seeking solace in invisible arms
and answers in shadows.
The cold went by 
in soul-secrets
whispered into emptiness,
till the morning sun 
thawed my spirit
to a semblance of grace.

When a gust of chilly wind 
numbs my fingers today
I think of winters gone by
when you weren't around
and wonder aloud 
about what kept me alive! 

December 14, 2015

Lifetime



In another lifetime,
I begged on streets for love,
Slaving to time
in a random dance,
never to come close
to that which I chose.
Passing sympathetic strangers
haunted my hours, with eyes mistaken
for a lover's haunting gaze.
And I trapped all their words
into colourful jars, labelled,
pressed memories between pages, and
friends that could have been
were renamed in a desperate clutch at fate!


And everything died - words faded,
reflections turned to dust,
mirrors shattered in ominous tones,
and strangers stood in familiar places.
My hands felt untrodden skins,
unwelcoming abodes shuttered from me,
barbed wires bit into my flesh,
writing 'unloved' to put me in place.


And suddenly,
as if in a slipping of skin to the winter's chill,
this lifetime arrived -
calm in its gaze and loving in its arms,
a body tolling a million bells of warmth.
Love had walked in unannounced,
guised as him with the sparkling eyes
and a smile that makes the world my throne.


And in a single moment,
an eternity of sorrow vanished,
lifetimes of repeated deaths were undone,
and as the brook gurgled nearby
so did I begin to live.

Flyby


just the city block.
glacial mosaics-
views of the shoreline.
a window
of breathtaking pictures
gathered to heart















Flyby
across the plains!
horizons of colour-

October 06, 2015

Bombay: The Two Year Milestone



I had often heard the cliché, ‘Bombay is the city of dreams’. It was probably my naïvety that made me believe in that saying with all my heart, to leave everything familiar behind, and come here.

That was two years ago. I was a different person — laying myself thin, gliding across crowds, not knowing where to go.

Life was strange at that time. I was terribly disillusioned. I thought I was never going to be where I wanted to be. Happiness was a distant unapproachable whim. Success was an unfamiliar being. Love seemed hard to come by. Whatever guise of love I had, seemed incomplete, inconsistent and never felt like it was mine. I felt like a stranger living my own life.
I would go back to that dialogue from Holiday where Arthur Abbott tells Iris — ‘In the movies we have leading ladies and we have the best friend. You, I can tell, are a leading lady, but for some reason you are behaving like the best friend.’
I would wonder if I was ever going to be the leading lady in my world.

With a new job, new city and a new room in a house, I had alienated myself from any semblance of home.

Time lessened the harsh realities of the city. I figured the meaning of ‘acclimatization’ within two months of living here. No more shudder at the traffic and no complaints on the incorrigible honking escaped me. I was institutionalized by Bombay.
However, a nagging loneliness persisted throughout 2013, accentuated by my move to Bombay. One of the main reasons for this was the death of my paternal grandfather — the one who made me fall in love with the English language and that way, gave me my wings. Drowning it all in keeping myself busy with the exciting work and partying with friends, I let Bombay envelop me.

The year passed by like the tides. I knew 2014 had to be better. The first few months flew by in a haze of self doubt, confusion and simply going with the flow. I stopped resisting life, I just aimlessly wandered on its path, not knowing what it was leading to.

Little did I know, that this was what I should always have done. What awaited me was still a crazy ride, but it got better. The soul cobwebs cleared slowly when I began to fall in love with the most amazing human being I have ever met. In him, I found a spirit I could recognize, a soul that reflected my own aspirations, and a person who was capable of so much love and acceptance. I began to heal in his comforting presence.
I found a new job. Let me rephrase, I found a job in the company of my dreams! But it went downhill, turning more into a nightmare. I wasn’t doing anything related to what I wanted to. I was stuck for long hours working on reality television and random odd duties that left me crying to sleep. When the time came and I realized this was not how I could continue, I quit.
Within a week, I had two freelance jobs that could hold me steady. Within a month, I felt like I did the right thing with my free fall. Mind you, I am still struggling with concepts of time management, writing that book I started two years ago, and the like. But what I have is priceless — the luxury of time, of doing work that I love, and having love by my side.
I used to be frightened that my life will never get okay, and that I will be a lost soul. But I took a leap of faith — in life, in myself, in my family and friends who loved me throughout, and in the powers that I constantly sense around. And two years later from that fateful day, I am so glad I kept going with the flow, fighting even when I wanted to flop down and settle for a lesser happiness.

And today, I finally feel like the leading lady of my own story.

September 28, 2015

In the Name of the Lord

I remember as a kid, I once flicked a beautiful sharpener from a friend's house. On discovering my thievery, my mother made me throw away the sharpener and promise to God I would never repeat that act. Fear of the lord or my mother somehow kept me away from repeating my act ever.

Many 'God Promises' and 'Thank Gods' later, I realized that humankind has often resorted to using the name of this being(s) called 'God' in many ways. While some have been honourable and moving, many others have done nothing but wreck havoc in life. 

The concept of God is very vague; agnostics believe nothing can ever be found about it, atheists argue it to be a myth and every one else believes in one manifestation of this power or the other. While what I think is irrelevant in this context, what has been irksome to me is how in the name of this lord, people have even got away with murder!

Religion as a concept is a part of your belief system. No one can question it as long as it remains within you, as a faith. Do ghosts exist? Is there life in outer space? What happens after death? These are other questions as difficult to answer right now as the existence of God. While the future may hold revelations, current data only allows us to practice our faith in the privacy of our selves, without thrusting it on another without irrefutable facts.

But when the elephant lord has his birthday celebrations for over a week, I wonder why I need to suffer silently in traffic as a bunch of random people dance, as if possessed, to 'Selfie le le re' in a procession.

(Devotees carry idols of Lord Ganesha, the Hindu deity of prosperity, for immersion in the Arabian Sea in Mumbai. Photo: Reuters)

Crazy drum beats of decibel levels that would put the best of night clubs to shame, huge pandals that encroach on pedestrian paths and roads, masses of painted embellished idols dumped callously into the sea, and the entire time, my life and its movements at the mercy of these merry makers!

Mind you, I love celebrations and I love the Indian culture of breaking into song and dance at every instance. But at what cost? Would my belief of a UFO sighting anniversary (again a concept I could compare to religion as it can neither be proved nor disproved) allow me to take a crowd to the streets with dhols and dhamakas? Would I get a police permit to put up stalls, a huge space ship and disrupt traffic in the process? I am pretty sure I will be considered a loon.

How is it that when a mob of people believe in a single concept, the nation nods in agreement to any atrocity? And how is it that other minor beliefs get laughed at? Isn't this the same reason we all buried the Godhra incident behind us, although not satisfactorily solved? Isn't this religious obsession the root for why we do not value another's convenience and routine and pause not when we disrupt it?

Celebrate all you will, but do so in a way that another's life does not get affected. It is wonderful that people make sweets for one another, learn to dance in abandon, forget past differences and embrace in a 'Ganpati bappa moriya'. But please don't you dare block the road I travel by after long hours of work and with the prospect of cooking dinner looming ahead.

As my boyfriend said, any alien looking at Earth now will find us wacky, praying to a half-human half-elephant, randomly dancing in the roads and throwing colour. It isn't even Holi!

But please do this in a way that you respect my paganism, my neighbours agnosticism, my cousin's atheism. Else, the God you pray to, is not a tolerant one! 
© Dryad's Peak
Maira Gall