A Wrinkle In Time

A wrinkle in time,
That binds the past to the future,
Sews together the moments
Of depression and pain
From my life,
And I am left to search
For the happiness,
That I remember once having,
In the folds of the fabric.

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Silver Linings

Photo by Thomas Shellberg

Is it the eternal optimism of humanity,
Or schadenfreude taken to inanimate extremes,
That we witness the shattering of a star,
A collapse of the work of a million years,
And think to ourselves, beautiful?

The Feast

I have not stopped eating
Since the day I knew
That I will come to see you.
I wouldn’t want you
To walk away unsatisfied.

I am marinating,
Soaking my bland truths,
In the simmering sauce
Of unceasing conversationality,
That flavor of extroversion
Which is so appealing to your guts;
Digests better, doesn’t it?

I hope the messy tangles
Of my life experiences
Don’t get stuck in your teeth;
I will bring you a toothpick,
Just in case.
A glass of cool indifference
With which you can wash down
The bitter aftertaste of my unaccomplished dreams.

Don’t worry your mind
With remorse or conscience.
You bear no responsibility, after all
That I have put you on this pedestal,
That I have offered myself up.

Feel free to make judgments.
Compare me to the fried;
All smoke and no substance,
The unwholesome, the untruthful.
I won’t blame you
For not putting me in a class apart.

Take a look from all directions.
I know, in this instagram-savvy world,
It’s just the presentation that matters.
Have no restraints, no politeness.
Your crass touch won’t dirty me,
What right does an object have to feel degraded, anyway.

Savor each bite,
As you take away chunks of my hope.
Strip away the skin of dignity,
By forcing me to smile.
Spit out my pride, raw and uncooked,
That bone of righteousness has no place in this recipe.
Dig into my flesh and salt my wounds,
Turn me into that which pleases your tongue.

Bon Appetit!

Metamorphosis

A meadow full of yellow buttercup flowers in full bloom

Photo by Tim Mossholder

I like yellow flowers.

I realize how much has changed;
How the stars appear brighter.
I am wary of the light sometimes.

I remember its deceptiveness.

I catch myself smiling
with a lightness and innocence,
Untouched.
Daydreaming.

As though I did not emerge
gasping for breath
only to submerge again.
And again. And again.

I chide the part of me that smiles,
child-like. I remind her
of happiness that is hard earned;
I tell her to not spend it all at once.

To save some
For nights that are darker
For mornings that are colder
For roads when she finds — I find myself alone.

I tell her to wrap up her smiles
In cotton wool,
To ration out her joy in bits and pieces
A little here and there, wisely.

She laughs loudly — audaciously.
And it sounds like cowbells
On a warm afternoon in the meadow.

She blows bubbles in the bath
And makes smileys on the fogged mirror.
I stand besides her
Trying to protect her from herself.

Someone has to maintain the archives of memories.

But her happiness is absolute
She wants no part of the carefulness.
I hesitate a little, and indulge
Into a smile like sunshine sometimes.
I still like yellow flowers.

Penance

When they skinned me alive,
I was afraid, very afraid.
For I knew my crimes were not merely skin-deep.
And when they pelted me with stones,
A chill crept into my heart.
For I knew I could not atone my sins with broken bones.
But when they reached deep inside
And pulled out that one tiny shard to crush,
A sliver of hope, that sustained my life,
I gave a weak laugh, giddy with relief.
For there could be no more;
The Lords of Karma had crossed that line.
There would be no more punishment
Without violating the very laws that they held so sacred.
I reached out and took it back;
That tiny shard of an already broken whole.
“No more punishment”, I repeated to myself,
A statement and a promise at the same time,
For I had reached, at last, the end of my penance.

Overthinking In The Times Of Google

Me: (suddenly wakes up early morning on Sunday)

Me: (groggily) What’s the time? Only 7.00… Hmm.. Might as well get up early now that I’m awake..

Me: (turns to the side, and suddenly clutches stomach) Ow!

(Pain in lower right side abdomen)

Me: Maybe it will pass. Will wait for a minute or two.

(After two minutes)

Me: Ow!

Me: (suddenly realizing something) Why is it hurting at such a specific point? Lower right-side… Appendix? Is that hurting? Have I got appendicitis? No wait! That’s an over-reaction. I can’t even remember whether it is supposed to be on the left side or right. Let me Google it… No… Then I’ll start reading about all the symptoms and assume that I have a tumor!

Me: (after a minute) Don’t be silly. I am educated, and well aware that Google is not a doctor. And surely, I have some restraint. There’s no need to see the reason of symptoms. Just check what side the appendix is on.

(Tries to get up. More pain).

Me: Okay. So, it’s a shooting kind of pain in a very specific part of the abdomen. There’s no need to worry even if it’s appendicitis. That’s pretty common, and has been taken care of by doctors for years. It’s just a simple operation.

(Conjures up a picture of the doctor reassuring that the operation won’t take long. Immediately follows a picture of knife and stitches)

Me: Okay, stop overreacting. It’s a simple enough thing. Loads of people get it done. And it’s not like I’ll be able to feel anything. But it would be local anesthesia, right? I’ll be awake. I’ll still know that I’m being cut up…

(Takes a deep breathe. More pain).

Me: Mum had woken up from anesthesia when she had a tonsils operation as a child! What if the anesthesia stops working in the middle of the operation? Now, really! Appendicitis operation is not supposed to take that long! And that was decades ago! I’m sure there’s been progress in medical science to ensure nothing like that happens!

(Wonders whether to ask a doctor friend about the details. Wonders how long the hospital stay would be. Probably a day at most? Wonders about taking care of stitches. A large knife looms up in the mind).

Me: (Tells self): You are a grown up! Act like it! You are supposed to be mature enough to handle situations like this. What about when you’ll be living on your own! You were looking forward to proving that you’re an adult, right?

Me: (Continuing rant against self) This staying at home has had a bad effect on you! You weren’t as silly when you were staying in hostel.

(Recalls tuberculosis scare of rural internship in college).

Me: …

(Remains lying in bed for another minute).

Me: Papa! Will you come here a minute?

(Papa comes to the room).

Me: I have a shooting pain in the lower right abdomen. That’s where the appendix is, right? Wait, let me Google!

(Papa tries to get a word between)

Me: Yes, see it’s on the right side! But wait, what’s this about appendicitis? The pain is supposed to start in the middle of the tummy, and slowly spread to right. Hmm. And look, it says that it starts with fever and chills.

Me: (checks forehead) Right. No temperature, no chills. And the pain started wrong. Can’t be appendicitis! And definitely can’t be anything more serious; that would obviously be too much of an overreaction.

Papa: Right… maybe sleep for a little longer. It’ll subside.

Me: Right.

Me: (Turns to side. Mild pain). Hush tummy! It’s not appendicitis. You’re being a humbug!

(Wakes up in an hour)

Papa: (Grinning) How’s the appendix?

Me: (takes a few seconds to recall) Oh, yeah. Hardly any pain now…

Scavengers

ray-hennessy-118046

I thought there would be no more.
I thought there would be mercy
After losing my limbs, my heart, my head.
But the razor sharp teeth betray
The signs of salivating
At the mere empty shell of my broken body as well.
They have come for my soul,
Hidden helpless under the folds of my tortured skin;
I wonder if they can smell the rotten death inside.
They will peck and bite until nothing remains but bones.
Circling around me, they wait,
Watching the struggle,
To drag myself slowly
An inch every minute.
They are patient in their hunger,
Biding their time, until the end.