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The city is the place to find sadness. Like a large invisible blanket that floats beneath the clouds. It creeps out late at night. 3am. An awkward silence. Why does it not talk? A reply: a stranger speaking in the dead of the night, a motorcycle murderously cutting through the silent streets. I shift beds like girls change clothes. But it is still, the same city. A fake darkness in the sky. Lights from somewhere. The dawn brings more gloom. No hint of light yet. But a solitary bird has sang, and two more still. And there are others who sing. The mosquitoes. Songs everywhere! But not the conventional kind. These are songs with lots of spaces, lots of space. The instruments are dying, but they make such a play of time. And here comes the dawn. A dull crescendo, painted with drippy black paint. A moody torchlight, shooting sleepy flames into the sky. Well the dawn makes no difference. All is the same. Except for the one hundred changes that keep changing at the same time everyday. The sounds of the rickety auto rickshaws running to fetch schoolchildren keeps increasing. Pigeons of grey and endless eyes start flocking at balconies. Footsteps and shuffles in the still-dark corridors, forgotten by the sun. Fake alarms, real alarms, screams and shouts, reminders, pressure cooker whistles, car keys and sounds, rumbling engines and rolling gates. And of course, the crows. Remainders of the night, painted sans light, bodies of black, scavengers of the city floor. Spaceless spaces, suffocated earth, interlocking bricks, boring jigsaws. And also in the morning – hungry stomachs and pails of coffee. And the night is here too, in the coffee cups. Black, brown, some fight with milk, and take it further. Arriving Sun! Creeping in through holes in the walls, setting curtains on fire, floors on fire, faces on fire. Out into the day, the people go. Some resolved, some not. Some go to bring it to life. Wars are fought. On a daily basis. City by day. City by night.


In search of you

part 1 of 2

When will I write, what will I write, and who will I write for. In this quest for words I have lost the tip of my pen. In these vast swathes of white I try to paint the picture of you. You, my frameless tomorrow, my nameless destination. You, the one who holds the key to secrets kept in store for a time that has grown wings. When I look for you, you disappear. When I know you near me, I am lost for words and my knees buckle. I sit down, and I watch this spectacle, maya, you bewilder and enhance me. I am not satisfied by your coming and going anymore. I do not want to watch your shadow flit and run away every time I reach out for you. I want to know that which lies behind this curtain of play, leela, this reverie of senses that is creation.


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What is the ideal burial like? With one hand putting a hole in the earth surface, fingers reaching out to the skies, so that the abyss above can know that hope still breathes within the man. The rest of the body surrounded by soil that is alive / Can I choose between love and death? If we love, we will die. If we don’t, we won’t. Because in the absence of love, death does not matter / What is the meaning of this moment? It is the same as eternity, infinity, perpetual motion and such words that fail to contain meaning / However, what is contained in this moment? Everything. All of you and all that you have been. From the collision of stardust to the thought-waves that your parents sent to each other to result in your creation. Everything, from the spray of the seas within your mother’s womb to your first sight of light / What am I to do now? You must be silent. Wherever you are. Because we are approaching nothing. And nothing is contained in this globular entity we call home / Why is it called nothing? Because the expansive blackness that we perceive fails to cover everything, like a short blanket that exposes your feet. But in emptiness our hearts can collide and we can create togetherness and warmth. That is why / What is signified by the greatest borders? They are metaphors for endings, and metaphors for the divide between opposites, metaphors for comparison of the meek with the grand, such as the thump of your heart to the pulse of the cosmos.

in this darkness lies my dream

my night ship is arriving. her voice is made of knives that cut through skin and bone alike.

her sirens sound the songs of death and her footsteps betray her path. her body floats above my waters, her icy hull tears through my consciousness.

her weaponry has touched me whole, from tongue to toe i have been split. in opposites now she recalls her voyages. two ends of me reach out to the other in pain and joy alike.

my night ship steers her way through my bloodstream. she navigates by my stars. she strings them one by one within her palm.

at the sound of my closed eyes she drops an anchor in my heart. there we meet and at the point where dreams depart, we wait.


thankyou for this quest. i want to know where i am going, but if i know too soon i fear i will disappear. i want only for this body to know you, so please provide structure and integrity to this delicate balance of elements that houses my spirit.

please acquaint me with the sky, she stuns me with her grace. when my selfishness grows beyond me, teach me how to know the stars that live in her bosom and realise the extent of my ignorance, and teach me how to speak to the nomadic clouds that drift across her many faces when my friends have left my heart and when even the clouds are gone, teach me how to keep the company of the vast emptiness of the ocean face of the heavens, dear sky blue sky of shades and hues unending.

please help me know this breath that runs through my veins and speaks through my words. i feel it every moment, but i do not know from where it comes. i follow it at night, and i follow it in my sleep, but it leaves no traces in its wake. do you hide behind it?

tell me what words mean, i hear my friends saying them, and sometimes i do not understand, but i see the flames of love burning in their eyes. sometimes it is yellow, sometimes it is red, and sometimes it is black. but fire is fire, and its nature is one, and we will all come home to you when night falls over man. so tell me what these words mean, what is to be said, and when.

reveal to me the nature of this time: sometimes i get lost in it, and i lose all sense of dimension: the weaver of time, is it you? why is its path laden with feathers and thorns? why does it speak of a one-way street but manifest in endless forms? if you are the backbone of this infinite serpent, then does that mean you were never born? was i so too, if we are the same, you and I?

thankyou for my blood. i see it only when it leaves me, it is red like no other. my mother wears it too, under her skin, and it makes her shine from within. so do the trees. they make low skies when they grow, and my fevers flow when i watch them dance in the evening sun.

teach me not to worry, not to fear; because the day does not belong to me, neither does tomorrow, they are all transitions from the locker of eternity. teach me that all i have is now and the shape of it is filled with space dust formed by a compressed composition, layer by layer, over the ages, slowly revealing in moments, minutes, seconds, years: but it is not the time that matters, it is the density of it, and every moment holds every other in an indestructible balance, held fast by an indestructible force: you. so teach me not to worry, not to fear, that now is the only thing that belongs, and that it is right here:

and finally, i thankyou for this voice, because i know that it is all that there is, and without it, i would not speak to you. i would not write, i would not know, i would not feel anymore. but knowing that you are there is why i can, and why i will go on: your winds will take me there, and i know not where. but something tells me that i have been on a constant arrival and the only departure has been these thoughts, these doubts – is my destination here, where i have been from the start?

your nearness

tell me what is this I feel
are you really here, in this darkness
or have I just been dropped
into a world of ideals?
is it the brush of your hair
or the swooning mist of an early dawn
that has come in disguise?
please stay here, right now
so that I can know what your eyes look like
so that I can remember you
and find my way to you
before I lose myself –

tell me what is this I feel
did a splinter of you pierce
the horizon of my restlessness
and leave a mark of silence in its wake?
is it an emptiness that gazes out with longing
to remain so as long as you’re gone?
when will you come again, when will you touch my time
and stay here with me, and take me home?

tell me one more thing too –
is it it worth the wait?
is it worth the years and the minutes and the moments?
will you leave a sign in the path that you take?
should I tell my friends that I will soon be leaving?
and if they ask, ‘where to?’, what should I say?

this is untitled

leaving with no fuss is like
being buried in a warm blanket
with no edges or endings
wrapped in closed comfort for
the rest of time and all that remains
forgotten, happy, without complaints

but there are these threads:
people, places, tangible intangibilities
lifelong circuits of fading signals
running like currents in a rotting sea
waiting for the ocean to open a window
and dilute this drink of life

so here
I will stay
and wait for you
my eternal