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mother prostitute suicides

they tell me

love is a pretty sight, darling.

like sunshine pressed on

coloured glass,

raining rainbows into my soul

that lies on a soiled mattress,

tattered and ugly

like the girl atop it;

they tell me

happiness is a carousel, darling.

a lullaby of laughter

that shirks the soul,

tracing patterns across it

like they did

across my skin;

some men and some more,

some were feathered caresses

of faceless lovers

and some, the fading purple

leftovers of monsters;

my body was

a battleground

sprayed with purple stars

that died long ago

forming a constellation

enveloping my soul

lying dead in

the rainbow rainlight

within the ugly girl;

they told me,

sacrifices pay off, darling.

that I’d smile and laugh

and fly with wings

and only the wind

and nothing else

would touch me

in an embrace;

they told me lies, darling.

pretty lies, hidden behind pretty smiles

spewed by pretty mouths

that have never been kissed

by the pretty sight of love;

so I took the sharp silver, darling.

and carved on my skin,

my very own

constellations laced in red

that begun in pain

and ended in symphony;

they told me

love was as pretty

as a songbird, darling,

and it was as pretty

as the constellation

embellishing my curves;

my my, what a pretty sight, twas darling.

in the rainbow rain,

her soul looked polished

and the angels sang

an ethereal melody

and the battlefield

transformed, darling;

the purple of the men

drowned in the red of her demons.

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Your Grey Embrace

​Dear love,

Insomnia and a slice of inspiration that descended on me as I aimlessly watched my ceiling fan rotate, has provoked me to write this down. So I looked for a pen and my mind held thoughts of a rainy evening spent on the uncomfortable seats of a bus stop: The first time you eased into the idea of lighting a cigarette in my presence. You tilted your head back and blew a thin stream of smoke. And I gazed at you and wondered, does it make you happy?


Despite the popular strand of thought, the first thing I think of when I see you pull out your cigarette is not of the day you sit me down and inform me in a grave tone that you have lung cancer. Definitley not the first thing I think of. But I won’t lie to you; it scares me that someday, I might lose you to the grey smoke you exhale.

But that is not the first thought that haunts me as I register the look of satisfaction on your face. 


I think, are you truly happy? 

If you are, then I am stumped because I do want you to be happy just not in a slowly self-destructive way. And I know you think at times that I will never understand and that I judge too quickly but do believe me when I say I try hard not to. There have been moments in my days, where I try to walk around with my tiny feet in your large shoes. Remaining in your shoes is difficult but I know that it is important. It is important to try and understand why you need the grey embrace of smoke.
I understand that maybe you have found a happy place for yourself amidst your grey smoke particles and I understand that it is difficult to tear yourself away from them. You may have gone to them on one of your bad days, when you were desperate for another’s shoulder to leave your burden on, but there were none around. You probably found a friend in the tiny roll and collapsed into his grey embrace. And he probably showed you the inward path to joy. You probably stumbled upon your friend in white by accident and thought you could flirt a little or have a fling with him. You probably thought you needed to befriend him because it was expected of you from the rest of your brotherhood.

But for whatever probable reason you acquainted with him, he seems to make you happy now or at least serves as your familiar pillar. But you probably have your days of misgivings too; where you question what you do. Your days of having to tell a new person about your friend in white and having to watch the judgement and pity flit right beneath their eyes. Your days of having to justify it to friends like me. 


So I want to make things a little better for you. Or I hope I can.

I won’t remind you of your duties to people; you have them to do that for you and also because living for other people and holding back for them is pointless and tiring. But I will take up the stance of a neutral third person and say, if this is how you truly want to lead your life, if this is how you truly want to keep yourself happy, do it. For yourself. Shun all thought of what is expected of you and think of only what you owe to yourself.

And I promise you, love, that I will not be disappointed with any answer of yours. I will always be there to grab you in an embrace when the grey ones fade or grow thicker.

Love,

Your friend outside the grey.

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The Whispers

One. Two. Three. Four.

Are you running?

Then, count!

One. Two. Three. Four.

One. You saw a boy with purple eyes

and he offered you a gold coin in return

For a story.

Two, three birds flew in the sky, their feathers colourless and

you shot them down without a gun in your hand.

Three, there was a train. And it screamed.

Screamed of blood and bullet shots.

And you ran along with it.

Four. There was a well. It swirled golden with ambrosia

and told you to come closer.


Two. Metal and Mouth.

A hole, inside which a soul-sucking metal nestles.

A trigger, and a light touch of a finger rests on it.

Poised.

A forehead. Yours. Yearns to be kissed by metal.


Three. Now you scream too.

You run. You scream.

The train has stopped at a station and you get on.

Bruised. Shivering. Forlorn.


Four. You want to dip your feet. They function no more.

Hard years they ran through.

Fast and frenzied as a deer being hunted, at first.

Then, paced and calculating like a panther in the shadows.


One. You told him a story of Four.

A politician and his wife.

A ballerina of three feet.

And a dreamer with a yellow satchel.

His purple eyes smiled. His fingers brushed yours and your palm held four gold coins instead.


Two. His fingers relaxed on the trigger.

The metal kiss never happened.

But three shots did.

Three birds died: a politician, his wife and a ballerina.

Their feathers did not have colour. Or life.

Guilt was all there was. You could have saved them.

The metal kiss was never meant for you.

Just like the kiss from the purple-eyed boy.

Who pulled the trigger.


Three. Each compartment holds a memory.

You walk through them all; some lit with sunlight, some with mild piano music.

But you take a seat only at the last carriage.

You watch: a boy with purple eyes barges into the room.

There was a gun, one long gleam of silver crafted to kill.

Three shots.

one, Daddy with his cigarette smoke breath.

two, Mummy with her dimpled smiles.

three, the ballerina with her red pigtails.


Four. The well beckons to you now.

You slide a toe in and the feeling is of heaven.

The abyss felt comforting and promised to heal.

Jump.

Jump. One. Two. Three. Four.

Jump.

Why?

one, the story you told your purple-eyed boy, died.

two, your family did too.

three, that day, at seventeen, three coins you earned for the story were spent.

four, you are a woman of twenty six, who hallucinates.


JUMP.

The abyss IS promising.

Jump.

You shall no longer hear the train thudding along or

The three shots.

Jump.

You can be a dreamer again.

Reunited with her family.

Jump.

And you will immerse yourself into an oblivion with no purple eyes.


You Jump.


A nurse finds you.

She screams,

Just like you did when your family left you,

At the facility, in tears, unable to help you.

For you see, darling,

The Shadows are Whisperers and I am so sorry that you heard them and saw them.

It cannot be changed.

But, the next day,

The headlines read:

“The Schizophrenic Suicides.”

sculpting kisses

there is a place where I remain, 

tethered at the edge

of something sensational

and satisfying

like the pauses,

the still in the air

before you leaned in

to kiss me. 
now you’ve gone 

as one with the wind 

chasing monuments

and gales of laughter 

tucked within the lines 

of your favorite books

and you’ve left me behind

in this timeless pause, 

always to await your lips
darling, the dust you sitrred

when you slammed the door

four rotten months ago 

has settled

and yet my heart 

jumps from a half slumber

every time it remembers 

the sculpted curves

of your smile. 

Calloused

My calloused palms 

have bled 

over the years, darling, 

easing into 

the beginnings 

I paved for myself

using your laughter

as my carving knife,

to battle the demons 

that danced 

in the creases 

of your forehead 

and the tensions 

of your shoulder blades, 

driving wedges

the size of universes 

between us, 

leaving us

tethering at cliff’s edge. 

My hands bled 

when I held you first, 

a tiny vessel holding 

all my joy in this world;

And they bled when

you danced with me

in the rain, darling, 

my blood flowing

happily along with 

the rivulets of rain. 

My calloused hands

bled when you laughed, 

when you sobbed. 

My calloused hands 

bled through the ages

and dried one final day, 

when they cupped your face

and whispered love

before they stopped 

bleeding forever. 

Pretti-fied Stories

Of all the boasts I make of being a writer, I must confess that I am struck speechless when I’m asked to tell a story. It isn’t easy stringing words together to make sense and is difficult still to make them appear . . . . . .  Pretty. Because let’s be honest, we all want pretty words. And pretty words only. We want them to give our minds something just as pretty to imagine; for they are either grieving or causing grief. And we need to feed them with hope, that one day, it would be different, that we would have new purposes. 

We need it all, we say; Pretty romcoms, pretty suicides, pretty deaths, pretty crimereports. Pretty words to dilute our reality checks, to make us perceive the miserable loop of reality as an endless roller coaster of happiness. But nobody ever attempts, do they? To make pretty words? 

No. Nobody has time for that. We can only designate these pretty words to pretty people. The art of making them pretty and stringing them together is worthless. Words are our key to survival but we still won’t indulge in that art. And to be given the job of welding them together to give hope, though false, to countless minds yearning to smile without having a worry in the world, now that’s a tough task. 

So excuse me if I can’t give you a story right away. Excuse me if I took a moment; many moments in fact, to collect all the pretty words possible to tell you a story that you want to hear. Excuse me for taking time to string together the reality that you live in which you refuse to look at with contentment. 

I’m sorry. I am a story teller with words and it takes time to figure out which of them are pretty enough for you. 

it’s reigning men

there was a chain you wore around your neck,

clashing with your t-shirt, dangling a million pieces

of a million broken hearts, each holding a million stories of a million lifetimes,

that you stole like the wallets from their bedsides

in the wisps of an early dawn,

after a night of whispered scandals

spent within the confines of a bedsheet,

in which you indulged to urge those secret lifetimes to be shared 

along with the oxygen in the cramped space, that could have fit universes, 

between your lips,

that traced down their million bodies, speaking a million lies,

leaving a trail of a million kisses that disappeared at the touch of sunlight,

leaving behind only the faint fragrance of a seductress’ perfume 

and the melancholic broken heart that asked for more and couldn’t stop 

like a crack addict attached to the high from which there is no escape

for they are puppets and they operate according to the will of your word 

that controls the strings attached to their breakable minds and breakable hearts 

that dangle from the chain around your neck,

clashing with your t-shirt but matching your eyes that smirk at me 

and before I know it, it is morning and only a trace of your scent remains on my fingertips,

and i’ve lost my wallet and you’ve gained a heart on your chain. 

Starlight Symphonies 

Stars sing strange songs, darling. 

They are the bearers 

of history; 

the witnesses 

who live to tell the tale

aeons later;

Don’t pay mind 

to your textbooks, darling;

listen to the songs of the stars, 

for the truth 

is held in the folds 

of their light, 

and their patterns 

across the blue canvas 

of the sky. 

They are the 

rightful occupants 

of the witness boxes, 

the evidence of Human Crime

and of Human Goodness;

For contrary to popular belief, 

the truth needn’t

always be ugly, darling;

It has been penned 

across their surfaces, 

the deeds of makind, 

their good hearts 

with a dangerous twist

and their brave ambitions

at the threshold of foolery. 

So when you look

to the skies tonight, darling, 

remember, that your story 

is being watched 

and documented,

that your misery 

and tears 

have not gone unnoticed;

Your name is made a legend,

like every other name; 

each a unique story 

with a precious person. 

And the watcher 

who comes after you, 

a few thousand years later, 

he will know it too;

that his story 

is a legendary one, 

and will live forever

in the songs of the stars,

that will resonate

with his name. 

The Reading Life

You know the manner in which we read a sentence in a foreign tongue? Every letter, every accent, every space; they all matter. After every single word, we gain a new meaning. And as we make our way slowly across, our mouths articulate the words while our minds string together one meaning after another like the beads of a chain. The meaning builds up. And at the end of a sentence, we run out of beads but the chain is complete. And every single bead in it makes absolute sense. Just like the sentence.
Sometimes, I picture a miniature version of myself at the start of a sentence. What I see ahead of me is a path filled with big images that I cannot understand at once. I walk slow and move only after I have comprehend the word. Halfway through the sentence, I start playing guess about the other half; of where the path would end. 
But my guesses aren’t all right. I am surprised by a preposition here and a new verb there. I almost give up when I am three letters down an eight lettered mouthful. And I cannot move my feet forward to the next word because I fell in love with the previous word and it’s beauty and elegance has knocked the wind out of me. 
But I make it.
I make it to the final word. After a never ending trail of pronunciation mistakes and constant visits to the guiding dictionary, I tread across the last word. As my feet reach the last letter, I turn around. And for the first time, I see clearly. I see the long words and the short ones, the ones that made me cry and the ones that told me a funny tale. I see the commas that functioned as speed breakers and the accents that draped a letter with elegance. I see their purpose and I see their connection. 

The meaning is intact like the bead chain. 
And finally, I see someone else at the beginning of the sentence. I hope she has half the good time that I had. 

Reading. And Living.

Blue Neighborhood 

there is you, 

there is me, 

the sea breeze

and this 

Blue neighborhood 

that hides behind

its open windows

with its secrets 

whispered to the wind,

letting them flap around 

like the shirts 

on the clothing line

that will never dry, 

just like our tears

that leave the aftertaste

of salt on our tongues;
there is you, 

there is me, 

the untouchable sky 

and the stars

forming webs 

above our heads, 

like the cobwebs 

and ages of dust

sitting on the walls

of this 

Blue neighborhood, 

always tethering 

at the end of 

an ominous silence

that is never 

broken by words;

sort of like 

the silences in

our conversations, 

your words hanging 

in front of you

while you refuse

to hold them

and mine, 

choked by my

vocal cords, 

our ears hearing

only the waves

and the 

spread silence;
there is you, 

there is me, 

this lovely earth 

and its abused virginity 

that looks tortured

like the gardens

of this 

Blue neighborhood, 

broken by the drought;

like our skins 

once marblized, 

now cracked to reveal 

the lies within, 

the lies we touch

every night 

in the moonlight

before drifting 

into a hopeful, long nap;
there is you, 

there is me, 

there is the fire burning 

through this 

Blue neighborhood 

paralleling the fire

that burns within us;

boiling cinders that 

tickle our noses torturously, 

trickle liquid from our eyes 

and force out sobs

from our throats

that taste the 

ashes;
there is you, 

there is me,

and there is the 

Albatross around our necks

that tilt back

to the heavens,

away from the dust

plastered on the

walls of this

Blue neighborhood, 

away from the dust 

long-settled on our souls;

there is us, 

tilting our sight away

and letting 

the water claim us,

at last.