chasing happiness

at seven, 

i wished on

a shooting star for

the kind of happiness

that was served 

on gleaming golden platters. 

instead i found you, 

waggy tail, hungry belly

and a predatory snout.



at thirteen, 

we wished on

a shooting star

in front of a mansion

that looked colder

than a winter’s night, 

holding laughter and 

sacred aromas

behind sealed doors;

we wished but

they remained shut

and nobody

slipped us the password;

instead, 

we got cold pizza

from the 

red-capped delivery boy

you bared your teeth at. 

at twenty, 

we found a home

in the woods and 

you brought friends over;

and I decided

to give that golden platter happiness

another shot at me;

So I wished and wished 

and wished away 

all those fantasies 

of the most basic

kind of warmth, 

the kind that 

one supposedly finds

in the embrace of a mother, 

upon that shooting star. 

two years after, 

i put you six feet under

beneath the naked, lying stars;

your comrades

howled away your loss

and avenged you;

the village was a

portrait of massacred flesh

smeared everywhere 

ruined by the ugly tint

of human unkindness;

the same unkindness

that shape-shifted 

into the early sparks 

of a forest fire

that claimed your hunted bones

and that of your comrades. 

that night, 

the stars wept

from my chest;

their tears 

rolled down my cheeks. 

but soon, 

the new century dawned;

i wished no more 

on shooting stars;

they imported laws

from creative minds

that spoke of you gently,

promising that you

and your comrades 

would be safe,

concealed from

the ugly tint that

my friends and I carried. 

but they lied;

at ninety,

i prayed

upon a shooting star

to take care of you, 

to rid my kind 

from your lands

so you can 

race the winds

and be at peace;

and before 

the star disappeared 

from my sight forever,

my eyes closed

and i saw you;

you smiled at me. 

and i found my

golden plattered happiness 

as i returned it;

and then i

drew in a breath, 

my last;

and we took off

together 

and chased all the winds 

that we could. 

Featured

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.

Head-butting through the Mist

Someone once told me that the only way to get over my problems was to run right through them, like they were nothing more than the morning mist that disappeared when the sun came out.

And it sounded so drastically different than the other answers I was used to so I took off in a matter of seconds. And it worked! I ran through them all. Well, head-butted them in the gut is more like it. And it felt exhilarating to battle with the burden that was pressed upon my shoulders by fingers that were too insignificant to even matter.

But after my problems fell apart, one segment after the other, I faced a bigger one. I could not hit the brakes. My energy levels did not drop and neither did my heartbeat. I kept running and running even when my feet blistered and bled. I continued to push aside other problems that arose but I could never bring myself to halt after. I could not slow down and stroll through my problemless life.

And that is how I began to crumble. I tackled them all to the ground but everytime I got to my feet, I was worse off than before.

And I am still running. Running and breathing through the Asthma. Because I think somewhere along the path that I sprinted through, I realized that maybe my life would be easier if I could outrun my problems. But as irony would have it, I only managed to bring myself to them; breathless, quicker than I was expected and catching them by surprise.

And even after I was proved wrong, I couldn’t stop. And that’s the silly thing about people, I guess. We cannot give up even on the silliest of hopes, can we?

And so, I shall resume my head-butting.

The Dictionary Abuse

All the dictionaries in the world cannot compete with you, seeking out words and beading them together. A worded garland that you gently place around my Heart with a gut wrenching smile playing across your lips. And you keep it up as the garland coils itself around my Heart; minute by minute inhaling becoming harder. Until I cannot breathe at all for my Heart is choking. I can hear Her scream for help but the ambulance sirens never announce their arrival. Even my hands can’t rescue Her for they trace your smiling face as you tug on the garland and twist it at a dangerous angle. I swear I could hear something crack within me. But I still remain frozen, unable to help myself. Your eyes are brown and they hold the right amount of magic and the promise of more and I cannot look away. I am crying as my Heart heaves Her dying wishes. 

But something happens in the moment right before she flutters to a stop. There is a new garland. New beads. New words. New dictionaries to compete with. These words don’t make me cry. They don’t lie to me. They make me want to feel the wind on my face. And when I close my eyes and re-open them, I see that you are gone. I wish I could feel loss but all I feel is relief. 

Because the words you minced were dipped in poison and dark magic. They were designed to chop the life out of souls. My Heart was their prisoner and your rivals held the key. 

I am happy that you are gone. That I shall never have to look upon your face or your horrifying smile. I am happy That my Heart is safe from yours. And miles away from your cruel words. 

But it is sad, is it not? 

That of all the shades of a Dictionary, we pick the worst.

Remembering Shades of Green 

Do you remember the last time you walked barefoot? Not at the beach or across the concrete choking this city. But the last time you let your feet trod across wet soil and felt a sleeping life form pulse beneath them? Do you remember the last time you tilted your head back to enjoy the rain, guffawing out loud, without someone having a camera poised to capture your fake joy. When you climbed a tree and just sat there, nestled in those large arms that span this earth? 

Or do you at least remember the last time you jumped into a lake with all your clothes and laughed when you surfaced for oxygen only to cough out water through your nose? The last time you took a stroll down a nature park and lazily ruffled your hand through the bushes, paying heed to the “Do Not Pluck” Signs? When was the last time you silently ignored spiders or worms instead of drenching them in bug-spray? 

When was the last time where you just smiled. One tiny, simple smile when you did all that? Because those moments are worth that tiny tilt of your lips which can fight anything the world throws at you. 

But they aren’t what we live for. We are Urban Creatures, glued to the dim glow of LCD lights, denying ourselves those moments of connection with a different kind of Tranquility. 

We will never walk barefoot and if we do, we would romanticize it in our stories or the better word would be Snapchat stories. We won’t ever go on long walks or climb trees and be satisfied with just the magnitude of pure bliss it brings. 

We have forgotten to find these moments.

And when we do, we cannot contain their secretive bliss with ourselves. And that is why we shall never find joy. Because when Nature sheds her clothes and leads us down a Pleasure Path that we have never experienced within our concrete jails, we don’t keep quiet. Instead we go tattling her little secrets in town.

And that is why I bid farewell. I am about to find a tiny crook for myself in the arms that will always take me in. And if you change your mind; if you manage to walk barefoot across wet soil and connect with the pulsing life beneath, I am certain that we can find a niche for you too. 

Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl

I knew it the first time you met my eyes. 

The girl you wished to meet was not me. 

She would have blonde curls with pink streaks and would sit in the middle of the busy pavement, next to the lone guitarist with an amateur voice, reading a book on the 12 most beneficial postures in Yoga. 

She would wear bright yellow skirts and pigtails and bounce down to the supermarket, optimism hitting everyone she passed like the aroma of her bold perfume that smelled like nachos. 

She would waltz in the rain with an imaginary partner and climb trees to tickle squirrels. 

She would press down on the accelerator and get herself a speeding ticket and come home to check the box next to “Speed drive and get caught before you are thirty.”

That girl would take seven different trains across the city and never feel lost. 

She would giddily trot her way to the bottom of several wine glasses and never mope or puke. 

That girl could make your lungs crave for oxygen. 

She could make you feel breathless and yet, she could make you like it. 

And when you met my eyes, nine years later, 

I felt loss. 

And I know you did too when you scrutinized all of me, right from the crutches under my armpits to the core of my defeated Soul. 

I’m sorry, I said. 

Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl, speed drove herself to Death and left her Shadow in me instead. 

Dressed for Death

I think it was a dream that I once had. 

Clothed in a frilly white dress that sang every time I moved, sitting at the front of an empty bus that flew through clouds. 

And my destination? 

No 17. Dreamer Street, Cloud Kingdom,

Heaven – 045.

It’s funny that I gave Heaven an address. 

But if you really think about it,

We all have labelled our lives as “Hell” at one point or the other and if that Hell can have addresses, why not Heaven? 

But, 

The Heaven I got dropped off at was a four sided island. 

A small, ninety degree angled box. 

With clouds and water flowing through one single tap. 

And there were four streets. 

I have forgotten what the others were called but I remember Dreamer Street. 

I remember walking down it in my uncomfortable white gown,

My hesitant footsteps echoing across the entire island. 

Who would have thought that Heaven would be so lonely.

There were no houses.

There weren’t any people.

The weather remained the same. 

The sun and moon co-existed or probably didn’t exist at all. 

I never grew hungry.

But I grew restless. 

And that’s why I broke the rule.

The one carved into the ground at the centre of the island. 

“All residents are forbidden from leaving.”

And I thought, fuck that. 

So I hopped onto the bus and reached a different destination.

This was loud, full of screams from victims and the cackles of their predators. 

The dark pressed on me from all directions. 

But I had hands, guiding me along. 

Pleading on my behalf. 

I think I walked through a court full of glass shards. 

I remember crying. 

I remember my screams.

I remember the laugh of my tormentor that took the face of my Algebra textbook. 

And just when I thought I would break,

I found myself on unbearably hot sheets, 

And the acrid scent of human sweat burnt my nose. 

So I went to drown it out in the shower. 

It was only five minutes into it did I realize that I was clothed. 

In a frilly, white dress.

That sang when I moved. 

And when I glanced at the floor,

Blood and water flowed down the drain from my still bleeding feet. 

I never heard myself scream. 

But I felt it as I woke up in bed, breathing heavily.