Before It Gets Better

I was five, I loved my cartoons and my pillow.

Hated milk and when my mom wouldn’t let me leave,

to paddle around the world on a tricycle couloured yellow.

Dreams to scale the moon and the stars never felt distant.

So busy with the bliss, not a moment to grieve,

I had wishes my ma and pa would make true in an instant.


I was ten, I loved my shoes and my foot-ball.

Hated teens ’cause they wouldn’t let me play with them,

Couldn’t wait to grow up and scale that huge neighborhood wall.

Lost pencils and damned homework withered my little soul,

No inhibitions on what I say, never stressed on the outcome.

Don’t stop me I’ll trot the globe Ma, I hate that control.


I was seventeen, I loved my girl and my little gang.

Hated being asked to grow up and those pimples on my face,

yes I wanted to grow up but maturity? I could never get a hang.

There were chapters and syllabus but my questions missed out,

what would they think? What would they say? Do I belong to this place?

But let’s pretend and study to survive the rat race Ma told me about.


I am twenty three, I love my questions and my peace.

I hate the past for being so pleasant, but love it for the lessons,

I am busy with grief, not a moment for bliss.

For me to walk away and scale the world, my Ma wouldn’t resent.

But I prefer to sleep in Ma’s lap in hope for the pain to lessen,

This cycle of present being sour and past being pleasant.


The Clock on the Wall

There you lie, perched before me and my world. Mounted on the off-white wall, keeping count of time while silently witnessing the intimacies of my life. You saw that huge stack of clothes on my bed, the perpetually cluttered table and the gloom that wouldn’t let me mend any of it. You heard those calls for help to friends and family and the hopeless silence that followed them.

Then the subliminal smiles started while I keyed words into my phone late into the night. You saw my expectant eyes waiting for her texts, didn’t you? The calls, the never ending calls and the subtle prayers on my lips wishing that the call would just go on. You heard them.

The stack of clothes was gone, the dread, the gloom, all had left. Your constant tick-tock had finally brought the good times. Hope you didn’t laugh on me for that first date. Standing before the mirror and trying dozens of clothes. And then calling my friends over to help me figure the perfect dress for the date. In retrospect I looked funny, but it worked.

I know you were amazed when you saw my tidy room, the meticulousness, the fragrances instead of the usual air of despondency. Love does this to you. Hope you didn’t mind our snuggles & giggles and didn’t forget to close your eyes before we crumpled the bed sheet with creases. Hope you didn’t mind me ignoring calls from my friends and family, I had better things to do. Didn’t I?

The cheesy nick names, the mellow whispers & the frantic laughter, you were witness to all our secrets. The hope to be with each other forever, the wish to hold those hands for eternity, the desire to wake up to see her face everyday.

Sunggles and giggles were replaced with sounds squabbles and arguments. The room smelled of broken hopes with a touch of despair. Then one day we were far away, too far to walk back. Hope you didn’t see the tears. Hope you slept while I couldn’t for nights. Hope you didn’t snitch on me to my mom about the empty bottles. The empty bottles kept in hopes to store away my sorrow.

Hope you don’t make fun of me for the calls for help to friends and family and the hopeless silence that follows them. Hope you don’t judge me for this huge stack of clothes on my bed and this cluttered table.



The Mirror

Three hours past midnight, sand under my palms. There is nothing but silence. Every few seconds it’s broken by these waves striking the shore. As far as I can see it’s just us here, me and this Sea. The behemoth on one side and you, the little you, on the other. It humbles you, the vastness, the grandeur. My glass houses of self-importance and ego take a humble hit with every wave washing the shore. The sea is silent, yet it’s making noises. It can’t say a thing, yet I can hear the stories it has in store. If you look, there is nothing but darkness to stare into. But if you feel, there is a mirror in front. I often come here to stare at myself in this mirror.

The mirror tells me things. Things that I know but I don’t know about. Things that I never paused to worry about. Things that I am afraid to hear but still wish to hear.

The Sea is blunt, full of lessons and regrets. Looking into it is like reading my old draft suicide notes, enlightening. Going through them, it’s perplexing how people find surprise mentions on it, how impending death makes one thank and appreciate people who usually seemed to have done no good to you. It teaches you how important are goodbyes.

A wave just gently touched my feet, it’s cold. I see all the friends that just became acquaintances because we stopped talking. Was it because of the their diminishing utility to me or did I just change as a person, no longer in need of them ? How many of those friendships could be saved with a simple hello ? And can’t even keep count of those that vanished into obscurity, into being strangers with familiar faces.

It’s embarrassing to look into the mirror and see myself being angry and annoyed. It’s funny as much as it is embarrassing. I try to reason but in the end I know there was never a reason for my anger. There was always room for patience.

A cold breeze is whisking past me. I can see all the times I believed it was love, but it was just possession. Keeping someone within my control just because I felt like I owned them. And calling it love.

All the times when I could have stepped up and enjoyed the moment. The times when I wanted to be myself, but I was too worried thinking about what would people say. People I had never seen before, people that I was probably never going to see again. I couldn’t be myself. I played it safe, but was it safe?

All the times I faked a smile while I was broken from inside. When there was no hope left but I lied to myself, to give it one more day. And more lies. The times when Mom could see my eyes reeking of sorrow but I preferred to fib out of it.

Who am I? The mess that my room is or the meticulously kept little library in one corner of it. Am I the one who would travel for hours to get her the perfect gift or am I the one who walked away with no second thoughts. Am I the kid who used to find peace in his mother’s lap or the teen rebel who would argue till death for his liberty. I am all them? It never answers my questions, the Sea’s just a patient listener.

I seek answers to questions, I get ruffled when I can’t find them. Even with all its might and chaos in it’s gut, this sea calmly whispers. It tells me that the answers are lying within me, hidden behind the smokescreens of angst, fury, skepticism and despondency. Far from people, from the pollution of light, from the comforts of dwelling, from the constantly on-the-move world we live in, I realise I have been running too fast. Too fast to look back, where my answers wait for me.

With the first rays of crimson sunlight seeping through the horizon, the mirror is getting blurry. It’s bitter, all this reflection into myself but so is beer. I long for more. But the sun has interrupted our conversation. I take the Sea’s leave and promise to meet on some other solitary night.


A Moment in the Moonlight – 2

Free me from these clichés. These movies and novels polluting our psyche. Ideas of this hysteria called love lasting forever. Transcending the realms of our lives and into our different incarnations. Let me capture this moment like a photograph. A photograph made, not of the usual playground of colours and light but just feelings.

Let’s free our minds from the dwellings of past, from the ideas of perfection we bought naively, from regrets and mistakes we still keep in the safes of our memory. Let’s break free from these insecurities and worries of being together forever. From our desire to hold onto each other like a prized possession. Let’s pretend the scars from our past aren’t engraved on us, because time is conspiring and it has sinister plans on its hands. But it wouldn’t take away this moment from us.

Let’s pretend the moon isn’t watching and let me capture you, bathed in its pale light. Bare nothing but your present to me and hold my hand we are going to get lost in this moment together, till it lasts.

Two Souls

There’s a Monster On My Back

It’s a beautiful day, you notice the birds chirping after so long. You notice the children in the park, reminiscing about the happiest of times you had as a kid. There’s a smile on your face, it’s a feeling that has become unfamiliar. And then a sense of dread takes over you, a smell of fear and despondence is around. The kids are there and the chirpy birds too but it’s your smile that has just vanished. The monster’s back.

You’re not even surprised anymore. It’s like being a prison of your own mind, getting visits from happiness once or twice a week and then you’re back behind its bars. You start accepting that these moments of escape wouldn’t last long, you start waiting for the gloom to be back with handcuffs. It comes to a point where being happy for an extended period starts making you feel uneasy.

Your shoulders are sinking, your words fumble on their way out. Waking up everyday becomes a burden. Even the thought of going through the day seems daunting. You’re drowning and that thing is pulling you down every passing day. You try to stay afloat by holding onto things that keep you happy. Some find solace in sleeping all day to dodge reality, some write, some prefer to get high from attention on social media, some party, some cry through their time here. You start overdoing these things to remain on a high, now that you know one bad day and it’ll be back to zero. Sometimes you just want to give up, wishing that the ground below you cracks wide and swallows you because there is no hope left.

Why are you sad? The worst thing that happened to you last week is that your phone’s battery died and you had no charger. You know your life has no problems, yet there is this feeling that something’s wrong. Something that’s making you feel wretched all the time. You seek help, you look for hands to hold, for ears to lend, for words of comfort to guide you out of this dark place. But will they treat me the same way if I told them all that is wrong with me? Will they understand? You ask yourself every time you think of sharing this mess with your friends or family. You wonder how will they comprehend something that even you couldn’t understand after having lived through it for so long.

You tell yourself It’s just some elements in your cranium pushing you down this hellhole. Nothing’s wrong and everything’s gonna be alright. You finally feel like you have some control over your thoughts, a sense of relief takes over. You know it’s over. You’re back to being what you used to be. You’re smiling, you’re buoyant, the shoulders aren’t sinking anymore. It’s the best day you had in a long time. And then you feel it, a tap on your back. The cycle is on, and the worst bit is that the monster is nothing but a part of you.



The Farewell

Let’s dance, let’s smile for the cameras, and walk this road as students for one last time. Let’s sit on these benches, ornamented by years of graffiti. Let’s break into dance in the middle of a lecture, because this is our last chance to cause chaos as one. Let’s pet these dogs we have seen growing up, let’s call them by their nicknames they will never understand. Let’s check the attendance to keep above the magic figure of 75%. Let’s make plans for Goa, never to materialize. Let’s say things to people we always wanted but could never say, because there will be no next semester to be afraid. Let’s hug our friends as tightly as we can, because we may never see them again. Let’s sing with each other as we remember the last five years, the memories we made, the lessons we learned, the person we were and the person we became. How we came as strangers, as just names on a merit list and how we are leaving as a part of each other, howsoever small.

We have always wondered why the bell wouldn’t ring, why the lecture wouldn’t end, but we will all dread the ringing of that last bell. It hasn’t happened yet but we’ll be dancing, we’ll be cheering and in the middle of it all, it will hit us, and it will hit us hard. It’ll choke us, it’ll make our eyes moist. It’ll make us all cry before we accept it and with our eyes still moist and hearts still heavy, we’ll walk away for one last time.



A Moment In The Moonlight

The sombre moonlight is irradiating her face, barely making it visible. Her hair dancing on the whims of the night breeze. Eyes with a brownish hue, through the depth of their vastness are saying things. Things that words can’t contain, things that you only understand but can never articulate. Her smile starts from the corners of her lips and your heart knows it’s its time of weakness. The smile runs and blossoms in a moment, taking your heart for a run full of palpitations. A gush of blood has risen up in your streams, you can’t hear the rattle of crickets anymore. Even with all your might you can only muster to hold her hand and pray. Pray that the moon remains perched, guarding both of you in this murky night. That the wind wouldn’t stop playing with heavenly locks of her hair. That these stars would keep twinkling, as if applauding her grandeur. That time would stay still for a while so you seize this moment, before you run out of time.img_6846