Friday, 17 January 2014

Give Me a Bomb, Not Love

Next time,
Give give me a bomb, not love.
Give me the 'tick-tick boom'
And not the ceaseless
Tick-tick, tick-tick,
Tick-tick, tick-tick,
Tick-tick, tick-tick,
Tick-tick, tick-tick
Give me the sudden stroke of mortality
And spare me the cruel sentence
Of death by sleepless nights and nicotine
Bereft of dreams
Let it blow up mercilessly
Shredding me to pieces
I can never put back together.

Re-arranging a heart
Is too much like re-arranging furniture.
We bleed and tire uselessly over something
That never quite fits, is never quite right
And never quite feels like home again.

Make it bloody and messy
And the stains permanent,
Reminders that there once was life,
Not clean and cold
As if untouched, unbothered, unloved.

And as it tears me apart
Let it also tear down
This house of ghosts to the ground.

But,
If you do choose to give me love,
Then let it be like a Bomb
Without complications, questions,
Prejudices and conditions.
Let it travel light
With no excesses and excuses
As it bursts in a quickened flash
May it offer no apologies and simply state
"Because I am a bomb."

Let it not hesitate over pride
Nor waste its time over nonsenses
That it can neither control or predict.
Let it go off with all conviction
And attempt to leave as little of itself
But much of its effect.
Let it shatter all mirrors and illusions
That reflect wrinkles and lines and measures of waistlines

And let it know no other choice than to explode
And let it explode.

Monday, 24 June 2013

I Will Pretend to Laugh



You will have your lover,
And I will have my memories

And I will pretend that I have the better
That mine is pristine, without blemish
That it is imperfectly perfect and woven
To the greatest of ideals
That in this you are always beautiful
Always in love, always loved
Without faults, except for those
That endear you even further.
Like tears, and fears.

And I will pretend that he has the worse
That with every kiss, he feels the sour
Of dissatisfaction, the tremble of
Of lonely longing,
That every time he holds you near,
He observes the graying of your hair
And the hand he holds feel feverish
Wrought with worries he cannot comprehend.

And I will pretend that I do not wish
These little inconveniences that appear
Like lines on an old, solid wall
Built by the years of enduring and loving.

And I will pretend to laugh
For you will have your lover
And I will have my memories.


Wednesday, 19 June 2013




Keep your heart to yourself
Listen,
Keep your heart to yourself.
Mend it, tend to it
Fit the pieces back to where they fit
Let it find its rhythm back
And beat again in harmony to life
Let it shine.
Treat it better than you would a toy
So it would not be played with.
Keep it in your chest of valuables
It is the most precious thing you own
Keep it warm and forgetful and true.
Care for it.
And should you find mine,
Please care for her too.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Valentine



There’s this mentally retarded woman that comes to our house. She lives alone and she frequently does not have anything to eat and so she’d come over and my Mom would understand exactly why. She would give her food and her old clothes, shoes, bags etc. Now this woman once had a family; a husband and children but they all died in a horrible accident at Dam Site where they all drowned. She’s never been the same ever since. She stopped making sense and would just say the most random things. Since a couple of years back though, she’s been better in the sense that you can converse with her almost like a normal person. This started apparently with the coming of a man into her life. She says his name is Bah Duh and that he drives a taxi. We have never seen this man but every time she comes to our shop or house, the first thing she would say is that she’s been looking or waiting for Bah Duh. She claims that he bought her food and other things and that he told her to meet him somewhere but he didn’t come. We didn’t know exactly what to make of all this. At first we thought that there is some callous man playing a cruel joke on her, probably having a good laugh out of it with friends. Now, we doubt if he even exists. People all same the same thing about her; that she’s always out somewhere all over the city looking for Bah Duh but no one has ever seen this man. Wanda, in all her na├»ve bluntness, once asked her straight if he existed. The poor woman got up and left the shop and disappeared for a week. Late one night, we heard a knock on our door and there she stood with her best smile. My mom was so relieved to see her and ushered her in. Asking her where she had been, she simply replied, “With Bah Duh.”  We offered her food to which she declined politely (she’s always very polite) but when my Mom insisted, she sat down to eat. She ate like someone who hadn’t eaten a long time.

Last night, as I was coming home at around 10, I saw her standing out in the street in our locality. She was standing near Top Saw, the place where people without parking places in their house would park their cars for the night. I stopped to ask her what she was doing there and she said that she was waiting for Bah Duh. I drove on a little ahead and stopped. I parked my bike near a shop to get some cigarettes for the night. Having bought them, I decided to have one right there and waited. I wanted to see this elusive Bah Duh I do not know whether she knew I was there watching or not. I made no great attempts to hide either but she never looked at me even once. She just stared into empty space and then turned expectantly at every car that came through. It struck me, the sheer madness of it and I prayed he’d come. Even if he were just a callous man playing a cruel joke on her, I prayed he’d come. I watched, transfixed, as she, God knows how long she’s been standing there, in the cold, almost motionless, waited for him to come. After almost an hour she moved and walked away in her usual quick, brisk manner towards our house. She passed by me without looking or saying a word. So, I went to my bike, straightened it and I followed her. Just then I saw my friend’s nephew. A young boy around 16 years old and he was walking with this girl tightly held around his arm. Startled and embarrassed to suddenly see me, he stammered, “Kumno Bah Lal?.”…..and then added cheekily, ”Happy Valentine’s Day.” Bastard.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Lianchhiari

(painting by LT Zohranga)

'Should the wind carry this voice.'

Reaching the edge of the rock
she beckons me
Saying ''Come sit with me and sing''
Would they hear I ask
''I don't know'' she says
To what purpose then I ask
''I don't know'' she replies
''But come sit. We'll drown out this emptiness
and pretend that echoes are answers''

So in the still of the night
There by the side
of a mountain,
There we sat
Singing songs of lovers
In a strange land

She lifts her voice
to the lilt of a soft breeze
The cliffs sway to the nuances
Of notes that rise and fall
in a dirge of bitter reverie
Every word she punctuates with the deepest longing
Every strain she thrusts with the urgency of living
(or is it death?)
Calling him home
Come back to where you belong

Till her voice starts to tire,
She turns to me
With eyes pleading through a film of water
Begging to not let the silence take over
The killing silence that surrounds threateningly.

So I raise a stammering voice
To the odour of pollinating flowers
Of cherry blossoms blooming
from a melancholic cherry tree.

Dispersed into the unsure wind she smiles
''Let it fall all over, all apart, near and far
Let it reach them anywhere,
anywhere they are''

Closer and closer to the edge
She dances wildly
But always, before she falls over
Dawn breaks and I ask her
Would they hear
''I don't know'' she says
''But it's better than the emptiness
and we'll pretend that echoes are answers''

So in the still of the night
There by the side
of a mountain
There we sit
Singing songs of lovers
In a strange land.

Monday, 19 November 2012

and a guava tree (for all my Riatsamthiah friends, though none of you read or care for poetry)



'yes, this is it,' he said, 'I'm sure of it
  
this is the spot where Helu fell.
  
right here, not this concrete

 back then, it was grass and dirt

and plants and a guava tree
  
stretching out like neverland

from that big,red gate there
  
to beyond that grey wall, into that old,crumbling house

where that crazy woman would stare at our play
  
say nothing, just look at us with those bright, glistening eyes

 it seemed bigger then, when we ran from end to end

  catch our breath and run again

 the girls would tease him for being afraid

  the guava tree was slippery see,

  and heights made him uncomfortable

  but being called a girl was enough

  he climbed and slipped and broke his arm

  how our parents scolded us and we couldn't stop laughing

  they chopped down the tree after that

 along with the sweet fruits that we ate till our stomachs ached

  yes, I'm sure of it, right here, this very spot'

 mumbling he sank to the cement floor,

 'get up you sobbing fool, you're drunk' they said,

 snickering behind him,

this will be a great story for another drunken day they thought

 he struggled with his feet

 and his tears

searching for the spot where Helu fell.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Your Hands


Your hands
They let go.
Once, 
they caressed
and cradled 
then, 
they let go.


They moved 
to gesture 
the deepest love
fought,
to subside 
the darkest fears


They bear lines 
and marks 
of all your years 
yet, 
stay empty 
for more.


Once, 
they held 
and embraced 
then, 
they let go.


Unlike you
They let go.