Yellow

For Arunima
On amber blue mornings,

Sunlight reflects back from your

Painted nails with chipped tips,

And filters from the gaps between your teeth onto your tongue,

So I ask you,

How does sunshine taste?

And covering a bumpy smile against your flawless lips,

You answer,

It tastes yellow,

Not like a lime yellow, but a custard yellow

in a vanilla coated mouth.
I will remember you in custard.
I learned at school

that one part red mix one part green

makes the colour that I hated:

Yellow

I learned at life

that love was a bloody red

and compromise was a glorious green,

But,

I learned from you,

That loving was a mix of both

And so, loving was yellow,

the kind of yellow witnessed at dawn with a little red, a tinge of purple

like God’s own canvas against an appalling battleground

quenching the eyes’ thirst for spirit,

so that your ardor is your armour now,

And axioms a sword

To take on a bleak cosmos

And make it into a parasiadical one.
I will remember you in the mixing pallette, a canvas and loving the world.
Did I ever tell you, that your laugh reminds me of cinnamon rolls

garnished with yellow honey,

it is hard earned,

so that when I have it, i savour each granule of saccharine,

and its not just me,

Everytime you laugh, a yellow flower blooms in some garden,

And in your yellow heart, you know this secret,

so you make people laugh,

And that’s how there are valleys of 

red and blue and purple and pink flowers,

with the yellow one shining the brightest amongst all.
I will remember you in cinnamon rolls and flowers.
You are not a factory made shining white page,

With blotched ink marks,

And violent nib movements from angry writers etched on your soul,

Instead you are the yellow parchment paper,

with years and years of carved manuscripts,

In requiem for a reader to read articulated versions of your being,

for a singer to sing the lyrical symphonies,

Or chuck that,

If i know you decorously,

You will be the reader in the mornings

And the singer at nights,

Playing an ukulele and singing a song called ‘Yellow’,

better than Coldplay ever could.

You are not someone’s song. Not a symmetry.

Not a thought. And never someone’s victory.

You are the girl that contains the power,

To create and destroy each one of these chromatic dreams.

And you know so inside your heart.
I will remember you in parchment papers and ukuleles.
I often see you

as a yellow anchor

that balances a sinking ship,

but more often

I see you

as a pheonix that chose to be yellow

and flew through a town with crumbling statues

to resurrect hope burried under the remnants of a dying sun,

whose tears fall on ashes of a burned hearth in a ruined home,

to give birth to another pheonix,

that a little boy of the town can call his own.

You tell me that judgements are for black judges to pass,

And accepting validation is for white cowards.

You show 

the little girl with insecurities

And a chicken heart hiding her flakiness,

trying hard to cover her yellow with glitters,

You show her 

that there’s yellow behind every heart of gold.

And for that,

she will be grateful to you, forever.
She will remember you in an anchor, a pheonix and golden.

But mostly, she will remember you in yellow.

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Going places


There’s a story that needs telling

Like any other legend of time,

There once was a horseman calling

Out to the dusky skylight.
He said he was a traveller

Who craved paths and desolation

When in actual, he was a proud cavalier

Who never wanted a camaraderie or a destination.
But, here he is today, stranded

In an expanse of lonesomeness,

Besides grief, the only thing he befriended

Was apprehension from himself and bitterness.
And so he calls out to the sky to help

Him out of a devil’s trap,

But even the stars couldn’t respond to his yelp

And cries, to provide him a map.
And so he galloped day and night,

On his black as beetle horse,

But soon he ran out of might,

And there was nothing left except remorse.
He died doing what he loved to do,

Which was to run away from places

But, he stopped loving it and got his cue

To return, only it was too late.
I remember this tale from long ago,

And wondered what it meant,

Until I was the one running around, never too slow,

Never a home for postcards to be sent.
And after that,

Going places did not make sense to me,

When every place was a place to go and then to leave.

A brief Metro romance

it’s odd how romances are born each day

in unexpected places

in slightly unbelievable people

involuntarily and yet

in all the senses, so when

i look up from the desolate poem i was writing

in the metro that i took,

incidently, my stations turned out be the superset

in which your station and destination falls,

i notice you sitting there,

in front of the person to my right

in the perfect place for side glances to make sense

i notice you with your messy hair, brown shoes and all

immersed in a book that

i am trying too hard to guess. You are

intriguing to me, like a mystery

in a moment that needed my attention, a saga like

Illiad waiting to be summoned by my voice, like an

incantation of my last love, giving me a  second chance, 

i look at you for far too long before

i realise it, so just as

i am lowering my gaze , your

immensely dark eyes meet mine and

i don’t blink for a long while, my eyes almost

immiscible in the liquid gaurding your eyes and

in that moment,

i wished, this train would reduce the norms of time to become an 

invincible journey, where we were just passengers

iterating scenes and acts of this moment that we created.

I snap myself out of the stare and you follow, yet

i am guilty of stealing glances through the journey that followed,

i guess you did too,

if only one had the guts to talk to the other, rather than

imagining scenarios that are

impossible now,

i swear i could have imagined us together too

introducing my favourite beverage to you on coffee dates,

intoxicated beyond repair by a singular touch,

indifferent to two earphones, a double pinner and one

ipod, playing the perfect song.

interesting, isn’t it? How the mind manages to

imagine a person like it wants him to be, 

in black and white, and yet there you were, not a monochromatic

insinuation, not a mirage, but a guy

indistinct from the crowd, found and then

in an action of getting up,

in a short walk,

in a ting of the opening door,

in a very short glance,

in an obsolete moment, lost again.

I know i will forget you too soon, but for now,

i incessantly search for you in unknown faces, and even

if i give up looking for you one of these days, know that

i illustrated you with all my poetic ability here, although

i want you to know that you brought out my

inability too, when all my attempts seemed futile:

I have heard people say that words spoil moments and feelings sometimes,

I want them to know that feelings spoil words too, As,

i couldn’t finish writing this poem while you were sitting

in front of me,

infact i still feel

it’s incomplete, just like our story.

I am layers

Of conchshell

Over conchshell

Over conchshell

With love songs

And

Your sweet raspy voice

Echoing inside me.

They ask me,

Who is the one

Described in all my poems,

I tell them,

That he’s now

An unknown

Who refuses to look at my Poetry,

Even acknowledge it.

Who might as well be wrapped in a bubblewrap,

To protect what’s inside.

So that I would have to pop millions of bubbles,

Before I reach

His conchshells,

And my winged demons

Would whisper in the air inside them,

The love song

That we created when our breaths synced

And lips fumbled,

And finally,

I would ask him,

Softly, just like the sound of the sea,

If his shells

Ever echoed with one of my poems too.

To, Hosseini

What to leave behind,

When everything is taken,

Them hopes,

Burried blindly

In some graveyard with Mariyam,

Some dreams,

Destroyed barbarously

Like an unseen, all grown up Hassan,

Some love,

Snatched away heartlessly

Like Abdullah’s memory,

Now I am stuck

On this page, wondering

If you were more cruel

Than Alzheimer’s,

Or more wicked

Than the Soviet Army.

An ounce of laughter

With Laila’s nuances

Or Amir’s romance

Or Pari’s plight

Was never enough,

To mend a heart

Boiled and burned

By your twists and turns,

What reperation

Did you give

For the nights 

Deprived of sleep,

For the drives

Bereft of senses,

For the aimless reading

Of other books

Devoid of focus,

Just because my mind

Was fixated

On Sohrab’s numbness

On Tariq’s uncertain return

On the voices

That will echo

When I return

To the mountains

Inside an abandoned dream.

Which you always knew,

I will.

Sooner more than later.

So, Don’t you dare take pride

In converting-

A world that you created-

Into my oyster.

Because when other books fail,

The poems that I write,

THIS poem that I write-

Takes me away,

From the Kolba, Kabul and finally,

Afghanistan

Into the garden

That is far beyond the ideas

Of your wrongdoings

(And sadistic pleasures

Of killing souls

Filled upto the brim

With divine mysticism,

Whom I loved with

All my dear heart),

And your rightdoings

(Of evoking emotions

And suppressed tears

That had almost died

Living inside me,

Burried somewhere deep

In the depth that you scraped,

With your pages,

Your words,

Their wounds

And deaths),
And I will meet

Nila and Mariyam and Jalil,

Hassan and Baba and Rahim,

And hopefully you,

In this garden

That I created for you.

How to save a life

One, Tell them they are more music than muscles and bones

Where each note plays perfectly

Inside strings of nerves

And hollows of synapses

To create actions that weren’t written or decided for them

To create a symphony unimagined by Mozart.

So that when they are deemed a sidekick by an orchestra

And handed over a tambourine,

Tell them to go up on the stage

And play their best version of ‘The tambourine man’.
Two, Capture sunshine in the space between your palm and theirs

When they sit alone on the bench

Right outside the school canteen,

Go upto them and say Hi.

In time, when rays of the sun fall between your hand and theirs,

Hold their hand.

And let the warmth send something electrifying up their cold veins

let them know 

That it’s not hard to catch warmth

Which almost always

Lies at the end of their sleeves.
Three, take them out for a bicycle ride

Up the highest hill in your town,

Pedal.

Not opening your mouths as you move uphill,

Talk with your breaths if you need to.

Pedal.

Listening to the birds,

To the trees,

To the grains of sand beneath your tires 

talk.

Tell them to listen to what goes inside themselves,

The metal clinks , the waterfalls, the bomb blasts

That are drowned by the noise of citylife.

Pedal,

Till you reach the top,

And then release.

Tell them to let all those sounds out from the compression of helplessness

Into the valley of relief that spreads ahead.
Fourth, listen to them as they play their tunes for you,

Sneak some chocolates for yourself and them too,

I said chocolates, and not cigarettes.

For once

Let ashtrays be eulogies

Written to the gavel that you strike

When you pass judgements against them,

And chocolates be lullabies

That you sing to them,

On days when they are crying.

As you teach them to love chocolates more than cigarettes,

And listen to their songs,

You will realise that somewhere,

they have saved your life too.
Fifth, let them know,

When their path leads to a dead end,

Or a diversion,

Or a U-turn,

Right where they stop their car with screeching breaks,

Around that corner, they will always find someone

Who will write them a poem,

Like this one,

Acting as lyrics to the music in their muscles and bones

To create a song worth living for.