Kaala Saanp, Black Snake

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Who are these people? Do we know them at all? All the strangers who we do not know and all of those who we do! What are the conversations we have–with all those meaningless words and empty emotions? And what is this weight–that pulls us all down, into a bottomless ocean–yet we cannot even sink? What are these questions and where are the answers? Are there any answers at all?

You cannot put all your life into words, all our experiences into pictures, all your feelings into songs. And you should not. Things move upward–and then they stay there and they fall into place. That place does not exist–but in thought.

We are all prisoners of our own shells, our walls are weak–to others and we think they can hold up. We think we want people to break them but we just want to run away from everything. People do not understand that. Because they have their own walls–and they are prisoners there. And some run around in circles–they stop for a while, linger about and then they disappear–to be completely forgotten.

Memories are the worst—they are fickle. People are the second worst–they are weak until they are strong. Moments are the third worst–they happen all the time.

A gentle wind is always brewing and simmering somewhere in our minds where a sole Willow Tree stands alone in the golden fields and under a silver sky which keeps changing its shape. And far away from the Willow Tree, a tall jaded Mirror is placed–overlooking the nothingness. It has a long and deep crack–or maybe that is the reflection of the broken vacuum.

The Willow Tree has many places to go, yet it cannot. The Mirror has much to see, yet it cannot. The sky wants to be golden while the fields want to be silver–and neither can change their color. There is a stillness there, the kind which makes you breathe in for a while, taking in the silence but when you breathe out–all you have is a suffocation within the whole body.

He would know–for that is where he would often go when he wanted to learn how to fly. They all laughed when they heard he wanted to learn how to fly–for he had no wings and more importantly he had nowhere to go. But he kept failing. And after every try, he would have to go back to the dismal and tragic town where they all jeered and sneered at him, where he did not belong, where he was the stranger–for he was an outsider but he was the blind King of that town as well. And in the hollow walls of his dusty room–he would sit in a corner wearing his scepter, looking at the door because he figured that is where he can escape. He looked at the windows, because they brought in orange light every day inside. And he would hear only two voices; one of that mongrel dog and the other would be his own–laughing. And he would sway back and forth because he did not want to hear it.

But when he was by the willow tree–he would feel alive forever, even though he wanted to take his pain brushes and color the sky green or maybe blue–because in his hazy memory, he often recalled the sky being blue. But little did he know–he was never going to fly, for he was just not meant to, for he was blind–in his eyes and his heart was blind and he had no soul. Because he was a wooden tapestry draped in black scales which made him look like a black snake. And he was frozen in various moments which he did not even know existed.

So he was doomed–to his dusty room, with a door and a window and a scepter which he wore and he could hear all the faces laugh, scoff, jeer and sneer at him. And in this doom, he waited to turn into a shadow of an outsider–who belonged nowhere and to no one. And in his memory, the sky was blue and in his memory, he was a swan. In his memory, he would often glide–and laugh and dance. But he was a frozen tapestry–and he knew nothing more. SO he would sit under the Willow Tree, which had nothing to say to him and go stand in front of the broken Mirror which overlooked nothingness and try to see what he looked like. Because in his memory, he looked like you.

Sang e Marmar Kai Pahaar, Mountains of Marble

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Here we are again, at the crossroads of fire.

And the mountains of marble seem so close and yet they are so far away. Each time, we stand with brazen memories which are nothing more than hazy blurs. Or pungent dreams which suffocate us and haunt us because we held on for too long. And silhouettes—frozen in the shackles of time, desire and thoughts. We know too well that if we touch them–they will break away. Each time–we think it is not the end. It is not anything, it is nothing. So we become forlorn and hide in shadows of our own selves. And that’s why we are who we are.

That is why, we are just lingering trains, going from station to station, going through murky tunnels into the abyss which we call the end. Because this train goes from station to station, never stopping for longer than intended and never late but never on time either.

And we are all submerged in circles are time, rushing towards the City Fair, thinking we will have one final go on the Ferris Wheel, one final go before they take it down. But we reach there just before they run out of tickets. So we just watch from down below, the mesmerized faces with languid bodies clinging on to the sky, laughing. And we leave knowing we will never come back to it again, because it will be gone and there will be no more tickets to buy.

Little do we know that there is a young red head boy on that Ferris wheel–who wants to stay up there because he knows too well–when he comes down–the hole in the floor will eat him up. And he is scared because that hole will swallow him up and take him nowhere.

Or that girl–who has that recurring dream–right out of the cataclysm, where she sees that forsaken stairway. It goes somewhere, but she does not know. But she knows too well for she never took it. She never intended to. And now it haunts her. Because everything is jaded and everything is cold.

And how often do we stand and stare at the possibilities and feel and say things we were never meant to. And how often do we want to run away, because we had to. Because it is in our blood, our genes. And we cannot stay because we are not meant to. Because we are broken pieces of what we are, and will be and were.

There were two hundred plain red canopies in that stranded ground which no one goes to anymore. Who were they for and why? Were they a vivid dream or were they not? They were empty and they had no purpose. And She would often break free from her melancholy and visit them. And sit and stare at how the sky looked from the red canopies and try to form a question towards the sky–which only asked her more questions in return.

Far off somewhere, music was heard but it meant nothing. It never did. And She just stared, dancing as a lifeless form, knowing quite well how it will burn the canopies. For She was fire–meant to burn out and fizzle away. And She would stop to sit in random trains–which went nowhere and try to figure out where the stairs went. Every time She would be the one to get tired and get off in a rush. Because deep inside her–there was a simmering hole which could never be filled.

So here we are again–at a crossroads which can take us to the marble mountains where nothing exists. Because the soil has been love famished for the rain but the rain, it ceased to fall because it was tired of falling again and again. So both lost–and there was a storm. On the other end is a stairways which never existed. So She takes the path leading to the mountain and atop the marble mountain–She would go and dance–a lifeless form, because that is the only thing She knows. And that is where no dreams haunt her and no trains leave her. And She wants to sit on Ferris Wheels–which are about to be taken down. There, She will laugh one last time and disappear.

 

 

Khwab-Haqiqat

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Isn’t it funny how empty spaces around us take us back to empty memories which we did not even make ourselves. And empty dreams which we see–as vivid as they can be–trying to find recluse in them. We try not to wake up. Because we are no more the warlords, the princes or the goddesses we were in our dreams when we wake up. We can no longer weave pastel shaded threads around empty spaces and call it home when we wake up. And we are never out of breath—suffocating–in our own beings when we go to sleep.

That little girl wearing a blue skirt and a yellow shirt with a pink flower on it–saw an Orange Swan and ran to her father—“Daddy! Look an Orange Swan! I Saw and Orange Swan!”. He laughed at her, “Ha ha…there are no Orange Swans–only White and Black ones darling. It is just in your imagination.”

But she had seen an Orange Swan. For it waded the purple river and spread its bright orange wings and looked at her from the side of its wistful eyes and then disappeared into the misty horizon. And she wanted to run along the river–in order to see it one more time. She never did for she never could. And that was the day the inner child in her broke and dispersed into thin vapor. And she would never see that little girl again–for she disappeared too–in a horizon which could not be seen.

And one day–she dreamed of a flower field–with grey flowers which had no scent and they were all wilting. There was a rusty ground and the stench was of death and stagnation. And she found a pond of thick blood and she took a swim in it and she drowned. After that–she never woke up again but when she finally opened her eyes–an Orange Swan was waiting for her on the end of the horizon so she ran towards it. She saw a little girl wearing a blue skirt and a yellow shirt with a pink flower on it. And they both looked at each other and laughed and rolled down the cotton hill.

They saw a tulip field and ran towards it–and they built a ladder made of tulips which descended towards the green sky which had a hundred brown clouds just floating about in it. They would live in the clouds from now on. And they laughed and climbed. Climbed and laughed. All of it until they were not two people but one which was no longer human. And as this Entity reached the clouds–it could not get in because the clouds were made of thick shiny glass. And the Entity suffered. So it sat on the tulip ladder and cried.

And lightening struck, the glass clouds shattered and the ladder broke away–and there was no hope. Everything was a neon blue and there was tumult. So the tired and sad Entity flew down and sank in the bottom of the red river. Nothing was left there in that world but a wistful looking Orange Swan.

Empty spaces become diluted into macabre nothingness and we sit on see-saws and swings and become thoughtless paintings. Orange Swans and Tulip Ladders and Glass Clouds surround us. And we suffocate in our hopes and dreams and wish we never wake up again. Empty spaces take us no where and empty memories are a torment. We become Orange Swans–gliding and wading into misty horizons which don’t exist.

 

The Collection

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Pale maddening day or was it a yellow dot hidden in grey
Frigid tapestries made of rotten clay
A glass menagerie of a dead horse,
-another of snake hunting for its prey
Voices were heard–but from so far away
As if there was a thunderstorm–or perhaps it was a fray
Between fractured hearts and dismal, impatient–
-and dreadful travelers who had lost their way
The sound was perhaps music–the same one we heard yesterday
My horrid and senseless shadow followed me around today
Only to merge with the insipid reflection in the mirror–
-on the unholy wall which will fall any-day
And you–the relentless, looking for a hidden message–
-by a broken, hollow man, you too shall move away
For he is just a wisp who cannot move but only sways
A burnt moon which has nothing left to say

Home

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What is home? Do most of us have one? Do we ever stop trying to find a home? Did the young orphan try to find his home in other people or empty hotel rooms where his mistresses would come and go? Or in shadows of people he thought he knew? Or in people he met at drab restaurants? Did he ever quit finding a home? Do we ever stop? Does the tired traveler ever get to his home? Or does he keep changing train-stations? Did he lose himself in the air?

Migratory birds.

At the party, someone asked, “Have you ever found that one place which you can call home?”

Everyone had something to say. Mostly because they had been to places. Mostly because they were empty. Mostly because they had nothing to share. All of them had found homes in residues and filters of cigarettes and wines and liquor. All of them had found homes in slot machines and airports and seas and mountains. In people and love and sorrow.

What did I have to show for my home?

I do not think I am meant to be here. I have no home–so I am not meant to find it, to search for it. I had a home once–in my own self. Until I messed up and now I am not allowed back in. People never let me in–and when they did, I never felt like staying. I never had any force entries–people were always scared and intimidated and I loved it. And home is lost to me just like I am lost to home. I am not lost just not found yet. And when and if I ever am found–I will get away from the fire-escape. Because I have no shadow. Because I am a shadow of someone not supposed to be here. Because I am the tide–it comes and it goes. I had a home once–and there was silence there. Because home is a sickness. It has no cure.

The room grew quiet for a second. Then the silence faded and there was music. And I danced because I had to escape, like most people. And like most of them–I knew it all.

Ripples and Gold

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So there were talking shadows on the silver edges
Of the cold blue pier
Where she sat and looked at her other self
Which talks of the misty air
Unfrozen birds and pink clouds
And lies–too much to bear
Would she rest her head on the rising tide
Or dance around without a care?
Ripples and gold, green skies and a pink canvas
Why did her smile disappear?
Sanctuaries of laughter,  disposable worlds and flash mobs of giddy people
Yet they all cried with blue tears
Ripples and gold–
She sat on the edge of the river, on a damp railing–at the pier.

Strangers

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We are nothing more than strangers in this grand absurd world. Billions of strangers scattered away from each other, connected by threads and dots which occasionally collide with each other.  This is because we are all webbed in a complex relationship with each other–of strangeness. And often, like a crowd we gather and like a flock we fly yet we do not know each other.

We know not of the next person who stands close to us who is a stranger. And much more than them, we do not know anything about the stranger who lives in our heads. Or for that matter, we often refuse to recognize the person we see in the mirror–another stranger. Because all of us are billions of solitudes, intricately linked with everyone and no one. Transfixed into each other–outside of each other, in our bubbles.

From the womb of our own selves, we are birthed and put into the laps of other strangers and made to live in a void full of a commotion filled with others like us who are lost souls and shards of, perhaps our own selves.

She had that strange dream again that night after which she woke up rather perplexed. But she was not scared or unhappy, rather with a feeling of dry giddiness.

In the dream she stood in an eerie crowd, apparently lost or perhaps, found for the first time. The sky was a pale orange–the color it has before a storm.

She did not know who or what she was looking for. But she was wearing a long sleeveless white summer dress with small blue flowers. In this mad frenzy, she saw a tall figure standing not very far from her own self. But when she focused her gaze, the figure was not very close either.

Both their eyes met. She did not know the man at all. She did not know or recognize his face which was long, chiselled and pale. He was wearing a white buttoned shirt with white cotton pants.

His amber colored eyes carried an unknown lucid expression, a deep emotional perplexity. Her own dark blue eyes stared back at his with a brazen emptiness. They both stared at each other. Their eyes bore and dug into the souls of the other, and went beyond each other’s oblivion.

There was a growing longing in his eyes which could be deciphered from far and in hers, an ever evolving hunger. She seemed to be standing in a euphoric trance while he was clearly enthralled because his shadow in the pale sun grew. His eyes carried the looks of a very known but forgotten delirious desire while hers stood pale in contrast. His eyes had depth, while hers had pain.

And in that moment, there was enigma and there was ecstasy. And there was heat–for she felt it brush against her face, her body and her soul. And she could taste it on her tongue. And with her nose, she could smell this passionate heat. And she could hear a chorus of divine beings singing somewhere. And she could see him–close yet far.

And there they were–two strangers, stuck in a vortex of time which seemed to be dilating. They could not move ahead, nor remember anymore the meaning of anything. They were both strangers-stuck in a dream which seemed to be shared. They were lost for there was no thought anymore and words became silent and devoid of meaning or sound. The moment seemed frozen

He smiled from afar and the smile hit her like lightening–suddenly! She smiled back and he, for some reason, seemed puzzled. And they both looked at each other—as if inquiring about the other in silence and from no one, exploring the naked souls which were clearly visible, as if quizzing the other, as if feeling the momentary suspended bodies of the other.

She felt a rush, a passion, a tug and in the dream she felt her heart beat–all at the same time.

It seemed like they were both involved in a question less, motionless and disembodied physical touch of the other–an out of body intercourse! Or perhaps it was something else. Something which was much more alive, much more real, more vigorous. It kept on going for a time unknown.

Suddenly the crowd grew and there was a lot of push and pull. Someone pushed her and she was startled, the spell was broken. She had to balance herself at the edge of the road and she had broken eye contact with her Stranger. When she looked back up, he was gone.

Now her longing eyes searched for him. That is when she was suddenly hit was a morbid, dismal realization that he was a Stranger–the crowd was full of them. And among them all–they were two solitudes who had perhaps met–from a distance.

The feelings– were now thawed. The heart went back to being frozen–unheard of. A cold sigh escaped out of her mouth–a warm breath into the cold, placid and haunted frenzy. Everyone seemed to be engulfed in a sea of emptiness and they all suffocated without knowing. It was an asphyxia. Everyone stared at the road–she was still searching and she could see the outline of the horizon and a man walking away from the sun. Wearing a white shirt and white pants.

And she suddenly woke up.