Ring of Fire

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And we were tired–of running in circles and falling down the same rabbit hole over and over again. The tepid blue and those flickering city lights in a never ending loop were never meant to be taken seriously because they only instilled nostalgia–one which we erased a long time ago. And yet we both sit here–looking at empty screens which scream to us with so much emotion which translates to silence.

In all the trust–or the lack of it–all we do is run around, faltering words–which are just words. They mean so much and yet they mean nothing. One can change water into wine–and then stare at it because we never wanted wine. We just wanted to do a magic trick. That is how things happen–how we sell ourselves for a dream which reeks of a stale death.

That is how it is—we sell ourselves, until no one can afford us. Until we run out of ourselves.

That is when we realize–there are no longer any butterflies. They all went away because butterflies do not come on rotten flowers. How quickly did they move on–they do not stay and linger.

And under the water–we thought we would breathe. We thought we could! And thus, we dived and splashed but when it was time to dive deep–that is when we drowned. And to come up to surface, that is the real art. But who is kidding who!

And the lilies all wilt–because they were meant to. So do we–because we are meant to. And in our broken down walls–we live and linger on. Never letting anyone in–the ones outside can see everything–yet we never let them in and we do not know the reason as to why.

And the skyline–it left its ugly marks which were beautiful and we must stop now–before the skyline takes us. But I see how you recoil–as if you are stuck in a nightmare which makes you suffocate–as if you are caught and trapped. But it’s just a dream, it will be over and soon you will be free.

And I will be here–fighting for finality.

And we were tired, we are tired. Of running in circles which were perhaps never meant for us. Perhaps they never will. And the blue, everlasting commotion with flickering city lights—will be there. It will be only thing here. It always will be–it always was. We are tired, because we were charged. And that is what it is.

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.

 

 

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.

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.

 

 

 

Betrayal

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This life is nothing more than an intrepid betrayal. And this betrayal begins from the womb–wherein you are comfortable in it when one day life gets to perform its first act of betrayal by ejecting you outside into a strange dexterous void–the world. In this world, you start getting used to the pungent sun and make it your friend since you are afraid of the coarse darkness–and suddenly with one jerk, the sun goes down, betrays you and the dismal night stands in contrast. So you make friends with the millions of ghosts up in the sky–until they too disappear from your sight when you wake up. Illusions. And then you get used to the winds–the light and cold company and you are one with them –when there is betrayal in the form of heavy rain. Then you go on to make memories. And you make so many of them, when with the crack of age–one by one the memories seep out through you, thereby betraying you. And of course, the people—you meet them with a mask, or perhaps many. And you see they are wearing a mask as well–or perhaps many. But you swing past that, knowing quite well what face exists beneath them. Yet when the masks come off–you feel betrayed, perhaps by your own selves first and then the faces you see for they quite resemble yours. And that is–the betrayal of the self and of the mind. You are betrayed by your virtues because of your vices, your sins by your tragedies or perhaps it is the other way around, your senses by your delusions and your feelings by your reality…  So then you realize, what is life about and you finally get the hang of it. Alas! You are met with betrayal in the form of death.

And death…is a betrayal of sorts in its own self as well.

A Two Liner

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And now that we must love from a distance–without touch, without digging deep in the souls of the others by locking their eyes with our own, without being mesmerized by their laughter and drinking it from a chalice, without playfully toiling with their hair with our fingers, without breathing fire into their hungry deceptive bodies–and now when we must stand in corners and long for touch, now that we have to listen to empty jazz tunes alone, and dance…from a distance, that we have to love from gory distances–now we miss Love and we will keep missing it until the grey macabre stillness takes it. And when we were driven mad by it, we looked away from it. Now we are being driven mad through it–without it. But now, we miss it and we are fools.

Sickness

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The tide was here last night and it left the ruminants of a colorless ocean on the silty beach. The children no longer come out to collect the shells. And the women do not come to lay on their bare backs on the beach while the sun caresses them gently. And neither do the men linger on the nifty shores. Everything seems to be taken up by the tide–the sickness. And there is no laughter anymore. And no one can even cry, for tears are forgotten. And everywhere there are empty streets and empty sheets. And mankind seems lost and it is nowhere to be found. The clubs are empty, the shops, the mosques, the churches, the synagogues…people seem to be wiped away from the face of the earth, perhaps taken in by the sickness.

And in a dusty corner, with an ink of fresh blood, a few lines can be read–by the ghosts of the living street

Today I am taken up by a sickness, It breathed within me
Yet I moved beyond the sun–into the turbulent sea
Because that was one way to go, and another way was to be
And did I want to be? Or did i wish to go
If I could recall the last time I laughed, it wasn’t long ago
Then why could I not feel–the beating of my heart
Every time I was to breathe
And now I will not be able to see
The love-starved faces with their touch-starved bodies
Feasting on emptiness and a livid glee
Because where I am going, a sickness lives
A sickness beyond our average needs

 

Saya–Shadow

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We often become overcome by sunlight which emanates from within our cold core and exhumes us and turns into an inextinguishable fire which then spreads out. There is no way around it. If we let it burn, it burns everything. If we embrace it, it overtakes us. If we let it go–it eventually becomes faint and fizzles out. It is like a forlorn shadow which follows us around.

Of this, like most people we meet in our lives–who are meant to stay and meant to leave, there is no tangible memory. They become ghosts which follow us and haunt us like shadows, sometimes to entangle with our bodies and often, just as parts outside of us–trying to fill us and make us whole. But they never will and they never can. Because they are shadows, incomplete.

And we–all of us, are defected. In that, we have one main defect; we are missing from ourselves. We are absent from ourselves. And every time we try to catch our own fleeting shadow–we fail.

And we often sit around in odd places where no one knows us–thinking to ourselves that maybe serendipity will come through and maybe we will see someone or something who can take a look at the turmoil that we are and see the nakedness of our being and appreciate it. But it never happens. And if it happens, we suddenly grab hold of ourselves and draw the curtains back–because no one actually wants to be seen. No one actually wants to be felt. No one actually wants to be touched.

And like shadows–we follow ourselves into the great mists of yesterday, today and tomorrow. And like shadows we sometimes fade mid-way. Just like the people who come and go from the busy trapdoors of our lives.

But the truth is, we cannot have shadows without ourselves. And whether they are elongated or shortened or dark or light or in front of us or behind us—they are there, unwilling to leave us, as we are, reluctant to let go of them.

We are all, in a very requited way, attached with our shadows!

It’s a Crack

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The window from which you look outside-into the grey stillness of the fading away world, has a crack. A very small and subtle one. But it grows every minute and soon it will turn into a void. Do you see this crack? Does it remind you of yourself? Does it remind you of anyone else? Does it remind you of the tragedy that is the human world? The human world which has been taken over by the crowds of people. Banal. Does it remind you of the the rabid dog which goes around yelping into the bleak, dingy streets filled with darkness? Does it remind you of the transsexual romantic wandering looking for closure form the world? Does it remind you of anything? Anyone?

Because there is a crack in everything. And everything is in that crack.

Remember the time when the sparrow waded in the sky and looked down below and the only thought it had was about jumping down and killing itself…Only the tragedy was that it had wings and it could fly. You do not remember because you were not there. But next time you are, remember this. Maybe that is why the sparrow flies. To dive down so it can perish. Maybe it is not about the flight, the freedom–maybe it is chained because of its wings! You do not know–because you do not have any wings. And that is your tragedy.

Remember the time when an orphan boy roamed around in disarray, finding a home inside his house, bluffing with his own being. He adopted a stray dog, because he saw something familiar in it. Only, the dog got gunned down, shot once, shot twice, shot dead and cold. That is the tragedy of the orphan boy who now wanders the streets, finding a home outside his house. You do not remember, because you have a home–outside your home. And that is your tragedy.

Do you recall the time when the old woman forgot herself? She sat in a wooden chair looking at the window with the crack and simply forgot who she was. She could not remember her happiness or her sorrows or her longing or her empty shell. She forgot to smile. She forgot to cry. She only remembered that she has forgotten herself. That is her tragedy. Oh so you do recall! That is your tragedy.

Remember the poetry of the vagrant? How they talked about the happy worlds and the giddy dreams? And the tumult in those cryptic words? Silence in the dead language? Remember how the vagrant passed it on to no one–and was lost! That was his tragedy. You can not remember because it made no sense to you. And so the poetry of the world was lost once more–and that is your tragedy.

I have no more stories for you–except I do. But like a subtly cracked window–I will pretend I have nothing. Except I have an abyss. And your tragedy is that I see, I feel and I hear. But you cannot see me watching you, listening to you, feeling you. Because you do not perceive me–you cannot hear me, you cannot feel me. That, perhaps is the tragedy of those around me. And my tragedy is that I know it and understand it.

And the window has a crack. But it is just a crack. And it is a defiant one. And like all defiant things–it too shall break. And that is perhaps the biggest tragedies of all. The tragedy of all tragedies.