Does it sting?

Does it sting,
she asked me,
scared at the sight of
an injection for blood sample

Does it sting,
she asked me,
frustrated
for scoring 99 instead of 100
in Math.

Does it sting,
she asked me,
frantically looking
for her favorite book
in the pile of waste paper.

Does it sting,
she asked me,
head in my lap,
thinking about her best friend
who sits with her new classmates
from Arts for lunch now.

Does it sting,
she asked me,
settling in for B.Com which
her parents chose for her
and she couldn’t say no to
because she didn’t know
what else to do

Does it sting,
she asked me,
before telling her father
that she wants to drop out
because she loves letters
more than numbers
even when she is good at both

Does it sting,
she asked me,
upset on landing a job
that pays peanuts
compared to her
engineer friends

Does it sting,
she asked me,
before chopping off
her waist length hair
because it was boring

Does it sting,
she asked me,
skin flushed
after she said yes
to the cute guy at work
for coffee

Does it sting,
she asked me,
before running
off to Greece
a night before her wedding
because she did not want it.

And each time,
I told her yes
It stings
When the needle pierces your arm
When the 100 seems out of sight
When that book is missing
When your best friend is lost
When you say yes to something
because you don’t know better
When you quit on something
because you can’t do it anymore
When you settle for something
because it is your only choice
When you fall in love,
and get heartbroken
or don’t fall in love
and stay on the fence before running away from all of it

Because happiness needs courage
and courage stings
Because courage is not absence of fright,
it is acting in spite of it
Because it is okay to wear your heart on your sleeve
and it is okay to feel scared
Because everything you want
is on the other side of fear.

Image Courtesy: 3rd Perspective

via Sting

Abstract

She woke up, startled
In a dark, dank place
It seemed eerily familiar,
and yet so strange
The noise was deafening
A cacophony like monkeys make

“Come here, look at me”, a voice yelled
“Not that, me, come to me”, the other wailed
“You are a loser”, snickered one
“How fake can you be”, chided the other

The voices went on,
screeching and singing and crying and laughing
At first she cupped her ears,
trying to make out what each said
Then got tired, and looked some way
to block the mess they made
She was embittered, and so added to it
Screaming out loud, just to get herself heard
But realized soon she wouldn’t win
and so sat defeated, in despair and a temper frayed

It smelled like honey turning vapid
and felt like nails scratching chalkboard
Scared out of her wits, she prayed
Wondering if there was something she missed
She searched wildly, looking for a needle in hay
and found it, crushed, and little grey

She tapped it, and lo behold,
the light arrived, like nothing happened
Funny how a simple “Log Out”
can make a brighter day.

via Abstract

Featured Image : 3rd Perspective Photography

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

Who am I?
Silence is my Refuge,
Words are my Hideout.
Extrovert,
or an Introvert in the garb of one?
Social,
or Anxious, eager to get home?
Netflix and chill,
or Tequila for the win?

Who am I?
Single by choice,
or Lovelorn?
Red lipstick,
Or Grey laptop?
Stilettos,
or Sneakers?
Water,
or Fire, raring to burn?

Who am I?
Stereotype-défier,
or Girl-Next-Door?
Durga,
or Savitri?
Serious, committed sorts,
or The Tinder types?

I don’t need a man to be happy, I tell myself, as I scout through the dating/marriage apps on my phone. I am fit, I tell myself, as I scoop out the last of chocolate ice-cream in the deep freeze. Maybe I am all of that, and more. Maybe I am, maybe I am not. When I don’t know, how would you? Stop judging now, will you?

Picture courtesy: 3rd Perspective Photography

Him

 

I saw him today. He had come for the evening Aarti. He looked just as I remembered him – unassuming, quiet, unremarkable. The kind of man you wouldn’t give a second look in a crowd. He is dutifully religious, he comes for Ganga Aarti every full moon day and Ganga Snaan on Thursdays. It is hard to believe he is the owner of Rajshree Jewels, he bears no airs of a rich man.

They say he started small. His father had a small shop in the old market area, but he made what Rajshree Jewels is today – opulent, regal and one of a kind. Apparently, Bollywood stars specially order jewels from his shop; his daughter’s wedding graced by so many VIPs was a testimony to his powerful network.

His daughter, they say, is a splitting image of his wife. His wife was the daughter of his gardener, and she was so beautiful that he fell in love with her the first time he saw her. He fought with his traditional family to make sure he married her; his parents gave up in front of his strong will. They were tied in a wedlock in a quiet ceremony, and were blessed with a daughter within a year of the marriage.

Nothing is forever though, isn’t it? The wife died in a terrible incident 10 years ago, she was on her way from her morning walk when she was shot three times in the chest at point-blank range. Paid assassins, the police said. The motive was to kidnap her apparently, to seek a ransom. But when she resisted and fought back, she was killed. The police, despite all sorts of political pressure, couldn’t find anything about her murderers. People speculated that they were foreign nationals, who ran away to their respective countries after the killing.

The man was bereft at her funeral. He turned to religion to overcome his grief, and hence began his faithful evening ritual at Har ki Paudi, followed by feeding orphans and beggars.Today is his wife’s birthday, so he will distribute Moong dal halwa with Matar Poori. My dinner for tonight is already fixed. Sometimes I feel guilty though, shouldn’t I let him know how his wife stopped screaming the moment I fired the first shot into her heart?

Featured Image : 3rd Perspective Photography

via Moody . My dear friend at 3rd Perspective Photography asked me to write something for this photo and though I have been crazy upbeat post the dance showcase on 17th (more about that later!), this picture made me write something very dark and melancholic. Maybe I had a not-so-discreet mood swing 😀

The Conundrum

If you had a choice, what would you pick?

He moved through the tunnel gingerly;  a flaming torch in one hand, and the other numb from rubbing across the cold walls, looking for some support for his tired hands. The water was knee-deep, he had no choice but to do this. He continued his cautious walk, startled once or twice by strange noises that were probably rats scurrying around, or so he hoped. There was no time or place to rest for a while, the water made sure he had to keep moving.

There was a flicker of light, in distance. He blinked hard and fast, to check if the flicker was his imagination – but it stayed. Hope started to grow in his heart, the end was near. He quickened his pace, and began to move faster , oblivious of the splashing water and darting bats.

As he moved faster, the source of light grew brighter. He had a spring in his step now, his exhausting journey was drawing to a close. The dark walls had finally began to get illuminated, the water level receding. He ran, to touch the warmth that proliferated the confines of the tunnel.

He had finally reached, he could see the sunlight coming inside. But he realized he was behind a gate, of glass, that allowed him to see outside. Suddenly, a melodious voice spoke.

“Hello! You are about to enter your land. Please do the last task and you will be free to go.”

Pumped with adrenaline, willing to give his best to the last challenge, he asked ,”What is the task?”

“Please watch one of the movies from the list below. The gate shall open after the closing credits roll off:

1) Mohenjo Daro

2) Ghayal Once Again

3) Housefull 3 ”

via Conundrum

Featured Image: Pixabay