Posted in Love

Not Me | Haiku

Sun rains down not kindly.

I plough through life as not me

‘Cause you love not me.


Authors note: A Haiku is a three-line Japanese poetry with 5,7,5 syllables. It contains a reference to nature.

Posted in Life and After

60 Feet Under

Author’s note: This is short story based on the first line suggested by Beetleypete.

It was so hot there, much hotter than I could ever have imagined it would be. I had always expected it to be cool below the surface since the desert sun couldn’t get to you. But apparently, I was wrong.

It was stifling hot and suffocating, even though, I didn’t need to breath anymore. The casket I was lying in was rather stuffy. May be a walk in the tomb would help.

It was just as dark outside. There was no way of knowing whether it was day or night. Who would want to live for eternity stuck in a hole where you could see neither the sun, nor the moon and stars. Not that I needed light to see. My eyes adjusted to the dark just fine but it didn’t take away the claustrophobia, reminding of the one time I had been foolish enough to hide in a closet.

The paintings on the walls depicted my life in the world outside–my wife, sons and daughters, my territory and the time of my glorious reign. As if I needed a reminder of that now! I already thought of it all the time. The other paintings were decorative and I had already memorised every single line from the countless lonely walks in the past years.

The bandages on my body were making me itchy. I wished I had my wife to scratch out that itch on my back but she was still out there, alive. Sigh! I will have to wait until she is done with her time on the surface until she is lowered here with me. If she chooses to sleep in the same tomb as me…Not sure she would. I wasn’t a model husband–too many mistresses to make her jealous.

She wasn’t allowed to have another husband to get even with me but what if she took a slave? Did she do that while I was still alive? With the dark one with the tall soldier-like build–the one she had chosen to keep when we were sifting through the war prisoners? In my mind, I could see the longing in her eyes for the tall monstrosity who became her personal guard and the knowing smirk on the guard’s face when he had leaned on one knee and kissed her knuckles.

I wanted to throw my fists through the walls. If I had a heart anymore, it would have burst with the pain. You would think that, with an eternity to brood, I would accept fate but, with an eternity to brood, the thoughts kept coming back. Like the day our last child was born–the child was darker than usual. The pain of deception had cut me through. It was one thing for me to sleep with another woman but to find out that my wife was doing another man…

When I had voiced my doubt, she had cried her heart out, reminding me of my own many indiscretions and fainted in her bed. I was aghast. I knew what she had done. I should have ordered their beheading right then. But here I was sitting in her bed, holding her hand, feeling guilty, waiting for her to wake up. Not sure when I fell asleep too. The choking sensation had had me reeling.

I wondered if he helped her or she did it on her own…

I wondered if she cried for me at all…

I woke up inside the casket in the tomb. It was so hot there, much hotter than I could ever imagine. I had always expected it to be cool below the surface since the desert sun couldn’t get to you. But apparently, I was wrong. The bandages were itchy and I wished I had my wife…

Posted in Love, Nature

My Neighbours: The Conservative

It is slightly stuffy but it is home and I love it. There is a lot of room to walk around and food hangs from the sealing everywhere. It is rather dark for the lack of sunlight, but who needs to see anyway. It is unsafe on the surface, what with all the sunlight and the monsters that roam the earth. I hardly go up except when stormwater floods the tunnels. My life is quiet but safe. It’s a lonely existence but company is overrated.

She wanted a ‘life of adventure’. I had assumed she would see the fault in her ways and return to our molehill. Afterall, who likes to eat from dustbins when they can get fresh roots? But…

Sometimes, I walk to where my tunnel runs beneath the nest she built with an uncouth rat and hear the soft pattering of little feet that are her proginy. Those are the moments when I wonder if a life of adventure wasn’t as bad.

I guess, I’d never find out.

Posted in Love

Deep Within

I sit in the class

with all my best friends

laughing at their silly jokes

when I look behind

to find

my parents asking

why I am not packing.

So I walk to my drawer

and pull out all I own–

my bed and study table,

my colours and pencils,

drawing board and birthday cards,

letters and flowers,

and a stapler

to tie it all together

in a shoe box

that I’d carry to my new home.

I turn around one last time.

My friends disappear

one-by-one

in the rapidly darkening hall.

I hunt for a candle to light

so I won’t lose their sight

but there is none to find.

I feel no fear,

only deep inevitable pain,

an emptiness in my gut,

on losing

all that mattered the most.

I wake up choking on my tears

like every time

I dream of the days from the past.

Posted in Life and After

Lonely

Three thousand years is a long time to be stuck inside a box, however pretty and expensive. Stuck between this world and the next, it gets rather dark and boring in here. Add these bandages and the temperature in here could become a killer, if I wasn’t already dead. What’s the point of the perfect preservation of body, when I can’t even look in a mirror.

So I had to crack open the Shell, quite like a chick out of an egg, and take a walk outside. If you meet me on the way, please ignore the bandages–they weren’t my idea of fun. I was just lying there, waiting to be buried, but these guys decided that I deserved an eternity…of loneliness.

I wish I wasn’t a king.

Posted in Life and After

So Much for Perfection

She had been out with more than a hundred, but nobody quite measured up, or may be she didn’t. Every time, she was left behind to wait for her happily ever after. But did such a person even exist?

They would take her out and within minutes decide that she wasn’t worth it. Her tiny waist, that looked so appealing to herself, made them uncomfortable, it seemed to remind them of what they could never be.

So while her size 6-8 cousins took vows in the churches, the tiny sequined dress stayed put with the lifeless mannequin. So much for perfection!

Posted in Love

Alone

I watch the flock of cranes pass by,

and search with them for a warmer hearth

where welcoming arms may await me.

I think of you–

a life lost to ambition.

The chill of winter creeps up my spine.

No arms would welcome me

anywhere.

I am here to freeze alone

in my own company.

Posted in Life and After

The Dinner

The dinner was a quiet one as usual.

He never spoke much. That’s why she fell sideways looking for emotional support.

She purposely avoided thinking of it as an ‘affair’. It made her feel guilty.

Anyway, it wasn’t like she was sleeping with him. They just chatted about everyday things–daily struggles at home and office, poetry, paintings, children, dissatisfaction with family life…

Sometimes they spoke of love or lack thereof in their lives. The easy conversations made her wonder how it would have been if she had married him instead…

The thought made her uncomfortable. She was, after all, a respectable woman. She had honored her parent’s choice for 19 years. She won’t go back now. Her husband is a good man, just not who she wanted…

If only he would talk to her…

Ask her about her day…

Tell her about his own…

Remind her in some way she wasn’t just a piece of meat…

Her husband finished his dessert quietly and got up to watch television. Sighing, she cleared the table and went back to chat with him again.


Photo by Dilyara Garifullina on Unsplash

Posted in Life and After

The Poltergeist

This story is based on my personal experience in one of the modern Delhi houses I had once lived in.

She was living with me for 56 years, unaware of my existence, until someone told her. So, she decided to banish me. She invited someone who lit incense and candles, threw around some powder, said some mumbo-jumbo, and I felt I was on fire! Writhing in pain, I cut the bond between us and ran to the air shaft to hide.

I was aghast! What had I done to deserve this? I loved her! That’s why I stuck around for so long without scaring her. I never even peeped when she changed clothes. Clearly, she wasn’t worth it! So I stayed in the shaft.

Once she moved to another house, I decided to take over the place–a typical Delhi house having two rooms with windows opening in an air shaft and no sunlight, just as I like it. Still recovering from the heartbreak, I made up my mind not to share the space with anyone anymore. So, when the next tenants came along, I decided they had to go.

I started by making some noise to announce my presence, but they didn’t react. The girl who stayed home was more responsive–she shivered when she entered the place. So I decided to target her. I would stand too close, touch her back, and give her strangling dreams. The last one did it!

They went on high alert. But rather than running out of the place, they started praying everyday. Now, I couldn’t touch them. So, I began moving stuff around, clanging door locks and blocking doors, but they behaved as if I didn’t matter. They accepted me as a permanent resident!

Today, after six months of sharing their house with me, they are finally moving, and it makes me sad. I clang the locks to bid farewell.

If only ‘she’ had accepted me the same way, I wouldn’t be so lonely.


Photo by Mikhail Elfimov on Unsplash

Posted in Life and After, Love

Lost Chances

For an eternity

I swam alone

In shallow waters…

 

In wilderness,

Making splashes

As I went…

 

Or rode the winds,

Touched the clouds,

Raced the Sun…

 

Now I walk the streets

For the rest of forever.

Now I wonder…

 

If I should’ve

Done it together

With you

When I still had a chance…


Photo by Nick Cooper on Unsplash