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A child is the best specimen of human curiosity. Give him a crayon and see

how he starts with the walls – the first canvas of his life.

Gets a slap before he figures it out, though.

So he does it when no one’s watching. Then one more and he stops.

The crayon is snatched

and the slaps of reality 

later enroll him into a school,

so he could go to college,

so he could have a job,

so he could get married and have children whom he could send to school.

Amidst it all, do you ever stop

and look at that sweating kid

scribbling all over the wall in confusion,

thinking why his hands don’t cooperate

and why can’t he draw what he sees?

And how the idea of being able

to recreate his visual memory

is so fascinating to him, he still draws on

tirelessly?

That kid is how life first meets us – to

teach us to live for the art,

for the music,

for the travels and adventures.

But we somehow still live only for the routines, the jobs, the unending loops and the uninvited deadweight of existence.

If you ever miss that kid,

recall the masterpieces on that wall.

And if you ever happen to have self-doubt,

start by asking yourself

why’d you snatch the crayon in the first place?

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Somewhere close to me, Guthrie Govan is playing one of his best guitar solos at a hundred and twenty four bpm. It’s drizzling and I have taken shelter under a huge rock. I don’t remember how I got here or what place is this, because since long I have begun to forget a lot of things. I think my memory is getting weaker by the day. I remember only in bits and pieces, like that one time when you were teasing me when I forgot something important.

The sky is overcast and there’s a cold evening breeze blowing as I gaze at the pebbles at my feet. One of them is perfectly oval and looks like a zero. I take a handful of tiny ones and with my frail fingers, I arrange them near the zero to make a ‘one’. Then another handful to make an ‘up-on’ sign.

I look at it. 1/0.

This is where we began, I remember this. Infinity, I told you. Then we kept on going. Two by zero, three by zero and so on. I remember telling you once that no matter how big the numerator is, all of it means only one thing – infinity. And I remember our conversation where for the first time we promised each other that we’ll grow old together.

We kept our promise, we sure did. But now, all I am left with, is your apparition. And my eyes, the ones you believed could fit in the biggest dreams the world could ever see, are now tired and need some sleep. The kind of sleep I got when after all the battles I had fought my whole life, you had asked me to promise you that I won’t cry at your departure. It had seemed absurd back then, and then I had slept so peacefully with my head on your lap.

A solitary bird flies by, disturbing my state of trance and my broken memory castle. I gather some strength and stand up, turn around and walk a few steps before my knee gives up and I fall on the gravel floor. I gather some more strength, put my fist, my knuckles on the ground and push myself up again with a lot of effort, my whole body shaking, the droplets hanging by the strands of my hair jumping to be rescued. I stand up, look ahead at the white giants in front of me and scream your name. It comes back to me.

I’ve finally made it to the mountains, love. The view is so beautiful, I would trade my soul to bring you back, here. But I will keep my promise. The dark may eventually absorb me, but I won’t let out a single tear.

I will let the guitar cry for me tonight. All I need is some sleep.

(9/0)


Two empty champagne glasses stand on the windowsill. I proceed to fill them, pick them up and return to you.

There’s a mild warm light in the room. A pile of hundreds of neatly stacked books lies in one corner, a carton of art supplies and dozens of half-painted and blank canvases resting on each-other’s shoulders in another. The third corner is occupied by a lamp and your favorite couch, the one you bought when we went furniture shopping together for the first time ever, the one we’ve spent numerous winter nights on.

The room smells a bit of lavender and a bit of lilies as we dance in slow motion, the necks of those champagne glasses in our grasp, and there’s a soft delay in our voices, like the opening of a popular Phil Collins song.

We dance, as I tuck a strand of hair behind your ears and look at you.

You smile.

I would die for that smile, you know.

The smile which hasn’t faded a bit after all these years of driving men crazy. The smile which pulled me out of my self-induced madness when I got into too much Nietzsche. The smile which dragged me out of my self-destructive instincts when I got into too much drugs. The smile which fills up this room with so much warmth even when there’s a short circuit or a power failure on those winter nights when we lay on the couch under a thin blanket.

I don’t think any language or any dictionary in this world has enough adjectives to praise this beautiful smile of yours. And whatever adjectives are still left, they are either too insignificant, or have already lost their value.

But the most wonderful thing about tonight’s celebration is that we’ve made it through all the turmoils, all the thick and thin of life. We’ve held each-other’s hands through all the storms and all the droughts and watched all sunsets and beaches and drove on all the beautiful highways with the roof down and kissed in all the majestic libraries and museums and now, we’re finally here.

We’re finally here and we’re closer to each other than ever.

We keep dancing as the image of the glasses resting on the windowsill flashes in my mind. I know that without you, I am nothing more than an empty glass, ready to fall and break with the slightest gush of wind.

You give me a purpose. You are the champagne that fills me up and makes me glitter.

(8/0)


“Tell me, before you fall asleep, what goes on inside your head?”

“I like dark. I keep the lights in my room turned off, mostly, because it helps me to focus. To think.”

“And what is it that you think about?”

“About my life. Regrets,” I reply to you, a cigarette hanging loosely between my index and middle finger.

“Did you smoke last night?” I ask you. You tell me that you did. Just one. We let it pass, don’t speak any further.

The seagulls are screaming above the sun near the crimson horizon and the waves are washing our feet periodically. The water is warm, but the sand beneath is cold. We both look straight ahead in the distance, but from the corner of my eye I can see your long beautiful hair flowing with the ocean breeze.

‘La Isla Bonita’ – the song I am reminded of, the one sung by Tasha. It plays in my head and I get a feeling it plays in your head, too, as if we are telepathically connected. And so we don’t say a word, just keep on looking in the distance.

‘I always liked your hair long’ I had scribbled on my letterhead, torn it and kept it inside my diary, about a couple of years ago. You had found it one night when I was sleeping. Since that day, you had never kept your hair short. I wonder why is it that you always stayed awake after me? You always asked me to not stay awake for long and to not keep thinking about my past, while you would do that yourself. And then you would watch me sleeping.

I wish I could transform into a spirit, get inside you and absorb all your grief.

We watch the sun dip half in the ocean when I feel your fingers touch mine and then you slowly proceed to grab my hand. Then we both get up, shoes in hands as we walk back barefeet on the wooden sidewalk lined with rows of Allium and African Lilly. The lights in our tiny house are visible through the sliding glass doors.

We stop at the main door and drop our shoes. I turn towards you and grab you by the waist as your palms wrap my head.

And we kiss.

“I love you,” I say.

“One by zero,” you smile.

(7/0)


Do you remember that silly game we used to play when we were little? Making a tiny guy with our fingers and walking it on each-other’s arm until that Lilliputian reached the ticklish area above our elbows? Then we would giggle and run around chasing each other. You never played it with anyone else but me. You said you never felt so ticklish with anyone the way you did with me.

Then suddenly we were grown ups.

I began thinking about your words and the way you had said it. “Naah, never anyone. You.”

I wonder why is it that some of us feel the safest, most comfortable, most easy around a selected few in the whole world? Why is it that we feel someone particular is made for us? I had thought a lot about it.

Then you had come to me when I got tired of thinking, let me rest my head on your lap and told me why the world worked that way. The mysterious way.

You had told me it’s because of those microscopic things hidden beneath the layers of our skin, in the spaces between our protruding bones, in the air in our lungs, the chemical in our brains and the blood in our hearts. The things science will never be able to discover – the gaps and bulges in the structure of our beings, which align perfectly with only those few people among all in the world. The flaws and the perfections. 

Like the extreme details in our fingerprints and eyes and the fact that no two people in the world can ever have the same fingerprints and the exact same eyes. Like the complexities of combinations of that particular fragrance in our nose, that particular taste on our tongue, that particular color registered on our retina and that particular set of chords playing nearby – all of these stimulants for our senses subconsciously building up beautiful poetry in our mind. The way no one else can feel, the uniqueness. So that whenever we find someone who aligns perfectly, even closely with the flaws in our being, we let them in the deepest vaults of our lives.

We let them in.

Then I remember, when I woke up from the peaceful sleep on your lap, I had put a blanket on us and we had gone back to relive our childhood days inside it. And to make a few more.

(6/0)


A neon sign glows on the dark brick wall. A muffled bass of an upbeat song in the basement, the lyrics not clear. The clinking of clay cups and glasses on wood, the fragrance of the post-midnight hours and your spectacles on tabletop.

Your mesmerizing eyes look at me. You say I think too much.

And we’re talking about life.

I say we all need a set of reasons to live, to make purposes to our life, things to do to keep ourselves, our minds away from thinking too much about why we are here. That’s because I think the weight of existence is the heaviest in the whole universe.

I wonder how life would be without all the little decisions that we make all the time. The train you didn’t board, the one I didn’t deboard when your station came, the poem I never finished, the letter you never wrote – how different the course of our entire lives could have been if only we had made these decisions differently.

The differences – the things which make us humans, give us our individualities.

You sip your tea and say that you get an urge to kiss me every time I take a pause after a long sentence to catch my breath. And that you lose track of what I am saying every time I clear my throat.

So I begin again, saying how the same way that we need reasons to live, we don’t need any to love. Because the reasons to live keep changing – from social welfare to consuming jobs, from traveling to see the world to making one in the attic of an old cottage in the wilderness of Scandinavia, from making love on abandoned beaches at night to getting lost in the views outside train windows, and from art to drugs and back to art again. Because love is the purest of emotions and in order to keep loving, we need to rid ourselves from the need of all the ‘becauses’ which follow the ‘I love yous’.

I say we need reasons to live because life is a burden. And I say we don’t need a reason to love, because we may run out of them all, one day.

So even though the light in your mesmerizing eyes may slowly fade away in the bokeh of these neon signs and even though I may not pause to catch my breath ever again, our love will stay timeless, beyond the reaches of all reason.

Until then, I can be the caffeine in your tea and you can be my quarter ounce of cocaine so that we may keep needing each other equally to live.

(5/0)

You say I am cocky, and I agree. I say yes, I am cocky as fuck, because I think people are superficial. They make bucket lists and then never really fulfill them.

Because in the rush to put checkmarks, they fail to absorb the beauty of the moment. And when the craze dies down real soon, they believe they ‘grew up’ or ‘grew out’ of their passions. Don’t you agree, sitting here with me in perfect silence and serenity, away from civilization, under millions of stars? Now that we are here, and we don’t need to say a word because the sound of burning wood and soft Jazz in the atmosphere are too beautiful to be interrupted even by the creaking of our chairs? Now that your long hairs flow in slow-motion to the sound of the acoustic guitar in the background as you smile holding my sweaty hand? I always liked your hair long.

They say that we are attracted more towards life-threatening things & situations because it gives us an adrenaline rush which is more like a high. So even though we prefer daytime because it is safer and our senses are more active & effective, most of us prefer the night, when all the noise and hustle has died down, to let those more profound things take their toll – like making love through poetry. Because those of us who have that deeper sense of agility within us, reveal our hidden selves long after dusk, as if we have a primitive nocturnal instinct buried within ourselves which crawls out of the dark sides of our hearts only after the sun has fallen prey to the horizon.

You somehow managed to convince me one night that I am not ugly; that physical beauty is only a matter of time. And I believed you, because well, maybe it was the magic of the night. I am not saying that you were wrong, but had you said the same thing during daytime, it could have been a little hard for me to trust you on that. And now that you have convinced me of my beauty, I can be with you all the time, even when I am not physically present with you.

So look far away, let me be the millions of stars and galaxies in your glittering eyes.

Then close your eyes, let me be the soft music caressing your ears.

And if I am still not there, let me be the breeze making your hairs flow.

Our lives are too small to not spend them making love.

(4/0)