(The Poem I wrote for my College Farewell)


Someone had told me once
It rains stars that night every year

They grant you wishes, luck and everything mortal

Like a fragrance, a spirit, an imported liquor bottle

And blessed are the ones on whose shoulders

The stardust settles down as fireflies

Someone had told me once

We can swim and run and even fly, all on our own

You would ask me how is that?

Well, they are the ones who believe in shooting stars

They are the dreamers, the travelers, the explorers

The ones who stand firm against

Whatever fate and destiny are

Those who proudly wear the stardust

On their shoulders, get up and change the world forever

I set out to be one of them

Someone had told me once

I could watch that rain, too

So I sat down that night, waiting

For my fate to show me a shooting star

I sat down that night, and kept on sitting

For I thought my destiny

Had at least one last star shower

But I had a dream in my eyes, too

And just when I closed them

A glow appeared behind my eyelids

And when I opened them, it was gone

Nothing could console my alter-ego then

For I had learned, that

Fate is just a four letter word,

Destiny is what you make it

And dreams are seen with wide open eyes

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(This is a work of fiction. The writer gives to the reader the liberty to post this work anywhere online but not with wrong credits. Also, any form of printing or publication is prohibited without prior notice.)

[Short Story]

Man is a very fragile and weak animal. He is limited within 20 Hz-20,000 Hz, and restricted to the visible range within the near Infrared and the near Ultraviolet. He cannot see, hear or speak outside this range, so anything beyond his realm of senses is fascinating to him. These weaknesses provoke him to enquire and expand beyond his limits, to depend on things and objects for his survival. With a consciousness so aware and with a life span so small, the need for enquiry and expansion passes on, making the dependence on delusion a dire necessity. Now, this Dependence is more like addiction. Of a certain drug. And you’ll know how it feels like to be addicted if you’ve ever been down that sink hole.

You begin by enjoying being extracted from reality, and the zest of the act lies in the high – as long as it stays, you feel good. Good, like…like heaven. Like everything is meant to stay that way, mellow and to your benefit. Like everything on your mind has just been enhanced. Then the high simmers down and you want to feel good again, just one last time.

There! Right there! That’s the beginning of addiction, the beginning of Dependence.

The wish to do it ‘just one last time’ is where you slip and slide down an unending spiral, before you experience the pit fall. You do it one last time, and another last time, and so many last times flash before your eyes as you keep stuffing all the chemicals in yourself to escape reality. As your body stops resisting and begins to tolerate the torture being done to it, it tries to forget and run away from the ugly truth of Existence that stands naked like a giant nebula in front of you. A God. A prophecy meant to haunt the microbial you as long as you’re alive. And to avoid pricking your eyes and breaking-open your jaws because the ugliness is too much to gulp down, you want to remain deluded and so you stuff yourself with more drugs, increasing the dosage or changing the potency.

Then there comes a time when you don’t feel the high anymore – the rush of blood through your veins that you once used to feel when the surge was new, isn’t there and you keep dumping in your garbage-bin of a body in desperation, more and more chemicals and toxins with hollow hopes. While every effort goes in vain, your will is corroded, your motivation is decaying and your rotting immunity leads you nowhere, certainly not to the point where you’d once felt complete. You’ve stayed away from reality for so long, you can now measure the harm you’ve done to your dying soul and count the bruises on your fingertips because by this time, you’re Dependent. You’ve entered the pit fall and nothing can save you now.

Nothing.

The need for enquiry and expansion has led you here.

It’s also fascinating how we all choose to ignore certain things in our lives over others which could have been, otherwise, very well sought out and registered in our memory. Fascinating how we all switch off the auto-pilots of our lives and twist and turn knobs and make custom settings for our own routes, only so we could stay deluded and dependent to keep the burden of those ugly realizations in check. Fascinating in the same way it is to be able to venture beyond our natural physical limits.

The Dependences that we choose for ourselves to make getting through life a little more easy, result in our being apathetic and self-centered. Ever wondered why nothing comes to your rescue when you fall? Why nothing saves you from yourself? Why no one bothers to even try? Because everyone, everything is happily trapped in their own delusions. We’re always sleeping and dreaming with our eyes wide open, dreaming about our custom-tailored realities.

The remaining episodes of that night are only printed on my conscience like blocks of flash memory. As I kept running from the ugly truths I witnessed in that cold darkness, passing out, regaining senses and then passing out again, I realized how badly I wanted to go back to my delusions – my pen, the warmth and comfort of my room, the shutting down of my mind to forget everything I saw. I wanted to erase all of it…or turn back time, or…or run far, far away from here. But it wasn’t possible standing in the middle of a deserted street, in the heart of a town recently abandoned in a great haste.

I remember sitting in my backyard one sunny afternoon, reading the newspaper, sipping tea and munching on peanuts when I had overheard a conversation inside my house. I had not paid attention to it, because the automotive section of the newspaper I was reading was much more interesting, but from the bits and pieces that fell on my ear, I had made out what the conversation was about. They were talking about some kid who had died. The kid had fallen on the road while running and suffered a concussion. I felt sorry for that kid and brushed off the conversation as I read on, because I wanted to buy myself a used car to commute in the city.

I scanned the newspaper and found one that suited my needs and budget. I enquired and found out that it belonged to an elderly man who had died of a heart stroke after returning from a long journey, and so his sons, who had no use for the car, were selling it. I brushed the thought again – so many people die everyday; it’s not a big deal.

Until it was. Now I was standing in a cold dust storm and that kid was standing in front of me, giggling and showing his bloodied teeth. The sockets of his eyes were empty and broken bones peeked out at places. He stood there looking at me for a while, then turned away, ran and disappeared in a winding alley. Then, like a lightening bolt, a thought struck me – the dead body I had seen earlier that night belonged to the old man who had visited us after the pilgrimage. I did not want to die, but I wanted to stop living at that very moment. Anything to avoid these ugly truths, the ones I had been bared to after I had finally overcome my fear of the unknown.

Everything had began making sense to me, now – the fly, the inconvenience, the abandoned houses, the dead bodies, the deserted streets, the dust storm and the cold. Everything which was until now only pieces of a jigsaw puzzle scattered throughout this whole space-time continuum, had started falling into place, and what had led me here was my need for enquiry and expansion. I passed out.

I regained my senses and now I was lying flat on the street which led straight to my house. I picked myself up in the gathering storm and ran as fast as I could, from the flickering lights and the haunting shadows, with blood dripping from my left palm and my leg still sleeping. I reached my home and entered the comfort of my room. I took a seat and from the window, I looked outside and lit my cigarette with terribly shaking hands. I put it between my lips and took a long drag.

I began contemplating as the storm outside gathered full force and the winds began howling like abominable ghosts of our wretched pasts. The night had been very hard to me. Something ached inside me and churned as I began recollecting it all.

While we all crib about the little inconveniences that we occasionally have to go through, we forget that there are people out there who live through greater degrees of it every second of the day. While we crib about the little disorders in our privileged lives, there are people out there whose entire lives are shorter than our cribbings. We really have become so apathetic and self-centered, because we can afford to buy out our inconveniences as soon as possible so that we could go back to our Dependences and our leisures, that be it a few deaths or a million – it’s all just statistics to us, now. We just don’t want to accept anything which doesn’t align with our version of reality.

I had been so careless about others all my life, but now I wondered if only I had picked up that kid and really took him home that morning, I could have saved him. Or if I had called my father and asked him to check on the old man when I had seen his car, I might have saved him, too. But as I said, you, me, us – we all want to avoid all inconveniences and shove it on someone else’s shoulders. We don’t want to take responsibility.

So when this storm gets over and the dust settles down, they will count the bodies. And by then, the statistics will have fully grown teeth and it will bite. And then, we’ll realize that what is just a few days’ inconvenience to us, is a matter of life and death to a lot others. We will realize that our delusions are mere escapes and the only thing that can save us from our Dependences, is ourselves and our acceptance of every piece of the ugly truth. 

My cigarette had ended, the high of the nicotine had settled in me, made me feel good like heaven for that one last time, and my pen and its owner lay in their respective pool of bloods. But wait, why isn’t there anybody in my home? Is it abandoned, as well?

(To you, as long as 1/0)


Note that when I come back

There will be nothing left to grab

Or clutch, or hold

For I always come riding the wind

Note that when I come back

Ours will be the only one in wraps

Of barbed wires piercing through the crimson

For I always thought I could keep my promises, 

Moulded by the sun, shaped by a few

I fought the world, but lost to you

Couldn’t hide well, my scar tissue

I went weakest as I emerged new

Note that when I come back, there would be no songs played

Only the wind whistling as it does

For my stride has slowed down a bit

And I expect myself to punish myself

I promise I won’t make anymore false promises

But it’s the only language I speak

As long as I ride on

The windows look out with hope

The ones never been broken

Even once, words unspoken

I need to feel you on my skin

I need to feel you on my skin

I’ve said it twice and I’ll say it again

For the burden I carry is mine alone

Note that when you fall asleep

There would be me, wide awake

Searching in the dark, the callous

To prick it, and let it bleed dry

The thin gray area between modesty and arrogance

For I thought I could love you enough 

And nothing would bother me

Note that when I finally did

I was at war with myself

And you, my only hope of winning

Or else, I was lying dead

Counting my last few breaths

Note that when they come to entertain

Time will sweep my footprints

It’s not wrong if you feel I am wrong

I am a terrible man, anyway

Told you I will come riding the wind

The only promise I ever kept

The feet sore, the steps inept

The marks on our body, time swept

Ask your questions, measure the depth

Note that I am not the certainty

But I will certainly bring you love

For it’s the only thing I’ve longed enough

​​(This is a work of fiction. The writer gives to the reader the liberty to post this work anywhere online but not with wrong credits. Also, any form of printing or publication is prohibited without prior notice.)


[Short Story]


[“The Dependence” Part 3]

I picture myself cruising down the historic Route 66 in a custom 1969 Ford Mustang, headed towards the scenic beaches of Santa Monica. Windows down, the radio is tuned to a Rock station, the horizon is marked by hills and a beautiful, crispy-orange sunset at the western end accompanies a luke-warm breeze abundant with petrichor. I am reminded of home as I breathe in the sweet fragrance of rain on dry soil. They’re right, some of them, who say home is wherever you feel like it.

I have always dreamt of this day – not just another day when I’ll be checking-off another big goal from my bucket list, but – a day when I would land on this mighty route, somehow a part of my American Dream. I cannot explain how much of it I want to absorb, all at once, especially when after the sunset rains, the dust settles down and everything is suddenly vividly clear and more contrasting; it’s a treat to my senses, a rare pleasure only few can afford. I feel I must be real lucky to be at the right place at the right time and I want to grab as much as I can, because I don’t know when would I be able to come back here. Or if I would even come back or not. So I keep the meter down to 60 miles and push through the Mother Road with the wind wiping my face.

A solitary signboard shines in the dying sunlight and my eyes follow it down to a gas station, situated a little off-track. I pull-over for a quick refueling and a smoke. As I take a turn towards the gas station, out of nowhere, as if thrown by someone, a heavy weight drops on my bonnet and leaves a huge dent before falling on the ground. I rush out of the car and move to the front to find that it’s a dead body. It smells real bad and by the looks of it, I assume that the deceased must have died a few days ago.

I kneel down, put my palms on the ground, lower my face and check the body out of curiosity. I look at the face, the skin scraped-off from the broken bones, flies buzzing all over it. I look at the soiled, tattered clothes with dried blood spots on them. I look into the empty sockets where once the eyes must have stood. As I keep looking into the hollowness, it begins swallowing me. It sucks me like air and before I could realize or cry for help in that lonely wilderness, I am gone. Yeah, just like that.

The sun prepares to sleep, the rhythmic grunts of the engine protrude and the radio of my car loudly sings, “I’m on a Highway to Hell”.

Time slows down, comes to a halt and starts running back as the hollow of those eyes on the highway spit me back to reality. I wake up to find myself lying flat on the floor in that abandoned house, stuck somewhere in the prolonged night, in front of the corpse that fly had led me to. I lay shivering either out of cold or fear, staring deep into the hollow of the eyes of that carcass as if I hope to find something I am looking for. I instantly find myself wishing I’d escape this reality and drift back to the highway, hoping again I wouldn’t see the signboard.

But you see, reality is like a snake bite – once the venom is inside you, it can only be treated with the same venom. Before it kills you, of course. This reality seemed harder than a snake bite, though. It had stung my conscience and the bite mark was going to accompany me to my grave. 

As absent-minded as I am most of the time, as if acting entirely on impulse all along, I had fallen asleep in front of that dead body while all the flies had metamorphosed into locusts and swarmed out of that house, that area, probably the whole town. They were either scared away by something or moved to something better to feast on. They had also left behind a huge dust cloud and a lot of wind.

I gather all the energy and get up to find half of my body sore and cold. With a sleeping left leg, I limp out of the house in the wind and dust cloud and cross the road to the house which looks inhabited. When no one opens the door after a lot of knocking, I look for the latch and find the gate already open. The lights are on, everything inside the house is in place and there are  no signs of a break-in. I check a lot of houses one by one to find this remarkably common thing. All the house are empty. Looks like everyone left in a hurry – and they were so hurried, they left everything behind, didn’t even bother to turn off the lights.

Suddenly, I am haunted by my one true fear, the one which I have never been able to overcome – the fear of the unknown. I am all alone in this ghost town with flickering lamp posts and abandoned houses. There are so many questions on my mind and no one to answer them. I don’t know who the dead person was, where have all the people gone and why is there a swarm of locust in my town? The image of the dark, hollow eye sockets keeps flashing in my head every time I blink.

I fight my way through the dust storm which keeps growing in intensity, and reach a tall house with multiple storeys. As I reach the house, a dog runs past me, goes to a corner, howls and runs away. I walk up to the gate and another figure walks past me from behind. I wait for the howl, wait longer, but the howl doesn’t come.

This time, it’s a giggle. Of a child.

The blood in my veins freezes. And so does the ink dripping from my pen.


[Read Part 1: http://wp.me/p2K1U7-2s]
[Read Part 2: http://wp.me/p2K1U7-3c]
[Read Part 4:  http://wp.me/p2K1U7-3L ]

​(This is a work of fiction. The writer gives to the reader the liberty to post this work anywhere online but not with wrong credits. Also, any form of printing or publication is prohibited without prior notice.)


[Short Story]


(“The Dependence” – Part II)

When you think of it, you see that every fear funnels down to the fear of physical or mental pain or loss. If you’re afraid of height, you’re afraid you might fall and break bones or die. If you’re afraid of the dark, you’re afraid there’s a monster inside the dark which might grab and tear off a limb or two from your body. If you’re afraid of deep waters, solitude, people, whatever it is – you can know that it’s that one fundamental fear – of loss or pain. Even death is not scary; only the process which leads to it is.

One of them, however, which towers above all, and which we can call as the mother of all fears, is the fear of the unknown. The same fear which the strong, exceptional people have cultivated over the centuries to gain mass control and develop systems to harness human beings to their benefit. The same fear which explains why you’re scared of ghosts and spirits or why you’re afraid of any fucking thing at all. The fear of not knowing what lies beyond the comfort of your cozy little world. The fear of ignorance, the lack of knowledge.

I had a bad time during autumn when I caught a throat infection and couldn’t speak. It lasted long and I relied mainly on liquid diet because nothing solid was going down my foodpipe. I wasn’t going out much and was all by myself, so I picked up my pen after a long time, the one my aunt had gifted me on one of my birthdays. It is an expensive exotic piece and I used it only occasionally because one of my neighbors’ kids had dropped it on the floor and it cracked just above the ink reservoir. That notorious kid!

I fixed the pen, however, and began writing extensively, sitting on my desk by the warm table lamp as magenta winters outside began embracing the city, inching closer every night. I went on writing about anything that stirred my mind, about the things around me, the crazy ideas I had taken time to analyze (or over-analyze) because for creative worms, the surroundings are what effects their subconscious and thus, their ability to create. The books they read, the clothes they wear, the food they eat or anything capable of affecting them only in subtle and indirect ways, because they have this habit of observing the tiny little exhibits all around them. So, I kept on writing, the ink pots kept on getting emptied and piles of discarded paper kept on crowding my dustbin.

Growing up, I had never realized the dangers of the world we’re always exposed to and always vulnerable, because of the strong sense of privilege and authority which had been passed on to me by my family name. Even a few days’ inconvenience to me meant an extremely unusual and significant disturbance in the order of my life. Overtime, I had developed this habit of avoiding unnecessary conflicts by all means, dedicating most of myself to my own little oblivion. That is where I found peace, in art and in literature. That’s what gave me a sense of purpose and power – for it helped me to create. To be able to create means to be able to destroy. And when you have a very strong sense of that feeling, it gets you rid of all the mortal fears.

I used to go for morning walks, but then my throat infection worsened. So I stopped going out. You must have witnessed how, during winters, we all prefer staying indoors. How we cling to the sunlight and how even after ages of being familiar with it, we still despise the cold and the dark. 

So it was one of those morning walks when half of the city was still in deep slumber and only a few people were out on the road, when I saw the kid who broke my pen running on the street. He was ahead of me and I was watching him run playfully when suddenly he tripped over a stone and fell. I ran to him, but he had already gathered himself by the time I reached him. He had no external injuries, except for the scratches on his clothes. I asked him if he’s okay.

“No problem, bhaiya“, he said and smiled.

I noticed his mouth had blood in it. I asked him to come to his home with me and tell his parents so the bleeding could be checked. But he politely declined and went on running playfully as he was doing. I went on with my own stroll.

Later that week, an elderly man came to our house. He had gone on a pilgrimage with his wife and was returning after a long journey. His eyes look tired and sleepy, yet he spoke jubilantly to my father as they sipped tea and discussed spirituality & politics.

Shortly after the old man left the house, I went out for a smoke and to buy stationary supplies. A couple of blocks down, I saw his empty car with a flat tire. The old man was nowhere around. I thought of calling my father and asking him to call the old man and check if everything is okay, but I shrugged the thought and moved on. 

As I sat in my room that evening, filling my pen with ink, I noticed a fly buzzing loudly on my window. It was the only audible sound in that contained zone besides the ominous sound of the wall clock. The fly was trapped inside and was trying desperately to go out. The sound it made was so static, so hypnotic, I lost track of reality and dropped my pen. 

The crack opened up wide.

I picked up the pen and tried writing, but it bled dry on my table and left a huge blot on the paper sheets.

Now I am not willing to write anymore, but winters have come and I am supposed to write.

[Read Part 1: http://wp.me/p2K1U7-2s]

[Read Part 3: http://wp.me/p2K1U7-3k]

[Read Part 4:  http://wp.me/p2K1U7-3L ]

(Poetry about the contradictions in one’s mind)

I lost a shoe, somewhere

I learnt, to get

The most out of an ordinary

Cease in yourself, the ordinary, first

Preach, if they can, for a thousand years

All the wealth would be lost

All the tranquility gone

My feet hurt

I hope you find it

I found one, too

Mismatched

Exasperated, bruised and with salt in my cuts

From the voyage of an ocean that dried

I am not, but

I still have pulp in my soul

I can trade it easily, but I won’t

You don’t sell what’s left but a little

I outgrew myself, I thought

Or grew back, descending

Either way it takes time

Please, I say

I hope you find my shoe

And learn to walk in it

I am learning to walk in yours, as I found them

We could have perfect mismatches

(Poetry about the loss of a loved one)


I can see all the stars

On the red tainted sky by its sides,

The moon finally smiles.

Looks into my clear eyes,

Homes to the dirt and an old light

Has it gone away for real?

It’s not war, here

In our part of the world

But why can’t I feel?

Are you still caught up?

Trying to find meaning

Behind those burning red skies?

When at last I am able

To see the stars with their moon

And not the moon alone like a curse

When at last my eyes

Are free of the dirt

Free of the blur

But the moon keeps smiling

It knows something it won’t ever say

And all this red tint, now don’t you miss the grey?

I can see all the stars

As I stand here and contemplate

The moon finally smiles.

Comes a little closer as if to whisper

Goes back farther yet

When we’re not alive, we are a little too dead

Took me long to sow

This simple truth in my self

Let’s see what I reap when time comes

Well, at least I am glad that you exist

As my bad faith is over,

This is the only thing I’ll ever believe

The wars may go on, 

The stars may disappear again

The wounds that never heal, may even start to heal again

We will figure out something to pass on

A wisdom quote

The answers we chose

Polaroid photos

Things that, together, you and I wrote

Or a few millennia old whisper in the air

That may live for a few millennia more

(Artwork made using gel pen)