It’s 3 AM. I wake up and part my eyelids to a scene which is so unbelievable, it almost looks like a fictional story- half real and half made up. The coffee resting on the bedside table has gone cold, but you’re still wide awake.

I wake up in the comfort of your presence, in the warmth of your affection with you slowly running your fingers through my ruffled hair, smiling at the sleepy me. I get an urge to kiss you, like those moments of waking up from a sound sleep to a view so beautiful, you fall in love with it and the emotions that follow are almost involuntary. But before I could raise myself to reach your lips, you lean on me and give me a peck. And then we kiss.

These 3 AM sleep fragments of mine are not accompanied by coldsweats and nightmares, anymore. Unlike that one time, several days ago, when I had a really bad dream. I saw that I was stuck in a maze. I was running out of breath when I got a tunnel vision, but I still couldn’t find my way out of it. And I ran and ran to several tunnel visions, but each one led to another maze and after a long while, I had become so used to running inside mazes, I had almost accepted that my life is a big maze with no way out. I can either keep running, exhaust myself and die or I can sit somewhere and succumb to the dark. I was going to die inside a maze, anyway.

And then came your fingers running through my hairs. And you kissed away all my nightmares.

How do you do that? How do you know something that’s on my mind even before I utter a word? How can you make all my nightmares disappear just like that? I don’t really know if I need answers to all these questions, or is it just a rhetoric to acknowledge how amazing you are. You should know that you don’t need to worry about material expectations and coffees going cold, because you are magic.

I can wake up every night at 3 AM since the day you told me that there’s always a way out of every maze. And since that day, I don’t get nightmares anymore.

(3/0)

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We both love sunsets, you and me. Because there’s something about them which is melancholy yet soothing, maybe because they have the perfect balance of light and dark to suit the absolute and the relative of our beings. Like a farewell song, which has the sting of departure laced with just the right music to hit the most sensitive spots of our aching hearts. Like the last few seconds and the last few inches of the fingers by which two parting hands still hold on to each other. Like the parts of us which always want to cling to sadness, having developed an appetite for it even after homes full of optimism. Maybe one day, we’ll make it to Manhattanhenge.

But we both are fond of sunsets, also because we have spent ample time away from each other, in cities blessed with these vibrant daily events, trying to describe to each other how it looks like in our part of the world. And now that we’re here, together in this little town with miles of unobstructed view, all I want to do is just look at you. I want to fill my eyes with the sight of the dying daylight falling on your face, on your porcelain skin. You can keep on looking at the sunset, though. Maybe one day, we’ll make it to Manhattanhenge.

Lately, we’ve been away from our homes. For so much time, now, that we can say we fled away, finding and making homes in obscure things. Legs dipped in clear streams, backseat of our car, tiny smoke-filled caf├ęs, late night walks on wide winding roads in a suburb, acrylic colors smeared on our hands trying to paint portraits of each other. So even if people have different definitions of home, I’d say home is where ever you feel like it.

Just as I found my home in you, as you look at the sun taking a dip in the ocean. Maybe one day, we’ll make it to Manhattanhenge. And you’ll turn to look at me and we’ll kiss and the sun will be singing a farewell song and maybe then, we’ll find our new home.

(2/0)

I imagine us – you and me – in that cottage in the wilderness of Scandinavia. You wearing an oversized sweater and me wearing my long beard, propped up in the torn couch under a blanket near the small fireplace. The wolves howl outside as the night settles in. We’ve fled far away from any place we could call home.

I begin to think about the numerous writers you’ve quoted so far and my mind takes a halt on a few of them. When we began, I was a big zero in a lot of things, the things which are necessary to form the essence of a rather purposeless life. I remember you asking me once that if you were to ever leave me, would I chase and try to stop you. And I remember that with a very cold mouth I had said ‘no’ – that I would let you go; that we should let everything follow its natural course. Now, as my freezing index finger traces your bare back, I want to tell you that I was wrong. That I envy all those writers whom you like because of the words they can write to woo you. That I am not able to write like them, the ‘lovey-dovey-flowery’ stuff you asked me of, once. That your love has made me the werewolf which could tear everything apart into shreds with its claws. That yes, I admit that I need you.

You say something, but I am too occupied looking at the reflection of the fire in your eyes to pay attention to your words. Your voice sounds like music, like those chords which know no language, so the listener just have to close their eyes and go with the flow.

I wonder what did you really do to make me feel that whatever I am beginning to become, it’s all because of you? I was a barren desert for thousands of ages when you came with a little soil and water. You began by growing a little oasis and before I could know, we were sitting in a goddamn jungle, in the middle of this wilderness of Scandinavia.

(1/0)

I mean, I am sorry to break your heart, but

there is no such thing as

love at first sight. What you see at first

in a person is their body,

their appearance and not the essence of their character.

So whatever comes to your surface

like a surge of adrenaline

is entirely physical.

It’s your desire

to procreate, to touch the person,

to feel their skin.

Love is rather like a vine. It grows

from a sapling to fruition,

so there’s a fair chance

you might overlook

when it’s still a seed.

But to let it grow up

mature and ripe,

you must water it, nurture it,

keep it free from pests and infection

almost care for it like a baby.

And if you still feel

you’ve been hit by Cupid’s arrow

real bad

and there’s no saving you tonight, then

just enjoy the company, have great sex,

forget everything,

and go home in the morning.

I am counting till ten
When seven comes
We’re supposed to be at the club, right on time
Let’s click some pictures
Some of them have got to be,
On purpose, ugly,
So we could all
Laugh at each other
Through it all
Journey out our summers
Wait for a flat and
For the late-night camping bummers

Two, cough, three, four
I, to fit inside four beats,
Found it hard always
So, make a different sized room for me.
Flashes inside the cinema hall
Glasses clinking, eyes shrinking
Everyone talking, thinking
You don’t listen to me.

Oh, it’s five already
Keep up, keep up
Flying colors aren’t worth our time
Rock n’ Roll on speakers
Your mid-life crisis next in line
Check the dashboard, 
I think there is my mind
Oh nevermind, it’s seven right now
I am standing at the club
Somebody missed the counting?

What’s so important down at ten?
Why are there so many questions?
This isn’t how it was supposed to be.
But I lost, so good luck,
Hide well, my friend
Made a fool out of myself
I am going back to one
And last time, won’t repeat
I am counting till ten

School got over
Summer came and brought mangoes
My Catfishes grew up to become Tigersharks
She still doesn’t play with me
I asked daddy to buy me a new Cricket set
I went to the park and looked at her house
A different boy was standing
He had a new bicycle
He was wearing goggles
It rained a lot and I cried in the park
Mommy made pudding
I ate all of it and read Nagraj comics
Superheroes are not real because
They are really bad people
The bad people that really are, are very small in their bad deeds
Summer was over
I dressed up like Nagraj for my Birthday
Also wore new goggles
She still doesn’t look at me
I guess she also thinks of superheroes as bad
I went to the planetarium
So many stars and planets and so much more black
I saw Earth take a long time around the Sun
It goes round and round and comes back to the same place
I saw her cry so many times
First bruises, then exam results, then the different boys
She still doesn’t talk to me
I guess she doesn’t know I am visible

One day school will be over
And the Earth will complete another round of the Sun
Maybe she will notice me then
My Earth, and finally come to me
I will let all her clouds rain
On the barren lands of my shoulders
Time is a silly thing
Sometimes it takes a whole summer
For the Catfishes to grow into Tiger-Sharks
And sometimes we grow up writing poetry about someone.

There is a bedtime story I listened to, once
of a clan of people who had strength of hand.
They were rich,
they were in numbers,
they had weapons and vast lands.
But they jutted all day over
their great ancestry,
so, they never themselves
grew up to be great again.

If they knew what was lacking
in the tight knots
of fickle relations,
they’d have known
how many more miles to go
before the river shows up,
how many more ages
before they realize
that no amount of steps
will ever lead them to heaven.

The clouds’ embrace, the pearly gates – they all came down to them, somehow.
Is there a drop left to drink?
All the waters declared holy, all your gods
laugh at you now.
The wars were long over,
this city fell when we were celebrating.
You were dancing, I was pouring,
the rest of us still snoring,
tired of the battle, wounded and smeared.

I slept halfway through the story, I think.
When I woke up at the end,
they were burning corpses of my kin,
and I was breathing in the smoke, the tears welling up –
was it sadness?
Or did I smell freedom?