Question

You ask me what I expect of you,
Ask me what my reaction would be
If you ever said that you love me.
A million thoughts running through my mind
Washed over with nostalgia
Remembering
Reminiscing
Reliving
Those times when you held me high
Those times have grown old now, haggard, fragile
Like a beautiful flower pressed somewhere between the pages of my book,
Trying to preserve its short-lived beauty, romance; it’s sad
Its dull shimmer, seems unreal (it used to shine so bright, it nearly blinded me)
Delicate; careful now, touch it and it’ll crumble and vanish into nothingness
Those times have grown old
Into times where you crushed me low, so low.
Blissfully ignorant,
But your ignorance is not my bliss.
Thinking about the times I was close,
Close by your side, holding your hand
Thinking about the times you were far,
Separated by inches that felt like miles of distance.
I sigh.
I thought I knew you so well, Mr. Stranger.
You study my face closely,
As I bite my lip like I always do when I’m thinking
You’re wondering:
What is going through my mind now?
Suddenly I’m transported to a conversation that I had with your “friend”
I said,
“If he never meant it, he shouldn’t have done that,
He shouldn’t have held my hand,
He shouldn’t have caressed my cheek.”
And you know what he said?
“He regrets that too.”
What did this too mean?!
I never regretted any of it!
I think,
I barely trust myself to believe that you were lying to me
All this while
But…
I try,
A million thoughts converging and then shattering to pieces, painful
I try,
to fix
to fix my gaze on yours
Forget looking straight,
I am barely thinking straight
I’m hoping
That you delve into the depths of my soul
And find
What I truly mean to say.
If you search,
You’ll find it.
Till you do,
The answer is,
“I don’t know.”

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Under The Red Quilt

Under the red quilt
I smiled
You lay next to me
I snuggled close to you
Warming myself, at last
From the cold winds of loneliness (that ice my very blood, you know.)
I’d finally found a friend
We watched that movie
On that chilly afternoon
How your toes played with mine
Your fingers intertwined with mine
My head rested on your shoulder
I sighed..

That evening,
We talked on the terrace
Holding hands, holding cups of hot coffee
Together, you said, we’d stand through it all
Together, you said, like you really meant it, like a promise..
We smiled, this was our secret
I looked at you, saw hope, awe, anticipation
Fear?

In the night,
I clutched your hand
You held me so close
As we watched that scary movie
I could barely look
Felt your breath
My hand on your chest
Rhythmically rising, falling
Your fingers tickling my hand
Holding my hand as if you’d never let go
As if you’d always be there for me

But the next day
Under the red quilt
You were next to me, not by my side (you seemed lost.)
After you’d spoken to him, your ‘friend’
Suddenly you clenched my hand hard
As if you never wanted to let go
You got up
I looked at you in surprise
And you said “We can only be friends,
Best friends.”

Your warm fingers traced the outline of my face
You looked away, then
Walked away
Your head hanging low
You never turned back
I stared into the void
My head throbbing
My heart sobbing
Ripped apart
What could I say?
Was I given a choice?
I wiped the lone tear off my cheek
Shivered, it was cold, so cold again
And crept
Under the red quilt

Scared

(an older piece)

Is this real?
I ask myself
Can it be real?
Is this too good to be true?
I am happy, is it wrong?
I’m so afraid because happiness like this is frightening
They say, they only let you be so happy when they are going to take something away from you
Will he go away, like they all did before?
Will he leave, will he break my heart?
Should I risk it, or run for my life?
Should I fall under his spell and then into a deep abyss of hurt and betrayal?
I’m so tired of being hurt again and again and again
I’d like to feel wanted…
No, but I’m too scared to love
Too scared to let go
Too scared to lose myself in his eyes
To melt in his embrace
Oh, but it feels so good, so good when I’m around him,
When I take in his heady scent
When he talks to me in that damn-assured voice of his
It was the music that brought us together
Will the music take him away?
I think I’m in love but I’m afraid to say it out loud
They may hear me, I may jinx it
I may say something wrong and just blow it all away
This is precious to me, fragile
This feeling I’m feeling
I’d like to cherish it; forever
Truth is, I’m scared

Hush, Now (The Little Death)

Speak softly, my darling
Quiet, not a word now,
Let’s fight no more.
Hush, listen to the
Sounds of silence, the
Oblivion, the
Darkness, of
Loneliness
Out of which we arose
Like a phoenix, from the ashes,
The embers will never die.
The passion we shared
Will never fade…
The warmth; we warmed each other
The cockles of my heart, melting
The cold, hard snow of the years, thawing
The warm ray of sunshine
You came into my life,
We filled the deafening silence with
Our music
Our laughter
Half smiles and downcast eyes.
In your arms I lay (till the storm passes)
You held me close (till the wind ceases)
I thought you would never let go…
A cool zephyr blows, now the light glows
Together we’ll soar into the sky
Above the miserable clouds (with no silver lining)
Up where the sun shines upon on our faces
The wind beneath our wings
We’ll laugh together,
We’ll mock those jaded, cynical beings
Who mocked us.
They were just jealous
We’ll prove them wrong,
Our love will.

Come to me.
Speak no more.
Precious, fragile, delicate hearts
Can break under harsh words, under pressure
Hush now, let’s nourish
The little we have left
A measure of music, half of merriment
A sprinkling of the shards of the past…
Hold my hand.
I’ll shroud you in my affections
Smother you with my love
Choke you with my words
Close your eyes with my kisses
Put you to sleep with my songs, my voice
And when you rest I’ll let go
And you’ll slip back into oblivion.
Peacefully.
Unknowingly.
And I’ll return to the shadows I know too well,
Existing, not living
Covered in cobwebs (of illusion), star-dust
Surrounded in shards of my broken soul
Each reflecting, magnifying the hurt, the pain,
Singing the song of silence (it’ll echo)
Till I rise again

My New-Old Friend

These are my memories of you.
Orange juice, after a strenuous
game of boisterous
Football.
After which we sat, and talked, and talked some more, and held hands,
Two aunties swishing their dupattas as they walked by,
Their upturned noses,
Disdainful glances, (through gold-rimmed glasses)
And how we laughed!
We started speaking because of our love of food (junk, obviously)
And we first met each other.
And we couldn’t take our eyes off each other.
As we zoooooooomed through the streets of the city,
Vrooooom!
Lunch, then (junk, obviously)
And one giant cup of strong, chilled, fizzy, sticky, sticky soda
A glass bottle that traveled across the seas from
Dubai, and that red scarf
Where I was The King,
The Master Of The Earth
With a painted mustache on my face.
And you pretended to be my not-so-humble servant,
Bumbling about with that huge umbrella.
And how we laughed!
And you watched as I took your watch.
(I still wear it everyday, you know.)
Steady eyes boring deep, gauging my reaction.
I was pleasantly surprised.
The fort near the sea, where we took so many glorious pictures
And memories, near the wall
Your results, we stalked in the mall
And you spoke to my mom.
Show-off. How would I forget that, darling?
Five hour midnight conversations
Over things as trivial as spiders on my wall
And skeletons in the closet, and high-school crushes,
Teachers, your favorite (wink wink)
And music, you were so ‘patient’ with me
And how we just had to try out that chicken roll.
And scared me again,
Over this fizzy, half-empty, sticky, sticky, sticky bottle of soda
You messed my hair. I’m not going to forgive you for that.
Oh, how we laughed!
Your shoes, those black ones,
I crafted, you loved
To see me do that, and you would smile
At whatever I did, I remember
How you pulled my cheeks as I sang (horribly off-tune, of course)
And brushed that stray lock off my face
And I blushed, and you would smile.
You taught me to smile, (did you know that?) all the time,
(and crack a stupid joke whenever I could)
You taught me what laughter is,
What a true best friend can be.
And how to mean every word I said,
And still be absolutely sane-insane.
Enjoy, what life is,
You defined vibrant, you defined life
We left our demons behind
And how we laughed! Without a care in this desolate, dreary world.
The world was too slow for us. We never really understood them, I felt.
We were more than friends.
You said it.
I knew it.
I was scared,
To admit it.
I’m so sorry I let you down.
I let our moment,
Our moment
Pass by,
And I ignored it
I hurt you,
I know. I’m so sorry.
You’re away now, pursuing passionately your dreams
The light
Still bright
In your eyes (don’t let it fade, ever)
And the last day, before you went,
I didn’t want to let you go…
Do you understand?
We don’t talk now, but
My drunk friend, if I could, I would
Spend the last five minutes of my life with you,
Talking about t-shirts, and just drinking in your laughter,
As we would sit bare-foot in the sand, sharing a half-empty, (you would say half-full) bottle of sticky, fizzy soda, with lots of bubbles.

Twenty Past One

It’s twenty past one.
I’m sitting on my bed. Munching
On chocolate chip cookies, crunching
Thinking
You were in front of me, all I was doing is punching
Your face,
Instead of speaking (I hate you so)
Something
Which I know now I shouldn’t have said. (I love you so)
Now launching,
Into bouts of moody, selfish imagination
Of my version.
I’m staring,
Into oblivion
As you’re shrinking
Into the distant past
I’m blinking
I was a fool, convinced this would last
Oh, but you go,
I’m so over you.
Maybe not.

Conflict

I’d heard of love from my friends before
I’d see them lost to the world, their hearts would adore
Each other
And I wondered,
What is love?
But a childish, immature, fantastical concept
A naïve, vulnerable, hazardous prospect
All this while I thought I was grown up until it crept
Upon me
Like a shadow,
Stealthily
And I didn’t even realize
All this time I thought I could moralize
But now I’m paralyzed
This catch in my breath,
When my heart skips a beat
My lower lip trembles
I refused to believe
That I was in love
This tightness in my chest
My head still protests
It’s hard to digest
Was I in love?
I shiver a bit
My belly does a little flip
When I think of his name
Was I going insane?
To think that cynical, mistrustful me
Had been finally ensnared, finally deceived
Had I fallen in love?
Had I fallen in love?
Could it be true
That my prince charming arrived so soon
On his white horse
Singing the verse
Of my heart
No, I was a fool,
I searched for another excuse
No but he had arrived
Wanted me to be his bride
Wanted me by his side
And when he smiled at me,
He broke straight through this shield,
This armour, this shell that I’d built
I didn’t even know it existed
Trapped in the grey tower of my own doing
He rescued me, his princess
I know it’s true
I touched him, he’d kissed my hands
And whatever I’d thought, I’d planned
Vanished
I know it’s true
Was this my cue?
To finally believe?

Now he’s gone
My lower lip trembles, my heart has lost its song
I didn’t believe in love’s magic, its power
I admit, I was a doubter, a coward
But now look what love has done to me
I’m a different being
Yes, because I didn’t believe I’ve fallen down
My head frowns,
Telling me, “I told you so”
This is my punishment
It wasn’t love, I said, so he went
Created this illusion
Threw me in this confusion, delusion
I couldn’t come to a conclusion
He filled a void; I was baffled it even existed
I could get him back I knew
My heart persisted
My head resisted
This conflict, this battle rages,
I’ve retreated to my cage
And I don’t want to leave
I don’t want to fall in love again
Hear my head berate heart once more
Be drowned, then the impossible swim to the shore
No, it was sensible to not fall in love, I swore
But it felt so good; when I was with him, magic
I traveled to a different world; ecstatic
I felt warm, secure, these were feelings I’d never known
Now that he was gone I couldn’t accuse
Now that he was gone I could no longer refuse
The excuse
That indeed I was in love
I felt so lonely that night,
The light
It left my eyes
Who was to blame but myself for my plight?
And this lone tear fell from my face
Like rain, on a hot dry summer day
My heart heaved,
My head finally believed
That indeed
I had been in love,
I had been in love