My Heaven

What might my heaven be?

My heaven would have…laughter.
ringing so loud it dispels the darkness from the most sordid corners of the Earth.
My heaven would be food. All-you-can-eat chocolate. Homemade butter chicken with fat dripping from the naan bread like water droplets
falling to my shoulders
as I shake my head after a swim.
My heaven would be a swimming pool
with just the right temperature of water
so my spindly legs didn’t look like leaves shaking in the fall.
My heaven would be the feeling you get as you stand at the edge of a bungee jump, toying with the safety cables.
It would allow for wondrous curiosity.
My heaven would be the corner of my sofa bed that fits me perfectly, having just the right amount of pillows,
My heaven would have ample leg space.

My heaven would be the badge upon my forehead
declaring my mind the sharpest weapon of all.
My heaven would be finally attaining the level of sarcasm that my English teacher had,
the furtive smirk visible even in in her goodbyes.
My heaven would have no goodbyes. 

My heaven consists of a house so grand it’s never too far from anywhere and yet,
It’ll have a small fireplace
and a stack of my favourite Roald Dahl books.
There’s going to be a study lined with endless works of art,
even if all I do is bury my nose between the pages and come up smiling stupidly, a library;
the kinds where they have ladders on wheels.
I always did like those ladders.
My heaven would be cute boys who’re taller than me
no matter how high my heels are,
with baritone voices and a penchant for dancing.
In my heaven, I’ll be dancing.
I’ll put on a little Etta James on repeat and sway my hips; heartbeats would replace the seconds passing by
and the rude ticking of the clock would stop.

In my heaven, I’m ageless.
For I can’t tell if I’m going to be eighteen
or twenty five
or forty, when I attain my heaven.
But I do know that everyday, I’m getting just a little bit closer.

Rhyme Of The Ancient Child

A child of eight
lies in wait
of life to pass her by
So she can see
with widened eyes
the lows and the highs.

This child of eight
looked at me straight
this child with widened eyes
She asked of me
a thing not tough
but titanic in size

“If you stand tall
at five feet nine
but still bite your nails,
If you don’t cry
when Marley dies
But still make pigtails,

I see it says seventeen, here
since you started existing
but tell me didn’t you trip, yesterday,
on your very own shoestring?

Are you still a child, then?
or are you big and grown?
have you already started reaping
the seeds that you had sown?”

And now it was my turn
to stare with widened eyes
Had I already bid farewell,
to all my lazy Julys?

The sun still shone
The dogs still barked
and I felt like none but me
however, in that moment
she’d set my mind free

My thoughts reeled
like the imaginary racecar
I had when I was six
for two plus two
still equaled four
but my eyes didn’t transfix

On that old bag
which mother had
that big old bag of tricks
Of which she’d pull
something always better
than what I’d predict

I did still dig
my ten tense toes
into the warm brown soil
I did still love
my mother’s fingers
in my hair, with coconut oil

But when did
this strange time come
when my heels started to fit
when I no longer had
to hastily erase
the lipstick from my lips?

She stared at me
intently waiting
as I stood tongue tied,
because childhood was
supposed to be
a kingdom where no one dies.

Edna St. Vincent Millay inspired. ^_^

Fire

I always liked the summer more than any other season. There is a certain freeness I feel in letting my skin soak the light and the heat.
The heat makes you feel its presence as it arrives. The cold, on the other hand, is the absence of any kind of warmth.
I always did have a problem letting go.
And so I’d rather have too much of something, feel the harsh heat on the back of my neck, than feel it slowly escape and change into a shiver running down my spine.
So I’ve decided.
I’ve decided that I’d rather the world end in fire than ice, Mr. Frost. (Ironic, much?)

I’d rather feel the blistering heat eat away at my skin than have the cold kill me from inside.
I’d rather burst into flames, licking the skies above at least once before I die, than be one with the earth.
I’d rather catch a glimpse of all my memories, than see them one by one, that way I’ll know what I treasured most.
I’d rather feel the incessant warmth, and think of it as
Every last hug, a little too tight,
Every last kiss, lingering on for just a while,
Every interruption, not stopping for a breath,
Every purge of ideas, too many to be said.

The insatiable soul inside me does not know the meaning of “too many or too much,
It’d much rather be set aflame than ebb away at a cold touch.

Numbers

Sixty four.
The number of times I’ve stepped out of the house alone after eight, leaving my parents with their fingers as much in a knot as their minds. Should they not have let me go?

Fifty seven.
The number of times I’ve caught an auto driver scratch his chest inside his shirt as his lust filled eyes continued to bore through my thick jacket; all the specks of dirt flying onto the rearview mirror couldn’t hide his intent.

Thirty two.
Times the shopkeeper’s fingers lingered on mine as he handed me my change back; as if giving me my fourteen rupees was consent enough for him to stroke my trembling skin.

Twenty six.
The number of times I’ve hesitated to take that shorter route to class because a gang of bikers known to collect virgins in a bottle had declared the street as theirs.

Nineteen.
The age of the perverse fourth cousin I met at a wedding who forced himself onto me in the empty room.

Sixteen.
The number of accidental brushes of his arm against my leg, my waist or my chest in that crowded train when I didn’t say anything because I’d been taught it was safer to not draw attention to myself.

Thirteen.
When I first found out from my neighbourhood aunties that the length of my shorts was directly correlated with my dignity.

Twelve.
Times my father sent me back inside when the repairman came because he didn’t want me to be “too exposed”.

Ten.
The number of times I’ve been called darling and been checked out top to bottom, this past month. Hmm. I wonder if they liked my new Aldo boots.

Seven.
The number of times I’ve caught uncle looking down my shirt as I bent down to touch his feet. Needless to say, and much to his disappointment, I resort to namastes now.

Five.
My age when that casual labourer working across my house lured me to the back of the unfinished building with a cheap new toy.

Three.
The number of times he ravaged me before letting me go; my muffled screams getting lost in his grunts.
He made me promise to not tell anyone, said it’ll be our little secret.

Two.
The number of days afterwards that I had trouble walking. My mother wanted to take me to the doctor but I thrashed and screamed, just as I had that Tuesday afternoon.

One.
The number of lives I wanted to end with my bare hands.

Because if you can’t beat them, you join them, and if you can’t join them, you surrender. Lay your ashes for them to walk on; feet crunching over broken faith like dry gravel.
Because a thing of beauty is a joy forever, and when that joy is denied , the thing deserves to exist no more.
You deserve to exist no more.

Inescapable oblivion

I see you every Saturday evening,
In your high heels and short skirt;
lipstick so carefully put,
Your face painted with the shades
You wish to be recognized by.

I see your insecurities seep through the cracks at the corners of your mouth
As you fidget with the tassels on your dress.
You call for me every week while I wish to forever be at your doorstep;
The same one you stumble onto after a night of haze you insist on calling ‘Life’.

Your footsteps move in tandem with your hips,
Which as they falter make something inside me skip a beat.
But I,
I never come to your rescue. I wait for you to call me,
Walk up to me and ask for help.
And I, unfailingly, oblige.

I transport you to a new world week after week and take you back to reality.
I want to ask you if there’s someone else, too
Whose breath gets caught in the tangles of your hair.
You smoothen them out with a straight face,
But what do you have to hide from me?

I know six years ago you were afraid this city will spit you out like a piece of bad fish,
And now,
You drink in its lights, its noisy rhythm now a sweet symphony.

And I saw it all unfurl
As I rang your doorbell to tell you I was waiting;
For another round of clinking glasses and hollow laughs,
All clearly audible from my side of the door.
I cross my hands and wait,
Because I don’t want to save you
For then, I would lose you.

But I do wish to whisper a few words to you every now and then.
Hah, but what do you care?

All you feel is the hum of the engine,
All you hear is my silence, and
All you see
Are two white gloves and the back of a head.

A ceasing hush

Her hands trembled as she picked up the pen.
The same one which had looped around to
Add cayenne
To her monotonous life,
Imagining firsts that hadn’t happened then.
She’d construe rainy afternoons and Sunday winter mornings in her head,
A wonderland to which the rabbit hole led.

Six months later,
When she realized that perfection was as hard to find,
As that night was to get off her mind,
She steadied her hand
And wrote

I knew it had been a mistake to step out alone that night as soon as I heard the imminent footsteps…”

I wish to unravel you

I wish to unravel you.
I want to know what makes you smile and what makes silver tears roll from your eyes.
I want to know your favorite bands
What your 4 AMs look like
Do you play with your hair strands
As you nervously falter at the mic?

What makes the corners of your mouth
Twitch up in amused surprise?
Umm.. Do you think that yellow roses
For your birthday, will suffice?

What did you wish for
As you gazed upon that shooting star?
I want to know the woeful tale
Behind your every battle scar.

That empty room in your house
Whose locks rattle on a stormy night
Do you keep your fears in there, love,
Or memories to never set alight?
No,
I don’t invest in bodies; I invest in souls. For I know that when one day the body grows old,
When the skin shrivels and the hair fall out,
Your eyes will sparkle with that familiar furore
And I’ll know to peel you back to your core.
I may never love you, but I want to have you to unfurl,
Make every anecdote a new chapter in this book I’ll call “the story of an ordinary girl,”
and only upon inspection, much like with you,
We’ll all know that
That isn’t true.