Author: traintotimbuktu

Blank Canvas

A plain canvas – naïve and blank
Open to the brutal assault of colours and textures, yet to come
Longing to be drenched – in your dreams and nightmares.

Undented and painfully happy,
Waiting to answer the call of your whims.
Smiling through my bruises, I was
as you lashed out with your violets and reds.

Scrapes and tears began to show,
on my calm façade –
I began soaking in your fantasies and fears,
your gashes– crude blacks and angry yellows.

As you gloated over your creation and basked in its glory,
Wild thoughts dragged crazily all over me
– shades of blue, deeper possible?

A canvas in my right no more,
me – a distraught reflection of your anger and smallness
A jumbled mess of colours and patterns,
Oh! There was no undoing this mess now.

As my tears rained through your creation
your anger came at me – pokes and angry strokes.
Pouring brighter hues of reds and oranges
To keep my wounds from showing.

You eyed the pot of an impassioned mix, to cover the last white spot
And I took one last breath in –
wondering if the creation of your masterpiece,
always meant the end of my existence.

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Ignominy of Being Forgotten

Ignominy of being forgotten.

It was long long ago that I read a story written by Anita Desai that beautifully dealt with the above said – ignominy – the shame and disgrace in being comfortably forgotten.

The death-drop – the sinking feeling in your stomach when you think about the possibility that your friends/family/acquaintances could simply carry on – without you. Not after making peace with missing you, but rather forgetting to miss you.

The feeling of being dispensable, forgettable, replaceable – almost denying you your past presence.

Have I felt this way before?

Shadow

I am, but a shadow of what I was.

My body still flaunting exaggerated curves;
Full breasts – expectant of something that, now, will not happen.
Dull aches and pains in my joints and hips;
painfully reminiscent of the inkling of life inside me – gone by.

Veins in my arms, with fading blue knots on them
reminding me of the innumerable pokes I dared.
Toe nails with no paint on them
bringing back memories of the day I decided.

The lump in my throat
the void in my gut – all too real to ignore,
the perfect absence you left.

Things will change – they say
A spot of sunshine, a rainbow, a song;
Good food, happy evening with friends and time.
We know how hard it is – they say.

I wish they knew.

Without you, I am but a shadow of what I was.

Artist

The first time I took  notice of him was when he asked me if he could draw my eyes. He was my co-passenger. For the next week, he found a seat opposite me in the bus that weaved through the streets between my workplace and home and sketched away, while I read my book. He was an artist who was taking classes in a nearby college, and I was just another subject. I loved the way his hands worked magic on the paper. When he was done, the  eyes on his paper looked like mine – but spoke a different language and told different stories. My co-passenger was an artist, alright.

Yesterday, as my train pulled into London Victoria, I caught a reflection of my tired eyes in the window and was reminded of him.

I guess, the stories my eyes told, on his paper all those years ago, were mine after all.

What kind of a dreamer are you?

Nope.. I am not talking about the dreams you have for your life.

I am talking about the unexplained, unfinished glimpses of stories you see unfold in front of you, when you lose your eyes to sleep each night.

What kind of a dreamer are you??

Do you dream of things that you thought about during the day? Does your dream ensure that all unfinished business during the day has a perfect ending and is placed in a beautiful Tiffany box with a bow on it??

Do you dream of people you have never met? Exciting things you have never done? Do you wake up believing that what you saw was as real as real itself? Do you go through the next day with a spring in your step?

Do you dream of scary, bizarre things – and wake up wanting to forget it??
Do you spend all of next day with a simmering headache and a racing pulse because you still can’t convince yourself that what you saw was just another dream.

Or are you one of those who are cursed with one set of dreams – nightmares that you want to leave behind, but can’t because they come back as fresh as ever – every so often, shaking you out of your  life – reminding you that there is no escape.

Are you a dreamer at all?
Tell me. What kind of a dreamer are you??

The other day

…….

We left the building and almost like she had secret drug to offer me, I followed her- dazed – through narrow walkways with colorful buildings on either sides. On my own, I would never make my way through a street like that. I thanked my new friend. The liberation I knew that was waiting for me at the other end, put a spring in my step. When she reached the doorstep of what seemed like our destination, she looked back, with an intriguing smile. I followed her into the place.

People with tattoos all over their body, piercings and wild hair colors, occupied most seats. I found a ‘distressed’ leather sofa and sat down – feeling a bit whoozy just from the atmosphere.

My friend came back, took my coat and asked me if I wanted wine, champagne or tea. Shushing a number of voices in my head, I asked for champagne. I wanted to acknowledge my complete failure at the event earlier.

As I sipped through the champagne, my friend approached me, with the smile that had now become eerily familiar. She asked me if I was ready and before I could gather my thoughts, she put her fingers with neatly manicured nails through a pair of scissors and started working methodically through my long locks. Over the next hour, she tossed and rummaged through my hair, chopping off curls.

I just sat there, sipping champagne; listening to a song I had never heard before, accompanied by tattooed friends, staring at the mirror at my changing face – as my locks dropped to the floor.

A lump formed somewhere in my throat – may be tear too.

…..

Unfinished

Open pots and pans
Bits and bobs strewn around.
Half-read pages of unfinished books
Stories vying for an end.

Songs with unfamiliar tunes
dancing on my lips;
Broken bits of thoughts,
That will never be finished.

Dreams with no beginnings
drawn across my half-open eyes.
My heart races – and I close my eyes
wishing I could continue on to the end.

Another wish –
Yet another abandoned drift.

Stranger

We met some time ago – courtesy a common friend. Would you call that a meeting?  Inconsequential anyway – I did not remember what you were like a few hours later and you probably did not even notice my existence. But there was a spark – an instant connection.

I took the chance meeting in my stride and carried on – busy with everyday.  I noticed you here and there, but thought nothing of it. An occasional hello was plenty – not like there was anything more to it. But days passed and we met more often. Suddenly every corner I turned, I saw you – or something that reminded me of you.  Were you this ‘present’ in my life always or were you making subtle changes to your life – to include me? Questions I wanted to ask but never did, for the fear of appearing too needy.  Consciously I ignored your presence and moved on like nothing had changed. After all where could this lead? I stood my ground firmly – you followed me around.

I did not give in – You did not give up.

Within the matter of a few days, the tide turned. Appearing as un-interested as possible, I waited impatiently to hear from you – to meet you again. You did too – but you were more vocal about it.

We met each other more often and spent more time together. I told you much more about myself than I had ever told anyone else.  Could I trust you with so many stories – stories from my past, dreams for my future? You promised to stand with me through ups and downs – bore witness to my absurd thought threads.

How well did I know you?

I grew to like you – for your simplicity, your conviction, and your looks – None of these overdone.
You confided in me too – things no one else knew about you. We talked for hours on end about a zillion issues –  issues of no relevance to you or me – but talk we did.

Was it wrong to assume that you grew a fondness for me too?

And then it happened.
Cracks appeared in our ever so perfect relationship!

You hated the dependency but did not know what to do when left alone. As much as I enjoyed being with you and could not stay away, I had to find time for other activities. Insecurities crept in. I could no longer count on you when I needed you the most and you made clear your unhappiness about the situation. I longed for simpler times. Wanted to wind the clock back to when we had just met – to relive those moments – may be take a different route this time around.

But it was not meant to be. We were not meant to be.