Something miraculous will happen tomorrow.
Our lives will change forever.
Mine and that of the voice inside.

(The next day)
Wait a bit more
Something miraculous will happen tomorrow
Our lives will change forever.

I’ve been waiting,
Patiently for decades now

I wondered initially what this miracle would be like
A ray of light visible only to me
A costume with a black cape
A trip to places unknown.

It withered away gradually, my sense of excitement
Gradually; painfully
And all that remained in my mind was that things would be better
I’d take anything, just not this
Just not this.

And now that has gone too.
I have been broken,
My walls penetrated
My put-on face, smudged
My blanket of protection, stripped
I have quit this race of hope.

The wait has outlasted, outlived me,
Defeated me.
Like it does, everyone.

I have not found peace,
I have not accepted, or even known myself.


Just try living until your breath leaves you.


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An unknown place we’re all searching for

Some things are colourful
And some things pale.

Some humans are colourful
And some humans pale.

But, the question is not whether you’re neon pink or transparent
The question is what lies in the middle
Is there, between the two extremes, an area of fusion and confusion?
No, not grey, because that too is a colour.
Something we all know about but can’t express.
An area that’ll give space to our secret truths
That we ourselves are scared of confronting.
An area where we won’t be governed by the codes of ethics and morality, not scared of being judged for others will have secrets too
An area which truly is colourless
Not transparent.
Maybe invisible,
Maybe a small little place in our own minds
Where we don’t have to adhere to this or that, pursue this or that,
Where we’re happy just the way we are.

Does that place exist?

For you it may.
For me it doesn’t.

I’m searching. I’m hoping. I’m waiting.


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Whispers and Screams

Pink or Blue?
Blue, says the world in unison.
A few disagree
But their rebellious voices are drowned out by the cacophony of the majority
These rebellious voices had been screams, but are destined to be mere whispers.

Black or White?
White, says the world in unison.
A few disagree
But their rebellious voices are drowned by the cacophony of the majority
These rebellious voices had been screams, but are destined to be mere whispers.

Privilege is a big thing.
Very few possess it.
Those who do, mostly abuse it.
That is why blue dominates pink
And white, black.

Pink and black voices should never have been ones of rebellion.
That they are is the biggest pronouncement of the world there could have been.

I meet many people who think like me.
Pink or Blue, Black or White,
In the end they all are voices,
They all are colours.

I meet many people who think like this.

Maybe I meet very few people,
Or maybe those with power and position and influence are assholes.
But then it’s the people we interact with everyday that elect them
And I think, maybe I just don’t know how to read people.

And so the many above becomes just a few
But wherever they are, and however minuscule their voices seem to be.
One day, some day, they will drown the voices that rule us right now and admonish them to being insignificant murmurs.
One day, pink and blue and black and white shall lose their individual meanings and all go back to being colours

My voice is a whisper right now, but one day it will be a scream.


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I’m a virgin

I sit,
One leg on another, sometimes apart
I stand,
Still, sometimes I pace about randomly.

I walk
I run
I lie down
I do all of this
And I wonder,
Wonder a lot.
Think is the word,
Reverie is what others call it.

As long as I think,
And no one can truly know what I think,
I’m a mystery
An object looked at with fascination even when loathed.

I’m a virgin
And I can never be naked.


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Coloured Gallows

Lights, bright yellow
Walls, cream and blue
Furniture, beige and brown and black
Cushions, sea green
Table cloth, red
Files and documents, blue, some grey
TV, black and sliver
AC, pristine white

An entire fucking rainbow all around me
Their resplendent gallows
To my pallid soul.


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Shades of life

Outside the trees are green
The ambrosial fragrance of the Earth striking

It’s raining
Some people for scramble for cover
Others open their arms wide,
Letting the transparent droplets of water colour them

And I sit inside and wonder
That this here is life

Some run away from it, fearful and petrified
And some embrace it, also fearful and petrified.


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I am human

I want to sleep and I don’t
I like the dead of the night and I don’t
I feel happy alone and I don’t

It’s just past midnight on Monday
I’m sleepy
Crept out by the eerie silence of the night
I miss him, I feel scared without him
I lie motionless, sometimes I weep

It’s just past midnight on Tuesday
I’m as far away from sleep as Donald Trump is from common sense
I’m as much in love with the mystical sounds a night makes as the world was with Audrey Hepburn
I like this time when no one dictates my life, or even things around me.
I shudder at who I was just a while back, completely lost in him.
Being alone is being free and who doesn’t wasn’t to be free.

I am not one person.
Each day, like your choice of clothing, I am different.
One day I’ll rise from the East, the next day from the West
Every night I die and every morning I take birth again

One day, I’m heaven and one day, hell
One day water and one day fire
Good and Evil.
Hurt and hurtful.
Bullied and Bully.
Elixir and Poison.
Life and Death.

I am what you are.
I am human
And I am also a monster.


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Of gold and dust

I had a few friends once
Today I have none

I was stubborn
I wouldn’t need them
I am meant to thrive alone
That’s what I told myself

I didn’t miss them
I hated them
They had all gone
They had girlfriends, friends and happiness
I was left with the sum total of nothing

At first, I thought I had everything
They had become too intrinsic a part of me
I wanted to begin anew, I liked fresh starts
They were overbearing
And freeing myself of them would mean living life as someone else
I was made for that kind of an adventure
I saw all that was good and nice and glorious about it.
I saw and it and I was seduced by it.
If there was something known as pure, naked desire, this was it,
A new life at 25.
Minus the burdens of shitting in your diapers, drinking milk and attending school
In my head, it was a well thought out plan
Go here, or maybe there
Talk to these people, they seem fun
Or maybe to those ones, they’re sharp and knowledgeable, the kind whose company I need to grow
Soon, I had a rollicking social life
My job was great
Following your passion – isn’t that what cool people do?
A wife and kids too
I loved playing golf at 48 by the way
And my Porsche.
Most importantly, no one at all to tell me what to do and what not to
All me, all the fucking narcissist me.

But, as you would know now,
Going by the horribly sad tone of this poem,
It never panned out like this.

My life wasn’t about a lovely family, a glamorous job, a chill social life, expensive cars and private pools
It wasn’t the life a kid would seek
It was the life he wouldn’t want to live.

I didn’t wake up in lavish rooms too cold with the best ACs around
But sweating in the heat, wearing faded, short t-shirts and torn boxers
I didn’t have LED televisions
I had a pint sized box whose most common state was one of black and white lines and a whirring sound
My job was not my passion, I didn’t sing for money
Actually I did, for change from people busy talking on the phone while rushing from one street to another
At other times, I cleaned the garbage, or lifted cartons containing what you wear, or what sits in your living room for meals
I wanted everything,
I had less than even nothing.

My friends,
Till the time they were,
Kept me grounded
They told me to remember at all times who I was
To not dream big
It hurts, it hurts bad when you think of things you cannot have
They had done that
And they knew
And so they told me
I was their friend
It was advice they said
I felt my freedom being snatched because of things like this

Writing today,
I have had an epiphany
They didn’t go anywhere
I pushed them away
I never had any family,
They were what I had
I should have stuck with them

But I didn’t and I dreamt
And while movies and books and public speakers will talk about following your dreams and how they’ll be fulfilled
Nobody fucking tells you about the millions of more dreams that get buried in the mud on which happy people stomp and do things that only happy people do, like hug their partners, carry their kids and smile.

I wonder if these ex-friends too felt like I do
Maybe, maybe not
But they had each other
I don’t because I shoved them away

But now, at the end of the struggle that my life has been,
I wonder whether they even are happy
They have girlfriends, and friends, no money but something at least
Do they look at me and others like me and think what I did all those years back – that a life like this offers so much freedom?

Some of them might take a plunge like me
Some might not
But they will always, always crave the other side
The bloody grass is always greener over there, no?

I have thought optimistically about my future, about my life
I have thought, I think pessimistically about my future, if any and my life, if any
Nothing made me happy.

I look at every faggot around me.
Even the rich and famous
And I think, you may ostensibly have everything
But you still want that something that you cannot have,
Such is the nature of life.
You will not have it
And like me, you too will vanish from this world leading an unfulfilled life
And we will meet again, in heaven or hell or whatever it’s called
And we will start at the same place.
I will be unhappy leading the life you do right now
And you will be unhappy leading the life I do right now

You may not know it, or even laugh at this thought.
But you and me are the same.
Depressed souls in a world engulfed with nothing but greed and consequent misery.


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This great life

He came at me, all muscle and arrogance
I stood still except for the shivers rushing down my spine
I was alone, in a dimly lit middle school bathroom
He had two others with him, both every bit as menacing as him
I pushed my hands to the door behind me,
Hoping to get inside and lock myself in,
Lock them out from my life once and for all.
The handle didn’t budge.

I had read about evil smiles in books
And scoffed at it’s theatrical origins
Today I saw it in front of me,
In that stinky, hot hell hole in the heart of my school.
Maybe they learned it from the books as well.

I had known I’d get beaten by them since the day they arrived in my class.
It had been a month and a half and until now I had been lucky.
But the day had come.
I wasn’t ready or prepared, just resigned to my fate.

The beating didn’t happen that day
The handle budged
And I could feel myself almost flying inside the cubicle
I entered it in a weird sideways fling.
My right knee crashed into the edge of the pot
But I managed to bolt the door.

I felt relief.
I thought that now they would go away.
Now I could lock them out and throw the keys into the Niagra Falls that the flush of the pot felt like.
But they didn’t go away
Instead they came closer.
The leader stood right behind the front door.
His wingmen, one just behind the left wall and the other the right one
The badgering, the humiliation carried on for half an hour.
I cried, I shouted, I writhed in pain, I begged for them to stop and then I kept quiet while they laughed their vicious laughs.
The beating didn’t happen, ever
But what happened that day was way worse.

A few months later, the leader snatched a book I was reading from my hands
He was swaggering around the corridors, waving it with his arms
I ran, I sprinted towards him and I tore the book away from his grasp
It was a library copy and it’s many yellowish pages lay scattered on the floor below
He laughed and walked away.
Whatever remained of the book, I had in my right hand.
I didn’t pick up the pages,
Somehow my pride didn’t allow me to.

I read the pages intact
It made no sense
But those pages were the rewards of my first ever victory.

Even when I thought I was powerful, I was weak
Even when  I thought I could scare him and his ilk off, I was a cause of laughter.
Even when I thought I won, all I got was damaged pages of a book I didn’t even own.

This life, this great life.


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My boy Bukowski

They say about geniuses that they are troubled, they are mavericks and they are miserable.

Charles Bukowski was a mad man, with terrible views on women, a pessimist who could wear down the happiest of souls, a not-very-good man, but he wrote like a scarcely believable dream.

He was my favourite writer’s favourite writer. That’s how I came to know of him.

I had read other books before, never poems. I hated poetry, what with all it’s fancy metaphors and characteristic exaggeration.

But, boy, was Bukowski’s poetry magic. I wonder how I became addicted to it. Maybe because it wasn’t writing about the beauty of trees, but of ordinary activities like finding jobs and drinking beer.

I don’t even know whether I treat it as poetry. It’s so unconventional it has got to be something else. Art, maybe. Or a slice of a life we’ve all lead for varying lengths of time but have qualms admitting to even ourselves.

Writers are powerful people. They are an important species. But not all of them are brave. Only a few maybe. Bukowski was.

He didn’t write about things that were all good and lovely and mushy and easy and nice. He didn’t write about things that were out there in the world somewhere which could be found with enough research.

He tore himself down, looked at what was inside of him, the little good, the slightly more bad, and the most ugly and he wrote about that. He constructed not sentences, but the pain that made him.

In a world which is afraid of reality, which craves drops of goodness like a teen rebel does acceptance, he didn’t go looking for what would give him an escape route. Instead, he chose to go to war with that which would without any doubt destroy him.

When he wrote about how his father beat him up or how he pretended to be pro-Nazis just so he could stand out, when he wrote about the despair which made him and surrounded everything he saw and felt, I felt that indescribable something which I haven’t ever while reading or watching stuff.

There was a truth to it that struck out, not the hard facts type of truth but a truth that only a person who has confronted their own ghosts and come to peace with all that is horrible and bad and mean and disgust worthy about them can talk about.

He wrote at a level so profound I think he should be classified as a philosopher. I have read Kafka as well. He was magnificent, powerful too. But with Bukowski the truth was more blunt, more personal, more everyday.

I have conflicting views, often.

I am a Jeremy Bentham fanboy as well, a firm believer in his utilitarian philosophy that what the ultimate aim of life is pleasure and happiness.

Maybe Bukowski’s was too, in his youth when he would still have hoped. But later, it was as if he knew he couldn’t be happy, that his life would be nothing but years of struggle and unwinnable battles with misery.

Going by what he wrote, and if his writing was one thing, it was the truth, he had stopped hoping. And that, I feel was a level of self realization theoretically mentioned in different philosophies but unheard of practically.

How can anyone continue if there is no hope? When they can’t even feel what good is? When they can’t even imagine happiness?

My girlfriend told me that once, when she was a kid, she asked her father what keeps beggars going. He told her that it’s the hope that one day they may graduate from sleeping on pavements to sleeping in the slums and from slums onto the next stage. It all depended on hope, that’s what drove them.

But in Bukowski’s struggle of an entirely different kind, he didn’t even have the one thing even those who possess nothing have.

In one of his books he has written that he didn’t want to kill himself. He was a coward, he said. He couldn’t do it.

And that probably was the mother of all ironies. A man who exemplified bravery with what he wrote considered himself a coward.

Bukowski wrote about the life we experience, he wrote about things like sleeping late into the afternoon and the nuances of working odd jobs and through it gave us a tiny glimpse into his world of pain.

One of the questions in an application I filled recently was to write a sentence on a person who has influenced me massively. This is what I wrote on Bukowsi:

I spent my whole life looking for magic and wonder, for greatness and genius since those were only things that were truly special in this world, always frustrated with the rigours and monotony of daily life, and then I read Bukowski, who wrote not about the unreality of the hopeful sunlight but of the reality of the pain of the night, a man who made the monotony of everyday, magic, carved out greatness from the ordinary, a man who glorified the life we live and not the life we seek, and made me quit the race which had no finishing line.

I’ve read and felt disgusted by some of his work. It is vile and nauseating, some of what he writes.

But it still affects me, sticks to me because it is the truth of the man who has written it.

The kind of truth we refuse to believe we also have.


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