Life through silly metaphors




Reds, blues and greens on the TV screens
A chaotic brightness
Weird, whirring, ear piercing sounds
Confusion, an obvious lack of clarity.

Is colour coming to the black and white TV?
Or is it becoming even more dysfunctional that it already is?
“Ask the TV mechanic?”

I fail to sit still, pacing around restlessly,
As if it were a matter of life and death.

The mechanic comes, inspects the damaged body.
Checks the insides.
Once done, he glares like the devil.
“Your TV is fine, nothing’s wrong with it.
Just give it a little time and you’ll start seeing colours on it again.
This is just the beginning.”

It was
a matter of life and death.
The TV wasn’t the only thing that experienced what it did.
I did too.
All black for so long, a loud disruption and first flashes of colour after ages.

He said just give it some time, it’ll become even better
And I will because I believe him, want to and need to.

A question of survival, not choice.
Optimism everywhere,
Even through silly technological metaphors.

It isn’t raining outside yet,
But the drought is ending, I know.
I know.

Things will be good
Things will be good.


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The rant of a former pessimist

I had told myself that the mortal world is bad and God is bad
People are bad and animals are bad
War is bad and peace is bad
Capitalism is bad and socialism is bad
Hope is bad and hopelessness is bad
I am bad and everyone else is bad
And good is bad and bad is obviously bad.

Why did you have to come into my life and spoil this perfectly bad world I was a part of and the perfectly bad life I was leading?
It took years and years of defeat for me to become a complete pessimist
Years and years of black and silence
Loads of will and strength to carry on
To reach some level of acceptance
To believe everything the first stanza describes.

And then you come and I stop feeling like that.
Because you are not bad
No matter how hard I tried, you just would never seem bad.
And if there is even one person in this world like you
Then my outlook ceases to be true.
And the world ceases to be silent and dark.

With hate and love,
a former pessimist.


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A moment of a thousand lives and a thousand deaths

It may happen at night, when you’re almost asleep,
A heightened sense of peace and quiet.
Or in the middle of a jog towards class,
A frantic state of muddled, rushed thoughts.
But, at least once in your life, it does.

When the sun turns pink and the seas are brimming with elixir.
When all the divisions that plague this world cease to be and everything goes back to being one.
When you see rainbows at night and life in death.

It sounds wonderful imagining it
A utopia of sorts.
But we are so used to the dark, our palette filled with black and black and even more black and absolutely nothing else
That instead of embracing the brightness, our eyes squint and then shut in the face of it
We don’t know what to do
Sensible thoughts desert us and panic drives us
We are all fools and cowards and that is exactly how we behave when it matters the most
Bloody morons.
We hide from the magic, thinking it to be a form of deceit
Thinking ourselves all clever and smart for calling out the bluff.
We don’t let the goodness take us in it’s arms
We are too busy fighting the bad side and pitying ourselves.
And then we crib and cry
So very oblivious to what essentially is life.

We wait all our lives for this one moment which possesses the power to decide the course our lives take
No less important and influential than whoever or whatever we worship.
Our lives nothing but a long, hard journey in search of this, the embodiment of our own selves.

You may or may not have felt the might of this moment.
You may think you have when you haven’t or the other way round
You will never know
This is it’s mystical beauty.
And perhaps that is just what keeps us going
The endless search of and non-sureness about whether we’ve experienced this exalted sense of being and belonging never to be attained again
This maybe is what hope is in it’s naked avatar, it’s most human definition.

She wasn’t around me that day.

I was with other people in another part of the city, kilometres separated us.
She wasn’t on the phone and no one was wearing the perfume she does.
I had no sensible contact with her, not a semblance of it.
And, in this setting, out of absolutely nowhere, I felt her presence all around me
Not in fragments, not in minute bits and parts
But as a composite whole, like an entire walking, talking audio-visual experience
I knew then what it meant
And that meaning is meant only for me.

Was this my moment of liberation, of experiencing that something beyond ordinary worldliness?
I don’t know, do I?


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A storm of magic

Three days of searching and hoping and waiting
Exasperated, exhausted, maybe even hopeless now.

The last week had been chaotic
Maniacal in it’s beauty and novelty
I saw and felt things I hadn’t ever
I wrote a lot about colour
The arrival of dawn.

But these past three days the sun hasn’t shone so bright
The going has been sedate, a touch mechanical
Just go through the motions, do I
Searching, hoping and waiting.
The magician casts it’s spell less frequently
The yearning for fairytale happenings goes unsatisfied
The car has shifted it’s gears down a notch
And it feels like the jigsaw is always unfinished.

I can be sad and pessimistic and say that it’s all gone
But I won’t, because that’s what the last week has taught me.
To always feel free enough so as to at least hope for, if not actually experience complete freedom of flight and life
This is not a fairytale teetering towards a halt slowly
But one gathering itself to launch into the hedonistic realm of outer space.

It is calm right now
The storm of love and magic is about to hit soon.
Smile, and make someone else as well.


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My heaven on Earth

A lazy, tepid afternoon
Superficial conversations with superficial friends
A thought stuck not at the back of my mind
But bang in the middle
Burning my insides with it’s screams
I want to do so much
Be so much
But it doesn’t pan out that way
People and society and their opinions about your life do matter.

As I discuss Marquez’s ‘One hundred years of solitude’
I hark back to what she would have had to say about this book
I juxtapose her reactions onto those currently around me
The screams reduce a bit
She’s not here right now, but I can feel her presence
I know her so well, every reaction, every statement and every mannerism
I’ve created an audio version of her, sitting right next to me
I hear her sounds and her silence
And that soothes the burning
The burning of longing and desire.

After a while, I stop talking to the others
They have all left
And I am alone with her, speaking and joking and hi-fiving
I admire her hidden genius
Pretend to laugh at her horrible sense of humour
Normal things normal people do.
I feel a massive thud on my back
I turn around
Turns out the others haven’t left
Hadn’t even for a second either.

And where is she?
She had just come right now, hadn’t she?
Uhhh umm, just in my head.
Am I crazy, I ask no one in particular.
Nope, comes the firm reply.
Just in love.
Just in love.

And hearing that, I start seeing her again
Blushing, smiling shyly.
Is she actually here right now?
Or is this a figment of my imagination too.

I am confused and so I send her a text
She replies instantly,
A sweet ‘Hello’
I ask her where she is,
She says she’s right here.

The lines between reality and fiction are so bloody blurred
This is one crazy labyrinth.

Real or un,
Feasible or not,
Eternal or ephemeral,
I have one foot in the heaven I’ve found on Earth.

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There is peace

The places, the sights around him had been the way they always were. Yet, they seemed to speak to him today, convey something. Just him and those sights. No one else for him to pay attention to. Too hollow to speak to himself, too broken to notice people. And so, immersed in what lay around. A strange sense of belonging with lifeless objects. Cream coloured walls on his sides, white marbled flooring underneath, grey escalators, transparent doors of shops.

He walks slower than he usually does today. Walking has always been a means to some end for him, a movie to watch, a stomach to fill or a class to attend. This is not that hurried kind of walk. A touch regal. He sees that his left leg always goes ahead first, always. He never knew it. Absorbs the entire impact of his foot touching the ground, heel to toe, enjoys the rhythm. He hears the firm sounds, he listens to them carefully.

Around him seems to be a world he hasn’t explored. Shops he has passed many times but never known anything about. A minuscule black birthmark on the Tommy Hilfiger model’s right cheek. The freshly cut grass on some other store’s advertisement. A shop selling candy, the uneven distribution between the beige and black of the famous cola bottles. Even here, in a miniature recreation, the bottle remains half empty. Incomplete.

A store sells just socks, is called Happy Socks. He looks down at his feet, black Benetton slippers, successors to green ones. He doesn’t remember the last time he wore socks, or the last time he was happy. He stands there, staring in the direction of the shop. Sockless, happinessless.

He steps on the escalator, skips a step. He sighs in frustration, wants to feel every moment of his time here today, take it slow. He is so upset, he goes back down after reaching the next floor, and takes the ride to the top again. It feels good, peaceful, the soft whirring sound of the escalator just the music he needs right now. The ride to the top. He wonders how that will be, whenever it is, as fulfilling as this or not.

On the next floor, just as he exits the escalator, he sees his reflection. White, ashen. He says something, but the lips remain sealed. The body doesn’t move, his choice of clothing odd. Soft whispers emanate from somewhere, not his mouth because that isn’t open. They’re saying something to him. He tries to listen.

“This isn’t reality, just an elongated nightmare. Look around people love you, miss you. You are not alone, this earth is not a battlefield and your life is not a war. Your mind is playing tricks on you. Any moment now, you’ll wake up, heave a sigh of relief, brush it off and move on with the good, comfortable life you lead. This isn’t reality. This cannot be reality, not what is written for you.”

As he listens to this, a smile begins to spread on his dry lips, like the first drops of water after a prolonged drought. The whispers turn louder, no longer whispers. He had to stretch his ears to listen to them carefully, not anymore. The voice is clear now, and is very dark. It isn’t his, and it’s not talking about reality and unreality. Something else, mundane, not profound.

“Sir, you’re blocking the entrance to our shop, could you please move aside or come in and take a look at the T-shirt you’ve been staring at.”

It wasn’t his reflection he was talking to, there never was any mirror. It was a mannequin, a lifeless body masquerading as a person. No soul, no peace.

He started panting, rushed down. Impatient, in a tearing hurry, skipped multiple steps. No soul left, no peace left. Gone, all gone.

As far as he was concerned, life ended that day. Hope vanished like the sun in the evening.

He didn’t see anything on his way out, shops or walls. Just long, dark shadows.

But one day, some day in the future, he will realize that there is a way out. He doesn’t need a reflection telling him this is an elongated nightmare, just himself.

The smile will form on his lips. The arid land will get irrigated. There will be peace, there will be peace. He just needs to tell himself, even fool himself that it is still there, hidden under the layers that make this life.

There is peace.


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Fading black

Green trees, grass.
Brown tree trunks, sandals on people’s feet.
A guy in blue, a girl too.
Some in orange, a few others in pink.
Red bricks, the colour of a guy’s backpack.
Grey flooring, skies.
Cream walls, the cricket team’s jersey.

It’s strange how much I notice colour today
How much I’m writing about it.

Strange because I haven’t experienced anything but black for a long, long time.


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My colour of hope

I’ve seen nothing but black for so long now
Heavy thuds ring in my ears
I lack any organs it seems, I am so empty
So broken
I know no smell but that of human poison
Everything around just sucking life.

But today, I saw a bit of red
A faint red from the corner of my eye
And only for a second.
But colour for the first time in an age.

Is the storm about to stop?
Am I being freed?
Will I be alive again?

I don’t know any of it.
Just that I saw a bit of red today.
Just that I saw a bit of hope today.


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Dear privileged child

Cars whiz past,
You, in those cars
And many others.

They sit in some corner
Ragged, dirty
Ugly to your eyes
Only occasionally your eyes meet theirs
Feel sympathy do some
But contribute nothing.

You go to work, school or college
Same routes
And you find them in that same place every day.

You’ve read about the Sun, haven’t you dear privileged child
You do know that it is the greatest source of energy on this Earth
And you also know that it’s always there, in the same place
No matter how many of you die, are reborn and die again
The Sun will be there
Mighty, powerful.

These people on the street,
(Though they too will perish into the wilderness one day)
Are constants in the place they inhabit for ten, twenty, thirty years.

Why, then are they so powerless, so irrelevant?
Poverty, hunger, capitalism, classism could not defeat them
They stand here despite everything,
They surely are not weak.

Have you wondered, dear privileged, emotionally evolved child, why this life is so unfair?

Have you?


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Solitude amongst the masses

Hordes of people
Bright and colourful
Kids, college
All smiles and energy
Selfies and streaks in the hair
Backpacks containing laptops and books
Talking, smiling, living.

I am so scared
So scared
Of situations I once embraced
Envious of people like whom I once was
These people, around me.

A weird splattering of shivers overtake me as I just stand
In a corner,
With people everywhere
Yet all bloody alone.
I feel like running away from here
Faster than light, like I did last time
But I’ve promised myself that I’ll at least try once
To be normal again.

Fears like these are impossible to explain to anyone
How I feel I’ll faint if an acquaintance or a stranger says hi to me
How I pretend to talk on the phone so people don’t think I am a bloody loner
How I seem to make everything around me awkward
People, conversations, even the weather.

I breathe heavy
Some invisible force these people seem to hold over me dulls my senses
And with a wicked, vicious laugh eats me up.

I feel like crying so hard
But no one will listen.
I can’t take these smiles around me
They are death.
Symbols of an improbable, failed dream.

Hordes of people
Everyone with someone or the else to talk to, some dozens
Brightness, chatter, just college things.

All alone
The voice inside the only company
Evil smiles of evil people.
Sharp, sweat inducing shivers and heaves.
Tied to an imaginary leash
Unable to move forward
Or even go back.

Held down
Pinned by a giant monster I can’t see or hear or smell, just feel.

Every inch of me.

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