I walk

June 15, 2017 § Leave a comment

 

I am that guy who walks with long strides and short, through cities big and small, towns with paddy field boundaries and villages with a cross road or two.

I am a small force of my own, an object small, determined to walk however far, I don’t know to what. I push through the heat, through the cold, through rain and sweat, drenched, past churches, temples, mosques and elsewhere where people go to seek the divine, but find a human in between instead.

I have no faith,

It just is.

I have hope,

It just is.

I see gorges, I see rivers free, I see the deep valley cut clean. There’s a whisper, there’s a flap, there’s a flurry, there’s maybe a prey or a predator, but all I see is a quietude, a slumber, an afternoon rain weathering away the rocks as if to measure life sans time, in a moment that lasts itself beyond reason or rime.

There are no boundaries, except those we draw on our own. And we draw, we carve, the lines that are roads, the way to homes we build in tiny geometric shapes plotted on plans and maps, surveyed and claimed as humanity’s own.

I walk under the sun, I walk under the street lights, I walk through firefly lit starry nights. I watch the match boxes come alive, at tea stalls and humongous complexes with tiny ants rushing in anxiety to fill another day with they know not what, but call a purpose.

I walk past the malls and the neon light boards that insist that the you can’t resist what is within- racks of the same, machine made and mould. There are no rats there, just spiders and cobwebs that escape pest control.

 

The five-o-clock sea breeze squeezes and chocks its way past the sepulchres of everyday life that form a maze with no end, either way. The crows scavenge and steal from the fortnight’s garbage. There’s a rot somewhere, and a nervous laughter all around, no one wants to stir the tea which is already too sweet.

I hear the music play, a coy bride on her wedding day, being apparently given away. I hear the songs of parvenu faith, blaring aloud, thumping chests to twirling moustaches, a goddess is demure when the nine-yards are draped.

I stride, and I leap, I run. There’s nothing in my mind, but the next step, and then another.

I believe in hope.

It remains alive through the dreary monsoon days, the harsh Madras sun and the opaque Himalayan cold that eats into your very bones. It lingers on, like the taste of your first lover, which you try to recount, to remember the day you were first together, young and silly, tangled limbs and messy sheets.

My strides strong and long, never weary. The feet yearn for more, a mile, or a furlong, you can call it whatever you want.

There is no corner they leave unthread on the dirty beaches in my city, with faded boats casting long shadows under which stray dogs rest, under which young lovers hope not to be repressed.

There’s no nook which they not pass by, the crevices in the jumble of rocks destined to become sand, the burrows of wild creatures which hide and prowl only at night.

I seek hope, for I believe in it.

Every road has a memory of love, of grief, of pain, of laughter and others’ memories. There are stories that speak through abandoned shoes and neglected rosaries, there’s always someone who has been here before- wanting to be set free, searching for faith in sand castles and abandoned temples. There are moonlit shadows that smell of cheap wine and rum, lovers in revelry, lost souls washed ashore who cannot burrow like crabs any more.

Some paths split, taking you afar, others which come together to bring worn shoes home, torn to be mended by hands varicose and alone. The streets cut each other at ninety degrees, but there’s always that cul-de-sac which lies forlorn.

I yearn for hope.

There’s a twilight which lingers on, like a long-lost memory. There’s a watch forever stuck at half-past three.

I walk.

I am that guy who walks with long strides and short, through cities big and small, towns with paddy field boundaries and villages with a cross road or two.

I have no faith,

It just is.

I have hope,

It just is.

 

 

He believed in old love

June 1, 2017 § Leave a comment

He believed in old love, and only in old love.

Old love, where a hug was a cuddle, a kiss that stopped time, silences words that said themselves. He yearned for old love, like he yearned for his morning coffee- out of habit, a comfort which made life worth living.

His old love rode with him on the imaginary trams that criss-crossed the main through-ways of the city. His old love held his hand while he travelled on the local, and pecked his cheeks at the first smell of sea as they reached the beach.

His old love was memories tightly knit by steady hands which believed that they will be well worn, with tales of their own to tell those came after. His old love was the canter of the fort-city, the stink of sweat, the never-ending struggle to remain as it is, through storms and parched summer afternoons.

His old love was one in the morning, when there were no horns or dogs barking, when the lonely crows of the city slept on the branches of coconut trees, when rusty air conditioners gritted and grated their teeth in faux poetry.

His old love was a sultry hot Sunday afternoon, lazy, contently fed, sparsely clothed, and rhythmic snores which tickled if you lay close enough.

His old love was the first whiskey bottle- lost in some forgotten corner, half-remembered on Saturday nights when songs from the eighties shed their age and shy to move in half-steps and full to the nineties.

His old love was letters written in cursive with words stuck haphazardly- intended to be a quip, but all they made out to be was as adage to angst and hope, a whisker on a teenage upper-lip.

His old love was the poems that remain unread, stocked and locked in heavy cupboards with moth balls, lest they be pried, even if unintended.

His old love was a name, firmly said, with no half vowels, and consonants which stirred storms in antique tea sets.

His old love was a hard trek up the hill of ancient stones, carved to mean, to be, but now in ruins, except for those eyes, which still seem to see.

His old love was a sketch which still he held, a t-shirt he still wore, a laughter he heard, tears that were left unshed.

His old love felt salty on the tip of his tongue, never spoken, but never forgotten.

His old love was a dream, which he wished was a memory.

His old love he held like a phantom limb, never seen, but always felt.

 

Where Am I?

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