The silent destruction

Betrayal can come as a roaring tsunami
Washing away everything
Ever known and believed
Or like a thief in the night
Silently stealing the reasons to be happy
Like a trickle that no one notices
Until the marks become an ugly mar
And at times like the decay
In the founding timbers of trust
Threatening the very structure of life
No matter how noble the reason
Despite the evil in the one destroyed
The pain it leaves behind
The scars it scorches on the soul
Destroy every little thing faith rests on

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When I was free

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Once upon a time I was free

I had no fear of recriminations

I needed to just live, just be

It mattered not if I talked too much

Nor laughed out loud

The world would laugh with me

Even when I bawled and cried

 

I could dream to fly

And feel myself soaring up the sky

The grass was never a foe

Mud was never a barrier

It was our canvas of sorts

 

Fishing with poles was so grown up

We caught the squirming tadpoles with our hands

Fishes were (half) cooked on an open fire

Sharing the bittersweet morsels eagerly

The moment unbearably proud and sweet

 

Fruits were not bought for us

We got them all ourselves

The tall mango tree would shed its bounty

We were also quite good with a stick

Guavas and papayas were not spared either

Chillies and salt just made them better

We never cut a jackfruit

It was always torn open

Sticky hands and smiling mouths

We had no shame stuffing ourselves

 

Floods were nothing new to fear

Just a new world to explore under water

Holding hands we would be friends

Rivalry and loyalty, we knew the drill

The building that was haunted

The thicket that was a secret

A wild fruit indescribably good

It turned our tongues fully blue

The creepers fruit was our chewing gum too

Fear was an old wives tale

We heard it every day and asked for more

In the hot sun and the winter’s cold

They were adventures of the nature true

 

 

What Am I?

There is something inside me rearing to fight
Afraid of loneliness and scared of the light
It sings of tales so sad
That they whimper every moment
They sob like a child
My insides roil, retch in misery
Coiled in the trap of their own making
There is hardly any respite in sight
Of all the people it chose to bind
It was my fate that came to mind
There are several hurts hidden
Many that should never again see the light
Yet he loves me, so he says
I know like everytime it happens
He wl leave me alone and cast away
His lies burned my trust
His wound scarred my womb

I seek no benevolence, merely acknowledgement
He refuses, he is right
He is no longer mine
He is happy, so am I
Or so I should say to be nice
Would it make any difference
To this painful deference
He believed me spoiled
I know him to be a coward
A mirror image of me
Yet so not like what I am

Opaque

frosted-glassWhy is it so loud

Why so silent

Why are the voices in my mind

So calm, yet so violent

Feeling what they feel is beyond me

A wild fire burning through

Laden with the pain of mute screams

Scream, they say

Yell out our pain

Where do I vent out

There is no one to hear, not even me

Pain, joy or a curiosity

Nothing touches this cold core

I have no movement in me, it is so empty

I should be desolate, hungry or just at peace

Feel something but this rampant madness creeping in

I welcome pain

The one that tells me I live

Yet, not even death makes me feel

All I want to do is flee

 

Contemplating

It has been a weird day. It began normally, in fact, quite well. Then it began unravelling.
A. Spoke to a friend and found out that I am a rude and obnoxious drunk.
B. Then realized, with quite a bit of well placed bumps from the boss, that I lack honesty and conviction.
While they may seem like a recipe for self improvement, I have found myself questioning the very foundations of my choices in life. I have no delusions about the fact that they are quite right. Amazingly, two of my notions about my personal and professional life have shattered in the span of a few hours. I feel like I am still reeling under the twin impact.
Am I incapable or righting my wrongs? Do I choose to be an ostrich when it comes to criticism about me? Is it a divine intervention or mere fantastical justification on my part? Right now, here as I sit in the courtyard of my office, a lot of warring thoughts are burning through my mind. I cannot figure out how to fix what looks incorrigible. 
Atleast now I know it was not all my earlier boss. I cannot seem to tear myself away from a elitist attitude. I look for factors to blame but in that process I lose sight of what I needed to do. I have images running through my head but transferring them to the paper is difficult.

Natural ineptitude, self- victimization or is it just pure selfish laziness? I cannot find answers and keep sinking deeper. It feels like I am running from an enemy I cannot see; unless its in a mirror. How can you fight yourself and your own feelings of inadequacy? With more hardwork? Excuses? Tears? Learning?  What???

I feel like I constantly need validation and so write to please. I cannot find that one path that motivates me to stand alone and sure. There is a war inside me and it refuses to declare ceasefire. It demands, my self-assurance and reason as sacrifice. I pay in the currency of my sanity and conviction!

Sick as nothing else…

I have a fairly new history of sickness. I was disgustingly healthy until my college years. Growing up, Assam was quite a hot bed of illness during the summer. I mean, there were people who would contract malaria and jaundice every year during the season. Me, I had fever once a year and I hated missing school for that one day.

The story continued in the same vein until my college years where I was a good student and was regular to a fault. Great marks and no absences meant I was always a preferred kid. However, all that changed when I got married and continued with college.

I was diagnosed with migraine. All these years of headache and I had never needed a hospital visit. Once I am leg-shackled I was taken to the hospital where I had to be the one doing all the running. He would not do it for anything. It was too much work. One nail in the coffin. He was more interested in watching the nurses outside than nursing me through my pain inside the room.

Next came my high prolactin levels and no periods in 3 months. I could not recognize myself what with all the weight I had gained. It was unhealthy and demeaning. It was not something that came from healthy activities but completely from his guilt feedings. Nevertheless, I came out of that and lowered my weight.

The problems were just starting here. Something was changed in me. I was weaker. Post my separation and all the ensuing stress, I was constantly feeling weak and ill for one or the other reason. Moving to Guwahati, I had my first bout of viral fever. One week of bed ridden waste of time.
The bumper was the chicken pox. One month of agony followed by divorce and loss of job. The stint in Kolkata ruined my stomach and I was lost in a nightmare with no end. It was beginning to seem like a loop of infinite proportions with only the design of illness changing.

Chennai was another fun time. Hitherto unknown allergies to antibiotics was the cake. Ate them to counter a sore throat and ended up with something ever worse. The whole skin was grainy and itchy like there was no tomorrow. Fell of a bike for such appallingly silly reason and more than the pain from that, the wrong position of painkiller injection leveled my strength.

Finally now I am down with dengue and typhoid. I must say, I never do things traditionally. People are debilitated when they have such illnesses. I have fever and when it goes down I go see a doctor who tells me my immunity is at an all time dangerously low level. Plus as a prize for joining, I get dengue and typhoid in my blood.

I am fucked. Literally. I have no clue what is the rationale behind this shit. Every time something good seems to be happening to me, I get some setback that was like nowhere in the horizon.
Let us hope it doesn’t recur anytime soon and I get time to convalesce completely.

Angels and Prayers… My Grandmothers

Prayers have been an important part of my life. My grandmother was the one who brought me up in my younger years, and she shaped a lot of my beliefs then. I learnt the mythologies pretty early on and the interest in stories has always ever grown. She was a devout Hindu. Her days were scheduled for the week. Monday – Lord Shiva, Tuesday – Devi, Thursday – Krishna, Friday – Devi, Saturday – Shiva Temple (for Ayyappan Swami)and Sunday was a day of rest.
She prayed to Krishna for me. I was told that He was the place to go to for kids and I was encouraged to pray to Him too. She herself had a soft corner for the mischievous goatherd who rose to become a God. She wore a small “aalila krishnan” pendant strung on her gold chain for as long as I remember.

Once in my kindergarten years I had an accident. I was hit by a speeding motorbike when I was crossing the road. By the time the maid knew what was happening, I had already flew and fallen into the rubble by the side of the road. The rider flung his bike aside and picked me up, imagining the worst. I was, shockingly, spared of injuries. Nary a scratch!

My grand mother promptly assigned the miracle to Lord Krishna and had an extra order of “paalpayasam” offered to Him.

Why am I reminiscing about such incidents? I don’t know. I was reading someone’s account of their grandmother’s puja room. Somehow my own grandmother and her ways came to my mind. She was in no way a graceful woman. She was tall and well-built with an iron-will. She brought up her 2 daughters alone with no help. Sold milk to make it happen. My own Mom was petite and more feminine, but in no way a weakling. My aunt is canny and smart, but even though she is weak physically, her heart is strong. These women have been all strong influences in my life.

Even now, my Dad is more liable to fall apart in times of the unexpected than my Mom. She stands like a rock and makes sure my Dad’s flights of fancy are grounded. They make a good team for that reason. One nudges, the other walks; both together. Mom went the spiritual way, and Dad, even with his cynicism with human interference, followed. Us kids are more like Mom in that sense. We are good with trouble, going in and handling it too.

My ancestors were from hardy stock of men and women who strove to create worthwhile lives for their children. I am sure if my paternal grandmother, who died of a snakebite in her thirties and left behind 3 young children, would have moved heaven and earth to get them the best. My oldest aunt was 12 and youngest aunt was 5. Their father had died just 6 months before. Even then, it was my grandmother was who took care of everything. I always taunt my mom that if her mother-in-law was alive she would have been in plenty ho water. She was a firebrand, that one.

My paternal grandmother was rumored to be a beauty; the likes of which has never been seen, before or after her, in the family. With that beauty came a headstrong, confident and capable nature that refused to bow down to anything in her life. She loved, fought and struggled with equal aplomb. She died with similar drama.

I would like to always feel that whatever struggles I face in my life, I can overcome them with even a modicum of their grace and strength. I believe they watch over me and infuse me with their strength every time I am on the cusp of giving up.
I have no picture of my paternal grandmother but my Ammumma was with us until 2013. This post is dedicated to women who were progressive and strong in a time when they had no men to support them. Devakiamma (My Achamma) and Dakshayaniamma (My Ammumma).