Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Guitar strings attached

With the rustling leaves whooshing down the woods and the snowman being bubbly as ever, the spirit of Christmas stroked my cheek, but my skin didn't react to it. The whole world seemed like a moving graphic, playing on repeat numerous times and foxing my mind even further. It all didn't matter anymore. My world had already collided with the sun, only to become a lesser known source of light.
I perched on my verandah in spite of the biting cold and hugged my knees with my arms to gain a little comfort. My tea had turned cold amidst all that contemplation. Of course I could have made another one, or just warmed it, but I went inside and chucked it down the basin.
"Why did you do that?" I heard a voice, similar to his whisper. I turned around to see a man about his size standing with folded arms and grinning as if he'd been caught for a prank.
I avoided his question and went to my room. He was probably one of the many guests I had at my place. I never interacted with any of them. They always found a way to annoy me. Guests are called guests for a reason; they are supposed to comprise of only a few minutes of your life and not take up residence in it, however abstract life may be.
A lifeless thing such as my room comprehended me, or at least happened to be a shoulder to me. So, I went to sit by the window sill and tried to complete my drafts. It was the only thing that kept me going. My journal consisted of souvenirs of our meetings, and every time I looked at that them, my eyes would well up. That didn't stop me from reliving those moments. I traced the four-leafed clover he had gifted me, with three-fourth of my skin and the remaining one-fourth with my sweater's extended sleeve. I went into a trance as his memories flooded my thoughts.
Just then, a purposeful cough startled me. It was him. Again. I looked away instantly, trying my best to go back to my daydream. He just smirked at my actions and came and sat next to me. He looked here and there and then tried to make eye contact with me. He would incline his head towards the side I would turn. When I finally looked towards him, he let out a laugh. I didn't join his laughter. It didn't seem right to laugh. Just the thought of it made me feel guilty. It was like enjoying his absence.
"Stretching your sleeves is much more effective than wearing gloves, right?" He made another attempt to make me laugh to which my sole reflex was pulling the sleeves of my sweater back, and subsequently reaching for my cuffs.
Now this young man in front of me started fiddling with my things. I was supposed to have flared my nostrils or at least snap at him. But, I didn't. Something was seriously wrong with me. I normally wouldn't stand an outsider touching my things without my permission. Maybe he wasn't an "outsider." I dusted that thought away and questioned my own sanity.
"Is that your guitar?" He asked, raising one of his eyebrows; the left one to be exact. I nodded a yes, expressionlessly.
"Then do you play?" He interrogated.
"No. Not anymore." I somehow managed to utter a couple of words.
He went ahead and picked it up. "Well, this is quite dusty," he spoke, not expecting a reply. He wiped off the dust with his undershirt, and then came towards me with the guitar.
"Hey listen, I am aware of your loss. I can see it in your eyes." My eyes popped out at that statement.
"No, not really. Your mother told me," he said, without batting an eyelid to his own witty remark. But his former sentence gave me some encouragement to take things off my chest.
"Well, it all happened last Christmas." Something or rather someone was making me feel at ease while talking about it.
Instead of asking me more about it, he simply strummed the guitar strings in a melodramatic tone, but then gestured me to continue my story.
"This guitar was actually a gift from him. And he used to teach me. Whatever little I know, it's through him. But I have lost the courage to play it again. He would often tell me about his dream girl, and I slowly fell in love with him. That gave me an idea to surprise him. I dressed like her on the day we were supposed to perform at the church. But just as I was about to run towards him, a truck..." I trailed off, and completely zoned out.
He kept his hand on my shoulder and said, "See, I know it's not going to be okay, and I am not going to comfort you by saying that either. Just know that your life also has a purpose on this planet." Then looking at the bizarre decorations around us; the grey wreath, the wilted holly leaves, and the worn out stockings, he sighed and after a brief pause spoke, "Just because one Christmas of yours turned around to be black, doesn't mean you'll paint every other Christmas of yours grey. At least make do with some white."
My face turned into a scrabble board towards the end of his dialogue.
"Silly," he continued,"I know it's hard, but keep all those moments in your heart. Trust me, he's there. No one is asking you to let go. Rather hold on tighter."
I blinked at his wise words.
"And you are performing today. I will teach you a few easy tunes and you'll do just fine."
I neither agreed nor disagreed to that. I had put enough faith in his words to do whatever I was being told. The tunes he played were so captivating and soothing to the ear, and instead of complimenting his skills, I just blurted out a "You are so cool!"
He chuckled and said, "Well of course I am. Didn't I tell you I belong to a hill station?" At this point, it seemed impossible to tame the slight curve of my lips.
"Oh and do wear that same outfit tonight. I am certain that you would have had to change last time." He took a vow from me and got up to leave.
"Sure, as long as you dress like an elf."
"Fine. I will do that." He accepted my condition with a straight face and promised to be there while I performed. I took out that same white sweater, which was embroidered with several snowflakes and a pair of sky blue jeans to go with it and packed myself in it. Then, I stepped into my boots and put on a grey woollen cap. There. I was all prepared. I gathered all the strength I had and picked up the guitar to perform.
He had kept his word. He stood right next to Santa Claus and the other elves. The audience swayed to my music and my melodies just zoomed into the atmosphere awaiting feedback from the birds. I felt so energetic and revived. I felt like I was never really sad.
And as I finished, I searched for him in the crowd. He was nowhere to be found. He had taken my words literally.
Just. Like. He. Used. To.


White Christmas
(Picture credits: Unknown; Source: We heart it)

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

The nurse

I was lying down, right in the middle of a bed, with both my hands rested on my chest, as if I were on my deathbed and surrendering my spirit to God. The fan was watching over me. It rotated slowly and expressionlessly, mocking my motion. But never mind. At least it cared for me indirectly. My overalls matched my state-blue and dull, while my drooping eyelids now fell even further, devouring my vision and turning it hazy. And before I knew it, these few seconds of relief turned into a series of uncomfortable flashbacks.
Everyday was another day. Another moment. But always a stale start. It would either revolve around prolonged work hours or covering up for colleagues. At other times it dealt with giving up my meals to family members of ailing souls and being left with just the dip to suck on.
Being sick does give people some level of advantage; not an unfair one though. I twitched my lip as I came up with that conclusion in my mind.
That was when I had landed here, and changed into these "sick" clothes, in hope of finding someone who would pamper me. A passive spectator would surely cite me as a lunatic at this doing of mine. But then, the room I had chosen was at the end of the corridor; aloof from the rest of the world, yet visible to the naked eye. This room in spite of being all dingy, robbed my attention, and I simply tagged along with the idea of getting myself admitted there.
If only someone would figure out that I was in a state of despair. 
If only someone could fulfil my request of being taken care of.
Maybe. Maybe I was mad after all. I wanted to return to my flashbacks even though they swelled my heart up. Before I could go back to the saga in my head, my pager vibrated.
Buzz: You are required to attend to a patient at once.
I got up with great reluctance and a deteriorating sense of balance and headed towards the locker room. I changed into a fresh set of clothes and washed my hands thoroughly. But surely, no amount of sanitisation would wash away my wish of being rescued.
Afterwards, I ushered myself to the store room and collected everything I needed. I headed towards the general ward to escort my patient for his scheduled sponge bath. And in less than a minute, his mate came in and glared at me. That one stare said everything. She didn't want me touch her property. Without uttering a word, I passed on the toiletries to her, and proceeded to leave. As I left, I could hear the guy sharing his fantasy of hooking up with a nurse with her.
The doctor was there too, making them do some mandatory paperwork. They thanked him wholeheartedly. After all, he was an incarnation of the one above. That however didn't make me an angel. It just resulted in my being a miserable and misfortunate "sister."
Perhaps, that's how it's supposed to work- the carpenter has no wood to build a house of his own, the pharmacist doesn't get to use his stock of medicines and the workers at the parlour never get to groom themselves either. Even I didn't have a choice. It's just how I earned my bread and most importantly, a notion of responsibility.
I glanced at my reflection on the glass door and let out a sigh at the sight of my cap. My whites that were once pure were now stained with a desire and no matter what, that red cross would always stay there like an old bottle of wine, pretending to be a design.



Nursing everyone but yourself
(PIcture credits: Unknown; Source: Google)

Monday, 14 December 2015

Picnic

Fruity scent
Cotton clouds
Criss-cross baskets
And extravagant supplies.

Notorious squirrels
Fluffy rabbits
And other furry pals
Gobble up our buttery fries.

A giant cheese ball,
Dripping honey
Grassy plot,
And embroidered butterflies.

Carefree mate
Some age old games
With velvet petals
To make flowery ties.

Tropical nuts
Cherry berries
Evergreen pines
And wrinkled skies.

Their round faces
Bring winter hues
On a summer solstice
Taking you away from rotten lies.

Straw hats
Fancy lemon rinds
Purple and white checks
And finely sliced pies.

A lazy afternoon
Spent describing things
The much deserved break
Gets disrupted by bothersome flies.

Rotating wheels
Cascading waters
Feathery overalls
And stripping the regular disguise.

All in all
A magnificent picnic
Ends with the punctual twilight
And the sun basking in our eyes.


~Poem 19


The much needed break
(PIcture credits: Unknown; Source: Google images)

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

Guest post: Diwali Crackers

The following poem is by Ragini Zutshi Anand, who blogs at Igloo on the Beach.
Go check out her blog for more of her works.


He sat there looking at his hands,
Blistered, burnt - covered with bands.
Bands of cloth, dipped in antiseptic,
Dirty and unchanged.

She sat next to him,
In the same way.
Tears rolled down her cheeks,
Onto skin that was cut away.

They were 10 and 8
Respectively.
They had their lives ahead of them,
Were supposed to be joyful and lively.

But they were stuck there,
Stuck in a stupid old factory.
A stupid old factory making stupid crackers.
But were they really living?

Promised an income,
They were snuck into towns.
Uprooted from their cosy homes,
Underground.

Did they see the money that was promised?
Did they see their parents?

All they saw were their damaged hands,
And a bunch of greedy children every day.
Those spoilt greedy children were blown away,
Blown away by what they made.

Used to tug at their parents clothes,
Begging them to buy.
Spent a bomb, these families did,
To see their kids jump with joy.

But were they given that opportunity?
Were they ever given that luxury?

These kids need to be educated,
Not stuck in these four metal walls.
These walls of terror,
These walls of pain.

Stop child labour,
See the country grow.

Burning flames
(Picture credits- Ragini Zutshi Anand)

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Guest post: Beyond the light

This poem is by Rahul Singh, who blogs at Good Little Indian.

Stare deep into the stars,
Inspect for substance not bright,
It's not afraid of the dark,
Shines to avoid us fright.
It's sad of being frozen alone,
As we move with allies in delight,
With many a billion other alike,
Yet none to share with, its night.

Alienation squirs pride and shine,
Music of silence plays eternally,
Wonder if a silver-lining exists,
Acting the dessert for fire,
Gives it content and pride.
Not being Human may help,
Unaware of greed and treason,
Playing its part, all it may like;
Unimaginable pain it may bear,
Of all, any mortal isn't aware,
Pain is the way to purity,
It may be purer than all us alive.

Success comes with price,
Beware what burns gives light,
Stardom exists not in the shine,
But, looking down, sharing light,
Never being tired of burning,
Just to keep else's life bright.


Guiding light

Monday, 12 October 2015

Sleeping in Blue Jeans

So, another gloomy moment,
Passes by, under a haphazard blanket,
Brooding over what hope really means,
And from a moment, it evolves into a fortnight.

The prime hour to repent,
Then hatches a drenched silhouette,
They say it's okay, however when one leans
Their act is claimed as a call for the limelight.

Legs akimbo and spirit spent,
Wrapped neither in georgette, nor in velvet,
But, in a pair of tapered jeans,
Anticipating a flash of a spotlight.

When confined to bricks and cement,
All one has is a bottomless palette,
Dreary enough to drain the greens,
Yet brimming with yellows and blues in hindsight.

As dawn sprays its everlasting scent,
The sun will gradually blush scarlet,
Let this torture sprout like a stalk of beans
Because I am sleeping in my Blue Jeans tonight.


~Poem 18


Sleeping in blue jeans
(Picture credits: Unknown; Source: Piccsy)

Friday, 21 August 2015

Introduction

Why hello there young lady
Came around to recheck?
While you stand at the 'right' angle
Here is a gentle reminder-
It's about time you sung your song!

An introduction
Of a peculiar soul
Behold the irony-
With just two syllables
You scribble a whole saga.

Born amongst fiery flames
Under the northern star
As nine as a feline
As clean as a cleanser
And yield company like Caesar.

Your ebony coated pupils
Shy away from those ivory
They tremble with grace
Look down with "dew" respect
And up with a gazillion ambitions.

Your bruises have a healing power
Right now they may be numb
But they contain ingredients
Of a soothing lotion
Which create dimples in melancholy.

The strands that fall out of place
Creep under your quilt
To tease you during wintry nights
Yet when you mercilessly splash water
They go on and kiss your blades.

You bump into humps
And enter a different dimension
You trip on a tile
And fall into nature's cradle
See, you make clumsiness feel trendy!

Your puffed up cheeks
And ever pigmented lips
Moisten the mist
Outshine the sunshine
And drill the craters further.

And when you hide your face
While chewing those treats
And when you button your cuffs
Like it's a huge obstacle
There's someone capturing your moments.

Honey, you are beautiful
A treasure, a dynamite
You wear a halo for a tiara
Just never fall for your shadow
For it is the black in a spectrum.


~Poem 17

Love yourself 

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Tanka #4

queen bee 's motto is
to not lift a finger as
she might break a nail
if a foolish fool does not
obey her pinkish pink wand.


~Poem 16

What if I break a nail?
(Picture credits: Unknown; Source: Piccsy)

Tanka #3

freshly baked cookies
exit a rusted oven
while knitting mittens
tangled threaded opticals
chant tales like a time machine.

~Poem 15

Grandparents are a blessing
(Picture credits: Unknown; Source: Google images)

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Tanka #2

on Saturn's fourth ring
she casts a paradigm shift
erasing errors
with one leg atop the left
as stardust slips through her fists.


~Poem 14

Perched on Saturn's rings
(Picture credits: Unknown; Source: Google images)

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Tanka #1

ageing with outrage
for warmth to be outdated
a three chambered heart
harshly dipped in cold lava
red is blood and love no more.


~Poem 13

Could red be only blood?
(Picture credits: Leslie Ann O'Dell)

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Average Joe

Unlike fables or fairy tales, quotes have a great impact on a reader's mind. They are quite apt too. The ones we choose to read are most definitely relatable, and the ones we ignore, make us the only exception to it.
"Dreams come true," is an example of such a quote. There are things waiting for you down the line, and believe me, it's worth the wait. Just like the canvas that rested before me, which needed more details, in its most minute details. I placed my arms parallel to the ground and stared at my palms. They were completely varnished with prismatic little molecules; not from their natural pigmentation, but from the jars of fabric paint that surrounded my cross-legged posture.
I chuckled and blinked with a perfect coordination at the result of my doodling brush. Only he could bring out the girly side in a Plain Jane girl like me! 'Dreams do come true,' I recited that same quote in my mind, but this time with emphasis. Most daydreamed of and drooled over dashing personalities. Here's where I stood out or rather in. They wanted different, they wanted unique. However, I wanted the same; the same as an Average Joe. Anyone; just anyone, would've felt at ease, with him around.
We all have secrets hiding in our souls, only the hiding spot differs. Yet another exception! I'm sure he didn't know how to hide his. His eyes shone everything. They twinkled and glistened. They whispered and yelled. They were brave and had fears. They were differently unique.
Even the palette beside me failed in producing the perfect colour for his little irises. Every second arc of them bore a new shade of brown. Hazelnut, then coffee, again hazelnut and then honey. And how can I forget those little pupils of his? They were something more than mesmerising. At one end they were grey, and the other end of the circle, they glimmered. In fact, they could be divided into two halves. I knew it right from the moment I dared to look into them. No, he wasn't intimidating, like a mysterious book character, but he was at ease, despite all his misery. This clear-cut distinction wasn't really visible though. Sometimes, they would overlap and that caused all the confusion in my mind. I couldn't tell whether he was jaded or in a notorious mood.
When he twitched his mouth, at something boring, only his right cheek would lift, and his various experiments with his beard still didn't cover his dimple. Oh, and his left cheek had a cleft! I wouldn't call it a deformity. I would rather call it Lord's creativity.
Those sideburns of his fell so perfectly and evenly over his ears. Each strand knew its way down to his ear flap. The ones that covered his scalp looked as if they longed to be ruffled and patted.
I tilted my head and blinked again at the masterpiece in front of me, and as I got lost in it again, my beret fell off. He came in and put it back on my head and took my newly refurbished hands in his. He gazed at them, and I could tell that he wished for skin like that. We all have future lines running across our palms. But it wasn't the same in his case. He had a health problem, which whitened his hands completely. They were on their way to recovery, and he wished to have those same future rays. I wish he realised that bearing those lines meant allowing others to interfere in your fate.
I  kissed his nose and put some blue paint on his cheek, trying my best to tease him. "Dolphin!" Yes, that's what he resembled.
Wouldn't it have been great if I could paint? Well, that wasn't my cup of tea. So, I just took my ball point pen and scribbled some more words, in order to describe him.


Writing within a write
(Picture credits: Ghidaq al-Nizar)

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Blown

You cried
You cried because you're blown just for fun
Cried because you became a mere soulless molecule
Floating around like a useless being
Because when you landed
They lifted you up
Stared at you
Sneered at you
Sneezed at you
And POOF!
You were blown again
Oh! You cried again, isn't it?
My friend, I just wanted to ask -
Have you ever seen a dandelion cry?


~Poem 12


Have you my friend?
(Picture credits: Unknown; Source: Pinterest)

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Ode to the Fall Leaves

Each colour of the autumn leaves have been given a name:
Pink- Cherry Blossoms
Red- Auburn Bricks
Yellow- Sweet Ambers
Purple- Mulberry Fruits
Brown- Toasted Coconuts

One of my friends once told me
There are uncountable dimensions
To how you can love another
Citing an instance of the exquisite Fall Leaves.

From Fall to Fall they fall
Harnessing a myriad of shades
With each shade bearing a trait
Of a particular kind of love.

The first place is ranked by
Pretty little Cherry Blossoms
Who hold more than aesthetic delight
Albeit, less than divine ties.

And that's exactly where and when
The magical Auburn Bricks step in
Suddenly telepathy begins to make sense
However, their spell strikes back abruptly.

Their mystic charm depletes
Leaving behind warm Sweet Ambers
Who try and heal your sensitive spots
But, you promptly seal it again.

You choose companionship o'er courtship
Letting the obsessive Mulberry Fruits crawl out
Then, ranging from slits to scars
They slide to tremendous extents.

They take offerings to the next level
And the crushed Toasted Coconuts wonder
If their sacrifices would ever turn fruitful
Or whether their sufferings are worthy enough.

She presented her theory so beautifully
That it now resides on my fingertips
Also, love maybe quite flexible
Yet, it remains as marvellous as a mosaic.


~Poem 11

She explained it over tea
(Picture credits: Unknown; Source: We heart it)

Monday, 11 May 2015

Hope-on, Hope-off

Maybe there is some hope outside
Though nowhere near mangroves
A hope I cannot see
A hope I cannot breathe
A hope I cannot feel
This hope is omnipresent
Yet I do not sense its presence
It exists in the seventh fold
It hides behind a dead end
It lies inside a hollow bone
Guess this hope has its roots hidden
In a place I cannot reach.


~Poem 11

Which way is it?
(Picture credits: Unknown; Source: Google images)

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Cottage

How gullible is this little empress 
So unaware of these shenanigans 
She embosoms a pretentious sleeping face 
And nibbles at my sideburns

As she chants her dulcet hums 
I capture each and every inch 
Of her niveous complexion 
That eclipses the spirit of wintertide

Dawn being an escape artist 
Leaves her heartfelt tunes 
To grow a bit morose 
Because it's time for us to run errands

For a while I'm left wondering 
If in downtown we were to dwell 
Would she be as doleful as she is now 
Once the clock struck aubade?

Or would her doting nature 
Vanish with the morning haze? 
In a jiffy my thoughts are shushed down 
And that's exactly why I call her my Pumpkin

But why is she busy contemplating 
On what she must prepare for grub 
When she knows I will be appeased 
With just some cottage cheese, tofu and malt?

The wind snatches her handmade tents
I open my semi-closed eyelids questioning her mien
Then again I grasp her natural foundation 
While she finishes ruffling my hair

She nods her head sideways saying she is amused 
Oh! And all along I believed she was pure blank! 
"By the way, Good Morrow Dear,"
Her wordy grape-like eyes slowly speak.

Somewhere in what we call a fortress
Under the balmy skies and woven cardigans
He nestles up merrily to my embrace
With daydreams of a child, skipping about ferns

His false, heavy breaths tickle my eardrums
And simultaneously compete with our goldfinch
To win my soft chuckles and flushing reflection
However, I feel he has something to confide

His right clenched fist
Tells me his mind is forming dunes
Out of a blooming rose
Reducing our love to gerunds

But even if he kept me on a broken swing
In a deserted warehouse or a pumpkin shell
My soul would always be ready to bow
Bow down to him, just like a barricade

His head-rest, my cross-legged posture
Then guides him through this vulnerable phase
I would grab the hems of my worn-out gown
And fling all those question marks towards a bin

Now I shall carry on fixing
A somewhat banquet in our castle's hub
And in the process of my being teased
A deep serenade comes to a halt

Glistening dewdrops wet our hung-out garments
The ultimate incandescence also hits our screen
Brightening up our mere accommodation
Though just his view, can beat its flair

He tilts his front as if I were bemused
When actually, I hadn't fallen prey to his prank
"Well, Good Morrow Reindeer,"
He swiftly responds, with a lopsided cheek.

~Poem 10


Cottage
(Picture credits- Nami)

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Static twirls

You came, all smirks and colognes,
A crisp button down, a contrasting necktie,
But involuntarily, you built a reflex.

In me, to hide my discoloured teeth,
Gather my umbrella cut creases,
And look down at crooked toes.

Still, you yanked my halterneck,
Not for a better view,
Instead trace my bruised spine.

Then, to attain a perfect grip,
On a pair of drooping shoulders,
You let yourself also melt.

Now ready and set to twirl me around,
You stapled that skater shift back,
And let me go about, like a spinning top.

However, towards the end,
I clutched onto my sleeve,
To the much hyped, "Shall we dance?"

~Poem 9

Did they really dance?
(Picture credits: Richard S. Johnson)

Friday, 13 March 2015

That "Heidi" inside you

Wipe out the mist, but condense your sight
Picture yourself standing at wuthering heights

Spring up and about, don't stay put
Hop off your porch and go gallivanting barefoot

Gallop over the pastures like jolly fillies
Wonder what spiders have to do with lilies

Start by searching for snowdrops
Turn baskets and berries into your props

Tag along with some other species
Chase after them, then fall on your knees

Form a circle around the mighty Alp
Witness the breeze trace your scalp

Impersonate those thick clouds
While you sprawl on flowery mounds

Let the docile daisies govern your motion
And be sure to gulp down their divine potion

Open up your heart to Eastertide
Tell all the bitterness to run and hide

Gleam and rejoice with a mere pretzel
Now, impregnate that "Heidi" buried in your vessel.


~Poem 8


There is a child buried in all of us and we must set it free
(Picture credits: Unknown; Source Pinterest)

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

"Literally"

As the sun shines on everyone
On everyone but me
Jigsaws scatter again
This time with broken loops
Where rainbows have an end
And forget-me-nots lose their essence
Elastics break by pushing
And wishes die before hopes
Hour glasses halt midway 
While the windchimes' melody fades
Pebbles guide me along
To a house, but not a home
Where brackets don't open
Let alone close
A different realm, a different outlook
Somewhere that's me without you.


~Poem 7

In a world without you
(Picture credits: Tsurechii)

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Samhain: A finite rainbow

"There he is Master," I pointed towards a little boy. He simply nodded sideways to what I proclaimed. "He's playing around the rainbow coloured swing in the courtyard." Master's brows twitched in unison. Even the slightest mention of colours agitated him. Rumours said that he was probably blind, but in fact it helped him conceal his soft side. Everyone thought of him as a cruel man, a sadist to be more precise.
Master held his front and tapped his cheek with his forefinger at a constant pace, as if in deep thought. Then, breaking the silence filled in his castle of a room, he spoke, "That creature doesn't deserve to live amongst us. He's a descendant of the enemy clan."
"But Master, he's very excited about this year's celebration—" 
"Enough Dame Audrey. I've asked you to get rid of him earlier too. Yet, you always load him with love. Dress him up like a clown if you must! This is my final order."
"Yes Master," I responded, staring at the granite flooring and left at once to catch Lep.
"Come here my boy, don't you want to get dressed for Samhain?" Being his notorious self, he stuck his tongue out and teased me. "I have a surprise for you young one." He leaped into my arms before I could add on to my lie. His eyes were full of hope and that hope came in the form of a sparkle in his little pupils. I was having second thoughts on telling him the truth about him being taken away by the demons tonight. 
"Aunt, what are you thinking? You know today I reached the silver colour of the rainbow!" 
"The silver colour?" I asked almost amused at his statement. 
"Yes Aunt! You know I started from violet, then indigo, and so on. Each colour reminded me of different things and even my former family."
"Is that so? Then please do tell me what each colour reminded you of." I loved Lep. He was the most playful creature I'd ever come across. His presence in our Kingdom brought colour into our dark lives and somehow shadowed our misdeed of slaying the Lebanese. Lep was their lone survivor and I felt connected to him the moment I saw him. I didn't have the heart to leave him lying on the ground, calling out helplessly for his mother. 
"Of course I'll tell you. Violet and indigo showed me the bruises I bear. Master would bash me up so brutally sometimes. However, I think it was for my own good only. Blue was a little tricky. First it soothed me and later it reminded me of the times I wasn't allowed to use a blanket when it was freezing cold. Aunt Audrey, did you know that green is my favourite? I want to dress like an elf today! Please Aunt. Please? I want lots and lots of money but I'm not allowed to keep any. I don't know why. After green I jumped towards the yellow line. It was nothing like the sunlight. Instead I felt weak and ill. I recalled how pale I'd become due to not getting proper medication whenever I fell sick. Then the orange line made me recollect the days when I wasn't allowed to go outside and play. I would sulk by the window pane, watching the other kids hop, skip and jump."
I didn't want to interrupt him, but out of curiosity, I asked, "What about red? Oh wait. Let me guess! It reminded you of love and only love."
"No Aunt. It wasn't love," he replied with a wry smile. "There was blood everywhere. The war; the war between the Celts and the Lebanese caused my parents to drift away from me. I could see everything from shields to swords; spades to leashes and even worse. Towards the end of the red line, there was a huge pot of silver coins. I could see Master's reflection on it. He was saying that I would soon be with my parents as I'm not a Celt. I think he hates me. Don't you think so too? I don't want to celebrate this year. I'd rather go to my parents. Can I? And what about my surprise?"
"Well. I suppose you can. Oh and as for your surprise you can have it next time," I answered, fumbling at the last part of my sentence. Although I didn't want to let go of him, I decided to grant him his wish. I took out some dark green overalls from his cupboard and wrapped him in them. His ears were already drooping and he also had his black belt and black boots on. We now had a little elf amongst wizards and witches. This was it. I had to leave him for good. Convincing Master was next to impossible. He despised them like anything. Just the sight of Lep made his blood boil. Also, if the other members came to know about Lep's identity, they probably would've killed him without listening to any explanation. I understood that it was best to leave everything to fate.
Suddenly, the air around us got clouded with darkness. It was absolutely black; a kind of black that no oil pastel could match. To my surprise it was Lep's parents who'd come in the form of spirits to collect him. Lep disappeared right before my eyes and all I could do was wave at him. He was going for good. While I was waving at him, I felt a gentle tap on my shoulder. I turned around to see that it was Master standing with his hands folded behind his back. His lips formed a grim line and the tension around us became neutral.
"You see young Audrey, it's sometimes good to love an enemy."
Then slowly, everything fell into place and I perceived that even a dark man could have his shades.


The silver lining in a rainbow
(Picture credits: Peter Tarka)

Thursday, 15 January 2015

Dead Letter

25th December, 2014

Subject: A Dear John letter

Dear Man-at-arms, 
Hahaha; got you! Guess your eyes just popped out at the sight of that highlighted subject. (I have an evil grin on). I was just returning the favour from your last mail. Alright, alright, stop fuming already, papers are inflammable. Save it for the battlefield. Besides, I have Major (pun intended) stuff to gossip about.
Both Angel and Fairy are dressed in their new chestnut coloured outfits, which have sparkly sequins. They just won't stop springing up and down the stairs. "Daddy is coming! Daddy is coming! Daddy will bring us dolls!" Well, that's the background music for me, and this is better than music to your ears, I suppose. And listen no dolls this year. This is a punishment for you, not for them. The Matryoshka addition can wait till you learn who's Angel and who's Fairy, okay? 
So Mr. Field Marshal, at what time shall I collect you from the station? Erase your sceptical expression. You thought you'll receive your medal of valour and I wouldn't come to know? I have my own spies young man. And by the way, who is Jenny? Better keep her at arm's length or else! Yes, I'm sending an inch tape along. I swear I'm saying this with my arms akimbo and left foot tapping simultaneously. I know you are snickering at my bottle green face right now, but you better not take my warning lightly.
Come on, don't give me that innocent look of yours. I'm not going to get coaxed into believing you. I am not going to...Fine. I'm letting you off the hook only because of the way you puckered your lips. Oh! Why are you so irresistible even in missives? I'm sure this is what you get paid for!
You know, I miss you. I miss you a lot. I never realised this simple sentence would ever carry so much of weight one day. The walls have turned starker than ever. Even the glitter and shimmer of Yuletide couldn't shadow the presence of your absence. Our fir trees didn't hum this time, nor did they bear any sign of merriment. The scrumptious looking cake and turkey tasted worse than sawdust.
I visit the station sometimes, to recollect the moment you left me with two gifts at once. The way I rammed into your embrace and how my feet swept off makes this platform a paradise for me. However, it's a bit of sorrow too. It first makes me smile like an idiot and then creates a heap of wipes too. Sorry for this wretched handwriting...this fountain pen...is so irksome at times. Don't nod your head like that. My tears dripped off and fused with its ink. You know I can't even tell a white lie properly.
Please, don't even think of quitting. Just shush that thought away now. Your pride is what makes me proud, and it's indeed an honour for me to state at social gatherings that my Man, is at Arms.
My only source of happiness is the carefree laughter of these two munchkins. When I'm not able to pull myself up, and on the verge of an outburst, they say the silliest of things, which cheer me up and at the same time irritate me. Your daughters, aren't they? You're smiling now, aren't you? Yes that's the one I wanted; a dimpled one.
I apologise for that joke. I may have said it in humour, but there's no way I'm ever going to love anyone more than you.
Come soon honey. I haven't removed the mistletoe from the doorway yet. 

Love,

Jane(apparently)
And it got stamped with...