Category Archives: Poems

Sometimes, it is that simple!


She ascended the stairs and was immediately and effortlessly ushered into the corridor. There was still fifteen minutes to go. She walked lethargically, feeling a bit sleepy and cursing the arrangement under her breath. She wondered if she would get a seat in the front rows. This was an important lecture for which she had dragged herself out of her bed and traveled with equally sleepy faces for more than an hour in the metro. Now, if she did not get a front row, then the entire painful morning ritual would go waste.

She rubbed her eyes as if it would rub off her sleepiness. Every step was a struggle and all she wanted was to dump herself on one of the cushiony chairs and slouch for rest of the time till the lecture began.

She entered the lecture hall immediately smitten by the ocean of humanity that spread before her. There were people, all sorts of them, bustling in and out of the room. Girls to her right, she recognized, were exceptionally enthusiastic for such a lazy morning, giggling about the handsome young professor who was to meet them that morning. Ishika nodded when one of those few girls waved at her. She was met with another set of smiles from the other end of the room. She felt too lazy to go across the room and meet them. Her eyes, however, marauded across the swarm of people and then it lay fixed on one particular face. She realized that it was the face she was looking for, unconsciously of course. There was no hand waves, no smiles in return, however. She wondered if there was a place vacant around that handsome face which had caught her attention and drained all sleep out of her. But, with a heavy heart she had to retreat to one of the seats that her friend had saved for her.

****

“I have a questions sir,” the voice traveled past her.
Her heart leaped. She obviously recognized the voice. She smiled waiting for the next spurt of intelligent question. The young professor listened to the question and relaxed back for a while, smiling all this while, deriving some sort of secret pleasure, it seemed. After a full twenty seconds he moved forward and ventured to address the question, but then stopped and smiled again. The girls beside her sighed and the professor acknowledged it with a more welcoming smile.
He smiled and with excitement-filled eyes returned, “This actually makes a very good question for your semester exams. Research on this!”
He stood up, collected his equipment and walked out. Ishika stared at him as he left the class and a throng of girls who followed him. She began ruminating about the question asked. She had been reading about it and had a fair idea about it. She imagined Aditya walking upto her and conferring with her on this . She would intelligently dispel all his doubts. It felt good and that feeling filled her with a strange kind of joy. She turned to see him. He was comfortably surrounded with his friends who were laughing at his jokes and witty remarks.
****

The other day she was reading in the metro when she was hit by a burly man who hurried towards the door before it closed. He did not care to turn back and say sorry. She felt bad for a while but then left that thought and resumed her journey into the book. She turned the other side and adjusted the way she was standing when her eyes met Aditya’s. He was staring at her for god-knows how long. She tried to smile but it did not come. He had a seat, unlike her. He then started doing something on his mobile. “Was he really staring at her or it was simply her imagination?” the suspicion grew inside her and gradually started irritating her. She could no longer concentrate on the pages of her book.

****
Aditya was popular. He knew everything. He wrote brilliant poems which got published in various literary magazines. He was everywhere- in the class, on social networking sites, on group page- almost everywhere. He had a handsome face too. Ishika could not decide whether it was for his handsome face or witty remarks or his popularity that she could not stop thinking about him. She definitely did not think very highly of his poems but since he was the president of the student’s poetry club everyone seemed to be talking about him. It was precisely because of this that Ishika never talked to anyone about her poems lest someone would share them with Aditya. She thought it would be too embarrassing if her little secret was out.

****

It wasn’t that they had never talked. Once Aditya had asked her if the classes were happening when she was sitting on one of the slabs in the corridors all by herself waiting for her friends. That was such an absurd question. If the classes would have been happening why would she be sitting outside the lecture-hall? But, she did not let that feeling travel across her face instead, she smiled and shook her head.
He was friends with her on Facebook. He had liked her comments on the group page that evening.

***

She laughed out loud. People around them stared at her. She muffled her laughter and buried her face on Aditya’s shoulder. Aditya was saying her how he was staring at her but was scared to talk to her in the metro that day. He went on saying how it took him a lot of courage and rehearsal to ask her if the classes were happening. He could do it only because she was sitting alone that day in the corridors unlike other times when she was crowded by people, so unlike him. He always waited for her comments on his latest published poems but she never did. It used to disappoint him. He used to wait for her in the poetry club’s meetings, but she never bothered to turn up.
Then one day, he found a seat beside her. He could not concentrate in the class, conscious of Ishika’s presence all the time. When he could not resist it any longer, he bent sideways towards her and said, “Can you please tie your hair, it is distracting?” Her wild wayward glossy locks were peacefully lying on his shoulder since she had tossed them off unwittingly while she was all focused on the professor’s explanation to her queries. She felt a bit embarrassed coupled with a happy sensation that she did not quite understand. He kept looking into her notebook rest of the time. He wondered if he could ask her out after the class. Would that sound too desperate? She mumbled, “I don’t think so.” Aditya was taken aback. She raised her voice a little and said, “I’m not convinced with that argument. To me, it sounds contradictory.” The professor refused curtly, but Ishika would not buy it so easily. She was explaining her position when Aditya intervened. She lost the flow of her thoughts midway with that interruption for a while but resumed it soon. The discussion continued even after the class and Aditya forgot that it was just a while ago that he was planning a date with this utterly stunning woman. He was lost in her charms- charms of her words and charms of her pretty face. He lost track of his line of thoughts and was completely subsumed in her.
He wanted to ask her out, more out of an irresistible desire than anything else.

****

The two people had noticed each other on their very first day of college. It took them four months before they talked for the first time and since then, every day with every passing moment they continued falling in for each other simultaneously. Love bloomed in its own way for its own purpose like an easy aimless walk in the meadows.

Theirs was a simple sweet story without any unnecessary twists and turns, no complexity, no irregularity worth describing. Life was blissful and love for each other was a primal instinct, pure, the way it felt and happy, as it was.

 Sometimes, it is that simple!

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Another encounter?


An eye shut
an eye open
I shut the past with one
But still curious so the other one
The bug, the cockroach, the spider
whatever may you be.
Still? But still you scare me
and yet I’m interested
in all your movements.
I know
you won’t leave your corner
neither will I
For we reflect into each other
the dread of another encounter.


With me, always


This post is a part of #Soldierforwomen in association with BlogAdda.com

January 2001


Dear Diary,

Finally the school bell rings. He stands at the main corridor watching over the kids and ensuring that they move in a queue. When everybody has left, he enters his classroom to fetch his school-bag and starts walking towards the cycle stand. I am standing near his new cycle, waiting for him like everyday. He gives out a sweet smile as he twitches my cheek and asks, “Did you finish your lunch?” I nod and smile back at him. He makes room for me to sit on his cycle and starts paddling. On our way back home, we talk incessantly. He tells me about his class-mates and the little gossips about him that are making news. I take pride in all these gossips featuring him and those numerous girls who can’t stop talking about him. I tell him about a girl I got to know that very day. She stands in front of his class-room everyday during the recess to try to talk to him. I always boast about him among my class-mates, especially to those whom I don’t quite like. He only smiles and adds some details here and there. We then switch over to movies and actors and to books and to our parents.
I am engrossed in our conversation when I give out a sudden cry. The cycle stops before he can pull the brakes and I am thrown forward. My right foot does not feel alright as I try to balance myself on my other foot. We see my ankle twisted and stuffed between some broken spokes soaked in blood. I don’t feel pain but I panic seeing so much blood around. It’s a major cut. I can’t move. I stand still till he gently pulls my ankle out of his bicycle Tyre. He lifts and deposits me on his cycle again and paddles as fast as he can. He then submits me to the nurse. His shirt is soaked in my blood and his sweat. He holds my hand while I lie there groaning in pain and jokes about the bad essay he wrote for his mid-terms. Soon I find myself giggling. We leave the hospital after a tetanus jab. He buys me a chocolate from the pharmacy and after sometime I forget all the pain.
Later in the evening mom was scolding bhai for not taking proper care of me. I tried to tell her that it wasn’t his fault. But, he interrupted me. I did not try again unless mom would have started railing at my carelessness.

November’2007

Dear Diary,

I feel bold today. Very brave.
I didn’t know I could have ever done this. It’s a different thing in school. You can put on a brave face in that safe environment but outside the premises, the world is hostile. Today I learnt my first lesson to deal with this not-so-good world.
That is why probably when I stood in the corridor after the final bell, watching my juniors leave in a queue, ma’am told me that I reminded her of my brother.
You remember I had been writing to you about that weird guy from our own neighborhood who stands at my bus stand. You know, he always had that look on his face which made me feel strange. And the worst part was that  he would be there on his motorbike every morning which eventually spoils my mood for the day. And last Monday  he came and told me that I should wear a shorter skirt. I was too dumbstruck to react. How could he dare to walk to me and say something of that kind. Why does the length of my skirt concern him so much, in fact why am I his concern at all?
I couldn’t tell this to my mom. I was too scared to do that. I did not know how will she react so I narrated the incidence to bhai. He thought it was pretty normal and asked me to deal with it myself. You know, this scared me all the more. How could I? How would I bring myself to answer that shit-head? I asked him to do something about this. He could just talk to that guy and then he would probably stop staring at me.
He said he wouldn’t talk to him on my behalf. He told me that I will have to deal with it myself.
I thought of asking mom to drop me school everyday. But, I knew it wasn’t possible for her. There had to be a way out of this and I couldn’t think of anything else. It had been disturbing me.
Yesterday he walked to me again. He asked, ” Didn’t I ask you to wear shorter skirts?”
For the next couple of seconds I could not bring myself to utter a word. I kept looking at him with an air of disbelief. How did he have the audacity of commenting on my skirt. After my initial reaction I somehow gathered myself and tried to make a don’t-bulshit-me face. A hundred thousand thoughts raged inside my head, but I could utter only a syllable “So?”
“Keep this in mind next time,” he said sternly.
And that was it. I shouted back at him, ” I don’t give a damn, mister. And don’t you dare bug me next time. I know your mom, I am going to tell all this to her.”
Can you believe, he wasn’t there at the bus stand today morning? It’s amazing, isn’t it? I was scared all through the school today. What if he had done something to me at that time, harmed me in some way?
But when I didn’t see him today, I was relieved. I narrated the incidence to bhai and also about my fear. He smiled, you know, that mysterious smile of him and then told me that he had been bunking his first lecture from the last two weeks so that he could see me facing him bravely and if at all something bad happened, he could take care of it from there on.
Bhai is good, isn’t it?

August’2010
Dear Diary,

I don’t know what to do.
I have come to realize that I am not in love with my boyfriend anymore. I told him I don’t feel for him anymore. He just won’t listen to me. He is such a nuisance. He keeps crying all the time. I mean, it’s all good, fine and sweet to see someone so much in love with yourself, but then….
I feel so suffocated. I feel strange when he cries in front of me. I don’t feel anything except pity. I know, I am being a bit bitch-like but, I can’t help it at all. It just does not come out of me. I truly feel bad about him. What should I do now?
Should I talk to bhai?
O no! I will have to tell him the entire story. And of course, he will be mad on me when he gets to know that I was having an affair all this while. And then all that usual jazz will follow.
I will have to talk him through not to let mom get even the slightest hint about this.
This is becoming too troublesome. Probably, he can suggest me how to deal with this.

Next night

Dear Diary,

He laughed, you know.
He laughed so much. He said he always suspected that I was up to something. But, it still felt strange, he said, to know that I had grown up so much to have affairs. He was plain surprised.
You know I had expected him to shout at me. But, he was so cool about it. The best thing was that he understood that it was possible to fall out of love. He understood man! He understood! Shit, this is crazy. My boyfriend doesn’t understand this, but bhai does. Amazing really.
I feel so relaxed now. He is the best.
Anyway, he will talk to my boyfriend tomorrow and take this up with him.
I hope it doesn’t turn ugly. Fingers crossed.

Next night

Dear diary,

Cakewalk.
Yeah that’s the word. It was so simple. I told you about the meeting yesterday, isn’t it? So we met. I was so worried.
The three of us met. I was silent for most part of it. You should have seen my boyfriend’s face today. He went out so convinced.
It worked out, diary. It worked out man.
I feel so unburdened. Bhai had to make a sincere face and tell him  that nothing can be done now, nothing even if I wanted. Why?  Because I was a lesbian.

Hahaha! lesbian…hahaha! Can you imagine? I am a lesbian? What an excuse man!
You know bhai even cited instances to prove tat I was a lesbian. Shit! what a manipulator man, what a master manipulator!
Anyway, everything is sorted out now. This is cheap I know. But what do they say, “all’s well that ends well.”
Hahaha!
Good night.

March’2013
Dear Diary,

This is important. I finally broke the news to my parents.
I told them that I can’t have good fulfilling relationship with men.
You know what did mom say?
She said, “Wait, till you find someone who changes your opinion regarding this.”
And dad, you know, did not even bother to react. I felt so unwanted man. What’s wrong with them. Why don’t they even try to understand. They think I am only trying to be radical. I am not trying to shock them.
I am not confused. I know what I want. I don’t like men that way. They are good. I like spending time with them. But I am so disappointed everytime. It feels as if something is missing. to tell you frankly, I don’t even feel excited when I am with them. This isn’t abnormal. I am just different.
Thank god, bhai was there.
He took my side, you know. He said he always knew I wasn’t straight. He knew it all along, He had felt it the way I talked about women. I never realized.
He said to mom that it was no big deal and asked me not to remain closeted with my preference. He asked me to go out and explore. I am truly amazed with the way he dealt with it.
He is such a support.
I don’t know what am I going to do now, but it feels good.
Thank you bhai. You’ve been there always. I love you.

You have simplified my life. You inspire me. I wish I could be as calm and mature as you.

Good night.

Sometimes, it’s all about dealing with complex issues in a simple way.