7 days later I quit my job

the last time i had written a poem i was a whore, fucking every random verse, my skin layered with the grimness of flaws. now in a shiny blue box (with a lid) i am slowly oozing ectoplasm.

“i will vanish,” i promise what remains of me.

there goes my toes, my legs, my fingers. there goes my arms. there goes my chest, my half-bitten face. the blue butterflies are gone. my best friend doesn’t take my calls.

“did you see my heart? the left auricle, did you see it?”

i run bare feet on floors of marble. i run clutching my chest, my id sets off alarms all across town. “i am on fire,” i scream and no one gives a damn. professionalism is all about being someone you can hate without guilt. i plant myself before a computer, its jaws agape with newness, and glare back into its stifling glare. no, this is not about writing codes. or challenging history. or disseminating. or introspecting. or anything you think it is.

this is about waiting till you explode.

the air-con whizzes above ceilings that crush. everything is shiny and glass and false. i forget the last time i tasted fresh. i forget the taste of rain. barred windows kick sunlight back to the hills. my eyes sink lower in their sockets till all i see is continuity. all day i watch the atmosphere drumming on their flat faces. tired it bursts into paranoia. and i cannot breath.

“can you lend me oxygen?” i ask the girl in the next chair.

“that is forbidden! don’t utter that word here!”

i panic, flap my arms around desperate to fly. suddenly i am crippled. claustrophobic. i am walking the edge of parapets ten stories high. the walls swoop down. “an invite,” i smile. in a city of trams, my parents celebrate their daughter’s job with expensive joy.

999 km away, secretly i google sleeping pills. anything to help me die. then return to the parapet in the middle of the night.

“i am glad i don’t have wings.”

roads twist into pretzels. the lights are lost. i run in loops. i run again. i run till my mouth drips naphthalene blood. it rains ash on the hills next door.

Guwahati, day2.

The rains are home. Guwahati has been flooded. Under my skin, a sudden vacuum has replaced every other thing. Suddenly I’m walking without bones.

Something like a bag of blood.

A bag of shadows.

There isn’t even an hour to ask myself why. Because there is no why. I had volunteered, walking right into a blinding black hole. And there is no escape now.

So under my skin, there are atoms discharging their souls. Everything is plasma-like. Only thinner. So much that plasma is a hollow, contracting around my ribcage till there are fake stars blossoming all over my borrowed sky.

There is this city, her background woven of hills. Brocade woods melt nonchalantly into urbanity. Nothing has a border. Nothing wears a smile. Days pass in counting hours. Hours in little blasts that I mostly ignore.

When I stand under the shower i can finally see the burns.

Mornings tilt and are swallowed from an empty cup. Afternoons have been scraped. When I think of nights, I no more think of love. My heart is already broken and I am an intercepted sigh.

A bird shot down mid-flight.

I regret asking the Goddess atop the hill for peace. I should have asked Her for death instead.


wednesday, 25th june

13:00. A white and blue steamer bobs slightly. Abandoned. Through the blast of chill, I can see her face. Eyes shut. Breathes rusty. Anchored close to a supposition I know nothing about. A love. To whoever classified the living and the non living- you were wrong. Didn’t you hear how on afternoons like this, when the storm is real, even metal grows a heart, assumes a life of its own? Continue reading

Unpoem #1

July 9th, 2013

4:26. Running past eerie trees, all black and wooly, silhouetted against watery azure skies. In a couple of hours, I will see the fog swathed blue mountains lining the north. Tell me, darling, are you dreaming of me? Because legend says when you cannot sleep, it is because you are awake in someone else’s dreams.

4:38. Lying here wondering what will be the taste of you on my tongue. Or the feel of your fingers on my hungry skin.

4:55. The sky is an unjustified blue. Rich. Ornate. Candied virgin. A blue so immaculate I could drink it.

5:00. Sleep seeps in through gaps in resilience. I want to curl onto your chest, weave my sighs through your lips.

7:30. Shadow play of light and darkness. Chiaroscuro. Another lonely station is left behind. Zapping past beady eyed signals. All sleep-clad. Over overflowing streams. Blinking.

8:18. Delayed. Monsoon lashes disgracefully on the window. Everything is sous l’eau. I am still wrapped in the blanket, smelling of God-knows-who. Chilly. Rangapani station. Black script bold on yellow. I want you to warm me up, lock me in your carotene wistfulness. Breathe together. The rain dribbles, falls bell-like in little cones and dissipates. Sillage. Concentric circles. Black. Wet. Furrowed. Faceless. Inside me, yesterday’s dirge stings. I am a flower, pulled petal by petal.

8:30. Three sparrows hopping in the rain. Fallen leaves, pale green, heart-shaped. Half-drowned. The antiseptic fluorescence of the coach. Maroon curtains. Fresh crunch of newspapers. Half-coffee aroma. Half dissolved in opaque conditioned air. Interwoven voices. Mumbles. Water running down the glass. Thick braids. The rain has strengthened.

8:38. I shut my eyes. I see you. Bright twinkling eyes. Crow-feet in the corners. Sugar-plum smile. Sunny. Brilliantly sunny. Your narrow forearms. The pearl on your right-hand. Index finger, was it? The leanness of your being. Deep set eyes. Your smile. Your strikingly unabashed smile, so beautiful it can put any galaxy, any shooting star to shame. The way it burns through me. Your sweet brown eyes, darker sometimes. Your clumsy walking. Atrocious silence. That charming languidness. The way you always fold your fingers into half fists. And your smile. That disarmingly psychedelic smile.

8:50. Light green. Dark green. Yellow green. Blue green. Water green. Sap green. Tea green. Moss green. Saturated green. And grey. Green and grey in motion. Fused in floods.

9:00. Arrival. Chaos.

9:28. Umbrellas. Big. Small. Variegated. And auto rickshaws. Raincoats flapping. Looping through deserted bylanes. Reckless. Perforating thick fogs of petrol. Hairpin bends. Chilly mountain rain. But today I don’t want to taste it. My favorite city feels so alien.

10:14. Without you, the rain has lost her beauty. Never have I found her so depressing.

10:40. More rain. Möbius strips.

10:50. Tell me, darling, do you ever miss me? When it rains on the arid, coppery plains of Gurgaon, do you trace my name on frosted glasses? Suck in petrichor and let it permeate your being? Let it crawl under your skin and bloom as goosebumps? Do you float paper-boats in the rain? Let it swallow you? Do you find my absence as empty as I find yours?

10:57. Sleep folds in. And the world falls fast behind a sugary pall of quietness.

13:53. Nothing has changed. I still lug around the heaviness. There is no joy, only a black hole that drags me in. And you still do not love me.

13:57. O why did I not descend on some Godforsaken station in the middle of the night and run back to you? Why do I hold myself back even when it hurts?

14:26. Hot baths do not cure heartaches.

14:29. You are wrong. I too have secrets. Dark, decaying secrets. All infected and cancerous, of loss and death and loneliness. Bitterness. To tangle you in the quicksand called my life would be cruel. A living suicide. That is who I am.

15:20. I need you to heal me. You might not be the angel I hoped for. But you are really close to being one.

16:10. The way heartache oozes into your soul.

19:41. You shut your eyes, the suffocation is gone. You open them and you sink. Once again. A little more deeper.

20:14. Tea. Rosettes of smoke. Peach walls. And gloom. Thick, descending featherless gloom.

21: 03. The Kurseong Himalayas rise up high against a navy sky. Dots of starry lights. Connected. Disconnected. A solitary red beacon. Frozen.

22:44. To have you on the other side of the phone. Just to listen to you breathe. Strung together by vacuüm.

22:48. Your bright yellow t-shirt. Another lemon yellow one with pale green checks. Blue-red checked shirt. The feel of you on fabrics. Navy-blue t-shirt with red detailing. Receding in the early morning slant sun. Your steel-blue shirt. The jet black one. Stripes. Lines. Sometimes wintry. Oranges. Then blues. A peach hoodie. Your bare back. Perspiration. April heat.

24:00. Poetry by Kazi Nazrul Islam. Inebriated rain. Whir of a table fan. Creeping loneliness. Distilled. Dissociate.

24:22. An afternoon spent over at Love & Olive Oil. Sterile dreams: cooking for you. Sharing coffee and reflections. The scent of your aftershave. Mint cookies. Ice-cream. Your evening cup of tea. Just washed hair. Unbuttoned shirt. The wet shimmer of your chest. Deciding dinner. Arguing over stir-frys and chutneys. Kisses. Waking up in your arms. Smelling of you. Tousled hair. Deliciously warm. Writing love on your skin. Your sleep flecked face. Drawing closer. Perfect.

24:55. Blank.

1:05. Someday I will hem moonlight in your shadows. You must look so beautiful when you sleep.

1:08. Mundane. Sleepless. Thinking of you. Of how it would be to be with you, to be yours. To be complete.

1:15. Your breath in my hair. Fingers circling navel. One. Two. Half-crescent. Crescendo. Ten. Hyperventilating. Tremulous. Fifteen. Eighty-six. Explosions. Quarante. Fireworks. Twelve. Raindrops. Lavender. Us. You. Us.

1:24. Pull me into you. Raw friction. An absent moon. An absinthe sky. Deliquescent.

1:30. Counting backwards.

1:32. It is time I should let you go, darling. Let you go. After all, how long can I hold onto someone who isn’t mine?

Seasons: a love story~

Winter 2013

This is the coldest winter in years. Everything is grey: a sad, vulgar shade of grey. Draughts rip the atmosphere, slicing the skin, howling at all hours like banshees. There has been no sun. Except one morning when i woke up to find all shadows turned gold- I knew you were home.

I had been dying to see you and you walked away, without even acknowledging my presence. That was last week. Late morning. I was trudging home. Broken. The Gods won’t listen to my heart. I have been crying. In secret. In dark corners of bedrooms, under blankets, in bathrooms. Everywhere.

New Year’s Day-

You said you love another girl. You said you don’t love me.

And suddenly there was no more Hope. Since then everything has been black.

Spring 2012

You are leaving. Going away over a thousand kilometres from me. And no, I do not know how to be the one who is left behind.

On the inside I am broken. I wish I had realized earlier how difficult it would be to be without you. The very mention of your absence hurts. I wish I had known how much I love you, loved you ever since that autumn day almost seven years back. I wish I could rush into your arms and pour out my heart, call myself “yours.”

Living on Escitalopram isn’t life. It saves the pain for later. I cannot shut out that raw, cruel pain. Out of the darkness, it jumps at me, hungry and suddenly I cannot breath. Like I’m choked, strangled. I gasp, my mind rills. As if everything happy is lost. I collapse.

No, dad, it isn’t low blood pressure. It is heartbreak. Abandonment. Blackness.

And from behind shut eyes, the tears spring out, screaming unheard. It is only me who knows nothing save the sound of his voice, his smile, his touch will sooth me. If only he would know. If only you would know how this is killing me.

Few weeks and these alleys would be empty despite the hundreds of faces. Few weeks and this place will lose the only reason I stayed back.

Dear love-

Keep my heart safe. I have long lost it you.

Summer 2010

Perhaps I am being stupid, but did you just smile at me?

Night after night I haven’t been able to sleep and I hardly care about dark circles anymore. My eyes twinkle brighter than stars. All night I reminisce those moments. Careless glances. Those moments I had to hide my eyes, scared they might spill out secrets. The heat that courses through my veins, the heartbeats I miss, those half-way thoughts, dangling breathes.

They call you la lune.

And I have been wondering why this restlessness, this strange something somewhere unexplored. Perhaps. Just perhaps-

I am in love with you.

Monsoon 2007

I will forget you. I will have to forget you. Because I must.

There is a war inside me. I am a wreck, bleeding ever since. Call it crush, infatuation, call it limerence, any name, it would still smell of love. It frightens me, but deep within, I know I have lost my heart.

Wet afternoons. I draw your name on blue-grey clouds. It rains and I hide my tears in her cold arms. Everywhere I see, there is ecstasy- in wildflowers, ferns. Butterflies. Carefree hearts. Innocence and paper boats. Kisses beneath diffused halogen haze. Even darkness is a sweet shade of moss.

But no, this season does not rain wishing-stars.

Sometimes when I am lonely, I want to bottle up memories, petrichor. And your smile. That disarming smile. And hold them close. It isn’t that I am not trying. I am trying hard, trying to reason, to deny. I keep telling myself you will fade away, and you don’t.

Will there never be an end to this pain of longing?

Autumn 2005

The sky is ablaze with incense and prayers. And like everyone else I am glowing with the blush of autumn, beautifully amber. Dreamy-eyed. Happy.

October 10th. Durgashtami. The first time I saw you.

And never before had life been so poetically restless. You fill my mind, my every thought. Yellow tee. Yellow smile. An almost Italian color. You looked like a wilting hot house plant. Lean. Delicate. A perspiring stem. And suddenly I was searching for heartbeats.

Sunshine- that is who you are- my first crush.

The first shot of scarlet upon my cheeks. That little tremble of lips. Gasping on the inside. Everything seems different.

And the world is a blur.

©Mohana Das

Being a Poem: My entry for the Get Published contest

“First sight love isn’t fairy-tale. It happens in the real world, to real people like you and me.”

This is the story of a girl, a confused little girl, who had a dream. She wanted to be a poem. Yes, a poem! Not a poet. This is the story of a girl who unknowingly bequeaths her heart to a ray of sun, one beautiful October morning when autumn was at her best- an amber blush warming the wind with glitter and honeyed gold.

And suddenly everything seemed different- the stars, the flowers, the skies, the very sound of her heartbeats.

But with it came uncertainty. Darkness. A need to understand this new feeling, to give it a name. With head and heart at war, conflicts tore her inside, scarred her scarred world. That half-forgotten blackness clawed back in again. More poems bled.

“I know I am not in love. What I cannot explain is this pain that strangles me when you are not around. But surely this is not love. Why should it be? Why should I fall in love with you, in love with someone I do not know?”

He was absolutely sunshine, lighting up the narrow alleys with his golden smile. The boy who hardly spoke, whose eyes she could never read: his secrets were secrets in the depth of those inscrutable brown eyes. Till one day, seven years later.

“How could I do this to myself?”

The moon hid behind billows of purple clouds, shivering with fear. She shut herself in the pages of her diary. There were no more poems.

“I can fight you no longer.”

Was it any different from here?

©Mohana Das

This is my entry for the HarperCollins–IndiBlogger Get Published contest, which is run with inputs fromYashodhara Lal and HarperCollins India.

If you like my idea, “LIKE” my entry at http://www.indiblogger.in/getpublished/idea/304/