Fair enough.

I wrote this poem back in 2010 when someone I knew personally was murdered or killed for honor, as the prepatrators of this heinous crime had put it. It has been two years to that day and such satanic acts continue to happen all over India. Strict laws, police vigilance, social activism..nothing succeeds in bringing down these cold blooded murders. The only solution I see is in the root cause of this problem, a mass cultural delusion that the honor of a family is in who (and of what caste/creed/religion/gotra) their children marry. What we need is a basic rethinking of principles. People need to realise that essentially fatal violence against a member of their own family is no more reputable or honorable than marriages they deem as wrong and sinful. And perhaps, a look at the situation from the victim’s eyes would help them realise the gravity of this criminal offense and maybe, just maybe, soften their stone hearts.

Blood..red blood
the same red
of the roses
he got me the day we wed

Red was all over that day and today too when all is over.

His hand are
firmly clutching mine,
Just like they were
back in that time.

Our fingers still
fit perfectly in the spaces.
I can still see him
smiling with his braces.

Stills from the past
skimming.
Emotions ceaselessly
brimming.

And the scene now playing is
of our first touch.
His Dravidian dark against
my Himachali paleness.

There goes the graduation
day past my eyes.
New lives for some,
for some others sad goodbyes.
We both took the Hippocratic Oath that day.
We took our own roads, headed the same way.

Now the train crawls out of this station of obscurity
Into Dream Central, worth all dreams
Our hearts beating in rhythm, fast
His hands on mine on the train’s iron cast.

When Anatomy lectures set
this chemical explosion off,
we know not.
Thigh dissection, bone re-arrangement
and pathogens-
every passing second,
only closer we got.

In this picture, we are exchanging
garlands and promises worth a lifetime
Just Us and the priest
and wedding bells that chime.

When life became an extended honeymoon
There was love and more love
where now there is only doom.

And now I can see our girls
when they were younger.
Their innocent,blank stares
and cute pig tales.

Frames switch quick
the machinery goes tok
tik- tok- tik.

It has been 5 years
since the graduation day,
things are going only one way,
our way.

BUT,

Just today
some people knocked on the door
When I did not answer their call
they knocked and they knocked more
I hide my fairies
In the closet.
And pressed 1- Sree’s speed dail
to make my last call
Deep inside I knew we’d lost it all.

A good fight
and a number of tries
Later the hinges lost.
All I could see was
my brother, some goons
and unending frost.

Sree’s calm voice on the phone
tells me to run or to hide
His voice, so assuring,
so warm
I can feel him here, by my side

But now the damage is done
where there was so much happiness
now there is none.

The machinery in the ambulance
and the siren hurt my ears.
All I want is to close my eyes
and go back in the years.

He is holding my hand very tight.
Whispering into my ears,
“Baby, everythings gonna be alright.”

But its fair enough,
Isn’t it?
I killed my kin’s honor
and their honor killed me.

* An honor killing (also called a customary killing) is the murder of a (typically female) family or clan member by one or more fellow (mostly male) family members, in which the perpetrators (and potentially the wider community) believe the victim to have brought dishonour upon the family, clan, or community.

Indian Girls often face the wrath of their families and at times communities for marrying without their families’ acceptance or outside their caste.
In North India, mainly in the culture of ethic Rajputs – who despite the forces of modernization and the pressures of decolonization, subscribe to medieval views concerning the “preservation” of perceived “purity” of their lineage- girls are killed every other day in the name of honor.
This is my small attempt at making people aware of such barbarian acts taking place in our own country, our own state, our own city and at times our own family.

Dedicated to Sangeeta Thakur and all those innocent girls who have fallen prey to such inhuman acts.
May your soul rest in peace.

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A Letter To My Ex- II

Dear Ex,

I’ll skip the explanation for writing this letter to you. Because it is not you that I write to. This letter is merely adressed to you but is, in fact, meant for all my innocent and meek girlfriends who have, fortunately, not come across any “you” yet. As I now know, unfortunately, without experience or a first hand warning-like this one- it is impossible to tell you from any other guy that may truely deserve them. You do camouflage rather well.

Let me start by reminding you who you are. You are a smart, handsome, popular, over achieving, well to do guy. Every single girl’s dream. A knight in shining armour. Only till the armour comes off to reveal the cruel, calculative, cunning and heartless bastard that you really are. I wont take away the credit of your good looks, wealth or popularity from you. But that is exactly where you end. At superficial achievments. In your case, the water runs no deeper. There isn’t a kind human being or a genuinely warm person inside that shell of fake smiles and cleverly scripted lies. Everything to you is a profit or loss equation. Every person only an object to use to get to something or someone else.
My neighbour’s cat has more emotion and love than you. And my neighbour’s cat is pretty much cold and emotionless, to put it kindly. Sometimes I think she is secretly devising a plan to nuke the earth. But then, she is still more humane than you are.
What amazes me and is also sad is the fact that in spite of your character being nothing but grey and patches of dark, you have too many admirers and friends to validate it. Perhaps it is true that we value material wealth, physical appearance and surface achievements over kindness, honesty and loyalty.

Before people form the mental image of a scored ex girlfriend (that would be me) of a downright amazing and admirable you, Let me jump straight to our “Break Up”.
Why did we break up?
Because, over a cup of coffee with a new friend I was informed of a person who looked exactly like you, went by your name, lived in your house, was taking the course you were but was in a “committed” relationship with this new friend of mine. Strange, right? Strange still is, she met you through another friend you were previously dating. But as it turns out, “previously” means “presently” in your dictionary. A little background research and stalking later, another invisible ghost floated up to the surface. You prepositioned a girl on a recent tennis tour.
What did I do? I tried to confront you. Yes, I was still open to “talking things out”. Yes, after realizing that you were not two, not three but four timing me. I hoped against all hope that I will wake up one day and have someone tell me it was all a bad dream and now its over. I wanted, more than anything else for that someone to be you. The things love does to a person!
What did you do?
You ran away. You stopped taking my calls. You would not reply to e-mails. When you moved to a new place for college, you did not give me your new number. And then, you fell off the radar. You wiped all traces of your existence from the face of earth. “Us” became a beautiful dream that never really happened. And “now”, an ugly truth I was left to deal with every day.

It was not always like this. There was a time, which seems eons away from me now, when you held my hand through a dark tunnel of loneliness and despair. First, as a friend. Then, as a companion. There was a time when we held between us the self proclaimed world record for talking on the phone for the longest time, 20 hours to be exact, without a drop. I was alone at home and even a dead twig fluttering in the wind outside my window would have me quivering in fear. You told me a hundred times that you are always by my side that day. I almost believed you were. I can still hear you singing “Hey There Delilah” to me. You said there were songs to describe all things in the world and this song described us. On my 16th birthday you said “It took my mother 16 years to make me gentle and it took you 16 seconds to make me mental.” You gave me a story book romance. And I guess a story book ending as well.

All that wiseassery of being one relationship old and armed with deep knowledge and great insight boiled down to nothing. I was back to square one. Back to wasting tears and filling page after page with sad poetry. But this time around, the tears dried up relatively quicker. When I finally dug my head out of a concoction of tears, heartache and unkept hair there was one good thing I learned.. I realised that there is no immunity shot or vaccination to a broken heart. Each time you have your little pacemaker stepped on, irrespective of how many times it has been stepped on already, it will hurt equally as much. Sometimes, only more. No heartbreak or bad relationship renders you less vulnerable to another heartbreak or bad relationship. The only wise thing to carry with you is acceptance. You have to accept that people will hurt you. You have to accept that you will hurt people as well. You have to accept that nothing truly lasts forever. You have to accept that all good things in life come with a price. You have to accept that not falling in love is not a solution to not having heart broken again. You have to accept that what once was love can turn to sour hatred, like the yellow plastered walls of an old house- cracking and ugly. You have to accept that its alright to hate some people without a speck of guilt. You have to accept that life goes on. Above all, you have to accept and not regret.

I may forgive you but I can never forget what you did. At least I wont have to invent the wheel every day. I can simply learn from past mistakes and gather all the broken pieces and start afresh.

Do I hate you? Yes. Do I regret falling for you? No. Given a chance to live again, there is not one thing I would change.

Today, you’re at a very good place in life and I am happy for you. I’ll hope you prove right the quote “Every sinner has a future and every saint, a past”
I’ll hope you remember me.

Much( not so much) love,
Sherry.

The Things You Left Behind.

I was looking
For the perfect dress to wear.
I looked
In the old box, It found me there.

Tears
rolled down my eyes.
Rushed
back all your memories
Undressed
All your clever lies.

I picked it up
It stared back at me.
I unwrapped it,
emotionally
It barely responded
like a new born baby.

I bring it close to my face,
Hold it in a warm embrace.
It does not
Smell of you anymore.

I drown myself
in it, again.
Like I used to bury
in your arms
my face.

Only now I see how
it really is.
I can’t trace your smell now
Or the way I’d miss
You, every breath.

It has been so long.
Can I even, in one go,
sing the lines to our song?
And In my head will you still hum along?

But,
One last time I’ll
dance with it.
And I guess
I’ll forget you
bit for bit.

Not today, certainly
But someday I’ll laugh
About you and me.

It brought back to me
All your forgotten self.
And I’ll hope it finds me again sometime.
To show me, how you were mine.

For now,
I’ll fold it in neatly.
And put back your plain white T.
I wonder,
Do you ever think of me?

Footnote-
This poem was not written in the best state of mind, as is evident from the rough edges. That said, it has come out exactly the way I wanted it. Rough. Disturbed. Raw. Emotional.

Bleeding

Twelve and here we are again.

You curl and put yourself to sleep.
Someone lays on your side
With salty tears to hide
testimony of the vows you did not keep.

With a stone, they say a woman’s
bestfriend is,
you asked for her hand and
sealed it with a kiss.

Fragrant flowers have faded
in to patched walls since.
The fabric of us dissolved
in an emotional rinse.

And you’ll get up again, the morning next
Only to put on your mask
Here you are, Gullible and meek.

You have pierced
your words right through.
I will just sit here
And bleed.

“Love that imperfect person…

Because, He is perfect for you”

 

I have not scribbled a word or rhymed a line all week. Personal turmoil and professional pressures are my excuse for this sudden absence. My apologies to the handful of wonderful people who actually take the time to read this blog and look forward to my posts. Now, I am back and I am back here to stay.
For being the supportive and loving people that you are, the least I can do is fix you an explanation. So here goes,
I had an exam on the 1st of this month, yes, on a Sunday. Evidently, my entire weekend was consumed in revising the syllabi and preparing myself for this exam the best I could. When D-day did come, a stroke of bad luck tagged along. From burning my tongue with hot coffee to risking any chances of qualifying this exam because of a silly mistake. Everything thing that could possibly go wrong, did so indeed.
By the time the I left the examination centre my spirits were so down I could lower them into a murky well and fetch myself a pail of obscurity, of non-existence or of death. To top that up, my parents decided to be their unreasonable best and pester me incessantly about the result of the said exam. Just when I was up to my neck in anger, frustration, remorse, guilt, tears and sweat (yes, the summer is here in India) someone I look upto for advice, help, love and support decided to provide none of it. Instead, we faught. Verbal fighting, ofcourse. The entire day we called eachother rude names and brawled like a set of 5 year olds would over a new toy that they end up breaking.
And that made me realise how much time can change about people. Not essentially who they are. But what you want them to be. The things I used to love about this someone at one point in time are the things I now detest. They distance me from him to a point of no return. What scares me is, someday I’ll wake up to a world where he does not feature as an important person in my life anymore. A world where those minor lapses in communication have created such a big vent that its difficult to cross over. A world where I’ve been walking away for so long that I can not trace my footsteps back home, to him.
And even the thought of it truly scares me. That itself is an indication that I have some residual love for him and there still is hope for our relationship. So I will make sure I cling onto the last bare threads holding up our friendship. I will not let go.

Which brings me to the thought this post started with. This was a status message I had put on my facebook page and someone thought it should be shared on my blog as a post.

“It is very easy to love the thought of a person or the way you fantasied them to be but equally difficult to love the real deal sans a constant effort to change it for the better; to love that petty person with his own insecurities, flaws, shortcomings and peculiarities. But the fact that they love you back inspite of your insecurities, flaws, shortcomings and peculiarities should be reason enough to continue loving them”

Have you ever been in a similar spot? Would you give a love or a friendship that is fading to a dull shade of over-fimilarity another splash of colorful hope and life? Or would you let things take their own course?
A river to run dry for precious stones to reveal?
What would it be?