Sunday, June 5, 2016

The sprite and I and I

Villainiya ‏@DushtaStree  23h23 hours ago
A story in 24 tweets. Storified here.

Let me tell you a true story. Of something that never happened...
... Of someone who never was.
Of things that should have been said
So often we deem people guilty of what they've done. And what, pray tell, of the times that they should have done something?
What, of this, this shadow of guilt? What of this... photo negative,... if you will?

One moonlit night, in the forest where I live, on my usual walk, I came upon this sprite. He was up to some fun.
He said to me, he was happy & he'd grant me a boon. If I so chose, I could live two lives, he said. Two parallel lives; one condition.
On that night, I would split into two selves. One self would live my life the way I would. The other would do everything, take every risk.
His only condition, was that at the end of the road, we'd meet, the two selves. And one would have to kill the other.
I agreed. Nothing to lose. I start with one self. I end with one. The journey seemed like an adventure
And so I split. And two lives were lived. It's difficult to explain a parallel existence. So I spare you the details.

And there we were, in the same clearing, a moonlit night this was too. Face to face. The same people, different lives
Oh. But are these? Are these the same people? One of us was smiling, laugh lines around the eyes. The other had a mouth downturned.
The one who took all the risks said, Oh sister, what a ride that was! How have you been?!
The other me was aghast. Did you not lose your loved ones? Were you not betrayed? Are you not angry, my sister?
To which she replied, Oh yes I did. But I've also loved, and been loved. And I have broken hearts too. All my mistakes were my own!
And I have learned. To tell people I love them when I do. And not say that when I don't. To say the right thing though it was hard to do.
And here I am now. Tired, but happy. Heart taped over a million times, but full of love.

The other me cried out. In frustration and anger. You see, she (I) had lived a life of great caution. Not letting anyone take advantage
And it was now clearly a life wasted. It was too disappointing to think of. Too much to take.
I said to me, out of jealousy and spite, sister I have to kill you. Remember what the sprite had said?
To which I said, Yes of course, go ahead. I've lived a good one. :)

So I killed me. And here I am.

Friday, May 29, 2015


Akele raaston se guzre, kabhi na maana ki tum the
Tum saath hote, hanste gaate, tabhi na maana ki tum the
Logon ne kaha, aetbaar karle. Dekho sabhi ne jaana ki tum the.

Ab raastein hai, khanabadoshi nahin
Mehfilein hai, muztar rehta hai dil
Ab hum sabse kehte phirte hai...

Ki tum ho, tum ho, tum ho.

Friday, March 20, 2015

An ode to Haikus

I love Haikus.

First of all, the name itself. Look at it! --> #Haiku. Rolls off your tongue in a rush. How captivating!

Writing is so often like sculpting.  It starts as a mere wisp of an idea. A word you read, maybe. Something you said to your best friend. Or something that the coffee dregs in your mug looked like today. Anything. It takes hold then; slowly mutating in your mind's recesses into something beautiful. Or ugly. Or grey. Or plastic. Anything you want it to be. That's the fun, isn't it? It expands, taking on this amorphous life of its own.

Like you, I've often penned my thoughts in prose, verse, staccato sentences. Then stood back to look at it with tilted head. Like a sculptor would, or a painter. More like a sculptor though. That's what you do with your words. With a #haiku. You gently coax them into behaving under your fingers. A little pressure here, smooth it out there. Or if it's stone, you chisel at them  Shape here, crude and hoarse there. It's yours. It's also completely his who reads. Or hers. Or its. Everyone's and noone's.

I talk like I'm a sculptor. I've never held clay in my hand, or stone to chip away at. But I have sculpted. For you.

I've waited for him
Here, at the crossroads of life
For centuries now
The gravel under my feet
Now is an hourglass.

The waif
Alone she sat there
On the top of the mountain,
Seeing the shepherds
Whistle tunes of joy
As they headed home at dusk.
And darkness took her

The red pill
In the dark he waits
Watching his thoughts take root and
A forest is born.

Alone she wandered
In the woods not knowing why.
But knowing she should.

Until she met him.
The white knight who smiled & said
"Are you ready, Alice?"

In her destiny
Was to wander forever
His forest of thoughts

Monday, July 21, 2014

The wraith

This wraith, this wraith of a girl...
So ethereal I am scared sometimes,
Of the unforgiving world around her.
And just then, she reminds me,
Just how strong she is...
How unrelentingly loving.
And then I fold myself within her...

Dedicated to my Nazia Hussain. She of the smile that can light up the corners of your heart...