Vials

Prompt: The day you realized that your parents aren’t superheroes.

 

The first thing my parents would do after waking up everyday
was to shut the vials of emotions with a cork.
And they would cross-check it,
equal to the number of times
they would have chai.

Thrice.

Sometimes more on bad days.

Little did they know that vials are made up of glass
and
glasses
break.

So, in anxiety one day when my mother pressed the cork
a little to hard;
The emotions came flooding out
like rays of light through rain cladded clouds.

My father?
No, his vials had a lining of patriarchy
that made it more durable.
His vials had oceans of emotions.
A river came pouring in with
every tear drop that never got out.
And on some nights the oceans would sway,
failing to keep a wreckage at bay.
But the most damage they could do,
was let out a thin stream rolling down his cheek
on cozy nights when no one was watching.

See, I was led to believe that my parents are superheroes.
And that they are right. Always.

See, my parents were led to believe that I am to be protected.
And that the vials are meant to be shut.

But they are wrong, sometimes.
I never needed saviours, ever.

They are just humans.
And that’s enough.

Anonymous

Today’s Prompt: To all the poor ugly folks who know that they will never be anyone’s first preference. To all the broken lonely souls who are locked deep in the chamber of insignificance. To all those who remain a shade in the shadow; its not the starlight that’s not reaching you but its the heart that’s refusing to shine!

I am the side kick.
The second favourite child.
The shirt you settled for.
I am the insignificant one.
The “others” that you refer to?
That’s me.
Hell, I am not even the face of “others”.
I am the faceless.
I am the one who has no name.
And no, that, by the way, doesn’t make me precious snowflake.
I am the snowflake that tripped and fell while coming down the stairs.
I am broken.
But I mended myself.
But the cracks are visible.
Like white stitches on black trousers.
And I was told that it makes me special.
It doesn’t.
There are far too many broken souls out there who are waiting
with their hearts open with glowing signs at the door that spells “Waiting Room”.
And last time I checked, no one gives a fuck about glowing signs on a highway.
I am not complaining that the light isn’t shining on me.
It is.
But I am at the brink of the spotlight.
Visible, but not enough.
There’s light inside, yes.
And that’s what keeps me going.
But I am never going to be visible.
Even if I make a body transformation.
Get blue eyes.
Increase my biceps’ size.
Because the light just brightens up my hallways.
And everyday, it’s a party.
But it doesn’t go out.
And how will it?

I have painted the windows black.

 

Want me to write on something specific?
Suggest a prompt here

Do what you can’t – Casey Neistat

Do what you can’t – Casey Neistat

Yesterday a well-known internet celebrity called Casey Neistat released a video called “Do what you can’t”

What he essentially asks you to do is to challenge yourself.

Taking into account how popular he is; most of you might have watched it already.
If not; here.

There’s a reason why I am writing about this.
This website will complete a year in about one month.

Since that day, I have made religious efforts in working on new things. New projects. Learning other art forms. Starting something new. And I have been doing this for a year now.
Consistently, if not continuously.

The point is not to smear this on your face. And if it feels like that; consider it as one of those birthday cake that your friends/family smear. It is a friendly gesture. I want to grow. And I genuinely want people in my circle to grow. And this is a very selfish intent.

The more you learn; the higher the chances are of collaboration. And higher the success rate. Whose? Ours.

Let me justify that a little later.
Focus on what the gist of the video is.

There’s this quote from Pursuit of Happyness that fits perfectly.

You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.

 You might have met A LOT of people who told you that you can’t possibly do it.
10 months ago when I tried my hand at spoken word poetry for the first time; I sucked. BIG TIME. It was an Open Mic and I was a little humiliated. But thanks to this one quality that I have (shamelessness); I thought of giving it another try. But at that very instance, I felt like shit. I thought maybe I should stick to just writing poems and not perform them.

3 weeks ago I started a YouTube Channel. I’ll be uploading videos of my performances there. I’ve posted one video already. Here it is.

While I may have subtly promoted my video; the point I am trying to make is this:

The way I am performing in this video is way too better than my first performance.
I can still improve.
But I have been improving.

Now, coming back to the collaboration argument.

If there’s one thing that I have learnt during my stints at performing and organizing events; it is this: Everyone has one thing that they are passionate about and one thing that they excel at.

They work on in. And grow. They challenge themselves. Set targets. Consciously sometimes, subconsciously otherwise.

Collaborate with them. You know who wins? EVERYONE.

 

And, let’s face it; I am not saying anything new.

You know that practice makes you better.
You know that persistence is the key.

All you need to do is start.
So stop giving excuses.

DO WHAT YOU CAN’T.

P.S.

I consider myself as a multipotentialite; don’t know what that means? This TED Talk will help.
I am thinking of taking a challenge where I’ll try to learn a new thing every month.
Do what I think I can’t.

Want in?
Tell me in comments; we’ll figure something out. Let’s make this fun!

Words

Words

by Aditya Mankad 0 Comments

The words.
They are dying to come out of my mouth.
When you hear my stomach rumble,
I am not hungry.
Well, I might be.
But I know the difference.
The voices are the whispers,
Whispers of the butterflies in my belly and the words.
Them, planning a devious plan to tell the things that I must not say.
To tell her that I… I am weak.
I don’t like people running over me.
With bulldozers of rejection and truth.
I wish I can blurt right things at the right time.
Like “No, I am not okay. I have been sailing in the storms without a sail and a boat made of paper” but I end up saying “Yeah, heh, mood swings.”

Like “I know it is hard. Hard to digest the fact that I fell for you. Faster than the midsummer rains. Faster than the train of thoughts that come to you when you miss the step, faster than…Faster than the blood pumping in the veins.
The veins that now carry the messages written on rocks and castles, that we..um.. I think of writing on stars.

The words are planning a coup.
And thanks to you, my guard is already down.
So here I am, defenceless.
Waiting to be taken over by the very things I created.

That day when you said hi on WhatsApp…

4 seconds after I had said “sorry”.
5 minutes after I had said, “I can’t do it”.
6 hours after I had said, “we need to talk.”
7 days after we had chai and you had sutta at our regular place”
8 months after I wrote my first poem for you.
9 years after..9 years after I started believing in love at first sight.

I almost typed in “listen, I like you. No, scratch that. I FUCKING LOVE YOU.

The strings are no more attached.
You don’t control me anymore.
But the empty thread holes and the dent in my heart stretch and ache at every sighting of yours.
Drawn to you like it is meant to be.
And the words have been heartbroken.
They still dwell in the past.
They still haven’t moved on.
So tell me this,
How does it matter if I have?”
*tik tik tik*
*Deleted*
I just typed in “Nothing Much, you tell me.”

So the next time I meet you,
Maybe don’t think that I am too sweet if you see me smiling back at you.
I am just pressing my lips as hard as I can,
So that I won’t shoot fireworks out of my mouth.
So that I won’t say the things that the walls of my body hold together.

I am scared okay?
When she puts her head on my chest and hears the pounding of my heart,
I am afraid that the words will slip out from between the skipped beats.
And now,
The skipped beats have stopped visiting,
It is their own way of showing how they are mad at me.

And I miss that.

Mostly because they used to sit together and stick letters,
;make babies,
call them words and send them to my eyes and fingers.
The fingers often got good responses.
But the eyes gave mixed signals.

Look how they have ganged up against me.
Even the fucking eyes have been oozing with things left unsaid.
It is them, the words.
I can’t hold them.
So this is what they are doing,
Writing a poem.

This didn’t start as a love poem.
But it is turning out to be one.
Unlike our story,
This one will see its end.
Ours is a site under construction,
And the workers have scurried away because of the ghosts of the past.
Ours just sits by the west coast waiting to see the sunrise on an eclipse.

Ours is the word that didn’t make it on the last page of a book.

Unlike ours,
Some stories
Have
An
Ending.

 

 

Featured Image made by Aishwarya Sainath

Carousel – A ride back to simpler times

Carousel – A ride back to simpler times

Shhhhhhhh.
Listen.
Avoid the traffic noise.
The murmurs and whispers.
Avoid life, who is waiting at the other end of the ring,
waiting for you to get up so that it can give you a sucker punch.
Just listen.
Close your eyes.
Come on I mean it.
Close your eyes and listen.
Yes… the heartbeats you can feel them, right?
Now, are you able to hear the sound of splashes as you jumped in the puddles as a 5-year-old?
The screams of the ice creams vendor and then screams of your mother;
scolding you because you were running naked on the streets.
Can you feel it yet?
The kisses on your cheeks.
The smell of the first rains?
Can you almost see yourself crying in the corner after a stupid fight?
Is your mouth watering already because of the jalebis being made right across the street?

Do you remember the unexpected rains in the summer of 2000?
Do you remember that paper boat that you made our of page number 47 of sulekha?
Boy, wasn’t dad angry.
*smile* *pause*
Fast forward a little.
Do you remember watching her for the first time?
God, I tell you, it is probably her who sowed the seeds of poetry and then stopped watering it.
3 years later, it is a goddamn tree.

Do you remember the January of 2006?
Grandpa had said that the winds were stronger that year.
I don’t remember much of that year but I remember this.
The kites fluttered like butterflies that year.
Do you remember hanging out on trees; making promises that you no longer keep?

Open your eyes.

I have always been moved by the little things.
I always keep my pockets full of words and wear belts of verses in case I need them.
To woo a woman.
To fight, win an argument.
To put myself in the simplest of ways.
Ironically, I write poetry.

But, at times like these,
I don’t know the right things to say.
The pronouns stay back shamelessly but the adjectives,
heh, they run away.

I feel like me at the age of 5.

that’s how I feel.
When I listen to a good song.
When I walk bare feet on the beaches.
When I hold hands and lay back; watch the stars from between the trees.

But the times they are a changin’

We don’t keep the doors open.
We take the doormat inside on cold nights and the dust spells “Not Welcome”.
We tie the shoelaces of our hearts so tight that they won’t skip a beat.
We take small sips, talk small talks and are so goddamn afraid.

Afraid of what?
Oh, don’t get me started.

Afraid of people running all over us.
Make home in our hearts and then not make the bed after they leave.
Open the curtains; make us fall in love with light and then painting the windows black.
Turn on the lights; close the doors promising that the lights will guide you home but then they steal the light bulbs!
Making your house a home and then leave it haunted.
And it is scary.

So, everyday when you wake up.
You…we… put on an armour.

And ain’t nobody getting through that steel.

You stay away.
We…stay away.
Drop the child in our hearts at home;
Locked in the store room under the stairs.
We deny them their letters to Hogwarts.
Tell them that the happy place doesn’t exist in the present.
And in a hurry,
We bury the suitcases full of fantastic beasts with the bags of monsters from the past.
We have convinced ourselves that there’s no floo powder.

*looks left and right*

THERE IS!

*point at the carousel*
The Carousel!

When you see one?

Stop.
Hop.
On it.

And go for a ride.
It will take you to the start.
To simpler times.

 

Photo by Dimple Motiani (@the.namkeen.butter)  Follow her on Instagram for such breathtaking photos and overdose of happiness and feels 😀

 

Prologue:

This poem was written for a Spoken Word Poetry event organised by Povera in Ahmedabad. Poets were given a photograph on which they were supposed to write a poem and then perform. The catch? It has to be a happy poem.Well, I tried.

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