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.

Blue

Blue

Blue.
Class 10.
Biology.
Chapter 18.
Heart and Circulatory System.
Last second bench.

School’s a blur to me.
But sometimes memories come to me
like sea weeds with tides on a full moon night.
It is too overwhelming but in almost an instant
it goes back like ebbs.

This particular memory stayed.
Unwanted.
Unimportant.
Like scars of a lost battle.
Like answer to a rhetorical question.

Arteries and Veins.
Arteries are red.
Veins are blue.
Red is pure.
Blue is not.

Class 10.
4 PM.
Biology Class.
Last second bench.

She had blue eyes.
It always reminded me of the smell of salty air,
under the skies and above the ocean.

As my hand touched her unintentionally (intentionally)
she’d look right back at me.
And I swear I was least interested in touching her
or smelling her or feeling her.
You see, I was still unadulterated.
The rust of the world hadn’t quite touched me yet.
All I ever wanted was her to look at me.
And I would stare.

In awe.
In amusement.
In happiness.
In melancholy.
In surprise.

In the past.

I guess I just wanted to take it all in while I could.
I just wanted to look a little bit longer to figure of what they wanted to say
and what shade of blue that was.

Sky. Navy. Indigo. Cobalt. Ocean. Azure.
Cerulean. Lapis. Sapphire. Arctic. Teal.

There was too much to say and too many colours to choose from.
And I was late.

Wait, is it a full moon night today?
The memories are flooding in again.
*gulp* We used to send letters to each other.
She used a fountain pen. Blue.
Blots of ink spread on paper
like the things that never got out of her.
There were ink stains on the side of palm
when I met her for the last time,
20 hours after the last letter.
2 words.
“Good Bye”

Arteries and Veins.
Red is pure.
Blue is not.

When I look at the veins on my wrist;
From between the scars left by kisses of a blade,
They are still blue.
I smile.
Not quite the colour.

I swear if I ever come across morpheus,
I will grab that blue pill.
Look at it closely.
Pick a happy memory.
Compare it with her eyes.
I am pretty sure,
Not quite the colour.

Stare at the skies.
8 AM.
11 AM.
3 PM.
5 PM.
9 PM.
11 PM.
Not quite the colour.

I will visit every ocean.
River. Lake. Place.
All that ever has been called blue.

Where will I start?

Zihuatanejo.
I heard of it in a movie.
As blue as it gets.
“Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things,
And no good thing ever dies.”
Same movie.

I travel now.
Click photographs for a living.
I am searching for that shade of blue.
On streets.
Doors.
Walls.
People.
Post boxes.
Letters.

Hoping that one day I will find that shade.
And stare it.
Till all my red is blue.

Arteries and Veins.
Both blue.
Red was pain,
Blue is not.

 

 

 

Featured Image is painted by this talented artist @nosugainmycoffee
To see more of her work, follow the hashtag #blueinmyframe on Instagram

The world is deceiving you
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

The world is deceiving you

by Aditya Mankad 3 Comments

The world is deceiving you about the sense of entitlement.
You,
the earth, fire, water, air bundled up in a packet like M&Ms.
You,
the batter of ideas and dreams,
ambitions and beliefs.
You,
the vessel that ages, withers and dies,

Let me tell you this,
They lied.

They lied about the things that you deserve.
No. Nyet. Nahi. Negative.

You are NOT entitled to anything.
Not Freedom.

The years of struggle,
Sands that lay beneath you;
which carries the screams ,blood, sweat and tears.
tears of fear and pity,
of sadness and joy,
they scream every now and then,
more frequently now a days,
that you…
YOU don’t deserve freedom.

Not Love.

That girl in 11th grade.
Yes, the one whose eyelashes struck you like arrows of cupid.
Yes, the one who would touch the chords in your heart that you didn’t even know existed.

It was just a stroke of luck that you got a chance at love.

*sigh*
yes, that was a once in a lifetime thing that you thought will last a lifetime…
ended in 6 months.

Not even a future.

Graduation at 22.
Job at 23.
Masters at 25.
Marriage at 27.
Kids at 30.
Happily ever after later on.

NO.

2 days to your 24th.
NH-48.
GJ AL 2906.
Shards of glass.

You were in the newspaper next day.
The only time you will ever make headlines.

No, you’re not even entitled to be famous.

They are lying when they tell you that you deserve to be happy.

Lies.
Lies.
LIES.

They keep on feeding you sugar coated cyanide.
And you suck it.
Like honeybees.
Like children sucking on their ice-cream.

And it will lead you to the only thing you are entitled to.

Death.

Artwork by Megha Sharma

Pseudologia Fantastica

Pseudologia Fantastica

by Aditya Mankad 1 Comment

Pseudologia Fantastica.
Pseudo.
PSEUDO.
Where have I heard it before?
oh yes,
Here’s an interesting story.
It was class 5 or 6.
“Amoeba is a pseudopod”.
I got into an accident in class 5.
Cut my calf with a glass.
It was almost in two halves.
I got stitches. 7 or 9.
It is right beneath these jeans.
I often slept to the thought that it was to me
what that scar was to harry.
given to me by one who must not be named.
Because,
I don’t know his name.
Fantastic story no?
Fffantassticc..
Fantasica.
Where have I heard this before?
Here’s an interesting story…

do you know what’s the another name of pseudologia fantastica?
Pathological lying.
That story that I just fed you,
was a lie.
well, not all of it.
I was in class 5 once.
Indeed amoeba is a pseudopod.
and someone might have cut their calf.
And I did get the stitches.
on my forehead. class 2. because I was dumb.

What?
It’s a habit.
Didn’t you know?
That those are difficult to lose.
Habits.
Like how I wake up everyday at 5 and jog for an hour.
50 pushups. 40 crunches.
30 lunges. 20 squats.
It doesn’t show, I know.
I fell sick last summer.

What?
Don’t look at me like that.
I know you believe me.
That’s my superpower.
Lying… is not easy.
Like each piece of a clock,
You have to place facts,
Each tooth of the lies should match with the hollow space of the truth.
That’s how it’s done.
Religion does it.
You believe that, don’t you?

Don’t look into my eyes when I am telling a story.
You will fall for me.
You will not find any missed blinks.
I have been training in it like you have been trained to breathe.
Breath in. Breath out.
Breath in. Breath out.

Here,
Let me tell you a story…

Yesterday,
I got a call at 1500 hours.
My world went dark and the sun was still up.
I went back home at 3:30.
Took a bus.
The ticket was 5 rupees.
The conductor as always refused to give me the ticket.
I went home and slept.
I got a call at 1800 hours.
The cold was seeping in.
Like a spoon in jelly.
Butterflies in my belly.
The sun was down.
So were my hopes.

What’s the point of the story?
Nothing.
It is just a lie, constructed with intricate details.

You see lies,
they are well thought.
Truth can be thrown around like dead fishes on the port.
But lies, they are the horizons you see but never reach and the loch ness monsters that you have heard of but never seen.

Don’t you dare look at me like that.
Don’t feel sorry or disgusted.
We have shared our bed with lies.

Try these pills for a month.
You’ll go from 34 to 32 to 30.
Apply this every morning,
you’ll go from darkest to darker to dark.
Hairfall?
Try this serum.
From lesser to less to many.
Happiness…

I am sorry, I have to.
Happiness would have been just muscles and bones.
Happiness would have been ice-cream-less cones.
Lies are the flesh, the body.
and wow, aren’t we all cannibals!
*inhales*

and the pathological liars?
they have married their demons.
It has become a necessity for them
to weave a story.
They don’t mind being truthful.
But while truth feels like love,
Lies feel like lust.
Tastes like sugar, spice and everything nice.
But it kills. Slowly.
Smells like ammonia.
You adjust to it. Thinking you’ve won.
Only to lose parts of you until you’re all gone.

But sometimes the bullet in your head becomes a part of you.
Sometimes you cannot live without the world that you have created.

Liars will say that they are artists.
Ironically, they are not lying.

Lying…
Feels like a truth.
Until it peels off its mask.
And then it’s ugly.

But so are we.

 

 

 

Featured Image Courtesy: Berlin Artparasites

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