On Loop

Read me between the lines
open to all your interpretations
lost in your introspections
recreate me to your convenience.

Weave me somewhere in your
ever changing manuscript
of unpublished narratives
shoved in the recesses of a faulty drawer.

Critique me as only you can.
Go on, be your pretentious best.
Dissect me till I dissipate
And you can rest your case.

Remember me as I never was
Call me by a different name.
So that I can say a final goodbye,
before we start over again.

Our Endless Numbered Days

Is there time yet?
To build a few more bridges
maybe pick up the phone
and plan a completely futile
coffee date?

Is there time yet?
To unpack the baggage
we left stranded yesterday
on the railway platform
as we rushed to reach hurried conclusions?

Is there time yet?
To read you that letter
that I never chose to write
in fear of opening the floodgates
that could only drown?

Is there time yet?
To live our endless numbered days
in sickness and in health
as we edit the pages
of our shared history?

Of Sunsets and Cigarettes

A part of you I cut away.
Snipped carefully,
folded and kept
in a box containing
other useless collectibles
like forgotten newspaper cuttings
and old, old photographs.

A part of me just looked away
from all the transgressions
you casually flicked my way
on afternoons and evenings
trimmed with complacency.
I looked away, as one often does.

A part of us sat that day
overlooking the sunset, the sea.
Did it rain?
No, nothing quite so dramatic, I’m afraid.
Just a cigarette smoked in silence
and a polite distance between us
measured with infinite precision.

Smoke and Mirrors

Here’s an old, old poem I found that I had written close to 8 years ago.

I am no poet.
I feed off illusions
born of ink and repentance
that you rub off on me.
I am your purgatory.

I am no poet.
I see your abattoir
of premature imageries,
lipstick-stained metaphors
and half-baked ballads.
An afterlife, of lives you passed on to me
I am your crematory.

I am no poet.
But a silent witness
of your guilty passions
peeking out through your
cheating rhyme schemes
of a world you created in green and blue
and highlighted in vermilion
in your crumbling, dog-eared notebook.
I am your confessional.

I am no poet.
I just watch you fumble
in search of your masterpiece
through dingy alleys
and empty bottles
staggering on stairways
clutching on muses who scatter
like broken bits of mantelpiece.
I am your part-time lover.

You are a poet, though.
Through and through.
With your string of words
that are an imprint
of an imprint made on you.
You’re all smoke and mirrors,
Heart hollowed out on your pages.
A paperback voyeur.

On a Rainy Night

It had been raining steadily through the night. She was wide awake, hearing the rain ricochet across the window pain, like a persistent knocking. Seeing the stray flashes of lightning, with the promise of inevitable thunderclaps resonating through the airwaves. She was cocooned in her damp blanket, her feet sticking out.

Tick-tock. 2 O’clock.

Wide awake. Random thoughts flickered through her mind. The cup of tea she spilled in the morning. Her mother’s steady droning voice on the phone. The stranger on the tram who kept looking at her. Who she wanted to follow when he got off at some obscure station, but decided not to because the mud and the filth inconvenienced her. The little dead kitten being pecked on by crows.

Another clap of thunder. She hugged her blanket tighter and closed her eyes. Reflecting vaguely how time goes so slowly, especially in the after hours. Especially on nights when you are so alone. So listless. When all you really want is the company of a stranger who you’ll never have to see the following day.

Day after Day

Whiling away the hours. Hours giving way to day that turn into months. Changing sceneries, and seasons too. One weekend turning into another and before you know it, the summer is gone. Before you realize it it’s monsoon, giving way to an inbetween season that we like to call autumn, rather pretentiously if I may so add, waiting for winter.

Calcutta winter. Probably the only time of the year Bengalis complain a little less.
But lets not digress. It’s only July, yet. There’s rain and sun and mud and overpriced taxi rides to complain about. Late afternoon naps to enjoy as it steadily rains outside. Curses muttered under your breath as you leave office, homeward bound in the pouring rain. There rum to be had, distracted online shopping to be indulged in. And there’s a lot of waiting to be done.