Monday, 26 December 2016

On Writing.

Words, words, words.

So many of them everywhere.  We try to find meaning in them, to coax our minds and hearts into an endless romance with life, and death, so much so that sometimes the world itself appears to be made of stardust and rainbows.

Alas, life is not so simple.  We are but tiny two-dimensional dots travelling across the fabric of the universe and time.

We attempt to make sense of all that happens, and has happened: our lives are carefully crafted, curated by our fiddlesome memories; we forget, and we remember, and that is life.  In all this, there is no one to judge; who knows your own life better than yourself?

And still we writers dare to put ourselves out onto a yacht we have never been on, to traverse the seven infinite seas in search of destiny (if it may exist), and meaning, and love.  Or a train.  Or a spaceship.  Who knows, maybe someday, we will reach someplace where we find all these things.  Maybe we never will.  Our lives are a tumultous tapestry of constructed, biased longings that we thought were important, once upon a time.  We believe many things; most of them are probably not true.  But we must persevere, for only then will we be free.  Only then can we hope to understand.  We are all imposters, playing our own parts in this circle of life and death, and in search of the great beyond, we lose ourselves until the once-bright sun is but a speck of light at the end of a dark, dark tunnel.  

I do believe, though, that eventually we will be found.  And when that happens, the world will cease spinning, and everything might finally make sense.

~


Tuesday, 20 December 2016

I can't write a poem.

I can’t write a poem tonight,
I went outside and took some pictures,
And my right shoulder is aching.
I can’t write a poem tonight,
My brain is too full: I’d rather
Write something really really (really) long,
So that people know what I’m thinking about—
Not that that’s interesting; who I’m thinking about
Would be more enticing to read
And to know, quite frankly.
I can’t write a poem tonight
Because pouring myself out would be so much easier
Than freezing myself into short lines
(They read like stubble, not a long, flowing beard.)
You should know that you’re the one
Who made me want to capture in prose again
You’re almost like a plucked marigold flower—
It hurts a lot, but you still love helping people;
And sometimes it hurts me that you’re hurting.
I can’t write a poem tonight,
I’m thinking about you:
Not that I mind.
~Vruta Gupte.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Caffeine On A Screen.

Many times over the past week I have thought of writing about certain moments of the last few months that have come to hold a certain meaning for me.  I save draft after draft--all of them empty, and soon these memories would most likely fade away too, much like my (ever dwindling) motivation to sit down and finish four posts in one day.

I've wanted to write about how on a cloudy, noisy (as is quite uncommon within the confines of our college) Saturday evening I went with two of my friends (insofar as walking less than a kilometre to near the chemistry lab to spend thirty minutes detailing memes of days past can be termed as 'went') for a cup of coffee and to discuss the sorry states of our lives before a quiz.  I went into sorriness overdrive, then, and ended up drinking two cups of coffee.  (After that I went into caffeine overdrive and became a pretentious pale-faced pixie who believed she could still sing well.)  My friend subsequently called up at least five people frenziedly to ask if they were bunking German class (they weren't, much to his dismay and annoyance--he did, anyway). 

I've also wanted to write about how three of us sat under the tree behind the girls' lobby (known to most of us first years primarily as 'The Tree'), made weird faces, and Snapchatted them to every batchmate of ours within a Snapchatting radius.  Or how as I walked along the road beside our mess hall, at midnight, while reading a presentation about meiosis, then went inside (my fingers were frozen; I was scared my arteries would burst, quite frankly) to find people I see solemnly entering class every morning--to their own credit, and to that of their roommates'--dancing and clapping their arses off (bad imagery?) because it was someone's birthday.  
Birthday celebrations here deface the cake more than the person whose (un)lucky day it is, contrary to vox populi.  A sad wastage of delicious, sumptuous, luxurious chocolate and vanilla frosting, if you ask me.  Not that I don't deface the cake myself, sometimes, when everybody else pastes frosting onto the person's face, like rouge, except here, the purpose is seldom beautification.

Occasionally I have felt like detailing the impact a single pizza box had at around eight at night, when I was (as far as I remember) starving and about to treat (read relegate) myself to an extraordinary amount of paneer and butter-less tandoori roti, while my roommate would look on with increasing doses of wistful nonchalance (at the paneer, not the pizza--I shared the pizza, I'm not a jerk) while she finished her masala dosa and rolled her eyes at a friend who said she wasted food.  Pizza is love, pizza is life.  Pizza is elixir.  With soda (in particular, Sprite--my dad introduced me to Sprite when I was seven and just beginning to explore the legendary and much-lauded world of cold drinks) and a bit of that yellow garlic sauce you get at Papa John's, pizza and I would be a match made in heaven.

Writing about these lone (or not) incidences is quite an arduous task, however--not in that one does not find the right words to describe them, but because how do you distill all this into words on a page?  It seems almost as if you are disregarding the sanctity of what happened; you expect that, through a series of not-so-finely divided letters and spaces, you will convey adequately to a reader what those happenings mean to you and your cronies.  After thinking about all this, the question that might bug your entrails the most is: why do we write at all?  

Do we write as a method of self-actualization?  To stand out from the pack?  If everyone wants to stand out of 'the pack' (what is the pack?), would not the action itself become meaningless?  Do we write to be remembered, and if yes, why do we think that people will remember something they read on a random blog post ten years ago, and who wrote it?  Memories become hazy over time, and truth and perspectives are too relative.  Do we write for the others in our lives or for ourselves?  Do we write as selfish skunks try to spray mercaptans all over our beautiful gardens, or do we write to serve?

Maybe, as is with everything, each of us writes for a different purpose.  Some of us write because we want to share our happiness, some to share their pain, yet others write because they see no reason not to.  I think I write because I fear that I'd forget these things someday; and that day would be a sad, sad day (sadder than most others, anyway).  The only thing we could do, I believe, is to keep writing, so that when we are old and about to leave our planet and universe behind, we could give the keys to a secret drawer to our children, and their children, and tell them, this is where you will find my heart when I am gone.  This is where you will find me: in my writings.  Writings never perish; as long as words live on, so do we.  And it might so happen that one day, when I am but another star amongst a million others in the night sky, someone might look up and say it was nice to have a cup of coffee.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Blue.

To write stories these days, I use an app on my phone, because I don't want to get out of bed and turn my laptop on and type that address in, because I know I will type in the wrong address. I will go somewhere I had never meant to be. I am, now, the laziest person I have ever seen. Lazier than I have ever been.


In four days I have exams. I have not studied for the past two days. I should, but I don't, and I don't know why. Maybe it's because I find that I discover how I should have done something long after I have had to do it already.

The app on my phone lets me change colours. Lately all my notes have been blue. Blue because that is the colour that most intrigues me, for reasons I cannot say. Blue because blue is the colour of a picture that I see on my screen every day. Blue because my profile picture on Facebook is blue (maybe that blue has reasons too). Blue because blue is the opposite of red, and there has been too much red in my life for the last few days. Red in my journal. Red in my notebook. Red on my screen, because of Quora. Red in my room, because of my blanket and my towel. Red in my blood.

Blue because I have a blue bed-sheet that has the Wimbledon logo all over it (no, I don't watch tennis). Blue because...deep down inside, I am green and blue. Blue-green is the colour of the sea. The sea is where I would rather be. Instead of this concrete excuse for greenery, and scenery, I would much rather be real. Blue because blue is the colour of pretence. I pretend. I pretend I know where I am going. I pretend I believe in the things I used to believe. I pretend I know how to help you.

Blue because these past few days, you and I have been blue, sad. You are bluer than I am. I painted myself blue to match the opposite colour of one of your shirts. Inside I am green. Green will give you hope. Paint yourself green, and be green with me. It'll be fun. It'll be new, for you. And as much as I hate to use the word--it'll be--fresh. Fresh as the grass that you have not set foot on for more than a week. Fresh as the grass I was rolling around in just yesterday. Fresh as the grass I had to wash off my feet. It is already half past nine in the morning and I am--I am--dead beat.
You have too much red in your life, too. The scars on your heart are red. The scars on your heart have the opposite colour to my handkerchief. Maybe that's why I can't wipe them off, because I read somewhere that you have to fight fire with fire. The scars on your heart are there because your heart was broken a while ago. A while feels like a long, long time ago. A while feels like yesterday. Fire is red.
On some nights, the moon is red. On other nights, it is white. That means you can draw anything on it. What do you draw? I draw green. I draw a cabin in the woods, a cabin made of wood, with a bed and a fireplace and a chimney and cheese and potatoes. Burnt potatoes. Slightly burnt potatoes, to remind you of a distant past. When is the past distant and when is it close? I am cheesy. Am I too cheesy? Do I make you sick to your stomach or do I make you feel delicious? Am I cheesy, or am I just cheese? Do I ask too many questions?
But you said the questions are more important than the answers. Does that mean you would rather not find the answers to some questions? Do I ask too many questions?
Blue because I believe that if you paint yourself enough--or maybe--if I paint you more than enough, you will be green again. Maybe you don't want to be green. Maybe you want to be white--blank, so you can draw yourself again. White, so that you can fill in the colours again. Or colour outside the boundaries of what you have drawn. There are no rules, here, with me. But there are no rules only for you. Are you white because you want to wipe yourself off? Please don't. There will be scars on my heart if you do that. And they will be red. And I don't like red. Because I am blue now. I will stay blue until you remove your blue, even though I know that wiping colours off of yourself is not something you or I, or anybody for that matter, can do. If that is the case, then wipe the colours off me. Turn me black, because black is everywhere. That means I will never leave you. That means I will stay with you forever. How long is forever? Blue because blue is a part of black, and I would much rather be black than green, if that is what suits you. Suits are black, too.
Blue because blue is royal and fancy. And we are fancy; even though we may not be royal. We are simple beings, of things that look worse than stardust. We are, probably, just dust. But your dust is beautiful and poetic, and broken, and sad, and...and please tell me how to break my dust too. Then we can glue your dust back together. Your dust doesn't need surgery. It needs paint. Your dust is blue. Paint over it. Paint inside it. Paint everything with yourself so that wherever I go, you are still there. This does not mean you should wipe yourself off. Don't wipe yourself off. Okay?
Okay. Now it is time for me to go. Now it is time for me to paint. Paint with words. Paint the gloomy dark suburbs of my soul. You, you paint your sole. That needs painting too. Paint it the colour of you. Now that I think about it more--you are probably not very blue. Maybe you are black. Maybe you are who I have been looking for. Now I am awake. I was sleeping before. For twelve hours. Now I am awake enough to paint you. Don't leave before I finish. I know she has painted you blue. I will paint you green...I will paint you white. I will paint you starry. I will paint you everything. Maybe you are my paint.
I am your paint. I will always be your paint. I will never be your pain. Don't leave before I leave. I will never leave. Now I must go. You are still blue. I have to buy paint.

Monday, 7 November 2016

At the Tunnel's End.

Some days you would rather sleep through.  Some days you would rather not live.  The minute you wake up--these days--you get this empty feeling around your heart or in your stomach or wherever it is saying something is wrong.  

Something could go horribly wrong today.  

I feel like this right now; I don't know why.  Probably the weather; probably the fact that I've got submissions due, and books to read, and problems to practise, and facts to memorize (this is the distasteful part--although sometimes, some days, one must do what is necessary to stay afloat and not drown in this ocean of thoughts and obsolete prerequisites), and it all becomes slightly overwhelming at times.  Or very overwhelming.  It's like a cycle, really, happy one day, sad the other.  This is part of the reason I don't like cycles much, but it is not as if one could change this cyclic nature of life into something more appealing (to me).  Some might say I'm mad.  Some know I am.

Some days you feel like you are falling into an endless abyss of thoughts dark enough to kill Death.  Some days you feel empty inside--maybe it's because something happened, long ago, that you're trying to forget and move on from, but with each passing hour, you find yourself being dragged deeper and deeper into that black hole you so desperately wish to escape.

I guess everybody feels this way once in a while.  Or twice.  Or more.  I suppose the real question would be that if sadness is inevitable and cannot be beaten, what do we live for?

I do not know the answer; I can only guess.

You live to come home from a long, tiring journey from the deepest, vilest pits you encounter during these necessary excursions into this thing that is called the outside world.  The outside world can be cruel sometimes--so much so that you have to look at Facebook posts detailing how someone's faith in humanity was restored: it is quite sad it has come to this--but things can change.  I hope they will.  It would not be good for humankind's skeletons if we were to go about falling into pits like Cheerios from a cereal box (except the bowl Cheerios fall into, here, has an end and a boundary).

You live so that you can taste the wind and feel it blowing through your hair in every direction, like a cloudburst of air.  So you can smell the smoked corn cobs as you walk by a lone stall near the edge of the sidewalk, and buy one, relieved that you can finally pay for your food in Indian rupees.  Maybe so you can photograph (and participate in) the explosion of colours during Ganesh Chaturthi or Pujo celebrations--or you might want to spend an afternoon with coffee and your favourite books--or coffee and your favourite friends.  

Maybe you live so you can watch your favourite band live after nearly a decade.  Or so that you can write.  Or so you can dream.  It wouldn't hurt to dream for a while.  Nightmares are dreams, but all dreams aren't nightmares.

This is just a real-life nightmare; this too shall pass.  It is only temporary, and what I should probably remember is that life is a rollercoaster that only goes up, and keeps going.  Eventually, the skies will clear and the sun will shine so brightly that--it won't blind your eyes--but instead of black and white shades populating the cones inside your eye, you could see something profoundly new.

~

Oh, now I'm floating so high.
I blossom and die.
Send your storm and your lightning to strike 
Me between the eyes
And cry.

Believe in miracles.

Oh hey, I'm floating up above the world now!
Oh hey, I'm floating up above the world now!




Saturday, 5 November 2016

As You Like It.

How paradoxical it is that we are ambitious but also find anonymity appealing, my friend said to me as she gazed nonchalantly at the black ceiling, again, and again.  She had stared at the ceiling yesterday, too.  And the day before that.  And the day before the day before...

He tapped his forehead with his pen; seldom had he found it so difficult to put his thoughts into words.  Although he had observed that putting thoughts into words had become a little more cumbersome for him, of late, mostly because he was doing other things.

Thinking about other things.  And people.
Person, actually.

Was he fooling himself?  He would probably never know.

It was two in the morning, yet here he was (idly twiddling his thumbs to match the beat of the song that played in his head, as ever), imagining another life, in which anything was or could have been possible.

Possibilities--the word was as scary as it was exciting.  But isn't that what life was all about?  Scariness and excitement?  Of course, he could be wrong, but that wasn't the point.  The point was that he could be.

The past year had gone by pretty uneventfully (pretty--what an oxymoronic word to use), oh, except for one thing.  He would rather not be reminded of it.  The past month, however, had been, quite contrarily to the general trend (graph) of his life (versus time), extremely eventful.  The past month had been an enigma he was still trying to make sense of.  

She was someone he was still trying to make sense of.  How could someone who looked so small and wonder-less (but somebody would surely find her wonderful, no doubt) write something that stirred within him such unimaginable feelings of kinship, and regret, and admiration, and emptiness?  So much to feel, and so little time!  She was a rollercoaster, and he was a slow-moving horse-coach that, instead of horses, was being pulled by donkeys, of all beings.  Not a perfect match (not even to be friends, much--or so he thought.  Of course, there were other, more important things, that he held dearer to his heart, that beckoned him to talk to her every day).  

But friendship and love is seldom about matching.  Friendship is about staying even when you don't match.  Friendship is about tearing your paper heart in half, and giving one half to your friend if his heart is broken.  Friendship is about crusading silently, caped; masquerading as the Dark Knight for this one person in your life, because...because they are special.  Special, and no more, no less.  Friendship is about being the unlikely superhero for an irreplaceable person.  True friendship, and true love: both of these do not pull you down.  You grow with them.  

You might stay away from the other person for a couple of days, weeks, months, or maybe even many years, but when you see them again--it feels like you've come home.  Because you are home.  Those moments, those times you shared together--they are unforgettable, as if you only lived them yesterday.  And this is what friends are for, isn't it?

She smiled, and ran her hand through his hair.  He had fallen asleep on his diary, and his pen lay besides the window, almost invisibly, as if it held the night to be of no consequence whatsoever...again.

~


Little by little, inch by inch
We built a yard with a garden in the middle of it
It ain't much but it's a start
You got me swaying right along to the song in your heart
And a face to call home
A face to call home
You got a face to call home.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Orange.

So I draw the curtains, with my window still open.  I don't want people to see inside; feels intrusive.

The curtains here are orangey.  They're green at home.  An antithesis, if I think about it more (sometimes I'm tired and I don't want to think), and each reminds me of different things.  Home reminds me of the distant past, and this room with the orange curtains reminds me of the present, if the present is something you can be reminded of.

I'm listening to a song, again.  I've been listening to a lot of songs, these days.
New ones.  Old ones.  Friendly ones.  Ones that cut you and make you think you'd rather die...these are sometimes necessary.  If you want to know a person, just listen to the songs they've sent you; it'll tell you what kind of person they are.  Or not.  This song is a bit of all of it.

In the room with the orange curtains, I spend my days doing assignments, reading books, studying for tests, and chatting with people on Messenger.  Quite a peaceful existence, really.  Sometimes I wonder if I am not much of a feeler.  Then my friend sends me a message and I remember that I am not as much of a robot as I think I am...either fortunately or unfortunately.  Robots, for one, follow algorithms in everything they do, or are told to do.  I don't.

Outside this room, I am pretty much the same, except I talk to people a little more.  Outside this room, I am quite jolly, if I may say so myself.  My friends here do not think of me as too quiet a person, insofar as people can be said to be too quiet.  Outside this room, my otherwise drab existence fills with colours I haven't seen before.  Our neighbours have made rangolis in front of their doors.  In the night, I see fairy-lights twinkling in unusual places.  Sometimes I hear music too.  At midnight, most of it dies down.  At midnight, you can hear the crickets chirping, or a boy talking on the phone with his mother.  If you listen closely enough, you can hear people laughing, too.  I think the only thing missing here is snow.  But the night is dark enough that you would not need whiteness to accentuate its silence.

It's cold in the dark.  Cold enough to take a walk, shivering incessantly (for some reason, I don't want the shivering to stop, though; keeps me awake).  And while this walking business is still going on, I meet a few people.  It is here that discussions about biology and bonds and assignments happen.  Sometimes it is small talk, with many where-are-you-goings and where-have-you-beens and what-will-you-do-afters.  Sometimes I am called back upstairs by a mysterious urge to quantify the darkness into zeroes and ones on a blank, white screen: although I believe darkness is not something that can be described (adequately and perfectly).  Most times I fight this urge and keep walking, because how will I write if I do not experience?  My imagination is a clichéd curry of random outpourings I have past regurgitated, just so.  I believe things I have read in books, and watched in movies, without once stopping to see if they were true.

And hence it is here I wish to find truth.  This place is somehow more real, even though all most of us students receive here is largely fabricated and unrepresentative of reality (you know, grades.  It's sad, really).  Here you can walk four kilometres just to find a place to eat, and traverse a considerable distance to buy a cake for your friend and classmate in the middle of the night, only to leave it in the freezer when you get backit is not cake anymore, then, it is cake-matté.  Nevertheless, as my friends and I sing happy birthday the next day, I realize this place could not have given me more: it's quite a gift.  A present.


~


While we're wild and free
We'll skip like we're stones on the sea
We'll sing like we're birds in the tree that grows
Outside your window, while we're new and young
We'll shine like a morning sun
No matter the seasons that come and go
And which way the wind blows.




  

Monday, 31 October 2016

Of the Lost and Forgotten.

I give you parts
Of a broken self
Whose these fragments are
I do not know
They may be mine
They might be yours
I give you lost pieces
Of a jigsaw puzzle
Someone once
Threw away
Whose pieces they are
I do not know
They might be mine
They may be yours
I give you a paper
With a story of heartbreak
Whose story it is
I would not know
It may be mine
I know it's yours
I give you sunshine
I saved for the darker times
Whose sparkle this is
I cannot know
I think it is mine
Because of yours
I give you a poem
I found crumpled near
A lonely curb of thought
Whose words these are
I think I know
They were once mine
Now they are yours.
~Vruta Gupte (2016).

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Her.


Her rattling rambles made their way roaringly into my resplendent reverie.

He chuckled.  Yes, that would be a nice sentence to start with.  He groaned.  He was using the word nice too often.  But what could he do?  With her, everything was nice.  Everything was sunshine and rainbows; and if it were to rain now, she would drag him outside his cozy, comfortable cocoon that he had relegated his entire existence to--but how he wished she would take his hand and, with an expression of mock scorn, bring out his special sandals and plop them onto the floor--or, to be less gentle, throw them down onto the floor, in clear disdain for his habits (or lack thereof, he smiled again) and the way he forgot everything around him once he started thinking about one of his musings from the night before.

"One of?" she looked at me quizzically, "Am I not your only?"

Yes, dear, you are, but I can't tell you that, can I?  I would like to keep that to myself.

You have made me an orange--stop laughing, idiot--you have made me an orange, or I should probably say onion, because you have peeled off layers and layers of me, and with each passing day, as I tell you about something quite spinelessly stupid that I have done, or said, you say you love me more and more, and I can only wonder.

For in the past, the other one--"There was another?"--yes, darling, there was, and I am sorry I did not tell you--the other one said she hated me, after a while.  I asked her why, she told me she needed someone more.

'More what?', I asked.  Nothing, she said, her eyes blank, just more.  I was never the same again.  I tried more-ing myself, my darling, I did, but I couldn't, because I had nothing left.  All of it went away with her, and I became empty, and emptier, until.  Until what?

Oh, until you.

And you found me at my emptiest, and I had nothing to give to you, and I was so ashamed, so withdrawn, and so surprised; a dangerous trio, that is.  A troublesome trio, do you see what I did there--"I do, yes, go on, I love listening to you,"--no, she never saw anything I did.  Or maybe she did, but she stopped noticing--and I--I still cared, and I wish I could have been more, but now I have you; so I will be more for you, dear.

You don't have to be more for me.  I don't need you to be more for me.  I only need you to be enough, the way you need me to be enough for you.  There is no 'more', is there?  Even if there is, more changes, enough is constant.  And even if we are not always, let us be now.  For a certain sometime when a certain someone is there with us to gaze brightly at the twinkling stars, and watch them greet each other, in childish oblivion, the night becomes all the more young, and free.  And should we be bound?  Of course not.  Though we are made of all things that are within limits, and we are told not to dream big, we are told to reach for the moon with one hand in our pockets, to curb ambition, because they say it is a sad, sad and lonely, desperate world, and we will help this world and each other, and tell them that all is not yet lost, my love.  Things change.  We must also change.  But we will have each other.  


~


"Two-fold intoxication, obliging nearness as necessity, excuse to be each other's pillar, pillow, or prize, the whole walk home.  This beautiful love simulacrum, stumble we shall not, for even now, dear, we might already have let ourselves fall once this night."

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

The Aloner.

His words, I feel, are magic. You don't know where they come from, but they are always there, in the back of your mind, and they remind you of things like stardust and the aroma of coffee and cream in the morning, of fresh, warm croissants—these I have been missing of late—of dewdrops and wet earth after the rain, the almost scalding sunshine when you have no cap to shield your eyes, and that perfumed scent of the yellowed pages of a book that people have forgotten about, but you remember, and, oh, I could go on forever. For men may come and men may go; but he will always remain immortalized, past his time and life, and death, as someone who wielded words, but not as weapons.

He used words to make you exalt and suffer at the same time, as though he wanted to remind you of the maladies that most of us are, but he did not wish you drowned in your (inevitable) despair and sadness, either. Quite a paradox, he was. He buried himself, and still wanted people (me, I like to think) to understand. Amused, yet amusing. Half empty, and half full. Broken, but he would never break you. My truest friend and his own worst enemy.

Friday, 12 August 2016

Tell Me.

Tell me how

Your day was today.

Tell me how

You felt when you walked

Barefoot in the grass

After the thunderous rainfall.

Tell me how

The blades pierced your feet, but

You were still happy about

Merely being.

Tell me how you

And your friends

Played ten guitars and

Sang a song together,

Tell me whenever

You want to talk to me,

I will always be there;

Tell me how

You spent the last

Five minutes, tell me

Something about yourself

That nobody else knows,

Tell me what

Time you wake up

Every morning, tell me

Why you have been so

Quiet lately but words

Rush through you

Like drops of water

On a leaf

Tell me

Everything

And I will

Tell you.

~Vruta Gupte (2016).

Friday, 5 August 2016

The Wall: Part Five


It was getting dark in the bunker--the artificial lights had become dimmer, Peter noted, raising his head.  He looked around.  Rajesh was fast asleep; Winston and Quentin were snoring.  They sound like lawnmowers, Peter thought, chuckling to himself.  He fancied a walk; he got up, quietly, so he wouldn't disturb the others.

He walked without any sense of purpose or direction, and soon he found himself facing the door to Rose's room.  He looked around, startled.  The bunker was completely dark now, save the small, twinkling lights in the floor.  One light flickered, and then glowed brightly again.  He turned around, and listened carefully--he heard footsteps.

Another light flickered.

"Hello?" he ventured tentatively towards the flickering lights.

"Who's there?" A girl's voice.

"Rose?"

"Peter?  What are you doing here...right now?"

"I could ask you the same question," he smirked, "Wanna walk?"

"Sure.  I can't see where you are, though, so I would probably bump into you accidentally-on-purpose."

Peter laughed softly.

They followed the flickering lights as they walked.

"So, what do you want to talk about?"

"I don't know, you decide."

"I'm not a very interesting person, you know.  I'd rather listen to people than talk about myself."

"I don't believe that.  Have you ever been to France?"

"Yeah!"

"Then you're interesting."

He could almost see her grinning in the faint light.

"What's it like in France?" he continued.

"It's beautiful.  You have museums, art galleries, amusement parks, great restaurants, great hotels....great everything.  The Louvre is, like, amazing.  So many famous paintings, all in one place!  Just like The Pantheon."

"What's the Pantheon?  Another art muse--?"

"Ssh, do you hear that?" Rose whispered.

"No, I don't, where's it coming from?"

"It sounded like water," Rose took his hand and led him forward, "and it must have been somewhere around.." she walked a few steps to the right, stepping on his toe; he winced. "Sorry about that...here."

They squinted into the darkness.  There were no floor-lights here.  The dripping sound was now close.

Too close.

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Astra

 I walk through
 The cloud of stars
 Red yellow blue white
 And I wish that
 You were here, because I 
 Know that when you
 Look at stars you 
 Lose yourself and
 Why would you not want 
 Me to see in your eyes
 Reflections of your hope and
 Fears, when I
 Asked you what you were afraid of,
 You said nothing, did you 
 Mean it, or were you 
 Afraid of reaching for the
 Stars and landing on 
 The moon; know this 
 That one day you will be
 Far out into the deepest space and please
 Remember me and what I wished for,
 Know this, that I do not
 Trade one wish for another, 
 And remember that even
 If we are not together, you will find
 What you have been looking for
 Ages past and ages hence we will
 Spend side by side
 Remember me and your stars and
 The time we had,
 When you walk through
 The cloud of stardust
 I will wait for time to stand still
 And so will you. 

~Vruta Gupte (2016).

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Blackdust.

BLACKDUST.

Darkness,
Black.
Unyielding.
Look around,
What do you see?
No floodlights
To save you this time
As you put your hand
Out over the edge of
The cliff; no candles
To burn the letters from me
You wish to hide.
No mist to
Lose yourself in,
Vanish, with a
Flourish of your cape, from
Time.
There is nothing
You can lean on,
Nothing to
Set you free;
No clouds to scream at,
No storms but 
The one within yourself, are you
Sure you will not listen
To me?  I will tell you tales
Of a land not far away from
Here, that you will go to one day—so
Keep walking, even if there are
No floodlights
To save you this time
No candles 
To burn my letters
No mist
To hide away in;
A land where you can wish
For the orange sunrise and you will see it,
You can wish for yellow cornfields and 
Run past them 
You can build your own
House in the sunlight,
You can rub your eyes in the morning, and say,
“I have arrived,”
Go on, my friend, there are
Many doors you have not yet opened,
Many people you have not met,
Many things you have not seen;
There is far more to life, far more to
Believing
Than this moment in Time when you
Want to run away
From this smoke in the air that you
Would rather not breathe,
You must lead—for only
Then I will follow you
Out of the dust and 
Into space; finally
We will be free.

~Vruta Gupte (2016).

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Vision.

VISION.

When

We are old will you

Stay with me?

Guide me with the light of

My fading eyes whitened

With age, will you

Show space to me?

The stars, the moon,

The galaxies,

Jupiter and Saturn

Andromeda and Regulus, will you

Watch me as I fiddle

Uneasily with my pen when I

Can’t see what I’m writing, when I

Knock my favourite vase down,

Can’t I see?

I can’t see, will you

Walk me down the aisles of the

Library we will go to, as I ask

You where I can

Find Fountainhead and Macbeth, will you

Hold my hand when

We are alone and I want to go out but I

Can’t find the doorknob, will you

Sing with me when I remember suddenly

The words to a nursery rhyme from

Long ago when I was smaller?

When

We are old will you

See with me?

~Vruta Gupte (2016).

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Nostalgia.

As we walk along the path

That is Life

Our roads may diverge

Yours may be bright and sunny

With meadows green and silent, peaceful

Mine may be full of colour, a forest, and falling rain

And even if sometimes your way seems

Filled with potholes and snakes and wetlands;

And mine, with red fire burning, and all the trees gone,

Remember.

Remember that once we walked together, endured together,

Through soot and snow,

With cold water in our shoes;

You shook it out, I couldn’t

Remember.

A road fraught with perils, danger lurking

Around every bend,

You fought them, I didn’t.

And we went our own

Separate ways.

Someday when you look back

You will laugh at your past

Worrying self, you will

Wake up to the sunrise at the edge of

The earth, and you will look out into the distance, and say,

“What a wonderful day, o me, o Life!”

Remember,

We never know the places we’ll go

Until we reach them.

We never cross the rapids in rivers

Until we fight them.

We never bother to see

How good life is with our tiny, tiny problems

Until we see another, without.

You will look out into the distance,

And you will see a sillhouette.

By then you will have forgotten, but your heart will tell you--

I know her from somewhere.

First slowly, and then all at once, you will

Remember

The first snowfall, six feet high, us, trudging along

Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening,

Helping a squirrel

With her acorns before the icy winter,

Watching as the leaves on trees wither and die,

Wondering if we will, too;

Forgetting that spring and fall come after,

And all will be well

Once again, this time, forever.

I will be close enough, then, for you to

Look into my eyes

And see how much I missed you,

Walking beside you, laughing with you;

After years of searching for the perfect Life,

With cold gold in our pockets,

But none to share it with,

We find each other.

I will take your hand,

And lead you onward

To the beginning

Of a new adventure.


~Vruta Gupte (2016).

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Coal Tar.


Image Source: dreamstime.com
Coal Tar.

Pitch black.
Blended darkness.
Secrets smouldering
In burning velvet
Lost forever
To the graying silvered
Ashes of time.
Rainclouds storming
Through the sky;
Thunder after,
Silence, deafening.
They forgot
The calming rays of
Sunlight everlasting,
The morning dew on the cut grass
The crisp smell of the wet earth,
As everybody forgets
There is dawn after darkness,
And darkness after light,
So there is peace after war,
And war after peace;
Words that have been said
Cannot be taken back:
Like burnt coal in the hearth
They leave scars on the hearts
Of people who once believed
That everything would turn out fine
They forget
The laws of nature
Pertain to all beings
And while their days away
In glorious despair
As the future runs its course
Without want of consultation.

~Vruta Gupte.

~ imposter.

Alone on the roads Silent night All the streetlights Flickering, all the crickets chirping Unsteady steps - Nobody notices Maybe I...