Friday, 3 November 2017

~ imposter.

Alone on the roads
Silent night
All the streetlights
Flickering, all the crickets chirping
Unsteady steps -
Nobody notices
Maybe I'm
Invisible? Or perhaps
Nobody cares enough
To tell me I'm walking very-fast-the-wrong-way
If-I-walk-fast-enough-maybe-I'll-reach-somewhere
Even if it is only
Back where I came from, again.
Belief is
A dangerous thing
Belief is
Making yourself think
The waterfall is going up
When you're the one
Falling down.
To think!
I could've made it -
To think -
If only I hadn't faltered -
To think:
If only I would've stopped and looked around!
I could have gone where everyone else is going
Would've reached up to the tallest Ferris wheels
Instead of back down in the dumps;
Maybe I should just remember
Ferris wheels...don't stay up
Forever
But will the time in between
Be enough for me to reach
Before the last ticket for my ride is sold?
What if I
Am willing to pay a higher price?
Will they listen? What if I
Pack my bags and go somewhere
Nobody has gone before
Then I won't feel like an
Imposter anymore.

~ Vruta, November 2017.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

~ hopeless.

Everyone around me 
Has some hand in their own glory
Some build bridges
Some watch them wash away
Most are burnt down
By those who think they have no use for them
I collect
Their eroded bricks
And pelted stones
Use them to build my house by the sea
But the waves lashing out on the shore
Lost me my house
My pride and honour
All the sandcastles we made
When I was a child,
Still filled with wonder;
I would look at the stars and
Question the cold, unforgiving wind -
"Why do you make my eyes water?"
Except, back then,
The white diamonds amidst
The searing, complete blackness
Would fill me with hope;
Everybody around me
Knows what they want to do
And I sit here
On my lonely chair on the sand,
Watching my bridges crumble
Alone, wondering -
When will my time come?
Then a hand taps my shoulder,
"Who is it?" I ask,
I do not look up; there is no need to,
I recognize the touch
Warm, careful.
"I know what you're thinking."
"Really? What?"
"That you won't be able to make anything of your life."
"Right you are."
"It doesn't have to be this way."
"I don't know how to fix anything,
I have lost myself,
I do not know where to go,
Who to meet,
How to talk,
Silence is my only solace - "
"We both know that's not true."
"It is, now, for me."
Then suddenly a hand takes mine,
Flips a switch on the other side of the universe
And shows me the future
I live in an apartment
I have friends over, today
And we laugh and relive the old days
When we were freer
There are trees lining the road
And the sun lights up the dust and smoke between them.
I realize
All is not lost.

~ Vruta, October 2017.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

~ the last question.

will i find myself 
at your doorstep again?
will i drag myself
always almost falling asleep
smell the daffodils growing
in spurts and silly shrubs
next to your sunny sidewalk
no honeybees here - 
just the way i've liked it
and just the way you have, too?
will i slow time
to spend a few more moments with you?
i should, and i must;
will we hum our favourite songs
turn the dial up on the radio
listen to the crackling sounds?
now, will we
laugh perhaps rather derisively
because both of us know
all this will never happen - 
let us retreat to our caves
spill ink and stain our fingers
writing late into the dark 
and dreary night,
separated by distance;
united by our words.

~ vruta gupte, october 2017.

Saturday, 7 October 2017

~ today is poetry day.

today is poetry day
the day when you notice
the warm shafts of sunlight
cutting through the gaps between
autumn's leaves
as they spiral slowly towards the grass
carried by the wind
and sometimes the dust
we so abhor
settles on them
and makes them sparkle

the weather in this town
almost never follows
the charts they talk verily about
and so when it rains
the golden-red-orange bits of trees
are plastered to the asphalt
sometimes bicycles flatten them out
and turn them brown
muddy water from the gutters
swirls around their last lost freshness
soon they will be gone
and the winter shall come
the whole lot of us will be left wondering
why every day couldn't be poetry day.

but this thought will be forgotten
the merciless cold will force
the strongest of us into our rather weak strongholds
all branches will be bare
photographs will celebrate
white roads peppered with black branches
rising from their roots like phoenixes
hot chocolate with marshmallows
and syrup will be sold on the sidewalks
until the blizzards and hurricanes
reduce all our homes
to broken sticks and broken bricks
and cement that doesn't cement anything anymore
ravaged to the ground

after a long while
of suffering and anguish
and much grief and angst
stepping carefully around the power lines
so you aren't shocked to your core
all the snowmen will melt
their carrot noses will rot into oblivion
(or into fertilizer)
the tar will crunch underneath your sneakers
every sunday the ice cream truck
shall jingle its bells from off your street
but by the time you reach
all the vanilla's finished
so you trot along the line the aligned doors make,
your red-and-white sweater bunched up
in a bouquet of sadness
and stay home
and never come back out again
until one day
a friend taps on your window
with a bag of crackers
and a pack of cheese slices
from the supermarket, saying,
"step lively, it's summer!"
so you do
and you forget you were ever unhappy
and the sadness melts away just like the snowman
out in the back of your yard.

~ vruta gupte.





Tuesday, 3 October 2017

~ i live inside my head too much.

i live inside my head too much--
it's almost like a game;
my friend said if i want to live
that i must learn to tame

i live inside my head too much--
today i did go shopping
think i had too much to drink;
saw a rabbit humming Chopin

i live inside my head too much--
the rabbit took out his gun
he had a sly grin upon his face
and madness second to none;

slung the gun o'er his shoulder
and, somewhat shakily, took aim
pointed it at me, i said, 'oh, here come
my fifteen seconds of fame,'

here it is i shall die, i thought,
it'll be in tomorrow's paper,
a splat of red, and i'll be dead,
and the rabbit--he's mad--shall caper.

a flash! and a bang! gunpowder
decorating the dusty air,
flecks of gray amidst flecks of golden
the rabbit's crime now lay bare

no help arrived (t'was a deserted town,
now, save for the rabbit and me)
the mad eyes squinted into my own,
while i prayed to the powers that be

alas! my time had come too soon,
said the poet inside me, quivering,
one last penny i could have made
could have sold this one for a shilling--

i don't live inside my head, anymore.

~ vruta gupte.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Enigma.

A dance between minds
A meeting of the senses
In the foreign dark streets of the previously inhabited
That have since been deserted for want of
Better lives
A dash of black illuminating the recesses of the cold, damp city
Or perhaps by the side of a stream
Somewhere deep in the forest
Far away from either of our homes
Or a quiet library where no one dares to disturb
And piles of books lie undisturbed for weeks
Perhaps it is there that we find salvation
For the world will soon tire of us,
We are but one of its many puzzles
And so we must flee
To someplace no one will find us
Hidden forever
Until the dawn comes and we wake in our own beds.

~ Vruta Gupte, 2017.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Inspiration.

Days pass by
My pen has dried up
My papers are crumpled
My mind is caged
Words no longer flow freely
My thoughts battle with themselves
In the dark abyss of self doubt
The perfume no longer smells of fresh roses
And new beginnings
My step is no longer sprightly
My glasses are cracked and bent and broken
In dreams I find no salvation
In sleep no rejuvenation
In wakefulness no direction
A candle burning from both ends
Can light up only for a few moments
Until it dies, its glory short lived and transitory
The candle burns my papers
My house, my world, and my mind
A shadow of the person I could have been
In the end, a great light will be cast upon me
My worth shall be judged
I hope then that the ashes of my papers
The ink of my pen
Will have endured the incessant callings
Of mortality and temporariness
So that I shall be redeemed
So that I can spend the rest of my days
As a slave to ink and the stories it holds.

~ Vruta Gupte.

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

~ rain.


The rain
Has forced me to contemplate 
Upon myself, my deeds, and my shortcomings.
My inherent hesitation
Whose roots I do not remember
Premature apprehensive misgivings
Flow like rivulets outside
My mind -
A prison with layers and layers 
Of locks and latches
On doors made out of dishcloth
The rain
Does not touch me;
I am insulated
Inside my oddly shaped bubble of metal contraptions, trapping myself,
Sealing myself from
The inevitable truth
That one day I will have to breathe 
Water into my lungs;
That day I will be free, 
But is freedom worth the price of drowning?
I wonder -

Sunday, 25 June 2017

at a loss for words, part one.

Why don't you write when you're happy?

I can't, really.

Have you tried?

'Course I have, but pretty soon it gets frustrating, then I'm not happy anymore.

Why?

When I am happy I find I have nothing to write about, or speak of.  The moment I feel as if everything is alright, I cease being a storyteller.

My sadness is my elixir, in that sense.  It is necessary for me to be sad so that I can write about it and twist and stitch it into poetry or slightly luxurious narratives.  The last time my heart was broken, I wrote a hundred poems: that was three years ago.  Maybe even more.  Enough to publish a book, one day.  They lie inside my wooden chest of drawers with golden - not gold - handles.  The handles themselves have an exceedingly exquisite appearance; they look a bit like peacocks, though not exactly.  It is quite puzzling.  Why would you make something look a little like a peacock when you can make it look exactly like a peacock?  Peacocks are quite pretty. Then again, perhaps the maker of that chest of drawers didn't think that.  Or maybe he wanted to save money.  Or maybe he forgot he was supposed to make peacocks and not abominations in the name of aesthetics.  I don't know.  I don't know anything.  

You never published the book, did you?

No.  I didn't want to see her on my bookshelf every morning.  My bed faces the bookshelf.  Some might argue that arrangement releases some sort of negative energy into my home, but really, I can't see how it could get any worse.  A writer would probably do well not to pay attention to any superstitions.  Of course, perhaps the greatest superstition any writer of (dis)repute has fallen prey to would be that if they write every day, sooner or later they will be paid for it.

You don't sell any of your writings?

I show some of them to a friend.  Our meetings are every Saturday at six o' clock in the evening, under a tree where there are no crows, so we are not disturbed.  We sit in silence and read each other's writings.  Sometimes the silence becomes deafening, though.  It rings in my ears, at which point I am forced to bid my dear friend adieu, and retreat to my not-so-safe haven, a cocoon of bricks and wood and cement and artificial light and sunlight and rain and quite a bit of sadness.  I write to give my melancholiness a form, a figure.  Traumatizing words inside your head are a little better than traumatizing half-formed pictures inside your head.  

What is your name?

I'd rather not say.  Let us, for the time being, call me The Lamenter, as lamentation is what I have the most time for, being alone and quite set in my ways - unless, of course, someone else came along - which I would not advise in my present state, frankly.  Speaking of lamentation, I regret greatly that one time my phone was ringing and I didn't take the call.  But to be fair, my phone rings very loudly - if not in real life, then at least inside my head - and it scares me.  That was the last time she would have spoken to me.  Instead, the last time I spoke to her, I cursed her for not being able to understand me, I cursed myself for not understanding who I was.  I slammed all my doors and shut myself in my room and I wrote, and wrote, and didn't properly stop writing until three months later.  Time snatched her away from me.

Where is she now?

Up there, where all the angels go.  She was an angel.  Not a very brilliant one, mind you, but if there were a test, she would ace it.  She used to be mine.  Of course, she did very much belong to herself, too.  She used to paint the skies.  She invited me to watch, once.  I never went.  

Look up, do you see the sunset?  

It's orange, pink, and purple.  And a bit of green, there, in the corner.  The sky looks like a mattress of cotton.

Hell, you could be a writer, too, someday.  

I am one.  


~




Tuesday, 9 May 2017

box.

From http://drawrstubbs.blogspot.in


i used to be a dreamer
a doer, thinker, wanter
sometimes if i was having a good day
maybe even desirer
however, like everyone else, there will come a day in my life when i will be forced to
choose

between a few things
six-year-old me was fascinated by space
and the universe
and probably a little scared at the sci-fi storyteller's promise that at night the aliens would abduct me 

of course, the storyteller and i 
were usually the same person
i would choose to read scary books
and watch scary scenes 
from scary movies
i remember watching one where a bearded man killed an old, gray-haired woman with a knife
while her grandchild waited outside
i also remember running up the stairs and shutting my door and reading some book
for peace of mind
right now, peace of mind is quite elusive

perhaps this is the course of things, and i should not complain
perhaps this was what had been fated
i no longer find myself surrounded by true fiction
the fantastical lands authors speak of that were supposed to give me hope
end up wounding me instead
because i am stuck and i cannot live there
because i am stuck and i cannot live here.

where do i go?

the paths i do not take will lie as burdens upon my shoulders
the stars will laugh and will scorn me as i trudge along the lonely roads
that are not quite laid with perfection, years ago,
i chose one path
t'was one of the easier ones
one where i chose not to fight for what i did believe in - at least not as much as the others did.
one where i was - as is the common phrase - a law-abiding citizen.
but these were different laws, more fluid, and dynamic.
no permanent harm would come to me if i chose to break them
of course, as you may have guessed, i never broke them anyway
i figured the price i would have to pay for 
not breaking the mold
would be a very small one indeed.

turns out all of us want to break molds, and cast new ones in their place.
and if we become famous, by some insidious circumstance,
they will make molds shaped like us.
and they will force their children, and grandchildren, and great grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren,
and not-so-great-grandchildren (these they will outline to the entire world)
to break and bend and crush and somehow fit themselves inside
the two-dimensional box i am sure i will turn out to be;
if the boxes of all the people in the entire world were to be placed
side by side, mine would be quite plain:
either everyone would stop by, or no-one would - 
a tragedy of life.
a few boxes will be funky, halos stuck onto them with Superglue
flowers sprayed with perfume ("what flowers are these?" "why do you care, they all smell the same anyway,") thumb-tacked into the cardboard
gift-wrapped with sticky wallpapers of nebulae and solar coronae that aren't really as colourful as they seem but the kids don't know that, do they?  oozing fakeness; the kids don't know that, either.
neither do the grown-ups.  maybe they wished for boxes just like these when they were younger.

maybe they never thought about creating their own boxes.  

"when i was small, i was a plain box.  nobody liked me.  i can't seem to find any plain boxes here;
they're all special.  so, you must be special too."

"but why?"

"if you're not special, they won't look at your box, dear."

"so what?"

'How To Make Your Box Special' would be the most watched show on television
school activities would be centred on how to build a great (great!) box.
"first cut the cardboard.  make sure you switch the laser off later, so you don't hurt yourself."
"give us money, we'll make your box shine!  we'll sprinkle glitter all around yours...and everyone else's, but you won't know until we're done!"

- i chose one path.
it is dry, uneventful, and uninspiring.  storm-clouds do gather, but no rain falls.  
once in a while, i do get a drizzle, though.
drizzles are on the good days.
on the bad days, even the moonlight burns me.
but on the worst days, there is no moon, only darkness
all-consuming, suffocating, no stars and comets are seen.
tonight i can see the moon, though.  is this some sort of omen?

at daybreak i will set out on the new path
to see what i can salvage; is changing sides even possible, this late into 
the battle against my own self?  but it will do me no good to think about these questions;
i shall sleep.

sleep.

sleep...

wake up!  a new dawn has come.  the sun looks more orange, today - more forgiving, perhaps.
i trudge along - 
this road branches into two - on one there is sunlight strong enough to melt my skin
on another, it is raining, and the sun is hidden behind the white and gray clouds.  i pick the second one.  strangely refreshing, although i am still alone.
wildflowers grow here, and the grass is tall enough for me to hide in it,
not that i want to.
i am probably done hiding behind things i tell myself i cannot change.
the rain will erode my walls
the rain will reduce all our boxes to wet cardboard 
the rain will set me free.


~ vruta gupte, may 2017.





Monday, 24 April 2017

~ the distance between stars.











Let me walk to someplace quiet
Where there are no streetlights,
No lamps to obstruct my shifting gaze
My meandering meditations
I do not know much of constellations
It is only the inky blackness
Between the flaming orbs of the night
That matters;
Because yesterday I thought
That darkness is much like
The distance between us -
One star is brighter than the other,
Yesterday I thought
About how if both of us
Were standing still in a crowd
Of unsmiling, unfamiliar faces,
Maybe we would notice each other.
Maybe the starts would come closer
And closer
And burn brighter
And brighter
Then maybe there would be a blinding flash
Of brilliant white light -
A collision, of sorts.
If stars can collide, why can't we?
For the darkness is impermanent, my darling.
Our lives are not filled by it
It does not encase us, envelope, or suffocate.
Let us walk to someplace quiet
So that I can look at you.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Vanished.

Sometimes I feel like disappearing.

Sometimes I feel like going away from everything, probably to an abandoned treehouse in the jungles of tomorrow, where I will be at peace, away from all the sharing and over-sharing. It would be good to be disconnected for a while. Ironically enough, I am writing this on a post that will reach a lot of people, and that, sadly enough, a lot of people might be able to relate to.
You see, the side of yourself you share out here, where everyone can see you, is only a fraction of who you really are. You can't distill a whole person into just a particular number of likes they got, or something they've posted, or something they didn't post but that you thought they should. The risk of sharing too much of yourself with people is that after a while, they will come to expect it; but they won't notice if you disappear.

At least I think they wouldn't notice if I disappear.

Sure, they would wonder where I have gone, for a little while, but then they will return to their everyday lives and troubles and problems; people have too many of those anyway. Here I talk only of the part of myself that is a slightly sassier - and some might say cheekier - version of myself: the version that is the most opposite to who I really am, and not the version that stays up at night binge-watching harmonium concerts and my friend's classical music compositions on YouTube, or reading, or writing poetry. Only a few friends of mine know that side of me. Of course, this is assuming that people have only two sides, the good and the bad, the people-pleasing and the cold-hearted, the has-it-all-together and the slowly-falling-apart.




All my life I have struggled with balancing connection and disconnection. Connection eats into my life, while disconnection keeps me awake at night. Connection is necessary for relationships to grow, but too much of it will poison your friendships, and suffocate your friends. Too much disconnection, on the other hand, will suffocate you, and make you feel like you have no friends at all; a feeling I have felt enough times to never let anyone else think the way I once did, which is probably why I, oftentimes, share, and over-share, and never stop, really. (I seldom leave people alone. My friends will testify to that.) The endeavour to balance these scales is a confusing, draining, severely exhausting one. And so I have always been scared to even attempt to balance these two sides of the same (albeit virtual) coin.

I think it would be good to try, though.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

lowercase.

i do not usually write in the afternoon. i am now.  some rules are meant to be broken, maybe.  some rules are meant to never be followed.  i sometimes wish i were one of those people who did not need rules.  unfortunately, i have been told that rules are necessary for success, that in order to become somebody, i must first be in control of my mind and body.  sometimes i wonder why i want to be a somebody at all.

what if i were a nobody?  what if i were line breaks and spaces instead of words?  silence between conversations, or sentences?  what if i were to disappear?  oh, but spaces and line breaks and silence can’t disappear.   i had forgotten about that.  some rules cannot be broken.  otherwise, they would have had no meaning at all.
but who are we to decide what is meaningful and what is not?  then again, it would be rather in our own favour if we were to assign a different meaning to different things.  speaking of differences and sameness, i have seen (i might be wrong, though) that everybody’s definition of somebody is almost mostly the same.  study hard, make money, buy a house, or houses, buy a car, buy more cars, buy a huge flat-screen television, or buy one of those curved ones, go to the opera, go to broadway shows, buy more houses, buy san francisco, buy las vegas, los angeles, buy new york city, go to starbucks for coffee, oh, and drink wine, drink lots of wine, and clink your glass with the lady’s, she’s in another of those sickly sequined scarlet dresses...beer is probably for the uninitiated.  then only you will be a somebody.  i don’t condemn their efforts to reach new highs (people have their reasons, i’d suppose)--i only do not like the idea that there can only be one somebody.  what happens to the rest of them, who are they?
what are you until you are a somebody?  what is wrong with being nobody?  what is wrong with being just anybody, as long as you are doing what you love, and as long as you are happy (maybe not all the time, but that’s still fine)?  i am tired already; why do i have to be ready, all the time?  maybe we have forgotten what respite really is.  maybe it is sad we need respite at all.  or maybe it isn’t.  i wouldn’t know; i’m not somebody.  i am writing in lowercase so that i keep reminding myself that i am yet still a nobody.  a nobody in the middle of nowhere, trying to justify her existence inside this universe using words (mostly plagiarized)—and pictures she has seen, movies she has watched (sometimes she wishes her life were like a movie; then she remembers some movies have sad endings), places she has been (although these have been but very few—no new york or california—just maryland and virginia, mostly their libraries).  a nobody who keeps questioning her motives, her beliefs—and eventually she questions them so much that she doesn’t know if she can follow in anyone’s footsteps at all, and she is too apprehensive to clear some dirt from between two pink-and-white tiles and plant an apple seed there, because what if someone comes along and tells her her tree is worse than that other tree growing there on the other side of the road?
maybe somebody else thinks the same thing too, could there be a somebody one and a somebody two?
a somebody three and a somebody four? somebodies not afraid to knock on a closed door, unafraid of what they would find, a somebody six and a somebody five? a somebody seven and a somebody eight, not caring if they do the right thing a little late? what if i don’t have to be somebody? i could...i could be anybody. 
I could be anybody, anybody at all.  I could be a thirteen-year-old playing gully cricket with my friends, hoping our ball doesn’t hit somebody on the head—or worse, smash somebody’s window and then hit their head.  I could be a sixteen-year-old trying to choose between literature and chemistry (yeah, it’s sad we have to do that, really—we need more time; I guess everybody thinks the same thing, though: everybody needs more time).  I could be a twenty-year-old trying to make the most difficult choice in life ever.  A thirty-year-old desperately searching for a boyfriend, or just someone to room with.  A fifty-two-year-old tired of his desk job and regretting that one night he got drunk and called somebody.  A single mom in America holding it all in, like a Ziploc bag full (about to burst) and every day, hoping to not scream her head off when her kids come home from school in the afternoon.  A hungry kid in Africa crouched in the sand, with a vulture eyeing him: the photographer who took this picture killed himself.
I could be a scared little person typing words on a screen, trying really really hard to keep typing in lowercase as fast as I can (and failing, again).  Occasionally the scared little person could stop and think if she was being overly verbose, or less self-explanatory, or anything other than what she wants to be (she doesn’t mind not being somebody, if things don’t work out well; here, well means in her favour—and not anybody else’s, which makes her a little sad).  Anybody could be a somebody, and everyone could be anybody, even nobody.  Scared Little Person does wonder sometimes if she is on the right road; she also wonders if all roads lead to the same pot of gold—or abyss—at the end of their paths.  Maybe the tar would condense in a large ball of blackish goo, at the end. 
Maybe the cobblestones would melt away into lava.  Maybe Scared Little Person falls off the cliff made of gooey tar into the lava—and never comes back out again, obviously.  Would it be painful?  Would it be quick?  Scared Little Person doesn’t want to know.  Because Scared Little Person is, well, scared.  Of pretty much everything.  Of knowledge, taxes, the bad guys, guns, buses, high-speed trains, things that crush bones and draw blood, thought-trains, death, friendship, and love.  Scared Little Person does wish she were not so anxious all the time, but since that is the only thing she knows how to do, she descends into the downward spiral again and again and...again, each time hoping she will snap out of it for good— but you know, the thing is, Scared Little Person is scared of snapping too. 

It hurts, sometimes.  Scratch that—always.  Snapping is like drowning: you die, but it’s painful and your eyes roll back into your head, gross.
Scared Little Person doesn’t want to be scared.  That’s why she wants to be somebody, so other scared little people won’t go through whatever she went through.  Maybe someday, she’ll be somebody—until then, she’ll keep believing anybody can be somebody: even a nobody.
~FIN~


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Rubber Bands.




I keep
All my rubber bands
Wrapped around
My shampoo bottle
I tie my ponytail with one of them
Every day
Sometimes I use the blue one
Other times the green one
That reminds me of pistachios
There's another that looks 
Like blue and pink cotton candy
Except with whipped cream
A few months later
The rubber bands will be looser
Someday
I won't use them to tie my hair
Anymore.

~Vruta Gupte, 2017.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Animals' University

The giraffe slowly averted his gaze from the immodest act transpiring before his very eyes.  It was eating into his existence-contemplation-time (not that this duration brought him much happiness anyway, but he was obliged to do it.  He had a schedule to follow, after all.  Privately, he admitted to himself that it would be rather fun to watch the immodest act; at least that would be more satisfying.)

“Professor?”

The giraffe could feel a slight disturbance propagating through the air inside his tubular ears.  He paid no attention, assuming it to be divine intervention so he could focus on his task more.  He closed his eyes presently, waiting for The Great Big Beyond to swallow him and take him to—

“Professor!”

Ah, that sound again, so beautiful and enchanting; its pitch was different somehow, though…

He tore off a few more acacia leaves with his teeth and chewed them, much like a koala chews eucalyptus leaves—oh, but koalas were in Australia, and he’d never seen one on a tree before, much less actually eating, so was it right on his part to compare himself with a koala?  It was this question that now intrigued him, and he found himself quite at a loss to explain his thoughts to his jumpy, unquiet mind.  He sought to distance himself from the taste of the leaves, and instead pay more attention to the act of eating itself, not that that would be satisfying in the least.  He found his thoughts running like one of Japan’s bullet trains towards the notion of true satisfaction—

“PROFESSOR TALLMERRY?!”

Oh, so the rabbit had been calling him all along.  He stared down at the space between his quirkily patterned legs.  He’d even gotten them tattooed a while ago.

“Yes, Professor?”

“I’m the janitor, sir!  (Really, these academics these days, I wonder what has become of them and their overlarge brains, can’t even clean up after themselves, look at that absolutely disgusting mound of shit with flies all over it—oh, goodness me, I’d rather not look) Sir, I—look at those two rabbits over there, sir!”

“Yes, Professor, what about them?”

“Well—er—” the rabbit stammered, his cheeks red as sandalwood (the Professor hadn’t seen that over the course of his lonely days, either), “Er—they’re holding paws, Professor!  Something ought to be done!  Holding hands is not allowed inside the university’s premises, Section 377 of the Abdominable Guidelines of the Animals’ University says so!”

“Blasphemy, my dear Professor!  It is girl rabbits and boy rabbits being in one another’s vicinity that is forbidden—I don’t see why they should be punished—you tell them off, if you see fit, rabbit…I can’t see why you would, though, those two will increase the population of your nearly-extinct species anyway, so you haven’t got an ant’s poop’s worth of rules to worry about here.”

The rabbit, needless to say, was extremely exasperated.

“But—Professor—”

“There’s no need to call me Professor, Professor.  I understand the rules, and I’d like you to, too.  It isn’t every day we encounter students not actively trying to break rules anyhow.  Let them hold hands in peace, now; you’re disturbing my pooping time.”


~

Friday, 10 March 2017

Memory Lane.



Made on Fresh Paint


I won’t say the cold is piercing because

I have known what needles feel like

Although

I haven’t been stabbed before,

I won’t say candies are sweet

For sometimes beginnings can be sweeter

Apples aren’t delicious because

Once I almost choked on a slice

Lights aren’t pretty

They might burn my eyes

Sometimes some music is noisy

All dark alleys aren’t poetic and beautiful

Neither are hearts, because they break

Nor are people, for they leave.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Separation.

A differential distance slyly separates 

The dark day from the nimble night

The ocean from the sky

The shivering sun from the monstrous moon

The nest from the branch

The writer from the pen

The nocturne from the canvas

The black bracelet from the wrist

The henna from the palm

The dancer from the stage

The musician from the flute

And me from you.

~ Vruta Gupte, 2017.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Scream.

Bring me out of my despair
Stop me from clutching at only straws
Drop me off at the intersection
Of material success and walks with my friends
At three in the morning
All my matchsticks are dampened
By the humid suffocating salty air
My ceiling fan makes my room
Either too hot or too cold
My mind is too full and too empty
At the same time
Nothing of much consequence 
Occupies it.  Tasting failure after
Failure, I would gladly take
A different path, another sunrise,
Unreflected from blue skyscraper windows
Untouched by sweet lies they tell,
"Do this," they say, "and you life will be happy,
Like ours are."  But at midnight I can hear them
Scream.



Saturday, 11 February 2017

For Darkness.

I don't know if I love you or if I just love you being around. I wish sometimes we would see each other more often, because my heart does need a certain amount of sweetness; not the one that comes with chocolate, that is tinged by the bitterness of hate and anger--I need the one with honey, it brings dreaminess to my eyes whenever I think of you.

And so we must meet at night, for the glowing lightness in our steps when we are together will offset the damp darkness of the pitch black road we walk on; we are like stars in the heavens, and our carefully constructed conversations are stardust, golden-bronze and silver and crimson red, as streamers hang from the ceilings at parties.

Since parties are loud, let us walk in silence, to nowhere at all. Let us walk in circles and figures of eight like infinities back to where we started from. Maybe we could hold hands (well, or not). Sometimes the beauty of togetherness is that it still allows you to be separate.

If I tell you I love you, would you still walk with me? Would I have to resign myself to glancing at my empty screen every five minutes for a message that might never come? Will you leave me, or will you stay, when I break, of illness and too much carbonate? Will I have to reduce our time to just memories that might be forgotten over the years?

I would rather our memories be of weaving our way through the darkness, holding hands, than remembering someplace just because I sent a text to you there, when I was alone. When you are here in person, you won't have to zip your mask up like you always do; and neither will I. Even if you aren't in love with me, at least I will know who you really are.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Static.

Staring, unseeing
Off into space
No care in the world
Far away, a flutter
Of a butterfly’s wing,
Harmonics bounce off 
The walls, rise up
Like smoke from the sea
A glass of pink lemonade
Shatters, and shards
Eclipse shadows and refine sunlight
To paint colours onto the grey walls
And reflect onto the television
But the television is blank,
The sounds, wordless; far away,
An accordion falls, breaks, its owner
Had stolen it from a musician
When he fled through
A dark alley, five years ago
Its notes are dead now, much like
The flower that fell 
Outside my window.  Far away,
Rays of sunlight stream through curtains,
Nobody is there to watch the stardust, though:
Everyone was too busy in their own contrived bubbles
To notice all the beautiful things, and they
Went on and on with their mundanities, until
One day, the roses all die, the butterflies do, too,
The accordion lies buried beneath
A pile of sooty blankets,
The curtains are drawn,
And the television flaunts only
Static.

Saturday, 28 January 2017

Glue.



Doors locked 
Seatbelts fastened
Key turned
Radio played
Smiles exchanged
Gears changed
Brakes screeched
Silent scream
Silence screamed
Glass shattered
Smoke rose
Smoked rose
Flowers burned
Overturned
"'Til death do us part,"
Someone give him glue to fix
His broken heart.

~

Sunday, 22 January 2017

The Last Dance.

This is not a love story. This is not the soul of a heartbroken man laid bare on paper, tied together with ink stains and needles, falling apart because he keeps rewinding the tape inside his mind to those very same moments that he once cherished, trying to glue himself back together without reminiscing about the perfume he was drenched in on this night exactly two years ago. This is not a cry for help; those days have long since passed. Those days will never come back, even though he tried his best to use them. He used to them to buy her little presents, wrapped with brown paper, with a red ribbon-bow on top, and her name on them; except he was used and thrown away before he could give her the tiniest of boxes with the tiniest of things: he hoped she would wear the thing on her finger, but that day never came; it never came at all, and his ambitions scoffed at him and bit the dust.

The nights after were horrible and pierced his heart, like thimbles pierce his skin when he presses them onto his fingertips. His fingertips are bare, as was his being when he gave himself to her, piece by piece, little by little—inch by inch.

It is midnight, but he can’t sleep.


“Do you want to look at the moon?” he remembered her asking him, one night. Her fingers ran through his hair, and he was in heaven.

“I am, already,” he had said. The smile he had received would have been photographed and framed had its desirer not known it would be one of her last.

He would have looked at that framed photograph every morning, just to see her face once again; but now he can’t, because she’s not here, and he misses her—she’s somewhere he can’t go. He doesn’t want to go there; He’ll have to kill himself before he can do that. His insides are torn, he is just a shell, barely breathing, not dancing to her favourite songs, hurting from all the pain.

This is not how he thinks it should have ended. He still want things to change, and he still wants her back, because every time he thinks about her, it hurts where it shouldn’t. He used to hum the loveliest of songs when she was around, but now he is alone, he has no one to dance with, and he can’t dance anymore, and he loves her.
~

Friday, 13 January 2017

Zero Brightness.

Image taken from https://inspiremykids.com/


Sometimes I stare at my computer screen at two in the morning.  It's blank, much like the wall behind it and in front of me.  It then occurs to me that I haven't written anything properly substantial in quite a few days.

At this point I start wondering if writing longhand would help; it's been too long since I've done that.  But then again, I'm not sure if I would be able to translate my thoughts from pen to paper instead of from keypress to screen, and thence blog--typing something you've already written out feels weird, the way you felt when you copied carefully curated paragraphs from Wikipedia into your homework and hoped extremely earnestly your teacher wouldn't notice (you know, 'cause back in the sixth grade we were all honorable persons--'for Brutus is an honorable man, so are they all, all honorable men').

And since I'm not sure, I won't write longhand.  I will keep staring at my screen, at two in the morning, mourning a little at my inability to form captivatingly coherent sentences.  I will think more about things and people than about words.  I will extrapolate my current state five or ten years into the future, wondering what it'll be like.  Where will I be?  Who will I be with?  Will I find my answers?  Of course, asking these questions to oneself right now would be--to say the least--futile, but at two in the morning, futility is not something I am immoderately concerned about.  

Two in the morning is supposed to be a time for adventure, and that adventure could also be inside your own head.  Or maybe you walk out onto the beach in the middle of the night, trying to spot waves.  Maybe you make a sandcastle in the dark, and then feel the sand falling through your toes because you stuck your foot in it by mistake.  Maybe you sit on the lone (pedophilic) swing and listen to songs of the night--chirping crickets and crackling incandescent bulbs--and sometimes John Mayer.  Then you probably watch a movie and walk home with your friend, shielding each other from the cold (quite ineffectively, because cold tends to leak through things, sometimes even your skin), and trying to hit the high notes from Mozart's Lacrimosa (and failing miserably, but not giving a flying rat's arse).  

Then, at two in the morning, you go back to your room, the one with the orange curtains, curse yourself for forgetting to shut your laptop down, and write all about what two in the morning feels like.


~












~ imposter.

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