31st December

Another year ends, look back—the past tense,

sitting under a quiet evening sky,

remembering fag ends of happy days and sad,

the colours of Holi now a little brown

with heartbreak, new friends, love lost, luck found,

a long scorching summer followed by thundering rain,

the hypnotic boom of dhak, our ten-armed visitant,

faraway places, the scent of the universe in open skies,

feeling the pulse of the mountains in its streams,

long walks and longer daydreams,

a few hurried birthdays, a cousin’s wedding,

lots of reading,

Christmas in a pagan house, homemade wine

and a fruitcake wanting zest.

my earphones blaring music at midnight and movies

all spun into one fabric,

smelling of old newsprint in a damp building

rolled into empty joints and set to fire,

a false high with people, some of who truly care.

 

When tonight spills in through my window, popping into distant sparks

I’ll say my goodbye and wish parts of you don’t come by, again.

 

23:59 December 31st.

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November

The north wind only a breeze
The tropical sun holding it away
And with the leaves quivering against the sky
Another lifetime’s remembered
This evening sky is red
And over my head, it’s a deep blue
What happened to the indigo between
Has happened to me too.

Prinsep

Small relief.

I woke up today with you on my mind, nothing unusual. Nothing more painful.

A glass of tepid water, handing father the newspaper, asking mum if she wanted a sandwich, my usual routine. My time in my balcony, the tropical sun beating down hot and heavy, no gentle breeze rustling the leaves, the heat of roads glittering, glaring at me.

My morning routine, scrolling through news feed. The black portal to my loneliness clutched safe in my palm, my other hand shielding it from the heat of the sun. Nothing keeps, fleeting, false colours of joy keep me going—every day, the same way, the strangest attachment to my world of lies.

When evening comes with small relief and I’m distracted by the sound of the wind between the trees—

It’s sudden, the rain comes lashing, unforgiving, purging the concrete of unbearable heat. Thunder strikes loud and lightning licks the ground and I’m afraid earth’s come for me.

It’s with fear in my heart that I drag myself out and feel the rain pushing me underground. My soul is drenched, my heart swells and for once, there are no tears. I wanted to talk about beginnings in the end but I’m not part of this world anymore—

A small relief from my thoughts tonight.

 

Beginning

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Prinsep Ghat, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.

The end of a long summer day,
my weary body slumping on the
unpleasantly warm concrete

and the sun begins to set on the
distant noise of the roads,
blue, yellow, orange then a deep ink.

A small bubble of peace before the
chatter of people drowns it all—
and the heart brims with memories
like the sunlight split into a
million glittering drops of golden water.

Another tired sunset.

My city shakes herself slowly—
her dust settles down
under the weight of the violet
and the street lamps are surrounded by gray halos.