midnight hour

all of this romance is now at an end

and so I’ll return softly to my bed

and hope the soil whispers my name:

come back, come back to death!

—23:23, 5th September, 2017. Kolkata.

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Growing up.

It’s just that: you suddenly find yourself wandering into the lives of others, not knowing what to expect, then one day you’re suddenly wandering out. Growing up teaches you to know when your time has come to leave.

I think growing up means understanding when your turn is over and graciously leaving the space for others without throwing a tantrum of self-entitlement.

Growing up made me understand not to look for “meaning” in the world. 

The world has no meaning on its own, don’t blame the world for your miseries. Meaning is what you make of it, what you bring to the table, what you contribute in another person’s life. Meaning is planting a tree so a few people can breathe easy, meaning is screwing a tap tight so that water doesn’t leak, meaning is leaving your smartphone behind and sitting on the grass to laugh with friends who care.

And meaning is also letting go of those friends when its time.

Growing up is realising that new places become old and old places can be experienced anew.

Growing up doesn’t have to be hard, it doesn’t have to punishing, you’ve to simply learn to let go and absorb again. Growing up is flexibility. 

Let fucking go.

Grow up.

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.