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Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

The Things You May Not Do

The things that cannot be bought
By money, self-satisfaction
Synthetic smiles or shared
Rose-tinted delusions
You may lull me into
Submission for one night
Or two or three but only
In flesh, muscle and bone
Skin deep, yet to pierce vein
So wipe away that smugness
Scrub it, scourge it from your face
Underneath your pathetic
Naively utopian
Hallucination is
A dusty barren wasteland
Where few roses can bloom
Un-fragrant, Unforgiving
That wilderness cannot be
Owned, contained or restrained
Nor is it yours to take
Because once the veil falls
And you shake the cobwebs
From your eyeballs, Turning
Off your pretty filter
You will learn you cannot
Sow a tropical paradise
In the scorched desert sands
Or sculpt an ocean out of
An oasis or turn
Dust to rich fertile soil
Else you may end up all
Alone, clutching the last
Of your wits and dignity
Watching helplessly as they slip
Through your fingers and vanish

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Words, it bears remembering

Are simply acoustics, sounds

And breath warmed by the body

Mixed till sweet, sour, bitter or pungent

They cannot break your skin,

Choke air from lungs, pierce organs,

Burst arteries or sever limbs

Yet somehow they tear through

Eardrums, towards skull, seeking 

Deepest abscesses of minds

Darkest corners of souls

Rooting out the weakest spots

Ravaging them like carnivores

Eating away at the spirit

Till your heart shrinks, 

collapsing Into itself, 

your sense of being shatters

And you kneel, trying to gather up

The shards of who you used to be

Squeezing ragged edges together, 

cutting yourself on the sharp points

Of memory, insecurity and failure

Till the cracks finally stick

And you can pretend you are whole again

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An Ode to The Old House

The lobby smells of cream, that’s the only way I can describe it. It’s a nice comforting scent that lingers in the entrance area – not too strong not too weak – the baby bear of smells. I stand in the room surveying the space around me carefully.

There is a long hallway of an entrance with a washroom on the left hand side. If I stand facing the entrance there are a series of closets on my right, a balcony on my left and an arguably excessively large wooden panel in front of me, presumably for mounting the mini home theatre system someone has decided I will undoubtedly own.  (more…)

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The Storm

Questions, emotions, thoughts
Stew in the recesses of my mind
Winds gathering speed

Bitter-tinged words rise from my heart
Up hoarse overworked vocal cords
Clawing their way to my tongue

I stop. I open my mouth. I swallow.

Air gushing, throat clamped in protest
My heart, a disgruntled woodpecker
Hammering away, willing shallow breaths

It cannot win. I open my mouth. I exhale.

The words that were never mine
That threatened to consume me
In dark places within and without.

They die at my lips, casualties of the storm.

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IMG_1678Aditi and I booked window seats one in front of the other for our trip to Turkey, via Abu Dhabi.  I am seated in 32K, and Aditi has the window seat behind me. However, when we get there, there is already a man sitting in her seat. He looks confused, as he doesn’t appear to know that not only is he in the wrong row, he is in the window seat instead of the aisle. He is meant to be in my row instead.

He moves over as I am struggling to settle and says “good morning” with great gusto. I am leery of over friendly people on flights. I have one of those faces that invite unsolicited conversation from people who have no social skills, self-awareness, or sense of personal boundaries.

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Adrenaline surges, your muscles feel weak yet poised to bolt. You feel every moment of contraction in your heart as if it was the first time you heard it beat. Cool sweat erupts from your pores, glistening your skin. Your throat closes half suffocating you. Maybe your fingers or your lower lip trembles. For moments, seconds, minutes and what seems like hours, this is your whole existence: you are overcome by it.

But this isn’t the caveman era, and you are not running from a giant bear (most of you anyways). You are perhaps sitting in your office cubicle, or in a room full of people at a social get together, and chances are that nobody is interested in eating you for dinner or taking your turf. You are just having a panic attack, and let me tell you, you feel pretty dumb about freaking out about what other humans, or just life, may or may not do to you.

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Papa

1929258_533901195915_4291_nLast week, I made half my staff cry with this story (unintentionally of course) – an adaptation of something I wrote 6 years ago when my grandfather passed away. I guess some emotions stay buried, but as it is the 6th anniversary of his passing, I figured I would share it on here:

In April 1984, when we returned to India from Canada, we moved into my grandparent’s home in Vasant Vihar. My earliest memories of the 90 year-old phenomenon that was Papa (otherwise known as Triloki Nath Saraf) are blurred, few and far between.

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