Monday, 16 November 2015

Sing Me A Lullaby: #Pray4World

I can't even begin to describe the torment and anger and grief I felt on hearing about Paris. But more than anything else, it left me scared. Scared that we have come so far but not far enough.

I can't imagine what the people affected are going through. My prayers are with you.

Sing me a lullaby, mother,
loud enough to drown out these screams,
these petrifying vocalizations of hate,
of anger, of despair.
These voices, mother,
frightening, scary voices
in my head and outside
Please make them stop.

Sing me a lullaby, mother,
softly, like you do.
Because it feels like your whispers
are the only pleasant sounds left
in this poison
this vicious, toxic poison.
and I’m afraid.
I’m afraid.

Kiss me goodnight, mother,
and cover me with a sheet,
for this world is cold and harsh,
and the fabric of humanity
is ripping at the seams. 

Sunday, 9 August 2015

VisDare107: Listen

I've been attempting to write a VisDare for near about a month now. Let's hope I can get back in the groove. 


Listen. The intimidating figure had whispered in his ear. His tattered black cloak flapped – no, glided – in the wind. Mithrin had never imagined that a piece of cloth could be so graceful, but this cloak was. The figure placed a bony finger under Mithrin’s chin and tilted his face, so their eyes met. Listen. He whispered again. There was a crack in his voice. The kind you hear when you step on yellowed leaves during fall. A weariness that seeped through. Behind the strange contraption was an old face. Mithrin decided. But was it a wise one?
Lost in his own thoughts and the void that were the figure’s eyes, Mithrin didn’t notice when reality began to fade and when that raspy voice trickled through his subconscious.
 …the signs are everywhere. In the chipper of a bird that comes a second too late. In the nervous croaking of frogs. The pauses in conversations in hallways and bars and alleys. Listen. You will know when you hear it. A giggle, that is not. The cackle of darkness. Listen and run.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

Excerpt: A World That Was

An excerpt from a (possibly) longer tale.

“Once upon a time, a world ended. And that is all there is to it and all that will ever be there to it. There was a world and now there is not. And that is how it goes. In the giant network of the cosmos, the absence of this world will be as unremarkable as was its presence. But I have been appointed to tell the story of this world (for everything that ever was and everything that ever is and everything that ever will be, has a tale). And I intend to do that: tell the story of a world that was; for no other reason than because I am bound by oath and blood and servitude and my masters will have it no other way.
This world, like so many others, bathed in a pool of its own arrogance and conceit. I have been asked – by my masters – to elaborate on the peoples of this world. Did they have two eyes? Or four? Or one hundred and forty two? Did they walk upright or flew or crawled or dug? What did they sound like? I have been asked to describe these people and yet I see no reason to comply. They were, in the end – stripped of all adjectives – a pompous people, a greedy people, a selfish people. The number of their limbs, their physique, their voice is immaterial. They were a people the universe was happy to lose and that is all there is.
And yet, I will tell you a tale. And I will try to make it as interesting as any a tale of an uninteresting world can be.
We will start our journey at the birth of Akara Min, mostly because that is when this world started to end and partly because Akara was the only interesting person on this world. Akara was born to the state of Osha on a Friday afternoon at exactly 3:15, along with the other three hundred of her siblings. The time was forever remembered by the peoples of her world because 3:15 was when the first asteroid fell. Of course, the world didn’t end at 3:15 on a Friday afternoon. It didn’t even end at 3:15 the next day. Au contraire to popular thought, the world does not end in a day, or a month, or even a year. There is, obviously, a last second of a world, like there is a last hour, a last day and a last year. But the end of the world is a sequence of events spread out over decades. For Akara Min and her people, this sequence started at her birth with the fall of an asteroid.”

Monday, 8 June 2015

Contest Entry: Dreams That Don't Let Go

This was written for Sharath Komarajju's monthly writing contests on the prompt: 'Dreams that don't let go.'


They say, in the olden days, when the sky still changed colours with the dark never being truly dark, people used to see even when they were sleeping. ‘A load of crap.’ My grandfather used to say. ‘When ye sleep, ye sleep. I’ll have none o’ this old nut-job nonsense in my house. Ye hear?’ But he’s gone now. Cryo-freezed. So it doesn’t make a difference.
I knock on the door, barely registering it’s peeling paint and rust-eaten hinges. A woman clad in red opens it. A long hood droops over her eyes but I have a feeling they are red too.
“Ah. A kid at the door of a soothsayer. Why is he here she wonders?” She says and her lips curl up in a smile.
“I’m not a kid. I’m here because of the visions.” I reply crossing my arms across my chest, defiantly.
“The kid says he has visions. Maybe he should see the men in white cloaks. Maybe he should drink the juice of veera. The kid has no business here.”
She steps back.
“No, wait! It’s not those visions. It’s the…other visions.”
The soothsayer opens the door wider.
“The kid talks in riddles. The kid shall speak freely.”
She leaves the door open and strides inside. I follow her meekly, all my gathered strength disintegrating as I cross the threshold.
The room she leads me into is bare. A wooden table stands in the middle, along with two chairs. There are no windows, no paint on the walls, no magical glowing balls, no fluff. I can’t help but wonder if I am at the right place.
“The kid shall speak.” She says, sitting on one of the chairs.
“It’s when I…when I sleep.” There. I said it. Ordinarily even the mention of this would send me straight to a mental asylum. Normal people don’t see with their eyes closed. But the soothsayer fixes me with a piercing stare. She folds her hands in front of her. I spy the edge of a tattoo that disappears up her sleeve. A dragon maybe.
“The kid must not lie. The kid is not aware of the severity of his words.” She says.
“I am! And I’m not a kid! I read the lore okay. People in the ancient days had these visions and then and after the war, the survivors, all of them stopped having them. But I know what I am saying. I dream.” I shout. She rises suddenly and her hand flies across the table to cover my mouth.
“The walls have ears. The kid must know that. The regime has eyes everywhere. The kid says he sees with his eyes closed. Yet the regime makes sure that no one is able to do that. The kid claims something that the regime has made impossible. The kid is in danger.”
I look at her wide-eyed. Everyone knew the regime was a bit too strict. But they wouldn’t harm anyone surely.
“The kid must leave.” She slips a piece of paper in my hand and pushes me out of the room.
Back outside, I open it. It’s an ancient scroll and I can’t understand most of it. But at the bottom, I see a scribble in New English.
“When the people see again, the darkness will turn to light and the light to darkness. The strong will fall and the weak will rise. The new will fall apart and the old will reign supreme.”
I shudder as I walk back. Whatever shall I do?

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Tombre d'amour

Written for Sharath Komarraju's monthly writing contests. Prompt: An unlikely romance.
P.S. Check out the other entries. Some really well written pieces there!


My words are not poetry,
To be read and sung and painted.
Do not mock my pain.
By pretending to understand.
She closed the little black journal with a wistful sigh. A week ago, she had found it lying abandoned under a park bench. A week ago, she had had her first seizure. A week ago, she had fallen in love.
Not with a person. No. But with words.
I bleed on these pages,
Verse by verse by verse.
And at times it is sad,
And dark and disheartening.
But it is always so beautiful.
She flicked through the pages once again, noting how the handwriting changed as she progressed. The poems themselves, changed, sometimes being replaced by entire pages of eloquent prose. It had a humanising effect on the journal, almost as if the diary itself was evolving.
You and I? We’ll change the world. You tell me you see no hope. But everywhere I look, that is all I find! Oh, only if you could see what I see. The radiance of these innocent eyes, the curiosity in these freckled faces. Yes. We’ll change the world. Wait and watch. Just wait and watch.
There were pieces that were in conflict. On one page there was hope, on the other despondency. Similar to her impending medical examinations.
Why must we suffer for the crimes of another? The journal asked. ‘Why must not we suffer,’ she scribbled underneath, ‘for all the crimes we enshroud?’
It had taken her a few days to figure out the journal. To know that the journal was evolving. Not because the writer matured but because the writer changed. Like a long kept family tradition, the journal had been passed from one broken soul to another, staying just long enough to have an effect.
A few days after this epiphany, with her reports in one hand and a blue tipped pen in another, she stretched lazily on the grass.
They say I will be missed
But do they not know
That the sun will continue to rise
And set
And the earth will continue to revolve
And someplace a little girl
With pigtails
Will skip to school
Unaware of my absence
Oh, there will be no void after me
Only a moment of strangeness
In my vicinity
And then nothing.

And with this addition, she left the journal where she had first found it. It was someone else’s turn to fall in love.


Apologies once again for the un-updated-ness (I can invent words, can't I?) of the blog. :)

Friday, 20 February 2015


If everything goes as planned, this letter will find you on the morning of the twenty-fifth, 2060; on the day when the fate of twelve million people will rest in your hesitant fingers. Because today will be the day you will be commanded to annihilate the North East. As you man the battle-station, I want my voice to be your voice of reason. As your heart-oh so sensitive- pleads you to abort the mission, I want your mind to resonate with my words.
 Mercy. Honour. Compassion. Hollow words, Akhetan. Hollow. They will not protect your new-born son as he is ripped from the bosom of his frightened mother. They will not shield your wife from your own comrades, who will brand you a traitor in a heartbeat. Oh no. No one will aid your parents, as their brittle fingers snap under the boots of your fellow soldiers. No one will come. And no one will drape the corpses of your family, even out of pity, as they lie rotting in a dump.
Your conscience will tell you to abort this mission. A lying, miserable thing it is, your conscience. It will advocate the righteousness of this choice by giving vain examples of ethics and integrity. But let me tell you this. Your sense of satisfaction, of virtue, will not numb the pain of a dozen needles in your arms. This integrity will not regenerate your chopped off toes. No. And don’t fool yourself into thinking you have done the right thing. Because your morality is only what years of being brought up in a certain environment has taught you. And I spit at this false sense of morality. You will too, if you deviate from your purpose. In my cell, every night after they engrave a part of my skin with obscene words, I say a prayer. I don’t pray for strength to endure the torture. I pray for death. But they won’t give me that. They will drive me to its doors and then snap me back at the very last moment. A traitor, Akhetan, is a hero only in the tattered pages of a children’s fairytale. A righteous man, nothing but a fable. It seems easy to judge what the right thing is. But what is the right thing, Akhetan? Those twelve million haven’t done anything for you. You are a stranger to them. You don’t owe them anything. But your own blood? The hands that held you as you started to walk. The eyes that look upon you with love and affection and trust. What about those people, Akhetan? Do you not owe them a peaceful life? When your fingers linger over that button today, think about them. And think about what will happen to them as a consequence of your pitiful, righteous choice.
Even now, your heart screams at you, bombards you with deplorable emotions such as guilt. How can you murder a fifth of humanity? Women, children, unborn babes yet to feel the warmth of the sun on their faces? Shut it out, Akhetan. Your heart can fill you with bravery-another despicable emotion- for only so long. But once you are branded a traitor, and you feel the heat of the branding iron on your chest, it will be your heart begging for mercy. None of which you shall ever have. A second of bravery, of honour, on your part will lead to decades of torment. Oh you will survive of course. Survive, wishing every second for death.
This is war, Akhetan and you are a soldier. Even if you forget everything else, remember that. Remember that always. And a soldier always follows orders. How did that rhyme go, the one you were taught in school? Through gunfire and landmines and bombs, a soldier marches on and on and on...
Call me a coward. Call me heartless. But I am you, Akhetan. Your future. And I have had thirty three years to reflect on the choice you made that day. Thirty three years of humiliation, pain, and torment. And you know what the icing on the cake is? Not one of those twelve million came to rescue me. Not one.  
I beg you to relieve me of this misery. There is not much honour left in me, but I suppose there is some in you.  For my sake, I beg you to do your duty. And after that, for the sake of that honour, I beg you to die.
Yours no more,

P.S. This story was originally written for Camous Diaries' monthly writing contests (Write Club).
P.P.S. I know I have been away for a while. Here's to hoping regular posts will continue.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...