Silent Goodbyes

 

The silences are loud,
They come out like ghosts;
Lost on their way.

The winds blow the leaves away,
And the Sun shines through,
But we sit there motionless;
With nothing  left to say.

My eyes are stuck to the ground;
And yours are to the sky,
The space between us feels like;
A wall six feet high.

You talk of your day;
You talk of your errands done on time,
I smile hesitantly and think of;
How my day went by.

I do not tell you that;
My thoughts were lost in you,
I thought of summertime;
Our love, fresh as morning dew.

But now, we are sitting here;
Under this withering tree;
And you are telling me;
How great life is…

I have only silences to give;
And maybe you have your words as shields,
But when we see eye to eye;
I can hear two souls scream.

So I let myself an inch closer;
Hoping you would hear them too;
Hoping you would hold my hand to your heart and say;
“Baby, I hear you….”

You look up and my heart is filled with joy;
I think its almost time!
Now we will be just fine.
This six feet wall, we shall climb.

But you blink, and then you blink twice,
Your world of dreams flashes;
Like a bright light;
It dumbs your eyes and muffs your scream;
The wall between thickens with every beat.
From now on, you will never be,
You will never be able to hear us scream.

I gather my strength, I say, “I have to go. Its time.”
“I have to go. Its time”
And you just say;
You just say, “Alright”.

I gulp down my tears;
I don’t want you to see them,
I don’t want you to know that my heart is bleeding.

I get up.
I know its time to leave;
But,  I walk slow,
Hoping that if I walk slow enough;
I’ll hear your call back,
But I cant be so slow;

I can’t be slow that I do not move at all.
I have to cross over to the other side;
After this there won’t be any turning back;
I stop.
I stop in the middle;
My buckling legs wants to run back to your arms;
and my trembling heart wants to cry onto your chest.

But then I blink.
I blink and your world of dreams flashes in front!
I do not see myself in that world;
After all, all I have to give is silence;
And you can’t hear any more.

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THE GLASS WALLS

 

The Glass is all around me;
I am isolated from everything else
I would see the world crystal clear,
But my own reflection is blocking the view ahead.

I am restless;
I wish to get out;
The fresh air I want to breathe,
I want to be free.

I move my hands against the glass;
Looking for a crack to escape;
But it is just glass, all glass,
Blocking me away.

I press my nose against;
The cold smooth surface,
Trying to see what is outside,
I see people moving about;
Going to work or giving a shout;
There is hustle and bustle;
There is the madness of the city chaos,
But, I am here, caught in between the glass.

I cannot remember being outside;
Although I am sure, with my family and friends I did abide,
But one day, I looked into the mirror;
I looked at my clear reflection on the wall;
And I did not like what I saw,
Since then, all the mirrors began moving closer;
Inch by inch every day,
I tried to look away;
I tried to close my eyes;
But their movement would not subside.

At last, four glass walls have been formed,
They have enclosed me all around;
I can’t get out,
This glass has become my identity now,
There is no more scream or shout.

I am sealed in by my thoughts,
Every turn I take, I am met by me,
The image on the glass;
I do not like to see.

Every time I try to push the glass away;
I fail,
And then,
The image is butchered again.

I am too tired to try anymore,
My futile attempts have outnumbered my breaths;
The life inside is almost over now,
One by one,
My limbs give up.

I am falling fast, I am going down,
My head rests on the glass floor;
On the glass top, I see myself again;
And right there, my last breath goes away.

Now, my soul is floating away;
And I am passing into the clear sky,
I want to say a goodbye;
To the walls,

So, I turn.

But, no glass can be seen around;
All that lays on the ground
Is a woman,
Butchered by her own thoughts.

 

This poem was inspired from the T.V series ‘My Mad Fat Diary’. I have fallen in love with it. It is based on the life of an overweight teenage girl who had suicidal tendencies. This two-season series is definitely worth a watch.

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Never Been There

 

I pass by it every day when I go to work. The fences around it haven’t stopped the trees from spilling out. They are bursting out, into the sky. Green and dense trees, you cannot see through them. The neighborhood park has been here even before I shifted to this apartment. I have lived here for three years now, but have never been there….

It lies right in the middle of the city. Nestled in between a maze of shops which sell everything your heart could desire. Ignoring the park, I come to the shops for my daily groceries. I am too caught up in my city life – work, eat and sleep. But, the park just stays there. Winters come and winters go, I see the leaves change from the brightest green to the warmest yellow. Sometimes, when the car horns aren’t loud enough, I can hear the birds chirp – like a disorganized orchestra. The kids of the neighborhood pay a visit to it every evening. I know this because I get off work at the same time. Mums and Dads drop them off at the gate of the park, and kiss them goodbye. They walk into the park with their heads high and their laugh full of promises. Their cricket bats are bigger than themselves, but they manage to carry it all the way. They push the rotating gate of the park with one strong stroke. The green swivel creaks, and gives way. Soon they are inside, after which I can’t see them, anymore. I envy their freedom.

It’s not like I never wish to go the park. The laughs and the chirps call to me whenever I pass that way. But, I am too busy. There is always something to be done and someplace to be. I have to fix up dinner or finish up some paper work, or clean up the house, or do the laundry. There is little time left for going to the neighborhood park, and even when there is, I use it to catch up on my sleep. Sometimes, I think to myself. Maybe if I had company, I would have gone. Heck! I would have gone every day then. I would have gone with my family, but my husband gets too tired after work and my kids are all grown up now. They wouldn’t come with me. The women in the neighborhood are in their own cliques, and frankly their company isn’t something I desire. But, then again, it would be nice to have someone to go to the park with.

Last night, I dreamt about it. I dreamt that I finally went in. I pushed the gate, and the rusty green swivel creaked against my force. It gave in after some effort and then, there I stood, in the park. The view was magical. Birds flew across the vast sky and the trees waltzed with the air. Butterflies played with the long stalks of blue tulips. It felt like home.  There was a yellow cobbled path winding through the grass, it went on and on, till my eyes could see. I happily hopped around on it, taking it all in. This was very unlike me. I couldn’t remember the last time I had hopped. When I looked down, I saw my face reflected off the shiny Red Ruby Slippers. They seemed familiar, like something I had lost and found.

Today, I got to know that I am being posted to another city, someplace far away. My family is happy to be moving, they are looking forward to the adventure ahead. I haven’t still come to terms with it. The packers will be here next week. We will have to start organizing things again into – what we want and what we don’t. I will have to choose. But, there so much left to be done here. I haven’t visited the park yet. I want to hear the green swivel creak. The dream starts to replays in my mind. The bird, the breeze, the cobbled road and Oh! My beautiful Ruby Slippers…. “Should we keep the TV honey?” my husband asks. “Huh?! Yeah…. Yeah we should” I reply. Ah! Don’t worry woman, I tell myself. Life isn’t over yet. My posting is for only three years. Who knows? I might get a chance to come back here one day. And when that day comes, I will forget everything else and I will go to that park. Simple as that.

I will, won’t I?

 

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Until You Dip Your Toe

The water is cold;
What lies below unknown;
It may be pitch dark
With ghosts of your past;
But you shall never know,
Until you dip you toe

They all lie in front of me. Like perfect peaches on a tree, tempting me towards them. Each and every one of them is as golden as the other. I see people around me picking out their favorite with so much ease. They have it all figured out. But I am just standing there. I am standing there, looking at all the choices.

When I decide to take a step ahead, the space around me echoes with the sound of my failures. They remind me of what I couldn’t do. They remind me of what I left unfinished. The insecure bug crawls into my mind. I am not good enough. I won’t be able to. I do not deserve the perfect fruit.

The choices are looming around me now. They are mocking me and forcing me to decide. Time is running out. But I am helpless. I look around to find someone to take my decisions. I could just shut my eyes and the decision would be made. Maybe, that way the responsibility will no longer lie on me.

My ambitions seemed so perfect in my head. I thought life would be a fairytale with all my dreams coming true. But what if I spoil the utopia by trying?  I am in the pursuit of perfection, running away from reality. This pursuit is caging me in. It is stopping me from taking that first step. I know I have to move. I don’t know exactly in which direction, but I have to move. Or else, it will be just me and my perfect illusions.

The water is cold;
What lies below unknown;
But what if in the darkness, there exists;
A paradise that you always wishes;
But you shall never know,
Until you dip your toe.

 

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UNSPOKEN

 

‘She asks me, “Will it be okay? What if something goes wrong?”
I shush her. I say, “Everything will be fine, as long as you are strong”’

The lights are psychedelic. They criss-cross around the floor, creating flashes of blues, greens and reds, wherever they go. The music is blasting from every corner. I feel my heart thumping with every beat. I sway with the rhythm, letting go of everything. All that matters is the present. A laugh here, a jiggle there - is all what I see of my friends. The lights are blurring the edges between the known and the unknown.

I look across to her. She is happily moving to a Punjabi number. I pass her a huge grin and she returns it back. “Our favorite song!” she shouts. We madly dance to it together, stopping just in time to scream out the chorus. It is a perfect night to dance all my worries away. I am in my twenties and life seems pretty good right now.

Suddenly, something brushes across me. I flinch. Never mind, I tell myself. After all, it is a crowded place, there is bound to be a bit of chaos. Forget it, I tell myself. But then, it happens again. I turn to check, but all I see are unknown faces. They all look the same to me. Maybe I should stick closer to my friends. As I inch closer towards them, I feel a pinch on my bottom. I flip. I see a train of guys dancing across the room. It could be anybody. I feel lost in the sea of people. In a millisecond, a million things rush through my mind. Should I stop the last person? But what if he is not the one? Will I create a scene? Am I dressed okay? Is this skirt kind of trashy? Should I have worn something else? Maybe it’s the way I am dancing! Should I tell someone? What would they say?

I look across to her. She is dancing merrily. It must be me then. I must have done something wrong. All of a sudden I feel very guilty. I do not know why, but I feel guilty - guilty for coming out tonight, guilty for wearing a skirt, and guilty for attracting attention. I try to hide this flood of emotion from everyone, even from her – my best friend. I want to forget everything and just let go of it all. But, with every flashing light, the guilt keeps haunting me. Everywhere, I feel eyes staring down at me. I can’t stand it any longer. I want to run away from these eyes. I pull myself away from the dance floor. My feet feel heavy. I find the chair in the farthest corner and slump down.

‘She runs to me and asks,
“What’s wrong?”
I manage a smile and say,
“Never mind girl, you carry on”’

When we come back home, I want to tell her what happened. I want to tell her everything, but I am embarrassed. I am scared of her judgments. We fall on the couch and talk about how great the evening was. I fake laugh through the entire conversation without giving anything away. It was going all right, until the staring eyes flash in front of me again. I pause. I look away and I tell her everything. I change the words to make it sound not as bad as it was. You see, I don’t have the courage to remember it myself.

‘I look across to her,
Tears are rolling down her cheeks,
She says, “The evening was no different for me
The touches and pinches broke me down,
Until I was too afraid to speak”.

I stay silent. The truth is too sad to be told. There is so much to be said but our voices are stifled. If only we had told each other. If only we hadn’t blamed ourselves. Why were we being strong for everyone except ourselves? We had no answers. All we had was guilt. We lay on the couch for a long time just thinking about it all.

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