Dahlia.

You were a deep, dark Dahlia
and I couldn’t help being drawn to you,
even though my favourite flowers
are usually roses or carnations,
sometimes daisies and sunflowers, too;
but there was something about you
that no roses, carnations,
daisies or sunflowers had
and I don’t quite know what it was,
however, I do know that it made me nervous.
I wanted to pluck you,
I’m surprised I didn’t extend my fingers and do so,
I wanted to pluck you
and keep you for myself
but I knew I should not
because I didn’t have a vase befitting you,
and if I did, you would wither
and all I could do then
would be to bury you in my diary
filled with roses, carnations,
daisies and sunflowers ;
so, I gazed at you while I could,
all the while preparing myself
for the impending goodbyes
I’d have to say when I had to walk on
and I thought
I would eventually forget you,
I thought your fragrance
would leave my senses
and I thought I would stop waltzing
in time with your gentle swaying;
but the truth is that I cannot.
No, how could i forget you when
your smell still lingers as though
I have my face buried into your chest
and I still waltz alone
to the breeze you swayed to?
You were a deep, dark Dahlia
and I wish I had plucked you.

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Morcha.

Desh ke gaddaron ko jootey maaro.
Jootey maaro unko
jo humaari zubaan ko modh kar humaari awaaz chheenna chahte hain,
jo humaari soch ko todh kar humaari aazaadi chheenna chahte hain,
jo humaare sharir ko maar kar humaare junoon ko ghayal karna chahte hain.

Desh ke gaddaron ko jootey maaro.
Jootey maaro unko
jo deshbhakti ke naam mein insaaniyat bhool gaye hain,
jo sarkaar ke kaam mein vyaktitva bhool gaye hain,
jo dharm ko aam karne mein sahin karm bhool gaye hain.

Bharat maata ki jai.
Uss maata ki
jo apne bacchon ko gaurav se jeene deti hain,
jo apne phoolon ko bedhadak khilne deti hain,
jo apne se bandhe har ansh ka haath thaamti hain.

Bharat maata ki jai.
Uss maata ki
jo apne bacchon ke khilaaf hathiyaar nahin uthati,
jo apne phoolon ko per se masal nahin deti,
jo apne se bandhe ansh ko kabhi dhokha nahin deti.

Instruments.

I wrote with pencils.
The rough lead always resisted the movement of my hand,
always took a moment longer to savour what I wrote,
as though it took pleasure in every mark it left on the paper,
like every word I wrote held something,
meant something
which ought to be celebrated without hurrying forward to the next word,
like I ought to pay attention to every alphabet I drew,
for I always drew,
I never wrote,
no, my letters were not uniform
and my words were not just words,
for every word I wrote was a drawing,
a description,
an emotion,
a piece of art.
Slow curves, straight lines, pronounced dots, 
even mistakes held a certain charm when I paused
and looked at them for a moment
before erasing them forever,
writing over the area and leaving no trace of the accident.
I miss writing with pencils,
I miss being at leisure to write slowly,
erase carelessly,
and rewrite deliberately.

I write with pens.
The ink ebbs and flows freely with my thoughts
and moves in tandem with my hand,
as though I were not writing with another instrument
but my own fingers,
spilling the contents of my heart
onto a blank sheet of paper
only too glad to absorb this splattered catharsis-
blotted and smudged-
as though it accepted that everything I had to say
and everything I needed to say
could no longer remain confined to my own introspections,
and the smallest obstruction would end this flurry of words
thrown around with little consideration for the words themselves,
and with no regard for their permanence as I worry less
about making mistakes which are inevitable,
rather revel in them and learn to carry on, undeterred,
embracing these scars of untidy cancellations,
correcting them as hurriedly and haphazardly as I made them,
for time is short I only have limited pauses to spare.
I shall miss writing with pens.
I shall miss writing recklessly,
cancelling untidily,
and rewriting wisely.

I shall write with my fingers.
There shall be no sound of my nib scraping over paper
as its ink seeps into the crevices of the parchment,
tainting it with commas and fullstops,
for my writing surfaces shall be lovingly caressed
with gentle fingertips which do not know how to make haste
for they have learned to take pleasure in the process of creation
without anxiously awaiting the arrival to their destination;
there shall be no trace of my mistakes
for they shall be made in silence
and to rectify them,
I shall only require my own will to do so, for none but me
shall be privy to the flaws that my fingers created, outlined,
and I shall know how to appreciate those faults for their modesty
for there is a certain amusement
in the knowledge of another’s ignorance.
I shall write with my fingers.
I shall write patiently,
erase honestly,
and rewrite kindly.

Happiness.

You walk past two children
playing in the sand
by the construction site
where their parents toil all day
in order to afford a single meal;
their clothes scarcely clothes
but holes with cloth around them,
their young faces
painted thick with grime
contrasting their pale white teeth
as they laugh
with a joy that only children own,
and you wonder: perhaps,
they could teach you what happiness is.

Binary.

You are always a mere arrangement of ones and zeros away
and that is both comforting and frustrating,
because it is not enough
that it shall only take me a few moments to reach out to you,
no, I need to reach out and touch you,
feel your warmth under my skin
and listen to your voice-
clear and undisturbed by static-
when we have whispered conversations
that last long past midnight;
I need to have my face lit up
by the warm glow of the sun-
while we watch it dip into the ocean for a swim-
and kissed by your soft lips,
not by the glow of a phone-screen.
I need to grasp your arm while we walk around at night together,
not have my fingers curled around my phone
in order to feel your presence.
I need you here in flesh and bones,
I need to say your name out loud,
and not have to search for it
in a combination of ones and zeros.

You are always a mere arrangement of ones and zeros away
and that is both comforting and frustrating
for it baffles me that everything I wish to make you hear
is nothing but mere digits
and that every emotion
I have ever wished to express to you is,
in essence, the same;
all the times I’ve had tears rolling down my cheeks
and all the times my cheeks have hurt from laughing,
and all the times I’ve put them into words
to be sent to you,
they have been nothing but a combination of ones and zeros;
and maybe, that is all it is,
maybe, you and I are only ones and zeros,
and when put together correctly,
we articulate what would otherwise go unsaid,
for nobody else could be a better one to my zero.

You are always a mere arrangement of ones and zeros away
but no amount of ones and zeros
could ever fathom how much I wish you could be here.

Mosaic.

Hi,
I’m a tile.
I like to believe that I’m a navy blue ceramic tile,
but perhaps you consider me to be another color
and that’s perfectly fine;
although, I’d prefer a shade of blue,
it’s my favourite hue;
perhaps you have another image of me,
that’s fine too.

I’m just a tile;
and I’m here to break myself into pieces
and hand them over to you
so you can add me to your mosaic
because I’d really love to be a part of it.

You know,
your mosaic,
the one you’ve made
from all the various pieces you’ve collected
of all the various tiles you’ve encountered.

They don’t fit together too well, do they?
Don’t worry, they rarely ever do;
that bright green tile you found jogging in the park
is not meant to fit perfectly
between the cracks of the faded red tile you found
sitting alone at the bar,
buzzed out of his senses on a Tuesday night
because his daughter left him alone for his birthday dinner,
to go out on a date with a flashy yellow tile.

Your mosaic will probably be hideous
if you’re fortunate enough
to meet tiles that will never compliment each other-
for they don’t exist
in the same spectrum,
the same era,
the same location,
and they’re not made
from the same materials,
the same colour schemes
or the same manufacturing unit-
and only you will ever truly appreciate
the pieces you have collected.

If your mosaic looks the least bit aesthetic, 
do yourself a favour and begin again
because you’re surrounded by tiles
of the same spectrum,
the same era,
the same location,
and they’re made
from the same materials,
the same colour schemes
the same manufacturing unit-
and all that differs is, perhaps, their batch number. 

Hi,
I’m a tile.
You might disagree
but I consider myself to be a navy blue ceramic tile,
and I’m delighted to be able to give you a piece of myself
to add to your mosaic.
You’ll probably get a small corner piece
with a smooth side or two 
and perhaps a few rough contours,
they won’t hurt you,
but you’d better be cautious nonetheless.
You might get a part of the centre,
with no smooth sides,
just sharp edges which will gnaw at you
until it’s out of your hand
and safely placed amongst the other pieces you’ve collected-
perhaps they will help smoothen it out.
Nevertheless,
I hope you like the piece you get,
I hope it finds a place in your mosaic,
I hope you’re able to appreciate it,
but most importantly
I hope you realise
that it is just a piece of the whole
not the whole.

Shall We Dance?

Will you dance with me?
I shall teach you how.

We can use our racing pulses for music.

First, you wrap your arm around my waist
and hold me close,
firmly enough to tell me
that you do not intend to let me go,
but tenderly enough
to allow me to leave,
should I choose to.
In your other hand,
you hold mine,
and use it to signal your choice of course
by a gentle tug
meant to only indicate where you wish to go;
be soft and trust that I shall accompany you
wherever you may lead me
without being coerced into doing so.
When we move in unison,
my eyes shall never wander from yours,
and as I step backwards
with only you to guide me,
remember that I am blind
to the obstacles that lay in my path-
for you are my only focus-
and I depend on you
to meander me through them
with elegance and grace.
As we twirl around,
realise that while I ask you to hold me,
and move with me,
I shall never expect you
to support the entirety of my weight.
When our song ends
and we stop to pause and catch our breaths,
smile, and ask me to save the last dance for you.

Will you dance with me?
I shall teach you how.