Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's Time To Move On..It's Time to Visit Melbourne

Panchi was ushered on to the stage, nervous about her speech that she had to deliver on the occasion of Kunal's wedding celebrations. It had been quite difficult for her to even attend the marriage, considering Kunal had been the love of her life, till about six months back, when he declared his marriage plans to Shruti, a family friend's daughter.

The deck had been beautifully decorated, balloons and posters of half-naked women suiting to Kunal's crazy plans while beautiful white lilies and drapes of baby pink and creme were ethereally indicative of Shruti's presence and decision making. This beauty on water, Maidenabella flowed shyly on the transcendental and picturesque Yarra river in a calm and serene Melbourne

She looked across the still waters, reflections looming small and large, hues of the sky, twitching with recurring spasms of lights from the fireworks. She looked at the dozens of eyes looking at her-some eyeing, some simply looking in retrospective glances while few did know about her relationship and thus had a tinge of pity in their eyes.She held the mike like she held the most fragile thing in her hands, as she began.

Her eyes welled with tears, stinging her view of the gathering, the Yerra river and the clandestine presence of the love she still held so close to her. And there he was..Kunal..The man she had fallen in love with on the very first day of her college life. They had been the only lasting couple while they graduated after which, Kunal had been placed in Melbourne while Panchi continued with her writing and poetry in New Delhi.

The next three years saw them go through many ups and downs in their lives, with Panchi losing her legs in an accident, Kunal deciding to shift to Melbourne permanently and yet their love, seemed to exist like the breeze that seemed to conquer all territories and yet sadly, as they would realise, it was bound by none either. Time flew by as their relationship waved from meetings to telephone calls and then Skype.

However, one night-things changed. Panchi woke up to Kunal's call who seemed to be talking too loudly and too quickly for her to grasp anything of what he was telling her. "Are you listening, Panchi? I am marrying Shruti and so we can't be together any more. I know it would be hard, but hope you understand. My family won't accept a physically handicapped wife for me and I cannot go against them. So the wedding is here itself, I'll send you the invite soon. Ummm..Take care. Good luck." Buzzzz...

The line went dead, and so did Panchi's senses. Kunal just ended their four-year old relationship and was getting married. Melbourne- this damned place had taken away her all that she had and that she had hoped for. She had roamed through the city through Kunal's eyes, his pictures on Facebook hardly capturing the imagination and vibrancy of the place like his voice would- be it while he'd roam around this very River, soaking in the solitude and serenity or the crowded blocks within the Melbourne City Centre, riding a bicycle around the by lanes, witnessing exorbitant masses of people around him.

He would often exclaim how Melbourne would live up to its name of being the second most populous city of Australia- the varied indigenised yet affirmative culture of the people there- their eating habits, their sense of culture and way of living. Panchi could imagine the autumns when Kunal would talk of how the wet roads look so attached to the earth, with all ethereal colors of moss, brown and beige striking amidst the moistness and wet and dry maple leaves like broken stars would cover the pavements, sometimes in uneven heaps or plattened carpets.


Kunal knew Panchi loved the sea and how she missed them in Delhi and so he'd call her up and she'd listen to the waves crashing into rocks, while Kunal would light a smoke and describe the Great Ocean Road to her as she would excitedly Google up the road to see images and videos of the same.

The island stretched right across the road and Panchi could almost smell the sea though the phone. The light wavy sounds along with the crashing waves, pleased her senses to no dearth! She loved the feel of it and often would traverse into conversations with Kunal on to paths where they would have had a future, where they were each others holding hands and would walk down the beach, hand in hand- arm in arm.


The Eureka Tower was Kunal's favorite, from the top, he'd click pictures of the city, and would exclaim in delight, over the phone as if he was announcing it to the entire world. He was obviously totally in love with Melbourne.Who would have known how fate would center Melbourne into their lives as a crossroad which forked their paths into two different directions.


He loved brisk walking to the office and en route, would marvel every day at the Intercontinental hotel and sit in a small cafe, one amongst the many in the lane ahead to sip beer or coffee and gaze at the monumental structures around him while Panchi on the other end, miles and oceans apart would stare at her dark room, with shards of light coming through the window, imagining it all in her mind.

Mugs of beer and crazy cars are known to be a feature of the Southern Cross Station, both of which are things men love the most. So Kunal would often hang around in that area or would spend some leisurely time here by arriving early during his inland trips. He would for sure, attend the Good Beer Week festival there.
Of course men and sports would be inalienable and with the Melbourne Cricket Ground, she'd find Kunal grumbling as to how his working hours never let him take an off and go watch a match! Nevertheless, he would often walk along the circular path and they'd listen to the crowds hurling during a match.

Kunal was all about walks! He would roam about during the weekends exploring the Rutledge Lane or the Off-Ackland Street which would basically be the most creative parts of the city, with graffiti artists literally "painting the town red yellow blue" like Kunal would describe in glee!
Off-Ackland Street

Rutledge Lane

Ah! It had been quite a roller-coaster ride! Her relationships, her writings and also her love for the city!Implicit like an old love song, the bud of interest grew as her relationship with Kunal faded away little by little, till he literally got married! And there she stood, at his wedding delivering a dedication speech for the married couple. She had thought of excusing herself, but then, Kunal's denial for her only because she was now physically handicapped had taken a toll on her feminist side, that was as much of her own. So she had ruefully chosen a song- that  would wrench his heart down and make him guilty of what he had done.

She stood with a glass of champagne looking at the beauty that surrounded her, sighing as she tried inhaling the exotic charisma into her. She winced as the air stung her nostrils but it wasn't just that.. She knew what she had to do. Just like the moment she had uttered to herself, " Panchi.. It is your time to visit Melbourne, NOW!" at the very thought of Kunal getting married, she now realised she needed to explore the city, where she loved and loved, quite emphatically. She had to know every nook and corner, not just feel the pleasure but sense it too-see it, feel it and taste it!

With that thought, she kept the glass aside and looking at the crowd that included Kunal and Shruti cuddled up, for one last time- she exited. That evening she sat next to the window sill, looking at the sky determined- like Melbourne had wrapped her into an embrace. She did not feel dejected or forlorn, but rather excited to explore the city. She realised that in the due course of the relationship, she had also fallen in love with the city and for now- this love was enough. Who knows, maybe someday soon enough, while she wheeled herself across the street, she'd find her man in shining armour (read beer in hand and the light tanned skin) winking right back at her!

This post has been written for the Indiblogger's's your time to visit Melbourne NOW!

contest. If you are on Indiblogger, do vote for my post HERE.
Would love your comments!

Images courtesy a friend and photographer Amit Bajaj-

Sunday, September 16, 2012

First Little Steps

Wrenched, my heart
with every fall,
Your failure meant mine-

And there you stumbled again.

With little steps ebbing
you held my finger, looked at me
I still remember your twinkling eyes-

As you smiled at me, never tiring.

You took your first step little one
I sighed, looking at you
You took another step or two, then looked back at me-

And tears welled up in your sister's eyes, my little one.

Posted for D'Verse Poetics

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Till She Could Soak No More...

Paakhi had been sensing the change for some time now. Relationships are never as stagnant as we would like to believe and hers seemed to be an extremely fast-paced one. It would sound like the perfect romance to anyone who would learn about it- two people from different mindsets, spaces and lifestyles had with a tumult, bumped into each other. She loved the way they were. He did too.But it wasn't eno
ugh, and it is never enough. He had a castle, some horses and a carriage. She had a pair of dancing shoes and her dreams to fly on. How could their destinies meet..She thought about, as he danced with a beautiful lady in the ballroom, and she served the guests, tea and gulped in tears of vile.
She had to grow up and believe, fairy-tales are not meant to be and men in shining armours are not perfect too. There is nothing Perfect about anything at all-Her, Him or their Lives.

He sighed as he saw her run into a chamber.His heart ached for her, and though he held a beauty in his arms, he missed the lady he gave his heart to. But there was nothing that could bring her back, but for him to give up on things that he grew up with, and find strength and honour in. There was too much at stake, and he twirled the woman into an embrace, closing his eyes in submission, to his loss.

She could sense her thoughts rummaging through her mind, as she stabbed at the lifeless body again. To the world, she was just raped that night. The night when she had ran, ran far away from the man she had loved with her everything- and yet all she could see in her misty thoughts was his eyes, the way they looked when he looked at her, the shivers she still felt, and how her stomach gurgled in excitement.

But she had to move on. she had to go away from his life to make things easier for him. He had been living in two worlds- one his own-where he belonged, which had built him up in a particular manner while the other was theirs- a new place where they were still knowing, still learning and still adjusting. She fled away- knowing that he had been watching her leave and also a realisation that he had let her go. That he had finally given up, lost out to a conviction she had so strongly held on to, that their world would someday come apart.

 His friend, had requested to come in that night to deliver a message from him. Trusting, she did let him, and she was proven that trust is what she gave away to everyone else but the one whom she trusted the most. The one who would have taken the most efforts to make it last, keep it all together. The man had come drunk and forced himself upon her. It came as a shock to her, for he had been talking about how he had seen her lover in submission to another woman. But she knew better, she knew how she had become a body and just that. As she was denuded, after a while she stopped resisting, and went numb. She closed her eyes, as the man went into her and she like a soulless concave, let him. 

Soon he left. And she sat on the window sill feeling the winds crash onto her locks. Her clothes charred and her soul famished, death seemed pointless and life too meek. Days passed, the news passed and the only stagnant soul was her own self. Her lover was now married and had gone on a honeymoon vacation. The way people looked at her or the way she was treated, she knew she had no end to it. She forced herself to believe that she was already dead.

She became a full-time escort and a famous one at that. The rapist himself had taken her services more than anyone else. Maybe he was falling in love with her, or perhaps it was his guilty consciousness that made him suffer. He had come to her house, to marry her. Regardless to say, her parents had been ecstatic, but how could she marry a guy who had raped her? She felt betrayed by the world including her own now. Her soul felt barren of not just love but of trust too.

After much thought, Paakhi went to the kitchen and took out the longest knife she could find and without further thought kept stabbing at him, starting fromt he back, till he turned around yelping in pain. But her mind called out for more, as she started enjoying the sharp marks on his body, like he had made.The scars had healed up, but they were as real today..

She kept stabbing till she heard no more. Till she felt no more. And then laughed, laughed wildly.

The knight in shining armour would never come. He had chosen his beautiful castle and the lady in that flowing red dress than her.

She wasn't waiting either.

She took out her jacket and went past the doors. It was going to be a long long night.

Ashes, is all that she sees, when the mist in her eyes evaporate
Burns, she burns inside- the shame troupe in her eyes
Calculating her exits, irrespective of what dreams she had
Dreams and realities form parallels for people like her in this society.
Echoes plunder her peace, taunts and sarcasms, wit pulled out of her skin
Fiery exchanges, endless pursuits
Gluttony derived from insatiable pride
Hovering down her clandestine emotions
Instinctively honest and wild
Just when you thought she'd give up
Kisses that became memories, held on to her
Like she became their last hope
Marked by thorns, the rose was never plucked
Neither was she ever touched
Oblivious to the world around
Pristine, her soul could not be swooned
Questioned by a many, but hugged by none
Rested her pride in her cold cold eyes
Sobbing profusely but Soaking no more
Tears became her only friend in the cold dark nights
Under the moon, that shone so bright
Vile-like rays covered her body and reminded her of the love she once had
Working down its way, into her insides
Xenon-like naivety; invisible yet present
Youthful beauty to a cruel killer
Zap! And she turns into a stranger again..

**ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ Poetry where every line starts with the alphabets as in order**

This post is entirely fictional and has been written for an Indiblogger contest.
On the theme..SOAK NO MORE . Do click the pic below to go to my post and vote for me if you liked reading! And hey, comments are my prize! So bring 'em barging in!

I'm A Lie Away From Saying What I Really Think

Think twice
Learn again
Can you step up
Can you fly again?

He says I can.

Will he stay
if you are no more pretty
if you no more seem funny
Will he want to stay?

He says he will.

You have and so has he
been through the beauty and misery
but if it is this perfect
would you dare to take it forward?

He says nothing.
Simply looks into my eyes.
And as I look back at the times,
I realise, I felt different. And alive.

But will this last,
Shall time teach a lesson again
or will I crumble again, and if I do
Would he be there to hold me tight?

He still says nothing
he too has learned,
Life holds no promises, most

of which are gradually undone.
No promises.
No promises, I reiterate and yet
Every time I think of us
I am a lie away from saying what I really think.