The Beginning of the End

Sometimes you have to scratch out the stories,

That were written so lovingly,

And rip out the pages,

You put together so painstakingly.

The ink bolts of the past,

Aren’t easy to erase.

But a determined new start,

Has a quicker pace.

You don’t always get a clean break,

But a new story you can always create!

What I Want to Do with You

I want to reach withing the recesses of your soul,

And explore the cervices of your being.

It could be deep, dark and dangerous,

Or happy, light and salacious.

Twisted and complicated,

Or narrow and straight.

But nothing else would excite me more.

I promise never to shriek away,

And not stop till I know,

What lies within.

I want to devour you,

Chew you, swallow you and spit you out whole.

Mix a little bit of me,

And, pack it in together.

I want to lose myself in you,

Like I’d in a good book on a rainy afternoon,

Turning the pages unhurriedly,

Unable to stop till I am all done.

And, when I get to the end,

I just might find myself in you again.

Then there are days like these

Then there are days like these,
From the moment you wake up,
Till the moment you to bed.
You think of him,
Something or the other keeps reminding you,
A book, a quote , a thought, a word,
Something you see, something you feel,
Anything can trigger this  unexpected need to share it with him.
And you stop yourself and distract youself,
Till that moment passes,
Till that feeling goes away,
But you struggle,
To stay away,
Remebering the last words he said to you,
How they hurt you.
And how he probably doesn’t deserve you anyway,
And just for a fleeting moment you’re okay
You survived another day.

Just when I thought I was doing okay!

It’s a month since I bid you goodbye,
Not knowing I would seeing you for the last time,
We sat by the boulevard,
Discussing the sea within us,
Pouring out our troubles, trials and tribulations.

The last time I’d see you smile and hear you laugh,
The last time we would share our secrets,
Or watch the moon and the stars.

I wanted to touch the wounds that had healed,
I hate it that I hesitated.
I wish I said something and not feared,
Instead, I was a coward and I waited.

We held hands very briefly that night,
If I knew that was all it would be,
I swear I would have held them long and tight,
Not letting them go so easily.

The last time I’d share a meal with you,
I regret refusing the offer for a glass of wine,
Thinking there would be another time.

It’s a month since I let stupid questions trouble me,
And I made decision that you felt was clever and right,
But made me with sadder than I have ever been,
Leaving me in a terrible plight.

It’s a month since I sort of lost my heart to you,
And, never really found all the broken pieces again.

The Dream

I dreamt of  us hand in hand, fingers intertwined,

Simply smiling, for no reason,

Only because we were together in that moment.

My head gently laying on your chest, listening to your breathing,

While your fingers played with my hair.

I drew patterns on your stomach and you guessed them.

The morning light streaming through an open window,

Urging us to get out of the comfort of the bed,

And explore what the day has in store.

But we are scared that all will be ruined,

The moment we get up and let go, the dream will end.

Why I Write

I write because of an innate need to connect. I love it when someone relates to what I have written and they go, “That’s exactly how I feel!” Or shake their head and think, “Oh dear! That’s so true.” I love this unseen bond you make with the reader. It is exciting, exhilarating and addictive. Be it sharing your memories, your dark thoughts or dreams, your aspirations and fantasies. It is bound to touch a chord somewhere. It is also the need to tell all the untold stories. In this fast-paced life, there are many undocumented moments; of joy, of sadness, of hope and despair. Writing encases that moment, gives it the attention it deserves and the rightful consideration it demands.

Writing is a concrete way to voice an opinion. To boldly stand by what you think and believe in. It makes a good personal history of the thoughts you have experienced. It paints a picture of a person; where the flaws and imperfections maybe difficult to hide but there’s always beauty. The best writing inspires, it makes you think and cajoles you to convert words into actions. Such moments are rare and quickly fade away. That’s why you need to hold on to it tightly and requires constant reminders. Good writing makes you sit up and take notice and wonder why haven’t you felt or thought something this way before. It makes you question yourself and others.

Writings helps you overcome your difficulties; be it a break-up or the death of a loved one. Putting words onto paper and filling it up with your thoughts can be therapeutic. It is when you become both; the patient as well as the physician. Writing can be soothing; it can put your mind at ease and help you relax. It helps re-live an unforgettable experience and deal with the painful ones. It helps put things into perspective. It can be revealing and sometimes forces you to evaluate your actions. It makes you re-examine the course you are on and check if the path that you are treading on it the right one. Writing makes you admit your faults and own up to them. It forces you see yourself as exactly what you are without any resistance or reluctance.

Old writings serve as a reminder of a lesson that you may have forgotten or a lost connection. Writing is inherent to someone who is a self-proclaimed nostalgia junkie, like me. It creates a warm, fuzzy feeling both in the reader and the writer. It creates love and longing with short spurts of joy. It is endearing and assuring; that something that happened a long time back did not just matter to you and there is someone out there who felt the same way as you did. You learn to appreciate these moments in retrospect.

Writing can be frustrating sometimes. Those thoughts that come to you intermittently, on nights when sleep evades you; can be brilliant but without any clarity it’s difficult to put everything down. Technology definitely helps both in writing and sharing. It can be viewed as narcissistic by some. The need for validation, for appreciation. But it also means sharing something personal, a platform to be questioned and an opportunity for your thoughts to be examined. It takes some courage to put your naked thoughts out there for all to see, to stand by every word you wrote. It makes you daring and dramatic.

Writing makes you responsible. You may unwittingly change someone’s thinking or shape someone’s thoughts. Do you really want the credit or the blame that comes with it? It could hurt someone or be misconstrued. It is challenge to convey something without ruffling feathers. Just try writing something against popular opinion and find out how loyal or tolerant your readers are. There is a choice you make with every word you write.

There’s something definite about putting a thought down on paper; maybe makes it more permanent. Words are wind, it is famously said. But I believe the written word does carries much more weight. I would like to think, it is much more difficult to forget something if you have written it down. You have put thought and effort into it and probably changed it. But the final version that you take pride in is more difficult to turn your back on.

Writing can sometimes prove challenging but is always fulfilling. There are times you may want to say something but the right words don’t come to you. It is like you have lost your voice for a while and trying to talk but the words don’t come out. Instead, you hear the laughter of the blank paper mocking you. These are the toughest moments; usually, when I give up and go find something interesting to read or watch. But I return, humbly and unfailingly because writing helps me live. It’s the best feeling when you write just for yourself.

Lessons for Life

I was honestly never the brightest bulb in the classroom while growing up, especially in school. I got average marks and barely scrapped through Maths and Science in high school. This didn’t exactly make me any teacher’s pet. But that didn’t stop me from liking some teachers who could see me beyond my marksheet. A talkative child at home, I was quiet like mouse in school; I only spoke to my closet friends and my bench partners.

Early on my mom realized that it was going to be difficult for her to teach me Hindi or Marathi at home. My brother who was three years older had already begun going for classes (tuitions) for those subjects when he reached secondary. (He has always been way smarter than me.) My mom requested his teacher that I could accompany him for tuitions in the evening and if she would accommodate me. Back then, I was her youngest student. Barely eight years old and there I was studying among kids who were my brother’s age. Sangekar aunty or just Aunty to most of us conducted Hindi-Marathi tuitions at her residence. We all sat on the floor in a circle-like formation in the hall and she sat along with us teaching me the rudimentaries of the language. The batch consisted of about a dozen of children all from the same neighborhood. Most of us went to the same schools, played together and ended up studying at the same tuitions as well. In fact, Aunty’s own children studied in the same school that my brother and I studied in, respectively. They were older to us and I saw little of them in my early years. But they were industrious students just like their mother and made her proud with their achievements.

On some days when Aunty was exhausted she would sometimes doze off mid-way during a lesson. How could we blame her, she had been doing it for years; unlike us who were reading about it for the first time. She also managed her chores and took care of her family. She was extremely patient with me, teaching me alphabets and numbers, words and meanings. And, I of course had the help of all the older kids around me. Our lessons went beyond just the textbook, sometimes aunty taught us lessons about life. There was never a dull moment either, laughter always accompanied our lessons; a new word someone mispronounced, a funny incident that happened that day and we would lapse into a storytelling session. All the students who came to Aunty loved her and none of the parents ever had a complaint. After the last class before an examination every student would touch Aunty’s feet for her blessings before leaving and no doubt they were blessed.

As I reached secondary; my school timings changed. I stopped attending tuitions with my brother, instead I would go to Aunty’s house in the morning and then directly go to school. This meant going to her place fully dressed in my school uniform and my school bag. I would often be late and eventually began missing tuitions. However, Aunty always followed up with my brother and made sure I was brought back on track.

Once soon after summer vacations when school had re-opened we were studying the first lesson in the textbook which spoke about how life can’t always be lived according to a timetable. As Aunty was explaining the lesson she saw the delight on my face and immediately realized what I was thinking. She said that as much as it was fun to live without any rules, the lesson clearly said that it was okay to let go but only once in a way; not all day, every day. On certain days Aunty’s daughter or son would keep an eye on us, especially when we had a test and Aunty was busy with her chores.

Eventually, my best-friend (till date) who was in the same grade as me joined Aunty’s classes. Her brother who’s the same age as my brother age had already studied there. They were both studious and were rank holders. But aunty never differentiated amongst us. It was moment of great pride when I got the highest marks in my 10th standard board exam in Marathi and had scored as much as my bestie.

You come across many good teachers in life but only the lucky ones come across the great ones. The good ones teach you lessons that they are assigned to teach you. They don’t necessarily belong to the teaching profession and could be anyone you encounter in life. However, the great ones teach you beyond the syllabus. They bring out what’s good in you and teach you lessons outside the textbook.

Reconnecting with them brings out a unique sense of joy that you may have forgotten. And they have an infectious laughter that spreads joy everywhere they go! I’m blessed to have such a wonderful teacher who still remembers that shy but mischievous little eight year old that came to her home more than 22 years ago. She nurtured me and a lot of other students with a great care. She’s combed my hair and wiped my tears. She’s the best teacher I’ve met after my mom. And for this, I shall be eternally grateful.