Triangulating a Destination

One will cross oceans
One will overcome mountains
And I’ll travel a few hundred miles
All backpacking with a hope
That our unplanned plans aren’t soiled
By a fate that beguiles a fast approaching
And somewhat-uncertain time

One will haul dust in the pores
That have breathed in more stench and teargas than clean air
The dust of a nation rife with turmoil
Of a culture both buried and restructured
By the wrong hands for self-serving intentions
A land so beautiful it’s too proud to grant redemption
To the ones tearing it down

One will uproot the forests and barriers
Lying in the shadows of the Himalayas
Sweat-soaked from the clouds that wait in line to pour
He boasts and groans of his state being the “wettest place on earth”
A few dozen inappropriate jokes come along the statement
The fountain of wisdom will show up crammed
With more facts on mythos than any Google search could ever drum up

And I, I’ll try to pack the humid air of my land
In the frizziness of my jam-packed mane of ideas
The riverine sand and stacks of doodles featuring us 3
Images we’re together in but not quite and not yet
A destination we’re triangulating towards
A meet I’ll blister my feet for, and if need be;
I’ll hitchhike with spicy food to wherever my two stars are

And we’re tragicomic triangles as we call ourselves
The mountain-forest spirit, the equilateral of all things equal
The ocean-crosser, we impose on him the title of balance, isosceles
And I, scalene, the unconventional weirdo
We edge our corners, whetting them for the nearing strikes of wits and humour
The destination we seek is not a place but a moment in our lives

The moment of an image, really, truly… Shared together.

Advertisements

Marked by Death

She was five when it first happened
It tore through the house like a colossal shard of steel
A dull thud and crack of skull echoed a moment later
Temporarily erasing the memory of her scream

It was recalled by none not even in the  slightest
Well, a child she was and children wailed all the time
Dots remained unconnected
And the mark in her fate waited silently to shine

She was eight when she screamed again
And news from distant lands reached them after days
Recalling and horrified, an elder in the family voiced suspicion
And she found herself under scrutiny, terror in everyone’s gaze

The events that trailed her after
Saw her locked in a cellar under a shed
She screamed and screamed herself raw
Tearing at her flesh till it bled

Night after night she hummed herself to sleep
Time warped not into dark and light but sounds of birds and the wild
Not knowing how and why she screamed sometimes
Chilling herself and the rats, till her  voice faded and died

And they heard her, they felt her, The Sheez
From across the valley, the sea, and the mountain range
“Sister”, they whispered, sending the swift and the ravens
To locate rumours and follow anything strange

Meanwhile saints and shamans were ushered in to the cellar

Each that came close to see her in their flickering candlelight
Backed away wide-eyed shaking his so-called wise head
In the passing years she had paled, and her eyes had greyed
And she could smell it on them, they reeked of fear and dread

Her family refused to look or even  glance at her
She was still just a child that needed love and care
Whenever they came down, in pairs with provisions
She pinned them with an unforgiving stare

One time unaware of whether it was day or night
She wove her frail hair, back against the damp wall
And then it happened, she screamed but not alone
She heard the howl and every inch of her skin crawled

They came for her weeks after her thirteenth birthday
Carriages drawn by horses as if from a war depiction on a tapestry
Reined by the veiled Sheez they stopped in front of the estate
How dare they disrespect their heraldry, lock one of their decree?!

They came for her, she heard the hooves echo
The door to the shed crashed overhead and she let out a cry
They came for her, gentle arms and gentle voices
And that day she realized, in there she wasn’t doomed to die

Bones aching and daylight hurting
Onto one of the carriages they helped her climb
For a moment all her scars of flesh and mind
Melted away and all she felt was sublime

Ravens flew overhead and wolves guarded their sides
With her weakened vision she watched the approaching trees
Away from the home she’d known, towards where she’d always belonged
The court of the much feared, and esteemed, banshees.

Gaia

The Mother wails ,
The Mother flails.
The world in her cloudy azure womb;
Stubbornly encasing itself in doom.
It burns in her, making her weep,
The Mother, the dear Mother, maddened in grief.
None would quench these fires, tears none that rain,
The Mother’s helplessness shall be her sung-of shame.
Enraged she whips! Fiery bolting whips;
Her wrath a fury, an unending storm that grips.
The sun shines, giving the Mother warmth to calm,
She repents, she regrets, her child she tried to harm.
One so beautiful, a child she bore,
One like which she’ll birth nevermore.
A child she loved, a child she cared and always provided for.
It grew, she taught it living, but it betrayed her all the same
For it grew fonder of material, feeding its unquenchable hunger for name.
It digs her like maggots through rotten flesh,
Her signs, her warnings, still hanging about, fresh.
She created waterfalls for it to play in,
Seas and oceans to sail through, sails swaying.
But it’s swatting them away,
Melting and flooding the way.
The way that taught it surviving,
Now it poisons all, how conniving.
Some peek at stars and proudly proclaim,
The Mother will die, and the child’s to blame.
“The Mother will die, and she will die soon,
Be it a million years from now, or a turn of moon.”

_________________

Gaia the mother and personification of Earth.

— Praty

Bitter-sweet farewell

The Ganpati festival is over, why

I pray to the idol, look up to the sky

 

Looks like it will rain, like the devotees

The ones compassionately devoted, these days are few

 

Oh, Ganpati, every year you bring with yourself

Knowledge, education, prosperity in which we delve

 

Why can you not stay, instead of making us bid you goodbye

Every soul, regardless of ethnicity, rejoices, dances, even the shy

 

Farewell might be difficult, I wipe a tear

But bearable as long as we see you next year

With a final “Ganpati Bappa Morya, pudhchya varshi lavkar yaa!”

You’re sunk into the water

You’re gone. But we’ll see you, dear lord. In the next chapter.

 

ganpati-visarjan-3

Ganpati’s statue being sunk into the sea. It’s a goodbye, with a hope that he’ll return next year.

Ganpati is another name of the Hindu lord Ganesha. The festival referred to is Ganesh Chaturthi, celebrated on the birthday (rebirth) of Ganesha, son of Shiva and Parvati.

The festival lasts for a few days.  On the last day (Ganesh visarjan day) people chant “Ganapati bappa moriya, Pudhchya Varshi Lavkar yaa”, which means dear Ganpati we pray to you and request you to come again next year with lots of blessing and love. 🙂

 

— Pratty