12 Years

If you ever find an animal that wants your Love; give it! And you’ll be amazed by how much you get back.

So, the story ends today? Such a vicious and violent ending to a life of twelve years. Such an ending to begin a day with. You are gone now. Gone with the wind. Gone like the car that did this to you. You’ve been taken away from us, just like your sister was, exactly this same time last year.

It hurts to see you lying there, not moving. It hurts to see your blood spilled all around the road. It hurts to see that I belong to this species and not yours. It hurts to see the woman who took care of you for the last twelve years, cry and shout out to almost anybody who cared to listen. It hurts that out of all the people in the lane that you guarded day in and day out; only as many as three came down to say farewell.

“Such a peculiar name!” they used to say. Ghushan. A name that is synonymous to our household. A name that everyone around us knows by heart. A name that I shall never forget. Is it always the same? After twelve long years; is this necessary? A life lived receiving and giving so much love. Ever heard a dog follow her master into a crowded bank? Ever heard a dog follow her master’s son up to his tuition teacher’s terrace? Just to make sure that they’re fine? Most probably; No!

I grew up with you Sister. I grew up different than most other children. I grew up with two street dogs. No exquisite breed. No friends. No one but these two ‘animals’ who made me understand what Life and Love is. My very childhood stubbed out in two years during the month of my birth. I remember how much you loved me Ghushan, I knew it everytime I saw those two beautiful eyes of yours. I remember those long, sultry afternoons of us sitting on the front stairs and seeing Time pass us by. How we used to play and during one such evening how I tripped over you and fell on your torso and everyone around feared that the “street dog” would bite and all you did was look back at me with astonished eyes and wagged your tail as always. I longed to see you after a day’s wait in school. I loved to see that glazing red fur and a wagging tail running up and down every car that tried to pass in a hurry through our small forgotten lane. And in the end; such a car took you away from us! Fair right?

I know you cannot hear me. I know you cannot see these words. I know you cannot come back to me as Ghushan but I do know that someday, somehow, somewhere we’ll meet again my beloved sister. May your Soul find peace in contrast to the way you met your end. It is going to be a long wait till I see you again; but when we meet, come running towards me like the dog that taught me how to love dogs. The dog that helped me grow up as a human. The dog who saw me change throughout the twelve years but never for once did you complain or stop loving me. Keep barking! Keep wagging your tail! To the most aristocrat street dog that ever lived! Thank you!

I hope you find Saadhu. Forgive me, for it is a shame to exist as a human. Forgive me, for I couldn’t save you. Forgive me, Sister. Adieu, friend. Rest in peace.


Rose Noire

Who says that Black is for portraying everything Bad? Who says that it is the most negative colour on the palette of an artist?

Black is not the colour of Negativity. It is not the colour depicting Darkness, Depression, Angst, Hatred, Malice, Disgust or Contempt. It is not the colour of Night; for we are all Black even amidst broad daylight.

It is just the colour that never got the chance to be White.

It is sad to see how people have denoted it to be associated with all the worst kinds of emotions.

Such an elegant colour, a treat for sore eyes. The only colour which can usurp any other colour valiantly. The only colour that has never lied. The only colour that never fades away. It has so been used for long time to express anything but the holy emotion of Love. The only colour that exhibits what my Heart shall bleed.

My Love is Vengeance. That’s never free.

And so on this day; when Cupid is busy firing those deadly arrows away, I give thee, my funny valentine, a Rose Noire from the deepest trenches of my Heart. Look closely at the petals, they are spattered with the colour of my Soul. Look closely at the thorns for they will make sure your velvet blood flows. Look closely and you shall see it turn into the classic Red Rose. Look closely and you shall see; my Love isn’t Red; it is Black instead.

You are everything that a Rose Noire has ever been held for. A symbol of Mutiny, a strange sense of Anarchy, a demeanour of an Angel with the eyes of the Devil. Your velveteen voice soaks in my sins like a tiny dot of ink is soaked by the paper beneath. Your beauty radiates through the timelessness of Eternity. You are the colour that inks my Heart; you have drenched me once again in Black.

You, my Love, are my Salvation; a curse that can cure a curse like me.

You, my Love, are my Redemption and I’m your unholy Sin.

~ the black curse

via Letters to Rose Noire.

Odio Amoroso

Wise men say, only fools rush in..

And thus the love ballad began; ensuing lovers for over a period of fifty-six years and counting. The heavenly voice, caramelized the lyrics based on the romance by a certain Jean-Paul-Égide Martini. It has been one of those songs that simply take your breath away, much like she did whenever my forlorn eyes saw her vibrant ones.
It was doomed from the very beginning for the past always has a say in scripting the present and the future. yet the poor, unthinking heart never really swayed by the mighty odds stacked against it, she came in. Broke through the barriers guarding my ruins and ignited a spark that was long forgotten in the icy cold surroundings of my dilapidated life. And so this magnanimous emotion came back to devour me once again using Hope as the bait!
“I’m in awe of what we have”, she used to say quite often during our walks along the city high-rises and connecting bridges. In awe we really were because she was someone else’s and I knew that. “I can’t love her. I mustn’t”, or so I thought.

When have we ever had the privilege to choose whom to love and whom not to?
And the inevitable happened; one fell whilst the other remained and they both understood what happened.
The vibe died, the conversations shortened, the meetings postponed or cancelled. Although they both knew what they had seen in the eyes of one another while her palm was enveloped by his that one fateful evening surrounded by the upbeat music in a bar, had been real.
They say that writing your feelings down helps one accept the turmoil within; I suppose this is me trying to do the same.
This is inspired from the song; Can’t Stop Falling in Love With You.


Help me Stop Falling in Love With You

Take my soul,
Take whatever I own,
For I just want you
Cause I’m losing my heart to you.

Like the Sun and the Moon,
Can never meet
Oh Love, this is it
Some things are not meant to be

Whenever I see those eyes,
Its as if I’m flying high,
But then I realize
That all of this is a lie

Like the Wolf and the Moon
Shall never meet,
Baby, this is it
Some things are not meant to be

Stop my heart
Break these stupid train of thoughts
For you’ll never be mine
Even if I fall for you.

No matter what I try,
Its as if I’m falling hard,
So help me my dearest,
Stop me from falling in Love with You
Even though I can’t stop falling for You.

– oրեո


La Vie En Rose

I am not a Poet you see yet I have found a friend for me, a friend who has forever been near yet I’ve never held her dear.
A friend who only helped me yet never asked anything in return.
I am not a Poet you see; I am just friends with my Words.
I am not a Warrior you see yet I wield what is said to be mightier than the Sword.
I am not some Stranger you see, I know the World through my Words indeed.
A friend once asked me whether I was a Writer or a Story-teller and all I said was,

I am just a boy who’s friends with his Words and She helps me whenever I need.’

I am not a Musician you see yet when I heard the violins and the trumpets,
my heart swooned like the magnanimous trunks of the African elephants.
I am not a Singer you see yet when I heard those ‘Ghazals’ and ‘Raags’ of my country, my mind iterated and the lyrics which were again Words; ushered out of my mouth from within.
I am not a Lover you see yet when I see the red velvet roses and the bright white lilies, all my mind imagines is Who’s behind these intricate detailing?
I am not a Lover you see yet when I see two young lips retracting, I feel an immense regret knowing how hard it is to bridge the finite gap between that small infinity.

Yet when I saw her, there she was, the figment of my imagination embodied into a real human form, waiting for the well-known and familiar voice to call out her unfamiliar name.

“Hold me close and hold me fast,
The magic spell you cast,
This is La Vie En Rose.”

The harmonies synchronizing, the lyrical beauty taking over the inhibited mind,
a boustrophedon attempt of scribbling down this emancipation of us.
The bouquet lies around in the corner, seeing the passionate lovers strip each other of their images and usurp each other thoroughly; mocking the anhedonia shrouding the world outside.

“When you press me to your heart,
I’m in a world apart,
A world where roses bloom”

Ode To Life

And thus it began, as mentioned to us by the age old man,
The Seven Stages of Life which I have lived through in my limited time.

But no matter what you may say,

You cannot call me a Loser.

For I stand here, after quite convincingly winning the very first race that you had put me in.

I’ve walked; briskly and wearily,
I’ve ran; swiftly and heavily,
I’ve fallen down, flat faced into the delirious entrapments of your fanciful debauchery,
And yet I’ve stood back up at the end to embrace you wholeheartedly.

So whatsoever it is, tell me.
What next do you have in store for me? However odd or silly may it be
I shall take it upon me to finish this race that I started so steadily.

For now I realise that you are but a Privilege given to a select few. I realise that you are not my commander but only a chanced encounter.

You are a race which one can never actually win as your loyal servant runs behind in order to obliterate us all.

But to those of us who can look down upon the road rather than seeing far away into the distance searching for the destination and the meaning; they shall see the footprints left behind by the ancestors of our humble beginnings.

Life is a race indeed. Run. Not to reach the inevitable end but to leave your footprints on the tracks instead!

¿Enemigo? Mi amigo.

To Depression,

My old foe; withstanding the sands of Time, we’ve surpassed everything and everyone. Time has passed us by like the clock hands ticking away, counting Eternity. We’ve stood there, face to face, addressing our wounds through each other’s eyes and coveting our victories with malicious vice.

You’ve taken away from me umpteen amounts of Moments, gifting in return nothing but tears and dilapidated ruins. The child who’s mind runs through vague ideas is our playground; you being the Sandman of the Night while I’m the Morning Sun.

In this playground we meet again, ill-advised we wage war again, to see who reigns supreme, to see who stands tall when the dust settles down again.

All I can say at the end is that one day we shall meet again, away from this playground and its meshes while it rains.

One day we shall meet, where the World fades away and the dark crimson line between us turns pale.

One day, You and I shall be Friends.

~ Happiness.

The Goddess’s UTOPIA

The din of our day to day lives suddenly gets usurped by the rumble of the clouds while the lightning bolts scurry through the cloudy sky. The nonchalant passer-byes tread upon but one mind detaches and fancies a thought process; “the clouds float oh-so peacefully through the sky but even they need to roar so as to usher in the rains.”
Muddy, convoluted lanes encroached upon by in-numerous thatched sheds comprising of wooden frameworks waiting to be touched by the artisan’s hands that will mould the frameworks of clay into incarnations of The Deity. The pot-hole ridden lanes crowded upon by amateur hands holding various models of cameras to capture that holy moment when her eyes are sketched and drawn which is fabled to bring Her into Life!
The magnanimous idol situated in the southern part of the city attracts an endless sea of visitors, who brave the sweltering heat and the various hurdles that our beloved city’s traffic has to offer, only to catch a glimpse of the idol that towers over the surroundings and to see whether those countless slogans of ‘Eto boro? Sotti?’ were merely false propaganda or had any truth in them; while the necessitous maker of that very graven image wanders about, searching for an idol of that very same deity, only the puniest version which befits and is in-sync with his stature.
He hopes to find one so that he can look into the eyes of his own goddess who’s glimmering eyes wait patiently for her beloved father in torn little frocks with a sickly smile.
“What a hapless father am I? And what an unlucky daughter is she? I help create these colossal statues for people I barely know but for Her, my Angel, I can do no better than this.”
It is fabled that this deity had been created by combining the virtues and strenghts of the most powerful Gods and Goddesses so as to defeat the Asuras; an army of devils who were granted immense power by the very Gods and Goddesses they rebelled against. This deity, Maa Durga had single-handedly (actually she possessed ten hands) defeated the leader of the Asuras and taken his life. This moment is the one brought alive through the idols. Peace had been restored and humanity could grow and head to where we all stand today.
God created humans; Humans created Religion and Religion created various faces of the Supreme Power or the Almighty. Which face to worship? Which one to frown upon? Where to kneel down and solemnly pray? A Mandir? A Masjid? Or the Church?
Where should this father go and pray? Where should he offer flowers, sheets covered with rose petals or candles so that his daughter does not have to face such impecuniousity?
Humans are believed to be the foremost species of life to have ever graced this planet. I do implore the “finest creations” to try and answer the questions that darted out of this meandering mind.

  “All you need in this Life.. is a hand outstretched for you.”

Folded hands address that same deity who once rid this planet from the ghastly terrors of the Asuras, who stood alone in the face of danger and defeated Evil. She brought us out of that peril, I hope she can see how many hands are outstretched for Her to grasp and pull them out of this delusional place which she vehemently fought for once. I hope she hears this father’s prayers and see his daughters tears. I hope this time when she returns back to her husband; she makes sure there are no more hands that are left outstretched for her to grasp!

Lugar Profano o Paraíso de Bibliófilos?

‘Where are you? Where the hell are you? I’m just going to try and finish whatever you are!’  a voice rattles from the pathway leading to the chamber. The magnanimous house drenched in white with an eerie atmosphere around it! A paranormal experience enthusiast’s delight!
The Belvedere House; the enchanting presence that has it’s delirious entrapment ready to baffle and play with our meandering minds!

‘Someone there? Help me out!’

The chamber in the ground floor sealed from the above and bricked up at the entrance through an unique archway. No trapdoors or openings yet a sudden chill runs down anyone’s spine walking through this passageway with an inexplicable feeling of being followed. The guide says that it served as a torture chamber for prisoners during Lord Belvedere’s reign and has never been opened since. The voice fades away but the absurd thoughts carry on. Book lover’s Paradise? Or the safe haven of something Unholy?

Ville de joie

The train enters the station and slows down. The familiar voice greeting new passengers comes floating through the open windows. Sleepy eyes are awakened, luggages are pulled and settled, the elders are counting the number of heads again vividly and then as the platform comes into sight, everyone gushes towards the gates like someone has opened a tap and the water is gushing towards it! The ‘arey’, ‘uff’, ‘dada ektu shorun na’, ‘egiye jan”; start off with the pushing and grunting and somehow everyone on board manage to get out. The station is huge, strewn with hawkers and coolies ready to jump on you to offer their respective commodities. It’s a long walk to the entrance yet there is almost no unnecessary commotion other than a family’s occasional loud bargaining with the coolies or some people carrying huge cartons along the platform shouting ‘shorun, side deben’. The station resembles the good old ‘9 ¾’ platform and straight off its evident that the only description given by the tourists about the City of Joy is spot on; it is truly a timeless beauty that has forgotten to adopt the new exuberance of the other metropolitan cities but chooses to be draped in her age-old cloak of conjuration! No wonder the British chose it to be the Capital of India, no one can disagree that the Englishmen have great taste!

The old clock tower reads six o’clock. As soon as someone takes the first step out of Howrah station, one can see the daily bustle across the city even during the wee hours of the day. In the age of Olas’ and Ubers’, getting a taxi from the pre-paid booth is an ordeal though it perfectly befits the city’s knack of keeping the old charm intact! The sea of yellow taxis instantly takes you back in time. The taxi takes you inside the city over the Ganges through the colossal structure known for its architectural prowess called the Howrah Bridge and the pavements are filled with enthusiastic runners, people treading along and little kids running here and there playing with cycle tyres. The seemingly endless river takes your breath away and the sudden gush of cold wind sends a quick shiver but as the sun comes up, the city bathes in sunlight and the vermillion sky seems to be in sync with those pundits and pujaris around the ghats and small temples starting up the day with loud mantras and myriad pujas murmuring different incantations and prayers.

The roads are strewn with cars but unlike other metro cities, this retro city still has hand-pulled rickshaws and trams. The buildings are picturesque, depicting the heritage of the city and they stand proof to the evolution of the world. The city can be easily divided into the north, the south and the central and the people residing in the city along with a person who’s completely new can see the differences between them. It is said that Kolkata is only about Bangalis or Bengalis but it is quite strange that this city has so many different types of people living together that it perfectly depicts the true sovereignty that our country was meant to portray. Different cultures, religions, caste and creed form this city and don’t be amazed to see a Marwari or a Punjabi speaking fluently in Bengali and a Bengali speaking the Punjabi language perfectly!

The city is like a holy ground with dozens of temples scattered all over it. Hordes of people appearing everyday to offer pujas to their respective deities. The two of the biggest temples are the Kalighat temple and the Dakhineswar temple but what’s the most appealing part of this city is the innumerable numbers of mosques, dargahs, gurudwaras and even churches. The religiousness of the people here beats that of any other city. Kolkata celebrates every festival as its own and the people celebrate it pompously.

The one thing that the people of Kolkata love almost as much as festivals is food! This city is a form of paradise for foodies. Starting from their very own Bengali cuisine and ranging till Continental; this city has revolutionized outdoor dining. This city houses some of the biggest hotels and restaurant chains and it has its very own China town which serves the best Chinese dishes fathomable. It doesn’t stop there as the city boasts of Indian restaurants that are fabled to have recipes coming down directly from the Mughals themselves! Already hungry? Desserts are still left! evil smile
The one thing synonymous to Kolkata and Bangalis is ‘Mishti’. Trust the people of this city to make sure your meal ends at an absolute high, the sweets and confectionery items found here are unparalleled. From ‘doi’ (curd) to ‘Payesh’; every person who has ever been to Kolkata knows that it is the Food capital of India! It is customary for every Bengali mom to make payesh for her child on his/her birthday!

During the day; the city is like a machine that keeps working despite heat, thunderstorms or unbearable cold! People commute all over the city for their respective jobs but if anyone ever needs any help, be rest assured that you shall have more than one person to help you out. Being experts about roads, every person residing in this city has a unique knack of helping someone who’s confused about directions. If you ask one person for directions; it is a given that more than one person will start bombarding you with directions!

At night; the city puts on a shroud of mysteriousness. The lanes seem like the deep, profound and enchanting eyes of a lover who never expressed much yet expressed alot! The whole atmosphere and vibe of the city changes at night and even places that are the most crowded during the day have a strange vagueness surrounding them at night. The quietness unnerves even the soul that is deeply searching for solitude. The mystic aura envelops this city and enthrals every soul that treads upon it.

The city perfectly depicts its women. Mild yet tough. Strong yet poignant. Calm yet unnervingly impatient. This city loves those who love her yet sometimes it breaks a few hearts for no visible reason. The women, like this city follow their main Goddess and during Astami when they get all decked up in sarees for their respective ‘premiks’; every guy can see a reflection of Goddess Durga in her! And if you witness the spectacle known as ‘Sindoor khela’ on the last day of Durga pujo, be rest assured that the whole imagery will stay with you till the very end.

This piece is not about what to find or do in Kolkata but to simply to try and describe my ineffable city in my own words. Kolkata – the city of Joy, which has experienced a lot of sorrow yet it stands like a timeless enigma, fearful of oblivion but fairly certain that the world will never forget the land of the poets, singers and dancers who showed the world how painfully beautiful life can be.

“Like a candle burning on both ends; my city is nothing but a spectacular and gorgeous mess.”

There’s much more than a match!

As I scroll down my news feed; I see something that is peculiar yet quite palatable. I see countless posts; memes, videos and even status updates regarding a cricket match. Let me rephrase that, THE cricket match! It is the most exciting encounter of any given tournament. An encounter that is not just limited to the field but which has a direct connection to tens of thousands of heartbeats sprawled across two nations; two nations that have earned an infamous reputation of being used as synonyms to conflict, war, despair and animosity. Two nations who have subjected their populations to countless battles and unnecessary violence. Two nations that have fought like siblings bickering over who is more beloved to their mother. They justify by saying that it is not just a match but it is an emotion! Basking over a few consecutive victories and making the mistake of identifying oneself as invincible is not an emotion but simply hypocrisy! A sportsman is not supposed to be affected by any personal or national prejudice while playing for their respective countries but what can a team possibly do if the very people they represent are so whimsical and frenzied that all of their attention is focused on the possible outcome of their match and the repercussions that’ll follow! How patriotic of us to subject our players to such magnanimous pressure before a game that has such paramount importance; not because of who the opponent is but because it is the final match which the team has reached after going through extreme amounts of hard work and training?

To all those baffled minds who fail to grasp this; I have but one thing to say, we need not be patriotic only when it’s the 15th of August or the 26th of January or when we play against Pakistan. If patriotism is what you want to showcase, do it by bettering your country rather than by demeaning another country’s sportsmen. The game that our country is synonymous to doesn’t need this kind of orchestrated chaos and disparagement.

It is not only about a match tomorrow or which team wins and who gets the Man of the match award; tomorrow is the day we celebrate those who have single – handedly won every Man of the match award in the innumerable matches that life had to offer! Tomorrow is the day to recognize the Clark Kent’s in our lives who have been our Superman all along. Tomorrow is the day to acknowledge all the Bruce Wayne’s in our lives who have been switching into whosoever we need them to be; may it be the suave cool dad in front of friends or the chiding Dark Knight who silently swallows our anger and subjects themselves to harm just to protect us! Tomorrow is more important for that bald, pot-bellied man sitting beside you watching the same news over and over again! Tomorrow is the day you are a Son/Daughter first and a convenient patriot later! Cheers to the reason why we had a chance to see this final and all the myriad things we lay our eyes upon! Thank you for making sure we had a Real Superhero to look up to when the facade of cartoons and comic books broke.

To Every Father, Dad, Daddy, Papa, Dadzyy, Paaaa out there.. HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!