Friday, November 28, 2008

The Storyteller.

You sit at the newly rusted window every morning, watching the sun lick up the night in flames and write stories for noone to read. You hardly go home these days; the mirth and the familiarity scares you. You like your city in your stories where you can dress it up in your favourite colours. Your hair smells like the tar of this city and your stories carry the fragrance of the hills that you've visited around a million times in your dreams. Wish you were here plays in the background while you scribble your heart out in the folds of the night. The city takes you in. It is almost chaotic how you toss and turn at night. Sleepless nights. Maddening poetic nights. You see faces float in front of your eyes - some known, others never seen and some like clumsy collages. There are brittle words in your mind, words that break and shatter on paper giving your stories jagged endings. And, all you do is wish you wouldn't kill your stories that way.

On some days, you leave your windowside to venture out into the moonlight. All you carry are tunes in your head, a tiny red notebook to record the tunes and your dusty ol' camera to capture those tunes in frames. She does look the type who likes being alone. She is her own friend. Nah! She isn't lonely, just a soul who enjoys her solitude. Noone understands that alone and lonely are two different words. Noone knows that you force the loneliness down your throat. The city wraps you up in its anonymity, and you probably enjoy that. You like sitting under the clutter of the stars and chant words in your mind.. and write more stories. More often than not, the city's lifelessness kills the storyteller inside you until you find another fragile muse. Sometimes you take yourself back to your city, travelling through memories in metro rides and homemade brew. But you don't miss home. Your mouth already tastes like this city. Time to leave this city, you ask yourself. You are finding home here. There are people reading your stories, understanding every word, every expression even though you're trying hard to hide them under your eyelids. You're changing, dear. Becoming like the city itself and it isn't fair. I should run away, you tell yourself.

I see you from a distance now. You are penning today's stories down onto the red notebook, filling in details about your latest muse, your beau, whose fragrance is still fresh in your memory from last night's fervent lovemaking. Even the whirls of cigarette smoke and the cup of evening brew speaks of the words that you silently bleed in. I know you will stare into the mirror soon after and wonder what happened to all those days that you've left behind. Buried under those parchments of stories?

I'm amused at your change. Almost a little shocked at how the purple of your eyes have turned a greyish hue. You're becoming the city. The city has swallowed you, storyteller. I still cannot believe you are me. You are me in another city.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Vagabond Has A Family.

When I first came here, I had a preconceived notion that there are no friends like school friends. After all, noone can ever substitute the fourteen long years of running through the colonial corridors and ending up with bruised knees, scrambling through the serenity of the green fields, and those numerous little fights.. those tears and the wildwild laughter that is still a part of our alma mater. No wonder I kept to myself during the initial days when I came here. The headphonic idiotic, you guys call me. :P I would have probably been this detached had I not met you people. Now I can proudly say that I have a set of friends here who are not just friends - they are my family.

I'm really touched at whatever you people have done yet. (yes yes, I'm sentimental :) ) You people piss me off sometimes, yes and I feel like killing you, not talking to you and hiding away into my shell again. But I know you five will be there whenever I need you ( even when I don't need you, for that matter :P ). Right from running to get coffee when I was choking on my breath to getting food for me when I'm all hungry and can't move because I've an injured knee or a temperature.. to sending a teener tiffin box full of muree when I have pet'e baetha.. even tolerating my mood swings and the bangalar paanch'r moton mukh that I make sometimes. :P I was awestruck at how you all were so concerned when I injured myself the other day. * clumsy me *. I had never expected that you mind wasting the entire morning and half of yesterday afternoon just to take me to a doctor and get the wound dressed. :) I'm so touched that I can't even express in words.

Thank you for this family that I have found in the lifeless godforsaken city...

Friday, November 14, 2008


I visited the purple hills today. Well, almost. With my roommate for a morning walk. We didn't go far because there were plenty of frustrated faces in the wee hours of morning, and we certainly didn't want to get into trouble. The hills weren't as purple as I had thought them to be. And, they had no stories scribbled on them as I had imagined. Just a mesh of green, rocks and boulders. Just an endless, infinite road with no destination. A turn here and a meandering there. And a few love notes in chalk made on the road by couples eloping, perhaps. Deepak loves Priya. Or were there other names too? They are making a school near the hills too. A kind of shabby looking building it seems to me. It looks to me like a school out of Enid Blyton books. All it needs is red paint, a very strict principal and a couple of teenagers hungry for adventure.

They say there isn't much to do in this city. It's dead. Has no life of its own. Yet, as I walked on today, I found life in the purple hills. A life still undiscovered. Waiting to be found out by wanderlust. Waiting to be devoured by an odd traveller. The roads are stories. The Pied Piper that leads the way, and promises never to come back again. The hills are full of a music, a fragrance of wanderlust, of meanderings of the mind. And it scars the skin.. burns into the soul, the music, the fragrance and it explodes in your mind like a tinybluestar in the sky.

And, I tried to bury a part of me in those hills knowing well that I'll go there again and again and there will be feeble screams of me from there too. From the part left there.

The hills are alive with the sound of music, and with a story newly etched with my footprints and a childish laughter among the trees.

Saturday, November 8, 2008


you live in this half-dead city
like a vagabond.
burn, burn, burning
like cigarette smoke in the casing air.
in the dead goodbyes of the night.
stopping at the chaiwallah's,
and breathing the serenity of the
purple hills at two am,
burying another day's story
in the papercup brew.

you burn, burn, burn
in the sepia stardust
of this old, merciless town.
thinking about the old bookshop
off our old city, a few photographs
with your newly-found friends,
and an unfamiliar scent that this city
has gifted you.

while parts of you are being
gnawed away by the night,
nibbled by the glistening stars
that eat away into the clouds,
i write dead letters to you.
knowing well that the words
are not meant to be.
crumpled sheets of words
kissed by the moonlight,
while you burn away.
in the city's glowing passion
and your throat still deliriously dry.

you live in this city
like a vagabond.
it nauseates you to be here long.
yet you burn away.
you let yourself be trapped
by the music that plays
in your head.

and someday i'm sure you'll run away.
run away to another part
of your mind
and burn away the memories
of this place.
you'll dissolve into the crowds
of the new town,
refusing to learn their mothertongue.
it gives you a high when
you cannot decipher words.
a kind of freedom, you cannot explain.

you'll leave someday, i know
with your black backpack.
burning away. like you did today.