Catastrophe.

 

Throats, dry.
Chests, burning.
Breathing…. impossible.

We are living the catastrophe we imagined.

The glossy textbook pages shouted warnings
Conventions and conferences
Pamphlets
And the internet all reached out
While Mother Earth suffered and cried in anguish

We are living the catastrophe we imagined.

I heard, I heard, I heard
I heard
And that’s all I did

I didn’t use the A.C. less
I didn’t carpool when I could
I saw those leaves burning
I saw
And that’s all I did

They taught me when I was a kid
Each one, plant one
I learnt and mugged and wrote in answer sheets
I wrote in answer sheets
And that’s all I did.

We are living the catastrophe we imagined.

Eyes, watering.
Skin, breaking.
Breathing…. impossible.

We are living the catastrophe we imagined.

We debated over who did it
You first, I later
We ran behind development
Important, yes, but at what cost?

We are living the catastrophe we imagined.

2012 didn’t happen
2017 did happen
I watched the movies
I watched, I watched, I watched
And that’s all I did.

I was a kid
When I was last an environment activist
Then I grew up
You grew up

Life has been too fast-paced
To stop
To think
To do our part
To take a break
And remember
We would die.

We would die.

The next generation
Is not going to take care of it
You are not leaving a planet
For your kids
The way they asked you to worry
There is going to be
No planet
For your kids.

You are living the catastrophe you created.
We are living the catastrophe we created.

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Elixir.

Would you think me crazy if I told you,

That this story I recite is true?
It was one hell of a crazy night,
Mother and I had just had another fight.
I had stormed out in a fit,
I couldn’t think even for a bit.

Returned late night, with a crazy headache
I had finished two bottles, for gods’ sake.
Now you’d say I was hallucinating,
But I swear, I could hear it sing.

“Woah am I that drunk” I asked myself
But that looks like a little elf.
“What are you doing here dobby?”
“Oh you dumbo, I’m your doggy”

Oh and then I couldn’t stop my laughter,
I always drink too much, regretting after.
“You’re Timmy you say?
Haha” – I push the thought away.

“You interrupted my little song, master”
“Oh have I called upon disaster?”
That was a futile attempt at sarcasm,
For this creature had its own chasm.

I have a story to tell you, it said,
All I could utter was, “okay, go ahead”
Because even if I was only dreaming,
This seemed to be rather interesting.

The dog then told me that it was the Lord,
The other dogs worshipped it like I worshipped my God.
It told me his world had but one rule:
Never speak to your owner (apart from don’t drool)

Then why are you talking to me, I questioned
Because sir, by your spirit I was summoned.
“When?” I asked wondering about my supernatural power,
“When you mixed your Vodka in my water”

Ah – the things that elixir can do!
I waited for Timmy to then continue.
He told me how he was elected,
To be the Lord he was selected.

“They checked the poop that each dropped,
And the most brown in colour always topped.”
“Is that why you insisted to poop in the garden?”
“Yes – they could come and check then.”

“Oh and I thought you had a crush on that bitch —
You stared at her like she was the Lilo to your stitch”
Timmy then just looked at me like I was crazy,
“Honestly, master, let’s just confine to your human world – this stupidity.”

“We care about more than just that.
Oh and time’s running, final point– I’m getting fat
Please change the brand of the food you’re giving me,
And we need many more walks, don’t you agree?”

With that Timmy simply vanished
There was no point to what had just finished
But do you think me crazy when I tell you,
That this story I recite is true?

The Child.

On the prompt : Resident.

I live alone. Often when I come back from office after a long, tiring day, I like to sit down in my armchair in the veranda and read a book. My favourites always seem to be the fantasy fictions and the thrillers. I sit and read with a cup of badly brewed coffee because I’m dysfunctional in that way. Aren’t all of us millennials?

This started a few weeks ago. When I would come back and sit in the veranda in the late evenings, it would be calm and quiet except the slight chirp-chirping of the birds and the voices of the insects. Calm. Serene. I would read a while but when it started getting dark I would just sit there and let the cool breeze put in varied thoughts in my mind. That’s when, one day, I suddenly heard a child scream. A shrill, loud shriek. I tried to waver that off my mind by convincing myself it was coming from another house in the neighbourhood but I knew for a fact that there aren’t any young kids in this colony, just students and us working singles. I was tired. Must have been my imagination. I went inside and after watching a little TV and eating last night’s cold order-in, I dozed off. Had an early morning meeting the next day, and a thought like that was just a passing one.

Except that it happened again. And again. Until it started happening everyday and started getting worse. It was no more just a scream, it was a child crying, a helpless child asking me to pick him up and love him and this sound came from my house.

Then, it reached a new peak and I wasn’t able to recover from what I heard. This one evening I came back home late after having some drinks with my colleagues, it was Friday and mum was visiting the next day. When I was outside of home I thought less and less of that child hidden somewhere in my house and so, I tried to avoid home but came back to the same gothic sounds every evening.

As I was unlocking the door that Friday, I heard the child speak for the first time. It cried and cried and mentioned to me of how all his dreams were shattered when he woke up and everything he had imagined his life to be was no more that. He told me I was the only one who could help him, and I wondered how.

This went on for hours and I hid myself in the bedroom too scared to imagine what I would see if I stepped out and looked for the source of this sound. My blankets made me feel safe and I hid myself inside of those, still feeling cold, still scared, still hearing sounds.

Eventually the sounds died out and I dozed off too.

In the morning when mum came home, I told her everything expecting her to laugh at me, telling me that this was just another story my writer mind thought of, but I saw a look of horror on mum’s face. She immediately called a doctor.

Doctor? I laughed. What would a doctor do? Shouldn’t we be calling a priest or something?

Mum wouldn’t hear a word and she took me to this clinic where I found out the source of this crying.

There was indeed another resident in the house. A resident thriving inside of me.

Sweet Lyrics.

Of the thousands of faces that cross my vision everyday, yours seems to be etched. Always the most prominent image at the peripheries of my mind, and oftentimes, the very front. You left an imprint of your picture on my life, an imprint so permanent, no other man has been able to replace it.

I have loved you. Loved you so, that your footprint on my heart, although painful, is a footprint I would never wipe-off. I would never be able to do so.

The shadows of your existence have haunted me every minute since you left – your emails and the more traditional letters are my treasures, and I haven’t been able to delete the messages you and I once exchanged when we thought we were young lovers — lovers so engrossed in each other we forgot about everything real — we forgot our priorities in the worst possible way.

I had committed to you and my commitments are always the most significant paths to follow, but you knew what you wanted then and you did what was only for the best.

However you left a music ringing in my ears — a music with sweet lyrics of your pure love, for you loved me, you did, you just loved yourself a little bit more.

Young and Reckless

So happy to be featured 🙂

bluestockingsmh

by SHIREEN MANOCHA

WhatsApp Image 2017-08-07 at 20.27.40

On the prompt- “Three things he could never tell her…”

There were always so many stories he wanted to tell her, so much he wanted to confide in her. He wanted to sit her down and speak to her for hours and hours on end, but it was never the right time, or occasion.
Sometimes, he wanted to sit with her by the sea and stare at the horizon, saying nothing. On other times, he wanted to take her to his favourite restaurant, sit across her and tell her all of that he was unable to utter.

He particularly wanted her to know 3 things, 3 things that knocked at his mind every morning and did not let him sleep each night.

1. He first fell in love with the idea of her.

He wanted to admit to her that the idea of her was one that…

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Euthanasia.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock
Round and round goes the clock.

I’m growling, I’m suffering, I’m crying
It’s hurting, it’s paining, it’s killing
But I’m not dying.

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out
My soul is slipping with every cry, every shout
I’m not leaving, I’m still staying
I’m not dying.

Craving a hug from the grim reaper
But I push him away
This romance is not permitted
This romance is not accepted

I’m moaning, it’s paining, I’m hissing
But worry not
I’m not dying.

Our love story would not start
Death is waiting, I’m ready and willing
But I’m not dying.

I want to grab and hit and remove
All of these machines that make me feel alive
Alive but not really

I finally see the end line
The race was too long
But now my pace seems slower
Can’t wait to reach

I’m coming, I’m approaching, I’m trying
But wait —
How much ever I try
I’m not dying.

I’m not dying.

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock
Round and round goes the clock
With every tick I’m sighing
But wait,
I’m not dying.

He.

He looks like the sunset. His hair a lighter tone of the colour of his skin, and his eyes a calming amalgamation of crimson and hazel, he looks like the sun setting deep into the waters, making you stare at it for long, long evenings.

He sounds like honey. All his words weaving deep into each other forming sentences that are music to your ears, his voice is the voice of a flowing sweetness. He sounds like the crackling laughter of a baby, making you want to listen to more and more of the pointless stories.

He smells like new books. New books and the rain. He emanates the kind of smells that make you feel nostalgic and refreshed at the same time, he smells of untold tales and of memories of the past, and you want to sit there and inhale it deeply.

He is what perfection looks like, sounds like, smells like, to you. He has many a flaws and imperfections, pointed out by so many others, but you do not seem to notice them, and when you do actually notice them, you ask your mind to shut up and overlook them, because he resembles the waves of the aggressive ocean, that make you feel passionate and joyful at the same time.

He is yours.

Yours alone.