Ceaseless

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You know those things that have no beginning or end? That you imagine to be an intricately threaded yet chaotic web of destinies and fates surrounding the universe, your universe? Those things that appear to be nothing and everything, all at the same time?

That’s how I look at you and me.

Was there ever any love between us? Here? In my head? In another world? Because sometimes when I think about you, waves upon waves of a warm feeling washes over me. Like an overwhelming sea grasping my arms with reckless abandon and then soothing my frenzied skin with it’s surprisingly gentle touch, lapping over my fingers and toes, filling my pores with all the calm of the ocean. But then, just a moment later, the water recedes and you fall away with it, leaving just as unexpectedly as you’d swept into my life, like a mirage I struggle to hold onto, running my lost fingers through the wet, disorienting sand. It sticks to me, that sand, and refuses to let go. It numbs my fingers and reminds me of the absence of your calming ripples. And just when I give up hope of ever meeting with you again, you swell forth and drown me under a tsunami of feelings.

And yet I question if it’s really love. Or ever was.

How can I say I fell in love, when I never really met you? When I knew you long before I knew myself? When I can never pinpoint a day, an hour, a second in my life and yours when I fell for you?

This warmth in my heart, rising up in my chest and bursting out of my heart, it’s always been there. A lifelong companion to my uneven breath. Not a ‘falling in love’, absolutely not. That’s supposed to be much more, isn’t it? That’s supposed to begin somewhere. On some long, laughter-filled summer night, under our blanket of silly stories; in a hot cup of coffee, shared, like in a classic teen movie; in a song danced to in the rain, drenched in new sensations and unspoken confessions; that’s how we’re supposed to fall in love.

But we never did.

Then why do I circle back to you every time, like a frustrated traveller who’s lost his way? Why does the warmth never leave my veins, no matter how far behind you leave me? Why do my hands always search for yours in a dark room? Why do I still long for the waves?

You know those things that have no beginning and no end?

That’s you and I. And our ceaseless story of unlove and waves.

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Ballerina

 

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Pirouetting,

Dancing,

Twirling on her toes –

The little girl,

Eyes closed,

Sways to the notes.

Innocent,

Unadulterated,

Incandescent happiness –

Swirling,

Whirling,

A passionate giddiness.

Floating,

Glowing,

Her pure, angelic charm –

Playful,

Graceful,

In her outstretched arm.

~Diksha

Threads

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Gentle to the touch,

Practically invisible,

They strung us,

You and I, strangely –

In unspeakable bonds,

Created by knots –

A match that was heavenly.

They tangled together

Our shaky fingers,

Tripped us on our

Unsteady toes suddenly

And then as we laughed,

At the coincidence of it all,

Drew us to each other effortlessly.

Like secret strands,

That bound us at birth,

Guiding us down similar paths,

They brought me to you subtly,

And I watched in my wonder

How they made you fall for me

While I fell in love with you slowly.

~Diksha

A Long Day

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Like clockwork,

I wake at four each night

And lay there, gasping,

Waiting

For that first ray of sunlight.

 

Tired, fatigued,

I slowly rise

To look in the mirror

And tell myself,

It’s going to be all right.

 

I labour through

Another day;

Try harder

And harder still,

Determined, obstinate,

Full of spite,

Refusing to give up

Without a fight.

 

As the evening

Grows darker

And my limbs

Grow weaker

And my heart drowns again

Under waves of fright,

The chances

Grow slimmer

Of even a brief respite.

 

For the day is drawing

To another close

And the moon is rising

To another height

And my hopes of escaping

The darkness in my soul

Are slowly becoming

More and more slight.

 

Now, once again,

I must return to my bed;

Now, once again,

I must face my nightmares;

Now, once again,

I must hope that I win

And be freed

From this eternal plight.

~Diksha

About You

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One thousand,

Three hundred and

Eighty six times

She thinks of you

In a single day.

Tapping her foot,

Chin in hand, biting the end

Of her favourite pen,

She wonders and wonders

And wonders about you.

From hate to love, exasperation

To adoration, every turn

Of her heart dances –

Dances and dances and dances –

Entangled and caught up in you.

And yet

When it comes to words –

Words to explain…

To confess, to profess –

Words it is that fail her.

For how to string together

Sentences, how to choose symphonies

Sweet enough to confess,

To express, to address

That which she cannot say?

Which poem, which letter,

Which book can she write;

Which lyric, which ballad,

Which song can she sing

In which words does her love’s truth lay?

And her pen that spewed letters –

Millions and millions and millions of letters –

Can recreate anything,

Anything but

How she feels for you.

And damn you,

You oblivious, silly little human

For failing to hear that

Which was never spoken,

Never hinted, never expected.

Damn you

For never suspecting that

Which was always expertly

Concealed, always veiled,

Always disguised and always hidden.

Perhaps, one day

She’ll write you a song,

A poem, a ballad,

A letter

Or a sonnet.

But until then she’ll sit,

Tapping her foot,

Chin in hand,

Wondering and wondering

And wondering about you.

~Diksha

The Story of Two

Dots. Ink blots.

Letters. Connections.

Words. Meanings.

Sentences. Feelings.

 

Endings. Beginnings.

 

Stormy skies. Calm oceans.

Gentleness. Explosions.

Brown. Yellow.

Autumn. Spring.

Buds. Flowers.

 

Nothing. Everything.

 

Stories. Songs.

Here. There.

Quiet. Bright.

Smiles. Laughs.

Dimmers. Spotlights.

 

Fingertips. Palms.

Smoke. Touch.

Breath. Life.

 

So little. So much.

An. The.

Me. You.

~Diksha

 

The Sun and the Moon

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At dawn, our lovelorn eyes meet;

Can you hear my raging heartbeat?

 

In a misty room, we pass each other,

And yet, as Fate would have it –

Miles apart from each other.

 

With Clouded emotions

And a heavy sense of duty,

We part, while the light

Masks your ethereal beauty.

 

Morning changes to noon

And noon to evening,

While I toy with the idea

Of a clandestine meeting.

 

The Children wouldn’t see

And Mother wouldn’t know;

Soft, pearly curtains shall be

The lone spectators to the show.

 

My heart hammers again,

And I let my heart fill with fascination

As I think of the scandalous contrast

Your calm’d be to my desperation.

 

You are the eternal glow

That melts the heart of many;

While I, the destroyer

Cannot look into the eyes of any.

 

And so I wait

As you appear at dusk again

Floating amongst the clouds

With your usual nightly brigade.

 

Your twinkling comrades

Surround you protectively;

And like an embarrassed lover,

Without a word, I flee.

 

Sleep eludes me

As I pace in frustration,

And stare at you longingly,

Battling an age-old sensation.

 

But Fate never meant

For us to be together;

So we can do little but lament –

Be star crossed forever.

 

And so at dawn again,

Our eyes shall meet;

And I shall wonder again

If you can hear my heartbeat.

 

In a misty room,

We’ll pass each other;

And yet, like always,

Miles apart from one another.

~Diksha

Tainted

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First glance.

Knee-jerk:

From his gaze, she must shirk.

Second exchange.

Still scared:

She would not be ensnared.

Third day.

Doubt grows:

To every stranger, a little trust she owes.

Fourth look.

Hesitant smile:

He seems like a friend for a while..

Fifth time.

Say hi:

He has to be a nice guy.

Sixth smile.

Tainted touch:

She flees from the hands that clutch.

Seventh hell.

Weapon ready:

She approaches their spot with resolve unsteady.

Eighth day.

No show:

Her attacker has left her to her woe.

Ninth year.

Undying plea:

Someone peel off the skin where he touched me.

Tenth time.

Opens mouth:

But still feels dirty and uncouth.

Eleventh stranger.

Unending distrust:

Every man is guided by lust.

Twelfth night.

Sleepless eyes:

I will not rest until he dies.

~Diksha

#3 A Fairytale Holi: An Illusory Hamesha

The fresh air from the window seemed to clean his head of the residual effects of the bhaang and recollection came slowly.

         He couldn’t believe he’d let himself lose control like that. Submitted himself to her mercy like that. She was his enemy. And he’d let her see his weakest side.

         Arnav’s hands clenched into fists at the sound of his bedroom door opening. The tinkling of her payal. The clinking of her bangles. And then the door was closed again.

         Motionless.

         They both stood silently in their places for an infinite moment.

         And then Arnav turned to glare at her.

         The crystal-like tear streaming rapidly down the cheek he had stroked less than an hour ago, stopped him dead in his tracks.

         Pain shot through his chest and his heart clenched in torment.

         And when she raised her moisture laden eyes, he forgot everything. Everything she said. Everything he heard.

         Everything he’d felt before this moment.

         He staggered towards her for the second time that day. But unlike before, his fingers were not hesitant while finding hers. Nor was his other hand tentative as it brushed against her cheek, wiping away the offensive tear.

         And yet again with the silent question.

         Humaare dil…?

         He nodded reassuringly. Ek ho jaate hain.

         And then he was lowering his face to hers, without knowing what he was doing. Maybe the bhaang hadn’t really worn off yet.

         He stopped within an inch of her mouth, looking carefully into her eyes, seeking her permission. She seemed entranced and frozen. Unlikely to make a move. So Arnav prepared to retreat, disappointment filling his heart.

         But then her head moved infinitesimally towards his and as soon as he caught the movement, his mouth went crashing against hers.

         Hearts stopped. Then thundered.

         One took a sharp intake of breath and the other sighed.

         Hands rose to cup each other’s face.

         Lips danced.

         Breaths mingled.

         And time… seemed to cease existing.

         She kissed him with hesitation, then reckless abandon. With eagerness and long suppressed tenderness. With relief and a funny acidity.

         He kissed her with hesitation, then in a desperate search for reassurance. With eagerness and long-suppressed desire. With relief and a growing giddiness.

         When they broke apart for breath, Arnav felt like his world had turned a complete one-eighty. For the first time, he doubted his initial judgement.

         Opening his eyes to gaze reverently at Khushi’s flushed face, he wondered if their kiss had cleared his head of something more than the bhaang.

         And when she opened her eyes to reflect his fascinated look, he felt his resolve hardening.

         It wasn’t over yet. It could be alright. Perhaps she could be his. Perhaps there was more to the aisa kyun hota hai.” And he would find out what that more was.

         As he brushed his lips against hers for a second time, he decided to believe.

         Believe that maybe, maybe, hamesha wasn’t ruined yet. That maybe it was just hiding behind his curtain.

         Or behind Khushi’s yellow, translucent, fluttering dupatta.

 ~Diksha

#2 A Fairytale Holi: A Surreal Question

“Bataiye na… Aisa kyun hota hai?”

         The lump in Arnav’s throat was impossible to swallow. And Khushi’s helpless gaze impossible to look away from.

         It couldn’t be real.

         This moment.

         This feeling.

         Her question.

         Surely this was the product of his wishful thinking.

         Perhaps a manifestation of his stupor induced confusion.

         How well he knew ki aisa kyun hota hai.

         How desperately he wished ki aisa na hota.

         How dreadfully complicated things had become after he had realized ki aisa kyun hota hai.

         And now she was telling him ki aisa uske saath bhi hota hai?

         Khushi blinked sadly at him, waiting.

         And his heart was practically breaking.

         What difference did it make? If he told her? It wouldn’t change anything anyway. Would it? She wasn’t his.

         And he was a defeated man. At least where she was concerned. No amount of fighting would change his feelings for her. No number of cutting, mean words would make him hate her. So he might as well submit. Might as well confess his crime.

         Because what else was it but a crime? He had known love was nonsense. And yet, he had let himself fall for her. And now he was paying the price. Enduring his punishment. He had her within his arm’s reach. And she still wasn’t his.

         Arnav swallowed thickly, looking at the girl with a regretful intensity. The heat of his gaze made his eyes water. And simultaneously, so did hers.

         A catalytic reaction.

         That’s how they’d always been.

         She moves, he moves.

         He moves, she moves.

         She wasn’t his.

         But they were tied. With a thousand threads. Fine, like the strings of a spider’s web. They wound around their fingers. They shimmered in the darkness where the monsters lurked. Monsters desperate to pry them apart.

         She wasn’t his.

         But she’d just said ki aisa uske saath bhi hota hai.

         Confusion muddled Arnav’s head. His reaction floated to the bottoms of his consciousness. The bhang zapped electricity into his limbs.

         His hand reached out to grasp her face. Warm fingers stroked her pillow-soft cheeks and blood rushed to them as her eyes followed the trail of his fingertips.

         His lips moved of their own accord.

         Aisa kyun hota hai?

“Main batata hoon ki aisa kyun hota hai.”   

~Diksha