poem

Break

As the innumerable specs of dust

Adorns the dark walls of the sky

Countless the bubbles dancing, desperate 

To fly away from the water — ferocious

The scatter of ants buzzing away

As you drop into their equilibrium

The sandy rocks that roll down in haste

From atop the bite into the cookie

The blot of resilient colour in water 

Dismembered; piercing into molecules

The one white that paves light 

Torn apart to a band of seven 

Lying sharp, filled with glistens

From the past that as you step; slices 

Into you, leaving stained footprints

My heart that bleeds sugary syrup

Bite into the jalebi’s orange circles

Every step ahead that pulls you back 

The aroma that refuses to exit nose

Pictures dance past you — out of reach

The decibles that echo through ears

Shattering the bloody glass walls, weak

What keeps me alive. Today. 

Illustrations by Sitara VS ©
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poem

Geometry 

A lost trapezium with my sides

In this vast blue globe

Trotting away from stares from 

Each corner of the circle

At my uneven sides. 

The elephant in the room

That makes you so uncomfortable

The heat is unbearable, but they wait 

For the right moment — hit the iron 

When it’s hot. So I get curves; on point 

Tangible but incongruous, push me away

Laugh at my diagonals, and angles 

For circles do not possess them.

You envy, as I unaware, try

To build the facade required to fit

Bury myself. Once. Twice. Always.

Disperse away every segment 

From my lines, once well defined.

Perish, though what fault of mine?

Decided that all should abandon 

Then life, allow me first. 

Illustration by Sitara VS
poem

Haze

Loop around that pulls tighter

To things unsure of in this world

Hazy memories of the undefined,  once 

What had been water clear

The journey this path leads

Knows not anybody, even itself

Yet it carries on and on, a routine 

All those who want to break away

Perhaps does bring back very 

Lack in clarity to be avoided

Is it best to let be when even 

Thoughts rebel the greatest thinkers? 

Of what we think we have, but do we? 

Eloping with fears will perhaps 

Only lead to the be avoided

Boundless beyond this circle, I do not own

The first or last particle. Minds intertwined. 

Real and unreal, the illusion of the treasure 

All things at the perusal of time

That cannot be captured but in frames

Within minds of those have not forgotten

Lay my head, smiling in this smoke

Assured, in peace, that it need not fade away. 

Haze. (Image: Geo Paul)
family, movie

Why I Should Maybe Stop Watching Horror

And also movies where you have”suspenses”. 

Last Saturday, VJ let us engage in the Conversations about Cinema, and it was super fun. Everybody had stories to tell, but I forgot so many of my own. And that class brought back so much of them. 

I have often been scolded by my friends for spoiling the suspense, which I manage to guess. And there’s this thing I have for animation movies – because I feel they’re like dreams. Anything and everything can happen. 

I don’t remember when exactly I had first seen my horror movie. But then maybe, it doesn’t start with a movie at all? 

The earliest memory I have of anything ‘horror-ish’ is perhaps this weird serial I used to watch with my grandpa and cousins. This is something that happened only at my mom’s house. The room would be dark, lights off and all those trees would be peeking in through those old fashioned grilled windows. I don’t remember the name or the story at all; it has a couple and a yakshi I think. I don’t even remember how old I was – seven or eight? My grandpa used to watch, and we used to sit with him. Somehow, the idea of getting scared didn’t scare us, instead it might as well as have excited us. But one of my cousins was a little hesitant to look at the TV; she had the habit of peeking through the gaps in between the fingers of her hand – which covered her face – so that she would be terrified, but still not miss any part of it at the same time. The same cousin would, years later, sit with me to watch Paiyaa, fast forwarding through all the songs and the fight scenes – it’s a Tamil movie. 

Years later, my grandfather had passed away. The four of us were together in that house after years, for the rituals. And one night, we were in his bedroom discussing the movie ‘Mirrors‘. Well not really discussing, since we hadn’t watched the movie. I had just seen that one scene where the hero’s sister dies, and decided I’ll watch the movie in leisure – from the beginning- the next time. The eldest one, S, then continued to narrate the story. And I helped her scare the other two. And after this, I don’t remember why exactly  – we (S and I) had to step out of the room. It was dark out there, since our mothers were at some other corner of the house. We had to go to S’s room – she lived with her mother and grandpa – to take something. She was searching in the dark, so was I. But then she turned on the lights (on purpose) , and I was standing right in front of the dressing mirror. I had an exciting heart attack, after which we started giggling. We went back to the room and terrified the other two, reminding them that reflections were enough. 
I have perhaps become used to watching horror movies, and writing horror was a much later addition. I had watched Conjuring 2 in theatre, and that was the first horror movie I saw in a theatre. I had planned to go with my two BBFs – Bangalore Best Friends, S and P. 

The movie was, in many ways funny. And there were so many people commenting aloud – even us perhaps. But my classmates had perhaps praised it so much, that I had placed the movie high in expectations. So much that, no matter how scary the movie was, it would still not be scary enough for me. It was maybe unfair of me to do so. But then, it was a beautiful movie -mind blowing I would say. 
I have already written about how to write horror stories. Or rather how I write themI’ve always wondered what somebody expects from a horror movie. Many a times, almost half of the horror effect is lost when you’re watching it on TV. But you can still recreate it to an extent – lights off at midnight that leaves just you and the movie. Shefali says horror films bore her; and I sort of agree with her. It doesn’t bore me, but if you’ve already watched the movie, then you lose the advantage of the ‘surprise’ element. And also, there are movies with a lot of blood shed – killing people or butchering them, piranhas or sharks eating you. All these would never fall into my idea of horror. A little bit is perhaps inevitable, but usually such movies disgust me. 

I guess I’ve always been interested in the stories they tell, even if most of the time it is incomplete. And at times barely there. And this is not just for horror movies. We all keep watching a movie again and again and again. For instance, I don’t remember when exactly I had first seen Manichithrathazhu, but I know that every time after that I haven’t changed the channel if they’re playing the movie. My parents don’t let me see the movie in peace (or in pieces) as they start reciting dialogues as if the Bhoot has got them. And then, I join them. 

Alone, horror fiction

The Staircase

I ran and ran, but it kept going round and round. It didn’t have an end. My hands were burnt each time I caught the railing for support. The higher I went, the tighter it clutched.
One hot afternoon, I stood there staring at the staircase.

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horror fiction, short story

The Light

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Triiiiinnnggg Triiiiinnnggg.
Triiiiinnnggg Triiiiinnnggg.

2:09 a.m.? Seriously? Who’s calling me now?
It was my best friend, who was sleeping in the adjacent room. I picked it up.

“Is this some kind of joke? If it is… ” , I said.

“Don’t take the charger off, keep it on. Please. ” she said.

I withdrew my hand from the charger immediately. Her tone was serious and urgent.

“Is everything alright ?”I asked, getting up from my bed – my hands searching for the light switch.

She replied :
“Listen to me carefully, stay still. Don’t move and no matter what don’t turn on -”
Click.

the light.”

Triiiiinnnggg Triiiiinnnggg. Triiiiinnnggg Triiiiinnnggg. Triiiiinnnggg Triiiiinnnggg. Triiiiinnnggg Triiiiinnnggg.

You have one missed call.

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poem

Knowledge Behind Bars

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This room is a cube, imagine.
Thinking beyond that cube is a sin,
I wonder why they do what they do
Like they say for those who
Want knowledge sincerely,
Or those who make them wealthier regularly?
What is shared here, wisdom or just shortcuts;
Deals that destroy your very guts?

The dusty corridors the ghosts abandoned,
In the midst of chaos, they leave you stranded –
Against their promises and assurances.
They’ll only widen your differences.
The deities of the orthodox world they built,
The course of the river never in the hands of the silt.
Your life defined by their rules, and terms.
Your thoughts, and food infected by their worms.
The seed of fear they will have sown,
And since then you shall never own,
That life you thought was yours,
Those choices you thought were yours.
Your true self , never again will you find.
For once in, you’ll be trapped in your own mind.

They’ll feed you sciences from beyond the stars,
But what use of such knowledge behind bars?

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