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 ©
Advertisements
poem

Dark

As light flees fast, past,

Rushes to our cover, envelope.

Plunge in the black sea, for the light 

At the end of its smooth horizons.

The color that ceased to live on,

To reflect the brightness in iris.

The one that disagrees with all —

Nevertheless brings out best in them;

Brings out the beauty in you.

The flakes of light against this despised one

Or the silent tide we yearn to drown?

Picture by Neha Menon ©
short story

Psychedelia 

     [First published in Sweek]

The Tyndall Beam

She squinted through the hand-lens of her makeshift camera, and followed the golden stairway descending down all the way to the wet Earth. She was wearing her favorite pink pajamas and blue T-shirt she always wore the second day of her stay. 
It was a part of a set of dress that had been kept aside in the Narnian wooden wardrobe, in her ancestral home. She remembers the day she had discovered her Narnia, right behind this house —much before the CS Lewis one.
She hadn’t gone there in a long time,and after the death of her Grandpa, she stopped her rare one day visits too.
She walked further into the woods, the damp mud covering her feet, taking in long aromas of the rain. 

“Ammmuu…”

She could hear a familiar faint melody, and she rushed back towards the house. Just as she was about to step into it, through the backdoor, she felt a tight slap on her left wrist —which was at the hinge of the door.

“Where are your manners? Wash your feet before you step into my house.” said Grandpa.

****************

Mirror Ball 

She runs off to wash her feet under a tap,and rushed into the house with a glee. Grandpa gives her a stern look before slightly smiling to himself. 

She was busy playing video games with her cousins at dinner—her mother running around with a plate feeding her. Then it was time to sleep. She could barely see her face in the mirror atop the washbasin. After she was done brushing her teeth, she jumped — barely managing to see a fragment of her face for a second. It was Grandpa’s mirror. 

She squiggled into the bed between her cousins and closed her eyes. Mosquitos kept sucking the blood off her,and she managed to kill a few in her sleep. Then she fell into deep sleep.

She was wearing a pretty black dress,and standing at the centre of something, but there was too much smoke in the air for her to ascertain. She looked up at what looked like a glimmery moon in the night sky, rotating at a high speed; her mouth exhausting clouds of smoke into it. She was in the middle of a crowd of zombies,moving with great random rhythm —strangers. 
Or were they? 

****************

Floored 

The music slapped her eardrums,and she almost lost her balance for a while. All around her were people,throwing their bodies at the music against the glimmery lights, like lightning piercing the night. She stared so hard into blurred faces, searching rigorously for some glimpse of recognition. 

As the music dropped to a distant subconscious level, she felt a vague sensation of elevation; her body moved involuntarily as it wished. She walked backwards slowly, drifting away from the crowd, when a voice absorbed her back with great force. 

“Where do uh think you’re going?”

A hand slipped around her waist, pulling her closer to a handsome face. She was unable to observe his features further, but she did feel her lips break into a smile. She danced. Danced like a three year old, as if nobody else were around. She jumped, and revolved. She flipped her head in all possible directions, her hair defying gravity. Tired she walked away, and took a seat. The guy followed, and asked her wha she’d like to have. She failed to recollect the last time people around her had been so nice to her. This new kindness from a stranger, which she couldn’t completely digest,made her suspicious. Did she know him? Were they together?

A random girl walked upto her with a glass, and started talking, as the curtains slowly went down. 

“…..Dance……ther..K…mm……” 

She woke up with a start, and still could feel the foggyness in her head. She was on the cold floor with part of her blanket. She was panting.

****************

Wail

Her eyes finally adjusted to the darkness around her, and she gradually recognized her room. She held her head in her hands for a second, confirming that it was indeed where it should be. She let out a long sigh, a loud whisper in the dusty silence. 

She dragged herself up, kicking out the blanket entangled to her feet. The night lamp shed an eerie shadow of yellow in her room and she swept up the blanket, which had dutifully followed her as she fell from her bed. She swallowed mouthfuls of water as she sat on her bed, trying to recollect her dream. 

But she didn’t remember anything, not even the part where she rolled down. She stared into the ceiling of her room, pulling up the blanket upto her eyes. Weird, she thought, or perhaps she meant interesting. The fan just went round and round. It was least bothered about whether she was still on her bed or not, whether she was still breathing or not. 

It just went on and on, as long as it was fed with electricity. 

Round and round and round.

Round and round.

Round. Round. 

Round. 

She had to blink at least five times to be able to see anything at all, like when you stare into a tubelight for an undisrupted minute. She struggled to keep her eyes open. Her mortar skills were completely dead, yet she discovered her body was in motion. She could hear the wail of a white van. 

****************

The End?

She spotted red scratches on the van, and a few blots on a hand. A random force had transported her into the white van, which was becoming more white every moment. The wailing confused her — at one moment it was unbearable, and the very next it was barely there. Just when she would stop searching for the noise, it would blare into her ears. 

A while later, a force similar to the previous one, perhaps stronger, deported her to a mobile platform. There were a lot of shuffling around her — she was not sure whether they were people or paper. A cool breeze blew her hair, but part of her hair seemed to be stuck to her forehead.

Then somebody — there were probably more than one person — swooshed her through a long neverending road. Like a train passing by another train. But she was not sure anymore if she was the stationary train or the one in motion. 

Then she saw the sun. In a room. A bulb? 

The sun melted into concentric patterns,and she heard somebody say, “We’re losing her…..nu…” 
Is this my end? 

Can this end be a new beginning?

Image by Neha Menon ©
short story

Amaya #6 : Away

“But Amma”, started Amaya.

“No means no. It is too slippery over there, and you will stay inside the house.”, said her mother firmly.

That was the first time she had been prevented from playing in the rain. Her neighbour had had a bad fall the day before, as the continuous rains made the neighbourhood slippery.

She was sad, so much that she was almost at tears. But as she stuck her head to the window, her friend reassured her : Better luck next time.

Another day, it had been the fear of acid rain. How can my friend harm me?, she wondered. She asked. A drop fell on her right eye, and rolled down. She had to wait days, looking out the window, before her friend finally returned.

But all of these were mere temporary restrictions. The real one came when she was sent away to hostel for her higher secondary education. She was absolutely banned from playing in the rain, and the barely got the chance to meet her friend. These rare occasions were followed by sessions where the wardens would scold her so badly that even the drops would shudder.

And then, little by little she got so much into that vicious circle of life, she no longer waited at the window. No longer searched the skies.

short story

Amaya #2 : The Old Lady 

“Amu, what are you staring at?” asked Grandpa.

“It is going to rain, Grandpa.”, she replied.

He frowned at the bright sky. Later that day, the grey corroded the blue sky. It became more grey, as if it were trying not to pour down, till it finally gave in. Amaya had had an incomplete nap, when it arrived.

It declared that this time it was falling apart for an old lady, who lived in a big house. But the house no longer belonged to her, except for a tiny room where all her belongings had been stashed away.

Her two sons lived in the same house, with their wives and kids, but nobody ever came up to check on her. So much that in that corner in the upper floor, she did not have any bed, cot or mat to sleep on. Her sons had forgotten about the bed, and their mother. So she decided to sleep in the wooden cupboard – the only furniture her children let her keep.

The cupboard was as old as the house – which was very old – and had a partition in the middle. It had two beautiful doors with carvings on it. One half had shelves – where she kept her stuff ; and the other half had none – where she slept.

Two days ago, one of her daughter in laws locked the cupboard, not realising the old lady was asleep in it.

What happened next, little Amaya does not remember, for she had returned to completing her nap.

horror fiction, poem

The Lamp Post

On the ground. Was she?

Deep in the hustle, yet

So very out of reach 

From the cracking campfire 

It escaped her every​ memory.

She longed, stretched and reached

But never there.

Amidst the leaves’ rustle, yet

No more could trample them.

Beneath the flood of the lamp post

All that was, among other shadows

Was her silhouette.

©NM

poem

Knowledge Behind Bars

image

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?

image