Change


You are running, trying to dodge, panting and shrieking,

You try to camouflage, you try to fool, you try to calm the soul which is freaking

You try to climb, you hang on to a rope, as the floor beneath you is creaking

But change draws on you, enveloping you with darkness,  like the dusk which is breaking

 

You try to argue, you try to pacify, you try to convince it to move aside

You try to fire,  you try to stab, you try to prevent it from getting inside

You try to make a deal, you try to bribe, you try to convince it to stay outside

But change , shameless and stubborn, sweeps in to permanently reside

 

You try to adjust, you try to be at ease, you try to find comfort with the new ambience

But inside, you burn, you regret, you can fool your mind, but not your conscience

You try to forget, you try to replace the thoughts, you try to cover the erupting emotions with silence

But change, without an ounce of mercy, continues to rip your insides without your acceptance

 

You try to look, you try to notice, you try to hunt for the signs which melted your heart

You are shocked, you feel troubled, you feel vulnerable, the time has pulled you so much apart

You try to seek a connection, you try to bring the past, you try to place the blame on someone’s part

But change, though the actual culprit, stays mum, enjoying the confusion as if it were an art.

 

You try to pretend, you try to keep a bold face, you try to see things as if they were right

You argue with your past, you shut your agonies; you force a smile and try to look bright

You know it’s irreversible, there is no second chance, you welcome it ignoring the inner fright

Cuz change says “I am the only thing constant in this world, and  yh, everything will be alright.”

‘Armageddon’ed


Five minutes to 10 am. I had to make a dash to the lecture hall in another 300 seconds.  Armageddon. What was this word doing in my head? A look at the mirror – messy hair, puffed up eyes and wrinkled clothes – did help satisfy my doubts to an extent.

The lecture hall was more like a beehive. Laughter, nervous whispers, exchange of gossips and hugs among a colony of ‘bees’ who had prepared a bottle of honey together.

Roll No. 77. I took my seat, slid down and took a wide stretch.

“Ouch,” came a voice from my left.

“Oh am sorry,” I said, without giving a glance. Some days you just wake up with an extra mean gene.

I knew her name from the final candidates’ list put up on the college site. Naveena. I quickly gave it an image. Now, I was curious to verify my imagination.

“Did I hurt you,” I turned to her and asked.  She kept rubbing her eyes. The thick strands of hair fell like a veil, as if to delay my verification process.

“Na, it’s fine. It’s just that my iris emulates that of an Irishman at the slightest dust or a blow, in your case.” She snickered at her own ‘joke’. It took me half a lecture’s time to make out that she referred to the Irish-being-drunk analogy to convey the redness in her eyes.

Armageddon. My mind had a good sense of timing.

I could hear the constant giggles she exchanged with her other neighbor (‘bee’ traits ), the scribbling sound of pen against paper, the ruffling of pages as she turned them often to revise her notes, her sighs, ‘oh my god’s and laughter wherever the lecture demanded. Such a nerd, I thought.

 Her elbow moved from left to right like a printer. The rhythmic nudges, which had put me to sleep at some point in the lecture, suddenly became deliberate and obvious.

I woke up. The lecture was over.

She somehow seemed entertained and constipated by reserves of laughter waiting to storm out.

 “Good sleep, eh?” she asked.

“What is that?” I asked, pointing at the paper which revealed contours of a face.

She handed me the sheet and turned on her laughing faucet.

She had done a sketch of me sleeping, with a tributary of saliva flowing from my half-open mouth. A dialogue box read, “Arm…age….ddon…Noo!”

It struck me then. I remembered dreaming about the end of the world in the night.

The bees were now buzzing around their new juicy target – my embarrassing sketch.

Armageddon indeed. I wished a meteor could enter the earth then and strike two things away – the picture and Naveena.  

(This is a fictional account of my first day in college as seen through one of my friend’s eyes)

Rich man’s coffee


I began counting the coins all over again. The coins – rusty and black with dirt – now lay neatly piled up to form two shiny pillars on my torn mattress. I balanced a piece of cardboard on top of it. A skyscraper. I smiled. “How would it feel, living at that height?” I thought to myself as I looked at the tall building in the opposite street. It covered most of the sky.

The twanging sound of the coins brought me back to my mission for the day – the mission to taste a rich man’s coffee.

Image Source: Google

Image Source: Google

My little skyscraper had collapsed. It buried a chunk of my confidence with it – the confidence to disown ones wretched status for a day, the confidence to believe in long denied happy moments, the confidence to have a rich man’s coffee.

I waited till the coins stopped spinning and settled on its flat sides on the greasy road, a couple of feet away from where I sat.

The argument that I had long tried silencing now grew louder inside my head. I could hear peals of laughter and mocking words. The image of myself, ‘an argumentative beggar’ as I like to call it, now made sarcastic faces at me.

No wallet to carry the alms, no shoes to step on the expensive foot mattress – and you still plan to go for the expensive coffee?

I refused to be intimidated and began scrubbing my fingers and toenails fierily. There was so much to be done before I left for the treat.

The svelte ladies in the stilettos are like shooting stars. Get a glimpse and have a goodnight’s sleep. Don’t be a retard to go touch the stars. You will burn!

“Burn I shall, rather than being a coward like you,” I replied, unable to take in more of the annoying voice.

I could see the pale green chairs of Barista Lavazz café now filling with adolescents who giggled their way in; IT professionals who blind walked the door with ears and hands plugged with gadgets; and the aunties and uncles who wanted to chat over a sandwich after their aerobics session.

Oh you deviant one, don’t you feel like an oddball already?

I ignored the voice.

I dug my hands deep into my rug sack to find some clean clothes.

Oh so you go with motives to seduce someone?

A portion of my thighs and the back of my knees were exposed by the torn Khaki trousers. I tried tying the loose ends of the thread in vain. I gave up.

“Who looks at the legs anyway?”

I frantically removed the knots from my uncombed hair, placed the coins in my pocket, and reluctantly waited for a better comment from the voice.

I heard nothing.

I checked my profile in the broken glass piece and chuckled, “I know you don’t have anything negative to point out!”

You would better check for …

“Oh just shut up”

Your pants…

“I know they are dirty. I don’t care.”

No, not that. The coi…

“GO AWAY!!!”

I started to the café.

I opened the door and found my way through the legs of the chairs and delicate feet of teenagers – the images of which I had held dear all along now seemed evil and condescending.

I sat on the corner-most table and kept my gaze at the clean tiled floor.

“Order sir?”

“Oh yes yes..coffee!”

“Which one, sir? Hot or cold?”

They must be mad to make the coffee turn cold, I thought to myself.

To avoid further options, I said, “The best in hot”

A couple on the adjacent seat laughed, cupping their mouths. A group of kids to my right spoke in whispers, what I assumed to be, about my unkempt outlook. While the cashiers wore a speculative look, the waiters hesitated to serve me. A loitering kid pointed at my torn trousers and the security became vigilant, lest I vamoose.

My coffee appeared. Hot silky texture. I let it drown my complex, fear and doubts. I let the taste erase all the arguments which I had with my imbecile self.

I turned the cup upside down and let the last drop touch my tongue. I had my rich man’s coffee.

The Cinderella in me cried about going back to her god forsaken abode – where the sight of the skyscraper and the café was the only solace to a desiring soul.

I realized there was something else that bothered me more.

Drops of sweat covered my forehead as my hand frantically searched even the smallest of deposits in my pant. The coins were missing – the coins which I had meticulously saved, accurately counted and safely kept inside my pants.

I checked the pockets again and felt the touch of my fingers on my thigh.

“Sir, here is the cheque,” said the waiter.

The gallons of laughter of the argumentative beggar filled my head. I closed my ears and shouted. Shouted at my fate, at the voice and, most importantly, at the rich man’s coffee.