Word Muse #7 – Far Off

For what are ‘Word Muses’ and the list till now, look here.

There sleeps the past..

    In some city too far off.

There peeps the future..

    In some other city too far off.

Here breathes the present..

    In this city too near, too here.

Too warm for touch,

    Too close for comfort.

Too real to be strange,

    Too unreal to belong.

So quick is the heart to flutter..

    Its lashed lids; its wispy wings.

Yet, sealing in dreams for new stars..

    Yet, reeling in flights to new neighbors.

For ever in denial; for ever on the run..

    Of that which settles; from that which attaches.
Waiting in patience,
    Braving the heat of the familiar.
    Craving the cold of the strange.

Waiting in hope,
    Yet another pasture dusty and fresh.
    Yet another start crusty and brash.

For the next home too far off..
    For the next people too close by.

Ever unsettled, ever flowing, ever fleeing, ever seeking..
The nomadic heart – the one that lives too far off, beats too far away.


The Journey of a Bond

It starts with a squealed “Tum bhi?”

And many more rushing on to you..

Happy milestones across the road,

In a giddy flight along the highway.

Dare turn away from the smooth sail..

Into a dusty lane of bumps and holes.

And another, and any other..

Past the bruises, beyond the aches.

Exploring, and getting lost..

Into each other’s flaws and fears.

The miles build up in comfortable silence..

An occasional “Tum bhi, na!” marking distance.

That journey never-ending..

Piling up labored miles, unnoticed..

From an excited “Tum bhi?” to many an exasperated “Tum bhi, na!”..

Of that scarily special bond, well worn in – a friendship in adulthood.

Make me Laugh

“Aah.. All dressed up, are we? Looking good!” you’d say

I’d smile,  bitter-sweet.

Don’t notice the bitterness; I don’t want you to.

I simply want you to overlook my pained, sleep-deprived eyes.

Just tease me mercilessly about my outlandish clothes, or something..

Make me laugh.


“Oh, there is just one tiny  issue with us going shopping.. My spine doesn’t want to go!”

I’d grin, all fake.

Don’t pout, and plead with your eyes; I don’t want to meet them.

My heart breaks to rob you of even that simple a pleasure.

Just curse my spine in bright rude colors, or something..

Make me laugh.


“I managed to learn to concentrate despite excruciating pain.. BINGO!”

I’d beam, all proud.

Don’t notice the ‘excruciating’; I didn’t intend you to.

Just miss my point, and tell me of some ridiculous incident at work today, or something..

Make me laugh.


“Don’t make me laugh.. It hurts!”

I’d say, continuing to laugh violently.

Don’t take me seriously; I don’t ever mean it.

Extra pain is welcome, as a +1 guest to laughter.

Just, please..

Make me laugh.

Silence Lost

Deep-cut embellished blouses. Arms waxed and moisturized smooth.
Perfectly pleated saree draped to reveal just a hint of a sexy waist.
Eyebrows arched just right. Kajal applied just so.
Two pairs of lips colored to attract ever so subtly.
Two pairs of eyes seeking each other intermittently.

A crowd gathers not too slowly.
Voices are found as numbers increase.
“Go away. You people are not allowed here.”
“Get up from that bench. We can’t sit with you.”


Lips quivering with the weight of helpless anger.
Eyes fighting that daily fight – against tears.
“Why? What wrong did we do?”
“We are people too. We have the same rights as you.”


An electric train pulls in and out unnoticed.
All of Nungambakkam railway station is here.
Shouting, watching, discussing, whispering.

“Don’t sit here, ma. Move to that bench there.”
“They are bad people. Dangerous.”


I look up to a man in a lungi worn thigh-high.
Speaking to me with an urgency..
An urgency that doesn’t suit my beloved Chennai’s Tamizh.

The two transgender beauties get up to leave.
One crying humiliated tears.
The other cursing at the crowd.
Both leading each other away to safety.

Their swaying backs disappear at the far end of the platform.
The satisfied crowd disperses to wait for their trains.
The lungi man is back to manning his shop.
Nungambakkam station is back to its busy self.
I am back to sitting alone watching people and trains.
A tad confused and dazed. What just happened?

My friend comes running down the stairs.
We hug and laugh.
We start talking – fast, together.
I dust myself off.
The past five minutes promptly forgotten..
Forgotten for now.


It has been more than a year..
But the scene keeps playing in my head.
Did I move from that bench?
May be I did.
I don’t remember.

Sometimes, you don’t remember what happened.
Sometimes, you remember what nobody else remembers..
Sometimes, you remember what did not happen..
What you did not do.
What you did not say.

I did not speak up.
I did not refuse to move.
I did not stand up for them.
I did not stand up for what I believed.
In any way!

I felt guilt.
Guilt that I remember most vividly.

Does not feel good.. at all!
A feeling that would remind me for life..
To stand up for what I believe.
To never stay a mute spectator to injustice.
Never again..
For my own sake.

Ouch.. Silence stings!
Doesn’t it?
Silence better lost – for good.