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Fiction: The convoy passes


Lights went off. Thick and beguiled smoke interspersed with scream past the rooms and flitted the South Bombay humid air thickening by the night. Wheedling of a lone train away from the unusually crowded railway station where flies and termites hovered at the rooftop surrounding huge fans covered by the speckled dust.

The Arabian sea surrounding the city swarmed to a gentleness unseen in years birds and pigeons swarming merrily in the icy cold waters making a splash of joy. Maximum city verges from the fast speed to take the slow and timid steps as a lone masked face traffic cop whistled aimlessly and chasing away with the thick baton truant kids, holding slippers in hand scampered in different directions. The poor man had nothing to do on the deserted road and the whistle perched atop the crisp white shirt like a pet, uncared by the master.

A stare at the sight of four men, dressed in black and walking adjacent to each other in slow gaze leaped the constable off his torpor. An eerie wind howled past the sea and stray dogs barked at the sight of the men walking in silence and unfazed by the animals. The cop waited patiently for the men ambling slowly and ready to give them a threatening diatribe in exchange for fat, crumpled notes.  Such times pay, he valiantly trimmed his mustache.

Black coated rectangular box approached slowly adorned by a trinket on the top carried by four men and whooshed past the greedy man. He was stumped and at a loss of voice.  Scratching the hair, he cursed his luck as the Christian convoy carrying a dead man and holy water sprinkled on his face. He never saw it coming and fearful of the death procession. Taking steps back, he caressed the whistle on his pocket and wondered about being saved, as the image of banknotes eluded. None paid him a hefty bribe. The money skipped his pocket for days and months.

Wind chimed past the Arabian night as he fixed from afar the seawater, turtles floating and tinkling coins in the Khaki pocket. He longed to make a killing at the deceptive approach of men and the short-lived joy, suddenly becoming breathless and a cold sensation wafting through his knees, reaching the limb. He felt weak and nauseous. The dead convoy that passed through him gave a strange sensation and atoning sins of looting innocent people. The cop abandoned his post and strode aimlessly on the deserted road.

 

Love

V

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Labyrinth in wilted time


Liquor to undying spirit,

intoxicated to vagaries and wondrous,

baking dreams,

vagabond on eerie and wet streets,

it ain’t sex and fleshy intimacy,

condoms torn and lost,

wilted is my imagination,

liar, liar!

the soul screams,

heart scythed by deadly weapons,

whoever told pain and disappointment,

come unanswered?

withered seasons where tears run dry,

thickened by the heat,

emotions changing palms,

can’t be destiny, right!

money changes hands,

luck doesn’t,

a stroke of love and passion,

bowing to striking madness,

belief is ocean,

dream is my chimera,

slow smokey drag,

lifeless and,

unwavering spirit,

free and aimless days,

destination forever lost,

going back to the halcyon,

path lost to ways of the world,

wheel of time has never been,

labyrinth of time drowned in echoes.

 

Love

V

 

 

 

 

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Lost voices


Crossing the oceans,

carried by the dangerous waves,

bridging crevices,

decayed,

blackened surface,

when the clouds and sky fade,

Lifeless face,

feeble voices disappeared into the crowd,

seeped into laughter,

haze and brouhaha,

mortar bricks and walls,

hiding pain,

shan’t hear our voices,

wiping emotions in cow dung,

smeared the hut,

just a home,

a tiny morsel lapped,

rummaging through garbage,

termites feasting into the lifeless,

emotions, identity and tears buried.

 

Love

V

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Boundless circle


Flowers blossoming,

hearts spinning a tale,

gentle feeling sinking,

listen to rhythm and waves,

stringing the chords,

Pace it down,

misreading signs is the culprit,

as a lone blind man crosses the road,

curse the self for not listening,

not your fault,

the soul tells,

you didn’t listen,

an opportunity lost,

another plain stranger saved the guilt,

inner calling shall come again.

everything serves its purpose,

meaning is not rudderless,

listen gently,

take a pause,

someone else shall need your help,

make amends,

for humans are connected,

a circle shall grow boundlessly,

tendering a prayer of forgiveness,

you shall!

 

With love

V

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Lockdown tales: And the kitchen and video calls discovered


Ask the sharpest fortune teller and the great seer wouldn’t dare telling us that 2020 would turn us into the most unwilling prisoners on earth. John Stuart Mill belonging to the theory of Utilitarianism and Liberty wouldn’t in the wildest imagination fancy on willing coercion for us to stay in the confines of the four walls avoiding the spread of a deadly vice called Coronavirus.

The rest is history as we would argue years down the line and looking back at how humans forever thriving on their toes and oustering each other resorting to the most unimaginable tricks would be locked inside. Two months plus and coming to terms with a term, alien in the start and now routine, is a matter of perspective. An idea of lockdown conveyed various gamuts of emotions for me, ranging from fear of the unknown to the dread of being placed in a hospital quarantine ward and death. I internalized with the emotions and imagining to be breathless. Sleepless nights spent and a mild fever, or cough sent me in a tizzy of sort. The demons fought inside and out, killing me at every second. Anxiety peak hit a new high every single day and battling emotions for weeks, till I decided to own things up.

Lockdown has been doing me good and discovering myself in what is a process, unpeeling the various layers. Blessing in disguise it is! I grabbed a couple of books, right from Sanjay Dutt’s autobiography and Twinkle Khanna’s Pyjamas are Forgiving but the reading flow has abruptly stopped. Opportunity came knocking on the door. I took a back seat yet experimented a lot with new things, alien to me. The digital world was explored without fear and conquered my fear of public speaking by taking a brand new workshop as a trainer. I never thought that the introvert in me would be able to speak to an e-audience for three hours and did reasonably well. The best was and is yet to come.

Cooking is an art and was alien to it. I wanted to make dishes and making most of the house arrest, starting with aloo jeera, waited for a month plus to make, forever delaying.  Success was written all over. I followed track with bitter gourd saute, followed successfully with Hakka Noodle and Mutton Rogan Josh. Mom taught me a kitchen lesson that more than anything else, nurturing patience matters a lot. One thing learned is cementing the bond with people who matter and Adi, my best friend settled in Australia called on Saturdays for long-distance boozing. Relationships with the right people matters. I understand loneliness more than anything else and have changed a lot, right from being patient with mom, trying not to be irritated by any slight or mundane thing. Earlier, I was blowing a fuse but the degree has lessened. We need to be flexible and more understanding towards our parents for a time will come, when the new old generation will be us.

This pandemic taught me to be one with nature and the sensitive me has become friends with birds and pigeons visiting every day where we put rice and rotis for them to eat. A bond made with the living entities that we ignored during normal times and the time is now to be more in sync with the realities that we humans have arrogantly claimed to be our own, the earth.  As humans grappling with the new world social order, none will be the same and the way we look at interactions or relationships has altered. We aren’t gonna die but grow with a new perspective. The best is yet to come. I can sense it.

Every single day never ceases to surprise me. I just signed for an NLP basic course for beginners on Udemy and ain’t gonna stop here to discover the self. The times are uncertain and upskilling to reinvent in this ever changing world is what will make the knife edgier. Do we have a choice? All of us have a Gmail and it’s only yesterday that Google Duo was discovered. Where have I been all this while? Things take its own course to happen. Paromita has been a friend for a long time and she started something called Let’s Huddle India that I will speak at length in a fresh post. This week, she pinged on Whatsapp whether I’ll be interested to be part of the circle spreading positivity in lockdown times. There was not too much thinking and went with the flow. What happened yesterday was extraordinary and fulfilling, speaking to plain strangers, introducing ourselves, incidents impacting us, and how we coping with the lockdown. This conversation talked to the inner me and so much to share with people who started as strangers, then becoming friends to spread positivity. We are all storytellers and tales waiting to be unfurled. Only, if we let the universe take care of us. Let us be healed.

 

Love

V

 

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Random thoughts


Words inspire us and creating imagination out of thin air. No poetry or musing just whatever comes to the mind. So much and little we can create idling our way as efforts flickered decluttering the brain, steamy as the car engine revving up towards an unknown destination.

Sit with a pen and notepad jotting on ideas translated into something eatable, meaning writing. Short story! Too lazy for that. Penning an emotional and imaginary letter can pull the brain apart and fling in a complex territory. Reflection of a mind doing a dozen things in a day and Whatsapping to peeps in bundle, happy Tweeting or Instagram posts. Everything is creative in what we do on social media taking a toll on us and better go write a novella when sitting lame and ducky.

Check my WP feed and see people writing on guilty conscience, memory and privilege. Ah! Privilege is something many of us have and tragic with the lack of bare necessities for those in need. The privilege helps me to buy alcohol or book a course on Udemy like I did just now. Upskilling is the norm in uncertain times and booked an NLP course, something really wanted to do. Some big discounts have been going on. At a time like this, the heart cries out for the commoner lacking the basic food and having nowhere to go. We can make a small difference to their lives through our digital bank account and need to move fast, starting next week on how help can be given to people, suffering the most.

A surreal world and beyond logic! Chuck it out! Earth revolves and meant to surprise living beings unfolding the drama every nanosecond. The mind is always forgetful and wondering how basic things skip me every now and then, the promise of cleaning the upper shelf where the idols are worshipped or the TV wooden casing. To-Do-List comes in handy and something that needs to be constantly updated on the word document, I wanna try novel things to be explored and been quite a start with a friend introducing me to Google Duo conference, something that wouldn’t dare to do. Tomorrow, we got a call with her circle to spread positivity. Slowly, the discovery of digital conferences, right from attending and delivering workshops on an educational e-platform to online courses. I admit that in normal times, these are things that wouldn’t be exploring.

I see a dim and colorful light in the neighborhood, wondering what the lone person must be doing. We all lead lonely lives at the other end of the corridor, making peace in what we have on our platter, be it food, dreams and worries. How often we ask on what we can bring to break the monotony! Perhaps coming to terms with the unrequited is our way in making sense with the otherwise drab, I often ask. The cure is just an excuse for us to heal or buying time. What happens when we find a solution to our ever-increasing problems faced? It doesn’t complete for us since a new ailment will hit us when we least expect.

The beauty of free flow like the fingers flowing on the motherboard right now, freeing from the pressure we tend to put on the brain. Try it out with the lack of structuring in giving shape to the tipping point of bullshiting. Love writing when there is no plan in forming words. A therapy to control and express anger, in channeling our energy to the more constructive. Writing, arts and drama help us to express what we keep inside. Gutted out, an expression laying dare and bare on social media. Think about it.

 

Love

V

 

 

 

 

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Prayers answered


A dream that was,

cherishing the silent night,

when flowers blossomed in spring,

then civilization took over,

sprawling buildings,

honking cars and smoke choking lives,

we prayed for a savior,

saving our hills and land,

no God came to earth,

praying for rains,

where animals would roam free,

the surreal belonged to our dreams,

then little tinies conjured tricks,

humans disappeared,

nature’s gift occupying every space,

is it for real, they ask,

finally divine answered our prayers,

saving us from ourselves,

pain expressed,

protesting against mayhem,

encroachers disappeared,

it can’t be happening,

lives lost,

is the real gain,

claim what belongs to us,

the reality shall sink in,

it will destroy us,

making way for the new,

we can breathe free,

taking decades,

listen to the whispers and heartbeat.

 

With Love

V