In Your Dreams

I close my eyes and try to sleep
but at times,too much peace can also keep one awake.
I seek out a sound, a flutter to peg my thoughts on,
but all I hear is the rhythm of your breath.
I touch your arm and wonder, where are you right now..

To a forgotten hiding spot in the old neighborhood
or a snow covered peak dipped in silence,
where have your dreams taken you today?
Would you have a story to tell me when you come back,
or are we writing one together in a half-imagined, half-real world..

There’s a shadow of a smile on your lips that reminds me
of the whispered iloveyou, just before you fell asleep.
Would you say it again when you wake up?
Or is that what you are doing right now,
in your dreams…

इजाज़त (Let me go)

निर्बोध खड़े हैं उसी दोराहे पर
जहां तुम ‘आता हूँ’
कह कर छोड़ गए थे;
मुड़ के देख लो एक बार जो अगर,
आँखों से तुम्हारी
जाने की इजाज़त ले लूँ|

(Semantic translation:
I’m still lost at that fork
where you’d left me
with a promise of returning back soon;
If you would just turn around once,
I’d bid you farewell
and finally move on.)

On The Threshold

Long ago
you painted a picture for me
of a house with purple walls
somewhere between the city and the beach.
I had closed my eyes then
and heard you sing
of a love found and lost.
I tried to find it again, but
it was gone
that fleeting look of tenderness in your eyes,
so was the picture
and I thought it to be
another one of my reverie.

And yet, months later
here I stand
on the threshold
of that figment of your imagination.
How did you make it real?
When did you show me the way to it?
I think I know the answers deep down…
But, what I don’t know
is the way forward from here.
Should I knock on the door
or should I just walk past it?
Would you smile when you see me,
would you let me in?
and if you do
would there be a way out again
for me?

The Old House

As I move around the old house
noticing the subtle changes in its colors and forms,
straightening the tilted pictures,
dusting the forgotten corners,
and sometimes just gazing at a window pane…
I get this heavy unsettling feeling
that the house too is moving inside me,
frisking my memory box for all I have stored anew
cherishing the smiles,
caressing the half-healed scars,
and sometimes just listening to a long conversation…

Both of us continue our wordless exploration for hours
when the house finally reaches that hard entangled mass
that i keep hidden away, even from myself.
It delicately tugs at the corner of a thread
and finds its way through this web of jilted moments:
unspoken thoughts
unintended words,
unanswered messages
forgotten promises,
incomplete conversations
baseless expectations,
unshed tears
untrue smiles…

It pulls at each thread and straightens it
then arranges them deftly in two separate piles
one it calls ‘keepsake’ –
moments that deserve a second chance,
the other it labels ‘let go’ –
the ones i should forget, erase.
It hands them over to me and I
smile with gratitude and let out a sigh
‘if only life could remain this simplified!’
‘The world will mess up this order again,
but you have me to come back to’, says my old friend.