Wednesday, March 18, 2015

One-night stand


1 AM - A deserted beach

Him: Why is it so hard to just have another hand to hold, someone to walk barefoot with on the beach, with the moon shining down on us? Why does life have to be so complicated?

Me: Maybe, some things in life are worth the wait. And some of us are made of stronger stock, I tell myself. We have been given this life, for we are capable of living it.

Him: And who does the giving? God?

Me: If you choose to label it so, yeah! Or, if you want me to feel grateful for the mighty grand scheme of things that happened across time and space, in a precise sequence, to give birth to this moment, this 'coincidence', if we may call it, of the palm of your left hand, just a little bit sweaty, fitting perfectly within the palm of my right hand. as if they were meant to belong; I most certainly am. I am perfectly satisfied to exist, and experience this moment.

Him: That's the first time I've felt thankful for having sweaty palms.


6 PM: An online chat room:

Sweatypalms: And, did it make all the difference? :D

Theroadnottaken: Ha ha! Well played! Yes, to me it has; made all the difference. :)

Sweatypalms: Frost seems a bit depressing, doesn't he? Or rather, he seems to have been depressed, most of the time.

Theroadnottaken: Probably why his writing is so achingly beautiful.

Sweatypalms: So, a happy, content human being can't write good prose or poetry? Most of the literary-endowed seem to have been a sad lot!

Theroadnottaken: Anybody can write, I guess. But the words born out of loss, of misery, of hurt, of defeat, they seem to resonate with the rest of us mankind, who spend the better part of our lives learning to deal with the very same emotions. Maybe it's like an unknown hand from the past reaching out to you, and saying, "I understand."


Sweatypalms: That's quite the conversation for an online chat room with naked people banners blinking on both sides. ;) People surprise you when you least expect them to, eh!

Theroadnottaken: I never had a problem with surprises; or with naked. :P

Two hours from now:

On his bike

Him: You sure about this? I might turn out to be a serial rapist killer who freezes your body parts and has them for breakfast.

Me: That would make for an entertaining newspaper article. Turn right at the next junction.

Him: I wish I could freeze this one fleeting moment; this rush of adrenaline  and other such things I am feeling just by the proximity of your body to mine; the nip in the night air, the reassuring warmth of your soft head of hair that moves ever so slightly to meet mine, every time I tilt my head back. I'm scared to blink; I might wake up and find it's all a dream.

Me: There, there, Mr. Eloquent. The moment can last as long as you and I want it to. It can lead to other moments, just as beautiful. Or more. We're just getting started!  Now, turn your attention to the road, will you?

The head tilts again, and the other moves, ever so lightly, to meet it.

6 hours from now:

On my bed

As the first slivers of sunlight escape the thick curtains, and sleep grudgingly withdraws, a long, slender hand extends to the right side of the bed, and as realization slowly dawns, there's nothing there except the faint, yet still intoxicating smell, the only proof of having lain right next to him, right on that bed.

The mobile phone's notification light blinks:

"I happened to take the road that everyone else takes. I am sorry. "

A wife and a child with a toothless smile contently from the profile picture.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


"Hey L, I'm going home now. I've forwarded the weekly report; thanks for sending it in time, as usual. It's a friday! You should head home early, too!" said the manager.

"That's fine, M. I have no plans, none at all.".

Or did he?  L, right now, was a bleeding vortex of conflicting emotions. There was somewhere; somewhere he really wanted to go; someone; someone he wanted to be near to; to scream out those unheard words, express those pent up emotions, make it all right;  one last time; before it was too late.

But that was not all. A part of him wanted to leave it firmly in the past. It was done; over with. It had no future. He was a different person now. He had a life of his own. He had moved far away.

The clock struck 9. The last of the weary office workers were sleepily shuffling out to the bus. He moved his leaden, unwilling legs, and boarded the bus home. He closed his eyes in the dark interiors of the bus, and as others slept around him, four years of memories relentlessly beat against his chest.

There was a light drizzle as he alighted the bus, and as others scurried for cover, he started to walk hypnotically, as if being drawn in by his destination. There was an uncomfortable mass somewhere between his chest and his throat. It was suffocating him. He wanted to scream out loud; he wanted to cry till his eyes hurt; but all he did was, walk.

As he rang the bell, a familiar, welcoming voice invited him in. "I knew you would come. He is in his room, packing." said Light's mum. He felt the mass growing uncomfortably bigger. His expressionless face did not betray the seething emotions, lurking just below. He smiled quietly, and walked towards his room. He was not alone. It wouldn't have mattered if he was, for he hardly acknowledged his presence. Most of the extended family was in the house. The first child from their family going all the way to the US of A to study, was a huge affair, one that warranted everyone's presence, and the passing on of words of wisdom to the boy that would make their family flag fly high in a distant land.

Though everyone had something to say to him, Light had nothing to say, except a polite nod, and a muttered "thanks". He still didn't meet L's eyes.

L had never met most of the group, but, everyone seemed to know him. He was the brilliant "best friend", who was as good in the kitchen as he was in mathematics. Their eyes scanned him with approval - the perfect male companion to their star son. And in the midst of the two-way human traffic that filled the room, L sat quietly, on his bed. Folding his clothes, wanting to say a billion things, seeking one single gaze of companionship. Yet, it felt good, this. Feeling the warmth of his clothes as he folded them; taking in the familiar smells of his room; of him, for one last time. And when an inquisitive cousin inquired, "Have you two fought? Why aren't you talking to each other?", neither responded.

But there was a gleam in Light's eyes, a tremble in his hands, a frantic need to stay in control. He left the room for a while, and came back, having succeeded in pushing back the feelings that he was terrified of revealing.But that was all that L needed. The tiniest gesture, a minuscule tear drop, some meaningless damn thing - that told him, that he mattered. That they mattered.

All packing done, not a word exchanged, and everyone was in the large van bounding to the airport. They sat facing each other, eyes never meeting, mouths never uttering a sound. Light kept himself busy listening to endless chants of last minute advice from mum. And then suddenly, the driver braked violently, making them all jump.

As L almost fell off his seat, a firm, steadying hand grasped his. A hand that never let go till they reached their destination. The sweaty palm of that hand against his, told him everything. Everything that the owner of the sweaty palmed hand would never muster the courage to tell him. Now, they could cry. Cry for all that was, and all that could have been, and all that would never be. As the rain pummeled against the windows of the van rushing them towards their moment of separation, two grown young men held hands tight, and wept like little kids, unmindful of an audience of an extended family.

As the hand left his, and they walked together as a group, L felt lighter. He felt happy that he had come. That he was there to experience this moment. As the farewells began, and each member of the family bid a fond goodbye, he patiently waited his turn. Those eyes looked into his, if only for a moment. It didn't matter. He already knew.

"Will you forget me, after you go there?" it was hardly more than a whisper.

"You aren't someone I can ever forget. That question needs no answering." came the reply.

As Light took hold of his baggage and walked away, never looking back, someone he had never spoken to before came and stood next to L. "It is difficult, isn't it? When such an important member of our life goes away?"

He couldn't reply. The tears fell. Hard. Fast. They took an eternity to stop.

But when they did, he knew he was fine; just fine. The mass was gone. He could breathe free.

This story is inspired by a moving real life moment that I heard from one of my closest friends. The protagonists are named L and Light, to honour my favourite characters from the Japanese anime, Death Note.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

感謝 - Gratitude





Tuesday, December 25, 2012


Flour, butter, and lots of sugar,
castor, demerera, and icing,
the reassuring dependability,
that cakes will be sweet,
breads will rise,
and cookies will brown.

Adorned with beads of sweat,
battling an over-sized glass bowl,
ladle held tight, in that kitchen,
the luscious semblance of control,
fleeting, yet firm.

Non-surgical syringes with myriad fittings,
performing plastic surgery on imperfections,
pumping out icing, make-believe moment,
that lines of worry, however many,
smooth them out, one at a time.

When all the stirring and mixing is done,
the number game, celsius and minute.
till it's just done, an aromatic reminder, maybe,
to do what you can, and wait with time,
for life, to happen, to just get done.


Of satsuma flavored skin,
unruly strands of hair, aroma
of bananas, and lavish spray,
of tea tree mist.

Of soft mounds of fat,
over once-emaciated flesh,
time's victory over metabolism,
hard-gained normalcy.

Of a stranger in the mirror,
one step short of lunacy; eyes,
roving for a familiar line or mark,
for a sign of life.

Of the puppet-master's prop,
nonchalant at best, unmindful
of the distance,
or the direction.

Of the desire to willingly submit,
and be carried away, into

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Almost Alive

Unbutton my unforgiving straitjacket,
let my flesh sense momentary release.

Knife a neat vertical slash,
on my sunless, smooth bosom.

Ballooned up rivers of red might burst, flow,
free at last, free from me, vital again.

Grapple with the mask strapped to my soul,
rip it away, or let me die, knowing, I was alive.

This is Poem 8 for Robert Lee Brewer's April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2012.

The prompt is to write a poem using these five words in any order: slash button mask strap balloon

However hard I try, the dark side does take over sometimes. And the gory words flow unbridled.

Cynic Season

is war's aftermath, scars and lines galore.
Oh one half's fine, stood the test of time,
the other,
always turned just so, an illusion of sharpness,
a smile,
that's halfway a laugh, still needs getting used to.
feigned light for the shutterbug, smile, not convincing.

Eyes, that call out to him, words unnecessary,
a face,
that warms his nether places at night,
cyber titillation is passe, or so he says.
taunt him, make him ache to seal with his,
pre-pubescent stubble notwithstanding.

Sexy, he said.

This is Poem 7 for Robert Lee Brewer's April Poem-A-Day Challenge 2012. 

The prompt for this poem is a "Season" poem

This one's self-explanatory.