Tuesday, September 11, 2018

A Night of Fireflies...

There were six of them. All wound up in unorthodox ways. In the distance, the full moon reflected its brilliance off the snow-capped Himalayan range. 

The stars fought hard to match the luminosity of the fireflies. Thousands lit up the valley, unperturbed by the six pairs of eyes that tried to follow their every move. 

“Is that a bird, flying away with the moon on its wings?” asked one looking up. 

They were out in the open. The rain had just stopped, and the grass, on which they lay, was still wet. The cool breeze, that came from the mountains above, was gathering the dark clouds and sending them off in one direction. 

Perhaps, the wind had watched the old shepherd round up his flocks in the evening, when the rain came pouring. 

The old man, as frail as the worn-out stick in his hand, had called out to his herd of animals, “Come back home! Even the naughty children are heading back to the safety of their homes.” Many of his animals understood what he said and followed his lead. But the ones who wanted to stay out and enjoy the rain had to be pulled away by the shepherd. 

But who would pull these six back to the safety of conventional life? What could each be thinking, as they lay there on the damp grass? Were they looking for someone to bring them back to life, or were they devising new escapades?

Only the fireflies knew. That it is better to light up each moment than have a dark, lingering existence. May be the six were made of the souls of those fireflies. Brilliant, yet flickering. In flight, yet chained down to the earth. Each wanting to fly out into space, like those stars sparkling above. 

May be the six were fireflies. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

but the fledgling has left the nest...

I was out last evening with a friend I’ve known for over a decade now. We’ve seen each other grow up, from being awkward school children to being rebellious college students and now as overworked adults.
So he gulps down his beer and tells me “I do not want to go back home”.
"Home" means Kolkata to both of us.
While it’s been two years that I’ve been away, it's nearly eight for him.
“What do you mean you do not want to go back home?” I nearly shriek. "The music here is always too loud," I add trying to appear calm.
“It’s home, remember... we have our family and our house there...”
“I would want to visit once every two years, yes. But I can’t live there,” he cuts me short.
“But you just called it home. How can one not long to be home, even if it means dreaming of doing so some day in the future?” I almost tear up.
Visions of my terrace, my flowering plants, smiling faces of my cousins... become a little more blurry than my memories would have wanted it to be.
As I turn to face the live band, I can't help but wonder, would I feel the same way if I continue to live away from home? Would a 10-day visit every year be enough to take care of this homesick heart?
Or would I not long to be home at all?

Thursday, May 8, 2014

I don't want to remember you frail.
I want to remember you as the strong man who taught me everything.
I don't want to remember ever having seen you lie still on your bed.
I want to remember you with your fierce love for life.
I don't want to remember you gone.
I want to remember your hand on my head.

But, if I refuse to remember the end, I would refuse to remember the beginning.
If I cannot own the death, I do not deserve to long for the living.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Her home

It was not her house. She didn't even pay the rent.
Yet, she called it home.
Married at the age of 23, she had to move in with her belongings.
She missed the courtyard of her father's house.
Here, in the small adjoining garden she planted a tree, hoping it would bear fruits one day.

This isn't her house either. And no, she doesn't pay her rent. The far-away daughter does.
They call this home.
Feeble and lonely at 71, she has to move in with her belongings.
She misses the smell of raw mangoes that her tree bears every summer.
A pot of flowering plant is now what she calls home.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love's hidden memories

I came home with stories full of love
"Don't show it," they said.
So I kept it hidden from view
And no one knew.

But it started to grow, love started to swell
I had to tell, I had to tell.
Everything I saw spoke of love
Your eyes, your face, your smile, your grace.

"Don't show your love," I heard them scream
I shut it out and built a screen.
But my love was not just mine to show
What of the love that made you glow?

My love I could easily hide
But your love for me was too strong to cover.
I failed to cut off love from my life
Because you were born to be the lover.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Growing up...

From fun-filled frolic in skirts, to idle merry-making.
From tiffin boxes full of handmade love, to doodles and empty notebooks.
Those days have long gone by...
From carefree pigtailed girls, to women with kids trapped inside them.
We've grown up. Our world has grown wiser.

Those who were grown-ups then, will only get older.
What was support then, will become frail.
What was home then, one day will no longer be.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


Placing my head on your shoulder, I heard your heartbeats. Like for the first time.
It plugged out the noise outside.
I lay still listening to the beat of your heart. Our Heart.
In that moment, if you were to tell me tales of loves lost,
I would have drowned your voice in the stirrings of the heart. Our Heart.
Trying to rise and write a note or two, you held me closer. 
My words lost their rhythm, when compared to the beat of the heart. Our Heart.