K(c)apitalism  & Kindness 

The piece aims to make its readers conscious of their capitalist biases and drops a gentle reminder about the kindness that is slowly diminishing from this world.

We always talk about how

kindness has gone scarce

in this world,

about how only the kindness

of this human race

can prevent it from corroding

under the influence

of self-indulgences, desires and exploitation.

But we don’t talk enough

about the consequences

of being a kind person;

a person with a crystal heart,

always helping others;

as if trying to mend

wilting flowers,

the one who celebrates & wishes

the best for everyone,

sans ulterior motives.

What happens to such people?

Are they always paid back

with love and respect,

or are they hoodwinked,

betrayed, taken advantage of,

manipulated, disparaged, humiliated

and broken- all this for being a bona fide.

Early adulthood has taught me

that the latter case will dominate

a lot of moments in life

because of how capitalism

has hardwired us to think of life

in terms of profits and losses

where individual gains

are the only gains,

which will only accrue when we

defraud others,

snatch their agencies,

push them into oblivion,

proclaim our win

and not even feel guilty about it.

Perhaps it is us

who don’t think about it enough,

don’t value kindness

and take it for granted

or how else would we let

a market system deconstruct

and destroy a value

so central to our existence

and replace it with

shallow, vicious and short-sighted intent,

that only seeks

pleasure, not contentment

power, not might

and victory over others rather than

victory over self,

for it is too vulnerable

to confront its inherent contradictions.

So you see,

kind people have

too many reasons

to relinquish kindness;

add to that a hundred times

the worth of their broken trust,

mental pain and hurt.

But something inside them

doesn’t let them let go of it;

it keeps coming back to them

in boomerangs,

hits them right at the heart-

a four chambered birthplace

of kindness,

which can’t bear being separated

from it for too long,

even after being stabbed,

over and over again.

I like to believe that

kindness is a way of life;

one doesn’t just wake up one day

and stop being kind;

that would equate to

being kissed by a dementor

and getting the core

of your existence sucked out of yourself.

So, the moment you decide

to pursue kindness,

you must also brace yourself

for the risks involved-

the risk of getting your trust broken,

the risk of not letting your pain

overpower your healing,

the risk of choosing kindness

over hatred, every time

and the risk of standing by your kindness,

because, believe me,

this world requires kindness much more

than it will ever require capitalism.

A Poem Of & For 2020

The past three hundred and ninety days have gone by in a flash and still felt like a lifetime. This poem talks about the wavelength of my life during the Coronavirus pandemic. It’s been good, it’s been bad, it’s been super good and, it’s also been super bad. Read ahead to find out how!

Meet Sunnie!🌻✨

While a devilish virus
confined everyone to their homes,
sunflower-laden doors opened for me
on this very day, exactly a year ago.

I wrote my first poem of 2020
in the first half of a pandemic
and somehow it’s become
less scary since then.

While raking my insecurities
in the search for metaphors,
I didn’t realize when
I started acknowledging them,
and how my grief began to do
famous cameos in poems
I never thought I could write.

When I would turn to the fairy lights
cheekily hanging around in my room,
for inspiration, they would nudge each other
and twinkle for me,
adding aesthetic bliss
to the dreamy love poem
I was just about to write.

But nothing has given me
more solace than the
warm embrace of my bed.
It has enveloped me with unflinching affection
at 04:00hrs, 14:45hrs, 20:30hrs, 00:00hrs,
with my tears, smiles, exhaustion, procrastination,
anger, fears, regrets, failures,
delusions, triumphs, pride and inactivity;
my mattress has become
the abiotic version
of a professional hug-giver
in this pandemic, for me.

I sometimes ponder on
what would happen if someone leaked
the conversations I have with
my home-grown sunflower (Sunnie)
to the BBC.
Would they run unbelievable stories about me
and brand me a lunatic
using extravagant adjectives?
Or would they want to know
what I mean when I tell Sunnie
that he has been the brightest highlight
of my day,
that I don’t want to study,
rather just sit with him
because I feel so torn
and uncertain today?

But what they do with it
doesn’t matter anymore.
2020 has given me
enough fresh air to breathe,
and just, be,
sans regrets, sans hope.

To exist in a moment
with complete comfort
and acceptance of who you are,
is a luxury
and I think this pandemic has made me
rich enough to be able to afford it.

Things My Mind Wants My Heart To Know

A List Poem that traces the journey of self-discovery, realizations and hopes.

i. ‘I know you are not fragile.’

You don’t budge easily, you don’t let everyone climb inside the walls of your emotions. But sometimes, you’re vulnerable, you’re anxious and you let your guard down.

ii. ‘You love to talk through yourself.’

You love your ‘heart to heart(s)’ too much. You are a sucker for saintly human connections and look for this potential in every person you meet. (Read: Every person you meet doesn’t have it.)

iii. ‘You are a perfectionist’

You believe in the art of effort, in the art of giving your best. Human relationships, assignments,tests, events- you end up giving your everything to make things work and it breaks you a little if there’s even a minute error anywhere.

iv. ‘You let the goodness in people blindside you, sometimes.’

You’re still learning to evaluate the goodness and badness in people equally, you need to work harder. You should learn to acknowledge the badness, instead of overlooking it .You see, too much goodness is always too much badness in the end.

v. ‘I hate it when you fight with me.’

It was awful the last time we went at war; a mind and a heart fighting over the territory of a body full of questions, tears and inactivity. I kept reminding, you kept defying and then we gave up, together.

vi. ‘Sometimes, you have to believe things in order to see them.’

Instead of going round in circles, sit down and consider those possibilities.You might see hidden agendas unravel in front of you. Acceptance is a hard pill to swallow, very bitter , very harsh, but it gives you the peace you deserve. Silence lends the best answers.

vii. ‘I’m sorry.’

I’m sorry for being so naive.I’m sorry for directing the toxicity towards you. I’m sorry for ignoring the dark pits I always knew existed, and for still deciding to find light in them. I’m sorry, for jeopardizing you and for taking seven hundred and thirty days to realize my mistake.

viii. ‘You give so much.’

You have so much love inside of you, it bursts out like confetti and then you throw a party made out of your love. You end up inviting the wrong people sometimes; they draw so much love out of you that you’re left struggling for the last drops of self-love when they leave.
(Read: Stop. Doing. This.)

ix. ‘I know you hate changes.’

You resist changes as if they were repressive economic reforms. You crave for permanency and forevers as if they were chocolates, but you see, chocolates melt too. So every time you try to resist, you end up hurting yourself.
Change is the only constant, and very uncomfortable at first. But, it will dawn on you after seven hundred and thirty hours and you will be so grateful it happened.

x. ‘I love you.’

Multiplied by all the stars in the galaxy. I want you to feel valued, welcomed and content in yourself, by yourself. I want us to set our boundaries so concrete that no one dares to fool around them, carrying maliciousness in a basket, trying to make us feel as if we’re not good enough.
(Read: We are always enough.)

THE DUSTSTORMS OF PINKCITY

This is a poem about the ways in which dust storms of Jaipur are keeping me entertained and giving me hope in this pandemic-led quarantine which becomes extremely monotonous and pessimistic at times.

this season gives me company when;
a microorganism drugs
all the cars and shops
to sleep.

When I get a little fed up
of the monotony,
the crisis
and myself,
it pokes the wind chime teasingly,
making it gasp
in its shrill voice,
to draw attention.
It prepares for a show-
uses doors as drums
and windows as flutes
playing the tunes of its arrival.
When it arrives,
it shakes the whole city
out of its senses,
enveloping all of us
in its whirlpools.

The dust storms gives me company
when they keep propelling forward
like harbingers of hope,
when they rescue the tin shades
from their snobby rusty masters,
when they fool the trees
by showering them with dust
and making it look like
precious stones,
when they smuggle my towel from the balcony
and make a heap of all the towels from the city,
when they tickle my eyelashes;
and use those moments
to build a hanging garden
out of my baby hair.

They fight the clouds
that look like
a virus sometimes,
they hold the Sun
while it stands
and catch it in their long arms
when it falls.

The dust storms blow over us
like pink balloons;
Perhaps, it is their optimism
or their immortal relationship
with the Pink City.

Energy Of The Present

A piece dedicated to the concept-‘Live in the moment’,the process, reasons and conditions!

Sometimes, I wish
the paper could
imprint my thoughts
on its surface
all by itself;
without me having to
gather all that courage,
pick up a pencil
to scribble and squeeze
my existence into
a poem
where it sometimes,
fears to even
breathe and be visible
for the uncertainty of tomorrow
often drapes it in the blanket
of darkness
and divorces it from
the joy of the present.

I think we’re conditioned,
conditioned to crave for permanence,
to believe in forevers,
to seek those happy-endings
but these utopian concepts have
evaded us so many times
that now,
they interfere with our notion of happiness,
make us look like we’re on a lookout for problems
and keep haunting our minds,
at all times of the day.

We’re caught in a web
of ‘what ifs
and we’re forgetting to
watch the tangerine sun rise,
delicate birds twitter,
blue flowers tracing the wind in circles
and how the playful breeze curls
those eyelashes, making us twist
our lips into a smile that
curves at weird angles
and makes us drown
in the energy of the present.

This energy of the present empowers us;
and this explains
why I appreciate my capabilities and my perseverance the most
when I’m buried deep inside work
and why I could write my board exams
as my most productive self
even though I was gathering
my crumbled confidence
from the floor
just the previous night.

So, even though there is
no fixed recipe for happiness,
I guess, living in the present and
loving with a full heart,
should suffice for you
to finish those unfinished poems,
to throw random smiles around
and to work for what you really ,really want.
But, I don’t want this poem
to become another dystopian reality
so I will tell you to keep in mind that-
To Have It All
You Have To Risk It All.

Things They Don’t Know About

The purity of our social interactions is in that there are always some things left unsaid, things that are known yet unknown, things that are there,but still not there. All of these things, can breathe only under the air of ambiguity; their beauty cannot sustain the real and practical world.

A box of emotions,
an undone Christmas ribbon,
a bundle of feelings
held in place
by a rubber-band
are the things
we are
and the things
they don’t know about.

They don’t know about
the cologne you could smell
long after they were gone
and how you, stood there
wishing for their return and departure,
together.

They don’t know about
the dress you saw
on the mannequin,
the other day,
smiled and thought of them,instantly.

They also, don’t know about
the closed books,
postponed assignments,
approaching deadlines,
calls put on hold, and then
cut abruptly.

There are things,like :
the gifts you pick
but never give,
the messages you type
but never send,
the pictures you adore
but never post,
the poems you write
but never read;
there are always things they don’t know about.

It is only the beauty
of secrecy and ambiguity,
the lines between black and white
that let you conceal
your vulnerability
in those smiles and hugs and kisses,
because, there are some things
only you
and even you,
don’t know about.

Moving Out

Moving out for the first time is no less than a milestone to achieve that brings drastic changes in our lifestyle.It is not until we actually move out that we come to realise how it’s so much more than just switching up a living space. Moving out is about living an entirely different life, all over again.

It was college,
college decided to take me out
of the house, hometown;
the comfort zone.

Before leaving,
I did all the
Before I leave‘ things
we do to fill my pitcher
of memories to the brim.
But in the nights
it would hit me crazy-
the fear of leaving it all behind,
the fear of adulting
and the great of all- the fear of change.

With the overflowing tank of tears,
I diverged from the road of familiarity,
supportive street lights and lamp posts
to be on my own
and differentiate
the path of
sunflowers from thorns.

The journey began
and I felt like a lifeless leaf
cut off from the plant,
sap being sucked out
by the Sun that shone too bright.
The summer of ’19 and new everything
shook me so much that
sweat and tears flowed down
and could not be told apart.

Then the rains came,
and some flowers bloomed,
like me, with me.
They were dressed in
blue and pink
and all the colours
my mind could process.
Now,
we even exchange colours,
wear accessories
and click pictures
in the beautiful garden; the college,
where we’re all planted
together.

But this world
is a desert of challenges
running on the money that gets
spent too soon
and is a constant reminder
of how I have to be my favorite companion,
learn to spend time with myself,
appreciate my own company
and thrive for myself,
on my own.

There are moments when
I wear emotions on my sleeve;
cry, laugh and crave, for home.
I sit with myself in darkness
and trace my journey
in this tornado
I call life.
All its layers
house the turbulences
that inspire me to explore,
empower me to make choices,
push me to the core
and then,
they turn into mirrors;
reflecting onto me
the bittersweet process
of how suddenly,
I grew up a little.

EIGHTEEN

Turning eighteen is often considered a big milestone in every teenager’s life.While it introduces us to many materialistic gains,it also brings along a tipsy turvy ride which isn’t always easy to keep up with.New age,new struggles,that’s how life becomes.

Screenshot_20190603_175741

Last month, I turned eighteen
and it was different.
You’re not even going to feel it’.
But dear fellow,I did.
It felt I was seated in a waterfall;
flowing with an adrenaline rush,
gurgling with energy,
boasting of arrival
but
what now?
which way ahead?
whom to follow?-
these questions, entangled with
the deceitful mist,
were floating ahead,unanswered.

In the beginning
it was so dark,
I wailed and longed for
the sweet days of sixteen-
dreamy,fragrant and carefree,
now,that seemed so easy
and this life,
it was squeezing me,
extracting all my strength
like a lemon and leaving me
to dry out in the Sun.

The Sun, a reminder;
I don’t have it figured out,
I don’t know what to do,
I don’t find what my heart wants
while others beam in the sunshine
of what they’d become,
of the choices they’d made,
of the places they’d been to.
All of this stung
worse than a bee
but there wasn’t any blood,
only tears of self-pity.

There were too many ‘I can’t(s)
when I saw an ‘I can‘.
Over the horizon,
it sat gleaming
as if prying for attention.
I drew closer and seemed like an affair in making-
confidence invigorating the soul
like glitter on the ocean floor.

And now,it has kind of dawned.
Life,alternated by better and bitter tastes,
will keep striking
but only if we hold those
hurdles like marshmallows
over the cups of coffee
we happily sip from,
we might manage to
smile,laugh and shine
like ourselves
because
turning eighteen isn’t about
being an adult,
it’s more about ourselves;
the deep understanding
of the decisions we make.
Turning eighteen is
getting married to ourselves
for a lifetime.

I Keep My Love in a Mason Jar

‘To love’ is the rule of the universe. But, do not lose your ‘love’ to love. Choose wisely. Stop mistaking hope for love. Love, with love.

I keep my love in a mason jar,
crystal clear and tightly sealed.
It escaped once,
twice,
played on swings
tugged on hope
flew in the air,
fell
returned,
wounded.

I keep my love in a mason jar
so that it knows
fairly tales
are just tales,
not life
and charming princes
are rare;
just fictional perhaps.

I keep my love in a mason jar
so that it accepts
skies and people changing colors
alike
and observes how
people drift apart
naturally sometimes.

I keep my love in a mason jar
so that it learns,
learns to accept
people and situations
the way they are
and stop wishing for them
to be any different.

I keep my love in a mason jar
so that it doesn’t jump to a ‘forever
like I jump to conclusions
and takes its time
to go down on knees
for a force-equally strong.

I keep my love in a mason jar
so that it doesn’t cling
to people, places, things
and knows
what separation looks like.

I keep my love in a mason jar
so that it remains mine;
only mine to keep
and never becomes
theirs to own.

I keep my love in a mason jar
believing –
one day,
the lid moves,
empties all contents in full
to slip into a world
that breathes love
eats love
drinks love
and sleeps, in love.

So, the next time you look into my eyes
and do not find love
know that
I keep my love in a mason jar,
securely packed and sealed.
Hoping to pour it out
one fine day.
But for now,
I keep my love in a mason jar.

A ONE CHILD ARMY

While most people grow up playing and hitting their siblings, a single child grows up in a slightly different way. This piece of poetry gives you an insight into the lives of those who ‘grow up with themselves’.

Having an undisturbed
army of toys
and chocolates,
A wardrobe
not inherited ;
customized for ‘the one’,
being a princess to receive
the undivided love
and
finding only dolls to cuddle
in the middle of the night
is what it means;
growing up with yourself
is what it means
to be a
Single Child.

Tinkling eyes,
a radiant smile
and all that silence;
I was like
a child of apple blossom
planted on
a cemented road
with no ants
loitering around.

I was a bud
that bloomed a little
aberrantly.
Portraying my own Prince,
I would say ‘Yes’ to myself
with,
a bit more of charisma,
mystique
and soft music
everytime.

Goofing around,
breaking those vintage vases
and my knees,
Chopping my curls off,
Scribbling on the wall
with my favourite crayon
and fixing everything
before Mum came in,
I grew up to realise-
my world was too abstract.
To face people and interact
wasn’t cakewalk.
I would cry everytime
my expectations drowned
like sand crystals in the sea.

But, every fish has its swim.
I took mine,
leapt,
to grasp the treasure box
Lord had reserved for me.
Staring at the ceiling,
reflecting in lemon light
filtered by curtains,
I’ve treated myself
with perfect lessons
and discovered
the indescribable.
Reprimanding myself
for the old foolish errors,
I’ve taken each step
towards a shrine
where I have
my own identity.

All through the years,
life has blended
like coffee.
A few lumps,
still there.
But, with the finest beans;
my people
and
me time‘ –
the most valued of all,
the brew will be worth
the sip.