Art, Pen

104 seconds


A girl, with her head leaned against the vibrating glass of the bus window, gazes at group of kids by the traffic light. She thinks:

104 seconds till the light goes green. But I think, kids like it red. A few of them have torn shoes, most of them are barefoot. The small girl carrying another infant is wearing anklets. Does she appreciate it and its sound like I do? Maybe not. But she sure cares enough to wear it, even though her ankles are all torn and cracked. The tallest boy, surrounded by all shorter boys seems to making some sort of strategy. Inside their small world, they have managed to create small versions of all the basic sociopolitical hierarchy. Is that funny or sad? What will become of them? Do beautiful flowers ever grow out of dumpster? But..

With sudden shake of the glass which was humming softly uptil now, her train of thoughts stops and she realizes that light has turned yellow now, with 10 seconds to go. The kids are running towards the footpath. But some of them are still taking chances and trying to persuade the boys in auto-rickshaw, who they know might pay up to impress the accompanying girl. They sure are streetwise. As bus starts to move, she gets a message from her friend. She smiles and starts to write a reply. And just like that, that boulder of elevated conscience rolls back to abyss. So much for empathy today.


Déjà Vu


The old painting in the glass frame reflected her curious face. I tried not to turn around as she came closer to look at the painting, just behind me.

It was an oil painting of Himalayan evening. The snowy blue peaks were gleaming with swaying pale yellow sunset. Thick strokes showed the painter didn’t care for little details but its very essence.

She waited for me to move to the next painting. I could see her reflection, anxious and restless. She didn’t want to skip to the next painting. She likes routine. She works out daily, I guess. Maybe wakes up early, everyday. How long can she wait for me to finish?

The signature were initials of the painter. He moved from Russia to India around 80 years ago. He settled in a small Himalayan village. Why would he do that? To give up the comforts? Why did Thoreau do it? Why can’t I do it?

She gave a big sigh and moved to the next painting. As she stood to my left, gazing at the other painting – a monk with a yak – she kept giving sneak peaks at the painting I occupied. So obsessed with the habit of discipline, she is too far from her comfort zone.

I stepped back and looked at the girl. She was looking at the painting. I looked at her eyes in the reflection and they were looking at me. I passed by her and looked at other paintings in the room. She quickly moved to that painting. She didn’t smile or cried out of happiness, but she was content. Her house of cards was intact.

The painter died a long time back. And here I am, borrowing his eyes or at least, his vision.

The girl is examining the painting with her right hand rubbing her chin and left hand cracking its fingers. It’s drizzling outside. I must go or I will lose my bus. Before I leave should I tell her that she is beautiful, just like the painting she is looking at?

Art, Pen

Pain : Part 1

Carefully, using only my index finger and thumb, I put my custom-playlist cassette in the player and pushed it in. I hit the play button with my pinky’s knuckle and licked the blood dripping from it. Mmmm, salty! Could use a little sugar. BB King’s “Thrill is Gone” starts with a groovy intro. As I close my eyes, with my pinky still in my mouth, to let my emotions dance with guitar’s notes she starts to scream again. I guess the anesthesia wasn’t strong enough.

I don’t like singers who scream. Let me teach her something about blues. Something about pain.

Art, Pen


Sounds of beating, and huff,
So heavy that, they sinks-in downright.

Sprinkling sparks and thumping ground,
not so much of a celebration.

Throbbing veins unveil,
when hammer rises up high.
Sweat beads descend along,
and drop down with each strike.

Gleaming metal is brave,
shows no signs of pain.
It knows,
its glory is, now,
just a matter of patience.

Art, Pen


It broke the order. It dropped the pin on floor. It disturbed the silence and the melancholy which was building-up like house of cards, shattered to rubble.

The Scream

The Scream


It crawled hastily over the pale backdrop. Its eight small legs were in a perfect sync but the motion as a whole was random. It ran over words and stopped at some, to clean itself. My not-so-curious eyes were following its course on the page of my physics book. It climbed from the side of the book while I was entangled in a perplexing problem. My both palms were supporting my forehead, my fingers clenching my hair tight. The usual posture when you face oblivion. When my eyes were stuck on that question mark, its presence was prominent through the blurred corner of the eye.

There were few chunks of food on the page. The little ant circled around them, without even noticing how close it was, to a delicious meal. I was still in that same posture, wondering about hidden philosophical revelations in the act. Suddenly it circled in and found a food chunk. Now my moving eyeballs froze and philosophical ideas gave way to curiosity. Curiosity is like being naked, telling and accepting that you don’t know something. Something nobody accepts these days.

It tried to grab the piece with its mandibles. It tried to hold it from different positions, until it found the best one. It slowly dragged the chunk, but now in a straight line. Again my eyes were on it, following its course, over every word and that same question mark. As soon as I saw that question mark, I remembered about the perplexing problem and the fact that I couldn’t solve it. As that little ant dragged that chunk through the blurred corner of my eye, losing my focus from it, I started pulling my hair harder. And the problem was still there.

Art, Pen

Attempts to Peek In and Out

With mud stuck on my feet
I stumbled and wobbled but kept walking.

Cobwebs of broken memories and faint hums of people,
Whom I left in that picture album
Made me mumble and fumble

Setting sun is touching the canopy, as it leaves, like a kid in a barley field,
With it’s orange, lukewarm hands.
Gusty winds are playing chasing games.


I, a perishable entity, just a guest appearance in this grand play
which has gone on and on since the first sun rose,
tries to drink the ocean, tries to jump over the mountains

Yet there are wars to be fought
Inside me, around me
To set free those instincts which are buried under the piles of green paper,
Instincts which are grinded between teeth of sanctimonious fools,
And which are blindfolded by religious shades.

As darkness rides slowly into the valley
On those tired horses,
I walked along with him,
In the search of a void and a new sun to fill it up.

Art, Pen


I made another reluctant effort to light up the lighter. Some sparks lit up the room momentarily and darkness leaped again from the corners and behinds of those dusty photo-frames, taking over everything, victoriously. That instantaneous light was enough to reflect my frustrated half-lit face of the mirror. I threw the cigarette in the ash-tray. That faint smell of tobacco-smoke was making me more anxious. Involuntarily, I started rolling the striker-wheel of the lighter hastily and  those short-living sparks kept fighting with that bossy and intimidating darkness. The flashes of things kept untidily in my room built a dramatic environment. Like they were playing peek-a-boo to cheer me up, maybe. But instead of popping out some colors, they were monochrome. Lifeless. Like that dead emotion on my face. To amuse myself, I came up with an idea. After every flash, I will change my emotion. So I started with a smile. It was a bad one but after that dark gap I tried to stretch that grin. Next one was a little better. I went through the smiles of different kind. The smile that you give to a friend, a smile you give to your parents, smile you give to the old man next-door etc. I made some weird faces and tried to imitate Jim Carrey or Mr. Bean. The fact that I was bad at making bad faces made me laugh. Then came my natural emotion. Nothingness. Void. I had to do no extra effort. After every flash, the same. Like a lake or a tree but lacking the touch of life. More like an old note stuck on the refrigerator door. Or those signboards which point towards the path nobody takes.

In or Out?

In or Out?

I looked again at the bottom of the lighter. A thin layer of gasoline trying to shape according to the orientation of the body of lighter. ‘I will let you free’, I thought to myself. So I turned the striker once and for the last time. Out of nowhere, there was a thin, flickering and almost dying flame. With my every breath it took its last. Without taking my eyes off the flame I searched for the ash-tray with other hand. I put my fingers in the tray and found the half cigarette and put it my mouth. I covered the flame and closed my eyes. My brow muscles were tensed. I took two deep breaths and puffed out the white smoke, relaxed. I threw the lighter on the floor with some gas still left in it. I was happy to meet my old friend again. Darkness, take over me!