Monday, 24 April 2017

~ the distance between stars.











Let me walk to someplace quiet
Where there are no streetlights,
No lamps to obstruct my shifting gaze
My meandering meditations
I do not know much of constellations
It is only the inky blackness
Between the flaming orbs of the night
That matters;
Because yesterday I thought
That darkness is much like
The distance between us -
One star is brighter than the other,
Yesterday I thought
About how if both of us
Were standing still in a crowd
Of unsmiling, unfamiliar faces,
Maybe we would notice each other.
Maybe the starts would come closer
And closer
And burn brighter
And brighter
Then maybe there would be a blinding flash
Of brilliant white light -
A collision, of sorts.
If stars can collide, why can't we?
For the darkness is impermanent, my darling.
Our lives are not filled by it
It does not encase us, envelope, or suffocate.
Let us walk to someplace quiet
So that I can look at you.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Vanished.

Sometimes I feel like disappearing.

Sometimes I feel like going away from everything, probably to an abandoned treehouse in the jungles of tomorrow, where I will be at peace, away from all the sharing and over-sharing. It would be good to be disconnected for a while. Ironically enough, I am writing this on a post that will reach a lot of people, and that, sadly enough, a lot of people might be able to relate to.
You see, the side of yourself you share out here, where everyone can see you, is only a fraction of who you really are. You can't distill a whole person into just a particular number of likes they got, or something they've posted, or something they didn't post but that you thought they should. The risk of sharing too much of yourself with people is that after a while, they will come to expect it; but they won't notice if you disappear.

At least I think they wouldn't notice if I disappear.

Sure, they would wonder where I have gone, for a little while, but then they will return to their everyday lives and troubles and problems; people have too many of those anyway. Here I talk only of the part of myself that is a slightly sassier - and some might say cheekier - version of myself: the version that is the most opposite to who I really am, and not the version that stays up at night binge-watching harmonium concerts and my friend's classical music compositions on YouTube, or reading, or writing poetry. Only a few friends of mine know that side of me. Of course, this is assuming that people have only two sides, the good and the bad, the people-pleasing and the cold-hearted, the has-it-all-together and the slowly-falling-apart.




All my life I have struggled with balancing connection and disconnection. Connection eats into my life, while disconnection keeps me awake at night. Connection is necessary for relationships to grow, but too much of it will poison your friendships, and suffocate your friends. Too much disconnection, on the other hand, will suffocate you, and make you feel like you have no friends at all; a feeling I have felt enough times to never let anyone else think the way I once did, which is probably why I, oftentimes, share, and over-share, and never stop, really. (I seldom leave people alone. My friends will testify to that.) The endeavour to balance these scales is a confusing, draining, severely exhausting one. And so I have always been scared to even attempt to balance these two sides of the same (albeit virtual) coin.

I think it would be good to try, though.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

lowercase.

i do not usually write in the afternoon. i am now.  some rules are meant to be broken, maybe.  some rules are meant to never be followed.  i sometimes wish i were one of those people who did not need rules.  unfortunately, i have been told that rules are necessary for success, that in order to become somebody, i must first be in control of my mind and body.  sometimes i wonder why i want to be a somebody at all.

what if i were a nobody?  what if i were line breaks and spaces instead of words?  silence between conversations, or sentences?  what if i were to disappear?  oh, but spaces and line breaks and silence can’t disappear.   i had forgotten about that.  some rules cannot be broken.  otherwise, they would have had no meaning at all.
but who are we to decide what is meaningful and what is not?  then again, it would be rather in our own favour if we were to assign a different meaning to different things.  speaking of differences and sameness, i have seen (i might be wrong, though) that everybody’s definition of somebody is almost mostly the same.  study hard, make money, buy a house, or houses, buy a car, buy more cars, buy a huge flat-screen television, or buy one of those curved ones, go to the opera, go to broadway shows, buy more houses, buy san francisco, buy las vegas, los angeles, buy new york city, go to starbucks for coffee, oh, and drink wine, drink lots of wine, and clink your glass with the lady’s, she’s in another of those sickly sequined scarlet dresses...beer is probably for the uninitiated.  then only you will be a somebody.  i don’t condemn their efforts to reach new highs (people have their reasons, i’d suppose)--i only do not like the idea that there can only be one somebody.  what happens to the rest of them, who are they?
what are you until you are a somebody?  what is wrong with being nobody?  what is wrong with being just anybody, as long as you are doing what you love, and as long as you are happy (maybe not all the time, but that’s still fine)?  i am tired already; why do i have to be ready, all the time?  maybe we have forgotten what respite really is.  maybe it is sad we need respite at all.  or maybe it isn’t.  i wouldn’t know; i’m not somebody.  i am writing in lowercase so that i keep reminding myself that i am yet still a nobody.  a nobody in the middle of nowhere, trying to justify her existence inside this universe using words (mostly plagiarized)—and pictures she has seen, movies she has watched (sometimes she wishes her life were like a movie; then she remembers some movies have sad endings), places she has been (although these have been but very few—no new york or california—just maryland and virginia, mostly their libraries).  a nobody who keeps questioning her motives, her beliefs—and eventually she questions them so much that she doesn’t know if she can follow in anyone’s footsteps at all, and she is too apprehensive to clear some dirt from between two pink-and-white tiles and plant an apple seed there, because what if someone comes along and tells her her tree is worse than that other tree growing there on the other side of the road?
maybe somebody else thinks the same thing too, could there be a somebody one and a somebody two?
a somebody three and a somebody four? somebodies not afraid to knock on a closed door, unafraid of what they would find, a somebody six and a somebody five? a somebody seven and a somebody eight, not caring if they do the right thing a little late? what if i don’t have to be somebody? i could...i could be anybody. 
I could be anybody, anybody at all.  I could be a thirteen-year-old playing gully cricket with my friends, hoping our ball doesn’t hit somebody on the head—or worse, smash somebody’s window and then hit their head.  I could be a sixteen-year-old trying to choose between literature and chemistry (yeah, it’s sad we have to do that, really—we need more time; I guess everybody thinks the same thing, though: everybody needs more time).  I could be a twenty-year-old trying to make the most difficult choice in life ever.  A thirty-year-old desperately searching for a boyfriend, or just someone to room with.  A fifty-two-year-old tired of his desk job and regretting that one night he got drunk and called somebody.  A single mom in America holding it all in, like a Ziploc bag full (about to burst) and every day, hoping to not scream her head off when her kids come home from school in the afternoon.  A hungry kid in Africa crouched in the sand, with a vulture eyeing him: the photographer who took this picture killed himself.
I could be a scared little person typing words on a screen, trying really really hard to keep typing in lowercase as fast as I can (and failing, again).  Occasionally the scared little person could stop and think if she was being overly verbose, or less self-explanatory, or anything other than what she wants to be (she doesn’t mind not being somebody, if things don’t work out well; here, well means in her favour—and not anybody else’s, which makes her a little sad).  Anybody could be a somebody, and everyone could be anybody, even nobody.  Scared Little Person does wonder sometimes if she is on the right road; she also wonders if all roads lead to the same pot of gold—or abyss—at the end of their paths.  Maybe the tar would condense in a large ball of blackish goo, at the end. 
Maybe the cobblestones would melt away into lava.  Maybe Scared Little Person falls off the cliff made of gooey tar into the lava—and never comes back out again, obviously.  Would it be painful?  Would it be quick?  Scared Little Person doesn’t want to know.  Because Scared Little Person is, well, scared.  Of pretty much everything.  Of knowledge, taxes, the bad guys, guns, buses, high-speed trains, things that crush bones and draw blood, thought-trains, death, friendship, and love.  Scared Little Person does wish she were not so anxious all the time, but since that is the only thing she knows how to do, she descends into the downward spiral again and again and...again, each time hoping she will snap out of it for good— but you know, the thing is, Scared Little Person is scared of snapping too. 

It hurts, sometimes.  Scratch that—always.  Snapping is like drowning: you die, but it’s painful and your eyes roll back into your head, gross.
Scared Little Person doesn’t want to be scared.  That’s why she wants to be somebody, so other scared little people won’t go through whatever she went through.  Maybe someday, she’ll be somebody—until then, she’ll keep believing anybody can be somebody: even a nobody.
~FIN~


Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Rubber Bands.




I keep
All my rubber bands
Wrapped around
My shampoo bottle
I tie my ponytail with one of them
Every day
Sometimes I use the blue one
Other times the green one
That reminds me of pistachios
There's another that looks 
Like blue and pink cotton candy
Except with whipped cream
A few months later
The rubber bands will be looser
Someday
I won't use them to tie my hair
Anymore.

~Vruta Gupte, 2017.

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

The Animals' University

The giraffe slowly averted his gaze from the immodest act transpiring before his very eyes.  It was eating into his existence-contemplation-time (not that this duration brought him much happiness anyway, but he was obliged to do it.  He had a schedule to follow, after all.  Privately, he admitted to himself that it would be rather fun to watch the immodest act; at least that would be more satisfying.)

“Professor?”

The giraffe could feel a slight disturbance propagating through the air inside his tubular ears.  He paid no attention, assuming it to be divine intervention so he could focus on his task more.  He closed his eyes presently, waiting for The Great Big Beyond to swallow him and take him to—

“Professor!”

Ah, that sound again, so beautiful and enchanting; its pitch was different somehow, though…

He tore off a few more acacia leaves with his teeth and chewed them, much like a koala chews eucalyptus leaves—oh, but koalas were in Australia, and he’d never seen one on a tree before, much less actually eating, so was it right on his part to compare himself with a koala?  It was this question that now intrigued him, and he found himself quite at a loss to explain his thoughts to his jumpy, unquiet mind.  He sought to distance himself from the taste of the leaves, and instead pay more attention to the act of eating itself, not that that would be satisfying in the least.  He found his thoughts running like one of Japan’s bullet trains towards the notion of true satisfaction—

“PROFESSOR TALLMERRY?!”

Oh, so the rabbit had been calling him all along.  He stared down at the space between his quirkily patterned legs.  He’d even gotten them tattooed a while ago.

“Yes, Professor?”

“I’m the janitor, sir!  (Really, these academics these days, I wonder what has become of them and their overlarge brains, can’t even clean up after themselves, look at that absolutely disgusting mound of shit with flies all over it—oh, goodness me, I’d rather not look) Sir, I—look at those two rabbits over there, sir!”

“Yes, Professor, what about them?”

“Well—er—” the rabbit stammered, his cheeks red as sandalwood (the Professor hadn’t seen that over the course of his lonely days, either), “Er—they’re holding paws, Professor!  Something ought to be done!  Holding hands is not allowed inside the university’s premises, Section 377 of the Abdominable Guidelines of the Animals’ University says so!”

“Blasphemy, my dear Professor!  It is girl rabbits and boy rabbits being in one another’s vicinity that is forbidden—I don’t see why they should be punished—you tell them off, if you see fit, rabbit…I can’t see why you would, though, those two will increase the population of your nearly-extinct species anyway, so you haven’t got an ant’s poop’s worth of rules to worry about here.”

The rabbit, needless to say, was extremely exasperated.

“But—Professor—”

“There’s no need to call me Professor, Professor.  I understand the rules, and I’d like you to, too.  It isn’t every day we encounter students not actively trying to break rules anyhow.  Let them hold hands in peace, now; you’re disturbing my pooping time.”


~

Friday, 10 March 2017

Memory Lane.



Made on Fresh Paint


I won’t say the cold is piercing because

I have known what needles feel like

Although

I haven’t been stabbed before,

I won’t say candies are sweet

For sometimes beginnings can be sweeter

Apples aren’t delicious because

Once I almost choked on a slice

Lights aren’t pretty

They might burn my eyes

Sometimes some music is noisy

All dark alleys aren’t poetic and beautiful

Neither are hearts, because they break

Nor are people, for they leave.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Separation.

A differential distance slyly separates 

The dark day from the nimble night

The ocean from the sky

The shivering sun from the monstrous moon

The nest from the branch

The writer from the pen

The nocturne from the canvas

The black bracelet from the wrist

The henna from the palm

The dancer from the stage

The musician from the flute

And me from you.

~ Vruta Gupte, 2017.

~ the distance between stars.

Let me walk to someplace quiet Where there are no streetlights, No lamps to obstruct my shifting gaze My meandering meditati...