Uncover

Yesterday, I dreamt of this wonderful place

with lawns, flowers, and teeny pups running about.

Everything was perfect, everything was insane

everything was a fairy tale beyond a doubt.

but there remained an unease,

feeling of an incomplete puzzle,

like the locks with missing keys,

and a belt with an absent buckle.

I ran into every room, looking for my dearest treasure

Guided by instinct, my own inner voice.

While the smell of fresh grass added the pleasure,

The brutal sensation gave me no choice.

Keeping one step ahead of the other,

Courageously, I started to uncover the maze.

Without looking around, I kept going further,

For one with no nerve surely pays.

Within no time, everything turned strange.

And at that very moment, all my courage melt

Into a million shreds, not adapt to change

Cutting all the comfort I had felt.

I woke up with a jerk, an overpowering sense of panic

Making me all sweaty and scared.

Trying to reason out my state of manic,

From the recent adventure I had dared.

I looked around with a mere instinctual need,

trying to make sense of reality.

And then, I saw you there, right next indeed,

My pearl in a midnight wave of the sea.

That was the point, the biggest tick,

To realise what’s the most essential for me,

My treasure, my soul, and my best pick

cause baby, there is not a world in this place I’d rather be.

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In Retrospect

There were times we would run

carelessly off the streets.

All around the big ol’ world,

laughing out aloud like little freaks.

It was a time I would go back to,

in days of misery…

And in those days, I would find

that there was no wait, and no hurry.

 

It is a common thing,

to look back and reminisce.

For people are easy to find,

but comfort is the one we seek.

We would dance and sing,

and fight with each other too.

But I knew that when I needed it,

I would find the comfort in you.

 

Things might not be as they are now,

and tables might have turned all around.

But today, when I think of those days,

when I recall those memories,

I feel the spark, like I have found

something to treasure, and to lock with keys

of my mind, and open it every now and then.

 

And today, today was when I realized,

that the treasure chest still had some space.

For you reached me, unexpectedly.

I remember your face, those eyes

that reassured me, put me to ease.

The fights that kept me sane…

I remember all of it.

And I could not help but smile again.

Wishes

​It’s a funny thing- this fate,
Full of surprises, shocks, and games.

It made us the best of friends-

From helping each other in need

To calling each other stupid names,

We’ve come a long way so far.

I do not know how to thank you

For all the support you’ve given me

When I felt I was falling down

You pulled me back up, made me stronger.

And there’s no doubt that when we part,

I will miss your stupid face and your stupid jokes.

And remember, that this is just a one time thing,

And I know I don’t say it much,

But you deserve all this appreciation,

All the happiness and all the joy in this world..

Like flocks of birds that guide each other,

You’ve guided me in tough times,

And helped me when I needed it the most..

You’ve made every rock as light as a feather

You’re an amazing friend

And I’m so happy I met you..

I wish you the happiest year and a life full of adventures.

Please stay the way you are,

Smart, friendly, humourous and caring.

You’re my brother, and my best friend too,

And here dear, I wish a very happy birthday to you!

A Ray of Hope

It was so hard to concentrate. She had no idea what to do. She had not seen Texas before, and she had no clue which road led where. It was midnight and the woods were dark and scary. Should she run? Should she scream for help? Should she hide? What if he finds her… all this struggle would finally end, but it would cost her her life. That was okay. What she was worried about was her little daughter, 8 months old, who that monster had tried to steal from her. If he had gotten to her, if he had taken Hope, she would’ve killed herself. No, she would’ve killed him. She would’ve hunted him down and killed him.
She looks at the tiny bundle of cloth in her hands, and inside, the little smile on the prettiest girl on the planet- fast asleep, as if none of these struggles mattered to her. Hope was born 3 months after Jack’s death, and 2 months after that devil had taken her away, as if she was his property, his toy. For 2 months Zane had suffered the worst days of her life. He would rape her regardless of her state, starve her to death if she refused and protested, and would beat her. Zane would stare blindly at the lonely moon every night while he did what he wanted. He wasn’t around when Hope was born, and she was so glad for that. She wouldn’t want that devil to lay his filthy eyes on her beautiful girl, whose birth gave her the motivation, the hope that one day all this suffering will end… and hence, the name she gave her daughter- Hope Jones, the names of two most loved people in her life put together.

If only Jack was here, she thought, he would’ve made everything alright. She had married Jack two years before, and had come to the States with him. They had the perfect plans- they would go all over the world, have their own little family. But who knew that the World War would destroy all their dreams. Racism, unrest, intolerance filled the country and Zane was the victim of all. One of Jack’s relative took the authority of giving away Zane to a friend of his, receiving a lot of bills in return. And then the torture began. For 11 months, she had been in the hands of evil and yesterday, when he laid eyes on Hope, she decided that she had to get away from this monster. So, she ran. Jack was always there, speaking in her head, “Zane, don’t you worry dear, everything is going to be okay”, the exact words he had told her that fine morning when he left for the war and never returned. The war killed him. It killed everything she had. She felt as if someone had pierced her heart and pulled it out of her body. Tears rolled down her face and before she knew it, she was crying out loud.

Hope woke up. Those beautiful little eyes looked at her and tried to console her. Hope hadn’t eaten anything since morning. Starvation lead to no milk. Zane got up, and aimlessly, she ran anywhere she could go. After running for an hour or so, she saw a house. Panting, she tried to see if someone was inside. Not hearing anything, she checked for the back window, which was open, and she tried to squeeze herself in. There was food, fresh food. This was good news and bad. She had to quickly take as much food with her as possible, and leave before anyone sees her. But as soon as she was done, she saw the door open. A man came in.

Zane rushed out, making all the food fall out of her grasp. He suddenly turned towards her in the dark and brought out his gun. “Who is it? I have a gun”

“No please don’t”, Zane said through her trembling voice. “I am not here to steal money; I just want food. My daughter has not eaten anything since last morning and I can’t feed her because I have been starving myself. Please, we will just take some food and go away.”

He walks forward and lights the nearby lamp. She sees his face. He’s a young man, maybe a bit older than Zane. He looks at her, and then at Hope. He examines them closely, and very cautiously says “Okay.” Zane bends down to gather the fruits. He sees the torn clothes she’s wearing, and Hope gives a slight cry. Holding her, Zane starts to walk out.

“What happened to you?” he asks. Zane looks at him wide eyed. She is surprised, and confused. Can she trust a stranger?

“I am Robert. I am a school teacher. You don’t look… well.”

Zane stared back at him.

“You can stay here if you want, for the night.”

“Uh no sir, it’s okay, thanks.”

“Where will you go now? Where do you live?”

“Nowhere”

“I can see that you’re in a lot of trouble. You can stay here, till things settle down. I hardly visit this place anyway.”

She stops, considering the offer. She needed a shelter desperately. If not her, Hope needed protection. “Are you sure? I think it would be too much trouble for you.”

“No it’s okay, you can stay here till everything is fine.”

As desperation gets the best of her, Zane accepts the offer and tells Robert her story. At first she was very hesitant, but after a while she got used to him, and to the place. She never left the house, and the curtains were always drawn. Robert would visit them sometimes during the vacation and would keep assuring her that she could stay there for as long as she liked. Slowly, they started bonding. Zane and Robert would talk for hours about their lives, and Zane noticed she was starting to trust him. He was so much like Jack. He constantly told her that everything would be okay; that she could take as long as she wanted to get things right so she could go back to Nigeria, her home town.

After about 6 months she confessed to Robert that she was in love with him, and he said he loved her too. Good days came by, and they lived happily, like a small family- happy and joyful. Everything in Zane’s life seemed to settle for once, and she was happy. She was careful not to give Rob too much of her time so Hope didn’t feel ignored, because somehow Rob would be different when Hope was around. But she never gave it much thought. Hope was her life, and Rob was the one who gave them shelter. Without him, they would still be wandering around, running from that devil.

A year went by. One fine day, Rob planned to come early and take a few days off so he could spend some quality time with Zane. They went out for dinner and Rob bought her new clothes and jewellery. Zane wondered where he got all the money from, for his salary was limited considering he was a school teacher, but she didn’t question him. They celebrated the special day grandly and went back to their “home.”

The following night, Zane woke up thinking she heard Hope cry. She walked towards her crib, only to see it empty. She searched all over the place but she could not find Hope. She started to panic, tears rolling down her eyes. This time, the lonely moon stared back at her. She went into the woods, and kept calling for Hope.

Robert, on the other hand, was sleeping peacefully. She was wrong- he wasn’t like Jack at all.

Prism of Horror

Hearing her own breath,

In this little room of darkness

The walls reflecting her own fear,

Terror rushing through,

forming a whole prism of horror.

In this hushed room-

Solitude that is unwanted,

Silence that is unknown,

Shelter that is perilous.

Open eyes, hurting to be closed

And a beating heart that ceases to slow..

Should she fight, flight or freeze?

Desperate for aid, apprehension taking over her faith

Can’t take the risk, can’t let go.

No question of Love,

Or any sort of belongingness.

For there isn’t a soul around,

Only the cold walls, seeking to provide comfort?

Bursting with fear, the petite figure scans the room

To find a reckless opening

A mere ray of hope.

Trying to differentiate day from night,

Trying to think of the joyful reminiscences,

and failing in a miserable manner..

For that only brings the ghostly tears

Of exhaustion and starvation.

How long will it be before she gives up?

Gives in to the terrible fate,

And into the cruel hands of the unknown?

Who decides, what is courageous, brave, heroic?

For in this state, it is a mere fight

Between deception and myth,

Between chicanery and delusions,

Between uncertainty and misjudgement.

This is not how it was supposed to be

This is not how it was supposed to be

Life, as I know now, and before,

Was never this genuine, never this kind.

Twists and turns, pits and holes

Numerous, unending, unpredictable.

 

This is not how it was supposed to be

You, us, this unbelievable thing

Has put me into a dilemma

Can such things happen? Or am I dreaming again…

This love- the give and take

The texts, the talks, the hugs, the walks

Drive me insane, foolish and crazy

And just thinking, just thinking..

About those wonderful days which, on count,

Open only three fingers

Out of the twenty two, and it leaves me

Anticipating, imagining, how everything would be

With you there, forever.

 

This is not how it was supposed to be

As if life now, erroneously

Took off its restraining shackles

Or maybe it is only for the time being,

Maybe just a break…

But I would like to extend this pause,

Till the end of time

I would love to keep you, to hold you in my arms

Look at you every day, every second

To be with you in every step you take

And I would love to be the One…

 

This is not how it was supposed to be

For I cannot tell, how everything would be

If it weren’t for you…

How I would live without that huge smile

Plastered on my face

How my heart would be, for once,

Beating slow and normal

And how my stomach would feel

Without those notorious butterflies…

I do not want it that way

I love how every day is with you

As if I’m looking at the world now,

Through a colourful lens

And I do not want to let go

Ever. Never.

 

Maybe then, I can say,

You and I. And us,

Wasn’t chance, fate or destiny.

Maybe then, after all,

This is how it was supposed to be.


 

Halcyon

There is, in each one of us,
A new born duckling.
Fixated in time, fixated in love,
And no question of doubt or mistrust.
False wings, false hopes, but true reliance
And no such querulousness,
For we follow the one we see first-
As an erudite, someone you can depend on.
Independency- that’s the word, pretty promising…
Much quixotic, or a corollary
Of our vast imagination and fantasy.
Freedom, liberation, individuality
Of true independence, autonomous and sovereign
Keeps us afar from reality,
Bending our impractical prudence
Even further, towards queasiness,
Where we look back with concern and disgust,
And fret about our past.
Only we don’t know, and these expectations
Raise our standards, elevate our confidence-
To a faithful and an improbable state
Only to fall deep, deep down…
Into the known world of unknown,
The world you despised and deserted
Now becomes a learnt comfort of home.
Bringing us back to normalcy,
Bringing back our new born duckling.