waxwork wings

“I know you’re trying to fight when you feel like flying”- Unsteady, X Ambassadors

I am a paperweight-

and your mind has always needed
to be restrained from flying away.

your thoughts fill with me
in the moments
when you submerse yourself
in others’ words
to avoid your own-

maybe that’s why you can
never open books anymore,
maybe that’s how you
became a writer.

I remind you of
the poems you leave
half-read as you interrupt
yourself to respond
to people you can’t bring yourself
to care less about-

no wonder you fall into
conversations that you
archive consistently,
out of sight and out of mind,
isn’t that right?

burnt-orange images of me
flicker and propel
your lids open
when you’re so tired
you need to sleep-

so you take to drinking coffee
at one in the morning,
and go to bed earlier
in the name of staying up longer.

you aren’t made of paper
but I have weighed down
the wings you were meant to wield.

I do not ground you-
you, who have refused
your skies in my name-
I have only crushed
your cotton-cloud dreams.

I am deadweight-

and you still cart me around.


In the darkest of times.


I’ve been feeling like the water that’s been rising around me has just reached my chin and I could drown.

And I went for a few swimming lessons when I was a kid but I never could follow through with them. I quit them like I quit dance, like I quit Karate, like I quit Hindi. I quit them like I quit all those classes that my dad still speaks about, in a tone of disappointment interspersed with anger, when somebody else succeeds where I couldn’t even finish.

I quit them like I’m afraid I’m going to quit now. I’m afraid I’m going to give in to avoiding everything till it’s all gone by because I don’t know how to deal with consequences and how my actions are responsible for them. I’m afraid because I’m taking the easy way out by default.

It’s been a bad while.

And so I turned to Harry Potter and rediscovered that beautiful scene in that picture up there.

I used to feel a flicker of hope when Harry managed to cast his Patronus. I don’t feel it right now but Luna has reminded me that I have memories to sustain me until it flares back.

And it’s been a bad while but I guess this may be the most opportune time for me to figure out how to magically drain the water away or maybe just learn how to swim by myself.
In the meantime, I’ll just stand on the tips of my toes and pretend I’m doing ballet, like I used to when I was younger, and could dance and ask everybody to watch me, watch me, watch me as I did.

This is just a post for all those moments in between. A reminder to think of something happy.

Just in case*,

(*mini HP reference.Did you catch it?)

[To my best friends, for the memories and the reminders. I love you guys. ]

[P. S. This was written in the era of Grade XII final exams, when exaggerated versions of doom and despair were my ever-constant companions.]


ribbons of envy
curl around me,
cutting me clean
from everyone,
wrapping me up
till I willingly
wait for you to
untie me.

bouquet of happiness
dying dying dying-
leave me some sustenance
only to elongate
my suffering-
I will meet my end
without the water too.


(A/N: Mouse ear and scorpion grass.



“So where is the passion when you need it the most?” – Bad Day, Daniel Powter

on edge all the time
and my hands forgot
that they could make miracles
because my eyes got
distracted by your fingers-
I speak of hand-eye coordination
and tell myself
I’m a little out of capacity,
convince myself
that it wasn’t a temporary
hand-stand of an act and
that I’m still on my feet.


“Say you’ll be my nightingale” – Nightingale, Demi Lovato

loneliness is
knowing the answers to questions
nobody thinks or cares to ask.

the monologues that never
turn into conversation.

the disfigured lump
in your throat
that rises into crying
on bathroom tiles and pillowcases.

the earrings lying discarded
in the pink charmed box
that are so heavy you never
wear them.

books you borrowed
from others who never
asked for them back.

imaginary conversations
into hope.

the words that remain when
you slash and burn away
to meet word limits
and deadlines.

it is the irony of becoming
the cliches you laughed at.

(To Shriya, who, for the record, definitely asked for her copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane back.)



my mind is
my preferred
place of residence-
I flit away to it
between moments
of existence,
live there like
I’ve never wanted
to die.

“I was late for this, late for that,
Late for the love of my life
And when I die alone,
When I die alone,
When I die, I’ll be on time”-Cleopatra, The Lumineers

In my rush to respond
Grammar is forgotten,
my spellings are skewed
and if you knew me, you’d know
why I felt the need to
write a poem asking if
you understand
in my haste,
I forget that you dictate
the consequences of
my sentences;
that the answers I don’t give
are the ones that give
too much away;
that not being late is not
the same as being there
at the right moment
just as not being cold is not
the same as being warm.

Que Sera

“This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in.”- Pretty, Katie Makkai

On bad days
I wish I looked good.
Brush my hair
so it covers light-catching
sight-catching pinpricks on my skin,
so it falls over my
crease lined neck.

Drag nails over skin to
separate the without
from within.
Create judgement panels
in my head
and wonder if this is whynot.

On bad days
I skim the surface of superficiality
and struggle to stay afloat
of the depths of shallowness.

On bad days
I cannot say
“Does it matter?” when
told I’m pretty.

Over yellow pages

“And when we looked outside,
Couldn’t even see the sky.”- Sleep On The Floor, The Lumineers

is as simple as
hearts beating,
drumming liquid music
through networks
of vulnerability,
breathing life into
temporary spans of spaces,
as simple as the
mechanical thrumming
of hearts running
on hooked wires and
tangled remains.

is recovering
what I’m losing
when I choose to
hold my words back because
I still cannot bring myself
to risk it-
bold and daring, I am not,
and I trust you with my life
but I don’t trust you
not to leave and that has
always mattered more.

writing is rewriting
till I’m so sick of how
I’m feeling
I stop feeling it.

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