Poem : Temporary

लिखने के लिए धुँध में डूब जाना पड़ता है ..

कोहरे से पानी का घूँट माँगते माँगते

प्यास को अपनाना पड़ता है..

मछलियों के लिए फेंके हुए जाल में फँस कर ..

एक आख़िरी लम्हा कुरेद कर

ज़िंदगी को विदा करना पड़ता है..

मारना पड़ता है अपने अंदर का भगवान..

 

अंत में जब आती है वो कश्ती

जो दरिया पार करा दे ..

कश्ती से कहीं ज़्यादा फ़िर

दरिया बेहतर लगने लगता है ..

 

उस दरिया में बहते हुए लम्हे

क़लम की आँखों में लबरेज़ हो कर..

एक कोरे काग़ज़ के चेहरे पर

उतरते जाते हैं..

Instagram: @ShairaKaSalaam

My Top 25 Songs *Actually 34 **Sorry 40

For those who have shown interest in my Top 25 songs, here goes my playlist. 

Songs are my constant companions. I may not listen to them everyday or even in months, but these songs are my ray of hope. They throw me head on in love with people, myself and life. They pull me out of boredom, sadness and loneliness. With these songs, I remember my journeys, for they are my ticket to far off lands. The nostalgia arrives unannounced and stays like birds do on well fed balconies. And together – me and these songs – we visit places and choreograph ourselves into exotic locations. I have a fully functional studio in my head and I am the lead heroine.

For who ever is reading these list, do tell me if any of these songs is among your TOP 25 or share your lists in comments below.

P.S. – I started off with 25 songs then other songs started feeling jealous so I have to include them too.

  1. Humne Dekhi Hai In Ankhon Ki Mehekti Khushboo – Khamoshi
  2. Mohe Apne Hi Rang Mein Rang Le – Ustad Shafqat Amanat Ali
  3. Pyaar Naal Na Sahi – Attaullah Khan Esakhelvi
  4. Maahi Ve – Highway
  5. Abhi Mujh Mein Kahin – Agneepath
  6. Munbe Va – Sillunu Oru Kadhal 
  7. Yaar Ko humne Ja Bajaan Dekha – Abida Parveen
  8. Zahid Ne Mera  Hasil E Imaan Nahi Dekha – Abida Parveen
  9. Yaara Sili Sili – Lekin
  10. Ae Dil Ae Nadaan – Razia Sultan 
  11. Dikhayi Diye Yun – Bazaar
  12. Zihale – E- Miskin – Ghulami
  13. Main Aur Meri Awargi – Kishore Kumar
  14. Tune Jo Na Kaha – New York
  15. Tujhe Bhula Diya – Anjaana Anjaani
  16. Sili Hawa Chhoo Gayi – Libaas
  17. Khamosh Sa Afsana – Libaas
  18. Kun Faya Kun
  19. Piya Haji Ali
  20. Khwaaja Mere Khwaja
  21. Roz Roz Ankhon Tale
  22. Tere Bina Zindagi Se Shikwa To Nahi  – Aandhi
  23. Is Mod Se Jaate Hain – Aandhi
  24. Aisa Koi Zindagi Se Waada To Nahi Tha – Thaikkudam Bridge
  25. Zinda Hun Yaar Kaafi Hai – Lootera
  26. Main Tainu Samjhaawan Ki 
  27. Waadiyaan Mera Damaan
  28. Tum Agar Saath Dene Ka Waada Karo
  29. Hazaar Raahein Mud Ke Dekhi – Thodi Si Bewafaai
  30. Nahi Saamne Ye Alag Baat Hai – Taal
  31. Jo Bheji Thi Dua
  32. Soch Na Sake – Hardy Sandhu 
  33. Patakha Guddi  – Highway
  34. Bezubaan – ABCD
  35. Lambi Judaai – Komal Rizvi
  36. Umraan Langhiyaan – Ali Sethi
  37. Chehra Kya Dekhte Ho – Salaami 
  38. Tum Ho
  39. Ab Tum Hi Ho
  40. O Naadaan Parindey / Saada Haq / Barbaad Karein Alfaaz 

& The list must continue. I should totally do my Top Fav Rafi songs. No? 

Yours,
AS

Not enough words.

There are a lot of emotions that have never been christened. Here are a few I need words for.

The emotion for when you think someone did bad to you and you wait for universe to teach them a lesson, but instead you get taught.

 *
The emotion for when you terribly love someone but hate them for not loving you back but you also understand why they wouldn’t.
  *
The emotion for when one of the voices in your head tells you to be happy but the other voice wants to curl up on the floor crying.
  *
The emotion for when your parents are unfair to you because you are their golden child so you would understand.
  *
The emotion for when you want to hold and puff a ciagrette to feel sad victimized but nobody has actually done anything bad to you.
  *
The emotion forwhen you meet old acquaintances and you realize how different you have become since that time.
  *
The emotion for when a stranger locks eyes with you.
  *
The emotion for when you come out of a denial and suddenly your ears open up to new sounds.
  *
The emotion for when you know the world does not care how talented you are. You are the only one who really enjoys your talent.
  *
The emotion for when you got out of the way to plan a surprise for someone but they think it is planned by another person and start hugging them in delight.
 *
 
 
 
I will keep adding more. Feel free to add yours in the comments. I will add to the list.
 
 
Anuradha Sharma ©
 
 

The Untimed Green

imaepqck7urvkv2e._see-more-self-designer-red-and-green-color-tassar-silk-saree-with-blouse-piece-sathiya-banarasi-5-red-green--code---sathiya-banarasi-5-red-green-When the afternoon sun suddenly peeped inside Mansi’s room, the vermilion powder on the silver decorative plate popped up as the plate sat quietly on the dressing table. Few rice grains that adorned the water in the silver goblet shone brightly. 

Mansi quickly pulled the curtains. The thick dark grey curtains stood like huge bouncers outside a club, blocking the uninvited sun but even they had no control over the transom window above. The weak rays followed Mansi as she opened the cupboard and took out a red and turquoise silk sari. She looked pleased to find it as exquisite as she had left it last year. Mansi placed it on the bed and caressed it with hard press of hands where it had seemed slightly wrinkled.

She heard a rustle from the kitchen. Must be the mother in law. She checked the time. It was 4 pm. Shouldn’t she have already have left by now? Once the noise subsided, she glanced at the door lock to make sure it was securely closed.

A minute passed. Then another.

This was now her time. She had a few hours to be herself.

She checked her phone and swiped a few rights to find her favorite picture of her and Kenny together. She smiled cheerfully when she found the one. Kenny holding her up in the air. She screaming to be put down. He looked so handsome. She held the red and turquoise sari on her breast to show it to the man in the phone.

Look, Kenny. This is what I wearing for you today. Hey, hey, don’t peak too much. Give me half an hour to get ready. Then you can have all of me.

She blew a few kisses to the phone and ran to the adjoining bathroom to take a quick shower. When she came out wearing the red blouse and underskirt, the room picked up her energy. The walls bloomed into henna patterns and the droplets in her hair refused to leave her hair no matter how hard she whipped them off with the towel. She blew hot air and finally tamed them into a nice plait.

The sari was easy to wear. Last year she had checked DIY videos on the net about how to get the pleats right. The lady in the video had shown how each pleat has to be set. She tried to remember the video.

Make pleats on the front and in the
process fold the sari near the left waist to show the border
in an extra pleat, then tuck the pleats in the center.

She made the pleats as she remembered.

Set.

She draped the pallu and pinned it. A smile blossomed on her face. She remembered how one time Kenny fiddled with the pin while trying to remove the pallu and in turn hurt his finger. She had laughed and then took the finger in her mouth to ease the pain and stop the blood oozing out.

I love you. He had whispered on her clavicle. Mansi had tried to shrug it off as the clavicle felt warm and cold. It still felt warm and cold.

The mirror had an advice for her. Do smokey gold eyes, turquoise bindi, just a little rouge on cheeks and only clear lip balm for the lips. You don’t want to overdo it. Mansi obeyed the mirror and only when the mirror approved the final product, did Mansi look way to find her bangles and chandelier earrings.

Ready.

She picked the silver plate from her dressing table and sat on the ground. Just before she meets Kenny she wanted to do the Karwa puja. Even thought it was all by herself in this room. Just because they wouldn’t allow her amidst the other women, doesn’t mean she wouldn’t complete her duties of a loving Hindu wife. 

The raspy voice on the video recited the entire karwa katha story and even though there was no one to exchange thalis with, she was content she did her best. After the puja, she waited for Kenny to come home so they would go up on the terrace to see the moon through the sieve. As she waited for him, she played another video on her phone. 

Aap ki nazron ne samjha ..
Pyaar ke Kabil mujhe ..

The sun went down and the moon announced its arrival with a glow behind a cloud.

In the evening, Kenny came home and exchanged a hug with his mother. I will eat later. He said when she asked him come for dinner. He entered his room and switched on the light. He saw a dusty oxidized plate with matching  goblet lying on the ground. He picked it up and placed it on the dressing table. Just like he did every year on a particular day for the last four years.

Ever since his wife died.

Anuradha Sharma

There were two notes


There were two notes. ‘I love you.’ & ‘I leave you.’

He had to pick one.

He picked, ‘I leave you.’

She stayed silent for a minute, then turned around to pick her bags. Under the handle on her worn out suitcase, a little velvet black box peeped out.

Surprised, perplexed, and unable to contain her smile, she quickly looked back at him, who was now kneeling down and trying hard not to smile. No one knew what to say next, both smiling through tears nevertheless.

The ring stayed in the box as is. As she wiped his tears, a tiny drop escaped and glistened on her finger. Like a diamond of eternities.

Partners in Poetry : Gayatri & Me

What is art? It is nothing but a spool of inspiration thread, moving between one bead of expression to another. When two poets collaborate, one thing is certain. They will create something that essentially impossible to separate. It is this non-separation that has created a coherence in the world of poetry. 

Here Gayatri, an outstanding poetess and writer, translates one of my poems “The Ghosts”. Adding her flamboyance and unique word usage, she crafts a poem that not only resonates with mine but supersedes in effect. 

I present you ..


वोह साये द्वारा Gayatri M

कुछ अधूरी नज़्में ज़हन में घर किये बैठी है …
ठंडे गोश्त सी नाचती है आँखों के आगे  ..
खोखली हैं,
घूरती है अपने अधूरेपन को रीतती  .. 

सुन्न कर देती हैं मुझे ,
पहले डर से ,
फिर शब्दों की टूटी बैसाखियों की मार से,
बीराने मे, घूरती रहती है,
ठंडी, आसमानी, खाली आँखें  ….

चुनी गयी हूँ मैं,
अधजली लकड़ियों में चिंगारी फूंक, पूर्णाहुति के लिए
चाँद सितारों का मखमली आसमां बिछाया मैंने , उनके लिए ,
पहाड़ों का सीना, बहती नदियों का छलकता स्नेह अम्बार ,
और सदियों पुराने कठोर पत्थर जिलाये है, उनके  लिए। 

यायावर सरीखे साये हैं सारे,
मेरी काव्य गगरी में समाते ही नहीं,
सैकड़ो की तादात में जीमते जाते हैं ,
मेरे घर की भट्ठी में गर्माहट पाते नहीं। 

साम दाम दंड भेद, सब जतन किये..
सामने आओ, बात करो मुझ से,
तुम्हारा हाथ पकड़ ले चलती हूँ
गिरजे की चौखट तक,
जहाँ सब कलंक,सब खलिश मिट जाती हैं।   

ठहाका लगाती हैं अधूरी नज़्में,
एक दूसरे को ताकती हैं ..
और बन जाती हैं..
बर्फ के बड़े-बड़े, रौबदार टुकड़े..

साये चले गये हैं  शायद।
बर्फ से धुंआ उठ रहा है.
मैं अतीत में सर घुसाए बैठी हूँ,
शब्द जल रहे हैं वहाँ
पर धुंए का नाम-ओ-निशान नहीं। 

राख हो गए है सवाल सभी,
मायूस, उठ रही थी मैं,
कि लबों पर अचानक,
कोयले दहकने लगे अशार के खुद ही।  

श्रापित हूँ..
और यह श्राप ही आशीर्वाद है मेरा।
फफोले बन के उगल देती हूँ कड़वे सच को,
डगमगा जाऊं तो कर देना,
भूल-चूक-माफ़ी। 

सफ़ेद फाहे बना कर आसमां में
नज़्म गुब्बारों की तरह छोड़ दी है मैंने
और मैं सूफियाना मिजाज़दारी में
कल के सायों से माफ़ी मांग रही हूँ..

शीशा शिकस्त हो चुके हैं
साये पुराने सारे अब
ताम्ब्र -काजल भरे सपनो के फ्रेम में क़ैद .. 

और फिर..
मस्त  मलंग हो कर ,
नाचने लगते हैं बन के दरवेश वो मेरे साथ। 


The Ghosts By Anuradha Sharma

There are some stark unresolved poems in me ..
Like ghosts they manifest before me ..
Then stare at me coldly to complete them..

They paralyze me.
First in fear.
Then in utter incompetence to put them in words.
In the stillness, the stare turns cold & blue.

The ghosts have chosen me to be their vessel of deliverance.

I offer them a play-field of moons & star..
And of mountains & thousands drops of river.
And of doomed rocks from eons ago.

But they refuse to flow in these vessels of everyday poetry I have.

The ghosts start to multiply.
My home has no hearth it seems.

I negotiate.
Remove the veil & reveal yourself.
In return I will get the church of white to bless holy ink on their sins.

The poems laugh..
They all look at each other & laugh.
And turn into ice.

Big. Solid. Blocks of ice.

The ghosts have left.
The blocks of ice are burning.
It is my turn to stare as some words appear through clear soot less burning.

The words too are ashes.
I was just going to give up on them ..
when I found them sitting on my lips like burning coal lumps.

Cursed. I am blessed with a curse.
To speak the coldest of all truths with the burns in my mouth.
Sorry if I be irresolute.

I release these poems back into clouds
and whirl just like Sufis do..
asking the ghosts for forgiveness.

The ghosts go back inside the mirror
framed with coppery  kohl dreams..

and then..
they start whirling with me..

The Ampersand Love

OMG I learnt something exciting today.

So as you all know, I love everything about the Ampersand.My nain criteria of liking of font type is basically how their ampersand expresses itself. I look for class and style.

I mean, just look at this beauty.

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The way it sits like a graceful, poised woman. The way you can turn it sideways and it looks like the infinity symbol. In this picture above, it evens seems to be to extending an arm as if telling a good heartfelt story. And in its big curve hiding a chest full of stories.

To me, an ampersand is a true reflection on what I am to me.

An infinite woman. A teller and collector of stories.

Well, not that poised on the outside, but my soul is this ladylike  ampersand in lavender and white.

Which is why, I have chosen this as my blog name : The Ampersand Poise.

And if I ever win a lottery and open my dream book shop & writing retreat on the hills, that’s what it will be called. Gosh, I even love its sound.

But today I learned that “ampersand” or & was once the 27th part of the alphabet. The origin of its name is almost as bizarre as the name itself.

The word “ampersand” came many years later when “&” was actually part of the English alphabet. In the early 1800s, school children reciting their ABCs concluded the alphabet with the &. It would have been confusing to say “X, Y, Z, and.” Rather, the students said, “and per se and.” “Per se” means “by itself,” so the students were essentially saying, “X, Y, Z, and by itself and.” Over time, “and per se and” was slurred together into the word we use today: ampersand.

Tell me what is your favorite letter and why? Comment below.

Until next speed, I wish you a positive hymn of a day.

© Anuradha Sharma

 

 

Story : The Lullaby Of A Birdland

images.jpgThe November auburn sky was ready to dissolve in the vast darkness of the indigo night. The birds were rushing back to their nests, chirping to the rest in the flock to move faster. Behind the clouds, the moon hung like a skinny band of radiance.

In the Malik’s residence, soft jazz had found a dwelling on the music player. Mehroonisa swayed her hips slowly and lip-synced on the songs, holding her empty wine glass like a microphone. Occasionally, she looked into the jewel encrusted mosaic mirror on the wall, singing to herself and coquettishly adjusting her nose stud. The blue chandelier earrings that Farhan bought for her birthday last year looked dazzling with her black georgette  sari with sequins. The dark violet border on the sari matched the color of Mehroonisa’s eyes.

“You are beautiful.” Farhaan said, with a naughty smile on his face.

Mehroonisa beamed, cranked up the music player volume.

Pennies in a stream
Falling leaves of a sycamore
Moonlight in Vermont
Evening summer breeze
Warbling of a meadowlark
You and I and Moonlight in Vermont

Farhan saw his lovely wife do a twist as poured another round of drinks for both of them.

“Here is to the beautiful birthday girl. Cheers!” Their glasses chimed together.

Dancing and getting drunk was their once-a-month ritual, but on birthdays and anniversaries, they took out their cherished favorite CDs of Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong, and fantasized themselves in glamorous sounds of romance and old world charm.

“Eh Mehroo, Your present. It is in my wallet. Let me get it.” Farhan said, as he held her close while dancing.

“Eh Faaru, You are my present and my future.” Mehroonisa tightened the hug.

Farhan shook his head at the silly joke as he softly pushed her back and went to the bedroom to bring his wallet.

Mehroonisa snatched the wallet and looked at Farhan while opening it. She found a small green satin paper envelope. She slid it out then slid it back and threw the wallet on the sofa. Her annoyance was visible.

“Gift card? Seriously? You got me a gift card?”  

She hated gift cards. They reeked of laziness.

“No, listen baba .. I wanted to buy you that handbag you told me about. But I don’t know about brands or colors or style. ” Farhaan tried to make her see the point.

“No, That is not acceptable” Mehroonisa was adamant. She didn’t think she needed to explain to her husband why.

“Mehroo, it really doesn’t matter.”

“No means no.” She said walking towards the kitchen.

Farhan smiled. He knew his wife of 27 years. She was still the same stubborn lass he fell in love with in college, who fought with him to give her fewer gifts because she felt embarrassed in front of her friends whose boyfriends were not so rich. He had only stopped because she had threatened to break up.

“Mehroo”

Mehroonisa glanced back and pretended to have glaring anger in her eyes. The hands fanned into a cobra hissing at him.

“Ok fine, snake girl, don’t kill me,” Farhan surrendered.

But Mehroonisa wasn’t listening. The next song on player had caught her attention.

Bees do it , bees do it
Even educated fleas do it
Let’s do it, let’s fall in love

Farhan laughed at his wife’s ageless theatrics and blew her a kiss. Mehroonisa gleefully extended a hand to catch the kiss in the air. Then she closed her eyes and pouted gracefully like a professional Jazz Singer to blow him a kiss back.

***

She opened her eyes on the hospital bed. Six machines cramped in a tiny room. She closed and opened her eyes a few times to ensure it wasn’t a bad dream.  Something thick had started to curdle up in her. She tried to sit up and shrieked when she couldn’t.  She had no strength.

Their 23 –year-old daughter, Taani, rushed to her side. The parents wanted to come in too but the nurse asked them to wait. The nurses adjusted the bottle, took her temperature and made small talk until the doctor came inside with reports. She was doing much better now, he had assured her.

“Ho kya raha hai? Why am I here? When did Taani return from Bangalore? Where is Farhan?” She had wanted to scream but she seemed to have no control on her voice.

It took a lot of patience from both sides to come to the point. Taani sat on one side on the bed and on the other side her parents had taken her hands in theirs and told her that her Farhan had died following a massive heart attack the evening of her birthday. She had run to get help but had fallen off the stairs and had been in a coma for 20 days..

Coma? Heart Attack? Farhan had died? It made no sense to Mehroonisa. It was not Farhan’s way of dying. He was a health enthusiast, marathon runner and even  occasionally retreated to yoga.

The unbelievable was happening. Are they lying? Is this a prank? She looked towards the door expecting Farhan to pop his head from the side of the door and yell surprise! as he often did in college days.

It irritated her then. I’ll kill you, she would say. It wouldn’t irritate her now.

“No No No I wouldn’t kill you. Show me your face.” She pleaded to her husband.

She wanted to cry but all she could do was scream. It was simultaneous painful and confusing for her.

While she slept peacefully, her husband’s body had been religiously returned back to the elements it came from. No questions. No answers. Her college sweetheart, the doting husband was gone. Just like that. Accept it or not.

Her lips started to quiver. She went back to sleep.

Taani watched her mother go back to sleep and fixed a few strands of hair from her face. There was one thing Taani knew about her mother. Her mother did not love anybody the way she loved her husband. And with her father gone, Taani had lost her mother too.

As she caressed her mother’s limp hand she cried without tears. Her eyes wandered outside the grimy window.

Outside the ward, the hospital staff talked about how the daughter of room #309 patient had been running around to get all necessary paperwork done first for her father death and then for her mother’s hospital dues.

***

Mimmi, Chai.

Mehroonisa opened her eyes and watched Taani, moving medicine bottles aside to keep the tea cup on her bedside table. The mother and daughter exchanged a kind glance at each other and a half-smile formed at the corner of their lips.

Did you eat something? Mehroonisa asked, trying to sound as motherly as she could.

“Haan. Toast. I am leaving now.” She said wearing a watch her father gave her.

“On a Sunday?” Mehroonisa had wanted to ask.

But she heard the door shut before the words could make their way to the mouth.

Mehroonisa looked on the framed pictures on the wall. Not too long ago they were all happy and together. She felt a strange pang, similar to that of an empty nest. All the birds were gone. Some of them had gone too far.

The doctors had advised two months bed rest but she had taken more than six. She felt safe and closer to Faaru under this blanket. It still carried the smell of his after shave mixed with the odor of his night flatulence.

She got up from the bed slowly and limped towards the bathroom. The bed sores were beginning to sting. Now that she had the home to herself, she could come out of her shell for a bit to wash up. There was no one around to judge her for her latency in getting back to her feet.

She looked at the bathroom mirror and the mirror shot back with spiritual wisdom.

Let go.

No! She shot back. A thick lump in her throat refused and threatened to hurt her eyes. She looked away.

She splashed her face and wiped her blank expressionless face with a towel. She opened the Almirah and glanced at all the saris hanging. The pink jamavar, the red and gold bandhani, the yellow with pastel flowers, the black with violet border. She looked away, quickly pulled the purple house gown and beige shawl and closed the Almirah.

The phone rang twice as she was changing. The brain was in no hurry to take telecommunication urgencies. She did however pick up at the third ring.

“Ma’m, we have a special discount for mother’s day. Would you like to..?”

Is it Mother’s day? Today?

She remembered the last Mother’s day. The mother-daughter had gone shopping for a new bookshelf. They had similar taste in furniture. Classic but modern with artsy bent to it. They made the purchase and then spent the entire afternoon sipping wine at the new bistro in broad day light, something Mehroonisa always wanted to do. Taani brought out the adventurous side in her, just like her father did. She made her laugh like her father did, too.

She took her Teacup to the balcony. The May afternoon air was dry and itchy against her skin. She came inside and observed the house like someone who has no attachment to it does. The hall and kitchen were mostly clean. One of the plastic place mats on the dining table had a water streak, like it was just wiped. The rest looked good as new, never touched.

She opened the door to Taani’s room and found it spick and span. Not a thing out of her place. Tears welled up in her eyes. The Taani she had known never bothered with cleanliness. Her room always looked like a Sunday fish market. The maid had to be paid extra to clean the room. Even when Taani moved to Bangalore, she returned home once a month for 3 days.

Farhan’s death had changed Taani, too. And for the first time, Mehroonisa realized that she had never once thought that Taani too had lost her father. She had been so occupied in her own pain of losing a partner, she had become selfish and oblivious to her own flesh and blood’s feelings.

She was a bad mother. In fact, Taani had become the mother bird and she had become the dependent bird, waiting all day in the nest to be fed and taken care of.

She ran to her bedroom and opened a few drawers looking for Farhan’s wallet. The satin envelope shone in sunlight. She took it out and opened the envelope.

There was a note attached to gift card.

To Mehroo, My Jaan

 The way you wear your hat
The way you sip your tea
The memory of all that
No, No, They can’t take that away from me.

From Your Faaru

Drop by drop, the unannounced tears fell on Mehroonisa’s cheek like the big raindrops do a sunny day. She sat on the edge of the bed and sobbed until she thought the time stopped still.

It hadn’t.

She got up, limped to the Almirah and picked out her new aqua green chiffon sari and looked for a matching blouse. There wasn’t anything that matched.

She wasn’t sure she will have the courage to wear it today, but one day soon, she will have to get a blouse stitched.

The gift card had been neatly tucked in the inner pocket of her old handbag. She looked at it and pouted in mild scorn.

It was time to buy Taani and herself a new handbag.

It was time to go on a wine sipping date with her daughter.

It was time to become her daughter’s mother again.

It was time to ask Taani how she was feeling.

***

In the evening when Taani came home carrying five grocery bags, she stopped in her tracks to see her mother wearing a Sari, fiddling with CDs. Mehroonisa waited for her daughter to say something but Taani stood there for 2 seconds then went straight into the kitchen without any expression on the face.

Mehroonisa found it a bit strange. She had thought Taani will be happy to see her mother decked up.

She walked into the kitchen and saw Taani standing there looking at the floor.

“Taani “ she said.

No answer.

“I am sorry, Taani. Betu.”

No answer. The silence was deafening.

She waited and then took a few more steps to touch Taani on her arm.

Taani let out a huge sigh and turned back to face her mother.

Her face was a pool of black, blue and purple tears. Mehroonisa wiped her tears. And in wiping her daughter’s tears, her own tears resolved a few knots.

They two birds then hugged till the tears were replaced by trust and comfort.e4090a72d44f11c807d1d8b39ce40091

In time the Rockies may crumble
Gibraltar may tumble
They are only made of clay
But our love is here to stay
Together we’re going a long long way

(c) Anuradha Sharma

(The title of the story and lyrics quoted above are by Ella Fitzgerald, my favorite singer. She puts me at ease on cold December nights.)

My name ..

Stare at your own name .. It feels so strange.. Like strangers in the bus .. who accidently look at each other .. And quickly look away ..

You say your name in your head .. It feels like you found an old dress you used to wear as a kid .. An embarassing color .. Strange story

It’s funny .. It’s your name and others use it more than you ..
You wanted solitude .. But ypur name is an obstruction .. Anybody can call your name n pull you out from your moment of self vacation ..

Can I order a privacy lock on my name ..? Can you zipper up your lips?
Call me silence next time. Call me to stay .. not just to appease you. You

You classify me with my name. You put me on a pedestal. You pull me down to crash. On the glass floor.

You made friends with my name. Now you want it to pay you back in loyality.
What if .. I tell you .. That I have renounced my name .. Would you say I am no longer me..

What if memory refuses to serve me anymore. What if I lost papers to prove i was guilt free .. What if they said my name was something else

What then I ask ..

Coz If my name really belonged to me .. I wouldn’t need rectangles to prove my identity ..
Alas! No search leads to your name in your last birth .. even if you checked page 2 search on internet ..

They don’t want you to find out what you lost on the way to here.. They don’t want your name ruined by your sins ..

And just like that.. My new name is also my current oblivion .. My passage to future ..
And for the time being, I am to make peace with my name ..

The old dress touched to relive a memory .. The one of my name ..

No One

No one to hug..
No one to kiss..
No one to find..
No one to miss..

No one to hold to..
No one to share..
No one to call..
No one to care..

No one to run to..
No one asks why..
No one to show wounds to..
No one to cry..

No one to laugh with..
No one to smile..
No one to be quiet with..
No one stays a while ..

 

(c) Anuradha Sharma