All that glitters..

My mother always told me that people liked the glitter of gold more than a golden girl.
My mother was usually right.
I remember the day when I got married, with golden shackles around my neck.
I sat still silhouetted in silk among strangers,
as they craned their necks to ensure if my necklaces weighed more than my frail body,
gently lifting the red fabric to reveal the golden prize they bought with me.
I remember how the creases on their lips turned upside down,
The man I swore a lifetime with
Looked at me with pity not love.
I remember the sheer disgust I could feel towards me.
I don’t remember much after that.

I remember waking up to pain in every atom of my body,
or what was left of it.

Everyday.
I remember how the colour of my skin kept changing to blue from golden.
My mother always told me that people liked the glitter of gold more than a golden girl.
My mother was right.

I remember running one day to a land far away from home,
with all the shackles that came with me.
That day, I sold gold to buy glitter.
And sat at the end of the street
The jewellery glittered not with gold but hope.
People came from far and wide to see.
My mother always told me that people liked the glitter of gold more than a golden girl.
My mother was wrong.

Photo by- Garvita Bhatnagar @bgarvita

Poem by- Apoorva Tarafdar (@chroniclesofsos)

Poet’s note- This is a work of fiction but is based on what countless women and men face everyday in their homes. Domestic violence and dowry are social evils which would end only if people speak up about it and do something. It is time that people realise that a human life is much more valuable than all the gold in the world.

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An ode to the things left behind

The old joints of the chair creaked
As I bore my weight over its frail, limp body
My hands cupping the broken cup of tea, flavored with a teaspoon of nostalgia.
The heaven shed a few tears that day,
I watched drop after drop drip from the rusty bars of the window,
as I breathed in the dampness of the walls.
The leaves looked as fresh as the day I came here,
I look over at all the things I am about to leave behind
as I march forward never looking back.
Or perhaps one day I will
And that day too this broken chair would keep me company, the leaves would be as fresh as today and the tea would still be too hot to drink.
As I am about to leave,
The sun bids me farewell too,
Painting the sky crimson as a memento.
I shut my lids
and fold the blanket of my memories
To open them to an empty broken cup and the same crimson
But a different chair.

Photo by: @bgarvita

Poem by: @chroniclesofsos

The loose thread

Tonight,
There seems to be something different.
An eerie silence grew, as the night began to fall.
The moon is shining brighter than ever
Yet darkness seems to surround all.

The breeze sends chills down the spine
The wind doesn’t calm but scare.
My feathers flutter freely in the flurry,
Which usually blend blissfully in the auburn of her hair.

I look over at her, my child,
her chest moving ever so slight.
As her mind lulls into a blissful slumber
Every breath as quiet as the befallen night.

Suddenly,
My premonition comes to life
As my strings tug hard with all their might.
Oh! It is much worse than I had thought
This was a nightmare we had to fight.

The demon was known to feed on fear,
And drink gulps from hope.
Its dark limbs tore souls apart,
Its smell made good thoughts elope.

Ages pass, as the war waged on ,
Battles were fought and lost.
Alas! A day came when a thread gave in,
And finally that eve the Nightmare crossed.

I watched in horror as it struck her
And saw the venom creep in her veins.
My heart wrenched as she cried in her sleep,
I could never let it happen again.

But it wasn’t as easy as it seemed,
The loose thread couldn’t hold a bad dream.
Once I used to fight all her fears
Now I just listened to her helpless scream.

One fine autumn eve,
as the leaves bid adieu to the trees.
A nightmare, again crept up to her,
But my brave daughter did not even stir.

Then, It dawned on me.
Oh! How foolish I had been.
Only those demons could be fought,
Which our eyes had seen.

Bad dreams were meant to pass all along,
I was doing my job entirely wrong.
Her suffering sure had broken my heart
But, today it has made my daughter so strong.

Time galloped away sooner than I thought
My feathers laden with dust, forgotten, alone
I lay there, silently watching over her
Proud, as she fought her battles on her own.

Photograph by- Garvita Bhatnagar (@bgarvita)

Poem by- Apoorva Tarafdar (@chroniclesofsos)

Poet’s note- This poem is a different take on the stories we hear about dreamcatchers and is written as a fable. The Dreamcatcher has been personified to depict a very familiar relationship, the one we have with our parents/guardians/mentors. Living under their hood is the safest place to be but only when they let us face our own fears we grow to be a better and stronger version of ourselves. Hope you enjoyed it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Wounded walls

I rose from the rubble,
Blood tracing the temple, dripping down to my cheek
Traversing the curve of my neck.
Blood and tears dissolved in sweat.
Plodding towards what I used to call my home,
I fell, colouring another brick scarlet.

I laid there for a lifetime or two.
My brain too muddled to comprehend,
My body too weak to stand,
My throat too parched to speak,
Only my eyes could see,
The clear blue sky and the magnificent trees.

That is when I saw the animal rise.
Its monstrous shadow casting an eclipse,
Oโ€™er the last shred of humanity left.
It struck again with such force,
We were left sobbing and bereft.

Chaos reigned over the land,
Dust was tinged with the stink of blood.
Days passed in dread,
We shuddered hearing their footsteps thud.

How I wish over and again
To wake up and realise all this was just a dream
But every night when I wake up
I see my mother crying, hear me scream.

Tonight,
I was determined.
I didn’t just lie there helpless.
In, I breathed the dust,
Which so fondly was sculpted into pots by our hands.
Out, I breathed fire,
Which burned them all to ashes.
Tonight, i woke up content
Only to find myself
Stuck, in this concrete catacomb.
In a place made with bricks just like those
But a place, i could never call my home.

Poem- Apoorva Tarafdar (@chroniclesofsos)

Photo- Garvita Bhatnagar (@bgarvita)

Author’s note: The photo is simple on the outset, bricks with a backdrop of trees but when you look at them from the eyes of the girl who just lost her home, lying there in the ruins, everything seems significant. It is the last memory of her home, the one thing which will haunt her for life. This piece is an effort from our side to understand what the people go through when alienated from their homes, with the hope that one day ‘sustainable development’ projects would keep in mind to consider everyone as part of that ecosystem.

Fancy a cup?

After each one of them left the table,
I always collected the tea cups.

There is something about these empty pieces of crockery.
They bring those rendezvous back to me.
They are a perfect instrument for a person like me who loves to brood over the past.
Wisdom says, it’s a bad habit.
But, I wish, this little thudding heart tickling the inner surface of my ribs knew what good and bad is.

The first one kept in the far left, you see that?
Just below the awkwardly placed one.
Ah.
That was from Cafe Coffee Day.
My first date.
If I can call it one.

Now look closely, the one near the camera, nested inside the other. Well, that is from the food court, the same day. We sat for an hour and a half drowning into each other’s insecurities.

That took time.

I remember those blue coloured twinkling ear rings she wore.

This entire picture,
Conjures up the numerous encounters.

Encounters which never went beyond tea.(I hate coffee or maybe I consider tea much more soothing than any other beverage in this world. Even more than alcohol I guess).

There are also two glasses of whiskey I have cropped out of the picture.
Writing about them would herald emotions I have never been able to decipher.
Drooping eyes.
The kiss on the forehead, I don’t know whether she sees its imprints in the mirror.
I almost lost myself on both the evenings which turned into the day, waking up with incomplete recollections.

I hope they were somewhere near love.

I have given up on romance lately.

But when I see these cups in the tray, they tell me there are more spaces to be filled.

Picture by: @bgarvita

Collaboration with- @shubhamdkrishan

Check out his blog: https://shubhamedico.wordpress.com

Dear Roma,

Dear Roma,

The sky is split in two,

As are you and me,

I thank the stars,

Both yours and mine for this,

That I am not alone.

I look for a reason,

To jump off this ledge,

I find none.

I guess I am here because you found one.

As I sit here,

The edge of the world it seems,

I change my mind,

The view is worth this sacrifice.

I look for a reason,

To stay here forever

Stuck in this abyss,

Something amiss.

Sitting above all the anarchy and mess,

My petty problems seem pointless.

The sun and the vista,

Seem to mirror me.

Rarely the storm has

The visage of an enchantress

I behold in her and in me,

Peace harbouring chaos.

The life inside the city calls out to me,

I am sorry,

But I don’t think I am going to get off this ledge

On either side.

The sky is split in two,

So are you and me.

As I bid you adieu,

I see the silver lining shine,

Which had ceased to exist in your mind.

Yours

Roma

Poem- Apoorva Tarafdar (@chroniclesofsos )

Picture- Garvita Bhatnagar (@bgarvita)

It all started from here…

 

I sit jotting down the last lines to our first post, while she is busy clicking the picture worthy of it. All the elements are simple, a cup of coffee, our laptop, a scribbled (sometimes mutilated) diary, each other’s company and with these we begin. We begin a journey towards our passion.

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