Silences and Smiles

If I had a superpower
I want it to stop myself from thinking
what others are thinking
every hour.

So that I would not fall short
of goals I had never sought.
And just live my life. Like I want.
And not like what I think they think is my wont.

Near people it’s never quiet
even in silence, I hear voices fight;
personal takes on what is wrong and what is right.
When actually their field of vision are narrower
than a one dimensional line.

Stop! Pause for a breath
Pause into silence and keep it fed.
Take in a lungful of fresh air
And let me, to myself be fair,
without shamelessly being drawn
against others who are individuals of their own.

It’s not teenage angst
I’m not in that age gap anymore.
It is instead a suffocating pillow you snuff
on my face every minute and still expect me to smile in return.
Which my superpower tears to shreds
with an ugly scowl.
Because people are not measured in smiles.
The secret is… you don’t measure them at all.

So I look into their eyes and pity their life
which has twisted them so they can only derive
pleasure from others’ plights
while they pretend their life is alright.
And smile. And pretend. And smile.


More Poems

An expression in ink

You tell me I live in a society.  And societies have rules. Undocumented. Unsaid. Unanimous. Untampered. Unquestionable. I tell you I have a life. Mine. And while I know you are right. I also know that I’m not wrong.

When I make choices,  I understand all the directions the repercussions might burst into.  I may underestimate the magnitude,  but I get the general direction. But the choice in itself is valueless to me. I accept the consequences as a payment for the freedom of making it. But your comments and your slights are not to be wrapped in the same packing. When I travel to a new place,  I understand that I may be lost.  When I stand on the stage,  I confront the risk of drawing a blank.  And when I get a tattoo,  I know it’s permanent.

You don’t have to spell it out to me. I know how to read. Or listen. Or think. Or choose. Everything. The design. The place. The size.

You don’t have to protest about missing your vote on my pre-tattoo design deciding panel. I don’t need it. Your permission. Or approval. Or pat on the back. It’s still healing and I’d rather not get it infected.

It might surprise you to know that it wasn’t an impulsive decision. I did think long about it. But even if it was,  I don’t get why I need to tell you about it. If I have to maintain a journal of my choices,  I’d rather it be my body than the constricted puzzles in your brain.

I don’t need you to make me look for questions in my answers, when you really don’t care about the why or the what or the how. Because you’re too busy making the world fit into your own fancy mold to understand it.

Every statement that I make, does not need your approval stamp. And you can rant about your views in words that won’t sting more than an inked needle. And my mind will pay you no heed. Because opinions are like seashells.  I’ll choose the ones I like and leave the rest to the waves.

Dedicated to all who made me think yet again about something I’d already been pondering over for years – getting a tattoo. And dedicated to all those who are still letting others steer your life when you’re one hell of a driver yourself.

‘Tis the season!

Stockings hanging beside a fireplace towards the right with a christmas tree on the left.

Each morning on the 25th, the first thing I do is look under my pillow. And each morning on the 25th, for as long as I can remember, I without doubt find something or the other there – a box of chocolates, a little toy, a book. So it has become a habit of sorts. These days, my younger sisters wake me up before I can look myself with the standard – ‘What did Santa get for you this time?’. Before I can tell them, they rattle off with their own list of under the pillow goodies. It seems this time our Santa did a little upgrade. He finally found the socks we’d hung near the bedpost so there was less danger of us waking up while he sneakily tried to stuff gifts under our pillows. Maybe this Christmas, we can pat ourselves on the back for becoming more considerate.

I remember having a fight with my friends when I was in the fifth grade. All because they had the gall to suggest that Santa wasn’t real. With narrowed eyes and puffed up cheeks, I declared, ‘Maybe you are just not good children’, and stomped away. Because I believed in Santa. Despite all my rationality. I had years worth of gifts to prove it. Every 25th without fail. And even as Christmas creeps near this year, I see my younger sisters writing a letter to Santa and asking their dad to post it, with all the surety that it will be read that only children can have. And I wonder if they fight with their friends about Santa’s existence or not. And if they reply in the same pompous tone as I did or not.

It took me, after all, quite a long time to realize that there is no such thing as ‘good’ and ‘bad’ kids, there are just some which are incredibly lucky.

And in some ways more than the others, I have been quite so. Rather than being bad children, maybe my friends just did not have any person in their house who believed in Christmas or wanted their children to. It is not our festival anyway. We already have enough with Diwali and Holi and Dussehra and Janmashthmi.

But festivals are fun. And carols jolly. And as I shop with my Aunt reading off from a list of gifts that her husband handed her which she needs to get before 24th eve, I still find one box of chocolates stuffed beneath my pillow when I wake up on the 25th.

PS. Talking about Christmas music, I’ve been listening to this for about 3 years now.