The Autumn Leaves

‘All say, “How hard it is that we have to die” — a strange complaint to come from the mouths of people who have had to live’

~Mark Twain

 

As we stepped out of the airport at night, tiny rain drops hit upon us; a gloomy backdrop to go with a dreary mood. A relative came along to pick us up. Not a word was spoken for a few minutes, everyone a little uneasy, some sad, some teary, some awkwardly unaware of the etiquette that the situation warranted. Something hung in the air, something spread the sadness around. Finally, the topic was broached…

On arriving at the home of my deceased uncle, we were met with a small gathering of men, related and distant, sitting quietly, discussing in hushed tones the funeral arrangements and guest lists. Their manner elicited a tense calm that betrayed the pain emanating from my aunt’s intermittent wails in the background. In another room, the women waited, crying and sitting around the makeshift casket that… held….

They invited me in, sitting me down next to his younger son, my elder cousin. I dared not to look anyone in their teary eyes, even though none of those pairs were strangers to me. My elder sisters, aunts, sisters-in-law were quietly discussing in between the infrequent bouts of cries, the why’s, the how’s, the he-was-in-pain’s. The atmosphere was one that I had had the fortune of avoiding till date. What seemed, quite contrastingly, calm, was the body next to me, lying in a peaceful slumber not to be awakened from, voluntarily or otherwise. Covered in a white sheet, it held what used to be my uncle, my mother’s senior-most living brother; a man with a once-lively demeanor reduced to mere skin and bones devoid of life, health, energy, personality, voice, hearing, and all the little things that make us who we are. I looked and I looked at the calm dead in the room, trying as hard to avoid the looks and the sounds from the living…

I stepped out for a few moments, to catch my breath. Something suffocated me inside, if not the death, then the way the living reacted to it. Death seemed fine; what it left in its wake, quite the opposite. The sights and the sounds and the vibes left me grappling; mildly aware of the happenings around me, unsure how to react, uneasy about how I felt.

The night outside provided a quiet refuge from the goings-on inside. On my way out, I noticed a change. I realized how nothing inside the home spelled anything other than the gloominess it was rightly supposed to – the quiet tones, the wailing, the awkward, nonchalant ignoring of the cries to discuss the funeral arrangements, the photos of the deceased plus family, the low-hanging faces, the dim lighting, the slow revolutions of the fan and its quiet, mournful, repetitive symphony. Nothing spoke of any light or ray of hope. The night on the other hand, woefully unaware of the happenstances within, quietly went on. The moon shone, the cool winds blew, the silence reigned. Passers-by smoked to dispel the cold, people shut shop to go home and take a well-deserved rest for the day. Cars went about lazily, no one stopping (why would they?) to pay their respects to the man who lay dead inside; just another house on just another street; on just another night…

Yet, as if reading a thought, to pay its homage to the dead, on this silent and otherwise normal night, it began again, to silently pour…

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Overpowering Voice, Love

Here’s to your voice, love

Overpowering every sense
Blinding,
But your presence;

Missing that voice, love

A voice, gentle
A voice, calm
A voice, melodious
Blinding,
But your charm;

Speak your voice, love
& Let it overcome

The Feelings despised
The Worries harboured
The Nightmares, dreaded
Blind me,
& Guide me
Through the dark

Thaw

I liked the feelings you evoked
In a heart kept cold
Lest it warmed up enough
To be sliced in two.

But the warmth was worth it
The thawing was bliss
The magic of love flowed
To a place where it was sorely missed

And the feelings you let me
Gather up in my treasure chest
Those memories of happiness
Those memories of love

Shall stay forever
And forever, shall stay
Buried in my heart
For someone to unearth.

Friendship

Friends are your horcruxes. They are your vessels which carry memories and experiences that you have shared and lived with them, things that you have told them, secrets that you have fessed up to them; they are the ones peering into the canisters of your dreams and aspirations that you have eagerly opened up for them, the ones staring into the dark with you to find the rays of hope that you desperately seek, the ones who will lift your spirits from crests and troughs alike; they will be the ear lent in your agony, they will be the lip that comes forth in your solitude, they will be your partners in anxiety and your associates in joviality. They are your vessels, your time capsules, your diaries, your journals, your recorders, your audience; they are the pages that tell about you in a history book, they are the ones with the illustrations and the trivia at your wedding, they are the ones who will show you off to your grandkids, they are ones who will be there by your bed. They are the little embodiments of moral support, of help, of love that you pray to have by your side, each night before you close your eyes.

And you, in turn, are theirs…

Dedicated to a friend more special than a fancy groupon-ed Sunday breakfast 🙂

Diary

A name and a number
A birthday to go with it
Alphabetically arranged;
Alphabetically forgotten

Accomplices and partners
Acquaintances and friends
The ones you played with;
And the ones who played you

Nostalgia rises up
A distant ache to go back
To memories;
That time has helped fade

It elicits a smile
It elicits a croak
Brings up a mourn;
Chokes your throat

Acts as a window to your past
A simple name – scribbled;
Connected to something vast
A memory that shall, now,
Forever last

Time helps forget
A diary helps foster
More memories to gather
And to, one day, look back upon…

Haiku Vol. 2

This is my second attempt at writing these little haikus. Constructive criticism from last time helped a lot, hope there’s more where that came from!

I wrote the final two with a sort of peaceful mindset that somehow brought up memories of good ol’ rainy days when school would be off, or when it wasn’t time consuming to stop and smell a rose or two.

——

“Can I go play now?”
“Don’t forget your knee caps;
And your gas mask”

(A little “environmental commentary”, if you will! 🙂 )

——

Cup in hand
Kettle on the stove
The skies pour

——

Daffodils sway
Windswept fields
A silent noise

——

Thank You.