Monday, October 20, 2014


  How could I forget that night? It was exactly ten days since my grandfather had passed away. I was close to 1400KM away from home at Bombay, unable to sleep; merely staring at the wall a little before midnight. There was a sense of melancholy and wishful dreaming over my head. My teammates were fast asleep, heads buried in makeshift pillows. It was January; the floor was as cold as ice but yet, vaguely comforting.

  Silence screeched as the wall suddenly lit up to life, reflecting the warm hues of an oriflamme presence somewhere. The sound of the crackling rose up to the second floor apartment where we lay as the fog lifted, disintegrating into nothingness in the face of the bonfire built out of all which held people back.

   Bhoghi, the harvest festival, had dawned. It was midnight as heavy drumming began to sound, awakening the sleeping souls to stare out into the dark; where below, there lay a mound of light and lilt. Smiles cast invitations even when we couldn't see. We ran, our flip-flops slapping the bare mosaic flooring. The sound of the dholaks and laughter intensified with every step of ours, the excitement building. I rolled out only stopping to a reckless halt before the fire. The flames, a feet away leaped about, taller than I was, a fourteen year old girl in disarray. A Sardar, otherwise camouflaged by his beard and black turban smiled through it, holding out sweetmeats to me.The flames blazed higher, smoke spiraling into the vast sky charring the past and ready for the future.

    Slowly, the other state gymnasts descended the stairs and gathered around smiling, laughing and chattering away. Girls who would otherwise be dressed like dolls before the floor exercise performances began to dance in baggy pajamas and disheveled hair holding hands. My hands slowly slipped into theirs, strangers I didn't know in a place I wasn't really acquainted with. All I knew then was that the sound synced with my heartbeat and that the dance came from within.

It didn't matter that midnight in a strange place that I was holding hands and dancing with strangers. It didn't matter how close I was to the fire that night because I didn't feel any heat, only the warmth. It didn't matter that night that my grandfather was dead. I learned to laugh out loud again after a ten-day hiatus. It didn't matter that I was celebrating the festival away from home because, that moment in the dark when all our eyes met lingering with joy, shining in untamed light, I felt at home.  

Source: GOOGLE IMAGES. I do not own this image.  


Wednesday, October 15, 2014


We are all but broken women 
pieced together by the joyful memories 
lining every heartbreak,
every belied relationship 
and all of the hidden sorrows
behind fallacious, colourful smiles. 

We are but broken girls 
sprouting out of our own wombs,
further broken with every push;
standing out of monotony 
as a lovely mosaic of our own mess. 

We are broken.
But oh, the shards are just too beautiful 
to comprehend,
to surpass 
or to be neglected. 

Just remember to piece yourself together.
You'll be spectacular. 

Original Artwork by Hemalatha Venkatman | Copyrighted  | Do not reproduce without permission 
|In connection with my art blog Hemu's Art Blog's ongoing Inktober Challenge and the Facebook page of this blog where I have been putting up a poem a day. | 

~Penned and sketched by Hemu 

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The Girl Who Catches Stars in Her Hair

I know a girl whose hands are always full
with misery and poetry, love in vain and abyss infinite.
Yet, she settles down to catch the evading stars every night
and because her hands are full,
the stars perch themselves on her hair
so that she may smile.

Original Artwork by Hemalatha Venkatraman | Copyrighted | Do not use without permission 
| I have been going about with pet projects on my art and writing blogs where I put up one inked sketch as a part of the Inktober Challenge throughout October. On this blog's Facebook page, (Street of Smiles) I've putting up one poem a day for as long as I can. I collaborated both the projects for the day, combining my art and poetry. Please do let know what you think of it. :) My art blog can be found at Hemu's Art Blog! ) Thanks and cheers! |

Penned and sketched by

Monday, October 6, 2014

Dangling Feet

   I’m borderline aqua-phobic. The line lies between that simple stance that my feet can touch the floor of the water bed and the assurance that drowning is not a possibility. It lies submerged in the sea-green blues of the waters, the fear of not death but suffocation unto death and the helplessness of it.

   Sixteen years of age was when I set out to Calcutta for the first time in my life en-route to Manipur. The train chugged away, pulling with ease the coaches that followed, sculpted with steel carrying people full of dreams. The locomotive sped at an immense speed as I edged my way to the doors of my bogie, swaying with the whims of the vehicle itself.

  It was noon and everyone had slept into obliviousness. The door was wide open, as I held the handles just on the outside and lunged my body forward for the erstwhile breezing wind to scream in my ears. Drawn to the avenues open to my senses; I merely collapsed and sat down on the steps, still holding on to the rails, feet dangling to the moving Jelly stones. The rhythmic lull of the wagons over the railway tracks seemed like the ritual of love-making between two as I closed my eyes; unaware of the people around me, singled out within.

   I don’t know how many minutes passed before my eyes opened to a change in sound, the return of the breeze alongside the summer sun. The rhythm was the same, but the echoes and sounds that emanated, completely different.  I gazed ahead to look at the calm blues staring back at me, its ripples moving from one to another, in constant motion.

   My fingers tightened around the handles as I peered down. Hundred feet below were deep waters that could devour me alive. It was the first time I saw seemingly bottomless waters below my own dangling feet. The initial flutters of anxiety and fear had drowned in the overwhelming feeling that was caught at my throat. I had never felt this comfortable, alive and fearless of waters. Transience and permanence loomed to and fro, as the moving waters coupled with the climax of the lulling pleasures put me in the moment, in complete awareness of my senses.

   I was neither in the past, nor an eon later. I lived that moment, completely, without the fear of suffocation and drowning lest I fall. In that unknown place, over an unknown water body somewhere in North-east India, I could then do nothing but smile as the cool wind kissed my face.
I have never felt that liberated, thoughtless and free in all my life, ever since.


I do NOT own this image. Source: Google images 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

An Affair With Addiction

I don't understand those poets that romanticize alcohol;
attributing poetry to a glass of high
or a joint of weed.
I'm tempted to judge a man
who loves alcohol and smoke;
a daily dose of exigency
to unlock and  let oneself be.
But what right do I have to roll my eyes
at him, an artist
immersed in the illusion of beauty;
recovering and emerging from
a bottle of whisky
when my words spill and fall like
a momentous dominoes set
when I think of you?
The illusion and the addictive need
to romanticize the image of you?