Curls escape like wayward whims
from a stoic bun of stolid indifference,
as sweat beads pepper
furrowed brow of worry
like water droplets on lotus leaves,
trickling down oft to imitate
defrosted sigh of winter,
flowing down glass panes at noon.
Hands wrinkled, weather-beaten,
resembling that of her grandmother
–having endured many a frothy tussle,
wear rings dulled and faded by time
like sepia photographs in dogeared albums,
now wedded to fingers forever
and beyond~ only to be rotated in
fuming moments of urgency.
Within flour canisters she hides
meager savings of bargain and thrift
~ like miser’s gold-pot buried underground,
while she reigns supreme as a sorceress
surrounded by luscious aromas and flavors,
wielding her spatula as a wand
to create magical delights on fire-flames.
Humming fractured lines of lyrics
half-forgotten and fabricated,
she talks oft to herself just to ensure
that her solitude has not maimed
those long learnt conversation skills~
disuse atrophy perhaps?
For dinnertime woes and complaints
are hardly versatile enough
to qualify as a dialogue.
Refereeing squabbles and pillow fights,
absentminded daily appointments with soap operas
just to forget her petty troubles,
while the needle knit patterns of affection
for limbs long outgrown
as she fails to steal moments of respite,
the ticking moments befriend
her insomnia as she ponders
on impending problems
in murmured prayers for survival…
she wore a tired smile
like singed marigold petals in june,
to camouflage the searing pain
which wizened her beyond
an anorexic youth yet unlived~
sighing soft whispers to placate
our anxieties with her complacence
and suddenly that flickering smile froze
on chapped lips now quiet,
her voice coffined in silence.
life is an enigma, a mystery
strewn in laughter and tears,
such the lyrics flowed as rippling river
entrancing me with their depth
as they unraveled surreal meanings
of bittersweet existence,
unaltered by the drooled moments
by an hourglass bellybutton.
a face scratched by mischief,
an impish grin worn with bravado
to defy angst of skinned knees and elbows,
a little girl with grit enough
to challenge boys twice her age
trying to prove something to herself,
but on stardusted nights
she peered into onyx realms of insomnia
trying to gather fragments
of once savored choco-chip cookie realities
now a distant, faded dream.
between truth and falsehoods
are blurred by conceptual interpretations
she lost her most cherished dream
and sought satisfaction
in making empty threats to break
the sand castles built by others,
just to prove to kismet
she could beat it at its callous game
of cheating, swindling and destroying…
subtle fingers of mist cover yesteryears in sighs with cracked edges and sepia footprints are left by filtering recollections on the bosom of tranquil moments – transient scribbles of reverie like the hues of fading crepuscule.
distant echo of words long forgotten is revived by lethargic solitude interwoven with with threads of recapitulations, as seemlessly snippets of long erased past unfold in burnished syllables of the old.
I remember an incident, watching it play on mind’s canvas almost like a vaguely remembered scene from a movie seen once, I am a child again- all knee scrapes, laughter and mischief visiting the shops with mother, my eyes alight with delight at the myriad colors, lights, smells-
I fell in love with her as she sat high on a glass shelf in a dainty frock in the shop, pestering mummy I whined for it and with a smile-tipped sigh she bought it for me.
pleased I went prancing downstreet, to show my doll to father and learnt my mother had spent money meant for her saree to indulge me even after all these years, flown under time’s bridge as a river, I still cherish this memory like a memento of love from my mother long since departed to tread cottonwool clouds with angels her smile lighting up life’s drab alleys forever…