That First Step

Creases crowded her hand

And crevasses in them were filled

With dirt, loss and abandoned dreams

Staring intently at them

And trying to understand why

Each line that resided in her palm

Lied to her about everything

With a blank face she continued her work

Swept the dry leaves from the side walk

 

As a kid she loved autumn and dry leaves

Her dad would sweep and pile them

And she jumped right into them

With leaves creating havoc

Her giggles filled up the air

How she would give anything to have

That moment of carefree bliss once again

Each stray leaf she swept seemed like an old dream

That slipped through her fingers noiselessly

 

The voices in her head created a fury

Each screamed that she couldn’t do it

That she wasn’t strong enough to nurture her dreams

Every time those voices filled her up

She sunk a little lower and silently screamed a little louder

Always wished to muffle those voices to death

Helplessly she clasped the warm blanket around self

And mustered all strength and will to

Protect whatever little hope that was left in her

 

The cries of the lost life kept her awake all night

Arrival of morning was an ugly reminder to her

Of yet another failed day welcoming her

But, next day, there was something new in the air

There was a desire to turn into a new leaf

Found strength she forgot she had,

Picked up the broom to sweep the fallen leaves

And gather all the neglected dreams

Safeguarded them back in the eyes

 

She muted all the voices that told “she can’t”

Cut all the links that weighed her down

Took baby steps in the unknown, forgotten path

Challenged everything that was thrown at her

Started enjoying every fight she was up against

Undeterred she kept on moving ahead.

She was ready to own all the abandoned dreams

And all that it took was, that  courageous first step

Towards a life she always dreamt

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Foster Child Speaks

I was found on the sidewalk

Wearing minimal torn clothes

They said my face was dirty

So were my hair, nails and body

Stomach was grumbling loudly

Eyes were darting in all directions

When they asked where my mommy was

I told them she told me to wait there

She went for some two days ago

I was still standing there waiting for her

She didn’t come back, she never came back

Yet my wait for her return never stopped

Because I was five and I was scared

 

I guess mommy forgot her way back

She was always bad with directions

These people were kind enough to

Give me something to eat and drink

I’m sure mommy sent them for me

They said there were going to take me

To some house with good people in it

Said that we’ll wait for my mommy there

I was glad that to go some place warm

Sat by the window to see when she’ll return

The good people did not seem to like me

Because they sent me away soon

I was seven and was still waiting for her

 

I was sent to many houses with good people

But everyone sent me out, they said I was difficult

They made me wear clothes I didn’t like

Sometimes gave me peas to eat which I hated

And sent me to a big school that I loathed

When I said I didn’t like that, they scolded me

They never answered when my mommy was returning

How can mom lose her way in such a small town

I thought of running away to look for her

Maybe these people who lived a comfortable life

Didn’t care about her absence, but I did

Why didn’t they understand that my mum was lost

I was ten and I was really confused.

 

I grew up a little more, faded picture became clearer

The brutal reality of mum abandoning me

Smacked me hard on my soul, I changed

Returned to the streets, tried to make sense of everything

But these people kept taking, to many more houses

They tried to reform me, I kept on rebelling

Many people opened their house for me

But they could not open their hearts

They said they wanted to take care of me

That they wanted to give me the best they could

How was I supposed to believe and trust them

My own mother left me on the street

Why would some strangers wish good for me

I was thirteen and very tired of life

 

Eventually everyone gave up on me

Concluded that I would never have a good life

If they really wanted me to do good and be happy

Why didn’t even one of them ask what I wanted

None of them tried to understand that

It was just not the clothes and food that I needed

A warm hug and loving words would have nourished me more

Scolding and harsh words couldn’t do

What a gentle encouraging nudge would have done

They always gave what they wanted, nothing that I wanted

Wished that they would have just understood that

Wished someone, anyone would have just noticed me

Here I am, no knowledge of my age, abandoned, yet again

 

Bittersweet Truth

I’ve heard many guys ask this question so many times, ‘Why do you girls take so much time to get ready? Why do you always keep us waiting?’ Well, I don’t know the answer to that question, but this is what happens behind the scenes. Sorry boys to keep you waiting but I guess you will find it in the end of the poem why we take the liberty to do that again and again and again. 😀

Psstt.. Please take it with a pinch of salt 😉

Waking up from the dreamy nap

Eyes tightly shut and a tiny smile intact

She stretches her hands wide

Gazes out of the window

Procrastinates leaving the bed

Cuddles and plays with her beloved puppy

Finally decides to quit delaying

Dramatically she puts one foot down

And then the next

Tippy-toed till the stereo

Selects her favourite song

Confused she re-considers her choice

And shuffles the playlist

Once, twice and many times more

As the beats fill up the room

She can’t help but dancing

Like a child, she’s ecstatic

Jumping to the songs’ tunes

And singing out of chord

Stepping on the cold tiles, she turns the tap on

The stomach grumbles and rampage begins

Shelves are searched, fridge is ransacked

Munching away happily, she gets lost in thoughts

The noise of overflowing water on cold tiles

Snaps her back out of the fantasies  

And thus begins the session of beauty bath

She manages to cram up everything

In that hour of bliss

Dreams about her future,

Wonders about the evening ahead

Mulls over the past

Until she realises it’s getting late

Avoiding the calls that need attention

She attacks the over-flowing wardrobe

Peels out layers of clothes

She dresses and undresses

The wardrobe’s level lowers

And that of bed increases

Finally she’s happy with the assemblage

Struts towards the footwear collection

Only to realise in horror that

Nothing, in the room full of shoes, matches

The process starts again

She undresses and dresses

The wardrobe’s level lowers

And that of bed increases

Eventually clothes and shoes match

Smile widens, eyes sparkle

Need for caffeine triggers

Back in the kitchen, fiddles with the coffee machine

A peppy song comes up

Again the prancing begins,

Coffee in one hand and stereo remote in other

She dances balancing the hot one

And continually switches songs

Till a call from him breaks the flow

He’s about to reach in a few minutes

Panic strikes, coffee spills, curses emit

The hair styling starts

Hair misbehaves, she tries to tame it

Third time lucky, the crowning glory

Decides to stay as directed

The kohl define her eyes

The shadow adds colour to them

He’s already there, waiting

She sweeps the gloss

From the depths of her bag

And adds a tinge of shine on the lips

The cell keeps on ringing

Avoiding it conveniently

She dabs perfume out of the fancy bottle

Picks out a colour she likes

And paints her nails with it

Standing and posing she scrutinises herself

When the cell rings the fifth time

Snatches her clutch and keys

Just to listen to the opinion, once again,

Of her faithful and truthful mirror

She turns back and stands in front of it

Happy with the mirror’s answers

She smiles

Blows a kiss to the pup

She races down the stairs

Smiles to herself when she sees him

Pacing, irritated, outside his car

She knew he was rehearsing his dialogues

To ‘scold’ her to keep him waiting

Mischief twinkling in her eyes

She went behind him

And softly said, ‘Sorry to keep you waiting’

Angrily he turned around

One look at her and words failed him

All that came to his lips was a smile

Brushing aside a stray hair off her eyes

He just managed to say, ‘It was worth it’

She smiled a mischievous smile

And knew just like that, 

That getting late would never be a problem ever again

Familiar Strangers

   

The chill made its presence felt

Fog limited everyone’s vision

Streets were deserted

Everyone was happily tucked in warm

But there was one corner

Which was a few degrees warmer

A group of people huddled together

The bonfire brought a pleasant change

The logs burned and reduced to ash

Fire flames gorged hungrily on logs

And leapt threateningly at everyone

Burned whatever came in its way

Palms encircled the bonfire

Jokes and stories were shared

Laughter echoed in the empty streets

Memories lanes were re-visited

Amidst the flames and laughter

Their eyes met

Flames reflected in them

Each pair seemed to say something

With each blink, they spoke something

A muted conversation ensued

The dancing flames added to their story

Their gazes pierced and warmed their souls

The night warned about the impending chill

Mercury dipped further and further

Huddle around the bonfire began to thin

Laughter memories jokes started to freeze

But nothing could move those strangers

Stories were pouring out of them

From their first step to that evening

All the details were shared 

The rum glasses got refilled every few moments

Somehow through those silent moments

They understood each other completely

Missing pieces finished their life’s puzzle

Tiny flame sparks played between them

Fingers entwined, smiles exchanged

Silent promises made their way through them

Each breath rejoiced the moment that passed

 Night slowly was losing its battle to day

But their journey had just started

The winter smiled embracing them

And the fire between them refused to fizzle down.

Unspoken Words

When I first saw you

I just wanted to say ‘Hi’

When we started talking

I just wanted to say, ‘I don’t wanna say bye’

When we started hanging out

I just wanted to say, ‘I really like you’

When I realised that nothing could work out

I just wanted to say, ’Let’s just be great friends’

When we were great friends

I just wanted to say, ‘I love you’

When we were together

I just wanted to say, ‘I miss you’

When we were apart

I just wanted to say, ‘Come back soon’

When we were wading through rough times

 I just wanted to say, ‘Baby I’m always besides you’

When we smiled all day long

I just wanted to say, ‘This is heaven’

Now that you aren’t there in my life

I just want to say, ‘Wish you were around’

If you ever come in front of me ever again

I would just want to say………………………

Tug of War

She was hardly a day old

When her father fell in love with her

Held her delicate hands

And kissed her tiny, little nose

He saw many dreams for his bundle of joy

She was growing into his little princess

Her father just couldn’t get enough of her

Showered her with unquenchable love

He shared his dreams with those curious eyes

And handed them over to the tiny palms

His angel grew a few more feet

Started understanding the world around her

Keeping her father’s dreams safe in her heart

Trod happily along the razor-sharp life

Knowing she had her father’s back

Slowly the daughter developed beautiful wings

And the long, safely guarded dreams slipped through

With a will to soar beyond the known skies

She took a leap of faith into the unknown territory

For first time ever, she couldn’t see her father beside her

She turned around and there she saw him

Standing on the edge with dreams broken by his side

With pain in his eyes and smile upon his face

He helplessly saw his little girl fly away solo

And left, after burying and mourning the dreams

She was scared yet enthralled

On her journey to the unknown, alone

Picking up myriad dreams along the way

Nibbled on every ounce of hope and faith

With the love her father blessed her with, she flew on

The new dreams started bearing fruits

Yet she couldn’t enjoy their sweetness or smile

Her father’s absence forever pinched her

So did the nagging thought of going back to the known

But her heart and wings had other plans and guided her way through

From the childhood days of hide and seek

She wondered if the game took a serious turn now

Her father and his smile had hidden some place she couldn’t seek

She wished this game came to an end real soon

No one was winning in this tug of war of dreams

She is still flying solo, spanning across infinity,

With an undelivered message to her father

Everyday the messages pile up in her heart

The guilt weighs her down a little each day

Yet her determined wings manage to keep her up

Just like there were dreams he shared with her as a kid

She wishes she can share her dreams with him

Cravings of that extra nudge and push by her father

Whenever she was bogged down was needed

Yet, his love kept her alive and determined

He taught her to always get what she wanted

Clutching to those lessons she moves on

A silent tear drops by, eyes see a few more dreams

Just as the wings begin to falter in the turbulence

She wishes for her father to be the wind beneath her wings.