Suicide Notes, or reasons to live

                                                     by  Samartha Vashishtha


Suicide Notes, or reasons to live


The blind kings of our history

wait on their mighty thrones

kim akurvat Sanjaya?*

Invaders with red faces

come and call us names

plagiarizing from our ancestors

oiling and twisting their beards.

The rivers of our death

turn round a corner

and become untouchable.

I sit in my room scratching

an age-old itch

on the little finger of my foot.

* The Gita where Dhritarashtra, the blind king asks his companion Sanjaya about the happenings at the battlefield of Kurukshetra


Reality –

a songless morbid tale.

I watch people around

laugh and dance

flaunting their shades of life.

The sky stiffen its neck

wailing like a stubborn child.

Women with shaven legs

smile when I turn and watch them.

A little warmth from the earth

rising up my veins.

Or you sitting by my side

slender like a rider’s whip.

When I’m meant to be perfect, Lord!

why didn’t you make me so?

Even the colour of dawn on the sitting chair


The Poetry Chain (Thiruvananthapuram)


Before I ran out of proportions in my teens; I had heard of a Stephen Hawking tied to his wheelchair, but still having the reputation of being a scientist as great as someone who abandoned his daughter in Hungary because the wailing of the baby was too much for him*. It is just this keener-than-needed interest in history and polity that father thinks I feel I should not be bothered at all for such things as switching the extra fan off; or deciding the height from which water should be spat into the washing sink so that it doesn’t bounce back onto one’s shirt.

Rotten eggs.

Obviously, there are things that I’ve dreamt of doing right since the very beginning. Like shouting on the streets at midnight and be dismissed as drunk. Or brushing my elbow against that bombshell in the college and get away with a mild Sorry!

Atleast dare and give it a try.

And certain, there are things that I’ve loved and that keep me here longing when I plan to go. For instance, the hint of salt on your lips. Or the fragrance of the first mango of the season falling from a tree that we once buried in the earth, and has now grown taller than me. Or one last unending poem on the hazards of Capitalism.

And ofcourse, at the end of it all, we know it’s just for a mouthful of Pizza cheese; or that last leg of the roasted bird that we all live.

Till eternity.

* Albert Einstein is known to have abandoned his daughter in Hungary in the early 1900’s


I can call this a cruel world.

Most parts of it

I can.

A world oval like the scar

I carry on the back of my palm.

A world pretending to be innocent

about the years of my life wasted

in putting Tellegen’s theorem to use.

What world I blemish with my touch

going nowhere, walking on the air?

What world sinks into our eyes

when I write my name with yours –

mischief on a bare blank page?

The world is not a swirling tennis ball

that we stand upside down on

rising from the bottom of the sea

on our way to Greece* in panting iron ships.

Or that abandoned pair of glasses

grandpa refuses to wear even once

now, when at ninety, he needs it most.

Come to me, my demons from the myths;

garlic from a place in the sun

I fear in the least now –

Easier than jumping from a bicycle in cold

or bidding goodbye for a little summer night –

this saying I don’t deserve this world

or vice versa if it matters

But for the little child on the street

I’ve never met before

waving at me and running

faster than I can leave him behind.

* Many young Indian men perished at sea while illegally attempting to enter Greece when the ship that they were travelling on met with a mishap

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