Suicide Notes, or reasons to live
by Samartha Vashishtha
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
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
Courtesy The Poetry Chain (Thiruvananthapuram)
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.
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!
dare and give it a try.
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.
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.
* 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
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
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 –
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
our way to Greece* in panting iron ships.
Or that abandoned pair of glasses
grandpa refuses to wear even once
when at ninety, he needs it most.
Come to me, my demons from the myths;
garlic from a place in the sun
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
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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