Romantic Tragedies

This is a tribute to my love for second-hand books and quaint streets, which can be attributed to this beautiful stretch in Calcutta called College Street. One just cannot get enough of that magical fantasy. Do read on to experience the sweet memories yourself.

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No ancient perfume, no dusty bloom,
Only dandy lights and a sprayed room,
No dreams, hopes and lives,
Only paper people with their paper smiles,
No wild calls and raucous bargains,
Only glossy covers and printed grains.
Oh, the worldliness of things!
Where stories recede and money begins.

(There’s a place you might want to go)

Words find their time here in this rainbow street,
Where one smells love like the lost cause it is,
A sea of legacies, old and new,
A gift, a tale, a letter anew,
Where the message of threaded art
Finds a lost soul to part,
Where bitter almonds and vanilla crystals,
Etched in a forgotten tree,
Burst forth into tiny dewdrops,
Sizzling, sparkling, free.

O dear things of a tell-tale smile,
These pages hold not letters and strokes,
Neither do they carry the whiff of your hoax,
They carry a thousand pictures,
And a million shattered pieces,
Pieces of pathos, pieces that scar,
Pieces that burn with your eternally beating heart,
Charring and fusing,
Till no death can do them part.

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A Lonely Whisper

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Listen to my lullaby,
Far away into the night,
Floating in the sweet chill,
Caught by the frost of time.
Wandering its way through dark lanes,
Turning souls in its wake,
A gypsy of ink and blood,
Burning with a marvelous ache.

It spills and rushes
Into crevices and craters
Filling smoky bubbles with vicious ink,
Pulsating auburn at the brink,
Diffusing lazily into the air
A whiff of my pain,
Searching the skies,
For a parched, thirsty rain.

I wrote this for you,
For loved memories and sour lies,
For lost times and heavy sighs,
I wrote this for me,
For sliced veins and edged feet,
For lonely times and melting heat.

This sparkling pool of salty tears,
Turns into strings and words,
Madness the key to this closed door,
Behind which lies the store,
Of purple scars and blue bruises,
Picked deep by scalding knives,
Torn apart by sharp tongues,
Made
Of a withered lullaby.

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Evanescence

Today, I swallowed the tear of time. It swirled inside, mingling with the atoms, reacting, transforming. It took me to a lost place, not entirely lost, but faded. I could see the soft, yellow lamps. I could hear the chirp of birds, incessant, sharp and warm.

I travel through time again.

A usual monotony for some, but a kaleidoscope of sorts for me. The slow rattle of the engine turns into a noisy affair, as the train rolls through grasslands, farms and forests. The images flash past at a nerve-wracking speed. I can feel the wind kissing my face, seeping into the pores of my body, washing away the elusive faculties of conscience.

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I love the way the terrain changes its face as the train storms past. Fields of yellow flowers adorn the land at one point, barren rocks at another. One realizes that diversity is not just in people or cultures, but is ground and sprinkled into the very element of nature, waiting to be unraveled by a wandering soul.

I notice a few kids push a ragged rubber tyre with a stick, fluttering little white flags in the air, an unadulterated joy shining on their faces. It makes me wonder if we are moving too fast, or if we are moving in the wrong direction. Maybe we are just forgetting the simple joys the present offers.

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One night, just one night, sleep under a luscious blanket of stars and you will know what it feels like to peep beyond the realm of imagination, to feel infinity. The mirage of progress seems to mask our dreams, but the freedom of the heart always finds and fills its corners with a sweet, syrupy muse.

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People are incessantly talking. Chatter, meaningless, trivial. Silence has lost all meaning in a world that cannot stop and listen. It is saddening that quiet has been a regarded as a sign of weakness and shyness by so many. One does not seem to realize that blatant speech entails the scope of being utterly frivolous, whereas silence has the power to shape the words, the idea, a potent amalgam of the mind and heart, achieved through solitude and meditation.

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The sun sets in a flurry of red and orange, slowly receding into oblivion, as a curtain of black falls over the bubble of speed. The air is ornamented with a sweet chill now, spiraling down the spine as it touches me tenderly. Outside, it’s dark. Pitch dark. Occasionally, a scarlet fire breaks the monotony with its tongues lapping up the blank, feeding on the cold of travelers and farmers. I am intoxicated by the beauty of this inky sea, drowning and surfacing again, slow and lazy.

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The whispers of fantasy give way to a blurry reality as I realize it is time to get down and go home. I walk out with my belongings.

The soft, yellow lamps flicker with a hiss. The auto drivers scream their lungs out with their calls.

But, no birds chirp on the lines today.

No sweet song, no rueful desire.

Only the silence in the chaos.

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(I do not own the pictures used in this post.)