Silver Crusader

Tell me not in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream ! – H.W. Longfellow


I was cold the other day,
And a mustard pullover I had hid came out,
And while I shuffled to find the arms,
There lay a long strand of your brunette hair.

I took it up and tried flinging it out of the window,
It would not go,
So I tied it across my fingers in circles,
And smiled at it, it smiled back.

Slowly the warmth of holding you came,
And then your head on my shoulders,
I sat there on the garden benches,
Lost looking ahead, pointless, existant.

The cold morning came back,
The few moments we had snatched,
Away from destiny and time,
To see the beauty of being.

Such thoughts like tides of a loving mind,
Came and went and like a lullaby,
Sang me to sleep with you on my fingers,
Will I wake up to see you by ? or shall we fall off and die ?

Some Nights

Nights as these are difficult you see,
I twist and toss and can sleep not,
Still thinking of you and me,
Or wondering what shall we be ?

I get up from my bed, switch on the lights,
And sit at the blaring screen brazing my eyes,
I write drafts and let them lie by,
For I know nothing of what else of me will get you by ?

Thoughts they come, black nor white,
And some like wine, brilliant to age,
And some like books, yellow and pale,
And some like the autumn, that stands at our doorway.

The child stops and gulps the rolling drops,
No body plays with me, they have their alibi,
Snide remarks of those lonely lunch hours,
Alone out of the window his fixed eyes.

The loner sits wondering at every placid moon,
And they add red ones, to the already cold blue,
And name years when you know you will not be around,
When such stars and moons will be seen again, with other eyes.

Sometimes I see them, in some of these nights,
And poised with ease and unrest,
And wrestling with sleep and distress,
I think of things that have so come, and so gone, and yet stayed.

The Deliverance

I had just left the gentle embrace of sleep, my eyes had started to open and I could feel he blobby dirt at the ends. And there she was, sitting majestically on my chair. Her legs were crossed and rested on my bed on which I was sleeping till then. I was lying, and reclining there she sat smiling at the ceiling. Her hairs were messed up, and it appeared as if she had woken a few moment back.

“Good morning”, she said.

“Fck morning, why am I even dreaming about you. This stupid brain, ah wait, I’ll pinch myself till you disappear.”

The pinches felt, I was not dreaming. I was hallucinating. But why you, of all the people in the world, the heartless egocentric, narcissist, who had in her cynical self interest had ruthlessly jilted me for a man who had a better jaw line. I don’t blame the good man, it is you who knew everything, you called the shots.

“You don’t even deserve to be here, why am I hallucinating about you.”, I shouted.

“Well sweetheart, you are the one hallucinating, you do know it”, she said smiling.

Since the day we had severed contact I had brokered my peace with solitude, unsolicited and unkempt solitude, with only one wish, that to escape the thoughts. They were killing me, my current disposition and tryst with time did not even leave me with enough breath to mourn the end of a blossoming relationship and a friendship which spanned over half a decade.

I remember the cursed one month, each day I would lie lifeless, the sun would get up and go, and I would mechanically go about reading one thing to another, watching movies alone in the theatres, I could run distances, eight kilometers without stopping and without feeling a tinge in my muscles. I had stopped feeling, and this time truly made me realise how one could be dead while alive, can be anorexic even with the lungs working fine, the heart beating, the ink writing. But who was to blame for this predicament, no one, it was just the situation life had thrown upon me, and I, boy I was not underprepared, I was unprepared. I survived though, I survived somehow.

“I don’t know ma’am, why are you here ?’ I again exhorted her.

“Because you won’t let me go!”, she replied.

I would not let her go ? Who was I to keep her, who was she to stop me ? I did not speak up, I looked at her eyes. They were not fixed now, they were gliding to and fro like the eyeballs of a four year old, gazing intently out of the window of the train. Those eyes which although are delighted at every passing sight, fail to capture the beauty of the one that just passed, fixated at a new scenery. Those eyes which rush through everything in life without ever drinking into anything. This was uncanny, it transported me straight to the last time I had met her in the cafe, her eyes were gliding in the same manner, my intently fixed at her, I still could look into her eyes, she could not, she dared not, she lacked both the courage and the strength to look into the depth of my eyes.

“Go now, it’s ok, end this hallucination, I see that my mind is still playing it’s monkey tricks over me.”, I said.

“I will, but for now, why are you seeing me, why do I still appear ‘majestic’ to you, even after the slurs that you have identified me with.” she mocked me.

“I think you were right when you said I did not let you go, but what else can I do for you, heap apt praises upon you so that you can rationalize your actions and feel deliverance. Do you want me to call you names, vent out my anger ? To curse you ? So that the already exceptionally guilt free exit that I have given you is further decked with a velvet carpet.”, my agitation choked me.

“I am a hallucination darling, it will be for you and you only that you will be doing whatever you decide to”, she said plainly.

“Will this leave me in the absence of your thoughts that torment me every passing day, even after all these months.” I replied.

“You’ll never know, if you’ll never try! Maybe yes!”, the gin broadening upon her face.

“Cliche coldplay ! Poor choice, you should have taken up something jazzier, maybe a Sinatra, ‘I did it my way”. Nevertheless, I will start.”, and I stopped, my mind refused to answer, I was ashamed of my own ineptness to word all those forebearings I had in my heart for months, mind and heart, they broke apart too it seems.

“Duh ! Thus is insulting even to my hallucination, you joker; in your ill fitting attire of powerless chivalry and gentleness, you hide your complete lack of courage. You are a fake, you cannot feel, you are an egotist whose assumed sense of self proclaimed righteousness will allow everything to be destroyed but it’s useless pride. I hate you mister, I even your own hallucination hates you.” tears welled up her eyes and they crossed over her eyelids to dive onto her supple cheeks to the floor where they vaporized. These were true ones, they were neither the ones that a situation forces, not the ones that arise out of the desire to suppress emotions, the other types flow from the corner of the eyes. These were pure and original tears my beautiful hallucination was shelling.

“This is who I am, whosoever I am, I wish for deliverance, nothing else, hopes I had already set on fire and sprinkled the ashes on the field that spans across your home. Cab’t you see me ? I don’t know if you feel guilty, but even the thought of me making you feel so, makes me miserable. We will never know and we will never be free, this is the best way I suppose.”, I said as I saw her tears drying up.

I was sitting close to her and her fast warm breath was breezing across the skin of my palm, which held her hands. Her eyes were gently looking at my imperfect lips as mine were staring at her brown anemic lips with deep scarlet lines etched on them. We leaned in, and suddenly I could feel her index finger on my forehead, the tears had started again. She pushed me back with the index finger, and I fell into endless light, which finally took the shape of a circular fluorescent overhead.

“The carbon monoxide poison had knocked him off for a good six hours, he will regain consciousness in sometime.”, the doctor said.

“It’s a miracle he escaped doctor, when we barged into his door, the legs of his bed had already caught fire, everything else in the room was burning, and there he lay sleeping as if in some eternal spell amidst the infernal rings.”

(a work of fiction)

Scarlet Begonias

​The first time I saw her, I knew her name,
She wore Scarlet Begonias tucked in her hairs,
So I just called her so,
My Scarlet Begonias her name thenceforth.

I still find her thousand watt smile,
Shaming the sun every time it dares cross her sight,
​In the yellow lights her black frame shone,
Like a star kept for her own.

Some days I would hear her sing,
Auditoriums, amphitheaters, the big stage and the coffee shop too,
And all those other singers I cursed,
Who had ruined them songs before her.

Some days I would see her act,
And lost in her eyes I forgot,
It was not me but the darkness she was talking to,
Darkness her beautiful ally.

I think of words to call her out,
Every time such a loss of them I feel,
The poverty of words to capture her soul,
So I call her Scarlet Begonias and let it be so.

As she moves away to the beautiful lowlands,
I wish she would cross those plains again,
And tell perfection what it means to be her,
Oh Scarlet Begonias may your bloom bring infinite smiles.

– Silver

The Poet’s Curse

You name the greats of musical rhyme,
The poets, the singers, the byrds of the times,
You awe and read aloud of his fame,
You never talks of the poet’s bane.

A cursed creature is a poet,
Drops of his blood are his words,
An agony unnamed are his thoughts,
His vision burns all in sight.

In nights when wailing of his heart,
Grow loud enough to wreck his veins,
He cuts them open one by one,
And let them paper soak in red.

Be a rational, headstrong, critical one,
Go anywhere ignore the storm,
Go to the cafes, the book stores, the alleys and get lost,
Do not ever tread near the poet’s place.

For each time you shall turn back,
You will see the etched trail,
His skin scratched by the August rain,
And standing still in midst of the violence.

Nothing in it, puts pen to paper,
Let his open veins talk,
And then tired of staring at his own clots,
He searches for the needle and the threads.

And assiduously stitches his scars,
Some dried at places away, some bleeding still,
And if you ever see a poet, never praise his glory nor shame,
Just thank god that you are not the one with his name,

And let him silently pass you by.


Solitude My Love !

Oh solitude dear, how I have come to love you,
As all my being into fore, one with you,
How I longed all my life, for the loved caress,
That finally you have showered on me dear,
And now that I have found you,
We shall scale peaks and dive into trenches,
We shall sail mastless into the open ocean,
Or simply sit enjoy the silence of the rain,
The petrichor shall be the mist your flaxen hairs entail,
The drops your voice, and we shall simply sit wordless.

We shall fight too somedays around our bonds,
To find each one looking through other’s eye.
And I shall write poems for you,
Humming them with a capricious smile,
Oh how you shall blush darling solitude,
I wonder why I overlooked you years through,
We were always dear friends, but how love blossoms,
As you everytime I push those curls away from your moonlike face,
As you do when I talk to you over of men and moments,
As you do when you are simply sitting toe over toe,
As poetry, sublime thou art, my love,
And I your lover.

The Prefect

I again slipped into one of my deep thoughtlessness or abundance of thoughts.

“I am worried for him”, said my mom; “he never used to be so lost in thoughts, someone has cast a spell on him it seems.”

Dad took turns to look at the face of his son and his wife.

No one plans a murder out loud, my mind yelled, my lips did not even care flutter. After a long breath all I could say was, “it’s the exams mom, some more days, it shall pass.”

“Hope it is just so!”

Reading about ideals of justice and notion of right and wrong, my mind was still split on if the punishment the perpetrator deserved, or if I was violating the revered principle of natural justice, “audi alteram partem”, was I biased in my thought ?

But can love and justice be judged at the same scale, and what about free will, an individual’s choice to decide what is best for him. No doubt I upheld it, but then it should not come at the cost of inflicting emotional violence to an innocent. This brought me again to the Sanskrit shloka, I had so meticulously memorized in class seventh, the rhyme was so soothing and the power so imminent, I knew I would remember this shloka for all the time to come.

“Khalah karoti duvritam, nunam phalti sadhushu,
Dashannano sa cha harat Sitam, bandhanam cha mahodadhe.”

What Ravan forgot was that in the light of rectitude even the ocean will rebel, “Sindhu deh dhar trahi trahi karta aa gira sharan me” (Ocean asked for forgiveness at Rama’s feet), and all the guile and knowledge of the adharmi shall be useless in the light of righteousness. But then where was the righteousness when the same lord works in Machiavellian ways to fool Karna to submit his kavach and kundal (armour), Indra playing the role of the beggar, and later to attack him when the wheels of his vehicle were mudstuck.

I think the context is misplaced, even though Karna was trapped into submission and killed, but the crux lies in two different observations, one that the greater good was preserved and two that Karna lived with valour and virtue and when his life ended he found moksha and retuned back to the supreme lord.

Too difficult to sieve out the course of action from mythology I thought, anyways I am not versed enough to use them as path tracks.

I brought my thoughts back and looked around, how misplaced sense of justice has wrecked havoc in the world and is much the cause of suffering. Our primordial instincts of justice meant the working of “might is right”, a state of chaos and anarchy, which was later hammered into the concept of justice, humanity, state and order. People have oft romanticized anarchy as a panacea, ever so unaware that we would not have survived to see the day had anarchy been the order. Fools say there is no right no wrong, how easily I could use it as a subterfuge of all my wrongdoings. If that were the case, the Peshawar killings were not wrong, the crime against women were not wrong, ISIS beheading are not wrong. There is a right and there certainly is a wrong, and if people who are enlightened by education feel there is none, they have no reason to be fooled by the misplaced sense of enlightenment they have.

My thoughts, my thoughts, how can I command you, the more you delve the deeper the confusion goes and how can I think of myself as an upholder of a spirit so high and noble as justice, dearer to me than love.

I need a walk, jumped into the nearest piece of jeans picked up the old cellphone which not ringed almost never, kept a fifty rupees bill and moved out down the stairs, I made sure none caught my eyes and slid unnoticed on the noisy sidewalk.

(first in the series)

The Lost Lesson.

I think I lost a lesson somewhere,
Some chapter obscured, a missed class,
Some torn pages at the notebook’s end,
The misprinted holiday homework.

I lost the lesson I am sure,
For years of learning is no use,
To this rash, reckless and idiot heart,
How do you all keep it afast ?

Mine runs away into places I never knew,
Mine longs for memories I wish were with you,
Mine wreaks havoc on every defense I install,
Mine attacks me when the night is already heavy to brim.

Then I see others, alone and in hands,
And wonder which lesson did I miss away,
Then I see you, in peace and calm,
And wonder what else could you have learnt ?

Oh life, I think I skipped something,
And it scars, to learn to unlearn,
To write and smudge away, vague yet beautiful,
And grow from ashes, like a phoenix’s way.

– Nishant

Blood on My Grains

Who wants to become a farmer ?
Raise your hands in fame.
Till the ground, plant the seeds,
Feed the citizens of our land ?

Who wants to heave the sickle,
Tender shoots of saplings born,
Sacs of grains, golden, silver, amber,
Annapurna’s blessing and strength.

Who wants to raise up his arms,
In deep decisive faith to heavens,
Of monsoons to come on time,
For year to go as a merry play ?

Who wants to plough the fields ?
But remember if the crops fail,
See your children’s large empty eyes,
Boiling only water for sleep to come for hope’s side.

Who wants to see the lender,
The master of thy fate,
Walk astride with his lathiyaals,
Crack open the unpaid heads.

Who wants to become a farmer ?
Half the country’s faith,
A failing crop, a bad monsoon,
And blood shall run it’s share.

Who wants to look at his food ?
And see his indifferent smile rush away,
A hope starts with each meal,
Death spreads blood on my grains.

– Nishant Saurabh

नींद के रिश्तेदार

ओ री निंदिया, तेरा गौना कब हैं री,
इतनी राग द्रुपद सी लहरयि री,
कहाँ को भागे हैं री,
कौन हैं तेरे, कैसे तेरे रिश्ते री |

निंदिया बोली, ओ रे पखवाड़े,
तेरे बुलाने से ना आउन री,
तीन ताल और चार राग,
दीपक, मल्कौस, भैरवी, हिंडोल हैं मेरे री |

राग त्याग केए बात क्यों छेड़े,
संगी मेरे बहुतेरे री,
सबका नाम गिना गिना कार,
आज करूँ तेरे डेरे री |

ऊंघ उपवासि बेहेने हैं मेरी छोटी री,
याद दिलाती मेरे नक्श नकल अकेली री,
भार बराबर पालकों पर लाता मेरा भाई री,
शरीर में सनसन दौड़ता हैं मेरा अँगड़ाई री |

इतने में जब लेट कर सोंचुन,
हैं नृप, नर, मुनि, नारी री,
चुपके चुपके सौंच चुरा कर,
लो भागा मेरा कृष्ण मुरारी री |

आखिर मै जब आति हूँ,
स्नेह अमृत सुधा बरसाती हूँ,
डग पग पग डग सबकी याद भुलाति हूँ,
शांत कर सारे वेग अंतर से बतियाति हूँ |

करवटें मेरी दो चाची री,
एक छोटी एक बड़ी, अपनी अपनी अभिलाशि री,
खराटें मेरी भौजाई री,
आँख में बनती धीरे धीरे मेरी बेटी किर्चाइ री |

घूँघट जो मै उठाऊँ, पीया मै आपने पाऊँ,
स्वप्न की नगरी के हैं वो भ्रमराई री,
मेरे अपने हैं, या भ्रम की परछाई री,
वॄथा ही सोंचु, हैं वो हरजाई री |

चल पखवाड़े साथी मेरा तू,
तन को है अंचलाता तू,
खून नहीं तोह क्या कम हैं,
मेरा तू सगाई री |

निशांत सौरभ


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