Morning Walk

I know we have not met. But I know you.

Head held high, airpods in,

Gap tracks on, arms swinging.


Walking resolutely every day.

Every day, before you reach the metro station

we walk by each other.

I am the one huffing by.

Hidden silvery scars stretching across my skin

Like a galaxy’s arms shimmering in a starry sea

Storing stress in the fat lining of my stomach

Life, joy and pain in the lines on my face.

I like you.

I look forward to seeing you


Walking every single day.

I envied you your focus, and your speed.

And then one day I saw you stop. Mid-stride.

Your chin almost on your chest. Wilting…


Breathing. Chest heaving.

Holding it all together. Breathing.

As though the act of raising your head

And holding it high

Looking the world in the eye

Just became too much to ask of you today.

It was painful to witness.

I wanted to take you in my arms.

Tell you, ‘It will be okay.’

Possibly a lie,

but maybe it will come true.

But other thoughts came chasing in its wake.

‘I should leave her alone,’

‘Don’t interfere.’

I am desperate too.

I need to speak to someone

whose share of suffering

maybe greater than mine.

Silly as it seems,

I want to feel better in comparison.

To think, ‘Thank God!

Her migraine is worse than my sinus!’

Yet, there is a part of me

That wants my suffering to be unique.

Maybe all we want

As we each lug a burden too heavy

Is to be seen

And perhaps, heard.

You were still standing there

When I neared.

Just then a young woman

Ran by; heels pounding

carrying a whiff of my past with her

She reminded me of me.

You straightened up and strode on

She, obviously, reminded you of you too.

Photo by Justin Clark on Unspla

I just realised that I did not even wish you guys a Happy New Year, in my last post! Such bad manners. Forgive me. But better late than never. :). Happy 2022 dear readers. Hopefully, it won’t be a bugger all mess like the last couple of years. This decade needs to get its act together.

All That I Want…

Picture by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash
A beautiful old wooden table
with scratches smoothened by age.
T’s heart shot through with an arrow shot by J,
jostling for space with 25.8.1973.
a butterfly and a faded pyramid.
My journal on top, waiting
for me to pen secrets, hopes,
poems, petty thoughts, and some lonely stories.
Five cubby holes to stack paper clips,
erasers and those sticky notes, I never seem to need.
A special honoured place
for that smooth grey veined pebble
from Beas’ violent, rocky bed
each vein a secret tale just for my ears.
On a panel below it a happy picture of us.
Picture by Riccardo Ginevri on Unsplash
A raised platform on my aged table
to hold my favourite books and those old
jam jars enjoying their second innings,
as home for my pens, pencils, a leafy twig
and a ragged peacock feather – a gift from the kid.
An open window to look out at greenery
that spills, vulgar in its excess.
To be able to breathe
the fresh fragrant mountain air
as it wafts in, lazy on a morning breeze.
A lonely, winding path  
through tall mountain trees
the fog a not-so-distant dream
as the sunlight trickles in, warming patches,
even as the moss reigns in the shadows.
The sound of crunching leaves
as I make my way through a lattice
of light and dark; spinning ideas –
tall, shy and fantastic, to spill on the pages
waiting on my beautiful old wooden table.
Picture by Dale Nibbe on Unsplash

My Pinterest board has about 31 images of my dream writing zone. They all have a few things in common – the tables are wooden and old, they are placed near a window and the view outside is green. The value of greenery is only truly understood when you live in a desert city. I tell myself that I would be a better, more prolific writer if I had the ideal conditions. By ideal conditions, I mean at least 4 to 5 undisturbed hours, endless supply of tea, and perfect, inspiring surroundings to write.

Reality is far from it. If I get an uninterrupted hour, it is a very good day indeed. With regards to tea, I am luckier. Mom and dad are visiting, and I do get tea on request. As for inspiring surroundings – on a good day I can see the Arabian Gulf in the distance, but on most other muggy, dusty days, all I can see is a chain of under construction high-rises, and empty construction plots promising more of the same, and I want to scream.

This poem is an ode to my dream writing zone, which is more than just a writing table. 😊

And Then, There Is Grief

As a writer, I wondered…
Can I create poetry that tore?
What after all, did I know
about pain too pure to bear,
or grief too deep to share?
What did I know?
I looked up the meaning
of words that stood in
for grief.
Distressed, in agony,
desolate, in purgatory, or
drowning in sadness.
Why, one could even be melancholic!
But all mere words that did not…
could not
sum up heart-breaking misery.
Picture by Michael Held on Unsplash
Now, I know better.
The words aren’t just on paper.
Tattooed into life,
they flutter on my every breath.
As always, I put pen to paper,
to seize the naked rawness of it all.
And, hit a wall.
Bearing witness to a pain
beyond the reach of medicines.
Words fail to capture
the silent darkness
of private anguish.
All the ink in the world
cannot pen the wretched misery
of this unrelenting story.
Everything is at a standstill
inside of me.
Poised to start living,
Once… Once this happens or that.
Once I wrestle the pain
down on to the page.
There is grief
Beyond the reach of meaning.

This poem was written in response to a prompt on my writing group. Walt Witman wrote, ‘I contain multitudes.’ And now our grief is reflecting it too. Layers of grieving. Even as we all struggle with the pandemic, some of us are also fighting parallel, personal battles in our own little pandemic induced bubbles. Nothing will ever be the same again – a cliché but true. We have all lost our innocence, and every day I mourn for what could have been, even as I am grateful for what is. This poem is my attempt at depicting my grief for that loss, because I can begin to manage things, feelings and vague notions only, and only when I write it out.