Cathartically Yours

cathartically yours

You can’t imagine what it feels like –
to have your heart brutally broken.
Into a thousand shapeless shards –
and keep just one as a miserable token.

It is an infinite times more painful than,
having to break somebody else’s heart.
But surely you don’t need to imagine that,
having credibly played that loathsome part.

Often under a spell of warmth and affection,
We ease barriers and open the doors.
So that love may enter where it was forbidden –
And take firm anchorage on desolate shores.

I let you in and made you feel nice and warm –
And you swore it was the best you ever felt.
In the simmering concoction of your company…
I let my reservations and reticence melt.

I thought it was supposed to last forever –
This friendship, which I never ceased to boast.
Never expecting you to make the switch –
From ‘being there always’ to ‘been there almost’.

For I almost slipped into the gaping abyss –
That your absence left in my near-perfect world.
I almost got killed by the spear of emotions…
That whilst fleeing, you so brazenly hurled.

I almost lost my faith in love and people –
Unable to look beyond your deception.
I almost got mummified, deaf and blind –
No longer having faith in my own perception.

I come not to fight with you anymore…
Today I intend to bury these ghosts of past.
To relieve you the burden of ever answering…
The embarrassing questions that I never asked.

For it is easier to feel the hurt myself –
Than imprison you behind these moral bars.
It is easier to pretend being born ugly…
Than to blame you for my unsightly scars.

It is easier to accept your shocking indifference…
Than to expect the love, you know I deserved.
It is easier to purge it all in a catharsis…
Than to hold on to the precious bits I preserved.

It is easier to forget how it felt to be loved…
Than to teach myself how to hate you.
It is easier to play a villain in your story –
Than be the hero you say you never knew.

They say that nothing is ever permanent –
But the bitterness in my heart begs to differ.
And though I know the antidote  lies inside…
You have locked it away and stolen the cipher.

I hope that one day, looking into a mirror –
You will notice the hollowness in your eyes.
And wonder how truth vanished from them…
As your irises try in vain to hide your lies.

Someday when I see you and our eyes meet…
I hope you don’t look down and avoid my gaze.
I want to see you pretend it never happened –
betraying the discomfiture your face portrays.

I don’t have the patience to wait any longer –
For it seems you have surely made your choice.
To live your life gratifying someone’s whims…
To kill your will and meekly surrender your voice.

And so I liberate you – and set you free…
Though it is my own freedom that I actually seek.
Forgiveness, after all, is an attribute of the strong –
And there’s little doubt about which of us is weak.

I forgive you – for the appalling silence…
That you left in place of an adequate apology.
And for the despicable defence that you put up –
When challenged by a conflicting ideology.

I forgive you – for listening from behind a mask,
To all the sweet words I spoke to your face.
For performing an incredible theft of trust,
And leaving behind not even a single trace.

I forgive you – for rendering my love orphaned,
my sentiments widowed and my faith forlorn.
For playing the meanest old trick in the book –
Showing me the flower and handing me the thorn.

I forgive you – for smearing dirt on my feelings…
Feelings that till today were selfless and pure.
Echoes from our past which to me are so clear…
In reaching you become so puzzlingly obscure.

Relationships flower only till they are watered –
And you left ours a tad too dry, a bit too long.
Someday you shall be asked an incriminating why –
But justification will not make it any less wrong.

I confer on you the highest honour there is…
In the realm of forgiveness and settled scores.
I forget you – I expunge your name and memories…
And sign off this last message – Cathartically Yours.

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NISHANK MEHTA  |  24.07.2016

Walking Wounded

 

walking wounded

We walk wounded, carrying vicious memories…
When someone, somewhere, sometime – hurt us.
And no matter how many roses adorn our gardens,
In some dark murky corner, we all grow a cactus.

Perhaps those wounds were inflicted early,
When another toddler refused to share his toy.
Or when the first jeers you faced taught you that,
not all laughter was just an expression of joy.

Perhaps it was when bettered by you at the game,
The school bully pushed you down to the ground.
Or when the treasured G.I Joe you mysteriously lost,
Was in your best pal’s bag quite shockingly found.

Maybe it was the day you ran home crying,
And your mother revealed a painful secret…
That not everyone you meet will come to like you,
And you often live through days that you will regret.

When your sincere love for that special friend lost –
to someone’s shallow but flashy counterpart…
You learnt that love is certainly not blind,
And seeks jolly good more than a devoted heart.

While living amongst some of life’s lowest thieves,
Your innocence was one day spectacularly shattered.
Forced to defend what you lived and stood for –
You fought through the slugfest – bruised and battered.

In due time you were force-fed a bitter fruit –
That overprized knowledge of good and evil.
And the shameless duplicity of people hit you hard –
Like life’s hammer striking on your soul’s anvil.

The day you caught someone in a blatant lie –
And their betrayal hurt you with its biting sting…
You learnt that people seldom meant what they said
And that faith was a frightfully fickle thing.

You came to realize when money flexed its muscle
that everything in this world was up for sale.
And when a man’s pockets go really deep…
Even his idiosyncrasies the world will merrily hail.

But no matter when, where or in whatever manner –
Those beasts at whose behest you walk wounded…
Do not have the power to heal you – and never will:
That healing touch is in your own spirit founded.

Even should they acknowledge and repent the hurt
They have exacted on you for all these years…
Only you can find your cactus in that murky corner
And proceed to water it with phoenix tears.

You never really know how strong you are –
Until forsaken by all, you are left all alone.
When forced to pick yourself up off the floor…
You mend what’s broken – flesh, blood and bone.

Yours is the choice to abjectly surrender –
Or to rise and reclaim what was yours all along.
To be tamed by the sound of a Pavlovian whistle –
Or seize the stage and choreograph your swansong.

To be healed doesn’t mean you were never stabbed –
Or there was no damage inflicted by the knife.
It only means you have lived through the pain…
And the damage no longer controls your life.

The blessed gates of heaven will open for you –
If your indomitable spirit prevails over the loss…
For there was one who once walked wounded too,
On His way to crucifixion – and He carried a cross…

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NISHANK MEHTA  |  21.07.2016

My Best Friend’s Wedding

 

my best friends

Today, I sit – numb and nostalgic,
With the cauldron of my memories before me.
And as I stir it – slowly and fondly,
Let me tell you all that I see.

I see us – younger and carefree,
Discovering, even defining each other.
I see that we have come a long way,
A crazy sister and a crazier brother.

I look into the cauldron and see beautiful strands,
Of moments when we met and walked apart.
They thump somewhere deep inside me,
In that hallowed place they call my heart.

I see that dazzling dimpled smile of yours,
A shot of adrenaline when I felt down and low.
An elixir of energy, an antidote to gloom,
A simple answer to my every woe.

I have often pondered over the power of that smile,
Perhaps it draws it from the innocence within.
Vivisecting every single atom of the body,
Bewitching me to unknowingly let it in.

A thousand stories stay woven in that smile,
By now, even those stories are my friends.
And they promise to be – with me and within me,
Till the last minute, in this life, my body spends.

There were times when you were difficult to handle,
Oscillating dangerously between anger and defeat.
I took wild rides in the world of your emotions,
with passion replacing logic at the driver’s seat.

You made me see through your eyes,
You made me walk in your shoes.
I strolled through your world in amazement,
Dressed and drenched in your hues and blues.

Before you met and unstoppered me,
I was a fool locked inside my coy arrogance.
I struggled to string work and leisure together,
With you, I meandered through both with elegance.

I see how you grew from strength to strength,
Becoming the incredible person that you are.
I see you falter, even fall – and stand up again,
Your feet ready to go and eyes looking far.

I see my life coloured in a million shades,
By that one bold stroke of your brush.
The warmth of your presence beckoning to me,
And my hypnotised self succumbing to the rush.

With you, I learnt about this new kind of love,
That changed and challenged all my notions.
It stood – firmly rooted in its own simplicity,
Watered by a never-ending shower of emotions.

It was a feeling I had never felt before,
Something alien and unknown to me.
It was as if my soul was learning to fly,
Out in the open, uninhibited and free.

This love didn’t mind playing the second fiddle,
It didn’t grudge waiting in a queue.
Not that it was a coward and had no respect,
It was simply so much in awe of you.

It knew its time to appear was in the dark,
When it would be the only light that’s shining.
It couldn’t always drive the clouds off the sky,
But it knew how to be the silver lining.

What is it that made this love so beautiful?
What is it that has made it endure?
What has kept it so alive in our hearts,
That it continues to inspire and allure?

The most addictive kind of love is the one,
Which makes you feel beautiful from the inside.
The act of loving then outranks the object of love,
And the motive for love is just brushed aside.

You made me believe in this kind of love,
You became a canvas for its most priceless art.
And this love indeed brought together,
Two people, who otherwise, were worlds apart.

You were a mathematician’s prized theorem,
I was, back then, an unsolved equation.
You were a colosseum of passion and energy,
I was still a monument in creation.

You were the world’s most silken fabric,
I was a yarn of wool waiting to be spun.
You were a storm – fierce and irresistible,
I was a mirage projected by the sun.

And yet meeting each other seemed as natural,
As the breath that goes in and comes out as voice,
It was something which was just meant to happen,
It was like life secretly exercising its choice.

You filled each unforgiving minute –
With sixty seconds of your magical charm.
How time flew when you were around!
Excitement breaking through the walls of calm.

You don’t get to choose your family,
And though, doting and caring, they are too few.
Friends are the choices you get to make –
living projections of all that’s good or bad in you.

And so, we chose each other – and still do,
Whether it be by design or destiny.
By being with you, almost miraculously
I let myself become a bit more of me.

You gave me the freedom to express myself
You taught me to excel rather than just exceed.
Your presence brought out the best in me,
And I longed for it with an almost sinful greed.

I struggle to remember how your presence felt –
Was it like a breath of fresh liberating air?
Like cold water trickling down a thirsty throat,
Or a child cuddling his favourite teddy bear?

Whatever it was – it was beautiful and magical,
It was assuring, arousing and beyond imagination.
It somehow made me feel special and wanted,
Basking and reveling in its illumination.

It made me very conscious of what I was,
And what I still needed to become.
You were like a huge mirror put before me,
You were the voice in which I heard myself hum.

But let me stir that cauldron further,
As its steam rises and settles like mist.
Between the swirls and spirals of that steam,
Our friendship thrives and we exist.

It thrives between love and loved ones,
It thrives amidst our conversations and solitude.
It thrives in our inspirations and fills our voids,
It thrives in our purpose and drives our fortitude.

It thrives behind the masks we cover our faces with
It thrives beneath the many caps that cover our heads.
It thrives like a beautiful stubborn fairytale,
Fighting the reality it secretly dreads.

It thrives across two continents and thousands of miles,
Across half the globe, and seven seas.
It thrives inside my head, and at my fingertips,
Through my spine, and within my knees.

It thrives between our success and failures,
It thrives between our hopes and regrets.
It thrives like a foetus in the womb of our worlds,
Within you, within me – it silently begets.

I often see you leaping out from random people,
In the naughty twinkle of their eyes.
I see you in the queenly swagger they walk with,
And in the cute pout behind which they hide their lies.

And then, I recollect how maddeningly beautiful,
It all looks – when put together inside you.
That I would miss the beauty of a face,
which was once so familiar – I had no clue.

That touch on the shoulder, that wink of an eye.
Those marathon phone calls, those incessant pings.
You taught me that life wasn’t about taking giant strides,
But in feeling the magic of these little things.

I spoke with silence and you still listened,
I listened with passion even when you didn’t speak.
Becoming each others’ remedy-aunts and saviours,
One acting stronger when the other felt weak.

I felt secure in the embrace of your friendship
Before it I was fractionated in truth and faithlessness.
But without you I must tremble and fumble,
Trying to synchronise with this incompleteness.

I hug you even when you are not there,
And you hug me back when my mind needs healing.
You are not just a person who lives and breathes –
You are a thought, a memory, a feeling.

Our subtle exchanges of warmth and love,
Have made me a better person than I could ever be.
And while with me, you made life full of meanings
Today, as you step ahead, you leave it empty.

But step ahead you certainly must…
Onto this beautiful journey of togetherness.
With a new form of love as your companion,
Towards fulfilment and towards happiness.

Out of yesterday’s silhouettes, you step today –
Into the sunshine of a glowing, welcoming tomorrow.
Out of your home – your father’s handsome den,
Into the cosiness of your own cute little burrow.

You step ahead to light with your brilliance,
The wistful lamps of another house.
After proving yourself as an amazing daughter,
To prove it again at being a spouse.

But, with every step ahead, you step away too
Though it’s not the stepping away that causes pain.
What kills me, stifles me and smothers me
Is the hope of finding a friend like you ever again.

There will be that moment every single day –
A moment I will struggle to untangle myself from.
When I will be visited and revisited by your memories
Feeling your loss in its purest form.

I have no tears to shed today,
I will save them for what I know will follow.
With you, my biggest defence is now gone,
I stand stripped bare – naked and hollow.

I look back longingly into my cauldron,
Wanting to steal that bit of you I see.
But deep down I know that it’s just a reflection
And that bit thrives through our friendship inside me.

Years later, I will be just a face and a name,
Fighting to survive, with stronger things in your mind.
But when shaken, broken or in doubt – look around,
I will be there to hold you, somewhere behind.

May love pervade and permeate through your life
May you find all that your heart secretly seeks.
And remember, somewhere your name is being spoken
In every prayer that a man who sees you in a cauldron speaks.

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NISHANK MEHTA  |  24.05.2015

Simple Pleasures

simple pleasures

Have you ever wound up your dreams by dawn
to watch the scarlet robes of the sun turn yellow?
Have you ever felt joy at another man’s rise
instead of envying him for being a lucky fellow?

Have you ever coaxed darkness to lend you its ears
and let stars be privy to your dearest secrets?
Have you ever welcomed rain with a dance of glee
instead of rushing to secure the clothesline it wets?

Have you ever fathered an honourable intention
and played part in the triumph of truth over deceit?
Have you ever permitted pure instinct to guide you
instead of putting your trusted logic in the driver’s seat?

Have you ever shed sanity and pranced like a clown
simply to bring a precious smile on a toddler’s face?
Have you ever lent unconditional help to a seeker
and in return felt the warmth of his grateful embrace?

Have you ever bounced back from a sojourn at the bottom,
and silenced your critics with your stunning comeback?
Have you ever spotted your flaws and tailored them
instead of devoutly documenting what others lack?

Have you ever felt God – as plain, simple divinity,
and not as an effigy draped in saffron or green?
Have you ever tasted success without selling your soul
or jeopardizing your claim to call yourself clean?

Simple pleasures these all – I am sure you will agree –
well within reach, but not quite within grasp.
But the gargantuan monster we have turned life into,
mocks us, bites us and stings us like a wasp.

Our incessant pursuit for ever-eluding success
and our shameless ignorance for these modest delights
have left us stranded at a place where we can have none,
where day only shows up after a spate of endless nights.

Why have we made it all so complicated,
that its so difficult to find a reason to smile?
Where do we look for these simple pleasures,
in a world fuelled by greed and guile?

Let us break away from this material enslavement…
Let us abandon our chase for undeserved fame…
Let us be content in equating our ‘haves’ with our ‘wants’
and not make acing the quests of life our only aim.

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NISHANK MEHTA  |  04.04.2008