January 29, 2013

Julie & Julia

When she was younger, she hadn't wanted to hear about cooking.
To acknowledge the titbits of information about food,
that her mother kept passing on to her, apropos of nothing,
would be to acknowledge that she wanted to model herself on her mother,
which at fifteen or sixteen or even at twelve, she most certainly did not.
She had spent her adolescence resisting her mother, not to spite her,
but just to establish that she was different.

Despite all that, when she cooked now, it would be the same way
like her mother did, and it tasted exactly the same.
After all, it seemed so obvious.
So she had been listening after all, it had all come back to her.

January 23, 2013

Angel from Montgomery

On some days she feels like an old woman -
an old woman tired of it all,
tired of the endless cycles of birth and death,
tired of investing any hope in the next encounters,
tired of finding more human beings to love,
knowing full well that every person she loves will someday
wound her, hurt her, break her heart with deceit,
their treachery, their fallibility, with their sheer humanity.

She feels dried out, scooped out, all hollow and empty inside.
She has nothing else left to give, no more love to spare.

January 17, 2013

Lost in Translation

What had happened to their unending conversation ?

For years she'd consulted him about her decisions,
occupied herself with his comforts, enjoyed his presence
beside her in bed awake or asleep, depended on his involvement
in every aspect of her life, felt rejected when he came home and,
burying himself in some tome of Ghalib, Tolstoy or Dostoevsky,
seemed to ignore her need for company, or responded to her
easy flow of anecdotes about work or life, with an abruptness
that sometimes bordered on cruelty.

But somehow - she knew this now - she had ceased to ask him about himself,
lost the questions she might put to him about his fears or his needs,
as if by doing so she would be an intruder in some very private place,
a hermitage with a firmly barred door.

Aamer Hussein - Another Gulmohar Tree

January 13, 2013

Mumbai Diaries

She stood on the slippery rocks and gazed at the dark waters around her.
Behind her, the sounds of the city were muted, shushed into silence
by the steady lapping of the water around her bare feet.
She stood there alone - alone with the murmuring sea and the distant moon -
empty hands, an empty heart, the hollow shell of a woman she used to be.

The Space Between Us

January 7, 2013

Non, je ne regrette rien

There was a time of naivety, when she believed
that she would get used to the loneliness of her life,
that she would accept the numb spot on her heart.

But now she knows that no,
time doesn't heal wounds at all,
that it is the biggest lie ever perpetrated,
and instead what happens is that each wound
penetrates the body deeper and deeper until one day
you find that that the sheer geography of your bones -
                    the angle of your head,
                    the jutting of your hips,
                    the sharpness of your shoulders,
                    as well as the lustre of your eyes,
                    the texture of your skin,
                    the openness of your smile -
has collapsed under the weight of your griefs.