Hope

If you listen to this sadness,

you’ll find a soothing rhythm,

a lullaby waiting to be sung,

the one that’ll finally put you to sleep.

When you touch the pieces of this broken heart,

you’ll find they aren’t as sharp as you made them out to be.

Yes, they make you bleed,

but would you rather not bleed out the sadness

than let it flow through your veins?

They call it melancholy,

for they do not know the reasons behind why you’re always bleeding.

If they ever bothered to listen,

they’d find the lyrics to a hauntingly beautiful song,

in the cadence of your heart.

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Of moutains and lakes and clear reflections

​Someday when you a wake up to a gorgeous view with mountains and lakes and clear reflections, I hope you’re able to enjoy it without a care in the world. I hope you forget all your worries and regrets in that moment. I hope your wounds would have healed by then and your brokenness would have been fixed, if only by band-aids or hastily applied clay. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll have someone beside you to enjoy this view with. Someone who might be the perfect fit to fill that gaping hole you’ve been walking around with since so long. Someone who will take you up into the clouds and who knows how to fly even with all the baggage you’ve been carrying around. I hope you wake up to a gorgeous view, with mountains and lakes and clear reflections and I hope you have that someone right next to you, smiling lazily at you while you take in the wonders of the world and I hope that someone thinks, “Who wants the world when I have this one sitting right next to me?”

Hope found another

​Self-destruction and pity parties,

There’s a storm brewing inside.

There’s a calmness

That brings in voices

Not so calm, after all.

A deluge of wandering thoughts,

Form a skull-like facade,

Warning me to step back,

Until I’m backed into a wall.

“Let me out”, I say,

“Let us in”, they whisper.

Whispers turn to shouts,

And there’s lightning and there’s thunder,

“Where will you go? How far can you run?”

And I look up at them,

The voices fading out

As I see them for what they are,

Wandering thoughts in my head,

Taking shape of my deepest, darkest fears.

“I don’t run”, I whisper.

“I don’t run”, I shout.

And love lost its way

But hope found another.

Perception

Our mundane becomes history
And the things we cherish
Are long forgotten.
In a decade, or two,
When you stare at
The fine lines and wrinkles
That mar your skin,
The photographs
That line your walls
Shall stare at you.
They will be but faded memories
Waiting for you to remember
The person you used to be.
Your laugh will echo around you,
While you frown
At your stretched skin.
And your tears shall cry for you,
When they see you cry
For your beauty long lost.
The grey in your hair,
A mark of your struggles,
Shall seem ever more ugly
When you try to hide it
Behind artificial colors.
And what is a life lived,
When it is a life full of regrets?
Let those photographs
Be not mere memories,
Let them be feelings and emotions
Frozen in time.
Let not those wrinkles and fine lines
Be your demons,
Let them set you free
From the shackles
Around your feet.
Let not those grey streaks
Seem like blemishes,
Make them your strength,
A sign of your survival.
And that is a life lived,
A life lived, but never forgotten.

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Learning to Love Myself

Love, I was starting to think that with you gone, I was gone, too. I wasn’t wrong to think that. I really am gone. The me who laughed for you, who wrote for you, who cried for you, who lived for you is gone. She died the day you left. But I found myself a new identity. Lost under all those layers that I put on to please you, there was a girl who yearned to live for herself, who wanted to sing and laugh and dance and write without having a care in the world. When you left, all those layers fell apart and the girl timidly stepped out into the world; Lost, scared and broken. But with each day that passed, she found her strength and learned to live. With your memories, without you. Until one morning, the pain felt bearable and she smiled, a real smile. And she laughed and cried and sang and danced. For herself. For the day you left, love, she learned to love herself. I learned to love myself.

Our song.

The waves, they sing to us. Songs of love, of life, of despair, of solitude, of longing, of togetherness, of every little emotion ever expressed. Let’s sing to them today. My song. Your song. Our song. Of hope. And one day, the world will hear them singing it. It’ll be heartbreaking. They’ll cry, with every crashing wave. They’ll cry for us. They’ll cry for hope. And it’ll come to them. Then, we’ll all sing our songs of hope. The waves, they’ll listen and they’ll be heard for years to come. So, let us sing to the waves today. Come, let us create a melody. A melody full of hope. For, nothing is more beautiful.

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His Lifeline.

There they were, tattooed across his abdomen, his shoulder blades and his forearms. Some ran across the length of his spine, a nick above his left eye and the biggest of them was below his right knee, where they had to amputate his leg. These tattoos, these scars, they didn’t make him look ugly, in fact, they spoke of courage, of bravery, of the true beauty of a true soldier who gave everything he could for his country and came out alive with some proud yet painful reminders etched on his body that’d last him a lifetime. He’d lost his friends, his only brother, but they had died fighting for the nation. Their death was the welcome kind and he found himself wishing for that death, but one look at the stump that was his right leg and he knew he’d never have it. His life had no meaning. He’d failed.

Every so often, you could see him hobbling across the room to the closet where hung his prized possession. The uniform. His uniform. He’d run his hands over it, closing his eyes, reliving memories. A tear or two would roll down his cheeks and then he’d take hasty, uneven steps back and bang the closet door shut. He would then hobble his way to the river bank where the children from the village sat, waiting for him to come and tell them stories of places they’d only ever dreamt of or seen in movies.

One such evening, long after the children had left, he’d sat there skipping stones in the river and lost deep in thought when a little girl came and sat by him. He was surprised to haven’t have heard her arrival, either he was out of practice or was probably too lost in his thoughts to have noticed. Or maybe both. He stared at her and she stared back. She looked to be about 12 and he’d seen her with the other kids during their ‘story time.’ For a while, she was silent and then suddenly she admitted, “Someday, I want to be you.” He was stunned. This 12 year old, this young lady sitting beside him, she wanted to be him. He couldn’t fathom why anyone would want to be like his pitiful self, let alone this innocent little child. “Why?”, he managed to ask in a whisper. “Look at you,” she started in an awed voice, “all those scars, they tell stories of your courage. You’ve fought for the nation, you’ve fought for us, you’ve lived a life worth living and even though you’re not on the borders, putting your life on line, you’re still a soldier. One of the best ones. You’ve done your part and now, you’re doing more. Looking at you, hearing you speak of your adventures and experiences, we find some courage too.” She looked at him with fierce pride. “I’m lucky to have known you and I’m going to be you, someday.” With that she stood up and walked away, leaving him staring after her.

That was the last day that he’d cried over his fate. Now, everytime he hobbled across the room towards his uniform you could see him smiling. His life still had meaning. There was hope. He’d never have thought that a 12 year old girl would be his lifeline. Life had unusual ways of surprising him.

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No Punctuation.

She’d seen what it was like to have one’s heart broken. Now, it was her turn to experience it. The fear, the loneliness, it was all so overwhelming. The pain engulfed her. It was like drowning, having no air reach her lungs. But this, this was much worse. She couldn’t form any coherent thought, let alone a sensible sentence. And then she remembered him. His eyes. His smile. Everything. He was the lone ray of sunshine in her life. And now, he was gone, leaving her life pitch black. She tried clutching onto the good memories, but they were fast leaving her, making her feel cold and sick, like one would feel on a storm-tossed night. She tried to numb herself to the pain, tried to forget all thoughts, good and bad, but she couldn’t. She rubbed and rubbed. Until all that remained was an eraser smear where once happiness had been. Anymore rubbing would leave a hole. A hole that couldn’t ever be repaired. The pages in her book of life were coming to an end. Much earlier than they should have. The chapters were getting shorter and sadder, until all that will remain, could remain,  will be a full stop. A punctuation mark to state the end of her pitiful life. She cringed when she looked into a mirror. How long ago was it, when she’d dance away all her worries in front of those very same mirrors? She’d placed them everywhere in hopes of casting away all her worries when she saw her graceful self in them. And cast away they did, only until now, when they’d started throwing her good-for-nothing state back at her. It was like losing a best friend. Only these were so many. They were once her dream come true and now, they’d become a nightmare. The worst kind. Everyday, she would lose some more of herself, withering away. Losing the grace, the passion, the glow, the happiness. The once shining eyes were now reduced to dull globs of brown and white. They’d braved the storms of life and now they looked empty and hollow, not unlike the way she felt. She’d lost all those curves that made all the girls green with envy and now all that was left was skin and bones. With one last long look in the mirror, she sat down to write on the last page that was left in the book, only to notice she’d ran out of ink. Out of hope. There would be no punctuation. No end. Just an empty page reminding people of what was once beautiful and that it could be reduced to nothingness. She didn’t get the punctuation she was hoping she would. If only the ink could last a little longer to leave a full stop, even if it’d be to an incomplete word. If only her hope could last a little longer to give her the ending she’d waited for. If only.