Tuesday, September 8, 2015

If I Were Free

Long but tiny shackles of gold
Infinity defined by a glass dome
Freedom is all but an illusion for me
Yet I think of if I were free

Hath ages adorned no damage of fate
And let me cross the conventional gates
There would be more of me now
And to none of the masters would I ever bow

Fence life with spirit and light
And lift myself on an adventure flight
Roam around like a free bird
Bloom if I weren’t curbed in a bud

Beyond horizons beyond restrictions
Over a burden of rudimentary expectations
Would have galloped like a horse and soared like a lark
And met life at the juncture of dawn and dark

But trapped is my life, my spirit all gone

If I were free is just a thought forlorn.

- Vaisakhi Mishra 

P.S. - Photo Source - http://www.fanpop.com/clubs/daydreaming/images/22933784/title/freedom-wallpaper

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Grey Day - Part 3

You can read the First Part HERE and the Second Part HERE

It wasn’t suffocating. The cold was gone completely. But they were still in stark darkness and hope trickled down their tired muddy faces.
“Simi, I am too sleepy. What if I don’t make it? I can’t feel my legs anymore. And I don’t have the strength to stay up anymore. “
Simi looked at Lisa and knew she had almost reached the zenith of despair. “I will keep watch, you sleep for some time. You will need strength for when they pull us out of this hell hole.”
Lisa took Simi’s advice and Simi was more vigilant than ever. It was more like the last burst of energy before the end, at least for her.
After an infinite lapse of time, Simi felt light showers of dust on her. The same as the one she had witnessed after the one minute of nature’s wrath had ceased. But this was different. This one was for hope.
“Lisa, get up. I think the rescuers are here. Please get up.”
Lisa got up to witness the same shower, now accompanied by faint thuds. It was the rescuers for sure. But she was too fatigued and dehydrated. Simi started screaming with all her might for help and the thuds stopped.
“Is there anyone in there?” Someone asked.
“Yes, we are. Two people. My friend is hurt. She can’t move. But she is alive” an elated Simi replied.
After twenty minutes of desperate wait, Simi could finally see daylight but no escape route. The dust shower had increased and Lisa refused to even raise her head anymore. Exhaustion had taken a toll on her, but the surging energy in Simi seemed enough for both of them.

After another ten minutes, Simi could finally see their rescuer’s face. Maybe it was exaggeration, but Simi had never been so pleased to see anyone, ever, let alone a stranger.

They removed the fridge first. Lisa was squirming with pain from the minute the cement boulders were being raised but the minute the huge machine was lifted, she screamed and fainted. The rescue team didn’t waste any time in asking Simi about her condition. A man came down, picked her up and left. There was chaos above, and Simi was lost, waiting, fearing what she didn’t even want to imagine. After sometime another man came to take Simi. He tried to lift her, but she protested. She wanted to know about Lisa.
“Your friend is fine Ma’am. She was pinned down for too long. There was a toxin build up in her blood – it is very common in these cases. Sudden blood flow caused her immense pain and she fainted. The doctors still need to look at her legs. But she is fine, she will be fine.”

Simi wanted to cry, wanted to let go of her fear, wanted to feel safe. All she needed was to cry but was unable to do so. She let her rescuer take her out of the misery-ville.
Simi was in a small camp that had been set where the central garden of her society used to be. She looked at what used to be her building. She looked around and all she saw was death, and wreckage. Her society was gone. Buildings were gone. Some cut in halves, some shortened, and some with no reason for being called buildings at all. She looked at the people in the camp. Seven people were from her building excluding her. She imagined some to be in the hospital where Lisa was being treated. A lady from the medical tent had come to take Simi for checkup, but all Simi wanted was water and sleep. She had not had water for more than twenty hours now, but she went with the lady anyways.
The doctor at the medical counter had a Motorola handset, and throughout her checkup she kept a stern gaze on the cellphone. After the doctor was done with his job, Simi spoke for the first time after being rescued.
“Can I make one call from your handset?”
The doctor smiled and handed her the phone. “Just one call please, for now” he said and went on to check the others dragged in by the lady.
“Aunty, this is Simi. Lisa and I are fine, alive. She wanted to talk to you but the doctors took her away. She wanted to say sorry. She survived, we survived because she wanted to talk to you” Simi said and waited for the sobs to die down at the other end. “Please call Maa and tell her I am fine. I will call her when I get a chance to.”
She ended the call and collapsed where she was standing. Sobs and tears had finally found a way. She was crying because she was happy. Life was finally making sense again. And she remembered the last words her mother had told her before the call had ended, “You are lucky, very lucky.” What she meant was that Simi was lucky that she wasn’t in Dehradun and did not have to wake up early for the Army Parade. But what her mother had said was partly true.
She had survived. She was lucky, very lucky.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Grey Day - Part 2

You can read the first part HERE

“Will we survive?” Lisa asked.
“We have to. You hugged the fridge after saving me. We have to.” Simi said stoically.
“You must be hungry. Have the tomatoes.”
Simi looked at the dusty red objects – unwashed and dirty but they looked scrumptious. Five, barely red but mouthwatering tomatoes surrounded by a dry pond of spilt milk, stale curry and some sauces. She picked up two and moved gingerly towards Lisa. But the floor beneath Lisa started to fall or that is how it seemed. Realizing the unstable trait of the barely holding floor she tossed a tomato at Lisa and slumped back in her corner. The girls enjoyed their meal but did not dare to drink water despite being parched.
The two girls kept staring at the sepia and grey dilapidated space that was once a room and talking in monologues for hours. The stuffiness of the corner had escalated. The paucity of air had been served with a dash of dust. Without a watch it was difficult for them to tell the time but they were sure night was going to make them wait for long. Simi must have dozed off due to boredom, because her thought train was not stuck at the last words with her mom anymore, but on how cold were January nights in Gujarat. The sun had surely set as it was cold again, ruthlessly cold.
“Imagine us clad in woolen sweaters and having hot masala chai at Dhir Bhai’s Tapri (shop)”. Lisa said after she saw Simi shivering with cold.
“Like imagination always helps!” Simi’s irritation had reached the peak of self-pity. “Would Dhir Bhai have survived this? His shop is a small shanty. If our building is all dust, his shop would be lost underground right?”
“We will figure out after we are rescued.” Lisa said with a feeble smile.
“How are you doing this? How did you not sleep? How are you still hopeful? It is night and no rescue has come. I didn’t even hear a sound from our own building after the quake; a building of fourteen families and twenty Paying Guests!” Simi asked.
“You did have some conversation with your mother before all this. I haven’t talked to mine since day before yesterday.” Lisa said. “And I can’t sleep because I fear we would miss the rescuers when they come. If we miss them, they won’t hear us, they won’t be careful and all this would be for nothing.”
Simi could see the determination behind Lisa’s pain. Most people in her situation would be withering with pain, screaming and sobbing. But Lisa was not most people, she had never been one. When Simi had met Lisa, she was a rebellious girl, hot headed and ‘the guy band’ chick, but she was also the most genuine person Simi had found in the campus, most eligible for being her roommate. Lisa never spoke with her father, Simi never asked why but she did regularly call up her mother though those calls always ended abruptly. She had heard Lisa shout on phone a couple of days back and since then Lisa had abandoned that machine.
She had to live. They had to survive.
The small talk with Lisa had restarted Simi’s memory quest for the last thing her mother had said.
The cold wasn’t helping Simi’s situation anymore. Night grew and so did the chill. They were trapped in rubble, engrossed in darkness, under a blanket of dust and dirt, then how had the sultry corner become a chilling one? Simi wondered, diverting herself from her thoughts again. She was desperate now. She had to pee, but was too embarrassed. She had quenched her thirst by just staring at the broken fridge door but still as nature has its way of everything; it had made her a puppet too. First the quake, then the unwashed tomatoes now this, for Simi the grey day was getting weird and never ending. She had OCD, mainly related to cleanliness but now she had two ways for going crazy. She looked at Lisa, whose chin was resting on her folded arm, face muddy with cement, dust and blood, and eyes were blankly gazing at the never ending darkness.
“How are you holding?” Simi went crimson. She knew she had. But was relieved Lisa could not see her flushed face.
“Didn’t I tell you some hours back?” Lisa asked, baffled.
“Not that holding. I..I want to pee.”
Lisa laughed and refused to stop till the pain got unbearable again.
“I already did it. Didn’t tell you because it was weird. But guess when you are confined in a cage of walls, or what were walls, you don’t really have any option.”

“Hmm, I will do when I can now” Simi chose to shut up for a while, planning on the ‘when’ part. When she finally let go of all her inhibitions, Lisa and Simi gobbled up the remaining tomatoes and water from the only fridge door bottle.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Grey Day - Part 1

January 26th, 2001

Day and night meant nothing to Simi anymore – it was all grey, charcoal grey. She had lost track of time but knew hours had passed and still nothing had changed. Lisa was lying in front of her, not sleeping, not unconscious either, but barely moving. The refrigerator was still on Lisa’s legs and on a part of her back. The merciful machine had spilt milk on the ground - that was now uneven and broken, some tomatoes too - five of which were at less than an arm’s distance from where Simi sat, and rest had found solace in the newly built cracks of the floor. The fridge door was detached from the main body, and had a half filled bottle of water and a broken jar of jam. Eggs were broken and were on the floor. The door was peacefully warming up right next to Lisa. Everything else was lost in the dusty, bricked and cemented background.
A million hours ago, or so it seemed to Simi, Simi was fighting with her mom. She thought about her decision that had led her to this situation. Simi had moved to Ahmedabad for her MBA about a year back. Terrified by the chronicles of the IIM A hostels, Lisa and she had chosen a cozy flat for two years. Simi’s mother had called today to wake them up early morning. Hailing from a Punjabi army family, sleeping past sunrise on 26th January was a criminal offense according to Simi’s mother, and she had made sure the two sleepyheads were up on time. It was around 8:40 A.M. when her mother had called again to howl at her for not going to the City Republic Day Parade and that was when the fight had started. Simi tried very hard to remember the last words her mother had said before the call ended abruptly but all she could remember was the rumbling of the concrete land that had drowned those words.
She had lost her balance, had noticed Lisa scream, “The corner now!” and then was being dragged towards the corner - laterally opposite to the fridge and a wall which never held any significance for her. By the time she could voice out her realization to her mother, the cordless in her hand had no tone. Lisa paced towards the fridge to get something – a bottle of water perhaps, and the room was split into 2 already - the other part crumbling under the pressure of the cement sarsens falling from the floors above. The rumbling discordance was then pierced by Lisa’s painful scream. The kitchen cabinet had fallen, which she had managed to dodge with a small cut on her head and was checking something on the ground with a bottle of water in her hand. But the thoughtless Fridge could not hold its ground and fell on her, and with that she reached Simi’s corner, sliding. Simi completely oblivious to the fact that the ground where she was now sitting had tilted and random things in the room where trying to reach her wall which was half its original size now. The door of the open, sliding fridge hit the walls during its short descent and slowed down the refrigerator’s ride but Lisa had lost her bottle, which vanished where some part of the wall used to stand. And it was all silent after that.
“Are you okay?” was what broke Simi’s perplexed trance. She looked at Lisa, who was pinned under the fridge and boulders of someone’s ceiling and wall; she was not sure any more about whose walls had stopped the fridge half way. Lisa had bruises on her arms, a deep cut on her head and she was asking if Simi was alright; it was amusing to Simi.
“You are bleeding.” Lisa said, painfully.
“So are you” Simi replied, and the girls started giggling. Not happy chuckles, but that is all they could think of doing – chuckle.
“Simi, stop. I can’t laugh anymore. It hurts” Lisa said, pain clearly ringing in her voice.
Simi acknowledged Lisa’s request and embraced silence once again. She realized the crumbling building had not spared her completely, as she thought a couple of minutes back.  She could feel her damp hair, although it was not perspiration but blood. Her arms and face were also etched by the falling rubble. But all she could wonder about was how one minute of the earthquake had destroyed their house of one year, beyond recognition.
The one minute was the only time she remembered now. Hours had gone by, her stomach was rumbling, but the terror of the minute still gripped Simi and Lisa’s condition had numbed her completely.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Summer Rains

Laden wisps of the sky,
Deeper than the deepest dye
Paint the summer day dark,
Answering to some murmuring lark.

The dusty shades are all washed clean,
And some distant peacocks laugh and preen,
But someone sure knows the source of this treasure trove -
These are all but tears from above.

Untimely and uninvited, the rain still falls
Wet eyes see as melancholy crawls.
But thoughts still are drawn, staring at the sky,
If it can let go why can’t I?

Life is not like rain, for it is all in rewind forever

But rain lets go of the summer pain; that is for us to remember.

- Vaisakhi Mishra

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Broken Record

The same tone resonates
And all is steady now
For same song she sings
Day and Night, to and fro.

Deterred by her own fate
She dares not to speak more
If only one could hear her words untold
She could stop this never ending tour

Strewn leaves on the pavement
But not one blows away
She knows it all tells her something
No one hears her cry

Voice gone, words frozen
She walks down the woods alone
Stopping all to not go in there
But they do go and then are gone

If only she was not a humming broken record
And could snap them out of the suicidal trance
She could save so many from the doom
She was pulled into once.

P.S. - If you are lost about the theme of the poem read up Aokigahara Forest. :)

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Mellifluous moon
And Clear rhythm of light, till I 
Break the Mangata.

Photo source - http://pixiiiiie.deviantart.com/art/Moon-over-water-13102759

Sunday, November 2, 2014

The Boulevard

Sparsely crowded
The familiar boulevard I walk
Not one knows my name.

Photo Source - http://www.freegreatpicture.com/cat/photo-23360