Ghats of Varanasi


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The Ghats at Varanasi
Are a sight to behold
The shores lined
With shrines and temples
Decades old
Some dilapidated
Some newly restored,
With burning piles of firewood
The funerary ceremony of Hindus
At this auspicious venue,
With pilgrims and tourists alike
Seated in painted wooden boats
Preparing for a ride along the ghats

The riverfront steps
Are occupied by
Awestruck travellers
Engrossed in capturing the serene beauty
And often by
Saffron-clad Sadhus
With ashen faces and long matted locks
Blowing out clouds of smoke,
The menfolk
Half-immersed in The Holy Ganges
Wash off sins with pious gaiety
While the women devotees
Carry oblation of vermilion and flowers
To pay homage to various deities
As dawn approaches
The Ghats come to life
In brightly lit alleys
Sonorous sound of bells
And scent of sandalwood incense
Fills the air
Hundreds of illuminated earthen pots
Embellished with rose petals
Ride the currents
Lighting the path to atonement

Young priests uniformly clothed
In Silk dhotis
Perform the quotidian evening rituals
As onlookers sing along to
The devotional songs and vedic hymns
Enthralled by this oneness





Stifling Luxury


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Artwork by Rohan Daniel Eason

Artwork by Rohan Daniel Eason

Photo from Goldfinger, 1964

Photo from Goldfinger, 1964


I want to break free
From the shackles
Of this stifling luxury
Where a dozen men
Render themselves
At my beck and call
Perpetually eager to please
Hovering around
Witnessing familial arguments
Even, private tender moments
Surreptitiously observing my
Every movement
Making me a
Prisoner of this
Regal confinement

These perquisites
Of Black ambassadors
With tinted windows
& light-armed troops
That accompany like a shadow
Bring me only alienation
And a false sense of obligation
As these perks are not mine
To claim
But simply bestowed upon me
By virtue of a shared surname

What use do I have
Of a palatial house
& servings on a silver platter
When I have restricted privacy
And a silk noose around my collar?

Zeigarnik Effect


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Artwork by Daniel Segrove

Artwork by Daniel Segrove

Artwork by Kate Powell

Artwork by Kate Powell

I enter

A quasi trance-like state

At the sound of

Rhythmic staccato of

Gravel crunching beneath

And the sight of

Trees whizzing past

As I pedal hypnotically

Burning rubber on

This seemingly endless

Boulevard to infinity

My introspective pilgrimage

Takes a harrowing turn

Leading me into

A passage buried deep

In the crannies of my brain

My mind slowly registering

With sheer dismay

That Zeigarnik Effect is at play

Like the spokes in the wheel

Thoughts of you, turn over and over

In my head

I forlornly ruminate over

Stolen kisses and sweet nothings

Dwell on the image

Of your face

A constant reminder

Of discomfort

Like a stone stuck in a shoe

I am unable

To bid adieu

To the resurfacing memories of you

So I’ve understood

The only way

To put an end to this

Psychological effect

To stride out of this

Zone of displeasure

Is a

Self attained

Cognitive closure

Painting by Januz Miralles

Painting by Januz Miralles

Romancing the Rains


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Cool, crisp
Mountain breeze
Blows through my window
A slight nip
In the air
My heart swells
With merriment
As the first drop of rainfall
Turns to
A drizzle, then
A full-fledged heavy downpour

I watch
With childlike fascination
The spikes of lightning
Lighting up the sky
Soothed, by the sound of rain
Gently splashing
On my window pane
The foliage
Swaying joyously
As if welcoming
The onset of monsoon

My romance with rain begins
As I settle with
A piping hot cup of caffeine
To warm my insides, and
A piece of literature
To warm my soul




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This agonizing revelation
Makes me tongue tied
Submerging me
In a sea of disconcerting thoughts
While waves of fury
Crash against
The walls of my heart

I feel sick
Sick to the core of my being
Thinking of
The animalistic atrocities
He inflicted
Thinking about her
Being held
Against her will
In more than one way
On more than one day

It all makes sense now,
Her hormonal imbalance
Sexual aversion,
Intimate relationships repulsion
All, an aftermath
Of the barbarity

For years
She kept it to herself
Pushing the harrowing memories
To the back of her mind
When finally, she unloaded
The burden of the secret, confined
Within her

It was a startling revelation
For her too
As the realization of being abused, dawned
Only when she understood what it meant




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Sometimes loud,

The sound of her booming voice


Across the room

In my mind

Sometimes inaudible,

Words muttered under her breath

Spoken barely above a whisper.


Commencing without any provocation

Heedlessly heading in any direction

Regardless of time and place

Often accompanied by mirthless laughter

Or a look of contrived grimace.

These monologues

Always catch me off guard

Albeit, my ears are accustomed

It is indeed hard

To be an unwearied, silent spectator

While the same sentences

Are repeated

Like a tape stuck on replay


Veil of Flesh


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Your dogged pursuit

Of the perfect built

A drive, bordering on obsession

Is tearing me apart

Rendering me incapable

Of making you comprehend

The simple truth

That, I see beyond

Your veil of flesh

That, your worth

Isn’t dependent

On a robust frame

And without any reservation, I opine

Your chivalrous and benevolent ways

Would put hordes of youthful men to shame

My dearest, my muse

Sharer of my blues

I see through your disguise,

The storms brewing in your eyes

The myriad of emotions

You keep locked up

Channeling your angst

In shaping up

The monkey on your back

Has you dancing to its tunes

It’s time to cease the

Intake of building pills

And focus your energy on

Discovering unused potential

And untapped skills

body hang ups

dear you


L’appel du Vide


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Perched on a window sill

12 feet above the ground

I gaze with awe at the vast dark sky

Lost in the sound

Of the gentle, slow hum of cars passing by


My eyes wander to the asphalt concrete below

And I experience an unusual yet familiar urge

To take a leap

To answer

The call of the void


Often, I’ve encountered

This bizarre psychological phenomenon

A subconscious rebellion

Against rational behaviour

The Imp of the Perverse

Driven by curiosity of the unknown

Rather than suicidal ideation


This urge

However irresistible

Is always fleeting

And never overwhelming. .

Blissful Night


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As we lay together

Under the sheets

Our fingers entwined

Your stubble grazed my nape

Face buried in my hair

You breathed me in

Your breath slow and heavy

As you bit me playfully


Your hands

Warm upon my skin

Wandered, travelled down

Rested in the curve of my hips

I melted in your embrace


And ever so lightly

Kissed the outlines of your lips


Hours went by

As we revelled in this intimacy

Your touch was pure ecstasy

And when the early morning rays

Caressed the room

One look

At your sweet giddy grin

Your alluring glinting grey eyes

And I knew I’m in love



Reunion Anxiety


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As the day nears

My excitement turns to anxiety

After years

Of being dependent on technology

The notion

Of being in your physical proximity


Intrigues me


We’ve evolved

In ways we never thought possible

But has our bond stood the test of time

Or have we grown apart in ways

We aren’t consciously aware of


I’m afraid

Of awkward silences

Of things going wrong

Not living up to your expectations

Or peering into your soul

And not knowing who you are anymore


Will we feel like jagged pieces of a puzzle?

Or fit unnervingly well?

Only time will tell. .



Mental Regression


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n. a relationship or friendship that you can’t get out of your head, which you thought had faded long ago but is still somehow alive and unfinished, like an abandoned campsite whose smoldering embers still have the power to start a forest fire.


I’ve been trying

To be oblivious to your resounding absence

To not overlook your arrogance

To loathe you with a vengeance

For inflicting such mental anguish


I shred your letters

Along with the ones I penned

But never sent

Set them on fire

Blinked back tears

And watched them turn to ashes


I buried your ring

And threw everything I owned

Touched by you

Far into the sea

That reminded me

Of your existence



I forget all about you


Our reservoir of memories

Starts to spill

My mind mentally regresses

To when time stood still

All those suppressed feelings

Creep in again

And I land back to square one


It’s a constant battle between remembering and forgetting. .



Gut Instinct


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Am I falling in love

Or am I infatuated

With the idea

Of being in love

With you

Because, I know

How it feels to be

Wholeheartedly besotted

Inexplicably exhilarated                                                  

Losing track of time

And all sense and sensibility

In a beloved’s cherished presence

But with you, it doesn’t feel the same

Is it all in my head?


You’re perfect on paper

A charmer by default

But every time I convince myself

To take the plunge

My gut instincts

Make me take a step back

Remind me

Of your persistent,

Quotidian declarations of love,

Our stagnant conversations,

Absence of chemistry

And lack of compatibility


Am I finding faults or merely listening to my intuition?



Deciphering A Dream


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rollover reaction

n. when your dream about someone you know skews how you feel about them all the next day, an emotion you are unable—and unwilling—to shake.


Often I find answers

In the realm of my dreams

These subconscious thoughts

Uncloud my blurred reality


You only fathom a part of me

The one I choose to show

But we’ve been conversing long enough

For our relation to grow

For you to know

Who I truly am

And yet

You’re unable to comprehend

My unuttered woes

The damages I subtly disclose

The baggage weighing me down

The reasons behind my erratic meltdowns


I’ve been willing my heart to believe

That someday

You’ll read between my words

See right through

My calm facade, my outer shell

But this dream shattered my illusion

Conveyed a message too strong to dismiss

That you’re not the one

That something is amiss

For once, I’ll let my mind overpower my heart




The Aftermath


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I berate, isolate myself

As I deal with the aftermath

Of the tragedy

That my life has become


They all sang the same tune

Advised me innumerable times

Pleaded me

Gave me ultimatums eventually

To escape this addictive trap

To quit inhaling poison

That brings nothing but self-destruction

They said I’m losing my true self

And sooner or later, I’d lose them too


Every time I strained myself

To deny the temptation

To listen to my inner voice

But my urge to feed this addiction

Always won

This hard-fought battle

Leaving me

With a Pyrrhic victory


I’ve burst the denial bubble

The growing distance

The resounding silences

Too much to bear

It’s time to redeem my life

And I pray for the end

Of this mentally exasperating nightmare




Forever Lost


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Nodus Tollens

n. the realization that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore—that although you thought you were following the arc of the story, you keep finding yourself immersed in passages you don’t understand, that don’t even seem to belong in the same genre.


Nowadays, I find myself

Mechanically sifting through life

Remembering moments frozen in time

Contemplating the path not taken

Staring into empty spaces

Feeling solitary

In a crowd of familiar faces


At night,

Pangs of isolation overwhelm me

Inner conflict brews within

I feel incarcerated in my own skin

I feel

forever lost. .




Chink In The Armour


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I had my guards up

Built impenetrable walls around me

Armed myself with a shield of indifference

To escape the hurt

To protect my vulnerable heart

From breaking again


I’m terrified

Of entering uncharted emotional territory

Of baring my soul, time and time again

And then you came along

Became the reason

For the smile upon my lips

The gleam in my eyes

You whispered sweet nothings

And ever so gently

Swept me off my feet

Until, it felt too good to be true

With a sinking heart, I asked you to retreat


Our goodbye

Made a chink in my Armour






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My oddly coordinated limbs

Consistently move

To the beats and bass

Woofers thump

In slow motion

My wild imagination

Transports me

To heavenly destinations

A fusion

Of bizarre yet euphoric images

Crawl in my head

My mind

Creates incredible scenarios

Dwells on a thought

Analysing every outcome

The slow hum

Of banal conversations


Then laughter fills the dimly lit room

Yet, In the midst of assorted sounds

Moments of solitude exists

I find answers to my unanswered questions

I see people in new light

The numbness exhilarates


Every iota of remorse or guilt

Every trip is different

But this type of high

Always overpowers the lows of life


Happy Realization


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 I’ve had my fill of

 The daily doze of drama

The Inane altercations

The rigid unrealistic conversations

Evoking tumultuous emotions

I now seek emancipation

And after days of

Vigorous infallible introspection

I’ve come out of denial

No longer do I live

In a world of make believe

No longer do I walk

With my heart on my sleeve

I’ve untangled myself

From this web of deception

I’ve reached a simple conclusion-

You aren’t meant for me after all

I’ll someday find the right guy

The world isn’t so small





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I’m fully clothed

Covered from tip to toe

Yet I feel

Stark naked

Filthy to the bone

A piece of meat

As I cross the street

Many pairs of lust filled leering eyes

Travel up and down my body

Fixate on my bosom

They explicitly




Pass lurid, crass comments

Make obscene gestures

Derive sadistic pleasure

From this pathetic act

Conveniently termed



If anything needs to be changed, it’s our MINDSET not our CLOTHES !


Cloud Nine


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There’s a bounce in my step

A silly grin plastered on my face

I’m jumping in delight

All over the place

I’m on cloud nine

In a euphoric state

Let me bask in happiness

Before this feeling abates


The enormity of the achievement

Hasn’t sunk in yet

And for others it may not be a big deal

But to me, it feels surreal


Not even in my wildest dreams

Did I think this feat was accomplishable


The proud twinkle in my parent’s eyes

Is the biggest reward

All the hard work paid off

I performed to the best of my abilities

Proved everyone wrong

Who doubted my capabilities


The end of school life

Couldn’t have been more perfect


The result came out yesterday. I scored 92.2 percent ! My family and friends are ecstatic and I’m on CLOUD NINE !  I passed with flying colours ! :D