Myriad Musings

Strained

The strain remained, refusing to vanish like a particularly hard-to-dislodge guava seed in my tooth. Pain. Strain. Remain. I played with the words in my head, as though the rhyme would resound laughter amidst the bleakness of a lost battle.

The texts had tumbled, like the slip of a juggler’s hands. Only that the balls now were fired rapidly back at me. I lit the fire and I burnt in it. Every time.

His text would creep in tomorrow, day after. A reminder of the mess. Of what was lost and gone. I’d be forced to put forth another attempt at war but my armoury would be tucked safely under the bed and I’d perhaps be sleeping when his text arrives.

Unwelcome. Unnecessary. A belated ointment for an old wound. A half-hearted rush of concern to make up for the delay in response, as the air would stink of thick, sweaty drops of apology. A stench that we seemed to carry every time we met.

He’d try to plaster the walls he broke and stitch the open wounds, wounds that he opened, sometimes with an intricate compass, other times with a carefully misplaced scythe.

Hatred would gush and love would bubble. I’d multiply the bubbles and send it his way, quick pecks on his indifferent cheeks: Kindness measured, so it’s not too much or too less but just right lest he rejects it for its overwhelming nature.

I’d swallow the hatred and reopen my old wounds, using only scythes with no place for compasses. Scythes he’s given me from unforgettable memories of being pushed into an abyss, always willing to jump, but never wishing for it.

He’s throw tidbits with the air of a man who throws pellets of puffed rice to the desperate fish at sea- waiting, wanting, willing, wishing- and walk away huffily with a puffed up chest, his generosity impressing himself. The sour taste of battle blood would sink my palette into pain and the strain would remain.
Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

 

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Poetry

Blinders: Poem

An old poem I’d scribbled in a notebook from years ago:

Your eyes set, chin determined

You wrangle to break away

But the chains don’t come off

For it is my soul you’ve in a stranglehold

Still a soldier, different this time

The arms you take up are in self-defence

You rip my pleas apart, puncture my trembling heart

Cut me again, again- to ascertain

you can still make me bleed

Every drop I spill is your elixir of strength

Your armour thickens

Your eyes bless me no more

They smoke and spew hatred

I can’t inhale, I can’t escape

A furious Greek God punitive

You become human once again.
Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

This is about idealising someone only to realise with time that they’re as fallible as anyone, if you’re done benefiting them or you get on their wrong side.

 

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Myriad Musings

What’s the word for it?

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Have you ever felt something so fascinatingly specific that you recognize the feeling instantly when it next arrives?

You rush to find the perfect word to describe it, surely it’s at the tip of your tongue – only to realize that it doesn’t exist. At least not in this language.

I wish there were words to describe:

Gathering courage to finally feel comfortable about attempting something, way beyond your comfort zone. A wallflower’s first public speech. Adorning those dance shoes despite having two left feet.

Feeling inspired and empowered enough by another’s joyful success to put yourself out there. Taking vocal lessons after listening to the two-year-old wonder. Diving headfirst into your own passions after your friend’s foreign land fairytale.

Relief of never having to do something heavy, ever again. Phew. Remember when you ripped your board exam hall tickets apart and grinned ear-to-ear?

Celebrating the firsts. Your first blog. Your first bicycle ride after the support wheels came off. Learning the first sentence in an alien language.

Embellishing a silly detail because you fear being judged for the truth. Exaggerating your height on a dating profile or throwing in an extra couple of interests on your resume, for good measure. Wink.

Desire to dwell in the world of a book, a movie, a play; inhabit the life of a fictional character or reside in a real-life hero. I’m still waiting for my Hogwarts acceptance letter.

Being an awkward liar, all-too-obvious. Conversely, when you excuse someone’s apparent lies to protect them from embarrassment. Your sincere head-nods to children’s lies so they can save face.

Laughing till it hurts, jumping for joy or shedding real tears about an imaginary situation that never unfolded in reality.

An image that you can’t stop seeing every time you close your eyes. Every mathematical formula when you’ve been crunching numbers too long, or that terrifying frame from a horror movie that refuses to let you sleep.

Palpably awkward experiences, where you’re beseechingly looking at the ground, hoping you’d be swallowed in. Running into an old boss. Wardrobe malfunction in a grandiose gathering. Forgetting the lines to a song as you perform, right before your Lady Gaga moment.

Delight that floods when you finally fulfil a craving or a dream. Celebratorily eating ice cream at 2 a.m. Buying the instrument you’ve been diligently saving up for.

Absolute painful certainty that something is crawling on your skin. You thoroughly check and recheck every inch to assuringly find no real reason to cringe.

Clarity about a situation from ages ago, attained after learning a critical piece of information. A head-scratcher then. Now, the puzzle fits.

Jubilation when things unfold astonishingly well, surpassing your wildest dreams. A perfect score in a mind-numbing video game. The outpour of enthusiasm for your fresh ideas. The happiest guests relishing your delightful servings.
Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

(Part 1)

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Poetry

Dear water

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Wash the weight off of me,
drench my fears,
drown my inadequacies,
dampen any hatred,
sink every self-doubt,
soak my reservations,
swamp any negative intent,
submerge the bundles of pain,
flush away all falsehood,
rinse stains of my sins away.

Trickle in sweet smiles,
spray me with playfulness,
swim with abandon into my soul,
shower me with content,
bathe me in light,
rain in abundance,
flood hope into my heart,
stream joy into my being,
splash me with a dash of wonder,
immerse me in your fluid dance,
as I plunge into new adventures,
Let’s sail together, an alien cruise.

Drink to
waves of versatility
springs of satedness
puddles of patient progress
fountains of incisive intellect
creeks of creativity
brooks of buoyancy
ponds of treasured ideas
lakes of loving-kindness
rivers of resplendence
seas and oceans of serendipity.

Dear water,
With a drop of your luck,
a dribble of my hard work,
I’ll paddle through hell,
the way I wade through heaven.
Copyright © Roshni Ramanan

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