Ode to Silver Engravings

Black roses with dewdrops

Top dead bushes and wilted leaves.

Silhouettes shudder and weave

In and out of grey trees.


And in the fields, stand two towering gates

Beyond which tomb stones lie;

The atmosphere looks ghastly-

A thick veil extends for miles


I stand outside His mansion

And admire the crumbling walls,

The place draws me toward it, asking me

To walk through the doors, and explore the old halls


But before I am taken over, I remember home;

I crave its company, and I turn away;

My time will come

But not now, not today.


For before I come here again

I will keep Death waiting,

And on Earth, amongst forgotten legacies,

Mine will be carved in silver engravings.


©Isha Malaviya.



In between the rhythm of my steps
Amidst an evening breeze
My mind noticed
Winter’s hunched trees, old leaves
Clinging by a skeleton arm
To a sickly, aged branch.
Pale, worn blades of grass hovered
Struggling against the thick fog above
As it suffocated the uneven soil
And the smallest particles wreathed in turmoil.


But my eyes begged to see
Winter’s surviving trees
Bowing down gracefully, as if on one knee;
Elegant, matured leaves
Clinging, but not desperately
Embracing their departure
With a slow farewell to their mother
And pale but lively blades of grass hovered
Under the umbrella of the blue, calm weather
As it cooled the fertile soil
And relieved the life below, of turmoil.


But when the mind is dull
And feels tired, numb
Its gaze misses nature’s beauty
For it can see none.


©Isha Malaviya.

(Inspired by October- Edward Thomas).



When life gives you dirt,

Grow roses.

Let each dream bury itself in mud

Caked with death and failure

But when the time is ripe,

From the seed will erupt the tiniest scope of hope

And the air, the sun and the rain

Will cling to it; just like our hands extend to grab every wisp of life possible.

Let them do their work

Maybe some of the seeds will grow into plants

Others will rest in their graves.


When life gives you dirt,

Grow roses.

Because even when they bloom

And spread like an eagle’s wings,

They will slowly wilt

But in their passing,

Every petal will still look

A fading beauty.
©Isha Malaviya.


Obsessions of another kind, compulsions from a different mind

*Trigger Warning for Emetophobia*


The chalk cuts into the blackboard
Word after word, she explains
I don’t get it; I try, I promise but
It’s too much of a task to string a sentence together

I look around
What if somebody starts feeling sick?
Three seats on my left- she hunches and her head
Falls gently on to the table;

The teacher coughs
What if something is bothering her throat?
Or even worse, her stomach
The bathroom is downstairs, it’s too far

She plays a video
What if it features a character
Who has drunk too much, or eaten too fast?
He might not feel too well after that; will they film it?

A knot in my chest presses against my abdomen
What if I did not eat enough for breakfast?
Or perhaps I have had unsettling food
And I may not be able to keep it all down

Ten minutes have passed
What if it happens any moment?
Nausea has taken over me
And three of my fingers are bleeding.


©Isha Malaviya.




I ran.
Not for my life, but from it.
Once you’ve done it enough times it seems satisfying, like you’re actually outracing some of your problems. And then it gets addictive, because that feeling of not being tied down by your thoughts can be equated with the freedom of an innocent prisoner.

Running became a part of my daily routine. Whenever I was on the verge of going up in flames, I’d put on some trainers and run out the damn door. For a while it startled my parents but the sooner they saw me coming back alive and a little happier than I was when I left, the better accustomed to it they became.
The only problem was I never really outran life. Sure, some of the repetitive thoughts hit “pause” for some time, but I couldn’t run forever. At some point I had to come back home, and home meant reality. Although, the thought of eventually getting ahead of life, was my biggest motivation.

The roads I chose to relieve my anger on were straight and a bit too narrow for traffic. They were lovely though; the sides were lined with beautiful trees, some of them leaf-less, looming over the concrete like outstretched arms. The occasional child would walk alongside his/her mother, crying because of a graze on the knee; or brooding because he/she was forcibly detached from the TV. But usually when I was out on my runs, the streets were empty save for an odd vehicle or two.

After about two months of running, the feeling of almost combusting became the equivalent of literally sitting on a lit pyre, so I ran more frequently, twice as determined. And then one day, after 65 days of trying, I did it. I outran life; leaving it behind in the trails of my shoes, and under a goddamn oncoming truck.

©Isha Malaviya.


Some would call it Dystopia


As a dictionary would define it:

‘The aggregate of people living together in a more or less ordered community.’

Or as a current member would describe it:

The body of people

Within which there is hierarchy

Torn apart by birth, money and superiority

Designed for change; destined to control

Aspects of life they were never supposed to be involved in.


The body of people

One section striving towards progress

The other, thriving on their founders’ beliefs

Both at loggerheads

Distorting reality to create their own utopias


The body of people

Some who accept

Some who exclude.

Those who embrace diversity

And those who take the ‘words of God’ to the extreme


The body of people

Some who will jeer at others

For not being the ‘ideal’ body image, for being depressed

And those who extend their arms

To the helpless


A battle of judgement,

Not a court of diplomacy.


©Isha Malaviya.


An Ode to Poetry

When you seek companionship

And feel more alone than ever

Pick up a pen

Write about the weather


Tell the world about the rain

Beating down on your window sill

The smell of damp mud

Filling up your nostrils


Or how the sun shines

After a gloomy day

Waking up the greenery

Warming the trees in its embrace


Tell us about your mind

Your thoughts and your dreams

Are they of rainbows and unicorns

Or are you drowning in your sleep?


Write a cliché

Perhaps a romantic story

Are the sun and moon in love

When they are separated for all of eternity?


Switch the lights off for just a moment

And enjoy the dark

Tell us about the unusual feeling

Of the atmosphere of numbness and calm


When you seek companionship

Look to paper and pen

For your own words have the power

To comfort you in your pain.


©Isha Malaviya.


See ‘Best Before’

Everything has an expiry date.

The carton of milk in your fridge

That has been sitting around for a while

Unconsumed, unwanted, unappreciated.

Love has a ‘Use Before’ label

The only thing is that one

Has to find that label themselves

It roughly translates to:

‘Catch it before it is too late.’

And when that Love exhausts, it will die away

Rarely will it outlive itself.

The expiration of happiness

Is a subjective concept,

Ask yourself the important question:

‘Do you mind eating chocolate

That expired a month before? Or do you crave

A fresh new bar, fit for your new taste?’

Then, there is life

As far as science goes,

We have not witnessed an immortal.

See, the expiration of Life is a touchy subject

It may spoil before its time

Or shine amongst dust on old shelves

And one may take it upon themselves

To choose their own fate, their own expiry date.

Don’t believe the age old lie

That Love, souls and objects are immortal

For the men who said it, died

Probably before they expected.

©Isha Malaviya.


It’s Okay

Do you remember

The first walk we took?

We strolled in the garden

Round the red rose bush


Do you remember

When you tried to cook me dinner?

We nearly burned down our kitchen

We had to eat at that café in a small corner


Do you remember

When giving your speech

You forgot the words?

You were so embarrassed, you cried yourself to sleep


Do you remember

When you forgot the days?

I comforted you because it could

Happen to anyone who wished it wasn’t Monday


Do you remember

When you blanked out too often?

You forgot where you were

Felt lost in our own garden


Do you remember

When the doctor gave us the news

I was terrified

But you held me close to you


Do you remember

When you forgot my name?

I told you it was alright

Because you still recognized my face


Do you remember

When you didn’t react to

Me visiting you after two days?

I tried so hard to get through to you


Do you remember

When you grabbed my hand

Made me promise

To keep your memories intact?


It’s okay to remember

That you were once in a better state

Just paint a brighter picture

On a clean slate


It’s okay if you don’t remember

Your life before it fades

That’s why I wrote this letter for you

It’s the only memory that won’t wither away.


©Isha Malaviya.