Running

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

Society:

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.

Society:

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

Society:

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

Society:

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

Society:

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.

Ignorance is Bliss

A wall. Interpreted as ignorance by myself, and my team- Anoushka, Melanie and Ritika. The following poem was written as a conversation between a man and the wall his own mind has put up, around him. It is a collaboration between Anoushka Gupta (who speaks as the man, and has written the first and third stanzas) and I ( the wall, and have written the second and final stanzas).

 

The myriad possibilities are endless
A gleaming cosmos with colours so bright
However all I see is starless, hollow darkness
I am powerless against the hands shielding my sight

 

Wall of stone, wall of darkness
Don’t fear, for I will shield your eyes
What you know is enough to suffice
I have nothing to offer from the world outside

 

Helpless, I have given in to the ignorance,
The world beyond, a trap, a snare.
These walls control my conscience,
And save me from destruction and despair.

The world outside is crumbling apart
Stand far as the walls of weakness wither
The one I am, and a part of yourself
Is the only one that will remain forever

 

Picture Courtesy: Melanie RK

©Isha Malaviya.

 

 

Routine of a Sleeping Beast

I stood at the edge of the water

As the sand sparkled on the beach

The roaring waves in the background

Reduced to whispers in the sea

 

Bubbles frothed at the tips

And burst with the touch of a stone

Shells peaked from under the mud

As the tide pulled away from the shore

 

At dawn the sun slowly lit up the surface

As the day brought an iridescence

Waiting for the evening to set in

The colours would fade in their evanescence

 

The following morning it would wake in rage

Like the stir of a sleeping beast

By noon the aggression would recede

To a calm, crystal-like sea.

 

(Inspired by John Keats’ On The Sea)

©Isha Malaviya.