Lovers’ robes

I’ll meet you in the dark of the night,
or when the colours of the sun paint the morning sky.
I’ll savour that wine you pour into my cup,
or break bread in your arms.
Talk we shall of those little things
that make us laugh or of those we can never see eye to eye
the ones that leave me fuming
and you fighting me,
holding down my flailing arms,
sitting upon, so I have nowhere to go
but into you
as you sink inside me,
our fights now forgotten, the reasons more so,
just tongues seeking each other, our breaths losing out
to the rhythm of our bodies as close,
our lovers’ robes strewn about the floor,
waiting their turn at salvation
until impassioned moans subside.
I shall meet you wherever you want,
on a naked rock under the moon,
in the woods, a fancy rest house afar
or even that home you’ve hidden away.
But, my darling, have you wondered,
when all the love’s drained away
and there’s nothing more to be said and done,
where we’d discard these robes we now bear,
as we get back
to being the strangers we once were?

Is it too late?

Every time I look at you,

you back come to me in different hues

that smile once inviting

holding me back another;

sometimes waiting to part into speech,

or break into a warm laughter…

those gentle eyes waiting to blink, as if.

And it’s all I can do to hold back;

stop my fingers from running on your lips,

part them and prod your mouth,

your teeth, then your tongue, with mine.

How much longer

before I touch your skin;

taste that salt of your sweat?

How much longer for this pain

to satiate, in love-making pleasures?

How much longer before you forgive

the pain I caused?

Can I let you know I am falling in love again?

Or is it years too late?

The permanence

They don’t hold back

When they comfort me;

I am grateful.

But I don’t let them know

That’s not the comforting I need.

They prepare me

For the inevitability of death,

When it’s the fear of my inadequacy in life

That’s consuming me.

Death is but a mere calm

After the storm.

But I won’t let them know.

Dry Umbrellas…Wet, Wet Rains! (Edited)

It rained again. Yesterday. I could have walked out into it. But I had her with me. And she was tired. Having spun around the city in less than 30 hours. No, the city is not that big either. Just spread out. Wide roads, huge circles. So it takes time, and energy, to reach the gate from inside an open space, say a park. So we are in the car, when I would have preferred the storm on my face, while waiting for the bus. But I had let it out loud (enough for her to hear) that I had no umbrella. And she was obliged to be the Samaritan. And it was pouring heavy outside. I wish I knew when to open my mouth.

I invite her home, even when I don’t need her around. It’s what I brought on me—when I spoke my angst before a stranger. So I’ll hang on to the consequences.

But all the while, I am aching to be out there as the winds scream against the car we are zooming in. The wipers are working overtime. No, it still might give in. Like that last time I was out in one such rain. Mine snapped. I hadn’t complained. I couldn’t. I could have chosen to stay at home, not to be a part of what was coming down. This once too reminds me of that day in the rain, that other once in the rain. I was yet again with someone I hadn’t wanted to be with then, asking her politely to run into the car to avoid the rain when all I wanted to do was shove her in, zip back home and drop her off to where she needed to be and simply savour what was happening around—for me.

The rain.

It happens for me. The ballet of the skies, I call it. Dimmed lights, and an entire chorus unfastening. For me to relish. Heavenly drop after drop. All for me. In me…in unison to all of that in me. Taking me just the way I want to be taken in… giving me as much as I crave for. I could drench in it, body and soul and still walk out untouched, unscathed. Such pleasure in remaining me despite what it may supposedly do to me. Like love they speak of, before the sub-jurisdictions of territories fall into it…before the rights and wrongs are matched…before the strings finally take on the relationship, well, that is what getting wet in the rain is like for me. That larger-than-life proponent to my life. I give in. Completely. Willingly. Unspeakable calm, inside me! Beautiful, languid. Rain.

We have reached home, mine.

“Coffee?”

“No, I like tea. With a spoon of milk in it. I can show you how we make it.”

“Yeah why not. Sure.”

Coffee arrives, as does her tea. She hasn’t ventured to make it after that line. I haven’t asked more of her. We sip on our drinks as on our conversations. There is not much we talk. We hardly know each other. But she had offered me a drop. And I was expected to oblige. The electricity has bushed. It’s the rains, they would say—the thunder and lightning, the storm. It would snap a tree on a pole, that is what they always say. Rain, it’s a pain to them. How, I wonder!

We are barely able to find each other’s eyes to look back into while talking. But we talk. Inane things. Those that show up in the papers, Deccan Chronicle, The Hindu…“No Times in the city yet.”

“No, though it might—in most cases. But keeping up with their policies might take a while.”

“Okay.”

I can hear the rain lash. Waiting for me to join in. I can’t yet, I say. She would have to leave first.

But the colours it has left around with its divine entrance have taken me in, like it always does. Somber, pale and simply grey—like most claim to hate in unison. I love that part. The grey, with no one to please. Just the reflection of the clouds, downwards, right down to the earth. Leaving behind shadows of the grey, grey skies…radiating its ambiance out into the earth. On the pristine greens, and the browns of the trees. I want more.

She would leave soon. And I am going to step out, at least walk into the terrace here. Give in. Simply make love to all that’s coming my way.

The coffee is done, so is her tea. It’s time for her to leave. I can’t wait. She looks exhausted, needs her rest. I let her know. I know she’s been on the move ever since she has landed in town. I wish her luck until the next time we meet. We will, I know.

I remember just in time my duties as a host. I drop her off to her car.

“Thanks. It was nice knowing you, meeting you,” one of us says.

“Yeah, same here,” says the other.

I wave at her car and get back inside the house to tell the girl at home that I am going out.

“Ummm…it’s raining, madam ji,” she says shyly as she hands me a brown umbrella. Makes me want to smile, but give in to her concern. I always do. May forever, too.

There is nowhere to go, other than just to be on my own. With the rain. My stimulant.

It has receded by now, a little.

But I am not going to open my umbrella yet. I want to feel it on my face, soaking into my skin, one drop at a time…dripping down my hair, trickling onto my back. I want to experience that feel of getting wet…of something close to making love.

I like dry umbrellas. I like wet, wet rains.

This blog has been edited. I had first published it here (some many years ago).

A little longer, I’d make this winter stay

This morning,
winter shone
into my rooms,
the mist in its air
drawing crisp lines of
sunlit pastels
of different shades
streaking my floors
with playful dust
that stayed hanging
a little longer
than they always do,
then falling
in a dizzying trip,
yet unhurried
on my sheesham-wood chair,
the freshly changed linen,
and my uncovered skin.

A little longer
did I let it linger,
the golden specks of dust,
and watched them settle
in my heart,
as the memories
of a winter,
that I turned
into a warm reflection
that lasts me forever.

As wet as the rains get

It’s the view I want to wake up to—
the light shades of grey
shying into my floor through the green leaves
that adorn my window sill.

The summer breeze has not left;
for even today the sun rose with vengeance,
and hardly had the walkways gotten crowded
that it grew into a blob of angry red.

But now, my tinted glasses show me a grey world—
not of character, but of colour.
It’s the day of the clouds today;
one that promises a climax just as wet.

The only gust of happiness

 

There’s wonderful beat here playing into my ears,
making my heart thump to its chorus;
a lover’s note still lying on my desk,
my mind debating whether to respond to a slight in it.
And just when the dust was beginning to settle in,
over giving in to the vulnerabilities of love,
a gust of wind caught my eye, flying past my window
through the greens of the tree in sight.
Settling right there doubts over what matters the most;
that nothing brings more joy than the lights in the sky,
and the wistful greys of the floating cool rain clouds
especially when a few miles away
they can still move trees into making me smile.

In love, only long after

I see you—
Sometimes a little,
and then some more—
even when you withdraw
after you barge into my life.

I haven’t fallen in love still,
though it’s a possibility I have
kept for a rainy day;
When all the fun here has drained,
through conversations that have run dry.

Or in moments of loneliness
tinted around memories
of a wood-based fragrance;
then shall I admit to the void
your absence has designed that I loved you.

A sweat-soaked afternoon’s tale

Her arm aloft, she looked searchingly into his eyes, and then in one quick move, she was near him, her right arm groping around his waist as if, even as her left arm went for his right arm. She adjusted her position a little so that it was perfect, perfect enough to engulf him in her arms. This was just how she had hoped to get him, behind her. She was breathing heavy now, and she could feel his breath too, warming the nape of her neck, his sweat mingling into hers where he leaned into her back. His heart was thumping in his chest. She could feel it resonate on her upper back. Everything was going as planned. She moved in a little closer, her back to him completely, and as if on cue, her hips moved to the side (and she could feel him shift slightly too). Now her right leg was next to his, so close…touching right up to his thighs. But just as she moved her left leg closer to his, she suddenly felt the weight of her body. ‘Easy, easy,’ she told herself and held on, for this was just the moment she was waiting for, the one she had been planning for months, waiting, watching…preparing, hoping to be the one who took him, and she couldn’t make a mistake. Not now. And just as she tightened her grip on him, she could feel his breathing quicken in anticipation of what was to come. Then moving with lightning speed, she bent her knees, lifted him off the ground on her back and pulled him over her shoulder, dropping him just ahead of her. He fell with the customary thud echoing the hall, his hands breaking his fall. She then completed the drill with the mock punch, even as he guarded his face.
Another hip-throw-and-punch beautifully executed!
Seven-year-old Ankita Wadhwani waited for her partner to get back up on his feet before they bowed to the reverberating applause of the audience at the Jiu-Jitsu International Annual Day celebrations, and headed back to her position on the carpet laid out for her class.