I am too absorbed in my own grief
too deeply held by self pity
that I spend my days and nights
somewhere between the stairs of the library
and coffee shops,
losing my grip slowly
on childhood’s laughter
and a woman’s dream.
Viewing life, as it ought to be
missing home and friends
where I need to be,
I pretend not to notice
this window of time
when sunshine falls on my small pot of flowers
and the dog twitches her nose half asleep.
Again how hard to believe
that Losar came and left
in a somewhat hurried western-way.
Sunshine burst into the room
Arranging tiny dusts in a vertical row
The past crept silently through the open window
I walked inside the total darkness.
Again the old Beijing is caught in the Samye sands
The ferries are unaware they have left us
We wave our hands, we scream for help
but the Tsangpo is stronger, much stronger
and the tide never turned in our favor.
Life kept moving backward, so it seemed-
in a vile canopy of remorse and sadness
No one quite understood why except the damp pillow-
She knows all our painful secrets.
Oh Well…story of our life
story of our miserable love
filled with angst of dreams that lost their way
In the hours of morning, noon and night.
In the smell of crushed petals
The music of Sufi saints
I try to see myself
Not in confusion
But to observe
Some aspects within
That have been silenced
By life’s swift blows.
When I pause and listen
A tiny voice keeps whispering
there is never an end
to all the things you need to know
but also not a destiny
what you can or can not be.
Words are stored
Like dust on windowsill
nothing is like love
nothing is like lost
however much you explain
these things take their toll
on your face
around your eyes
the slight droop of your lips
they say it all-
how you stood
hanging to hope as if a rope
and then you think
it isn’t that at all
really, it isn’t!
But dare them to stop you
You’ve lived long enough
to know for a fact
the will has a will of its own
it’ll walk in the cold
it’ll stir your sleep
slide in the shower
mock you in the mirror
laugh at you
sneer at you
keep looking at you
until you smile and say
it is worth it
really it is.
In a house where all you hear are the leaves outside
I closed my eyes in veneration
‘This is important’ says my heart. Please God! Please!
Please let it be in my fate too.
The old lama rolls the grain to a page in the sutra
His eyes closed for a brief second then looked at me
I knelt closer to the ground
“Don’t” says the old lama, “Don’t venture ahead”
“But of course you will”
Three years now. Three years since the waves hit the shore
I am standing alone.
Again and again, the same words in my head
“I should have, no, I couldn’t, no, I should not”
Does it matter now?
Maybe not. Steps taken cannot be retraced
Even if you did, there won’t be the same steps, would it?
Why ask when you can’t change the answer…
If I followed his word- that would have been my fate
And when I didn’t, that too is also considered fate.