Rubatosis

My heart, in all its restless forms –

the fast, the slow; the calm,

the drunk, the scared

the blood pumping device –

deprives me of deserved peace,

as I lay still in the darkness,

the steady throb near my ribs is

all but a beating to me,

louder than the silence, louder than

the noises being made on the other side of the world.

I can’t sleep,

because I can feel my heart beat.

I can picture its echo-cardiogram,

distinct green lines

across the blackness of the night.

“Clean”, “Unclean” blood in its

rhythmic flow,

through the entirety of my body,

Keeping me alive,

alive and awake enough

to lose my mind

over the steady lub-dub;

never slowing, never speeding,

and never letting me sleep.

So how strange is it,

that every fear and every doubt

has deceased, when

early sun finds me finally asleep,

oblivious of any beat at all?

 

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Ushashi

~Photo by : Shivam Sinha

 

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-Freed-

 

A12

I am the haze that sets in deepest before the jolt back to reality. The longing in the eyes of the smitten beholder. I am of the masses but for the lucky few. I do not touch lives. I rip open hearts to let them fuse with another or to forever remain broken. But for those that shun me, don’t believe in me or choose to ignore me, I say this. You can complain about how I have been the ruin of many a life, how I take more than I give. But you cannot deny this. I may be a monster or I may be an angel. But when you first see me, I am the most beautiful thing you could dream of. I am the sun in a world of dim candles and howling wind. I am Love.

 

Not the touch of an icy hand, not the flashing of your lives in the last moment.I am not flowers or dust or the purpose of life. I am absolution. I am the beginning and I am the end. I am the descent into a pit of nothing. Of total darkness.  From inception or even before it is my existence that has brought meaning. With each mortal breathe, with each little step you take I draw you closer. I pull you in slowly and sing you to sleep. I am here to help you. I am here to save you. I ask you to be afraid because I lurk behind you every step of the way. I ask you to observe and to kneel before the beauty of my service. But I do not have to ask. You do everything because you don’t want to be forgotten after I take you. I am everything and nothing. I shall save you with your end. I am all powerful. I am Death.

 

Death. The undoing of all I ever believed in, including myself. Where I brought happiness and peace, she wrought her destruction and wronged the innocent masses just trying to do their best. I was enraged and broken. Every attempt I’d make to talk her out of it, I’d just be scarred deeper and deeper every time. But what hurt even more was how not even I, Love , could get her to change her mind. Soon it didn’t matter so much how she treated others. What mattered more was that I wasn’t any different. I wanted to be different in her eyes. I wanted to matter. I loved her. And she stole my heart as swiftly and painfully as she snatched the weak from the arms of the helpless

 

The most extraordinary thing about my existence is that I am abstract. The process of dying is more than just my job- it is who I am. I kill. For pleasure, out of duty, round the clock. I am undoubtedly the most powerful, every other aspect of mortal lives is just a wait for my arrival. Love. Grief. Lust. They are all but me.

What would Love be if there wasn’t the thrill of loss I have to offer?

I was kissing a child goodbye when his fist opened and inside was a light unlike anything I’d ever seen. So I held him to my breast and took his hands into mine. The light faded and what remained was a letter. I never receive letters. Mortals have nothing to say to me because they are afraid. I’d like to keep things that away. But this letter was not from a Mortal.

It was from Love.

 

I love you. Not just because I have no choice. I love you because I cannot bring myself to believe that there is another choice. I love you for how you seem to have a power over me that I long to surrender myself to more with every passing second. You come and you go at a moment’s notice. You take an give as you please. And still I hold my hand out hoping you’ll have something to spare for me but still fearing you may take what little I have instead.”

 

I knew what was to be done. If Love can love, death can kill. How dare he? I am Zeus, he a peasant woman. I am Hades, he a mortal princess. I am the truth, he is but a lie to keep the Mortals fooled. I found him in the child’s heart, shriveled up and pathetic. Pathetic with things he was feeling. And I crushed him. A world without love is a world better prepared for me. No reason to live, the need to surrender. I did not feel remorse. I did not feel pity.

And I felt no love as I finished Love.

 Perhaps it was never meant to be. Or maybe this is exactly how it was destined to be. I’ll never know. And that’s what broke me from the inside out every moment since I fell for her. So when she finally came to finish me, my heart had done most of the job for her. My final memory was her elusive touch, something I’d yearned for years, the unspeakable desire that took me higher than ever and plunged me lower than my lowest, tearing what remained of my mortal form into two. Both halves loved her equally.

~Adrija Dutta and Atri Chaudhari

(Atri is a talented musician and poet who lives in Calcutta. You can find him at https://www.facebook.com/AtriChaudhuri)

× Home ×

If home were a person it would be you,

Ma; your affection is what gives

colour and meaning to these whitewashed walls of my mind.

Without you, this house would not feel like home.

 

If home were a person it would be you,

Dad; you’re the my superhero and I’m your star,

and growing up wouldn’t have been so easy,

if it weren’t for your shield around me.

 

If home were a person it would be you,

little Brother; it is your innocence that keeps me grounded,

and your incessant laughter that reminds me,

that the Sun is always shining.

 

If home were a person it would be you,

Sister; you’ve tied me to you not just by blood, but by heart

And every other thing I could possibly name.

There’s no place like home, because there’s no home like you.

 

If home were a person it would be you,

dear best friend; you give my spirit a shelter

like no one else can, you give power and comfort to my self,

like no one else can.

 

If home were a person, it would be you,

my love; you keep my heart warm and beating.

I will always want to return to you,

at the end of the day, at the end of the world.

 

And if, home were a person, it would be

me, at my most vulnerable;

every vein raw and illuminated,

with love and laughter. And life.

 

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~ Ushashi Basu and Jayashree Bhattacharya

(Jayashree is a phenomenal singer who is now pursuing her higher studies and can be found at https://yourtinyinfinity.wordpress.com/)

Photo by: Anusha Das

Spaces Between Us

“Distance is just a number, distance is not a number,dista—”

my mind cries as I walk away.

Slowly, far

far away.

 

Dear distance, I fail to fathom

How you work,

drifting around like darkness, as darkness, in and out

of countless souls.

I fail to understand how you watch them blame you,

for lost love,

lost time, lost laughter.

I fail, to see how you create the voids that you do,

hollow, an all consuming force field.

How, you juggle young love, a mother’s caress and

endless tears

of tens and thousands?

How do you watch the smiles die out,

the sun go out?

 

Which part of the

of the “don’t go’s”, the “please come back”, and

“I don’t know where in the way I lost you”

do you not understand?

Why

are you waging this war against us?

 

No, I’ve come to understand,

Distance is not a number,

Distance is not time, Distance is not money.

No, Distance, is all in our head.

Perhaps only an illusion.

 

~Ushashi

Gardish.

A1My mother lied to me.

I am not beautiful, I am not precious

Not worth protecting, I am not worth the effort

I am a number on a scale

I am my breasts – because I am female.

I am not a bird in flight I am a prude, a feminazi because I fight.

I am meant to be weak, meant to be silent

Meant to swallow cum, swallow the violence.

I am a mere chest- guarding some treasure

“Greetings, kind sir! My purpose, your pleasure.”

I am a wife, pure and servile

I am a daughter, the resented child.

My screams echo through the night

But if he’s your husband, it’s alright !

I shall sit in a room with my male contemporaries

And trade my dreams for haunting memories

For I am a girl, unfit for success

But the boys must study, they’re the soldiers of progress

No score, no grade, no scholarship could change

How my Maths teacher saw me- a burden, a pain

My presence was not appreciated, I was distracting the boys

I am porcelain in a dress, I am your toy.

But how can I apologize for what’s between my thighs?

It is a part of me, like my mind and my eyes

My eyes, that you cannot look into

Because of your lies, I can hear them too.

You think I don’t see, I don’t hear

That I’m gripped by desire when you’re near.

So lift me, and aim balloons at my choli

“Why so annoyed, ya? It’s Holi!”

I am sick of hearing how I ‘deserved’ it

Sometimes my clothes, sometime how I sit.

So tell me how I was asking for it when I was three?

Was it because I said I wanted to climb a tree?

I am upset that my mother lied

But what scares me is that she too was a victim of the night

~Adrija Dutta, 12.03.17 || Photography by Anusha Das.