In Love and War

“Get the fuck out of my fucking house.”

She shrunk away from him, turning away so he wouldn’t see the tears filling up her eyes. She needn’t have bothered, as a moment later, the door had slammed loud behind him, and his angry footsteps faded away from where she knelt. Her stifled cries turned to sobs, but only for a minute. Had she not cried enough for this? Had these stone floors not drunk enough of her tears?

She limped to the door, and bolted it from the inside. She was safe now, at least until he decided to return. She had to be gone before that, she thought dully. Gone somewhere far. Where he couldn’t find her.

The mob stormed the village, screaming obscenities and firing indiscriminately as they came. The villagers ran about in panic, many getting slaughtered in their futile attempts to protect their families and children. Shops and houses were set on fire, and the people seeking shelter inside were hunted down and killed as they ran from the burning buildings. An infant wailed endlessly somewhere in the distance. A dark haired boy darted across the burning streets, two younger children in tow, making his way towards the college at the center of their once-quiet settlement. The college of Magic. Abruptly the wailing infant fell silent, and the three children shuddered to think of what that meant.

A loud crash brought forth a strangled sob from her throat. Until she realized it was only their cat. It made its way over and licked her bruised knuckles. “Hey, kitty cat”, she whispered, stroking its soft fur. The cat purred and rubbed against her, and she thought of how they had first found the kitten. Alone and lost in the middle of a fierce thunderstorm, it had taken shelter under his car, meowing piteously until they had found her. At first, he had insisted that they leave it outside in a box, and she had managed to convince him to let it spend the remainder of the stormy night in a corner of his house. The next day she had come home from work to find him fast asleep on the sofa, with the kitten curled up on his chest, also asleep. They had been nearly inseparable since.

She shook her head, as if trying to clear it, and rose up to put out some food for the cat. That’s when she saw the flowers he must have brought home that morning, and her heart ached. Everything was so confusing. How did things get to this? When did they stop laughing at shadows and chasing falling stars?

The boy managed to reach the college grounds undetected, and pulled his young charges inside the gate. Here he stopped to catch his breath, and the two children looked about themselves in awe. Civilians were generally not allowed inside the campus of the infamous college of magic. Though the Council maintained that it was for their own safety, rumor had it that some of the students and teachers at the college dabbled in.. more than just the white arts.

“Alistair, take Nova to Professor Edward. He should be at the top of the North Tower. If anyone stops you, show them this.” Saying so, the older boy pushed a small rock into the younger boy’s hands, even as the young girl looked on, startled. “Nova,” he started, and she backed away from him. “That’s not my name”, she whispered, her eyes locked on to the parchment he held in his hand. “Listen to me, Nova”, he said, louder than he had intended. And now it was Alistair’s turn to watch as she backed further away from the older boy. “We’re not going in without you”, she said, looking past him and into the fires scattered just outside the gates. The older boy looked upset, and bowed his head. But when he looked up again, he was smiling. That made Nova begin to cry, and that made Alistair want to cry as well. But he held on to the rock in his hand tighter instead, and grit his teeth to help fight back the unwelcome tears. “I’ll be alright, Princess”, the dark haired boy assured her, and taking two steps forward, he suddenly knelt in front of her. “Please take the scroll”, he said, head bowed and hand outstretched. Nova hesitated, then reached out and plucked the parchment from his fingers. He looked up and smiled, and asked her to dry her eyes.

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An Ancient Story

(Part – I)

In ancient tales

from long ago

Before the Dragons

and the endless cold

There was a flame

born in the midst of a storm

with rage serving as purpose

and chaos, the norm

She lived by the ocean

worshiping the sea

Always burning

in an unsatiable need

And each time she rode out

for hunt or for play

Her need made her stumble

in a cold too gray

And her sister of the winds

came to her in a dream

to tell her of a distant land

of freedom, strawberries and cream.

So she packed up her bags,

stood up and began to try

to reach that land so far away

Until she learnt to fly.

And then when she dreamt of a stone

at the center of the World

glowing oh-so endlessly

waiting for some angry girl

So she pulled on her gauntlets

and led out her steed

said her quick goodbyes

and ran off  to see

just what it was

that made this stone bleed

a fire so hot

even she could feel the heat.

Back on Campus: For All the Reasons in the World

I wanted to write a post on the Pros and Cons of Hostel life. Seems kinda silly now, considering I just left my hostel room for good yesterday! But, wrote this sometime in the first week of June, a couple of weeks after I moved back into my hostel from the apartment I’d been staying at for nearly a year, only to promptly lose all internet connectivity. -_- So, here goes nothing. To begin with, here’s a picture of my room:

The Wall

Actually, that’s more a picture of the far wall (from the beds) than it is a picture of my room. :\  I shall edit a few more pictures and put them up soon. 🙂 Well, not soon, coz I have a million thousand other far-more-important things to do right now. Anyhow! Moving on!

😦

  1. No more gaming on Steam.
  2. The internet connection is damn treacherous
  3. Footsteps outside my door, and sudden knocking, do still startle me
  4. Nagarbhavi is too far. Mainly only a problem when it comes to cigarettes.

🙂

  1. The Ants are way below, on the ground where they belong!
  2. I can go to bed wearing whatever I want, and whatever I don’t want, without worrying that one of the boys will be decide to try and wake me up
  3. If someone is bothering me, all I need to do is cross the barbed wire, and can’t touch me! :p
  4. I can chill with Skyrim again
  5. Munchies and basic food available until Midnight! ‘nough said!
  6. I can wander the ground under open skies until 3 am, and on terraces whenever I want.
  7. Two almost personal terraces and so many others to share with friends
  8. The Coolest room on campus (a real boon during summer)
  9. All my posters! ❤

In short, I’m glad I moved back…

~ For all the reasons in the World ~

Introducing Puppy and Fox

 

Pictures of Puppy and Fox, two of my favorite dogs currently on campus.

Puppy_and_Fox(Nov 2011)

Look at them sunbathing! So Lazy! Puppy is the one on the upper step. She’s mostly like a spoilt princess on cocaine. Unlike the first time I saw her, drenched in the rain, and small and sickly and covered in fleas.

PuppywhenFound(July 2010)

For two weeks I had her drinking milk out of plastic cups, wearing a cut up green t-shirt as a jacket, huddled up against the small bakery at gate 2. And once she regained her strength, well, she’s never looked back.

ShlokasPuppy

Fox is kinda crazy too, but softer and kind of in love with Puppy. Well, they keep having this on off thing.

Puppy&Fox_sunbathing(Nov 2011)

Aren’t they adorable? ❤

I truly hope they aren’t two of the 10 dogs that tore apart a baby monkey and its mother behind the boy’s hostel this morning. 😦

The Word is truly going to hell. But is it really so surprising when we reward the greedy, and can protect none of the innocent?

I miss the puppies…

Growing Up

All pretense,
about money,
meaning nothing.
this cannot be it.

I cannot do this.
Always trapped.
asphyxiated.
drowning.
All at once.

What is this feeling?
What is the air thick with?
Weighing down on me in the form of blackened photographs.
Of the soft light from a hundred different lamps falling into a smoky car,
and a million shapeless reunions,
half real, half imagined,
all blurring into one another
tonight.

And
there’s a space
for pain to teach you
but I don’t go there anymore
And there’s a place for the lost and forgotten
somewhere I think I’ve been before
Where I shall not, will not go
No, you can not make me go.

There is a song for every season
& the grass is always greener
On the Otherside.
It ebbs away,
Unforgiven.

But she needs to look to somewhere
that won’t blind us in this cold,
silently laughing at my
each & every
lonely
howl.

As do I, my friend.
The chill has long
set in my heart and bones.
And I am afraid I can no longer see
half as far as I once could,
a long, long time ago.

Empathy is the Enemy

If I shut my eyes real tight, and think of the rain, I can see the World that I once used to be part of. I can see the gray, cobbled path lined with green trees, swaying in the wind, their branches laden with red, violet and yellow flowers(1) scattering with the blowing wind. I can see the green stretching out for miles and miles while I stood on top of our little world, with the kind of  engaging and attentive company that would make war-chiefs and rulers envious. I can see the light through shadowy trees in the distance, on the ground far below. I can see the moon, always watching, always listening. And, all those shooting stars, and all those wishes.

I remember being stranded due to the rain; it’s only then that you have the opportunity to really watch it. On terraces, in class, on my birthday, and once, a long time ago, an evening that seems to be branded into my mind forever. It was at the very beginning, nearly six years ago. Everything was new. And, my dreams hadn’t even been begun to breathe. The World was wide, and I stood at the brink of a glorious, beautiful journey. Nothing failed to delight me. And, I especially loved the rain.

Humanity hadn’t proved its collective callousness to me yet. No one I knew had ever been murdered in a dark alley simply because they dared to fight back. The AFSPA, which I was just beginning to hear about, seemed to me the most horrible act of brutality against the citizens of the Indian State. I didn’t know about the insane rate of prevalence of custodial torture. Didn’t realize how the Rule of law could not be said to be in place when it was available only to certain factions of society. Didn’t know how low the value of human life really was in this country. Or how the government didn’t care. Didn’t know, didn’t know, didn’t know.

And, now, six years later, I still know so little. But so much more than I used to. And, I find myself so much more ashamed of my species. It’s not despite the good we can do. It’s because of it. Because even though we are capable of amazing things, at our worst, there is no species alive as brutal, thoughtless and mean as us.

Apathy and Compassion have both moved me to action in their time. But, today, I feel most affected by the apathy of compassion, and the compassion of apathy. I can’t care about things anymore. It’s truly a pointless affair. But, I remember how I felt before, and I know I have to do something.

As human beings, we can barely take care of ourselves in this bizarre, weird world. But, if I had next to nothing, or if I was being wrongly exploited, I’d want people to at least bother to notice and recognize that it was wrong. And, are we not supposed to do unto others as we would like done to ourselves?

What I miss most about the me from six years ago is the way the World came alive under my feet, and before my eyes. Today, I see nothing and avoid everything, reacting to only those things that I cannot ignore. What duty do I have to anyone except myself? None. None at all. But, if this is a game, and we’re allowed to challenge the rules, and I hate them as they stand, well, it’s up to me to at least try and change things.

I’m going to end with an analogy that may seem oversimplified/childish, but it’s totally true. Life is a party with free entry. The cover charge is eventual death, and for that price, you can do whatever you want at this party. Now, there are going to be the organizers, there are going to the popular people who influence the organizers, there are people who are going to be in charge of the music, etc. Now, this party could be completely to your taste, in which case, having a blast is amazingly simple. But, if you hate the scene in its entirety, you have a few options available to you:

1. Wander around until you find a small group of people like yourself
2. Do what you can to make the party more fitting to your taste

I found myself a group, and I do what I have to in order to do what I want to. Always have. But, at some point of time, I think it stops being enough. I think it stops being enough that you can do what you want as long as you don’t get caught, when you’re not harming anybody. I hate victimless crimes, because these take away from all the instances of real brutality on our streets, where real people await justice from made-up systems that continue to fail them.

I want to be young again, because I miss the way the rain felt on my skin, and the wind in my hair, and the Universe coursed through my veins.

I want to be young again, because betrayal leaves a horrid after-taste, and I am tired of disappointment.

Sigh, as that song says, “I’m not upset at you, life. I am amazed.”

Who wants to sleep in a city that never wakes up, blinded by Nostalgia?

~~~

(1) outside the acad block, next to the basketball court and behind my hostel building, respectively.

The Weekend: Shots

Alright, so, I just got home from this little jam session some of my juniors from college had put together, and while I was there, I felt so wretched that I did’t even have a camera to capture any pics of all that coolness, that I’ve decided to immediately post about it. In a feeble attempt to combat my scene of constant STML, Yes.

Anyhow, I made it to my morning class, which is, like, a really big deal, since you can miss only 15 of 60 classes, and a month into the trimester, I already stand at 12 classes missed. Damn.

Point being, I made it. Then went to a friend’s place where we cooked cheese-sausages, potatoes, scrambled eggs and toast. It was the best breakfast ever. I think I ate, like, double what all the boys did. 😀

It was hot as hell though. And, after the longest, most tedious journey back home (okay, it wasn’t that bad. But, I think I scandalized a lot of people down that road. Hey, it’s not my fault that I was born in a third-world country that is as hot as it is intolerant. What am I supposed to do?? It’s the Sun v People’s eyes, and I’m sorry, but people’s eyes don’t burn me.), watched some TV, took a nap, and even spoke to the parents. So, that was productive! And, the sweet session at the end of this hectic, crazy miserable week was simply brilliant.

The next time that I caught my own reflection,
it was on its way to meet you,
thinking of excuses to postpone.
You never looked like yourself from the side,
but your profile could not hide
the fact you knew I was approaching your throne.
With folded arms you occupied the bench like tooth-ache,
stood and puffed your chest out like you’d
never lost a warrr.
And, though I tried so not to suffer
the indignities of reaction,
there were no cracks to grasp
Or gaps to clawww.

Everything is a cycle. Including college. The kids will be fine.

And, so will I.

Right?

~~~

Man, I gotta get out of this god-forsaken snake-pit of a district. I feel asphyxiated. Even the skies, which I love, seem to be framing me in. Boxes, boxes, boxes. I need to hit town. Soon.