RIP CHESTER BENNINGTON

The first time I heard a Linkin Park song, I was about 13. ‘One Step Closer’ was the first, but it was ‘In The End’, the second, that quickly became a personal favorite, retaining its place in the top ten of my heart for the last 16 odd years, regardless of how distant I eventually came to be from the band that was there, with me and for me, while I was growing up.

The voices of Mike Shinoda and Chester Bennington were my sources of light through some pretty dark times, and I don’t think I’m exaggerating in the slightest when I say that were it not for their music, I may not have escaped with my life, certainly not my sanity. And I know a lot of people feel that way. That is as remarkable as the untimely loss of Chester is tragic, though I suppose I must also admit that we would have never been ready to say goodbye. Apparently Chester was ready though. And I hope with all my heart that he finds the peace he was seeking. May he know no more sorrow…

I’ve spent the last four days catching up on two years of music that I seem to have somehow missed out on, and, now, his voice is in my ears, in my head, and I can’t… find the right words to articulate the profound sense of grief and loss I am experiencing. There are no right words.

Like I have just watched an Angel fall.

Requiescat in pace, Chester Bennington.

Thank you for everything, brother.

Love,

Always,

Me.

Oblivion

When I was
a child,
I used to dread
the thought of death,

not because I
would be alive no longer,
but because it meant
that I would forget.

Now, two decades
and
a million missteps later,
I cannot at times help but think

that to be able to forget
not only a life’s pain
but also all its joy and love
might just be the kindest thing.

The Last Letter

I stand here to present

an arrogant appeal to your better senses

This is no argument

but a humble plea to lower your pretenses

.

For you were there when the moon fell

Don’t you remember, you were there?

You pulled me out of my reverie

And out of the way of the poisoned air

.

And you know what I am destined for

Surely, you know what I am meant to do

Is not that why you saved my life?

Back when we were young, and whole, and true?

.

But that my worth would come to so little,

If I had only had but a clue

Remember, my erstwhile lover

I would have never chosen you

.

Ah, well, what’s done is done

And what must happen, happens

I’m not afraid of your thunder and lightning

for I have fought with dragons

.

I gave you, once, a prophecy

A warning borne out of nothing but love

You underestimate your enemies

And one day, that will fuck you up

.

But, I am not your enemy, my dear

Oh, no, though one day I know I must be

I hope your freedom and space, my dear

Are worth having forsaken me.

.

Though, in this depth, I feel strangely free

And for that, once again, I owe you my sanity

The first for pulling me out of the sea

the second, for holding me down and drowning me

.

Take note, my erstwhile lover

Things are not always as they seem

The age of nightmares is just beginning

And all life is only a dream.

Murdered Children/ Incoherent Rant

I don’t know if this is Gaza or Syria or whose doing it is or who they are.. but here are murdered children. Look at this picture. What are we? This is worse than primate behavior. Who does that? Who fucking murders babies? What does that even prove, man? Come on. Fuck. Even video games don’t allow you to injure civilians, leave alone toddlers. I just feel so ashamed of being human right now. I know we do a lot of good too. But it’s just damage control. We are all that’s wrong with this world.


Murdered Children

Injured Children

Murdered kids

Requiescat in pace, my darlings. I’m sorry we failed you so miserably. I know it doesn’t mean a thing. But I don’t know what else to say.

I hope it didn’t hurt. There’s no use saying cliched things like I hope you are in a better place, though wherever it is, even oblivion, it would be kinder than what our world did to you.

We’re not supposed to ask forgiveness from children for letting them die. We’re supposed to protect them.

Protect those weaker than you. Isn’t that what civilization is about? What does bombing or shooting a child prove?

What does murdering someone who can’t fight back fucking prove, man?

Fucking cowards.

Whoever did this.. indefensible act.. death’s too good for them.

They deserve to be damned.

Bleeding Light

In the arch of her back,
At the corner of his mind,
With all the things they have lost
and dare not hope to find
lies one last chance at redemption
flickering slowly out of sight
But he resolutely faces the other way,
while she stands, blinded by the light.

It was so much brighter once,
before her eyes grew used to this dark
whilst he nourished the flame as long as he could,
until the constant vigilance left its mark
And now he stands, unmoved, decided,
even as she begs him to reconsider
As the flame of all that once was lies dying,
promising to leave them both embittered.

Why won’t he listen? Why won’t he save it?
Girl, wipe those questions of grief off your face
What you weep for is long long gone
nor will this once raging fire leave a trace.
Except that scar, around your heart,
where the wire cut you deepest
There is no shame in falling down,
when the height you chose was the steepest.

I know you won’t stop wishing for miracles,
nor stop needing the way he breathes
I wish I could show you the truth,
because, in the end, everyone leaves.
But you know that, my dearest girl,
Isn’t that why you bleed yourself to sleep?
Ah, you’ll miss the pain when the numbness starts,
Remember not to go too deep.

To What End

If I could only see you
once every ten years
Not living to see them through
would be my only fear

I know it all seems a little
difficult to believe
I know I’m naught but trouble
every other week.

But that’s because you,
you alone are my thunderstorm
And I need your light and sound
to know that I belong.

And were you to ever be imprisoned
In any jail, or trapped in a jar,
Know that I’d come and save you
now matter how far you are

Because I need to soak in your intentions
I need to wallow in your name
I need you to come in to my kingdom
so I may follow you to where you reign

And if it took me ten whole years
Don’t worry, I’m the one
If darkness is what you needed
Love, I swear I’d take out the Sun.

Waking Wendy – I

The storm colored sky stretched out into eternity, as two lone figures stood beneath it, the only sound above the waves of the distant ocean being that of the wind whipping the edges of their long coats against the rustling uncut grass.

“When will things change?” asked the girl in gray.

The boy shook his head, letting multicolored drops of rain fall about them, “When you wake up.”

Her wide eyed gaze sought out the distant horizon, full of only the unknown. “Are you sure?”, she asked, biting her lip.

“Yes”, he smiled, before leaning closer, “Wake up, Wendy..”

~~~

The building wasn’t that tall, but four floors is still high enough to kill. Especially when you add in the 2 feet of the railing and the ledge, said the slurring voice in her head, and she burst into a fit of giggles, her waif like form shaking in mirth on the railing on which she was precariously perched. The moon looked on disapprovingly, but she drank to his health until even he forgave her, smiling reluctantly at her antics. After all, there is no dark side in the moon, really. And she gave him something to watch.

Alas, the watchmen have seen everything. And the moon is the oldest of them all. He soon tired of her childish games. It was time for something harder. And with magical dawns and falling stars and lighted paths, he led her astray into the wild.

“What do you want from me?”, she cried out suddenly, tired of the changing ground beneath her feet.

“I need you to wake up”, shouted back the moon. “Can’t you see what’s happening around you??”

But she only cried out louder, and shut her eyes tighter. She knew what the Moon wanted to show her, and she did not wish to see.

“Wake up, Wendy”, he whispered, almost lovingly, before withdrawing, once more, into silence.

~~~

He then spent years cleverly shaping her path, leading her slowly towards the palace of a dragon. For, even though there is no dark side in the moon, really; Matter of fact, it’s all dark.

Luckily for her, it wasn’t a particularly old dragon, for those are as weary as they are wise. Of course, this particular one was a little weary and wise himself, but he could not help it; all dragons must be.

“Why have you come here?”, asked the Dragon in his menacing voice, towering over the girl who had long shed her gray robes for black. “I’ve always wanted to meet a Dragon” she said, reverentially. “But, how did you know where to find me?”, asked the Dragon, surprised. “I heard your voice across the ocean a hundred years ago”, said the girl, “and I’ve been looking for you ever since”. The dragon studied her incredulously before swooping down and pulling her on to himself. In ecstacy, she watched the sky change colors and the clouds float on besides them, as they flew over towns and castles, showing her the World she had almost stopped believing in. The moon looked on in jealousy, but the girl had eyes only for the dragon.

But the sky had touched her with its ink, long before she had had any choice in the matter. And now, she was forever haunted by the dark. “Why won’t this stop?”, she cried into the dragon’s chest, his wing locked protectively around her.

“You know what you have to do”, he whispered soothingly, wiping the tears falling from her eyes.

“Wake up, Wendy..”

~~

But she was finally happy, and it didn’t seem fair to have to wake up just when things were getting better. She adorned the dragon’s head with flowers, and forbade him from ever speaking of it again. Of course Dragons don’t listen, but she was clever enough to remember that whether good or evil, they are creatures of their word. So she offered an exchange. That was how he got the third part of her fragmented heart. And as they flew higher and higher into the sun, she began to burn. Until the dragon noticed the edges of her hair were on fire, that is.

He immediately plummeted to the ground, crashing into a group of trees in his hurry to get her down to Earth safely. She tumbled off his back into the grass beneath, laughing. “That was amazing!” She raised her arms up, towards the Dragon. “Let’s do that again.” But the Dragon was saddened by her burning cloak, even when he saw glimpses of the red dress she had on underneath her burnt and tattered armor.

They’re only clothes, love, she wanted to say.

But night was falling, and before they knew it, winter was here. The Dragon was often gone for hours hunting, or flying, or doing whatever it is that dragons do. She did not know. All she knew was that when he was gone, she was cold. And she hated bringing it up, because she knew it made him think of the sun. And when he got like that, she didn’t know what he was after. So, she left him alone, and during one particularly frosty spell, she slowly froze into a picturesque statue.

The Dragon didn’t return for months, so he never even found out. In fact, it was quite undragonlike of him to do so in the first place, but he needed the thrill of the hunt a little more than he may ever needed her. It was a simple calculation really.

At least that’s what the village children say. But what do they knew? They’re idiots. Especially the young boys who liked to make faces at her frozen statue as she stood next to a shrine, painfully aware of every passing lifetime. He’ll come back, she whispered to herself fervently, her thoughts icy cold inside her mind.

But he didn’t.. At least not in time. And one night, a few of the boys hopped over the little fence that surrounded her in order to get a better look at her. She managed to slip away from them, only to fall to the ground and shatter into a million pieces. The boys scattered back to their homes, even as she slowly melted in the rays of the rising sun.

The Sun, she remembered fondly, and then closed her eyes, sliding down into a passing river that was making its way towards the sea. The Sea where the Dragon went hunting… She sat up at once, all the pieces of her focusing themselves into who she needed to be.

“Why don’t you look for a wizard, dear? You look like you need one.” called out an old lady from a passing boat.

The girl began to laugh again, and her tattered robes fell off her shoulders, only to reveal a beautiful red gown that now hung loosely from her fragile form. “No ordinary wizard can help me, old mother”, she cried, even as the river tried to soothe her “Can’t you see? I’ve been cursed by a Dragon.” The old woman turned and  hastened the boat away. For everyone knows how ancient the magic of a dragon is. And no one wanted to involve themselves in this tale.

The Dragon found her floundering about in the Sea, surprised to see her oddly rearranged form swimming in the cold winter sea. She raised up her trembling arms, and the dragon lifted her into the air, gently gathering her broken pieces that fell back into the reluctant river. “He’s not going to hurt me, River” she said, so tired that she had begun to slur, “Well, not much. But I’m not that weak!” The Dragon looked at her flowing gown and growled softly at the scent of the village boys about her.

“Why didn’t you come back?”, she finally asked, her voice a trembling whisper. “I never left”, he replied, quietly. She didn’t believe him, but pieces of her began to, and after years and years of icy solitude, it was simply too much to take, and she burst into tears. “What do you want from me?”, she cried.

He growled at her again and transformed into a wizard before her very eyes. She took a wary step back even as he smiled at her, wolfishly.

“You know what you have to do, little girl”, said the Wizard-who-used-to-be-a-Dragon as he moved in closer towards her, somehow so much more menacing than he had ever been as a Dragon.

“What?”, she whispered, her breath warm against his cheek.

He kissed her for a moment, before pulling away and cursing out reluctantly, “Wake up, Wendy.”

Fire and Ice – Evolution

~~~

I must stop being so charming,
she breathed in earnest
and humble, he added
earning himself
an icy glare.

But even in that snowstorm,
there was always this fire
in their eyes.

Have you ever seen any one
as ingenious as I? he asked
One in a million, she muttered.
He grinned until realizing
what she had just meant

Ice can choose to melt in a million ways
And only one of any, of all, of those
would do them any good.

Are you both absolutely out of your minds?
is best answered with maniacal laughter
rising into the light of the full moon
in perfect synchronization
— the past.

Now, the darkness whispers secrets
that the moon wasn’t made to keep,
and I’ve heard the darkness calling
and I know it’s calling out to me
— the present

I’m tired of howling
at clouds that won’t even budge
for what is stone but a stubborn cloud?
Sooner or later, it is everything that has to end
— the future?

Even when the Earth has frozen over
and the wind, disappeared from the skies
Know that I will come to you when you call.

~~~

Happy Birthday to The Love of My Life

It’s been ten years. Through which my Love has always been by my side. She accidentally grazed the side of my dad’s hand when she was a puppy, and accidentally bit my brother’s ear when she was a few weeks older. My mother’s always been too scared of her excitement to let her teeth get near her, really. But, her and I, well, I taught her how to fight, and hunt. And I guess I was too fast for her. Or, more likely, she was always just too careful.

Spark’s and I go back twenty years. From the day I first asked for a puppy. I didn’t know it back then, but I wasn’t asking for any dog. I didn’t want any dog. I wanted Sparky. I wanted her black ear, and her fear of thunderstorms and her hatred of Diwali. Her love for cheese and carrots and, like an addict that knows no better, chocolate. Her kind suspicion when it came to smaller animals, who she would never hurt. Flies, mosquitoes and lizards notwithstanding, of course. And she never ate lizards. Just tried to play with them and then got all confused when they would stop moving. :\ Or when they’d shed their tails and run. Sparky always was a hunter.

The doctors are now saying there’s nothing they can do for her. Today’s her tenth b’day, just so you all know. I was there the day she was born. With her one black ear amongst her snowy white siblings, she was already special. The craziest, most adventurous pup of the litter, I instantly knew that she was all I had ever wanted. All dogs love my dad, and vice versa, so convincing him was not a problem. And, my brother, K, he was pretty onboard with the idea too. Even though he originally insisted we take her mirror sibling, but I think that was just to be different from me. You know? Brothers do that. Because from the day she entered our house, my brother and Sparky have their own bond. After all, he did mend her dislocated jaw all by himself. So, of course she forgave him for feeding her the core of an apple once in a while coz he was too lazy to get off the couch. Crazy Sparky likes fruits anyhow. When you give her pomegranate, she chews on the little pieces with the front of her teeth, so that the juice flows out.. I keep telling her that she’s too smart to be a Dog, but she just looks at me with a carefully crafted blank expression. As if she can’t understand what I’m saying. Tch.

Anyhow, so it was my mum that needed convincing. And, what to say? Now it’s her that Sparky follows dutifully around the house. After all, the rest of us leave. Though Sparky has her own relationship with everyone else in the family. Like, she waits for no one to get home the way she waits for my dad. They have this whole walking thing going on, which is pretty incomprehensible to the rest of us.

I left for college. When Sparky was 4 years old. But she never forgot me. And, I had her picture stuck on the door of my cupboard all through my time at college. It’s still stuck on my cupboard at home. Though, nothing beats the real deal, of course.

Which brings us to why I’m writing this post today. Because the doctors tell us that her time has run out. She’s outlived all her beautiful relatives, because she was always the strongest and sparkiest of the lot, so that’s not surprising. And she is rather old. Dalmatians apparently live to be just this old. So, that’s not surprising either. But, she’s the love of my life. She changed my World. Made everything worthwhile. And to think that I would never have her greet me at the door, wagging her tail and rubbing her furry head against my black clothes, the thought absolutely breaks my heart.

I’ve not had the best of years. These past two years. In fact, it’s all been pretty messed up. But, I graduated, and I got myself a job, despite everyone’s lack of expectations. And I can’t help but think that Spark’s was just waiting to see us all settled in to our new lives, God Bless her. You might think this is just romanticism, but I tell you, that dog is smart.

I’m not going to edit what I write here. I just love her so much, I wanted to write about her, and I don’t know if I’ll be capable of doing that once she’s gone. She changed my life just by entering it, it’s impossible to assume that she’s going to leave it unchanged. I hope she’s always happy. And if I could trade places with her, I’d do it in a heartbeat. She made my life worth living. And, with her lawyer coat, I’m sure she subtly edged me towards law school too.

I hope that wherever she goes, there’s always plenty of pigeons to scare and crows to chase. I’m sorry I never got her the chance to run after a bunny, because according to the Famous Five books I read, dogs love to do that. But she’s seen her share of cats. And she’s run around in beautiful golf courses in both the setting and rising sun. It’s been a delightful life. With a new stuffed toy every time she tore her last one to shreds, starting from and not limited to all the ones my brother and I owned as kids. Except the puppy and the rabbit. But she can have them, if she’ll take them. She can have them all.

You’ll always be the one I love the most, Sparky.

Always.

May you dance with the wind, and chase the clouds and finally understand that thunder is nothing to be scared of. I’m sure there are no firecrackers in heaven, and may there be nothing else to scare you ever either. I’m sorry I can’t come with you. But Lyka and Spooky and the rest of your family is waiting for you. And I’m sure they’ll take good care of you. And, you, of them.

And when I finally do die, I know you’ll be waiting for me, tail wagging and head all ready to rub on my black clothes. I’ll come see you even if it is hell I’m going to. Though I suspect you’ll get me to make it to heaven, you smart manipulative Scorpio doggie.

So much love, and much more than that,

your sister and hunting buddy,

me.

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.