We Try To Capture Time

We try to capture time
in vases, in glasses and bottles of wine
but it dries;
in prose scattered across words,
in notes and dimes,
but it flies.

We try to capture time,
in the ice cubes that melt
at the first touch of your palm,
in the sugar inside the
cheese cakes when we dine,
but it all ends up emptied
again and again.

We still try to capture time
in games of charades and
questions we’d never ask anyone,
in one word texts
nobody really understands;
in fears we try to drown
by denying the world made
by our very hands.

We try to capture time.

It is in the chances that we miss

“I don’t know how I could not come to send my CV,” said a dear friend, in a recent conversation we had.

She shared how she had come across a job that caught her eye, but did not send her resume, and just like that the deadline passed.

I had been lurking in the same alley of not being able to bring myself to do the things I have wanted to do, to take the necessary risks and pain to stretch out. So many of my plans had all ended up in the drafts folder of my life, like so many write ups in this blog.

I began pondering over this very idea of missed chances. Big and small. I tell myself, you could have resumed the conversation with the nice person who began a conversation with you in the elevator at a conference, you could have walked over to the speaker and said how much you admired their presentation, you could have been a tad bit nicer to everyone. But no. My throat runs dry, my feet auto locks and my smile freezes.

But what can I do about it but wait for the next time by when I might have hopefully learned from the experience and could perform better as a human?

That is when the game of darts hit me. I was particularly worse at it. We only had magnetic darts to begin with, because the pointed one was deemed too dangerous, I was just a kid. But whenever I played, I remember the dart flying beyond the board. But the scores I had missed would make me want to try more. It was, in some way, about the chances that I had missed that made me pick up the instrument a second time. Here, I hadn’t picked up the instrument yet and the chances had still flown pass by, just like that. But maybe the shots I hadn’t taken would themselves also make the ones that I do, count.

I’ve had the opportunity to listen to many stories of ‘could have beens’ – the the exam they never had the gut to appear for, the instruments they never learnt, mostly the youth that went by without giving a tell tale of passing. But something interesting has been happening in my family. My aunt thousands of miles away, has been attending a poetry club. She has been tagging me in all of her poems. Another of my aunts has joined a singing class as she waits for her kids to finish their own music routines. In the past one and a half decade, my mother cleared two levels of music exams as she learnt to play the Sitar. We, the kids, have been coxing our uncle to join a music class as he waits for his kids outside the music school.

I cannot help but imagine, the chances they missed has a huge role to play in their current actions. We, the kids, are super inspired and super proud.

In my last year of undergraduate study, I walked into a finance class where the first line our instructor uttered was this:

We all meet here because of a big confusion.

We all meet because of the actions we take, and also equally (if not more) because of the actions we do not take. The chances we let go, for whatever reasons, do have a role to play in our lives.

It is perhaps impossible to live a life without regrets. Maybe we need them. Might as well own them.

On Days Like These

On days like these when the sand in the hourglass seems to be sliding faster than usual reminding you of how much of what remains to be done, let it not dishearten you, I tell myself, let is remind you of how far we’ve come.

There are days like these when turning pages seem the hardest most of all, when time flashes by as the to-dos of the expected life remain uncrossed,

On days overwhelmed by the possibilities the eyes can gaze through but afraid of the probabilities that play along,

When fear of the known chokes more, filling every vacant space,

On days like these,

Let us be.

Be with the wind as it erodes the flesh away,
flow with the river as it does since time immemorial,

Standing like a spectator between all of it.

On days like these,

Counting each second with hopes to slow it all down.

On days like these.

The Moment I fell in Love with Poetry

I couldn’t tell
the exact moment.

Maybe it was in 7th grade
when I memorized poems
for home work
so the teacher would not
be mad at me,
or maybe when I tried to
impress her for
3 extra grades.

Maybe it was the time
when two words I wrote
rhymed, and I became
a certified poet in my childish mind.

Maybe it was in 12th grade
when my crush wouldn’t look my way,
so I’d write about it everyday.
I didn’t know I’d really
laugh about it someday.

Cliche, I know.

Maybe it was the first time
I performed in front of strangers
about an animal and the man,
my throat ran dry
every time I had to greet someone.

Maybe it was when
we put up poetry evenings
in our college lawn
shaking but sure,
I decided to perform, a second time.

Maybe it was under the
moon lit February,
the day Sarah Kay and Phil Kaye
filled the air with echoes
of the arrival of love.

Maybe it was
taking a poetry class,
those meek yet subtle
lines that tied all of us together,
spilling truths we’d never tell
anyone alive.

Maybe it was that day
when I received a call for
a paid performance,
but it rained and rained on the
performance day,
not just once but twice.
And yet the soaking rain
made me grateful than sad.

Maybe it was all of those times
I’d divide a portion of my salary
to buy more poetry books,
uncovering secrets of human life
in lines.

Maybe it was in those days
when I couldn’t speak,
unable to devise an utterable word,
but still could write,
miles and miles.

I couldn’t tell
the exact moment.

I couldn’t.


This World Poetry Day, I tried reflecting back on when and where I fell in love with poetry. I couldn’t. I couldn’t. Like the veins of our bodies that run through each of our cells, I couldn’t find a place or a time when poetry was not there, sometimes in foreground, sometimes in background.