we’ve come so far;

Prompt Credits: Nandini Varma.
First line is from Fink’s Sort of Revolution.
we’ve come so far; it feels so real.
but i have trouble convincing
sometimes i think of how all this
is an elaborate dream.
packed with colours, sounds, smells,
orangeish pink skies with low horizons,
and an eerie believability.
shipped back and forth.
my sanity hinges onto me by a single fact:
my imagination is not so good.
this delirium won’t listen to its own voices
for fear of losing ground.
and i am left hanging
on an airplane of long tears
that carry both loneliness
and anguish.
in transit.

Fatal Catapult

Some days I wonder why
Life is so unfair.
Why tragedy hits few,
So severely, while only
Nudging the others

And on some others
When I hear that a distant
Relative rammed his bike into a truck
A funeral procession in
The house opposite mine with its cries
An acquaintance loses a parent,

I am forced to see that
Death is unfair too.
That Death narrows his eyes worse
Than Satan does, to
Pick and choose his next playmates—no,
Not the ones he lifts with Himself,
But the ones that remain behind and I—
I wonder if I live in some bubble.

Where the blood bounces off its soapy surface
Where the screams are muffled
By noiseproof lullaby walls
As I drift off to sleep
Blind to suffering.
When people in my third
Or fourth social circle
Friends of close friends, legends
I do not follow
Creatures I have only once made eye contact with
On to the other side
While I switch TV channels on my indifferent couch, and whine
Of my puny troubles,
That the domestic help hadn’t arrived, or the
Wi-fi was a pain,
Or I couldn’t find my pair of jeans, as if
All of it were happening not
In the same World that I inhabit
As if I were immune to
Hate-crime, as if I was
Vaccinated against power, as if

I possessed the Elixir
That could kill Death
And on days like these,
I wonder
If Death is simply taking its
Sweet time to pull back the catapult
As hard as it can
To destroy, juicy
And well; waiting
For everything I love
To assume the right positions
Until it is time to
Let go.


Pop Culture Clones

I dislike how pop

Culture crawls its way into

Our lives, replacing

the diversity

Of our collective existence

With flimsy, uniform images

As our hairdos grow

Freakishly familiar, pairs of scissors

Clip the exact same patterns,

The needles drill

And pierce

A thousand holes into

Who we could be.

The posters on the wall

Whether we choose to text or call

Our menus, the funky nail paints

Bowties, ringtones and eyeliners

Patterns of speech, they fixate

In—like, the same places

The dots after words come

In exact numbers

As pop culture goes on to dictate which

Emoticon responds perfectly,

No more; no less.


No longer derive meaning from

Vocabularies of our own

Slang is a mass-authority

If you do not subscribe,

You are still a machine.

An incompetent illiterate arse,

Incapable of rebellion, your

Individuality attacked from

All direction

What you really like

What you really read

Is immaterial as long as you

Stack your shelves with delicious McDonalds that

May or may not be stale

And you’ve lined your kit with wax strips

Of assumptions you need

As long as you

Do not explore, do not experiment, do not

Plunge into the thrill of the unknown to

Find you

Here’s an algorithm that will

Tell you what you love because

Nobody knows you better—

Of course you can choose, we’re beings

Of free-will, it draws out a

Well-filtered map of options

Green or blue?

It forgets to tell you

That the value beneath remains

Cryptically uncreative

We are dull clones of each other

I can hardly distinguish

But for the names, that make us two,

From a newsfeed full of clutter

One from the other,

Pictures of the same pose, repeated

With a rote hashtag yolo

The jokes, the memes

All painfully B&W

As if brainwashed by a voice,

As you slowly forget

That you could be someone else

More deeply you

That you are made to be vividly different from the

Rest as each snowflake against every other

As each colour in the rainbow

As each set of fingerprints etched on a palm

Against every other that has or will ever be

As each language in the throats of seven billion people

You can hardly even see

Through the blinds of conformity

The morphed reflections of similarity

Yelling so clearly that

This is who you are meant to be

That this is you in your element,

That a million hushed up

Now unknown possibilities squat

In some authentic corner of you

Hoping to see the sunlight

Hoping to outshine you

Hoping that they will,

With you be someday


Onward to Silence

If you know me well

Enough, you will know, that

I am noisy.


My brain sounds like

A lone mosquito in your bedroom

On a quiet night

When you are desperately trying

To fall asleep.

My thoughts are tiny,

Excited fish jumping out of still waters

Creating ripples that will soon die out

The moment they plop back into crippling oblivion.


And you will know, that noisy

Does not mean talkative; when my withdrawn

Existence, and my sworn loyalty

To the corners seem

Contradictory, my anxiety still throbs

And you can hear my fidgety, paradoxical heartbeat

Cut the supposed silence into a thousand pieces

While my naïve, impulsive words

Fall at the listener like a half-ripe green apple, with a

thud, my almost-profound gibberish

Its sour, unsettling aftertaste

Swims in my mouth, like emptiness.


And if you can, knowing this,

Bear with my lingering mad echo

That sounds like a toddler, now

Acquiring the pleasures of language,

I will soon learn to talk; with my vocabulary intact

We can then

Resume to discover

The lost applause of silence.