It was finally here. The call to arms Vasilis had been waiting for since he’d been inducted into the army as a lad of seventeen. And boy, was it beautiful: the usual black-coffee-baritone of the General now closer to a treble in his emergency shouts, the comrades he’d been having his lunch with until about fifteen minutes ago now taking up their positions in the bailey as if gathered by some automatic force yet to be invented, and most of all— the stone curtain. Oh, what a queen, that towering wall devouring all light that fell on it as though it was its only sustenance, that majestic piece of art running all around the citadel that sat within.
Biologically, Elizabeth Alexandra Mary’s death was in no way unusual. One might even say that she’d overstayed her welcome on this planet by living to be 97 years old until the Grim Reaper finally decided to cash in her chips for good.
Politically, though, it caused a huge kerfuffle because of the inconvenient fact that she was the queen of a small but influential island that liked to call itself ‘Great’ Britain.
'Loves me, loves me not, loves me, loves me not' and with that its petals all plucked thrown away, This flower (?) dropped in dismay is left to rot in headiness. For that pale yellow head holding pollen and dissatisfaction is all that remains of the once heady scent that would perforate the pores of the air and make it hang heavy heady with the weight of all pulsating in it, around it; Now rid of its petals, aromatic, the flower head does not smell. Does not smell anything, much less sweet does not look anything, much less pretty so it lies at the foot of the ugly wooden park bench: It resigns itself to the soil and learns to love rot, learns to prettily decay, not display because it has no other choice than to rejoice in its slow death and hope, perhaps, that the rain might hasten it. Crumpled flower from the same bush fares not better. The wind, you see, shook it loose so it fell, pendulating on its eddies, and somebody— a different kind of romantic, perhaps— picked it up and held it cupped in her oh-so-gentle hands. But she did not, could not, would not and perhaps most importantly: wished not to keep holding it to keep it with her, not even in her pocket, forget the heart: so she yelled 'Coming!' to some faceless figure and the flower, now wet from her sweat, and crumpled in her oh-so-gentle palm, was dropped on the ground in a flurry much less pleasant. Now no one, not even romantics, bother to pick it up. For what can you do with this abandoned, crumpled flower? It's not pretty enough: its once electric purple faded to a lonely lilac, so wrinkled its petals so crushed its stem It's not even Flower anymore: come on, we'll find a different one, a prettier one and it will learn to revel in rot too.
2nd April/ (2/30)/ Free verse
Featured image credit: Alan Shapiro on 500px
‘The Shack’ was a wholly inaccurate name for the witches’ place. It was a bungalow covered in vines because of course it was, and it didn’t appear as big on the outside, but it was huge on the inside. Labyrinthine, almost— maybe it was my dizziness from the broomstick ride but… oh god, the broomstick ride.
When I was all dressed up, had locked my apartment’s door and come outside, I’d seen the five women with three vehicles. Stella leaning with her shoes crossed against her light-devouring black, evil-looking motorbike, Isha killing time reading a book balanced on the steering wheel of a pretty car with a blue-and-green gradient finish, Camila riding shotgun with a cigarette between her long carmine nails, Jenny in the back with her elbow resting on the window, absorbed in the few flowers in my building’s small front garden and Magistera Seleni checking her pocket watch, her other hand holding a broomstick, and Catpurrnicus sitting solemnly near her feet.
Stella straight away refused to let me ride her bike. Jenny offered me to sit in the back of the car. Magistera didn’t say anything but her expression indicated the broomstick was open, but not the best choice.
Of course I picked the broomstick. Continue reading
Hello and welcome back to the series which is updated once in six months, where I look at the world through the ideas in a popular book that most of us only pretend to have read. And I subject you to the essays I would’ve written had I been an English Literature major. (Not to brag but y’all gave me an A+ the last two times so I guess I could replace ‘subject’ with ‘treat’ *wink*).
Guess which book we’re doing today. It can’t really be called a modern classic, but it’s not Paradise Lost-old either. You’ll be able to guess; I’ll give you two words: psychology and quiet.
Sunsets in the city aren't the most romantic affair— you see, there's no sun-dipping-into-the-horizon (because there is no horizon) no distant crash of waves or the chirping of unknown birds, (Though you might just get a nice breeze if you're lucky) there's no fire in the hearth slowly going out. But leaning here against the balcony's railing Gazing at the sky you just know you just feel the sun setting And a slight smile creeps up your lips and you feel the railing's warmth which has had time to heat up the entire day, but also its strangely soothing metallic cool. You just know you're watching a sunset without watching the sun set— In the gradient of the sky blue, then a hint of thunderstorm grey, soft lamplight orange, then lovely, lovely pink before finally descending into the grey-blue of the oncoming night. The oncoming night, which does not fall, but rises Though not before that flock of birds stops tracing figures-of-eight in the dusk then zeroes, and gets thinner and thinner as each bird alights on the 'chosen one' tree, Not before that lone kite stops floating in the swirls and eddies of the streetlight wind, Not before you finally notice the mosquitoes in your feet and wish those powerlines in front of your house cutting through every view would just disappear forever, Not before you still heave a contented sigh and go back inside, missing it already.
26th April/ (14/30) / Free verse
“Okay,” Angie cracked her knuckles. “I got this. I’ve done this every year, and I’ll do it this time as well.” Her nimble fingers were poised over the keyboard, ready to strike as soon as an idea presented itself.
Indira walked over to the workstation. She was a bit older than Angie, but they both seemed to be the same age; not just in appearance, but, as Angie liked to say, in their heart and soul as well. She thought ‘heart and soul’ sounded cool. Indira huffed. Anything was cool when Angie said it.
It wasn’t that they hated each other— far from it. They were practically siblings. It was either ‘hey I’ll help you bury the body’ or ‘yours is the body I’ll be burying.’ There was no in-between.
The second was what Indira was feeling today. Since the past few years it’d always been Angie, Angie, Angie. At best, she was riding shotgun. At worst, she was forgotten in a corner of the house. It wasn’t fair at all— she was a grown woman, she had been the first one here, she was the one who opened every single door and window. She loved Angie, true, but not at her own cost. Today presented a perfect opportunity for confrontation.
“Can’t think of anything?” she slurped her fennel-cardamom chai loudly.
“I- I don’t know, it’s just—“
“Sabe que tu corazon conmigo tu hace bom bom, sabe que sa bebe esta—” Espina was skipping around the house singing— no, shouting —the rap part of Despacito for the third time. In an hour.
“Maybe I could if someone would stop screaming lyrics they don’t even know the meaning of!” The walls felt Angie’s frustration, but the little girl, barely three, didn’t seem to take a hint. She continued rapping at the top of her babyish voice.
“Tsk-tsk. She’s just a child, Ang dear, who you enabled.” Indira sat down on the empty chair, crossing her legs. “You seem tired. Maybe you should let me take the lead today?” she tried not to let her desperation show.
“No, I—” Angie put her fingers through the handle of her coffee mug. “I’ve gotta do this. It’s my job. I can’t let Her down. Not today.”
“Oh, please. You’re overworked as is. Besides, you do this all the time, and today’s a special day. If you do it, it won’t be anything… different. It’ll be just as usual. Take a break. Let me help you, Angie.” Indira seriously hoped she wasn’t sounding like one of those thinly-veiled Bollywood femme fatales.
“No, no, no. You don’t get it, Indu. You haven’t done this in, like, forever. You’ve done this, what, a couple of times in the last six, seven years? I do this at least every couple of months or so. I’m meant to do this. Besides, even if you do it, we both know what’ll happen. She will get tired, She will think it seems too…” Angie paused. She didn’t want to trigger the woman sitting in front of her. “…unlike Her. You’re best at the more sociable part. Why don’t you do that?” She smiled, hoping that’d clear any hints of an insult. Nobody wanted a pissed-off Indira.
The smile did not help.
Neither am I dead, nor is this series.
Hello and welcome to the second episode of Prose-tinted glasses. If you have no idea what the hell is going on here or need a refresher, head on over to the pilot episode where I introduce you to this new venture of mine and talk about Orwell’s 1984. Seriously, do it. It’ll save you from my wrath by preventing you from calling it a book-review series.
I’m assuming you’re now familiar with the previous episode. So, in keeping with our theme of Books we all Pretend we’ve Read, the book for today is The Handmaid’s Tale.
*cue theme music*
I know, I know. It has over seventy thousand reviews on Goodreads, who knows how many more articles, entire research papers, and a whole TV show. But will any of that deter me from writing about it? Did any of that compel me to read at least one article about it? Did I watch the show?
I call it being authentic. Continue reading
You, the fabric that covers my bones In all its tanned brown glory You, the canvas of my emotion And also its shelter. For you are the thin line, the boundary, the border Separating, protecting This convoluted rabbit hole of an inner world From the outer one. You are the curtain, the doorway, the membrane The universe must sear through Before it sears me. With all your intricate layers That you cast off and renew You are the shield All scars must get through. You are the vessel, the marionette, the coffin That encapsulates my soul in its worldly warmth, Packing supernovas and blackholes and a gooey conscious Into a five-five body for the cosmos to comprehend, The sluice gate which confines my cyclones in And lets my tsunamis slip through in solitude. You are the companion, the slave, the master Born with me, liquid milk, you are what the world touched first. You'll live through the hormonal hurricanes of my youth Till finally the liquid milk unfolds its wrinkled layer To be blown on and pulled off by the icy warm fingers of death And dissolved in the flames of earth's remembrance. You are the yielder, the rebel, the healer, Submitting your forests to razed And your land to cut or dug or burnt you Endure it all with nary a sob And yet, you are strong. You are strong, not malleable, For you never give in, my beautifully stubborn rebel you Come back, slowly, quietly Your silent rejuvenation your powerful protest. You are the transmitter, the receiver, the storer That feels the elements and etches them into itself Memories and secrets only you and I know; The raindrops that slip under the umbrella, The wind in my face on a bicycle ride, The yellow warmth of the winter sunshine, The soft dewed grass under a tree in my toes. You are what turns moment into memory. You many not be pretty, or uniform, or perfect But that is why you are human You are tangible And most importantly, You Are mine.
HALLO FRANDOS I’M BACK.
(Shit Tanushka you’re growing on me.)
So my exams are over and I finally have the time to start a new venture. This new venture is a new series, called, as you see in the title, Prose-tinted Glasses.
Now, anyone who knows me knows that writing book reviews isn’t my thing, and this isn’t going to be about book reviews either. The episodes- let’s call them that- will be written while I’m reading a particular book, and will be posted when I’ve finished reading. They’ll basically be my nightly mental ramblings about the things explored in the book (because why should I lose sleep alone) and how I feel they connect to things outside the book. You can think of them as those post-book English class essays, but you’ll soon see they’re not really that. If you want book reviews, this series is not for you.
The featured image is a quick colour pencil drawing which I made at 11 in the night while my mom was yelling at me to go to sleep. And yes, this will be the featured image for all the episodes. It’s a series, after all.
Hopefully I’ll post an episode once a month, but it’s not a rigid schedule- nothing is ever rigid over here- and there might, or more appropriately, will be episode-less months. The theme for the first season (yes, there might be more seasons. It’s a whole thing.) is Books we all Pretend we’ve Read.
Now, I have already read some of these- not a complete ignoramus, thankfully- and they won’t be included in this series (they’re The Hobbit and The Alchemist, if you’re wondering). Nor are the books in this image the only ones which will be included.
With the intro out of the way, let’s get into the episode.