Red

The monk had to bite his tongue

Before he could admit it to himself

He had seen the girl during the festival

And she had stayed in his mind ever since

It was the first of his innocent sins…

I wanted that rose so badly

I wrapped my flesh around its thorns

The way it stood, bright red

My hands are withered, but my heart is clean

Why did you do this to me?

He spoke to her so frequently

She seemed to him so disturbed

What is wrong, my child, he inquired

Her face twitched and made sounds absurd

Her parents had harassed her

And now all he knew was rage

I wanted that rose so badly

All my prayers were for it

The way it stood,so brightly

My mind is without peace, but my heart is clean

Why did you do this to me?

They decided to end her misery

He was man enough to help her

He broke into her house and killed her parents

She looked at him and smiled and that smile was treasure

But the smile melted away

And her eyes turned sinister

I wanted that rose so badly

I betrayed my God for it

But still it stood with so much pride

My conscience is stained, but my heart is clean

Why did you do this to me?

They put him on the stake next day

All the monks and villagers

She was there too, with a smile

He was treated like the killers and pillagers

They burnt him while they cheered

And he wept through his final moments

I wanted that rose so badly

I traded my life for it

But it stood like nothing had happened

My body burns, but my heart is clean

Why did you do this to me?

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She Is Like A Shadow In The Dark

I walked away from the taxi, while its driver stared at me suspiciously, to one of the most infamous, dark and dingy locales of the city. I had followed the woman all the way from the party to what i presumed was her house. The area was known for its high crime rates and a woman walking down the road past midnight all alone made me worried and curious. She had captured my attention right from the moment she had walked into the room. She looked different from most other girls, her mannerisms, her make up; she looked like a sore thumb sticking out. To add to the fact was her lack of interest in her surroundings; there was something distinctly cold and distant about this young lady. So when she abruptly left the party and left her handbag on the couch I took it upon myself to return it to her and maybe get to know this peculiar character better.

I walked into the building which looked fairly old and was poorly lit and immediately caught a putrid stench emanating from within the building. Strange flickering lights decorated most of the interiors and there were blackened stains on every wall. I guessed it was Tobacco but the stench and atmosphere suggested something far more sinister-or disgusting. A fat lady dressed in a pale green dress sat behind a table in a large chair counting a stack of notes.

“Not many girls available” She muttered without even looking up at me.

“Umm I came here to return this handbag to a young lady who just came to a party” I replied catching a drift of where exactly I was.

“You mean Cindy?” She asked.

“I don’t know her name. But she was wearing a black dress.”

She made me sit in the room till ‘Cindy’ came out of her ‘office’. The lady meanwhile tried to indulge me in a conversation which began with a “Cindy is the youngest here so extra charge on her. They say she is really talented with her mouth.” and upon refusal made its way into “Do you like Heroin? We have the best Garad in the entire city.”

Finally she arrived. I walked toward her with a wry smile and handed her the handbag. I knew who she was now, I knew why she appeared so cold and distant. Behind the make up and gloss was a sad face that spoke of abuse and neglect. She had changed into more casual clothes and looked worn out and tired. I noticed her hands as she took the purse, there were deep scars on them; self inflicted wounds they were.

“What is your name?” I asked her.

“Cinderella” She replied.

“Is that your real name?”

“I forgot my name. This is what they call me here and on the street.”

“Well do you want her or not? We charge people even if they only want to talk. Mostly old men do that.” The fat woman, who I believed was the ‘madame’ of the house interjected with her loud abrasive voice.

I ignored her and addressed Cinderella again,”How old are you?”

She just stared back at me with empty eyes while her mistress got up off the chair and started walking towards me. I walked away towards the door and could hear her screaming expletives at me and Cinderella all the way till I reached the main street. I wondered about Cinderella all night after that. The emptiness of her eyes, the scars on her hand and thought about the deeper much more damaging scars that I could not see- the scars of ostracization. I wondered if she had a real family. I wondered why she was here and where she was from. Does she have dreams in her life? Are they big ambitions like most others had or is a loving family and social acceptability her only dream? For society she is a taboo, a thing to be looked away from and banished. She is an expletive. Her beauty is exploited day in and day out by men who care not a bit for her and women who keep her in a state of shell shock and absolute misery take all the money away. What does future hold for such a woman? What happens when she becomes old and diseased? Who will look after her? Does she believe in God? Do the elections and the World Cup or the Olympics matter to a person like her? Or are they the reality of a different world? I wondered about her and as I closed my eyes the image of her empty and emotionless eyes flashed in my mind. Helpless and a victim of circumstance, her life is no fairy tale.

Ray Of Hope

She finally reached her wedding venue
A couple of hours late
Their car had broken down
The guests had been waiting
She first saw her sister
Who gave her a look of utter disappointment
Her mother looked disgusted
And her father disinterested
But she didn’t mind
It was her wedding after all!
Gone were the days
When she was told that she’ll be kept in an asylum
She was going to be a wife now!
They gave her the ring
She fumbled and it fell
Three times
He smiled, she giggled

They were announced man and wife
Everyone made their speeches
But her mother was nowhere
Locked in her room
She was sulking
While her father flirted with young ladies
But still, he smiled

She said she needed a break
Went to her room
And feel asleep
Three hours later
He was at her door
The guests were impatient again
Some had left
But still, he smiled

Everyone assembled in the floor
While she stood in the balcony
Ready to throw a bouquet
But she never did
Just stood there smiling
Her sister snatched it from her
Threw it into the crowd
And gave her an angry look again
Do not create a scene
She had been clearly told
But she had failed
But still, he smiled

They went to the garden
Half the guests gone
Music was played and the dance began
Her parents began quarrelling
And soon turned into an ugly fight
The guests left
It runs in the family they said
He was smiling no more

Angry and sad, he left
But She danced
The music had stopped
But she kept dancing
To her own music
Her dress was in a mess
And the entire hall was empty
But she danced
Smiling and joyful as ever
Like a ray of hope
In a mad, mad world…

Shattered Dreams

There was much chaos in the city
Someone is stealing our bulbs!
The stores were robbed first
Then the houses nearby
People unhappy
The robberies spread
Small they were, but annoying
Leaving people in darkness momentarily
The government should do something
Said an unhappy shopkeeper
He had candles burning in his bangles store
Robbery is a great sin, God will punish the thief
Said the temple priest
He never spoke of the issues of the city
But now his own backyard had been robbed of its light
We will look into the matter
Said the policeman
As the journalist wrote it down
Disinterested, trivial news it was
Nonetheless bulbs were being stolen
One night there was a flame
Outskirts of the city, the poor mans colony
And people arrived on the scene
A hundred bulbs lay on the ground
In a circle, perfectly round
Attached by wires to a generator
But it was an old one
And had caught a fire
They put it out
And found a boy standing nearby
Crying, looking at the mess…

The thief had been caught!
He was taken to custody
A slum boy of seven
Verbally impaired, ugly and dishevelled
An orphan with no future
The police held him responsible for the robberies
They asked him why he had stolen them
With tears in his eyes
The boy pointed at the moon
They put him behind bars
There were no windows
He sat and stared at the bulb in his cell
He couldn’t see the moon anymore
Neither the shattered bulbs…

Of Religion And Society

The sheep gathered in the feild
Grazing the grass as always
When a goat walked by
The lamb was curious
He had heard about the Goat
But never seen him
Where are you going Mr. Goat?
Asked the lamb
I’m off to the Garden of Eden
The Goat replied
The Garden is only a legend Mr. Goat
Said the Lamb desperately
The Goat cackled with laughter
The animals sing the praises of the place
It is a place of infinite pleasures
I shall find it and make it my home
But Mr. Goat what if you don’t find it?
I will, as I’m determined to
I have faith in my senses
And loads of experience
Unlike the others I have read a lot about Eden
Would you like to join me?
The Goat asked with a smile
Just when the Lamb was about to reply,
His parents came hurriedly
And whisked him away
They asked Mr. Goat to leave
Never again should you speak to him
Mama sheep said
But momma he’s going to the Garden of Eden
There is no such place
Momma snapped back
The Goat will be eaten by the Tiger in the woods
Eden can be reached by following the shepherd
He knows what is best for us
The Goat is evil
He thinks he can reach Eden without the shepherd
He is a fool
Assured his poppa
The lamb watched the Goat slowly walk away
He did not want to defy his parents
But he wanted to go to Eden as well…

The Stranger

I was sitting in a room
Alone, and it was raining
The mood was melancholic
Sitting quietly in my bed
Feeling sick of being depressed
I looked up and saw a stranger
An old man, sitting on my bed
He was pale and ugly
And dressed in filthy rags
His face spoke of frustration
His eyes of cynicism 
His head was an abyss
Full of darkness and depression
Arsenic thoughts and cyanide emotions
The apocalypse was his fantasy
Humans he despised
He spoke only of misery
Anger, rejection and lies
As I stared at this abysmal creature
I felt disgusted yet attracted
He was sucking me into emptiness
He seemed strangely familiar
I felt dreary…

A moment of happiness
A lovely memory stopped by
Or a loved one’s call
And I was distracted
A smile broke across my face
I glanced back at the edge of my bed
The stranger was there no more
All I could see instead
Was my reflection…