Sari

Shea butter brown palaces

Of warmth and refuge.

Fuschia pink fluttering

Fortresses against the arrows of the harsh world.

Crimson red words of

Reassurance and critique

Rendered as soft glances and light pats.

Deep blue 

Crisp

Starched 

Bearers of strength and will.

Soft stacks of cotton candy

Spelling childhood comfort.

Light blue breezes against 

The skin

Bringing the sky closer to me.

Deep blue

Warm

Scented with trips to the icecream truck 

And gajar ka halwa.

Stacks of drapes

9-yards long

Chiffon

Cotton

Silk

Folded into neat stacks

An amulet, or

An ornament?

Perhaps that’s for her to decide.

~Ritika

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Eviction Notice

//Apologies for the long hiatus.//

You should have seen this coming.

Even though I blamed you for the wreckage, I should have kept a mental note of each time I couldn’t muster up the courage to snatch keys to my mind that you held.

Amidst the crookedness of the front gates and the neglected and damp front porch, I should’ve known that you were not capable in the least to keep the sanctity of the place you occupied. With the thoughtless scribbling in wretched hues of brown and black which you left on the rotting walls, you reminded me of the pictures I once carved on my skin- paintings of the moon and the stars because it was perhaps the only way I could actually catch sight of them. I couldn’t hear my own voice over your incessant rambling- a slow simmer ominous of a gas tragedy.

You kicked way too many things under the doormat and now my mind is infested with cobwebs relentlessly holding onto thoughts which fool me into thinking that alcohol tastes better when I am sleeping and falling asleep on the couch of a stranger. Your fixation of peeling away the chipped paint on the walls was doing little to help me hang on.

Under the Christmas lights and the polaroids and your fixation with superficial beauty, my mind was still in the dilapidated condition entailing your caretaking.

I hold my palms up to the sky so that they see proof of your residence in me- as it turns out blood stains longer than paint. So, leave. Probably only to leave a kind reminder that you were here; to remind me in strange ways that we had tried for something- something that I should never try again. I’ll probably spend nights searching for those giant tins of caramel and cheddar popcorn, instead of you.

Bye.
~Ritika

Lost in Transition

53 days. That’s what it took me to gather myself and write this post. With an aching head and a knotted stomach, I left home 53 days ago, only to find one here.

People who have known me have gauged that even though it is difficult to get words out of me at first, I make for extremely interesting conversations and people who can engage me in one, leave me with a lasting memory. However, thrown into a foreign territory, I stood on the sidelines as a stranger. It was like drowning in a sea of unuttered words and restrained emotions.

It was ironic, because words and emotions had given me the sense of pride I held for myself. I had stopped writing and sharing even a mildly piquant debate with others around me, not because I didn’t know what to write or talk about, but because I couldn’t find the right words for them. The pen was an extension of me. I may ramble from crevice to crevice in search of solitude, but somehow I found solace in the world of ruled lines and black ink. The words I wore on my chest as an armour of lessons were slowly wearing thin.

Even though the road ahead held terrain that wasn’t comfortable, I found people looking past the dainty book description, cracking the shell, only to find another layer. Cautious, yet unperturbed. I began waking up each day, progressively foreign to homesickness. Even though I still am too awkward and shoddy to fit in here, I think I am going to one day. This is just the beginning. And I can’t wait for the rest of it.
~Ritika

A Faded Year

It has been a year now. I have something to tell you, for it has been eating me; something that the irrelevant last pages of the unsent letters have been screaming I’m words of black and white.
Since you’ve been gone, I have tried to find you in the lights of the city skyline and the howling of the tornado sirens. I have tried to live carefully, cautiously, thoughtfully. I tiptoe across the floor because the creaks of the floorboard spell catastrophe more profoundly than the radio silence you left me in. I have guilt tripped my way into putting away my pen and my better sense of judgement. Driven by my passion for memories, I flipped through every page of the album from that night – the night of dancing, storytelling and long walks; the night that ended prematurely with a drastic fall. Longing for evidence to disprove my insanity, I have only come up short.
Days turned into weeks, and weeks into months. And here I am, scribbling the time with you in the margins of my life. I am sorry, the ticking hands escaped me. Now I see you, shoulders tensing at your sight, realising that flowers are the heaviest when placed on a grave.

~Ritika

History

There is a lot of history on these

streets. We are the debris of the same

disaster – I am the creation, and you

are the process of reconstruction.

Darling, you paint yourself a better

picture – watercolour skies instead 

of brooding storms. And yet

they say you look like me – the same

dark eyes, nose bridge and the

gentle smile. We make a 

really good team, we do. We are

the same gunshot in the dead

of the night – you are the trigger, I 

am the safety lock. I wish I could do more

to make you feel better,

today. I wish I could show 

you how the sun breaking through

the curtains will chase your 

demons away. It is hard to not see 

your parents in yourself. But smash

every mirror you come

across. You were given 50% of 

me to make it on your own. Do it.
~Ritika

P.S : For those who were unable to figure it out, this is a poor recreation of the advice my father gave me 🙂