IN DEVOTION TO THE DHARMSALA MOUNTAINS

{some reflections made on the mountains and sweetness of meditation}

Today, the mountains were particularly spectacular, let me tell you, there was no need for glasses or binoculars, for the mere vision of them would bring holy water to the eyes, healing anyone in its path. They jutted out, razor sharp hips and edges where light would hit in parallel lines, turning each crease of the fabric of snow upon mountains into soft peach, indigo satin. Crowned like a godly halo, the kings of the valleys sat patiently, waiting to be bathed in gold. The blooming light from the red biscuit sun tiptoed, leaving behind a trail of lemon light sitting straight-spined like prickly baby hairs on new mountain skin.  All dressed in their sunset gowns, these kings and queens sank back into the soft pillow of the sky, the color of flower petals: a melting from pale, new violet to deep wine, like spilled paint, lathered with a butter knife. And if you tilted your head back enough, amidst her guardian bright tufts of clouds, you would see her. The moon, an elegant milky fingernail, cutting the sky apart with a smirk that implied she’d seen it all: you dancing on the roof below, countless times.

The sweetness of meditation: 

It is the feeling that is indescribable, beyond human petrified symbols such as ‘stillness’ or ‘vacuity’, for they are a mere skeletons of reality. It is the feeling of blowing on a pile of weightless ash with a single exhale, or the complete collapse of a sandcastle, with the sweep of a satin nightgown. Smaller, lesser, lighter than the bare wisp of vapour emanated from whispering lips. Slighter than the sound of a vanishing mid-born intention. And that’s when you realise the marble under your feet, holding the equation to what you’ve always thought was frigidness, bed-rock hardness was actually a door into something minuscule. An ink spot sitting comfortably, languidly stretching out, amused at the pattern at the tip of your finger. It urges you to look closer, squint, yet it will only show itself if your spine unlocks, muscles melt like butter and your gaze drops nearly to sleep. Only then, in that sweet promising moment edging into darkness, will that minuscule microcosm pull back its curtains for you. Once you open the door, it is sharp as the rays of noon sun, biting through the fangs of winter cold, crawling invisibly under your skin like an unknown yet completely familiar traceless shiver of a lustful memory. That’s when you know it’s gotten to you. And at last, you ingest every last drop of its essence, and you’re all of it. You explode like a sunset flooding the sky completely, leaving behind infinite traces like clouds cut up by a child and thrown into the air, to have them stick to the clear blue canvas sky as if it where a whiteboard. 

You realise you’ve been dog barking at the reflection of the moon all your life.

It’s a gloomy, cloudy day, which happens to the consequently lead to very cold temperatures. I’m wearing an immeasurable amount of layers and a lukewarm hot water bottle. There’s a cut in the crease of the fabric in the sky and the sun bleeds through it hazily, like melted white chocolate. The prayer flags whistle in the wind- their limbs running urgently, trying to catch the last train of the night. The big tree in front of me swings its big head- a mop of oblong leaves forwards and backwards, like a melodramatic lover, weeping at the balcony. Meanwhile, the tall, stark, mustard bamboos stay still like statues of living things, crystallised by medusa. The wind or threat of the rain is not a source of discomposure for them. And I, sit by the steps of the gompa, splayed and scattered like the unfortunate bougainville flowers blown off their branches at the ripe age of their effervescent magenta.

I’ve realised that my mood reflects the weather like a mirror. On cloudy, murky days, this body walks slow, feels mellow and seeks warm comfort. Its breaths are longer and deeper and time moves slowly. Every sound elongates at the touch of the ears, and every taste tiptoes up to it like a silent ballerina. This body and mind just want to fall back into the bunch of feathers that composes the sky. Make me some warm tea, read me some bedtime stories, let’s bake some cookies and give them all to our neighbours. But mostly, what I seek, is human body warmth.

And on days where the sun blazes its radiant teeth out, reflecting infinite rays, this body opens up like a bud and follows the light like a sunflower. It becomes pure gold, malleable, there, yet not there- motion of a compendium of sparks exploding. I’ll gobble the world up and sprint across all oceans, exhale breaths full of love with hands in prayer over my racing heart. The world is my garden, flamingly alive, every lead and cloud and rose petal breathes in unison with mother earth and this blood that is of mother earth. Nothing is mine. My fingertips loosen their grip and become like the hands of each mother: transparent, yet powerfully there, healing. Like vines, I wrap this self around each everlasting yet fleeting present moment. Come sit with me in this enchanted place of a dream and let’s marvel at it all, with a pen, a book and  pair of sunglasses. Sprawled like lazy caterpillars on this grassy meadow. 

Hello, I sit on a small bumpy rock in the middle of these yellow rice paddy fields that roll like small waves on ocean foam ridges. Sitting where I am, if you tilt your head slightly higher, you’ll be met with the forked spines of naked trees, fanning out their branches like hair in the wind. And even behind that, you’ll find what I’m really here for: these mountains: relaxed, as if on a reclining chair, yet vigilantly aware, they stare back at me. Their white snowy eyes, blurred azure shadows of mouthes and deep dark arms of furry trees- all bare through my pupils, with gentle insistence. And what is this soft whispered urgency of the mountains? It is the truth that has been begging to come home to our fluttering hearts. The reason to why we always long for a home we can’t reach for. For we do not know, like blind moths stumbling, that the power and essence of these icy snow-capped giants already runs through our bloodstream. It is the air we exhale, it is the glue to our flesh and bones, it is the string to our words and songs, it is the last moment before we roll into sleep, it is in the deepest cry of our human sorrow, and the lightest feather of joy. And even when your breath has been snuffed away or your heart misses a beat, in that absence of all, that clear, pure, power undresses itself completely. 

I walked by the fire he had created with sticks and dead bougainville, and wrinkled leaves. We nodded to each other and I silently placed myself next to him. He put out his hands in front of him, and I imitated. We both tried to communicate- me looking straight into his dense light brown irises, trying to decode something, while he stared back at me blankly. “Ok.” He would reply to my questions. I would nod back at his hindi. Both of us knew this was going nowhere, yet there was something intimate that remained when one shares a fire with someone. Both beings seek for the same primal need of comfort. The fire crackled like ice-shards cracking into millions of pieces, patiently and elegantly. The wind blowed and the soft red flames hid their own ashes for while, which then sneaked out like sheep after the wolf had gone. They were persistent: these slow, laughing, blames, as we fed them smaller branches and they exhaled in relief. For some time, the wind changed direction, blowing bits and pieces in the lanky man’s direction. He lowered his cap, keeping his head down in his squat position. He asked me if I was from America, and I said no. Then we sank bak into silence. He sneaked a cigarette, which he hid below his crossed arms, and then we both went back to watching the fire as if it were the only thing keeping us alive. After some time, he got up and walked away. A few moments later, I followed suit. 

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fishing in your subconscious waters

I’m itching to write, as if I were presented with a scab that has remained forever unpickable. I crave to write and write and have this pencil glide from page to page to scroll to keyboard, from material to technological, my words shall keep speaking. Kingdoms of two meter waves, rosie autumns, misty minds, suffering, hoping for catharsis. I crave to write about this whole existence, the earth and all the systems within it, and of course, the systems within and of course, the unknown, when we turn the lights off. In this little controversial mind of mine, I shall clear some space for a little writing laboratory. Test tubes and microscopes, sieves, gloves and the whole lot. You see it’s a science. One must first dip themselves into the waters of imagination, with gloves, carefully extract samples from different kingdoms: darkness, despair, adrenalin, jealousy (and we usually go for the nastier ones, harder to grab, more likely to bite your finger). And once you’re back from that expedition, you examine them under a microscope, these little twitching encapsulated potentials. With some wit and pincers, you tie them together to form a little world of yours, where gravity might be slightly different. Another warning: you can’t really control when these urges to dive into these creative, inviting, dangerous waters will come. Whether your head rests on a pillow, hair relaxed, body decompressing for sleep, or whether you’re at a coffeeshop, or on a rollercoaster, this urge simply does not care. You’re thrown into your diving suit and pushed into your subconscious synovial fluid. Down under there, the sky varies often, blanketed by the indigo wine and occasional lighting strikes. You might find some familiar structures, bits of picked up memories. You might find grieving faces- suppressed pain never nurtured. Now… I don’t want to spoil your exploration nor uncover too much of myself in this. All I can say is, remember to take your backpack.

adolescent idealism is a hoax

my mind’s racing,

they say it’s normal,

not abnormal,

adolescents are like this, don’t mind them,

crazy minded, mindless,

bezelled by the universe

chatters and impulses, smoke, lights,

cries, they say it’s all just

because we

romanticise life,

with our hormones

but is that so?

maybe you adults just

downgrade life, cut it with a knife

forget its beauty

and newness, freshness born

into every moment,

you lament,

but we, with new eyes,

untainted still see life for what

it is,

beyond your

clouded mind.

 

night times, we stay awake,

head in a racing car game,

throwing thoughts like elastic shotguns

sons of euphoria followed by

hands tumbling over keyboards,

fumbling pencils,

crumbling cameras, strumming strings,

creating some things

to let out the excitement

of living in a body, on a floating rock,

gawk at how the heck did we get here?

we do it not for the future, not because

it could amount to anything, but the

moment

 

we strip clothes off,

teeth fall off,

eat bitter earth,

scorch our fingertips,

plunge into crisp waters,

why?

why because we don’t know

who we are, (the greatest gift)

 

curiosity, ferocity

this stubbornness to keep

standing, discovering

unstopping stomping

unapologetically launching ourselves

into this world.

but i say it’s because we know

this world is nothing but

a cardboard box stage,

not a cage,

and we’re here so infinitesimally

so, to

cry over, suffer over, joy over,

get over,

unpreel, then refresh and start over

every time

the sun shines again.

 

And we,

get to be someone new,

someone bigger.

reach out further

away from where we started,

we know we can be anything we ever

wanted,

as long as that flame burns

 

not related to age spurts,

 

to just, be alive,

feel alive.

 

 

i say it’s not,

adolescence.

i say it’s our true nature,

as humans,

before we comply and forget

not take a bet on

this miracle of a human life

before we strive to stick the feeling of freedom

under a desk like gum,

before we construct the cage of

what is and what isn’t

 

and think about it,

those times where you thought

nothing would stop you-

that’s when your invincibility existed

truly.

meditations

On the rare occasion where I settle down and stop my wheels of blood from rolling, I sit down to watch the burning trail I’ve made- the friction between the soles of feet and unnerving city cement. I cremate the moment and look at its ashes. All that exists are the flames, the heat, the black dots dancing across vision. I empty my vessel, picking and scrubbing at all corners of this machine. I unhinge the engine and I’m left with splutterless silence. Suddenly, I realise how obsolete certain things in life are, yet at the same time, the intentionality behind everything. Immortalising this moment, I immortalise myself. I, who thought I could conquer and bellow tyrannically over soul and mind, control life like a maniac. Now I dress in titter tatters, sit with simplicity, hold rocks in the palm of my hands and happiness comes in with mischief. Caught red-handed, I surrender my fortress, my megacity of plan-thoughts and let the moment pierce my skin like a subliminal vaccine. Protecting and giving asylum. The future in my head is now past-tense overgrown weeds, that only belongs to night terrors. I realise its opacity, and in turn, my solidity as I breathe. Thick, unkempt hair and rosy cheeks. Elbows propped against knees. It’s all at ease and I exist, slightly hovering above this body.

Train Ramblings

How many people have sat on this very train and contemplated the comings and goings that have comprised of their life? Most probably a lot. Their eyes have most likely settled upon the tiny ghostly dagger marvels that seem to speed across the window with familiar urgency. This G-sharp piece of music I’m listening to races at the same speed-  it’s urgent changes and screams perforate the air around me and now even the trees seem to be running away from me as I sit. The train tiptoes to a silent, shy stop and now it all grows a little softer, a little more honey-dewed. The white daisies stretch their necks with a morning glow, opening their faces towards the white fence they lie behind. Yet, all these musings remain but a mere distraction to the agenda of the travelling mind. So as the train keeps trudging into the near future, the picturesque nature slowly eases the true thoughts to come out of the passenger. And this is where me, myself, and any other passenger differ: both immersed leg-deep into our own personal waters, yet each facing different tides. Though no matter the size, they all affect us with the same magnitude and feeling of nostalgia. So the thoughts that were meant to be, spiral out like curls towards the shore, and we pick them up, one by one, like unique seashells, decoding each ages pattern with affection from the past. It’s a moment of serenity that only a train can allow. A moment of transit, where for once, the human being is not expected to achieve a thing, and sitting still is the most one ca do. Our soul, at once, is uncaged and starts expanding beyond the window until the clouds guide it back home, between the veins of our heart. Until the call for work beckons us back to reality.

People Problems

People absorbed in

people problems

pointing fingers at

palpable projections

“please prove me

right”.

 

Portray and pose, like ancient greeks, gawk and

perpetrate this poetry.

Dilate and prompt

my pupils open with your

purple prophetic prose and pink

paint.

Proprietor of prominent

proximity

problems

missing prosperity

in our own pools so

we become

prawns prodding

other realities upstream,

prying open possibilities

that prick our own proud

skin.

 

We practice prowling

like tigers in

public with primroses

between teeth yet

the precipice lulls us

in prams like prats

as we preach

forever – prone to

primitive premature

problems.

 

Pronounce your

name and proceed…

Pixelated

You’re musical miles

away.

I listen to your

monochrome

mixtape,

the songs are vivid

yet somehow pixelated,

blurry versions of us,

balancing between

accurate and inaccurate,

between a wall of

silicon…

 

Actually

not a wall,

but rather a featherlight river between

us. Untouchable.

Flowing electromagnetism,

quartz connections,

optic fluctuations that

determine connected

between offline,

sometimes I just need to

check that you’re

still alive,

existing three minutes ago.

I’ll take a shattered breath,

 

for the past

seemed all too good for me,

a walkable garden of eden

has been nurtured:

you were the sun that made the

flowers bloom, and I was

the moon that gave the world

rest. Our magic worked perfectly

in purple, palpable darkness

and dawn.

 

But in the end, we picked

different apples,

our toes were then

banished from

the garden of Eden-

Adam and Eve, fell on different

ends of the earth.

 

Now we live in a world of new

equations,

new robotics:

three typing dots equate to

three faint heartbeats,

the ring of a phone

equates to her calling

my name from across the bed.

 

Yet,

her smile

her voice

her words

remain the same,

lips and gaze still soft like

braiding hair underwater.

Smile still growing symmetrical

flowers in my chest, all the same.

It’s all just some tiptoes away,

this world won’t close,

it’s just a nose away,

in the waiting room

 

and while Adam and Eve

scavenge around earth,

charged with terror and love,

the garden grows of immense dimensions,

now a pool of vibrant haze,

flowers of immeasurable blaze

and with time,

there, they shall reunite,

taller and brighter,

and cross eternity again.