How is it like to lose a devil but not lose love

~Neha Lekhak

you were nothing but the rude voices 
the clashing of swords and staves

you broke me so hard 
i had to vent it out 
played with my heart 
for you to curse me 
with every nook and corner
your will
would ever have to offer to me 


oh love
you should have believed me
when i had said,
"i am your little girl 
and you are
my favorite bonhomie"

i would forever hate to let you go 
i had tried with all my might 
but couldn't leave you alone 


as time savored my broken parts
my character had to take off
her unrelenting costume 
and unyielding face mask
the way you killed and shattered 
each of my nerves apart 


cried 
bloated
rebuked 
until i couldn't consume myself within 


the fierce and lawless that you were 
the fierce and lawless that you turned
(me into)


i created chances
for you to blow me out and leave me 
the only golden moments to go fleeting 


a compassion beyond pain
and only 
if i had an umbrella 
for my difficult moments 


the way you let me stand out in the cold 
darling, i would tell you,
"you are deficient in reading me
and oh so adequately!
you failed me yet again, and miserably so."




The Complete Man!

‘Are you straight?’ I asked bluntly after a couple of minutes of formal talk, as his way of speaking sounded a bit different to me.

‘You mean?’

‘I mean, I don’t know how to ask this in the right way. But are you a full-man?’ I asked like an uneducated moron. I thought of him as a Hijra, at first.

To which, he laughed a little. Thank God, I thought, that I had not offended him.

‘Yes, yes. I’m a full-man who likes full-men. Which means I’m a gay,’ he said like being a gay is perfectly normal and he’s not ashamed of it.

‘Haha, alright.’ I said. ‘If you don’t mind, may I extend this topic a bit more?’

‘Sure.’

‘What’s like being gay in India. I mean, start with your family, if you don’t mind. Do they know about you? And do they support you on that?’

‘They know, yes. They know who I am. And do they support me? Partially. They’ve not thrown me out of their house despite knowing I’m a gay. So they support me on that. But that’s only one part of the story.’

‘They won’t let me be with a boy for the rest of my life. They say—’ he said, stuttering, yet trying to sound perfectly okay, ‘They say— after you’ll get married to a girl, your interests will shift.’

‘And what about the way you walk and the way you speak? What about that?’

‘They say it will change, too.’

‘Oh!’ I said. Refraining from saying anything against his parents. ‘And do you have any boyfriend? I mean, only if you’re comfortable talking about this one, too.’

‘Oh, that’s completely okay to me. People seldom take any interest in my life. Maybe you’re the first one with such hell of a curiosity. So feel free to ask me anything you want. And about my relationship status: Yes, I do have a boyfriend.’

‘You’re kind, I really appreciate you for saying that. And now I suppose I ought to resume my bombarding questions at you, right?’ I chuckled.

‘Why not!’ he said cheerfully.

‘Okay. So what about your boyfriend? He supports you and all?’

‘He loves me. That’s for sure. No doubt in that. But he says he can’t accept me in a male’s body for the rest of his life.’ my gay-friend said matter-of-factly, and continued, ‘My boyfriend says if I want to spend my future with him, I need to have a woman’s body, going through whatever surgery possible.’

What the hell? I said to myself.

I gulped down the air to mull over what I’ve just heard, again. Bloody sexist, I thought of his boyfriend. And just when I was all set to curse his boyfriend, no matter how wrong I might seem to him, the phone was cut down.

By the company.

The time limit to the call was over.

~ Sahil Lakhmani

Hindsight

Written on her mind

Was a false story

The words of her talking

To him in her diaries

Although she rarely gets to see him

Since the day he lost interest

Filling her mind with lucid dreams

Leaving her clinging and obsessed

I watch her everyday

Lost in a world where he’s there for her

And of her, she seems so content

Dancing in visions that are so blur

I wonder what she’d go through

Once the vicious truth

would burst upon her

The emptiness that’ll consume her

When she’ll recognise her untrue lover

And for now I can just watch her

Together with him in the delusion

For I’m too scared to bring it upon her

The ache of the hindsight,

due to her own seclusion.

~Siddharth Singh

Love Yourself

You’re shipwrecked, washed up on a deserted island. Only you and a cat made it to the lifeboat. You drift for a while and end up on this island, just a rocky island with nothing you can eat. No water, either. In your lifeboat you have ten days’ worth of biscuits and water for one person, and that’s it.

Close your eyes and imagine this scene. You’re washed up on a deserted island with a cat. This is a solitary island in the middle of nowhere. It’s almost impossible that someone would rescue you within ten days. When your food and water run out, you may very well die. Well, what would you do? Since the cat is suffering as you are, should you divide your meagre food with it?

No. That would be a mistake. I want you to understand that dividing your food with the cat would be wrong. The reason being that you are precious beings, chosen by God, and the cat is not. That’s why you should eat all the food yourself.

Everything’s a metaphor in this story. Man. Cat. Biscuits and water. Lifeboat. Island. Ten days. Everything.

Just like a mother needs to fill herself first before milk-feeding her infant; you need to love yourself first before loving someone else or expecting someone else you love you in the first place.

Once you’ve had enough of the biscuits and water for yourself, there’s always an option to lend something to the Cat, too.

And the Cat will love you for that.

But do remember the crux; only if you have had enough of the biscuits and water for yourself first.

Is there someone who got the metaphors?


~ Sahil Lakhmani

Gone, Forever!

‘Life was easy. We laughed, we fought, we teased, we kissed, we sang, we danced, and, and we were together. Perfectly together.’

‘Then?’ she asked.

‘And then, two months back, her brother called me in the middle of the afternoon and said, “Bhaiya… didi died in a road accident.”’

‘What?’ she exclaimed.

‘Yes.’ I said. ‘That’s all he said on the call as if he was reading it from a script. Plain and simple. He said it as it was something that happens every day. And later, when I tried to connect him again, his mobile was switched off.’

‘But… but what about her cell? Did you try to call her, too?’

‘I did. The recorded female voice was parroting again and again that the mobile’s switched off but I wanted her to change her statement. I wanted the phone to ring. I wanted that phone to ring for the last goddamn time.’

‘And then, I opened my Whatsapp and I was shocked. It was her messages. Five long messages.’ I said. ’It wasn’t an accident, e eeit was… it was a suicide,’ and I broke down.

‘Hey,’ she said and placed her hand gently on my right ankle to assure me that she was there. I cried my lungs out like it was the end of this world. Like nothing else mattered for the time being. Like my wailing would cast a spell and bring my girl back somehow.

But it didn’t.

She was gone.

What was left, was just a question that she had left in my inbox, her last message;

“I never allowed you to enter inside me and you were okay with that. You never asked me why. Today, with this final message, I want to tell you why. I was raped. Day after day after day. By my father. Real father. Remember? You always told me that ‘this too shall pass’. But baby, this didn’t pass, this ended. With me. Taking me away.”


~ Sahil Lakhmani

The Plea…

The rustling of leaves, the whistle of the wind,
The moon shining bright and the howling cold breeze.
It made me anxious and I felt a twitch,
It made me ponder, it made me think.
When everything goes right, when everything goes mercifully,
There comes this slightest of doubt, this ambiguity.
Is everything really fine, is everything really glee,
Or are we the mere puppets, pretending it playfully?
I am scared to think about the past,
About the things hastily done.
But baby, it wasn’t me, it was just the run.
It was superficial and it was just an act,
It has got nothing to do with reality nor the fact.
The fact that I am not that person and I won’t betray anybody,
But I won’t deny that twas a huge mistake, as I was unsteady.
I hereby apologize to you, with all the depths of my heart,
Don’t let it intervene between us, and don’t let it make us apart.
Just say it once, just say that you’ve forgotten everything,
And I promise to treasure our love precious, to keep it brightly shining. Your eyes, when they adorably look at me,
I wonder why it makes you happy, why it makes you glee.
Your touch is so surreal and your words so perfect,
I just can’t resist and can’t get out of its effect.
Everything I think everything I do,
Brings me closer, and reminds me of you.
Your love is so intense, sometimes it makes me afraid,
How will I ever amend for all the mistakes I made?
I will always cherish your love and I will never forget your loving kiss, Baby I love you, and I want you to trust me over this.
Just say it once, just say that you’ve forgotten everything,
And I promise to treasure our love precious, to keep it brightly shining,
I promise to be yours and make you mine happily.

~Sahil Lakhmani

One Last Time…

Lights were illuminating the city. Cold windy shimmering evening sky.

Last day of the year, was about to say goodbye.

A New Year of new hopes; dreams of better days and togetherness Riya and Arjun had wished for.

This new year, they took a resolution – not to fight on silly things, like they always do. Last year, they had this same resolution but it didn’t work. So, Riya suggested giving a shot again. Well, Arjun is sure – It is not gonna work this time, too.

But, Riya said they are a year older now, much mature. On which Arjun said, “If they are so mature, why shouldn’t they get married or at least have their ‘First Kiss’.”

Riya dismisses his proposal with a serious face and a concealed smile.


Building and Roads, Shops with decorated doors;

Adorned with colours and playful sounds,

People with big smiles walking around.

Last eve of the year was bidding farewell.

Songs of cheer on New Years Bell.

Land, Air, Soil and December breeze,

All sang together ” A Very Happy New Year.”


A man in a white tuxedo and white beard was standing. He looked neat. Gentle. Greeting everyone with a smile on his face.

Riya cluelessly was looking around. Lines of worry was on her face; her eyes looked moist – she was tired of waiting for Arjun.

The Man with a white beard waved at her. He had Balloons Red, Yellow, Orange and Green.

Her eyes questioned Man and he consoled her with a smile and said: “Arjun is here, Don’t worry!”

He handed balloons in his hand to Riya and wished her “Happy New Year!”

She smiled looking at balloons.

She loves balloons. Arjun always teased her how she is obsessed with balloons.

Her face, now, looked relaxed.

She waited a few more minutes sitting on the ground. Balloons were dancing with winds, up in the air in tunes of an ending year.

Dew drops on ground, twinkling lights around,

Beautiful night sky and her beautiful black eyes.

All danced with joy and chuckled

On seeing Arjun.

She sai Ahh… There you are.

“Where have you been?”I was looking for you, said Arjun. Holding her hands close to his heart.

Don’t you dare to do this again? I was scared, he complained.

Then, how did you find me, Arjun?

A man wearing a white suit told me.

Riya, Where you parked the car?

I can’t find it!

Riya… Are you even listening?

Ohh, Arjun…My baby. Forget about the car.

Look, what I brought for you?

This… Ballons! He laughed.

She laughed with him, handing him all the balloons.

What??? Riya…

She could not stop giggling.

I’m not a kid…

Yes, you are my kid Arjun.

Please. I am not.

“Yes…yes.. you are!” she said teasingly and ran away pinching his cheeks.

He chased her.

They can’t stop smiling.

He held her hands. She giggled and giggled.

They looked so happy, even tree branch danced on the tunes of their laughter.

He hugged her from back, holding her hands, curling his arms around her.

The looked at the Black-Blue sky. It looked mesmerizing.

Riya said, “Promise me you will do whatever I say.”

Yes, Ma’am. Promise!

So, you accept these balloons as a New year gift.

Yes, Mam!! As you Say.

Okay. where is my gift Arjun?

What do you want?

Surprise me!

Okay, then.

Close your eyes…Don’t open it.

Do as I say, Riya.

Okay!

Arjun held Riya’s hand as they walk on the streets.

Arjun eyes shined with joy.

Riya whispered, “where are we going?”

Where no one can find us.

I have thought about it. And I collected all my courage.

It is the time.

He tied the balloons on a bench nearby.

Open your eyes, Riya.

Arjun bends on his knees, a red velvet box was in his hands.

It had a beautiful ring.

And he said:

“My day became, night as I dreamt about you all day.

And Nights became day as you shine in my thoughts all Night.

Voice became a melody, and smile became my friend.

Seven colours of the rainbow I see in your name.

Smile, laugh, the warmth of hugs

and Kisses I dream.

MY Life will be this bliss if you say- ‘Yes, My Queen.’

She smiled. This is beautiful.

I wrote it with Pen on my hand so I don’t forget lines.

Aww…My sweet cheater. That is so sweet, Arjun.

A small stone embedded on the ring shined bright but the glow on her face was brighter.

Will you, Marry me, Riya?

She nodded her head with a big smile.

Tears rolled as a pearls of happiness.

The ring shined gorgeously as their love shined that night under the bright blue sky.

She embraced him tight.

He felt her close.

It was the warmth of love tied them with each other.

She sobbed like a child. He smiled at her.

All the fear, shiver and cold disappeared in his arms.

The warmest place was Arjun’s arms for Riya.

She wept like a little girl holding him close.

I love you Arjun. I really do.

I love you too.

They looked in each other’s eyes and the moment stopped.

Love in his heart he holds for years was for this girl His heart said.

His lips smiled catching the glimpse of her beautiful face.

A spell was done on him by her charm, was hard to resist.

Their lips mingled and beats of heart synchronized.

His lips gently embraced hers.

And a spell of Love was all over them.

Her fingers gently brushed his hairs.

And his hands moved in rhythm, caressing her shape.

Slowly…deeply..utterly they were lost in the magic, two lips can create.

Their soul wandered in a different land that felt warm and comfortable.

Loved and blesses were they, holding each other so close.

I kissed my bride. Arjun said.

Riya smirked with tears in her eyes.

Arjun untied the balloon and it freely floated in the sky.

I have to go, Arjun.

Where?

I will drop you…

No no, you stay. I have to walk.

Let me go, please.

I have promised someone, I won’t be late.

I will come with you.

No, you stay here.

Remember no silly fights, Arjun. Do as I say.

Can I go now Arjun? Please.

C’mon. Say Yes with a big smile.

Yes! you can.

Riya looked like a charm, Arjun waved his hand and looked at her walking.

She slowly disappeared from his sight.


His hands are moving.

‘He is responding’ a nurse shouted…

A lady with big round glasses rushed to Arjun’s room.

Arjun. Son, do you hear me?

His eyes were tight shut but he was waving someone.

The right hand was plastered. several bruises were on his face.

Several pictures rolled in his brain in a second.

An evening, balloons floating in the sky, A man with a white beard, Lights decorated around, a girl sitting on the floor holding a bunch of balloons, a ring, a proposal a poem sounds of laughter and a kiss.

At last, he heard a voice saying.

Let me go. I made a promise. I will be late.

His heart paced every memory rolled around.

And he woke up suddenly shouting, “Riya…Riya.

Stop, don’t go…”

Don’t please.

His mom hugged him tight and he started crying. It was hard to control him.

Two nurses and a doctor entered the room.

It was hard to hold him.

He started crying like a child. Mom Riya. She is leaving me.

I just proposed her, and she is leaving me…

I gave her the ring. mom stop her.

His pain and loud cries surrounded the room…

She wore that ring. Mom, she said she will marry me.

This Ring?

Yesss! How do you have this…

It was in your pocket. The nurse gave it to me. The velvet box was crushed during but the tiny stone on the ring was still shining.

He tried to recollect his memories. His head was constantly spinning as he tried to remember.

And he remembered a big lorry hitting their car when they were going to that place where he had planned to propose her for marriage.

Riya was driving mom, where is she?

Where is Riya?? Mom. Mom.

She cried in pain, her mouth didn’t utter a word but tears said it all.

All memories rushed into his head at once- they are walking on a road, holding hands, balloons, his proposal, her smile, and their kiss…

He did not understand.. if the truck hit them before the proposal.

How he proposed?

Was it real or he was dreaming.

He remembered Riya’s face when she wore that ring.

He looked at the ring. The box was damaged…And the stone on the ring looked blurred as tears made his vision unclear.

It was chaos in his mind. He was unsure of everything happening around.

Only one thing was sure and seemed true.

‘ The pain in his heart’

Arjun cried loudly shouting Riya’s name.

His mother and two nurses tried to hold. He sat on the floor just like Riya was sitting waiting for him. He hit his head on the wall. And cried like a child…Mom hugged him. And he shouted in pain.

Take me with you. I will never tease you. I will buy you as many balloons as you want.

I should not have said, yes, when you asked me you are leaving.

Riya take me with you. I will Die…

His mom hugged him tight, her saree drenched with his son’s tear.

The two nurses standing there too console him, looking at his pain…

One said to another, ‘The girl was so pretty a child like a face. I saw her. She died this morning…The nurse had a tear in her eyes…

He was crying like a five-year-old…Saying his mom to bring Riya back and he won’t ask for anything again.

His mother’s helpless face made him more miserable.

He saw a transparent image near the door, looking at him.

It was Riya. She looked white and her image was shining as white glitter.

She smiled looking at Arjun.

She showed him her fingers, an exact image of the ring he was holding, was on her fingers.

She kissed the ring and smiled with innocence at him, for the very last time.

Slowly, that transparent image started fading and soon it disappeared.

Arjun ran to the door, to touch her. It was late, too late.

As he ran close to the door, his hands touched a white glitter, looked like small butterflies with silver wings.

A cold breeze, a fragrance that smelled familiar.

And for the last time, he felt her. He sensed the presence of the girl, whom he always loved, with all his heart.

His Riya around her Arjun.

The last time, the only time.


~Sahil Lakhmani ❤️