Nidhi Mahesh's poems
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1.   A journey begins...   
A pause....
3.   Is Love Enough?
4.   Kosi   
My Calling           
My Share of Monsoon               
A journey begins..     

This far and no further,
I told myself at every step…
I inched ahead and missed breath-
at every milestone, the goal post shifted…
And I kept moving on,
just one step ahead
to reach somewhere….

But every time I was on road
I was walking in different directions
reaching different milestones,
one after the other….
Distinct expedition …mutually exclusive…

There is no way to retrace my steps…
If I walked back, I will be lost..
So I keep moving ahead…
waiting to discover or maybe, be discovered…

No I am not a wanderer or a nomad or a gypsy…
I am the future, born today…
I have no history
My present is exploration of tomorrow..
I have crisscrossed the globe
-that someone said has turned flat…
But interestingly the earth is still round…
moving in circles.
I am curious and scared…
Will the round earth be able to carry the flat world
and still mange the twirl on its axis,
go around the sun in endless cycles….
Or will it go off balance and
the flat world will skid off…
left to float on endless void….
unable to touch feet to ground!

I know what it means to float in void
I have walked across childhood and puberty to adulthood…
but there are no footprints of this journey,
neither on earth nor on time.
No it was not an aimless travel…
It has been a journey…

A true journey…
with landmarks and milestones…
only destination was not known.

Now when I look at the horizon…
The crimson sky kissing the brown earth..
The first twinkle of star appearing at one corner…
The divisive line getting blurred at every blink…
I see this road coming to end…
And a journey begins.

A pause....          

After a long long time
I pause
take a deep breath
look around
and actually see...

The world that I thought,
changes at every blink-
had not changed at all!!
The tree in whose shade I played hide and seek
the lane in whose narrow confines I grew up
the steps that take me to my home -
the four wall quadrangle
that stands amidst damp and dirt
a window that gives me my piece of sky
the floor, the ground on which I walk
and the roof, the surety and security of a shelter-
everything is as it always was....

All that is changed is
the curtain on the windows
the carpet on the floor ...
the coat of color on the peeling plaster
and, the way I have been looking at it all.

In the haste of daily routine
I have changed the way I feel
I have been looking and not seeing
I have been speaking and not talking...
I have been following a path and not walking..
I have been living and not been alive.

A pause, a brief pause, shows me where I am
But what happens when the pause ends..
and I exhale the breath
I have been holding so long?

Is Love Enough?            

the surge and the ebb
the give and the take
the blemishes and scars
the silently waged wars

the hold and the bond
the rose and the thorns
the expectations and demands
the prodding and commands

the proximity and seclusion
the drag and forced inclusion
the sharing and the dump
the upheaval and the slump

the maneuvers and the plot
the scheming and the slots
the fixtures and disintegration
the despair and phony celebration

flowing by the meandering curves
the liquid emotions loose preserve
succulent passions turn arid
euphoria, exuberance, dead and buried

to go on then living a vow
dragging relations somehow
is a strain on nerves overwrought
chasing mirage on terrains of draught

what happens to love ? does it evaporate?
or it still survives, tied to the fate
but even if love subsists
it does not yet desist
the damp from weakening the walls
how long before they fall?
It is just a patch, this love
I wonder if it is enough.

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At the crossroads, when the sun goes dim
The paths seem to merge
Horizon gets blurred
A lone bird traversing the winds of change
Lazily flies around

It crosses the river burgeoning with spilling clouds
Or perhaps, the miser foresight of some greedy empire
breaking the banks, charting new path
the river flows
through the tattered gear
of skeletons alive;
Sweeps through the mud floors,
rugged and unkempt.
And even soaks the thatch roofs-
dead palm greens,
sun burnt and
smarting in heat.
It eats up the grains, still unborn
and mauls the lone pillar of a bridge,
yet to be formed.
It rushes and flows
right through the agony
of being at the mercy of nature,
or probably at malevolence of
the champions of grief!
It dries out the hope already parched,
and drenches eyes resigned to fate.

The lazy bird floats
in between wet clouds
And sopping expanse of earth-
soaked to the soul.
Assured of the cocoon its nest beholds
it twitches at the homes buried in waves-
of flowing wetness…
of uncaring mercies…
of hypocrite compassion and,
the grudging duties, willfully delayed.

It drops a twig,
it had no use to carry anymore.
The dried piece of a dead plant
flows down the heights
caressing a child crying for care.

The smooth touch, surprises the child
who then looks up at unsheltered skies
and watches transfixed
as the bird keeps flying
not wet, not tied, not helpless – so free
the sad eyes fill up with glee…
if the bird can fly despite the wind,
why can’t I swim, overcoming the tide…
Childish dream, a juvenile resolve
yet stronger than hope
sweeter than promise
dabbed with the salt of pain!

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My Calling

I hear the calling
I hear it everyday
I go on hearing it day after day after day…
The call transported through a gush of wind
Or sometimes through the heavy stillness of breezeless surroundings
And often with a supple thud of quiet unseen droplets
as an unknown destination beckons with luring pictures…
broken in millions of tiny little dots,
They keep pouring in one by one
Dot by dot
Drop by drop….

The calling tickles my ears
touches the ear-drums -
a soft but compelling touch
and then fades off slowly…
just as the myriad colors mingle into horizon
and then become one in black obliqueness.
Like the day it departs as the black ocean engulfs the sun
and then returns again as bright beams conquer darkness
and illuminate the sky, and the earth, and the world, and the cocoon I live in.

My ears have become accustomed to this knock
this strange yet typical beat that has never been able to penetrate beyond the eardrums…
or has it?
This unannounced tap, every now and then annoys me
and there is an inexplicable comfort in this annoyance-
a sort of consolation that I am not abandoned…
by the ghosts of desire and ambition and a quest beyond comprehension..
that my heart still beats to a tune, not known yet not completely unknown…
The familiar alien exercises a magnetic pull..
But how far can a tie survive on magnetic pull alone….
Do magnets ever unite?
There is just a tug-off-war…
a pull, but not a hand to hold!

Dangling in between
hope and despair fight to survive-
if either wins, I loose.
This tussle is my sustenance.
Making a choice will close the deal…
here or there…
and I will be uprooted from my roots
that go deep in this limitless terrain… nowhere
What lies beyond this nowhere?

If only I heard the calling and not just let it resonate off…
If only it could penetrate this hypocrite organ
that keeps up the pretence of listening but actually just lets the voice go unheard
If only it could reach my heart and ignite a passion..
a resolve… an impacifiable urge
to follow this distant dream or mirage or illusion or fantasy…
If only…
If is a big word
A big empty word filled to the brim with inconsequential buts
An emptiness filled with solidified hollows…impregnable… complete… static… stoic

The calling
Everyday, day after day after day
breaks into a million pieces as it hits these rock solid hollows
and the splinters prick my skin all over
again and again and again…
I keep on hearing this jingle of broken, scattered symphony
on and on and on and on…
Dangling between an engulfing conformity
and an insuppressible desire to break free
I just listen
as the calling reverberates
again and again and again and again….

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My Share of Monsoon

My eyes touched the rain
Through the tinted glass
Of a speeding car….

Dry earth soaked in moist luxury
Thirsty shrubs sucked the fluid with joy…
moisture embraced all in wide abandon …
drizzly caresses tickled even the turgid to grin…

Children jumped and ran wild…
Rowing the damp idealism of paper boats…
that surprisingly stayed afloat
despite the wind, in muddy pools of fresh drops…

They stuck out their tongue,
tasting the sweetness,
falling in hapless heaps from generous sky.
I smothered a sigh…

I was live on national network…
Reporting the first showers of monsoon…
how they surprised by early arrival,
throwing the measured city life in wide disarray…

I read out the met department report…
Generosity of clouds measured in centimeters…
Broke the bad news:
The dampness was here to stay…
water logging, power cuts and traffic snarls,
to be order of the day…

I painted a picture of gloom…
When all around life was at bloom…
I was bound by duty
of relaying the plight
Of a city on the move,
immobilized by heavy down pour!!

Sitting in secluded and dry air-conditioned hole
I peeped at the drenching surroundings…
Longing to touch and be touched…
by the love nature was spraying
just a small bit beyond my outstretched hands…

I yearned to savor the sweetness saturating life around…
but all  I could taste was the salt of a solitary drop…
rolling down my check
kissing the corner of my lips…
…My share of the bucketing monsoon!!

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