What happens in the bus stays in the bus

Every day I am convinced that we will be murdered

By my bus driver who believes so strongly in ‘all or nothing’

That he speeds by each truck, car and cycle rickshaw that we see

Living in some warped reality of video games

Where such driving would earn him 20 points

Rather than 20 dead bodies.

So as we bump, jerk, and flail our way home

(Or to the death, whichever comes first)

We decide to make the most of it.

So start the discussions on

Good tests, and bad marks,

What happened in class, who’s dating who,

Who said what and who got busted.

We talk subjects, complain,

Bitch, pass sarcastic comments, make bad jokes

Until all of us can barely speak,

Until my laugh bounces off the ceiling of the bus, loud, piercing,

And some faces contort while others expand,

Some stiffen in their seats, and others rock back and forth,

All emitting versions of “haha”s and “hoohoo”s,

Sounds of pure happiness (what a beautiful concept),

The teachers whip their heads, trying to place the source of noise.

We are a scattered bunch from different streams

And different grades, and different interests,

Only bonded by the fact that our homes

May be considered relatively close by,

Or maybe conveniently close by,

Enough for us to all belong to the same bus,

And so we say bye the same way we laugh,

Loudly, strangely, until each of our friends leave,

And we reach home with a belly-aching contentment that can’t be replicated.

 

Style credits: Harnidh Kaur (based on her style of writing)

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Poetry

Poetry is rhyming

It’s all about timing

Focus on similar ending words

Even if the meaning is quite absurd

(Sort of like my mother’s curd)

Describe what you can within the sound

*Insert a random word that ends with ‘ound’*

 

Poetry is deeper

Than the surface level of the words

Look hard, look within

The pond of poetry to extract the meaning

It is familiar alphabets twisted into delicious, unfamiliar phrases

Sprouting metaphors too exotic for the garden of your mind

Poetry is a brick wall of words you can’t surpass

 

Poetry is expressing large meanings in small phrases

 

Poetry is being honest from the heart,

Admitting, confessing

That you stole the ‘large meanings – small phrases’ from the movie PK

 

Poetry is words

I am you are we is hey how no wait

lemon pouch bottle haan, naa

Oii! hold on bus what now oh shit!

run run run.

 

Poetry is not words

🙂   ❤   :’)   😀   😦   >.<   ^_^

 

Poetry is romantic

She does not wear bright clothes and ask for attention,

She is hidden away in the smallest details

Of someone’s smile

And the city lights

And the stars

Poetry makes you shout

Makes you whisper

Makes you love.

 

Poetry is funny

He is your manly gym teacher’s bright pink shirt

He is a dog chasing its tail

He is your class clown

He is America’s funniest home videos

And your dad trying to act cool

Poetry is a good laugh at the end of a tiring day.

 

Poetry is understanding

The ‘ohhh yeahh!

‘I get it now!’

‘That’s actually pretty cool!’

Or for the more intellectual lot,

‘EUREKA!’

 

Poetry is connecting

As          you             start            talking

I     feel     understanding    stir     somewhere   deep    inside

And  I  feel  it

Bring uscloser.

 

Poetry is rational

It’s just a form of expression.

 

Poetry is yours

It’s what you want it to be.

 

The Sound of Home

I wish I could describe what home sounded like

(The Sound of Home is a birth mother I gave up)

I was surprised to find that I still found comfort in what I heard

(My adopted mother became my everything.

She overwhelmed me)

Comprehension didn’t go too far

(Maybe my birth mother and I were just too different)

But when the syllables roll off of tongues, forming almost familiar words

(I used to know my birth mother, once upon a time)

There is sigh of relief in my heart, a sense of I belong, I belong, I belong

(I think I was made to fit in my birth mother’s arms)

I imitate the words I hear, the “aah”s and “ooh”s and “daa”s

(Birth Mother is feeling accepted)

Before stumbling back to the “a”s and “oh”s and “the”s

(My adopted mother knows me too well)

I don’t try too hard now, but I know

(Birth Mother and I have reached a sort of understanding, I guess)

That Kannada, my mother tongue, will always be a part of me

(I love you, Amma)

Breeze

Science says that a breeze springs to life when air molecules move from a region of higher pressure to a region of lower pressure.

But right now, it seems impossible to think of Breeze as anything other than a masseuse,

Fluid,

As she slips through the pores of your thin cotton to brush your skin.

She fits herself in the crevices of your body,

Reaching around your neck,

Slipping through your fingers,

Leaving them colder, still.

But you do not mind,

In fact you barely notice it,

As Breeze subsides.

She embraces you seconds later,

From a different direction,

Causing your kurta to fold up,

Pushing your hair back, out of your face.

Kissing every inch of your skin with cool.

But it’s the briefest of touches,

And she’s gone.

Science says air particles.

Science will tell you the velocity of the Breeze and how to predict her direction.

But Science doesn’t tell you that Breeze is a welcome surprise.

She gushes in,

Overwhelms you,

Surrounds you, until your thoughts are no longer words,

But feelings;

Of the momentary cool against your skin,

Of closing your fingers around nothingness as you try to capture that which feels alive,

Of pure calm.

Science will tell you air molecules,

And of course, science is right.

But as Breeze sneaks up from behind,

Murmuring in your ear,

“I am magic,”

It’s hard not believe her.

 

What he meant to me

To be honest, I was intimidated by him at first.

He seemed overwhelming, overbearing.

When others spoke about him – and they did, so much – it was either reverently or with distaste. He was definitely well known. After all, he made his presence felt, quite literally. He was a hefty bloke.

After a chance encounter with him, I decided we’d never be on the same page, and avoided him. Oh, maybe a glance here, a ‘bye’ there, but I shut him out before we had the chance to converse any longer.

But somehow, my friends started seeking him out even more, and that added pressure. Was he not as bad as I thought?

Still, I remembered the initial feelings of heaviness, exhaustion, did I really want that back?

Then came a time when I realized my avoidance could no longer continue. So I approached him when he was sitting silently in the library.

Now that I think about it, the word ‘silent’ isn’t very apt. I’d like to say that I introduced myself, but in reality it was he who opened up to me. He was very detail oriented, very exact, and very experienced. He challenged me, pushed me beyond (what I thought) were my limits, asking me difficult questions that made me think, and relate, and discover. I would stay up with him, sometimes, till three a.m., but he spoke to me patiently. He was with me every step of the way.

Still, I couldn’t say I liked him. I avoided him when I could afford to, when it wasn’t just me and him, but I did need him.

That’s the truth, I needed him.

Others have tried to approach his level of knowledge, and challenge, but they can’t and they never will. Who, after all, can compete with RD Sharma?

First Kiss

“How does it feel to kiss someone, Lin?” Beth asks.

It is evening time. The sky is blue turning into pink. The air is chilly – a hint of the season ahead. The trees hold their branches high against the sky, the leaves like paintbrushes turning the sky more and more red.

Linda considers the question, “Aunt Terry says it feels like fireworks.”

“Eww,” Beth scrunches up her nose, imagining a burning taste on her tongue.

“She also said something about passionate and hot and how it leads to something before Mom told her to shut up.”

“Oh. The movies say that too. That it feels like electricity and sparks. Anything with light I guess. But Mom said it doesn’t taste like light bulbs, so I don’t know.” Beth frowns, analysing the flaw in her theory.

“It is actually kind of weird right? Sticking your mouth to someone else’s?” Linda tilts her head to the right.

“Maybe it feels good when you kiss The One.” Beth has always been the more optimistic of the two.

“I don’t believe in The One. Besides, how are you supposed to know that someone’s your ‘The One?'” Linda asks.

“You just know.” Beth says mysteriously. “Everyone knows. Maybe you get a dream or something.”

“Well, my Mom says she loved Dad a lot before he died. She loves Paolo a lot too. You can’t have two The Ones, right?”

“Maybe she’s an exception. You know, the one who doesn’t follow the rules?”

“Mrs. Wendy calls those people morons.” Linda says knowledgably.

They fall into a silence, the two girls, one red haired and the other blonde, both lean and short, sitting next to each other on the park bench. It’s getting colder.

“I want to know how kissing feels like. Before I meet The One.” Linda says suddenly, turning to Beth. “Hey, I know. Maybe we can kiss. For practice.”

Beth frowns, “Are girls allowed to kiss girls? My mom always talks about me marrying and kissing the boy who makes me the happiest.”

Linda considers this information, “Well, we’re not going to get married, and I make you happy anyway. And the only boy here is little Jason who only shows us his boogers. And Sophie’s babysitter has a girlfriend I think. So yeah, girls can kiss girls.”

“Okay,” Beth agrees, “Do I have to close my eyes?”

“People do, but it doesn’t make sense to.” Linda says seriously.

“Okay.”

They lean towards each other, eyes wide open, until their noses are pressing against each other. Their lips brush together for the briefest of moments.

“I think they pull each other’s lips,” Linda suggests.

Beth leans and tries to pull Linda’s bottom lip with her teeth.

“Ow!” Linda says, and they jump apart.

“I’m sorry. But that didn’t feel so disgusting.”

“It actually felt pretty nice,” Linda points out.

“You’re right. Hey you wanna play tag?” Beth asks, jumping off the bench.

“Okay, first one to the tree is ‘it’!”

18 things my dad can teach though he may not know it himself

  1. Pronounce ‘ae’ as ‘ayy’ – It’s the trend nowadays anyway. What better way to announce you’re South Indian than ask, “Aap Kayyse ho?”
  2. Walk the talk – Don’t talk, show. In certain areas, results are what’s going to prove you right or wrong (sports, tests), so don’t talk, just show.
  3. The new trick to fast calculations is to do them mentally in Kannada – They’ll ensure you a 100 in that Accountancy paper
  4. Be curious – Wonder about anything and everything, what you have learnt and what you haven’t. There is no limit to the questions you can ask about anything.
  5. Take care of yourself – It means being street smart, even if you aren’t perfectly empathetic and honest all the time. It’s okay, you need to set your boundaries and take care of yourself.
  6. Value your privacy – Not everyone needs to know every minute detail of your life.
  7. Pretend like you know the telemarketer who called up- Call him Ganesh, though his name is Raj. He called you Kamla, even though you are Karan. Payback’s a bitch. Or SMS yourself and scare your daughter or pretend to be ghost and scar your children for life. There are always options.
  8. Have a sweet tooth, but keep a calorie count of everything in your fridge – Apparently that’s not a woman’s job anymore. Also, hate butter.
  9. Inside you, you have the potential to be a thoughtful grandmother – Even if you are the toughest man in the world, the moment you remember little details about the people you love, you have joined the Elite Squad of Thoughtful Grandmothers (ESTG, meetings held every Mondays and Thursdays)
  10. Be on time – Or better yet, before the time.
  11. Say I love you in a cutesy voice – Who does normal, serious voices anymore? You might even ignore the I love you all together.
  12. Hate drama – Be practical, all the way through. Cut through the crap and see things for what they really are. Live in the real world.
  13. Laugh just like your brother – It’s the best biological indicator of your relation.
  14. Counsel your daughter once in a while. (More like every day, but that’s okay)
  15. A hero is not one who saveth the world, but saveth his family from cockroaches – (And then puts them on his son’s bed while the son screams in terror)
  16. Report to the authorities – They exist for a reason. Speak up, speak up, speak up.
  17. Your success as a comedian depends on Whatsapp jokes – Get your big break by reading out the funny one liners from your group. They’re bound to be succesful, right?
  18. You can change – It happens over time, but it is possible, more than you ever imagined.