Language

She anxiously searched the drawers,
As angst took over her beautiful face,
Tell me how does it look,
He asked as he stood up,
Don’t worry I’ll find it soon,
She said without battering an eye,
He silently crept towards her,
As she tried to ignore him,
Grandma’s button, she meeked,
He had in a way calmed her little eccentricities,
The storm water had slowly started to recede,
As brightness came back to the city,
Let me look for it in the attic,
He said, adjusting his spectacles,
You don’t have to, you must be tired,
He smiled as he slowly walked towards the attic,
What’s important to you is important to me,
He had silently acknowledged,
The ocean sometimes needs to meet the shore,
To realise how calmness feels,
The slow murmurs of the wind,
Gently kissing its cheeks,
Soothing it to a slumber sweet,
And sings to it of melodies ancient,
The ocean slowly closes its eyes,
He came back with the box that had held all her memories,
She saw it and came immediately running,
The box had her Grandma’s Button,
And the one that held her had her heart,
The mind and body came much later,
As they had already dissolved into one being,
An organism of romantic times,
She wanted to cry as moments like these were overwhelming for her,
She looked him in his eyes,
As her oceans touched the shores,
And rain had started to pour,
Her heart was pounding,
Like the way they had first met,
And sat silently under the Banyan Tree,
Reading books of their own,
He smiled at her and went back to the bed,
What happens when two souls learn the language of the universe,
Words lose all their meanings,
And voices become so mute,
Come back to bed when you want to,
He lied down on the bed,
Took out his book,
Smiled back at her,
And had started reading…….

Timeline

Some dreams dead on their way home,
Some voices that couldn’t find their own echoes,
Sometimes the shadows of our past cloud our judgements,
The good, the bad, all suspended,
And ruin the sleep of many a goers,
The guilt that pulls us down,
What if,
The dilemma of the crown,
And we cringe sometimes for the futures unbirthed,
The present crumbling, diminished, blurry,
Its natural to feel this way,
Unaccomplished, confused, sad or heartbroken,
For even life took its time to nurture the Earth,
Billions of years and still unfurling,
Take a moment of rest,
Relax, unwind in the wild,
Pick yourselves up and those fallen down,
Don’t believe what they say,
This isn’t race or something to prove,
Believe in yourself to find the best for you,
Or let it stumble upon you over dinner,
Be content or stay curious,
You can win on your own timeline……

आशियाँ

कुछ खोके भी शायद कुछ पाया मैंने,
कुछ पा के शायद कुछ खोया भी,
अँधेरे में गुज़र रही थी ये हस्ती मेरी,
आपको देखा तो पाई रोशनी भी,
कहते हैं मुलाज़िम नहीं इश्क़ किसी का,
कई रियासतें हैं उजाड़ी इसी ने भी,
बस अब और गिला क्या होगा,
जब मिल चुका है इस नाचीज़ को आशियाँ तुझमें भी…..

Debt

Wounded he picked his child up,
The wolves howled from behind,
Frightened he ran with all that was left in him,
Carefully planning his every move,
The child can live in peace,
Look at me dear son,
Nothing will happen to you,
As he covered his son with tattered clothes,
The snow slowly crept in his shoes,
And the cold shivered his spine,
The wolves could smell the blood from distances,
But he kept on moving,
Holding his son close to his chest,
He travelled for many years,
Protecting his child from the harbingers of deceit, malice or sins of his past,
He grew old as the bones in his body spoke a lot more than before,
Hair turned grey,
Vision a little blurry,
The son had now grown,
Rest on my shoulders O Father,
For the wolf shall guide the pack from above,
The pillars he built over the years,
The seeds he had sown sometime ago,
Your blood runs in my veins,
Dark, black and blue,
A debt now I shall pay,
My bones will carry,
My progeny shall say…..

Footprints

As he pushed her through the cliff,
Winds gushing through her ears,
She closed her eyes,
This memory she couldn’t save,
The distance to the ground felt millions of kilometres,
Betrayal had already taken life out of her,
The mind wanted to rest,
As thousand needles pierced her body,
But she stayed loyal,
Clenched her wrists with all her might,
And held onto memories beautiful,
If not love, let me by yours O Earth,
The Earth had welcomed her with arms wide open,
In her arms she finally found love,
In the sky her footprints,
Blue yet so warm….

Orion

The clouds slowly covered the night sky,
As the Earth yearned for the warmth of her lover,
Orion had been separated from her for what seemed eternities,
Why do you cry the clouds asked the weeping Earth,
Rivers slowly moving through the plains,
The oceans as if in deep slumber,
The villages had put off the lights,
Animals cuddled up in their burrows,
I don’t know the Earth said,
How the Orion became so important,
He sits above my sky,
With the Gods he eats,
The Venus, the prettiest of us all runs after him,
But everyday when my sky is clear,
And the moon falls behind me,
I see the stars align,
Dance to our tunes,
The Gods a witness to our affair,
I see Orion elegantly gazing across the infinities,
And somedays he would look at me,
And our eyes meet,
A smile from him,
I melt,
My glaciers reveal my sweet breast,
My oceans in turmoil,
The villages burst with commotion,
But the storm subsides,
I can see him,
And he can see me,
What more can I desire,
I am the land to Orion,
My universe his aura…….

Clicked this atop the Triund Mountain.

Hold on or let it go….

Slowly as his memory started to betray him,
The little details were the first to vanish,
The way she tied her hair,
The slow dance on her favourite song,
He tried to etch everything in his mind,
Her laughs, her cries, the hair that had always played on her face,
The universe was quick to judge,
It usually is,
Brought him hues of blue,
The fragrance of mystical grounds,
Her form had last remained with him,
As she slowly turned to a shadow,
Then light to darkness,
He held on to her,
Her thoughts, the feelings,
Sweet and sour,
Our mind plays games with us,
In situations like these,
It in a dilemma,
Usually cannot decide,
Whether to hold on or let go,
For the winds sometimes bring a message or two,
A colloquial poem wrapped in fresh basil leaves,
It says to hold on,
Till the leaves dry and turn to dust,
The poem slowly turning into a weep,
Love always wins he had heard,
For love is powerful of them all,
Greed, hatred, ego and malice,
But a bridge built on stones petite,
Lasts a season,
Or maybe two,
The heart joins in the conundrum,
And keeps on building bridges,
Over the storm water,
The turbulent and vicious,
It holds on the ropes that carry the ledges,
In hopes that someone will hold the other edge,
The bridge how strong can last so long,
Tired, bruised and defeated it sometimes,
Want to let it go,
It dreams of days the storm will calm,
The water will slow down,
The bridge would be complete,
O innocent, my innocent little heart of gold,
Let the rope free your hands,
But the bridge shall fall,
Drown in the water so tall,
The civilisations on the other bank would starve to death,
Nobody would bury the dead,
O innocent, my innocent little heart,
The storm will continue,
And will reach you soon,
It won’t be merciful,
You’ll be dead or in state of total despair,
So shall I let it go,
So shall I let her go,
What about our dance together,
The way she had kissed me,
Her sweet fragrance of lavenders,
You may or you may not,
The water banks never meet,
Over a bridge that was built from one bank,
The bridges need to meet at the middle,
Nowhere near, not someplace far,
O innocent, my innocent,
Let it go or you shall repent,
The ropes leaves marks,
That stays,
Seasons, years or even centuries,
A bridge will be till that day,
Be Your poison,
The hurdle in your way,
Let it go and lay down a bit,
Rest your hands, the spirit and mind,
For the banks never meet of a river,
That had started without distant grounds of saffron….

Getting a haircut..😅

I have always wanted long hair since the time I could remember but was not courageous enough to ask my mother or my father if I could do it. Long hair=vagabonds, my father and mother had always thought and that keeping long hair would cause me to distract myself. So I went to the barber with my father every-time we had to take a haircut and we sat through whatever haircuts he would order the barber to cut. It was always, short hair, shorter than the last time. Haha. Me and my brother never questioned our father because we never had any time to think about the style of our hair. Whether it was school or any party, our hair was set by either my mother or my father. It was so that even today, my Nani asks if Harsh has started combing his own hair. Haha. Those were good times. But as school ended and I entered college, things started to change. I was still that innocent boy from school but everyone around me started to tell me things that were in their language off about me. For example, I would wear really lose clothes, so lose that my jeans appeared as track pants, I had hair so short that I didn’t need any combing most of the times, I dressed too simple. Getting into a college after a school is a completely different thing. For 17 years I had worn the same uniform everyday, except Tuesday and Friday that were Sports Day in my school. I never had to choose between how the clothes would match with one another or if they looked good on me. I never cared for how I looked because that wasn’t important for me. I remember on the first day of my college, it was the orientation day and I called my other friend to ask what we were to wear. Was there any dress-code or any uniform that we had to buy from a shop the college had recommended. I remember then asking my mother to take out clothes for me to wear that day. I was so nervous about the uniform that I kept on noticing the clothes of everyone around. That was new for me. Even frightening than the idea of a college. A college for me was another place to study. That was what I thought of what a college would be and also I had some ideas from the movie Main Hun Na. It had released some time back and I remember it vividly because that scene where Mr Shahrukh adjusts his hair and talks with his brother Mr Zayed Khan. I thought of college as a fun place. Moreover, Mr Zayed Khan had long hair in the movie which was also the factor I wanted long hair. Time passed and I adjusted through the college, made some friends and got involved in the daily routine. But now another challenge came up. Years of sitting at the table and no physical activity took a toll on my health and I was way too obese. I had adjusted myself to the usual mockery but maybe times had changed and I decided to do something about it. Six months and 24 kgs later I had transformed myself from this

To this….

I was much more confident than before and had started to grab some eyeballs. I now had started to get a haircut from the shops away from home. It was my friend who pushed me through it. I remember going in a Saloon my friend had recommended. The very formal setting of the saloon was new for me. I was greeted at the reception, then taken to the chair. Other person came to take me to wash my hair. I was clueless why he wanted to wash my hair before the haircut. I was taught that you always washed your hair after getting a haircut. He asked me to lie down on a sofa that had a washbasin attached to its other end. I lied down and the person started to wash my hair. He was kind enough to ask if the water wasn’t too hot or too cold. My hair was washed and I was taken to another sofa and the person who had to cut my hair came. He greeted me again and asked me what style I wanted. This was a big question and I remember looking back at my friend who was watching me. He quickly came near to me and said something to the barber and he started to cut it. The end result was pretty good and I was really excited. It was my first experience with such a costly haircut. That changed me. I still go there. Haha. The following was the result.

But still keeping long hair was a dream and still I wasn’t sure if I would be allowed in my home if i did something of that sort. Haha. However, I did start growing my hair. It was easy at first because I had to do nothing. They kept on growing and ai was involved in my daily classes. They grew to an extent then which was noticeable.

Some months later this came.

And then in some days as my parents left all hope of seeing me get a haircut, I thought why not give my beard a chance as well. Haha. I clicked this to see how bad I could look. Haha

I grew a little longer this than the one you see in the above picture. My parents had given up on me, my neighbours had started to ask me if I was growing my hair for some type of Mannat 😝😝 and my brother would pull my beard whenever he got the chance, mind you not the hair but the beard. Haha

The above two images were taken during my trip to Triund, a short trek from Mcleodganj, Himachal Pradesh. After coming back from this trip, I thought my affair with long hair had to go. Haha. I remember the face of mother and my father when I got a haircut. My mother kissed my forehead many times as if her boy had met her after a long time. Haha. The barber who was cutting my hair asked me atleast thrice if I wanted my hair that small, a picture I had showed him the way i wanted my hair. After a gap of about 3 years I took a haircut and it looked like this.

Everyone was delighted especially my parents. Haha. I kept this haircut for another year and then started growing them again. Haha. But this time it wasn’t so long. This is the most recent image. I kept growing them for six months straight.

But took a haircut this Friday, it was a little too fashionable for me. But I am glad I got it. This time again my barber who has been my barber for four years now, asked me the same. Bhaiya you want it so short. But this time he asked me once. Haha

I know many people who had started to read this post must have left a long time ago because it might come to some as I am boasting off. That’s an opinion and I respect all opinions. I have grown to acknowledge the opinions that come from other people that have made me grow as a person. Had I been full of ignorance the opinions would have never changed me. I have always respected the positive and negative comments that I have faced during my time. Sometimes some were too overwhelming for me but I have learnt which one to let me affect. I used to believe in inertia, that a person cannot change the situation that they are in and was too comfortable in that respective situation. However, the outside force, the society has been driving force for all my transformations. I am still pretty much the same boy who had left his school for college. I respect every being, love those who love me but still changed and still transforming. The growth process is organic. It learns from the environment around you, gives you feedback and may turn you into someone you can look up to or someone you might be scared from. The choice sometimes is ours, sometimes choices are forced on us. But generally the choices you take afterwards matter. The choices you would take the first time when you are presented with a situation. Should I help that elderly who is facing troubles changing a tyre in the middle of the road, should I raise my voice in an argument, will calling my server sir lower down my respect. The choice eventually lies with you and you will be the one who will have to live with the results, whether good or bad. Everything here what you have read are my way of telling you that it’s okay to be obese, to be not satisfied with your current situation because opportunities will come to you once you choose to let them in your lives. I had a choice to be obese for the rest of my life. I took a decision and implemented it. However, some days would come when you wouldn’t want to follow your dreams. Take rest in those days. Whatever weight I had lost I gained back again due to stress and many other factors. I had loosened my guard. And it’s perfectly fine because at the end we still are humans and humans make mistakes. I am still working on my other transformation but yes this time I am a lot more body positive than before. Believe me when I say this, if you believe that your body is changing it will change. I have lost 8 kgs in one month with this mindset and of course lots of exercise and diet.

So what was the motive of this post?

I just wanted to tell you, you are okay, you are perfect, the world is a twisted place. Don’t believe everything you hear or see. Try to trust your guts they are your most helpful friends. Don’t stop working on yourself. Try to find happiness in small things because that’s what I really do. Food from five star hotel may not sometimes satisfy you than a ₹5 burger from a stall you think is highly unhygienic. Trust me you’ll lose that extra pound, get that dream job or find a loving partner(I say this even for most of my life I have been single and still single. Haha. 😂😂) as long as you are working. Even if it means a step a day or crawling slowly. Nothing matters, what others opine about you or even what you think of yourselves. Once you start working on yourself everything will fall into background. This process mind you, is very addictive. You may leave it for sometime but eventually you will come back.

If I were to go back to that nervous Harsh back 9 years, the first day of his college, I would hug him and tell him that he will be okay. Each act of kindness creates a ripple in the sands of time that will stand the test of every sin committed or will be committed. I will tell him that it’s okay to not be a part of the herd and think differently. It’s okay not to disrespect someone for fun or litter even when no one’s watching. I would tell him to forgive himself for any mistakes he had committed or will commit but will tell him to learn from them, try to implement them in his life. Be kind to others but start with yourself. And most of all, I’ll ask him to find joy wherever he is at, trust in the process and that he will soon meet wonderful people that will become his family. Have faith.

And for those of you who have very kindly read till the last, please leave a comment. I would love to talk with you. 😇

With lots of love,

Kumar Harsh

Heal

How do you save a soul that’s trying to harm itself,
You listen to the desires deep that have burned for eternities,
The voices shut, muted, strangulated in their sweet sleep,
You ask if the things that keep them up at night will bring them peace,
Once they had their days with them,
The memories, traumas and expectations of millionth scope,
Walk with them when they see no reason to see the Sun,
Energy escapes them and they look for crevices to hide,
Soiled, cold and filled with rotting blood,
They find comfort in disgrace,
Embarrassment is their phobia,
Heights have amazed them,
Darkness their friend,
Bring them flowers filled with scents of the sky,
Ice creams that fill up their bellies with butterflies,
They don’t know when was the last time they had a candlelit dinner,
An opera just for them,
So how do you really save a soul that wants to harm itself,
This world no longer of their use,
The food doesn’t entice their tongues,
The warmth of the skin shrivels their mind,
You love them,
Just like a being loves another being,
Just like the Moon loves the Sun,
It burns due to the Sun,
Enlightens the dark with its presence,
A soul identifies with just the energy,
And it attaches itself to it,
You love them until they begin to love themselves,
And maybe love them beyond,
Piece by piece,
Atom by atom,
They heal,
A soul will eventually heal…..

Canvas

He painted her a picture,
With him and her together,
Palaces set in grasses green,
The daffodils grew on the walls,
And birds nested in its windows high,
The sky was blue, violet and pink,
The villages had people merry,
Who worked hard for their princess,
The dresses she wore,
The scrumptious food on her plate,
He brought her stars from galaxies far,
The planets as her moon,
The Sun in her mirror,
He gleamed as she glowed,
She was enough for him,
Her smiles made his days,
The nights and even his dreamlights,
But love isn’t sufficient,
For the world judges the capacity of a chalice,
The wine it can hold,
The shinier the merrier,
Or some incoherent facts,
That they want to be true,
For love isn’t easy they say,
Love falls from the sky,
Onto the belly of the ocean,
Into our mouths,
And through our hearts to become,
Mountains, the volcanoes, the craters on the Moon,
Love isn’t difficult,
For it flows,
Just like water flows through crevices,
And fields of corn, the slimy clay,
Only to meet the Ocean,
The one that has loved her and would love her for eternities,
The salt in the ocean is their proof,
Love creates ripples in annals of time,
And binds the fate of two,
Unknown to other,
One born from the glaciers,
The other fell from the sky,
He continued to fall for her,
As she grew bigger than the canvas,
Slowly falling out of the sky,
Onto his palette of colors,
A color he may use,
Whenever his love would fall short,
His brushes still trace her,
Finger seldom forget touch so serene……

आख़िर कैसा है प्यार …?

वो प्यार प्यार नहीं,
तोड़ के जिसने ही,
झँझोर के भी,
आसमान में उड़ा के,
पटका ना हो ज़मीन पे कभी,

सुकून भी उतना ही हो उसमें,
जितनी बेचैनी ही,
पत्थर को खुदा जो बना देता भी है,
गुमशुदा कर देता वोही,

सौ उम्र भी जो दिखाता है,
हर रोज़ फ़ना करता वोही,
जान ले लेता है,
कर देता है अमर भी वोही,

हर किसी के नसीब में कहाँ,
लिखा है इश्क़ ऐसा कोई,
तुम-मैं तो ज़रिया हैं,
मुकम्मल इश्क़ किसी का,
शायद होगा इश्क़ ऐसा भी कोई…..

Glass

He closed his eyes,
As the water slowly gripped his waist,
She held his hands as they shivered with cold,
No one was there to help,
Darkness slowly ate up any light,
And Moon was their only companion,
What will happen to us?
He asked as he struggled to stay still,
We will get through this,
She had commented,
Nothing can tear us apart,
We are the Gypsies of space,
Gravity fails on us,
We’ll fly and touch the skies,
Sooner than you can think,
She kissed him as he closed his eyes,
The water upto their chin,
Their hands still holding each other,
The rain had stopped the second day,
As water receded through the valleys,
The worst is over my love,
She said,
As they slowly moved out of the silt,
Don’t you ever let go off my hand,
He said as he thanked his stars,
I will not till the planets stop revolving around the sun,
And beyond,
We are gypsies of space,
We hold the power to let it create us,
Or turn us to dust,
Until you are mine,
And I am yours,
We shall overcome the hurdles,
The universe throws at us,
You be the sand,
And let me be the fire,
Our love will be glass,
Both coloured and crystalline…..

This is the 400th poem I have written. A feat I never thought I could achieve. Hope you enjoy this one. Thank you. 😇

Thousand Suns…

Her moist lips would always leave a mark on my facade,
She loved pressing up against me,
Trying to kiss me,
As I leant on for her,
Everything around would fade away,
The noises, people, eyes burning,
The hearts would beat in sync,
Faster than the tiptoeing horses,
That ran towards the horizon in the Greenland,
I would notice sometimes,
How a smile would appear on her face,
Everytime she came closer to me,
Her eyes shut as she lay on my chest,
My breathing made her sane,
She had told me a day we rested on the porch,
My eyes would sometimes meet hers,
The calm that I could see,
The ferocity some other,
It was easy getting lost in her,
The infinity of her long hair,
The sweet fragrance of her,
Everything about her reminded how can little things become important,
The little hairband, her kohl, the way she bit her lips,
She would always ask,
Why didn’t I speak to her,
Whenever we strolled through the woods,
A smile would form on my face,
The smile of satisfaction,
The way earth would whenever rain fell on it,
Filling up the valleys with messages from the heavens,
Subsiding the heat that had burned its fields,
Clearing up the sky,
Do I need to,
I would say as I held her hand,
And she, she would melt away,
Even though she glimmered of the thousand suns……

Light…..

The nights, the days all come back to me,
As I try to slither through the darkness,
Of mind, the heart or those billion dreams,
Your voice calls my name,
The sweet, serene and the melodies all,
My wings open to a majestic length,
The storm that’s keeping them packed,
Rains that moisten feathers oh so soft,
A distinctive light evaporates the dew of doubt,
The wind that keeps me afloat,
Takes me to places that make me soar,
And as I close my eyes to see you,
The light stretches my pupils to distances immense,
Your voice calls my name,
And the light guides me home……

बेचैनी….

कुछ अलग सी बेचैनी है,
मैं पूछता भी हूँ इससे,
पर ये बोलती नहीं,
ना जाने क्यूँ रूठी है,
क्यूँ बात नहीं करती,

कुछ अलग सी बेचैनी है,
सर झुका के बैठी है कहीं,
सिसक-सिसक के रात इसने काटी,
सुबह थक के सो जाती है,
पता नहीं कल रात इसने खाना खाया की नहीं,

ना जाने किसके ख़याल में खोई है,
किसका इंतेज़ार इसे है,
सुलग-सुलग के इसने ज़माने काटे हैं,
फ़िर सुबह सूरज देख के ना जाने क्या सोचती है,

कुछ अलग सी बेचैनी है,
शायद मेरी नहीं,
शायद तुम्हारी नहीं,
पता नहीं फ़िर किसकी है,
कुछ अलग सी बेचैनी है……

Her, the complete story…..

It was a dark night. The dogs cried as something vociferous had just passed by them. Their unrest was felt even by the sleeping babies in cradles, the mothers who were tired and slept along with them, woke up to the sound of their babies crying. They immediately took their baby out from the cradle only to comfort them, rocking them to and fro, close to their chest, a mother’s warmth can do wonders, they say. But the babies won’t stop crying. This happened in every house in the small riverine town. Lights were lit across the town as everyone got up. The men of the house took out their torches and lit them with the courage they had to, their families meant everything to them, their families wanted them to protect them. They called out each other’s name as everyone was familiar with everyone in the town. It was a small town, closely knit, strongly held. What it could be in the middle of night, asked Mr Krazinsky. Maybe an owl had set the dogs howling, assumed Mr Reggie. Or it could be “Her”, an old, ancient voice came from the back of the gathering. But wasn’t she killed Mr Roary, said one of them. We never found her body. It was if she had vanished into thin air, said Mr Roary. Who is “Her”? a young boy had asked. His mother quickly lulled his voice. Shush, come back here. Don’t you have to sleep? But mother, I want to know who is “Her”? a curious little kid had just stunned some elders. They were silent for a moment. The sight of her was in their eyes. This night would be a long one, Mr Roary had remarked. The mothers quickly took their younger ones and they all went inside the already dilapidated church, where their prayers were answered, where the lost were found, where the dead were departed. The other half of the community, the women, held their hands together and started to pray. O Lord give us the strength, give us the strength to fight the unnatural, the devil is upon us, he is catching onto us, protect our babies, protect our husbands, brothers and fathers, protect us, help us. It was almost as if they had started to lose hope, prayer was the only thing that was keeping them sane. The men closed the doors. Bolt the door very firm, they said, we will knock five times when we want you to open, do not open the doors even if anyone calls your name, we will be alright as long as you don’t open the doors. They took their torches and every weapon they could find. Pitchforks, shovels and Mr Roary took out his gun, the only gun in town. What Shall we do? asked everyone from the elders. Let’s join hands and pray to the lord first to give us the strength to tackle “Her”. Let’s first move to the river, let’s see if the dam is intact. They cautiously moved towards the dam that was built even before Mr Roary. I wasn’t born when the dam was built, he would tell the children when they would try to ask him about his dam, while he smoked tobacco under the shade of the enormous Mango tree, that too was there before him. The kids would call Mr Roary ” The White Seal” as his teeth all his teeth had fallen down, his beard touched his chest and he barely moved. He was seen on most days near the Mango tree or near the dam. As if his routine was fixed, his focus points were two. The men slowly inched towards the dam. One of them carefully climbed down the dam to check for any damages. I don’t see any, he shouted from below. Did you find anything strange there? Mr Roary had asked. Nothing Sir, the man said. Wait! Wait!, there is a piece of cloth here. How does it look?, the temperatures were rising, the cold of the night had slipped under their noses, sleep ran away like a frightened rabbit. It looks old, torn in between, I cannot see, there isn’t much light. It’s HER. Mr Roary screamed. She was here. Quickly Alex, Shut down the valves, we shouldn’t drink the water. She must have poisoned it. She is indeed the Devil, She doesn’t need to live, Death to the witch, Burn in hell, the crowd had started chanting. The dull, scared faces now had an immense energy. Let’s find her and burn her and make a memory of her that our future generations will never forget.

Mr Roary took his gun in his hands and addressed the gathering, Today we shall free the village from the fear of her, Today we shall begin to live in peace, Today we will make her day end, We will burn her and dance on her grave. Let’s follow the any trails, bring out the dogs, let them smell the piece of cloth and let them guide us to her. Mr Krazinsky brought his ferocious dogs from his barn. They were so strong that two men had to hold one of them. These two puppies from the same mother had grown immensely, Mr Krazinsky had been feeding them all kinds of meat even before teeth had grown in their mouths. Mr Krazinsky and the other men took the piece of cloth that they had found in the dam close their noses. The dogs already anxious from all the energy of the crowd, quickly sniffed the cloth and immediately started growling and barking. They sense something sinister, Mr Roary remarked as he loaded his gun. Let them loose, he said, let’s see where they take us. But Mr Roary what if they get lost in the woods, they are very dear to me and my little girls, Mr Krazinsky was concerned about the dogs. He had made them since they were too young even to walk. Every day they would run to him when he would come back to the house from work, they would lick his face and his hands and jump in happiness on his glimpse. His daughters would sometimes dress the dogs in frocks so pretty that Mr Krazinsky would smile ear to ear. They’ll be fine, Mr Roary assured Mr Krazinsky, after all they are so powerful beasts of nature. With a heavy heart Mr Krazinsky let loose their leash and the dogs started running. Quick, follow them, they will lead us to her, the crowd had started to run after them. I’ll sit near the church for the women need to be protected, Mr Roary remarked. Carry on Lads, he had said. But what will we do if we find her, Mr Krazinsky asked Mr Roary. You’ll be fine as long as you don’t let her touch you, she fears fire and the pitchforks will keep her at bay, Just catch her and bring her to me, I’ll know what to do, Mr Roary took a chair, took out his cigar and sat on the door of the Church. The dogs are getting away, a voice in the crowd remarked. Let’s go, Mr Krazinsky quickly started to follow his dogs. The dogs were loyal enough to sense that their owner was coming for them, they stopped at the entrance of the forest and waited for their owner. Mr Krazinsky patted their heads and they started walking, sniffing the air and the soil on the ground. The forest had been off limits for every citizen of the village because they had always feared of what was in the woods. Since they were little babies their mothers and their mothers before them had told them stories of giants that would eat human heads for breakfast or werewolves that would look like humans but would change into flesh eating beasts as long as dusk settled in. Nobody dared to set foot in the woods, they all celebrated life and the little joys of life. The forest was since a abode for the vagabonds, the outlaws that weren’t ever accepted in the society that the village had grown to become. There was no marking of any path, everywhere grass had covered the soil, the algae on others that were moist. Everyone started to chant their prayers as they slowly moved inside, following Mr Krazinsky and his dogs. Atta Boys, he would say every time they stopped for him as he was left behind. Slow Down Mr Krazinsky, the people following him would remark, you are going too fast. Be Quick, Mr Krazinsky would say, we have to end this today. They got deeper and deeper into the woods. The forest untouched by any human presence looked serene and beautiful. Wild roses had grown on the trees that had fallen, the river flowing was so clear that you could see the fishes swimming in it, the thick canopy of the trees almost didn’t let any moonlight in, although it was enough for them to see each other’s faces. I don’t think we will find her today, its already too late, she must be asleep, I too want to sleep, a voice remarked. Let’s go back to our families, we have kids to feed, a family to take care of, let’s do this in the day. Everyone had started to feel tired and scared. They all wanted to go back to their families, it was hard for them to accept that they too were scared from all this commotion. I am going back to my family, if anyone wants to follow, they are most welcome, Mr Littlefish had remarked. But, we have to find her before it’s too late, Mr Krazinsky said. Why don’t you carry on? You would be enough for her with both your dogs and the strength you have doing farming. I am just a shopkeeper, I Don’t know how long will I last in-front of her, Mr Littlefish turned back and started walking. Very Well, Whoever wants to stay and fight with me, let’s find her. Mr Krazinsky was stunned to see just a handful people standing with him. Only his most trusted allies, his friends who had been there during his thick and thin. We should go back Shawn, his friends said, it’s not safe, we don’t know what her powers are, we don’t even have a gun, they tried to reason with Mr Krazinsky. I understand your concern, Mr Krazinsky said, but I don’t want to live in fear of her for rest of my life, I don’t want to become Mr Roary. I am following my dogs and if my righteousness permits I shall be conqurous tonight. Mr Krazinsky kept on following his dogs, who never left their owner behind. A few steps in the forest and the dogs stopped walking. They had stopped sniffing and immediately ran back to their owner. What is it Boy, asked Mr Krazinsky as he looked towards his front. There was a house in the middle of the forest that was made entirely of wood, a small vegetable garden was carefully laid near to it, some chickens also sleeping in cages next to the garden. Help Me O Lord, I have found Her, Mr Krazinsky said as he took out his pitchfork and in a position of attention carefully started to move towards the house. His dogs having already sensed a danger followed suit. The house had no lights in it, as if it wore a mask to protect itself. As he walked closer to the house, he felt a tinge on his neck, a cry of the dogs and he fell unconscious to the ground. The smell of burning wood woke him up. He was tied to the tree outside the house and his dogs were caged. They had started to wake up and seeing locked up, started to cry. Don’t worry boys, I’ll get you out of here. That’s when he saw her. Dressed in an old evening gown, she had long hairs that due to years of neglect had entangled among themselves, her face had wrinkles and she could barely stand upright if it was not for the stick she held. Who are you and what are you doing here? She asked in a voice calm. Mr Krazinsky already in a state of shock, couldn’t believe what he saw. She was just an old lady who maybe couldn’t harm anyone. I have come from the village, we had heard stories about you, that you want all of us dead, that you want to take our children and make them your slaves, that you poisoned the dam waters so that the entire village could die and you could feed on their soul, you are the devil, you are the living image of the devil. The lady smirked at Mr Krazinsky because this wasn’t the first time she had heard anyone say that about her. Will you harm me, she asked him. I won’t if you will not harm me, Mr Krazinsky said. She picked up the freshly cut chicken and fed it to the dogs who quickly gobbled up the little cut up pieces. Do You want water? I haven’t poisoned it. She drank it first to assure Mr Krazinsky that it was safe. She carefully fed the water to him. I am sorry that I had to hit you and your dogs with darts. I didn’t know what you might do to me. I had looked around to ensure that you were all alone. Mr Krazinsky still couldn’t believe what he was hearing or seeing. It’s too late to be venturing in this forest. There are poisonous vines that will kill you in blink of an eye, jaguars that will feed on your flesh, she said while heating up a pot. We villagers had come to find and kill you, Mr Krazinsky told the woman. Very well, shall I untie you then, you have a job to do, she said as she grabbed a knife that lay around her. She came near to him and cut his ropes. Mr Krazinsky still weak from the tranquilliser couldn’t get up. If I were you, I wouldn’t get up. She said as she opened the gates of his dogs. The dogs came out wagging their tails and started kissing the woman. Mr Krazinsky was shocked as this was the first time his dogs did that to a stranger. The dogs quickly saw their master and did the same to him.

Here have this, What’s in this, Mr Krazinsky said, it’s just tea, she remarked.

Why didn’t you kill me, Mr Krazinsky was now curious as his whole belief system had started to fall.

You were the only one that followed your dogs and your dogs that followed you, she said. I haven’t seen a connection in time so long, she said. Moreover, the only thing I can kill here in these woods is time and my own mind. I have been living here for God knows how long.

So, the stories about are they all lies. I don’t know what you have heard or from whom you have heard it. They conversed.

How did you end up here? Why do villagers say those thing about you?

Well, my memory betrays me, it was so long that I had lived in a civilisation. But I do remember some bits. I had a father and a mother who thought way ahead of their times. My father was the first person to be educated in the village and he became a doctor. He could earn well and live in the city but he chose to work and help his fellow villagers. He set up a small clinic and very soon he was known around the village for his unconventional methods of treating people. He believed in prayers along with the efficacy of modern medicine. His supplies would come from the city on the horse cart, the driver of which soon became an admirer of my father. The driver had a daughter who he married to my father. My mother was a brilliant young woman and at a time when women were supposed to do the household chores, she learnt medicine and with my father started to work in the clinic. This seriously injured the ego of many around the village, especially the old priests that did nothing except making their subjects fall in the hands of God. I was my parents first born. My birth was celebrated in the village with a feast which wasn’t attended by any soul, as told by my parents. My parents right from the start had started to give me all their knowledge and very soon I was too an educated woman, way ahead of my times. Other parents started to keep their children away from me as they thought I would be a bad influence as I talked about stars, astronomy, the healing power of plants and why thinking logically is the way to go. As I got older, I could see how we were turned into outcastes and one day the water fell off the brim. I remember sleeping peacefully on the first floor when I smelled smoke. My father quickly came running and wrapped me in a blanket. He took me in his arms and we ran to the exit. Where is mother? I remember crying and asking him. He didn’t reply. The doors had been bolted from the front and they didn’t open. We will die, I shrivelled with fear as my father held me close to his chest. He ran off to the roof so as to jump. The villagers had surrounded the house and the head priest was chanting his verses. My father didn’t know what to do. He jumped from the roof of our house and broke a leg. Run Emily, Run, Don’t Look Back, Run to the forest. He screamed until his voice had turned silent. I could hear footsteps coming nearer and nearer. I ran and ran till I entered the forest, the villagers didn’t enter the forest for they knew I couldn’t survive alone in that treacherous forest. I was a child that time. But was intelligent enough to know that I cannot ever go back to the village. I was dead for them and they were dead for me. The first few days in the forest were difficult. I had to hunt for food and shelter but the forest was kind to me.

Mr Krazinsky had tears in his eyes as he heard her story. I am sorry. I am sorry for the acts of my ancestors and those of my fellow villagers. Nobody deserves to be deprived of the love of their parents, no one deserves to live a life so disregarding. I am sorry that we failed you as humans. We didn’t deserve you and your parents. Mr Krazinsky had broken down, maybe the effects of the tranquilizer hadn’t wore down.

It’s okay, she said. Her broken teeth had started to show from the weak smile she had. I have made my peace with it. She sighed. Why did you tell me all of this? You were the only one who asked me who I was. I have been always addressed to as the witch, the devil’s friend, the worshipper of Satan. Also, I absolutely love dogs, they have been my greatest ally in this forest. But not the dogs in your village, for some reason they do hate me. She laughed. I wanted to do so much more for the community I was born in but. She stopped. She didn’t want to explain herself more. It was enough suffering for one lifetime.

What will you do now when you back to your village? She asked Mr Krazinsky. I would tell them about you, you deserve to live your remaining life in a civilisation. I am humbled you think this way, but I believe this is what that’s best for me. She said. Please leave whenever you feel like, or the villagers might come looking for you. I don’t think they will. They still fear the forest. Mr Krazinsky sipped his tea. I’ll just take a short nap and then return back. Mr Krazinsky said. Then get inside the house, you wouldn’t want the mosquitoes to bite, they are poisonous. Where would you sleep, he asked, I have a place, don’t you worry. She closed the doors behind her. I’ll chain your dogs so that they don’t run away. Mr Krazinsky lied down on the cot made of wood and slept. The cry of roaster woke him up and it was already morning. I overslept, he remarked and went outside. He was stunned to find his friends looking for him.

Oh you are here, we were looking for you since the morning. They saw him. Wait, but what were you doing in her house. He is not him, she has taken his form. You Devil, you killed our friend, they started to beat Mr Krazinsky as his dogs cried.  Die you Evil Woman, May you burn in hell.

Mr Krazinsky had started to lose consciousness and soon he slipped into oblivion. Let’s put her into the house and burn her. They dragged Mr Krazinsky and sparked a fire into the house. Burn you Witch. Burn. Mr Krazinsky had started to feel the heat when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Emily was there, she dragged her in through a smoke bomb she had made while she lived. She took him on hand pulled cart and deep down in the valley. Mr Krazinsky slowly opened his eyes to see the house burning. His friends dancing in joy, We have killed the witch, We have Burned the Witch, We Saved the village. Mr Krazinsky opened his eyes the next day and saw his wounds covered up. Emily was sitting there and making ointments for his pain. It’s okay, she said. It took Mr Krazinsky months to recover because of which he was now aware of the ways of the forest. I shall go back, my family still needs me. They won’t ever believe if you are what you used to be. I need to go, I want my family. Very well then, Emily said, you should leave. She said him goodbyes and Mr Krazinsky wore the same clothes he had worn the day his friends tried to burn him, he went to the village next day. The villagers were astonished. Mr Roary was standing there, Wait stop right there, he pointed his gun at him. Tell me who you are. I am Shawn, Mr Roary. But she had killed you. No Mr Roary, she only took my form, I was chained back in her other lair, he said. As soon as my friends killed her, I was free from her, but I was so wounded that I couldn’t move for days. Glad to have you back Shawn. Welcome Home, Mr Roary had lowered his gun. Mr Krazinsky straight away ran to his home. His wife had started to work in the fields and his daughters were working in the house. He couldn’t find his dogs. His heart sank. His wife as soon as she saw him, came running to him and kissed him. Her kiss felt like heaven. The daughters jumped on their father as he swayed them with joy. Where were you? What had happened? Are you Okay? They asked. I am fine, everything is fine. How have you been? Where are the dogs? Mr Krazinsky asked. We are fine now that you are here. They never found the dogs. Your friends said that the witch ate them. Mr Krazinsky was on his knees now. He wanted to cry but tears didn’t drop. I have to tell something to you, we are leaving the village. But why, his wife and daughters asked. Do you trust me? He said. With all our heart, they responded. So pack whatever is necessary, we leave as soon as we can. It was difficult to part with their land and the cattle as rumours had tainted Mr Krazinsky’s image. But he settled for anything he got. His friends came to see him but he couldn’t see now why he was friends with them in the first place. Done with everything, they started to move away from the land where lay their identity. Mr Krazinsky took their cart and slowly steered it away from the village as some came to bid them goodbye. The cart moved in the direction of the city but something came in Mr Krazinsky’s mind, he moved it towards the forest. There’s something I want you all to see. What are you doing? Asked the frightened wife and the daughters. Trust me on this. He said. He slowly took the cart to Emily’s cottage and stopped the cart at her door. His wife came down along with him. I want you to meet Emily, she was the one who saved your husband. Whatever you might hear or whatever you might have heard, she was the one who brought me back from the dead. His wife hugged Emily as both of them cried their hearts out. I want you to come with us, said Mr Krazinsky as he held back his tears. I would be honoured to. Emily said. Wait one moment, I have a surprise for you. She went to the back of the cottage, whistled and came running the two most special friends to Mr Krazinsky. His dogs had returned. He was now crying and sobbing like a little girl. You love them more than me, his wife remarked laughing hysterically.

 

 

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Tides….

The Moon had asked the Earth one day,
What do you see in me?
I am full of craters deep,
I cannot support life,
My heart is cold and dead,
The Earth smiled,
Pulled it closer and said,
The life on me will be enough for both of us,
I’ll warm you in nights cold,
My heart will beat faster for you,
A promise from you is all I ask,
The Moon was stunned,
For long she had been all alone,
My days will be yours,
Your nights mine,
The Earth had said,
You rise my tides,
And I bury your dead……