Language Festival 2018
Rya Ray

95

quotes

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YourQuote
YourQuote
I wonder for how long dead skin cells can stay hidden in beds, mangled with the carcass of tiny insects and morsels of food that slipped into folds of the mattress you seldom bothered to clean? Can they somehow last for years before rainwater from a window left open washes them off or before the angry ceiling fan, tired of the summer, blows them off for good? I know the odds aren't in my favor, but there are the odds of the fact that while today I sleep on this bed, in some way, I get to fall asleep with you. The odds aren't much. They aren't even enough. But we were alive at the same time. We met and we loved each other. We spent days looking at each other's faces and touching each other's arms whenever we could. We said the same things at the same time, so many times. So today when they tell me, that the odds aren't enough, I'll tell them I like to believe in miracles.

What are the odds?

दो लड़के थे मोहल्ले के
प्यार किया करते थे तुझसे।
तू चिड़िया थी, खुली-आज़ाद सी,
वो मकड़ी के जाले में फंसे पतंगें।
तू अंग्रेजी किताबें पढ़ा करती थी,
वो हिंदी गीत सुना करते थे।

तुम शहर गई,
वो ठहर गए।
ख़ाली से कितने
दोपहर गए।

एक डुबा आया बातें तेरी
रातों की सस्ती जाम में,
एक डूब गया कविताओं में
लिख-पढ़ के तेरे नाम में।

मोहल्ला।

'Dadu-Didun'


There are two seven lever locks on the gate to what used to be my grandparents' place. It takes me twenty steps to reach the doormat, but only a breath to find what it takes to not ring the bell. I think I know what's left behind are three rooms and zero souls. When there are too many memories, you choose to mention none, like how when you have too much hair fall, you just stop looking at your comb. Childhood, running free inside doors that won't open. I see my four year old self frock-clad, guilt free sitting in the corner from where I could see what's going on in the kitchen and smile when I found out it's rice porridge and fish for lunch and my world would be perfect, and I would be the best version of happy.

Dadu-Didun.

If someone comes to you
and someday tells stories
of being touched out of turn
don't tell them,
"It happens to everyone."
because if it does, it shouldn't
and you out of all
the empty souls
know it goddamned well.

Things not to say.

Like how 
days become nights
and nights become days,
you swing between 
being someone who leaves
and someone who stays.

Aani jaani, hai kahaani.

Sometimes when I look back,
I feel like a snow flake
that you didn't care to catch in your palm,
and now that it's been a while,
you tell everyone
the snow is too goddamn hard.

Snowfall.

Nine lines.
Each for a lifetime
we've lived so far.
Nine words.
"We get through life
and life goes past us."
Nine breaths.
Four I breathed, four I didn't
and another that got lost
somewhere in a kiss.

Migrating old write ups to YourQuote. Artwork noticed at: https://www.facebook.com/beartofficial/

The bike is going pretty fast. I still can't feel the air in my lungs. Do we breathe through our lungs or through our mind? Have you lost count of steps on your way home? Have your feet felt tired than they ever have? I can tell my heart is beating fast. Making my breaths jump and hop to keep up with it. The passage of time dilates during such moments. The people fade out and the noises amplify. The seconds stretch or pass by too quick. I can't tell. It feels like it's been a week since I've opened my eyes. Every voice sounds like somebody is laughing at you. It's like fingernails on blackboards, only in silence. Just the shiver of it. Like screeching power brakes. Like dropping cookie jars from the shelf, by mistake. This has to be a mistake. It is. It is. You can hear your breath coming back. You don't realize how many people have asked you if you're okay. Your cheeks are aching for tears you couldn't let out. You feel too bad to introduce this side of you to the society.
This part of you called anxiety.

This part of me.

I haven't written well in the past few months. I haven't written at all. I don't mind that. I just miss the feeling of that last full stop, that last metaphorical sign off. Maybe I do mind not writing after all. There's so much I'm running away from. So much I need to do. So many people I haven't responded to. So many songs that I've put off for later to a point where they remind me of how incapable I am of ping off the task of something as simple as hitting the 'play' button. Maybe this is the new 'All work and no play'. I'm scared I won't be able to write a decent poem ever again. I feel each poem I don't write bleed into the next one not written. I don't like ice cream any more. Or chocolates. But I have them anyway. I pull myself out of bed anyway. Why wake up when you'll have to go back to bed? Every time I don't cry when I watch the news these days, I feel I become a little bit more of stone; a little more relieved about how sleep is a constant. It stays.
One day it stays long enough.

What is long enough, really?

I have come to believe
beautiful things
are beautiful
even when
we don't
understand them.
Especially then.


Light is caught
somewhere between
a particle and a wave,
yet we trust
it enough and say
"Lights will guide you home."

Art with science.