Two Poems

– Anonymos


Some days it is intense
Passionate and ferocious and all-encompassing
Nothing not it had ever mattered,
nor ever will.

Calm the very next
An undercurrent of peace in the mind’s ripple-free lake
Everything in its warm mental embrace,
The world is painted golden.

On yet others, it slips in the background
playing hide and seek like a 3-year-old with no patience
heepishly running out time and again,
In excitement and glory and wonder.

And yet it is unmistakably, unquestionably, undoubtedly, all the same
Manifesting differently as particles and waves
Halting the Universe for the briefest of instants,
Making heartbeats skip and pupils dilate.


I asked the centipede,
“Why do you keep walking?
So far, so steady, so busy
What is it you cannot find
right next to where you are?”
It replied, with a soft smile,
“why do you?”


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Things that should be funny


–Baleful Basilisk

Silence is a funny thing

It has a way of acquiring meaning.

It has a friend called Stillness.

If you remain with Silence for too long,

She comes along after a while.


It’s funny how silence can be enforced.

A logical solution in this world,

Where we, one of the most inefficient species

On the planet, decide:

We want our inefficiency to be efficient.


Funnily enough, the same comparison applies

To classes of human beings:

Haves and have-nots. Men and Women.

Silence is often for those who have-not

While those who “have” scream at the top of their lungs.


It’s like we are really children,

With the added ability to have sex.

And added incentive to control other people.

People with candies scream because the shape isn’t right.

While a world of hungry children,

Would be glad for a rotten piece of bread.


Silence is often assumed to be a characteristic.

And it is, but not acquired by choice.

Invisible threads of privilege support our puppet shows.


It’s funny how we all forget,

That plants grown without water and nutrition,

Or without fertile symbiotic soil,

Tend to die or become stunted.

Consciousness is funny,

You think it’s you.


Strange when you are half-supported by the best threads.

And the other half is dangling because some cheap paper tore up.

Perspective is the funniest. It gives rise to other inefficiencies.


Like empathy.

It’s giving somebody your threads,

Because you think they have only paper.

An inefficient process for someone,

Who cannot prevent their threads from being stolen.

And with people who paste paper over threads,

To maximise capital.


I don’t speak of Stillness very often, though.

Because stillness is love.

And I like to protect that segment of my existence

From the multi-level system of inefficient puppets.

That measures everything by efficiency,

Which is just a justification for inefficiency, in the end.


Love is the calm that washes over me,

When I don’t have to be a puppet.

It’s a rare, unintended side effect,

Of partial isolation. It’s lying down with my parents,

In silence, saying nothing, absorbed in thought.

But still not alone. Its when my silence breaks for a moment,

And the whole world doesn’t matter.


Stillness is delicate. It spoils with display.

They call it love. But their love is not stillness,

The calm of not having threads.

It’s pulling an act for the benefit,

Of nobody. Not for enjoyment.

For entertainment.

Subtle distinctions are funny.


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About Her


–Baleful Basilisk

Sunshine doesn’t burn her.

She has thick skin.

But the wind comes in,

It enters her without a conscience, without care,

Making it ache where it still can.


I look at her, there are so many images.

I have lost count and I have lost care.

I don’t understand why it all comes to this for her.


Sometimes, she smiles as she peers,

She is a child, I don’t understand her.

She makes a graceful pattern

Out of everything as if

It does not matter to her whether you throw a stone

Or a knife, Or a petal.

She has learnt how one can change into the other,

In a moment’s glance, a single act.


I made a home for her,

And she made heaven out of earthly things.

In a quiet ecstasy, I watched her grow

Faded scars and bright lights.

She looked so strong, I let her out

And she ran out joyfully.


Rolling down with glee,

She was forgetting me a little,

She was lost in someone else.

Her memory is by necessity

Short and unsteady.

With a tendency to repeat mistakes,

In the name of kindness.


I didn’t see her for days,

I missed her. It was cold here,

I managed with coffee and books.

She took all the music with her.

I was happy though, for I am old

And her joy gives me life.


Yesterday, the door knocked.

She was there.

My child, in a tattered cloak.

Her music stolen and her heart cold.

I looked and though I embraced her warmly

It doesn’t seem to make a difference.


I wish I could convince the winds

To neither love nor hate her.

Just let her be, in the quiet calm

She creates for herself and her many loves,

Where her best thoughts mould her world,

And sometimes reality.


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Fixing a Hole

– Onanistic Okapi


When I heard that
Dark Souls was getting remastered,
I felt my heart
(and this is no joke)
drop into the pit of my stomach
and leap back up into my throat.
A d
ull thudding and
the surging of
fresh arterial blood,
and all those years
dropping away like scabs
from an old wound.

If only I could be
so grossly
of course, but also)
that I could express even a little
of why that should be so!
Sing in me, Muse,
and through me tell
the story of
all those nights,
those dark, heart-stopping nights,
huddled up in front of
dim screens,
striking out when you can,
and when patience wears thin.

Those terrible nights you
could do nothing
but fall,
when you keep
slipping up
and misjudging the bounds;
down, down,
crushed to the ground
no matter how hard you tried.
Those sleepless nights
you spent on forums
and tutorials
and the like,
convinced you were
doing something wrong
but just what that was
remained yet to be seen.
Those disquieting nights
when you would just
throw up your hands
in sheer frustration
and switch things around radically,
try out unseemly weapons and crazy tactics
and drastic changes to your character,
and you would get
clubbed into the ground again,
but worse than usual, somehow.

But you must sing too, then,
of the delicate, sensual nights,
when everything seems
to be going your way,
when you find yourself
on inroads you
never even knew were there.
Of when death can’t seem
to touch you,
of when the doomed world
(and all its doomed inhabitants)
seem as warm and snug and inviting
as your bed back home,
of when you can dance your way
around the pain,
(and dole it out
in equal measure,
if you so please),
of losing yourself
and timelessly.

And even when you’re done
and finished,
you’re left looking for
the same things
in all that you see,
that perfect balance
between patience
and just being, like,
a complete bitch all the time, you know?
Yes, I have
had my way with her sisters two and three,
wandered the shores of Cuphead,
taken a dip into Hollow Knight,
frolicked in the meadows of Titan Souls,
dabbled in Salt and Sanctuary,
I’ve done it all
and something is always missing,
something itches just the wrong way,
something is always off,
something is never just right.

So I must return now
to her once more,
after all this time I kept
myself away;
to lose everything
all over again, to find
myself anew.
For ‘tis a
cruel mistress
I seek, and I
must prepare to pay
in flesh and blood and soul,
for ‘tis what
she demands of me,
that grim, ghastly goddess
of mine.
(But I shall give them gladly)
For if there’s one thing
I’ve learned from Dark Souls,
it’s that:
If one is doomed for a certain time to walk the earth
and when everything is already doomed anyway,
the only way from there is up.
And a
lso, of course, git gud.


To the girl who sits across from me

at the lab
and has that smile
that’s just right in all the wrong ways
or wrong in all the right ways,
I write these lines for you,
that you may stumble upon them
someday, somewhere,
and find these
moments and glimpses of you
that I wished to crystallize
in my hapless, infantile words,
to be pleasing, perhaps,
or even mildly amusing,
for that is all
I could bear to ask of you.

You, the namesake
of an unusual, calm river,
with aptly wavy hair.
Yes, you, of the
feminist blog and the thick lenses.
You, of the
bright eyes like fathomless oceans.
You, of the
peerless, sultry bloom of youth,
and the forbidding, steely tongue
that comes with.
You, of the
acid wit and snappy retorts,
half-whispered underbreath.

How did you drop into my life
so simply and yet irrevocably,
like the petals of a jasmine blossom
onto a prickly lawn?
How have you spread your roots
so far and so quick?
You dwell in my dreams so,
(and so often)
and when I awaken
they still keep the
hollow of your form.
Like waves thrashing against cliffs,
my thoughts return to you,
(and only you)

I dig my toes into the sand
on your banks, afraid
to venture any further,
to be swept away
and tossed about in the currents,
to wash up, gasping for breath,
on some unknown shore.
I fear too
the thirst I seem to
have brought along
for you,
(and only you);
it is relentless and unquenchable.
So I stay here,
and watch your spectacles
mist up when you laugh,
and I wonder if I shall someday
gather myself up
and brave your surging waters.
Tomorrow, tomorrow,
(you of the)
endless tomorrows.

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A house of mirrors inside the madhouse

I stand there quietly,

but not quite calm as I see her.


Draped in a costume, a chain on her neck, padlocks on her soul

Standing with candy.  

Sticky, sloshy gel for them to suck from a glittery wrapper

Her soul and brain smoking it up

Smuggled stuff inside a cold cellar, where her heart used to be.


She was smiling long ago in a green field, with the crops tickling her legs

Her dress fluttering, a little too fast, a little too high.

Blinking, eyes full of light and the warmth of love.

As air rushed in and out on its’ own whim, probing her mind.  

Minds don’t heal in flurries of snow, I don’t think yours has.

Mine rolled up like an armadillo, hiding the parts you probed for.


Now, she is black, shrouded in mystery.

Not a glamorous dress, but a veil of deception.

Sudden tremors from her spine travel up as she counts, adds and multiplies.

Lucifer whispers into her ear, a little too close for comfort. The world has hidden itself.

It always does, many spines together often add up to no spine at all.


Inside her, the child was sitting in a corner, under the bed

A slight coughy tremble and tear-stained eyes round with wonder and joy

As the world underwent metamorphosis. Broomsticks, elves and strange lands tickling her mind.

And she looked outside, my only flame. Then she saw me, and broke into a smile.

A smile I answered with a laugh, as Mother bent under with coaxing eyes

And my blurry, crazy world, for a few moments, couldn’t twist my mind


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Unbroken Rule and Broken Desire

— Skylark, the entangled soul

I thought you to be the most precious unbroken rule

Surrounded by walls outside the exclamation

Most carefully designed, beyond imagination

Imagination that lies in the silent shout

Trying to push me so hard to come out of the desires

Screaming desire to see you inside out

Desire to find a loop hole in the sophisticated architecture of the wall;

All the things, all the missing wills I want to know at all the times.

desire of dying to make your portrait in the canvas

hidden in the very core of my mind.

I can see your conscious intelligence

But I am in love with the curiosity of knowing

all your qualities, your attributes and your evilism

in a coherent manner;

before going into a failed love

willing to spend some time with you

to have The Last Supper

Or just like The Last Ride Together

So as to maintain a sustained imagination with harmony there after ever!

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Yamlokic Intervention

Death as an experience is totally over-hyped.

My expectations from ‘snuffing out’ are rather too abstract to be conveyed in their entirety, but they involve something of an ethereal separation of body and soul, the latter finally unfettered of its earthly bonds. I likened it to the sensation one has on a roller coaster that is about to descend from the global maxima in its curved track. High hopes, basically.

So I can safely say that dying was a sheer disappointment. First came excruciating pain. And then some more. And some more, until I thought that I’d rather die than die. Then I felt a great constriction, like I was being forced out of a garden hose with its end pinched. Later I came to know it was my soul escaping my body out of some really small orifice.

Then darkness engulfed me, making me one of its own.

There was no dramatic exit, no rising up like a puff of smoke for a last skyward journey, no final nostalgic glance. But what was more disappointing was that there was no sudden burst of understanding. No closure. I was left confused over how and why I’d died while working on my laptop, and if I’d died why I had not dissolved into oblivion but was floating in that white room.

I say room for want of a better word, but it was more like a white expanse extending indefinitely in all directions. And I say that ‘I’ was floating but it wasn’t my physical self. In fact I couldn’t even have been two eyeballs hanging in space, because I didn’t see the whiteness of the room. I felt it. It seemed like whatever mode of sense I had was getting accustomed to the new fabric around me.

Fabric which was beginning to contort madly.

A lot of things happened at once. Things began to take shape and colour around me, forming what was an actual room this time. And in the centre of that room, beaming at me stood Dhinchak Pooja.

“I can’t believe you’re actually here!” she said.

If things are escalating quickly for you, you can’t even begin to imagine what it was like for The room was a sort of an ancient dungeon, with walls of grey stone. Fire burned in four caskets that hung on the wall, granting only dim light to the surroundings. But Dhinchak Pooja stood right in front of me, clearly visible. In high definition too; 720p, full brightness, high contrast, very high volume.

“Well not really. That is just an expression. Of course you would be here, I called for you myself. I am your BIGGEST fan!”

I thought I’d misheard her when she said fan. I could think of no reason why Dhinchak Pooja would look up to me, except that I sang rather poorly.

“You died too?” I asked.

“Oh no no no. I’m not the earthling that you take me for. I’m just donning her appearance. You see I’m constantly on the lookout for fresh appearances, have to keep up with the times, yo. Can’t be stuck with the horned helmet forever, right.”

I noticed something on her left forearm. A tattoo.


“So you’re…?”

“Yes. Servant to the Lord of Death. Recaller of disembodied spirits. And also, your #1 fan. You’re THE most deliciously evil human I’ve seen!”


While she was talking what sounded like utter gibberish, the room was really coming into its own around us. Having evolved from the barely furnished dungeon it now revealed several trinkets. Horrific pictures of Dhinchak Pooja adorned the walls, which I recalled were thumbnails from her previous videos. Some of her misfit outfits hung on the walls.

Interspersed were a few typical Yamdoot pictures, depicting a large hairy dude chauffeuring hordes of spirits into his chariot. But they were slowly transforming into pictures of the cap-donning singer doing the same. The room seemed to be metamorphosing as we spoke.

“Yes, you totally define Evil Goals for me. I’ve been following you for the past two years, and yours is a level of subtle yet pure evil that I simply admire. The best thing about you is that you don’t even do it purposefully; it’s totally ingrained in you, which makes you a natural. You’ve clocked the Pro level in each of the seven sins in record time!”

Okay. A baby seal I wasn’t. But being an idol for an evil-loving carrier of spirits was surely overdoing it a tad.

“Are you sure you have the right soul?”

“Oh, this is vintage you! So polite, so modest. I’ve made no mistake. You’re the one who just cleared that godforsaken entrance exam right?”

I didn’t know Yamdoots had an interest in JEE. Or bad YouTube singers for that matter.

“Yes I’d fit that description.”

“For that exam itself I don’t care much for. But boy, has it produced some real evil minds for us! In fact you were hardly an interesting specimen before you started preparing for it… competition really brings out the evil best in you guys.”

“Please cut to it or else I’m actually going to lose interest.” I said, somewhat irritated by the prolonged ambiguity.

“Well, don’t you realize the heights you’ve scaled in evilness? You humans look for evil in acts of massive destruction. But for true connoisseurs, it’s the little things that count. Small vile traits that you adopt in your lives that are the real seeds of evil.”

“I honestly don’t recall when I’ve been really evil. Care to jog my memory?”

“Oh, sure. Which of the Sins do you want to start with…?”


I noticed something weird about the walls of the room. They kept changing in some way or the other while I was talking to Pooja. While the changes were slight initially, the room had a total makeover after she was done explaining. The walls were now a solid dull grey. Iron staples were fixed in the wall with rusty chains dangling from them. While there was nobody else in the room I could almost see rugged prisoners bound there with their bodies and heads hanging in defeat.

Pooja filed her nails some distance away while I ruminated over what she’d just said.

“What has made you strive for the last two years? The driving force? The picture of the gates of IIT that you had in your phone? What was it if not greed? And how did you feel when your mate fared way better than you in your whatchamacallit practice tests? Remind you of envy?

Two years you strived for just one goal…preparing as if that was all there is to life. Exempted from all other responsibilities. Yet you weren’t exactly a happy presence in your house, were you? Irate, anxious, nervous – you blew off the handle on several occasions. There’s anger for you. Gave up all vital physical activities. Zero calories spent. But that didn’t stop you from eating compulsively. All the packets of Sev Bhujia… smacks of gluttony to me. And… lust.” she smirked.

“Having followed me so intensely you’ll know I’ve had zero female interaction these two years” I stated.

“Oh I know that is true. But are you to say your eyes have been in your sockets the whole time? Puh-lease, don’t make me say it”

I was totally okay with that.

“Pride. Have you not been hovering two inches above the ground ever since the results got out? Shining all your trophies with utmost care?”

“Sloth wasn’t really your strong point. I feared you’d never get there. But you’re such a star… didn’t do yoga in the morning a single day after the first two.” She sounded almost orgasmic, which didn’t go too well with her voice.

“Would that be enough? I thought you’re supposed to be smart, with all these credentials. No questions? Good. Now we talk business. Things are going somewhat slowly at hell. The inmates are earnest in their evilness, the ogres doing their bit to torture and provoke fights. Skewers, vats of hot oil are all in place. But they could use some fresh inspiration – you. I’ve chosen you to be the new custodian of evil at hell!”

She went on to elaborate about what my costume would look like and how I’ll have to learn to use the new torture equipment that was in place. But I was hardly listening. She had managed to cut open the doubts I always had about how I’d changed as a person during these years. My family and friends had been saying that for a while. I’d shrugged them off, but deep down I was worried that I wasn’t as human as I was earlier. I’d not yet come out of the zone where achieving targets and coming out on top was everything there was to life.

The old carefree me seemed like an entity of the past. And I was scared as hell that all this was part of my genome now. These doubts had just had a rather damning validation.

While I had these thoughts, the walls of the room changed around me to the dead, enclosing grey I mentioned.


“How do you feel about being the first among your friends to get placed? This is a good job you’ve landed, albeit non-core…” she chuckled.

“Why me? Were my classmates not equally hungry and selfish as I?” I wasn’t willing to accept my fate just yet.

“Indeed, each of you had their set of vices. There were options….but you were top of the class at the end, weren’t you?”

“Why do you sound so anxious”, she continued. “You’ll love it down there. All the petty evil souls will look up to you, and you’ll still get to swat them like flies! I’ve had you called up especially, arranged for you to have all your memory and consciousness intact unlike the other souls. Besides, you coming would mean that I can get rid of the troll. I hate trolls” she said darkly.

I paused and looked around again. Being a floating presence, I wondered what looking around meant for me since I’d presumed that souls had spherical symmetry. In any case, my vision shifted away from my captor and she somehow noticed it.

“Interesting décor, right? What colour is it right now? Grey? Black?”

“Grey. Can’t you see for yourself though?”

“That’s the beauty of it! There is no real wall. Each one sees what they expect their surroundings to look like, and Is also a reflection of how you’re feeling. We found it tiring to find out what each inmate hates or fears the most and get their rooms done like that. So we just let them decide for themselves! Some time here and each inmate has THE most gruesome wallpapers ever.”

I was hardly listening. I had my means of escape.

I gave in to the fact that I was the sinner she idolised. That I’d been selfish and short-sighted. I’d been foregoing my responsibilities to my family without guilt. Nothing was left but to accept.

Acceptance was the only thing that could free me, both literally and figuratively.

I imagined my body as I’d left it and willed it to materialize around me. My body solidified around me and I felt the sensation of my digits brushing against each other. Slowly but surely, I was looking out of my own eye sockets. I was back.

I took a deep breath and clenched my fists. My head bent towards my body and my shoulders expanded as I let the pain of guilt cut through me like a hot knife. I willed my soul to open up and let out all the self-doubt.

My eyes were shut but I received the audio inputs soon after.

First the iron chains snapped. While I’d counted four of them initially, the continued ‘clunk’s suggested more of them. The iron rungs groaned as the wall cracked around them, finally falling down with a dull thud of old metal on stone. I heard fires guttering out.

I opened my eyes and the walls and floor had taken on just the colour that I’d willed them to – transparent. That was probably when Pooja realized what I was up to. She made a bewildered face and gave me chase, but I was already off. I willed one of the iron chains to leap at my pursuer and a loud ‘ouch!’ told me it had met its mark. I rushed towards the edge where grey stone met the white sky, as more and more of the room disappeared around me.

My plan had succeeded. I was falling down into hell.


I remember falling a lot. White skies soon gave way to those filled with noxious red and green fumes. I could hear some noise in the distance which was already jarring my ears. The only assurance I had was that I was already dead.

Soon I was engulfed in an endless expanse of white (which I was sure was my senses readjusting) which broke into a typical hellish setting.

I was prepared for it, but it didn’t make it any less grotesque. Huge fifty-feet ogres towered upon masses of shrivelled, bleeding bodies. The ogres didn’t seem to be wearing any clothes, which probably marred the exotic view of the red-green sky for the inmates. The noise I’d heard was several of Dhinchak Pooja’s songs playing at once in huge speakers.

I tried to use my will to change the setting again, but my preoccupations of hell overruled. Meanwhile the ogres’ potato like heads started appearing larger. I could make out the terrible lyrics of a few songs. A few other creatures of doom came into sight. But what caught my attention was the man right below me, wearing the most pained expression on his face. His eyes revealed that all life had been sucked out of him.

I shut my eyes and braced for the impact which never came.


Pleased as I was to not have crash-landed into the man, I didn’t like the new place I found myself in either. It was a decadent setting, with a thick brown carpet and purple coloured walls. Intricately carved lamps stood at the corners of the room, and glowed with what looked like an orb of golden light inside them. The part I didn’t like was the variety of skulls that rested in hollows in the wall.

Just then a fairly large man started to materialize before me. He was dressed in a formal grey three-piece, with shiny black Burberry shoes. He had thick-set features, shaggy eyebrows, jet-back eyes and a sharp jawline. He would’ve looked fairly dapper had it not been for the golden helmet with black horns which rested on his mat of wild curly hair. Such an attire could only belong to…

“You were lucky to escape the way you did, kid. My yamdoots are never irresponsible with incoming souls, it’s just that Pooja got too certain that you’d love working with her and gave you too much power to alter your surroundings. As you can see. I have given you no such liberty and this room looks just what a guest room in hell should look like.

My ears twitched on hearing ‘guest’.

“Apparently it wasn’t the only mistake she did today.”

“She’d mentioned you as a special vessel of evil more than once, but I’d hardly paid attention. I hadn’t an inkling that she would call you out of time. She really does hate those trolls I guess.”

“But I do fit the job requirements, don’t I?” I blurted.

“Do you really think you are evil? Gone irreparably bad?”

I couldn’t speak.

“Pooja had some sound points, I’d give her that. You are guilty of all the sins. But you seem to have one quality which all other sinners don’t.”

“A good JEE rank?” I ventured.

“Oh, no! You’d be surprised how many sinners hail from those hallowed walls. There’s something with that exam, I know, it can mess with your wiring. But the quality I was referring to is remorse. You are capable of feeling guilt. And potentially capable of mending yourself. I know you’ve fostered a lot of self-hate for the things you’ve done and more particularly those you haven’t in the last two years. Not pursued writing, lost touch with all the cool goings-on, bungled your health and cut-off friends and family. But you’ll never get on with life if you can’t let go. Nothing is so bad that it can’t be fixed and it’s never too late to try.”

His words resonated with some hidden corner of my mind that I’d forgotten existed. Suddenly a huge feeling of regret welled up inside me when I realised that I’d died.

As if having read my mind, Yamraj raised his hand and shut his eyes.

“Grab this chance or you’ll hear from me again. And you don’t want that.”

I felt myself getting lighter on my feet, as if on a springboard coiled to release.

Believe me, the journey back was just as dramatic as I could have imagined. No body ever imagines a journey back from hell, do they?

This was the winning entry for the online fresher’s creative writing competition, on the following prompt:

Satanic Intervention
You die and go to hell for committing one of the seven deadly sins – pride, greed, lust, envy,
gluttony, wrath and sloth. However, you are not greeted with fire and brimstone, but a
demon/demoness that smuggled you away and is apparently… your biggest fan.

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