Posted in Verses

Lost Ashore 

The waves that wash at your feet

Are the same that wet mine

Yet here we stand, a sea apart,

Chasms of thoughts and time;

The flesh that once tingled

As you cupped and caressed

Retains imprints of your touch

Brandings of love professed

The same breeze that brushes your face

Searches through my locks of hair

For secrets left by your breath

Sweet whispers of desire

I search within you for laughter

The wanton mirth of old

Your lips try, your eyes lie

As words fall dead and cold

The sun that warms your skin

Is the same that scalds mine

The same earth lies beneath our soles

The restless sands of time

Maybe some day we’ll set sail

Leave the shore of our memories

And reach each other among the waves

In the trembling turn of the seas.

Posted in Musings

Homecoming

As I walk the streets of Pondicherry, I am reminded of another existence from two years ago. A familiarity in the town I’ve never before visited, the lingering of shadows of the distant past.

A hint of recognition as I pass green SETC buses emerging from littered bus stands being swept clean by ageing ladies wrapped in striped cotton saris, as I watch twin nose rings glinting on either sides of dusky faces, as I see simple women on the streets selling red roses and jasmine, their own hair adorned by the same.. The good natured smiles that greet my hesitant eyes.. The loud uncouth remarks that are part of regular merriment on a public bus ride.. The gentle breeze that prevails through the day, weaving its way through neem trees to bring me news of the sea calling.. 

Unknown to me, I have returned.. to a land I vowed never to. Thoothukudi. Tuticorin. The shore of love, devastation, and my deepest regrets. I wander as in a dream, through the strange streets, and encounter the ghosts of others well loved at a time. A place that brought me nightmares and bitter memories, like sweetness that turns sour overnight; like dark bile that creeps up one’s system even as you pretend to push it down.

I had made peace by making myself believe in my hatred for everything about it. But now, as I encounter Tuticorin on these new streets, I realise she is but an old friend. I feel comforted and welcome the memories that I’ve fought too long. I cry in her arms and smile in the warmth of her glow. 

I am no stranger to this land. This is homecoming.

Posted in Musings

Tell No One

Travel and tell no one. Live a true love story and tell no one. Live happily and tell no one. People ruin beautiful things. – Khalil Gibran 

No words have rung as true as those. If I may add a bit of my own to it, join the course of your choice and tell no one.

I opted for post graduation in Community Medicine in the institute of my choice, one of the finest in the country, and all I’m getting in return for the happy news are blank stares and wrinkled noses. 

Being part of a virtual joint family necessitates instant sharing of any new information relating to any event, and in case the matter even borders on the unconventional, eyebrows are raised. Two relatives in particular, doctors themselves, readily frowned upon my choice to let go of the clinical hullabaloo. 

As for me, I’d rather have peace of mind than a flourishing practice, and more importantly (and secretly) I want a life where I have ample time to read and write. If there’s one thing that rotatory residency taught me, it’s that I turn into the most horrible version of myself when harrowed and the clinical side has the possibility of doing that to you. Social and Preventive Medicine is a more versatile line, where I can opt to work among the public if I so desired or turn into teaching if that turns out to be my calling. I hate dead ends just as I hate being caged and boxed. Community Medicine gives me a wide enough platform to counter claustrophobia, so that’s that.

For once in my life, I’m letting go of whatever anyone wants me to do and siding with my gut. That you should listen to your heart is an oft used phrase, and there is a reason for it; it’s true. I am sure that if I had listened to all the voices that had gone against my own, I would not be feeling what I feel right now – happiness and relief. Like I have taken a step in the right direction. And if I haven’t, I will still know it’s my choice.

So all of you out there who are struggling to hold your own, take a deep breath and push on. The society is going to cut you left and right trying to fit you into its moulds. Maybe your options are not well thought out or maybe they are all you have been obsessing about. What matters is that when the moment comes, you click the right button, do the right thing  and make the right choice – your own. 

And tell no one.