celebrations of life

He had never seen something like her. Of course, by that he didn't mean beauty, tenderness or joy. What he hadn't seen before was an unapologetic zest for life like hers. Something about this girl challenged his own fears. She stood out in a luscious patterned lime green and yellow declaring her victory over the depths of the pale oceans. She herself was celebration incarnate. He preferred maintaining more than a safe distance from her. She shouted back as if in conversation with his mind, "Isn't that the irony of life? The very thing which you wish to resist tempts you back like a moth to a flame." Yeah! She was the flame of life burning strong in the midst of the seas. He detested that tone of hers, which had just dared him to transcend his heavily conditioned life. He could only think of using the f word right now. He dare not go closer. But he did. And as he looked into her eyes she swept him away in a state of trance. For the first time in life, he knew what adventures felt like, what

surprises were all about, the love that uncertainties could bring and that there existed a dormant life stuffed inside him. As he started gasping for breath, she brought him out to a normal conscious state. And again, in her signature tone she spoke out, "Too much of a life-affirming doze for the little wimp, was it?" That was it. Rage took over him. His fear was pricked and her trick had been done. The life in him squeezed itself out. He took her by the hand and dived deep into the waters. She fused back into him as life into a corpse and all that remained was the gushing waves, the reflected skies, the floating white froth and a fathomless unapologetic love for life.


Of Youth

She read his checkered patterns in a manner which could only suggest intimate nostalgia.The top one there as she remembered, had brought him unparalleled wisdom. It had come earlier than she had ever expected. She smiled at the crow's feet around his eyes. How many a times had she warned him against his excessive intake of caffeine. But now that they were firmly placed for good, she realized how loving they actually looked. The eyes that she had known so well. The enveloping of the sagged skin made them look even better. A moony laugh left her throat as she realized that he was still looking away, as he had always - too shy to acknowledge how utterly conscious he was of her presence even today. She had fallen in love with the same shyness. Her eyes followed the lines, which ran deep into his skin. They looked like organic grooves drilled into his sun burnt flesh. Even years ago, from when she had first seen him,

he had looked the same. Age had only brought out the evidence of his trysts with life. He had always told her, "Never age. Only grow beautifully from your youth."

The City

And The Sounds

The sprawling view made him feel alive. The faintness in his heart was cleared away. The panorama urged him to look ahead. His gazed rushed from the foreground towards the greyest patches at the rear. He liked the manner in which small bright pockets of yellow light were sprinkled across the city. From the wet charcoal terraces to the muddy brown unpaved streets of the interiors, they all carried the rustic feel of life, which every Indian city had to offer. The sound of the conch shell blowing from the small-alighted temple in the far right, stirred the deepest silences of his soul. The wordings of the ‘namaaz’, loud and clear, came from the bright white mosque, which stood closer to him. He closed his eyes and let the sounds blend in. A few minutes into the prayers and he found it tough to separate the two. The additional sounds of the ringing bells magnified the intense surreal experience that he was having. His spirit was vibrating with what he was hearing. It dawned upon him that he had experienced divine silence through sacred sounds.


The First Year

without her

The gleaming fluorescent green reminded him of her smile. The smile which used to sparkle specially on this day. This was the first year without her by his side. Her cheeks had taken on the exact bright pink of the pillow - hot from a sudden rush of emotion that day. That day. That day. That day he had kissed the gorgeous bride who was also his beautiful little twin, a goodbye. Coming back to the moment, he lightly kissed the sacred thread, like he had kissed her forehead that day. Entrusting her care in the hands of another had been the toughest thing ever for him to do. A tear left his

eye to wet the surface of the beads just as a silent tear had left her eye to soak the scarlet weave. Like every year when they were together, she had sent her love wrapped in a tinted rosary. Remembering the good old days, the child in her, the protector in him and the significance of today, he tied the strands around his wrist quietly pretending her to be present around him.


Through The Weight

A riot of colors danced upon him. You could not have called them Indian yellows or Gangetic greens. They were only Himalayan. The Himalayas - a phenomena in themselves. The harsh natural setting of his dwelling had

brought a kind steadfastness to his character. He froze for a moment, displaying the crisp creases from the fish fold patterns on his robe. The royal gold and rani pink conferred an air of regal splendor. He seemed to stand unaffected by the crushing weight on his head. On the contrary, he seemed to welcome it with a colorful symbolism that peaked towards the sky. His arms looked effortlessly placed as if about to take flight. The body of the dancer transmuted itself into the martial prowess, speed, control and grit of the garuda. Amidst all the extravaganza he quietly held onto the purity in the white. The color of dharma. He had not been distracted. His eyes nailed his only point of focus. Although firm, they humbly looked down. The mark of a spirit absorbed in itself. It dawned upon him that amidst the dead weight of life - of culture, of history, of morality and society his only concerted focus was, his righteousness - his Dharma.


Of all the things I love about yellow
The morning sun, its whispering mellow
The sunflower fields and water lilies
Pansy, dahlias, a touch of begonias
Derive their colour, their warmth and glow
From my lover’s touch and her joyous flow.
Come with me and dip your hands
And cup our faces with yellow strands.
Bless us with love, bless us with light
Among all things yellow, in a spirit of delight


Stain my hands with colours of red
Deep dark dried russet
With fertile herbs
From sandy deserts
I sway them through
In graceful moves
And tap my feet
to rythmic tunes


Losing myself in the devotion of another,
Take me closer to my beloved.
Mystic music for my lover,
Cosmic singing before I wed.


On a starry night
And a bluish moon
The flickering fire
Bearing witness to
Will shower divinity
On bride and groom
Blessings from the Trinity
Like a garden’s bloom


From around the alley
of the college library  
To the swirling wind
and spiralling stairs,
From the lush green ground
of cricket rallies
And ghosting on friends
for our private affairs,     
From friends to lovers
to partners in crime
From childlike tantrums
and raging good times

Days into months into
An eight year long ride,
Between jokes and fights
Many wrongs and rights -

A leap of faith
I take with you.
A new name,
I take from you
A lasting home
I make for you.
My re-newed promise
I give to you.

The presence of spirits
Of the pure kindling flame
Our friends and family
Most beloved ones in frame
Witness the surrender
Of a lifetime to you,
Rejoicing and cheering
As we say, “I do”


© 2020 by Pooja Gupta | www.poojagupta.co | pg08071990@gmail.com | +91 99 030 323 71

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