Testament of a hopelessly hopeful dreamer

autumn leaves

I have left those paths behind.

Those paths redolent of dreamy mornings

When a half-awakened consciousness precluded hope.

 

There were times when I turned to them,

To where once a story that had begun in innocence

Was sheathed in autumn leaves and slowly frozen to death.

 

On one of those early mornings

When insight played games with present reality,

You were there on the path, waiting for me to come.

 

I came across as a stranger, who was familiar,

As a future unknown, yet anticipated so much

That it didn’t surprise when it did come.

 

Those paths redolent of misted reality

Now trail at the back, and before me the clear light

Of dawn breaks. Now I wake to my dreams and live in them.

 

© Vidya Venkat

 

Positano

Photo taken in Italy, Positano

 

Four feet,

Two His, two mine,

Stretched out facing the emerald sea,

Against the winter sun.

 

We were in Positano,

By this breath-taking corniche,

Where the shore stretched free,

But for four, happy feet.

 

Can you hear the silence of the sea?

No one heard the silence of the sea.

 

The pizza at the seaside restaurant arrived.

It had anchovies, no meat.

Drunk on limoncello, I omit

“Vegetarian please” (in my order slip).

A bite later, He screamed,

Jaws clenched like Amalfi’s jagged cliffs.

“What was that? Bone? Is it fish?”

I apologised. I plead.

He paid no heed.

I ate that pizza alone.

 

And no. We did not make love on that pebble beach,

Where the mild rays of February kissed my skin peach.

Instead, we took a selfie

Showing four, happy feet.

 

© Vidya Venkat (2020)

Monotony

bollywood-celebrities

There are several ways to kill time during this quarantine.
Like, doing dishes, and cooking meals, and taking care of the laundry.
Are you disappointed with my suggestion?
Then kindly consider this:
That is how half of mankind every day lives.
Yes, I mean the women. Take my mother, for instance.
She was a tender ten when she started doing chores and running errands.
She was a good student, but who really cared?
“You are a girl and your primary responsibility is to feed others and children bear.”
That is what my grandmother told her, for she only knew too well
That no matter how gifted a woman, she will burn in domestic hell.
“You belong in the kitchen,” I heard my father tell her one day.
And as a child, I too had chimed in, “yes, yes, in the kitchen”. I regret it to this day.
My mother drank her bitter tears and swallowed her youthful pride.
And spent her years in the monotony of domestic grind.
Now I watch Bollywood stars doing dishes, and laymen flaunting their cooking flair.
But pray, will all these happy ones agree to spend a lifetime this way?

© Vidya Venkat (2020)