Tuesday, February 28, 2017

You Signed Up for This.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Tuesday, February 28, 2017 0 comments
Every time I say you signed up for this,
I wonder if you imagined our togetherness differently,
Because life is built on unfulfilled fantasies and
unchartered territories,
The idea of love as shown in movies is a fable that we are miles away from,
Even if we're grappling in the dark praying to reach the shores of the kind of love we fancied, we might not,
The standards, I guess, were always a fabrication of our silly minds to mock us at what we cannot score,
Maybe I cannot promise you the fantasy,
Maybe I should not,
Because what I can offer you is, a different kind of love,
The one, that's ours, and probably not a figment of imagination,
On days when the sun refuses to shine and you gnaw your own mind, I'll remind you of the person you are,
I won't be the one rescuing you, but I will turn every dark day into a funny poem that you can recall on a day you'll not have me around,
On nights when you find my reason beyond any measure of sanity, I will rather give you a reason, to look beyond the measures,
Because who decides what's sane and what's not?
And on afternoons when time comes to a halt as we sit facing each other at a lunch table, I will  try not to fill the silence with words,
Even when words come easily to me, I will let you be,
For I don't squander love and words,
For when they are uttered, they ruin the possibilities of fathomable probabilities making way for the ineffabilities that my heart isn't made for,
So, take my silence and inability of expressing our bond,
But don't put them in that big brown box with labels, that is due for a return,
Instead, help me in carving them for our wants and needs.

Monday, February 20, 2017

A Little Luxury.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, February 20, 2017 0 comments
When I was sixteen, I was given my first mobile phone. It did not have high-end features, but it had a radio. For reasons many, I was content with just that. I frequently stayed up late for studying or reading and found FM as my only companion. Sitting next to the window, I listened to the late night talk shows which were catching up in those days. Radio jockeys with an intense human connect, people going home from work or movies, and lovers going through heartbreaks - no matter what, everyone poured their souls out without any fear of seeming vulnerable.

Even before I had the freedom of exploring blogs and platforms where people had the power to share their experiences, I heard people talking about them on radio. I could hear them, sense their apprehensions, understand their joy and often hear what's unsaid and listen to their suppressed tears. I knew regular callers and I knew what exactly they would talk about. Maybe I saw a pattern in everything they shared. Or every failure they tended to ever so carefully.

As a child, I was told by my elders that a radio was the single most powerful device which connected you with the world outside. If my grandfather knew about India's independence, it was through a radio and if my mother heard a movie review, it too was through a radio. I mean, imagine the days when there was no TV, but only a certain voice emanating from a device. A certain voice without a face that everyone relied on.

Over the number of years, the way we procure information has exponentially changed. Now that I think about it, I don't plug in my earphones to hear the news on the FM as I did when I was a teenager. Because Google Assistant religiously updates me, every morning. Funnily enough, I don't even read them. On odd days, I turn on the radio on my way to work only to be bombarded with advertisements. And with so many of them.

What must have thrilled people around 60 years ago (or even 8 years ago), definitely doesn't anymore. A lot has changed in these years - my mobile phone with all the greatest of features that one can ask for does not even support something as basic as a radio. I remember being shocked at it when I was unboxing it.

"How can it not have a radio?"

I asked a couple of friends who never responded to my fury, appropriately. But as someone who literally spent several nights discovering new artists and albums on the radio or by receiving book suggestions from certain RJs, I wonder if our next generations will ever enjoy this simple luxury.

If they'll ever know that they can simply plug into the radio to feel a little less lonely during nights.

Monday, February 13, 2017

An Unsung Song.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Monday, February 13, 2017 0 comments

I remember the first time I saw you,
I was younger, and so were you,
The lights, like you, were at a proximity which was morosely faraway.
There was music in my head, which kept me oblivious to everything around,
Maybe even to the music that was played in the coffee shop.

Reticence and silence were lying astray in the air between us,
Like an unsung song whose lyrics I knew, but never the tune.
But even before we realized, we build a fort around awkward hushes and masked emotions,
The secret path to this fort, as someone once said, was not giving in to the urges.

We could have given in to it. Maybe we should have,
Instead, we made a deal with our mystical little minds,
To replace our hearts desires with vague reassurances and unsure answers.
Because in a battle between wants and needs, we were neither,
Maybe we were in-between but never enough to create symphonies.

Going back to the day when we first met, I now realize that,
Love was never our cup of tea,
It never was our humble abode.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017


By Sunaina Patnaik at Wednesday, February 08, 2017 0 comments

(Originally written for Paragraph.)

On a walk that deemed unfit for a cold winter night, he set off in a direction he never took before. The soles of his shoes were barely firm to protect his feet, but the condition of his windcheater was even worse. The streets were desolate as he paused under every streetlight before he moved any further and the wild wind did no good to his chapped cheeks. For a moment, he wondered if he was going in circles agonizing over the only shelter he left behind. Having no option left and no human in sight, he ran, engulfing himself in darkness and cold. He came to a halt when he saw a distant light. Catching his breath and senses, he approached the light. When he came close, he noticed that it was an all-night library. Glad to have found a roof for the night, he went in to find himself surrounded by large bookshelves and his long-lost lofty dreams. Life and blood rushed back to his cheeks as he held the hardcovers and inhaled the scent of the paperbacks. Maybe the world of fiction did more to the homeless than reality.

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Saturday, February 04, 2017

Between the Sheets.

By Sunaina Patnaik at Saturday, February 04, 2017 0 comments

My emotions for you were strewn across the bed,
I loved you, I lusted for you but, I thrived on the sheer thought of owning you..of controlling you.

I always believed I knew every detail of you, even though you surprised me, sometimes,
Although my fingers knew every contour of you, it was you who made me pronounce my feelings better.

I remember the nights I'd come home from work; you'd wait for me in the darkness,
No questions asked, no answers given, we'd sit there in silence;
Looking each other in the eye, telling things that we'd never tell anyone.

We also had the nights when you refused to embrace me;
Blowing off the steam, you were. At least that's what you told me.

We had confessions, adventures, secrets, and stories to tell..some were nasty too,
I showed you the ugly parts of me and gave you the naked truths,
I wondered if you'd run away. But you stayed.

Every time I held a pen and poured myself out on countless papers, I knew you were working your magic on me,
You added meaning to my thoughts even when they were haywire.

But if someone asks me why I love you and if I'll ever grow out of you,
I'll tell them, what's a writer without words?
Especially when our romance - my romance with words is still...
In between the sheets.


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