…when I forgot to meet you –
I didn’t forget!
I just waited behind the gulmohar tree
To see how long you would wait for me!
You don’t know how much it pleased me
To see you count the clouds
To wind the hour forward.
In the end – I just stood there;
My feet aghast; my chest frozen in a dull aching fire
As I watched you drag your shadow behind your drooping body.
It had all been just a little harmless game –
For I had often stood where you stood last dusk.
I have memories of waiting tattooed on my feet –
The hours I spent
Counting all the leaflets of a fallen gulmohar fern
Were as fresh as my ears burn from guilt today.
It wasn’t revenge –
It had started as a simple curiosity
To see if I mattered to someone –
To see if I was more than a mere question
…soon to be forgotten
Under the sediments of fresher questions.
I wanted to be more than a forgotten inquiry;
I wanted to be the henna curling around your arms –
A jali of brown roses that wafted of my perfume
Each time you looked at your watch.
I wanted to be those broken-translucent snakes
Swimming in the corner of your eyes
Every time you looked at the sun.
Picture by Rohit Tandon (Unsplash)