Saturday, March 30, 2013

Visit my new blog

Sometimes a plain sheet of canvas is enough to inspire a painter. Sometimes a new note-book, a new journal can bring back words to a lost writer. At least, I hope so and therefore I am scribbling at a new address:

Join Me. :)

Saturday, August 11, 2012


A day fell from the calendar of schedules and slipped from the tip of the minute-hand of the old city clock that recorded history. It fell in the dust like a drop of rain and lingered like the wetness of mud and it evaporated into the sky light coming through tiny holes in the old walls and the illuminated dust, something I had pondered over for hours all together in my summer holidays when I was a kid. The day had a story and its story was a secret. It is the secret we keep by knowing too well that it has to be erased from our hearts and minds. The day was tired in board-rooms and sleepy in class-rooms, the day was full of mischief in the prayer halls and so depressingly withdrawn in festive weeks. The day was a little confused of sometimes being hailed as good and lucky and often being blamed as bad and unfortunate. After all it was just a chunk of miscalculated time. Sometimes, it played its jokes. It quietly hid in a yesterday, making you look in all the dark corners of your life and in all your lockers and cupboards where you had kept your smiles but you could find no trace of the day. And often it escaped, secretly into some anonymous tomorrows that might never exist at all. But the day was tired of these old tricks and it was exhausted of being spent all too quickly like a cup of coffee gone cold. Gulped without any taste. Today, it fell and as I told you, it disappeared leaving only some dust behind.

(c) Ankur

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Lost !

On her hands, he writes a verse..
always the lost poet
who has told a long story
in broken silence

In his sack,
he carries a brush,
a pencil with blunt tip
and a few sketches
he has stolen from
an unvisited memory lane.

he wrote about paper boats,
fallen maple leaves
and a rainbow that has faded,
colors blended, blurred...

Sometimes, he looks at her
for a long time,
closing his eyes..
he lives in a fear,
that there will never be an escape..
that the poet will forever be lost,
found and unfound...

I found him last evening,
he looked sad...
but he reasoned,
there is nothing to be sad about.
I chose not to say,
happiness can't be reasoned.

And so he lives,
restless and resigned..
at the same time,
a lover and a loner,
broken in halves..
he tries to smoothen the edges
of what is left of the broken...


Monday, August 29, 2011


In the deafening silence
Of a hollow laugh,
Something, somewhere is often missed.
In the hundred lies we live everyday,
And the truth that remains
Naked, battered and cold
In an ego that is too proud
To just wither away, choked.

And so I stand on the edge,
Of a sad smile,
Ready to fall in the bleeding pits of eyes
Where a dream remains
Like a shred of glass.
I am ready to fall
To break into a million pieces,
Not ready to die
Without one final rebellion.

Some people reach a breaking point,
Some wait,
Torturing themselves,
Taking it all
And not once asking,
"when is enough?"

They will be freed,
After the turmoil
Without a trace of lie left behind
To wither slow.

There are rivers,
That revolt,
And die in their youth,
No salty surrender for them.

And so I wait,
To be hit real hard
And stand, unshaken.
To fight back
And fall for once
After the fight is won.
Without ever hearing
The countdowns.

Because I have to wait
Through every day defeats
And meaningless victories
To be shattered
With no pity.

~Ankur Srivastava

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

From Brookefield

He sits at the bus stop
That reads Brookefield,
An urban child with no history
Of its childhood....

Shoulders limp and head thrown back,
He listens to the noise
Of cars and passers-by
That dissolves yesterday's talks.
He flicks a finger, quietly
And turns it "mute".

He walks up to the road
That leads to more such roads.
He holds the road, the grey sky above it
And the city that stretches beyond
Between his fingers
Like a canvas of flowing colors
And moving images
That mean nothing.

He rips it apart.

He spreads a faint-blue canvas
And picks his paint-brush,
A lemon-yellow morning
And eternal sadness
Of many nights
That have not slept.

He paints "waiting"
Of the city-clock
That still ticks
In some forgotten days.

He tosses away the paintbrush,
Without a signature.
He walks away
And carries the canvas along.


Thursday, June 30, 2011

Love And I

I don't particularly like Bollywood movies. Still, I have grown up watching them. I have often wondered why all of them revolve around a love-story and why half of those love-story reach their climax on railway-stations or airports. What is so special about a train whistling away or an announcement of the departure of a flight? I always believed that there was something special in every cliche but my mind could never fathom the reasons behind this strange liking for airports (or railway stations).

Even before railways came into existence, love had become the favorite cliche of all artists. At the age of 17 or 18, I fashioned myself as The love-poet on Orkut forums. People often commented that I have endless topics related to love to write about and I knew that they really questioned my ability to write about anything else. I wasn't offended by that question. I will tell you a secret. I think they were right. It wasn't a handicap to my limited writing talents, it was an inspiration. Love and the pain it had brought in my life. Love and the other word it had added to my silence: rejection.

I had a score to settle with love. Love, that was always present in my poems and conspicuously absent from my life. On that bronze colored afternoon, she was talking about love and I was sitting near the stairs, listening to her. She told me, her casual voice belying the seriousness in her light brown eyes, that she didn't want to find love, she wanted love to find her, she couldn't take the risk of "rejection". She wanted the perfect love. I wasn't listening to her after that. I was just looking into her eyes and they didn't shy away. She was one of the few friends I had in my new college. I knew the language her eyes were speaking. I thought of my own little tussle with love. Love finds its strength in its ability to catch you weak on your knees. I had a plan. To rob love off the surprises, the sweet tickles, the flush of emotions it can cause. I loved her like I woke up every morning, like I breathed, like I went through the daily chores of my day. I gave her love that she deserved; that I had also deserved... I had decoded the secret of love. I had made it a deliberate indulgence and a conscious decision. Commitment needs an honest will, not a malfunctioning heart.

I know she would never like what I did. But she could never know. She is happy. For three years, I have been trying to make (not "keep") her happy, every day. I tried, not with the blind faith of a sufi-devotee, but with the consistency of an honest bank-clerk. I mingled my love with thousands small  insignificant moments. I failed too, at times, but, only briefly. I made sure every night to say everything she wanted to hear before she went to sleep. It worked for us.

And then the time came for the college days to be folded neatly and to be hidden in the photo albums and telephone directories. I told her not to be sad, that the distances don't matter, that we would stay "in touch" and that we would meet (for the perfect ending). She kept fearing, she cried often and time kept slipping between our fingers. It was time for "the" good bye. I hugged her tightly. I stood smiling as she went into the airport. She looked back from across the glass. My voice couldn't reach her. I touched the wall of glass between us but I couldn't hold her hands. My mind had gone blank. My calculations were blowing in some unknown storm. I could hardly breathe. And then she disappeared to collect her boarding passes, to catch her flight. And I sat down on the sidewalk. I cried silently and love smiled. Now I know, all the while, love had a plan too. To make every insignificant moment of my life wholesome, magical and love-like. And what better place than an airport for me to end this war and accept my defeat happily.

(c) Ankur Srivastava

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


He made a paper-boat
Of the wrinkled tissue paper
The emblem of the coffee-shop
Gracing its sail.
He smiled at his new masterpiece,
"It's not about this peach colored boat
It's about the lost childhood,
Rains are coming..."

He tried to explain,
Honestly, for once..
They mocked and left.
The paper boat stayed a little longer
On his table and in his mind,
Before it was swept away
In the tide of the nothingness
That filled his days.

A few clouds of memories
Passed over him,
Under the endless blues
Of a sky stretched across the times,
He looked at the marigolds
Their sun-kissed yellow
Like her evening dress,
And his bicycle tripped,
Again in front of that wrought iron gate.
Another sun melted away,
Another unforgiven day dragged its feet
And her giggle still floated in the air.

Sometimes, he talked about
An unforgotten love
A school girl who never grows old
An old rickety bicycle
And streets of a forgotten town.

Sometimes, he looks at them
And a smile shies away
They understand not
What he says.

He smiles, nevertheless,
And the birds stay back with him
Even after it's dark..

A dreamer...
A loner?
Is he?

(c) Ankur Srivastava 

Thank you Kirti for giving me this muse  :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

On A Day Like This

I have tossed the afternoon sun,
Down from my terrace...
Through the dusty air and city smoke
Somewhere.. i don't care.

I like the evening,
Its grey color and tall shadows..
I like the way it rushes
To its end... in evening trains
And rain-washed streets.

In the little pocket
Of my sweat stained shirt...
Time lies still..
Beating slowly with my heartbeat..
And just as meaningless...

I have peeled the layers of grey
From the aging face of sky
And left an ugly scar
On the naked beauty of moon.

This is my night..
And i own it..
Its every moment

Is held still in my breath
And released with a shy..

The distant Sun conspires..
What do i care?
For the brick red mornings...
The school going kids
And their stolen innocence..

I close my eyes
To the haste on some bus stand
Breakfast news
Crisp white uniforms
And the city clock...

My time sleeps quiet
With my dreams..
And we dream ..
Beyond this tired day.

(c) Ankur Srivastava

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


In the deep well of thoughts, 
words have dried up somewhere.. 
I can still stack up sentences 
And give you my story.. 
With a pinch of lie 
Some secrets dressed up..

But then i have taken the other way.. 
To scrap away every little line 
From the paper 
And make them stand 
On that riverside 
where i waited for her in my half dreams.. 

I tried to give words,
a voice, a song 
That could light up 
The grim darkness of a lonely 2-bhk. 

Then i discovered 
like the cuckoo in the nest.. 

This world is not mine.. 
neither is this my story.. 
and no, my dreams were too inspired.. 

I have tried too hard, 
Won too easily 
And lost so narrowly 
in love and life.. 

on a blank piece of paper 
i put my signature..
On the bottom
that's how i like it, absolute silence .. 
no prayers, no cries..
no half-lies

(c) Ankur Srivastava

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Merchant of Dreams

Photo: courtesy Kirti.

It was that time of the day when people came back from offices, tea shops became abuzz with discussions and women rushed back to their kitchens after what had initially started as an afternoon gossip. The hard sun had wilted in its own heat and fallen in the dust which was in the air, on the street and in the silent sobs of one more ordinary day coming to its jinxed end under the scrutiny of large street lamps. In the old park of the neighborhood, last ball of the last cricket match had been bowled; the kids, covered in sweat and mud, though were still debating over something. A group of elderly men was going back to their homes after their evening walk. A young girl on the footsteps of teenage was sitting on an old wooden bench and still blushing about something that happened in school that day. A man, not older than 40 but certainly not too young either, caught their attention. He stood near the entrance of the park, smiling at passers by. There was something ridiculous about him, something that was intriguing and fascinating too... Something other than his dark red jacket with large metallic, golden colored buttons. Something other than his thin and dramatic mustache. It was the serenity in his eyes, the grace with which he held up his hands to greet everyone, the all-knowing smile he flashed.

They waited for him to say something. There was soon a little gathering outside the park. Men and women, young and old, and a few kids looked at him with intrigue. After he was convinced with the size of the audience, he started his speech. His voice was child-like but sounded convincing, "Good evening my beautiful people! I once lived in this very neighborhood when I was a little boy. When the grass of the park was greener and the flowers smelled sweeter, I played here too. You must be curious where I had been all these years.. Why haven't you seen me? In my childhood I was an ordinary boy, like the ones you see everyday on the bus-stops, traffic lights and side-walks. Do you remember their faces? No! And so you have forgotten me too. My name is Salesman. I am here to sell you something."

A man in suit-coat and trousers wanted to turn away and go but he saw that the Salesman was looking straight in his eyes. Instead of going, he asked the Salesman,"What do you want from us?". The Salesman replied with a sigh," I don't want anything. I am here to offer you something. But since my experiences with this world tell me that for something to be worth having, it must cost something to own it so I want to sell you something." A bespectacled young lady in her neatly pressed shirt and trousers interrupted him," Look, we don't want anything and you have no bags or catalogs either...". The Salesman turned back sharply and climbed on a small rock near the park. He raised both his arms and cleared his throat," In the times of insurances and money-back guarantees, all I have to offer you is a dream. A dream that you have lost, a dream that you need. A dream that you have ignored, a dream you have once talked about and cried upon. A dream you can't refuse. Do you want to buy your dream? I am here not for you but for the dream."

To be continued...


An old boy in his twenties sat in the grimmest layer of the darkness and quietly allowed himself to do the unforgivable sin of being weak and cried. Nobody saw him crying but we all knew. He was left stranded in the race of everything. He had been dreaming for a little too long and now he was left in the cold silence of being oh-so-alone with his dreams. He wanted to buy death but he had nothing to buy it with. Life is cheap but death?
He had nothing except a fragile hope in an unvisited corner of his mind. He knew what had to be done. That very day which has been now erased from our memories, he sold the little hope he had and bought a small slice of death.

End of part 2.

PART 1 continued...

The crowd looked bemused. A man whose eyes looked as dull as the muddy waters of a drying local river asked the Salesman,"What is the price of my dream? How can I buy it? And how do I know that you aren't fooling me?"
The Salesman, now looking like a monk dressed as clown, closed his eyes and spoke out,"You have to trust me here because I have been in your shoes. I have sold my dreams to buy me tired days and sad evenings like this. I have bought them back when I could, to light up my nights. You have to pay a dear price too." He thought for a second and then paused  so as to hold the secret, the price.
The crowd, tired of this game now and reluctant after guessing what the price might be, asked in a hush, "What's the price anyway?" The salesman, now looking like a boy who has just got a new gift, said,"The price is hefty as it should be. You have to give something you have held so close to your heart for all your life. You have to give me your greatest fear....

The crowd dissolved, knowing too well that he was trying to  trick them. There had to be some conspiracy in it. It was late too and dinner had to be made, works had to be done. What a waste of their precious time?

But a man stood there, thinking. The same man whose eyes looked as dull as the muddy waters of a drying local river. He asked silently, "How does it work? You are talking as if there is some.....". The Salesman smiled and completed his question,"..... as if there is some MAGIC? " The man nodded his head,"Yes, how do I trust you?" The Salesman said,"There is a Magic. You have been seeing magic all you life but you have never believed it. You have dismissed it as a trick. You have been wrong. You can trust me... For one, the shine in your eyes is back...

(c) Ankur Srivastava