An open wound, with no salt inside
creating my own laws that I won't abide
Letters I'll write, with no regret when it is sent
Lion locked in his cage, my bars are bent
Like a brick you'll break, another trophy on my shelf
Test me, push me, shadow me, I'm stealth
Fire in my eyes, but not my time to attack
Moving too fast, bound to come off track

I'm only a picture, but not something to stare at
Anger inside, but no need to look back
War within, moves around with nowhere to hide
Stored away in my mind, but I will not confide

I have nothing to say, no words to speak
Thinking of a problem, but the sound will not leak
Piercing words, seeming alive with no repent
Locked away, the scream creates a slight dent

Magic Always Ends...

Under the starry sky, I sit alone
I sit alone, like a lost knight.
Humming a lazy tune and

wishing for the night to die soon.

I sit alone, yet in the
company of the cold night.
Faraway, a dog howled and

went behind the veils, the moon.

I sit here, quiet. Quiet,
yet noisily beats my heart.
Breaking the silence,

the breeze began to croon.

I sit here, under the starry sky,
waiting for the first light.
The breeze sung and with it,

I hummed. I hummed the same tune.

My eyes fluttered again and again.

With sleep, was it's fight.
Forgetting, magic always ends,

I sit here. I sit here, like a goon.

I'm not for sale!!

Could that be a butterfly? She wondered. She hadn't seen one ever since she had started working at the royal kitchen. No butterfly entered the castle grounds and she dared not go outside. I must be dreaming then, she thought but she couldn't have been because the textures and the colors on the butterfly's wings were too vivid to be a dream.

When she gained consciousness she realized she hadn't been dreaming but had mistaken her new dress for a butterfly. New dress? She didn't remember changing her clothes. The dress was grand and she had always wanted to dress up but couldn't afford, so had given up on that dream. Am I dreaming again? She wondered, but she realized it wasn't a dream when somebody announced that she was awake.

She didn’t understand why there were so many people gathered around her. Is it because of the dress? I did not steal it. I don't even remember changing my clothes. Please, believe me...she wanted to tell them but their curious stares shooed away her left over courage and sealed her mouth. All she could do was stare back, searching for a clue that would explain her situation. The crowds' mood perplexed her. There were no questions in their eyes but malice that sent creeps across her spine. She did not take long to recognize the situation she was in and when she did, she did not want to believe it was happening. It cannot be true, she muttered under her breath and rubbed her eyes hoping to brush off sleep from them but deep inside she knew that it wasn't a dream.

It couldn't be so bad, she hoped and wanted to forget everything she had once feared. Ganga was free and so would she be, after a while. She would have to serve her new master only until he lost interest in her. He would find another girl before long and then she might be sent back to work at the royal kitchen.

"Three thousand gold", a man called out.

She wondered whether she wanted a new master. No. I don't, she thought because she wanted to live in open like a butterfly does. She did not want to work at royal kitchen either but it was a better option considering the situation she was in at the moment. At the royal kitchen, she had friends who worked along with her. They laughed together and also poured their hearts out to each other when they were not cooking.

"She's untouched. Three thousand is definitely a no", said another man.

"Five thousand then", someone at the back cried.

"Eight thousand gold", cried another man. The crowd murmured among themselves for awhile and then the man who had declined three thousand announced that she was sold. As someone dragged her out of the hall, she noticed that no eyes followed her, instead they were susing their next victim.

She couldn't see her master's face because he left immediately after bidding, asking his men to take her home. On the way home, they did not even bother to consider that she might hear them while they discussed what their master would possibly do with her.

"I can say that he got no interest in her. I wonder why he paid eight thousand gold for her" said one man.

"He did not take another glance at her", pointed out another man.

The master's house fascinated her. It was as big as a castle. She wondered who her master could be but dared not to ask anyone. She was sure of one thing though and that was that whosoever he master was, he was very rich.

She was bathed in rose water and dressed in fine silk, and asked to wait in a room that was not only spacious but luxurious too. She had never seen anything like it. The bed was soft and the sheets were scented.

It isn't all that bad, she thought and that was when someone knocked the door. She did not know what to do and before she could decide, someone entered the room. Could that be the master? she wondered.

He was but instead of introducing himself to her, he asked, "Do you know why you are here?" She shook her head.

He asked, "Do you know who I am?" and she again shook her head.

"I want you to bear my child. I love my wife very much but she cannot conceive and I do not want another bride. I also cannot let our bloodline die...", he explained but never once did he ask her consent.

He came every night and made love to her. Though he was gentle, she knew that he did not really want her and though her body reciprocated, she had sealed away her heart. And every time she climaxed, she thought, No, I'm not for sale. You might own my might also sow your seeds in me, but you shall never win my heart, NEVER!!

Dusk, The beginning of Darkness!

He smiled.

It was a smile of victory, of contentment. The most genuine smiles are often priceless, as they are not easy to come by. Sometimes it takes years of hard work, sometimes a happy memory. In Pranav’s case, it was the former.

Excellence is achieved not only through hard work, but by being passionate about something; by being crazy about something you love the most. Pranav had somehow known this since his childhood.

When he was just a five year old little brat, all he wanted to do all the time was play cricket. One evening when he came back home after a game, his mother, like everyday, had immediately dragged him to the bathroom. She had then asked him casually while giving him a bath, “What do you want to do when you grow up, my dear?” And Pranav, who was wearing nothing but a smile, had replied in the same casual manner, “I want to play Cricket.” His mother had simply laughed, and he had kept mum.

Now, fifteen years later, he was still smiling, holding the cell phone in his left hand. It was just seven-thirty in the morning, and he had woken up to the most exciting news of his life. He had been selected for the National Cricket team. Only his mother wasn’t alive to enjoy his success.

He was enjoying the moment. Though the call had gotten over, he was still holding the phone and smiling. Some of his friends noticed him and whistled. It was February 14th. Love was all around, and his friends’ thoughts were that of a conventional mind.

He finally kept his cell phone back in his pocket and walked back into his hostel room. He needed to be alone. The first few moments of one’s greatest happiness should be spent with oneself, and that’s exactly what he was doing. It was Valentine’s Day, and he was in love – with himself.

Falling in love with oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.


He loved himself very much, and that’s the reason he could give so much love to her – to Ananya.


He had to tell her the news. She would be so happy for him, he knew. She had dreamed of it along with him. Except for her, there wasn’t anybody in his life. She was one, she was all.

He got dressed up, and just when he was about to go, his cell phone rang. It was an unknown number.


Tell me one thing. If you have to choose between me and cricket, what is it going to be?”

“You know, people love a lot of things in their lives. For me, there are only two things I love with all of my heart: You and Cricket. But if I have to choose between you and my game, I shall have to choose the latter.”

At that particular juncture her respect for him grew, and she kissed him on the cheek.

“Would you have kissed me on the lips if I’d said that I’d choose you over my game?” Pranav asked, grinning from ear to ear.

“No, you idiot. I’d have slapped you hard across your face if you’d said that. If you can’t love yourself, if you don’t have any respect for your dream, how can you ever love me?”


“Hello,” Pranav said into the phone.


“Yes, this is he.”

“I’m Dr. Pradeep from Ashraya hospital. I was rather hoping you might be able to come to hospital now?”

“Oh, my test results have come, haven’t they? I’d almost forgotten about today’s meeting with you. Sorry. But sir, I was on my way to somewhere else….”

“Just a matter of few minutes, my boy. Anyhow hospital is not too far, is it?”

“Yes, all right. I’ll be there in a while.”


The rays of the morning sun were reflecting on the lake with iridescent brilliance. For some people that were strolling along the bank of the lake, the day had just started. But for Pranav, it was over. There would be no more mornings for him. The doctor had said two more months; two more months filled with darkness. Two months, only if he got admitted and started getting the treatment.

A week ago when he had complained of severe abdominal pain, constipation, nausea, and some blood in the vomit, the doctor had subjected him to various tests.

“I was just over-reacting. I’d eaten like a glutton the previous day. Maybe it’s because of tha…..” he had begun to say the moment he saw the doctor in the morning.

“Stomach Cancer,” the doctor had cut him off. He knew no tricks could make Pranav feel any better.

He had listened to the doctor in silence for the next half hour, without reacting. And then he had just gotten up and left.

Now, he stood staring into the void. His life had come to a stand still.


“What is love, Pranav?”

“I don’t really know what love is, my love. All I know is that I want to spend the rest of my life with you. I want to grow old with you. I’ve heard people say that a man should find a woman to die for, but I’m proud to have found a woman to live for.”

And they hugged each other tightly as tears rolled down Ananya’s cheeks.


He stood there incapacitated, listening to the horrific thoughts in his mind. He shuddered at the thought of Ananya.

People find love on Valentine’s Day, but Pranav had lost it.

He came back to reality when his cell phone rang. It was she.

I’m sure to go through a lot of pain in the next couple of weeks, but the pain would be unendurable for her if she ever came to know.

The phone was still ringing. He held it tightly as if he was trying to crush it, closed his eyes, and switched it off.