Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Footsteps in the Snow

She walks through the freshly fallen snow,
Looks back smiling , expecting to see her footsteps.
Her face crumples,
Her throat catches the still wind's numbing wetness.
There is blood.
Red, thick, warm and slick on the snow.
Each footstep is a scarlet pool.
She hears her heart thumping loudly in her mouth.
'She is bleeding !!!! She is bleeding!!!!', she thinks.
No, her feet are fine.
Then Who?, What? How?
Questions she has no answers to.
Then she remembers and runs and runs.
Far away from the red, the scarlet, the slickness.
For it is the snow that is bleeding,
Oozing out the suffering of the depression of the earth once protected by rocky sentries.

She stops only when her bones wanted the earth and her spirit wanted the sky.
But the red river follows her,
Unending, unbending.
Tearless, voiceless,
She raves and rants.
She reaches a forest of dead trees.
Where she can hear the silence,
Where the green leaves are charred,
Where the orange autumn is black,
Where the snow white is red, and,
Where the blue river is filled with dead logs.

She has been here before.
Seen the rock sentries look on mutely,
Heavens far away, disdainful.
The Air still with death.
Choking on blood which is not hers, she falls down.
Silent screams escape her lips and the air stirs.

It howls, from the pain of countless souls,
Traveling on the pilgrimage to light,but;
Fallen treacherously to the terrain, which once went through their backyard,
Into the chasm of darkness.
The pain closes in on her,
Strangling her for breath , for life.

A small bird flutters around,
Trapped between the rocky sentries and aloof skies.
It flutters down and perches on her shoulder.
She flinches at its touch,
Yet finds comfort in its restlessness.
"Stupid bird", she thinks.
Getting tossed and turned by all the elements,
Still trying to fly free.
Is it possible?

To see the curved wooden floating gardens on the glassy blue mirror,
Carrying all the possible hues and fragrances of the glen.
To see two red apples with two sparkling eyes splitting wit joy !!
To warm hands with the green leaves and sweet brown.
To drink the snow white water at the mouth of nature.

She hopes, She prays.
She smiles.

Written on 22nd September, 2009.

( I have lived in Srinagar, Kashmir Valley for 10 years, from 1980-1990. As they say that the childhood days are best, mine were perfect in the most beautiful place on earth. "Heaven on earth" as one King once said. But we had to leave due to reasons beyond our control, rather we could not come back, as we had gone for our usual winter vacations to my grandparents in Lucknow and the situation got so bad that my parents decided not to return. I couldn't say goodbye , haven't said goodbye.Its our especially my mother's wish to go back once. I know people keep visiting and have good things to say... lets see its like we will get a summon. The poem though sad , hopes for hope. I did think while starting to write that I should write about my life there, but that did not come. Haven't forgotten yet, but as usual the allegories took me along. 
The pictures are from the net (do not have the link and I hope haven't violated any copyright). The last photo is of the Nargis flower which has the sweetest smell possible. You can keep it in one corner of the house and in sometime the whole place is filled with its fragrance. My favourite !!!! Flowers grow in abundance there , even a normal home garden literally overflows with them in spring time. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful !!!!!! :) )


  1. Beautiful. May flowers of hope bloom again in the Valley.

  2. I never have come across this nargis flower but yes have seen many in the valley... hope is what we bleed for... if there's no hope all sacrifice is gone... and you can ask for the pics i wont object and you wont be sued for copyright infringement!! well written.

  3. @Sudhir: thanks !! :)
    @Major: Salute to the sacrifices of your men and you !! Please do share the pics somewhere online like flickr or picasa.. would love to revisit through the pics if not actually !! thanks :)

  4. Hey Manisha....that was a piece of a gem...really liked it...a perfect piece to bring out the emotions deeply inscribed in u....

  5. yes there is hope...for where flowers grow hope will always remain..hope is the hlacyon manna on which angels feed :) when man has done enough to destroy .. nature can still heal its wounds and thats why we call it MOTHER nature !

  6. @Blue sky : thanks a lot !!!! :)

  7. Manisha,
    what a wonderful expression. I'm glad you gave the reference. I read it again after reading the reference. didn't know you were such a good poet. keep up the good work.

  8. @Manu Chacha : thank you so much !!!!!!! :D

  9. Truly amazing....:) mom shud read this....