I am just another showpiece on the wall

Ever felt like an ageing wall clock?

When the fine needle of existence painstakingly attempts to stride ahead,

Only to be dragged by the draining battery of patience,

When the dust of neglect settles in comfortably,

Unattended, unscratched,

With no one to bother,

I am just another showpiece on the wall.

Like many souls venturing out to search for a home on rent,

In the majestic city of Mumbai,

Desires playing hide and seek,

Hiding behind the charming living room echoing the tunes of the roaring sea waves,

Seeking the space to zoom back to our childhood running endeavors,

I begin my search,

With my rented wingman,

Gazing through the array of houses,

One, Two, Twenty,

Look at the 21st apartment- wrapped in the summer’s green black dark,

Mischievously smiling, as the key unlocks its soul,

A strong gush of reality shuddering my dreamy clouds of desire,

Fairly quickly,

The mischief is now in open- its size, shape & concept,

All depicting a classical saga of compromise or an artful stroke of innovation,

Whatever you call- as per your convenience,

The definition of a home seems to have changed,

Is it the emotions freely guiding the elements of the house or

The Legos of the house producing the emotions?

The living room reminding me of my morning Mumbai Local ride,

Where the tiniest of kitchen slept, tucked in with few closely packed chairs,

Which can never change their orientation as they are squeezed with a pair of racks,

Just sufficient to make a living you see.

The sleepy bedroom refusing to awaken!

True to its verbatim,

Precisely molded in with only the bed along the three corners of wall,

Confined, contended,

Everything else at an arm’s length,

Leading to the bathroom,

Which is hiding in the corner.

With a splashy blue colored door and a shining curvy knob,

It invites me to dive into the bathtub of redemption,

I turn the knob anticipating a flashy pool of comfort,

Only to get a running tap of disdain,

Before my clouds of shock could even drench me,

My rented wingman brought me back to the sunny realm of reality,

“Your pockets will get you this only”, he uttered,

“Put in more bucks and the experience wont suck”,

He smiled, sliding the only window pane for the sun to beam the ray of hope into my eyes,

Memorizing the pattern of my sadness and darn,

Sketching the outside edges of my cornered optimism,

Rubbing away the melancholy slowly,

Trapping me to nod in affirmation,

He dials in confirming the good news,

Declaring the search 2.0 open.

Now begins the dramatic play,

The dry eyed snoopy neighbors watching amidst the scorching sun,

As my rented wingman is on a key hunting run,

With all smiles he appears after half an hour,

By then the uncles and aunts have given me an intellectual shower,

Off we enter the palatial cave,

Look at the furniture, feel the texture,

The walls are so fine, the windows witness the setting sun,

The balcony waving to the whistling breeze,

All in a tune mesmerizing my many colored moods,

I could unload all my boxes of dreams here,

As I smile to close the deal,

‘Vegetarians only’ I hear back,

She couldn’t have been meaner, The Landlady

For she never experienced the romance of the spicy red chicken kebab with the poetic sun, naughty wind and the teary desire. All at the same time,

I smiled and ushered out my condolences,

Ridiculing my self-belief of marriage settling all the Land Lord stereotypes,

Missing the entire battalion eager for one glance- Caste, Creed, Orientation, origin,

The meeting is endless,

I get dizzy with life’s biasness,

Gulping easily from its cup of norms, celebrating the secrets.

We embark on our next excavation,

The narrow by lane, the spooky gate,

The dancing lift, the endless wait,

The uneven stair, the perforated wall,

The roughened floor, the next wasted call.

The shaking basin, the polished vent,

The placid negotiation, the questionable rent.

The clock is still ticking, the city is still smiling,

The adventurous house hunt has still some breath left,

One more array of flats are nicely kept,

Everyone is still there, with the familiar tune,

But my boxes of dreams are becoming lighter,

Leaking from the edges, mingling with the dust on the road,

As it welcomes the next set of search.

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Adrit Mishra

When statistics & management insights transcends into philosophical, introspective & poetic ones