Mad World

All the things the ‘crazies’ got to endure;
In order to cure their eccentric predispositions;
Burnt at stakes
And exorcised for demons
Plunged into ice baths
Skulls drilled for lobotomy
Women electrocuted for hysteria
Bled for melancholia
Bloodletting for paranoia
And the latest diagnoses happens to be a multiple personality disorder and depression,
Is it true?
That the modern cure for the ‘mental health disorders’ called psychology
Is the rat torture cabin of the modern world?

Fissures in Space and Time

Khud Se Baatein Karte Rehna Baatein Karte Rehna
Aankhen Moonde Din Mein Meethi Raatein Bharte Rehna

Khud Se Kehna Jaati Hoon Maein
Khud Se Kehna Aai Maein
Aaisa Bhi To Hota Hai Na Halkisi Tanhaai Mein
Tanhaai Mein Tasveeron Ke Chehre Bharte Rehna
Khud Se Baatein Karte Rehna…

Lata Mangeshkar plays in the background of the tiny dhaba we sit in as I engage in one of the staring contests of mine own making,
which have become too tedious for you now.

What am I waiting for?

Perhaps for the time to come to a stand still
and create a fissure in time and space for us to belong.

On some days we sit, idle, good for nothing but staring;
staring at the clouds beckoning to the tangerine sunsets.

On other days, we sit until morning listening to the gushing waters of Beas.
I hope for that fissure again.

Perhaps that is real.
Perhaps it is not.

Like Mangeshkar’s heroine, I too am lost in ‘khud se baatein’,
My mind yearning to say things,
But my mouth unwilling to speak.
So we stare at the dying twilight instead.

You take my fingers and intertwine them with your own,

The bravest and the most reassuring lie!

For the only thing that crosses my mind is;
What would we ever do if asked for a public union, in our socially accepted lives?

At the end of this,
One of us will be lost,
Lost in these sunsets, the sound of gushing waters
Lost in the stars on the coldest winter nights and the warmth of our hearts.

Lost and dreamless in the fissures created by time.

Perhaps both of us will be lost.

Because that is the way it feels,
When you stare back at me,
Gasping and breathless
While I hold you closer
And we listen to each other cry.


©Samrta Marks

The Abyss (1)

A fancy word I learnt,
For it was cool to know Nietzsche’s abyss,
Flirt with the word and the world with its inevitability.
Making people abysses,
The ones you fall too deep into.
Cradling above it’s well,
The cradle, tied to poles of madness.
More than often when I look down now,
I don’t hear it’s call but see it wink,
It has started to flirt back with me.
I hadn’t realized I would garner its attention.
However now that I have,
My stomach wambles at the thought of what would happen next.
For its too dark and has crippled the light.
If I give in,
Will I come out a mystic or a madman?
Will I be able go back to the time when it didn’t have its hands on me?
Will a star be born in its dark caves?
I for once realize I have always walked on the edge of that well,
Sometimes I have tried to leave its path
And join the swirling mainstream of life
But I always find myself drawn inexorably back towards the well’s edge.
On some days I like to pretend to be Ms Ingram,
Who was happy to peer into the abyss,
Explore its nature and analyse its secrets.
But nothing infuriates and terrorizes me more than waiting on the edge of dread
It’s not the fear of falling that keeps me rooted,
It is the fear of not being able to resist the desire to jump
And feel what falling feels like.


©Samrta Marks

Modern Love

Artwork- Albena Vatcheva

They say; Falling in love is easy,

In this modern world, somehow, it’s easier,

Because modern science has made the perfect recipe;

Answering 16 questions on personality type,

36 on compatibility.

And some more on your preferred intimacy.

One could do all of these from behind a screen too.

Fuelling our nerve synapses and rushing our dopamine.

Four minutes of eye contact,

In an ‘ambience’ of ‘aesthetics’- which is a shallow mimicry of the good old days gone by.

Some ‘insta-worthy’ pictures and shallow talks on the mediocre food,

Food, made for an appeal to the eye and no nourishment to the soul.

Modern love,

You see is calculated,

It does not take risks;

Are you a doctor?

Are you a scientist?

Do you come from wealth?

Of, course I shall be there with you ‘till death do us part’.

If tarots could really tell the truth,

what would you like to know about today?

Because your “lover’s checklist”

Of all the securities have been checked off.

I would really want you to travel back in time,

When the tale began,

To light years ago,

When the universe conspired,

And you felt you were home,

When no one was a stranger
And there were no black holes,
You always had most of the answers instead of being left with,
“Why didn’t they stay?”
and a random stranger with a checklist,

Of businessmen and women and doctors and engineers.
Because falling in love is easy

And modern love requires modern solutions.


©@Samrta Marks

Mourning with Grief

Art work- Blossoms of grief Katrina Pallon

The whistle of the pressure cooker going off,

The milkman ringing the bell

The cat relentlessly meowing till you don’t pour her a bowl of warm milk

The next z-meeting about to start

How do you mourn when life carries on?

Where is the time for mourning?

When one minute you are thinking about death and the other filing taxes

If it were so easy to grieve,

Wouldn’t they sell manuals of love and light on the corner street

Instead of the ‘news’ of destruction?

A generational grief spread across the era,

Like the exotic carpet of blooms amidst the Zanskar and the Himalaya!

This is a good time to capitalize grief

And the fund art which will be spoken about by the ‘rich intellectuals’

Who, with a glass of ‘pink champagne’ in their hands,

Will all nod in acknowledgement,

Of the ‘grief’ that is visible to them in the art,

While gulping a processed pork cheese slider.

But what makes mourning so difficult?

Because it isn’t loss itself,

For the realization sets in much later,

When you are trying to get a whiff of the dying scent of the loss.

Soon you become a genius of sadness,

Plunging in the pools of it,

Spinning sadness out of moments

(Like Rumpelstiltskin, only he spun gold.)

Applauding the wide spectrum

Soon you could be a prism,

Through which sadness filters into it’s infinite spectrum.

So you turn off the gas,

Take the milk,

Feed the cat

And mourn with Grief – for the generational sadness that we all live through.

Moods and Madness

The Madness- Mitchell Todd


Sometimes people think they know what it’s like to be depressed; the loss of a loved one, broken relationships, changes, arguments, social imbalances- but these experiences carry with them unfathomable feelings.

Depression is hollow and excruciating. It is also wearisome. People cannot stomach being around you when you are depressed. They might think that they should and they might even try, but you know and you know that they know that you are wearisome beyond belief or help, you are sullen and paranoid and humourless and lifeless and critical and demanding and no reassurance is ever enough. You’re frightened, and you’re frightening, and you’re “not at all like yourself but will be soon,” but you know you won’t.

For the pain we carry
Makes us feel like we are in a ghoulish dream,
Our mind, an accidental guest in a dreadful time.

Sometimes I think illness sits inside every woman, waiting for the right moment to flower. I have known so many sick women all my life. Women with chronic pain, with gestating diseases waiting to be birthed and sometimes they have accumulated those diseases at times even passed down through generations of trauma. They are consumed with the illness.

I have seen women,
Consumed with the idea of the pain of child birth
And the pain of their mother and their mothers’ mother
And their menstruation
And their existence in general,
These ideas of illness have consumed them
Not one says,
I will not give this pain to my daughter
Instead, they burden their young one
With the ideas of illness
And like an infestation it blooms with time
Watered by moods, madness and people.

Sensitive people usually love deeply and hate deeply. They don’t know any other way to live than by extremes because their emotional thermostat is broken.

The man I love,
Loves fervently and madly,
His love runs deep
But paranoia swims in his seas,
I row my boat of petulance
His waves of anxiety try to drown me out,
But I know how to swim.
Like jelly fish, his paranoia stings me
And I try to come up for air,
Once I do, I lose the depth,
I dive back, but the jelly fish don’t let me pass
Down to the depths where the treasure really lies.
And I am left in the fear
Of never reaching the nadir
Almost close to the sea of hatred
Whose depths have no jelly fish but a clean straight dive.


©Samrta Marks

Peacocks and Men

Have you ever noticed,

the intense flaring of the peacock’s feathers,

when one faces the other and there’s a bunch of peahens around?

They argumentatively shake their feathers

Hoping one or the other would  back down and succumb

 to the other’s magnificence.

Until one humbly disrespects the other

Trots off wantingly, leaving the other disdained

And humming and clearing throats

Trying to hide the embarrassment

The other still pegging at the feast he thought he had gained

Till the other made himself scarce.

The Ghosts of Romance

In a world where,

Every internet page that I visit flashes an advertisement of the lingerie I glimpsed at,

And in the same world,

I gotta shut my laptop flap for a woman in a lingerie is still a taboo.

In a world where feelings are sold like commodities by the racquet mongering media

And people fuck in metaverse

While their adrenaline rush happens in the matrix,

Where in this maddening world can one find romance?

Perhaps they will simulate those chemicals as well-

only to make us forget that love without algorithms was a thing we once had,

like the embraces of our grandparents.

Can someone lead me to those that can find love without statistics knowing their favorite condom brand? (Why do you have one in the first place?)

Lets pull up our socks for the new normal as the 1000th variant arrives.

Don’t you know yet,

That you’re the blockbuster that’s paying their bills.


©Samrta Marks


Perspectives (Part II)

They tell me that I’ll need a ‘progeny’ to keep me company when I am gray.

I want to tell them that I am not a virus that needs to reproduce and survive at all costs.

I want to tell them that I’d rather choke on my vomit alone, than birth ungrateful little pests that consume mama earth rampantly without a second thought.

You see I am an ardent believer of love.

I grew up surrounded by it, consumed by it, drowning in it and eventually learning how to swim in it.

What’s more? Fortunately, or unfortunately, the backdrop seems to romanticize everything around me;

The wilderness of the hilly forests,

Blazing and mesmerizing sunsets setting fire to the skies,

Incessant rains

Scrumptious fruit laden orchards

Eagles that fly so high, yet seem so close that they might just gouge out one’s eyeballs.

Where in the world would I think anything about social security and financial humbug when these mountains have made me as strong as them?

(The lyrics of ‘Country Strong’ play in my head at the moment, “…cuz I’m country strong, hard to break, like the ground I grew up on…)

All of these, flourish in love- or if you want to say they flourish by consuming each other, I might agree too, but we’ll keep the existential dread for another day.

With the advent of AI, human relationships have a whole new different meaning and the escape lies in the words of all those ancient romantic philosophers who sook the meaning of life almost two thousand years ago (or they say), but even a mere attempt on my part to put that idea into words would be a pathetic mimicry (as Plato has already stated).

Contrary to the popular belief of everything coming to an end, love somehow has a beginning, a middle but somehow no end.

Love smells like the morning dew,

 fresh baked bread,

perfect colognes,

soil; fresh from the first few drops of rain,

 freshly picked tea

a mother’s smothering care

It smells like a father’s experimental recipe

and the fire on cold winter evenings.

It feels like bees singing on a myriad of flowers, ecstatic in the hope of a bright sunshiny day.

 (I know, the lot of you hate the sun owing to the heat, but trust me, we hill people love nothing more than lazing and romanticizing our lives in the warm sun- a capitalistic asshole will say it is a lazy life, but damn you! You don’t know the pleasures. Also, I know them worker bees be just making honey for the queen, but pshhawww- I see love and refuse to fall for your “$cientific” tactics of making the world a dreary place!)

Love feels like butterflies dancing on your moss-covered belly, which is almost one with the earth.

But at times love feels like hot molten stones being shoved down your throat and at times like one being covered in gun powder to be ignited on a later date.

(If you don’t know how gun powder feels- go eat a firecracker) 😛

Love, you see is vulnerability-meeting-hope, trusting the one who holds you at gun point to shoot your favorite flowers when they pull the trigger.

But when people reduce it to progeny and weddings- I want to laugh at their failed attempt of merely outliving their lives with a loveless existence.

Why so, because they see the act of loving as a failure of some sort, as if loving was something alien to them and restricted to the bonds of familial responsibilities and societal worthiness- all because they’re afraid to feel the depth in a heartbreak- they writhe in tar of institutional programming and want to plaster the same on the ones different and in love.

Nothing, in the world will prevent you from going through a heartache, give in and love, because you’re destined to reproduce any way.  


© Samrta Marks

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