‘Isn’t it beautiful’, she asked me.

‘Yes dear, it is indeed’, I replied her. There was sunshine on her cheek glistening like a river between beautiful meadows, coming through the small pores of semitransparent festoons near the gate.  The flower she held in her hand was a jasmine, a dead one but full of perfume. And, yes, whenever I pass through the garden of Mr. Shah, I can’t ignore the fragrance of jasmine in his garden. It reminds me of her. She was a jasmine herself. Beautiful, like the midnight sky, full of mysteries yet so enchanting.

Two years of our friendship changed into an inseparable bonding the day I put a ring into her glass of beer. She was surprised. She was somewhat amazed, little confused. However, she jumped into me as if she too was longing for this moment. She kissed me everywhere with tears in her eyes. ‘I knew, I knew baby, this moment would come, and I used to dream of it. I never wanted more than this, dear, nothing more.’ smooching into my cheeks she was crying. It was a moment one would feel just like when the sun comes out for the first time after month-long clouds and overcast. Nothing was more appealing than this moment. Everyone wishes this moment at least once in their lifetime.

‘Love has limits, limits that makes us harder and weaker or limits that makes us softer and stronger. I chose to be softer and kinder, be like a soap or like a butter.’ She would terminate every one of her lecture with a giggle. We met in a bookshop, where we both turn out to be purchasing the last piece of the same book. Well, I let her take it but she insisted that she would pay half and I ought to pay another half so that we could share the book. We agreed to meet every Saturday in a coffee shop nearby the bookshop.

It was midnight and I was about to start a new book. It was my two hundredth book. She had already finished three chapters of the book. She had a bookmark in the book; it was a jasmine but all dried up. There was no any fragrance in it. It was dead. I couldn’t think more than our meeting. I could not start even a page. She came in a blue kurta salwar with a side bag. She was looking nothing like old nineties Bollywood actress but more like a serene nature where there are trees, a sun, clear sky, river, and flowers. A perfect art. ‘Here, take it. It is nice. Loved the start.’ She handed me the book. She sat in front of me, put down her bag. I ordered coffee. ‘I don’t have any money right now.’ She said. This treat, on me. Next time you pay, ok.’ I said. She smiled. We sat there for one hour and talked about books, about war, about politics and everything that was going around but we forgot ourselves.

It was Saturday again and I can’t even finish a page this time. Every time, I opened the book, I was lost in her thoughts. ‘Hey there, how are you?’ she was already there. ‘Hello, I’m fine, thank you. And you?’, she was looking gorgeous. This time, she came in a frock. Frock !, I mean who would wear frock in those days, they were out fashioned. She had very bad taste in dress. I handed her the book. She opened it. She looked me as if I had committed a big crime. ‘Sorry, I couldn’t finish, or just say I didn’t even start.’ I apologized. ‘No, it’s not about how much you read?’ she pulled a long sip of coffee; it was served the moment I was staring at her and I had just realized that there was coffee to drink.  ‘Then, why are you angry?’, this was my expression and she got it. ‘You folded the page, how cruel can you be !’ she replied and I couldn’t resist my laugh. ‘Better than your bookmark. Seriously, a jasmine, a flower?’ I just want to win over her argument. ‘No, I found it on the road, is there any better place you know to keep it other than the book. You are such an…, leave it, I’m going.’ She put the book into her bag and we got out of the coffee shop.

There was a rush outside the coffee shop. ‘The army captured three rebels.’ An old man was talking to the shopkeeper. Most of them were closing their store and it was just two o’ clock. ‘Peace is still undefined. Isn’t it Rupesh? You try to hold it in your fist but it slips in between the war of your fingers. Our futile dreams are the reason for everything. Politics trade our dreams for peace and peace cannot exist without war. What an irony! ’ She giggled after she finished saying everything.

War was at its peak. Nothing was interesting. No late night parties, no outing, nothing was there to do for us. Even the TV was filled with the war updates and the pessimist news. Therefore, the best thing we could do were the books. Now that I had met Nikita, everything seemed good for me. ‘We had to do nothing with the war. It will end when each side will exhaust.’ I used to say.

We continued to meet. When the world around me was suffering from worst of its nightmare, I had my most beautiful dream. Nikita was my dream. When the world around me was declining its hope, I was inclining up towards hope. The times of our visits multiplied. We started meeting regularly. We shared books, moments, smiles, tears and above all, compassion. We were friends, friends forever, but for me, she was more than a friend. A year full of war, hate and tears was the most blessed year for me, all because of Nikita.

It was just like our regular visit. We sat down for coffee. I talked of war, politics, books but Nikita was silent that day. She rarely uttered a word. ‘What’s bothering you? Are you fine?’ I asked her. She didn’t reply. She had tears all over her eyes. I could see her face. She was trying to be strong holding her tears but the damned tears, she couldn’t do anything. ‘My father is kidnapped by the rebels. He is a correspondent for the local newspaper. It’s been a month. We haven’t heard anything from him. And this was from today’s news.’ She wept out everything. She showed me a newspaper. I could do nothing. I didn’t even find proper words to say to her. A few days later, I heard the death of her father. I did everything to support her thereafter. But I lost the courage to express my love towards her. Still, we continued to meet.

Mr. Shah who lived next door to us had a garden full of flowers but jasmine always intrigued me. I find Nikita in the fragrance. ‘Mr. Shah, would you mind if I could take some jasmine from you?’ One day I asked him to gift Nikita. ‘What’s it for, boy ?’, a  lonely retired old man asked me. ‘It’s my secret Mr. Shah, but I can assure you, it is for someone beautiful.’ I told him. ‘Then my boy, you better show her the garden instead.’ With a grin on his face, he told me as if he knows every little thing about this earth. ‘How do you know it’s for ‘her’?’ I asked him. He just smiled and didn’t say anything. I brought Nikita in Mr. Shah’s garden. She was very happy. Mr. Shah pulled out a mattress, brought two-beer glass and a bottle of beer. He put them near the jasmine plant over the green Chinese grass. ‘Look after my house until I’m back, my boy’ he asked me. ‘Ok Mr. Shah I’ll’, I nodded.

‘Isn’t it beautiful’, she asked me.

‘Yes dear, it is indeed’, I replied her. She was looking at the jasmine with a dead jasmine in her hand. I put the ring on her glass of beer. Two years of friendship and I was proposing her between the most perfumed places on earth. She was my girlfriend now, officially and I was the happiest man. It was getting late and asked her if I could walk her down to her house. However, she denied. She kissed me, then took her lips near my earlobe and whispered, ‘I learned happiness from you. Thank you.’ She bided farewell.

I waited all night in Mr. Shah’s house but he didn’t come home. I slept there that night. Next morning I went to get the newspaper and the news tore me apart like a paper, ‘A girl died while saving an old man in a crossfire… An old man is in ICU and no hopes for him.’ Happiness never comes alone.

Mr. Shah is dead. I still sit in this garden, pass through this garden, look after these jasmines. I am still waiting for something I don’t know, caring garden for him and for Nikita.

Previously published in https://pwnbhtt.wordpress.com/2018/01/19/jasmine/
Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. 

Her wave…

 By:- Romance

I admit,
I was afraid to love.
Not just love,
but to love her.
For she was a stunning mystery.
She carried things
deep inside her
that no one
has yet to understand,
and I,
I was afraid to fail
like the others.
She was the ocean
and I was just a boy
who loved the waves
but was completely
to swim.

Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. 

The Child

 By:- Stephen Fuller (S Francis)
June 19, 1986
Bullets pierce and echo the air
Villagers abandon their flaming homes
The king cannot see, only the Lord sees
Reasons do not matter as bloodshed begins
On a hilltop the one flag quivers in the wind
Tears pour into the Child’s innocent eyes
His brother has died in the flames of war-
Horror from what was once so grand
Unnoticed, underfoot our freedom drifts
We, sightless, block our ears from the Child’s wail
His father has died in the ocean of war
Only to be as us- free
The fire rages across the countryside
The Child is shot in his tears
The memory of his brother burns
The memory of his father drowns
One man fills his jars with tears
His son fills dreams with fears
Both are dead, burned by lead
Nothing left, there is no son
Nothing left, there is no village
At dawn the flames consumed the last morsel
On a hillside the one flag quivers
The stars shine, the bullets pierce the air
We bury the Child under the flag
His father would have won the flag
They bled too long for
A reason too wrong
Bullets pierce and echo the air
The village burnt to the ground
Does any flesh mourn the Child?
Oh Lord…
Reasons do not matter when innocence sheds blood.

The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. 

Empty Me

-Pawan Bhatta

Cut me into pieces,

Take every part of me,

Into your world,

Your world,

Of colors,

Of civilization,

Of feelings,

Of care,

Of love,


Yeah, I don’t know what love is.

I feel no pain, no tears,

‘You have heart of the stone, very hard.’

You say all the time,

You’re right except in the time,

When I think of you all, whom you think I should care,

The left part dismantles inside,

Like thousand pins flowing through those arteries,

Through those veins,

That my nerves get twisted,

Making me unbearable to stand on my feet,

I don’t know if it’s same with the human heart?

But I’ve got no tears, no any communal word to recompense,

No, ‘Are you fine?’

No ‘Does it hurt?’

No ‘It’ll be alright.’

No ‘I love you’,


No social, just ‘Animal’,

Just as you presumed,

Now, sell them out,

Every Piece of me!!!

You’ll know, you’ll get nothing,

For I have nothing inside me,

I am empty,

I’m naïve….

Not entirely empty,

All you will find is some confusion,

But that’s also empty,

No any motive of confusion,

Still ‘some confusions’,

So much placed in me,

Like an asphalt,

Black, dirty, hardened,


You yourself will get confused,

Whether it’s me or the confusion you are seeking to sell out,

No feelings,

No love,

No pain,

No humor,

I’ve got nothing,

You’ll get nothing,

No, not even a penny.

Like those mechanical robots, I move,

Don’t I?

With some AI,

And some AFs,

 Artificial Feelings!!!

I could never harness those tears in me,

Those smiles and all those social behaviors you seek in me,

No, I could never get them,

With those AFs could I?

For I am a dead meat holding empty hopes,

Still breathing to find something inside me,

But all I could find is me still empty inside,

Forming a loophole of reflections,

And those reflections are making me unfathomable,

I’m lost,

There is no me inside me,

I am tangled,

So much inside me,

That, all those complaints,

And your obsessions,

Your discontents,

Never reaches me,

Or to the one who you think as me,

Real or vague,

I’m still this me,


If I actually am the ‘me’ you want inside me.

The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author.
Previously Published in Poetry And Etc…

Sad … But It’s Easier to be Icy

By: Monica Pana
“Spiritual diseases are no longer treated with hot teas, but with cold showers.”
I do not know exactly who said this, but he’s right. Often we are cold, we feel insecure and it’s hard for us to give a hug. Maybe age is to blame. A child is much warmer and more affectionate. He feels the need and he expresses that by simply offering.
We always want warmth, a good thought, a few words of encouragement. We need to hear and see. Although it is a paradox, despite the fact that we can hear, see and speak, we are largely deaf, blind and mute. We do not hear cries for help, we do not see the sadness that occurs behind a crafty smile, we do not console thru words the wounded hearts.
We do not want to treat a broken soul. We look with an icy and lost look to those around us without making them understand why. Angel eyes hide a demonic mind. A broken heart, bandaged in a stone of confusion. We produce in them doubts about their own existence. We forget them and then we need their warmth. But, eventually… human nature is cold. We live with disappointments, we disappoint others and, after that, we give up the need for warmth.
Sad… but it’s easier to be icy and to protect yourself than to risk and be fulfilled.

Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. Please visit her site, look around! to read more of Monica’s fine work!

Set Yourself Free!

By: Monica Pana
I had trouble on a road that doesn’t smile, at least not to me. Sometimes it seems inaccessible, other times it is easier than clouds. I walk on fingertips in strange places, devoid of souls. It’s too cold, it’s cold in every man and that makes me feel cold, too. 
I feel like I swim upstream in a river that leads nowhere. I feel I’m a mistake, but I know that mistakes do not define me. Sometimes I feel like I see another life, another world, something beyond the boundary line between the real and ideal. A place I would have loved more than anything if it were not mine.
It looks different if you look from the outside. It seems that it looks more beautiful, especially if you do not feel it and if it does not touch you. It’s an unbearable place, sometimes it seems lifeless, but other times more alive than a full life. It is dislocated from fear and surrounded by cold.
It’s a continuous storm here, but it’s not about weather, it’s a storm of thoughts and ideas, ideas that bring rain and thoughts that remain in the sky becoming stars. Feelings are floating in nothingness being taken by the wind from the real life. It’s hard to imagine this world, it is inaccessible and dangerous.
It’s a maze of a confused and frightened mind. It’s a paradise of the childhood and the inferno where you feel immortal. It’s hard to make peace with your mind, but it’s even harder when it leads you. You must learn to accept the storm, to embrace your thoughts and ideas, to let emotions to show you what beauty means.
It’s hard, but it’s possible: TO LET YOURSELF FREE!

Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. Please visit her site, look around! to read more of Monica’s fine work!


By:- Greg Richards

Mirrors, her eyes reflected not my heart,
Which twitched and turned and bounced,
And skittered across the tension of their polished gaze.
Elasticity, opaque, a thousand yard stare
With reasons strung to match;
Sentimentality skittered away and drifted, inexorably
To the center of her webbed intent,
She would not have it so, but wished herself elsewhere,
And I, a little sustenance along the way.

Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. 

Life Can Be Tight

Life can be tight even when it’s right;
Sometimes day can seem like night,
And you feel the fright, think of flight
But for no real reason – soul treason;
It just seems like the wrong season
Even when the sun is shining its light
So bright, and driving away all blight,
But you still don’t feel just quite right
Even though you don’t know the why
As hard as you try to understand it;
You’re soul feels like an ugly bandit;
Yes . . .
Life can be tight even when it’s right

Note: The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author. 


By: Jonathan Noble

Uncertain future
Only the present moment
Fill it with gladness

You have but today
Tomorrow may never come
So sing happy songs

Time only counts now
Today is when you belong
Make the best of it


Note: Image provided by Pixabay. The copyrights on the article belong to the author. The responsibility for the opinions expressed in the article belongs exclusively to the author.