The Balloon Man

I painted him as a subject in the art class
a man holding bubbling colors
cheerful children all around;
I see him today on the streets
only to know how I failed imagining the reality
four strings tied to his fingers
struggling to escape its fate,
seams of shirt torn, shoes never worn
none around but a child of his own
hungry and lame, stretching his arm
to survive one more day and
“Life isn’t easy”, the onlookers say.
How beautiful the world would have been
if only the balloon man in my paintings was not a dream.

© Nazneen Kachwala

Longing to Smell the Coffee

It was a busy day at work when suddenly the air in my workplace was filled with a strong aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Vibrant and enticing, it made everyone slow down, but no one could figure out its source. Next day too, the dynamic whiff captured the office room, leaving all stunned and confused. Unintentionally, I happened to note down the time, it was 10. This continued for several days, weeks and months, making me accustomed to the brilliant coffee hint that struck my senses transiently each day. It became a notification to schedule my day.

One morning, the phone on my desk rang abruptly and I jumped out of my seat. I was 30 mins late to make a presentation! Having done with the apologies, I walked back wondering what happened to the everyday coffee smell or rather the stranger who made it.  The other day, being more watchful of the time, I was eagerly waiting for my dose of caffeine mixed in the air to relieve me of the tension. The day was over, but the wait for the mesmerizing coffee smell and the stranger to return still continues.

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