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Published February 10, 2018

Top India Poet: India Poetry Contest #1

Pursuit

by Aashika Suresh
(Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India)

Pursuit

by Aashika Suresh

Down the road, ten rock skips away
is a career counselor. She wears her hair
upon her head like a highland expression,
smoothed out and shiny, not a stray
fly away. When I walk in, I almost run out
for the fear that the mere presence
of my wilderness bob will throw her whole
existence askew.  I do not want my hands
tainted with yet another mishap of that degree.
My mother gently prods me forward; the counselor
catches my eye. I have no choice. I am left
shuffling up to her desk, suddenly telling her tales
about my ambitions.
That is all very well
she says, but what do you want to do?
I am a dreamer
, I say. She sighs.
I can tell by her piercing gaze
and the curve of her eyebrow
she thinks she's seen enough of my kind; but I
am not one among the confused
she pegs me to be. My day job options
are clear, it’s a choice among
kiwi picker
pet food taster
colour expert
professional cuddler
heck professional sleeper perhaps-
all pragmatic choices, dependent
merely on which one has a vacancy for me.
But at night,
tucked away from the pressures
of the world, I will choose to be whatsoever
I please. Often times I am a knighted warrior freeing
prisoners of war, sometimes a glitter fairy flying. I can be
a circle, two dimensional with no sharp edges, but my favourite
shape is amoeba. I am a quacking duckling
that can waddle, at other times I’m
a cosmic star. It doesn’t matter, for I
am in control.
The counselor hands me
a form to fill - basic details to begin with
that will help me find
my place in the world, she assures. I take
it back home with me.

It gets lost at sea. My mother relents
as I return between the sheets, scouring
for strings of my reality lurking
between the pillow covers, the ones
that escaped at night. I begin to create
my place in my world.


Biography
Aashika Suresh: I am a 23-year old sunlight seeker, coffee aficionado, and
a perpetual paradox, studying to be a financial journalist. Poetry helps me
unravel the mysteries that plague my mind, a form of therapy. I am in love
with the works of Sylvia Plath and Marie Howe.
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