By Atul Ramdhyani ; Photograph - Tejasswin Murughappun

I often stand by the beach,

to feel the gentle, sometimes violent embrace of the vast expanse.

The sea reminds me of my friends,

of their chaotic love and the gentle hand they've lent 

to me, when life had me swerving by the bend.

I often stand under the stars,

Staring, counting, mesmerized to find peace in such a crowd.

The stars remind me of my friends,

of how they've always found me, as I've found them,

In every end's beginning, and every beginning's end.

I often wonder what will happen,

when I've grown too old to stand through waves,

too old to  star gaze.

Maybe then the only place left will be behind me,

And my past will continue to remind me,

That the waters eventually distanced from the bay;

And the stars, 

they’ve dimmed by day.

But my friends, 

Through turbulent tides and starless nights,

My friends have always stayed.