Cannibal

For a second, all seems quiet in this primeval forest,
But only a second, silence is something they all detest,
Each to itself, noise is their only music, their only protest,
For, asking for understanding, is too formidable a request.

Above the saplings, beneath the vines, I finally reach a clearing,
Only to comprehend, it is the end of the jungle I am nearing,
There was once a time, when it stretched to the ends of land,
Ages ago, before it was within grasp of man’s lusty hand.

But things have changed, and so have the times,
All that persists, is the pungence of its ripe limes,
The grandeur only remains in the great oak’s tale,
As a witness to a relationship now nearly stale.

Gone are the days when the flora swayed in the breeze,
To the tune of young birds celebrating their release,
Days when the daisies couldn’t wait for the sunshine of spring,
Nights when cuckoos shivered, at what the winter would bring.

But the birds, grow tired soon, and shall no longer sing,
They find the tree too stuffy, to  even rest their wing,
Deafened by time, the trees too are now beyond caring,
Although they admit, the separation is beyond bearing.

The squirrel meekly watches, as the birds go their way,
Leaving the old peepul behind, for people to log away,
It looks up one last time, at the slowly receding pack,
Now more than sure, nothing will make them come back.

One such a ground I stand, a slave without a conscience,
Greedy, slogging for the greedy, who demand obedience,
Sweating, I continue, hacking away at the roots that feed humanity,
So that my children’s dream can soon turn into a concrete reality.

Although any reader would surely put this under Gazebo, the place it rightly belongs is Mirror, because not only is this about the environment, it is more about my own life than anything else. The message and the rest of the stuff is merely camouflage over a more sinister story of my own life. It is as much about an educated woodcutter and the ecological balance, as it is about two people whom I value more than my life fighting with each other, unable to bear each other. There’s a lot more to say, but that will have to wait till I get some comments :).

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Threshold

The morning breaks out into a clear blue sky,
And you decide, today is the day, to give it a try,
So you begin, to prepare a schedule, fix the time,
By the time it’s done, the clock strikes noontime.

So busy, engaged in imitating yesterday’s work,
That you forgot, to try and make this schedule work,
Perhaps a little later, maybe the evening you decide,
Another of those opportunities that chance was denied.

Soon the sun too begins to get rid of its glow,
And you’re still busy, catching up with the flow,
When the strength gets weak, and the morale is low,
You coax the schedule to make its clock go more slow.

The sun is unwilling, but the moon cannot wait,
That’s when you realise, that things aren’t right,
You and chance part ways, hopefully only for the night,
Hoping tomorrow would show it in a much better light.

Just close your eyes, and think of the day goneby,
Look at the roads not taken, and ask yourself why,
Then open your eyes, an look above at any star,
And learn to ask how near, instead of how far.

Make sure atleast tomorrow takes you forward,
And doubt not, if progress can only mean onward,
Just because something seems to snap every time you try,
Doesn’t mean there is reason enough to stop and cry.

Because there is always hope, and abundance of it,
Awaiting to be useful, whenever you deem it fit,
There’s always sunrise tomorrow, to emerge from this darkness,
Because every morning you stand, on the threshold of greatness.

This one was a close contest, but I guess the universality was what pushed it into Gazebo from Mirror. This happened to be another of those ways life wakes you up, when you are sleeping at the wheel. In this case it was in the form of my employer. I was happy that I got into a nice comfy job, and had started to neglect my research, justifing it to myself with some or the other excuse. When all of a sudden, when I was almost asleep during an Induction Programme(why do things always strike me in sleep?), I half-heard the word ‘Threshold’.

At that instant, all my sleep vanished aand thoughts suddenly started flowing. In 15 minutes, the whole poem was ready, and once I read it I couldn’t help but agree that it really reflected the sad state of affairs that I could call my present life. The reason I am posting this today, is that I have finally climbed the first step to greatness called ‘effort’. Today morning I finally acheived the breakthrough, I got myself the schematics to the circuit board that I was searching for more than a year. They say life is what happens when everybody is sleeping, so too it did, today morning at 3AM, I finally got the schematics.

Anthem

Happy and sad, about being sad,
Certain and uncertain, about being glad,
Enraged and composed, on being compared,
Desirous and content, of being ignored.

Anxious and patient, to do nothing,
Hopeful and scared, to learn something,
Curious and nonchalant, to create something,
Hopeless and expectant, to need nothing.

Delighted and bereaving, the ensuing joy,
Unabashed and bashful, on being coy,
Flustered and pleased, for being complacent,
Farther and nearer, to becoming self-distant.

Pained and relieved, on feeling the hurt,
Cheerful and grim, for heeding the heart,
Cleansed and stinking, from the hidden dirt,
Restored and fatigued, from all this effort.

Surprised and humbled, by this sudden success,
Filled and emptied, by a renegade excess,
Stirred and propelled, from an expected failure,
Interested and bored, in the promised cure.

Seen and unseen, all of my actions are known,
Heard and unheard, they converse with the unknown,
Touched and untouched, they want me re-living,
Kindness and neglect, they taught me giving.

Liberated and chained, I live in parole,
Till life and death, get tired of my soul,
Faithful and blasphemous, I shall continue to pray,
For, spoken and unspoken, there’s lot more to say.

This one is dedicated to me, to the Jekyll and Hyde within me, so that puts it in Mirror. How often have we felt multiple emotions over a single incident. I don’t know about others, but every single incident in my life has always made me think and feel in two or more ways. Sometimes a whole range, starting from shock, moving to horror, then waning into pity before fizzling out into mere sorrow.

I understand that I am one, but my consciousness refuses to believe in it completely, and thus leaves scope for repeated reinterpretations of one single moment. What purpose retrospection serves, to what end is introspection useful, I still know not with conviction. But what I do know is that this is the truth that my life is all about, the feelings that my story is all about, this is my song, my anthem.

Abyss

The day was quiet, very much like the silence it brought,
Soaking in the serenity that my existence has long sought,
I wished music would beat noise to be today’s first sound,
As I compel myself to fight back and win lost ground.

Forgiveness is alien, something I feel ashamed to ask,
Surprising, how speaking suddenly seems a difficult task,
When the reluctant words are forced to hide,
The mind has no choice but to dumbly abide.

The shame gets me thinking, “why this reluctance”,
Why do feelings and words maintain their distance,
Some times I feel the feelings are ready for a confession,
But most often it turns out, they stop short of expression.

Everyday I am aware that the remorse does exist,
Yet I choose to ignore it, as if shrouded by a mist,
And I probably have the willingness, but not enough courage,
After all, I cannot guarantee my future relapse into rage,

When the doubt creeps in, it throws me into two minds,
Making me question, “is it the act, or the guilt, that binds”,
Leading me to think of the repercussions, if you choose, not to affirm,
And thus I languish, neither able to deny, nor able to confirm.

I notice you searching for that regret in my eyes,
You see it, but lying or not, you cannot surmise,
Because it is was true, they could surely have been spoken,
Instead of hiding behind an apparition, that was already broken.

All said and done, the fact remains that it is still left unsaid,
And that’s what bothers me every night when I go to bed,
About never having a chance, by the time I get the courage,
And whether I want to stall, till things reach such a stage.

This one is again dedicated to Divya. A continuation of what started with Chasm. So I guess that makes it one more for the Beacons. Many times after words escape our mouth, we wish we could do something about it. Maybe get back to the person and apologise, explain your side of the story. Somehow in most such cases we never get around to doing it. Atleast not until it is too late. And then we wish we could have done so, one day before, one hour before, one moment before. But that moment is gone and will never come back. So I guess if you want to say something to somebody, there’s no time like NOW.

Orbit

Few people know, that fearlessness, is what comes at the end,
That’s because very few of them have gone around the bend,
They haven’t yet known a height from which they can never descend,
Never been in a position from which no preparation can defend.

At first there was the excictement, of doing something great,
But after a certain point, even the euphoria begins to grate,
The joy slowly distills, and eventually dilutes the fervour,
And you wish it would just get over, and do you a favour.

The real tension begins when all the exccitement subsides,
As your mind starts getting twisted on never-before rides,
It keeps getting at you, till you can take it no more,
And all of a sudden, deserts you, a little shy of the shore.

The euphoria and tension are gone, that’s when the fear begins,
In the battle between confidence and fear, suspense always wins,
The uncertainty that surrounds it, is too close to fear,
To let even hope know, that, it also is as much near.

When all of these pass, all that is left is complete silence,
A silence so timeless, that each second knows its distance,
When you can hear your own heartbeat, and feel it racing,
You begin to accept, that any noise would be worth bearing.

From the womb of such a silence, is born despair,
One that is lurking behind those masks that you wear,
Always waiting for that one chance, to corrupt your soul,
Knowing well that death can be your only, and last goal.

When the despair dies, it pours its life into resignation,
That state of giving up to the almighty, eternal damnation,
When all you can do, is merely marvel at your utter helplessness,
From that rockbed of helplessness, come the sprouts of fearlessness.

This one is inspired by the storyline of the novel ‘Orbit’ and would probably fall under Gazebo. In a sense all it does is merely re-narrate the stages the protaganist goes through. However deeper into it, there’s an observation of what goes on in each of our lives. How we react to different situations, and the emotional graph during suchc times is what the poem talks about.

One Step

Looking at myself in the mirror, I see myself all wrong,
Causing me to doubt the truth I had known for so long,
When left seems like right, surely something isn’t right,
Maybe it was the reflection, or perchance the angle of sight.

Confused and bewildered, I step out onto the street,
Looking forward to any person I could happily greet,
But the picture I saw, sent me into shock,
Perhaps the first time my smiles ran out of stock.

All I could see were hundreds of faces lined with worry,
Thinking of a thousand more ways to even faster hurry,
Clockwork, the next foot was up before the previous one could rest,
And I probably understood what they meant by ‘survival of the fittest’.

Everybody it seemed was busy running after time,
Regardless that their watch would run out sometime,
They know none who has caught up, but it doesn’t matter,
They care not for the logic, embedded in such a matter.

They seem to believe that the heart is out of the question,
And therefore talk through their minds, talk sans emotion,
When the words escape, finding their way past the filter,
Consideration and propriety are forced to run for shelter.

So what if it made the other person feel hurt,
Couldn’t they see, their own heart was anyway hurt,
They thought others would understand the pain from this lesson,
Alas, the others, they too had filters, and saw only the agression.

If only they took one step towards those walking away,
They would find atleast one person coming their way,
Even if nobody turned around, it would be worth the effort,
For them to know, there’s somebody trying to heal their hurt.

This one definitely belongs to Mirror(though I have doubts it probably also falls into Gazebo, am having a lot of these overlapping ones nowadays). It all started out on my last day in Bangalore(for that period of time). I had by then become convinced of my opinion that BMTC conductors were the nastiest people on earth, and that they seemed to derive a sadistic joy from uttering the most disgusting things and behaving in the rudest manner possible. On that fateful day everything changed(or atleast everything about the opinion changed on 2nd May 2008).

There was this bearded middle-aged conductor in the bus while I was getting off at Vasanth Nagar, and he had the most congenial attitude I had seen in anybody in a long long long time. He greeted every single person in the most courteous way, and I must admit he was probably chivalrous to the core when it came to the ladies. Right from a student to the old lady unable to walk up quickly enough to the bus. I could see the happiness manifest itself suddenly on all their faces. It was probably that moment that I felt if only everyone everywhere could be like him.

While I understand that being Government employees and lower-level employees upon that, people like conductors carry a lot of angst with them. An angst that comes from long hours of consistently bad work environment, thankless irate customers lack of recognition and a pitiful pay to boot. This however doesn’t give them the excuse to pass off all of that pent-up fury on customers, most of whom have no other viable option and have to therefore bear all of it with a closed mouth. These conductors were appointed to be the customer-end face of the organisation, and if not for general well-being of the society, they should atleast behave considerately for the sake of the organisation that pays them to treat theh customers with respect. They seem to neither care for the organisation or for humanity in general, simply because nobody seems to care for them.

And it is not just the conductors, if every passsenger spoke gently and considerately to every conductor, they would feel like reciprocating and vice versa. Why are we always waiting for somebody else to smile first, somebody else to greet us affectionately first. If everybody shouted at everybody simply because the other person was also shouting, the world would be the biggest cacophonic fishmarket of the universe. Every time you smile and reply to somebody instead of answering with a grim face, you are unconsciously improving that person’s morale, uplifting that person’s spirit. This poem is dedicated to that Conductor of Route No. 290, who made my day. Wish everybody would follow suit. Change begins at an individual level.

Nightfalls

Nobody seems to understand, though it is a simple fact,
It seems they believe you’re a party to this daily pact,
Going it appears, into nothingness at the hint of dawn,
Happy that the sun is breaking out on another morn.

They know not, that you neither come nor go,
For, aren’t you the companion they don’t know,
Although always around, they never observe you stay,
Likely too busy to notice being abandoned by the day.

Left to yourself, you wouldn’t even talk of the day,
So I decide to let you for this once, have your say,
Everytime I think of my meeting with you tonight,
Visible yet shrouded, the possibilities taunt my sight.

Every dialogue in our conversation remains etched on my mind,
Realistic, believable, unlike the path to you that I had to find,
The yearning was probably what made every step seem new,
Directing me through an unfamiliarity I thought was you.

All the while thinking of questioning a reputation you deserved,
Yet, upon seeing you, my speech suddenly becomes reserved,
Ever expecting the ordinary, I stumble upon your surprise,
Vacant in expression, I could scarcely believe my eyes.

Each time you reluctantly reveal to this world your heart,
Reaffirmedly they wait, for morning, to see you depart,
Yielding your identity, for those that condemn you,
Never once bothered, that the same ones despise you.

I now understand how it must feel, to be hated for the light,
Glad though, that I made an everlasting friendship tonight,
Happily in the company of your blindness I shall soak,
Till I find truth, the one hidden beneath your cloak.

This ones is dedicated to two Beacons, Chint2(for the content-inspiration based on his poem Talk to Darkness which affected my life in a way I cannot even describe[the kind of stuff that should be made compulsory reading]) and Meghna(for her acrostic poem ‘Nightfalls‘ that was so simple and sweet, that it made me revisit the times when I used to write simple little poems in school).

This one describes my “one night with the night”, but being a very abstract one, you will find multiple points of reference for it, the night as a person, as a state of day, as a manner of living, as an object of fear, etc. What made the most impact on me was the way I thought about night previously, and the way I do about it now, such a contrast, and I guess I have ‘the day’ to thank for such a drastic change in outlook.

For those who have been wondering where I have vanished, musst confess, the writing never stopped, only the posting did, so get ready for a small deluge(couldn’t post what I had written due to many consistent technical and other glitches).

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