Crossroads Again

When all that matters came to a standstill, you decided to finally move,
Believing that walking away was the only way to surely prove,
So you ran away, not knowing what the journey had in store,
But soon stopped, when you encountered not one road but four.

The right took you to the dead end of a deserted street,
Filled with imposing buildings, there wasn’t anyone to greet,
But there was a message screaming from each of the signboards,
For, this was the road of my unspoken words.

The left took you right into the backyard of the familiar,
Stocked with acquaintances, the stranger was the most dear,
But there was a feeling streaming from each of the vacant lots,
For, this was the road of my unspoken thoughts.

Makes you think the best way would have been to go straight,
Everybody is moving, and yet held back by some weight,
But there was a soliloquy flowing through each of their ears,
For, this was the road of my unspoken tears.

The only way left was to go back, beyond the beginning,
To the place where people had turned their backs on forgiving,
But there was emotion outpouring from each of their cores,
For, this was the road of my unspoken remorse.

Having exhausted every road, you come to a halt,
Only to realise that there is no one without a fault,
And that there is no road that will ever let you part,
Because your every footstep falls upon my heart.

I am your journey, and I am your road,
I am the dusty imprint your every footprint strode,
The farther you choose to go, the closer I will get,
Because we could only be separated until we met.

This one is the Gazebo. It is about the small mistakes we all make in life and how not owning them up can cause big rifts, that are sometimes unbridgeable. Unless we open our hearts to our mistakes and work on them, life will take us down a road we seldom want to hear about. This is also about love lost and love found, and how sometimes it never goes out of our lives, but is simply ignored until we choose to acknowledge its presence again.

Galaxies

Like old time chums who must bet on every game,
We know that for us, the game isn’t just a game,
We even go to the stadiums, faces painted like raving fans,
But at the end, all that remains is the empty cola cans.

Like those people in mascara, who stole our hearts,
We know what we lost, and it isn’t just our hearts,
We go to the movies, booking weeks ahead for those premium tickets,
But at the end, all that remains is the popcorn buckets.

Like every other tramp who really frequented that street,
We know that we found more than our feet on that street,
We go back there, if only for those old times sakes,
But at the end, all that remains is the unwashed plates.

Like every other bloke who awaits the evening for a home,
We know that what we return to, is not just a home,
We finally get there, with every limb aching sore,
But at the end, all that remains is the constant snore.

We realise that we can only walk together till the corner,
After which each of our lives turn their own corner,
That we must each keep walking, as long as we can walk,
Taking satisfaction from seeing each other on the opposite sidewalk.

We realise that each of us must dream our own dreams,
And that each of us must swim our own streams,
That we must flow paths that might never, one another see,
With the reassurance that we will finally meet in the sea.

Someday we will understand, the more together we are,
The more farther from each other we really are,
For, in this world, each of us is an island,
Separated, and held together, by submerged land.

This one is for the Mirror, and although it sounds very pessimistic, it is merely a statement of facts. We all go on about how we are inseparable and the lengths to which we would go for each other. Sadly, in reality, our friends, family, well-wishers, whoever, can only walk with us so far. They each have their own journeys to make, and it might for a while seem that someone else’s journey is inextricably intertwined with ours. But that is merely a temporary crossing/merging of paths. In the end, there is no ours, there is yours and there is mine, and then there are the points where yours and mine met.

It just goes to show that although we have those times of togetherness that seem infinite, there will always be those times when you will be lost in space, in that cocoon of yours thinking about everything and nothing in general. And strangely you don’t think of anybody in those moments, you simply think of life and its many reflections (the kind of thing trivially described as ‘me time’). It is at such times you wonder about the path you have taken, the rocks you have flown over, the pebbles you have sculpted, the banks you have submerged, et al. This poem was the result of one of those reflections.

In a way, it seems so much like the galaxies. These billions of stars and planets that together form a galaxy. Ever wondered, how the sun never seems to matter or never seems to gush that it is a part of the Milky Way? The same way we believe that these hundreds of countries make up our beautiful planet, and these dozens of states make up our beautiful country. But hey, do you really matter to the country, does anyone really know that your contribution to the country is indispensable? I guess not. But nevertheless we plod on with our lives, not because of our relative insignificance, but because of our relative exuberance for this miracle called life. The miracle that separates us as much as it binds us together.

Palace Lights

The darkness of the world snuffs the last of the lights out,
If only for half a day, the night has considerable clout,
But the night is merely a stage for my insecurities to play,
A backdrop so tempting, that even fear joins the fray.

For every time that I railed against injustice with fury,
And felt nothing about causing the other an injury,
Like the reckless sands, tamed and smoothened by the sea,
Your eyes were commanding, totally in control of me.

For every time that I burned within, from searing hatred,
And cared the least on whom I ruthlessly tread,
Like a charmed tulip undisturbed by the buzzing of the bee,
Your eyes were mellowing, like the humanity they made me see.

For every time I envied another’s progress with greed,
Unbothered about how much a man can really need,
Like the fruits being plucked from a helplessly forgiving tree,
Your eyes were granting, whatever could really fulfill me.

For every time I felt I should surrender to the tears,
And was filled with misfortune right upto my ears,
Like the distorted smile in every frown that none can see,
Your eyes were comforting, like the only real joy there can be.

For every time I couldn’t bear the burden of this stage,
And was ridiculed by everyone, like an animal in a cage,
Like the fluttering wings that set every bird free,
Your eyes were uplifting, to the place where dreams flee.

For every time I felt that the world was no longer my home,
And that even dreams were no longer safe enough to roam,
Like only two hearts that beat together as one canĀ  agree,
Your eyes were reassuring, you would always be there for me.

This one is for the Mirror since i cannot name this beacon. She was the anchor that steadied my boat innumerable times and kept me rooted in humility and humanity.

The poem has an interesting history to it. From an inspirational standpoint it combines the weirdest possible sources, an Akbar/Birbal story with a Javed Akhtar/Ustad Nusrat song (aaNkheN dekhii to maiN dekhtaa rah gayaa, jaam do aur donon hii do aatishah). What makes it all the more interesting is that it was written during a period of great inner turmoil, when i felt i needed something to relax my heart. So i chanced upon this photo of hers with those captivating eyes, and immediately words started pouring out.

The remarkable miracle being, i spent the entire day (till 7PM) writing this, and then was booted out on my unceremonial ass from Deloitte. And the only thing i felt, was myself at peace. The poem had completely healed all the unrest and all i felt for those who did what they did was pity. For myself, well all i felt was the beautiful hope that the future held. Here’s to the one who keeps my boat afloat.

%d bloggers like this: