Rudolf

All around him, the houses abounded with festoons and bunting,
And from every roof, miniature bells and stars were hanging,
He had seen all this for quite some years now,
But had never understood the significance of it somehow.

All he knew, was that people greeted each other with an extra large smile,
The same people, who couldn’t stand each other’s company, even for a while,
Suddenly everybody had woken up, to a word called share,
And the most popular catchword of the season, was the word ‘care’.

He pondered long, before asking his grandfather about it,
What is the meaning of the festive season, and the Christmas spirit?”,
First surprised, then amused, he put the little boy on his lap,
He tried to explain in kidspeak, about Santa and his burlap.

He said, “Christmas is a time when people do some soul-cleaning,
A time when they try giving sorry more than just a meaning,
A time when people take the time to remember their near and dear,
And recollect with each other the hurrahs and regrets of the year”.

“Christmas is the time for people to sit back and think,
About how often from the cup of happiness they could drink,
It’s the time they evaluate the purpose for which they live,
It’s the time people relearn to give, and to forgive”.

“But why do they have to keep it all for the year-end?”,
Asked the little boy, still not able to fully comprehend,
And why do you try to be extra nice to me, for one day?“,
This time, it was the old man who didn’t know what to say.

“You will understand some day, when your existence becomes stagnant”,
Said the old man, as if reading aloud from a sacred covenant,
“Your life will become wretched enough, to force you to pray”,
“That God make you feel special, atleast for one single day”.

This one is for the Mirror. It is the first in a two-part series on my beliefs on celebration. What is it exactly about celebration that pisses me off? That is some thing that will have to be answered only in the next poem. For now, here are the answers to the other obvious questions.

a) Why Christmas?
Well, it could have been anything else reall, like Dusshera, Sankranthi, Ramzan, or something. I chose Christmas because of the wider connect it has to audiences across the world. But fundamentally, most celebrations/festivities and their underlying reasons are the same.

b) What’s with the title?
The title is derived from a carol, about Rudolf the reindeer. How he was a loner, and rejected by all his peers, and then it was Christmas time and Santa came along and made him an offer, and sunndely he was the toast of town. The carol hopes to impress upon the listener the healing/unifying powet of the Christmas. To me, that is the best example someone can give for having a festival, and hence the title.

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Dystopia

Ever wondered as to why we maintain so many faces,
As if in contingency to the day’s innumerable phases,
The only thing we are saved, is from physically changing the mask,
But that does not make it any simpler a task.

We look at some thing, believing we like that we see,
But to express that admiration, we want a common decree,
That liking what we see is not against social policy,
And thus most often, we are forced to only quietly see.

We hear some thing, and find it so spell binding,
That we wish we could keep forever rewinding,
But disapproval is a very persuasive kind of fear,
So we are left, never again wanting to hear.

We know some thing, and badly want to tell,
But how they would react, we cannot foretell,
We don’t want to be hasty and then repent,
And that’s how most of our words fell silent.

We leave our heart open, to explore and feel,
And yet let the feelings be subdued by another’s appeal,
Telling us we must be careful, about what we harbour in our heart,
And so we close it, letting our entire life fall apart.

We are intrigued by some thing, and want to further learn,
And are told, such knowledge is a right we must never earn,
That releasing the light could make everybody burn,
We are left with no choice, but to forcibly unlearn.

So everytime we believe there’s some thing we fully know,
We keep getting reminded about how lesser we are in the know,
And it is only when we get rid of this voluntarily unconscious myopia,
That we can realise, each of us is living, in our own dysfunctional utopia.

How often do we wish that we could change the world and remodel it to our liking? How often are we frustrated at not being able to do the thing we want, or speak the thing we want to? This poem is about why we can never have our utopia and live in it. if you notice, the entire poem uses the word WE. The reason is that due to myopia, we fail to see that we are a part of the world that we believe is perpetuating the cycle of repression. So the next time you feel somebody stopped you from doing something, remember the time when you stopped sombody else from saying something.

This one is for the Mirror.

Frank Einstein

“What is beauty?”, a friend once casually asked me,
And I thought, “of all the people around, why me?”,
But somehow, the question seemed less casual and more profound,
The answer was something easier understood than found.

With slanted eyebrows above each of his squinted eyelid,
There could be no second assumption about what he did,
But he could see the hard work behind another’s flaw,
And it was one of the most beautiful things he saw.

With wilted ears too small for his oblong head,
There was no mistaking to what amusements they led,
But he could hear the sorrow from a suffering man’s unspoken word,
And it was one of the most beautiful things he heard.

You wondered why his nose was so bulbous and crooked,
There was no doubt about what his palate wanted,
But he could smell the agony a lonely man felt,
And it was one of the most beautiful things he smelt.

You joked that his lips were in a perpetual pout,
There were nasty jokes on what the pout was about,
But he could console someone who’s heart just broke,
And it was one of the most beautiful things he spoke.

You were sure his heart was as black as his face,
There was lot of hope it would soon stop keeping pace,
But he could pray that everyone was happy when alive,
And it was one of the most beautiful reasons to survive.

So I told him, that beauty is not in the features or their perfection,
Beauty is in the acceptance of everybody’s imperfection,
Beauty is not in the age or colour of a person,
Beauty lies in understanding the character of the other person.

This one is for the Mirror. The title is a self-coined anagram of ‘I, Frankenstein‘. Quite often i used to ponder about what really made a person LOOK beautiful. If you hadn’t already noticed, beauty all around you is a combination of one awesome feature with a collection of average features. Take for example, a morphed image with Aishwarya Rai’s eyes, Marilyn Monroe’s nose, and Angelina Jolie’s lips. The result would truly be nightmarish and probably related to Frankenstein. The individual faces of these people look desirable because they have beatiful eyes, set against average noses, and lips etc.

Besides, I wonder if Aishwarya Rai would have the same number of fans if perhaps a little acid fell on her cheeks and forehead right after her first movie, and there weren’t cosmetic surgeons around. Which brings me to the second talking point of this poem, the ephemeral nature of physical beauty, and how most of us discriminate against those with real beauty, inner beauty (myself included). It is a challenge to step out of that stereotyped mindsets about judging a person by their looks.

Personally, though I do not discriminate against someone who doesn’t look appealingly attractive, I do respond favourably to someone who looks attractive, which is still a form of discrimination. So here’s to overcoming our collective weaknesses.

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