Crossroads

Every so often, we set out, to get somewhere in life,
Only to be taken for a ride, by this guide they call life,
Leaves me wondering, what is to take, and who is taken,
But make no mistake about it, because life is never mistaken.

At the beginning, every destination seems very clear,
But passing time reveals, a mirage is the only thing that’s near,
For foolishly trusting the senses, thirst is a steep price to pay,
And can only be quenched with eagerness out of the way.

I soon lose trust by forcibly walking with my need,
And lose more friends, by talking with my greed,
When I follow my mind, I even lose all respect,
From a slave of caution, what more can one expect.

I close every door and window leading to my heart,
But that only causes the remaining good to depart,
So temptation tells me, the highway and I must part,
Into the by-lanes that lure me and my destination apart.

Running in a hurry, I soon stumble over desperation,
And stand again, bruised and badly in need of inspiration,
And every single time that I come close to the end of the rope,
I have to steal a little from the truth, to give to hope.

All that I know suddenly seems a whole lot less,
When every extra mile is fuelled only by a guess,
I know not what lies in waiting, around the next bend,
For, every route I’ve taken, has led me to a dead end.

The farther I move away, the closer I get to the start,
For, all the roads in life depart, and converge, at the heart,
Among all these crossroads, the smile is the only shortcut I can take,
The distance is the same, but every footstep a pleasure it does make.

Back to the Beacons after some mirror breaks. This time Aparna does it, by leading me back to the beginning, back to the roots. Often, we lose track of what we set out to achieve, and most often it is because we lost heart in the objective, or because we no longer find the happiness that the path promised.

Most often such paths reveal the hidden happiness only after we get there. But sadly, most of us lose heart and get sidetracked, long before the destination is near. The only option is to take some of that ‘Getafix’ magic potion to drink along the way to keep us enthused and motivated towards the destination. That ‘Getafix’ potion is inner-happiness, so you know where she fits in. 🙂

Petunias

Flowering by the roadside, beside the softest footfall,
Towering before you, along the lengths of many a wall,
Violets, pinks, whites, blues, more colours than you can call,
And yet, seen and unknown, like the spring in every fall.

The tulips, the magnolias, and dahlias, all begin as a bud,
Blossoming forth from the seemingly nothingness of the mud,
For that single day the live, knowing when their sun is done,
Hoping they have somehow made a mark on someone.

It takes courage to look into somebody’s empty heart,
And search for the remnants of the hate that made love depart,
To walk along with that person down their memory lane,
And understand how love could be replaced by such disdain.

It takes courage to face hate, face to face,
And call it what it really is, a double face,
The mask that detests, and love, the actual face,
One that is always being forced out of its place.

It takes courage to confront the other person’s spite,
And soldier on, the challenges of rejection despite,
To convince the spite, that even dislike has a respite,
And that even defeat knows, when its has lost the fight.

It takes courage to drag love back, into the game,
And show it, that to return home, is never a shame,
To help it find its pride back, and repeat its own name,
And continue creating moments, that are worthy of a frame.

It takes even more courage, to do all of this,
And know that the doctors and healers, nobody will miss,
Ones who ignore their heart’s pain, so that others can heal,
All the while maintaining a smile, that changes the way we all feel.

This one marks the return of my infrequent muse/Beacon, Aparna. As usual this one is about those smile through their own suffering, so that others who suffer more can find something to stand upon. So that others can get out of their misery seeing the happiness that even a genuinely pained smile can bestow on them.

And oh, i forgot to mention, i wrote this during the AHM. It was loads of fun, with Anne Jacques sitting beside me, trying to decipher the heiroglyphics that my handwriting is, and wondering what kind of notes i was busy taking with a heading that shouted Petunias. For me, it was a pleaasant escape from all the humdrum.

Sunflower

Very few acknowledge that the day really begins at night,
At the stroke of midnight, the wings of morning take flight,
Leaving darkness behind, for the resplendence of the sun,
And dejection too finally gives way, to the possibilities of fun.

The sun has risen, but is more darker than the night,
Battered and bruised, blackened from the long standing fight,
It now needs more light, than it gives,
And takes more lives, every moment it lives.

Everyone has resigned to the confines of the brighter night,
Even in the battle for darkness, the sun has more might,
Blind by the day, and more blinded by the night,
The denizens of darkness make such a pretty sight.

They go about their activities, regardless of time,
And only for the dead, do the bells any longer chime,
They have lost their light, only to earn that extra dime,
And in doing so, crowned their reason over rhyme.

They see and they don’t, their own wretched existence,
And ignore it all, upon each others cold insistence,
They hear and they feel, sorrow’s yearning pang,
And yet are too busy, to help it solitarily hang.

Weaving away their remaining time, bonded to the loom,
Unconsciously, they create, the fabric of their own doom,
They survive on the coast, of that seashore of gloom,
Where the sand forgives not, sunflowers that dare bloom.

Behold, the first golden bloom, on this arid land,
It grows beyond the reach of man’s rugged hand,
So that the world can now see, that happiness is light,
It is the bliss that bestows every life, with true sight.

Today it is the Beacons turn to gloat. This one is for my frequently infrequent muse, Aparna. Set in a world that is too busy to laugh, too occupied to smile, and too ignorant of happiness, it tries to extrapolate what happens when Aparna walks into such a world. A world that had lost its sunshine, the light of their lives, called joy, and how one sunflower defied man’s own nature to save mankind.

Tranquility

Soft and inquiring, like the chirping of the first bird,
Slowly joined by others, yet soft, as if almost never heard,
That is all I can remember about your first word,
There were more important things that then occurred.

At first there was the silence, ethereal and all pervasive,
During that time, sound seemed untraceable, evasive,
There was an uneasy calm, hanging in the air, all around,
As we waited to see, what would come of the first sound.

Sure enough, there came the sound, that broke the silence,
And it filled the world now sore by its absence,
It was universal, not constrained by language,
For, nobody yet claims laughter as their language.

If ever there were more words to express happiness,
Then silence would have to remain a mute witness,
For, among the many feelings that are beyond expression,
None quite matches happiness’s infectious passion.

And the happiness aroused by the tinkling of your laughter,
Showed us a fleeting glimpse of the world called ever-after,
Transporting us to the place, where words are never enough,
To explain, why remembering contentment there, is tough.

We found we lost some of it, trying to speak the joy,
And learnt that words are the cheapest way to enjoy,
It is most often the nuances, that get lost in translation,
That gives us all, that extra reason for jubilation.

From eternal silence, the big bang was the first sound,
And now there are billions more that this wold abound,
But for us, it shall always be your laughter, that broke new ground,
One that proved to us, there was an earth with happiness all around.

The Beacons beckon me again with that healing smile called Aparna. This one is dedicated not only to her, but to all those who happiness made a difference to our lives. To all those whose laughter made the sky look bluer and the roses look redder. This one is dedicated to happiness personified.

Oblivion

Walking amidst the sights, I nearly felt myself lost,
Gypsies all around, selling trinkets at an enviable cost,
The sun was just beginning to rise over the last tent,
Such an aura of heavenly joy to this beautiful day it lent.

I strolled, from stall to stall, searching, expecting the ethereal,
Somehow, it seemed to me, nothing was any farther from the real,
Atleast I thought I believed so, until the moment I set eyes on her,
Frozen stiff, I wondered how people could pretend not to bother.

My feet pushed me, forcing me to join everyone in the play,
The more they tried, the more detached I got from the fray,
My mind couldn’t have been more still, in such a stormy water,
My body, just tiring, from a day that was getting slowly hotter.

She was looking at a curtain, seemingly admiring the intricate lace,
While trying to push back her hair, which was slowly taking over her face,
By doing so, she gave me the first complete glimpse, of her face,
Maybe this was what they called distortion of reality, of time and space.

I got so close, I could almost hear her, and her infectious laughter,
Whatever the reason, it was surely something my heart was after,
She moved on, leaving me behind, soaking in her fragrance,
Floored, somehow, standing as I was, was an effort in pretense.

Sometimes, I felt she might turn back, catch me staring,
But some reproaches, despite the joy, are worth bearing,
Sadly, happily, she just walked on, oblivious to the world, to me,
Years away now, her enduring smile, is the only thing I can still see.

History, they say, repeats itself. So here I am, back to Aparna, guess the while has again come a full circle. Guess these Beacons never give up. Although I would have wished that this episode was true in its entirety. It is however not so only on one point, there was no Aparna in it. That however is only what lets me take the imagination to the next level, everytime I remember it.

This was an incident that happened when I happened to visit an exhibition, and found one girl who kept smiling more as the day got hotter. All around her, people were getting more irritable with the passage of the day, and here was one woman, who seemed to derive more happiness as the day moved on, it was as if she drank in the day. Though I long left the purpose of my visit there and simply spent the day following her, just looking at her, she was, it seemed, oblivious to everything, specially the likes of me, lost in her own world. Hence the title. Makes me remember Aparna, everytime I recall that smile(since the event was long ago, I can no longer recall her face, only that permanent smile, so it makes it all the more easier to transpose that with Aparna.

Delirium

Silently through the night, her formless hands creep,
Searching, feeling for him, through the lands of sleep,
The darkness around, its not an easy rival to win,
So, finding him, she waits, for the right time to begin.

She knocks on the door, knocks on every window,
He ignores her and sleeps, but she just won’t let go,
She continues to bang the windows with her incessant silence,
And so it turns into a battle between each one’s patience.

She knocks, he sleeps, till even sleep deserts him,
Both sleep and his patience, they abandon him,
Left with no choice, he wakes up, and opens the door,
For, this morning, he has lost, he can fight no more.

Forced, beyond his control, he decides to co-operate,
How far she will follow, he cannot even estimate,
She is beside him, above him, around him, all along the way,
She prodded him, cajoled him, and kept him in the fray.

Every second she is around, is his daytime,
And without her, he knows not, any other time,
They talk, they discussed, they argued, all in silence,
Their laughter, tears, they know not the difference.

With every single footstep, she grows more younger,
With every single stride, his feet get more stronger,
Once arisen, he no longer has any sleep to forsake,
And unable to sleep again, is he ever awake?

This one is dedicated to Snigdha(another one for the beacons). Not for what she is, but for what she represents. She has such an uncanny resemblance, that seeing her laugh, brought back memories of two people whom i had last seen in March 2004 and March 2005 respectively. Though i know what they are doing today, and though i see  both of them whenever i want in my mind’s eye, just closing my eyes and walking with them, yet, seeing her laugh brought back those memories of watching those two persons laugh, the twinkle in their eyes.

Though this is one for the Beacons, ihave deliberately not put her photo for 2 reasons,
1. I don’t have her explicit permission to do so.
2. Just seeing her photo may lead many of you to realise the March 2005 person i was talking about(too much of a risk).

Although there were quite a few already completed and ready for posting like Icarus and Santorini, i decided that this must be a quick job, and went to work on it today morning. Since it is another of those zombie abstract styled ones, most of you might feel this as utter non-sense. If you feel so please let me know, will be glad to clarify. Because there are more than 3 layers to it, and it would satisfy me if such over-complexity simplified should not be understandable.

Black Light

blacklight.jpg

The next batch of them stepped out of the cave,
The first steps they were taking out of the enclave,
Everything went blank, outside, it was just blinding,
So unprepared for things that were now emerging.

Things they never heard of, things they could never believe,
Sights and sounds that their minds would now never leave,
It shattered all their myths, shattered all their cherished beliefs,
It rewrote them, and taught them, facts were the only beliefs.

For them, from now everything in life was just another question,
The only way it answered each one was with another question,
It formed a chain of questions leading all the way,
And every diversion they took was another new way.

The road stretched out for ever with no visible end,
And the light around them was all they could depend,
For years on end, its expansiveness they admired,
And wondered to themselves, how the feet never tired.

They never knew, what they were in, was called day,
Because from it, they could never grow apart, astray,
Through all its bylanes, they would never know the way,
Whether they knew anything about it, they never could say.

The more they explored it, the lesser they knew,
And yet everything they uncovered seemed new,
The more they drank, the more thirsty they got,
And yet, where its charm lay, they comprehended not.

Gradually each one of them began to miss the night,
And wished, for a few moments they lost their sight,
Where were those days, when everything was more than ample,
Back in their cave, their lives had been so much more simple.

To begin with, this one is a paraphrased, versified form of a comment i wrote on Aparna’s blog. Had promised her at that time that i would get back to the topic when i found more time, and now comes that time. Below is the extract of my post then:

knowledge itself is by no means qualitative. it neither creates nor destroys, it just shows people a path. it is what could more properly be likened to light.

imagine a world where everyone was living in darkness(maybe in a cave of simplicity, maybe in a well of contentment), and then one fine day somebody finds a way into a place called light, a place that improves matters and yet complicates them. a place that tickles the restless and thereby hastens change.

it is because people felt too stifled by the darkness of the cave, maybe too bored, that they chose to seek the pleasures of this new city of light called knowledge.

unfortunately theirs proved to be a journey of no return. there was nobody people any longer knew who could shed their cloaks of darkness for these new shimmering dresses called knowledge and soon outgrow dozens of these tight-fitting robes and find a way to get back their cloaks of contentment.

it was an addiction that refused to darken, a disposition that could not anymore brighten. it was the simplest form of organised chaos. one that exploded out of itself only to implode into itself.

the people used to the confines of the cave could never get enough of this newfoundland, because it had no walls, no roof, it spanned an eternity, it spanned the entire horizon, and a flexible one at that. the more they walked the newer the horizon got, but thats all that happened, there was nobody who could ever get to the end of the horizon, to realise that it was one big circular dream that revolved around itself.

thus ended the legend of the cave dwellers, ones who could never wait to get out, and those that could never find their way back home again.

Hardpressed for time as i was on that day, i never could follow it up even afterwards, as different other things caught my fancy, but life being what it is, had to come back to this in the most unexpected of ways. Personally i have nothing against knowledge. Whatever i am today was made possible because of the knowledge that i have gained along the journey.

However, the kind of psychotic that i am, i keep alternating everyday between the quest for my scientific hunger and the thirst for contentment that keeps drying up my throat every other moment. The entire point of the above was more a dialogue between myself everyday, a dialogue between contentment and ambition. Knowledge that by nature has no quality, by its force of power, proves itself as the most deadly temptation human beings ever knew.

It pushes every person beyond their limits, in a supposive bid to increase their happiness. Happiness people believe comes from awareness, from the uncovering of the secrets locked into everything they can and cannot see. Alas, they realise not that contentment too is knowledge, but then nobody goes down that lane, probably a dead-end. It would not seem out of place to expect that people who set out on a journey to keep away from a dead-end, even though that is possibly the only terminal they will ever come across in their lifetime. It presents itself at every turning, and yet the more they see it, the more they choose to ignore it.

Soon will reach a point when everyone would have forgotten what the word satisfaction means. The next generation already believes satisfaction means the beginning of a new pursuit, not the end of the previous one. Anti-progress, anti-development you may think i am. But like i said, what hurts me is not actually the knowledge, but way people choose to selectively imbibe harmful bits of it. Progress is not bad as long as it includes everyone on this journey. But to hoard it up, even when on a full stomach, only to ensure security for tomorrow’s hunger, while many die in today’s journey is what hurts me. It is that contentment that i am talking about.

That is the true sign of a knowledgeable one. One who can share having had his fill. One who can lead others over the roads already travelled by him, instead of walking ahead on a lonely quest of self-fulfillment. Sadly i find this vanishing at an alarming rate among the travellers of knowledge-land today. Everywhere in the world, there is somebody suing somebody else about a patent, about a copyright. Whatever happened to that anachronism called “greater good”. Has it been relegated to the dusty pages of a book that the librarian forgot all about? Or must it be brought back from there only to be sullied by scheming politicians looking out for the greater ‘self-good’.

Though i find this abrupt, i cannot help but end here, for now, as a series of disturbances are pulling me apart from the computer and hope to put in some more, both as a poem and as its appendix, probably on another day, when my mind can no longer bear to merely think over to myself what i feel, like it was today.

Mesmer

She is gone before your eyes can even blink,
And yet she is the only thought you can think,
You stumble upon everything, already in a trance,
And become yet another slave of her glance.

Every time you look around, you see her beckon,
It’s only this one time, one last time you reckon,
Alas, you realise not, the power of allure,
And the enticing number of times it can lure.

You search for her, the source of this spell,
In which direction to go, nobody can tell,
They too are in the same well, in which you fell,
Trying since ages, to somehow break this spell.

You wonder, what eyes they must be, ones that can enchant,
While the rest of them are repeating her name like a chant,
If only for a single day you were given the reins of fate,
What would you not do to get out of this state.

To step aside and learn what keeps us all prisoner,
Like a never-ending melody that addicts the listener,
To find out why we follow her like obedient sheep,
To discover the keys to those secrets her eyes keep.

Alas you are no closer than the farthest among us,
Maybe because our destinies have deemed it thus,
Hanging forever because none of us know what is the hook,
Searching forever because none of us know where to look.

Tied forever because none of us understand the knots that bind,
Or maybe because it is all an illusion, the creation of our mind,
Thoughtless in our minds, we can neither surmise,
Nor forget her, the one who could mesmerise.

Back after a long long long break of a few weeks. This time not only is it on my current muse “Aparna“, it also happens to be one of the very few and rare ones by me that are confoundingly abstract. Personally, i found the meaning in them only after completing it, it seemed to have taken some srt of recognisable shape only after it was finished completely. So for those of you who don’t understand a single line in it, don’t worry you can simply ask the line you didn’t understand and i will be glad to be of assistance(i too was in such a condition for a greater part of the poem, left me thinking this poem had absolutely no concept, no continuity of thought, no clarity or direction, until the moment i got done with it) Those who manage to figure out what it means in the first reading itself, my deepest salutations, for being able to do what even i couldn’t.

In brief, this is about a set of people who were proud of their control over their mind, and find that they are incredibly trapped/mesmerised by a force they always believed was in their control. They fail to realise it is their very control that holds them prisoner, while all the time they blame a spell, on a person who never cast any.

Daisybud

Swaying in consonance with an ebullient breeze,
She shakes off its advances, with a careworn ease,
Ruffling her petals, as she hung onto a slender stalk,
Proclaiming gustily that it isn’t only humans who stalk.

She stands up, and walks away free of the bond,
But she is no fugitive, to hide and abscond,
Walking away she is, from the grasps of human sight,
Away from those minds bereft of any genuine delight.

Walking away from those who interpret her like a question,
From those who wipe her out of every broken relation,
From those who treat her like an insane obsession,
And those who hoard her like a miserly possession.

Running away from those who suppress their affection,
From those who use her to disguise cunning defection,
From those who cannot see her, blinded by rejection,
And those who don’t want her, drowning in dejection.

They follow her, chase her, to the limits of perception,
They all need her, want her, to cover up their deception,
Without her, their greed, their envy and jealousy cannot live,
And for that reason, her life, they will not let her live.

So they strangle her life, and pluck her for the day,
Use her and discard her, to be trampled along the way,
She cannot remember a single one, who allowed her to stay,
For, she was always available, if only new, everyday.

Away she ran, before her fragrance they could steal,
And in the world, there were no more smiles to heal,
Hope is all that is left in this world of gloom,
A hope that she was not the last one to bloom.

Frightening. Thats the mildest way of putting what happened to me. I was struggling to write something on Aparna, just because I felt like it. Alas it was not be, as I struggled for 3 days sitting with an opened cap before an empty page with a title “Daisybud”. It seemed nothing would ever come out of it, and after all I might have finally written the most uncreative title in my life after all. Then it happened, today morning, I woke up early and tried to get back to sleep, and as a result found myself in a 3 hour dream involving who else but Aparna. After I woke up from three uninterrupted hours of looking at Aparna there was no looking back.

Aparna to me signifies a smile, a smile of laughter, of delight, of pure innocent joy, the kind that is long since missing from this world. So the dream was a kind of ‘wake-up’ call for me, to open my eyes and tell a story that was crying to be told.

Everyone nowadays sports a smile especially since ‘people-relationship’ got a flip through the endless number of personality grooming sessions that everyone seems to undergo. But how long was it since a person truly smiled out of the happiness of the heart rather than a hollow mechanical movement of the lips. When people smile to mask their seething discontent, their anger, their envy, their greed, their discomfiture. When they groan silently beneath those smiles, and curse and fault everything around and within them.When the smile becomes but an article, an accessory to the drama of fooling everyone around, it is then that a smile is powerless to do nothing but watch its state of deprivation into the depths that even a frown never knew.

I could have easily titled this one as ” Rape of a Smile” and got away with it, because nothing would have been more apt, but instead chose to call it after a flower because it signified the hope that I have on humanity that the situation will soon improve and that people would hopefully smile because of their unbridled inner joy, rather than social conditioning of what reaction to give to what situation. That is also the reason why the daisy featured at the beginning is just beginning to bloom, a symbol that everyone in the world still have their Aparna for another day.

Midnight Sun

Gathering the last bit of energy, I reached the bus-stop,
Whatever else did, the fatigue never did stop,
Broken in the body, slowly breaking in the mind,
I wonder why I put up with this daily grind.

The cars, the trucks, they whiz past, oblivious of me,
Being troubled not, to see me sulking at me,
Trying to work up a straight face at those around,
A really difficult thing, silly though it may sound.

There she was, walking, no, ambling across the street,
Almost blending in, but never really fully discreet,
Wouldn’t have noticed her, had it not been for the feet,
They weren’t kicking the earth, rather gliding over the street.

A smile on her lips, and a song on her mind,
A twinkle in her eye, the joy I never could find,
And her contagious laughter as she passed by,
Enforcing itself on the faces of every passerby.

I never knew a day to end, in such a happy manner,
That a day could even end in chuckles and lively banter,
I reached home and scrambled onto my bed,
But the laughter refused to go, leave my head.

I still stop at the bus-stop everyday, searching for her,
Trying to spot her, to try and befriend her and ask her,
The source of her happiness, the secret of her smile,
Like most things in life, I guess, its going to be a long while.

Wish I could wake up again, to a day that ends with a smile ,
Even if only once more, it would make my life worthwhile,
Walking down the street, without bothering to count the paces,
Because every single one brings back the smile on a lot of faces.

I usually pride myself on being very happy, jovial, and always being ready with a smile. However on one particular day, I happened to run out of my last smile, late in the night as I was waiting in the bus-stop waiting impatiently to get home and make the cursed day end.

As if in answer to my grumble of a prayer, a girl crossed the street, and past me and then across to the other side of the road again, as if parading before me. She was sporting the widest smile I had seen for many many days, almost like the ones Aparna used to sport. Talking on the phone to somebody, who could hear her laughter above the traffic din that I couldn’t.

But that wasn’t the most important part of it, what was material to me, was what the smile did to me. It caught me off-guard, my frowning grousing face a mile short of a smile. Though only a week back, am yet to find a frown search hard though I did. Seems to have melted into the air, just like her.

Living Dead

They walk the streets of every town, every city,
A living tribute to the greatest human ability,
To get hurt, and be unable to forgive or forget,
To bide their time, counting the days, at every sunset.

A miserable existence, if you can call it one,
To forcibly live a lifetime, pining for someone,
Knowing it as a dream that will never come true,
Somehow hoping, in their case, the truth wasn’t so true.

To yearn for someone, who can no longer be theirs,
And try to dissolve their sorrow in a flood of tears,
To agonise for someone, who will no longer feel theirs,
And try to digest their failure, through the passage of years.

It is beyond their considerate heart, to step out and ask,
But they can no longer put up with their own mask,
So they try their best, to smile those memories away,
And try to concentrate on these routine chores of everyday.

A few are successful, though most are not,
That doesn’t mean, it ever leaves their thought,
It keeps nagging their mind into meek submission,
Turning their lives into one big despondent mission.

When every second they live is yet another battle,
In a war, that only lasts upto or beyond a lifetime,
And the next one is upon them, before their eyelids can battle,
They simply choose to ignore a living, in the confines of space and time.

To have a life, an existence, that is deprived of soul,
And not have the love of your life beside to console,
Dangling all their lives, by an unbreakable thread,
Wretched indeed, is the life of the living dead.

Ever fallen in love, only to see the person you love getting married to someone else. Ever thought of a life spent ruminating over the loss because the mind refuses to forget and the heart refuses to heal. If you have, then this one is for you, and the thousands of others who dot the landscape of every city and town, in fact they dot the landscape of every human habitation there is.

They drown themselves in the hope that tomorrow will be different, in what way or manner they know not. Because they don’t desire, they just love. So they cannot take solace in the hope that something would happen to bring their loved ones running back into their arms, because that would taint their love, a love that is won on the suffering of another isn’t love at all, it’s just another bloody war, minus the blood. Besides, such a thing would surely cause their beloved to shed a tear or two, making them wonder if it really was love to make their beloved cry simply because they wanted to stop crying.

So they spend their lives in that state of suspended belief, where they can neither get over their love, nor can they love another. And though they go on to marry, work and other activities that continue to make them seem human, their heart isn’t in any of it, and so they live their lives like zombies, forever in a state of trance, alert to everything yet half-minded, eager for everything yet undecided. They can’t let go of life because that would mean separation from their loved one forever. Yet they can never get together with their loved one in this lifetime. Wondering if such a life was also an existence? Don’t bother. The person writing this is also living such an existence in every alternate second, though what transpires in the other alternate second is a SECRET.

Another of the few autobiographical ones, though this one is only partly autobiographical. Most of it is gleaned from the lives of people I happen to know personally(pssst, a person on whom a major chunk of this is based is living such an existence because Miss Aparna got married, don’t tell her this though, else it would defeat the very purpose of that guy’s life, he wouldn’t want her worrying about who was worrying for not getting her, leading a happy life as she already is, posted this one on the condition of complete anonymity. For those who are addicted to reading between the lines, “that someone isn’t me”, I already have a person to dangle a lifetime for).

Quicksand

Though perfectly working, I cannot see a thing,
For, your smile blocks every other sight,
It has settled forever on my eyes,
And doesn’t even step aside for the sunlight.

It is long since I’ve hear a different thing,
Every moment, it is the tinkle of your laughter,
It deafens my ears to everything else,
Only to be replaced with its own playful banter.

A different smell, the air could never bring,
Ever since I first smelt, the magic of your fragrance,
It was so heavy, it choked my every breath,
And became in no time my very subsistence.

A different taste might surely do a thing,
To replace the taste, the sweetness of you,
So hot and yet so sweet, all at a time,
If only, every single time, you didn’t seem so new.

Every single second that you remain on mind,
To never forget you, as if to remind,
I wish I could, but how can I,
If you choose to leave every single memory behind.

I walk on you, and bump into you,
And arise unto you, and fall asleep into you,
I swim away, only to get closer to you,
Maybe it’s because I’m mad about you.

I may seem mad to think so much about you,
But frankly, it makes me mad to forget you,
I never felt so happy about the drowning or mourning,
For such moments, I would sink into you, every new morning.

Feels exhilarating to takes such a leisurely break from some serious poems and have fun in the simple things that make up a moment. Quite how often we get too intricately involved in the figments of our own grandiose imagination that we fail to properly appreciate, or worse still totally fail to recognise the beauty that lies in the simplicity with which most things are expressed. We are so lost in the interpretation of non-existent meanings of flamboyant words that we fail to see the depth of emotions that simple words can convey, this poem for me was such an awakening.

It was the wake up call, to find back those roots for which I took to poetry before going astray with the ambition of writing something ponderous to capture the imagination of an audience. It was the call to get back on a path of self-expression, the very reason I had begun with writing in the first place, before getting sidetracked on a path of bespoilt innocence that was arbitrarily sacrificed on an altar of temporal gratification of artistic pursuits that constantly keep trying to mar my original purpose.

Anyway, just can’t stop rambling. What I wanted to say was that though it was very minimalistic compared to my other poems, it was on of my most satisfying ones, because it took me back to the path that I had intended to follow.

Thanks a lot Aparna. Even through a poem you have managed to set me on track. Guess am more happier letting this continue, than alerting you to these ‘Random Verses’ and having your honesty spoil a dream.

Fairytale

When all it took to shield the sun was a thumb,
And there was no one, who, to your whims wouldn’t succumb,
When your smile was all it took, those angry faces to mend,
To such a life, you never knew there could be an end.

Those smirking behind those smiles, you never could comprehend,
Their anxiety at your growth, they never could apprehend,
As if rendered helpless, the Gods above, did never descend,
When the dreaded time came, your innocence, to defend.

Left by itself, it has the inevitable reality to fend,
And the knowledge, about new feelings you could offend,
Alas! If growth were not such a sordid compromise,
Every single child would love to be called wise.

For wisdom is a mere awakening to reality,
One where actions are but reactions to necessity,
Where thoughts are constricted by walls of possibility,
And the mind is confined into shackles of social nobility.

Where are those days, when sunshine meant playtime,
And the slightest pangs of hunger signalled lunchtime,
When money was a problem, never on your corner,
And never gave a thought to love or a life partner.

When the only tasks of the day, were fun and frolic,
And the thing you least cared about, was logic,
When there were caring fairies and guardian angels around,
And a big good God above, who made the world go round.

It is sad, maybe, that children cannot pinch themselves awake,
For they are the only ones, who can live, awake in a dream,
And to grow up, are willing, that very childhood to stake,
Only to realise, they are awake, but no longer in a dream.

Finally back after about a month criss-crossing South India, and the first thing I happen to come across, is a post by Aparna on fairytales and how she seemed to get more practical about them after once firmly living them. It struck me about how little children always want to grow up and when they do, they find ‘the grass on the other side was always greener’, and quite a lot of them who find idle time all through adulthood, sit back and get thinking of what we wouldn’t sacrifice to spend a day, an hour or even a few minutes as those children we knew ourselves to be. The irony being, that a few years ago, we just couldn’t wait to grow up and do all those ‘important things’ that grownups did. This one is dedicated to you-know-who(for those who came in late that meant Aparna) who managed to get me into another bout of ‘manic depressive longing’ for those ‘good old days’.

Killjoy

When the sun went down on another day,
And denizens of this planet went their way,
You wished for a moment you could idly stay,
And try listening to what the stars say.

They talked of your struggles, in the midst of the fray,
Yet, suddenly, way out of context they did stray,
About to vent your anger on those dots on grey,
You spotted the distraction to which they fell prey.

There in the distance it glittered, unlike any gold,
You ventured near them to confirm, ever so bold,
And found them to be row upon row of sparkling white,
Between parted lips whose laughter filled that night.

She stared at you, turned around and nimbly ran,
And that was the moment this story really began,
You called after her, ran after her, to no avail,
For she was like a boat that had already set sail.

Dejected, you turned back after a while,
And tried to recollect what remained of her smile,
Surprisingly your mind couldn’t steer clear,
Of that face, one that knew no tear.

You closed your eyes and pictured her walking back to you,
Looking at you like you were somebody she knew,
You began to think, if there was anything you could ask of her,
Things she could dispense with, and never again bother.

Even before you could ask, she handed it to you,
Her possession, one that forever seems new,
Giving it away, she still had a million more to give,
Having already helped a thousand others to relive.

It hit you so hard, that it threw you off your feet,
And it was some time before her eyes you could meet,
Yet, you felt not even the slightest hint of the blow,
Such is the way that her happiness does flow.

She filled your life with a joy you never before knew,
And at the end of it, everything around seemed new,
It flooded your heart, to way beyond its size,
It widened your lips, and twinkled through your eyes.

Blinking in surprise, she was gone in that while,
As you look at her slowly retreating profile,
You wonder if all she gave you was a smile,
One that you carried to that journey’s last mile.

At the end of the road, there was still a lot of it to spare,
You wished you could stand and watch others without it fare,
For a heart, that neither fear nor death could destroy,
She was able to fill, thrill and kill with her joy.

Yet another one on Aparna, although this one is way out abstract and dramatic. I was attracted by the prospect of turning the term ‘killjoy’ into an oxymoron, and of course here was a willing subject, somebody who could ‘kill’ with their joy, and maybe bring back to life, with their joy. So I set about trying to spin that into a tale of a guy(a close friend) who happened to get that smile from her on a journey called life. This seems to be getting weirder by the moment, so I will just conclude by saying “she did it”, like a magnet she managed to pull me back within a month. So I have to I guess start a whole section for her from this poem onwards.

Addictive Joy

It’s been years, since I saw that smile again,
Though only an image, I still cannot restrain,
From wondering, how little has actually changed,
About the feelings, that your smile engaged.

Though in the mind, the vision is always there,
The eyes aren’t satisfied, with an image back somewhere,
They are starving to see it, with their own eyes,
And that still tells me, how slowly our time flies.

To them, you are the raindrop, that broke away,
From the cloud, to quench them, falling this way,
Within them, forever they wish, you would stay,
The mind, it’s jealous, it always makes them stray.

I have never seen it, ever leaving your face,
And never want to, even if only a passing phase,
And each time, the twinkle it leaves in your eye,
That’s just enough, to bid all agonies goodbye.

Seeing it, my overcome tears, always run back,
And a reluctant sorrow, turns its stubborn back,
My mind has only, to hear that laughter’s tinkle,
And it irons out, my every frown’s wrinkle.

Were times I wished, I could touch your laughter,
Feel it and hold it, for now and ever after,
Hold it before my thirsty eyes, and just stare,
Till the moment I have, not a breath to spare.

Felt content, watching those pearls, drop from your lips,
And when I tried, to hold them by my fingertips,
They just dissolved, melting themselves into me,
Flowing in like a joy, the happiest I could ever be.

Try as much, I can’t and don’t, want to let go,
And therefore keep being swept away, by its flow,
For those who feel, life has more sorrow than joy,
They have not yet tasted your smile, and its addictive joy.

After more than two years, yesterday, I saw a photo of Aparna Reddy(Reddy no longer?) on her Orkut profile, and checked out her blog. The first wave of nostalgia hit me, the moment I saw that photo, that smile it could still captivate, not that I doubted it for a moment, but the very idea being proved to my eyes still spellbound me enough to write about it, and those days when I used to submit the exam paper in 1 hour to sit and stare at her for 2 hours, and write “Searching For You” while at it.Still can’t guess what game God was trying to play on me, by making such a smile, and showing it to me for two years and then keeping it etched on my memory, trying to have fun, seeing me wrestling with it.


Immediately I felt I had to write my feeling, I had to record this nostalgia. I couldn’t sleep for the whole night yesterday, fighting with myself to finish the poem first and then sleep, but ultimately my laziness won. Not for long, today morning, the moment I woke up, the feeling started tormenting me again, and so I decide not to push my luck anymore and got down to this. Wish I could spend all my days just looking at her smiling, would make me prefer Earth over Heaven any day.

Searching For You

Like a forgotten native traversing the desert,
I carry on with no choice, though my feet hurt,
Try as much as I can, my thoughts to divert,
From inevitably returning to you, I cannot avert.

I walk on though I know not, how long the night,
Just hoping I’ll reach the end before it’s daylight,
A look above shows, the future is not bright,
Thinking of you, I just hope my direction is right.

For, however long I walk, you’re still out of sight,
As the winds blow, I clasp my last bit of faith tight,
Day by fiercer day, I live by the wind of the night,
A wind that soothes my worries, making me light.

Where can I find you, the solace of my heart’s desire,
For no wind of any might can put out this fire,
Wherever I go, I hear only talk of your fame,
But am so exhausted, I can no longer call out your name.

The day passes soon, giving way to a drenching rain,
I look out for you, only to see the pelting rain again,
People around me quickly run for the nearest cover,
I stand there alone, waiting for you, facing its power.

The rain endlessly pours down, as I stand under,
Facing its quenching water and burning thunder,
Asking myself just where did I blunder,
To be separated from you, my wonder.

I realize it is morning, by seeing the mist descending,
But my relentless footsteps keep the dust ascending,
And I stand confused, whether it’s the mist or dust I’m depending,
For mine is a task that seems to have no ending.

I suddenly feel I have turned over a new page,
For with a strong urge to turn back, I reach this stage,
My mind blames it all on the effect of my age,
But try as I might, I am still a prisoner in your cage.

I continue looking for you, soaring like a kite in the sky,
Not sure, whether you own me, or I own you, the sky,
When a gust of wind, snaps apart my confidence thread,
I continue unsupported, not knowing the direction I head.

The waves part, as I look for you in the deep sea,
But however deep I look, there is only water I see,
The clouds part, as I look for you in the new moon,
But I see no evidence to tell me you are due soon.

Patiently I wait, looking for you in the mid-noon,
But the brightness of the sun, only sends me into a swoon,
Hastily I decide to settle down on my own,
But repentantly wait to see you in the seeds I have sown.

At their own pace, the plants have gradually grown,
To my futile effort, no trace of you they have ever shown,
I try to take my mind off it, by watching their buds bloom,
But I see only your face, that brings back my gloom.

I curse myself for trying to needlessly believe,
That forever my side, you will never leave,
All my charm has waned itself into a frown,
But there is no depth at which I can drown.

To see me in this state, though you aren’t there,
To console me for my life, your captivating smile is here,
Seeing it on your embossed face, I burst into ecstasy,
As though awaiting for long, an unfulfilled prophecy.

I have lost count of those endless nights and days,
That I battled with myself in innumerable days,
Convincing and cajoling myself to start again, anew,
For, till my last breath, I shall be searching for you.

Dedicated to Aparna Reddy, whose innocent face and endearing smile made this possible, may she have that smile forever, lighting up many more lives with one of the joys of creation.(presently she is only lighting up the lives of the class of humans called Americans)

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