Isthmus

The things that keep us together, are the ones keeping us apart,
And the things keeping us apart, are the strings tying each other’s heart,
Even two rooms with a common wall, are separated by a door,
When opened, it shows, they are actually joined by the same floor.

We were proud, about having the same view, sharing the same thought,
And gloat about how similarity has made sure that we never fought,
Only to realise, the reason we had only one view, only one window,
And this ensured, there was only direction the wind could blow.

We were happy, that the words we both spoke, were all the same,
And exulted at how either of us could for each other proclaim,
Only to realise, the reason neither of us, was ever able to exclaim,
Was because, we knew every word, before it came, or became.

We were excited, that what I thought, what you said, we did,
And cheered that all we needed between us, was a single eyelid,
Only to realise, why none of us knew, any more than we saw,
So concerned with seeing the same, neither of us noticed the flaw.

We were heartened, that we knew so much, about each other’s happiness,
And boasted it was all that was needed to flood any outpouring of our sadness,
Only to realise, each of us had our own individual wars to be battled,
And even common emotions weren’t enough, to keep the differences bottled.

We were sure, we could hear the anxiety, in each other’s heart beat,
And believed we could even walk the exact same path, feet in feet,
Only to realise, all we could hear was a single repetitive sound,
Even a multitude of harmonies, couldn’t pry our ears unbound.

The more we are together, the lesser we actually merge,
Because we change each other, until neither is left to emerge,
Love is not the dream, that our every similarity seems to consist,
It is the reality, that we can be different, and still together exist.

This one is inspired by the works of my teacher/Beacon, Sirivennela. The very very very evocative piece ‘Yedho Yedho’ from Sasirekha Parinayam struck a raw nerve, causing the words in my mind to unsettle into the arrangement that this poem is. His song presents the case for the apprehensions a girl faces when having to face the prospect of living with a stranger. Everyone she knows, promises that its for the best, there’s nothing to fear. But the heart knows what only it can know, feels what only it can feel. How do you know if someone you need to allow into your life, your heart, your thoughts, will let you into theirs, or will even let you have yours once, they are in it.

There’s no way you can know, except to make the leap. We spend so much of our lives, changing our lives to match those that we love, to please those that we love, or influencing them to change their lives, to suit or thoughts, to match our feelings, that we fail to notice, we are changing the diversity of humanity on its head, and creating more and more clones of ourselves, trying to remove those things that make everyone distinct, and asking them to pour their souls, into moulds of ourself that we have created. We have this need to see reflections of ourselves wherever we look. We want those that love us, to look like us, think like us, feel like us. So much so, that when they finally do so, there is only one person left on the earth, ourself. The rest are just poor imitations we have created to feel surrounded by ourself.

Everytime we do something that causes someone to change, change to conform to our preferences, our expectations, we are creating poor duplicates of ourselves. Unfortunately, while that is somewhat less apparent, what is not apparent at all, is that when we look at these duplicates, we are looking at reflections of ourselves. And reflections are just that, exact copies, but facing the opposite direction. So the more they seem to be converging into our path, the more they are actually diverging. A line that seems to be colliding into the mirror, is actually running away from it.

To sum up, stop trying to find someone who is your type. Someone who likes what you like, who eats what you eat, who speaks like you speak, who thinks like you think, and who sees how you see. There is no one like that. If God had wanted it that way, he would have given you a xerox machine with human blanks. So even when you happen to find someone, anyone, who is close to, similar to what you expect, stop trying to mould them into a braindead transmitter of your thoughts, feelings, and words. If you really love someone, stop trying to manipulate them into becoming something for you, and if you love yourself, stop trying to mould yourself into someone else, because the person in love with you, or the person you want to love you, wouldn’t want to love someone else, they love/want to love you. If they don’t then, they are in the replicator business, and you should run as far away from them as possible.

The idea being that, you do not need to be similar to mix, and you do not need to mix, to be together. Every one can be their own self, and be a part of a together bond. Hydrogen burns, and so does oxygen. They can also not burn, as water. And yet burn when split up. The idea of love is to create, not destroy. The purpose is to make a new bond with its own characteristics without wiping out the existence, characteristics of its constituents. The idea is to create water that is distinct, without making hydrogen or oxygen non-flammable, and without changing the fundamental properties and structure of either element.

Pollyanna

When you are faced with odds of insurmountable strength,
It is all right, to not see the mission through to its full length,
Will you forgo the applause, just to pull down the curtain,
Or push forward until the goal is yesterday’s burden?

When your life’s only dream is shattered and buried,
It is expected, to just give up the desire to succeed,
Will you stand, with your head staring down at the rubble,
Or pick up a shovel and continue with the struggle?

When your own people strike trust a heavy blow,
It is naturally easy, to let the pent up tears flow,
Will you languish, in your lament till the eyes run dry,
Or will you wipe the tears away before they see you cry?

When words with friends get ugly and all are flared,
It is understandable, to show each other you are scared,
Will you run, leaving everyone angry and afraid,
Or stand to show them they too can remain unswayed?

When nothing you try, is going according to plan,
It is wise, to retreat and retrace the path you just ran,
Will you try, desperately to find events you can rewind,
Or prove there is nothing about the future that you mind?

When your love decides to put up with you no more,
It is obvious, to find that every solace has a closed door,
Will you allow, the hope and faith to gracefully depart,
Or persevere until they dejectedly return to your heart?

When you are asked to give up the beliefs that make your self,
It is necessary, to put your ideology back on its shelf,
Will you distance, yourself from your life and character,
Or draw them closer until your blood is imprinted on every letter?

This one is for the Gazebo, since it looks at a world that could have been. It continues from where Godse left off. The fundamental premise is that Gandhism is no longer a term anybody recognises or understands. While Godse (the poem) contends that this is due to all of us, Pollyanna dwells upon the roots of that demise. Gandhism, was killed not by anyone born decades later, or by errant invididuals, it was killed by Gandhi himself. Now, it would seem moronic to suggest such a thing and attribute the death of a movement to its founder, and an icon no less. But just read through the rest of the stuff, and decide for yourself.

The whole foundation of the non-violent, show you the other cheek, when you slap me, movement has been built around the principle of being true to your beliefs and winning the other person over through the strength of your conviction in your beliefs, and what you are willing to endure, to see them through. This was the reason, instead of assembling a  bunch of rag-tag commandos, Gandhi chose to simply wait out the Britishers, and make them feel ashamed of being extortionate occupiers, and run away sweating with the shame of having exploited and enslaved such a noble race as the Indians. Would have been made for a fantastic movie script, if it had worked that way.

Unfortunately, what actually drove the Brits back, wasn’t a bunch of topless voluntarily-handicapped Salman Khan protestors. Instead, it was a combination of things ranging from the formation of the United Nations, growing global disdain on the enslaving of colonies, growing dissent and unrest within the colonies, necessity to rebuild their own war-torn homeland that was in a political upheaval, and so on. The Brits definitely did not run with their tails between their legs, just by seeing millions of people eagerly waiting for them to feel ashamed of themselves, and hoping they would just wake up one morning and vacate because they grew tired of doing the wrong thing, and Jesus had appeared in their Queen’s dream and told her ‘treat thy neighbour as thyself’. What a story of miraculous transformation.

But my story doesn’t quite end there. I searched and read up as much as I could, and in my limited exposure to literature, I couldn’t find a single reference to Gandhi condemning the Indian Army and calling for its disbandment. I have heard hearsay stories that Gandhi called for the abolishment of the Congress Party post-Independence, though I haven’t seen any written word to that effect. So, it would seem absurd to you, that I would expect Gandhi to get rid of the Indian army. What possible connection could the Indian army have to do with anti-Gandhism?

The answer can be understood through a simple analogy. Let us say you are Gandhi, and you have a house, one your ancestors were born and lived in. One fine day, a guy walks in, (lets call him Occupier) and at gunpoint kicks you out of your house, and stays in it. Apart from kicking you out, he also makes you do all of his household chores. Normally, you would have kicked such a person in the teeth and told him to bugger-off. But then, you are Gandhi, so what do you do. You ask Occupier to leave, and when he doesn’t and slaps you around, you cry, and refuse to do any more household chores, dare him to lock you in the closet, and wait for God to work upon Occupier. The whole idea being, that Occupier would see you in the closet, everytime he reached for his trenchcoat, and after seeing you in the closet for hundreds of times, be so overcome and wracked with guilt, that he would recognise the scorn in your eyes, the pity in your words, the sorrow in your heart, the freedom in your mind, and be overwhelmed by all these emotions, that he would run out of the house.

So far, so good, mission accomplished. Only there is a small hitch. Now that the house is yours again, you then assign a few of your family members to stand outside and prevent any more relatives of Occupier from ever getting in again, and you instruct them to do so by any means necessary, event if that means at gunpoint, or by bullet wound. Here is where the anachronism comes in. You seem to be willing to abhor violence for the purpose of getting your house back, but will not hesitate to resort to violence to ensure the house stays under your control. Now, I don’t know what that makes you, but I would generally term it as hypocrisy. The fact that Gandhi did not talk about the existence of, his like/dislike for, the Indian army, itself speaks volumes about the kind of freedom we purport to have ‘won’.

Please bear in mind, I am not questioning the necessity/purpose of the Indian armed force. Why would I? I am not a Gandhian. All I am saying is that all those followers of Gandhi, or should I say, pseudo-Gandhians like Nehru who were supposedly Gandhian, but gave orders to the Indian armed forces and instead appreciated the role played by the army post-Independence (while pretending to be non-violent people) are the ones who killed Gandhism. So that would make Gandhi the first pseudo-Gandhian, who began the events that killed Gandhism. Godse only shot at Gandhi’s body. Gandhi killed himself when he didn’t live up to his own beliefs.

Of course, let me sum up by saying, I am a nobody to be raking up mud on historical figures of national importance, and I guess there is some statute that prevents anyone from maligning the gloried name of the Father of our Nation. But then, enforcing people’s thoughts, through a statute, is the same Fascist crap that Hitler and Mussolini dished out, and the same crap that allows contempt-of-court to be (ab)used whenever someone questions a court verdict, or that boorish partymen tactics, when they forcibly destroy property of businessmen who dare to do business on a day when their party has proclaimed a strike, and expect people to show solidarity for their movement, by beating them into it, like those Telangana Fascists. So enough said already.

Tunnel

There are those that trust light, because it has a beginning,
And others still who fear it not, because it has an ending,
But darkness is another matter, for, it begins nowhere,
And even in the midst of light, is always forever there.

It is difficult to understand something, that’s made up of nothing,
And yet, is pervasive enough, to be within everything,
Darkness is the envelope, that helps define every beam of light,
And still can be seen by everyone, specially those without sight.

It is the womb from which all light is born,
And is the grave for all visions that are stillborn,
It is the medium that connects one light to another,
And is the canvas on which one colour differs from the other.

Darkness is not a journey, since it cannot ever begin,
It is the path on which all light created travels within,
It is the black imprint that every footstep of light leaves,
It is the web that captures every illusion that light weaves.

It appears to expand and contract with every change in a shadow,
But what really changes, is the light, from broad to narrow,
Darkness has no size, no speed, because it doesn’t need to move,
It is the encompassive stage, on which light has a point to prove.

In many ways, the only truth there is, is the darkness,
Because it stays the same in both shade and brightness,
It has no colours, no shades, for, those are the offspring of light,
The only progeny of darkness, is the transient permanence of night.

While everyone views a tunnel as the conduit for darkness,
Few realise, that it is the last harbour for nothingness,
Black does not flow, like light through a funnel,
Because there is always darkness, at either end of a tunnel.

This one is for the Beacons, dedicated as it is, to Sirivennela Seetharama Shastry. It is based on his line from one of the greatest Telugu film songs of all time. http://manoharamu.blogspot.in/2007/09/sindooram-ardha-satabdapu.html The line goes like this: 

అన్యాయాన్ని సహించని శౌర్యం దౌర్జన్యాన్ని దహించే ధైర్యం

కారడవుల్లో క్రూరమృగంలా దాక్కుని ఉండాలా వెలుగుని తప్పుకు తిరగాలా

This one is about an all-pervasive omnipresent phenomenon called darkness. It carries on from what began as a dialogue with brother Satyajit (in Into Your Life and Shadows). The beautiful thing about darkness, is that people refuse to give it the credit it deserves. It is perfectly human, that people who wage battles since the beginning of civilization over land, while water covers over 75% of the planet, would try to portray their God as being limited to the light.

I have no problems with the light, except that it is a minority in the grand scheme of things. In the universe, as well as in galaxies, stars (sources of light), are tiny specks of white against an infinite black. So to call their God as the light (“I am the light”, “Dispeller of darkness”, etc.) is absurd because it excludes the fact that God is also darkness. In effect, they end up calling their God as ‘Dispeller of God’. All I am saying is that Darkness is God. So to associate darkness as being the freehold property/playground of some Satan, is to say that God is the property of Satan. Fundamentally, if God is everything, then God is Satan. That brings us to this zero-sum game of “God is the light” and “God is the darkness”. So white=black.

But that is merely, the premise upon which the poem is built. Being an abstraction, the core idea, is more around minorities, and how they are glorified at the expense of the majority (think land vs sea, light vs darkness). So in a society, that globally and locally portends to have a constitution that says all citizens are equal, except that the minorities are more equal, there is something seriously flawed with the checks and balances by which we govern ourselves. I fail to understand how punishing the son for the sins of the father qualifies as social justice, unless an eye-for-a sons-eye-by-my-son is the accepted norm of social justice. The constitution allows discrimination on the basis of caste/creed/religion/gender as long as it is for-the-benefit of some minority. Now unless I have my understanding all soaked in hogwash, nothing can be of benefit to one party without being unbeneficial/harmful to another. You cannot discriminate for-the-benefit of a minority without it being to-the-detriment of a majority in a mixed population organization, be it an educational institution, or a workplace. You cannot be pro-women without being anti-men. You cannot be pro-SC/ST without being anti-FC/OC in an organization that caters to both sections. The only for-the-benefit discrimination that is partially  neutral, is a minority-exclusive organization. In any other context, it is tantamount to punishing the descendant of one community, for-benefit-of the descendants of another community, whose ancestors bore the exploitation of the ancestors of the other community. We live in weird times, when a document that allows this is our constitution.

As long as charters of such inequality are the founding papers of a country, there is a bleak future for social justice. The cycle never ends and has been proven to be a law of nature that is self-correcting. A few lions terrorize a few hundred deer. So to restore order, man decides to shoot the lions. Now the over-shot lions, become an endangered species, while the population of deer grows out of control. So man launches a “Save the lion campaign”, and shoots off the excess deer, to restore balance. By which time, the lions grow too many, and the deer becomes an endangered species, due to too many lions, and too few deer. The same is the case with the minority/majority equation with the constitution/law playing the role of the gamekeeper, shooting each side as it grows out of control.

Until Tomorrow

Ever since I learned to walk, I’ve always been on solid ground,
There’s always been land, land, and more land, everywhere I look around,
It is not an observation that most people like to call profound,
But look beneath those words, and you might see why it can astound.

For someone whose feet have always been conversant with the sand,
For someone whose decades brim reticent with memories from the land,
For someone with remnants of the earth forever on the palm of his hand,
It is blasphemous for his mind, to anything else consider or demand.

But the mind has never known firm ground, steeped in its own quagmire,
Washed ashore on the banks of temptation, flailing in the gusts of desire,
The gales of curiosity busy tearing it asunder,
The waves of trepidation drowning it down under.

I know this won’t tarry you from asking the obvious, why,
So let me tell you the reason I’ve decided to finally fly,
I’ve always been piqued by my dormant fascination for the sky,
Perhaps awakened by the flutter of the wings of time flapping by.

At a time when all the stars invite you to freely and openly pry,
You never pause to ponder, if leaving home will make you cry,
All that you know and feel, is that you have to atleast give it a try,
And besides, there’s always the promise of a wind, to blow your tears dry.

I know I can no longer rely on, or even land back on my feet,
But that has always been the only determined variable, between my dream and defeat,
All earth shrinks to a miniscule dot upon knowing the first moment of flight,
All that remains is the preponderance of not knowing yourself from the light.

But the best thing about flying, is that nobody can do it forever,
Flight is never complete, without a touchdown on land or river,
So lose those creased lines on the forehead, and the upturned brow,
Because even the biggest bird, must return to nest, today or tomorrow.

This one is for the Mirror. It covers my feelings on being employed, my constant satisfaction/discontentment with being so, and my flights of hope away from and into employment. It also barely touches upon the HR paradox that is a modern-day corporation. My employer doesn’t give me the hike I ask, so I leave to a competitor and get 100+30 as pay. Another employee at the competitor, asks for, doesn’t get the hike he wants, so he leaves and arrives at my employer and gets 100+30 as pay. It turns out to be a zero sum game. Me at new company with 130 pay, and new company employee at my company with 130 pay. We could both have continued at our previous companies had we got 130, and employee retention would be at its highest for both companies. Funny the way the world now works.

That apart, the wanderlust in me doesn’t like resting at any place for too long, especially when it is under someone else’s roof and dictum. The only place I ever had a choice and left was Accenture and that leave me with a lot of sentimental feelings than the other places, since I chose to leave, and not circumstances doing my choosing for me.

Enchanted

One of the few things noticed while walking in a maze,
Is how earnestly the next turn is beseeching you gaze,
Although you already know this isn’t any race,
Yet, you fervently want to just get out of the place.

You told me I would know no silence, as long as my fury was at war,
Choiceless, I knew that withholding it would cause my heart to char,
I tried hard, but found no other way, except to release,
Because sometimes, fighting is the only way, to peace.

You told me life wasn’t worthy, without potential for a dream,
But mere dreaming is not easy as life makes it seem,
So, for yours to come true, I wouldn’t spare myself the knife,
Because sometimes, death is the only donor, to life.

You told me I would never know thirst, unless I drank some wisdom,
But analysing cause and effect seems a little too weird and random,
So, to learn more on you, I had to force my identity off the ledge,
Because sometimes, ignorance is the only reason, for knowledge.

You told me, every work I spoke, was time spent not listening,
But how could I relegate my ears to keep forever hearing,
So, to hear more from you, I decided to mute myself for the magic,
Because sometimes, silence is the only voice, for music.

You told me, everything I saw, was only my version of reality,
But it was unbearable to believe, that every fact has duality,
So, to save you the pain, I resigned myself to the untruth,
Because sometimes, lie is the only face, for truth.

You told me, from this point on, we would have to go our own way,
But being together for a lifetime, I ran out of things to say,
So, to let you have your own way, I could surely despise myself somehow,
Because sometimes, hatred is the only companion, to love.

This one is for the Mirror, stemming as it does from some very intense experiences. How often do we see a conflict between the choices we have, and the choices we wish we had? When life leaves you with only one path, and it is not one you are willing to be nudged along, it often takes the diametrically opposite reason, to make you walk down the path. Not because you love the path, but because the path is the only destination for your love.

Highway to Pandora

I was hitchhiking my way, when the samaritan came along,
I smiled at him, seeing no harm in walking as a throng,
Only on seeing lonely wayfarers dying, did the thought finally occur,
On how every fellow traveller was company enough to provide succour.

The samaritan taught me not, to invite everyone into my tent,
He showed me how lending a blanket, was kindness well spent,
I saw the samaritan give his own quilt to put a shivering soul at rest,
The warmth on his own shivering face, emanated from the joy of the quest.

While I held my bread close, praying it would last me to the destination,
He freely gave his around, hoping to save atleast one from starvation,
The more I carried for myself, the harder it was to move forward,
While he proved the more he shared, the lighter was his path onward.

While I paused every now and then, to reconfirm my footsteps with my map,
He used the time to talk a fallen brother out of their misguided mishap,
Every story I heard, of tragedies unravelled through his conversation,
Taught me how little I knew of others, perhaps, my greatest limitation.

Why he tried giving more than he had, I never could surmise,
Until the moment he revealed, the unseen rewards of sacrifice,
That when you go out of your way, because the needy need you to serve,
You’ll be surprised, at how many come forward, to give you what you deserve.

It was only when he showed me the true spirit of celebrating failure,
I came to realise, that success all the while, had this over-glorified allure,
I realised, that alone, every step I took, was too indistinguishable to remark,
But together, every stop we made, was our journey’s next landmark.

He knew that I could feel hurt, because of my inability to forgive,
So I came to believe, only mercy and compassion I could forever give,
The highway to Pandora taught me, that my only enemy was a fellow traveller’s fall,
And I would recognise and reach no heaven, without realising that love is all.

This one is a Gazebo piece about the journey called life and its purpose. Sometimes we are fortunate enough, to have transportation, and other times we have to walk along with everyone else. What matters, is that we help others reach the destination. That in itself is the true destination for those who know it.

Maudlin

Sometimes, however angry at you, the world might seem,
You need to understand, it is just a way of letting off steam,
Although snapping back might relieve the pressure causing the flow,
You might agree, that it is easier to instead defuse it with a guffaw.

Other times when people seem to just run out of patience,
You need to understand, they’re just weary from having no options,
Given that impatience is not the simplest quarry to head-on tackle,
You might be surprised, that it can easily be disarmed with a cackle.

Often when the world seems to be drowning in its own sorrow,
You need to understand, it’s because they don’t believe in tomorrow,
While it may seem simpler to just cut the moroseness in half,
You might not believe, that it can instead be denied with a laugh.

When people grow tired of keeping up with every struggle and travail,
You need to understand, they are merely hoping for respite to prevail,
However rational it might feel to choke it without room to wriggle,
You might be unaware, that it is more fun to disable it with a giggle.

There are times when things are grim enough to be labelled bleak,
You need to understand, this is courage not encouraged enough to speak,
Despite knowing you can disperse the depression, by spreading it thin,
You might concur, that it can instead be disfigured with just a grin.

Most days, when people abuse you, in an effort to apparently redeem,
You need to understand, they unconsciously suffer from low self-esteem,
Assured though you are, that reciprocation will force it to buckle,
You might already know, that it can be dismantled with a chuckle.

You wonder why the world doesn’t acknowledge life in its every breath,
You need to understand, it is too preoccupied running away from death,
Cliched though it may sound, that this keeps happening all the while,
You already believe, every battle in life, can be fought with a smile.

This one is dedicated to a Beacon called the HBO movie Wit. It merely summarizes the essence of the movie, a zest for life. One that is only recognized by those who appreciate how little they have left of it.

Jettison

I doggedly refused to believe it was a case of stress,
Had I not held my own, and triumphed under extreme duress?
Or that my pent up anxiety was desperately awaiting a release,
Blissfully unaware, I let these keep dragging down my knees.

Why did everybody think I couldn’t get over the fear,
Always being followed by shadows too uncomfortably near,
I cannot hold my breath for every moment uncertainty teasingly reveals,
Ignorantly unsure, I let the suspense keep on pricking at my heels.

I never knew I was even remotely capable of hatred,
Until the time when myself I had gradually come to dread,
Unable to hold my distaste back, every time I hear someone praised,
Voluntarily unhappy, I let the discontent hang around my waist.

You don’t even need to look into my eyes, to see the disbelief,
The lesser you talk to me, you can see my relief, etched in relief,
Because, opening my mouth reveals, that lies are something I never lack,
Hopelessly untruthful, I let the glibness continue straining my back.

While I stay busy, cowering alone, before my own cowardice,
I fail to understand, why courage seems to need no accomplice,
Defeatist enough to let my anger burn me from getting wisely older,
Thoughtfully unclear, I see the fury keeps dragging down my shoulder.

I vividly remember, every time I stretched my arms in helplessness,
And how stubbornly folded they were, to congratulate another’s happiness,
When my apathy prevents me from helping a fallen friend to stand,
Painfully callous, I realise not what is really holding back my hand.

I know from every expression, why I cannot wash away the shame,
And how uncontrollably guilty I feel upon just hearing my name,
I only hope, before this emotional baggage can talk me dead,
I can let go of them, one by one, if only to once again raise my head.

This Mirror one is about the baggage we all carry, and how we drown in the sea of life everyday because we refuse to throw some/all of it overboard. Sometimes, the only way to stay afloat, is to get rid of excess baggage, and that’s where this jettison comes in.

Awake

When I can find nearly no difference between day and night,
And I realize not, the extent or gravity of my plight,
When my thoughts constantly oscillate between either extreme,
I knew then, I was walking in the garden of my dream.

When every step I take, seems the next turn in a maze,
And I find that even the wrong never turn never ceases to amaze,
When the mere act of walking, brings raptures of ecstasy,
I realize that I am breathing the fragrance of fantasy.

When I feel my breath hanging onto every single word,
And I understand that silence is what I can least afford,
When the mind can run untamed, wild with imagination,
I am assured I am in the company of hallucination.

When my every conversation is enlivened by friends,
And every enemy of mine, queues up to make amends,
When my heart is no longer captive, in the cages of permission,
I believe that everything I see, is the beauty of vision.

When I can listen to the melody hidden in every heartbeat,
And I find no reason, why this time won’t itself repeat,
When I wonder why every exit looks like an entrance,
I understand I am swinging under the groove of a trance.

When every thought of mine appeals for a lasting peace,
And I no longer have any anger, greed, or jealousy to appease,
When my most confounding reaction I can easily foretell,
I doubt not that I am under the influence of a benevolent spell.

When the only way to ensure I am not sunk in a reverie,
Is to question and analyze every emotion and memory,
When emerging from the stupor alive, is a mistake,
I agree that dreams are the only place I am truly awake.

Another one for the Gazebo. This one is about the two worlds we live in. A dream one and the real one, or is it vice versa?

Forgotten

I’ve spent so much of my daily life glaring,
That my mirror has forgotten, how they looked, welcoming,
I’ve seen so little of my own eyes, sparkling with delight,
That I have long forgotten the true purpose of sight.

I’ve spent so much time piling abuse upon denigration,
That my mouth has forgotten a word like consolation,
I’ve spoken so little, to support those that plead and beseech,
That I have long forgotten the true purpose of speech.

I’ve heard for so long, cries of suffering and desperation,
That my ears have forgotten, the sound of music and inspiration,
I’ve heeded so little to the pleas of the truly deserving,
That I have long forgotten the true purpose of hearing.

I’ve swallowed for so long, the bitter humble pie of failure,
That my tongue has forgotten, if success is also a famine to endure,
I’ve tasted so little achievement, even in stark distaste,
That I have long forgotten the true purpose of taste.

I’ve been stinking so long, from the stench of distrust,
That my nose has forgotten, the aroma called trust,
I’ve believed for so long, about living in hell,
That I have long forgotten the true purpose of smell.

I’ve used up a lifetime, following the footsteps of hatred,
That my heart has forgotten, the path love had once tread,
I’ve ignored for so long, the urge for compassion and sharing,
That I have long forgotten the true purpose of feeling.

I’ve thought for long, that helplessness is the only state I could understand,
That my entire being has forgotten, the meaning of a helping hand,
I’ve wasted so long, questioning others belief in religion and divinity,
That I have long forgotten the existence of my own humanity.

A simple one for Mirror, inspired again by the movie Vedam, specifically the song Malli Puttaniyi.

Is There

Not to throw, whatever we can against the wall,
Not to mouth, every profanity we can quickly recall,
Not to vent out, pent up frustration into the community,
Anger is there, to test our affinity for serenity.

Not to cover up, some thing as serious as infidelity,
Not to make up, for some thing as silly as timidity,
Not to utter, because it’s the only thing that can soothe,
Lie is there, to test our dedication to the truth.

Not to give company, to some forlorn tears,
Not to take the blame, for many unfortunate years,
Not to fill the void, left by a heart’s emptiness,
Sorrow is there, to test our longing for happiness.

Not to use as an excuse, to justify every war,
Not to feign, as a stranger closing every door that’s ajar,
Not to malign, as the reason behind this whole mess,
Hate is there, to test our commitment to forgiveness.

Not to pity, as a nuisance while crossing the road,
Not to ridicule, for wiping the car we rode,
Not to throw, as a catchword at seminars on humanity,
Poverty is there, to test our capacity for generosity.

Not to ignore, any word or to play with every word,
Not to merely sing aloud, a tune never heard,
Not to shout, to everyone about every squabble or difference,
Speech is there, to test our love for silence.

Not to spend, every second running behind a goal,
Not to manage, a vacant minute to salvage your soul,
Not to prove, there really is someone above,
Life is there, to test our willingness to love.

A simple and self-explanatory one for the Mirror, this one is also about my religion, Godism. It merely states that misfortune is there for us to make something positive out of, not to sit and cry about, or curse God about. It takes off from what Godforsaken and Unbelong conveyed.

Rocky Nest

We knew there was no other place, but the mountain top,
Because this was where everybody we knew, had set up shop,
I still remember, the location was merely the first of many a grouse,
But that still meant, that this was where we would build our house.

It was a place where our feathers were constantly singed by the sun,
The place that first taught us the value of sheltering someone,
From the piercing white embers, of which the hottest summers are made,
We learnt the importance of providing each other with shade.

A place so open, the chilly winters made us literally shiver,
With only the fish below comfortable, in a long-frozen river,
When we had no choice, but to closely huddle to survive,
We learnt why staying together, was the real reason to be alive.

To the days when we were greeted, with a howling wind,
And all plans of searching for prey, we had to rescind,
It was from those times, when life had us forcibly grounded,
We learnt to take the time, to express a love that abounded.

In those months of monsoon, when the merciless rain lashed,
And it seemed, the very water would push us off the cliff, unabashed,
When it seemed we would have to build a new nest for spring,
We learnt to truly become a family, by each spreading a wing.

While you struggled all day, to drag home the food,
I foraged for tender twigs, in the adjoining wood,
When hundreds of different twigs, can together make a nest,
What more do we need, to tell our individual differences to rest.

But what the woven twigs constitute, is merely an abode,
A place to rest tired limbs, before morning can again goad,
It is only when each of us lets go, of our ego and its nome,
That we come to recognise what we together built, as home.

I have often been asked, what is it that differentiates a married couple from a family? Well, here’s my answer. It is also my answer to the other question, of what differentiates a house from a home. A couple live in a house, while a family lives in a home. As simple as that. So take out your checklists and see if you are simply married, or are a family. see if you have a house, or a home.

This is a continuation of where Foundry left off, and hence slides nicely into Gazebo. Will add more explanation upon receiving comments. 🙂

This one is dedicated to Tuffy (released 08/12/2010) who was a lovable, huggable part of our family.

P.S.

Nome: Any melody determined by inviolable rules.
Being the music freak that i am, couldn’t keep music out of this one 🙂

Lake Infinity

Just when I was almost pleased at seeing the first rays of dawn,
I was dejected, that they weren’t looking for my lawn,
It seemed everyone took pleasure in provoking me into delight,
And then reminding me, there was no morning to my night.

My legs are still sore, from constantly falling on my knees,
The handcuffs cut against my wrists, repeatedly begging release,
My mind only pleads, that you wipe it for a fresh start,
And my heart is crying louder, requesting to be torn apart.

I was naive to think, suffering was a cup, with a measure,
And every day, how full or empty, I could measure,
Atleast now I have realised, that suffering is the sea,
And how deep I have been dipped, I cannot see.

If suffering was a true measure of how long one had lived,
I was sure everyone on earth, I had already outlived,
And when there’s nobody else left, what’s the point of living,
If not to leisurely walk hand-in-hand, with suffering.

But slowly I began to see other people, ones a lot older than me,
A dozen, hundreds, thousands of them, centuries older than me,
What most of them had in common, I only noticed after a while,
Despite their age, life had repeatedly failed, to wipe off their smile.

And that was the first time I felt completely ashamed,
That I had always thought of who could be blamed,
Ashamed, that instead of trying to swim bravely to the shore,
I was willing to sink, so that someone else could be punished some more.

I wish to thank those who taught me to let the tears dry,
And that the only way to kill tears, was to ignore them till they die,
I wish to thank those who taught me, that we are all very rich in suffering,
But very few of us, use it to make something worth remembering.

Although this has a lot of my personal experiences, this one really belongs in Gazebo. The concept is very simple, suffering is like wealth/money. The more you hoard/save it, the more it remains the same. You keep $10 in your locker and after a hundred years, they still remain $10. You share that $10 with somebody who needs it, and you may get $100 or $0 in return. That’s the same way suffering works, you hoard it, it eats you from inside, but doesn’t diminish one single bit. You share it with others, you can immediately feel the burden lightening. You channel it into something positive and constructive, the rewards will far outlive you or your suffering.

The title is inspired from the pre-climax scene of ”Truman Show‘ where Jim Carrey decides to brave the rough seas to make good an escape, and finally finds it is actually a set. Sorrow is similar in nature. You resent/fear it, it will appear as infinite as the sea. You brave it, face it head on, it will show its true form, which is a backyard lake.

Perfection

Around the edges, the eyebrows taper a little too sharp,
And the face is imbalanced, neither round nor oval, they harp,
Perhaps just a little more effort, could have salvaged Mona Lisa’s fate,
It could have been a lot better, is all that the critics know to state.

When your lifetime of art, is ripped apart, not by a rival worth admiring,
But by a person, who has never managed to sell a two-bit crayon drawing,
And this person has a following, that knows not pencil from charcoal,
Perhaps, that is when perfection ceases to any longer be a goal.

I can never understand, why nothing is ever good enough,
Or why the roundest pebble is still slightly rough,
Or why there isn’t a melody, that didn’t need some tweaking of the tune,
Or how somebody always feels, you could have better drawn that cartoon.

Maybe I will never understand because I refuse to even try,
Often I found it better to understand the sorrow, rather than simply cry,
And when people point out, that my humour has turned a tad too wry,
I ask them to watch the experts fight it out on why deserts are never too dry.

Whenever I hear of a masterpiece having a concealed flaw,
I wonder if it is their own reflection that they saw,
While a hundred thousand knew only to appreciate its beauty,
One guy feels. that parading the flaw is his beholden duty.

You never hear an artist tearing apart the intricacies of another’s work,
A true artist knows, the time is better spent improving his own work,
So the next time somebody tries to put your effort down,
You can be sure the person has lesser achievements than a clown.

So, while the world is waiting to prove that my product has a defect,
I spend every minute, ensuring that my effort is perfect,
The only thing that matters, is my satisfaction, in my dedication,
Because I have already learnt, that acceptance is the key to perfection.

This one is for one of the inspiring Beacons, Paayal. i have since long wanted to write something in the contentment genre and kept putting it off. Kept putting it off until i came across her posts on self-respect and perfection. It forced me to write what i was putting off for months. So Paayal, this one is for you.

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.

Think

Nobody knew when he slept, when he went and came,
All we knew, was that ‘Tanker’ Ralph was his name,
That he would be at the docks hours before the boat,
A decade-long dream, the only sound from his throat.

After a hard day’s work, while we settled to make merry,
He would be at the harbour, working the night ferry,
Early in the morning, he would be slumped over the deck,
Half-ready for another day, another chance to risk his neck.

While we rubbed our faces to wipe from it, the scalding steam,
He was working and lost, far away seas in a ship-sized dream,
Over and over he would tell us, “one day this tanker will be my own”,
We thought he was crazy, and so just left him alone.

But it was not some day, or month, took him a whole twenty years,
Before the tanker in front of him, could move him to tears,
Years and tears of enslavement with scalded hands and a broken back,
But he was a man in a hurry, with no time and desire to look back.

In no less than a week, tossed like the toy of a naughty wave,
His tanker burst into flames, with nothing left to save,
Imagine standing ashore, watching your life go up in flame,
Knowing you only had yourself and twenty years to blame.

We rushed to his side, to say a word or two of consoling comfort,
Only to realise, it was such a surprising waste of effort,
Struck with a blow that would have buried any man,
Resolutely sea-gazing he stood, laughing like a madman.

“Can’t you see”, he said, “now everything can again be new”,
And on the very sand before his feet, a bigger ship he drew,
“Will take another ten years, of hawking my soul and my abilities”,
“But after that”, he said, “just think of the new possibilities”

This one is also from and for the previous Beacon, Remington Steele. This is a versification of a small story narrated in the episode that has the dialogues from the previous poem, Yes & No. Although in the serial, it is merely a story, couldn’t help notice the pragmatic approach and how much it mirrored my life right now. At this very moment, i am sitting with my tanker in flames, and this story helped me realise the approach i should take towards the whole matter.

i have always believed, that things don’t go away by crying, just as much as the sun doesn’t go away by closing the eyes. And sometimes, things are snatched away from you, to help provoke you to deserve and achieve better things for yourself. It has been one hectic month catching up on my writing that i had let take the backseat for my tanker. But that tanker sank due to a deliberate wave, and the writing has sapped out all the agony and angst. Now all that remains is the peace, emptiness, and a single dream.

Enough for this month. Shall take rest for the rest of the month. Any poems will only appear from the next month. phewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

btw, for those statistically inclined, this is the poem no. 200 on my blog.

Icarus Glue

I never thought I would fly in such rough weather,
But I care not, having glued myself feather by feather,
I could fall faster than my meteoric rise, but I don’t bother,
Because a fall isn’t really painful, when taken for a brother.

When I first heard that destiny had this challenge going,
About who could worthily prove to be my undoing,
I laughed it off, thinking it was just another game,
Until I realised what it was they set about to defame.

The whacks from their batons, hit my legs hard,
But my knees decided, that was reason to run more hard,
The flicks from their canes, leaves my palms charred,
But my arms decided, that was reason to flap more hard.

The more burdened my chest, the easier I could take-off,
Because every feather has a thousand other to care of,
And before they knew it, I had already far away flown,
Leaving behind their guilt, to keep them company alone.

Every slap on the face, punch in the stomach, elicited no sound,
Because the only objective was to bring me back to the ground,
Every ignore, every neglect, was calculated to make me wince,
But only the louder flapping of my determined wings they could evince.

There were hundreds depending on me, to prove they too could fly,
And destiny owns the entire window, but not an inch of the sky,
All it takes, is to realise, that the walls and windows are a lie,
A simple realisation that has so far kept me flying high.

The harshest lies and toughest blows cannot force a single tear,
Because it isn’t the pain or sorrow, that I truly fear,
In this relentless battle to tarnish my unsullied name,
Am afraid, that stopping flying, will lower my head in shame.

Obviously for the Mirror. I always had this fantasy about this joke of naming a glue after Icarus. Imagine creating a gum and branding it Icarus. Funny though it may sound, paradoxically life is such a glue. We fail a thousand times at things that we believe we will never succeed in. But if we took each of those feathers, and stuck all of them together and used them to propel our next attempt, there is no doubt, success is not the only barrier we will breach. Letting petty insults, and temporary blows affect our opinion of progress will only serve to melt our confidence to the ground. Brushing them aside with every stroke of our hand, will make sure they understand their place in the scheme of things, while ensuring we soar.

The most important thing to remember, is that the only person who can damage your self-confidence, is you. Through a lack of trust in yourself, you help anyone determined enough to distract you from the goal to win. Trying to fly with a single feather will keep you grounded forever. But, flying with a thousand feathers, will take you to new heights, provided you can keep each of them glued together, and self-confidence is that glue, the one modern day Icaruses lack.

I was going to post this after I got a new job, but then figured, what the heck, a little morale booster can’t hurt. Although wings are cool, Dangerous Dave’s jetpack won’t hurt once in a while. So, for those who know what you did, this is my anthem declaring your failure, because trickery and deceit can win on one day, but the human spirit of endeavour will the victor forever.

Effortless

Man has always been fascinated by the mysteries of the sea,
Maybe because there isn’t an inch of land that’s left free,
So he sets about elaborately courting the ocean,
Alas, if only to his own follies he paid such attention.

For the idle stroller on the early morning beach,
It throws a few cowrie shells within easy reach,
For those too leisured to even walk back and forth,
They simply content themselves with its bubbly froth.

For those eagerly waiting ashore to grab,
It spits out an unlucky or two crab,
And for those too meek to wrestle their own fate,
It merely washes their footprints along with their feet.

For those hoping they can find a boat to launch,
It keeps them grounded with a colourful conch,
And for those who will not be content with merely a wish,
It always washes up a score of patterned starfish.

For those that do venture out in their hard-earned sailboat,
It teases them with fishes too alive to play dead-and-afloat,
And for those who can together cast a crafty net,
Few dozen fishes and a reason for return is all they get.

For the one who swims inside, shoulder against the tide,
To those depths where the first of its secrets abide,
Bearing every insult the capsizing waves deign to hurl,
To him it grudgingly abandons, the coveted mother-of-pearl.

For those merely interested in finding the horizon,
It keeps them busy with the scattering light of a setting sun,
From those concerned about their shoes, to those willing to lose their shirt,
The sea pays them all, to each according to their own risk and effort.

A self-explanatory one for the Gazebo. This was inspired by a line in a background song for the movie Vedam. One the face of it simple, yet profoundly philosophical. The poem has lots of factual inconsistencies, but what the hell, it’s a poem, not a scientific article on oceanography. The message is simple, the sea throws out many things to tempt man, froth, corals, shells, fish, and what not. But the sea never throws out its pearls, they are reserved for those who will dare enough to get into the sea. Each of us gets rewarded by what Investment Managers call, the ‘Risk-Reward Equation’. Although, it may not seem immediate and in-your-face, the reward is always commensurate with your efforts.

Walk Back

When you get another of those envious stares,
From solitarily climbing the endless stairs,
And you understand, why sharing makes the burden more light,
That is when you feel, you shouldn’t have let me out of sight.

When you break out into a jealous smile,
Knowing not, the genuine one for a while,
And you realise, what really made up that happiness,
That is when you know, what you really miss is the togetherness.

When tear after tear, tears itself away,
Hoping to finally find their own way,
And you comprehend, why they wouldn’t walk with you,
That is when you regret, the path that life took you.

When the thing closest to your heart is fear,
The feeling that the inevitable is much too near,
And you agree, that this is not the way things should end,
That is when you hope, there is still time to mend.

When what you need most is a friend,
Searching for someone you can depend,
And you acknowledge, there is no one who wants to stay,
That is when you see, you are far down the wrong way.

When you feel that you really have everything,
Yet, there is something that’s still missing,
And you fathom, it’s about me somehow,
That is when you believe, what’s missing is love.

But regardless of what you do, think, and feel,
I shall always wait for you wounds to fully heal,
Because, in life, each of us sometimes goes off-track,
What’s important, is that you have the courage to walk back.

This is another one for the Gazebo. We all make mistakes, and there are two ways to correct it. When the other person makes a mistake, pretend they are beyond redemption and Walk Away, or understand they are human and forgive them. This one is about the second path. Need i say more?

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 can  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.

Recoil

They had always agreed it was like a crystal, resplendent,
And so flaunted it as if it were a diamond pendant,
The hundreds of patterns merging in a design so intricate,
That they altogether avoided touching it, however delicate.

But then, what’s the mind for, if not to play games,
So, on an afternoon when someone was calling him names,
He naively listened, thinking everything was under control,
And yet, suddenly everything he heard seemed like vitriol.

So in that moment we casually call stimulus,
He did what still makes his hand tremulous,
But in that instant, all he heard was the shattering,
The crash drowned out whatever he was uttering.

The sound immediately ended any thoughts of violence,
And he was left to contend with its stinging silence,
Sitting, surrounded by hundreds of shards of glass,
He wondered at how life changed within a flash.

He wished all of this could go away like some imagined figment,
But couldn’t look away from the stares of every single fragment,
He would have to do something by the time she was back,
Make it was glittering again on it own rack.

So he began, reassembling it, minute by precious minute,
Sighing only when he finally got done with it,
He allowed himself a grin for not missing a single piece,
And not messing it either, knowing how hard she was to appease.

When he took a step back, the grin slowly drained away,
For, all he saw was a jagged contraption, begging to be thrown away,
Every piece still glittering, with his rage unspoken,
Still shimmering, like pieces of a dream forever broken.

This one is for the Gazebo, since i don’t have any such personal experiences from the last 15 years. Quite often we jump into something in a fit of fury, commit acts that we live to regret for a day, a year, a lifetime. Just think of each time you act in anger out of reflex as stabbing someone, sometimes it is just a jab, other times it is fatal. However in all the times, decades after the wound heals, the scars still remain. Every time they look at it, or you look at it, it brings back those memories however long forgotten. So, just remember, you can stick back a broken mirror, but you can’t erase the cracks.

Ten Percent

Often, the stories we hear from unfortunate brothers are the same,
Stories of loss, stories of failure to keep ahead in the game,
Whatever their story, all that seems to change is the name,
The rest is simply different shades, flavours of sorrow and shame.

The one thing they won’t tell you, is it all began with an action,
The rest of their story is merely the compulsion of reaction,
Ask the ones with broken relationships from a fit of fury,
Ask the ones with the lucky hand, now enduring penury.

All they did, was react before they thought,
Striking when the iron was way too hot,
And you know what happens, when molten iron breaks the mould,
It frees the butterfly before the cocoon is ready to unfold.

If only they had waited for the iron to slightly cool,
They could by now be holding an indispensable tool,
But most often, the maybes are never meant to be,
Else their own sweet future everyone could see.

If only they could pause those words, to sit back and think,
They wouldn’t be struggling to pull their lives from the brink,
They wouldn’t be burning their bridges faster than they blink,
After all, even the Titanic took only a few hours to sink.

Most of your life happens based on your reaction to it,
And that itself is the simplest way to fix it,
You cannot change life through some fancy premonition,
You can change it by simply changing your reaction.

When hysterical, just sit down and give it some thought,
Whether it is an issue really worth being fought,
Freed from emotion, when your mind is allowed to consider a thought,
You will suddenly find all those answers you have always sought.

Although this is one for the Mirror, it goes elsewhere because it is inspired in part from Stephen Covey‘s ‘Ten Percent Rule’. So, here’s another for the Beacons, one of my funda principles that has held me in good stead in life. Since the poem is in non-abstract verse, no more stories necessary to explain it. 🙂

Impetus

Quite often we wake up to the same journey, but a new beginning,
Only to see hundreds already sweating from hours of running,
You just shrug and start walking, wondering why they can’t sleep,
And smile, because sometimes, imagination just can’t make the leap.

Well, one can’t rub away the flaws from a diamond,
Just as one can’t rub the lines from the palm of a hand,
When we refuse its brilliance, insisting it can be better,
We understand that rings can no longer be on any finger.

We believe that our life depends on every single mark,
And that without the grade, life will forever be dark,
We become so obsessed with that one mark we didn’t get,
That the ninety-nine we have become easy to forget.

Easy enough to forget, that life is more than a grade,
That marks are the easiest way for knowledge to degrade,
Obsession enough to forget, the true purpose of education,
That character marks the real end of education.

We know that education ends, but never learning,
Because knowledge is a quest that knows no ending,
It is a journey that fuels itself along the way,
Lighting up the path for the few who choose to stay.

The hundreds that run, with the thousands more that follow,
Realise not, that chasing education is like following their own shadow,
A benchmark they will never improve or grow beyond,
Because the hundred makes them grow too fond.

For those still running the race, from long before sunrise,
We can only hope they will someday wake up to realise,
That excellence cannot be measured by the precision of calculation,
Because, perfection is a journey, not a destination.

This one is for a new Beacon, Raj Kumar Hirani and his existential brand of cinema. Although this is a continuation of the story that began with Broken Pencil and Frontier, this one caters to a more mature audience. Adult students who can think and identify right from wrong.

I always wonder what it is, that unlike children who are goaded by parents into burying their childhood amidst pages and pages of drivel that kills their minds instead of expanding it, adult students have a mind of their own that can think. However, it might be the conditioning from childhood that carries over, and makes people fall head-over-heels in pursuit of centum.

I fail to understand why someone would think a guy who got 90% is worse than one who got 96%, or that a guy who got 35% in Chemistry should spend their life being a third-class engineer, when they got 95% in Physics and could have been rendering yeoman service to science. Why should the failures of one subject tie a person’s future, or for that matter, why should the less than perfect scores in most subjects make one person inferior to another.

But then, i guess that is what institutions across the world breed, mediocrity from talent, and show the real talent the long path home to where it belongs. More on this on my upcoming posts on the IIMs’ and IITs’. Fanboys of these institutions should stay away because it will not be pleasant, and believe me, it is not a case of sour grapes. It is just a honest feeling from a leftist-leaning dreamer.

Runway 77

Every so often, you think, the power to choose is a birthright,
And so you set about, trying to separate the day from night,
Only to realise that, in order to appreciate the light,
You need to sometimes sacrifice your sight.

Every time you think you have closed the door on fear,
The footsteps of courage become too faint to hear,
Every time you stamp the last vestige of doubt,
Your certainty becomes too scared to shout.

You think you have succeeded in holding back the tear,
And strangely, the smile is still nowhere near,
The sorrow that you manage to keep out of the fortress,
Swims in the moat outside, along with happiness.

You think you have wiped away every stain of greed,
Only to find contentment no longer paying heed,
You think you have shown envy the door,
Only to find camaraderie speaking no more.

You think you have finally enslaved misunderstanding,
Only to find harmony chained beyond standing,
You think you have rope enough, for all thoughts to bind,
Only to find yourself no longer in control of the mind.

You know, standing before you, is the person you truly seek,
And yet, your pedigreed learning does not let you speak,
And as she leaves, you know it is your life walking away,
But pride prevents you from having things your way.

You see less capable people leaving you behind, on the ground,
And soon enough, you are the only one who is still around,
Standing on the runway, you wonder why life isn’t taking off,
Unaware, the things that keep us grounded, also prevent us from take-off.

This one takes the strike back to the Beacons again, this time for Jim Rohn and his beautiful saying. While the saying was the foundation of the poem, the bulk of it is my tribute to the movie ‘Girl in the Cafe‘ which is one of the most touching love stories i have seen, not to mention the empathy angle.

There are many times in life, when we feel life has left us behind, and the entire world has moved to the next paradigm, and you are still stuck in a time warp. What we fail to realise, is that the things we cherish to stay in warp, are the things that are keeping reality out.

We keep trying to reach one of the ends of the scale (depression/happiness) without realising the futility of our efforts. There is no such thing as the end of a scale. The ends only exist to give better meaning to the middle of the scale. We fail to realise that we weren’t born to be eternally happy, or eternally sad. That isn’t the real objective/purpose of anybody’s life. We were born to appreciate the balance that exists across nature and life in general.

We would never appreciate the day if we had never seen a single night. On the contrary, we would curse it, since that was all we would see all our lives. We wouldn’t appreciate white if we never set our eyes on black. We wouldn’t praise Rama/Krishna if Ravana/Kamsa were pushover pieces of cake. Their legends only grow as much as the legends of their opposition grow. If Ravana was a crippled guy in a wheelchair with both hands also gone like Sholay’s Thakur, then nobody would bother reading of the epic battle that took place Lanka, they would simply forward to the happily-ever-after ending.

Whether in stories or in real life, the extremes are glorified only to make living worth it, but somewhere along the way, people forgot the middle ground, and so balance went out of the window. So, even if theoretically someone did attain eternal happiness, they wouldn’t know it, because if you are forever standing in the sun, you wouldn’t know if it felt great/cool/rad simply because that was what you were/will be doing all your life, and so you never know how that compares since darkness is never a benchmark you have.

Here’s to the middle ground that everybody’s forgotten. The ground where people laugh together in happier times, and stick together in difficult times.

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. 🙂

Unbelong

You created the sun, to enlighten me, enable me to see,
And I created a candle, to bring light toward thee,
To live on, and spread your message, you gave me the earth,
I marked a portion on it, and said this was all you were worth.

I tried convincing everyone, that you can help them overcome fear,
And all you asked, is that I be there to wipe a friend’s tear,
I persisted with telling people you are the only source of happiness,
And you instead asked me to help people get over their weakness.

To shout your message I had travelled, the world around,
And you wanted me to rather help those not gifted with sound,
I spent all my efforts getting everybody to chant your name,
You instead asked me to pardon those whose heads hung with shame.

I was busy selling idols of you, in stone, metal and wood,
While all you wanted, was that my neighbour have some food,
I was busy praising the way you look, in many dozen a book,
And all you wanted, was that I help those who cannot look.

To pray to you, I reverently folded my hands together,
You asked  me to stretch them towards a needy brother,
To glorify you, I offered to build a temple with a golden dome,
You asked me to instead shelter those without a home.

Everything that I offered, you put back into my hand,
To teach me, that true prayer begins with a giving hand,
What can I offer the one, who has the stars, earth and the sun,
When the only offering you want, is to let me help a needy one.

I try  to praise you through the paeans and hymns I have heard,
But what can I call the one, who speaks through every word,
Of all the words describing the resplendence of the lord,
None is more simpler and straight from the heart, than God.

This is another one for my religion, Godism. No further lines, since it is self-explanatory. :). And, oh, it goes into Mirror.

Paper Planes

“Aswath”, he said, when I asked his name, hesitant,
Soon some of his friends join, equally reluctant,
The closer they got, the more I could sense a distance,
But I was sure I would soon overcome the resistance.

The bag of goodies is what converts them all into eager,
With everyone wanting to grab the toy that is bigger,
There are smiles on most faces, and frowns on the rest,
Who expect a little more from this infrequent guest.

For someone whose survival depended on others giving,
He showed me the pride I should have, for just living,
The simple, small things creating so much joy was so compelling,
That its showed me the shallowness present in my complaining.

Among so many kids, I don’t know why he caught my attention,
There was nothing remarkable that I can really mention,
But he taught me a lesson I shall not easily forget,
There is a great joy in giving more than you get.

I could forget the building and the caretaker after a while,
But my mind could never let go of his disarming smile,
One that showed me how much hope I offered,
When he really felt, that to someone, he mattered.

Forsaken by the world, forsaken by his own,
He had nobody he could and would disown,
And yet I have always wondered why,
The sparkle never left his tiny eye.

Born with nothing, growing with nothing, I often wonder,
How often, about the future, he would wonder,
Tears well up in my eyes, as I hear him explain,
That, driven by dreams, fuelled by nothing, his life was like a paper plane.

This one is for a new Beacon, Ruby Ilyasuddin. This is for doing something that I never had the time, patience, humanity to do, but only had a heart to do. She’s been a beacon because she was able to translate those ideals into action, while others like still languish in their ideals. Everybody wants to do some good, but very few act upon such wishes.

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.

Open Window

I open my eyes, with very vague memories of last night,
And find the hazy glow of the morning’s soft bouncy light,
The sharpening light throws focus on millions of particles of dust,
Each particle resembling the fragments of my growing mistrust.

Being told that life was free, it was happiness, joy and fun,
Being able to believe that a mere thumb could block the sun,
I never thought that such a day life would ever bring,
When I would lose the willingness to smile, dance or sing.

Suddenly, the future shrunk from years, to months, to days,
And the reason was apparent every time I saw my own face,
It isn’t unfair that my life is stolen, breath by breath,
Everyone wants the best they can get, so does death.

For the first time I hear every second, loud and clear,
Like rhythmic drums that herald a terminal fear,
Don’t give up, they tell me, and wipe away tear after tear,
They soon walk away, tired, but my eyes refuse to clear.

When the hours are running out, the moments refuse to move on,
And the memories linger, despite the challenge forcing me to move on,
It is just one moment, that really separates me from eternity,
And yet, it is in that moment, that I often found eternity.

Awake or asleep, today I have decided that the sun shall not set,
Not when its warmth is too close, for me to easily forget,
Yet, powerless, I watch as it turned orange from yellow,
Clouds fill my eyes as I watch it turn even more mellow.

The body has long given up, but not my steadfast mind,
Pre-occupied, searching for any shred of hope it can find,
Gathering some, I open the window, for the night,
Knowing, tomorrow the sun will return, with a brand new light.

This one is dedicated to the lass of all fighters, Paayal. Ever since i got to know her, i found more hope in myself than i could see in the last 22 years. My circumstances have always been the same, but my outlook changed after getting to know Paayal. So this is one more for the Beacons. I don’t know how many of us would walk out of  a place like that and smell like daisies every extra day of our lives. Some people are just extra-ordinary, in that they also inspire the ordinary to achieve something extra. 😀

Soulmates

They say people like us are already made for each other,
How, we had wondered, since we didn’t know one another,
Always the prankster, time sure took its own sweet time,
Before agreeing it was time our little story had its time.

Every time ego caused our first little steps to stumble,
We kept walking, each try making us a little more humble,
Each time we felt the path too strong, and ourselves too weak,
We kept finding solace in a happiness we did not seek.

We shall grow richer each passing day, as we earn new memories,
Rich enough to outgrow this existence, and life’s little vagaries,
We shall get poorer each passing day, as we lose more distrust,
Poor enough to outlive doubt, and any more loss of trust.

We shall grow stronger each passing day, when we fight for each other,
Strong enough to command discord to go away, and not bother,
We shall grow weaker each passing day, when we long for each other,
Weak enough to blushingly admit, we can’t live without the other.

There will be lots of fights, and a great deal of misunderstanding,
But each one is an opportunity, to improve our understanding,
There will be lots of fun, and a great deal more of tears,
But every teardrop throws a challenge, to reduce it over the years.

As the days get longer, the words get shorter,
Because the need to express moves farther and farther,
Instinct and understanding becomes our silent language,
And we realise our oneness has now truly come of age.

We know we shall not live to see the romantic forever,
And so shall walk into the sunset, more together than ever,
The distance shall soon grow tired, and stop ate the world’s ends,
While we just shrug, and continue on this journey that never ends.

This is one for the Beacons, and was written for two soulmates, Rajasekhar and Sukanya. This is dedicated to those who realise that happiness is not the absence of sorrow, but the realisation that life is too small to spend frowning, fighting, and hating. This is dedicated to those who realise that every minute of life will seem like a lifetime if spent smiling, caring and sharing. So Chanti Bava, you finally have something dedicated to you [:)], see i dedicate something to a guy, even if shared. 😀

Shadows of the Earth

Tall be the oaks, that tower above the forest,
Broad be the oaks, that stretch east to west,
Extensive, encompassive, everything below, they shield,
Protective, predatory, not a ray of sunlight they yield.

There was a time when each was a mere sapling,
And for every bit of space, constantly jostling,
Each determined to prove the other a weakling,
For that last bit of resource, their every root grappling.

Tall and sturdy they have grown, on the shoulders of the meek,
Yet their roots get weaker, week upon week,
Slowly fading into history, attention is the last things they seek,
Because man has never been known to spare or forgive the broadest teak.

Far below, where the light cannot pierce, never reach,
And every single stray ray, thousands of saplings beseech,
It’s a miracle when only single ray, bounces on a hundred leaves,
Every single bounce affecting a thousand more lives.

Every new morning begins another big fight,
A fight for survival, a fight for light,
Yet, it is not the light itself that they seek,
All they want, is to live, survival of the weak.

They are the unseen masses who feed the rest,
Silently and tirelessly giving away their best,
Toiling through the years, as silent witnesses to their own turmoil,
Equally silently they perish, forever rooted to the soil.

The oaks that stand, tall and mighty on their feet,
Can never look down, and these puny equals ever meet,
Though unsung, of such heroes, there is never a dearth,
Ones who work silently, in the shadows of the earth.

This is one for the Gazebo, and is dedicated to all those millions of unknown people who make our everyday life a possibility. Thousands upon thousands who sincerely do their duty everyday enabling the clockwork that this globe is, to keep ticking for another day. Yet all that remains at the end of each such day for these thousands of heroes, is the night, a glum reminder of another nondescript day to come. How many times do we think of thanking the person behind us, because he/she didn’t break the queue? How many times do we think of thanking the milkman who came on time 25 days a month?

Sadly, we only remember the guy who appears on TV, or the guy who gets talked about on the internet. Even those things last only a few minutes/days in our memory. The less said the better, about innocuous nobodies like you, me and everybody else, the ones who really make the globe, and yet never stand in the limelight.

Resilience

They say it is the words that first cause such a thing,
And that nothing quite matches the angst that words bring,
Hurting in places far deeper than the skin, than the mind,
And an equally acerbic retort, is the only solace I can find.

So deep a hurt, that the only words left were silence,
A silence that grew as a measure of each one’s patience,
It soon became a matter of the mind, a test of resolve,
With neither of our stands ready to try and resolve.

Like adoring statues we sat, staring at each other,
Willing, not wanting, to speak to one another,
My mind wishes that this were all an aberration,
But it knows that the person before me, is no apparition.

From a swearing fest, it turned into a staring contest,
Both of us determined not to let the other get the best,
It seemed that something more than a relationship stood to test,
As it became more of a showdown than a simple conquest.

The eyes grow tired and yearn for some sleep,
While the wound is busy, burning within, far from asleep,
Soon the heart begins to feel the warmth of each ember,
And the images get more vivid than you want to remember.

Even the lips do not hear the mind let out a scream,
As it is shaken awake from a listless repentful dream,
I understand it is now time to wake up, make amends,
For, what are few words, to separate true friends.

Being incessantly hammered, the dam finally breaks,
Not by a flood, or by the overflowing of a hundred lakes,
Overcome with remorse, I let go of all that I hold dear,
And all my resilience is washed away, by the first tear.

This one is for the Gazebo, since it is too fictional to imagine myself crying, hardened rock that i pretend to be. It is for those times when we lose relationships over silly words, and then stare at each other, hoping the other person would be the first to repent. The resilience that we believe gives us our self-respect often also takes away friends/relationships from us.

Falling Leaf

Nestling in the sun, tethered to the strongest stem,
Looking at cousins in my shadow, I laugh at them,
Basking in the glory of my sun, I miss the impending grey,
I should have listened to those stories of the sunshine and hay.

I soon feel the link weakening, my only life cord,
And finally came the snap, one, none of us could afford,
Free to fly, no wonder they say, death is the final freedom,
But the looming ground distracted me from all this wisdom.

Floating and fluttering, every second of the way,
Surprised and shocked, I clearly have nothing to say,
Hopeful and helpless, in a free fall to the ground,
Spellbound and deafened, I await the dreadful sound.

Whitewashed feelings hover for directions around a blank mind,
One that never found itself put into such a bind,
Their silence is temporal, my silence is eternal,
Their sound is external, my peace is internal.

Stripped of my ego, shorn of my pride,
There is no friend left to even confide,
Buried in the pain, sunk in the sorrow,
There is not even a smile, left to borrow.

Looking around, I see many more falling,
All at the end of their ropes, no more stalling,
All of us were together, and each of us was alone,
Yet, every one of us, stubborn to the tombstone.

The last we hear is a crunch, the last we see are feet,
As we depart. hoping to never again meet,
A few feet away, a sapling begins to sprout,
We grin, having learnt, what life is all about.

This is one for the Mirror, because it best reflects the rock-bottom that my life is at today. Despite being crushed like a leaf on the forest floor, the only thing i can now see is the sprouts of a new beginning.

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.

Stillwater

Wind glazes the edge, causing ripples on the surface,
But soon there is no blemish left on its face,
A stone stirs up ripples from its bottom,
Soon all that is left, is the stone at the bottom.

The first few words might have unsettled the mind,
But they are not enough for the indecision to bind,
Words being words, they soon meld with every other sound,
And the mind leans back, not the one to be pushed around.

The first few events that somehow manage to get past the eyes,
Find that they no longer command the same thrill, the surprise,
They soon fade from that fuzzy region called memory,
Hoping the events that follow can perhaps rekindle their story.

Things must definitely be wrong, when the boring gets interesting,
When the quietest of moments, seem the most arresting,
The trouble is, you never know when the euphoria is really dead,
It always feels alive, if only in some corner of the head.

Time though, was always insensitive to happiness and sorrow,
Just as it is unconscious of yesterday and tomorrow,
It seems to exist in a parallel world of its own,
One that is beyond the known and the unknown.

Whatever their differences, at some points time and life collide,
And it is in those intersections that eternity does abide,
The intersections where everything comes to a dead stop,
And you wish that these collisions wouldn’t stop.

Sometimes the best progress you can make, is to make none,
For, that moment when time stopped was always the best one,
So every time your life gets stuck in deep water,
The best consolation, is that it is just stillwater.

Another for the Beacons, this time for a sister. Sukanya this one is for you and all those ‘differently interesting’ HC calls. We used to be in the same bucket. :D:D:D

Rain It Will

All activities have ceased, but the dust refuses to settle,
As if in deference to every hard-working man’s mettle,
Sadly the hard work is no longer worth its own sweat,
But dust is the only thing these sons of failure can beget.

Every single drop is terrified to go solo, to trespass,
And they believe this longing will soon come to pass,
For now they decide to bide their time with the cloud,
Atleast until the cloud thunders its displeasure aloud.

Down below, every grain of sand awaits its deliverance into dust,
Knowing, the cloud’s displeasure is something they can always trust,
Tired as they grow, with every new footfall,
Silently they wait, having no one to call.

No one knows whose thirst is greater, man’s or the land’s,
While the eager man waits with cupped hands,
The arid land yearns from its burning sands,
Ever hopeful, yet helpless, each of them anxiously stands.

They watch the first black cloud swiftly escape,
Unaware that the yearners below can only longingly gape,
The longing turns into panic as the rest of the clouds follow,
And they realise their spirits can never get more low.

Among them, one small child refuses to lose his smile,
Believing that the most adamant clouds relent after a while,
For, clouds are no different in their quest for redemption,
They just wait until someone can really grab their attention.

And then, the first drop kisses his cheek, unafraid to rebel,
The rest of them, the cloud can neither restrain nor compel,
They rush with ferocity, towards every parched bosom,
And glisten with contentment, on the last surviving blossom.

Another for the Beacons, this time for Yanni, whose title compelled me to write this one. Not just the title, the evocativeness of the piece also forced me to pen down the experience.

Princess of Light

The deepest black always begins as the lightest gray,
Yielding a little every time nights prowls around for prey,
With every changing shade, you wonder if gain is really a sacrifice,
Like losing a single brick, in an already crumbling edifice.

Vision gets dimmer as the darkness gets brighter,
Footsteps get heavier as the possibilities get lighter,
Hope gets shorter as the distance gets longer,
And courage gets weaker as the fears get stronger.

When the sunshine retreats into the realms of scarcity,
And the darkness gleefully steps into the vicinity,
As fear runs amok round the boundaries set by night,
The basic uncertainties of life suddenly come to light.

Just when the lamp of possibility flickers more dimmer,
Out in the east, there appears the first hint of glimmer,
Imagine a mirage that spans the entire horizon,
Fanning out its rays, gathering the momentum to rise on.

As soon as the first ray scampers past the window of desperation,
I begin to get the first fleeting glimpse of aspiration,
It’s been a long time since I remember a sigh of relief,
But today is one of the few days I can fully suspend disbelief.

Emanating from nowhere, the rays begin to rapidly multiply,
Each one giving me the proof that my dreams can fly,
It filled my heart and turned me blind,
Showing me the wonders of turning off my mind.

If there ever was a world, where the future is always bright,
Where I can sleep every day, banishing the demons of the night,
I would gladly let this sun glide out of my sight,
Knowing you’ll be there for me, ever the princess of light.

This one is dedicated to another Beacon, Robert Miles. As expected, the title is lifted from another track of his legendary album. Never fails to get my spirit up.

Within Beyond

When the boundaries of humanity are marked by endless sand,
And yet you know, beyond the water, there’s more land,
When there’s no more land, than the place you stand,
And yet the water keeps seeping right through your hand.

When you have finally measured the real distance to horizon,
And yet find yourself nowhere closer to the sun,
When the journey ceases to be any longer about the distance,
And yet you cannot stop measuring the lengths of hesitance.

When you realise some things deserve expression through speech,
And yet the silence cannot be broken, completely out of reach,
When your throat goes dry, right when words mean the most,
And yet your mind is at ease, because you tried your utmost.

When sorrow is high, and there are no consolations to hear,
And yet a lot gets spoken, by the first falling tear,
When the pain gets more than the mind can pretend,
And yet the continued silence, convinces you it will end.

When fear means more than just a possible danger,
And yet courage shies away, pretending to be a stranger,
When the night gets older, and shadows grow longer,
And yet you find your confidence getting stronger.

When time takes you on a ride, for every simple task,
And yet respite is the last thing you want to ask,
When life fills you with more memories than you can keep,
And yet you wish for some of them to forever sleep.

When the opportunities are fewer than the possibilities can grasp,
And yet chances always seem to evade your determined clasp,
When you are told it is childish fantasy, to wish upon a star,
And yet you smile within, for, things are as near, as they are far.

This Gazebo piece is for the dichotomous nature that abides and pervades most of us. We are stronger when we are expected to be at our weakest, and weaker when expected to be at our strongest. We are more determined when we know nobody believes in us, and sometimes, bewildered when so many believe in us. But that dichotomy makes us what we are, and takes us to where we will go. This one is dedicated to the belief that things are only as difficult as we perceive them to be, and and only as achievable as we want them to be.

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.

Firdaus

Where footsteps have never yet made sound,
And yet everybody is forever on moving ground,
Where hands have never yet known the meaning of touch,
And yet reality is the only thing completely out of touch.

Where every word has its own independent voice,
And yet every interpretation is spoiled by lack of choice,
Where every thought feeds on the fruits of liberation,
And yet every deed suffers from the absence of deliberation.

Where truth can hold its head forever high,
And yet doubt is forcibly pushed to fly,
Where fear is flushed out from every corner,
And yet courage found no votes it could garner.

Where nobody cared whether the time went slow,
And yet limited each day, by the amount they could flow,
Where distance was a measure of where rather than far,
And yet they needed to only think, not wish, upon a star.

Where death is a term coined only for the dictionary,
And yet eternity never seems out of the ordinary,
Where life is a term that signifies mere existence,
And yet living is an appropriate measure of its distance.

Where every feeling is worth more than its meaning,
And yet they possess no emotion capable of revealing,
Where every end is only the means to a new beginning,
And yet they never remember ever winning or losing.

Where the mind has wings, and the heart has a voice,
And yet they cannot find a single reason to rejoice,
There, consciousness is something they would gladly miss,
So that they can spend another moment, in this eternal bliss.

This one was destined for the Beacons, being my tribute to Gulzar. This person has single-handedly change the course of my feelings more times than anyone can imagine. (imagine a multiplication factor of 50 times per day)

Aspirations

The horizon is far, but the sky is even farther,
The euphoria is overflowing, but control is not worth the bother,
The travails of this effort exhaust, but show now, as much as a sigh,
For, is not fatigue indistinguishable, when the spirits are high.

The steps fall rapidly, yet softly and assuredly,
By noon the distance seems to vanish happily, reassuredly,
The peak seems but a few thousand steps away,
Insignificant before the thousands already under way.

There are times when it seems but a distant dream,
But you shrug it off, knowing life is the biggest dream,
For now, all that matters is getting to the peak,
And keeping quiet till your achievements can speak.

Constantly flirting with life, and its every moment,
Not quite sure how every minute, hour, of it went,
But dancing in the arms of destiny everyday,
You are sure, the top of the stairs isn’t far away.

At every step, yesterday’s memories haunt,
And with failures from the past, incessantly taunt,
Unflinchingly you persevere, knowing well the end is near,
And far above, the first tinkle of success’s bells you hear.

You keep fighting on each step, rushing through each door,
As the promised dream gets nearer, floor by floor,
You finally reach the top, take a breath, and look around,
Neither contentment nor disappointment, absolutely no sound.

The emptiness that engulfs you, is so stifling,
And the disappearance of joy is more surprising,
If all eternity could be compressed into one single moment,
You are already through that now receding moment.

Back to active blogging after a sabbatical of exactly one year!!!!!!!!!!!!! This one was promised a year ago to Meghna and is dedicated to her. The last one year has been a thrilling roller-coaster ride plunging more to newer depths and never quite scaling new heights. What matters is i have managed to come out in a single piece and am back to blogging. So Meghna enjoy being a Beacon again.

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.

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.

Corridors

Walking away from today’s corridors devoid of light,
My chances of fully breaking free seem but slight,
Finally a flicker, the sunrays begin to draw myriad shapes,
While my mind is busy scripting one of its greatest escapes.

Although my shoulders sag, bogged down by ruthless time,
The heart hangs on, knowing memories are never past prime,
The anxiety, the anticipation only add to the confusion,
As life leaves me to wander, in search of an illusion.

Decades have passed since you’ve forgotten their meaning,
And so you decide to take a walk back into the beginning,
You take the first steps forward towards going back,
Wiping away the grime, whitewashing the memories now black.

As the black becomes whiter, and the uncertainty lighter,
The credibility intensifies, but hope grows no brighter,
But there is nobody beside to recollect those years,
To bring back yesterday’s laughter and share its tears.

The past walks through the window grill, mocking my desertion,
Bringing back haunting remembrances, attempting a diversion,
Challenging me to prove myself again,
By going barefoot through these ravines of pain.

Today the corridor is filled, with many more like me,
Playing the sunlight, played by sunlight, just like me,
Right behind the nearest door, my redemption looms,
While those still alone, peep into the empty rooms.

They find a clean blackboard, devoid of words,
Awaiting a chalkpiece, to etch out new worlds,
And those empty chairs of a hundred bygone dreams,
Where others will sit, to create tomorrow’s dreams.

This one has me stumped with a dilemma. Do I put it under Beacons because I was inspired by somebody, or under Mirror, because I experienced it myself, or under Gazebo because many others are experiencing it? Quite an amount of history this one has. To begin with, this one was yet another one that came to me, during those endless waits for employers to get free enough to interview me. However this happened not at the employer’s place but at the consultant’s place. I was sitting in the Dewdrop office waiting to be sent for the Dell interview when I had to wait for nearly 2 hours. As is the case I had brought my book along expecting such a wait.

The first thing that struck me was about a guy(my senior in college) who was in love with this girl, during college, apparently things didn’t go well, and atleast she called it quits. One year later, this girl came to the college to give her Wedding Card to a few lecturers, and co-incidentally the same day this guy also came to the college on some work. You should have seen his face when he heard about it, whiter than a blank sheet. I was in the class that day(yes, I sometimes did such a thing as sit in the class, when I got bored of bunking) and happened to see him dragging his feet along looking into one classroom after another, tears welling up, remembering the old days.

It would have been fine if this story had ended there. However a few days back I happened to go back to the college again on some work, and happened to walk past the classrooms, out of curiosity, out of nostalgia, I just looked in, and at that moment, that day flashed back in my mind again. Funnily it made me look back into the classroom trying to rewind my cassette of the same rooms, and I found things were different only at a very superficial level. More than anything, for me it was about those dreams that we all dream, of becoming somebody, of doing something, of getting somebody, and how after a while it mostly all fizzles out, probably doused by a liberal shower of reality. Yet those in those rooms never stop dreaming, probably because they don’t yet know, and maybe because dreaming is such a good thing after all. Perhaps it is the only thing that is ours to change whenever we want.

That about rounded off the story of how the concept came about. But the story doesn’t quite end there. What had happened in the Dewdrop office was merely the concretion of the concept and storyline itself, the actual lines and their interplay had to wait  for a while. Yesterday due to  sudden torrential rains, there was a power outage and by the time I got home it was already nearing midnight.  I don’t know why, but I got a wild idea, and decided to try it out. Probably because I wanted to complete this one and found myself ‘power’less,  I remembered those history textbooks I had read which said people like Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar studied under the streetlight and  cleared the IAS exams and so on. I decided to try something on those lines. But unfortunately even the street lights were out, so I had to settle for the next best alternative, vehicle headlights.

I was sitting with the book in my lap in the busstop, and whenever a vehicle passed by, I would get to write about 3 or 4 words a line. The rest of the time I would spend thinking about the continuation or the next line. Just when I had got a portion of some line, a vehicle would pass by providing just enough light to put down those words. That was also fine until the clock neared midnight, and the vehicles got very scarce if any at all. So I packed up, came home and with the last bit of battery left in my cell brought it to a conclusion by getting it out of standby every 10 seconds that its backlight went into power-saving mode. No sooner had I finished it, within 5 minutes, the power came back. Guess some things are meant to be out of the ordinary.

Ascension

The clock may have stopped, but time still goes on,
And always more of the road, appearing from the horizon,
The moments seem but milestones running out of distance,
As you strive to extract more from life than existence.

You have long since quit the race, running against time,
Realising that everybody has to lose this race sometime,
Your body slowly begins to abandon fatigue, so does your mind,
So you set out, to see if any fallen travellers you can find.

Looking around, you certainly find no shortage of this kind,
Ones whose departing failure had conveniently forgotten to remind,
That they were just a few feet away from the doorsteps of glory,
And this was the moment, their chance to rewrite their story.

And so you walk along, helping them see the way,
Encouraging them to walk that extra step today,
Telling them the pain in their sore feet would go away,
That a joyous rest was ahead, if only now they would stay.

Many years of failures endured, a lot many naysayers heard,
That your very presence seemed like the first positive word,
Your first few words were encouragement in bountiful excess,
Their first new steps already leading them to success.

You showed them how far they could go ignoring the pain,
That success wasn’t a fluke, they could repeat it again and again,
Made them believe they no longer had a use for their tears,
Now they only thought of the laughter in the future years.

You have always wanted to give more than you got from life,
So your contentment lies in helping others rebuild their life,
You move on, knowing there are others on whom you can depend,
To help a fallen fellow traveller to start afresh again and ascend.

This one is another for the Gazebo, something that I hope I can continue to be when a few years are gone by. This poem is inspired form two sources, the title, from a concept in Stargate SG1, namely Ascension, and the body of it, from the character called ‘Divya’ in the movie ‘Naa Autograph’. I guess the title conveys a lot of things relevant to that character, and hence I thought it might be appropriate.

I pity my regular readers because the next few ones are going to be more and more abstract ones like this. But then only for a while, maybe only the next 3 or 4 poems.

Chasm

When the silence sets in, on a world darker than the night,
Every word sets out, in search of that elusive spark of light,
They fervently search every word the mind can harbour,
And find their quest for sound, getting all the more harder.

They finally leave the shore of belief, out into the ocean of doubt,
More quiet than happy, for, had they not forgotten how to shout,
It has been quite a while, since a smile replaced their laughter,
A while, since every sob had been replaced, by a tear more softer.

As long as their courage couldn’t swim, their fears wouldn’t sink,
It seemed the only thing still afloat, was their ability to think,
To think, over their every word, till it could be refined no more,
To silently spell every letter, till their parched throats grew sore.

He followed behind, hoping to convince them to stay,
Only to find his own tears, gladly joining their way,
All he could do, was wipe them away, and pray,
That his prayer, would find its voice one day.

Why couldn’t anybody else see the noose, at the tip of his tongue,
One from which every minute, every protesting word was hung,
Unspoken martyrs, all of them, for a cause long since lost,
None of them would ever know the value, of effort’s real cost.

Prisoners from birth, each of them learnt to speak, fluently, silent,
Correcting each other, on what the nuances of expression meant,
Composing into tune, what their every syllable sung,
Silencing their music, till its very heart quietly wrung.

A chance meeting with a stranger, led them to the destination,
And there they laid their brethren to rest, in calm decimation,
His heart, and soul, forced his eyes into celebration,
As his ears first heard, that primeval cry of liberation.

Another one for the Beacons again. This time it is for Divya. I came across a post by her titled Mute, which beautifully conveyed certain thoughts that I myself have long been feeling. The poem however left me with another additional thought. What if that person finally found those words, but couldn’t blurt them out any longer, because he was physically what the poem calls him, MUTE?

What if he could no longer create sound, and wanted to do so just one more time? To maybe, apologise, to maybe tell somebody how much he loved them, to maybe cleanse his mind of all that accumulated thoughts waiting to be sounded. But then, by the time I reached the ending, I myself felt so sad for him, that i decided to make it a ‘filmi’ ending. One of the things that happens to me sometimes. Guess that way there will atleast be one less reader who felt sad the poem ended the way i did.

This poem was titled after the depths of the throat from which voice emanates. Most often we believe that it is from the abyss of the throat from which words are generated, but sometimes, sound is created from a place far more deeper, the bottom of the heart. Such words live long after the sound has dissipated, like the voice that echoes after a long decade of silence.

Frontier

frontier.jpg

It is already late, but the night is still young,
But my mind can’t go on, already high-strung,
When the words begin to find the dawn, the day,
I know that tonight, sleep has found its way.

The morning brings me a paper I nearly seem to know,
And so I begin writing, furiously from the word go,
I try to remember the order, down to the last thought,
I can only do so much, the fate of the result, I know not.

Day after day, every morning, I religiously ran the run,
All for this one day, when I had to even faster run,
Short of breath, I pushed myself with one final burst of speed,
Useless, maybe next year, another attempt to try and lead.

Standing near the podium, I begin to uncontrollably cry,
The winner steps down to console, saying, atleast I did try,
I hold my medal hard, feeling its heart, already stone cold,
Wondering how long I had to stare, to turn it into gold.

Every attempt I made, there was already somebody better,
And his record, tomorrow somebody else is going to better,
Is that what life is all about, always being ahead of the rest?
If so, I must admit, life is a very very badly designed test.

Is that all that matters, setting goals and achieving?
Running against yourself, against the world, competing,
To put every moment of life on a scale, upon a benchmark,
To compare and consider, before you can again embark.

Why can’t life be about enjoying the second, the moment?
About learning and sharing and improving your talent,
About the surprise of letting each moment lead the way,
And giving our satisfaction, the chance to forever play.

This one is also dedicated to Aamir Khan and Amol Gupte, already among the Beacons. Had earlier written one that not only was too much abstract for my own good, but it also failed to cover another important aspect of the drama, the human angle. The unquenchable thirst for betterment, for rising above the mundane, and conquering the stars.

It often used to make me wonder, why we need to compete. To prove to others what we have got. Why can’t we just do what we do, at the best we can do, and let the results speak for our efforts, rather than have a benchmark appreciate our efforts. Why must the yardstick of one’s effort always be the measure of another’s effort? Why cannot people find the satisfaction of having done the best we could do, as a good enough yardstick? Why must the reward for our efforts be always contingent upon the comparision with somebody else’s efforts? Why cannot the joy of watching our efforts fructify itself be the reward?

The poem was titled after that invisible barrier we set for ourselves, and spend an entire lifetime trying to cross it. In the end we will never know even if we have, because it is invisible. It is the end beyond which we can never go, and yet we refuse to believe it, and expend every valuable second we can trying to accomplish just that. There is nothing wrong, with such an effort, infact it is a very complementary part of human nature called endeavour. The problem begins when in the process of endeavour, we forget the simplest of joys, the smallest of joys that life holds. When we forget the satisfaction that effort itself is supposed to generate, and find solace only in the accomplishment, rather than the journey, that is when, competition becomes death itself. For without finding true joy, there is no greater purpose for life. That is the moment when the very accomplishment itself is the death knell.

I still remember the 100M running race in school, when one guy(I somehow managed to forget his name, like always) was competing for the all-rounder medal and had to win this race compulsorily(it was the last of the track events) to get the medal. While practising the previous day of the race, he happened to sprain his ankle, which put paid to his hopes of the medal, something he had worked for every single day of the year. Race day. The whistle was blown. I saw something I will never forget for the rest of my life. All the runners held hands and walked the entire distance, step by step, and slowly, lest that guy’s ankle get more strained, and at the very end, lifted their right foot, and at the count of three, set it down. It is another matter that in a highly controversial decision, Praveena Sir adjudged that since Ravi Kanth’s foot had come down a fraction of a millisecond before the others, he was the winner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!. Well, nobody said life was fair. But it is moments and gestures like these that aim to set right that imbalance that matter more than winning or losing.

How many times have we seen Donovan Bailey stop running to attend to a fellow-runner who twisted his ankle? How many times have we seen Lance Armstrong get off his cycle to help someone who had fallen off theirs? That day, in school, I learnt what sports was about, what sportsmanship was about. It definitely was more than today, now and gold. It was about life, about living, caring and sharing. About humanity.

It is this same feeling I get when I remember my Board Exams. How many people can you mention, who were studying to be rankers, and how many people can you mention, who could-have-been rankers, and yet set that aside to help others who could barely pass to do so. I can mention a minimum of two, off-hand, Harshavardhan Dawar and Sainath Choudary. These were two guys who could have aced any exam centum, every time they wrote it, and yet chose to spend the days before the exams helping clarify other guys’ doubts. Anytime was never an interruption, the night before the exam, the day of the exam, the hour before the exam, no time was an interruption, and no doubt was too silly. It was this humanity, that anyway we can pass, atleast let us help others also do so, that touched my heart, and even today, I never send back anybody who comes to me for help in a subject. If I don’t know what that means, I will take it upon myself to first perfect it, and then teach the person, but never send them away saying, I am competing myself, sorry can’t afford to spend time on you.

But sometimes, many things just remain dreams. All shouted and done, absolutely nothing will change about this scenario. Only new actors, new backdrops, the story will always be the same, self-improvement over community-improvement.

P.S. Thought this would do it, unfortunately, there are still some more angles to cover, so you can expect the Part-3 some time soon.

Fable

When you close your eyes to the world you know,
Thus opening them to a world you will never know,
You cannot control the direction your mind can go,
For, here, control is something you must forgo.

Sweltering under the sun, you long for some shade,
But your over-eager mind, you fail to persuade,
Surprisingly, you feel not, the thirst, the heat,
And neither do you feel it burning your feet.

So confusing, awake or asleep, you know not,
All you can do, is avoid that very thought,
Aware or ignorant, is something you care not,
For this thing seems to evade every thought.

Though the mind seems the only one in control,
You know not, if it can itself control,
When every single is enslaved by its thought,
Liberation would seem only an afterthought.

When the mist covering your eyes finally clears,
You start to believe they were merely tears,
Though their reason, purpose, you cannot now recall,
You content yourself that atleast the veil did fall.

Sheer outlasting joy, for there is nothing to see,
Because things aren’t what you believe them to be,
When every moment you doubt what you feel,
You fear how much more the truth will reveal.

You know not, whether to trust, the mind or the heart,
And yet there is somewhere you must surely start,
But every beginning seems to be an end,
As every moment creates its own legend.

This one is dedicated to Robert Miles for giving me Dreamland. A masterpiece of simplicity, in an era of synchronised, synthesised multitudes of sounds pretending to be music, and  the loudest among those cacophonies  pretending to be its very soul. I mention simplicity , not because of the layers, but more because of the  spartan  manner in which  those  layers have been relegated to an unmindful background, while  the  bliss of music occupies centrestage.

This poem is named after  one among those masterpieces in the album, which i guess might have  defied infinity if stretched, because of the beauty of the arrangement  where every single note that reaches a  crescendo, immediately  segues beautifully into a diminuendo of the next octave and carries on in that fashion until you believe it will go on forever if Robert Miles didn’t have pity on our souls to end it, so we could go on the journey again, instead of one single journey into forever.

P.S. Mr. Akshaye Khanna, if you are still reading this blog, please note that i also dedicate poems to MEN, in fact even the next two are to be dedicated to men, so please update your opinion 🙂

Sunset

When the day grows tired, and decides to leave,
The night is more than ready to help relieve,
The ending was too simple, just like any other,
For, each of their lives, were shortened by the other.

Every day was a new fight, every minute new territory,
Only for a day they enjoyed this transient victory,
For, to even contemplate rest, the next battle was lost,
Such was the price that this incessant struggle cost.

Though each one is less than happy to go,
They know there is no way they can say no,
They go their ways because they will surely return,
There is no way this fate of theirs, they can overturn.

Though this is a cycle that will forever repeat,
They never wonder why they both can never meet,
All they know of, is an assumption, a hazy transition,
Something that spares each of them, the difficult decision.

Sight, they know not, to see each other,
Speech they know not, to greet each other,
Desire, they had not, to feel each other,
Fear, they need not, to meet each other.

That the two of them, were so separate may seem so strange,
But they really had nothing in common to atleast exchange,
Despite their wishes, they were forced to remain silent,
For, they know not, such barriers how to circumvent.

Deemed to never be together, they preferred themselves alone,
And nothing described their lives better than forlorn,
Strangers to everyone, there was no sympathy they would get,
For the only friends they both had, were sunrise and sunset.

This one is again another for the Gazebo. Simple it may seem at first, but if you looked deeper, you might realise whom i am talking about, or rather why i am talking about what i ma talking. Initially things might seem as clear as day, but the more we look at some things, the more night we begin filling into them.

We begin to ferret out questions from every answer until there is no question that can be fully answered, and our life becomes filled with that big question of what caused all of this. Was it possible that if we were less curious, the world would be a simpler place to live in, a more content place to abide in?

Bye

You step away, and I believe it will be forever,
Forever seems alien, since I can’t even define ever,
Walking back, I cannot trace even a single footstep,
They just seem to wipe themselves away, step by step.

I try asking something, but the words disappear,
I try recollecting, but all the courage turns to fear,
Probably the fear, of causing one final displeasure,
Or maybe your reaction, an inability to measure.

Foolishly, disregarding caution, I let my dreams fly,
As if seeing through them, you give a fitting reply,
Being dreams, they are already prepared for such a demise,
But this one is just too much, even for them to surmise.

Every passing moment is a riddle, puzzling to its own very self,
For, you know not, the number of times I question myself,
Being unanswered, the doubts pile with every new moment,
You realise not, these queries, or how much they torment.

I decide to capture every moment, until the last glance,
But I know not, against fate, whether I stand a chance,
The eyes get distracted the moment you begin to speak,
For it is now the ears, that all of my attention seek.

And thus I stand, when you begin to walk away,
My feet utterly confused, whether to follow or stay,
The mind is inconsolable, but the heart sheds not a tear,
Though a lifetime apart, it knows you are always near.

When distance is an illusion, a mere matter of perception,
Every step away from me, is just a victim of deception,
And so I let you go away,
Because, I am, the only way.

Most often in everybody’s life, there comes a moment when we lose somebody close, and wish we had a chance to say goodbye. Or when somebody who leaves with every intention of coming back, never happens to. More than the act of saying goodbye, what we fail to realise is the sorrow of spending that last moment. How many times have we separated from someone knowing it will be the last time we will be ever seeing them, hardly a handful.

On how many of such occasions did we already know beforehand that we would never see them again in our lifetime, maybe one or two, or maybe none. Suppose you got to know days/weeks in advance, somebody you cared for, was going to leave you forever on a particular day, what would you do? What preparations would you make? How would you plan your last moments with them? What would you say? What would you do?

This poem is about one such opportunity granted perhaps by God in His more humorous moments, to get something I never could plan for many years ago, get a lasting last glimpse. The last time I saw those two people, I never knew it would be the last time, and was never prepared enough to depart for a lifetime.

But God being what He is, gave me another chance at life, by sending me advance notice of my last glimpse of a person who I would say, peculiarly resembles both of these two people, given their extremely different characteristics. So I spent the last whole week thinking and thinking over what I would do when I see Snigdha for the last time in my life. The outcome of those thoughts, this poem is therefore dedicated to her and those underlying Beacons.

Leaving Atlantis

To walk away from there, you never let anybody even suggest,
The very thought, there was nothing you did more strongly detest,
So when the day finally came, you wished it was all a test,
And kept hoping everything worked out for the best.

With every single step, the feet grew heavier,
Requiring quite an effort to simply step on the next,
With increasing loneliness, the mind grew even heavier,
If only to turn back, you could think of some pretext.

For some moments, you never wanted the stairs to end,
For, in such culmination, you seemed to imagine your own end,
In other moments, you hoped they wouldn’t any longer extend,
So that this despair, this uncertainty would finally end.

Nobody told you it was a journey, a very long one,
You always thought of it as a moment, the last one,
Every moment you had known, dissolved into nothingness,
Every ray of light you had seen, was hiding from the darkness.

With the darkness as companion, you were never alone,
The trip made you understand, darkness was never alone,
There would always be fellow-travellers just like you,
Travelling with it, to a world neither of them knew.

You still wonder, if you were chosen, or if you chose,
To walk away from them all, former friends and foes,
Your ears kept ringing with the onslaught of a deafening silence,
To break its monotony, all your shouting made no difference.

Those chosen, and those who chose, was the journey different, you wondered,
You would never know for sure, for, truth isn’t something that can be pondered,
With the thoughts slowly drying up, the mind has nothing to tend,
And then, you begin to doubt, if this was the way you wanted it to end.

Another one for the Gazebo. A very disparate interpretation of a person who decided to leave Atlantis after vowing all his life of never doing so, and after laughing his head off derisively at anyone who dared suggest such a thing. What is it that leads him to such a decision? Can it really be free-will if everything was already pre-ordained? How does one leave Atlantis? Abandoning Atlantis where else does one reach? Finally, what is this Atlantis I am talking about?

Hint: Loosely based on the movie “Leaving Las Vegas”

Santorini

To the casual observer, they seemed like a pair any other,
If it wasn’t for that singularity, they wouldn’t even bother,
Like all the others, they seemed immersed in their own world,
With the occasional interruptions reminding them this world.

They seemed not, to understand concepts such as time,
To indulge their senses thus, there hardly was any time,
For, they spent every valuable second, one moment at a time,
But the clock was ticking, and they knew it would soon be time.

Building walls around them, against death was no good,
And to waste it in such an activity, life, was too good,
They knew, that, for time, life was a regular food,
And so needed to make the best, before being gone for good.

For everything they said, something more could be read,
From what snatches you hear, everything seems so well-said,
All that needed to be, all that was, would eventually be said,
And whatever still remained, would forever stay unsaid.

To say time was of the essence, would be an understatement,
To claim they were dreaming, would surely be a misstatement,
They realised, and prepared themselves, for the final arraignment,
There was a lot more distance to even grasp any contentment.

From their sheltered cocoon, they never tried to venture out,
Yet in both their minds, there lingered one common doubt,
Which of them, would be the first, to finally leave,
Bestowing the other, with a chance, to briefly bereave.

Or perhaps, even death could be put to shame,
If they had already flown, by the time it came,
Maybe it would chill death’s own bones deathly stiff,
All they had to do, take a deep breath, and over the cliff.

This one is for Priyanka, the last of the KiDNAP(not the last you will read about them, but the last for quite a few months). With this i conclude the Beacons series on KiDNAP, and hopefully move on to other things. The first thing i am sure she will ask upon reading this is why me? as would any other of them, but thats exactly the tricky part.

Each poem dedicated to them has one characteristic of their personality cleverly woven into the narrative that it escapes all but my own eyes(of course the casual reader[people who dont personally know any ofthe KiDNAP] would not know any way).No prizes for guessing what this one is about, though i would be mightily be surprised if anyone guessed the entire premise on which the poem is based.

Another of the titles that i so liberaly borrowed from Yanni. Dont know what i would be writing if it wasnt for him(have personally found that unattractive titles lead me to write less expressive poems).

Silver Lining

Tired of running this race, every single day,
You wish, for a while, the time would just stay,
Or atleast wish you had a stronger pair of legs,
Ever thought, what a boon it is, to simply walk?

Tired of finding your words, heedlessly into the air blend,
You wish some of it, in pristine silence you could spend,
Or atleast wish you possessed a more commanding voice,
Ever wondered, what a gift it is, to merely be able to talk?

Tired of enduring, the endless litany, that you daily hear,
You wish that every word could, in some small way endear,
Or atleast wish you could turn deaf to all this drivel,
Ever asked, what it is like, to never know sound?

Tired of watching, constantly registering what your eyes see,
You wish that this world, for a moment, would leave them free,
Or atleast that the mind spares it, to into an eternal sleep,
Ever realised, how many thousands, sightless this earth abound?

Tired of thinking, of processing a reaction for every emotion,
You wish your brain could, for once, stop its silent commotion,
Or atleast devoid itself of any thought, like a clean new slate,
Ever pondered, how fortunate you are, to be atleast able to think?

This one is another in the growing list of dedications to DreamCatcher. Also another for the Beacons. Had promised him after quite an endearing chat that i would write up some feelgood sort of thing to cheer him up, and here it is.

This one is about the little things in life that many of us take for granted, and how we expect  the entire world to change for our desires to get fulfilled rather than realising the magnitude of good fortune that already is ours.

This one was to make DreamCatcher wish to start writing once more, because only those who know what it is to not be write as like they could know the pain of seeing a lot of potential writing going waste.

Resonated

You know it not, by the darkness of night,
You hear it not, so does its footstep fall,
You hope you can see it in the brightness of day,
So you sleep, hoping morning will solve it all.

But the sun brings not, any new pair of eyes,
And more than last night, you are none the wise,
The suns aids not, merely blinding your sight,
Alas! On this thing if only there was more insight.

You wonder, which of your senses will it greet,
For, it is too much distant for your mind to meet,
You wonder how it moves, can you hear its feet,
Sadly not, it is more silent than your heartbeat.

The air, you think, but it is too petty to desire,
It burns with an intensity that ashames fire,
You dip yourself into it, it is smoother than water,
Yet hard as ever, a blend of the earth and ether.

You see it not, because it has no form concrete,
And nobody has measured ts dimensions complete,
Yet not for a moment do you doubt its existence,
Because that would question your own existence.

It moves not, but is always in constant motion,
Yet it is pushed around by your own emotion,
Try as you can, and will, it is immune to change,
Yet such a permanence in your life seems strange.

Unseen, unheard, it follows you, on every path you take,
Like a shapeless shadow, it haunts you, for your own sake,
Its constant interruptions, may or may not cause hesitation,
Left with no choice, it is your only chance for salvation.

This one is dedicated to DreamCatcher. Another of the Beacons. Had promised to write him a foreword for his future poem ‘Resonance’,and so here it is. I cannot even guess what his ‘Resonance’ will deal with, but all I know is that it will surely resonate for quite a long time, and hence the title.

This one is a kind of riddle. Started out as fun,and got more serious towards the end. Besides it is one of the few poems of mine that have a mysterious subject that remains concealed even after the end, this is because that is the way the object i am talking of remains in real life also. So put in your guesses and i will surely confirm if any of you hit the jackpot 🙂 .

Cinderella Man

You are struck by one, and then another, blow,
Perhaps a result of lettings things to go slow,
In retort, in return, a harder punch you try to throw,
Feeling it sailing across, you begin to get back the flow.

Those that back off, are the ones that get knocked out,
Those that fight back, are ones who will finally walk out,
They wipe off the blood, and get back on their feet,
They carry their scars, and their next opponent meet.

If everybody backed down, right after the first punch,
This world would be populated with a losing bunch,
If everybody gave in, to their every weakness,
Nobody would even know, the spelling of success.

Every victory is, but, a seed,
For a new quest to eventually sprout,
Every obstacle, a parasitic weed,
Growing up on a nutrition of doubt.

You decide it must be plucked out, weeded,
But failure is not the one to stay uprooted,
It twines its roots deeper into the mind,
Its branches spread out, to forever remind.

But to those for whom failure is merely another event,
One that repeats for those who only choose to lament,
With everything vanquished, there is still another weakness,
One that refuses to get over its special human fondness.

Despite the successes, the one battle all must lose, is death,
Only the victorious have the luxury, to neither lose or conquer,
But nobody is really a victor, until their last breath,
There are always battles to fight, weaknesses to conquer.

This one is dedicated to James J. Braddock and Sukanya(both fighters in their own ways). Initially Vijay anna was waxing eloquent about this movie, so i decided to see what it was all about. And needless to say it was worth every pirated minute i spent on it.

In every corner of this globe, in every walk of like, we see people who refuse to die out, who refuse to spend an eternity wallowing in mediocrity and decide to stand up and make sure their point is heard(mera number kab aayega?). Such people are more often motivated by the results of failure(whose very thought in their minds are unimaginable) and the future that it portends.

It was to this end that Mohammad Ali one said (am paraphrasing) “In a fight between equals, only the person who knows what it is to lose(the fall back into mediocrity and most certainly deprivation) can come up with the winning punch”. Although this is a breed that can never die out, wish it would spread at a faster rate, but that again can only be done by fate.

Perfect Harmony

A different language, where letters are unnecessary,
One where words are dispensable, a mere accessory,
Where every single word is complete in itself,
And no sentence is required to express oneself.

Where the silence speaks louder than any word,
And the sound begins to seem like an afterword,
Where the feelings speak louder than any thought,
And the instinct leaves no thought unthought.

If sentences were all that made up a conversation,
To believe this, your mind would need no persuasion,
If only every thought had a word as destination,
It would bring every single desire into observation.

Like the fragrance in the air, after the first rain,
When the clouds come back singing their refrain,
When all the pedestrians curtail their walk,
For the earth and the sky to begin their talk.

Although largely subdued due to the thunder,
They show no signs of quietly going asunder,
All those who rush for shelter, get closer in a huddle,
And listen to its humming song in every single puddle.

Pitter patter they beat and pound in a rhythmic code,
Like the everglad tidings that the monsoons forbode ,
Splashing its joy on the rare passerby who does stop,
Showering its own happiness on all, drop by drop.

Why is it that only the earth always gets wet and dirty,
In this conversation where both are equally thirsty,
Alas! There must be an end to this ceremony,
One that so closely resembles a perfect harmony.

This one is about my favourite topic, rain. It is about the conversation between the sky and the earth, and the unique kind of language they use. Although this language is not limited only to these two, but is infact an inherent aspect of nature as a whole, i chose to explore it as a conversation between these two only, because of my mania for rain.

Dilemma

Every dream needs a sacrifice to begin,
And every sacrifice needs an objective to win,
But is not every dream a sacrifice in itself,
Does it not relinquish its life to fulfill itself.

And every sacrifice is but a dream,
A dream that fulfills another dream,
But not every dream realises the sacrifice,
That the previous dream had to sacrifice.

When such a dream gets shattered,
And even its fragments get splattered,
What happens to the sacrifice done long ago,
Must it follow its dream and likewise go.

When the sacrifice itself becomes a dream,
And the dream therefore must be sacrificed,
Is it right to consider the sacrifice sacrificed,
Or does the sacrifice live on, if only as a dream.

Is any dream worth the sacrifice,
Or will mere dreaming itself suffice,
Is there any sacrifice worth a dream,
Is a person alive enough for such a dream.

We choose to sacrifice because we dreamt,
Did we ever sacrifice because others dreamt,
Sacrifice was a mere tool to get the ultimate prize,
Therefore we never dreamt to be able to sacrifice.

This is probably the most non-sensical piece of language that you have probably read till now(won’t say ever, because i am confident of writing loads more of such gibberish). Frankly initially it was supposed to be a fun poem which was to be built on an interplay of the two words. I had this concept from quite sometime, that every one of us have lots of dreams. Some that we barely remember, others that are more clearer, and others that we will never forget.

Dreams in this context are supposed to also include desires that are long unfulfilled. A lot of times, to fulfill these dreams we need to make sacrifices, and many of us think either then or retrospectively, whether the sacrifices we made were worth the dream that we set out to fulfill. Quite often we find that this is not the case, and that a lot of times it was pure satiation of the dream that drove us to the sacrifice rather than the actual worth of the sacrifice.

So as the poem progressed, it began to confound me even more, by the kinds of meanings each sentence was assuming of itself. By the time it was finished, i could no longer relate to the above lines as the poem that i had set out to write, it seemed more and more to me like a complex philosophical question about the very nature of the two terms, and the extent of their symbiosis. So much for a gamble on a fun poem.

Strangers

They couldn’t resolve it during the day, their plight,
And so it was that they parted ways one night,
Try as they did, they couldn’t let each other out of sight,
But forced they were, to get as far away before daylight.

How long this way they would stay, no one knew,
But surely to both of them, this was something new,
For, without love, one seemed a stranger,
And without life, the other seemed even stranger.

To a thousand and more hearts, travelled lonely life,
In every single one, there was only turmoil and strife,
To a thousand more beings, travelled lonelier love,
But every single one, seemed already dead somehow.

In vain did the relentless love strive,
For, not a single one it managed to find alive,
It seemed every single person that life had known,
Seemed determined to live their life all alone.

There were no more smiles, no more tears,
Only moving corpses, living out their fears,
There was no more guilt, and no more repentance,
For, nobody was even sure of their own existence.

Nobody cared for the day any longer,
And the echoes of night began getting stronger,
For, without life, of what use was the sunlight,
And without love, what else was there, but night.

But neither was the sun out of sight,
Nor was everybody deprived of its light,
For, can there be any love, devoid of life?
And devoid of love, can anything have life?

This one is another Gazebo kind, with a superlative focus on a single aspect. What if, one day, love and life decided to part ways? Was it possible, in the first place? And if so, what would come of such a happening. Were they separable? Is there any living being that is totally devoid of any kind of love? Is there any being in love that is not alive?

People already know the answer to these questions, and therefore the focus was to examine in a very superficial manner what would happen when these two inseparable things were indeed separated. In fact they seem so inseparable that they start to seem to be a single thing.

Abracadabra

Encore! She cheers after another amazing trick is done,
And the magician is ever eager, to please the little one,
He turns his hat topsy, tossing and shaking it a while,
And slowly pulls out a wonder that makes the girl smile.

The hall begins to empty, “one last time” she pesters him,
And for the first time, in his eyes, tears begin to brim,
Down the years, many a child had come and gone,
But never such a one, like his heart had now won.

Such satisfaction in his craft, he had never before found,
Than by just watching this little one sitting spellbound,
Alas! The day came to an end, and she too got up, determined,
That one day, the secret of this enchanting magic, she would find.

She went around and asked everyone she could name,
But the answer they all gave, was invariably the same,
“Grow up little child, and you will know all there is, to know”,
Persistent though she was, she couldn’t bear an immediate ‘no’.

She counted not the days, for, like minutes they sped by,
She courted instead the knowledge, whenever it came by,
Helpless, the magician watched, as she slowly wrecked her dream,
Asking himself,why people were never satisfied living the dream.

The dream that she had so long come to lifelong cherish,
Was through her own will, own mind, beginning to perish,
For, the charm of magic, lies in the beauty of the unknown,
A fantasy, that disappears once its truth becomes known.

Because truth leaves on her such an indelible stain,
The very sight of it, can inflict on her a remorsive pain,
There will always be other kids, to charm and to entertain,
But, this one, will never be able to feel the magic again.

This one is another autobiographical one, with a little ‘gazebo’ kind of angle to it like most of the ones on ‘Mirror‘ have. It is the versified version of a story i cooked up to explain my concept of love during one of the long conversations with Nisha Ahuja. I was trying to explain to her the reason for the stand i have taken, as also the reason why the girl i love must never know it(not the stand, the point about the love).

To begin with, neither am i a magician, nor is she a little child. But the whole poem is a metaphor of the ‘need to know/right to know vs. the consequences of the knowledge’. The crux of the arguement was that if i loved a girl, she had the right to know, because it was upon her that the love was being showered upon, so obviously she deserved to know where the rain was falling from(maybe because she liked, maybe because she did not want to like it), right? Unfortunately, a little lunatic that i happen to be, i do not subscribe to that arguement, and so came up with the story of a magician, who’s charming a child with a trick.

The focal point between them both being the ‘magic’. The child, although wonderstruck by all the mumbo-jumbo of the trick wishes to know the secret of the trick, where the ‘power’ for the magic comes from, and maybe whether she too can perform it one day. And so she sets about obsessed with one day uncovering that little secret the magician carries, the power of charm that he wields over her. The magician of course wishes such a day never comes to pass, when this kid no longer is in awe of his magic. And so wishes day and night, that the child never grows up.

It was put to me, that such a thought on the behalf of the magician, was nothing but selfishness., pure and unadulterated SELFISHNESS. To show the kid the trick again and again, and tempt her with its stupefying disbelief and yet never want her get to the secret of the same. To create a desire in someone and nurture it personally, and wish for that desire to never be fulfilled, only because the magician can again and again further that undesirable desire, was what else if not selfishness.

I had only a few simple lines of arguement. A few lines that will initially sound so insanely impossible and so impractical that it will be immediately rejected, out of hand. But just allow it to simmer for a while in your mind, and also add to the simmering a fact that you are dealing with a wierd kind of relation, and maybe someday you too will be convinced of it. My point of view was that the magician was being selfish, all right. But he wasn’t being selfish for his sake, he was being selfish on behalf of the girl, a manifestation of the girl’s own selfishness without her will or thought for her own benefit!(i know it can seem kind of supreme idiocracy to call a person ‘selfish’ on behalf of someone else, but just hang on, and read the rest of it).

Lets assume the girl has now grown big, and has learnt that magic is nothing but a load of trash, and it involves mere ‘sleight of hand’ and is an insult to the rational intelligence of a mature human being. Being a twenty or thirty year old, have you ever gone to a magic-show and never felt that it was al one big fraud and only because you couldn’t stand up and shout what the fraud was, you were sitting down, and thinking to yourself what the angle to this trick was. Atleast i have never seen a single adult drool unashamedly with mouth agape at every simple little the magicina performs like the little children do.

So if this girl now no longer feels the magic(she may still ‘see’ it as magic, cause she cannot perform the trick herself, but she will no longer ‘believe’ it to be magic), who stands to lose? Let us put that question to both the parties involved, the magician and the girl. The magician first. There always were, there always are and there always will be little children for the magician, to show off his tricks, and take them to a world they never will again be a part of. There is no dearth of children, and there is no dearth of magic. The girl now. She will never again be able to see a magic show/trick without suspending her disbelief, and even if she did, she would never be able to do it, without regaining her disbelief. Such a suspension even when rare would only for the most astonishing of tricks, and never for simple ones(such a pity, that now in her life, magic is no longer just magic, it is now categorised into amazing tricks, bearable tricks[the ‘been there, seen that’ kind] and boring tricks).

To conclude in a line, for the magician there will always be others, for the girl there will be no more magic. It was that selfishness i was talking about. Borrowing somebody else’s selfishness and using it on them because they never know at the time that such lack of selfishness on their part(wishing to never grow so they can live in magic all their lives) would ultimately take away all the ‘magic’ that their life now has. Because, in order to understand magic, you have to first lose it. And it is such a loss you can never get it back in your life again. Innocence only stays until willed away, knowledge haunts till death.

So, anyway whatever you choose to make of it, woudl only like to say that, the whole story above was only one part of the actual reason for this poem. Only one half ofthe poem deals with that aspect, the other part of it, through various randomly arranged lines, deals with my schizophrenic nature of living in a “Neverland” and having these “Peter Pan”ish ideas of a life that is never short of surprises and magical ones at that, where angels are no longer fictional sketches of a hallucinating mind but are characters i wish i could talk to and maybe even fly with, and when i can simply chase butterfiles down lush green fields that span upto eternity and so on and on and on.

Guess its time i stopped here. Its becoming more and more like prose blog, specially with WordPress giving such a small textbox that i can’t see how long i have rambled on. So that’s it for now. Wish i could tell the whole story about that side of me, but maybe more pieces of it with another poem(another Mirror one to be precise).

 

Goodbye

When the words come to an end, there is no sentence left,
When the memories come to an end, there is no thought left,
When the feelings come to an end, there is no emotion left,
When this love comes to an end, there is no life left.

From your life, from your heart, when you threw me away,
I had only one choice, to let you have your way,
With all your force, when you slam the door on my face,
You believe and you know you are long past the grieving phase.

You think you have finally bid goodbye to your tears,
And that I will just be an image down the years,
You think you have bid goodbye to all your fears,
And that no deeper than this can sorrow pierce.

You think that you have bid goodbye to my smile,
But in the process have yourself forgotten how to smile,
You think that you have bid goodbye to my joy,
But in the process have forgotten how to enjoy.

You think that the goodbye warrants this distance,
And that your mind will maintain that resistance,
The more times you think that we belong to history,
The more it seems like the beginning of a new story.

Because this isn’t a decision that only one can take,
And love isn’t an object that we can make or break,
What you have bid goodbye is the fury, the anger within,
But that realisation will only come, when the ire wears thin.

But don’t worry, I haven’t yet said that goodbye,
I will always wait for that frustration to pass by,
Only when we both decide to call our lives a lie,
That’s the only time, we both will ever bid goodbye.

This one is another of my autobiographical ones. However, with a twist. It so happens that this one is one of the few ‘unautobiographically’ autobiographical ones. For those to whom it seems a little above the head, i would just like to explain that, in my concept, we will never be on ‘conversant’ terms in the first place. So the very thought that we may split is absurd in itself.

However, that is exactly what this poem is about, taking an absurd point to its logical conclusion. I understand that such a conclusion in the most diplomatic terms could be termed as ‘absurd conclusion’. But then this isn’t about being politically correct or about being astute. This is about being frank and true to my heart, in case an impossibility becomes a possibility.

Mortal Angel

If such things were true, an angel’s life should be a fairytale,
But you don’t find them more different than this one’s tale,
Like those winged-one, you don’t see her fly away,
And you begin to really believe she is here to stay.

Ignorant were those who said angels have no feelings,
Probably they believed angels weren’t living things,
Maybe they hadn’t talked to one, or listened to one,
And so felt that one angel is like any other one.

They never could see the smile leaving her face,
Never could see her in the moments she couldn’t face,
When the odds weren’t even, and she began to shiver,
That’s when she seemed more human than ever.

The tears leave a stain as they roll down her cheek,
It is not her chin but some humanity that they seek,
She wipes it away because you would not believe her,
But wishes it to flow because you cannot understand her.

Those words that you said, they didn’t cause that anger,
Because you never believed that she knew about anger,
You never expected that one day you would see her tears,
That those tears would finally harden to make her fierce.

Soon you see those tears begin to dry,
And notice her anger begin to die,
You see the pout leaving her folded lip,
You realise how mortal she is to the last fingertip.

Her smile forgives you without a single word,
Her laughter begins to again fill this world,
You begin to ponder when she bids you farewell,
Whether it was already one day with a mortal angel.

This one is another one on “Little Miss Sunshine“. After she commented, i thought i should write something more, since the previous one conveyed so little of her “multi-faceted” personality. Besides, it was too much truthful to be a poem, so i decided to add some spice this time and make it more fictional(unfortunately it still ended up being as nearly truthful as it can get).

I still believe that she resembled Drew Barrymore when young. The photo above is another proof of the same, although she refuses to do any more than simply deny it rather than back it up with adequate proof. I won’t argue on that count because she never lets me lose an argument, don’t know why.

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.

Enterprise

To build up the house, card by painstaking card,
To prop it up often with every card you can discard,
And watch your budding smile come to a freeze,
When the house is toppled by the slightest breeze.

The cards lie fallen, scattered in a heap,
Waiting for their shepherd, like lost sheep,
Alas, the shepherd thirsts after an imaginary stream,
And will only get back to them at the end of this dream.

The road seems crooked, and gets even more winding,
And the end seems even farther, every new morning,
With many bylanes to tempt those that wander,
And a scorching sand to make any stream meander.

While others laughed away and chased butterflies,
You followed the path, the direction the eagle flies,
While others stopped to enjoy their dreams of another day,
You kept walking, kicking little stones out of your way.

Pity and hope, your two eyes, watched them play,
Perhaps that joy would be yours some day,
If only you persevered and worked harder each day,
Ahead lay all the games that you and life could play.

You think of those who wish to see you succeed,
And those for whose sake you need to succeed,
And wish they stand beside you when that day does arrive,
To share with you, the feeling of truly being alive.

You never understood why the day begins with a yawn,
Because for you, it signified the hopes lurking in the dawn,
When the days get weary, and the world gets tired,
You are just getting ready to perform, all fired.

You close your eyes and begin your life’s greatest performance,
And strain your ears for the applause from the audience,
Hearing none, you open your eyes to an empty hall,
Happy maybe, that no one was around to see the tear fall.

You sacrificed an entire lifetime for this one moment,
And nobody was present to appreciate how every second was spent,
In that moment, you see the sacrifice, the lifetime all gone,
But wipe away the tear, because you know the show must go on.

You brave the wind, brave the frost, every single day,
Freezing to death, you continue the climb, day after day,
After what seems eternity, you reach the much coveted peak,
And are so dumbstruck, the joy makes you forget how to speak.

Wishing you could stay forever, you begin to descend,
Wishing, all this happiness, there was a better way to spend,
But the descent is not a result of your boredom with conquest,
They are the first steps towards your search for a new quest.

Caught by surprise, your face begins to betray the strain,
Of years of your effort suddenly going down the drain,
You sink into an abyss, and begin to revel in your own pain,
And you realise, it will be many years before you smile again.

Yet you fake some, suppress some and get on with life,
For, stagnation is one facet, you never believed about life,
There will be many other days, when success knocks again,
But it can’t bring back those, that death took away in disdain.

Bitterness sets in, they seem to have deserted you for eternity,
Unable to see your suffering till you overcome its futility,
You wish they could wait to see you outstretch your hand,
And grow from being another of those grains of sand.

Thus you entered the world, your back against the wall,
And prepared yourself to bear someone else’s fall,
Being a fighter, you can always get up and walk,
Unlike those crippled by rumour and gossip, mere talk.

A world where they sized up your life, by how much it was worth,
Where, for a good enough bargain, they would sell the earth,
You get in knee-deep, and wade through its filth,
Wary of drowning, and becoming one with the filth.

The feet are tired, but the mind relentlessly pushes them forward,
When the mind gets tired, your objective propels it onward,
Many milestones pass by, but the appreciation takes longer,
For, these are people, who feed you for last year’s hunger.

Every now and then, you bask in the limelight,
Before someone else’s success steals the spotlight,
Soon you will fade out of people’s lives, out of their sight,
But you refuse to die down, to give up without a fight.

But the allure of fame, of achievement, no longer seems to work,
And the potion of disenchantment slowly begins its work,
The warm fires of discontent begin to burn in your heart,
And that is when everything you worked for, starts falling apart.

When the laughter, the joy, belongs to somebody else’s world,
You begin to feel and become, an alien in your own world,
When the sunshine, the rainfall, falls on everybody else’s land,
You desperately begin to feel like disowning your own land.

When survival becomes the sole yardstick of the living,
And you find yourself no longer capable of giving,
You wonder to yourself if it is really worth living,
And whether another life would be more forgiving.

But what about your companions, those now walking with you,
Those who understood you, those who believed in you,
Will you walk away from their memories, away from their lives?
And live you life alone, leaving them searching for alternate lives?

Having walked this path, touching their hearts, with your life’s song,
You should atleast expect, that forever, they will walk along,
They will walk with you, till you get rid of this guilt,
Walk with you, till you get back, to the house you once built.

The house has fallen, but the cards still exist,
Intact as a test, for those who persist,
Or maybe as a chance, to build it again, better,
Instead of crying over what has gone bitter.

You roll up your sleeves to once again demonstrate,
The never-ending battle of humans against fate,
You slog through the night, to open its doors to sunrise,
And show the world, the fabled human spirit, of enterprise.

This one is dedicated to Sukanya, who in my terms is a ‘survivor’ for those that can understand the term in the sense that i mean it in. When you go through the entire range of experiences that life has to offer, you tend to remember the scars than the victories, because the scars are visible whereas victory is not. It is this paradox that bogs down a number of achievers into mediocrity. It is this paradox that clips your wings when you need to fly that one last time.

Some people look further into the scars and find the victories that caused them, and the failures that enriched them. These are the ones that achieve more out of life than the mediocre ones can in a hundred lifetimes. But that makes them neither immortal nor immune to the vagaries of time and the tricks of the mind.

Sometimes they need to be reminded of the past to get on with a future that is more promising than all the past combined was. Once clear about that fact, they pick up the pieces and get to work. The house of cards was symbolic of the experiences we all have in life. They all differ in nature like the faces and figures on the cards. Not everyday does one get a joker, and not everyone gets an ace everyday. It is this understanding that despite not getting the winning card, life is a card game where luck is not the only aide, and that hard work can take you to farther places than luck can, that fuels the enterprising.

The enterprising fall more number of times and fail more number of times than the prudent and risk-averse person, but in the end, the enterprising with a fuller and richer experience of life than the conservative. This poem is about one such enterprising person asking her to use the fallen house of cards as a chance to build it again in a more beautiful manner with a lot more wonderful experiences that the previous ones, and understand, that there are people everywhere who are willing to help her rebuild, even if only by standing by and saying an encouraging word, because everybody must build their own house of life.

(got lots more to say, will get back to this when i find more time).

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.

Bridge Across Forever

We looked for the ending right at the beginning,
But couldn’t see beyond the place we were starting,
We searched for its beams, tried to hold its railing,
But couldn’t feel anymore than where we were standing.

Every time that we felt, were stepping onto empty space,
It sprung up beneath, matching our steps, pace to pace ,
Whether climbing with a smile, or slipping with a frown,
It was the one single thing that never let us down.

Our thoughts built it up, with every single thought,
Our words spread it across the breadth of every thought,
Only stepping forward whenever possible, side by side together,
As our love for each other held its planks together.

Times it would seem to creak, with every new fight,
But over time, the clamps and bolts only grew more tight,
As it arched upwards, trying to send us into flight,
Fly though we could not, atleast it gave us the delight.

It would heave sidewards with our growing discontent,
Seeming to fall apart, everytime we were hesitant,
But somehow it held on, maybe awaiting the time that would come,
When these petty differences we would surely overcome.

We look downwards at those who couldn’t come join us,
And across at those in this journey like us,
And wonder if they all have the same anticipation,
To reach the end, of this journey with no destination.

For, we, together, are the bridge across forever,
And we build upon ourselves to walk forever,
And time, a jealous spectator that keeps trying to disrupt,
But the love that it cannot grasp, it cannot interrupt.

As the title reads, this one is inspired from, and dedicated to, the beautiful moments that Richard Bach gave me through his novel/autobiography “Bridge Across Forever”. In many ways though I disagree with his definition of love and the treatment of that definition, what is unforgettable is the impact the book leaves on a person(left me euphoric for atleast a week). So this one is dedicated to him, though remodelled on my concept of love.

The next few ones coming up will have original titles by me, so people would have to bear with the titles unless I gather up the energy to visit a music store, and catch up on ‘good old Yanni’. I never cease to get surprised at the beautiful titles for his pieces that whoever it is who names his songs comes up with. They just keep the words flowing simply by chanting the title over and over again like an incantation. So the next one coming up is one on my evergreen muse “Aparna”(have just got confirmation that she still is Aparna [Reddy], though have long decided to dispense with that part of her name).

 

A Walk To Remember

Remember the walk, that we walked to remember,
When we decided to walk away during life’s December,
The pounding rain had slowed down to a drizzle,
As if to keep quiet during our ensuing tussle.

It never came, for, didn’t we amicably split,
Maintaining our dignity, our civility we called it,
And thus buried in our minds the remains of bitterness,
After we had burnt to shreds, every last bit of happiness.

Happiness, that elusive word that brought us together,
But to find it, many a storm we had to weather,
Not finding it together, we decided to search for it alone,
And so we went our own ways, leaving happiness alone.

Having gone down many roads, seeing the world,
And having learnt that compromise never grows old,
We came back to the beginnings, this park, the walk,
Only, this time, there were a thousand things to talk.

We ambled along, as if we had all the time,
As we explained to each other, the passage of time,
How much we were sorry wasn’t even betrayed by a tear,
That much we both understood, just by being here.

Bygones were already bygones before the walk began,
Now every footstep was a new journey, a new lifespan,
There was no more looking around, and no looking back,
Maybe afraid to find the past, if we ever turned back.

In the simplest of ways, it all began with a walk,
It all ended in one, and all it took to begin again, was walk,
We promised ourselves that we would remember this walk,
Never mind, Not only this, we have many more miles to walk.

Happened to come across this title when i was taking part in a “Never-Ending Movie Quiz”, and though i haven’t seen the movie, have simply fallen in love with the title. My obsession for fancy(catchy?) titles being what it i, i couldn’t sleep unless i had written a poem on it.

This is a slightly “gazebo” kind of situation that i see myself in, and wish maybe that someday things would simply get sorted out by walking and talking. Although wishes never did fall form trees, wish this one does happen, given the slow death that walking is slowly experiencing, must be painful, to know you are dying and watch your last moments on its last legs.

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.

Us

Hand in hand we walked, across the breadth of land,
Across the oceans, and into the playground of God’s Hand,
Where the stars and planets, mere dots, went past in a blur,
And our thoughts seemed to happen before they could occur.

Wanderers we were, travellers in time, travelling with time,
Letting our footsteps and shadows catch up, taking their time,
We used to wonder if someday we could even play with time,
Perhaps take time back to a time before its time.

And watch with glee as our memories grow larger than our lives,
Yet each of them being only mere fragments of our lives,
There were such a number, that each one seemed new,
It was like painting our canvases, our lives, old and anew.

Our lives were the journeys, and we were the destination,
A lifetime was the distance, and eternity the inspiration,
Our tears quenched our thirst, our laughter filled our bellies,
And our memories showed the direction to our weary mind’s queries.

We walked, we ran, we flew, we stumbled, we fell,
And bruised our knees, more times than could to each other tell,
Yet we kept moving, as if enchanted by and in our own spell,
Sprinting, lest time escape our clutches and sound its knell.

Though every memory lasted only a moment, every moment was a memory,
Yes moments are momentary, for us though they were monumentary,
Those we never wanted to end, and those that themselves never ended,
Like the sky and the ocean, only to the eyes they appeared blended.

The story was us, the characters were us,
We listened to us, and spoke to us,
Matching step with step, we reached the end of us,
And completed this dream, this life, together, as us.

Back to my forte, abstract extrapolation. Made myself a promise to dedicate an hour every Sunday to write atleast one poem for the week. Spend the week scribbling a line or two once in two days, and complete the entire piece on my ‘Sunday hour’. This one was completed as the first output of such a resolve.

Had the line “take time back to a time before its time” hanging in my mind from the last 5 days, and decided to do something, since it kept bouncing around refused to leave mind(that’s the way it always is with thoughts that strike me in the rain, like a lot of others, this one also happened when I was walking last Monday, drenching alone in the rain). And besides around 10 days back had written a title ‘Us’ on my scribbling book to be a future poem containing what I knew not, just keep writing down titles that seem nice to my mind, and write up stuff to fill it. Actually its more like stuff keeps flowing on a lot of things, and so do titles, its more of a mix-and-match of the two.

This one is another on my utopian world where people who are together, are together because they are meant to be, want to be, and choose to be. They stay together because they know no reason to separate and see no reason to. They are separated only by circumstances at a physical level, which is none of their concerns, because they only ‘survive’ in the physical world whereas they ‘live’ in their own meta-physical world where they aren’t relative to things, all things including time are relative to them. A world where their thoughts turn into realities simply because no other reality exists except their own thoughts, and since they don’t have differing thoughts, there is only one possibility of, their thought.

Moving Ahead

When the chips are down, and you only have a frown,
When the person is gone, and the memories stillborn,
When the sunshine has melted, but the heat hasn’t relented,
When all doors are ajar, yet the destination is afar.

It is then you know, that your life is stuck,
And you have exhausted the last drop of luck,
With the first wave of loathing you are struck,
And you realize, this time, there’s no passing the buck.

You cannot for now forget, and maybe forever forgive,
But you know there’s something that’s got to give,
Tired of life and its memories, you can no longer live,
Yet death doesn’t come, allowing you to leave.

Your experience may have held you in good stead,
But to turn a new leaf, they prevent you instead,
Just remember, when all things come to a head,
The only progress you can make, is by moving ahead.

Looking Around

When all your life seems resigned to doom,
And you never want to get out of your room,
Just look outside, and see those flowers bloom,
And rest assured, you may never know gloom.

When you’ve burnt your entire life’s crop,
An you believe have reached a dead stop,
Just stretch out your hand, feel the raindrop,
And rest assured, you may never remember the flop.

When you are drowning in your mind’s wine,
And the foliage begins to surround like a vine,
Just walk outside, into the warm sunshine,
And rest assured, you’ll never fall short of hope’s twine.

In everyday life, these problems do abound,
And when you blink, they hesitate not to surround,
But when you feel their merciless grip has you bound,
There’s always an answer nearby, just look around.

Just By Changing

To look up at the stars and begin to dream,
About why things aren’t always the way they seem,
Why life holds back surprises till the last moment,
When it becomes too late to apologize or repent.

When the days pass by, busy in sustenance,
And ridicule is what you face for penance,
When objects of form have no underlying substance,
And they try to fool you, at the next possible instance.

When to your worries and troubles, nobody will listen,
And your downfall, everybody is trying to hasten,
When all your endeavors end up in nothing,
And you dread the suffering tomorrow will bring.

It is time to wake up to the world of realities,
Of the foregone chances and missed opportunities,
And every night you realize, there will be another morning,
When your life can be improved, just by changing.

Walk In The Rain

As I step out of my shell, life a shamble of failure,
I look around, what the future holds, not sure,
A distant rumble makes me in my steps stop,
As I am hit from above with the first raindrop.

Within a short time, the drizzle turns into a rain,
And I feel myself reborn and whole once again,
I stand there getting drenched, these drops can’t stain,
In this jubilation, from dancing with joy, I cannot refrain.

I am ambling in the twilight of that morn,
On which my pride and honor was fatefully shorn,
Struggling, stumbling I crossed the border of disdain,
As the rain washes away my tears, and years of pain.

As I walk in the rain, on this monsoon evening,
I am suddenly aware of an innate awakening,
I realize that a man is just clay in the moulding,
His effort can make him a vagabond or king.

The Flame Within

It is sometimes focused and loud like a hammer,
And yet suddenly, is soft like a whispered stammer,
A voice so unique, its meaning only to me discernible,
A message so realistic, its impact indismissable.

It fires me into a limelight that nothing can shroud,
Yet it remains hidden, like receding sunlight behind a cloud,
Beyond my undreamt expectations it propels,
Yet to act within my limitations it compels.

Whenever I find myself untowardly bickering,
I look inside to find it visibly flickering,
Whether it controls or only guides what I know,
Is not revealed by its steady, uninterrupted glow.

It knows no tomorrow, and lives not in yesterday,
It is only concerned with making me give the best of the day,
In life whatever situation I find myself in,
I will never forget to ask the flame within.

Reason For Rainbows

Droplets of dew on tender petals every morning,
Beams of sunlight between awaiting leaves peeping,
A solitary bloom in a forlorn, unabided desert,
The breath of fulfillment after a tiring effort.

A sudden cool drizzle on a hot, humid day,
A blaze of light that blows away the misty grey,
The sorrows of the day, swept away by the canary’s song,
The exuberance of counting waves for interminably long.

The long dark night passes away into temporal oblivion,
The light of the sun just penetrating the cloud’s dominion,
And the stage is set for the greatest of all show,
As the sky is arched with the colours of the rainbow.

As we watch the resplendence of the seven colours,
A thought flashing across my mind clearly hollers,
That the reason for rainbows, like every new child born,
Is that God still has hope in mankind for another morn.

Once In A Blue Sun

The rising shadow of tomorrow, looks down on the shadow of today,
As for today, I know not the difference I made in any way,
Much more than the short yesterday, I decide to accomplish,
But between achievement & aspiration, am unable to distinguish.

I have been trying all of today, just like yesterday,
Before finally deciding, that failure is here to stay,
Every new venture, only got me more sadder,
As I failed to grasp, the winding success ladder.

My innate sense decided it was the last time I fell,
The sudden shame of failure pushed me from hell,
The first taste of success has an incredible story to tell,
Of how things got started and going so well.

But once in a blue sun, comes dear opportunity,
Ignoring it is the bull’s eye way to failure,
As unable as one is to predict the outcome of activity,
For, in life, however safe, you are never sure.

Life

Colourful flowers are seen in bloom, hither and thither,
However, at the end of the day, most of them droop and wither,
A person who is fit and healthy at the break of dawn,
May no longer be alive, to see the sun next morn.

The miracle of life leaves no unturned stones,
For, without it, the body is but a bag of bones,
The value of life is known, not by the man who commits suicide,
But the hardest rock, in which inexpressible feelings reside.

Death, riches or fame are no measure for life,
For, no amount of money, no advance in science, or the surgeon’s knife,
Can bring back to life, a body by cold death crumpled,
Or pour a new life into a Frankenstein assembled.

The only measure of each one’s life is our breath,
For, the final destination of all things living is death,
The earth was obscure and a speck in a galaxy of strife,
Until the moment it was blessed with the gift of life.

If I Could Tell You

If I could tell you, when time deems right someday,
That, be not deceived by the glint of the early morning ray,
Sometimes matters are so complicated, that it’s too early to say,
Whether or not you are moving along the right way.

Just as the waves of the ocean ceaselessly try to reach,
And swallow up further miles along the beach,
It is very rare similarly, to find someone to teach,
That all life is a code of ethics, that’s difficult to breach.

If I could tell you, that all power is a mire,
That temptingly sucks you into consequences dire,
And no amount of money you earn or hire,
Can buy you an ounce of the happiness you desire.

Dewdrops are an illusion of overnight rain,
And your honour is more worth anything you gain,
For all else are images that will recur again,
Like the endless cycle of pleasure between pain.

Falling Leaves

When you wake up on a cloudy morning,
And feel the coolness set your skin burning,
When fortune plays a rhythmless tune,
And beyond dune is yet another dune.

When you can no longer bear any more,
And there’s still a lot more in store,
When your inherent ability is brought to fore,
And from the lashing, your mind and senses are sore.

When familiarity seems a total stranger,
And lurking in the corners is danger,
When things begin to happen none too soon,
And there’s no sign of the oncoming monsoon.

Across the sea, when no shore is visible,
And the crack of dawn, seems not credible,
When the last bit of despair and of fear,
Is replaced by a flood of tear after tear.

With the shadows around growing longer,
And the weakness within getting stronger,
When the certainties in life begin to ponder,
And neighbours appear to shift away yonder.

When the vapours begin to gradually freeze,
And yet, there’s no sign of the comforting breeze,
When at horizon, the earth meets the sky,
And ‘within your reach’ is still too high.

When the stars begin, to one by one fall,
And everyday demands seem to get too tall,
When the mountains begin their forward surge,
And to do nothing you require a greater urge.

When the densest fog seems too clear,
And your enemies want to get really dear,
When the distances seem very much near,
And yet, your own heartbeat, you cannot hear.

When everybody in your life goes nowhere,
And being here is no longer the same as being there,
When nothing, is the maximum that you will share,
And indifference is about all that you care.

When everything is visible even in the dark,
And yet, not a single arrow finds its mark,
When the shadows throw themselves on the light,
And even the meek don’t give up without a fight.

When at the climax of a successful show,
You forget the direction in which to row,
And the shame of failure, doesn’t even let you bow,
For, the seeds of desperation, it has sought to sow.

That there is a tomorrow, suffice it to know,
Keep your cool and let the bad times flow,
Falling leaves in autumn aren’t the ending,
But a sacrifice for the offshoots of a new beginning.

Effort

What impresses most of us is a soaring kite,
Displaying to the wind its unsolicited might,
A kite is a piece of paper the slightest wind can ruffle,
Yet it survives, because of its incessant struggle.

The sight of a butterfly reminds us of beauty,
Whose wings are an example of perfect symmetry,
From the cocoon, it has to itself wriggle,
Else it will remain forever a cripple.

A journey of a thousand miles, begins with a step,
Remember, Rome was not built in a day,
Do not delay, or deny yourself the beginning step,
For, while the sun shines, you need to make hay.

The greatness of achievement, lies not in success,
But in trying persistently, without a recess,
You have to first erect a fountain, to see it spout,
Because life itself begins with an effort.

Dewdrops

Glistening dewdrops herald the vibrant new morn,
And on its incessant tour, the sun is again born,
Fascinated, I reach for a leaf with a delicate hand,
And as if by instinct, the dewdrops slide down to a thirsty land.

Life itself is transparent like the dewdrops on a viewing glass,
People look around and smile at the lush green grass,
By the time they turn back, they see only the brown barren land,
And life to them seems no longer so resplendent and grand.

As cautiously as I climb up life’s stairs,
I am increasingly met with confusing stares,
I walk up to the door, laughing amidst a group,
But step in alone, with only my destiny to grope.

I look around to find a face I can read,
And surprisingly there is no one I need,
With every step, a changing world opens anew,
Like the ever-fresh glistening drops of morning dew.

Butterfly Dance

You look up and see a butterfly fluttering,
As from flower to flower it goes nectar-seeking,
Similarly, each one of us has a distinct role,
Fulfilling which we must set our sights on a higher goal.

Just like the different patterns on different butterflies,
The light in one’s eyes may be the beauty in another’s eyes,
Sometimes, moments of life and moments of death come as a surprise,
The reason for this mystery of life, we are none the wise.

On reaching the base, aim for the mountain peak,
On reaching the peak, the sky you must seek,
Conquering the sky, reach out for the stars,
Never mind if you fall, time will heal the scars.

Remember that your life is just a butterfly dance,
Which pleases the watcher at every instance,
Never let go, even if you have to crawl the distance,
For you will never again get such a chance.

Be Yourself

The eagle flying high above feels the burning heat,
That caused the scars on a man walking bare feet,
However the sun doesn’t hide its brilliance behind a cloud,
Just because people in a desert, move around in a shroud.

What makes the moon the crux of the night, is its ambience,
It’s soothing rays remain, whether in crescent or in variance,
A late night man, about a moonless night complaining,
Doesn’t stop the moon’s cycle of waxing and waning.

A symbol of ceaseless sturdiness are the mountains,
The very foundations of solidarity is what it contains,
It never bends to anything or anyone until it is eroded,
For the lowly passing cloud, it doesn’t bend its head.

Never do something, just because it is done by others,
If God had wanted it so, He would have made you like others,
But YOU are unique, you have your own self,
Remember, at all times in life, to be proud to be yourself.

A New Beginning

A tired old moon sets, as a new dawn begins,
I stand shattered, looking down on my wins and losses,
Not realizing that its long since you weren’t there for me,
But I have always felt, that in my heart you will always be.

In a few more years, the memories may wear off,
And those days of happiness may soon tear off,
Opening the gates for the gradually rising wave of misery,
Showing me that effort is the way out of this drudgery.

As you progress, the sand under your feet may erode,
But only to make way for a new untravelled road,
So put a foot forward, and achieve what you are able,
Or just spend your life incoherently counting a pebble.

During the journey, it is inevitable to fall on your knees,
But don’t let your vision fall, below the tops of trees,
For I shall walk step by step with you till the ending,
If only you take heart, and make a new beginning.

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