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.

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.

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.

Luciferin

Every time I am asked, why the truth has me enslaved,
It reminds me of my freedom, that darkness has depraved,
So I tell them, “the truth has, and seeks, no control of me”,
“The truth is not about control, it is about being free”.

It is easy to fall in love, because lies are so beautiful,
But it is only to the eyes, that lies even appear beautiful,
The truth and the sun, have a beauty at which you cannot stare,
For the fear of being consumed by their liberating glare.

The truth and the sun, have neither morning nor night,
You cannot know darkness when you are the light,
And without the night, there can be no morning,
There can only be ignorance and awakening.

The truth and the sun, both have no shadow,
Both are the light, a liar fears to follow,
Because every lie, has a shadow called guilt,
One that changes shape with every new tilt.

The shadows of a lie grow longer in the night,
And shrink at the slightest sight of light,
The lie can only exist, as long as the truth we hide,
But the truth can exist, long after no people abide.

Hiding it in the heart, is like keeping the sun in your pocket,
They will burn their way out, even through a metal jacket,
And all that it leaves you with, is a lot of heartburn,
Because the sun, the truth, will both inevitably return.

The truth, put simply, is all about courage and your character,
Courage to sacrifice an easy smile, in return for eternal laughter,
Every time we shelter a lie, we force every minute of life into fight,
But you can choose, to be dragged, or gracefully step into the light.

This is one for the Mirror, and reflects my take on the similarity between the sun and truth. Both have friends, and yet neither cares about it. It is also my reflection on the single largest motivation in my life, the quest for truth.

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.

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.

Fred Claus

The little boy was more confused than ever before,
Surely a festival must mean something more,
What his grandpa said, seemed to make little sense,
It seemed like something badly conjured up in defence.

So he went back to nagging the exasperated old man,
On this eccentricity that was celebrated only by man,
But this time, he decided he would do all the talk,
He only hoped, the old man wouldn’t fall back in shock.

“Why is it, that people spend the year, yelling at each other”,
“And finally choose a day to treat one other like a brother?”,
“Why is it, that people put up with a year full of abuse”,
“And take comfort in having a day, to praise each other profuse?”.

“Why do they live every moment for themselves, without relent”,
“Thinking one day is enough, to chant a prayer and repent?”,
“Why do they spend a year, closing the door on their neighbour”,
“Knowing they can invite them in, just in time for any dinner?”.

“Why do they shout at their crying parents, every single day”,
“Hoping, that decorating a tree together, will make those words go away?”,
“Why do they teach their children, to run the entire year in a hurry”,
“Wishing, that opening some gift, would wipe away every worry?”.

“Why do they think, a single sorry can soothe a year full of hurt”,
“Believing, that lighting a candle, is enough recognition of effort?”,
The old man was too puzzled, to notice the boy short of breath,
And only let out a sigh, because the boy regained his breath.

“Why can’t they just be nice, every day of the year”,
“And try to prevent, instead of wiping each tear?”,
“Why can’t they cherish every moment along the way”,
“Instead of dying the whole year, to live for just one day?”.

This one is obviously for the Mirror, since it is a continuation of Rudolf. This one reflects my actual views on festivals/celebration. So lets move on to the usual questions.

a) What’s with the title?
The title is from a movie of the same name, about Santa’s brother, who goes to the North Pole and saves the day for Santa and the entire world.

b) Why two poems?
The concept is too strong to finish within one poem without diminishing all of its essence into shortened sentences. The poem could have been double my usual length, but that would deny supporters of the festival with a poem. So splitting keeps both parties happy. Those who like festivals can read the first, and those who don’t can read only the second one. Besides, while the first one seems in support of celebration, it is actually a sly representation of the views that are debated in the second one. It helps to glorify the adversary in order to magnify the victory.

c) What is it about festivals/celebration that pisses me off?
The very words and what they signify. Take for example some thing like birthdays, which celebrate nothing significant. You being born is merely a statistical event that is by itself insignificant. But Happy Birthday is a festival of depression-era origins, when people needed some thing to make them feel alive atleast for one day, and bakers cashed in on the opportunity. Also read my favourite article on the topic.

It pains me to see that we fail to realise that most festivals are effectively celebrations of life and our thanks to our maker (whoever he/she is) for blessing us with whatever we have on that day. Knowing this fact about festivals, we fail to realise that celebrating them on that one day, makes us relive the Depression-days, by indirectly stating that there is only one day a year when we forcibly choose to be happy, even if we aren’t. Reminds me of one of my favourite sayings:
Perhaps this is why it is man alone who laughs: he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Why is it that we can’t simply celebrate each day of our lives, for its ups and downs. Why do we feel that only a cake completes celebration? Or that only decorating the house, completes a festival? Why do we have to shout at our parent/children every day and then make up with them for the sake of a festival? Why do we have to abuse our friends every day and then wish them a Happy Birthday? Is it not possible to be nice to everyone everyday?

Of course, some people are downright nasty and deserve a dose of their own medicine, right? If you feel like retorting to someone because they aren’t nice, then you’re allowing their worthlessness dictate to your politeness, which makes you no different from them. if you really want to see the difference, be polite and nice to everybody no matter what, and see the difference after maybe a year or a decade. Most often people aren’t nice to you on that day or that year, because nobody has been nice to them that day/year. Waiting for the other person to change is only going to ensure everyone does the same, and we are left with status quo.

If you really want to see a change in the world, be the one to lead it, rather than follow, since nobody else is going to lead. Try it today, throw a party to the person who has just slapped you, and see his/her reaction. Shake the hand of a person who has just abused you, and see their reaction. If not today, their reaction will change over time. Of course, initially everyone will look at you like a lunatic, but atleast its better to be a happy lunatic, than a depressed conformist. People treat those who stand out as lunatics because they are insecure about their own conformity. Once the tide slowly switches and you become the mainstream, they will look at their previous beliefs as lunacy, that’s people for you.

So, i hope you understand, why i care not even a damn for any festival, and why i am not reachable on my birthday. its time to end the practice of living for one day in a year, and start living every moment of life.

P.S.

The whole Rudolf carol is anti-celebration. Because the problem Rudolf is facing is being an outcast. So taking him away from the reindeer and making him a celebrity among humans, is like taking a cat rejected by other cats, and making him an exalted exhibit among dogs, and expecting the cat to be happy because of the miracle of the festive spirit. A true miracle would have been if the other reindeer had welcomed him into their fold because of the Christmas spirit, and not humans cheering him on.

I would like to end with a relevant line from ‘Sirivennela Sahityam’:
“Padhuguru soukhyam pondhe diname panduga kadha?”
“Is not the day, when a dozen people find solace and relief, a festival?”

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.

Frank Einstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Free

The words finally come out, but are they free to go?
The reason they were released, you’re the only one to know,
I can’t ask those words because they just wouldn’t slow,
So all that we can do is merely go with their flow.

Just by themselves, they are merely listings in a lexicon,
But they can’t only mean that they mean, I reckon,
For, if only everything was as clear as the day,
I wouldn’t give a second though to anything you say.

But words are merely the method of an instrument,
One that can ask not, only mutely implement,
Whereas the mind is what the mind is,
And you very well know why I remind this.

The real orders come from the guilty one, the mind,
That elusive birthplace of every thought you can find,
It seeds them, waters them, weeds them, and reaps them,
All the while making you believe, you farmered them.

So you believe, that happiness is the result of an occurrence,
And that sorrow is consistent, only in its recurrence,
That you emotions are really well-thought reactions,
Caused purely as a result of somebody else’s actions.

You fail to realise you are a pawn in a wonderful game,
Where the mind puppets you, to live up, to you name,
Be always wary of the one that pulls those strings,
For that is the one who created all these things.

So every time you think you are free to say what you feel,
Free to objectively think and what you said you feel,
Remember, you’re an eternal prisoner of your own mind,
And it uses your weakest and simplest thoughts to forever bind.

This one is for the Gazebo. It is a sort of mixture of fact and fantasy. With Robo/Endhiran coming up for release this month-end, i thought it only pertinent to explore a favourite thought of Isaac Asimov. Is there such a thing like mind control, and if there is, can we really control our minds? Reminds me of the Mirabai bhajan “Chalo re man, chalo re man, ganga yamuna teer”. So often we believe that we know what we are doing, but in retrospect realise we were above our heads on that one. And more often than that we believe we know what is right and what is wrong, and that we consciously choose the path from among the two.

Alas there could be nothing more misguided than that. Not only do we merely have a belief of what is good and bad, as opposed to a knowledge of the same, we can’t even distinguish between the two at times. The fault does not entirely lie with our mental faculties, fundamentally right and wrong are not black and white issues, and it is the ignorance that they should be either black or white that causes the conflict. This poem was also my tribute to the movie Raavan that beautifully depicted those shades of grey, those means-justify-the-ends versus one-man’s-good-is-another-man’s-bad versus how-much-bad-can-we-get-to-accomplish-a-supposedly-good-thing dilemmas. One can only truly be free when one can function beyond the control of one’s own mind.

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.

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. 🙂

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.

Godforsaken

God is not in the sunshine that lights up every morning,
He is the very vision that lets you see it dawning,
God is in the finger that wipes every tear,
Knowing that your fears, only the soul can hear.

God is not in idols, and all those places of worship,
He is forever waiting, at the tip of everyone’s lip,
God is on every tongue that speaks the truth, words without charm,
Knowing that those very words will cause them harm.

God is not in the justice that keeps good and evil apart,
He is the forgiveness that abounds in everyone’s heart,
God is the mercy that makes you ignore an unforgivable sin,
Knowing that its pain will burn in you, even within your coffin.

God is not in any scriptures, and those books of yore,
He is the river that has kindness on every shore,
God is in the lines on the palm of every giving hand,
Knowing they have not, left, even the ground they stand.

God is not on top of the mountains, or at the bottom of the sea,
He is inside every grieving heart that you can compassionately see,
God is the innocence in the smile of every child,
Knowing not, that life also has sorrow, stockpiled.

God is not in the prayers, that the faithful chant,
He is the belief itself, which mere words cannot supplant,
God is in every happiness that refuses to die,
He is in every sorrow that refuses to cry.

God is not in heaven, on a throne of diamonds and precious stone,
He is in every repentant sinner who wants to atone,
God is in every forgiving heart that wants to condone,
For, humanity is God, honesty is God, and with you He is never alone.

This one is about my concept of God, and about my religion, Godism. Although these lines do not enough justice to the entire concept, i shall not bother to elaborate, because God should not be too complicated to explain. Whatever is here is sufficient to express my general beliefs, and make this a part of Mirror. This is also my tribute to Kamal Hassan and the movie Satyame Shivam (Anbe Sivam), one of his best, also happening to be his take on God, heart-wrenching. Now i shall move onto something i have never done before on any of my posts, and hope to never have to do again, put out a disclaimer.

DISCLAIMER:
1) This poem was not written to ridicule anyone’s beliefs or faith. it was merely written to state my opinion on the matter. For those who feel offended by the lines (which were merely used for poetic effect), please replace every instance of ‘God is not’ with ‘God is not only’. Sometimes good sentence construction comes in handy in the most unexpected ways. 😀

2) When i use the word ‘He’, it doesnot  mean that i believe God belongs to any specific gender. Again, another word used for poetic effect, but one that stems from centuries of andro-centric writing (and something i have grown accustomed to, writing as if the world is limited to my gender). Easily-offended people/feminists are free to replace every such instance of ‘He’ with ‘She’.

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.

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.

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.

Leaving Neverland

It never ceases to surprise, the emptiness that makes up the inevitable,
It teases, taunts, it makes a mockery of everything that is believable,
And it never goes away, morphing into a vacuum that feeds into itself,
For, the soul can only be torn away once, from this body, the self.

It all seemed a dream, since I never really woke up,
Woke up that is, before this charade of a game was up,
Funny, how these seconds steal their minutes from you,
And each minute conveniently forgets to remind you.

Times when you get so attached to the things that made you grow,
Are when you least realise, you love them more than you know,
So much so that you never really learn to accept the reality,
And resign to acknowledging separation as a definite possibility.

The first step, they said would always be the hardest,
I thought they were mocking, when I found it the easiest,
They were probably seeing it the wrong way all the time,
Because it was the last step that gave me the hardest time.

When the foot that is lifted, stubbornly refuses to fall,
In that fraction of a second when I take the final call,
I realise there never was, and never is, any hope of going back,
Every time that determination questions the courage I lack.

While the eyes are busy herding the crowded tears,
I am left alone, to confront new and unknown fears,
Fears of leaving the certain, venturing into the uncertain,
Fears of being unable to cope, unable to bear the pain.

And then it happened, my worst nightmares came true,
Though the signs were clear, miles before they became true,
I could never retrace my steps, as there was no turning back,
So I stand, in the battlefield, not knowing what to attack.

This one is for the Mirror. It deals with my apprehensions of getting into a ‘professional’ job and letting go of my reckless freedom. Not everyone notices that after you have placed your first foot in a new venture, there is still the last foot left in the previous venture. This poem is about that last foot, one that doesn’t want to rise. The one that makes change the hardest.

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.

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)

Cannibal

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Threshold

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anthem

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Orbit

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One Step

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nightfalls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sad Cypress

A few years ago, they took me away, cuffed and chained,
Only doing their duty, they knew not how much it pained,
Days, weeks, months I have sat, staring at the bars,
Awaiting the day to fly and converse with the stars.

Alas the bulb above my head tell me neither day or night,
And the minutes seem like an eternity to ponder my plight,
Of ever leaving this room, my hope has lost all sight,
Atleast they offered me a few hours of this artificial light.

None would listen, they wouldn’t believe that I was innocent,
I should be ashamed they thought, I should be repentant,
They were shocked at the lack of remorse on my face,
Knowing not, that this ignominy is more than I can face.

They parade me around, an apprehended dangerous criminal,
And my chances of walking away are sealed, almost minimal,
Standing in the dock, of the portals of law, supposedly called justice,
This was my last chance, and I really hoped I could do it justice.

Sadly all they believed was evidence, one given by circumstance,
It confounded me about why they denied truth a chance,,
It finally came down to my word against the evidence,
That was their value of my life, a gamble with providence.

They questioned my testimony, my character, my credibility,
And separated from it, every shred of believability,
There I stood, spoken, unheard, untouched, ravaged,
Following their orders, hoping my soul would be salvaged.

Alive, alone, death seemed the only one who was proud,
The only one unafraid, to call me its friend, aloud,
But God knew, and I knew, the difference between justice and reality,
And that knowledge was my compass, in the journey into infinity.

This one is for the Beacons, dedicated to Agatha Christie. The title is from one of the episodes of her detective Poirot’s serials. Somehow the moment I read the title, it reminded me of a lot many things that I used to dream about. And surprisingly, although it might seem odd, one of my childhood influences that left a lasting impression on me, namely, Tolstoy’s “God sees the truth but waits”, had nothing whatsoever to do with this one. The relation to that struck me when I was typing this post. But come to think of it, it does seem more and more like a versified form of that.

I always used to have this idea, probably from reading too much of Robin Hood, and such other stuff, about what I would do, how I would behave if I was imprisoned wrongly. Somehow all my life(even today) I keep getting this fantasy idea of myself as a vigilante after getting released for some crime I didn’t commit etc.  But thinking practically of a scenario where I couldn’t get out to do all that superman, batman stuff, this was what I could come up with. Maybe this is the way it will be.

Broken

The smile seems so real, but its happiness isn’t,
The tears definitely real, but their sorrow isn’t,
When the eyes stand deceived by mere expressions,
You wonder how really deep are all those emotions.

The happiness, the sorrow, are but simple reflections,
Of many a misplaced attachment, unknown affections,
Of a waning devotion requesting a newfound zeal,
For too many actions and their consequences to deal.

One by one, the seams holding you together begin to give way,
And your life itself seems to have given up and gone away,
For, you couldn’t convince it to hold on, much longer stay,
Leaving an apparition behind, it left your heart and went its way.

Alone you walked, alone it walked, each to their own way,
It smiled, you frowned, at how much it still held sway,
You get immersed in work, and life is busy with its play,
But the straighter the road gets, the farther you go astray.

The moment you smelt trouble, you tried to steer away,
You thought you could remain a stranger by keeping it at bay,
Unfortunately it’s indefatigable, always making its own way,
You only reach as far as proximity, before it catches up someday.

But rudderless, soulless, you keep on getting nowhere,
And the emptiness within, is more than existence can bear,
Just another scorecard, measuring time, moment to moment,
While the watch competes, ticking away at your lament.

So when everybody’s watching, eagerly expecting the smile,
The unconscious acting involved considerably delays it a while,
Thus you pretend to drink it, stirred, not shaken,
From a cup, that is long since empty, and broken.

This one continues where the previous one left off, at the person beneath that mask. This one for the Gazebo deals with what most of us become after sometime. We all start off thinking of being somebody, doing something, and on the way, we get tired of the waiting to be that somebody, to do that something, and so decide to take the shortcut that always seems to popup nearby however farther we go. So we sell our souls, if only for a moment, for a day, for a lifetime, and get at the destination, to find ourselves without one.

Having got there or atleast nearly there, we look back and think whether the means were worth the end, specially since we had our conscience tormenting us all the way through. The destination doesn’t seem as attractive as it did, when we were along the ‘straight’ road. Now it somehow seems tarnished, rather blemished with our own corruption. This one is for those moments when we went astray.

P.S.

I forgot to add, this was my 150th poem on this blog, and its been exactly one year on WordPress.

Coated Gold

The widest smile fills your face, atleast till they turn their back,
Then the grimness hiding right behind, proudly comes back,
Not just the face, it claims more than its share of your mind,
Confident enough, to this defection, everyone else was blind.

It’s not often that these subdued expressions get a chance to relax,
The consciousness holds a tight rein, keeping them from getting lax,
Forcing them to stay till they seem convincingly imprinted,
Then the mind itself relaxes, happy at the facade well implemented.

Sometimes a frown, acting for an uninhibited glee,
Sometimes an earnestness, when waiting to flee,
Sometimes a grimace, pretending for appreciation,
Sometimes a twinkle, to cover up the deprivation.

Clenched teeth, all grinding against repression,
Sunken eyes, both hiding from depression,
Drooping ears, eagerly anticipating a decision,
Talkative lips, silently conveying indecision.

A collapsing mind, feigning absolute lack of fatigue,
A troubled conscience, pretending to belong to the league,
An anxious heartbeat, faking regularity and precision,
A determined life, practically without a mission.

Some stay for a few moments, mere fragments of time,
Others linger on, stubborn to the end of lifetime,
However long, each of them leave their mark,
Those rings of age, deep inside, behind the bark.

Few can read, the moment between the blink of the eyes,
For the rest, this hidden being, they are none the wise,
It is only when the sword is separated from its bejewelled sheath,
And heated in the furnaces of truth, can you see, what lies beneath.

This is another one for the Gazebo. For those who thought it was senseless, it was supposed to relate to the mask that we all wear through this play called life. Masks of happiness, masks of sorrow, masks of surprise, of delight, and those of anger, of despair. The reason I call them masks is because they are emotions that actually hide the real person underneath them, giving the person shade, while pretending to be the person.(went through something of this kind a few days back, and felt my system merited some cleansing)

The concept could probably be related to the ‘Facade’ portion of the ‘JoHari Window‘, in the sense that the portion not known to others could either be positive or negative, that is only known to the person itself, and therefore the covering to cover the positive or negative aspect of it from the observer. Just because an object is coated with gold, need not necessarily mean there is a baser material beneath, there could also be a possibility that gold was simply coated on gold itself, for what purpose, with what objective, each person knows in their own hearts.

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.

Messengers Of Mortality

At the break of dawn, life has already begun,
Amidst the victor and vanquished, the task is half done,
Those unfortunately alive, are pre-occupied with the dead,
To notice the direction in which to futilely head.

The unborn generations would readily believe,
From the earth, there’s a better way to leave,
Than by a downpour of bombs across the distance,
On innocent civilians, who offer no resistance.

A flood of blood, that tears mother and child apart,
You wonder, whether anywhere lies hidden, a human heart,
Among the debris, try as much to atleast find,
The word ‘kind’ is surely missing from mankind.

Everyone’s awaiting to fight their blood brother,
In an encounter that will obliterate one another,
The planet will be left with only peace and tranquility,
After we humans perish, the messengers of mortality.

We fight amongst ourselves, unheeding the reality,
The reason for our clash, we lack proof and clarity,
That it wasn’t fair, our conscience will stand as surety,
If only we were to eliminate our uncompromising vanity.

This one is another for the Gazebo. Seems many are coming that way nowadays. Anyway, this one was written, again on request from a freind in College. She had asked me to write an essay-kind-of thing about the Iraq war, and being as lazy as I am, I told her I couldn’t write an essay, but I would write a poem since that would be less tiring.

So I set about and the first thing that struck me was the scene of the war itself, I was supposed to go on and on, but then after the beginning I just kind of got bored, and later could never get back to it. For those concerned with chronology as I am, this one was written around December 2004. So that makes it another one from the archives.

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.

Undesire

Come to me not, as the cascading waterfall,
Whose beauty lies, only in its own downfall,
Whose bubbles only froth, when its heart is filed,
Whose very purity, is always questioned and distilled.

Come to me not, as the charming breeze,
That moves around with a restrained ease,
Only once does it get, to caress my face,
After which it always seems to lose pace.

Come to me not, as those droplets of rain,
Those that pretend to fall, only to rise again,
Those that seem to revel in sharing your fun,
While all the time, silently blocking the sun.

Come to me not, as a blooming white lily,
One that survives, by being adored silly,
That yields its fragrance, with an effortless smile,
Knowing that the end is only going to be a while.

Come to me not, as an innocent child,
As if waiting to be liberated from the wild,
Laughing aloud, at my ceaseless effort,
Crying abandon, at my inner discomfort.

Come to me not,as the now blazing fire,
That kills all else to fulfill its own desire,
Knowing, in its heart, nobody to embrace,
Unknowing, how tomorrow’s hunger to face.

Come to me not, as the benevolent sun,
Though a source, it is only another one,
Seek me, hunt me, find me, however afar,
Let me know you, for the light you are.

Another one for the Gazebo. Hoping for the day when people would stop associating Divinity with objects and people,and start realising the true form of it right within themselves. The day when they will stop waiting for some messiah to come and show them the way, and instead start making their own way towards the light, one good deed at a time, one human emotion at a time.

Iscariot

One by one they emerge, slowly walking out,
Stopping and asking each other, the way about,
Though they all profess to have one common mind,
Consensus is something humanity may never find.

Only yesterday, it seemed we walked a common road,
As I trace without you, the path that we once rode,
With everyone else beside us, most of the while,
The last day which I knew, ended with a smile.

I only wish the rest of it wouldn’t be so vivid,
But then, the truth could only be more lucid,
I had done what I had, my own failing,
Nothing, I was sure, could prevent me falling.

Like falling pillars, they left me behind, one by one,
While I looked around, hoping to find atleast one,
Long gone, they were afraid not, to support me,
Afraid, they would be labelled another like me.

I failed to understand, what part of me was unpardonable,
What portion of my soul, was completely uncleansable,
Why my very sight, was to all, unbearable,
Why my very name, was from now unhearable.

In one lifetime, I did more than make up for it,
But nothing seemed to allow them to forget it,
Though I reside in everyone’s heart, they ignore me,
Atleast until the day they are forced to stand beside me.

For one single deed, my entire life hung in the balance,
While everybody else watched, in pretended silence,
If it was only life, I would have given without hesitation,
They trampled my life, only to get after my reputation.

Another one for the Beacons. This one is dedicated to many people to whom history has not been so kind in its treatment. The first name that comes to mind is Judas Iscariot, someone who is portrayed as the lab specimen of how a person shouldn’t be, and the very name is reviled. The same can be said of others long after him like Hitler and the like, whose very names must compulsorily be associated with evil, else the world would outcast the person defying such an unwritten edict.

Coming to our own epics there are some names that come to mind. Firstly, and most sadly of all, Ravana. To put things in proper perspective, Ravana was the master of all the 4 Vedas, as well as the 64 Upanishads, as well as master of a great many arts apart from being a formidable warrior, unbeaten in battle. Atleast that was the case until he came to meet Rama. A person who had neither of the above-mentioned qualifications, except probably being an equally good warrior with the same track record. The only sore point being Ravana had kidnapped somebody else’s wife, probably something the equivalent in today’s world would have hardly got him a year or tow in prison, for illegal confinement of a person violating her freedom of movement in the country. An act for which he is made to seem like the epitome of all evil, somebody whose very name deserves to be uttered in disgust. How silly it would seem in regard to some of the things being done today. Despite that he put in all his efforts and loyalties into the battle, purely trusting the words of his sister who told him a half-truth. How many of us would do that I wonder? I also wonder how nobody notices the nobility in that. Despite that he might still have got away with it, had he not been betrayed by his own brother in a fight among equals. A brother whom people have come to regard as saintly, simply because he was in the hero’s camp at the story ending.

Another name that comes to mind is Karna. This was another person who should have got his fair share of praise, if history had not conspired to steal it from him. He was a man who lived by his word, and sadly died by his word. A perfect gentleman who happened to give his loyalty to someone who recognised his worth, and his word to a mother who had shamelessly abandoned him at birth. Knowing well that he had a chance to turn the tide of the war in the favour of his friend, he chose to spare the life of nearly each and every Pandava, simply because he had given his word. An action that ultimately cost him the war. I hope I need not mention him being a far superior warrior than Arjuna, at whose hands he fell when weaponless and defenseless, and yet remained a man of his word to the very end.

The reason I mention a brief biography is to highlight what I feel is the injustice by history to these people whom it turned into outcasts merely on the premise of a single bad action committed by them. Why do we see nobody naming their children as Karna or Ravana, or Hitler or Judas for that matter? And why do we see them naming their children after spoiled polygamists like Arjuna and Krishna, or person’s who abandon their wives who followed them loyally into the forest like Rama. As you can probably understand everybody commits mistakes. That’s what makes them human. The ability to also forgive such mistakes and accept their consequences is what establishes the victim’s humanity. Is it not sheer propaganda of the victorious sides that gets history written this way, that people would shudder before even utter these infamous villain’s names. God forbid, you are caught supporting anything they stood for, or are caught appreciating them for what they were, you know your name too is on the list.

Why can’t people see the positive in everyone, and improve from it? Why can’t they learn the good from these Ravanas’, Karnas’, Hitlers’ and Judases? Why can’t they learn to love the humanity in these people, instead of fuelling their own hatred and being worser human beings themselves over an account that history fictionalised. One of the most beautiful things I have heard somebody speak and still follow to this day is “learn to hate the quality, not the person”. The quality is but one among the many that the person had. The quality is one that many of us have, though we deny it all our lives. Why can’t we learn to hate greed, lust, treachery, rather than hate people who seemed to be filled only with them? Is one single action so bad that a lifetime of good done atoning for it still doesn’t equate the balance. Is one single action so bad, that all the good done before it was a mere pretense that can be written off to mitigate not even a fragment of such an action?

May some humanity prevail over those still searching for the way.

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?

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”

The Spotless Mind

Pretending it wasn’t over, was not going to be much use,
For, to feign forgetfulness, was not his cleverest ruse,
The floods had stopped, but the wreckage remained,
And everything around him, had forever been stained.

Over time, even the wreckage, may finally get cleaned,
But the scars, he knew not, on whose side they leaned,
They seem engraved, every time he remembers them,
And seem to fade, every time he begins to forget them.

He never seemed to know, was she a moment, was she a memory,
Whether what he remembered, was the reality or just a story,
And those mementoes, supposed monuments of romantic eternity,
Were they all fake, or just piercing questions about his own sanity.

The separation should be clean and final, they both did agree,
But memories are no verdicts, that any court can decree,
Nobody can fairly expect thoughts to suddenly vanish,
Even if they determined to steadfastly try and banish.

Did she too think as often about him, he wondered,
Because every so often, towards her, his mind wandered,
Did she ever think,of walking back the track,
Like he did, every moment of wanting her back.

Like a chain, every single memory clung onto the next,
Unable to get them to leave, to forget he had no pretext,
He understood how she must have felt, unable to forget,
But somehow, not remorsive enough to merit any regret.

Helps not time, the more it passes, darker grows the stain,
No sooner does he forget, it can’t wait, to remind him again,
How simpler  life would be, if he could leave her behind,
And start afresh, a new beginning with a spotless mind.

This one is dedicated to the next in the KiDNAP list Komal. Will the Beacons never stop? Hopefully i will get over them when the next two get posted and done with. Somehow kid myself that this is the way it will always be. Somehow end up not getting fooled at all.

This one is about a crisis that most of us face. Assuming an impossibility that i would face such a situation, this was a kind of intrapolation of how i would react and what i would require to survive thereafter.

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 🙂 .

Dreamcatcher

He begins another day, fishing in the waters of his mind,
He knows not, if that lost object he will ever again find,
It will never repeat, even if only to again remind,
Only its memory, a vague sketch, it leaves behind.

He walks not, in this journey of a thousand miles,
For, this isn’t the earth, to journey on his feet,
Around every corner, it is teasing him with its smiles,
He stops not, there are a thousand more identities to meet.

Somehow, it seems to be him, every part of it,
As if taken by himself on an unearthly visit,
He is a stranger to himself, like his quarry,
Only, his prey never pauses even once to tarry.

To believe it was false, would test his imagination,
But it was true, leading him to a new destination,
His efforts each time, would never reach culmination,
Since he could never stop it from re-germination.

A dream is not his guest, to come home towards him,
Instead, it is the door, that from yesterday awaits him,
If he never reaches, it will still push itself ajar,
To show him the next door, not quite afar.

He sometimes believed that he was living through it,
And yet he clearly remembered breaking away from it,
He would walk through one, and walk into another,
And could no longer distinguish one from the other.

Alas, the dreamcatcher, he knows not the meaning of rest,
Every single moment, every single dream is another test,
The remains of its body, his thoughts may clasp,
Its life, its soul, no human mind will ever grasp.

This one is another for the Beacons. It is dedicated to a dear friend also presently titled ‘Dreamcatcher’. Had promised him that i would rip off a lot of inspirations from his blog, and here i begin with his name. This one is about the dreams that we all dream, the biggest one being life. And how we never realise we are walking through the dream, and instead wish for other dreams to take its place. Had only planned to limit this piece to this when i suddenly found out yesterday that i had been tagged. And surprise, it really was Dreamcatcher back again.

So i set about replying to his brand new post, and decided to compose a welcome-back poem for him, and here it is(he knows who the star is, and who the child is)

life slowly halts as the sun goes down,
and the night descends upon the town,
galaxies apart, he knows not its is afar,
the little one waits for the promised star.

the bright star looks down,
at the child’s stubborn frown,
no consolations, no words of renown,
could excuse the kid being let down.

only a month more, the star had said,
believing which the kid went to bed,
weeks past a month, and yet no star,
ever so hopeful, the window was ajar.

the star came through, but the child couldn’t see,
and so wrapped in his little dreams, it let him be,
waiting for the day, when it would set him free,
as always, a fingerwidth above the tallest tree.

So Dreamcatcher get ready for more.

 

Black Light

blacklight.jpg

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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).

 

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.

First Light

You close your eyes to a brand new morning,
For there is nothing new this one will bring,
In solitary confinement, receiving the wages of sin,
A constant buzzing in your ears is the only din.

Back against a wall, you know there is nothing called hope,
For, waking unto and sleeping into reality, is how you cope,
Suddenly, like a stray deer, out from the wilderness,
A ray of light, wanders, into the years of your darkness.

Far from its cousins, it bounced around and rebounded,
And before the crevice was forever sealed, alas, it had faded,
That light would never return, but you never did mind,
You were too engrossed in what it had left behind.

Close your eyes, and you were blinded by it,
Open your eyes, and you were surrounded by it,
You walked on light, walked into light,
There wasn’t another moment that you knew night.

It wasn’t just blinding, it was spellbinding,
Of those still innocent days, constantly reminding,
When they came to take you away, to a future more bright,
There were no more walls, no more roof, only light.

Funny, the things it had done to you,
Just a ray of light, one gone astray,
Cutting through rock, it had reached your soul,
It rebuilt your life, and made it belatedly whole.

They took away your body, no longer able to torment,
But didn’t notice, the light, still in your eyes,
You had already lived, a hundred lives in that moment,
And could live that one moment, for a hundred more lives.

My hundredth poem to be posted on this blog, and also the first one on my new domain.

This one is dedicated to Ryan Bliss and his wonderful art, one of which had the title of this poem, must say it was a really magnificent one, with the sunlight filtering across and down through the mighty oaks. Now that the celebrations and dedications are over, down to business. Prepare for a long ramble.

Everybody in life has those few desires that they are unable to fulfill because of the fear of a society that they feel clamps down on such issues. They harbour these desires unless the desires can no longer wait and set sail for more receptive shores. That is the last these people see of not only the desire, but also of the hope that usually accompanies that desire. Then one fine day, what IF they suddenly get a chance to indulge in their wildest, ones that have long set sail?

Exactly what happened to me. Once I GREW up I could no longer frolic around in my favourite elemental force ‘RAIN’, without risking an admonishment from someone or the other. Then one fine day, after 8 years, I got a chance. It was raining cats and dogs on a day when there was no one at home but me. I simply walked out, rather walked into the rain. And to this day I carry the memory and joy of that moment that I no longer will ever feel the need for rain. Every time I think of it, it simply rains on my mind, drenching my very soul, and every single pore, without anybody even noticing.

This poem was an attempt to present that situation about a person on ‘death row’, who is in a cell and hasn’t seen LIGHT for decades. The only thing he yearns for is to see just one ray of light, just have one look at the sun. The yearning soon turns to an unfulfilled dream, until a day when out of sheer luck one single ray manages to sneak into his cell. That one single ray so intoxicates him, that it becomes his very breath, his very life. He no longer lives, he has already become one with that light, all that remains is a body that awaits its redemption.

My most haunting one from among all my poems, it took me 4 days to just work up the courage to write this one, because the concept was so close to my heart, that everytime I tried to put my pen to write, it sent a shiver down my back. Somehow found the strength to finish it and get it done with, was more like exorcising some hidden ghost, because it is one of the handful of poems out of the 100 here, that are autobiographical.

Since this seems to have got me into a brooding mood, for the next 2 or 3 poems I will be delving into very dark(are they really dark?, won’t debate on that with myself) areas of love and life after DEATH, if there ever is one for the two.

Whew! One of the longest commentaries that I happened to write in many years. And in so many ways it still seems so highly insufficient, my mind is dictating, but fingers just refuse to go on anymore, this was supposed to be a blog for my poems, and this one commentary looks bigger than three of them combined, so that’s it for now(unless I hear from SOMEONE of course).

Mystic Tenant

One fine morning, a stranger walked into my heart,
Demanding I give it on rent, atleast in part,
And the entire place, the stranger did occupy,
Before I could even begin, my refusal to justify.

Just moved in, there began a torrent of complaints,
On indelible stains, and the fading, peeling paints,
I was riled about the insect-infested doors,
And the cracking, creaking, saggy floors.

The walls were weak, shaking with suspicion,
The roof was leaky, dripping with envy,
The floor was soft, sinking with worry,
The room, about to collapse, brimming with disruption.

I got to work trying to make it habitable,
Thankfully, my efforts and their results were appreciable,
And I saw the stranger smile, with my each deed,
In trying to get rid of the hatred and greed.

I had just finished assuaging my guilt,
And getting proud of this heart I rebuilt,
The road inwards was clean, the outgrowth optimistic,
And then the stranger left forever, ever the mystic.

Another of my abstract ones on love. For those who didn’t understand this non-sense that pretends to be verses, it just means this: This ones is about the love that enters most people’s lives when they are at their depressive best, and goes about cleaning everything about and around us, and when life just begins to seem bright and worth living again, it departs, in search of another soul to save. So this one is dedicated to that love that made a lot of us feel human again, and re-ignited the spark to live again in this world.

Where Love Has Gone

Although its lips did move, I couldn’t hear it speak,
Was busy with thoughts, and their noises were at peak,
Else I would have seen it open the door, and walk out,
The room was empty, of that there was no doubt.

I ran out onto the street, to the fountain square,
Where will I head, I see its footprints everywhere,
Walking in all directions, and walking back again,
They were all over the place, like a monsoon rain.

I walked back into the room, now empty and so closed,
I wondered, was this where I had kept love confined,
Where I expected it to stay, until I gave it away,
And it lay there, knowing it wouldn’t see such a day.

Not even a window, where it could see or be seen,
With my mind as guardian, nobody more mean,
My science, my logic, a door it could never break,
I still wonder, how such a fortress, I could ever make.

And yet today, seeing this room empty, I begin to ponder,
Was it ever there, could I really have captured this wonder,
Did I hide it from all else and itself, behind this open door,
Or did it burst open, because there was too much to store.

Whatever the reason, there is no longer love in my heart,
A place I thought it would stay, till I told it to part,
But who was I to build a dam, to contain this flood,
One that blossomed forth from every new bud.

I try to forget it and move on, but I cannot restrain,
To think, of where love has gone, alone again,
But I know it will be back, oozing from my every pore,
If only I promise, to never again close that door.

Special Thanks to Harold Robbins for the title. The moment I first saw it I fell in love with the title, I mean, the very thought, how could love go anywhere? Although have never got round to the book itself, decided that I would explore that title as a thought one day, and dear Robbins, here it is, for all that you gave me.

You

When the first ray of sunlight, caresses my face, I think of You,
Warming up the earth, before I can even set foot on the dew,
You burn up my eyes, and yet warm my heart,
A light that awakens, a light that emboldens.

When the first drop of rain falls on my shoe, I remember You,
Washing out the dust, painting the ground anew,
You clean out my emotions, yet nourish them again,
A rainfall that cleanses, a rainfall that rejuvenates.

When the first flower blooms in my garden, I smell You,
You bloomed in every street, in every hue that I knew,
And yet smelled the same, and felt the same,
The fragrance of life, the fragrance of love.

When the first tear flows down my cheek, I cherish You,
You surprise me, coming out just when overdue,
Yet all the while inside, never wanting to bother,
Droplets of sorrow, ones I cannot anymore gather.

When the first smile breaks across my face, I resemble You,
Though You never change, every time it seems new,
You smile through my days, and more through my nights,
A chuckle of delight, the laughter of pure joy.

When the fanfare of success arrives, I want You,
To keep me from claiming, more than my due,
As you did stay, in those moments of my failure,
From the extremities of feeling, a permanent cure.

When I walk under the moonlight, I know You,
One who makes me believe this night is true,
You never walked away, from the darkness of my life,
The beacon of my night, cajoling me into flight.

It makes me wonder, if all these things were You,
Or were they just subtle hints at what really is You,
All these things of yours, they have set me free,
But in reality, it is only YOU, that I yearn to see.

Me And Myself

I fell into a slumber, the likes of it I never knew,
But was somehow sure I was more awake than I knew,
I was hearing myself definitely snoring aloud,
Yet I was alone in the house, with nobody around.

I was trying to get up, but was stuck in the sleep,
I never knew I could, so far into it creep,
Yet there I was, alive and awake, looking at myself,
Confused, who was me, and who was myself.

I felt the pain tearing through my heart, through my breath,
And I began to think, was this the end, was this death,
That creature that everybody feared, but none had seen,
That comes unheralded, and covers you with its sheen.

In a few moments though, I knew not, because I turned aside,
In my sleep, unmindful of myself, sitting there by the bedside,
Myself began to talk, of my thoughts, their deeds and the results,
The times of agony, anguish, and those incessant insults.

He tried to pry me awake with the fear of its consequence,
I knew not, for I couldn’t feel him, or hear his cadence,
As it lilted on about my days here and redemption,
About how there wasn’t any more hope of salvation.

Until I mended my ways, and walked with him, step by step,
Yet, he wouldn’t let me get up, to begin at the first step,
And thus I didn’t know if he existed at all, was he there?
I looked around, and couldn’t see him anywhere.

He walked away, the moment I got awake,
Yet the trail to him, he never did break,
And I felt compelled to him everywhere,
Though not a word more, he would again share.

He led me by my hand, though he could never hold it,
And took me to the ends of places I could never visit,
Upon his light feet, he carried me into the light,
One that blinded and never needed human sight.

And under it, I saw upon myself, all those marks I had inherited,
Marks of the pain, the sorrows that I had long since inflicted,
Marks that stained the spotless white, of the dress I never wore,
And yet, I was sure, it wasn’t me, that I had seen snore.

It wasn’t me, that had done those deeds and could still smile,
It was an aberration, one whose misdeeds could only stockpile,
And yet, there it was, a life form, alive in its heartbeat,
So much alike, so much of me, it just threw me off my feet.

I knew not when I returned, only that it was over for now,
And I kept asking myself only one thing, “how, how”?
Every single word, I saw me confess, and yet hadn’t spoken,
And yet there it was, all crystal clear and unbroken.

The voice of me, or the voice of myself, I knew not,
It neither commanded, and it surely demanded not,
It lulled me off the heavenly cliff, though slippery and steep,
And back into this world, and its myth called sleep.

A lyrical version of my experience on the morning of 17th March, 2007, when I felt torn apart from myself and watched as I talked to myself. The time came to a standstill as I conversed, and discussed my whole lifetime and its experiences, and watched every scene being shredded apart to reveal the stains behind them. Stains that would never go away, but ones that could have been prevented. I watched as I saw myself turning around, twisting and tossing in my sleep, and was yet talking to myself. An experience that I hope I get to see more often.

Igniting Spark

When the days seem to get worser by the day,
And my resistance to failure begins to sway,
When the journey ends not, in this lifetime,
And I begin to start running out of time.

When I reach down to the bottom of my pocket,
And find nothing worthwhile that I did pocket,
When all the love has begun to wear,
And there’s not a single smile I can wear.

When friends of mine, are friends no longer,
And the list of enemies, gets to grow longer,
When they let go of me, relation by relation,
And I begin to wonder, is blood really a relation?

But then, this day is not really over,
Not until I am done, thinking it over and over,
It is the that I look, towards the igniting spark,
The One Inside, that resplendent dispeller of the dark.

Cup Of Love

It is gilded not in gems and diamonds, but in its own mirth,
It is begins to fill not in youth, but long before birth,
It is filled every second by an unknown hand,
One that permeates every grain of silken sand.

It fills itself to the brim, and even more,
Yet no one has ever seen it overflow,
The more it is filled, you need it all the more,
Yet it falls back on itself, until you can go slow.

It replenishes itself without any scarcity,
And never manages to ever get empty,
It swirls around itself in merriment,
That it showers on those in detriment.

It glides down your throat, and heads for the heart,
Yet, when you search, and it is found, in every part,
It fills your brain, your mind, yet doesn’t intoxicate,
It oozes its persona, that nobody can ever replicate.

It sweeps you off your feet, and takes you into street,
And makes you utter words, you will never repeat,
It nudges you forward with every new heartbeat,
And picks you up, from your every defeat.

It belongs not to you, nor to the maker,
Yet it quenches the thirst of every partaker,
For the cup of love grows upon its own self,
Every time you share a portion of yourself.

Inspired by the thoughts of Khalil Gibran on Love, read it about 7 years back, but still remember the feeling it brought about, although I don’t remember a single line.

Catharsis

Depressed beyond words, I decide to clean up my life,
I look into myself, and look at all that needs cleaning,
The sorrows, the breakups, the anger, the hatreds, my whole life,
Stands in need of a good whitewash and some forgetting.

The anger, the hatred, that redden the walls around me,
Need just some painting to blend in and begin anew,
But what of those breakups that will just not let me be,
The sticky grime of sorrows, will it ever let me subdue.

Those are but splashes, that with effort can be cleaned,
And will appear as if they have forever gleamed,
But, what of the love, splashed all across the floor,
So much so, it even overflows beneath the door.

It neither flows nor stagnates, yet leaves a stain,
One that has been relegated, for eternity to remain,
It meanders not, and endears itself to everything in touch,
It fills itself, in every corner, yet no amount is too much.

It needs a strong will to forget it, and move over,
And time I had heard, was the greatest stain remover,
That it could flush the sorrows out of the deepest recess,
And even cleanse the emotions that one cannot access.

Yet I found it ineffective against love, that merely faded,
Which gave it even more appeal, one that was jaded,
It poured itself through the cracks in the shaky ground,
And ingrained itself within, where no senses abound.

Time found itself incapable, though not for the first time,
Because stubborn love, had flooded it into a grave sublime,
My exercise was in vain, for I just couldn’t cleanse myself,
From the remains of God’s greatest stain, HIMSELF.

Wings Of Fire

Destiny in its mercy, takes me along on its “Wings of Fire”,
Wings that preserve me from the temptations of demon desire,
Towards my unreached goals with fervor, these wings propel,
Maintaining my sense of judgement, when circumstances compel.

These “Wings of Fire” taught me, that in life everyone must stumble,
But only the wise, get up and walk, without even a grumble,
Tomorrow is yesterday’s child; a seed of today’s sown fruit,
My “Wings of Fire” guide me thus, through misfortune’s ugly root.

Like a stinging needle, it aches my bleeding heart,
When people strongly decline in calmness any part,
Even the words of wisdom, which resemble water on embers,
How long since they were heeded, no one ever remembers.

My “Wings of Fire” conquered for me, the enormous sadness peak,
Whereupon truth is blazingly revealed, like a lightning streak,
Wherever I go, everlasting happiness to me it brings,
While itself humbly being, a pair of fiery little wings.

Utopia

At the beginning of the Golden Era was a flowery springtide,
Trumpeting and heralding aloud the prophetic call, wide,
His cascade of Love came forth flooding and gushing,
To all people, of all creeds, ceaselessly rushing.

His words, like a stream, came gently tumbling,
Saving a dejected spiritual traveller from stumbling,
His reminiscent smile constantly lights up all lives,
The merger with this Light the individual strives.

When greed, hate and anger are placid and calm,
Love and Peace serve as the indispensable balm,
The Golden Age shall lead to brotherhood and unity,
Pursuing together the winding path to Divinity.

The long promised UTOPIA of joyousness is at hand,
As the Divine Shepherd leads us to His Divine, grazing land,
Ideal sheep we must be, at the call of His invisible wand,
Awaiting the promised Era, so scintillatingly grand.

Twinkling Flowers

A gardener wakes up, ready every morning, his garden to tend,
Plucking weeds, sprinkling water, there isn’t a fence he doesn’t mend,
Lord, You too are a gardener, nurturing us to our destined end,
A gardener without sleep, all our life with us you spend.

You watched over me, as I sprouted from a seed into a sapling,
You stepped aside, as I grew sturdy, gently and silently laughing,
Watching me in the centre of all glory, majestically basking,
Proud of my stature, my standing, the source without asking.

You taught me to care, and showed me how to share,
And I let, birds to rest until daybreak in their nest,
While I stand scorched under the sun’s rays, that hurt like a blade,
You told me to offer to one and all, my fruit and my shade.

We are like stars in Your sky,
Upholding Your commandments loftily high,
In the end, it doesn’t matter, if we are twinkling flowers,
Or the fragrance of stars, as long as You are ours.

Religion Of Humanity

Like all men, so busy was I in the belief, religiously involved,
That money was the pivot around which the world revolved,
At the blossoming of Peace and Love, my beliefs were marred,
To the ultimate Truth, I was rudely awakened, totally jarred.

Hindus or Muslims, Buddhists or Jains, Catholics or Protestants,
None seemed to me, to be the spiritually potential determinant,
For, when God created us, it wasn’t to involve in religious fight for might,
But, to walk hand in hand along the path that is universally right.

We were to be stars in His sky, shining eternally bright,
To serve dejected spiritual travellers as a guiding Light,
The fraternity of religion and humanity, was to be continuously in sight,
To show that a bright, sunny day lies ahead of every dark night.

Finally, I was exhausted, unreasonable and absolutely desperate,
Thereby leading to ruin, and callousness, a woe begone state,
Then appeared an angelic personification, so incredibly compassionate,
Revealing to me, my friend, guide and mentor, the Lord Incarnate.

Reaching Him

A weary traveller along a path forlorn,
Regularly and incessantly stumbling over incessant stones,
Mirages of enjoyment and riches shake him to the very bone,
He trudges on, unshaken but totally ragged and worn.

His greed and desires were apart and asunder torn,
Pain and pleasure with a serene and commensurate equality borne,
Offering duly to Him every duty, desire and deed,
Ridding the bedraggled path, of illusionary scrub and weed.

With a vibrant face radiant, jubilant and glowing,
The lone desire to ‘REACH HIM’ constantly growing,
Remembering to keep pace with the colossal spiritual tide,
Or be swept away into the world rapidly far and wide.

Enough of science, of commerce and of art,
All that you need, is but an open heart,
While ‘REACHING HIM’ never ever give up,
For, always in sight is the gleaming heavenly cup.

Peak Of Joy

In the beginning it had been a tiring endless quest,
For, joy had eluded me more often than the rest,
Nothing, and no place could quench my joy-barren thirst,
With a longing for happiness, my every heartbeat burst.

Joy seemed to me, in the midst of the sea, an island,
My forces of joy, in the battle against sorrow, was forced to disband,
Finally joy to man, became a castle-in-the-air wonder,
Followed by the rumble of sorrow’s distraught thunder.

The joyous era is preceded by the dark night of gloominess,
Like a spirited kingfisher, looking for its daily meal,
Leaving us mercilessly, to the winds of anger, an ageless pest,
I didn’t know, that looking in my heart joy would reveal.

Where the sun meets the clouds and the sky meets the sea,
Much nearer than it, is the joy in our hearts we see,
A smiling face rows me through the rapids of life’s saddest ploy,
For, contentment is the foundation of my sturdy peak of joy.

Our Goal

Ever since man evolved shelterless to the raging weather,
He has been ignorantly and blindly stumbling from one birth to another,
Hidden in the deepest recess of his heart, is an unsolved mystery,
That has been inundated by religion into the vast history.

For this elixir of knowledge, there seems to be a timeless quest,
Generations behind none ever being able to amply conquest,
Birth and death are to us merely temporary guests,
With illusion and fate playing their part to the best.

The dire necessity of the ambrosia of wisdom forget we lest,
For, our karma has positioned us on a cliff’s edge nest,
Leaving us mercilessly, to the winds of anger, an ageless pest,
So that our destiny can determine the result of the acid test.

If we don’t perform our task with the necessary élan and aplomb,
Never forget, that closeby us is ceaselessly ticking, the rebirth bomb,
God wishes to teach each of us with another day of sunlight,
That ‘OUR GOAL’ is to never see another day or night.

Lord Of The Universe

The mighty river bowed down in cascades of flowing water,
The sight of mountains and their nearness to God does flatter,
There’s more harmony in the tunes of the wind, than you can find,
The Lord is directing this orchestra from the seat of your mind.

The chirping of birds, like an unplanned musical concert,
Their reverence to this Universal Master they assert,
The mirages and sand dunes in a life-ridden desert,
Views of the versatility of creation it does not pervert.

His Love is shown in the spiritual blossoming of a heart,
The shades of a peacock, displays His creative art,
He reflects on us life and light, with the sun’s rays,
To this Lord of the Universe every devotee prays.

He listens and solves, galaxies of stellar troubles,
With every single moment in His company, your joy doubles,
God has helped to turn around the sandglass of time,
To humbly offer at His Lotus Feet this little rhyme.

Long Lost Days

Gone are those sublime timeless days,
When we basked under the mellow sun’s rays,
Illusion has played its wily role aloud,
Landing us all under an unpredictable cloud.

Those days with their enigmatically beautiful smile,
When HE invariably spent with us quite a long while,
Now all that is left is the ominous cloud’s thunder,
For an unknown, unseen, an unnoticed blunder.

What the inimitable sages earned by silence and penance,
We have whiled away in constant prattle and nonchalance,
We pass our remorseful days in bemoaned repentance,
But Alas! Only after destiny decreed its inevitable sentence.

At turbulent times when the heavenly stars shined down,
To many we look like obnoxious strangers in town,
Despite ourselves and our yearning in all perceptible ways,
Our scorched hearts still long for those LONG LOST DAYS.

Let His Will Prevail

All that I asked for, was a bit of encouragement,
And all that the world gave was, pure discouragement,
That I may realize God, I asked fervently for wisdom,
But was instead shown the world, God’s own kingdom.

To conquer the world, I asked for boundless might,
My thoughts were effortlessly subdued, by the world’s plight,
To express my limitless thoughts, I asked for feelings,
I was given a complex life to understand its meaning.

To merge in Him, I asked guidance from the Divine Light,
But was instead directed towards the darkest night,
All that I yearned for, He did effortlessly refuse,
So that He could fill me, with His Love so profuse.

I asked for devotion, so that I could realize Him,
I was bluntly told, that my chances were grim,
I asked God, for all that was needed by me,
I was instead conferred with all that was deserved by me.

Inspired by the poem “A Creed For Those Who Have Suffered” Author Unknown

In The Depths Of Silence

The vivid richness of human life in its luxury and ambience,
Is in actuality poverty, without attaining the depth of silence,
Today’s world of fighting and ceaseless factional violence,
Can be transformed into Love, only in the depth of silence.

In the depth of silence can be enjoyed, the melody of a bird’s chirping,
In the depth of silence can be enjoyed, the wind among palm leaves swishing,
The depth of silence can enthrall, with the simplest fisherman’s song,
The depth of silence can envisage a peace that lasts really long.

The numerous faiths and religions in multiplicity,
In the depth of silence reveals it’s derivative simplicity,
In our deepest recess, when silence gives the clearance,
We can have access to the Divine gift of clairvoyance.

For petty sins, man makes unto himself a non-committal allowance,
But he cannot do so for the Love, present in the depths of silence,
The voice of God, in the subdued form of resilience,
Is heard from the heart, only IN THE DEPTHS OF SILENCE.

Happy Days

Happy days have at long last visibly come,
Enchantments they do bring, but only quite some,
Break not into a jolly, springtide song,
For ‘HAPPY DAYS’ , last never so infinitely long.

Life has a wonderful cache of abundant pleasure,
But it does give back, pain in a bountiful measure,
Happiness is, but the crest of a receding wave,
Chaining mankind in it’s miry whirlpool so grave.

Happiness is, but a spoke in life’s gigantic wheel,
Leaving behind imprints of memories, on destiny’s reel,
Happy days are, but a reflection of bygone memory lanes,
Sadness ingrained in all it’s glassy panes.

Happiness is a vision through an illusionary crystal ball,
Gazing through which we see the looming deathly pall,
Happy days are as fickle as a soap bubble,
Merging back into sadness, its eternal rubble.

Facets Of Life

Uncertainties of life are, but a wee bit askance,
Man has been delighted to a rational stance,
Portraits of a desert filled life blurred at a glance,
Lilting against destiny, man took a beholden chance.

Bound by thoughts, desire and many a social edict,
The bylanes of a fallen path in life seemed to contradict,
Past actions had presupposed a prevalent verdict,
The consequences of bestial abandon he failed to predict.

Man displayed a temperament of independent countenance,
Although, in breath and bread God was his sustenance,
The reborn mirth of this paranoid world he deplored,
The ecstatic factor of redemption was explored.

A redundant man has realized lately and very sadly,
Of God that ‘You are my everything I need You badly’,
Friendship and Love resulted in a repentant prayer,
These two Facets of Life lead to Heaven’s magnificent foyer.

Everlasting Love

Like a river steadily meandering it’s way,
Just as devotees with rising faith pray night and day,
To the vast, expansive ocean will be its final journey,
Devotion and steadfastness being the indispensable key.

At varying degrees it is the devotees turn for testing,
Stuck in the web of attachment, unconsciously resting,
Mankind was but a reflection in the mirror of hate,
Like puppets controlled by threads of predestined fate.

To the steady unhindered hearts it came rushing,
Abundance of Everlasting Love came forth gushing,
Piled high up was a heap of past acquired rubble,
Flowing came Love smoothening destiny into a pebble.

When each consciously considered the other a rival,
On that besmeared scene Love made its timely arrival,
As God said in life, from above there’s a ship,
The expression of EVERLASTING LOVE is FRIENDSHIP.

Destiny’s Child

It was a world unfriendly and hostile,
Filled with hatred and anger so vile,
All that I asked for, was encouragement and chance,
But was denied even sweet words or a loving glance.

Chaos and pandemonium were raging uncontrollably wild,
Wishing was I for inner peace so supremely mild,
I had long forgotten that I was born to be Destiny’s Child,
Unfortunately, by attachment and illusion easily guiled.

From deep within suddenly a familiar chime rang,
My consciousness from its fatal slumber awoke and sprang,
For unseen help, I desperately sought, but none could bring,
Finally to the refuge of all troubles, my prayers did spring.

Then God answered, and held me by my hand,
And led me safely through, to His pristine land,
Leaving behind footprints on the sands of time,
That others may follow to reach the goal sublime.

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