Confession

I still don’t want to believe it has already been ten years,
Maybe because it is so much easier to recount the tears,
The days, months, years just dissolved, I gave time no value,
Thinking, why would I need a watch, when I already have you.

Days when we spent, arguing about each other’s beliefs,
And evenings we went, walking the path of fallen leaves,
You laughed it off, when I said every memory was a fallen leaf,
And a brand new belief is born, from the stalk of every grief.

Times when we spent, just looking down at the road,
And places we went, turning around at every crossroad,
You shrugged it off, when I said every experience was a blade of grass,
And we could sit on it, or just trample it while walking along the pass.

Moments when we spent, wondering if it was the last stop,
And glances we sent, guessing who would let it all drop,
You winked it off, pretending we weren’t there to begin,
If only you could see how much the silence burnt within.

Lifetimes we spent, wishing there was a way this could all revert,
And feelings we meant, to express without the other getting hurt,
You wiped it off, saying the tears were a sign, I was too late,
But what could I do, having always presumed, our life was the date.

You told me, the man of your dreams, was sitting on that bench,
I nod and look over, and you fail to see my hands weakly clench,
Seeing the sparkle in you eyes betray your feelings, for the one front of you,
I wonder if being beside you could have been different, if only you knew.

I know everytime you smile now, is only to force me to do the same,
And I comply, knowing there’s nobody, not even myself to blame,
A smile that was lost, not because its love had no expression,
But because we shared a bond, that asked for no confession.

This one is also dedicated and inspired by my teacher/Beacon, Sirivennela. This one was sparked off by his song Ye Chota Vunna from Nuvve Nuvve. Everything from the verse structure, to the analogies, to the theme progression, oozes a heart-wrenching experience. This poem is about a life that could have been, a road that might have been. When two friends share a lifetime, and then one falls for the other, things change beyond just a relationship. Is it worth risking the friendship for the sake of love, will that love even pan out, will it prove worthy of the sacrifice, or will it be a pale shadow of friendship, does one need to be sacrificed to get the other, can both of them never co-exist, what if you lose both the love and friendship? This poem lightly touches upon all of these and more.

What happens when love becomes your friend, just when your friend falls in love? Is it love, when you let it go away hoping it will wash over your friend with your friendship? Is it friendship, when you want whatever is the best for your friend’s love? Is friendship lovely, or is love friendly? When the pain of unrequited love stings you for your friend, would you wince out of love or friendship? There are some questions to which we cannot live without knowing the answer to, and other questions that we would die to not know the answer to.

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.

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.

I Do

The eyes are moist, but I know they do not for anything weep,
Just that, imprinted images are the hardest memories to keep,
You let them flow away believing there will be something new,
But there isn’t anything new, you know, as well as I do.

There were other times, when the tears and their sorrow were true,
And you thought the black clouds had forever changed the sky’s blue,
You thought these feelings were premonitions of what you knew,
But there isn’t any thought, you feel, as well as I do.

You speak not of the times, when you compulsively broke into a cheer,
And you said you acted so impulsively only because of someone dear,
You agreed that the happiness wasn’t worth getting used to,
But there isn’t any joy, you show, as well as I do.

Your lips turned dry, hearing no words at all from the throat,
And you understood the difficulty of keeping emotions afloat,
You realized that words weren’t worth any looking into,
But there isn’t any emotion, you speak, as well as I do.

Your mind turned blank, unsure if your being was ignored,
And you discovered, there is so much to life still unexplored,
You felt the world did have many obligations overdue,
But there isn’t any debt, you bear, as well as I do.

Your heart was torn, sliced slowly by pangs of separation,
And you wince, because there’s no more chance for reparation,
You find that people stick close when pain is the glue,
But there isn’t any hurt, you share, as well as I do.

There isn’t anything, you do as well, because I do it all for you,
I take whatever you do, add my soul, and give it back to you,
So every time you feel your life has no purpose, no clue,
And yet no one cares a damn , just remember, I do.

This one is for the Mirror, and is inspired by you-know-who. It started off as a study on rationality and branched out into an abstract expression of irrationality. What is rational? Acting in the greatest self-interest of ourselves, that is how logic would define rationality. So by that definition, civilization itself is an exercise in irrationality. Let’s see why.

By logic, survival is the most basic and only native instinct of any being. So when man began farming, he was using food that he would have eaten back into the soil, to get more of it. In other words, he was giving up what was essential for his survival, to ensure his future survival was insured. That first act of irrationality sowed the seeds for all related future acts. Now that he did not need to spend every day worrying if he would last the day, his focus turned onto what he could do while he waited for his future food to grow, leisure. Leisure, isn’t something unique to humans, squirrels hoard, ants store, bees colonize, bears hibernate off their fat. Leisure allowed to explore his finer side a.k.a the arts. The arts is what allowed civilization to really develop, since builders tried to build more better buildings, farmers tried to develop better crops, writers/composers tried to design better entertainment. But everything he did, he did to enhance his own standing in the scheme of things. That distinguishable portion of the individual came to be called identity.

So when it comes to things irrational, there is none more irrational than love. Given that self-preservation is a given, it would be audacious and atrocious to suggest that someone would want to give up part/whole of themselves for the sake of someone else. A further extension of this, is the concept of courage, which throws off the yoke of self-preservation often for strangers, quite unlike love. When someone is in love, they are willing to kill a part of their own existence and even identity to please someone else. This act of irrationality is what makes us human, because animals don’t behave so irrationally as we do (there is love aplenty among them, but almost never courage).

So what could be more irrational than love and courage? The courage to love, of course. Since we humans call any excessive irrationality as madness, here’s to all those crazies among us (since love is merely extreme irrationality).

Spaces

The day when you thought we were seeing too much of each other,
And had thus gotten too familiar and bored with one another,
You suggested that we maintain some distance and create space,
And try to see if we could appreciate something other than each other’s face.

So we walked away, afar, each to our own way,
Not sure what we would feel,  on waking up the next day,
It was a chance, you said, a test to see how far the mind would stray,
But try as much as we did, our minds simply refused to obey.

I walk into the restaurant, and see you empty chair,
You pick up the comb, and remember my ruffled hair,
I close my eyes, and see you returning the stare,
You open the door, to believe I am not there.

I walk away, only to notice, the footprints are a pair less,
You evade a reply, and recall what I would never confess,
Writing a letter, I recollect, that you had all the words,
Awaiting the train, you observe, the tree has no lonely birds.

We thought, letting go of the thought, was simply wishing it off the mind,
Unfortunately, just by closing their eyes, people do not turn blind,
And so we stand, separated, by thousands of miles in distance,
Yet, united, beyond choice, by our mind’s dogged resistance.

There’s still something between us, the farther each one departs,
Because love is the only distance between any two hearts,
So, that which separates is merely the glue upon our heart,
Holding us together, just as much close, as apart.

Space is not a measure of how far, it’s a measure of how close we are,
Look up at the sky, there’s only a centimetre gap, between star and star,
And if you still can’t believe, just walk away, and follow your own heart,
Because then I can be sure, you will unknowingly be following my heart.

This one is for the Gazebo. It was inspired from multiple sources, but mostly from a dear friend horribly crooning Atif Aslam’s Doorie.

Godse

It might only take a man to kill another man,
But sometimes, it takes a nation to kill the beliefs of a man,
For, no man is truly dead, until his every belief is,
Because, that is when nothing can exist to be called his.

So, you would think, what of a belief, that lit a billion lives,
How many generations, before such a belief no longer lives,
You would be surprised, that it is easier than killing a dream,
After all, most beliefs often age into a forgotten dream.

To kill a dream, you have to let go, the effort of remembering it,
To kill a belief, you only have to act, like you ignore it,
Once enough people ignore it, beliefs transform into dreams,
And even memorable dreams trickle down our memory streams.

So it was, the man came to be killed, a trillion times over,
And the man rolls in his grave, knowing this is far from over,
Every day, every minute, somebody is busy killing him,
So busy, they don’t even notice the death, or him.

Every time we slap a person, we sweetly butcher him,
Every time we abuse a person, we silently murder him,
Every time we hate someone, we lovingly stab him,
Every thought that hurts someone, we gleefully behead him.

it takes more than one man and bullet, to kill a legend,
And destiny has very creative ideas, about heralding the end,
It makes you believe, that no man can outlive his message,
And that the message died a long time before your age.

Although someone else physically pulled the trigger,
All said and done, each one of us is equally the killer,
We kill every day, through thought, through word, and action,
Let it be known and understood, this man was killed by a nation.

This one is for the Gazebo. It is mostly self-explanatory and deals with how people can kill a dead man a million times over. It has two inspirations, both of which can be traced to one person, Ram Gopal Varma. The first is from Jeeva’s dialogues in Sarkar that go something like “Sarkar ek aadmi nahi, ek soch hai. Aur aadmi ko maarne ke pehle, soch ko maarna hai.” This perfectly summarises what Gandhi is to this nation, he wasn’t just a man, he was a set of beliefs. Ones on which this country was supposedly founded. i say supposedly, because i hate to believe that the foundations of a nation could have gotten so easily eroded.

The second is from a title of his article for Eenadu on fascism titled “The ideas that killed a million people.” A very catchy headline you would agree, which is why it got me thinking of the reverse. The result is this poem, about “the million people that killed an idea.”

P.S.

I personally do not subscribe to Gandhian philosophies and am not a pacifist. Although i am not war-hungry, there are circumstances when war is necessary. Specially when somebody takes first offence against you. By the way, to play around with one of his famous quotes, an eye for an eye, does not make the whole world blind, it only makes the whole world half-blind. This poem is merely an effort to document the erosion of a philosophy that a nation was built on, one that is concretized on currency notes, shit-ridden statues in every city and town, and on the walls of every non-functional public office. It does not mean i believe in the philosophy. (so that doesn’t make me a murderer!!!!!!!!!!)

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.

Dystopia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This one is for the Mirror.

Frank Einstein

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes & No

It is surprising how two little words can play with your life,
Like frozen butter being teased by a serrated knife,
They hang on at the tip of a person’s tongue,
And then vanish like the tune of a paean unsung.

The word everyone wants to hear, is a definite yes,
But unfortunately, life is more complicated than chess,
Thus choice is something we confer, merely for show,
Because the word we can least bear, is a crushing no.

We must have asked each other this, a million times,
Within the confines of our own mind, like silent chimes,
And we look into each other’s eyes, guessing what the other would say,
But whatever the word, it always had to wait for some other day.

Times when we were happy, it was the last thing on mind,
Times when we were sad, it was too awkward to remind,
And so we would shrug it off, as something for tomorrow,
Naively believing, that there is a holiday for sorrow.

Reminds you of the nights, when I held your sobbing head,
While you haltingly pondered, which way things would head,
You tried unsuccessfully to hold back every tear, to prevent me from wiping,
While I tried, in vain, to hold back the world, to prevent you from weeping.

With cloudy eyes, and a cloudier mind, you tell me,
Tonight is the beginning, of a future we both want to see,
And that tonight if I asked you, you couldn’t say no,
That you were willing to leave everything and just go.

But tonight is a time I would never ask you,
Although that’s something you never knew,
And I know this adamance will take you by surprise,
But I promise, to only ask you, when you really have a choice.

Obviously for a Beacon. Two words, but two worlds apart. It’s like St. Peter refereeing between two doors, and Morpheus behind you saying “I can only show you the door, you’re the one that has to walk through it”. This one is inspired by, and dedicated to the serial Remington Steele. Very rare;y do you come across something that can change your outlook to mundane and important things in life, in such a significant manner, as this serial did. In fact, two of the lines from the poem are actually paraphrased dialogues from one of the episodes. That is how deep an impact it made on my life.

So deep an impact that the next one, ‘Think’ my 200th poem on this blog, is also from the serial.

They are one of the smallest frequently used words in conversation, yes and no. But nevertheless in one circumstance, they are anything but trivial, the answer from a life partner. So how do we ingeniously devious beings counter the risk? By playing out an elaborate ritual, restaurants, movies, champagne, flowers, sweet nothings, joyrides, the works. And after all that is through, a visit to the jeweller, and a patient wait before going for the kill. You see, the timing has to be perfect, so we wait like a tiger waiting for the unsuspecting deer to lower its guard.

But you see, the small catch is, there is no unsuspecting deer, you should probably strike it and change it to ‘expectant deer’. There is only a deer playing along through the entire charade, with a one-word speaking part. The catch is, the deer might decide to improvise, then you are really screwed. Because, all of your preparations, all of your routines, prepared you for the yes, so much so, that the no was merely an insignificant statistical possibility. But what happens when the tables are turned, and the yes becomes an insignificant statistical possibility? Are you prepared enough for the day when the deer stalks the tiger, and you have nowhere to hide?

The thing is, we want something so badly, that we want to believe the other person wants it as much, and so try to rub it off onto them, at times and circumstances when they are cornered into agreeing. I mean, if somebody spent a zillion bucks to make you feel like royalty, and then in return asked you a simple thing like ‘go walk into this cage for me’, it would feel downright awkward to say anything but yes, irrespective of the consequences. But, true love lies in choice, and that sometimes means abiding by and respecting the other person’s choice, however conflicting and detrimental it may be to our own choice. If you really love someone, then why should you not give them a fair chance at exercising their choice, unless of course you fear that their rational-minded choice may not be something palatable to you. Sometimes it sounds like a politician who has done months of canvassing, and then on D-Day hires a limo to drop the voter and a valet to hold an umbrella over the voter’s head until he finishes voting. For some weird reason, that smells of rank insecurity, but then maybe, love today, is really that.

What the voter fails to sometimes comprehend is, what happens after the vote is cast? Will the valet and limo still be in service for them? The answer to that, is what guides the real freedom of choice.

Walk Away

When you hold me, to shake me awake,
And not even the slightest effort I make,
That is when you should realise, the more I dream,
That much longer our relationship will take to redeem.

When you feel me, throbbing with a secret pain,
And yet all I share with you is the disdain,
That is when you should realise, the more you stay,
The slower you would have been, in going your own way.

When you see me, honestly paying attention,
And yet cannot recall anything you mention,
That is when you should realise, the more I listen,
The faster should those strides of yours hasten.

When you hear me, earnestly telling you something,
And somehow none of the words have any meaning,
That is when you should realise, the more I talk,
The greater should be your resolve to get up and walk.

When you know me, and still want to forgive everything,
And I don’t feel that is worth anything,
That is when you should realise, the more you forgive,
The lesser is the time this love has, to live.

Despite every disappointment, when you look into my heart,
And see the heart of a stranger, please quickly depart,
Before this stranger can convince you to delude yourself,
That I will someday reform and become myself.

Given the years together, I know this won’t be easy,
Sometimes you just need to do the things that make you queasy,
But as long as you can still live for another day,
Today, and now, is the best time to just walk away.

This is another one for the Gazebo. Sometimes after years of living with a person, you realise things are just not working out. The other person is talking apples, while you are talking jackfruits. What then is the best course? This is a part of a two-poem series that looks at the alternatives.

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.

Runway 77

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Final Stand

Silently we sit, staring down at the menu on the table,
The gaze is firm, but the mind is not yet stable,
In one quick scoop, our hands desperately grab,
Holding down the menu, I let my modesty take a stab.

Your vision begins to blur, when the tears form a cloud,
And every single drop, is an unspoken word, crying aloud,
We finally manage to order, the first mutual conversation,
Sadly, the words brought back memories, void of expectation.

But today, we both decide to give our emotions a voice,
A chance to correct the consequences of a wrong choice,
Sometimes the words just need to be out in the open,
True communication begins only when the heart is open.

So we let the words out, in a torrential flow,
Neither of us caring, to allow the tide to slow,
It is only when neither of us is able to follow,
That we pause to question, why they sound so hollow.

We found nothing that really justified the hate,
And nothing that revealed love’s unfortunate state,
With every thought laid bare, there only remained the distance,
And so we decided, to try and dissolve the resistance.

We both came alone, for this attempt at reunification,
And left together, each, holding the hand of separation,
Wondering whom it was, that we came to meet, us or separation,
Now all that is left, are the morbid formalities of reparation.

There isn’t a future for us, only a future for you and me,
But that night at the restaurant, we first saw the meaning of we,
People say distances can only be bridged when both the hearts are open,
We laugh in retrospect, some bridges are accidents waiting to happen.

This is one for the Gazebo, because i guess i will never see such a day. The poem is a versification of the restaurant scene at the end of the novel ‘Lightning‘. Although the novel has a happy ending, have changed it to a KB one because the novel’s ending cheats/disguises the actual KB ending with a happy one. So either ways, this one is about a couple who meet one final time at a restaurant to agree to separate.

Open Window

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strangers Again

Not long after monsoon bid its last droplet goodbye,
Uninvited, unexpectedly, you happened to come by,
Looking out for someone, who definitely wasn’t me,
Politely reminding me, to not bother, just let you be.

But time is a trickster, so it decided not to wait,
And hooked us together, with a common bait,
Coming together seemed so much of our own accord,
That we never wondered, on when time had played its card.

They say time flies swifter when it is least observed,
Specially, times when life seems not, the least bit reserved,
So too were we, drawn together, like sparks from a flint,
Warming up into a flame, without the slightest hint.

Every time I believed there was something more than I knew,
You made it appear that there was a lot more still due,
And every time I believed that it was finally over,
You teased me into reconsidering what I meant by over.

That was a long time ago, a time when you were here,
Now all I can do, is to imagine, you are still near,
The ensuing years have dried out the last tear,
Making me believe life never took away anything too dear.

Even today I wonder, if it was all a game, merely a test,
Whose result I know nobody who will truly attest,
For, everybody has their own journey of no return,
And along the way, they have their own bridges to burn.

Our time is now gone, like it will be for all some day,
The day when each of us must inevitably go our own way,
Strangers we had met, and strangers we shall remain,
Until fate decides, to bring us together again.

This one is a continuation of a previous post Strangers. While that was an abstract one on the relation between love and life, this one is more grounded, and is about people. That pushes it into Gazebo.

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 :).

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.

Corridors

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Pair Of Wings

Sad, dejected, half-heartedly, I continued to walk,
Wishing I had somebody, to whom I could freely talk,
Someone human, someone imperfect, someone fallible,
Someone who believed in the concept of impossible.

Someone  who sympathised with the mind’s inherent weakness,
Someone who empathised about society’s ironclad harness,
Someone who realised that living itself, was life’s greatest progress,
Someone who yet understood, why everyone, must someday digress.

I suspected nothing when my feet never touched the ground,
My mistake, I believed that such a thing shouldn’t astound,
What else were dreams for, if not to fly,
Where else was a freedom, none need buy.

Though you weren’t mortal, I thought it mattered not,
Apparently that was the first flaw in my thought,
Thought the days, the clock, was running out on me,
You never worried, time wasn’t something you could see.

Maybe the problem was, you couldn’t feel at all,
You could foresee the mistakes, but not stop the fall,
You wish so much, to correct me, comfort me,
Yet I am more astray than even you can see.

Not just a lifetime, we are completely lives apart,
And so I only wish you too had atleast a heart,
For, that distinction between our souls divides us,
So that we must exist, neither as one, nor as us.

You never could get those embracing arms, not even a conscience,
Thus we stand, thus we float, my body in between, like a fence,
So I decided, to ascend, leaving behind all bothering things,
Sadly proud, of having finally got, my own pair of wings.

This one is dedicated to Nicolas Cage and his intriguing eyes and wonderful performance in City of Angels. The movie joined my list of all-time favourite movies, for one simple reason, it has the first pre-requisite, a sad ending(something I call a KB ending, Indians don’t seem to have caught up on that front yet, since there are hardly any recent movies that have made it to this list with the exception of ‘Gamyam‘.

This poem was my own interpretation of what I might possibly do if faced with such a dilemma as Meg Ryan faces in the movie. Although it takes the premise further, hope it is justifiable in the name of poetic licence(the point that if in the movie, angels could descend into mortals, surely we too can ascend into angels???).

Shades of Silence

When the matter is confusing, and our opinions fight,
Much time is spent agreeing who is in the right,
Though you assure me you do not mind,
I doubt, the silence in your mind.

When the times are bright, and moments, many to enjoy,
Laughter often doesn’t do enough justice to the  joy,
And so you just let each moment smile,
I like, that silence in you smile.

When the weather is rough, and familiarity new,
I wish our reservations would be more few,
Though I cannot control my own thoughts,
I want, the silence in your thoughts.

The truth is something, that we both shall miss,
Something we lost, when I broke the promise,
I thought that would take you by surprise,
I see, the silence in your eyes.

When the difference are too big, to softly speak,
And humility seem, like a virtue of the week,
And yet I find you short of words,
I fear, the silence in your words.

When every moment needs a lifetime to stay together,
And we scarcely believe, even a moment we can weather,
Everytime I talk, of us growing apart,
I know, the silence in your heart.

If existence was a dream, everyone would be a fairytale,
But face to face with reality, dreams  will always  pale,
And so, when they tell you of my death,
I hear, the silence of your breath.

Had promised my dear friend, that i would rip off a lot of concepts from his site and reproduce them in a new and mangled manner here. Though it hasn’t yet come to that, this is another effort at first running through the titles of his posts(of which i must say there are many more that impress me, guess Yanni must take a break, i mean i guess Yanni must be relieved) before getting to any of the concepts actually talked about on his site.

The moment i saw this title on one of the posts, i knew this was something i badly wanted to write about, the different shades of silence we come across. Not that we can grade silence, but there are so many nuances in silence itself that makes us wonder if silence was really so silent after all.

So this is another one for the Beacons, dedicated to Dreamcatcher, for letting me so kindly reinterpret a beautiful theme of his, well only the title has been rehashed, but soon maybe the content also will be.

Just give me time. 

Sunset

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bye

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Promise

promise.jpg

Many years ago, I made myself one,
Though initially I told it to no one,
It is one of those things that needs no telling,
They seized it, like an idea that needs no selling.

Only for a few decades, one lifetime, I had thought,
And yet I cannot even count the daily battles fought,
It seemed every victory was only an encouragement,
Every step ahead, another test in mind management.

People might say, forget it, they are just words,
They were never supposed to have an afterwards,
But a word once given, remains given forever,
Something I will never be able to deny, now or ever.

The clues, my lips may play around with, and converse,
But your name, it shall always remain hidden in this verse,
Many times, from the temptation, mind does almost cave,
But worry not, this is something, I’ll take to the grave.

You have never seen me, the way you know it is,
And we have never talked, the way it really is,
Perplexed, though you don’t, you know it but you don’t,
I am sorry, but in this matter, the secrecy is paramount.

We have never talked, I said, and so you never suspect,
And what puts you off the trail, is probably the respect,
With too many dead ends, you don’t know, whom to expect,
Which suits me all the more better, in fact just perfect.

But every secret has to die sometime,
So too will this one, after a lifetime,
But until then, there is something that you will never miss,
The story of the person, behind this unbreakable promise.

My first post in the new year. Though it might sound like gibberish to most of the readers, one of the ones that give me the most personal satisfaction in this new year. I feel like as if a considerable portion of the weight i have been carrying has been shifted to the blog’s shoulders.

This is another of the Mirror ones which is truly mirror in almost every sense. This is the closest i have ever come to telling my story. Though it had a more than a thousand chapter, one for each day, this was something that was like the overlapping theme connecting them all together bound by a promise.

It tells of the difference one single promise made to my life, and how nothing was the same again. It would have been simpler, people would say if the promise was broken, because then i might have got much more happiness than now. Alas such a happiness would never have lasted like this one does, and will keep doing for as long as i live. Even afterwards, the happiness will show through every line that i wrote about it.

Every so often, we all make promises, how many of them are ones that make us commit ourselves for a lifetime. And on how many of such promises do we maintain our commitment in the letter and spirit of the word given? We will never know the satisfaction of successfully maintaining our commitment on the ones that we do, but then, that’s where the actual pleasure in the whole game lies.

Being a winner without even being able to know it, receiving the reward without even existing to accept it. It makes every single temptation that we come across seem like the test of a lifetime, because that’s what they are, ones that try to break the determination of a lifetime. It also makes every single temptation we overcome like another little step towards our very own star trek, and mind you stars are never very near.

Santorini

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November Rain

Such a shower, would normally seem out of season,
But he had long since stopped searching for reason,
He knew not when he lost it, cared not if it lost him,
A lot more important things had already left him.

He clearly remembered the day, as if it was happening today,
He knew not, they would no longer be one, by the end of day,
A misunderstanding, he told her, begging her to stay,
But in this matter, she had nothing more to say.

He was walking back, alone, when it began to rain,
He continued, for, weren’t they both the same strain,
One, unwanted by the sky, living a fall from grace,
Other, unnoticed, in search, of a now lost embrace.

Joining the earth as a stream, it would never again be the same,
Walking back from a rejection, he found no one else to blame,
Never the old form, even perhaps if it did evaporate again,
No newfound love, could erase, heal, the old one’s pain.

In its life of a few minutes, it changes and rewrites, many a fortune,
In a span of many years, he will never face a greater misfortune,
Every drop is saturated, with so much potential to live for,
Every moment is torturous, the next hasn’t any better to offer.

Those whom it caught unawares, scurried, running helter-skelter,
He hurried not, there was none left for his heart to shelter,
But it will soon be quenched, and people back to the asphalt,
Not him though, his life had already come to a final halt.

Condemned back to earth, it slowly meanders its way to redemption,
To even expect a glance back, would be the pinnacle of presumption,
For many years to come, people would never see such a November rain,
It was something he would relive, every moment, again and again.

This one is dedicated to Nisha, another of the KiDNAP. The Beacons never seem to stop glowing, beckoning, atleast for one more time, till Santorini is done with probably tomorrow. Am surprised with myself seeing the amount blue on the calendar widget for December, and there are still few more to come. Guess thats the luxury of being jobless.

When someone who you thought was yours forever and ever, suddenly decides to call it quits and never wishes to see you again, what will you do? This is an attempt to capture what i thought one person i knew might have done in a (to use an economics word) ‘free market’ scenario. And besides it also deals with another of my favourite topics, rain, and how both the rain and this guy are not really much different fundamentally, as they arise from the same conditions.

Another of the titles that i owe to Yanni. Somehow whenever i get short of titles he seems to be waiting to remind me of one.

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.

The Eternal Sunshine of

When darkness becomes a stranger to the night,
And there no longer is an end to broad daylight,
When the moon and the stars separate upon a fight,
And yet he never doubted his future was bright.

If there was any indication of the events about to come,
He would never have believed the person he would become,
And that day was not very far off from today,
It was too late, to divert, too late to change his way.

He thought he knew her from the very first day,
And so couldn’t believe it would end this way,
Surely a joke, by fate, indulging in naughty play,
Or was it for real, for true, he could never say.

All that he knew, was that, the sun had set,
Set on a life, he never could fully forget,
The rains, they would never come, he had bet,
Alas, such drenched dreams, they leave him wet.

Barely in control, she turned around and walked away,
And found that they had indeed walked a long way,
A few more steps, and maybe, she could somehow end this day,
Memories, if only her mind could keep those vultures at bay.

She hesitated, turning around would seem most awkward,
But maybe it was the only way to move on, take life forward,
Why didn’t he ever look back, and see her pause,
Pondering a reprisal, fighting her own lost cause.

Though it mattered to none else, it mattered to her,
When the first tear fell, it wiped away her anger,
The clouds being spent, split. watching the two pine,
And let through between them, new rays of sunshine.

This one is dedicated to Deepthi, another one for the Beacons, and the second in this series. Saw the movie yesterday, and fell in love with the concept as well as the execution(felt sad for another reason though). Decided the title was too good to pass up a poem on, and since it was anyway a too big title for a poem, i decided to have double the fun by splitting the title and using it for two poems.

Although the next one was supposed to be The Spotless Mind, had a conversation yesterday after which i changed my mind, and decided to finish two quickies for DreamCatcher, titled ‘Resonated’ and ‘Silver Lining’. After which i will get back to the KiDNAP series as well as other long-pending ones.

For those not yet done thinking, this was about the simple ways in which a lot of relations breakup,and the small steps that people hesitate to take to get back on track. It is about how there is still hope every single day, if only we retraced our steps and found a common ground, maybe even if that means standing on each other’s feet.

Nothing

It was trivial, I though it didn’t even merit such a fight,
She thought not, and refused to acknowledge my plight,
I tried telling her, that she knew not all the facts,
Unconsciously, she told me, that I knew nothing.

I tried telling her, about my pain, my lifeless days,
I tried convincing her, in quite innumerable ways,
I tried showing her, all my heart’s hidden pain,
Unflinchingly, she told me, that I felt nothing.

I tried asking her, about the reason for her fears,
I tried promising her, there would be no more tears,
I tried questioning her, the reason for her stand,
Unwavering, she told me, that I understood nothing.

I tried assuaging her, it was all my fault, a mistake,
I tried proving her, this time my tears weren’t fake,
I tried asking her, another chance at love, at life,
Unruffled, she told me, that I realised nothing.

I tried showing her, there was still a reason to smile,
I tried coaxing her, to think things over for a while,
I tried requesting her, that we needed another try,
Uncaring, she told me, that I deserved nothing.

I tried forcing her, to force herself to reconsider,
I tried begging her, she had a lifetime to consider,
I tried reminding her, of promises we made each other,
Unmoved, she told me, that she had promised nothing.

All that I had asked her to feel, she simply denied,
It seemed every action of hers, compassion defied,
I tried telling her, we were inseparable, for this lifetime,
Unperturbed, she told me, that we both were nothing.

This one is dedicated to Aruna. Seems the Beacons are getting more of their dues back with every passing week. More than the Beacons, this one was particularly the beginning of a series I will be bringing out in honour of KiDNAP. Was simply sitting idly at home and going through the Beacons, and found that apart from what i had written mostly in college there was hardly any new content on the KiDNAP.

So i decided it was time they got a fresh lease of life from reading something on themselves.(it must be noted that none of these poems actually represent what they are in real life, and are only mere visualisations of whatcould be, in case certain characteristics of theirs got into freeplay. The order of this series is purely alphabetical, and hence i request that people don’t waste their already strained grey cells, trying to figure out a pattern out of this. The rest of the poems coming up in this series are

2. Eternal Sunshine of

3. The Spotless Mind

4. November Rain

5. Santorini

After they get their dues, will be moving on to other things equally close to my heart.

Icarus

The closer he went like a light-craving moth,
The farther he seemed from her, like her wroth,
Like the helplessness in him, his actions had wrought,
Less better tidings, the day’s moonlight brought.

There was once a time, when his life meant sunshine,
And sorrow was something he never could define,
The days were to him, rosy, cheerful and sublime,
And he never felt the need to measure such a time.

And then one day, he wished upon a star,
Committed for his life, to an object so afar,
All that he wished for, was one single meeting,
He knew not how swiftly his wings were melting.

Watching it alone, day after day, at midnight,
He had no one, to share, to unburden his plight,
He had no idea, that this was beyond his might,
He only had the destination, imprinted on his sight.

But she was human, more than a twinkling star,
And though face to face, she was never more far,
She looked through him, noticing, yet ignoring,
And the pity, sympathy, was beyond his bearing.

Thus began his descent to earth, feather by feather,
Such a rejection, even his hardened wings couldn’t weather,
Deserting him, they floated like brush strokes by an artist,
It was nearly morning, approaching with its forgetful mist.

He had never believed that a star could be so cruel,
That it would challenge his own heart to such a duel,
The body was anyway gone, along with those feathers,
The soul however, would join other such unlucky brothers.

This one is dedicated to Akshi, (another one for the Beacons) whom i last happened to see sometime in March 2003. Although this poem in no way reflects her original personality(which was much more sweeter than many of my poems allow), somehow when i began writing, it was always her image that kept flashing until i was done. And therefore i decided to give it a little bit of humanity, although this was supposed to be a completely sad version, i changed it at the last moment, to spread the sorrow both sides of the fence.

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.

Perfect Harmony

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dilemma

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Strangers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abracadabra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Mortal Angel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mesmer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Living Dead

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talking To Walls

I wake up and see one every morning,
Because there is one on every wall adorning,
They stare at me, those eyes of yours, always asking,
Why I still make my peace with you every morning.

They follow me to the door, smiling goodbye,
Staying still, while everything else rushes by,
A click of the lock, and I step into the world,
Into such a strangeness I feel myself hurled.

Where people keep talking, but somehow not to me,
And words don’t quite mean, what they are meant to be,
They laugh, and they joke, at such trivial things,
Reminding me of the joy that every small deed brings.

Silently, I bear with them and their uncalled for happiness,
Bear it until I can get through this unfinished business,
And so keep glancing at the clock, wishing it to get running,
As I bide my time, awaiting yet another homecoming.

I rush home, unlocking the door, to none in particular,
Silently wishing, that at work I was a little more popular,
So I could bring some of them home, and introduce you,
But alas, such thoughts are quite often very few.

I look at a wall, and blurt out the dejection,
And you reply, face saddened at the rejection,
I cry my heart out, and recover in a while,
And laugh upon seeing you returning my smile.

I guess I must be lunatic, talking such things to a wall,
And sitting up nights, listening for your footfall in the hall,
Things were much different, before you clambered up that wall,
Leaving me alone, to deal, with your death, and my own downfall.

This one is dedicated to the human stamina for unlimited brooding over long-spilt milk(or should I say long-spilt tears that refuse to drop down, and instead hang on for dear life, long past the their time, solely because of the unquenchable thirst a person has for sorrow, one that grows on imbibing it and fuels the thirst for more of itself).

Frankly, there is no parasite as parasitic as sorrow, because after devouring on every single little shred of happiness and delight that it can set its eyes own, sorrow never hesitates to even devour itself, if only to further its own cause and spread its addiction into every willing thought of a person suffering from an unexpected separation.

Enough said about things that are broody, having had my fill of melancholy, can’t take any more of it myself, so am switching to something more pleasant and refreshing(surprises me how this topic never fails to refresh every time I put my pen down, it is as if it is an inexhaustible reservoir of joy) called Aparna.

The Other Side – Part 3 of 3

There comes a time, when everybody must part,
This separation, is not something that we did start,
Over time, our thoughts, our feelings have grown apart,
When we smile at each other, it’s no longer from the heart.

The time that we shared, shall always remain a memory,
One that’s bitter, like in almost every other love story,
When we say the nastiest things about each other,
And with the very hatred, could each other smother.

You will leave this behind, and find someone to share the pain,
However, try as much, you will never find this love again,
Remember, you found me, loved me and lost me, by your own hand,
Just by standing quietly and watching our relation go out of hand.

This mirror that you have broken, can you stick it again,
Even if you could, would it show us and our love whole again,
All it would show, are the fragments of a broken smile,
And a doubt, whether it is us, or love, that is so fragile.

A Broken Life

To wake up at dawn, and find you have nothing,
To walk into the lawn, and find a delayed spring,
When your footsteps sink, too deep into the ground,
And through the rest of life, there’s that recurring sound.

To look at me, giving out your best smile,
And yet, since you last felt satisfied, it’s been a long while,
I have seen you many a time, trying desperately to talk,
But I’ve always backed away, for, aren’t we cheese and chalk.

You have tried to talk me out of this, just forget it,
Your blow didn’t miss and has already deeply hit,
You may take the pain away, but not the scar,
It will stay on, as a reminder, of how relations mar.

Pardon me if I have sounded too curt,
But I want you to know how much I hurt,
Alas, it’s a sorrow, that you can never compare,
For, you have broken my life, beyond repair.

Can You Wait

With sunrise begins another brand new day,
For how long today, can you remain on the highway,
When your feet begin to ache, and your mind buckles away,
How much longer you can wait, only you can say.

When the rainfall ends, and the desert begins,
No matter how strong, your determination thins,
When darkness rules, and the night never ends,
And the farther you go, there are still more bends.

When all you want, are a few moments of my time,
And yet are turned away, like in a totalitarian regime,
When you stand by my side, all through daylight,
Hoping atleast once, I will take you into my sight.

When the charms of persistence, force you to surrender,
And yet, you cannot run away from my splendour,
When you know this tide will forever, not abate,
And yet, just like I did, can you still wait.

Face To Face

Describing to others what it cannot observe,
The mouth has thus no purpose to serve,
And the mind is unfortunately or not, dumb,
And so to the limitations of words, doesn’t succumb.

If only the eyes that see could just speak,
But alas, they are content to watch and seek,
They bother not, with the intricacies of speech,
For, within their sight, is a far greater reach.

When the waves within stop to think,
And the eyelids suddenly forget to blink,
And the shadows around begin to shrink,
Before you can again start to wink.

Writing your name on the sand as parchment,
Only to be washed away by waves of excitement,
Welling up within, ready for an outburst,
If only my eyes could ever quench their thirst.

Afraid to cry and wash your reflection away,
Yet hesitant to blink and forget the way,
Looking into your eyes, I can see myself there,
But deeper within, am I there somewhere?

Ask yourself this, when you make your decision,
And just think, what if, you were in my position,
To lose out on the chance to forever embrace,
Because someone decided not, to talk face to face.

First Love

I walk up to the college, where we first met,
And see if I can find, what I can no longer forget,
All that remains, is the building and the playground,
With no trace of you having been around.

I walk up to the bench, where we first sat,
When you first laughed and gave me a pat,
But the bench no longer has our impression,
Time has given it more people in succession.

I walk up to the tree, where I first wrote your name,
On the day that you took on all my worthless blame,
But it has got new leaves, and grown some bark,
And besides, there are lots like it, in the park.

I walk up to the store, where we first shared ice-cream,
But it is long since those tables have left that dream,
Because more people still come in to share,
Those last crumbs of feelings they have, to spare.

Everything that we treasured has since moved on,
Yet there was one place I found, that refused to go on,
Deep in my heart, there’s a room that’s still waiting,
One that’s immune to the tribulations of awaiting.

Illusions

We talked through the ravines of the night,
Into the lap of dawn’s first light,
We talked of our lives, yours and mine,
And how each had lost its own shine.

About the smile that had never faded,
Despite the mires that we have long waded,
And how it managed to keep us together,
Through hard times, and all the rough weather.

About the stares we gave each other,
Oblivious to time, oh, just don’t bother,
When the looks traveled further within,
Until the distance became too thin.

About the love that wrapped us in a cocoon,
Making us impervious to either noon or moon,
And the stars couldn’t have come, a moment too soon,
To see us splashing around, in the mind’s lagoon.

Although that love is no longer there,
Search within, and you may find it somewhere,
Until then, don’t stop this talking in midstream,
Else I will have to wake up from this dream.

Yesterday

It was only yesterday, that I had seen,
Through those eyes, what a pair we had been,
The stroll that we took, down the park,
Holding your hand, maybe forever, into the dark.

I never knew a person could want anymore,
Once they had their fill of you, and your life,
I just looked into those eyes that constantly reassure,
That all this before me, is for real and sure.

Those times we spent, along the shore,
Gazing at the waves, that would never catch up,
When the nights were lit up, just by your smile,
Calling all those ships, even beyond a mile.

Those days when I waited outside your door,
To see you, before this conniving world did,
And take you by my hand, down the street,
Ah, was there a place, we never did meet.

But that was yesterday, yet there’s more in store,
Your hair no longer brushes by your cheeks,
You neither smile, nor look into me anymore,
But I still keep walking everyday, to the shore.

Just Once More

I walk up the mountains, where it’s really cold,
Anyway, you are beyond feelings, I am told,
What will the little boy do, once he has sold,
When he no longer has that innocence, that gold.

To walk beside you, I thought myself bold,
To talk to you, and your hand to just hold,
To take you to the fountain, am I too old,
That on seeing me, those eyelids begin to fold.

I gave to you, the laughter and joy I owned,
One that I wouldn’t for life, have pawned,
You took it with your smile and locked it away,
Where, forever in darkness, it is doomed to stay.

I stretched my hand to help you across,
Yet it remained behind, to remind me of the loss,
I have nothing left to give you, objects don’t count,
Yet you remain the peak that I can never surmount.

Still, I decide to try, just once more,
Ignoring those feelings inside my core,
I shall walk for you, to the ends of nowhere,
But, will you be there, when I get there?

Distant Dreams

I open my eyes, and see your gaze upon me,
Beyond those eyes, there’s a lot I can see,
Moments of joy, and those of solitary pain,
Seconds of ecstasy, that were long since lain.

They seek to tell me something, those eyes,
But your lips don’t ever let them get so wise,
They part, as if to utter something from within,
But close unto silence, even before they begin.

I too have those feelings, of wanting to share,
But have always waited for you, so we could pair,
That time may never come, like a distant dream,
Knowing how reluctant we both now seem.

What a fine example of hesitation we both make,
We never speak the feeling, or leave it to break,
And yet everyday, you stare at me, and I back,
To acknowledge to each other, the words we lack.

When it’s time to drift apart, each to our way,
There will still be so much that’s left to say,
But like our dreams, you’ll keep it to yourself,
And mine shall be left, all to myself.

Thanks to Divya for the idea, like I told her, this is my take from the other person’s shoes

Original post can be found at the link below

I Tell You In My Dreams

Into The Jungle

The sun beats down on the broken traveler,
As he scurries around for scarce a shelter,
But where can he hide, out in the open,
Like the meaning hiding behind a coaxing pen.

Step by step, he goes, repeatedly tripping,
Twines of hope, and joy, tightly gripping,
Yet a few paces forward, inexplicably slipping,
Beads of perspiration have long been dripping.

Broken in the body, breaking in the mind,
With no one present, to push him from behind,
Lurking in the undergrowth are creatures of despair,
Fear of failure, they make for a deadly pair.

Persevering, he forces himself to trudge further,
Poor man, he knows not, the horizon is always farther,
All those miles gone by are just a headstart,
Into the jungle, called a “Woman’s Heart”.

Walking Away

The pages have yellowed with the passage of time,
Leaving irrefutable proof of a broken heart’s crime,
Of believing in a feeling that is long past its prime,
And its endurance of persisting, even when clocks don’t chime.

Being chained by the shackles of a single emotion,
Whose ripples overflow beyond the confines of the ocean,
Walking along its path with a single minded devotion,
Dejected at not finding the promised alchemist’s potion.

Yet happy to be free, trying desperately to flee,
As far from the mind, as a human can possibly be,
For, just around the corner, is looming darkness,
One that wipes away the contours of happiness.

The scanty moonlight, only guides me over a thorn,
Causing the coursing adrenaline to be stillborn,
Curtailing me back to those memories and days,
That are so pleasant a pain, like the burning sun’s rays.

I know not how high above the eagle flies,
For, when I look, you are stuck in my eyes,
Where, challenging me, you will forever stay,
No matter how much longer I keep walking away.

One More Time

As my longing for you gets stronger and stronger,
The sandglass of my shadow, grows longer and longer,
My heart goes fasting every moment for your laughter,
One that makes my heart beat a good pace faster.

To your heart, I don’t think I can make the trip,
Afraid lest on the way, our friendship may trip,
The farther you go, the difficult it is to stay in race,
With you, the mortal fairy of the fairer race.

Your beauty increasing like the start of each dawn,
In what way to tell you, upon my senses doesn’t dawn,
Every time in this contest am left behind to trail,
Leaving failure’s imprint, a very shameful trail.

A bystander’s eyes would rather wish me die,
Than see me fail, trying to look you in the eye,
As the morning ages, my shadow soon runs out of time,
But I still beg you, just let me tell you one more time.

Breaking The Bond

It wasn’t very difficult to just fall into,
And seemed much simpler to fall out too,
The path seemed clear as daylight ahead,
But the lingering darkness, knew not, where to head.

When I finally decided to fully surrender,
It didn’t pain or cause me to really wonder,
That giving up pride was really worth bearing,
Or surrendering to a feeling was worth caring.

I felt fairly recompensed at that moment,
Not sure which way the winding path went,
Bothered not with how my endurance bent,
It was all fine, as long as a smile you lent.

The day seemed bright, right unto the night,
For all the day, God kept you in my sight,
And when night dawned, sent you as the moon,
So that I wouldn’t, out of longingness swoon.

I didn’t care when you slowly started to wane,
Knowing fully, it was only to become whole again,
Like the sadness that wouldn’t dare your face stain,
For, through your eyes, your smile was beyond restrain.

Days flew swiftly, held aloft on ceaseless wings,
Unaware of how subtly the passage of time stings,
Yet to descend down them, memories they bring,
Of opening my mouth, almost beginning to sing.

Yet always almost stopping at the lip’s edge,
Where my mind drove in an unsurpassable wedge,
Stopping my restless thoughts reaching your ears,
Maybe even stopping my heart from shedding tears.

Although I believed your heart to be always open,
I limited myself to the tribulations of the pen,
Within me, I feel the shaky fault lines deepen.
Distancing my mind from memories of now and then.

But my heart refuses to stop a journey just begun,
And devoid of support to revel in mirth and fun,
It trudged along the fringes of a beaten track,
With the passersby constantly urging it to turn back.

Every frustrated time that I decided to quit,
Your redeeming smile deemed my purpose fit,
To keep you smiling, just when you begin to frown apart,
For, with you, every ending shows a new way to start.

Just when it seemed this was an endless game,
I had to suddenly limit my time with your physical frame,
And let go, of my desire to keep chanting your name,
Being content, that into my life you atleast came.

All through the day you never said a word,
And revealing my heart, I never could afford,
Feelings for you, I tried by the bundles, to hoard,
Until it dawned, on a sinking journey, they weren’t onboard.

Destined to fly the night, far apart and away,
To follow you, I know not the conscious way,
All I could do, was look within and silently pray,
That you would decide to return and forever stay.

For, what couldn’t endure separation for a day,
Would surely not stay till morning’s first ray,
Stumbling along and trying not to go astray,
To meet morning before it came across my way.

The air seems suffused, with a fragrance never used,
Making me pardon, if you really would have refused,
To save you the embarrassment and the disgrace,
I decided to never let you see, the love behind my face.

Although you’ll never be able to see my pain,
I’m glad that I’ve been able to see you gain,
Although destiny ordained us to forever part,
I never knew how badly it would pull at my heart.

I tried to forget it and water down the embers,
But what the mind forgets, the heart long remembers,
Till the inhibitions crumble and the mind’s will, dissolve,
There is no stopping the onslaught of a broken heart’s resolve.

The receding sun never sets on the heart’s desire,
And yet the staring eyes never seem to tire,
From the constant adulation of you they inspire,
Saving your memories from failure’s blazing pyre.

Sadly, my mind was adamant to really agree,
That happiness could come from being free,
For, its words always seem weak and hollow,
When it tries, the distant mirages to follow.

I cannot control or put out this mental fire,
As I sink deeper into its enchanting mire,
Speak no more, for I seem to deserve no pity,
Only your return can resurrect this hopeless entity.

Wherever you stay, you’re never too far away,
To your heart, I’ll always know the way,
But life seems very empty, down-and-out,
When you are no longer there to care about.

Deep within, I know that it is just not fair,
To want you, when about me you don’t even care,
But the realization is too difficult to bear,
Such is the nature, of this bond that we share.

Nothing between us can keep us from liberation,
Because we share the unique bond of separation,
Just as destined, we were simply torn apart,
From the dream, that was doomed, never to start.

Looking into my eyes, you will never be able to find,
The feeling that for long has been soaking my mind,
I am reluctant to move on, leaving all this behind,
But destiny and my decisions haven’t been particularly kind.

The tree though wanting, has to let go of ripe fruits,
Or stand to risk losing the source of its future roots,
I have realized the pervading agony of growing too fond,
Ironically paired with the burden of breaking the bond.

Between Us

This is certainly not going to be the last time,
That I will try to deeply tell you something,
Although I fear, you will deem it a great crime,
I strongly wish to confess to you, my only fling.

Every time I see the matchless curves of your face,
I feel like hurling myself into your warm brace,
Every time I see you walking with an inimitable grace,
My heart sets upon itself, a beat of pounding race.

I try to open my mouth, emerging from the shadows,
However I stop, unsure which way the wind blows,
Every step you take, I would like to forever follow,
However I stop, scared you’ll think my heart hollow.

Talking to you, I feel all my words slowly melt,
Thinking it will change the way you always felt,
I am happy though sad, to let things be as they are,
So that I can always love you, as an unreachable star.

A Step Forward

Every time your delicate foot you set on ground,
My heart feels a joy so pervasively abound,
My lips let forth the ecstasy of sound,
At the discovery of a happiness refound.

With my desires constantly piling up as a mound,
Always within your footsteps, I follow you around,
Hoping to speak to you, of my message profound,
Alas your grim lips, push my hopes aground.

My hopelessness to convey to you, doesn’t seem to astound,
The lyrical reply from you, that catches me on rebound,
Within this relation, I see us eternally bound,
With no further hope of completing the round.

A step forward by myself is surely to be found,
Towards your melting reply with its long resound,
Close upon my heels is my conscience like a hound,
Trying to reassure that the next step will heal the wound.

An Angel’s Word

Ever since I heard it from you, the whole world seems anew,
Like the inseparable dawn and dew, you painted me in a crystal hue,
Awaiting your word I shall never swerve, for I only desire what I deserve,
I wait in this dark night, for your approval to paint it morning white.

Every time I shiver, I see you flowing beside, comforting like a river,
Your voice creates ripples in the sky, making the parting clouds cry,
The resonance, even the water does flatter, making the incessant flutter,
The trees in the breeze swing, in the melody of the rhythm you bring.

It’s been a long time since I heard, you mind-soothing word,
Yet the sky did not fall, nor did the earth snowball,
The rivers ceased not to flow, the night moon ceased not to glow,
The sound doesn’t stop expressing voice, the breath has no choice.

Your voice is no longer a wonder, whose word me to ponder,
I can no longer just achieve, what you made me to believe,
When it all seemed a dream, suddenly there shone across a beam,
I hoped neither a man or a herd, could stop an angel’s word.

Alone Once Again

Now that I live to face this expected moment,
Knowing you and myself, I no longer lament,
I look back at those emotions we gave vent,
And after all that has happened, I no longer repent.

Events which led to this decision, we could not prevent,
And what remains of the accident is the dent,
As a last try to reconcile, a message I sent,
I don’t know where in the wind it went.

Let’s just forget our memories like an accident,
And wipe off the happiness, we each other lent,
Like we did with the times together we spent,
For my forgiving heart hasn’t one bit bent.

The joy of loneliness is like living in an open-air tent,
With nobody to ask your feelings for rent,
And finally what remains of you, is not the pain,
But the latent joy of being alone once again.

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