Lake Infinity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Dystopia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This one is for the Mirror.

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.

Girl in the Mirror

Puffing and panting towards the auto, I manage to get the front seat,
And wipe from my forehead, the sweat that’s flowing for the heat,
I look into the mirror scratching my sweaty itching beard,
That was when all of the traffic before me suddenly cleared.

It wasn’t her, or her striking face that I first saw,
Sitting between two women, each with a clenched jaw,
Pushing back the hair from her face, strands ruffled by a breeze,
She leaned back, unruffled and so consummately at ease.

Ahead, the vehicles kept moving, striving to keep the frenetic pace,
Honking incessantly, expecting the sound to change their place,
As each got busier, trying to work their way out of the maze,
I too was busy, completely preoccupied by an enigma, her face.

Across the smoothly undulating, broad plains of her forehead,
The sticker was what stood out, a tiny dot in crimson red,
Her eyes were darting lazily, taking in the surroundings,
Looking this way and that, involuntarily shaking her ear rings.

Amidst the smoke, her nostrils gave no indication she was breathing,
Until one saw her lips busy with a phone, boy, she was talking,
Everyone around her was stuffy, the weather and sundry cursing,
She seemed the only one unconcerned, simply busy conversing.

Every time she looked ahead, I had to look away,
Furtively glancing as if I was interested in the way,
But my fascination soon got curiouser and held sway,
And I felt the mirror had today, made my day.

We finally got to the destination, time to alight,
I got out but couldn’t let her out of my sight,
She took a few steps, turned around and smiled, leaving me shocked,
It was the smile of a girl who knew all along she was being watched.

This one is another for the Mirror, being an unexpected continuation of Multitude. Sometimes the perfect symmetry in some people’s faces leaves you fascinated, and you keep staring and staring and staring. That perfect eyes, beautiful bindi, infectious laughter, what a muse. Can’t obviously put her name here since she might not approve, and me not asking. 😀 (seriously, from one artist to another, you would understand the fascination for faces, plain fascination, nothing more)

Multitude

Pushing my bag underneath, I climbed onto my berth,
Crawling slowly, I dusted it for what it was worth,
Stretching my legs, I turned around to have a look,
Nothing out of the ordinary, so I got back to the book.

Forty pages later, it was getting more and more boring,
I closed it, dreading what the next pages would bring,
I watched as a hawker passed, chips around neck, like a string,
What a racket, I wished he would just sell and get moving.

Bored, I climbed down, nudged the old lady and sat,
Opposite me, a toddler sat, ah the noisy little brat,
Bleary, flustered, I was nearing my point of frustration,
When the train slowed down, pulling into a station.

That’s when I noticed her, staring out of the window,
As if searching for the ends of the fading rainbow,
Stretching her hands out, to feel the rain,
Oblivious to the train, now moving again.

At the far end, the tea vendor was nearly shouting,
And the toddler, probably chided,  was now wailing,
The old lady, dozing, was beginning to fall on my shoulder,
I really didn’t care, I was busy myself, watching her.

Hands still outside, the water was dripping from her fingertips,
The pure delight, all the while sparkling white between her lips,
There were a thousand people, and sadly, nobody was watching,
The thousand-odd ways those drops were trickling, bouncing.

As if self-conscious, the rain stopped, she turned round,
Wiping her hands dry, she finally began to look around,
Having seem them all, her gaze now came to rest upon me,
Held my breath, she stared, stared, stared, and smiled at me.

For that single instant, unbeknown, I too stared,
As if challenged by those eyes that so dared,
Transfixed, tacitly we sat, eyes still glued,
Together, yet so alone, in this multitude.

This one is for the Mirror. Happened on a lonely journey to Hyderabad. Guess that was the only noteworthy point about the journey, besides making me wonder of the many times when we are in the middle of a bustling crowd, and yet never feel more alone in life. Of the times, when we are alone in the room, simply staring at the ceiling, and yet the heart feels congested in the crowd.

The prisoners of our own thought. The travellers of our journey. many times we have company, more often we don’t. So often we take it upon ourselves to feel alone, when surrounded, and other times, so together in each of our loneliness. This one is dedicated to those thoughts. Ones that separate, ones that celebrate.

P.S. Don’t know her name. She smiled, I smiled, she laughed, I laughed, Hyderabad came.

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.

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