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.

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.

Crossroads Again

When all that matters came to a standstill, you decided to finally move,
Believing that walking away was the only way to surely prove,
So you ran away, not knowing what the journey had in store,
But soon stopped, when you encountered not one road but four.

The right took you to the dead end of a deserted street,
Filled with imposing buildings, there wasn’t anyone to greet,
But there was a message screaming from each of the signboards,
For, this was the road of my unspoken words.

The left took you right into the backyard of the familiar,
Stocked with acquaintances, the stranger was the most dear,
But there was a feeling streaming from each of the vacant lots,
For, this was the road of my unspoken thoughts.

Makes you think the best way would have been to go straight,
Everybody is moving, and yet held back by some weight,
But there was a soliloquy flowing through each of their ears,
For, this was the road of my unspoken tears.

The only way left was to go back, beyond the beginning,
To the place where people had turned their backs on forgiving,
But there was emotion outpouring from each of their cores,
For, this was the road of my unspoken remorse.

Having exhausted every road, you come to a halt,
Only to realise that there is no one without a fault,
And that there is no road that will ever let you part,
Because your every footstep falls upon my heart.

I am your journey, and I am your road,
I am the dusty imprint your every footprint strode,
The farther you choose to go, the closer I will get,
Because we could only be separated until we met.

This one is the Gazebo. It is about the small mistakes we all make in life and how not owning them up can cause big rifts, that are sometimes unbridgeable. Unless we open our hearts to our mistakes and work on them, life will take us down a road we seldom want to hear about. This is also about love lost and love found, and how sometimes it never goes out of our lives, but is simply ignored until we choose to acknowledge its presence again.

Bridge Across Forever

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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