Sunflower

Very few acknowledge that the day really begins at night,
At the stroke of midnight, the wings of morning take flight,
Leaving darkness behind, for the resplendence of the sun,
And dejection too finally gives way, to the possibilities of fun.

The sun has risen, but is more darker than the night,
Battered and bruised, blackened from the long standing fight,
It now needs more light, than it gives,
And takes more lives, every moment it lives.

Everyone has resigned to the confines of the brighter night,
Even in the battle for darkness, the sun has more might,
Blind by the day, and more blinded by the night,
The denizens of darkness make such a pretty sight.

They go about their activities, regardless of time,
And only for the dead, do the bells any longer chime,
They have lost their light, only to earn that extra dime,
And in doing so, crowned their reason over rhyme.

They see and they don’t, their own wretched existence,
And ignore it all, upon each others cold insistence,
They hear and they feel, sorrow’s yearning pang,
And yet are too busy, to help it solitarily hang.

Weaving away their remaining time, bonded to the loom,
Unconsciously, they create, the fabric of their own doom,
They survive on the coast, of that seashore of gloom,
Where the sand forgives not, sunflowers that dare bloom.

Behold, the first golden bloom, on this arid land,
It grows beyond the reach of man’s rugged hand,
So that the world can now see, that happiness is light,
It is the bliss that bestows every life, with true sight.

Today it is the Beacons turn to gloat. This one is for my frequently infrequent muse, Aparna. Set in a world that is too busy to laugh, too occupied to smile, and too ignorant of happiness, it tries to extrapolate what happens when Aparna walks into such a world. A world that had lost its sunshine, the light of their lives, called joy, and how one sunflower defied man’s own nature to save mankind.

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Rain It Will

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Princess of Light

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tranquility

Soft and inquiring, like the chirping of the first bird,
Slowly joined by others, yet soft, as if almost never heard,
That is all I can remember about your first word,
There were more important things that then occurred.

At first there was the silence, ethereal and all pervasive,
During that time, sound seemed untraceable, evasive,
There was an uneasy calm, hanging in the air, all around,
As we waited to see, what would come of the first sound.

Sure enough, there came the sound, that broke the silence,
And it filled the world now sore by its absence,
It was universal, not constrained by language,
For, nobody yet claims laughter as their language.

If ever there were more words to express happiness,
Then silence would have to remain a mute witness,
For, among the many feelings that are beyond expression,
None quite matches happiness’s infectious passion.

And the happiness aroused by the tinkling of your laughter,
Showed us a fleeting glimpse of the world called ever-after,
Transporting us to the place, where words are never enough,
To explain, why remembering contentment there, is tough.

We found we lost some of it, trying to speak the joy,
And learnt that words are the cheapest way to enjoy,
It is most often the nuances, that get lost in translation,
That gives us all, that extra reason for jubilation.

From eternal silence, the big bang was the first sound,
And now there are billions more that this wold abound,
But for us, it shall always be your laughter, that broke new ground,
One that proved to us, there was an earth with happiness all around.

The Beacons beckon me again with that healing smile called Aparna. This one is dedicated not only to her, but to all those who happiness made a difference to our lives. To all those whose laughter made the sky look bluer and the roses look redder. This one is dedicated to happiness personified.

Firdaus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Chasm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oblivion

Walking amidst the sights, I nearly felt myself lost,
Gypsies all around, selling trinkets at an enviable cost,
The sun was just beginning to rise over the last tent,
Such an aura of heavenly joy to this beautiful day it lent.

I strolled, from stall to stall, searching, expecting the ethereal,
Somehow, it seemed to me, nothing was any farther from the real,
Atleast I thought I believed so, until the moment I set eyes on her,
Frozen stiff, I wondered how people could pretend not to bother.

My feet pushed me, forcing me to join everyone in the play,
The more they tried, the more detached I got from the fray,
My mind couldn’t have been more still, in such a stormy water,
My body, just tiring, from a day that was getting slowly hotter.

She was looking at a curtain, seemingly admiring the intricate lace,
While trying to push back her hair, which was slowly taking over her face,
By doing so, she gave me the first complete glimpse, of her face,
Maybe this was what they called distortion of reality, of time and space.

I got so close, I could almost hear her, and her infectious laughter,
Whatever the reason, it was surely something my heart was after,
She moved on, leaving me behind, soaking in her fragrance,
Floored, somehow, standing as I was, was an effort in pretense.

Sometimes, I felt she might turn back, catch me staring,
But some reproaches, despite the joy, are worth bearing,
Sadly, happily, she just walked on, oblivious to the world, to me,
Years away now, her enduring smile, is the only thing I can still see.

History, they say, repeats itself. So here I am, back to Aparna, guess the while has again come a full circle. Guess these Beacons never give up. Although I would have wished that this episode was true in its entirety. It is however not so only on one point, there was no Aparna in it. That however is only what lets me take the imagination to the next level, everytime I remember it.

This was an incident that happened when I happened to visit an exhibition, and found one girl who kept smiling more as the day got hotter. All around her, people were getting more irritable with the passage of the day, and here was one woman, who seemed to derive more happiness as the day moved on, it was as if she drank in the day. Though I long left the purpose of my visit there and simply spent the day following her, just looking at her, she was, it seemed, oblivious to everything, specially the likes of me, lost in her own world. Hence the title. Makes me remember Aparna, everytime I recall that smile(since the event was long ago, I can no longer recall her face, only that permanent smile, so it makes it all the more easier to transpose that with Aparna.

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