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.

Advertisements

Until Tomorrow

Ever since I learned to walk, I’ve always been on solid ground,
There’s always been land, land, and more land, everywhere I look around,
It is not an observation that most people like to call profound,
But look beneath those words, and you might see why it can astound.

For someone whose feet have always been conversant with the sand,
For someone whose decades brim reticent with memories from the land,
For someone with remnants of the earth forever on the palm of his hand,
It is blasphemous for his mind, to anything else consider or demand.

But the mind has never known firm ground, steeped in its own quagmire,
Washed ashore on the banks of temptation, flailing in the gusts of desire,
The gales of curiosity busy tearing it asunder,
The waves of trepidation drowning it down under.

I know this won’t tarry you from asking the obvious, why,
So let me tell you the reason I’ve decided to finally fly,
I’ve always been piqued by my dormant fascination for the sky,
Perhaps awakened by the flutter of the wings of time flapping by.

At a time when all the stars invite you to freely and openly pry,
You never pause to ponder, if leaving home will make you cry,
All that you know and feel, is that you have to atleast give it a try,
And besides, there’s always the promise of a wind, to blow your tears dry.

I know I can no longer rely on, or even land back on my feet,
But that has always been the only determined variable, between my dream and defeat,
All earth shrinks to a miniscule dot upon knowing the first moment of flight,
All that remains is the preponderance of not knowing yourself from the light.

But the best thing about flying, is that nobody can do it forever,
Flight is never complete, without a touchdown on land or river,
So lose those creased lines on the forehead, and the upturned brow,
Because even the biggest bird, must return to nest, today or tomorrow.

This one is for the Mirror. It covers my feelings on being employed, my constant satisfaction/discontentment with being so, and my flights of hope away from and into employment. It also barely touches upon the HR paradox that is a modern-day corporation. My employer doesn’t give me the hike I ask, so I leave to a competitor and get 100+30 as pay. Another employee at the competitor, asks for, doesn’t get the hike he wants, so he leaves and arrives at my employer and gets 100+30 as pay. It turns out to be a zero sum game. Me at new company with 130 pay, and new company employee at my company with 130 pay. We could both have continued at our previous companies had we got 130, and employee retention would be at its highest for both companies. Funny the way the world now works.

That apart, the wanderlust in me doesn’t like resting at any place for too long, especially when it is under someone else’s roof and dictum. The only place I ever had a choice and left was Accenture and that leave me with a lot of sentimental feelings than the other places, since I chose to leave, and not circumstances doing my choosing for me.

Enchanted

One of the few things noticed while walking in a maze,
Is how earnestly the next turn is beseeching you gaze,
Although you already know this isn’t any race,
Yet, you fervently want to just get out of the place.

You told me I would know no silence, as long as my fury was at war,
Choiceless, I knew that withholding it would cause my heart to char,
I tried hard, but found no other way, except to release,
Because sometimes, fighting is the only way, to peace.

You told me life wasn’t worthy, without potential for a dream,
But mere dreaming is not easy as life makes it seem,
So, for yours to come true, I wouldn’t spare myself the knife,
Because sometimes, death is the only donor, to life.

You told me I would never know thirst, unless I drank some wisdom,
But analysing cause and effect seems a little too weird and random,
So, to learn more on you, I had to force my identity off the ledge,
Because sometimes, ignorance is the only reason, for knowledge.

You told me, every work I spoke, was time spent not listening,
But how could I relegate my ears to keep forever hearing,
So, to hear more from you, I decided to mute myself for the magic,
Because sometimes, silence is the only voice, for music.

You told me, everything I saw, was only my version of reality,
But it was unbearable to believe, that every fact has duality,
So, to save you the pain, I resigned myself to the untruth,
Because sometimes, lie is the only face, for truth.

You told me, from this point on, we would have to go our own way,
But being together for a lifetime, I ran out of things to say,
So, to let you have your own way, I could surely despise myself somehow,
Because sometimes, hatred is the only companion, to love.

This one is for the Mirror, stemming as it does from some very intense experiences. How often do we see a conflict between the choices we have, and the choices we wish we had? When life leaves you with only one path, and it is not one you are willing to be nudged along, it often takes the diametrically opposite reason, to make you walk down the path. Not because you love the path, but because the path is the only destination for your love.

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. 😀

Stillwater

Wind glazes the edge, causing ripples on the surface,
But soon there is no blemish left on its face,
A stone stirs up ripples from its bottom,
Soon all that is left, is the stone at the bottom.

The first few words might have unsettled the mind,
But they are not enough for the indecision to bind,
Words being words, they soon meld with every other sound,
And the mind leans back, not the one to be pushed around.

The first few events that somehow manage to get past the eyes,
Find that they no longer command the same thrill, the surprise,
They soon fade from that fuzzy region called memory,
Hoping the events that follow can perhaps rekindle their story.

Things must definitely be wrong, when the boring gets interesting,
When the quietest of moments, seem the most arresting,
The trouble is, you never know when the euphoria is really dead,
It always feels alive, if only in some corner of the head.

Time though, was always insensitive to happiness and sorrow,
Just as it is unconscious of yesterday and tomorrow,
It seems to exist in a parallel world of its own,
One that is beyond the known and the unknown.

Whatever their differences, at some points time and life collide,
And it is in those intersections that eternity does abide,
The intersections where everything comes to a dead stop,
And you wish that these collisions wouldn’t stop.

Sometimes the best progress you can make, is to make none,
For, that moment when time stopped was always the best one,
So every time your life gets stuck in deep water,
The best consolation, is that it is just stillwater.

Another for the Beacons, this time for a sister. Sukanya this one is for you and all those ‘differently interesting’ HC calls. We used to be in the same bucket. :D:D:D

Rain It Will

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nightfalls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

%d bloggers like this: