Is There

Not to throw, whatever we can against the wall,
Not to mouth, every profanity we can quickly recall,
Not to vent out, pent up frustration into the community,
Anger is there, to test our affinity for serenity.

Not to cover up, some thing as serious as infidelity,
Not to make up, for some thing as silly as timidity,
Not to utter, because it’s the only thing that can soothe,
Lie is there, to test our dedication to the truth.

Not to give company, to some forlorn tears,
Not to take the blame, for many unfortunate years,
Not to fill the void, left by a heart’s emptiness,
Sorrow is there, to test our longing for happiness.

Not to use as an excuse, to justify every war,
Not to feign, as a stranger closing every door that’s ajar,
Not to malign, as the reason behind this whole mess,
Hate is there, to test our commitment to forgiveness.

Not to pity, as a nuisance while crossing the road,
Not to ridicule, for wiping the car we rode,
Not to throw, as a catchword at seminars on humanity,
Poverty is there, to test our capacity for generosity.

Not to ignore, any word or to play with every word,
Not to merely sing aloud, a tune never heard,
Not to shout, to everyone about every squabble or difference,
Speech is there, to test our love for silence.

Not to spend, every second running behind a goal,
Not to manage, a vacant minute to salvage your soul,
Not to prove, there really is someone above,
Life is there, to test our willingness to love.

A simple and self-explanatory one for the Mirror, this one is also about my religion, Godism. It merely states that misfortune is there for us to make something positive out of, not to sit and cry about, or curse God about. It takes off from what Godforsaken and Unbelong conveyed.

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.

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.

Abyss

The day was quiet, very much like the silence it brought,
Soaking in the serenity that my existence has long sought,
I wished music would beat noise to be today’s first sound,
As I compel myself to fight back and win lost ground.

Forgiveness is alien, something I feel ashamed to ask,
Surprising, how speaking suddenly seems a difficult task,
When the reluctant words are forced to hide,
The mind has no choice but to dumbly abide.

The shame gets me thinking, “why this reluctance”,
Why do feelings and words maintain their distance,
Some times I feel the feelings are ready for a confession,
But most often it turns out, they stop short of expression.

Everyday I am aware that the remorse does exist,
Yet I choose to ignore it, as if shrouded by a mist,
And I probably have the willingness, but not enough courage,
After all, I cannot guarantee my future relapse into rage,

When the doubt creeps in, it throws me into two minds,
Making me question, “is it the act, or the guilt, that binds”,
Leading me to think of the repercussions, if you choose, not to affirm,
And thus I languish, neither able to deny, nor able to confirm.

I notice you searching for that regret in my eyes,
You see it, but lying or not, you cannot surmise,
Because it is was true, they could surely have been spoken,
Instead of hiding behind an apparition, that was already broken.

All said and done, the fact remains that it is still left unsaid,
And that’s what bothers me every night when I go to bed,
About never having a chance, by the time I get the courage,
And whether I want to stall, till things reach such a stage.

This one is again dedicated to Divya. A continuation of what started with Chasm. So I guess that makes it one more for the Beacons. Many times after words escape our mouth, we wish we could do something about it. Maybe get back to the person and apologise, explain your side of the story. Somehow in most such cases we never get around to doing it. Atleast not until it is too late. And then we wish we could have done so, one day before, one hour before, one moment before. But that moment is gone and will never come back. So I guess if you want to say something to somebody, there’s no time like NOW.

Iscariot

One by one they emerge, slowly walking out,
Stopping and asking each other, the way about,
Though they all profess to have one common mind,
Consensus is something humanity may never find.

Only yesterday, it seemed we walked a common road,
As I trace without you, the path that we once rode,
With everyone else beside us, most of the while,
The last day which I knew, ended with a smile.

I only wish the rest of it wouldn’t be so vivid,
But then, the truth could only be more lucid,
I had done what I had, my own failing,
Nothing, I was sure, could prevent me falling.

Like falling pillars, they left me behind, one by one,
While I looked around, hoping to find atleast one,
Long gone, they were afraid not, to support me,
Afraid, they would be labelled another like me.

I failed to understand, what part of me was unpardonable,
What portion of my soul, was completely uncleansable,
Why my very sight, was to all, unbearable,
Why my very name, was from now unhearable.

In one lifetime, I did more than make up for it,
But nothing seemed to allow them to forget it,
Though I reside in everyone’s heart, they ignore me,
Atleast until the day they are forced to stand beside me.

For one single deed, my entire life hung in the balance,
While everybody else watched, in pretended silence,
If it was only life, I would have given without hesitation,
They trampled my life, only to get after my reputation.

Another one for the Beacons. This one is dedicated to many people to whom history has not been so kind in its treatment. The first name that comes to mind is Judas Iscariot, someone who is portrayed as the lab specimen of how a person shouldn’t be, and the very name is reviled. The same can be said of others long after him like Hitler and the like, whose very names must compulsorily be associated with evil, else the world would outcast the person defying such an unwritten edict.

Coming to our own epics there are some names that come to mind. Firstly, and most sadly of all, Ravana. To put things in proper perspective, Ravana was the master of all the 4 Vedas, as well as the 64 Upanishads, as well as master of a great many arts apart from being a formidable warrior, unbeaten in battle. Atleast that was the case until he came to meet Rama. A person who had neither of the above-mentioned qualifications, except probably being an equally good warrior with the same track record. The only sore point being Ravana had kidnapped somebody else’s wife, probably something the equivalent in today’s world would have hardly got him a year or tow in prison, for illegal confinement of a person violating her freedom of movement in the country. An act for which he is made to seem like the epitome of all evil, somebody whose very name deserves to be uttered in disgust. How silly it would seem in regard to some of the things being done today. Despite that he put in all his efforts and loyalties into the battle, purely trusting the words of his sister who told him a half-truth. How many of us would do that I wonder? I also wonder how nobody notices the nobility in that. Despite that he might still have got away with it, had he not been betrayed by his own brother in a fight among equals. A brother whom people have come to regard as saintly, simply because he was in the hero’s camp at the story ending.

Another name that comes to mind is Karna. This was another person who should have got his fair share of praise, if history had not conspired to steal it from him. He was a man who lived by his word, and sadly died by his word. A perfect gentleman who happened to give his loyalty to someone who recognised his worth, and his word to a mother who had shamelessly abandoned him at birth. Knowing well that he had a chance to turn the tide of the war in the favour of his friend, he chose to spare the life of nearly each and every Pandava, simply because he had given his word. An action that ultimately cost him the war. I hope I need not mention him being a far superior warrior than Arjuna, at whose hands he fell when weaponless and defenseless, and yet remained a man of his word to the very end.

The reason I mention a brief biography is to highlight what I feel is the injustice by history to these people whom it turned into outcasts merely on the premise of a single bad action committed by them. Why do we see nobody naming their children as Karna or Ravana, or Hitler or Judas for that matter? And why do we see them naming their children after spoiled polygamists like Arjuna and Krishna, or person’s who abandon their wives who followed them loyally into the forest like Rama. As you can probably understand everybody commits mistakes. That’s what makes them human. The ability to also forgive such mistakes and accept their consequences is what establishes the victim’s humanity. Is it not sheer propaganda of the victorious sides that gets history written this way, that people would shudder before even utter these infamous villain’s names. God forbid, you are caught supporting anything they stood for, or are caught appreciating them for what they were, you know your name too is on the list.

Why can’t people see the positive in everyone, and improve from it? Why can’t they learn the good from these Ravanas’, Karnas’, Hitlers’ and Judases? Why can’t they learn to love the humanity in these people, instead of fuelling their own hatred and being worser human beings themselves over an account that history fictionalised. One of the most beautiful things I have heard somebody speak and still follow to this day is “learn to hate the quality, not the person”. The quality is but one among the many that the person had. The quality is one that many of us have, though we deny it all our lives. Why can’t we learn to hate greed, lust, treachery, rather than hate people who seemed to be filled only with them? Is one single action so bad that a lifetime of good done atoning for it still doesn’t equate the balance. Is one single action so bad, that all the good done before it was a mere pretense that can be written off to mitigate not even a fragment of such an action?

May some humanity prevail over those still searching for the way.

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