Resilience

They say it is the words that first cause such a thing,
And that nothing quite matches the angst that words bring,
Hurting in places far deeper than the skin, than the mind,
And an equally acerbic retort, is the only solace I can find.

So deep a hurt, that the only words left were silence,
A silence that grew as a measure of each one’s patience,
It soon became a matter of the mind, a test of resolve,
With neither of our stands ready to try and resolve.

Like adoring statues we sat, staring at each other,
Willing, not wanting, to speak to one another,
My mind wishes that this were all an aberration,
But it knows that the person before me, is no apparition.

From a swearing fest, it turned into a staring contest,
Both of us determined not to let the other get the best,
It seemed that something more than a relationship stood to test,
As it became more of a showdown than a simple conquest.

The eyes grow tired and yearn for some sleep,
While the wound is busy, burning within, far from asleep,
Soon the heart begins to feel the warmth of each ember,
And the images get more vivid than you want to remember.

Even the lips do not hear the mind let out a scream,
As it is shaken awake from a listless repentful dream,
I understand it is now time to wake up, make amends,
For, what are few words, to separate true friends.

Being incessantly hammered, the dam finally breaks,
Not by a flood, or by the overflowing of a hundred lakes,
Overcome with remorse, I let go of all that I hold dear,
And all my resilience is washed away, by the first tear.

This one is for the Gazebo, since it is too fictional to imagine myself crying, hardened rock that i pretend to be. It is for those times when we lose relationships over silly words, and then stare at each other, hoping the other person would be the first to repent. The resilience that we believe gives us our self-respect often also takes away friends/relationships from us.

Within Beyond

When the boundaries of humanity are marked by endless sand,
And yet you know, beyond the water, there’s more land,
When there’s no more land, than the place you stand,
And yet the water keeps seeping right through your hand.

When you have finally measured the real distance to horizon,
And yet find yourself nowhere closer to the sun,
When the journey ceases to be any longer about the distance,
And yet you cannot stop measuring the lengths of hesitance.

When you realise some things deserve expression through speech,
And yet the silence cannot be broken, completely out of reach,
When your throat goes dry, right when words mean the most,
And yet your mind is at ease, because you tried your utmost.

When sorrow is high, and there are no consolations to hear,
And yet a lot gets spoken, by the first falling tear,
When the pain gets more than the mind can pretend,
And yet the continued silence, convinces you it will end.

When fear means more than just a possible danger,
And yet courage shies away, pretending to be a stranger,
When the night gets older, and shadows grow longer,
And yet you find your confidence getting stronger.

When time takes you on a ride, for every simple task,
And yet respite is the last thing you want to ask,
When life fills you with more memories than you can keep,
And yet you wish for some of them to forever sleep.

When the opportunities are fewer than the possibilities can grasp,
And yet chances always seem to evade your determined clasp,
When you are told it is childish fantasy, to wish upon a star,
And yet you smile within, for, things are as near, as they are far.

This Gazebo piece is for the dichotomous nature that abides and pervades most of us. We are stronger when we are expected to be at our weakest, and weaker when expected to be at our strongest. We are more determined when we know nobody believes in us, and sometimes, bewildered when so many believe in us. But that dichotomy makes us what we are, and takes us to where we will go. This one is dedicated to the belief that things are only as difficult as we perceive them to be, and and only as achievable as we want them to be.

Strangers Again

Not long after monsoon bid its last droplet goodbye,
Uninvited, unexpectedly, you happened to come by,
Looking out for someone, who definitely wasn’t me,
Politely reminding me, to not bother, just let you be.

But time is a trickster, so it decided not to wait,
And hooked us together, with a common bait,
Coming together seemed so much of our own accord,
That we never wondered, on when time had played its card.

They say time flies swifter when it is least observed,
Specially, times when life seems not, the least bit reserved,
So too were we, drawn together, like sparks from a flint,
Warming up into a flame, without the slightest hint.

Every time I believed there was something more than I knew,
You made it appear that there was a lot more still due,
And every time I believed that it was finally over,
You teased me into reconsidering what I meant by over.

That was a long time ago, a time when you were here,
Now all I can do, is to imagine, you are still near,
The ensuing years have dried out the last tear,
Making me believe life never took away anything too dear.

Even today I wonder, if it was all a game, merely a test,
Whose result I know nobody who will truly attest,
For, everybody has their own journey of no return,
And along the way, they have their own bridges to burn.

Our time is now gone, like it will be for all some day,
The day when each of us must inevitably go our own way,
Strangers we had met, and strangers we shall remain,
Until fate decides, to bring us together again.

This one is a continuation of a previous post Strangers. While that was an abstract one on the relation between love and life, this one is more grounded, and is about people. That pushes it into Gazebo.

Aspirations

The horizon is far, but the sky is even farther,
The euphoria is overflowing, but control is not worth the bother,
The travails of this effort exhaust, but show now, as much as a sigh,
For, is not fatigue indistinguishable, when the spirits are high.

The steps fall rapidly, yet softly and assuredly,
By noon the distance seems to vanish happily, reassuredly,
The peak seems but a few thousand steps away,
Insignificant before the thousands already under way.

There are times when it seems but a distant dream,
But you shrug it off, knowing life is the biggest dream,
For now, all that matters is getting to the peak,
And keeping quiet till your achievements can speak.

Constantly flirting with life, and its every moment,
Not quite sure how every minute, hour, of it went,
But dancing in the arms of destiny everyday,
You are sure, the top of the stairs isn’t far away.

At every step, yesterday’s memories haunt,
And with failures from the past, incessantly taunt,
Unflinchingly you persevere, knowing well the end is near,
And far above, the first tinkle of success’s bells you hear.

You keep fighting on each step, rushing through each door,
As the promised dream gets nearer, floor by floor,
You finally reach the top, take a breath, and look around,
Neither contentment nor disappointment, absolutely no sound.

The emptiness that engulfs you, is so stifling,
And the disappearance of joy is more surprising,
If all eternity could be compressed into one single moment,
You are already through that now receding moment.

Back to active blogging after a sabbatical of exactly one year!!!!!!!!!!!!! This one was promised a year ago to Meghna and is dedicated to her. The last one year has been a thrilling roller-coaster ride plunging more to newer depths and never quite scaling new heights. What matters is i have managed to come out in a single piece and am back to blogging. So Meghna enjoy being a Beacon again.

Orbit

Few people know, that fearlessness, is what comes at the end,
That’s because very few of them have gone around the bend,
They haven’t yet known a height from which they can never descend,
Never been in a position from which no preparation can defend.

At first there was the excictement, of doing something great,
But after a certain point, even the euphoria begins to grate,
The joy slowly distills, and eventually dilutes the fervour,
And you wish it would just get over, and do you a favour.

The real tension begins when all the exccitement subsides,
As your mind starts getting twisted on never-before rides,
It keeps getting at you, till you can take it no more,
And all of a sudden, deserts you, a little shy of the shore.

The euphoria and tension are gone, that’s when the fear begins,
In the battle between confidence and fear, suspense always wins,
The uncertainty that surrounds it, is too close to fear,
To let even hope know, that, it also is as much near.

When all of these pass, all that is left is complete silence,
A silence so timeless, that each second knows its distance,
When you can hear your own heartbeat, and feel it racing,
You begin to accept, that any noise would be worth bearing.

From the womb of such a silence, is born despair,
One that is lurking behind those masks that you wear,
Always waiting for that one chance, to corrupt your soul,
Knowing well that death can be your only, and last goal.

When the despair dies, it pours its life into resignation,
That state of giving up to the almighty, eternal damnation,
When all you can do, is merely marvel at your utter helplessness,
From that rockbed of helplessness, come the sprouts of fearlessness.

This one is inspired by the storyline of the novel ‘Orbit’ and would probably fall under Gazebo. In a sense all it does is merely re-narrate the stages the protaganist goes through. However deeper into it, there’s an observation of what goes on in each of our lives. How we react to different situations, and the emotional graph during suchc times is what the poem talks about.

Corridors

Walking away from today’s corridors devoid of light,
My chances of fully breaking free seem but slight,
Finally a flicker, the sunrays begin to draw myriad shapes,
While my mind is busy scripting one of its greatest escapes.

Although my shoulders sag, bogged down by ruthless time,
The heart hangs on, knowing memories are never past prime,
The anxiety, the anticipation only add to the confusion,
As life leaves me to wander, in search of an illusion.

Decades have passed since you’ve forgotten their meaning,
And so you decide to take a walk back into the beginning,
You take the first steps forward towards going back,
Wiping away the grime, whitewashing the memories now black.

As the black becomes whiter, and the uncertainty lighter,
The credibility intensifies, but hope grows no brighter,
But there is nobody beside to recollect those years,
To bring back yesterday’s laughter and share its tears.

The past walks through the window grill, mocking my desertion,
Bringing back haunting remembrances, attempting a diversion,
Challenging me to prove myself again,
By going barefoot through these ravines of pain.

Today the corridor is filled, with many more like me,
Playing the sunlight, played by sunlight, just like me,
Right behind the nearest door, my redemption looms,
While those still alone, peep into the empty rooms.

They find a clean blackboard, devoid of words,
Awaiting a chalkpiece, to etch out new worlds,
And those empty chairs of a hundred bygone dreams,
Where others will sit, to create tomorrow’s dreams.

This one has me stumped with a dilemma. Do I put it under Beacons because I was inspired by somebody, or under Mirror, because I experienced it myself, or under Gazebo because many others are experiencing it? Quite an amount of history this one has. To begin with, this one was yet another one that came to me, during those endless waits for employers to get free enough to interview me. However this happened not at the employer’s place but at the consultant’s place. I was sitting in the Dewdrop office waiting to be sent for the Dell interview when I had to wait for nearly 2 hours. As is the case I had brought my book along expecting such a wait.

The first thing that struck me was about a guy(my senior in college) who was in love with this girl, during college, apparently things didn’t go well, and atleast she called it quits. One year later, this girl came to the college to give her Wedding Card to a few lecturers, and co-incidentally the same day this guy also came to the college on some work. You should have seen his face when he heard about it, whiter than a blank sheet. I was in the class that day(yes, I sometimes did such a thing as sit in the class, when I got bored of bunking) and happened to see him dragging his feet along looking into one classroom after another, tears welling up, remembering the old days.

It would have been fine if this story had ended there. However a few days back I happened to go back to the college again on some work, and happened to walk past the classrooms, out of curiosity, out of nostalgia, I just looked in, and at that moment, that day flashed back in my mind again. Funnily it made me look back into the classroom trying to rewind my cassette of the same rooms, and I found things were different only at a very superficial level. More than anything, for me it was about those dreams that we all dream, of becoming somebody, of doing something, of getting somebody, and how after a while it mostly all fizzles out, probably doused by a liberal shower of reality. Yet those in those rooms never stop dreaming, probably because they don’t yet know, and maybe because dreaming is such a good thing after all. Perhaps it is the only thing that is ours to change whenever we want.

That about rounded off the story of how the concept came about. But the story doesn’t quite end there. What had happened in the Dewdrop office was merely the concretion of the concept and storyline itself, the actual lines and their interplay had to wait  for a while. Yesterday due to  sudden torrential rains, there was a power outage and by the time I got home it was already nearing midnight.  I don’t know why, but I got a wild idea, and decided to try it out. Probably because I wanted to complete this one and found myself ‘power’less,  I remembered those history textbooks I had read which said people like Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar studied under the streetlight and  cleared the IAS exams and so on. I decided to try something on those lines. But unfortunately even the street lights were out, so I had to settle for the next best alternative, vehicle headlights.

I was sitting with the book in my lap in the busstop, and whenever a vehicle passed by, I would get to write about 3 or 4 words a line. The rest of the time I would spend thinking about the continuation or the next line. Just when I had got a portion of some line, a vehicle would pass by providing just enough light to put down those words. That was also fine until the clock neared midnight, and the vehicles got very scarce if any at all. So I packed up, came home and with the last bit of battery left in my cell brought it to a conclusion by getting it out of standby every 10 seconds that its backlight went into power-saving mode. No sooner had I finished it, within 5 minutes, the power came back. Guess some things are meant to be out of the ordinary.

Ascension

The clock may have stopped, but time still goes on,
And always more of the road, appearing from the horizon,
The moments seem but milestones running out of distance,
As you strive to extract more from life than existence.

You have long since quit the race, running against time,
Realising that everybody has to lose this race sometime,
Your body slowly begins to abandon fatigue, so does your mind,
So you set out, to see if any fallen travellers you can find.

Looking around, you certainly find no shortage of this kind,
Ones whose departing failure had conveniently forgotten to remind,
That they were just a few feet away from the doorsteps of glory,
And this was the moment, their chance to rewrite their story.

And so you walk along, helping them see the way,
Encouraging them to walk that extra step today,
Telling them the pain in their sore feet would go away,
That a joyous rest was ahead, if only now they would stay.

Many years of failures endured, a lot many naysayers heard,
That your very presence seemed like the first positive word,
Your first few words were encouragement in bountiful excess,
Their first new steps already leading them to success.

You showed them how far they could go ignoring the pain,
That success wasn’t a fluke, they could repeat it again and again,
Made them believe they no longer had a use for their tears,
Now they only thought of the laughter in the future years.

You have always wanted to give more than you got from life,
So your contentment lies in helping others rebuild their life,
You move on, knowing there are others on whom you can depend,
To help a fallen fellow traveller to start afresh again and ascend.

This one is another for the Gazebo, something that I hope I can continue to be when a few years are gone by. This poem is inspired form two sources, the title, from a concept in Stargate SG1, namely Ascension, and the body of it, from the character called ‘Divya’ in the movie ‘Naa Autograph’. I guess the title conveys a lot of things relevant to that character, and hence I thought it might be appropriate.

I pity my regular readers because the next few ones are going to be more and more abstract ones like this. But then only for a while, maybe only the next 3 or 4 poems.

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