Rocky Nest

We knew there was no other place, but the mountain top,
Because this was where everybody we knew, had set up shop,
I still remember, the location was merely the first of many a grouse,
But that still meant, that this was where we would build our house.

It was a place where our feathers were constantly singed by the sun,
The place that first taught us the value of sheltering someone,
From the piercing white embers, of which the hottest summers are made,
We learnt the importance of providing each other with shade.

A place so open, the chilly winters made us literally shiver,
With only the fish below comfortable, in a long-frozen river,
When we had no choice, but to closely huddle to survive,
We learnt why staying together, was the real reason to be alive.

To the days when we were greeted, with a howling wind,
And all plans of searching for prey, we had to rescind,
It was from those times, when life had us forcibly grounded,
We learnt to take the time, to express a love that abounded.

In those months of monsoon, when the merciless rain lashed,
And it seemed, the very water would push us off the cliff, unabashed,
When it seemed we would have to build a new nest for spring,
We learnt to truly become a family, by each spreading a wing.

While you struggled all day, to drag home the food,
I foraged for tender twigs, in the adjoining wood,
When hundreds of different twigs, can together make a nest,
What more do we need, to tell our individual differences to rest.

But what the woven twigs constitute, is merely an abode,
A place to rest tired limbs, before morning can again goad,
It is only when each of us lets go, of our ego and its nome,
That we come to recognise what we together built, as home.

I have often been asked, what is it that differentiates a married couple from a family? Well, here’s my answer. It is also my answer to the other question, of what differentiates a house from a home. A couple live in a house, while a family lives in a home. As simple as that. So take out your checklists and see if you are simply married, or are a family. see if you have a house, or a home.

This is a continuation of where Foundry left off, and hence slides nicely into Gazebo. Will add more explanation upon receiving comments. 🙂

This one is dedicated to Tuffy (released 08/12/2010) who was a lovable, huggable part of our family.

P.S.

Nome: Any melody determined by inviolable rules.
Being the music freak that i am, couldn’t keep music out of this one 🙂

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Yes & No

It is surprising how two little words can play with your life,
Like frozen butter being teased by a serrated knife,
They hang on at the tip of a person’s tongue,
And then vanish like the tune of a paean unsung.

The word everyone wants to hear, is a definite yes,
But unfortunately, life is more complicated than chess,
Thus choice is something we confer, merely for show,
Because the word we can least bear, is a crushing no.

We must have asked each other this, a million times,
Within the confines of our own mind, like silent chimes,
And we look into each other’s eyes, guessing what the other would say,
But whatever the word, it always had to wait for some other day.

Times when we were happy, it was the last thing on mind,
Times when we were sad, it was too awkward to remind,
And so we would shrug it off, as something for tomorrow,
Naively believing, that there is a holiday for sorrow.

Reminds you of the nights, when I held your sobbing head,
While you haltingly pondered, which way things would head,
You tried unsuccessfully to hold back every tear, to prevent me from wiping,
While I tried, in vain, to hold back the world, to prevent you from weeping.

With cloudy eyes, and a cloudier mind, you tell me,
Tonight is the beginning, of a future we both want to see,
And that tonight if I asked you, you couldn’t say no,
That you were willing to leave everything and just go.

But tonight is a time I would never ask you,
Although that’s something you never knew,
And I know this adamance will take you by surprise,
But I promise, to only ask you, when you really have a choice.

Obviously for a Beacon. Two words, but two worlds apart. It’s like St. Peter refereeing between two doors, and Morpheus behind you saying “I can only show you the door, you’re the one that has to walk through it”. This one is inspired by, and dedicated to the serial Remington Steele. Very rare;y do you come across something that can change your outlook to mundane and important things in life, in such a significant manner, as this serial did. In fact, two of the lines from the poem are actually paraphrased dialogues from one of the episodes. That is how deep an impact it made on my life.

So deep an impact that the next one, ‘Think’ my 200th poem on this blog, is also from the serial.

They are one of the smallest frequently used words in conversation, yes and no. But nevertheless in one circumstance, they are anything but trivial, the answer from a life partner. So how do we ingeniously devious beings counter the risk? By playing out an elaborate ritual, restaurants, movies, champagne, flowers, sweet nothings, joyrides, the works. And after all that is through, a visit to the jeweller, and a patient wait before going for the kill. You see, the timing has to be perfect, so we wait like a tiger waiting for the unsuspecting deer to lower its guard.

But you see, the small catch is, there is no unsuspecting deer, you should probably strike it and change it to ‘expectant deer’. There is only a deer playing along through the entire charade, with a one-word speaking part. The catch is, the deer might decide to improvise, then you are really screwed. Because, all of your preparations, all of your routines, prepared you for the yes, so much so, that the no was merely an insignificant statistical possibility. But what happens when the tables are turned, and the yes becomes an insignificant statistical possibility? Are you prepared enough for the day when the deer stalks the tiger, and you have nowhere to hide?

The thing is, we want something so badly, that we want to believe the other person wants it as much, and so try to rub it off onto them, at times and circumstances when they are cornered into agreeing. I mean, if somebody spent a zillion bucks to make you feel like royalty, and then in return asked you a simple thing like ‘go walk into this cage for me’, it would feel downright awkward to say anything but yes, irrespective of the consequences. But, true love lies in choice, and that sometimes means abiding by and respecting the other person’s choice, however conflicting and detrimental it may be to our own choice. If you really love someone, then why should you not give them a fair chance at exercising their choice, unless of course you fear that their rational-minded choice may not be something palatable to you. Sometimes it sounds like a politician who has done months of canvassing, and then on D-Day hires a limo to drop the voter and a valet to hold an umbrella over the voter’s head until he finishes voting. For some weird reason, that smells of rank insecurity, but then maybe, love today, is really that.

What the voter fails to sometimes comprehend is, what happens after the vote is cast? Will the valet and limo still be in service for them? The answer to that, is what guides the real freedom of choice.

Soulmates

They say people like us are already made for each other,
How, we had wondered, since we didn’t know one another,
Always the prankster, time sure took its own sweet time,
Before agreeing it was time our little story had its time.

Every time ego caused our first little steps to stumble,
We kept walking, each try making us a little more humble,
Each time we felt the path too strong, and ourselves too weak,
We kept finding solace in a happiness we did not seek.

We shall grow richer each passing day, as we earn new memories,
Rich enough to outgrow this existence, and life’s little vagaries,
We shall get poorer each passing day, as we lose more distrust,
Poor enough to outlive doubt, and any more loss of trust.

We shall grow stronger each passing day, when we fight for each other,
Strong enough to command discord to go away, and not bother,
We shall grow weaker each passing day, when we long for each other,
Weak enough to blushingly admit, we can’t live without the other.

There will be lots of fights, and a great deal of misunderstanding,
But each one is an opportunity, to improve our understanding,
There will be lots of fun, and a great deal more of tears,
But every teardrop throws a challenge, to reduce it over the years.

As the days get longer, the words get shorter,
Because the need to express moves farther and farther,
Instinct and understanding becomes our silent language,
And we realise our oneness has now truly come of age.

We know we shall not live to see the romantic forever,
And so shall walk into the sunset, more together than ever,
The distance shall soon grow tired, and stop ate the world’s ends,
While we just shrug, and continue on this journey that never ends.

This is one for the Beacons, and was written for two soulmates, Rajasekhar and Sukanya. This is dedicated to those who realise that happiness is not the absence of sorrow, but the realisation that life is too small to spend frowning, fighting, and hating. This is dedicated to those who realise that every minute of life will seem like a lifetime if spent smiling, caring and sharing. So Chanti Bava, you finally have something dedicated to you [:)], see i dedicate something to a guy, even if shared. 😀

A Bride’s Farewell

You are the brow of a tide, in our happy family’s song,
Glimpses of you, in our memory shall remain eternally long,
Bedecked in finery, you’ll soon be drawn away to your abode,
The worthiness of a Bride’s Farewell and goodwill we bode.

Be caring and sharing, be busy in mundane existential chores,
But carry forth the majesty of your ancestors, across family shores,
In thoughts of us, and words with him,keep your duty at the fore,
That itself will fill us with life, enthralling our heart’s core.

You were brought up amidst an atmosphere of amity and feeling,
Towards your new responsibility, prosperity you should bring,
With tear-filled eyes and a choked voice, we bid you away,
In right or wrong, joy or sorrow, be with him, along the way.

There will be moments, when circumstances are really tough,
And you think, for all the pain there isn’t joy enough,
But never give up, follow the ideals, and set an example,
In lineage history, praises of you, will surely be ample.

This one is another for the Gazebo. I had written this in 2001, as a request for Pavan Chetty, for his sister’s wedding, and ended up liking it so much I gave a similar one for my sister’s wedding. I use the word ‘similar’ because from then till now, the only thing that has changed is one single line in the third paragraph. I had given my then collection of poems to my English teacher to comment upon, and she, a self-professed feminist, commented about that one single line, she told me it was too much chauvinistic. In fact I had only put in that line, because the scriptures suggest so, but nevertheless, that comment got me thinking, and I did something that I haven’t done more than twice in my life.

I changed that line a good 2 years after it was written, and today I must confess I fell better about it. Probably since I had been made to see the matter her way, this poem should be dedicated to Ms. Usha Ramani. But the reason I put it under Gazebo, is that it is the way I visualise the concept, the moment. It is the way I believe is good for everyone concerned, as also my own personal desire.

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