Confession

I still don’t want to believe it has already been ten years,
Maybe because it is so much easier to recount the tears,
The days, months, years just dissolved, I gave time no value,
Thinking, why would I need a watch, when I already have you.

Days when we spent, arguing about each other’s beliefs,
And evenings we went, walking the path of fallen leaves,
You laughed it off, when I said every memory was a fallen leaf,
And a brand new belief is born, from the stalk of every grief.

Times when we spent, just looking down at the road,
And places we went, turning around at every crossroad,
You shrugged it off, when I said every experience was a blade of grass,
And we could sit on it, or just trample it while walking along the pass.

Moments when we spent, wondering if it was the last stop,
And glances we sent, guessing who would let it all drop,
You winked it off, pretending we weren’t there to begin,
If only you could see how much the silence burnt within.

Lifetimes we spent, wishing there was a way this could all revert,
And feelings we meant, to express without the other getting hurt,
You wiped it off, saying the tears were a sign, I was too late,
But what could I do, having always presumed, our life was the date.

You told me, the man of your dreams, was sitting on that bench,
I nod and look over, and you fail to see my hands weakly clench,
Seeing the sparkle in you eyes betray your feelings, for the one front of you,
I wonder if being beside you could have been different, if only you knew.

I know everytime you smile now, is only to force me to do the same,
And I comply, knowing there’s nobody, not even myself to blame,
A smile that was lost, not because its love had no expression,
But because we shared a bond, that asked for no confession.

This one is also dedicated and inspired by my teacher/Beacon, Sirivennela. This one was sparked off by his song Ye Chota Vunna from Nuvve Nuvve. Everything from the verse structure, to the analogies, to the theme progression, oozes a heart-wrenching experience. This poem is about a life that could have been, a road that might have been. When two friends share a lifetime, and then one falls for the other, things change beyond just a relationship. Is it worth risking the friendship for the sake of love, will that love even pan out, will it prove worthy of the sacrifice, or will it be a pale shadow of friendship, does one need to be sacrificed to get the other, can both of them never co-exist, what if you lose both the love and friendship? This poem lightly touches upon all of these and more.

What happens when love becomes your friend, just when your friend falls in love? Is it love, when you let it go away hoping it will wash over your friend with your friendship? Is it friendship, when you want whatever is the best for your friend’s love? Is friendship lovely, or is love friendly? When the pain of unrequited love stings you for your friend, would you wince out of love or friendship? There are some questions to which we cannot live without knowing the answer to, and other questions that we would die to not know the answer to.

Jettison

I doggedly refused to believe it was a case of stress,
Had I not held my own, and triumphed under extreme duress?
Or that my pent up anxiety was desperately awaiting a release,
Blissfully unaware, I let these keep dragging down my knees.

Why did everybody think I couldn’t get over the fear,
Always being followed by shadows too uncomfortably near,
I cannot hold my breath for every moment uncertainty teasingly reveals,
Ignorantly unsure, I let the suspense keep on pricking at my heels.

I never knew I was even remotely capable of hatred,
Until the time when myself I had gradually come to dread,
Unable to hold my distaste back, every time I hear someone praised,
Voluntarily unhappy, I let the discontent hang around my waist.

You don’t even need to look into my eyes, to see the disbelief,
The lesser you talk to me, you can see my relief, etched in relief,
Because, opening my mouth reveals, that lies are something I never lack,
Hopelessly untruthful, I let the glibness continue straining my back.

While I stay busy, cowering alone, before my own cowardice,
I fail to understand, why courage seems to need no accomplice,
Defeatist enough to let my anger burn me from getting wisely older,
Thoughtfully unclear, I see the fury keeps dragging down my shoulder.

I vividly remember, every time I stretched my arms in helplessness,
And how stubbornly folded they were, to congratulate another’s happiness,
When my apathy prevents me from helping a fallen friend to stand,
Painfully callous, I realise not what is really holding back my hand.

I know from every expression, why I cannot wash away the shame,
And how uncontrollably guilty I feel upon just hearing my name,
I only hope, before this emotional baggage can talk me dead,
I can let go of them, one by one, if only to once again raise my head.

This Mirror one is about the baggage we all carry, and how we drown in the sea of life everyday because we refuse to throw some/all of it overboard. Sometimes, the only way to stay afloat, is to get rid of excess baggage, and that’s where this jettison comes in.

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 🙂

Shadows of the Earth

Tall be the oaks, that tower above the forest,
Broad be the oaks, that stretch east to west,
Extensive, encompassive, everything below, they shield,
Protective, predatory, not a ray of sunlight they yield.

There was a time when each was a mere sapling,
And for every bit of space, constantly jostling,
Each determined to prove the other a weakling,
For that last bit of resource, their every root grappling.

Tall and sturdy they have grown, on the shoulders of the meek,
Yet their roots get weaker, week upon week,
Slowly fading into history, attention is the last things they seek,
Because man has never been known to spare or forgive the broadest teak.

Far below, where the light cannot pierce, never reach,
And every single stray ray, thousands of saplings beseech,
It’s a miracle when only single ray, bounces on a hundred leaves,
Every single bounce affecting a thousand more lives.

Every new morning begins another big fight,
A fight for survival, a fight for light,
Yet, it is not the light itself that they seek,
All they want, is to live, survival of the weak.

They are the unseen masses who feed the rest,
Silently and tirelessly giving away their best,
Toiling through the years, as silent witnesses to their own turmoil,
Equally silently they perish, forever rooted to the soil.

The oaks that stand, tall and mighty on their feet,
Can never look down, and these puny equals ever meet,
Though unsung, of such heroes, there is never a dearth,
Ones who work silently, in the shadows of the earth.

This is one for the Gazebo, and is dedicated to all those millions of unknown people who make our everyday life a possibility. Thousands upon thousands who sincerely do their duty everyday enabling the clockwork that this globe is, to keep ticking for another day. Yet all that remains at the end of each such day for these thousands of heroes, is the night, a glum reminder of another nondescript day to come. How many times do we think of thanking the person behind us, because he/she didn’t break the queue? How many times do we think of thanking the milkman who came on time 25 days a month?

Sadly, we only remember the guy who appears on TV, or the guy who gets talked about on the internet. Even those things last only a few minutes/days in our memory. The less said the better, about innocuous nobodies like you, me and everybody else, the ones who really make the globe, and yet never stand in the limelight.

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.

Dilemma

Every dream needs a sacrifice to begin,
And every sacrifice needs an objective to win,
But is not every dream a sacrifice in itself,
Does it not relinquish its life to fulfill itself.

And every sacrifice is but a dream,
A dream that fulfills another dream,
But not every dream realises the sacrifice,
That the previous dream had to sacrifice.

When such a dream gets shattered,
And even its fragments get splattered,
What happens to the sacrifice done long ago,
Must it follow its dream and likewise go.

When the sacrifice itself becomes a dream,
And the dream therefore must be sacrificed,
Is it right to consider the sacrifice sacrificed,
Or does the sacrifice live on, if only as a dream.

Is any dream worth the sacrifice,
Or will mere dreaming itself suffice,
Is there any sacrifice worth a dream,
Is a person alive enough for such a dream.

We choose to sacrifice because we dreamt,
Did we ever sacrifice because others dreamt,
Sacrifice was a mere tool to get the ultimate prize,
Therefore we never dreamt to be able to sacrifice.

This is probably the most non-sensical piece of language that you have probably read till now(won’t say ever, because i am confident of writing loads more of such gibberish). Frankly initially it was supposed to be a fun poem which was to be built on an interplay of the two words. I had this concept from quite sometime, that every one of us have lots of dreams. Some that we barely remember, others that are more clearer, and others that we will never forget.

Dreams in this context are supposed to also include desires that are long unfulfilled. A lot of times, to fulfill these dreams we need to make sacrifices, and many of us think either then or retrospectively, whether the sacrifices we made were worth the dream that we set out to fulfill. Quite often we find that this is not the case, and that a lot of times it was pure satiation of the dream that drove us to the sacrifice rather than the actual worth of the sacrifice.

So as the poem progressed, it began to confound me even more, by the kinds of meanings each sentence was assuming of itself. By the time it was finished, i could no longer relate to the above lines as the poem that i had set out to write, it seemed more and more to me like a complex philosophical question about the very nature of the two terms, and the extent of their symbiosis. So much for a gamble on a fun poem.

Enterprise

To build up the house, card by painstaking card,
To prop it up often with every card you can discard,
And watch your budding smile come to a freeze,
When the house is toppled by the slightest breeze.

The cards lie fallen, scattered in a heap,
Waiting for their shepherd, like lost sheep,
Alas, the shepherd thirsts after an imaginary stream,
And will only get back to them at the end of this dream.

The road seems crooked, and gets even more winding,
And the end seems even farther, every new morning,
With many bylanes to tempt those that wander,
And a scorching sand to make any stream meander.

While others laughed away and chased butterflies,
You followed the path, the direction the eagle flies,
While others stopped to enjoy their dreams of another day,
You kept walking, kicking little stones out of your way.

Pity and hope, your two eyes, watched them play,
Perhaps that joy would be yours some day,
If only you persevered and worked harder each day,
Ahead lay all the games that you and life could play.

You think of those who wish to see you succeed,
And those for whose sake you need to succeed,
And wish they stand beside you when that day does arrive,
To share with you, the feeling of truly being alive.

You never understood why the day begins with a yawn,
Because for you, it signified the hopes lurking in the dawn,
When the days get weary, and the world gets tired,
You are just getting ready to perform, all fired.

You close your eyes and begin your life’s greatest performance,
And strain your ears for the applause from the audience,
Hearing none, you open your eyes to an empty hall,
Happy maybe, that no one was around to see the tear fall.

You sacrificed an entire lifetime for this one moment,
And nobody was present to appreciate how every second was spent,
In that moment, you see the sacrifice, the lifetime all gone,
But wipe away the tear, because you know the show must go on.

You brave the wind, brave the frost, every single day,
Freezing to death, you continue the climb, day after day,
After what seems eternity, you reach the much coveted peak,
And are so dumbstruck, the joy makes you forget how to speak.

Wishing you could stay forever, you begin to descend,
Wishing, all this happiness, there was a better way to spend,
But the descent is not a result of your boredom with conquest,
They are the first steps towards your search for a new quest.

Caught by surprise, your face begins to betray the strain,
Of years of your effort suddenly going down the drain,
You sink into an abyss, and begin to revel in your own pain,
And you realise, it will be many years before you smile again.

Yet you fake some, suppress some and get on with life,
For, stagnation is one facet, you never believed about life,
There will be many other days, when success knocks again,
But it can’t bring back those, that death took away in disdain.

Bitterness sets in, they seem to have deserted you for eternity,
Unable to see your suffering till you overcome its futility,
You wish they could wait to see you outstretch your hand,
And grow from being another of those grains of sand.

Thus you entered the world, your back against the wall,
And prepared yourself to bear someone else’s fall,
Being a fighter, you can always get up and walk,
Unlike those crippled by rumour and gossip, mere talk.

A world where they sized up your life, by how much it was worth,
Where, for a good enough bargain, they would sell the earth,
You get in knee-deep, and wade through its filth,
Wary of drowning, and becoming one with the filth.

The feet are tired, but the mind relentlessly pushes them forward,
When the mind gets tired, your objective propels it onward,
Many milestones pass by, but the appreciation takes longer,
For, these are people, who feed you for last year’s hunger.

Every now and then, you bask in the limelight,
Before someone else’s success steals the spotlight,
Soon you will fade out of people’s lives, out of their sight,
But you refuse to die down, to give up without a fight.

But the allure of fame, of achievement, no longer seems to work,
And the potion of disenchantment slowly begins its work,
The warm fires of discontent begin to burn in your heart,
And that is when everything you worked for, starts falling apart.

When the laughter, the joy, belongs to somebody else’s world,
You begin to feel and become, an alien in your own world,
When the sunshine, the rainfall, falls on everybody else’s land,
You desperately begin to feel like disowning your own land.

When survival becomes the sole yardstick of the living,
And you find yourself no longer capable of giving,
You wonder to yourself if it is really worth living,
And whether another life would be more forgiving.

But what about your companions, those now walking with you,
Those who understood you, those who believed in you,
Will you walk away from their memories, away from their lives?
And live you life alone, leaving them searching for alternate lives?

Having walked this path, touching their hearts, with your life’s song,
You should atleast expect, that forever, they will walk along,
They will walk with you, till you get rid of this guilt,
Walk with you, till you get back, to the house you once built.

The house has fallen, but the cards still exist,
Intact as a test, for those who persist,
Or maybe as a chance, to build it again, better,
Instead of crying over what has gone bitter.

You roll up your sleeves to once again demonstrate,
The never-ending battle of humans against fate,
You slog through the night, to open its doors to sunrise,
And show the world, the fabled human spirit, of enterprise.

This one is dedicated to Sukanya, who in my terms is a ‘survivor’ for those that can understand the term in the sense that i mean it in. When you go through the entire range of experiences that life has to offer, you tend to remember the scars than the victories, because the scars are visible whereas victory is not. It is this paradox that bogs down a number of achievers into mediocrity. It is this paradox that clips your wings when you need to fly that one last time.

Some people look further into the scars and find the victories that caused them, and the failures that enriched them. These are the ones that achieve more out of life than the mediocre ones can in a hundred lifetimes. But that makes them neither immortal nor immune to the vagaries of time and the tricks of the mind.

Sometimes they need to be reminded of the past to get on with a future that is more promising than all the past combined was. Once clear about that fact, they pick up the pieces and get to work. The house of cards was symbolic of the experiences we all have in life. They all differ in nature like the faces and figures on the cards. Not everyday does one get a joker, and not everyone gets an ace everyday. It is this understanding that despite not getting the winning card, life is a card game where luck is not the only aide, and that hard work can take you to farther places than luck can, that fuels the enterprising.

The enterprising fall more number of times and fail more number of times than the prudent and risk-averse person, but in the end, the enterprising with a fuller and richer experience of life than the conservative. This poem is about one such enterprising person asking her to use the fallen house of cards as a chance to build it again in a more beautiful manner with a lot more wonderful experiences that the previous ones, and understand, that there are people everywhere who are willing to help her rebuild, even if only by standing by and saying an encouraging word, because everybody must build their own house of life.

(got lots more to say, will get back to this when i find more time).

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