Crossroads

Every so often, we set out, to get somewhere in life,
Only to be taken for a ride, by this guide they call life,
Leaves me wondering, what is to take, and who is taken,
But make no mistake about it, because life is never mistaken.

At the beginning, every destination seems very clear,
But passing time reveals, a mirage is the only thing that’s near,
For foolishly trusting the senses, thirst is a steep price to pay,
And can only be quenched with eagerness out of the way.

I soon lose trust by forcibly walking with my need,
And lose more friends, by talking with my greed,
When I follow my mind, I even lose all respect,
From a slave of caution, what more can one expect.

I close every door and window leading to my heart,
But that only causes the remaining good to depart,
So temptation tells me, the highway and I must part,
Into the by-lanes that lure me and my destination apart.

Running in a hurry, I soon stumble over desperation,
And stand again, bruised and badly in need of inspiration,
And every single time that I come close to the end of the rope,
I have to steal a little from the truth, to give to hope.

All that I know suddenly seems a whole lot less,
When every extra mile is fuelled only by a guess,
I know not what lies in waiting, around the next bend,
For, every route I’ve taken, has led me to a dead end.

The farther I move away, the closer I get to the start,
For, all the roads in life depart, and converge, at the heart,
Among all these crossroads, the smile is the only shortcut I can take,
The distance is the same, but every footstep a pleasure it does make.

Back to the Beacons after some mirror breaks. This time Aparna does it, by leading me back to the beginning, back to the roots. Often, we lose track of what we set out to achieve, and most often it is because we lost heart in the objective, or because we no longer find the happiness that the path promised.

Most often such paths reveal the hidden happiness only after we get there. But sadly, most of us lose heart and get sidetracked, long before the destination is near. The only option is to take some of that ‘Getafix’ magic potion to drink along the way to keep us enthused and motivated towards the destination. That ‘Getafix’ potion is inner-happiness, so you know where she fits in. 🙂

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Sunflower

Very few acknowledge that the day really begins at night,
At the stroke of midnight, the wings of morning take flight,
Leaving darkness behind, for the resplendence of the sun,
And dejection too finally gives way, to the possibilities of fun.

The sun has risen, but is more darker than the night,
Battered and bruised, blackened from the long standing fight,
It now needs more light, than it gives,
And takes more lives, every moment it lives.

Everyone has resigned to the confines of the brighter night,
Even in the battle for darkness, the sun has more might,
Blind by the day, and more blinded by the night,
The denizens of darkness make such a pretty sight.

They go about their activities, regardless of time,
And only for the dead, do the bells any longer chime,
They have lost their light, only to earn that extra dime,
And in doing so, crowned their reason over rhyme.

They see and they don’t, their own wretched existence,
And ignore it all, upon each others cold insistence,
They hear and they feel, sorrow’s yearning pang,
And yet are too busy, to help it solitarily hang.

Weaving away their remaining time, bonded to the loom,
Unconsciously, they create, the fabric of their own doom,
They survive on the coast, of that seashore of gloom,
Where the sand forgives not, sunflowers that dare bloom.

Behold, the first golden bloom, on this arid land,
It grows beyond the reach of man’s rugged hand,
So that the world can now see, that happiness is light,
It is the bliss that bestows every life, with true sight.

Today it is the Beacons turn to gloat. This one is for my frequently infrequent muse, Aparna. Set in a world that is too busy to laugh, too occupied to smile, and too ignorant of happiness, it tries to extrapolate what happens when Aparna walks into such a world. A world that had lost its sunshine, the light of their lives, called joy, and how one sunflower defied man’s own nature to save mankind.

Tranquility

Soft and inquiring, like the chirping of the first bird,
Slowly joined by others, yet soft, as if almost never heard,
That is all I can remember about your first word,
There were more important things that then occurred.

At first there was the silence, ethereal and all pervasive,
During that time, sound seemed untraceable, evasive,
There was an uneasy calm, hanging in the air, all around,
As we waited to see, what would come of the first sound.

Sure enough, there came the sound, that broke the silence,
And it filled the world now sore by its absence,
It was universal, not constrained by language,
For, nobody yet claims laughter as their language.

If ever there were more words to express happiness,
Then silence would have to remain a mute witness,
For, among the many feelings that are beyond expression,
None quite matches happiness’s infectious passion.

And the happiness aroused by the tinkling of your laughter,
Showed us a fleeting glimpse of the world called ever-after,
Transporting us to the place, where words are never enough,
To explain, why remembering contentment there, is tough.

We found we lost some of it, trying to speak the joy,
And learnt that words are the cheapest way to enjoy,
It is most often the nuances, that get lost in translation,
That gives us all, that extra reason for jubilation.

From eternal silence, the big bang was the first sound,
And now there are billions more that this wold abound,
But for us, it shall always be your laughter, that broke new ground,
One that proved to us, there was an earth with happiness all around.

The Beacons beckon me again with that healing smile called Aparna. This one is dedicated not only to her, but to all those who happiness made a difference to our lives. To all those whose laughter made the sky look bluer and the roses look redder. This one is dedicated to happiness personified.

One Step

Looking at myself in the mirror, I see myself all wrong,
Causing me to doubt the truth I had known for so long,
When left seems like right, surely something isn’t right,
Maybe it was the reflection, or perchance the angle of sight.

Confused and bewildered, I step out onto the street,
Looking forward to any person I could happily greet,
But the picture I saw, sent me into shock,
Perhaps the first time my smiles ran out of stock.

All I could see were hundreds of faces lined with worry,
Thinking of a thousand more ways to even faster hurry,
Clockwork, the next foot was up before the previous one could rest,
And I probably understood what they meant by ‘survival of the fittest’.

Everybody it seemed was busy running after time,
Regardless that their watch would run out sometime,
They know none who has caught up, but it doesn’t matter,
They care not for the logic, embedded in such a matter.

They seem to believe that the heart is out of the question,
And therefore talk through their minds, talk sans emotion,
When the words escape, finding their way past the filter,
Consideration and propriety are forced to run for shelter.

So what if it made the other person feel hurt,
Couldn’t they see, their own heart was anyway hurt,
They thought others would understand the pain from this lesson,
Alas, the others, they too had filters, and saw only the agression.

If only they took one step towards those walking away,
They would find atleast one person coming their way,
Even if nobody turned around, it would be worth the effort,
For them to know, there’s somebody trying to heal their hurt.

This one definitely belongs to Mirror(though I have doubts it probably also falls into Gazebo, am having a lot of these overlapping ones nowadays). It all started out on my last day in Bangalore(for that period of time). I had by then become convinced of my opinion that BMTC conductors were the nastiest people on earth, and that they seemed to derive a sadistic joy from uttering the most disgusting things and behaving in the rudest manner possible. On that fateful day everything changed(or atleast everything about the opinion changed on 2nd May 2008).

There was this bearded middle-aged conductor in the bus while I was getting off at Vasanth Nagar, and he had the most congenial attitude I had seen in anybody in a long long long time. He greeted every single person in the most courteous way, and I must admit he was probably chivalrous to the core when it came to the ladies. Right from a student to the old lady unable to walk up quickly enough to the bus. I could see the happiness manifest itself suddenly on all their faces. It was probably that moment that I felt if only everyone everywhere could be like him.

While I understand that being Government employees and lower-level employees upon that, people like conductors carry a lot of angst with them. An angst that comes from long hours of consistently bad work environment, thankless irate customers lack of recognition and a pitiful pay to boot. This however doesn’t give them the excuse to pass off all of that pent-up fury on customers, most of whom have no other viable option and have to therefore bear all of it with a closed mouth. These conductors were appointed to be the customer-end face of the organisation, and if not for general well-being of the society, they should atleast behave considerately for the sake of the organisation that pays them to treat theh customers with respect. They seem to neither care for the organisation or for humanity in general, simply because nobody seems to care for them.

And it is not just the conductors, if every passsenger spoke gently and considerately to every conductor, they would feel like reciprocating and vice versa. Why are we always waiting for somebody else to smile first, somebody else to greet us affectionately first. If everybody shouted at everybody simply because the other person was also shouting, the world would be the biggest cacophonic fishmarket of the universe. Every time you smile and reply to somebody instead of answering with a grim face, you are unconsciously improving that person’s morale, uplifting that person’s spirit. This poem is dedicated to that Conductor of Route No. 290, who made my day. Wish everybody would follow suit. Change begins at an individual level.

Mortal Angel

If such things were true, an angel’s life should be a fairytale,
But you don’t find them more different than this one’s tale,
Like those winged-one, you don’t see her fly away,
And you begin to really believe she is here to stay.

Ignorant were those who said angels have no feelings,
Probably they believed angels weren’t living things,
Maybe they hadn’t talked to one, or listened to one,
And so felt that one angel is like any other one.

They never could see the smile leaving her face,
Never could see her in the moments she couldn’t face,
When the odds weren’t even, and she began to shiver,
That’s when she seemed more human than ever.

The tears leave a stain as they roll down her cheek,
It is not her chin but some humanity that they seek,
She wipes it away because you would not believe her,
But wishes it to flow because you cannot understand her.

Those words that you said, they didn’t cause that anger,
Because you never believed that she knew about anger,
You never expected that one day you would see her tears,
That those tears would finally harden to make her fierce.

Soon you see those tears begin to dry,
And notice her anger begin to die,
You see the pout leaving her folded lip,
You realise how mortal she is to the last fingertip.

Her smile forgives you without a single word,
Her laughter begins to again fill this world,
You begin to ponder when she bids you farewell,
Whether it was already one day with a mortal angel.

This one is another one on “Little Miss Sunshine“. After she commented, i thought i should write something more, since the previous one conveyed so little of her “multi-faceted” personality. Besides, it was too much truthful to be a poem, so i decided to add some spice this time and make it more fictional(unfortunately it still ended up being as nearly truthful as it can get).

I still believe that she resembled Drew Barrymore when young. The photo above is another proof of the same, although she refuses to do any more than simply deny it rather than back it up with adequate proof. I won’t argue on that count because she never lets me lose an argument, don’t know why.

Daisybud

Swaying in consonance with an ebullient breeze,
She shakes off its advances, with a careworn ease,
Ruffling her petals, as she hung onto a slender stalk,
Proclaiming gustily that it isn’t only humans who stalk.

She stands up, and walks away free of the bond,
But she is no fugitive, to hide and abscond,
Walking away she is, from the grasps of human sight,
Away from those minds bereft of any genuine delight.

Walking away from those who interpret her like a question,
From those who wipe her out of every broken relation,
From those who treat her like an insane obsession,
And those who hoard her like a miserly possession.

Running away from those who suppress their affection,
From those who use her to disguise cunning defection,
From those who cannot see her, blinded by rejection,
And those who don’t want her, drowning in dejection.

They follow her, chase her, to the limits of perception,
They all need her, want her, to cover up their deception,
Without her, their greed, their envy and jealousy cannot live,
And for that reason, her life, they will not let her live.

So they strangle her life, and pluck her for the day,
Use her and discard her, to be trampled along the way,
She cannot remember a single one, who allowed her to stay,
For, she was always available, if only new, everyday.

Away she ran, before her fragrance they could steal,
And in the world, there were no more smiles to heal,
Hope is all that is left in this world of gloom,
A hope that she was not the last one to bloom.

Frightening. Thats the mildest way of putting what happened to me. I was struggling to write something on Aparna, just because I felt like it. Alas it was not be, as I struggled for 3 days sitting with an opened cap before an empty page with a title “Daisybud”. It seemed nothing would ever come out of it, and after all I might have finally written the most uncreative title in my life after all. Then it happened, today morning, I woke up early and tried to get back to sleep, and as a result found myself in a 3 hour dream involving who else but Aparna. After I woke up from three uninterrupted hours of looking at Aparna there was no looking back.

Aparna to me signifies a smile, a smile of laughter, of delight, of pure innocent joy, the kind that is long since missing from this world. So the dream was a kind of ‘wake-up’ call for me, to open my eyes and tell a story that was crying to be told.

Everyone nowadays sports a smile especially since ‘people-relationship’ got a flip through the endless number of personality grooming sessions that everyone seems to undergo. But how long was it since a person truly smiled out of the happiness of the heart rather than a hollow mechanical movement of the lips. When people smile to mask their seething discontent, their anger, their envy, their greed, their discomfiture. When they groan silently beneath those smiles, and curse and fault everything around and within them.When the smile becomes but an article, an accessory to the drama of fooling everyone around, it is then that a smile is powerless to do nothing but watch its state of deprivation into the depths that even a frown never knew.

I could have easily titled this one as ” Rape of a Smile” and got away with it, because nothing would have been more apt, but instead chose to call it after a flower because it signified the hope that I have on humanity that the situation will soon improve and that people would hopefully smile because of their unbridled inner joy, rather than social conditioning of what reaction to give to what situation. That is also the reason why the daisy featured at the beginning is just beginning to bloom, a symbol that everyone in the world still have their Aparna for another day.

Bridge Across Forever

We looked for the ending right at the beginning,
But couldn’t see beyond the place we were starting,
We searched for its beams, tried to hold its railing,
But couldn’t feel anymore than where we were standing.

Every time that we felt, were stepping onto empty space,
It sprung up beneath, matching our steps, pace to pace ,
Whether climbing with a smile, or slipping with a frown,
It was the one single thing that never let us down.

Our thoughts built it up, with every single thought,
Our words spread it across the breadth of every thought,
Only stepping forward whenever possible, side by side together,
As our love for each other held its planks together.

Times it would seem to creak, with every new fight,
But over time, the clamps and bolts only grew more tight,
As it arched upwards, trying to send us into flight,
Fly though we could not, atleast it gave us the delight.

It would heave sidewards with our growing discontent,
Seeming to fall apart, everytime we were hesitant,
But somehow it held on, maybe awaiting the time that would come,
When these petty differences we would surely overcome.

We look downwards at those who couldn’t come join us,
And across at those in this journey like us,
And wonder if they all have the same anticipation,
To reach the end, of this journey with no destination.

For, we, together, are the bridge across forever,
And we build upon ourselves to walk forever,
And time, a jealous spectator that keeps trying to disrupt,
But the love that it cannot grasp, it cannot interrupt.

As the title reads, this one is inspired from, and dedicated to, the beautiful moments that Richard Bach gave me through his novel/autobiography “Bridge Across Forever”. In many ways though I disagree with his definition of love and the treatment of that definition, what is unforgettable is the impact the book leaves on a person(left me euphoric for atleast a week). So this one is dedicated to him, though remodelled on my concept of love.

The next few ones coming up will have original titles by me, so people would have to bear with the titles unless I gather up the energy to visit a music store, and catch up on ‘good old Yanni’. I never cease to get surprised at the beautiful titles for his pieces that whoever it is who names his songs comes up with. They just keep the words flowing simply by chanting the title over and over again like an incantation. So the next one coming up is one on my evergreen muse “Aparna”(have just got confirmation that she still is Aparna [Reddy], though have long decided to dispense with that part of her name).

 

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