Isthmus

The things that keep us together, are the ones keeping us apart,
And the things keeping us apart, are the strings tying each other’s heart,
Even two rooms with a common wall, are separated by a door,
When opened, it shows, they are actually joined by the same floor.

We were proud, about having the same view, sharing the same thought,
And gloat about how similarity has made sure that we never fought,
Only to realise, the reason we had only one view, only one window,
And this ensured, there was only direction the wind could blow.

We were happy, that the words we both spoke, were all the same,
And exulted at how either of us could for each other proclaim,
Only to realise, the reason neither of us, was ever able to exclaim,
Was because, we knew every word, before it came, or became.

We were excited, that what I thought, what you said, we did,
And cheered that all we needed between us, was a single eyelid,
Only to realise, why none of us knew, any more than we saw,
So concerned with seeing the same, neither of us noticed the flaw.

We were heartened, that we knew so much, about each other’s happiness,
And boasted it was all that was needed to flood any outpouring of our sadness,
Only to realise, each of us had our own individual wars to be battled,
And even common emotions weren’t enough, to keep the differences bottled.

We were sure, we could hear the anxiety, in each other’s heart beat,
And believed we could even walk the exact same path, feet in feet,
Only to realise, all we could hear was a single repetitive sound,
Even a multitude of harmonies, couldn’t pry our ears unbound.

The more we are together, the lesser we actually merge,
Because we change each other, until neither is left to emerge,
Love is not the dream, that our every similarity seems to consist,
It is the reality, that we can be different, and still together exist.

This one is inspired by the works of my teacher/Beacon, Sirivennela. The very very very evocative piece ‘Yedho Yedho’ from Sasirekha Parinayam struck a raw nerve, causing the words in my mind to unsettle into the arrangement that this poem is. His song presents the case for the apprehensions a girl faces when having to face the prospect of living with a stranger. Everyone she knows, promises that its for the best, there’s nothing to fear. But the heart knows what only it can know, feels what only it can feel. How do you know if someone you need to allow into your life, your heart, your thoughts, will let you into theirs, or will even let you have yours once, they are in it.

There’s no way you can know, except to make the leap. We spend so much of our lives, changing our lives to match those that we love, to please those that we love, or influencing them to change their lives, to suit or thoughts, to match our feelings, that we fail to notice, we are changing the diversity of humanity on its head, and creating more and more clones of ourselves, trying to remove those things that make everyone distinct, and asking them to pour their souls, into moulds of ourself that we have created. We have this need to see reflections of ourselves wherever we look. We want those that love us, to look like us, think like us, feel like us. So much so, that when they finally do so, there is only one person left on the earth, ourself. The rest are just poor imitations we have created to feel surrounded by ourself.

Everytime we do something that causes someone to change, change to conform to our preferences, our expectations, we are creating poor duplicates of ourselves. Unfortunately, while that is somewhat less apparent, what is not apparent at all, is that when we look at these duplicates, we are looking at reflections of ourselves. And reflections are just that, exact copies, but facing the opposite direction. So the more they seem to be converging into our path, the more they are actually diverging. A line that seems to be colliding into the mirror, is actually running away from it.

To sum up, stop trying to find someone who is your type. Someone who likes what you like, who eats what you eat, who speaks like you speak, who thinks like you think, and who sees how you see. There is no one like that. If God had wanted it that way, he would have given you a xerox machine with human blanks. So even when you happen to find someone, anyone, who is close to, similar to what you expect, stop trying to mould them into a braindead transmitter of your thoughts, feelings, and words. If you really love someone, stop trying to manipulate them into becoming something for you, and if you love yourself, stop trying to mould yourself into someone else, because the person in love with you, or the person you want to love you, wouldn’t want to love someone else, they love/want to love you. If they don’t then, they are in the replicator business, and you should run as far away from them as possible.

The idea being that, you do not need to be similar to mix, and you do not need to mix, to be together. Every one can be their own self, and be a part of a together bond. Hydrogen burns, and so does oxygen. They can also not burn, as water. And yet burn when split up. The idea of love is to create, not destroy. The purpose is to make a new bond with its own characteristics without wiping out the existence, characteristics of its constituents. The idea is to create water that is distinct, without making hydrogen or oxygen non-flammable, and without changing the fundamental properties and structure of either element.

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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 🙂

Lake Infinity

Just when I was almost pleased at seeing the first rays of dawn,
I was dejected, that they weren’t looking for my lawn,
It seemed everyone took pleasure in provoking me into delight,
And then reminding me, there was no morning to my night.

My legs are still sore, from constantly falling on my knees,
The handcuffs cut against my wrists, repeatedly begging release,
My mind only pleads, that you wipe it for a fresh start,
And my heart is crying louder, requesting to be torn apart.

I was naive to think, suffering was a cup, with a measure,
And every day, how full or empty, I could measure,
Atleast now I have realised, that suffering is the sea,
And how deep I have been dipped, I cannot see.

If suffering was a true measure of how long one had lived,
I was sure everyone on earth, I had already outlived,
And when there’s nobody else left, what’s the point of living,
If not to leisurely walk hand-in-hand, with suffering.

But slowly I began to see other people, ones a lot older than me,
A dozen, hundreds, thousands of them, centuries older than me,
What most of them had in common, I only noticed after a while,
Despite their age, life had repeatedly failed, to wipe off their smile.

And that was the first time I felt completely ashamed,
That I had always thought of who could be blamed,
Ashamed, that instead of trying to swim bravely to the shore,
I was willing to sink, so that someone else could be punished some more.

I wish to thank those who taught me to let the tears dry,
And that the only way to kill tears, was to ignore them till they die,
I wish to thank those who taught me, that we are all very rich in suffering,
But very few of us, use it to make something worth remembering.

Although this has a lot of my personal experiences, this one really belongs in Gazebo. The concept is very simple, suffering is like wealth/money. The more you hoard/save it, the more it remains the same. You keep $10 in your locker and after a hundred years, they still remain $10. You share that $10 with somebody who needs it, and you may get $100 or $0 in return. That’s the same way suffering works, you hoard it, it eats you from inside, but doesn’t diminish one single bit. You share it with others, you can immediately feel the burden lightening. You channel it into something positive and constructive, the rewards will far outlive you or your suffering.

The title is inspired from the pre-climax scene of ”Truman Show‘ where Jim Carrey decides to brave the rough seas to make good an escape, and finally finds it is actually a set. Sorrow is similar in nature. You resent/fear it, it will appear as infinite as the sea. You brave it, face it head on, it will show its true form, which is a backyard lake.

Spaces

The day when you thought we were seeing too much of each other,
And had thus gotten too familiar and bored with one another,
You suggested that we maintain some distance and create space,
And try to see if we could appreciate something other than each other’s face.

So we walked away, afar, each to our own way,
Not sure what we would feel,  on waking up the next day,
It was a chance, you said, a test to see how far the mind would stray,
But try as much as we did, our minds simply refused to obey.

I walk into the restaurant, and see you empty chair,
You pick up the comb, and remember my ruffled hair,
I close my eyes, and see you returning the stare,
You open the door, to believe I am not there.

I walk away, only to notice, the footprints are a pair less,
You evade a reply, and recall what I would never confess,
Writing a letter, I recollect, that you had all the words,
Awaiting the train, you observe, the tree has no lonely birds.

We thought, letting go of the thought, was simply wishing it off the mind,
Unfortunately, just by closing their eyes, people do not turn blind,
And so we stand, separated, by thousands of miles in distance,
Yet, united, beyond choice, by our mind’s dogged resistance.

There’s still something between us, the farther each one departs,
Because love is the only distance between any two hearts,
So, that which separates is merely the glue upon our heart,
Holding us together, just as much close, as apart.

Space is not a measure of how far, it’s a measure of how close we are,
Look up at the sky, there’s only a centimetre gap, between star and star,
And if you still can’t believe, just walk away, and follow your own heart,
Because then I can be sure, you will unknowingly be following my heart.

This one is for the Gazebo. It was inspired from multiple sources, but mostly from a dear friend horribly crooning Atif Aslam’s Doorie.

Galaxies

Like old time chums who must bet on every game,
We know that for us, the game isn’t just a game,
We even go to the stadiums, faces painted like raving fans,
But at the end, all that remains is the empty cola cans.

Like those people in mascara, who stole our hearts,
We know what we lost, and it isn’t just our hearts,
We go to the movies, booking weeks ahead for those premium tickets,
But at the end, all that remains is the popcorn buckets.

Like every other tramp who really frequented that street,
We know that we found more than our feet on that street,
We go back there, if only for those old times sakes,
But at the end, all that remains is the unwashed plates.

Like every other bloke who awaits the evening for a home,
We know that what we return to, is not just a home,
We finally get there, with every limb aching sore,
But at the end, all that remains is the constant snore.

We realise that we can only walk together till the corner,
After which each of our lives turn their own corner,
That we must each keep walking, as long as we can walk,
Taking satisfaction from seeing each other on the opposite sidewalk.

We realise that each of us must dream our own dreams,
And that each of us must swim our own streams,
That we must flow paths that might never, one another see,
With the reassurance that we will finally meet in the sea.

Someday we will understand, the more together we are,
The more farther from each other we really are,
For, in this world, each of us is an island,
Separated, and held together, by submerged land.

This one is for the Mirror, and although it sounds very pessimistic, it is merely a statement of facts. We all go on about how we are inseparable and the lengths to which we would go for each other. Sadly, in reality, our friends, family, well-wishers, whoever, can only walk with us so far. They each have their own journeys to make, and it might for a while seem that someone else’s journey is inextricably intertwined with ours. But that is merely a temporary crossing/merging of paths. In the end, there is no ours, there is yours and there is mine, and then there are the points where yours and mine met.

It just goes to show that although we have those times of togetherness that seem infinite, there will always be those times when you will be lost in space, in that cocoon of yours thinking about everything and nothing in general. And strangely you don’t think of anybody in those moments, you simply think of life and its many reflections (the kind of thing trivially described as ‘me time’). It is at such times you wonder about the path you have taken, the rocks you have flown over, the pebbles you have sculpted, the banks you have submerged, et al. This poem was the result of one of those reflections.

In a way, it seems so much like the galaxies. These billions of stars and planets that together form a galaxy. Ever wondered, how the sun never seems to matter or never seems to gush that it is a part of the Milky Way? The same way we believe that these hundreds of countries make up our beautiful planet, and these dozens of states make up our beautiful country. But hey, do you really matter to the country, does anyone really know that your contribution to the country is indispensable? I guess not. But nevertheless we plod on with our lives, not because of our relative insignificance, but because of our relative exuberance for this miracle called life. The miracle that separates us as much as it binds us together.

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. 😀

Songstress

For the first sunrise that heralded our day,
And showed us the future of a pair,
Let us carry that sunshine along our way,
And show it the future that we share.

For the first warmth that sprung from every word,
And made us fight for long over its true meaning,
Let us follow those words to when they were first heard,
And fill them over, with a whole new feeling.

For the first full moon that filled our night,
And took us for a free ride into fantasy,
Let us always move slowly within its sight,
And let it drink from our cup of ecstasy.

For the love that gave us both a chance,
And took us to places beyond this world,
Let us give that love another chance,
And bring it back into this forlorn world.

For the tears that cleared your vision and mine,
And made us want to wash away some memories,
Let us give those tears their own sorrow to divine,
And help them find their way back to those memories.

For the separation that introduced us to fear,
And made us experience the pain of being apart,
Let us prove to it that we are too dear,
And acknowledge how well it has played its part.

For the life that brought you to me,
And made our relation a reality,
Let us live it like it was meant to be,
And sing an ode of thanks to serendipity.

The Gazebo seems to be getting the title of the most crowded page ever since i joined a particular company. Wonder why this is so? 😀 This one is for all the things that bring two people together, and what those two people can do to repay those things.

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