Enchanted

One of the few things noticed while walking in a maze,
Is how earnestly the next turn is beseeching you gaze,
Although you already know this isn’t any race,
Yet, you fervently want to just get out of the place.

You told me I would know no silence, as long as my fury was at war,
Choiceless, I knew that withholding it would cause my heart to char,
I tried hard, but found no other way, except to release,
Because sometimes, fighting is the only way, to peace.

You told me life wasn’t worthy, without potential for a dream,
But mere dreaming is not easy as life makes it seem,
So, for yours to come true, I wouldn’t spare myself the knife,
Because sometimes, death is the only donor, to life.

You told me I would never know thirst, unless I drank some wisdom,
But analysing cause and effect seems a little too weird and random,
So, to learn more on you, I had to force my identity off the ledge,
Because sometimes, ignorance is the only reason, for knowledge.

You told me, every work I spoke, was time spent not listening,
But how could I relegate my ears to keep forever hearing,
So, to hear more from you, I decided to mute myself for the magic,
Because sometimes, silence is the only voice, for music.

You told me, everything I saw, was only my version of reality,
But it was unbearable to believe, that every fact has duality,
So, to save you the pain, I resigned myself to the untruth,
Because sometimes, lie is the only face, for truth.

You told me, from this point on, we would have to go our own way,
But being together for a lifetime, I ran out of things to say,
So, to let you have your own way, I could surely despise myself somehow,
Because sometimes, hatred is the only companion, to love.

This one is for the Mirror, stemming as it does from some very intense experiences. How often do we see a conflict between the choices we have, and the choices we wish we had? When life leaves you with only one path, and it is not one you are willing to be nudged along, it often takes the diametrically opposite reason, to make you walk down the path. Not because you love the path, but because the path is the only destination for your love.

Luciferin

Every time I am asked, why the truth has me enslaved,
It reminds me of my freedom, that darkness has depraved,
So I tell them, “the truth has, and seeks, no control of me”,
“The truth is not about control, it is about being free”.

It is easy to fall in love, because lies are so beautiful,
But it is only to the eyes, that lies even appear beautiful,
The truth and the sun, have a beauty at which you cannot stare,
For the fear of being consumed by their liberating glare.

The truth and the sun, have neither morning nor night,
You cannot know darkness when you are the light,
And without the night, there can be no morning,
There can only be ignorance and awakening.

The truth and the sun, both have no shadow,
Both are the light, a liar fears to follow,
Because every lie, has a shadow called guilt,
One that changes shape with every new tilt.

The shadows of a lie grow longer in the night,
And shrink at the slightest sight of light,
The lie can only exist, as long as the truth we hide,
But the truth can exist, long after no people abide.

Hiding it in the heart, is like keeping the sun in your pocket,
They will burn their way out, even through a metal jacket,
And all that it leaves you with, is a lot of heartburn,
Because the sun, the truth, will both inevitably return.

The truth, put simply, is all about courage and your character,
Courage to sacrifice an easy smile, in return for eternal laughter,
Every time we shelter a lie, we force every minute of life into fight,
But you can choose, to be dragged, or gracefully step into the light.

This is one for the Mirror, and reflects my take on the similarity between the sun and truth. Both have friends, and yet neither cares about it. It is also my reflection on the single largest motivation in my life, the quest for truth.

Is There

Not to throw, whatever we can against the wall,
Not to mouth, every profanity we can quickly recall,
Not to vent out, pent up frustration into the community,
Anger is there, to test our affinity for serenity.

Not to cover up, some thing as serious as infidelity,
Not to make up, for some thing as silly as timidity,
Not to utter, because it’s the only thing that can soothe,
Lie is there, to test our dedication to the truth.

Not to give company, to some forlorn tears,
Not to take the blame, for many unfortunate years,
Not to fill the void, left by a heart’s emptiness,
Sorrow is there, to test our longing for happiness.

Not to use as an excuse, to justify every war,
Not to feign, as a stranger closing every door that’s ajar,
Not to malign, as the reason behind this whole mess,
Hate is there, to test our commitment to forgiveness.

Not to pity, as a nuisance while crossing the road,
Not to ridicule, for wiping the car we rode,
Not to throw, as a catchword at seminars on humanity,
Poverty is there, to test our capacity for generosity.

Not to ignore, any word or to play with every word,
Not to merely sing aloud, a tune never heard,
Not to shout, to everyone about every squabble or difference,
Speech is there, to test our love for silence.

Not to spend, every second running behind a goal,
Not to manage, a vacant minute to salvage your soul,
Not to prove, there really is someone above,
Life is there, to test our willingness to love.

A simple and self-explanatory one for the Mirror, this one is also about my religion, Godism. It merely states that misfortune is there for us to make something positive out of, not to sit and cry about, or curse God about. It takes off from what Godforsaken and Unbelong conveyed.

Fred Claus

The little boy was more confused than ever before,
Surely a festival must mean something more,
What his grandpa said, seemed to make little sense,
It seemed like something badly conjured up in defence.

So he went back to nagging the exasperated old man,
On this eccentricity that was celebrated only by man,
But this time, he decided he would do all the talk,
He only hoped, the old man wouldn’t fall back in shock.

“Why is it, that people spend the year, yelling at each other”,
“And finally choose a day to treat one other like a brother?”,
“Why is it, that people put up with a year full of abuse”,
“And take comfort in having a day, to praise each other profuse?”.

“Why do they live every moment for themselves, without relent”,
“Thinking one day is enough, to chant a prayer and repent?”,
“Why do they spend a year, closing the door on their neighbour”,
“Knowing they can invite them in, just in time for any dinner?”.

“Why do they shout at their crying parents, every single day”,
“Hoping, that decorating a tree together, will make those words go away?”,
“Why do they teach their children, to run the entire year in a hurry”,
“Wishing, that opening some gift, would wipe away every worry?”.

“Why do they think, a single sorry can soothe a year full of hurt”,
“Believing, that lighting a candle, is enough recognition of effort?”,
The old man was too puzzled, to notice the boy short of breath,
And only let out a sigh, because the boy regained his breath.

“Why can’t they just be nice, every day of the year”,
“And try to prevent, instead of wiping each tear?”,
“Why can’t they cherish every moment along the way”,
“Instead of dying the whole year, to live for just one day?”.

This one is obviously for the Mirror, since it is a continuation of Rudolf. This one reflects my actual views on festivals/celebration. So lets move on to the usual questions.

a) What’s with the title?
The title is from a movie of the same name, about Santa’s brother, who goes to the North Pole and saves the day for Santa and the entire world.

b) Why two poems?
The concept is too strong to finish within one poem without diminishing all of its essence into shortened sentences. The poem could have been double my usual length, but that would deny supporters of the festival with a poem. So splitting keeps both parties happy. Those who like festivals can read the first, and those who don’t can read only the second one. Besides, while the first one seems in support of celebration, it is actually a sly representation of the views that are debated in the second one. It helps to glorify the adversary in order to magnify the victory.

c) What is it about festivals/celebration that pisses me off?
The very words and what they signify. Take for example some thing like birthdays, which celebrate nothing significant. You being born is merely a statistical event that is by itself insignificant. But Happy Birthday is a festival of depression-era origins, when people needed some thing to make them feel alive atleast for one day, and bakers cashed in on the opportunity. Also read my favourite article on the topic.

It pains me to see that we fail to realise that most festivals are effectively celebrations of life and our thanks to our maker (whoever he/she is) for blessing us with whatever we have on that day. Knowing this fact about festivals, we fail to realise that celebrating them on that one day, makes us relive the Depression-days, by indirectly stating that there is only one day a year when we forcibly choose to be happy, even if we aren’t. Reminds me of one of my favourite sayings:
Perhaps this is why it is man alone who laughs: he alone suffers so deeply that he had to invent laughter.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Why is it that we can’t simply celebrate each day of our lives, for its ups and downs. Why do we feel that only a cake completes celebration? Or that only decorating the house, completes a festival? Why do we have to shout at our parent/children every day and then make up with them for the sake of a festival? Why do we have to abuse our friends every day and then wish them a Happy Birthday? Is it not possible to be nice to everyone everyday?

Of course, some people are downright nasty and deserve a dose of their own medicine, right? If you feel like retorting to someone because they aren’t nice, then you’re allowing their worthlessness dictate to your politeness, which makes you no different from them. if you really want to see the difference, be polite and nice to everybody no matter what, and see the difference after maybe a year or a decade. Most often people aren’t nice to you on that day or that year, because nobody has been nice to them that day/year. Waiting for the other person to change is only going to ensure everyone does the same, and we are left with status quo.

If you really want to see a change in the world, be the one to lead it, rather than follow, since nobody else is going to lead. Try it today, throw a party to the person who has just slapped you, and see his/her reaction. Shake the hand of a person who has just abused you, and see their reaction. If not today, their reaction will change over time. Of course, initially everyone will look at you like a lunatic, but atleast its better to be a happy lunatic, than a depressed conformist. People treat those who stand out as lunatics because they are insecure about their own conformity. Once the tide slowly switches and you become the mainstream, they will look at their previous beliefs as lunacy, that’s people for you.

So, i hope you understand, why i care not even a damn for any festival, and why i am not reachable on my birthday. its time to end the practice of living for one day in a year, and start living every moment of life.

P.S.

The whole Rudolf carol is anti-celebration. Because the problem Rudolf is facing is being an outcast. So taking him away from the reindeer and making him a celebrity among humans, is like taking a cat rejected by other cats, and making him an exalted exhibit among dogs, and expecting the cat to be happy because of the miracle of the festive spirit. A true miracle would have been if the other reindeer had welcomed him into their fold because of the Christmas spirit, and not humans cheering him on.

I would like to end with a relevant line from ‘Sirivennela Sahityam’:
“Padhuguru soukhyam pondhe diname panduga kadha?”
“Is not the day, when a dozen people find solace and relief, a festival?”

Think

Nobody knew when he slept, when he went and came,
All we knew, was that ‘Tanker’ Ralph was his name,
That he would be at the docks hours before the boat,
A decade-long dream, the only sound from his throat.

After a hard day’s work, while we settled to make merry,
He would be at the harbour, working the night ferry,
Early in the morning, he would be slumped over the deck,
Half-ready for another day, another chance to risk his neck.

While we rubbed our faces to wipe from it, the scalding steam,
He was working and lost, far away seas in a ship-sized dream,
Over and over he would tell us, “one day this tanker will be my own”,
We thought he was crazy, and so just left him alone.

But it was not some day, or month, took him a whole twenty years,
Before the tanker in front of him, could move him to tears,
Years and tears of enslavement with scalded hands and a broken back,
But he was a man in a hurry, with no time and desire to look back.

In no less than a week, tossed like the toy of a naughty wave,
His tanker burst into flames, with nothing left to save,
Imagine standing ashore, watching your life go up in flame,
Knowing you only had yourself and twenty years to blame.

We rushed to his side, to say a word or two of consoling comfort,
Only to realise, it was such a surprising waste of effort,
Struck with a blow that would have buried any man,
Resolutely sea-gazing he stood, laughing like a madman.

“Can’t you see”, he said, “now everything can again be new”,
And on the very sand before his feet, a bigger ship he drew,
“Will take another ten years, of hawking my soul and my abilities”,
“But after that”, he said, “just think of the new possibilities”

This one is also from and for the previous Beacon, Remington Steele. This is a versification of a small story narrated in the episode that has the dialogues from the previous poem, Yes & No. Although in the serial, it is merely a story, couldn’t help notice the pragmatic approach and how much it mirrored my life right now. At this very moment, i am sitting with my tanker in flames, and this story helped me realise the approach i should take towards the whole matter.

i have always believed, that things don’t go away by crying, just as much as the sun doesn’t go away by closing the eyes. And sometimes, things are snatched away from you, to help provoke you to deserve and achieve better things for yourself. It has been one hectic month catching up on my writing that i had let take the backseat for my tanker. But that tanker sank due to a deliberate wave, and the writing has sapped out all the agony and angst. Now all that remains is the peace, emptiness, and a single dream.

Enough for this month. Shall take rest for the rest of the month. Any poems will only appear from the next month. phewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

btw, for those statistically inclined, this is the poem no. 200 on my blog.

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.

Sad Cypress

A few years ago, they took me away, cuffed and chained,
Only doing their duty, they knew not how much it pained,
Days, weeks, months I have sat, staring at the bars,
Awaiting the day to fly and converse with the stars.

Alas the bulb above my head tell me neither day or night,
And the minutes seem like an eternity to ponder my plight,
Of ever leaving this room, my hope has lost all sight,
Atleast they offered me a few hours of this artificial light.

None would listen, they wouldn’t believe that I was innocent,
I should be ashamed they thought, I should be repentant,
They were shocked at the lack of remorse on my face,
Knowing not, that this ignominy is more than I can face.

They parade me around, an apprehended dangerous criminal,
And my chances of walking away are sealed, almost minimal,
Standing in the dock, of the portals of law, supposedly called justice,
This was my last chance, and I really hoped I could do it justice.

Sadly all they believed was evidence, one given by circumstance,
It confounded me about why they denied truth a chance,,
It finally came down to my word against the evidence,
That was their value of my life, a gamble with providence.

They questioned my testimony, my character, my credibility,
And separated from it, every shred of believability,
There I stood, spoken, unheard, untouched, ravaged,
Following their orders, hoping my soul would be salvaged.

Alive, alone, death seemed the only one who was proud,
The only one unafraid, to call me its friend, aloud,
But God knew, and I knew, the difference between justice and reality,
And that knowledge was my compass, in the journey into infinity.

This one is for the Beacons, dedicated to Agatha Christie. The title is from one of the episodes of her detective Poirot’s serials. Somehow the moment I read the title, it reminded me of a lot many things that I used to dream about. And surprisingly, although it might seem odd, one of my childhood influences that left a lasting impression on me, namely, Tolstoy’s “God sees the truth but waits”, had nothing whatsoever to do with this one. The relation to that struck me when I was typing this post. But come to think of it, it does seem more and more like a versified form of that.

I always used to have this idea, probably from reading too much of Robin Hood, and such other stuff, about what I would do, how I would behave if I was imprisoned wrongly. Somehow all my life(even today) I keep getting this fantasy idea of myself as a vigilante after getting released for some crime I didn’t commit etc.  But thinking practically of a scenario where I couldn’t get out to do all that superman, batman stuff, this was what I could come up with. Maybe this is the way it will be.

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