Thirsty River

From a tiny spout, it slowly begins to take form,
Filled drop by drop, from the contributions of a storm,
Every single memory, every moment, a part of the deluge,
And when you cross the banks, they have no refuge.

At first glance, when you covered my eyes with a cloud,
Pleasantly blinded, my eyes refused to share this aloud,
The cloud soon gets too heavy, and yet refuses to rain,
The fear of losing you was that much of a pain.

What my eyes can’t, I ask my mouth, the lips stay sealed,
They say you are too precious a treasure, to be revealed,
Besides, why waste words, when they pale in comparision,
They left all the talking to the eyes that can envision.

But even the eyes cannot describe the colour of a smile,
Having not known such geniality in a long long while,
All the colours in the world would disown their own brother,
To be in the picture that captures those lips spreading together.

Every staring moment, you have been drinking,
My life, drop by drop, without me even thinking,
The minutes, hours, days, flow away instant by instant,
As I wonder how the raindrop never feels the river distant.

Everything I have had, I have long since given,
And everything that I will, is already given,
But that smile of yours never stops asking,
And my enslaved attention forces me to give without having.

The more I give you, the more you will always want,
But even giving up my life to tell you that I can’t,
Is like shooting our memories, to empty an inexhaustible quiver,
Like crying my heart out, to quench a thirsty river.

This one is dedicated to a person I shall not name. I happened to see her photo after more than 1.5 years, and the very first glance wiped away more than a year of depression. It showed me new meaning to what i was doing, and new purpose to what  i have long wanted to do. This one naturally goes into the Mirror.

How often do we come across people who have such a strong impact on our lives that they alter not just the course of our lives, but also the course of our thinking. Thirsty River is about such a challenging person who drew out the best in me, when i was least bothered about it, and made me care about it. She is stuck in my eyes, and i never cry in the fear of losing her in the tears.

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Within Beyond

When the boundaries of humanity are marked by endless sand,
And yet you know, beyond the water, there’s more land,
When there’s no more land, than the place you stand,
And yet the water keeps seeping right through your hand.

When you have finally measured the real distance to horizon,
And yet find yourself nowhere closer to the sun,
When the journey ceases to be any longer about the distance,
And yet you cannot stop measuring the lengths of hesitance.

When you realise some things deserve expression through speech,
And yet the silence cannot be broken, completely out of reach,
When your throat goes dry, right when words mean the most,
And yet your mind is at ease, because you tried your utmost.

When sorrow is high, and there are no consolations to hear,
And yet a lot gets spoken, by the first falling tear,
When the pain gets more than the mind can pretend,
And yet the continued silence, convinces you it will end.

When fear means more than just a possible danger,
And yet courage shies away, pretending to be a stranger,
When the night gets older, and shadows grow longer,
And yet you find your confidence getting stronger.

When time takes you on a ride, for every simple task,
And yet respite is the last thing you want to ask,
When life fills you with more memories than you can keep,
And yet you wish for some of them to forever sleep.

When the opportunities are fewer than the possibilities can grasp,
And yet chances always seem to evade your determined clasp,
When you are told it is childish fantasy, to wish upon a star,
And yet you smile within, for, things are as near, as they are far.

This Gazebo piece is for the dichotomous nature that abides and pervades most of us. We are stronger when we are expected to be at our weakest, and weaker when expected to be at our strongest. We are more determined when we know nobody believes in us, and sometimes, bewildered when so many believe in us. But that dichotomy makes us what we are, and takes us to where we will go. This one is dedicated to the belief that things are only as difficult as we perceive them to be, and and only as achievable as we want them to be.

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.

Firdaus

Where footsteps have never yet made sound,
And yet everybody is forever on moving ground,
Where hands have never yet known the meaning of touch,
And yet reality is the only thing completely out of touch.

Where every word has its own independent voice,
And yet every interpretation is spoiled by lack of choice,
Where every thought feeds on the fruits of liberation,
And yet every deed suffers from the absence of deliberation.

Where truth can hold its head forever high,
And yet doubt is forcibly pushed to fly,
Where fear is flushed out from every corner,
And yet courage found no votes it could garner.

Where nobody cared whether the time went slow,
And yet limited each day, by the amount they could flow,
Where distance was a measure of where rather than far,
And yet they needed to only think, not wish, upon a star.

Where death is a term coined only for the dictionary,
And yet eternity never seems out of the ordinary,
Where life is a term that signifies mere existence,
And yet living is an appropriate measure of its distance.

Where every feeling is worth more than its meaning,
And yet they possess no emotion capable of revealing,
Where every end is only the means to a new beginning,
And yet they never remember ever winning or losing.

Where the mind has wings, and the heart has a voice,
And yet they cannot find a single reason to rejoice,
There, consciousness is something they would gladly miss,
So that they can spend another moment, in this eternal bliss.

This one was destined for the Beacons, being my tribute to Gulzar. This person has single-handedly change the course of my feelings more times than anyone can imagine. (imagine a multiplication factor of 50 times per day)

Cannibal

For a second, all seems quiet in this primeval forest,
But only a second, silence is something they all detest,
Each to itself, noise is their only music, their only protest,
For, asking for understanding, is too formidable a request.

Above the saplings, beneath the vines, I finally reach a clearing,
Only to comprehend, it is the end of the jungle I am nearing,
There was once a time, when it stretched to the ends of land,
Ages ago, before it was within grasp of man’s lusty hand.

But things have changed, and so have the times,
All that persists, is the pungence of its ripe limes,
The grandeur only remains in the great oak’s tale,
As a witness to a relationship now nearly stale.

Gone are the days when the flora swayed in the breeze,
To the tune of young birds celebrating their release,
Days when the daisies couldn’t wait for the sunshine of spring,
Nights when cuckoos shivered, at what the winter would bring.

But the birds, grow tired soon, and shall no longer sing,
They find the tree too stuffy, to  even rest their wing,
Deafened by time, the trees too are now beyond caring,
Although they admit, the separation is beyond bearing.

The squirrel meekly watches, as the birds go their way,
Leaving the old peepul behind, for people to log away,
It looks up one last time, at the slowly receding pack,
Now more than sure, nothing will make them come back.

One such a ground I stand, a slave without a conscience,
Greedy, slogging for the greedy, who demand obedience,
Sweating, I continue, hacking away at the roots that feed humanity,
So that my children’s dream can soon turn into a concrete reality.

Although any reader would surely put this under Gazebo, the place it rightly belongs is Mirror, because not only is this about the environment, it is more about my own life than anything else. The message and the rest of the stuff is merely camouflage over a more sinister story of my own life. It is as much about an educated woodcutter and the ecological balance, as it is about two people whom I value more than my life fighting with each other, unable to bear each other. There’s a lot more to say, but that will have to wait till I get some comments :).

Threshold

The morning breaks out into a clear blue sky,
And you decide, today is the day, to give it a try,
So you begin, to prepare a schedule, fix the time,
By the time it’s done, the clock strikes noontime.

So busy, engaged in imitating yesterday’s work,
That you forgot, to try and make this schedule work,
Perhaps a little later, maybe the evening you decide,
Another of those opportunities that chance was denied.

Soon the sun too begins to get rid of its glow,
And you’re still busy, catching up with the flow,
When the strength gets weak, and the morale is low,
You coax the schedule to make its clock go more slow.

The sun is unwilling, but the moon cannot wait,
That’s when you realise, that things aren’t right,
You and chance part ways, hopefully only for the night,
Hoping tomorrow would show it in a much better light.

Just close your eyes, and think of the day goneby,
Look at the roads not taken, and ask yourself why,
Then open your eyes, an look above at any star,
And learn to ask how near, instead of how far.

Make sure atleast tomorrow takes you forward,
And doubt not, if progress can only mean onward,
Just because something seems to snap every time you try,
Doesn’t mean there is reason enough to stop and cry.

Because there is always hope, and abundance of it,
Awaiting to be useful, whenever you deem it fit,
There’s always sunrise tomorrow, to emerge from this darkness,
Because every morning you stand, on the threshold of greatness.

This one was a close contest, but I guess the universality was what pushed it into Gazebo from Mirror. This happened to be another of those ways life wakes you up, when you are sleeping at the wheel. In this case it was in the form of my employer. I was happy that I got into a nice comfy job, and had started to neglect my research, justifing it to myself with some or the other excuse. When all of a sudden, when I was almost asleep during an Induction Programme(why do things always strike me in sleep?), I half-heard the word ‘Threshold’.

At that instant, all my sleep vanished aand thoughts suddenly started flowing. In 15 minutes, the whole poem was ready, and once I read it I couldn’t help but agree that it really reflected the sad state of affairs that I could call my present life. The reason I am posting this today, is that I have finally climbed the first step to greatness called ‘effort’. Today morning I finally acheived the breakthrough, I got myself the schematics to the circuit board that I was searching for more than a year. They say life is what happens when everybody is sleeping, so too it did, today morning at 3AM, I finally got the schematics.

Anthem

Happy and sad, about being sad,
Certain and uncertain, about being glad,
Enraged and composed, on being compared,
Desirous and content, of being ignored.

Anxious and patient, to do nothing,
Hopeful and scared, to learn something,
Curious and nonchalant, to create something,
Hopeless and expectant, to need nothing.

Delighted and bereaving, the ensuing joy,
Unabashed and bashful, on being coy,
Flustered and pleased, for being complacent,
Farther and nearer, to becoming self-distant.

Pained and relieved, on feeling the hurt,
Cheerful and grim, for heeding the heart,
Cleansed and stinking, from the hidden dirt,
Restored and fatigued, from all this effort.

Surprised and humbled, by this sudden success,
Filled and emptied, by a renegade excess,
Stirred and propelled, from an expected failure,
Interested and bored, in the promised cure.

Seen and unseen, all of my actions are known,
Heard and unheard, they converse with the unknown,
Touched and untouched, they want me re-living,
Kindness and neglect, they taught me giving.

Liberated and chained, I live in parole,
Till life and death, get tired of my soul,
Faithful and blasphemous, I shall continue to pray,
For, spoken and unspoken, there’s lot more to say.

This one is dedicated to me, to the Jekyll and Hyde within me, so that puts it in Mirror. How often have we felt multiple emotions over a single incident. I don’t know about others, but every single incident in my life has always made me think and feel in two or more ways. Sometimes a whole range, starting from shock, moving to horror, then waning into pity before fizzling out into mere sorrow.

I understand that I am one, but my consciousness refuses to believe in it completely, and thus leaves scope for repeated reinterpretations of one single moment. What purpose retrospection serves, to what end is introspection useful, I still know not with conviction. But what I do know is that this is the truth that my life is all about, the feelings that my story is all about, this is my song, my anthem.

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