Monday, 24 June 2013
The people seem relieved
The rain has fallen and quenched the heat
Chirping birds wake the morn
The Sun is out bringing the dawn
I am a face not unique
From amidst the crowd, a soul
I see no Sun, the rain falls hard
And this haggard self stands alone
I have a pain that nags me so
I have a stereotype to break
I live in fear everyday
I'm mocked and beaten, in terror I quake
They say a roof over your head,
A love, can beat times tough
But when you can only see through broken glass
Can food, money and family be enough?
A thousand suffering eyes
Look incredulously up at me
They recount the blessings I have in life
And yet, and yet...
I can't seem to get free
I want to rattle my shackles and scream from my lungs
Till the world hears my pleas
I will not be guilted by
The 'luxuries' I get, 'with ease'
Why is it that one negative thought, sometimes,
Cancels out every positive emotion?*
You risk your happiness and peace of mind for that one cause
Such is the passion, such is the devotion!
You know you are right; the world couldn't care less
The promised tomorrow becomes a drone
And that's why the pain gnaws away all colours around
Till I stand in the dark, writhing and alone
That's why the rain weighs me down
The storm is a blizzard through my heart
The desire to be happy flutters weakly
Under the Fire that tears me apart
The birds of dawn spread their wings wide
Their freedom is more than I can ever take
I climb a high-rise building and perform the final act
The empty, hopeless, deluded life - Couldn't leave. Couldn't stay.
My wistful eyes tell a story of many
Yet, they condemn me for my decision
The thing is -
Everyone's on to the emptiness
But it takes guts to acknowledge the hopelessness of the situation.**
*Inspired by the TV series Sex and the City; season 5 (2002), episode Critical Condition,
Saturday, 18 May 2013
Slavery and Escape
For every beat of the drum, in steady rhythm
A whip cracks, chains tauten; humans, chains themselves
A beat, and an axe digs into the trunk, a scarred willow
Sweat, blood, pain, cry, pleas and prayers- silent and unheard; tears unseen
A membrane is torn, yet the drumbeats
The slogging ’machines’ are worn, yet the whips
One stroke of the axe, the last straw
The cut too deep, can bear no more; collapse, fall.
But the land is same, destined to be enslaved
The scattered seeds, a new generation is born
The children rise, doomed with the same ill fate,
The axe whips on.
The membrane is torn, but now no drum beats,
For they pounce and render their master slave, all man and beast
But abused in body, mind and soul, they succumb to fatigue,
It takes its time, but life comes around in its own way.
Slaves now remain no more, at least in man and beast,
But the axe, the tree, no metaphor; Nature too abused,
Tortured and enslaved by the same master,
Its atrocities haven't ceased.
Slaves remain no more, but the ‘lost master’ still exists,
It crawls beneath and finds its last few moments of comfort bestowed by the shadow of the tree,
The slave-driver sought compassion from the same Nature it exploited so brutally,
And then, eternal peace.
Revenge, sought man, and finds for itself Death, its true home,
After its ‘Master-Slave’ sojourn;
Love, sought the tree, and it lives on
Bearing the scars for all to see and learn.
Mama said, “Do it now,
‘Cause time ain't waiting for none,
Your life’s there before you,
And you've only just begun.
A moment’s slip’s all it takes
Her words fell on deaf ears,
(Well, she was old) and,
I had no time for retards
I was too fast for her
Yeah, my technology!
Only, now I wish, if I could've heard
Her out, slow it down,
Now I clutch onto the stream
But the water flows past
It strips me, I'm nothing
No, it won’t last
The pendulum swings
And no one hears my cry,
It’s not coming back
No, time has gone by!
They preached and they pled
Some pulled me down
So I learned to get up instead
"Your life’s your car
Go, steer it as you want!"
But, there’s only so much you can do
When you’re out of fuel
Before you even start
It’s a nightmare and it haunts, Oh!!
So I held on to the ground
But it’s broken beneath my weight
From between my fingers
The sand’s slipped away
The pendulum has swung
The seconds have ticked by
Now it won’t ever come back
The time has gone by!
‘Was so much I could do
That I needed to
Now no fear, no pain
Will bring it back again
And all that it’d ever be
Just a dream!!
Now I clutch onto the stream
I try to awaken the dead
But the bullet’s left the gun
My sky’s a lead
But the pendulum has swung
The seconds have ticked by
Now it won’t ever come back
The time has gone by!
The time has gone by!
Mama said, “Do it now.”
No One’s Slave
Each day unleashed before me
Brings a new sky to the fore
A new colour in the rainbow
That I’d not noticed before
It spreads its wings, wide and fearlessly
Knowing, without it, the picture is incomplete
And though it’s not understood now
It will be accepted eventually
And when the Sun goes down and twinkling is out
Night sky brings to me
So many lights – dull and bright,
Where each one counts,
Though some can’t be seen
They tell me their heart is their guide
There is no wrong, there is no right
So brave, they explore and cross lines!
Not scared of failure or envy
I want to reach for the sky
And put it all in me,
There’s a difference inside
That wants to break free!
So tear apart my heart,
I want to make a fresh start,
So, I am what I want to be
Trying to figure out my life
Who says I can’t take time?
Don’t like the answer I’ve got
That’s not what I want
I don’t want to be
Yet another slave to Stereotype
Monday, 15 April 2013
MY GRANDMOTHER - THE
The mountain stands still
Calm and serene
Her head held aloft
Yet unheard, and almost unseen
She seems to go on and on
Like the infinite
Standing beside me, with me
Day and night
She begins with pure white
At the top
Her body follows thereafter
Like a pearly frock
No, not in the least
Not with the wrinkled Earth she bears,
Nor the wild bushes she so lovingly cares,
No, what stands out is her beauty
Unmatched, by any animate soul
That walks the planet,
Till its deepest bowl
She’s not even inanimate
Yet, beyond the living
She is with me all the time
She is tender and giving
For, when I feel tired, worn out
Her warmth is what comforts me
More than any patting, her cradle I desire
The lap above her knee
She is not perfect,
Thus, I rave at her sometimes, for her imperfection
Yet, on Doomsday,
I see my true reflection
She provides me so much essential for existence
Yet makes no sound about it
Remains silent, and just does sit
I regret angering her.
I feel really sorry
When she displays her landslides, her rules, her norms,
I take her for granted
Till, at last, she storms
Oh, so royal!
And I think-
What would life be without her?
Close to nothing,
I want her to be with me,
All day, all night
And shudder when I fantasize
What would it all have been like
Had she not have been
Love you, Nani!!
RISE UP TO CHALLENGES
Thousands of years ago
The Sun stared at all below
“I am the King of all beings,
Before me you’ll bow”.
With this he stood tall
And became as hot as hell,
A soul did not survive thereafter
Not a creature on Earth did dwell.
Heaven above was disturbed
To see such fury,
Deciding something had to be done
He chose to act jury.
Succumbing under the hot sun
Tears fell from His eye,
And drops of rain were first felt
From the azure sky.
“Ha! This is what you send, O Lord,
To defeat Earth’s royalty?!
Why, a thing made of drops,
How could it possibly overcome me?”
No doubt a tough call ‘twas
To look up to the sun,
But something had to be done for sure
The battle had to be won.
A tiny droplet opened its eyes
“A challenge did I hear?”
“Oh, get back, you fool,” did the ocean sigh,
“Aware are you what you’ll have to bear?”
“Yes, sir, aware I am,
That I’ll exist no more,
But does that make me sit back,
Is that the true cure?”
“Go on, then,” roared the ocean,
“We’ll see what you get,
And when you break in agony
Don’t you dare fret!”
“So then, so long! Fare thee well!”
The tone was unusually grave,
“For time will tell, and you’ll learn
How fortune favours the brave!”
And so he dared to see eye to eye
With the Heat above,
Who said, “You’ll soon be gone, you proud twit,
Go remember the ones you love!”
Escaping ocean was one thing
But what about the rest?
The newly hatched never knew
What lay beyond the nest!
The sun glared down upon the drop
Lo behold! It turned into a wisp,
“Yes! Come forward to challenge me,
And I’ll deal you a death kiss!”
At the sight of the vapour drop
The ocean booed and sniggered galore
The failure pierced the tiny heart
Right through the core.
“Am I a fool really,
To dream beyond the infinite?
Can there really be no match
For the sun’s might?”
In the sad eyes reflected
The wicked looks of all,
Fire and ice together
Were determined for his fall.
The condensed drop was charged again
To prove ‘em all wrong,
For faith he had in God,
“He won’t make me wait so long!”
This time he aimed for the ray
That needled him so,
“Die, if I must, I shall,
But I will defeat my foe!”
So he went to touch the sun above
To see himself win
What happened? He got lost,
The yellow sun within!
A moment of silence,
Not a whisper, not a word,
And then it spread into the sky
Like the wings of a bird!
Together, they watched awestruck
As the beauty unfolded before
A white light split into the magnificent colours
Of the rainbow!
“So there! Yes, friends,
What I have done, you could've too, long ago,
Go rise, at least try,
Don’t lie so low!”
And since time immemorial
This practice began,
Reminding us of the tiny drop
That dared to say, “I can!”
So, rise up and take the challenge
You won’t be you, for sure
Try, as much as you fail,
Rise up, and dare to dare,
And you will be much more!!
Sunday, 14 April 2013
I look out of my home
I see a creature trapped; I'm moved by its plight
The beast is a miserable sight.
Its eyes are confused and scared
It doesn't seem to know how it ended up caged
Tears of worry, fear and dread well up
Its whimpers plead with me to set it free,
It looks at my world with envy.
I think it’s cursing its milieu
That thrives on survival instinct, where might is right,
Where one animal devours the other mercilessly, and
Cages and clouds of darkness and sorrow are, sometimes, impossible to fight
Who must be so cruel, as to cage the helpless soul?
Why must it be caged, while I walk free?
So I take a step towards it
I want to help it escape,
But they tell me it’s a bad idea
“That beast has ruined our homeland”, they tell me,
“Our peace, our children, our shelter are in peril.
It deserves what it got; it brought this onto itself,
The Earth can survive only by rejecting that devil.”
“But, to err is human,” I feel for the soul!
They say -
“Ah! But the error of being a human is grave!
That thing has always frowned upon us, as creatures so base!
Now it looks to us for help, the knave!
Nature chose it to discern right from wrong
So it mistook itself for the mightiest of all.
It prides on its spine, and struts proud and tall,
I've never seen a more spineless creature,
But son, the higher you rise, the harder you fall!
The divisions it created to satisfy its ends
Backfired; its atrocities ghettoed it, without a care!
Bar after bar, the prison closed in,
The entrapped soul was forced to drink its own poison,
Do you still think it’s unfair?”
So I acquiesce, and walk back to my den
I turn my back on the perfidious beast; it looks outraged
I walk back, free, with my pals – the birds and the animals,
While the human sits there, unhappy and caged.
Saturday, 13 April 2013
Happy moments of life are like dew
Precious and rare, they are far and few
When your glass seems half empty; when it’s really half full
Yet you feel your life needs a pull,
Then listen to me, lend me your ears!
For I’ve a solution for all your fears
Sometimes, life’s coarse; it’s not always silk
But there’s no use crying over spilt milk
Think deep and you’ll find
If Winter comes, then Spring’s not far behind*
When things get too hard to cope
Just two forces urge you- faith and hope
To go on, just as nothing’s happened
And everything’s bright, none is dampened
So cheer up, and stop whining
For every cloud has a silver lining
Your ‘fall’, besides, is really one
When you don’t wish to get up to get it all undone
And while the sun shines, do make hay
‘Cause life’s too short for worrying away
And this is the time to prove them wrong
Who tried to weaken you when you were strong
So rebuild yourself with those worn-out tools**
And don’t care what they say, those foolish mules!
When life’s not straight, it’s full of curves
It’s he who wins who keeps his nerves.
* "If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?", from Ode to the West Wind by P. B. Shelley
** "And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools", from If by Rudyard Kipling
DON'T BREAK THE CONNECTION
Today I stand tall and proud; I face the world
Evolved from mere cell to a complete life form
9 crucial months of toil make an independent being
Dependent on Her womb, safe and warm
Today I stand a big man; how can I afford to not look back?
This wouldn't be, but for the tube I stuck to,
Through which I was fed;
When Nature chooses to bind us to our roots
Who am I to break the thread?
Brother, what’s before you will seem interesting
The unseen will intrigue you even more
But your past holds value too; don’t let go, hold on
Before it has closed its doors.
For it reminds you of where you started
All the hard work that brought you here
And reminds you that those you contempt today
Can rise and be your greatest fear
Your past urges you to climb, but not so high
That what's below becomes a blur,
Yet prevents you from stooping so low
Lest the ground beneath should stir.
So don't pull so hard the string snaps
And you're blown away by the winds of change
Your soul keeps you in place, it's your conscience,
Don't let your mind leave it estranged
Wagging tongues swayed by the glitz and glamour; living speaking puppets
Are dumb, for there is no inner voice
Awestruck eyes that stare at the lights are blind
To all reason, truth, integrity, honesty they once rejoiced.
Fairly judge your rights and wrongs
Don’t let jealousy consume and devour you,
Don’t harbour hatred and loathing
You know you don’t need to
For you know you’re not a block of ice, that
Can’t find warmth even among your own
You’re not yet so isolated, that
You can’t find a shoulder to lean and cry on
Dark clouds envelope all lives; you aren’t immune
So don’t hesitate to help the needy, where smile and glow are rare;
Do, because you feel, and not to enhance your CV
And yet don’t please the world so much that you ignore your near and dear
Don’t underestimate the power of love and the morals She taught you
Don’t dismiss them as old wives’ tales
Their prayers and blessings come to your rescue
When everything else fails
Life’s a bed of roses from above, but
Much awaits the keen eye, if you look under
Stalks, leading pretty petals down to their low, brown roots
Thorns, for the careless and prone to blunder
So don’t stand so stiff
That you break if you bend,
Be ready to apologize. Fall and rise
Admit your mistakes and learn from them
And yet, don’t fall so deep, that getting up again seems away
March forward, slowly and steadily; take one step at a time.
Don’t always rush, silence strikes gold
Introspection requires time, it doesn't happen overnight.
Cleanse your soul, make it your natural self
But preserve your dignity all the while
Don’t be a silent tongue to abuse, speak up against injustice
Today I stand tall, But am not vile! But am not docile!
All I say preserves one essence
To grow – into a better person, a better place
And this will definitely ensure your success.
They link to heaven. Don’t fear, feel the God within you, He is always present.
Take a few moments off. Stop.
And hear His voice. In peace.
And see, See that your string is so taut!
Please don’t let it strain!
The thread breaks, and you will feel the pain.
Don’t change so much that you cannot recognize yourself in the mirror.
So, don’t lose the touch, don’t withdraw the affection.
Spare a second, look at what you’re doing
Don’t ever break the connection.