Friday, August 24, 2012
The rain brings out the solitude. Solitude brings out the wanderer.
The wanderer searches for what it does not know.
A longing arises from the unknowing. That longing is you.
Now look what you did, oh stupid rain you!
I wouldn't blame you for not believing in magic,
for magic is believing the unknown.
But allow me to walk you through that fleeting moment,
when the ephemeral raindrops caress your cheeks,
and as they do, the thought of me runs through your heart.
Saturday, May 12, 2012
Patta patta zindagi, bilakti si hui jo shuru
uss ped, uss maa ke aanchal main pali
dar dar ke rone main guzri, chhoti si zindagi hi to hai.
Hawao ke aane se khilkhila uthi thi jo
aandhiyo ki lapto main kapkapa rhi thi jo
chhoti si hi sahi, par zindagi to hai.
Pakde rhe jo haath, wo chhod nikal jaane ko
bilbila rahi zabano pe, dard ki baahon main
khushi ki kilkaariyon main lipti
Teri meri zindagi hi to hai.
Toot ke ud gye jo khwaahisho ke dum se
Aasmaan chhoo lene ke armaano main uljhi
murjhaye hue unn palo main simti
tarasti tadapti, khamosh si zindagi ho to hai.
Raaton ki khamoshi main, din ke ujaalo main
Girti uthti kisi mod pe padi, uss aagaaz se iss anjaam tak
tere meri zindagi hi to hai.
Thursday, May 10, 2012
A life in linear begs for chaos. Discounting those who find fascination in symmetry, it is the enthrallment of a chaos that rests deep within like a jack in the box, springing an inevitable surprise in the argument with the self. Some are bound by their selves to follow the pattern and live the lines while others roll the dice. There’s a maniac in all of us that waits and smiles and wants things to go haywire, just to know how things pan out.
Open, twisted, up-to-no-good-shoe-laces that draw out the thinker in us or the wild winding roads promising you a ticket to nowhere. Nowhere, a destination we hope exists.
Chaos calls you out and the allure of being lost is a spell in itself. Lost not just in the way, but in your own self and the surroundings. You don’t want to know where you are. The cacophony becomes a symphony, the bustle of the streets almost an orchestra and the noises in your head start singing that tune you love. How amazing it is to be lost and not found.
To be lost and not found. To camouflage and merge. To explode and go unnoticed. Chaos makes you special. The pieces of a jigsaw seem more appealing when not arranged in order. In your head you’ve imagined countless other ways in which it can be arranged. Why make sense when you can paint a beautiful chaos?
Do not reason with chaos. Not that it wants or needs a reason, especially when you’re in it. Move aimlessly, move awkward, be awkward, be you, be someone else. Decolonize your senses and make home in the bedlam. Romance the mayhem and break the sermons into concoctions that only you know of.
Do you know of that feeling when you fall into rapid waters, almost drowning yourself and then emerging from it? Panic is not it. Relief is not it. Rediscover. That’s it.
Monday, December 19, 2011
Sought what, not it knew, one above, the other below.
A hunger born from the shadows of your silence, in the often listless gazes and the echoing sighs. It falls short of transforming into words as it reaches your lips and dissolves into a smile. What is that hunger? Why the smile?
You had evolved to look past those stained glasses, deep into the clarity that lay ahead. The smile came across every-time you managed to look at those stains and make them invisible. You couldn’t bear that smile. You knew what it meant, the stained glass and the paint scratched across its face. It stood for those thoughts that put you at peace and injected insomnia into your veins at the same time. The hunger can be forgotten, but the pangs are a terrible reminder.
You had turned your back to the world and yet longed for it through the dirty glass. You went back to it when there was need and filling up the vessel from the well that was the world. Satiated in a few sips, you turned your back again. Those restless feet had taken you to places unknown, sometimes wanted and unwanted, sometimes unwarranted but none filled you as much. This emptiness reminded you that a thought is a terrible master and the mind a submissive slave. <smirks>
An unsure mind begets a hunger, one that neither your heart nor your soul can contain or comprehend. Yet it exists, like that proverbial hole in the belly that just wouldn’t fill up. The challenge of filling up that endless pit, for the mind is hard to please. But is it?
Sought what, now you knew…
The mind and that thing you call your soul are designed to defend a thought which is your own. Guiding your ship through the unstable seas, these thoughts are the stars that fill your night sky. You chase them, but now you know why. Sometimes all that the hungry soul needs, is the chase and sometimes finds satisfaction in the kill.
The soul shall never find a permanent home for it is meant to travel, through one body to another and from only life to another. You, for whatever time you plan to remain shall be a vessel to this hungry soul. A moment no matter how profound, cannot fill it in full.
This hunger is your fuel. Satisfaction, tiny bursts of joy. The hunt, your life.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Go chase that smoke somewhere.
It will, if you shall ask me
lead you to yonder.
Where the horizon inside you
finds a companion.
Your hands shall embrace your heart
feeling it breathe,
like you imagined it would.
Rise with that smoke, twirl.
The leaf, your body
lighter than your soul.
That light, smooth as silk,
let it caress you.
Your toes let them breathe too,
and break the tangent you call life.
Reach out, but I promise you
as earthly as it is mystical,
is neither a lure, nor a mirage.
Rather a string that pulls you,
Chaotic yet rhythmic, this trance,
a majestic mesmerizing dance.
Neither are you a slave,
nor it your master.
Nothing it can give, but you
nothing you can gain, but you.
These senses like manacles
imprison your soul.
Rise above, rise beyond
and you shall learn to let go.
Go chase that smoke somewhere.
Monday, June 06, 2011
Rarely was a life as worthy of a person as he. Someone who proudly bore the imprints of the earth on his knees, for every time he fell down. Whose sweat had showered the ground more times than the rain and a sand clock-face that did not betray any emotion. They said they never saw him smile.
For a decade and a half he had held back those smiles, hiding them in a safe place, anticipating one final burst. An imaginary veil kept his eyes pure and his freckles alive. Whenever we did manage to lose ourselves in his eyes, the magnitude of the grief searing through our souls hit us all like a bullet. The struggle with the decades had made his lips weak, his heart a sponge, yet his body remained solid as a rock and his movements were never languid. When he spoke, which he seldom did, we’d listen mesmerized and awed. It wasn’t what he said but the way he said it that perked our ears. Years of wisdom were poured into a few moments. He never smiled.
He didn’t need to say it, we understood that no matter the span of his lips, it was no measure of his happiness, nor was the ocean in his eyes deep enough to express his sorrow in a justified magnitude. Every time he held back a word or an emotion, it seemed to add another freckle on his limestone face. He wasn’t intimidating and nor was his glare a threat. His movement peaceful, serene. Like pulled out of a perfect painting and placed amongst us. A mountain of tranquility rested on those eyebrows and we were just glad to have grown up under them.
16 years, day in day out, we watched. Awaiting that smile which never came or that laugh that was long overdue. Did he not have a reason? We pondered.
A hat on his head, he would walk tall and face the invisible storm ‘head on’ every single morning. Those shoulders had borne the ‘burden’ many would crack under. His son. He never lost that gait.
That morning, I still remember, as distinctly as the lines on my palm. The sun had made its way up but the old man had beaten him to it, again. The sidewalk now carried him like a leaf and he breathed, chasms separating one breath from the other. On any other day he would’ve just walked, without caring to notice or acknowledge the surroundings. Today it was different. He suddenly glanced around, half expecting us to break into a rapturous applause.
Then he fell, like a bag of sticks let loose, he fell.
Bystanders gathered around as I gently lay his head in my lap and saw something I’d never seen. I had read about it in books, heard it in sermons but had never witnessed it before, until that moment. They say that the most beautiful thing in the world is a smile that struggles through tears. There it was. The silver lining of his tears cascaded its way into the deep gorge of his smile. Even in that moment of grief that held us stone-cold, there was an astounding beauty. No one cried, nobody could! One man’s dying face captured every ounce of beauty that was in the world, real and surreal. All our life we had been captivated by beauty in all shapes, forms and sizes but this beauty could not possibly be put into words. This beauty could just be felt like the way it was supposed to be. In its purest form.
We managed a weak smile; he smiled back with a look of satisfaction. His bucket of life had been an agony and still he was content. We knew it as we fell into those eyes again, until he spoke.
“Finally, I’ll get to embrace him, my son, up there”. Those were his last words.
I have written this post for Yahoo! India and Dove "I Believe in Real Beauty" in under the topic "What does real Beauty Mean to Me?"
Friday, March 18, 2011
The flies were the only companion it had. And now there was Me. I used to squat on the cold floor, my naked legs flippity-flopping against it until mom asked me to stop. The dusty old lamp was kept right above that huge wooden cupboard that housed the untouchable things. My stature against that wooden giant was like that of a snail staring into the eyes of an elephant.
Every morning the window above would usher in new waves of sunlight and I would hope that the waves would carry enough weight to rub the lamp and make it dance and twirl until something magical appeared. I would camp at the bank of this invisible river that separated me from that cupboard. I wouldn't dare cross that 'river', scared that something would disturb those magical creatures living inside. Asking mom to fetch it was out of the question as mom would instantly turn into a stone if she touched the lamp. Dad wasn't around in daytime and I couldn't possibly look at the lamp in the dark, let alone step inside the room.
Only once had I caught a glance of it after sunset, when I crossed the 'room with the cupboard' to get to the fridge at 1 in the night. After cursing myself for getting thirsty at that hour I darted across the room with closed eyes. But inquisitiveness got the better of me as I peaked between my fingers and could see the lamp shining like a pearl and smiling at me like a vicious animal.
From that day on, I never entered the room at nigh-time. Though during day-time, when angels roamed around the streets dressed as humans, I could tell that the lamp too had transformed into a friendly magician, waiting for me to make the first move.
I tried talking to it once and was sure that it listened because as I spoke, a fly sitting on it flew across the river and landed on my nose. I knew it was a message from the inhabitant of the lamp. Even my breathing would've disrupted the message; Holding my breath I tried to bend my ears towards my nose, like those dogs do, to listen to everything the fly had to say. The fly wrestled with my nose for a few seconds and flew away.
'She' must have scribbled something on my nose. Even though I was completely desperate to know what it was, but regaining my breath was more important and so I took in a mouthful of air, more dramatic than panting after running a mile. Rushing towards the bathroom mirror, I stopped millimeters short of the glass and pushed my face right into it. So close that if I poked any more, I'd risk falling into the other side. A friend had warned me against doing that, else I risked getting nabbed by the 'Stealer' from the other side of the mirror. He'd told me that once he had seen a picture of his grandma looking into the mirror. She was so young and pretty, with long black hair. But now she was old and weak and her hair had gone grey. It was the 'Stealer' who had stolen her beauty. So scared was he that he never got too close to the mirror and always had the most disheveled hair in the class.
But I would've believed him, had he not made up a story about the big scar he had. He said that his father had given him the scar when he had put out his cigarette on his arm. He thought I'd believe that!
Anyways, I had to checkout what was written on my nose by that messenger fly. Maybe it contained a code that would set the lamp magically alive. But even the closest of examinations did not reveal anything. Disappointed, I washed my nose and looked out of the window.
Huge birds flew again in the sky, leaving a trail of smoke behind. I ran out to chase them....