Hand in hand…

The sky was dark. It was cold.

The night was young. And I was bold.

So I held her hand. Her tender, warm hand.

I felt myself quiver. Was it fear, or was it the cold that made me shiver?

But then I felt the grip. A firm, gentle grip. Of her hand, in my hand.

And everything felt fine, again.

And I smiled. She did too, I guess.

We just walked. And none of us bothered to talk.

Live in the moment they say. And we lived, we felt, we stayed, we swayed, in that moment.

We found a bench, wooden, rickety. And just sat there, gazing into eternity.

Seconds, minutes, hours went by. And the end drew nigh.

The night began to lighten. The day began to brighten.

I suddenly felt lonely, and sad. And a moment earlier I had been so peaceful and glad.

Time to go, she whispered, like a wisp, she vanished.

And suddenly I felt empty, cold. Its been years, my mind told, my heart.

She is no more. That she was never more, than a ghost tonight. Who vanished before the first light.

That she was an illusion. Her presence, a mere delusion, of an ailing heart, and a lost soul. My soul.

I looked at my hand, it still felt warm. As if she was leaning against my arm, her hand gripping mine.

And everything felt fine, again.

Right or wrong?

Right or wrong.
Weak or strong.
It’s all perception.
Like a dubious song.
Melodious. Yet odious.
Saddening. Yet uplifting.
Happening. Yet outmoded.
Like sides of a coin.
Equal bias. Fickle. Or pious.
No black or white.
The world’s a shade of grey.
The vantage point of a hunter.
The motivation of its prey.
A woman’s endurance.
A man’s sacrifice.
A mountain’s permanence.                          An uncertain, slippery precipice.                A river’s frivolity.                                          An ocean’s perpetuity.                             God’s command.                                               A despot’s law.                                                  A gardener’s sapling.                                      A carpenter’s saw.

Between the two extremes.
Wonders work. Dangers lurk.
People shirk. Some work.

But what’s right? What’s wrong?
It’s all perception. A dubious song.

I’m a terrible, terrible person.

Truth is a shining light. Truth is also a torrential rain.

It is soothing like warm sunlight, a mild drizzle, comforting, gratifying.

It is excruciating like scorching summer sun, a downpour, drenching, dejecting.

The truth is, I am an all right person. Or so I believe at times.                                         But the truth is also that I am a bad, bad person. And that, I know.

We always have this thing in the back of our minds, that we should adhere to our moral code. Our heart is our best friend. Our mind, our keenest critic.

Our moral codes are different. Because it is very hard to find a common ground of absolute good and and evil. No black or white, we all are shades of grey.

That is why we find our non adherence to our respective moral code more bothering than non adherence to a perceived absolute.

The sad thing is, when we deviate from our perceived notion of right and wrong, we don’t realise where we are heading to. We mould our years old notions and beliefs like plasticine, so easily, thinking that we are looking at the very same thing from a different angle.

We unknowingly counter our critic(s) with an unneeded ferocity. And sometimes even begin weighing in against the very foundation of our moral centre in a cushioned or a veiled manner.

Another sad thing, we realise our mistake, our fault  (our vehement protest against our very own set of beliefs) in retrospection. Always. And it’s hard, again. Because you can never be the same, things, can never be the same. Your moral code, your value system has to change, or adapt to strengthen, or completely implode. And that is scary.

Plus there’s a difference between realisation and acceptance. That transition, that leap is a daunting one.

I often find myself stuck in this miasma. I am aware. Yet indignant. It feels as if I am angry at something, or someone. Looking for any reason or any chance to vent all my brewing negativity at once.  There have been a lot of situations in which my reprimanding conscience, and intuition drive me mad.

And there have been a lot of such mistakes I have made in the past.

Lack of belief. Undirected hatred. Tempesting over a teapot. Bypassing the moral road. Realisation. Denial. Retrospection. Acceptance. Lack of courage, to own my mistake, to apologise.

Whatever we might seem from the outside. All right to some. Assholes to some. Let’s just be that from the inside too.

What makes us terrible, (what made me, or still makes me terrible.) is the duality of belief, lack of respect, ignorance towards conscience, and an an unchanneled negativity.

I’m a terrible, terrible person. But at least I know that. Do you?

Poet

Who is a poet? WHAT is a poet?

There are a lot of definitions. There must be.

The obvious one, obviously, is “A poet is someone who writes poems.”
I look at it differently. I think a poet is a lazy, lazy writer.

An impeccable, amazing writer, but so damn lazy.

 Poets doesn’t just adjust words into a line.

And a  poem is not a jigsaw puzzle.
Its a meandering river coursing through its own unique path to reach the common, ultimate destination.

Heart.

A poet could describe, discern volumes about something in just a couple of lines, and that too, in a rhyme.
What other writers usually describe in their ponderous tomes, he has LIVED in that description, in that moment.

And he has oozed out all the essence of that experience in a very limited and profound manner, with a beautiful garnish of rhythm, and raw emotion.
And this speaks volumes about his creativity, and his observational finesse, and of course, a very natural command of the language.
And its not that I’m denigrating writers. Writers are amazing imaginators (that’s not a word). And excellent with words.  But a poet is that good, and that unique, and that rare.
Though, there’s a poet in all of us. Or so we like to say. Or so we like to believe.

But we do know. Don’t we?
Another thing I think is unique about a poet is that he doesn’t have to (neither he has the patience) describe every nuance of his imagination. What angers him, or rather agitates him, is redundancy, and needless detail.
Maybe that’s what I’m doing here. Huh!

So. Poet? No I’m not. No.
Writer? Hahaha!!

Yeah. Good luck buddy!

A false reverie, a true nightmare…

“So.. You come here often?” She asked. Swirling the straw in the empty glass.
“No not often. But yeah. I have come here a couple of times. Nice place. Peaceful.” He said. Fixated on the beautiful face in front of him.
She smiled and blinked. And curled her jet black hair behind her ear. Her lips, smeared with red lipstick curved into a simple smile.
“So…” She said at last. Her large eyes, a tint of brown, blinked and then shied away.  He smiled, lost into her dreamy dusky face.
Words had dried. They had nothing to talk about, but a myriad to say.
“Want to eat something ??” He asked.

“No. I am full.”

“Want to go some place else?” She asked.

“Do you?”

“No. I kind of like it here.” She leaned  back, inhaling the ambience.

“Me too.” He smiled.
This was their first date. But it felt like they had known each other a lifetime ago.
“Thank you for meeting me. It means a lot.” He said.

“To be honest. You rescued me.” She said. “It’s been so long I went out like this.”
His face suddenly grew solemn, with a spasm of an inexplicable regret. She noticed that subtle moment. But remained silent. For a while they both remained still, lost in their own little world.
Finally she spoke. “You never came. You… You just left.” She choked.

Silence.

“I wanted to. But I couldn’t. You know that.” He intoned, containing himself.

Silence.

Tears welled up in her eyes. His eyes stared the wall hopelessly.
“She would have been eight today.” She said.

“I know.” He nodded. Still staring at the wall. Unable to look at the woman he once held in his arms.
“She would have pestered me to listen to her poems.” She said.

He smiled faintly.

“And she would have grown up to be so pretty. My baby.” She whimpered.

“The most beautiful thing in the world.” He said, tethering his surge of pain.
A silent tear trickled from the corner of her eye. He was crying like a child inside.
“I am sorry.” He said. “I left. I just couldn’t take it. I’m sorry. It hurt so much.”

Silence.

“Is it better now?” She said. Nearly a whisper.

“No. It hurts just as bad.”

“It’s been two years.”

“It’s been a lifetime.”

Silence.
“What do you want?” She said, with a sudden finality.

“Forgiveness. And us.” He said. As if ready  for this question.

“Us?” She said. Mildly sardonic. But unintended.

Silence.
” I love you.” He said earnestly and simply.

The phrase seemed so strange. To both of them.

Silence….

 

“I will always love you.” She said. Wiping her tears away.

Silence…

“What do YOU want?” He was restless. His emotions were overpowering him.

“To go back in time and live in our memories, those beautiful memories, again and again and again.”

 

Silence…
A man trying to rekindle the fire from the ashes.

A woman living in the past, crying whenever she woke up.
United in their pain.

Divided in their ways of dealing with it.

United in their hopelessness, and love.

 

An absolutely relative world..

We all have different ideas, notions, beliefs, perspectives.

We grow up differently. All of us have our unique value systems. Because of the many variables that affect them. Some genetic traits, some acquired values, many many more ways.

Similarly we have our own notions of right and wrong, good and bad, etcetera etcetera.

We live in a society governed by rules. Okay, let’s  assume such rules and laws are the most agreeable and unbiased opinions that we wish to follow. In many cases they are heavily opinionated and biased.

And that is the tragedy. Because in a world where everything is relative, every situation and the reaction to it, every belief, is relative. We expect some things to be absolutes. Laws. Right and wrong. Black and white.

But is it so??

We all have our targets. To accomplish something. To be something. To reach somewhere.

Though being competent in something, achieving something is always relative. Everything is ranked. Hierarchies. Vantage points.

But what’s absolute?

The taste of your favorite food. Absolutely good? Killing someone. Pure evil?

A kid’s smile. Pure bliss? Close.

The thing is, nothing is pure or sheer. The world is riddled with imperfections and opinionated outlooks. (However hard you try.).                                                     The only thing absolute is our belief in absolute, which again varies, because we have different beliefs, and different absolutes too.

But yeah. We scramble for a common ground and often find it. And just about manage it. And life goes on.

Don’t worry. It took me a while to understand it too. The weird shit I write. I think that’s close. Yeah.Really close.

The shit I write is ‘absolutely’ weird.

Between the two extremes.

Sitting in the corner. Or being in the centre. 

In between these two extremes lies our social being.

Yes fate positions us towards one of these two. But actually, its purely a matter of choice. And more than that, desire. 

There is no doubt that conviction helps us stay put and follow our proclivity.

Recognition. Acknowledgement. It’s not the same as being famous. Or is it? 

The line is thin. And our eyes, not so keen.

Its not as if the one sitting at the corner desires absolute anonymity. He also desires recognition and respect, but not in a way that suddenly brings him from the fringe into the fray.

Similarly, the one in the centre also doesn’t desire such fame which affects him privately. Because despite being inclined to take the centre stage in many situations, he also has a part of him who wants to sit back and relax in the corner.

And that’s important. The balancing act.

There’s anonymity in fame. Amidst the frenzy and the charades.

Fame in anonymity? The way you look at it. The mystery. The intrigue.

Gloom. Despondence. And a tempest of thoughts.

You know sometimes, you truly feel lost. Everything seems so insipid. Everything seems so ordinary. Gloom is besetting. And unsettling. But you can’t do anything about it. Or don’t. Apathy ensues.

Wallowing in bed, eyes closed, eyes open, doesn’t matter. Overthinking. Imagining impossibly beautiful scenarios. Sometimes just lying blank, unmindfully scrolling the news feed on facebook or Instagram. Witnessing another minute, another hour, another day go into the bin. Watching self centered narcissists and their stories of frolics, all the more agitating. But then again, apathy follows.

You don’t go out much. You don’t interact much. You don’t socialise much. You denigrate it privately. You find faults in everything. And boy! You are good at it. You think everything is so unnecessary. So kitschy. Too corny. 

Your eyes see nothing but problems in the world. That everything has a veil. That everyone is a charade. You overlook a lot of beautiful things. They just lie in front of you, waiting to be seen. You don’t even open your eyes to them. Let alone squint.

A moment comes, and you just can’t take this inertial state anymore. You want to scream, shout your lungs out. You want to rip your clothes off. In that moment, you want everything to change. And its so frustrating because its not possible. You vow to change, yourself and the situation. But in the back of your mind, you are aware that this just might be another whim of yours. And you try your best to battle it. No this time its different, you say. I will get into a routine. Or I will go out. Or I will go talk more, to my mom and dad, friends, heck! Even strangers. I will study more. Or I will work more. 

And you imagine the satisfaction and happiness you get when you turn things around. And the problem with you is that you have already imagined the whole scenario, what good could happen? What could go wrong? You have imagined, and acted every emotion and situation in your mind. So that makes the actual working part hackneyed and uninteresting.

And this happens every time. Everything, seems laced with banality. Every situation seems redundant.

For a person like this, (For you. If you identify with this predicament) any sudden thing or a situation he has not imagined, is the thing that gives him the kick. And that’s very rare by the way. Because he has all the time in the world to overthink. 

And he always knows where he is lacking, and what he is doing wrong. This is not a problem caused by lack of awareness. Its far from it.

This makes him hold unnecessary compunctions. His confidence, his will, absolutely sink. He is just like a walking, sentient, cognizant sponge. Observing everything, absorbing, everything. Compressing and compressing. Not knowing or not wanting to expand, regain its shape. Aware of the ridiculous burden or his own making, yet still bearing it. A burden of his own compunctions, convictions and his actions, or inactions I should say.

What can be done about this??

You know the answer. Always. 

 Just act on it. Even if you know all the outcomes.

Not all men…

​Not all men have a perverted mind.     Not all of us lurk behind.

Not all men have a black soul.                Not all of us are a demented ghoul. 

Not all of us are bereft of shame.           But all of us share the blame….

Of crimes so hideous and depraved.     The tortures our women have braved.

Yes, our women, they belong to us, we should be proud.                                         Not ogle at them, suppress them and force them into a shroud.

They deserve more, much more.             For they are Goddesses in our lore.

Not all men deserve women.                   But every woman deserves a MAN….

Delhi- ‘High’ on smoke…

​He coughed and coughed, and huffed and puffed.

Through the shroud of mist, or smog I should say.

No sunshine, no stepping out in the hay.

The city under a spell, of darkness and despair.

It better not be some thing which we cannot repair.

The future seems dark and desolate from here, more on the dystopian side.

Miles tall buildings, no air to breathe, nothing green, no one to chide.

Good health would just be a myth,  a perfect unattainable state.

Fresh air would just be a memory, to tantalize, but not something tangible to sate.