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Saturday, June 3, 2017

Shorts 6 / Old Classwork 1

The third cue-word in this post was given by my English teacher in Class 10, as classwork, to practice for the composition portion of our ICSE examinations. Written in limited time by a much younger me, it qualifies both as a short and as the first part of my new series, Old Classwork. Being an assignment, the piece carries a title different from the cue-word itself, as we used to be required to supply. Though it contains certain word choices I would not make today, I have presented it here unchanged.

The second cue-word is mine.

The first cue-word was suggested by:
Ritwik, the all-knowing, all-encompassing, philosophically massive presence that pervaded the atmosphere of the CMI campus for over half a decade. A few of his myriad mysterious strengths lie in coding, gaming and dispersing gyaan. His chief weakness is being an extremely annoying brother. He wears ugly glasses on his ugly head. Disclaimer: this bio totally carries may carry extreme personal bias.

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Torture

It is a constant battle of tactical revelation. If I tell people too less, I miss out on the understanding that I unavoidably require to survive. If I tell people too much, they tend to guess what is wrong, and when; and then, it is worse then ever, because I've spread my darkness to other souls, and the guilt consumes everything else that I could or could not feel. All my life, too many that should not have been trusted (and, were not -- how strange) have convinced me that I am a source of inconvenience and trouble, a cancerous and depressing burden. Now, when light is offered, I can never tell how much is too much to ask without offering nothing in return.
Nice people. Gratitude. Friendship. Sympathy. Wonderful concepts, these, and also awful sources of torment and confusion. I am convinced that I cannot escape, and burden be I or not, a burden I sure do carry. My greatest fear is that the burden will have its way, and that is, on most days, worse than the idea of making some other lives a bit darker. If I forget all honour, what stops me from crying in front of others? Am I selfish? Am I a thief of happiness? Am I cheating the trade, gaming the system, swindling people out of light that is theirs? I shall never know, because my burden sits on my eyelids and my brain. It's on my throat, my limbs, my tongue, and it hurts. 
I don't tell you, but it hurts.

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Rewind

Right at this moment, all over your face and eyelashes, there are tiny mites living, crawling and having sex. All around you, electromagnetic waves are carrying speech, sound and words -- making memories, breaking hearts, and saving the world. Hence, the small and the seemingly insignificant appear quite important to you, if you think about it.
These days, I feel small and insignificant in the hierarchy of who you consider worthy of your company, love and approval. To you, perhaps, this moment is what decides if you will wish for a time machine, and to have never ever even met me. At the least, when you know, tell me before you go.


------------------------

Window

Pane of Pain, Pane of Joy

Could you imagine a foreboding castle, in an impenetrable fortress, rising before a stormy skyline with its imposing towers -- but without a single window?
Could you find a happy home, full of love and laughter, lacking only in that quaint little opening in the wall -- decorated with dainty curtains with frills and fringes galore -- could you?
Could you imagine how Rapunzel's story would turn out without a window in her tower, how journeys would have been if trains and cars had no windows, how school would be if the classrooms had no windows?
Sad thoughts, those. Sad, because conversations with the neighbours through the kitchen window keeps the homemaker entertained; because schoolchildren spread their innocent joy and cheer to the world when they yell and wave through the school bus's windows; because bereaved mothers, jilted lovers and betrayed friends weep beside the window, wistfully staring into the middle distance.
The window is a perfect little outlet for that yearning in all of us to be one with the world outside; despite our attachment to the safety of closed doors, we can communicate with the outside world -- feeling its vibrations of feeling and bursts of colour -- when we open a window.
The window is also an opportunity -- an opportunity to feed the birds, smile at strangers, be inspired to write poetry -- and for the neighbourhood's lovable five-year-old Robin Hood, an opportunity to steal a little something for his best friend, the son of his housekeeper.
The quintessential charm of a window increases manifold, and the window metamorphoses into a jolly theatre, when it is no longer stationary. Who can deny the charm of watching cows grazing in the fields, women drawing well-water, and people of all ages working in the farms, in the green little villages flanking the railway tracks?
The everyday person does not have the courage to brave all dangers and live in the open, but people like you and me will always have our windows. Families will always dine on mother's excellent cooking, the old man living alone will always play the piano, the ex-serviceman will always polish his weapon, while the stranger passing through the street looks at them through their windows.
As night falls, the lullabies sung to kids will always involve the bright white lights in the sky, playing hide-and-seek with the child from behind the window drapes.
Miserable is the man who lacks a friendly window.

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More cue-words are always welcome.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

This Could Well Be The Limit

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Convergence

A tiny spirit lurked
Where you used to be
Not entirely you, and yet
Not quite a part of me.

Sometimes, the wispy ghost
Laughed the way you did --
Head thrown back, eyes closed in mirth,
As would a gleeful kid;

Many a starry restful night
A shyly prodding finger
Of a smoky form touched my heart,
Resembling yours, dead ringer.

It whispered in my ears at times
And played your games with me
And with your voice, just like you did,
The ghost begged to be free.

Tonight, the apparition
Decided it was through
And I said I was done pretending
That the wisp was you;

And so into the artist's night
The spirit sang and flew --
I said farewell, and watched my love
Slowly grow untrue.
=================================================

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

When It Clicks

The original plan was to post this poem on the International Day of Music, but then I found this amazing artwork which just goes with the poem, so I'm gonna post it now with full homage to the artist.

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Lift Me Up

In correspondence
And in scribbles and scrawls shyly hidden
Lie favourite tunes, tentatively offered
To souls momentarily mistaken
To have bested transience.
Songs, tears, and love are the same
Up to isomorphism.
The same songs play for years
And people listen in different ways
For whatever it means to them.
At times kept secret,
At other times shared inadequately,
Meanings change fast.
Fights unresolved by songs of love
Will end for the love of songs.
============================================

I shall be asking permission to feature the artwork within this post itself. Meanwhile, I'm making a playlist of songs about songs, and I invite suggestions.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Can't Be A Series, Maybe

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Blackjack

Smelling of sex and sweet sixteen,
My old friend, where have you been?
You had no time to be a child
And too much sense to grow up wild.
The world is fevered and confused.
Softer things are still refused
In your left brain and strong right arm.
Remember, sweet, you do no harm
When you tell the purest truth.
Lies need not burden your youth.
Say sorry for your baddest day --
Twenty-one is far away.
========================================

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

That's A Wrap :')

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Meta

I was here all along
You were just behind.
But I kept you in my mind
In laughter and song.

And if words could cry
I'd have to be quiet.
If you were perfectly right
It wouldn't take so long.
======================================

Hands up if you'd noticed the game :D

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

It Wouldn't Take So Long

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Despertador

Holding you when the day breaks
Is like hugging a stray
Kicked out of the comfort that is sleep.
Looking into my morning face,
You bury yours into my knee.
Your melted will clings to my arm
For five more minutes;
Risking the fall from conscientious grace
I lean into your shoulder --
Your hair smells like inspiration
For the rest of the day to shine.
=================================================

Oh sweet CMI, wake me up.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

If You Were Perfectly Right

==========================================================
Guerra

My friend!
Look at us, asunder;
A river of hate between us,
Fed by affiliations
Assigned arbitrarily at birth;
Millennia of mutual mistrust,
Denial of common ground,
Denial of those who understood
The stories of both sides.
Look, my friend,
As we sit across a metal channel
That, for all it stood for, could be miles wide --
Look at us:
Look at who we are
To each other and the world.
Look and weep,
And wonder how we got here
And why we cannot hold hands
And why my body is the prey and your identity the predator;
Look and think
If it is the warring factions, or the two of us
That are the condemned, the dishonoured, the traitors.
==========================================================

Chennai. Buses, streets. Men?

Thursday, February 23, 2017

I'd Have To Be Quiet

=========================================
Peso

Hello, mister.
Do I make a good jester?
Tell me, do I amuse?
Do my ways
On the worse of your days
Injure, or confuse?

Theatricals don't seem your thing
Unless they're fun and light;
Are simple words also not fun
If not your kind of right?
Take that big red nose off me --
I don't want this role.
The master-race of overthinkers
Don't like to console.
=========================================

I made a bad pun. I'm not ashamed of the bad pun I made. Here I stand, in the light of day, let the storm rage on, the cold never bothered me anyway.
Also, Jigglypuff.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Not Half Bad





















Wallpaper 65, 1920x1080. As per tradition, full-size files and details of the creation process are available on request.

Monday, February 6, 2017

And If Words Could Cry

=====================================
Amigo

Average persons like yourself
Can get away with being mean:
You could pretend you weren't there,
And hadn't heard or seen.

In dead of night, I broke in half --
Did you, then, have to ask
If those different from average
Had really left their mark?

The ones you think so special
Are more or less like you;
But, when it comes to niceties,
Less far between and few.

Pardon me for staying away,
But I'm too risk-averse --
You are one of nearly none
Whose asking makes it worse.
=====================================

Anyone who bothers with the funda behind my poems will have a hard time with this one. Is it serious? Is it allegory? I'm not telling. Haha, I'm evil. Fear me.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Shorts 5

While crowdsourcing feels good, at times one has to satisfy one's needs to write on a particular topic. To stay true to the idea of crowdsourced cues, however, I vowed that one of the three next shorts have to be from a cue-word. Hence, the first cue-word is sourced, and the other two are mine.

Customarily, I hereby introduce the contributor of the first cue-word:
Aalok, an allegedly materialistic man with a flair for the dramatic and drily humorous, is my batchmate in CMI and an early friend. A TEDx speaker and national level debater, the Rajkot man loves languages human and formal. He knows his money and literature as well as he does his Automata Theory; and a conversation with him leaves an impression of unconventional intelligence. He is an adviser at the Latex platform Overleaf and, of late, he blogs at VaakChaturyam.

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Eventually

As of now, the hills are farther than they seem. The sky is blurry and purple -- not blue like in your picture. The filthy water below is cracked with moss and trails of ducks, and eventually the sun will light it burning hot.

Eventually, the reworked land will claim its nature; and, one hopes, you will claim yours. Nature, though, is subjective. My nature, for example, is in these very words I write, and the flow of logic that binds me to these bricks.

Eventually, I hope, you will be freer than I am.

----------------------

Crystal

You look like a human being, but one that has a trace of elfin blood somewhere in their ancestry. It gives you this pallor, this sense of distance from the sun of this world. Your eyes shine with a light from a mind that is far, far away, roaming in dimensions inaccessible to everyone who crosses your path. Your frame is slight and lost, almost as if it is only half in this plane of reality, and half somewhere else. When you sit in deep concentration, at times, I could swear you fade and glimmer away further into that other plane of existence. And, if I look closely, I think I see this fire that is too far to feel its warmth, and yet close enough to grow blinding as I squint at its distant flames. You eat and walk and read and laugh and play like a human being, but on the less rational of my days, I could swear that you were something else.
Is it on purpose that you act like a mere shadow to an invisible, more complete, self? Is it on purpose that you build this aura of mystique, this unreachability, this half-and-half of intrigue and hopelessness around you that is kind of hot with the general public?
That is what they want, when they want to touch you. They want to see if you are real, see if you can feel anything, see if you can reflect their humanity with acceptable precision. They want to reach through your skin, through what looks like a translucent curtain to a different universe, and touch your corporeal self. They want to know what you will never confirm (perhaps even to yourself!) -- if you, my mad magical friend, are, after all, just human.

----------------------

Storm

You never know why she is the way she is, and it isn't worth your time to find out. Hence, she is mad.
You never understand what he says, and it is beneath you to ask him again. Hence, he is proud.
You haven't the slightest idea about someone's history or their inner turmoil, and yet you dismiss every first impression as a storm not worth weathering.
Fighters of your own battles, writers of your own stories, wranglers of your own beasts -- I am one of you, so listen when I say this: my storm is my own, and hence is special; yet, being mine does not make it worth more understanding than another's. If I have braved the tempest, so shall I help another soul, hold another hand, guide another trembling shoulder away from darkness and desperation. In regarding another's struggle equal to my own, I shall bring glory to what, until now, was only a string of skirmishes between me and fate. If you must keep faith in only what is yours, I implore you to do so while believing that someone else might disagree, and that their story is as true as yours, that their storm is as rife as yours, that it twists within them in the most troubled hours, just like yours does.
The storm, my friend, comes to every soul in the middle of their own personal night; and sometimes, the light of one less encumbered can make all the difference. If your day is another's night, O warrior mine, share your light.

----------------------

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

In Laughter and Song

=====================================================
Amor

My friends and I
Went for a walk
In the morning. We were up all night
Grappling with that deadly youth
No mother wants you to have.

My friends and I
Got our feet wet
In the watered grass. Victorious,
Considering ourselves battle-worn,
We ignored pain and health.

My friends and I
Slept in our rooms
Without speaking. If we had talked,
Things might have become awkward,
And goodbyes shouldn't be like that.
=====================================================

Sunday, January 22, 2017

But I Kept You In My Mind

=============================================
Hola

You cannot know yourself
While the world sleeps in your arms.
Generosity will only teach
About everyone else.

The day that you are alone in a crowd
And your wet, wet soul is afraid to exist
Is the day you will find your place --
Your place in the big picture and the small ones,
Your place in the selfish streets,
And, if you so wish, your place
In the arms of the world.
==============================================

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

You Were Just Behind

================================================
Gracias

Granted, we're proud of our passport;
Granted, you still have one good coat;
The collar has your initials --
Mother sewed them on;
And I've still got my aiming skills
From all the weekend birds we killed --
The holster's scratched with our dreams
But our shot at them has flown.

Your children and mine,
We know that they'll be fine.
We paid with our lives
For theirs.
Father, I believe,
Wouldn't be proud if he had lived
But we don't have the cash for splitting hairs.
So thank you, and remember, let me go;
And remember, don't you let it show.

There's riots in our childhood lanes,
There's kids smashing our windowpanes.
That's where you and I grew up.
It's worth nothing now.
No thanks to people in their chairs.
Mother's the only one who cares --
That's where she raised you and me
But the old home's broken down.

Your future and mine,
You know that they'll be fine.
We paid with our lives
For time.
You know our new place
Should've been our saving grace
But changing how we live our lives was crime.
So thank you for how you will run my show
Thank you, and remember, watch me go.
================================================

Monday, January 9, 2017

I Was Here All Along

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AdiĆ³s

When morning left, you quietly slept
Leaving me for dead,
For I'd died a thousand times
Inside of your head.

Read your Scripture. Keep my picture
As an afterthought
Or as murmured gratitude
For all you could've got.

Funny thing, how people sing
Of saints and holy men,
But don't see the chimpanzee
That learned to count to ten.
=================================================
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