Thursday, December 8, 2011

The wish

I've maimed myself. There is no excuse to cry or blame. The world still turns. The movement splashes colours in front of me. If I could just stop I would see. The stillness wants to whisper to me secrets. If I could just pause to listen I would hear. The movement, the stillness and everything in between; if I could just care enough I would feel. I have let this noise sweep me away effortlessly. The night is no more enigmatic, the rain is nothing but wet. Is there a loss that I must mourn or an irrelevance I must ignore? Should I stop to wonder at the depths of all that holds meaning? I question that whose answers are already known. My heedlessness is a vicious parasite. I console myself with pathetic excuses; with delusions behind whose tattered veils I hide. A sorry soul once oblivious to the rabble but now immersed in it would leave little room for pity. Why do I choose to stay in this gloom? It was an easy choice once, but no more the most satisfying. Words brave this gloom and come to me, but turn away after waiting in vain to manifest, disappointed. They call me a coward and I grow weary of this guilt. I yearn to weave magic with my gift. To give life to thoughts. A desire to pen an ode to things as obvious as a thunderstorm and as subtle as the reflection of a lover in the eyes of the beloved. A desire to see where I was only looking. A desire to feel. A desire to live again...

Monday, October 24, 2011

The sunshine girl

A light of wonders paints a rainbow in the skies
So does your ready smile and that glint in your eyes
Maybe there's a story or a secret to be told
Share a new adventure or some memories of the old

Laughter tinkles and spreads like a wildfire
Douses all the anger and abates all the ire
Trivial seem the sorrows and the senseless fears
When we laugh, silent and hard, crying happy tears

Your heart ceaselessly searches for any taint of despair
To wash it away with prayers and concern and care
At times you come seeking comfort and advice
Giving me a chance to put back the rainbow in the skies

A thousand seasons change within a moment on your face
You're a colourful soul, many worlds filled in one place
If this beauty were to outwardly glow
Heads would turn, hearts would stop everywhere you go

To some you're a confidante, a kind friend to some
Oblivious you're of the blessing that you've become
A light of wonders so pure and bright and whole
Let your colours spread and shine on my soul

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Deathly Quiet of the Living

A tear stains his rough, lined and aged cheek
His story he tells with words forced and meek
Of a mother’s broken sigh, of a wail of a child unfed
Of a father’s struggle, of the silence of the dead

Children gather mutely, half naked, filthy and frail
Around the old man who tonelessly recounts his tale
No more spark in their sunken eyes as they vacantly stare
No more will for anguish, no more strength for despair

Resignedly he shows me the graves beyond a wall
Heartbreakingly many and many heartbreakingly small
If this goes on, he says, none from his village will remain
Their straits are dire yet their pleading will be in vain

In the wilted fields, in the parched, cracked lands
Under the harshest sun, over the most arid sands
As far as the eye can see only emptiness and barrenness reign
Yet it is their home; to forsake it their hearts won’t deign

How many times have I pushed away my food with distaste
“This fruit is not to my liking, this bread is nothing but waste!”
If only I knew of their unending suffering and sacrifice
For every grain I would thank, for every crumb I would rejoice

If saints and prophets were to see the man’s present state
The power-hungry monster, the wealth-snatching ingrate
They would cry, is this the man to whom we fervently told
To share his wealth, to feed the poor, to care for the old?

How fortunate we are that Divine Mercy exceeds the Wrath
Still compassionate souls live to walk in the saints’ and prophets’ path
As long as the earth hums with their tireless efforts to keep their word
There’s hope that the old man’s sad tale will soon be heard

This poem is dedicated to the Somali people and everyone else around the world suffering and dying from hunger, and also to those men and women working day and night to eradicate this suffering.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The hiatus

It’s been a while. I’ve never gone so long without writing since I took it up as a hobby seriously. Not just blogging, since not everything I write goes up on my blog site; but writing in general. There have been numerous days when I’ve found myself huddled in my room with a battered diary and a pen furiously jotting down whatever that sprung up in my mind as a result of an epiphany or inspiration. My creativity would go on a manic overdrive consistently, if unpredictably. I could afford this literal insanity; even wholeheartedly welcome it, since everything else was so constant, so predictable, and normal to the point of being boring. Then there came a deluge of changes. All kinds of changes. Changes in me, around me, in others. A few expected, many others unexpected and all of them inevitable. The phrase ‘nothing lasts forever’ took a whole new level of meaning for me. It’s so easy to delude ourselves that we do it quite unwittingly. It is quite easy when things are going normally for us. We live in a bubble without even knowing of its existence until something or someone comes along and bursts it to nothingness. Now this happens to everyone at some point or the other I’m sure. What sets us apart from each other is how we set about to do the damage control. In the end it comes down to the realization that just as the bubble of contentment met its end, this gloom will have an end too. And it’s not necessary that solving all the problems and finding the answers to predicaments will lift the gloom. There are no ultimate winners or losers in this fragile, never-lasting realm. You've won a little over life just by deciding to face its problems and lost by choosing to run away from them. Already I feel like I’ve triumphed over my inconsistent writing dilemma by spewing out so much “deep stuff” while fiction writing has always been my repertoire. So despite all the tears and heartbreaks an mishaps and all the known and unknown things that go with them that I’d rather avoid, there’s still one insanity that I can afford and wholeheartedly welcome.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Joy That Wounds

You try to be faithful
And sometimes you're cruel.
You are mine. Then, you leave.
Without you, I can't cope.
And when you take the lead,
I become your footstep.
Your absence leaves a void.
Without you, I can't cope.
You have disturbed my sleep,
You have wrecked my image.
You have set me apart.
Without you, I can't cope.
~ Rumi

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The haunt

0337 hours.
As I sit here unable to succumb to sleep watching a storm struggling to unleash but not quite getting there, I remember other nights that lay more significant imprint on my memory. Not just with their better luck with storms but whatever such nights entailed. One particular stormy night was, among other things, a merciful show of Nature compared to what, it, the Nature had wreaked not many days previously, in a land safely distant from ours. The bright morning of that fateful day had just begun to witness an enthusiastic and tri-coloured display of celebration of a deeply instilled patriotism. As it is the way of thing, the enthusiasts were mostly schoolchildren in whom the love for their nation yet remained genuine, innocent and unconditional. Unsuspecting to those who rejoiced and also those who didn’t, (she never paused to differentiate) the Earth trembled violently and brought absolute chaos, death and destruction. As the land shook and tore and folded and cracked, many of those who had just begun to commemorate its republicanism, perished.
Like any other day struck by the wrath of Nature it was a day of agony, loss and pain. And for many more days and months and years to come it would continue to be. Fear of another unpredictable disaster gripped the many vulnerable lands with its icy clutches. We reeled with shock, we mourned and we became wrought with wariness. In our own home the concern and fear became disturbingly palpable on that stormy night which this memory of mine has borne. It was unprecedented for it to storm as it was too early in the year for any kind of noisy weather. Winter, at least in climatic theory, was in full swing. But our household, still diligently wary of nature, couldn't see an unusual storm as just another unusual storm. This untimed phenomenon only fed our fear, I, of course, was too young to grasp the paranoia. My fear then only encompassed the flashing lightening, the roaring thunder and the howling, rain laden wind. The real fear dawned on me only after I was told that we were all going to sleep together in one room that night. This sudden announcement brought more dread than comfort. And this dread whispered terrifying secrets into my naive heart.
The howling night is ominous. The electricity is gone, gloom is everywhere those flickering lamps cannot reach and the loved ones from whose unexpected nearness you are trying to draw courage and a sense of safety will only give you a momentary respite. Just wait till slumber takes over. Just wait till the dark oblivion tears your defences down. Until then remember the torn lives and ripped homes that plagued the other land not so long ago. It didn't matter that it was a cheery morning and young eager innocents like you wore their best, waved flags and ate sweets, did it? Now this night is anything but cheery and festive. This unusual solidarity to face what is to come among your kin is your final comfort. Just wait. As this drenched night deepens it will witness a catastrophe not unlike the one that bright morning did. Seek reprieve in this unusual gesture of togetherness in the face of concern and fear, while it lasts. For once the world has slept, it will be rudely awoken to the screams of more than just the stormy night.

The lamps winked out, the storms abated as if it never happened and the world awoke with the sun and yet, like tonight, I didn't succumb to sleep. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The transcendent

Flickering dreams within dreams of the past
Fleeting glimpses and flashes of deep secrets they cast
A woven silken spell so tender and benign
Neither a vision of promise nor an ominous sign
A sea of delusion as the heart’s dark refuge
An innocent, unsuspecting of impending deluge
Of the poisoned truth and the ravaged lies
The facade of bonds hiding the severed ties
Lest it succumbs, the mind hunts for grace
Shunning the tempt of an image, an ethereal face
That which ruled thoughts from the glorious helm
Now only haunts the recesses of the dark realm
The journey began to meet its infantile end
A clarity, fate from its murky depths did lend
That the days of travel would be painfully brief
And memories would bring back a souvenir of grief
All crushed, the traitorous heart dauntlessly hums
The rhythm of life until the call to relinquish comes
As it falters and breaks and languishes and burns
In an illusion of reality the world impenitently turns
Many colours the relentless angel in flesh had brought
Riddled with mortality, this tortured heart it sought
Its relentless soul, the heart will yearn and meet its demise
Hoping to meet the seeker in the plains of eternal sunrise

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The perdition

Deep in the bowels of his darkness he stirred uneasily. Dawn was approaching and he could not but wait for it with much trepidation. His dawn was not like the dawn of the illusory yet deceptively tangible world. Dawn marked the start of the day and activities of most of these vain mortals. For him dawn was the rise of a ball of fire whose purpose and affects were much different from its heavenly counterpart. And the dawn was approaching earlier and with much more deliberation with the passing of each earthly day. This gave him lesser time to recuperate, to plot, to try to take over.
How had things gone so horribly wrong? He had been a fool to rejoice in that painfully short lived victory. Looking back, it seemed like it was no victory at all. No. that pseudo-victory had been the start of this inexplicable nightmare. If only he could glimpse the future. But he couldn’t. That didn’t belong in his bag of tricks that he was so proud of, which now seemed suddenly short so many more tricks he wished to possess. He couldn’t worry about that now. Dawn was arriving, much faster that it had previously. And he had to get tot work. Although the work weakened him he couldn’t stop. Stopping would mean the death of him or something morbidly equivalent, since mortality wasn’t known to his kind of entity.
This wasn’t always how it used to be. His abode was a welcome retreat. A place where he relished each moment of his existence and his many exploits thrived. He’d never required rest; it was as alien to him as mortality. Those little potent conscience-induced moments that his abode went through routinely, barely managed to slow down his pace. He had been relentless. He had been a conqueror. He used to successfully invade every thought and action and disposition that his abode manifested and turn them his way. And when the world slept, it felt like he’d attained an awakening beyond his perpetual wakeful state. So many possibilities, so many avenues of adventure, so much darkness, so much power. He was never carried away of course. He knew he’s being watched. He knew it better than any of these unsuspecting mortal fools who were often swept away by their unknown powers at the slightest ghost of his whisper. How he used to mock and jeer and laugh at them. How his soundless voice reverberated endlessly within the bounds of his abode. And when the great Opportunity had knocked at his abode’s door he’d welcomed it with much malicious delight. One slip and the world had been his. He’d marveled at his fortune, reveled at the complete shift if power to his hands, celebrated the senseless thrill of what seemed to be the biggest conquest of all. What a fool he had been!
Now it seemed like the power that had so gloriously peaked to its highest extent had just as rapidly plunged to a dangerously low level. Yet, he worked, he had to work; laboriously yet diligently. His work was what kept him going; gave meaning and purpose to his eternal existence; fed his go; empowered his prized arrogance. He felt raging anger. His abode had turned against him; threatened to expel his presence. He knew his extinction was impossible but the mere intention directed towards that impossible goal weakened the tools of rebellion that he treasured so much. He could start an all-out war. But he had and knew his limits. After all he’s being watched. What was iniquitously worse was that he was being attacked without prior warning. His abode had not only turned against him but fortified itself with unpredictable, mercilessly potent yet efficient weapons. His trickery and tools were mere playthings in front of such an arsenal.
What a shame it was! Why couldn’t he just get rid of them when they were lying there dormant and buried. They’d seemed so harmless then. He was so brazenly confident about the power of his tools and tricks. They were so easy to manifest. Humanity frowned upon them but was secretly slave to them. Such hypocrisy! What a charm and allure it had. His other tools were no less either. The seductive greed, the consuming selfishness, the thrilling anger, the soothing slander, the addictive grief, the hypnotic desire, on and on they went. Now these tools were the ones that lay dormant, occasionally unleashing their power, but feebly so, failing pathetically to cast a lasting effect. Now he was up against the fiery patience, the torturous gentleness, the unforgiving kindness, the harsh humility, the soul-searing love, the bludgeoning belief, the painful trust, the terrifying hope and so many more horrors that he couldn’t even begin to imagine.
Dawn was upon him, the first rays of blinding light made up of devoted mind, fervent heart, praying lips and weeping eyes that cut like invisible blades through his dark dominion. Yet, he worked; used his tools; fought to get his abode back. He couldn’t stop. He had after all sworn never to.