The Girl by the River

​The fiery river flushes down,                 

The sun rays braids through branches high,

Dry the color of eyes, weighed in frown,

The rays sparkle on teary eyes. 

She besprinkled the petals torn,

The banks now painted in sorrow. 

Her hairs scattered by winds that mourn

A sand that was lost to time. 

The river still divided their lands,

The current broke the letters apart,

He stood and she waited long,

He let go and she lingered. 

The night closed in, the moon didn’t wake. 

In finding him, she found herself;

What love didn’t teach,

Distance and hate taught her.

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The Flaw in Time Travel

​The hands of the clock were declared corrupt, for their speed didn’t seem to keep pace with time. Yesterday somehow tasted better to me than today, and future crippled my senses. The fear and anxiety of never getting it all right broke my patience. The present sometimes did bring promise for the future, but the idea of escaping to childhood kept me back from accepting that things were exactly the way they should be and there was no point of complaining about it’s flaws. 

I wanted to be in the time I really desired to be. I always wanted to grow up, didn’t I? But now I have somehow convinced my terrible heart that this is not the time I am supposed to be in. My  childish heart longed for the freedom, but I find this new found freedom more daunting in the face of the responsibilities that I keep running from. 

In the summer of our lives, we try to trace the steps of our parents. As we grow into young adults, we discover our new social identity, becoming the proud denizens of our generation. When we are finally confronted by the ghosts of our present, we surrender ourselves to the idea of our past. The stories, the people and the break from the continuously evolving mankind seems to attract our emotion deprived souls. We want to slow things down. The pace of our time is somehow very burdensome and as we lose our patience to the neverending sentences of our life, we crave for the commas. When we figure out that the phrase has reach its end, we realise that the chaos in our lives was better synchronized than the letters of the last word. 

Whenever we move forward in time, we try to take a step back in life. And when we are back to the time when we didn’t know what time was, we struggle to take the first step forward. This devious cycle of never being able to be at term with the present is exhausting at times. It sucks on your soul, feeds on your emotions, makes your life a mirror to imagination and real things and real moments are reduced to nothing more than a regret. 

So escaping into the time when you think that you would be happier than where you stand today is a flawed idea of our romantic hearts. Present is a mystery box longing to be opened. It is a the best we will ever have. Unknown to its plan and pace, we have the liberty to keep going on. It is the only chance we have to discover and change and manipulate our paths. The journey will be long at the outset, but every destination will renew our belief that there is lot more to life than reaching the destination. It is about dreaming. Of catching the stars from the sky and hiding it under our pillows before we go to sleep. It is about unleashing our best and the worst  without the burden of consequences, because we are what we are. Our future self may be unknown to our present personality, but we can never be the person we want to be if  we aren’t honest to the person we are today.

Time is mysterious. And I think it is the reason why so much of what I write revolves around it. Past seduces our hearts and leaves our conscience astray, but present is strong. It is in its honesty that our mind can find peace. So let us do what we want to do, but today. For tomorrow, yesterday would seem a better opportunity. And yesterday, tomorrow didn’t hold promise. So let’s live when we were born to live. Free. Unchained. Today. 

Michchha Mi Dukkadam

​Forgiveness. It is something that we seldom seek and something we should have in our hearts to give. This year, 7th September marks the Jain Festival of Forgiveness on the concluding day of Prayushana. When I look back, I am forced to think about how many people have I actually forgiven or said sorry to. Not many it seems.

The obvious question is Why? And therefore, before I set myself to be a part of this  thoughtful day, I have set my soul to embark on yet another journey of finding the answers to these unanswered questions. Flaws and instincts are without which we cannot exist. Let’s admit it. There is no one who is perfect and most of the things that we do are a result of our gut feelings rather than thoughtful practical deliberation. So while we may believe that our decisions are right, they may have irked the patience of our fellow beings. Till the time we realize this, there is no turning back. And even if there is, our egos don’t let us to step back. Things get even worse, when it is not our flaws or instincts that are at play, but a planned maneuver of actions aimed directly to hurt people. 

So what do we mean, when we say Sorry? I like to think of it as- as the realization of our mistakes and a new awakened sense of responsibility to make things correct, if there is a scope for such correction. More often than not, we do have the chance but we ignore it, for penance comes with its own weight of pain and sacrifice, and ignoring then seems to be a lucrative option, for we all know- Ignorance is a bliss. 

This in effect means, when we say sorry, we agree to have been/done wrong. We agree to bow our head and give others the chance to forgive us. When they cannot find in their heart to forgive us, we do not give up. We try the best we can to make it upto them. And when deep within, we realize that we have liberated ourselves from burden of our mistake, we finally are good to go. 

This sounds archaic. It was true in a world where sorry was not such a common word and meant something of value. When we thought about the consequences of our actions on the well being of others, rather than blabbering sorry in the aftermath. We have lost it in us, somewhere. Hollow is too soft a word to describe our souls. 

On the flip side, we have forgotten to forgive. We make fake smiles and  admit to have forgiven the people who pleaded guilty. But we never forgive, because we never forget. We hold on to the pain. We keep the grudges alive. Petty things, petty fights and talks, things that do not matter anymore. All are treasured. The gold begs us to cry and in its lustre our eyes shine. 

In this perpetual self drawn war of being forgiven and forgiving, we have lost the very essence of these words. In the poem Shakti & Kshama, the poet writes-

Kshama shobhti uss bhujang ko jiske paas garal ho, uska kya jo dantheen, vishrahit, vinay saral ho

I read this poem when I was in the 7th Standard. Years later, I find so much relevance in his thoughts. The lines above mean that-  it is in the hearts of the strong that one can find forgiveness. What power does a coward hold to forgive? – Strength should not be interpreted in its physical sense. Here strength is the epitome of righteousness.  The courage to do what is right, to stand up against the wrong and to be fearless in one’s actions and words. 

My thoughts have juggled so far between the true meaning of forgiveness and what do we really mean by the word Sorry. The conclusion is not very surprising, but still I find it too difficult to digest. 

I don’t know if I have the strength. I do not know if I have accepted my mistakes. I still do not know if I can find a place in my heart to forget the things that have happened and forgive. But the thing I know for sure, is atleast I can try. 

“If I have caused you offence in any way, knowingly or unknowingly, in thought, word or deed, then I seek your forgiveness.”

Michchha Mi Dukkadam