Silhouette of our Reflections

We don’t know what  we ask of ourselves,

And everyday try to fake it,

The smile is a little frowned inside,

Our happiness doesn’t let it show, 

We have long learnt the way to hide,

For long we have known to be unknown.

 

What life didn’t ask of us sometimes,

Was to give away the chance of little joys,

And while we try to gather them,

They never stay in us,

Such ways of world, so insane, so wrong.

 

In our attempt to do away with it all,

We try to get the energies going,

People seldom say we are crazy, 

It’s harder for them to see what in our head is, is boring.

Our identities are so layered now, 

What’s within is hard to judge,

And though we try to find it in us,

We don’t think we stand the courage to find it once more.

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Isolation in Company

​When I started writing this one, there were some bad memories at the back of my head and somehow I felt that if I tried writing about what I am writing, it will bring out a lot of negative energy. But I still chose to do so, because bad memories need not always leave a bad impression on your life. They teach you something. Make you realize that you are above what everything and everyone forces you to think you are. And here it is. 

Friendship. Friends. If one is asked to define them, it will be a herculean task. Also not everyone would be content with such an attempt. Because everyone has their own idea of who a friend is. And if you have read some of my previous articles, like the idea of love I would like to reiterate that there isn’t any good or bad friend, because if it is bad it isn’t friendship at all. 

In the era of social media, where we have forgotten to draw lines between friends and acquaintances, there is a more important question waiting for us, it is only that we don’t know the right time to answer it. And the question is, who are they? Who are really my friends? Over the years, many friends I have left behind. The world is a clumsy maze and in the attempt to save ourselves, we lose what we treasure in others. We may have tried to stay in touch over the years, but it is not the same anymore. But that doesn’t mean that it is dead. It is just more passive. More treasurable, less comfortable. Some people, we do stick to. We make sure that it stays, that even though you have no idea what life has brought them to and you haven’t heard from them for so long that it now appears centuries, you know they are still a conversation away. 

Throughout your school and college life, one generally does have a gang of sorts. The people whom you talk to regularly, share your days, your happiness, strength and sadness. People whom you can confide in, trust and of all whom you can fall back on. Even after being surrounded by so many people, today we increasingly find  ourselves to be lonely. The nights are absolutely vacant and so is every minute you are with them. You are there, standing, smiling, talking but it is just not what you wished it would be. A pang in the heart remains and while you appear to be full and socially attached, there is no one as isolated as you. So where is the problem? I shall borrow Jean- Paul Sartre’s words for a start: “If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company.” 

A man is hungry for respect, one that he think he deserves, one that he demands from his friends and family. Respect for his dreams, for his views, for his philosophy and for his way of life. Because these are the very people a man thinks will understand them better than anyone else. Friendship is hence a very evolved relationship with lots of expectations, which is a result of the amount of effort, trust and time that goes into it without any ulterior motives. And when these very people show complete disregard to it, it breaks you from inside. They might not have meant it seriously, but a person’s dream and identity are things that shouldn’t be meddled with. Friends are there to show you the right way, to make you realize that sometimes your dreams are not deserving of you, that sometimes your vision may be flawed and they teach you a better way to look at things. But to hurt where it matters, to ridicule his ideas when you know that they hold weight is a mockery of the relationship.  The wounds there will always be deeper than a knife stabbed at heart, because though the scars remain in the latter one, in the former one’s life is scarred forever. 

It is never worth explaining and reasoning one dreams with others. And while you feel hurt, you stick to them because in your heart they still are your friends. You realize that they don’t get your pain, you realize that they don’t understand what it is to stand infront of them everyday with a smile and be vacant inside. It is so emotionally draining and still you stay with the hope that they will understand one day. So when you lie down and think about the days passed, you know you are lonely. You are lonely in the quest for your dream, lonely in the attempt to reclaim the respect for your identity. And while you have so many friends, you still don’t have one to fall back to. And such kind of loneliness is not a good thing. 

One does eventually realize. It may take time. After a period of complete isolation, self critical analysis, questioning the wrong in you when there may be none, you register it in your heart that you are right on your ground and it is for you to hold onto it. You find it to be rude to breakfree, but ultimately you do. By the time you would have healed from the injury, you would have learnt the lesson. There is no friendship without respect, there is no love without sacrifice and there is no greater joy than having someone who understands it all. For your dream and identity are very personal things and when you give someone access to it, it is their responsibility to show enough consideration for it. 

Why do we refuse to change for our loved ones?!

​We live in a era, where the new generation is well informed, independent and has the ability to carry themselves with dignity and respect, or so do they believe that they do. In this fast paced environment, where we question the workings of the society at every step and try to find the rationale behind any matter, of importance and otherwise, the structure and importance of relations and their sanctity has fast been changing. 

This may sound archaic and many may question my rhetoric to be a bit too old fashioned, but the truth is relations are dying and it is killing us apart. We fear monotonicity, we fear surrendering ourselves to our loved ones, we fear to let go of our egos. Any relation is between two people, it is obvious but given the reality it doesn’t seem so obvious anymore. We try to keep our identities intact, sometimes being so self-centric that it is no longer about us, rather only oneself. 

We refuse to change for the better in the name of I am who I am. That is probably the worst kind of argument one can give. A more severe analogy will be like a murderer claiming to be at his best self, because that it what his identity is and he   can’t be any better. To break the fallacy of such an idea for once and for all is to recognize that identity is not a static concept. It is ever evolving. And the resistance to accept the good that comes in the way is to refuse to transform as a person. Staying dead at heart couldn’t be called an exaggeration and I will take the liberty in calling it so.

So when, we are asked to change, to compromise our habits and lifestyle so that we can establish a good foundation for a relationship to build, we are haunted by the change. We fear it badly; and we are so scandalized if asked to do so that we feel that the relationship never was worth the effort. If the person rejects the way I am, how can he/she be in love with me. But isn’t that taking love as an emotion to be unrealistic. To consider it too polished. What if it never was meant to perfect. What if it never will be. Life is all about imperfections and that is how love did turn out to be. What we fail to see, is its beauty lies in those imperfections, those little scrapped edges, in the thorny edges that are painful but you do have the roses. The color, the smell, the so called perfections are what we search for, but roses are flawed and so always will be love. Accepting that is what I would call to accept love in its entirety.

But this is not just about love. What we are forgetting here is that engagement with fellow humans is not a need, it is a necessity. And while we question our hypocrisy when we behave differently with different persons, we are infact trying to bring temporary changes to our personality for a smoother communication. The person infront of you is also trying to do the same. There is nothing wrong in it until those temporary personalities instead of being a shade of your color turns out to be the fake one. It is very difficult to judge, but only you can know it well. So while we unknowingly surrender our personality or atleast change its hue to establish contact, why can’t we compromise a little more to sustain it with the people we really wanted to in the first place. People who matter. Friends, family and your better half. 

So what may seem to be a rather cumbersome task is nothing but a part of actually who we are. Keep in mind that you aren’t changing yourself to please anyone , all that you are doing is to improve yourself. Becoming a better person for the people who are becoming better for you. 

Breaking Free at Dusk 

​From behind the curtains, Ravi saw his fate being decided. It was declared that it was his responsibility to carry forward the burden of his ancestral doings. Born into the family of zamindars, he was an exception to their rule. He was born out of marriage, but since it was a boy child that they desired, so be it. Truth was meddled with and while upholding the so called social morality, he was put into the family tree without any fuss. 

His father was a noble man but with flaws. And sometimes it is only the flaws that count. In his youth, he was carefree. Fearless in love, high on adventure and religious in his works. Like cloth, it slowly tattered. The moon at its prime, had surrendered to the laws of universe. It faded and since the shine was never his, he had to let it go. Lustreless, his life became distasteful. And helplessly he stood to see his son get his share of bitter fate. 

Ravi had something else in his mind. The incidents leading to the death of his mother was still fresh in his memory. Even twenty year later it seemed yesterday. He decided to run away. He could start afresh. He couldn’t leave his father, but he wouldn’t agree to accompany him either. 

Ravi’s eldest uncle was the head of the family. A staunch man with very less morals, he was a victim to the workings of the society. A victim who wanted to perpetuate the pain of his wounds on others. He was not right, but the way it had come to be, he wasn’t wrong either. 

Ravi had realised this. He didn’t like him but he couldn’t hate him, for his flaws had a baggage from the past and it was too heavy to be shared. He knew he could somehow be the change. But how was the question. 

While his uncle succumbed to ill health and his father too weak to carry on, he decided to take reign of the empire. He gave away his lands for school, small village medical units. He funded irrigation and kept enough for himself so that he could continue with his vision. Others termed him a fool and for the poor he became their Messiah. His other uncles were increasingly seeing their wealth drain, but couldn’t help it because it was no longer theirs to keep. 

His father on his deathbed, called for him. Ravi was in the farms at that time. He rushed back home. His father smiled. Smiled at the 3 yr old boy he had brought home. Smiled at the man who had the courage to do what he couldn’t. He had lost it to his fate, Ravi accepted it and did the best out of it. And while he smiled he said, “The winds were a little different that morning, but the sun did not sway. The winds were dusty that morning, but compromised the vision refused to fail. I still stand where I was, you did make me stronger. The winds are here to take me home,  thank you for holding tight. I know it was easy to abandon, you chose the difficult way. I know it was never our choice, you made color out of the grey.”

Looking Back from Now

​My dreams used to awake in lands too far,
Where days were greener and a world too small. 
Where thoughts desired words and smiles  reflected happiness,
Where the songs of past got better with a coarse voice and the strength still didn’t fade. 

Then, when things didn’t seem that way any longer,
The deserted smile, the agony and the unknown to the inside either. 
Like ice cubes, life melts and slides,
In depths of it is merges,
Lost and oblivious to what it was,
A life to another ceases. 

The Conversation

​The conversation,
There are words and sentences,
Gaps and spaces,
You stop,
You hear them say,
You agree to disagree,
You disagree to agree. 

Sounds and laughter,
Out of words sometimes,
The unsaid and silences,
And again some words later,
Silencing the unsaid. 

The clock hands take a round,
Stars change position,
You stand,
They are where they stood. 
The syllables are still music,
You never thought,
But still things were said. 

In bits and pieces,
In memory it stays,
A night to remember,
A conversation,
The words and its ways. 

The Last Call

​Oh beloved, how shall I stay without you gaze,
Oh beloved, how I used to look upon you with all my grace. 
Oh beloved, have you gone clean of your ways,
Leaving behind the paths that brought us closer.

For sometime now, the fervor has bleakend,
I feel it inside, you don’t seem the same anymore. 
How your laughter broke our tiredness,
Oh beloved, you still smile but your eyes don’t. 

Time is a mischievous player,
It changes things we thought would never change,
Oh beloved, I still sit near your books,
Their pages have yellowed, their story didn’t.

Dying Soul & the Vacant Heart

​The love I had has been lost in me lately,
I don’t feel the breeze on my skin,
My eyes don’t sparkle at their smiles,
Nothing seems to have changed,
Still I feel something in me has died. 

I savage the little things left,
Basking in the afternoon winter sun,
Kissing my cup of coffee a hello,
Romancing with the idea of love,
Pretending to do it all and still be real. 

The murmurs scramble my ideas,
The more I listen, the more I fumble,
There is no vacancy in my heart,
But there is a longing that aches,
No scars, no marks, still a bit of me it takes. 

On dew laden grass my mornings awake,
Everything was a dream, but I never slept. 
The hours just passed by gazing stars,
They told their stories in a land too far.
No corners tossed, not sleep deprived,
The clock did change days, my hadn’t arrived. 

I still hope that I find that love,
What I haven’t found in this world so large,
I pity those people who think they got their share,
The miseries of the ignorant don’t seem to fade. 

Till the time I can’t be selflessly selfish again,
Till the time I can’t let go of my ego,
Till the time I can see the world burn and still hope for warmth,
How can love be a possible good start?

The souls dread the great romantic fallacy,
In falling in love with the idea of love,
For it was never meant to be so desirable. 
It is thorny and stings your heart,
The pain they say is sweet,
What I know for sure is that words need not be always too sour.

 

The Diverging Roads…

​There is a lot of thought that goes into deciding as to where does one want to keep his next step. Every step brings with it, its own baggage of good and bad but you can’t forever stand still. Life is moving faster than you think it does and the challenges are growing more fierce. The warship of survival ever at our doorsteps calls us out and we must fight back, with all that we have got, even if it is all that we are left with. 

How do we make choices? Gut feelings and practicality are often seen conflicting, though one might see it as the extension of the other in a more stronger sense. So of whom do we heed? The brain, the mind, the ‘others’. In reality, practical decisions are far from perfect and our gut feeling needs far too much courage than we find ourselves having. So where to go? Whom to listen? We keep finding the best answers, but what if there aren’t any! What if, all that we have is to work through the course of time and let the future decide for itself and then maybe we can think of what to do next, contemplating the present with the lessons of the past. For no two lives have been parallel and there is no mantra of living a happy and content life.

Everyone has a roadmap for his life. He fixes the intermediate destinations, the milestones that he wants to reach. The road sometimes needs repairs, sometimes we need to go back to refuel and recharge, for we don’t know where will we find them next, the bridges may be broken and   we may need to change our path. It may take a little while longer, or sometimes flyovers and expressways may get you sooner, but if you have the will to travel, the milestone is never too far way. But if you keep standing on the edge of the river, waiting for someone to built the bridge for you, then all your dreams were vacant, because they didn’t give you enough energy to direct your ambitions. 

It is neither easy to choose a path, nor is it easy to continue. But if you choose your dream nothing will ever haunt you. The easy may seem tempting, but the burden is for you to carry. The easiest job in the world is to suggest people how to lead a life, because we know what is ideal and we strive continuously for that perfection. But perfection is unrealistic and hence being content with life is boring. There is absolutely no harm in living a life that has no elements of completeness because honestly there never will be. Only the sense of being complete is important. The feeling of evolving with every milestone, the nostalgia of the struggle so far and the discontent of not have done enough yet is what makes one complete. Satisfaction is the veil of the coward, for no man has ever succumbed to its self declared glory. 

Every decision writes your history. How motivated were your decisions, how stable were you emotionally when you took them, whether or not you truly believe in what you have chosen for yourself are important questions. However, what truly brings home your dream to you is your perseverance. Being persistent in your struggle, courageous in your actions, humble in your achievements, the ability to make mistakes and the strength to accept them. Life is a continuum of choices, and there are many ifs that may have been but once we have move past one decision point, it is wiser to grace the present rather than to live in a parallel world that is non-existent and non-existent is that it will ever it.

Colorless Faith

​The vessels were empty;

And the windows broke;

The stomach longed for food;

The tongue had forgotten its taste.

Thirsty, desperate and disturbed

The mind didn’t agree to rest. 

In the corners and crevices of the city,

The eyes searched death with hope.

His faith had a color once;

With dire times he painted it with all,

Green, Saffron and White;

Helpless his faith become colorless.