SHAJ

A free world?

Its a free world they say.
A much better world than what it used to be.
They had regulated television
and we have the freedom of internet.
Their sedition was crime.
Ours is anonymity.

Its a free world and yet not, they say.
We are loud and clear
so why are we not heard, they ask.
Change the subject, they say.
Distract with terms and decorated faces,
that mean nothing and yet our attention is theirs.

Who am I to crib, I wonder.
So many things waiting to be sketched from words
and yet no courage to spill the paint.
The voice is afraid
and so the change is yet to come.
They say. They say and they say.
And I put a stop to this.
My pen, my sword thumps on the ground
with a thud not so loud.
And I weep, weep without tears of hopelessness
but foreseeing the tragedy of the inevitable end.

I chose quiet.
Quieter than I thought I would be.
Only words that sum up
and have no meaning stay.
So, how does it matter
if I said something over nothing at all.
The uncanny chains remain the same.

Mother.

How easy it used to be for me to criticise her. To make her feel that she wasn’t good enough; that she could have done much better but stuck herself to my father, to the “meaningless family life”.

Today while we were taking a walk in the morning, she pulled out my dad’s phone that she had specially bought to just click pictures of the flowers in the garden where we walk. I usually find it silly when she sends me a good morning message everyday at 8’o clock. I know she sends it to ‘all’ in her list. But what struck me this morning was not that she was clicking pictures of flowers to continue her religious commitment of her ‘good morning’ ritual – it was the look in her face when she was watching the flowers. She loved them. The colours, their shapes – the way she chose pure white ones to off-white ones, the way her face lit up when she saw a small garden patch of marigold flowers. ‘Aren’t they beautiful, bebu?’, she asked me. I said, yes. Truly, I did not even know what was so beautiful about them. And I felt so jealous. I thought I had been doing it all right. I was living my life to the fullest while she could not. That, she got ‘stuck’. And here I was, not even understanding her awe at the beauty of those bright orange globe-concentric shaped flowers.

I have usually been critical of her ever-so-happy demeanour. I would wonder how much she keeps inside her and criticise even more whenever in anger, I would hear some spite. I would tell her that she is better than that. I wonder, if she doesn’t want to be better than that. And whatever she has done so far, what I call the facade – is because I and people like me in her life kept telling her that she is better than that. I wonder, how much she has suffered, how much she has let go of. I wonder, if she has ever hated me and loved me at the same time by not letting me know so.

Today while she was watching the roses, more than sadness, I felt disgust for myself. I realised how I have put the people I love in boxes of my critical court and hammered them with my own insecurities of who I am and how they must be, to be with me. You would say that I must not be too hard on myself, but the truth is that I am not at all being hard on myself. This is me. My energy comes from critically accessing all parts of my being in the constant need to renew myself from who I am to who I want to be. But to subject people who love me on the same dais as mine, is just not fair.

I wonder why they do not complain. I wonder why she does not complain. Or, maybe she does but I can’t hear it, because I am too busy being convinced how she knows so little and I know so much more. That I am not disgusted with, though. I think all children at some point or the other feel that they are much smarter than their parents. And that is usually true – given that they come from them and have better adaptation to the present world and its obsessions more than their parents. They care about the world and their parents care about them. Children are smarter – definitely. But that’s not what am worried about. I am worried about, how little I know of the real world, of real people, of real things and of real feelings. If I show this write – up to my mother, she would wonder what I am talking about, probably even say that its amazing while never comprehending what I actually mean. She wouldn’t understand that I am jealous of her. And that is what am most jealous of – the fact that she doesn’t know what it feels to not feel about the real, tiny happiness existing in bright yellow petals out there.

The new beginning

‘Its gonna be fine’
I told myself.
Like Aamir Khan consoled himself
‘All is well’?
Its gonna be all fine.
I told myself.

‘Are you going to leave again?’
My heart asked.
Yes. Yes, please.
I need to, don’t I?
‘But you will be a wreck again!’
I know, I know!
But, it doesn’t feel right.
Not any more. Not any more.

‘Have you tried letting go of your ego yet?’
Yes, I did. Didn’t I?
Not all the way though.
Not this time.
No, not this time.

‘How do you manage to inflict so much pain upon yourself?’

I wish it didn’t hurt so much.
I wish it was easier like it should be.
Such a blessed life with no worries, no problems to flee.
And yet, so much desperation, so much self inflicted pain to deal with.
I just wish it didn’t hurt so much.

‘Are you gonna be fine?’

Aren’t you gonna be there for me?

‘Yes.. Yes, ofcourse I am. Ofcourse I am..’

And we walked away.
Very slowly,
‘cos there’s no hurry.

Still, steady and all that throbs.

And there goes a dream,
a child’s fantasy of a fairy tale
and the perfect ending.
How would I have known that it was only a chapter.
Regret and sorrows all drying
in forlorn branches of wisdom and lore
I wonder what all is left
for this tiny hyper heart to implore.

Somehow its living
and yet its not.
This constant. Oh, this constant.
Breathing,
and yet not knowing what’s really alive.
Left, right, top, bottom,
diagonally aligned? Is it? My heart?
No. No.
Its all in the centre.
Oh, so steady.
I like it here.
I like it here?

Is it an ending
or a blank page before a new beginning?
Maybe its that chapter that I did not expect to come
but has already begun.

Restlessness

There is no calm, there is no peace.
My poems –
just restless afterthoughts.
Is it the withdrawal symptom of a changing weather,
maybe after a day or two,
my heart will find its mystical ease.

I wish it was effortless,
To be so many and not just one.
A tiny bit taken from all good souls,
understanding deeply the core of my own.
But I am so restless,
even tears need reasons to implore.

What a blithe cry of melancholy again,
the emptiness of being, creeping on my mattress again.
Go away, I beg.
The good souls need to do what they do the best.
I will pray for a little longer,
in a hope to silence the devil in my head.

Love? Shit.

Writing is like therapy. When we read somebody else’s banter of wisdom, most times it feels like a pile of crap unless its ofcourse quoted by somebody with some “validation”. I have a million thoughts everyday. I can’t talk about anybody else, but I can’t stop thinking. And everytime I go back to my diary and read through its pages, I notice myself contradicting my own wise words more than anything else. Sometimes I am in awe of myself. Earlier, my writing was a flow and I envy that earlier self. Today, I feel forced. I do it out of habit, habit to keep talking to myself, habit to stay restless or to find some “meaning” every single day. Its infuriating. I feel so old.

Breathe.

Just so you know and for the people who are interested in this inconsequential banter – I am in love. Unlike people who talk about the abounding beauty of love, I think its nothing less than a world war inside my head.

I hate it.

I liked being single. My mind used to be restless for knowledge instead of thinking about his touch the night before. I used to create stories out of my fantasies and my happy hormone used to kick in with so much of hope.

And now – I am living a nightmare. Every week and I mean – every single week is a roller coaster ride and I don’t like roller coaster rides. When I went to Imagica a few months before, I did not play a single one of those “deadly thrilling rides”. No thanks, but I would rather not kill myself with the anticipation of having a heartattack in any of those insides-coming-out-as-lungs-fall-off rides. Same reason, why I don’t watch horror films.

So basically, I don’t like being in love. But I know there’s no getting away because I have a wise side too – which knows that I am going to regret letting it go when am all wrinkly with a cat for company. You know what comes with this “deadly feeling of love”? Possessiveness, insecurity and if you are a self critical, realistic person – then, misery. I am miserable. Yes, like crying out loud miserable. And mostly, sad. Perhaps because I know that the only person who can make me happy is the person I am in love with. And that is sad. Even if all the great lovers of the history would say that its not, their record of screwing up so bad is not very encouraging you see.

They say frustration is important for satisfaction. Allow me to quote this interesting piece by Adam Phillips which I picked up from my favourite website – brainpickings.org :

However much you have been wanting and hoping and dreaming of meeting the person of your dreams, it is only when you meet them that you will start missing them. It seems that the presence of an object is required to make its absence felt (or to make the absence of something felt). A kind of longing may have preceded their arrival, but you have to meet in order to feel the full force of your frustration in their absence.

[…]

Falling in love, finding your passion, are attempts to locate, to picture, to represent what you unconsciously feel frustrated about, and by.

[…]

All love stories are frustration stories… To fall in love is to be reminded of a frustration that you didn’t know you had.

I wonder if all lovers try to help themselves in their illusionistic utopian world and console themselves that its okay. Because in reality, they are in deep shit and there is no way one can walk out. If you are a good artist, then you are good at convincing your misery to be utopian too.

I am doing a lot of breathing exercises these days. I am not constricted up my windpipe. I am just in ridiculous pressure of being in love.

I repeat. It sucks. And like most therapy sessions, this one ends with more confusion too.

Thought of the day

The best antidote for pain is the will to heal.

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