Sunday, October 6, 2013

Pyre of sands

#When you send entries and they are rejected. So.

Shallow soul full of clairvoyance of our future,
What grilled in more?
Betrayal or the treacheries

Spoken words, rhythm of your laughter in my mind,
What burnt more?
Naked truth or coated whispers

Moments froze in your duly companionship,
What grieved more?
Tears of sadness or silence

Happiness leaped through heart at your sight,
What pained more?
Prayer of separation or never together

Melodies ran through the body when you touched,
What was lost more?
Moments or the memories

Poetry of your beauty mixed with air,
What was taught more?
Lessons or the mind to forgive

Reasons to smile, reasons to ponder, my love,
What lacked more?
Courage or the trust

Now, I stand here stranded in misery,
What hurt more?
Love that is moving further,
Or the love is happy with another.

Redemption of thoughts

#When you send entries and they are rejected.So.

Lines along the palm burnt, more than scorching sun over head,
Naked feet on the ground swell in meat of ignorance,
Choice was minimal and apprehension more, his life,
He picked the next brick that lay across with no remorse.

His black studded eyes took glances of the boy privileged,
Resided in mansion well protected and preserved,
Stood over the toes, to get a glimpse of his highness,
Through the window merciless saw the child with school uniform.

Obsolete dreams and future barricaded on the roads,
Bricks shone brighter, heavier by each year,
Tears of pain that flew, meant hunger disgraced,
His heart hurt with sorrow of this situation.

Scribbled the pencil, words faster than voices echoed,
His nose touched the notebook in search of ignorance,
Not of wholesome concentration, but lack of it,
Sound of two elders pounding on each other.

His mind strayed to the boy near the bricks,
Was exterior pain same as the internal burden?
Eyes bore tears of night full of hallucinations,
When voices pitched further, he held his shirt tighter.

He didn’t want a future but run away from all of it,
Peeped out of window at the boy near the brick,
The trauma in home had swallowed every bit of his life,
His heart hurt with sorrow of this situation.

Traumatised soul

#When you send entries and they are rejected. So.

Beneath the burgeon of innumerable beliefs,
Sang the lips murmurs of melancholy rhetoric,

Tilted her bound head, in weight of painful memories,
Smelt her breathe of exhilarating agony,

Wise end of time whispered that death was her friend,
Heart weakened mustered no courage to embrace the saying,

Paranoia was a solitary syllable on her fragile mind,
Curses were inked on her frozen tongue,

She bore no thoughts, no deeds of the timeless,
Stretched and squirmed in the myriads of nightmares

Most beautiful memories that flew past began to haunt her,
Flashes of demons and devils, the shy eyes met,

Hatred dwelled and spewed deep within the skin,
Clustered negative impressions in her vivid emotions,

Mankind was mercilessly non- existence to her knowledge,
Meticulously, lips chanted prayers for her saviour,

Relief to rigid version of darkness was the only medicine,     
Bounded to utmost grievance, her only enemy,

All seemed lost, in the longest battle of self,
All but one,

Undying faith of a tomorrow never encountered,
Hope of a future that has to be realized in senses,

Clenched her fingers tight till they marked,
Pain was endured while it lasted the last chord.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The pawn

The streets of Ramapuram had imprints of Karneshwar’s small foot steps as he took the same path for the past 17 years without any change in the schedule. At height of 3’1”, commonly referred to as ‘chottu uncle’, his size did not stop him from doing things on his own. He always wore cotton shirt and pant above his stomach which was held by a belt designed by his Kontha tailor. The tuft of thick black hair was neatly combed with a partition. He was 34 years old but always showed enthusiasm of a child.

Early in the morning, he would carry his tiny umbrella and walk to Babu’s tea shop. Dusting the small seat to fit his size, he would place his umbrella on one side and pick the daily newspapers. He read the papers with lip sync and to detail that he could talk about any topic under the sun. His favourites were politics and sports; however, he had no one to listen to him. People at the tea shop initially mocked at the small man but as time flew, everyone learnt to mind their business just as he did.

After paying for the tea, he tucked the newspaper in his arms and made his way to the school. His miniature size invoked curiosity and interest but never any interaction from others. The only ones who talked to him freely were the children. This was the reason he taught in a school that stood in ruins in the far end of the village. The school had classes from LKG to fifth and he had taught almost every child who had entered the school.

The smile on Karneshwar’s face was always plastered and infectious. The children would listen to his feeble voice intently and nod at his every pause. He told them stories of bravery and world that was outside the village.

‘Can man fly, chottu uncle?’, a child asked making a shy face.

‘Of course’, he grinned and told them about aeroplanes.

He did not distinguish people even if they did. He smiled at them and greeted them with their names. Some heeded back while most ignored. This didn’t affect him; at least they did not throw their sympathies on him.
His lunch would always include Roti’s and different kinds of chutney. He rolled the Rotis with the chutney and cut them into small pieces. He would then distribute this to the school children who could not afford their own lunch.

It was a normal summer afternoon where dried leaves crunched on the weight of the people. Karneshwar, as usual, was on his way to the school after his morning ritual. Under the scorching sun, people had gathered near the newly dug up earth. The commotion seemed intense and people frowned with worry. Everyone’s attention seemed to focus towards the pit.

Karneshwar moved between the legs to reach to the front. He heard the wail of a child from the pit. The mother of the child was seated close to it crying her heart out. The mud was loose around the pit and fragments were slipping in if anyone took a step towards it, let alone move inside to save the child. It had already been more than hour and no steps to rescue the child were taken.

Everyone was talking frantically and discussing the impossibilities. One suggested that they wait for the rescue team but the roads to village were confusing and time consuming. Some consoled the mother of the worst consequences while other just scratched his head wondering.

But Karneshwar didn’t think much. Placing the umbrella down, he took a deep breathe. He tied the rope around his waist and nudged the man who held the other end. The crowd was in silence. He folded his crisp cotton pants upwards till his knees and gave thumbs up signal. The man with the rope told him the way he should do it. Karneshwar listened in silence and with a smile. The rope around the waist was tightened and he moved towards the pit. He prayed. The crowd prayed.

The rope was let down slowly into the pit. The mud slid and fell over both, Karneshwar and the child.The child began to sob profusely increasing the tension above the hole. Karneshwar was not able to hear the screams of the crowd. He cautiously moved down not wanting to hurt the child any more. When he reached the bottom , he patted and consoled the child. She was not older than 4 years and was breathing deeply due to lack of oxygen.

He noticed that at the end, there was no space in the hole to for both them together. He thought for a while  and helped the child slowly on his shoulders.  He tied the rope around her waist and tugged it. The villagers got the signal and pulled the rope carefully. As the child moved upwards, the mud began to seep inside. The crowd above was not aware that only the child was being pulled. In the end, they pulled the rope very strongly that all the mud seeped into the hole. When they thought it was the time to rejoice, did they realise that the rope was around child’s waist and Karneshwar was still in the pit. The pit was now filled with the sand. The child hugged the mother while everyone else was digging deep to save Karneshwar. After 15 mins of toil, they pulled him out by his hair. He was covered in mud and there was no sign of life. How much ever the villagers cried and shouted, Karneshwar was just fast asleep. His sleep was for eternal and the smile stuck on his face. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pebbles in water

The voice screeched in my ears but I didn’t know who the receiver was. My neck seemed frozen not moving its direction upwards towards the source. His nerves pulsated at every scream and I dared not open my mouth. Who invented these cursed objects? - Wax crayons. It looked tempting in all colours, smooth to hold and easy to make 30 cm radius of circles. The designer in me had chosen a wrong spot. It had chosen the freshly painted walls of my house. My trails of rainbow circles had started from the door knob of the hall to the end of balcony railings. Like Michelangelo, I had not left any space within my hand reach and spread my artistic skills all over the house .The red colour seemed to have spread to my father’s face while he glowered in anger at his six year old daughter.

I held on to my uniform skirt as if the length was not enough. My body sent shivers from top to bottom, ironically, in Chennai summer. It was our ‘Rashtrabasha’ effect and I never knew why it didn’t seep in my blood even after all the coaching classes. Our Hindi teacher, Victoria ji (name that I can never forget) handed over the papers with sharp cut comments which, fortunately, were never understood. The numbers glared at me. It was ‘8’ in tens place and ‘3’ in units place. Like things that were so easy to do during the adolescence, tears began to flow. The marks never hurt but mother sure would when I go back home in the evening.

They say college crushes make most of the best memories. Alas, I have no memory of doing anything about it. He sprinted on the staircase smiling at his friends  My close friend and I giggled, took a quick look and acted like we were studying. He adjusted his shirt cuff and hit a high five with his friend.Everything about him seemed cute. He was oblivious to the stares we gave and was not even aware of our existence. I often wondered how the college admin do the permutation and combination so perfectly that after I noticed he was in my bus, they started the scheme of shuffling buses every day. I don’t remember making an attempt to talk to him or even approach for anything. Marks came, lab exercise came, even the placements came in the third year but his department classroom never came close to our classroom.Yes, that was the excuse.

I didn’t know what I was staring at; the monitor or the CAT score that I had calculated from the key given by our institute. All the hormones seemed to rush to the heart and it felt very heavy. Honestly, I don’t remember doing any other section other than quant for my exam preparation. I didn't learn to solve problems but fought with it. I screwed the same section in every exam I wrote for MBA. It was apparently my third attempt in CAT and must have been 30th attempt in all MBA exams put together. There was a voice that sang in my head that I can't do it. The biggest mistake was that I always heeded to the voice. I have no answer to the question ‘why was I so mentally retarded?’. I cursed. This time I didn’t cry but it hurt. Really hard.

When I recollect all of these, it makes me smile today. It didn’t then. Quite obvious, but these are the memories that I can run in my head so fresh and never understand the intensity of emotion I was facing then.

What were the fears in my life? If I can draw a straight answer; it was my weaknesses. The fear was not because I didn’t know how to do a thing but those declarations in my head that I simply cant do it.

I had calculated my victories in the wrong measurement tools. It was what others wanted out of me or what others sought from me. I never sat down to learn to love something. Yes, we may not love something but we can always learn to love it. I have come to terms with my life that I can pass away time doing everything I love. Sometimes, we need to do things that are necessary.

I never experimented with things because my confidence never let me take that extra step. Lot of preconceived notions just stopped me there. It was just me along, not anyone else.

I succumbed to the weakness and never understood the worth of aggressiveness. The force to thrust forward, the faith to make things happen, insights to dream big; all lapsed into the black hole of fear.

Life always gave opportunities in abundance but I wrapped myself in inhibitions. I didn’t dare move out of my comfort zone. I didn’t dare try anything different. I didn’t try hard enough for anything I loved.

I had discarded the best things in my life because I felt I was not worth it. How did I even decide that in the first place? Was it because I was made to believe that way or was it that I accepted defeat so easily that it never occurred to me that I had not tried at all?

Today, give me that one crayon out of the box. I will make the 30 cm radius circles on the walls again. I want to be the same six year old child who did what she could best with that one crayon.