The Pursuit Of Identity

Have you ever observed butterflies, just doing their thing, fluttering their wings? 

Ever wanted to choose which one of them was prettier? 

Ever wondered what they’d be like ,sans all the color? 

Did they, as caterpillars intrigue you just as much? 

Would they ,with broken wings, interest you just as much? 
No. The beautiful wings gave them identity.
Ever placed paper on oil paint and marveled at the random designs?

Ever repaired a tattered shoe until you made it shine? 

Ever noticed a solitary dragonfly in a pack of over a thousand? 

Ever paid attention to a background dancer without reason? 
The paint gave paper identity. Identity to its blank existence

Your effort gave the shoe identity. Identity to its ragged existence

A solitary dragonfly has none whatsoever, unless a wing’s extra, or none at all

Limelight gives the dancer its identity, identity with reason.
Would it be completely wrong then, to say

Identity is identity ,only as long as you hold on to it? 
A baby’s born, and nurtured with “unconditional love”

It grows to become an obedient kid, loved and blessed by all

One fine day, it goes missing, much to everyone’s horror

The description they gave was of a well mannered kid, happy, active and cheerful.

Word gets out and a hunt begins, no yield whatsoever.
Ten years down, at the door he stands, every bit a tramp

Smoking a joint, unruly hair, stinking of alcohol and dirt

Their kid went missing, a boy had returned, not in the slightest their own

Unconditional love seemed a lost cause, not knowing how things had turned
They took him in, fed him well, but only because he was blood

The person in him was no more their own, he felt his soul burn

Went away without saying a word, this time no search ensued

No tears shed, no worries exchanged, none a fan of his identity, new.
He went, only to return, a man of thirty, having figured out his life

His effort to be someone they’d love, wouldn’t go unanswered

This time they took him in, arms wide open, tears of joy were shed

Made him promise he’d never walk away, their boy had finally returned
He went in search of his lost identity, that which appealed to all

Buried the one he carried, instead, that which appealed to him

Lived the rest of his life happy, amid love and respect

The only emotion missing, now, was that of content
At seventy he fell sick, his memory couldn’t keep up

The people faded from his mind, they who were his identity

They walked away from his self, “unconditional love” went down the drain

He lost his real identity for people who didn’t care after all….

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All That Changed

​I wrote my alphabet fast while he wrote beautifully

All the knowledge we had, few letters, A to Z

We were on the same page….

I was good with words, she aced her numbers

I helped her with essays, she rested my math fumbles

We were on the same page….

My feet had a thing for dance, he had wonderful music

Talent all the same, though different were our musings

We were on the same page….

She cared for homeless animals, I collected for charity

Both noble causes, no room for disparity

We were on the same page….

But now, we’re not

We’re not because he’s smarter, and I’m nowhere close

We’re not because she’s rude, and that, everyone knows

And let’s not accept that these are games my mind leads

That I had an hour more to dance and he, few to read

That she’s not rude, and that straightforward is the word

That I can mould anyone in my mind, decide their worth

We aren’t on the same page anymore

Not since I decided:

I’m gorgeous, she’s not

She’s ugly, I’m hot

He’s dumb, I’m smart

His words garbage, mine , art

We stopped. We changed

Where only bad could be seen, we changed

Where the mind took over, we changed

Each time I saw a flaw, I changed

Each time I laughed them off, I changed

That book of life flipped back a hundred pages 

Regressing from where I started, recovery will take me ages…..

(The diary of every ungrateful human)

Alone No More

​Jittery limbs and fidgety fingers

With mumbles for words and fumbles for speech

Fright in eyes and plight on the face

Superimposed by the incessant insults

Dejection, anger and a thousand other emotions

Not words enough to let them out

Cries unheard, pleas unattended

Another potential wizard fell pray to mental unease

Battling both mental and social demons

Alone, with nobody to even share 

The noose of depression tightens further

Each time another ‘normal’ person turns away

Let’s not contribute to their downfall anymore

Look them in the eye, say it like you mean it

Let’s do this together, through this ordeal, let’s walk

I promise to hear you out. Come, let’s talk 🙂

Moments Of Silence

​That silence of a mesmerized audience

The quiet after a fight

That mute second at the end of a song and the start of another

The silence in the arms of love

The quiet in endless star gazing

The hush hush tracing of a butterfly trail

The calm in my mother’s lap

The silent screech of a gramophone

The crunch of soil under tiptoe feet

The wordless poetry of raindrops

Those moments of priceless silence

Those that I left behind for future

The silence that got me through everything

That silence, I seek again…

For Angels Do Exist….

​Little eyes that blink with all their might

A toothless smile that lights up the world

She dreams of fairies and everything good

Blossoming flowers, chirping birds

Tightly clasped hands, jerky little feet

That’s all the emotion she has within

And a smile, a toothless smile

And a dreamland -mystical, magical

All that makes her happy, elves, angels

She dreams of them with shut little eyes

And then she responds to that one voice

The only voice she knew in the womb

Eyes wide open, she looks at the voice

Angels, fairies, and everything good

She smiles at her, her mother, her angel

Her first ever dream had already come true.

The Unbroken Promise

​I gave you my word, and lived by it each day,

“I’ll protect you forever,” you said, “come what may”

You broke your promise easy, left me scorching in solitude

Liberated, don’t you feel, of bondage of such great magnitude? 

Coming to think of it, you were right in doing so

A promise is no different from time in prison, no? 

A compromise on freedom to make your own decisions

Each promise a step further into a world of inhibitions

You let go of me, so I broke my promise to you

Did each of those things I swore I wouldn’t do

That I would respect women, be good to them always

See them as humans, not a good body, a pretty face

Yes, I broke my promise, not once, but time and again

Each time I remembered your deceit, it alleviated my pain

So many women, the bodies of whom I violated

Flesh the tonic I turned to, always, when dejected

Why did you, mother? Why did you let me loose? 

You’re the reason today, I stand behind this noose
“Protect you, I did, believe me when I say

From everything that I could, I stood in their way

I didn’t let you loose son, I opened you to the world

I didn’t influence, to you how the universe unfurled

I gave you life and values, dear, that’s all I have done

Your choices, your decisions, I swear I’ve made none

You thought I let go of you, broke all my promises

My womb bleeds in sorrow, though, stabbed with all your blemishes

This noose takes away your breath son, but I’ve been dead for years

With each of your promises broken, each innocent girl’s tears……

The Unfortunate Outcast

​A month passed by, eyes still fixated on the door

She waited for her boy to return like before

She didn’t cry over his corpse, didn’t mourn his death

Just waited, every second, each heartbeat, each breath

The boy she’d made, womb to bosom to mind

The truth of his life, naturally difficult she’d find

The only reason she lived, since the day he was born

Forsake everything for him, she would, she’d sworn

That purpose of life dead, unsure what to do

Wait for a miracle, impossible though she knew

Too afraid to end it , she decided to wait life out

Hoping he’d come, smiling, turn her life about

She wrote out the memory of that horrid day alright

Easier to think he’s alive ,but far, life still bright

Looking at that door in the hope that he’d return

For all the love she gave him, he wouldn’t let her burn

The door did open, but the faces weren’t known

They took her, they said, where she needn’t be alone

Left her in a dark room, one door, one room mate

Waiting was all left for her, she didn’t care for her fate

She looked at this door now, waiting to see him back

They called her crazy, laughed, “Brains, she does lack”

The mother whose revival could only be sought through her love

They “treated” her, to no avail, “mental”, in her face they’d shove

In that dark room, a loving mother, a social outcast

Awaits her son’s return, just to breathe her last

Is an asylum the place for love, so massive? 

Does healthy mean stone hearted, distant, passive? 

For all that she’s worth, mentally ill they wrote away

Who are we to judge? Her life, and she has no say…..

Ballet Behind The Scenes

​Look into the sky, and a performance you’ll see

The stars, hungry for limelight, refuse to leave

The sun lurks backstage, eagerly awaiting its turn

The backdrop lightens, black to violet and hues of blue

The moon , ever so calm, in no hurry to leave

A shrill cold air gives the perfect acoustics

The cloud curtain hides the stage, change of scenes

Orange the new colour, Sun the new star

The moon, yet so calm, has decided to stay longer

Chirping little birds giving music to the ears

Leaves dance to their tunes, dew drops fill the air

Musk is the fragrance, exhilaration the emotion

Orange becomes yellow, moon finally departs

The performance above makes way for the performances below

Warmth of the sun, cool of the air

The celestial theatrical , in all its splendid beauty.

New Year resolutions #1

​I’m not a believer in New Year resolutions ; after all, the New Year is nothing but just a continuation of yesterday, a precursor to tomorrow. However, I’ve only recently come to realise the importance of seeing every undertaking through, no matter how trivial, rather than abandoning it midway, which brings me to a resolution that could be called my New Year resolution (of sorts). The resolution to award myself some personal satisfaction by writing at regular intervals, for at least a year. And the first , most intriguing thing that comes to mind is, satirical human relations.

My dad is a fitness freak and always made it a point to drag me to this park close to home for walks every morning, while I’d put up sincere, whole hearted fights to wriggle my way out of it. I’ve finally come to accept the walks as part of life and don’t even try arguing. So during one of my walks last week, I saw a girl, about the same age as me, walk in the opposite direction. She looked at me and had an amused expression, as if trying hard to concentrate on recalling something. I found her face strikingly familiar but couldn’t recognize her. Perhaps the expression on my face at that very moment was the same as hers. The scene lasted hardly ten seconds and then I forgot about her. Perhaps she also did. Next day, she crossed my path again and yet again I made an abbreviated attempt to recall who she was, and yet again for the next two days when the same thing happened, but to no avail. On the fourth day, it happened yet again, but this time another friend of hers yelled out her name and the name unclogged that pipeline of memories in my brain. She was my classmate of seven years, or more, who had moved from the city and left school in eighth grade or so. I couldn’t believe she was the person I used to talk to on an almost daily basis for so many years, and now, we could barely recognise each other. It brought back memories of a entirely different incident.

I used to travel to my junior college by train. A thirty five minute journey that became a wonderful routine, the time I spent talking to absolute strangers. Nothing ever was personal talk, and yet, the topics we had at our disposal always seemed infinite. One of the best people I made friends with here, was a female railway official. She was visually challenged but that never stopped her. She was more normal than I think most of us are. She recognised my voice and I had come to recognise hers, seeing how she was a wonderful singer. Singing, laughing and talking was our thing, age was no barrier. This was one bond I’d have loved to never let go, but I knew it was short lived. However, four years later, when I was headed to my junior college for a reunion, by that exact same train, same time but different coach, I could still hear that most familiar hum from the other side of the partition. It didn’t take me a second to recognise her and I immediately switched coaches at the next station to go to her. She recognised me even before I reminded her, thanks to my loud cackling which she still remembered. We ended up getting down at the station and talking for an entire hour before going our separate ways. It made me realise, this bond had lasted after all.
Which brings me to what intrigues me; how do we decide who stays in our memories and who doesn’t? I could easily recall someone who strolled through my life for a brief period while I could hardly remember someone I shared a few years of life with.   Does the mind really have it’s way or is it the importance of that person in your life that decides? Life sometimes throws at you questions that are difficult to answer, perhaps, impossible. Intriguing, to say the least…

Legacy

As he sat revising his closing arguments,
The very same house of justice, the very same corner bench,
He’d ruled this courthouse for over four decades now
Intimidating and defeating each opponent of his.
Today he’d retire, ending forty years of victory,
He wanted the end to be victorious as well,
But this didn’t look to be going well for him
She had weakened the very roots of his case,
He questioned, she countered, speechless she left him
An opponent so tough and determined, he was in awe
He read his document carefully, yet inattentively
Constantly thinking of the course this case would take
Time passed and the hearing began
Judge acknowledged, jury summoned
He rose, calmly, spoke wisely as ever
Aware of the many eyes fixated on him
He said the first lines, and waited smartly
Letting his aura speak for him
Calmly, respectfully, he built his story
The audience increasingly growing respectful
Done, he bowed, and sat back, satisfied
Chaos ensued, talks about his greatness
Then she rose, calmer, and bowed
She spoke softly, wisely and well
Placing her case systematically with ease
Maintaining her composure all the same
She spoke slowly but intelligently enough
Rebuilt her story in all their minds
Her last bow was doused in roaring applause
Dumbfounded, the old man looked at her face
Looked at her through the judge’s speech
Looked at her as he ruled in her favor
Looked at her as she calmly smiled
Looked at her and she looked back
He smiled at her, stifling that rare tear
She walked up to him, hugged him tight
Inappropriate for a court room, but the daughter didn’t care
I’m sorry dad, you lost your final case
‘I didn’t, love’ , he beamed at her face
He looked up at the face he had adored for years
His love, now accompanied by pure respect
‘You are my biggest victory’, he finished, smiling
She asked, ‘Did I do well today? ‘
‘Yes, my dear, but there’s scope for better’