We Stopped Looking for Monsters Under Our Bed When We Realized They are Within Us

To begin with, the title is not original. I read this saying somewhere, and I liked it. Next, a very Happy New Year to all my readers, though I know it is a bit early. I wish this new year bring in lots of hopes, happiness, success, and a new ambition in each of your lives. It has been a ritual for some of us to make New Year resolutions, which we definitely take care to not keep; however let me not delve deep into criticizing you, because it’s you who has made me what I am today.

We stopped looking for monsters under our bed when we realized they are within us. Well, we all know where this heads too. A world, where corruption is our biggest possession, where our children inherit it from us happily, and move on to pass it to the next generation, is where we live, is where we love. There have been people who have tried to remove portions of this corruption, but, all in vain. For there is this conscience of ours, which has got used to corruption so much, that it has stopped pricking us; it thinks the way we think, and does not stop us when we do something wrong.

I studied in my junior school that whenever we do something, whether it be wrong or right, our conscience speaks to us. Well, to be honest, it has never spoken to me till today, and it has never decided what is right or wrong. If it would have, then I would have been a holy person, devoid of badness, devoid of ill-thinking, devoid of evil. And if there is one in this world who is devoid of evil, is the one who dies now, is the one who smiles after he dies, because as he died, he gave up his evil to the world, and the world embraced it and distributed it amongst themselves, happily.

Then who is to blame for all this? Is it those small children in the school who learn it while walking on the streets? Is it those college students who do it because they had wished to do so since they were in school? Is it those people sitting in the office who consider it their profession to practise wrongdoings? Or is it that grandfather who sits in the room reading a newspaper, on one hand saying loving words to this grandchild, and on the other hand dirtying his mouth at the Parliament? To blame are the elders, the older people of this country, who consider it their asset to practise corruption. They are those who say that we should stop corruption at grass root level, and themselves manure the grass. They are those whom little children hear whilst sitting in the other room, and decide to be like them when they grow up. They are those who slap their child on hearing that he used a slang, and have nothing to say when the child says he learned it from his parents. Our “sanskriti” speaks of respecting our elders, of considering them next to God. Does God go about murdering people? Does God go about plotting against his own family? Does God go about smiling at people and stabbing them behind their backs? Does God discriminate between people of different castes, creeds, and religions? If yes, I consider all elders as my God.

The whole point of my writing this is demeaned if people do not take a correct step towards the right after reading this. Saying things is easy, committing yourself to doing something for the betterment of this world is difficult. Kill the monster who harms you tomorrow; kill the monster who is within you today, because he harms you more than any other monster can. A very happy new year to everyone, and this year, let us walk on the path of righteousness, on the path of justice, and on the path of truth, once again. I hope this year we write more, we read more, and we encourage more.

Satyameva Jayate! (Truth alone Wins)

To Myself

Winds have come and they have gone,
Taken with them dust to her land,
And they have worked hard to break,
Each of my dreams, the castles of sand.
Yet I have decided to forget the past,
Bury everything and move ahead,
And the strength that this has given me,
Has increased and rendered my past dead.
I wish that when one fine morning,
I look back and see what I did in the past,
Things that I have done do make me smile,
And its happiness would with me last.
I wish I could say proudly to myself,
That as long as I lived it was without you,
And even as I die a smile lingered,
On my face, and on your face too.
They speak of shedding tears in happiness,
I’d speak of smiling when in grief,
You’d think of the times we shared a smile,
A time that was happy, albeit brief.
Today when I speak I am still happy,
And when you’d read this I’d be happy still,
Smile to yourself as I tell you this,
The space you left in me, no one can fill.

Checkmate

The pawn moves ahead one step at a time,
Because it knows it’s small and must carefully take its step,
And by being so careful it tries to hide the fact,
That it is the weakest of them all.
I still think sometimes why if it moved straight,
Even then it killed only on its diagonal,
Was it so weak not to face the one in front,
And tactful enough to kill the one diagonally,
For the fact that it would probably be looking in front,
And would miss this tiny one carelessly?
En passant makes it only a bit stronger,
To do a feat no one else can do,
But of what use is this strength, ah nothing,
When a checkmate never can it alone give.
Ha, forget a checkmate, it doesn’t have the strength,
To move ahead despite being blocked.
Don’t be a pawn in my way of love,
If you dareth, be the queen, if not, die.

Wintry Fragrances

Sunshine kisses the floors of my house, mosaic floors, painted luminously with red, blue and green stones, and my feet get a degree warmer. I sit in the verandah, on a chair which we had bought some nine years from now, that day I was so happy we had new chairs; now they lie there, gathering dust, unless I go there, take the pains of dusting it, and sit on it. Two kids, one of nine, and the other, I think of nine as well, play badminton. They play it really bad, and they never touch the shuttle-cock. They are happy still.

There, on the road, a mother takes her child on a walk in the perambulator. The baby sits up and looks out, and raises its hands signaling to the mother to take it in her arms, while the mother, oblivious of all this, keeps walking, talking to one of her friends on the phone. A van comes in, and a thousand schoolchildren get down, shouting, happy for the fact that today was their last school day; it’s winter vacations from tomorrow. As I sit, a mynah comes and sits in the verandah, but as soon as I move a bit, it flies away, and goes and sits on the window sill of our neighbor, the fat but kind Mr. Abdullah.

Through the opposite window, she, smiles at me. She is inside a blanket, and she refuses to get down when her mother comes in. The mother sees me looking at her, and then comes to the window. I feel a bit awkward, but then she doesn’t say anything. She only draws the curtains and returns. Inside, I hear her scolding her for making friends with a boy like me. As her mother leaves, she comes, draws the curtains aside, smiles at me and signals me to leave, then draws the curtains back. Someone in the adjacent room rings bells. He pretends to the world he is a pious man, and yesterday evening, I saw him molest a girl.

The paper boy comes. He is very regular in his business. He takes a newspaper, folds it into a cylinder, then halves it like a boomerang; and there, he throws it. He throws it accurately enough to land into the balcony of the fifth floor Mr. Karim, who can shout at petty things like someone sitting on his scooter. The song playing in my walkman changes. It now plays a song by Mehdi Hassan, and it reminds me of the day when I first heard that song. It was the day when she had last talked to me properly. Then something happened, and I still do not know what it was that happened.

The fragrance of winter kisses me, it lingers around my soul, and asks me to come back to where I had left it alone. It asks me to go back to the winter years ago, when I jumped and laughed and shouted in happiness. I smile at it wryly, smelling it all the time, and promise it that I will fulfill its wish soon, very soon.

Shaena – Chapter 6

An evening of June, we were returning from our tuition. Our tuition had become much more fun now, at least for Shaena and me. For once, I was feeling now, that things were indeed going in the right direction. Two hours of the tuition, under the table, our legs would be intertwined, mine on hers on mine on hers. And we sat like that, without ever caring to care what went through our minds; it was just normal. Then this day came.

Our tuition got over around seven thirty, and it was raining heavily that evening. Like all girls, Shaena had an umbrella, and like all boys, I couldn’t care less; I didn’t even have a bag to carry my notebook, leave alone an umbrella. Since we lived in the same campus, we decided to walk together. We walked, and on our way, we talked random things. It was queer we never mentioned anything ever about what had happened, what was happening, and it seemed as if she did not care as to what was to happen. As for me, I had had a lesson once, and I had promised myself not to repeat it again, ever.

We had almost reached my house when the power cut off. As it was raining, I suggested to wait for a minute lest we step on something on the road. She agreed, which was obvious, since she was afraid even of the butterfly. 😛 Whilst we stood, waiting for the lazy workman to go and switch on the generator, a thunder struck. And, instantly, Shaena caught my shirt tightly and hid her face in my arm. It was all too fast to think or to react, but the next thing I knew I did was push myself away from her. Not that I did that voluntarily, it just happened that I spotted her mother coming towards us. The moment was gone, it was dead. And although I had given a clear sign of disapproval to what Shaena had suggested, I never wanted to.

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Gone With The Wind

A man had wept and then no one,
Did ever get to know where he is,
He was lost, and no one tried to find him,
In the desert, amidst forests, in the ocean and blue.
They contented themselves thinking that the eagle,
Must have swooped down and taken him by her mouth,
But this man kept walking, never listening to them,
He went far far down to the south.
A girl he met a few days later,
Who was happy and merry and smiling and gay,
And he felt a cheerfulness as bright and soothing,
As when sunlight falls on raw hay.
The mask of gladness that she was wearing,
She lent one such to him too,
And whilst people all thought they both were smiling,
None of them the truth knew.
They walked to a desert she had never been to,
And never knew how strong the winds would be,
And then it blew, and took off their masks,
Their masks of happiness, gone with the wind.
And lo! When they saw how each one actually looked,
They found they were happier without their masks,
A wry smile on their faces, because they knew they had,
To one day depart their paths.
Yet they walked and they walk today regardless of what,
Will happen tomorrow, because they know,
What’s gone is gone, let’s be happy today,
These moments will soon be gone with the wind.