Flee From This World

The night was old, the sky was grey,
Yet I kept walking through the fields of hay.
The sky turned red, the dawn was here,
Yet I kept walking, my end was near.
The birds came out, and chirped out loud,
I kept walking, face hidden under a shroud.
For hours I walked at a stretch,
None to talk with, none to walk with,
None to break bread with,
None to share mead with.
The meadows were green, and yellow were its flowers,
Yet I kept walking, I had to reach the towers.
The meadows ended, and I swam across a river,
My clothes wet now, and I felt a shiver,
Yet I kept walking, my end was near,
And everything that I held so dear,
Was stolen from me, never to return,
Yet even so I walked, never taking a turn.
The day was old now, the sun overhead,
Not a place to rest, straight my path led,
Me to roads yet untraveled, yet undiscovered,
Yet I kept walking.

For I had not a destination,
But a wish deep within,
To flee from this world as far as I could go,
And so I kept walking, even so.
By night and day, and day and night,
I kept walking, knew I did right,
By leaving all behind, whatever I had,
Did not care if it made me happy or sad.
Now the sun was behind the hills,
I walked across farms, away from the windmills,
I knew not where I’d reach,
I cared not about it either,
And death did not scare me,
Nor hunger neither.

The night draped the skies,
In a blanket of stars,
And only then did I sleep for a while.
Tomorrow I’ll walk again,
Cover many more miles yet,
Until I reach a world,
Where people are happier,
Where love is in plenty,
And where life is full,
As it should be,
No killings, no fights, no bombs, no terror,
For that is where I dream to be,
But I know that for now,
Such places exist only in my dreams,
But I know that sooner or later,
Such places I will come across,
And such things I will see,
That’ll make me believe,
That humanity still exists,
Somewhere.
Maybe not in this world,
But someday soon, I’ll find a home,
Where I’d love to live.

Return – Chapter 8 – Finale

Losses are what make us what we are. A lost cause this was. There could be no good ending to this, not even a satisfactory one. For I had thought of something and it turned out completely different, though in a way it had all been my fault. But so be it. I had learned to cope with myself, with the problems that I created for myself, and then never solved them for I was ever too afraid to face them. As I sat silently at Irtiqa’s grave, someone patted me on my back. I turned around. It was Shaena. I looked at her teary-eyed. She looked at me silently. No words were exchanged. But we did speak. Our silence had given words to thoughts in our minds. And we both knew what the other was thinking. And yet we kept quiet, waiting for the other to start speaking. I knew I should have begun, but somehow I had made up my mind to never strike a conversation by starting it on my own. And so I pretended to be dumb, looking at one’s grave now, while the other stood behind me.

When I turned back to look at her, I was spellbound for a moment. For it was not Shaena who stood, but Irtiqa. And she looked poignantly at me. “Irtiqa,” I gasped for words. But none came. For now was not the time for words. “Do not make a decision in haste,” she said. I asked, “What do you mean?” but by then the moment was gone. The face had now changed. Now stood my mother in front of me. It was as if someone had plotted to show me my entire past through her. “Come back, home,” she whispered. I knew it was a lie, a dream, a manifestation of my wishes and a by-product of my dreams, for the same woman had shut her doors on me only a while back. I rubbed my eyes. It was Shaena again.

“Here’s the key,” she said, “to your home. It’s yours now.”

For a while, I stared blankly at her. Only when it hit me like a rock on the head that I fumbled on the ground. “You do not mean what I understand, right?” I asked. I felt like shouting loud and hitting my head against the ground, but now was not the time for foolishness. “Give speech to tongue,” I shouted, “What do you mean?” She looked at me teary-eyed now. “She said you should come back home. Those were her last words.” And throwing the key at me, she ran across the street and I saw her changing into a silhouette and then only a shadow of the past. No, another death was not something I could handle at this moment. Not now. What had happened of my life? Was this the way it was supposed to end? Hadn’t I better plans when I first started? My head was throbbing now, and I fell to the ground. As the world around me started to fade, there was only one thing I repented about. This return.

Nine

It is only when you have achieved everything you can that you realize that you have yet not achieved so many other things. Isn’t that ironic? And ironic though it is, it is true. “Nine” symbolizes the end of the path, the last rung of the ladder, the pinnacle of glory, the achievement of your ambition, the completion of your goal, and the end of a journey. In my case, it is the end of ‘Decagon’. But life is a decagon, and a decagon has no open ends. Reaching Nine means you will go back to Zero next. When you have accomplished everything you can at a place, that is your motto: to start afresh with something new and see yourself to winning laurels and gaining glory in that field as well. That, is the essence of life – going round and round in the same cycles, but with different circumstances. And we do that ever so often, without even realizing that we ourselves are making new turns of the cycle. And these turns are all connected. It is a mesh of decagons, tangled with each other, a decagon of your personal life, one for your professional career, one old one gathering dust and cobwebs back from your high school, another fresh one from college, one from the social network which has so many unknown people you cannot even begin to list them. And entangled amongst all of these, like the pivot for a see-saw, like the center of gravity towards which the universe moves, is you.

Throughout this journey, I have tried to open up more as an individual and grow closer to all of you. I want to know each and every one of you, from where you come, what you do, how we are connected, why you write what you write. Have we met ever? Will we? There are so many unanswered questions, so many uncertainties in life. Heisenberg once put forward an uncertainty principle. We are going away from the topic. Let’s come back now. So yes, now that we have come to the end of this category, it is time for the vote of thanks. I would like to thank each and every one of you for your insights, comments, likes, reads, short messages and whatever I have accumulated in the past few weeks. The last two weeks have been really momentous for me. We keep writing things, never knowing the consequences of our posts. This blog and these posts helped me make a new friend, Amy, who is now a co-author too. I tend to get bored while writing, post too less when the work pressure is high, but small inspirational comments, and tiny happy remarks make my day. I feel exhilarated to realize that somewhere in another corner of the world, someone is reading this right now, and may smile if it reminds him or her of something that is precious to them. For that is the only motive for me writing. To be happy and to make others happy.

I will come back soon with another set of posts, another category, another experience, another poem, another story. I will persevere and make this blog better than what it is. And I will see it rise one day to Freshly Pressed, but until then, I must be patient. I must weave this web gently, much like a spider. There are two kinds of webs a spider makes, one when it is hungry, it is stickier and helps others stick to it so that it gets fed, one when it is well-fed, that one is stronger, and although it is not sticky, it is tough to break it, and the spider feels protected. I have to decide which kind of web to choose, and I have to decide if I am already well-fed or if I am still hungry. But until then, I will be happy, because that is what is most important. Bye for now!

Previous: Eight

Three

We were three of us in the beginning. Always together, always happy, fun and frolic all day round. Until it changed. And then we were two, and they were two too. And it would have been good if we were four, but we were still three. Life is strange humdrum affair, or is it? Is it a notion that we like to perceive only because we read that line long ago in ‘Silver Lining’, or do we actually think it is true? There are a thousand such questions that we ask ourselves daily, and then we leave it midway, because somewhere, deep down, we know we do not really want to know the answers to them. And that is the secret to our happiness. Ignorance.

“Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise”.
This saying has the truth of all worlds embodied in it. It is foolish to be wise. And why should we be, when being a little foolish may earn you so much happiness? I live in a country where day in and day out, engineers are kind of manufactured. They come in all sizes, some defective, most come out alright, some come out exceptional. This write-up is going to be much different from my other write-ups because in this, you might actually find a very bitter taste. I am annoyed with the education system. And whereas I am not someone who likes to rant about things which should be done the correct way, the education system is something I would definitely crib about. Students in India go through an education of 2+12+(3 or 4)+2 years of studies. Pre-school, school, under-grad and post-grad. By the time we are done with our studies, our childhood, our teenage, and a fair share of our twenties is eaten up. Then we fake that we are happy, where indeed, we are not. And how can we be?

George R R Martin, in his book, mentions Daenerys will be deceived thrice. Once for love, once for gold, once for blood. His subtlety must not be misinterpreted for fiction. The deception is true in real life, and three symbolizes the evil in it, much like the three witches in Shakespeare’s Macbeth. But I do not want to go into critical appreciations and literary criticisms of what people have written or meant, because whenever I think of that, I am reminded of a joke where the author doesn’t really mean anything even close to what the teachers misconstrue it to be for. Yes, if Robert Frost popped up in your head, you were probably right.

Anyhow, Merry Christmas, and I hope you have great holidays!

Two | Four

Finally a Graduate

A lot is on my mind right now. I am officially an engineer now.

Er. Anindya Dutta. Sounds cool. I spent the entire weekend back at my college with friends, one last time, reminiscing all the fun and frolic we had in the last four years. Looking back, I have changed so much in the last four years that if someone was there who hadn’t met me these four years, he or she would be taken aback at how I have become. There is a lot of learning that I am taking back, but if I were to choose the most important thing that I have learnt in these four years, I already know what the answer is. It is to keep moving on.

Moving on. People would say it is easier said than done. However, as a guy who has had a first-hand experience in this, let me tell you something that you should know. It is not tough to move on. You sometimes need to. You sometimes have to. You sometimes must. Leave it be. Some things are meant to just leave them be as they are, for moving mountains to make paths is tougher than making paths through mountains. A college is a place where you are supposed to fall for someone, fall deep for that person, yet when the time comes, God forbid it comes, but if it comes, you should have the guts to move on. It will pain, that’s true. But it will wither off, in due time, like the scabs on the toes after running naked-feet on the sands for days, constantly burning because the salt of the sea waters, but slowly healing, forming a tough skin, that the water cannot pierce through anymore.

Life is not a race. College is not a competition. You do not need to aspire to be the top scorer. Live your life, for once this goes away, it won’t come again. And when after working for twelve hours a day, you come back tired from your office, tune in to the radio in your car, and your favorite song from college plays, don’t hold back your tears. Cry it out. Cry. Weep. Feel sad. Feel nostalgic. Don’t suppress it. Don’t be stoic. Because that is not who you are. You are you, and you should remember that. Don’t fall for life. Ever.

Until later.

Return – Chapter 3

Breakfast consisted of a lot of catching up. “What are you reading these days?” I asked. She looked at me melancholically, as if an entire life ushered in front of her eyes. “Love Story,” she said. “The Erich Segal one?” I paused, “or the one we wrote?” I tried keeping my face straight. She blushed, and in an instance I was transported back to school. Her shy smile hadn’t changed a bit. “The Erich Segal one, you fool,” she smiled. We talked a lot about what happened in our lives in the past four years, shared lots of stories. She talked nonchalantly, her hair still auburn, a thousand clips placed tightly. It reminded me of the first time I had seen her, how she kept drawing petals and flowers on her notebook, and how far we had come from there. “You remember the Biology lab?” she asked. The biology lab was where our entire story started. “You think I can forget it?” I said, winking slightly. My mind kept shifting from memory to memory, sieving those which had her in them. It was astonishing how I remembered so much, when I had not given much thought to it for such a long time. She insisted that I tell her more about my college, and what I had been up to for the past four years. I could tell her the truth, this time I had nothing to lose, but somehow, I kept back most of the truth from the story. I told her a bit about my friends, and a bit about my college, only as much as was needed. We decided to go out for lunch in another two hours. I told her I would be back on time to pick her up. We hugged and waved good bye to each other.

The sun was up, shining ever so brightly. It was as if it rejoiced in my return. I went back home, knocked on the door, hoping she’d not close it on my face like she did a while ago. I had my plan ready; I would hug her as soon as she opened the door, giving her no time to shut it on my face. As I retraced my steps, it began to rain. It was only a drizzle first, a pitter-patter, but I stood there, in the middle of the street, rejoicing the rain, as it washed away the dust on the streets, and from the memories that lay stacked in my brain for so many years. It reminded me of the days when I went to school during the monsoons. I still remember the faint white tube-lights of the classroom switched on even though it was early in the morning, and the smell of the mud never allowing me to concentrate in the class, my eyes always shifting from the blackboard to the skies outside, black and grey, dull and gloomy, yet happier than what the teacher was teaching. And how that changed later, when though it rained, the only place my eyes went were her eyes, and the teacher kept running through huge courses I had no idea of. But that was a lifetime ago. Those need not have bothered me anymore, not more than the fact that I would never grow young again, and never relive those moments; etched deep in my thoughts, like engravings on stone, made with other stones, proclaiming love in the forts and on the trees, so that people around the world knew who you were; the wish to be famous. It was queer how we never became famous for our good acts, and some, like us, never got any fame, remained in the backgrounds, forever working for those who received all the fame, and yet I didn’t regret. And suddenly I realized, the rain had stopped. I needed to do some serious business now. And so I walked.

I went back home, only to find the door locked. I waited outside, for an hour, and another, and then another, but she didn’t come. Where could she have gone? She was here this morning. I felt an eerie sense of disownment. Maybe it was never destined to be so. Our lives had separated, and no matter how hard I tried, probably nothing good would ever come out of it. Our relationship was like a thread, once broken; I tried knotting it up, and making it one whole piece again, but that knot… that knot was there, and howsoever hard I tried, the knot would be there. To remove the knot would mean to break the thread again, and I had to choose one over the other. But the knot was hurting, it hurt a lot. And so I needed to break the thread, even if it meant losing someone dear, someone close to the heart. For sometimes, it’s not the act, but the repercussions and the consequences that make you act towards it. And something similar was happening here. I got up, kicked the door one last time, though nothing really changed, and strolled off. I had to be on time for lunch.

Previous | Next

She Was a Knight

She trotted along, her horse never tiring,
She claimed herself to be a knight,
Yet within she knew she was only a woman,
Tired of being denied of what was her right.
Once upon a time if things had turned out,
The way she had wanted them to be,
Today her son would have been smiling at her,
And she’d have had another in her belly.
She wished that war had never happened,
She wished he had still been alive,
To carry her in her arms when she was wounded,
Or on a day when to walk she’d have to strive.
But none of that happened,
None of it was true,
And she was here, a knight today,
Heading a hundred behind, her own crew.
Soon they would fight,
Soon they’d be dead,
And in the heavens above she knew,
She would be wed.