Diaspora

People moving here and there; leaving their homelands in search of happiness; the grass is always greener on the other side, and then the ego comes in; happiness they do not get, but they can’t come back either, no, they are not losers, they must stay and seek happiness yet, while they have a chance. Everyone dispersing, spreading; groups all breaking down into fragments by narrow domestic walls; people start thinking, and then they start over-thinking, making plans, reverting back, new plans, no, these won’t work out, something else then, yeah, let’s try this maybe; two weeks later, back to square one. Some confused, some exasperated already, some tired and longing to go back to where they came from, but now it is too late, and they must work towards their goal, for the goal is what is important, but they know they can’t achieve it, but try they must, and try they do; but they do know, that nothing’s gonna happen, but yet they don’t stop, for stopping might make them look foolish, and they are sinking, deep in their thoughts at times, and floating mid-air at other times, sinking, floating, drowning, catching a stick, coming up, going downstream, swimming against the currents, trying to reach the banks, for the banks now are full of silt, but no, oh no, they can see, right in front of their eyes, how the river floods the banks; now only desolate land, devoid of everything, a barren island, just like their hearts, barren, empty, devoid of feelings, and now they realize, oh, they did not want this at all in the first place, their hearts that were filled with joy and hope, they want it back, yet they have sacrificed it, and they don’t remember a thing, because their memories are so short-lived, and there’s a fire somewhere, but they’ll put it out later, and they remember bits and pieces, from long back when they were together, in another country, with other people too, oh, where are they now, and what do they do? And the fire is burning, red flames and yellow, orange flames and red, burning every single man and every single woman, yet they do not flinch, for how would they show that they were vulnerable, when the opposite is what they have tried to prove to themselves all this while; and the fire keeps burning, but it will go out in a while, for there’s nothing around that can burn anymore, already the ashes are working against it, and the ashes do fly, and the sky is now black, the air is now black, the wind carries the ash, to other desolate lands, with other desolate people, and in this process, they all meet, ashes and memories, joys and pain, the joys that were once a reality, now only a myth, only a dream, an unfulfilled prophecy, a crescent moon, slowly covered by clouds, yet there will be no rain, for the rain would quench the thirst all around, and that cannot happen, for happen it will not, because that is the will of the One, the One who created this diaspora.

Yet in the dark of night when the sky is black and black is the color that they all love because black is what they have seen forever, they dream and their dreams are wild and wild as hell but no one stops them for no one can, and why should they when dreams are the one that give them hope and let them live and stop them from gnawing into each else’s lives like rodents burrowing into a hole in the ground, removing the soil and getting into the skins of the earth, and here something is getting inside the skins of the people, something warm and they can feel it, oh now they are warm, but the heat keeps increasing and now they burn, oh look at them, from black and white, and brown and yellow, all their skins turn red, and they cling to each other, likes babies clinging to their mothers’ aprons, and they walk through puddled grounds, wary of falling, yet now they fall, from hills they fall, down into the vales, they tumble and they tumble, and the ground breaks free, and rocks now fall, crumbling into stones, and joining to form caves in the vales, and the people hide their faces, for fear of being scathed, their faces they hide, and they’ve done so at other times too, but then it had been for shame, for ashamed they were of what they did, and how they lived and what they thought, for thoughts they cannot control, and they creep in the midst of night inside the mind like tigers leering in forests looking for prey, and the thoughts encumber them and burden them and now the weight is too much and they need to get rid of them, but the parasites keep clinging, much like a baby, clinging to a mother’s apron, and the cycle continues, a vicious cycle, no one can come out once they’ve got in, and yet they still get in because it lures them in, like a black hole, sucking all their energy, pulling them in and making them its own, and look at them now, how they struggle, how they fight, how they battle among themselves, oh yes there is bloodshed, and how the blood and the fight made them forget of the heat that was burning them only a while ago, but the heat has now subdued, though some have been diseased by it, and some have recovered, but the change is visible, and now blood flows out, out of the cycle, and out they rush, all of them, racing towards the periphery, they do not care where they are headed to, as long as they are running, for all are running, and though they are out of breath, see how they run, and men are running, and women are running, running they all are, because their lives are at stake now, and they value it, see how they value it, and now they’ve realized that their battle was not against each other, but it was them against the One, and One against them, destruction trying to overwhelm their lives, but they are strong, and they cannot lose, and so fight they must, and so they fight, and they think they can win, and who can tell, for all you know, they just might.

Missing You

I just downloaded the list of hundred novels every person should read before he dies. This list that I got was published by The Telegraph, so I am going to believe there is some truth to the post. It was surprising to see that I haven’t read so many of them. This definitely means I have a mission to complete before I die. Hopefully I will live long enough to finish these books.

I want to dedicate this post to a really good friend of mine. I have been missing her a lot for some time, and as I was looking through pictures that we had clicked, some completely random, some nice ones, some so stupid I laugh even now, I realized that I was really happy when she was around. Now that she isn’t, all I can do is think about the wonderful moments that we had together. We stay in different countries now, and Whatsapp and Google Voice are the only two things that are even remotely close to what we could call talking. But I’m sure that we will meet again some day, and then hopefully we will create more moments like the ones before.

Then your smile was enough,
To make me happy on the saddest of mornings,
And now when you’re not around,
I imagine you all smiles and happy,
Your hair untied, unkempt, breeze within,
Your face gleaming with joy when you talk of swings,
Remember the first time you fell asleep on my lap?
Then your presence was enough,
To make me smile on the ugliest of days,
And now, when you aren’t around,
Even a single text from you is enough,
To make me happy on the saddest of mornings.

One

For this is the only one I have, and I cannot afford to lose it, for something that is worth nothing.

So many times in our lives, each of us has said this line, on different occasions, in entirely different contexts, but have meant it to be true, from the core of each one’s heart. There is so much I want to write in this post, because there are so many thoughts that spring up on hearing “one”. I don’t know how many of you have experienced this, but sometimes, very silly things happen, only once, that is it. They will never happen again, and when it happened, it didn’t even seem anything important. But now when I look back at it, I can’t stop smiling, I can’t stop thinking what would have happened if I took a different path at that point. That moment is etched in my mind, never to wash off. But about those moments, I have talked a lot in the past four years. So no more dragging old topics, and no more digging into grounds which are soft enough to walk on.

One chance. Sometimes one chance is all you need. One minute, and if you can get back that one minute, your entire life would speak differently right now. You could live an entirely different life. I will tell you a story, but only if you promise not to laugh at me. Recently, I sat for an interview with Microsoft. After a few rounds, when everything had gone pretty well, the interviewer asked me a very simple question: “What is the size of an integer?”

Now anyone who has studied Computers, (even if he did that back in his middle school), knows what the size of an integer is. For those who don’t, the size of an integer depends on the compiler. And that is what I told him. I quote my answer: “It depends on the compiler.”
“So what is the size?”
“It depends on the compiler, if the compiler is 32-bit, the size will be 32 bits, if it is 64-bit, the size will be 64 bits.”
“So what is the size?”
“I don’t get you. I said it depends on the compiler. It is the size of a word.”
“Yeah exactly. That is what I wanted to know.”
“So the word is compiler dependent…”
The interview went on for some more time but I already knew I had hit the low, that I wouldn’t be able to clear this even if I gave my best. I wouldn’t blame the interviewer, because his job was to eliminate people, and this was only a case where our point of view didn’t match. But for that one question, and that one minute, if I could take it back, today I might have been living a totally different life.

One life. One heart. I wouldn’t make this drab and boring by talking of one love, that notion passed away decades ago it seems. But yes, what we should have, is, one dream. ONE dream. That dream. The dream which would make everything else seem nothing. That dream, after which you would say, “I’ve done everything I’ve ever wanted.” That dream which keeps you awake. That dream that inspires you to do the stupid monotonous dull quotidian things you do today. That, one, dream, is what each of us should have. And you are already smiling, because you know you have that dream; and I have mine too. And I wish you all your luck that that dream gets fulfilled, and you should pray for me too. One prayer. That would be enough. Until later.

ZeroTwo

Thoughts of a Thirty-Something

I think of the times, when I wore orange,
When people loathed me for what I had done,
But deep inside, each knew for sure,
He had a little of me in him.
I fought, ay that’s true, and fought for good,
But who accepted that in public?
None, but only a few true at heart,
My wife, ever so loving, one of them.
Today as I sit, my daughter on my lap,
I weave a thousand dreams for her,
And think of the times when someone,
Did the same for me too.
I smile within, but then a horror,
Strikes me deep in my heart,
If I didn’t keep up to them even a bit,
Why would she do so?
She asks me of her grandparents,
I have no clue what to say,
But I tell her they are somewhere around,
And at nights I do fervently pray,
That it be true.
For life is simple, and only meant to finish,
Much like the dinner we have at night,
But how tasteless it is, how insipid right now,
Only my heart knows, only my heart.

Return – Chapter 2

I knocked on the door. I knew what was impending, and even as I knocked again, I felt it would have been a relief if I could just run down the road beside, and keep running until I was tired. But then, I wanted to face what reality had in store for me. It wouldn’t be easy, I knew. In fact, the next few minutes could be the most tough moments of my life, something that I could pass on to my grandchildren in anonymous stories. I waited. A lady shouted from inside, which roughly translated to “I swear this is the thousandth time since morning someone knocked on my door. I will break this door someday.” She opened the door, and for a while she kept looking at me. I realized she wouldn’t know me; when I had last left her, I did not have a stubble. My hair was neatly combed that morning as I left for school. That was four years back. I smiled at her, hoping that would remind her of the past. She did not look a day older. She was the same old woman that I had left a few years ago. Same white sari, same white hair, plump but weak, fat rimmed spectacles, nothing had changed; except time. “Namaste Taaya,” I said, which meant, “Hello, Taaya”. Taaya was what I called her when I was small. I did not know how I came to learnt that name, and why no one asserted a problem to me calling her by that name when she was in fact not my taaya. In relations, taaya refers to an elder aunt. But she was not an aunt of mine, neither did she have any nephews. I was the only person she had, and only had she been the only person I had, nothing would have ever gone wrong. She was my mother.

She looked at me melancholically, kept looking at my eyes for about a minute, and then shut the door on my face. I couldn’t expect anything less or more than that. When I was young, sometimes we used to fight over small trivial matters. Then I used to pretend I was angry and would shut the door of my room and lock myself inside for hours. My mother would cry, thinking I was really angry. I felt sad about that, but I didn’t want to break it to her. If I did, she would never again think I was angry, and things wouldn’t work out. So many incidents flashed into my mind. But then, things changed. Today we played a role reversal. I was crying, and she had shut the door. Only, she literally did it. There was only one person I could now go to. I didn’t know if she would remember me at all, or whether she would give it any thought if I stepped up in front of her, but I owed it to myself, and I owed it to her, to meet her once more, to try to set things right, and to live my life as I should have done before. It was late, but they say it’s better to be late than never. I was praying they said it right. As I walked down the road, an old friend met me. He looked at me strangely, as I stood, stagnated, not moving an inch. He hugged me for a while, and as we walked, he narrated all what had happened in the interim that I was gone. I was gone. I had never thought anyone would put it that way. I was not gone, I was right here. All the while, I was right here. But I couldn’t explain that to him, nor could I talk about it to anyone else around. So I just nodded. He left me after a while, when he saw the way I was headed. “Don’t do it,” he said. “For your sake.”

I strolled on. I had to see if there were a life that I wished for, if there were a destiny that defined me. So I reached her house. And I knocked, hoping she would open and recognize me. I hadn’t been away that long that she’d not recognize me. Unless she did it purposefully… The door opened. She looked at me with her shining eyes. So much of her had changed. Except her eyes. They were still the same. They still said the same story that they said four years ago. And her tears still pained me as it did in my dreams. She had grown thinner, and she looked prettier than I could have ever imagined her to be. “I still love you,” I said. She put a finger on her lips, indicating me to stop talking. And she hugged me. “I’ve missed you,” she said. “I’ve missed you too, Shaena,” I said.

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Black Rose 3

It’s mind-boggling to see,
How people change with time,
How life is such a strange humdrum affair,
How the clocks never stop,
How love dies slowly.
The rose turned black and withered off,
But the plant didn’t lose hope,
It grew another rose and then another,
Each withering after a while.
Hardly did it know it was not her fault,
She wasn’t a bad mother at all,
But the gardener had hardly paid attention to it,
And had watered the prettier shrubs,
Leaving the rose plant to its misery.
But the plant never tired,
Hoped that one day,
The gardener would see the black rose,
Be embarrassed and start nurturing it again,
Enliven the plant, give it a rebirth,
So that the roses would be red forever.
For the new ones may be close to mind,
But the old ones will forever be close to heart.

Inevitable

As much as you try, as much as I do,
We both know it’s inevitable,
For it’s already true, it’s already true,
My love for you, indelible.
For the nights bring stars,
Oh they shine so bright,
The heart full of scars,
It cries by the night.

Entrenched my love, what should I do,
Ensconced by the fears of how you’d react,
Gratification, only a delusion,
Which wanes as the morning sun rises.
She asked me once, an innocent face,
How melancholy became the prime ingredient of life,
I told her it was inevitable,
It is sugar to the coffee, some take less, some a lot.

Parsimonious God was when it came to joys,
Did not He want us all to be happy?
Where extravagantly He spent, grooming man’s desolation,
A shrewd move, by Him.
Skirmish between the heart and soul,
Neither claims victory tonight,
For the heart is enervated, too languid to love,
And the soul, too wretched to live.