It always starts with the street lights. Almost. If you care to look up and beyond, you'll find them zipping by, on an empty road. It reminds me of a fleeting freedom. Always. I've found it difficult to love in bits and pieces. Not just the romantic love with the red roses, bright blushes and crispier lies, that is. The love we recieved was often an insurmountable tide, flooding everything it bothered to touch. There was this one instance where my heart skipped a few beats and pumped a little harder than it should. Stop. The love we gave back was a thing of it's own. It was the gentle roast of the winter sun, leaving but a mere tingle on your skin. The waves that foamed in our eyes, merely licked at the barefeet of someone foolish enough to step in. But people do step in. They wait for that flood, they brace for too much. Awaiting. Whatever trickle leaves the cold furnaces of our hearts is savoured like a delicacy. Not for too long. They fed us in mad bouts. Refreshing. We served back sparsely. It tires a man's soul. A woman's too, for that matter. Disheartening? Perhaps. I hope that there are more fools like me, of this nature at the least. Sometimes I can hear you, wishing, dreaming and lost in your fantasy. I wonder if I can hear you in the real too.
It's easy. In a way. Imagine yourself walking down the lane, lost in your thoughts and troubles. Suddenly someone stops, almost banging into you. And then they just hand over a flower or something little or meaningless. If it were me on that road, for a change, I'd smile.
For the stranger on the road, love
I bought flowers today It was a sunny day I took them in a bunch And not a bouquet
I paddled towards a street, her street A horn Another car zipped by I had the flowers in a bunch
I've done that before Stare at the cycle's spokes And the spinning wheel I smiled before the cycle slipped
And one day I wondered Got a good morning call At the end she said "good day" I was surprised but it was okay
Back to the cycle spokes And the little fingers, red flowers I stopped, skidded, stopped Found a stranger midway
I knew at once As the wheels turned to a halt There was someone watching And between us, words were lost
I gave the flowers to a stranger Not one or two, but all at once And I smiled when she asked About the smell of roses on my shirt
There is this power to labels. They are small, crisp, concise and convenient. But they offer a host of interpretations to the observer. They feed off our stereotypes. As they should.
Personality disorder. A discomforting tag, isn't it? It is almost as if we, as a mass, point someone out. It's said that the nail that sticks out gets hammered. Perhaps we are wrong. Yet, I'd urge you. You as the patient. As the person carrying this label, you are bearing the brunt of our helplessness on your shoulders. This label is a measly attempt from perhaps the best of us to guide each other towards giving you a push, gentle or otherwise, to that utopia often referred to as being normal. This one fine morning, I'll wake up, I'll take a read and I'll know that you, as the atlas, are relieved of this duty of yours. I might feel joyous that day.
There are times when we try and wrap our heads around chaos. We organise, systematize, order and reorder. The world turns simpler, easier for us to handle. There are times when we outshine ourselves. The fear of chaos seeps in too deep. Order takes over. We ride this ferry, bearing our coin in a clutched hand, and wonder about the boiling waters of hell. There's confusion in our heads. There's trouble in our lives. It hurts. This is a part of how a particular set of people function in the majority of their lives. It's troubling when it cripples the functioning. It's hard to accept one's helplessness. Harder yet when it's a part of your life. But then again, nobody sold us life as an easy trade. Find that acceptance and seek out a helping hand.
It's a futile attempt. I'll write more about it later. Or I might not.
It is a common occurrence For men to sit in their armchairs And women to laze in their lounges With small screens Painting their faces bright
Sit there Sit still Scroll down Browse the tide of choices Browse at dusk, decide till dawn
I saw a man Few days back He had no brows But a bald scalp He was anxious
He recited a story Of the pain in his throat Numb face and more And how the doctors denied Objective evidence for his symptomatic lies
We drilled him for more His troubles with household chores His troubles with sleep His troubles with a body too lean And he said, my personality isn't tweaked
We drilled him for more And lay his penchant for perfection Revealed In his habits And a false circumstantial speech
He described his hunger He had knowledge and came out as ignorant He had experience and came out unemployed He cared and came out as controlling In taming chance, his shackles numbered nine.
With a few deep breaths And a calm voice We interrupted His life With a diagnosis of timber and twine
Personality disorder It's on your opd slip You gawk at it for a while You crumple it "It's no defect of mine"
And you go back to your armchair, searching ties There's sweat on your head There's light in your eyes Between brown and blue For you, only luck shall decide.
On some days, when I close my eyes, I find myself walking in a field full of golden hued ears of cereals. I start running, the wind gliding with me. There's always a slope going uphill. It never leaves me out of my breath. I step in. My toes dig into the soft, wet mud. My eyes lay hinged on the giant moon with a scattered army of clouds. It almost devours the whole of my field of vision. I drink deep from this mental imagery. In those moments, or the once before it, I never crave for any company, human or otherwise.
It is an odd thing how we find some people showering love like a torrential rain and yet others with fading drizzles. It's substantial, the love we have. It's palpable, the love we give. You can find it build up, churn high, early in your life. The easiest and perhaps the earliest recipient would be another human. But human's seldom yearn for giveaways. It's often brushed off, like a contrasting beatle on a new worn suit. It's easier to think that the love left you and never came back.
Love always finds it's way back home. It's loyal like that. It seeps in, not directed anymore, into anything or everything around you. That favourite pair of skates, that smell of fresh baked bread, that taste of some sweet and sour treat, that common friend, that blue ball, always stuck to your swinging arm, that paintbrush, dripping red, yellow and brown, that night time story from grandma, that game of cards, that wet lick from your pet, that purr of an attitude by your cat, that inkpot and stained sheet, that yearning for the mountains, that whiskey in your favourite glass, that puff of smoke in the air, that feeling of human flesh, pinned underneath you, that warm sand and cool sea breeze and perhaps in my case, that splayed cluster of clouds in early mornings.
And mayhap, rather than thinking of loss as a universal theme, I would, on certain optimistic days, think of it as merely a love displaced.
Beauty. It's a word peddled around like some quart of cheap rum on a sailor's street. Always in excess. A fleeting treat often leaving you with a hangover.
The grand magnitude of a scene from the windshield of a car, driving at a slow speed, snaking it's way down the slopes to a city in the mountains, stars above and lights below, could fail to convey a hint of what beauty really means to a person. Beauty is, in my honest opinion, the fruit born from cultivation of all the raw experiences, fed and fanned by a stream of emotions. It grows like a creep, twisting and curling, it emerges like the gush from a hot spring and it leaves with the season's end.
Whenever you peek a look at something or someone and feel like throwing out those words, take care not to hand it over quickly. Call it bright and relaxing, a tempting trick, pretty face, perky tits, tight hips, cute smile, innocent lie, muscled hunk, mindful, magnificent, alluring, dark, blue, simple and peaceful or any set of subtle or overt words. But when it hits you in ways only some fluid from adrenals of a half crazed monkey could, perhaps, call it beautiful.
I had eternal power and I scored. I don't anymore. They think me weak and the Wild ignores.
I saw a little ant struggling today. Legs flailing, it actually survived the initial onslaught wrecked upon those straddlers by a wave of water. Does that entitle it to a rescue? Or was there something else? I used to play around the drains, or what those small runnels coursing a path along the house walls were called. A small scrawny kid, with a contorted stick grasped from the clutches of a neem tree, and a matchstick to capture that strength of fire, to drink deep from that chalice of power. I cannot even recall why I did it, maybe cause one of them bit me, maybe cause I channeled some rage, some helplessness. I took that piece of wood, I stabbed those little creatures. Convinced that it was not fatal enough, I'd torch the crippled, struggling form. Some innocent kid eh. I think that wasn't the only instance where I poured fire on those tired beasts. I once imprisoned a limping wasp and sacrificed it on the effigy of Dussehra. I'd convince myself as just, punishing some ugly insect, for it's tenacity, for a threat that terrifies. So much for some moral science.
I contemplated about helping that ant, maybe even did. Overcoming some guilt? Cowering behind that thin veil of some good deeds? Maybe I was. Maybe I wasn't. I realised half of this stuff, at least in my conscious, after I started writing it down. But I felt no elation, no loss of grief or a sense of atonement. Like some mundane necessity, I delivered it unto a dry wall. To spend the rest of it's short, confused life away from the tide that follows a shower. I still think children are innocent. Innocent in a way where they let loose their demons, conspicuous and ready for the judgement from others. The innocence of someone mired in the dark mud of ignorance or a simple lack of knowledge. The innocence sparkling in that welled up tear, when they are allowed to empathize. The innocence, trapped in that parched throat, like a lump, followed by a whimper, and a faint smile. A smile to hide some realisation, some crime.
Human life is so brimmed with possibilities that it turns into something as frail as the snowflake on the vermilion of your lip. If you don't hold your breath, it'll melt away. It'll melt, if you do.
There's something about a cold winter's night. If you stand out there, all alone, for long enough, you can hear it.
What's it like to stare in the eye of a horse waiting in a disciplined line? Ready for a charge. What's it like to look at the horizon and find the enemy swell up with the rising sun? Someone was checking his equipment. Again. I heard a faint cry. It didn't linger around for long. The commander bellowed something. But they charged nonetheless. A simple death.
Is it a mercy to look in the face of the person before killing them? What were you thinking of in that moment? Was it liberating? There's this place on the battlefield. People don't stay there for too long. It's when the victors have slayed the enemies, mourned the friends and looted the rest. It smelled of blood, bile, sweat, feces, urine and a bit more. Brown eyes stared back. Blue eyes stared back. Amber. Green. Hazel. Grey. They shied away no more. The air was thick and morbid. It was full of life. I retched.
If you stand there, all alone, for long enough, you can hear it. It's a gentle shriek. It shatters all those privileged ideas in our tiny brains. It rings in your head, till you can only hear one simple sound. The sound of silence. You can breathe now.
How hard is it to be kind? If I were to say this is a doorway draped with veils too thin, too easy to part, with a deep dark pit waiting on the other end, would you nudge too hard?
Look at a small child crying out, hunger stretched like a warpaint on his face. Offer him some food. Was it hard to choose?
Look at a weary friend. There's something going wrong in her life. Offer a shoulder. Help her cry. Maybe a bit hard?
A troubled sibling, frustrated parent, some random stranger looking for directions, poor kids waiting for education, random patient waiting in line for treatment, your neighbor with his silly problems, and perhaps that old friend still thinking about you. Hard choices?
Some kid crying her eyes out in a war torn nation, an old guy choking on a quart of rum and a litre of loneliness, a woman ready to take her life, fresh into marriage, some madman left to rot, some hungry animal kicked away, few ants squished without care, a plant shied, a calf cried and a cow died. I heard a mosquito singing. And then it writhed on my pillow.
Would you help them? All of them? Would you try? The list is too long for one man. That's what we tell ourselves. Perhaps that's one way out. If you nudge too hard, you'll fall. A fine story to help us sleep at night. Luckily, it works.
I think almost everyone has it in him or her to obsesses after someone or something. Like a desire bordering on madness. We often stop at the precipice. Careful and composed, we don't take the fall. Lady Prudentia always stands tall, a beacon of wisdom and reasoning. All this bullshit is just me trying to get past her and take the leap.
Can you really look into the eyes of someone, moments before you lose them? Like some tender dream that you caressed for a while and then lost in the daytime. On a bright sunny day, I lost Prudentia. She stands there sometimes, in the dark corner of my room. It smells of alcohol, tobacco and cider. I sober up and she's gone.
And this is how an uroboros bites it's own tail.
Pru, don't stand there all alone listen to me come close
There was once a structure in your thoughts Wheat fields, twelve strong slapping feet on concrete floor. Sunflowers popping anew, poppy green parrot beaks. Few dew drops rolling off. Water parting ways and more cranes crooning on a sunday mass.
Come hear Pru please listen to me your feet must be getting cold
There was once a moment of hope. One soldier smiled for a foe, sweat dripped. One mother came back for her dead child, madness flipped. One couple ran madly in a crooked street, loneliness slipped. One man belted his slave no more, shackles tripped. One lady dropped her kitchen knife, death rapped. One boy cycled alone into the sunset, laughter slapped. One wanderer made it back home bell clapped. The clock struck twelve, we kissed.
You were standing there as I bellowed and then you were no more like this moment of hope
This one fine afternoon, I just missed the stars. You can almost think of their beauty as something described in poems or captured and caressed in photographs. It bores you eventually. Even after we realize the magnitude of this world, it spins around us equally so. We might be tiny and insignificant, for a community as microscopic and inconsequential as humanity itself, yet our worlds find themselves sitting comfortably in an organ packed too tight for chaos. What's wrong in missing something boring anyways?
If I were to go away would the autumn leaves douse the fire and invite the winter chill
If I were to go away would the smell linger still in the city in the mind of it's streets
If I were to go away under the blue sky with a cloud passing by would your fingers still feel the same?
If I were to go away would some sage open his eyes and in his heart know pain, again.
If I were to go away and never return on the shores of Ganges would you wait for your turn?
You are good at walking away your heart unsteady like a boat tossed into a sea during a storm wild and vicious at first glance but merely a mask for the chaos that lives within.
You are good at surviving sadness a will crafted from iron, catching what the fates throw upon your strong yet brittle bones your voice a drip of reason that drowns out noise you are good at outlasting life.
You are trying to grasp a childhood that has passed you by, the silence a memory you are trying to forget you are learning to forgive music before you can begin to fall in love with it all over again.
Sometimes I like uncertainty. The feeling of not knowing what will happen. Not even wanting to know. At others, not so much. Certainty is normal. Normal is safe. Safe is good.
But neither wins over the other. They are like two waves which always come very close to the sands but never quite wash the beach away.
Sometimes I am productive. At other times, not so much. Motivation is variable, it lies on a spectrum. Like the moon, it waxes and wanes but never stops showing up every night. The motivation will return, sooner or later. I just need to give it time.
I like story prompts. The more vague, the better. "I am..." That's a gorgeous prompt. It feels like I am stepping out of my hometown and the whole world's mine if I want it to be.
Sometimes I like to write, because there's a reliability to the written word. Words spoken can never be taken back, but those same words scrawled on paper almost always provides a different perspective.
So much of our self worth is tied to our work. It is easy to forget that what we do is not necessarily who we are. If happiness is an eyeblink, so is sadness. Sometimes all we need to do is open the curtains to let the light in.
You're a fool , my dear friend . You're an absolute fool .
Have you read this ? " Give me matter and I'll construct a world out of it ! " ~ Immanuel Kant
I've given you that which you can live the way you want to . Empty is what you see . But to fill it you've to have a vision . None was given a choice . Neither you nor me . You've to create your own choices to live them .
this is me, the boy who was hesitant to make friends for almost the entirety of his life, probably because he used to get beaten up by the kids of his age during his early days.
days pass by, months pace forward, turning to years. he never realised that one day, the lack of a friendly companionship would give way to acute loneliness, several psychiatric casualties such as OCD, ASPD, severe insomnia with destructive drug habits as an al-a-carte.
as much as the society crippled him, it was more about the war, the two sides of his mind were constantly fighting with each other : one craving stability, peace, solace and the other one constantly persuading him to violate the boundaries of existence and self destruct until his life's split in two. he grew up, with each year bringing home a brand-new trauma, hot and fresh from the oven. often misinterpreted, misjudged and mislead by the people, he developed a defence mechanism against people through indifference, detachment and distance. and, in order to vent out, he started writing.
it is a tedious process, to feel so much but not being able to convey these thoughts, it's a slow-burn, like the quicksand swallowing him, limb by limb, flesh by flesh. in and out of therapy sessions, hooked on prescriptions and pills; the fight for his sanity isn't an easy one, especially when his mind and his soul are constantly at war. there's no peace, the deeper he ploughs, greater unrest, betrayal and violence starts to cloud his mind.
for him, there isn't much to this life. he's spent his days, watching these mortals leave, walking away from his life; he's spent his days, watching his organs shutting down abruptly, his lungs dysfunctioning, his brain shattering and his heart breaking.
he looks at these years as doors, with each door projecting a higher amount of darkness than before. he's been through eighteen of such doors until now (eighteen years of age) and during these times of extreme uncertainties, he doubts whether he would ever get to see the nineteenth door. and, even if he doesn't make it through that door, he will definitely make it to the other end, a space beyond the concept of right or wrong, a space drenched in the rivers of timeless, unconditional and unfathomable love. (he will meet you there).