21st Century Friends

Friends that you’d make,

In the 21st century,

Will be people of an odd kind.

They would not mean hate;

But love,

It would be presented in a puzzle,

With parts that won’t always fit.

 

They will value you,

As a trophy to be won,

As a laurel hung to their necks,

To show to everyone on the way.

And on some days,

They will throw you in the glass showcase,

where you’d still be admired,

But just because you look like a collectible for the eyes.

 

They will hold you like a bistro menu card,

And choose, one by one,

The parts that they will give love to,

And cross off the items,

That don’t sate their appetite,

For which you must be ignored.

 

You will often run

Into the walls of their expectations.

Walls made of tougher stuff than steel,

Walls that’ll never be low enough for you to cross over,

Walls that’ll you’ll be asked to break,

But those walls would only break you.

 

And some off-timers would also see you,

People befitting the definition of people,

Tossed from a bygone era into your life,

For keeping you at bay with things like love

And hope and dreams.

 

But mostly, it’ll be tough to be you,

In people who can’t really stand the ‘you’, that,

They are always asking you to be.

21st century comes with screw-ups in its line of code,

You’d have to learn the language of love,

With many variables,

And very few constants.

 

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In A Lawless Land

And, with crossed fingers once, I sat
In a moving train and wondered,
How did the world get itself
In such a rush?
People running in all directions
Blinded by reflections of gold;
While I always found myself wanting
of hope, light or torn shreds, to hold.

And with crossed fingers, I sat,
Waiting, just like everybody else,
Waiting for life to pass by,
Perhaps waiting for someone to come;
Waiting for this season to change,
Looking for shade to hide from the sun;
Waiting for better times to come.

For blood or blissful glory,
Or for completely new lines
For an old bitter story.
For justice of words,
For sinful vengeance or God above;
An ode or a requiem,
A little something for long lost love!

And while I waited,
I forgot about footprints in the sand,
And yet I felt the burden of ages,
Upon the lines of fate,
Lines drawn in the palm of my hand;
And I just sat there hoping,
Hoping for justice, in a lawless land.

A Plea For Help

You know how I’m going to end?
I’ll die dissatisfied.
That’s what is going to happen.
I’ll spend my entire life like this.
Looking for things,
Connecting them.
And eventually, I’ll realize that it was never the answer to anything.

We’re meant to learn to love and to be kind;
To heal and to help heal.
And here I am,
Collecting things,
Like souvenirs;
As if I could always carry them around,
Or wear them
Like a prize perhaps.

I know, I tend to know,
I always do.
But I have so much inside
Which is neither focused nor channelized;
And it oozes out of me,
Like blood out of a pin sized prick,
My thoughts are everywhere.
All over the place.
And I need help controlling them.
Please help.
Save my soul.

Oh Enemy

Oh enemy,
rest it a little longer,
a little deeper
in my chest.
Your sword
knows the pleasure,
exhilarating in my veins
as they empty out
drop by painful drop.
The evil in me
crackles and breaks
as steel wrenches
the heart blackened by it.
Bereave the soul
and dry it of mercy,
let it writhe and wriggle
in its final moments,
soon the light will
break it free
through the hole
you dug.

Oh enemy,
Let it seep
till the edge of death,
my body will fall
into rejoice
as it falls out of
the evil captain.
Wash your blade
when it’s done
and grind it sharper
for more like me.

Psithurism

We live in a cosmos where so many stories happen every centimeter. Every day, all of us come across so many entities that change in us in ways that we never realize. The best ones, I feel, are the ‘ones unheard’.
Now, when I say ‘unheard’, I am referring to the ones that fall into the drums of our ears, yet never travel through our system to dissolve into our blood and make a home within us. The ones that might touch our surface but never seep in, and persist, at the most, as faded memories in our lives. The ones that collide into our path with the sole intention of being held by us, just to bounce back into their place, as we, unaware of their very existence, continue with our ways.

Psithurism: The word goes on to explain one such sound. The sly sound that the wind makes when it carries itself through the trees. The sound of the joy that the leaves make every time they meet. It promises the joy of childhood memories and the comfort that they bring along. But it has an untold itch about itself; how it never promises to assuage the untouched wounds that follow that joy! The memory of how feelings dried, over the time, to empty thoughts. The memory of the pain that’s felt, when after all this time of feeling that you know love, how, in one stash it behaves like it never knew you. The memory of the revelation that how effortlessly, things, that you never thought you could forget, dissipate with time. The memory of disbelief related to how you dusted yourself off, after every time you fell down, with your own little hands and ended up marveling at the magical wonders that those little ones created. The beauty attached to the impulsive starts of those beautiful memories, where no reasons were needed in order to get started. The realization, that by their end, all they seemed to be made up of, was reasons. The hope that your friends remember you, with what it was like, before all the reasons got in between. (and not by the end of it.)

A Writer Will Understand

For days and days
I feel
That I cannot write anymore.
My words don’t convey a meaning
That frustrates me even more.

On and on
It goes
Till this tide sweeps all over my face
Making it hard to breathe
Only then does my mind
Decide to release it all.

Back and forth
The tip of my pen
Oozes red; filling paper;
With the blood out of my veins.
And then I am at peace
After letting it all get drained.

To write, is a gift;
They say.
But I would like to convey
‘Tis more or less a curse
To live like this.

To choke on your words
Before you can finally cough them out
To know more,
Than you need to know
To look around and absorb all emotions
As if they were your own
Feel strangled with their presence
Lest you find the perfect words to release
All that you feel.

What I say,
You cannot understand
Lest you feel; and write.

What I say,
You will not understand
Lest you feel; and write.

UBUNTU – I Am Because We Are

Some of us might look at this word “Ubuntu” and think of the operating system, some of us might acknowledge it as a word of South African origin, some of us might be aware of both the things, while some of us might have encountered it for the first time.

The word “Ubuntu” is a noun that is defined by dictionary.com as “humanity or fellow feeling or kindness”; however, this is not enough to capture the entire meaning of this wonderful word, and almost everyone who is aware of Ubuntu will agree with me.

I have gone through many articles and speeches that mention Ubuntu; every author, every speaker, has held a similar approach to the topic, but somehow everyone has had their own meanings for it. So, I have decided to take the efforts of my fellow writers, a bit further, by writing about what I feel Ubuntu is.

The very basic thing you would hear from someone who knows the word ‘Ubuntu’ would be: “I am because we are”, or “I am what I am because of who we all are”. President Barack Obama mentioned in his eulogy for Nelson Mandela, that he (Mandela), not only embodied Ubuntu but he inspired millions of people to find the truth within their own selves. It is said to be the word of the highest praise, a word which can only be loosely translated into other languages. I will not give it another translation. However, I will elaborate on the ones that are present already.

Since the time we were born, we have been observing the people around us, learning by mimicking their words and their actions. I will never forget that my mother taught me how to ride a bicycle, or that it was my aunt who taught me how to whistle. These are activities that we perform, and learn, or are taught. There are feelings and emotions as well that mold our personality due to the kind of encounters we have. I am a very patient person, not because I always was, but because I have a younger sister who can be very testing. I have met people who display kindness which is boundless. It is something I admire as well as respect; hence, I was encouraged into becoming kinder. Of course, there are many things that come to us naturally; most of all, love. We are born with love, to love, from love, for love. Without going astray, I’ll clarify what I’ve wanted to convey by saying all of this.

Every person we meet, we see, we talk to, owns a moment or many, of our lives, and so do we, of their lives. We leave a little of ourselves in them and vice versa. We are a part of everyone we know and they are a part of us. Meeting someone with kindness would leave our kindness behind for them and in them. And, this is why, I am because we all are. We cannot survive without each other. We learn and grow due to each other. All of us are connected by the invisible yet beautiful thread of humanity. Ubuntu is what makes us all one.

The Jewelry Casket

Glistening, gleaming, high-profile gems
That adorn Her Highness’ charm
Enjoy the bubble-like life of glamour
While outside the jewelry casket.

In light, they sparkle
And glitter with delight
But once the party is over
To the dark depths of the casket, they are exiled.

Like these very gems,
Are you and I, my friend,
Like these very gems,
Are all of us.

Taking pleasure in short-lived things
Then returning to the abyss of life.

The darkness, we ourselves have caused
The web of despair, we ourselves have woven
All of this
Is exactly what we ourselves have chosen.

Thought, expression, freedom; Encaged.
Like little canaries.
Enslaved, bonded and shackled
To a life of insanity.

An Ode To A Dead Street

Somewhere along a misty trail
I sold my shadow for free.
And on the old dead street, I walked
When I gave up in entirety.
Trembling hands gave me
More than my soul could hold
Those feeble words gave me
The burning rage to be bold.
While I dreamt only to forget
You gave me dreams to keep.
And gave me in my waking life
Every dream I saw in my sleep.

Now while you lie silently still
I pray an old song brings you back to life.
And people who once walked on you
Soon walk you by.
Has the world forgotten
The sacrifices of trampled street?
Or its destined creed to care?
That one day when it is deemed unfit to walk,
They just assume you lead nowhere.

So stay.
Stay, stay until the morning light
Stay and we shall reminisce;
Reminisce in the glory of a forgotten night.

Your poem belongs only to you!