Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Death Of A Dream

And so the nightly ritual begins. In the middle of the room; in front of a dimly lit monitor I sit and type the things that enter randomly in my subconscious. I sit in the quiet that surrounds me, interrupted by the occasional sputtering snore of my father lying on the cot adjacent to the computer. I wonder at everything that used to occupy my thoughts and think about them. They sound silly and childish now. Man is a strange creature; with a memory that looks behind accompanied with the fact that he is in a linear motion into the future. He cannot go back, and yet can never forget his past.


You do not think practically. Have you any idea how stupid your words are sounding right now. Is that your dream? To travel?? Like a vagabond? Try making use of the education we gave you. Why can’t you be like everybody else? You cannot survive a day without money.”


I wanted freedom. Is that a crime? To choose what we want, what we like rather than do what we have to. Maybe I am too idealistic for this world. But money was never my goal. NO, I do not consider money unimportant. I just do not like it. It is a means to a necessity. It is not a necessity in itself. All I wanted is to go away on a long journey, where people will not look on me as a future asset. I would like for once to be accepted for who I am, rather than as a freakish comparison to the ideals in society. I have a dream. And I wish to follow that dream till the end of my life, regardless of whether I am a success or a failure in this world that I live in. How do people judge success? It is a personal definition. It is just something you wanted so badly that your life however comfortable it be will not be competed without it.


Listen, I was just as idealistic as you when I was young. I know, you want to do something no one has ever done. You have ideas in your head. Education does that to you sometimes. But this is a practical world. Think about it. Your parents are old. They brought you up till this day, are you going to leave them like this?


Everyone in his/her life has a purpose. Something that they cherish their entire life. Their ‘MAGNUM OPUS’ their life’s work. I have something in my mind. It is not wrong for me to pursue it. In fact it would be morally incriminating on my part to ignore it. I am not planning to give up all material desires and walk away in the sunset in search of nirvana. No. I want to take up a job. Be a journalist; preferably end up as a Chief Editor. I will take care of my parents. Any ways, my parents did not bring me up to be a mutual fund investment, as a security for their future, did they? As for being like ‘others’, I simply do not wish to be. Doesn’t everybody wish to assert their individuality? If not, why the ambition, the thirst and the toil? What are they for?

The question remains are we really free? We are taught to be someone in some manner through education. Education, that has ceased to be a means to acquire knowledge and become an end in itself. Every year of our life we are processed to be ‘civilized’. Man has a strange relation with freedom.He believes, we need to be civilized o achieve it. Yet, civilization requires him to give up his primal freedom. So what is it that we search for when we say freedom? To pursue a dream, believe in something. Something that can be done with the least intervention of money. I am sorry. Dreams have to be realistic in this ‘society’. I didn’t know.I believed you had to follow them.Whether you achieved success, or failed was just a matter of opinion. The constancy to the dream was the key. Taking a path is always a matter of choice. I just tend to choose differently.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Aboulia.....

Past dusty streets and dusty streetlamps

Where bored shopkeepers stare at passersby lustily,

shoving capitalism down their innocent throats

Wrapped in neon lights and shiny tags;

While outside under a red sun

Kids draw eights on little bicycles

Between speeding cars and

An occasional handcart.

 

I wish I could go back there

Playing like I did as a kid

Chasing rubber balls across graveled pavements

Hiding behind paan stained walls

And cursing people for no reason

But I have grown up now;

That’s what they tell me.

And I do what they tell me to do.

 

The market has not yet begun

The shops pause with a hum on their lips,

That would soon turn to cracked cries;

Of prices and haggling customers

Till the darkness overcomes their desires,

And leads them home to troubled sleep.

 

Chocolate ├ęclairs stare at me

From within round jars of plain glass.

Juicy apples in forbidden jars,

I remember the counting and waiting,

Turning over 5o paise coins again and again

Till there were no more chocolates;

And no more coins.

 

Young men wait on railway bridges

In search of that utopian feeling – love:

Something I’ll never know,

Till death itself brings me a peace of that feeling

Where, to attain it is to overcome its desire

But till then smoke rings fill the empty void

That surrounds a heavy air around the bridge.

 

Feet carry on their tiresome job of treading dust

That rise in small puffs and swirl away

Behind the exhausts of big cars

Driven by shoeless vagabonds with puffy red eyes

Till the petrol runs out in the air cooled tanks.

 

Something is bothering me

If I knew what it was it wouldn’t anymore

But the liquid keeps simmering in that deep place

Where feelings are hid like inside a dingy cupboard

Till they burst out like old clothes stinking of sweat

But till then I wait endlessly.

 

Then the sun goes down in a dirty red sky

The vultures come out of the hiding

And men hunt for prey

Behind dark alleys and brightly lit corridors

Where flesh is sold by butchers,

Hung up on hooks, while the wolves

Surround it and howl.

 

Sometimes I wonder if this is all there is..

 

 

 

Thursday, May 14, 2009

BIG DEal!!!!!

It has become a major war now. My mom never forgets to wake me up with a grimace. She keeps pointing out that I need to cut my hair. I can see the reason for her contempt when the mirror cannot contain the rebellious strands that rise above my head like a black halo. And I wonder as I shave my face if that patch of skin between my parting line and my forehead isn’t growing larger. And something tells me it is.

 

Throughout the exams I made it a point to ignore facets of my beauteous personality that led to me practically looking like a deranged lunatic high on dope……My mother’s words. Somehow it seems, the women in your life notice everything about you, even though you never do. They look at me and go, “what happened to you??...been through a tough time…ohh, don’t worry so much about the exams; you’ll do fine..”  Ohh,bloody hell!! I thought the world was coming to an end…!!!!

 

What is it with people and appearances. You may say they are deceptive,don’t matter and real beauty is deepr than the skin, but it remains that beauty is skin deep. I have stopped reacting to people’s opinions on myself. It makes me feel like a reclusive artist walking in the midst of lesser mortals. Somewhat like the stray dog on my street who makes it a point to ignore the purebreds that keep barking on him while their owners strain on leashes shouting ‘pappu, down.’  I am free in some way.At least I do not have to conform to people’s orders. I am free…Into the Wild..

 

And once again I look into the mirror and try to settle down those unruly strands of hair.They refuse to go down quietly or stay there. I smile and shout back to my mom, and answer for the sake of all rebels everywhere, “ I am not going to cut my hair!!!”

 

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

The Refugee

Looking into those black eyes I wondered
If her home would have been a better place.
This was like a home, the only one left.
People spoke her language here,
They spoke of hope, dreams and life
A new beginning in the promised land.
But to her this was still an exile.
It began as a struggle
‘for freedom’ they said,
‘freedom from them’.
She never understood;
This was her country,her land
Why did she need to be free?
‘No one shall treat you differently’
That is what they promised.
And she accepted.
Then it began.
Blood trickled down the rivers
And flowed into the currents
Of a dark ocean.
The skies were filled with smoke
People vanished in explosions of earth and fire.
Till the army came,
In large green trucks carrying guns,
Just like them.
They asked her to leave.
Leave?? Leave her home? Where would she go?
But they made her.
The ocean is now much calmer
Like her heart.
It goes on;
But she isn’t
She stares across the dimensions
To her house that burns,
And wonders
‘Where is freedom?’