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River

And once again, they spill
Once again, they kill whatever they’d built in the first place,

.

Fattened by the treats from heaven,
Thinking there’s eternal supply, they bloat with arrogance
On their way to do right
They flow, then they coerce
Show the path and then force the path
Blinded by the power, they get destructive, see red
They revenge, swallow, push the smaller and thinner, and later even bigger, to their ONE path
Their ONE religion, thinking there’s is the MOST pious one.
And the purEST, they set out to clean the city.
Unaware they’re not so clean anymore, that the system has polluted them,
They’ve darkened their soul
And they forgot that the darkness won’t pack its bags anytime soon. It’s here to stay for long,
Longer than the incoming treats

And the time came,
As the season changed, as their god stepped down from the throne, they dried
Starved and thinned
Their cohorts died
The new god sucked their steam
Their charm evaporated
The currents that once ruled the cities and hills and valleys and plains,
Have now gone static
The louder falls have now turned quiet, the fuller streams are now, nowhere to be seen
Except for the few big shots feeding on the snow, there’re only rocks and pebbles now.

But not for too long,
Once again, the season changes.
Once again, the thunder god gets to sit on the cloud throne
Once again, they rise up, get full
Once again, they get clean and transparent
Once again, they paint grey to green
Once again, they bring back the life
And once again, they spill
Once again, they kill whatever they’d built in the first place,
Once again, they get dirty,
Once again, the power gets seized
Once again, they’re humbled down
And once again the water cycle continues…

Footnotes:
"Power is such a sweet term. I am glad I wrote something related to it. (One of my friends interpreted this in totally different but valid manner though. *Can't be anything but happier to know this can have more versions than I had thought of*)

'River' as a subject struck me first on one of my monsoon road trips. That day, the sky was clear after days of pouring rain, but the wind was still chilly, the roads still had puddles, and the rivers were still growling a little. I started writing this poem on that day, but I ended it in another road trip I had in autumn. 

I had intended to write about river only as a simple nature's admirer in the most blunt and literal manner, . But I guess, nature in itself is the craftiest metaphor. Personally, I like where I ended up with this piece. I hope you will too."

Featured

I Got Out of a Toxic Relationship

…so that later on, when I am going to visit it, I won’t only remember becoming me, but also unbecoming me. I want it gone from my today, but I also want it safe in my yesterday. 

.

I bought this bamboo wall hanging- portraying a Japanese woman in cultural outfit- back in 2012. Since then, it has been my one constant till date. And why not? It has been something of a great significance in my life. At least I like to think about it that way. I don’t remember why I chose this particular décor, but I do remember the feeling I felt about it. It was my first independent material purchase. First recruit who was going to stick around for quite a long time, maybe even forever. One of my first conscious taste of individualism. One of the first risks, first commitments, first attachments. My first mine that was only mine.

And it did stay true to its character all the while. It continued being strong, resilient, flexible, still colorful, still bright, still innocent. My true constant. It just hung in there.

But I changed. Changed my rooms, added more companions, let go of some. I evolved. And it stayed the same. I no longer related to it, no longer saw a part of me in it. I grew taller. I grew out of love, long ago. I have forgotten what it was that I saw in it, when I first decided to let it in my life. I can’t even openly possess it. In fact, I wriggle by the sight of it. It is the most familiar unfamiliar of my space. Like I have never known it. I don’t see mine when I look at it. I see somebody else’s.

But I had been too afraid. Too afraid not to hold it back anymore. Out of some unexplained sense of loyalty, I continued to cling on to it, display it. Out of some sense of attachment, I let it trespass into my consciousness, every day.

But now that I think of it, I realize that I am not respecting us, not respecting our history. By keeping it in my wall, I was only going to keep on watering the toxicity in our relationship, until the bitterness will one day weigh down all the sweetness, all the innocence and all the intensity of our connection.

So today, I, for the first time, took it off my wall, with no intent of putting it back again. I let it off the hook. I unclinged it, only to feel liberated myself. I did not get rid of it though. I didn’t burn it, disfigure it, or trash it. Instead, I folded it, wrapped it, and carefully put it deep inside my closet. Because as much as I wanted to believe that it no longer reflected me and mine, truth is it is still a big part of me, a younger one, perhaps, but still mine.

I didn’t want to forget it. I wanted to keep it alive in some corner of my memory, just not in my mindfulness. Safely cozied inside the closet so that later on, when I am going to visit it, I won’t only remember becoming me, but also unbecoming me. I want it gone from my today, but I also want it safe in my yesterday. 

So, I let go of my consistent, my invariable, my alibi, my wall hanging today. I made a fresh new space in my room today. I got out of a toxic relationship today.

Footnotes:
"I tend to get too emotionally attached with material things. I have papers from old copy, with no visible story to tell, to which I have attached many feelings. I had almost shed a tear, when I broke an hourglass, which I had cherished for forever. I still get a little emotional when I donate my old outfits, even if I never really liked them. I hoard a lot, although my inner philosophy disapproves it. 
This bamboo wall hanging with a Japanese woman’s portrait is one of such inanimate things on which I have inscribed a great many emotions."

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SPONGE: A Story of an EMPATH

But smaller he shrinks, larger they grow
Uglier he gets, cleaner they look

It hits him deep and intense
Everything he experiences, everything they experience
It hits him right into his guts
Guts filled with borrowed water
Water which he didn’t let spill over
Which he soaked up instead
Yet, the more drenched he is, stronger he becomes
And larger he grows, lighter they turn

But all mighty he may seem, it’s that one gentle push that can put him down on his knees
That can bring him in tears
That can empty him
But smaller he shrinks, larger they grow
Uglier he gets, cleaner they look
And he revives again, fills himself again,
Grows again, shares again and shrinks again

Gullible he is, for he has no filter
For he carries their waters of different pH levels
Trapped he is
For what he owns is not his own
Borrowed senses, borrowed experiences
Borrowed instincts, borrowed feelings
Borrowed light, borrowed darkness
That’s what he lives on
Letting himself mold at their grace, forever paying interest
Oh! how he wishes to be less porous
How he imagines to have stronger walls
How he dreams to be more stone and less sponge.

Footnotes:
"Few years ago, me and my friends had taken part in an impromptu storytelling  competition called- Spin A Yarn. The organizers gave us a random noun to each of us, on the basis of which we had to build up a story, while connecting the previous ones.  We got kind of stuck when we received  the word, 'Sponge'. Since then, 'Sponge' as a subject had stuck with me for a long time. Well two years later, I decided to give it a story. I hope I did some justice."
Featured

EYES

I have travelled all corners of your heart and mind

I know your edges, I know your shallows, I know your oceans,

I have seen your yellows, reds, blues, blacks, and whites

I know you

I’m out of new places in you

I can walk on you, blind

But I am not done travelling

I am not done seeing

I am not done discovering

I am not done with surprise

So, I got me new eyes.

Footnotes:
"Knowing someone(thing) is such a pleasantly intoxicating feeling. Makes us feel more in touch with reality. Like we are not outside of the truth, but a part of it. But, knowing someone(thing) once again- all over again- with a fresh perspective, after un-knowing them: that's an ecstasy there.
There's always more than what meets the eyes. Let curiosity never die."

Redundancy

We want to upgrade our hunger, leap into the new realms, all the while, despising our contentment, but paradoxically, searching for the same.      

The crisp-culture is deeply embedded in today’s world. Catering our short attention spans, everything fed to us is shorter. And we prefer them too. We are so used to with the one-liners, 5-second ads, 30-second songs, 15-second contents, 1-minute reads, short stories, short speeches, short poems, and shorter short-cuts. Learn a language in 1 week, learn a ballet routine in 5 hours, hike a mountain in 30 minutes, double your money in 25 days…

We need the gist, and we need it fast. We have so much to do, so much to take in, and we don’t have time. We are so busy, we need efficiency. Efficiency in work, in relationships, in learnings, in art, in the world. All- so that we can get things done with. So that we can jump to another issue quickly.

We don’t like redundant; we want to be excited thoroughly. The lust towards the extra-ordinary, the new, the unique. We are bored with the world. We are tired of stable, of peace. We are so in hurry. The fear of missing out, the fear of wasting time, it consumes us.

We are not satisfied with the stars and the moon anymore; we crave for endless fireworks now.

We are so caught up in this crisp culture, that we have forgotten that redundancy is equally true truth in this world, that there’s nothing new under the sun. Colors are redundant, sounds are redundant, feelings are redundant, the people, the minds, the arts, the words, all are redundant. In fact, the entire humanity can be fit into an algorithm, we can be THAT generalized. It’s THAT easy to crack our common ground and predict our moves.

But we are programmed to be bored if we don’t get continual dopamine hits. We are not satisfied with the stars and the moon anymore; we crave for endless fireworks now. There’s no fun in melody anymore, we need frequent thunders now.

We have forgotten to appreciate the old and the mundane, the reservoir of knowledge acquired after years of diligence and experience, and the comfort and peace we find in it. We just want to get it done with. The love of our life becomes too predictable, too stable, too redundant. The job of our dreams is so bland now- similar routine, similar expertise, and similar network. Bucket lists of travel destinations is not exciting anymore. It’s just the hills, just the sky, and clouds and birds and greens and people. It’s same. It’s tiring.

We don’t want to notice how a dimple shows up in our partner’s left cheek when they feel embarrassed, or what their tell is when they lie, or the direction their eyes move towards when they zone out in the middle of the conversation anymore. We forget to notice how while we do things we secretly love (but can’t wait to label it dreary), our subconscious accelerates and takes control, and the things happen almost effortlessly, the outside world blurs and there’s this concentrated isolation in the task. We forget to appreciate the different colors of the mud in the same hiking trail, the deceiving perception of direction at every twist and turn of the road trip, the unfamiliar familiar in people’s faces of every different village stops of the trek. 

We don’t invest time, to not waste time. Maybe we are getting too time-conscious that we don’t have time anymore.

Eyes ahead, we don’t want to take stops, we don’t want to feel the water, let it sink in for a while, we want to swim faster than the flow itself. We want to upgrade our hunger, leap into the new realms, all the while, despising our contentment, but paradoxically, searching for the same.      

While there’s sexiness and boldness in the directness, there’s comfort in the indirectness too. There’s an art in beating around the bush too. There’s an art in the build ups, the anecdotes, metaphors and lengthy analogies too.

I am not against the time-valuing innovators out there. I am just concerned about us thinking we can cancel the mundanity, about us forgetting to coexist with it un-anxiously.

We don’t invest time, to not waste time. Maybe we are getting too time-conscious that we don’t have time anymore.

Or maybe, I am just beating around the bush to say I am still artsy after writing a lengthy whatever it is, with redundant “REDUNTANT”-S. Lol. Bonus redundant. Thank you for your time.

  1. it’s a brave person who posts on xmas day but this is a good one; love your nom de plume…

  2. “So I got me new eyes”- WOW! Fabulous perspective. Extremely well penned piece. I agree that learning someone(something) all over…

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