Friday, 1 July 2016

black box

And when the rain has washed away the debris,
When it has extinguished the lingering sparks,
And all that is left is the carcass of our old selves,
Our shocked souls will examine it all,
With our hands blackened by the soot,
Desperately we will look through it all,
Hoping to find the black box. 

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Tethered.

Tethered to this land I call home.
People wonder why I am unable to move,
Why I have not aspired to fly higher.
What could possibly be so sacred,
That you refuse to flee to greener pastures, they ask.

How do I explain to them, this attachment.
Thinking too deeply about it reminds me of its shortcomings.
The people who did me wrong,
The stifling environment, the ever so inquisitive, ever so bitter mouthed souls.
The lethargic folks, always looking for trouble,
Ambling to protest all sorts of supposed wrongs.

Most days, I am filled with an emptiness here.
But it is a known kind, unlike that elsewhere,
Being away fills me with an unexplained longing.
A friend who knows me too well at some point remarks,
Is it your dogs? Are you unable to leave them behind.
Perhaps.
Is it the 'known fears are better than the unknown' thing?
Perhaps.

Such a strange thing,
This concept of home.
I close my eyes, and all I associate with the word, is this place.
With its troubled people,
With its crumbling, decayed system, reeking of greed and wrongs.
I see my old and frail grandma, lighting up when I hug her.
I see Missy and Winnie, their tails wagging furiously when I call out to them.
I see my aunt, who has always loved me so unconditionally,
I see home in her carefully packed food tiffins of love.
I see my parents, flawed and mine,
We have learned to co-exist with each other over time.
And I wouldn't have it any other way.
How could I possibly leave them behind.
No matter where I go, their faces will haunt me,
And drag me back willingly to this flawed home of mine.



Thursday, 26 May 2016

Facade

Sometimes existence feels like a facade, like one of those cardboard cutouts of buildings, all hollow from the back, propped up to give meaning to scenes in movies. Propelled by buttresses of wooden slabs, vulnerable still to the forces of the wind and storms.
Life's best lived in pretension- who cares what's on the inside as long as the outside is brightly painted and gives out rather jovial vibes.
I watch people bristle past, busy in their own lives. They glance over sometimes to ensure that the facade is to their liking, some wince in disgust at the brightness of it all. Very few walk over to look at the structure, at the other side of the fake white painted windows.
Sometimes I think back to my school days, how we used to have music and dance competitions in which I took no part. At the end of it all, when it was time for the prize distribution, we would celebrate together, all of us, when our House came first. But it always felt shallow to me, the happiness barely skin deep. It was like I had stolen somebody's success to revel in it. I would wonder why I was even pretending to be more cheery when deep inside the echoes of my shrieks of laughter just bounced off the empty inside, unheard. Life feels like that sometimes.

Friday, 22 April 2016

the storm

the storm rages on outside
heaven unleashing pent up anger
hurling lightning bolts
and screaming yells of wrath
the ground below shook
windows jolted
it really feels like the end

there is a battle underneath
this elaborate concoction of skin and bones
fragile enough to be shaken
with all the yelling there is a wonder
as to why there are only echoes and emptiness
an undefinable pain within
is there an answer for this
or will the rains wash it all away
till the voids are flooded
with rivulets of regret and longing.

Monday, 4 April 2016

New lows

Newspaper article reads- DESAM vandalises partying-bar, rounded up teenagers (http://www.nelive.in/manipur/news/desam-vandalises-partying-bar-rounded-teenagers); there are videos already being circulated on social media documenting this 'raid'- men yelling at shocked girls who were just out to have a good day. 
The organization justified it as a means of controlling 'cultural pollution' in the state. Apparently the youth of the state were falling prey to the evils of the world- booze etc, and needed such actions to save them all from doom. 
I guess living in such a place, where such well wishers roam around, forcefully conducting 'Keina Katpa' of couples on dates and storming cafes and restaurants, and dictating what you can drink and do (and taking photographs and videos of such raids- of only the girls caught, and not the boys, mind you), one can be forgiven for wondering if one has time traveled to the medieval ages, or even the age of Taliban. The naharols had already sought to dictate terms when it comes to the uniform the women of the state have to wear to schools and colleges. Soon, they will be entering our households and making all sorts of life decisions for us. 

There are several things which irk me regarding this. Firstly, why are only the women folk targeted when it comes to moral policing here? There is something very chauvinistic about the fact that it's only the women whose lives are intensely monitored and then stigmatized when 'caught' by such well wishers. The men are left alone, or at most given a beating. But the women? They are harassed and haunted for the rest of their lives. Why these double standards?

Secondly, as far as I know (correct me if I am wrong, sometimes I feel I am), we are in the 21st century in a democratic country. Each of us enjoy fundamental rights- certain freedoms. Maybe most of these people skipped their Polity classes to participate in dharnas and what not, but hello? We can choose to do what we wish, unless it infringes on others' freedom and rights. Since when is drinking with a group of friends and dating heinous crimes which affected your way of life? 

Okay, drinking alcohol and all that is extremely harmful etc. If these organizations really do care, why not stop all of it from the top to bottom- target those who bring in the booze (The army canteens? The big shots who bring it all on a massive scale?)- Okay, if they want to focus on only cafes and restaurants- why not all of them? There are so many here owned by influential folks- why are those excluded? Where does all the courage and venom go then? 

Cultural pollution they call it? I don't know what they were doing during their school days but surely they studied that unless you control all sources of pollution, it won't go away? Shutting down one industry won't magically make all the carbon monoxide and dioxide float away. You have to shut down all at the source. 
Or if you can't, get used to the polluted air, and environment. Buy masks to protect yourself, and let others breathe however they wish to.
You get what I am saying... 

Live and let live.




Thursday, 10 March 2016

3/11 spectre

the mind is a strange thing, needing to be replenished every now and then with fresh sprinkles of hope and sparks of passion in order to survive.
bleak hopelessness overpowers souls with every passing wave of time.
I have become a grave of my once youthful energetic self- there was a time when I felt invincible, overflowing with ideas and illusions of how I would shine.
and now all that is left are doubts.
strangers look to me, polite smiles in place, and ask about life plans and goals.
I fear my own answer, and have chosen the path of 'figuring out life' with a silly smile to numb the overwhelming feeling of failure.
time races past my struggling self,
with each passing tide I struggle to make sense of all that I am and all that I wish to be.
there's still a flickering warmth inside, awakened once a while by well wishers who see me as more that what I seem,
they once saw the light in me, and even now strain their eyes to catch a glimpse again.

I flip through photographs, hoping for a peek at a spectre of my illustrious self, before all the self doubts and worries sneaked in their ugly selves and darkened my heart.

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Unseen scars scatter on blemished skin,
Each a infliction of unkind words spoken.
It is so cruel, so very cruel,
How easily words can be hurled at people,
With no care about the consequences.

Monday, 16 November 2015

tragic



Perhaps it is because I am a simpleton at heart that I have failed to comprehend the heartlessness of human beings.
There is something so wretched about a handful of gun wielding 'humans' showering bullets, with no remorse at all, on innocent souls just going about their daily routine.

It seems to me that we have failed as a species to grasp the very essence of life. It has become an entity, cheaply bartered among various man-made compartmentalizations.


Saturday, 24 October 2015

Agartala diary

This Dussehra/ Durga Puja break found me, with my mother and two friends in the city of Agartala to visit my dad's friend's parents. The visit left quite an impression on me, inducing me to type furiously on this fine wintery Sunday morning.

This trip had been long due. They had made my mother promise to visit them atleast once. And while we youngsters were not keen on a place like Agartala for a break, finally the stars aligned for it all to happen, and how glad am I that it did.

The sight of them at the airport, tears in their eyes as they waved goodbye left a choke in my throat, tears threatening to well up. Their loneliness and readiness to accept us all as their own leaves me with a rather strong sense of frustration. It just seems so wrong, that in the pursuit of all there is in the world, their kin has left them in an isolated house near the airport to fend for themselves. At some point my mother remarked to them how amazing it was that their kids were so accomplished and had achieved so much in life, and the old lady said- what's the point, they are not here.

They invited us both for lunch the last day in Agartala- the two watching over us as we ate, scolding us for not finishing all the food that they had laid before us; the old man ambling up and down the stairs carrying photographs he wanted to show us and mishti doi he wanted to feed us; their 11 years old toothless dog called Ronaldo soaking up the affection he received from us with a sense of childlike glee, and to top it all, the old man embracing me before we left, and saying- don't forget me, I am your 'dadu'- it all left a lasting impression on me.

And I wish, I so wish, that children would never forget the parents and relatives that raised them- those hands that fed and fussed over them over the years wither with time- wrinkles form, and souls age. Agreed, there is the spirit in all to reach for the stars, and to revel in the glitter that the world has to offer- but all that time, there is also a need, a dire need, to hold on to that hands that raised us.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Whether pigs can fly.

"I am convinced that the deepest desire within each of us is to be 

liberated from the controlling influences of our own psychic

madness or patterns of fear. 

All other things—the disdain of ordinary life, the need to control 

others rather than be controlled, the craving for material goods as a 

means of security and protection against the winds of chaos—are 

external props that serve as substitutes for the real battle, which is 

the one waged within the individual soul." Caroline Myss

Reading quotes posted by artsy pages on Facebook have a way of awakening the sleeping thinker within, and shaking up its befuddled state. As we go about our passing lives, dodging obstacles and often succumbing to our mortal weaknesses, we pause once a while, and look up- we question our very existence and the causes for the actions we take and the actions others take connected to us.
What I am writing at this moment may have nothing to do with the quote I have posted with it.

It is just that somehow I connected to this quote at the instant I read it. I do not know about the psychic madness and patterns of fear that Myss is talking about, but I know oodles about the disdain of ordinary life. Like any other soul fed by the fancy words one reads, I have begun to live in fear of having a mundane life and of never finding passion in the things I do. I fear settling for some things, because I was too lazy to leap and stretch myself for what I really want. I have never been an ambitious person, more of a happy-go-lucky yet forever-questioning-life kind. I fear that my lot is the worst kind, we think and think about things, And yet when it comes down to it, we resign too easily to our fate.

I have never been inclined towards controlling others, except perhaps my stubbornness clashes with that of others, but I guess that does not count? Or perhaps I do not want it to count, because I feel it is a very negative feeling- that of control. Thinking individuals should not want to control, there should only be the desire to liberate others. Then again, what one feels cannot be helped.

I have seen this craving for material goods- I have seen hoarding of things, shiny and warm by a loved one. Though I give her hell for it sometimes, deep down I know it is to try and rid herself of all the pain and humiliation she felt when she did not have it all several decades back. In this world of fast shopping bags-obsessed existence, who can blame the fallen souls who have swooped down to replacing feelings and emotions with material possessions.

Personally, I do not know about not wanting chaos, I feel if one wants a not so ordinary life, one must have lots of chaos- chaos is the only thing which can sweep away the ordinary aspects of life. Chaos is that phenomenal gust of wind that blows down everything that stands in its path, and changes the status quo. Then again, chaos is stressful.

Of battle within the individual soul, I know plenty. I face it every passing day. Being a confused soul in this harsh know-it-all world has a way of doing that to you. And I guess we resort to all possible manifestations of that is seen in the above mentioned quirks. We as an entire race, have never been entirely confident with questions aimed at our inner selves. At the earliest possible moment, we deflect it to other things- let's not talk about my inner self, let's instead talk about whether pigs can fly.