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Puppet Show

Take in a perspective- think of puppets, and now place yourself in place of the stringed creatures and dare to dream.

You are the despondency and the exuberance, the beaten and the won; you are what the world wants you to be and who you, yourself, expect to be- you are in Pandora’s Box. Time is of the essence and day, an illusion. Hour is merely a term used to estimate the levels of endurance; the capacity to withhold the lies and listen to mindless jabber. Through the cage of time and walls of the Box, you see something wondrous, not sure what it might be, you reach out and just as it is in reach; the strings choke you back to the stage.

To live in a totalitarian society is akin to stepping into a battlefield echoing songs of the blood shed and hymns of swords. Battles are not won. They never are. They are chaotic, mad and the height of idiocy- with the loser, taking with him the lifeless bodies and the winner, the guilt of it all. But what happens if a soldier falls in love?

The eight second journey to Venus epitomizes his reason for his being. It makes him want to be a better man, a free man; it makes him want to break away and the confrontation baffles him and senses advice him to deny it all, such strong is the emotion. But to let it go seems insane and yet, here he stands: his sword high in the air, bewildered gaze and a heart defying all, which once seemed sane.

It’s all, an illusion- the cruel fate’s ploy. With so infinitesimal the moment and so vague an emotion, this seems so surreal but isn’t this what they, those spectators with a will and freedom so craved, always talk about? This moment in a million; is this what they call life?

Why, hello there.

Time is an unfaithful lover; escaping like sand grains at the merest of movement. There was no yesterday, my dear, and will be no tomorrow- all is now, this second, this moment- seize it and embrace it. Don’t be hesitant, m’darling, it’s a fool’s trait. Be proud of your mistakes- know that you’ve learned from them and be humbled by your victories and know you could have achieved more. Don’t clutch at that last straw. Reach out, make the effort and climb up again- I know you can.

Be a hero in all’s eyes and servant in your own and as Constantin Brancusi rightly said, “Create like a god. Command like a king. Work like a slave.”

You are beauty, you are destruction; you are the energy I feel and the cause of my listlessness. You are that little speck of glowing hope in this moss colored world that keeps dreamers like me marveling the stars. You are all of that and more. But alas, I am still that little pigtailed thirteen year old waiting by the river bank.

You are the night at the darkest when it’s magical; you are the wonder that lights up the soul. You are all I want but alas, the river is too wide and my boat is yet to come.

You are what turns, the quiet little book loving, me into something out of the Shakespearean plays on the oncoming of spring. You inspire the sonnets that ballets the moonlight peering from my window. You sing to me in each raindrop and I dance to your melody. But alas, the waves are now surfacing and I stand keeping count.

You seem to make the flower scent intoxicating; enough to get me drunk. You seem to make the breeze whisper your voice but never enough to make me want to go away. I still stand at the river bank, my lover, for alas I cannot swim.

Hey there, yes you.  Are you listening to me? Can’t you hear me calling out to you? No, don’t go away. Give me chance. Won’t you? Stay with me for sometime. Please?

Here, a peek into the core coal of me; give me your hand let me protect you from what lies there.  Deeper than the trenches of your worst nightmares, that’s how strong these traits run in me. These gruesome shades are a part of me, darling, this is who I am. I’d ask you to run away with me but I can’t. I can live with myself and my deeds but I’d never let a shadow of it fall upon you.

These words, how I cherish them and how meaningless they seem at the moment. Querida, I want to whisk you away from here, to kiss you through the bars of a rhyme, to lace my fingers through yours and take you to the stars. What wouldn’t I give just spend an eve in your arms. I am out of turn here-so out of place. Surely you can see that?

You are my morning breeze, darling. Untainted and pure. You are my strength and perhaps, my greatest weakness.

You know we can never be. I’m the King of purgatory and you’re the ocean mist. But as dark as the night may seem, know the light’s never far away. I adore you from the depths of my soul and underneath the darkness, a heart beats.  I could say go on, live your life and forget we ever met, but I’m too selfish for that. I could make this easy for you but I won’t. I am the Devil.

I will watch you every second of my being. I will delude you, deceive you and con you. Behind your every lie, every pain-you’ll find me. I’ll be your greatest fan and your worst enemy. I will give all of what I am. I could leave you and make this easier for both of us. But you know I can’t do that. I will stay with you. I will make you and break you. It will destroy me but I will do it- just so no one else can. You mean too much to me.

When it gets too hard for you; find me. When it becomes too easy for; find me. You know the place between love and lust, that’s where I’ll always be.

Do you remember the time your favourate ice cream sandwich melted before you could devour it?

Or the time someone ripped out a page from a book you lended them?

Or when you lost sight of someone, you loved, in the morning sky.

It’s so sad when that happens.

No Survivors

Dreams

“Had I the heaven’s embroided cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths,

Of night and light and half light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet,

But I, being poor, have only my dreams,

I have spread my dreams under your feet,

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

-Nighat Saleem ‘ 83

“Did the chicken come before the egg or did the egg come before the chicken?” asked my five year old cousin. I looked at him, smiled and said, “I don’t know.”

As the years have gone by, I have felt myself to be growing intellectually with each passing day, but I still feel that I know less and less every second. Information is expanding at exponential rates and for every news article on Barrack Obama one reads in one newspaper, there are ten more on different pages that have to be skipped due to lack of time. In this scenario, it would be only the naïve who would refuse to accept that they cannot know everything.

I am no exception. Over the years spent in school, I have accumulated quite a lot of knowledge regarding various subjects. I have tried to indulge in diverse areas, from the numerical mysteries of Math to the inevitable variations in Economics. Yet there is a gap. The theorems of Math which I so easily apply to the cornucopia of questions my mentors are constantly testing me with seem vague and obscure when juxtaposed with a ‘real’ problem. The graphs in Economics which I so easily analyze in the examination hall look alien when I try to analyze a ‘real’ situation. The problem here, as I see it, is thus- I see the pieces of the puzzle but have only a hazy idea of the completed picture. This, then, is what I don’t know- how do I apply that which I know?

Take for example the subject of Thermodynamics. Newton’s Law of Cooling and the Laws of Thermodynamics were good friends of mine by the time I was finished with the chapter in school. Confidently, then, I acquiesced to answer a few questions my friend had. The first one stumped me. “Why does it get colder as the altitude increases?” I grappled in my head with the equations I had learnt. Unable to answer, I walked away, ashamed and dejected. The point is that school does not teach you everything. The simple things are lost amongst the complicated theoretical scenarios one has to commit to memory.

Though at times I felt partial, not knowing the real picture; the complete picture, but as Thomas Gray as so rightly put, ‘Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.’ I don’t have to know everything, whether the chicken came first or the egg, it is of no consequence; what matters is how I utilize what is given to me. It took me a leap of faith, an unwavering confidence in myself, and a couple of cartons of chocolate milk to realize that no one is perfect and no one knows everything. Looking beyond the textbooks, looking at everyday little ‘things’ that we take for granted, I find, is in a way more important than what we learn in class. The ‘gap’ between knowing and knowing everything is one that will never be filled, but the least I can do is to know well what I know.

Ever wonder what it would feel like?

Ever deliberated what would happen?

If the world slowly started to dissolve

Fading away into the oblivion

Ever felt the touch of the colors?

Or felt the bars of the rhyme?

Ever wondered what would have been?

If I wouldn’t have wasted all this time

Would I ever be compelled to see the rain again?

When it’s hundred and twenty outside,

Would the memories still haunt me?

A funny thing to ask when the devil himself is in aide

Would I ever hear the reverberation?

Of the waves crashing wrathfully on the shore,

Would the Champagne and Caviar always remain a wish?

Or will they ever be something more?

And so I sit,

And ponder.

Where am I stuck?

I wonder.

What is life, what is love?

What is anything, when there is nothing more?

Is it of the loss or is it of the gain?

Or is it nothing but the dark side’s allure.

Is it something larger than life?

Or like slashing through your skin with a bare knife?

Or is it like the drowning in the great big blue?

For drowned I am, thorough and through.

You gotta eat, darling.

“I’m a new generation hetroautotroph…living in a predominant homo sapien world…surrounded by millions of protoctista bitting me many times each second…My psyco-analysis has been petrified by my overwhelming interest in biophysical studies!”

And it keeps getting better.

Where it all started, yo.

Slighted

Poured, dripped and drained, my soul, once flowing through my veins with some bright red angst, unyielding, pride now lay beside in a pool of filth. Washed away, now that vigor; all is easy, all is painless, all is unimportant and all is dead. As am I.

Papercut, I curse thee.

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