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A Scintilla of Thoughts

the cat’s pajamas

Attention

Safe in your place, deep in the Earth,
That’s when they’ll know what you’re really worth.
    – Nick Drake

“Unique! Perfect!” they had exclaimed.
When they took a pause and noticed,
The pointless piece of expression.
In which I had tried to
Imprint the neurons in my head
Onto the realms of reality,
Trying to show the world
What it did not mean to me.

Thus it began,
The journey of a desperate genius.
To be noticed,
To be acclaimed as
The one who bled uplifting aesthetic.
And fill my pockets
With coins to feed my stomach.
But they couldn’t feed my soul.
And that’s when I became a success.
Where uninspired,
I made what they admired,
Attention galore,
And my pockets filled up some more.

Where I felt a multitude of superfluous emotions,
Guilt is now all I feel,
Towards the young man who had once
Seen the world differently.

Perpetual

They say nothing is permanent.

Forgetting the sapling which once took shelter in the green,

Now a sturdy tree.

Which stands there

Watching two silly lovers
Stumble silently in a silly fashion,
As they hide between their devious passion.

And

Watching an old man who isn’t silly
Take a stroll
and miss his darling with whom he hid
When he was young
And felt whole.

And

Watching a fiery bird
Build twig by twig,
A nest for her tiny eggs
A home gigantic.

And

Watching the wind destroy
everything weak and sick
Like a humble bunch of sticks on its branch, holding a newborn chick.

And

Watching bricks drop to create,
Blocks of revenue, buildings to satisfy
Greed, and leave impressions great.

And

Watching the displeased nature
Shaking hard to throw off and display.
The large load of cemented stone
On the ground
Where it is supposed to lay.

And

They say nothing is permanent.

At least not the green.
At least not what it has seen.

Veiled

Feminism.

Doesn’t that word itself pull a trigger inside you? A flush of anger? Is the word too radical for you?  Too demanding?

The word is nothing but a symbol of the struggle a certain sect of society has faced over centuries. It is the notion, the belief that fully liberates the “weaker sex” from the shackles of patriarchy.

Patriarchy, the existence of which seeks to  shelter itself under fields of modernism. Patriarchy, something you shrug off as an element of the past, as you continue to sip tea made by a maid who is paid less than your manservant. Patriarchy, a socially prevalent evil, which you choose to accept has been overcome and yet you forget that to this day, thousands of women struggle with their identity behind a veil.

It is very easy for you, with all the privileges you struggle to maintain, to point out how feminism is a weapon against men. You type out a tweet speaking about the lack of a men’s day. You write enraged articles about how the legal structure of India tends to favor women. You loathe the fact that women have reserved coaches in the metro while you try to glimpse down her shirt. You have brief chats in your office breaks that women today have the same  opportunities as you, yet they fight for a cause just to get an edge.

Feminism does not mean that women need an edge. It simply means that women need a push. For when you venture out beyond the fact that you “let your wife” go to office, you will see the great lot of misogyny that exists in each nook and cranny of the world in some form of the other.

Till the day we feel a need to applaud women  for going out of their comfort zone, or achieving a feat meant for men, or shedding their feminine traits to “work like a man”; till the day personal choice is not a luxury but a need ; we will need feminism as a crutch for women.

Pluck

You picked an alluring flower, because you wanted to steal, and gift to her, the joy of all other passers-by.

She read you from end to end, without letting anyone else know what you held in between, and then kept you at the back of a dusty shelf.

You couldn’t pity the plant, then why, at the thought of her, does your throat dry?

When Maslow was right.

We would quite often visit the vendor outside college for a cheap and refreshing cup of tea. There’s something about the street, some secret ingredient they add, or probably just the feel of the glass, that makes the ten rupee sips a highlight of your day.

We’d sit on a low table and chat,  while the chai wala would pour out the kadak drink and come to serve it to us. It tasted of everything around us – the road, the typical Indian traffic and the silly tree that had seen our college being built but told no stories.

The first time we went, we started conversing, trying to read each other.  She told me that she believed  musicians today were to us children what poets were in the 16th century. How there was always this one song which described the saddest thing about your life, at the moment, whether it be losing a lover or unrequited love. Yet, how most of the creators of the more beautiful art would isolate themselves, and why. How there were some who reached out to millions but failed to inspire themselves. She spoke for an hour, on something which meant so much to her, because apart from the kadak chai, art was something that helped her.

I kept an empty glass on my side, and it touched something. There, I noticed, lay a tiny girl, probably the chai walas daughter, trying to find the most comfortable position to sleep on the creaky wooden table. She turned to her side, this position would block most of the sun because it was partially covered by the silly tree, then closed her eyes and smiled.

One spoke how music helped her on her low days, as the other dreamt of the day when she had got two rotis for dinner.
One would save money to buy a poster of her favorite artist, and the other for a packet of namkeen.

I paid the chai wala twenty rupees for my cup, and we left because we had a lecture to attend.

Capture

I think I wanted you to
Dance with me,
Under the possessive tree
Of purple and green
Whose duty he felt, was
To protect us
From the sweltering sun.

I wanted you to
Let me prance on its
Fallen dried leaves.
Laid down to caress our
Naked feet,
Our album just begun.

It’s been a while, now.
I don’t remember much else.

My mind often plays
Silly games with me. It snaps
Only a part of the picture.
The rest of it,
Like what the filtered
Sun felt like, is the unfocused blur.

“Our memories depend on a faulty camera on our minds.”  – What Sarah Said –  Death Cab For Cutie

Daily prompt post : Snap

Did the tree have purple flowers, or red?

Unfinished

We had just begun to talk to each other.
Just like an infant,  after being taught
How to
Perfectly round it’s lips
Or touch it’s  tongue,
to the roof of its mouth.
Giving birth to an audible
Slightly incomprehensible sound,
And trying to form these intricate
words, pitched into sentences.
A poem, with you, I wanted to create.

As you spoke a perfect verse,
Intimidated,
my linguistics failed.
Just like an infant, after getting
bored,
You moved on to more intriguing things
Leaving our conversation derailed.

This land is now mine,  the Grand man exclaimed,  borrowing from the Mother a piece of her soil. He cleared it of the helpless trees and bushes. He had worked hard for it,  and this was a product of his toil.

The first brick was laid, a foundation. The first stroke you paint on your canvas, which will remain still after layers of paint have been added to create a masterpiece.

The first wall, a humble barrier of red, was then built. The first line of the poem which could mean anything, but would hold strongly the poems lyrical beauty.

Nights later, a modest four walled hut put together to cover the purchased part of nature, and protect it from its own. A roof, a door, a window. A luxury.

Grand men need more than luxury, because they have worked so hard for it. So the Grand man did not stop.

Another storey, upon the first, and then another. When I stand up on the terrace, I’d like to touch the sky, instructed the Grand man. And so bricks were piled and cement spread.

And then it was complete,  his beauty. For him,  it wasn’t bricks, but his sweat that held his twenty storied home together.

But the Mother, she disagreed. Sweat doesn’t pain your brothers. Sweat doesn’t kill green trees. Sweat doesn’t exclude those meant to coexist.

So she shook.

The Grand man, and his grand creation, now returned to the ground, where they belonged.

A sapling begun to grow between two fallen bricks.

How high will you go before you come back?

Carve

Pick up a pen with your permeable fingers. Your veins, they are visible, and they yearn to leak the sorrow and the joy that trickles in them. Print on paper the meekness of a child, the love of a crow or the sorrow of a rock. Prance with ink and touch the paper with why what she said hurt you today, or why what he said uplifted. Prick the lines with your golden nib and scream at them, scream how obscene society is, how materialism chews at your conscience and how you believe that capitalism is the only way forward. Preach your religion or tickle at being a cynic. Power your words with a world of your own where leprechauns are kings or choose to crash into the reality you live in. Pick up the pen and write, write to change or just because it pains.

Stir emotion, anger, grief. Stir the extremists, the moderates.

Question. Cry. Carve.

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