A teacher observes the person in making,
Adding his noble touch, to preserve the element;
A life full of ‘wrongs’ has blemished his aura,
Teacher steps into his shoes, to revive the halo.
Heroes faithfully rescue people from others,
Teachers virtuously rescue people from themselves,
For a Teacher is first a Student in Life’s sanctuary,
An experienced hand, guiding many of his Own.
Life lessons are taught along the way:
When fame is the name of the selfish game,
Compromise not on your values to make a name,
For it would eventually cost you your bigger game.
Best partnerships are built on mutual trust,
As curiosity is nurtured, wisdom softly speaks,
Humble in spirit, forgiving, just and kind,
For only he has faith-after we have resigned.
The trees of life have eclipsed the wood,
Protecting what ought not be saved,
Saving what ought to be sighted,
Committing dedication but missing the wood.
A plethora of trees breathe life into us,
Beckoning us-Singing songs of wedded glory,
Some are separate dirges- best kept away,
After a solemn urging for a brief lapse.
Moods come and go with the whimsical wind,
Few are well grounded to sustain the storm,
Others swing for a breeze and to their fancy,
And are shortlived by their wild gestures.
Disaster strikes- a fire breaks out balefully,
Panic is more widespread than the fire,
The wood now looks bigger than the trees,
Flames are everywhere but sadly everyone’s rooted.
The mind’s eye has now broadened its horizons,
For it’s now opened itself to the bigger picture,
The roots are left behind for an indelible past,
The wood can be seen-and it’s too late.
The blue skies open their wings,
Enveloping us with careful will,
Nudging us, as it prods us on,
Blowing drafts of wind,in its carefree sojourn,
The ground has shaken but bears the brunt,
For we are shaken when it takes affront.
Whether on cloud nine or ground zero,
We are rendered breathless by each turn,
Grounding ourselves is an important phase,
With a safe landing to resist the pace,
Ominously separating us from ourselves,
And then gathering dust to cloud our taste.
Life teaches Man to taste his success,
But then asks him to suffer in distaste,
A man would know well to prolong his efforts,
Enjoying the fodder with due process,
He climbs to the top, with little to digress,
Alas-there’s another at the helm,he fails to digest.
If failure and succcess are singly exclusive,
There is really no way, but cleaning the surface,
Wiping out boundaries can be painfully simple,
And creating new lines can desert our wishes,
Dealers of hope-beware of your fortune,
Keepers of destiny-parade your passion.
The stars are struck as new waves are made,
Emotions surge as new stakes are laid,
We live to die, ploughing our sinful way,
Are star-struck when our achievements are paid,
We pass on and away-they then realize,
Our rides were all futile and all is laid to rest.
Published in a literary and artistic journal: The River
Baku was studying when he heard the sound of water gushing forth outside his hut. Water was a scarcity and necessity for him and his family as his fourteen years of struggle had taught him not to waste anything. It was coming from a posh apartment that stood a furlong away from his thatched hut. His hut was open to the wiles of nature and the rich men who were repulsed by the sight of the lone hut at the end of their lane, frequently dumping their garbage in the vicinity. Affliction was an uncommon sight among them and they chose to look away, fearing they would be plagued too if they so much as looked at the hut.
Baku’s father, Kadu was a chain-smoker and a habitual drinker. He would beat his wife up every day as Baku protested in vain and wailed, crying out loud as his mother winced in pain. Her name was Sakamma and went to the apartment for housekeeping, serving as a maid at one of the flats. His mother always told him to become someone powerful and support his family.”The rich are powerful, but our values are more powerful, so we are strong at heart and mind. Use this power, Baku otherwise they will ‘assassinate’ our humble thoughts” she would tell him as she put him to sleep, tenderly stroking his head.
His father refused to work when he was fired from a car-driver’s job when Baku was ten. The reason was that his father was drunk and verbally abused his employer at the time. Whenever Baku’s mother would persuade him to get a job, he’d start harassing and torturing her. Baku felt traumatized and was forced to take up menial jobs in order to get by.
Baku was a good student and tried not to let his family issues get in the way of his studies. His teachers were rude to him because he would come disheveled, in torn uniforms. He realized the importance of studying well and earning for his family, more so for his mother. He began to dislike Kadu with each passing day.
In class 8, he was called to the Principal’s chamber. “Baku, take a seat and stop twiddling your thumbs!” Mr. Kumar roared. “Sorry sir”, he uttered and timidly sat down. “What would you like to become, Baku?” asked the Principal. “A civil servant, sir” retorted Baku as the Principal asked him again dismissing his earlier answer with disdain. Baku shot back, echoing his earlier reply without any hesitation as the Principal considered his answer.
“You should know that in your class you have done well but government servant? Why Baku? Do you want the system to be in tatters? You’d rather be a servant in a government school”, Kumar guffawed along with his Deputy who followed everything that the Principal did, adding to the decibel level. ”Sir, I want to change the system. I want the guilty punished tantamount to their crime!” Baku said agitatedly. “Then you should first punish yourself!” Kumar remarked, giving out one of his derisive snorts, as another one echoed from the Deputy. Kumar came across as a ruthless person who couldn’t care about injustice in society as long as his school was prospering.
“The reason I called you was because this would be your last day at school. You haven’t paid your fees in the last term and this is unacceptable by our standards. “, Kumar said solemnly. “But sir, I promise to pay you in installments! My mother is not well and I am earning very little to keep my father and mother happy. My father takes most of my money and wastes it on drinks and cigarettes. I try to hide it, but he starts beating me if I don’t give him what he asks for. Please sir, I promise to do more jobs and earn mo—“. Kumar cut him short, “Stop talking nonsense, such behavior will not be tolerated, Baku. You can bark for all I care but how can I be certain I will get the money from a ragamuffin like you? You are an utter nuisance here!”
“Please sir, just a week, I will earn morrrre..” sobbed Baku, as he was dragged out by the heartless Deputy and he felt the gates of Education close on him.
Baku washed cars and wiped floors by day and did the household chores at night. Every night he looked at the moon as his mother’s health deteriorated. He wished he could hop on to the moon with his mother when his father would come in, scowl at them and ask Baku money for his cigarettes. Baku would hesitatingly part with it and prepare the food while his father complained about it each time; eating a little and casting the rest away dissatisfied.
Baku remembered his childhood dreams of becoming a pilot. He went outside and sat, drawing pictures of him and his mother on a sheet of paper, converting it into a paper airplane. He threw it as fast as he could and watched it glide in the breeze, away from his hut, away from his father as he’d feel freedom enveloping the air, taking him to a far-away place..
Thud! It was another beating session and this time Baku felt stronger, uplifted by his air-travels to combat any hurdle in his journey. He barged into the house, tucking a sharp-tool that he picked up from the garden and was about to hurl it when he saw his mother crying on the floor over Kadu. Sakamma had retaliated this time, pushing Kadu with all her force against the wall as he was unconscious on the floor, in a pool of blood. Baku stood stock-still as she yelled for help. She asked Baku to run up to the apartment to call for an ambulance. Baku’s heart pumped as he didn’t know what to feel. Was he happy or sad? Tense or excited? He didn’t know.. If his mother hadn’t done it, he would have lived with the guilt, he thought..His mind was racing and all he knew was that he had to follow his mother’s order.
He ran to the security guard whom he detested all along for constantly shooing him away. Baku spoke in Kannada while the guard stood unperturbed, muttering in Hindi what Baku could never understand. Another guard who spoke Kannada followed Baku hurriedly. Kadu was bleeding profusely as the guard saw the pointed weapon on the floor beside Kadu. They related the incident to him. “Call the ambulance quickly!” screamed Sakamma. He made a call at once. “Yes sir, I understand”, he said after two minutes on the phone as both Baku and his mother were lost in the discussion.” I’ve called the police and if he thinks it fit, the ambulance will arrive”. The tension on their faces was palpable. The policeman came after a while and questioned Sakamma and Baku. “What is the tool doing on the floor?” he inquired. Baku narrated the whole incident. Sakamma was taken into custody for further interrogation as Kadu lay on the floor dead, before the ambulance could arrive.
“I’m so sorry”, wept Sakamma. “Hee was beating mee very badly… and my body could not take it”, she was sobbing through her words. Sakamma was kept in custody for a while and she refused to eat anything, thinking about Baku. Baku also hadn’t eaten for six days. When Sakamma was released, she was pallid and knew that she would die. She told Baku to be a good boy and remember not to let his thoughts be assassinated by some of the rich good-for-nothings who have only their materialistic gains to flaunt. “You will be a powerful man and will show them how to live..Help the poor and needy, Bakuuu.. “, were her parting words to him as she went into her last unconscious slumber, never to be awakened again while Baku was inconsolable. Baku felt like dying and began to sleep, hoping never to wake up like his mother and share better moments with her in a place called Heaven..
To his disappointment, he woke up the next morning as usual. Baku left the place and walked. He walked for miles, tears in his eyes..He didn’t care where he was going. His body couldn’t take it, the agony of living adding an extra kilo with each step..Until his last breath he would walk and..Bang! He fell to the ground unconscious.
“Boy, wake up!” bellowed a tea-vendor, his voice rising over the sound of a train just leaving the station. Baku looked through his weary eyes at a small frame of a man wearing shorts, exposing his wiry legs, adorned by distinct sinews. “A gentleman sacrificed his life to bring you here! He was killed by a speeding truck when he endeavoured to push you away just in time. May God bless his Soul. I brought you here, when you were still unconscious. What is your name?” Baku was still in shock from his mother’s death and the latest bit of news. “I..my..name..is ….Ba..ku..”, he stuttered. “Tell me more about yourself, what happened? Come now, you look so weak, have some biscuits! I will bring you some vadas too.” Baku relished the vadas and biscuits and didn’t hesitate to ask for more which the kind tea-vendor obliged. Baku recounted the turn of events, about his poor mother and horrible father. Harish was touched by his sad story and told him to stay with him at his tent near the station.
Harish began to nurse Baku and told him to stay confident. Success comes to the confident, Baku. You will achieve peace of mind only when you are willing to let go of your worries and focus on the small things in life that bring happiness. “I sell tea and as each customer buys my tea, he buys a share of my happiness. If he doesn’t, he goes to another person to get his happiness. Life’s like that. If you want to be happy you need to choose your Vendor- Hope, Misery, Happiness- they’re all free of cost provided you know how to train your mind to buy them into your life”.
Harish told him about his own life. His parents had abandoned him as a child at this railway station as they were too poor to look after him. “I haven’t seen them in 33 years and don’t remember what they look like. Yet I feel free, happy and content at what I do”.
Baku would help Harish serve tea every morning, greeting the customers with a smile on his face. Baku took to Harish and soon both of them would play chess in their free hours as Baku was coming into his own. Harish had learnt the game observing passengers and on one particular evening a foreigner had gifted him a chess set for his excellent tea.”Practise well and beat me the next time we meet!” he challenged Harish. Harish played in his free time with the odd passenger and waited patiently for the foreigner who never showed up.
He taught Baku how to play. “One wrong move can cost you your Kingdom. Never sacrifice your Queen unless it’s for another Queen or your King(dom). Similarly, Life is a chessboard. Your higher values and ideals should only be overridden by better ones and you must know when to play it safe and when to attack, Baku.”
Baku was determined to finish his schooling and graduation. Harish sponsored his education (a nominal amount in a government school and college), nurtured and encouraged Baku as he came out with flying colours. His mother’s words rang in his ears, “You will be a powerful man..”. Baku remembered his dreams of becoming a civil servant and asked Harish to buy him some books for the exams. Both of them went to the market and Harish bargained buying a book a week during the next month with his little savings.
Baku worked at day and studied during the night. He appeared for the exam and on the day of the results, Harish was consoling him as he didn’t qualify. “It is a very competitive exam Baku. Never mind, success will greet you next time”. Baku did not lose hope. He studied harder and Harish was supportive, reducing Baku’s burden of carrying tea. Baku studied during night and slept at day and would rarely see Harish. The exam day approached and Baku was all set. He was about to leave when Harish stopped him to give him his morning cup of tea. “I’m sure you’ll do well, Baku! Be confident young man, you are the future of India!” Baku felt the warmth descending upon him as he entered the exam hall, feeling confident.
Baku had done well and waited eagerly for the results. In the meantime, Harish had fallen sick and Baku had to take his place at his tea-stall, delighting customers as always. As the result day approached, Baku was nervous, spilling a cup or two on an irritant customer who spewed abuses and walked away. This was it, he said. If he didn’t make it, he would have to quit trying.. He went anxiously to check his results. He had not qualified. He checked again, scanning the sheet carefully, in disbelief, furious at himself!
Harish was lying on the bed, weak from his illness. Baku went in to tell him but before he spoke, Harish could feel his sorrow and asked him to sit down. “What do you want from life Baku?” he asked and immediately his mother’s image came to his mind. “I lost my mother because our voice wasn’t heard. I want to become powerful”, Baku lamented. “If you study with that thought disturbing you, you will not grow Baku. Rich thoughts should accumulate your mind. Power will come automatically and you will learn how to use it responsibly. You must enjoy it because you will transform lives for the better. Enjoy your studies and expand your knowledge.”
Baku weighed Harish’s words. His study habits took on a whole new dimension as he explored new horizons and had fun while learning. He felt he had learnt things so easily without the burden of anything weighing down on him. His thoughts were flowing freely and he felt much lighter and confident. He cracked the exams, interviews and waited again for the results. This time on the day of the results, he served tea in his usual carefree manner.
He checked the result sheet, glancing through the names one by one. Not certain where to start, he went from the last page to the first. His hope was melting as his name did not figure in the last few columns. He turned to the third, second, first and then he saw it, staring up at him..Baku-Rank-34.He rubbed his eyes and looked again to be certain. He had read it right! He thought of his mother. Tears filled his eyes, and it dropped gently on his mother’s photo that he took out from his pocket. He saw her smiling at him..How she might have felt at his accomplishment, he thought to himself. He went into the tent to break the news to Harish, but did not find him around.
He went outside and was greeted by a pleasant surprise. He was congratulated by one and all. “Bakuuuu, you have done it! I saw your name in the paper and we are serving free tea in our new stall to celebrate! Your happiness will be shared by everyone for free! “shouted Harish who got out of bed early, his illness deserting him.
Baku took Harish with him as he served as an officer in different districts. He denounced corruption and injustice of any kind and treated people in his office with respect and dignity, ensuring they abided by the rules and regulations at all times. Harish guided him through difficult times, cheering him up and supporting him. Baku introduced new schemes to help the needy, cut down on unnecessary expenditures, resolved to have rain-water harvesting programs in all the villages apart from the numerous other programs he had initiated.
He rose to popularity and his name was recommended for the Prime Minister’s Excellence Award. It was no surprise that Baku won the award and attended many a felicitation function. At one of them this is what he had to say: ‘I have come this far because I didn’t let anyone ‘assassinate’ my thoughts. I have a responsibility to serve my nation-which I will sincerely do. I have been through tribulation and sorrow for the most part of my life but I have already chosen my Vendor-Happiness and will continue to shower my happiness on people who are willing to buy it into their lives…’, he concluded to the applause of one and all. At the far end of the hall he noticed his primary school Principal Kumar standing with the Deputy. He went up to him and shook his meek hand as the Principal was ashamed and speechless, tears welling up..He didn’t fail to notice the tears in his Deputy’s eyes too.
Paroxysms of empathy are flying thick and fast with a click,
Procuring a soul of beauty; blinded by the menacingly caustic world,
She unflinchingly clutches the split-frame as a precarious stick,
Cloaked in strings of eluding Hope; a bulwark against Life’s wrath unfurled.
Her eyes behold danger; ‘tis cast with a steely acceptance,
Embittered, her mistrust and hatred are ailing her: the Observer.
The tidings thus far have mangled her to a state of incurable repentance,
But each time she tides over to her Destiny: the Preserver.
Curved shadows of Doubt punctuatingly cut across her being,
Ah, searing through her flesh, she’s buried in barren affliction,
Plagued by the neglect, reconciled and so inured to seeing,
She resigns to her penurious fate, regressing into tribulation.
Stardom is a curious mystery that she shuns as false,
Riding on the guiles and wiles of the world that are far from few,
She gallops and totters reining in her uninhibited waltz,
Wincing past storms of Disaster, fleetingly bidding them adieu.
Nature remains impartial to her, hushing up her dreams,
As she laboriously feeds off her courage, unburdening it in torrents,
To steer through ev’ry malady, in earth’s fury of schemes,
While she’s stricken by the deadly ‘Climate of Life’ that Malawi warrants.
Her left hand engulfs and shields her resolutely clasped right,
The rest of her body is vanish’d into oblivion; she’d ne’er grasp,
As each passing day she fights off death with an agonizing fright,
The tantrums are just the way we say,
For all things we’ve believed and prayed,
The seeds were sown all day in cheerful ray,
Alas! The outburst of anger has sailed and derailed.
Protests stand rooted while at heart,
Standing tall through withering hopelessness.
The authority has the audacity to question this art,
And reverse all said with acute thoughtlessness.
The graceful borders have sunk with the hit,
From the impact, the battle against tyranny is won.
The rulers are ousted with the mounted grit,
Raising the fortified borders in the ruthless sun.
Storms have come but with a rainbow of hope,
Bruising the legs but sparing the eye of the storm.
Events are churned to flattering heights to cope,
And brought down in time to their relaxed form.
The peace of the fortune is descending upon,
In the whirr of new machines; sparking a dawn,
Of all things bright, the leaf is turned thereupon,
And the amassed agony of years is arrested to spawn.
The moon is virtuously fettered,
With the veil of the sun’s luminosity,
Shadows of hope glitteringly litter,
Sunlit darkness sways.
Published in Four And Twenty(4 lines,20 words):Sunlit Darkness
Earth and water are fashioned to be,
A creative semblance that unlocks the key,
With a brandish; cutting the bands of serenity free,
Leniently possessed by the roots of a binding degree.
The stream is flowing in a hushed tone,
Laying the steadfast water set in stone,
The vacillating tendrils ashore is sewn,
Bearing the rhythm of the ripple zone.
When yellow and blue shades strike as so true,
The green doesn’t take away from the surreal hue,
Entangled in harmony and hard to undo,
With crystal clear intent that soaks the dew.
Glory has ensued; thus it shall live on,
The temptress stream enveils the land that’s forlorn,
Charmingly caressing it as the earth is reborn,
While harvesting in mesmeric beauty that it leaps to don.
Life is at its unfettered best in this scene,
Indulging in an indolence that is uniquely clean,
Snaking through bends to discover a fresher green,
The grass is always greener for all to be seen.
Staring at the majestically sinewy track,
A restive follower dropped his empty sack.
Glancing at the uncommonly wide-eyed crack,
Commoners dropped him nothing to stack.
The world is semi-permeable to the questioning gaze,
Asking some to beg more and seldom laze,
Answers to life are gravely set ablaze,
As buildings of doubt are set to raze.
He showed no grace with a grieving heart,
Relaxing his muscles to do his part,
His life starts with an open heart,
To the foibles of the world in a heavy cart.
The ashes with the winds are blowing,
Of all things dead and thoughts glowing,
Charred to the depths of the soul flowing,
The ashes are set in a handsome bowing.
The eyes of the passers ineffectively looked,
Going about their chores blindly hooked.
There isn’t the usual irritant beseechingly booked,
Inflicting his squint on their plans cooked.
If only I had known my problem then,
I would have reaped my fortune with added ken.
If only I had known my problem then,
I would have changed the place of my den.
The ocean of knowledge has sucked me in,
Tossing me about in a bid to desperately sin.
I experience the tossing in mind akin,
Outdoing the tossing in the oceanic din.
Titanic doubts were cast on me,
Whether I could swim or pretend to be,
Or dance to the sounds of melancholy,
The virus was spreading pandemically free.
Is greatness a choice for us to leveragingly keep?
Hidden in inhibited fear to benignly seek,
When weakness is all there is to seep,
Given the dormant potential so ineffably deep.
The voices keep prodding me to start,
Is it too late to do myself apart?
Re-discovering form in a deadly dart,
To hit my target with all my part.
Perched at the bus stand my musings stood,
Halting its impulsive train on the mundane wood.
The trees sang in organic harmony with their heavy hood,
Dropping flowers of all colours like they ne’er would.
My journey hasn’t started but I hummed along,
Communing with Nature travelling a furlong.
My bus misses my travels strumming a different song,
While it uses a frequency of a stronger prong.
My heartbeat sounded from a melodious tine,
Following the tune of my mind’s whining pine.
A harmonious body and mind to suavely align,
With the forces of nature for a heady trine,
Changes in tune have a marked impact,
As sounds in the rush and swirl sway to distract.
There is an association to time that’s vaguely abstract,
Stifling the connection we’re given to protract.
The beauty of Nature is on an ethereal plane,
The mechanical works are in a rugged lane,
Sorting the two out decides our temporal vane,
With a measured tread to keep our vein.
The smell of rain has dawned upon,
The flowers are ready to blossom yon,
Time has stilled on in a somber foregone,
The break of dawn is cracking into morn.
Light spreads on our petals as we glow,
Resonating with nature as we go with the flow,
A tranquil blessing while we start to grow,
And breathe life into the seeds we sow.
We stop our journey on the ladder of success,
And observe the veil of what we possess,
Caressing the art that we’ve carried to assess,
Musing upon what we cannot access.
An artist would look at his stark contrast,
Stalling creation as he takes a repast,
Thinking about the world he’s wants to go past,
In a ship driven by his creative mast.
Nature’s beats go on as before,
A pause is what we would like to have more,
To dream of casts and carve them to store,
Fulfilling our dreams as we head to the shore.
Awarded ‘Poem of the Week’ at Jingle Poetry for this entry: Stilling Journey
The people from Sparta are wishing to slay,
And score a hatrick of victories with much to say,
They hoist their flags of joy in prepared hay,
Bustling into their strides to force their way.
Mammoths are looking to make a massive change,
To trample any team that sizes them to range,
In a lazy eloquence that’s fantastically strange,
They wield their might with stakes to re-arrange.
The Warriors have it in them to gallantly fight,
Shooting arrows of victory to stamp their might,
And proclaim their worth on a fearsome kite,
Tactics of war are their forte and no one’s taking them light.
Dragons are breathing fire like never,
Adding fuel to their plans to smoke others forever,
They’re fierce and strong and also raveningly clever,
Watch out for a battle with a unique flavour.
The Romans would look to do it best at home,
Expanding their empire as they build their dome,
They’re afflicted with quite a warring syndrome,
To vanquish their opponents in a crumbling comb.
Trojans are looking for a kingdom to defeat,
And scale the walls with all their feat,
They look to crush the teams like minced meat,
Coming out on top is an arduous task to meet.
Sultans are raring to go on a fight of authority,
Showing strengths of courage with touches of audacity,
A sultanate of power for the world in generosity,
To conquer it all with a wave of ferocity.
Mongols have a way of effectively tackling,
As their schemes are known to be utterly baffling,
The art of scoring is what causes much rattling,
To win their art of war is what leaves everyone battling.
But the players aren’t willing to revel in the suspense.
There’s many a tide that makes hardly any sense,
Taken at many a flood viewed through a deeper lens.
The placid waters have taken a notorious turn,
As we drink in the drops in our attempt to learn,
What lies beyond the ocean we tend to discern,
Is an eternal drama uncovering plenty of urn.
The fun of it all is in the judgments of art we take,
To confuse plotted journeys for reality’s sake,
There ain’t a mask we’re ready to make,
Dripping with abundant emotion to make a deserted lake.
When Naturalism plots a plot-less path of laze,
Romanticism entwines it to form a startling maze,
Burdening our mind in a scurrying trauma of craze,
And blowing the cobwebs in a frenzy to amaze.
The choices we make have a massive stake,
As our lives leap in flight in the closing wake,
And dance to the romance of a terrifying make,
As Romanticism cuts the cake we’ve set to bake.
Destiny’s shape has taken on a darker twist,
As it’s now covered in glory in a heavy mist.
‘Twas not hitherto defined in my weirdest list,
But my life is now dotted with bountiful tryst.
Published in ‘The Copperfield Review’:Kindling Romanticism
You tread my carelessly beaten path as I fall astray,
Blinded by the light that comes your way.
Your perishable existence has scads to say,
Even if your presence has nought to weigh.
I walk the boulevard of Life’s twilight as you march on,
Trapped in my identity as you’re trampled upon.
Your survival is engulfed when the luminescence is upon,
A glimmer of hope when the fountain of light is yon’.
In the light of darkness you shine : following me nigh,
Prying on me as we walk the lonely road by.
You map out my exterior slyly on the fly,
Stamping my creation on the face of this pie.
A faithful mimic with a course to chart,
Flourishing in the dark as you bring life to art,
Whereupon details are thrown in the cart,
When life meets art, counting not on a head-start.
Where shapes and figures sing songs of thy glory,
Some patterns seem to tell a different story,
A feeling of emptiness like the holes in tori,
As we melt into an association climbing many a storey.
The question is: Do you like the ubiquitous ‘like’? The facebook ‘like’ button has revolutionized the way we like all and sundry things. ‘Thumbs up’ seems to be the new thumb rule. It’s one thing to genuinely like something and want to establish a connection, it’s quite another to prove your love with a blithe click of a button. The ‘like’ phenomenon has thrown up interesting aspects about human nature; the end is often more important than the means. We like to like ends that can justify (nullify) the means and choose not to like the means that are a far cry from what we like but take us to the end we like, notwithstanding.
It brings me back to the question in question: How many of us have actually liked the ‘like’ button on facebook? Is it turning out to be an unlikely necessary evil? If popularity is anything to go by , the like button that enables us like various things has actually been liked fewer times than we would really have liked to like it. The realization may not have dawned or the fact that we don’t have to like something to use it frequently, has cast its imperious shadow.
While supporting the cause of infusing endorsements into the mainstream that’s up for grabs, the ‘like’ button has taken on a sense of ‘pro‘ness for community pages, eating into the shelves of a healthy consumerism. In some instances, indiscretion marries impertinence leading to sore encounters. The contention that a generally accepted bad thing can also be likeable goes to show that every single entity is put to the popularity test and stands a fair chance. Everything is likeable until proven otherwise through a report (facebook) and due action taken.
We grow in magnanimity of free-will as we learn to commend the real value of the virtual world and wield our lovable clicks to spread some love .It implicitly tells us that the extent of our love may vary but if you like something to even the least degree on your scale of ‘like-worthiness’, you might as well choose to like it. Upon which, you might be influenced to like it even more than you already like it (no, this doesn’t transform into virtual ‘love’) or hate the like that generated the hatred and ‘unlike’ it, as the case may be.
‘Likes’ have the potential of foisting on us a wide range of motley issues that keep us in the loop. It’s a propagation that pandemically creates and defines the bubble we concede to live in, as we rise up to the surface, engulfing the view we’ve established and in cases this bubble goes out of shape and finally bursts. This happens either because the spectrum of change has more combinations of colours than actually exist or simply due to the fact that the conscience of the bubble was pricked. If it’s human and discretionary to like, isn’t it by the same reasoning natural to dislike?
What could be the reasons indeed behind not having a standard button to dislike? There are some things we view with distaste for which we are entitled to express our earnest opinions, no? Like to dislike? There’s nothing much you can do about it, if only ironically ‘like’ the dislike button and hope to ring in a change to dislike!
Dislike to like? Passing a comment to express disapproval is permitted but creating a bubble of negativity that could be hazardous if and when it bursts is like setting the ball rolling and then losing control of the speed of change inflicted. It’s all very well to dislike a comment or status message that we declare unworthy of existing ,let alone being liked, but imagine the ramifications if it were applied to community pages or websites? A negative rating falling through the floor is the last thing owners would desire, even if it were the stark truth. When negative emotions are running high, keeping everyone’s best interests in mind, it was deemed necessary to sagaciously curb one’s urge to surge.
While likes have added fuel to the motor of our virtual life, we begin disliking the fact that despite liking some things to a greater degree than others, this isn’t reflected by the potent ‘like’. ‘Likes’ tell the world where our ‘interests’ lie (pun intended).It might not provide the complete picture without ‘dislikes’ and in some instances could be totally off the main course (and is best taken with a pinch of salt!) for inexplicable reasons. Like it or like the fact that you/someone else like(s) it? The former has a button that can be nonchalantly hit; the latter doesn’t and needs to be consumed.
You strike with a subliminal force that would defy,
Staring me in my face as you vividly imply,
‘Take me if thy soul quenches in a cry,
And melts with the agony of a fate so scorchingly dry’.
As the sands of time make patterns adrift,
You can change its path making inroads so swift,
Dealing blows to my mind in a gruelling rift,
That weighs down in turmoil with the impulsive shift.
I cede to the reins of my train of thought,
As tracks plot their journeys to change my lot,
I halt you dead in your track in a fearsome knot,
Adding fuel to my mind that seems fraught in a clot.
‘Twould need feline grace to fill my voids with lace,
Lest I miss my chance by a whisker of space,
A hair’s breadth counts in almost ev’ry race,
As my mind craves for space at a better pace.
Ev’ry dot speaks to create a bigger picture,
I thus train my mind in a valiant fit of composure,
Connecting dots that would define the breadth of my future,
With a monumental frame that would complete the picture.
Published in ‘The Copperfield Review’:Motioning Destiny
Work was all that shimmered beside,
Until the lay of the land was knocked aside.
We can get by if we balance on Life bestride,
Our place of work has tilted to a contrasting side.
Some chose to be the men that matter,
Directing men and women that were inclined to scatter,
On a journey full of pluck for the weaker latter,
Electing life over death engaging in many a chatter.
A novel this gripping can be only so whetting,
Until an ant-climax can effect a turn of setting.
Some went about the drill with a lot of fretting,
Exposing themselves to the artificial netting.
A tide of imaginary fire has taken us by storm,
Testing the water as we are shaken smoky in form,
Adding smokeless schemes to our ocean to slay the corm,
And douse the flames entangling the fabric of our dorm.
Kindling an interest might obviate being kindled,
It was never a storm in a teacup that’s got one all rattled,
Fanning the flames of many a smouldering ego loath to be fondled;
‘Tis the winds of change that can now be blown, smothered and better handled.
Submitted to One Shot Wednesday:
An anniversary is a time to cherish,
Savour two lives with hardly a blemish.
Thirty is more than just a number,
As it best represents a house well in order.
Anniversaries are but cursory,
As time becomes an adversary,
We view enchantingly from the periphery,
Two endearing lives so celebratory.
What they stand for we strive to aim.
When fame is the name of the game,
Compromise not on your values to make a name,
For it would eventually cost you your game.
When love calls for a celebration,
A partnership of trust has no better potion,
With a mixture of tolerance, tenacity and dedication,
For 30 years and more, to set things in motion.
Let’s assume photography and mirrors didn’t see the light of day. Would appearances then be mirrored by public opinion of oneself or does deception arise out of a lack of perception? Is ‘seeing’ really ‘believing’? Mirrors document this best as they have a way of taking us on a journey of reflections, creating multiple identities as we are arrested by forces of egotistical fancy. It helps us connect with ourselves in a way that no artist can hope to achieve as we intimately romance ourselves, give in to superficiality and embrace the reality that confronts us rather than be in conflict between the truth and what’s advertised. The fairer sex has bonded with mirrors to depths that cannot be reflected even by the most reflective mirror!
Mirrors come in different shapes, forms and sizes. Flatteringly deceptive, some are aesthetically created with tints and angles to provide angled views and stories. Keeping it plain and simple, let’s focus on the plane mirror. We look at it as it looks back at us, sizing us up and giving an honest reflection of what we really are, maintaining transparency between the object and image, unless of course we’re living in the world of “Mirrors” or any other horror flick, where we’re trapped in our own reflection and there’s more to mirrors than meets the eye!
We throw light on the mirror and expect it, in turn to throw some light on our features, noteworthy or otherwise. We observe the image of our ego in the eyes of the world, appreciate our beauty for what it’s worth and enhance the object cosmetically to alter the image in contrast to a digitally doctored image that has little influence on the object. We aim at setting the stage to face the world through our image (other self, alter ego) and communicate with ourselves in a bid to make our ego a stiff competitor with our alter ego, expressing ourselves with as much artistic freedom as we desire, enacting roles detachedly as we watch our alter egos vividly take centre stage. It’s a vicarious thrill of taking in the perceived object, only in this case it’s on a very personal level.
The charm of the mirror has long been its capacity to expand our boundaries of vision. Its power is reflected in the ability to focus otherwise hidden areas within our field of vision by appropriate angling. Concave and convex mirrors bring to light, darker or lighter details. Cylindrical and paraboloidal mirrors add more colour to the detail. Two-way mirrors, by virtue of invariably representing life on either side have been cinematic for the darker side!
While artists and photographers seek to create and recreate elements by adding touches of brilliance to stimulate us, mirrors represent art in the purest form. It captures the pristine glory of images blending into each other in seamless photographic harmony and we are ensnared by art and life imitating each other, swaying to the whims of our imagination as we fancy ourselves on the world stage. We test the water and check whether the reflection carried is ripple-free!
Perhaps technology would find a way for mirrors to be designed to reflect more than just what we see now and put us to the moment of truth, revealing our character as well.”Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? ” would then, take on a lot more significance in assessing fairness in all respects! There would be intense competition with character-building being the order of the day as points are scored for fair-play and what better inspiration than to get publicity for it! It would detract people with sordid pasts who will realize they’d have to make quick amends or be scarred for life. Would it make the world a better place? Fear would certainly be planted as now there’s more to mirrors than meets the eye!
I’m consigned to a world of my own,
Other characters standing mightily alone,
“Have I skipped a beat”, I ask my clone,
I’m resigned to be prone to a different zone.
Situations fold and unfold to a varying sew,
I thread wherethro’ with hardly a clue,
Normalcy appears to have many a skew,
Shrouded with the surreal and the mundane hue.
The world changes with a passing fright,
Beckoning me with all its fanciful might,
As reality is distorted with frightening sleight,
We are pushed to the edge to take the flight.
When awareness crosses its tantalising brink,
Our lives dance to the predestined link,
Conjuring untrammelled without a blink,
As lives are transformed in barely a wink.
A bearing so trivial yet an effect so believable,
A sense of realness yet containing the inconceivable,
I brace myself, losing control to your enticing label,
And wake up with a start as I destroy your cable.
Published in ‘The Copperfield Review’:Wide Awake
I would begin by saying that lately I’ve had a bee in my bonnet about all things that begin with and contain the near syllable of ‘be ’. So, it behoves me not to tread a beaten path and let things ‘be’ .To bee or not to bee? Certainly, to bee! The bee, far from being belittled, would be the befitting be, so to speak. The bee’s drawl only epitomizes its keen sense of belonging to the class of ‘bes’ by setting high social and industrial standards. When one is besotted with the task of playing beekeeper, it would only be natural for it to create a buzz of excitement. I’m being in the thick of things yet walking on thin ice!
Without beating about the bush, it would only be becoming of me to begin with a “be-ginning”. It signals the start and end of things without so much as what comes in between. When something is the be-all and end-all, one’s bespectacled vision betrays one’s beloved belief. In matters of high spirits, the bean bag is hardly anything to go by when one is full of beans! At a beanfeast or beano, if anything, bean curd would be preferred to bean sprouts or bean stalks. When one is besmirched, one’s image could take a beating. A beefeater is a guard at The Tower of London, who for all you know, could be a vegetarian.
When one uses a belay, one believes it would be their beacon of guidance and support, wishing nothing belies that belief. A benighted beatnik with a bezoar would dance to the sound of bebop while listening to “Begin the Beguine” on a beat-box! A benumbed beadle, on the other hand, would not let the begirded bezoar becloud his being and treats it betimes to ensure it is begone! Begrimed, bestrewn betel nuts, besmeared with mud are bedewed with water so that mud from the bedaubed nuts would be gone with the effect of besprinkling in order not to befoul them. If one is already bemused, beware of the drone of be(e)s to follow !
When capital punishment was the order of the day, woe betide the person who would be beheaded if he didn’t behave! The bereaved would then bewail the loss and bequeath a legacy at his behest, even as they’re left bereft. Regardless of the bequest, some would be bestirred into action and berate the beastly authority involved. The beleaguered behemoth authority would then behead more or be beheaded (as the case may be).
Back in the day, when a famous magician came to Beijing, people would make a beeline to be beguiled by his bewitching acts. He beefs it up by bestriding a befriended horse, makes a few gestures and lo and behold, turns it into a beaver! What became of the horse? The beady-eyed audience tries to beat its brains in bewilderment as it’s beside itself with awe! They bestow him with smiles and honours. He would feel beatitude like never before as he imagines himself beatified.
A young lady would be besotted, in a heartbeat, to a benign man and get betrothed to become his ‘Biwi-to-be’. She would later realize that she was befooled and what was benign before is not to be! She learns that love doesn’t always beget love and is beset with problems beyond belief. Bedevilled and unwilling to be beholden to him, she beats a retreat and tries to put the past behind her, unaware of the fate that would befall her.
At a party near a beach, a hall bedecked with begonias would await bedizened and besuited guests. A beachcomber would obstruct people in beachwear playing with a beachball that takes a course to destroy the beaverboard. A maid would clumsily wield her besom, to bespatter the beetroot juice on her gown, kept beneath the beech-wood stool. The bejewelled host beats the clock, works behind the scenes, avoids being behindhand and bedazzles one and all with her beatific smile. Beefsteaks and beefburgers are gobbled by beefy people. Some guests would come on behalf of others. Some would speak behind her back. Some would bemoan not having been invited while others would gatecrash. Few others would offer a belated greeting.
On a hot day, when the sun is beating down and fair-weather is betokened, students begrudgingly betake themselves to a chemistry class. The mild teacher beseeches them to pay attention and belabours the point not realizing that for the class her lessons are beside the point! She uses a beaker for demonstration but the class has sights set on other beaked creatures outside. When it’s their turn, they are befuddled and their methods are off-beam. Beads of sweat become evident as she packs them off with their belongings to the beetle-infested chamber below to be besieged by bewigged Beelzebubs who would beat the bejesus out of them.
If one is befogged by the number of ‘bes’ it’s only the beginning of the end of the drone of my bees that’s been very unbecoming! Just as a bean counter would exercise budgetary control, high time I learnt to manage my ‘bes’. My so-called beneficent beehive comprises ‘bes’ that generally take one avatar and would typically entice more ‘bes’ in time. With the old ‘bes’ having joined the party, time will come when the newb(ie)s start creating a buzz!
Being a beekeeper is proving not to bee! Bedraggled, I take off my beanie and wish to be on a ship becalmed for days on end. Be that as it may, I become aware of a beagle crossing the road, nearly missing a beat-up truck. I check out the beta-version of my friend’s bespoke software and realize that I must have forgotten something, because it went ‘beep’!
One emoticon that has thrived under all circumstances -the smiley:-),has certainly stolen a march (or smile:-)) on its counterparts! While other emoticons are, in the main situation-specific,smileys in the abstract are liberally scattered with abandon .The apparently innocuous smiley has an interesting history, with some countries having had it as a registered trademark! One could break the ice, in a trice, at its price! It’s likened to brand equity.”Smile(y) and the world buys into you!” seems to be the norm at playing the market. It’s an effective tool in one’s repertoire and when used with some degree of discretion, is every smooth operator’s recipe for positive reinforcement.
Having said that, has this brand equity taken a hit? Does the number of smileys truly represent the general air of positivity? If so, do smileys, by reciprocity, contribute to more smiles and foster an enhanced sense of goodness around, by the thumb rule of ‘The Secret’?Or is it, more often than not, sparked by a negative environment and surfaces as a ‘Black Swan’? In the latter case, most of us would have to incur a revision of belief! While the situation is unpredictable at best, most of us fall prey to the smiley syndrome! Can we answer this question with certitude: Is a message with undertones of seriousness,obfuscated or accentuated with the use of smileys?:-):-)
I tried to decipher the message from a certain person I’d just befriended. He was the impassive kind, whose smiles seemed miles away! ”Have you seen Dr. Bansilal in the department?:-):-):-):-)”.No kidding, 4 smileys thrown in for good measure! I bemusedly tried to fathom whether it was the mere thought of Bansilal, the person’s mood, conceiving Bansilal being with yours truly, and so on and so forth, that elicited the smiles. My pre-occupation got the better of me as 5 kms to the destination took less time than I could have imagined! I was later led to understand that he was an inveterate and prolific non-smiling smiley generator! Regardless of whether I’d have gone through the motions with the same celerity, sans the smileys, I was certainly playing into his smiles (illusory, of course).
The smiley serves to connote a sense of purpose by its innate nature of positivity. It seeks to win you over with a radiance that ineffably beams on you, and the notion of “All’s well with the world:-)”dawns. On the other hand, unabashedly going overboard the smiley way in tricky spots may not always be taken in a lighter vein and could breed indifference/contempt as it can be as provocative as it is evocative! Interject smileys in touchy areas and one could get into hot water, giving way to other emoticons! A feeling of,more or less, less is more, takes over.
Some people associate smileys with vulnerability, that’s best dished out to a reserved (pun intended) table. Some prefer exclamations to make proclamations and declarations. Some others try their hand at other faces to suit their phase. Others lay emphasis on only the crux and feel it’s best conveyed without the rest.
A smiley once in a while may take you many a mile, but make sure you do justice to hit the right notes and not,with a vengeance, vitiate the beauty of an emoticon that can at the very least be smiled at:-).If your smile is not as broad as that of your smiley’s, take a moment to discover if you’re not the only one smiling! A tribute to all the non-smiling smiley churners and smiling non-smile(y)ing perpetrators, where the intersection of their set of smileys and that of associated smiles is a null one:-)!
A sense of fulfillment comes from a concerted and whole-hearted endeavour regardless of the end result. It could be argued that Man rides on his success irrespective of the spirit in which he’s played the game. In my view, although the outcome plays a role, if one is secure in the belief of having given off one’s best, having thoroughly enjoyed the journey, a failure wouldn’t be as disheartening as not having participated at all.
Evading an activity for fear of failure is detrimental and hampers progress. Failure is success turned inside out and must be taken in one’s stride to try and learn from one’s mistakes and not repeat them in future. Thomas Alva Edison, the great inventor with over 1000 patents to his name, when asked what he thought of his numerous failures replied calmly, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.
Today, competition is rife and one is often scorned at for not pulling off a victory or failing in a venture. This can be really demoralizing leading the person to believe he’s not equal to the task at hand and make him contemplative when confronted with one in future. Jeers, taunts and the fear of failure hold one back from giving something a try, let alone putting one’s best foot forward. This kind of mindset spells doom, to say the least. Without any experience, mistakes that can be obviated are repeated ad-nauseum.Exploring new avenues give us insight and make us better equipped in tackling similar tasks with confidence. On the other hand, if one shirks from a task, he loses out in the long run as this attitude militates against success.
In Sports too, the ones who have made a mark and succeeded at the highest level have tasted defeat many a time. This hasn’t deterred them from realizing their dreams and carving a niche for themselves. They have, in fact, been made mentally stronger to cope with tricky situations unprecedentedly as they have been humbled and this has taught them valuable lessons along the way. Introspection and ironing out one’s flaws in the process is how a failure is meant to bring out the best in a person.
Winners and leaders from all walks of life have experienced failures but what sets them apart from the herd is their attitude of bouncing back from these defeats, committing themselves over and over again and pursuing their goals with all the ability given to them, armed with the knowledge the past encounters have afforded. They are impervious to criticism and never stop trying at any cost and against all odds. Their persistence has paid rich dividends and this ‘Never Say Die’ attitude puts them on a pedestal and will stand them in good stead.