SUSHANT SINGH RAJPUT… An Ephemeral Creature Of Transient Times…

Sushant Singh Rajput… A brilliant star in quest of stars, now in a galaxy faraway. 

His last thoughts (?) in my words:

An ephemeral creature of transient times…

I lived in the world of soulful quiet;

Firefly of the future, my soul found wings…

In life lost and stars-kissed light.

                 Words echoing from my deepest depths…

                 I owe to those who took my breath away;

                Living now, now dead…

                Neither regret, nor rejoice, nothing to say.

 Nothing like forever old and forever new…

For not in moments, in memories I live;

Born to die and born yet again…

Nothing to forget, yet nothing to believe.

              Past a beautiful lie, Present was existential angst…

              Future but an agonized quest;

             Scorched soul sitting on pierced wings…

             Flies me to distant shores- dark, day, or twilight.

 Nano particle in the void of time n space…

Infinity ensconced in a fleeting second;

Effervescent, enchanting, exhilarating…

Yet, in palm, are life n times ever held?

              An ephemeral creature of transient times…

             I lived in the world of soulful quiet;

            Firefly of the future, my soul found wings…

            In life lost and stars-kissed light.

Note: I wrote this poem in January this year. Didn’t know my words will echo the life and times of Sushant- a brilliant star, his astronomical quests, and perhaps his thoughts and emotions just before his journey to the faraway galaxy.

When Some we appreciate, Some self-depreciate.

WHEN SOME WE APPRECIATE, SOME SELF-DEPRECIATE.

IS IT THE LOUSY FEELING I CALL ‘GUILOUSY’?

 Under the shower I was seized with an uncomfortable thought- should we refrain from praising some, because some other wise ones take it otherwise? They don’t express it, but the sulking and ruing are in the air; we feel their absent presence… like ghosts.

They feel slighted merely because some one else is delighted. Desperate, they love praise heaped upon themselves, even if undeserved; but recoil in jealousy, if not horror, when someone else is applauded, particularly when that someone is close or known.

Is it inferiority complex? Or guilt? Or jealousy?

Or is it guilt-jealousy combo…the lousy feeling I call ‘Guilousy’?

But how to assuage their hurt? Their deeds or lack of them are so awesome, one can’t voice admiration…for the mouth is agape in astonishment. : )

                      chimpanzee pic: pixabay.com

Silent Musings of Solitude… Being More Human, More Humane & No One But Myself.

I had slowly slumped into sweet slumber in solitude’s shadow; now rising, I see subtle changes in my soaring spirit and style…in ever so nuanced thoughts, feelings, and perceptions.

Confined in shrunken spaces, I have found soul’s landscape is vast and expands forever. Sitting in solitude, I have looked at myself…barebones and naked. I was never a saint and will never be; but feel more evolved, when less involved. Oh, I am changing… and how; yet never, though short-changed time and again.

Now I have more of many that were less, and less of some which were more.

 Now I laugh often, cry frequently, complain little, speak less, love much more and am hurt easily. I am writing a bit and reading quite a bit; I rest more in the arms of music, lose myself completely in the lap of nature, and play plenty with my thoughts. I have always had love affairs with these stunning beauties, now I lust.

Full of faults and failures, but with less of presumptions and prejudices, I am now able to judge less and understand more. Now I search less for motives, and look more for compulsions behind behaviours. I suspect I am growing, but am sure about my ego….it is not.

I am now more at peace being less cynical, less critical; and happier being more content, more accepting of myself and others…as I am and as they are…with idiosyncrasies and imperfections, wrinkles and warts. Now I am better at tolerating the rituals I hate, braggadocio that I despise, and stupidity which I abhor; but I still shun sham, shrew and sarcasm with contempt and disgust.

I have now forgiven those who betrayed me, though can never forget their treachery; for, the tormenting wounds run deep and traumatising scars remain perpetually raw. And my memories reside within me forever, for my soul sucks and soaks deep…every bit, every drop, every ounce…be it nectar, be it poison.

Now I understand it is not necessary to have all the knowledge in the world, it is fine to possess less, and it is OK to stand second or third or even last in life’s lines. But I also realize it is awesome to love and be loved, it is indispensable to have integrity, and imperative not to break the trust…ever.

I had never found fault with frugality, now I see abundance in it; yet paradoxically, the hedonist in me constantly seeks the small little pleasures life has on offer.

I had always missed my family and friends, now I appreciate nothing and no one is more important. Feelings are heavy and moist remembering those in the family I have lost, and light and joyous thinking of those I have; and the naughty twinkle in my eyes now shines brighter at the slightest prospect of back-slapping bonhomie over beer with my friends. I hug unabashedly in my thoughts, those whom I love but dare not reveal; and I hug openly with my eyes and arms all those whom I love and can flaunt.

Now deep within I know it does not matter to miss out on many, but how important it is to hold on to a few who matter; and even as I extract more from life, I now give more of myself to such men and women.

I hear my thoughts echoing in these beautiful words of Pablo Neruda:

“…And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song — but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human….”

As my wondering thoughts trot into wandering feelings flowing into whispering words, I fathom:

My eyes were wide shut, but now I See…

I am more human, more humane, and no one but myself;

As I give more life to time and more time to life.

Picture: Keegan Houser/Unsplash.com                Self Portrait

When Good is Bad.

We can face the world, but it is difficult to face ourselves. Solitude compels us to look within. It brings us face to face with our ugly self; and forces us to vividly recall the injuries we have inflicted upon many including our close ones, and our unfairness in many a relationships born out of  selfishness, presumption, ego and  arrogance. Our soul knows us well, we can’t lie to it.

Selfishness invents justifications; integrity, empathy, and understanding do not need crutches of justification.

And within us, there is a kind of selfishness which lurks and masquerades as selflessness. Even while thinking for the good of our children, spouse, parents…we think from our angle…we look at their well-being through the prism of our own pleasure, our joy…not from the lens of their space, their feelings. If I am being kind, I do not realize that perhaps I am being unkind. If I am truthful, I don’t realize that truth also hurts. When I am trying to be righteous and upright in correcting others, it doesn’t occur to me that being so very correct is sometimes incorrect. We want to see the image of their happiness in our mirror, and the picture is always blurred. Many a times we try to be good for the selfish reason of feeling good, but is it really doing any good?

We forget the individual identities; that the fist is one, but fingers, though joined together at the base, are still separate; that at the very basic level, persons, persona, personalities and perceptions are all different.

Due to misplaced love and kindness, we grown-ups unconsciously tend to control…be it our adult children or our elderly parents. We try to decide what is good for them, and we preach and specify the ‘dos and don’ts’. Whereas our ‘for their own good’ instructions to children alienate them; the ‘kindly limits’ we set around our parents sometimes compromise their dignity, trample upon their feelings and sense of independence, and end up manipulating them.

Should we be so helpful to our grown-up children and our elders that they look helpless and feel hopeless? But we put them either in nappies or on pedestals. Needed or not, we constantly provide crutches.

We try to control (even if unconsciously and benevolently) because we have the arrogance to assume that we know better. Ceding this control sets everyone free, and there is nothing more beautiful than the sense of freedom.

Lifelong we don’t cease to parent children, and we parent our parents too. Grown-ups want to make their own decisions, at least some of those decisions. No one likes being coerced into a situation or an act. We need to be sensitive to their sense of shame and embarrassment arising out of unwanted dependence. What is needed is understanding and empathy, not control or sympathy. We are sensitive to what we want for them, but not to what they want for themselves.  

By doing away with parents’ responsibilities in totality (in order to give them so called ‘peace of mind’), we also snatch away their involvement and authority…be it personal, financial or pertaining to the family…making them redundant. There is nothing worse than being consigned to irrelevance.

So, let them be….so they can be themselves…in their space…with their identity and their perspective.

And let’s ask, not assume. For, there is no absolute in life. There is right and there is wrong, and in between are the doors of perception. And perceptions differ.

Photo Credit: Old Couple: wonsung.jang; 4 persons: Dimitri Houtteman (unsplash.com)

“Eternally She Lives, Forever She Dies.”

“Gujaarish” (meaning ‘Request’) is an Indian movie masterpiece starring Ash and Rithik, and the cigarette smoking scene in the speeding car vividly paints the agonies and ecstasies of their relationship. I have tried to capture these contours and “breaking free moments” in my poem: 

“Eternally She Lives, Forever She Dies.”

-Intimately, she lit a cigarette between my lips…

Tendering tiny tendrils of life, never yet lived,

Passionately, over precious puffs she lingered…

Her parched soul too, by life, lusted to be kissed.

-With yearning eyes, primal passions she ignited…

With tempting touch, forbidden fantasies she lighted,

Her scent so intoxicating, languorous life I inhaled…

Her silence so seductive, infernal inhibitions I exhaled.

-Wind in the hair and longings in the heart…

Desire daredevil, euphoric like a prancing dart,

Luring labyrinth mysterious! Whispering wishes run amok…

donning dancing hooves, waltz like wanton wants. 

-Snatching lifetime, for an instant from time’s grip…

Extracting every ounce, its sweet nectar insatiably we sip,

Intoxicating love, nuanced yet intense…

Scorch our spirits, souls, sanity and sense.

-Tentalizing touch of her fingertips to cigarette my quivering lips…

Stir memories of our tempestuous times and trials under veils,

Soon to fade away with the drifting smoke…

 Poignant reminder of life unfulfilled, a cruel joke.

-I was destined to be wasted, and she by design…

She gave me all of her, and much more to align,

Transient time tethered, stood still for some time…

Sanguine souls fused forever, but bereft bodies pine.

-What is she to me: a mother, a lover, a sister, a friend ?

Undefined relationship, ensconced in feelings unexplained,

Agonizing and exhilarating, is our unspoken bond…

Unfathomable! It’s much more…above, deep and beyond.

-I was Sisyphus! Struggling to claim what was not to be…

Now I surrender, for life chose not to be in me,

She insane in her fight, I triumphant in my defeat…

In this tragedy, there was nothing to win and none to beat.

-My life is her liberation, and death my freedom…

Right or wrong, in the twilight of finality who can fathom,

As I say goodbye, my death she wants to defy…

But death is the ugly truth, life but a beautiful lie.

-Life lifeless we lived, yet clinging to the magnificent moment…

My existence is her life, our parting her torment,

In death’s shadow, imprisoned and intertwined are our lives…

Within me, eternally she lives! With me, forever she dies!

 

Disclaimer: I am not aware whether I am violating any copyright by posting these pics. I have no intention of piracy and have posted these pics only to make my poem come alive. I am prepared to remove these pics if the copyright owners (if any) so wish. Thanks

Solitude of Social Distancing

Due to the prevailing norms of social distancing, people are suffering from isolation anxiety and fear of solitude. In this context, following extracts from Pablo Neruda’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech are enlightening:

“There is no insurmountable solitude. All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. And we must pass through solitude and difficulty, isolation and silence in order to reach forth to the enchanted place where we can dance our clumsy dance and sing our sorrowful song — but in this dance or in this song there are fulfilled the most ancient rites of our conscience in the awareness of being human and of believing in a common destiny…

Our original guiding stars are struggle and hope. But there is no such thing as a lone struggle, no such thing as a lone hope. In every human being are combined the most distant epochs, passivity, mistakes, sufferings, the pressing urgencies of our own time, the pace of history.”

sunset-1207326_1280

Friends, Not Lovers !

Relatively speaking, all relationships except love and friendship are governed by legal, social, religious, economic or political sanctions.  Friendship and love have no written or unwritten contract (lawyers are too expensive). However, friendship flows naturally (despite unnatural tendencies in some), whereas love has compulsions (of unmentionable benefits). Let’s juxtapose these relationships:

In a love relationship, we love, sacrifice and give (do we have any options), but we also consciously or unconsciously presume, demand and take for granted (our birth-rights). In love, we care and cuddle (hoping quid pro quo), but at times we are mean and jealous (genetic predispositions), and subtly or not so subtly pressurise and control (natural instincts). Friends do not compare, compete or complain, nor do they expect, exasperate or exacerbate (who will let them without a contract).

A lover can leave one and take two, but you don’t discard a friend in favour of another. Either one is a friend, or one is not. In love the joining date may be blurred on the postcard from the past, but the termination letter is clearly and neatly dated. Friendship is neither by appointment nor is there any expiry printed on it. Oscar Wilde is succinct “Friendship is far more tragic than love. It lasts longer”.

I can indulge with friends five or fifty, but can’t eat, drink or dance with lovers two or twenty without having my skull split open on all sides. Can you imagine back-slapping bonhomie among your past, present and future lovers? As Nietzsche said “Love is blind. Friendship closes its eyes”. If I may philosophise further: falling in love blindly is an eye opener, and friendship is an open and shut case.

As friends we are at our unhindered best… nice, naked and naughty…perfect partners in peccadilloes. With friends we can let our hair down yet keep the chins up. Borrowing from Robert Bloch, friendship is like pee in the pants; everyone can see it, but only we can feel the warm tingling sensation inside.

Yes, friends are sometimes pain- in- the- ass, but never hemorrhoids.

I will take my lover (yours too if you like) as my friend anytime, but not vice versa.

(This is written in good humour and not to belittle any relationship)

Still !

Still I am…

And distill my stillness still,

Some substance and residue plenty to fill…

Yet, in stillness how I distill;

                    Here, there, wherever…

                    I wonder, I wander everywhere,

                    Neither satiated nor had my kill…

                    Yet I am so still;

Fleeting  memories fill times bygone…

Fluttering thoughts find future untold,

Aloft near or beyond the distant hill…

Asunder, yet so close, It’s love or fear you instill ?

                    Stoic and neurotic, heroic and meek…

                    I am resilient, I am weak,

                    What couldn’t be, was not to be…

                    In the remnant you, what do I seek ?

Still I am…

And distill my stillness still,

Some substance and residue plenty to fill…

Yet, in stillness how I distill !

WHEN FATHER DEPARTS !

Dreams and memories of father waft into my nights like puffy clouds… sobbing memories, crying dreams… descending in hordes. Memories which keep me awake; Dreams pulsating and alive; Emotions overwhelming n choking. Memories of his infectious laughter, his magical touch and that naughty twinkle in his eyes… memories which beckon, dreams which whisper… tiny tendrils of tender thoughts… maudlin eyes tired of crying at times, but remembrance always wet…

With age he mellowed and sparkled like a fine vintage wine, yet father was a child. Innocent in his maturity and playful in his seriousness, he kept the child within around too. Father was full of life and gave so much of himself and his love. He didn’t preach goodness, but showed it in his methods n manners. Fond of small little pleasures, and with impeccable taste for finer things, he was neither greedy nor a hoarder, nor was he casual in his words, approach and life-style.

Father gave his best and looked for the best in others. He stood tall but never made one feel small. He appreciated all that is good and beautiful and left the world a little better. So very humane, father was among a few good men, a rare breed. He lived and died on his own terms… with dignity and grace, and in his own inimitable style! I grieve that he is no more, but am thankful that he was.

My unspoken bonding with father was such that there was little to be said between two of us. His silence was eloquent, eyes spoke volumes, and his smile or a raised eyebrow conveyed it all. Feelings ran deep and our understanding grew without trying. I wish I had held his hand more often and little longer; I wish I had hugged him whenever and wherever and for no reason; I wish I had sat by his side silently watching the sunset, sun or no sun; I wish I had stolen more of his mornings, afternoons and evenings; I wish I had drunk and devoured more of him… oh, how I wish!

Father went away, but will always be with me. He lives in my laughter and cries, in my joys and sorrows, in my sky and universe, in my days and nights. He lives in my thoughts, my emotions, my feelings. He lives in my breaths, my memories and my moments. I bask in the warmth of his love, I shine in his reflected glory.

After he departed, people thus console and counsel: life goes on as it keeps flowing like a river. But as Heraclitus said, no man enters the same river again…for it is not the same river and he is no longer the same man.

Sri HCS Photograph