The Road Taken

 

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The long snaking road

twists and turns through

into the silhouetted horizon.

 

Its sure leads somewhere.

Just because it is there

it need must.

 

As does it lead from some.

To go to one, one

need leave from the other.

 

One may tread on it

to go to there,

where he has a purpose.

 

Or, one may tread on it

to leave from here,

where he likes it not.

 

Or, one may tread on it

to just tread upon,

for there’s a road there.

 

Amongst many, some are long,

some short, while some

only gravel and weed.

 

All roads are good, all’s well

all that one need concern

is one that suites self.

 

Its not easy, though

this walk, or the run,

through upon.

 

It takes some courage,

and insight

to leave this here.

 

It takes resilience,

and strength

to walk on & on upon.

 

And miss not to dream

that brave dream

the there that’s to reach.

 

The walks long, lonely

Why not have company?

A fellow to walk along.

 

A companion, the mate,

be it friend, family or love

to keep charm and cheer,

 

For the walks long.

Though many entries

and exists exist, the walks long.

 

Thus, why not love, all four

the road, the there, the companion

and of course, the self.

 

Though it doesn’t make

much sense, this love,

it sure does mean a lot.

 

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Flint, but the coin…!

015_free-autumn-swirl-vector-lThe crisp rays of Sun, sprinkled through the pink shades of window-still onto me, still in my cosy bed. I woke up with a smile, and felt a sweet bounciness in my heart. Today I would get to meet Flint, the warm, the handsome and the accomplished Flint.

The first time we met was 8 years ago, a week into our 1st year MBBS course. This was followed by 5 memorable years, beginning with chance encounters, followed by exchanging pleasantries, coffees at canteen, outings with friends, home-visits and the pure sense of merriment and fun that these instances would bequeath.

Then MBBS came to a close. The 5 long years came to an end inspite of my prayers for them to stay for ever so that my coffees with Flint wouldn’t end. But the dreadful day came. We went up-stage, and took oath of a dedicated Doctor.

Flint and me met for a farewell cup of coffee. Though we visibly enjoyed each others company, we never confided our emotion towards the other. I was rather afraid. The studious Flint, always with a pen in one hand, note-pad in other and a big question mark on his face, was more fun than he took credit for. He would look into nothingness and scribble an answer, clearing his face, only to have it occupied with another question-mark.

And he would never tire of speaking on science. But it is also true that a more witful, funny and frank person is yet to be born. Give him a hint that you are tired of studies and he will stuff you with jokes that would lift you off your shoes.

But then, there always was this enigma surrounding his being, an unspoken mystery. I often asked but he would never say, and I rather pray it’s not a girl!

Anyway, the last meeting, three years from now, on Grad. Day, at coffee shop, Flint took my hand, looked into my eyes and after an initial hesitation said, “ Though I would choose not to, I suppose, I would rather miss you.” And he left before I could make a response. Was he feeling difficult to contain his emotions. Maybe, or was he really?

Then he moved to Australia to work on Stem Cells and I went to US to do my PG in neurosurgery. It was by pure chance that we found the other in town, our hometown through mutual friends. We had spoken little during the intervening 3 years and I was more than enthusiastic to be beside Flint again and chat over a cup of coffee.

Coffee-2-cupsI went to Café Coffee Day well 15 minutes in advance only to see Flint already there, sitting sporting a blue jeans, my favourite colour, a stripped shirt, light in shade, and neatly cropped hair. His glasses rested as usual down at the lower end of his nose. He had his chin rested over the palms with elbows supported on the table, had his eyes closed and for the first time ever, I was stupefied to see a calm content look on his face. I wonder where he left his Question-mark. He had a serene aura about, the one that charms you to company.

I went close to him and as I was about to heave myself down on the sofa he opened his eyes and said, “Hey Kleen, still stuck to Lavender perfumes. Suites you!” I felt a warm gush of the purest of joys to behold Flint and see him play his wits again. “You haven’t changed a bit, Flint!”Flint took the credit with open hands and after I seated self he said, “Neither have you, but for your look’s!” I knew some trick was in store, but I played right into it and said with hurt feelings, “Now what’s wrong with them.” He said, “Just that you look more beautiful.” Why does he have to make me blush every other moment when together?

“Well enough Miss, so how’s your course going? Doing well or stuck!”

“Fine till now, and your research done?”

“On stem cells, yes, but the one on women in Australia is still on.”

“Stop that will you!”

“Hey, you going jealous or what. You beat all of them put together by a huge margin dear.”

“Really!”

“Of course. There is not a single nose in that whole continent to beat yours!”

“I will kill you Flint…”

“Chill it now dear. So what shall I order for you…”

The stuffs that followed were exceedingly jovial and warm.

Then Flint told to excuse him for a call and started-off. Just then I realised that my purse was still in car. Flint took the clue and gave his purse asking me to pay and he pushed to a corner close to the window.

I opened the purse and it was exceedingly meek. Two 1000 rupee notes, a couple of hundreds, some 10’s and few coins. And it had only one credit card, a visa and his car license. He excels all in being modest!

I searched for right change, at CCD, given their exorbitant charges and fat pay-cheques, these waiters don’t deserve tips. An unusually big coin caught my attention. It was a foreign coin. A palm tree and two crossed swords on a side, and 100 engraved on the other. It stuck me dumb!

Why of course, I recognise that. It’s from Saudi Arabia, and why yes, I gave this to him in the coffee shop during one such planned encounters well back in 1st year. He has still kept it safe. He loves me so much…! Why doesn’t he take that lemon out of his mouth and speak? Why mate..?

shutterstock_93326353Fine then, I will make the start. But then, he is so frank, brave and tactful. Why should he hide his love for me if he really has…? Why not, yes, isn’t it true that men go nuts when it comes to serious relations involving commitment.

I won’t push him, but will surely get to know what’s in his heart. Let him come. Its ‘Do or Die Kleen.’

The seconds seemed an unending infinity and each passing moment a doubting agony. Finally Flint finished his call and came back in, walking briskly and with a charm that matched that of a knight from medieval era.

“Did I bore your for long sweet-heart!”

And I jumped at once.

“Flint, I love you.”

He leaned back in his sofa. There was not a flicker of tumult on his face. Completely unperturbed he said, “ That’s good. It’s good to be loved by beautiful women.”

“Hey, I am serious.”

“So am I dear. I love a number of beautiful girls and your have got a special reference amongst them.”

“Look fat-head, I enjoy your company, I admire your wits and honour your noble heart. I want to spend every waking moment with you. I would like to marry you.”

Flint went silent. He looked away. It was the most dreadful moment of my life. A moment wherein I was shrouded with a doubt of whether he would say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Come on Flint! I know you love me! The coin, come on dude!

Then Flint looked back into me, right into my eyes with his soft calm gaze. He kept his eyes locked and then said, “Sorry sweet-heart, may be we can make these visits to CCD more often, but marriage stuffs are not in my agenda.”

I was aghast. His ‘no’, buttered in the gravy of casual humour made me bitter towards him, for the first and only time ever.

I did not speak for a minute. I did not know what to do, what to say. Something told me it wasn’t another girl.Flint was frank enough to hide such things. Then what’s the trouble!

Flint took my palm, and said with the sweetest voice ever that I got to hear, “Look dear, I like you and admire you more than anyone else. But my view of life and marriage are incompatible. So let it go. But promise me that nothing between us will change. This proposal only makes me respect you more and I feel privileged to have such a strong-headed girl as a mate.”

My eyes were filled to the brim. I did not know was it because of my sadness or Flint’s sweetness. I covered my face and blurred, “But that coin. The one I gave, you still preserve it.”

mfCdAJcyha4tAxG5IvcwBPAAnd Flint burst into laughter. You did all this just by taking that as hint. Look girl, that coin is exceedingly unique to me, for it’s the only biased coin I have happened to have. It always lands heads-up.”

And my mouth fell open ajar. I had a strong instinct to empty a jar full of cold water on him. I could not find any so I rose to grasp his collar but fell to his embrace.

He dropped me home and well he had not changed a bit as against my apprehensions. He is still the same, smart, witty, handsome and full of fun! Flint dear!

Pointful and Pointless..

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Mankind, even womankind

came of age, as when

we looked into emptiness and quizzed,

why are we?

 

In this overwhelmingly vast

expanse of existential cascade, on

a lonely lively blue dot

are we, all of we.

 

We ask, time again

why are we? And we try,

to figure it out as by

if we are not, then what?

 

Ages have passed and ages

hence, many lonely broodings

are to bother and burden under it

as for resolution, well is there one?

 

People say they found answer,

people say the answer is unfindable,

people say the question is wrong,

people, well are people!

 

Whether any or all of them are true,

how does it matter? Why

need i even care, take the

bother to concern myself?

 

Am i not curious? Well, yes, am!

But that’s not my only curiosity!

My curiosities galore, from

pinhead to people to planets!

 

As for why live! Well, why not?

Why care! Well, why not again?

Even if the whole thing is pointless,

why the big fuss!

 

We still got things happening,

got things to make happen.

Life can never be nothing, for

even nothing is something.

 

If the whole point was purposeful

plans laid down, roles set

task ready, enlistment on,

how bore it instead would be!

 

Glad am i as life is, and

be it bright beautiful, or

boring burdensome, either way

any way, life is life, and is unto itself.

 

Point being, well, is there

a definite necessity for a point to be?

Why need there be a point,

even pointless is just as fine and filling!

 

The Serenade

happy (1)Life is to live, and how lively it becomes when its enliven with a bounty of love and laughter. I do not contend the fact that there is another end to this spectrum of life. But for one small moment, allow me to excuse the rigor of sceptic rational realism that’s taken sway in these times, and immerse ourselves in the serenade of all that’s good that gladdens our heart.

How nice it feels to behold the person whom you like, you admire, you adore, and you feel you connect with. It feels nice and happy. A calm aura of beatitude seems to pervade around. You feel good. You feel a sense of gladness dripping down your heart. You cherish the moment and hope for life to be no different than then. How much you feel light and happy.

We may live a lifetime, but how come that one and some such moments seem to define the life that we lived. It seems so significant and important. It just seems it! We speak of purpose, profit and pointfulness, but it’s all arbitrary anthropic constructs, san any intrinsic meaning. An apple is an apple because it’s been named an apple. But the taste of it, the bright redness of it, its smooth oblong contour truncated at either ends, with that little brown stalk and a green leaf attached, well it means, seems and is beyond any human construct that we can bestow upon. Thus goes with our life and its many moments.

One may live for a reason, but its through moments such, as the one that i have felt, that this whole existence seems to be non-futile, to be non-frivolous, it all seems to rise above the mean mediocre mundane, it fills your heart, touches your soul, and wells up that slick lining your eye into a tiny droplet of tear that sings in serenade of the joy in your heart that you feel glad that you live. I indeed feel glad to live.

Sunday Service To Self

Sunday’s are among the most significant of human discoveries. A day where you live your day with you and only you in it. I woke up at noon. Sleep never seems as restful as on a Sunday morning. I gathered self and slowly, savoring each moment of my lazy demeanor  switched some music on and got the newspaper.

Having treated self with coffee and food, I read my courses in peace for sometime. It was about 4 or 5 in the eve when I felt my eyes grow heavy, and telling me that they need some respite. So I placed a bookmark and closed my book. An impulsive thought beamed within and I, in calm cheer, fetched my purse and left home.

I caught the very next train. The platform was sporting a feeble population of commuters, almost countable. The train ride was nice and calm. No hawkers, no beggars and no office-going commuters showing their sleepy dark-circles.

I got down at the station that leads to my college and started off. I entered through the gate and the environment inside was just pristine quite. I could see just one or two people walking across. The huge trees on either side, lulling in slow motion in the breeze that was strolling through. A sparse mattress of yellowing leaves was scattered on ground and I walked through, in the breeze, in the rustle of the leaves to the stone bench that sits at the fag end.

3278378871_143333e0eeI sat upon and eased my back, resting against the back rest. I thought of nothing. I aspired nothing. I wanted nothing. I feared nothing. I was just there, with my senses sensing the beautiful calm lull around and my heart feeling restful.

I remained there till late. It was nice. All along. The quiet, the peace, the calm, the lone contentment. Yes, the lone contentment. So much have I messed my life with. Knowing people, striking relationship with them, and making them love you. Have done it all in want of love. Yet always telling self that am sufficient and need nothing from this world.

So much have I faked to self. But then, had the truth that I tried faking be real instead. Had I been content alone, lone, in self. Power corrupts, very succinct and true. It indeed does. But not up till you have a motive in heart, though honourable.

I retrieved the mobile that I had in my pocket. The contact book has so many names. So many relations I have woven. And I water. This small block of plastic, how much in touch with others it puts me. And how many times I have wished mobiles were not invented!

The lull is still there, and so is the breeze. But the night is falling quick. I still hold self alone in there. The trees, their leaves, the department buildings, the stone bench and me. Just me. Lone. Alone. How much I wish that moment to stretch till long, real long… Content, lone. Lone contentment.

Hues of Reverie

Artist-Easel“I think Pearsy loves me”, said Sam, shaking Gerstrause off the stuporous resignation with which he had immersed himself into the scenery he was painting. He was adding strokes of blue to the white stream of waterfalls that occupied the left half of the canvas. Sam was sitting on a boulder a bit away from the foot of the waterfalls to the right. He and the boulder would make the centre spread and stretch to the right  merging with the tall trees of willow that he had planned to speck the lateral extremes of the scenery with. His lips stretched into a smile as he heard Sam.

Gerstrause let Sam indulge with his thought for a while and then said, “U mean that blonde cousin of your’s who visits you family in Summers?” Gerstrause had known Sam since his birth. He and Sam’s dad had attended college together. While Sam’s dad graduated in philosophy and went on to become a priest at the monastery, he pursued his hobby of painting. Sam now being 5, was a cheerful chap he had borrowed from his mother to paint in his scene.

Sam giggled and replied, “yes, that beautiful blonde! She is a nice girl, right uncle.” Gerstrause had met her but once and Pearsy did seem a mannered little child. He peppered Sam saying, “well yes, she is beautiful indeed. Now my dear lad, what makes you say she loves you?” Sam chuckled at the thought. He made an animated face and said, “why wont she uncle, am so handsome and brave you know. She fell in love with me at first sight!” Gerstrause suppressed his laugh and looked up at Sam from the side of the canvas. He was sitting as he had postured him to on the boulder. ‘Nice lad’, he told himself. And the juvenile thrill on his face brought to his mind his days of childhood, and the little fair dolls that he had friends as. He chuckled at the thought and returned to the painting.

It was sometime before Sam spoke again. Gerstrause had almost started wondering what had gotten into this talkative lad. He picked at Sam, “what is going in your mind young man?”. And as if it was just the spark of inspiration he was awaiting, Sam shot back, “uncle, what’s love?” Gerstrause beamed. He did not expect this coming. Gerstrause asked in reply, “Do u love Pearsy, Sam?”. “Well why yes. I do love Pearsy. She is so beautiful, nice and fair. I like her lot.” Gerstrause immersed the brush in the paint brown for the boulder and said, “well then, u must already know it young man, what love is!” Sam had a surprised look on his face.

It seemed like a revelation. Why, well of course. If he loved Pearsy, he must obviously know what love is, isn’t it. How can one do something, without actually knowing what it is. But yet, why wasn’t he consciously aware of what love is! “She smiled at me and gave me a daisy the other day. That’s why I love her.” Gerstrause was marvelling at Sam’s perspective. He said, “why Sam, have none else before given u a smile and a daisy?!” Sam crooked his eyebrows and counted on his fingers, “why yes. Bert gave me once. Loona too. And Micky gave a daffodil instead. What makes you ask this?” Gerstrause had the got the right shade of brown for coloring the boulder, he looked up at the canvas and said, “then why don’t u love them too? This Bert, Loona and Micky as well?”

Sam was aghast. It had never occurred to him. Why yes, Gerstrause was so correct. Even they had done the same think which he stated as the cause for him loving Pearsy. But then, why didn’t he love them! Was it like, there is something else about Pearsy that made him love her!? Or he loved Bert, Loona and Micky as well just as Pearsy!? Or he actually loved not Pearsy either!? He crooked his eyebrows as if in deep thought. He wanted to solve the dilemma. He knew for sure that the answer for at least one of the three situations was ‘yes’, with that for the other two being ‘no’. Or was it?!

love_painter_Wallpaper_uvuqaHe voiced his dilemma to Gerstrause. As Sam finished saying, Gerstrause blinked with his brush stilled for a moment. He had not expected this piercing analysing by a kid. He now was thoroughly relishing the conversation just as the scene on the canvas was coming to life. He answered saying, “what if all are true as well as false.” Sam flinged his arms in air and Gerstrasue gave Sam a reprimand. He went to Sam and adjusted the pose back. He said, “be quiet. Its you that I next am painting. Don’t move a muscle.” And saying so, he moved to his canvas. Once back, he immediately softened and while mixing the colors for Sam’s lush dark hair he gave Sam a knowing smile. Sam endeavoured, “uncle, what did u mean? They being all true as well as false!”

Gerstrause said, “Sam, do u like the grilled tuna that your mom makes?” “But answer me first uncle, all true and false. How ?” “Am coming to it Sam, first tell me. Do you like the tuna your mom makes for you?” Sam visualised the dark biscuits of roasted tuna that mom grills at noon in the open sun. The smell would come wafting to his room and he would come running to request him mom to let him replace the firewood under the grill. He liked the crackling noise that the wood would do in the fire, spewing sparkles off about. But as time went by, it no more gave him any joy. So did neither the taste of tuna.  “I used to like it. But now I don’t think I do.”

Gerstrause chuckled. “There lies your answer. Maybe you loved Bert, Loona and Micky too when they beamed a smile and handed u the flower. Its just that now u feel all your affections directed towards Pearsy. Its just the days in between that separates the two. Just as the days in future will separate this again from something else. We don’t decide what to feel Sam. It just happens. Half the time we just wonder and keep guessing about why we feel so. And the irony about all this is, those very same implicit feeling are not evergreen either. They wither like the leaves of the willow in the autumn, the question being, the autumn of which year is the fateful one.”

“And what about it all not being love? U said even that is possible right!” ‘This kid is observant’ thought Gestrause. “Listen Sam. What’s what u call love! Words symbolise idea. But how can I be sure the idea that the word ‘love’ enshrines in my mind is exactly the same as that which u mean by the usage of the same word. We may in fact, be talking about two entirely differently notion under the garb of the ‘love’. Also, we use words to focus our thoughts. So when we sit lone and analyse, words don’t succeed in capturing the finer details in the idea that’s going through our own mind. Thus, ur love for Bert, for Loona, for Micky and for Pearsy may be quite different in actuality, but u tagging it as ‘love’ obviates that fine difference in. It may all be love, but love of a different kind, while all being not love at the same time.”

“Uncle, u confuse me!” complained Sam. Gestrause smiled, “u will understand it all Sam, in due course. Things happen in their own time, so does the dawn of understanding about something.”

Sam gave a low whistle as if mocking Gestrause and giggled as Gestrause feigned an annoyed look.

‘Never thought of it’ thought Sam, ‘that words aren’t absolute entities. They are just mere symbols. Symbols of ideas. And these ideas are also not rigid. They have a morphing quality. Words don’t mean the same to each. And even in our own thought, while we try analysing something, giving words to ideas is actually compromising on some subtle shade of its meaning. But isn’t it that it’s the small subtle differences that actually matter. Don’t small difference make a big difference in the long run. May be short run too.’ Sam gave a big smile as it starts making sense to him.

Gestrause had finished painting a fair bit of Sam. As he mixes the paint his mind wanders into the conversation he has just been having. The thought breaks into many branches bringing in an exodus of notions. But with a big smile, he brushes them all aside and tests the shade of orange for Sam’s shirt.

Just then, Sam clears his throat. Gestrause suppresses a smile as he is aware there’s more in store for today. And Sam ventures, with a glint in his eyes, “Uncle, words are not absolute. They symbolise an idea. But are those ideas absolute? What is the nature of absoluteness? Why does absoluteness and significance seem to go in hand? Is all that’s absolute definitely significant? Is what’s not absolute not significant? Is the idea conveyed by words which aren’t absolute significant? Is the idea conveyed by the word God, absolute or not? Significant or not? Is the idea conveyed by the word life, absolute or not? Significant or not? To begin with, what is the idea conveyed by the word life? What is life?!”

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SANG A SOUL IN SILENCE…

 

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Searched for quiet a soul subdued

in the environ that boomed and blared

With the cluttered chatter, and howl and batter

Seated in turmoil was I.

 

Receded not much later

did I to a recline secluded

Within the confines of my settlement

slept, lived and worked I.

 

But the stillness caused to creep in

lassitude, malaise, reluctance and misery

And I wept sullen and saddened

at the inability of self to have self involved.

 

Now separate from either sit I

in the confines of my metaphysical reality

And wonder if there’s a place of solace

silent, solemn, yet active and enrapturing.