Poetry

Moving on (a repost)

Blinding and brilliant, love at first sight
takes much longer to lose than you think it might.

It’s not the memories, the agony or the remorse,
what kills you is the resistance,
and the indolence,
of a languid heart that you blame,
but deep down you know it’s the brain,
that is always reluctant to indulge in refrain.

To enjoy the pleasure of hellos,
you know, one must go through parting.

But when subtle differences
take the shape of unassailable chasms,
and you see the futility of explaining,
what you feel is not what they call pain,
but is a gnawing, indifferent aching.

Sarcasm is fluid in this state of mind,
making you wince at the sound of laughter.
They say you have become silent,
while the myriad voices inside you scream –
regret and apology never go hand in hand,
or that you need bravado or courage to take a stand.

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Thoughts

The art of storytelling (a repost)

Stories are no less living than the ones who tell them. I say “tell” because in the days that I am writing about in this post, people mostly told stories. Writing was considered as killing the essence, the free spirit that defined the beauty of a tale. This spirit dictates how it panes out, how it varies with a new teller, even with the same person every time it gets narrated, the place, crowd and such circumstances in which it is reenacted.

I came across a reference to the lost art of Urdu storytelling called dastangoi. What piqued my interest is the fact that Urdu is famous for the inimitable poetry ever written or ever will be. Dastangoi is a Persian word, dastan meaning tale and with suffix goi it translates to “tell a tale”.

A dastan, like an epic has elements of adventure, bravery, beauty, romance, magic, treachery to name a few, but the plots are linear and usually predictable. The beauty of a tale is not in its outset, the events that follow or the conclusion, but in the imagery. For instance, illustrations of a war scene may involve how the hero makes entrance, the colour of the sky and the war-torn soil, the sounds of the running horses, clash of shining swords and the smell of spilt blood infusing a wave of bravado in the most disinterested soldier. No other language fits this requirement more than Urdu, which with its poetic inclinations allow the storyteller to embellish a trivial event, or say, to romanticize the look exchanged between the protagonists for hours. The language and astute usage of the rich words enables the teller to weave a mesmerizing maze that you won’t want to escape.

The history of dastangoi is as interesting as the art itself. Though many readers will question its authenticity, the great Urdu poets always looked at history with disdain. They wanted stories to continue evolving, with every new generation adding more illustrious sub plots, new ways of gilding the oft cited with mellifluous Urdu harf.
In a way, the great tales are no different from life itself, it’s a pity that we think it’s the same tale that is being narrated over ages whereas life is beyond our control and we just need to bear with it as it unfolds.

Further reading: dastangoi.blogspot.in

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Poetry

Photography, an art? (a repost)

Images that tell vibrant stories
of far away sun bathed mountains
the cloud soaked verdant valleys
humbled eternity facing the vast azure skies
those unsung garish yet tranquil monasteries.
Images that conceal the artist
a visage reminiscent of long forgotten tales
a moon reflecting on the turbulent dark seas
shuddering shutters attempt to capture the evanescent
lustrous flashes strive to unfold the obscure events.

Snipping magic from the monotonic time
moments chosen by whim
or maybe thoughts nebulous
lenses make sense of the world.
Elaborate tales condensed in a single shot
discordant sonnets meticulously sutured
erratic life and the nuances subtly proffered
understand the artist or the work, do we?
if only we could see the way it was meant to be.

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Poetry

Words (a repost)

 

Dazzled by the beauty,

they are failed by the words.

Recovering and in pursuit,

they keep their feelings veiled by the words.

Romance they indulge in,

but are curtailed by the words.

Entranced in love,

they forget the roses but are bailed by the words.

Instead of happily ever after at the end,

they listen to the silence of the words.

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Poetry

Path to redemption (a repost)

As the jaded emotions stir
letting out wisps of fantasy
vignettes from the past look glorious
fading vistas arouse feelings queer
entrancing thoughts make him trail
only to be nudged forward
waking him up with a familiar fear
tired eyes reluctantly open to find
multitudes marching on for a cause unknown
tremulous with highly strung octave.

Shackled with pervasive conceit
straggling at the desultory march
road to perdition seems long for his aged feet
a night of reckoning questions the
choices made, the resorted weakness
and the accompanying arrogance
a prophylactic catharsis
and the concluding dance.

How does he promise allegiance,
an unquestionable faith
with the doubts lurking in
every nook, every corner of the infinite self
an incomprehensible world
with its deceit, caustic and relentless wit
armed with nothing but an acquired intellect
it’s a farce to commit eternal love
when he doesn’t remember or even surmise
everything that happened in his life
for he was rational but never so wise.

The fickle abandon with flair
heretic if you tame the restive faith
the egotist seeks happiness within
romantic if you love without reason
judged and branded for living the sins
midway in the protest, he stops short
and finds his soul dance and rejoice.

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Abstract

Guilt and persecution

There is water everywhere, imparting a sense of panic within. It is not that I am scared of water; on the contrary, I have always liked the sight, sound and even the feel of water on my body. Swimming in my opinion is the most exhilarating thing one can do when alone and want to be alone, erasing everything else around. The presence of a water body enhances the beauty of any place, I can spend hours watching the ocean play with the winds, lakes undulating under the morning breeze, even the muddy pools, those leftovers from a recent bout of rain makes me long for paper boats, splashing it on an unsuspecting passerby and such insipid, innocent fun.

But the water that surrounds me now is different, it’s unbearably blue almost as if I am looking at a summer sky, or maybe it is the sky. There is only so much that delineates the ocean and the sky at the horizon, here though I feel like I am standing in the middle of the world on a rock projecting from the tranquil pristine water pervading all tangible dimensions as if I am finally able to see eternity. This vision though calming when juxtaposed with my presence makes me feel like a blemish and the asphalt rock my darkened soul that is holding me steady. I turn my head to find the unchanging waters stare back at me from every direction and with such serenity that it blinds my eyes. I squint and peer at it for some deviation, some distraction in this aquatic perfection, only to discover that it is shallow. The limpid water even lets me see the bed of sand so clearly that I can make out it’s not sand, the surface is polished and possesses the same color as the vitrified tiles in my room. This realization strikes me hard, I could just get off the rock and start walking, these are not dangerous waters and there is no reason why I must get this feeling of extreme unrest, why must I accept I am some deformation in the perfect creation and scheme of things. But try as I may my legs won’t budge. Any movement or change from the state I am seems fraught with an ineffable danger, a danger of crossing the thin line that separates uncertainty and futility.

Thus I am left with no choice but to ruminate, not just on this particular situation and the internal dilemma but about everything that my mind with its limited abilities would allow me to ponder about. As soon as you do that, giving your mind a free rein to analyze a disagreeable situation the first thing it brings up is guilt. If guilt had a face it won’t be able to wipe out the smirk, or at least mine wouldn’t be able to. Is this some kind of retribution, guilt suggests, the smirk getting a chuckle for company. I have never committed any crime in the purview of the laws that qualify crime and decide the fate of criminals. But my guilt feeds on the many moral and ethical transgressions, I have; for instance, been cruel to the point of harming people who loved and cared for me. There were and always will be reasons and justifications for my actions, not of the usual namesake or the superficial kind either. I truly believe in them. This is what my guilt smirks at maybe, but do I care or do I act snobbish with my educated reasoning for the most disconcerting actions. I say disconcerting because it affected others in a way I cannot really understand, behavior of people who get close to you invariably end up baffling you.

Once you handle guilt with such high-handed dismissal, the next thing your mind throws at you is the feeling of helplessness, an enquiry into what is fair and what is not. Why am I being persecuted I start thinking. Why should I be in this absurd place, who decides the course of my life, is there any logic that drives our existence, is there a free will. If I was selfish and in the process hurt people, or to be more specific two people and probably a few more, and a dog, then somewhere in the grand vision of this arbitrary arbiter they would be found equally responsible. I don’t so much remember the details of why I broke up with the girls but I vividly remember the dog and the incident in the dark of the night. It barked for no apparent reason, I did what it takes to get it silenced. Also, I am not even sure if it was much hurt because it ran back to his compatriots, who looked at me in synchronized vision making me take flight. As for the people, they were much better off without me as I was without them in my life, so in a way in the bigger picture I did the right thing and for everyone’s good. So why am I stuck here; why do I still feel guilt; why am I helpless; unable to move.

The answers dawned upon me with a shock; an alarming shock to be precise, originating from the inconsiderate phone lying hidden among the folds of the bed sheet, or probably lying on the floor next to the bed kicked out during one of my usual subconscious acts that dramatically end in my waking up with a bad hangover. Dramatic I say because more often than not, after the nights when I ingest more poison that I know I am capable of digesting, I find myself waking up diagonally opposite and in complete disarray that it takes a few seconds to register I was sleeping, and the world is still sane.

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Fun, Poetry

Poetryman or better a woman

Men need food, drink, shelter and internet to live,
but they need the myths and mythology to be men.
The god though is abstract and the holy books
are filled with instructive stories instead of heroes,
with the stars losing their sheen in the movies,
big names failing to make as much as their pay,
the world needed heroes who were more than human.

Enters marvel, making even the reluctant become a fan,
as its teams put the nordic and greek god-makers to shame
and when they ran out of ideas included the gods to the game.
What we have now is more superheroes than men,
myths to choose from alphabetic lists that goes over pages
and if not sure you may go for the never ending avengers.

Not trying to be terrible here, I am anything but sincere.
This’s the best I come up with, read my posts if you care,
my friends and followers do, going through this rhyming pain.
Poetry is the damsel in distress, all over wordpress,
what we need is a poetryman or better a capered woman,
a superhero to save it from assaults in the name of prompts.

This post was written as part of the prestigious
The Weekly Terrible Poetry Contest

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