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The Fickle Flame

I am fire, the fire so certain to burn out all
I am the fire, the fire so weak you can blow me away

It comes and it goes
The joy, the pleasure… purpose and passion
It come and it goes
The pain, the loss… suffering and emptiness
It comes and it goes and I wonder which is real

I look into your eyes and I am so sure
Its you that gives me balance – a place in this world
But I look away, close my eyes
And I know my place – just me and my Soul

My nest, my family..
The comforting dreams of you and me
But I crave the adventure and uncertainty
I yearn to fly on the wings of infinite freedom

I fall asleep planning for a great tomorrow
The purpose, the drive – it flows through my veins
And then I wake up – lost and empty
Why the purpose? Why wake up at all?

I am confusion, I am clarity
I am treachery, I am truth
I am pain, I am pleasure
I am incomplete and yet I am whole…

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God, The Sea & Lil’ Old Me

I stood at the beach today. There was a mystical, almost ethereal moonlight glistening over the waves. A blanket of darkness wrapped the sky that made the sea and the moon look like picture painted for the Gods. And there I was, a mere mortal drenched in the glory of that moment. My heart beat to the rhythm of the roaring waves, they touched my feet playfully teasing me and in one unseen moment engulfed me in her warm embrace. As she receded back I hear a voice say to me, ” This world is so beautiful, its just us that make it so painful.”

She was a friend, someone I’ve know for a short time, but someone who had become very special to me. All I could see was her silhouette, but her voice, her composed voice, resonated her pain. A pain I knew all too well, a pain that i could not just empathize with but re-live – the pain of loosing someone you love. Its the moment that you feel the world has come to an end and yet everyone else moves on like nothing is wrong. You feel that your lungs could not take another breathe and yet your still alive. You feel a weight in your heart so heavy that it weighs you down and yet you continue to move. Its the time you close your eyes in bed hoping to never wake up again and yet the dawn tells you that you must live to see another day.
And yet despite the tears that draped her eyes she could still she the beauty of that night sky. A beauty that makes you believe in the possibilities of the future. She wiped her eyes dry and trudged back to the solace of friend waiting for nearby. I continued to stand there entranced by the sea, it made me wonder what this life would be without someone, anyone, to share the feelings that we have inside. Our moments of joy and sorrows, our triumphs and tribulations. What sense would this life make if all those people where not there- the friend you can call at unholy hours to cry your heart out, the family you thought would never understand you but surprises you when you need them the most, all the happiness that doubled cause they were around and all the tears that they tirelessly wiped dry. What sense would life make if you did’nt have someone to love someone who makes all this beauty a tinge more special?
As the moon began to rise and the sea was shone in all her glory, i bowed down to touch the warm waters – i bowed humbled in her presence, felt her flow between my fingers, stood up and took her in one last time…….. and walked the sandy beach towards my friends……..

Confessions of a Broken Reflection

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, or at least that’s what they say.

She looked at the image in the mirror and what she saw was not beauty. Never has been. “May be it’s the eyes, it’s not sharp enough” she thought to herself. She looked closely into the mirror, analysing all the flaws trying to pick the most prominent one. But she knew she didn’t have to think so hard to de-code her biggest flaw – her skin, her skin like dark chocolate. To anyone else she looked normal, much like any other person from South with dark skin. But to her, the darkness felt like her biggest limitation.

She looked at the down at the array of cosmetics that graced her dressing table. Her paint brushes designed to hide her flaws. Kajol to make her eyes look sharper, mascara to make her eyelashes longer, lip colour to make her lips fuller and then…… the show stopper. She traced her hand over the slender bottle of foundation, designed to effectively cover all her imperfections and as the sales girl told ” this will make you look two shades fairer, madam. ”

“Did it really matter?” She thought to herself. ” did it REALLY matter that my skin is dark. Does the definition of beauty finally come and stop at the colour of one’s skin”. It frustrated her that every time she was introduced, someone would make a random comment like” she is pretty despite being dark”. Why the ” despite being dark”. This obsession for fair skin made no sense to her. It really shouldn’t matter.

Switch on the television, look at matrimonial sites, watch the movies- it’s everywhere, continuously feeding into the pschye of a woman. Her mind rewinded back to a movie she saw just a week back. The current craze of Bollywood cinema – 2 States. Punjabi boy meets not-so-Tamil-looking Tamil girl, falls in love and gets married. And then comes the million dollar question – would that happen, had she really looked like a South Indian ? Would the happily ever after really happen? Experience told her ” Most probably the answer will be NO.” The tears began to roll down her cheeks. It didn’t matter how smart she was or what kind of person she strived to be. In the end people will judge a book by its cover. People will judge by how you look not who you are.

She looked up at her reflection and what she saw was not sorrow, disappoint or shame. It was anger. An anger that has constantly been burning her inside. An anger that was eating her alive, an anger that held her back…

She flung the slender foundation bootle against the mirror. Sharp lines cut across her reflections. A distorted image of herself stared back at her. Her broken reflection. She knew she was not alone. Behind many closed doors there hid a multitude of broken reflections. In the west it would have been considered racism. But in her country it was part of what was called “culture “. A culture where the most revered goddesses were the colour of midnight. Where powerful women were worshiped and respected. But that stops at the temple gate. The real woman must suffer the hypocrisy of society everyday.

She sat and sobbed thinking of the pointless sorrow inflicted on a woman’s soul. For the women who spend hours painting themselves to please the man they love. For the little girls who have been neglected because of the colour of their skin. For all the women who lost something they love because beauty was not on their side. She did not know how much time had gone by before her tears had run dry.

She slowly pulled herself off the ground and suddenly saw her foundation bottle lying on the floor. She picked it up, looked at the reflection in the mirror and thought

Beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder, or at least that’s what they say…….

Footprints Divine

Maybe its her glowing eyesImage
Or just could be her soulful smile
Her hair that curtains her precious face
An image of beauty i can’t erase
Moulded in a casket of patience
A temperament to calm the wild soul
The divine spirit has been gracious
To send an angel from above
At times when anger takes its grasp
Her beautiful eyes are set ablaze
tears of indignation stream down her face
She’s an ethereal life drowning me in her grace
As love caresses the tip of her lips
There dawns a smile you cant resist
Shades of red, colour her cheeks
Her hidden eyes look up for a peek
She is the light that wipes darkness away
She is the beauty giving you a reason to stay
She’s the angel who keeps the loneliness at bay
She’s like having rain in the months of may

Falling in love may not be new to many of us and neither is the pain of losing it. The emptiness of existence and the lonely spaces are Leap Of Faithnow more comforting, a strange friend. Maybe because the joys of life can be very fickle and the sorrow stands by our side much longer. There is no fear in sorrow just pain… and many times the pain is better than the anguish you feel when you lose the one you love.

As you move on with life supported by the loneliness, once in a while we hit crossroads in our long journey. Someone comes along, someone special, cause Life thought its worth giving you a chance. And for a moment you sway and at that moment the turmoil starts. Do you continue with life in the misery and loneliness but with the confidence that nothing could hurt you more or do you be brave, re-write your dreams and give another person the chance?
Many of us decide to give the new person a chance because having someone in your life is like the rains that bring life back to a painfully scorching existence. But when we walk down this path, we don’t come alone, we carry with us all the baggage from our past. All our apprehensions, fears, notions and most importantly our expectations… Expecting the person to do something wrong, expecting yourself to do something wrong, expecting circumstances to do something wrong and we suffocate all the possibilities. Like a pathological ex-lover, our past traces our every move,  feeds on our confidence and our trust and leaves us haunted by our failure and mistakes. Crippled and lost, even if we had a chance, we are blinded by the pain of the past.
Moving on in life, growing past our failures and learning from our mistakes is not easy. Its even tougher when we have the eyes of family, friends and all we love and hold dear, dissecting every one of our actions (even though they mean us well). Even if we would love to forget-  people, places, a picture or even a smell could bring back memories that paralyze our very being and make us question our every action.
At times like this all we can can do is look within us, to a spirit deep within us and take a Plunge of Faith. There really is no magic solution other than to take that plunge, and it will hurt when you first hit the water, but when you get past the suffocation and the fear of drowning and let the possibilities flow – the possibility that someone would breathe you back to life, if you did suffocate, the possibility that someone will pull you out and not let you drown, then Life truly becomes Beautiful.
So take a Plunge and Let Life do the Rest….

Women are the Problem

The brutal violation of the existence of a human being has finally caused our 2apathetic society to wake up and react. Skeptics wonder for how long, while others utter venomous words of pure passion. Starting from castration to the demand for the death of these inhumane creatures, the public long for a cruel end to their miserable lives. And once this is done what do we intend to do? These perpetrators plague our society and killing one of them is like cutting the head of Hydra, slice of one head two more would grow.

But coming from a generation which needs instant gratification- be it for revenge, for love or for life, we have neither the time nor the patience to analyse the problem and see all the different facets. Like the cruel people of Rome who could decide the fate of a gladiator merely with their thumb, we too would love to see a sword pierce through the existence of these men at the click of a button, believe that justice has been served and go back to our bubble that this would never happen to us.

But the reality is nothing has changed. In fact two more humans would have been devoured in some part of our country while our so-called justice is being executed. We need to dig deep into the root of the problem, into the psyche of a paternalistic, male chauvinistic society, into a weak judicial and law enforcement system and kill the beast from inside. This does not mean in any way that it would eradicate the problem but it would at least go back to being an unjustifiable crime instead of a norm of the night.

We live in a civilisation where majority of the population justifies crimes against women as a situation that arose due to the negligence of the woman. Starting from her attire to her day‘s schedule, the company she keeps to her life style, everything is desecrated so that we can find some false shelter within our minds that this would not happen to us, or our friends or our sister or mother, because we all follow the moral standards created by men, so as to not provoke their “rightful” wrath. Let’s burst that bubble. No one is safe: you’re not more safe because you’re in Chennai instead of Delhi, you’re not more safe because you wear a salwar instead of jeans, you’re not more safe at 6 in the morning than at 9 in the night, You’re not safe because the bottom line your see, the problem is the woman.

We have allowed ourselves to vote, year after year, men who have been accused (but never convicted) of grotesque crimes against women and children as young as 13. These people were voted to power to protect the rights of the people men and women alike, but where is the justice when we need protection from those very people. From high range escort services to pornography, these men are some of the biggest clients of the industry. But then again it is the women to create the supply (let’s forget the demand), it’s the women who provoked them even if that “woman” has not reached puberty, it is the woman that is the problem.

We remained silent when a woman ripped her clothes in anguish when a lethargic police force dispassionately responded to her plea to file a case against her attackers; instead they too defiled whatever remained of her. An ill-equipped, under-staffed, insensitive, misogynist law enforcement team gives a fertile circumstance for these acts to thrive and multiply. And yet I am perplexed as to how these officers continue to believe that it is not their incompetency that has led to this anarchy but it is in fact the women herself who has attract these men and they deserve to be raped. Their justifications range from the inadequacy of the woman’s clothing to, a woman deserves to be raped because she reported rape [Article: From the Delhi police: Why women deserve to be raped by Lakshmi Chaudhry, a snippet of the original story in Tehelka]. They believe the woman is the problem.

It boils down to the fact that we are the problem, we the people. We are a doctor who has prescribed morphine for cancer, to numb the pain and the fear. We don’t want to correct our mothers and fathers, our husbands and sons, we don’t want to correct our siblings and friends. We don’t want to send our daughters for self-defence classes or put a pepper spray in their bag instead they should remain at home, never to enjoy a movie or a music concert. We don’t want to fight for the removal of MLAs and MPs with criminal records, for the implementation of existing laws, for amendments of laws and provide more stringent punishments, for court proceedings sensitive to the victims, for the training and sensitizing of the law enforcers instead let us fight for capital punishment, let us spew pointless views on how to barbarically torture them, let us hope our daughter marries someone who can heroically battle off 4 or 5 savage beasts, let these men be killed and we can move on with our lives re-establishing our false sense of security.

And yet it would be unfair not to acknowledge our society is slowly but steady gaining the strength to unite and fight injustice. It would be dismal if the voice of humanity that we hear now goes in vain, if the lives lost and the stories told are forgotten yet again. But we had the Revolt of 1857 as a precursor to the Freedom Struggle and 90 years later we won freedom. This too is a struggle for freedom, and a struggle we have been fighting for centuries and I sure hope it does not take another 90 years for a woman to be seen as a part of the human race and not as a mere problem.

A Coffin of Expectations

The moment you are born you are not exactly alone as people claim.  Your birth is accompanied by the all imposing presence of – Expectations. Ranging from loved ones to career to friends family and even yourself, life becomes tombed in a coffin of expectations. Being the most advanced species in the planet we also seem to be the most miserable.

We seem weary all the time… Whats my purpose? Why am I here? What did I achieve? What will I achieve? Its an endless tirade of questions. And through all of this we forget to live. It was beautifully said that man’s greatest fear is that of being forgotten. And we strive through our minuscule lives trying to create something that we would be remembered for.

But sometimes you realize, that in the timeline of the universe we are just a moment. And you have spent that moment, that precious moment living upto the expectations of society- a society that can be most condescending of our actions, who thrive on our fears and failures.

Is it worth it? The misery we put ourselves through for the acceptance of others? Sometimes we get so lost in the thoughts of others that the picture we had for our own lives get blurred. We forget the most important expectation- To Live, and live content….

This contentment may come from being a good friend, travelling and seeing places, click a picture of something that caught your mind, bring a smile on someone’s face, fall in love, lose love and fall in love again….. Its about making life special for yourself. And when the day comes and you turn to dust, is your spirit free cause you lived life or are your just a corpse in a coffin of expectations…….

Beauty is an adjective that has been so hard to define. Over the years, the perception of beauty has been transformed along with civilization and culture. Now in a society so driven by material pleasures and flamboyance, its only but natural that the face of beauty has also become a superficial display of the most exquisitely crafted mask.

We all walk through a costume party- all the real identities hidden behind these masks that we have created. Some take pleasure in creating these smoke screens while others do it just to feel like they belong. And like always there are the rebels.

My own experience has inspired me to write this piece- an experience that made me question, what matters more when you look at a woman- beauty or intelligence. For centuries women have been judged for their curves, poise and the current chart topper-fair skin. We are being bombarded by this concept like a large scale brain wash where people are not even given the space to think other wise. With FMCG companies that thrive on social stereotypes this ideas are now becoming more concrete. Starting from the age old Fair & Lovely to Ponds Gold radiance, all these advertisements continuously reinforce the idea upon people that a woman’s success, both professionally and personally, depends on her beauty and the color of her skin.

Time and again people say that intelligent women are for the long run but how would you meet that girl if you cannot get past the idea that your girlfriend should make your friend’s jaw drop. Men would rather marry the picture perfect woman, even though they may never share any mental connection. And if they ever do meet that perfect girl and God forbid she not meet the basic criteria of looks and “nesting” abilities then she becomes the “best friend”.

Yes, it would be unfair of me to generalize that beautiful women are not intelligent and vice versa. It is very much true there are enough exceptions to the rule. But I talk about the majority. Rationally, vanity and intellect should not see eye to eye. To the intellect the superficial nature of vanity would be truly irksome, and thus the deduction.

Unfortunately, despite all these arguments majority would rather prefer a fair-skinned, straight haired beauty over a plain looking woman who actually makes your life complete and not your social image. The parameter of beauty in a woman’s resume is not a recent addition From the time of Cleopatra to the Aishwarya Rai of today, beauty has played a pivotal role in a woman’s stand in society. Television shows are a stark display of this reality. The casting mostly consist of a fat or bald man but their wives would always be petite and poised. Even the success rate of a heroine would be much higher if she were beautiful as opposed to if she were talented. Most of our pageant queens entered the silver screen with nothing but their beauty. But that kept them in the industry long enough to find the right mentors and get the right breaks. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for many of the highly talented actresses who never saw the light of main stream cinema.

So I guess time and again, society itself has given the answer to my question. And unfortunately the answer is disappointing. Women are more of an accessory in a man’s life, a wall hanging or a Rolex watch. Not an aspiring achieving individual. We as a society would rather remember the Helens of Troy than the Jansi Ranis of India. In the end the question we all ask is:

“Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Who’s the fairest of them all?”

Flame of Fire

She is a flame of fire that comes to life,firegirl

She keeps the power of fear by her side,

She is a woman who was born to lead,

If Will had a face that was how it would be.

Her eyes have the strength that make you believe,

Confidence and style follow her with glee,

Her presence fills the air with a command supreme,

She is the spirit of a warrior with the aura of a queen.

But hidden is a heart; as innocent as a child,

Her smile like a wild rose, an exotic delight,

Imprisoned in your dreams is her beauty divine,

She gives love a reason to be alive.

No matter how hard life lashes out on her,

She battles without fear, proud and tall,

Her eyes never surrender to anyone’s might,

But when those tears roll its like darkness engulfed light.

She is a woman both gentle and bold,

She believes in herself but still wants you to have and to hold,

She is warrior, a queen, a spirit, a soul,

She is a flame of fire leaving footprints on the world.

But hidden is a heart; as innocent as a child,

Her smile like a wild rose, an exotic delight,

Imprisoned in your dreams is her beauty divine,

She gives love a reason to be alive.

This thing about love has always fascinated me. Since the time of adam and eve, love has starred as one of the primary characters in the twisted story of mankind. Sometimes the hero who saves the day and at other times the villain hidden behind the mask of betrayal and jealousy. Endlessstories, poems and all forms of literature has been dedicated to this single emotion, the emotion that ultimately defines how much man longs for a companion.

From the days of true love I have come a long way. And in my life too love has prevailed in all its different costumes. Sometimes it has been my only hope when all around me seems to be engulfed in darkness. And there are those times when it has been the reason for the darkness. And the fact is that I am no unique form of existence who has experience this feeling, I am just one of the many.

And despite all that we feel, the hurt the pain the desertion the fear, we still want more of it.   All for those moments of joy, the feeling of having someone by your side maybe because in our hearts we all know the one person we don’t want to invite in our lives in loneliness.

And for this one reason I believe that as long as there is man there will also be writings of love. And the beauty of love is no matter how many times you hear the stories from other people, the moment love creeps into your life you would never remember the warnings or the pain. All you know is a feeling close to divinity. And you may try to run as far as you can but once you have experienced it there is no turning back.

And that is why mankind believes, rightly believes: its better to have loved and lost than not love at all.