Thursday, October 29, 2015

Always One

No country’s perfect and neither is mine
But what’s with the obsession on what I dine
While you were too focused on my plate
Someone just slept hungry, cursing his fate

Born into a free country were we
But now killed for exercising choices we’d be
How much more easier is coexistence to define
I'll respect your freedom and you respect mine

Heck with what I eat 
Or with the choice of my meat
How have we forgotten, that
Without one another we're both incomplete

We needn't swear by the same God
Or not swearing by any should make one odd
Don't be in such a rush
To color everyone with different brush

For we love this land and love you too
You might be plenty and us too few
Wish us away or call us any name
We'd always be the brothers, always the same!!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

That Missing Spirit

That missing spirit of ‘at any cost’
That you’d find me while I was yet lost
The assurance that everything was possible
However the situation seemed implausible!

That missing spirit of ‘I can do it all’
That you’d catch me, if I were to fall
The assurance of your loving arm
Around my shoulder to keep me calm!

That missing spirit of ‘Christmas everyday’
That you were never too far away
The assurance of you being there
Keeping company with love & care!

That missing spirit of ‘yes right now’
That you held me together like a bough
The assurance of your gentle hand
No matter what, you’d understand!

That missing spirit of ‘who really am me’
That I was always what you got to see
The assurance of my anchor in you
Aside from thee, have really no clue!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year: 'Moving Ahead' or 'Going Around'

An old year has left us behind and a new one beckons in front of us – as we count in terms of numerical years we move ahead on a linear trajectory but in a more realistic and cosmic sense, we’ve only come back to the same place that we had visited one year ago. Our path is more circular than linear – after all a year is primarily the earth completing one revolution around the sun!

While it is good, noble and certainly more celebratory to think of this as a new beginning but in a more deeper sense its taking another round of the same ol’ road – albeit more carefully, more knowingly and hopefully one more time wiser.

Life has one beginning – right when we were born, the remaining are all milestones and check-points. This year would soon turn old, everything about it would be the same mundane and usual – and it’s not wrong. After all, that’s exactly how it is. Life will throw the same set of opportunities, challenges, fears and euphoria. We may find it at a new place, a new time or a new set of people – but at the heart of it all – the emotions would remain alike.

Every component of measuring time – seconds, minutes, hours, dates and months – everything follows a circular path, everything reoccurs – it’s only the factor of an ‘year’ that moves linear - ahead in one direction, never to come back!

A New Year therefore reminds us that there’s possibly one more chance – to correct, comprehend and collaborate! To love, lose and learn! To accept, acknowledge and appreciate!

A new year is more about looking at things afresh, taking a fresh approach and having a new sense of purpose. The earth would take the same circular path around the sun that it has done since the beginning of father time, and yet it offers scope for us to see, experience and live something new.

Novelty lies not in the ability to find new things all the time, it exists in the inherent desire to see something new in what we’ve been seeing all along.

A New Year would make for enough novelty, even if everything remained the same and all that changed was me & my perspective! Every day would still be new, and every experience would be one I hadn’t had before. However, each new year we like to be the same and wish for the world around us to make it more new. We seeker newer pastures, new people and new horizons – none of which actually exist!

Each existing individual in our life is a new person waiting to be discovered, a layer waiting to be unwrapped, new facets of them to be unraveled!

Each past event in our life is a new experience waiting to be re-lived, a road waiting to be ventured again, a painting waiting to be re-looked!

Each unaccomplished goal is a new challenge waiting to be re-attempted, a problem waiting to be seen from a new perspective, a territory waiting to be re-claimed!

Very little of the New Year will remain new in a week, but plenty of me could be renewed while the year unfolds. In a matter of another 12 months, we’ll be back at the same place – a year older hopefully it’d also be richer in terms of experience and wiser in terms of thinking! Or it’d be just a dreary jaunt across the cosmos and we’d hardly have moved an inch forward! 

Which of the two is true for us? 'Cos that would determine if we're we ushering a year of moving ahead, or are we just going around one more time!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

India’s Rape Epidemic – We Need 'A Man'ly Solution!!

"Trampled, plucked and squandered away
By dozens and scores each day!
We’d see them not; we felt them even less,
The pain, and horror – of both mind & flesh!"

A perfunctory perusal of the some of the recent headline grabbing news items in the country reads somewhat like this

-          Tehelkha editor accused of rape, arrested
-          Asaram Bapu held for sexual assault, son arrested for rape
-          Mumbai records 229 rapes in Jan-Aug of 2013
-          Two held for techie’s rape in Kerala
-          Teacher booked for alleged rape of minor in Andhra Pradesh
-          Four men rape, kill a 31-year old woman in Assam
-          CBI Director in the dock for suggesting, ‘enjoy rape if you can’t prevent it’

This would have been bad enough if these were news items that were to have shocked the conscious of a nation over the period of an year – yet, even more shockingly most of these ‘high-profile’ incidents have occurred over just a couple of weeks or about a month! And therefore, it shouldn’t and doesn’t, come as little surprise that the Time Magazine has given us title of producing one of the top 10 news stories of the world; aptly titled – ‘India’s Rape Epidemic’

There’s no other way to put it really, other than rightly calling it an epidemic! Looks like we Indian men can’t hold that libido with woman being raped and abused – left, right and centre! There’s no state, city or even an inch in this country that seems even remotely safe for that half of the population which has been rested with the sacred responsibility of bringing each of into this planet. Somewhere, there needs to be a realisation that such brutality is just way over what is acceptable for a civilized society.

A civilized society has just enough room to tolerate atrocities such as murder and rape – while even a few is few too many, we can accept and thereby be willing to correct or punish those who indulge in these crimes!

Sample this; a recent report compiled by the National Commission for Woman pointed out that 1/3rd of all woman employees in India faced one or another form of sexual harassment. By what virtue is that under the limits of acceptability for any civilized society? The nation’s financial capital is soon acquiring the moniker of being the nation’s rape capital – Mumbai! With as many as 237 incidents of rape cases reported in the year until August. Delhi meanwhile continues to have the numero uno status with 1,036 reported cases in the same period!

That by my rudimentary math is well over one incident each day for Mumbai and four for Delhi. If I were to extrapolate the same for the entire nation, would I be too off the mark to suggest we are raping and abusing thousands of women each year? Even in a nation of ½ a billion women that’s way too much!

Still unconvinced? Why not take a look at these statistics – the year 2012 began with a total of 13,221 registered cases of crimes against women across the country. Through the course of the year convictions in these cases were a meagre 3,563 while fresh cases ballooned to 79,476.  The nation ended the year 2012 with 101,041 pending cases of crimes against women and by all means 2013 must have added a hundred more thousand to that!

Why? Is a question that stares ominously upon us!

Surely, this is not just a case of a few gone astray – this is an entire generation of young men of this great nation who just can’t hold their horses!

Sadly, there are no easy answers! Reasons from sociological to economical to legal - all are pertinent and all so relevant! They said a stringent legal system would help, but no! They said changing social paradigms would help, but no! They said increasing income levels and employment should help, but no! Nothing has quelled the raging thirst of an Indian man to lord it over a woman and nothing has helped her hapless cause to be able to escape it.

Going back to the case of the 237 rapes in Mumbai, if the numbers alone don’t numb your senses then scratch the surface and it should! Most of the rapists were the victims’ own friends, lovers and/or neighbours! Read that again, and ask yourself as a man if it doesn’t make you feel pathetic? Or as a woman make you squirm in disbelief!

The UN Population Fund states that close to 2/3rd of married women in the country have been at some stage been beaten, raped or forced to provide sex! If the person charged with protecting your identity and dignity becomes the predator who wants to just satisfy his carnal senses – by hook, lunge or slap – where shall thou turn for solace or justice?

What is wrong with us Indian men?

For a variety of reasons we are well past the time and age of rationality! We are well past the stage well a bunch of well-intentioned sociologists could redraw our social athematic or a battery of jurists could re-align our judicial underpinnings to find solution to this epidemic. We have to find individual solutions and find them fast.

The fact of the matter is that we have a terrific record of being able to pass the buck! Why do so many rapes occur in India? – the list of reasons is exhaustive and endless – from provocative clothing to Bollywood to the lack of policing and legislature.

Seldom does it occur to me – I am the cause! It never hurts personally, it never bothers personally!

We are all culpable – directly, indirectly or intentionally and unintentionally! Whether we like it or not we need to take a stance and one for the better, I hope! In our relationship with a woman we have to find the right balance of purity and passion; reason and romance; and sense and sensuality! Each of those elements is essential for every relationship – not necessarily in the same order or mix, but certainly in one form or another.

We cannot endlessly seek a momentary, blind pleasure in all our interactions with the female specie! The momentary, blind pleasure needn’t necessarily be of the sexual nature – it might as well be of submission and subjugation – in essence it is one of sadism! We’re filled, or worse, fed with a hollow sense of machoism that somehow suggests that ‘its ok to grab from or at a woman if she doesn’t give when asked!’

Our vision is often skewed by a sense of a dominant male-ego that prevents us from having the right relationship with our mothers, sisters, friends and wives! It is this right relationship that will unequivocally determine our right attitude to the women at large!

If I can find the right relationship with my mother, sister, friend and wife! I could prevent that one case of abuse or rape! And even if ½ of the ½ a billion Indian men could do that, lo and behold we’d have taken care of the epidemic that currently dogs us!! A manly solution isn’t one with plenty of ‘to-show-off’ guts, its one where each man can stand up – as and for himself – and thereby for those women whose lives he touches everyday!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A New Place

I wish I could make some space
That could be your own special place!
Where each moment, you could just be
Find everything just as you want to see!!

A place for you to find
The beauty in the thoughts of your mind!
Where you could play all day in the sunlight
Where you arent judged for wrong or right!!

A place that lets you be the child
Where problems don't get piled!
A place to hide you in warm embrace
That opens up new & exiciting ways!!

A place to see that you're fragile
A place to make you smile!
Where there's plenty to love and care
Where someone is always there!!

Then I thought, "Wait I may know such place!"
One that's all yours each one of the days
It's yours in wholeness not just a part
It's the place that lies right in the depth of my heart!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I'm afraid!

I’m afraid to tell you what bothers me,
I’m afraid to admit that I do not see!
The logic and all the myriad sense,
The very emphasis on intelligence!!

I’m afraid to tell you I do not know,
I’m afraid to listen to ‘I-told-you-so!’
The rational and everything that’s ‘right,’
What you have come to term - foresight!!

I’m afraid of being scorned or judged,
I’m afraid, to a side, being nudged!
Amidst all logic and perfect sense,
Would I be termed an irrelevance?

I’m afraid of listening to silence
I’m afraid of watching bloodless violence
It all rings of a deafening disquiet
Like a unsettling and quelling riot

I’m afraid that this is not my place
I’m afraid of the emptiness of space
Which end of the road do I follow?
For each only seems to end in a hollow!

I’m afraid because I feel alone,
I’m afraid for its all unknown!
There’s a whole world and its populace,
And yet I feel, am an alien race!!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

I'd Miss You Much!!

At the crack of dawn when I rose
Time still felt stuck & froze
I wished for night to come soon
With the twinkling stars & moon
The rays of the sun, oblong
The birds of the air, in song
Almost everything around me such
Told me, how I missed you much!

After a while I took the road
Thoughts wandering; feet strode
Walked, I did not know where
My vision squinted from the sun’s glare
The blue of the endless sky
The horizon that seemed so nigh
Thoughts from my deepest hutch
Told me, how I missed you much!

Then the dusk came up at last
Much later than it did in past
Into the farthest I’d stare
While the breeze ruffled my hair
The setting sun into the twilight
And the dark of the impending night
The gathering clouds & the thundering Thorr
Everything told me, I’d miss you more!!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cheated of our Unity and Oneness!

“A divorce is like an amputation: you survive it, but there's less of you!”

Creation of Telangana: We haven’t created a state but a farce!

I hate to be a party-spoiler but what exactly are my Telangana friends celebrating? Being cheated into a false new dawn?

At a time when we need to stand more united than ever, we fight and kill – each other. It would be the stupidity of those who celebrate because this decision is not made for its right but it is made because it serves the complicit interests of some. The government has blatantly pulled wool over the eyes of the people – diverting attention and dangling carrots of fake hope.

Those who sought the division of the state did so for selfish interests and the ‘masses’ who supported it did so out of sheer ignorance. The culmination of all of this is today’s ‘decision’ – that smacks of highhandedness and cheating. There have been media reports crying their lungs horse that the decision is being taken to shore up Congress’ electoral gains, are the pro-Telangana folks to desperate that they couldn’t care less whatever the costs?

And what about those of your own brethren who are opposed to the division of the state? Not those from Andhra but the very natives of Telangana? Are you too selfish to ignore even those – if so, what is so kosher about the very sentiment you claim to stand for? As a child, each morning I pledged that each of our fellow countrymen were brothers and sisters! Guess that is just a good line to utter, in the adult world there is no place for fraternal sentiments if they were to come in the way of petty political gains!

A country, a government and its leadership is defined by doing things right. A state is far greater than the individuals and those in power must rise above selfish motives. And time after time after time, our country has been treated quite to the contrary!

To the commoner that I am, on the face of it, the division of the state or otherwise makes no difference in the real world! I will still have the same routine, same joys and same challenges. And yet in the deep of my heart, I have been torn right down the middle! The joy of being one nation, one state, the very essence of oneness being wilted away by senseless politicians. 

The only gains from this would be made by a few who will claim power, to the rest of us who are commoners (both who celebrate today and those who don't) nothing will have changed tomorrow - the challenges of each day will remain the same, and yet the joy of unity will have been torn apart! How ironical, that both classes elected the same government to do the exact opposite! 

Those of us, who believe this is a victory, please think again! Yes, it’s a victory for those who fool us time and again and continue to fill their coffers while we put in the hard yards!

If indeed the demand for Telangana is so widespread, I welcome the decision, but alas, we all know it wasn’t – it was at the heart of it a selfish, self-centered call! We’ve just been cheated out of our wits one more time, and some of us sadly don’t see it! I would welcome the decision if it were to have been made with the right intent, desire and the right objective – sadly, none of it even crossed our political folk!!

So, here we are then, as in the words of Canadian poet Margaret Eleanor Atwood, each one of us will survive this division/amputation but we will soon figure that there's is now a little less of us than before!!

PS: There’s still a long way to go for the actual division, I would hope there’s still chance for us to call quits to this farce!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Drops of Rain On My Window Pane

Drops of rain on my window pane,
Take me back by the memory lane! 
The giggles and the paper boat, 
In the puddles we'd make them float!! 

The gust of wind in my face,
Takes me back to the holidays!
Carefree, we'd play all day long, 
Life was all a lovely song!!

Shadows cast by the summer Sun,
All our endless plays and mazy run!
Laughter from then still rings my ear,
Our mischief knew no bounds or fear!! 

In the cold of the night, by the Christmas tree
Festivities, friends & family!
Flashes from childhood as good as gold,
Just like Christmas they're never too old!!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

There's still time to grow!

There are paths unexplored
Wood that are yet unseen
Lands to which I haven't been!!

Creases on my brow too few
The world still feels so new!
Seas so many to cross
Rivers I'm yet to come across!!

Scenes I'm yet to savor
Of myriad colors, hues & flavor!
There are promises I am to keep
Fruits I'm yet to reap!!

There are ways much unknown
And emotions yet unfelt
Prayers for which I haven't knelt!!

There even promises to claim
I'm yet to make a name!
So much I'm yet to give
A few, I'm yet to forgive!!

There are those I'm to go back to
And there are things I still wish to!
Many I'm yet to meet anew
Forever with me, will remain a few!!

There are territories uncharted
And places I'm yet unaware
Feelings those still feel rare!!

Plenty years ahead to grow old
Stories aplenty to unfold!
Love that I haven't fallen into
So much yet under 'to do'!!

I'm fine that I'm yet a child
May be untamed, even wild!
So much more yet to know
For there's still time to grow !!