De Mourir

Things they say of the dead
Whispering in shades of monochrome

Once one is gone
One can never come back

Through rainbow tinted glasses I peer
In dirges tones that i hear

Things of the dead that they whisper

They say that the climb is taxing
Not taxing enough to pay heed
The shadows on the other side
are the only friends that i have

Their friendship that binds me tight
like a czar’s iron fist
their grip is like vice
the vice like the creeper’s lust of poisoned nettle

Trapped in time’s hourglass
the passage of an era passes
unnoticed by our tired eyes

The yellowed pages of my parchment
long forgotten, long abandoned
wither with burdened age,
the innate scribbles gone, forever.

The smear of the crimson ink
staining my pale hands
accusing me of murder.
Poor murderous souls of ours.
Are they so?

A lone ghost from the shadow
Whispers in tones somber
Once one is gone
one can never come back

Shadows that swirl in
the brightest of illuminations
Haunting, forever.

The view of the other side is gratifying
The sky in painted
in brilliant shades of blood and grime
The ground is teeming
in blackness, a blackness that crawls

Corpses,shrouded by the darkness, stare
glassy eyes that hold no fear.
Driven by the force of shadows.
Driven by whispers of insanity.
Crawling, dauntless, forever.

But beyond the shadows
But beyond the ghosts
But beyond the corpses
But beyond all the lost souls
There was a part of me

A part of me that
Fell in quiet sleep
Awakening only in oblivious eternity
A part of me that died,
With you, without you.

And I recollect that
you had whispered vaguely in my ears

Once one is gone
one can never truly come back.

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My kind of Peace and the value of Silence

calm

We live in a noisy world and are never left alone.
Every morning I wake to the sound of utensils clanging, people quarreling, cars honking and every basic element of noise that constitutes a metro city working like a particularly annoying alarm clock that derives some secret inanimate pleasure in disrupting my true love- sleep. Pretty sadistic eh? I mean for an alarm clock that you don’t even set!
Then there is the ‘smart’ phone, suspiciously smarter than it’s owner, it’s become some sort of a lifeline for people to escape self introspection and insecurities which, is really sad, because the best times I’ve spent or the memories that really stay are not the ones directly involving your smartphone but rather, ones I have had while conversing with people and with myself.

In the chaos that is the 21st century we all are plunged headlong into a fierce race for survival and ‘peace’,ah, my favourite part, the elusive term ‘peace’ that has been used and abused but never really, really felt.
So today I took the leisure of asking my peers a seemingly simple question and one thing led to another.

‘What is your ambition?’ and oh didn’t they have a lot to say! A high paying job, status, living in excessive comfort and a ‘happy’ life was what I could hear in all that they had to say.
and then I asked
‘What is happiness?’ and they were ready, describing how wonderful it would be if they had a fulfilling life and that would only be possible if all of their desired ambitions were reached and so on and so forth.
‘So what is the point of it all?’ A philosopher friend was bold enough to state ‘Oh it is all for everlasting peace’
and that gave me an idea, so what IS peace? an absence of war? a state of numbness? detachment? love?
and all of them were suddenly nodding their heads, furrowing their brows and discussing in all seriousness ‘how one can find peace’.
Today I was an observer, and I realized that what we lacked was peace, by peace I do not mean a state devoid of symbolic or literal warfare, nor a state of numbness or detachment, for me the terms of ‘detachment’ and ‘numbness’ seem but a bit harsh. What we lack is reconciliation, acceptance and courage to be who we really are.
Carl Jung said “The most terrifying thing is to accept oneself completely”
The hypocrisy runs so high everywhere I go that people are always vigilant, concealed behind a facade of false bravery and deceit, afraid that someone might just come along and break those walls down and see them for who they really are, insecure, lonely and needy.

I will be lying if I say I’m at peace, because I’m not, the age that I’m in, at 17, there are certain degrees of insecurities that I have to deal with and dealing with them I am. I’ve accepted the fact that I cannot be someone else’s definition of perfect when what matters is that it is my life and I, and only I am burdened with making it a fulfilling journey, not a destination to be reached.
I read a wonderful saying “Those who live fully are ready to die any moment”, so is that what I’ve become? living fully everyday, enjoying whatever work I have at hand and hoping for another day but ready to give it up all at once? I’d certainly like to think, yes I am. but I’ll be honest, no, I’m not, not living fully, not enjoying everything that I have at hand and definitely not ready to give it up all at once. But yes, I would definitely like to get there someday. Maybe as soon as possible.

However there is something I am self assured of, that is, a new level of peace, and that does not come from any kind of enlightenment, but from the mere fact that I’ve learned to truly accept myself with my many differences and have reconciled with the reality that I can never be anything but myself. That is my reality. This kind of a peace brings a new level happiness, and you no longer are self conscious or anxious about how you might be doing things the ‘wrong way’, you listen to your conscience and be who you are, it is that simple a peace for me. Ah this reminds me of a quote from Hamlet on which I was supposed to write an essay but never got around to finishing it.(sheepish grin)

“This above all: to thine own self be true,

And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man”
      – Polonius to Laertes, Hamlet Act 1, Scene III.

The new kind of peace brings in Silence, a full silence that is so tangible that you can breathe it in and bask in it’s warm glow. Silence is not merely the absence of noise but combining the inner peace that one may develop. Silence is that state of mind when you are one with your conscience, accepting yourself for what you truly are and learning not to keep regrets.
Insecurities and chaos will always be there, in the vicinity, waiting to rupture that bubble of peace and silence you surround yourself with, but then isn’t that the way of life? isn’t chaos the reason we can appreciate silence? therefore we must learn to accept both black and white, and that is only possible if one is grey, truly balanced.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.”
― C.G.Jung

The Day Time Stood Still

What is life, if full of care
we have no time to stand and stare

I’ve always dreamed of being an explorer and to put it in grander terms a ‘globe trotter’, of course that dream as of now remains unaccomplished but I’ve started small, very small.
Most Bengalis (Natives of West Bengal, India) follow this tradition of holidaying at least once a year, rich or poor, young or old, one holiday trip in the summers and another in the Durga Puja vacation is a must.
The year 2012, was the first time when my desire to travel began taking a distinct form.
I, along with my mom and dad were holidaying in Puri beach, Odisha in October 2012.
I’ve always fancied myself to be a nature-lover with poets like Wordsworth, Henry Davies predominantly shaping my outlook as an ‘idealist’.
I was 16 that year and we were strolling along the length of the beach, and I was feeling particularly adventurous that evening.
I walked along, by myself, as long as I could go and came across this lighthouse at a secluded end of the beach, this place beautifully quiet and peaceful and this is where I knew I had found ‘my spot’.

Light house at Kapu beach near Udupi The Lighthouse.

So, I was there, present in the beach in this part where no one was around with my feet digging into the moist sand and the warm sea breeze with the occasional spray of foam from the waves that lashed at my feet.
PURI2 Sunset, 5.38pm
PURI3 5.55pm

It was as if time had stopped, for one precious moment I felt exuberant, there I was drinking in the setting sun, the deep hues of orange and vermillion colouring the sky, For that timeless moment I had no worries, no responsibilities and no one to please but myself. That was one moment I felt what it was like to be truly happy.

No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare

And more importantly, that was a day of realizations.
That happiness is found in the least of things, they gush in all of a sudden, catching you by surprise and then leave you, fulfilled and at peace, making one realize the value of the small things in life, which ignored in the daily bustle of life add up to be of the greatest importance in the end. Because in the end, peace and quiet is all that matters which no business-class trip, no amount of money and no five star hotel luxury can offer.
True peace and happiness is that tiny key in your bunch, waiting to be given a chance, waiting to unlock the floodgates of intrinsic bliss. Notice it, open the lock with the seemingly unimportant key before it gradually rusts to nothingness.

Apolectus

Stood tall the tower of her confinement
far far away from mortal reach

The patch of vivid blue from her window
was forever clear, so vibrant, so distant.

Her tower stood in the heart
of a forest forbidden,
where dwelt the creatures of magic
and creepers and trees that breathed
of treachery.

She longed for an escape
and escape that would hold her up
like a man’s strong arms that held his daughter
or that his lover is lifted by,
up to touch the distant patch
of forget-me-not blue
or lay her down,
down in the dew kissed meadow below
where a soul, laid on the
lush green ecstasy would soothe.

But desires don’t materialize into gallant princes,
princes that will come galloping, to give in
to her whims and fancies then
galloping on horses to whisk her away

For passing of time she used to sit
by the lone window and does so still
immersed in thoughts of unfathomable depths
swirling images in her keep

A silver paintbrush in her hand
drawing miracles on her walls of confinement,
An unconfined spirit,
A high waterfall, exuberant freedom
A blazing sun, righteous anger
A sole ship sailing on high seas,
Tides in her heart
A woman on horseback
an escape, her escape.

Midst sighs of defeat, exclaims of bliss
She planned it, in careful wit.

Then the dark head with endless tresses
like rippling waters of a black river,
unending, winding, unwinding, looked up.
The plan was drawn – fully bloomed
’twas reflected in the spring of her dark eyes
in the summer of the dusky skin
in the flush of her cheek
and in the tremble of her lips

That night by her window
not in contemplationbut in disquiet fervour she sat
holding her brush and hair
she let her breath upon
her bosom splay, her head bent
o’er the casement’s ledge
anticipation writ large
across her poignant face

A trembling palm enclose
the shaft of the silver brush
A stroking move, an intense flash,
A blaze of red hot light
The enchantment had not broken.

A hundred silver fragments lay
in the open of her palms
The gleam of the moon
in the northern sky failed
to camouflage her tears
that now pooled.

Mother Gothel’s enchantment had worked well;
keeping her in this wicked confinement
for eternities to come.
bent double, she curled up in desolateness
and the warmth of the moon seemed cold.

One white landscape away
She was sitting on her ledge
knitting time away
in strands of brilliant rainbow

When came a call of her name
A call that seared through her wintry heart
to touch the softness that still flamed
and thus in secret, she let down her hair.

He was up inside her tower
beside her, spreading his warmth
She was compelled under his tempting touch.
Her lamp ebbed so did her coldness
The darkness grew but only outside
within her there was only light.
The year long frost had melted away

Now she sat in the darkness
The night still young.
Awaiting his arrival.
waiting for his touch to
drive away the coldness
waiting for his kiss to
make the world disappear
waiting to lay in the heat of her bed
a space where only they belonged
a place which held secrets
secrets that made her blush scarlet.

She waited a long while, no call came.
Her lamp was ebbing away
She held her breath
A soft murmur reached her ears

Picking up the slight sound
she ventured into Mother Gothel’s
The key space showed her, two figures
Two figures entwined in intense familiarity
Two figures she knew well. Perfectly well.

The light was out of her by the time
she reached her door, into a tower cold.
no heat to warm her the slightest.

Summer had gone away too soon.
The fire that once blazed in the hearth
had been doused forevermore.

The tears of sorrow never came,
nor the excruciating pain she had expected.

Her entirety had been replaced by an emptiness
A gaping hollow she felt pleased to have.
The fire breathing dragon beneath her tower
had taken her heart, never to return again.

It was then she knew what to do
it was then the key to the lock was secured
it was then she knew what she had to make
it was then she knew she only had to make a Choice.

Apolectus! Apolectus! she cried in bittersweetness

Then she slashed at her mortal bindings
tore away the ropes of immortality
freed herself to fly away or to sink
to oblivion or to eternal bliss
that I cannot tell for sure,
for, it was Always her choice.

Liberté

You are a Bird, freedom is your name
and you were born to fly.
Chaining you down will dwindle
the ethereal beauty that is yours.
Caging you will erase your charm.

As hard as it may be,
I will let you go, let you soar,
fly away, out into the open sky.

Dill your delicate lungs with laughter,
the freshness of then new dawn;
Sing out in your sweet melody
Sing till the cup of your heart,
brims with eternal bliss.

Spread out, spread out your rainbow wings
and colour the monotonous sky with
your myriad variety.

Let me watch you fly,
Look! the Sky is awaiting your flight,
Her arms are open to take you in
Freedom. Finality. Eternity and Hope.
Everlasting.
Only,
Remember to fly, Bird, dearest,
for you, were born to.

The Pianist

” You can only want one thing the most”

the words echoed, like a long forgotten dream, emphasizing it’s unsung significance.
And looking at him, waiting for her, she knew all of a sudden that he was the ‘one’ thing that she had always wanted.

The insistent bell signalled the end of the interval, interrupting her daydream and forcing her back into the fleeting present. Everything, every moment was spent in a welcomed state of numbness, for as long as she could remember, she dwelled in the past. Memories, scattered here and there, agonizing to put together, yet impossible to let go.
She seated herself at the grand piano, and remembered him to be ever so spontaneous with verses.

“Perfect tone of crafted sound:
Inner depth of rumbling bass
Agitates my heart to pound!
Noble middle-range’s grace secures
Ovation – fell the ground!”

A tentative hand touched the yellowed keys, and her gaze, of it’s own accord moved to the finger where a ring might have been. She had long since shunned regret and had faith in the choices she had made. It was her choice, she found herself reminding.
Then breaking away from her undirected train of thoughts she stole a quick glance at the mirror proffered by her lady in waiting.
Her deep hazel eyes were aglow with a melancholy of long lost euphoria.

The curtain lifted into a thunderous applause, she felt the familiar warmth coursing through her, tonight would be the octogenarian’s final piano concerto.

Unbeknownst to her, he sat in the eighth row, beside a Monsignor of Italy.
Tonight was Lady Fenworthy’s final act.
Gold Medallist of the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society, member of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and a modern pioneer in alternative-classical instrumental.
But to him she was Melody, plain Melody, a melody more beautiful than the ones she spun out of her golden fingers, admired by many, appreciated by all.

As the first motes of her melody captivated the theatre into a stunned silence and the lights faded away, he leaned back into his seat, vaguely aware of the Monsignor complaining about the bad wine and clutching in his left palm two silver bands with Gaelic inscriptions.

Just in case.