Posted in Originals, Poetry, Reflections

Who Am I? | The Million Dollar and A Billion Poems Worth Question

 

Who am I?

I am a shapeshifter. A chameleon soul. I change colors and hide myself in plain sight.

I am the water. I am the wood. I am the shadow of the mighty sun, lurking in the hood.

I flow like the river, twisting, turning, but forever onwards, to wherever gravity takes me.

When collected in depressions, I embrace the silence of deep lakes.

When tipping off cliff edges, I become the waterfall, raining down in outrageous beauty.

I am a silver stream in the morning. And a golden ball of water rolling at midday.

I am the lover’s mouth at night. Making love to the ocean, disappearing into its dark delight.

I am the black ink of my pen, as it dances from my heart, onto the pages of this diary.

I am the dance of the ink, matching the rhythms of the river, that is being traced in its words.

I am the source of those rhythms, the radiator, the tuning fork. Head to toe.

That vibrates to the slightest of stimuli. A photograph. A raindrop. A sunrise. A sunset.

I am a whore to the stimuli. Moved by slightest promises of delight, of love, of pleasure divine.

I am a devoted mother nurturing the fantasies these stimuli give birth to within me.

I create words and melodies and paintings and a warm web of love to keep them safe.

I am each strand of that web built with the drying of my spit and sweat and blood and tears.

I am the spider woman building that web with my spit and sweat and blood and tears.

I am the spider baby nesting in the spider woman’s web. I also  know how to take love and care.

Learning the delicate art of balancing, of stucking and un-stucking on the web’s strands, myriad.

I am the glass eyes of watery dreams in the spider baby’s eyes, reflecting the whole universe.

I am the tears that fall when the storm comes. Tears of fear, of loss and great disillusion.

I am the storm, collecting all the webs of the world, swallowing them up to vomit out in disgust.

I am the disgust, the churning stomach, the exulted river that leaves the mouth in reflex.

I am the silence. The numb depths of despair where rest these rivers of forgotten filth.

I am the resting dove of pure white feathers, walking the mountains of filthy death.

I am the egg created on this filth, in a nested web, out of love, and exaltedness.

I am the little paws clawing at the hard egg shell. I am the strong will of the little one inside.

I am the promising beauty of the universe that dares welcome the little one into the filth without.

I am the quivering pulsating will of life. I am the creation song, urging breaths of wistful air into it.

I am the unforgiving unrelenting unasked for and unwelcome plight of death.

I am the beginning, the end and everything in between.

I am the morning that follows the night that follows the morning that follows the night.

I am one. I am all. And one again. I am everything.

Posted in Originals, Poetry, Reflections

for once i want to believe | a poem from the numb depths

the brain is not responding any more, tired and exhausted
it is now redirecting all lines to my heart
heart is choking on the emotions streaming in my blood vessels
is asking to escape this Q and A 
thus
i now want something dangerous
 

something that keeps me on the endge

 

so i am not burdened by the weight of living a life

 

so i am lighter and an easy flyer

 

something dangerous that induces a fear

 

bigger than the others that i am nurturing right now

 

so i can become a kid napped into its clawing spreads

 

losing track of every other string

of pain, of fear or that of thought
~
for once i want to believe

that something that does not kill me

actually makes me stronger

because i honestly have wished 

to die, before i have to endure this pain

and hence the desire to feel danger

a pure rush of fear, fear of death

or maybe something just more fearful than this, right now

more tangible, more immediate, more fucking realistic

so that i face it, live through it, survive it

and know for sure 

or at least a little more sure

that the power of my will still holds some flare

that as long as i am alive i can still stand straight

pay the prices of living, rents to the landlords

feed the flesh and blood of this inherited human form
 

and live to see the circle complete

 

not run out of fuel till the ends meet . . . 

Posted in Artists

Goosebumps and the Legacy of Bohemian Rhapsody | Crowd Singing Along at a Green Day Concert

The melody of this song exploded from within and without

It exploded from the speakers and was absorbed by each heart

It also exploded from each of those hearts and spread across the air

Together they created a new super structure with their inter-being

A new person A new body A new living entity pulsing to Queen’s melody

Going through each of the twist and turn of the song the person wasn’t bored

Lasting its dance to the melody for the whole 6 minutes

And they who once said that the song was too much and too long

Dissolved in the ecstatic noise of this person, this super structure

 

Posted in Movies

Countering Racist Criticism of Harry Potter | Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I belong to the generation that grew up in the magical, mystical world of Harry Potter. The lightning bolt scar, bold Expelliarmus spell and You-Know-Who are as close to my childhood memories as my mother’s lullabies and father’s wise cracks.

So it came as a personal offence to me when I read about some people talking against its general spirit and motive.

Questions were raised about racial inclusion in the characters of the story. They said that there were hardly any witches and wizards from Asian countries or even African countries in Rowling’s world. Basically, the characters lacked in color distribution.

I had read this criticism years ago and had not been able to counter it immediately. Because it was true that in Rowling’s canvas, there were very few Browns, Blacks and Yellows. But something about the spirit of this criticism did not go down well with my understanding of the Harry Potter series.

I felt that it was being seen through a very narrow lens. A fallacy that is made when an ocean is viewed from the other side of a wall, through a tiny hole. The amount of water visible through the hole is considered by the viewer as the whole amount of water there is. So even the ocean is falsely believed to be just another lake or a pond.

This year the series celebrated 20 years of its publishing. So I decided to watch one of its movies and reminisce what it was like to be in the Harry Potter world, all those years ago. Having chosen the Fifth part of the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, I think I was able to counter this allegation of lack of inclusivity by the author.

Every Harry Potter part addressed a key issue at its heart. These issues were usually related to the age Harry was in the book and also issues related to different aspects of Light and Dark.

This particular section of the HP series was about how Dark and Light always went hand in hand, even in the noblest as well as darkest of souls. Harry was not an extraordinary wizard, but he had greatness thrust upon him because of extraordinary circumstances. He is seen as a beacon of light in a world drowned in darkness of one Dark Lord. He finds this light coming from a place of love and sacrifice that he was showered upon by his mother.

The Enemy Within

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As a 14 year old boy, at the threshold of his teenage years, Harry is shown to fight with the Darkness that can lurk even in the brightest hearts. He learns an important lesson, as do we as readers,when his Godfather explains to him

“We all have darkness and light in us. But we are defined by what we choose to act on.”

Incidentally his Godfather, Sirius Black, comes from the Slytherin House. The House that is known to be home to the Dark Lord and in itself stands for the darker forces in a human being – ambition, ego and elusivity. But he goes on to be selected in the House of Gryffindor, to which Harry and all of his family belong. He chooses to act on his brighter side, that of courage, simplicity and friendship.

We also see one Severus Snape, the teacher Harry loves to hate, revealing his own abused and bullied side as a young school boy. We see how this cold blooded human came to be so, the reasons his darkness was triggered because of nasty childhood memories.

In the closing scenes of the movie, Harry talks to his friends about what they as young teenagers have, but the Dark Lord Voldemort does not. He says that they have something worth fighting for.

What are they, as young teenagers, fighting for, which is bigger than the motives of the most powerful wizard of all time? The answer is Balance.

They are on the side of the Balance, the same side that even nature takes. There are all kinds of forces in nature – day-night, light-dark, herbivore-carnivore, birth-death, growth-decay. And together they maintain the higher goal of nature – to maintain the Balance.

Whenever the Natural Balance is tipped to any one side, whether too much good or too much bad, they are automatically brought back in check. Too much goodness weakens the ability of a man to defend himself. Too much aggression weakens the ability of a man to remain humble and grounded.

So even though the greatest threat to the wizarding society is a Slytherin, all the Slytherin House members are not vilified. All the Houses will and must exist. And must find ways to coexist despite their differences. This is the spirit of true courage in Rowling’s universe.

So even if her characters are not balancing out the White with the Black, the spirit of her story is. The underlying spirit is what, in my opinion, should matter in the end.

Text is more important than Font on a Signboard

rowling

Stories are like sign boards. Great stories are the ones that point us in the direction of this Great Balance of our own Nature. Although the design of this ‘sign board’ is important, it is not more important than the direction it is pointing towards.

To conclude that a sign having Black letters against a White background is racist, is as ridiculous as questioning the motive of Rowling towards racism. Black letters definitely occupy less space on the White background, but that only increases legibility and ease of understanding. I think that is all the purpose of the sign board is. Beyond that what the board says, where does it point, should have more significance.

J. K. Rowling grew up in Europe, studied and worked there all her life. This simple fact is bound to reflect in her writing as well. It is bound to reflect in the universe that she creates to tell her story. But is that supposed to mean the story is one sided and biased as well.

I don’t think so. I would like to quote one, Cheryl Strayed, a survivor, an inspiration and also a best selling novelist.

…when you’re speaking in the truest, most intimate voice about your life, you are speaking with the universal voice” 

And so I think that it is the truth in the voice of Rowling, when she tells the story of Harry Potter, that counts for the universality in her stories. Even if the characters are not directly racially balanced, the spirit is and that is universal as well inclusive in every way possible.

The Potterhead in me rests her case

~

When a week has been skipped and I have a compensatory post in place of the two that were missed!

 

 

Posted in Originals, Poetry, Reflections

To Live as surely as I am going to Die | A Poem | Life Cycle of a Star

I am withdrawing back.
I am taking back an emotional dependency that I used to throw at others in my life.
I am taking back expectations of having someone by my side, all the time, all my life.
I am taking back the idea of an eternal commitment from others.
I am taking back perfection and its delusional anticipation in relationships I live.
It is not negative or hopeless. It is quietly re-strengthening, resurrecting.
It sounds hopeless and negative in my words. But when have my words ever sounded just as I have wanted them to?
Hopeless is not how I feel when I talk about withdrawing from all this love business.
The romantic love of course. The idea of a sexual partner.
What am I going to do with my sexual urges then, it can be asked?
What am I going to orgasm at?
The answer is slowly rising within me, taking its time, ascending at a pace of its own.
Please hold on a while longer.
*
What am I going to orgasm at, if not humans?
At pleasures hidden in small things of this world.
Like the orgasm I had in a model making class.
Without any human touch. Without any human involvement.
Just a task at hand, to be completed in given time.
No competition with anyone else except me.
High stakes for the expectations I have only from me.
Releasing a knot of insecurity, with every fold of paper.
Increasing blood flow in my body with every sealed edge of the cube.
That self induced orgasm was like none other I ever had.
The ones induced by humans were but its reflections, on multiple mirrors, weakened at every mirror on the way.
*
I am letting in, the thought of being completely alone, all my life. Of being incomparable to anything or anybody else.
At least incomparable in the existing definitions of comparison in the world.
I am withdrawing from the idea of someone understanding me completely.
I am withdrawing from the idea of needing this someone entirely.
I am withdrawing from reflections of people giving me orgasms.
I am letting in the idea of a passion that is universal. In things and humans alike.
Intrinsic like the one I had when I was in the model making class.
*I am getting hurt over and over again by people.
Rather, I am letting myself get hurt over and over again by people.
Why am I letting them hurt me?
Why am I dependent on them to give me orgasms?
I can be dependent on them for other things but
Why am I dependent on them for my inner peace?
Inner Peace
*
What is Inner Peace?
A star is a ball of gases waiting to explode away into space (Life) and implode into its center (Death), all at once.
Inner Peace is the state of a star when both the violent forces of Life and Death are in cancellation of each other.
The state of a star when everything is silent yet everything is moving.
No pressure differences. No effective displacement. Neither a collapse nor an expanse.
And yet an underlying dynamism, a tension, a tug of war between the two halves. It is a Peace with a lot of violence ongoing.
Helping maintain a steady stream of heat and light on its way into space, brightening the darkness a little more.
And all this while all the fuel lasts. While the star isn’t dead yet.
*
I am going to die soon as well. Like a star .
A deep breath suffices the realization that with each breath I am shedding some parts, irreversibly, of my self.
A part that has burnt out and shall not return. I am dying.
I already have an urge to burn out. Faster. Quicker. Wilder.
And that is when I realize how Death is already on the rise.
And before it gets all the better parts of me, I want to give Life a chance.
I want to Live as surely as I am going to Die.

~

Thursday Thoughts

Posted in Originals, Reflections

True Freedom is Designing your own Life | Reasons to be an architectural journalist

Architectural journalism needs to be brought back to people as architecture needs to be brought back to people as well. Stories of how creation happens is something that has been too sacrosanct to even talk about in our society. Either is too unimportant to not matter and passes by as Jugaad. Or it is made extremely out of the reach of common man when seen as the commodity of the extremely wealthy and, simply, lucky people of the society.

Good design is like a basic right. It is like primary education. People need to be aware enough to design a good life for themselves, and the environment they build for themselves is a very important part of that design. The passive environment that they construct around them, which ends up affecting all their active activities, thus plays a very important role in how their lives turn out.

In our Information age, information is being declared a basic human right by the union of nations worldwide, the UN. Like basic health care and primary education, unlimited access to information has been deemed the same value as things that keep a human being alive. And I believe this information needs to include the information about how to design a good life for ourselves.

Architecture and art as modes of designing lives for ourselves, need to be brought back to the people of the world. Those in power have time and again tried to seize this basic human right from individuals and the powerless. They have built huge unimaginably grand and complex structures, sometimes functional sometimes out of faith, in order to extend the consciousness of their authority over people, in their everyday life. So that whenever a person walks into a grand temple or a mosque or a huge city built where there was once the ocean, they are left spellbound by the capabilities of those in power. How and how much can they control their lives and can have their lives controlled by those in power?

True freedom is in a emancipated and free mind. The mind that can make its own decisions, choose for itself, make mistakes and then have the courage to correct those mistakes. Without freedom, we are no different from the robots – lifeless, egoless, selfless. We are the nightmare that the dystopian science fiction predicts for the future. We are that nightmare today and now. And no this thought is not anti developmental or defeatist. This thought is a step towards a wise way of life that has been time and again predicted by many a Cassandra’s of the world. The prediction that each one when fully aware and in acceptance of their job, working to their fullest capacity, even if under a subjugating regime, contributes to a bigger structure that can achieve great things. If those at the individual levels of a group or organization, be it a multinational corporation or the human body, are denied their freedom, we end up creating highly efficient yet unsustainable organizations. We end up creating slaves and not comrades. We end up creating men and women who are continuously at competition with each other in terms of who can follow the orders the best. And not those that work in competition with themselves, bettering themselves from their yesterday’s self.

One of the most important ingredients of a sovereign and independent way of life is the ability to create. To create opportunities out of difficulties. To create dreams out of failures. To create success out of setbacks. To create. To be able to create. To have the freedom to create lives, designs, houses, localities, cities, countries, etc. And this design thinking needs to be made more common, more mainstream. More removed from the elite class who have a lot of time and money to spend, to the most downtrodden ones who struggle to make ends meet. They both should be able to choose and design a life of their choice for themselves. They both need to be in a position to choose the kinds of lifestyles they find best suitable to their tastes and their abilities, irrespective of where they begin. They should be in freedom to take steps towards the kinds of lives they choose to live, wherever the starting point. The delta, the difference between the life they inherited and that which they leave behind is what counts in the end. The distance we all came along the way, is the most important thing. And nothing else matters.

Bringing this design thinking, in all its dualities of scientific as well artistic/intuitive aspects, to the people is what I wish to achieve in the long run. To bring art and science of designing ones surroundings, ones living and working spaces, ones breathing and loving spaces, ones dancing and collaborating spaces, is what I wish to achieve with my inherent love for storytelling. For storytelling is one of the most efficient and effective ways to reach out to the empathetic beings that we are, the human race. To help them find themselves in the stories of others. To help them be inspired by the stories of others who have made it to the other side, of finding their freedoms and living with the responsibility of that freedom.

The future belongs to the deeply liberated and self realized individuals, that function as organizations in themselves. The era of the specialist is on the downfall. The one who can specialize in multiple arenas, or at least be a jack of multiple arenas is the one that will survive. From modern day politics to the chaos theory in science, we are time and again seeing how the jack of many trades is multiple notches ahead of the master of a few. The spider’s web in two dimensions is far more enduring than a single thick thread it spits out linearly. And the spiders of the world, the designers of their lives, all humans alike, require this information. They require the skills and inspirations to pursue the ambition of building a web more often and more robust.

~

Delayed Monday Contemplations

Posted in Originals, Poetry, Reflections

Keep Standing Keep Fighting | A Poem for the Warrior Soul

There will be another chance, another battle,

when you can claim back your war.

There were battles where you performed so good.

There were battles you slayed the enemy.

And then there were those where you were slain

down to pieces, even if with the swords of love.

Even if with swords of misty, cloudy, confusing but still,

love. There will be another day, another battle for you to slay.

Keep standing. Keep fighting. Keep working on who you want to be

after those battles have been won. After the war has been won.

Keep standing. Keep fighting.

~

Thursday Thoughts