Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blurred Visions

They ordered me to draw patterns,
"Black straight lines-
towards the left."
"White straight lines-
towards the right."
And I drew them, flawlessly,
surprising myself.
Then they asked me to draw trees
in black and white.
I gave them back their colors,
black and white,
and walked away with tears in my eyes.
How can I draw?
the roots-new and old,
the ones travelling underground,
and the ones eager to watch the world above,
the trunk-
colored green, brown and yellow
all at the same time,
the branches-
who haven't made up their mind-
whether to be strong or weak,
the leaves-
who are confused
between autumn and spring,
and the fruits-
each one- half a virtue and half a vice.
Tell me,
How can I draw them all-
just in black and white?
So I walk away,
with tears in my eyes,
For when it comes to life my friend,
my vision is always blurred....
-Aparna

To Fear

Oh fear,
I hold you close to my heart,
closer than my lover.
You are always present,
just beneath my skin,
latched onto me like a limpet.
I let you swim -
freely in my bloodstream,
sucking the juice-
of my hard earned wisdom.
I let you crawl on my spine,
while you nibble on my vertebrae-
like a shameless parasite,
wiping out-
every last trace of my dignity.
Oh, don't be alarmed-
that I found your dirty tricks,
for I always knew.
And don't worry,
I will still hold you close,
closer than ever.
You will remain, with me,
as in a leash.
For,
I shall not let you join the storm
coming to root me out....
-Aparna

Friday, November 22, 2013

Armorless

For once
l want to blindfold myself,
and take a plunge into the deep sea;
let the hurricane lift me up,
and drop me wherever it pleases;
hold the fire in my hand
and not care about the scars it will leave;
I want to feel every wind
every rain drop, every scent,
every dust particle and every swirl of smoke-
that blinds my vision.
For once,
I want to be the knight without an armor....
-Aparna

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Updates from Delhi

So I went to Delhi a few days back. The last time I was there I was a 7th grader in frocks travelling with extra cautious parents and an annoying little brother and that was fun too. But this was special. I was in charge this time and I loved it. Well , I stayed with this aunt and uncle who are very close family friends. But even they were new to me. Yeah, the last time I met them  I was a 7th grader. And they were this adorable couple who didn't put any difficult restrictions on me and let me figure my way around things. Having said this at least some of you readers will imagine me in a complete tourist mode moving around the city sightseeing, clicking pictures, shopping and so on. I admit to having done a little bit of all of this.  It was amazing to see the incredible Qutb Minar, the magnificent Red Fort and the crowded but surprisingly peaceful Jama Masjid. So was shopping for ear rings and bangles in Pallika Bazar and Chandni Chowk and for old books in Darya Ganj. But these are not the things which make this trip so special for me. Of course, they form a crucial part of my happy ending trip. 

This is officially my 5th year as a student in University of Hyderabad and it has been an incredible journey so far, of course, with its own share of ups and downs. I love this campus and the amazing people I have to come to know from my stay here. I enjoy my late night walks under a moon lit sky with cold gentle breeze for company. There are evenings when I lie down on a rock near the lake and look at light through the protective cover of leaves, in different shades of green, above my head. That is one of the most heavenly experiences ever.  As much as I love this place there are times I have to be away from here to refresh my system and remind myself  of the possibilities that I have forgotten about.  Yeah, all of you will say that there is nothing new in it. Anyone who lives in the same place year after year would feel the same. Quite natural. Well, all of us experience it in different degrees at different times and I am not going to deny myself the pleasure of telling my story in my own words even if it ends as a cliched write-up at the end of it. Also, the main aim of writing this post is to share the following half-baked thoughts with all of you. 

So I think living in the same place can result in two things. One possibility is that you might end up appropriating every aspect of this place, both good and bad. And after a while there is not much distinction between the good and bad. Because you have appropriated them your universe and in there you have created an understanding of near perfection about the place you live in. The parameters for judging a place is already set in your head and you keep altering the parameters systematically to make the flaws look not like flaws! Initially the result of this activity is a silent but active admiration but later all that remains is indifference. I will come to where I think that leads to. But before that let me try explaining the other possibility. The second possibility is that all that you see in this place is flaws. When I say place it includes everything, the buildings, people, transport, lamp posts, dogs, cats, everything that forms part of your familiar surroundings. Everything looks hopeless to you. But you stick around because you have made yourself believe that you don't have  choice.  The first possibility definitely looks like the one which is more positive, that is, you learn to ignore the flaws and are able to accept things as they are. Many people would claim that acceptance is a positive development for a human being (I think that is because they forget to distinguish between acceptance and indifference).  The second one has more of a negative focus, that is, on the flaws and that obviously is depressing.

 I think both these possibilities are similar and negative. Both comes with a lot of resignation. Both brings in a lot of uniformity which shuts out new possibilities and both are equally disturbing .  You don't see the possibility for an exciting adventure (even a psychological one), you feel like all your energies are being wasted and you have forgotten what euphoria ever meant. That is when Delhi happened for me. I didn't have the slightest clue about what to expect in Delhi. I didn't have too many close friends in Delhi, most people I knew there were acquaintances. Initially there was some fear which later gave way to truckloads of excitement and YES, euphoria! There were hidden wonders everywhere. For starters, swiping cards to enter a metro train for the first time, the discovery that you can actually read a book in a crowded metro train (even when you are being crushed between people who are double your size (people seem to do it all the time, I tried it and hey, you can actually do that), those squirrels who comes near you in the hope of finding a nut in your stretched out palm and leave you with a small feeling of guilt mixed with amazement, (guilt because you didn't have nuts and amazement because these squirrels are really really cool), the most amazing library at Teen Murti (I have only one word for it, heaven. Most likely because I haven't seen a better one.), the sheer pleasure of walking on moist grass outside the apartment where I stayed (apparently this is an activity which is good for your eyesight- that was general knowledge from random neighbor and most likely he was teasing me), riding in rickshaws through all these narrow crowded alleys gazing at everything around you, people who don't care whether your Hindi is accented or not, those random acts of kindness from complete strangers which sweeps you off your feet,  the list is going to be too long. 

But most of all I enjoyed gazing at people, at things, with my eyes filled with wonder. Now this is one capacity I cherish a lot, the reason being the fact that I am a deeply passionate person.  But monotony kills the spirit of wonder and passion in me. This trip to Delhi brought it back. I have again started looking for little stories and short-lived moments of euphoria around me. This trip helped me shed my old skin and grow a new one (yeah, yeah, an overused cliche!) Let me clarify that it is not the city Delhi which is responsible for this sudden surge of freshness that I am experiencing. It is rather the process of experiencing something new. I am sure if I had stayed there for a few more days, I would know about Delhi's share of troubles. But that doesn't matter now. All that matters now is the fact that this trip healed me, at least to some extent. I am back at my old place, but, I can hear new stories that I want to tell, in my ears and I have brought back truckloads of teeny-weeny little memories to ponder over. I hope they will help, at least for a while....


And here is a snap of a visibly happy me from Jama Masjid, Old Delhi..

Peace,

Aparna


Come Soon

Come soon,
before my mind goes numb.
Come soon,
before I forget ,
who you are and
what you ever meant to me.
Come soon
before the wound created by your absence
heals completely.
Hold my hand,
before I learn to walk alone.
Ignore
the ramblings of a tired soul.