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Life, Leverage and Limits

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Ink The Psyche

Diary of a soldier

All borders abandon;
All religions scrap;
All sights vanish;
When it gets dark.
 
Thoughts prevail, and the dreams,
To live one morning more.
And to those blasts,
One more scream.
 
Heads roll,
Triumphs count;
Silence makes sense while none is around.
I starve for days, I do not sleep for nights;
I still serve those lazy cowards;
And for them, I fight.
 
I see fireworks from guns in Diwali,
Colors in blasts and blood in Holi,
Sacrificing my soul on Mahram,
Slaying the enemy on ‘Eid,
Praying for peace on X-mass,
But all I see is colorless.
 
I see only wars,
I see only hatred,
But life is colorful they say;
They call this fire red, brick or orange,
They call this snow white,
They call these uniforms brown, dark and green,
But the only thing I see,
The only color I recognize,
Is that the ash is grey.
 
© Amaresh Swain

Mom’s Magic

It’s 1:23 AM… I am counting 1,2,3 with the hum of some alien song that is running in mind from the last morning and waiting for that moment. My mom is accompanying me. There is no exam tomorrow morning and I am not a college girl; it’s been years I last encountered a book or something for more than 5 min. There is no boy going to visit me the next morning that I am sleepless in the excitement and fear of my marriage. There is no travel plan or any rituals early morning. We are just sitting silently, looking at each other; sometimes whispering a word or two which wouldn’t go beyond the circumference of the bed. Mom is here for 2 days only, but I can’t talk to her, even knowing that there is no one to disturb. We are feeling little sleepy, but can’t sleep. I am sitting in one corner of the bed, slouching a little forward on the support of one hand so that I can run my other hand over her head. The little one is still not sleeping. I am trying all means to put her to sleep. Only a mother can understand my helplessness. My mother is suggesting me many alternatives and I am trying them one by one. None of them have worked so far. We are still waiting. I have been running my hand over her soothingly and singing a lullaby my mother sang to me; in the repeat mode. It’s been so routine work that I do not find it different from worshiping; like I do the prayers in the morning while preparing breakfast and thinking of other things while singing a lullaby. The song and the work or the thought do not interfere; they all go parallel. I have been continuing this for last 2 hours and have been thinking of many things.

I have been so busy with life, going through so many different phases and performing so many different roles in past few years that I had no time to focus on my life. I have been a daughter and college girl 4 years back; a job holder and would be bride 3 years back; a wife and daughter-in-law 2 years back; a mother 1 year back; and no clue about my status for last one year. In fact no one bothered to ask; not even me. Life becomes so short after you focus all your thoughts, actions and priorities on one thing or one person. The living room has been so unattended that anyone would get the same question at the first glance, “do you live here?”. I couldn’t resist that repeating question in my mind every time I enter the room. After so many attempts, I managed to get 2 hours’ time this morning to reorganize things in the room. Dusting the room, separating the unnecessary stuff, packaging few articles those have not been used in a while, changing the curtains, removing the vase from the corner, shifting the glass shelf, cleaning the decors, etc.; in short, too much of work. Thank God, my maid helped me with few things. The planned 2 hours got extended to 3 hours, that too for finishing the major chunk; few other things are left which can’t be noticed in the first look, which is a relief. After putting the bundle of newspaper aside, the maid asked if she can take them and sell for some money. I agreed. She smiled and I could see her increased interest in work. She got stuck on something while dusting the books; a book cover perhaps. “Madam, the handwriting on this note is so attractive. whose is this? Looks to be old one. Shall I keep it or throw?”. I grabbed it from her hand and looked at it once. My dear old friend – my diary. A simpered and quickly wiped it myself and kept aside. “This is mine.”. The ownership in my voice would have convinced her that she can’t get it.

Mom offered to prepare lunch today and suggested me to take rest, as I was tired after this tedious work. I couldn’t miss this freedom of the moment. I had a quick bath and was ready in few minutes. The little one was sleeping. I slowly ascended the bed without disturbing her, moved nearer and kissed her. Then tried to sleep. I was not aware that the diary had already released a good amount of serotonin. I couldn’t sleep. I thought of going through it while lying flat on the bed. I opened it while thinking how busy I am and I don’t get time to write my daily journal these days. Coincidentally got this page where I found my sleep patterns. Kept on reading:

I woke up at 8:30 in a lazy morning. After being scolded in class for sleeping, I have started completing it in the morning itself. While I was trying to merge my body with the bed adjusting my position of sleep and avoiding noise by putting two pillows over my ear, I could still hear Dad shouting from the other room “sleeping will give you nothing. Lazy are the losers.” with pauses for the sip of coffee and continuing “I have been telling this for years. No one listens to me in this house.” and mom addressing this with her stereotype humor “who tells you to preach when no one listens? You should have learnt early and changed the verse.” with that mixed smile and haste to change the topic before he feels bad. “Now she is done with her studies and we should find a match for her. Finding a good boy these days is very difficult.”, to which Mom replied, “She will find her own match.” Father was silent for a while. He must be looking at Mom with surprise. “How will she manage after marriage if she sleeps so much?”. She was preparing for breakfast and replying to every question, “She will manage. You will never get a complain. I know my daughter. Let her sleep for some time when she is with us at least.”. I was telling from under the blanket “Thanks Mom, you get everything done for me. How can I manage without you?.”

I was lost for a while, remembering all those sweet days of sleeping without worries. Mom tapped on my shoulder and whispered, “She is asleep now. You can go to sleep.” I became alert and gave a sleepy smile; stretching my neck and yawning. My mom was still waiting for me to sleep. Then I silently appreciated my mother. She would have done the same for me when I was a toddler and she has been continuing till date. I am in my mom’s place now. I know that the little one will not remember any of these when she will grow and I have to tell her these as stories describing how she was keeping me awake for nights. She would continue to do the same for her child. Diaries will be filled with the same story for generations; the stories of mothers who are so fond of sleeping and sacrifice that for their children.

I looked at the clock. It’s 2:47 AM. I need to go to bed so that I can wake up early and start working. I need to prepare breakfast, pack lunch for him and myself, go to work, prepare dinner, take her to sleep and plan for the next day after every day. That’s the magic of life. You get enchanted  by its charm and get trapped for millenniums.

© Amaresh Swain

Of Kings And Merciless Time!

Of the hands
That once grew flowers in a desert,
Of the hands that created living characters,
In that silent play
Of the generation more human,
Yet more ruthless,
Of the kings who lost their first battle
And of the princess,
Who lost her pearl necklace,
The time shall linger one bright day.

Those hands, old and sinful,

As they touched the sand,
And built a Taj Mahal,
That made them memorable,
For each flower they nourished,
There spread some light, to sky,
And for each sweat drop they hide,
Created one ocean,
Even bigger than their pride,
Of those characters, they never knew,
And their fate had already written,
Already been haunted by those sinful hands,
Was more than just a joy  for them to act,
Was just to make,
Those unbearable silent songs pleasant.

Those kings were no different,
Not worthy for a praise,
In those storms of sand and still,
Those shining swords they raise,
Lost a battle and lost their countrymen,
As they screamed “off with his head”,
Still they won,
With their swords still raised,
As all those old paintings,
Reminded her of the necklace,
The bliss that out matches all her wealth,
Every time she gets a glance,
And that old lady still dresses
As a princess for her king,
Every time she gets a chance.
 
For all those humans who were dead,
With deformed humanity,
And of blood, not so red,
For everything,
Those were lost on their way,
This merciless time, shall linger one bright day. 

Wish you the same…

When the things move far
And persons get closer,
I call it sickness.
It’s when your silence talks
And I have no language to translate,
When I have the dream so blind,
I can taste and feel.
I can listen and smell,
But can’t see you in my dream.
I die for living.
I cry for laughing.
And I scream.

It’s when I can understand what you feel
And I don’t react
Because I don’t know how to,
I can’t connect them with my thoughts.
I am confused
Like a school boy in the candy shop.
I am forgetful
Like the old man who had a hundred replicas of his key.
Life seems to be a labyrinthine maze.
A transparent fear, in the darkness, I chase.

…so candid; my life had been YES or NO.
A lot many things happening in life
For the first time,
Or have a last time show.
So perplexed the logics
That seeds my mind,
The graph, the trend or the decision tree,
All are disconnected, all are loop free.
The bell and the bouquet,
The flowers and diamond,
The persons to wish and the relatives to embrace,
I am imprecated,
But I pretend
To match your grace.

You leave and live,
I am here.
If I am true to myself, I am puzzled.
And Yes, I have some fear.
But believe me, wherever you will be: far or near,
You’ll always be so dear
To my smiles and to my tear.

N.B.
The thoughts are now
So much in synch,
When you come across this poem,
You will say
“Wish you the same”;
I know. 

Being Myself!

Who cast an imprecation at me,
The time changed at the hit of the night;
So meretricious it appeared,
I followed it sans questions;
And when I found
The right, The Wrong and then some
I got that I was tired
And not right.

The king and the pawn

I was tired of being myself
With lots of possibilities and confusions:
The dreams and the aims,
The feet and the steps,
So not-in-accord.
So helpless like a ten cross ten matrix,
Attenuated with time gradually,
It seems like a self claimed portrait
Of hopelessness
When I come across the mirror.

Then it happens,
Someone silently approaches
Out of the dark;
Want to hold my hand and walk,
Till sunrise,
And leave me refreshed
Not tired, not dejected.

Forgot to Tell You That…

It was september when you came;
I was trying to find someone
In the clean and bright sky and an
Innocent star fell in my hand whom
I quietly accpted and loved.
 
It’s been years we lived this bond,
I’ve never thought how many
Incautious decisions we made,
Inculcation of some intimate moments and
Impostures that we had played.
 
It was fun.
I lived my life more than expectations
I and you and then some…
Illusions of your existence here;
I remember.
Intoxicated with time,
I,  in September.

Yes We Had A Story!

All they ask is
How it comes to my mind,
And I tell that
It’s just something of my kind.

As we met and just fell in love;

Do not know how.
If they ask how it happened,
Need not worry;
Let’s pretend
That we had a story.

Open up your heart

And feel the breeze
Around, it’s the one
In which we
Used to walk hand in hand
And freeze.

Sometimes you, sometimes me,

The story was the same,
The writer was different though;
To your memories,
Only that story I owe.

In this way the story proceeds

From mind, each others’ memories we remove.
Now we were strangers, so.
And when we met the next time,
We again fell in love.

Let’s that story make them think,

Can something go?
Like this?
Or in our story
Something we miss…

To tell others…

Keep it in your memory;
We have to pretend
That we had a story.

Slam book…

I started loving the butterfly and the dove flew away;
The flower, the smile and the eyes have made their way!

The Beginning!

It’s silence
Increasing with the depth of night
When all the party men went inside;
I stand on the brink of my terrace
Trying to adjust the lens to capture the moon
Thinking
One fine evening
Love will come sliding down my chute
And whisper.
In my Eyes
The dreams begin to take patterns!

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